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too much excited to hear what Rose had to say; if, indeed, poor Rose had anything to say after this sudden storm which had broken
“We will speak of it to-morrow, when you have had time to think," she said, kissing her daughter, and dismissing her hastily. When Rose had gone, she fell back into her chair by the waning firelight, and thought over the many times in her own life when she had battled and had been worsted on this eternal point of difference between the two classes of humanity. She had struggled for self-denial against self-indulgence in a hundred different ways on a hundred fields of battle, and here was the end of it: a poor old house, tumbling to pieces about her ears, a poor little pittance, just enough to give her children bread; and for those children no prospect but toil for which they had not been trained, and which changed their whole conception of life. Bertie, her bright boy, for whom everything had been hoped, if her brother's precarious bounty should fail, what was there before him but a poor little clerkship in some office from which he never could rise, and which, indeed, his uncle had suggested at first as a way of making him helpful to his family. God help her! This was what a virtuous and natural preference for the things one liked had brought Mrs. Damerel to : and if her mind took a confused and over-strained view of the subject, and of the lengths to which self-denial ought to be carried, was it any wonder? I think there is a great deal to be said on her side of the case.
Rose, for her part, lit her candle and went up the old stairs — which creaked under her light foot — with her head bent down, and her heart stifled under a weight that was too much for her. A cold, cold January night, the chill air coming in at the old casements, the dark skies without lending no cheering influence, and no warmth of cheery fires within to neutralize Nature's heaviness ; an accusation thrown upon her under which her whole being ached and revolted; a duty set before her which was terrible to think of; and no one to advise, or comfort, or help. What was she to do?
world, and had learned the toleration sition. But Rose was the one woman which comes by experience; whose in the world for him, by sheer caprice opinions were worth hearing on al- of nature ; just as reasonable, and no most every subject; who had read a more so, as that other caprice which great deal, and thought a little, and made him, with all his advantages and was as much superior to the ordinary recommendations, not the man for her. young man of society in mind and If ever a man was in a position to judgment as he was in wealth. That make a deliberate choice, such as men this kind of man often fails to capti- are commonly supposed to make in vate a foolish girl, when her partner matrimony, Mr. Incledon was the man; in a valse, brainless, beardless, and yet he chose just as much and as little penniless, succeeds without any trouble as the rest of us do. He saw Rose, in doing so, is one of those mysteries and some power which he knew nothof nature which nobody can penetrate, ing of decided the question at once for but which happens too often to be him. He had not been thinking of doubted. Even in this, particular, marriage, but then he made up his however, Mr. Incledon had his advan- mind to marry; and whereas he bad tages. He was not one of those who, on various occasions weighed the qualeither by contempt for the occupations | ities and the charms of this one and of youth or by the gravity natural to the other, he never asked himself a maturer years, allow themselves to be question about her, nor compared her pushed aside from the lighter part of with any other woman, nor considered life — he still danced, though not with whether she was suited for him, or the absolute devotion of twenty, and anything else about her. This was retained his place on the side of youth, how he exercised that inestimable not permitting himself to be shelved. | privilege of choice which , women More than once, indeed, the young sometimes envy. But, having once officers from the garrison near, and received this conviction into his mind, the young scions of the county fanilies, he had never wavered in his determihad looked on with puzzled non-com- nation to win her. The question in prehension, when they found them- his mind now was, not whether his selves altogether distanced in effect selection was the best he could have and popularity by a mature personage made, but whether it was wise of him whom they would gladly have called to have entrusted his cause to the an old fogy had they dared. These mother rather than to have spoken to young gentlemen of course consoled Rose herself. He had remained in their vanity by railing against the the background during those dreary mercenary character of women who months of sorrow. He had sent flowpreferred wealth to everything. But ers and game and messages of inquiry; it was not only his wealth upon which but he had not thrust himself upon Mr. Incledon stood. No girl who had the notice of the women, till their married him need have felt herself change of residence gave token that withdrawn to the grave circle in which they must have begun to rouse themher elders had their place.
