Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

10 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.] I SIR TOM. BY MRS. OLIPIIANT. Author of The Clironiclas of Carlinwford," The Greatest Heiress in England," "He that Will Not when He May," &c., kc. CHAPTER Ilr. OLD MR. TREVOR'S WILL. Lucy Trevor, when she married Sir Thomas Randolph, was the heiress of so great a fortune that no one ventured to state it in words or figures. She was not old enough, indeed, to have the entire control of it in her hands; but she had unlimited control over a portion of it in a certain sense, not for her own advantage, but for the aggrandise- ment of others. Her father, who was eccentric and full of notions, had so settled it that a large portion of the money should eventually return, a& he phrased it. to the people from whom it had come, and this not in the way of public charities and institutions, as is the common idea in such cases, bat by private and individual aid to strug- gling persons and families. Lucy, who was then nll conscience and devotion to the difficult yet exciting duty which her father had left to her to do, had made a beginning of this extraordinary 'Work before her marriage, resisting all the argu- ments that were brought to bear upon her as to the folly of the will, and the impossibility of carrying it out. It is likely, indeed, that the trustees and guardians would have taken steps at once to have oid Trevor's will set aside, but for the fact that Lucy had a brother, who in that case would divide the fortune with her, but who was specially excluded by the will as being a son of Mr. Trevor's second wife, and entirely unconnected with the source from which the fortune came. It was Lucy's mother who had brought it into the 'family, although she was not herself aware of its magnitude, and did not live long enough to have My enjoyment of it. Neither did old Trevor him- eelt have any enjoyment of it, save in the making ot the will by which he laid down exactly his regulations for its final disposal. In any case Luev was to retain the half, which was of itself a great sum; but the condition other inheritance, and, indeed, the occupation of her life, according to her father's intention, was that she should select tuitable persons to whom to distribute the other half of her fortune. It is needless to say that this commistion had seriously occupied the thoughts of the serious girl who, without any sense of personal importance, found herself thus placed in the posi- tion of an oiiicial Destower of fortune, having it in her power to confer comfort, independence, and even wealth; for she was left almost entirely unre- stricted as to her disposition of the money, and might at her pleasure confer a very large sum upon a favourite. Everybody who had ever heard of old Trevor's will considered it the very maddest Upon record, and there were many who congratu- lated themselves that Lucy's husband, if she was eo lucky as to marry a man of sense, would certainly put a stop to it—or even that Lucy her- self, when she came to years of serious judgment, would see the folly; for there was no stipulation as to the time at which the distributions should be made, these, as well as the selection of the objects of her bounty, being left to herself. She had been very full of this strange duty before her marriage, and had selected several persons who, as it turned out, did but little credit to her choice, almost forcing her will upon the reluctant trustees, who had no power to hinder her from carrying it out, and whose efforts at reasoning with her had been totally unsuccessful. In these early pro- ceedings, Sir Tom, who was intensely amused by the oddity of the business altogether, and who had then formed no idea of appropriating her and her money to himself, gave her a delighted support. He had never in his life encountered anything "which amused him so much, and his only regret xvas that he had not known the absurd but high- minded old English Quixote who, wiser in his generation than that noble knight, left it to his heir to redress the wrongs of the world, while he himself had the pleasure of the anticipation only, not, perhaps, unmixed with a malicious sense of all the confusion and exhibition of the weakness of humanity it would produce. Sir Tom himself had humour enough to appreciate the philosophy of the old humourist, and the droll spectator posi- tion which he had evidently chosen for himself, as though he could somehow see and enjoy all the struggles of self-interest raised by his will, with one of those curious self-delusions which so often seem to actuate the dying. Sir Tom, however, had thought it little more than a folly even at the taoment when it had amused him the most. He had thought that in time Lucy would come to see how ridiculous it was, and would tacitly, without oaying anything, give it up, so sensible a girl being sure in the long run to see how entirely unsuited to our times and habits such a disposition was. And had she done so, there was nobody who was likely to waken her to a sense of her duty. Her trustees, who considered old Tievor mad, and Lucy a fool to humour him, would certainly make no objection and little Jock, the little bivther to whom Lucy was every thing iu the world, was still leas likely to interfere. When it came abotit that Lucy herself, and her fortune, and all her rights were in air Tom's own hands, he