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" I don't know what you mean by sanc-ferent windows in the drawing-room to look tioning it. I can't help it. I suppose los- at the weather, as if she imagined that while ing one's daughter is a necessary evil. it rained at one window, it might be fine Still” — seeing the disappointed expression weather at another. “Molly
come here! on Roger's face — “it is but fair to you to who is that man wrapped up in a cloak, say I'd rather give my child, — my only there, — near the Park wall, under the child, remember!- to you, than to any man beech-tree - he has been there this halfin the world !”
hour and more, never stirring, and looking “ Thank you !” said Roger, shaking hands at this house all the time! I think it's very with Mr. Gibson, almost against the will of suspicious." the latter. " And I may see her, just once, Molly looked, and in an instant recogbefore I
nized Roger under all his wraps. Her first “ Decidedly not. There I come in as doc- instinct was to draw back. The next to tor as well as father. No!"
come forwards, and say – Why, mamma, " But you will take a message, at any it's Roger Hamley!
- he's rate ?"
kissing his hand; he wishing us good-by in .“ To my wife and to her conjointly., I the only way he can!” And she responded will not separate them. I will not in the to his sign ; but she was not sure if he perslightest way be a go-between.”
ceived her modest quiet movement, for Mrs. " Very well,” said Roger. “Tell them Gibson became immediately so demonstraboth as strongly as you can how I regret tive that Molly fancied that her eager your prohibition. I see I must submit. But foolish pantomimic motions must absorb all if I don't come back, I'll haunt you for hav- his attention. ing been so cruel."
“I call this so attentive of him," said Mrs * Come, I like that. Give me a wise man Gibson, in the midst of a volley of kisses of science in love! No one beats him in of her hand. “ Really it is quite romantic. folly. Good-by."
It reminds me of former days — but he will Good-by. You will see Molly this af- be too late! I must send him away; it is ternoon!”
balf-past twelve!”. And she took out her ** To be sure. And you will see your watch and held it up, tapping it with her father. But I don't heave such portentous fore-finger, and occupying the very centre sighs at the thought."
of the window. Molly could only peep Mr. Gibson gave Roger's message to his here and there, dodging now up, now down, wife and to Molly that evening at dinner. now on this side, now on that of the perIt was but what the latter bad expected, petually-moving arms. She fancied she after all her father had said of the very saw something of a corresponding movegreat danger of infection; but now that her ment on Roger's part. At length he went expectation came in the shape of a final de- away, slowly, slowly, and often looking back, cision, it took away her appetite. She sub- in spite of the tapped watch. Mrs. Gibson mitted in silence; but her observant father at last retreated, and Molly quietly moved noticed that after this speech of his, she only into her place to see his figure once more played with the food on her plate, and con- before the turn of the road hid it from her cealed a good deal of it under her knife and view. He, too, knew where the last glimpse fork.
of Mr. Gibson's house was to be obtained, Lover versus father!” thought he, half and once more he turned, and his white sadly. “Lover wins.” And he, too, be- handkerchief floated in the air. Molly came indifferent to all that remained of his waved hers high up, with eager longing dinner. Mrs. Gibson pattered on; and no- that it should be seen. And then, he was body listened.
gone! and Molly returned to her worstedThe day of Roger's departure came. work, happy, glowing, sad, content, and Molly tried hard to forget it in working thinking to herself how sweet is friendship! away at a cushion she was preparing as a When she came to a sense of the present, present to Cynthia ; people did worsted-work Mrs. Gibson was saying, in those davg. One, two, three. One, two, “ Upon my word, though Roger Hamley three, four, five, six, seven ; all wrong, she has never been a great favourite of mine, was thinking of something else, and had to this little attention of his has reminded me unpick it. It was a rainy day, too; and very forcibly of a very charming, young Mrs. Gibson, who had planned to go out man - a soupirant, as the French would and pay some calls, had to stay indoors. call him - Lieutenant Harper — you must This made her restless and fidgety. She have heard me speak of him, Molly ? " kept going backwards and forwards to dif- “ I think I have !” said Molly, absently.
“Well, you remember how devoted he might have married somebody as well off was to me when I was at Mrs. Duncombe's, as Walter ? " my first situation, and I only seventeen. “ Yes !” said she. “I think that was my And when the recruiting party was ordered idea. Of course I should have liked him to another town, poor Mr. Harper came and to be you. I always think if you had gone stood opposite the schoolroom window for to the bar you might have succeeded better, nearly an hour, and I know it was his doing and lived in London, too. I don't think that the band played : The girl I left behind Cynthia cares much where she lives, yet me,' when they marched out the next day. you see it has come to her.” Poor Mr. Harper! It was before I knew 6 What has - London ?" dear Mr. Kirkpatrick ! Dear me.
