|Chapter Number||VII - IX|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
By the author of "Lady Hutton's Ward," Ac
(Reprint from " Family Herald.")
IT was a fair, bright day, this morrow, BO eagerly looked for Tho sun shone warm and bright, the air was soft and fragrant, the sky blue and cloudloss Daly Chancrts did not lo&ve her room for breakfast, and Valantino re- mained with her mother.
When breakfast was ended Ronald lingered about, hoping to see Valentine He had not waited long beforo ho saw the glimmer of her white dross and blue ribbons Ho mot her in
' Will you como out in tho gardenB, Miss Charteris ?" he asked, eagerly, "the morning is so beautiful, and you promised mo one half hour Do not take that book with you I Bhall want all jour attontion, for I havo a story to toll you "
He walked by her sido thiough the pleasure gardons, where tho lake gleamed in tho sun- shine, the water IIIIOB sleeping on ltB quiet bosom , through the fragi ant flower beds, where ,1ho bees hummed and the butterflies mado love
to the fairest blossoms
" Let us go on to tho park," said Valontine ,
" tho sun is too warm heie "
' I know a httlo Bpot, just fitted for a fairy's bower," said Ronald " Lot mo Bhow it to you I can tell my story bettor thero "
They went through tho broad gates of tho park, across which the chequored sunbeams foil, whero the deer browsed, and king oups and tall foxgloves grew-on to the brook Bide, where Dora had rested so short u timo since to think of her new found happiness
The palo prnnroseB had all died away, tho violets were gone , but in thoir place the deep green bank was covered with othor flowers of bright and sunny huo Tho shado of tall trees covered the bank, the httlo brook sang merrily, the birds chimed in with the rippling wators, tho eummor air was filled with the faint sweet
" It is a pretty spot," said Miss Charteris
The green grass seemed to dance m tho breeze, and Ronald made something like a throne
' Y'ou Bhall bo quoon, and I your suppliant," he said " You promised to listen , I will tell you my story "
They sat a few minutes in deep silence, broken only by tho singing biook and iho music of the birds , a solemn hush seemed to havo fallen on them, the IcavcB rustled in the wind, and the flowers sent perfumed messages
If Ronald Earle's heart and mmd had not been filled with anothei and very different image, he must havo seen how fair and calm Valentine looked , tho sunlight ßltorod through the dense green foliage, foil upon hei foco, tho white dress and bluo ribbons, the fair floating hair, against tho dark background of tho bank and the trees, mado so charming a picturo , but Ronald nover saw it After lobg yoarB tho memory of it carno back to him, and ho won
dcrcd at his own blindness Ho never saw the
trembling of the white fingers that played cal o leBBly with sprays of purplo fox glovo , ho never saw the faint flush upon hor faco, the quiver of her proud, beautiful lips, 01 tho love light in her eyes Ho only Baw and thought of Dora
"I told you, Miss Chaiteris, last ovening, that I was not eloquent, ' began Ronald " When anything lies deep in my hoart, I find great difficulty in tolling it in words "
" All sacred and deep fooling is quiet," said
Valentine "A tonent of words does not
always show an oarnost nature I havo many thoughts that I could never oipress "
If I could only bo euro that you would undei stand mo, Miss Charteris," said Ronald " that you would see and comprehend motivcB I that I can hardly oxplain myself! Sitting hero in the summ or sunshine, I can Bcarcely realiso how dark tho cloud is that hangB over me You aro so kind and patient, I will tell you my story in my own way "
She gathered a rich cluster of blue hells, and bent over them, pulling the pretty flowors into piece«, and throwing leaf after leaf into tho
" Threo monthB since," continued Ronald, " I carno home to Enrloscourt; Lord and Lady Earle wero both at Groonoko ¡ I, tirod, and not quite myself, preferred remaining hero alone and quiet. One morning I went out in tho gardens, listless for want of something to do. I sow there-ah, now I want words, MÍSB Char- teris-the fairest girl the sun over shone upon."
He saw the flowers fall from Valentino's gra-p ¡ sho put her hand to her brow, as though to shield her foco.
" Does the light annoy you ?" ho asked.
" No," she replied, steadily ¡ " go on with your story."
" A clever man," said Ronald, " might paint for you tho pretty face, all smiles and dimples, tho dark shining rings of hair that fell upon a white brow, the sweet shy oyes fringed by long lashes, seldom raised, but full of wonderful light when once you could look into their depths. I can only tell you how in a few days I grew to love tho fair young face, and how she, Dora Thorne-is not tho name a song, Miss Charteris?-how she loved me."
Valentino never moved or spoko ; Ronald could not seo the bright flush die away, and the proud lip quiver.
" I must tell you all quickly," said Ronald, " Sho is not what people call alady, this beauti [ ful wila «ower of minc. Her father lives at the
| lodge j he is Lord Earle's lodgekecper, and she I *noWä n°Mng of the world and its wayB. She f has never been taught or trained, though her
voice is as sweet as music, like tho chimo of
Bilver bells. She is i¡ko a bright April day, smiles and tears, sunshine and rain-so near together, that I never know whether I love her beBt weeping or laughing,"
" He pauBed, but Valentine did not speak ; her hand still shaded her face.
"I loved her very much," said Ronald, " and I told her so. I asked her to be my wife, and Bhe promised. When my father carno home from Greenoke I asked his consent, and he laughed at mo. Ho would not believe me serious. I need not tell you the details. They sent my pretty Dora away, and some one who loved her-who wanted to make her his wife came, and quarrelled with mo. He-my rival -swore that Dora should be his. In his pas Bion he betrayed the secret so well kept from me. He told me where Bhe was, and I went to
There was no movement in the quiet figure,
no words from the white lips.
