Chapter 164383085

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164383085
Full Date1884-01-05
Page Number8
Corrections0
Word Count4566
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912)
Trove TitleSubstantive or Adjective
article text

Substantive or Adjective.

Bt C. H. Spence.

- Chapter V. '

.' It was supposed to be a piece of personal vanity as well . 'as 'showing great ignorance of the world on Harriet a Mar ' / tmeau'a part when she said that she, in common with all '': '. literary women, had many offers of marriage. Every one '? .knows the male horror of strong-minded and superior .. women. But Miss Martineau was believed to be earning ' ? about a thousand a year ly her pen, which she could do ' just as well after she was married as while she remained .- single. If the had been twice as deaf and dogmatic as ' she was, she was sure to receive propositions of- love. - - - Her celebrity was no drawback, but rather an attraction

to a large cuss of people. We tnererore twueve tuat sue «poke the truth as to her own offers, and reasoned logic ally enough about those of other literary 'women.' ' . TheTteverend Everard Matthews was a particularly bus ? -- ceptible young man in fin-exceptionally susceptible.fraxne of mind. He could not afiord to marry » penniless woman, and he had been thoroughly fascinated by MiBsEose's.maiiy charms. She had no doubt encouraged him a great deal more than eho ought to have done, and he could not believe that an empty-headed coxcomb like Jlichard Oh' ver could really win her affections. But it was iot only tWs con temptible rival, there was the new couaia from, Australia, more manly, richer, and in all ways a better match than Oliver, whom he eaw now preferred to ': both of her, old ad mirers. He was both grieved and humiliated. There was no one in the railway carriage besides himself and Miss ? Grant. He began to confide hi her as to the amount of en couragement he had received and how .much he had suf fered. The man was sincere and genuine,' and' Miaa Grant felt for hiB mortification and expressed her sympathy. 'It waslike a spark to the tinder ; the candle is never bo easily - ilghtedaawhenithaBJUBtbeenblownout. This appreciative , . listener created a sudden revulsion of feeling j she was, after . ; «U, a most charming woman, and on the whole as good a » parti astbe heartlfss flirt who had -trifled with his best «ffections. fle had heard of her business in London, and rather overestimated the probable advantages that were ?opening out for her. She knew the parish and the poor, and ' bad taken to 'the work oh her own account. Prudence whispered that a woman who could earn thr« or 'four hundred a year, who had no expensive tastes or extravagant . , habits, was a far, better match than one with even five thousand pounds tied up strictly, on herself. Put not «nly prudence whispered; a confused medley of passion, gratified vanity, and ambition overcame the young parson. Misafirant was astonished how sentimental be became about her reaving Truscott ; now the poor would miEs her ; how society would feel the want of its guiding spirit ; how Traacott could never be the same to him when she was gone. The tones of his voice took such tenderness that ehe thought he-half forgot to whom she was speaking, and was thinking of Phoebe Hose. He went on, however, and spoke of his -loneliness and the need he had of a sympathetic fellow-worker. -- Ellice Grant was eo unused to this sortof thing that she absolutely refused to take a hint that her 'spiritual .adviser was really intending to make lore. She tried to rally him, and to show him that life was still worth living,, ev«n If Phoebe preferred another ; but her voice was so gentle and her ex pression eo kind that this was supposed teTba encourage* - ment. Never had -shel shown anvthing so like coquetry before, and that seemed tolend her t£e 'womanly grace which made her irresistible. Yes, he really ,wa3 very much in love ; he had been in love with her all the time. He had *hown her the photograph which Miss Bo-e had given -to him, and one or two notes reoeiyed from her, and he had naturally in the course Of this confidential conversation drawn so close to her that at flus critical point his arm stole round her waist, and he was about to speak in accord 1 anoe with that tender attitude when' Miss Grant suddenly atoodup^hereyeBflaBhingnreinhotindiguatidn. - - ? «Wh»taoyaumeaa?1' ?'??;.' ;*.,??'-': . ? 'Nothing wrong; nothing at all wrong, my dear Miss Grant. Excuseme, I was carried away by my feelings.' ''Whathavelsaid, what I have done, that you should take such aliberty?' .?; ? ' ?'Sit down, pray, sit down, my dear Miss Grant, and let me explain. ' Compose yourself, I pray.*' ' . ' -Slowly and ,cololy she sat dbwn in the furthest corner of '.' ' the 'opposite seat. He :ro*eyand would have done something '''.'? dreadful, perhaps have knelt 'at her feet, bat she warned : . - him off with' a ^estore'so significant and so imperative that the lover' felt chilled to the marrow of his hones. He ,-, resumedthe seat he Iu4 before -jocupied, not nearly so sura that he was in love as he had been. ' But only love, and that . ? of the mert ardent d^njtfon, coifld serve as any apoloiy. lor conduct such as his had been. ?-??.',:' ?'-.- « I thought, Miss Grant, that I had xnade myself under : stood. My feelings must have teen too strong for my powers ©i language to express them. Let me explain.'* 'Better not. I do hot want to understand, i Intended -- toreadonthe journey^ Do not interrupt me.' And she took a book and appeared to be completely engroB3ed in it till they reached the hextetation, when she requested Mr. Matthews to leave the carriage, which he did. He had pro vided himself with no book, bo he had to content himself with chewing ithe end of bitter remembrance for the rest of the day. At Charing Cross station, 'she watched, till Mr. Matthews was fairly out of 6ight, and then began to look round her for some one eke whom' she expected to meet. ft was a young man, who now called a cab for her, and ^. .' accompanied her to the house of her fjondon friend, Emily ... White, who ww- a professional artist ?. . v ... ' ' Welt, Tom,' eaid aha, 'I have had a talk with roar ? broth** about you this morning.' ' '? : 41 And what did jou tell him ?'

