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Sword and gown : a novel / by the author of "Guy Livingstone". Lawrence, George A. (George Alfred), 1827-1876. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-204-30752626 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Sword and gown : a novel / by the author of "Guy Livingstone". Lawrence, George A. (George Alfred), 1827-1876. Harper, New York : 1859. 67 p. ; 22 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04502.08 KUK) Printing Master B92-204. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. SWORD AND GOWN. a Novdl. BY THE AUTHOR OF "GUY LI VI N GS TONE." NEW YORK: HARPER BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE. 1859. This page in the original text is blank. SWORD AND GOWN. CHAPTER I. "THERE is something in this climate, after all. I suppose there are not many places where one could lie on the shore in December, and en- jov the air as much as I have done for the last two hours." Harry Molyneux turned his face seaward again as he spoke, and drank in the soft breeze eagerly; he could scarcely help thanking it aloud, as it stole freshly over his frame, and played gently with his hair, and left a delicate caress on his cheek-the cheek that was now al- ways so pale, save in the one round scarlet spot where, months ago, Consumption had hung out her flag of "I No surrender." There is enough in the scene to justify an av- erage amount of enthusiasm. Those steep broken hills in the background form the frontier fortress of the maritime Alps, the last outwork of which is the rocky spur on which Molyneux and his companion are lying. Fir woods feather the sky-line; and from among these, here and there, the tall stone pines stand up alone, like sentinels -steady, upright, and unwearied, though their guard h1as not been relieved for centuries. All around, wild myrtle, and heath, and eglantine curl and creep up the stems of the olives, trying, from the contact of their fresh youth, to infuse new life and sap into the gray, gnarled old trees, even as a fair Jewish maiden once strove to cherish her war-worn, decrepit king. There are other flowers too left, though December has be- gun, enough to give a faint fragrance to the air and gay colors to the ground. Just below their feet is a narrow strip of dark ribbed sand, and then the tangle of weed, scarcely stirred by the water, that all along this coast fringes like a beard the languid lip of the Mediterranean Sea. -Molyneux appreciated and admired all this, after his simple fashion, and said so; his com- panion did not answer immediately; he only shrugged his shoulders and lifted his eyebrows, as if he could have disputed the point if it had not been too much trouble. An optimist in nothing, least of all was Royston Keene grate- ful or indulgent to the beauties and bounties of inanimate creation. "AAh well !" Harry went on, resignedly, "I know it's useless trying to get a compliment to Nature out of you. I ought to have given you lip that night when we showed you the Alps from the terrace at Berne. You had never seen the Jungfrau before, and she had got her pret- tiest pink evening dress on, poor thing! and all YoU would say was, ' There's not much the mat- ter with the view."' " It was a concession to your wife's enthusi- asm," Keene replied; "a sudden cheek might have been dangerous just then, or I should have spoken more bitterly, after being brought out to look at mountains, when I was dusty and travel- stained, wanting baths, and dinners, and other necessaries of life." The voice was deep-toned and melodious enough that spoke these words, but too slow and deliberate to be quite a pleasant one, though there was nothing like a drawl in it. One could easily fancy such a voice ironical or sarcastic, but hardly raised much in auger; in the imper- ative mood it might be very successful, but it seemed as if it could never have pleaded or pray- ed. It matched the speaker's exterior singular- ly well. Had you seen him for the first time- couchant, as he was then-you would have had only an impression of great length and laziness; but as you gazed on, the vast deep chest expand- ed under your eye; the knotted muscles, with- out an ounce of superfluous flesh to dull their outline, developed themselves one by one; so that gradually you began to realize the extent of his surpassing bodily powers, and wondered that you could have been deceived even for a moment. The face guarded its secret far more successfully. The features were bold and sharp- ly cut, bronzed up to the roots of the crisp light. brown beard and hair, except where the upper brow retained its original fairness-presenting a startling contrast, like a wreath of snow lving late in spring-time high up on the side of a black fell. You would hardly say that they were de- void of expression, any more than that a perfect- ly drilled soldier is incapable of activity; but you got puzzled in making out what their nat- ural expression was: it was not sternness, far less ferocity-the face was much too impassible for either; and yet its listlessness could never be mistaken for languor. The thin short lips might be very pitiless when compressed, very con- temptuous and provocative when curling; but the enormous mustache, sweeping over them like a wave, and ending in a clean stiff upward curve, made even this a matter of mere conjecture. The cold, steady, dark eyes seldom flashed or glittered; but, when their pupils contracted, there came into them a sort of sullen, suppress- ed, inward light, like that of jet or cannel coal. One curious thing about them was, that they never seemed to care about following you, and yet you felt you could not escape from them. The first hand-gripe, however, settled the ques- tion with most people: few, after experiencing the involuntary pressure, when he did not in the least mean to be cordial, doubted that there were passions in Royston Keene-difficult per- haps to rouse, but yet more difficult to appease or subdue. His profession was evident. Indeed, it must SWORD AND GOWN. be confessed that the dragoon is not easily dis- sembled. I know a very meritorious parish- priest, of fair repute too as a preacher, who has striven for years, hard but unavailingly, to divest himself of the martial air he brought with him out of the K.D.G. He strides down the village street with a certain swagger and roll, as if the steel scabbard were still trailing at his heel, ac- knowledging rustic bows with a slight quick mo- tion of the finger, like troopers' salutes; on the smooth shaven face is shadowed forth the outline of a beard, nurtured and trimmed in old days with more than horticultural science; in the pul- pit and reading-desk gown and surplice hang un- easily, like a disguise, on the erect soldierly fig- ure, and the effect of his ministrations is thereby sadly marred; for apposite text, earnest exhorta- tion, and grave rebuke flow with a curious in- consistency from the lips of that well-meaning but unmitigated Plunger. Rovston Keene was no exception to this rule, though he did not like to be told so, and rather ignored the profession than otherwise. Perhaps he had begun it early enough to have got tired of it; for he had now been for some time on half- pay, and a brevet-major, after doing good service in the Indian wars, and was not yet thirty-four. .Molhneux had served in the same light cavalry regiment as his subaltern, and there the founda- tion was laid of their close alliance. It was not a very fair or well-balanced one, being made up of implicit obedience, reliance, and reverence on the one side, and a sort of protecting condescen- sion on the other-much like the old Roman re- lation between Client and Patron; nevertheless it had outlasted many more sympathetic and better-looking friendships. They used to say of " The Cool Captain"' (so he was always called off parade), that " he could bring a boy to his bearings sooner than any man in the army." Yet he was a favorite with them all. There was a regular ovation among those "I Godless horsemen" whenever he came into the Club, or into their mess-rooms; they hung upon his simplest words with a touchingly devout atten- tion, and thought it was their own stupidity when they could see nothing in them to laugh at or ad- mire; they wrote off all that they could remem- ber of his sarcasms and repartees-generally strangely travestied and spoiled by carriage-to unlucky comrades, martyrized on far-off detach- ments, or vegetating with friends in the country; the more ambitious, after much private practice, strove to imitate his way of twisting his mustache as he stood before the fire, though with some, to whom nature had been niggard of hirsute honors, it was grasping a shadow and fighting with the air. Certainly Molyneux never was so happy as in that society. Fond as he was of his pretty wife, her influence was as nothing in the scale. She complained of this, half in earnest, soon after they were married. The fever of post-nuptial felicity was strong upon Harry just then, but he did not attempt to deny the imputation. He only said, " My pet, I have known him so much the longest !" I wonder, now, how many brides would have admitted that somewhat unsatisfac- tory and illogical excuse Fanny Molyneux did; she was the best -natured little woman alive, and wise, too, in her generation, for she never brought matters to a crisis, or measured her strength against the " heavy-weight. " Indeed, they got on together extremely well. Whenever Keene happened to be with them- which was not often-she gave up the manage- ment of Harry's Foreign Affairs to him, reserv- ing to herself the control of the Home Depart- ment, and, between the two, they ruled their vassal right royally. After some months' ac- quaintance they became the greatest friends; on Royston's side it was one of the few quite pure and unselfish feelings he had ever cherish- ed toward one of her sex not nearly akin to him in blood. He always seemed to look on her as a very nice, but rather spoiled child, to be hu- mored and petted to any amount, but very sel- dom to be reasoned with or gravely consulted. Considering her numerous fascinations, and the little practice he had had in the paternal or fra- ternal line, he really did it remarkably well: be it understood, it was only en petite comiti that all this went on; in general society his manner was strictly formal and deferential. It provoked her though, sometimes, and one day she ven- tured to say, "I wish you would learn to treat me like a grown-up woman!" Royston's eyes darkened strangely; and one glance flashed out of the gloom that made her shrink away from him then, and blush painfully hen she thought of it afterward alone. Ile was frowning, too, as he answe:ed, in a voice unusually harsh and constrained, "It seems to me we go on very well as it is. But women never will leave well alone." She did not like to analyze his answer or her own feelings too closely, so she tried to persuade herself it was a very rude speech, and that she ought to be offended at it. There was a coolness between those two for some days, amounting to distant courtesy. But the digni- fied style did not suit 7na inignonne (as Harry de- lighted to call her) at all, and was, indeed, a lamentable failure; it made her look as if she had been trying on one of her great-grandmoth- er's short-waisted dresses; so they soon fell back into their old ways, and, like the model prince and princess, "lived very happily ever after- ward." CHAPTER II. KEExE bad spent some time with the Moly- neuxs during the autumn and winter, and had conducted himself so far with perfect propriety, certainly keeping Harry straighter than he would have gone alone; for he was, unluckily, of a convivial turn of mind wholly incompatible with delicate health and a frail constitution. Being a favorite with the world in general, he felt bound, I suppose, to reciprocate, so, albeit strict- ly enjoined to keep the earliest hours, he would sit up till dawn if any one encouraged him, and then come home, perfectly sober perhaps, but staggering from mere weakness. He did not care for deep drinking in the least, but the num- ber of magnums he had assisted in flooring, when on a regimen of " three glasses of sherry," would have made a double row of nails round the coffin of a larger man. Nature, however, being a Dame, won't stand being slighted, or having her admonitions disregarded, and the way she asserted herself on the morrow was re- tributive in the extreme. Harry was always s0 very ill after one of those nights " upon the war- 4 SWVORD AND GOWN. 5 path." On such occasions, his feelings, without as one of them observed, retreating from the laeing quite remorseful, were beautifully and cu- barracks moneyless but gratified, "I Mr. Moly- riously penitent; they manifested themselves neux seems to Jfel for one, at all events." S'o chiefly by an extraordinary ebullition of the do- lie did. Ile sympathized with his tailor, not in inestic affections. "Bring me my children" (lie the least because he owed him money, but be- had two tiny ones), lie woil(l cry on waking, 'cause he was a fellow-creature in difficulties, re- just as another man would call for brandy and gretting heartily it was not in his own power to soda; and, strange to say, the presence of those relieve them; just as a very charitable but im- innocents seemed to have a similarly invigorat- provident person might feel on reading a ease ing and refreshing effect: during all that day of real distress in the Timnes. Strange to say. lie would make pilgrimages to their cribs, and hitherto he had always pulled through. Either gaze upon them sleeping with the reverence of the outsider did win, or the aunt, touched in the an old dvote kneeling before the shrine of her 'soft place of her heart through her ruffled feath- most efficacious saint. Then he would go forth, ers, was brought down by a "wild shot," when and return with a present for his wife. bearing considered quite out of distance, and " parted" an exact proportion in value to the extent and freely. duration of the past misdemeanor; so that her The last and hardest trial of all-long debility jewel-case and writing-table soon became as and frequent illness-had failed to shake this in- prettily suggestive as the votive chapel of No5tre tense serenity. lie was never cross or unreason- Dame des Dunes. Very unnecessary were these able, and tried to give as little trouble as pos- peace-offerings; for that dear little woman never sible; but was grateful to a degree for every dreamt of "hitting him when lie was down," or thing that was done for him: he could even taking any other low advantage of his weakness. manage to thank people for their advice, wheth- She would make his breakfast beamingly at all er he took it not. So far its one could make out. untimely hours, and otherwise pet and caress lie was nearly as much interested in the state of him, so that he might have been a knight re- his own health, as one would be about that of turning wounded from some Holy War, instead' any pleasant casual acquaintance. of a discomfited scalp-hunter, bearing still evi- It must be confessed, that poor Harry and his dent traces of the "war-paint." A stern old like are by no means strong-minded, or large- lady told her once that such condonation of of- brained, or persevering men; they seldom or fenses was unprincipled and immoral. It mav never rise to eminence, and rarely have greatness be so, but I can not think the example is likely thrust upon them. They do not often volunteer to be dangerously contagious. Whatever hap- to lead the vanguard of any great movement, pens, there will always remain a sufficiency of shouting out on the slightest provocation the matronly Dicaearchs, over whose judgment- war-cry of "life is earnest;" for they are the seats the legend is very plainly inscribed, Nescia natural subalterns of the world's mighty battalia, flecti. and could hardly manmuvre one of its companies, These Ember days formed the only exceptions i without hopelessly entangling it, and exposing to the remarkably easy way in which Molvneux themselves: indeed, if they are useful at all in took every thing; there seemed to be no rough their generation, it is in a singularly modest and places about his disposition for trouble or care to I unobtrusive way. Yet there is an attraction take hold of. Hunting four days a week through !about them, a power of attachment, that the the winter; six weeks in town during the sea- great and wise ones of the earth have appreciated son, with incidentals of Epsom, Goodwood, sau- and envied, ere now. It is curious, too, to see mon ak la Traftiyar, bouquets, and opera-stalls; what an apparent contradiction to themselves living all the rest of the year at a mess curious the extremes of the class-those who exaggerate as to the quality of its dry Champagne-these nonchalance into insensibility, and softness int( simple pleasures involve a certain expenditure effeminacy-have shown, when brought face to hardly " fairly warranted by our regimental rate face with imminent peril or certain destruction. of pay." To accomplish all this on about pound;500 France held few more terrible ferrailleurs than a year, and yet to steer-clear of ruin, is an in- the curled painted minions of her third Henry: genious process doubtless, but a sum not to be the sun never looked down on a more desperate wrought out (most soldiers will tell you) without duel than that in which Quelus, Schomberg, and some anxiety and travail of mind. Now, in the Maugiron did their de'oir manfully to the last. very tightest state of the money-market, Harry Nay, though lie came delicately to his doom, the was never known to disquiet himself in vain. King of Amalek met it, I fancy, gallantly and Ile would not borrow from any of his comrades, gracefully enough, when once he read his sen- refusing all such proffers of assistance gratefully tence in the eyes of the pitiless Seer, who ordain- hut consistently. No Mussulman ever equaled ed that he " should be hewn in pieces before the his contented reliance on the resources of futuri- Lord in Gilgal." ty, and his implicit belief in the same. He R. I. P. would anchor his hopes on some such improba- There was silence for some minutes after the bility as "a long shot coming off," or "his few words that opened this story; and then Roy- Aunt Agnes. coming down" (a proverbially aw- ston Keene spoke again. fll widow, who had forgiven him seven times, "Hal, do you remember that miserable im- already; and, after each fresh offense, had postor in Paris being enthusiastic about Dorade sworn unrelenting enmity to him and his heirs and its advantages, describing it as a sort of hap- forever). Strong in this faith, he met condoling! py hunting-ground, and so deciding us on choos. friends with a pleasant, reassuring smile: with ' ing it in preference to Nice " the same demeanor he confronted threatening " Ah ! he did drivel a good deal. I think he creditors. He used no arts, and condescended had been drinking," the other answered. to no subterfuge in dealing with these last; but, "No; I understand him now. Ile had been bored here into a sullen, vicious misanthropy; minority, careful guardians, leases falling in, and he wanted to take it out of the human race mother one of the best Christians in England by getting others in the same mess. It's just like and all that sort of thing. Well, Tom Cary that jealous old Heathfield, who, when he is up took him in hand, and brought him Out in great to his girths in a squire-trap, never halloos "'ware form before long. They were talking over their bog,' till five or six more are in it. I can fancy preparations for the moors, for they were going the hoary-headed villain gloating hideously over to start the next day. 'I believe that's all,' us now. I wish I had him here. I could be so Margate asked, ' or have we forgotten any thing' unkind to him! He talked about the shooting 'Wait a minute,' said Tom, and reflected (provi- and the society. Bah! there's about one cock dent man, Tom; fond of his comforts, and proud to every thousand acres of forest; and as for of it)-'Ah! I thought there was something. women fair to look upon, I've not flushed one You haven't proposed to The Tresilyan.' They since we came. I don't think I can stand it say Margate's face was a study. He never dis- much longer." puted the orders of his private trainer, so he only "I am very sorry," Harry said; " I knew you said, piteously, ' But I don't want to marry any were being bored to death, and it's all on my ac- one,' and looked as if he was going to cry. 'You count; but I didn't like to ask you about it. I'm are "ower young,"' Cary said, encouragingly, so horribly selfish !" The shadow of an immi- 'and it's about the last thing I should press upon nent penitence began to steal over him, when you. It wouldn't suit my book at all. But I Royston broke in- don't see how that affects the question. I can "Don't be childish. I liked to stay-never lay ten ponies to one she won't have you. It's mind why-or I should not have done so. Only the thing to do, depend upon it. All the other now-you are getting better, and I realize the good men have had a turn, and you have no situation more. I hardly know where to go. right to be singular; it's bad taste. Rank has Not back to England, certainly, yet. Besides its duties, my lord. Noblesse oblige, and so forth. the nuisance and chance work of picking up a You understand' Margate didn't in the least, stud in the middle of the season, it isn't pleasant but he went and proposed quite properly, and to be consoled for a blank day by, 'you should was rejected rather more decidedly than his fel- have been here last month. Never was such lows. Then he went down into Perthshire, and scent; and heaps of straight-running foxes!' missed his grouse, and lost his salmon, with a And then they indulge themselves in an imag- comfortable consciousness of having discharged inative 'cracker,' knowing you can't contradict his obligations to society." them. Shall I go to Albania I should like Royston Keene actually groaned, "Why didn't to kill something before I turn homeward." she come sooner " he said. " What a luxury, Harry seemed musing. Suddenly he half in this God-forgotten place, to talk to a clever started up, clapping his hands. " I knew I had handsome woman, who tramples on strawberry- forgotten !" leaves !" " Not such a singular circumstance as to war- " Perhaps she would have come if she had rant all that indecent exultation," was the re- known how much we wanted her," replied Harry. ply. "Well, out with it." " They say she is a model of charity, and sever- "I never told you that Fan had a letter this al other virtues too. She is coming here for the morning from Cecil Tresilvan (they're immense health of some companion, or govcrness, who friends, you know) to ask her to engage rooms lives with her. Yet she flirts outrageously at for them. They are in Paris now, and will be times, in her own imperial way. Better late here in three days." than never. I'm certain you'll like her, and Keene raised himself on his arm, regarding perhaps she'll like you." his comrade with a sort of admiration. " You're " Qui viv'ra verra," Keene said, rising slowly. a natural curiosity, mon cher. None of us ever " Let us go home now. Draw your plaid closer quite appreciated you. I don't believe there's round you, it's getting chilly." another man in existence, situated as we are, who would have kept that intelligence at the back of his head so long. The Tresilyan, of course I remember hearing about her in In- CHAPTE dia. Annesley came back from sick leave per- R III. fectly insane on the subject. She must be some- THERE is a terrace in Dorade, fenced in from thing extraordinary, for the recollection of her every wind that blows, except the south, and made even him poetical-when he was sober. even that has to creep cautiously and cunningly I asked about her when I got to England, but round a sharp corner to make its entrance good. her mother was taken very ill, or did something Four small stunted palms grow there; they look equally unjustifiable, so she left town before I painfully out of place, and conscious of it; for saw her." they are always bowing their heads in a meek - "The mother really was ill," Molyneux said, humiliation, and shiver in a strange unhealthy apologetically; " at least she died soon after way at the slightest breeze, just as you may see that. Miss Tresilyan has never shown much Asiatics doing in our "land of mist and snow." since. But you've no idea of the sensation she But the natives regard those unhappy exotics made during her season and a half. They call- with a fanatical pride, pointing them out to all ed her The Refuser, she had such a fabulous comers as living witnesses to the perfection of the number of offers, and would'nt look at any of climate; they would gladly stone any irreverent them. Bv-the-bv, there's rather a good story stranger who should suggest a comparison be- about that. You know Margate He's going tween their sacred shrubs and the giants of In- to the bad very fast now, but he was the crack dian seas. The only inhabitant of the place who puppy of that year's entry; good-looking, long ever attained any eminence any where (he real- 6 SWORD AND GOWN. SWORD AND GOWN. ly was a good tailor), bequeathed a certain sum for the beautifying of the renowned allee, instead of endowing charitable institutions, and his townsmen endorsed the act by erecting a little mural tablet to commemorate his public spirit. The view is rather pretty, stretching over vineyards, and gardens, and olive-grounds down to the shore, with the islands in the far fore- ground rearing themselves against the sky, clear and blue, or if the weather is misty to seaward, sleeping in an aureole of golden haze, so that the whole effect would be cheerful if it were not for the melancholy invalids who haunt the spot perpetually. Faces and figures are to be seen sometimes that would send an uncomfortable shiver of revulsion through you if vou met them on the Boulevard des Italiens, strengthened by your ante-prandian absinthe. Here, the place belonged to them so completely, that a man in rude health felt like an unwarrantable intruder, in which light I am sure the hypochondriacs al- ways regarded him. As such a one passed, you might see a glare, half-envious, half-resentful, light up some hollow eyes, and thin parched lips worked nervously, as though they were uttering a very equivocal blessing. Does the character gain much by the exterm- ination of miore impulsive passions, when their place is possessed by the two devils that neither age nor sickness can exorcise -Avarice and Envy It is with this last, perhaps, that we have most to do; and the shadow of it, however indistinct and distant, makes the landscape near the horizon look somewhat dreary. The nature of many of us is so faulty and ill regulated, that it may be doubted if even advancing years will make us much better or wiser; but, when winter shall have closed in, and our hot blood is more than cool, is there no chance of an " open sea- son " Must it come to this-that the mere sight of the youth, and strength, and beauty that have left us far behind shall stir our bile, as though it were an insolent parade-that the choicest del- icacies at out neighbor's wedding-breakfast shall not pique our palate like the baked meats at his funeral Not so; if we must give ground let us retreat in good order, leaving no shield behind us that our enemy may build into his trophy. If we arc rash enough to assail Lady Violet Va- vasour with petitions for a waltz, and see her look doubtfully down her scribbled tablets, till the " sweetest lips that ever were kissed" can find no gentler answer than the terrible "En- gaged," let us not gnash suicidally our few re- maining teeth, even though Brabazon Leslie- all the handsomer for the sear on his smooth forehead-should come up upon our traces, and ride roughshod over those hieroglyphics, as he (lid at Balaclava through Russian squadrons. Rather let us try to sympathize with his triumph, while he carries off his beautiful prize from un- der the enemy's guns, as Dundonald may have cut out a frigate beneath the batteries of Vera Cruz. Non onmia corripit cvurm. Hath the sa- vor departed wholly from the Gascon wine, be- cause the name of no living love crowns the draught Shall we stay sullenly at home when all the world is flocking to the tournament, be- cause our limbs have stiffened so that we may no longer sit saddlefast, and hold our own in the mWke A corner in the cushioned gallery is left to us still. Come, comrade of mine-nate mecurn Consule Manlio-we will go up and lounge there among the Chatelaines: some may be' found good-natured enough to listen (in the pauses of the tilting), while we tell how, not so many years back, plume and pennon went down before our lance. I place no great reliance on the Pleasures of Memory. But, if pearls and bright shells be rarely found there, surely waifs, better than echini and sting-rays, are to be gathered on the '" shores of long ago." Ah, cynic! you are strong enough to be merciful-just this once. Spare us the string of examples that would overwhelm us ut- terly. Does it not suffice that we confess the truth of that saddest adage, tolled in our ears by every passing bell, Those whom the gods love weu die young Royston and his companion were crossing the terrace on their way home when the former stop- ped suddenly. "Go on, Hal," hie said; "it is too late for you to be standing about, lint I must speak to that poor Chateaumesnil. I shall see you at din- ner." He went up to a wheeled chair that was being drawn by at the time. Its occupant was a man of large frame, as far -as could be made out through the thick wrap- pings of furs; his head was bent forward and low, resting on his hands, that were crossed on a crutch-handle. He appeared profoundly un- conscious of all that was passing, and never moved till Keene addressed him. Then, very slowly, he lifted up his face. Few of us, fortu- nately for those who have strong imaginations and weak nerves, see its like twice in a lifetime, or there would be wild work in dreamland. It was not distorted in any way, nor deformed, except by a ghastly livid pallor; gaunt and drawn as the features were, they still bore evident traces of a rare manly beauty that even the neglected beard of iron-gray could not conceal. But it was the savage face of one who has wrestled with physical pain till it has assumed almost the visi- ble and tangible shape of a personal enemv-a mocking devil, that always is ready, with fresh ingenuity of torture, to answer and punish the rebellious question, " Art thou come to torment me before my time" The lines on the forehead were so strongly marked and dreadfully distinct, that, like the markings of the locust, they seemed to form characters that might be read, if it were given to mortal cabalists to decipher the hand- writing of God. Look once more: it is worth while, if you are curious in contrasts and comparisons. Five years ago that bowed, blasted cripple was the most reckless dare-devil, the most splendid Paladin, in all the army of Algiers; the man for whom, aft- er an unusually brilliant exploit, St. Arnaud, loving him as his own right hand, could find no higher praise than to write in his dispatches, "Les 3" Chasseurs se sont conduts en hros; leur chef-descadron en-C(Uiteawwesnil." And it was true that the annals of his house could boast of no nobler soldier, though they had been fighting hard since Clovis's day. His name is known very well in Africa. The spahis talk of it still over their watch-fires, and the wild Pe- donins load it with guttural curses-their lips white with hatred and remembered fear: they do not forget how far and fAst they fled into their 7 SWORD AND GOWN. desert strong-holds, and never could shake off the light cloud of whirling dust that told how Ar- mand and his stanch gaze-hounds were hard upon their trail. Rheumatic fever, coming close on a severe bullet wound, had brought him very near to death; and the first thing he heard when he be- gan to recover, was that he would never stand upright again. He is answering Keene's salutation. "My friend, you failed us last night at the Cercle, and yet we waited for you long." A hoarse, hollow voice-very measured and slow, as if carefully disciplined to repress groans-yet every now and then there will come a modula- tion, that shows how rich and cheery it might have been when trolling a chanson a boire-how clear and sonorous when, over the stamping of hoofs and the rattle of scabbards, it rang out the one word " Charge !"-how winning and music- al when whispering into a small, pink ear laid against his lips lovingly. The Vicomte de Chiteaumesnil cares for but one thing on earth now-play, as deep as he can make or find it. It is not a pastime, or a dis- traction, or an occasional fever-fit, but the sole interest of his existence. A fearfully unworthy and unsatisfactory one, you will say. Granted; but try and realize his condition. He is not forty yet. All the passions of ma- ture manhood were alive within him; not one desire or impulse had been tamed by natural or even premature decay at the time he was struck d .wn, and cut off from every object and aim of his former life, when it was too late to form or turn to others. Imagine how eagerly his strong fiery nature must have grasped at some of these -how it must have appreciated the alternations of glory, pleasure, and peril-all worse than blanks now. You dare not speak to him of woman's love. Worse than all other torments of the Titan's bed of pain, would be wild dreams of impossible Oceanides! Remember that his only change of scene is from one of the waters of Marah to another, ac- cording to his own or his physician's fancy about mineral springs. Remember, too, that the clever- est or the most sanguine of them all have only ventured to promise an abatement of his agonies: of their cessation they say no word; nor can they even prophesy that the end will come quickly. He is not allowed to read much, even if his taste lay that way, which it does not; for a literary Chasseur d'Afrique is such a whim as Nature never yet indulged herself in. So perhaps he caught at the only resource that could have saved him from worse things; under which, I presume, is to be included the temptation to take lauda- num in proportions by no means prescribed or sanctioned by the Faculty. Every day about noon his servant helped him. into the card-room at the club, and settled him at his own table, where, with the two hours re- spite of dinner, he sat till midnight, ready to give battle to all comers at all weapons, just as the Knights of Lyonnesse used to keep a bridge or a pass while achieving their vows. It is needless to say that the changes of good or bad luck af- fected him not at all. Few men of his stamp in- dulge in the weakness of railing at Fortune, which is the privilege and consolation of the roturier. Neither was he ever heard to reproach a part- ner, or become bitter against an adversary. He seemed to take a pleasure in disappointing those who were always expecting from him some sav- age outbreak of temper: they judged from his appearance, and had some grounds for their an- ticipations; for, winning or losing, that strange look, half-weary, half-defiant, never was off his face. But, with Armaund de Chbteaumesnil, the grand seigneur had not been merged in the sol- dier: the brusquerie of the camp had not over- laid the manner of the courtly school in which he and all his race had been trained; the school of those who would stab their enemy to the heart with sarcasm or innuendo, but scorned to stun him with blatant abuse-of those who would never have dreamt of listening to a woman with covcr- ed head, though they might be deaf as the nether millstone to her entreaties or her tears. It was with the Revolution that the rapier went out, and the savate came in. Very few men came up to his standard of play; for he was hard to please in style as well as in stakes. Keene did fully; and this, with a certain similarity of tastes, accounted for his lik- ing the latter so well. lie had little regard to throw away, and was chary of it in proportion. On the other hand, Royston treated the invalid with an amount of deference very unusual with him, in wi.om the bump of Veneration was prob- ably represented by a cavity. The two were still talking on the terrace, wvhn a man passed them, who lifted his bat slightly, and then sighed audibly, looking upward with an ostentatious contrition, as though he apolo- gized to heaven for such a bowing-down to Rim- mon. This was the Rev. James Fullarton, Brit- ish chaplain at Dorade. A difficult and anoma- lous position-in which the unlucky divine, in addition to his anxiety about the conscientious discharge of his duties, has to cultivate the friendship of a vast number of unrighteous Mam. mons, if he would be allowed to perform his fune tions at all. Our countrymen are popularly sup. posed to take out a special license for fibcyty of thought and action as soon as they cross the Channel; and the pastor's pulpit-cushion car. hardly be stuffed with roses when every other member of his congregation-embracing devotees of about a dozen different shades of High, Low, and Broad Church-thinks it his or her daily duty to decide, if the formula-Quamdiu se bene gesserit-has been duly complied with. Perhaps foreign air and warmer climates develop, like a hot-bed, our innate instinct of destructiveness. Look at portly respectable fathers of families- householders who, at home, have accepted their spiritual position without a murmur for a quar- ter of a century, roused to revolt by no vexed question of copes, candles, or church-rates-even these can not escape contagion. When once tho game is afoot, they will open on the scent with the perseverance of the steadiest " line-hunter," and join in the "worry" as savagely as the youngest hound. I remember seeing a similar case in Scotland, where a minister was preach- ing before "the Men" who were appointed to judge of his qualifications. Right in front of him, on a low bench, sat the awful Three, silent, stolid, and stern. His best rounded periods, his neatest imagery, his aptest quotations, brought no light into their vacant gray eyes: perhaps they were looking beyond all these, straight at 8 SWORD AND GOWN. the doctrine. The breeze blew freshly from the German Ocean, over the purple hills; but it brought no coolness to that miserable Boanerges. How he did perspire! I could not wonder at it; and though he preached for ninety-five minutes, and wearied me even to death, I bore him no enmity, but pitied him from my soul. Mr. Fullarton, however, had steered through the reefs and quicksands with better skill or luck than his fellows, and, judging from the ruddiness of his broad, beardless face, and the amplitude of his black waistcoat, the cares of office had not hitherto affected his health materially. He was a well-meaning, conscientious man, ready to work hard for his flock and his family; indeed, barring a certain frail leaning toward gourmand- ise, of which a full pendulous lip told tales, and an occasional infirmity of temper, he had as few outward failings as could be desired. For one of no extreme views, he could count an extraor- dinary number of adherents. Without being particularly agreeable or instructive, he possess- ed a rather imposing readiness and rotundity of speech, and had a knack of turning his arm-chair into a pulpit somewhat oftener than was quite in good taste. However, I suppose the best of us will talk " shop" when we see a fair opening. lie had a large wife and several small children. No one admired him more devotedly than this trulv excellent woman. As far as sharing in her husband's successes went, or partaking in any other advantages of society, she might as well have been the squaw of an Iowa brave; for her time was more than taken up in tending her offspring, and in providing for her lord the savory meats in which he delighted; but she looked the picture of contentment, and so nobody thought it necessary to pity her. From the first moment of their meeting, the chaplain had entertained a nervous dislike, ap- proaching to a presentiment, toward Royston Kecene. He regarded him as a brand likely to inflame others, but itself by no means to be plucked from the burning. The latter saw his gesture as he passed, and smiled-not pleasant- lv. "Remark the shepherd, M. le Vicomte," he said; " he sees the wolves prowling, and trembles for his lambs." " One wolf, at least, is toothless," answered ChtAteaumesnil. "What have we to do with lambs, except en suprmefne But the sun is down; I must go home, or these cursed pains will avenge themselves. Till this evening." " I will not fail; but you will permit me to accompany you so far," said Keene, bending over the invalid with the grand courteous air that became him well; and he walked by the other's side till they reached his door, talking over the varying fortunes of last night's play. CHAPTER IV. You have found out already that you are only looking at a chaplet of cameos, with just enough of story to string them together. Under these circumstances, the right thing of course to do is to work out each character by the rules of meta- physical mathematics, and then to reverse the process and "prove" the result. But I never tried to extract the square root out of any thing with- I out failing miserably and one can only speak, and act, and write according to one's light. After all, it seems a more uncertain science than astrononiv. Comets will appear, now and then, at abnormnal times, and in places where they have no heavenly business; and people are still to be found, so very ill-regulated as to go right or wrong in opposition to all rules and precedents. Where the variations are so infinite, it is difli- cult to argue safely from one singular example to another, and, if vou miss one step, your whole deduction is apt to conic to grief. Some one that " there were corners in the nature of the simplest peasant-girl to which the cleverest man alive could never find a key." Perhaps, too, those who fancy, rightly or wrongly, that they have mesmerized the heart even of one fel- low-creature so completely that the poor thing could not, if it would, keep) back a single secret, think it hardly fair to give the w-orld in gencr.l the full benefit of their discoveries. Practically, does all this help one much It is possible that some who have passed for the deepest observers of human nature, owed their renown more to an acute observation of the phenomena of feeling, an intuitive knowledge of what people like and dislike, a retentive memory and a happy knack of making all these available at the right mo- ment, than to any profound reasoning on ab-- stract principles. Like sonic untaught arithnic- ticians, their calculations came out correct, but they could not have gone through the steps of the process. There lives, even now, a sublime theorist, who professes to have made feminine physiology his peculiar study. Sitting at his desk, or in his arm-chalir, he will trace the motives, impulses, and sensations which a woman must necessariy have experienced under any given circumstances, as lucidly as a skillful pathologist, scalpel in hand, may lecture on the material mysteries of the blood or brain: lie will analvze for vou the waters of the IEons Lacrymarumn, Just as Lethebv or Taylor might do those (if a new clhalybeate spring. A fearful power, is it not, and fatal, if used tyrannously Well, I remember hearing a very beautifuil and charming person speak of an evening she had spent in the society of The Adept, during which she was conscious of being subjected to the action of his microscope, stetho- scope, and other engines of science. She said "It did not hurt her much," and, on the whole, seemed bv no means so imipressed with awe and admiration as could be wished. Indeed, before they parted, if any one was disquieted, discom- fited, or otherwvise damaged, I fancy it was-not the loveliest Margaret. From my slight ac- quaintance with that tremendous philosopher, supposing that he were turned loose among a bevy of perfectly well-educated women, and meant mischief, I should be disposed to lav longer odds against his chances than I would against those of manv men who have never read one word l f Balzac, Michelet, or Kant. Still, as was aforesaid, in the days of high art and high farming, high physiology is clearly the thing to go for. So, for my shortcomings, to all critics-ethic, dialectic, Tsthetic, and ascetic -I cry mea culpa, thus audibly. Nevertheless, while they are waiting for her at Dorade, we will try to sketch Cecil Tresilvyan. Her father died when she was too voung to re- 9 SWORD AND GOWN. member him, and the first fourteen years of her life were spent almost entirely in the old Cornish manor-house from which her family took its name. That great, rambling pile stood at the head of a glen, terraced at first into gardens, and then thickly wooded, and stretching down to the shore. There was a small bay just here, the mouth of which curved inward very abruptly. It seemed as if the black cliffs had caught the sea in a trap, and stood forward to keep the out- let fast forever: the waves were free to come and go for a certain distance, but never to rave or rebel any more: when their brethren of the open main went out to war, the captives inside might hear the din, but not break out to join them; they could only leap up weakly against their prison bars. There was nothing at all remark- able in the house itself, except its furniture and panelings of black oak, and two pictures, to which was attached a story bearing on the hereditary failing which had made the family proverbial. The first was the likeness of a lovely girl, in the court dress of James the Second's time, with beautiful hazel eves, half timid, half trusting, like a pet doe's. The second represented a wom- an, perhaps of middle age: in this the hood of a dark gray dress was drawn far forward, and un- der it the eves shone out of the colorless face with a fixed expression of helpless, agonized terror, as of one fascinated by some ghostly apparition. You were sorry when you realized that they were portraits of the same person. Sir Ewes Tresilvan was a man of strong pas- sions and rather weak brain-of few words and fewer sympathies; he never made a companion of M1abel, his daughter, though his love for her wvas the feeling next his heart, after his almost insane pride; but he trusted her implicitly-less because he had faith in her truth and goodness, than because he held it as impossible for a Tre- silyan to disgrace herself or otherwise derogate, as for the moon to fall from heaven. He was no classic, you see, and had never read of En- dymion. In her solitary rides Mabel met the son of a neighboring squire, and they soon began to love each other after the good old fashion. Neither had one thought that was not honest and pure; but they were so afraid of her father that they dared not ask his consent to their marriage as yet. They were prudent, but not prudent or pa- tient enough. So there came about meetings first at noon in the woods, then at twilight in the park, then at midnight in the garden; and at last Sir Ewes Tresilyan heard of it all; and heard, too, that his daughter's name was abroad in the country-side, and more than lightly spoken of. That day, as the sun was setting, two men stood foot to foot, with their doublets off, on the very spot of smooth turf where the lovers parted last; and Arthur Bampfylde had to hold his own as best he might with the deadliest rapier in the western shires. Poor bov! he would scarcelv have had the heart to do his uttermost against Mabel's father; but better will and skill would have availed little against the thirsty point that came creeping along his blade and leaping over his guard like a viper's tongue. At the sixth pass his enemy shook- him heavily off his Eword, wounded to the death. He had tried explana- tion before, utterly in vain; but the true heart would make one effort more to get justice done, before it ceased to beat. He gasped out these words through the rush of blood that was chok- ing him, " Mabel-I swear, she is as pure as the Mother of God; and I-what had I done" Sir Ewes knelt down and lifted Arthur's head upon his knee-not in pity, but that he might hear the more distinctly-" 1 will tell you," he said; "y you have wooed a Tresilyan like a yeoman's daughter." The homicide wrote in his confes- sion of all this that, as he laid the head gently down, a smile came upon the lips before they set. Was it that the parting spirit-standing on the threshold of Eternity, and almost within the light of the grand secret-fathomed the earth-worm's miserable vanity, and could not refrain its scorn Mabel was sitting alone when her father re- turned. She had no idea that any thing had been discovered; but the instant she saw his face, she cast herself on her knees, crying-"I am innocent; indeed I have done no wrong !" HIe griped her arm and raised her up, gazing straight and steadfastly at her for some mo- ments: then he gave his verdict-"Guilty of having brought shame on your house; not guilty of sin, I know, or this should only half atone," and he drew out the blade that had never been wiped since it drank her lover's blood. She slid slowly down out of his grasp, never speaking, but bearing in her eyes the awful look of horror that became frozen there forever. The second picture might have been taken then, though it was not painted till long afterward. She never thenceforth, while her father lived, left the wing of the manor-house in which her rooms lay; neither did he, nor any one else, ex- cept the two servants who attended her, look upon her face. People pitied her very much at first, and then forgot her entirely. Once the superior of a Belgian convent, a relation of the family, offered to admit Mabel, if she chose to take the vows. Perhaps Sir Ewes Tresilvan was more gratified than he liked to show, for the best blood in Europe was to be found in that sister- hood; but his reply was not a gracious one: "I thank the abbess," he wrote; "but te are used to choose for our gifts the most precious thing we have-not the most worthless. I will not lighten my house from a heavy burden, by offering it to God." He relented, however, when he was dying, and sent for his daughter. Very reluctantly she came. He had prepared, I believe, a pompous and proper oration, wherein he was to pardon her and even bestow a sort of qualified blessing; but the wan face and wild, hollow eyes, not seen for twelve years, frightened all his grandeur out of his head; and the obstinate, narrow-minded tyrant collapsed all at once into a foolish, fond old man. Something too late (that's one com- fort) to avail him much. In Mabel's nature, soft and vielding as it appeared, there was the black spot that nothing but harshness and cruelty could have brought out-the utter incapacity of relenting. which had given rise to the rude rhyme known through three counties- In Tresilyan's face Fault finds no grace. So, when the sick man cried out to her, through his sobs, to kiss him and forgive him, the dreary monotonous voice only answered, "I can kiss you, father;" and when she had laid her icicles of lips on his forehead, she glided 10 out of the room like a ghost that has aecom- inimitable. For instance, women, I believe, used plished its mission and hastens away to its own, to practice in their own room for hours to catch place. Sir Ewes never tried to call her bac k; her peculiar way of halt-reclining in an arm- he scarcely spoke at all intelligibly after that; chair; but the most painstaking of them all but lay, for the few remaining hours of life, never achieved any thing beyond a caricature. moaning to himself; his face turned to the wall. Yet no one could accuse h er of studying stage- For a very short time after her father's death, effects. If a trifle of the Incedo Rey'iytm marked Mabel seemed to take a pleasure in roaming her walk and carriage, it was it l'Eugenie, not a about the gardens and woods from which she la Statira. had been debarred so long; but the walks grew Indeed, she was thoroughly natural all over: gradually shorter, and she soon shut herself up cleverer and more fascinating, certainly, than in the house entirely, seeing only a few of her ninety-nine women out of every hundred; but near relatives. It was one of these who, at her not one bit more strong-minded, or heroic, or own request, painted the second portrait-a rude self-denying. She had been very M well brought performance, but it must have been a likeness. up, and had undeniably good principles; but she She seemed to feel an odd sort of satisfaction in would yield to occasional small temptations with looking at the two and comparing thiem. 