" I went to see her," ho oontinued j " she was BO unhappy, 80 pretty in her sorrow and love, BO
innocent, so fond of me, that I forgot all I should have remembered, and married her."
Valentine started then, and uttered a low cry. " You aro shocked," said Ronald ; " but oh, Miss Charteris, think of her so young and gentle. They would havo forced her to marry the farmer, and sho disliked him. What else oould I do to save hor?"
Even then, in the midst of that sharp sorrow, Valentine could not help admiring Ronald's bravo simplicity, his chivalry, and honor.
"I married her," he said, " and I mean to bo truo to her. I thought my father would relent and forgive ue, but I fear I was too sanguine. Since my marriage my father has told mo if I do not give up Dora ho will never seo mo again Every day I resolve to tell him what I havo done, but something interferes to prevent it 1 havo not seen my wifo since our wedding day. Shon still at Eaetham. Now, Miss Charteris, bo my friend and help mo "
Bravely onough Valontmo put away her sor- row , another time abo would look it m the foco , all hor thoughts must now bo for him.
11 will do any thing to serve you," sho Bold, gently. " What can I do?"
" My mother loves you vory much," Bald Ronald 5 " she will listen to you. Whon I have told her, will you, in your swoot, persuasivo way interfcro for Dora? Lady Earle will bo influ enced by what you Boy "
A quiver of pain passod over tho proud, calm face of Valentino Chartons.
" If you think it wiso for a Btrnugor to intor fcro in so delicate a matter, I will do BO cheor fully," sho Bald ¡ " but let me counsel 0110 thing. Toll Lord and Lady Earlo at once. Do not dolay , overy hour is of consequence "
" What do you think of my story ?" asked Ronald, anxiously. Have I done right or wrong ?"
"Do not ask me," rophod Valontino.
" Yes," ho urged, " I will ask you again i you aro my friend,-tell mo, havo I dono right or wrong ?"
"I can speak nothing but truth," rophod Valentine, " and I think you have dono wrong Do not be angry Honor is everything, it ranks beforo life or lovo. In BOUIO degree you havo tarnished yours by an underhand proceod mg, a private marriage, one forbidden by your parents, and most distasteful to thom.
Ronald'a face foil as her words cunio to lum slowly and cloarly.
" I thought," said ho, " I was doing a bravo deed in marrying Dora. Sho had no ono to (nko her part but mo "
"It was a biavo deed in ono sense," said Valentine. " You have proved yourself gener- ous and disinterested. Heaven grant you may bo happy '"
" Sho is young and impressionable," said Ro- nald , " I can easily mould her to my way of thinking. You look vory gravo, Miss Char
"lam thinking of you," sho said, gently ¡ "it seems to mo a gravo matter. Pardon mo, but did you reflect well-were you quite convinced that tho wholo happiness of your hfo waa at stako ? If so, I need say no moro It is an unequal murringo, ono not at all in tho fitting order of things."
Strango that BIIO should uso his fathor's
" Tell your fathor at once, Ronald," she con- tinued " You can never retrace tho stop yon havo taken. You may novor wish to do so, but you can and must rotnovo the orroi of duplicity
"You will try to muko my mother lovo
Dora ?" Bald Ronald.
"That I will," rophed Valentino. "You sketched her portrait well. I can almost Bee hor. I will speak of her beauty, hoi graco, and
"You nie a true friend," said Ronald, grate- fully
" Do not over-rato my mfluonco," said Valen- tine. " You must loam to look your hfo boldly m the face. Candidly and honestly, I think from mistaken notions of honor and chivalry, you havo dono wrong. A man must bo bravo. Perhaps ono of tho hardest lessons in life is to bear, un- flinchingly, the effects and consequences of ono's own deeds. You must do that ; you muet not flinch j you must bear what followB hko a man
and n boro "
" I will," Bald Ronald, looking at tho magni- ficent face, and half wishing that httlo Dora could talk to him grandly, as this noblo girl did ; such words as hers mado mon heroes. Then he remembered how Dora would weep if ho were in troublo, and clasp hor arms round
" Wo shall still bo friends, Miss Charteus ?" ho said, pleadingly ; " whatever comes, you will not give mo up ?"
" I will bo your friend, Ronald, while I live," said Valentine, holding out hor white hand, and her voice never faltered. "You have trusted mo, I shall never forget that, lam your friend,
and Dora's also "
The words came so prettily from her lips that
" Dora would be quito alarmed at you," he said, " sho is so timid and shy."
Then ho told Valentino of Dora's pretty, art- less ways, of her love for all things beautiful m Nature, always returning to one theme-her great love foi him He little dreamed that the calm, Btately beauly listened as on the rack that while he was talking of Dora, ehe was trying to realise tho cold, dreary blank that had suddenly fallen over her life, trying to think what the future would bo, passed without him, owning to herself that, for this rash, chivalrous marriage, for his generous love, she admired bim
moro than ever.
The hand that played carelessly among tho wild flowers had ceased to tremble, the proud lips had regained their color, and thon Valentine arose, saying it waB time for them to return, as she was going out with Lady Earle, after lunch.
A feeling of something like blank despair seized Valentine when she thought of what she must say to her mother. Remembering their few words last evening, her face fluBbcd hotly.
" I can never thank you enough for your kind patience," Bald Ronald, as they walked back through the shady park and the bright flower gardens.
