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become as a house to us, should we not like two gooseberries. And even worse strike fairly northward These circles is the short and fat officer-all neck and round the south would resemble the stomach, like a flying duck-with his swinging of a stono in the sling before feet turned out like the two steps of a it is projected; and, once
dog-cart-with a fierce array of grey hair started on this straight path, who could and moustache, like a terrier looking at tell how far we might not go?
a cat" Then," said I,- for our thoughts at “ Bell, Bell, will you cease those perthis time were often directed to the petual farm-yard metaphors of yours
? great masses of men who were marching You know that Von Rosen is like none through the wet valleys of France, or of these things." keeping guard amid cold and fog in the “I can remember him at Bonn only trenches around Paris,—“suppose that as a very rude and greedy boy, who by July next the war may be
over, showed a great row of white teeth when young Von Rosen says he means to he laughed, and made bad jokes about pay us a visit, and have a look at my mistakes in German. And I know England. Why should not he join what he is now-a tall fellow, with our party, and become a companion a stiff neck, a brown face, perhaps a for Bell ?”
beard, a clanking sword, and the air I had inadvertently probed a hornet's of a swashbuckler as he stalks into nest. The women of our bousehold were an inn and bawls out, · Kellnare ! eene at that time bitter against the Germans ; Pulle Sect ! und sagen Sie mal, was haben and but half an hour before Bell herself Sie für Zeitungen—die Alljemeene ?!" had been eloquently denouncing the Ordinarily, our Bell's face was as fair, doings of the Prussians. Had they not and smooth, and placid as a cornfield in in secrecy been preparing to steal back sunshine ; but sometimes, you know, Alsace and Lorraine ; had they not the cornfield is swept by a gust of wind, taken advantage of the time when the and then it lays bare the blood-red good and gentle France was averse from poppies beneath. She was now in a war to provoke a quarrel ; had not the pretty turmoil of half-affected anger; King openly insulted the French Am and Queen Titania 'merely looked on bassador in the promenade at Ems; and with a cold, indulgent smile. I venhad not their hordes of men swarmed tured to point out to Bell that she into the quiet villages, slaying and might alter her opinion when Von destroying, robbing the poor and aged, Rosen actually came over with all the and winning battles by mere force of glamour of a hero about him; and numbers! Besides, the suggestion that that, indeed, she could not do better this young lieutenant of cavalry might than marry
him. be a companion for Bell appeared to be Bell opened her eyes. an intentional injury done to a certain “Marry him, because he is a hero? amiable young gentleman, of no particu- No! I would not marry a hero, after lar prospects, living in the Temple ; and he had become a hero. It would be so Bell forthwith declared her detesta- something to marry a man who was tion not only of the German officers, afterwards to become great, and be with but of officers in the abstract.
him all the time of his poverty, and his "I hate those tall men,” she said in struggles, and his expectations. That her impulsive fashion, although there would be worth something—to comfort was always a smile lurking about the him when he was in despair, to be kind blue eyes even when she showed her to him when he was suffering ; and self most vehement, “with their legs then, when it was all over, and he had. like hop-poles, their heads smooth and got his head above these troubles, he round like turnips, their whitish-yellow would say to you, 'Oh, Kate, or Nell
, hair cropped and shining above a red or Sue,' as your name happened to be, neck, their eyes green and starting out how good you were during the old time
when we were poor and friendless !' in general, Lieutenant von Rosen was But when he has become a hero, he not forgotten. At odd times, when thinks he will overawe you with the shadow of his great reputation. He
“In her hazel eyes her thoughts lay clear
As pebbles in a brook," thinks he has only to come, and hold out the tips of his fingers, and say, “I it seemed to me that she was busy with am a great person. Everybody worships those forecasts which are dear to the I will allow you to share my
hearts of women. One night we three brilliant fortune, and you will dutifully were sitting as quietly as usual, talking kiss me.' Merci, monsieur ! but if about something else, when she suddenly any man were to come to me like that, I remarkedwould answer bim as Canning's knife- “I suppose that young Count von grinder was answered —'I give you Rosen is as poor as Prussian lieukisses? I will see you——
tenants generally are ?” “ Bell!” cried my Lady, peremptorily. “On the contrary," said I, “he
Bell stopped, and then laughed and enjoys a very handsome Familienblushed, and dropped her eyes.
