« VorigeDoorgaan »
preaching. I have shown you my whole “I give you my hand again. This hand life, as well as I can; where I have left any shall never be withdrawn from you, so long gaps, pray question me.”
as it has life. I had something else in view Nothing further is needed,” said Clod- for you, but now I cannot and need not wig, rising, and quietly laying, aside the speak of it; I will subdue my own wishes. sofa-blanket. Only one question. Have Enough; press on quietly and firmly toyou never had the desire to marry, or has wards your goal; whatever I can do to help that not entered into your plans ?" you reach it, you have a right to demand.
“No, I shall not marry. I have heard Remember you have a claim upon me in so many men say, “Yes, ideals, I had them every situation and condition of your life. too, but now I live in and for my family. You cannot yet estimate what you have I will not sacrifice everything higher to the and are still giving me. Good night, my caprice of a pretty woman. 'I know that I dear young
'friend." am at variance with the world; I cannot The count hastily withdrew, as if to dissemble, nor can I change my own way avoid any further emotion. Eric stood of thinking, nor bring others over to mine. still, looking at the empty chair and the I have set myself a difficult life-task, which sofa-blanket as if all were a dream, until a can be best carried out alone."
servant came and in a very respectful manClodwig stepped quickly towards Eric ner conducted him to his room. and said: –
The Pyramid and the Bible. By a Clergy- | tects in the poor rhetoric of the London divine. Elmonston and Douglas.
The book is, at all events, a “curiosity of litera
ture," and well deserves perusal. This is a very thoughtful and ingenious little
Spectator. volume. The writer, who does not give his name, has made a special study of all that has in recent times been written about the “Great Pyr- Lyra Sacra Americana. Sampson Low and
Co. amid ” by Taylor, Piazzi Smyth, and others. His information, consequently, is perfectly re- AMERICA as yet has no very deep fountains of liable, and it is remarkable to find how much poetry from which to draw. She gives us of her matter the author puts into a few pages, while best as far as she can, and on the whole the gift yet none of his statements suffer from the com- is a worthy one. In this little volume there are pression. That the Great Pyramid was erected several pieces of real merit and beauty. Phæbe by an anti-idolatrous monarch (Cheops) some Cary writes verses about which we only regret 4,000 years ago; that it was constructed at a par- the impossibility of inserting them at length. ticular astronomical conjuncture, which could Mrs. Sigourney has lines which may stand side not be repeated until after the lapse of 25,000 by side with our best hymns. Whittier and years — a period said to be represented by the Pierpoint, too, have both contributed good verses; united inches of the two diagonals of the base of but there is only too much which rises at best to the pyramid; that the sun's distance from the a very low level. Notwithstanding all that Emearth was known to the architect of the pyramid, erson and others have said or written, it remains and that thus, by special illumination, the cal- true that the inner depths of spiritual life have culations of the latest science were anticipated; yet to be broken up in America, and till they that the solitary relic found in one of the two in- are, with much of their poetry as with much of terior chambers of the pyramid, an arca, or chest, their theology, we must rest unsatisfied. is a metrical standard with which our own Eng
Spectator. lish measures correspond, are a few of the aflirmations made by this clergyman and endorsed by Professor P. Smyth in a prefatory note. Of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra. By Rev. W.
Ware. Warne. course, if these and other statements could be scientifically demonstrated, the Great Pyramid Tuis is an old friend, well known and well would have an additional claim to being desig- loved in our youth, when it bore the name, which nated, as it was, one of the Seven Wonders of the was, we believe, its original name, and which we World; but that the demonstration, if made, cannot see any reason for changing, of “ Letters would indicate that the Millennium is even at from Palmyra.” We have looked through the the door is not so very clear to us. Our author : book again, and are happy to believe that our old accepts the antiquated notions about Edenic and I liking was justified, not only by the interest of Noahic dispensations in the past, and as far as the story and by the picturesqueness of the writwe can gither, has fancies about the future not ing, which are undeniable, but by its general very different from those of Dr. Cummings. But fidelity to historical truth. It is a capital roin spite of these, he shows himself to be domi- mance, and we should be sorry to think so ill of nated by a sense of justice and of the fatherly the rising generation as not to believe that it will goodness of the Almighty which one never de- please them.
