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indifferent to eyesight and everything other matter here are the facts of the else, in the chills of that advanced age. case. Frederick is ill, you don't know
“ Nelly, you are not too civil,” said Mrs. how or with what; he has taken a long Eastwood, touching the toe of Nelly's and dangerous journey - " pretty shoe with her own velvet slipper, “ Not dangerous, dear, not dangerin warning and reproof. The girl drew ous " her toes out of the way, but did not make “Well, not dangerous if you please, but any apology. She was not fond of Mrs. long and fatiguing, and troublesome to a Everard, nor indeed was any one in the man who is ill. He has gone on to Pisa house.
in a bad state of health. You know that “Of course, I don't mean that your de- he has reached so far; and you know no cision had anything whatever to do with more. Of course he will be anxious to Frederick's illness," Mrs. Everard re- get home again as quick as possible. sumed, “ that I don't need to say. He What if he were to get worse on the road ? might have been ill at home as much as There is nothing more likely, and the torabroad. I am speaking now on the origi- turing anxiety you would feel in such cir. nal question. Of course, if Frederick had cumstances I need not suggest to you. not gone away, you would have been You will be terribly unhappy. You will spared this anxiety, and might have wait for news until you feel it impossible nursed him comfortably at home. But to wait any longer, and then when your this is incidental. What I am sorry for strength and patience are exhausted, you is that you are bringing a girl into your will rush off to go to him — most likely house whom you know nothing of. She too late.” may be very nice, but she may be quite “ Oh, have a little pity upon me ! the reverse. Of course one can never tell Don't talk so — don't think so " whether it may or may not be a happy “I can't stop my thoughts," said Mrs. change even for her — but it is a great Everard, not without a little complacency, risk for you. It is a very brave thing to “and I have known such things to hapdo. I should not have the courage to pen before now. What more likely than make such an experiment, though it would that he should start before he is equal to be a great deal simpler in my house, the journey, and break down on the way where there is no one to be affected but home? Then you would certainly go to myself.”
him; and my advice is, go to him now. "I don't see where the courage lies,” Anticipating the evil in that way you said Nelly ; "a girl of sixteen. What would probably prevent it. In your place harm could she do to any one ?”
I would not lose a day.” “Oh, a great deal of harm, if she “But I could not reach Pisa,” said Mrs. chose," said Mrs. Everard ; "a girl of Eastwood, nervously taking out her sixteen, in a house full of young men ! watch, “I could not reach Pisa, even if I One or the other of them will fall in love were to start to-night, before they had with her to a certainty if she is at all left it; and how can I tell which way they
would come ? I should miss them to “Oh, please !” said Mrs. Eastwood ; a certainty. I should get there just “ you do think so oddly, pardon me for when they were arriving here. I should saying so, about the boys. Frederick is have double anxiety, and double exgrown up, of course, but the last young pense - " man in the world to think of a little “If they ever arrived here," said Mrs. cousin. And as for Dick he is a mere | Everard, ominously; “but indeed it is not boy, and Jenny! Don't be vexed if I my part to interfere. Some people can laugh. This is too funny.”
bear anxiety so much better than others. 6 I hope you will always think it as I know it would kill me.” funny," said the Privy Councillor sol- Mrs. Eastwood very naturally objected emnly, “ but I know you and I don't think to such a conclusion. To put up with alike on these subjects. Half the ridicu-the imputation of feeling less than her lous marriages in the world spring out of friend, or any other woman, in the circumthe fact that parents will not see when stances, was unbearable. “ Then you boys and girls start up into men and wo- really think I have reason to be alarmed," men. I don't mean to say that harm will she said in a tremulous voice. come of it immediately – but once she is “I should not have any doubt on the in your house there is no telling how you subject," said her adviser. “ A young are to get rid of her. However, I sup- man in delicate health, a long journey, pose your mind is made up. About the cold February weather, and not even a
doctor whom you can rely upon to see must certainly fall on the culprit's own him before he starts. Recollect I would head. not say half so much if I did not feel quite sure that you would be forced to go
CHAPTER X. at last — and probably too late.”
