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firs, and back through the clear moonlight fathers of the regiment petting her, and to the small jetty of the hotel. We enter- proud of her, and ready to drive the soul ed the warm and comfortable building. Out of the man who spoke a rude word to The folks who had been in dining had all her—with her arch ways, and her frank gone into the drawing-room; but neither bearing, and her loyal and loving regard my Lady nor Bell seemed inclined to ven- for the brave Eleventh-why, Bell
, for the ture in among the strangers; and so we moment, was really Maria, and as bright procured a private sitting-room, in which and as fearless as any Maria that ever sàng by good luck, there was a piano.
" rataplan!" Queen Tita was pleased too, The Lieutenant sat down.
but she was bound to play the part of the “Madame,” he said, “what shall I play stately Marchioness. With an affectionate to you? It is not since that I was at pat on the shoulder, she told Bell she Twickenham I have touched a piano-oh, mustn't sing any more of these soldierthat is very bad English, I know, but I can songs; they were not improving songs. not help it."
With which—just as if she had been or“Sing the rataplan song that Bell was dered by the Marchioness to leave the humming the other day," said Tita. “You brave Eleventh—Bell began to sing the two shall sing it-you shall be the old ser- plaintive and touching “ Convien partir.” geant, and Bell the daughter of the regi- Perhaps we may have heard it better sung ment."
at Drury Lane. The song is known in “ Yes, I can sing it,” he said ; “but to Covent Garden. But if you had heard play it—that I can not do. It is too fine Bell sing it this night—with her lover sitfor my thick fingers."
ting quite silent and embarrassed with a And so he gave way to Bell, who played shame-faced pleasure, and with a glimmer the accompaniment dexterously enough, of moonlight on Grasmere visible through and sang with a will. You would have the open window-you might have forfancied that the camp was really her birth- given the girl for her mistakes. place, and that she was determined to march A notion may have crossed my Lady's with the foremost, as the good song says. mind that it was very hard on Arthur that The Lieutenant had not half the martial Bell should in his absence have been singardor of the girl, who was singing of fire and ing these soldier-songs with so much obslaughter, of battle and sudden death, as vious enjoyment. Was it fair that this though she had been the eldest daughter young Ühlan should flutter his martial of one of the kings of her native Strath- scarlet and blue and gold before the girl's clyde. And then, when she had finished eyes, and dazzle her with romantic picthat performance, it needed only the least tures of a soldier's life? What chance suggestion of the Lieutenant to get her to had the poor law-student, coming out from sing Maria's next song, “Ciascun lo dice," his dingy chambers in the Temple, with so that you would have thought she had bewildered eyes, and pale face, and the the spirit of the whole regiment within her. funereal costun
funereal costume of the ordinary English It is not a proper song. The brave Elev- youth ? We know how girls are attracted enth was doubtless a very gallant regiment; by show, how their hearts are stirred by but why should they have taught their the passing of a regiment with music playdaughter to glorify their frightening of land- ing and colors flying. The padded unilords, and their flirtations, their fierce flying form may inclose a nut-shell sort of heart, hither and thither, like the famous Jäger and the gleaming helmet or the imposing that followed Holk? This is the regiment, busby may surmount the feeblest sort of Maria tells you, that fears nothing, but brain that could with decency have been whom all men fear. This is the regiment put within a human skull; but what of beloved of women; for is not each soldier that? Each feather-bed warrior who rides sure to become a Field-Marshal ? The from Knightsbridge to Whitehall, and from Lieutenant laughed at the warlike glow of Whitehall to Knightsbridge, is gifted with her singing, but he was mightily pleased, the glorious traditions of great armies and for all that. She was fit to be a soldier's innumerable campaigns; and in a ballwife-this girl with the mantling color in room the ass in scarlet is a far more ather cheek, and the brave voice and gal- tractive spectacle than the wise man in. lant mien. With colors in her cap, and a black. Perhaps Arthur was not the most drum slung round her neck-with all the striking example that might have been got
to add point to the contrast; but if any times that were. There was a trifle of resuch thoughts were running through Queen gret imported into this conversation—why, Tita's mind, you may be sure that her no one could tell ; but when we broke up sympathies were awakened for a young for the night, Tita's face was rather sadman whose chances of marrying Bell were dened, and she did not follow Bell when becoming more and more nebulous. the girl called to her to look at the beau
And then my Lady sat down to the pia- ful night outside, where the rapidly-sinking no, and condescended to play for us a few moon had given place to a host of stars pieces, with a precision and a delicacy of that twinkled over the black gulf of Grasfingering which were far removed from mere. Bell's performances in that way. I sup- It is no wonder that lovers love the starpose you young fellows who read this light, and the infinite variety and beauty would have regarded with indifference the and silence of the strange darkness. But dark-eyed little matron who sat there and folks who have got beyond that period do unraveled the intricacies of the most diffi- not care so much to meet the mysteryand cult music. You would have kept all your the solemnity of the night. They may have attention for the girl who stood beside her; experiences they would rather not recall
