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the novel heartsease


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Title:HeartseaseorBrother’sWife
Author:CharlotteM.Yonge
April,2001[Etext#2601]


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HeartseaseorBrother’sWife
byCharlotteM.Yonge


PARTI
AndMaidenscallthemLoveinIdleness.
MidsummerNight’sDream


CHAPTER1
TherearenoneofEngland’sdaughtersthatbearaprouderpresence.
*****
Andakinglybloodsendsglancesup,herprincelyeyetotrouble,Andthe
shadowofamonarch’scrownissoftenedinherhair.
ELIZABETHBARRETTBROWNING

Thesunshoneslantingoveraspaciouspark,theundulatinggroundhereturning
abroadlawntowardsthebeamsthatsilveredeverybladeofgrass;there,curving
awayinbanksofvelvetgreen;shadowedbythetrees;gnarledoldthornsinthe
holidaysuitwhencetheytaketheirname,giant’snosegaysofhorse-chestnuts,
mightyelmsandstalwartoaks,singlyoringroups,thearistocracyoftheplace;
whileinthebackgroundrosewoodedcoverts,whereeverytintofearlygreen
blendedinrichmassesofvariedfoliage.
Anavenue,nearlyhalfamileinlength,consistedofaquadruplerangeof
splendidlimetreesofuniformgrowth,thesidearcadesvaultedoverbythe
meetingbranches,andthecentralroad,wherethesamelightsandshadowswere
againandagainrepeated,conductingtheeyeindiminishingperspectivetoa
mansiononabroadbaseofstonesteps.Herdsofcattle,horses,anddeer,gave
animationtothescene,andneartheavenuewereapartyofvillagechildren
runningaboutgatheringcowslips,orseatedonthegrass,devouringsubstantial
plumbuns.
Underalordlyelmsatamaidenofaboutnineteenyears;atherfeetaSkye
terrier,likeawalkingdoor-mat,withafierceanddrollcountenance,andbyher
sideagirlandboy,theonesicklyandpoorlyclad,theotherwithbrightinquiring
eyes,strivingtocompensateforthewantofotherfaculties.Shewasteaching
themtoformthatdelightofchildhood,acowslipball,theotherchildren
supplyingherwithhandfulsofthegold-coatedflowers,andreturningapullof
theforelockorabobbedcurtseytohersmilingthanks.


Herdresswasofaplainbrown-hollandlookingmaterial,thebonnetshehad
thrownoffwasofthecoarseststraw,butherwholeairdeclaredherthedaughter
ofthatlordlyhouse;andhadgoldandrubiesbeenlaidbeforeherinsteadof
cowslipswithfairyfavours,theywouldwellhavebecomeherprincelyport,
longneck,andstatelyhead,crownedwithabraidofherprofuseblackhair.That
regallookwasmoreremarkableinherthanbeauty;herbrowwastoohigh,her
featuresnotquiteregular,hercomplexionofgypsydarkness,butwithaglowof
eyesverylarge,black,anddeeplyset,naturallygraveinexpression,butjustnow
beaminganddancinginaccordancewiththeencouragingsmilesonherfresh,
healthy,redlips,asherhands,verysoftanddelicate,thoughoflargeandstrong
make,completedtheball,threwitinthelittleboy’sface,andlaughedtoseehis
ecstasyoverthedeliciousprize;teachinghimtoplaywithit,tossingit
backwardsandforwards,shakinghimintoanimation,andeverandanonchasing
herlittledogtoextractitfrombetweenhisteeth.
Suddenlyshebecameawareofthepresenceofaspectator,andinstantly
assumingherbonnet,anddrawinguphertallfigure,sheexclaimed,inatoneof
welcome:
‘Oh,Mr.Wingfield,youarecometoseeourcowslipfeast.’
‘Thereseemstobegreatenjoyment,’repliedtheyoungcurate,looking,however,
somewhatpreoccupied.
‘LookatCharlieLayton,’saidshe,pointingtothedumbboy.‘Thatballis
perfectfelicity,hehadrathernotplaywithit,thedelightismerepossession.’
Shewasturningtotheboyagain,whenMr.Wingfieldsaid,notwithout
hesitation—‘YouhavenotheardwhentoexpectyourpartyfromMadeira?’
‘Youknowwecannothearagain.Theyweretosailbythenextpacket,anditis
uncertainhowsoontheymayarrive.’
‘And—and—yourbrotherArthur.Doyouknowwhenhecomeshome?’
‘Hepromisedtocomethisspring,butIfancyCaptainFitzhughhasinveigled
himsomewheretofish.Heneverwrites,sohemaycomeanyday.Butwhat—is
anythingthematter?’
‘Ihavealetterherethat—which—inLordMartindale’sabsence,Ithoughtit
mightbebetter—youmightprefermycomingdirecttoyou.Icannotbutthink


