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PART VI.

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CHAPTER XXIII.

and box trees, and pleached alleys — partly to

the venerable presence of many mossy ancient The curate was now at the summit of gods and goddesses, whose time-worn figures human felicity. To have suddenly raised him lurked amid the bushes and fountains — but to a bishopric would have been a mere dis- most to their prevailing air of shelter and seclutracting impertinence.. Ah, would Time now sion. That garden, which was Lady Lee's fabut stand still, satisfied with his work, and con-vorite, and where she spent a good deal of time tent to rest on his scythe and look at it! For in fine weather, had so much of these qualities, the summer was come, warm and glorious

that you might easily miss it altogether, unless and the curate was as full of out-door plans previously acquainted with its whereabout. It and pursuits as the fields were of flowers, the was suck in a kind of ravine, the shady slope of trees of singing-birds, the grass of creeping which was covered with grass and wild-flowers, things ; - pursuits which he need not enjoy the sunny one with strawberry plants, while without full sympathy, for they were shared above stood a sheltering grove. All sounds by his friends inale and female'; and the cu- finding their way in here were dull and rerate was never visited by an idea that was not mote, except the songs of the thrushes and communicable to one or other of them, or blackbirds in the neighboring trees. Passing both. Since Fane had come, his happiness along the middle path, a flight of steps led up was complete. Though so different, they had to a turf walk, bordered by a row of yew trees, much in common ; and the curate's reflective looking like a rich cathedral aisle, beyond mind derived great benefit from contact with which appeared a more extensive and less the masculine one of his friend. Communion sequestered garden, having at one end a row with a too gentle and complying nature is like of green-houses. Curious and expensive plants walking on a feather-bed, but from a firm, un- Aourished there ; rare ferns from Australia ; compromising spirit you bound with vigor. brilliant tropical flowers, maintained in life

Fane, too, felt these new scenes in charm- and lustre by artificial heat; water-lilies, ing contrast with the life he had hitherto led, whose ancestors grew by the Nile, floated on which had been too changeful and eventful for the surface of tanks, with gold-fish darting inuch reflection.

underneath the broad leaves ; - in fact, the “ I never did believe, Josey,” he said one ends of the earth sent tribute to that comday at the parsonage, " that these enervating pendious conservatory: induences could ever have gained such power No wonder that the curate enjoyed his

I find myself constantly impelled visits here, and thought himself in Paradise either to visit that Castle of Indolence, the - no wonder that Fane felt attracted to the Heronry, or else this smaller branch or off- Heronry no wonder that Lady Lee felt a shoot from it this Sleepy Hollow, of which shock given to her acquired pococurantism. you are the Archimage. Masculine attire is Intellectual women sympathize more with a reproach to a man who leads this sort of ambition than with content, and value a sauntering life : next week you will see me strong mind above the finest disposition in a in robes and a chaplet."

man. They like something to lean against, In fact there was something seductive about with assurance of finding firm support; they the atmosphere of the Heronry which it was like a nature round which their own may difficult for any but very strong-minded people twine upward. Many gentle, worthy ladies - i. e., the petrifactions of humanity – to could have loved the curate, while they resist. Setting aside the enchantresses whose would have shrunk timidly from the more inabode it was, and whose fascinations, I trust, dependent nature of his friend, that broke I need not enlarge upon at this time of day, through conventionalities, and thought for the place itself had a touch of dreamy enchant- itself; to them, contact with such a nature ment about it; so that, although there never would have seemed perilous. But Lady Lee, was a house in the world where less of con- loving the curate as her good and wise brother, straint was exercised, yet those who went had not found in him much of shelter or there often found it very difficult to go away: support ; while the less reverential and more As you entered the grounds the busy world aspiring mind of Fane had touched her longseemed to recede, and its humming to grow dormant sympathies, and renewed the youth of faint and insignificant - the forms and cere- her heart. Pope stood, now, once again unmonies and struggles of life seemed the merest opened on the book-shelf, and Madame de vanities ; while you, divested of work-a-day Stael reigoed in his stead. thoughts and cares, stept at once into the One evening the two friends were seated Georgian era.

together on the grassy bank above the garden In spite of modern inventions, and rare already described, in company with Rosa and shrubs, and plants unknown to the horticulture Lady Lee — the latter conversing with them, of the ancients, the gardens and shrubberies the former preferring the society of Julius. had an antique air-owing partly to some rem- Fane had been talking of his Indian camnants of the taste of former days in clipt yew paigns.

