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was in "
Winterbourn had been nearly dying at portant to this history, need not be men. Markham Priory; that Lady Markham tioned here. “What do you think of
a state " which baffled descripthem, little un ? You have your own way tion, and Markham himself so changed as of seeing things.” to be scarcely recognizable; but that, for- “I like them all well enough, Mark tunately, the crisis had been tided over, ham,” without enthusiasm Frances and everything was still problematical. plied. But the problem was so interesting, that “ That is comprehensive at least. So one perfumed epistle after another car. do I, my dear. It would not have ocried it to curious wits all over the country, curred to me to say it; but it is just the and a new light upon the subject was right thing to say. They pull you to warmly welcomed in a hundred Easter pieces almost before your face; but they meetings. What would Markham do? are not ill-natured. They tell all sorts of What would Nelly do? Would their stories about each other. friendship end in the vulgar way, in a “ No, Markham; I don't think that is marriage? Would they venture, in face just.” of all prognostications, to keep it up as a “ Without meaning any harm," he went friendship, when there was no longer any on. • Fan, in countries where conversareason why it should not ripen into love? tion is cultivated, perhaps people don't Or would they, frightened by all the in- talk scandal - I only say perhaps – but evitable comments which they would have here we are forced to take to it for to encounter, stop short altogether, and want of anything else to say. What did fly from each other?
your Giovannis and Giacomos talk of in Such a "case " is a delightful thing to your village out yonder?" Markham speculate upon. At the Priory, it could pointed towards the clear blue-gray line only be discussed in secret conclave; and of the horizon, beyond which lay America, though no doubt the experienced persons if anything; but he meant distance, and chiefly concerned were quite conscious of that was enough. the subject which occupied their friends' “ They talked - about the olives, how thoughts, there was no further reference they were looking, and if it was going to made to it between them, and everything be a bad or an indifferent year.” went on as it had always done. The night “ And then ?" before their return to town, Markham, in “ About the forestieri, if many were the solitude of the house, from which all coming, and whether it would be a good the guests had just departed, called Fran- season for the hotels; and about tying up ces outside to bear him company while he the palms, to make them ready for Easter," smoked his cigarette. He was walking said Frances, resuming, with a smile up and down on the lawn in the gray still. about her lips. “ And about how old ness of a cloudy warm evening, when Pietro's son had got such a good appointthere was no light to speak of anywhere, ment in the post office, and had bought and yet a good deal to be seen through little Nina a pair of earrings as long as the wavering grayness of sky and sea. A your finger; for he was to marry Nina, few stars, very mild and indistinct, looked you know.” out at the edges of the clouds here and Oh, was he? Go on.
I am very there – the great water-line widened and much interested. Didn't they say Mr. cleared towards the horizon; and in the Whatever-bis-name is wanted to get out far distance, where a deeper grayness of it, and that there never would have showed the mainland, the light of a light- been any engagement, had not Miss house surprised the dark by slow contin. Nina's mother ual revolutions. There was no moon; O Markham,” cried Frances in sur something softer, more seductive than prise, “ how could you possibly know?” even the moon, was in this absence of "I was reasoning from analogy, Fan. light.
Yes, I suppose they do it all the world " Well now they're gone, what do you over. And it is odd isn't it? – that, think of them, Fan? They're very good knowing what they are sure to say, we ask specimens of the English country house them to our houses, and put the keys of party — all kinds: the respectable family, all our skeleton cupboards into tbeir the sturdy old fogy, the rich young man hands." without health, and the muscular young “Do you think that is true, that dread. man without money.” There had been, ful idea about the skeleton ?
I am it is needless to say, various other mem. sure bers of the party, who, being quite unim. “What are you sure of, my little dear?”
“I was going to say, O Markham ! that came out in short sentences, interrupted I was sure, at home, we had no skeleton ; by that little business of puffing at the and then I remembered
cigarette, letting it go out, stopping to “I understand," he said kindly, “It strike a fusee and relight it, which so
not a skeleton to speak of, Fan. often forms the byplay of an important There is nothing particularly bad about conversation, and sometimes breaks the it. If you had met it out walking, you force of painful revelations. Frances would not have known it for a skeleton. followed everything with an absorbed but Let us say a mystery, which is not such a yet half-dreamy attention, as if the red mouth-filling word.”
glow of the light, the exclamation of im. "Sir Thomas told me," said Frances patience when the cigarette was found to with some timnidity; " but I am not sure have gone out, the very perfume of the that I understood. Markham! what was fusee in the air, were part and parcel of it really about ?"
