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these lodgings. Your good Mrs. Devlin (I sisters already- an observation which am quite charmed with her, Margarei) would have had a soothing effect upon promised to take charge of it. She is gone Joan, considering their relative ages, bad to be companion to a lady, who shows her she heard it. sense of the duties of the contract by refusing to allow the girl to have the only companion Aunt Anne's visit to London proved she has left.”. The old lady spoke with decidedly successful; and I do not know lively indignation. 6 Mrs. Devlin had for- whether she or I derived from it greater gotten to take the bird downstairs, and enjoyment. I learned to know and love came to me with many apologies about it her better; and as I did so, I became more this morning; but I told her to leave it here and more convinced that James but little in the sunshine. I will take care of it as understood her. Her character had many long as I stay. I shall not hear its song too noble traits, and I was by no means sure early in the morning in my bedroom; and that a deep and abiding power of sentiment here it is only a pleasant addition to the was not amongst their number. I often noises in the street. What are you think- found myself wondering whether she had ing of, Margaret ? where are your wits gone ever known much sorrow - and her large to ?”
benigant tolerance of disposition made me • Gone as companion to a lady!” I mut- feel sure she had — and under its severe but tered incoherently; and then Aunt Anne's salutary teaching had learned the lesson of laugh roused me, and I told her that I had wide compassion and ready sympathy. She seen this young girl, and how beautiful, re- called herself an oddity, and perhaps she fined, and elegant she was. "I cannot was one; but at least her singularity was of fancy her in the position of a dependant, a good and genial kind, and did not bar Aunt Anne," I said. “I wish you could me from the pleasantest companionship have seen her. Mrs. Devlin told me she with her. We were very much together in was going away, or of course I could not those beautiful days of summer, and we have taken the lodgings; but somehow I had made many an expedition to the Exhibian idea she said something about her going tion, which she persisted in calling “the to France to her friends."
Barn.” On these occasions she did not go “ Ah, well — I know nothing about it,” out again in the evening, and I frequently said Aunt Anne, as if she thought I was remained with her until James came for making too much of a matter of no great me at ten o'clock. Sometimes, but not moment. “I only know that I shall take often, Aunt Anne dined with us; at other care of her bird, and I hope the lady will times, when James and I had evening entake care of her; but I doubt it. How gagements, she would tell me not to disthe creature sings, — fit to crack its throat, quiet myself on her account, for that she to say nothing of its voice! Just lower the and Joan were as comfortable in their Loncage, Margaret, and throw this anti-macas- don lodginys as in their large countrysar over it, or we shall not be able to hear house thanks to the care and attention ourselves speak.”
of “my” Mrs. Devlin, whom the old lady I did so, and the song ceased.
frequently invited to pass an hour or two “ And now, my dear," said the old lady with her in the dusk, and of whom she affectionately, “ tell me all about herself, found something new to say in praise and all, I mean, that Mrs. Devlin has not told approbation every day. Jamie and Alice me already (she is a delightful gossip; so also grew in favour with their great aunt friendly, and so respectful too), and all about - the more surely and rapidly, I think James and the children. We are going to that she did not see too much of them. chat tugether till two, and then I have They were disposed to take liberties with ordered dinner; at half-past three we will Corporal Trim, which a dog of his sedate go for a drive (Mrs. Devlin knows where I and settled habits could hardly be expected can get a capital brougham and a steady to approve ; and when he had been induced man; she sent for bim this morning), and to go once through the performance of we will call at the office for James." shouldering and presenting arms (the
I need say no more of Aunt Anne's first musket being represented by a short ruler), day in town than that her pleasant pro- I usually adjourned the sitting, and sent the gramme was carried out in every particular; children home under convoy of nurse. Althat Mrs. Devlin assured me, in a few con- together things were going on most happily fidential words, that Mrs. Carter was the and prosperously, when Aunt Anne caught pleasantest old lady she had ever had to cold one day from sitting in the Horticuldeal with ; and that she and Joan were like tural Gardens listening to the band, after a LIVING AGE.
