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THE STORY OF A LADY AND HER LOVER.

CHAPTER XIII.

pain than of pleasure.". In this soberhaps too far. Heathcote, to be sure, had negation is enibodied the happiness of a younger brother, but then he was well Gibbon's life.

known to be a delicate, consumptive boy.

To the ladies of the family he was more interesting for various reasons. Rose and her mother regarded him with per

fectly simple and uncomplicated views. From Fraser's Magazine. If he should happen to prove agreeable, IN TRUST.

if things fitted in and came right, why then — the arrangement was one which might have its advantages. The original estate of Mount which was comprehended

in the entail was not a large one, but still HEATHCOTE MOUNTFORD.

it was not unworthy consideration, espe. The visit of the unknown cousin had cially when he had a little and she had a thus become a very interesting event to little, besides. Anne, it need not be said, the whole household, though less, per- took no such serious contingency into her haps, to its head than to any one else. thoughts. But she too looked for HeathMr. Mountford flattered himself that he cote's arrival with curiosity, almost with had nothing of a man's natural repug. anxiety. He was one who had been as pance towards his heir. Had that heir she now was, and who had fallen – fallen been five-and-twenty, full of the triumph from that high estate. He had been and confidence of youth, then indeed it loved — as Anne felt herself to be loved; might have been difficult to treat him but he had been betrayed. She thought with the same easy tolerance; for what with awe of the anguish, the horror of ever may be the chances in your own unwilling conviction, the dying out of all favor, it would be difficult to believe that beauty and glory from the world, which it a young man of twenty-five would not, one must have been his to experience. And way or the other, manage to outlive your he had lived long years since then, on this self at sixty;. But Heathcote Mountford changed earth, under these changed skies. had lived, his kinsmen thought, very She began to long to see him with a fernearly as long as himself; he had not vor of curiosity which was mingled with been a young man for these dozen years. pity and sympathy, and yet a certain touch It was half a lifetime since there had been of delicate scorn. How could he have that silly story about the Italian lady. lived after, lived so long, sunk (no doubt) Nothing can be more easy than to add on into a dreamy routine of living, as if mere a few years to the vague estimate of age existence was worth retaining without which we all form in respect to our neigh. hope or love? She was more curious bors; the fellow must be forty if he was about him than she had ever been about a day; and between forty and sixty after any visitor before, with perhaps a far-off all there is so little difference, especially consciousness that all this might happen when he of forty is an old bachelor of to herself, mingling with the vehement habits perhaps not too regular or virtu. conviction that it could never happen,

Mr. Mountford was one of the peo- that she was as far above it and secure ple who habitually disbelieve in the virtue from it as heaven is from the tempests of their neighbors. He had never been and troubles of earth. a man about town, a frequenter of the The much-expected visitor arrived in clubs, in his own person; and there was, the twilight of an October evening just perhaps, a spice of envy in the very bad before dinner, and his first introduction opinion which he entertained of such per to the family was in the indistinct light of

A man of forty used up by late the fire - one of the first fires of the seahours and doubtful habits is not younger son, which lighted up the drawing-room

- is as a matter of fact older - than a with a fitful ruddy blaze shining upon the respectable married man of sixty taking white dresses of the girls, but scarcely every care of himself, and regular as revealing the elder people in their darker clockwork in all his ways. Therefore he garments. A man in evening dress very looked with good-humored tolerance on often looks his best: but he does not Heathcote, at whose rights under the look romantic — he does not look like a entail he was almost inclined to laugh. hero; the details of his appearance are “ I shall see them all out,” he said to him- too much like those of everybody else. self; nay, he even permitted himself to Anne, looking at bim breathlessly, trying say this to his wife, which was going per-| to get a satisfactory impression of him

