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“I am very much disappointed to hear “Ah, Philip!” sighed Margaret; you say so. I thought you would agree “money is not everything.” with me so cordially that I was unfit to “No; nor is love everything. One represent a knave as soon as I had ex. wants a happy combination of the two, I pounded my theory to you.”
suppose, and that is not easy to achieve, Your theory is nonsense,” repeated Not that I am in love with Nellie Brune; Mrs. Winnington with decision.
and heaven forbid that I should suppose “Really, Marescalchi, I am afraid it her capable of falling in love with so unron't hold water in the present instance,” worthy an object as myself. chimed in Mr. Stanniforth. “I take it see that I can't afford to fall in love with that I am about the worst actor of the her? lot, and you have given me the most im- “ A man can always make an income portant part in the piece.”
for himself,” said Margaret. “Nobody can say which is the most “ Can he? I think I know some men important part until the piece has been who have a fatal power of spending twice played,” answered Philip oracularly. “We as much as they are likely ever to earn. are all going to do our best; but we can't Don't build castles, Meg; 'it's a shocking do justice to ourselves if the square pegs bad habit. Or, if you must build them, are put into the round holes."
build them for yourself, not for other Further protests were entered from people. Otherwise they will come tum.. various quarters; but as Philip stood bling down about your poor ears, roofs, firm, and declared that unless he were and battlements, and all, one of these fine allowed to have his own way he would days; and when I come to dig you out of not act at all, he carried his point in the the ruins, you will turn and revile me, and end. As the council broke up, he took say it was all my fault.” an opportunity of whispering to Walter, She shook her head. “No; I shall “There, old man; don't say I never did never say that.” you a good turn.'
Ah! you don't know what you will “I don't know what you mean,” said say. Let us get back to our play-acting; Walter.
it's a thousand times more satisfactory a “Of course you don't,” returned Philip, game than real life.” laughing, and walking away. That Philip Whether satisfactory or not to the bad meant by this strange allotment of majority of the performers, the fashion rôles merely to carry out his whimsical after which Philip had chosen to conduct theory was what nobody believed, nor did his play-acting was productive of immense it occur to any one that he had been amusement to one at least of those who actuated by a good-natured desire to give attended the subsequent rehearsals. Mr. two young lovers the occasion of playing Brune perfectly understood, and to some husband and wife ; but what was indeed extent participated in, the half goodhis object seemed somewhat obscure. humored, half malicious, pleasure which Only Margaret bad formed a surmise Marescalchi derived from the spectacle upon the matter; and it was one which of incongruity; and in truth, Tom Stanwas not displeasing to her. She told him piforth, pacing the stage with creaking afterwards that he ought to be ashamed boots, and giving utterance in a loud of himself.
hearty voice to the most outrageous and “You have spoilt the play,” she said, immoral sentiments, was a legitimate subfrowning and smiling upon him ; "and ject for mirth of the quieter kind. Tom Nellie will not thank you, you may be had thrown himself into his task with all
If she was to have a fictitious hus. bis wonted energy; he had learnt by band for one evening, you surely need heart every word he had to say; he was not have objected to Walter's being the submitting with much docility to be eduman."
cated into the semblance of a base de. Philip seemed greatly amused. “ Oh, ceiver; and there really seemed to be Meg, Nieg,” he cried, “what a designing every chance that he would eventually old match-maker you are becoming! I pull through quite as successfully as a haven't spoilt the play a bit; it will be painstaking man without a vestige of histhe greatest success that ever was known; trionic talent could be expected to do. and in the mean time you are as good as He had, however, a way of frowning and a dozen plays, all of you. What criminal shaking his head after each cynical soiilfolly are you allowing your brains to hatch, oquy — as though he felt it'incumbent you improvident woman? Do you know upon him to offer some gentle reminder she won't have a penny, ma'am ?” that it was a purely fictitious personage,
not by any means Tom Stanniforth, who | Nellie Brune, who was a very fair actress, was speaking - which was irresistibly and had had some previous experience to coinical. Mr. Brune would sit in a cor- guide lier, would have done well even ner, watching this conscientious actor and without coaching; and as for the others, laughing softly to himself, by the hour to. if their instructor could not give them gether.
talent, he had at least taught them how One afternoon Mrs. Winnington joined to stand and sit, how to manage their him, and asked him whether he did not voices, and how to get off the stage. He think it was a great deal too bad that had also taken much pains with the subeverybody's pleasure should be interfered ordinate personages, whose names and with, and a good play turned into a pos- characters need not be particularized itive farce, only in order to gratify the here, showing them every opportunity of whim of a spoist boy. “ Mr. Stanniforth making a point, and gently fanning their is so accommodating and kind that he self-love with many a judicious word of would do anything that he was asked to surprise and admiration. And all the do,” she said ; “but it is easy to see that time he had held his own part in reserve. he has been forced into accepting a thor. His duties as general instructor bad furoughly uncongenial part.”