youshouldbeaware’—stammeredMr.Wingfield.
‘Well,’—shesaid,haughtily.
‘Hereisaletterfrommycousin,whohasacuracyintheLakecountry.Your
brotherisatWrangerton,thenexttown.’
‘Arthuriswell?’criedshe,starting.
‘Yes,yes,youneednotbealarmed,butIamafraidthereissomeentanglement.
TherearesomeMissMosses—’
‘Oh,itisthatkindofthing!’saidshe,inanalteredtone,hercheeksglowing;‘it
isverysillyofhimtogethimselftalkedabout;butofcourseitisallnothing.’
‘IwishIcouldthinkso,’saidMr.Wingfield;‘but,indeed,MissMartindale,’for
shewasreturningtothechildren,‘Iamafraiditisaseriousmatter.Thefatheris
adesigningperson.’
‘Arthurwillnotbetakenin,’washerfirstcalmanswer;butperceivingthecurate
unconvinced,thoughunwillingtocontradict,sheadded,‘Butwhatisthestory?’
Mr.Wingfieldproducedtheletterandread;‘Fanshawe,thecurateof
Wrangerton,hasjustbeenwithme,tellingmehisrectorisinmuchdifficultyand
perplexityaboutasonofyourparishioner,LordMartindale.Hecameto
Wrangertonwithanotherguardsmanforthesakeofthefishing,andhasbeen
drawnintoanengagementwithoneofthedaughtersofoldMoss,whomanages
theSt.Ermeproperty.Iknownothingagainsttheyoungladies,indeedFanshawe
speakshighlyofthem;butthefatherisadisreputablesortofattorney,whohas
takenadvantageofLordSt.Erme’sabsenceandneglecttomakeapreyofthe
estate.Themarriageistotakeplaceimmediately,andpoorMr.Jonesisinmuch
distressatthedreadofbeingaskedtoperformtheceremony,withouttheconsent
oftheyoungman’sfamily.’
‘Hecannotdoit,’exclaimedtheyounglady;‘youhadbetterwriteandtellhim
so.’
‘Iamafraid,’saidMr.Wingfield,diffidently,‘Iamafraidhehasnopowerto
refuse.’