slight shiver had warned her that she was test against being disturbed. "I think doing an imprudent thing. It was not a when I die I shall leave you to Mrs. Der. severe cold, but sufficient to confine her to lin's care. - - You would take care of him, the house. Under these circumstances Mrs. Margaret, I know ; but then, you see, he Devlin proved herself invaluable.
does not like children. — Ah, poor girl, they When Aunt Anne had been ailing for might have let her have her bird ! about three days, it chanced that James * Does she tell you she is unhappy, Mrs. told me one morning that he had to go out Devlin ? ” I asked. of town on a little business after office- “ Oh no, ma'am, she does not do that; she hours, and if I wished to pass the evening is a proud young lady, and I am sure she with Mrs. Carter, he would call for me on would not complain. She was very friendly his return and take me home.
with me, but she never told me much; and This suited me nicely; and I reached though I know she had very little money Knightsbridge a little after six o'clock. I left after her papa's funeral was paid for, found the old lady much better, and in she wanted to go on paying for the bedexcellent spirits. We had our tea, and room, though she did not use it, because she were discussing an excursion to Brigh- said I could not let a single room ; though, ton to visit some old acquaintances who indeed, if I could I would never have were so unfashionable as to remain at the thought of letting a stranger into the house se side in June, when Mrs. Devlin knocked with her, poor dear.” at the door, and on Aunt Anne's invitation " And when did her papa die, Mrs. Deventered. She had inquired how Mrs. Car- lin ?” asked Aunt Anne. ter felt, and was about taking her leave, “ Just a month before you came, ma'am,” when I said,
was the answer. Pray sit down, Mrs. Devlin : don't go There! it had come out, of course — the away. Mrs. Carter has just been speaking very thing I did not wish Mrs. Carter to of your kindness and attention ; and I am know; and it was of no vse to cast admoniglad to have an opportunity of thanking tory glances at Mrs. Devlin, for she was you. Do sit with us a little while." not looking at me, and besides, it was too
It was a deliciously-warm tranquil even- late now. Mrs. Carter did not appear to be ing. The front-windows were closed; but at all disconcerted; but asked me rather the large square casement in the back-room carelessly if I had not seen this young lady. was open, and the masses of almost motion- “ Oh yes, Aunt,” I said ; “ and I told you less fliage in the Park were plainly visible. how very beautiful I thought her — an eleThe light had hardly declined, but the gant creature indeed. I shall never forget beauty of evening had set in, and momen- her as she stood just where your sofa is, in tarily increased. I was sitting in one of the her black dress, – she looked so young and front-windows, my hands resting idly on my so mournful, and yet there was something lap as I gazed at the stirless trees in the strong and brave in her look; and I think distance. Suddenly a recollection crossed me she might be bright too, if she were but of the beautiful girl I had seen in the room happy." we were now sitting in; and I asked Mrs. “You are right, ma'am,” said Mrs. DevDevlin whether she had heard anything of lin. "She was bright enough when she first her late lodger since she went away, and if came here - for she had no notion then she knew whither she had gone.
