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“Send me away if I am de trop," he said, "Pardon me, dear lady, I have forgotten clasping his plump hands. "It is my something. I'll come back directly if hour of audience, but Rintoul has the you'll let me,” and went out. Certainly first claim.”
there had been some discussion going on “Oh, I don't want any audience,” said between mother and son. Perhaps Rin. Rintoul. He had exchanged an anxious toul had got into debt, perhaps into love; glance with his mother, and both had red- both were things which occurred daily, dened in spite of themselves. Not to and it was always best when such a subbetray that you have been discussing ject had been started between parent and some one who appears, while the words child that they should have it out. So he of criticism are still on your lips, is diffi- withdrew, but with that phrase still buzzcult at all times; and Rintoul, feeling ing in bis ears, “When a fellow follows confused and guilty, was anxious to give
It was a conical combination of the interrupted conversation an air of in words; he could not get rid of it, and significance. My mother and I have no presently it began to disturb his mind.
She is not so easy as the moth- Instead of going to the library or any of ers in society,” he said, with a laugh. the other rooms in the house, he went
"No!” said Millefleurs, folding his outside with the sensation of having some. hands with an air of devotion. “I would thing to reflect upon, though he could not discuss the chronique scandaleuse, if not be sure what it was. By-and-by the that is what you mean, in Lady Lindores's entire sentence came to his recollection. hearing. The air is pure here; it is like “When a fellow follows a girl into the living out of doors. There is no dessous country'— but then, who is it that bas des cartes - no behind the scenes.” followed a girl into the country? - Rio.
“What does the little beggar mean?” toul?” This cost him about five minutes' Rintoul said to himself, feeling red and thought. Then little Millefleurs stopped uncomfortable. Lady Lindores took up short in the midst of the path, and clasped her work, which was her flag of distress. his hands against his plump bosom, and She felt herself humiliated beyond de turned up his eyes to heaven. “Why! it scription. To think that she should be is I!” he said to himself, being more afraid of any one overhearing what she grammatical than most men in a state of said or what her son had said to her! agitation. He stood for a whole minute She felt her cheeks burn and tingle; her in this attitude, among the big blue.green needle treinbled in her fingers; and then araucarias which stood around. What a there ensued a most uncomfortable pause. subject for a painter if there had been one Had he heard what they were saying ? | at hand! It was honor confronting fate. Rintoul did not go away, which would He had not intended anything so serious. have been the best policy, but stood about, He liked, he would have said loved, the taking up books and throwing them down ladies of the house. He would not have again, and wearing, which was the last hesitated anywhere to give full utterance thing he wished to do, the air of a man to this sentiment: and to please his fadisturbed in an important consultation. ther, and to amuse himself, he was conAs a matter of fact, his mind was occupied sciously on the search for some one who with two troublesome questions: the first, might be suitable for the vacant post of whether Millefleurs had overheard any- Marchioness of Millefleurs. And he had thing; the second, how he could himself thought of Edith in that capacity - cerget away. Millefleurs very soon perceived tainly he had thought of her. So had he and partook this embarrassment. The thought of various other young ladies in phrase which had been uttered as he society, turning over their various claims. opened the door had reached his ear with. But it had not occurred to him to come out affecting his mind for the first mo. to any sudden decision, or to think that ment. Perhaps if he had not perceived necessary. As he stood there, however, the embarrassment of the speaker he with his eyes upraised, invoking aid from would not have given any weight to the that paternal Providence which watches words — “When a fellow follows over marquises, a flood of light spread Funny alliteration! he said to himself. over the subject and all its accessories. And then he saw that the mother and son Though he had not thought of them, he were greatly disturbed by his entrance. knew the prejudices of society; and all He was as much occupied by wondering that Rintoul had said about leaving a girl what they could mean, as they were by planté là was familiar to him.
