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watch which secured warmth, slum- received it without warning or preber, and safety to the child.
paration. It changed the aspect of Miss Percival sat on the other all mankind to her, more perhaps side of the great dining-table and than it changed her feeling towards gazed at her old friend with that Richard. He it was who had inmixture of irritation, wonder, and flicted the wound, but its effects were reluctant sympathy which provokes not confined to him. She was the and tantalises a friendly soul when gentlest creature in existence, but watching some novel exhibition of her pride was roused against the human weakness. She could not whole world, in which outward apunderstand Lady Eskside's instant pearances seem ever to gain the day, adoption into her very heart of the and the still and unpretending are strange little unknown creature, held of no account. Instead of dropped from the skies or by the making the more (after these reflecwinds, unseen and unknown until tions) of the simple beauty she posthis moment, and which might be sessed, which was of a very attraca little demon in human form for tive kind, though moderate in deaught that any one knew. And yet gree, or taking the good of her real she did understand in a way which advantages, Mary had done what made her irritation rather greater many proud gentlewomen do—she than less. Mary was not very had retired doubly into herself after clever, not very remarkable in any the shock she received. She had way ; but she was herself—thinking withdrawn from society, and society, and feeling according to her own heedless, had gone on its way and nature and principles, and not ac- paid little attention to the withcording to any conventional model. drawal : so that the penalties fell She did not possess that sugary not at all upon it, but upon herself. sweetness of disposition or those She was still young, between six very etherial Christian sentiments and seven and twenty ; but somewhich put aside all personal con- thing of the aspect which that same sciousness of wrong and seem to mocking and careless world calls prefer injury. Richard Ross had that of an old maid, was stealing been, if not her lover, at least so imperceptibly upon her. Her pride, indicated by every family preposses- though so natural, thus told doubly sion, so prepared by training and against her for people who were association to be her eventual hus- incapable of understanding the shock band, that his sudden and strange she had received or the revulsion of marriage had given a shock to her her proud and delicate heart, called nerves and moral nature from which her, with light laughter, a disapshe had never recovered. I cannot pointed woman, foiled in her attempt tell if she had ever been what people to secure a husband. Many of us call “in love" with him. If she who ought to know much better had, her love had never taken full use such words in thoughtless levity shape and form, but had lingered every day. I need not enter into insidiously about her heart, prepared, the circumstances which, on this by every indication of her young night of all others, had brought Mary life, and every probability of the to Rosscraig, and recalled to her mind, future, to come into being at a touch through Lady Eskside's story, many This touch was given in another sharp and painful memories which way when Richard disappeared into she had partially succeeded in banthe nameless obscurity and shame ishing from her thoughts. I do not that surrounded his marriage. Her think that this rush of recollection whole being received the shock, and had the effect of moving her to any enthusiasm for Richard's child. child's sleep, and the room formed The strange bitterness of scorn with a dark background to that group, which she learned what kind of which was relieved against the woman that was who had been dusky glow of the fire. Silence preferred to herself, moved not the was in the house, sometimes interbest part of her nature ; for Mary, rupted by a stealthy suggestive as I have said, was not sweetness creaking of the great door, as Mrs and gentleness personified, but a Harding from time to time looked genuine human creature, not all good. out into the night. The winds Perhaps the very strength of her still raged without, and the rain antagonistic feelings, and the ab- swept against the window, filling sence of any general maudlin sym- the air with a continuous sound. pathy with everything pitiful pre- Soon that stealthy noise outside, sented to her, made her all the more which betrayed the watchers who certain that the child was Richard's were on the outlook for the mother's child, the child of the tramp whom return with the other child, affected Richard had admired and loved more Mary with a sympathetic suspense. than herself; an interest which was Her imagination rushed out to meet half repugnance attracted her eyes the new-comer, to realise her appearand her thoughts to this little ance. Richard's wife! She could creature, who was assuredly no not sit still and think of this new stranger, no impostor, but the very figure on the scene. If the woman flesh and blood which might have came Mary felt that she must withbeen her own. Yes, he might have draw; she would not meet herbeen her child—and the blood ran she could not ! and this feeling tingling with shame, anger, pride, made her eagerly anxious for the and dislike to Mary's very finger- appearance of the stranger who extips, as this thought flashed through cited such wild yet causeless antaher mind. She sat and watched gonism in her own mind. She him, falling asleep on Lady Esk- went to the window, and drew aside side's knee, with the strangest the curtain and gazed out that she aching mixture of irritation and in- might see her approach, she said to terest. She was half envious, half herself, and escape out of the way. impatient of the strange beatitude Time went on, and Lady Eskside, and absorption with which her old worn out with emotion, and hushed friend held the boy, throwing her by happiness, dozed too, I think, in own very being into him—the child the easy - chair with the sleeping who had been stolen away from all child on her lap, while Miss Percival lawful life and protection, who had stood, with every sense awake, lived among outcasts, a beggar, a watching the dark avenue through baby-adventurer, the child of a the window. And I do not know tramp! How could that proud old how long it was before, all at once, woman take him out of hands so another conviction took possession stained, and take him to her pure of her—which was the true oneand honourable breast ? Poor Mary that Richard's wife had no intention was not quite responsible for the of coming back. This thought hot anger, the unjust condemnation came to Mary in a moment, as if of this thought; these angry feelings some one had said it in her ear. surged uppermost as the worst of us Had some one said it? Was it a always does, to the surface of her mysterious communication made to agitated soul.
