|Chapter Number||X - XII|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
L the author of " Lady Hutton'» Ward,» Ao.
í GOING into society increased the expenses 1 s "hieb Ronald and his wife already found heavy
enough. There were times when the money re -jiyed from the sale of his pictures failed in neetiug bills ¡ then Ronald grow anxious, and I Dora, not knowing what better to do, wept,
9ad blamed herself for it all. It was a relief then to leave the home over which the clouds ¡o«red, and seek the gay villa, where something pleasant and amusing was always going on.
Countess Rosali gathered around her the cream of Florentine Booiety j she selected her friends and acquaintances as carefully as she se- lected her dresses, jewels, ond flowors. She re- fused to know " bores " and " nobodies ;" her lad» friends must bo pretty, piquant, or fashion able ; any gentleman admitted into her charmed circle must have genius, wit, or talont to recom- mend him. Though grave matrons shook their ¡isads and looked prudent when the Countess Bo3ali was mentioned, yet to belong to hor Bet mi to receivo the "stamp of fashion." No day i pawed without somo amusement at the villa
p. nie, excursion, soirée, dance, or, what its fair . mistress preferrod, private thoatricala and
Help me," she said one morning, as Ronald ) snd Dora, in compliance with her urgent invita ' tion, came to spend the day at the villa ; " help ; nie: I want to do something that will surprise 1 erery one. There are some great English people
coming to Florence-one of your hoireBses, who ii at the same time a beauty. We must have
ome grand oharadei or tableaux. What would «rou advise ? Think of something original that !\ will take all Florence by surprise."
.' " Wishing any one to be original," said Ho îi naJd, smiling at her quiok, eagor ways, " imme- diately deprives one of all thought. I must
¡ave tline; it seems to me that you have ex isusted every subject."
" An artist has never-failing resources," she eplicd ; " when every ' fount of inspiration'is losed, it will bo time to tell mo there are no 3 oow ideas. You must havo Bcon many charades, '.' Urs. Thorne," she said, turning suddenly to í Dora ; they are very popular in England ; tell ¿>ne of some."
Dora blushed. She thought of the lodge, i ai its one small parlor, then folt wretched j sud uncomfortable, out of place, and unhappy.
. " I have never teen any oharadei," she Baidi
. itiffly, and with crimson cheeks.
The countess opened her blue oyes in surprise, < uid Ronald looked anxiously from one to the
'My wife was too young when we were married to have seon much of the world," ho ' Bud, inwardly hoping that the tears he Baw leathering in Dora's eyes would not fall.
Ah, then, the will be of no uso in our ouncil," replied the countess, quiokly. " Let i so out on to the terrace ; there is always in- spiration under the smileB of an Italian sky."
She led the way to a pretty vorandah on the i race, and they sat under tho Bbado of a large
" Now we can dücuss my difficulty in peace," laid the lady, in her pretty imperious way. " I
ill, with your permission, tell you some of my
Tho countess was not particularly gifted, but Ronald waB charmed hy the eorioB of pictures lbs placed before him, all well ohoaen, with startling points of interest, scenes of great poems beautifully arranged, pictures from fine old tragedies and histories. Sho never paused or seemed tired, while Dora sat, her face still flushed, looking more awkvrard and ill at ease than Ronald had ever seen her. For the first time, as they sat under the vino that morning, Ronald contrasted his wife with his dainty, brilliant hostess, and felt that she lost by the contrast,-"awkward and ill at ease," self j conscious to a miserable degree. For the first
time Ronald felt slightly ashamed of Dora, and ?wished that she knew more, and could take
some part in the conversation. Dimples and smiles, curling rings of dark hair, and protty rosebud lips were, ho thought, all very well, but a mau grew tired of them in time, unless there HW somothing to koop np the charm. But poor little Dora had no other rosouroe beyond her smiles and tears. She sat shrinking and j trana, half frightoued at the bright lady who
knew so much and told it so well ; feeling her heart cold with its first dread that Ronald was not pleased with her. Her eyes wandered to the far-off hills, with their crown of green myrtles. Ah, could it bo that ho would ever
Jtite of her, and w¡Bh that he had married some-
one Uko himself! The very thought pierced |her heart, and the timid young wife sat with a
sorrowful look upon her face that took away all its simple beauty.
" I will show you a sketch of the costume,"
laid the countess ; " it ÍB in my desk ¡ pray j
She was gone in an instant, and Dora WBB »lo-ie aith her husband.
" For heaven'B take, Dora," he Baid, quickly, " do look a little brighter j what will the countess think of you? You look like a frightened schoolgirl."
It WOB au injudicious speech ; if Ronald had only caressed her, all would have been eunshino s?aia ; as it WSB, the first impatient words sho
had ever heard from him smoto her with a new, |
strange pain, and the tears overflowed.
Do not-pray-never do that," said Ronald, we shall be the laughing stock of all Florenco , we 1 bred people never give way to emotion."
Here is the sketch," said the countcis, a°'a.ng a small drawing in her hand. Her quick glance took m Dora's tears and the dis- turbed eipreasion of Ronald's face
With kind and graceful tact the countess gave Do-a tim» to recover herself, but that waB the '»st time she ever invited the young artiBt and °» wife aloa0i CounteBfl Rosall had a great dreso. of all domestic scenes.
