Will you

about a silly joke, may separate you for be so base as to forget the girl he left

behind him.' Remember, I shall be fit to Marianne hesitated, with changing color kill you if he should jilt me, after what and parted lips. Her susceptible pride you have made me tell you. in the mean and fiery temper had been up in arms a time I'll play that tune in my own honor, moment before. She had forbidden a every day that I can reach a piano till he compromise, yet she might snatch at a comes back. Must he stay away months ? reprieve. Her decision would be very A whole year or more? The man should much a matter of chance, as were many not have made me so accustomed to his of the resolutions she formed in her hon- tiresome ways. How will the time pass est but unregulated mind.

without them ? Shall I grow sick with In the mean time Iris, awaiting Mari. hope deferred ? And do all the girls in anne's answer, frightened to look at her my position complain of the cruelty of the for fear of influencing her, looking on the queen and the lord high admiral? Who floor instead, was calling King Lud her would have said I should be a spoon ? brother in her heart and remembering How our boys would laugh, and even all that his family had done for her Cathie and Chattie would giggle. But Iris Compton. She was thinking of Mari. they shan't know a syllable till he is a anne's affectionate championship soon af. captain, and able to propose for me to ter they had become acquainted, and what granny or papa in due form. I suppose a different world it had been to a lonely that will not be till he has made a pot of girl, when she had found a bright, frank, money, poor fellow, to keep me with; but young companion, generous and lovable if the ruling powers continue long obdueven in her transparent follies, constantly rate, we'll know what to do, we'll run by her side. Iris was thinking of Sir straight away to Scotland. Then we'll William and the debt he had already paid have to go into seaside lodgings, and be to Lady Fermor, and the other debi he careful of our coals and never allow ourhad paid to Honor. Iris's mind was even selves an extra pair of boots. recurring to old stories and old wrongs in still acknowledge us, Iris? you ought to, which her ancestor had been the wrony. for you have been at the bottom of the doer and Marianne Dugdale's the sufferer mischief even though granny has noth.

ing more to say to us. By the way, we “What an excellent idea!” cried Mari- must not keep her waiting any longer, anne suddenly. • You can play the bride, She will not stand the further delay of as you say, as well as 1. They will not this marriage.” suppose that I have drawn back — only Iris was hardly listening now as they that we have agreed to change places. proceeded to put on their travelling jack. Indeed, as our hats and travelling-dresses ets and hats of brown tweed, with which are alike, and the light is none of the best, they had provided themselves in preparaif we had not been so different in height, tion for what they had been pleased to they might not have known the one from consider the arctic climate of Scotland. tbe other,” she ended with a little uncer- “ What a dress for a bride!” cried Mari. tain laugh, beginning to recover ber cour- anne in lively disgust. age and spirits. “I wonder if he will give “ But it is a runaway bride," said Iris. a great start and gape, forget all I told him, “Yes, but depend upon it if she ran and not be able to proceed with the cere. away of her own accord, she had some mony? Won't he look dreadfully foolish ? respect for her own feelings and those of But I shall not have vexed him — the her bridegroom, and put a bridal touch very last thing. Iris, it was taking a des- somewhere to her dress. Besides, my picable advantage of me to work upon dear child, there must be something to my feelings and pretend he would not mark the difference between us — in our come back safe and sound

a great, parts. Here, take this bunch of wet strong, fearless fellow like King Lud, bridal roses – I dare say they are the twice as big as our boys at home, with a descendants of Jacobite roses – which face like a full moon. Yes, indeed, it is Jeannie brought me from the kailyard. true; but I hate small faces in men, I Roses are later in the north than in the think they cannot be too big every way. south; we are not travelled girls, so we He has so often gone away, and always may speak of Scotland and England — all returned like a bad halfpenny. I wonder we know, as north and south. Fasten how and when we shall meet next,” melt- the flowers in your jacket.” ing into tenderness, but rushing off at a Iris did as she was bidden, to please tangent the next moment. “ He can never | Marianne, and get the sooner done with

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the foolish play. The couple hurried | laughter, partly of another feeling, in her down-stairs arm-in-arm and entered the voice. room so abruptly that it was not difficult Ludovic Acton started up to obey his to picture an angry father at their back. mistress's behest, while life was

Somebody had drawn a table before the more opening out before him with hope corner where Ludovic sat, looking grim. and love and joy among its possibilities. Sir William was standing beside it with a Why had he been such a fool? This actcurious inixture of affront as if doing ing a marriage was no ing, the merest something preposterous - and wistful jest, when Marianne Dugdale was not to yearning and pain in bis face.

play the bride to another bridegroom than Lady Fermor sat still in the chair which himself. It was no worse than fifty cha. she had before occupied, but she must rades and tableaux vivants, in which he have rung for Soames in order to enable bad taken part. If it had been so, Iris her maid to enjoy the little entertainment, Compton, good little Iris, whom he knew for the long, lank functionary was ranged so well and could depend on entirely, behind her mistress's chair.