BOOK THE THIRD.
santé. It was an unfortunate time for the mistress of the house to be invalided when Meriton was full of guests, and Julia had
made a number of engagements. Stephen MADELEINE LENDS A HAND.
Haviland was one of that numerous class It is pleasant to persons of ill-condi- of men who are invariably out of temper tioned nature to know that they are objects when their wives are ill, who seem to reof envy. They like to excite that unamia- gard such illness as arising from the natuble feeling, and to keep it alive by the dis- ral perversity of women, and who make play of their exceptional advantages — of everybody about them uncomfortable or wealth, beauty, wit, accomplishments, pop- such occasions. He was deeply concerned ularity, whatever it may be in which they about Julia, and indeed unnecessarily are favoured beyond their fellows. Again, alarmed, as Madeleine and her father en. there are persons so incapable of feeling deayoured to convince him; but he was envy, that they do not understand the ex- also angry with her, and vented his vexaistence of the passion, they do not recog- tion by proposing measures which would nise its manifestations; when its spite and have been eminently disagreeable to her. bitterness are evident and hateful to others, The house must be cleared, he said, to them they are merely puzzling, uncom- everyone must go; of course it was unforfortable, unpleasant plienomena, felt with- tunate, but it could not be helped. There out being analysed. To the latter cate- was not the slightest occasion for anything gory Madeleine Burdett belonged. She of the kind, Julia maintained. The house knew that her cousins did not like her, but was so large and so well organised, every: she did not know that they regarded her thing was arranged with such clock-work with envy which distorted every action of regularity, that there was not the least hers, magnifying girlish thoughtlessness in- reason for disturbing anyone because she to a crime, and assigning to the mere glee- bad a heavy feverish cold, and must keep fulness and power of enjoyment proper her room for a few days.
All their guests to her age and disposition, all the sinful- were intimate friends, and Mrs. Marsh was ness of inconsiderate levity and unprinci- in the house, to supply her place in any pled coquetry. She did not imagine that respect in which Madeleine might not sulthey conld not hear her make the request fice. concerning her drawing-lessons which she So the people who were at Meriton rehad addressed to Stephen Haviland, with- mained there, and the projected amuseout setting it down to a desire to display ments were all carried out, and Julia kept her taste and accomplishments.
her room, sedulously cared for by Made• She is afraid Captain Medway may not leine, who understood her ways,' and had know she is an artist,' said Angelina to no scruple in leaving her to the tolerably Clementina; and the two professed them- frequent solitude to which she never obselves shocked at the omnivorous vanity of jected, in illness or in health. Mrs. Marsh Madeleine, who never remembered Captain was in high good humour. She enjoyed Medway's existence when that officer was ber span of seeming authority in her brothout of her sight.
er's house · little' and · brief' as it was, exNeither did she, for some days, remem- ceedingly; and Madeleine quietly but efber the conversation she had had with her fectually guarded against its being felt by uncle, or that an artist was coming to anyone to be oppressive. Julia was not the Meriton. Her aunt was ill –
sort of woman to feel at all sensitively that usual event; so unusual, indeed, as to cause she was not much missed by her guests, a sensation disproportionate to its impor- and that they contrived to employ and entance. Julia Haviland had sound health in joy themselves thoroughly, with no more general, and steady nerves. Her temper, reference to her than the regulation inquiry though not naturally gentle or equable, made every morning, and the regulation was well under her control, and she never hopes and wishes. She knew she would suffered from the discontent and irritabili- have felt in their case precisely as they felt. ty which are such large components in the in hers, and she much preferred their podelicacy' that renders so many women lite indifference to her husband's sullen domestic nuisances. She valued health, solicitude. There had been and took care of herself. But Julia was smoothness in the life of Julia Haviland ill now, for all that, and disliked being so for many years she had so long lost sight all the more because she was so unaccus of the rough paths through which her early tomed to it that she had none of the façons years had led' her — that she now found it of a lady