‘Notinsuchacaseasthis?Itishisdutytoputastoptoit.’
‘Allthatisinhispowerhewilldo,nodoubt,byreasoningandremonstrance;
butyoumustrememberthatyourbrotherisofage,andiftheyounglady’s
parentsconsent,Mr.Joneshasnochoice.’
‘Icouldnothavebelievedit!However,itwillnotcometothat:itisonlytheold
rector’sfancy.TomakeeverythingsecureIwillwritetomybrother,andwe
shallsoonseehimhere.’
‘Thereisstillanhourbeforepost-time,’saidMr.Wingfield;‘shallIsendthe
childrenhome?’
‘No,poorlittlethings,letthemfinishtheirgame.Thankyouforcomingtome.
Myauntwill,Ihope,hearnothingofit.Goodevening.’
Callinganeldergirl,shegavesomedirections;andMr.Wingfieldwatchedher
walkingdowntheavenuewithalight-footedbutdecidedandcharacteristic
tread,expressingineverystep,‘WhereIamgoing,thereIwillgo,andnothing
shallstopme.’
‘Nonsense!’shesaidtoherself;‘Arthurcannotbesolosttothesenseof
everythingbecoming.Suchpaincannotbeinstoreforme!AnythingelseIcould
bear;butthismustnot,cannot,shallnotbe.ArthurisallIhave;Icannotspare
him;andtoseehimshipwreckedonalow-breddesigningcreaturewouldbetoo
muchmisery.Impossible—soclear-headedasheis,sofastidiousaboutwomen!
Andyetthisletterspokedecidedly.Peopletalkoflove!andArthurissoeasy,he
wouldlethimselfbedrawnonratherthanmakeadisturbance.Hemightbe
ensnaredwithhiseyesopen,becausehedislikedthetroubleofbreakingloose,
andsowouldnotthinkoftheconsequence.Nothingcouldsavehimsowellas
someonegoingtohim.Hecanreadaletterornotashechooses.Oh,ifpapa
wereathome—oh,ifMr.WingfieldwerebutPercyFotheringham—hewho
fearsnoman,andcanmanageanyone!Oh!ifIcouldgomyself;heheedsme
whenheheedsnooneelse.ShallIgo?Whynot?Itwouldsavehim;itwouldbe
theonlyeffectualway.Letmesee.IwouldtakeSimmondsandPauline.But
thenImustexplaintomyaunt.Stuff!therearerealinterestsatstake!Suppose
thisisexaggeration—why,then,Ishouldberidiculous,andArthurwouldnever
forgetit.Besides,IbelieveIcannotgetthereinoneday—certainlynotreturn
thesame.Imustgivewaytoconventionalities,andbeahelplessyounglady.’


Shereachedthehouse,andquicklydashedoffherletter:—

‘MyDearArthur,—Ihopeandtrustthislettermaybequiteuncalledfor,though
Ifeelitmydutytowriteit.Iusedtohavesomeinfluencewithyou,andIshould
thinkthatanythingthatremindedyouofhomewouldmakeyoupause.
‘Reporthasofcourseoutrunthetruth.Itisimpossibleyoushouldbeonthe
brinkofmarriagewithoutlettingusknow—asmuchso,Ishouldtrust,asyour
seriouslycontemplatinganengagementwithonebeneathyournotice.Idaresay
youfinditverypleasanttoamuseyourself;butconsider,beforeyouallow
yourselftoformanattachment—Iwillnotsaybeforebecomingavictimto
sordidspeculation.YouknowwhatpoorJohnhasgonethrough,thoughthere
wasnoinferioritythere.Thinkwhatyouwouldhavetobearforthesake,
perhaps,ofaprettyface,butofapersonincapableofbeingacompanionor
comfort,andwhomyouwouldbeashamedtoseebesideyourownfamily.Or,
supposingyourownaffectionsuntouched,whatrighthaveyoutotriflewiththe
feelingsofapoorgirl,andraiseexpectationsyoucannotandoughtnottofulfil?
Youaretookind,whenonceyoureflect,toinflictsuchpain,you,whocannot
helpbeingloved.Comeawaywhileitistime;comehome,andhavethemeritof
self-sacrifice.Ifyourfancyissmitten,itwillrecoverinitspropersphere.Ifit
costsyoupain,youknowtowhomyouhavealwayshithertoturnedinyour
vexations.DearArthur,donotruinyourself;onlycomebacktome.Writeat
once;Icannotbearthesuspense.
‘Yourmostaffectionatesister,
‘THEODORAA.MARTINDALE.’

