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little apparent to such minds is that which conveniently; to encourage mincing women we term “ the grotesque.” There had been in rich clothing to attend merely when it an expectation that he would dwell on was not too cold, or too wet, or too windy, his personal history and sufferings, and in their opinion, for indolent homage to reveal the dark “secrets of the prison- their Maker. house” whence he had escaped. But no And then suddenly, as it were, carried such egotistical preface ushered in his theme. away by his subject, he burst forth in a sort After a brief, fervent allusion of thankful of rapture about prayers and burials at sea; ness for the rescue which had made his op- and souls accepted "even on the bloodportunity of addressing them, he passed to stained herbage of the battle-field;" and his text, which had no connecting link with from the graphic image of sailors in an such matters. It was, “ Could ye not watch open boat at midnight, drifting away from with me one hour ?” And nothing could be their burning ship without food ur compass, more pathetic or impressive than his appeal “ relying on the Lord,” he passed to the histo “the hearts that fall asleep,” to wake, toric tradition of the night-service read by bestir themselves, and devote their energies one army while the other was carousing, in good time to God; nothing more appall- and the victory that followed ; winding up ing than the picture he drew of “the time all with a word-picture, as vivid as ever to come,” when it should be “too late " for was painted, of a dying soldier left by unenergy; too late for repentance; when conscious comrades among a scattered heap the sluggish heart might" sleep on and of the moon-lighted slain, and saying his take its rest,” God and good angels de- final prayer to God alone and unattended; parting from it for ever! The divergence needing no temple but the starry vault of from his actual argument was in the occasion heaven open to his upturned eyes, and, after he took to lay stress on the scene in which the great din of war, and the thrill of the this text of warning had first been given – trumpet, hearing no music but the wind in the garden — the garden where Christ soughing through the darkened trees — that habitually walked with His disciples; and plaintive monotone in the great hymn of from thence he lectured discursively and life which for ever, and till this world shall vehemently in favour of open-air meetings shrivel like a seroll, goeth up from all things and hill-preachings, and against all " en created to the Creator of all.” closed and decorated places,” and “idol- And with this image and these words atrous temples and such like,” as sinful and the musical and resounding voice died down offensive. He said Christ, who had taught into silence, and there was a slow dispersion in the Teinple, was yet remembered best by of the crowd : young men and maidens, old the Sermon on the Mount” and the men and crones, going dreamily away; chil" Agony in the Garden ;” that He had dren looking timidly about, as thoughi Moses preached " on the pathless shore, and on lived in those surrounding tufts of broom the rolling waves of the ever-restless sea, and heather; men in folded plaids and and in the sandy and unproductive desert, Hieland bonnets, pronouncing it a “varry where the very bread and fishes that were grand discoorse," and Lady Clochnaben, to sustain life in his hearers had to be with a grim, triumphant smile, standing still miraculously multiplied — so far away were by the preacher's side, but not looking at they from human habitation and the help him looking rather towards her son Loriof man's work. Yea,” he said, "the very mer, who had passed his arm through that law of God Himself was given to Moses on of Sir Douglas preparatory to departure the bare mountain —' and out of a bush - and to the singer of Torrieburn, who had out of a bush — He spake in His thun- not only dared to listen to a religious" disders!'”

coorse," but was now actually giving her And so the gardlens, and the wilds, and opinion on it, in that loud jaunty manner the bushes, and the hills, and the great which she adopted to show her indepengray old olive-trees, and the palms, whose dence. gathered branches were scattered under And Maggie's opinion was, that there Christ's feet, were dearer to God than any were ow'r mu kle words for folk to follow," work or carving of man's hand, and more and that Mr Frere was, to her. thinking, acceptable than all the painted playthings like the pail o' milk gotten frae Leddy of his skill. And the use of such decorated Grace, ane o' the black kye, that just aye and covered places as were now the sinful frothit, and brimmit ow'r. And sae, my fashion, was calculated to corrupt the spirit- mon, dinna ye be dooncast, for your Sabbath ual meaning of adoration, to teach men to discoorses are no that wea: yfu', though pray only when they could do so softly and whiles they mak’ me a bit sleepy ;” and she timed caress,


