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been dismissed to play while he examined mature — time would tell; the description Mrs. Woods' accounts, a superfluous pro- of the father had been but too fully justified ceeding on which she always insisted. by facts. * Don't you think so ? He looks so intelli- • I have no particular intentions about the gent, and speaks so sharply.'
boy,' Mr. Eliot Foster said after a pause; • Yes,' said Mrs. Wood, composedly and you must not keep him if you come to resting her firmly-folded hands upon the ta- dislike doing so.' Then they talked of other ble before her; he is a clever child, but matters, and the subject dropped. of a bad disposition. I never make up my Time went on with sure, imperceptible mind quickly, and I have taken time to speed, and the children grew and prospered come to that conclusion; he is an ill-tem- under the dull but careful rule of the widow. pered child, and cruel in his ways. I am Mr. Eliot Foster made no sign, and had no glad he is not my Alice's brother.'
sign made to him. He had a vague kind of Glad he is not your own son, you mean, acquaintance with the affairs and the doings I should think,' said Mr. Eliot Foster. "A of the Havilands; but his interest in them son can make a mother more unhappy than was very moderate, and easily satisfied with it brother can make a sister.'
the meagre and infrequent details conveyed Yes,' again assented Mrs. Wood; but to him by his steadily faithful client, Frank it does not so much matter for me as for Burdett. Time produced its invariable Alice. She is a sensitive child, and will be effect on his mind. The keen impression a very sensitive woman, easily made to suf- which the charge he had undertaken, and
the conduct of the woman he had loved • Do you mean,' said Mr. Eliot Foster against his conscience, bis judgment, and rather hastily, that you do not like to have his will — thus unconsciously resembling the boy here; that he makes you uncom- Hugh Gaynor, of whose existence he was igfortable and teazes your child? Because norant - and had loved in vain, was fading if so, pray let me make some other arrange- away. The widow and the children had ment. What you say about the boy annoys considerable interest for him ; but the feel. me; I hoped he would prove a good little ing had little reference to the boy's story, fellow; but you must not suffer by him, you and none to the romantic association which must not sacrifice yourself.'
had once attached itself to him. Alice • Pardon me,' said Mrs. Wood, interrupt- Wood found her way to the lawyer's heart ing bim; • I did not mean anything.of the after a fashion which he hardly understood. kind. I require the money you pay me for The little girl was beautiful beyond the ortaking care of Henry Hurst to enable me to dinary beauty of pretty children, endowed live, and if you remove him I should be with a fragile grace and a sweet pensive forced to seek another boarder in his place; loveliness which might have made a less the child's disposition makes no difference matter-of-fact mother than Mary Wood in my circumstances or in my duty. If you keenly unquiet — might have filled her with are satisfied with my care of him, I have no foreboding, and the agony of an inexplicawish for his removal. I only tell you what ble fear. The child, despite the plain homeI do because — remember, I am not prying liness of her cottage-home, and the humble into your present or future intentions about surroundings and routine of her everyday the boy - you had better know what he life, was a perfect little lady; not in the promises to be: handsome, clever, and vi- fantastic selfishness to which that term is cious.
