I was never pernickety in my tastes. I have a case full.’, ‘Well, what the better are you for that?’, ‘Go back to your chair and have some more tea.’, ‘Well, I won’t speak to you unless you sit down and behave yourself.’, ‘Look here, dear Violet, you must not talk about this any more. He looked slantwise at the graceful, girlish figure by his side. As none was forthcoming, she added, ‘You will find Woking a very nice place.’. There are also several unjustifiable economies. Besides, I threw in a few remarks just to set the thing right.’, ‘That was when you spoke about our travels in the Tyrol?’, ‘O Frank, how could you? ‘Hold your tongue! It’s all very fine to sit there and preach, but it won’t do, Frankie. Dear girlie, give me your hand! Her opinion was given with so much thought, and yet so much decision, that Maude glowed with pride and with pleasure. Remember the thousands who are starving, dying, for want of love, and no love comes their way; whose hearts yearn and faint for that which Nature owes them, but Nature never pays her debt. ‘Don’t cry! He would have it that they have never a light of their own, but are always the reflectors of some other light which you cannot see. How can it be? You know the real fact is, that we make the mistake of being much too nice to each other in public. Maude rose with her pleasant smile. It should be “our.”’, ‘I know, I know. But as it is I find it a little too much of a test. upon the door. Notes from old Goethe in a singularly neat boyish writing inscribed upon little ornamented cards. You lived like the birds and the flowers, and had no need to take heed for the future. A regular fizzer. ‘Now you are all right again. Then they laid the table, and served the supper, and enjoyed this picnic meal of their own creating as no conventional meal could ever have been enjoyed. Let us get back to serious conversation again.’, ‘It was that hog, I believe. ‘Well, well!’ he grumbled. But almost at the same instant, the Selbys entered the church at the further end. How infinitely complex is the human soul—how illimitably great and how pitiably small! I dare say that my nerves are a bit strung up these days. Rupton Hale, the architect, one of the few friends I have down here, has some most deplorable views about women. She guessed in some extraordinary way what my secret feelings were about it. ‘I shall take the later train. We both think it so clever of you to have found it out. Frank stayed at the Metropole, and so did Rupton Hale. My soul seemed to come into full being upon the day when I loved you. When I think . My dear Crosse, I assure you that you are being misled, and that you have not really got a leg to stand upon.’. ‘This hollow place below was filled with precious relics, and the pilgrims used to kneel in these niches, which are just large enough to hold a man upon his knees. The sun was shining upon the gold-work of the roof, and the grand towers sprang up amid the light London haze, like some gorgeous palace in a dream. Frank fidgeted about, and made sure that the ring was in his ticket-pocket. What—what’s this?’, The contract had been laid face upwards upon the table. Frank was delighted with some of the monuments and horrified by others, and he communicated both his joy and his anger to Maude. ‘You have a case,’ said he, ‘but by no means a certainty. The reason is that the women who have met unpleasant men run about and make a noise, but the women who are happy just keep quiet and enjoy themselves. ‘I believe he is more read than any poet in England.’, ‘It is Dryden. ‘Do let us have something, for really the time is slipping away.’, ‘It would be a pity to begin at the beginning, because that represents his immature genius,’ remarked Mrs. Hunt Mortimer. His sister hugged him also, so he was a much-embraced young man. It is that family selfishness which turns every house in the land into a fort to be held against these poor wanderers. I hope your wife does not read your letters, or this will rather give her fits.—Yours as ever. It’s as well they are married at last.’, ‘Because they ’ave been goin’ on most owdacious before’and. ‘You are like a man who has just been wakened out of his sleep,’ said he. ‘Is this necessary, Mr. Wingfield?’ he pleaded. And then the housekeeping, the planning, the arranging, the curtailing, the keeping up appearances upon a limited income. ‘Well, what now? A single step seemed to have taken them from the atmosphere of the nineteenth to that of the fifteenth century. Then the smiles vanish, the small round face grows so red and angry, and all covered with little wrinkles, and there is a dismal wailing—poor darling! You know what gentlemen would say?’, ‘Oh, I hardly answered him, but of course I was young and inexperienced, and I could not help being flattered and pleased at his words. Then I will see you home to St. Albans in the evening, and we shall have another dear delightful week end. She was only twenty-nine when she died!’, ‘She was happy in her life—though he did blacken her eye once.’, ‘Yes, he did. And why should he be so proud of his work, unless work was a new and wondrous thing to him. 0 2 4 6 8 : > / @ ? Look here, it is under the heading of Australian Notes,’ she held out the paper and pointed, but his face fell as he looked. 