selves for fresh encounter with the able to hold his own in every pursuit
world. When he was on his way to with men ten years his juniors, and
the White House he had fully per- , did so. Then, too, he had almost a suaded himself that to speak to the romantic side to his character; for a mother first was the most delicate and man so well off does not put off marry- the most wise thing he could do. For ing for so long without a reason, and one thing, he could say so much more though nobody knew of any previous to her than he could to Rose; he could story, any “entanglement,' which assure her of his good-will and of his would have restrained him, various desire to be of use to the family, should picturesque suggestions were afloat; he become a member of it. Mr. Inand even failing these, the object of cledon did not wish to bribe Mrs. Dahis choice might have laid the flatter- merel to be on his side. He had ining unction to her soul that his long
deed a reasonable assurance that no waiting had been for the realization of such bribe was necessary, and that a some perfect ideal, which he found man like himself must always have a only in her.
reasonable mother on his side. This I'bis model of a marriageable man he was perfectly aware of, as indeed took bis way from the White House any one in his senses would have been. in a state of mind less easily described But as soon as he had made his declathan most of his mental processes. ration to Mrs. Damerel, and had left He was not excited to speak of, for the White House behind, his thoughts an interview between a lover of thirty- began to torment him with doubts of five and the mother of the lady is not the wisdom of this proceeding. He generally exciting; but he was a little saw very well that there was no clingdoubtful of his own perfect judicious- | ing of enthusiastic love, no absolute ness in the step he had just taken. I devotedness of union, between this can no more tell you why he had set mother and daughter, and he began to his heart on Rose than I can say why wonder whether he might not have she felt no answering inclination to- done better had he run all the risks and wards him — for there
broached the subject to Rose herself, other girls in the neighborhood who shy and liable to be startled as she would in many ways have been more It was perhaps possible that suitable to a man ot his tastes and po- his own avowal, which must have had
MR. INCLEDON was a man of whom people said that any girl might be glad to marry him; and considering marriage from an abstract point of view, as one naturally does when it does not concern one's self, this was entirely true. In position, in character, in appearance, and in principles, he was everything that could be de sired : a good man, just, and never consciously unkind ; nay, capable of generosity when it was worth his while and he had sufficient induce. ment to be generous.
A man well ed. ucated, who had been much about the
a certain degree of emotion in it, pence; and then she added, “ perhaps
In three months Rose will would have found better acceptation I am prejudiced ; I never can get over be the great laily of the parish, and with her than the passionless state- a slight which I am sure she showed to lay down the law to you and the ment of his attentions which Mrs. Da
Green, and all your gossiping society." merel would probably make. For it « Ah ! what was that ?"
He would even in a rare fit of genernever dawned
Mr. Incledon's Mrs. Musgrove once more pulled osity have liked to tell them, on the imagination that Mrs. Damerel would her friend's cloak, and there was a spot, that this blessedness was in support his suit not with calmness, great deal more eagerness and interest Rose's power, to give her honor in but passionately - more passionately, than the occasion deserved in Mr. In- their eyes, whether she accepted him perhaps, than would have been possi- cledon's tone.
or not; which was
a very generous ble to himself. He could not have di
“Oh, nothing of any consequence! impulse indeed, and one which few vined any reason why she should do What do you say, dear ?
a mistake? men would have been equal toso, and naturally he had not the least Well, I don't think it was a mistake. though indeed as a matter of fact Mr. idea of the tremendous weapons she They thought Edward was going to; Incledon did not carry it out. But he was about to employ in his favor. I yes, that was a mistake, if you went into the lonely house where don't think, for very pride and shame, please. I am sure he had many other everything pleasant and luxurious, exthat he would have sanctioned the use things in his mind a great deal more cept the one crowning luxury of some of them, had he known.
important. But they thought — and one to share it with, awaited him, in a It happened, however, by chance, though common civility demanded glow of energy and eagerness, resolved that as he walked home in the wintry something different, and' I took the to go back again to-morrow and plead twilight he met Mrs. Wodehouse and trouble to write a note and ask it, I his cause with Rose herself, and win her friend Mrs. Musgrove, who were do think - but, however, after the her, not prudentially through her going the same way as he was, on words I had with her to-day, I no mother, but by his own warmth of their way to see the Northcotes, who longer blame Rose. Poor child! I am love and eloquence. Poor Rose in had lately come to the neighborhood. always very sorry for poor Rose." June! In the wintry setting of the He could not but join them so far in • Why should you be sorry for Miss
White House she was not much like their walk, nor could he avoid the Damerel? Was she one of those who the rector's flower-maiden, in all her conversation which was inevitable.