was naturally more and more sure that this foolish will (after giving him a great deal of amusement, and perhaps producing a supernatural chuckle, if such an expression of feeling is possible in the spiritual region where old Trevor might be supposed to be) would be henceforward like a testament in black letter, voided by good sense, and better knowledge end time, the most certain agency of all. And his conviction had been more than carried out in the first years of his married life. Lucy forgot what -was required of her. She thought no more of her father's will. It glided away into the unseen along with so many other things, extravagances, or, if not extravagances, still phantasies of youth. She found enough in her new hie—in her husband, her baby, and the humble community which looked up to her and claimed everything from her—to occupy both her mind and her hands. Life seemed to be so full that there was no time for more. It had been no doing of Sir Tom's that little Jock, the brother who had been Lucy's child, her Mentor, her counsellor and guide, had been separated from her for so long. Jock had been sent to school with his own entire concurrence and control. He was a "little philosopher with a mind beyond his years, and he had seemed to understand fully, without any childish objection, the reason why he should be "absent, and even why it was necessary to give Up the hope of visiting his sister. The first year it was because she was absent on her prolonged wedding tour; the next because Jock was himself away on a long and delightful expedition with a tutor who had taken a special fancy to him. Afterwards the baby was expected, and all exciting visits and visitors were given up. They had met in the interval.. Lucy had visited Jock at his school, and he had been with them in London on several occasions. But there had been little possi- bility of anything like their old intercourse. Perhaps they could never again be to each other what they had been when these two young creatures, strangely separated from all about them, had been alone in the world, having entire and perfect confidence in each other. They both looked back upon these by-gone times with a sort of regretful consciousness of the difference; but Lucy ■was very happy in her new life, and Jock was a perfectly natural boy, given to no sentimentalities, not. jealous, and enjoying his existence too com- pletely to sigh for the time when he was a quaint old-fashioned child, and knew no life apart from his sister. Their intercourse then had been so pretty, so tender and touching, the child being at once his sister's charge, and her superior in his old-fashioned reflectiveness, her pupil and her teacher, the little judge of whose opinions she stood in awe, while at the same time quite subject and submissive to her -that it was a pity it should ever come to an end but it is a pity when children grow up, when they grow out of all the softness and keen impressions of youth into the harder stuff of man and woman. To their parents it is a change which has often little to recommend it, but it is inevitable as we all know; and so it was a pity that Lucy and Jock Wore no longer all in all to each other, but the :change was in their case, too, inevitable, and accepted by both. When, however, the time came when Jock was to arrive really on his first long visit at the Hall, :Lucy prepared for this event with a little excitement, with a lighting up of her eyes and countenance, and a pleasant warmth of anticipa- 'tion in which even little Tom was for the moment. ,set aside. She asked her husband many a dozen times on the previous day if he thought the boy 'would be changed. I know he must be taller and all that," Lucy said. I do not mean the out- side of him. But do you think ho will be iji changed It is to be hoped so," said Sir Tom, serenely. "He is sixteen. I trust he is not what he was at ten. That would be a sad busi ness, indeed-" Oh, Tom, you know that's Dot what I mean!- of course he has grown older; but he always was Very old for his age. He has become a real boy ,now. Perhaps in some things he will seem ^younger too- I always said you were very reasonable," said iher husband, admiringly. "That is just what I 'Wanted you to be prepared for-not a. wise little old man as he was when he had the charge of your soul, Lucy." She smiled at him, shaking her head. What ridiculous things you say. But Jock was always the wise one. He knew much better than I did. He did take care of me whatever you may think, though he was such a child." Perhaps it was as well that he did not continue 'to take care of you. On the whole, though, I have 110 such lofty views, I am a better guide." Lucy looked at him once more without replying '!or a moment. Was her mind ever crossed by the idea that there was perhaps certain particulars in which little Jock was the best guide ? If I blasphemy was involuntary. She shook it *5*011 with a little movement of her head, and met his glance with her usual serene confidence. You ought to be, Tom," she said, "but you liked h* tlways" Didn't you like him? 1 always 3 80'an(* }'oa wh' like him now." -1 "I hope so," said Sir Tom. :< Then a slight gleam of anxiety came into Lucy's This seemed the only shape in which evil 11'ouM come to her, and with one of those fore- warnings of Nature always prone to alarm, which icoine when we are most happy, she looked wist- fully at her