Chapter 37499440

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Chapter NumberBOOK I. III
Chapter Url
Full Date1899-01-21
Page Number3
Word Count2887
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLiverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)
Trove TitleMarian Gonisby
article text



Marian Gonisby.


Author of 1 Father and Sou,' 'The Daughters

of Eve/ 4 Mystery of Merveillieu,' ' &o.




Lilian was the first whom George met on

his return home.

'I have a message for yon, Lil, from Marian. She is going to oall .to-morrow afternoon to drive you rcnnd the esplanade

an her coach and four.'

'Her oarriage and two, you mean. - Ishall le very glad if the weather is fine. Wera you all alone, or was there oompany ?'

' Why do you ask that P If there had been oompany you would have been there your- self-and Luoy, of course. As to being alone, of oourse we were not. Mr G-onisby played propriety for us, you may be sure.'

4 George, I believe you are getting struck 1* ' Do you-a very natural thing, don't you

think P»

1 Well, yeB, if it oould be; Marian is a darling. ' But-well you know, George/

'Yes, I know, and would to heaven it

were not so.* - '.

George said no more ; nor his sister, who realised, for the first time, that her brother really had thought of Marian Gonisby realized, too, that there was a broad, strong, insurmountable barrier which prevented George from enteiraining any serious thought of ever making Marian his wife ; orf more strictly speaking, suoh an obstaole as would prevent Marian Gonisby ever enter- taining an offer of marriage from suoh a


For Marian Gonisby was a Jewess.

To be born of the * peouliar people' is to be born to a heritage of isolation ; born, ns the Hebrew believes, by all the teaobing of Iiis traditions, and that instinct which is strong In the very baba and snokling of Jewish blood,' to an isolation which is at once a brand and a glory. It is the glory of the Hebrew that his raoe is tho purest on earth ; indeed, the only pure raoe amongst, at least, the white peoples of the world. For "~ 19 oenturles have they oom o down tous,

scattered into <t thousand sections, olaiming> community with every nation of the globs,

yet disclaiming kinship with any. Intact, ?

immobile, separate, and peculiar ; submit- ting to every government, to every form of government whioh encompassed them, yet ^adhering to the religion which their great law-giver (Moses) put into their hands 3400 years ago. Nursing their religion and their traditions, and observing their ceremonial law aB the only religion and the only law vouchsafed to mortal man by Jehovah, and with, fearful emphasis handed down from Biro to son-this command was more binding than all others :-' Te shall not seek in mar- riage strange women for your sons, nor give your daughters in marriage to the gentiles.'

That the Jews to-day are a separate and distinct people ÍB the irrefutable evidence of how rigidly conservative they have ever been in regard to marriage with the people amongst whom their lot is cast. Given that there was a general relaxation of that fiat against inter-marriage with the gentiles, it follows, as an obvions fact, that but a very few generations would witness the absorption of the whole pepple into the mass of man- kind, leaving only a trace, in the augmented sum total, of the world's acumen, business capaoity, nnanoial expertness, «ind mental talent in all branohes of science and politioal


' .* ?* . * . w

4 You would to heaven it were not so! What's the matter, George ?.'.

It was Sir Douglas who spoke. He had just entered the room aa George óonoluded the remark concerning Marian to his sister in a serious tone for him. . ?? ???

George, who was of a remarkably ruddy countenance, looked ruddier than ever, and averted his faoe in obvious confusion.

I ; 'I would to heaven, father, yon had not

touched that confounded Esdralia [Estate !'

'Oh!-oh! Since when did you take so seriously to heart the state of my finances ?-'

But he was interrupted by an altogether irrepressible burst of laughter from Mies Lil.

41 do not understand,' said Sir Douglas. ' Where does the laugh come in,. Lil ?'.

41 don't-I really don't know, papa.' ? Lilian faltered as she got a look of. daggers from George. . .

4 Oh, you don't know, then .perhaps George does (interrogatively) ?' -

. 4 No, sir; I can't Bay I see any thing, to laugh at.' * " '

? 4 Commend me to you for a pair of young fools ;' and Sir Douglas was.about to turn away, when he bethought himself : 4 Well j what have you to say concerning'the estate I have just bought P' . ,, <

4 Mr Gonisby thinks it a bad lot J' .

4 Yes, I had hiB opinion-an opinion, of coarse, whiah I don't share.* ' ;

George was about to adi some further remark, when he remembered Gonisby's re- quest that he would not disturb his father's mind as to his most recent purchase.., ' " ". > :

After a pause, Sir Douglas added : 4 To- morrow, and for the rest of the week, 1 shall want you to go out to the land with the surveyor and assist him to mark,.off the streets, frontages, and allotments, a rough plan of which I have prepared.' ??