slighted your son! I hope Mr. Edward delicate perfection of bloom, “ queen Mrs. Wodehouse indeed was very Wodehouse is quite well.”
rose of the rosebud garden," impersoeager
for it, and began almost before " He is very well, I thank you, and nation of all the warmth, and sweethe could draw breath.
getting on so satisfactorily; nothing ness, and fragrance, and exquisite “ Did you see Mrs. Damerel after could be more pleasant.Oh, you simple profusion of summer and natall ?" she asked. 6. You remember
not think Edward cared! He Mr. Incledon's heart swelled I met you when you were on your
a great deal of the world, full of love and pity as he thought way
and he did not come home to let him- of the contrast — not with passion, • Yes; she was good enough to see self be put down by the family of a but soft tenderness, and a delicious me," said Mr. Incledon.
country clergyman. That is not at all sense of what it was in his power to “ And how do you think she is look- what I meant; I am sorry for Rose, do for her, and to restore her to. ing? I hear such different accounts ; however, because of a great many He strayed over the rooms which some people say very ill, some just as things. She ought to go out as a he had once shown to her, with a usual. I have not seen her, myself,” governess or companion, or something natural pride in their beauty, and in said Mrs. Wodehouse, slightly draw- of that sort, poor child! Mrs. Da- all the delicate treasures he had accuing herself up, “except in church.” merel may try, but I am sure they mulated there, until he came to the * How was that ?” he said, half never can get on as they are doing.
little inner room with its gray-green amused. “I thought you had always I hear that all they have to depend on hangings, in which hung the Perugino, been great friends.” is about a hundred and fifty a year.
which, since Rose had seen it, he had Upon this he saw Mrs. Musgrove A family can never live upon that, always called his Raphael. He seemed give a little jerk to her friend's cloak, not with their habits, Mr. Incledon ; to see her too, standing there looking in warning, and perceived that Mrs. and therefore I think I may well say at it, a creature partaking something Wodehouse wavered between a desire
of that soft divinity, an enthusiast to tell a grievance and the more pru
"I don't think Miss Damerel will with sweet soul and looks congenial dent habit of self-restraint.
ever require to make such a sacrifice,” to that heavenly art. I do not know ** Oh!" she said, with a little hes- he said, hurriedly.
that his mind was of a poetical turn by itation; “ yes, of course we were al. “Well, I only hope you are right," nature, but there are moments when ways good friends. I had a great said Mrs. Wodehouse.
life makes a poet of the dullest; and adiniration for our late good rector, you know a great deal more about on this evening the lonely, quiet bouse Mr. Incledon. What a man he was ! business matters than I do, and per- within the parks and woods of WhitNot to say a word against the new one, haps their money is at higher inter- ton, where there had been neither who is very nice, he will never be est than we think for; but if I were love, nor anything worth calling life, equal to Mr. Damerel. What a fine Rose I almost think I should see it to for years, except in the cheery commind he had, and a style, I am told, be my duty. Here we are at Mrs. pany of the servants' hall, suddenly equal to the very finest preachers! Northcote's, dear. Mr. Incledon, I am got itself lighted up with ethereal We must never hope to hear such ser- afraid we must say good-by.”
lights of tender imagination and feelmons in our little parish again. Mrs. Mr. Incledon went home very hot ing. The illumination did not show Damerel is a very good woman, and I and fast after this conversation. It outwardly, or it might have alarmed feel for her deeply; but the attraction warmed him in the misty, cold even- the Green, which was still unaware in that house, as I am sure you must ing, and seemed to put so many
of the house had have felt, was not her, but him.” weapons into his hand.
ose, his passed by there, and the place lighted " I have always had a great regard Rose, go out as a governess or com- itself up in prospect of her coming. for Mrs. Damerel,” said Mr. Incledon. panion! He looked at the shadow of After dinner, however, Mr. Incledon
“Oh, yes, yes! I am sure – a good his own great house standing out descended from these regions of fancy, wife and an excellent mother and all against the frosty sky, and laughed and took a step which seemed to himthat; but not the fine mind, not the to himself as he crossed the park. self a very clever as well as prudent, intellectual conversation, one used to She a dependent, who might to-mor- and at the same time a very friendly, have with the dear rector,” said good row if she pleased be virtual mistress He had not forgotten, any more Mrs. Wodehouse, who had about as of Whitton and all its wealth! He than the others had, that summer much intellect as would lie on a six- would have liked to say to these evening on the lawn at the rectory,
6. Of course
(To be continued.)