laid ber large comely hand on Saville Hea-l it were at all in my power. I hope to see ton's shoulder as she spoke. And, in token much of him. It is not often one meets of consciousness of the light burden this im- with such a man. As to Lorimer's idea of posed, Mr. Heaton put his own hand over having seen him before, fancies of that sort Maggie's not indeed as returning the ill come to us all; and about his age, with

but rather as a hand is laid on those beardless men it is very difficult to the head of a favourite dog, to keep it still calculate; they constantly look either very while the owner is conversing with friends ; much younger or very much older than they and he then addressed himself to Mr. Boyd. are. Take my arm, Ailie; you seem tired."

And, while Saville Heaton and Lorimer

walked on in front, talking eagerly together, CHAPTER XXVI.

Alice and stately Sir Douglas followed: sitting down now and then on the banks of heather, that Alice's fatigue might not he

increased : resting in the open air ; far “ I cannot help thinking it improbable," sweeter rest than ever is found on silken said Mr Heaton, diffidently, while still sup- couch or cushioned fauteuil; the small pressing Maggie's hand, that this is Mr. streamlet bubbling and trickling down the Frere's first preaching. He has much elo hill, laughing its silver laugh amid the quence — and

and much courage.” stones, and that and the “ sough" among I entirely agree with you, Mr. Heaton ; the incense-breathing pines making indeed it is even impossible, in my opinion. The a sweet chord in that hymn, - which Mr. man is a very practised speaker; and I am Frere had impressed on Miss Ross's memory. tolerably sure that I have heard him before, And it was during this walk with her years ago, - somewhere abroad, though I half-brother that Alice held with him a recannot clearly call to mind where or when. markable conversation - one that he could I think he must be an Irishman. The style not forget, one which in after times the curl he has adopted, and his whole appearance, of a fern leaf, or the notes of the thrush's favour that supposition. I never heard a song, or the sight of a harebell among long voice that ran up and down the gamut in dry grass, in short, the most trivial accithat way that was not Irish, nor ever heard dental things — would bring back to him as the same fluency in men of any other if her words were but just spoken, and her nation.”

pale irregular profile were still between him You must be mistaken, Mr. Boyd,” said and the evening sky. the voice of Alice Ross. He told us him- For it was not often that Alice and Sir self that he was of a Shropshire family, and Douglas held long tête-à-tête colloquies. He he is too young to have preached anywhere was a busy landlord; an attached husyears ago, for he has not yet attained to his band ; a companionable friend to his male twenty-fifth birthday."

associates ; a tolerably studious reader, The deliberate drawl with which Miss though no bookworm. He had neither the Ross always spoke was not quickened by time, – nor, if truth is to be spoken, the any emotion in this little defence. On the thought, to bestow on her. contrary, there was something peculiarly And “ Ailie” knew it. She knew she slow and tight in her utterance of these sen- was the last and the least of his thoughts, tences, as though she were strangling Lori- kindly as he was; and therefore she made mer's opinion in its cradle. But sharp the most of her rare opportunities when she gleams of indignation came from her eyes, got them. like the electric sparks from Grimalkin's fur; I wonder if women who are “first obbrilliant, and equally evanescent.

jects”in some large and happy home circle, “ Is Sister Ailie charmed with the new or even “ first objects" to the objects preacher ?” said Sir Douglas, smiling. “He they themselves love,

- ever ruminate over is just the sort of man to hit a lady's fancy. the condition of one who is nobody's first But, indeed,” added he, earnestly, “ I do object. How lone in the midst of company wrong to utter a light word on the subject. such a one must feel! What silence must He is a very remarkable young man, very lie under all their talking and laughing! remarkable"; and I cannot doubt but that What strange disruption from the linked his best hopes will be fulfilled, and that he chain that holds all the rest together! What will, indeed, be most useful in his genera- exile, though ever present! What starvation! Suffering is a good school. No one tion of soul, in the midst of all those great can look at him and not see that he has suf- shares of love meted out around her! fered much. I long to do him a kindness, if Ailie was not social by nature ; nor lor

ing; nor yearning for love: but she was kin love, there need be none of all that. conscious of loneliness, and resented the Kith-and-kin love, is sure. You can't pain.

