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“ If you
and so leave them quite alone ? Our dark. There were a few people, mostly presence must be very embarrassing." women, standing at the doors of the
“You are insulting Bell in saying cottages ; and here and there a ray of such things," she says warmly, " or per- yellow light gleamed out from a small haps it is that you would rather have window. As we struck into the road her for a companion than your own that runs parallel with the Thames, wife.”
there were men coming home from their “Well, to tell
you the truth, I would.” work; and their talk was heard at a “She shall not sit by the Lieutenant great distance in the stillness of the again.'
night. “I hope you don't mean to strangle “How far are we from Henley ? ” said her. We should arrive in Edinburgh in
Bell. a sort of unicorn-fashion.”
“ Are you anxious to get there ?” Tita relapsed into a dignified silence replied Queen Titania, smiling quite —that is always the way with her wben benignly. she has been found out; but she was "No," said Bell, “this is so pleasant probably satisfied by hearing the Count that I should like to go driving on until and Bell chatting very briskly together, midnight, and we could see the moon thus testifying to the success of her coming through the trees.” petty stratagem.
“ You have to consider the horses," It was a pleasant drive, on that quiet said the Lieutenant, bluntly. evening, from Maidenhead across the do tire them too much on the first days, wild, untenanted country that lies within they will not go so long a journey. But the great curve of the Thames. Instead yet we are some way off, I suppose;
and of turning off at the corner of Stubbing's if mademoiselle will sing something for Heath, and so getting into the road that us, I will get out the guitar." runs by Hurley Bottom, we held straight “You'd better get down and light on towards Wargrave, so as to have the the lamps, rather," I remark to those last part of the journey lead us up by the indolent young people ; whereupon the side of the river. So still it was! The Count was instantly in the road, striking road led through undulating stretches wax matches, and making use of curious of common and past the edges of silent expressions that seemed chiefly to conwoods, while the sky was becoming pale sist of g's and r's. and beautiful overhead, and the heights So, with the lamps flaring down the on the northern horizon-between Cook- dark road, we rolled along the highway ham and Hurley—were growing more that here skirts the side of a series and more visionary in the dusk. Some. of heights looking down into the Thames. times, but rarely, we met a solitary Sometimes we could see a grey glimmer wanderer coming along through the twi- of the river beneath us through the light, and a gruff “good-night” greeted trees ; at other times the road took us us; but for the most part there seemed down close to the side of the water, and no life in this lonely part of the country, Castor got an opportunity of making a where rabbits ran across the road in front playful little shy or two; but for the of us, and the last rooks that flew by most part we drove through dense woods, in the dusk seemed hastening on to the that completely shut off the starlight neighbourhood of some distant village. overhead. It was a mild, fresh evening, with the More than once, indeed, we came to air stili damp and odorous after the rain ; a steep descent that was buried in such but overhead the sky still remained total darkness that the Lieutenant clear, and here and there, in the part- jumped down and took the horses
' ings of the thin cloud, a pale star or heads, lest some unlucky step or stumble planet had become faintly visible. should throw us into the river. So far
At last we got down into the village as we could make out, however, there of Wargrave, and then it was nearly was a sufficient wall on the side of the
highway next the stream—a rough old “ There are true words spoken in jest, wall, covered with plants and moss, that sometimes," says Tita, with a dainty ran along the high and wooded bank.
malice. Suddenly Bell uttered a cry of delight. “Your bearing-rein in England is a We had come to a cleft in the glade cruelty to the horse—you must take it which showed us the river running away to-morrow," said the Lieutenant; by some sixty feet beneath us, and on and this continuation of a practical the surface of the water the young cres subject recalled these scapegraces from cent of the moon was clearly mirrored.
their jibes. There was not enough moonlight to Here the road took us down by a pierce the trees, or even to drown the gradual dip to the river again, and for pale light of the stars; but the sharp the last mile before reaching our destidisc of silver, as it glimmered on the nation we had a pleasant and rapid run water, was sufficiently beautiful, and along the side of the stream. Then the contained in itself the promise of many lights of Henley were seen to glimmer a lovely night.