11cr perfect grace and facility. Great ones she had brain was somewhat clouded and unsteady; but never yet encountered ; for Cecil, if not quite I fancy she was counting up all the harm and fancy-free, had only read and perhaps dreamed wrong the hard world had done to her, and cal- of passions. She had known one remorse, of culating what amends would be made in the which you may hear hereafter (not a heavy al- next. I doubt not they were kind and pitiful lowance, considering her opportunities), and one and indulgent enough there; but on earth she grief-the death of her mother. She entertained found no source of comfort strong enough to a remarkable reverence for all ministers of the Es- banish from her eyes that terrible look which tablished Church; yet she was about the last won- haunted them within five minutes of her end. an alive to have married a clergyman, and would When spirits assemble from the four corners have considered the charge of the old women and of heaven, how many thousand companions, schools of a country parish as a lingering and think you, will greet the Gileadite's daughter unsatisfactory martyrdom. There never was a Before you saw Cecil Tresilyan's face, the more constant attendant at all sorts of divine curve of her neck, and the way her head was service ; though perhaps the most casual of wor- set on it, told you that she was by no means ex- shipers had never been more bored than she empt from the family failing which had laid its ivas by some of the discourses to which she listen- hand so heavily on her ancestors. Yet it was ed so patiently. She would confess this to you not a hard or habitually haughty, or even a very at luncheon, and then start for the same church decided face. There was nothing alarmingly in the afternoon, with an edifying but rather severe about the slight aquiline of the nose; the comic expression of resignation. I am sure she chhi did not look as if it were "carved in mar- would not deliberately have vexed the smallest ble,"or "clasped in steel,"or as if it were made child; and yet the number of athletic men who of any thing but soft flesh prettily dimpled; the ascribed the loss of their peace of mind to her. delicate scarlet lip, when it curled, rarely went was, as the Yankees have it, "a caution." Soni beyond sauciness; though the splendid violet of the "regulars," wary adventuresses of three eyes could well express disdain, this was not seasons' standing, had brought off several prett y their favorite expression-and they had many. good things by following her, and picking up tlhi The head would certainly have been too small victims fluttering about helpless in their first de- had it not been for the glossy masses of dark spair, just as the keepers after a battue go round chestnut hair sweeping down low all round it, the covers with the retrievers. smooth and unbroken as a deep river in its first If there were any more antitheses in her char- curl over a cataract. Candid friends said her acter, they had better speak for themselves here- complexion was not bright enough; perhaps they after; nor is there much that need be told about were right; but the color had not forgotten how her companions. to come and go there at fitting seasons; at any Mrs. Danvers, or " Bessie," as she liked to be rate, the grand clear white could never be mis- called, had been Cecil's last governess, and was taken for an unhealthy pallor. An extraordi- retired on full-pay, which, she flattered herself, narily good constitution was ever part of a Tre- she earned in the capacity of traveling chaperone silyan's inheritance; and if you doubted whether and censor; but, inasmuch as when she really her blood circulated freely you had only to com- held some tutelar authority, her pupil had never pare her cheek on a bitter March day with some taken the slightest notice of her prohibitions, she red-and-white ones, when a sharp east wind had could hardly be expected now to exercise any forced those last to mount all the stripes of the very salutary influence or control. tricolor. By the way, are not the " roses dipped Dick Tresilvan was absurdly proud and fond in milk" going out of fashion just now A of his sister, and performed all her behests with humble but stanch adherent of the house of a blind obedience; but when he heard that he York, I like to think-how many battle-fields, was to attend her during a whole winter's resi- since Towton, our Flower has won I dence abroad, he did think that it was stretching But if Cecil's face was not faultless, her figure her prerogative to the verge of tyranny. No was. Had one single proportion been exagger- wonder. A dragoon who has lost his horse, a ated or deficient, she could never have carried goose on a turnpike-road, or any other popular off her height so lithely and gracefully. She type of helplessness, does not present so lament- might take twenty poses in a morning, and peo- able a picture as a Briton in a foreign land, ple always thought they would choose the last without resources in himself, and with a rooted one to have her painted in. Here, she was quite aversion to the use of any language except his 11 SWOR AD AO\ND ON SWORD AND GOWN. own. In this case, the victim actually attempt- ed some feeble remonstrance and argument on the subject. Cecil was almost as much aston- ished as the Prophet was under similar circum- stances; but she considered that habits of dis- cussion in beasts of burden and the lower order of animals generally were inconvenient, and rather to be discouraged; so she cut it short, now, somewhat imperiously. Thereupon, Dick Tresilyan slid into a slough of despond, in which he had been wallowing ever since. A faint gleam of sunshine broke in when one of his in- timates, hearing he was going to France, sug- gested "that's where the brandy comes from ;" but it was instantly overclouded by the remark which followed. " I suppose, though, you won't be able to drink much more of it than vou do here :" on realizing which crushing fact, his melancholy became, if possible, more profound than ever. Indeed, since he crossed the Chan- nel, he had spent most of his leisure moments in a sort of chronic blasphemy, which, it is to he hoped, afforded him some slight relief and con- solation, as it was wholly unintelligible to his audience; for, to do D)ick justice, in his sister's presence the door of his lips was always strictly guarded. However, to Dorade they came-hours after their time, of course, but perfectly safe: no ac- cident ever does happen in France to any thing properly booked, except to luggage sent by rou- luqe, to which there attaches the romantic uncer- tainty of Vanderdecken's correspondence. Cecil rather liked traveling; it never tired her; so, by midnight she had seen Mrs. Danvers, weary and querulous, to bed-gone through a variety of gymnastics in the way of accolades, with Fanny Molyneux-taken some trouble in inquiring about shooting and other amusements likely to divert her brother from his sorrows-and vet did not feel very sleepy. They ignore shutters in these climes; and her reflection was still flitting backward and forward across the white window-blinds as Royston Keene came home from the Cercle. He knew the room, or guessed who the shadow belonged to; and as he moved away, after pausing a minute or two, he waved his hand toward it, with a gesture so unwarrantably like a salute that, were silhouettes sensitive or prudish, it might have proved an of- fense not easily forgiven. CHAPTER V. THE next morning was so soft and sunny that it tempted Miss Tresilyan out on the terrace of their hotel very soon after breakfast. She was waiting for her brother on the top of the steps leading down into the road, when Major Keene passed by again. If he had never heard of her before, the smooth sweeping outline of her mag- nificent form, and the careless grace of her atti- tude, as she stood leaning against the stone balus- trade, were not likely to escape an eye that was wont to light on every point of feminine perfec- tion, as a poacher's does on a sitting hare. But he never got so far as her face then; and hardly had time to criticise her figure; for at that mo- ment a brisk gust of the nistral swept round the corner, and revealed a foot and ankle so marvel-. i ously exquisite, that they attracted his eyes, as long as he dared to fix them without risking a stare; and kept his thoughts busy till he saw her again. " Carwanba !" he muttered, half aloud. '-I don't wonder at any one who has seen that not looking at a nautch-girl afterward." And he quickened his pace toward Mr. Moly- neux's house. He met them before he reached their door. "I am going to Miss Tresilvan," Fanny said. "Isn't it lucky, her first morning here being such a delicious one" "Ah! I thought that was your point," an- swered Keene. "There must be a tremendous amount of ' gushing' to be got through still: the accumulation of-how many months I sup- pose you only took the rough edge off last night. Don't hurt her, please, that's all. And, Hal, you were actually going to preside over the meeting of two young hearts, and gloat over their emo- tions, and spoil their innocent amusements I wonder at you. Means well, Mrs. Molyneux; but he's so thoughtless." Fanny laughed. "II think I could do with- out him. But we mean to walk this afternoon, and he may come then; and you too, Major Keene, if you are good." "I'll enter into all sorts of recognizances to keep the peace," was the reply; "but I should have thought you might trust me by this time. It's that excitable husband of vours that wants disciplining. I'll give him some soda-water by way of a precaution. Then, when you have sac- rificed to friendship sufficiently, woa will lionize Miss Tresilyan The Castle tirst, of course. Shall we meet you there at two" Harry did not quite see the thing in this light, and looked slightly disappointed; but he yielded the point, as he always did, and went away duti- fully with his superior officer. "Describe the brother," the latter said, ab- ruptly, when they had gone a few steps. "Well, I believe he's the most ignorant man in Great Britain," answered Molyneux: "that's his spialiti. He never had much education; and he has been trying to forget that little, ' hard all,' ever since he was eighteen. You remember how our fellows used to laugh at me about my epistles I could give him 211b., and a beating any day. They say, two men have to stand over him whenever he tries to write a letter, for no one is strong enough to keep him straight in his spelling and grammar. If he tries it on alone, he gets bewildered in the second sentence, and wanders up and down, knocking his head against particles and parts of speech, like the man in the Maze; and throws up the sponge at last, utterly beat. Helplessly devoted to his sister, but rather obstinate with other people, and apt to be sulky sometimes; but good-natured on the whole; and drinks very fair." "' Oh, he drinks fair, does he" Royston said, meditatively. " Has that any thing to do with his brotherly affection Every body who is fond of Miss Tresilyan seems to take to liquor. An- nesley was pretty sober till he knew her. It's rather odd. I don't suppose she encourages them " " Certainly not; at least, I know she hab tried to stint Dick in his brandy very often. H's the only point she has never been able to carry." " A man must be firm about some one thing," 12 the other remarked, " or there's an end of free- attain the object of many an invalid's harmless agency altogether. He has no intellects to be ambition-looking interesting. Illness made her affected by it apparently; and I dare say his cheeks look pasty, but not pale; it could not health does not suffer much yet. It's a question fine down the coarsely moulded features, or pun- of constitution, after all." fy their ignoble outline. Her voice was against He dropped the subject then, and was very her, certainly; perhaps this was the reason why, silent all the rest of the morning, till they came when she bemoaned herself, so many irreverent to the place of meeting. Somehow or another, and hard-hearted reprobates called it " whining. " it did not occur to him to mention to Harry what It was very unfortunate; for few could be found, he had seen on the terrace. even in the somewhat exacting class to which They had not waited long before the three she belonged, more anxious and active in enlist- women came slowly up the zigzags of the path ing sympathy. She was looking especially ill- that wound round the Castle-hill. Dick 'rre- tempered just then, but Major Keene was not silvan had "got his pass signed" for the day, easily daunted, and he wvent in at her straight and had started off, with his courier, to maic and gallantly-about the weather, it is necdless the lives of several natives a burden to them, on to say, both being English. While Mrs. l)an- the subject of Ucasses and becassines. vers wvas disagreeing with him, Cecil took her Cecil might have been known by her walk turn at inspection. Royston's name was famil- among ten thousand. She seemed to float along iar to her, of course, fur no one ever talked to without any visible exertion, as if her dress were Mrs. Molyneux for ten minutes without hearing buoyant, and bore her up in some mysterious it. Though she had scarcely glanced at him in fashion; but, looking closer, and marking how the morning, she had decided that the tall, erect straight and firmly and lightly every footfall was figure and the enormous mustache, with its planted, you gave the narrow arched instep, and crocs a la inousquetaire, could only belong to the slender rounded ankle, the credit they well Fanny's Household Word. It was very odd- deserved; marveling only that so delicate a she had not a shade of a reason for it-but symmetry could conceal so much sinewy power. neither had she mentioned that rencontre to her Upon this occasion, she was evidently accom- friend. Perhaps they had so many other things modating her pace to that of Mrs. Danvers; and to talk about. She could scan him now more no racing man could have seen the two, without narrowly, for his face was turned away from her. thinking of one of the Flyers of the turf walking Tle result was satistfactorv: when Major Keene down by the side of the trainer's pony. stood up on his feet, not even his habitual lazi- Miss Tresilyan's hat, of a soft black felt, shaded I ness could disguise the fair proportions and train- by a black cock's feather, was decidedly in ad- ed vigor of a stalwart man-at-arms; and be it vance of her age: for that very provocative known that Cecil's eye, though not so profession- head-gear, with the many-colored panaches, had al as that of Good Queen Bess, loved to light not then become so common; and even the Pas- upon such dearly. sionate Pilgrim might hope (with luck) to walk "harrv," Mrs. Molvneunx observed, "Mr. along a pier or a parade, without meeting a sue- Fullarton called while I was at the Lion d'Or cession of Red Rovers-each capable of boarding this morning, and staid half an hour. Ile is so him at a minute's notice, and making all his af- verv anxious to get Cecil to lead the singing in fections walk the plank. Her tunic of iron-gray church." velvet, without fitting tightly to her figure, still "Yes; he has been, so to speak. throwing his did it fair justice; and, from the tie of her neck- hat up ever since he heard you were coming, ribbon, down to the wonderful boots that slid in Miss Tresilvan," was the reply. " I suppose he and out from under the striped scarlet kirtle over calculated on your vocal talents; there's the which her dress was looped up, there was not the I nuisance of having an European reputation, you minutest detail that might not have challenged are alwvays expected to do something for some- and baffled criticism. bodv's benefit. I hope you'll indulge him, in Royston Keene appreciated all this thorough- charity to us. You have no idea what it has ly. No man alive held the stale old adage of been. Two Sundays ago, for instance, a Mr. "Beauty when unadorned," etc., in profounder Rolleston and his wife volunteered to give us a scorn. A pair of badly-fitting gloves, a soiled lead. Ile didn't look like a racing man; and collerette, or a tumbled dress, had cured more yet he must have been. I never saw any thing than one of the fever fits of his younger days; more artistically done. Ile went off at score, and he was ten times as fastidious now. and made the pace so strong that he cut them He drew a long, slow breath of intense en- all down in the first two verses; and then the joyment, as a thirsty cricketer may do after the wife, who had waited very patiently, came and first deep draught of claret-cup that rewards a won as she liked-nothing else near her." two hours' innings. " It's very refreshing, after Cecil thought the illustration rather irreverent, weeks of total abstinence, to see a woman who and did not smile. Keene saw this as he turned goes in for dress, and does it thoroughly well." round. Hie had no time for more, for the othersr were, "The turf slang has got into your constitu- almost within hearing. tion, I think, since you won that Garrison Cup. When the introductions were over, Mrs. Dan- It's very wrong of you not to cure yourself, when vera said she was tired, and must rest a little. you know how it annoys Mrs. Mol-neux. He Very few words will do justice to her personal is right, though, Miss Tresilvan: it is a case of appearance. Brevity, and breadth, and blunt- real distress: our vocal destitution is pitiable; ness were her chief characteristics, which applied so, if you have any benevolence to spare, do be- equally to her figure, her face, and her extrem- stow it upon us, and your petitioners will ever ities, and, not unfrequently, to her speech too. pray, etc." Her health was really infirm, but she never could Now it so happened that Fanny valued that same 13 SWORD AND GOWN. 1 SWORD AND GOWN. cup above all her earthly possessions, as a mark of her husband's prowess. No testimonial ever gave so much satisfaction to a popular rector's wife as that little ugly mug afforded her, albeit it was the verv wooden-spoon of racing plate. So she first smiled consolingly at the culprit, who was already contrite, and then looked up at the last speaker with amusement and wonder glittering in her pretty brown eyes. She did not see what interest the subject could have for Keene, who had only darkened the chapel doors once since they came. Mr. Fullarton, indeed, was supposed to have alluded to him several times-his discourses were apt to take a personal and individualizing turn-but he had never had the satisfaction of a "shot in the open" at that stout-hearted sinner. Royston caught la mignonne's glance, and un- derstood it perfectly but not a line of his face moved. He was waiting for Cecil's reply very anxiously: he had not heard her speak yet. "Mr. Fullarton is rather rash," she said, "for our acquaintance is slight, and I don't think he ever heard me sing. But I shall do my best next Sunday. Every one ought to help in such a case as much as they can." "Yes, and you will do it so beautifully dear- est !" Cecil bit her lip, and colored angrily. Nothing annoyed her like Mrs. Danvers' ob- trusive partisanship and uncouth flattery. The gleam of pleasure that shone out on Keene's dark face for a moment, only Harry in- terpreted rightly. He had scarcely listened to the words, but he thought, " I knew I was right; I knew the voice would match the rest !" When they moved on again, he walked by Miss Tre- silyan's side, and " still their speech was song." His first remark was, " I hope you condescend to ballads sometimes I confess to not deriving much pleasure from those elaborate performances where the voice tries dangerous feats of strength and agility: even at the Opera they make one rather uncomfortable. Some of the very scien- tific pieces suggest ideas of homicide or suicide, as the case may be, according to my temper at the moment. Of course, I know less than noth- ing about music; but I don't think this quite ac- counts for it. I really believe that unsophisti- cated human nature revolts at the bravura." It was rare good fortune, so early in their ac- quaintanee, to tempt forth the brilliant smile that always betrayed when Cecil was well pleased. " Mrs. Molyneux has told you what my tastes are " she said. "I have never tried bravuras since I left off masters, and even then I only at- tempted them under protest. But there are some quiet songs I like so much that I sing them to myself when I am out of spirits, and it does me good. Don't you like the old-fashioned ones best I fancy, in those days, people felt more what they wrote, and did not consider only how the words would suit the composer." " Probably," Keene replied. " If Charles Edward was of no other use, some good strong lines were written about him. I do not think he lived in vain. There are no partisans now. The only songs of the sort that I ever saw with any verve in them were some seditious Irish ones: rather spirited -only they had not grammar enough to ballast them. The writer either was, or wanted to be, transported. We are all very fond of the Guelphs-at least every body in de- cent society is-and that is just the reason why we are not enthusiastic. We are all ready to 'die for the throne,' etc., but we don't see any immediate probability of our devotion being test- ed. So the laureate only rhymes loyally, and he at stated seasons, and in a temperate, professional style. " " Please don't laugh at Tennyson," she inter- rupted; "I suppose it is very easy to do so, for so many people try it; but I never listen to them if I can help it." " A premature warning," was the grave reply; "I had no such idea. I admire Tennyson fully as much as you can do, and read him, I dare say, much oftener. I was only speaking of his performances in the manege; indeed, there is not enough of these to make a fair illustration, so I was wrong to bring them in. When he settles to his strid , few of the ' cracks' of last century seem able to live with him. They have not set all his best things to music. A clever composer might do great things, I fancy, with 'The Sis- ters,' and the refrain of ' the wind in turret and tree.' " "It would never be a very general favorite," Miss Tresilvan observed. " It seems hardly right to set to music even an imaginary story of great sin and sorrow. I saw a sketch of it some time ago. The murderess was sitting on a cushion close to the earl's body, with her head bent so low that one of her black tresses almost touched his smooth golien curls; you could just see the hilt of the dagger under her left hand. That, and the corpse's quiet, pale face were the only two objects that stood out in relief; for the storm outside was stirring the window-curtains, and making the one lamp flare irregularly. Her features were in the shadow, and you had to fan- cy how hard, and rigid, and dreary they must be. It was the merest sketch, but if it had been worked out, it would have made a very terrible picture. " "A good conception," Royston said; "well, perhaps it would not be a pleasant song to sing, but better, I should think, than some of those dreadful sentimental ones. They are not much worse than the Strephon and the Chloe class, in which our ancestors delighted; still, they are in- defensible. If our Lauras find Petrarebs now, they are usually very beardless ones, and the green morocco cover, with its golden lock, covers their indiscretions. Those who write love ditties for the piano must celebrate a shadow who can't be critical. Imagine any man insulting a real wom- an of average intellect with ' Will you love me then as now!"' "Yes," she assented, "they are too absurd as a rule. They make our cheeks burn, as if we were performing some very ridiculous part in low comedy; but they do not warm one's heart, like 'Annie Laurie."' "Ah ! it's curious how that always suggests it- self as the standard to compare others with: not fair, though, for it makes most of them sound so feeble and effeminate. Douglas of Finland wrote it, you know, in the campaign which fin- ished him. Long before that the charming An- nie had given her promise true to Craigdarroch; and she had to keep it, tant bien que mal, for it was pronounced in the Tron Church, instead of on the braes of Maxwellton. I wonder if she in- 14 SWORD AND GOWN. scribed those verses in her scrap-book I dare say she did, and sang them to her grandchildren, in a cracked treble." "I am so sorry you told me that," Cccil ex- claimed; "my romance was quite a different one, and not nearly so sad. I always fancied the man who wrote those lines must have ended so happily! One would despise her thoroughly if she could ever have forgiven herself, or forgot- ten him." Her eyes brightened, and her cheeks flushed as she spoke. The momentary excitement made her look so handsome that Keene's glance could not withhold admiration; but there was no svm- pathy in it, any more than in his cold, quiet tones. "No, don't despise her," he said. "She could scarcely be expected to wait for a corporal in the Scottish regiment. When the cavaliers sailed from home they knew they were leaving every thing but honor behind them; of course, their- mistresses went with the other luxuries. They had not many of these in the brigade, if wc can believe history. Fortunately for us (or we should have missed the song) Finland never knew of the 'fresh fere' who dried the bright blue eyes so soon. He would not have carried his pike so cheerily either, if his eyes had been good enough to see across the German Ocean. Well, perhaps the story isn't true; very few m lodramatic legends are." "I shall try not to believe it; but I am afraid you have destroyed an illusion." "You don't say so" was the reply. "I re- gret it extremely. If I had but known you car- ried such things about with you! Indeed, I will be more careful for the future. We are out- wvalking the main-guard, I see. Shall we wait for them here It is a good point of view. One forgets that there are two invalids to be consi(lered3. " Did Royston Keene speak thus purposely on the principle of those practiced periodical writ- ers, who always leave their hero in eltreme peril, or their heroine on the verge of a moral precipice, in order to keep our curiosity tense till the next number If not, chance favored him by producing the very effect he would have desired. His companion's fair cheek flushed again, and this time a little vexation had something to say to it. It was incontestably correct to wait for the rest of the party, but she would have pre- ferred originating the suggestion. Besides, the conversation had begun to interest her; and she liked being amused too well not to be sorry for its being cut short abruptly. She thought Major Keene talked epigrammatically; and the under- current of irony that ran through all he said was not so obtrusive as to seriously offend her. It was no light ordeal he had just passed through. First impressions are not made on women of Cecil Tresilyan's class so easily as they are upon guileless debutantes; but thev are far more important and lasting. It is useless at- tempting to pass off counterfeit coin on those ex- pert money-changers; but they value the pure gold all the more when it rings sharp and true. It is always so with those who have once been Queens of Beauty. A certain imperial dignity attaches to them long after they have ceased to reign: over the brows that have worn worthily the diadem there still hangs the phantasm of a shadowy crown. There need be nothing of re- pellent haughtiness, or, what is worse, of evident condescension; but, though they are perfectly gentle and good-natured, we risk our little sal- lies and sarcasms with timidity or at least diffi- dence; feeling especially that a commonplace compliment would be an inexcusable profana- tion. Our sword may be ready and keen enough against others, but before them we lower its point, as the robber did to Queen Margaret in the lone- ly wood. We are conscious of treading on ground where stronger, and wiser, and better men have knelt before us; and own that the altar on which things so rare and precious have been laid has a right to be fastidious as to the quality of incense. Not the less did such glory of past royalty sur- round the Tresilyan because she had abdicated, and never been dethroned. CHAPTER VI. THERE is something singularly refreshing in the enthusiasm that one pretty and fascinating woman will display when speaking of another highly gifted as herself-perhaps even more so. It seems to me there is more honesty here, and less stage-trick and conventionality, than is to be found in most manifestations of sentiment that take place in polite society. A perfectly plain and unattractive female may, of course, be sin- cerelv attached to her beautiful friend, but her partisanship must be somewhat theoretical; it has not the esprit de corps which characterizes the other class. These last can count victories enough of their own to be able to sympathize heartily with the triumphs of their fellows with- out envying or grudging them one. What does it matter if Rose has slain her thousands and Lilian her tens of thousands It is always "I so much scored up to our side." Would you like to assist, invisibly at one of those two-handed " free-and-easies, "where notes are compared and confidences exchanged, where the fair warriors I" shoulder their fans, and show how fields were won " Perhaps our vanity would suffer though our curiosity were gratified. The proverb about listeners has come in since the time of Gyges, it is true; but his luck was exceptional, and would not often follow his Ring. Campaspe en dishabille is not invariably kind. It is a popular superstition that men are apt, at certain seasons, to speak rather lightly if not superciliously of the beings whom they ought to delight to honor. If so, be sure the medal has its reverse. When you secured that gardenia from Amy's bouquet, or that ribbon from Helen's glove trimming, you went home with a placid sense of self-gratulation, flattering yourself you had done it rather diplomatically, without com- promising your boasted freedom by word or sign. Perhaps, two hours later, you figured conspicu- ously in a train of shadowy captives adorning the conqueror's ideal ovation. A change of color of which you were unconscious, a tremulous pressure of fingers that you risked involuntarily -a sentence that was meant to be careless and indifferent, but ended by being earnest and im- ploring-all these were commented upon in the 1;s select committee, and estimated at their proper well enough to ask for it, perhaps It must be value. a secret." Very keen-sighted are those soft almond eyes " Then you have not found out how very clever ambushed behind their trailing lashes, and from I she is ' them the sternest stoic may not long conceal his " Pardon me," was the reply; "I can imag- wound. The Knight of Persia never groaned, ine Miss Tresilyan perfectly well educated; so or shrank, or drooped his crest when the quarrel well, that she might dispense with carrying about struck him; hut Amala needed only to look a living voucher in the shape of that dreadful ex- down to see his blood red upon the waters of institut rice. I never knew what makes very nice the ford. Some penalty must attach itself to I women cling so to very disagreeable governesses. unauthorized intruders, even in thought, upon Perhaps there is a satisfaction in patronizing the Cerealia. I don't wish to be disagreeable, where you have been ruled, and in conferring or to suggest unpleasant misgivings to the mas- favors where you have only received ' imposi- culine mind, but-do you think we are always tions'- a pleasant consciousness of returning compassionated as much as we deserve I own good for evil. There is no other rational way to a horrible suspicion that our betrayals of weak- of accounting for it." ness form matter of exultation, and that our ten- La mignonne was not indignant now, as might derest emotions are not unfrequently derided. have been expected; but she gazed at the speaker Clearly this delightful sympathy can only exist long and more searchingly than was her wont, where fancis, and ambitions, and interests do, with something very like pity in her kind, earn- not clash. They seldom need do so: there is! est eyes. room enough for all. So much disposable de-I " I suppose you would not sneer so at every votion is abroad in this world, that no one wom- thing if you could help it," she said. "I am an can monopolize it. It is a tolerably fair E not wise enough to do so; but I don't envy you." handicap, on the whole; and even the second I Royston's hard cold face changed for an in- horse may land a very satisfactory stake. Never! stant, and the faintest flush lingered there, about was night when the moon shone so dazzlingly as as long as your breath would upon polished steel. to blind us to the brilliancy of " a star or two be- It was not the first time that one of her random side." Bothwell, and Chatelet, and Rizzio were shafts had struck him home. All the sarcasm not the only love-stricken ones in ilolyrood. Had had died out of his voice as he answered slowly- the Queen of Scots been thrice as charming, "Don't vou envy me You are right there. glances, and sighs, and words enough would still And you think you are not wise enough to be have been found to satisfy the most exacting of cynical If there was any school to teach us her Maries. how to turn our talents to the best account, I Fanny Molyneux was a capital specimen of know which of us two would have most to learn." the thorough-paced partisan. She was terribly When he spoke again it was in his usual man- indignant at dinner on that first day of their ner, but upon another and perfectly indifilerent meeting, when Major Keene would not endorse subject. all her raptures about her favorite. He assent- Harry had taken no part in the discussion. ed to every thing, certainly; but though his ap- Always languid, toward night he generally felt probation was decided it was perfectly calm. especially disinclined to any bodily or mental He intrenched himself behind his natural and exertion. At such times there was nothing he acquired sang -froid, and the fair assailant could liked so well as to lie on his sofa and assist at a not force those lines. passage-of-arms between his wife and Keene, en- " Don't be unreasonable," Royston said at last. couraging either party occasionally with an ap- "As Macdonough always says when he has lost proving smile, but preserving a cautious and the first two rubbers, 'the night is young and complete neutrality. On the present occasion drink is plenty.' Admiration will develop itself he had his own reasons for not being disappoint. if you only give it time. I have serious thoughts ed about the latter's appreciation of Miss Tre- already of adding another to the many little I silyan. Had he felt any such misgivings, they poems that must have been written about Miss would have vanished later in the evening. Tresilyan. Shall I send it to the 'United Serv- The doctor was a stern man; but he must ice Gazette ' It would be a great credit to our have been more than human to have stood fast branch of the profession. No dragoon has pub- against the entreaties and cajolement with which lished a rhyme since Lovelace, I believe. I've his patient backed up the petition, " to be allow- got as far as the first line: ed just one cigar before going to roost." The Ah, Cecil! hide those eyes of blue." prospect of this compensating weed had support- "I think I've heard something very like that ed poor Harry through the dullness and priva- before," Fanny answered, laughing. "She de- tions of many monotonous days. As the ap- serves a prettier compliment than a richavffi." pointed time drew nigh, he would freshen up "Have you heard it before Well, I shouldn't visibly, just like the camels when, staggering fet- wonder. You don't expect one to be original lock deep through the sand-wastes, they scent and enthusiastic at the same moment, when both the water or sight the clump of palms. Was are out of one's line I own it, though. Your there more in all this than could be traced to princess merits all the vassalage she has found the mere soothing influence of the nicotine and -better than she will meet with here-if only flavor of the tobacco Might not this one old for the perfection of her costume. That is a habit still indulged have been the only link that triumph. Honor to the artist who built her hat. sensibly connected the invalid with those pleas- I drink to him now, and I wish the Burgundy ant days, when he enjoyed life so heartily, with were worthier of the toast. (Hal, this Corton so many cheery comrades to keep him in coun- does not improve.) I should advise you to se- tenance-when he would have laughed at the cure the address of her bottier. You know her idea of Any thing short of a sabre-cut, a shot- SWORD AND GOWN. I 6 SWORD AND GOWN. wound, or a rattling fall over an "oxer," bring- ing him down to that state of helpless depend- ence, when our conception of womankind re- solves itself into the ministering angel Harry certainly could not have told you if this were so; for an inquiry into the precise nature of his sen- sations would have posed him at any time quite as completely as a question in hydrostatics or plane trigonometry. At any rate, the consump- tion of The Cigar was a very important ceremony with him; not conducted in the thoughtless and improvident spirit of men who smoke a dozen or so a day, but partaking rather of the character of a sacrifice, at once festal and solemn. There were times, as we have said before, when he would break out of bounds recklessly; but upon such occasions lie gave himself no time to re- flect; so there was nothing then of calm and de- liberate enjoyment; and these escapades grew more and more rare as the warnings of his con- stitntion spoke more imperiously. Among the very few traits of amiability that Major Keene had ever displayed, were the sacri- fices of personal convenience he would make for Harry Molyneux. Ile had given up a good many engagements to see his comrade through that especial hour; and, if the day had left any available geniality in him, it was sure to come out then. Upon this occasion, however, he was remarkablv silent, and answered several times at random as if his thoughts were roving elsewhere: they were not unpleasant ones, apparently, for he smiled twice or thrice to himself, much less icily than usual. At last he spoke abruptly after a long pause-Miss Tresilyan's name had not once been mentioned-" Hal, you know that old hack- neved phrase, about 'a woman to die for' I think we have seen one to-day who is worth liv- ing for; which is saying a good deal more." "You like her, then" Molyneux asked. " Yes-I-like-her." The words came out as if each one had been weighed to a grain; and his lip put on that curious smile once more. Harry did not feel quite satisfied. He would have preferred hearing more, and inferring less; but acting upon his invariable rose-colored prin- ciple, he would not admit any disagreeable sur- mises, and went to bed under the impression that " it was all right," and that Royston was in a fair way toward being repaid for the sacrifices he had made to friendship. CHAPTER VIL THE Saturday night ispwaning, but Molyneutx shows no signs of moving yet from Keene's apart- ments. He has been a model of prudence though 80 far, as to his drinks, and, in good truth, their companion is not amusing, or instructive, or con- vivial enough, to tempt or to excuse transgres- sion. Dick Tresilyan looks about twenty-five, strong- ly and somewhat heavily built; rather over the middle height, even with the decided stoop of his broad, round shoulders. He carries far too much flesh to please a professional eye, and by the time he is fifty will be very unwieldy; but there is more activity in him than might be sup- posed, and he walks strongly and well, as you would find if you tried to keep pace with him B through the turnips on a sultry September day. His face, without a pretension to beauty in it- self, suggests it-just the face that makes you say, "that man must have a handsome sister;" indeed, it bears an absurdly strong family like- ness to Cecil's, amounting to a parody. But the outline of feature which in her is so fine and clear, is dull and filled out even to coarseness. It reminded one of looking at the same land- scape, first through the medium of a bright blue sky, and then through driving mist, when crag, and cliff, and wood still show themselves, but blurred and dimly. His hair and eyes are, by several shades, the lighter of the two. The great difference is in the mouth. Cecil's is so delicate- ly chiseled, so apt at all expressiqew, from tender to provocative, that many consider it one of her best points; her brother's is so weak and unde- cided in its character (or rather want of charac- ter), that it would make a more intellectual face vacuous and inane. The "Tresilyan constitution" holds its own gallantly against the inroads of hardish living, and Dick looks the picture of rude health. Men endowed with an invincible obtuseness of intel- lect and feeling, have no mental wear and tear, and if the machine starts in good order, it seems as if it might last out indefinitely; so it would, I dare say, if it were not for a propensity to drink, and otherwise to abuse their bodily advantages, peculiar to this class. But for this neutralizing element in their composition perhaps they would live as long as crows or elephants, and we should be visited by a succession of stupid Old Parrs; which would be a very dreadful dispensation in- deed. The present subject takes a good deal of exercise, to be sure, and naturally, few cares have ever troubled him; he has always had more money than he knew what to do with, and -as for serious annoyances, a certain train of thought is necessary to form them, while our poor Dick's brain is utterly incapable of holding more than one idea at a time. Whatever may happen to be the dominant thought, reigns with an undivided empire, and will not endure a rival even near its throne, till it is violently thrust out and annihilated by its successor, on the princi- ple of The priest that slays the slayer, And shall himself be slain. lIe never originates a conception, of course, but is always open to a fair offer in the way of a suggestion from any body, and adopts it with the blind zeal of a proselyte. It follows that chance occurrences may bother him for the mo- ment, but he is saved an infinity of trouble by being independent of foresight and memory. To this last defect there is one exception. If he is crossed, or vexed, or injured, he cherishes against the offender a dull, misty, purposeless sort of re- sentment, scarcely amounting to animosity, but can not explain, either to you or to himself, why he does so. Fortunately he is tolerably harm- less and unsuspicious, for to reconcile him would be simply impossible. Not one misalliance could be detected in the main line of the Tresilyans; but there must have been a blot somewhere, a link of base metal in the golden chain, of which an adulteress and her confessor could have told. Perhaps the son of the transgressor bore no stigma on his forehead, and ruffled it among his peers as bravely as the 17 SWORD AND GOWN. best of them, never witting of his mother's dis- honor; but the stain had come out in this gen- eration. Even the faults and 'ices of that strong, stubborn race were curiously distorted and caricatured in their representative. His pride, for instance, chiefly displayed itself in a taste for low company, where he could safely lord it over his inferiors. He did this whenever he had a chance, but, to do him justice, by no means in an ill-natured or bullying way. He had resided almost entirely on his own estates; and, during his rare visits to London, had not extend- ed his knowledge of the world beyond the expe- rience that may be picked up by frequenting di- vers equivocal places of public resort, and from occasional foravs on the extreme frontier of the dedi-monde. The result was, that in general societv he felt himself in a false position, and was enidently anxious to escape into a more con- genial atmosphere. Can you guess why I have lingered so long over a portrait that might well have been dis- patched in three lines It is because, in the eves of those who knew Cecil Tresilyan, some interest must attach itself to the basest thing that bears her name; it is because there are men alive who think that the broidery of her skirt. or the trimming of her mantle, deserve de- scribing better than the shield of Pelides; who hold that one of her dark chestnut tresses is worthier of a place among the stars than impe- rial Berenice's hair. A lame excuse, I admit, to the many that never saw her-even in their dreams. On this particular evening Dick was supreme- ly happy. Keene had got him upon shooting- the only subject on which that unlucky man could talk without committing himself; and, by the time he was well into his fourth tumbler of iced Cogniae and water, he was achieving a rare conversational triumph; for he had left off an- swering monosyllabically, had volunteered an ob- servation or two, and even ventured to banter his companions about their not availing them- selves sufficiently of the sporting resources in the neighborhood. "There are several boars near here," he was saying; "they shoot them sometimes, and you can go if vou manage properly. I wonder you men never found that out." "Ah! they did talk a good deal about pigs," Rovston remarked indifferently. " But, you see, we used to stick them in the Deccan. The first time I heard of their way of doing it here, I felt very like Deering when they asked him to shoot a fox in Scotland. Tom Deering, you know, the old boy that has hunted with the Warwickshire and Atherstone for thirty seasons, and could tell you the names, ages, and colors of the hounds better than he could those of his own small family-pedigrees, too, I shouldn't wonder." Dick tried to look as if he had known the man from his childhood, and succeeded but very moderately. "Well," the other went on, " they were beat- ing a cover for roe, and the gillie suggested a particular pass, as the most likely to get a shot at what he called a 'tod.' It was some time be- fore Tom realized the full horror of the proposi- tion: when he did, he shut his eyes like a bull that is going to charge, and literally fell upon the duinhe-wassel, bellowing savagely. He had no more idea of using his hands than a fractious baby; but it is rather a serious thing when six- teen stone of solid flesh becomes possessed by a devil. Robin Oig was overborne by the onset, and did not forget the effects of it that season." Tresilyan laughed applaudingly, as he always did when he could understand more than half a story. " I suppose it's pretty good fun hunting them out there " he said, going off at score, as usual, on the fresh theme. "Not bad," Keene replied; "sharp going while it lasts, and a little knack wanted to stick them scientifically. Some say it's more exciting than fox-hunting, but that's childish; I never heard a man assert it whose liver was not on the wane. It's more dangerous, certainly. A header into the Smite or the Whissendine is nothing to a fall backward into a nullah, with a beaten horse on the top of you." Molyneux woke up from a reverie. The fa- miliar word stirred his blood like a trumpet, and it flashed up brightly in his pale cheek as he spoke. " Ah ! we have had a brushing gallop or two in the gay old times, before we got mar- ried, and invalided, and all that sort of thing. Dick, I should like to tell you how I got my first spear.' "Of course you would," the major said, re- signedly; "it's my fault for starting the subjcct. Get over it quickly then, please." le did not stop him, though, as he would have done on an- other occasion-pour cause. " I had been entered some time at boar," Har- ry began, " before I had any luck at all. Ride as bard as I would at the start, the old hands would creep up at the finish, just in time to get 'first blood.' I gave long prices for my Arabs, too, and didn't spare them. I own I got discouraged, and thought the whole thing a robbery, a delu- sion, and a snare. One day, however, rve had a good deal of deep, marshy ground at first, and a quick gallop afterward, which served my light weight well. I had it all to myself when he came to bay; so I went in, full of confidence, and gave point, as I thought, well behind the shoulder-blade. I did not calculate on the pace we were going, and I was just three inches too forward. My horse was as young and h t as I was, and though he had no idea of flinching, didn't know how to take care of himself. The instant the brute felt the steel he wheeled short round, and cut The Emperor's forelegs clean from under him. We all came down in a heap; my spear flew yards away; and there I was on my face, clear of my horse, with my right wrist badly sprained. Would you have fancied the position I didn't. The devil was too blown to begin offensive operations at once, for we had burst him along pretty sharply, but he stood right over me, champing and rasping his tusks, and getting his wind for a good vicious rip. I felt his boiling foam dropping upon me as I lay quite still. I thought that was the best thing to do. All at once hoofs came up at a hard gal- lop; something swept above me with a rush; there was a short, smothered sound like a taP on a padded door, and then the beast stretched himself slowly out across my legs, and shivered, and died. That man opposite to you had leapt his horse over us both, and, while he was in the 18 SWORD AND GOWN.1 air, speared the boar through the spinal marrow. If he had been struck any where else he might still have torn me badly before the life was out of him. Neatly done, wasn't it " Harry drank off the remains of his sherry and seltzer rather excitedly, and then sighed. He was thinking how often, in other days, when health and nerves were to the fore, he had drained a stronger and deeper draught to " Snaf- fle, spur, and spear !" "A mere stage trick, " Keene remarked; "effective, but not in the least dangerous, with a horse under you as steady as poor old Mah- moud. May his rest be glorious! Gilbert kill- ed a tiger that had got loose in the same way, which was something to talk about, for even clean-bred Arabs