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ence of the noble Under-Secretary of State. She received him with her pleasant genial smile, looking exactly as she had looked when he had parted from her on the morning after their ride. She did not show any sign of anger, or even of indifference, at his approach. But still it was almost necessary that he should account for his search of her. "I have so longed to hear from you how you got on at Loughlinter," he said.
"Yes, yes; and I will tell you something of it some day, perhaps. Why do you not come to Lady Baldock's ?"
"I did not even know that Lady Baldock was in town."
"You ought to have known. Of course she is in town. Where did you suppose I was living? Lord Fawn was there yesterday, and can tell you my aunt is quite blooming."
"Lady Baldock is blooming," said Lord Fawn; "certainly blooming; that is, if evergreens may be said to bloom."
Evergreens do bloom, as well as spring plants, Lord Fawn. You come and see her, Mr. Finn;-only you must bring a little money with you for the Female Protestant Unmarried Women's Emigration Society. This is my aunt's present hobby, as Lord Fawn knows to his cost."
"I wish I may never spend half-a-sovereign worse.
"But it is a perilous affair for me, as my aunt wants me to go out as a sort of leading Protestant unmarried female emigrant pioneer myself."
"You don't mean that," said Lord Fawn, with much anxiety.
"Of course you'll go," said Phineas. "I should, if I were you."
"I am in doubt," said Violet.
"It is such a grand prospect," said he. "Such an opening in life. So much excitement, you know; and such a useful career." | As if there were not plenty of openings here for Miss Effingham," said Lord Fawn, "and plenty of excitement."
dinner. Lord Fawn, I know, intrigued." Miss Effingham, really I must—contradict you.”
"And Barrington Erle begged for it as a particular favour. The Duke, with a sigh, owned that it was impossible, because of his cumbrous rank; and Mr. Gresham, when it was offered to him, declared that he was fatigued with the business of the House, and not up to the occasion. How much did she say to you; and what did she talk about?"
"The ballot chiefly, that, and manhood suffrage."
Ah! she said something more than that, I am sure. Madame Max Goesler never lets any man go without entrancing him. If you have anything near your heart, Mr. Finn, Madame Max Goesler touched it I am sure." Now Phineas had two things near his heart, political promotion and Violet Effingham,-and Madame Max Goesler had managed to touch them both. She had asked him respecting his journey to Blankenberg, and had touched him very nearly in reference to Miss Effingham. "You know Madame Max Goesler, of course?" said Violet to Lord Fawn.
"Oh yes, I know the lady; that is, as well as other people do. No one, I take it, knows much of her; and it seems to me that the world is becoming tired of her. A mystery is good for nothing if it remains always a mystery."
"And it is good for nothing at all when it is found out," said Violet.
"And therefore it is that Madame Max Goesler is a bore," said Lord Fawn.
"You did not find her a bore ?" said Violet. Then Phineas, choosing to oppose Lord Fawn as well as he could on that matter, as on every other, declared that he had found Madame Max Goesler most delightful. "And beautiful, is she not?" said Violet.
"Beautiful!" exclaimed Lord Fawn. "I think her very beautiful," said Phineas.
"So do I," said Violet. "And she is a dear ally of mine. We were a week together last winter, and swore an undying friendship. She told me ever so much about Mr. Goesler."
"But she told you nothing of her second husband?" said Lord Fawn.
"Now that you have run into scandal, I shall have done," said Violet.
Half an hour after this, when Phineas was fighting his way out of the house, he was again close to Madame Max Goesler. He had not found a single moment in which to ask Violet for an answer to his old question,
and was retiring from the field discomfited, but not dispirited. Lord Fawn, he thought, was not a serious obstacle in his way. Lady Laura had told him that there was no hope for him; but then Lady Laura's mind on that subject was, he thought, prejudiced. Violet Effingham certainly knew what were his wishes, and knowing them, suniled on him and was gracious to him. Would she do so if his pretensions were thoroughly objectionable to her?
"I saw that you were successful this even ing," said Madame Max Goesler to him.