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“What would you say, 0 peaceful, philan- respectable," returned Fane. 66 But how thropic Josey !" he said, after describing a one's sense of tranquil enjoyments would be sanguinary affair he had taken part in," if I heightened, if they came to refresh us after were to tell you that I, all pacific and amiable the excitement of a bustling campaign or a as I sit here, have felt, in the heat of conflict, stormy session !” an actual thirst for blood-a desire to slay? “But if we of simple tastes can relish pasuch as filled those whom history execrates as ture without your sauce piquante, Durbam? sparing neither age nor sex'- -or as “put- and as for action and the struggles of life, ting all to the sword, old and young?'” why, we can read about them. When I want

Why, of course, I should not believe you, excitement, can I not plunge into the world Durham.,

of books — history, poetry, romance, what • Fact, nevertheless," said Fane. “ I wish not? After reading a well-written book," I could flutter unyself that’t was Milton's de- said the reverend Josiah, taking a short flight liberate valor' that I breathed; but, unfortu- from the subject in hand (for a literary quarry nately, it was something altogether more would always lure him away from any other), tiger-like. It is a phase of human nature “ the halls of my brain are thropged with a bordering, I'm afraid, on the diabolical goodly company. I wish I could' bid them side."

stay, and make that house their home ; but in • Happy are we," returned the curate, a short time they depart, as from the roof of “ who can walk among these peaceful scenes, a stranger, and the place thereof knows them knowing nothing of such terrible feelings.":

It is these transient visits froin the “ Now, there I think you are wrong,” re- children of genius that give me such a returned his friend. “If there are such hidden spect for genius itself. I cannot help revercorners in our souls, 't is as well to be aware encing and envyiog spirits which can, almost of the fact. If we have still connections on at will, evoke images of such grace

and

power the infernal side, why should we disown our that a mere glimpse of them suslices to make kindred ? To have experienced such feelings a humbler nature happy." even makes ine more tolerant and humane ; “You are the most enviable of ecclesiasfor while you look on sackers of cities, and tics,” said Fane," and I wish I could imitute perpetrators of the accompanying horrors, you ; but I can't. Inaction is to me a peras so many incarnate demons, I see in them petual reproach.” merely brethren given over to their natural Contrasts of sentiment like these were, to passions.'

Lady Lee's mind, rather unfavorable to the “ I've no desire to look into such black curate. Full of goodness, simplicity, and a abysses,” quoth the curate. “Finding plen- certain mild wisdom, his mind, contrasted ty of pleasint chambers in my nature wherein with Fane's, seemed characterized by an into enjoy mysell peaceably, I should deserve glorious softness. In him was wanting the the fute of Bluebeard's wives if I sought to power that most of all allures an imaginative pry into forbidden corners. Why, I could be woman - the power to excite and interest content,Josiah went on, " to sit here as we her imagination. The curate was amiable, are now, and look upon this landscape till the excellent, worthy of all esteem; but she could world had struggled itself into the nest half- include him, and see the boundary of all the century -- till our beards grew to our waists, tracks of his thoughts, while Fane's seemed to and Rosa's and Ilester's hair to their feet, lead boldly out into regions such as Bunyan like the Sleeping Beauty's.”'

saw in his dream, peopled with tremendous “I've no fault to find with the landscape,” forms. Under other circumstances, and in said Fane ; “ in fact, 't is quite after my own other days, the curate might have made a heart — and the figures in the foreground are patient and excellent martyr, but he would unimpeachable” (with a side-glance at Lady never have been a leader or discoverer. Fane's Lee). "But, considering the useless life I've capacities of thought and enjoyment lay more led of late, I don't feel as if I had earned the in the regions of the unknown and untried, right to enjoy the scene.

and therefore it was at once less easy and “ But to leave one's self no time for reflec- more exciting to follow him. tion or enjoyment is a worse error than the Then, if we consider the difference of outother,” suid Lady Lee. “I pity those who ward form in the two men Fane tall, robust, have no duties or incentives to action” (with upright, with a far-seeing glance the curate a sigh); “but I pity inore those who rush somewbat loose, shambling, given to supine through a pleasant world with their eyes al- attitudes, and with his reflective look turned ways fixed on something in front. There are to the earth. Ah, Josiah, what evil spirit some who, in their eagerness for turning every- brought your friend to Lanscote, or fixed your thing and every moment to practical account, simple heart on Lady Lee ? grudge even libations to the gods as wasteful." As they walked back to the house in the

