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When Tony presented himself at Tony smoked on, and on. He the Legation, he found that nobody wrote home occasionally, and made knew anything about him. They three attempts to write to Alice, had, some seven or eight months who, despite his silence, had sent previous, requested to have an ad- him a very pleasant letter about ditional messenger appointed, as home matters. It was not a neighthere were cases occurring which re bourhood to afford much news; and, quired frequent reference to home; indeed, as she said, “they had been but the emergency had passed over, unusually dull of late; scarcely and Brussels was once again as un any visitors, and few of the neighdisturbed by diplomatic relations bours. We miss your friend Skeff as any of the Channel Islands. greatly; for, with all his oddities “Take a lodging and make your- and eccentricities, he
had won self comfortable, marry, and sub- upon us immensely by real traits scribe to a club if you like it,” said of generosity and highmindedness. a grey-headed attaché,with a cynical There is another friend of yours face, “ for in all likelihood they'll here I would gladly know well, but never remember you're here.” The she-Miss Stewart-retreats from speaker had some experiences of all my advances, and has so posithis sort of official forgetfulness, tively declined all our invitations with the added misfortune that, to the Abbey, that it would seem when he once had summoned cour to imply, if such a thing were posage to remonstrate against it, they sible, a special determination to did remember him, but it was to avoid us. I know you well enough, change him from a first to a second Master Tony, to be aware that you class mission-in Irish phrase, pro- will ascribe all my ardour in this moting him backwards - for his pursuit to the fact of there being temerity.
an obstacle. As you once told me Tony installed himself in a snug about a certain short cut from Portlittle quarter outside the town, and rush, the only real advantage it bad set himself vigorously to study was a stiff four-foot wall which French. In Knickerbocker's ‘His- must be jumped ; but you are tory of New York,' we read that wrong, and you are unjust_two the sittings of the Council were things not at all new to you. My always measured and recorded by intentions here were really good. the number of pipes smoked by the I had heard from your dear mother Cabinet. In the same way might that Miss Stewart was in bad health it be said, that Tony Butler's pro --that fears were felt lest her chest gress in Ollendorf was only to be was affected. Now, as the doctors computed by the quantity of to- concurred in declaring that Bella bacco consumed over it. The pro- must pass one winter, at least, in a nouns had cost two boxes of cigars; warm climate, so I imagined how the genders, a large packet of as easy it would be to extend the sorted cavendish and bird's-eye; benefit of genial air and sunshine and he stood fast on the frontier of to this really interesting girl, by the irregular verbs, waiting for a offering to take her as a companion. large bag of Turkish that Skeffy Bella was charmed with my project, wrote to say he had forwarded to and we walked over to the Burnside him through the Office.
on Tuesday to propose it in all form. Why have we no statistics of the “To the shame of our diplomacy influence of tobacco on education ? we failed completely. The old Why will no one direct his atten- minister, indeed, was not averse to tion to the inquiry as to how far the the plan, and professed to think it Tony Butlers-a large class in the a most thoughtful attention on our British Islands—are more moved part; but Dolly—I call her Dolly, to exertion, or hopelessly muddled for it is by that name, so often in intellect, by the soothing influ- recurring in the discussion, I assoences of smoke ?
ciate her best with the incident
Dolly was peremptory in her refu- ed at the cottage. I bave made sal. I wanted—perhaps a little un Dr Reid give a written declaration fairly-Iwanted to hear her reasons. that Miss Stewart's case-I quote I asked if there might not pos- him—“as indicated by a distinct sibly be something in her objec- “Bronchoffany" in the superior portions to which we could reply. I tion of the right lung, imperatively pressed her to reconsider the mat- demands the benefit of a warm and ter—to take a week, two if she genial climate ;' and with all these liked, to think over it; but no, she pièces de conviction I am beaten, would not listen to my compro- turned out of court, and denied a mise ; she was steady and resolute, verdict. and yet at the same time much Have you any explanation to moved. She said No! but she said offer about this, Master Tony? it as if there was a reason she should Dolly was an old playfellow of say so, while it was in direct vio- yours, your mother tells me. What lence to all her wishes. Mind this key can you give us as to her nais mere surmise on my part. I am ture? Is she like what she was in speaking of one of whose nature those old days ? and when did you and temperament I know nothing. cease to have these games together? I may just as easily be wrong as I fancied—was it mere fancy?—that right. She is indeed a puzzle to she grew a little red when we spoke me; and one little trait of her has of you. Mind, sir, I want no concompletely routed all my conceit in fessions. I want nothing from you my own power of reading character. but what may serve to throw light In my eagerness to overcome her upon her. If you can suggest to objections, I was picturing the life me any means of overcoming the of enjoyment and interest Italy objection she seems to entertain to would open to her—the charm of a our plan, do so ; and if
you cannot, land that realises in daily life what please to hold your peace on this poets and painters can only shadow matter ever after. I wrote yesterforth; and in my ardour I so far day to Mark, who is now at Milan, forgot myself as to call her Dolly- to make some inquiries about Italian dear Dolly, I said. The words villa life. I was really afraid to overcame her at once. She grew speak to your friend Skeff, lest, as pale, so sickly pale, that I thought mamma said, he should immediately she would have fainted ; and as offer us one of the royal palaces as two beavy tears stood in her eyes, a residence. No matter, he is a she said, in a cold quiet voice, I dear good fellow, and I have an beg you will not press me any more.
unbounded reliance on his geneI am very grateful to you; but I rosity. cannot accept your offer.'
