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cneorum; it was trained over some frame-work, and covered with richly fragrant pink tresses of blossom from the end of every shoot.
"Oh what a beauty!" ejaculated Beresford, stooping to inhale the perfume—greater than that of any other spring flower.
"Yes," said Miss Dora: "and I don't let the gardener touch it. Margaret has promised to take care of it while I am away."
"You are going away!" exclaimed Lancelot with the blankest face in the world.
"Yes. To the North. Don't you think the colour lovely?" which was addressed to Beresford. And they grew deeply interested over a neighbouring bed of dwarf red Van Thol tulips, and a white Banksia, already in bud about a vase, vesting it with drooping sprays.
And as they moved from place to place, noticing such sweet incidents as make a garden ever-living company, it chanced that Margaret Charley and Beresford passed on so far before that Lancelot could say to little Dora (over a bed green with promised lily of the valley) the prosaic words—" Why are you going away?"
"Because—because papa and mamma like," she answered, flushing up. Then, more composedly, as an assignable reason, she added, " You know my eldest brother is alone :" and cruelly wounded herself with certain sweet-briar spines meanwhile.
"O Dora, don't go away, for—for my sake?"
It all came out after that; and, somehow or other, he got possession of the little fingers in which the thorns had stuck, under plea of taking them out: and the tears in her eyes were not all caused by their smart. The mischief is done, and prudent Mr. and Mrs. Charley are too late with their precaution of sending her to the North.
Never had Lancelot felt more brave, never had Dora felt more
Christian World Xaaarin; April, 18W.J
timid than in consequence of that little conversation in the garden. There was a tumult of delicious happiness in her mind, poor child, as she thought of it afterwards, when her hero had ridden away. Yet she shrank unspeakably from confession to even her mother; she told Margaret only in the twilight that evening, when it was too dark for her foolish face to be seen. No more than the birds of the air did she realize the imprudence of the whole business; for instance, that should they set up housekeeping, there was nothing to live on; whence any body who likes may conclude that she was a little goose. The future was all a delightful, golden haze, enveloping a garden of Eden.
Her parents enjoyed none of the agreeable illusion. Happy Mr. Charley and his placid wife were sorely troubled. They had foreseen, but rather late, whither matters were tending; and, with a jealous guardianship for their child's happiness, had resolved on sending her out of harm's way. For they considered it harm to have her affections touched in anywise, unless by such a marriage as they could heartily approve. They believed there was a bloom upon the heart that could be brushed off without any overt act; after which experience the smile would not be so bright, nor the voice so joyous for a space: they believed they ought to save her from this suffering, if possible. And so they devised the journey to their original home in the North, which Mr. Lancelot's precipitancy rendered nugatory, as aforesaid. The magnificence of the alliance which they were trying to escape, alliance with a Latymer of Kyle, never struck either of these simple parents.
Meanwhile Mrs. Latymer could never say enough about their artful cunning. She was far too wise, knew the wor ]t'altogether too well to believe one word of the story that the young lady was about to be withdrawn to a hundred miles' distance without Lancelot's knowledge. She knew better; she could unravel the whole tissue of scheming by which he had been trepanned. As if she had been present she detailed manoeuvres that never had occurred; and found great relief to her feelings from her own eloquence.
"My poor boy has fallen a victim to the artifices of these designing people. I had a distinct presentiment of it from the beginning. And what will Lord Bar-sinister say?"
After which climax her neuralgia would wax again; and there is no doubt that the pride of the poor woman endured agonies enough at the idea of her son being suitor to a tradesman's daughter.
Mr. Latymer on this occasion simply wrapt himself in his dignity. And what an ample cloak it afforded his kinsfolk and acquaintance knew. It concealed the man entirely, heart and all, and was apt to blind his eyes. Thus covered, he viewed the affair as preposterous, pooh-pooh'd the whole business, and utterly refused to open any communication with Mr. Charley.