Stiftung, or family bequest, which gives " What is one to do," she asked him a certain sum of money every six meekly, “when a quotation comes months, on condition that during that in ?”
time he has either travelled so much or “You used to be a good girl,” said gone through such and such a course of Queen Titania, in her severest manner, study. I wish the legacies left in our “ but you are becoming worse and worse country had sometimes those provisions every day. I hear you sing horrid music- attached.” hall airs. You draw caricatures of old “He has some money, then,” said my people who ought to command your Lady, thoughtfully. veneration. The very maid-servants are “My dear,” said I, “ you seem to be shocked by your wilful provincialisms. very anxious about the future, like the And you treat me, for whom you ought man whose letter I read to you yesterto show some respect, with a levity day.? Have you any further questions and familiarity without example. I to ask ?" will send a report of your behaviour “I suppose he cares for nothing but to"
eating, and drinking, and smoking, like And here the look of mischief in other officers ? He has not been Bell's eyes—which had been deepening · troubled by any very great sentimental just as you may see the pupil of a cat crisis ?” widening before she makes a spring- “On the contrary," I repeated, “he suddenly gave way to a glance of wrote me a despairing letter, some imploring and meek entreaty, which fortnight before the war broke out, was recognized in the proper quarter.
about that same Fräulein Fallersleben Tita named no names ; and the storm whom we saw acting in the theatre at blew over.
Hanover. She had treated him very For the present, therefore, the project badly—she had——" of adding this young Uhlan to our
i This is the letter :party was dropped; but the idea of our
“To the Editor of the Hampshire Ass. northward trip remained, and gradually assumed definite consistency. Indeed,
“Sir,-If the Republicans who are en
deavouring to introduce a Republic into this as it developed itself during those long
great country should accomplish their diswinter evenings, it came to be a thing gusting purpose, do you think they will to dream about. But all the same I repudiate the National Debt, and pay no could see that Titania sometimes re
more interest on the Consols ?
“I am, Sir, turned to the notion of providing a
"Your obedient Servant, companion for Bell; and, whatever may
“A LOVER OF MANKIND. have been her dislike of the Germans
“BOGMERE, Jan. 18, 1870."
"Oh, that is all nothing," said Tita, hastily—and here she glanced rather
CHAPTER II. nervously at Bell.
A LUNCHEON IN HOLBORN. Bell, for her part, was unconcernedly fitting a pink collar on a white cat, and
“ From the bleak coast that hears merely said in her frank and careless The German Ocean roar, deep-blooming, strong, way,
And yellow-haired, the blue-eyed Saxon came. “How affecting must have been their No more fitting point of departure could meetings ! 'Ah, da bist du ja mein have been chosen than the Old Bell Inn Käthchen, mein Engel!'and' Ach Gott, in Holborn, an ancient hostelry which wie mir das Herz klopft!' Then I used in bygone times to send its relays suppose she kuitted him a comforter, of stage-coaches to Oxford, Cheltenham, and gave him a piece of sausage as he Enfield, Abingdon, and a score of other started for the war, with her blessing.”
Now from the quaint little Bell sighed plaintively, and continued yard, which is surrounded by frail and her work with the pink collar.
dilapidated galleries of wood, that tell “On the contrary," I remarked again, of the grandeur of other days, there " he left her in paroxysms of anger and starts but a solitary omnibus, which mutual reproach. He accused her of daily whisks a few country people and having—"
their parcels down to Uxbridge, and “Well, well, that will do," says Chalfont, and Amersham, and WenQueen Titania, in her coldest manner; dover. The vehicle which Mr. Thoroughand then, of course, everybody obeys good has driven for many a year is no the small woman.
