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tation of more, which is doubled and re-doubled till I can give nothing in addition. If I wish to deserve the gratitude of any one in my valuable assortment of friends, they expect greater and greater favours, till the point comes at last, where I can go no further."
“Then you draw bridle,” interrupted Lord Iona, laughing, “and slam the door of your heart in the astonished faces of your would-be friends. In such a case of course they are more angry
you had never shown any desire to conciliate them.”
“Certainly. I gave my nephew, Tom Gascoigne, a horse lately, and he never ceased hinting how well it would go in a gig; and when I at last gave him the gig, he wished for an increase of his allowance, that he might be enabled to keep it. I sent his sister Fanny a ticket for the Caledonian ball, and she said it would be impossible to go unless she could somehow or another get a dress. Well did I know what that meant. She has no more feeling than a band-box.”
“ Do you remember, mother, last year inviting the Fitzgeralds to stay here, and they wrote that it was impossible to come without the children. You yielded and invited them, when the party soon after arrived, bringing a governess and tutor, the most troublesome people that ever entered a house. I flatter myself my attractions were what made the visit so agreeable that they remained on for ever and a day.”
“Yes, for two long months, till I intimated that we were leaving home for a few days. They very
coolly asked my leave to await my return here, and when I said it was our invariable rule to leave the house empty when we quitted our own fire-side, they took so much offence that we parted worse friends than when we met."
“ Of course; the pleasanter their visit was the more sorry they were ever to go, and the more angry they were at not being pressed to stay," added Lord Iona, in a tone of gay condolence. “ What an ill-used farewell they bid you, not one driblet of gratitude remaining !”
“ Not one,” replied Lady Eaglescairn, querulously. " What I had done then to cement our friendship only ended it."
Yes,” replied Lord Iona, with a tragi-comic laugh; “how well I remember waving my white handkerchief as an adieu to the Fitzgeralds, and your snatching it out of my hands, saying, they would pretend to think we were summoning them
6. There is a want of adhesiveness even in servants, now,” said Lady Stratharden, in a tone of quiet melancholy. “ I, who hate strangers about me, have had to change my abigail five times in the last three years. The least hint of finding a fault, and they instantly say, ' If my Ladyship is not pleased, they are quite ready to seek another place.' Servants in this country are become as independent as the American “helps,' and the smallest addition of wages offered them in another house, will carry off the best in my establishment.”
Yes," said Lady Eaglescairn, “the more pre
sents and indulgences I give them, the more they think me desirous to conciliate them, and the more difficult each servant becomes to please. They want a change!' They would like to see a little more of the world. I honour and respect a steady servant of long standing; but such servants are so rare now, that they should be shown as lions in the Zoological gardens. Every body and everything is on a railroad of restlessness and movement.'
66 You should advertise for an attachable servant, not going to the diggings, nor wishing to be a policeman—salary unlimited," said Lord Iona, in a rallying tone ; " or see if your next will at once consent to be apprenticed for seven years.'
“Well,” replied Lady Stratharden, sadly, “if I knew the abigail who would drop a tear over my coffin, what would I not give her? The last maid who left me proposed to have an interview of two hours with her successor, that she might put her up to my ways,' and I would have given the world to be invisibly present, as I had not an idea that I had any ways.
“ Yes you have,” said Lord Iona, in a laughing tone, wishing to enliven Lady Stratharden, whose eyes were despondingly fixed on her daughter, talking earnestly to Father Eustace, “I only wonder that any abigail could enumerate them all in two hours, for they might have occupied five at least. I know you well!”
“ If you do,” replied Lady Stratharden, in a tone of helpless despondency, as she still watched Father Eustace, “ you know one who has lived
to witness the sad end of all her dearest earthly affections.” “Not yet—not finally,” answered Lord Iona, following the direction of her eyes, with a sorrowful sympathy that he tried to hide, while he stirred up the already blazing fire, as if intent on being burned alive. “What is the use of racking our hearts with feeling and our heads with sense, when good nonsense is, after all, worth both united Give me a heart of stone, or a cap and bells, rather than sensibility in a world like this. Every medal has its reverse; and happiness to-day is misery to-morrow .” “Yes,” interrupted Lady Stratharden, solemnly, “but both end in the inevitable grave!” “You are quite in a black melancholy to-day; but now I strongly advise you to take my advice— the advice of the most sensible man in your acquaintance—and follow my example,” said Lord Iona, anxious to cheer the desponding mother. “We all know that there is a tide in the affairs of mice and of men. If one wave of misfortune rolls over me after another, I feel quite enlivened with thinking that things positively are at their worst. I have stood with my back to the wall pelted and worried by petty vexations, till I felt as if no circumstance in life were ever to go straight again; and all the time I triumph in the thought, that things are coming to a climax, and that ‘behind the cloud the sun is still shining.’” Beatrice listened to this little dialogue with an engrossing interest, which made her forget she had any troubles of her own. She was amused at the mixture of sense and of nonsense in Lord Iona; but saw plainly that a sense of duty and religion was not wanting amidst all his apparent étourderie, and she felt what a happiness it might be, during her unwilling residence at Eaglescairn, if she could minister to a mind so sadly diseased as that of Lady Stratharden, whose well-founded anxiety respecting Lady Anne was so evident, and so touching from its very helplessness. While Father Eustace continued, with his usual look of selfsatisfied humility, to engross the attention of Lady Stratharden's daughter, who listened with flushed cheek and flashing eye, Beatrice looked at the anxious mother's anxious face, and thought of those beautiful lines by Bayley—
“Present anguish hast thou felt
When Lady Anne's long, earnest, absorbing interview with Father Eustace was over, anxious evidently to prevent her mother from taking fright at so excessive an intimacy, she advanced towards Lady Stratharden, with a dancing step, full of grace and vivacity. Lady Anne then suddenly whirled herself round and round in an ecstacy of heedless laughter, till her rich brocaded silk dress became completely inflated, when curtseying very