Shemadetwocopiesofthisletter;oneshedirectedto‘TheHon.Arthur
Martindale,GrenadierGuards,Winchester;’theother,‘Post-Office,Wrangerton.’
Inrathermorethanaweekshewasanswered:—

‘MyDearTheodora,—YoujudgedrightlythatIamnomantotrifle,ortoraise
expectationswhichIdidnotmeantofulfil.MywifeandIareatMatlockfora


fewdaysbeforejoiningatWinchester.
‘Youraffectionatebrother,
‘ARTHURN.MARTINDALE,’


CHAPTER2
She’slessofabridethanabairn,She’sta’enlikeacoltfromtheheather,With
senseanddiscretiontolearn.
AchielmaunbepatientandsteadyThatyokeswithamateinherteens.Woo’d
andMarriedandA’
JOANNABAILLIE

AgentlemanstoodwaitingatthedoorofahousenotfarfromtheWinchester
barracks.
‘Ismybrotherathome,James?’astheservantgaveastartofsurpriseand
recognition.
‘No,sir;heisnotinthehouse,butMrs.—;willyouwalkin?IhopeIseeyou
better,sir.’
‘Muchbetter,thankyou.DidyousayMrs.Martindalewasathome?’
‘Yes,sir;Mr.Arthurwillsoonbehere.Won’tyouwalkin?’
‘Issheinthedrawing-room?’
‘No,Idonotthinkso,sir.Shewentupstairswhenshecamein.’
‘Verywell.I’llsendupmycard,’saidhe,entering,andthemanashetookit,
said,withemphasis,andapleadinglook,‘Sheisaveryniceyounglady,sir,’
thenopenedaroomdoor.
Hesuddenlyannounced,‘Mr.Martindale,’andthatgentlemanunexpectedly
foundhimselfinthepresenceofayounggirl,whoroseinsuchconfusionthathe
couldnotlookatherasheshookherbythehand,saying,‘IsArthurnearhome?’
‘Yes—no—yes;atleast,he’llcomesoon,’wasthereply,asifshehardlyknew


whatherwordswere.
‘Wereyougoingout?’heasked,seeingabonnetonthesofa.
‘No,thankyou,—atleastImean,I’mjustcomein.Hewenttospeaktosome
one,andIcametofinishmyletter.He’llsooncome,’saidshe,withtherapidillassuredmannerofaschool-girlreceivinghermamma’svisitors.
‘Don’tletmeinterruptyou,’saidhe,takingupabook.
‘Ono,no,thankyou,’criedshe,inatremorlestsheshouldhavebeenuncivil.‘I
didn’tmean—I’veplentyoftime.‘Tisonlytomyhome,andtheyhavehadone
bytheearlypost.’
Hesmiled,saying,‘Youareagoodcorrespondent.’
‘Oh!Imustwrite.AnnetteandIwereneverapartbefore.’
‘Yoursister?’
‘Yes,onlyayearolder.Wealwaysdideverythingtogether.’
Heventuredtolookup,andsawabrightdewonasoft,shadypairofdarkeyes,
asweetquiveringsmileonaveryprettymouth,andaglowofpurebrightdeep
pinkonamostdelicatelyfairskin,contrastedwithbraidsofdarkbrownhair.
Shewasratherabovetheordinaryheight,slender,andgraceful,andthechildish
beautyoftheformorfaceandfeaturessurprisedhim;buttohismindthechief
gracewastheshy,sweettenderness,happyandbright,buttremulouswiththe
recentpainofthepartingfromhome.Withakindlyimpulse,hesaid,‘Youmust
tellmeyourname,Arthurhasnotmentionedit.’
‘Violet;’andashedidnotappearatoncetocatchitsunusualsound,she
repeated,‘VioletHelen;wemostofushavestrangenames.’
‘VioletHelen,’herepeated,withanintonationasifstruck,notunpleasingly,by
thesecondname.‘Well,thatisthecaseinourfamily.Mysisterhasan
uncommonname.’
‘Theodora,’saidViolet,pausing,asiftootimidtoinquirefurther.