> either Dora nor Ronald ever alluded again >° this little moment, it had one bad effect, it frightened the timid young wife, and made her drend gomg mt0 BOciety. When învitatioHS | "me to grand houses, she would say, " Go alone,
Ronald , if I am with you they are sure to ask
e e'er eo many questions which I cannot asawe- , then you will be vexed with me, and I «nail be ashamed of my ignorance "
' VFhy do you not learn ?" Ronald would ask, disarmed by her sweet h imihty.
" r "annot," said Dora, shokmg her pretty * " The only lesson I ever learoad in my llf*"« bow to love you."
" ïou have learned that by heart," replied I "«»W. Then he would kitt hsr pitiful little
»Ms and g0 Wlth0ut hWi
By slow degrees it beoame a settled rule that Dora should stay at home and Ronald go out. He had no scruples in leaving her-she never objected : her faoe was) always smiling and bright when he went away, and the same when he returnod. He said to himself that Dora was happier at home than elsewhere, that fine ladies frightened her and mado her unhappy.
Their ways in life now became separate and distinct, Ronald going more than ever into society ; Dora clinging more to the safe shelter
But society wat expensive in two ways, not only from the outlay in dreBB and other neces- saries, hut from the time taken from work. There were many days when Ronald never went near his studio, and only returned home late in the evening to leave it early in the morning. Ho was only human, this young hero who had sacrificed so much for love ; and there were times after some brilliant fete or soirée, when the remembrance of homo, Dora, hard work, and narrow means, would come to him like a heavy weight or the Bhadow of a dark cloud. Not that he loved her IOBS-pretty, tender Dora. Harder men would have tired of her long ago ; but there was not one feeling or tasto in common between them. They never cared to Bpeak muoh of home, for Dora noticed that Ronald was always ead after a lotter from Lady Earle. The time oame when ehe hesitated to speak of her own parents, lest he should remombor much that she would have liked him to forget.
If any truo friend had stepped in then and warned them, life would have been a different story for Ronald Earle and his wife.
Ronald's story hocame known in Florence Ho waB the son of a wealthy English peor, who had offended his father by a "low" marriage; in time ho would be a grand lord himself. Hospi- talities were lavished upon him, tho best houses in Florence were thrown open to him, and ho was eagerly wolcomod there. When people met him continually unaccompanied by his wifo they smiled significantly, and bright eyes grew soft with pity. Poor, pretty Dora !
Ronald nevor know how the long hours of his absence wero spent by Dora. She nevor looked Bad or weary to him, he never Baw any traces of tears, yot Dora shed many. Through the long sunny hours and far into tho night, sho sat alono, thinking of the home sho had loft in far off England-where she had been the loved and worshipped of the rough, homely, honest fathor and mother-thinking, too, of Ralph and his pretty, quiet, homestead in tho greon fields, where she would have been honored as a queen, where no fine ladies would have vexed her with questions, and no ono would have thought her ignorant or awkward; thinking of all those things, yot loving Ronald none the less, except that a certain fear began to mingle with her
Gradually, ßlowly, but surely, the fascination of the gay and brilliant society in whioh Ronald was so eagerly oourted took hold of him. Ho did not em wilfully or consciously ; little by little a distaste for his own homo and a wean nosB of Dora's society, overcame him. He was never unkind to her, for Ronald was a gentle man ; hut he lingered no moro through the long sunny mormngB by her side Ho gave up all attempt at educating her. Ho coasod to teaso her about books ; he never offered to road to her ; and pretty, simple Dora, taught by the keen instinct of love, noted it all.
Ronald saw some little ehange m hor. The dimples and smiles almost vanished from her face. He seldom heard the laugh that onco was so sweet to him. There was a retiring grace in her manner that suited her well. He thought sho was catching the " tone of good society," and liked tho change.
Some natures become grand and noble under the pressure of adversity ; but limited means and petty money cares had no good effect upon Ronald Earle. Ho fretted undor them He could do nothing as other people did. He could not purchase a magnificent bouquet for iho dainty countess ; his means would not permit it. Ho could not afford a horse such as all his
gentlemen friends rodo. Adversity developed no good qualities in him ; the discipline was harder and sterner still that made of him a truo man at laBt.
Ronald went on with his painting fitfully, sometimes producing a good picture, but often failing.
The greatest patron of the fine arts in rio renco was the Prince di Borgczi. His magnifi- cent palace was like one vast picture gallery He saw some sketches of Ronald'B, and gave an order for him to paint a large picture, leaving him to choose the subject In vam by night
and by day did Ronald ponder on what that subject should be. He longed to make his namo immortal by it. Ho thought once of Tennyson's " Dora," and of sketching his wife for the principal figure. He did make a Blight sketch, but he found that Dora's face would not mako a picture, he could not placo the dimpling smiles and bright bluBhcB on canvaB, and they were the chief charm. Ho therefore abandoned that idea.
Standing one day where the sunbeams fell lightly through the thick myrtles, an inspiration came to him. He would paint a picture of Queen Guinevere m her gay sweet youth and bright innocent beauty-Guinevere with hor lovely face and golden hair, the white plumcB waving, and jewels flashing, the bright figuro on the milk white palfrey shining in the mellow sunlight that came through the green trees
Lancelot should ride hy her side, he could seo erery detail of the picture, he know just the noble, brave, tender face Sir Lancelot should have; but where could he find a model for Guinevere?-where was there a face that would realise his artist dreams of her ? The painting was half completed before he thought of Valen- tine Oharteris and her magnificent blonde beauty, -the very ideal of Queen Guinevere.
With renewed energy Ronald set to work Every feature of that perfect face was engravod upon his mind. He made sketch after sketch, until, m its serene, sweet loveliness, Valentine's face smiled upon him.