would not have been in it. He stood be. The room was dark from the state of bind the table facing Sir William and Iris, the weather, and the old-fashioned little and tried to respond to Marianne's appeal, windows; besides the company were not and to do credit to what she had told him quick enough to take up at once the cue when he had utterly mistaken her intenof the roses with which Marianne had tion. He looked imploringly at her for obligingly supplied them. Iris had vol. inspiration instead of at the pair before unteered to act her part, and was doing him. He sought to recall the sentences what she needed to do with a growing re- she had repeated to him. If he made a luctance which became so nearly insup. verbal mistake it would be forgiven in an portable that she could not stop to think actor who had only once heard his part. what she was about, but must hasten “Will you take this woman for your through it, behaving like a creature in a wife?" dream.

Marianne, who had drawn nearer the Marianne took the initiative, as she couple, turned prompter again — this time was always disposed to do. She walked on behalf of Sir William, with the pantostraight up to Sir William. There she mime of an emphatic nod, but he took paused for a second. In truth she was them all by surprise, speaking out disnot at all clear how the office of giving tinctly and so loudly as to sound roughly, .

runaway was performed in “ I ."

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afraid Jeannie had forgotten something. band ?” Marianne had to use her own judgment; “ Boo, or curtshey, Iris," whispered she wisely confined herself to dumb show. Marianne mischievously. Iris smiled She simply dropped Iris's arm and re- slightly as at a dimly apprehended, fartreated, leaving her cousin standing by away bit of fun, and inclined her head. Sir William.

The impromptu parson looked despair. King Lud leaned forward confounded, ingly at Marianne, who in answering deyet eager as at an unlooked-for release spair clasped her hands, shaking her head from a piece of sport which had galled reproachfully at the same time. him like a wanton insult, a real irrepara. “Join hands,” cried Ludovic. ble injury.

Sir William put out his hand and Lady Fermor put up her hand to her grasped Iris's in so tight a clasp that it eyes, as if to clear her sight, and let it fall half roused her. She made a little motion again, sitting upright, with her eyes glit- to draw ber crushed fingers away. He tering, and nodding her head, as if she was the better actor of the two certainly, were the person called upon to bow her but he overacted his part. Iris was so

far recalled to herself that she became Sir William flushed scarlet, and looked aware of a stir at the room door. Glanc. like a man driven wild, from one to the ing in that direction she saw, to her vague other. He could read nothing in Iris's distress, it had been left open and pushed little face; it was blank, like that of one slightly ajar, and that there was quite a forcing herself to stifle every warring in group of people on the threshold, the clination and go on with an ordeal. most of them seeking to see without being

“ Proceed with the marriage, Mr. Acton; seen. Jeannie, the chambermaid, formed there is the bride," muttered Marianne one bashful spectatress; another gazer ex officio, with a little quiver, partly of was the landlord, a thick-set, shock-headed


man, who still wore mine host's conven- | to take him through the rain and darkness tional red waistcoat. But he was not to the nearest station a few miles off. He skulking, whatever his companions might was far brighter and more animated than be; he held a candlestick with a lit candle he had been all the day, while Marianne in his hand, for the rainy gloaming was Dugdale, on the contrary, became somefast deepening into mirk. He looked ex: what silent, only emitting an occasional cited, as if he wanted to come in and little jet of contradiction and sauciness. either interfere with the performance or He announced confidently that he exjoin in it.

pected to see them all again before he Apparently Lady Fermor had also de- sailed, and nobody deprived him of the tected the intruders, for she called out, hope or forbade him the privilege. If he “ There, that will do,” and sure enough wrung Marianne's hand in saying goodthe group melted and vanished, pulling bye, nobody could see and censure the the door close behind them. But her deed, since she did not wrench her fingers ladyship, who was in high glee, might not away. for that matter she had not fouted so much intend to give a reprimand as to him for the last five minutes; but if she say the scene had been sufficiently repre. cried herself to sleep and bemoaned her sented; for she added immediately after- former perversity and cruelty, it was in wards, addressing her own party, “ We the silence and solitude of her room. need not mind signing the register or the Iris thought it was charity to everybody bride's lines. Upon my word it has to adopt Lady Fermor's early hours this been a very pretty wedding. Let me con. night. A sudden sobriety which was al. gratulate you, Thwaite and Iris — that is most oppressive, the natural result of my part of the performance, and a very contending emotions and of King Lud's pleasant part it is, I can tell you. You going, had fallen upon the young people. have given us a good notion of what a As for herself she desired nothing better runaway marriage is like. I suppose, than to be able to recall undisturbed the Iris, you thought, after all, you were the whole events of the day, including the fittest match for the bridegroom.” grotesque farce in which she had been

The hands so lately joined had already involved. When she had thought it all dropped asunder. Sir William remained over she would dismiss it from her miod standing alone by the table, as if he were at once and forever. trying to reason with himself, to get rid The dismissal was not quite so easy as of a momentary hallucination, to cast off Iris had anticipated. She felt haunted by a disordering, maddening impression. He the foolish play; she tossed on her bed did not go near Lady Fermor. He hardly sleepless and feverish. When she did suffered himself to throw a look after Iris drop asleep, she dreamt she had married as she rejoined Marianne.