‘Haveyouonlythisonesister?’hesaid.
‘Six,andonebrother,’saidshe,inatoneofexultingfondness.Ashortsilence,
andthenthejoyfulexclamation,‘Thereheis!’andshesprangtothedoor,
leavingitopen,asherfreshyoungvoiceannounced,fullofgratulation,‘Here’s
yourbrother.’
‘Guilelessandunconsciousofevil,poorchild!’thoughtthebrother;‘butI
wonderhowArthurlikesthenews.’
Arthurentered,afine-lookingyoungman,ofthree-and-twenty,dark,bright
complexioned,tall,androbust.Heshowednottheleastconsciousnessofhaving
offended,andhisbridesmiledfreelyasifatrestfromallembarrassmentnow
thatshehadherprotector.
‘Well,John,’washisgreeting,warmlyspoken.‘Youhere?Youlookbetter.How
isthecough?’
‘Better,thankyou.’
‘IseeIneednotintroduceyou,’saidArthur,layinghishandonthearmofhis
blushingViolet,whoshrankuptohimashegaveashortlaugh.‘Haveyoubeen
herelong?’
‘Onlyaboutfiveminutes.’
‘Andyouarecometostay?’
‘Thankyou,ifyoucantakemeinforadayortwo.’
‘Thatwecan.Thereisatolerablespareroom,andJameswillfindaplacefor
Brown.Iamgladtoseeyoulookingsomuchbetter.Haveyougotridofthepain
inyourside?’
‘Entirely,thankyou,forthelastfewweeks.’
‘Howismymother?’
‘Verywell.Sheenjoyedthevoyageextremely.’


‘Shewon’tconcoctanotherTour?’
‘Idon’tthinkso,’saidJohn,gravely.
‘TherehasSHE,’indicatinghiswife,beenthinkingitherdutytoreadtheold
Italianone,whichIneveropenedinmylife.Ideclareitwouldtakeadictionary
tounderstandapage.Sheisscaredatthevarietyoftongues,andfeelsasifshe
wasinBabel.’
Johnwasthinkingthatifhedidnotknowthisrattlingtalktobeaformof
embarrassment,heshouldtakeitforeffrontery.
‘ShallIgoandseeabouttheroom?’half-whisperedViolet.
‘Yes,do;’andheopenedthedoorforher,exclaiming,almostbeforeshewas
fairlygone,‘There!youwantnomoreexplanation.’
Sheisverylovely!’saidJohn,inatonefullofcordialadmiration.
‘Isn’tshe?’continuedArthur,triumphantly.‘Suchanout-of-the-waystyle;—the
darkeyesandhair,withthatexquisitecomplexion,ivoryfairness,—theformof
herfacetheperfectoval!—whatyousoseldomsee—andherfigure,justthe
rightheight,tallandtaper!Idon’tbelieveshecouldbeawkwardifshewasto
try.She’llbeateverycreaturehollow,especiallyinafewyears’timewhenshe’s
alittlemoreformed.’
‘Sheisveryyoung?’
‘Sixteenonourwedding-day.That’sthebeautyofit.Ifshehadbeenadayolder
itwouldhavebeenadifferentthing.Notthattheycouldhavespoilther,—sheis
athoroughbredbynature,andnomistake.’
‘Howdidyouracquaintancebegin?’
‘Thisway,’saidArthur,leaningback,andtwirlingachairononeofitslegsfora
pivot.‘Fitzhughwouldhavemecomedownforafortnight’sfishingto
Wrangerton.There’sbutoneinntherefittoputadogtosleepin,andwhenwe
gottherewefoundthehouseturnedoutofwindowforaball,allthepartitions
downonthefirstfloor,andwedrivenintoholestoberegaledwithdistant
fiddle-squeak.SoFitzhugh’sIrishbloodwasupforadance,andIthoughtI