. and you would have preferred the wilder Who can tell what bitterness and grievous and less finished playing of Bell, simply heart-wringing are associated with the because she had fine eyes, pretty hair, a wonderful peace and majesty of the throbwholesome English pleasantness and frank- bing midnight sky? The strong man, ness, and a proud and gracious demeanor. with all his strength fled from him, has But a few years hence you may come to gone out in his utter misery, and cried," Oh, know better. You may get to understand God, save my wife to me!" And the the value of the quiet and unobtrusive ways young mother, with her heart breaking, of a woman who can look after a house- has looked up into the great abyss, and hold, and busy herself with manifold char- cried, “Oh, God, give me back my baby!" ities, and bring up her children well and and all the answer they have had was the scrupulously, and yet have a tender smile silence of the winds and the faint and disfor the vagaries of young folks like your- tant glimmer of the stars. They do not selves. And then, if it is your excellent care any more to meet the gaze of these fortune to have with you so gentle and sad, and calm, and impenetrable eyes. fearless and honest a companion-if your own life seems to be but the half of the
CHAPTER XXIV. broader and fuller existence that abides
ARTHUR's soxG. beneath your roof-you may do worse than go down on your knees and thank
" Along the grass sweet airs are blown
Our way this day in Spring. God who has blessed your house with a Of all the songs that we have known, good wife and a good mother.
Now which one shall we sing ? Tales shall not be told out of school.
Not that, my love, ah no!We may have sat a little late that night. Yet both were ours, but hours will come and go.
Not this, my love? why, so ! We were harming no one by so doing, except ourselves; and if our health suffered by such late hours, we were prepared to
“ The branches cross above our eyes, let it suffer. For the fact was, we drifted
The skies are in a net :
And what's the thing beneath the skies into talk about our Surrey home; and now We two would most forget ? that seemed so far away—and it seemed
Not birth, my love, no no-1 so long since we had been there that the
Not death, my love, no no. most ordinary details of our by-gone life in The love once ours, but ours long hours ago." the south had grown picturesque. And We stood at the open window, my Lady, from that Tita began to recall the names Bell, and I, with the calm lake lying before of the people she had known in the Lake us as darkly blue as the heart of a belldistrict, in the old time, when Bell was but flower, and with hills on the other side a girl, running about the valleys and hill- grown gray, and green, and hazy in the sides like a young goat. That, too, carried morning sunlight. Bell had brought us us back a long way, until it seemed as if thither. The Lieutenant was outside, and we had drifted into a new generation of we could hear him talking to some one, things that knew nothing of the good old although he had no idea of our presence
Was it fair to steal a march on the young ah wur there. When ah wur a boy—that's fellow, and seek to learn something of the many a year ago—for ah remember well method by which he became familiarly ac- the great comet, in eighteen hunderd an' quainted with every man, woman, and eleven-you don't remember that? No! child we met on our journey! In such God bless my soul, you're only a boy yet matters I look to Tita for guidance. If —and ah wur born seventy year ago—and she says a certain thing is proper, it is when ah went up to Lunnon, ah wur such proper. And at this moment she was a simple chap ?" standing just inside the curtains, listening, We could hear the old man laughing with a great amusement on her face, to and chuckling, until a fit of coughing seizthe sounds which reached us from below. ed him, and then he proceeded :
“Ay, ah wur born in eighteen hunderd “Ah wur taking a bridle down to my - that's a long time ago—a long time ago," mahster, and what's the bridge you go said a quavering old voice, that was some- over? Dear me, dear me! my memory times interrupted by a fit of asthmatic isn't as good as it once wascoughing; "and you don't remember the And at this point the old man stopped, great comet—the comet of eighteen hun- and puzzled, and hesitated about the name derd an' eleven? No! See that now! of the bridge, until the Lieutenant besought And ah wur a boy at that time; but I can re- him never to mind that, but to go on with member the great comet of eighteen hun- his story. But no. He would find out the derd an’ eleven-I remember it well, now name of the bridge; and after having re-and ah wur born in eighteen hundred. peated twenty times that he was born in How long ago is that, now ?"
1800, and could remember the comet of " Why, that's easily counted,” said the 1811, he hit upon the name of Blackfriars. Lieutenant; "that's seventy-one years ago. “An' there wur a chap standin' there, But you look as hale and as fresh as a man as come up to me and asked me if I would of forty."
buy a silk handkerchief from him. He had “ Seventy-one—ay, that it is—and you two of 'em-Lor bless ye, you don't know don't remember the comet of eighteen what rare good handkerchiefs we had then hunderd an’ eleven ?”