magnificent blue and scarlet drag, with That was the last that was heard of teams costing six hundred guineas aVon Rosen for many a day; and it was piece, with silver harness, a post-boy not until long after the war was over blowing a silver horn, and a lord handthat he favoured us with a communi ling the reins; but a rough and servicecation. He was still in France. He able little coach which is worked for hoped to get over to England at the end profit, and which is of vast convenience of July ; and as that was the time we to the folks living in quiet Buckinghad fixed for our journey from London hamshire villages apart from railways. to Edinburgh, along the old coach-roads, From this old-fashioned inn, now that he became insensibly mixed up with the summer had come round, and our the project, until it was finally resolved long-looked-for journey to the North had to ask him to join the party.
come near, we had resolved to start; “I know you mean to marry these two,” and Bell having gravely pointed out the I said to the person who manages us all. danger of letting our young Uhlan leave
“ It is not true," she replied with a London hungry-lest habit should lead vast assumption of dignity. “Bell is as him to seize something by the way, and good as engaged—even if there was any so get us into trouble-it was further fear of a handsome young English- proposed that we should celebrate our woman falling in love with a Prussian settiny-out with a luncheon of good lieutenant who is in despair about an roast beef and ale, in the snug little actress.”
parlour which abuts on the yard. “You had better take a wedding-ring And I hope,” said Lady Titania,
as we escaped from the roar of Holborn “A wedding ring !" said Tita, with into the archway of the inn, “ that the
little curl of her lips. “You fancy stupid fellow has got himself decently hat every girl thinks of nothing but dressed. Otherwise, we shall be mobbed.” that. My belief is that every wedding The fact was that Count von Rosen, ring that is worn represents a man's not being aware that English officers impertinence and a woman's folly." rarely appear when off duty in uniform, “Ask Bell,” said J.
had come straight from St. Denis to
Calais, and from Calais to London, and travelling. And then she hoped he from London to Leatherhead, without would take a preparation of quinine ever dreaming that he ought not to go with him, considering that we should about in his regimentals. He drew no have to stay in a succession of strange distinction between Herr Graf von Ro- inns, and might be exposed to damp. sen and Seiner Majestät Lieutenant im He went up to London that night, -ten Uhlanen-Regimente ; although he armed with a list of articles which he told us that when he issued from his was to buy for himself before starting hotel at Charing Cross to get into a cab, with us. he was surprised to see a small crowd There was a long pause when we three collect around the hansom, and no less found ourselves together again. At surprised to observe the absence of length Bell said, with rather an immilitary costume in the streets. Of patient aircourse, the appearance of an Uhlan in "He is only a schoolboy, after all. the quiet village of Leatherhead caused He has the same irritating habit of a profound commotion ; and had not laughing that he used to have at Bonn. Castor and Pollux been able to distance I hate a man who has his mouth always the assemblage of little boys who flocked open-like a swallow in the air, trying around him at the station, it is probable to catch anything that may come. And he would have arrived at our house he is worse when he closes his lips and attended by that concourse of admirers. tries to give himself an intellectual look, Dell was unjust enough to remark in like-likeprivate that he knew well enough; and “Like what, Bell ? " that he only came down in uniform that “Like a calf poising itself, and trying he might appear in the character of a to look like a red deer,” said Bell with hero. As for my Lady, she only ex a sort of contemptuous warmth. pressed a dignified hope that he would “I wish, Bell,” said my Lady, coldly not render us conspicuous by his cos and severely, “that you would give up tume or his manner so long as he chose those rude metaphors. You talk just to accompany us.