habituated to indulge in petite difficult to realise that things could ever go wrong with her. On the whole, she had | dowed and passionate as Julia Ilaviland's managed her husband wonderfully well, was. When she was well and strong she surprisingly easily, considering the mate- did battle with this insidious ennui, whose rials she had to work on; but she felt a lit- harmfulness she knew; but she was ill and tle misgiving about how she might be able weak now; she could not fight with it, and to manage him in the future, if her health, it had its own way. strength, and vivacity were to fail her. Frank Burdett understood her very well. She had not really repressed his self-will, or He did not say so; he never ofliciously voldecreased his selfishness; she had merely unteered to put her moods into words, but kept them in check by the greater imperi- he knew as much about them as any one ousness of her own nature; and she thought but Julia herself could know. He applied if her strength, her capacity for caring to himself to the judicious soothing of Stemanage him, should fail, if the strange in- phen's apprehensions and temper, rightly difference to all things which sometimes considering that he could thus do Julia came over her but passingly, should be most good. He bores her,' said Mr. Burcome a permanent state of mind with her, dett, with that candour which is wisely reshe would probably find him very trouble- served for soliloquy; ‘he fidgets her and some to herself and to other people. It he bores her. He is at a loss without her, was natural that she should feel this gen- and he does not like to feel that that is the eral languor just now; it did not indicate case. The best thing I can do for her is to the real decline of her characteristic strength, keep him away.. It's the Haviland way. tact, and firmness, – it was caused by ill- Whenever anything ailed me, Selina was ness, it would pass away with returning awsul.' health.
a most un
Though Julia was sufficiently ill to be From the windows of Julia's room she confined to her room, and though she did could see the flower-garden in which she not get better with such celerity as Stephen had been used to walk with her husband's Haviland considered would have been the mother; and, lying on her sofa, weak, suf- right thing, and what might have been exfering, and alone, her thoughts would turn pected of her, she was not too ill to feel inback to those far-distant days, and she terested in hearing all that was going on would recall the victory she had then won in the house. The sounds which told of without any exultation now; indeed, with life and stir and amusement, came but weariness. After all, the love and the faintly and distantly to her quiet rooms, gratitude of the kind old lady had been the and disturbed her not at all. She liked to very best and most precious things which lie there with closed eyes and listen to her success had brought her. She was not them without any need for exerting herself. more sentimental or more credulous now She liked Madeleine's visits, when the than she had ever been; but she knew this bright, happy young girl — who liad seen for a fact. All through these years, during so little of illness, and bad so little notion which she had been rich, prosperous, ad- of suffering that it never occurred to her to mired, beloved, in every sense successful, feel any uneasiness about Julia - would she had suffered, more or less frequently, cheer her up with accounts of the day's from the inexorable ennui which is at the proceedings, and occasionally with amusing bottoin of all human existence,' but less of sketches, full of fun, but quite devoid of late than in her youth. Was not this ennui, malice, of the untiring exertions of Angelike the vague melancholy which is of the lina and Clementina in the unvaried occuessence of youthful poetry, an attribute of pation of their lives - the pursuit of adyouth? Does it not cease to be felt as mirers who might be turned into husbands. time begins to move with the accelerated There was something touching to a contemspeed which we all recognise in middle age, plative mind in the sustained and courwhen things are more commonplace and ageous industry, dash, and daring of their comfortable? It was time that she should devotion to this noble avocation. Nothing be done with it, but she was not; it lurked daunted, nothing disheartened them. When in her path still, making her feel that her the chase' got away, clean out of sight, inmost spirit assented to the ancient faith they immediately looked out for another; of the Eastern sage, who held that silence and when, as had frequently happened, a was better than speech, sleep than pleas- rival carried off the prize, they regarded ure, death than life.
