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must be spoken, and he proceeded, "has any partiality for Charles?"
"Wallace!" exclaimed Alice, on whom the truth now for the first time glimmered.
"Answer me truly, my dear sister; all I want is, to know the truth."
Why, it is difficult to judge of Emy; she has a way of always laughing about such matters. She is not in the least sentimental, you know." "Not foolishly sentimental, but she has strong feelings." Ve Very strong.'
"Then if she has a preference, I am sure she must at some time have betrayed it.
"Not of course, Wallace. I am sure your feelings are strong enough, and yet I never suspected
"There were reasons for that; but girls are always confidential. Come, Alice, do put me out of misery."
"If I could, Wallace."
"Then you do think she loves Charles?
'Yes, I think she cares more for him than for any one else."
"I don't believe it! The exclamation was involuntary. Wallace was ashamed; he tried to keep down his rising heart. "I beg your pardon, Alice," he said; "but-I may have been dreaming; what indications have you observed?"
"When we are together, she talks ten times as much of Charles, as of you."-"That is no proof," thought Wallace. "When he was at Greenbrook and we in town," continued Alice, 66 we
agreed to write to him alternately; her letter was always ready in time, filled and crossed, and ofter she wrote in my turn. Charles used to say it was like being at home to get one of her letters. To be sure there was nothing particular in them; they were such as a sister might write."
Wallace thought over the only two letters he had ever received from Emily. Snatches of letters they were, rambling and indefinite; but he thought they were not such as a sister would write, and he felt a painful sort of triumph in thinking they were not. "A little circumstance occurred not long ago, " continued Alice, “that, as I thought, let me into the real state of Emily's feelings. The evening Harry and I made our engagement, we were walking on the Battery all the evening. The family believed I had been walking with Charles, and I did not feel like undeceiving them; but when I went to our room with Emily, it seemed as if my heart would burst if I did not speak. I threw my arms around her neck, and called her my future sister. She misunderstood me; I felt her tears on my cheek, and she said something about my being too good, and Charles too good, and all that; so I was forced to relieve her embarrassment, and tell plainly my meaning. I believed she had only anticipated a little, for I was sure Charles loved her; are you not, Wallace?"
'Yes, Alice, too sure, but I have been strangely blind, it never occurred to me till within the last two hours. I am not equally sure that—” Emily loves him, he would have added; but he
could not communicate the reasons of his long cherished opinions, or rather hopes, on the subject of Emily's affections, and he abruptly turned away and left his sister to solitary and painful reflection. "Poor Wallace!" she thought, "it would have been far easier for Charles to have gotten over it; his feelings are so much more gentle and manageable."
Hour after hour passed away while Wallace unconsciously wandered along the river's bank, revolving the past, balancing every trifling circumstance to which love, and hope, and fear gave weight, and painfully meditating on the future, on what he could do and what he ought to do; the ought soon becomes the could in a virtuous mind.
Circumstances had led the brothers very innocently into the indulgence of these jarring hopes. Nothing was more natural, than that an intimate intercourse with a girl very lovely in person and character, and attractive in manners, should excite their affections, and that affection in the boy should ripen into love in the man. It was not so natural that each should indulge his own hopes, form his own plans, and never suspect the sentiments of his brother. For the last half dozen years, Charles had been for nine months of every year at Greenbrook, and when the brothers together, they found the frank and affectionate intercourse of the family a safe and convenient shelter for their private feelings. Neither of them had for a long time had a distinct purpose, or been himself aware of the existence of an allcontrolling sentiment. But, for a few months
past, they had been waiting for the moment when their affairs should warrant the disclosure of their attachment, or any crisis (on the brink of which lovers always seem to themselves to be) should render it inevitable. In the meantime, Emily's entrance on her vocation of teacher had been, on some pretext, deferred from spring to fall, and from fall to spring. The truth was, none of the family could bear to part with her, and even Mr. and Mrs. Barclay were for once betrayed into the delay of a most excellent plan in favor of a present indulgence.
Wallace passed a sleepless night, the first in his healthy and happy life. It was not profitless; for, during the silent watches, he firmly resolved upon an immediate and frank disclosure to Charles. This he believed would prevent, as far as it was possible to prevent them, all future regrets and unhappiness. He could not bear to risk, for a moment, that the harmony and sweet affections, which had made their home a heaven, should give place to suspicion, secret jealousy, selfish competition, and possible hatred. "No,' he said; "He who has commanded us to pluck out an eye if it offend us, will enable me or Charles to root out an affection which we have both innocently, though one of us blindly, cherished."
Wallace was (what all are not) true to the resolution formed in solitude; and early the next day he sought an interview with Charles. At first it was embarrassed and painful. Charles's delicate and somewhat reserved nature was shock
ed by having the secret he had so long cherished, known and canvassed. But by degrees the hearts of both were opened. Their mutual confidence called forth all the vigor of their mutual affections. The noblest powers of their nature were roused; and such was the glow of fraternal love, that each felt that success with Emily would be almost as hard to bear as failure. Emily's preference must of course decide the matter, and the sooner that decision was known, they felt to be the better. Charles proposed that the whole affair should be confided to their mother, and that she should ascertain for them which way Emily's heart leaned. Wallace was disinclined to this. He had always thought he would have no medium, not even his mother, in an affair of this sort. "If denial comes, it does not, Charles, matter how; but if acceptance, I would first know it from Emily's eye and lips."
The sensation that darted through Charles's bosom at this expression of Wallace, made him realize the precipice on which they stood, and stimulated his desire to have his fate decided at once. He again urged the mode he had suggested. "Let Emily," he said, "know the happiness she bestows, but never the pain she inflicts. If I am to be her brother, Wallace, I would not for worlds that the frank affection she has shown me" ("ah, how misinterpreted!" he thought,) "should be withdrawn, or shackled with reserve -a source of suffering to us both, to us all."
Wallace at length acquiesced, and felt and said that Charles was always more considerate, more