|Chapter Number||BOOK I. IX - Continued|
|Newspaper Title||Liverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||Marian Gonisby|
[Ai/ii RiaHTS .RKSEBVBD.J
By E. DOIDGE,
Author of ' Father and Son,* « The Däu|ghterj
of Eve,*«Mystery of Mèrveiïiieu,t,&<3. ;
A book lay on tho table, on one corner of whioh George half stood, half sat, so he -would' be the better prepared to mest the man -he would have sacrificed half his' ?worldly prospects to call father-in-law. He mechanically then, as he had done a dozen times that day in his father's office with the ledgers, turned the loaves of the bulky well bound book. He probably turned 20 pages of the book without knowing what the book was about; his eyes saw, but his thoughts "were elsewhere ; he dosed the book. Still Mr Gonisby did not oome. He looked at' the cover, at'both covers-they were alike; that was curious," it struck him. Curious in that both outside porcions bore the repre- sentation of a writer famed in history Josephus : « Works of Josephus*-in gold letters ; thé ' W and the *J' wore ornate letters. . Josephus' bunt and intellectual profile were also in gold, and his robe and sacerdotal, or: patriarohial headgear, shone beneath the lamplight. It was trivial to notice those things; but he could,always remember he did notioe them. . . . Josephus was the greatest Jewish historian, ho remembered. . . : Of course Gonisby knew Josephus as British people know the history of England. . . . Again ha turned the pages over. Mr Gonisby did not oome. ... It must be three or four minutes, he thought. He looked at his watoh. lt was 10 minutes to 8 What
could ¿he old gentleman mean by keeping1 him *on toast* in this manner P Perhaps Marie-dear, gentle, persuasive Marie was pleading his cause better-more effect- ually-than he oould plead it for himself, she waB so winning. : . . He walked aorofls the room. Should he tonoh .the eleotrio bell whioh communicated ..with the dining* room P Had Marian for- gotten to answer him P That was not likely. He walked baok to the table, reopened Josephus ; this time at a plaoe whioh was marked down one side as if to emphasis the passages whioh were most esteemed ; aud there, in the 571st page of the great volume, lie read theBe words, unconnected, it is true, in the printout sufficiently sp in tho sense :
' . . . While we, having been under ' 10,000 changes in our fortunes by the ' ohacges thats happened among the kings of ' Asia, have never betrayed our laws under , ' the most pressing distresses we have been
' in ; nor have we neglected them,, either out ' of sloth or for a livelihood. . . . I 4 venture to say that no one can tell of so . many-nay, not of more than one or two ' that have betrayed our laws-nay, not out
' of fear of death itself.'
Was he answered here P What presenti- ment of fear-of defeat should thwart him ?
He oloeed the book impatiently.
At that moment Mr Gonisby entered , the
George stood up.
' Sorry to keep you waiting a few minutes, Mr Whiddon/ (More Mr Whiddon).
* Don't mention it, sir, though it did , seem rather long. Waits always do.'
Mr Gonisby seated himself, and suggested that his visitor had better do likewise.
But George continued standing.
* You wished to speak to me about/?- -'
. * About Marian, Mr Gonisby. I wished to ask your permission to-to pay-* George hesitated about the word ..' addresses,' it sounded so formal, and George was not
Nor was Mr Gonisbv.
' You wished, to court Marian-to make her your wife P'
« That is the case, Mr Gonisby.* "
* Then I am sorry to have to say at once that, it is ont of the' question ; it is impos-
« Do not say that j sir !*
, ' ' 1 must and do say it. Yet I again say I am sorry it has come to this ; sorry for your sake and her's also. Knowing what you know, yon must see that it is impossible.*
- « I know, I think, what you refer to : our religions are different. But (people pf dif- ferent religions are married every day of the
. * Not people of our religion and of yours.' ... * Kot often certainly, still sometimes.*
4 Yes ; sometimes, unfortunately ; but I do not intend that my daughter shall be amongst the unfortunate.'
George was about to break into these remarks, but Mr Gonisby motioned silence.
* Understand me, Mr Whiddon ; against yourself, personally, I have nothing to urge. My daughter is honored by the offer of marriage from Sir Douglas Whidden's eldest son ; but if you were the governor's son it would be all the. same-I should not give Marian t .yon.'
* I love her, sir.*
* I presume you do, or you would not be
here under these circumstances.'
George paused... He was unoertain of his' ground, or the discretion of the thing, but it oame notwithstanding.
.If I may venture to say it, Mr Gonisby,> . I think Marie would not object iio my
attentions, if yondid not'!* .
* That would not help you. T have reason to believe you are right:. I have but just learnt to what extent this thing has gone between you. Marian has fold me of your declaration. It makes no difference so far as results ; you can't marry Marian ; I tell you it is impossible.'
Mr Gonisby rose from bis ohair. He did not say so in words, hat his notion meant dismissal for George. The latter could not yet .give1 up the base.
'Mr Gonisby, yon are a man ; you know , what it is to love, and I love Marian de-
votedly. I ehall never love any woman but
. ?' Sorry for you then, that is all I oau say.'
« Gan you positively give me no hope ?' ' As well ask me to give you my life?'
. ' Marian will be free to follow her belief, her traditions-to be just the same as ever ! I swear that, Mr Gonisby.*
' Tou mean well, but you do not under-
, ' What more can a man say f" .
'Nothing. It does not'admit of argu- ment, promise, or anything else. You had better aooept the inevitable.'
' I cannot give Marian up.'
' Then she will give you up, whioh will amount to muoh the same thing, I f anoy.
' You will not foroe her to this, Mr 1 Gonisby P You will not not oruelly P'
' Certainly not as to tho latter thing. Marian is my only child. She is all that I hftvo in tho world, praotioally. I am in no hurry to part with her, but whon I do it muBt be to ono of our own people. This present fanoy will pass ; you are both young and-pardon me the remark-extremely foolish. 1 take some blame to myself for
allowing you to see as much of each, other as you have done. If it wore not for this, and my great personal regard for you, George, (it was tho first time he so addressed him in tho old familiar way), * I would not have
taken the trouble to have said so mach on ; the subjeot.'
Thin was poor satisfaction to George Whiddon. He knew Gonisby for a resolute man ; ono not easily shaken. But love is persistent and not to be dismissed in one refusal, and that refusal only a father's. Bars, looks, and briok walls have yielded ; king's and queen's decrees have been sot at naught ; an i George Whiddon was by no means to give up love because of the father's refusal of consent.
The interview was virtually ended. Mr .Gonisby move toward the door of the room. George followed. As they were proceeding to the hall door, Mr Gonisby took occasion to say, . W hile you entertain your present regard for my daughter, Mr Whiddon, you will recognise that it is undesirable that you should again visit Marian.'
Here j. was a oold dismissal, indeed. George found no words to reply ; he was in noJhumor to make any raßh. promises. But what he did recognise was that there would be no further opportunity of seeing Marian Gonisby in her father's house, the doors of which' were practically dosed against him.
It was not in a happy frame of mind that George returned home. But on one thing he was resolved-nothing should make him resign Marian but her own stern dismissal of his;snit. '