Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

lance as well as Government aid. In France, as ly, that of skilled foremen competent to superintend, ve have seen, the distribution of prizes, the open- or at least fully understanding all the operations of ng of schools, is always made more or less a cere- a large manufactory." nony; the whole population of the district in which MR. AITKEN, of Birmingham, in his introductory he school is situate cannot fail to hear of what is report, which heads the reports of the Birmingham foing on. Publicity and éclat are given to all the artisans, says: “Industry, formerly unaffected by sroceedings, and the school immediately reaps the foreigir rivalry, contended only with small producers enefit. Of course it is not to be inferred that the of its own nation, and then the competition was Government of France does everything for art-edu small. But free trade has thrown down the barriation, and private individuals nothing. There is a ers, and the world is now one mighty universal maronsiderable amount of private patronage, though to ket. To be successful in this competition, our nation nothing like the same extent as among us ; but it is must therefore put forward all its energies to edulways desirable to substitute for the irregular ac- cate, in technical and other schools, the present and ion of individuals, however well-disposed, the or- coming generations: this was anticipated, and was ler, economy, and persistent effort of an efficient clearly seen. Humboldt, many years ago, foresaw vody. .... Let us now consider what the state does and predicted, “That the time was not far distant or education in France, both for primary instruction when science and manipulative skill must be wedded ind for the special training required later when an together; that national wealth, and the increasing irt or trade has been chosen. The system of pri- prosperity of nations, must be based on an enlightnary instruction so very much resembles our own, ened employment of natural products and forces.' oth in the nature of the instruction given and in Justus Liebig said: “The nation most quickly prohe mode in which support is obtained, that no de- moting the intellectual development of its indusailed account of it will be necessary. .... but it is trial population must advance, as surely as the n the facilities for the higher education which ought country neglecting it must inevitably retrograde.' o follow this primary teaching where the inclination Peel saw this, and uttered the memorable words : xists, that the great divergence between the Eng- If we are inferior in skill, knowledge, and intelliish and the French begins. The ease with which gence to the manufacturers of other countries, the

poor boy may obtain an entry to one of the Impe- increased facilities of intercourse will result in transial Lyceums or larger public schools which prepare ferring the demand from us to others.' And Engor the universities, and thence go up to the univer- land's noblest Prince foresaw in International Exhiities, which very properly are in the capital itself, bitions (which he was the first to inaugurate) the ind are all free, is something marvellous, and is only coming activity in things industrial, and, in order qualled by the excellent facilities of a like kind to provide for the coming competition, he inauguvhich exist in Germany..... The technical educa- rated ere his lamented death a system of industrial ion of French workmen is of two kinds, -elemen-education. .... In France, Prussia, Saxony, and ary and advanced. In the first, the child, having the small State of Würtemburg, &c. trade-schools, in een early destined to a particular trade, is placed addition to others of a higher class, are in existence, n an institution, where he serves a kind of prelimi- and furnish the connecting link between the man of iary apprenticeship to that trade, and where pri- science who discovers, and the superintendent who nary instruction goes hand in hand with the special is the medium, and who, educated in these schools, raining requisite to give him a more enlarged aids by his instruction and advice the workman in (nowledge of his business. These technical schools bringing into visible shape the discovery of the man or children are, however, only just beginning to be of science, rendering practically useful that which stablished, but the results in the last, of which ac- existed as an idea only. If, then, industrial and ounts were published, were in the highest degree technical training has benefited other countries and atisfactory. The children are occupied in all about states in their industrial progress (which no doubt it nine hours of the day. ... In the morning they re- has) it becomes the duty of every Englishman to see eive instruction of the ordinary kind, which is also to this important point." given for an hour in the evening, and during the It is impossible to go through the evidence of the say they work in every respect as if they were ap- eighty-eight representatives of the skilled workmen prenticed to private individuals, only that a certain of England without sharing their profound convicportion of the time is devoted to teaching them the tion: 1st. Of the pressing peril of the nation in reationale of their art. . . . . It has been stated that at gard to manufacturing pre-eminence. 2d. Of the present these institutions are very few in number, culpability of the educated classes and of the Execuind hitherto they have only been regarded in the tive Government in having neglected the education ight of an experiment, so that only a very limited of the people. 3d. It is satisfactorily proved by number of trades can be taught in them; but there these reports that the reluctance of the working s little doubt that, as an experiment, they have classes to receive superior technical education - to been successful, and that, when their success shall bear taxation for that purpose, and to accept the nave obtained general recognition, the government active agency of Government institutions and offiwill take measures for establishing them in all the cials (which reluctance has been put forward as an principal towns.....