Ronald Earle was not the first artist who has
stood by his easel and thought that, of all the perfect works of creation, none equals a beauti-
" QUEEN GUINBTERE " was a sucacBS far be- yond Ronald's dearest hopes. Artists and ama- teurs, connoisseurs of all rankB and degrees, were delighted with it The great charm of the picture was the lovely young face. " Who was it like »" " Where had he found his model f " " Was ever any woman so perfectly beautiful ?" were questions that people seemed never tired of
The picture wa* hang m the gallery of ths
palace, and the Prince di Borgezi became one of Ronald's best patrons.
Tho prince gave a grand ball in honor of a beautiful English lady, who, with her family had just arrived m Florence. Countess RoBali raved ahout her, wisely making a friond where any one else would have feared a rival.
" Ronald had received en invitation, but was prevented from attending. All the ¿hie of Florence were thero, and great was the excite- ment when Countess Rosall entered the ball- room with an exceedingly beautiful woman,-a queenly blonde,-tho lady about whom all Flo- rence was interested,-an English heiress, clover BB she was fair, speaking French with a courtly grace, and Italian with fluent skill, and when the prince stood before hor he recognised mono moment the original of his famous " Guinevere "
The countess waa in dangor,-a fairer, brighter Btar bud arisen. Valentine Charteris was queen of the most brilliant ball ever given in Florenco
Whon the princo had received his guoBts, and danced once with Miss Charteris, he aBked her if she would like to seo his colobratod picture, the "Guinovere," whoso famo WBB spreading
" Nothing," said she, " would please me bet
ter," and as the Countess Rosall stood near, tho prince included her m the invitation.
" Certainly , elie never tired of tho * Guino voro,' nover wearied of tho artist's triumph, for
ho waB ono of the moBt valued of hor friends '
Princo Borgen smiled, thinking how much of tho fair coquette's admiration went to the artist's talent, and how much to his handsome face.
They entered the long gallery whero some of the finest pictures in Italy woro hung. The prince led the ladieB to tho southern end. Valontino saw beforo hor a magnificent painting,-tall forest trecB, whoso thick branches were inter- woven, every green leaf distinct and clear ; sho Baw the mellow light that fell through them, the milk white palfrey and jowelled harness, the han some knight who rode noar ; and then sho saw her own face, bright, Bmihng, glowing with beauty, bright m innoconce, sweet in purity. Valentino started in aetonishmout, and her com- panion smiled.
" There can bo no doubt about the resem- blance," said tho countess. " Tho artist has mado you Queen Guinovore, Miss Chartoris."
" Yes," said Valontme, wondenngly ; " it l8 my own faoo. How carne it thoro ?-who IB tho
" His name IB Ronald Thorne," rophod tho countess. " Thero is quito a romance about
The countcaa saw Miss Charteris grow palo
" Have you Boen him p" onquirod the countoss " Do you know him ?"
"Yes," Baid Valentino; "my family and his havo boen on intimate terms for many years. I know that ho was in Italy with his wife."
" Ah," rejoinod tho countoss, eagerly ; " then perhaps you kn JW all about his marriage. Who was Mrs. Earlo ? Why did he quarrel with his father ? Do toll UB, MIBB Charteris."
" Nay," said Valentino ; " if Mr. Thorno has any secrets I should not reveal them I must tell mamma they are in Floronco. We must
call and seo them." .
" I was fond of Mrs. Thorne onco," said the countess, plaintively ; " but really thero is nothing m her "
"Thoro must bo something both ostimable and loveablo," replied Valentine, quickly, " or
Mr Thorno would nover havo marnod her."
Prince di Borgezi smiled approval of the young lady's reply.
" You admire my pioturo, MIBB Chartoris ?"
" The moro so bocauso it is the work of an old friend," said Valentine ; and again the prince admired the grace of her words.
" Any other woman m hor place," ho thought, " would havo blushed and ooquettod. How grand she is '"
From that moment Princo di Borgezi reBolved
to woo and win Valentine if he could.
Lady Charteris was half pleased, half sorry
to hear that Ronald was m Florenco. No one deplored his raeh, foolish marriage moro than sho did. Sho thought Lord Earlo storn and cruel ; she pitied the young man she had onco liked so well ; yet for all that she did not fcol inclined to renew the acquaintance. When Valentino aBked her to drive next morning to the little villa on the banks of the Arno, sho at first half declined.
" I promisod to be Ronald's friond years ago," eaid Valentine, calmly , " and now, mamma, you muBt allow me to keep my word. We must visit his wife, and pay her every attention. To refuse, would imply a doubt of me, and that I
could not brook."
Then Valentine assumed an imperial manner. Lady Charteris yielded immediately.
" You shall do as you like, my dear," aha re- plied , " tho young man's mothor is my dearest friend, and for hor sake we will bo kind to him "
It was one of those Italian mornings whon the fair face of nature seemed " bathed in
beauty." The clear perfumed air was full of music ; the blue waves of the Arno rolled lan- guidly m ; oranges and myrtles were in full bloom ; birds Bang as they only sing under the blue sky of Italy.
