« ForrigeFortsett »
“I don't believe you wish her to be so," said Edmund.
“No, I am not quite so spiteful,” rejoined Agnes,“ but in order to forgive her, I must think it a very great sacrifice.”
“ And have a marvellously high estimate of our two selves,” said Edmund.
“ What do I see ?” said Agnes. “Look at those two people riding on the down up there against the sky, don't you see their figures? It is a lady. Could it be Marian? No, she is riding so close to the other-he can't be a servant."
· Lionel, I suspect,” said Edmund.
blind boy! O surely she does not ride alone with him! O what a pretty cantering on the turf. It is really Marian, I see now. How I do like to see her ride."
A moment or two more, and descending from the high green slope, the two riders were on the road meeting the carriage. Marian looked her best on horseback, with her excellent seat, and easy, fearless manner, her little bat and feather became her fine features, and the air and exercise gave them animation, which made her more like a picture of Velasquez and less like a Grecian statue than she was at any other time. Lionel rode almost close to her, a bright glow of sunshine on his lively face, and a dexterity and quickness in his whole air that made Agnes hesitate for a second or two, whether he could really be the blind youth. A joyous “how d’ye do ?" was called out on each side. “Well, Lionel,” then said Edmund,“ are you quite well ?”
“O yes, thank you,” replied a gay voice, we thought we would see if we could not meet you.
“We rode over the down,” said Marian, “and we are going back the same way.
We shall be at home as soon as you are. Good bye. To the right, Lionel.”
And they were seen trotting up the hill again, then as the carriage came in sight of the front door, there was Lionel jumping Marian down from her saddle. Agnes did not know how to believe that lie could not see, as she watched his upright bearing, and rapid, fearless step, so unlike the groping ways of persons who have lost their sight later in life.
Clara presently came down, and Agnes was struck with her more thoughtful face, and collected manner, so unlike the giddy child she had last seen, not intellectual indeed, but quiet, lady-like, and sensible. And as to Mr. Lyddell, he looked so worn and so much older, so subdued in manner, and so free from those over civilities of former times, that Agnes made up her mind that he must not be hated.
Of Mrs. Lyddell she saw very little, only sitting in her room for an hour each morning, as a visitor, but it was evident that she was very much out of health, and a great charge to them all. Agnes could be sorry for her, but could not like her while she did not speak more cordially of Marian. All praise of her had
something forced and against the grain, and Agnes thought her intensely ungrateful.
Lionel interested Agnes extremely, with his happy, independent ways, unrepining temper and spirit of enterprise. He was always eager about some contrivance of his own, and just at this time it was wood-carving. His left hand showed as much sticking-ixplaster as skin, and he used to come into the drawing-room with it wrapped up in his handkerchief, and say, “Here's another, Marian," when Marian very quietly produced her sticking-plaster, as if it was quite an ordinary matter; nay, would not follow
the suggestion that he should not have so sharp a knife, saying that it is was much better to cut one's finger with a sharp knife than a blunt
He had cut about twenty bits of wood to waste, to say nothing of hands, but he persevered with amusing energy, and before the end of the visit had achieved a capital old man's head for the top of a walking-stick, which he presented to Edmund. He promised Agnes a set of silk winders, and in the meantime made great friends with her, getting her to tell him about her brother's sporting adventures, and in return making himself very amusing with relations out of his sailor brother's letters. Johnny had been concerned in the great exploit of climbing the Peter Botte mountain, and Lionel was as proud of it as if he had done it himself, making Marian show everybody a drawing which Gerald had made of the appearance that Johnny must have cut, standing on one leg on the highest stone. They were also struck with the change in the manner in which Walter was regarded, and the pride and affection with which all the family spoke of his doings at his curacy.
But, that Marian, though not prominent, and apparently merely a guest, was necessary to the comfort of each member of the family, was a thing that at the end of a fortnight, Agnes could not deny. Nor could she attempt to make up a case to show that she and her husband were equally in want of her.
So, Marian,” said she, as they parted, " I forgive you on condition of your spending Christmas with us."
“And I ought to forgive you,” said Edmund,“ in consideration of the fulfilment of my prediction that you would not be able to leave the Lyddells when I was ready to receive you.”
Marian smiled, and watched them from the door. As they lost sight of the house, Edmund turned to his wife, saying, “How little we are fit to order events! Here, Agnes, I looked back at this house six years ago in a sort of despair. I was ready to reproach Providence, to reproach everything. I thought I saw my uncle's children in the way to be ruined, all his work undone, and there was I, unable to act, and yet with the responsibility of the care of them. I tell you, Agnes, I never was so wretched in my life. And yet what shortsightedness! There has Marian been placed, like a witness of the truth, calm, firm, constant,
guarding herself and her brother first, and then softening, and winning all that came under her influence."