( When wondering if he had heard. But he was a fellow follows” (absurd alliteration ! the first to cut the difficulty. He said, I said Millefleurs, with his lisp, to him.
self) "a girl into the country, be muth | hope we are not going to have it all over mean thomething ” — and once more he again, as we had before Carry's wedding? clasped his hands and pressed them to " Oh, don't speak of poor Carry's wed. his breast. His eyes, raised to heaven, ding in comparison with this. This, God took a languishing look; a smile of con- grant it, if it comes to pass, will be no sciousness played about his mouth ; but degradation – no misery this was only for a moment, and was re- “Not much degradation, certainly – placed at once by a look of firm resolution. only somewhere about the best position No maiden owed her scath to Millefleurs: in England,” with angry scorn Lord Linthough he was so plump, he was the soul dores said. of honor. Not for a moment could be But the lines were not smoothed away permit it to be supposed that he was from his wife's forehead, nor did the flush trifing with Edith Lindores, amusing of shame and pain leave her face. She himself - any of those pretty phrases in looked at him for a moment, to see whethuse in society. He thought with horror er she should tell him. But why poison of the possibility of having compromised his pleasure? “It is not his fault," she her, even though, so far as he was himself said to herself; and all that she gave utconcerned, the idea was not disagreeable. terance to was an anxious exclamation : lo five minutes — for he had a quick little “Provided that Edith sees as we do!” brain and the finest faculty of observa- “She must see as we do,” Lord Lin. tion, a quality cultivated in his race by dores said. several centuries of social eminence But when Rintoul came in, his mother Millefleurs had mastered the situation. went to bim and seized his arm with both All the instructions that Rintoul had so her hands. “He heard what you said !” zealously endeavored to convey to his she cried, with anguish in her voice. mother's mind became apparent to Mille- “ Now I shall never be able to hold up fleurs in the twinkling of an eye. It my head in his presence. - he heard what would be said that he had left her planté you said !” là; he allowed himself no illusion on the Rintoul too, notwithstanding bis more subject. So it might be said, — but so it enlightened views, was somewhat red. never must be said of Edith Lindores. Though it was in accordance with his He was perfectly chivalrous in his instant principles, yet the fact of having helped decision. He was not to say in love to force, in any way, a proposal for his though did Providence bestow any one of sister, caused him an unpleasant sensafive or six young ladies, among whom tion. He tried to carry it off with a Edith stood high, upon him, Millefleurs laugh. Anyhow, since it has brought felt positively convinced that he would him to the point,” he said. be the happiest man in the world. And This was the day on which Millefleurs he was not sure that he might not be run- was to be taken to Tinto to see the house ping the risk of a refusal, a thing which and all its curiosities and wealth. In is very appalling to a young man's imag- view of this he had begged that nothing ination. But notwithstanding this danger, might be said to Edith, with a chivalrous Millefleurs, without hesitation, braced desire to save her pain should her answer himself up to do his duty. He buttoned be unfavorable. But how could Lady his coat, took off his hat and put it on. Lindores keep such a secret from her again, and then pulling himself together, daughter? While she was still full of the went off without a moment's hesitation in excitement, the painful triumph, the terror search of Lord Lindores.
and shame with which she had received An hour later the earl entered his lady's the news, Edith came in to the morning chamber with a countenance in which room, which to-day had been the scene of gratification, and proud content in an so many important discussions. They achieved success, were only kept in check had been perhaps half an hour together, by the other kind of pride which would going gaily on with the flood of lightnot permit it to be perceived that this hearted conversation about anything and success was anything out of the ordinary. nothing which is natural between a girl He told her his news in a few brief words, and her mother, when she suddenly caught which Lady Lindores received with so a glimpse in a mirror of Lady Lindores's much agitation, turning from red to wbite, troubled face. The girl rushed to her and with such an appearance of vexation instantly, took this disturbed countenance and pain, that the earl put on his sternest between her hands, and turned it with aspect. “ What is the meaning of all this gentle force towards her. Her own face Aurry and disturbance?” he said. “Ilgrew grave at once. Something is the
matter," she said ; "something has hap- as a willow-wand, unyielding, drawing her pened. Oh, mother, darling, what is it? garments as it were, about her, insensible Something about Carry?