as you did when you came fresh from You should have seen the courteous Westmoreland—you have learnt noand yet half-defiant way in which the thing." women received him, as if they were Bell's only answer was to walk, with resolved not to be overawed by the tall, rather a proud air, to the piano, and browned, big-bearded man; and how, in there she sat down and played a few about twenty minutes, they had insen bars. She would not speak; but the sibly got quite familiar with him, appa well-known old air spoke for her, for it rently won over by his careless laugh- said, as plain as words could say:ter, by the honest stare of his light-blue eyes, and by a very boyish blush that “A North Country maid up to London had sometimes overspread his handsome face
strayed, when he stammered over an idiom, or
Although with her nature it did not agree;
She wept, and she sighed, and she bitterly cried, was asked some question about his own 'I wish once again in the North I could be !!) exploits. Bell remained the most distant; but I could see that our future “I think," continued Tita, in meacompanion had produced a good impres- sured tones, " that he is a very agreesion on Queen Titania, for she began able and trustworthy young man-not to take the management of him, and to very polished perhaps ; but then he is a give him counsel in a cold and practical German. I look forward with great manner, which is a sure mark of her interest to see in what light our English favour. She told him he must put country life will strike him; and I hope, aside his uniform while in England. Bell, that he will not have to complain She described to him the ordinary cos of the want of courtesy shown him by tume worn by English gentlemen in English women."
This was getting serious; so, being to Then, not noticing her silence, he talked some small and undefined extent master to her, after we had gone inside, of the in my own house, I commanded Bell to old-fashioned air of homeliness and sing the song she was petulantly strum- comfort noticeable in the inn, of the ming. That "fetched ” Tita. Whenever ancient portraits, and the quaint fireBell began to sing one of those old place, and the small busts placed about. English ballads, which she did for the We had not been in the
parmost part from morning till night, there lour a couple of minutes before he was a strange and tremulous thrill in seemed to have made himself familiar her voice that would have disarmed with every feature of it; and yet he her bitterest enemy; and straightway spoke in å light way, as if he had not my Lady would be seen to draw over to intended to make a study of the place, the girl, and put her arm round her or as if he fancied his companion would shoulder, and then reward her, when care very little what he thought of it. the last chord of the accompaniment Bell seemed rather vexed that he should had been struck, with a grateful kiss. address himself to her, and uttered In the present instance, the charm scarcely a word in reply. worked as usual; but no sooner had But when our plain and homely these two young people been recon- meal was served, this restraint graduciled than they turned on their mu- ally wore away; and in the talk over our tual benefactor. Indeed, an observant coming adventures, Bell abandoned herstranger might have remarked in this self to all sorts of wild anticipations. household, that when anything re- She forgot the presence of the German motely bearing on a quarrel was made lieutenant. Her eyes were fixed on the up between any two of its members, North Country, and on summer nights the third, the peacemaker, was expected up amid the Westmoreland hills, and on to propose a dinner at Greenwich. The bright mornings up by the side of the custom would have been more becoming Scotch lochs ; and while the young had the cost been equally distributed; soldier looked gravely at her, and even but there were three losers to one payer. seemed a trifle surprised, she told us of
Well, when we got into the yard of the all the dreams and visions she had had Old Bell, the Buckinghamshire omnibus of the journey, for weeks and months was being loaded; and among the first back, and how the pictures of it had objects we saw was the stalwart figure of been with her night and day until she Von Rosen, who was talking to Mr. Tho- was almost afraid the reality would not roughgood as if he had known him all his bear them out. Then she describedlife, and examining with a curious and as if she were gifted with second sight critical
the construction and accom- —the various occupations we should modation of the venerable old vehicle. have to follow during the long afterWe saw with some satisfaction that he noons in the North ; and how she had was now dressed in a suit of grey gar- brought her guitar that Queen Titania ments, with a wide-awake hat; and, in might sing Spanish songs to it; and how deed, there was little to distinguish him we should go down on river-banks from an Englishman but the curious blend- towards nightfall
, and listen to the ing of colour-from the tawny yellow of nightingales; and how she would make his moustache to the deep brown of his studies of all the favourite places we cropped beard—which is seldom absent came to, and perhaps might even confrom the hirsute decoration of a Prus- struct a picture of our phaeton and sian face. He came forward with a Castor and Pollux-with a background grave and ceremonious politeness to of half-a-dozen counties—for some exQueen Titania, who received him in her hibition; and how, some day in the dignified, quaint, maternal fashion ; and far future, when the memory of our then he shook hands with Bell with an long excursion had grown dim, Tita obviously unconscious air of indifference. would walk into a room in Pall Mall,