Valentine smiled, and raised her face to the summer sky, thinking of the hope that had been hers a few short hours ago.
" You will go at once, and see your father, will you not?" she said to Ronald, as they parted.
" I am going now," he replied ¡ but, at the very moment, Lady Earle came up to him.
" Ronald," she Baid, " come into my boudoir. Your father is there,-he wants to see you before he goes to Holtham."
Valentine went straight to her mother's room.
Lady Charteris sat waiting for her, beguiling the time with a book. She smiled as her daughter entered.
" I hope you have had a pleasant walk," she said ¡ but both smile and words diod away as she saw tho expression of that beautiful face.
Valentino, eo little given to caresses, bontovor her mother again.
Mamma," sho said, gontly, "all I said to you last night about Earlcscourt was a groat mistake,-it will never be my homo. My vanity
" Have you quarrolled with Mr. Earlo ?" BBkod Lady Charteris, quickly.
" No," was the oalm reply. " We aro excel- lent friends ; but, mamma, I was mistaken. Ho did want to tell mo something, but it was his love for somo ono else,-not for mo."
" Thon ho has bohaved shamefully to you !" cried Lady Chortcris. '
" Hush, mamma !" said Valentino. " You forget how such wordB humiliate mo. I havo refused mon of far botter position than Ronald Earlo. Nover let it be imagined that I havo
mistaken his intentions."
" Of courso not," said hor mother. " I only say it to yoursolf, Valentino : ho seemed unablo to livo out of your Bight-morning, noon, and night ho was always by your Bido."
" Ho only wanted mo to bo his friend," said
" Ah, solfish, like all mon," enid Lady Char- teris. " With whom has ho fallon in love, my
" Do not ask mo," ropliod Valentine. " Ho is in a terrible dilemma. Do not talk to mo about it, mamma. I mado a foolish mistake, and do not wish to bo remindod of it."
Lady Charteris detected tho suppressed pain of that voico, and instantly formed hor plans.
" I think of returning to-morrow," sho said. " Your father is getting impatient to havo us with him. Ho cannot como to Earlcscourt him- self. You say Mr. Earlo ia in a terrible dilemma, Valoutine. I hope thoro will bo no scandalous exposé while wo aro boro. I detest
" Lord Earlo is fur too proud for anything of that kind," Baid Valentino. " If thoro should bo any unploasantness, it will not appear on tho surface Mamma, you will not montion this to mo again ?"
Valentino throw off her laco shawl and pretty hat; she then took up the book her mother had
." My walk has tired mo," she said ; " the sun is very warm."
Sho lay down upon tho sofa and turned her face to tho window, whoro tho roses carno nod' ding in. Lady Chartoris had plenty of doliente
" Stay hero and rost," BIIO said. " I am going to write my letters."
Valentino lay still, looking at tho summer beauty outside No ono know of tho toarB that gathered slowly in thoBO proud oyeB ; no ono knew of tho paBsionato weeping that could not
Whon Lady Charteris returned in two hours timo Valontino had regainod her calm, and thoro was no troco of tears in tho smiles which wel- comed hor. Proudly and calmly sho boro tho great disappointment of hor life. Sho WBB no tragedy queon ; sho nover said to herself that her life was blightod, or usoloss, or burdonBomo. But sho did Bay that sho would novor marry until she found somo ono with Ronald's simple chivalry, his loyal truo noturo, and without the weakness which had and would causo so muoh sufforing.
IiADY EABLE'S boudoir was always considered ono of the prettiest rooms at EarloBaourt. Fow but raro pictures adorned its walls,-a gem of Olaudo Lorraine's, a maBtorpioco of Turner's, ono of Murillo's saucy Spanish boys, and ono of Guido'B faireBt faces. Tho long French win- dows oponed on to tho prottioBt part of tho gardens, whero a large fountain ripplod merrily in the Buushinc. Groups of flowers, in raro and costly vnaos, perfumed tho room. Lord Earlo had drawn a protty lounging chair to tho window, and But there, looking happier than ho hod dono for somo months. Lady Earlo wont on with her task, arranging somo delicate leavoa and blossoms ready for sketching.
1 Ronald," said his father, " I have boon wailing hero some timo. Havo you boon out !"
" I havo been in the park with Miss Char- teris," replied Ranald.
Lord Earle smiled again, evidently woll ploascd to hear that intelligence.
" A pleasant and sensiblo method of spending your time," ho continued ; *' and, strange to say, it is on that very subject I wish to Bpeak to you.
Your attentions to Miss Chartoris-"
"My attentions!" oried Ronald; "you aro mistaken. I novor paid any."
' You nood havo no foar this timo," said Lord Earlo. "Your mothor tells mo of the numer-
ous comments made last evening upon your long tile'ii-iête in the conservatory. I know somo of your ficcrcts, Thoro can bo no doubt that Miss Charteris has a groat regard for you. I Bent for you to say that, far from again offering any opposition to your marriage, the dearest wish of my heart will bo gratified whon I can call Valon- tino Charteris my daughter."
He paUBcd for a roply, but nono carno. Ro- naldo face had grown strangely palo.
" We never named our wish to you," con- tinued Lord Earle, " but years ago your mother and 1 hoped you would somo day lovo Miss Chartoris. She is very beautiful ; she is the truest, the nobleBt, and best woman I know. I am proud of your choice, Ronald-moro proud than words can express."
Still Ronald mado no reply, and Lody Earlo looked up at him quickly.