BY MARY CLEMMER AMES.
when young Wodehouse had strayed down the hill with
grow more lively than you have been lately. But do Rose, out of sight of the seniors of the party, and though decide on something, Aggie, for I must get down to the all his active apprehensions on that score had been calmed
office." down by Edward's departure, yet he was too wise not to
How could she tell him that she felt a half-sickeniny
much, - more than he could just now afford, more than
women's hearts: Why haven't I something my very
own! then I would buy both dresses, and please him.”
Cyril thought of telling her to buy the two ; but the
after-thought, ever ready, reminded him that his funds CHAPTER XIV. — AGNES AT THE OPERA. —
were rather low; yet it did not remind him also that
penses in which his family had no share. By this time Those who have been graduated from a contriving he was dreadfully bored.' What delighted him in dress school rarely outlive the result. Pinching poverty in
was its effect; the process by which that effect might youth projects its trace into later life, leaving its vic- be reached worried him, as it does most men. He tims to betray it according to their dispositions. Some liked to see a lady glide before him as harmonious to show it in lavish expenditure, vulgar display ; others his eyes as her music might be melodious to his hearin small, pinching economies when such economies have ing, but of the care and pains that wrought that harceased to be necessary. Agnes, in her girlhood the dependent on proud but mong, the choosing and cost of it, he wished to know
if . not over-rich relations, could not remember the time
He had praised the silver gray costume so unreservwhen she had not “ to contrive” in order to make her edly, that Agnes wanted it just for the pleasure it would scanty wardrobe pretty as well as cheap. She early give his eyes. “If he could only tell me to take both, learned with deft fingers to turn garments upside down for the gray would be of no service alone,” she said inside out, to rip, to renovate, and to make over“ good to herself. He did not, so she resolutely turned her as new.” She had by no means escaped the feeling eyes from it, and in a low voice told the salesman that that this must be done still. With his past indelibly she would take the black silk. stamped upon brain and heart, she could not disasso
The momentous question decided, Cyril accompanied ciate from Cyril the idea of impending want.
her to a picture gallery. Her intention was to spend poor when she married him. He was not rich now.
the remainder of the day going in and out among the The ample income derived from his profession had few artists’ studios and art galleries that she knew, lookbeen sorely taxed by the expenses of his election and ing over books and engravings. Later in the afternoon the never-ceasing demands of political life. She had Cyril was to meet her at Goupil's ; then they were been long sick — and the baby ! Babies were expensive going to the Brevoort, where she was to don the new blessings, there was no denying that. The future was
silk, dine with Cyril, and then uncertain, and — “I must deny myself,” said Agnes at
It was an epoch in Agnes' days when she could go the conclusion of her meditation on what the new dress
There was no affectation in her love for should be. It must be strong enough to bear some it. She was conscious of the ludicrous aspect of singing wear and tear, fine enough to be seen in the city, sober certain sentences which could so much better be said, enough to be not out of place on the cars — and not nevertheless she enjoyed the opera with a childish zest. expensive. All these unaffiliating qualities were to With its lights, melody, flowers, and gala dresses, to meet in one garment, for with their present expenses, her it meant how much more - youth, romance, love ! she thought she could not afford two.
In the heyday of these she visited it first. In the first All this was settled in Agnes' mind, before she sat month of her marriage she saw for the first time the with Cyril on the upper floor of Stewart's, surveying interior of the Academy of Music. It opened upon her the costumes with which, in endless varieties, an oblig- unaccustomed eyes like a temple of enchantment. To ing salesman was draping the staring “form ” before her, a neophyte in the gay world's delights, every obher.