before us; we crossed over the bridge, “It has begun the journey with us," and swerving round to the right drove said Bell. “ It is a young moon; it will into the archway of the “Red Lion.” go with us all the month; and we shall No, Sir," remarked Dr. Johnson to see it on the Severn, and on Windermere, Mr. Boswell, “there is nothing which and on the Solway, and on the Tweed. has yet been contrived by man, by Didn't I promise you all a moon, sooner
which so much happiness is produced or later ? And there it is !”
as by a good tavern or inn.” He then “It does not do us much good, Bell," repeated, with great emotion, we are said the driver, ruefully, the very horses told, Shenstone's linesseeming afraid to plunge into the gulfs
“Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round, of darkness that were spectrally peered Where'er his stages may have been, into by the light of the lamps.
May sigh to think he still has found “The moon is not for use," said Bell,
The warmest welcome at an inn." “it is for magic; and once we have got And Mr. Boswell goes on to say : to Henley, and put the horses up, and “We happened to lie this night at the gone out again to the river, you shall inn at Henley, where Shenstone wrote all stand back, and watch in a corner, these lines. Now, surely, if ever and let Queen Titania go forward to belated travellers had reason to expect summon the fairies. And as you listen a cordial welcome, it was we four as we in the dark, you will hear a little crack drove into the famous hostelry which ling and rustling along the opposite had awakened enthusiasm in the poets shore, and you will see small blue lights and lexicographers of bygone days. come out from the banks, and small But as Castor and Pollux stood under boats, with a glowworm at their prow, the archway, looking into the great come out into the stream. And then dark yard before them, and as we gazed from the boats, and from all the fields round in vain for the appearance of near-where the mist of the river lies
any waiter or other official, it occurred at night—you will see wonderful small to Tita that the Bell Inn must have men and women of radiant blue flame
changed hands since Shenstone's time. come forward, and there will be a strange Where was our comfortable welcome! sound like music in the trees, and the A bewildered maid-servant came out river itself will begin to say, in a kind to stare at our phaeton with some of laugh, "Titania, Titania! you have alarm. Plaintive howls for the ostler been so long away-years and years—. produced a lad from the darkness of looking after servants, and the schooling the stables, who told us that the of boys, and the temper of a fractious ostler was away somewhere. Another husband
maid-servant came out, and also looked “Bell, you are impertinent."
alarmed. The present writer, fearing
in a gang.
that Tony Lumpkin, transformed into what had befallen Count von Rosen an invisible spirit, had played him a and the horses. trick, humbly begged this young woman I found him standing in a stable that to say whether he had driven by mis was dimly lighted by a solitary candle take into a private house. The young stuck against the wall, superintending person looked afraid.
the somewhat amateurish operations of “My good girl,” says Tita, with a the man who had undertaken to supgracious condescension, “will you tell ply the ostler's place. The Lieutenant us if this is the Bell Inn?'
had evidently not been hectoring his “Yes, 'm; of course, 'm.”
companions ; on the contrary, he was “And can we stay here to-night ?” on rather good terms with them, and
" I'll bring the waiter, ma'am, was making inquiries about the familiar directly."
English names for chopped hay and Meanwhile the Lieutenant had got other luxuries of the stable. He was down, and was fuming about the yard examining the corn, too, and pronouncto rout out the ostler's assistants, or ing opinion on the split beans which he some people who could put up the had ordered. On the whole, he was horses. He managed to unearth no satisfied with the place; although he fewer than three men, whom he brought expressed his surprise that the ostler of
He was evidently deter so big an inn should be absent. mined not to form his grooming of the When, at length, we had seen each horses at Twickenham into a precedent. of the horses supplied with an ample
At last there came a waiter, looking feed, fresh straw, and plenty of hay, rather sleepy and a trifle helpless; where the men were turned out and the stableupon my Lady and Bell departed into door locked. He allowed them on this the inn, and left the luggage to be sent occasion to retain the key. As we after them. There appeared to be no crossed the yard, a rotund, frank, cheeryone inside the house. The gases were looking man appeared, who was prelit in the spacious coffee-room; some sumably the ostler. He made a remark rugs and bags were brought in and placed or two; but the night-air was chill. on the table; and then Tita and her “Now," said Von Rosen, when we got companion, not daring to remove their into the big parlour,
we have to make bonnets, sat down in arm-chairs and ourselves pleasant and comfortable. I stared at each other.
do think we must all drink whisky.