VOL. XXXV. 1806

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LIVING AGE,

when the light leaped up for a moment, | at all. For the first time she threw back found him too vigorous, too large, too her thoughts upon the Italian princess lifelike for her fastidious fancy; but Rose whom she had so scorned and condemned. was made perfectly happy by the appear. Perhaps, after all, it was not she who had ance of a man with whom it would not be suffered the least. Anne conjured up a at all necessary, she thought, to be upon picture of that forlorn lady sitting somestilts. The sound of his voice when he where in a dim solitary room in the spoke dispersed ever so many visions. It heart of a great silent palace, thinking was not too serious, as the younger sister over that episode of her youth. Perhaps had feared. It had not the lofty com- it was not she, after all, that was so much posure which the elder had hoped. He in the wrong, gave his arm to Mrs. Mountford with the " I started from Sandhurst only this air of a man not the least detached from morning,” he was saying, “after commit. his fellow-creatures. “There will be a ting all kinds of follies with the boys. frost to-night," he said ; "it is very cold Imagine a respectable person of my years outside; but it is worth while being out in playing football! I thought they would the cold to come into a cosy room like have knocked all the breath out of me : this.” Charley Ashley would have said yet you see I have survived. The young the very same had it not been he who had fellows had a match with men far too walked up to dinner from the rectory. strong for them — and I used to have Heathcote had not been in the house for some little reputation that way in old years, not perhaps ever since all that had days Ísappened, yet he spoke about the cosy “Oh yes, you were a great athlete; you room like any chance visitor. It would played for Oxford in University matches, not be too much to say that there was a and got ever so many goals." certain disgust in the revulsion with “This is startling," Heathcote said ; which Anne turned from him, though no “ I did not know my reputation had travdoubt it was premature to pass judgment elled before me; it is a pity it is not on him in the first five minutes like this. something better worth remembering.

In the light of the dining-room all my's. But what do you know about goals, Miss tery departed, and he was seen as he was. Mountford, if I may make so bold?” A tall man, strong, and well developed, Rose," said that little person, who wi da and very curly hair tinged all was wreathed in smiles; "that is Miss about his temples with gray; his lips smil. Mountford opposite. I am only the ing, his eyes somewhat serious, though youngest. Oh, I heard from Charley kindling now and then with a habit of turn- Ashley all about it! We know about ing quickly round upon the person he was goals perfectly well, for we used to play addressing. Four pairs of eyes . were ourselves long ago in the holidays with turned upon him with great curiosity as Charley and Willie - till mamma put a he took his seat at Mrs. Mountford's stop to it,” Rose added, with a sigh. side; two of them were satisfied, two not

" I should think I put a stop to it! you so. This, Mr. Mountford felt, was not played once, I believe," said Mrs. Mountthe rusty and irregular man about town, ford, with a slight frown, feeling that this for whom he had felt a contempt; still he was a quite unnecessary confidence. was turning gray, which shows a feeble “Oh, much oftener; don't you recolconstitution. At sixty the master of lect, Anne, you played football too, and Mount had not a gray hair in his head. you were capital, the boys said ?” As for Anne, this gray hair was the only Now Anne was, in fact, much troubled satisfactory thing about him. She was by this revelation. She, in her present not foolish enough to conclude that it superlative condition, walking about in a must have turned so in a single night. halo of higher things, to be presented to But she felt that this at least was what stranger who was not a stranger, and, might be expected. She was at the op- no doubt, would soon hear all about her, posite side of the table, and could not but as a football player, a girl who was ath. give a great deal of her attention to him. letic, a tom-boy, neither less nor more! His hair curled in sheer wantonness of She was about to reply with annoyance, life and vigor, though it was gray; his when the ludicrous aspect of it suddenly voice was round, and strong, and melodi-struck her, and she burst into a laugh in

As he sat opposite to her he smiled spite of berself. “ There is such a thing and talked, and looked like a person who as an inconvenient memory,” she said. enjoyed his life. Anne for her own part “ I am not proud of playing football now.'' scarcely took any part in the conversation “I am not at all ashamed of it,” said

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Rose. " I never should have known what he was old ? he is delightful; and so a goal was if I hadn't played. Do you nice-looking, and such pretty curly hair.” play tennis, too, Mr. Heathcote? It is “Hush, my pet, do not be too rapturnot too cold if you are fond of it. Charley ous; he is very nice, I don't deny; but said you were good at anything - good still, let us see how he bears a longer inall round, he said."

spection; one hour at dinner is not "That is a very Aattering reputation, enough to form an opinion. How do you and you must let me thank Mr. Charley, like your cousin Heathcote, Anne ?” whoever he is, for sounding my trumpet.