It was not yet noon when Lady Charteris and hor daughter reached tho little villa. Before they came to the house, Valentine caught a glimpse of a pretty palo face looking from the garden, a pale face with largo dark eyes Could that bo pretty amihng Dora ?-there wore the shining rings of dark hair, but where wore the smiles Ronald had described ? That was not a happy face. Caro and sorrow were on every
line of it
They were told that Mr. Thorne was in his studio, and would seo thi m there They had sent in no card, and Ronald behoved the " two ladies " to have called on some business connec-
ted with pictures. He etorted with surprise when Lady Charteris end Valentine entered. There were a few words of oonfased greeting, a burned explanation of the circumstances that had led Sir Hugh to Florenco ; then Valentine looked long and steadily at the only man she had ever cared for. He was altered ; the frank, handsome face looked worn and thin, it had a restless expression. He did not look like a man who bad found peace. Lady Charteris told bim of her last vieit to Earlescourt-how his mother nover ceased speaking of him, and his father still preserved the same rigid, unbend- ing silence.
" I have seen your picture," said Lady Char- teris. "How well you remembered my daughter's face."
" It » one not easily forgotten," he replied ; and then another deep tilenoa fell upon them.
"Where M Mrt. Earle?" asked Valentin«;
" our Tisit is ohiefly to her. Pray introduce her I to mamma. I know her already by descrip-
" I left my wifo in the'garden," said Ronald ; " shall we join her there ?"
They followed him into the pretty Bunlit gar- den, where Valentine had seen the pale sad face,
" My wife ia timid," said Ronald, " and always norvous with strangers."
Dora was sitting under the shade of a largo flowering troe, her hands foldod, and her eyes rivotted on the distant hills ; thero was some- thing in her listless manner that touched both ladies moro than any words could have done. A deep Hush crimsoned her face when Ronald and his guests Btood before her. She rose, not ungracefully ¡ hor white eyelids drooped in their old shy manner. Ronald introduced his wifo in a few kind words ; something in the girl's wist- ful face went straight to Lady Charteris' heart. She spoko not a word, hut folded Dora in hor arms, and kissed her as her own mother might
" You must leam to love us," said Valentine ; " wo aro your husband's doarest friends."
Poor Doro had no gracoful words ready ; her
| heart was full of gratitude, but she know not
how to oxpross it. Ronald looked at her anxiously, and she caught bia glanoo,
" Now," thought Dora, " he will not
pleased." She tried to say something of her pleasure in seeing them, but the words wore so stiff nnd ungracious that Ronald hastened to in- terrupt thom.
A lunoh of fruit and wine was brought out into tho gardeu, and they talked merrily,-of Earlescourt and the doar old friends there ; of tho ball and Prince Borgezi ; in all of which
Dora felt that she had no share.
Who was this beautiful lady, with her fair face and golden hair ?
Tho samo fuco she saw that Ronald had painted in his pioturo, and every one admired. How graceful she was ! how she talked ! the words seomod to ripple like mulio over her per- fect Ups. Whore had Ronald known her? Why had bo nover told her of Miss Charteris ?
"Ah," thought Dora, "if I could belike her !" and a sudden sense of wonder struok her that Ronald had not loved and married this fair and gracious lady.
Valentino neithor forgot nor neglected her. Sbo tried to draw her into their conversation, but Dora rcpliod uneasily and so briefly to all her romarks that sho Baw the truest kindness was to leave her alono.
They Bpent a few hours pleasantly, and Lady Charteris would not leave until Ronald pro- mised to take hie wife for a long day with them.
" I can hardly promise for Dora," said Ro- nald, kindly j " she seldom loaves home."
" Mrs. Earle will not refuse me," said Valen- tine, with that smile no one ever resisted. " She will como with you, and we will make her happy."
When the day was settled the ladies drove
away, and Ronald watched the carnago until it I
was out of sight.
My doar Valentine," oried Lady Charteris, when they were out of hearing, " my dear child, what could possess Ronald Earle ? What could he see m that shy, awkward girl to mduco him to give up everything and go into oxilo for hor sake ? Sho IB not oven pretty "
" She is nltorod, mnmmo," began Valentine.
" Altered !" interrupted Lady Ohartoria ; " I should imagine sho is, and unhappy too She IB frightened to speak ; no stylo, no mannor, no dignity. He must have been insane."
" I am quite sure he loved her," said Valen- tine, warmly, " and loves her now."
" That is just the mystery," replied hor mother ; " a clever man like ho te, occustomod to intelligent and boautiful women. I shall
nover understand it."
" Do not try," said Valentine, calmly, " Sho is evidently nervous and sensitivo. I mean to be a truo friend to Ronald, mamma. I shall try to train and form his wifo."
Poor Dora, she was already trained and formed, but no one would understand that Pooplo do not oxpcot the perfume of the rose in a wild strawberry blossom, or the fragrance of tho hchotropo in a common blue-bell. Yot they wondered that m this simple girl, ignorant of tho world and ita ways, tbey did not find a cul- tivated mind and a graceful manner, and a dignified carriage. Their only thought was to tram and form her, whereas nature, and not art,
had done them both.
" Dora," said Ronald, as the carriage disap- peared from view, " try and like Lady Charteris and her daughter ; they are BO kindly disposed towards you. I shall be so pleased to see you good friends."
" I will try," she replied, oheorfully. " How beautiful she is, Ronald ! That ¡B the lady you call Guinevere in your pioture. Tell me about her. You rcmombered her face exactly ; should you remember mino as well ?"
It was the first touch of jealousy stirring in the simple, loving heart.
"Far better," said Ronald, with a smile ; then he looked up in alarm, for Dora was weeping wildly, and clinging round him.
" Oh, Ronald," she said, " for your sake I wish I was like her. Shall you ever tire of me, or WÍBII you had not married me ?"
Ronald soothed and comforted his wife, and did not return to his studio that day, hut eat talking to her, telling her how noble and good
Valentine Charteris was.