don't like facing tigers. You made rather better time than usual over that story to-night, Hal; it's practice, I suppose." Tresilyan's eyes fastened on the speaker, full of a heavy, pertinacious admiration. You might haie told him of the noblest action of generosity or self-denial that ever constituted the stock in trade of a moral hero, and he would have list. ened patiently, but without one responsive emo- tion. Bodily prowess and daring he could ap- preciate. Keene's physical prestige was just the thing to captivate his limited imagination; be- sidos which the ground was prepared for the seed-time. He had some soldier friends, and dining with these at the " Swashing Buckler," he had heard some of those club chronicles in which the Cool Captain's name figured promi- nently. The latter interpreted perfectly well the gaze that was riveted upon him, without being in the least flattered by it. He felt, perhaps, the same sort of satisfaction that one experiences when, fighting for the odd trick, the first card in our hind is a heavy trump. Dick's thorough and undivided allegiance once secured, was a good card in the game he was playing at the moment. Whatever his thoughts might have been, his face told no tales. He had been flooring glass for glass with his guest till the liquor began to work its way into the cracks even of such a seasoned vessel; but, for any outward or visible sign in feature, speech, or manner, he might have been assisting at a teetotaller's soiree. Very often-late on guest-nights, or other tournaments of deep drinking, where Trojan and Tyrian met to do battle for the credit of their re- spective corps-the calm, rigid face, never flush- ing beyond a clear swarthy brown, and the cold, bright, inevitable eyes, had stricken terror into the hearts of bacchanalian Heavies, and given consolation, if not confidence, to the Hussars, who were failing fast: these knew that though their own brains might be reeling and their legs rebelliously independent, their single champion wam invincible. As the last of the Enomotme went down, he saw Othryades standing stead- fastly, with never a trace of wound or weakness, still able and willing to write NIKH on his shield. When our poor Dick was once thoroughly im- pressed, for the first time, with awe or admira- tion, either for man or woman, he generally fell into a species of trance, from which it was ex- ceedingly difficult to bring him round. He would have sat there, staring stupidly, till morning, with perfect satisfaction to himself, if Molyneux had not attacked him with a direct question, "How long do you think of staying at Dorade And have you made any plans afterward " Le mouton qui revait roused himself with an effort, and searched the bottom of his empty glass narrowly for a reply. Eventually he suc- ceeded in finding one: " Cecil talks about two months; then we are to go on by Nice, Genoa, Florence, Rome, and Naples, and so come back by-Italy." lIe had got up the first names by rote, and run them off glibly enough, but was evidently at fault about the last one. I fancy he had some vague idea of Austrian troops being quartered in these re- gions, and looked upon Hesperia in the light of an obscure state or moderate-sized town some- where in the north of Europe. Harry was balked in his inclination to laugh; the rising smile was checked upon his lip, just in time, by a glance from his chief, severely au- thoritative. "Italy" the latter said, without a muscle moving; " well, I shouldn't advise you to stay long there. It's rather a small place, and very stupid; no society whatever. The others will amuse you, as you have never seen them." He rose as he spoke the last words. Perhaps he thought he had done that night "enough for profit and more than enough for glory." The Cool Captain seldom suffered himself to be bored without an adequate object very clearly in view. " Hal, I am going to tutn you out. It is far too late for you to be sitting up, and we have a good deal to do to-morrow." Molyneux did not quite comprehend what ex- traordinary labors were before any of them, but he rose without making an objection, and Tre- silyan prepared to accompany him. Dick con- sidered that individually he had been remarkably brilliant, and had left a favorable impression be- hind him. But all this newly-acquired confi- dence, and much strong drink were not sufficient to embolden him to risk, as yet, a tite-a-tite with Royston Keene. Long after they had departed the major sat gazing steadfastly at the logs burning on the hearth. If he had gone straight to bed' the enormous dullness of one of the party would have weighed him down like a nightmare. Is there one of us who can not remember hav- ing seen prettier pictures in a flame-colored set- ting than the Royal Academy has ever shown him What earthly painter could emulate or imitate the coquettish caprice of light and shad- ow, that enhances the charms, and dissembles all possible defects in those fair, fleeting Fiatn- minas Something like this effect was to be found in the miniatures that were in fashion a dozen years ago; where part only of a sweet face and a dangerously eloquent eye looked at you out of a wreath of dusky cloud, that shroud- ed all the rest and gave your imagination play. Truly it was not so utterly wrong, the ancient legend that wedded Hephmstus to Aphrodite. The Minnesingers and their coevals spoke fairly enough about Love, and probably had studied their subject; but, rely upon it, passionate Roe mance died in Germanv when once the close stoves prevailed. Don't you envy the imagina- tion of the dreamer who could trace a shape of loveliness in those dreadful glazed tiles Being rather a Guebre myself, I once got en- 19 SWORD AND GOWN. thusiastic on the subject in the company of an eccentric character, who very soon made me re- pent my expansiveness. If he had committed any atrocious crime (he was a small sandy- haired creature, and wore colored spectacles), no one knew of it, and he never hinted at its nature; but his whole ideas seemed tinged with a vague gloomy remorse that made him a sad- der, but scarcely a wiser or better man. Per- haps, it was a monomania; let us hope so. On that occasion he heard me out quite patiently; then the blue glasses raised themselves to the level of my eyes, and I felt convinced their own- er was staring spectrally behind them. Consid- ering that he measured about thirty-four inches round the chest, his voice was extraordinarily deep and solemn: it sounded preternaturally so as he said very slowly, "There is one face that does not often leave me alone here, and will fol- low me, I think, when I go to my appointed place: I see it now, as I shall see it throughout all ages-always byfirelig/ht." I felt very wroth, for surely to suggest a new -and unpleasant train of ideas is an infamous abuse of a tete-z-thte. I told my friend so; and, as he declined to retract or apologize, or in any wise explain himself, departed with the convic- tion that, though a clever man and an original thinker, he was by no means an exhilarating or instructive companion. I should have borne him a grudge to this day, but as I was walking home, decidedly disconsolate (there's no such bore as having a pet fancy spoiled, it is like hav- ing your favorite hunter sent home with two broken knees), it suddenly occurred to me that if the penitent was in the habit of looking at the tire through those blue barnacles, it was not likelv there would be much rose-color in his visions. In great triumph I retraced my steps, mnd knocked the culprit up to put in this "de- murrer." I flatter myself it floored him. He did attempt some lame excuse about " taking his spectacles off at such times," but I refused to listen to a word, and marched out of the place with drums beating and colors flying, first exas- perating him by the assurance of my complete forgiveness. Since then, if sitting alone, ligna super foco large reponens, I involuntarily recur to that ill-favored conception, it suffices to contrast with it the grotesque appearance of its originator, and the pale phantom evanisheth. I have no excuse to offer for this long and egotistical anecdote, except the pendant which Maloney used to attach to his ultra-marine stories The point of it is, that-it's strictly true.' CHAPTER VIti. ANoTnHR and a much more reputable Coun- eil of Three sat that night in Miss Tresilyan's apartments. Mr. Fullarton represented the male element there, and was in great force. The late accession to his flock had decidedly raised his spirits: he knew how materially it would strength- en his hands; but, independently of all politic consideration, Cecil's grace and beauty exercised a powerful influence over him. Do not miscon- strue this. I believe a thought bad never cros- ed his mind relating to any living woman that his own wife might not have known and ap- proved; nevertheless was it true, that Mr. Ful- larton liked his penitents to be fair: not a very eccentric or unaccountable taste either. It is a necessity of our nature to take more delight in the welfare and training of a beautiful and re- fined being, than in that of one who is coarse and awkward and ugly. Even with the merely animal creation we should experience this; and not above one divine in fifty is more than human, after all So, gazing on the fair face and queenly figure that were then before him, and feeling a sort of vested interest in their possessor, the heart of the pastor was merry within him; and he, so to speak, caroused over the profusely-sugared tea and well-buttered galette with a decorous and regulated joviality; ever as he drank casting down the wreaths of his florid eloquence at the feet of his entertainers. In any atmosphere whatsoever, no matter how uncongenial, those garlands were sure to bloom. His zeal was such a hardy perennial that the most chilling reception could not damage its vitality. Principle and in- tention were both all right, of course, but they were clumsily carried out, and the whole effec t was to remind one unpleasantly of the clock- maker puffing his wares. At the most unsea- sonable times and in the most incongruous places, Mr. Fullhrton always had an eye to business, in- troducing and inculcating his tenets with an as- surance and complacency peculiar to himself. Sometimes he would adopt the familiarly con- versational, sometimes the theatrically effective style; but it never seemed to cross his mind that either could appear ridiculous or grotesque. Some absurd stories were told of his perform- ances in this line. On one occasion, they say. he addressed his neighbor at dinner, to whom he had just been introduced, abruptly thus: " Yon see, what we want is-more faith," in preciselh the manner and tone of a gourmet suggesting that "the soup would be all the better for a little more seasoning ;" or of Mr. Chouler as- serting, " the farmers must be protected, sir." On another, meeting for the first time a very pious and wealthy old man (I believe a joint- stock bank director), he proceeded to sound him as to his "experiences." The unsuspecting eld- er, rather flattered by the interest taken in his welfare, and never dreaming that such com- munications could be any thing but privileged and confidential, parted with his information pretty freely. Mr. Fullarton was so delighted at what he had heard that he turned suddenly round to the mixed assembly and cried out. "Why, here's a blessed old Barzillai!" His face was beaming like that of an enthusiastic numismatist who stumbles upon a rare Com- modus or an authentic Domitian. There were several people present of his own way of think- ing; but some, even among those, felt very ill afterward from their efforts to repress their laugh- ter. The miserable individual thus endued with the " robe of honor" would have infinitely pre- ferred the most scandalously abusive epithet to that fervid compliment. He would have parted with half his bank shares at a discount (they were paying about 14 per cent. then-you can get them tolerably cheap now) to have been able to sink into his shoes on the spot; indeed these were almost large enough to form convenient places of refuge. It had a very bad effect on 20 him: he never again unbosomed himself on any I--sins that, at another time, when her faculties subject ton man, woman, or child. Even in his 1 were fresh and her judgment unbiassed, she last illness-though lie must have had one or might have looked upon as any thing but venial. two troublesome things on his mind, unless he Ah! Mr. Fullarton. the seed you have scattered had peculiar ideas, as to the propriety of mining so profusely to-night is beginning to bear fruit widows and orphans-he declined to commit already you never dreamed of. Beet-root and himself, turnips will not succeed on every soil. It must But locked the secret in hi-s breast, be long before a remunerative crop of these can And died in silence, unconfesed. be gathered from the breezy upland which for On that Saturday night, to one of the party! centuries, till the heather was burned, has worn at all events, Mr. Fullarton's presence was very! a robe of uncommercial but imperial purple. welcome. Mrs. Danvers was somewhat of a Nevertheless, Miss Tresilvan frowned percep- hard drinker in theology, and, like other inter- tibly. It looked verv much as if Keene ha(ld en Uncrate people, was not over particular as to the amusing himself at her expense when he affected qualitv of the liquors set before her, provided an interest in her leading the choir. Unwit- only that they were hot and strong, and unstint- tinglv to " make sport for the men of war in cd. The succulent and highly-flavored eloquence Gath" bv no means suited the fancy of that to which shte was listening suited her palate ex- haughty ladvc. actlv, besides which, the chaplain's peculiar opin- It is very wrong of him not to come to ions happened to coincide perfectly with her own. church," she observed after a pause (for the sin As the evening progressed she got more and of sarcasm disapproval was not so ready, and she more exhilarated; and at length could not for- made the most of scanty means of condemna- bear intimating "how sincerely she valued the tion). " Yet I scarcelv think he can be actively privilege of sitting under so eminent a divine." hostile. You know he almost lives with the The latter made a scientific little bow, elabo- 'Molvneuxs, and has great influence with them. rated evidently by long practice, expressive at Do they not attend regularly" once of gratification and humilitv.y r.Fullartonadmitteedthatthevdid. "But," "A privilege, if such it be, dear Mrs. Dan- said he, " constant intercourse with such a man vers, that some of my congregation estimate but must ere long have its injurious effect. Indeed, very lightly. You would hardly believe how I felt it my bounden duty to warn Mrs. Molv- many members of my flock I scarcely know, ex- neux on the subject. I grieve to say she treated cept by name. It is a. sore temptation to dis- my admonition with a very unwarrantable lev- couragement. I fear that Major Keene's per- ity." nicious example is indeed contagious, and that Mrs. Danvers's sympathetic groan was promptt his evil communications have corrupted many- ly at the service of the speaker; fortunately alas! too many." He rounded off the period turning to thank her for it by a look, he missed with a ponderous professional sigh. detecting her pupil's smile. She could fancy so Miss Tresilyan was leaning back in her arm- well Fanny's little mnoue, combining amusement, chair: as the wood-fire sprang up brightly and vexation, and impertinence, while undergoing sank again suddenly, her great deep eyes seemed the ecclesiastical censure. to flash back the fitful gleams. It was long "You must be merciful to Mrs. Molvneux," since she had spoken. In truth, she had been she remarked, with a demure gravity that did drawing largely upon her piety at first, to make her credit under the circumstances. " She is herself feel interested, and, when this failed, upon my greatest friend, you know. When a wife is her courtesy, to appear.so but she was con- so very fond of her husband, surely there is some scious of relapses more and more frequent into excuse for her adopting his prejudices for and the dreary regions of Boredom. Every body against people" would agree with every body else so completely! The pastor brightened up suddenly: he had A bold contradiction, a stinging sarcasm, or a just recollected another fact to fire off against caustic retort, would have been worth any thing the biete noir. just then to take off the cloying taste of the ever- " I forgot to tell you that Major Keene is lasting honey. She roused herself at these last much addicted to play, and, besides, is intimate words enough to ask languidly, "What has he with the Vicomte de Chateaumerinil. Noscitir done" a socis." The reverend man was an indifferent There could not be a simpler question, nor one classic, but he had a way of flashing scraps out put more carelessly; but it was rather a "facer" of grammars and Analecta Minora before women to Mr. Fullarton, who dealt in generalities as a and others unlikely to be down upon him, as if rule, and objected to being brought to book they were quotations from some recondite an- about particulars-considering, indeed, such a thor. line of argument as indicative of a caviling and " You can not mean that cripple who is drawn narrow-minded disposition in his interlocutor. about in a wheel-chair" Cecil asked. "We "Well," he said, not without hesitation, saw him to-day, only for a moment, for he drew "Major Keene has only once been to church; his cloak over his face as we passed. I never and, I bAieve, has spoken scoffingly since of the saw such a melancholy wreck, and I pitied him discourse he heard delivered there. Yet I may so much that I fear he will haunt me." say I was more than usually 'supported' on that Far deeper would have been the compassion occasion." The man's thorough air of convic- had she guessed at the pang that shot straight tion softened somewhat the absurd effect of his to Armand's heart as he veiled his blasted fea- childish vanity. tures and haggard eves, feeling bitterly that such Cecil would have been sorry to confess how as he were not worthy to look upon her in the much excuse she felt inclined to admit just then glory of her brilliant beauty. for the sins both of commission and omission- "A notorious atheist and profligate," was the SWORD AND GOWN. 21 reply. "We can not regard his sore affliction I Arguing from these data, we may conclude in any other light than a judgment-a manifest that Mr. Eullarton was laboring under a slight judgment, dear Mliss Tresilyan." i delusion in believing (which he did sincerely) There was grave disapproval and just a shade that only a pure and disinterested zeal for the of contempt in the face of one of his hearers as welfare of his flock impelled him to say, " I shall she said, "The hand of God is laid so heavily make it my business to inquire more fully into there that man may surely forbear him." But Major Keene's antecedents. I am convinced Mrs. Danvers struck in to her favorite's rescue, there is something discreditable in the back- rejoicing in an opportunity of displaying her par- ground, and it may be well to be armed with tisanship. proofs in case of need." " A judgment, of course. It would be sinful Though he may have deceived himself corn- to doubt it. Besides, do not others suffer" pletely as to the nature of the spirit that possess- (She cast up her eves here pointedly, as though ed him, Cecil Tresilyan was more clear-sighted. she said, " There may be more perfect saints, She had not failed to remark a certain vicious but if you want a fair specimen of the fine old twinkle in the speaker's eye and a deeper flush English martyr-me voicd.") "Cecil, my love, on his ruddy countenance, betokening rather a I wonder you did not perceive Major Keene's i mundane resentment. Her lip began to curl. true character at once. You were talking to "How very disagreeable some of your duties him a good deal the other day." must be. No doubt you interpret them correct- "le did not favor me with any remarkably ly, but in this case perhaps it would be well to heretical opinions," Miss Tresilyan replied, care- be quite sure before acting on the offensive. If lessly. " Perhaps they have been exaggerated. I were a man-even a clergyman-I don't think At all events, he is not likely to do us much I should like to have Major Keene for my de- harm. Don't you think we are safe, Bessie dared enemy." Dick does not care much for play; and his ideas The text with which the chaplain enforced his on religious subjects are so very simple that it reply-expressive of a determination to keep his would be hard to unsettle them." own line at all hazards, strong in the rectitude Clearly she thought the topic was exhausted, of his cease-had bette r not be quoted here, es- but it bad a strange fascination for Mr. Fullar- pecially as it was not apposite enough to " lay" ton. One of the many good-natured people, the contradictory spirit that was alive in his fair who especially abound in those semi-English' opponent. (Hlow very angry Cecil would have Continental towns, had been kind enough to been if she had been told ten minutes ago that quote or misquote to him a remark of Royston's 1 such an expression would apply to her !) The atout that sermon; and on this topic the chap- i temptation to answer sharply was so powerful lain was very vulnerable. He would have for- that she took refuge in distant coldness. given a real substantial injury far sooner than a " You quite misunderstand me, Mr. Fullarton. depreciation of his discourses. I never dreamed of offering advice; it would Was he one whit weaker or more susceptible have been excessively presumptuous in me, espe- than his fellows I think not. All the philos- mcialy as I have not the faintest interest in the ophy on earth will not teach us to endure with- subject we have been talking about. Need we out wincing a musquito's bite. The hardiest discussitanylonger IthinkMajorKeenehas hero bears about him one spot where an ivy-leaf been too highly honored already." clinging intercepted the petrifying water-a tiny That weary look was so manifest now on the out-of-the-way spot, not very near the head or beautiful face that even the chaplain, albeit te- heart, but palpable enough to be stricken by nacious of his position as a sea-anemone, felt Paris's arrow or Hagen's spear. Caesar is very that, for once, he had overstaid his time and sensitive about that bald crown of his, and fears was periling his popularity. So, after an expan- lest even the laurel wreath should cover it but sive benediction, and an entreaty that they would meagrely. Many wars, since that which brought be early at church on the morrow, he went " to Ilium to the dust, might have been traced to his own place." slighted vanity, and many excellent Christians With a sigh of admiration-" What an ex- have waxed quite as wroth as the queen of hea- cellent man, and how well he talks !" said Bessie thenish heaven about the spretau injuria formtne. Danvers. (Do you think this is a peculiarly feminine fail- With a sigh of relief-" He talk3 a great deal, ing I have seen a first-class man and Ireland and it is very late," said Cecil Tresilyan. scholar look massacres at the child of his bosom friend, when the unconscious innocent made dis- agreeable remarks on his personal appearance, alluding particularly to the shape of his nose, HAPTER which was not Phidian. He has since been C IX. heard to speak of that terrible deed in Bethlehem FitoM his " coign of vantage" in the reading- as a painful but justifiable measure of political desk the next morning, Mr. Fullarton surveyed a expediency; and is inclined, on many grounds, crowded congregation, serenely complacent and to excuse and sympathize with the stern Idume- hopeful, as a farmer in August looking down an.) The insult offered to the embassador in from the hill-side on golden billows of waving Tarentum was only the outbreak of a single grain. Visitors had been pouring in rather fast drunkard's brutality, but all the wealth of the during the week; and there was a vague, gen- fair citv of Phalanthus did not suffice to pay the cral impression, which no individual would have account for washing the soiled robe white again; owned, that they were to hear something un- and blood enough ran down her streets to have. usually good. For once expectation was not quenched some blazing temples before the Ro- to be disappointed-a remarkable fact, when one mans would give her a receipt in fulL considers how much dissatisfaction is created, as SWORD AND GOWN. 22 SWORD AND GOWN. a rule, in the popular mind, by the shortcomings of eclipses, processions, Vesuvian eruptions, new operas, and other advertised attractions, natural and artificial. The singing was really a success. Miss Tresilyan's magnificent voice did its duty nobly, and did no more. Without overpowering or singling itself out from the others, it lured them on to follow where they could never have gone alone: the choir was kept in perfect order without even knowing that it was disciplined. There was an elderly Englishman who had re- sided at Dorade ever since he had a slight differ- ence of opinion with the Bankruptcy Court a quarter of a century back. Drifting helplessly and aimlessly about Europe in search of employ- ment, he had taken root where he came ashore, and vegetated, as floating weeds will do. He picked up rather a precarious livelihood by act- ing as a species of factotum to his countrymen in the season, ministering, not injudiciously, to their mvriad whims and necessities. Among his multifarious functions, perhaps the most re- splctalble and permanent was that of clerk to the English chapel. He was by no means a very religious man, nor were his morals quite unex-, ceptionable, but he had completely identified himself with the fortunes and interests of that mod st building. A sneer at its capabilities or a doubt as to its prospects would exasperate him at any time far more than a direct insult to him- self (to be sure there.was little self-respect left to be offended). When disguised in drink, which was the casa tolerably often, he generally pro- posed to settle the question by the ordeal of bat- tle, and was only to be appeased by an apology or a great deal more liquor. On this occasion the success and the singing combined-for excess and hardship had not quite deadened a good ear for music-moved the old castaway strangely. His thoughts wandered back to the misused days when he had friends, and a position, and character; when he was a householder and vestryman, and even dreamt ambitiously of a churchwardenship. He could see distinctly his own pew, with the gray, worm- eaten panels, where he had sat many and many a warm afternoon, resisting sternly, as became a man of mark in the parish, treacherous in- clinations to slumber. He saw the ponderous brown gallery-eyesore to archaeologists-which held the village choir: there they were, with the sun streaming in on their heads through the western window, till even the faded red cushion in front deepened into rich crimson, chanting their quaint old anthems with right good cour- age, though every one got lost in the second line, and, after much independent exertion of the lungs, just came up in time to join in the grand final rally. He saw the mild-faced, gray-haired parson mounting slowly the pulpit stairs, adjust- ing and mancauvring the refractory gown that would come off his shoulders with the nervous gesture which, beginning in timidity, had grown into a habit that was part of the man. More plainly than all-he saw a low, green mound, just beyond the chancel walls, where one was sleeping who had lavished on him all the treas- ures of a rare, unselfish, trusting love; the dear, meek, little wife, who was so proud of her hus- band's few poor talents, so indulgent to his many failings, who ever had an excuse ready to an- swer his self-reproaches, whose weak, thin hand was always strong enough to pluck him back from ruin and dishonor, till it grew stiff and cold. She knew it, too, for he remembered the wail that burst from her lips when she thought she was alone, the night before she died-" Ah ! who will save him now that I am gone " How mis- erable and lonely he was long after they buried her! How incessantly he used to repeat those last words, meant to be comforting, that she spoke, with her arm wound round his neck, " Darling, you have been so very, very kind to me !" So it went on, till the devil of drink, choosing his time cunningly, entered into him, and battled with and drove out the angel. A strange resurrection! Memories that had died years ago, withering from very shame, began to curl and twine themselves round the hard, bat- tered heart as tenderly as ever. These pictures of the past were still vivid and clear, when he became aware of a dimness in his eves that blinded them to all real surrounding objects; he felt so surprised that it broke the sell ; tears had almost forgotten the wav to his eves. Not very probable, is it, that a prosaic elderly clerk should dream of all this during the three last verses of a hymn Well, the steadict im- agination is apt to disregard sometimes the pro- prieties of place; and as for space-of course the Visions of the night are quicker on the wing than their rivals of the day; yet there must he some analogy, and, they say, we pass through the vicissitudes of half a lifetime in the few seconds before we wake. Cecil was really pleased with the result of the singing. She would have been even tuore so had it not been for the marked expression e.f am proval on the face of loyston Keene. It was evident she had been on her trial. The cool, tranquil, appreciative smile was very provoking. It made her feel for the mnonmet like a prinia donna on her first appearance at a new theatre. Unusually eloquent and verbose was the ser- mon that dav, for not only was the preacher aware that bright eves looked upon his deeds, but he saw his enemies in the front of the battle. Surely all extemporaneous speakers, in court, pulpit, or senate, must be accessible to such ex- ternal influences. It ought not to be so, of course, but I fancy it is. Would John Knox have been so fierv in denunciation if those wicked maids of honor had not derided him I doubt if a discourse delivered in a Union would ever soar to sublimity, even if the excellent paupers could be supposed to understand it. So, with every sentence more plaintive grew SMr. Fullar- ton's lamentations over worldlings and their van- ities, more bitter his invectives against those who, having themselves broken out of the fold, seek to lead others astray. An occasional ges- ture-something too expressive-wvas not needed to point his animadversions. The object of them sat with his head slightly bent, neither by frown nor smile betraying that a single allusion had gone home. The simple truth was, that he scarcely caught one word. The last cadence of sweeter tones was still lingering in his ears. and had locked them fast against all other sounds. The energetic divine might have poured out upon his guilty head vet stormier vials, and he would never have heard one roll of the thunder. How- ever, the dearest friends must part, and all ora- tions must come to au end, except those of the 23 SWORD AND GOWN. much-desiderated Chisholm Anstey, of whom an old-world parliament was not worthy; so, after " a burst of forty-five minutes without a check," the chaplain dismissed his beloved hearers to their digestion. The stream, as it flowed out, divided, and broke up into small pools of conversation. Miss Tresilyan and her chaperone joined the Moly- neux party, just as Fanny was saying to Keene that "she hoped he would profit by much in the sermon that was evidently meant for him." "IIias he personal " the latter asked, so in- differently; "I didn't notice it. Well, I sup- pose it amuses him, and it certainly does not hurt me." (Mrs. Danvers sniffed indignantly-a form of protest to which her nose, from its construc- tion, was eminently adapted; but he went on before she could speak) "Miss Tresilyan, will you allow perhaps the unworthiest member of the congregation to express an opinion that the singing went off superbly " Her beautiful eyes glittered somewhat disdain- fully. "Thank you, you are very good. But I think you have hardly a right to be critical. I should like to have some one's opinion who is really interested in the chapel. It was scarcely worth taking so much trouble to appear so the other day. You know what Liston said about the penny ' It is not the value of the thing, but one hates to be imposed upon.' Delusions are not so agreeable as illusions, Major Keene." Royston was very much pleased. He liked above all things to see a woman stand up to him defiantly ; indeed, if they were worth " setting to with," he always tried to get them to spar as soon as possible, to find out if they had any idea of hitting straight. He did not betray his satisfac- tion, though, as he answered quite calmly, " Par- don me, I could not be so impertinent as to at- tempt a ' delusion' on so short an acquaintance. I deny the charge distinctly. I believe that resi- dence in Dorade, and a certain amount of sub- scription, constitute a member of Mr. Fullarton's congregation, and give one a franchise. He has not thought fit to excommunicate me publicly as yet. I really was interested in the subject, for I fully meant to go to church this morning, and I mean to go again." Insensibly they had walked on in advance of the others. She shook her head with a saucy incredulity-" I am no believer in sudden con- versions. " "Nor I; I was not speaking of such; but I am very fond of good singing, and I would go any where to hear it. Did our chaplain include hypocrisy among my other disqualifications for decent society last night I understand he is good enough to furnish a catalogue of them to all new comers." Cecil certainly had not abused him then; so there was not the slightest necessity for her look- ing guilty and conscious, both of which she felt she was doing as she replied-" I am sure Mr. Fullarton would not asperse any one's character knowingly. He could only speak from a sense of duty, perhaps not a pleasant one." "Quite so," said Royston; III don't quarrel with him for any fair professional move. If he thinks it necessary or expedient to prejudice in- different people against me, he is clearly right to do so. Ah! I see, you think I dislike him. I, don't, indeed. Morally and physically, he seems a little too unctuous, that's all. Capital clergy- man for a cold climate! Fancy how useful he would be in an Arctic expedition. They might save his salary in Arnott's stoves: I'm certain be radiates." Miss Tresilyan knew that it was wrong to smile. But she had an unfortunately quick per- ception of the ridiculous, and the struggles of principle against a sense of humor were not al- ways successful. She would not give up her point, though. "I can not think that you judge him fairly," she persisted. "Perhaps not; but there is a large class who would scarcelv be much moved by stronger and abler words than, I suppose, we heard to-day- spoken as they were spoken. These preachers won't studv the fitness of things; that's the worst of it. I have known a garrison chaplain deliver a discourse that, I am convinced, was composed for a visitation. It seems absurd to hear a man warning us against a particular sin, and threat- ening us with all sorts of penalties if we indulge in it, when it is impossible that he himself should ever have felt the temptation. We want some one who can find out the harmless side of our character, as well as the diseased part, and work upon it. Such a person may be as strict and harsh as he please!, but he is listened to." Ile paused for a moment, and went on in a graver tone-" I think it might have done even ace some good, when I was younger, to have talked for half an hour with the man who wrote ' How Amyas threw his sword away."' Cecil could not disagree with him now, nor did she wish to do so. She liked those last words of his better than any he had spoken. Remem- ber, she was born and bred in the honest west country where one, at least, of their own prophets hath honor. If you want to indulge your en- thusiasm for the Rector of Eversley, let vour next walking-tour turn thitherward; for on all the sea-board from Portsmouth to Peizance, there is never a woman-maid, wife, or widow- that will say you nay. Keene saw his advantage, but was far too wise to follow it up then. The weaker sex, as A rule, are acute but not very close reasoners; they mix up their majors and minors with a charming recklessness; and, if innocent of nothing else, are generally guiltless of a syllogism. It follows that, in the course of an argument, it is easy enough to entangle them in their talk. When such a chance occurs, don't come down on your pretty antagonist with "I thought you said so and so," but be politic as well as generous, and pass it by. They will do more justice to your self-denial than they would have done to your dialectic talents. Corinna loves to be contra- dicted, but hates to be convinced, and dreads no monster so much as a short-horned-dilemma. She may forgive the first offense as inadvertent, but "one more such victory and you are lost." Think how often clemency has succeeded where severity would have failed. What did that dis- creet Eastern emir, when he found his fair young wife sleeping in a garden, where she had no earthly business to be He laid his drawn sabre softly across her neck, and retired without breaking her slumbers. The cold blade was the first thing Zuleika felt when she woke; I can not guess what her sensations were; but when she gave the weapon back to her solemn lord, 24 she pressed her rosy lips thrice on the blue steel, visages-lighted up by no redeeming ray of in- and made a vow that she most probably kept; tellect-that preside at " good men's feasts," and and Hussein Bey never was happier, than when confront them at their firesides How do the he drew her back to his broad breast, looking husbands manage Do they, from constantly into her face silently with his calm, grave smile. contemplating an inferior type of creation, lose I fanev our sisters enter into an argument with their comparing and discriminating powers, so more simnplc good faith and eagerness than we that, like the Australian and Pacific aborigines, are wont to indulge in; so that it is probably they come to regard as points of beauty pectuli- easier to tease and exasperate them, which is aritics that a more advanced civilization shrinks amusing enough while it lasts. But no doubt from Or do their visual organs actually be- it hurts them sometimes more than we are aware come impaired, like those of captives wvho can of; and, after all, breaking a butterfly on the see clearly only in their own dungeon's twilight, wheel is poor pastime, and not a very athletic and flinch before the full glare of day If nei- sport. The glory, too, to be won is so small ther of these is the case, they must sometimes that it scarcely compensates for the pain we in- sympathize with that dreary dilemma of Bias fict, and may, perchance, eventually fiel. Is which the adust Aldrich quotes in grim ironv- Achilles inclined to be proud of the strength of Et pv ;ak)ijv, 5nta coivV, ii C' aixpatv, -rouniv. his arm, or the keenness of his falchion, as he (Whether of the two horns impaled the sage of grovels in the dust at the slain Amazon's side Priene) Some, of course, are fully alive to the Nay, lie would give half his laurels to be able to outward defects of their partners; but few are so close that awful gaping wound-to see the proud candid as the old Berkshire squire, who, looking lips soften for a moment from their immutable after his spouse as she left the room, said, p'en- scorn-to detect the faintest tremor in the long sively, "Excellent creature, that! I've liked white limbs that never will stir again. i her better every day for twentv years, but I've The solemnity of these illustrations, in which always thought she's the plainest-headed woman battles murders, and sudden deaths are mingled, in England !" Fewer still would w-ish to emu- will prove that I regard the subject as by no late the sturdy plain-speaking of the "gudeman" means trivial, but am sincerely anxious to warn in the Scottish ballad, who, when his wvitch-wvife my comrades against yielding to a temptation boasted how she bloomed into beautv after drink- witich assails us daily. ing the "wild-flower wine," replied, undaunt- On these principles the Cool Captain acted, edly, then. His gay laugh opened a bridge to the re- " Ye lee, ye lee, ye ill womyn, treating enemy as he sa' -, " How my poor char- Sae loed I hear ye lee; acter must have been worried last night! I wish The ill-faured'st wife i' the kingdom of Fife Mrs. Molyneux had been there. She is good Il comely compared wi' thee." enough to stand up for her old friend sometimes. lie could stand all the other marvels of the Sab- I could hardly expect you to take so much trouble bat, but that was too much for his credulity. for a very recent acquaintance." No doubt many of these Ugly Princesses are " Of course not," replied Cecil. " I was not endowed with excellent sterling qualities. The in a position to contradict any thing, even if I old Border legend says there never was a happier had wished to do so. But, I remember, I thought match than that of "Muckle-mou'ed Meg," I would speak to you about my brother. You though her husband married her reluctantly with know enough of him already to guess . why I am a halter tightening round his neck. But such nervous about him. I almost forced him to take advantages lie below the surface, and take some me abroad; and he is exposed to so many more I time in being appreciated. The first process of dangers here than at home. Plcase, don't en- captivation is what I don't understand-unless, courage him to play, or tempt him into any thing indeed, there are sparkles in the quartz, invisible wrong. Indeed, I don't mean to speak harshly I to common eves, that tell the experienced gold- or uncourteously, so you need not be angry." seeker of a rich vein near. She raised her eyes to her companion's with a Well, we will allow the proposition with which pretty pleading. He met them fairly. What- we started; but do you suppose its converse ever his intentions might be, no one could say would hold equally good -that every woman that the major ever shrank from looking friend could love once if she wished it Nine out of or foe in the face. ten of them would, I dare say, answer boldly in "I am sorry that you should think the warn- the affirmative; but in a few rather sad and ing necessary. Supposing that it were so-on weary faces you might read something more than my honor, he is safe from me. I should like to a doubt about this; and lips, not so red and full alter your opinion of me, if it were possible. as they once were, on which the wintry smile Will you give me a chance " The others join- comes but rarely could tell perhaps a different ed them before she could reply; but more than I story. The precise mould that will fit somace fan- once that day Cecil wondered whether, even dur- cies is as hard to find as the slipper of Cendril- ing their short acquaintance, she had not some- Ion; and so, in default of the fairy chatessure, the times dealt scanty justice to Boyston Keene. small white foot goes on its road unshod, and the stones and briers gall it cruelly. With men it does not so much matter. They have always the counteracting resources of hod- CHAPTER 2 ily and mental exertion. against which the affec- tions can make but little head. Indeed, some THERE is a pleasant theory-that every wom- of the most distinguished in arts, in arms, if not an may be loved, once at least in her life, if she in song, seem to have gone down to their graves so wills it. It must be true: how, otherwise, without ever giving themselves time to indulge can you account for the number of hard-featured in any one of these. Perhaps they never missed SWORD AND GOWN. 25 SWORD AND GOWN. a sentiment which would have been very much in their wav if they had felt it. If all tales are true, mathematics are a very effectual Ninuphar. But with women it is different. They can't be always clambering up unexplored peaks, or in- venting improvements in gunnery, or command- ing irregular corps, or bringing in faultless re- form bills, or finding out constellations, or shoot- ing big game, or resorting to any of our thou- sand-and-one safety-valves to superfluous excite- ment. Are crochet, or crossed letters, or char- itv-schools, or cven Cochins and Creve-ceurs, so entirely engrossing as to drown forever the re- proaches of nature, that will make herself heard If not, surely the most phlegmatically proper of her sex does sometimes feel sad and dissatisfied when she thinks that she has never been able to care for any one more than for her own brother. It must seem hard that, when the frost of old age comes on, she shall not have even a memory to- look upon to warm her. But in the world here, such temptations to discontent abound; but the mostt guileless votary of the Sacre Coeur might confess regrets and misgivings like these without meriting any extra allowance of fast and scourge. If .e were to reckon up the cases we have heard of women who have "gone wrong," and made, if not mXsaUliances, at least marriages in- explicalde on any rational grounds, it would fill up a long summer's day, even without drawing on darker recollections of post-nuptial transgres- sion. In these last cases, perhaps, the altar and absolute indifference was a more dangerous ele- ment than Mrs. Malaprop's "little aversion," whieb ;s. at all events, a positive thing to work upon. Lethargies are harder to cure, they say, than fevers. Certainly they have the warning examples of others who have so erred, and paid for it by a life-long repentance; but that never has stopped them yet, and never will. Remem- ber the reply of the ddbuante to her austere pa- rent when the latter refused to take her to a ball, saying that " she had seen the folly of such things." "I want to see the folly of them too.'" Few of us men can realize the feeling that, with our sisters, may account for, though not excuse, much folly and sin. They see others happy all around them: it is hard to fast when so many are feasting. So there comes a shameful sense of ignorance-a vague, eager desire for knowledge -a terror of an isolation deepening and darken- ing upon them, and a determination, at any risks, to balk at least that enemy-and so, like the poor lady of Shalott, they grow restless, and reckless, and rebellious at last. They are safe where they are, but the days have so much of dull sameness that there is a sore temptation in the unknown peril. "'Better," they say, "than the close atmosphere of the guarded castle and the phantasms of fairy-land, one draught of the fresh outer air-one glimpse of real life and na- ture-or.e taste of substantial joys and sorrows that shall wake all the pulses of womanhood even tho ugh the experience be brief and dearly bought, though the web woven while we sat dreaming must surely be rent in twain-ay, even though the curse, too, may follow very swiftly, and the swans be waiting at the gate that shall bear us down to our burying. If staid and cold-blooded virgins and matrons are not ex(empt from these disagreeable self-re- proaches, 'iow did it fare with Cecil Tresilyan, in whom the energy of a strong temperament was stirring like the spring-sap in a young oak- tree Should she die conscious of the posses- sion of such a wealth of love, with none to share or inherit it She had seen such numbers of her friends and acquaintance "'pair off," that she began to envy at last the facility of attach- ment that she had been wont to hold in scorn. Very many reflections of "' lovers lately wed" had been cast upon her mirror, and yet the One knightly shadow was long in coming. Can it be that yonder gleam through the trees is the flash of his distant armor I hope this illustrated edition of rather an old theory has not bored you much; because it would have been just as simple to have said at once that, as the days went on in Dorado, and they were thrown constantly into each other's so- ciety, Major Keene began to'monopolize much more of Cecil Tresilyan's thoughts than she would have allowed if she could have helped it; for, though she considered Mr. Fullarton's testi- mony unfairly biased by prejudice, she could not doubt that Royston was by no means the most eligible object to centre her young affec- tions upon. He carefully avoided discussion or display of any of his peculiar opinions in her presence, and on such; occasions seemed inclined to soften his habitually sardonic and deprecia- tory tone. Once or twice, when thev did disa- gree, she observed that he contrived to make some one else take her side, and then argued the point, as long as he thought it worth while, with the last opponent. Beyond the courtesy which invariably marked his demeanor toward her sex, this was the only sign of especial defer- ence that he had shown. She never could de- tect the faintest approach to the adulation that hundreds had paid her, and which she had wea- ried of long ago. Nevertheless, she knew per- fectly that on many subjects, generally consider- ed all-important, they differed as widely as the poles. Perpetual struggles between the spirit and the flesh made Cecil's heart an odd sort of debata- ble land; if she could not always insure success and supremacy to the right side, she certainly did endeavor to preserve the balance of power. Personally she rather disliked Mr. Fullarton, but she seemed to look upon him as the embodiment of a principle, and the symbol of an abstraction. He represented there the Establishment which she had always been taught to venerate; and so she felt bound, as far as possible, to favor and support him; just as Goring and Wilmot, and many more wild cavaliers, fearing neither God nor devil, mingled in their war-cry church as well as king. (Rather a rough comparison to apply to a well-intentioned demoiselle of the nineteenth century, but, I fancy, a correct one.) Thus, if she indulged herself in a long tete-i-tits with Keene, she was sure to be extraordinarily civil to the chaplain soon after; and if she de- voted herself for a whole evening to the society of the priest and his family, the soldier was like- ly to benefit by it on the morrow. Unluckily, the sacrifice of inclination was all on one side. The antagonists had never, as yet, come into open collision. It was not respect or fear that made them shv of the conflict, but rather a feel- ing, which neither could have explained to him- self, resembling that of leaders of parties in the 26 SWORD AND GOWN. House, who decline measuring their strength against each other on questions of minor im- portance, reserving themselves for the final cri- sis, when the want-of-confidence vote shall come on. Once only there was a chance of a skirmish -the merest affair of outposts. Keene had been calling on the Tresilyans one evening, in the official capacity of bearer of a verbal message from Mrs. Molyneux. It was the simplest one imaginable; but as graver em- bassadors have done before him, liking his quar- ters he dallied over his mission. (If Geneva, in- stead of Paris, were chosen for the meeting of a Congress, would not several knotty points be de- cided much more speedily) When, at last, all was settled, it seemed very natural that he should petition Cecil for "just one song;" and you know what that always comes to. Royston never would "turn over" if he could possibly avoid it; he considered it a willful waste of ad- vantages, for the strain on his attention, slight as it might be, quite spoiled his appreciation of the melody. Perhaps he was right. As a rule, if one wanted to discover the one person about whose approval the fair cantatrice is most solicit- ous, it would be well to look not immediately be- hind her ivory shoulder. At all events, he had made his peace with Miss Tresilyan on this point long ago. So he drew his arm-chair up near the piano, but out of her sight as she sang, and sat watching her intently through his half-closed eyelids. I marvel not that in so many legends of witchery and seduction since the Odcyssey the ONsacmrq doita has borne its part. "But," the Wanderer might say, replying against Circeb's warning, "have we not learned prudence and self-command from Atheun, the chaste Tritonid Have not ten years under shield before Troy, and a thousand leagues of seafaring, made our hearts as hard as our hands, and our ears deaf to the charms of song Thus much of wisdom, at least, hath come with grizzled hair, that we may mock at temptations that might have won us when our cheeks were in their down. 0 most divinely fair of goddesses! have we not re- sisted your own enchantments Shall we go forth scathless from Asiea to perish on the Isle of the Sirens" But the low, green hills are already on the weather beam, and we are aware of a sweet weird chant that steals over the water like a living thing, and smooths the ripple where it passes. How fares it with our philosophic Laertiades Those signs look strangely unlike incitements to greater speed; and what mean those struggles to get loose Well, perhaps, for the hero that the good hemp holds firm, and that Peribates and Eurylochus spring up to strengthen his bonds; well, that the wax seals fast the ears of those sturdy old sea-dogs who stretch to their oars till Ocean grows hoary be- hind the blades; or nobler bones might soon be added to the myriads that lie bleaching in the meadow, half hidden by its flowers. It was not, then, so very trivial, the counsel that she gave in parting kindness- Kipuc1 4UX6aJoI., dELv' Oeas aiOeSeTa. Are we in our generation wiser than the " man of many wiles " Dinner is over, and every one is going out into the pleasance, to listen to the nightingalc " It will be delicious; there is nothing I should like so much; but I-I sprained my ankle in jumping that gate; and Amy" (that's " my cousin who happens to sing"), "1 heard you cough three times this morning. You won't be so imprudent as to risk the night air Ah I they are gone at last; and now, Amy dear- good, kindest Amy !