For myself, I do not like the taste very “I fly from pomp, I fly from plate ; I fly from falsehood's specious grin ;
much; but it looks very comfortable to But risk a ten times worser fate
see some people with steaming glasses In choosing lodgings at an inn :"
before them. And I have brought out
mademoiselle's guitar, and she will sing - this was what Bell repeated, in a gentle us some songs. voice, on the very spot that is sacred to “But you must also,” says Bell, lookthe memory of Shenstone's satisfaction.
ing down. I requested the young man in the “Oh, a hundred ! a thousand ! as white tie to assign some reason for this
many as you like!” he said ; and then, state of affairs; and his answer was with a sort of sigh, he took his cigarimmediately forthcoming. There had
case out of his pocket and laid it pathcbeen a regatta a few days before. The tically on the mantelpiece. There was excitement in the small town, and more an air of renunciation in his face. Forthespecially in the Bell, had been dreadful.
with he rang the bell ; and the waiter Now a reaction had set in ; Henley and was asked to bring us certain liquors the Bell were alike deserted ; and we which, although not exclusively whisky, were the victims of a collapse. I
could be drunk in those steaming tumcomplimented the waiter on his philo- blers which the Lieutenant loved to sophical acumen, and went out to see
“ O, come you from Newcastle ?”
toms of village-life, they seem to suit —this was what Bell sang, with the her very well, and you think she herblue ribbon of her guitar slung round
self is the heroine of them, her neck :
for that young man in Twickenham, he - O, come you from Newcastle ?
is a very pitiful fellow." Come you not there away?
“How have you suddenly come to And did you meet my true love,
that conclusion ?" I inquire of our Riding on a bonny bay ?"
Lieutenant, who is lazily letting the
cigar-smoke curl about his moustache And as she sang, with her
and beard as he lies back, and fixes his down, the Lieutenant seemed to be re
light blue eyes contemplatively on the garding her face with a peculiar interest.
ceiling. He forgot to lift the hot tumbler that
“How do I know? I do not know : was opposite him on the table—he had
I think so.
He ought to be very well even forgotten Tita's gracious permission
satisfied of knowing a young lady like that he might have a cigar-he was
that—and very proud of going to marry listening and gazing merely, in a blank silence. And when she had finished,
her-instead of annoying her with bad
tempers.” he eagerly begged her to sing another of the old English songs.
* That is true. A young man under And she
such circumstances cannot be too gratesang
ful or too amiable. They are not always “O mistress mine, where are you roaming ? so, however. You yourself, for example, O mistress mine, where are you roaming ?
when you parted from Fräulein FallersO stay and hear, your true love's coming,
leben That can sing both high and low.”
Here the Lieutenant jumped up in And when she had finished, he once his chair, and said, with an unnecessary more eagerly begged her to sing another vehemenceof those old songs; and then, all of a “Donnerwetter! look at the provosudden, catching sight of a smile on my cation I had! It was not my ill-temper; Lady's face, he stopped, and apologized, I am not more ill-tempered than other and blushed rather, and said it was too men : but when you know you mean bad-that he had forgotten, and would very well, and that you treat a woman himself try something on the guitar. as perhaps not all men would be in
When, at length, the women had clined to do in the same case, and gone upstairs, he fetched down his cigar she is a hypocrite, and she pretends from the mantelpiece, lit it, stretched much, and at the same time she is out his long legs, and said,
writing to you, she is--pfui! I can“How very English she is !” not speak of it !” “ She? who?"