to the quivering lines of her mother's up“No, no; nothing, nothing ! Certainly turned face, and the softer strain of her nothing that is unhappy — Don't ques. embrace. No, not indifferent - but retion me now, Edith. Afterwards, you sisting - shutting her eyes to them, hold. shall know it all.”
ing herself apart. “Let me know it now," the girl said ; “For heaven's sake, Edith! Oh, my and she insisted with that filial tyranny darling, think how different this is from against which mothers are helpless. At the other! Your father has set his heart last Lady Lindores, being pressed into a on it, and I wish it too. And Millefleurs corner, murmured something about Lord is - Millefleurs will be Millefleurs. “If he speaks to you to- “Is this how you persuaded Carry?" night, oh, my darling – if he asks you cried Edith, with sad indignation ; "but do not be hasty; say nothing, say nothing, mother, mother, listen ! not me. It is without thought."
better that never another word should be "Speaks to me - - asks me!” Edith said between us on this subject, for I will stood wonder-stricken, her eyes wide never do it, whatever may be said. Ifmy open, her lips apart. “What should he father chooses to speak to me, I will give ask me?” She grew a little pale in spite him my answer. Let us say no more of herself.
not another word;" and with this the girl “My dearest! what should he ask you? | unbent and threw herself upon her mothWhat is it that a young man asks - in er, and stopped her mouth with kisses, such circumstances ? He will ask you indignant, impassioned — her cheeks hot perhaps to marry bin."
and Hushed, her eyes full of angry tears. Edith gave a kind of shriek — and then It may be thought that the drive to burst into a peal of agitated laughter. Tinto of this strange party, all palpitatiog " Mother, dear, what a fright you have with the secret which each thought ungiven me! I thought- I didn't know known to the other, was a curious episode what to think. Poor little man ! Don't enough. Millefleurs, satisfied with him. let him do it — don't let him do it, mam- self, and feeling the importance of his poma!
It would make us both ridiculous, sition with so much to bestow, found, he and if it made him at all — unhappy; but thought, a sympathetic response in the that is nonsense -you are only making look of Lady Lindores, to whom, no fun of me," said the girl, kissing her, with doubt, as was quite right, ber husband had a hurried eagerness as if to silence her. disclosed the great news; but he thought Lady Lindores drew herself away from that Edith was entirely ignorant of it. her daughter's embrace.
And Edith and her mother had their se. “ Edith, it is you who are making your-cret on their side, the possession of which self ridiculous - consider how he has was more momentous still. But they all sought you all this time — and he came talked and smiled with the little pleasan. after you to the country. I have felt what tries and criticisms that are inevitable in
was coming all along. My dearest, did the conversation of persons of the highest not you suspect it too?"
and most cultivated classes, and did not Edith stood within her mother's arm, betray what was in their hearts. but she was angry and held herself apart, not leaning upon the bosom where she had rested so often. “I suspect it! how could I suspect it?" she cried. It went to Lady Lindores's heart to feel her child
From Blackwood's Magazine. straighten herself up, and keep apart from FALSE COIN IN SACRED HERMENEUTICS. her and all her caresses.