IT is very seldom that a man of good dieposi sition does wrong wilfully. Ronald Earlo would have felt indignant if any had accuBd him of dishonor or even neglect. He thought Dora enjoyed] herself more at horne than in society, consequently he left her there. Habits soon grow. Tho time came when he felt that it was
tho wiser course. He felt more at ease without
her. If Dora by chanco accompanied him, he watched her anxiously, fearful lest others should discover and comment upon the little deficiencies she felt so acutely.
The visit to Lady Charteris was duly paid-a day that Ronald enjoyed, and Dora thought would nevor end. She could not feel at home with these fine ladies (although Lady Charteris was kind to her, and Valentine laid herself out to pleBBe), not even when Valentino, pitying her shy, timid manner, and evident constraint, took her out in the garden and tried hard to win her confidence. Dora's heart seemed to close against the beautiful brilliant lady, who knew her husband and all his friends so well. A fierce hot breath of jealousy ttirred the simple nature. Rdnald talked to Min Charteris of things all unknown to her ; they teemed to have the tame thought! and feelings, while she was outtide the charmed euroli), and could never form part of it. Sha witohtd the growing ad«
miration on Ronald's face when Valentine played and sang, and her restless heart grew weary 'and faint. Sho had nover felt jealous before When Countess Rosall talked and laughed with her husband, treating him some- times as a captive and again as a king, Dora never oared, but every smile on this fair woman's faco pained her-sho hardly know why When Miss Charteris, under protonco of showing her favorito flowers, took Dora away from the othors, aud condescended to her as she had novor dono to any other, actually onrcB Bing tho anxious little face, and offering herself to bo Mrs Earlo's truo friend, Dora's heart closed against hor She only replied by faint monosyllables, and nover raised hor dark oyes to the faco turned BO kindly upon hor.
When Ronald had taken his young wife away, Lady Chartons sat with hor daughtor in un
" Poor boy ' ' said tho elder lady at length, " and poor Dora ' This is one moro added to the long list of unhoppy mnrringOB. How will
it ond ?"
As she watolied the sun eet m tho glorious west Valentino askod horself tho samo quoslion
-" How will it ond ?"
If anyono had told Dora sim was jealous, BIIO would havo domod it indignantly, although Valonlino was seldom out of her mind. From pure kindness Lady Chartons wished Ronald to paint hor daughter's portrait ; it was a grand pioturo, ono thoy could tako back to Grconoko Ho was pleased with the commission, and began to work at it oagorly.
Lady Charteris carno with Valentine, and remained with her during the long sittings, doing everything m hor power to please and win
the artist's wife
The fair faco, in its calm, Grecian boauty, grow upon tho canvas Many a long hour, when Ronald was absent, Dora hngorcd over it Tho portrait had a strango fascination for hor She dwelt upon every feature until, if tho lipB had opened and smiled a mocking smile at hoi, she would not have felt so much Burpriso It was less a picture to her than a living brouthing reality She would watch Ronald as ho worked at it eager and onthueiastio, then, looking up at hor and finding her dark eyes riveted upon him with so strange an expression, ho would call her to seo what progress he had made, and, nevor dreaming of tho growing joalousy in Dora's heart, speak with an artist's delight of the peerless foaturos.
Without any great or suddon change, day by day Dora grow moro silent and reserved. Sho was learning to hido her thoughts, to keep her little troubles in her own heart The timo waa past when sho would throw herself in Ronald's arms, and weep out her sorrow there
Ronald did not notico it Homo seemed vory dull. It was a groat ploasuro to leavo tho soil
tary little villa and sit in tho brilliant saloon of Lady Charteris' well appointed houso. It was pleasant to oxohange dull monotony for sparkling conversation and gay society
Valontine had many admirers. Everyone know the Prince di Borgezi would gladly have havo laid his fortune and title at her foot,-but she oared for noither. Ronald often watched her as noble and learned mon offered their homage to bor. She smiled brightly, spoko well and gracefully, but he novor saw in hor faco tho look ho onoe remembered thoro Lady Charteris deplored hor daughter's obstinaoy. Sho took Ronald into hor oonGdenco, and confided to lum her annoyanco when ono suitor aftor another was
Ronald was not particularly vain. Liko most men, he bad a ploaBing consciousness of his own worth ; but he could not help occasionally romembering his mother's assurance, that Valentino oared for him Could it havo boon true ? Was thero evor a time when that beauti- ful girl, so indifferent to all homage, cared for him ? Could thero ever have been a timo when the prize for which othors Bighod in vam was within his grasp, and bo slighted it ?
Ho did not dwell upon tho thoughts, but they would como into his mina. It was soldom that a day passed without his calling at tho pretty house where Lady Charteris alwayi wel- comed him kindly. Sho was sorry for lum. He was nover de trop with hor. Occasionally, too, she drove out to see his wifo ; but the visits were rathor of duty than of pleasure.
Then Dora'B boalth failed. Sho grow weak and languid,-irritable at times,-as unliko tho smiling, blushing girl Ronald met in Earles court gardons as it was possible to bo. Ho wrote to tell his mothor that at length there was
hope of an heir to their ancient house. He waa i very kind and patient to his ailing, delicate wife, giving up parties and soirees to sit with hor, yet nevor able to guess why Dora's dark oyos looked so strangely upon him.