“You were very fond of her.” Why, your Miss Bell. I do like “ Worse luck." to hear her talk of England as if she “And you had a great fight, and used had a pride in it, and mention the hard words of each other, and parted so names of towns as if she loved them
that you would rather meet Beelzebub because they were English, and speak than her." of the fairies and stories as if she was “Why, yes, it is so: I would rather familiar with them because they belong meet twenty Beelzebubs than her.” to her own country. You can see how “ That is the way of you boys.
You she is fond of everything that is like don't know that in after years, when old times,—an old house, an old mile- all these things have got smooth and stone, an old bridge,-everything that misty and distant, you will come to is peculiar and old and English. And like her again ; and then what will you then she sings, oh! so very well—so think of your hard words and your very well indeed; and these old songs, quarrels? If you children could only about English places and English cus- understand how very short youth is,
how very long middle age is, and of a woman, is it not right you tell her? how very
dull old age is,-if you Is it not right she knows what honest could only understand how the chief men and women think of her? What occupation of the longer half of your will she think of you if you say to her, life is looking back on the first short Farewell, Fräulein. You have behaved half of it-you would know the value not very well ; but I am amiable ; I will of storing up only pleasant recollec- forgive you.' tions of all your old frie
* There, again : you parted with her find that your sweetheart is a woman in wrath, because you did not like to compelled by her nature to fall in love
appear weak and complaisant in her with the man nearest her, and forget eyes.” him who is out of the way, why devote “At all events, I said what I felt,” her to the infernal gods? In after years, said the Lieutenant, warmly. “I do you will be grateful to her for the plea- think it is only hypocrisy and selfishness sant days and weeks you spent with her, to say, “I hate this woman, but I will be when you were both happy together, kind to her, because when I grow old I will and you will look back on the old times look back and consider myself to have been very tenderly; and then, on those
very good."" occasions when you German folks drink * You have been deeply hit, my poor to the health of your absent dear ones, lad; you are quite fevered about it now. won't you be sorry that you can't include You cannot even see how a man's own her who was dear enough to you in self-respect will make him courteous to your youth?"
a woman whom he despises ; and is he “That is very good ; it is quite true,” likely to be sorry for that courtesy, when said the Lieutenant, in almost an in- he looks at it in cold blood, and recogjured tone-as if Fräulein Fallersleben nizes the stupendous fact that the man were responsible.
who complains of the inconstancy of a “ Look for a moment,” I say to my woman utters a reflection against Provi. pensive pupil, “at the pull a man has dence ?" who has spent his youth in pleasant “But you don't know-you don't scenery. When he gets old, and can do know," said the Count, pitching his nothing but live the old life over again cigar into the grate,“ what a woman by looking back, he has only to shut his this one showed herself to be. After eyes, and his brain is full of fresh and all, it does not matter. But when I bright pictures of the old times in the look at such a woman as your Miss Bell country; and the commonest landscape hereof his youth he will remember then as “Yes: when you look at her ?” if it were steeped in sunlight."
“ Why, I see the difference,” said the “ That is quite true,” said Von Rosen, Lieutenant, gloomily; and therewith he thoughtfully; but the next moment he pulled out another cigar. uttered an angry exclamation, started up I stopped this, however, and rang for from his chair, and began walking up candles. As he lit his in rather a melanand down the room.
choly fashion, he said, “It is all very well,” he said, with an “ It is a very good thing to see a impatient vehemence, “to be amiable woman like that-young-hearted, frank, and forgiving when you are old-because honest in her eyes, and full of pleasantyou don't care about it, that is the
ness, too, and good spirits-oh! it is reason. When you are young, you ex
very fine indeed, merely to look at her; pect fair play. Do you think if I should for you do believe that she is a very be seventy I will care one brass farthing good girl, and you think there are good whether Pauline—that is, Fräulein Fal- women in the world. But as for that lersleben—was honest or no? I will young man at Twickenhamlaugh at the whole affair then. But “Well, what of bim ?” now, when you are ashamed of the deceit The Lieutenant looked up from the