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her mother almost as warmly, and bent her elder brother, the man of business whose cheek down to meet the pleased faces of her stern integrity had all gathered round one point young brothers and sisters. Then she re- of honor, bowed beneath the shock; his reaturned to her father's side, threw back her son gave way, and in an hour of horror and large shawl, which, as her shawls always did, madness, he destroyed himself. And when fell in an artistic drape across her chair; and the absent pair, who had been recalled from now she removed her bonnet, and lifting both Italy at the crisis of pecunary ruin, arrived hands for a moment to her hair, seemed with in London, they found their poor bereaved one touch to have shaped its plaits and braids father in a yet deeper and darker agony than to order. She formed at that instant a charm- that for which they were prepared. ing tableau vivant, but loving eyes were the Now was applied the test to two characters only mirrors in which it was reflected. which had hitherto seemed to obey the samo
" It is very kind of you, my dear, to come laws and follow the same impulses. But a in to-night,” said Mr. Ireton, pressing the river that glides and sparkles in the sunshine, hand which had laid itself in his.
has often its two currents ; and though it “Dear papa," replied Frances in a low seems to flow so evenly among flowers and tone, " I have had quite an adventure, and meadows, parts its waters when shoals and we could not rest without telling you about it. rocks are near. So alike in person were WilBut — it concerns,” and here she hesitated a liam and Pembroke Ireton, that dear friends moment, " it concerns Uncle Pembroke. Per- mistook them for each other; so alike in haps I had better wait till Willy and baby tastes had they been, that books were comare gone to bed ?"
mon property between them ; pictures, it is “ As you like, my love," returned Mr. Ire- true, were sometimes called “. mine" and ton : "it struck eight some time ago.
'thine," but as the brothers never dwelt here comes nurse for the little one, and Willy apart, this had little signified. Ordinary will soon follow."
friends of the amateur artists knew not their And while Willy is loitering out his last respective drawings, though, to be sure, certen minutes, showing his Latin prize to his tain connoisseurs had lately announced that brother-in-law, and wishing many good. William had the truer and higher genius ; nights,” the reader shall be made acquainted and yet it was William who, after a few daya with the broad outlines of family history of wrestling thought, abandoned the pursuit which concerned Mr. Ireton and his brother of art forever. Pembroke. They were the twin and youngest Not so Pembroke ; he had borne the loss sons of a wealthy banker, who had maintained of fortune less nobly than his brother, for he the highest repute during the first quarter of bad fretted, and fumed, and reproached over the present century. An elder brother had it. William had buried his regrets as in a always been intended for the man of business grave, and only relaxed the iron firmness of to succeed in the banking-house ; and the his lip when comforting and counselling his twins being amply provided for by the will venerable and heart-broken father. Quickly, of a maternal relative, had for some joyous too, he had addressed his betrothed, releasing years followed pretty nearly the bent of their her from her vow, if so it pleased her, and inclinations. Their according tastes had led yet beseeching her still to love and trust him, them travel, and chiefly in the south of Eu- and wait but a little space till be could rope; and there had been fostered and culti- decide how independence was to be won, that vated the intense love and appreciation of art he might claim her. And when, “ upon this which seemed with both of them to be a hint,” her true heart replied, loosening as it master-passion. For a little while bright in- did so some folds of prudery, and she crept deed appeared their human destiny. Blessed one day uninvited to his side, and there, with with health, youth, and fortune, they seemed smiles and tears, re-registered her vows, he free to follow art for its own pure sake, to felt and knew that he had chosen well, and woo it in its loftiest and poblest moods, with that the fulfilment of near duties cominonly out regard to the “jingling of the guineas” brings about our choicest blessings. or instant present fame. As if to crown William Ireton abandoned once and forever their felicity, these almost inseparable brothers all dreams of fame, and devoted himself to had attached themselves to two sisters, to lead the Human Life - to toil diligently and whom they were on the eve of being united, cheerfully for those who depended upon him. when the fearful money-panic of 1825 shook He cheered the last days of his aged father, the mercantile classes to their centre.