Sir William Thwaite in earnest without “How stupid you were, Mr. Acton!” intending it, and what was worse, she had Marianne accused King Lud. “ It was I, not asked his leave and he had not spoken not you, who married them. I must ask one word, or given a single glance, in reJeannie if that is correct, and if a woman newal of his passionate love-making and can marry a couple in this improper little proposal to her in the hay.field at WhiteScotland."

hills four years

before. Nay, he had Iris left the room with Marianne to put seemed at every crisis to turn — with off their out-of-doors habiliments. As the whatever mixed motives — to Marianne girls did so, the roses fell unheeded from Dugdale. Iris's jacket on the floor, and would have At last Iris slept soundly; but even lain ibere to be trampled under foot if Sir then she was disturbed by ihe business William had not stepped forward, stooped, of the inn, or by the figments of her own and picked them up.

imagination. She thought she heard When the cousins came back the sub. some one calling her name loudly and ject of the acted marriage was dropped as urgently, and when she started up in bed if by common consent. · The talk had and listened and failed to distinguish a turned upon the lieutenant's departure, voice speaking to her, she seemed to hear the hour' for which was drawing near the noise of wheels driving rapidly from He had engaged a trap from the innkeeper the door.


From The Quarterly Review. will be looked for in vain for some time COUNTRY LIFE.*

to come. We are inclined to think that it was

As regards the other class - the peonever so difficult as now to find an advan- ple who are fortunate enough to have tageous market for large estates in the capital to spare they have a natural country. This is owing partly to the great desire to invest it in something which and all.pervading depression in trade; they will be permitted to call their own partly to the fact that people who have after the lapse of a few years, and it is money to spare like to put it in a safe clear that by one powerful party of the place, and land does not look very safe day, at present the governing party, land at the present moment. The manufac

is not looked upon as a commodity of this turers, and the trading classes generally, kind. It is intended that the rights of have been taught by the founders of their ownership shall be made an open quesspecial school of politics to regard the tion. Although the direct confiscation land-owner and the agriculturist as their demanded by so many persons may not at hereditary enemies

as persons belong present be attempted, everything will be ing to a class which must be impoverished done to render the position of the landlord and brought low, by natural causes, if they

as irksome and disagreeable to him as were strong enough to do it; if they were possible, and to make him feel that — like not, by hostile legislation. This warfare the House of Lords - he exists upon has now been waged, entirely on one side, sufferance only. The bargains which he for about forty years, and at last the man- has made with his tenants will be altered ufacturers and tradesmen begin to see for him by Act of Parliament, his leases that, if the landed interest is to go to ruin, will be carefully revised against his own it will infallibly drag down other interests interests, and the old privileges of his with it. The losses of landlords and position will be lopped off one after an. farmers were regarded with great equa

other. Thus, the political and social connimity in Lancashire, and the sufferers ditions of the time are such as to discourwere told that they had no right to com- age the prudent and far-seeing from inplain; that economic laws were in opera.

curring the risks and responsibilities tion, injurious to them, but beneficial to incidental to the care of an estate. Land the rest of the nation. After a time, the no longer yields a certain and remunerwhole of our trade was seen to be languish. ative income; it is let with difficulty for ing, and then the manufacturers and trad- purely agricultural purposes, and at rents ers began to have grave doubts whether which are sometimes little more than economic laws were always infallible, and

nominal. We have heard of a farm whether it might not turn out that we had which has hitherto never let for less than pushed them so far as to threaten to bring 1000l. a year, and at that rate enabled about a national disaster. They will find the holders to bring up their faniilies in these doubts greatly strengthened by the comfort, to settle them handsomely in events of the next few years, and mean-business, and to leave themselves an am. while they have been compelled to aban- ple provision for their old age. This farm don the ambition to becoine large land is now being offered in vain at 400l. a owners themselves; for a park, with a few year. The prospects of the farmers, even farms round about it, is a costly luxury, if they turn fruit-growers and jam-makers, and the owners of cotton mills or of iron are anything but brilliant, for a good har: foundries have not more money just now

vest of wheat cannot be of any benefit to than they see their way to dispose of them when no more than from 325. to 355. The liberal patrons of art, who came from a quarter can be obtained for what it costs the north and swept off the " great pic.