'No more than 1 could help. He came to me for tm formation, but it would come better from yourself.' ' He shall have it, if 1 only succeed.' 'But if you fail? ? ' ' Then I fear he must have it, but it will be a bitter pill for me. Harry has always been so successful ; all he has touched has turned to gold ; while as for poor me, what pro mised to he gold turns always to dross. That unlucky mine ? ' ' For which you gave up a certain appointment:.' ' I could not keep both, you know. But this book you think good.' ' Very good indeed. I sat up all night reading it over again. 1 cannot understand why it has been rejected by five publishers.' ' You have not hinted about it to my mother ; I should like my literary success to come on her as a surprise. Well, what do you like best about it— the plot, the characters, or the dialogue ?' *' PJot, I think ; but the others are also good.' 'And you are a good judge. There is the comfort of having you for a friend. A skilled litterateur understands both the wares and the market.' ' Perhaps, with regard to novels, the average novel reader?, like your cousin -Phoebe, or Annie Oliver, would be a better judge.' ' Not of manuscript certainly ; and you know publisher* ought to have more rigorous canons of criticism than those of the novel-devouring young lady. If 1 can please you hi MS. I am sure I can please the public in print.' ' I am not at all so sure of that,' said Ellice, shaking her head. ?* And one thing I am sure of, and thai is that you ought not to abandon the certainties of your profession for the uncertainties of a literary calling.' 'But if I succeed* with this novel I con go oa. I have half-a-dozen plots in my head. Literature has been your trump-card; why should it not be mine ?'* 'It was my only card, and I played it to the best of my ability ; but with you, you have had a long and expensive prof eEsional education and training, and ought to utilise that without prejudice to your taking up literature, in. leisure hours. However, if, as I hope, this new magazine will take it pn its merits and on my strong recommondation, I have little doubt that other things, will open out to you. Instead of the proverb being true that as one door shuts another opens tne reverse is more frequently the case ; as one door doses another shuts, and as one door opens, another, from an unexpected quarter, is flung wider still.' ' Well, I have no objection to make to that/' said Tom, complacently. . ''I confess I feel far more anxious about this venture of yours than I have done about any of my own. for a long time. Your MS. has weighed on my mind ever since you sent it. and the repeated rejections made me doubt my own . partial judgment. However, the reperusal hist night con firmed my conviction that it is good.' ' And this new magazine offers a better field. Of corrrae, the book market is saricuely affected by the magazine com petition. We should have tried magazines firat.' ' I have tried magazines, Tom, but every one is over stocked and refuses to take anything by a new writer.'. ' Hang it ; every author must be new at first. It is very hard on neophytes. But the conductors of this one seem to think eo much of your opinion that I feel quite sure this time. I did eo believe in that book when I wrote it — I lived with my characters so completely. The little autobio graphical sketches you must have recognised, and, of course, you are tho heroine.' . ? ? ' ' By no means of course ; and, to' tell the truth, I do not recognise myself at all. Why make me the heroioe?' ' What woman do 1 know so well or admire so much Y One does not want a graceful shadow, but a real flesh-anil*' blood woman to be interesting.' 'And your hero. is yourself, I suppose — Oh no, Tom, ha has far more backbone than you have.' « No ; scarcely myself, but what I hope to be when I get Into the right groove. I could not presume in propria per sona to imagine myself worthy of you. No, I am sore I shall marry-a very different tort of woman if ever I marry at all, which at present seems most unlikely. But, Harry— what do you think of him ?' 