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But now Barbara, although she pressed Madame Vine to remain at East Lynne, and indeed would have been glad that she should do so, did not take her refusal to heart. Barbara could not fail to perceive that she was a thoroughly refined gentlewoman, far superior to the generality of governesses. That she was also truly fond of Lucy, and most anxious for her welfare in every way, Barbara also saw. For Lucy's sake, therefore, she would be grieved to part with Madame Vine, and would raise her salary to anything in reason, if she would but stay. But, on her own score, Barbara had as soon Madame Vine went, as not; for, in her heart of hearts, she had never liked her. She could not have told why. Was it instinct? Very probably. The birds of the air, the beasts of the field, the fishes of the sea have their instincts; and so does man have his. Perhaps it was the unaccountable resemblance that Madame Vine bore to Lady Isabel. A strange likeness! Barbara often thought: but whether it lay in the face, the voice, or the manner, she could never decide. A suspicion of the truth did not cross her mind. How should it? And she never spoke of it: had the resemblance been to any one but Lady Isabel, she would have talked of it freely. Or, it may have been that there was now and then a tone in Madame Vine's voice that grated on her ear: a wrung, impatient tone, wanting in respect, savouring of hauteur, which Barbara did not understand, and did not like. However it may have been, certain it is that Mrs. Carlyle would not shed tears after the governess. Only for Lucy's sake did she regret parting with her.
These different remembrances and reflections were separately passing through the minds of the two ladies, when their conference was over. Madame Vine at length rose from her chair to depart.
"Would you mind holding my baby for one minute ?" cried Barbara. Madame Vine quite started. "The baby there!" she uttered. Barbara laughed.
"It is lying by my side, under the shawl, quiet little sleeping thing." Madame Vine advanced and took the sleeping baby. How could she refuse? She had never had it in her arms before: had, in fact, scarcely seen it. One visit of ceremony she had paid Mrs. Carlyle, as in politeness bound, a day or two after the young lady's arrival, and had been shown a little face, nearly covered with lace, in a cradle.
"Thank you. I can get up now. I might have half smothered it, had I attempted before," continued Barbara, still laughing. "I have been here long enough, and am quite rested. Talking about smothering children, what accounts we have in the registrar-general's weekly returns of health. So many children overlaid in bed;' so many children suffocated in bed.' One week there were nearly twenty; and often there are as many as eight and ten. Mr. Carlyle says he knows they are smothered on purpose."
"Oh, Mrs. Carlyle !"
"I exclaimed, just as you do, when he said it, and laid my hand over his lips. He laughed, and told me I did not know half the wickedness of the world. Thank you," again repeated Mrs. Carlyle, taking her child from Lady Isabel. Is she not a pretty baby? Do you like the name: Anna ?"
"It is a simple name," replied Lady Isabel. always the most attractive."
"And simple names are
"That is just what Archibald thinks. But he wanted this child's to be Barbara. I would not have had it Barbara for the world. I remember his once saying, a long, long while ago, that he did not like elaborate names; they were mouthfuls; and he instanced mine, and his sister's, and his own. I recalled his words to him, and he said he may not have liked the name of Barbara then, but he loved it now. So we entered into a compromise: Miss Baby was named Anna Barbara, with an understanding that the first name is to be for use, and the last for the registers." "It is not christened," said Lady Isabel.
Only baptised. We should have had it christened before now, but for William's death. Not that we give christening dinners; but I waited for the trial at Lynneborough to be over, that my dear brother Richard might stand to the child."
"Mr. Carlyle does not like christenings made into festivals," Lady Isabel dreamily observed, her thoughts buried in the past.
"How did you know that ?" exclaimed Barbara, opening her eyes. And poor Madame Vine, her pale face flushing, had to stammer forth some confused words that she "had heard so somewhere."
"It is quite true," said Barbara. "He has never given a christening dinner for any of his children, and generally gets out of attending, if invited to one. He cannot understand the analogy between a solemn religious rite, and the meeting together afterwards to eat and drink and make merry, according to the fashion of this world.”
As Lady Isabel quitted the room, young Vane was careering through the corridor, throwing his head in all directions, and calling out. "Lucy! I want Lucy."
"What do you want with her?" asked Madame Vine.