Lady Charteris had planned an excursion to some pioturesquo ruin that had pleased hor daughter, who wished to make a sketch of it. Ronald WBB aBked to join thom, and ho had been looking forward for many days to a few hours away from all care and anxiety,-out m the beautiful country with Valentine. But when the morning carno Dora looked palo and ill. She did not ask him to stay with her, but he
read the wiah in her faoe.
" I will not go Dora," said her husband. " I will not leave you. I sholl send a note of excuse to Lady Charteris, and tako care of you all day."
" Is Miss Charteris going ?" she asked, quietly. |
" Yet ¡ and several others," ho replied.
" Then nevor mind me," Baid Dora ; " do not | give up a day's pleasure for me."
Ronald might havo guessed there was some-
thing wrong from the tone of her voice, but I Ronald was not of a suspicious nature.
" Now, Dora," ho Baid, gently, "you know I
would give up every plcasuro ia the world for j
He bent over her, and kissed her pale little faoe. Timo was when tho simplo hoart would have thrilled with happineBB at his words ; but Dora grow cold and hard.
" It used to bo always so," Bhe thought, " before sho came with her boauty and took him
How much would have been saved had ehe told Ronald of her jealous thoughts and fears ! He never suspected thom. When he came home, looking bright and happy, she would ask him : " Have you seen Miss Charteris to-day ?" and he, glad of her interest in his friends, would reply that ho had been there ; and tell her of mutio he had heard, or people he had met, or of Valentine'i messages to her. So Dora fed the dark, bitter jealousy that had crept into her
It wai a proud but anxious day for Ronald when he wrote to tell hit mother that he wai now the fathw of Util* twin danghUri, two
pretty, fair babos, in place ofthelong-looked-for
hoir of Earlcscourt.
Lady Charteris was very kind to the lonely young mother-so kind that, had she borne any othor name, Dora must have loved her. A glimpse of tho old happiness came hack, for Ro- nald was proud and pleased with the httlo twin
One bright morning, when Dora had been taken down to the pretty saloon where tho babies lay sleeping, Lady Chartons and her daughter carno m ; Ronald joinod thom, ana thore was a long disouBsion as to the namos.
" You must havo an oyo to tho future," said Valentine, emiling. " Those little ladies will bo very grand poraonugoa soiuo day. It would bo a ruco compliment to Lady Karlo, if you called
" I have made my choice," said Dora, in a cloar ringing voico. " I shall call this little ono with tho fair hair Lillian, tho othor Boatrico "
" I admiro your ohoico," said Lady Chartons, " Beatrice and Lillian aro twoboautiful names "
Whon Valentine bent ovor the eradlo and kissed tho ohildron boforo taking leavo, Dora eaid, " I havo had my own way, Miss Charter«, over my babios Mr. Earlo did not oppose mo "
Valontino thought tho words harBh and etrango ; elie had no cluo to their meaning She could not imagino Dora |oalous of hor. Sho mado some laughing roply, and passod on
Dora wos not lonoly now , tho caro of tho I little ones occupied all her tuno, but far from their binding Ronald to his homo, ho bcoamo moro estranged from it than ever.
Tho pretty picturesque villa was vory small, thoro was no 100m availablo for a nursery Wherever Dora eat, thero must tho babios bo ; and although thoy woro vory charming to tho motbor and daughter, tho continued cries and noieo irritated Ronald greatly. Thon ho grow voxed, Dora oricd, and said ho did not lovo thom, and BO the harrior grow day by day bo tween those who should have bcon all in all to oach othor.
The babios grew. Little Boatnoo gavo pio mue of groat boauty. Sho had the " Eurie " face, Ronald Baid. Lillian was a fair, sweet babe, too goutlo, her motbor thought, to live. Neither of thom rosombled bor, and at timos Dora wished it had boon otherwise.
Perhaps in all Ronald Earlo's troubled life, ho nover spont a moro uneottlod or wrotohod yoar than this " It is impossible to paint," ho said, " when disturbed by crying babios " So tho greater part of his time was spont away from homo Somo hours of every day wore pasaod with Vulentmo, ho nover etoppod to ask him solf whut impulse led himtoaeokhor, the calm reposo of her fair prosonco differed so greatly from the petty troublos and small miseries of homo. Whon Miss Chartons rodo out he ao oompamod hor j ho liked to meet her at partios and balla Ho would havo thought a day ead
and dark whoroin ho did not eoo her.
Whon tho httlo onos reached their first birth- day, Vnlontino, with hor usual kind thought, purchased a grand assortment of toys, and drove over quita unexpectedly to the villa It was not a vory cheerful sceno which mot her gazo. Ronald was busy engaged in writing Dora, flushod and worn, was vainly trying to stop tho cries of one child, wbilo the othor pulled at hor dress lho anxiouB, droary faco struck Vulontino with pain. Sho laid tho parool of toyB down, and shook hands with Ronald, who looked somowhat ashamod of the aspect of affairs Thon turning to Dora, eho took the child from hor arms, and little Boatrice, looking at hor with wondonng oyos, forgot to cry
" You aro not strong enough, Dora, to nurse this heavy child," said Miss Charteris. " Why do you not find some ono to liolp you f"
" Wo cannot afford it," said Ronald, gloomily " Wo Bpond too muoh in glovos and hornos," said Dora, bitterly ; but no Boonor were the words spoken than sho would havo given tho
world to recall thom.