excuse for this neglect) - bas no existence in fact; . * An equally important tentative effort in the way and that it is, therefore, the negligence, apathy, and of technical education has recently been made in reluctance of the governing classes and the governthe establishment under Government patronage of ment which have hitherto alone prevented the orin institution for the higher technical training of ganization of systematic technical education. 4th. vouth, that is to say, for the union of the highest It appears that until the mission to France of the heoretical with the best practical teaching in the artisans in 1867, they, the workingmen of England, nanufacturing arts. This institution is somewhat were not aware that the Governments of other counin the nature of the Ecole des Arts et Métiers,' tries had organized complete education in all their only it is not so exclusively theoretical as that, but trade-crafts, from the lowest mechanical labor to uims at supplying a want long felt in France, name the highest professional skill. 5th. Throughout the whole of these reports there runs a feeling of pro- distinction upon us. Those .

. found admiration for the system of education given Denzil entered into all the potess in France, but they were evidently not aware that who did not receive that boce ze zna 2 . the educated men and staternen of France had shade, - and a very one adrese :D themselves become conscious that their system was have been. I speak, yoo w T. * * * far below the level of excellence of the educated my people had known tbe Dec 13 I. German nations, that a Royal Commission, under Sir Thomas most kindly seat his red u the presidency of M. Béhic, formerly Minister of before I had settled down into Y OCR Commerce, had recently been occupied with that remember how very sore Mes. Wood 1 . fubject, and had arrived at the conclusion that the though it surprised me at the tiss -IE technical education of France, which our artisans | here five years, and have met thea eta A admired in Paris, was, as a national system of tech- but she has never found the way to Erdor : nical education, extremely defective; and the inves- that I care in the least," sbe said, that tigations of this commission prove that if England is her cheek. She was a clergyman's loaie the worst educated of the first-clars Powers of Eu- sensitive about her " position," poor thing:-2: rope, France is the second worst. 6th. There most found fault with me, as it I was to his runs parallel with these convictions a consciousness having known the Denzils in my yoath. that the English workman is by nature the best of Lady Denzil, who bad so much weight anar 2. workmen, and that with systematic education our was a very small personage. Sbe would barte works would excel those of competing nations. tiny and insignificant had she not been so se

