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piece of marble in his keeping. She Mrs. Devenish as long as possible. declared the view up the tower was He whiled away a good deal of time in very curious and pretty; and then settling his pocket telescope, which he suddenly gazing down the chasm be- had not forgotten to bring with him, neath said, laughingly, that a suicide and in pointing out to her the best places could easily be committed down there for taking views of the surrounding without any one finding it out. This mountains and valleys, till at length was the first observation she had as her sister came running for her. yet volunteered, and Arnold was a “ Caroline, we must go home now, little surprised at the extreme bright- I think. It is almost four o'clock." ness of her expression as she spoke. “ Well, I suppose we must.” And The remark, too, was an odd one for a Caroline gave a sigh as if she were young lady to make, and he looked at
very tired or melancholy, and Arnold her for a moment before he replied, would have sighed, perhaps, too, if he gaily
had dared; but still he felt very happy, « And are you in search of an eligi- though he knew a temporary parting, ble spot for such a purpose as you
at hand. Mrs. Devenish and think the tower suitable? You surely the rest joined them then, and Major seem too happy, Miss Sydenham, to Wingfield rallied Arnold on the tête-rkbe under the necessity of contemplating tête he had been enjoying, while Masuicide ?"
berly was a little anxious to know She returned the smiling look of whether his friend had found Miss CaArnold with a glance of her large hazel roline Sydenham more charming and eyes that half startled him.
animated than he had thought her “And do you think that any one in sister, who had piqued him considerthis life can be really happy ?" she ably by running away from him while asked, laughing slightly.
he was carrying on a very edifying “Why not exactly always ; but there conversation relative to ruins and buryare some people on whom the ills of ing-grounds. existence fall lightly. I should ima- Arnold accompanied the ladies to gine for instance that you, Miss Syden- their own door, and when they were ham, could easily bear a good burden about to part, Mrs. Devenish said, in of miseries."
her own peculiar, off-hand way“Yes; I laugh off wretchedness “ Miss Sydenham, I know your papa very often. It is well to be able to do is always busy, and has no time for so." And she gave another of her pe- visiting; but, perhaps, you would take culiar smiles that had an odd, puzzling pity on the forlorn condition of my effect on Arnold. She looked pale, friend here, Mr. Hall, and permit him too, and a little ghastly, in the light to call at your house now and then. that fell through the apertures of the He is not a sportsman, and complains roofless ruin. Her embarrassment had bitterly of the loneliness of —.” nearly all vanished, and she began to
Arnold half wished the words unsaid. converse with a charming grace, now
He watched Caroline's countenance, and then coming out with strange
and could not fail to observe the very ideas, that caused her companion to deep blush that overspread it. She smile very often. He had never talked collected herself, however, and quickly to any one like her before. Of course and gracefully replied, that she and he thought so, as he was in love. But her sisters would be happy to see Mr. really and truly she was very peculiar, Hall if he should think it worth while and he began to doubt whether he had to visit them. made any impression on her at all. “ We have not much amusement to She reminded him of a wicked little offer, but there are some books in the elf that might delight in teasing him house which are at your service,” when he would least expect it, or might she added, turning to him with a bright vanish suddenly through the apertures
nile. He thanked her sincerely, and of the ruin.
she gave him a very bewitching glance, Either by accident or design they though she did not offer her hand had long since been removed from the when the final “good evening” was rest of the party. Arnold never forgot wished. the circumstance, though his compa- The ponderous hall-door of Mr. Sy. nion did not seem to take notice of it, denham's house yawned slowly to adand he endeavoured to delay joining mit the fairy forms of the two sisters,
who entered the large hall, as it closed lapse to his former hopelessness. He on them.
now and then met Mr. Sydenham him“ Agnes, what are we to do now?" self, always looking very grave, and exclaimed the elder one, in real agony, often very careworn, but Mr. Sydenas she threw her arm round her sister's ham never seemed to notice him. waist. “ How very, very miserable There was a certain air of good breed. we must always be !” Agnes said no- ing in the appearance of the magis. thing, but two large tears fell from her trate that forcibly struck Arnold; and eyes, and they ascended the wide stair- he could not help feeling a strong intecase together.
rest in him, notwithstanding the bitter Arnold returned to the barracks hap- regret that his non-visiting propensipier in his mind than he had felt for ties caused himself. many months before. He considered How dull and heavily the hours the day as a triumphant one for him, dragged by. It was worse than ever. and recalled all Caroline's embarrass- August made its approach, and Arment and blushes with much satisfac. nold's spirit sank to an abyss of misery faction. Yes, why should she have in fearing he might be ordered from changed colour so often unless con- Cat any moment, for the south scious of feeling more interest in him was a good deal disturbed, and detachthan she could conceal. There were ments of regiments were moving from many reasons to convince him that she
one place to another continually. He was already quite in love.