Ronald modo no roply, and Valentine, anxious to avert the storm sho iiad unwittingly raised,
drew attention to tho toys
Whon Valentino loft them, Dora and Ronald had their first quarrel-long and bittor , ho could ill brook the insult hor words implied ; spoken before Valentino too '-and she for tho first timo showed lum tho reality of an undisci- plined, untrained nature throwing off tho re- straint of good mannora and good breeding. It was a quarrel nover to bo forgotten, whon Ro- nald in tho height of his rage wished that he had never soon Dora, and she re echoed the wish. And whon that first quarrel takos place botweon man and wifo, the bloom and freshnoss aro gono from love. They may bo roconoilod, but thoy will nover again bo to each other what they once wore. A strong barnor is broken down, and nothing can bo put in its place.
[TO Bf OOK1IHIIED J
TnB ORIOIN OF " GOOD WORDS "-Whon I was a young man of twenty four, quite unknown, I formed a projeot of starting a magazino to contain (as Dr Arnold puts ii), not so much artioles of a religious character as articles of a goneral character writton in a religious spirit But where was I to find a fit editor for it? Whilst I was pondering this difficulty I chanced to road in tho Scotsman a report of a chat on " Cock Robin," and othor nursery ballads and stones, which Dr. Maolood had had with children, at the oloae of an examination in an Ayrshiro aohoolroom His words seemed to me so kindly so wiso as woll as witty-thero was BO muoh broad humanity in his humor-that I said to myself, " Hero's the man if I can but get him " I offered tho oditorehip of my embryo periodical to Dr Mucleod He drolly replied that his only qualification for tho post was the faot that for ten years he bad conducted the " Edinburgh Christian Maganno," with heavy IOBB to himself and all concerned Tina did not frighten me, however I continued to importune lum, and at laBt prevailed " I'll become the captain," ho said, " provided you becomo the sailing master Moro than this I dare not un- dertake, in face of my heavy pulpit and parish duties" "Good Words" did not ploase him as a tillo when I first suggested it to him HIB religion WBB of a robust typo and ho thought it Boundod too " goody goody " However, I hunted up the "worth much and cost little" motto from Herbert, and Dr. Maolood eon sented to take the command of my veiture when launched and christened as "Good Words " His agreement with me was charac- teristic-to wit, that thoro was to bo no agree mont, I was to pay him much or little, ac- cording to my cstimato of what the magazine could afford Suoh verbal agreements, as a rule, prove unsatisfactory to both parties ; but we had no more definite agreement down to the end, und yet no question arose as to meum and iuum, nor did any cloud, even of the size of a man's hand, appear to darken our horizon It so happened that Part I of " Good Words " was published on the esme day as Part I. of the "Cornhill Magazine" The latter sprang into fame and popularity at once, the former had an uphill battle to fight for a year or two Yet when Dr. Macleod went to Indu, m 1867, he wrote thus to me " Go where I will I am received with open arms. 'Good Words* is everywhere, and it a magio open letame for me. -Jfr. Alexander Strahan in the " Centern poraty Bttnew."
STEAM II a servant that sometimos blows up
WHAT oauaos a cold, cures a oold, and fees
the doctor?-A draft.
THE largest thing about ladieB* bonnets at tho preaent time is their price.
WHICH ia tho beat woy to retain a young lady's nffoctions?-Not to return thom.
AN Irish writer says "I know of no earthly reason why women cannot become medical men."
" Ii thoro is anybody under tho canister of hoaven that I have in uttor excrescence," says Mrs. Partington, " it ia the slanderer going nbout, like a boy constructor, circulating his calomol upon honest folks "
A PATER recently ulludcd to a man as a "battle scared vctt-ran." The compositor was so agitated
whon the editoi made him correct it that he changed it to " bottle scarred" veteran. And still the veteran in question waa not satisfied.
THE Popo is hurd upon the marriage state. Ho remarked on hearing that Father Hyaointhe was married-"Tho saints bo piaiaed, tho rono« gado has taken his punishment into his own hands Tho ways of Providenco aro inscrutable '"
A BOY was observed intently watching for a " woodchnok" to como out of his hole. " Do you Buppoeo you oan c ntoh lum ?" uekod a paasor by. " Catch him," contemptuously answered tho boy, " I'vo got to catch bira, strungor. We
aro out of meat "
THE most oxtrnordinary instance of pationoe on record IB that of a judgo who listened Bilontlj for two days wlulo a couplo of wordy lawyers contonded about tho construction of an act of tho Legislature, and then ended the con- troversy by quietly roniurkmg, " Gentlemen, the law is ropoalod "
Q. I am a lover rejected. Tray what ahall I do? Shall I " shuffle this mortal," like some lovyorB true ?-A. Oh no , for such aotions make waste of good blood Just keep up your oourago-your chanco is still good. Romustor your forcea, your colora unfurl, ond go forth to tho conquest of some othor girl '
INOUEDIHLR -Sheridan made his appearance ono day in a pair of ne» hoots ; these attracting tho notico of Bomo of Ina friends, " Now guess,
said ho, " how I carno by thcao boots ?" Many probablo guesses then took plaoe. " No '" said ahondan ¡ " No, you'vo not hit it, nor never will-I bought thom and paid foi thom '"
HEREDITARY -Young dnniBcl " Law, Mrs. Mumblebone, that boy can't be right in his head'"-Mrs M " Blesa yo, roías, ho can't bo expected to bo eich His fathoi d ed of dis mtorums, and his mothor died of chrome spa'suns, and his sisler died of a broken leg, und his eldest brothor died in gaol. It runs in tho family "
A LAZY dyspeptic was bewailing his own misfortune, and speaking with u friend on tho lattor'fl hoarty uppoaronco " What do you do to mako yourself BO stiong and healthy?" en- quired tho dyspeptio ' Livo on fruit alone," unswored the (neild " What kind of fruit?" " Tho fruit of industry, and I am novor troubled with indigestion "
SAD IF IRUE -An Amoncan paper tonderly records " A young ludy of wealthy par entogo and superior intellectual culture, Miss Anges Coopor by name, has dovoted her talents to professional larceny in St Louis " Wo hoped at first that this only mount BIIO had takon to Bteahng hoarts, but in that oaso thoro would not bo a larcony, but a fellow nigh.