"Il m'est impossible de vous le dire, madame," responded he. Being, for an Eton boy, wonderfully up in French, he was rather given to show it off, when he got the chance. He did not owe thanks for it to Eton: Lady Mount Severn had taken better care than that. Better care? What could she want? There was one whole real live French tutor— and he an Englishman!—for the eight hundred, boys. Very unreasonable of her ladyship to disparage that ample provision!
Lucy cannot come to you just now. She is practising." "Mais, il le faut. J'ai le droit de demander après elle. partient, vous comprenez, madame, cette demoiselle-là.”
Madame could not forbear a smile. "I wish you would speak English sense, instead of French nonsense."
"Then the English sense is, that I want Lucy, and I must have her. am going to take her for a drive in the pony-carriage if you must know. She said she'd come, and John's getting it ready."
"I could not possibly allow it," said Madame Vine. "You'd be sure to upset her."
"The idea!" he returned, indignantly. "As if I should upset Lucy! Why, I am one of the great whips at Eton! I care for Lucy too much not to drive steadily. She is to be my wife, you know, ma bonne dame."
At this juncture, two heads were pushed out from the library, close by: those of the earl and Mr. Carlyle. Barbara also, attracted by the talking, appeared at the door of her dressing-room.
"What's that about a wife?" asked my lord of his son.
The blood mantled in the young gentleman's cheek, as he turned round and saw who spoke. But he possessed all the fearlessness of an Eton boy, the honour of a right mind; and he disdained to equivocate.
"I intend Lucy Carlyle to be my wife, papa. I mean, in earnestwhen we shall both be grown up. If you will approve, and Mr. Carlyle
will give her to me."
The earl looked somewhat impassible: Mr. Carlyle, amused. "Suppose," said the latter, "we adjourn the discussion to this day ten years?” "But that Lucy is so very young a child, I should reprove you seriously, sir," said the earl. "You have no right to bring Lucy's name into any such absurdity."
"I mean it, papa: you'll all see. And I intend to keep out of scrapes -that is, of nasty dishonourable scrapes-on purpose that Mr. Carlyle shall find no excuse against me. I have made up my mind to be what he is a man of honour. I am right glad you know about it, sir. And I shall let mamma know it, before long."
The last sentence tickled the earl's fancy, and a grim smile passed over his lips. "It will be war to the knife, if you do."
"I know that," laughed the viscount. "But I am getting a better match for mamma in our battles than I used to be."
Nobody saw fit to prolong the discussion. Barbara put her veto upon the drive in the pony-carriage, unless John sat behind to look after the driver, which Lord Vane's skill resented as an insult. Madame Vine, when the corridor became empty again, laid her hand upon the boy's arm, as he was moving away, and drew him to the window.
"In speaking, as you do, of Lucy Carlyle, do you forget the disgrace reflected on her through the conduct of her mother?"
"Her mother is not Lucy."
"It may prove an impediment, that, with Lord and Lady Mount Severn."
"Not with his lordship. And I must do-as you heard me saybattle with my mother. Conciliatory battle, you understand, madame; bringing the enemy to reason."
Madame Vine was agitated. She held her handkerchief to her mouth, and the boy noticed how her hands trembled.
"I have learnt to love Lucy. It has appeared to me, in these few months' sojourn with her, that I have stood to her in the light of a mother. William Vane," she solemnly added, keeping her hold upon him, "I shall soon be where earthly distinctions are no more; where sin and sorrow are wiped away. Should Lucy Carlyle indeed become your wife in after years, never, never cast upon her, by so much as the lightest word of reproach, the sin of Lady Isabel."
Lord Vane threw back his head, his honest eyes flashing in their indignant earnestness.
"What do you take me for?"
"It would be a cruel wrong upon Lucy. She does not deserve it. That unhappy lady's sin was all her own let it die with her. Never speak to Lucy of her mother."
The lad dashed his hand across his eyes, for they were filling. shall. I shall speak to her often of her mother-that is, you know, after she's my wife. I shall tell how I loved Lady Isabel-that there's nobody
I ever loved so much in the world, but Lucy herself. I cast a reproach to Lucy on the score of her mother!" he hotly added. "It is through her mother that I love her. You don't understand, madame."
"Cherish and love her
Isabel, wringing his hand. "I will. I promise it.
for ever, should she become yours," said Lady "I ask it you as one who is dying."
But, I say, madame," he continued, dropping
his fervent tone, "what do you allude to? Are you worse ?"