it. And the question she asked was alHer voice was low and diffident, and at most mechanical, a part of the business first he only shook his head. “ About too, striking naturally from the last thing nothing," he said; "about Yes, he had said as sparks flew from the permore than anything else, about me. That fumed light. is how No, it isn't,” he added, cor- “Not where," he said. “ But I might recting himself. “I always must have have known, had I made any attempt to cared for my mother more than for any know. The mother sent her letters
She has always been my great- through the lawyer, and of course we est friend, ever since I can remember could have found out. It was thrust upon anything. We seem to have been children me at last by one of those meddling fools together, and to have grown up together. that go everywhere. And then my old I was everything to her for a dozen years, demon got possession of me, and I told and then your father came between us. Con." Here he gave a low chuckle, which He hated me - and I tormented him.” seemed to escape him in spite of himself. “ He could not hate you, Markham. “I am laughing,” he said
"pay atten Oh, no, no!”
tion, Fan — at myself. Of course I have “My little Fan, how can a child like you learned to be sorry for some things understand? Neither did I understand, the imp has put me up to; but I can't get when I was doing all the mischief. Be. the better of that little demon - or of this tween twelve and eighteen, I was an imp little beggar, if you like it better. It's of mischief, a little demon. It was fun to queer phraseology, I suppose; but I preme to bait that thin-skinned man, that fer the other form.” jumped at everything. The explosion “And what,” said Frances, in the same was fun to me too. I was a little beast. dreamy way, drawn on, she was not conAnd then I got the mother to myself scious how, by something in the air, by again. Don't kill me, my dear.
some current of thought which she was scarcely sorry now. We have had very not aware of — "what do you mean to do good times since, I with my parent, you now?" with yours — till that day," he added, He started from her side as if she had Ainging away the end of his cigarette, given him a blow. “ Do now?" he cried, “when mischief again prompted me to let with something in his voice that shook off Con know where he was, which started us the spell of the situation and aroused the all again."
girl at once to the reality of things. She “ Did you always know where we had no guidance of his looks, for, as has were ?" she asked. Strangely enough, been said, she could not see them; but this story did not give her any angry feel there was a curious thrill in his voice of ing towards Markham. It was so far off, present alarm and consciousness, as if her and the previous relations of her looy. innocent question struck sharply against separated father and mother were as a some fact of very different solidity and fairy tale to her, confusing and almost in- force from those far-off, shadowy facts credible, which she did not take into ac- which he had been telling her. "Do count as matter of fact at all. Markham now? What makes you think I am going had delivered these confessions slowly, as to do anything at all ? " they turned and re-turned up and down His voice fell away in a sort of quaver the lawn. There was not light enough at the end of these words. for either to see the expression in the “I do not think it; I - I - don't think other's face, and the veil of the darkness anything, Markham; I don't — koow added to the softening effect. The words | anything."
“You ask very pat questions all the peaceful as the morning. If Markham, same, my little Fan. And you have got a on bis side, was perplexed and doubtful, pair of very good eyes of your own in that he came out and in with the same little little head. And if you have got any light chuckle of fun, the same humorous twinkle to throw upon the subject, my dear, pro- in his eyes. When these signs of tranduce it; for I'll be bothered if I know.” quillity are so apparent, the young and
Just then, a window opened in the ignorant can easily make up their minds gloom. Children,” said Lady Mark- that all is well. And Frances was to be ham's voice, "are you there? I think I presented” – a thought which made her see something like you, though it is so heart beat. She was to be put into a dark. Bring your little sister in, Mark. court-train and feathers, she who as yet ham. She must not catch cold on the eve had never worn anything but the simple of going back to town.”
frock which she had so pleased herself to " Here is the little thing, mammy. think was purely English in its unobtruShall I hand her in to you by the window? siveness and modesty. She was not quite It makes me feel very frisky to hear my- sure that she liked the prospect; but it self addressed as children,” he cried with excited her all the same. his chuckle of easy laughter.
It was early in May, and the train and Fan; run in, my little dear, and be put to the court plumes were ready, when, going bed."
out one morning upon some small erraod But he did not go in with her. He kept of her own, Frances met some one whom outside in the quiet and cool freshness of she recognized walking slowly along the the night, illuminating the dim atmosphere long line of Eaton Square. She started now and then with the momentary glow of at the sight of him, though he did not see another fusee. Frances from her room, her. He was going with a strange air of to which she had shortly retired, beard reluctance, yet anxiety, looking up at the the sound, and saw from her windows the houses, no doubt looking for Lady Marksudden ruddy light a great many times be- bam's house, so absorbed that be neither fore she went to sleep. Markhan let his saw Frances nor was disturbed by the cigar go out oftener than she could reckop. startled movement she made, which must He was too full of thought to remember have caught a less preoccupied eye. She his cigar.