he married the woman he loved; he threw The banking-house of which old Mr. Ireton his talents, his energies, into business ; reared was the head, and which was like a prop to a the fallen fabric of mercantile bonor, paid off score of others, fell, involving countless fam-old debts, and established a new firm of such ilies in its ruin; and even the private fortunes noble repute, that its name is a synonym for of the twin-brothers, which had been invested upright dealing. in the bank, shared the general fate. The Pembroke, on the contrary, devoted himself
to Art — that jealous mistress who, now that person, a flush rose to her cheek, and turning he had determined to live by his pencil, he to her husband, she added : “ Edward, will discovered could bear no rival near her throne ; you tell the story as briefly as you can?" and so he broke off his engagement with the “ It is a very simple affair,” said Mr. girl whose heart was wholly his; and when Crawford. “ Yesterday we were riding on William remonstrated with him on the man- horseback in the Park, when, happening to ner in which this was done, he quarrelleu turn my head, I saw that my groom had with his brother, as he who is in the wrong stopped for a moment, and was in conversation coinmonly does with his reprover. The breach with a gentleman. Í fancied that something widened. Pembroke once more went abroad, was wrong with the horse, and that the but failed to correspond with William, because stranger had called his attention to it; and it was said there was an inmate of his family as the man galloped on after us the next before whom his name had better not be men- instant, and, moreover, we met a couple of tioned. But that inmate died — the broken- friends who joined us, the whole thing slipped hearted girl, the wife's sister : her death was my memory till this morning, when I received a lesson of faith, and full of beauty and pa- a letter from Mr. Pembroke Ireton. Shall I thos; and there was a sweet message of love read it aloud?" and forgiveness to be written to the absent As “ Pray do” was repeated on every side, one, which was done very gently; and yet he read as follows Pembroke Ireton took no heed. Years had rolled on.
William was the affluent banker “Sir — Two years ago, I composed a merchant, secure, humanly speaking, from sketch of a picture illustrative of Tennyson's the ills of fortune, when his sight - which, poem, The Princess, but I have delayed the from an attack of inflammation experienced completion of my design from my inability under peculiar circumstances in early life, to find a living realization of the poet's ideal. had long been failing - showed the most Feeling convinced that my true model, if disalarming symptoms. The terrible affliction covered at all, would be found among my of blindness fell on him ; but he bowed to it, countrywomen, I last spring visited those meekly calling it the only hard trial of his places of public resort where beauty and happy life ; and now, indeed, he blessed the intellect would be likely to congregate, with loving kindness which had given him so many my search solely in view. One night, at the dear ones to be eyes and hands for him. Opera, I beheld Mrs. Crawford, and from that
Meanwhile, Peinbroke Ireton, still estranged hour she has been the only Ida in the world from his brother's family, had returned to for me. She must have sat back in the box England, and was established as a painter during the early part of the evening, for it of singular, but very high repute. His pic- was only towards the close that I beheld her ; tures brought him large sums of money, but and though I made my way to the door as little was really known of the artist as a man, quickly as possible, intending to follow the though many and curious were the stories of carriage home, in the crowd and confusion of his eccentricity which circulated among the the occasion she was lost to me. Since then, lorers of anecdote and gossip.
I have made many inquiries ; but, without a
clue to her name or abode, how could they be “Bessy and Lotty can keep a secret, I sup- other than fruitless ? Latterly, I have stolen pose?!! Exclaimed Mrs. Crawford, as soon as an hour from every day's short daylight, Willy's last good-night was said, smiling and with the hope of finding her among the looking as she spoke interrogatively at the equestrians in our parks; and that I suctwo girls.
ceeded yesterday, and learned from your ser“Sister, of course we can,” replied the vant your name, proves how true was my younger, answering for both, and seeming by instinct. Sir, I beseech you, condescend to her tone as if the dignity lately acquired by permit and persuade Mrs. Crawford to sit for having officiated as bridemaid was turnished my picture. She is the realization of the by a doubt being entertained of her discre- Princess Ida ; I cannot accept any other tion.
countenance for her; and if you deny me; I The frequent beautiful smile parted Mrs. must work from that shifting, imperfect Crawford's lips as she observed the manner; memory bequeathed to me by two transient but addressing herself more particularly to glances. For the love of art, do not refuse her parents, she proceeded : Uncle Pem- ine; and if to this entreaty I may add another, broke has made our acquaintance without in it is that you will accept from me the finest the least suspecting the relationship, He portrait of Mrs. Crawford that can be painted wants my face for his model in a grand pic-by ture he is painting;” and then, as if a sudden
PEMBROKE IRETON." consciousness came upon her, that she could not describe the circumstances she had to re
“ Edward, you
will not refuse?”' exclaimed late without some laudation of her own Mr. Ireton with visible emotion. "Dear
Frances, of course you will sit for this picture? aries brooms and brushes were very sparingly and I foretell that my lonely brother will admitted. The light was actually obscured at last be restored to our knowledge and by the dirtiness of the windows ; and I will affection.