'True as steel ; but,' and she paused— ' But not so sharp,' interpolated Tom. ' That was not what I was going to eay.' ' What, then, did the ' but' mean 'i I thought I finished . the sentence admirably.' . ' It is an objection personal to myself, and a little humiliating; but the fact is that your brother finds me most uninteresting.' 'Then he is not so much better than myself as I thought he was. But he is no fool.' . '? Certainly not. He has an excellent Understanding, and cinialk exceedingly well. It is really -beau tif ul b sea him with your mother.' . . . ; ? ? 'But yet you in return find him very uninteresting. Ah, Mies Grant, I have the pull da him,, there. : Unlucky, wayward, blundering Tom has made one friend, and knows Bow to prize her. To you I dedicate my first novel as a token — a small token of my unalterable regard and mj ; undying gratitude.' — — — Chapter VI. Miss Grant remained in London longer than her friends expected, or than she expected .herself. She. wrote to Mrs. Frankland that ehe had been detained, but would return as toon as she had concluded her business. : . *' This is how it will be for the future. : After this month ' there will only be notes and letters instead of heraelf , I ? shall miss Ellioe woefully.' ? . : . ? : ' Frankland had missed her too. Now that the idea had got into his -head of an attachment between her and his brother Tom, he wanted to have it corroborated, and to set bis powers of observation actively to work on the subject. 8o when Mrs. Frankland lamented the absence of her favourite, a bright thought struck him as to bar more distant con. ** Suppose I were to telegraph to Tom to come home, while 1 am with you ? As you say, it is a great pity you should not have your two sons together, and my time here islimited.' ! *' How delightful! O, do so at once! But perhaps it would injure Tom's prospects. He ought not to lea ve tbie mine,' said the mother, recalling her approval in the in terests of Tom himself . ? ?: . ; - . 'We'll chance it. Heneed not come if it would be really better'forhimto stay,' said Frankland, who felt sure, from Mies -Grant's manner and her half-adnuBsiona, that Tom's prosperity 'in the West . was a . vanishing or .vanished quantity. So he penned and despatched hia: telegram. A day or two passed - and there : was no reply,' but of - course Tom might be «t. a distance from -. any telegraph station. -Several days passed, and Prank land began to be uneaay, when Mus Grant returned, 'and was eagerly told by the mother, of ths summons aentto the wanderer which had met with no response, She looked embarrassed, as well she-might, knowing where Tom Frankland really was. Frankland noticed that she also looked very 'wearied and very dispirited. : Probably the* business arrangements she had made were not so good as she bad expected; and then she had also been lodging- ' hunting, and confessed she had not got what she wanted. 'You will not like lodgings, Ellice, after being for so many years in a house of your own,' said Mrs. Frankland. ?? I escape some' cares and responsibilities at all events, kut if. I bad not come to the end of my lease, and another person taken it, X might have felt tempted to return when 1 saw what I must put up with iu London. If it were not for Emily, that is to say; but she looks forward to my being near her.1' . . ; ??Cannot you find a home here? Stay with me,' said' Uis. Fra&Uand«agerly. ' O no, that would not do. I dare say^t ; will all shape itself better than I see at present. But the idea of moving' ' fa more distasteful to me as it comes near,' ' ' ?' . ''Well, it is what I enjpy,' said Phoebe, 'and in my short life I have had four homes and five boarding schools. Harry talks of taking us all to London for three months, and 1 Bhall enjoy that.' «-My mother has not been a month in London since I left England, and it is time she saw a little of it again.' ' When I am a little settled,' said Miss Grant, ' I could go about with Mrs. Frankland.' ' Yea, and show us all that is to be seen and heard aud talked about,' said Frankland. To this procosition she agreed, and after a little desultory talk she rose to go.' Frankland accompanied hertotha . 'door, and putting tra his hat, he said he would see her home. ^'Thankyou, vou are very kind, it Is j.aat what I wished,'? ialdMiss Grant, -i'- '-- ? - :' - ' , '?« Where is Tom? You know, I tbiak.'