THE ARRIVAL. “Oh don't say those awful words !” said the poor woman. And thus the con- ! To the reader who is better acquainted versation went on, till Brownlow ap- with the causes and the character of Fredpeared with the lamp, interrupting the erick Eastwood's detention on his jouragitating discussion. Then Mrs. Eve- ney than either his mother or her Privy rard went her way, leaving her friend in Councillor the fears entertained by these very low spirits with Nelly, who though ladies in respect to his health will scarcekept up by a wholesome spirit of opposi- ly appear deserving of much consideration, was yet moved, in spite of herself, tion. His health, indeed, very soon came by the gloomy picture upon which she had right again. Two days' rest at Pisa, the been looking. They sat together over the substitution of the vin du pays for chamfire for a little longer, very tearful and mis- pagne, and the absence of other exciteerable, while Mrs. Everard went home, ments, made him quite equal to contemstrong in the sense of having done her plate the journey home without anxiety, duty, “however things might turn out.” so far as his own interesting person was
“Must you really go, Mamma?” said concerned. He had difficulties enough, Nelly, much subdued, consulting her however, of another kind. He was watch, in her turn, and thinking of the obliged to stay a day longer than he inhurried start at eight o'clock to catch the tended, in order to fit out his cousin with night train, and of the dismal midnight | various things pronounced by Mrs. Draincrossing of that Channel which travellers ham to be indispensable. She had to be hate and fear. “ It will be a dreadful clothed in something more fit for a jourjourney. Must you really go ?”
ney than the thin black frock which Nic“What do you think, Nelly ?” said Mrs. colo had ordered for her at her father's Eastwood, beginning to recover a little. death. Pisa did not afford much in the “ I have the greatest respect for Jane way of toilette ; but still the dress and Everard's opinion, but she does always cloak procured by Mrs. Drainham were take the darkest view of everything. Oh, presentable, and the fastidious young Nelly, what would you advise me to man was extremely grateful to the physido pis'
cian's pretty wife for clothing his companThis was an infallible sign that the ion so that he should not be ashamed to mercury had begun to rise.“ Pressure be seen with her, which would have been had decreased,” to use a scientific term. the case had the poor child travelled as The mother and daughter made up their she intended in her only warm garment, minds, after much discussion, that to the velvet cloak. catch the night train would be impossi- ' “ It must have been a stage property ble, and that there might perhaps be fur- in its day," Frederick said, looking at the ther news next day.“ If that is your many tints of its old age with disgust. opinion, Nelly ?” Mrs Eastwood said, as Innocent hid it away instantly in the they went upstairs, supporting herself depths of her old trunk, and sat proudly with natural casuistry upon her child's shivering with cold in her thin frock counsel. The fact was that she saw very through all the long evening,- the cold, clearly all the practical difficulties of the long, lingering night which preceded question. She loved advice, and did not their departure. She thought her cousin think it correct for “a woman in my po- would have come to her ; but Frederick sition " to take any important step with-wisely reflected that he would have out consulting her friends; and their enough of her society for the next few counsel moved her deeply. She gave all days, and preferred the Drainham's comher attention to it, and received it with fortable drawing-room instea:l. Poor Inrespectful conviction ; but she did not nocent ! she stood in the old way at the take it. It would be impossible to over- window, but not impassive as of old, estimate the advantage this gave her overlooking for some one this time, and trys all her advisers.