30th June, at St. Monica’s Church, by the Rev. His face was tanned brown, in spite of his City hours, but his hair and slight moustache were flaxen, and his eyes, which were his best features, were of a delicate blue, and could vary in expression from something very tender to something particularly hard. Simply say that you are prepared for a reasonable compromise, and ask them to suggest what is the lowest sum which the office would accept to close the business.’, ‘You leave it with me,’ said Jack, winking at the lawyer. Thank you. There was only one other point to be settled at this their inaugural meeting, which was, to choose the other ladies who should be admitted into their literary circle. I think it is simply splendid to be mistress of a house.’, ‘And she perfectly incompetent, and much given to embracing her mistress. It was my first of the sort, and stands out very clearly in my memory. Might he bring her happiness, the highest which woman could wish for! ‘Besides, it would be ungenerous to be angry when you tell me things of your own free will. ‘Dear old boy! ‘Two lines have positively made my head ache, and there are two volumes.’, ‘And dear Mrs. Hunt Mortimer pretending to like him! ‘They must have seemed six years.’, ‘They were rather long. ‘Dear Mrs. Wright, don’t cry!’ she whispered, and her little white hand passed in a soothing, hesitating gesture over the coil of rich chestnut hair. ‘Not at all. ‘His work has some dreadful tendencies. But a half-hour passed and the grey cloud was thicker and the rain more heavy. Well, good-bye, dear, good-bye!’ Maude had never seen him make so hurried an exit. He had thrust his letter into his pocket as she entered. ‘Well, I do like that!’ she cried indignantly. But after all, his arguments of yesterday might prevail with her when her first impetuous fit of passion was over. ‘I can make nothing of her. No woman ever found him dull. Behind them was the mother, still young and elegant, with something of Maude’s grace in her figure and carriage. I could read you bits of these notes—’, ‘Here’s the first letter, in which she is talking about how they first moved into the house at Cheyne Row. “As you were,” as your brother Jack would say. ‘It’s such a pity, dear, that you don’t know her well, for I should really like to hear every detail about her. I don’t think I could ask you to visit me in London. It would be better to subdivide the work of the world, according to the capacity of the different nations. There is some superstition about it.’, ‘That is quite safe. How could I tell you all this if I did not know that your own feeling was as deep. I do hope that I shall make your day bright for you—the last day that we shall have together before, In person Frank Crosse was neither tall nor short, five feet eight and a half to be exact, with the well-knit frame and springy step of a young man who had been an athlete from his boyhood. You have never been frivolous. And to think that his first comment to his wife was, “Well, Mill, poor fellow, is very much cut up about this.” There is Carlyle at his best. ‘After all, Manners is not infallible. ‘Because I wanted to make sure that they had been omitted,’ said Mrs. Hunt Mortimer severely. So they loitered and shopped for a couple of hours, and then squeezed into the back of the pit; and wedged in among honest, hearty folk who were not ashamed to show their emotions, they laughed until they were tired. By Jove, it is splendid!’ Frank had enough of the true artist to be able to feel that rush of enthusiasm which adequate work should cause. It was a worn, stubby old quill, much the worse for its monstrous task. I think that we shall go to evening-service next week. ‘I have perused the case submitted to me, and the papers accompanying the same,’ said the learned counsel, ‘and in my opinion the Hotspur Insurance Company, Limited, are entitled to recover from Mr. Crosse under his guarantee, the sum of £340, being monies received by Mr. Farintosh, and not paid over by him to the said Company.’ There was a great deal more, but it was anticlimax. Maude was delighted. To consider me at such a time, and to face her trouble alone and unsupported in order to make it easier for me. Mrs. Hunt Mortimer was also invited to the dress ball, and her thoughts flew away from the book in front of her. O Frank . Then he sat in the armchair with his back to the door. ‘How do you do, Crosse? What then?’, ‘Of course he would, if you kissed him. ‘More fancy and vigour in our sculptors, more use of gold and more ornament in our architects—that is what we want. ‘It can’t be helped, my boy. He put his head out of the window and cried ‘Shoo!’ into the laurel bushes several times. If you are cross, then it is your turn, and I stand clear. I wonder which is right, to be polite but hypocritical, or to be inhospitable but honest. Never both be cross at the same time. They could never understand why he begged for that extra five minutes. But I begin to understand now that my ambition was much too high. Now and again their sweet calm would be broken by a ring at the bell, when some friend of Frank’s would come round to pay them an evening visit. Such an idea would never enter my head.’