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Frances had no breath to speak; she "Who am I? Don't you know who I could not say a word. She looked at the am? Who should I be but Con - Connew-comer with a gasp. Who was she? stance Waring, your sister? Where," And who was papa? Was it some strange she cried, springing to her feet and stampmistake which had brought her here? ing one of them upon the groundBut then the question, "Are you Fran- "where, where is papa?" ces?" showed that it could not be a mistake.
"I beg your pardon," she said; "I don't understand. This is - Mr. Waring's. You are looking for your father?"
"Yes, yes," cried the other impatiently. "I know. You can't imagine I should have come here and taken possession if I| had not made sure first! You are well enough known in this little place. There was no trouble about it. And the house looks nice, and this must be a fine view when there is light to see it by. But where is papa? They told me he was always to be found at this hour."
The door opened again behind her softly, and Mr. Waring with his soft step came out, "Did I hear some one calling for me?" he said. Frances, it is not you, surely, that are quarrelling with your visitor? 1 beg the lady's pardon; I cannot see who it is."
Tht stranger turned upon him with impatience in her tone. "It was I who called," she said. "I thought you were sure to be here. Father, I have always heard that you were kind- a kind man, they all said; that was why I came, thinking I am Constance!" she added after a pause, drawing herself up and facing him with something of his own gesture and attitude. She was tall, not much less than he was; very unlike little Frances. Her slight figure seemed to draw out as she raised her head and looked at him. She was not a suppliant. Her whole air was one of indignation that she should be subjected to a moment's doubt.
Frances felt the blood ebb to her very finger-points, and then rush back like a great flood to her heart. She scarcely knew where she was standing or what she was saying in her great bewilderment. "Do you mean - my father?" she said. The other girl answered with a laugh: "You are very particular. I mean our father, if you prefer it. Your fathermy father. What does it matter? Where is he? Why isn't he here? It seems he must introduce us to each other. I did not think of any such formality. I thought you would take me for granted," she said. Frances stood thunderstruck, gazing, listening, as if eyes and ears alike fooled her. She did not seem to know the mean-light." ing of the words. They could not, she said to herself, mean what they seemed to mean — it was impossible. There must be some wonderful, altogether unspeakable blunder. "I don't understand," she said again in a piteous tone. "It must be some mistake."
The other girl fixed her eyes upon her in the waning light. She had not paid so much attention to Frances at first as to the new place and scene. She looked at her now with the air of weighing her in some unseen balance and finding her want ing, with impatience and half contempt. "I thought you would have been glad to see me," she said; "but the world seems just the same in one place as another. Because I am in distress at home, you don't want me here."
Then Frances felt herself goaded, galled into the matter-of-fact question, "Who are you?" though she felt that she would not believe the answer she received.
"Constance!" said Mr. Waring. The daylight was gone outside; the moon had got behind a fleecy white cloud; behind those two figures there was a gleam of light from within, Domenico having brought in the lamp into the drawing-room. He stepped backward, opening the glass door. "Come in," he said, "to the
Frances came last, with a great commotion in her heart, but very still externally. She felt herself to have sunk into quite a subordinate place. The other two, they were the chief figures. She had now no explanation to ask, no questions to put, though she had a thousand; but everything was in the background, everything inferior. The chief interest was with the others now.
Constance stepped in after him with a proud freedom of step, the air of one who was mistress of herself and her fate. She went up to the table on which the tall lamp stood, her face on a level with it, fully lighted up by it. She held her hat in her hand, and played with it with a careless yet half-nervous gesture. Her fair hair was short and clustered in her neck and about her forehead, almost like a child's, though she was not like a child. Mr. Waring looked at her, was more agi. tated than she. He trembled a little; his eyelids were lifted high over his eyes.
Her air was a little defiant; but there was no suspicion, only a little uncertainty in his. He put out his hand to her after a minute's inspection. "If you are Constance, you are welcome," he said.
"I don't suppose that you have any doubt I am Constance," said the girl, flinging her hat on the table and herself into a chair. "It is a very curious way to receive one, though, after such a long journey such a tiresome long journey," she repeated with a voice into which a querulous tone of exhaustion had come.
Mr. Waring sat down too in the immediate centre of the light. He had not kissed her nor approached her, save by the momentary touch of their hands. It was a curious way to receive a stranger, a daughter. She lay back in her chair, as if wearied out, and tears came to her eyes. "I should not have come, if I had known," she said with her lip quivering. "I am very tired. I put up with everything on the journey, thinking, when I came here And I am more a stranger here than anywhere!" She paused, choking with the half-hysterical fit of crying which she would not allow to overcome her. "She knows nothing about me!" she cried with a sharp pain, as if this was the last blow.