smiled to herself, after the first start, to They arrived in town when everybody see how entirely bent he was upon finding was arriving, when even to Frances, in the house, and how little attention be had her inexperience, the rising tide was vis. to spare for anything else. He was even ible in the streets, and the air of a new more worn and pale, or rather gray, than world beginning, which always marks the he had been when he returned from India, commencement of the season. No doubt she thought; and there was in him a it is a new world to many virgin souls, slackness, a letting-go of bimself, a weary though so stale and weary to most of those look in his step and carriage, which whoiread its endless round. To Frances, proved, Frances thought, that the Riviera everything was new; and a sense of the had done George Gaunt little good. many wonderful things that awaited her For it was certainly George Gaunt, still got into the girl's head like ethereal wine, in his
se gray India
clothes, looking in spite of all the grave matters of which like a man dropped from another hemishe was conscious, which lay under the sphere, investigating the numbers on the surface, and were, if not skeletons in the doors as if he but vaguely comprehended closet, at least very serious drawbacks to the meaning of them. But that there was anything bright that life could bring. Her in him that unmistakable air of soldier knowledge of these drawbacks had been which no mufti can quite disguise, he acquired so suddenly, and was so little inight have been the Ancient Mariner jo dulled by habit; that it dwelt upon her person, looking for the man whose fate it mind much more than family mysteries is to leave all the wedding feasts of the usually dwell upon a mind of eighteen. world in order to hear that tale. What But yet in the rush and exhilaration of tale could young Gaunt have to tell? For new thoughts and anticipations, always so a moment it flasbed across the mind of much more delicately bright than any real. Frances that he might be bringing bad ity, she forgot that all was not as natural, news, that “something might have hapas pleasant, as happy as it seemed. If pened,” that rapid conclusion to which Lady Markham had any consuming cares, the imagination is so ready to jump. Ao she kept them shut away under that smil. accident to her father or Constance ? so ing countenance, which was as bright and bad, so terrible, that it could not be
trusted to a letter, that he had been sent and was escaping, glad to be out of the to break the news to them.
way of it. This was a great deal to read She had passed him by this time, being in a man's face; but Frances was highly shy, in her surprise, of addressing the sympathetic, and divined it, knowing in stranger all at once; but now she paused, herself many of those devices of shy aod turned with a momentary intention of people, which shy persons divine. For. running after him and entreating him to iunately, she saw bim some way off, and tell her the worst. But then Frances had time to overcome her own shyness recollected that this was impossible ; that and take the initiative. She went up to with the telegraph in active operation, no him fresh as the May morning, blushing one would employ this lingering way of and smiling, and put out her hand. Cap: conveying news; and went on again, with tain Gaunt?” she said. “I knew I could her heart beating quieter, with a height not be mistaken. Oh, have you just come ened color, and a restrained impatience from Bordighera ? I am so glad to see and eagerness of which she was half any one from home !" ashamed. No, she would not turn back • Do you call it home, Miss Waring? before she had done her little business. Yes, I have just come. I -|- have a She did not want either the stranger him- number of messages, and some parcels, self or any one else to divine the Autter and - But I thought you might per. of pleasant emotion, the desire she had to baps be out of town, or busy, and that it see and speak with the son of her old would be best to send them.” friends. Yes, she said to berself, the son “ Is that why you are turning your back of her old friends - he who was the on my mother's house? or did youngest, whom Mrs. Gaunt used to talk know the number? I saw you before, of for hours, whose praises she was never looking — but I did not like to speak.” weary of singing.
“I thought you might be out of town,' Frances smiled and blushed to herself he repeated, taking no notice of her quesas she hurried, perceptibly hurried, about tion; "and that perhaps the post her little affairs. Kind Mrs. Gaunt had O no,” cried Frances, whose shyness always had a secret longiog to bring these was of the cordial kind. “ Now you must two together. Frances would not turn come back and see
She will back; but she quickened her pace, almost want to hear all about Constance. Are running, as near running as was decorous they all well, Captain Gaunt? Of course in London, to the lace-shop, to give the you must have seen them constantly instructions which she had been charged and Constance. Mamma will want to hear with. No doubt, she said to herself, she everything." would find bim there when she got back. “Miss Waring is very well,” he said, She had forgotten, perhaps, the fact that with a blank countenance, from which he George Gaunt had given very little of his had done his best to dismiss all exprésregard to her when he met her, though sion. she was his mother's favorite, and had no “ And papa ? and dear Mrs. Gaunt, and eyes but for Constance. This was not a the colonel, and everybody? Oh, there is thing to dwell in the miod of a girl who so much that letters can't tell. Come had no jealousy in her, and who never back now. My mother will be so glad to supposed herself to be half as worthy of see you, and Markham; you know Markanybody's attention as Constance was. ham already." But, anyhow, she forgot it altogether, for. Young Gaunt made a feeble momentary got to ask herself what in this respect resistance. He murmured something might have happened in the mean time ; about an engagement, about his time being and with her heart beating full of innocent very short; but as he did so, turned round eagerness, pleasure, and excitement, full languidly and went with her, obeying, as of the hope of hearing about everybody, seemed, the eager impulse of Frances, of seeing again through his eyes the dear rather than any will of his own. little well-known world, which seemed to lie so far behind her, hastened through her errands, and turned quickly home.