I was not aware of any success." "I call it great success to be able to make your way where you will through such a crowd as there is here. You seem to me to be so stout a cavalier that I shall ask you to find my servant, and bid him get my carriage. Will you mind?" Phineas, of course, declared that he would be delighted. "He is a German, and not in livery. But if somebody will call out, he will hear. He is very sharp, and much more attentive than your English footmen. An Englishman hardly ever makes a good servant."
"Is that a compliment to us Britons ? " "No, certainly not. If a man is a servant, he should be clever enough to be a good one." Phineas had now given the order for the carriage, and, having returned,
was standing with Madame Max Goesler in the cloak-room. "After all, we are surely the most awkward people in the world," she said. You know Lord Fawn, who was talking to Miss Effingham just now. You should have heard him trying to pay me a compliment before dinner. It was like a donkey walking a minuet, and yet they say he is a clever man and can make speeches." Could it be possible that Madame Max Goesler's ears were so sharp that she had heard the things which Lord Fawn had said of her?
SOMETIMES at night when on my bed,
All round the night is hung with gloom:
Nearer and nearer o'er the ground,
They reach the tent wherein I seem
At last they near the sentry's beat;
"Halt!" and no more the marching feet Re-echo o'er the ground.
I hear, or seem at least to hear,
His challenge, uttered stern and briefThe answer, spoken low and clear, And know 'tis the Relief.
And, waking, find it but a dream,
Born of the cloud of battle past, Whose fringes brightened with the gleam Of peace that dawned at last.
Oh hearts borne down by grief and care,
Who let no doubtful step come near
Sooner or later it will fall,
Through the thick darkness drawing nigh, And to your earnest challenge-call Shall angel lips reply!
larity of feature, any impertinent protrusion of forehead, or departure from the Haviland outline of nose, any deviation into blonde or auburn hair, was something, if not quite sinful, at least extremely lamentable, in the
that persons existed who admired such deplorable irregularities, the remark would excite no sentiment of conviction, and it would depend entirely upon the mood of the hearers whether it did or did not receive the flattest possible contradiction in the rudest possible tone.
THE Havilands were a handsome family. The fact was not merely indisputable, but generally admitted. The first thing any-eyes of the Havilands. If it were insinuated body not previously acquainted with the family collectively, or with the individual members of it, was sure to say on seeing them together, or seeing one of them anywhere, was, what handsome people!' or, what a handsome person!' as the case might be. That no other family ever had been so handsome, and that it was not in The Havilands were not merely a handthe nature of things that any family yet to some family, but they regarded their beauty be developed in the unknown future ever in the light of a peculiar and special merit, should be so handsome, was a portion of and were entirely unvisited by any suspithe Haviland creed, fixed, immutable, sub-cion that their intellectual superiority to limely beyond doubt or discussion, like their neighbours was less distinctly marked. every other matter on which it pleased them If, indeed, they did not believe themselves to make up their minds. It was, perhaps, to be not only the handsomest but the cleva fortunate circumstance, that they had un- erest people in the world, they certainly divided convictions on these points, for they did not draw the line at any of their own were not remarkable for concord; and their acquaintance, or short of distinguished cemutual admiration contributed materially to lebrities in politics, literature, and the arts. the existence of such good feeling as did, Though thus satisfactorily convinced of after a gusty and uncertain fashion, prevail their own intellectual superiority, they were among them. The Havilands were tall; not people who, in the abstract, thought therefore shortness of stature was not only much of talent. Of course they had itincompatible with beauty, it became a de- they were Havilands-just as they had in formity. Talk of a short person to, or in each of their houses a pair of globes and a the presence of, a Haviland, and, if the short medicine-chest, because it was proper, and person were otherwise of any social impor- a matter of course, not that they undertance, the Haviland would reply in a tone stood the use of either; but they regarded of polite deprecatory commiseration. But it as very well for people who were obliged if the individual in question were of no to exert themselves;' and they naturally social importance whatever-in which case entertained some contempt for such perthe inconvenience of the introduction of such sons, and were haunted with a doubt an individual into polite conversation at all, whether they were perfectly respectable. would be hinted in look and tone-the Hav- For though the wealth which had, if possiiland would reply with undisguised con- ble, elevated