How Oh, you dear, facetious man. Now often my poor heart has had to bleed in that's just the thing to have captivated a this life of mine ! not but what dear papa jury. I don't believe Walter will ever be is a very worthy man, and makes me very so clever as you are.
Yet he can take happy. He would spoil me, indeed, if I Cynthia to Paris, and abroad, and everywould let him. Still he is not as rich as where. I only hope all this in Julgence Mr. Henderson.”
won't develop the faults in Cynthia's That last sentence contained the germ character. It's a week since we heard from of Mrs. Gibson's present grievance. Having her, and I did write so particularly to ask married Cynthia, as her mother put it her for the autumn fashions before I bought taking credit to herself as if she had had my new bonnet. But riches are a great the principal part in the achievement snare." she now became a little envious of her “ Be thankful you are spared temptation, daughter's good fortune in being the wife my dear.” of a young, handsome, rich, and moderately * No, I'm not. Everybody likes to be fashionable man, who lived in London She tempted. And, after all, it's very easy to naively expressed her feelings on this sub- resist temptation, if one wishes." ject to her husband one day when she was " I don't find it so easy,” said her husreally not feeling quite well, and when con- band. sequently her annoyances were much more “ Here's medicine for you, mamma,” said present to her mind than her sources of Molly, entering with a letter beld up in her happiness.
hand.' “A letter from Cynthia.” “ It is such a pity!” said she, “ that I “ Oh, you dear little messenger of good was born when I was. I should so have news! There was one of the heathen deiliked to belong to this generation.” ties in Mangnall's questions whose office it
“That's sometimes my own feeling” said was to bring news. The letter is dated he. So many new views seem to be from Calais. They're coming home! She's opened in science, that I should like, if it bought me a shawl and a bonnet! The were possible, to live till their reality was dear creature! Always thinking of others ascertained, and one saw what they led to. before herself: good fortune cannot spoil But I don't suppose that's your reason, my her. They've a fortnight left of their holidear, for wishing to be twenty or thirty day! Their hoyse is not quite ready; years younger.”
they're coming here. Oh, now, Mr. Gibson, “No, indeed. And I did not put it in we must have the new dinner service at that hard unpleasant way; I only said I Wat:s's I've set my heart on so long ! should like to belong to this generation. · Home' Cynthia calls this house. I'm sure To tell the truth, I was thinking of Cyn- it has been a home to her, poor darling! I thia. Without vanity, I believe I was as doubt if there is another man in the world pretty as she is — when I was a girl, I who would have treated his stepdaughter mean; I had not her dark eye-lashes, but like dear papa! And, Molly, you must then my nose was straighter. And now have a new gown.”. look at the difference! I have to live in a “ Come, come! Remember I belong to little country town with three servants, the last generation,” said Mr. Gitson. and no carriage; and she with her inferior “And Cynthia will not notice what I good looks will live in Sussex Place, and wear," said Molly, bright with pleasure at keep a man and a brougham, and I don't the thought of seeing her again. know what. But the fact is, in this genera- "No! but Walter will. He has such a tion there are so many more rich young quick eye for dress, and I think I rival pamen than there were when I was a girl.” pa; if he is a good stepfather, I'm a good
“Oh, oh! so that's your reason, is it, my stepmother, and I could not bear to see my dear. If you had been young now you Molly shabby, and not looking her best. I
must have a new gown too. It won't do to him from Cynthia, whom he had begun to look as if we had nothing but the dresses doubt before he knew for certain that she which we wore at the wedding !”
was never much worth hoping for. And if But Molly stood against the new gown such were his days, what was the slow profor herself, and urged that if Cynthia and cession of actual weeks and months in those Walter were to come to visit them often, remote and solitary places? They were they had better see them as they really like years of a stay-at-home life, with liberwere, in dress, habits, and appointments. ty and leisure to see that nobody was courtWhen Mr. Gibson had left the room, Mrs. ing Molly meanwhile. The effect of this Gibson softly reproached Molly for her ob- was, that long before the term of his enstinacy.