nished him with an excuse for reading “But he does it so well,” Mr. Brune rather than acting his share of the remarked.
dialogue, and perhaps he had designedly you think so? Well, I can't agree kept himself in the background up to the with you. He is doing his utmost cer- last moment; for he had not a soul above tainly; he would be sure to do that. But small effects. Even the country gentlefor Mr. Stanniforth to attempt to person. men who, with their wives and fainilies, ate selfishness and duplicity is quite ab- made up the bulk of the audience, and surd. He is too
what shall I whose critical faculties were scarcely like
ly to be of a sensitive order, could not “Genuine ? " suggested Mr. Brune re- but perceive and wonder at the skill with signedly.
which he transformed a ludicrous and unExactly so: he is far too genuine for dignified part into a pathetic one; and that kind of thing. Now young Mares- that without missing a particle of its hu. calchi
mor, or being guilty of the smallest exag“Oh, but he is genuine, too - in his geration. Those who applauded so loudly way. He is a genuine humorist; you could not have given very definite reasons must allow that."
for their applause perhaps ; but it was “How so? I don't quite understand vaguely borne in upon them that they you. To my mind he is simply mischiev- were being treated to the spectacle of a ous and malevolent.
To put the play tour ile force, and it put them in good upon the stage in the way that he is doing humor, and made them feel how clever is to insult the intelligence of his audi- they must be to have discovered that ence.”
much. “ On the contrary, he is paying a high It was one of Philip's rules to study compliment to the delicacy of your per- every part that he undertook from obserceptions. He is going to offer you a really vation of some living model: all true art. fine piece of comedy in the place of a ists adopted that plan, he declared, and rather dull play; and you ought to be all art was nothing but imitation. In the grateful to him.”
present instance he had been pleased to “ It appears that your notions of com- select Colonel Kenyon as the groundwork edy and humor differ from mine,” said of his conception of a fond and foolish Mrs. Winnington, who disliked Mr. husband; and Margaret, who believed Brune, and suspected him, not without herself to be alone in detecting this de. reason, of somctimes laughing at her. tail, and who was somehow a little pained
Nevertheless, when the day of repre- by it, was compelled to acknowledge that sentation came, Mrs. Winnington was the portrait was both a faithful and a sugcompelled to add a grudging contribution gestive one. Poor Hugh! it had never to the general plaudits, and to confess occurred to her before, but now it seemed that the result belied her anticipations. obvious enough, that he was just the man Philip had done wonders with his some. to be led by the nose all his life by some what unpromising troupe. Patiently and woman. What a dismal instance of the carefully bad he drilled them, day after irony of fate that she, who wanted to be day, and evening after evening, and now led, and had no capacities for leading, his labor met with its just recompense. I should be that one ! Once or twice it
flashed across her with a thrill of alarm “Yes, I remember; why do you remind that Philip might have some inkling of me of it? I thought you very unkind what she earnestly desired to keep secret and unjust; and I still think that you were forever. In her heart of hearts she was so.” mortally afraid of being laughed at by "I dare
say I was. Partly so, at all Philip; and what son can hear without events; for I certainly should not accuse more or less of covert laughter that a man our young friend of lacking courage nowhas been making love to his mother? adays. î wonder, though-speaking
I , — She turned these things over in her mind quite in the abstract, you understand while Philip tugged at the long moustache whether it is possible for a first-rate actor which he had affixed to his upper lip, to be a thoroughly honest and straightforwhile he stretched out his legs, stuck his ward inan. Don't come down upon me hands in bis pockets, and debated simple with Macready and other honored names, propositions with an exact reproduction please; there must be exceptions to every of Hugh's slow and sapient smile; and rule; and, besides, honesty is a relative at the end of the first act she was as near. term. I know many highly respected and ly being angry with her adopted son as respectable persons whom it would be un. she had ever been in her life. Mr. Brune, safe to take literally; they couldn't be who was sitting behind her, leant over the absolutely candid if their lives depended back of her chair, when the curtain fell, upon it.” and startled her by remarking abruptly, - " I don't know what you are driving
" And yet there are people who won't at," said Margaret, who, however, knew be convinced that we are all descended perfectly well. from apes.”