sometimes applied, but in the natural grace, Mr. Eliot Foster looked serious, and re-observance, and consideration of her bear; mained silent for a few minutes; he was ing, as well as in the delicate and refined thinking of the feelings which the child's exterior, in which no resemblance to her mother had expressed to him, of the repul- mother was to be traced. The little girl's sion with which he had filled her, and of the face — not rosy, and yet not pale with the description she had once given him of her pallor of ill-health, but with a transparent husband, this boy's father. No two women clearness of complexion - was mild and in the world could be less alike in outward thoughtful, and her slight figure and gentle form, in mind, and in mode of speech than movements had all the limber, supple ease were Julia and Mrs. Wood; but it was a of childhood without its boisterousness. remarkable coincidence that they had both She was a child whom no one could have used the same words in speaking to Mr. passed unnoticed, but whom no · keen obEliot Foster — handsome, clever, and vi- server could have seen without perceiving cious. To father and to son this phrase that there was too much sensitiveness, too had been applied. The judgment passed much fancy, too early a turn for reverie upon the child might be rash, might be pre- about her, to bode her good in the world, where life for one of her condition must, I his lessons,' would probably do well as an unless under strangely exceptional circum- artist, and asked him what he wished the stances, wear a very work-a-day and com- boy to be.' Mr. Eliot Foster replied that monplace aspect. Between Alice and her he had not thought of the matter; that dissurroundings, incongruity existed which cussion of it would be premature while Mr. Eliot Foster did not fail to see, and it Henry Hurst was so mere a child; but that gave him pleasure to procure for her such if he continued to manifest taste and talent small luxuries and indulgences as her moth- in that direction, there could be no objecer's pride did not interfere to forbid her tion to his pursuing an artist's career. There having. The little girl learned to love the would be a small sum of money forthcomgrave kind gentleman next after her mother ing to start him in life, enough to get him and the boy, who presented as remarkable taught, and set him up in paint-pots and a contrast to her in appearance as in dispo- brushes,' said the lawyer, whose compresition. The period of early childhood, all- hension of the requirements of an artist was important as it is, presents but few salient not extensive. Then they both smiled at features of interest in such a narrative as this; the idea of seriously discussing the prosit suffices to note the fact that, as Alice Wood pects of the child from the suggestion of made progress in the regard of Mr. Eliot his crude performances on his slate. It was Foster, Henry Hurst retrograded. He was a long time before the matter was again a handsome boy, dark-eyed, dark-haired, mooted, but in the discussion of that day dark-complexioned; and though in time was traced the vague outline of the disthe lawyer ceased to trace in his features owned child's future career. the resemblance to his father of which Julia The business which had brought Mr. Peyton had spoken with such strong dis- Eliot Foster to Lane Cottage on this day, gust, his countenance was none the more was also destined to have considerable inpleasing for the alteration. A physiogno- fluence on the future of the widow and her mist would have found nothing reassuring daughter. Among the lawyer's clients was in the shifting, shallow eyes, and the thin, a trustee of one of the numerous charitable compressed, finely cut lips — an artist little institutions at Coventry. This gentleman charm in the undeniable good looks, which had called upon Mr. Eliot Foster, and menbad a certain cachet of vulgarity. He had tioned that the post of matron to this instifair abilities, and profited satisfactorily by tution was vacant. Upon inquiry into the the elementary instruction, at the hands of emoluments and duties of the position, the Mrs. Wood, which he and Alice shared. lawyer had conceived the notion that it The first taste the boy gave any evidence would exactly suit Mrs. Wood, and that she of possessing was a taste for drawing, and would exactly suit it. Here would be a the widow was quick and pleased at per- tranquil and secure home for her, a respectceiving its indications. Among several av-able means of preserving the independence ocations adopted by the deceased Mr. which she prized so highly, and certain eduWood, and severally and successively aban-cational advantages for her daughter. There doned by him, in the course of his brief and was nothing in the duties of the position of remarkably-unlucky existence, that of a a menial character; the post had always drawing-master had perhaps been, on the been filled by reduced gentlewomen; and whole, the least complete failure, and his the institution was one which ranked high wife had taken some interest in his pro- among things of the sort. Mr. Eliot Foster ceedings in that capacity. She was there- explained the matter fully to Mrs. Wood, fore able to recognise the boy's taste, and it and told her that his client, being under obinterested her. One day, — when she had ligations to him, personal as well as profesbeen watching the two children, seated on sional, would procure the post for her, the edge of the little grass-plat which bor- should she, on consideration, let him know dered the narrow approach to the cottage- that she desired to accept the proposition. door, the boy busily drawing something Mrs. Wood received the lawyer's statement meant to represent a tree which adorned in her usual quiet way, and said she would the waste land on the opposite side of the think over it, and let Mr. Eliot Foster road, and the girl sitting beside him, her know. But,' she asked, 'what should be small hands folded, her little figure perfectly done, in case I made up my mind to go, still, her attitude expressive of the absorbed about Henry Hurst?? attention and content one sometimes sees in I have not thought about that,' said Mr. children's faces, — Mr. Eliot Foster ar- Foster. I ascertained that Alice might rived. After some general conversation, live with you — in fact, I should not have Mrs. Wood told the lawyer that Henry entertained the idea otherwise — and, by a Hurst, who was not anything wonderful at small deduction from your salary, be admit
ted to the educational advantages of the reached Coventry, where Mr. Eliot Foster institution; but I did not think about the had asked his friend to secure a lodging for boy. However, you must not consider the little party in the first instance. him, -I can place him elsewhere.'
