|Chapter Number||BOOK I. XI.-(Continued.)|
|Newspaper Title||Liverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||Marian Gonisby|
[Ali BIGHTS RBSBBVBD.]
By E DOME,
Author of 4 Father and Son/ ' The Daughter!
of Eve,» « Mystery of Merveillieu,' &o.
* Ton ought to know, as yon are inolined "lo try something of an experiment in that direction. I fail to remember any such ipewage/
.I wish yon were not against ns, sir.'
"There is no no use encouraging a mis - take, especially in my own son. George, mace 1 have learnt how matters stood- and 1 think yon shonld have told me of it your- self-I have fully considered the affair, and feel bound to advise that Mr Gonisby is right/
.He is all wrong,' protested George.
* Listen to me, lad. Age and experience .onstitute the best judges in a matter of this kind. Eave you considered ooneoquenoen P Consider what would happen on the appear- ance of the 'junior GeorgcB,' wbioh, in tho natural order of things, wo cthould expeot. In tho firßt placo, apart from religion, thoy would bo halt Jew and half gentile. Should yon like to eco them going to tho Synagogue P A. mother's iiiiluenco, in tho matter of religion, is generally moro potent, moro eflootual, moro lasting than that of tho father. Could you onduro that, Goorgo P'
* l had eoarcoly thought BO far in advance,'
"was tho best reply Gcorgo felt anio to make, j
To discuss bili own ponhiblo progeny with bis own father wau enough to diaoonoort even George, who WHH not tho viotim of mook modesty. Still, ho could not help feeling that they woro treading on very dolioato
.Yon have not Hoon or spoken to Mr
Goniaby on tho subjoot P' ,
* I wish, sir, yon had tried to induce him to give up his unreasonable opposition.'
* That is whore you make a radical mis- take, George. All the reason is, unfor- tunately, on his side : all the infatuation on yours.*
' I don't think infatuation is the proper word to use, sir ; at all events I cannot get over it, and am not going to try to do so.7
j 'So much the worse for you then, my lad.
The ohanoes are, I fanoy, that you and Miss Gonisby will not meet again after they leave. Mr Gonisby gave me to understand
* Did he r
4 It is useless pining after dead-sea fruit.' 'I don't quite grasp the simile, sir ; but allow me to assure you there is nothing dead or dying about it, but on the contrary, it is all very muob alive. Marian and I love eaoh other as truly as-as you and my mother ever did ; and I think, father, you might have put in a word for us.'
41 assure you it would have been useless.' 4 Did Mr Gonisby give you to understand they would never return to Australia P' (This with muoh conoern).
He did not say it in so many words. What he led me to understand was that if thia thing was likely to continue-if he found yourself and the young lady still oherished ideas of what he alluded to as an ' impossible affair'-then his one - course would be to keep his daughter out of all possible reach of you.'
11 cannot give Marian up, father.*
' Why did you ever think of her as your
'It scorns as reasonable to ask why does
the sun shine I'
'Are there not enough other young ladies of our own faith and people here in Mel-
bourne from whom to ohoose a wife ?*
'Plenty; but not one to hold a candle alongside Marian.*
'Candle, indeed!' and Sir Douglas laughod. ( What candle-power do you
value Miss Martan at V
4 She is like the sun and all others like the palest moona.'
' Well, £ admit she is very pretty and very olever ; but, take my word for it, George, Gonisby will never give her to you or to any man but a Hebrew. On that he is determined, and I cannot say I blame bim. ?And from what I can gather, his daughter
is an obedient girl, and will not follow her own against her father's will.'
41 shall live in tho hope that she will. Did he say anything more, particularly, that
he would wish me to hear ?'
4 Yes ; that in order that we may all part good friends, and leave him a prospeot of one day roturning to us, he wishes to impress upon you the nrgent necessity of relinquish- ing this idea of Marian for a wife. Ont of regard for her feelings and for our long friendship generally, he asks you to give up the idea of the unattainable. What do you sayP'
4 Never. If I do not get Marian I will never marry. On that I am firmly resolved,
41 have heard that sort of thing before, lad. You read it sometimes in books. The spirit is willing, hut the flesh is weak. In a year or two you will find-'
It was the younger man who interrupted
the elder this time.