not hazard a conjecture as to the number“We have forestalled your wishes," said had their census been taken of the colony Mr. Crawford, " by appointing tomorrow to of spiders which brought up their families in call on him. How well,'' he continued, “I peace and security in shady corners and unremember that night at the Opera! Frances molested nooks. did sit behind my inother, who rebuked us It was about noon — the high tide, indeed, more than once for chattering.'
of December daylight - and Pembroke Ireton “ Frances is a little like her namesake, my was growing iinpatient, for he had arranged lost sister,” said Mrs. Ireton, after a musing the windows, the chair of state, the easel, and pause ; though the likeness is chiefly made every preparation for his model, when apparent when she speaks and smiles — the suddenly a new thought possessed him, and tones of her voice are like too. I wonder if he rang his bell sharply. His one womanPembroke will trace these resemblances, and servant answered the summons.
Hannah waken to the memories of his youth ?" was a comely, portly, middle-aged dame when
she first entered the artist's service, but time, and the strange life she had led, had changed her
to the stooping, crone-like old woman. Isannah Pembroke Ireton was accustomed to receive had never, in her brightest days, been overcertain connoisseurs of art, and wealthy burdened with ideas, but she had two strong patrons, which, by the way, he usually did affections in her heart ono towards her with an air of indifference, that amounted to eccentric master, and the other for her brother churlishness; but the visitors whom he was Timothy, whom, on the strength of his being now momentarily expecting, aroused in his ten years her junior, she still called a lad, and mind feelings of delight that were quite new to whom, soon after her own engagement, she him. To have a true, perfect, living model recommended for her fellow-servant. for his grand picture, was the realization of one “ Hannah, what am I to have for dinner of his dearest hopes; for the man was to all to-day?" was the prosaic question the artist appearance so merged in the Painter, that it asked of his cook and housekeeper. seemed as if nothing connected with his “ A steak to-day, sir,” she replied ; “ you merely human life could arouse his sensibili- had some chops yesterday; and to-morrow is ties in a degree to be compared with the in- the day for a roast-fowl.'' fluence of circumstances concerning his art. “Ah, true, true ; but I expect visitors —
It was a large, rooiny house which Pem- a sitter, to whom I should like to offer some broke Ireton inhabited, just on the outskirts refreshment." of the now fashionable part of London. Long “ Cake and wine, sir - I can buy a beautiago, in the days of the two first Georges, it ful cake at the pastry-cook ?" suggested Hanhad been the scene of many a stately fes- nah. tivity ; its wide hall had accommodated the “ Hang cake and wine! No, I mean somesedan-chair, and its staircases been acquainted thing dainty, and yet substantiul Git to offer with hoops and trains; the spinet and harpsi- to the queen herself.” chord had resounded in its chambers, where “Lor', sir, you quite frighten me! I courtly-powdered beaux, sword-girded and have n't cooked a great dinner these twenty star-blazoned, had moved in solemn minuets, years." with patched and painted ladies. But all “ And I don't mean, I don't want a great these things belonged to the “ long ago” of a dinner; only something very elegant, and very past century; the old house had survived choice, to be ready about dusk — say, four many vicissitudes, and, now, for nearly o'clock. I will give you some money, and twenty years, had been the abode of a bache- you must go the people who supply collalor artist. Not one really comfortable hab- tions. I don't care what it costs. I cannot itable apartment did it contain — for Pem- stay to talk to you. Did n't you hear a carbroke Ireton, keeping himself apart from all riage ? and there's a knock. Timothy is social ties, scarcely knew or remembered the deaf, I think, not to open the door. And tell ways of the world; and his two servants, him to get the wine from the inner cellar – from their forced seclusion and simple routine that tokay that Lord L sent me — and of duties, had fallen into a sort of lethargic, hock and champagne, and the port that was indolent mode of life, that rendered them, in laid down in '38. Mind, four o'clock; and this busy age, hardly less eccentric than their sweep out the parlor a little if you can. Here, master.
take the money;" and hurrying her out of Every room was more or less crowded with the room as he put a bank-note into her hand, pictures, casts, antiquities, draperies, or other he added once more : “ Never mind what it adjuncts of the atelier, and into these sanctu- costs."