husband, saying nothing, but with an anxious question and prayer combined in her look. Be smiled at her, laying his hand upon her head, ■Which was one of his caressing ways, for Lucy, .TtOt an imposing person in any particular, was tehort, and Sir Tom was tall. Does that frighten you, Lucy ? I shall like win* lox J9IK sake, if not for bis own, never fear." I, "That is kind," she said, "but I want you b I ke him for his own sake. I should like you, i I on would, Tom," she added, almost timidly, "t> I like him for your own. Perhaps you think that is pre- suming, as if he, a little boy, could be anything to you; but I almost think that is the only real way -if you know what I mean." "Now this is humbling," said Sir Tom, "that one's wife should consider one too dull to know what she means. You are quite right, and a com- plete philosopher, Lucy. 1 will like the boy for my own sake. I always did like him, as you say. He was the quaintest little beggar, an old man and a child in one. It would have been bad for him had you kept on cultivating him in that sort of hot-house atmosphere. It was well for Jock, what- ever it might be for you, that I arrived in time." Lucy pondered for a little without answering; and then she said, Why should it be considered so necessary for a boy to be sent away from home ?" "Why!" cried Sir Tom, in astonishment; and then he added, laughingly, It shows your ignorance, Lucy, to ask such a question. He must be sent to school, and there is an end of it. There are some things that are like axioms in Euclid, though you don't know very much about that— they are made to be acted upon, not to be dis- cussed. A boy must go to school." But why ?" said Lucy, undaunted. That is no answer." She was untrammelled by any respect for Euclid, and would have freely ques- tioned the infallibility of an axiom with a courage such as only ignorance possesses. She was think- ing not, only of Jock, but had an eye to distant contingencies, when there might be questions of a still more precious boy. "God," she said, reverentially, must have meant surely that the father and mother should have something to do in bringing them up." In the holidays, my dear," said Sir Tom that is what we are made for. Have you never found that out." Lucy never felt perfectly .sure whether he was in jest or earnest. She looked at him again to see what he meant—which was not very easy, for Sir Tom meant two things directly opposed to each other. He meant wltut he said, and'yet said what he knew was nonsense, and laughed at himself inwardly with a keen recognition of this fact. Notwithstanding, he was as much determined to act upon it as if it had been the most certain truth, and, in a way, pinned his faith to it its such. I suppose you are laughing," said Lucy, and I wish you would not, because it is so important. I am sure wo are not meant only for the holidays, and you don't really think so, Tom and to take a child away from his natural teachers, and thoce that love him best in the world, to throw him among strangers! Oh, I cannot think that is the best wwhatever Euclid may make you think." At this Sir Tom laughed, as he generally did, though never disrespect fully, at Lucy's decisions. He said, "That is a very just expression, my dear, though Euclid never made us think so much as he ons'iit to have done. You are thinking of that littlu. shaver, Wait till lie's out of long clothes." Which shows all you know about it. He was short-coated at the proper time, I hope," said Lucy, with some indignation, "do you call these long clothes ?" These were garments which showed when he sprawled, as he always did, a great deal of little Tom's person, and as his mother was at that moment holding him by them, while he felt his feet" upon the carpet, the spectacle of two little dimpled knees without any covering at all trium- phantly proved her right. Sir Tom threw himself upon the carpet to kiss those sturdy, yet waver- ing little limbs, which were not quite under the guidance of Tommy's will as yet, and taking the child from his mother propped it up against his own person. For the present I allow that fathers and mothers are the best," he said. Lucy stood and gazed at them in that ecstacy of love and pleasure with which a young mother beholds her husband's adoration for their child. Though she feels it to be the highest pride and crown of their joint existence, yet there is always in her mind a sense of admiration and gratitude for his devotion. She looked down upon them at her feet, with eyes running over with happiness. It is to be feared that at such a moment Lucy for- got even Jock, the little brother who had been as a child to her in her earlier days; and yet there was no want of love for Jock in her warm and constant heart. CHAPTER IV. YOUNG MR. TREVOR. John Trevor, otherwise Jock, arrived at the Hall in a state of considerable though suppressed ex- citement. It was not in his nature to show the feelings which were most profound and strongest in his nature, and the religion of an English public shool-boy forbids demonstration. But he had very strong fee lines underneath his calm exterior, and the approach to Lucy's home gave him many thoughts. The sense of separation which had once affected him with a deep though unspoken sentiment had passed away long ago I into a faint grudge, a feeling of something lost- but between ten and sixteen one does not brood upon a grievance, especially