ject which she contemplated gave her the pleasant “ Anything that really satisfies one's taste is sure to
thrill of a new sensation : the boxes rising tier on tier, be beyond one's means,” said Agnes to Cyril. “To with their curtains of lace and amber satin looped back find anything that will do for street-dress, reception to show the bedecked and living beauty within ; the dress, and evening-dress all in one, will be impossible, rose-tinted galleries upborne by white goddesses, packed I fear. This silver gray poplin is elegant. I want it, with people to the lofty ceiling; the fluttering audience Cyril, because you like it; but if I get it, I'll have to about her ; the shimmer of fans; the running ripple buy another to save it. On the whole, don't you think of talk; the melodious boy-voices in the aisles, calling I had better take this plain black silk? It won't look out “Opera-book !” “ Buy an opera-book !” the flower out of place anywhere, and will be good enough for any venders moving and peering up and down - one in occasion where I shall be likely to wear it.”
particular, an old Italian, his hands crowded with his " You don't forget that you are going to Washing- fragrant merchandise, regulation bouquets of red and ton, do you?”
white which never varied. How these sights and sounds " Oh, no. But it does not seem as if I should go out had stamped themselves upon her impressionable brain, much there. Do you think I will, Cyril ? ”
she never knew till in hours of convalescence they " I'm sure I don't know. You won't unless you came thronging in upon her memory, and through the
darkened room floated the boy-voices calling “OperaEntered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by H. O. HOUGHTox & Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
book !” the swell of the orchestra, “ Martha's'
- the opera.
to the opera.
» « Last
Rose of Summer," the music of “Norma,” the airy whose occupants were visible from every part of the songs of Cherubini, while she inhaled again the subtle house. The central object in it was a lady whom flower-scent wafted from the old Italian's hand. All wbite Turkish mantle, embroidered with gold, was these had been hers in the dimness of her chamber, when thrown back, revealing gauze-veiled arms, shoulders. it had seemed as if she could never enter the bright and throat gleaming with jewels. She wore a small Academy again; yet here she was.
tiara of brilliants in her hair, which fashed out afar. No shadow had fallen upon that day. The autumnal She sat like a queen amid courtiers and her aspect was splendor of the metropolitan streets had given her a royal. But not more so than Cyril's, for whom now all new sense of buoyancy, till she fancied she felt like others made way. There was another lady in the box, Guido's Aurora moving above the clouds. The new an elderly one, to whom the remaining gentlemen adpictures had fed her æsthetic sense, the new books she dressed themselves while Cyril seated himself by the found had filled her mind with new thoughts and emo- beauty's side. tions. Not least, the black silk suit had proved itself a Agnes, alone, with no one to speak to, tried to fix marvel, did not fit ill, and had received Cyril's approval. her eyes on the libretto in her hand, but could not; She had dined alone tête-à-tête with him, and here she they would rise to the sight that confronted ber! Could was by his side, — the glow, the splendor, the murmur that man be Cyril, who a moment before had sat so and music of the Academy about her once more.
silent by her side. He was radiant with animation All the burden of life seemed at once to roll from her
What a pair they made, he and the unknown heart. She was Agnes Darcy, the girl, again. She beauty. Poor Agnes ! she could not help seeing that knew no doubt nor fear, nor anything but bliss beside also. Who could help seeing it ? Not many, as was her lover.
proven by the innumerable glasses directed toward the “ Oh, Cyril !” she whispered, “I know that it is box. The whole Academy outside could not show so ridiculous, but I believe my idea of perfect happine-s is superb a pair. to forget every pain and be with you at the opera.” “ How handsome he is !” said Agnes as she gazed,
“ After all, what a child you are, Aggie!” with a while her breath seemed going. She marked the broad, touch of superiority in the tone.
lofty shoulders and the haughty head with its rings of “ That's what I'd like to be always.
It tires me so,
closely clinging yellow hair; the keenly cut features ; makes me feel so old, to think and to feel.”
the eyes flashing like sapphires. And she — this "On dreary subjects — yes. If you'd only devote woman beside him! Why had God made her so beaumore time to agreeable themes."
tiful ? The masses of purple black hair; the magnolia "I'll try, I'll try, Cyril."
skin with its rose-leaf tinge; the long, drooping, heavily " That's right; that's what you ought to do” – with fringed eye-lids, with the eyes half lifted, large, black, a sudden turn of his head and a swift change of coun- and alluringly soft — she saw all, for her glass was
lifted now, though she was unconscious when she did “ What, what is the matter, darling ? you look as it. “Such eyes, melting on him, on Cyril, my husif you were going to faint.”