| It had occasionally occurred to Mr. Eliot I should not like to part with him,' said Foster that there was just the possibility of Mrs. Wood, which was quite a warm ex- risk in the proximity of the Burdetts' resipression of feeling for her; 'could you dence to Lane Cottage. Mrs. Haviland not send him to some school near where I might, in process of time, and the success shall be, if I take this place, and let me still of her plan for amicable family relations, have the charge of him to some extent? — come to her sister-in-law's house, and might, of course, without payment; under any cir- in her drives or walks, see the child she had cumstances be would soon be beyond my banished. Suppose she did, and betrayed power of instruction.'
herself? 'Mr. Eliot Foster thought, and then • That is a capital idea,' said Mr. Eliot smiled at himself for conceiving the possiFoster; •I will make inquiries; I shall see bility of Julia's betraying herself. He Mr. Ratliff to-morrow, and ascertain what heard nothing of her directly, and but little can be done.'
indirectly, when Frank Burdett occasionally The lawyer's visit came to a close soon visited him, intent partly on business and after this, and Mrs. Wood was left to think partly on gossip, in which Mr. Burdett, who over the proposition made to her. Even on affected to despise such an occupation imthe surface it was a sufficiently-important mensely when indulged in by women, was one, involving a total change in her life, an adept. But Frank had never brought the assumption of new duties, and the forma- him the particular bit of news which he had tion of new ties. She shrunk from the step, sometimes fancied might produce a contrein some respects; being a woman who liked temps, and of late he had seen very little solitude and objected to change and strange of him. The time which had elapsed since faces; but the interests of her child pre- Frank Burdett had formed a certain suspivailed with her. I shall be able to make cion respecting the former state of Mr. Elfriends for Alice, and I cannot do that here,' \iot Foster's affections, to which that wary she thought; 'to make a home for her, to give solicitor was wholly unconscious of having her decent companionship, and to secure a furnished him with a clue, had not been unhumble but certain future for her when I eventful in the Burdett household. Society, shall be gone.'
the world, had experienced a heavy loss, Mrs. Wood was not destined to know the for which, strange to say, society and the full importance of the decision at which she world did not appear to be wholly inconsolarrived, to understand that she had lent a able. A Haviland had departed this life, helping hand to the structure Fate was rear- and it is to be hoped found the other ing, when she signified to Mr. Eliot Foster good enough, and sufficiently appreciative. that she had made up her mind, and grate- Frank Burdett was a widower - a state of fully accepted his offer.
things in which he at first found it very Alice Wood and Henry Hurst entered difficult to believe, and to which he afterwith the pleasure which any novelty brings wards found it unaccountable that he was to children into the preparations for their so easily reconciled. He had uneasy misdeparture from the cottage, which was the givings about himself. Had he been a great only home they could remember. They brute, a horrid unfeeling fellow, unworthy had but an imperfect notion of the approach of any woman, not to say of the incomparing separation, and to the boy the idea did able Selina, all this time, without knowing not convey anything terrible. The prelimi-it? Of course, he was very sorry, and all naries were not numerous or complicated. that; and a widower is a lonely, miserable, Mr. Eliot Foster signified his approbation poor devil always, even supposing he is not of Mrs. Wood's decision, and informed her the widower of a Haviland; but still he did that he had made inquiries, and found that get on, he did really, '“ a deuced deal too there was a school of the moderate preten- well, and I ought to be ashamed of myself,' sions to which alone he should aspire for the penitent Frank would admit to himself Henry Hurst, in the vicinity of Coventry with remorse, which in its turn was only too
I can procure him a sound practical ed-transient, after he had emerged from his seucation, I am told, at Mr. Copson's at Beck-clusion de rigueur, and found things in genthorpe, and he will be only a mile or so eral undeniably pleasant. Ile was very away from you.' Mrs. Wood did not en-glad when sufficient time had gone over lighten the boy as to the arrangements which after his sad bereavement to set his mind at had been made concerning him, — it would rest with regard to the unequivocal cheerbe time enough, she thought, when they | fulness of his demeanour, for he really