change from being the same flesh and With a skill of which she only had the blood; and though, of course, I've heard of mastery, she led, little by little, back to that sister and brother's quarrels and coldness, implication of being “ charmed” by James I think surely it never could last, to part Frere which her half-brother had lightly them as common love does; and I think passed over, fearing to wound even by that if I had had an own brother, as I have only gentle jest.

a balf-brother" -she spoke it with a most You could never know how Ailie man- plaintive drawl — “I think - indeed I am aged this sort of thing. She had some pri- perfectly positive — I should have loved vate Ariadne's clue; by means of which, if that brother better than any man, that she wished to escape from discussion of a crossed my path of life, let that man be subject, pursue it as you would, she was out what he might. For, oh! dear, you'll nevthrough the labyrinth where you remained, er know how much I've thought, even about and free in space.

you, and wondered if ever you'd come home If, on the other hand, you desired to avoid to stay, and what kith-and-kin love would touching some topic of' risk and discomfort, be like for me! Many a day, in the little it was in vain you retreated fromit. Through turret room, I've looked to it, and perhaps the intricate passages of thought, into your foolishly, for God made me but an insigvery heart of hearts, came Ailie and her nificant creature, and you'd need a sister clue, and sat down victor over your intended with more fire and strength in her before privacy. How she crept back, softly and she could be much to you! But, still, I'll soundlessly, along the parapet, and up the not be easily charmed' away, Douglas, roof, and in at the window of Sir Douglas's and that you'll find.” thoughts, and recommenced a little discus- The tone was so grave and sad; the sion and defence, respecting the possibility slender form sat so stiff and still; the eyes, of her being “ charmed” by one * so much though wistful, were so without the expeca stranger as Mr. James Frere, the warm- tation or possibility of tears; it was all so hearted soldier could not have told; but he unlike either girlish sentimentality or pasremembered for ever the singular wind-up sionate woman's epanchement, that it was of Ailie’s denials of such a possibility. difficult to know how to take, or how to

Not only,” she said, "I do not think answer it. that I should be easily charmed by a stran- Difficult, at least, to Sir Douglas. ger (after all — lone as my life bas been - And, as the echo of all she said, rolled I have, of course, had my opportunities, after the spoken sentences from his ear and can test myself in that); but I am into his easy .heart, he thought with what just incapable of conceiving those romantic touching innocence his poor little lonely loves and nonsenses that I read of in books, half-sister spoke of love and being charmed, and hear of; and they just go by like a as a thing she had heard of, read of, sung false dream! It well may be because I old ballads about, but of which she had no have been so lonely, but to my thinking personal experience - how her one sole there can be no love, no tie, like love and notion was kith-and-kin love, — which was tie of kith and kin. Do you not think” - to be her all in all, — and he was greatly and here she turned slowly round, and moved! He folded Alice in his arms as looked up wistfully in her half-brother's they rose to continue their walk homewards, face --" do you not think that, where there and then he said, — “My dear little wo is to the making of us the very same flesh man, my poor Ailie, the natural life of your and blood and spirit, the tie must be sex is to be all in all to some true mate, and stronger for love ? stronger than mere fancy, not to depend altogether on what you

call or even approval, or attachment, that way · kith and kin ’ love :- but of this be quite that the books put it? For love may sure, that you shall always find in me the change (and we read that too), and it may love of an own brother, not of a half-brothprove false (and there's many an old ballad er; you shall tell me your joys and sorrows, to that), and it is a jealous restless thing, and thoughts and feelings, as you have done by what I can make out (and I declare I this day; and when you are charmed' (as often think of it when I try to please Lady I can't help hoping for you, some day, Ailie), Ross, and try to imagine if I should object I'll love that man, if he is worthy of you, even to a sister being too much to a man and treats you tenderly, as your sweet nathat was all in all to me); but in kith-and- ture requires to be treated, - as if he also