" or the two courses our friend Josey's is cool of the evening, the sight of the lodge, the more seductive, and I even think the more near which they passed, reminded Lady Lee

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that she intended to ask Fane concerning the just such another, to be picked up in the same previous history and character of the dragoon way you were. Onslow, who lay sick there, in order to dis- The dragoon flushed a deep red, and turned cover, if possible, some clue to the yet unac- his eyes from Fane's ; be seemed to havo countable fancy of Orelia.

heard something of the scene that followed In reply to her questions, Fane said that his mishap. Onslow had, from the first, particularly at- 6 However," said Fane, so you will, I see, tracted his notice.

be shortly on your legs again, and I hope, in “Without being at all morose,” said Fane, a few days, you will be fit to resume your “ he has always kept aloof from the rest of duty." the men - among

them, but not of them.' " I shall never resume my duty,” said OnsAnd, though this kind of demeanor, implying low. "I am no longer a soldier. Not half conscious superiority, is exactly what would an hour ago, I received a notification of my most bave roused their resentment and ex- discharge from the service." cited ill-feeling, if shown by one whose pre- “ On what grounds ?” asked Fane, with tensions were unfounded, yet he always seems surprise. to have commanded a remarkable degree of By my own desire,” returned Onslow. respect. His manners and language are “I am sorry for this,” said Fane.

6. We singularly good, and there is a good deal of shall lose a good soldier. And it seems a pity pride about him. In the last town we were too, when you were ng fast, and might quartered in, his appearance had so fasci- have looked forward to a position more worthy nated a rich widow, that her partiality for of you; for I have long been of opinion that, him, wbich she took no pains to conceal, be- whatever may have been your motives for encame quite notorious, and she did not scruple listing, you quitted your proper place in to acquaint him with it. But though she society, and inust, in your present one, have was not only rich, but by no means wanting suffered most disagreeable constraint.'' iu beauty, he, in his usual easy, half-scornful The ex-dragoon did not reply. way, rejected her offers as if she had been an “ Without wishing to intrude into your old apple-woman,or he a millionnaire. I intend affairs, or pry into your secrets, I will hope,”! to look in presently, and see how he is getting Fane went on," that you are either about to on, for I consess I am greatly interested in resume your proper station, or else that you him."

are exchanging your te path to

for a more Lady Lee did not know whether to be glad promising one. or sorry at receiving this information. On The dragoon shook his head. “So far from the one hand, she rejoiced to find that Orelia's that being the case, ,” he said, " he had as yet taste had not gone so far astray as had at first formed no plans for the future." appeared ; on the other, she feared that it " Onslow," said Fane, after a pause,

"I might prove something more than a mere frankly own that you have excited in me much passing funcy which the young lady had con- interest and esteem, and therefore, if I can ceived for this conquering dragoon.

be of service to you, as I probably can, you Fane, on reaching the lodge on his home-may command me. And I

say

this not as an ward way, entered. As it could not be seen empty form — but if you will accept an adfrom the heronry, nor the Heronry from it, vance of a sum which I can very well

spare, there had been no occasion to build it in any to the extent of purchasing you a commission particular style. Accordingly, it was a long, in a regiment, where you might renew your low, somewhat irregular cottage, with an career under better auspices, you shall have overhanging thatched roof, and deep case- it at a word.” ment windows clustered with flowers; looking The dragoon's nerves were probably shaken very pleasant and snug, with its background by his illness, for his eyes filled, and his voice of folinge, as you approached the arched ivy- was unsteady, as he answered. covered gateway. Onslow lay in an inner Captain Fane,” he said, “it is a noble room, on i sola, drawn close to the open win-offer. But though there is not a man in the dow. Ile was reading, and laid down his world whom I esteem more than yourself, you book on the window-seat as Fane entered. are the very last from whom I would accept a

“Well, Onslow,” said Fane, seating him- favor." self on a chair close by,“ how are you getting “That's puzzling," said Fane. " But I on? Well, I hope."

will not take an answer now; you shall have “This is very kind of you, Captain Fane," time to think of it. In the mean time, is there returned Onslow. · Yes, I am almost well, anything I can send you?- books, or comI think; nothing ails me now but weak- forts of any kind?''

Onslow was amply supplied, he said, with “ 'T was an ugly tumble,” said the captain. all, by the kindness of Lady Lee. "I was close behind you and saw it. I'm not The dragoon's hand that lay on the edge gure, though, whether I would n't undergo l of the sofa had a signet-ring on the little

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CILAPTER XXIV.