the Havilands in their own tempt. The Havilands had bright complex- estimation, had been but recently imported ions; therefore, to venture the expression into the family history by Stephen Haviof an opinion that beauty could co-exist with land's succession to his uncle's property, the absence of pink cheeks and very red lips and the marriage of two of his sisters with in the hearing of a Haviland, was to expose rich men, they had always been moderately yourself to scorn and contumely. Per- well off, and quite removed from the catehaps you had a partiality for ghouls,' it gory of families whose members were conwould be surmised; or, really, they had demned to 'exert themselves.' Female memvery bad taste, no doubt, but they never bers, of course; there was no infraction could see the charms of pasty-faces;' for of the dignity of the Havilands in the men the female members of the family especially entering the learned professions, or obwere obtuse persons, utterly devoid of any taining the best come-at-able Government sense of humour, and who mistook broad as- or other situations, as in the case of Stephen sertion for decision of judgment, and blunt Haviland; but no female of the name had contradiction for noble candour, incapable of ever helped herself' to any profession exdissimulation. The Havilands had straight cept matrimony, or condescended to exernoses, abundant dark hair, small sharp white cise any art or industry for the gratification teeth, and neat little heads, which found fa- or the service of any human being- a cirvour in the eyes of hairdressers, and from a cumstance which was a legitimate source phrenological point of view were calculated of pride and contentment. The personal to inspire despair; therefore, any irregu- beauty and the most marked characteristics
Her success in this instance had given her fresh courage, and had brisked up her spirits to a point from which they had not since fallen. She had escaped the constant society of all or any of her incomparable girls;' she had secured the society of a very charming and superior person, who was a stranger to them; the old lady did not confess, even to herself, how much this circumstance had to do with her comfort;-and Stephen was coming home.
of the Havilands were derived from the and herself.
Yes, that was the great point, -Stephen was coming home. Mrs. Haviland had been very quiet about it, as was her way, and no one but God and herself knew how she felt. She had borne the calamity of her blindness, which had come upon her slowly, by almost imperceptible and painless degrees, with great patience, until the good news reached her. When she knew that her son, a rich man, with a good position in society ready for him, was coming home in the prime of life,.after a creditable career, with all the means, and with unimpaired powers of enjoyment, and that she should never see his face again, then the full sense of the intensity and the immensity of the calamity that had befallen her came suddenly to her, and the patient woman, who had borne good and evil fortune with submissive meekness, fell into a helpless rage of grief. It could not be, surely it could not be, that others should see his face, and she never more. What was that face to any one in all the world in comparison to what it was to her? When his sisters said they should be so glad to see Stephen again, she felt angry. What was their gladness to hers? and she was not to Mrs. Haviland loved her son with the see him, never to see him! There was a pride and devotedness common to mothers; miniature of him, painted when he was a but if the exact truth could have been as- boy, and it had never been, for all the certained about the gentle old lady's senti- years of his absence, out of reach of the ments, it might have appeared that she ra- mother's hand. Latterly, she had been satther admired than loved her daughters, isfied to know that it was there, to touch it, and that her self-congratulations on the un- to think about it, to remember it. But doubtedly felicitous fact that they were all now a horrid pang came to her. Did she three married off,' were intensified by the remember it? Could she be sure that her sense of freedom which their having de- memory, her fancy, would continue to reparted to adorn other homes, by their produce it exactly as it was? People said beauty, graces, and virtues, left her to en- the deaf grow dumb because they lose the joy. The old lady, with all her gentleness, recollection of words, because memory fails was not devoid of character, though she to reproduce sound. If the memory of lacked the noble energy of self-assertion sight failed her! What a horrible thought! which distinguished the real Havilands; She would try, she would exercise it, and she had given evidence of that in her not on this precious thing, this great pricespirited, though wordless, resistance to the less treasure, at first, but on common overtures of her three daughters and their things. Then she would take some object three husbands, when her blindness ren- of ornament or use in her hands, and turn it dered it necessary for her to have a compan- over, and describe it to herself, like a child ion, which had astonished the Havilands saying a lesson, and be calmed, when she