band! And he! He looks as if there were not another • But I'm not; after an instant's pause,
“ I've had on earth but she. Why did I come here? was it for a number of such turns lately,” and he spoke the truth. this ?” And Agnes' glass fell from her hand, while the “ It's gone now. Thank Heaven, there's the bell;” and great Academy and the vast throng swam before her the curtain rose. There was the scene so well re- eyes like a wreck at sea, and she drifted out with it, membered: the chamber in Count Almaviva's castle, where, she knew not, cared not. Figaro measuring the room, Susanna trimming a hat * Pray, is the lady whom you have just left Mrs. with flowers. With many touches of healthy sentiment, King ? If so, I trust we are soon to become acquainted. “ The Marriage of Figaro,” like the majority of operas, It is scarcely fair that I should know her husband so is far from being wholly pure in tone. But Agnes did
much better than I do herself," said Circe Sutherland. not know it. She did not follow the libretto, nor always “Yes, that is Mrs. King; ” with visible embarrassunderstand the action. She would shut her eyes and ment. “ This is the first time that she has been able to listen to the music; it was all in all to her. When the visit the Academy in a long time. If you should ever curtain fell at the close of Figaro's song, she opened favor Lotusport with another visit, it will give her great her eyes
and came back as from another world, to look pleasure to call upon you.” around the old one.
“Oh, can't I call upon her in the morning, before she * Cyril, it must be imagination,” she said, “ but it leaves town? Why didn't you send me word that she seems as if that lady, that one in the first box to the was in town, naughty man? Then I could have called right, - how beautiful she is! – is aiming her glass to-day, and had the happiness of your both spending the straight at me. It must be a fancy. Of course she night at Sutherland house.” can't be looking at little me in all this dazzling throng, “ Because it had been so long since she had been but she has seemed to be, so long, I can't help speaking able to get into town, she had commissions which kept of it. Isn't it strange, Cyril, that it should seem so ?” her out all day, and you would have missed her,” said
“She is looking, Aggie, directly here,” said Cyril, Cyril, with the fact obtruding itself into his mind that making an effort to speak naturally. "Strange I did until afternoon Agnes had no dress in which he would not see her sooner. She is Mrs. Sutherland, who visits have thought her presentable to Circe Sutherland. at Mrs. Beekman's. I was introduced to her there. Now he glanced into the parquette, where she sat I must go and speak to her before the curtain rises. such a little way off, still trying to obey his wish, with Amuse yourself with the libretto, Aggie. You know her face bent over the libretto. How plain she looked ! how often I have told you that you ought to read it;" how much plainer in her dark attire than any who sur. and before she could take in what he had said, he was rounded her. He was sorry now that he had not told gone, and she sat alone.
her to get the pearl gray dress with its satin trimmings ; In a moment he appeared in the conspicuous box that would have shone out and reflected a little lustre
upon her, and with a bright ribbon would have given he expected. She neither cried nor accused him ; thus some color. Now her dress was lady-like, certainly, he had no excuse for reprimanding her. She was cold, but how dark and dull. How utterly without “air” cold as a stone; that at least was an offense. she looked, sitting there! And she was his wife, and “I see that you are offended, Aggie,” he said. “You must be looked at and judged as such.
can't be such a little rustic as to be angry because I Only he had not the slightest expectation that she went between acts to speak with a friend. See ! there would be looked up and judged by Circe Sutherland - is scarcely a gentleman in his seat. In Europe the fall not that night. Because he heard Mrs. Sutherland say of the curtain is a signal for every man to rise and gaze that “ The Marriage of Figaro " was on the off night,” | about, or to go off to chat with his friends, leaving his and because he knew that on the “ off night” she wife to do the same.” seldom bestowed upon the Academy the splendor of her “ Perhaps unfortunately your wife could not do the presence, he had chosen that evening as the one in same,” said Agnes. which to take Agnes.