In conclusion, we will state our deep conviction, and imposing. I don't know how she did it that the working men of England expect and de- was not far from sixty at the time I speak of. T. mand of their government the design, organization, ever the fashion was, she always wore long and execution of systematic technical education; dresses which swept the ground for a yard bela and there is urgent need for it to bestir itself, for her, and cloaks ample and graceful: always in other nations have already five-and-twenty years always full, and always made of black silk. Eras start of us, and have produced one or two genera- winter, though her carriage would be piled tions of educated workmen. Even if we begin to- heaps of furs, she wore upon ber little majestic per morrow the technical education of all the youths of nothing but silk. Such silk! - you should hard twelve years of age who have received sound ele- touched it to know what it was. The very sound mit mentary education, it will take seven years before as it rustled softly after her over the summer lame these young men can commence the practical busi- the winter carpet, was totally different from the free ness of life, and then they will form but an insignifi-ment of ordinary robes. Some people said she b. cant minority in an uneducated mass. It will take it made for herself express at Lyons. I don't kuat fifteen years before those children who have not yet how that might be, but I know I never saw anything begun to receive an elementary education shall have like it. I believe she had every variety in her mind passed from the age of seven to twenty-one, and robe that heart of woman could desire; India represent a completely trained generation, and, even shawls worth a fortune I know were among her fuar then, they will find less than half of their comrades sessions ; but she never wore anything but is: educated. In the race of nations, therefore, we matchless silk,-long dresses of it, and long, large shall find it hard to overtake the five-and-twenty ample cloaks to correspond. Her hair was quite years we have lost. To-morrow, then, let us under- white, like silver. She had the brightest dark ese take with all energy our neglected task: the urgen- shining out from under brows which were curred cy is twofold, --- one half of our youth, let us say, and lined as finely as when she was cighteen. Her has received elementary but no technical education : color was as fresh as a rose. I think there never was for that half let us at once organize technical schools a more lovely old lady. Eighteen, indeed! itha in every small town, technical colleges in every its charms, that pleasant age. It is sweet to the ese; largo town, and a technical university in the me- especially of man. Perhaps a woman, who has altropolis. The other half of the rising generation tenest to lecture the creature, instead of falling down has received no education at all, and for them let us | to worship, may not see so well the witchery which at once organize elementary education, even if com- lies in the period; but find me any face of eighted pulsory.

that could match Lady Denzil's. It had wrinkles

yes; but these were crossed by lines of thought, and LADY DENZIL.

lighted up by that soft breath of experience and fun*

bearance which comes only with the years. Lady Den CHAPTER I.

zil's eyes saw things that other eyes could not *** Tic Denzils were the chief people at Dinglefield | She knew by instinct when things were amiss som Green. Their house was by much the most consid- could tell it by the charitable absence of all you to erable-looking house, and the grounds were beauti- tioning, by a calm taking for granted the must be ful. I say the most considerable-looking, for my own likely explanations. Some people supposed be impression is that Dinglewood, which was afterwards deceived her, but they never deceived ber.. bought by the stockbroker whose coming convulsed some people spoke of her extraordinary installa 4the whole Green, was in reality larger than the eyes that could see through a millstone. I bem, Lodge; but the Lodge, when Sir Thomas Denzil | her eyes were clear; but it was experience, o was in it, was all the same the centre of everything experience,- long knowledge of the It was like Windsor Castle to us neighbors, or per-| ance with herself and human nature, and all the haps in reality it was more what her Majesty's act- chances that befall us on our way through this ual royal habitation is to the dwellers within her That it was, and not any mere intuition or sau castle gates. We were the poor knights, the canons, I ness, that put insight into Lady Denzil's eyes... the musical and ecclesiastical people who cluster The curious thing, however, was thai she about that mingled stronghold of the State and er had any troubles of her own. She had brun Church, - but to the Lodge was it given to bestow Sir Thomas in the Lodge since a period Estas

beyond my knowledge. It was a thing which was that good woman if Lady Denzil bad called. She never mentioned among us, chiefly, I have no doubt, was only a clergyman's widow, and a clergyman's because of her beautiful manners and stately look, widow may be anything, as everybody knows: she though it came to be spoken of afterwards, as such may be such a person as will be an acquisition anythings will; but the truth is that nobody knew very where, or she may be quite the reverse. It was beclearly who Lady Denzil was. Sir Thomas's first cause Mrs. Wood belonged to this indefinite class wife was from Lancashire, of one of the best old fam- that Lady Denzil's visit would have been of such ilies in the county, and it was not an unusual thing for use. Her position was doubtful, poor soul. She new comers to get confused about this, and identify was very respectable and very good in her way, and the present Lady Denzil with her predecessor; but her daughters were nice girls, but there was nothing I am not aware that any one really knew the rights in themselves individually to raise them out of meof it or could tell who she was. I have heard the mis- diocrity. I took the liberty to say so one day when take made, and I remember distinctly the gracious I was at the Lodge, but Lady Denzil did not see it, and unsatisfactory way with which she put it aside. somehow; and what could I do? . And on the other