4 Excuse me, sir, but you know nothing about it. You trifle with the subjeot. To mo it is like one of life or death. Throe days ago I managed, with some difficulty, to get a note and a ring into Marian's hands. In that note I swore never to give her up unlesB she gave me up. The ring has not been returned, and we are engaged. I will follow Marian, if noed be, to the end of the earth. I will wait for year», and something will happen, I am sure, to olear the way.*
' You will follow a will-o'-the-wisp, I'm afraid. You must not expoct that Gonisby will leave you his address, and I will expeot bp will take good oare that no correspondence países botwoon you.'
1 He will not last for ever, sir. My love
will outlast his life.*
* A Perry prospect' ; and, with a shrug oi the shoulder, Sir Douglas dismissed his son.
It is necosBftry to go baok a little to recover tho incidents of tho days intervening be- tween tho ball and tho conversation just rooorded. Within four-and-twonty hours oi Marian's confession of hor love, George Whiddon hod proourod a ring whioh should seal th« oompnot, BO far as ho waa concornod. Ho waited for two or throo days, anxiously dotdring un opportunity of mooting Marian, for only for a moment, that ho might hold hor hand and himsolf placo the plodgo of hi; love upon hor flngor. But tho opportunity
never oacao. He wrote for it, bat it was not granted. Yet he did not hesitate or question Marian's fidelity.
At length it was to his sister Lilian that he once again appealed :
* Lilian, I have something to show you step into my room. ThiB is it-how do you like it ?' And George handed to his sister a beautifully designed oirole of gold, on the npper half of whick was a olasp, doubling the ring in this part (whioh, being opened, revealed the words 41 cleave to thee !'), a brilliant little diamond shone from the eentre ot the olasp.
4 Oh, this is beautiful,' exolaimed Lilian ; * I have never seen any thing I like better ! lt is, indeed, well chosen.'
' It is fox Marian.*
I » So I supposed. Poor .George ! yon oan > not find a obanoe to give your sweetheart I the engagement ring. It is really too bad.'
4 You must help me, Lil.'
4 Willingly if I oan. Bat how odd a thing to do, George-present an engagement ring by proxy?'
* Strange circumstances demand Btrange expedients.'
* Now, how shall I manage it?' pondered Lilian. 4 Shall I openly faoe Mr Gonisby and smuggle the pledge in steathily, or try to devise some way of seeing Marian out- side? Leave it to me, George; 1 will manage it somehow."
The somehow did not ooour till two days later. Lilian sent a message to Marian, stating that she very much wished to see ber, A reply came that earl jr next morning Marian would be driving round to see Anni Zinny, and would Lily like to aooompany her. 4 Yes, certainly," was the reply.
4 Dear Marie, how are yon ? I haven't seen you since the ball !'
She stepped into the seat by the side oi Marian and kissed her affectionately.
' Are you all well, dear ?'
/ Quite, thank you, Marie ; and yon your- self, tell me.'
* As well as circumstance will permit,1 laughed Marie, 4 with much to attend t< because of our early departure.'
4 And you are really going away, Marie?1 * Yes, within a fortnight.'
4 So I understand from George. I an sorry.* ,
* How is he ?' and Marie did not attempt to hide'the interest that lay behind the words.
* Not quite himself; yon understand, 1 knovjr.'
' »Yes/- - ? ?
* It is hard for you both. Oh, Marian,: ] am so distressed for you both. . Fate seem! oruel to you.'
4It is not fate; at least, I have no thought of it in thac way.*
4 Marian, I have something for yon George sent yon a message and something > besideb. You know he would himself bav< preferred to du it, bot he had no opportunity, Thia he sends you, through me, and he sayi his heart is with the gift.'
' Lilian here handed Marian a small oase containing the ring.
Marian did not at once open it : she wai driving ; it lay on her lap. Her cheeki were bright with oolor ; her eyes wore i moist expression. For perhaps a minuto there was no further word between the twc girlfriends.
1 You will look at it, Marian.*
' I think I know what it is. DJ not dean me oold, impassive, Lily ; you know mi better than that. Bat I am torn betweoi two duties, oonaomed between two fires ; '. axa very unhappy !'
.I know you are, dearest ; you have mj love and sympathy. Poor Marian, I wish ] oould help yon. . . . In all yon feel, ii all you suffer, yon are not alone. . . George is out np in jost the same way.'
But he, at least, has a devoted sister tc whom, evidently, he confides in fall hi
4 Yoa are not angry, Marie.'
4 No, Lily, who oould be angry with you I, too, have confided in you, and will stil oonfide. I have no ono olao to speak to.'
* And perhaps it will relieve you just ti talk to me as you woald to yoar own sister.