could not be doleful. A perfect Macchiavel •She does not mind the others much,' in the vanished days of his domestic bliss — said Frank. it is surprising what a tendency to make one •No, she likes to have little Madeline all tricky and insincere the household society to herself. And she is a nice child, Frank,' of very superior people has — Frank Bur- - and here Julia smiled significantly, dett lost the faculty of feigning when Selina which is odd, considering how much less was removed,' as the Havilands, who ob- of a Haviland she is than the others.' jected to death, and slurred over all men- “Isn't it odd ? ' replied Frank, with a sustion of it as much as possible, designated picious artlessness; . poor Selina said, when the occurrence. That Selina was mourned the baby was three days old, “ She's not the as much and as long as a Haviland ought least like a Haviland; quite a plain, comto be mourned by Havilands, none but ill-monplace child ; in fact, a perfect Burdett.”' regulated minds could possibly doubt; but •Let us hope she may improve,' said Julia, they had got it pretty comfortably over be- who longed to ask him how he dared to fore the widower returned from the conti- mention even a dead-and-gone Haviland as nental tour which had been unanimously' poor;' but was restrained by good taste. prescribed as the best means, combined with So, with very few more words, the matter time, to restore him.' The combination was arranged, and Frank soon began to exhad not only restored him, but rendered perience much satisfaction from the sort of him a more pleasant fellow'than he had vested interest he thus acquired at Meriton. ever been. Whether the security that noth- Mesdames Marsh and Fanshaw made many ing could restore Selina had anything to do objections to each other to this disposition with the happy result, was a question be- of dear Selina's precious legacy to them tween Frank and his conscience; and he sim- all,' by which .fancy name they designated ply did not ask it. Mrs. Burdett had died little Madeline. It is needless to recapitua few days after the birth of a daughter, and late these objections, but opportune to rein consequence, some ignorant persons af- mark upon the advantage of belonging to Girmed, of her practical adherence to cer- a faultless family. Had they been any but tain ideas prevalent among the Havilands, Havilands - Burdetts, for instance - these and not enforced by the Faculty of Medi- ladies might have been suspected of recine. “It's no use talking to her about garding the precious legacy with envious herself; indeed it's no use, Frank Burdett eyes, as likely to avert from Marsh and had said when the doctor had appealed to Fanshaw channels an undue proportion of him; if you knew what the Havilands are the childless Stephen's considerable and inyou wouldn't try."
creasing wealth. • But I do know what the Havilands are,' Of all these events Mr. Eliot Foster had was the answer; and I really must try.' been made aware, in outline, by Mr. Bur
The rash man did try, and failed. Selina dett, and the only point in the narrative had her own way about her food, her drink, upon which he had bestowed much thought and her sitting-up,' and Selina died; a was that of Julia Ilaviland's affection for consistent ending of a consistent life. It's the child. I don't understand her thora good thing she did not live another week,' oughly,' he thought; “I suppose I never was the mental comment of the doctor; 'or should understand her, or any woman, thothe child would have gone too. But the roughly. I should have imagined the very child, a pretty baby, whose name was Ma- sight of any child would be intolerable to deline, stayed, and found great favour in her. It is inexplicable ; but I suppose the the sight of Stephen and Julia Haviland, “ liking” she talked about feeling for her who had not taken much notice of Selina's rich husband has subsided, and even her elder children. When it was decreed that vain, strong, selfish nature feels the absoFrank was to go away to foreign climes, and lute need of some disinterested human inbe restored,' the child and her nurse were terest in her life; and she has debarred hertaken to Meriton, and after his return, as self from the true and natural one. Yes,' time went on, it became an understood thing - and Mr. Eliot Foster nodded his head that the little Madeline was to remain there. emphatically at the conclusion of the men• Stephen and I wish it,' Julia had said to tal pause - that's it, that explains it.' Frank, who had never wavered from the al- Only one circumstance worthy of record legiance into which she had at first fascina- took place before the removal of Mrs. ted him; and our mother wishes it. She Wood, Alice, and Henry Hurst from Lane is very fond of the child, and it grows more Cottage, and this was the manner of it. and more difficult to amuse and interest The flitting was to take place in the early her.'