Frances in her bewilderment did not know what to do or say. She looked at her father; but his face was dumb, and gave her no suggestion; and then she looked at the new-comer, who lay back with her head against the back of the chair, her eyes closed, tears forcing their way through her eyelashes, her slender white throat convulsively struggling with a sob. The mind of Frances had been shaken by a sudden storm of feelings unaccustomed; a throb of something which she did not understand, which was jeal ousy, though she neither knew nor intended it, had gone through her being. She seemed to see herself cast forth from her easy supremacy, her sway over her father's house, deposed from her principal place. And she was only human. Aiready she was conscious of a downfall. Constance had drawn the interest towards herself it was she to whom every eye would turn. The girl stood apart for a moment, with that inevitable movement which has been in the bosom of so many since the well-behaved brother, of the Prodigal put it in words, “Now that this thy son has come." Constance, so far as Frances knew, was no prodigal; but she was what was almost worse a stranger, and yet the honors of the house were to
be hers. She stood thus, looking on, until the sight of the suppressed sob, of the closed eyes, of the weary, hopeless attitude, were too much for her. Then it came suddenly into her mind, If she is Constance! Frances had not known half an hour before that there was any Constance who had a right to her sympathy in the world. She gave her father another questioning look, but got no reply from his eyes. Whatever had to be done must be done by herself. She went up to the chair in which her sister lay and touched her on the shoulder. "If we had known you were coming," she said, "it would have been different. It is a little your fault not to let us know. I should have gone to meet you; I should have made your room ready. We have nothing ready, because we did not know."
Constance sat suddenly up in her chair and shook her head, as if to shake off the emotion that had been too much for her. "How sensible you are," she said. "Is that your character? She is quite right, isn't she? But I did not think of that. I suppose I am impetuous, as people say. I was unhappy, and I thought you would
receive me with open arms. It is evident I am not the sensible one." She said this with still a quiver in her lip, but also a smile, pushing back her chair, and resuming the unconcerned air which she had worn at first.
"Frances is quite right. have written and warned Waring.
You ought to us," said Mr.
"O yes; there are so many things that one ought to do!"
"But we will do the best for you, now you are here. Mariuccia will easily make a room ready. Where is your baggage? Domenico can go to the railway, to the hotel, wherever you have come from." My box is outside the door. I made them bring it. The woman is that Mariuccia? — would not take it in. But she let me come in. She was not suspicious. She did not say, 'If you are Constance.'" And here she laughed, with a sound that grated upon Mr. Waring's nerves. He jumped up suddenly from his chair.
"I had no proof that you were Constance," he said, "though I believed it. But only your mother's daughter could reproduce that laugh."
Has Frances got it?" the girl cried, with an instant lighting up of opposition in her eyes; for I am like you; but she is the image of mamma.”
He turned round and looked at Frances, who, feeling that an entire circle of new
emotions, unknown to her, had come into being at a bound, stood with a passive, frightened look, spectator of everything, not knowing how to adapt herself to the new turn of affairs.
"By Jove!" her father said, with an air of exasperation she had never seen in him before, "that is true! But I had never noticed it. Even Frances. You've come to set us all by the ears."
"O no! I'll tell you, if you like, why I came. Mamma-has been more aggravating than usual. I said to myself you would be sure to understand what that meant. And something arose - I will tell you about it after a complication, some thing mamma insisted I should do, though I had made up my mind not to do it."
"Oh! it is no worse to say them than to think them," said Constance. "I always say what I mean. And you must know that things went very far so far that I couldn't put up with it any longer; so I made up my mind all at once that I would come off to you."
"And I tell you, you are welcome, my dear. It is so long since I saw you, that I could not have recognized you. That is natural enough. But now that you are here I cannot decide upon the wisdom of the step till I know all the circumstances
"Oh, wisdom! I don't suppose there is any wisdom about it. No one expects wisdom from me. But what could I do? There was nothing else that I could do."
"Oh, I know you will approve of me when you hear everything. Mamma says I am a Waring all over, your own child."