Now, a word about yourself. “Bella insisted on our going over Why are you at Brussels? Why to your mother, and enlisting her are you a fixed star, after telling advocacy in the cause. I did not us you were engaged as a planet ? like the notion, but I gave way. Are there any mysterious reasons Your dear mother, all kind as she for your residence there? If so, I ever is, went the same evening to don't ask to hear them ; but your the Burnside ; but a short note mother naturally would like to from her the next morning showed know something about you a litshe had no better success than our tle more explanatory than your last selves.
bulletin, that said, I am here still, “Naturally-you, at least, will and likely to be so.' say so~I am ten times more eager “I had a most amusing letter about my plan now that it is pro- from Mr Maitland a few days ago. nounced impracticable. I have I had put it into this envelope to written to Dr Stewart. I have let you read it, but I took it out sent papa to him; mamma has call- again, as I remembered your great
and very unjust prejudices against she mean by this? Surely it is not him, He seems to know every possible that Alice could have lisone and everything, and is just as tened to any story that coupled his familiar with the great events of name with Dolly's, and should thus politics as with the great people by insinuation charge him with the who mould them. I read for your allegation ? Lady Lyle had said to mother his description of the life herself, “I heard the story from at Fontainebleau, and the eccentrici one of the girls.” Was it this, then, ties of a beautiful Italian, Countess that Alice referred to ? Surely she Castagnolo, the reigning belle there; knew him better; surely she knew and she was much amused, though how he loved her, no matter how she owned that four changes of hopelessly it might be. Perhaps raiment daily was too much even women liked to give this sort of for Delilah herself.
pain to those whose heart they “Do put a little coercion on owned. Perhaps it was a species of yourself, and write me even a note. torture they were given to. Skeffy I assure you I would write you could tell if he were here. Skeffy most pleasant little letters if you could resolve this point at once, showed you merited them. I have but it was too much for him. a budget of small gossip about the As to the passage about Maitland, neighbours, no particle of which he almost tore the paper as he read shall you ever see till you deserve it. By what right did he corresbetter of your old friend,
pond with her at all ? why should he “ ALICE TRAFFORD.” write to her even such small matter
as the gossip of a court ? And what It may be imagined that it was could Alice mean by telling him of in a very varying tone of mind he it, unless—and oh the bitterness of read through this letter. If Dolly's this thought !—it was to intimate by refusal was not based on her un a mere passing word the relations willingness to leave her father—and that subsisted between herself and if it were, she could have said so— Maitland, and thus convey to him it was quite inexplicable. Of all the utter hopelessness of his own the girls he had ever known, he pretensions ? never saw one more likely to be As Tony walked up and down captivated by such an offer. She his room, he devised a very strong, had that sort of nature that likes to it was almost a fierce, reply to this invest each event of life with a cer letter. He would tell her that as tain romance; and where could to Dolly he couldn't say, but she anything have opened such a vista might have some of his own scruples for castle-building as this scheme of about that same position called comforeign travel ? Of course he could panion. When he knew her long not explain it ; how should he ? ago, she was independent enough Dolly was only partly like what she in spirit, and it was by no means used to be long ago. In those days impossible she might prefer a less she had no secrets—at least none brilliant condition if unclogged from him—now she had long dreary with observances that might savour intervals of silence and reflection of homage. At all events, he was as though brooding over something no fine and subtle intelligence to she did not wish to tell of. This whom a case of difficulty could be was not the Dolly Stewart he used submitted. to know so well. As he re-read the As for Maitland, he hated him ! letter, and came to that passage in he was not going to conceal it in any which she tells him that, if he can way.
His air of insolent superiornot explain what Dolly's refusal is ity he had not forgotten, nor would owing to without making a confes- he forget till he had found an opsion, he need not do so, he grew portunity to retort it. Alice might almost irritable, and said, What can think him as amusing as she pleased.
To himself the man was simply name, by insinuation, everywhere; odious, and if the result of all his and in spite of himself he found varied gifts and accomplishments he had got into a tone not merely was only to make up such a being querulous, but actually aggressive, as he was, then would he welcome and was using towards Alice an air the most unlettered and unformed of reproof that he almost trembled clown that ever walked rather than at as he re-read it. this mass of conceit and self-suffi “ This will never do,” cried he, ciency.
as he tore up the scribbled sheets. He sat down to commit these “I'll wait till to-morrow, and perthoughts to paper, and though he haps I shall do better.” When the scrawled over seven sheets in the morrow came he was despatched attempt, nothing but failure came on duty, and Alice remained unanof it. Maitland came in, if not by swered.
CHAPTER Xxxix.—THE MAJOR'S MISSION.