Shut up in his stronghold of a study, with his book-shelves and his cases of Irish curiosities, and his pigeon-holed cabinet of rigidlyticketed papers, and his petty literary pursuits, and his pedigree on the wall, among maps of the Latymer estates,—he was perpetually the principal figure of his own contemplation; he grew into an egotism sadly disproportioned to his true value. Scarcely did he perceive that the house (both race and manfioni was decaying and falling away. Except when Mr. Etough came to visit him, he rarely looked at the facts of his position. And that gentleman had an insinuating way of putting the circumstance that most of his patron's rental went to pay the interest on mortgages aad other incumbrances. But Mr. Latymer never said in words—■ "Aprh moi le deluge." He simply (and comfortably) did not think about it. He lived mainly in an unreal world, and scribbled sentiment tin a faultless handwriting) con caming the past. Also concerning a certain ideal future, when he should have shuffled off this mortal
coil; for poets (especially in Germany) have long ago discovered a "Spirit-land," or a " Silent-land," where the souls of men (quite irrespective of God and Saviour), pace about among kindred shadows, and converse chiefly of deeds done in the body. Their views of things don't seem to differ much from what they had on earth, nevertheless they gaze on mortals with chilling eyes. "The land of the great departed" is this heathen depot called; but whither the souls of the vulgar departed wend has not yet been poetised. Any common Tartarus or Elysium is presumably good enough for them. Mr. Latymer felt interested about the distinguished "Spirit-land," and had even composed some blank verse on the subject. Yet he occasionally read (when he came to its turn in the scanty evening prayers) such words as, " Absent from the body, present with the Lord;" but he could see in that nearness neither glory nor joy.
Lancelot grew stormier in the conference with his impassible father than he had ever been. He was accustomed as a boy to have his own way, and so the parents were but reaping as they had sown, which harvest is as sure as any from grain. "She's good enough to be a princess," he averred. "I only wish I were a prince, to make her one. If I have any younger son's portion, sir, as you,intimate, give it to me, and let me go and make a home for her."
"The ardour of youth !" observed Mr. Latymer, with the air of a dissector of emotions. " The impetuosity of ungoverned feeling! the eagerness of the untried heart! Ah! how well I remember—"
"Sir, if you remember having loved as I love, surely you must excuse me."
More than a little colour rose to the high, white forehead of the Master of Kyle; some string of early recollection must have been touched: he even shunned his son's eyes.
"I am not one of those who, in the coolness of riper years, disbelieve or despise the passion," he
(CArurlkm World Mae Hint, April, vm.
said, "but I would reduce it to reason. Hereafter you will be grateful to me for the determined veto that I put on this subject. As the admirable Mr. Locke says—"
"Father," returned Lancelot, his eyes growing luminous, "hear me before you speak further. I was drifting into a mei-e animal, when this love came to save me. Nothing has ever roused my higher feelings like it, I have longed to be better, and—holier. I—I was getting into bad habits—Bcresford can tell you. I've gone many a night to drink at the 'Arms' with sporting fellows of my acquaintance. Now I'm lifted out of that, thank God. I couldn't do it now."
"Glad to hear it," said his father, with severity, "I had hoped that the traditions of his race would prevent any son of mine acting unworthily. But it was youthful effervescence—just a freak of youth: like this."
The offences were much on a par, then! An opportune knock came to the door: old Devlin with a card on a salver.
"M. Guido Pescara, Professor of the French and Italian languages."
Now, Mr. Latymer much enjoyed dispensing any little patronage that came in his way; and he had received a letter from a maiden sister who dwelt in Cheltenham, and had some money, concerning this gentleman, "a delightful refugee," as she termed him. The lady had commanded that her niece and namesake Beresford should, therefore, receive lessons from him. But before Mr. Latymer gave audience to the foreigner, he had one last sentence for his son, which he declared with the advantage of his full height and most martial air, standing on the faded rug, and the gold snuff-box in his hand:
"Lancelot, it is the duty of a race like ours to be self-denying—to preserve intact the purity of blood transmitted to us from prior generations. Private feelings must bo sacrificed to this imperative public duty, which could never be fulfilled were a man to yield to every fancy that crossed his brain, like this
Christian World itaoariiu, April, I960.]
fancy of yours. Not a word more on the subject, I beg," waving his hand, majestically, " nothing more!"
