Page:A New England Tale.djvu/258

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247
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

in his sight, who cannot be deceived by the daring hypocrisies, the self-delusions, the refuge of lies, of his creatures. She described the spiritual disciple of Jesus; and then presented to Mrs. Wilson so true an image of her selfishness, her pride, her domestic tyranny, and her love of money, that she could not but see that it was her very self. There was that in Jane's looks, and voice, and words, that was not to be resisted by the wretched woman; and like the guilty king, when he saw the record on the wall, her "countenance was changed, her thoughts were troubled, and her knees smote one against the other."

At this moment they were interrupted by the entrance of Mr. Lloyd. Jane rose, embarrassed for her aunt and herself, and walked to the window. Mrs. Wilson attempted to speak, to rise; she could do neither, and she sunk back on her chair, convulsed with misery and passion. Mr. Lloyd mistook her agitation for the natural wailings of a mother, and with instinctive benevolence he advanced to her, and kindly taking her hand, said, "Be composed, I pray; I have intelligence that will comfort thee."

"What is it ?" inquired Jane, eager to allay the storm she had raised.

Mrs. Wilson was still unable to speak.

"Thy son has escaped, Mrs. Wilson, and is, before this, beyond the reach of his country's laws. Here is a letter addressed to thee, which came enclosed in one to me." Mr. Lloyd laid the letter on Mrs. Wilson's lap, but she was unable