“The house which thou enterest is blessed,”
said he, taking care to give each phrase its proper stop, and its due measure;
“thy presence alone confers on man every good. Thou impartest vigor to the soul
of the young; thou canst make young the heart of the old. In thy company the
hours flow on, without our feeling weariness or satiety. Without thee, the days
seem tedious, and Time, having wings no longer, crushes us under his feet. Stay
in my house; whatever it contains is thine. Remain with me, fair traveler. Where
canst thou do better?”
Jacobus did not add, that his mother’s notion
was also sprouting in his brain, and that he hoped to derive profit as well as
fame from the sojourn of the Pansy.
She smiled at the simplicity of the youthful
poet, but this did not prevent her from fully appreciating the kind reception he
had given her. She determined to show herself grateful.
All that night, Jacobus was unable to close
his eyes. The thought of having received the Pansy under his roof, threw him
into a kind of fever. His heart beat quick – his temples were hot – and an
unnatural luster shone in his eyes. Finding that he wooed sleep in vain, he rose
and went down to his library, thinking that the sight of his flowers would calm
He entered and went up to a Hawthorn. As he
bent over to inhale its perfume, he thought he heard a gentle voice, which
proceeded from the depths of the white corolla.
“Draw in my breath, friend. A single one of my
branches, hidden in the midst of the hedge, is sufficient to scent the whole
neighborhood. I am the flower of early spring, -- I am Hope.”
“Jacobus! Jacobus!” said a clear voice.