-open the especial crimson book quickly, and give me first your own pet song, and then mine, and then ' The Three Fishers,' and then ' Maud,' and then, I suppose, they will be coming back again; but by that time, they may be as enthusiastic as they Please, we shall be able to meet them fairly." Things have changed since David's day; spir- its are raised sometimes now, as well a.; laid, by harp and song. In good truth, they are not al- ways evil ones. On that night, Royston Keene listened to the sweet voice that seemed to knock at the gates of his heart-gates shut so long that the bars had rusted in their staples-not loudly or imperious- ly, but powerful in its plaintive appeal, like that of those one dearly loved, standing without in the bitter cold, and pleading-"Ah ! let me in !" He listened till a pleasant, dreamy fceling of domesticity began to creep over him that he had never known before. He could realize, then, that there were circumstances under which a man might easily dispense with high play, and hard riding, and hard flirting (to give it a mild name), and hard drinking, and other excite- ments which habit had almost turned into neces- sities, without missing any one of them. There were two words which ought to have put all these fancies to flight, as the writing on the wall scat- tered the guests of Belshazzar-" Too Late." But he turned his head away, and would not read them. He had actually succeeded in ig- noring another disenchanting reality-the Ires- ence of Mrs. Danvers. That estimable person seemed more than usually fidgetty, and disposed to make herself, as well as others, uncornforta- ble. There was evidently something on her mind from her glancing so often and so nervous- ly at the door. It opened at last softly, just as Cecil had finished "The Swallow," and revealed Mr. Fullarton standing on the threshold. The latter was not well pleased with the scene before him. There was an air of comfort about it which, under the circumstances, he thought de- cidedly wrong; besides which he could not get rid of a vague misgiving (the rarest thing with him!) that his visit was scarcely welcome or well timed. Miss Tresilyian rose instantly to greet the in- truder (yes, that's the right word) with her usual calm courtesy. Very few words had been ex- changed for the last hour, but she was perfectly aware-what woman is not-of the influence she had exercised over her listener. That conscious- ness had made her strangely happy. So, she cer- tainly could have survived the chaplain's absence. Royston Keene rose too, quite slowly. There are compounds, you know, that always remain soft and ductile in a certain temperature, but harden into stone at the first contact with the outer air. It was just so with him. Even as he moved, all gentle feelings were struck dead in his heart, and he stood up a harder man than ever, with no kinder emotion left than bitter an- ger at the interruption. He could not always 27 command his eyes, he knew; and, if he had not reader! It enables one to impart so much in- passed his hand quickly over his face just then, formation. Now Bessie and I should never their expression might have thrilled through the have guessed where those lines came from if you new-com er disagreeably. had not enlightened us. They seemed harmless "Cecil, dearest," Airs. Danvers said, with enough in themselves, and Major Keene was rather an awkward assumption of being perfect- considerate enough to leave us in our ignorance. ly at her ease, " M Mr. Fullarton was good enough So Byron comes within the scope of your stud- to say he would come and read to us this even- ies, Mr. Fullarton. I thought you seldom in- in, and explain some passages. I don't know dulged in such secular authors " The chaplain why I forgot to tell you. I meant to do so, was quite right in making his reply inaudible: but-" Her look finished the sentence. Roys- it would have been difficult to find a perfectly ton, like ihe others, guessed what she meant, satisfactory one. However, the hour was late and you may guess how he thanked her. enough to excuse his beginning the reading Ceci colored with vexation. She w as so anx- without farther delay. It was not a success. ious to prevent Mrs. Danvers from feeling de- There was a stoppage somewhere in the current pendent that she allowed her to take all sorts of of his mellifluous eloquence; and the exposition liberties, and the amiable woman was not dis- was concluded so soon, and indeed abruptly, that posed to let the privilege fall into disuse. On Mrs. Danvers retired to rest with a feeling of the present occasion there was such an absurd disappointment and inanition, such as one may incongruity of time and place that she miight have experienced when, expecting a " sit-down" possiblv have tried to evade the "exposition," supper, we are obliged to content ourselves with but she happened just then to meet Keene's eye. a meagre'y-furnished buffet. For some minutes The sarcasm there was not so carefully veiled as after Mr. Fullarton had departed Miss Tresilvan it usually was in her presence. Never yet was i sat silent, leaning her head upon her hand. At born Tresilvan who blenched from a challenge; last she said, " Bessie, dear, you know I would so she answvered at once to express " her sense not interfere with your comforts or your arrange- of Mr. Fullarton's kindness, and her regret that ments for the world; but, the next time you wish he had not come earlier in the evening." If to have a repetition of this, would you be so very Royston had known how bitterly she despised good as to tell me beforehhnd I think I shall herself for disingenuousness he would have been spend that evening with Fanny Molyneux. I amply avenged. do not quite like it, and I am sure it does me no Even while she was speaking he closed the pi- real good." ano very slowly and softly. It did not take him She spoke so gently that Mrs. Danvers was long to put on his impenetrable face, for when i going to attempt one of her querulous remon- he turned round there was not a trace of anger ' strances, but she happened to look at the face of left; the scarce suppressed taunt in Cecil's last her patroness. It wore an expression not often words moved him apparently no more than Mrs. j seen there; but she was wise enough to interpret Danvers's glance of triumph. I it aright, and to guess that she had gone far " I owe you a thousand apologies," he said, enough. It was ever a dangerous experiment to "for staying such an unwarrantable time, and trifle with the Tresilvans when their brows were quite as many thanks for the pleasantest two bent. So she launched into some of her affec- hours I have spent in Dorade. Don't think I tionate platitudes and profuse excuses, and un- would detain you one moment from Mr. Fullar- der cover of these retreated to her rest. It is a ton and your devotional exercises. You know comfort to reflect that she slept very soundly, -no, you don't know-the verse in the ballad: though she monopolized all the slumber that 'Amundeville may be lord by day, night that ought to have fallen to Cecil's share. Blut the monk is lord by night; What did Rovston Keene think of the events Nor wine nor wassail would stir a vassal of the evening As he went down the stairs I To question that friars right.'" am afraid he cursed the chaplain once heartily, He went away then without another word be- but on the whole he was not dissatisfied. At all yond the ordinary adieu. Royston had a way of events, the short walk down to the club com- repeating poetry peculiar to himself-rather mo- pletely restored his sany-froid, and the last trace notonous, perhaps, but effective from the depth of vexation vanished as he entered the card- and volume of his voice. You gained in rhythm room and saw the " light of battle" gleam on the what vou lost in rhyme. The sound seemed to haggard face of Armund de Chateauinesnil. linger in their ears after he had closed the door. As the echo of the firm, strong footstep died away, a virtuous indignation possessed the broad visage of the divine. CHAPTER X1 " It is like Major Keene," said he, " to select as his text-book the most godless work of the TSERE was in Dorade a stout and meritorious satanic school; but I should have thought that elderly widow, who formed a sort of connecting even he would have paused before venturing, in link between the natives and the settlers. En- this presmnce, on a quotation from Don Juan." glish by birth, she had married a Frenchman of At that awful word Mrs. Danvers gave a little fair family and fortune, so that her habits and shriek as if "a bee had stung her newly." Had sympathies attached themselves about equally to she been a Catholic she would have crossed her- the two countries. You do not often find so self an indefinite number of times: will you be good a specimen of the hybrid. She gave fre- good enough to imagine her protracted look of quent little soiries, which were as pleasant and holy horror Cecil's eyes were glittering with exciting as such assemblages of heterogeneous scornful humor as she answered, very demurely, elements usually are-that is to say, very mod- " What an advantage it is to be a large, general erately so. The two streams flowed on in the SWORD AND GOWN. 28 SWORD AND GOWN. same channel, without mingling or losing their characteristics. I fancy the fault was most on our side. We no longer, perhaps, parade Europe with "pride in our port, defiance in our eye;" but still, in our travels, we lose no opportunity of maintaining and asserting our well-beloved dig- nity, which, if rather a myth and vestige of the past, at home, abroad, is a very stern reality. Have you not seen, at a crowded table d'hote, the British mother encompass her daughters with the double bulwark of herself and their staid governess on either flank, so as to avert the contamination which must otherwise have certainly ensued from the close proximity of a courteous white-bearded Graf, or a frinyante vi- comtesse whose eyes outshone her diamonds May it ever remain so! Each nation has its vanity and its own peculiar glory, as it has its especial produce. 0 cotton mills of Manches- ter! envy not nor emulate the velvet looms of Genoa or Lyons; you are ten times as useful, and a hundredfold more remunerating. What matters it if Damascus guard jealously the secret of her fragrant clouded steel, when Sheffield can turn out efficient sword-blades at the rate of a thousand per hour Suum cuique tribuito. Let others aspire to be popular: be it ours to remain irreproachably and unapproachably respectable. So poor Mdme. de Verzenay's efforts to pro- mote an entente cordiale were lamentably foil- ed. When the English mustered strong, they would immediately form themselves into a hollow square, the weakest in the centre, and so defy the assaults of the enemy. Now and then a dar- ing Gaul would attempt the adventure of the Enchanted Castle, determined, if not to deliver the imprisoned maidens, at least to enliven their solitude. See how gayly and gallantly he starts, glancing a saucy adieu to Adolphe and Eugene, who admire his audacity, but augur ill for its success. Alions, je me risque. Montjoie St. Denis! France a la rescousse! He w inds, as it were, the bugle at the gate, with a well-turned compliment or a brilliant bit of badinage. Slow- ly the jealous valves unclose; he stands within the magic precinct-an eerie silence all around. Suppose that one of the Seven condescends to parley with him; she does so nervously and un- der protest, glancing ever over her shoulder, as if she expected the austere Fairy momentarily to appear; while her companions sit without wink- ing or moving, cowering together like a covey of birds when the hawk is circling over the tur- nip-field. How can you expect a man to make himself agreeable under such appalling circum- stances The heart of the adventurer sinks within him. Lo! there is a rustling of robes near; what if Calyba or Urganda were at hand Fuyon7s! And the knight-errant retreats, with drooping crest and smirched armor-a melan- choly contrast to the preux chevalier who went forth but now chanting his war-song, conquer- ing and to conquer. The remarks of the dis- comfited one, after such a failure, were, I fear, the reverse of complimentary; and the unpleas- ant word bigueule figured in them a great deal too often. Cecil and Fanny Molyneux were certainly ex- ceptions to the rule of unsociability, but the gen- eral dullness of those reunions infected them, and made the atmosphere oppressive; it required a vast amount of leaven to make such a large, heavy lump light or palatatile. Besides, it is not pleasant to carry on a conversation with twenty or thirty people looking on and listening, as if it were some theatrical performance that they had paid money to see, and consequently had a right to criticise. The fair friends had held counsel together as to the expediency of gratifying others at a great expense to them- selves on the present occasion, and had made their election-not to go. Early the next morning Miss Tresilyan en- countered Keene; their conversation was very brief; but, just as lie was quitting her, the latter remarked, in a matter-of-course way, " . We shall meet this evening at Madame de Verzenay's " She looked at him in some surprise, for she knew he must have heard from Mrs. Molyneux of their intention to absent themselves. She told him as much. "Ah ! last night she did not mean to go," re- plied Royston; " but she changed her mind this morning while I was with them. When I left them, ten minutes ago, there was a consultation going on with Harry as to what she should wear. I don't think it will iast more than half an hour; and then she was coming to try to persuade you to keep her fickleness in countenance." Now the one point upon which Cecil had been most severe on la mignonne was the way in which the latter suffered herself to be guided by her husband's friend. It is strange how prone is the unconverted and unmated feminine nature to in- stigate revolt against the Old Dominion-never more so than when the beautiful Carbonara fGels that its shadow is creeping fast over the frontier of her own freedom. Niay, suppose the conquest achieved, and that they themselves are reduced to the veriest serfdom, none the less will they strive to goad other hereditary bondswomen into striking the blow. Is it not known that steady old " machiners," broken for years to double harness, will encourage and countenance their "flippant" progeny in kicking over the traces How otherwise could the name of mother-in- law, on the stage and in divers domestic circles, have become a svnonvm for firebrand Look at your wife's maid, for instance. She will spend two thirds of her wages and the product of many silk dresses (" scarcely soiled") in furnishing that objectionable and disreputable suitor of hers with funds for his extravagance. Ile has beggared two or three of her acquaintance already, under the same flimsy pretense of intended marriage, that scarcely deludes poor Abigail; she has sore misgivings as to her own fate. Alternately he bullies and cajoles, but all the while she knows that he is lying, deliberately and incessantly, yet she never remonstrates or complains. It is true that, if you pass the door of her little room late into the night, you will probably go to bed haunt- ed by the sound of low, dreary weeping; but it would be worse than useless to argue with her about her folly; she cherishes her noisome and ill-favored weed as if it were the fairest of fra- grant flowers, and will not be persuaded to throw it aside. Well, if you could listen to that same long-suffering and soft-hearted young female, in her place in the subterranean Upper House, when the conduct of "Master" (especially as regards Foreign Affairs) is being canvassed; the fluency and virulence of her anathemas would almost 29 take your breath away. Even that dear old not shiver off one splinter, nor even leave a stain. housekeeper-who nursed you, and loves you Royston only remarked, "Then for to-day it is better than any of her own children-when she useless to say au revoir ;" and so, raising his cap, would suggest an excuse or denial of the alleged passed on. peccadilloes, is borne away and overwhelmed by The poor mignonne had a very rough time of the abusive torrent, and can at last only grum- it soon afterward. Cecil was morally and phys- ble her dissent. Very few women, of good birth ically incapable of scolding any one; but she ve as and education, make con.fidantes nowadays of very severe on the sin of vacillation and yielding their personal attendants; and the race of to unauthorized interference. The culprit did "Miggs" is chiefly confined to the class in not attempt to justify herself; she only said. which Dickens has placed it, if it is not extinct " They both wanted me to go so much, and I utterly. But there is a season-while the brush did not like to vex Harry."' Then she began to passes lightly and lingeringly over the long trail- coax and pet her monitress in the pretty, child- ing "back hair"-when a hint, an allusion, or ish way which interfered so much with matronly an insinuation, cleverly placed, may go far to- dignity, till the latter was brought to think that ward fanning into flame the embers of matri- she had been cruelly harsh and stern; at last she monial rebellion. I know no case where such got so penitent that she offered to accompany her serious consequences may be produced, with so friend, and lend the light of her countenance to little danger of implication to the prime mover Madame de Verzenay. For this infirmity of of the discontent, except it be the system of the purpose many female Dracos would have order- patriotic and intrepid Mazzini. Many out- ed her off to instant execution-very justly. breaks, perhaps-quelled after much loss on both That silly little Fanny only kissed her, and said, sides, in which the monarchy was only saved by "She was a dear, kind darling." What can the judicious expenditure of much mitraille- you expect of such irreclaimably weak-minded might have been traced to the covert influence offenders They ought to be sentenced to six of that mild-eyed, melancholy came-iste. months' hard labor, supervised by Miss Marti- Cecil, who was not exempt from these revolu- neau; perhaps even this would not work a per- tionary tendencies, any more than from other manent cure. Still, on The Tresilyan's part, it weaknesses of her sex, was especially provoked was an immense effort of self-denial. She was by this fresh instance of Fanny's subordination. well aware how she laid herself open to Royston "Mrs. Molyneux is perfectly at liberty to form Keene's satire, and how unlikely he was this her own plans," she said, very haughtily. "Be- time to spare her. Only perfect trust or perfect yond a certain point, I should no more dream indifference can make one careless about giving of interfering with them than she would with such a chance to a known bitter tongue. mine. She is quite right to change her mind as However, having made up her mind to the often as she thinks proper, only in this instance self-immolation, she proceeded to consider how I should have thought it was hardly worth best she should adorn herself for the sacrifice. while." Others have done so in sadder seriousness. "Well," Keene answered, in his cool, slow Doubtless, Curtius rode at his last leap without way, " Mrs. Molyneux has got that unfortunate a speck on his burnished mail: purple, and gold, habit of consulting other people's wishes and con- and gems flamed all round Sardanapalus when venience in preference to her own; it's very fool- he fired the holocaust in Nineveh: even that ish and weak; but it is so confirmed, that I miserable, dastardly Nero was solicitous about doubt even your being able to break her of it. the marble fragments that were to line his felon's This time I am sure you won't. It is a pity you grave. So it befell that, on this particular even- are so determined on disappointing the public. ing, Cecil went through a very careful toilet, I know of more than one person who has put off though it was as simple as usual; for the ultra- other engagements in anticipation of hearing you gorgeous style she utterly eschewed. The lilac sing.," trimmings of her dress broke the dead white suf- He was perfectly careless about provoking her ficiently, but not glaringly, with the subdued ef- now, or he would have been more cautious. fect of color that you may see in a campanula. That particular card was the very last in his The coiffure was not decided on till several had hand to have played. Miss Tresilyan was good- been rejected. She chose at last a chaplet of nature itself in placing her talents at the service those soft, silvery Venetian shells-such as her of any man, woman, or child who, could appreci- bridesmaids may have woven into the night of ate them. She would go through half her reper- Amphitritb's hair when they crowned her Queen toire to amuse a sick friend any day; neither of the Mediterranean. was she averse to displaying them before the It was a very artistic picture. So Madame de world in general at proper seasons, but she liked Verzenay said, in the midst of a rather too rap- the " boards" to be worthy of the prima donna, turous greeting; so the Frenchmen thought, as and had no idea of "starring it in the prov- a low murmur of admiration ran through their inces." All the pride of her race gathered on circle when she entered. Fanny, too, had her her brow just then, like a thunder-cloud, and her modest success. There were not wanting eyes eyes flashed no summer lightning. that turned for a moment from the brilliant beau- " Madame de Verzenay was wrong to adver- ty of her companion to repose themselves on the tise a performer who does not belong to her sweet girlish face shaded by silky brown tresses, troupe. I hope the audience will be patient un- and on the perfect little figure floating so lightly der their disappointment, and not break up the and gracefully along amid its draperies of pale benches. If not, she must excuse herself as best cloudy blue. she may. I have signed no engagement, so my Miss Tresilyan felt that there might be one conscience is clear. I certainly shall not go." glance that it would be a trial to meet uncon- The bolt struck the granite fairly, but it did cernedly, and she had been schooling herself swd- SWORD AND GOWN. so ulously for the encounter. She might have given up entirely to your own devices And (1o spared herself some trouble; for Royston Keene all subalterns keep up that veneration for their was not there when they arrived. She knew senior officers after they have left the service that Mrs. Molyneux had told him of the change It seems to be carrying the esprit du corps rather in their plans; but the latter did not choose to I far." confess how she had been puzzled by the very H Harry laughed out his own musical laugh; peculiar smile with which the major greeted the even the imputation of dependency and helpless. intelligence: it was the only notice he took of it. ness which is alit to ruffle most people fell back So the evening went on, with nothing to raise it harmlessly from his impenetrable good-humor. above the dead level of average soirees. Cecil "I dare say it does look very absurd. But you delaved going to the piano till she was ashamed ought to have lived with him as long as I have of making more excuses, and was obliged to done to understand how naturally Royston gains ",execute herself " with the best grace she could his influence, and makes us do what he chooses." manage. Even while she wassinging, her glance "Certainly I can not understand it. The turned more than once toward the door; but the 1poco-curante style is so very common just now stalwart figure, beside which all others seemed that one gets rather tired of it. I do not like the dwarfed and insignificant, never showed itself. affectation at all, but I dislike the reality still It was clear he was not among those who had more. I believe it is a reality with Major Keene. given up other engagements to hear her songs. I can not fancy him betraying any unrestrained If we have been at some trouble and mental ex- excitement, however strong the passion that pense in getting ourselves into any one frame of moved him might be. You have never known mind-whether it be enthusiasm, or self-control, him do so, now Confess it." or fortitude, or heroism-it is an undeniable nui- "Yes I have, once," he answered, gravely, sance to find out suddenly that there is to be no " and I never wish to see it again." scope for its exercise. Take a very practical Cecil always liked talking to Harry Moly- instance. Here is Lieutenant Colonel Asahel neux. On the present occasion the mere sound ready on the ground, looking, as his conscience of his voice Eeemed to go far toward soothing her and his backers tell him, " as fine as a star, and irritation: many others had experienced the fit to run for his life ;" at the last moment his I same effect from those kindly gentle tones. Per- opponent pays forfeit. Just ascertain the senti- haps, too, the subject had an interest for her that ments of that gallant fusileer. Does the result I she would not own. "Would it tire you to tell at all recompense him for the futile privations me about it I am not particularly ctirious, but and wasted asceticism of those long weary months I have been so much bored to-night that a very of training-when pastry was, as it were, an little would amuse me." abomination unto him-when his lips kept them- He hesitated for an instant. " It is not that a selves undefiled from dryest Champagne or sound- but I don't know if I am right in telling you. est claret--when he fled, fast as Cinderella, from Perhaps you would not like him the better for it, the pleasantest company at the stroke of the mid- though he could not help it. Shall I Well, it night chimes Of course he feels deeply in- was in the second of our Indian battles, and the jured, and would have forgiven the absentee far first time we had really been under fire; before it more easily if the latter had beaten him fairly, was only nominal. We had been sitting idle for on his merits, breasting the handkerchief first by two hours or more, watching the infantry and half a dozen yards. the gunners do their work; and right well they On this principle, Miss Tresilyan labored all did it. The Sikhs were giving ground in all di- that evening under an impression that Keene rections; but they began to gather again on our had treated her very ill, and was prepared to re- right, and at last we were told to send out three sent it accordingly. Another there besides her- squadrons and break them at three different self felt puzzled and uncomfortable. Harry points. Keene was in command of mine. I Molyneux could not understand it at all. Roys- never saw him look so enchanted as he did when ton had seemed so very anxious in the morning the orders came down. I heard the chief warn- to induce Fanny to go - a proceeding which ing him to be cautious, not to go too far (for Would probably involve the presence of her " in- there was a good deal of broken ground ahead), separable ;" and disinterested persuasion was by but to wheel about as soon as we had got through no means in the Cool Captain's line. So Harry their lines, and to fall back immediately on our went wandering about in a purposeless, discon- position. Royston listened and saluted, but I solate fashion for some time, till he found him- know he didn't catch one word; he kept looking self near Cecil. I fancy he had an indistinct over his shoulder all the time the colonel was idea that some apology was owing to her for his speaking, as if he grudged every second. We chief's unaccountable absence; at all events, he were very soon off; and almost before I realized began to confide his misgivings on the subject as the situation we were closing in on the enemy, soon as the men who surrounded her moved wrapped up in our own dust and in their smoke, away. They soon did so; for The Tresilyan had for the firing became heavy directly we got with- a way, quite peculiar to herself, of conveying to in range. Now I don't think I ought to be tell- those whom she wished to get rid of that their ing you all this: it is not quite a woman's audience was ended, without speaking one word. 'story. " There was a very unusual element of impatient " Please go on. I like it." How grandly it pettishness in her reply. flashed up in her cheek as she spoke-the fiery " What a curious fascination Major Keene ap- , Tresilyan blood that had boiled in the veins of pears to exercise over his friends! I suppose so many brilliant soldiers, but through twenty you would think it quite wrong to be amused generations had never cooled down enough to any where unless he were present to sanction it. breed one statesman I Do you become a free agent again when you are He had taken breath by this time. "I won't SWORD AND GOWN. 31 SWORD AND GOWN. make it longer than I can help, but it is difficult to tell some things very briefly. It was my first real charge, you know; I suppose every man's sensations are rather peculiar under such circum- stances. I did not feel much alarmed-there wasn't time for that-but the smoke, and the noise, and the excitement made me so dizzy that I could hardly sit straight in my saddle. When we got within a hundred and fifty yards of the Sikhs their fire began to tell. I heard a bub- bling, smothered sort' of cry close behind me, and I looked back just in time to see a trooper fall forward over his horse's shoulder shot through the throat. Several more were hit, and our fel- lows began to waver a little-not much. Just then Rovston's voice broke in: it was so clear and strong that it set my nerves right directly, and the dizzy, stifling feeling went away, as it might have done before a draught of fresh pure air. ' Close up there, the rear rank. Keep cool, men! Steady with your bridle-hands, and strike fairly with the edge. Now !' "1 He was three lengths ahead of his squadron, and well in among the enemy, when that last word came out. It was sharp work while it lasted, for the Sikhs fought like wounded wild- cats: one fixed his teeth in my boot, and was dragged there till my covering-sergeant cut him loose; but we were soon through them. When we had wheeled, and were dressing into line, I caught sight of Keene's face. It was so changed that I should hardly have known it: every fibre was quivering with passion; and his eyes-I've not forgotten them yet. We ought to have fall- en back immediately on our old ground, but it was so evident he did not mean this, that I ven- tured to suggest to him what our orders had been. I was not second in command; but of mv two seniors one was helpless (the stupidest man you ever saw), and the other hard hit. Rovston faced round on me with a savage oath, ' Hov dare you interfere, sir! Are you in com- mand of this squadron' Then he turned to the troopers, ' Have you had half enough yet, men I haven't.' I am very sure he had lost his head, or he would never have spoken to me so, still less have made that last appeal, for he was the strictest disciplinarian, and looked upon his men as the merest machines. It seemed as if the devil that possessed him had gone out into the others too, for they all shouted in reply-not a cheery honest hurra! but a hoarse, hungry roar, such as you hear in wild beasts' dens before feed- ing-time. An old troop-sergeant, a rigid pious Presbyterian, spoke for the rest, grinding and gnashing his teeth: ' We'll follow the captain any where-follow him to hell!"' (Harry's voice had all along been subdued, but it was almost a whisper now:) " I do hope those words were not reckoned against poor Donald Macpherson, for when we got back his was one of the thirteen empty saddles. So we broke up, and went in again at the Sikhs, who were collecting in black- looking knots and irregular squares all round. It was an indescribable sort of a 7nelee, every man for himself, and-I dare not say-God for us alL I suppose I was as bad as the rest when once fairly launched, and we all thought we were doing our duty; but I should not like to have so many lives on my head and hand as Royston could count that night. Remember we suffered rather severely. "As we took up our position again I saw the colonel was not well pleased. He had little of the romance of war about him, and did not un- derstand his officers acting much on their own discretion. Without hearing the words, I could guess, from the expression of his hard old face, that he came down on the squadron-leader beav- ily. When I ranged up by Keene's side soon afterward, he looked up at me absently. 'I was thinking,' he said (now one naturally ex- pected a sentiment about the scene we had just gone through, or a reflection on the injustice of chiefs in general)-' I was thinking what rubbish those army-cutlers sell, and call it a sword-blade.' He held up a sort of apology for a sabre, all notched, and bent, and blunted; then he began to inquire if I had been hit at all. I had es- caped with hardly a scratch; but I saw an ugly cut above his knee, and blood stealing down his bridle-arm. 'Bah! it's nothing,' Rovston ob- served, answering the direction of my eyes; ' but -if the tulwar and the reprimand had both been sharper-confess, Hal, that this time, Lejeu va- lait bien la chandelle' "We never had a real rattling charge after that day, at least none exciting enough to warm him thoroughly. Now I am very sorry I have told you all this: it is not a nice story ; but it is vour own fault if I have bored you. Besides, Madame de Verzenay will never forgive me for monopolizing you so long. I do think she does me the honor to believe in a flirtation." Cecil's heightened color and sparkling eyes might have justified such a suspicion in a distant and unprejudiced observer. Does not this show us how very cautious we ought to be in forming hasty conclusions from appearances which are proverbially deceptive I protest I am filled with remorse and contrition while I reflect how often, in thought, I may have wronged and mis- judged the innocent. I dare say, in many out- wardly flagrant cases, the offenders were only ex- patiating on the merits or demerits of absent friends. Such a subject is quite engrossing enough to excuse a certain amount of " sitting out," and some people always blush when thev are at all interested. The selection of the stair- case, the balcony, or the conservatory for the discussion is the merest atmospheric question. I subscribe to Mr. Weller's idea -only "tur- nips" are incredulous. Vive la charite! After a minute or two Miss Tresilyan spoke: "No, I don't think worse of Major Keene. As you say, I suppose he could not help it; but it must be terrible, when passions that are habitu- ally restrained do break loose. No wonder that you do not wish to see such a sight again. It is very different, reading of battles and hearing of them from one who was an actor. Do you know, I think you have an undeveloped talent for narration. There, that ought to console you. even if Madame de Verzenay should asperse your character." At this moment Harry was contemplating the ,proceedings of his pretty little wife at the oprn- site side of the room with an intense satisfaction and pride. I" If I had yielded to temptation," he said, "I am sure Fan could not reproach me. She would keep a much greater sinner in countenance- Miss Myrtle is a thousand times worse since she married. Just remark that by-play with the 312 SWORD AND GOWNM handkerchief. Yon don't suppose M. de Ribe- rac cares one straw about Valenciennes lace It makes one feel Moorish all over. You need not be surprised if she is found smothered or strangled in the morning. I am 'not easily moved to jealousy, but being moved-"' "Don't be too murderous," laughed Cecil; "you are certain to regret it afterward. We will reproach her as she deserves on our way home. Is it not very late " She wanted to be alone to think over what she had heard; and in good truth, waking or sleeping, the watches of that night were crowded with dreams. All this time where was Royston Keene He had been really anxious to induce Miss Tresilyan to present herself at Madame de Verzenay's, for he liked her well enough already to feel a per- sonal interest in her triumphs; but, after their interview in the morning (though he thought it probable that Fanny's persuasive powers might prevail), he had determined himself not to go, and he did not change his resolutions lightly. Still he could not resist the temptation of getting one glimpse at her in " review order." If Cecil had been very observant when she went down to her carriage, she must have noticed a tall figure standing back, half masked by a pillar, whose eyes literally flashed in the darkness as they fastened on her in her passage through the lighted hall, and drank in every item of her loveliness. He stood still for some moments after she was gone, and then walked slowly down to the Cercle. While they were talking about him at Madame de Ver- zenay's, Royston was holding his own gallantly at icarth with Armand de ChAteaumesnil, for the honor of England and-ten Napoleons a side. As was his wont, he played superbly; but lie spoke seldom, and hardly seemed to hear the comments of the crowded galirie. In truth, at some most critical points-when the game was in abeyance at quatre a-a delicate proud face, and a shell wreath glistening in velvet hair, would rise before him, and dethrone in his thoughts the painted kings and queens. His adversary did not fail to observe this; but he said nothing till the play was ended and most of the others had left the room. Then he laid his hand on Keene's arm, and drew his head down to the level of his own lips, and spoke low: " Mon camarade, je me rappelle, d'avoir vu, il y a quelques ans, au Cafe de la R46gence, un homme qui tenait tate, aux ichecs, b quatre concurrens. Les habituds en disaient des mer- veilles. Mais ce n'etait qu'un bon bourgeois apres tout; et, nous autres, nous sommes plus forts que les bourgeois. Vouz avez joud ce soir les deux parties que, dit le proverbe, c'est presque impossible de remporter simultangment; et je ne me tiens pas pour le seal perdant." Royston did not seem in the least inclined to smile; had he done so Armand would have been bitterly disappointed. As it was, he answered very coldly, 'without a shade of consciousness on his face, " Un compliment mdrite toujours des remer- cimens, M. le Vicomte, meme quand on ne le comprend pas. Pardon, si je vous engage, de ne puS expliquer plus clairement votre alldgo- rie."1 The other looked up at him with an expres- C sion that might almost have been mistaken for sympathy. X "Parbleu!" he muttered, "'si beau joucur merite bien de gagner !" CHAPTER XII. SOMETMIES, lying on the cliffs of Kerry or Clare, on a cloudless autumn day, when not a breath of wind is stirring, you may see rank after rank of heavy purple billows rolling sullenly in from the offing: these are messengers coming to tell us of battles fought a thousand leagues to the westward, in which they, too, have borne their part. Before the mail comes in we are prepared to hear of a storm that has worked its wicked will for nights and days, thundering among the granite boulders of Labrador, or tearing through the fog-banks of Newfoundland. This is per- haps the most commonplace of all ancient com- parisons; but where will you find so apt a paral- lel for the vagaries of the human heart as the phases of the deep, false, beautiful sea On the morning after Madame de Verzenay's party, Cecil rose in a very troubled frame of mind. She had no feeling of irritation left against Royston Keene; but she was uneasy, and uncomfortable, and loth to meet him. What she had felt and what she had heard had moved her too deeply for her to resume at once her wonted composure. So it was that she accepted very readily an invitation from Mrs. Fullarton to accompany herself and children on a mild bota- nizing excursion among the hills. These small eFtes went a long way with that hard-working and meritorious woman; what with anticipation and retrospect, each lasted her about two months. Miss Tresilyan was prevented from starting with the rest of the party; but the chaplain himself was to escort her to the place of rendezvous, his little daughter Katie being retained to be in- vested with the temporary and " local" rank of chaperone-a formality which, in these days of scanty faith, even married divines are not allow- ed to dispense with. The quartette was com- pleted by the mule-driver-one of those remark- able boys who converse invariably in a tongue which the beasts of burden seem to understand and sympathize with, but which, to any other creature whatsoever, is absolutely destitute of meaning. They had some way to ge; so Cecil had taken up Katie before her on her mule; the pastor walked by her side, glozing (for the road was not very steep) on all sorts of subjects, grave- ly and smoothly, as was his wont. They had crossed the first line of hills, and were descend- ing into the valley beyond, when, turning a sharp corner where a projecting rock almost barred the path, they came suddenly on Royston Keene. He was lying at full length, his head resting against the knotted root of an olive, with eves half closed, and the cigar between his lips, that seldom left them when he was alone. It was odd that he should have selected that especial spot for the scene of his siesta. Cecil did her very utmost to look unconcerned: it was too pro- voking that she could not help blushing! Mr. Fullarton evidently looked upon it in the light of an ambush. Had he ventured to give his thoughts utterance, certainly the ready text 33 SWORD AND GOWN. would have sprung to his lips, 4I Hast thou found me, 0 mine enemy" If there was "malice prepense" there, the i"enemy" deserved some credit for the perfectly natural air of surprise with which he rose and greeted them. "Are you recruiting after last night's tri- umphs, or escaping from popular enthusiasm, Miss Tresilyan I have met several French- men already who are quite childish about your singing. I should not advise You to venture on the Terrace to-day. There might be tempta- tions to vanity, which Mr. Fallarton will tell you are dangerous." She had so completely made up her mind to some allusion to her change of purpose, or to his own absence, that it was rather aggravating to find him ignore both utterly. But she rallied well. "Nothing half so imaginative, Major Keene. It was a very stupid party, and I only sang once, as, I dare say, you have heard. We are only going to help Mrs. Fullarton to find some wild- flowers. I hope you have not anticipated us" He fixed her with the cool, appreciative look that was harder to meet than even his sneer. IINo; the flowers are safe from me. I don't care enough about them to keep them; and it is a pity to pick them and throw them away to wither. But I would have asked to be allowed to help you in your search, only-I don't like to spoil a picture. You brought a very good one to my mind as you turned the corner, a ' Descent into Egypt,' that I saw long ago. The blot there, I remember, was a very stout, rubicund Joseph, not at all worthy of the imperial Madonna." While he was speaking he drew back, and leaned lazily against the stem of the olive, with the evident intention of resuming his original posture as soon as courtesy would allow. Miss Tresilyan could not restrain a quick gesture of impatience. " As we did not come out to poser, Mr. Ful- larton, don't you think we had better not delay any longer We are so late already that I am sure the rest of the party will be tired of wait- ing." Guess if her comrpani3n vas loth to obev her. They moved on for some time almost in si- lence. Cecil's thoughts were busy with a picture too-not the less vivid because only her own im- agination had painted it. 1er deep, dreamy eyes passed over the landscape actually before them without catching one of its details: they were looking on a desolate stony plain, cracked and calcined by a fierce Indian sun-a few plumy palms in the background, and the rocky bed of a river half dried up-in the foreground a crowd of wild barbaric soldiery, with savage, swarthy features, bareheaded or white-turbaned; min- gled with these were horsemen in the uniformn of otir light dragoons, sabring right and left mercilessly. In the very centre of the melie was one figure, round which all the others seemed to group themselves as mere accessories. She saw, very distinctly, the dark, determined face, set, every line of it, in an unspeakable ferocity, with a world of murderous meaning in the gleaming eyes-so distinctly that it drove out the remem- brance of the same man's face, expressive of nothing but passionless indifference, though she looked upon it but a few minutes since under the gray branches of the olive. She almost heard his clear, imperious tones cheering on and rally- ing his troopers, when a ruder voice broke her reverie. "I'alte wr!" If there was one thing that miserable mule- teer-bov ought to have known better than anoth- er, it w;-as the insuperable objection entertained by the P'roveneal peasant to any thing like tres- ass on his territory (the touchiness of the pro. 1priu2taire bears generally an inverse ratio to the extent of his possessions); yet, to make a short cut of about two hundred yards, lie had led his party through a gap in the low stone wall over a strip of ground belonging to the very man who was least likely to overlook the intrusion. Jean Duchesne had a bad name in the neighborhood, and deserved it thoroughly; he was surly enough when sober (which was the exception), biut when drunk there were no bounds to his blind, brutish ferocity, and his great personal strength made him a formidable antagonist. le was not an agreeable object to contemplate, that gaunt gi- ant, as he stood there in his squalid, tattered dress, with rough, matted hair, and face flushed by recent intemperance, and flecked with livid stains of past debauches. You may see many such crowding round the guillotine or the tum- brel in pic'tures of the French Revolution. It is very odd that one can not write or read those two words without a boiling of the blood, a tingling at the fingers' ends, and a tightening of the muscles of the forearm-ineffably absurd when excited by a recollection seventy years old! Yet so it is. You may talk of oppression till You are tired; you may catalogue all the wrongs that Jacques Bonavomnae endured before his day of retaliation came; you may bring in your pet illustration of " the storm that was nce- essarv to clear the atmosphere,;" but You will never make some of us feel that the guilt of an Order-had it been blacker by a hundred shades -palliated the Massacre of its Innocents. If the M3fiarquis and 3Akusquetaire only had suffered, they might have laid down their lives cheerfully, as they would have done the stake of any other lost game; and as for the priests, it was their privilege to be martyrs. But think of those fair 'matrons, and gentle girls, and delicate 7nignonnes, that had been petted from their childhood; coop. ed up in the foul courts of the Abbaye and La Force, with even the necessaries of life begrudged them, till the light died in their eves and the gloss faded from their tresses; and then brought out to die in the chill, misty Brnaitire morning, howled at and derided by the swarm of blood- stickers, till they cowered down, not in fear, but sickening horror, welcoming Samson and his satellites as friends and saviors. Remember, too, that there was scarcely an exception to the rule of patient courage, calm self-sacrifice, and pride of birth that never belied itself. Dubarry might shriek on the scaffold, but the Rohans died mute. Of all the digressions we have indulged in, this is perhaps the most unwarrantable; and, though it has relieved me unspeakably, I hereby tender a certain amount of contrition for the same. Revenons a nos moutonss-though there was very little of the sheep in the appearance of Jean Duehesne, whose demeanor (when we left him) you will recollect was decidedly aggressive. It was evident that the mule-boy thought mis- I I I I i I I I i i i I i i i I i i 1I 1 i I I 34 chief was brcwing, for he twisted his features-' moins, on mn laissera tin gage." His blood-shot irregular and tunab1ed enough already-into di- eves roved from one object to another till they vers remarkable contortions expressive of remorse lighted on the p arasol that Miss Tresilyan car- and terror. riedd it was of plain dark-gray silk, with a slight " IWho, then, dares to trespass on my lands b ilack lace trimming, but the carvings of the ivo- Do von think we sow our crops for your cursed rv handle made it of some real value. Before mules to trample on a" nov one could divine his intention he had pluck- lie spoke in a hoarse, thick voice (suggestive ed it rudely from her hand. of spirituous liquors), and in the disagreeable Almost with the same motion Cecil set Katie Provcnal dialect, which must have altered I down, and sprang herself from the saddle. In strangely since theC time of the trohatdoirs: her eyes there was such intensity of anger that brief as his speech was, it found room for more the drunken savage recoiled a pace or two, and than one of those expletives wvhicli are nowvhere for the first time in his life felt something like so horribly blasphemous as in the south of self-contempt: to have saved her soul she could France. not have spoken one word, but her silence was Cecil had started slightly at the first interjec- expressive enough as she turned to Mr. Fullar- tion, which broke her day-dream, hut she was ton. It is difficult to say what line she expected not otherivise alarmed or discomposed: she him to take-not the voie de .el it certainly; at seemed to regard the profriftatre simrply as an least, if the hypothesis had been put to her when unpleasant obstacle to their progress, and glanced she wvas cool 'enough to consider it, she would ut- nt Mr. 