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was my born brother, and nearer my own | less, she was glad of her beautiful morning soul than any one except my Kenneth of room. It was not its luxury that she enold boyish days."

joyed, so much as its brightness, and the And so they walked home ; very silent, dear knowledge of all the tender foreboth of them. Only, when they came in thought its little details had proved. She sight of the turrets of Glenrossie, Sir Doug- never entered it without recollecting the las pointed up to her little nook with a glow of pleasure on her husband's handkindly smile, and, pressing her slender pas- some countenance, at her amazement and sive hands in his own, said, - “You will joy, when he ushered her into it the morning never feel so lonely there again, will you ? after her arrival. She saw it still, that You will know some of my thoughts are al- vanished morning's light! The opening ways with you.”

door — the unexpected loveliness — and his And, when Ailie had lightly ascended face, the face of her beloved, when, turning that stair, and curled herself softly round from the irradiated tout ensemble — pale in her causeuse (that chair so little resem- green Aubusson carpets and curtains, bling the prevailing pattern at Clachnaben), wreathed with roses; glittering tables and flung round her shoulders an eider-down where stood crystal flower-vases, enamelled tippet to prevent taking cold after her with his crest and her name ; great golden walk, — she felt

berons with silver-fish in their beaks, makThat she had bad a successful day's ing candelabra stands almost as tall as hermousing.

self; and a crowd of minor objects, every one a thought of love; - turning from all these, she thanked him with almost childish exclamations of delight, repeated with clasped hands, and again repeated more gravely, with deeper emotions of gratitude.

She loved that happy room! Honest Sir Douglas went straight to And Sir Douglas loved it too, and stood his wife's apartment; a sunny sitting-room, at its threshold now, welcomed by the still farther illumined for him by the smile smile he knew so well, and which he thought of intense love and welcome which he knew the most lovely upon earth. For in nothhe should meet whenever be opened the ing is there such a difference. There are door. It had been furnished very gaily, women who smile only with their lips; and and in somewhat foreign taste, in pursuance there are others whose eyes, and brow, and of orders sent to Glenrossie before the lips beam altogether with such a cordial bride's arrival. Gertrude and he had talked glow of brightness, that it is difficult to be together of the gloomy grandeur of some lieve an extra gleam of light does not fall of the Scotch castles ; the naked, barren, at such times even upon their burnished well-to-do-ish appearance given by slated hair. roofs and stone walls in mearer Scotch That was the sort of smile Gertrude abodes; and the hungry, positive, prosaic, gave; tinged with a certain lingering shygardenless rows of small houses, that could ness, in spite of security and familiarity of not be called "cottages,” in Scotch vil- love. In natures like hers, intense love is lages, that looked like pieces of uncomfort- always timid. able towns carted out into the country. Sir Douglas talked with her, and asked They had laughed together, as they sat tenderly of her health ; for she had not among the orange-trees and roses of the been able to accompany them that after, Villa Mandorlo, at Naples, over his warn- noon ; and then he spoke of " Ailie," and ings and hopes that Gertrude would refrain earnestly pressed on Gertrude his own and command herself, and not behave like views of his half-sister's character and feelMary Queen of Scots, who is said to have ings; repeating, with a colour taken from burst into tears on arriving at the grim his own warmth of heart, the impression of gates of Holyrood, whither a group of un- her innocence, her reserve, her lonely kempt Shetland ponies had conveyed her yearnings for kindred. * She requires, you and her attendant ladies.

see, my own Gertrude, to be drawn out, Gertrude loved her rough hill-pony, and to be encouraged; in fact, to be petted and her Scotch castle, and all things in Scot- made much of. I was much moved by what land. There was music for her in the very she said to-day — she so seldom speaks of accent of its warmhearted and energetic herself and her feelings. They are acute, people. Nor did she greatly care for the rely upon it; but she has never had com. ponips and vanities of life. But, neverthe-I panions, never had any one to confide in.