when one is sur- rounded by everything that can make one happy; and there was a certain innate philosophy in the mind of Jock which enabled him to see the justice and necessity of the separation. He it was who in very early days had ordained his own going to school with a realisation of the need of it which is not usually given to his ille-and he had under- stood without any explanation and without any comphint that Lucy must live- her own life, nd l that. their constant brothor and-sister fellow ship became impossible when she married. The curious little solemn bov, who had made so many shrewd guesses at the ways of life while he was st ill only a. chjJù. accepted t^ls wlthcjul a Word, working it out in his own silent soul; but never- theless it had effected him deeply. And when the time came at last for a. real meeting, not a week's visit in town when she was fully occupied, and he did not well know what to do with himself-or a hurried rapid meeting at school when Jock's pride in introducing his tutor to his sister was a some- what imperfect set-off to the loss of personal advantage to himself in thus seeing Lucy always in the company of other people-his being was greatly moved with diverse thoughts. Lucy was all he had in the world to represent the homes, the fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers of his companions. The old time when they had been all in all to each other had a more delicate beauty than the ordinary glow of childhood. He thought there was nobody liko her, with that mingled adoration and affectionate contempt which make up a boy's love for the women belonging to him. She was not clever. He regarded the simplicity of her mind with pride. This seemed to give her her crowning charm. Any fellow can be clever," Jock said to himself. It was part of Lucy's supe- riority that she was not so. He arrived at the rail- wav station at Farafield with much excitement in his'mmd, though his looks were quiet enough. The place, though it was the first lie had ever known, did not attract a thought from the other and more important meeting. it was a wet day in August, and the man who drove the carriage which had been sent for him gave him a note to say that Lucy would have come to meet him but for the rain. He was rather glad of the rain, this being the case. lie did not want to meet her on a railway plattorm- he even regretted the long stretches of the stubble fields as he whirled past, and wished that the way had been longer, though he was so anxious to see her. And when he jumped down at the great door of the hall, and found himself in the embrace of his sister, the youth was thrilling with excitement, hope, and pleasure. Lucy had changed much less than he had. Jock, who had been the smallest of pale faced boys, was now long and weedy, with limbs and fingers of portentous length. His hair was light and limp; his large eyes, well set in his head, had a vague and often dreamy look. It was impossible to call him a handsome boy. There was an entire want of colour about him, as there had been about Lucy in her first youth, and his grey morning clothes, like the little grey dress she had worn as a young girl, were not vory becoming to him. They had been so long apart that he met her very shyly, with an awkwardness that almost looked like reluctance, and for the first hour scarcely knew what to say to her, so full was he of the wonder and pleasure of being by hfr, and the impossibility of expressing this. She asked him about his journey, and he made the usual replies, scarcely knowing what he said, and looked at her with a suppressed beatitude which made Jock dull in the very intensity of his feeling. The rain came steadily down outside, shutting them in as with veils of falling water. Sir Tom, in order to leave them entirely free, to have their first meeting over, Im had taken himself off for the day. Lucy took her young brother into the inner drawing-room, the centre of her own life. She made him sit down in a luxurious chair, and stood over him gazing at the boy, who was abashed and did not know what to say. "You are different, Jock. It is not that you are taller and bigger altogether, but you are diffe- rent. I suppose so am 1-" Not much." he said, looking shyly at her. "You couldn't change." How so?" she asked, with a. laugh. I am such a great deal older I ought to look wiser. Let me see what it is. Your eyes have grown darker, I think, and your face is longer, Jock and what is that? A little down, actually, upon your upper lip. Jock not a moustache." Jock blushed with pleasure and embarrassment and put his hand fondly to feel those few soft hairs. There isn't very much of it," he said. Oh, there is enough to swear by; and vou like school as well as ever? And M'Tutor, how is he? Are you as fond of him as you used to be, Jock ?" You don't say you're fond of him," said Jock, but he's just as jolly as ever, if that is what you mean." That is what I mean, I suppose. You must tell me when I say anything wrong," said Lucy. She took his head between her hands and gave him a kiss upon his forehead. I am so glad to see you here at last, Jock," she said. And then there was a pause. Her first little over- flow of questions had come to an end. and she did not exactly know what to say, while Jock sat silent, staring at her with an earnest gaze. It was all so strange, the scene and surroundings, and Lucy in the midst, who