at least 40s. to grow. The great "statestures of the year, have been absent from men,” “orators,” “tribunes," and other the neighborhood of Piccadilly and Bond friends and champions of the people, who Street for several seasons past, and they

are all for foreign competition and an open

market for everybody but the English 1. The Country Housewife's Garden. By Wil-producer, will find the tables turned upon liam Lawson. London, 1618.

them if they live a few years longer; and 2. British Field Sports. By W. H. Scott. Lon- if they do not, the next generation will don, 1920. 3. ' The Woodlands. By William Cobbett. London, have something to say about a policy

which has left three-fourths of the people 4. My Garden. By Alfred Smee, F.R.S. 1,250 Engravings. London, 1872.

dependent on foreign nations for their 5. The English Garden. By W. Robinson. Lon. bread. don, 1884.

There can be no doubt that many




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lords have been selling: that a great many | what is more, Aowers are sometimes more would do so if they could, must be grown in the stunted gardens, which obvious to everybody whose business or would astonish many a man who employs curiosity leads him to examine the adverskilled labor” and is not quite sure what tisement pages of the Times, or the is growing in his own garden at any seamonthly lists of estate agencies. In one son of the year. such list alone, nearly two thousand prop- This, however, though well enough in er were lately offered for sale or bire, its way, is not what we mean by country but among them there were very few life. The pleasures which are peculiar to which could be considered as coming that cannot be understood by the dwellers within the range of persons with limited in the suburbs, and they are not always incomes. The love of rural life has not felt by the man who actually lives in the diminished among Englishmen; on the veritable country, and who is, perhaps, contrary, as London and other large cities dissatisfied there, or who finds his de. constantly grow larger, the demand for sires and thoughts turning round one "little places in the country,” with a gar. narrow circle – field sports, for instance. den and perhaps a paddock, is becoming Sport is an adjunct of country life which more and more difficult to satisfy. The is not by any means to be despised, but it immense increase in the number of sub. is not the whole of that life, although urban " villas testifies to the popular some men make it so. All their surround. craving for a home a little removed from ings are to them meaningless, unless they the smoke and noise of a huge city. It is can rise up in the morning, as the Frenchpot long ago since the drive to Richmond man put it, and " kill something.” This ran partly through the country, such as it taste is not essential to the true enjoy. was; now it is almost wholly shut in be. ment of the country, which is often retween streets, with perhaps the partial served for persons who have none of the break of coarsely manured cabbage instincts of a sportsman in them — who grounds. It appears not unlikely that have absolutely no desire to “kill,” and Croydon and London will one day meet who are utterly unable to understand what a result apparently half foreseen by Cob. can be the gratification derived, for exam. bett, who described the land between the ple, from hare-hunting, which is among two places as a “poor spewy gravel, with fthe least manly of English sports. Foxsome clay.” Perbaps, therefore, the hunting is a very different thing; it is fair sooner it is covered up the better. Be- sport, it is amusing, and it is useful. As yond Hampstead there is still a wide ex. we all know, the great duke preferred fox. panse of open country, but from St. Paul's hunters for his aides-de-camp, “because to the Heath there is not a square yard they knew how to ride straight to a given of vacant space, except that which is not point.” It is not in these pages, where at present to be bought or sold. London the pleasures of “The Chace were cele almost touches Wimbledon, and there is brated in so memorable a strain by“ Nima part of the once rustic village where a rod,” that anything in depreciation of population of ten thousand persons have fox-huntiog would be seemly. Yet it may settled down within a period of ten years. be questioned whether even this sport is Most of these suburban houses are put not declining in many parts of the country, upon the grouud before it has been except among the wealthiest class. We drained sometimes upon a reeking should hope that the day is still far dismarsh; there is no cellar beneath, and notant, when the fox-hunter in England will precaution is taken against damp striking meet with a reception similar to that which up from the sodden soil into the walls. has lately been accorded him in Ireland The few yards of garden are generally poison for the hounds, and a pitchfork filled with clothes hanging out to dry, or for the hunter. But we scarcely expect to with crying children ; a wooden fence di. see again the palmy days of Assheton vides the allotments, but does not serve to Smith, who would ride two-and-thirty keep out the cats, which overrun all such miles to cover and back again at night, regions in vast and mysterious hordes. and who could boast that in his time he The ground is sour and harsh, and the had cut off fifteen hundred brushes with proportion of sunshine which falls upon his own pocket-knife. No wonder that a it, hemmed in as it is by other houses, is field of upwards of two thousand mounted so small and so uncertain, that we mightmen, “onethird in pink,” turned out on almost imagine it was measured out for one great occasion to welcome him. The sale by the speculative builder. And yet present generation is not so enthusiastic these habitations all find tenants, and, about anything as were these mighty hunt

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