ing with a beating heart to make him out " I knew she had made up her mind," among the crowd that moved along the Mrs. Everard said next day, with resig- Lung' Arno. This expectation engrossed nation. Whatever might happen she had her so much that she forgot to think of done her duty; and the consequences the change that was about to coine upon
her life. I do not know, indeed, that she solitary meal. He touched her shoulder was capable of thinking of anything so caressingly with his hand. complex as this change. She had wan-' “ Santissima Madonna !” cried Nic. dered from one place to another with her colo, “ you will die of cold, my poor father, living always the same dreary, se- young lady ; you have nothing but this cluded life, having such simple wants as thin dress, which cannot keep you warm. she was conscious of supplied, and noth- Where in the name of all the saints is ing ever required of her. I believe, had your cloak ?” it been suggested to her unawakened “I have put it away. It is ugly; it is mind that thenceforward she must do not fit to wear,” cried Innocent." It is without Niccolo, this would have been a thing of the theatre. Why did you let the most forcible way of rousing her to me wear it?" and she put off his hand thought of what was about to happen. gently enough, but coldly, and continued And, indeed, this was exactly the course her watch. which was about to be taken, though “A thing of the theatre !” cried Nicwithout any idea on the part of Niccolo colo, indignant, “when I bought it myof the effect it would produce. He came self at the sale of the pittore Inglese, who in as usual with his little tray, the salad died over the way ; and you looked like heaped up, green and glistening with oil a princess when you put it on, and warm just as he liked it himself. Beside it, as as a bird in a nest. But I know who it this was the last evening, was a small, but is that turns you against your old dresses smoking hot, dish of maccaroni, a morsel and your old way of living and your poor of cheese on a plate, and a petit pain, old Niccolo. It is the cousin. I hope he more delicate than the dry Italian bread. will be to you all we have been, SignoThe usual small flask of red wine flanked rina. But in the meantime my young lady this meal, which Niccolo brought in with is served, and if she does not eat, the some state, as became the little festa maccaroni will be cold. Cold maccaroni which he had prepared for his charge. Jis good for no one. The cousin will not Tears were in the good fellow's eyes, come to-night." though his beard was divided in its black- “ You do not know," said Innocent, ness by the kind smile, which displayed turning a momentary look upon him, his red lips and white teeth. He ar- which was half a defiance and half a ranged it on the little table close by the question. stove, placed the chair beside it, and “But I do know," said Niccolo ; "he trimmed the lamp before he called upon went to the house of the English doctor his Signorina, whose position by the win-half an hour ago, and bid me tell the Sidow he had immediately remarked with a gnorina to be prepared at ten to-morrow. shrug of his shoulders. He had taken Come, then, to the maccaroni. When care of her all her life ; but I am not everything else fails it is always good to quite sure that the good Niccolo was not have maccaroni to fall back upon. Chika glad to be relieved of a charge so embar-buon pane, e buon vino, ha troppo un mirassing. His own prospects were cer- colino." tainly brightened by her departure. He “I do not care for maccaroni," said had served her father faithfully and long Innocent. She turned from the window, with but poor recompense, and now the however, with a dawning of the pride of reward of his faithfulness was coming to a woman who feels herself slighted. Niccolo in the shape of a better place, “Niccolo, I do not want anything : you with higher wages and a position which can go away." was very splendid in his eyes. Never was “And this is how she parts with the old heart more disposed to entertain a ro- Niccolo !” he cried. “ I have carried her mantic devotion for the child he had nur- in my arms when she was little. I have tured ; but it is difficult for the warmest dressed her, and prepared for her to eat heart to give itself up in blind love to an and drink all her life. I have taken her utterly unresponsive being, whether child to the festa, and to the church. I have or man, and as Innocent did not love done all for her - all! and the last night Niccolo or any one else the separation she tells me —'I do not want anything, from her was less hard than it might Niccolo ; you may go away.'” otherwise have been. Nevertheless, “The last night?” said Innocent, there were tears in his eyes, and his moved a little. She shivered with the heart was softened and melting when he cold, and with the pang of desertion, and arranged her supper for her, and went with that new-born sense of her lonelito the cold window to call her to her 'ness which had never struck her before. She knelt down by the stove to get a lit-! young lady," he said, wiping the great tle warmth, and turned her eyes inquir-tears from her eyes with his own red ingly upon him. She knew what he handkerchief, a service which he, indeed, meant very well, and yet she did not had performed many a time before. 6 Caknow.