mightaswellgiveintoit,forthefloorshooksothattherewasnotakingacigar
inpeace.Soyouseethestarsordainedit,anditisofnousemakingarowabout
one’sdestiny,’concludedArthur,inasleepyvoice,ceasingtospinthechair.
‘Thatwasyourfirstintroduction?’
‘Ay.Afterthat,onewasmeetingtheMossesforever;indeed,wehadtocallon
theoldfellowtogetleaveforfishinginthatwaterofLordSt.Erme’s.Hehasa
veryprettysortoflittleplaceoutofthetownclosetothepark,and—and
somehowtheweatherwastoobrightforanysport,andthestreamledbytheir
garden.’
‘Iperceive,’saidJohn.
‘Well,IsawIwasinforit,andhadnothingforitbuttogothroughwithit.
Anythingforaquietlife.’
‘Anewmodeofsecuringit,’saidJohn,indignantathisnonchalance.
‘Thereyoudon’tdisplayyourwontedsagacity,’returnedArthurcoolly.‘You
littleknowwhatIhavegonethroughonyouraccount.Ifyouhadbeensoundwinded,youwouldhavesavedmenoendofpersecution.’
‘Youhavenotavoidedspeculationasitis,’Johncouldnothelpsaying.
‘Ibegtoobservethatyouaremistaken.OldMossisascunningafoxasever
lived;butIsawhisgame,andwithoutmyowngoodwillhemighthavewhistled
forme.Isawwhathewasupto,andlethimknowit,butasIwasalways
determinedthatwhenImarrieditshouldbetopleasemyself,notmyaunt,Ilet
thingstaketheircourseandsavedtherowathome.’
‘Iamsuresheknewnothingofthis.’
‘She?Blessyou,poorchild.Sheisasinnocentasalamb,andonlythinksmeall
theheroesintheworld.’
‘Shedidnotknowmyfatherwasignorantofit?’
‘Notshe.Shedoesnotknowittothisday.’Johnsatthinking;Arthurtwirledthe
chair,thensaid,‘Thatisthefact.Isupposemyaunthadanicestoryforyou.’


‘Itagreedinthemainwithyours.’
‘Iwasunlucky,’saidArthur,‘Imeanttohavebroughtherhomebeforemyaunt
andTheodorahadanynewsofit.Icouldhavegotroundthemthatway,but
somehowTheodoragotscentofit,andwrotemeafuriousletter,fullof
denunciation—twoofthem—theyhuntedmeeverywhere,soIsawitwasnouse
goingthere.’
‘Sheismuchhurtatyourletter.Icanseethatsheis,thoughshetriestohideher
feelings.Shewaslookingquitepalewhenwecamehome,andIcanhardlybear
toseethestruggletolookcomposedwhenyouarementioned.’
Thisevidentlyproducedsomecompunction,butArthurtriedtogetridofit.‘I
amsuretherewasnothingtotaketoheartinit—wasthere,John?’
‘Idon’tknow.Shehadburntitwithoutlettinganyoneseeit;anditwasonly
throughmyauntthatwelearntthatshehadreceivedit.’
‘Well!hertemperisup,andIamsorryforit,’saidArthur.‘IforgetwhatIsaid.I
daresayitwasnomorethanshedeserved.Igotoneoftheseremonstrancesof
hersatWrangerton,onthedaybefore,andanotherfollowedmeacoupleofdays
aftertoMatlock,soIcouldnothavethatgoingonforever,andwroteofftoput
astoptoit.Butwhatdoeshislordshipsay?’
‘Doyouwishhimtoforgiveornot?’saidhisbrother,nearlyoutofpatience.
‘Ofcourse—Iknewhewould,hecan’tleaveuswithnothingtoliveon.There’s
nothingtobedonebuttogothroughtheforms,andIamquiteready.Come,
what’stheuseoflookingintenselydisgusted?Nowyouhaveseenher,youdon’t
expectmetoprofessthatIamverysorry,and“willneverdosonomore.”’
‘Isaynothingagainsther,butthewayofdoingit.’
‘Somuchtroublesaved.Besides,ItellyouIamreadytomakewhatever
apologymyfatherlikesforapreliminary.’
Hisbrotherlookedvexed,anddroppedtheconversation,waitingtoseemoreof
thebridebeforeheshouldformanopinion.
Itwasseeingratherthanhearing,forshewasinmuchaweofhim,blushedmore