gagement was ended all that Cynthia had “ You might have allowed me to beg for been to him was departed from Roger's a new gown for you, Molly, when you knew mind, and all that Molly was and might be how much I admired that figured silk at to him filled it full. Brown's the other day. And now, of He returned ; but when he saw Molly course, I can't be so selfish as to get it for again he remembered that to her the time myself, and you to have nothing. You of his absence might not bave seemed so should learn to understand the wishes of long, and was oppressed with the old dread other people. Still, on the whole, you are that she would think him fickle. Therefore a dear, sweet girl, and I only wish — well, this young gentleman, so self-reliant and so I know what I wish; only dear papa does lucid in scientific matters, found it difficult not like it to be talked about. And now after all to tell Molly how much he hoped cover me up close, and let me go to sleep, she loved him; and might have blundered and dream about my dear Cynthia and my if he had not thought of beginning by new shawl !”
showing her the flower that was plucked
from the nosegay. How charmingly that HERE the story is broken off and it can nev- scene would have been drawn, bad Mrs. er be finished. What promised to be the Gaskell lived to depict it, we can only imcrowning work of a life is a memorial of agine: that it would have been charming death. A few days longer, and it would — especially in what Molly did, and looked, have been a triumphal column, crowned and said
- we know. with a capital of festal leaves and flowers : Roger and Molly are married ; and if now it is another sort of column - one one of them is happier than the other, it is of those sad white pillars which stand bro- Molly. Her husband has no need to draw ken in the churchyard.
upon the little fortune which is to go to poor But if the work is not quite complete, Osborne's boy, for he becomes professor at little remains to be added to it, and that some great scientific institution, and wins little has been distinctly reflected into our his way in the world handsomely. The minds. We know that Roger Hamley will squire is almost as happy in this marriage marry Molly, and that is what we are most as his son. If any one suffers for it, it is concerned about. Indeed, there was little Mr. Gibson. But he takes a partner, so as else to tell. Had the writer lived, she to a chance of running up to London would have sent her hero back to Africa to stay with Molly for a few days now and forthwith ; and those scientific parts of Af- then, and “ to get a little rest from Mrs. rica are a long way from Hamley ; and Gibson.” Of what was to happen to Cynthere is not much to choose between a long thia after her marriage the author was not distance and a long time. How many hours heard to say much, and, indeed, it does not are there in twenty.four when you are all seem that anything needs to be added. alone in a desert place, a thousand miles One little anecdote, however, was told of from the happiness which might be yours to her by Mrs. Gaskell, which is very charactake - if you were there to take it? How teristic. One day, when Cynthia and her many, when from the sources of the Topin- husband were on a visit to Hamley, Mr. ambo your heart flies back ten times a day, Henderson learned for the first time, like a carrier-pigeon, to the one only source through an innocent casual remark of Mr. of future good for you, and ten times a day Gibson's, that the famous traveller, Roger returns with its message undelivered ? Hamley, was known to the family. CynMany more than are counted on the calen- thia had never happened to mention it. dar. So Roger found. The days were How well that little incident, too, would weeks that separated him from the time have been described ! when Molly gave him a certain little flower, But it is useless to speculate upon what and months from the time which divorced would have been done by the delicate strong
band which can create no more Molly Gib- | a psalm -- which is not excelled as a picture sons — no more Roger Hamleys. We have in all modern fiction ; and the same may be repeated, in this brief note,all that is known said of that chapter of this last story in which of her designs for the story, which would Roger smokes a pipe with the Squire after have been completed in another chapter. the quarrel with Osborne. There is little There is not so much to regret, then, so far in either of these scenes, or in a score of as this novel is concerned; indeed, the re-others which succeed each other like gems grets of those who knew her are less for the in a cabinet, which the ordinary novel-maloss of the novelist than of the woman ker could " seize." There is no “ material” one of the kindest and wisest of her time. for him in half-a-dozen farming men singing But yet, for her own sake as a novelist alone, hymns in a field, or a discontented old genher untimely death is a matter for deep re- tleman smoking tobacco with his son. Still gret. It is clear in this novel of Wives and less could he avail himself of the miseries of Daughters, in the exquisite little story that a little girl sent to be happy in a fine house preceded it, Cousin Phillis, and in Sylvia's full of fine people; but it is just in such Lovers, that Mrs. Gaskell had within these things as these that true genius appears five years started upon a new career with brightest and most unapproachable. It is all the freshness of youth, and with a mind the same with the personages in Mrs. Gaswhich seemed to have put off its clay and to kell's works. Cynthia is one of the most have been born again. But that " put off difficult characters which have ever been atits clay” must be taken in a very narrow tempted in our time. Perfect art always