" You need not fear for Valentine," sho said. " I must not betray any secrets ; sho likes you, Ronald j I will say no moro. If you ask har to bo your wife, I do not think you will ask in
1 There is some great mistake," Baid Ronald, his palo lips quivering. " Miss Charteris has no thought for me."
' Sho has no thought for any ono else," re- joined Lady Earle, quiokly.
" And I," continuod Ronald, " nover dreamed of making her my wife. I do not lovo her, I can nover marry Valentine Charteris."
The smileB died from Lord Earle's faco, and his wifo dropped the pretty blossoms from her jewelled fingers.
" Then why havo you paid the young lady eo much attention?" askod his father, gravely. " Every one has remarked your manner ! you never seemed happy away from her."
" I wished to make her my friend," said Ro
i nald ; ",I never thought of anything else." j I He stood aghast when he remembered why he !
had tried so hard to win her friendship, what if Valentine had misunderstood him ?
" Others thought for you," said Lord Earle drily. " Of course, if I am mistakon, thoro is no moro to bo said , I merely intended to say how happy such a marnago would make me If you do not lovo the young lady tho mattor onds, I suppose"
" Why do you not love her, Ronald ' ' asked his mother, gently " Fair, and good, so woll fitted to bo mistress of Earlescourt whon I shall bo old and tired Why can you not love hor ?"
" Nothing waB furthor from my thoughtB," ho
" Surely," interrupted Lady Earle, " you havo forgotton tho ldlo, boyish folly that angered your father some timo ago-that cannot bo your
" Hush, mother," Bald Ronald standing erect and dauntloss, "I was coming to toll vou my socrot when you met mo. Father, I deceivod and disoboyed you I followed Dora to Easthnm, and married hor there "
A low cry carne from Lady Earlo's lips Bo | nald saw his father's fuco grow whito-livid with anger, but no word broko tho awful silonco that fell upon thom Tho sun shono and tho hirds sang, tho flowers bloomed and tho waters ripplod merrily Hours seomod to pasa
in tho Bilonco of thoso fow minutes
I " You married her," said Lord Earlo, in a
low, hoarso voice, " romomboring what I said ? ' i " I married her," rephod Ronald, " hoping
you would rctiaot hard, cruel worda that you no» or meant I could not holp it, father , eho has no one but mo, thoy would have forced her to marry somo ono sho did not like "
I " Enough," interrupted Lord Eorlo , " toll
mo when and whoro Lot mo understand
| w bother tho dood bo irrovokublo or not "
Calmly, but with trembling Iipe, Ronald gave him every particular
" Yes, tho marnago is legal onough," said tho master of Earlcscourt " A ou had to choose between duty, honor, home, position, - and Dora Tliorno You preforrod Dora, you muet
leave tho rest "
" lather, you will forgivo nie," cried Ronald. " I am your only son "
" Yos," said Loid Eurie, drearil), "you ure my only son neuven giant no other child may ever pierce his father's hoart as you havo done mino' Y'onrs ago, Ronald, my hfo was blighted, my hopes, wishes, ambitious and plana all molted, they lived ugum in you I longed with wicked impationco for tho timo whon 3 ou should carry out my dreams, and add fresh lustro to a grand old naroo I havo lived m your hfo, and now, for a simplo, pretty, foolish girl, you havo forsaken mo, - you havo deliberately trnmplod upon oveiy hopo I had "
" Lot mo ntono for it," criod Ronald " I novor thought of theso thmgB "
' You oanuot atone," said Lord Earle, gravely " I can nover trust you again From this tuno foi th I havo no son My hoir you must bo whon tho hfo you hnvo darkened onds. My Bon is doad to mo "
There was no anger in tho stern gravo faco turned towards the unhuppy youugman
" I novor broko my word," ho continued, " and novor Bhall You havo choson your own path , tako it You proforred this Dorn to mo, go to hor I told you if you porsisted 111 your folly I would novor look upon your faco again,
and I uovcr will "
" Oh Rupert," cried Lady Earlo, " bo morci ful, ho IB my only child I shall d10 if you
eond him from mo "
" Ho preferred this Dora to you or to mo," aaid Lord Earlo " I am sorry for you, Holona -Hoaven knows it wrings my hoait-but I shall not break my word ' I will not roproaoh you," ho continued, turning to his son , " it would bo a waBto of time and of words, you know tho oltornntivo, and aro doubtlcBB proparod for it "
"I must bear it, father, tho deed was my own," said Ronald
" Wo will ond this ecouo," said Lord Earlo, turning from Ina unhappy wife, whoso poB
sionato wcoping sounded strangely in tho summer calm "Look at your mother, Ronald, kiss hoi for tho last time, and go fiom her, bear with you tho momory of hor lovo and of her tondornceB, and of how you havo repaid them Take your last look at mo I havo loved you I havo been proud of you, hopeful for you, nott I dismiss you from my prcBonco, un- worthy son of a noble race Hie samo roof will novor shelter us again Malto what arrange monte you will You havo somo httlo fortuno, it must maintain you I will nciei contribute one farthing to the support of my lodgekcoper's daughter Go where you like-do IIB you like You havo choson your own path Somo day you
must return to Earloscourt as ita master I thank heavon it will bo whon tho. degradation of my home and tho dishonor of my raco oan not touch me Oro now , I shall expect you to havo quitted tho Hull beforo to morrow morning "
" You cannot mean it, father1" cried Ronald " Send mo from you-punish mo-I desorvo it, but let mo seo you again."