Not long ago an American journal Edith, for God's sake, do not set your- suggested the expediency of forming a self against it! Think, only think "Society for the suppression of cruelty
“What has God got to do with it, to Scripture;” not, as might perhaps liave mother?” the young creature cried stern- been imagined, for the purpose of proly. “I will set myself against it - nay, tecting the sacred volume from maltreatmore than that. I am not like Carry; ment by its open foes, but to save it from nothing in the world will make me do it the “ twisting, torturing, thumbscrewing,
not any reason, not any argument.” and other savage and outrageous proc. She was still encircled by her mother's esses," habitually inflicted on it by its arm, but she stood straight, upright, erect professed friends, in their desperate ef
forts to extort, haul forth, and by sheer while all around the gloom was breaking and ingenious methods of torture, tear up, and the monsters of ignorance and out of a Scripture passage doctrines error were flying before the advancing which never were in any way or degree day. connected with or involved in it at all." The earliest and doubtless the most
We propose to take this quaint sugges- flagrant sinners against sound principle tion for our text. It is impossible to help and common sense in the use of the sabeing amused at the scene which it con- cred books were the rabbis of Israel, jures up before the mind, — of the rever. whose hermeneutical vagaries and monend expositors assembled in the torture- strous applications of Scripture form the chamber, like so many familiars of the staple of the Talmud. To those doctors Inquisition, and busy with a grim alacrity of the law, the Old Testament from be. at interrogating the divine word by the gioning to end was a congeries of riddles, peine dure et forte, till they wring from it, to the solution of which they dedicated instead of its own truth, the confession their lives. In comparison with their or assent which they are determined by own tortuous and mystical explanations, violence to extort. But the pity is that, the plain grammatical sense had little under the exuberant and racy phraseol- interest for them. The inspired text they ogy characteristic of transatlantic humor, used to compare to water; but their Miskso much of solid truth should lie. Those na or oral tradition to wine, and their who have had most experience in over. Gemara or commentary to spiced wine. hauling commentaries on the Bible, and Every verbal resemblance, however su. exploring the enormous mass of current perficial, every variation of spelling and religious literature, will be the last, we peculiarity of arrangement or order, sug. suspect, to extenuate the fact or accuse gested to them a mystery; out of texts the statement of exaggeration. That the arbitrarily pieced together, meanings were representation is well founded, we have evolved for which not a shadow of warDo shadow of doubt; and it is because rant could be found; from the mere metwe are sure that the evil to which it points aphors latent in common speech portenis a crying one, and is the cause of much tous conclusions were deduced ; in the of the distaste notoriously felt by the numerical values of the letters of which educated laity for sermons and books of words were composed occult meanings theology and devotion in general, that we were discovered. The results may be make the attempt to hold it up to repro imagined, and were perhaps surprising bation, and furnish some brief hints for even to the scribes themselves in their its abatement.
saner moments; for among their tradi. We do not for a moment pretend that tions is one which depicts the amazement the habit of wresting and misapplying of Moses, when in a vision he saw some Scripture is peculiar to modern times. rabbi of the future extracting whole bushIt is as old as Christianity, even older, el-loads of meanings and decisions from and by a long line of descent has come every angle, curl, and horn of every letter down to the divines of the present day as of the law. a damnosa hereditas — a traditional incu- We shall try, by a few specimens of bus and hereditary disease. Nor do we the more quotable sort, to give an idea of deny that, with the comparatively recent the rabbinical style of handling Scripture. growth of the critical sciences, a better It might seem to an unsophisticated readday has begun to dawn for Biblical exe- er rather difficult to determine from the gesis in general, and even for the popular text, “The ox knoweth his owner, and religious literature of tract and periodical the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth and broadsheet, purveyed in such amaz- not know, my people doth not consider," ing quantities for the uneducated classes. what kind of scourge should be used But it seems to us that the very fact of to inflict the " forty stripes save one the rise and spread of accurate criticism those who broke the law. But the ingein other departments of study makes our nuity of the rabbis was not to be foiled. protest against the still prevalent inisin. Ought not the men who know not, to be terpretation of the Bible all the more beaten by the animals whose knowledge needful; for the last places to catch the shames them? Then twist together light of the intellectual dawn have always thongs of ox-hide and ass-hide, and lay been the haunts of theological discussion the compounded lash on the back of the and exposition, and religion has griev. guilty. Out of Laban's invitation to ously suffered from the shadows being Abraham's servant, “Come in, for I permitted to lie over them undisturbed, I have prepared the house, and room for