If my reader has been as reten- drawn from public view, and an tive as I could wish him, he will immediate meeting with Maitland have borne in mind that on the prevented. evening when Major M'Caskey It was not very difficult, without took a very menacing leave of Nor- any breach of confidence, for Cafman Maitland at Paris, Count Caf- farelli to convey to Filangieri that farelli had promised his friend to his choice of M*Caskey for this miswrite to General Filangieri to ob- sion was something stronger than a tain from the King a letter ad- caprice, and that his real wish was dressed to Maitland in the royal that this fiery personage should not hand by the title of Count of Amalfi be at Naples when they arrived -such a recognition being as valid there. an act of ennoblement as all the A very brief note, which reached declarations and registrations and Caffarelli before he had left Paris, emblazonments of heralds and the informed him that all he requested colleges.
had been duly done." "He gave it” It had been originally intended -it was of the King he spokethat this letter should be enclosed “he gave it at once, Carlo; only to Count Ludolf, the Neapolitan saying, with a laugh, One of my envoy at Turin, where Maitland brothers may dispute it with him would have found it; but seeing some of these days—for it gives the spirit which had now grown up some privilege ; but whether it be between Maitland and M.Caskey, to claim the rights of the Church and foreseeing well what would after high treason, or to have two occur whenever these two men wives in Lower Calabria, I don't should meet, Caffarelli, with that as remember; but tell your friend to tuteness that never fails the Italian, avoid both murder and matrimony, determined to avert the peril by a at least till he returns to a more stratagem which lent its aid to the civilised region. object he had in hand. He begged “I shall send the Irish major the General would transmit the with the despatch, as you wish. If letter from the King, not to Turin, I understand you aright, you are not but to the Castello di Montanara, over-anxious he should come back where Maitland had long resided, in with the answer. But why not be a far-away part of Calabria, and more explicit ? If you want employ as the messenger M‘Caskey remember Calabria is Calahimself; by which means this very bria-you understand.” irritable and irritating individual At first Caffarelli had intended might be, for a time at least, with not to show this note to Maitland;
but the profound contempt which of the sea-wall being a labour that his friend exhibited for M'Caskey, never ended. proved that no sense of a debt of The present occupant, Sir Omehonour outstanding between them rod Butler, lived in one small block would lessen Maitland's satisfac- called the “Molo," which projected tion at hearing that this trouble into the sea at the very end of the
- so he called him- promontory, and was approachable should not be yelping at his heels on the land side by a beautiful through the streets of Naples. avenue of cedars. They were of
Maitland, in fact, declared, that great age, and, tradition said, had he knew of no misfortune in life been brought from Lebanon. If so thoroughly ruinous as to be con ruin and neglect and desolation fronted in a quarrel with a ques- characterised all around, no soontionable antagonist. From the er had the traveller entered this ridicule of such a situation, he shady approach than all changed to averred, the only escape was in a the most perfect care and culture fatal ending; and Maitland knew flowery shrubs of every kind, beds nothing so bad as ridicule. En- of gorgeous flowers, pergolati of mity in all its shapes he had faced, vines leading down to the sea, and and could face again. Give him a orange-groves dipping their golden foe but worthy of him, and no man balls in the blue Mediterranean at ever sprang into the lists with a every step, till the ample gate was lighter heart: the dread of a false reached ; passing into which you position was too much for him. entered a spacious court paved with
Leaving these two friends, variegated marble, with a massive then, at Paris to talk, amid their fountain in the centre. From this lives of many dissipations, of plots court, under a pillared archway, led and schemes and ambitions, let us off all the lower rooms—great spabetake ourselves to a very distant cious chambers, with richly painted spot, at the extreme verge of the ceilings and tesselated floors. Into Continent a little inlet on the these was gathered the most costly Calabrian coast below Reggio ; furniture of the whole palace : where, on a small promontory tables and consoles of malachite separating two narrow bays, stands and porphyry, gorgeously inlaid the lone Castle of Montanara. It slabs of lapis lazuli and agate, cahad been originally a convent, as binets of rare beauty, and objects its vast size indicates, but was pur- of ancient art. Passing through chased and converted into a royal these again you gained the rooms residence by a former king of Na- of daily habitation, arranged with ples, who spent incredible sums all the taste and luxury of modern on the buildings and the gardens. refinement, and distinctively markThe latter especially were most ing that the cold splendour withcostly, since they were entirely arti- out could not attain to that sense ficial—the earth having been car of comfort and voluptuous ease ried from the vicinity of Naples. which an age of greater indulgence
The castle itself was the most in- requires. congruous mass that could be con The outer gate of the castle, ceived-embracing the fortress, the which opened by a drawbridge convent, the ornate style of Venice, over a deep moat, on the Reggio and the luxurious vastness of an road, was little less than a mile Oriental palace, all within its walls. off; and it may give some idea of It may be imagined that no private the vast size of the place to state fortune, however ample, could have that, from that entrance to the kept in perfect order a place of such Molo, there was a succession of immense size, the gardens alone buildings of one kind or other, requiring above thirty men con- only interrupted by areas of courtstantly at work, and the repairs yard or garden.