"You had better," said her father, with "At all events," said Waring, with a a smile, "take care what ideas on that little inclination of his head and a smile, subject you put into your sister's head." as if he were talking to a visitor, Frances Constance paused, and looked at Fran- said to herself "Frances and I will forces with a look which was half scrutiniz give any lack of wisdom which has given ing, half contemptuous. "Oh, she is not us this pleasure." He laughed at himlike me," she said. Mamma was very self as he spoke. "You must expect for aggravating, as you know she can be. a time to feel like a fine lady paying a visit She wanted me But I'll tell you to her poor relations," he said. after." And then she began: "I hope, because you live in Italy, papa, you don't think you ought to be a mediæval parent; | but that sort of thing in Belgravia, you know, is too ridiculous. It was so out of the question, that it was some time before I understood. It was not exactly a case of being locked up in my room and kept on bread and water; but something of the sort. I was so much astonished at first, I did not know what to do; and then it became intolerable. I had nobody I could appeal to, for everybody agreed with her. Markham is generally a safe person; but even Markham took her side. So I immediately thought of you. I said to myself, One's father is the right person to protect one. And I knew, of course, that if anybody in the world could understand how impossible it is to live with mamma when she has taken a thing in her head, it would be you."
The sensations with which Frances stood and listened, it would be impossible to describe. Mamma! who was this, of whom the other girl spoke so lightly, whom she had never heard of before? Was it possible that a mother as well as a sister existed for her, as for others, in the unknown world out of which Constance had come? A hundred questions were on her lips, but she controlled herself, and asked none of them. Reflection, which comes so often slowly, almost painfully, to her came now like the flash of lightning. She would not betray to any one, not even to Constance, that she had never known she had a mother. Papa might be wrongoh, how wrong he had been! - but she would not betray him. She checked the exclamation on her lips; she subdued her soul altogether, forcing it into silence. This was the secret she had been so anxious to penetrate, which he had kept so closely from her. Why should he have kept it from her? It was evident it had not been kept on the other side. Whatever had happened, had Frances been in trouble, she knew of no one with whom she could have taken refuge; but her sister had known. Her brain was made dizzy by these thoughts. It was open to her now to ask whatever she pleased. The mystery had been made plain; but at
the same time her mouth was stopped. | who could go everywhere, half commandShe would not confuse her father, nor be- ing, half taking with guile every heart that tray him. It was chiefly from this bewil- she encountered. Frances would never dering sensation, and not, as her father, do that. But she would be true, true as suddenly grown acute in respect to Fran- the heavens themselves, and never falter. ces, thought, from a mortifying conscious. By a sudden gleam of perception he saw ness that Constance would speak with that though he had never told her anymore freedom if she were not there, that thing of this, though it must have been a Frances spoke. "I think," she said, revelation of wonder to her, yet that she "that I had better go and see about the had not burst forth into any outcries of rooms. Mariuccia will not know what to astonishment, or asked any compromising do till I come; and you will take care of questions, or done anything to betray him. Constance, papa."
He looked at her, hearing in her tone a wounded feeling, a touch of forlorn pride, which perhaps were there, but not so much as he thought; but it was Constance that replied: "O yes; we will take care of each other. I have so much to tell him," with a laugh. Frances was aware that there was relief in it, in the prospect of her own absence; but she did not feel it so strongly as her father did. She gave them both a smile, and went away.
"So that is Frances," said the newfound sister, looking after her. "I find her very like mamma. But everybody says I am your child, disposition and all." She rose, and came up to Waring, who had never lessened the distance between himself and her. She put her hand into his arm and held up her face to him. "I am like you. I shall be much happier with you. Do you think you will like having me instead of Frances, father?" She clasped his arm against her in a caressing way, and leaned her cheek upon the sleeve of his velvet coat. "Don't you think you would like to have me, father, instead of her?" she said.
A whole panorama of the situation, like a landscape, suddenly flashed before Waring's mind. The spell of this caress, and confidence she showed of being loved, which is so great a charm, and the impulse of nature, so much as that is worth, drew him towards the handsome girl, who took possession of him and his affections without a doubt, and pushed away the other from his heart and his side with an impulse which his philosophy said was common to all men or at least, if that was too sweeping, to all women. But in the same moment came that sense of championship and proprietorship, the one inextricably mingled with the other, which makes us all defend our own, whenever assailed. Frances was his own; she was his creation; he had taught her almost everything. Poor little Frances! Not like this girl, who could speak for herself,
His heart went forth to Frances with an infinite tenderness. He had not been a doting father to her; he had even-being himself what the world calls a clever man, much above her mental level - felt himself to condescend a little, and almost upbraided heaven for giving him so ordinary a little girl. And Constance, it was easy to see, was a brilliant creature, accustomed to take her place in the world, fit to be any man's companion. But the first result of this revelation was to reveal to him, as he had never seen it before, the modest and true little soul which had developed by his side without much notice from him, whom he had treated with such cruel want of confidence, to whom the shock of this evening's disclosures must have been so great, but who, even in the moment of discovery, shielded him. All this went through his mind with the ut most rapidity. He did not put his newfound child away from him; but there was less enthusiasm than Constance expected in the kiss he gave her. "I am very glad to have you here, my dear," he said, more coldly than pleased her. "But why instead of Frances? You will be happier both of you for being together."
