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Gospel history, and strives to secure to Christianity a universal significance. According to the Proemium it was written to confirm a renowned heathen catechumen in the belief of evangelical truth, its later origin it manifests, in itself, not only through certain signs of its composer, who defines himself to be a secondary editor, but also by the manner in which the materials are used."* He then concludes by saying that when it was written Jerusalem was in ruins, and heathendom was in the ascendancy. "Its date cannot, therefore be placed before the year 80, and the influence of the extant circle of fables influenced it, but still it is an essentially trustworthy evangelical
document, at the same time it rests partly upon secondary sources."
We must here conclude this investigation, though much more might have been added; but our object is not to establish any theory of opposition between Peter and Paul, against which all historical evidence is emphatic, and which has been invented in these later times for theoretical purposes, but simply to eliminate the genuineness of the Gospel of Luke from its own content, being fully persuaded that each one of the Gospels carries in its bosom a precious gem of truth, which will be the reward of everyone who diligently searches for it with humility and prayer.
"A SOUTHERLY wind and a cloudy sky proclaims it a hunting morning. So saith the old song which I hummed gaily as I drew up my windowblind the morning after the dance at Eyre Court. It was a dreary prospect met me, and the lowering dark look of the heavens gave promise of more rain than the most devoted Nimrod could cheerfully accept.
We were to have a large hunt breakfast, and I was looking forward with intense pleasure to my own particular share of the day's entertainment, a drive to the meet with Philip in his phaeton; things did not look well for our expedition, but after all, don't people say a hazy morning makes a fine day; and now, that I look more closely, the clouds are breaking down there towards the old saw-mill. In this way I proceeded slowly with the business of dressing, alternately taking a look at myself and a peep at the elements. Oh, how I wished it would keep up only just for a little time, if only until we were started and had got a little way, for then we could not turn back; and what did I care for a wetting? It would be a terribly long
day without Philip; but then there was the ball to look forward to, the ball that he had promised me, half in fun, was really to come off this night, and it was given expressly for me. Not a "dance," but a regular ball like a real London one; and there were workmen boarding over the windows at the end of the "Long Room." Dear me, I mused, with a happy sigh, how nice it would be, a life of balls, and a whirl of perpetual amusement, everybody trying, as they did last night, to amuse and please me. As I brushed out my long hair before the looking-glass I could not help thinking that it was pleasant to beWell, yes, it was a vain thought, but then, I am sure all pretty people have felt the same, whatever they may assert to the contrary, for glasses reflect with great sincerity; and it is hard not to feel pleased, and a little triumphant and happy, too, when you see a very charming face looking at you; and don't tell me that it lessens your satisfaction to know yourself its owner. Don't do the humble, and say that beauty is only skin deep, or any other cut and dry copy-book
* Charakterbild Jesu. Anhang. p. 248.
phrase. If you talk any such stuff you are an arrant humbug, and I, for one, don't believe you.
A tap at my door, and enter Flanders, my godmother's confidential attendant with my letters; a thin, precise, and rather puritanical little person is Flanders, but faithful and staunch to "My Lady" and her interests. As she twists my cable of a chevelure into the silken coils Philip and my godmother like so much, I chat and laugh with her, for I am a prime favourite; and steady little woman as she is, she loves her joke.