" Nover in hfo," said Lord Earle, calmly. " Remomboi, whon you seo mo lying dead, that death itself was IOBB bitter than tho hour in which I loarncd that you had deooived mo "
" Mother," cried the unhappy youth, " plead
for mo '"
" It is UBolcss," replied his fathor, " your choice has been made deliberately I am not oruol If you write to mo I Bhall return your letters unopened I Bhall rcfuso to see or hear from you, or to allow you to como near Darlos
court, but you can wnto to jour mothor, I do not forbid that,-she can seo you under any roof save mino Now, farewell, tho sunshino, the hope, tho happiness of my life go with you, but I shall keep my word Seo my solicitor, Mr Burt, about your money, and ho will ar- range everything in my placo "
"Father," onod Ronald, with tears in bis eyes, " Bay ono kind word, touch my hand once again "
" No," said Lord Earle, turning from the out Btretched hand. " That is not tho hand of an honorable man, I cannot hold it in my own "
Then Ronald bent down to kiss his mother, her face was white and still, BUO was not con- scious of his tears or his passionate pleading
Lord Earlo raised her faco
" Go," said ho, calmly, " do not let my wifo find you hero when sho recovers "
He nover forgot tho pleading of thoso sorrow ful eyes, tho anguish of tho bravo young face, as Ronald turned from htm and left the room
When Lady Earle awoko to the consciousness of her misery, her Bon had left her. No ono would have called Lord Earlo hard or stern who saw him clasp his weeping wife in his arms and console ber by every kind and tender word
Lord Earlo did not know that m his wife's
heart thoro was a hope that m time he would roloct ; it waB hard to lose her bravo boy for a fow months or even years, but ho would return, his father must forgive him, hor sorrow would bo but for a timo But Lord Earlo, mfloxiblo and unflinching, know that he should novor in hfo see his sou again.
No one knew what Lord Earlo sufforod,-as Valentino Charteris Bald, ho was too proud for scones Ho dined with Lady Chartoris and hor daughter, exousing his wifo, and novor naming his BOH. Aftor dinner ho shut himself in his own room, and sufforod his agony alone.
#***.* * «
Earloscourt was full of buBtlo and activity. Tho young hoir was loaving suddonly, boxes and trunks had to bo packed. Ho did not Bay where ho was going, mdoed, thoso who holpod lum Baid afterwards that Ina face waa fixed and palo, and that ho moved about Uko ono IU a
Everything was arranged for Ronald's depar- ture by tho night mail from Groonfield, tho nearest station to Earloscourt. Ho took w ith bun neither horses nor sorvnnts j oiou his valet, Morton, waB left bohind. " My lady " was ill, and Bhut up in hor room all day.
Valontmo Chartoiis Bat alono in tho drawing room whon Ronald carno in to bid hor farowoll She was amnzod at tho unhappy termination of tho interview. She would huvo gouo instantly to Lord Earle, but Ronald told hor it was uso
-no prayers, no ploadinge could chango his
AB Ronald stood there, looking in Vnlontino's beautiful faco, ho roincmbercd Ina mother's words, that sho cared for lum IIB elie cm ed foi no other. Gould it bo possiblo that this magni- ficent girl, with her serene, queenly dignity, loved him ? Sho looked distrosBod for his «or row Whon ho spoke of his mother, and eho Baw tho quivering lips ho vninly tried to atill, tears filled her eyes.
" Whoro shall you go ?" she aBkod , " and what shall you do ?"
" I shall go to my wifo at onco," ho lophod, " and take her abroad Do not look so painod and gnovod for me, Miss Chai tons,-I must do tho best I can. If my incomo will not support mo, I must work, a fow months' study will mako mo u tolei able artist Do not forgot my mother, Valentino, and bid mo 'Godspeed.'"
Hor heart yearned to him,-so joung, so simplo, and bravo Sho longed to toll him how much sho admired lum-how sho wanted to help bun, and would bo his friond whilo sho lived But Miss Charteris rarely yielded to «ny emotion ; sho laid hor hand m his and said, 1 Qood-byo, Ronald-God bless you. Bo bravo, it is not ono great deed that inakosuhoro. lho mun who bears trouble well is tho groatost hero
of all "
As ho loft his homo in tho quiet starlit night, Ronald httlo thought that whilo his inothor lay woeping as though hor heart would broak, a beautiful faco, wot with bitter toars, watchod him from ono of tho upper windows, and his father shut up alono hatonod to overy sound, and heard the door eloBcd bohind his son as ho would havo hoard Ina own death knoll.
'Iho noxt day Lady Churtons and hoi daugh- ter loft Enrlescourt Lord Earlo gavo no sign of tho horny blow which had struck lum. Ho was their attentive host whilo they romainod , ho escoi tod thom to their cm ringo, and partod from them with smiling words. Ho «out back to tho houBO, whoro ho was noior moro to hour tho sound of the voice ho loved bost on earth.
As days and montliB paBscd by, and tho young heir did not return, wonder and suipnso rcignod at Earloscourt Lord Eurie not oi men- tioned his Bon'B namo People Bind ho had gono abroad, and WUB living somowhoro ni Italy To Lord Em lo it Boomed that his hfo was ended , he had no moro hopo, ho formed no moro plans ; ambition died away , tho grund pur poao of his hfo would nover ho fulfilled.
Lady Earle fluid nothing of the troublo that had fallen upon hor. Sho hoped ugiiinst hopo that tho time would como whon hor husband would pardon their only son, Valontino Char- teris boro her disappointment woll Sho novor forcgot tho simple chivalrous man who hud clung to her friendship und rolled BO vainly upon hor influonco
Many lovers sighod round Valentino. Ono after another sho dismissed thom. Sho was waiting until sho saw eomo ono hko Ronald Earlo, in ull things savo tho weakness whioh had BO fatally shadonod his life.