the camels,” evidence was extracted to ordinary course of nature, as to be courshow that the piety of the great father of ageous and strong enough to resist and the faithful was so transcendent and con. kill the wolves that attacked them. To tagious as to be shared even by his cam- take one more specimen: the rabbis laid els; for by imagining some occult con- it down that in speeding the parting guest nection between the phrases for “making one ought not to say, "Go in peace,” but ready the house” and “ removing idols,"
“Go unto peace ;
" for David said to Ab. the meaning was reached that the camels salom, “Go in peace,” and he went and piously declined to enter till the emblems was hanged; but Jethro said unto Moses, of idolatry had been cleared out. In "Go unto peace," and he went and prospraise of the phylacteries, or little leath- pered. ern boxes containing texts from the law, Here, then, in the rabbinical method which the Jews were accustomed to bind of handling Scripture, was the fons et on the brow and left arm, a proof that origo of the evil practice of compelling they were worn by Jehovah himself was the sacred text to yield up any meaning found in the text, “ Jehovah hath sworn that the reader wished to extract from it. by his right hand and the arm of his From the Jewish schools the infection strength, i.e., the left arm bound with was caught by the Fathers of the Chrisone of those curious amulets. But on tian Church, of whose exegesis one of the entering a cemetery it was ruled that they principles seems have been that what. should be taken off, on the ground that ever, of an orthodox tenor, can be got out those who wore them in the presence of of the Bible by any kind of mystic or the dead would be guilty of the insolent allegorical interpretation may be safely ostentation condemned in the passage, accepted as the meaning of the Bible. A “Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth few specimens will be sufficient to exhibit his Maker.” On the narrative which re. their perverse ingenuity in making Scriplates that the news of the capture of Lot ture speak what they wanted it to say. was brought to Abraham by “one that No one can object to the doctrine said to had escaped,” the curious myth was have been conveyed by Constantine's visfounded of the escape of Og, the king of ion of the cross with the inscription, Bashan, from the deluge, his gigantic “ By this conquer; but nothing can be stature being supposed to have enabled less satisfactory than to establish it by an him to wade beside the ark till the waters appeal to the outstretched arms of Moses subsided. The question whether prayer during the battle with Amalek, unless it should be said on a low or an elevated be the discovery of it in the cross-like place was decided in the favor of the shape of the letter which in Greek stands former by the Psalmist's words, "Out of for the number (300) of Gideon's conquer. the depths have I cried unto thee.” That ing band, and more plainly still in the the second temple should lack five of the three letters which express the number of excellent things which distinguished the the trained servants (318) with whom first, was inferred from the casual omis. Abraham defeated the marauding kings, sion of the final letter, which happens to on the ground that the first is the same be the numeral for five, from the word cross-shaped numeral, and the other two for “glory” in the prediction, “ The glory are the primary letters of the word Jesus. of this latter house shall be greater than The importance of the sacraments is unof the former.” A proof that it is the questionable; but on no legitimate princiMessiah who shall bruise the serpent's ple of interpretation can they be found in head was discovered in the identity of the the table spread for the Psalmist in the numerical value of the letters in tlie words presence of his enemies; or in the metafor Messiah and serpent. A rule that no phorical use of liquor and wheat by the man ought to eat before he has fed his royal lover in the Canticles to depict the beast was extricated from the order of the comeliness of his mistress; or in the words in the promise, “ I will send grass genial advice of the Preacher, “Go thy in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest way; eat thy bread with joy, and drink eat and be full," "thy cattle ”first, and thy wine with a merry heart; or in the
thou” afterwards. In the remark that two pence given by the good Samaritan to Job's cattle increased - literally, broke the innkeeeper. The building up of the forth — in the land, evidence was found Church on the Gospel does not follow of the extraordinary measure in which the very naturally from the Psalmist's state. divine favor rested on his possessions; ment that the Creator has founded the the metaphor being taken as signifying earth on the seas, and established it on that even his goats so broke through the the floods; nor the two advents of the