was a great lady, instead of being merely his sister—all these confused the boy's faculties. He wanted time to realise it all. Hut Lucy, for her part, felt the faintest little touch of disappointment. It seemed to her as if they ought to have had so much to say to each other, such a rush of questions and answers, and full- hearted confidence. Jock's heart would be at his lips, she thought, ready to rush forth—and her own also, with all the many things of which she had said to herself. I must tell that to Jock." But as a matter of fact, many of these things had been told by letter, and the rest would have been quite out of place in the moment of re-union, in which, indeed, it seemed inappropriate to intro- duce any subject other than their pleasure in seeing each other again, and those personal inquiries which we all so long to make face to face when we are separated from those near to us, yet which are so little capable of filling all the needs of the situa- tion when that moment comes. Jock was, indeed, showing his happiness much more by his expres- sive silence and shy eager gaze at lior than if he had plunged into immediate talk; but Lucy felt a little disappointed, as if the meeting had not come up to her hopes. She said, after a pause, which was almost awkward, You would like to see baby, Jock? How strange that you should not know baby! I wonder what Mn will, think of im?" She rose and rang the bell while she was I peaking in a pleasant stir of fresh expectation. So doubt it would stir Jock to the depths of his heart, and bring out all his latent feeling when he saw Lucy's boy. Little Tom was brought in state to see his uncle," a title of dignity which the nurse felt indignantly disappointed to have bestowed upon the lanky, colourless boy. who got up with great embarrassment and came forward reluctantly to see the creature quite unknown and unrealised, of whom Lucy spoke with so much exultation. Jock was not jealous, but he thought it rather odd that" a little thing like that should excite so much attention. It seemed to him that it was a thing all legs and arms, sprawling in every direction, and when it seized Lucy by the hair, pulling it about her face with the most riot- ous freedom, Jock felt deeply disposed to box its ears. But Lucy was delighted. Oh, naughty baby!" she said, with a voice of such admiration and ecstasy as the finest poetry, Jock reflected, would never have awoke in him; and when the thing "loved "her, at its nurse's bidding, clasp- ing its fat arms round her neck, and applying a wide-open wet mouth to her cheek, the tears were in her eyes for very pleasure. Baby, darling, that is your uncle; won't you go to your uncle? Take him, Jock. If he is a little shy at first he will suon get used to you," Lucy cried. To see Jock holding back on one side, and the baby on the other, which strenuously refused to go to its uncle, was as good as a play. I'm afraid I should let it fall," said Jock, I don't know anything about babies." Then sit down, dear, and I will never put him on your lap," said the young mother. There never was a more complete picture of wretchedness than poor Jock. as he placed himself unwillingly on the sofa with his knees put firmly together and his feet slanting outwards to support them. I shan't, know what to do with it," he said. It is to be feared that he resented its exis- tence altogether. It was to him a quite unnecessary addition. Was he never to see Lucy any more with- out that thing clinging to her? Little Tom, for his part, was equally decided in his sentiments. He put his little fist,s, which were by no means without force, against his uncle's face, and pushed him away, with squalls that would have exasperated Job ;lln, J, t hen, instead of consoling Jock, Lucy took the little demon to her arms and soothed him. Did they want to make friends against its will," Lucy was so ridiculous as to say, like one of the women in Punch, petting and smoothing down that odious little creature. Both she and the nurse seemed to think that it was the baby who wanted consoling for the appearance of Jock, and not Jock who had been insulted for one does not like even a baby to consider one as repulsive and disagreeable. The incident was scarcely at an end when Sir Tom came in, fresh, smiling, and damp from the farm where he had been i., ecting the cattle and enjoying himself. Matu-e age, and settled life, and a sense of property had converted Sir Tom to the pleasure of farming. He shook Jock heartily by the hand and clapped him on the back, and ba.le him welcome with gre-t kindness. Then he took the "little shaver "on his shoulder and carried him about the room, shrieking with delight. It seemed a very strange thing to Jock to see how entirely these two full-grown people gave themselves up to the deification of this child. It was not bringing themselves to his level, it was looking up to him as their superior. If he had been a king his careless favours could not have been more keenly contended for. Jock, who was fond of poetry and philosophy and many other fine things, looked on at this new mystery with wondering and indignant contempt., After dinner there was the baby again. It was allowed to stay out of bed longer than usual in honour of its uncle, and dinner was hurried over, Jock thought, in order that it might be produced, decked out in a sash almost as broad as its person. When it appeared rational conver- sation was at an end. Sir Tom, whom Jock had always respected highly, stopped the inquiries he was making, with all the knowledge and pleasure of an old schoolboy, into school life, comparing his own experiences with those of the present genera- tion—to play bo-peep behind Lucy's shoulder with the baby. Bo-peep A Member of Parliament, a fellow who had been at the University, who had travelled, who had seen America and gone through the Desert! There was consternation in the astonishment with which Jock looked on at this unlooked for, almost incredible, exhibition. It was ridiculous in Lucy, but in Sir Tom !? 