IN a small, protty villa, on the banks of tho Arno, Ronald Earlo oatabhshod hiuisolf with Ins young wifo. Ho hud gono direct to Eaathain aftor lenving Earloscourt, his heart aching with sorrow for home und ull that ho left thoro, and beating high with joy at tho thought that now nothing stood between him and Dora Ho told her of the quarrel,-of his father's stern words; and Dora, as ho had foreseen, clung lound his neck, and wopt,
'Sho would love him all the moro," aho said. " Sho must lovo him onough to mako up for home and ovory ono oleo "
Yot, strange to say, whon Ronald told his protty, weeping wifo ull that happened, ho made no montion of Valentino Chartoris,-ho did not
oven utter her namo.
Ronald's arrangomonts woro Boon mado ; ho sont for Stophon Thorne and his wife, and told thom how and whon ho had marriod Dora
" I am sorry for it," said Stophon. " No good will over como of Buch nn unequal match,
girl had better havo stayed at home, or married tho young farmer, who loved her, Tho diB> tance botweon you is too groat, Mr. Earlo, and I fear you will find it out."
Ronald laughed at the ideo that ho should over tire of Dora1 How httlo tbeso prosaic, commonplaco pcoplo know of lovo !
The good lodgokoeper and his wifo parted from Dora with many tears. Sho was nover to brighton thoir pretty homo again with her sweot face and gay voico. Sho was going away to strange lands ovor tho Boa. Many dark foro bodmgs haunted thom,-but it was too lato for [ advice and interforenco now.
Tho first noWB that came to tho villa on the banks of the Arno was that Stophen Thorne and his wife had left the lodge and taken a Bmall farm somowhoro in the county of Kent. Lady Earle had found them the means, and they had left without one word or look from Lord Earle. He never even aBkod where thoy had gono.
Despite his father's anger and his mother's sorrow, despite his poverty and loss of position, Ronald for some months was very happy with his young wife. It was so pleasant to teach Dora, to watoh her sweet dimpled face and tho dark eyes grow large with wonder, to hear hor simple naive remarks, her original ideas, to see her protty artless ways ; above all it was plea
snnt to bo so dearly loved. Ho often thought that thcro never had boon, never could be, a wifo so loving as Dora Ho oould not toaoh her much, although ho tnod hard Shs sang simplo little ballads sweetly and clearly, but although master oftor master tried his best, sho could never be taught to play not oven so muoh as the easy accompaniments of hor own songs Ronald hoped that with timo and attention sho would bu ablo to sketch but Dora nover managed it. Obcdiontly enough sho took pencil and paper in her hand, and tried, but tho Btrokes would ne\cr como straight Sornotimos tho drawing sho made resembled something so comical that both Dora and Ronald laughed heartily, and again tho consciousness of hor own inferioiity grioved hor, and lurgo bright tears would frequently full upon tho paper, making sraours and blots Thon Ronald would tako tho pencils away, and Dora would cling round Ins neck and ask him if ho would not havo been huppicr with a clovoror wifo
' No a thousand tunea no," ho would say , " ho loved Dora bottor in hor artloea simplicity than ho oould havo lovod tho clovorost woman lu all tho n orld "
' And you aro quito auro," said Dora, " that you mil novor îopont marrying mo? '
"No again," was tho reply ' You aro tho downing py of my hfo '
It was ploasant to sit amidst the groves of orango treoa and green myrtles, reading tho great poems of tho world to Dora Evon if sho did not undoistund thom, hoi fuco lighted with ploasure as tho grand woids carno from Ronald's lips It was ploasnut, too, to ait on tho banks of tho Arno, watching tho blue waters gloaming in tho sun Doia was at homotheio Sho could say httlo of books, of pieturos, or music,, but sho could talk of bcuutiful Natuio, and novor tiro Sho know tho changing colors of the sky, tho diflo-eut huo of tho waves, tho different voices of tho winds, tho aonga of tho birds Ali these hud a separate, and distinct moaning for her.