was not, in general, a particularly " A fellow like me does not often modest or bashful youth, but he did find it very hard win a girl's heart," not like the idea of calling on the Miss he thought, getting impudent as he re. Sydenhams, though permitted to do flected on his success, and contem- so, until he should meet them out plating his face and figure for ten somewhere again ; and he looked so ill minutes in a looking-glass before he re- and woe-begone that he was fain to moved his hat. Reader, we are wrong, pretend he had got rheumatism, for perhaps, in thus exposing the vanity which complaint he knew a good deal and self-conceit of our hero; but he of exercise was often ordered. When was really not a bad sort of young man. a regimental surgeon was not detached He was only very vain, like the gene- at C, Doctor Reynolds was the rality of the unemployed, good-looking physician who attended the barracks young people of both sexes.
there; and Arnold actually shrank Some days elapsed before the next from his rough but good-natured inSunday came, and Arnold was a good quiries as to the state of his health, deal disappointed in not seeing any of which were repeated whenever he saw the Miss Sydenhams out during that him latterly, till at length he admitted time. He walked up Mary-street two that rheumatic toothache kept him or three times a day, unconscious that awake very much at night, and then the eyes of several servant-maids and he was ordered divers remedies which butlers were viewing him out of upper he never took. This was the state of windows and portes cochères in the en- things, when one fine evening Arnold, chanted neighbourhood; and many a as usual, took a saunter towards the guess was hit upon that one of the three ruin of C. He had been wandervery pretty young ladies, incarcerated ing about for some time looking at the in the large sombre mansion of the resi- tombs and headstones that marked the dent magistrate, was the attraction in
graves of persons long since buried in Mary-street. When Sunday came, he the vicinity of the old cathedral, till, was still more disappointed in not see- becoming a little weary, he flung himing Miss Caroline Sydenham at church. self on a rude stone among the ruins. Her younger sister was the only mem- Chance often does strange things for ber of her family who appeared there; us ; and it so happened that Arnold and he merely had the satisfaction of had placed himself exactly near a spot obtaining a very slight salutation from where two young ladies were talking her, as she passed him on her way out, together, and without being able to see after the service was over. The next them, he heard some of their conversaday, and the next, were equally unfor- tion. For some time, however, he was tunate, and Arnold lost much of his
too much pre-occupied and abstracted self-conceit again, and looked quite to know or care what they were saying, despairing. There was a complete re- till one of them, whose voice he recol.
lected to have heard before, roused him nold was in high good humour, and suddenly, and he heard these words conversed with singular animation, spoken in Miss Caroline Sydenham's throwing more expression into his eyes well-known tones
than he had before dared to venture “I am nearly sure that papa never He even went so far as to say he will consent to it, even if he knew it should beg permission to call for a book would cost me a great deal of pain to from Miss Sydenham, as she had refuse. You know how determined he been kind enough to say she would lend always is how hard to move."
him one or two, and he was really “ Yes; but are you not foolish to wearied to death in C. Caroline care so very much whether he consents coloured violently at this, and then beor not. Mr. Hall (Arnold positively came pale as possible. Arnold fancied started, but could not move from his he could detect a smile in her sister's position) probably will never oblige blue
She certainly was amused, you to ask papa. Do not commence and he thought her a little bit savage fretting already."
for being so, while Caroline was so “But recollect the state of my own evidently embarrassed. Nevertheless, feelings, Agnes. I feel as if involved he talked and laughed a good deal him. in great misery; and the thoughts that self, but could not rouse his fair little Mr. Hall himself may have observed companion into anything like good my extreme confusion at different spirits. The brilliant sparkle that had times distract me. You, of course, formerly charmed him so much, seemed cannot know what I suffer."
to have forsaken her eyes. She was “ Ah, you must get over this misery. languid and distraite almost as her sisSuppose Mr. Hall is ordered off with- ter; yet he admired her present soft out ever pushing the matter further,” smile, and pensive silence, even more Arnold waited to hear no more, but than he had before admired her brilhurried away with a strange mixture liancy. They all three walked for some of ideas crowding through his mind. time about the ruin, stopping occasion
To what did this misery and suffer- ally to look at graves and tombstones ing of Caroline allude? why should he in the burying-ground, and at last Ca. be coupled with it? what on earth was roline seated herself on a marble mo. it all about ? Her father's consent- nument with an air of ennui. the state of her own feelings, all talked “I am very tired,” she said, look. about with such evident pain. He ing up at Arnold with her large hazel mused, and mused, and at length eyes, as he stood before her.