To her great surprise, as she came back, turning round the corner into the long line
From Temple Bar. of pavement, she saw young Gaunt once
CONSTANCE ALFIERI, MARQUISE
D'AZEGLIO. more approaching her. He looked even more listless and languid now, like a man The name of Azeglio is almost as well wbo had tried to do some duty and failed, I known in England as it is in Italy. The
graceful and chivalric figure of Massimo | were the hopes and fears, the impressions d'Azeglio, artist, romancist, patriot sans and reflections of every day. Of course peur et sans reproche, will always have its the writer as a Piedmontese of the Pieddistinct niche in the pantheon of Italian montese has her mind concentrated on liberators, while his memoirs (I miei Ri. the particular issue of events for her own cordi) will be remembered not only for particular fatherland. In this she may be their manly tone, and for some exquisite acquitted of narrowness, because she was bits of description of artist life in the profoundly convinced that Piedmont was hills near Rome, but also as about the ihe sheet anchor of Italian salvation, and first book written in Italian as it is spoken that by no other means than by the ad- the most simple of all tongues, and the vancement of that state could the periomost unlike the stilted language literary sula throw off its bondage. But the menmen have thought good to make it. His tal position assumed by her, or rather nephew, the Marquis Emmanuel, was till the very atmosphere in which she existed, lately one of the best known and most prevented her from understanding the popular members of London society, and value and significance of efforts towards his personal influence, during his long Italian unification which ran any chance tenure of office, first as Sardinian and then of compromising the safety of the Sar. as Italian representative at the court of dinian monarchy. With this remark we St. James's, contributed not a little to the have done with criticism, and we may add, maintenance of that benevolent attitude before proceeding to examine the letters, on the part of English ministers which that perbaps their chief merit is after all helped forward the cause of Italian inde- that of introducing us to one whom they pendence more than perhaps will ever be prove to have been a very noble woman. made known. Indeed the Marquis Em. Constance Alfieri, eldest daughter of manuel's influence over Lord Palmerston the Marquis Ch. Emmanuel Alfieri, was seems to have been a subject of ceaseless born in 1793. At the age of twenty. anxiety to the Duc de Persiyny, who com- two she married the Marquis Robert plained piteously to Lord Malmesbury d'Azeglio, elder brother of Massimo, at that the English premier was no longer that time serving in a cavalry regiment. the same man, and let himself be entirely In 1821 he was aide-de-camp to the Prince led by D'Azeglio, placing a blind faith in of Carignano, and after the abortive move. all he told him. Without going so far as ment in which Charles Albert was mixed to believe this, there is no doubt that the up, he was counselled for a time to reside utmost sympathy and good understanding abroad. This sort of precautionary exile, existed between the two.
which lasted five years, was passed agreeThose who possessed the Italian di- ably enough at the house of the Marquis plomatist's confidence were favored, on Alfieri, who was Sardinian ambassador in some rare occasions, by his reading to Paris. After her return to Turin in 1826, them the very remarkable letters he was the Marquise Constance does not seem in the habit of receiving from his mother, to have again gone abroad, her life being who sought to serve bim and her country divided between that city and the country. by keeping him au courant of the inner seat of the D'Azeglios, called the Roccolo. working of the development of the Italian The “ Letters " give us a first glimpse question, furnishing him from month to of her at the lazzeretto of the cholera pamonth, and from week to week, with news tients during the epidemic of 1835. Her which he could neither obtain from the son, who was but nineteen, and had not newspapers, nor from his government, yet entered his profession, was sent for which last seems to have been singularly safety to his grandfatber's château at Asti, economical in the matter of affording in an arrangement against which he was dis. formation to its foreign envoys. The posed to protest, but in which he had to marquis has now given to the world a acquiesce. As soon as this had been selection from this long correspondence, done the Marquise Constance, who was which stretched from 1835 to 1861, when in the country, started to rejoin her hushis mother fell ill of her last illness. The band at Turin, where the disease was rapcollection which has thus been made pub. idly increasing. “On arriving I did not lic, is interesting from many points of find your father,” she writes; "he was on view. It is as it were a journal of the the field of honor.” These first letters Italian movement from its beginning to are characterized by the unstudied ele. very near its end. It allows us to see gance of composition that marks the whole what was thought of its great men before correspondence. The marquise may have they had becoine great; it shows what been sometimes in a hurry; certainly she