rissima Signorina mia! There will never “The last night,” said Niccolo. “To be a day of my life that I will not think morrow evening you will be upon the of you, nor shall I ever enter a church great sea; you will be on your way to without putting the blessed Madonna in your relations, to your England, which mind of my poor, dear, well-beloved cannot be colder than your heart, Signo- young lady who has no mother! Never, rina. I weep, for I cannot forget that carina! never, my child, my little misyou were once a little child, and that I tress! You may always rely upon your carried you in my arms. When I reflect old Niccolo ; and when my young lady that it is fifteen years, fifteen years that marries a rich milordo she will come back I have taken care of you, from the mo- to Pisa, and seek out her old servant, and ment your nurse left you, disgraciatu! say to the handsome, beautiful young and that after to-morrow I shall see you husband — This is my old Niccoló, that no more! Whatever has to be done for brought me up!! Ah, carina mia,” cried you must be done by others, or will not the good fellow, laughing and crying, and be done at all, which is more likely. applying the red handkerchief first to InWhen you want anything you may call nocent's cheeks and then to his own ;
Niccolo, Niccolo ;' but there will be no " that will be a magnificent day to look Niccolo to reply. If I were to permit my- forward to! The young Milordo will say self to think of all this I should become immediately, Nicčolo shall be the Miespazzo, Signorina – though you don't tro della casa ; he shall live and die in care."
my service.' Ah, my beautiful Signorina, Innocent said nothing; but slowly the what happiness! I will go with you to reality of this tremendous alteration in England or anywhere. You were born to her lot made itself apparent to her. No be our delight !” cried Niccolo, carried Niccolo! She could not realize it. With away by his feelings, and evidently imNiccolo, too, many other things would agining that the giorno magnifico had ardisappear. She looked round the lofty rived already. Innocent, however, did bare walls, which, indeed, had few attrac- not follow these rapid vicissitudes of feeltions, except those of use and wont, and ing. To get one clear idea into her mind faintly it dawned upon her that her whole was difficult enough. Sometimes she life and everything that was familiar to looked at him, sometimes into the little her was about to vanish away. Large fire, with its ruddy embers. Her head tears filled her eyes ; she turned to Nic-was giddy, her heart dully aching. All colo an appealing, beseeching look. “I was going away from her; the room, the do not understand," she cried, with a walls, seemed to turn slowly round, as if panting breath ; and put out her hands, they would dissolve and break up into vaand clung to him. He who was about to pour. The very dumbness of her heart be left behind was the emblem of all the made this vague sense of misery the more known, the familiar - I do not say the terrible ; she could say nothing. She dear - for the girl's heart and soul had could not have told what she felt or what been sealed up, and she loved nothing. she feared: but all the world seemed to But she knew him, and relied upon him, be dissolving about her into coldness and and had that child's trust that he would darkness and loneliness; the cold penenever fail her, which is often all that a trated to her very soul; she was miserchild knows of love. No Niccolo! She able, as we may imagine a dumb animal did not understand how existence was to to be, without any way of relieving itself go on without him. She clung to him of the confused pain in its mind. with a look of sudden alarm and dismay, Niccolo, after a while, became alarmed, in her dilated eyes.
and devoted himself to her restoration The good Niccolo was satisfied. He with all the tender kindness of his race. had not wished or attempted to rouse that He rushed to the trunk, and got out the miserable, vague sense of desertion and old mantle, in which he wrapped her: abandonment of which he had no compre- he put the scaldino into her hands, he bension: but he was satisfied to have brought her wine, and petted and smiled brought out some evidence of feeling, and her back into composure. He carried the also that his dramatic appeal had pro- largest scaldino in the house, full of the duced the due effect. “My dearest reddest embers, into her stony bedroom.