her somehow, from one soul to anThe lamp had been placed in a other through the darkness of that corner, so as not to disturb the night which hid the speaker, which had fallen upon the child's mother Eskside, with a smile which was like a veil ? Miss Percival sank, weak with happiness. “Oh, my almost fell, down upon the chair, dear, my dear! but how different on which she had been kneeling in our thoughts were then !” Here her eagerness to look out. She was she saw a contraction upon Mary's startled and shaken, yet calmed, face which gave her a note of warnwith sensations incomprehensible to ing. “Call the women, Mary," she her. She sat still and listened, but added, hurriedly. “I have lost without any further expectation. count of time. She should have A strange dim realisation of the un- been here by now with the other known creature of whom she had one. Oh! but I can never love been thinking hard thoughts came him like this one, that has slept on into her mind. Was she too, then, my bosom like a child of my own, an independent being, with a heart and crept into my heart." which could be wrung, and a mind “She has not come. She does capable of suffering ?—not merely not mean to come,” said Mary; but Mary's rival, Mary's antagonist, a she spoke low, and Lady Eskside type of lower nature and coarser im- did not mark what she said. Her pulse. The wind abated, the rain own mind was filled to overflowing cleared off, the silent minutes crept with her new possession, and no on, but no one came to the house real anxiety about the other one where all except the old lord were or about the mother existed for the listening and watching. Mary, moment in her mind. “ Jean, take roused at length, stirred up in all this darling in your arms—softly, her own energies by this conviction, softly,” she said to the maid. “You felt that doubt was no longer pos- are a strong, good girl, and you will sible. The unknown mother had carry him kindly. Don't waken given this remorseful tribute to the my bonnie boy. I'll go with you house she had despoiled, but had upstairs and see him put to bed." kept her share and would appear no And, absorbed in this new occumore.
pation, she hurried upstairs after “Dear Lady Eskside,” she said, Jean, giving a hundred warningslaying her hand on her old friend's to lay his head comfortably—to hold shoulder. “Don't you think it him faster - to throw her apron would be better to let Mrs Harding about his little feet-like a foolish put him to bed.”
old mother, half beside herself with “Eh? Is it you, Mary? What love and happiness. She could were you saying? I do not feel think of nothing but the lost treasure,” said Lady Eskside, looking sure restored ; and I might spend up with a smile, “that I was not pages on the description before I dozing myself upon the bairn's head. could tell you with what renewal Put him to his bed ? it would per- of all old and dead joys she watched haps be the best thing, as you say; the maid's anxious but vain attempts but I cannot give him over to Har- to prepare the child for bed without ding, I will carry him upstairs my- awaking him, and to soothe him self.”
when he stirred and pushed them “Rather give him to me," said away with his rosy feet, and murMary ; "he is too heavy for you. mured whimpering childish objecI will take him to the old nur- tions to everything that was being sery- "
done for him. In this unlooked « Where his father and you have for fulness of joy, she forgot everyplayed many a day," said Ladything else in the world.