Madame Vine did not answer. She glided away without speaking. Later, when she was sitting by twilight in the grey parlour, cold and shivering, and wrapped up in a shawl, though it was hot summer weather, somebody knocked at the door.
"Come in," cried she, apathetically.
It was Mr. Carlyle who entered. She rose up, her pulses quickening, her heart thumping against her side. In her wild confusion, she was drawing forward a chair for him. He laid his hand upon it, and motioned her to her own.
"Mrs. Carlyle tells me that you have been speaking to her of leaving. you find yourself too much out of health to continue with us." Yes, sir," she faintly replied, having a most imperfect notion of what she did say.
"What is it that you find to be the matter with you?"
"I-think-it is chiefly weakness," she stammered.
Her face had grown as grey as the walls. A dusky, livid sort of hue, not unlike William's had worn, the night of his death, and her voice sounded strangely hollow. It-the voice-struck Mr. Carlyle, and awoke his fears.
"You cannot-you never can have caught William's complaint, in your close attendance on him!" he exclaimed, speaking in the impulse of the moment, as the idea flashed across him. "I have heard of such things." "Caught it from him!" she rejoined, carried away also by impulse. "It is more likely that he
She stopped herself just in time. "Inherited it from me," had been the destined conclusion. In her alarm, she went off volubly, something to the effect that "it was no wonder she was ill; illness was natural to her family."
"At any rate, you have become ili at East Lynne, in attendance on my children," rejoined Mr. Carlyle, decisively, when her voice died away; you must therefore allow me to insist that you allow East Lynne to do what it can towards renovating you. What is your objection to see a
"A doctor could do me no good," she faintly answered.
"Certainly not-so long as you will not consult one."
'Indeed, sir, doctors could not cure me. Nor-as I believe-prolong
Mr. Carlyle paused. "Are you believing yourself to be in danger?" "Not in immediate danger, sir. Only in-so-far as that I know I shall not live."
"And yet you will not see a doctor! Madame Vine, you must be aware that I could not permit such a thing to go on in my house. Dangerous illness, and no advice!"
She could not say to him, "My malady is on the mind; it is a breakSept.-VOL. CXXIII. NO. CCCCLXXXIX.
ing heart, and therefore no doctor of physic could serve me." That would never do. She had sat with her hand across her face, between her spectacles, and her wrapped-up chin. Had Mr. Carlyle possessed the of Argus, backed by Sam Weller's patent magnifying microscopes of double hextra power, he could not have made anything of her features in the broad light of day. But she did not feel so sure of it. There was always an undefined terror of discovery when in his presence, and she wished the interview at an end.
"I will see Mr. Wainwright, if it will be any satisfaction to you, sir." "Madame Vine, I have intruded upon you here, to say that you must see him. And, should he deem it necessary, Dr. Martin also."
"Oh, sir," she rejoined, with a curious smile, "Mr. Wainwright will be quite sufficient. There will be no need of another. I will write a note to him to-morrow."
"Spare yourself the trouble. I am going into West Lynne, and will send him up. You will permit me to urge that you spare no pains or care-that you suffer my servants to spare no pains or care to reestablish your health. Mrs. Carlyle tells me that the question of your leaving remains in abeyance until her return
"Pardon me, sir. The understanding with Mrs. Carlyle was, that I should remain here until her return, and should then be at liberty at once to leave."
Exactly. That is what Mrs. Carlyle said. But I must express a hope that by that time you may be feeling so much better as to reconsider your decision, and continue with us. For my daughter's sake, Madame Vine, I trust it will be so.”
He rose as he spoke, and held out his hand. What could she do but rise also, drop hers from her face, and give it him in answer? He retained it, clasping it warmly.
"How shall I repay you; how thank you for your love to my poor lost boy?"
His earnest, tender eyes were on her blue double-spectacles; a sad smile mingled with the sweet expression of his lips, as he bent towards her-lips that had once been hers! A faint exclamation of despair; a vivid glow of hot crimson; and she caught up her new black silk apron, so deeply bordered with crape, in her disengaged hand, and flung it up to her face. He mistook the sound; mistook the action.
"Do not grieve for him. He is at rest. Thank you, thank you greatly for all your sympathy."
Another wring of her hand, and Mr. Carlyle had quitted the room. She laid her head upon the table, and thought how merciful would be death when he should come.