Lancelot flung out of the library with such vigour as nearly to knock over a dark-brown gentleman, with very black moustache, and eyes to match, who was being ushered thither by the old servant. Sympathising eyes followed him from Devlin, the ancient retainer. Perfectly well the latter knew what it was all about, and he was sorry for his favourite young master, at the same time that he thought Miss Charley guilty of the highest presumption. The lower classes of Irish are essentially the stanchest aristocrats in Europe.
"M. di Pescara!" said Mr. Latymer, with a courteous bow, by way of introduction, and not being very sure of what vulgar tongue was comprehended by the stranger.
"Thanks, M'sicur, but without the di," said the other, with a deprecating motion of his fingers. "We, poor exiles, must lay aside every token of what you call pretence— pretension. Guido Pescara, if you please, Monseigneur."
He spoke English very well, as Italians often do, yet seeming to speak it more easily than he comprehended the rapidity of its colloquial use. And Mr. Latymer, who had all an insular's abhorrence of expressing himself in any language but his own, experienced a large sense of relief.
"Your name is not unknown in history, Signor," observed Mr. Latymer, conquering that irrational inclination to speak broken English to the foreigners by way of being more readily comprehended, which we all have felt in like position. Now, if he had been questioned as to what the Name had done, his answer would have been indistinct; but only a Civil Service Commissioner knows everything,
"Ah, M'sicur, in times long past, my ancestors—but why speak of them? The glory is gone—my Italy bows beneath a foreign yoke—my Italy is degraded, and her faithful sons must fly."
Pescara's countenance had assinned a most miserable expression; it seemed as if a very little would make the black eyes overflow with tears. The face was not young, consequently could not bear emotion well; perhaps it had reached forty years, but it was still eminently handsome, which a scar across cheek and chin scarcely marred. "0, my Italy!" he reiterated, and checked himself with something like a sob.
"Then my sister, Miss Latymer, of Cheltenham, is not misinformed when she states that political circumstances have compelled you to become a refugee?" The speaker might have chosen simpler words for a foreign understanding, but his vocabulary was in general magniloquent.
"My Italy is oppressed. I tried to make her break the chain; I tried to help her in crushing the tyrant; I failed: I am here. Guido Pescara can tell no more. A necessity of my nature and position is retirement— an avoidance of spies. The tyrant has spies everywhere on the poor refugee; but will they find me out in Irlanda? No, I say to myself, no. Therefore go secretly to Irlanda, dive under the water, and rise for breath far away."
All this, delivered with much gesticulation and emphasis, with falterings for words which only added to the effect. Mr. Latymer was profoundly interested. "Bless my goal:''' he thought, "some nobleman in disguise—perhaps a Prince or a sovereign Duke." All the romance of his romantic nature was appealed to and responded.
"M. di Pescara," he began, with a bow.
"No, no, Signor! not the di, I beseech!'' his olive-lraed hand raised deprecatingly.
"Permit me to differ with you, Sir; in the private circle of society, allow me to add, in the privacy of friendship," with a very low obeisance, "your rank may surely be remembered without danger. I was about to mention, that I shall tomorrow do myself the honour of making a formal call at your hotel; and if you can confer on us the
favour of giving lessons to my only daughter—"
"With pleasure," said the poor Italian, sensibly gladdened by the only hint of substantial help he had received. "Also, Mister Lat-tymer," he pronounced every syllable as distinct as a separate word—"it is not an hotel."
The fact came out that he had procured a lodging the night previously, in the house which also lodged Rev. Oriel Chetwynd for a permanency, and had received from that gentleman a letter of introduction to a certain "M'sieur Carley," as one likely to give him employment.
Mr. Latymer at his bookshelves afterwards (Cosmopolitan Biographical Dictionary, vol.vii., letter P.) found such an array of distinguished deeds (in statesmanship and war), under the name Pescara, that he was more than ever confirmed in his impression (founded also on the mysterious hint about spies) that his visitor was a person of great rank and distinction, who found it convenient for political reasons to conceal himself. These impressions being conveyed to Mrs. Latymer, she also must study the articles "Pescara;" and was edified by finding that he of the sixteenth century was husband to Vittoria Colonna, and a generalissimo. The incident somewhat relieved the sombreness that had settled on their minds in connection with Lancelot's unfortunate love-affair.