A BRUTON peiisunt,on his way to Par s.atoppod at a burlier'« shop in RainbouiUot While the harbor waa etroppu g Ina razor, tho peasant noticed a dog sitting near his chair, and staring at lum fiercoly " What is tho matter with that dog?' Tho harbor answeiod with an uiiconcorned, air " That dog is always there. You eco when I out off an oar-" " Woll ?" " Well, ho oats it."
A MARRIED lady who has many admirers was in oompuny, rooontly, where tho marriage tie was tho subject of canvcrsation, and a pleasant sparring aroso between her husband, also present, and horsolf. " Ah," sho exclaimed at length, "you do not think BO highly of the hymeneal knot as I do ' ' " YOB, I do," ho re- plied, " and it is only when you wish to mako it a double beau knot that I ob|cct to it "
INDIAN LOVE -The Indian laiiguugo ia noted for its melody, lind no one who has ovor con- versed with the noble siivngc in his nativo wilds can over forgot tho eloquent harmony of its gutturals A writer hus discovered that the word love in tho Indian liinguago is spelt thus. -" Schommonduracartchwaycr " What young lady could resist the importunities of a man who mformod lier that ho hud u good deal of
that for her?
PIETY and business aro very ploasantly blended in tho following copy of u cireulur, which it is said IIBB recently been issued by a commercial firm in Bombay - "Gentlemen, wo havo tha ploasuro to inform you our reepootod father dopurtod this lifo on tho - mat. His business will bo continuod by his b loved sons, whose names aro Btatcd below Tho opium inarkot is quiet, and Malwa 1600m per chest ' O grave whero is thy sting ? 0 doath whore it thy gravo ?' Wo aro, yourB truly -"
" To WHAT BABI- USJS," AO -A Bcicntific paper says -" Old bootB and ehocs havo their usos-a fact which fow porsons realiao " We) reahsod it tho other night whon a regiment of oats held a jubiloo under our chamber window. We gathered all tho old BIIOOS and boots in the) house and commonced tho attack. In the morning four doiid ihomaics wero found upon that onaangutned field of fray, and a number of others wore in the hospital Aftor this, we shall nevor deny that old boots und shoos have their
uses in this world.
A LADY who hnd reooivod a sovorebiteon her arm from a dog went to Dr. Aborncthy, but hearing of his aversion to hoar tho statement of particulars, sho merely uncovered tha injured part and hold it beforo lum m silence After exumimng it he said, in an enquiring tone, " Soratch t" " Bito," said the lady " Cat ?"
enquirod tho dootor " Dog," rejoined the lady. So dolightod was tho dootor with tho brevity and promptnosB of the lady's nnswors that he ex- claimed, " Zounds, madam, vou aro the most sonsible woman I havo mot with in all my hfo "
FRUIT should never bo gathered during damp weathor, nor whon a heavy dow is upon it in tho early morning It is poor policy to shake fruit from tho tree it will almoBt surely decay fron the effect of bruising Even tho slightest abrasion of the skin is tho Bure forerunner of a dark spot, which will eventually chango into some kind of rot If possible, cooli specimen should bo taken singly from the tree and handled with tho utmost caro Grapes should always bo severed from the vino with strong scissors, and never twisted or broken off if poaches are gathered boforo attaining full size, they will not havo a fine flavor, but it ia not necessary to delay picking tbem until they aro vory mellow. Scarcely any variety of the larger fruits color or ripen as well if left to perfect thou eolves on the tree, and this is ospccially true of poars.
CORNERED -Parson Burcher was an írrepes Bible old codger, always Booking opportunity to combat somebody, and nover BO well aatisfied as when ho had cornered an opponent On a cold stormy day during tho early spring, when every- thing without was sloppy and disagreeable, a nnmber of our cilizuis were assembled in Crummot's atoro, gathered socially around tho great Btovo, wherein u wholesome fire of wo d was burning Parson Burcher was of the number, and that he waa ready for a war of words was evident from the oogor, expectant manner in which ho watched tho i arioua speak crs By and by Sol Tspworth came in,-"Uncle Bol," wo always called him Undo Sol. como to the stove and rubbed his bauds in the gi.mai radiation " Ugh ! ' said he, with a shake and a shrug, " this is what I call a cold, wet rain " " It sartinly is," responded Crummet " I'd like to ask," put in the Parson, with dictatorial dignity, " If you ever heard of any other kind of rain " " Eh ?" said Undo Sol, looking up. " I ask," repeated the Parson, with an sir and emphasis of a master,-" Did you over hear of any other kind of storm, or rain ?" " I said this wai cold and wet, ' persisted Undo Sol. " And did yon ever hear of a rain that was hot and dry ?" asked Psreon Burcher, triumphantly. " Ye e (,-I think I have " replied Uncle Sol, with a very assured nod ol the head, and a quiet emile twinkling around his eyei " How wai it, Parson, about the rain that the Lord sent down upon Sodom and Gomorrah ?" For enea ia hu life Panon B jroher was io completely .MMMd that b« had not another word to offer.