He is not at all what I expected," But all that was a hundred years ago," Anne said. Heathcote said; and this made up a little “ She expected a Don Quixote ; she exlost ground for him with Anne, for she pected a Lord Byron, with his collar thought she heard something like a sigh. turned down; somebody that talked noth“ You will like to try the covers,

,” said ing but poetry. I am so glad,” said Rose, Mr. Mountford. "I go out very little he is not like that. I shall not mind myself nowadays, and I dare say you be- Mount going to Heathcote now. He is gin to feel the damp, too. I don't pre- just my kind of man, not Anne's at all.” serve so much as I should like to do; No, he is not Anne's kind," said the these girls are always interfering with mother. their false notions; but all the same, I Anne did not say anything. She agreed can promise you a few days' sport.” in their verdict; evidently Heathcote was

“Is it the partridges or the poachers one of those disappointments of which that the young ladies patronize?” Heath- before she met Cosmo the world had been cote said.

full. Many people had excited generally • My dear,” said Mrs. Mountford, her curiosity, if not in the same yet in a “what is the use of calling attention to similar way, and these had disappointed Anne's crotchets ? She has her own way her altogether. She did not blame Heathof thinking, Mr. Heathcote. I tell her cote. If he was unable to perceive his she must never marry a sportsman. But, own position in the world, and the attitude indeed, she has a great deal to say for that was befitting to him, possibly it was herself. It does not seem half so silly not his fault. Very likely it was not his when you hear what she has got to say. fault; most probably he did not know any

Anne presented a somewhat indignant better. You cannot expect a man to act countenance to the laughing glance of the contrary to his nature, Anne said to new cousin. She would not be drawn herself; and she gave up Heathcote with into saying anything whatever in her own a little gentle disdain. This disdain is defence.

the very soul of toleration. It is so much “ You will find a little sport, all the more easy to put up with the differences, same,” said Mr. Mountford; “but I go the discrepancies of other people's belief out very seldom myself; and I should or practice, when you find them inferior, think you must be beginning to feel the not to be judged by your standards. This damp too."

was what Anne did. She was not angry “Not much," said the younger man, with him for not being the Heathcote she with a laugh. He was not only athletic had looked for. She was tolerant: be and muscular, but conscious of his knew no better; if you look for gold in a strength, and somewhat proud of it. The pebble, it is not the pebble's fault if you vigor in him seemed an affront to all do not find it. This was the mistake she Anne's preconceived ideas, as it was to had made. She went to the other end of her father's comfortable conviction of the the room where candles were burning on heir's elderliness; his very looks seemed a table and chairs set out around. It was to cast defiance at these two discomfited out of reach of all the chatter about critics. That poor lady in the Italian Heatlicote in which slie did not agree. palace! it could not have been she that She took a book, and set it up before her was so much in the wrong, after all. to make a screen before her gaze, and,

“I like him very much, mamma,” cried thus defended, went off at once into her Rose, when they got into the drawing- private sanctuary and thought of Cosmo. room ; “I like him immensely: he is one Never was there a transformation scene of the very nicest men I ever saw. Do more easily managed. The walls of the let us make use of him now he is here. Mount drawing-room divided, they gave Don't you know that dance you always place to a group of the beeches, with two promised us : let us have the dance figures seated underneath, or to a bit of while Heathcote is here. Old! who said the commonplace road, but no longer