Ronald could not touch hor much moro Sho lilted tho beautiful pooina, but novor could ro moinbor who hud wutlon them Sho forgot tho names of grout authors or mixed thom up so terribly thnt Ronald m despau, told hor it would bo bottor not to talk of books just jot, not until sho »us more fumiliur with thom
But ho soon found out that Doia could not
read many minutos togcthci Sho would open hor book and mako i desperate attempt, thon her dark eyes would wunder uwiiy to tlio oinugo trees, with their golden finit and silvei blossoms, or to tho broad rivorund tho eunlit wares Sho could never roud whilo tho sim shono 01 tho birds song
Soomg that, Ronald gavo up al! attompts at htoratuio ni tho dajtimo, whon tho lumps wcro hghlod m tho ovenmg, and tho fun fuco of nutiiio waa shut out ho tnod again, and BUO coodod foi ton niinutoi, thou Dora's dark oyos diooped, tho white lids with their jotty fungo closed , mid with ¡,roat diem ly ho found that oioi tho mustoipieces of tho world Dorn lind fallon asleep
lwo Ion,» bright yeaia had pnesod away beforo Ronald bogan to porecive that ho could oduc ito hiB piotty wifo no furthoi Sho wia a Btungo mixturo of lguorunco and uncultivated poetry Sho could epcuk woll her volco was awcot, hor accent, caught fiom lum, good , ulono ho novor noticed any deficiencies but if ho mot uni nglish friend in Floronco and biouL,ht him homo to dino thon Ronald began to WIBII that Dora would leavo off blushing und grow toss Bhy, that sho could talk i httlo moto and tint ho might lone all four of hci making somo tembló blundoi
lho thud your of their murried hfo diwned , Dora waa just twonty, Ronald twonty tluoo lhoro had boon no io|oicing whon ho attained his majority , it passed ovor unnoticed und un remarked Nowa cunio to thom from England, lottera from tho httlo farm in Kont, telling of simple homo intelligence, and loiters from Lady Earlo always ead und atninod with teal s Sho had no good nowa to toll thom Lord Lurlo waB well, but ho would novel allow his son's naroo to bo montionod bofoio lum, and she tongo I lo soo her eon In nil hor letters Lady Larlo eaid, ' Givo my lovo to Dora "
In this the third your of thoa married hfo Ronald bogan to fool tho prossuro of poverty Oís incomo waa not mora than throo hundrod a year, to Dora tins aootnod boundless richos , but tho heir of Earloacourt had spont moro m dross and oigars Now dobts began to pi ess upon bira , writing homo ho know was USCIOBB Ho would not ask Lady Eui lo, although ho know thut sho would havo parted with tho last jowol in hor case for him "
Ronald gave himsolf up to tho study of paint- ing A protty little studio was built, and Dora spont long hours in admiring both her husband and his work Ho gavo promise of bomg somo day a good artist-not a genius Tho world would novor ravo of his pictures, but in timo ho would bo a conscientious, painstaking artist Among his small coteue of frionds some np proved, others laughod
" Why not go to tho Jews ? ' askod fashion ablo young mon " Earloscourt will bo yours somo timo, you can borrow monoy if you hko "
Ronald steadily refused to ontortuin tho idea Ho wondered at modorn idoas of honoi, that mon Baw no ahumo in borrowing upon tho lives of thoir noarost and doarost, yot thought it a disgrace« to bo a follower of one of tho grandest of arts Ho mudo ono compromiso, that was for hiB father'B sake As an urtiat ho was known by Dora's namo of Thorno, and, beforo long, Ronald Thorno's pictures wore m groat requcat
Thoro was no dash of gonius about them , but thoy were caromi étudies Somo fow wore Bold, and the price roaliBod provod no unwolcoaio ad
ditton to a small income
Ronald becamo known in Florence Pooplo who had not thought muoh of Mr Earle, wero oagor to know tho clovor artist and hie pretty, shy wife Thon tho trial of Ronald Earle bogan in oarno't Had ho lived always away from tho world, out of sooiety, tho chancos aro that his etory would havo boen different, but invi
tations began to pour in upon him and Doia, and Ronald, half tirod of his solitude, although ho never Buspccted it accepted thom oagorly
Dora did not hko tho change, sho felt lonely and lost whore Ronald was so popular and so
much at homo
Amongst others who eagerly sought Ronald's BOCiety was the pretty coquotto, tho Counteas Roauh, an English lady, who had married the Count Rosall, a Florentine noble of great
No one in Florence was half so popular OB the fair countess Amongst the dark, glowing beauties of sunny Italy sho was hko a bright sunbeam Her fair, piquant faco was charming in its delicate bright coloring and gay smiles, her hair of the rare color painted by the old
masters, yet so seldom seen, wag of a pure golden hue, looking always as though the sun shono upon it.
Countois Rosall, there was no denying the fact, certainly did en|oy a httlo flirtation. Her gravo, serious husband know it, and looked on quito calmly To his grave mind the countess resomblcd u butterfly far moro than a rational being Ho know, though abo might laugh and talk to others, though she might seek admiration and enjoy delicate flattoiy, yet in her heart sho waa trtio as steel Sho loved beautiful colors and everything else that was gay and smiling. In all her hfo Countess Rosall had novor known ono trouble Sho had gathered tho rosoa, per- haps some ono elso hud her share of thorns
Tho fair, dainty lady had a great desiro to seo Mr Thorne She had aeon one of his pictures at the houso of one of hor friends,-a simple httlo thing, but it had oharmed her It was merely a bouquot of English wild flowors, but thon they woro so beautifully painted I The bluobclls looked aB though they had that mo- ment been gathered, and strewn thoro Ono ttlmoBt fancied dowdiopa on tho dohcato wild rosoa, a spray of pink bowthorn told sweet storica of English moudows, daises and golden buttoroiip8, mingled with woodbino and nioadow
" Whoover pointed that," said tho fair oountosB, " loves flowers, and knows what Eng-
lish flowors moan "
Tho couutoss did not rest until Ronald had bcon introduced to her, and thon sho would know his wife Her gravo, silent husband smiled at hor ovidont admiration of tho baud aomo young Englishman Sho liked his clear, Saxon foeo and fair hair, BIIO hkod hiB aimplo, kindly maunor, so full of ohivalry and truth. Sho liked protty Dora, too, but there woro timos when tho dimity, fastidious countess looked at tho young wifo in wondor, for, ua sho Said ono ovonmg to hor husband, "Thoro ia something in Mrs Thorno that puzzlos mo, abo does not always spoak or look hko a lady."
Few days passed without bringing Ronald and Dora to tho Villa Rosall It would havo boon bottor for Ronald had ho novor loft bia
protty homo on tho banks of tho Arno
[TO Bl coYiisum ]
MATBIMONIAL couplca in Michigan aro said to get divorcod just in ordor to havo tho pleiisuro of fresh courting mid a now honoymoon.