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finger. Fane, noticing this, could not help gnawing his nails –

o deuced soon, too, giancing curiously at it. It was shield-shaped, after the last five hundred. He'll kick, I of white cornelian, and having a crest cut know he will; but my float tells me he's deeply on it; but at that distance Fane could been nibbling, and I must hook him before he not distinguish the device. Onslow, catching breaks his hold." the direction of his eye, quietly turned the You've a splendid game on the balls," stone inward on his palın.

said Seager, rising in his excitement, and “Well,” said Fane, smiling as he rose, standing on the hearth-rug, with his cut"I see you are resolute in your secrecy. away, coat-tails hanging through his arms, Heaven forbid I should be impertinent, even and his back against the chimney-piece. in my wish to serve you. I will leave you A splendid game, if you only knew how to now to think over what I have said.” l'he play it and leave yourself safe too.". dragoon warmly pressed the band that was The colonel's bloodshot eye turned half-inextended to him. “ Again I thank you,” he quiringly, half-dubiously upon him, as if he said, “ but it is impossible.

was n't quite sure whether this would n't turn “ Proud fellow that,” thought Fane, as he out to be another of Mr. Seager's playful wended his

way

homeward. I will devise jukes. something to do him good in spite of him- " That fellow Sloperton 's here every day," self."

said Seager, knocking off the long gray ash of his cigar against the corner of the chimney

piece. Why should n't he bleed as well as “ I 'll tell you what, my boy,” said Bagot Dubbley?" to Seager, “ money must be had. Besides “ But he's not such a fool as Dubbley,” what I owe you, just look at these pleasant said Bagot. “ Puppy he is, but no fool ; on communications that the post brought me. the contrary, sharp enough about money. That blackguard tailor refuses to supply me Besides, I could n’t borrow from him with any till his account 's settled — bootmaker, £75 face."

- hotel bill, in town, £60 — (threatens me, “Who wants you to borrow from bim?" this fellow) — and I owe Tindal two or three returned Seager ; " shall give him value. hundred. Besides, I must have a little tin to You see,' I 've already put matters in training, go on with, for I am running precious short.” | by telling him that nothing was to be done

Try her ladyship,” said Seager, who was with Lady Lee without your consent. Now, smoking a cigar.

suppose I go to him, and talk in this way : “I'd see her -- (&c., &c.) — first,” quoth You 're a man of the world, Sloperton, says I, Bagot. “ Gad, sir, I hate that girl worse and therefore I'll talk plainly, with you. every day. She gets loftier and more sar- Everybody sees that you and her ladyship are castic every time I see her; and if I could fond of one another -excuse me, you know, bring her down a peg or two, I would with all for plain speaking, but no offence. Well, the ing heart; but I would n't take sixpence from colonel sees it as well as the rest, and likes her if I was starving

the idea uncommonly; for, between you and There I entirely differ from you,” returned me, he's deuced fond of you. But what can Seager. • That's the very reason I'd get all the colonel do? He's deuced hard up, as all I could out of her. I'd put my pride in my the world knows. Here are two or three pocket; however, every man to his taste. rich fellows in love with the lady, trying to buy You don't know any little boy in the neigh- his consent from him; and, you know, a man borhood that's beginning with the small-pox may be deuced honorable, and virtuous, and or typhus fever, do you?"

all that, and yet, when the duns come in, " Why so ?'' inquired the colonel. and he's got no money to pay 'em, why,

Why, you might bring him up here to what can he do? I ask you as a man of the play with the young baronet,” said Mr. Sea- world. Very well, upon this Sloperton asks ger.

me what I am driving at. I say directly, “0, curse your foolery !'' returned Bagot. Bid for the consent, and you 'll get it, for ! If you can't talk sense, we 'll drop the sub- you 're the favorite." ject.

“ But suppose he should think his chance “You ’re a peppery old beggar,” rejoined with ter a bad one?” urged Bagot; Mr. Seager, wlio had a pleasant way of charg- " and, ’pon my life, I don't think be 's got ing his intimates with mendicancy. “ You ’re the ghost of one.” not the brightest fellow I know at taking a “ Trust his vanity for that,” returned joke. But, seriously, if the little chap would Seager. “ Between what I shall say to him, take himself out of the way in a decent man- and what you shall get that devil of a girl ner, 't would be a deuced fine thing for you. what's her name ? Kitty — to put in his Sir Bagot, you kuow; and, how much a year head - and his own conceit, I'll engage he is it?!

shall feel quite sure of success before dinner“I must try Dubbley again,” said Bagot, time.”