-white, you know, wi' blue spots on 'em “ No, I don't. But how have you kept —they're all gone out now, for it's many a your health and your color all this time? year ago. And that chap he thought ah'd That is the air of the mountains gives you bin sellin' a oss; and he made up to me, and this good health, I suppose.".
he took me into a small public 'ouse close “ Lor bless ye, ah don't belong to these by, and says he, “Ah'll be sworn a smart parts. No. Ah wur born in the New young fellow like you 'ill ave a tidy bit o' Forest, in eighteen hunderd-Ringwood, money in your pocket.' An'ah wur a that's the place—that's in the New Forest, smart young fellow then, as he said, but, a long way from eear. Do ye know Ring- God bless you, that's many a year ago ; wood ?”
an' now, would you believe it, that chap “ No."
got five shillins out o' me for two of his “ Nor Poole?"
handkerchiefs-he did indeed, as sure as “No."
I'm alive. Wasn't it a shame to take in a “Lor bless ye! Never been to Poole! poor country chap as wur doing a job for Do ye know Southampton ?"
his mahster?" “No."
“ Five shillings for two silk handker“Bless my soul! Never been to Poole? chiefs with blue spots ?” said the LieutenThere now! And you don't know South- ant. “Why, it was you who did swindle ampton, where all the ships are ?-ay, a that poor man. It is you that should be famous sight o' ships, I can tell ye. And ashamed. And you took away the bridle. you've never been to Southampton-Lor safe ?" bless ye, you ain't much of a traveler! But “Ay, ah wur goin' down to Winchester.. there now, ain't you a Frenchman?" Do you know Winchester ?" “ No."
“ No." “Go along with you! Not a French- “Ha, ha, ha! Ah thought not! No, man? An' you don't know Poole? It's nor Poole? Have you ever been to Brisa big place, Poole, and ah reckon it's grown tol—there now!" bigger now, for it's many a year ago since “My dear friend, there are few men so, great travelers as you have been. You versation ended I do not know; but by should not boast of it."
and by Von Rosen came in to breakfast. “ But, Lor bless ye, don't ye know the It is a shame for two women to have ships at Poole? And Winchester—that's a secret understanding between them, and a fine town, too, is Winchester. Ah'd look as if they could scarcely keep from a month at Winchester when ah wyr a smiling, and puzzle a bashful young man young man.”
by enigmatical questions. “ A month? What do you mean by “Madame," said the Lieutenant, at that ?"
last, “ I am very stupid. I can not make “ Yes, that ah did. Lor, they were far out what you mean." stricter then than they are now."
“And neither can she," observes one “But what was this month you are who hates to see a worthy young man speaking about ?”
bothered by two artful women. “Her “Don't ye know what a month in jail joke is like the conundrum that was so is for ketchin a rabbit ?"
good that the man who made it, after “ Oh, it was a rabbit, was it?”
trying for two years and a half to find The wicked old man laughed and out what it meant, gave it up and cut his chuckled again.
throat. Don't you heed them. Cut the “Ay," said he,“ ah got one month for salad, like a good fellow, and let Bell put ketchin one rabbit
, but if they'd ave gi'en in the oil, and the vinegar, and what not. me a month for every rabbit and hare as Now, if that girl would only take out a ah've ketched, Lor bless ye !---you young patent for her salad-dressing, we should fellows nowadays know nothin'! You're all be rolling in wealth directly." simple chaps, that's what it is! Have “I should call it the Nebuchadnezzar," you ever heard of the great comet of said Bell. eighteen hunderd an'eleven? There My Lady pretended not to hear that now! And the crowds as come out to remark; but she was very angry; and all see it-stretchin' out—long-jest as it desire of teasing the Lieutenant had demight be the long gown as mothers put parted from her face, which was serious on young things when they're carried and reserved. Young people must not about—and that wur in eighteen 'underd play pranks with Scripture names, in howan' eleven. But I'm gettin' old now, and ever innocent a fashion. stiff—and them rheumatics they do trou- “It is a very good thing to have salad ble one so when they come on bad in the at breakfast," said the Lieutenant; "alnight-time. I'm not what I was at your though it is not customary in your counage-you'll be thirty now, or forty may- try. It is very fresh, very pleasant, very
wholesome in the morning. Now, if one * Nearer thirty."
were to eat plenty of salad, and live in “ Ah never 'ad so much hair as you— this good mountain-air, one might live a it wur never the fashion to wear hair on long time-" the face at that time."