“Oh! but Edmund, your coming home saved Gerald,” said the wife, who could not see her husband's credit given away even to Marian,
“ I brought the experience and authority that she could not have, but vain would have been my attempts without the sense of right she had always kept up in his mind.' Trouble has done much for those Lyddells, but I don't believe that without her, it would have had that effect. When I remember what Mr. Lyddell was, his carelessness, the painful manner in which he used to talk ; when I see him now, when I think of what that poor Caroline was saved from, when I see the alteration in Clara, and watch that blind boy, then I see indeed that our little Marian, whom we thought thrown away and spoilt, was sent there to be a blessing. If she had been naturally a winning, gentle, persuasive person, I should have thought less of the wonder; but in her it is the simple force of goodness, undecorated. I once feared the conconstant opposition in which she lived, would harden her, but instead, she has softened, and sweetened, and lost all that was hard and haughty in her ways, when it was no longer needed for a protection. Selina Marchmont has failed too in giving her the exclusive spirit which I once feared for her. It is as if she had a spell for passing through the world unscathed.”
“And you think she is happy ?” “As happy as those that never look for their happiness in this world."
Agnes sighed. “My vision has always been," said she, “10 see Marian as happy as ourselves.” She
may be yet,” said Edmund smiling, “ but she has the best sort of happiness. She is in less danger of clinging to this world than we are, Agnes. And somehow she gives me the impression of one too high and noble to have her happiness in an ordinary, live-very-happy-ever-after style."
“She little thinks how we talk of her,” said Agnes. “And still stranger it is that with the reverence I have for her, I can play with her, and scold her." A silence, ending with Agnes repeating,
“Good LORD, through this world's troubled way
Thy children's course secure;
Kindly like Thee and pure,
All erring souls to win ;
Yet give no smile to sin."
LITTLE Milly hath a look, in her dark and serious eyes-
Little Milly looketh up, and the stars she tries to number,
Little Milly trembleth much at a harshly spoken word,
C. A. M. W.
TALKS ABOUT MANY TOWNS AND MANY SIGHTS;
OR, ROSA'S SUMMER WANDERINGS.
Few towns surpass Richmond in the number and variety of pleasant rambles at command of the pedestrian; for, whether the wanderer's taste be in favour of breezy hill-top or sunny glade, sheltered lane or open field-path, leafy copse or lonely rivermargin, the country around Richmond affords ample compass for the gratification of the penchant.
There is the smooth, even pavement,” where the promenader of delicate chaussure, who cares not to ruffle elfin shoon on the flinty pitching of the steep or curved olden alleys, may bask in the noontide beams; there are gipsying expeditions, in search of the picturesque, for all who are eager to engage in a scrambling escapade. But one of the most delightful walks in the vicinity of Richmond, is the path to Easby Abbey. Emerging from the town by the undulated road leading past Š. Mary's Church, the New Grammar School is seen on the right. This grammar school was “ founded and endowed by the burgesses of Richmond, and incorporated by Queen Elizabeth, in the ninth year of her reign. In 1796, the late Rev. James Tate, commonly known in the literary world as “Mr. Tate, of Richmond,' was appointed master. His prolonged and brilliant career as a teacher, is known to all who take an interest in the progress of learning ; and the annals of the universities present a long list of eminent men who received their education at this school, which has been ranked as one of the first for classical learning in England. After toiling for thirty-seven years in one of the most honourable vocations to which a man can devote himself, Mr. Tate was, in 1833, appointed a Canon of S. Paul's; and, by the appointment of the corporation, was succeeded in Richmond by his eldest son, the present learned and amiable master. Mr. Canon Tate died in 1843; and after his death, the present Archbishop of York, the Dean of Ely, the Rev. John Hutton Fisher, the learned Vicar of Kirby Lonsdale, and many others who had been educated by him, considered it due to his eminent services that some lasting memorial of their respect for their late revered master should exist. Accordingly, a committee was formed, of which the Earl of Zetland was chairman ; liberal subscriptions were received, and it was determined to build a school, to be called the “Tate Testimonial,' and to be used as the Free Grammar School of the Borough of Richmond. The building was completed, and on the 27th of September, 1850, the opening of the Tate Testimonial’ was celebrated, with a procession and other festivities, in the presence of the Earl of Zetland, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Ripon, and an overflowing throng of the subscribers and friends of the school, many of whom had been pupils of the late excellent master. The school is a very neat edifice; and over the entrance, cut in stone, is the following inscription :