that the Captain's illness was anything, se* Yes, ma’am,” said Mrs. Devlin. “I rious; and she was as gay as a lark, and for have heard from her twice ; such pretty let- ever singing — sometimes long beautiful ters too, poor dear soul! She thinks far too songs to the piano that she learned at school, much of the little I could do for her, and she told me and sometimes she mocking says she always remembers this house as the bird, and the bird mocking her, just like home. She is living with a lady near Lea- two playfellows. And I never heard such a mington. Very grand people they are, I reader: she would read to her papa for am sure; but I don't think they are over hours and hours, and never a roughness or kinil"
weakness in her voice. And laugh! It • Indeed I'm sure they are not,” said would do you good to hear her laugh: it did Aunt Anne from the sofa. " The woman's s good down there in the workroom, I can conduet about the bird is proof errongh of tell you. And while the poor Captain was that. Come here, Corporal Trim,” she able to go on with his painting, she would called to the shaggy terrier sleeping peace be playing or writing music all day, and fully upon the hearth-rug, who at her call keeping him company. Latterly, since he went up to her, wagging an indolent pro- was so bad, she did not go out at all, except for half an hour to morning-service at St. 'forgotten now,' and no right to ask her, of Paul's over yonder. She used to say it did all people; 'and then gradually fell off asleep her good to say her prayers there, because with a great sigh. Just before he died I she had been there when she was a little think bis mind got easier. But whether he child, and had spent her holidays with her had any reason for being more easy I can't aunt, who lived in Wilton Place, while her say, for of course he knew she would have a papa was in India! How precious the poor welcome here always ; but that was nothing Captain was of her, to be sure ! how he did for a young lady like her, from a humble watch and think and trouble about her ! person like me; so the comfort could not It makes me tremble now to think of it. have come from that. Anyhow some comAs long as he could get up he used to watch fort did come to him from somewhere, and her crossing the street and going down it never went away again; and he died Wilton Place and into the church-porch ; quite peaceful one evening just at sunset, .and after he was no longer able, he asked after a sleep, as a person might settle themme to do so, and I did ; and then I used to selves to sleep a little longer." tap at his room-door, and say “She's gone We had listened attentively to Mrs. Dev. in, sir;' and then he would be quite con- lin's story, and she had told it with an intent If the day were wet, I sent Hannah terest, an intensity of feeling which comwith an umbrella to fetch her home; and I pletely engrossed her. Now she said, "I always tried to prevent his knowing that it beg your pardon, ladies; I forgot you do rained. Many and many's the time I've not know Miss Winifred.” thought, when I've seen him so anxious and " Oh, pray go on, Mrs. Devlin,” I said. restless, and watching her, how sore and “ I have seen her, you know; and am sure terrible the thought of what was to become Mrs. Carter is interested in her also. Are of her after he was gone must have been you not, Aunt Anne ?" to him. I don't know whether she ever “ IndeedI am, Margaret,” said the old thought of it; but she was so sensible, I am lady: “ You said she mentioned having bure she must: anyhow, she never said any- lived with an aunt for a time in her child thing like doubt or anxiety to him, I am hood, Mrs. Devlin. Did she not tell you
The very day the doctor told her the what had become of this relative ?” truth, though she was as white as marble, “ Yes, ma'am; she told me she was dead. and her sweet voice was so changed I hardly After the funeral, the lawyer wrote to Miss knew it when she came and asked me to Winifred that he would come to see her; stay with her father a little, until she had and he did, and was a long time with her. recovered herself, she was quite calm and When he was gone, she looked very ill and cheerful, and I heard her talking to him downcast, as I notice most people do when just as usual. I don't think he ever had they have been talking to lawyers." any fret about money – I think he was Here Mrs. Devlin became slightly embarspared that, from something Miss Winifred rassed; but I reassured her, and declared told me after his funeral — but I am sure that I did not believe even James's clients all his trouble was that his child had no were improved in their spirits by his acfriends. I could not understand that, such quaintance. nice people as they were ; but as I told you, " Well, ma'am, you're very kind to say Mrs. Pennifold, no one but the doctor and so," she continued ; " but I beg your parthe attorney ever came here, until the un- don all the same. However, she did look dertaker came. When Miss Winifred took ill