* What brought himself to the belief that she
a lovely resting-place this is, I should was very much in love with himself.
just like to be buried here ;” and she What else could the vain youth ima- glanced around her with a melancholy gine from such a conversation ? Yes, it smile. was a settled thing, and Arnold smiled Arnold smiled, too, but not in a meto himself, and thought, though so very lancholy way, and Agnes seated herself much charmed by the fair Caroline, beside her sister, without speaking. that she was over-quick in leaping from There was a short silence, and Arnold, the slight attentions he had paid her not knowing well what to say next, to asking her “papa's consent." amused himself by rattling his cane ab
“How horribly cute these girls are at sently through a large empty skull that finding out the state of a fellow's heart," happened to have been thrown up near he thought, congratulating himself on him. his good luck; and he was considering Caroline observed his occupation whether he should appear before the with a little horror, but made no reyoung ladies “accidentally," or return mark. At last she got up again, and home at once, when they suddenly said it was time to go
home. The turned a corner of the ruin, and stood words had hardly been spoken, when face to face with him.
a tall dark figure approached her. It Caroline, on whom his eye first lit, was Mr. Sydenham himself, grave and appeared to have been weeping, and stately as usual, who had slowly adlooked very melancholy. A perceptible vanced upon the youthful party before blush, however, suffused her face, as they were aware of his presence. she returned his salutation, and she Are you not afraid of catching was evidently a good deal confused at cold, while out so late ?” he asked, in meeting him thus unexpectedly. Ar- a bland voice, throwing a careless glance at Arnold, as he drew Caro- put nice notions in your head; oh! line's hand within his arm in a slow, the folly and irrationality of women !" quiet way. Caroline said nothing, but Caroline's face became flushed painthe fairy hand, thus imprisoned, trem- fully. bled nervously. Agnes sprang forward • I fear, papa, there is no use in herself to take possession of her father's trying to explain this affair. I have disengaged arm, and both the sisters been led into a sort of dilemma by Juwished Arnold good evening. Mr. Sy- lia's friend, Mrs. Devenish, who introdenham looked again at him with the duced us to this Mr. Hall, and I prosame grave, benevolent expression as mised to lend him books as his face usually wore. There was cer- “ You promised to lend him books !” tainly nothing in it to frighten or dis- exclaimed Mr. Sydenham, in horror courage Arnold, and he watched the and surprise. “And you tell me this retreating figures of the two girls as so coolly! You will neither lend him they walked away, leaning on their books, nor shall be ever enter this father, till they were no longer vi. house, and I have told you so before. sible.
Never shall I consent to his being adIn deep silence Mr. Sydenham con- mitted here!" ducted his daughters home. They “ Then what am I to do? Can you entered their sombre dwelling, all three feel no pity for me ?” asked Caroline, pre-occupied with unpleasant thoughts, pale and aghast with misery. “I am and the two girls were requested gravely involved in perplexity, and know not to goin their father in his study. They how to extricate myself.” did so in no very comfortable frame “I forbid further communication of mind, and Mr. Sydenham flung him- with this young man, under any preself into an easy chair, with an air of text whatever. When I consented to extreme weariness and dejection. your accompanying me to it
“I see plainly,” he commenced, ad- was, as of course you recollect, under dressing Caroline in a sad tone, “ that strict injunctions that you would not you and your sister here are bent on seek society; but you are trying to embittering the few remaining sources slip through my rules and guidance of happiness I have. You are wicked, now. False-hearted girls, you wish disobedient girls, likely to bring me to to ruin me with your extravagance and disgrace and ruin ; you cannot expect misconduct." And Mr. Sydenham luck or grace, while thus running con- leaned back again in his chair, as if stantly in exact opposition to a parent's exhausted by anguish of mind. Cacommands."
roline's firmness gave way, and she There was a pause ; neither of the burst into tears_tears wrung from a offending girls spoke, nor did they seem wounded, miserable soul. Mr. Sydenat all surprised at the severe words of ham coughed unrelentingly. their father. A sigh, deep, but re- “ This is the way you always try to signed, was Caroline's sole reply. get the better of me. I am really
“Here I find you," continued Mr. grieved to find that my daughters are Sydenbam, sitting up very erect, “in just as mean and silly as the rest of company with a young fellow, whom, their sex," he said, sarcastically. “ You without doubt, you have gone out to surely must have fallen in love with this meet, and of whom you can possibly moustached hero, or it would not cost know nothing! What conduct! Once you such pain to have him refused adfor all, young ladies, I forbid you leav. mittance here, in obedience to your faing the house to take a walk, unless ther's commands." under my protection, in future.”