I hold the letters in my hand, waiting to be alone to read them. One is from my mother. I lay that on the table with a sigh. I can fancy what its contents are, as there is always a family resemblance in these domestic chronicles. After all, to how few people is it given to write pleasant comfortable letters which convey even a faint idea of the writer's real state of mind. When I speak of pleasant letters, I don't mean your well-turned clever epistles, penned by those who aspire to "l'eloquence du billet," and affect a brilliant claptrap style, that is like a showy woman, all on the surface and thoroughly false. Neither do I allude to those well-meaning souls who dot their i's and cross their t's religiously, and who, when they travel, afflict their unfortunate friends with periodical circulars, neatly copied from Murray's Handbook. Heaven defend me from one of these trials of friendship! And again do I say to how few amongst us is it given to receive a thoroughly satisfactory letter. A chatty cosy home letter filled with all the hundred and one small incidents that are of intense interest to the absent one, carrying him back from out of his far distance to the old haunts and the once familiar faces, and keeping up his interest in friends and things no longer under his eye. In this, as in many of the small incidents of life, it is your unselfish character who makes the best correspondent. To write a really comfortable letter you must forget yourself, and put your peculiar frame of mind on one side. You must think only of the absent; you must make the best of any unpleasantness, and sink into shadow the darker side that will always attach itself to every domestic picture; you must tell him
those pieces of news that will interest his particular idiosyncrasies, and suppress those that would only call forth an impatient pshaw. You must be sympathetic, and yet amusing, gossippy, but not prosy. As it happened, my mother was endowed with the most deplorable style of correspondence. Her pen seemed to be dipped in a slough of despond more than a natural inkstand. Everything seemed dyed in the same murky gloom, and she positively revelled in clothing the smallest incident in such a mysterious cloud of melancholy that you generally folded up the missive with a general impression of coming misfortune that weighed on you for the remainder of the day. It was not, therefore, to be wondered at, that I postponed for a few minutes the perusal of what seemed to be a perfect folio of misery. I held the other letter in my hand, speculating in a lazy fashion as to whom it might be from. I had only a very limited correspondence; and as I turned the vulgar ill-directed blue envelope over and over in my hand, I decided it was a begging petition from some one who did not know the extreme folly they were committing in begging from me.
Flanders is decidedly low spirited about the weather; she smiles from her superior experience with lofty contempt on my little outlook towards the saw-mill, sums up that the day will be "powrin'-sure to be, Miss,' and retires with the recommendation to lose no time as the gong will ring in ten minutes.
I hesitate a moment between my mother and the vulgar blue petition, but decide for my poor friend.
Now, I daresay a great many of my readers remember the first love-letter they ever got. Some of us commit the folly to keep these things, and others amongst us are high minded, or rather cold hearted, and make an "auto da fe" of the poor little trophies before enlisting under the banner of "Hymen," although I, for one, would never think the worse of any woman who had a tender place in her memory for the one who is " left out in the cold." Staying at a friend's only very lately, I thought one of the prettiest pictures I had ever seen was one of the young daughters of the house getting her "first letter," the pretty colour coming and going, the look of
shy gladness, the happy flutter, and finally, the burst of half happy, half sorrowful tears, in her mother's arms would have made a subject for Millais' pencil. Alas! what a contrast to poor me, as I slowly opened the squarely folded sheet of blue paper, and perused the following enchanting epistle :
"MY DEAREST GIRL,-This comes from your loving Benjamin. Indeed my heart is very sore at your long absence, and I think that, as regards our position, I have a right to claim my darling bride-my Fyancey,' as the French say-not that I am the least vexed at your amusing of yourself, mixing as you are in the tip-top set; and I always says-and no one ever knew Benjamin Hopper go back of his word-the girl, says I, must have time to know her own mind, and you need be in no fear that you won't be kept up in that same style-the very first of styles-if you like it; for plenty of money will do it, and none of your swells will give you more than your faithful Bengy; for I always thought you was a fine_girl, would do credit to any man, and my bo-idear of what a woman should be (when you fills out and is well furnished); and, as everyone says, there is no one has a better eye for a girl than B. Hopper, and you're not having a brass stiver makes not a halfpenny's differ to me. I'm that rich I can snap my fingers at your fine gentlemen, so let there be no nonsense, mind that. Not but to say your family comes mighty expensive, and there seems to be no end to the calls. No matter. Some people would say I'm an old fool, but a bargain's a bargain, that's what I'm for, and I stand by my word, and do you do the same; and you don't put any faith in what they say, it is only the enviousness of them low persons who had their eye on your Benjamin-not but to say this person is one of your tip-tops. And it is not the first time neither; but your dried-up old maids are not in my line. No, no! The best for your money is allays my word-not but my lady Garroway is a fine, well-spoken, civil lady, and high up. But damme, Miss A., I'll not stand your nonsense any longer. I'll not be made a fool of, and B. Hopper is not the man will stand being a by-word and a joke. It's time, the day's fixed, and the weddin'
clothes is bought. So no more foolin', but see to coming home, for, to give you a bit of my mind, I'm tired waiting. So, my darling girl, come back to your fond lover, whose arms is open to receive you; and I'm ready, with as much billin' and cooing as any reasonable girl could expect, for I loves the ground you walks on, my darlin pet.-No more at present from your loving
By the time I got to the end of this precious effusion, I was nearly choked with rage and indignation. Insolent old man, to presume to address such words to me, an Aubrey," in whose ears Philip's words of love were still sounding. The blood rushed up suddenly to my face as I thought if he should ever hear of my having such an admirer, or my degrading agreement ever told to him. In a tumult of agitation I walked up and down the room. "I will put an end to it all," I said to myself, resolutely.