the circumstance with disdain, as the result In the pauses in life of which this was of an unprincipled maneuvre to which a one, the vacuity of it makes itself felt, if wretched male victim had been sacrificed, indeed it be empty of the nobler aims, the expressed the deepest compassion for him, purer emotions, by every nature largely en-I and turned their attention elsewhere. They
did not very often get the chance of pur- men of his sort, he is very susceptible of suing this praiseworthy vocation at Meri-flattery, and I should not be at all surprised ton, but whenever the opportunity did if Angelina were to succeed in her devices, arise, they took the utmost advantage of it. if she only does the humble and devout The Honourable Herbert Bingham and worshipper with sufficient consistency, and Captain Medway were just at present the sticks to it long enough.' objects of the unremitting attention of the young ladies. Angelina had made up her mind to be Mrs. Bingham, and Clementina had resolved to be Mrs. Medway; and though the respective gentlemen did not see it,' and made their blindness perceptible to every one besides, the ingenuous Angelina and Clementina cherished their delusion, all unsuspecting, and afforded a great deal of not too good-natured amusement to the on-lookers at this very unequal game.
Madeleine made no answer to this remark beyond a blush and a look ef embarrassment which Julia observed.
'What's the matter, Maddy?' she asked. What makes you look as if you differed from me, for some reason specially known to yourself?'
'Indeed!' said Julia; that is rather an awkward complication. What has made you think so?'
The enforced seclusion of Julia was not regretted by the Misses Marsh. They would have resented with indignation such an imputation as that they were afraid of their uncle's wife; but they were afraid of her; her perfectly polite but invincibly cold manner had a repressive effect upon them, and they preferred to carry on what they It is so hard to tell you exactly,' Maregarded as their flirtations, but which were deleine answered; but the impression is in reality their aggressive attacks upon mas- irresistible. One reason for my thinking culine freedom, out of the range of her this is his insufferable way of keeping persteadily observant and contemptuous eyes.petually beside me, and seeming impatient That she was, as they elegantly termed it, if I am ever occupied with anybody else. safe' for the present, was a subject of fre- He was positively rude this evening when I quent confidential congratulations of each was at the piano; interrupted me three other on the part of the sisters, and they times when I was speaking to Mr. Holmes, regarded their prospects as cheering and fa- and took no more notice of him than if he vourable. was not there. He is exactly like his mother in that horrid way of "walking over people," as papa calls it. I should not have minded it so much to-night if he had been rude to anyone except Mr. Holmes, but it is such bad taste when there can be any doubt or question about the rank of one's guest.'
Madeleine blushed again, and laughed uneasily. I hardly like to tell you, aunt,' she said; it seems like such ridiculous conceit, it seems so like the sort of thing one laughs at the Marsh girls for; but — but I cannot help fancying that Herbert Bingham has made up his mind, in his high-and-mighty way, to confer the honour of his alliance on me.'
The idea of Angelina fixing on Herbert Bingham!' said Madeleine, on an occasion when she had been relating the day's proceedings to her aunt. He would be astounded if he could be made to understand her presumption. He appears to me to think he does uncle Stephen a great honour by coming here, and nothing that Verner 'It is, indeed,' said Julia abstractedly. told us of his father and mother equals his She was thinking if Madeleine should be pride and stiffness. They are not pleasant right-and a woman's instinct may genpeople to look forward to belonging to, cer- erally be trusted in such matters — that the tainly. He was speaking of Verner yester-true love of her niece and Verner Bingham day in such a slighting way, I longed to tell would not be likely to run the smoother; him what an improvement it would be to as, in that case, Herbert would hardly act him to be just the least little bit in the as their friend with Lord and Lady Bredisworld like his younger brother.' holme. Not that Julia really cared about their opinion, or had any doubt that she But he is so different,' Madeleine con- could render Stephen also indifferent to it tinued; he is so selfish, and so little-mind-when the fitting time should have arrived,
ed, and so mean in all his ways. But Angelina sees all perfection in him.'
but that she disliked the arising of a ditficulty, and here she foresaw one.
No, she doesn't, my dear,' said Mrs. I wish he would go away,' she said. Haviland; she sees the Honourable Mr. I fancied he only came here to fill up a Bingham, the future Lord Bredisholme, in gap in his time, until his father and mother him. I grant you that that is Angelina's release some unhappy people they are visitnotion of perfection. I fancy, like mosting from their presence, and return to Bre
disholme. He does not care for shooting, I mean. When Herbert Bingham succeeded does he ?' in interrupting him this evening, he stood apart, leaning against the window, and looking as absent-minded as if he were not one of us.'