1 suppose we were all like that one time ?" he said, trying to be philosophical, as little Tom at last, half smothered with kisses, was carried away. "Like that—do you mean like baby? You were a little darling, dear, and I was always very, very fond of you," said Lucy, giving him the kindest look of her soft eyes, 11 but you were not a. beauty, like my boy." Sir Tom had laughed, with something of the same sentiment very evident in his mirth, when Lucy spoke. He put out his hand and patted his young brother-in-law on the shoulder. "It is absurd," he said, "to put that little shaver in the foreground when we have somebody here who is in the sixth form at sixteen, and is captain of his house, and has got a school prize already. If Lucy does not appreciate all that, I do, Jock; and the best I can wish for Tommy is that he should have done as much at your age." Oh, I was not thinking of that," said Jock with a violent blush. Of course he was not," said Lucy calmly, for he always had the kindest heart though he was so clever. If you think I don't appreciate it as vou say, Tom, it is only because I knew it all tha time. Do you think I am surprised that Jock has beaten everybody? He was like that when he was six, before he had any education. And he will be just as proud of baby as we are when he knows him. He is s, little strange at first," said Lucy, beaming upon her Brother; "but as soon as he is used to *l S'J toO U* gPSs To tills Jock could not reply by be trying the shiver that went over him at the thought, but it gave him great occupation for his mind to make out how a little thing like that could attain, as it had done, such empire over the minds of two sensible people. He consulted M'Tutor on the subject by letter, who was his great referee on difficult subjects, and he could not help betraying his wonder to the household. He can't do anything for you," Jock said. He can't talk he doesn't know anything about—well about hooks; I know that's more my line than yours, Lucy-but about anything. Oh! you nt edn't flare up. When he dabs his mouth at you, ali wet-" Oh 1 you little wretch, you infidel, vou savage," Lucy cried his sweet mouth! and a dear big wet kiss that lets you know he means it." Jock looked at her as he had done often in the old days, with mingled admiration and contempt. It was like Lucy, and yet how odd it was. I suppose then," he said, I wa* rather worse than that when you took me up and were good to me. What for, I wonder? And you were fond o! me, too, although you are fonder of it-" If you talk of It again I wiil never speak to you more," Lucy said, as if my beautiful boy was a thing and not a person. He is not it, he is Tom. he is Mr. Randolph, that id what Williams calls him." Williams was the butler who had been all ovor the world with Sir Tom, and who was respectful of the heir, but a little impatient and surprised, as Jock was, of the fuss that was made about Tommy for his own small sake. By this time, however, Jock had recovered from his shyness—his difficulty in talking, all the little mist that absence had iiiade-and roamed about after Lucy, hanging upon her, putting his arm through hers, though he was much the taller, wherever she went. He held her back a little now as they walked through the park in a sort. of pro- cession, Mrs. Richens, the nurse, going first with the boy. When I was a little slobbering beast, like——" he stopped himself in time, like the t'other kind of baby, and nobody wanted me, you were the only one that. took any trouble." •' How do you know ?" said Lucy; you don't remember and I don't, remember." Ah! but I remember the time in the terrace, when I lay on the rug, and heard papa making his will over my head. I was listening for you all the time. I was thinking of nothing but your step coming to take me out." "Nonsense!" said Lucy, "you were deep in your books, and thinking of them only—of that— gentleman with the windmills or Shakespeare, or some other nonsense. Oh, I don't mean Shake- speare is nonsense. I mean you were thinking of nothing but your books, and nobody would believe you understood all that at your age." I did not understand," said Jock with a blush. I was a little prig. Lucy, how strange it all is, like a picture one has seen somewhere, or a scene in a play or a dream! Sometimes I can remember little bits of it, just as he used to read it out to old Ford. Bits of it are all in and out of I As you like it,' as if Touchstone had said them, or Jacques. Poor old papa! how particular he was about it all. Are you doing everything he told you, Lucy, in the will ?" Hit did not in the least mean it as an alarming question, as he stooped over, in his awkward way holding her arm, and looked into her face. (7b be continued.)


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