'ullarton as if she expected him to clear terly have repudiated such an idea. Perhaps it away. The latter was not good at French, she had a right to look for moral support, if not but he did manage to express their sorrow if for active championship. they had done any harm unconsciously, and their 'We wvill not enter into the vexed question of wish to retire instantly. 'Not before paying," physical courage and cowardice : it is a truism was the reply. " (2ulnze francs de dcdotlonaye- to say that the latter may co-exist with great t leens; et puis, filez aux tous les diables !" moral firmness, which is, of course, far the supe- Women are not expected to carry purses or rior quality. They will tell you that, when con- any other objects of simple utility; but why 'Mr. frontedv with mere personal peril, a butcher or Fuvllarton should have left his at home on this grenadier may match the best of us. Possibly; particular day is between himself and his own I am not going to dispute it. Only remember conscience. The party very soon realized the that there are occasions (vcry few in these civil- fact that they could muster about a hundred and ized days) when the most refined of bas-bleus fifty centimes among them. would rather see a strong, brave, honest man at Ev-en kings and kaisers, when incoqnali, have her side, than an abstruse philosopher, a clever re this been reduced to the extremest straits of conversationalist-nay even than a perfect Chris- ignominy from the wvant of a few available pieces tian-whose nerves are not to be depended on; of silver; and, in ordinary life, five shillings when Parson Adams would be worth a bench of readv at the moment are frequentlv of more im- bishops. We can not all be athletes; and, with portance than as many hundreds in expectancy. the best intentions, some of us at such times are There lives even now a man who missed the liable to defeat and discomfiture. The most ut- most charming rendezvous with which fortune terly fearless man I ever knew had a biceps that ever favored him, because lie rode a mile round his own small fingers could have spanned. No to avoid a turnpike, not having wherewithal to woman, howdever-keeping the attributes of her pay it. Since that disastrous day he is ever fur- sex-would think the worse of her champion for nished w ith such a weight of small change that, being trampled under foot when he had done his had Cola Pesce carried it, the strong swimmer best to defend her. You know their province is must have sunk like a stone-in penance, prob- to console, and even pet the vanquished; they ably, even as James of Scotland wore the iron make up lint for the wounded as readily as they belt. At a pause in the conversation you may weave laurels for the conquerors. But when hear him rattling the coppers in his pocket mood- they have once seen a man play the coward, the ily, as the spectres in old romances rattle their silver tongue, with all its eloquent explanation chains; but his remorse is unavailing. A fair and honeyed pleadings, will hardly banish from chance once lost, Whist and Erveina never for- their eves the peculiar expression wavering be- give. The beautiful bird that might then have twixt compassion and contempt. They may for- been limed and tamed shook her wings and flew give cruelty, or insolence, or even treachery-in away exultingly: far up in air the unlucky fowl- time; lut they can find no palliation, and little er may still sometimes hear her clear mocking sympathv, for that one unpardonable sin. Tru- carol, but she is too near heaven for his arts to 1l, transgression in this line, bevond a certain reach, and has escaped the toils forever. point, may scarcelv be excused; for weakness On the present occasion Katic Fullarton may be controlled, If not cured: if we can not be "flashed" her one half-franc with great courage dashingly courageous, we may at least be de- andi confidence, but the display of all that small centlv collected: not all may aspire to the cross capitalist's worldly wealth did not mollify Jean of valor, but it is not difficult to steer clear of Duchesne. Hle had been lashing himself up all courts-martial. along into such a state of brutal ferocity, that he A man is not pleasant to contemplate when would have been disappointed if his extortion terror has driven out all self-command; so we had been immediately satisfied; so he broke in will not draw Mr. Fullarton's picture: he could savagely on the chaplain's confused excuses and scarcely stammer out words enough to suggest promises to settle every thing at a fitting season: an immediate retreat. It was painful-:mot ludi- " Tais toi, blagueur! On ne me floue pas ainsi crous-to see how justly his own child apprecia- avec des promesses; je m'en fiche pas mal. Au. ted the position: the little thing left her father's SWORD XNLD GOWN. 35 SWORD AND GOWN. side instinctively, and clung for protection to Ce- cil Tresilvan. The latter saw instantly how matters stood; and if the glance she cast on the aggressor was not pleasant to meet, far more un- endurable was that which fell upon her unlucky companion: it was piercing enough to penetrate the strong armor of his wonderful self-compla- cencv, and to rankle for many a day. She struck her small foot on the ground with a ges- ture of imperial disdain. Even so the Scvthian Amazon might have spurned the livid head of Cyrus the Great King. " I will not stir till I see if no one will come who can take my part. Ah! I would give-" "Don't be rash, Miss Tresilyan. You might be taken at your word." Cecil turned quickly, with a delicious sense of confidence and triumph thrilling through every fibre of her frame: on the top of the rock that rose ten feet high, like a wall, on their right, stood Royston Keene. A more pacific charac- ter would have dared a greater danger for the reward and the promise of her eyes. He took in the whole scene at a glance (per- haps he had heard more than he chose to own), and, swinging himself lightly down, strode right across the potager with a disregard of the pro- prietor's interests and feelings refreshing to see. "It seems to me that the ancient positions have been reversed. You have been spoiled by the Egyptians, Miss Tresilyan. Shall we try the secular arm You have scarcely been safe un- der the protection of the church-militant." There was a pause before the last word, and it was unpleasantly emphasized. Then he ad- vanced a step or two toward the Frenchman, without waiting for a reply, and spoke in a to- tally different tone-brief and imperative-" Tu ras me rendre Ca 7" Duchesne bad been rather startled by the ap- parition of the new-comer, and, if he had been cool enough to reflect, would not have fancied him as an antagonist; but his passion blinded him, and strong drink had heated his brutal blood above boiling point; he ground his teeth, as he answered, till the foam ran down- " Le rendre-a toi-chien d'Anglais je m'en garderai bien. Si la belle demoiselle vent le ra- voir, elle viendra demain, me prier bien genti- ment; et elle -iendra-seule." Now Royston Keene was thoroughly impreg- nated with the bitterest of aristocratic preju- dices: no man alive more utterly ignored the doctrines of liberty, equality, and fraternity; be- sides this, he had acquired, to an unusual ex- tent, the overbearing tone and demeanor which the habit of having soldiers under them is sup- posed to bring, too commonly, to modern centu- rions. He actually experienced a "fresh sen- sation" as he heard the insult leveled by those coarse plebeian lips at the woman "Ihe delighted to honor." His swarthy face grew white down to the lips, whose quivering the heavy mustache could not quite conceal, and he shivered from head to foot where he stood. Jean Duchesne thought he detected the familiar signs of a ter- ror he had often inspired. " Tu as peur done Tu tressailles dejit, blanc-bec ! Tonnerre de Di! ta as raison." Not a trace of passion lin- gered in the major's clear, cold voice, that fell upon the ear with the ring of steel. " On ne tressaille pas, quand on est sur de gagner. Re- garde done en arriere." Involuntarily the Frenchman looked behind him, expecting a fresh adversary from that quar- ter. As he turned his head Keene sprang for- ward, and plucked the parasol from his grasp: in one second he had laid it lightly in its ownn- er's hand; in the next he had returned to his position, and stood, ready for the onset, motion- less as the marble Creugas. Ile had not long to wait. Even a "well-con- ditioned" Gaul does not like being outwitted, and the successful ruse exasperated Duchesne into insanity. Roaring like a wild beast that has missed its spring, he rushed in to grapple. Royston never moved a tinger till the enemy was well within distance; then, slinging his left hand straight out from the hip, lie " let him have it" fairly between the eyes. One blow-only one-but a blow that, had it been stricken in the days of Olympian and Ne- mean contests-where l'indar and his peers were " reporters"-miglit well have earned a dithy- ramb; a blow that would have gladdened the sullen spirit of the old gladiator who trained the Cool Captain, if the prophet had lived to see his auguries fulfilled, or if sights and sounds from upper eart;- could penetrate to the limbo of de- funct athlete. Nothing born of woman could have stood before it, and it was small blame to Jean Duchesne that he dropped like a log in his tracks. In another instant his conqueror had one knee on the eltest of the fallen man, and both hands were griping his tbroqt. His own face wvas fearfully clhanged. It wore an expression that has been very often seen in the sixty centuries that have passed since Cain struck his brother down, but has very seldom been described; for the dead tell no tales beyond what their features, stiffened in hopeless terror, may betray. It has been seen on lost battle- fields-in the streets of cities given up to pil- lage, when the storming is just over and the carnage begun-on desolate hill-sides-in dark forest-glades-in chambers of lonely houses, strongly but vainly barred-in every place where men in the death agony have " cried and there was none to help them." It was full time for somne one to interfere when the devil had en- tered into Royston Keene. From the moment that affairs had assumed such a different aspect Mr. Fullarton had grad- tually been recovering his composure, and by this time was quite himself again. lie advanced confidently, and, laying his hand on the major's shoulder with an imposing air, and with his best pulpit manner, enunciated, "Thou shalt do no murder !" The latter, as we have already said, was utterly beside himself; but even this can not excuse the abrupt, impatient movement that sent such an eminent divine reeling three paces back. The rigid lips only twisted themselves into an evil sneer, and the cruel fingers tightened their gripe till the features of the prostrate wretch grew convulsed and black. The whole scene had passed so quickly, though it takes so long to describe (some of us never can succeed in stenography), that Cecil felt per- fectly lost in a whirl of conflicting emotions, til she saw the face in life before her that she had been fancying ever since last night. A great fear came over her, but she overcame it, and as her woman's instinct told her what to do. She should like to have some memorial of to-day. laid her little hand upon Keene's arm before he Very childish, is it not Will You give me this was aware that she was near, and whispered so I deserve something for saving that pretty para- that only he could hear, " For my sake." Only sol." Ile touched the glove she had just drawn these three simple words; but the exorcism was off-a light riding-gauntlet, fancifully cut, and complete. embroidered with silk. Cecil hesitated, though Again a shiver ran all through the hardy she would have been loth to refuse him any frame, and for once Love was more powerful thing just then. Sho felt, as most proud, sensi- than Hate. Ile loosed his hold-slowly though, tive women feel the first time thev are asked for and reluctantly-and rose to his feet, passing what may be interpreted into a gage d'arnour. his hand over his eyes in a strange, bewildered The tribute may be nominal, and the suzerain way; but in five seconds his wonderful self-corn- may be lenient indeed, but none the less does it mand asserted itself, and he spoke as coolly as establish vassalage. ever. " A thousand pardons. One does forget Royston interpreted her reluctance aright, and one's self sometimes when the canaille are l)ro- went on with an earnestness verv unusual with voking, but I ought to have remembered what him: for once it was honest and true. " Pray was due to you." trust me. The moment I cease to value that Though she could not speak, she tried to sourenir as it deserves, on my honor I will re- smile; but strong reaction had come on. In turn it." the pate woman that trembled so painfully it le was fated to triumph all through that day. was hard to recognize proud Cecil Tresilvan. When Cecil was alone she put something away Rtoyston was watching her narrovly, and his with a very unnecessary carefulness. for surely tone softened till it made his simple words a ca- nothing can be more valueless than a glove that ress. "Don't make me more angry with my- has lost its mate. self than I deserve. Indeed, there is nothing more to alarm or distress You. If You would onlv forgive me !" Ile helped her into the sad- dle as he spoke, and she submitted passively. CHAPTER XIII. But the happy feeling of perfect trust in him was coming back fast. I A3t almost ashamed to confess how deeply Jean Duchesne had somewhat recovered from the scene she had witnessed affected Cecil Tre- his stupor, and was leaning on one arm, panting silvan. The exhibition of Keene's fierce temper heavily, still in great pain ; but he was inured ought certainly to have warned, if it did not dis- to all sorts of broils, and evidently he would gust her. She could only think-" It was for soon recover from the effects of this one, though my sake that he was so angry, and he Yielded to he had never been so roughly handled. It was my first word." sheer terror that made him lie so still: hle dared There is rather a heavy runjust now against the move no more than a whipped hound while in " physical force" doctrine. It seems to me that the presence of his late opponent. some of its opponents are somewhat hypercritical. The others turned slowly homeward, for it is For many, many years romancists persisted in needle dss to say the wild-flowers and the rendez- attributing to their principal heroes every point vous vwere forgotten. As they turned the corner of bodily perfection and accomplishment; no one which cut off the view of lDuchesnc's ground, thought then of caviling at such a well-under- Rov.ston looked back once, longingly. It was stood and established tvpe. That most fertile well for Cecil's nerves, in their disturbed state, and meritorious of writers, for instance, Mr. G. that she did not catch that Parthian glance. P. It James, invariably makes his jeun premier Ali, those ungovernable eves! Thev were at least moderately athletic; so much so, that gleaming with the expression that Kirkpatrick's when he has the villain of the tale at his sword's may have worn when he turned into the chapel point we feel a comfortable confidence that vir- where the Red Comyn lay, growling, " I mak tue will triumph as it deserves. As such a con- sicker." tingency is certain to occur twice or thrice in the None of the party were mueh disposed for course of the narrative, a nervous reader is spared conversation; for even Mr. Fullarton died not much anxiety and trouble of mind by this satis- feel equal to " improving the occasion" just then. factory arrangement. Nous aeons change tout Cecil broke the silence at last: it was where the cela. Modern refinement requires that the chief road was so narrow that only two could walk character shall be made interesting in spite of abreast: Royston never left her bridle - rein. his being dwarfish, plain-featured, and a victim "You must fancy that I have thanked you; I to pulmonary or some more prosaic disease. can not do s6 properly now. It is strange, Clearly we are right. What is the use of ad- though, that Yoe should have come up so very vancing civilization if it does not correct our opportunely. Was it a presentiment that made taste What have we to do w ith the "m ann ners you follow us" and customs of the English" in the eighteenth The answer was so low that she had almost to century, or with the fictions that beguiled our guess at it from the motion of his lips, "Have boyhood Let our motto still be " Forward ;" You forgotten Napoleon's last rallying-cry, ' Qui we have pleasures of which our grandsires never 'la'ine me suit p- No wonder that his pulse dreamed, and inventions.that they were inexcus. should throb exultantly as he saw the bright, able in ignoring. We are so great that we can beautiful blush that swept over his companion's, afford to be generous. Let them sleep wenl , cheek and brow! They had almost reached those honest but benighted ancients, who went home when he spoke again, "I You would have down to their graves unconscious of " Aunt Sal- been liberal in your promises twenty minutes lv," and perhaps never properly aapreciated ca- ago if I had not stopped you, Miss Tresilyan. I I VZare! SWORD AND GOWN. 37 SWORD AND GOWN. It is true that there are some writers-not the weakest-who still cling to the old-fashioned mould. Putting Lancelot and Amyas out of the question, I think I would sooner have " stood up" to most heroes of romance than to sturdy Adam Bede. It can't be a question of religion or morality, for " muscular Christianity" is the stock-sarcasm of the opposite party: it must be a question of good taste. Well, ancient Greece is supposed to have had some floating ideas on that subject, and she deified Strength. It is per- fectly true, that to thrash a prize-fighter unnec- essarily is not a virtuous or glorious action, but I contend that the capability of doing so is an admirable and enviable attribute. There are grades of physical as well as of moral perfection; and, after all, the same Hand created both. Have I been replying against the critics Absit omen ! They are more often right, I fear, than authors are willing to allow; for it is ag- gravating to have one's pet bits of pathos put between inverted commas for the world in gen- eral to make a mock at (we could hardly write them down without tears in our eyes), and to have our story condensed into a few clever, pithy sentences (all in the present tense), till its weak- ness becomes painfully apparent. More than this, our candid friends are impalpable. Real life can furnish us with enough substantial oppo- nents for us not to trouble ourselves about Ju- nius. Neither in war nor love is it expedient to grasp at shadows. Ah ! Mr. Reade, why were you not warned by Ixion One thing is certain: however sound your ar- guments in depreciation of personal prowess may be, you will never gain a unanimous feminine verdict. It must be an extraordinary exhibition of mental excellence that will really interest the generality of our sisters for the moment as deep- ly as a very ordinary feat of strength or skill. It is not that they can not thoroughly appreciate rectitude of feeling, brilliancy of conversation, and distinguished talent; but remember the hackneyed quotation: Segnius irritant animum demissa per aures, Quaum qum sunt oculis subjects fidelibus. If you want a proof of the correctness of Hor- ace's opinion, go up to " Lord's" this month, and watch the flutter among the fair spectators, just after a " forward drive" over the Pavilion; or, better still, the next time the " Grand Military" comes off at Warwick, mark the reception that the man who rides a winner will meet with in the stand. Conventionality has done a good deal, but it has not refined away all the frank, impulsive woman-nature yet. The knights are dust, and their good swords rust; but dame and demoiselle are very much the same as they were in the old days, when the Queen of Scots could sing How they reveled through the summer night, And by day made lanceshafts flee, For Mary Beatoun, and Mary Seatoun, And Mary Fleming, and me. Will this long and rather rash tirade in the least excuse Cecil Tresilyan Of course not. My poor heroine! It was very unnecessary- that advertisement that she was not superior to the weaknesses of her sex; for it seems to me, with every chapter, she has been growing more fallible and frail. She was utterly incapable of being at all demonstrative or "gushing;" but her preference for Royston Keene was now quite undisguised. Mrs. Danvers was bitterly exasperated. It would be unjust to deny that she was greatly actuated by a sincere interest in her ci-devant pupil's welfare; but other feelings were at work. It is very remarkable how a perfectly well- principled woman will connive at what she can not approve so long as she is taken unreservedly into confidence; but when once one secret is kept back the danger of her antagonism begins; the magic draught that has lulled the vigilant Gryphon to sleep loses its potency; the guardian of the treasure awakes - more savage because conscious of a dereliction in duty-and woe to the Arimaspian! The cold, pale. chaste moon comes forth from behind the cloud, determined to reveal every iota of transgression: no farther chance of concealment here-Reparat sua cornua Phcebe. So, to the utmost of her small powers, Bessic did endeavor to thwart and counteract the ad- versary. Her line was consistently plaintive. In season and out of season she whined and wept profusely. This was the last resource of her simple strategy: when the enemy was getting too strong to be met in open field, she adopted the Dutch plan of opening the sluices and trying to drown him. It is painful to be obliged to state that the inundation did not greatly avail. As she had done from the first, Cecil declined to make any confidences, or indeed to discuss the question at all. Mr. Fullarton, too, felt keenly the defection of a promising proselyte. Since that unfortunate afternoon Miss Tresilvan had been perfectly civ- il, but always very cold; and he could not but be aware that he had lost ground then that he never could hope to regain. The divine must have been very desperate when he ventured to attack that impracticable brother. It was not a judi- cious move; nor would any one have tried it who knew Dick Tresilvan. It was not only that he liked and admired Royston Keene, but lie had a blind confidence in his sister that nothing on earth could disturb: the evidence of his own senses would not have affected it in the least. "Whatever she does is right," he thought; and he clung to that idea, as many other true be- lievers will do to a creed that they can not un- derstand. So when the question was broached he was not very angry (for he did more than jus- tice to the chaplain's sense of duty), but he stub- bornly declined to enter upon it at all. Mr. Fullarton was so provoked that he was goaded into a taunt that he ought to have been ashamed of. "Perhaps you are right," he said; " Major Keene is so formidable an adversary, that it is hardly safe to interfere with him." (These " men of peace"-quand ils s'y prennent! I be- lieve the most exasperating man in England, at this moment, to be an influential Quaker.) Dick Tresilyan took a long time (as was his wont) in finding out what was meant; when he did, even his limited intellect appreciated its bad taste and absurdity. A hundred sarcasms would not have disconcerted the pastor so completely as his honest, hearty laugh. " Ah ! you think I'm afraid of him No- they don't breed cowards where I come from. I never heard that idea but once before; that was 38 SWORD AND GOWN. at the Truro fair. I wasn't in very good com- pany, and they 'planted' a big miner on me at last. He wanted me to wrestle, and when I wouldn't, he said-just what vol did. But I remember all the others laughed at him. They know us in those parts, you see. He'd better have kept quiet; for though he puzzled me at first with a 'back trick' lie had, I knew more than he did, and he got an awkward fall; I don't think he'll ever do a good day's work again." lie paused, and his brow darkened strangely, and all his face changed, till it resembled more closelv than it had often done the portraits of sonic of the "bitter, bad Tresilyans." "I sup- pose you mean well, Mr. Fullarton, but I'm not going to thank you. We can mal-atge our af- fairs without your meddling; and if you're wise you'll leave us alone." It will lie seen that the chaplain did not take much by his motion. Neither was Fanny Alolyneux well satisfied with the turn affairs had taken lately. That poor little " white wvitch" was really alarmed by the unruly character of the spirit that she had been anxious to raise; she did not know the proper formula for sending it back to its own place; and, if she had, the stubborn demon would only have mocked at her simple incantations. Though she loved Cecil dearly, she was too much in awe of her to venture upon remon- strance or warning; indeed, the few mild hints that she did throw out had not met with such success as to tempt her to follow them up. So she was, perforce, reduced to an unarmed nen- trality. Her husband was perhaps the most thoroughly uncomfortable of the party. He knew the cir- cumstances and bearings of the question better than any one else, and would have sacrificed a good deal ("his right hand," I believe, is the proper phrase) to have averted the probable result. But he had not sufficient strength of mind to take the decided measures that might have been of some avail; in fact, he had a vague idea that to act on the offensive against his old comrade would be unpardonable treachery. Arguing with the latter was simply absurd; for this rea- son, if for no other, that from the moment his feelings became really interested, no amount of diplomacy would have induced him to enter upon the subject. Harry went about with a misera- ble, helpless sense of complicity weighing him down, which was much aggravated by a few words which dropped one morning from Dick Tresilyan. Dick had been dining tete-a-tete with Keene on the previous evening after a hard day's snipe shooting, and bore evident traces about him of a heavy night-ap fact which he lost no time in al- luding to, not without a certain pride, like the man in Congreve's play, who exults in having "been drunk in excellent company." "We had a very big drink," he said, confidentially, " and the major got more than his allowance. He didn't know what he was talking about at last, and he told me more of his affairs than most people know, I think; of course, I'm as safe as a church ;" and Dick made a gallant but abort- ive attempt to wink with one of his swollen eye- lids. Molyneux shrank away from the speaker with something very like a suppressed groan-he had heard that said before, and remembered what came of it. Credulity was as dangerous when men thought Royston Keene had lost his head as when women flattered themselves he had lost his heart. CHAPTER XIV. IF you will be good enough to look back on the one romance in which, like the rest of the world, you probably indulged yourself, you will remember, perhaps more distinctly than any oth- er feature, the presentinent which haunted you from the very beginning. We were absurdly sanguine and hopeful in those days-full of chiv- alrous resolves and unlimited aspiratiuns; but still the feeling would come back-if, indeed, it ever left us-that in the dim background there was difficulty and danger. We were not sur- prised when the small white speck rose out of the sea, and it needed no prophet to tell us then that the heavens would soon be black with clouds, and that there would be a great rain (which, in- deed, was the case, for there ensued a long con- tinuance of wet weather; it was a very tearful season). Oddly enough, that same presentiment did not make us particularly melancholy or un- comfortable, but seemed rather to give a zest to our simple pleasures, relieving them from any tinge of sameness or insipidity. When the dd- nowiment came we did not exactly see things in the same light certainly and it took some time to settle thoroughly down into our present theo- rv, that " it was all for the best." It is the old story of Thomas the Rhymer over and over again (we were all rhymers once). The lover knows that there is peril in the path, but not the less joyously he strides on by the side of the beautiful queen. How sweetly they ring, the silver bells on the neck of the milk-white palfrey; not so sweetly, though, as her low, mu. sical tones. So on they fare, till the world of realities is left far behind, and they find them- selves at their journey's end. It is very happy, that year spent in her kingdom; but so like a dream that he does not appreciate its pleasures so wvell at the moment as he will in the weary after-years. Yet the waking came too soon. The sojourner had not half grown tired of his resting-place; the bloom has not faded on the wondrous fruits and flowers: the strangely sweet wine has not lost its savor, when it is time for him to be gone, for a dreadful whisper runs through the company that to-morrow the teind to hell must be paid. Well, the black tax-gath- erer is balked by a day, and the wanderer is back at Ercildoune again. Very dreary looks the gray, bare moorland. Do they call that foliage on the stunted fir-trees It is only the ghost of a forest. The trim parterres have no beauty or fragrance for one that has lingered in more glorious gardens and plucked redder roses. Tabret and viol jangle harshly in the ears that have rioted in melodies made by fairy harpers. The village maidens may be comely, hut they are somewhat clumsy withal; the earthen floor trem- bles under their feet when they lead their simple dances; very different from the steps that kept time to a wild, weird music, stirring but scarce- ly bending the grass-blades. There is no color in their flaxen locks, and little light in their 39 SWORD AND GOWN. pale-blue eyes; these will not bear comparison with the smooth, braided tresses that glistened like blue-black serpents, or the glances that rain- ed down liquid fire through the twilight of the forests of Elf-land. Slowly the discontented dreamer realizes the fact that the spell is still upon him-riveted when he stole that first fatal kiss in despite of his mistress's warning. Noth- ing is left for him now but to expiate his folly in the loneliness of the gray old tower, and to look forth, hoping to see the grass-green robe gleam again against the setting sun, and to hear the silver bells chime once more in the still evening air. Vain-worse than vain. With stiffened limbs and grizzled hair, we are not worth be- guiling. This is essentially a masculine illustration, and only applies to Cecil Tresilyan thus far. She was sensible of the influence that strengthened its hold upon her every day, and did not now wish or try to resist it, but she grew proportion- ately doubtful and uneasy about the event. A feeling, very strange and new to one of a tem- perament like hers, began to creep over her now and then. At such times she owned that her eyes were the more eagerly and steadfastly fixed on the Present, because they did not dare to look into the Future. Yet, as far as she knew, there was no ground for much apprehen- sion. It is always so. Only when we are carrying something rare and precious do we appreciate the possible perils of the road. How much steep- er the hills are now, how much deeper and dark- er the ravines, how much more frequent the crags that might so easily conceal a marauder, than when we passed them some months ago chanting the reckless roundel of the vacaus via- (or. We said, you remember, before, that Miss Tresilyan had one subject of self-reproach, for which she had never gained her own absolution. The whispers that had never been quite silenced began to make themselves heard unpleasantly often, and now they just hinted at Retribution. As our poor Cecil must come to confession some time or another, it seems to me this is a conven- ient season. At the country-house where she was spending Christmas, three years before the date of our story, she met Mark Waring. She knew his an- tecedents: how, when sudden troubles came upon his family, he gave up diplomacy, which he had entered upon, and took up the law-hating it cordially - simply because a fair opening was given him there of securing to his mother and sisters something better than bread. He never pretended to feel the slightest interest in his pro- fession, but went on slaving at it resolutely and successfully. He made no merit of it either, but always spoke, and I believe thought of it, as the merest matter of course-the right thing to do under the circumstance. There was a hard- ihood of principle about all this which Cecil rather admired; and his frank, bold bearing, and simple, straightforward way of putting thoughts that were worth listening to into terse, strong language, aided the first favorable impression. She determined to make Mark like her; and when she had a fancy of this kind, she was apt to carry it out without much consideration for the comfort or convenience of the person destined. to the experiment. She had no deliberate in- tention of doing any body any harm; but those innocent little whims and projects of amusement do more mischief sometimes than the most sys- tematic machinations of devil-craft. Why, when you begin even to write a chapter, it is very dif- ficult to say where it will end; when you begin to talk it or act it, it is harder still to prophesy aright. A character, or a sentence, or an idea, which looked quite insignificant at first, assumes perfectly portentous dimensions and importance before we have done with it; so that the altern- ate effect is nearly as startling when realized as that produced by Alice's conjuration: She crossed him thrice, that lady bold; He rose beneath her hand, The fairest knight on Scottish mould, Her brother, Ethert Brand. So while Cecil was drawing on Mark Waring to talk about his daily life-sympathizing with him about his hard, distasteful work, and pity- ing his loneliness, she never guessed how her words were being branded, one by one, on the earnest, steadfast heart, that her own lofty na- ture was not worthy to understand. In a week after their first meeting she had drawn from him all the love he had to give; and men of Mark Waring's mould can only find room for one love in a lifetime. Such characters are exceptional, fortunately; for they are very impracticable and difficult to get on with, and their antiquated no- tions are perpetually contrasting and conflict- ing with the established prejudices of polite and well-organized society-sometimes even checking the same for an instant in its easy, conven- tional flow. They won't see that of all ways of spending time and thought, the most absurdly unprofitable is to waste them on a memory. Yet-O mine excellent friend and cynical pre- ceptor! to whom, for sage instruction, I owe a debt of gratitude that I never mean to repay-I beseech you, consort not too much with these misguided men. They are not likely to infect you with their pestilent doctrines and principles; but they may, in an unguarded moment, make you do violence to your favorite maxim-Nil admirari. With all his strong common sense, Mark was lamentably deficient in worldly wisdom. He never saw the obstacles that would have daunted others. Could any thing be more improbable than that the most triumphant beauty of the sea- son should seriously incline to share the long up- hill struggle of a rising barrister Those dull Temple-chambers are lucky enough if the sun condescends to visit them at rare intervals in his journey westward. But Waring's own single- ness of purpose beguiled him more effectually than the most inordinate vanity could have done. Putting character out of the question, he thought a woman could only derogate by allying herself to one of inferior birth; and he knew his own blood to be nearly equal to Miss Tresilyan's. He was right so far-if she had only loved him she would have subscribed readily to every arti- cle of his simple, knightly creed. The last idea that entered his mind was, that she could have stooped so low as to trifle with him. It was the old mistake. We measure other people's feel- ings by the intensity of our own, and think it hard when we meet with disappointment. Yet a certain misgiving, that be did not like to sun- 40 SWORD AND GOWN. lyze, kept him from bringing the question to an issue till the day before his departure. Then he told her frankly what his prospects were, and asked her to share them. Now " the Refuser" was so used to seeing men commit themselves in this way on the very short- est notice, and without the faintest encourage- ment, that the situation had ceased to afford her much excitement: a proposal no more made her nervous than file-firing does a thoroughly-broken charger. For once, however, she felt uncom- fortable and vexed with herself, though she did not guess the extent of the harm she had done. Nothing could be kinder or gentler than her an- swer, but nothing could be more decisive. On the cold, smooth rock there was not a cleft or a trailing weed for despair to cling to in its drown- ing agony. So the hope of Mark Waring's life went down there without a cry or a struggle- as it is fitting the hope of a strong heart should die-into the depths of the great sea that never will give up its dead. The lover of the present day is rather a curi- ous study immediately after he has encountered a defeat or disappointment. Sometimes the phase is a mild melancholy. I remember a case of this sort not very long ago. The reflec- tions on things in general that flowed constantly from that man's lips for the space of about a fortnight were incredible to those who knew him well. They were so calmly philosophic - so pleasantly ironical, without a tinge of bitterness -so frequently relieved by the flashes of keen humor-that to listen to them (the weather be- ing intensely hot) was soothing and refreshing in the extreme. Every body was sorry when he was consoled; for, since that time he has never made an observation worth recording. She was a very clever woman who reduced our friend to this abnormal state, though she grossly maltreat- ed him; and, from close association, some of her conversational talent, perhaps insensibly, had got into his constitution; but it could not thrive in such an uncongenial soil, where there was nothing to nourish it. Some men, again, take the reckless and boisterous line, plunging for a while into all sorts of demoralization, with an evident contentment in having a fair excuse for the same in their disappointment. Certainly it is rather a luxurious state of things-to satisfy one's vengeance while gratifying one's appetites -and to know that people are saying all the time, "Poor Charlie! He's very much to be pitied. It's entirely Fanny Grey's fault. He is dreadfully altered since she behaved to him so shamefully." Others-probably the majority- go for complete indifference, and succeed credit- ably on the whole. A few, very few, know that their happiness has got its death-wound, and are able to take it bravely and silently. It is of one of these last we are speaking. Mark Waring was too honest to affect insensi- bility; he was not of the stuff out of which ac- complished actors are made. He walked quick- ly to the window, that his face might not betray him, and did not turn round till he thought he had disciplined it thoroughly. It was but a half 'victory after all; for when Cecil met his eyes her cheek became the paler of the two. She read there enough to make her wish that she could give up all her former triumphs, and undo this last success. She tried to tell him that she was deeply grieved and repentant; but the words would not come. Mark forgot his own sorrow when he saw large drops hanging ready to fall on the dark, long eyelashes. "Pray do not distress yourself," he said, quite steadily; "'such presumption as mine deserves harsher treatment than it has met with from you. You are not answerable for my extravagant self- delusions. I would ask you to forgive me for having been so precipitate-only I know, now, that if I hhd waited seven years your answver would have been the same. Let us part in kindness; it will be very long before we meet again; but I do not think I shall forget you; and I hope you will remember me if you ever want a hand or head to carry out any one of vour wishes or whims. It would make me very happy if I could so serve you. Now, good-by. It is only going this afternoon instead of to- morrow. I must try and make up for lost time, too, by working a little harder." The smile that accompanied those last words haunted Cecil for many, many days. She knew already enough of Waring to be certain that he would never sink into maudlin sentimentali- ty; it saddened her inexpressibly to fancy him alone in his gloomy chambers, when the night was waning, chained to those crabbed law-pa- pers from a dreary sense of duty, but without a hope or an interest to cheer him on; he had given up ambition long ago. (There are many clocks that keep time to a second, when their striking part is ruined utterly.) She felt angry, then and afterward, that she could find no words to say the least appropriate or expressive; she held out her hand timidly, pleading for for- giveness with her eyes. He just touched it with his lips before be let it go. That kiss of peace was a more precious tribute than any of her hundred vassals had offered to the proud Tresilvan. So they parted. Cecil's conscience was disagreeably uncom- promising, and for a long time, declined to ad- mit any valid excuse for the mischief she had done; but time and change are efficient ano- dynes; and her penance was nearly completed when she came to Dorade. Of late, however, the reproachful vision had presented itself often- er than ever. She realized more completely the pain that Mark Waring must have endured, as she guessed what would be the bitterness of her own feelings, if it should prove that she had mis- taken Royston Keene. That sorrowful memory seemed to rise before her like a warning spectre, waving her back from the path she had begun to tread. Truly, Cecil Tresilyan was different from the generality of her sex; or, when her own heart was sorely imperiled, she would never have found time to think so often, and so regret- fully, of one that she had broken. But, when a woman has once determined to set her whole for- tunes on the turn of a die, where is the monitor that will teach her prudence or self-restraint She will hardly be persuaded "though one rose from the dead." CHAPTER XV. ROYSTON KEENE had indeed good reason to augur ill of the ending of his love-dream; but I 41 SWORD AND GOWN. it was in his nature always to walk straight on to the accomplishment of his purpose, overlook- ing the obstacles that lay between and the dan- gers that lay beyond. This partly accounted for his utter insensibility to ordinary inconveniences and annoyances. His own words to Molyneux one day, when the latter remarked on this pe- culiarity, though somewhat allegorical, express- ed his theory and practice fairly: " Hal, when we are traveling, we always remember where we change our large notes; but life.is not long enough to recollect how the thalers and piastres go." His companion thought this rather abril- liant illustration, especially as it squared with his own ideas of existence. But in reality, between the two men there was a marked distinction. A genial kindliness in the one, and a hard unscru- pulous determination in the other, worked out nearly the same results. Royston liked Cecil Tresilyan better than any woman he had ever seen, and he made up his mind to win her. It is more than doubtful if he took the probable consequences to either into consideration at all. Foot by foot he was gain- ing ground till he felt almost sure of success; but this confidence never made him for an in- stant less vigilant in watching the chances, less careful in scoring every point of the game. He had played it long enough to know these right well. Yet to him, too, the Past brought its warning. He was rarely troubled or favored with dreams; but one night was an exception to the rule. To understand it vou must look back once more, and bear with me while we moralize yet again. Excusez du peu. There is a regret that has power to move and torment the coldest Stoic that vegetates on earth; it comes when our own hand or act has slain the one living thing that loved us best of all. We may have done the deed unwittingly or unwill- ingly; we may have been unconscious of the love that was borne us till it was too late for acknowledgment; we may never in thought or word or act have injured our victim before that last wrong of the death-blow; well for those who can plead so fair an excuse; yet even this, with all the rest, the inexorable Nemesis laughs to scorn. I wonder that poets and dramatists have not oftener selected this saddest theme. It may be true that the last murmur from the lips of the Llewellyn, when his life was ebbing away in the Pass of the Ambush, syllabled the name, not of wife or child or friend, but of a stanch wolf- hound; and perhaps tears less bitter have been shed over the graves of many exemplary Chris- tians than those that sprinkled the turf under the birch-trees where Gelert was sleeping. It could not free the Ancient Mariner from the re- morse that clung to him like a poisoned garment till it made him a "world's wonder," because, when he shot the albatross, he thought he was benefiting his fellows. Not less accusingly did the voices of the sea wail in the ears of the des- olate Viking, because, when the bitter arrow went aside, he was fighting hard to sate Oriana. Nothing could be more correct than the conduct of Virginius, or more creditable to a Roman father- but when he harangued in the Forum in after days, I doubt if the commons throng- ed so densely as to shut out from the demagogue a vision of fair hair dabbled in blood, gleaming awfully in the sunlight, and of dark-blue eyes turned upon him in a wondering horror till that look froze in them forevermore. I doubt if the cheers of his partisans were so noisy as to drown the memory of a certain choked shivering moan; in the long, lonely winter nights at least, be sure those sights and sounds visited the tri- bune's hearth, often enough to satisfy the savage spirit of the doomed decemvir. It was this remorse which had stricken Roys- ton Keene sorely, even through his armor of proof, as he knelt, not very long ago, by the side of a death-bed. A woman lay there, scarcely past girlhood, and fair enough to have been the pride of any English household, as daughter or sister or wife. You shall not read unnecessarily an episode of sin and bitter sorrow, and of shame that was not less heavy to bear because the eyes of the world were blinded and saw it not. It ix enough to say that the blood of Em- ily Carlyle was as certainly on her tempter's head as that of any one of those whom he had slain in open fight with shot or steel. This is what she answered when he asked her to forgive him: " My own, I have forgiven you long ago! I could not help it if I would. I can not re. proach you either, for though I have tried hard to repent, I far, if all were to come over again, I should not act more coldly or wisely. But listen! I know you will be able, if you choose it, to make others love you nearly as well as I have done-and you will choose it. Darling, promise me that, for my sake, you will spare one. I could die easier if I thought my intercession had saved another's soul, though I was so weak in guarding my own. It might help me too, perhaps-if any thing can help me-where I am going." Even Royston Keene shivered at the low terror-stricken whisper in which these last words were spoken. He gave the promise though, and remembered it occasionally till- the time for keeping it came. The major had been spending the evening with Cecil Tresilyan, making arrangements for a pie-nic that was to take place two days later. He had had a passage-of-arms or two with Mrs. Danvers, wherein that strong - principled but weak-minded enthusiast had been utterly dis- comfited and routed with great slaughter. Al- together it was very pleasant entertainment; and he went to his rest in a state of great content- ment and satisfaction. He woke (or seemed to wake) with a sudden start and shudder, for he was aware of the presence of something in the room that was not there when he lay down. Out of the black darkness a face slowly de- fined itself, bending over the pillow and creeping close to his own-only a face-he could not dis- tinguish even the outline of a figure. He knew it very well, and the eyes, too-but there was an upbraiding there that, while she lived, he had never seen in those of gentle Emily Carlyle; and a reproach came from the white lips, though they did not move to give it passage. "All for- gotten! I-the promise, too. And yet-I suf- fer-I suffer always." The sad, pleading ex- pression of the face and eyes vanished then; and a-strange, pale glare, not like the moonligh4 that seemed to come from within, lighted them up-fixed and rigid, yet eloquent, of unuttera- ble agony: there was written plainly the self- abhorrence of a heart conscious of the coils of 42 SWORD AN) GOWN. the undying worm-the despair of a soul look- ing far into Futurity, yet seeing no end to the wrath to come. Then the darkness swallowed up all; and, before Keene thoroughly roused himself-with a smothered cry-he knew that he was alone again. A cold dew lingered on the dreamer's fore- head, as if a breath from beyond the grave had lately passed over it; but terror was not the pre- dominating feeling. He had ruled that timid, trusting girl too long and too imperiously to quail before her disembodied spirit. But a strange sadness overcame him as he pondered upon all that she had endured-and might still be enduring-for his sake: a glimmer of some- thing like generosity and compassion flickered for a brief space over the surface of the cast-steel heart. He rose, and leaned out into the steady, outer moonlight, musing for several minutes, and then began muttering aloud. " It would be as well to clear off one debt at least. I did pass my word. She deserves this sacrifice, if it were only for never complaining: let her have her way. By G-d, I'll go off to-morrow even- ing, and I'll tell Cecil so as soon as I can see her. Bali! what