«« in my house at present.' 'Indeed!' ' And be wants to see you.' ' Why does he not come straight to his mother's home, in the first place ? ' ' I cannot tell you exactly what is his reason ; he is a little ashamed of himself.' * 'I suppose he has got into some confounded scrape or other through this mine or reef, or whatever he calls it. 1 hope you told him that I was ready and willing to help him in any way, provided he would put his own shoulder to the wheel. I telegraphed to him with that intention. I feel sure he would do well in Australia, either iu his profession or with sheep or cattle. But I fear he is a lazy fellow.' ' Idle he may be, but he is not lazy. Come, however, and find out tor yourself what a brother you hava got. I think the best thing to be done is to take him and your mother with you when you return.' 'Tear my mother from all her pleasant surroondiaffs in her old home to bury her in the bush?' 'No mother thinks herself buried if she has two sons with her. Of course your marriage may make a difference ; but if you marry as seems probable, it would make your bueh home more homelike still.' ' I do not 'sea the matter exactly in that light,' said Franklend thoughtfully. 'There may be some other arrangement that would add more to her happiness.' Tom was sitting in Miss Grant's morning room or study, the Kttle room which Phoebe Baid looked just like a gentle man's office. In front of him lay a packet tied up in brown paper, his sheet' anchor, that noons would cast into fie ocean of publicity, bis brilliant novel declined again with thankB. The editor of the new magazine said it had nothing striking in it— nothing likely to attract the attention of the public to a tyro in literature, an absolutely unknown author. There was a long letter containing criticism of & more minute kind that showed that the book had bean read. Some of the remarks he confessed that he deserved, but against most of them he rebelled. ' Here is your brother, Tom,'! said Ellice, laying' a kind hand on her young friend's shoulder, ' Tell hiin yourself 'what he ought to know ; ' and she left the brothers together. No doubt Tom wag very good-looking, though under this recent disappointment the laughing light had gone put of his eyes, and the curves of his mouth, ordinarily so arch and jovous, had a downward droop. Tom on his part could not help admiring his brother's manly frame and open, intel ligent face. ' Well, old boy,' said Harry, *? so you are a little dowa on your luck. I had my rough times too before I was as old as you are now. By George, the first three years were raspers.'' '- I thought everything had gone well with you from the first.' 1 'By no means. It was the closest shave to escape utter ruin during the drought, but I weathered it with the rem nant of my Btook, and we have had nothing si bad since. So will you get over your troubles if you will worK and will wait. Only, though I am moat willing to help you, you must tear in mind that your future depends upon yourself. After your brilliant successes at school and in your special professional training, tnd with euch thews and sinews as you have, there is neither mental nor physical incapacity to plead. Why have you been so restless and dissatisfied? At twenty-six a man should be at his best, and you were splendidly equipped for life. Come, make a clean brea3t o! it. Is your rock ahead drhik?' 'No, not drink — at least hot much. I confess that when I have felt utterly miserable I have drank more than I ought to do.' - ' Or in company ?' 'Sometimes; but not more— indeed not so much— aa other fellows do who get on all right enough.' 'Gambling, then?' . 11 No, not tnat. I may have taken a bet or played a little too high now and. then, hut nothing to signify.' «« Nothing habitual?' . 'No, I can give vou my word of honour on that.' 'W.omeni'' ' ? 'No. I ant clear there. I have a ? talisman ' against that.' . . ?? Idleness. -then, it must be?' 'I am sure 1 am not more idle than other people. IWaat professional work 1 have undertaken I have always imo well.' ''Then :wrry did you get dismissed V ' _ ' I was not dismissed, as you call it. I resigned.' . ?« Much the same thing,' if you cannot help it.' *_' I have been unlucky. I,believe I have been foolish. I dare say you wilrsay it is all' my own fault. But I am too apt to irust.the wrongpeople, to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, and give an unfavourable impression of myself when it is of the utmost consequence that I should give a favourable one. In India, in Canada, and in the West i was foolish enough to show that I knew more than my superiors and'ehiefs, not only on my own ground, but on theirs. I could not resist unmasking a pretender to science, and I BuppoEe I liked my joke better tdan. my bread and butter. Eo any pretext or no pretext was found for getting rid of me.' 