| autumn, and the weather was extremely fine. The children, who had been granted what was passing. Leaning back in her on one occasion, when their absence much carriage, with her accustomed grace, but facilitated the operations of Mrs. Wood, more than her usual listlessness, her dark the boon of a whole holiday,' had set off eyes gazing out upon the horizon, and her to enjoy it in Epping Forest. Early in the hands folded, Julia Haviland had been afternoon their rambles brought them to quite unconscious of the children's presence certain wide, shady cross-roads, branching in her vicinity. As they drove away from off from a smooth, circular village-green, the inn-door, her companion, who was Mrs. on one side of which stood an old-fashioned, Fanshaw, said to her, Did you remark prosperous, comfortable 'coaching' inn. those children's faces ? At the inn-door was a handsome open car- '. No,' said Julia absently; what chilriage, at which the children gazed with great dren? delight, attracted particularly by the impa-1 They were close to the inn, just by the tient horses, who tossed their heads, and hedge — a boy and girl.' champed their bits, like Pharaoh at the “And I showed: the little girl my RosaRed Sea,' as Alice remarked, in reference lie,' said Madeline Burdett, hugging her to the book of Bible pictures whence her doll. chief ideas of art and, indeed, nature were Pretty children, were they?' said Julia. derived. The carriage contained two ladies I did not notice them.' and a child, and as Henry Hurst and Alice •Quite lovely,' said Mrs. Fanshaw ; Wood crept into the open space, through a really picturesque. It is extraordinary hedge of holm oak, the attention of the what handsome faces one sometimes sees elder lady was caught by the little girl's among insignificant people.' beautiful, pensive face, and the timid, elegant attitude in which she stood, with her
CHAPTER II. straw hat, full of autumnal wild flowers,
IN THE CITY OF THE THREE SPIRES. held loosely in her hand by its broad yellow strings. As the lady looked steadily at THE home in the old city of Coventry in Alice, taking little heed of the sturdy figure which Alice Wood passed the years which and bronzed dark face of the boy' by her concluded her childhood, and ushered her side, the child was gazing with wondering into the enchanted realm of girlhood, is but pleasure at a little girl who occupied the little altered since her slight figure and penfront seat of the carriage. She was a beau- sive beautiful face used to be seen by the tiful child, younger by three or four years passers-by, as she moved through the long than Alice, a nut-brown lassie, with care- grass which grows upon the disinterred fully-curled ringlets and rosy cheeks, with ruins of the ancient church of St. John. dark-brown sparkling eyes and animated In an angle of the great square of which countenance, and as she sat swaying herself the church of the Holy Trinity, with its back and forwards, as she feigned to lull to splendid spire, forms one side - close by sleep a large wax doll which she held tight- the tranquil, sunny, shady “God's aere,' ly clasped to the bosom of her richly-em- where the acacia and the yew, the aspen broidered white pelisse, she presented a and the ash, blend into a wonderful combitrue picture, which the other little girl in- nation of form and colour, where the breeze stinctively felt, of happy, prosperous, pet- and the birds make mysterious ever-soundted childhood. Their eyes met in a mo- ing music, and every shadow flung upon ment, and the brown girl nodded to the the grass above the silent sleepers is the refair one, and with a pretty, pardonable tri- flection of some bit of architecture majestic umph, held up her doll. Alice started a in beauty and antiquity — still stands the step forward, her face glowing, her lips house to which the widow and her child parted; but the boy who had been glower- came. A quaint house, with peaks and gaing at the occupants of the carriage with an bles and cloisters stretching out above and expression of mingled admiration and envy, behind the ruins of the colossal pillars bepulled her back behind the sheltering hedge, neath ; a house which harmonizes with the and said angrily, Come away! They're ancient memories of the place, and shares ladies; they don't want us!” The next its peaceful, sunny brightness; a house moment a footman came out of the inn, within sight of which is no mean or sordid placed a parcel, for which he had been sent object, to which the hum and stir of comto inquire, in the carriage, and mounted the mon life come rarely and remotely, into box; and then the impatient horses carried whose walls are built the cunningly-sculpthe ladies and the child rapidly out of sight. tured stones of the ancient dwelling of the During this brief scene, the younger of the great Knights Hospitallers of St. John of two ladies had been wholly unobservant of Jerusalem, whose turret-chambers are fash
LIVING AGE. VOL. X. 420