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commonplace a road that led to the “ Hush, you silly child ; when a gentleManor. What right bad a girl to grumble man comes to be papa's age he can't be at her companions, or any of their ways, expected to care for the company of girls when she could escape in the twinkling of even when they are his own. I will take an eye into some such beautiful place, into my work and sit with him by and by. You some such heavenly company, which was must not give your cousin reason to think all her own? But yet there would come that you are undutiful to papa." back occasionally, as through a glass, an Oh, never mind,” said Rose; " Mr. image of the Italian lady upon whom she Heathcote, come, and be on my side had been so hard a little while before. against mamma. It is so seldom we have Poor Italian lady! evidently, after all, gentlemen staying here - indeed, there Heathcote's life had not been blighted. are very few gentlemen in the county Had she, perhaps, instead of injuring him, there are daughters, nothing but daughonly blighted her own ?

ters, in most of the houses. And mamma The softly lighted room, the interchange has promised us a dance whenever we of soft voices at one end, the figure at the could get enough men. I want her to other intent upon a book, lighting up eyes give it while you are here.” full of dreams, seemed a sort of enchanted “ While I am here ; but

you vision of home to Heathcote Mountford pose I am a dancing man?” when, after an interval, he came in alone, “You can dance, I am sure,” said Rose. hesitating a little as he crossed the thresh- “I can see it in your face; and then you

He was not used to home. A long would make acquaintance with all the time ago his own house had been closed neighbors. It would be dreadful when up at the death of his mother; not so you come to live here after our time if much closed up but that now and then he you did not know a soul. You must went to it with a friend or two, estab. make acquaintance with everybody; and it lishing their bachelorhood in the old would be far more fun to have a ball faded library and drawing-room, which than a quantity of dreary dinner-parties. could be smoked in, and had few associa- Do come here and be on my side against tions. But the women's part of the place mainma!" was all shut up, and he was not used to “ How can I be against my kind kinsany woman's part in his life. This, how woman," he said laughing, “who has ever, was all feminine; he went in as to taken me in and received me so graciousan enchanted castle. Even Mrs. Mount. ly, though I belong to the other branch? ford, who was commonplace enough, and That would be ingratitude of the basest little Rose, who was a pretty little girl sort.” and no more, seemed wonderful creatures “ Then you must be against me,” said to him who had dropped out of acquaint Rose. ance with such creatures ; and the elder “ That would be impossible !” he said, daughter was something more. He felt a with another laugh; and drew his chair little sly, middle-aged as he was, as he close to the table and threw himself into went in. And this place had many asso- the discussion. Rose's bright little coun. ciations; one time or other it would be tenance lighted up, her blue eyes shone, his own; one time or other it might come her cheeks glowed. She got a piece of to pass that he, like his old kinsman, paper and a pencil, and began to reckon would pass by the drawing-room, and pre up who could be invited.

“ The men fer the ease of the library, his own chair first,” she said, with the deepest gravity, and his papers. At this idea he laughed furtively applying her pencil to her lips within himself, and went up to Mrs. to make it mark the blacker as in old Mountford on her sofa, who stopped talk. schoolroom days ; " the men must go ing when she saw who it was.

down first, for we are always sure of “Mr. Mountford has gone to his own plenty of girls — but you cannot have a

I was to tell you he has something dance without men. First of all, I will to do.”

put down you. You are one to start with “Oh, papa has always an

- Mr. Heathcote Mountford; how funny cried Rose;" he never comes here in the it is to have a gentleman of the same evening. I am sure this room is far name, who is not papa!” nicer, and we are far nicer, than sitting “Ah! that is because you never had a there all by himself among those musty brother!” said Mrs. Mountford, with a books. And he never reads them even! sigh; "it never seemed at all strange to he puts on his dressing-gown and sits at us at home. I beg your pardon, I am his ease

excuse!"

sure, Mr. Heathcote ; of course it would

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have interfered with you; but for girls please, as many as you can get : shall I not to have a brother is sad for them, put down twenty for Sandhurst ? Now poor things ! It always makes a great we have a real ball in a moment,” said deal of difference in a girl's life.”