The first Lady Denzil was a Lancashire woman,” | hand, it was gall and wormwood to poor Mrs. Wood she said ; "she was one of the Tunstalls of Abbotts every time she saw the carriage with the two bays Tunstall, and a very beautiful and charming per- stop at my door. son.” This was all; she did not add, as anybody "I saw Lady Denzil here to-day," she would say. else would have done, Loamshire or Blankshire is “ You ought to feel yourself honored. I must say I my county. It was very unsatisfactory : but it was don't see why people should give in to her so. In fine all the same, — and closed everybody's mouth. my poor husband's time the Duchess never came There were always some connections on the Denzil into the parish without calling. It need not be any side staying at the Lodge in the end of the year. object to me to be noticed by a bit of a baronet's Nothing could be kinder than she was to all Sir wife.". Thomas's young connections. But nobody belong- “ No, indeed !” said I, being a coward and afraid ing to Lady Denzil was ever seen among us. I to stand to my guns; “I am sure it is not worth don't think it was remarked at the time, but it came your while. And she is old, poor lady,- and I am to be noted afterwards, and it certainly was very an old friend, -and indeed I don't know that Lady strange.

Denzil professes to visit," I went on faltering, with I never saw more perfect devotion than that which a sense of getting deeper and deeper into the mud. Sir Thomas showed to his wife. He was about ten “0, pray don't say so to spare my feelings," said years older than she, - a hale, handsome old man, Mrs. Wood, with asperity. " It is nothing to me nearly seventy. Had he been twenty-five and she whether she calls or not, but you must know, Mrs. eighteen he could not have been more tender, more | Mulgrave, that Lady Denzil does make a point of careful of her. Often have I looked at her and calling on every one she thinks worth her while. I wondered, with the peaceful life she led, with the love am sure she is quite at liberty to do as she pleases and reverence and tender care which surrounded her, so far as I am concerned." Here she stopped and how she had ever came to know the darker side of life, relieved herself, drawing a long breath and fanning and understand other people's feelings. No*trouble with her handkerchief her cheeks which were crimseemed ever to have come to her. She put down son. “But if I were to say I was connected with her dainty little foot only to walk over soft carpets the peerage, or to talk about the titled people I do or through bright gardens; she never went any know," she added, with a look of spite, “she would where where those long silken robes might not sweep, very soon find out where I lived: 0 trust her for safe even from the summer dust, which all the rest that!” of us have to brave by times. Lady Denzil never “I think you must have taken up a mistaken braved it. I have seen her sometimes — very seldom idea," I said meekly. I had not courage enough to

— with her dress gathered up in her arms in great stand up in my friend's defence. Not that I am billows, on the sheltered sunny lime-walk which was exactly a coward by nature, but I knew that Mrs. at one side of the Lodge, taking a little gentle exer- Wood was a dangerous person to deal with; and I cise; but this was quite an unusual circumstance, was sorry in the present instance, and felt that the and meant that the roads were too heavy or too grievance was a real one. “I don't think Lady slippery for her horses. On these rare occasions Denzil cares very much about the peerage. She is Sir Thomas would be at her side, like a courtly old an old woman and has her fancies, I suppose.”. gallant as he was. He was as deferential to his wife 60, you are a favorite!” said Mrs. Wood, tossas if she had been a princess and he dependent on ing her head, as if it was my fault. “You have the her favor, and at the same time there was a grace entrée, and we are spiteful who are left out, you of old love in his reverence which was like a poem. know," she added with pretended playfulness. It It was a curious little Paradise that one looked into was a very affected little laugh, however, to which over the ha-ha across the verdant lawns that en- she gave utterance, and her cheeks flamed crimson. circled the Lodge. The two were old and childless, I was very sorry,- I did not know what to say to and sometimes solitary; but I don't think, though make things smooth again. If I had been Lady they opened their house liberally to kith, kin, and Denzil's keeper I should have taken her to call at connections, that they ever felt less lonely than when Rose Cottage next day. But I was not Lady Denthey were alone. Two, where the two are one, is zil's keeper. It was great kindness of her to visit enough. To be sure the two in Eden were young. me; how could I foree her against her will to visit Yet it does but confer a certain tender pathos upon other people? A woman of Mrs. Wood's age, who that companionship when they are old. I thought surely could not have got so far through the world of the purest romance I knew, of the softest creations without a little understanding of how things are of poetry, when I used to see old Sir Thomas in the managed, ought to have known that it could do her lime-walk with his old wife.