found she had not forgotten what such after she had been a very short time with things looked like. Again, letting her her, as well as she afterwards understood mind brood over the picture, she would Mrs. Haviland's son. She understood everygrow frightened at the remembrance that body now, though she had not always poshe was not like that when he went away, sessed such perspicacity, or, at least, had when she had seen him last, not a boy, but not always given it fair play, keeping it ena grown man, and changed. She could tirely unblinded by passion, unprejudiced sometimes see him in her mind, behind her by feeling. She liked the study of characclosed lids, it seemed to her, as he was ter as an intellectual problem, and when, then; not very often, but she comforted as in the present instance, the accuracy of herself by remembering that the vision had such study was likely to redound to her own not even at the first been constant. But interest, she applied herself to it with double what if she came to confuse the two and zest, purpose, and concentration. The neither remained distinct? What if she sketch she had given Mr. Eliot Foster of lost his face in the near past as in the far, the family politics' of the Havilands was and never could see him as he had been any correct in every particular. She was no more? There was a pain in the fear, more less skilful in the science of induction, than terrible and intense even than the suffering apt and accurate in observation, and she which came with the knowledge that she had not been long an inmate of Mrs. Havicould never note the change which time had land's house at Meriton, before she could, wrought in him, could never compare the had need been, have drawn perfectly reson who should return to her with the son who cognisable portraits-physical, moral, and had left her; could never see how he bore intellectual - of Mesdames Marsh, Fanhimself in his prosperous prime. The great shaw, and Burdet. Not one of the three joy touched the slumbering chords of the ladies had yet had the advantage of seeing great sorrow; and the brave, kind, patient the 'decent, deserving person,' whose beauty old heart was sorely wrung. For such and style would have disagreeably astonweakness Mrs. Haviland's daughters could ished them, and which they could not posnot possibly have found, not to say sympa- sibly have ignored or denied, however they thy, but toleration. They had borne their might have undervalued them, although mother's affliction with exemplary resigna- Miss Peyton had not the advantage of being tion. At her time of life, they had seve- a Haviland. rally remarked, with great concord of feeling, and much to the admiration of their hearers, she could not expect to retain the use of all her faculties; and really, considering she was so very well off, and could command competent attendance, they thought blindness was not the most trying form in which natural decay could exhibit itself. There was a very deserving, decent sort of person, who had been highly recommended by Mr. Burdett's solicitor, at present with their mother, who read to her, and suited her very nicely. Of course these things were very lamentable, but stil! And so the three ladies, Mrs. Marsh, Mrs. Fanshaw, and Mrs. Burdett, arranged the matter very much to their satisfaction. Mrs. Haviland was not aware of the philosophical nature of their views concerning her, neither were they conscious of the strife and suffering she endured. She said nothing about it, and the only human being who divined any part of it, who had any perception of the impetus the trial had received from the expected return of Stephen Haviland, was the very deserving, decent person' who was destined to change the Haviland estimate of her, after a fashion as unwelcome as it was unexpected.
Julia Peyton understood Mrs. Haviland
Though she had not in herself any corresponding depth of feeling by which to plumb the profoundness of Mrs. Haviland's grief, Julia had keenness of intelligence, which supplied its place so far as comprehension was concerned, and sufficient tact and grace of manner to produce a very suc cessful and not in the least intrusive imitation of sympathy, which it would be a superficial judgment to pronounce feigned. It was real so far as it went, for the old lady really interested and touched the feelings of her companion; it did not go so far as it seemed, that was all. Julia Peyton's first reflection, when the old lady's heart was unveiled before her keen eyes, was, that of course the son thus loved and longed for was a very different and inferior person to the sublime creature his mother believed him, but that if he at all resembled her description of him- if that were not entirely a fancy sketch-she rather expected to find Stephen Haviland a person whom she might like, and should be able to manage easily, if it should happen to suit her purpose to try. Experience had justified this first impression, though with a difference. Julia Peyton had found Stephen Haviland a person whom she could and did like, and she had been able to manage him—but not easily.