Rose, with enthusiasm. It had been the “What am I to say?" asked Heath- object of her desires all her life. cote. “I am very sorry, but — how can I * Does Miss Mountford take no interbe sorry when I have just become con- est in the dance ? " Heathcote asked. scious of my privileges; it is an extremely “Anne ? Oh, she will take it up when pleasant thing to step into this vacant it comes near the time! She will do a post.”

great deal, she will arrange everything; “ A second cousin is not like a brother,” | but she does not take any pleasure in said Rose; “but, anyhow, at a dance you planning; and then,” said Rose, dropping would be the man of the house. And you her voice to a whisper, “hush ! don't look do dance ? if you don't, you must learn to make her think we are talking of her, before the ball. We will teach you, she does not like to be talked of — Mr. Anne and I."

Heathcote! Anne is – engaged.” “I can dance a little, but I have no My dear child !” cried her mother. doubt lessons would do me good. Now “Mr. Heathcote, this is all nonsense; you go on; I want to see my comrades and must not pay the least attention to what coadjutors."

this silly child says. Engaged !-- what Rose paused with her pencil in her folly, Rose ! you know your sister is nothhand. “Mr. Heathcote Mountford, that sing of the kind. It is nothing but imagi. is one; that is a great thing to begin with. nation; it is only your nonsense, it And then there is then there is — wino is shall I put down next? who is there else,

66 You wouldn't dare, mamma, to say mamma? Of course Charley Ashley; but that to Anne," said Rose, with a very sol. he is a clergyman, he scarcely counts. emn face. That is why a garden party is better than “Dare! I hope I should dare to say a dance in the country, because the anything to Anne. Mr. Heathcote will clergymen all count for that. I think think we are a strange samily when the there is somebody staying with the Wood- mnother wouldn't dare to say anything to heads, and there is sure to be half a dozen the daughter, and her own child taunts at Meadowlands; shall I put down six her with it. - I don't know what Mr. for Meadowlands ? They must invite Heathcote would think of us,” said Mrs. some one if they have not so many; all Mountford, vehemently, “if he believed our friends must invite some one; we what you said." must insist upon it,” Rose said.

“I do not think anything but what you My dear, that is always the difficulty; tell me,” said Heathcote, endeavoring to you know that is why we have had to smooth the troubled waters. “I know give it up so often. In the vacation there there are family difficulties everywhere. is Willie Ashley, he is always some- Pray don't think of making explanations. body."

I am sure whatever you do will be kind, “He must come,” cried Rose, ener. and whatever Miss Mountford does will getically, "for three days — that will be spring from a generous heart. One needs enough for three days; Charley must only to look at her to see that.” write and tell him. And then there is - Neither of the ladies thought he had who is there more, mamma? Mr. Heath- paid any attention to Anne, and they were cote Mountford, that is an excellent be surprised; for it had not occurred ginning, and he is an excellent dancer, them that Anne, preoccupied as she was, and will go on all the evening through, could have any interest for the new.comer. and dance with everybody. Still, we can- They were startled by the quite unnot give a ball with only one man. founded confidence in Anne which he

“ I will send for my brother and some thus took it upon him to profess. They more of those young fellows from Sand. exchanged looks of surprise. “Yes, Anne hurst, Mrs. Mountford, if you can put has a generous heart; no one can deny them up.”

that,” Mrs. Mountford said. It was in “If we can put them up!” Rose all the tone of a half-unwilling admission, but threw herself into the arms of this but it was all the more effective on that new cousin, her cyes all but filled with account. Anne had listened to their tears of gratitude. She gave a little voices, half pleased thus to escape intershriek of eagerness.

Of course we can ruption, half disgusted to have more put them up, oh! as many as ever you I and more proof of the frivolity of the

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