Though there was nothing in the world to be done among Mr. Charley's juvenile shaving-brush plantations with a " spud," he was fond of carrying that implement as his companion about his grounds. It looked rural, and occupied his hands. Most of the newly-budding twigs on his little trees he knew by sight, and would fain have caressed them into more rapid growth. Armed with his implement, he had been thismorning inspectinghis labourers
[Cfcrttlian World Magazine. April,
as they sowed some breadths of land with the mostapproved modern mixture of grasses for the summer meadows; with proper proportions of foxtail, timothy, sheep's fescue, Italian ryegrass, cocksfoot, "best known for feeding and milking qualities," said the advertisement. Mr. Charley was noted for doing things in the best manner, as per advertisement and latest discoveries, yet it was wonderful what a sum his farming cost him, and how slender was the return.
While walking about on the edges of the field, and thinking many things apart from the meadows: thinking, above all. with sinking heart, of his little Dora, and how she had hidden her face in his breast when he essayed to talk to her on the previous evening, and whispered, "O dear papa, I could not help it; I could not indeed! I did not know it myself; but, O dear papa, I'll give him up if you think it wrong!" and trembled so that he could only soothe her, and blame himself in his thoughts ;—while thus chewing the cud of sweet and bitter reflection, he became aware of the approach of no less a personage than the priest of the parish. It was by a loud breezy voice, shouting,— "Boys, God bless your work!" on which all lowly doffed their hats and caps as they answered, "God save yer reverence kindly."
"Morning, Sir," he said to their employer, with an air which rendered the courtesy almost discourteous. "Fine day for the season. Grass-seeds, eh?"
So they exchanged a few sentiments on that subject, for the priest was a keen practical farmer, who could have bought and sold Mr. Charley with all his theoretical Treatises on Agriculture. But it was not to look at hayseeds that he had undergone the toil of leaving his gig (which stood by itself in the road, a strangely high-hung vehicle, yellow-lined), and Father Sylvester had attained a size which rendered Buch exertion laborious; though worse the getting back.
"To tell you the truth, I was going up to your mansion, Mr.
Christian World ilagannt, April 1S60.
Charley, on a little matter of business."
Now he had come at Christmas on another little matter of business, being to evolve from Mr. Charley's pockets a contribution towards an enlarged Roman Catholic chapel ; likewise to persuade that gentleman that himself (Father Sylvester) and his coadjutor would be the most disinterested channels possible for transmission to the poor of Mr. Charley's Christmas bounties. Failure in both instances had stamped Mr. Charley as a highly illiberal Protestant: and the shadow of the interview had never left Father Sylvester's ecclesiastical soul.
"Perhaps you have done it on this very day, Sir, here, with these very men." He spoke in a suppressed tone, with his little blue eyes fixed (in a manner meant to be penetrating, but which was only arrogant) on Mr. Charley.
'• Done what?" enquired that gentleman, though he had more than an inkling, now, of the crime to which the priest alluded. The honest, pleasant, straightforward gaze met full that other gaze, which was merely arrogant; and the latter felt at a disadvantage, though it was accustomed to much conquest.
•' Interfered with my flock, Mr. Charley. You know as well as I, Sir, that you have done so scores of times Preached to them Protestant doctrines, SirI tried to draw away my poor suffering people from the faith of their fathers, by blandishments and — and — bribery, Mr. Charley."
It seemed to be (perhaps was) a little slice from a florid altar oration.
"Mr. Slattery," was the reply (his reverence's name was Sylvester Slattery), '• I never gave a bribe in my life, nor ever used a blandishment, to my knowledge. But I am truly glad to hear from you that my poor words have produced some result."
Father Sylvester's naturally red face could grow no redder; but his little eyes glared. "I did not say you had been successful, Mr. Charley; I said you had tried to seduce my poor sheep from the fold; " and