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"Well, there's no harm in trying,” said knew. She must be uncommon fond of you Bagot, " and I shall be greatly obliged to to consult you in that way. you, old fellow. You see, it is n't a thing I “ Fond!” said Kitty. “ HO! well she may could very well do myself.”.

be! What could she do without me at her “ Certainly not,” agreed Seager ; " that elbow, I wonder? If I was a missenary perwould look very fishy. But as to being son, Mr. Dubbley" (Fillett did not mean a obliged to me, nothing of the sort; perhaps I missionary, but a mercenary person), “I shall have to ask the same service of you.' might raise my celery ever so high, by con

After a little more discussion, the increasing stantly giving warning, and being bribed to brightness of this project beginning to shed come back." more and more light upon.poor Bagot's dreary “Well,” said the squire, “and what answer circumstances, he went off to give Miss Fillett did she make when you said that about her instructions with regard to Sloperton; me?".. after which, he purposed paying a visit to - She did n't make answer immediate," Mr. Dubbley, without delay, for purposes of returned Kitty. 6. She leaned her head upon assessment.

her knuckles jubiously, and then she said, “While I'm away,” said Bagot, "you. No, Kitty, no, he is not the man for my can tackle Sloperton, who 'll be here to-day, money; and I'll tell you for why. I've in the billiard-room or stable, or anywhere noticed,' she says, that the man 's got a will you can catch

by himself; and I shall be of his own, and at 's a thing I never was out of the way all the morning.,

accustomed to, and, what's more, I never Seager nodded, and applied himself to shall be. No man,' says she, if he was fifty another cigar, while Bagot went to talk to husbands, should ever set his shoe on my

neck.' Now Kitty, as already hinted, had, after " God bless me!” exclaimed the squire, the interview with the squire last chronicled, secretly a little flattered at the inputation of conceived an ambitious idea - an idea alto- imperiousness ; " who could have put that in gether traitorous to Bagot. She had not her head? I'm sure I've always been as failed to notice the adıniration with which she quiet as a lamb to her. If I am a little fond bad inspired the squire ; popular report had of my own way, I'm sure I never showed it made her acquainted with the weakness and to her.” inconstancy of that gentleman's heart; and "As I said,” resumed Kitty, “as I said she had enough confidence in her own wiles to her, · What's a man who has n't a will of and attractions to think she could secure it. his own, my lady? I'd as soon have a bar

Instead, therefore, of artfully keeping the ber's dummy for a husband, as a man who squire's passion for her ladyship at a proper could n't take care of himself and me too.' temperature, by judiciously applying or with. But it was no good, Mr. Dubhley; she's got holding encouragement, she had proceeded as the fancy into her head, and all parliament fast as possible to reduce it to zero, merely would n't persuade her to the contrary." leaving so much doubt about his prospect of Although the reader may perhaps think success as would cause him to continue his that Kitty's dramatic renderings of the sentiinterviews with herself. And during these ments and conversational manner of Lady Lee interviews Kitty was so lavish of her wiles, were not remarkable for truthfulness, yet the 80 adroit with her flatteries, and so resolute squire never doubted her in the least ; for the in refusing to allow his advances and gallant poor squire, with all his cunning, was terribly attempts at small caresses, that she was deficient in sagacity. Accordingly, at each gradually tormenting him into a strong fancy interview with Miss Fillett, Lady Lee's for her.

image receded further and further from the “ Bless you, sir,” said Kitty to the squire, poor squire, till it was now quite lost in the in pursuance of her designs " bless you, mists raised by her faithful handmaiden. sir, my lady can't do anything without me. If Bagot had been aware of this, he would, It was only this morning she says, Kitty,' probably, not have given himself the trouble she.

.says, • what do you say? Shall it be to ride over to Monkstone. Before setting matriinony or not?''. My lady,' says I, out, he waited in the hall till he saw Kitty

there's a good deal to be said of both sides.' puss by, and then beckoned her into the • Well,' says she, Fillett, you never spoke a drawing-room. truer word; but with regard to the matrimony Miss Fillett, questioned as to the squire's side, now, what's your candid opinion?' affections, answered ambiguously, and was • Your ladyship knows,' says I, what I've glad when Bagot adverted to another topic, said, over and over, about the squire. He viz., his instructions as to what she was to would be the man for my money.'"

say to Sloperton. In this matter, too, she “ Did you say that?" said the squire. faithfully promised her assistance, and declared 6. 'Pon my life, you 're the best girl I ever nothing would be easier than to persuade the

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