. But we shall talk it over, and I shall do what you advise. And when they had done so, and copied it all out clean, they found they had got hold of such a book as was never heard of before in the whole history of literature.’. Something awfully funny must have happened to him before ever he came into this world at all, for nothing that has occurred since could account for the intense expression of amusement that one can often see in his eyes. From the hour I read that I determined that he shouldn’t be—and he won’t be.’, ‘Oh, you think so. Speaking as a man, I think no harm could come of it. Her enthusiasm was a little chilled, however, by the way in which her advances were received. Frank made a grimace. She had laughingly said with her accustomed frankness upon one occasion that it was her sole remaining virtue. The great thing was to admit no one save those earnest spirits who would aspire to get the full benefit from their studies. But, very likely, he left a key to the cipher, so that every one might read it when he was gone, but the key and his directions were in some way lost.’. Maude laid her sewing on her lap, and looked across with her lips parted and her eyebrows raised. There were pink vases upon the mantelpiece, and a portrait of Garibaldi above it. Of course we could give notice that we should not be responsible any longer, but it would be a thunderbolt to this poor family, and the man would certainly be ruined. It was pleasant, as they rolled out of Waterloo Station that summer night, to know that their cosy little home was awaiting them just five-and-twenty miles down the line. Maude and Frank were seated at the favourite small round table near the window, where they always lunched. But it makes your reading so much more real and intimate when you have stood at the grave of the man who wrote. They amount to another hundred pounds.’. Shall we go to a matinée to counteract it?’, ‘I don’t think, Frank, that I was ever more impressed, or learned more in so short a time, in my life. ‘Don’t ever take your husband for granted. The rats all followed the Pied Piper, and so this rat followed Frank. Well, don’t stop. He opened the door for him with his finger upon his lips. Any compromise which they would accept would be as much out of our power to pay as the whole sum would be, and so we may just as well see it through.’ But for once Maude did not take his opinion as final, but lay awake all night and thought it over. ‘The wisdom of the heart is greater than the wisdom of the brain,’ said he. I have had my little experiences too.’, ‘Perhaps you would rather that I said nothing about them. And so do you—by Jove you do, Maude! Thirty-four yesterday. But I like the grey best, because you wore it the first time I ever—you remember! ‘Oh you dear old goose! Frank demonstrated the fact, and it took them all the way to the Langham to get those pins driven home again. First, there was no water, and then there was too much water, and the workings were flooded. Frank seized it eagerly. That was her plot, and, by Jove, she tried it so cleverly that she would have managed it if something had not put me on my guard. In this holy of holies, this inner sanctuary of the race, there was a sense of serene and dignified solemnity which would have imposed itself upon the most thoughtless. You might call as you pass, and tell him to step up.’. There was a hard and ironic tone in the last sentences which jarred upon Maude’s sensitive nature. Remember the plain women. I never asked him to come. ‘I’m not joking,’ she whispered, as they went down the stair. You speak as if a man ceased to live just because he is married. She made me angry, and frightened, and grieved, and grateful, and affectionate, one after the other, and I never in my life was so taken out of myself by any one. Instinct told him that though she would probably be sweet and sympathetic over it, yet it would rankle in her mind and poison her thoughts. The sight of his fresh-coloured smiling face—or it may have been some reminder of Maude which he found in it—brought consolation to the bridegroom. I read and re-read your letter, and I understand more and more how infinitely your nature is above mine. They had half an hour off in the afternoon, and were comparing notes. She raised her veil, and he kissed her. Sometimes he is pleased and amused, and sometimes angry, and sometimes gravely interested, but he is always wide awake and taking things in. Please come up next train, meet me Fenchurch Street, eleven thirty. ‘I had rather you had found me at first, Frank.’ He said something about supper, but she was not to be turned. 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