Possibly the last words were heard by the guests, even at their first visit ; and when Crawfords as they ascended the stairs. the decpening winter twilight caused him to
Surely there is no costume in the world rest from his labors, and they all descended more beconing to a woman of radiant, queen- into the parlor, where, under Hannah's sulike beauty, than a rich winter out-of-door perintendence, the 6 collation" had been attire. And as Frances Crawford appeared spread, a stranger looking on, would have now in a robe of dark velvet, with an Indian considered the trio rather a party of old friends Cashmere —whose size, though twice folded, than mere acquaintances of a day. Even cerwas more than commonly ample -- drawn tain incongruities of the repast made mirth, gracefully round her; and fürs of the rare, and wore off formality'; for Hannah, however costly, peerless Russian sable, she looked, if much“ on hospitable thoughts intent,” had far too lovely to have stepped - as the phrase no knowledge of rule and custom to guide is out of a picture, yet notably worthy a her; and though the viands were sufficiently painter's half-adoring study.
good and abundant to afford an excellent Pembroke Ireton's admiration and delight meal, they were so strangely chosen, that it showed themselves in the flush of his sallow was easier for the host to make a laughing cheek, and in the cordial, grateful greeting apology for his servant's selection, than pass he awarded to his guests. The occasion it by unobserved. But the new friends did seemed so much less connected with the re- not part without the day for another sitting lations of social life than with the circum- being appointed; and Mr. Ireton entreated stances of his art, that he lost, in a great that they would arrange to spend the evenmeasure, the shyness which had for years ing with him afterwards, as he had cerbeen gradually incrusting itself round his tain curiosities of art he desired much to manners; while his early good-breeding of show them. As the Crawfords finally concourse prevented the iteration of personal com- sented to this proposed plan, after only a pliments to Frances, which, after all, would faint, formal demurring at " such intrusion,” have appeared as inadequate as offensive, they exchanged a glance which showed how coming in the wake of the one great compli- mutually they rejoiced at the turn affairs had ment he had paid her.
taken. The great picture was to represent that But the second sitting was more eventful scene where the Princess Ida rebukes the than the first had been. Now, Frances was seeming “ northern ladies,” saying: placed in the exact pose required for the great We did not think in our own hall to hear
picture; and to complete the effect, a light This barren verbiage current among men,
drapery was thrown over her velvet robe, and
fastened after the antique style on the shoulder. and where the disguised prince and his con- For this purpose, Pembroke Ireton selected federates, “conscious” of themselves," pe- from his stores a rare cameo, to which belonged rused the matting.' At this first sitting, it a history. It was one of the undoubted works was only a study of the face and figure the of Benvenuto Cellini, and had been nearly painter purposed; yet, long before they parted, from his day in the possession of a noble the artist hoped in his own mind to paint French family, whose last descendant, fleeing many pictures of Ida, illustrating the great, from the guillotine in the Reign of Terror, wise poem of which she is the heroine, even had rescued it, with some other valuables, to to the point where
prove his means of existence in exile. PemHer falser self slipt from her like a robe.
broke Ireton parchased the brooch at great
cost from the collector, who had received it But while the painter seemed lost in the from the noble exile's own hand; and this delight of his self-appointed task, his visitors matchless head of Minerva — for such it repwere contemplating him with an interest he resented —had, independently of the stamp little suspected. Beneath the calm dow of of its own beauty, an authentic pedigree of its an easy, chatty discourse, his unknown niece possessors. Perhaps to gratify the taste of and her husband saw more than once into some belle of the eighteenth century, it had the depths of his nature. When Mrs. Craw- been gorgeously set round with brilliants ; ford first spoke, there was a startled glance but though these were included in the price from Pembroke Ireton's eye; and after he which Pembroke Ireton cheerfully paid for had grown familiar with her voice, he more the brooch, he had ruthlessly broken them than once heaved a quiet sigh after she had away, leaving his treasure in its original been speaking. Again, when Mr. Crawford chaste simplicity. addressed his wife by her Christian name, Very earnest and very honest were Mr. and there was an evidence they having, as it Mrs. Crawford's expressions of admiration of were, the key to the cipher by which it was this exquisite work, and they were discrimbetrayed - that told of a memory not dead, inating expressions too, so that the painter but sleeping
felt that his guests understood what they Very sociable grew the painter and his praised ; and his pale cheek flushed and his
eye sparkled with pleasure as this sympathy wonder at this, my sweet young friend : it is declared itself.