thanshespoke,andseemedtakenupbythefearofdoingsomething
inappropriate,constantlyturningwistfulinquiringlookstowardsherhusband,to
seekencouragementordirection,butitwasabecomingconfusion,andbyno
meanslessenedthefavourableimpression.
‘ThenextmorningArthurwasengaged,andlefthertobetheguidetothe
cathedral,whereatshelookedshyandfrightened,butMr.Martindalesethimself
toreassureher,andthepolishedgentlenessofhismannersoonsucceeded.
Theystoodonthehill,overlookingthetownandthevaleofItchen,winding
awaytilllostbetweenthegreendownsthatarosebehindtheircrestedneighbour,
St.Catherine’sHill,andinthevalleybeneathreposedthegraycathedral’s
lengthenednaveandsquaretower,itslesserlikeness,St.Cross,andthe
pinnaclesoftheCollegetower.
‘Averyprettyview,’saidMr.Martindale.
‘Theoldbuildingsareveryfine,butitisnotlikeourownhills.’
‘No,itishardonHampshiredownstocomparethemtoCumberlandmountains.’
‘Butitissosunnyandbeautiful,’saidthebrightyoungbride.‘Seethesunshine
onthegreenmeadows,andthehaymaking.Oh!Ishallalwaysloveit.’John
heardagreatdealofhappinessinthosewords.‘Ineversawacathedralbefore,’
sheadded.
‘Haveyoubeenoverthisone?’
‘Yes,butitwillbesuchatreattogoagain.Onecan’ttakeaquarterofitinat
once.’
‘No,ittakeshalfalifetimetolearnacathedralproperly.’
‘Itisawonderfulthing,’shesaid,withthesameseriousface;then,changingher
tonetooneofeagerness,‘IwanttofindBishopFox’stomb,forhewasanorthcountrybishop.’
Johnsmiled.‘Youareperfectinthecathedralhistory.’
‘Iboughtalittlebookaboutit.’


Herknowledgewas,hefound,inagirlishstateofkeeninterest,andnot
deficient,butwhatpleasedhimbestwasthat,astheyenteredandstoodatthe
westdoor,lookingdownthewholemagnificentlengthofnave,choir,and
chapel,theembowedroofhighabove,sustainedonmassivepillars,sheuttereda
lowmurmurof‘beautiful!’andtherewasaheartfeltexpressionofaweand
reverenceonherface,alookasofraptthought,chasedawayinamomentbyhis
eye,andgivingplacetoquietpensiveness.Aftertheservicetheywentoverthe
building;butthougheagerforinformation,thegravitydidnotleaveher,nordid
shespeakatoncewhentheyemergedintotheClose.
‘Itisveryimpressive,’saidJohn.
‘Isupposeyouhaveseenagreatmanycathedrals?’
‘Yes,manyforeignones,andafewEnglish.’
‘Iwonderwhetherseeingmanymakesonefeelthesameasseeingone.’
‘Howdoyoumean?’
‘IdonotthinkIcouldevercareforanotherlikethisone.’
‘Asyourfirst?’
‘Yes;ithasmademeunderstandbetterwhatbookssayaboutchurches,andtheir
beinglike—’
‘Like?’
Shechangedhersentence.‘Itmakesonethink,andwanttobegood.’
‘Itiswhatalltrulybeautifulthingsshoulddo’saidJohn.
‘Oh!Iamgladyousayso,’exclaimedViolet.‘ItislikewhatAnnetteandIhave
wonderedabout—Imeanwhyfinestatuesorpictures,oranythingofthatkind,
shouldmakeonefeelhalfsadandhalfthoughtfulwhenonelooksatthemlong.’
‘Perhapsbecauseitisastrainingaftertheonlytruebeauty.’
‘ImusttellAnnettethat.Itwasshethatsaiditwasso,’saidViolet;‘andwe