, and like one loaded with a fresh grief; this situation, she gave the doctor and the and then she told me that when the lawyer attorney for references; and said she to had examined into the poor Captain's afme, with such a sad smile, 'You'll give me fairs, he found he had been heartlessly roba good character, if any one asks you, Mrs. bed by persons in England, to whom he had Devlin — you'll say I am sober, honest, trusted all his money – made out there and quiet, and can make myself generally among the blacks, where he was; and that useful ?' and she laughed then just for they had gone on paying him the interest, half a minute, and gave me a kiss. This, and he never suspecting that the capital I am sure, troubled the Captain very sorely, was all gone; and now nothing could be Once he wrote a letter while Miss Winifred done, for they were men of straw,' the was at her dinner and I was sitting with lawyer said, and had just failed; and poor him ; but he tore it up, and gave me the Miss Winifred could recover nothing. pieces to burn in the kitchen-fire; and when : What a blessing dear pap? did not know he lay down again he whispered to himself, it!' said Miss Winifred. He fretted so and said, “No — no,' and something like much, -I know he did, -- at the idea of
my being so lonely, that I do not know how and much improved in its general aspects he could have borne the knowledge that I by four handsome water-colour drawings must be poor too. So you see there's good suspended upon the walls. Their subjects in everything, Mrs. Devlin; and if papa were various. One represented a scene in had been left longer with me, it would have Egypt, with the Pyramids, and the Sphinx; been much harder for him to die.' The and had the rich golden warmth of the next day she went to the lawyer's office afterglow upon it. The second was a hillMr. Newman is his name, Henrietta Street scene in India, with the lance-like, snow- and I sent Ilannah with her; and crowned mountain-tops, the precipitous when she came back, she told me the winding roads, and the groups of picturlawyer had written out an advertisement esque travellers, familiar to us all. The for her, and he and the doctor were to third — and to my mind the most beautiful be her references. "If I could stay with -was a scene at sea. The gorgeous hues you,' she said, “I would be very happy; of sunset rested upon the water, still and but dear, dear, these are quite fashion-smooth as a lake. A long low coast-line able lodgings, and I am too young to go defined the distance, and on the calm waves out to teach, and no one would send pupils lay a deserted drifting boat. To my mind to me, or buy my drawings or my rubbish- a wonderful expression of rest was in this ing pieces of music,'-though I thought them picture; of rest won after long and fierce very sweet, and sad, and pretty, — and I struggle. The calm was there indeed, but can't write novels, and no one would pub- the storm had raged before it fell in its lish them if I could; and I would be no use deep peace: the lonely broken boat told its in the workroom, even if I understood the story. Where was the noble ship, whose use of the sewing-machine. And so I am rent fragments had even been swallowed going to be companion to a lady, and to do by the great deep? The fourth picture was my best to make myself useful and agree- of an English home, of which the drawing able. She was a brave young lady, but a big gave a side-view. It was a large house tear began to gather over each of her brown with bay-windows jutting out on smooth eyes, and after a minute she let them gath- grass and gay flower-beds, with a belt of er and fall, and she cried, as they say it fine trees on one side, and a stone terrace does young people good to cry; but, for my on the other, where the inevitable peapart, I don't believe that. The lawyer soon cocks of all water-colour drawings displaygot an answer to the advertisement; and ed their splendid plumage. The execution she agreed to every thing they asked her. of this drawing was very beautiful; the finI could hardly bear to part with her, but ish of its details was perfect; and yet it she promised I should hear from her, and was hardly grand enough to be an ideal that in any difficulty or trouble she would country-mansion. The artist, if he drew come to me; and she left her little school- merely from his fancy, might easily have trunk, and a box of her papa's books, in my made the house far more imposing, the charge. She took his paintings with her; pleasure-ground more extensive and artistibut I am to have them too, she tells me, for cally arranged, and the
trees finer ; and he she will not be allowed to hang them up might bave thrown in many an accessory of where she is; and she says she knows I wealth and display with that minute gorwill let them hang in my little sitting-room geousness which water-colour loves. But until she has a home for them and Ally there had evidently been a stricter guide too."
than fancy here – memory had inspired the “Who is Ally ?” asked Aunt Anne. pencil, and truth had handled it. Mis. ". The bird, ma'am; its name is Allegra, Devlin came to me, as I stood before this which Miss Winifred says is a foreign picture examining it closely. word for joyful;' but somehow we could “ I beg your pardon,” she said. “I could not always think of that, and so we took to not come up sooner. Mrs. Carter's cold is calling it Ally.”
rather heavier. I persuaded her to remain “ Hang the paintings up in this room, in her room — she is quieter up there — and Mrs. Devlin, at least for the time that I I got the pictures hung, as she desired me. shall be here," said Mrs. Carter.