is a man worth if he can not forget Besides, I don't know-" The rest of his doubts and scruples he confessed-not even to the stars. Climate has a great deal to answer for. A sudden tempest or an opportune mist has turned the scale of more battles than some of the most successful generals would have liked to own. If the next morning had broken sullenly, things might have gone far otherwise. But it was one of those brilliant days that make even the inva- lids not regret, for the moment, that they have given up all English comforts and home-pleas- ures for the off-chance of wringing another month or two of life out of the wreck of their constitution. Every thing looked bright and in holiday guise, from the wreaths of ivy glistening on the brows of the shattered old castle, down to -the dvijpiOovy EXdcrua of the turquoise-sea. Un- der the circumstances, it was very unlikely that Royston would keep to his virtuous resolutions. The first half of them he carried out perfectly: he did go straight to Cecil Tresilyan, and tell her of his intentions to depart. She did not be- tray much of her disappointment or surprise, but she argued with so fascinating a casuistry against the necessity of such a sudden step, that it was no wonder if she soon convinced her hearer of the propriety of at least delaying it. In a case like this an excuse of "urgent private affairs" that would suffice for the most rigid martinet that ever tyrannized over a district or a division sounds absurdly trivial and insincere. When a proud beauty does condescend to plead, a man who really cares for her must be very peculiarly constituted if he remains constant in denial. The vision of the night had faded away al- ready. Those poor ghosts I They have no chance-the mystics say-against embodied spirits, if the latter only keep up their courage, and choose to assert their supremacy. Besides, they must, perforce, fly before the dawn. And what dawn was ever so bright as the Tresilyan's smile when she guessed from Royston's face, without his speaking, that she had won the day So the pie-nic came off according to the ar- Eangement. The weather and every thing else looked so promising that even the vinegar in Bessie Danvers's composition was acidulated; and, when Keene greeted her at the place of rendezvous, she favored him with just such a smile as one of the grim Puritan dames, in a rare interval of courtesy, may have granted to Claverhouse or Montrose-the right of reproba- tion being reserved. It is greatly to be feared that the Malignant did not appreciate the con- descension, his attention was so entirely taken up in another quarter. Cecil Tresilyan was perfectly dazzling in the splendor and insolence of her beauty: the calm self- possession that usually distinguished her seemed changed into almost reckless high spir- its: even her dress betrayed a certain intention of coquetry; and her splendid violet eves flashed ever and anon with a mischievously mutinous expression that made their glance a challenge. Such a frame of mind the Scotch describe when they speak of a person being "fey," holding it to be a sure presage of impending disaster. Oh, guileless maidens! be warned, and trust not to attractive appearances. Lo ! there is not a cloud in the sky that smiles over the Nysian vale; all round the roses and lilies are blcoming, till the air is faint with their perfume; merry and musical rings the laugh of Persephone, as she goes forth with her comrades a-Maying; but worse things than serpents lurk beneath the wav- ing grass. We, who have read the ancient le- gend, listen already for the roll of the nether thunder: we know that, in another minute, the earth will disgorge Aidoneus, the smart ravish- er, with his iron chariot: then will come a strug- gle of the dove in the clutch of the falcon-a cry for help drowned in a hoarse growl of triumph -shrieks and wild disorder among the flying nymphs; but the loveliest of the land will rejoin them never any more. Demdter (like other care- ful chaperones), when she is most wanted, is far away, tending her corn-lands or reveling in the odors of sacrifice. Finding her after long-baf- fled search, she will hardly recognize her inno- cent child in the pale Queen of Shades, that seems worthy of her awful throne far-gleaming through the leaden twilight: the little hand that used to weave garlands so deftly sways the gold- en sceptre right royally; but the deep, solemn eyes have forgotten how to smile. She who once wept bitterly over her pet bird when it died listens, unmoved, to the clank of Megawra's scourge, and to the wail of a million spirits in torment. Her beauty is more magnificent than ever, but it is tinged with the austere and dreary majesty that befits the consort of the King of Hell. Ah, woeful mother! desist from interces- sion, and dry those unavailing tears: it is too late now to tempt her to follow you, even if Hades will let its empress depart for a season: the pure, natural fruits of your upper earth have lost all savor for the lips that once have tasted the fatal pomegranate. Mr. Fullarton and his family completed the party, which was confined to the Molyneux's set. The chaplain was strangely nervous, fussy, and important: it seemed as if the possession of some weighty secret that he was eager, yet afraid to divulge, had disturbed his phlegmatic complacency. He took the first opportunity of beseeching Miss Tresilyan to be allowed to act as her escort: it was customary on all these ex- 43 peditions that each dame and demoiselle, besides of the ridiculous which was perpetually offering the professional muleteer, should be attended by temptations to Miss Tresilyan, she would have at least one " dismounted skirmisher." Cecil undoubtedly on this occasion espoused the losing was rather puzzled by the petition, and by the side; 'but she exhausted all her powers of self- earnest way in which it was preferred; but she control in expressing (with decent gravity) her was too happy to deny any body any thing just sorrow, that her guide should have come to grief then; besides which she felt conscious of having in her service. She had none left wherewith to visited her pastor of late with a certain amount concoct a rebuke for the Cool Captain. Con. of neglect, not to say contumely. So she con- sidering the circumstances, M4r. Fullarton's laugh, sented, graciously; but the sidelong glance at and attempt at a jest on his own discomfiture, Keene, asking for his sympathy, did not escape did him infinite credit. With the smothered her reverend cavalier. expression that half escaped his lips as he fell to It was evident that Mr. Fullarton had some- the rear, the chronicler has, no earthly concern. thing on his mind that he intended to impart to As the other two moved onward, Royston his companion; but it was equally clear that he spoke, his dark eyes glittering scornfully- did not see his way to the confidence. The path "II wonder if women will ever get tired of de- turned abruptly across the line of hills; and riding us, or we of ministering to their amuse- while he was hesitating and looking about for a ment It must have been a great satisfaction fair opening, it got so steep and rugged that it to Anne of Austria to see Richelieu dance that soon left him no breath for the disclosure. Be- saraband. (But Mazarin paid her off for it. I fore they had gone half a league the divine was am very glad that the cardinal was avenged by decidedly in difficulties; he rolled hither and the charlatan.) Now, how could you allow the thither, panting painfully, like one who has al- shepherd to be so rash Consider that he has ready endured all the burden and heat of the a large and increasing family totally dependent day. Still he clung obstinately to Cecil's bridle- on him for support. If I were Mrs. Fullarton, rein, rather assisted than assisting, till they reach- I would bring an action against you. It is a ed a point where the road resembled greatly a necessity that his successor should quote some- flight of garret stairs, without any regularity in thinr; and he really did bring to my mind the the steps thereof. The mule and its leader description of the White Bull of Duncraggan, stumbled together; the former recovered itself who started up-hill so vigorously- cleverly after the fashion of its kind; but such a But steep and flinty was the road, tour de force far exceeded the exhausted energies And sharp the hurrying pikemen's goad, of the pursy pastor. He was fairly "down upon And when we came to Dennan's Row, his head." A child might scatheless stroke his brow. Since the cavalcade started, Major Keene had I shouldn't like to be the child, though, " he add- not attempted to disturb the order of march; at ed, meditatively, with a backward glance at the first he walked by the side of Fanny Molyneux, object of his remarks, who indeed did present a and did his best to amuse her; when the path very " dissolving view." became too narrow for three abreast, he resign- The tone and manner of his speaking showed ed the charge to Harry (who never, willingly, how much, within the last few weeks, the rela- when en voyage, abdicated the charge of his mige tions of the two had altered: the scale was al- nonne), and went on by himself, just in the rear ready wavering, and ere long might be foretold of Miss Tresilyan and her clerical escort. He a change in the balance of power. presented, in truth, a striking contrast to that His beautiful companion shook her head till over-tasked pedestrian - going easily, within the soft curling plumes that nestled round her himself, without a quickened breath, or a bead hat danced again; but the effect of the reprov- of moisture on his forehead. Shikari of the Up- ing gesture was quite spoilt by the laugh that per Himalayas, gillies of Perthshire and the followed it, suppressed thouigh clear as a silver Western Highlands, chamois-hunters of the Ty- bell. rol, and guides of Chamounix or Courmayeur, II will not be made an accomplice in your ir- could all have told tales of that long, slashing reverent comparisons,; I don't admit the resewm. stride, to which hill or dale, rough or smooth, blance; if there were one, it was too bad of 'the never came amiss; before which even the weary pikemen' not to be more considerate. You al- German miles were swallowed up like furlongs. ways try to impute malicious motives to the most He sprang quickly forward when he saw the mis- innocent. How could I guess that Mr. Fullar- hap of his front rank; Miss Tresilyan was quite ton would suffer so for his devotion to my inter- safe, so he only gave her a smile in passing, and ests I will give you back your quotation in then raised the fallen ecclesiastic, with a studied kind. See! if I were as mischievous as you in- and ostentatious tenderness that would have ag- sinuate- gravated a saint. My loss may pay my folly's tax; " I hope you are not severely hurt, Mr. Ful- I've broke my trusty battle-axe." larton You really should be less rash in over- The ivory handle of her parasol (the same that exciting yourself. The spirit is willing, but the had been rescued from Duchesne) chanced to be flesh is somewhat 'short of work.' May I re- entangled in the bridle when the mule stumbled, lieve you of your responsibility till you have re- and the jerk snapped the frail shaft in two. covered your wind " Keene took the fragment from her, and looked In spite of his own sacred character, and the at it for an instant. proprieties of time and place, had Keene been ) "Poor thing !" he said compassionately; "OD weak and of small stature, it is within the bounds it was fated to be short-lived It was hardly of possibility that the pastor might have assault- worth while saving it from the wrath of the sil- ed him, there and then. ' ner, if it was to be sacrificed so soon to the awkl If it had not been for that unfortunate sense wardness of the saint." SWORD AND GOWN. 44 SWORD AND GOWN. "Not at all," Cecil replied. "It was my fault, for being so heedless. Bilt I can not af- ford another misadventure to-day. Will you take great care of me" Her soft, caressing tones thrilled through Roy- ston's veins till the blood mounted to his fore- head; but he made no answer in words, only looking up earnestly into her face with his rare smile. I have tried throughout to avoid inflicting on you a dialogue that does not bear in some way on the incidents of our tale; on this principle we will not record the conversation that occupied those two till they reached the crown of the pass. It was probably interesting to them, for it was long before either forgot a word that was spoken. But the imagination or the memory of the reader will doubtless fill up a better fancy-sketch than the one omitted here. There was a general halt on the brow of the hill. Indeed the view was worth a pause. From below their feet the tract of low woodland rolled right down to the edge of the sea, like a broad tossing river, swelling into great billows of gray or dark green, where the taller olives or fir-trees grew, and broken here and there with islets of many-colored stone. With the rest came up the chaplain, who had recovered by this time his breath, and, to a certain extent, his equanimity. While the others stood silent, he saw one of those openings for improving the occasion profession- ally of which he was ever so ready to avail him- self. So, casting his hand abroad theatrically, he declaimed, How glorious are thy works, Parent of Good! The words came oozing out in the oiliest of his unctuous tones; and the elocutionist's ex- pansive glance fell first on the landscape patron- izingly, then on the by-standers encouragingly. It was as though he said, "You may fall to, and admire now. I have asked a blessing." Nothing more occurred worthy of note till they reached their destination in safety. Of course, " there never was such a place for a picnic ;" but, as that has been said of about three hundred different spots in every civilized country of Europe, it is certainly not worth while describing this particular one. The luncheon went on very much as such things always do when the arrangements are perfect, the commis- sariat unexceptionable, and the guests hungry and happy. Mr. Fullarton, however, applied himself so assiduously to Champagne-cup that his sober- minded helpmate (the only person who took much notire of his proceedings) was filled with an uncomfortable wonder. At last, during a pause in the general conversation, he addressed Royston abruptly-there was a strange huskiness in his voice, and his lower lip kept trembling- "I heard from Naples this morning. My friend mentions having met Mrs. Keene there." The major looked up at the speaker with the cool, indifferent glance that had often irritated him. "Indeed! I was not aware that my mother had got so far south yet. She wrote last from Rome." The other tossed off his glass with an unsteady hand, and set it down sharply. "I never heard of your mother, sir," he said; "I was speaking of-your wjife." CHAPTER XVI. To quarrel with a man over his cups, or in any wise to molest him in his drink, is an of- fense against the proprieties that even the good- natured Epicurean can not find it in his easY heart to palliate or pardon. On this point he speaks mildly, but very firmly: Natis in usum hetitie scyphis Pugnare, Thractun eAt. Tollite barbarum Mo.em: verecundumqueoBacchum. Sanguineis prohibete rixis. The ghost of Banquo was an uncivilized spectre, or-strong as was the provocation-it would have confronted Macbeth in any other place sooner than the banqueting-hall. The worst deed in the life of a cruel, false king was the setting on of the black bull's head before the doomed Doug- lases; and perhaps Pope Alexander, though sin- gularly exempt from all vulgar prejudice, found it hard to obtain his own pontifical absolution for the poisoned wine in which he pledged the Orsini and Colonna. In these, and a hundred like instances, there was certainly the shadowy excuse of political expediency or necessity; but what shall we say of that individual who inter- rupts the harmony of a meeting solely to gratify his own private pique or pleasure Truly, with such enormities Heaven "' heads the count of crimes." I consider the most abominable act of which Eris was ever guilty was the selection of that particular moment for the production of the golden apple. If she was bound to make herself obnoxious, she might have waited till the Olym- pians were sitting in conclave, or at least at home again. It was infamous to disturb them while doing justice to the talents of Peleus's cordon- bleu. I wish very much that injured and (quer- ulous (Enone had met her somewhere on the slopes of Ida, and "given her a piece of her mind." On these grounds I venture to hope that all well-regulated readers will concur with me in pronouncing Mr. Fullarton's conduct totally in- defensible. It would have been so easy to have communicated his intelligence to any that it might concern, discreetly, at a fitting place and time, instead of casting it into the midst of a con- vivial assembly like a fulminating ball. Under other circumstances, he would probably have taken the quieter course; but he had been smalt- ing for some time under a succession of provoca- tions, real and fancied, from Royston Keene, and his own misadventure that morning had filled the cup of irritation brimful. It was the old exas- perating feeling- Earl Percy sees my fall. Whatever might be the cost, he could not make up his mind to let slip so fair a chance of embar- rassing his imperturbable enemy. There is no saving what he would have given to see that mar- velous self-command for once thoroughly break down. It is unfortunate that the best-laid plans can not always insure a triumph. The chaplain certainly did succeed in producing a " situation, " and in reducing most of the party to that uncom- fortable frame of mind which is popularly de- scribed as "wishing one's self any where ;" but the person who seemed most completely uncon- cerned was the man at whom the blow was lev- eled. The major shook his head with a quick ges- 45 SWORD AND GOWN. ture of impatience, just as if some insect had lighted on his forehead; beyond this, for any evidenee of his being annoyed by it, Mr. Fullar- ton's last remark might have related to mission- cry prospects or Chinese politics. The steady color on his swarthy face neither lost nor gained a shade. There was not a sign of anger, or shame, or confusion in his clear, bold eyes; and, when he answered, there was not one fresh fur- row on the brow that, at lighter provocation, was so apt to frown. " I give you credit for being utterly ignorant of what you are talking about, Mr. Fullarton. You could not possibly guess how disagreeable the subject would be to me. As it can't be in the least interesting to any one else, suppose we change it" Just the same cold, measured voice as ever, with only a slight sarcastic inflection to vary the deep, grave tones; but a very close observer might have seen his fingers clench the handle of a knife while he was speaking, as if their gripe would have dinted the ivory. It was hardly to be expected that the rest of the party would emulate the sang-froid of the Cool Captain. Sailing under false colors is a convenient practice enough, and productive some- times of many prizes; but divers penalties attach to its detection, on land as well as on sea. In- deed, it involves the necessity of somebody's ap- pearing as a convicted impostor. On the pres- ent occasion-as the actor for whom the charac- ter was cast utterly declined to play it-the part fell to poor Harry Molyneux, who certainly look- ed it to perfection. In all his little difficulties and troubles, when hard pressed, he was wont to fall back upon the reserve of la mig.nonne, sure of meeting there with sympathy, if not with suc- cor. He dared not do so now. He dared not encounter the reproach of the beautiful, gentle eves that had never looked into his own other- Mwise than trustfully since they first told the secret that she loved him dearly. The half-smothered cry that broke from Fanny's lips when the chap- lain made his disclosure went straight to the heart of her treacherous husband. He felt as if he deserved that those pretty lips should never smile upon him again. Oh, all my readers !-masculine especially- whose patience has carried you thus far, remark, I beseech you, the dangers that attend any dere- liction from the duty of matrimonial confidence. What right have we to lock up the secrets of our most intimate friends, far less our own, instead of pouring them into the bosom of the ,8aOoX- 7roc dxotrtC, which is capacious enough to hold them all, were they tenfoJd more numerous and weighty Such reticence is rife with awful per- il. In our folly and blindness, we fancy our- selves secure, while the ground is mined under our guilty feet, and the explosion is even now preparing, from which only our disjecta 7nembra will emerge. Of course, some cold-hearted cav- iler will begin to quote instances of carefully- planned and promising conspiracies, which mis- carried solely because the details reached a fem- inine ear. It may have been so; but I don't see what business conspiracies have to succeed at all. Long live the Constitution! Truly, such delight- ful confidences must be something one-sided, for the mildest Griselda of them all would be led as a "Martha to the Stakes" sooner than concede to her husband the unrestricted supervision of her correspondence. I have indeed a dim rec- ollection of having heard of one bride of seven- teen, who, during the honeymoon, was weak and (selon les dames) wicked enough to submit to pro- fane male eyes epistles received from the friends of her youth, in their simple entirety, instead of reading out an expurgated edition of the same. She had been brought up in a very dungeon of decorum by a terrible grandmother, a rigid mor- alist, whom no man ever yet beheld without a shiver; and during those first few weeks after her escape she was probably intoxicated by the novel sense of freedom, besides which, she was perfectly infatuated about "Reginald ;" but all this could not exculpate her when arraigned be- fore her peers. She lived long enough to repent and to reassert, to some extent, her lost matronly dignity, but she died very young-let us hope in fair course of nature. She had violated the first law of a guild more numerous and influential than that of the Frecinasons. Examples are necessary from time to time, and, though the Vehime-gericht may pity the offender, it may not therefore linger in its vengeance. Nevertheless, my brethren, our course is clear. Let us resign to the chatelaine the key of the letter-bag and the censorship thereof. If, after due warning, our light-minded friends will write to us in terms that mislike that excellent and punctilious in- spectress, they must abv it in the cold looks and bitter innuendoes which will be their portion when they come to us in the next hunting season. Our conscience, at least, will be pure and undefiled, and we shall pass to the end of our pilgrimage sans peur, though perchance, even then, not sans reproche. "Servitudes," as Miggs, the veteran vestal remarked, "is no inheritance," but there are natures who thrive rarely in this tranquil and inglorious condition. Such men live, as a rule, pretty contentedly to a great old age, and die in the odor of intense respectability. Salubrious, it seems, as well as creditable to the patient, is a r.gime of moderate hen-pecking, only it is neces- sary that he should be of the intermediate species between Socrates and Georges Dandin. Mrs. Danvers would certainly have indulged openly in that immoderate exultation to which all minor prophets are prone when their predic- tions chance to be verified, but this was checked by her constitutional timidity. She was horribly afraid of the effect that the revelation might have on her patroness; therefore what precise mean- ing was implied by the complicated contortions of her countenance no mortal can guess or know. Her sensations probably resolved them- selves into an excess of admiration for the pastor in his new character of a denouncer of detected guilt and champion of imperiled innocence, add- ed to which was a vague desire to lanch her own anathema maranatha at Royston Keene. Dick Tresilyan! took the whole thing with re- markable coolness, not to say complacency. He nodded his head, and smiled, and winked cun- ningly aside at Molyneux, as if to intimate that he had known all about it long ago, and, in- deed, so far he had been admitted into the ma- jor's confidence on the night when the latter was supposed to have "lost his head." By what sophistries Royston had succeeded in masking his purpose and making his case good, even to such an unsuspicious mind and easy morality, 46 SWORD AND GOWN. the devil could best tell, who in such schemes had rarely failed him. We have left Cecil to the last. My proud, beautiful Cecil-was she not born for better things than to be made the prize of all those plottings and counter-plottings-to surrender the key of her heart's treasures to one who was un- worthy to kiss the hem of her robe-and now to have her self-command tried so cruelly to grati- fy the wounded vanity of a weak, shallow enthu- siast She did not flinch or start when Mr. Fullar- ton's words caught her ear, but a heavy, chill faintness stole over her, till she felt all her limbs benumbed, and every thing before her eyes grew misty and dim. The numbness passed away almost immediately, but still the figures around her appeared distorted and fantastically exag- gerated; they seemed to be tossing and whirling round one steadfast centre, as the dead leaves in winter eddy round the marble head of a statue; that single centre-object remained, throughout, distinct and unaltered in its aspect, while all else was confused and uncertain-the face of Royston Keene. The sight of that face-not defiant or even stern, but immutable in its cold tranquillity-acted on Cecil as a magical restora- tive; it seemed as though he were able, by some mesmeric influence, to impart to her a portion of his own miraculous self-control. Before his reply to the chaplain was ended, she threw back her proud head with the old imperial gesture, as if scorning her own momentary weakness; no mist or shadow clouded the brilliant violet eyes; she might speak safely now, without risking a falsz note in the music. It was no light peril that she escaped; the betrayal of emotion under such circumstances would have weighed down a meeker spirit than The Tresilyan's with a sense of ineffaceable shame; for remember-however marked her partiality for Keene might have been -there had been no suspicion of an engagement between them. Had she broken down then, she would not have forgiven Royston to her dying day: she never did forgive the chaplain. As it was-by a strange anomaly-at the very mo- ment when she became aware of having been deluded and misled, in intention if not by actn- ally spoken words-when she had most reason to hate or despise the " enemy who had done her this dishonor"-she felt his hold upon her heart strengthened, as though he had justified his right to command it. Not to women alone, but to all beautiful, wild creatures, the ancient aphorism applies: the harder they are to discipline, the better they love their tamer. Cecil thought, "there is not another man alive whose eyes could meet mine so daringly :" and the haughty spirit bowed itself, and did obeisance to its su- zerain. Different in many respects as good can be from evil-in one, those two were as fairlv matched as Thiodolf and Isolde. Who can tell what wealth of happiness might have been stored up for both, if they had only not met-too late These two words seem to me the most of any that are written or spoken. They strike the key-note of so many human agonies, that they might form a motto, apter than Dante's, for the gates of hell. Very few may hear them without a melancholy thrill; well-if they do not bring a bitter pang. Like those awful conjurations that blanched in utterance the lips of the boldest magi, they have a fearful power to wake the dead. Lo! they are scarcely syllabled when there is a stir in the grave-yard where sad or guilty memories lie buried; the air is alive with phantoms; the watcher may close his eves if he will: not the less is he sensible of the presence of those pale ghosts that come trooping to their vengeance. Many, many hours must pass be- fore the spell is learned that will send them back to their tombs again. Not long ago I heard a story that bears upon this. The man of whom it was told lost his love after he had fairly wooed and won her. It mat- ters not what suspicion, or misconception, or treachery parted them; but parted they were for eight miserable years. Then the lady repented or relented, and came to her lover to make her confession. When she had done speaking, she i looked up into his face: she saw no light of I gladness or welcome there-only a deepening and darkening of the weary look of pain: the arms whose last tender clasp she had not forgotten yet, never opened to draw her to his breast. He bent his head down upon his shaking hands, and the heavy drops that are sometimes wrung from strong men in their agony began to trickle through his fingers. In old days he could nev- er bear to see her sad for a moment; now, he sat as though he heard her not, while she lay at his feet, wailing to be forgiven. When he could perfectly control his voice he said, l" More than once, in my dreams, I have seen you so, and I have heard you say what you have said to-day. I answered then as I answer now -I never can forgive you. I do not know that you would not regain your old ascendency; I believe you are as dangerous, and I as weak, as ever. But I do know that, the more fascinating I found you, the harder it would be to bear. Thinking of what I had missed through that ac- cursed time of famine would drive me mad soon. I have got used to my present burden: I won't give you the chance of making it heavier. Those tears .of mine were selfish as well as childish; they were given to the happiness and hope that vou killed eight years ago. Stay-we parted with a show of kindness then; we will not part in anger now." Ile laid his lips on her forehead as he raised her up-a grave, cold, passionless kiss, such as is pressed on the brow of a dear friend lying in his shroud. They never met alone again. It is exasperating to think how long I have taken to describe events and emotions that passed in the space of a few minutes; but to place all the dramnatis personce in their proper positions does take time, unless the stage-manager is very experienced. Will you be good enough to im- agine the picnic broken up (not in confusion), and the " strayed revelers'" on their way to Do- rade Nothing worthy of note occurred on the spot; a commonplace conversation having been started and maintained in a way equally credita- ble to all parties concerned. CHAPTER XVII. ALL the inquiries that the chaplain had " felt it his duty" to make respecting the antecedents of Royston Keene had failed to elicit any thing 47 SWORD AND GOWN. more discreditable than may be said of the gen- erality of men who have spent a dozen years in rather a fast regiment, keeping up to the standard of the corps. Doubtless graver charges might have been imputed to him, if the whole truth had been known; but the living witnesses who could have proved them had good reasons for their silence. Whether successful or defeated, the Cool Captain was not wont to take the world into his confidence. As for betraying his own or another's secrets-his lips were about as likely to do that as those of an effigy on a tomb-stone. Naples was a cover that the reverend investi- gator had not drawn; so he was considerably startled by the following words in a letter from thence, received that morning: "I meet a lady constantly in society here, of whose history I am curious to know more. She is the wife of Major Keene, the famous Indian sabreur; but has been separated from him for several years. She nev- er makes an allusion to his existence; it was by the merest chance that I heard this, and also that her husband is spending the winter at Do- rade. Perhaps you can throw some light on the cause of the 'separate maintenance' People are not particular here, and have no right to be; still, one would like to know. I fancy it can not be her fault; she is perfectly gentle in her man- ner, but rather cold-very beautiful too, in a placid, statuesque style." It is not worth tran- scribing the writer's farther speculations. If a silent, but ultra-fervent benediction can at all profit the person for whom it is intended, very few people have been so well paid for epistolary labor, as was, then, Mr. Fullarton's correspond- ent. The reason why has already been ex- plained. Well, he had made his great coup without carefully counting the cost-that financial pleas- ure was still to come. He could not help feeling that it had been rather afiasco. The man whom he had purposed utterly to discomfit had through- out been provokingly at his ease; the best that could be made of it was, a drawn battle. A disagreeable consciousness crept over the chap- lain of having made himself generally obnoxious, without reaping any equivalent advantage or even satisfaction. No one seemed to look kindly or admiringly at him since the disclosure, except Mrs. Danvers; and, glutton as he was of such dainties, the adulation of that exemplary but unattractivn female began rather to pall on his palate. He was clear-sighted enough to be aware that Miss Tresilyan was probably offend- ed with him beyond hope of reconciliation, but this did not greatly trouble him. He had been sensible for some time of the decay of his influ- ence in that quarter. Last of all rose on his mind, with unpleasant distinctness, Cecil's warn- ing, II If I were a man, I should not like to have Major Keene as my enemy." He had thrown the lance over that enemy's frontier, and it was now too late to talk of truce. A dread of the consequences overcame him as he thought of the reprisals that might be exacted by the merciless and unscrupulous guerilla. True, it was not very evident what harm the latter could do him; nevertheless, he could not shake off a vague, de- pressing apprehension. More and more, as he strolled on, moodily musing, far in the rear of the rest, he felt inclined to appreciate the wisdom of the ancient proverb, " Let sleeping dogs lie." Years afterward he remembered with what a startled thrill, raising his eyes at a sharp angle of the path, he found himself face to face with Royston Keene. For some seconds they contemplated each oth- er silently-the priest and the soldier. A strik- ing contrast they made. The one, heated, and excited, and nervous, both in appearance and manner, looking more like a culprit brought up for judgment than a pillar of the Established Church; the other, outwardly as undemonstrative as the rock against which he leaned-just a shade of paleness telling of the sharp mental struggle from which he had come out victorious - his whole bearing and demeanor precisely what might have been expected if he had been sitting on a court-martial. The absurdity of the position struck the chap- lain as soon as he collected himself from his first surprise. It never would do for him to look as if he had any thing to be ashamed of; so, sum- moning to his aid all the dignity of his office and his own self-importance, with a great effort, he spoke steadily: "II presume you wish to talk to me, Major Keene I shall be glad to hear any thing that you may have to communicate or explain. It is my duty as well as my desire to be useful to any member of my congregation, however little dis- posed they may be to avail themselves of their privileges. Interested, as I must be in the wel- fare of all committed to my charge, I need hard- ly say that the course you have chosen to pursue here has caused me great pain and anxiety-I own, not so much for your sake as that of others, to whom your influence was likely to be perni- cious. What I beard this morning makes mat- ters look still worse. I wish I could anticipate any satisfactory explanation." The old ex cathedrd feeling came back upon him while he was speaking; his tone, gradually becoming rounder and more sonorous, showed this. Was he so.besotted by sacerdotal confidence as to fancy that he could win that grim penitent to come to him to be confessed or absolved Since the chaplain first saw him Royston had never changed his attitude. He was leaning with his shoulder against the corner of rock round which the path turned, standing half across it, so that no one could pass him easily. The dense blue cloudlets of smoke kept rolling out from his lips rapidly, but regularly, and his right hand twined itself perpetually in the coils of his heavy brown mustache. That gesture, to those who knew his temper well, was ever ominous of foul and stormy weather. He did not reply imme- diately, but, taking the cigar from his mouth, be- gan twisting up the loose leaf in a slow, deliber- ative way. At last he said, "You did that rather well this morning. How much did you expect to get for it My wife is liberal enough in her promises sometimes, when she wants to make herself disagreeable, but she don't pay well. You might have driven a better bargain by coming to me. I would have given you more to have held your tongue." His tone was such as the other had never heard him use- such as most people would be loth to employ to- ward the meanest dependent. No description can do justice to the intensity of its insolence; it made even Mr. Fullarton's torpid blood boil re- sentfully. 48 " How dare you address such words to me " With a cold, tranquil satisfaction, the major he cried out, trembling with rage. "If it were contemplated his victim's agony. not for my profession-" "I choose to know nothing about it, except "Stop!" the other broke in, rudely; "you that it carries more probability than most stories need not trouble yourself to repeat that stale clap- one hears. The world in general is, fortunate- trap. You mean to say that, if I were not safe ly, not incredulous, and I have seen a man from your profession, I should not have said so 'broke' on lighter evidence. Well, you will take much. It isn't worth while lying to yourself, your own course, and I shall take mine. I fancy and I have no time to trifle. The converse is we understand each other-at last." the truer way of putting it. You know better By a superhuman effort the unlucky ecclesias- than I can tell you that, if you had been unfrock_ tic did contrive to mutter something about his ed, you would never have ventured half what you "determination to do his duty." Royston listen- have done to day. You don't stir from hence ed to him with his worst smile. till this is settled. Do you suppose I'll allow my I" I'll take my chance about that," he said. private affairs to be made, again, an occasion for I"I feel tolerably safe. Now I'll leave you to indulging your taste for theatricals " settle the affair between your interest and your The chaplain flushed apoplectically. He just conscience." managed to stammer out, He turned on his heel, and strode away with- " I will not remain another instant to listen to out another word. Long after he was out of your blasphemous insults. If you or -an to pre- sight the chaplain stood fixed in the same atti- vent me from passing, I will return another way." tude of panic - stricken, helpless despondency. Scornftilly By my faith! even in these degenerate days, we He turned; but thrilled with priestly wrath, to feel have petrifving influences left that may match His sacred arm locked in a grasp of steel. the head of the Gorgon. A bolder man might have got nervous, finding Meanwhile, the others were wending slowly himself on a lonely hill-side, face to face with homeward, truly in a very different mood from such an adversary, reading, too, the savage mean- that in which they had gone forth that morning. ing of those murderous eyes. Remember that Even as no man can be pronounced happy till Mr. Fullarton held Royston capable of any earth- the hour of his death, so can no excursion -or en- lv crime. His own short-lived anger was instant- tertainment be called successful till night has ly annihilated; the sweat or mortal terror broke fairly closed in. Caprice of climate is only one out over all his livid face; his lips could hardly of the many sources of disappointment, and the gasp out an unintelligible prayer for mercy. event justifies so seldom our sanguine predic- 'I'he soldier's stern face settled into an expres- tions that we have little right to complain of sion of contempt: in his gentlest moods he could false and fallible barometers. It is worthy of fintl little sympathy for purely physical fear. remark howv often these trifles illustrate that trite "Don't faint," he said; "there is no occasion and time-honored simile of Life. The vessel for it. Do you think I shall 'slay you as I slew starts gayly enough, heeling over gracefully to the Egyptian yesterday' Well, I have scanty the land-wind in the old, approved fashion- respect for your office, especially when its privi- "Youth at the prow, and pleasure at the helm" leges are abused. If it were not for good reasons, -there is not a misgiving in the heart of any of I would serve you worse than I did that drunken the passengers; they can not help pitying those scoundrel who frightened you almost to death left behind on the shore. What a cheery adieu down there among the vines; but that don't suit they wave to the friends who come down to wish my purpose. Listen: if you dare to interfere them "good-speed !" After a voyage more or again, by word, or deed, or sign, in the affairs less prolonged the same ship drifts in slowly of me and mine, I know a better way of making shoreward, over the harbor-bar, under the calm you repent it." I of the solemn sunset. Even the deepening twi- As soon as he saw that there was no real dan- light can not disguise the evidences of a terrible ger to life or limb, the chaplain's composure be- I" sea-change. " Not a trace of paint or gilding gan to return. He launched forth immediately remains on the wave-worn, shattered timbers. into a gallant though incoherent defiance. Roy- Sails rent and cordage strained tell tales of many ston's features never for an instant changed or i storm-gusts, or, perchance, of one tornado; and softened in their scorn. see ! her flag is flving half-mast high: the corpse "Fair words," he retorted; " but I'll make of the Pilot is on board. Let us stand aside, your bubbles burst. You don't monopolize all! lest we meet the passengers as they land. It the resources of the Private Inquiry Office;" and, j were worse than mockery to ask how the vacht- stooping down, he whispered a dozen words in ing trip hips sped. the other's ear. They related to a charge Miss Tresilyan rode somewhat in advance of brought against Mr. Fullarton years ago, so cir- the rest, under her brother's escort. Dick was cumstantial and difficult to disprove that, with all a model in his own line, and other brothers-of- the advantages of counter-evidence at hand, it beauties might well imitate his moderation and had well-nigh borne him down. He knew right discretion. He never thrust himself into the well that, if it were once revived here abroad, conversation, or into her presence, when there where the lightest suspicion is caught up and was a chance of his intrusion being ill-timed, but used so readily, the consequences would be noth- was always at hand when he was wanted: the ing short of utter ruin. He was a poor man, slightest sign, or even a glance, from Cecil, with a large family. No wonder if he quailed. brought him to her side, and there he would " You know-you know," he gasped, "that march for hours in silent but perfect satisfaction. it is a vile, cruel falsehood." On the present occasion he seemed disposed to To do him justice, he spoke the simple truth! be unwontedly talkative, and to Indulge in cer- there. I tain speculations relative to the intelligence they SWORD AND GOWN. 49 SWORD AND GOWN. had just heard. It was true, he knew it before, but nothing had been disclosed to him beyond the simple fact that Royston was married, and married unhappily. Cecil checked him gently, but very decidedly. "1 had rather not hear or say one word on the subject. It ought not to interest either of us. In good time, I suppose, we shall be told all that it is fitting we should know. Meanwhile, it would be very wrong to make conjectures. No one has any right to pry into Major Keene's affairs if he chooses to keep them secret. I do not believe any one ever did so, even in thought, without repenting it. I dare say Mr. Fullarton will find this out soon, and I shall not pity him in the least. A person ought to be punished who tries to startle people in that disagreeable way. Did you hear Fanny's little shriek I have not had time to laugh at her about it yet. The path is too narrow for two to ride abreast." The light tone and manner of her last words might have deceived a closer observer than hon- est Dick Tresilyan. He lapsed into silence; but, after some time, his meditations assumed a cheerfully-roseate hue, as they resolved them- selves into the fixed idea that Royston was lin- gering behind "to have it out with the par- son." Some distance in the rear walked Harry Molyneux, holding dutifully his wife's bridle- rein. It was very touching to see the diffidence and humility with which he proffered his little attentions, which were accepted, as it were, un- der protest. The truth was that la mignonne had forgiven him already, and it was with great dif- ficulty she refrained from telling him so, by word or smile. Her soft heart melted within her at the sight of the criminal's contrition, and de- cided that he had done penance enough during the last half hour to atone for a graver misde- meanor; but she deferred asking for explana- tions till a more convenient season, when there should be no chance of interruption; and mean- while, on grounds of stern political necessity, eUe le b)oudait. (If any elegant scholar will trans- late that Gallicism for me literally, I shall feel obliged to him.) Fancy the sensations of a man fighting his frigate desperately against overwhelming odds, when he sees the outline of a huge "liner," with English colors at the main, looming dimly through the smoke, close on the enemy's quar- ter; or those of the commander of an untenable post when the first bayonets of the relieving force glitter over the crest of the hill, and you will have a fair id!ea of Harry's relief as he looked back and saw Keene rapidly gaining on them with his swift, slashing stride. As he fell back and yielded his post to Royston, this was written so plainly on his face that the latter could not repress a smile; but there was little mirth in his voice when he addressed Fanny-she had never heard him speak so gently and gravely: " I know that you are angry with your husband, as well as with me, for keeping you in the dark so long. I must make his peace with you, even if I fail in making my own. He could not tell you one word without breaking a promise given years ago. If he had done so, in spite of the excuse of the strong temptation, I would never have trusted him again. Ah! I see you have done him justice already: that is good of you. Now for my own part. Why I did not choose to let you into the secret as soon as I began to know you well I can hardly say. Hal will tell you all about it, and you will see that, for once, I was more sinned against than sinning; so I was not afraid of your thinking worse of me for it. Perhaps the last thing that a man likes to confess is his one arch piece of folly, especially if he has paid for it as heavy a price as attaches to most crimes. I think I am not sorry that you were kept in the dark till now. The past has given me some pleasant hours with you that might have been darkened if you had known all. I wish you would forgive me. We have always been such good friends, and, in your sex at least, I can reckon so few." If he had spoken with his ordinary accent, Fanny would scarcely have yielded so readily, but the strange sadness of his tone moved her deeply. A mist gathered in her gentle eyes as she looked at him for some moments in silence, and then held out a timid little tremulous hand. "II should not have liked you worse for know- ing that you had been unhappy once," she whis- pered; "but I ought never to have been vexed at not being taken into confidence. I don't think I am wise or steady enough to keep se- crets; only I wish-I do wish-that you had told Cecil Tresilyan." He answered her in his old cool, provoking way, " I know what you mean to imply, but you do Miss Tresilyan less than justice, and me too much honor. What right have you to infer that ,I look upon her in any other light than a very charming acquaintance, or that she feels any deeper interest in to-day's revelation than if she had heard unexpectedly that any one of her friends was married Surprises are seldom agreeable, especially when they are so clumsily brought about. I am sure she has not told you any thing to justify your suspicions." Fanny was the worst casuist out. She was seldom certain about her facts, and when she happened to be so, had not sufficient pertinacity or confidence to push her advantage. Her fa- vorite argument was ever ad misericordiam. "I wish I could quite believe you," she said, plaint, ively; "but I can't, and it makes me very un- happy. You lust see that you ought to go." Her evident fear of him touched Royston more sharply than the most venomous reproach or thf most elaborate sarcasm could have done; but he would not betray how it galled him. "T hree days ago," he replied, "I had almost decided on departure; now it does not altogether depend on me. But you need not be afraid. I shall not worry you long; and while I stay I have no wish, and, I believe, no power, to do any one anv harm." She looked at him long and earn- estly, but failed to extract any farther confes- sion from the impenetrable face. Keene would not give her the chance of pursuing the subject, but called up Harry to help him in turning the conversation into a different channel and keep- ing it there. Between the two they held the anxieties and curiosities of the oppressed mig- nonne at bay till they entered Dorade. They were obliged to pass the Terrasse on theil way home: there, alone, under the shadow of the palms, sat Armand de ChAteaumesnil. The in- valid's great haggard eyes fixed themselves ob- sezvantly on Cecil Tresilyan as she went by. He so SWORD AND GOWN. laid his hand on the major's sleeve when he came to his side, and said, in a hoarse whisper, "Qa'as tu fait donc, pour l'atterrer ainsi " The other met the searching gaze without flinching, "Je n'cn sais rien; seulement-on dit que je suis marid." If the Algerian had been told on indisputable authority that Paris and its inhab- itants had just been swallowed up by an earth- quake, he would only have raised his shaggy brows in a faint expression of surprise, exactly as he did now. "Tu es marid" he growled out. IA laquelle done des deux doit on com- patir-Madam3 ou Mademoiselle " Yet he did not like Keene the worse for the impatient ges- ture with which the latter shook himself loose, muttering, " Je vous croyais trop sage, M. le Vi- comte, pour vous amuser arec ces balivernes de romancier." Fanny Molyneux and Cecil passed the even- ing together titei-tfte. That kind little creature had a way of taking other people's turn of duty in the line of penitence and apology. On the present occasion she was remarkably gushing in her contrition, though her own guilt was infini- tesimal; bat she met with scanty encouragement. She had found time to extract from Harry all the details of the matrimonial misadventure, and wishe2d to give her friend the benefit of them. Miss Tresilyan would not listen to a word. She did not attempt to disguise the interest she felt in th2 subject, but said that she preferred hear- ing the circumstances from Royston's own lips. With all this her manner had never been more gentle and caressing: she succeeded at last in deluding Fanny into the belief that every body vwas perfectly heart-whole, and that no harm had been done, so that that night la mignonne slept the sleep of the innocent, no misgivings or fore- bodings troubling her dreams. Those brave women !