wonderedGreekstatuesgaveonethatfeeling,butIseeitmustbethereason.’
‘Whatstatueshaveyouseen?’
‘ThoseatWrangertonHouse.LordSt.Ermeisalwayssendingcaseshome,and
itissuchafestivaldaytogoupandseethemunpacked,andCarolineand
Annettegoandtakedrawings,andIliketowanderabouttherooms,andlookat
everything,’saidViolet,growingtalkativeonthethemeofhome.‘Thereisone
pictureIlikeaboveall,butthatisasacredsubject,sonowonderitshouldhave
thatfeelinginit.’
‘Whatisit?’
‘ItisaMadonna,’shesaid,loweringhervoice.‘Astiffold-fashionedone,in
beautiful,bright,clearcolouring.TheChildisreachingouttoembracealittle
cross,andhisMotherholdshimtowardsitwithsuchasadbutsuchaholyface,
asifsheforebodedall,andwasreadytobearit.’
‘Ah!thatGhirlandajo?’
‘Thatisthename!’criedViolet,enchanted.‘Haveyouseenit?’
‘IsawLordSt.Ermebuyit.’
‘DoyouknowLordSt.Erme?’saidViolet,ratherawe-struck.
‘IusedtomeethiminItaly.’
‘Wewishsomuchthathewouldcomehome.Wedosowanttoseeapoet.’
Johnsmiled.‘Isheneverathome?’
‘O,no,hehasneverbeenatWrangertonsincehisfatherdied,twelveyearsago.
Hedoesnotliketheplace,soheonlycomestoLondonwhenheisinEngland,
andpapagoesuptomeethimonbusiness,butheistoopoeticaltoattendtoit.’
‘Ishouldguessthat.’
‘Ihavedonewrong,saidViolet,checkingherself;‘Ishouldnothavesaidthat.
Mammatoldusthatweoughtnevertochatterabouthisconcerns.Willyou,


please,notrememberthatIsaidit?’
Asfarastheouterworldisconcerned,Icertainlywillnot,’saidJohnkindly.
‘Youcannottooearlylearndiscretion.SothatpictureisatWrangerton?’
‘Iamsogladyoulikedit.’
‘Ilikeditwellenoughtowishforafewsparehundreds,butitseemstohave
affordednomorepleasuretohimthanithasgiventome.Iamgladitisgone
wherethereissomeonewhocanappreciateit.’
‘Oh,saidViolet,’Matildaknowsallaboutthebestpictures.Wedon’tappreciate,
youknow,weonlylike.’
‘Andyourchieflikingisforthatone?’
‘Itismorethanliking,’saidViolet;‘Icouldcallitloving.Itisalmostthesameto
measHelvellyn.AnnetteandIwenttothehouseforonelookmoremylast
eveningathome.Imusttellherthatyouhaveseenit!’andthespringingsteps
grewsorapid,thathercompanionhadtosay,‘Don’tletmedetainyou,Iam
obligedtogogentlyup-hill.’Shecheckedhersteps,abashed,andpresently,with
ashybutveryprettyaction,heldoutherarm,sayingtimidly,‘Wouldithelpyou
toleanonme?Ioughtnottohavebroughtyouthissteepway.MatildasaysI
skurrylikeaschool-girl.’
Hesawitwouldconsolehertoletherthinkherselfofserviceandacceptedof
theslenderpropforthefewstepsthatremained.Hethenwentupstairstowrite
letters,butfindingnoink,cametothedrawing-roomtoaskherforsome.She
hadonlyherowninkstand,whichwassupplyingherlettertoAnnette,andhesat
downattheoppositesideofthetabletoshareit.Herpenwentmuchfasterthan
his.‘CliftonTerrace,Winchester,’and‘Mydearfather—Icamehereyesterday,
andwasmostagreeablysurprised,’wasallthathehadindited,whenhepaused
toweighwhatwashisrealviewofthemeritsofthecase,andponderwhether
hispresentfeelingwassoberjudgment,orthenoveltyofthebewitching
prettinessofthisinnocentandgraciouscreature.Thereherested,musing,while
fromherpenflowedadescriptionofherwalkandofMr.Martindale’sbrother.
‘Iftheyarealllikehim,Ishallbeperfectlyhappy,’shewrote.‘Ineversawany
onesokindandconsiderate,andsogentle;onlynowandthenhefrightensme,
withhispoliteness,orperhapspolishistherightword,itmakesmefeelmyself
rudeanduncourteousandawkward.Yousaidnothinggaveyousomuchthe


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