very little good to quarrel with me. But I am sorry she had not called on poor Mrs. And then the girls would come to me when there Wood. It would have been of real consequence to was anything going on at the Lodge. “We met the Miss Llewellyns the other day,” Adelaide said | has always been one of my great fancies, that are on one occasion. “We thought them very nice. was more merciful than man, because He saw the They are staying with Lady Denzil, you know. I what was in all our hearts. What we meant ve wish you would make Lady Denzil call on mamma, creatures that we are, not what we did. The me Mrs. Mulgrave. It is so hard to come and settle in have any confidence in Him for that 1 23 a place and be shut out from all the best parties. He will forgive and save, but we don't think Until you have been at the Lodge you are consid- understands, and sees everything, and know ered nobody on the Green."

nothing is so bad as it seems. Perhaps it is The Lodge can't make us different from what gerous doctrine; at least the vicar would thinks we are," said Nora, the other sister, who was of a I fear." different temper. "I should be ashamed to think “In the case of Everard Stoke," said I, stop it mattered whether Lady Denzil called or not." coming back to the starting-point.

“But it does matter a great deal when they are “My dear," said Lady Denzil, with a Ettle is going to give a ball," said Adelaide, very solemnly. patience, " the older one grows, the less one is * The best balls going, some of the officers told me ; | inclined to judge any one. Indeed when one gen and everybody will be there, - except Nora and quite old," she went on after a pause, smiling : me," said the poor girl. “0 Mrs. Mulgrave, I little, as if it were at the thought that she, where wish you would make Lady Denzil call ! ”

no doubt she could remember so thoughtless a? "But, my dear, I can't make Lady Denzil do young, was quite old, “ one comes to judge ost & anything," I said; “I have no power over her. all. Poor Everard, he never was a good bor, She comes to see me sometimes, but we are not in- but I dare say his mother knows him best, and be i timate, and I have no influence. She comes be better than is thought." cause my people knew the Denzils long ago. She “ At least it was a comfort to ber to see you love has her own ways. I could not make her do one as if you believed her," said I, not quite entering thing or another. It is wrong to speak so to into the argument. Lady Denzil took so notice od me."

this speech. It was a beautiful bright day, and o “But you could if you would try," said Adelaide: was but a step from Mrs. Stoke's cottage to tie as she spoke, we could hear the sound of the croquet | Lodge gates, which we were just about entering balls from the Lodge, and voices and laughter. We But at that moment there was a little party of a were all three walking along the road, under sbelter diers marching along the high-road, at right angles of the trees. She gare such a wistful look when she from where we stood. It is not far from the Green heard them, that it went to my heart. It was not a to the barracks, and their red coats were all 13very serious tronble, it is true. But still, to feel one's common features in the landscape. These mes self shut out from anything, is hard wben one is twen- however, were marening in a business-like was, ist ts. I had to hurry past the gate, to restrain the incli- lingering on the road, and among them was a mis nation I had to brave everything, and take them in in a shooting-coat, handcuffed, poor fellow. limu with me, as my friends, to join the croquet party. a deserter they were taking back to the punishment I knew verr well what would have happened had that awaited him. I made some meaningles cho I done so Lady Denzil woald have been periectly i clamation or other, and stood still, looking alter sweet and gracious, and sent them away delighted them for a moment. Then I suppose my interes with her: but she would never hare crossed mr jailed, as they went on, at their rapid, steady pack, threshold again. And what good would that bare turning their backs upon us. I came back to lady done them. The fact was, they had nothing par- Dennil as it were ; but when I looked at her, there ticular to recommend them ; no special qualities of was something in ber face that struck me with the their own to make up for their want of birth and deepest wonder. Sbe bad not come back to . connection: and this being the case, what could any She was standing absorbed, watching them; te one sar?