No one at home can blame me, if, after such an insolent letter, I give my odious suitor a summary dismissal. I can bear it no longer. I will write this very day to the wretched old man, and dispel his delusion, and then I will tell Philip all; and he is too generous not to forgive me, perhaps." A pleased smile came over my face, and I turned to my mother's letter. Clang, clang, clang, resounds, with a dull leaden alarm, through the corridors and galleries of the old house; doors open and shut, and tripping footsteps go quickly past my door. There is no time for anything but the completion of my toilette, and yet when all was done I lingered. I had had so little brightness in my life-happiness was such strange visitor to me, that I was afraid almost to grasp it, lest it should shiver in my hand. "What, if in the broad daylight, my dreams of last night should melt away and prove only fancies!
An unaccountable fit of shyness came over me; I dreaded to meet Philip's eye, lest I should read a change in it, and for many minutes I stood at the top of the grand old staircase, holding on to the banister, arguing with my own folly. My own name called from below, in a wellknown voice, startled me, and, look
ing down, I saw the object of my meditations, with an amused smile on his face, and holding a lovely bouquet in his hand.
"Late," he said, laughing, "you lazy child. Here have I been up these hours, waiting for my usual morning's companion; but I suppose one must not expect too much from the belle of the room. Don't look so vexed," he went on; "better luck next time, and I am very glad those bright eyes had a rest. See how I have been thinking of you, gathering this bouquet for your ladyship-all your own favourites, Edith. You should have seen Clarke's face when I ruthlessly sacrificed his choicest camelia buds; but when I said it was for Miss Edith he broke into a broad grin of satisfaction. You have managed to win all hearts here. Do you know what, I think you are inclined to be a great flirt. I did not approve of your goings on last night, and you must spare my poor friend Dick, he is the best fellow in the world."
"Oh, poor Sir Richard," I said, bursting into a fit of laughter, as I remembered his face in the labyrinth. "But do you know, Mr. Warrender, I don't think Lady Airey likes me, and I can't imagine why.
"God forbid you should know the windings and turnings of that worldly woman's mind," he said, shortly and sternly. "Have nothing to do with her, Edith; listen to none of her stories, keep the straight road, and have no secrets, and all will go right. But I have frightened you, my sensitive child, I am such a violent brute."
"No," I said, falteringly, "I am not afraid. Only, can you not fancy a person having a secret, and not being to blame, that is not their own exactly, would that be wrong?" "No, surely," he said. "Why do you ask, Edith;" his voice altered a little.
I felt his keen look bent on me, and I knew my rapidly changing colour was betraying me; but although my pulses were beating fast, I went on courageously
"You were kind enough a few days ago to say that-that-"I stopped, confused by his earnest look.
"Yes," he said, eagerly, "I remember. I said I would be as a brother
to you. What is there I can do for you? Trust me, Edith; I would lay down my life to serve you."
And, as I still hesitated, he went on in a much more agitated tone— "You do not doubt me, Edith; you believe me, don't you?" "Oh, yes," I said, "I will tell you everything, only promise me you won't be angry with me-you won't think badly of me. Will you, Philip?"
It was the first time I had called him by his name, and it slipped out in my excitement. He drew me closer to him
Angry with you, my darling, my own sweet Edith ;" and raising the hand he held, he pressed it fondly to his lips.
A stifled laugh near me made me look round, and much to my annoyance I encountered the sly eyes and piquant pout of Fanny Hodder. How long had she been there?
"Oh, I am so glad to find there are other people as late as myself; but do you know the gong has sounded more than half an hour ago ? I am awfully hungry; isn't that dreadful, Miss Aubrey?"
