« ElőzőTovább »
THAT GIRL IN BLACK.
To Despard Norreys, when at the end of two busy years he found himself again in England, it appeared as if he had been absent five or six times as long as was really the
One evening, after dining at the house of the friend whose influence had obtained for him the appointment which had just expired, he accompanied the ladies of the family to an evening-party in the neighborhood. He had never been in the house before; the faces about him were unfamiliar. Feeling a little “ out of it,” he strolled into a small room where a select quartette was absorbed at whist, and seated himself in a corner somewhat out of the glare of light, which, since his illness, rather painfully affected his eyes. Suddenly the thought of Maisie Fforde rose before him as in a vision.
“I wonder if she is married,” he said to himself. Sure to be so, I should think. Yet I should probably have heard of it.” And even as the words formed themselves in his mind, a still familiar voice caught his ear. Thank
you. Yes, this will do nicely. I will wait here till Mabel is ready to go.” And a lady — a girl, he
came forward into the room toward the corner where he was sitting. He rose at once; she approached him quickly, then, with a sudden, incoherent exclamation, made as if she would have drawn back. But it was too late; she could not, if she wished, have pretended she did not see him.
Mr. Norreys,” she began; “I had no idea
That I was in England,” he said. “No, I have only just returned. Pardon me for having startled you, Miss Fforde — Lady Margaret, I mean. I on my side had no idea of meeting you here, or
“Or you would not have come,” she, in her turn, interrupted him with. Thank
you; you are frank, at all events,” she added, haughtily. He turned away. There was, perhaps, some involuntary suggestion of reproach in his manner, for hers changed.
“No," she said, “I am very wrong. Please stay for two minutes, and listen to me. I have hoped and prayed
that I might never meet you again, but at the same time I made a vow — a real vow," she went on, girlishly, “ that if I did so, I would swallow my pride and
- and ask you to forgive me. There, now — I have said it. That is all. Will you, Mr. Norreys?"
“Will you not sit down for a moment, Lady Margaret?” he said, and as she did so, he, too, drew a chair nearer to hers.
" It is disagreeable to be overheard,” he went on, in a tone of half-apology. “ You ask me what I cannot now do," he added.
The girl reared her head, and the softness of her manner hardened at once.
Then,” she said, we are quits. It does just as well. My conscience is clear now."
So is mine, as to that particular of- of what you call forgiving you," he said, and his voice was a degree less calm. “I cannot do so now, for — I forgave you long, long ago."
Maisie looked up, with tear-dimmed eyes:
' Oh, do say it again - don't think me not nice, oh, don't,” she entreated. But why – oh, why, if you care for me, though I can scarcely believe it, why let my horrible money come between us? I shall never care for anybody else. There now, I have said it !” And she tried to hide her face, but he would not let her.
“Do you really mean it, dear?” he said. “If you do, I- I will swallow my pride, too. Shall I ?” She looked up, half-laughing now. "Quits again, you
Oh, dear, how dreadfully happy I am! And you know, as you are so fond of work now, you will have lots to do. All manner of things for poor people that I want to manage, and don't know how - and all our own — I won't say 'my' any more — tenants to look after — and — and
“That girl in black' herself to take care of, and make as happy as all my love and strength and my life's devotion can," said Despard. "Maisie, my darling, God grant
” that you may never regret your generosity and good
“No, no,” she murmured, “yours are far greater, far, far, greater."
OLIÈRE, the name assumed by JEAN BAP
TISTE POQUELIN, a French dramatist; born
at Paris, January 15, 1622; died there, February 17, 1673. His father, a prosperous tradesman, held also the position of valet-de-chambre in the royal household, and designed his son for a similar career; but, yielding to the boy's urgency, he sent him to the College of Orléans, where he studied five years, and was admitted as an advocate in 1645. Young Poquelin had become attracted toward the stage; he joined a troupe of actors, with whom, assuming the name of Molière, he made circuits through the provinces until 1658, when the company came to Paris, under the patronage of the Duke of Orléans, and was called the “Troupe de Monsieur”; in 1665 it took the name of the “ Troupe du Roi,” and not long afterward it united with another company and formed the " Théâtre Français."
Molière, besides being an admirable actor, had begun to write for the stage, producing at first adaptations from Italian pastorals. His first regular comedy, L'Etourdi, was brought out at Lyons in 1653. During the last fifteen years of his life he produced more than thirty dramatic works, of which fully one-half are considered among the masterpieces of the French stage. Among these are Les Précieuses Ridicules (1659); Sganarelle (1660); L'École des Maris (1661); L'École des Femmes (1663); Le Festin de Pierre