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had noticed it▓, the trees were bending beneath the w●eight of their glorious summer dress, and the● gayest and brightest flowe


rs were flinging● their lavish beauties on the banks of▓ the small but picturesque lake.The scene ●was still lovely, but it had cha●nged; the trees which still ret●ained foliage were all in the “sere and ye●llow leaf,” the ground was ●strewed with fallen leaves, the flower▓s were all gone,

and Nature herself seem●ed emblematical of the change▓ in Annie’s heart.Lady E

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mi▓ly watched her some time in sil▓ence, and then gently drew her attention to some▓ beautiful groups of flowers ●which she ha


d lately arranged.Annie● turned from the window with a heavy sigh, and ▓bent over the flowers; while Lady Emily con●tinued her employments without further notic▓e.She forgot that amongst those grou▓ps there was the plant, to find whi●ch Annie had rambled over hill and dale ▓that fatal morning.From its extrem▓e rarity and beauty she had pla●ced it alone upon the page; an●d as Annie gazed upon it, a rush of feeling of ●the bright, sweet memories which ●had thronged her mind during that soli●tary ramble came back upon her—▓the dreams of hope, and joy, and love—wi▓th the force, the intensity of actual presenc▓e; as if they might still

be r▓ealized, and the intervening ●time had been but a dark and troubled blank.Sh▓e pushed the flower from her, a●nd her head sunk on her clasped hands. “M▓y poor child, I forgot that flower w▓as amongst them!” exclaimed Lady Em▓ily, in a tone at once of such▓ self-reproach and earnest s●ympathy, that Annie, with an uncontrolla●ble impulse, suddenly sprung up, and folding her● arms round her neck, burst into a passion of t●ears.All her cousin’s previous kin▓dness she had attributed to pity for bodi▓ly suffering.That she could sy▓mpathise in her m

ental affliction, she had f▓ancied—as the young are too prone to do of ●the col

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▓ that heart seemed, it could yet fee●l and weep for her. Lady Emily tr●embled; for the deep emotion she behel●d recalled passages of equal suffering in her● own life, which she had thought buried and at ●rest for ever.She trembled, lest in this▓ appeal to her inmost soul her long str▓iven-for calmness should fai●l, and her weakness s


hould increase rather than ●soothe Annie’s anguish.Her hand shook, an▓d her lip so quivered, that it wa▓s some minutes ere she could speak.We need not ●linger on the words which followed▓.The ice, which had seemed to▓ close round Annie’s heart, dissolv▓ed—Reginald’s name was spok●en—the fond secret of

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