Feeling rather guilty, I followed Philip and Miss Hodder into the breakfast-room, where a large party was already assembled - a cheering sight-the scarlet coats of the huntsmen making a very brilliant display. There was a perfect babel of voices and roars of laughter from the corner where Jerry Hunter sat; he was evidently in force this morning. I caught sight of the Denver girls with Colonel de Lancey between them, plying him so fast with questions that his breakfast must have been rather a feast of Tantalus to the poor man. There was a hush in the general buzz of conversation as we came in, and as I walked up the long room I heard whispered aside-" That's her, that's Miss Aubrey." Two or three very red-faced men stared at me in a determined manner, and old Mrs. Hodder gave me a very extraordinary wink of her villanous old eye I did not at all understand. My nerves were still excited from my interview with Philip, and at any time to attract general attention was painful to me. There was a rushing sound in my ears, and although food was on my plate, I was quite
unconscious how it came there or what it was. I envied the aplomb of Fanny, who was quite at her ease, making elaborate apologies for her late appearance, and declaring candidly that she never would have had the courage to come in only she met Mr. Warrender and Miss Aubrey returning from their morning stroll. Aghast as I was at this barefaced lie I had not courage to answer, but Philip struck in
"The clouds of sleep must have been still hovering about you, Miss Hodder," he said quietly; "Miss Aubrey was lazy like yourself, and came down only five minutes before you.'
"Oh, really I thought it was only dissipated town rakes like myself that did such naughty things, and that country girls were up with the lark; didn't you, Captain de Quinsey ?"
'Well, really I must say it suits Miss Aubrey uncommonly; now, really uncommonly. I think I'll try it myself."
"To improve your complexion I suppose. A compliment to you, Miss Aubrey, only unfortunately this time Captain de Quinsey has missed the point, as you stayed in bed. But what lovely flowers! Now, who is your floral admirer?" continued my ceaseless tormentor. "Last night you had a superb bouquet, quite different from this, so that your adorer must walk in his sleep, and pick flowers for you. How nice, only fancy.'
Her silvery laugh brought all eyes upon us, but Philip again interposed his kind shield.
"Miss Aubrey's bouquet last night came from Covent Garden; it was a perfect work of art; but you see she is a little exigeante, and as she does me the honour to make me her bouquetier, I ransacked the green-house this morning, and the result is pretty fair."
This was all said in a tone of perfect composure, as if it was only a mere ordinary civility. I could hardly help laughing at the discomfiture of Fanny's pretty face. She let me alone for a little time after this, and I amused myself scanning the table; it was amusing to see the difference between the old weatherbeaten fox-hunters of many a season's run, and the speck and span young
dandies of the household brigade, got up to a point, and evidently thinking their scarlet coats a very important feature in the day's sport. Captain de Quinsey felt himself to be especially killing, and this knowledge lent such a softness to his blue eyes, and such a tenderness to his manners, that old mother Hodder, who had one eye on the delicacies on her plate, and the other on what was going on at our end of the table, felt a pleased flutter agitate her cap-ribbons. He must be saying something to the point, thought the worthy woman, his manner is so marked, and Fanny is pretending to be agitated. Good child, she always takes my advice. Two elderly gentlemen are just facing me, they are red in the face from their gastronomic exertions, and there is a brisk argument going on between them, their voices rise high above the usual conventional tone.
They have no right to draw the cover at Nedley, it is quite out of order, the scent don't lie, Jeffers told me so only yesterday-it is a clear case.
"Folly, folly, my dear sir," retorts the wiry bald-headed little man. "I remember in the year '20,' we drew the cover at Nedley, and it was the finest run of the year."
"I remember it well," strikes in a puffy-faced little man further down the table, his mouth is very full, and his utterance indistinct. "Deffries had the hounds that year, and we ran him to Jerry's corner."
"Yes, yes," strikes in several eager voices, and one, deep as a doublebass, startles me with
"I remember it, Jeffers got his leg broke, and Skinner came to grief." It came from a shy, large man, who finding all eyes turned on him, buried his scarlet face in his tea-cup.
I am sorry," Philip says, addressing the company generally, "that the ladies can't join us this morning. Nedley is too far in such unpromising weather.'
Just what I have been saying, Warrender," bursts in the red-faced man, "it is a mistake riding hacks to cover, when we could bag him nearer home, and as to running him to Jerry's corner, phwew, I wouldn't give you that for your chance."
Upon this there arose a perfect babel of voices, under cover of which