All minds are tinctured more or less obscures the difficulties it overcomes; and it with the “ muddy vesture” in which they is not till we try to follow the processes by are contained; but few minds ever showed which such a character as the Tito of Roless of base earth than Mrs. Gaskell's. It was mola is created, for instance, that we begin so at all times; but lately even the original to understand what a marvellous piece of slight tincture seemed to disappear. While work it is. To be sure, Cynthia was not so you read any one of the last three books we difficult, nor is it nearly so great a creation have named, you feel yourself caught out of as that splendid achievement of art and an abominable wicked world, crawling with thought — of the rarest art, of the profoundselfishness and reeking with base passions, est thought. But she also belongs to the into one where there is much weakness, kind of characters which are conceived only many mistakes, sufferings long and bitter, in minds large, clear, harmonious and just, but where it is possible for people to live and which can be portrayed fully and withcalm and wholesome lives; and, what is out flaw only by hands obedient to the finest more, you feel that this is at least as real a motions of the mind. Viewed in this light, world as the other. The kindly spirit which Cynthia is a more important piece of work thinks no ill looks out of her pages irradiate; even than Molly, delicately as she is drawn, and while we read them, we breathe the pu- and true and harmonious as that picture is rer intelligence which prefers to deal with also. And what we have said of Cynthia emotions and passions which have a living may be said with equal truth of Osborne root in minds within the pale of salvation, Hamley. The true delineation of a characand not with those which rot without it. ter like that is as fine a test of art as the This spirit is more especially declared in painting of a foot or a hand, which also Cousin Phillis and Wives and Daughters - seems so easy, and in which perfection is their author's latest works ; they seem to most rare. In this case the work is perfect. show that for her the end of life was not de- Mrs. Gaskell has drawn a dozen characters scent amongst the clods of the valley, but more striking than Osborne since she wrote ascent into the purer air of the heaven-aspir- Mary Barton, but not one which shows more ring hills.
exquisite finish. We are saying nothing now of the merely Another thing we may be permitted to no. intellectual qualities displayed in these later tice, because it has a great and general sig. works. Twenty years to come, that may nificance. It may be true that this is not be thought the more important question of exactly the place for criticism, but since the two; in the presence of her grave we we are writing of Osborne Hamley, we cancannot think so; but it is true, all the same, not resist pointing out a peculiar instance that as mere works of art and observation, of the subtler conceptions which underlie all these later novels of Mrs. Gaskell's are really considerable works. Here are Osamong the finest of our time. There is a borne and Roger, two men who, in every scene in Cousin Phillis — where Holman, particular that can be seized for description, making hay with his men, ends the day with are totally different creatures. Body and
• It goes
mind they are quite unlike. They have dif- provided that his two boys should be as ferent tastes; they take different ways: naturally one and diverse as the fruit and they are men of two sorts, which, in the so the bloom on the bramble. ciety sense, never “ know” each other; and without speaking.”
These differences are yet, never did brotherly blood run more precisely what might have been expected manifest than in the veins of those two. To from the union of Squire Hamley with the make that manifest without allowing the ef- town-bred, refined, delicate-minded woman fort to peep out for a single moment, would whom he married, and the affection of the be a triumph of art; but it is a “ touch be- young men, their kind-ness (to use the word yond the reach of art” to make their like in its old and new meanings at once) is ness in unlikeness so natural a thing that nothing but a reproduction of those impalwe no more wonder about it than we won- pable threads of love which bound the der at seeing the fruit and the bloom on equally diverse father and mother in bonds the same bramble: we have always seen faster than the ties of blood. them there together in blackberry season, But we will not permit ourselves to write and do not wonder about it nor think about any more in this vein. It is unnecessary to it at all. Inferior writers, even some writers 'demonstrate to those who know what is who are highly accounted, would have re- and what is not true literature that Mrs. velled in the "contrast,” persuaded that Gaskell was gifted with some of the choicest they were doing a fine anatomical dramatic faculties bestowed upon mankind; that these thing by bringing it out at every opportu- grew into greater strength and ripened into nity. To the author of Wives and Daughters greater beauty in the decline of her days; this sort of anatomy was mere dislocation. and that she has gifted us with some of the She began by having the people of her story truest, purest works of fiction in the lanborn in the usual way, and not built up like guage. And she was herself what her works the Frankenstein monster; and thus when show her to have been a wise, good woSquire Hamley took a wife, it was then man. — [Ed. Cornhill Magazine.]