the brain that paints, not the eye and the By this time the dusty cobweb-festooned hand.” parlor had been something more than “swept But Frances was overcome by a deeper emoout.” Pembroke Ireton had felt the incon- tion than wonder. That same perilous jourgruity of entertaining his beautiful guest in a ney of early life which had laid the foundation lumber-room, and had taken care that needful of her father's affliction, bad similarly affected renovations and preparations should be made ; the twin brother; and thus that apparently and, on this second occasion, it was with inseparable pair, whom yet strange circumevery appointinent of elegance and comfort stances had divided, seemed still to be mystethat the trio sat down to their repast. Now, riously united by a common misfortune.“ I a party of three, where two of the number am not wondering,” she replied, trying to are a really united married pair, while enjoy- speak calmly; “I am only sorrowing, and ing the ease and confidence of close compan- thinking of a strange coincidence. My own ionship, are usually more animated and con- dear father is blind thus afflicted in conseversational even than a tête à tête pair. Thus, quence of a similar accident to yours - being merely as a pleasant, social meeting, this sec- lost in the snows of Switzerland when travelond sitting was to be marked with white in the ling in his youth in search of grand scenery." calendar ; but after dinner, when the bright « How strange !" mused the painter. fire, and the soft lamplight, and the preseuce “ You must know him," continued Frances of his guests, threw a home-charm around in trembling tones : “ you are formed to be Pembroke Ireton, to which he was little accus- friends, companions to each other. tomed, his nature seemed to melt, and his voice must know my father ; he, too, loved Art modulated to a tone, as if to speak his long most dearly. pent-up emotions were become a necessity to “ And now?" asked Pembroke Ireton. him.
“He is happy, though blind,” returned the “ Not unless I tell you a heavy secret,” he daughter, with a sort of cruel kindness to exclaimed, addressing Frances, “ can you esti- wards her hearer -“ happy, bearuse our mate my gladness at discovering you, or my love, that seemed before too vast for increase, gratitude for your compliance with my wishes.' still grew as his sight waned; and the wealth
“ I feel it an honor," replied Mr. Crawford, of the heart outweighs the wealth of the “ that Frances should be immortalized by so senses. It seems to me a beautiful dispensagreat a painter. Dear sir, never mention tion of Providence, that this heavy afliction gratitude again !"
has fallen where every surro
rrounding circum“ But I must,” continued Pembroke Ireton stance lightens and alleviates it. with visible emotion — “I must: even one father been lonely and childless, how much year hence might have been too late. The more terrible would have been his lot!" great painter — what a mockery! in a little There was a minute's silence. With the while to be the desolate, afflicted old man ! morbid sensitiveness of a recluse, and the keen My friends,” he added with forced composure, perception of one who, if only for the purposes “ I am losing my sight - physicians own it of his art, had been accustomed to anatomize to me: unless I give up painting, I shall be the passions, Pembroke Ireton shrank from a blind in two or three years."
display that might have brought about "a " Then,” exclaimed Frances in a thrilling scene.” Stifled sobs made thick his breathing, tone of entreaty — "then, in pity to yourself, and assuaging, tears were rising to his eyes, paint no more : cease from this hour. What but he controlled these evidences of emotion, is Art to sight?”'
and suddenly, and with a sort of set phrases, " Never !" replied the painter vehemently. changed the discourse. “Your father must
For Art, long years ago, I gave up more indeed be a happy man,” he exclaimed with than life and sight, though in my young, hot forced calmness, despite his bereavement; enthusiasm, I knew not what I relinquished; yet had I known, dear madam, that my selfish and to the last, Art shall have me - it claims outpourings would have led to this sorrowful even the dregs of my being.”
subject, indeed I would have refrained." “ Pembroke Ireton has done enough for " Nay," replied Frances, “not wholly sorfame," said Mr. Crawford.
rowful to me; and is not sympathy, warm “Fame! Art has been my mistress ; if sympathy, a consolation to you?
?" she brought her handmaiden, Fame, I could "I am not sure — perhaps not. Do not not help it. It is a noisy busybody, hinder- think me ungrateful ; but I will not speak of ing us often as helping. But life is not long my own trouble again. A little more wine, enough to do true service to Art. Surely I Mrs. Crawford ; pray, half a glass, and let do not grudge a pair of eyes, that have been me prepare an orange for you. but treacherous servants since, five-and-twenty A resolute host can always give the tone to years ago, they were exposed for two nights conversation, and whatever were Pembroke and days to the glare of Alpine snows. You Ireton's faults, want of resolution was not one