'And when out of employment aud out of money, you took to mining with a man as impecunious as yourself, or nearly so ; and, of course, you came to grier.' ' Just so. As Miss Grant says, I am accomplished to the fingers' ends ; but I want common sense, and of all equipments for the battle of life tiiat is the most valuable. And here is my latest failure,' and Tom laid his hand heavily on the brown paper parcel ; ' I was not so idle as you fancy, for 1 managed.to write this when on the tenter* Looks of anxiety about the.reef. I thought I had literary genius. I believed 1 had written a first-rate novel. £ thought it was worth at least a thousand pounds. I trusted too much to the favourable opinion of my best and kindest and wisest friend. I thought this bundle would make my name, and that 1 would enter on an independent literary career, in which I should not have to study the temper of chiefs of department or fill a subordinate plaoe 1 when I felt fit for the highest. But five of the bastpub lisherB in London say it is not worth anything ; ana not only will they not offer anything for it, but they would, not publish it if they had it for nothing.' ' Miss Grant, then, thought well of its merits ? ' ' I suppose it was only her friendly partiality for ma. She read it carefully oVer not once only but a second time recently, and her opinion of its merits is unchanged. Look,' and he opened the packet, and .showed that Miss Grant had here and there corrected mistakes of carelessness and haste and inexperience. ' tihe' tried it with publishers whom she knew, and fortified ita chances by her own strong recommendation; but they' will none of it. F wanted to burn it, but she insisted- on rescuing it. I promised her iu case either of success or failure that I would tell yoa every thing, and 1 am doing eo.' ' Wall, then, Tom, how mueh are your debts in all ?' 'Five hundred pounds will cover them?' « , \ '.N&t'if you have been engaged in mining.' ! *' WjB abandon it^-we forfeit all our shares.' *? Then five hundred pounds you shall have.' / 'I am ready to go with yon to Australia, if you wish it, or to go to any place which you advise. I think I want guidance, and that you are the fittest person in the world to guide me. From all you say and from all Miss Grant tells m-v I feel sure lean rely on your brotherly love and your admirable good sense.' - ; ' Miss Grant has been a good friend to you.*' ' The beat and truest friend. If I had followed her advice I should now have been in a different position. This' was to have been dedicated to her,' and be again laid his hand on the manuscript. -?-??? !* Only your friend !*' thought Frankland; 'surely if a woman sees great merit in a novel that no publisher will venture on, there must be some hallucination akm to love towards the writer in her mind.' All the .little embarrass ments 'which/he had 'observed in Ellice— the changes of colour at questions about Tom— must proceed from soma deeper source than her promise to ksap hiasscrets. And Tom's handsome face lighted up when he spoke^of har, 'Was her regard the protective talisman? - ' However, there was no heed to precipitate matters. 'There is plenty of time to consider what u to be dona. Meanwhile we shall have a good time with the mother. I cannot be too glad that you have dropped upon us so oppor tunely. If I had known it, however, I should not hava telegraphed. Come and gladden your mother's heart.' ' We must go to Ellice first, and let her know that all is right but this—' and he pushed aside the unlucky packet containing his disappointed hopes. ' Well, she is beautiful in a style of her own,' thought Frankland as ehe moved forward to meet them when they went to the little drawing-room. Tom took her. right hind in his, and gave the other to his brother. - - ? -.* '.-?¥!?;?».'«? v ? ? :: ?

' You were right, as you always have b&en— till very lately,' said Tom. ' I am now under ordore, and I sup pose it will; end in my putting a larger half of the world between us than ever before. But there are always letters, and Guch letters I expect from. London. The course of post may tie flow, but it is sure enough. We have bean the most faithful of correspondents, Harry, since my first start from, home, and we shall continue to be so till this right 4uai loses its cunning.'