Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

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LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY            195
romantic passion. His hour came, — the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon^ — that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams ; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure, — he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beauti­ful woman, in one of the Northern States, and they were affianced. He returned South to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guar­dian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fort­night from the time ef the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright, dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow.
The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splen­did villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation in a whole roomful of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room, alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son ; and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she