color all gone out of her saft old cheeks, and the It gave one a very different impression of Laly saddest wistil, longing gaze in ber eyes. It wa Denzl, to see how she behared when poor Mrs. 'Dot pit, - it was something mightier, more intense. Stoke was in such trouble about her youngest bor. She did not trentbe or more, but stood gazine, I had been with her caling, and in Stoke has fizing after them. Then they had disappeared, se told us a whole long story about him: how good- came to berself: her hands, which had been clasped hearted he was and how generous, spending his tightly, feu loose at ber sides; she gare a long, deep moner upon everrbodr. It was a very hard mat- sieh, and then she became conscious of my eyes ter for me to keep my countenance, for of course I, upon her, si the coor came back with a rush to knew Everard Stoke and what kind of a bor beber face WAS Bat Lady Denzil took it all with the greatest ! ! am always aterested about soldiers," she said attention and strupathr, I couli aot but seak of faintir. turning as she spoke to open the gate it when we came out. Poor Ms. Stoke * sad I: , That was the Dating she took of it. But the 10* it is strange bow she can deceive berself so, - anà aident struck me more than my account of it may she must have known we knew better. You who seem to taste. If such a thing had been possible have seen pibor Everard grom un Ladr Denzil —" as that the deserter could bare been her husband,

* Yes, y det," she said, “ von see right, and be brother, one could have understood it. H Vet, do von know, I think you are wrong too soon such a look an Ms. Siobe's face, I should bare She is not deceived. She knows a great deal better known it was Ivarard But bere was Lady Denzi than we do. But then she is on the other side of a contented childless women without anybody the sens, and she sees into the bows beurt a little disturb her parts. Srimathe most indeed ba I hope she sees into his heart

i hecome perfect, before such a mistralness could come * Feat it is a very bad heart; I should not think into any woman's eyes. i was any pleasure to look into it," said I in mr Ofen since I have rocked but sene to my m... hasta Lady Denmil gave me , balt-reproach 1 snd wondered over it ; tbe quick march of the soldier fal look * Well," she said and gave a sigh t on the road, the man in the midst with death en iza


roning him all round, and most likely despair in his I don't think it ever is; a woman is deceived, or she heart; and that one face looking on, wistful as love, deceives herself; and then when it is too late —"

sad as death, - and yet with no cause either for her “ What is too late ? " said Sir Thomas behind us. * sadness or her love. It did not last long, it is true; He had come in at the great window, and we had but it was one of the strangest scenes I ever wit- not noticed. I thought Lady Denzel gave a little nessed in my life.

start, but there was no sign of it in her face. It even appeared to me next day as if Lady "We were talking of Molly Jackson," she said. Denzil had been a little shaken, either by her visit - Nothing is ever too late here, thanks to your pre'to Mrs. Stoke, or by this strange little episode cise habits, you old soldier. Molly must be talked to

which nobody knew of. She had taken to me, Mrs. Mulgrave," she said, turning to me. which I confess I felt as a great compliment. And “() yes, she will be talked to,” said I; “I know

Sir Thomas came to ask me to go to her next after-the Rector and his wife have both called; and last * noon. “My lady has a headache," he said in a time I saw her, Mrs. Wood "

quaint way he had of speaking of her: I think he “You are not one of the universal advisers," said I would have liked to call her my queen or my prin- Lady Denzil, patting my arm with her white hand.

cess. When he said “my lady" there was some- It was no virtue on my part, but she spoke as if she I thing chivalric, something romantic in his very tone. meant it for a compliment. And then we had to