“One might live to remember the com“And you followed the fashion, of et of eighteen 'underd an eleven," obcourse, when you were a young fellow, served Bell
, with her eyes cast down. and went courting the girls. Yes ?” The Lieutenant stared for a moment;
This hint seemed to wake up the old and then he burst into a roar of laughter. man into a high state of glee; and as he " I have discovered the joke,” he cried. began to tell of his exploits in this direc- “ It is that you did listen to that old man tion, he introduced so many unnecessary talking to me. Oh, he was a very wickejaculations into his talk that my Lady ed old personsomewhat hastily withdrew, dragging Bell And here, all at once, Von Rosen stopwith her. The old rogue outside might ped. A great flush of red sprung to the have been with our army in Flanders, to young fellow's face—he was evidently judge by the force of his conversation; contemplating with dismay the possibility and the stories that he told of his wild of my Lady having overheard all the draadventures in such distant regions as goon-language of the old man. Poole and Southampton showed that his “ We heard only up to a certain point," memory treasured other recollections than says Madame. sedately. “When he bethat of the 1811 comet. How the con- gan to be excited, Bell and I withdrew."
The Lieutenant was greatly relieved. was perfect as the perfect mirror, and that The septuagenarian was not a nice person the far hills had drawn around them a thin for ladies to listen to. Indeed, in one tremulous vail of silver gauze under the direction he was amply qualified to have strong heat of the sun ? The freshness written a “Dialogue between a Man and of the morning—when a light breeze a Cat: being a discussion as to which blew over from the west, and stirred the would like to use the most bad language reeds of the lake, and awoke a white when the tail of the latter is trodden ripple in by the shore—had effect in upon.” Such an essay would be instruc- brightening up his face. He was so busy tive in results, but objectionable in tone. talking of Bell, and of Arthur, and of my
All this while we had heard nothing of Lady, that it was with a serene unconArthur. That morning, when Tita sent sciousness he allowed himself to be led down to inquire if there were any letters away from the lake into the lonely refor us at the post-office and found there gions of the hills, were none, she must needs send an urgent Even a hardy young Uhlan finds his telegram to Twickenham, to see if the breath precious when he is climbing a young man's parents knew any thing of steep green slope, scrambling up shelves his whereabouts. Of course they could of loose earth and slate, and clinging on not possibly know. Doubtless he was on to bushes to help him in his ascent. There his way to Carlisle. Perhaps we should were interruptions in this flow of lovers' have the pleasure of meeting him in Edin- complainings. After nearly an hour's burgh.
climbing, Von Rosen had walked and But this indefinite postponement of the talked Bell out of his head; and as he coming of Arthur was a grievous irritation threw himself on a slope of Rydal Fell, to the Lieutenant. It was no relief to and pulled out a flask of sherry and his him that his rival was disposed to remain cigar-case, he laughed aloud, and saidabsent. The very odd position in which “No, I had no notion we were so high. he was now placed made him long for Hee! that is a view—one does not see any result that would put an end to his that often in my country-all houses and suspense; and I think he was as anxious men swept away—you are alone in the about seeing Arthur as any of us—that is world—and all around is nothing but to say, presuming Arthur to be certain to mountains and lakes." come sooner or later. If it should hap- Indeed, there was away toward the pen that the dogcart had been upset south a network of hill and water that but there is no use in speculating on the no one but Bell would have picked to horrible selfishness that enters into the pieces for us—thin threads of silver lying hearts of young men who are in love and in long valleys, and mounds upon mounds jealous.
rising up into the clear blue sky that slopAll these things and many more the ed down to the white line of the sea. young Prussian revealed to the sympa- Coniston we could make out, and Winthetic silence of Grasmere and the fair dermere we knew. Esthwaite we guessgreen mountains around, as he and I set ed at; but of what avail was guessing, out for a long walk. The women had when we came to that wild and beautiful gone to pay visits in the village and its panorama beyond and around? neighborhood. It seemed a pity to waste The Lieutenant's eyes went back to so beautiful a day in going into a series of Grasmere. houses; but my Lady was inexorable “ How long is it you think Madame will whenever she established to her own satis- pay her visits ?” faction that she owed a certain duty. « Till the afternoon, probably. They
The Lieutenant bade Bell good-by will lunch with some of their friends." with a certain sadness in his tone. He “ And we do we climb any more mounwatched them go down the white road, in tains ?” the glare of the sunshine, and then he “ This is not a mountain-it is a hill. turned with a listless air to set out on his We shall climb or go down again, just as pilgrimage into the hills. Of what avail you please.” was it that the lake out there shone a “There is nothing else to do but to wait deep and calm blue under the clear sky, if we go down ?" hat the reflection of the wooded island “I suppose you mean waiting for the t