"I am not driving at anything; I am “Don't be unkind,” pleaded Margaret. drifting agreeably upon a sea of doubt and
"Why not? I object to monopolies. speculation. Given a man with an exWhy should that very clever and diverting traordinary power of personating characyouih have things all his own way?” ters differing from his own, wouldn't it be
“I know what you mean; but it isn't rather a strange thing if he never made meant for unkindness. There is nothing use of it off the stage ? in it that could hurt any one's feelings.” “If you mean Philip, I can only say that
“H'm! I am not sure that Kenyon he is always candid with me,” declared would quite agree to that. However, he Margaret, with some audacity. is not here, so we need not trouble our. “Ah, you won't stay in the regions of selves about him. Let us be charitable, the abstract. Well, you ought to know and assume that he would like it. For whether Philip is candid or not. As for my part, I admit that I am enjoying it me, I am only a spectator; and perhaps I hugely.”
don't see so much of the game as I fancy Then don't call people apes,” said I do. He is not particularly candid with Margaret.
me; but then a man does not forfeit bis · Åpes are very cheerful little beasts, claim to straightforwardness by exercisand some of us, you know, make great ing a little reserve towards individuals. pets of thein.
I will say, for yours, that Moreover, he doesn't like me.” he is an admirable specimen of the race.” “ That is entirely your own fault,” Mar
Margaret sighed impatiently. “Igaret was going to say; but she bethought thought you had given up saying dis. her that, if matters turned out according agreeable things about Philip. You know to her wishes, Mr. Brune would some day how it pains me to hear you talk like be asked to accept Philip as his son-inthat.”
law; so she substituted : “I am sure you “You ought not to mind what a sour are mistaken. He may be a little afraid old man says. Do you know that all my of you, perhaps ; many people are, you hops are mildewed, and that I shall be know.' hundreds of pounds out of pocket by the Probably there is no man living who is end of the year? Let me have a little not secretly pleased at being told that he latitude of speech for one evening. Philip is feared. Mr. Brune smiled, and recan't hear me, any more than Kenyon can marked that he had not supposed himself hear him; and I am speaking to a lady so alarming. Then the curtain rising who is not easily prejudiced. Do you upon the first scene of the second act put remember how desperately I offended you a stop to conversation, and Margaret re. by the language I used about your protégé turned to contemplation of the figure upon on the first evening of his arrival, ever so the stage which interested her the most. long ago ?”
Philip's excellent mimicry of Colonel
Kenyon provoked her no longer; she had sort as her daughter, and loved with all fallen into a fresh train of thought, in her heart. which Hugh had no part; and while the If the young lady who was thought plot of the comedy was unfolding itself, worthy of being entrusted with such high she was wondering whether the open- responsibilities had been in the secret of mouthed adoration with which Philip was Mrs. Stanniforth's scheme, she could regarding Nellie could be altogether as- have done no more towards the promosumed.
tion of it than she was doing that evening. He had told her emphatically that he Everybody agreed that Miss Brune was was not in love with Miss Brune; but he charming. " She has been well coached," had given her to understand that he was said her father, who hardly recognized not in love because he did not deem it Nellie in the brilliant and witty woman of prudent to allow himself to be so, and that the world whom she represented; but seemed almost tantamount to a conies- Philip, who admired all pretty women, sion that only prudence held love in and had always admired this one excescheck. Moreover, notwithstanding the sively, declared openly that she was irreassertion which she bad just made that sistible, and told her in so many words Philip was always candid with her, Mar- that he wished to goodness he could sumgaret very well knew that she did not pos- mon some benevolent fairy to convert sess his whole confidence. She was their mock destinies into a reality. More sometimes tormented by terrible fears on than once in the course of the proceedings his behalf. He had no vices, she thought he said to himself that if Nellie had had
for extravagance cannot fairly be called a large fortune, and if Fanny had married a vice — but it is not always vicious men the greengrocer, as she ought to have who make the most hopeless shipwreck of done – if, in short, he had not been an their lives; and, oddly enough, one of the unlucky beggar with whom all things went .chief dangers which she dreaded for him askew -- he could have wished for no hapwas precisely that which those who par- pier lot in life than that fictitious one took a less partial view of his character which was his for a couple of hours. would have declared him utterly unlikely There had always been a sort of interto incur – that of a hasty marriage with mittent flirtation between Philip and Nelsome one inferior to him in rank. Philip's lie. During his school-days the former character, like that of most people, was had been over head and ears in love with marked by some apparent inconsisten the pretty little tomboy who used to ride cies, and, also like that of most people, and fish and play cricket with him, and he presented but few traits upon which any had plainly declared his intention of makplausible theory of his fate could be built. ing her his wife some day an arrangeOne certain thing about him was that he ment which she had promised to consider would never be the victim of a hopeless of. Later on, when Mr. Marescalchi lad passion. It was not in his nature to love fallen under the sway of other feminine those by whom he was not beloved, and influences, his affection had assumed a on the other hand it was so delightful to more brotherly character, and he had been him to be worshipped that he was likely wont to make Miss Brune the confidante to fall, at least for a time, completely un- of the passions which had from time to der the dominion of the worshipper, who time ravaged an inflammable heart. He ever he or she might be. Thus much had, however, been in the habit of returnMargaret understood ; though she did noting to his loose allegiance at regular input the case to herself quite in these tervals, and had frequently given Nellie words. She would have substituted gen- to understand that, despite some passing erosity, impulsiveness, and quick sympa infidelities, there was but one woman in thies for the vanity and selfishness with the world with whom he could seriously which some of his intimates credited bim; contemplate spending his life. Nellie but the peril remained the same; and it took these periodical fits of devotion very was, among other reasons, because she much for what they were worth. To the discerned it that she so anxiously desired best of her belief she was not at all in to make use of Nellie Brune as a beacon love with Philip, and her eyes were open to divert Philip's eyes from the Bickering to all his failings; but she had a strong will-o'-the-wisps that flank the path of all affection for him, she was proud of what young men. It must be added that she she considered her influence over him, conscientiously believed this fate to be an and upon the whole she liked him better entirely honorable and blissful one for when he was pretending to be in love with Nellie, whom she looked upon in some l her than when he was pretending to be in
love with some one else. She understood | Fortune favors the brave. Nellie hesbim sufficiently well to be aware that with itated for a moment, looked him straight him nearly all emotion was pretence, of a in the face, and then gave a little bow. conscious or unconscious kind.