They are pretty, are they not, Mrs. PenniThen the old lady turned restlessly upon fold? How fond the poor Captain was of her sofa and sighed.
them, to be sure! These are all he did since
he left India; but there are a great numWhen I arrived at Mrs. Devlin's in the ber to be sent home yet, Miss Winifred told afternoon of the following day, I found it me. They are to go to the lawyer's to be tenanted only by Corporal Trim and Ally, sold; but she said she would never par:
with these, because she was by her papa’s those drawings, sure they would side when he did them, and one of them is please you greatly. You cannot see them the place where she was born.”
from the sofa, of course.” Ah, that country-house, I suppose ?”. “No,” she said ; “my old eyes are weak: "No, ma'am, — the place with all the wait till to-morrow.” green trees, and the snow on the tops of the No more was said just then; but when mountains."
with the evening and her release from busi“ They are a great improvement to the ness Mrs. Devlin came up to sit with us, our drawing-room, Mrs. Devlin, - I am sure my talk turned once more on her handsome aunt will be quite pleased when she sees young lodger. them,” I said ; and then I went up to Aunt Mrs. Carter had just been saying how Anne's room.
pleasant it must have been to her to bavo Mrs. Carter did not leave her room for had such agreeable lodgers for so long, an'l nearly a week after the pictures were hung how much she must feel the differen e in in the drawing-room. For two or three the characters of persons with whom shj days during that period I feared that she had been brought in contact. also might die in the large upper-chamber Mrs. Devlin answered in her own cheery, where Winifred's father had breathed his way: “Well, ma'am, of course I do; but then last. But she rallied and recovered, and you see, if I don't care for the people, I see great indeed was the joy of myself, Mrs. nothing of them. Hannah has all the manDevlin, and the lugubrious, faithful, forebod- agement of them in that case, and I keep ing Joan, when she once more made her to my shop. I have been very fortunate appearance in the drawing-rcom. Our indeed, though I cannot say I ever had lodfamily-physician had attended ber during gers like the Captain and Miss Winifred, or the severity of the illness, and we expected you, ma'am, and Joan, and the Corporal.” a farewell-visit from him on this occasion ; The Corporal made a gruff acknowledgindeed the old lady had but been installed ment of this allusion to him, and Aunt Anne upon her sofa when his carriage rolled up said: “ You must have met some strange to the door. Dr. Elliott came in with his people though, and come to know some accustomed jaunty, trust-inspiring manner; strange stories." and after the usual questions, he looked “ Well, ma'am, I have, but not so many round and said,
as they who keep lodgings in other neigh" What a pleasant room this is ! I have bourhoods --- such as the Strand, or down been here before; I was called in by Cuth- Pimlico way. We don't have poor or strugbert to see a poor fellow who died here. gling people about here, and our lodgers Nothing to be done in his case for a long are always respectable ;. and I think when time before I saw liim, though. I remem- people are not poor, and you know exactly ber he had such a pretty daughter, - a tall who they are and all about them, they are brown-eyed girl.”
not very interesting, at least not like the “ Yes," I said; “I saw her once, she is interesting people in books. Not but they very handsome. I fear she has suffered are happy or sorrowful or amiable or unmuch by his death."
amiable, but they are not remarkable; very “ Cuthbert was very much interested in dreadful things, or very joyful things, don't her,” said Dr. Elliott. “ There was some happen to them. They change so often too sad story about her mother, I believe; at in the season; sometimes I hardly get to all events he had known her father more know their faces when they are gone." than professionally."
Then turning to me, she continued, “You “Mrs. Devlin calls him Captain,” said I remember, ma'am, when I was forewoman somewhat inconsequently; - what service here, in Mrs. Jackson's time – before you was he in ?"
and Miss Hester were married. I used to “Neither of ours,” he replied; "he had be very curious about the lodgers in those gone out to India in some commercial capa- days, especially when we had foreign ladies city, but had afterwards taken service with staying here, and I liked to get the maids one of the native princes, and had played a to show me their beautiful dresses. We rather distingushed part in the puzzling had 'many ladies here in the year of the game of internal Indian polities. When I Great Exhibition. That was a gay time, saw him he had long been an invalid.” Then to be sure, when the Queen and the Prince the doctor once more turned his attention to were the life and soul of every thing. It his patient.
is all very big and grand and important When he had left us I said to Aunt Anne, now; but somehow I don't seem to care for “ I wish you were strong enough to examine it. To be sure, I am eleven years older