* You would be my sister, Lilian P'
* Willingly, darling, if it oould be so.' 4 Ah ! yes, if it oould bo so.'
And the ring, in tho caso, lay in her laj Was ever lover's gift so long unlooked at P
4 Lilian, tell mo, though it is weak in na to ask, do you love your father P'
4 Yes, oertainly.*
1 Then if you had to deoide between yon fathor's lovo and protootion, blessing am goodwill, or the devotion of another who ha learnt to lova yon, for whioh would yoi
. It ia a hard question.'
' Yes, it is a hard one ; but will you tell ,
. I think, then-I'm afraid it would be so -that if I was loved as George loves you,
Marian, I must surely yield all to the man ,
who would sacrifice all to win me.'
' And disoboy your father P* ' And disobey my father.'
' You are a devoted sister. No wonder George is so fond of you ; you advooato his cause but too well. And I-oh, Lily, pity me!-I but too willingly lean to the same disobedience. Yet again, you could never be placed as I am placed. It is not merely filial disobedience, it is the breaking of our people's laws and the dishonoring of our religion. Oh, Lily, I am truly wretched,' and a convulsive sob broke as from the heart.
Lily herself was strangely moved.
And the unseen token of George's affeotion -. lay still untouched. ,
. Marian, believe me when I say that if I thought you were endangering your peace of mind and happiness-that to accept my brother as your husband would be to inoux God's displeasure, that it would be a wrong thing in tho sight of Heaven-then I do assure you, much as I love you and honor my brother, I would surely try to dissuade both of you from a thought of marriage. But, dear Marie, I do not believe it."
' 'No; you are a Christian, Lilian.* .
' Do you know, Marie, I have lately been thinking and pondering on strange new lines, for me. It is true that, in the anoient history of your people, God expressly for- bade them to marry with the gentiles : since then all that has ohanged. The Jews, your people, were surrounded by ungodly and wicked nations who wero idolators ; and
ever in the history of the House of Israel a : terrible curse followed those who disobeyed God's will by intercourse with the heathens and adopting their sinful idolatries. But, where do you find that God would bar union, amongst those who truly believe in Him; as tte One, true God of the Universe? Is', not our God your God ? Your God our God ?'
.Yes, dear; thc God of Abraham, ofV Isaac and Jacob is truly also the God whom you serve. That is a true and wonderful . thing, and brings us nearer together.*
.And you and Gaorge can both ask HÍB blessing.'
.That is a good thought too, Lilian. ' Unfortunately he would ask it through Jesus of Nazareth, whom you also call God.'
. Not unfortunately, Marie, for there is no " other name under Heaven whereby, we
might be saved.' t ' , .:,
. Alas ! it is the rook on whioh we split. There is but one God.' ' ^
. True, but even your people have looked for a Messiah.' ; 1
.He has not oome yet.' . : : ?'? 'j'.-. . Yes, Marian, He has oome as sure as we are driving along this road, but you did not know Him, as the Scriptures-your own
books-said would be the oase.'
Marian shook her head. . Whose fault was it that we could not recognise the Christ in tho oarpenter?'
. The fault of a stiff-necked and perverse generation upon whom judgment was already uttered, and was about to he executed, and whioh has been executed ever since with terrible severity. The dispersion of your people, their ill- usage in every part of the world for 1800 years and more, is, surely, the clearest evidence of tho truth of the Scriptures ; your country has been down- trodden, Jerusalem left desolate, the sacri- fices have ceased, and tho House of Israel is scattered and in bondage because when He came His own received Him not. Oh, Marian, why cannot you believe P'
Lilian ceased speaking and looked into her companion's faco. There was a wondoring and far-off expression in her ey OB. She held the reins lightly and had her ponies well in hand, but her thoughts were not with them, nor the road, nor tho ring. She waa reboot- ing ou a possibility, well-nigh yearning to exclaim, with Fostus, * Almost thou per-
suadent me to bo a Christian !'
What öho said was, . 1 wißh our Rabbi were here ! You quito surprise me, Lilian, both by your earnestness and your argu- ments. I remember your brother speaking in somewhat similar strain. Your faith is very real to yon, Lilian ?'
. Assuredly ; it is not the Faith on whioh the real intolligeuoo-the real wisdom of the
world rests P'
.I wish I could bolievo it; yet if I aooeprod now, what would be thought of
(To bo continued.)_ Sometimos it pitusos a mau to oall himself a fool ; but he is never ploasod when another person calls him ono.