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It will cure you, or make her fear that it will cure you. Trust me, she doesn't want you to hop too far from her hand. She'll soon be sighing for a falconer's voice."
“No, no,” said Kerisen, with a fine air of determination. “I stay at home, and drudge, and wait. I shall drive the pen for my weekly and my monthly. When I think of how she works, I am ashamed of myself. Don't tempt me. I am a reformed man.” He ceased, and perceiving the inextinguishable laughter of Leonard Aubrey, tossed a small twig at him and hit him on the nose.
"An industrious apprentice of the name of Gallio," said Leonard, in revenge.
Irvine Dale, who had reposed and listened to the small-talk of his friends, lifted up his left hand to Kerisen, and said, "Good-bye to Gallio, and success to Benedick.”
Kerisen, holding the hand, which still looked white and delicate, bent down and whispered something
Irvine blushed, and a look of indescribable happiness came into his face. He could hardly believe his fortune. Ned turned his head and looked at Aubrey. “Are you really going round the world ?” he asked.
What else should I do?” Oh, nothing.” “I shall see life. I shall paint the Mikado of Japan. Who will round the world with me? Why," he continued, sitting up and staring about him, "we are like four fellows in a fairy tale, princes or millers' sons, or something. I shall send home a dog so small and of such excellent wisdom, that the Egyptian Hall shall be full for years, and a fortune be taken at the doors; or I shall find a wife so beautiful that I shall be made king of the country. My ladder of ropes shall be golden hair. But, after all, there is nothing like freedom. Thus runs the tale. So the four young men arose and embraced each other: and the first faced to the North, for he heard a sweet voice singing in the city of the Czar; and the second faced to the South, for his heart was full of love; and the third faced the East, for it was the only quarter disengaged; but the youngest, loveliest, and best was clad from top to toe in shining white, and he faced to the West—"
“And took the steamer to New York,” said Kerisen, taking up the tale; "and he wandered on and on, until he came to a fair avenue, and he passed it by; and he came to a second avenue, and he passed it by; and likewise a third and a
fourth ; but when he came to the fifth avenue, there sat the King of the Railways, and beside him the princess his daughter, clad in a gown of Paris, exceeding fair, and she sat all day on sacks of silver. So the lily-white youth was wedded with great joy-"
No, no, cried Leonard; “liberty before all things! I won't be rich and young too. But what of the oldest brother? The oldest brother, who was an idle, clever, cynical dog, took ship and went a-sailing, until he came to an island of sweet singing; and being too lazy to put wool in his ears, he was enraptured and enthralled, and the Siren handed him over to a cruel printer's devil, and so he was lost.”
Abrupt, slangy, and modern,” said Kerisen the critic.
“And the second brother? What shall we say of you, Irvie? Go round the world the other way, and meet me in the middle.”
“Pooh!” said Kerisen, “let him plunge into ink with me, and be industrious and happy.”
Ned, who was by nature distrustful of wild sug. gestions, looked somewhat anxiously at his cousin. “Better come back to Islay with me,” he said. “You might buy a place, and make friends with your tenants and labourers, and see what they are fit for. And then, you know, you might stand for the county.”
Irvine burst out laughing. “Give me a minute's rest,” he said ; "you forget that I am just out of a fever."
“Which ?” asked Leonard, quickly; "the lovefever, or the thought-fever, or what?”
Irvine flushed hotly, and then laughed and answered, “I suppose I have never been out of a fever before.”
Nobody is nowadays,” Kerisen observed, judicially ; "the world's a whirl, and all the men and women feverish.”
Especially all the women,” said Leonard. “Not all,” Ned answered, and looked towards the house. He was the first to see Miss Katharine step through the long window, bringing another plaid for Irvine.
“So,” cried the privileged mocker, the youngest prince, "you break up the last meeting of friends."
“I hoped I was a friend too,” she said.
“We will turn out Leonard,” said Kerisen, "and elect you unanimously in his place.”
"And are women capable of friendship?" asked Mr Aubrey, pertly.
“The best friend in the world,” whispered Ned Harefel to his netting.
Irvine lay still and looked at Katharine as at some ministering angel. His love for her was associated with all his best aspirations. He could scarcely believe his fortune, but he would be worthy of it.
Come,” cried the impulsive Leonard, springing to his feet, “let us form a brotherhood, the brothers of St Katharine."
Kerisen scoffed, and the wayward enthusiast was at last reduced to silence, but not for long. “Miss Adare," he began again, "we were asking what Irvine meant to do. What is he to be?”
She was kneeling by his side, and rearranging his cushions. “He is to get quite well," she answered. Irvine was trying to see her eyes, and she presently raised them to his, laughing, but blushing a little.
"And then ?" asked the inquisitive Leonard.
She was still looking at Irvine, happy in his love and trust. He took her hand in his. “And then?” he asked with a smile—"and then ?”
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