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I am sure, if you could once grow to be matter? Douglas wished his sister to be fond of her, you would possess her utmost petted — Douglas wished it! love and confidence. She is diffident as to And with that last thought Gertrude her power of attracting, and very young of started up, and passed quickly into the inher age; it seems quite the heart of a ner dressing-room, where the maid and the young girl, though she has so much infor- peach-coloured gown were waiting; and bad mation and womanly sense. Pet her a lit- her hair coiled round very simply (there tle, Gertrude ; pet her, my own dear wife !” being such abridged dressing time), and

And as the dressing-bell rang through the clasped the collar of pearls round her white last words, Sir Douglas rose, and left the throat, just as Sir Douglas came to accombeautiful room, and the sweet surprised face, pany her downstairs. and departed to his own chamber.

Alice was already there; and Lorimer; Lady Ross did not immediately betake and Mr. Saville Heaton, who had remained herself to her toilette ; though she was 'con- to dine. scious of the vista (through another door And, even in the few minutes that interthat opened as the dressing-bell rang) of vened before the gray-headed old butler her maid moving in front of the looking- announced dinner, Gertrude began her glass, and of a pale peach-coloured silk petting” of Alice. She glided towards hanging up ready to put on; a dress with her with a kindly smile, and asked if she which she always wore a necklace of a sin- had liked her walk, if she had liked the gle row of Scotch pearls given by Sir Doug- preaching of Mr. Frere, if she had been tired

in the long ramble home? And, while her She did not begin to dress. She sat look- frank soft eyes questioned with her tongue, ing, rather abstractedly, at all the objects Alice gave a sidelong calculating glance ; in her beautiful morning-room from which at Lady Ross's shoulder, at her necklace, the rich twilight was now rapidly departing, at the graceful folds of her gown - any

for even that room, of course, must have where but directly in her face. its night and its hours of darkness. * Pet Alice !"

“She looked askance at Cristabel, Again and again she thought the words Jesu Maria shield her well !” over, and the eager tender manner of Sir Douglas while urging it.

And while she looked askance, she calculat• Pet” Alice ! The young wife strove to ed; and with so much quickness and inteldrive away little stinging haunting memo- ligence did she sum up all, that only in the ries of coldness, and slyness, and hardness, passing down the broad oaken stair to the and alien ways, which had seemed to her to stately dining-room she found time to say be component parts of her sister-in-law's to her half-brother, on whose arm she went character. Something very like a shudder into dinner — "I am sure you have been thrilled through Gertrude. Was he wrong? speaking of me to Lady Ross, her manCould Douglas be wrong? Had she herself ner is so very, very much kinder to me than been harsh in judgment? Could she judge usual, even when we are all comfortable towell and wisely of a person who from child- gether. But do not try to make people kind hood had been denied, what she herself from to me. I am quite pleased and contented. childhood had enjoyed, tenderness, free- Perhaps it might even offend. I should not dom of affection, frank and fearless expres- like to seem troublesome.” sion of all passing thoughts ? Lorimer Boyd, And then she sat down in her usual place, it was true, thought ill of Alice. He had between Douglas and Lorimer, her thin said she was " a creature full of harm." But still mouth looking as if silence was habiLorimer was cynical. Yes ; lovable in him-tual to it. Only when Lady Ross tried to self; a true and faithful friend; but cynical talk a little more to her than usual, and more in his judgments of others. And not happy gaily and familiarly, she allowed a sort of in his home relations. What a mother! imperceptible shade of vexation and embarWhat a brother! Enough to sour any man's rassment to gather round it before she rejudgments.

plied ; and once, only once, she looked at "Pet Alice !” What was the use of ar- Sir Douglas with a little vague dry smile guing about that, in her own mind ? Ought and shrug of the shoulders, as much as to it not to be enough for her that Douglas say, “This is your doing; I cannot help wished it? If he brought her a toad, and myself

. I hope it will not make me a þurbegged her to keep it in her room and make den, or make them dislike me.” a plaything of it, would she not do it ? But Sir Douglas's thoughts were much What had Alice's deserts to do with the preoccupied. He was considering about his

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