6 It is not the cold,” he said to himself, angry, sea, which had to be crossed to “it is the sorrow, poverina ! poverina! | England. It was not a “ silver streak" Let no one say after this that she has not that day. There are a great many dars a tender heart.” And when she went to in the year, as the traveller knows, in bed Niccolo stayed up all night - cheer- which it is anything but a “silver streik." ful, yet sad — to finish the packing, to set In short, few things wilder, darker, more everything straight, and to leave the tempestuous, and terrible could be conapartment in such order that the Mar- ceived than the black belt of Channel chese Scaramucci might have no griev- across which Innocent fought her wiy in ance against his tenant, and as small a the Dover steamboat to where a dirker bill of repairs as possible. Good, kindly shadow lay upon the edge of the boiling, soul; he was rather glad though on the water, a shadow which was England. For whole that to-morrow he was going to the a wonder she was not sea-sick. Frednew master, who was rich, and kept a erick, whose self-control under such cirnumber of servants, and who, being a cumstances was dubious, had established Milordo, might perhaps be cheated now her in a corner, and then had left her, not and then in a friendly way.
coming near her again till they entered And next morning Innocent's old world the harbour, which was no unkindness on did break up into clouds and vapours. / his part, but an effort of self-preservation, For the last time she stole over to the lit- which the most exigeant would have an. tle church in the dark morning, and said proved. He had been very good to her the Lord's Prayer, and then sat still, look- on the journey, studying her comfort in ing at the little altar, where this time the every way, taking care of her almost as candles were lighted, and a priest saying Niccolo had done, excusing all her little mass. The mass had nothing to do with misadventures with her hand-bag, and the Innocent. The drone of the monotonous shawl she carried over her arm. He had voice, the gleam of the candles, made no let her head rest upon his shoulder; he sort of impression upon her. Her im- had allowed her to hold his hand fast agination was as little awakened as her when the steamboat went up and down heut was. If she thought of anything at on the Mediterranean. These days of all it was, with a sore sense of a wound fatigue had been halcyon days of perfect somewhere, that Frederick had left her, repose, and confidence in her companion. that he had not come near her, that he | The poor child had never known any love was huippy away from her; but all quite in her barren life, and this kindness, vague ; nothing definite in it, except the which she did not know either, seemed ping. And then Santa Maria della Spi- in her eyes something heavenly, delicious na, and the high houses opposite, and the beyond power of description. It had never yellow river below, and the clustered been possible for her to cling to any one buildings about the Duomo, and all Pisa, I before, and yet her nature and breeding in short, melted into the clouds, and rolled both made her dependent, and helpless away like a passing storm, and the new in her ignorance. Frederick appeared to world began.
her in such a light as had as yet touched What kind of a strange phantasmagoric nothing else in earth or heaven. Her world this was, full of glares of light and heart woke to him and clung to him, but long stretches of darkness; of black, I went no further. Her eyes searched all plunging, angry waves, ready to drown the dark figures on the deck in search of the quivering, creaking, struggling vessel, / him when self-preservation drove him which carried her and her fortunes ; then from her side. A cloud - an additional of lights again wavering and dancing be- cloud — came on the world when he was fore the eyes, which were still unsteady absent. She felt no interest in the darkfrom the sea; and once more the long some England which loomed out of the sweep of the railway through the night, mists ; no curiosity even about the home more lights, more darkness, succeeding lit enclosed, or the unknown women who and succeeding each other like the would hereafter so strangely affect her changes in a dream — we need not at- happiness. She gazed blankly at the tempt to describe. It was four days after cliffs rising through the fog, at the lights their start from Pisa, when her strength blown about by the wind, which shone was quite worn out by the continuous and out upon the stormy sea, and the bustle unusual fatigue both to body and mind, on the shore of the crowd which awaited her nerves shaken, and all her powers of the arrival of the steamer. All that she sensation dulled, when, shuddering at the felt was again that ache (but slighter than sight, she came again to the short, but before) to think that Frederick liked to