'Not in the least,' answered Madeleine; and papa can't bear to have him out with them, he makes himself so disagreeable. I confess I have beguiled him into remaining with us sometimes, just to get papa rid of him.'
And your filial duty may be rewarded by a coronet in perspective,' said Julia. What a pity you are not Angelina, or Angelina you! But seriously, you will have to be very careful,, Maddy; it would be very unpleasant to have to refuse Verner's brother-it would create an awkwardness for you afterwards.'
Madeleine made a pretty little movement with her head, which implied that she had perfect, undoubting, not-to-be-shaken faith in afterwards;' but she acquiesced in her aunt's caution, remarking that Angelina, who never let Mr. Bingham out of her sight if she could avoid it, would unconsciously render her invaluable assistance in preventing his making a fool of himself.'
What sort of person is this young artist, Mr. Holmes?' Julia asked after a pause, during which Madeleine had arranged her pillows, and rendered her sundry little services with a skilful hand. Your uncle seems to like him very much.'
'Yes, he brought me a portfolio full today which Mr. Holmes sent up from the village to amuse me. They are very fine indeed, as far as my judgment goes.'
‘O yes, beautiful! And he is so fond of his art; it is quite delightful to hear him talk about it; and he is so perfectly gentlemanly in his manners -almost too grave, in fact. I'm sure all one hears about the slang talk and the good-for-nothing ways of artists does not apply to him, at all events. His manners are as good as good as Verner's, and he talks better than anyone here.' Quite a hero of romance!' said Julia, with a kind smile.
'So he said this morning; and you should have seen Aunt Marsh's face! She did not venture to say anything, but there was a great deal of the true Haviland eloquence in her glance. Artists, indeed!' and Ma
mimicry, gave her face a certain sour-looking twist common to the Haviland physiognomy in moments of irritation or offended dignity which made her aunt laugh, though she held up a rebuking finger.
'O, he's so nice!' replied Madeleine, al-deleine, who had a dangerous turn for most eagerly; he is very handsome. very dark, with such keen black eyes, and such fine curly hair - one of the handsomest men I ever saw, I think; but rather sternlooking. I'm sure he is a proud man. Papa thinks him very handsome; he fancies he has seen him before; but Mr. Holmes does not remember ever to have seen him, and says it is most unlikely, as he has not been in England until last winter for years. Uncle Stephen showed you his drawings, aunt, did he not?"
Well, you know, in a certain sense he is not,' said Julia.
'Yes, but I don't mean that,' said Madeleine. There is nothing about him to imply his feeling himself out of place in any society; you will understand what I mean when you see him. He is very clever, I am sure, in every way, and I don't think even Aunt Marsh could contrive to patronise him; and as for Angelina and Clementina, they do not like him at all.'
'No, I should fancy, from your description, he would not suit them. I suppose they would not have even tried their "prentice hand" on a mere artist. Mr. Holmes is quite a young man, is he not?'
Yes, I should think so,' said Madeleine. He is so dark that it is not easy to tell whether he is very young.'
"Your uncle speaks of asking him to stay here when the Mitfords leave,' said Julia.
I had better go away, I think,' said Madeleine, with much penitence. Uncle Stephen will be coming to say good-night, and he will blame me for that flush on your cheeks, and if you cough! - but you mustn't cough, aunt, or I shall be banished altogether. Make haste and get well; I want you so much downstairs to keep Herbert Bingham at a respectful distance, to prevent Clementina getting an unqualified refusal from Captain Medway, and to hear your opinion of Mr. Holmes.'
She laid her bright, soft cheek fondly against her aunt's still beautiful face, and Julia held it there for a minute while she said,
Nothing has been said to Mr. Holmes as yet, I suppose, about his giving you lessons?"
'He is indeed, aunt; and do you know, when he is not speaking he looks like a man with a story—you know the kind of thing
'No,' replied Madeleine; it will be time enough when we know him a little bet
The opinions expressed by Stephen Haviland and Frank Burdett concerning the stranger were as favourable to him as Mad