When I went into the drawing-room at the Lodge tell the whole story over again to Sir Thomas, who the great green blind was drawn over the window was very fond of a little gossip like all the gentleOn the west side, and the trees gave the same green men, but had to have everything explained to him, effect to the daylight, at the other end. The east and never knew what was coming next. He windows looked out upon the lime walk, and the chuckled and laughed as men do over it. " Old

light came in softly, green and shadowy, through the fool ! " he said. “A woman with half a dozen chil¡ silken leaves. She was lying on the sofa, which was dren." It was not Molly but Thomas Short that í not usual with her. As soon as I entered the room he thought would be fool; and on our side, it is true

she called me to come and sit by her, and of course that we had not been thinking of him. | she did not say a word about yesterday. We went Molly Jackson has not much to do with this story,

on talking for an hour and more, about the trees, but yet it may be as well to say that she listened to and the sunset; about what news there was; girls reason, and did not do anything so absurd. It was going to be married, and babies coming, and other a relief to all our minds when Thomas went to live such domestic incidents. And sometimes the con- in Langham parish the spring after, and married versation would languish for a moment, and I did somebody there. I believe it was a girl out of the think once there was something strange in her eyes, workhouse, who might have been his daughter, and when she looked at me, as if she had something to led him a very sad life. But still in respect to tell and was looking into my face to see whether she Molly it was a relief to our minds. I hope she was might or might not do it. But it never went any of the same way of thinking. I know for one thing further; we began to speak of Molly Jackson, and that she lost her temper, the only time I ever saw that was an interminable subject. Molly was a her do it, - and was very indignant about the young widow in the village, and she gave us all a great wife. “Old fool!” she said, and again it was deal of trouble. She had a quantity of little chil- Thomas that was meant. We had a way of talking dren, to whom the people on the Green were very a good deal about the village folks, and we all did a kind, and she was a good-natured soft soul, always great deal for them, - perhaps, on the whole, we falling into some scrape or other. This time was did too much. When anything happened to be the worst of all, it was when the talk got up about wanting among them, instead of making an effort to Thomas Short. People said that Molly was going get it for themselves, it was always the ladies on the to marry him. It would have been very foolish for Green they came to. And, of course, we interfered them both, of course. He was poor and he was in our turn. getting old, and would rather have hindered than helped her with her children. We gentlefolks may, or may not, be sentimental about our own concerns;

CHAPTER II. but we see things in their true light when they take It was in the spring of the following year that litplace among our poor neighbors. As for the two tle Mary first came to the Lodge. Sir Thomas had being a comfort to each other we never entered into been absent for some time, on business, Lady Denthat question; there were more important matters zil said, and it was he who brought the child home. concerned.

It is all impressed on my mind by the fact that I *I don't know what would become of the poor was there when they arrived. He was not expectchildren," said I. “ The man would never put up ed until the evening, and I had gone to spend an hour with them, and indeed it could not be expected; with Lady Denzil in the afternoon. It was a bright and they have no friends to go to. But I don't spring day, as warm as summer; one of those sweet think Molly would be so wicked ; she may be a fool, surprises that come upon us in England in inbut she has a mother's heart."

tervals between the gray east wind and the rain. Lady Denzil gave'a faint smile and turned on The sunshine had called out a perfect crowd of her sofa as if something hurt her; she did not an-golden crocuses along the borders. They had all swer me all at once, and as I sat for a minute silent blown out quite suddenly, as if it had been an actuin that soft obscurity, Molly Jackson, I acknowl- al voice that called them, and God's innocent creaedge, went out of my head. Then all at once when tures had rushed forth to answer to their names. I had gone on to something else, she spoke; and her And there were heaps of violets about the Lodge return to the subject startled me, I could not have which made the air sweet. And there is something told how.

in that first exquisite touch of spring which moves "There are different ways of touching a mother's all hearts. Lady Denzil had come out with me to heart," she said ; "she might think it would be for the lawn. I thought she was quieter than usual, their good; I don't think it could be, for my part; with the air of a woman listening for something.

« PreviousContinue »