What she meant him to understand was To-night he was in one of his most that he had no business to make such a lover-like moods. When the theatricals request; but that, since he had thought
over and dancing bad begun, he fit to make it, she would not be rude publicly laid down the unreasonable prop- enough to meet him with a refusal; but it osition that those who had been united in is doubtful whether he gathered so much the play which was at an end ought to re- as that from her face. main partners for the rest of the evening; “ I was afraid,” said he, after he had and before the dissentient groans which twice made the circuit of the room, and responded to him had died away he had his partner had signified to him that she passed his arm round Miss Brune's waist was out of breath, " that you would disand whirled her off, whispering, “ Just for miss me with ignominy. 'I wasn't quite this one evening, Nellie. You owe me sure whether our truce was to last up to some reward, you know, for all the trouble bedtime, or to terminate when the curtain I have taken to help on your triumph.”
fell.” Nellie laughed, and did not say no. During the rehearsals, when Mr. Stanni. There was no one else present whom she forth had been compelled to meet his ini. particularly cared about dancing with, and placable foe every day, it had been agreed Philip was beyond all comparison the best between them that, for the comfort of all waltzer in the county. So, through three concerned, it would be best that they consecutive dances, this couple enjoyed should behave as friends for the time an uninterrupted tête-à-tête, while Mar. being, and out of this convention bad garet looked on with contented eyes, and sprung a considerable degree of intimacy good-natured people remarked what a which Nellie now felt that it would be handsome pair they were, and ill.natured rather absurd to put a stop to. ones wondered what Mr. Brune could be “You seem determined to reopen that thinking of to allow that sort of thing. disagreeable subject," she said.
Meanwhile, the member for Blackport “I? Indeed, Miss Brune, I should was not in bis usual state of happy ac. only be too glad to dismiss it forever. Is quiescence in the course of events. He it peace, then?" bad danced once with Edith, who had Well,” answered Nellie slowly, “I said “Yes” and “No," and “Oh, really?” suppose so. If, after all my rudeness and when he had addressed her, and who evi- ill-temper, you care to make peace with dently had not heard one word in ten of me, I don't think I ought to refuse." his conversation. He had then resigned “Ah!” cried Stanniforth, with rather her to Walter Brune, and had stood with imprudent exultation; “ I told you we his back against the wall, wrapped in should be friends before long." somewhat sombre reflection. He began Nellie drew up her slight figure, and to think that, after all, Edith would hardly looked displeased. Oh, but excuse me, do. She was a sweet girl, and she had a I said nothing about friendship. There pretty face, and that little, timid air of may be such a thing as peace between bers was attractive enough for a time; enemies, may there not?” but she was not interesting : perhaps she “A peace of that kind is not likely to was a trifle insipid. Just as he arrived at be very durable, I am afraid. Still, it this conclusion he caught sight of her en. may last my time. I don't think I shall gaged in animated discourse with Walter, be much longer in this house, do you and, for the first time in his life, he ex- know.” perienced an uncomfortable impression Nellie said, “ Indeed?" that be was growing old. After which he “ I think I shall be off in a day or two, glanced at Philip and Nellie, and felt and I am very sorry for it. I must say older still. Finally, he said to himself, so, since you won't. Between ourselves, rather inconsequently, that he didn't see I fancy that Margaret wants to get rid of any reason why the young fellows should me." have everything their own way, and, cross- “Why should she wish that?” ing the room with the firm stride of de- “ Ah, that is exactly what I should like cision, planted himself in front of Miss to know; but I'm afraid there isn't much Brune.
doubt as to the fact. Until about a week “May I be honored with a dance ?” he ago she was always begging me to stay asked.
on till the autumn; and, to tell you the