A C0NTÜJIPO1IAUY, speaking of a mammoth ogg, UBIIB " What hen omi boat that ?" Wo givo it up. Wo nuvor hourd of a hen boating an ogg
Till» St. Alban'a Messenger thinka that Bky blue is a protty color for ceilings, but not BO tasty for country milk nt oight couts a quart.
Wur.K Coleridge was aakud by somobody what waa tho use of a certain now soiontilio dis- covery, ho retorted by asking, " What ia tho uso of a now-born child ?"
Tun following notico ia postod eonspiououBly in a newspaper olllco out west :-" Shut tho door, and IIB soon as you havo dono talking businoas, servo your mouth tho samo way."
A iiAOiiHLOii Buys if you hand a lady a nowa pnjior with u scrap out out of it, not a lino of it will be road, but evory bit of intorost tho paper possesses is centred in finding out what the missing scrup contained.
LAST spring un intolligoiit jury worltod on a Mr. Doborg, of Iowa, mid sent him to tho Poni tnntiury for flvo yours. Ho han just boon Bet at liberty, tho vuguo rumors of his innoconco having boen confirmed.
Si'orrKD tail, a North Amorioan Indian, having hoon porsuadod by his Yankee friends that tho English equivalent for his namo is "Holley Varden," has conaontod to bo (ad) dressed accordingly.
FAMILY ornólo : " Yos, my dear, this, a mero toy, may bocomo, in my banda, a death-donling ¡imtruniont to tho fowls of tho a r and tho beasts of tho field, oven (ho biggest boiiBt."-Little wifo : " Oh, dour, thou pray tako euro you don't 1 hurt yourself!"
WitlLr. ii Wntorbury farmer WUB mowing bia dooryard, u ely puppy hid in tho grass and thon jumped out to tako tho soytho by surprise. But tho puppy tinned out to bo moro surprised than tho seytho, for ho found himself in two placos
at the samo timo.
HAU FoiiaoriEM SOMETHING!. - " I say, cup'ii," said u httlo-oycd mun ua ho landed from the steamboat at Natohez-" I say, cap'n, this 'ero ain't all." " That-'» all the baggago you brought on board, sir," ropliod tho cuptain. " Well, soo now, its according to list-four boxoe, throo chosts, tivo han' boxes, portmanty, two hams (ono part eui), threo ropes of inyoUB, and and a tonkott!'' ¡ but I'm duborstim, I fool thcro's something abort, though I'vo counted 'oin nino timcB, and novor took my oyos off ov oin whilo on board ! thoro's something not right sonioliow." "Well, strangor, tho timo'a up, Thoro's all I ki.ow of ; oo bring your wife and five children out of tho cabin, and we're off." "Thorn'sum!-thorn's um!"hooxo!aimed. "I knowod I'd forgot somothing."
TuAoniNa BIUDB TO SINO TUNES.-This is done in tho town of Fulda, whero they koop regular educational institutions for bullfiuohcB. They placo tho young birds into classes of six to ton oach, und koop thom in tho dark, turning a little hand-organ for thom when thoy aro fed. Finally, tho birds commence to associate tho musio with tho footling, and whon hungry thoy commence to sing a few notes of tho tunos they hour daily. Thoso who do this aro at onco placed in a moro cheorful room, whon some ii^iit is admitted. This encourages thom and makes thom moro livoly. Thon thoy uko to sing and aro soon taught moro. Tho moat difficult part is the first starting of tho birds, somo of which havo to ho kopt a long timo in the dark, and on starvation rations, before their obsti- nacy is overcome In order to tench thctn Bovoral tunos, thoy rocoivo (aftor boing thus first taught in élusses) privato instruction from tho little boys of Fulda, each of whom has a few priruto pupila of this sort. Thoir education lasts nino montliB, when it is completed, and the birds sent into tho world OB accomplished por
How TO STABT AN AQUABIÜJI.-Ono of tho most attractive of sitting-room ornamonts is an aquarium. Thoy need not necessarily bo ox ponBivo, OB common window glass aot iu a wooden frumo will BiifKco, though ono with an iron framo will bo bottor. Of course it must bo mado water-tight. When this is done put in rain or river wator-probably any soft water will answer ¡ then got a pieco of rock large onough to como nearly to the top, and tho mora holos, and cavities, and projections it has, the botter it will suit tho fish. Put this in the middlo, and then oovor tho bottom with clean Band or gravel two inohcB deop or more. You aro ready then for aquatic plants, which may consist of Amcricnn Stnrwort, Mermaid-woed, Calla, Eoclgrass, Ao. When thoso have been planted throo or four days it will bo ready for the fish. Minnows, wator-nowts, porch, mussels, tadpoles, snails, and a few gold fish are com- monly used. Snails aro Baid to keep both the water and tho glass clean. Some othor kinds will do equally well, but pike and trout are ob jectionablo on ncoount of n weakness for eating up the othor members of the family. Care must bo UBcd BO 13 not to overstook tho vessel, or all will die. With a proper proportion of plantB and (lah tho water will remain puro a number of weeks. Wh- n it has stood soino time it can be improved by dipping out, and pouring back from a Httlo height. The fish may bo fei with broad crumbB and minute bits of meat, but what is not o'ten by them must bo removed, or it will taint tho water. Those directions aro not tho results of experience, but aro borrowed in tho hope that such attractive additions to a pleasant homo may become moro common. Somo varieties of small fish will become very tame, allowing themselves even to bo handled, and an aquarium in a well-regulated family of children is a source of a great deal of amuse- ment and inatruetion.-S. P. k" " "''I