Two thousand two hundred years it may be doubted whether even such have passed since Cneius Flavius seemingly independent subjects as stole from his employer, Appius, a toothache, London fogs, and the list of the forms employed in Roman potato disease, are absolutely free law, and published a description of from their hidden action. But, all them for the benefit of his fellow- permeating and all subjugating as citizens. Since that day forms, their influence has always been, formulas, formularies, and formali- universal and omnipresent as it ties, have gone on multiplying in continues still to be, it is in law and such huge proportions, that no mind, in international relations that that however arithmetically powerful, influence is most extensive and most can possibly realise their present palpable. Law appears at first sight, number. For two-and-twenty cen- perhaps, to be, of the two, the turies—and particularly since we more overloaded with formalities; have grown civilised—a great part but, if the abundance of legal forms of the inventive power of mankind has become everywhere a proverbhas been incessantly directed, in every if several sorts of lawyers, and many land, to the discovery of new special thousand lawyers of each sort, have shapes of rules, wordings, docu- been found necessary in every ments, reports, returns, and regula- country to aid the bewildered poputions, all of which have been rendered lation to carry out the countless obligatory, at some time or other, by legal formulas imposed upon it-a ediet or by usage. More books have little consideration shows us that, been written about forms than on though our exterior relations may any other subject that the world seem to be less encumbered with has known; forms have been created special details, it is not because infor, and applied to, every imaginable ternational formalities are in reality class of questions, and every act of less numerous, but solely because life; Greck fire, dinner, troubadours, they are hidden away under various and women's rights; gladiators, sal deceptive names which disguise vation, chemistry, and ordeal by their real nature. What we call touch; single combat, cricket, cock- tariffs, customs' regulations, ships' fighting, and revolutions,-have all, manifests, bills of lading, and all in turn, had forms applied to them; manner of trading papers ;—what and the fractiousness of nature has we call passports, quarantine, rights alone prevented eager legislators of local jurisdiction, naturalisation, from affixing strict formalities to domicile, and the thousand compliearthquakes, avalanches, meteors, cated observances between peoples, and typhoons. Nothing that we are nothing else but international can anyhow get at is permitted to formalities, just as much as treaties subsist without a form ; all the oc- are. They offer very large matter cupations and all the trades of men, for examination, far too large to be from breaking stones to winning considered here as a whole, for, battles, are controlled by forms; even in limiting our attention to ambition, appetite, and love, are the purely diplomatic elements of manifestly restrained by them; and the question, we shall have more than enough to talk about. All piles of publications which treat of that we can do is to select a few ex- “ forms." The Germans have of amples, choosing out of the enor course been fertile in this sort mous mass before us those which of literature; at least one half of seem best to illustrate the more es- the volumes devoted to it have been sential aspects of the subject. edited beyond the Rhine, where the
Most of the treatises on interna- “ diplomatischer Kanzleistyl” has tional law contain eager disserta- long been profoundly studied. These tions on the shape, sentiment, and guide-books (for such, in fact, they style of diplomatic documents; and are) treat of everything which can special formularies, in scarcely cred- possibly be affiliated to the subject, ible variety, have been provided in and sometimes include topics which order to furnish models of every seem, to unelastic minds, to lie a kind of act, letter, or communica- long way outside it. They do not tion, which can possibly be wanted constitute light reading, and, after under any sort of circumstances. the first three minutes, they cease The mere titles of all these books even to be instructive; but they are curious and suggestive. There show us international vanities in are at least fifty different “Guides,” another of their forms, and that is besides a boundless quantity of why we are looking into them for works on “the manner of nego- examples. tiating,” “the principles of nego. The first question touched upon tiation,” “the art of negotiating," in these ready letter-writers for followed by “essays on court diplomatists in difficulties is usually style," " courses of diplomatic style," the choice of the language to be “ literature of states' rights,” and used for official communications; “ courtesies in war;" and, that no and an idea may be at once obtained sort of form in peace or war should of the hair-splitting spirit of analybe neglected, there is even a special sis with which the matter has been German treatise on " Trumpeters dissected, by the fact that, before and their prerogatives." As this approaching the discussion of seleclast astounding statement will na- tion between different tongues, the turally provoke doubt, it may be authorities begin by dividing talk ituseful to add, at once, that the self into six uses—Court, Diplotreatise in question is contained in matic, Church, Judicial, School, and the fourth volume of a collection vulgar. With such a starting-point published in 1741 at Halle, under as this, it will easily be understood the long name of “ Der prüfenden that the treatment of the entire Gesellschaft fortgesetze zur Gelehr- subject has attained a height of besamkeit gehörige Bemühungen.” wildering amplification, of labyBut, as might perhaps be expected, rinthic branch-considerations, of these various books are in substance universal developments wanderidentically alike : the matter of ing into connexity with space and which they treat is vast, but it has time, of which no unprepared outa limit, and all the Mémoires which sider could suspect the possibility. could be filled with new details on The human mind has shown itself it were composed a long time ago. to be ingenious enough in its invenAuthors vary in the tongue which tions of new religions (which in they employ, in pomposity and America are still budding at an unction, and in words and faculty average of one per week); but of expression; but these are the really, Teutonic writers have exonly real differences between the hibited an almost equal copiousness