“ In love," repeated Caroline, with “ You are mistaken, papa," urged an almost sorrowful smile. “My exCaroline, colouring with indignation, perience of matrimonial life has not “ in supposing that either of us were been likely to put thoughts of love or aware we should meet any one this marriage in my head. You know the evening at the ruin ; our seeing Mr. opinions my sisters and myself hold Hall there was a mere accident." with regard to matrimony. I had far
“No excuse, no excuse," hurriedly rather earn my bread as an humble observed Mr. Sydenham, with impa- menial, than become a slave to the catience, “I know very well how the price and tyranny of any man ; and in matter stands. I have no faith in your almost every case of married life, the sex, none whatever ; your mother has wife is a poor beaten down slave."
Mr. Sydenham smiled contemp- think? That we, without doubt, are tuously.
three very eccentric characters.” “ In spite of all you say, my dear, I “ Well, I am a very happy man; consider you would be glad to get an blessed with a wife who refuses to live offer of marriage. It is because I wish with me, and three dutiful girls who to keep you in proper order, that you call me a tyrant for preserving order in are all so miserable and discontented,
my own house." but I warn you that you will not suc- He arose, repeated a fiat that Mr. ceed in getting husbands by running Hall should not receive his sanction to after young men against your
father's enter his dwelling, and that the young wishes."
ladies in future should confine themCaroline did not reply, emotions long selves within doors, unless he chose to pent up, were gradually bursting forth, accompany them himself for a short a sudden faintness seized her, and she drive or walk. sank back senseless. Agnes flew to Mr. Sydenham had a bad temper her support in an agony of terror, and and a tyrannical disposition. During Mr. Sydenham watched her anxiously, twenty-two years, he had well nigh though he did not move from his chair. succeeded in breaking the heart of a
At this moment Miss Sydenham gentle wife, who was at last obliged, glided in, so noiselessly and so pale, through delicacy of health, to seek that she seemed quite spectral. peace in the dwelling of her youth, glance she comprehended how matters and once more she became an inmate stood, for, unhappily, scenes like the of her father's house. One child had present one were no rare occurrence been permitted to remain with her, but in Mr. Sydenham's house.
her three eldest daughters volunteered “ Father, you will kill her, you are to join their father, when he accepted killing us alli” she exclaimed in an ex- the appointment of resident magistrate cited manner, as she chafed her sister's at C, and they were all now pincold hands.
ing victims of harsh orders and unrea“You are all disobedient, misguided sonable demands. They were all ta. young females," slowly observed Mr. lented, proud spirited girls; but society Sydenham, " and you may all go where excludes women from making use of you please. I see you wish to revolt abilities further than in the arrangeagainst me; even you, Julia, have ments of kitchen and nursery affairs, turned rebel.”
which very common minds are capable “If we were three young men, we of conducting ; and in spite of genius should not be treated as we are, and singular discernment, these three turned Miss Sydenham calmly.
young women were forced to suffer it is ever thus with women, and I am a mean, obscure existence, dependent thankful that we have all had warning on a father who regarded them as bein time to eschew voluntary connexion longing to a weak, unreasonable sex, with an unreasonable, tyrannical sex.” and they had too much reflection to
“And if such be your cause of thank- think of doing as some women, who, fulness, young lady, how is it that your when similarly situated, endeavour to sister there faints off, because I forbid exchange parental tyranny for the frefurther intercourse with a young officer quently far more galling bondage of of dragoons, for whom she has evidently marriage. They were gentle, amiable imbibed a sudden friendship ?”
creatures, patient and long-suffering as “ She does not care a straw for poor human beings could well be. They Mr. Hall.” (Oh, Arnold had you heard had always endeavoured to conceal this !) “It is through a sense of de- from their domestics that any ill-feeling cency, that she wishes him to be ad.
ever existed towards them on the part mitted here, to conceal the extraordi. of their father; yet Charlotte Fogarty, nary state of seclusion and restraint the lately hired waiting-maid, had we bave hitherto been obliged to main- vague suspicions that all was not right tain.”
between Mr. Sydenham and his daugh“ You wish to make friends, that you ters. There were tearful eyes and pale may abuse your father to them, and countenances too often observed among call him a tyrant."
the young ladies, and Miss Sydenham's 6 Far from it, we have done all we head-aches were too frequently coupled can to hide what I fear must soon be- with grave, displeased fooks from the come known. What must our servants master, not to awaken doubts and sur