Constance did not disengage herself with any appearance of disappointment. She perceived, perhaps, that she was not to be so triumphant here as was usually her privilege. She relinquished her father's arm after a minute, not too precipitately, and returned to her chair. "I shall like it, as long as it is possible," she said. "It will be very nice for me having a father and sister, instead of a mother and brother. But you will find that mamma will not let you off. She likes to have a girl in the house. She will have her pound of flesh." She threw herself back into her chair with a laugh. "How quaint it is here; and how beautiful the view must be, and the mountains and the sea! I shall be very happy here - the world forgetting, by the world forgot and with you, papa."
From Blackwood's Magazine.
tain of tears has never been stirred within ON SOME OF SHAKESPEARE'S FEMALE her. To pain of heart she has been a stranger. She has not learned tenderness or toleration under the discipline of suf
“There was a star danced, and under that was I born." fering or disappointment, of unsatisfied yearning or failure. Her life has been a summer mood,
DEAR MR. RUSKIN,
I am glad to see by your letter that Beatrice is a favorite with you. The heresy of Campbell and others, that describes her as a compound of tomboy, flirt, and "an odious woman,' I think, Campbell calls her, has manifestly not enlisted you among its adherents. Whilst, therefore, I am sure of your sympathy in trying to put into words the conception of this brilliant and charming woman which I endeavored to embody on the stage, still I must approach the subject with great trepidation, as you tell me that you are "listening with all your heart to what I shall say of her." I cannot dare to hope that I shall throw much light upon the character that will be new to you, who have shown, in so many places, how thorough has been your study of Shakespeare's heroines, and with what loving insight you have used them to illustrate the part women have played, and are meant to play, in bringing sweetness and comfort, and help and moral strength, into man's troubled and perplexing life. The lesson Shakespeare teaches seems to me to be entirely in accordance with your own belief, expressed in many ways, "that no man ever lived a right life who had not been chastened by a woman's love, strengthened by her courage, and guided by her discretion."
Of Beatrice I cannot write with the same full heart, or with the same glow of sympathy, with which I wrote of Rosalind. Her character is not to me so engaging. We might hope to meet in life something to remind us of Beatrice; but in our dreams of fair women Rosalind stands out alone.
Neither are the circumstances under which Beatrice comes before us of a kind to draw us so closely to her. Unlike Rosalind, her life has been and is, while we see her, one of pure sunshine. Sorrow and wrong have not softened her nature, nor taken off the keen edge of her wit. When we are introduced to her, she is the great lady, bright, brilliant, beautiful, enforcing admiration as she moves "in maiden meditation fancy free" among the fine ladies and accomplished gallants of her circle. Up to this time there has been no call upon the deeper and finer qualities of her nature. The sacred foun
To which all pleasant things have come unsought,
She has a
and across which the shadows of care or
Yea, my lord, I thank it; poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care." And what does her uncle Leonato say of her?
There's little of the melancholy element in her, my lord: she is never sad but when she sleeps, and not ever sad then; for I have heard my daughter say, she hath often dreamt of unhappiness and waked herself with laughing.
(Act ii., sc. I.)
Wooers she has had, of course, not a few; but she has "mocked them all out of suit." Very dear to her is the independence of her maidenhood, for the moment has not come when to surrender that independence into a lover's hands is more delightful than to maintain it. But though in the early scenes of the play she makes a mock of wooers and of marriage, with obvious zest and with a brilliancy of fancy and pungency of sarcasm that might well appal any ordinary wooer, it is my conviction that, though her heart has not as yet been touched, she has at any rate begun to see in "Signor Benedick of Padua ' qualities which have caught her fancy. She has noted him closely, and his image recurs unbidden to her mind with a frequency which suggests that he is at least more to her than any other man. The train is laid, and only requires a spark to kindle it into flame. How this is done by Shakespeare, and with what exquisite