Well, you could if you hadn't been sick so much, He saw the enchantress the instant she entered the and eternally shut away from everybody. But for box. What a start it gave him. How the color fled | Heaven's sake don't look so ! you are a sight for everyfrom his face, and Agnes saw it go. How suddenly body, with such an ashen face !” exclaimed Cyril, torthe Academy and all the world was changed for him in tured with the consciousness that Circe Sutherland's the light of this one presence.
lorgnette was that instant turned upon them. He was He lingered till the last moment. But seconds to also conscious that Agnes had deeper cause for pain him, his absence seemed hours to Agnes. Her will than his mere absence from her in the box, and this kept her from fainting; had this been weaker, when the consciousness made him conciliatory. very Titans and goddesses sprang from their founda- “Let me tell you about Mrs. Sutherland, Aggie; tions, and with their tiers on tiers of humanity shot then you will be more reasonable. She is a good friend into space, she would have passed into unconsciousness to me — really did more than you can realize to inand have made “a scene" for which Cyril would never sure my election. She was in Lotusport, visiting Mrs. have forgiven her. The knowledge that he never Beekman when you were sick ; so you could not meet would, doubled her self-control, but did not deaden her her. She spoke very kindly of you just now wants misery.
to call upon you and to become acquainted with you." He was doing no unusual thing. The aisles and " I don't wish to become acquainted with her.” boxes were full of gentlemen who had left their seats “ Then it will be your own loss, Aggie. You see to pay their respects” to their friends. Many of these | how beautiful she is. She has musical genius, and a did not accompany ladies, those who did left their com- voice that I never heard equalled. She might have panions laughing and chatting with acquaintances. made fame and fortune in opera, if she had wanted But she was alone. In all the vast assembly she rec
either. When you hear her sing your ire will vanish.” ognized no one. There was nobody to come and speak
“ Where is her husband?". with her. She must not look at them again ; she could “ He is dead. He was her first cousin, and bore the not, she thought, without fainting and attracting painful
She was married to him when she was attention to herself. She was mistaken. For as she fifteen, by her father, in order to combine two estates. tried again to follow the words of the libretto the Her father was a Scotchman, a younger son of the letters all ran together, and she could not distinguish great Scotch family. He went to New Orleans and one sentence from another, while some fatal fascination into trade. Her mother was a Creole, a great heiress seemed to draw her eyelids upward and to fix her gaze and beauty. She is all a Creole — all curves and softupon the two in the box. Will quelled emotion. ness; the effect of climate as well as temperament. Passion faded from perception, leaving it unerring in She grew up in a Southern atmosphere. She has
never known anything but wealth and luxury. “ Linda has made me unhappy," said the prescient drudging American life she has no comprehension.” spirit ; " I now behold for the first time the woman who “I think she shows that in her face,” said Agnes has the power in herself to rob me utterly. I know it.” calmly, turning her eyes toward the box and passively
The curtain had risen upon the antechamber in the surveying its central occupant. castle, and the countess, sitting alone, was singing her
“ Yes, she is a perfect Creole,” Cyril went on, waxdoleful ditty,
ing fluent and almost happy at Agnes' apparent ac
quiescence, “ always lingering in the past yet perfectly “ Couldst thou, Love, one hope restore me,
conscious of the present; full of sentiment, yet alert Calmed were sorrow, and lulled my sigh. Teach a spouse the faith he swore me,
in perception; soft in temperament, and vivacious in Or an outcast heart to die,”
response, with eyes for form and color never surpassed,
and that sense of art which is instinct, for it can only when Cyril returned to his vacant seat.
He had ex- be born in one.” pected to see a deprecating face, silent, slow-dropping Where did you become so well acquainted with tears; and was all ready to meet them with his most this lady ? at Mrs. Beekman's ? ” annihilating manner and tone. Instead, he saw a stony “I met her there frequently, and - I have called face such as he had never seen before on Agnes. Her at her house in New York." features looked gray, pinched, and shrunken, as if she “ Oh! she lives in New York ? " And Agnes' had grown years older in a few moments. She asked mind, acutely alert, went back to the Tuesday evening no questions, made no allusions to the one he had left, before, with absolute certainty now, that Cyril's “imeven when the curtain fell at the second act.
portant business” and “positive engagement " was at Cyril felt at once that his premeditated grandeur of Mrs. Sutherland's house. manner went for naught, and that he was placed at “ Yes, she has a house in New York, and since her disadvantage. Agnes did not act at all like a child, as father and mother's and husband's deaths she has lived