-when I think of the pangs that they suffer uncomplainingly, the agonies that they dissemble, I am inclined to esteem lightly our own claims to the Cross of Valor. How many of them there are who, covering with their white hand the dagger's hilt, utter with a sweet, calm smile, and lips that never tremble, the falsehood holier than most outspoken truths-Patus non angit ! When Cecil returned home Mrs. Danvers was waiting for her, ready with any amount of con- dolence and indignation. She checked all this, as she well knew how to do; and at last was alone in her own chamber. Then the reaction came on; with natures such as hers, it is a torture not to be forgotten while life shall endure. There were not wanting in Dorade admirers and sentimentalists, who were wont to watch the windows of The Tresilyan as long as light lin- gered there. How those patient, unrequited as- tronomers would have been startled if their eyes had been sharp enough to penetrate the dark recess where she lay writhing and prone, her stricken face veiled by the masses of her loosened hair, her slender hands clenched till the blood stood still in their veins, in an agony of stormy self-reproach, and fiery longing, and injured pride; or if their ears had caught the sound of the low, bitter wail that went up to heaven like the cry from Gehenna of some fair, lost spirit, "IMy shame-my shame I" Under favor of the audience, we will drop the curtain here. One of our puppets shall appear to-night no more. When a heroine is once on the stage, the public has a right to be indulged with the spectacle of her faults and follies, as well as of her virtues and excellences; yet I love the phantasm of my queenly Cecil too well to parade her discrowned and in abasement. CHAPTER XVIII. OmEnt eyes besides Cecil's kept watch through the night that followed that eventful day. Roy- ston's never closed till the dawning. Sometimes sitting motionless, sunk in his gloomy medita- tions, sometimes walking restlessly to and fro, and cooling his hot forehead in the current of the fresh night air, he kept his mind on a per- petual strain, calculating all probable and im- probable chances; and the dull red light was never quenched, that told of perpetually-renewed cigars. I fancy I hear an objection, springing from lips that are wont to be irresistible, leveled against such an atrocious want of sentiment. Fairest critic! we will not now discuss the mer- its or demerits of nicotine, considered as an aid to contemplation, or an anodyne; but do you al- low enough for the force of habit Putting aside the case of those Indian captives, who are allowed a pipe in the intervals of torment (for these poor creatures have had no advantages of education, and are beyond the pale of civil- ized examples), do you not know that men have finished their last weed while submitting to the toilette of the guillotine We are told that a Spaniard has begged of his confessor a light for his papelito within sight of a freshly dug grave, when the firing-party was awaiting him one hundred paces off with grounded arms. Only when the sky was gray did Royston lie down to rest; but he slept heavily late into the morning. His first act, when he rose, was to send a note to Cecil Tresilyan, begging her to meet him at a named place and time: she did not answer it, nevertheless he felt certain she would come. Assignations were no novelties to him, but he had gone forth to bear his part in more than one stricken field, where the chances of life and death were evenly poised, without any such despondency or uncertainty as clung to him then on his way to the appointed spot. He ar- rived there first, but he had not waited long when Cecil came slowly along the path that led into the heart of the woodland. As she drew near, Keene could not help thinking of the first time his eyes had lighted on her, mounting the zigzags of the Castle-hill. There was still the same elasticity of step, the same imperial car- riage of the graceful head; but a less observant eye would have detected the change in her de- meanor. The pretty petulance and provocative manner which, contrasting with the royalty of her form and feature, contributed so much to her marvelous fascinations, had departed, he feared, never to return. Many instances occur daily where the same painfully unnatural gravity exasperates us, when its cause can not be traced up to either guilt or sorrow. Ah! Lilla, there are many who think that your wild-flower wreath was a more becom- ing ornament than that diamond circlet-bridal 51 gift of the powerful oaron. Sweet Eugenia I her family, that would have sickened the most faces that were never absent from your levees in unscrupulous schemer alive. I told her I would old times you have missed at your court since never sleep under the same roof with her again. you wedded Caesar. She laughed-if you could hear her laugh, you Both were outwardly quite calm, but who can would excuse me for more than I have done- guess which of those two strong hearts was most and said, 'You can't get a divorce.' She was conscious of tremor or weakness when Royston right there. So it was settled that we were to and Cecil met His hand at least was the steadi- live apart without any public scandal. But her er, for her slight fingers quivered nervously in his people would not accept this position. They grasp. He did not let them go till he began to sent a brother to bully me. It was an unwise speak. move. My temper was wilder in those days, "Whatever your decision may be after hear- and I had strong provocation; yet I repent that ing me, I shall always thank you for coming I did not keep my hands off the throat of that here. It was like you-to give me the chance wretched, blustering civilian. It was all arranged of speaking for myself. At least no falsehood or peacefully at last, and I have not seen her since, misconception shall stand between us. Will you though I hear of her from time to time, as I did listen to my story" yesterday. This happened eleven long years "'I came for no other purpose," Cecil said, ago, and she has never given me a chance of rid- and she sat down on the trunk of a fallen olive: ding myself of her since. She is always careful- she knew there would be need to husband all her ly circumspect, and so works out a patient re- strength. Thinking of these things, in after venge, though I believe I did her no wrong. days, she never forgot how carefully he arranged You have heard all I dare to tell you, and all the his plaid on the branches behind her, so as to truth. Judge me now." keep off the gusts of wind that ever and anon For the last few minutes a great battle had blew sharply At that very instant, as if there been waging in Cecil Tresilyan's heart. Can were some strange sympathy in the elements, the the wisest of us, before the armies meet, proph- sun plunged into the bosom of a dull leaden esy aright as to the issue of such an Armaged- cloud, and there came a growl of distant thun- don der. Twice she tried to speak, and found her voice " I shall not tax your patience long," Royston rebellious; at last she answered, in a faint, bro- went on. "It shall only be the briefest outline. ken tone, " I can not say how I pity you." But do not interrupt me till I have ended; it is He threw back his lofty head in anger or dis- hard enough to have to begin and go through dain. with it. I can pot tell you why I married. "I will not accept groundless compassion, Mtany people asked me the question at the time, even from you. Do not deceive yourself. I and I have asked it of myself often since, but I have learned how to bear my burden; it scarce- never could find any satisfactory answer. The ly cumbers me now. It has fretted me more in woman I chose was then very beautiful, and it the last three weeks than it has done for years. was not a disadvantageous match, but I had I only wish you to decide whether I did very seen fairer faces and fortunes go by without coy- wrong in keeping back the knowledge oaf all this eting them. I think a certain obstinacy of pur- from you; and, if I have offended unpardona- pose, and an absurd pleasure in carrying off a bly, what my punishment shall be." prize (such a prize!) from many rivals was at, There was something more than reproach in the bottom of it all. In six months I began to the glance that flashed upon him out of the vio- appreciate the inconveniences of living with a let eyes; for an instant they glittered almost statue; but I can say it truly, I never dreamed scornfully; her lip, too, had ceased to tremble, of betraying her. Yet I had temptations. Re- I and the silver in her voice rang clear and true- member I was not yet twenty-two, and one does " You arc not afraid to ask that question-re- not bear disappointments well at that age. We membering many words addressed to me, each had not been married quite a year when an offi- one of which was an insult-from you You dare cer in a native regiment died, up in the Hills, of not yet dishonor me in your thoughts so far as to delirium tremens. Do you know that, under such doubt how I.should have acted atfirst, if I had circumstances, there is always a commission ap- known your true position. Or are you amusing pointed to examine the dead man's papers. I yourself still at my expense I had thought could not help seeing that, for some days past, you more generous." my wife's manner had been strangely sullen and The gloom on Royston's face deepened sullen- cold, but I had no suspicion of the truth. I ly: though he had schooled himself up to a cer- don't think I have ever been so surprised as when 1 tain point of humility, even from her he could ill the president of the commission brought me a brook reproof. bundle of her letters. I never saw her paramour: "Those insults were not premeditated, at he must have been more fool than scoundrel to least," he retorted. "Have you not got accus- have kept what he ought to have burned. I did tomed yet to men's losing their heads in your not thark the man who gave me those papers, presence, and then talking as the spirit moved and I never spoke to him again. I only read them And you think I am amusing myself one of them: it was written soon after our mar- now. Merci! there runs something in my veins riage. I went to my wife with this in my hand. warmer than ice-water." She listened to me in her own icy way, not de- I His accent was abrupt, even to rudeness, yet nying or confessing any thing; but she defied Cecil felt a thrill of guilty triumph as she heard me to prove actual infidelity either before or aft- it, and marked the shiver of passion that shot or my authority began. - I could not do it, what- through the colossal frame from brow to heel. ever I might think. I could only prove a course A more perfect specimen of immaculate woman- of lies and chicanerie, worked out by her and all hood might not have been insensible to that ace SWORD AND GOWN. 52 knowledgment of her power. But she shook her "You will be good and generous, I know. head in sorrowful incredulity. See how I trust you !" "I You do less than justice to your self-control. The thought of how their continued intimacy But it is too late for reproaches. I forgive you might touch her fair fame never seemed to sug- for any wrong that you may have done me, even gest itself for an instant. Yet, remember, The in thought or intention. I wish the past could Tresilvan was no longer a guileless. romantic be buried. For the future, I can say only this- girl, believing and hoping all things; she knew we must part, and that instantly; it is more than right well what scandals and jealousies lurk un- time." der the smooth surface of the society in which Keene had expected some such answer, and it she had borne so prominent a part; she knew did not greatly disconcert him. After pausing that there were women alive who would have a second or two he said, given half their diamonds to have her at their It I did not ask you for your decision without mercy, and torment her at their will. Was it meaning to abide by it. But it would be well to likely that such would let even a slander sleep pause before you make it final. Remember- Let the Rosiere of last season lay this reflection we shall not part for days, or months, if you to her heart t6 temper the immoderation of tri- send me away now. At least, you need not fear nimph-" For every one of my victories I have persecution. Yet it is difficult to reconcile one's made one mortal enemy." Not only while in self to banishment. Will you not give me a supremacy is the potentate obnoxious to conspir- chance of making amends for the folly you corm- acies; the dagger is most to be dreaded when plain of I can not promise that my words the dignity is laid down. All dethroned and ab- shall always be guarded, and my manner artifi- dicating dictators have not the luck of Sylla. cial; but I think I would rather keep your friend- Silently and unreservedly to accept such a sac- ship than win the love of any living woman, and I rifice, while the offerer was resolved not to count would try hard never to offend you. Let us fin- the cost, transcended even the cynicism of Rovs- ish this at once. You have only to say ' leave ton Keene. He grasped her arm as though to m,' and I swear that you shall be obeyed to the arrest her attention, and almost involuntarily letter." broke from his lips words of solemn warning. On that last card hung all the issue of the "Let me go on my way alone, while there is game that he would have sold his soul to win; time. It is hard to touch pitch and keep unde- yet he spoke not eagerly, though'very earnestly, filed. Child, you are too pure to estimate your and waited quietly for her reply, with a face as danger. If you remained as innocent as one of calm as death. God's angels, the world would still condemn you." Cecil ought not to have hesitated for an in- Her slender fingers twined themselves round stant: we all know that. But steady resolve his wrist, so tenderly !-and she bent down her ant stoical self-denial, easy enough in theory, soft cheek till its blush was hidden on his band. are often bitterly hard in practice. It is very Then she looked up in his face with a bright, well to preach to the wayfarer that his duty is trustful smile. to go forward and not tarry. But fresh and I "Great happiness can not be bought without green grow the grasses round the Diamond of a price. I fear no reproach so much as that of the Desert; pleasantly over its bright waters my own conscience. Do not think I delude my- droop the feathery palms. How drearily the seif as to the risk I am incurring. But if I am gray arid sand stretches away to the sky-line!; innocent, I shall never hear or heed what the Who knows how far it may be to the next oasis v world may say; if I am guilty, I have no right Let us rest yet another hour by the fountain. to complain of its scorn." From any deliberate intention to do wrong Hardened unbeliever as he was, Royston could Cecil was as pure as any canonized saint in the I have bowed himself there, and worshiped at her roll of virgins and martyrs; but if she had been feet. But he would not confess his admiration, a voluptuary as elaborate as La Pompadour, she still less betray his triumph. He raised the lit- could not have felt more keenly that her love tle white hand that vimas free gently to his lips. had increased tenfold in inteiisity since it became Not with more reverent courtesy could he have a crime to indulge it. The passionate energy done homage to an anointed queen. that had slumbered so long in her temperament "I wish I were worthier of you," he murmur- was thoroughly roused at last, and would make ed, and no more was said then. itself heard clamorously enough to drown the As thev walked slowly homeward, the sullen still small voice, that said "beware and forbear.", clouds broke away from the face of the sun; but Her principles were good, but they were not a weatherwise observer could have told that the strong enough to hold their own. 0 pride of truce was only treacherous. The tempest bided the Tresilyans ! that had tempted to sin so many its time. Of that haughty house, when you might have saved its fairest descendant, was it the time to falter and failShe looked up piteously in her CHAPTE XIX great extremity; there was a prayer for help in R her eyes, but between them and heaven was in- IT is not pleasant to stand by and assist at terposed a stern bronze face, not a line of it each step of an incantation that draws down a softening. star from heaven, or darkens the face of the moon. At length the faint, broken whisper came- Let us be content to accept the result, when it is "God help me! I can not say it." forced upon us, without inquiring too minutely There was a pause, but not a stillness, for the into the process. Not with impunity can even beating of her companion's heart was distinctly i the Adepts gain and keep the secrets of their audible. Then Cecil spoke again in her own evil Abracadabra. The beard of Merlin is gray natural caressing tones: before its time; premature wrinkles furrow the SWORD AND GOWN. 53 SWORD AND GOWN. brow of Canidia; though the terror of his stony eyes may keep the fiends at bay, the death-sleep of Michael Scott is not untroubled; the pillars of Melrose shake ever and anon as though an earthquake passed by, and the monks cross them- selves in fear and pity, for they know that the awful wizard is turning restlessly in his grave. As we are not writing a three-volume novel, we have a right, perhaps, not to linger over this part of our story. For any one who likes to in- dulge a somewhat morbid taste, or who happens te be keen about physiology, there is daily food sufficient in those ingenious romances d'Outre- Iner. It is hardly worth while speculating how far Cecil deluded herself when she thought that she was safe in trusting to her own strength of prin- ciple and to the generosity of Royston Keene. All this seems to me not to affect the main ques- tion materially. Does it help us-after we have yielded to temptation-that our resolves, when it first assailed us. should have been prudent and sincere, if such a plea can not avert the conse- quences or extenuate the guilt The grim old proverb tells us how a certain curiously tesselated pavement is laid down. Millions of feet have trodden those stones for sixty ages, yet they may well last till the Day of Judgment, they are so constantly and unsparingly renewed. It is more than rashness for any mortal to say to the strong, treacherous ocean, "Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther;" it is trenching on the privilege of Omnipotence. The dikes may be ,wisely planned and skillfully built; but one night a wilder wind arises than any that they have withstood; the legions of the besieging army are mustering to storm. At one spot in the sea- wall, where patient miners have long been work- ing unseen, a narrow breach is made, widening every instant; it is too late now to fly; the wolf- ish waves are within the intrenchments, mad for sack and pillage. On the morrow, where trim gardens bloomed, and stately palaces shone, there is nothing but a waste of waters strewn with wrecks and blue, swollen corpses. The Zuyder Zee rolls, ten fathoms deep, over the ruins of drowned Stavoren. So we will not enter minutely into the details of poor Cecil's demoralization-gradual, but fear. fully rapid. It was not Py words that she was corrupted; for Royston was still as careful as ever to abstain from uttering one cynicism in her presence; but none the less was it true that daily and hourly some fresh scruple was washed away, some holy principle withered and died. The recklessness which ever carried him on straight to the attainment of a purpose or the indulgence of a fancy, trampling down the barriers that di- vide good from evil, seemed to communicate it- self to Cecil contagiously. She seldom ventured on reflection now-still less on self-examination; but she could not help being herself sensible of the change: thoughts that she would have shrunk back from in horror not so long ago (if she could have comprehended them fully) had ceased now to startle or repel her as she looked them in-the face. Do not suppose for an instant that there was a corresponding alteration in her outward demeanor, or that it displayed any wildness or eccentricity. Melodrama, etc., may be very suc- cessful at a trans-pontine theatre, but it is un- pardonably out of place in our salons. The Tre- silyan understood the duties of her social, if not of her moral position (so long as the first was not forfeited) as well as the strictest duenna alive. Though she might choose to defy the world's censure, she never dreamed of giving an opening to its ridicule; she was less capable of a gaucherie than of a crime. In her bearing toward others she was just the same as ever; if any thing, rath- er more brilliant and fascinating, and, if crossed or interfered with, perhaps a shade more haughti- ly independent. Only wihen alone with Royston did she betray herself. It was sad to see how completely the stronger and worse nature had absorbed the weak- er and better one till all power of volition and free agency vanished, and even individuality was lost. She was not sentimental or demonstrative in his presence (on the contrary, at such times, that loveliest face was very apt to put on the de- licious mine aniine, which made it perfectly irre- sistible), but the idea seemed never to enter her mind that it would be possible to resist or contro- vert any seriously-expressed wish of her-lover. There! the word is written; and woe is me! that I dare not erase it. It must have come sooner or later, and it is as well to have got it over. According to all rules for such cascs laid down and provided, Cecil's life ought to have been spent in alternations between feverish excitement and poignant remorse. But the truth must be told- she was unaccountably happy. The simple fact was that she had no time to be otherwise. Even when entirely alone her conscience could find no opportunity of asserting itself. 11er thoughts were amply occupied with recalling every word that Royston had said, and with anticipating what he would say at their next meeting. It is idle to suppose that remorse can not be kept at arm's length for a certain time; but the debt recklessly incurred must generally be paid to the uttermost farthing. Life, if suffleiently prolong- ed, will always afford leisure for reflection and retrospect, and at such seasons we appreciate in full force the tortures of" solitary confinement." The criminal may go on pilgrimage to a hund- red shrines, and never light o(n the purification that will scare the Erinnyes. In this instance the victor certainly did not abuse his advantage, and was any thing but exacting in his requirements. It was strange how his whole manner and nature altered when alone with his beautiful captive. The more ev- ident became her subjugation, the more he seem- ed anxious to treat her with a delicate deference. They talked, as a rule, on any subject rather than their own feelings; and he spoke on all such indifferent topics honestly, if not wisely. For the rest of the world his sarcasm and irony were ready as ever; he kept all his sincerity and confidence for Cecil Tresilyan. This is the se- cret of the influence exercised by many men, at whose successes we all have marveled. Sweet, as well as disenchanting experiences are some- times gained behind the scenes. None but those who have tried it can appreciate the delight of finding, in a manner that the uninitiate call cold and repellent, an ever-ready loving caress. But in Royston's case there was no acting: it was only that he allowed Cecil to see one phase of his character that was seldom displayed. The subordinates in the drama betrayed much more outward concern and disquietude than the 54 SWORD AND GOWN. principals. When Fanny Molyneux found that toyston did not intend to evacuate his position, she tried the effect of a vigorous remonstrance on her friend. The latter heard her patiently, hut quite impassively, declining to admit any proba- bility of danger or necessity to caution. La mignonne was not convinced, but she yielded. She wound her arm round Cecil's waist, as they sat and whispered, nestling close to her side- " Dearest, remember this: if any thing should happen, I shall always think that some blame belongs to me, and I will never give you up- nevar." Tile Trcsilyan bent her beautiful swan-neck, as though she were caressing a dove nestling in her bosom, and pressed her lips on her compan- ion's cheek long and tenderly. I I could not do that," she said, " if I were guilty." Neither had Harry refrained from lifting up his testimony against what he saw and suspect- ed. The major would take more from him than fronm any man alive; he was not at all incensed at the interference. "'MIy dear Hal," he said, "don't make an old woman of yourself by giving credit to scan- dal, or inventing it for yourself. If you choose to be worried before your time, I can't help it; but it is more than unnecessary. Una can take care of herself perfectly well, without your plaving the lion. Besides-what is the brother there for You know there are some subjects I never talk about to you, and you don't deserve that I should be communicative now. But list- en-you shall not think of Cecil worse than she is: up to this time, I swear, even her lips are pure from me. Now I hope you are satisfied; you have made me break my rule, for once; drop the subject, in the devil's name." Though fully aware of his friend's unscrupu- lous character, Harry was satisfied that nothing very wrong had occurred so far. Royston never lied. "I'm glad that you can say so much," he re- plied; " the worst of it is, people will talk. I wonder that obnoxious parson has not made himself more disagreeable already. I didn't go to church last Sunday afternoon, because I felt a conviction that he was going to be personal in his sermon." The major laughed his hard, unpleasant laugh. "Don't let that idea disturb your devotions an- other time. He is not likely to bite or even to bark very loud: he don't get my muzzle off in a hurry." Indeed, it was profoundly true that since the disclosure the chaplain's reticence.had become remarkable. When his own wife questioned him on the subject (very naturally), he checked her with some asperity, and read her a lecture on feminine curiosity that moved the poor wom- an, even to weeping. Mrs. Danvers was great- ly surprised and disconcerted by the decision with which Mr. Fullarton rejected her sugges- tion, that he should aid and abet in thwarting Keene's supposed designs. "He had thought it right," he said, "Ito make Miss Tresilyan and others aware of the real state of the case; but he did not conceive that farther interference lay within the sphere of his duty." It was odd how that same once arbitrarily elastic sphere had Contracted since the prophet met the lion in the pathway! Dick Tresilyan-the only othev per- son much interested in the progress of affairs- did not seem to trouble himself much about them. He was perpetually absent on shooting expeditions; but, when at home, it was observed that he drank harder than ever, getting sulky sometimes without apparent reason, and disa- greeably quarrelsome. Royston had only stated the simple fact when he said that Cecil was free from any stain of act- ual guilt or dishonor. Whether the credit of having borne her harmless was most due to her own prudence and remains of principle, or to her tempter's self-restraint, we will not, if you please, inquire. It is as well to be charitable now and then. Her escape was little less than miracu- lous, considering how often she had trusted her- self unreservedly to the mercy of one who was wont to be as unsparing in his love as in his an- ger. Let not this immunity be made an excuse for credulous confidence, or induce others to em- ulate her rashness. The Millenium will not come in our time, I fancy; and, till it arrives, neither child nor maiden may safely lay their hand on the cockatrice's den. The ballad tells us that Lady Janet was happy at last; but she paid dearly through months of sorrow and shame for those three red roses plucked in the Elfin Bower. The precise cause of Keene's forbear- ance it would be very difficult to explain: more than one feeling probably had to do with it. If memory has any pleasures worth speaking of (which many grave and learned doctors take leave to doubt), certainly among the purest is the recollection of having once been endowed with the whole love of a rare and beautiful be- ing which we did not abuse or betray. This is the only sort of lost riches on which we can look back with comfort out of the depths of present and pressing poverty; the pearl is so very pre- cioqs that it confers on its possessor a certain dignity which does not entirely pass away, even when the jewel has slipped from his grasp, fol- lowing the ring of Polvcrates. Alas! alas! less generous than the blue Eg.an are the sullen waters of the deep. Meare 7nortuurn. Only on these grounds can that wonderful self-possession be accounted for, which enables men, seeming- ly ill-fitted for the situation, to confront the world in all its phases with so grand a calmness. It is refreshing to see how even coquetry recoils from that armor of proof, and to fancy how the dead beauty might triumph over the defeat of her living rivals, laughing the seductions of their loveliness to scorn. Even in crises of graver difficulty, where sterner assailants are to be en- countered than Helen's magical smile or Flor- ence's magnetic eyes, the invisible presence seems to inspire her lover with supernatural val- iance. Remember the story of Aslauga's Knight; when once through the cloud of battle-dust gleamed the golden tresses, horse and man went down before him. Royston was not half good enough to appre- ciate all this; yet some shadowy and undefined feeling, allied to it, may have helped to hold him back from pushing his advantage to the ut- termost. Another and more selfish presenti- ment worked probably more powerfully. There was one phantom from which the Cool Captain never could escape; for years it had followed close on the consummation of all his crimes, and SWORD AND GOWN. was, in truth, their best avenger: his Nemesis was satiety. [fe knew too well how the sweet- est flowers lost their color and fragrance, so soon as they were plucked and fairly in his grasp, not to shrink before the prospect of a certain disen- chantment. This curse attaches to many of his kind: the instant the prize is won there arise misgivings as to its value; and defects develop themselves hourlv in what seemed faultless per- fection before. It is boys' play to simulate being blase; but the reality makes mature manhood disbelieve any thing sooner than inevitable retri- bution. Very often the thought forced itself upon Keene's mind, " If I were to weary of her too " and made him pause before he urged Ce- cil to the step that must have linked him to her fate forever. Under other circumstances his patience might have held out still longer; but there were num- berless difficulties and obstacles in the way of their meeting, and the perpetual constraint fret- ted Royston sorely. His principle always had been not openly to violate conventionalities with- out gaining an adequate equivalent; so he was more careful of Cecil's reputation than she was inclined to be, and, among worse lessons, taught her prudence. They met very seldom alone. When Mrs. Danvers was present she made it her business to be as much as possible in the way; and her awkward attempts at interference were sometimes inexpressibly provoking. On one particular evening she had been unusually perti- nacious and obtrusive. The major stood it tol- erably well up to a certain point, but his savage temper gradually got the better of him; his face grew darker and darker, till it was black as mid- night when he rose to go, and his lips ,ere rigid as steel. It was evident he had come to some resolution that he meant to keep. When he was wishing Bessie. " good-night," he held her hand imprisoned for a moment without pressing it. " You are so good a theologian," he said, " that perhaps you can tell me where a text comes from that has haunted me for the last hour. It speaks of some one who ' loosed the bands of Orion."' His manner and the sudden address disconcerted Mrs. Danvers so completely as to incapacitate her from reply: she suffered "judgment to go by default;" and left Royston under the impres- sion that she had never read the Book of Job. The next day he asked Cecil to elope with him. She listened without betraying either terror, or anger, or disdain; but she raised her beauti- ful eyes to his with a sad, searching inquiry, before which many men would have quailed. " Have you counted the cost to yourself and to me " "I have done both," replied Keene, gravely. "I can not say that you will never repent it; but I know that I shall never regret it." There were no promises or vows exchanged; but a silence for two long minutes; and, when these were passed, the sweet, pure lips had lost their virginity. So with few more words it was finally ar- ranged; and the next day Royston left Dorade to make preparations all along the road of their intended flight. Their plan was to take boat at Marseilles for the East, making their first per- manent resting-place one of the islands of the Grecian Archipelago. Both were most anxious to evade any possibility of interception, more es. pecially of collision with Dick Tresilyan. On that evening Cecil was alone in her own room (Mrs. Danvers had gone out to a sort of love-feast at the Fullartons', where the company were to be entertained with weak tea and strong doctrine a discretion). She had rejected the of- fer of Fanny's companionship on the plea, not altogether false, of a tormenting headache. La mnignonne was too innocent to suspect the reason that made her friend shudder in their parting embrace, half averting her cheek, though Cecil's arms clung round her as though they would nev- er let her go. The saddest feeling of the many that were busy then in the guilty, troubled heart, was a consciousness that in a few hours the gulf between them would be deep and impassable as the chasm dividing Abraham from Dives. Miss Tresilyan had taken unconsciously an at- titude in which vou saw her once before, half- reclined, and gazing into the fire; outwardly still remained the same pensive, languid grace; but very different was the careless reverie that had stolen over her then, from the wild chaos of conflicting thoughts that involved her now. Her whole being was so bound up in Royston Keene's, that she felt without him there would be nothing worta living for; neither had she the faintest misgiving as to the chances of his inconstancy. There had descended to her some of the stability and determination of purpose which had made many of her race so powerful for good or evil; in the pursuit of either they would never admit a doubt, or listen to a com- promise. When Cecil believed, she believed im- plicitly, and, not even with her own conscience, made conditions of surrender. So long as his strong arm was round her, she felt that she could defy shame, and even remorse; but how would it be if that support should fail He had not been away yet twenty hours, and already there came creeping over her a chilling sense of help- lessness and desolation. She knew her lover's violent passions and haughty temper, impatient of the most distant approach to insolence or even contradiction from others, too well not to be aware that such a man walked ever on the fron- tier-ground between life and death. Suppose that he were taken from her -her spirit, daunt- less as it was, quailed before the ghastly terrors of imagined loneliness. An evil voice that had whispered perhaps in the ear of more than one of the " bitter, bad Tresilyans," seemed to mur- mur, "You, too, can die :" but Cecil was not yet so lost as to listen to the suggestion of the subtle fiend. She wasted no regrets on the past, and the wreck of all its brilliant promises: she was resolute to meet the perils of the future; nev- ertheless, her heart was heavy with apprehen- sion. Remember the answer that the stout Cath- olic made to Des Adrets, when the savage baron taunted him with cowardice for shrinking twice from the death-leap on the tower, "Je vous le donne, en dix." So it is not in womanhood- however ruined in principle or reckless of the consequences, to venture deliberately, without a shudder, on the fatal plunge from which no fair fame has ever risen unshattered again. Even prejudices may not be torn up by the roots with- out stirring the earth around them. She might have sat musing thus for about an hour; so deep in thought that she never heard 56 SWORD AND GOWN. the portlre slowly drawn aside that divided the room from an ante-chamber. The Tresilyan had her emotions under tolerable control, and at, least was not given to screaming; but she could hardly repress the startled cry that sprang to her lips when she raised her eyes. The reproachful spectre that had haunted her for years-till very lately, when a stronger influ- ence chased it away-assumed substance of form and feature, as the dark doorway framed the haggard, pain-stricken face of Mark Waring. CHAPTER XX. IT is not very easy to confront, with decorous composure, the sudden apparition of the person on earth that one would have least liked to see. All things considered Cecil carried it off credit- ably, and greeted her unexpected visitor with sufficient cordiality. Mark took heroffered hand gravely, without eagerness, not holding it an in- stant longer than was necessary. Then lie spoke- "They told me I should find you alone. I was so anxious to do so as soon as possible. that I ventured to break in upon you even at this un- seasonable hour. You will guess that I had powerful reasons." The Tresilyan threw back her haughty head, as a war-horse might do at the first blast of the trumpet: she scented battle in the wind. "W lill you be good enough to explain your- self" she said, as she took her own seat again, and motioned him into another; "I am sure you. would not trifle with me, or vex me unnec- essarily. " Waring did not avail himself of the chair indi- cated, but crossed his arms over the back of it, and stood so, regarding her intently. "You only do me justice there," he replied; "I will speak briefly, and plainly too. I came here from Nice to ask vou how much truth there is in the reports that couple your name with Ma- jor Keene's " No one likes to give the death-blow to the loy- alty of a faithful adherent, be he ever so humble; and Cecil was bitterly pained that she could not speak truly, and satisfy him. Her face sank lower and lower, till it was buried in her hands. Nothing more was needed to convince Waring that his worst fears were realized; for a moment or two he felt sick and faint. No wonder; he had given up hope long ago, but not trust and faith; now, these were blasted utterly. In any religion, whether true or false, the fanatic is hap- pier, if not wiser, than, the infidel; if you can not replace it with a better, it is cruel to shake the foundation of the simplest creed. Mark's voice-hollow, and hoarse, and changed-could not but betray his agony. " God help us both! Has it come to this- that you have no words to answer me, when I dare to hint at your dishonor " She looked up quickly, flushing to her white brow, rose-red with anger. " I will not endure this, even from you. Un- derstand at once-I deny your right to question me." The clear blue eyes met the violet ones with a steady, judicial calmness, undazzled by their ominous lightning. "Listen to me quietly-two minutes longer," he said, "and then resent my presumption as much as you will. Three years ago it pleased you to make me the subject of an experiment. How far you acted heedlessly, and in ignorance of the consequences, I have never stopped to in- quire-it would be wasting time; the sophistries of coquetry are too subtle for me. I only know what the result has been. Before I niet you I could have offered to any woman, who thought it worth her acceptance, a healthy honest love; now-even if I could conquer my present infatu- ation-I could only offer a feeling something varmer than friendship; to promise more would be base treachery. Do you think I would stand by God's altar with a worse lie than Ananias's on my lips Is it nothing that, to gratify your van- ity or your whims, you should have condemned a man, whose blood is not frozen yet, to some- thing worse than widowhood for life My re- ligion may be a false and vain idolatry; but it is all I have to trust to. I will not stand patiently by and see the image that I have bowed down to worship pilloried for the world to scorn. Now -do you deny my right to interfere " His words had a rude energy, though little el- oquence; but they came so evidently from the depths of a strong, troubled heart, that they caused a revulsion in Cecil's feelings; returning remorse bore down her stubborn pride. Very low and plaintive was the whisper-" Ahb! have mercy-have mercy; you make me so unhappy ;" but there came a more piteous appeal from her eyes. In Mark's stout manhood was an element of more than womanish compassion and tender- ness; he never could bear to see even a child in tears; no wonder if his anger vanished be- fore the contrition of the one being whom he loved far better than life. He lost sight of his own wrongs instantly, but not of the object he had in view. " Forgive me for speaking so roughly; I ought to have declined your challenge. I be- haved better once, you remember. But be pa- tient while I plead for the right, though, if you would but listen to them, prudence and your own conscience could do that better than I. When infatuation exists, it is worse than useless to prove the object of it unworthy, so I will not attempt to blacken Major Keene's character; besides, it is not to my taste to attack men'in their absence. I fear there are few capitals in Europe where his name is not too well known. From what I have heard, I believe his wife was most in fault when they separated, but the life he has led since de- prives him of all right to complain of her, or con- demn her. Recollect you have only heard one side. But it is not a question of his eligibility as an acquaintance. There is the simple fact- he is married, and your name being connected with his involves disgrace. You can not have fallen yet so far as to be reckless about such an imputation. In my turn I say, 'Have mercy!' Do not force me henceforth to disbelieve in the purity of any created thing." Cecil could only murmur, " It is too late-too late!" The ghastly look of horror that swept over Waring's face showed that his thoughts had gone beyond the truth. "I mean," she went on, blushing painfully, "that I have promised." " Promised !" Mark repeated in high disdain; "II have lived too long when I hear such devil's 57 logic from your lips. You know full well there not trust you." Ile misinterpreted the cause of is more sin in keeping than in breaking such en- her terror. "II promise you that, however an- gagements. I will try to save you in spite of gry Major Keene may be, I will bear it patiently yourself. Listen. I do not threaten; I know and never dream of resenting it. lie is safe you well enough to be certain that such an argu- from me now." ment would be the strongest temptation to you She smiled very sadly, yet not without a dreary to persevere in taking your own course. I sim- pride; she could have seen Royston pitted against ply tell you what I will do. I shall speak to any mortal antagonist, and never would have your brother first: if he can not understand his feared for himn. " You scarcely understand me; duty or shrinks from it, I will carry out what I I was not anxious for his safety, but for yours." believe to be mine. I utterly disapprove of and Mark was too brave and singile-hearted to sus- despise the practice of dueling, but, at any risk, pect a taunt, even had such been intended. I will stand between you and Major Keene. He "Then there is nothing more to be settled," he shall not gain possession of you while I am alive. said, quietly, " but the time and manner of your When I am dead, if you touch his hand, you departure. I will leave you now; I shall see shall know that my blood is upon it, and the you before you go." guilt shall be on your own head. I believe that Cecil Tresilyan rose and laid her hand on his in keeping you apart I should act kindly toward arm, her beautiful face fixed in its firm resolve both. I do him this justice-it would make him like that of one of those fair Norse Valas, from miserable to see you pining away. There are whose rigid lips flowed the bode of defeat or vie- limits to human endurance, and you are too tory, when the Vikings went forth to the Feast of proud to bear dishonor." the Ravens. Cecil felt that every word he had spoken was "I am not angry with one word von have said good and true, and that he would not waver in to-night; you have only expressed what my own his purpose for an instant. She remembered cowardly conscience ought to have uttered; incv- how, when they were returning together four ertheless, to-morrow sees our last meeting. All days ago, the sidelong glance of a matronly your account against me is fairly balanced now. Pharisee had lighted on her in a spiteful tri- I do not know :hat I may have to sufler, but I umph, and how, though neither of them alluded do know that I will be alone till I die. Perhaps to it afterward, the dark-red flash of anger had some day I may thank you in my thoughts for mounted to Royston's forehead. She had ceased what you have done; I can not-now." to care for herself, but could she not save ism With a heavy heart Waring owned to himself while yet there was time And more-had she that her words were bitterly true. In curing not wrought wrong enough to Mark Waring such diseases, the physician must work without without having his murder on her soul for she hope of reward or fee; it will be long before the never doubted as to the result if those two should patient can touch without a shudder the hand meet as foes. that inflicted the saving cautery. They talk of hair that has grown gray in the Her tone changed, and she went on murmur- briefest space of mental anguish. It is all a de- ing, low and plaintively, as if in soliloquy and lusion and an old wife's fable. When Cecil rose unconscious of another's presence. the next morning there was not a silver line in " I could not help loving him, though I knew her tresses. Outward signs of the mortal strng- it was sin; if there is shame in confessing it, I gle, while it lasted, there were none, for her can not feel it yet. I wish I had told him- clasped hands veiled her face jealously; when once-how dearly I loved him; I shall never be she raised it, her cheek was paler than death and I able to whisper it to him now, and I dare not wet with an awful dew, and when she spoke her write it. No, he will not forget me as he has for- voice retained not one cadence of its wonted gotten others; but. he will hate me, and call me melody. false, and fickle, and cold. Cold-if he could "You have prevailed, as the truth always only read my heart! I never read it myself till ought to prevail. Now tell me what to do." now, when we must be parted forever." Mark Waring would have drained his heart's Is it pleasant, think you, to listen to such words blood drop by drop to have lightened one throb as these, uttered by the woman that you have of her agony, but he never thought of flinching worshiped, even if it be hopelessly, for years from his purpose. Men have gone mad under lighter tortures than " There are perils where the only safety lies in those that Mark Waring was then forced to en- flight. You must leave this before Major Keene dure. But he knew that it was the extremity returns, and he returns to-morrow." of her anguish that had hardened for a season Perhaps I have failed in making you under- Cecil's gentle, generous. nature, and made her stand one hereditary peculiarity of the Tresilyans. heedless of the pain she inflicted. So he an- When their hand was fairly laid to the plow swered in a slow, steady voice, such as we em- they were incapable of looking back. Had Mark ploy when trying to calm the ravings of a fever- come ten hours later, when Cecil's purpose was fit: absolutely fixed, all his arguments would have "Hush! you speak wildly. My presence been futile. As it was once having decided final- here does you no good. You may think of me ly on the line she was to take, it never occurred as hardly as you will; perhaps time will soften to her to make farther objections. " Yes, I will your judgment; if not-I shall still not repent go," she said; " but I must write to him." to-night's work. I will come for your letter at " I think you ought to do so," answered War- the moment of your departure. Good-night; I ing, " and if you will give me the letter I will pray that God may help you now, and guard you deliver it myself." always." He raised her hand and just touched Every vestige of the returning color faded from it with his lips, with the same grave courtesy that Cecil's cheek. "You do not know him: I dare had marked his manner when they parted Last, SWORD AND GOWN. 58 three years ago, and in another second Cecil was slowly round and gazed at his maianonne. Ile alone again. She was not long in recovering from her be- wilderment; and when Mrs. 1)anvers returned she was perfectly collected and calm. It is not worth while recording Bessie's noisy expressions of astonishment and delight, nor describing Dick Tresilyan's way of receiving notice of the sudden change in their plans. His stolid composure was not greatly disturbed thereby; he muttered, un- der his breath, some sulky anathemas on "w wom- en who never knew their own minds;" but this was only because he considered a growl to be the form of protest suitable to the circumstances and due to his masculine dignity. Oii the whole, he was rather glad to go. It had become evi- dent, even to his dull comprehension, that great mischief was brewing somewhere, and for days he had been in a state of hazy apprebension-as he expressed it, " not seeing his way out of it at all." So lie set about his part of the prepara- tions for their exodus with a right good will. Neither will we give the details of Cecil's parting with 1a mneqnonne. The latter was so rejoiced at the idea of her friend's bting out of harm's way that she did not question her much as to the reasons for such an abrupt departure: it was not till afterward that she learned that it had been brought about by the influence of Wariing. It is unnecessary to mention that the adieuis were not accomplished without a certain amount of tears; but they were all shed by Fanny Molyneux. Ce- cil dared not yet trust herself to wveep. She took, a far more formal farewell of Mr. Fullarton, and the chaplain did not even venture a parting ben- ediction. The heavy traveling-chariot, with its hundred cunning contrivances, is packed at last, and Karl, the accomplished courier, wiping from his blonde mustache the drops of the stirrup-cup, touches his cap with his aceustomed formula, "ZiA ces dames zont bretes " Mark Waring leans over the carriage door to say " Good-by:" the hand he presses lies in his grasp, unrespons- ive and unsympathetic as a splinter from an ice- berg. His sad, earnest look pleads in vain, for there is no softening or kindness in Cecil's deso- late, dreamy eyes. The road on which they are to travel is the same for some leagues as that along which Boyston Keene must return, and she is thinking, divided between hope and fear, if there may not be a possibility of their meeting. The wheels move, and hasty farewells are waved, and Mark stands there half stupefied, uncon- scious of any thing but a sense of lonely wretch- edness. The one solitary link that still binds him to Cecil Tresilyan will be severed when the letter is delivered that he holds in his hand. As the carriage swept round the corner of the terrace, it passed close to the spot where Armand de Chateaumesnil sat basking in the sunshine. The invalid lifted his cap iu courteous adieu, but his face grew dark, and his shaggy brows were knit savagely. " On l'a trichd done, aprbs tout," he muttered; "Sang Dieu! les absens ont diablement tort." Sunk as she was at that moment in gloomy med- itations, Cecil never forgot that the last object on which her eves lighted in Dorade was the blast- ed wreck of the crippled Algerian. Molyneux and his wife stood silent till their friends were quite out of sight, then Harry turned knew that the same thought was in both their minds, for her sweet face was paler than his own. (Neither of them guessed at the truth, and they saw iil Mark Waring nothing more than an old acquaintance of the 'ITresilvans.) " Royston will be here in four hours," he said, and who will tell him this I dare not." Fanny feigned a carelessness that she was far from feeling. " I don't know how that is to be managed, but I believe it is all for the best. Ile can't kill either of us; that is some comfort." Harrv did not smile his countenance wore an expression of grave anxiety, such as had sel- dom appeared there. " No, he will not hurt us, but I fear he will have some one's blood before all is done." CHAPTER XXI. IT was past nightfall when Major Keene re- turned to Dorade. As he drove past the hotel where the Tresilvans lodged he looked up at the windows of their apartments, and was somewhat surprised to see no light there; but no suspicion of the truth crossed his mind. Ile had made all preparations for the intended flight with his habit- ual skill and foresight. The Levantine steamer left Marseilles early on the third morning from this, and relays were so ordered along the road as to prevent the possibility of being overtaken, and just to hit the hour of the vessel's sailiig. So far every thing seemed to promise favorably for the accomplishment of his purposes, and Royston could not have explained even to him- self the reason of his feeling so moody andl dis- contented. He went straight to his own rooms, without looking in at the Molyneuxs'; for he was heated and travel-stained; and, under such circumstances, was wont to postpone the greet- ing of friends to the exigencies of the toilet. This was scarcely concluded when his servant brought him Mark Waring's card, with a request pencil- ed on it for an immediate interview. Even the Cool Captain started perceptibly when he read the name. He was well acquaint- ed with the episode connected with it; for Cecil had kept back none of her secrets from him, and this was among the earliest confidences. 7Ten he had felt no inclination to sneer; but now his lip began to curl cynically. "Coramba!" he muttered; "the plot begins to thicken. W hat brings the old lover en scene I hope he does not mean to make himself disa- greeable. I haven't time to quarrel just nowv; and, besides, it would worry Cecil. Well, we'll find out what he wants. Tell Mr. Waring that I am disengaged, and shall be happy to see him." The major advanced to meet his visitor with a manner that was perfectly courteous, though it retained a tinge of haughty surprise. "I can not guess to what I am indebted for this pleasure," he said. "Pardon me, if I ask you to explain your object as briefly as possible. I have much to do this evening, and my time is hardly my own." Waring gazed fixedly at the speaker for a few seconds before he replied. Like most of his pro- fession, he was an acute physiognomist, and in SWORD AND GOWN. 59 .. .. that brief space he fathomed much of the char- not resent any insult or attack. I will not meet acter of the man who had rivaled him success- you in the field; and as for any personal strug- fully. He confessed honestly to himself that gle, I don't think that even you would like to there were grounds, if not excuse, for Cecil's in-! make Cecil Tresilyan the occasion for a broil fatuation; but he shrank from thinking of the that might suit two drunken peasants." danger which she had escaped so narrowly. Though shorter by half a head, and altogether " Yes, I will be as brief as possible," Mark an- cast in a less colossal mould, as he stood there, swered at length. " Neither of us will be tempt-!I with his square, well-knit frame, and bold Saxon ed to prolong this interview unnecessarily. I face, he looked no contemptible antagonist to have promised to deliver a letter to you, and confront the swarthy giant. In utter insensibil- when you have read it I shall have but very few ity to fear and carelessness of consequences (so words to say." far as they could affect a steady resolve), the A stronger proof than Keene had ever yet Cool Captain had met his match at last. Even given of superhuman control over his emotions then, in the crisis of his stormy passion, he was was the fact that, neither by quivering of eyelid, able to appreciate a hardihood so congenial to change of color, or motion of muscle, did he be- his own character; pondering upon these things tray the faintest astonishment or concern as he afterward, he always confessed that at this junc- took the letter from Waring, and recognized ture, and indeed all throughout, his opponent Ceeil's hand on the cover. It was not a long had very much the best of it. Ferocity and vio- epistle, for it scarcely extended beyond two sides lence seemed puerile and out of place when con- of a note-sheet. The wuiting was hurried, and trasted with that tranquil audacity. IHe cover- in places almost illegible: it had entirely lost' ed his eyes with his hand for a moment or so, the firm, even character which usually distin- and when he raised his face it had recovered its guished it, from which a very moderate graphi- natural impassibility, though the ghastly pallor ologist might have drawn successful auguries. still remained. Besides, the truth of Waring's Perhaps this was the reason that Royston read last words struck him forcibly. He muttered it through twice slowly. As he did so his coun- under his breath, "By G-d, lie's right there, tenance altered fearfully; the deadly white look at all events ;" then lie said aloud, "W Well, it ap- of dangerous passion overspread it all, and his pears you won't fight, so there is little more to eyes began to gleam. Yet still he spoke calm- be said between tis. You think you can thwart ly-" You knew of this being written" my purposes or mould them as you like. We'll "I am happy to say I was more than passive- try it. I told you I had many things to do to- ly conscious of it," Mark replied. "I did all in night: I have one more than I dreamed of on my power to bring about the result that you are hand. I wish to be alone." now made aware of, and I thank God that I did Mark gazed wistfully at the speaker without not fail." stirring from his seat. "I know what your in- While the other was speaking Royston was tention is perfectly well. You mean to follow tearing up the paper he held into the smallest her. I believe it would be quite in vain; you shreds, and dropping them one by one. The have misjudged Cecil Tresilyan, if you fancy that act might have been involuntary, but seemed to she would alter her determination twice. But have a savage viciousness about it, as if a living you might give her great pain, and compromise thing were being tortured by those cruel fingers. her more cruelly than you have done already. (The poor letter! whatever its faults might have There are obstacles now in your way that you been, it surely deserved a better fate: it was could not encounter without causing open scan- doubtless not a model of composition, but some I dal. Her brother's suspicions are fairly roused of the epistles which have moved us most in our by this time, and he can not help doing his duty: time, either for joy or sorrow, might not in this he may be weak and credulous, but he is no cow- respect emulate Montague or Chapone.) Still he ard. There is no fear of farther interference controlled himself, with a mighty effort, enough from me: my part is played. But I do beseech to ask, steadily, "Were you weary of your life, you to pause. Supposing the very worst-that to have done all this, and then come here to tell you could still succeed in persuading Cecil to her me so" ruin-are you prepared deliberately to accept the Waring laughed drearily. consequences of the crime You are far more "Weary So weary that, if it had not been experienced in such matters than I: do you for scruples you can not understand, I would know a single instance of such guilt being ac- have got rid of it long ago. But I need not in- complished where both, before the year was end- flict my confidences on you, and I don't choose ed, did not wish it undone I do not pretend to see the drift of your question." to be interested about your future; but I believe The devil had so thoroughly by this time pos- I am speaking now as your dearest friend might sessed Royston Keene, that even his voice was speak. You both delude yourselves miserably changed into a hoarse, guttural whisper. "I if you think that Cecil could live under disgrace. asked, because I mean to kill you." I do you so much justice. You would find it Mark's gaze met the savage eyes that gleamed unendurable to see her withering away day by like a famished panther's, with an expression too day, with no prospect before her but a hopeless calm for defiance, though there might have been death. In God's name, draw back while there perhaps a shade of contempt. is time. It is only a sharp struggle, and self- "I Of course I shall guard my own life as best command and self-denial will come. Loneliness I may, either here or elsewhere, but I do not ap- is bitter to bear: 1 know that; but what is man- prehend it is in great danger. There is an old hood worth if it can not bear its burdens I proverb about 'threatened men;' they are not have put every thing on the lowest grounds, and killed so easily as women are betrayed. Beyond I will ask vou one question more-you might the simplest self-defense, I wain you that I shall guard her from some suffering by hiding her SWORD AND GOWN. 60 SWORD AND GOWN. from the world's scorn-could you guard your- self against satiety" He spoke without a trace of anger or animos- ity, and the grave, kind tones made some way in the winding avenues leading to Royston's heart. Besides this, the last word struck the chord of the misgiving that had haunted him ever since he proposed the flight, and had already made him half repent it. But the fortress did not yet surrender. "All this while you have had some idea of improving your own position with Cecil. It is. natural enough: yet I fancy you will find your- self mistaken there." Instead of flushing at the taunt, Waring's face grew paler, and there shot across it a sharp spasm of pain. " So you can not understand disinterested- ness," he said. "Before I ventured on inter- ference, I was aware of the certain consequences, and weighed them all. Miss Tresilyan thought she had done me some wrong; and I trusted to her generosity to help me when I spoke for the right. But I knew that the spell could only be used once, and that the canceled debt could not be revived. I shall never speak to her-perhaps never see her-on earth again. Do you imag- ine I love her less for that Hear this: I sup- pose I have as much pride as most men; but I would kneel down here and set your foot on my neck if I thought the humiliation would save her one iota of shame or sorrow." Keene was fairly vanquished. He was filled with a great contempt for his own guilty passion, compared with the pure self-sacrifice of Mark's simple chivalry. He raised his eyes from the ground, on which they had been bent gloomily while the other was speaking, and answered without hesitation, "I owe you some amends for much that has been said to-night; and I will not keep you in suspense a moment unnec- essarily. I shall leave Dorade to-morrow; but it will not be to follow Cecil Tresilyan. More than this: if there is any chance of our meeting hereafter, on my honor, I will avoid it. I wish many things could be unsaid and undone; but nothing has occurred that is past remedy. As far as any future intentions of mine are con- cerned, I swear she is as safe as if she were my sister. " Waring drew a long breath, as if a ponderous weight had been lifted from his chest. " I be- lieve you," he said simply: then he rose to go. Ile had almost reached the door, when he turned suddenly and stretched out his hand. It was a perfectly unaccountable and perhaps involuntary! impulse; for he still could not absolve the other from dark and heavy guilt. The major held it for a few seconds in a gripe that would have paralyzed weaker fingers: even Mark's tough joints and muscles were long in forgetting it. HLe muttered these words between his teeth as he let it go-" You were worthy of her." So the interview ended-in peace. Nevertheless, there was little peace that night for Royston Keene; he passed it alone-how, no mortal can know; but the next morning his appearance fully bore out the truth of the ancient aphorism, "There is no rest for the wicked." His face was set in the stoniest calmness, but the features were haggard and drawn, and fresh lines and furrows were there deeper than should have been I engraved by half a score of years. A violent, passionate nature does not lightly resign the one object of its aims and desires. Larches and firs will bear moving cautiously, for they are well- regulated plants, and natives of a frigid zone; but transplanting rarely succeeds in the tropics. Harry Molyneux came to his friend's apart- ments early on the following day, in a very un- comfortable and perplexed frame of mind. In the first place, he was sensible of that depression of spirits which is always the portion of those who are left behind when any social circle is broken up, by the removal of its principal ele- ments. There is no such nuisance as having to stay and put the lights out. Besides this, he was quite uncertain in what temper Royston would be found; and apprehended some des- perate outbreak from the latter, which would bring things, already sufficiently complicated, into a more perilous coil. Keene's first abrupt words in part reassured him. " Well, it is all over; and I am going straight back to England." Harry felt so relieved that he forgot to be con- siderate: he could not repress his exultation. "Is it really all over I amso very glad!" "And I am not sorry," was the reply. The speaker probably persuaded himself that he was uttering the truth; but the dreary, hopeless ex- pression of his stricken face gave his words the lie. It cut deep into Molyneux's kind heart; he felt more painfully than he had ever done the difficulty of reconciling his evident duty with the demand of an ancient friendship; on the whole, a guilty consciousness of treachery predominated. He was discreet enough to forbear all questions, and it was not till long afterward that he heard an outline of part of what had happened in the past night; it was told in a letter from Miss Tresilyan to his wife. Had he been more in- quisitive, his curiosity would scarcely have been gratified. To do Keene justice, he guarded the secrets of others more jealously than he kept his own: and he would have despised himself for revealing one of Cecil's, even to his old comrade, without her knowledge and leave. If the feeling which prompted such reticence was not a high and delicate sense of honor, it was at least a very efficient substitute for a profitable virtue. " You go to England " Molyneux went on, after a brief pause. " When do you start and what do you mean to do " Royston looked up, and saw his own discon- tent reflected in the countenance of his faithful subaltern; he knew he had found there the sym- pathy that he was too proud to ask of any living man. " I start to-night," he replied; "so you see I have no time to lose. I can hardly tell you what I mean to do, Hal. Do you remember what we said about the best way of spending our re- sources Well-I have broken into my last large note; and I suppose I must get rid some- how of the change." Harry's answer was not very ready, nor very distinct when it came. " I wish-I wish, I could help you !" For one moment, there returned to Keene's disciplined face a good, natural expression, which had been a stranger there since the days of his hot youth; when he first went forth to buckle 61 SWORD AND GOWN. with the world-frank, and honest, and fearless; his voice, too, had softened almost to tenderness. " Old friend, the time has coi4e to say good-by. Our roads have been the same-for longer than I like to think of: but henceforth they must lie so far apart, that I doubt if they will ever cross again. You will see me off, I know; but I may not be able to say then a dozen words that I should be sorry to leave unsaid. I'll do you this justice-in no one instance have I ever seen you flinch when I wanted your help; though often you had no object of your own to serve. I be- lieve no man ever had a cheerier comrade, or a better backer. I don't like you the worse for standing aloof during the last five weeks. I never had one unpleasant word from you; but if any of mine have vexed or offended you-see now-I ask your forgiveness from the bottom of my heart." It is no shame to Harry's manhood that he could not answer intelligibly; but ten sentences of elaborate sentiment would hardly have been so eloquent as the pressure of his honest hand. Later in the dav, Keene went to take leave of la mignon/e. He did so with pain and reluct- ance. Men, utterly hard and merciless toward their own species, have been very fond of their pets; even when these last belonged to an infe- rior order of creation. Couthon would fondle his spaniel while he was signing a sheaf of death- warrants; and the Prophet, who could contem- plate placidly a dozen cities in flames, and watch human hecatcmbs falling under the sword of Omar or Ali, cut off the sleeve of his robe rath- er than disturb a favorite cat in her slumbers. Nevertheless, when two people agree to ignore carefully the one subject that is uppermost in the thoughts of both, the result must be an un- comfortable constraint and reserve. So the adieus, up to a certain point, were rather formal. But just as he was going, the same impulse overcame Royston which had affected him in his interview with Harry Molyneux. Considering that the age of miracles is past, it was remarka- ble that twice in one day the Cool Captain should have approached so near to the verge of senti- mentalism. "I hope that I shall see you again before long," he said, "but nothing seems certain- not even the meeting of friends. I should like to thank you now for some pleasant days and evenings. You have brought a good deal of sunshine into my life, since I knew you first. I like to think that, neither in deed nor intention, I have ever deliberately done you or Harry any harm. I hope you will go on taking as much care of him, and making him as perfectly happyi as you have done. Perhaps I have vexed you both, lately; but all that is over, and I fancy the punishment will be proportionate to the of- fense before it is ended. Farewell. Don't for- get me sooner than you can help; and while you do remember me, think of me as kindly as you can." He leaned over her as he finished speaking, and his lips just brushed her smooth forehead. When Charles the martyr embraced his children an hour before his death, they received no purer or more sinless kiss. A sob choked Fanny's voice when she would have replied; and the beautiful brown eyes were so dim with rushing tears, that they never saw him go. Keene's last visit in Dorade was to the Vicomte de Chiteaumesnil. The latter manifested no surprise at the sudden departure, and expressed his regrets with a perfectly calm courtesy. But, at the moment of leave-taking, he detained the other's hand for a second or so and said, looking wistfully in his face, " Ainsi, vous partez-seul je ne l'aurais pas cru; et, je l'avoue franche- ment, 9a me contrarie. N'importe; je connois votre jeu; et je ne vous tiens pas pour battu, quand c'est manche aL. Ce serait une betise, de dire-' au revoir.' Adieu; amuses vous bien." Royston shook his head impatiently; he was too proud to save his credit by dissembling a de. feat; and his reply was quick and decisive. "Vous me flattez, M. le Vicomte. Quand on perd, on doit, au moins l'avouer loyalement, et payer l'en jeu. Cette fois j'ai tant perdu, que je ne prendrai pas la revanche." Not another word was exchanged between them; but Armand had accepted repulses in his time with more equanimity than he could mus- ter when ruminating afterward on the discom- fiture of Royston Keene. Some days later the subject was discussed at the Cercle, and one of the habitues hazarded sev- eral cunning conjectures, and more than cynical surmises. (Did you ever hear a thoroughly prof- ligate Frenchman sneer a woman's character away It is almost worth while overcoming your disgust to listen to the diabolical ingenuity of his innuendoes. The scandal of our bitterest dowagers sounds charitable by comparison.) The savage outbreak of the Algerian's temper, that every one had long been expecting, came at last with a vegeance. "Tu mens, canaille! C'est le meilleur doge do M. Keene, que les marans comme toi, ne puis- sent le comprendre. Quand a Mademoiselle- elle vaut mile fois tes smeurs, et ta mere. Si tu as le eceur de pousser l'affaire, je te donnerai raison sur mes bequilles. Pour le pistolet, ma main nWest pas encore percluse." He held it out, as steady and strong as it was in the old days when it could sway the sabre from dawn to twi- light and never know weariness. If the other persuaded himself that considera- tion for the invalid's infirmities made him pa- tient under the insult, his friends were lea ro- mantically credulous: the stigma of that night cleaves to him still. Brazen it out as he may, the hang-dog look remains, telling us that the barriers have been at least once broken down which separate the man from the serf. There would be, perhaps, less mischief abroad if slander were always so promptly and amply avenged. CHAPTER XXII. NoTr long after the events here recorded came a time that we all remember right well, when, without note of preparation, the war-trumpets sounded from the east and the north; when Eu- rope woke up, like a giant refreshed, from the slumber of a forty years' peace, and took down disused weapons from the wall, and donned a rusted armor. It was a time rife with romantic episodes, and, as such seasons must ever be, fraught with peril to the prudence of woma"- kind. There was perpetual recurrence of the 62 striking antithesis which happened at Brussels head-quarters, trying to find out if there was before Waterloo, when the roll of the distant any chance of a break in the long inaction of cannon at Quatre Bras mingled with the music the cavalry. Whether it was that the old blood- of the duchess's ball. The coldest reserve is apt thirstiness had waked again in a congenial at- to melt rapidly, and the most skillful coquetry is mosphere, or whether a great weariness weigh- brought to bay, when opposed to pleading urged ing on his spirits made him so impatient and possibly for the last time. Those were days of restless, none can know for certain. Again I rebuke and blasphemy to " the gentlemen of En- say, let us not sift motives too inquisitively. gland who sat at home at ease;" and even the It is the morning of the 25th of October, and Foreign Office "irresistibles" could hardly hold a lull comes between the storm-gusts. The their own. What chance have the honeyed "Heavies" have just taken up their position, words of the accomplished civilian against the after that magnificent charge, in which the Rus- simlple eloquence of the soldier, who speaks with sian lancers were scattered like dead leaves in his life in his hand Truly there were many autumn when the wind is blowing freshly. There conquests then achieved of which the world knew are murmurs of discontent running the ranks of nothing, for the victor never came back to claim the Light Brigade; it seems as if their chance his prize. was never coming. One of his intimates grum- When the funeral of the Great Duke went by, bles as much to Royston Keene. The Cool Cap- it was easy to find fault with some of the details tain straightens a stray lock of his charger's of that pretentious pageant; but which of us mane, and answers, with his old provoking was cool enough to criticise, on the gray Febru- smile, ary morning, when the Guards marched out " Don't fret yourself, George. I have a pre- There were practiced veterans enough to be sentiment that we slhall get rid of the 'fidgets' found in their ranks; and each of these perhaps before we sleep. See-that looks like business." could number some who loved him dearly; but It seemed as if a spirit of prophecy possessed none in the column wvon such hearty sympathy him; for even while he was speaking, the aide- as those "trim subalterns, holding their swords de-camp came down at speed. There was a daintily who went forth to their doom gayly pause while that message was delivered, the ex- anti gallantly, as if pestilence were not lving in act words of which will never be known-for you ambush at fever-stricken Varna, and lines of can not summon the dead as witnesses; then a hungry graves waiting for their prey in the bleak brief hesitation, and a dozen sentences exchanged Chersonese. Surely there were sadder faces at between the first and second in command; and home than any that lined the road; and the then-every trooper in the Brigade understood anxious crowd at the station represented very what he had to do. Many drew true and evil inadequately the "girls they left-behind them." augury from the cloud lowering on the stern When the first certain rumors of war prevail- features of the "Haughty Earl." ed, Royston Keene was shooting woodcocks in Keene had been under fire oftener than most the Hebrides; he hastened back to town without there, and his practiced eye took in and appre- a moment's delay. We know how quick and ciated every item of the peril ; nevertheless, his unerring, on such occasions, is the instinct of brow cleared, and all his face lighted up the Rapacidwr. His object was to get on the strangely. active-service list as soon as possible. With his "What did I tell you, voung one " he said powerful interest and high reputation, this was to the man who had addressed him just before; not difficult; and he was soon gazetted to a "it will be warmer work than the old Phoeuix Light Cavalry regiment. But he did not go field-days; but one comfort is, it won't last so out with the first detachments, and the summer long." was far advanced when he reached the Crimea. Before the words were fairly uttered the trum- There was great jubilation at his coming. pets rang out; and with a gaver laugh on his lip Many out there knew him personally, well; and than it had worn for many a day, the Cool Cap- others rejoiced at having the opportunity of tain led his squadron gallantly into Aceldama. judging for themselves if he really deserved his We will not describe the charge. Enthusiasts faame. It soon became apparent that the Cool are not wanting who would rather have ridden Captain was strangelv altered. To be sure, the in it than have won the highest distinction to opportunities for general conviviality were few, which civilians can aspire. Who dares to object for mess-rooms and ante-rooms were phantoms that it was not ultimately successful Such a of the imagination, or only pleasant memories; taunt has never been weighed in the balance still, there was a certain amount of agreeable against the glories of Thermopylat. I frequent- though select reunions, where the vintages of ly meet in society one of the Paladins of that fa- Bordeaux and Burgundy were sufficiently re- tal Roncesvalles. In private life he has few pe- placed by regulation rum. At these Royston culiaritics, except a tendency to engage in each appeared rarely; and when he did show there, and every game of chance, and a perfect mono- was remarkably silent, and apt to let a favorable 'mania for waltzing. Yet I regard him with an Opportunity, even for a sarcasm, go by. He, immense respect and reverence, that the object seemed to prefer the solitude of his own tent to of the feeling would be the last to understand. the most tempting inducements of society. Men I think of the awful peril out of which the deli- remembered afterward how, if they went in and' cate, feminine face has come without a scar; found him alone, he was always busy with his re- and I protest I would no more dream of speak- Volver, or playing with his sabre. He had refused ing to him angrily or slightingly, than I would two advantageous offers of staff appointments, for venture to discourse about the Derby to the no apparent reason except the desire not to be out Bishop of 0-, or to offer to that dignified of the way if any work were to be done: and prelate the current odds against the favorite. scarcely a day passed when he was not up at Rely upon it, in many homes of England (if the SWORD AND GOWN. 63 SWORD AND GOWN. Manchestrians leave them standing) there will be one family portrait that our children will most delight to honor. Pointing out to strangers the crowning glory of their house, they will pass by grave effigies of lawyers, ecclesiastics, and states- men, and pause opposite to a martial figure, dressed in the uniform of a light dragoon. All his ancestors shall give precedence to the simple soldier, who rode that day in the van of the Six Hundred. Yes, we will leave that charge alone. The most hackneyed of professional littirateurs might shrink from sitting down to his writing-desk, to make merchandise of such a "deed of derring- do." Nevertheless, Royston Keene bore his part in it manfully; and the troopers talk yet of the feats of skill and strength wrought by his sabre. The immunity from dangers of shot and steel for which he had been always remarkable, did not seem to have deserted him; for he had come out of the batteries without a scratch, and had fought his way through more than one knot and peloton of the enemy, with no scathe beyond a slight flesh-wound. In one of these encounters he had got separated from such remnants of his squadron as still held together (you know even regiments lost their unity in that terrible mnlee), the only man who still kept near him was his covering-sergeant. All this while the fire from the Russian guns on the hill-side grew heavier and heavier, while the cruel grape-shot ripped through the mingled masses of friends and foes: making sudden, unsightly gaps here and there, just as may be seen in a field of ripe corn " laid" by the lashing hail. The good horse on which Keene was mounted had not been out from En- gland long enough to suffer materially in wind or limb; he was in very fair condition, and had carried his master splendidly so far, with equal luck in escaping any serious injury. Five hund- red yards more would have placed them in safe- ty, within the position where the Ieavy Brigade was already moving up to cover the retreat of their comrades, when the Templar, going at top- speed, pitched suddenly forward, as a ship does when she founders; and, after rolling once half o;yer his rider, lay still, with limbs just faintly quivering. Two grape-shot, making one wound, had crashed right into his chest and through the heart. His covering-sergeant was within three lengths of Royston when the latter went down: he pulled up and sprang down instantly, and was by his officer's side in a second, trying to extricate him. "I hold up, Major," he said cheerily; "that's nothing. Take my horse. He'll carry you in; and I can manage well enough." The strong soldier reeled, from sheer weak- ness, as he was speaking; for the blood was spouting in dark-red jets from a ghastly cut in his bridle arm: yet he seemed to see nothing in his offer but a simple act of duty; though men have won a place in history for meaner self-sacri- flee. One of the most remarkable peculiarities about the Cool Captain was the hold he main- tained over the affections and impulses of those with whom he was brought in contact, without any visible reason for such influence. He was the strictest possible disciplinarian; and his de- meanor toward his subordinates was consistently dictatorial; yet the present case was only one instance of the enthusiasm with which they re- garded him. Keene looked up at the speaker wistfully, from where he lay; and his face softened in its set sternness. " You're a good fellow, Davis," he said; "but I would not avail myself of your generosity if I could. I can't take much credit for refusing it. My thigh is broken; and I am hurt besides. I couldn't keep the saddle for ten seconds. Draw my right gauntlet off, and take my ring; you deserve it better than the Cossacks. Keep it as long as you like; it will always bring you a fifty, if you get hard up. And take this too." He put his hand into the breast of his uniform; but drew it back quickly. "No: it shall stay with me while I live." His tone and manner were just the same as if he had met with a heavy fall, out hunting, and were answering some good-natured friend who had stopped to pick him up. The trooper took the ring; but he lingered still. Royston saw a knot of the enemy sweep- ing down on them, like ravens on a stag wound- ed to the death; his voice resumed its wonted accent of irresistible command. " Did You hear what I said I told you to go. Those devils will be down on us in less than a minute. I have not fired one barrel of my revolver, and I'm good for one or two of them yet." The habit of obedience, more than the instinct of self-preservation, made Davis mount and ride away without another word. He looked back, though, as he did so. He heard three distinct reports from Keene's revolver: two of the en- emy's skirmishers dropped to the shots, and the third wavered in his saddle; the rest closed round the fallen man with leveled lances. The stout sergeant looked back no more; but he set his teeth hard, and turned out of his way to encoun- ter a stray Russian, and laid the foeman's face open from eyebrow to lip, with an awful blas- phemy. The spot where Royston fell was so near to the British lines that those who slaughtered him dared not stay for plunder. Half an hour later, Davis and two more volunteers went out and brought in the mangled body of the best swordsman in the Light Brigade. CHAPTER XXIII. NOT dead yet! ThoughthebloodyMuscovite spearmen thought they had left a corpse behind them, and though the surgeons who examined him decided that he could not survive the night, the obstinate vitality in Royston Keene still lingered on, refusing to yield to wounds that might have drained the life out of three strong men. It seemed as if some strange doom were upon him, such as was laid on the Black Slave in the Arabian Nights, loved by the enchantress-queen; or a Durindarte in the old romance, where the tortured spirit, en- thralled by potent spells, was withheld for a sea- son from departure, though its tenement was all shattered and ruined. His case from the first was utterly hopeless; and his bodily helplessness at times almost resembled catalepsy; yet his fac- ulties were quite clear. He could recognize his 64 SWORD AND GOWN. friends, and talk with them quite composedly; cry or complaint never once issued from those rigid lips. They sent him down to Scutari at last, not with any hope of his recovery, but wish- ing to insure him all available comforts in his dying moments. It was a rough passage (even on invalids the cruel Euxine had little mercy) this, and the pain of transport through the few hundred yards that were between the vessel and the hospital almost exhausted the dregs of Roy- ston's strength. When they laid him down on the bed allotted to him, in a small room of the main ward, of which he was to be the sole tenant, none of the surgeons could have told if they were dealing with life or death. Work was so heavy on their hands at that dreadful season, that they could not devote more than a certain space of precious time to any one patient; so after trying all means and appliances of recovery in vain, they left Keene for a while in his swoon. It seemed as if he would never open his eyes again. They unclosed slowly at last, still dim with the deathly faintness; his head was dizzy and con- fused; and in his ears there was a dull, droning sound, like the murmur of a distant sea. As objects and sounds assumed more distinctness, he became aware of the figure of a woman sitting on the ground by the side of his couch-her head buried in her hands-rocking herself ever to and fro, and never pausing in her low, heart-broken wail. If old tales speak truth, such a figure might be seen in dark corners of haunted houses; and such a wail might echo at dead of night through chambers conscious ofsome fearful crime. Instinct more than reason revealed to Royston the truth. The lips that under the thrusts of Russian lances, and through all subsequent tortures, had guarded so jealously the secret of his agony, could not repress a groan as they syllabled the name of-Cecil Tresilyan. It was so. The brilliant beauty who for two seasons had ruled the world in which she moved so imperiously-insatiate of conquest, and defy- ing rivalry-the delicate aristocrats who from her childhood had been used to every imaginable lux- ury, and had appreciates them all-was found again, here, in the gray rcbe of a Sister of Char- ity, content to endure real, bitter hardships, and to witness daily sights from which womanhood, with all its bravery, must needs recoil. The mo- tives that had urged her to suck a step would be hard indeed to define. The same weariness and impatience of inaction that have been alluded to in the case of Royston Keene may have had much to do with it; to this, perhaps, was added a feel- ing of wild remorse, seeking to vent itself in self- torturing penance, such as impelled kings and conquerors in old days to don the palmer's gown, and macerate their bodies by fast and scourge; there may have been, too, some vague, unac- knowledged longing to seize the last chance of seeing her lost love once again. Might she not tend him as she nursed the other wounded, with- out adding to the weight of her sin If she ever entertained such an idea, her punishment may well have atoned for her offense, when she came suddenly and unprepared into that sick-chamber, and looked upon the mangled wreck lying sense- less there. Royston spoke first. "What brought you here" If it was possible that he couldfeel any E thing like terror, surely the hollow, tremulous voice betrayed it then. Cecil Tresilyan sprang to her feet as if an elec- tric shock had moved her, and stood gazing at him with her great, desolate, tearless eyes; all her misery could not make them hard or hag- gard, nor dispel their marvelous enchantment. Royston marked the impulse that would have drawn her to his side; and threw out one weak hand to warn her off; with the other he tried to cover his own scarred, ghastly face. "D Don't come near me," he muttered; " I can't bear it." Her woman's instinct fathomed his meaning in- stantly: he thought that even she must shrink from him. She laughed out loud (for her brain was almost turning) as she knelt down and raised his head on her arm, and smoothed his matted hair, and kissed the death-damp from his fore- head, murmuring between the caresses, "You dare not keep me from you. Do you think that I fear you, my own-my own !" The glory of a great triumph-grand, even if sinful-lighted up the face of the dying man; and intense passion made even his voice strong and steady. "I believe this is better than the paradise we dreamed of in the island of the Greek Sea." Without a moment's pause the sweet, sad voice. replied, " Yes, it is better. Then I should have died first, and hopelessly. Now there is no guilt between us that may not be forgiven." Silence lasted till Royston gathered energy to speak again. "You remember the glove See-I have not parted with it yet." He drew from his breast a case of steel links hung round his neck by a chain: it held Cecil's gauntlet-stained and stiffened with his blood. That was the treasure he would not resign when he lay on the ground, waiting for the Russian lances. "You did not think that I should forget you, because I never answered your letter " As had happened once before, a portion of his fortitude and self-command seemed trans- fused into Cecil Tresilyan. She spoke quite steadily now. "How could I misjudge your silence, when I begged you not to write I have been very mis- erable, thinking how angry you would be; and yet I could not help what I did. But I never fancied you had forgotten me. Forgetting is not so easy. Now tell me about yourself. I have heard of that glorious charge. But those terrible wounds-how you must have suffered !". Out of the dim, glazing eyes flashed for one moment a gleam of soldierly pride. "Yes, we rode straight, on the twenty-fifth-I among the rest. I suppose I have suffered some pain, but that is all past and gone. I am sensible of noth- ing but the great happiness of holding your lit- tle hand once more. See-I can hold it with- out shame, for my fingers have not pressed those of any woman alive since we parted." She saw how the utterance of those few words told upon him, and refrained from the delight of listening longer to the voice that was still to her inexpressibly dear. So she checked him fondly when he would have gone on speaking. Yet the silence that ensued was first broken bv Cecil. l " My own! I fear-I fear that you are in great danger. How long we mry both have to suffer, 66 SWORD AND GOWN. God alone can tell. But will you not see a cler- gyman He might help you though I am weak and powerless." A shadow of the old sardonic scorn swept across Keene's emaciated face, and passed away as suddenly. " It is somewhat late for any help that priests can bring. Besides, I can not dwell now on any of my past sins, save one. All my thoughts are taken up with the wrong that I have done to you." This was true. If there were reproachful phantoms that had a right to haunt Royston's death-bed, the living presence kept them all at bay. Cecil's eyes had never been more eloquent than they were then, but they spoke of nothing but despair. " A h, heaven ! can not you see that all 1 have to forgive has been forgiven long ago What is to become of me if you die hardened in your sin Must I live on, hoping that we are parted forev- er If you are pitiless to your own soul, have mercy, at least, upon me !" All Royston's former crimes seemed to him venial by comparison, as he witnessed the mis- ery and abasement of the glorious creature on whom he had brought such sorrow, if not shame. The remorse that a strong will and hard heart had stifled so long found voice at last in three muttered words-" God forgive me !" A very niggardly and inadequate expression of contri- tion-was it not-conceded to a life whose sins outnumbered its years. Yet the slight thread of hope drawn therefrom has been able since to hold back Cecil Tresilvan from the abyss of ut- ter desperation. She forbore to press him far- ther then, seeing his increasing weakness, and trusting, perhaps, that a more favorable oppor- tunity would come. Indeed, there were a thousand things to be said about the past, in which both had borne a part, and the future, in which only one could share; but Royston had estimated rightly the extent of his remaining physical resources; and when he found how each syllable exhausted him, he became as chary of words as a miser of his gold. His right hand still grasped hers firmly; and her delicate cheek was pillowed on his shoulder; the fingers of his other hand play- ed gently with a long, glossy chestnut tress that had escaped from the prison of the close cap shie wore. So they remained, for a long time-no sound passing between them, beyond half-formed whispers of endearment: no one came in to molest them: there was work enough and to spare, that night, for all in Scutari. The thought of interruption never crossed Cecil's mind for an instant. Always careless and defi- ant of conventionality, or the world's opinion, she was tenfold more reckless now. Her head was bent down, and her eyes closed; so that she could not see how the hollows deepened on her lover's face; nor how the pallor of his cheek darkened rapidly to an ashen-gray. But inward warnings of approaching dissolution spoke plain- ly enough to Royston Keene. Hie knew what he had to do. He raised her head from where it rested, and said, so gently, " If my time is short, there is the more reason that I should be loth to lose you, even for an hour. But you must have rest; and I feel as if I could sleep. Do not try to persuade me; but leave me now. When you think hereafter of this evening, remember what my last words were. I loved you best of all. Darling-wish me good-night; and come to see me early to-morrow." He guessed, full well, how long that night would last, and what sight would meet Cecil on the morrow; but he was resolute to spare her one additional pang, and so endured alone the whole burden of the parting agony. His whole life had been full of deeds of reckless daring; but, in good truth, this achievement was its very crown of courage. Now, as heretofore, Cecil was incapable of re- sisting any one of his expressed wishes or com- mands; besides this, physical exhaustion was beginning to overcome her; and she, too, felt that it was time to go. She leaned down, with- out speaking, and their lips met in a long, pas- sionate kiss. So little of vitality lingered in Royston's, that they remained still icy-cold un- der the pressure of these ripe, red roses. " I will come again, early," she whispered. The last relics of a strength that had been sas- perhuman passed into the lingering pressure of the hand that bade her tenderlv farewell. Half an hour later the surgeon came to Royston Keene. All that night, shrieks and groans. and other sounds through which human agony finds a vent, had been ringing in his ears, till they were weary of the din; but the silence of that chamber struck the visitor yet more painfully. He looked for a second gravely at the motion- less figure; and laid his ear against the lips; no breath issued thence that would have stirred a feather; then he drew very gentle the sheet over the dead man's face,-a quiet, steadfast face,-that even in the death-throe had retained its proud, placid calm. When Cecil Tresilvan saw that same sight the next morning, she did not scream or faint. Neither then nor afterward did she prove her- self unworthy of her hauglty lover, by demon- strating or parading her sorrows. Many others besides her have taken or their motto, "' The heart knoweth its owe bitterness;" and have carried it out to the end unflinchingly. Verily they have their reward. If there is little com- fort on this side the grave, and only vague hope beyond it, it is something to escape condolence. We follow her fortunes no farther. It is need- less to give all the details of the hospital service which occupied her till the conclusion of the war set her free; and we will not seek to penetrate into the retreat in the Far West where she is dwelling still. The gray manor-house guards its secrets well, though it has witnessed in its time sorrows and sins that might have wrung a voice from granite. Conscious of many broken hearts and blasted hopes, is the home of the Tresilyans of Tresilyan. I confess to a certain regret, as that graceful figure vanishes from the stage that never was worthy of her queen-like presence. Was it in dream-land that I saw the original of the char- acter and face that I have endeavored, thus roughly, to portray Perhaps so. But there are visions so near akin to realities, that one's brain grows dizzy in trying to disentangle the two. It is unfortunate that the void created by any SWORD AND GOWN. man's death is by no means proportionate to his intrinsic merits. So it happened that the loss of Rloyston Keene was felt more than he de- served. Far and wide over the surface of the world's sea the circles spread from the spot where his life went down. He was missed not only by his old comrades in arms: men who scarcely knew him by sight spared some regret to the fa- vorite hero of the Light Dragoons. Mark War- ing, in the loneliness of his dreary chambers, gnashed his teeth in bitterness of envy; for he guessed tho would be the chief mourner. Ar- naud de Chateaumesnil's remark was character- istic. Hearing that his old opponent had fallen in the front of the battle, he struck his hand im- patiently on his own crippled limbs, muttering- "Sang-dieu! I1 avait toujours la main heur- euse." Harry Molyneux can not trust his voice to speak of him yet; and other beautiful eyes besides La ilignonne's were dim with tears when they read a certain death-gazette. Truly, "great men have fallen in Israel," and saints have departed in the plentitude of sanctity, with- out winning such wealth of regrets as was lav- ished on the grave of that strong sinner. Only two women alive - and these he had never wronged-rejoiced over the news unfeignedly- Bessie Danvers and his own wife. Shall we pass judgment on Royston Keene Ile had erred so often and hcavily that even the intercession of a penitent who nuver kneels be- fore Heaven without mingling his name in her prayers must probably be unavailing. Yet will we not cast the stone. All temptations, of course, can be resisted, and ought to be over- come. But there are men born with so pecul- iar a temperament, and who seem to have been so completely under the dominion of circum- stances, that they might well be supposed to have been raised up for a warning. IIow far are such to be held accountable Let us refrain from this subject, remembering how grave and learned theologians, earnest opponents of Pre- destinarianism, have been reduced to the ex- treme of perplexity when confronted with the ensample of Pharaoh. It would neither be pleasant nor profitable to pry into the secrets of the black darkness that lies beyond Royston's death-bed; in it few would be able to distinguish the faintest glimmer of light. But we have no more authority to fix limits to the long-suffering of Omnipotence, than we have to dispute the justice of its revenge. Let us stand aside, and hope That Heaven may yet have more mercy than man On such a bold rider's soul. 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