He laid the plan upon the table, and appeared thoroughly, satisfied ,with his in- vestments and tho way it was. likely to pan Out. ' .' ' ; . _ : ? '?' ..

* * # .rV ? ?

Looking out of the front window of the sitting-room the next afternoon, .Lilian saw Marian pull up in front ox the gate. She drove her pair of pretty,- little cream ponies -her very own, as girls say-and sat in her own light, basket oarriage, as comfortable a turn-out as any to be seen along the St. Kilda road ; and in those days, at least, it was one of the favorite drives in the suburbs of a oarriage-loving people.' V,

4 That's a good girl not to keep -me wait- ing, Lil.' . ;

* How far are you going P'

* Oh, as far as you like in reason,' replied Marian. 41 thought of driving to see Aunt Zinny.'

/ ' That will do very well,' said Lilian.

The personage designated as ' Aunt Zinny' was a middle-aged body, who had been associated a very great deal with Marian's girlhood ; had, indoed, taken the plaoe of Josiah Gonisby's housekeeper upon Mrs Gonisby's doath, and the foster-mother was still held in warm affeotion by ' Josiah's hoiress,' as Aunt Zinny was fond of calling

Miss Marian.

'How swoetly the breeze blows in from tho sea,* said Lilian.'

'Yes,' said Marian, *of all times tho spring is the delightful season, whether for boating, driving, tonnis, or . fishing.'

.YOB, now you can enjoy, the sunshine, whioh you oannot do for several months ot our terrible summer.'

The summer trees were putting on their new vernal garb, the fruit trees-peaoh,

apricot, plum and oherry-were beginning1 to T>nt forth their variegated bloom, and with this Bpring-time bloom there was also the bloom of health and good spirits in ttiese two fair daughters oí commercial Melbourne.

Marian waa an expert horsewoman, whether - in tho saddle or with the ribbon a behind a pair of sprightly ponies.

' lt is one of the pleasures of life to have a drive like this,' observed lillian. ' I wish papa would let Lucy and me have a similar


' You have but to ask,' suggested Mariah. ' You are mistaken, Marian.. Papa does not humor us as your father does yon. It is sometimes good to be an only child, don't you think HO ?' (

' I have never thought so, Lillian. You know how how often I have sighed for the companionship of a sister, or even a brother.'

' Or even a brother !' repeated Lilian, in a slighly speculative tone. Of course,1 Mr Gonisby wishes you had a brother.*

4 No doubt, though I do not remember ever hearing him say so ; but, even for father's sake, t wish he had a son.'. >

. Then your position would not be quite so - -so enviable.'

' I hope I am nob selfish enough to enter -, tain any suoh thought,' was Marian's


r , I Botrit *9 80 n*ce t° think you will be very ' rich some day, isn't it ?' .'"

:* I assure you I very seldom think about it.' Sufficient for the day, &o. And who ban tell what may happen ?' / y????<.

' What can happen? Papa always says of Mr Gonisby he's the incarnation of . shrewdness, oaution, and sense ; and that to have Gonisby for oompany is like having the endorsement of the Bank of England.' .

' Did you know that my father was re-*

tiring from business in the oity.?' queried 1 Marian of her companion.

* I heard as much. Papa wonders, to use his words, that Mr Gonisby should 'break

with fortune when at the fullest.' '

' 1 cannot exaotly say why, but I am sure he is acting wisely ; he knows best.'

' But here we are,' as they brought up at the rustic gate of a neat little cottage, where . resided*12?inny and. her aged mother,, for

. whom Marian had not forgotten to bring

with her a few delioaoies.

* Oh, my dear, have you come at last ?'

' I am within the fortnight, aunt ; and the rainy weather has prevented, you know. How is mother ?'

'Well, but longing for a sight of little Marie.' Aunt Zinny commenced forthwith to lay the. table for an afternoon oup of that omnipresent beverage of whioh Australians threaten to become dose rivals in oonsump tiori with the Japa and Chows..

'Take off your gloves,' said Marian. ' You must know by this time that you can- not (pay a visit to Aunt Zinny without drinking two cups pf tea ! But what's this P --new china, best poroelain, or even Dresden?'

-as she handled two of the most beautiful

little pups, placed before them on the table..,

Aunt Zinny looked interrogatively at the questioner.

' I like your innocence, my love,' she

said.;- ??. i ;:. ; ,. " [.;,; . , ,

' And I your exquisite taste in af ternoon tea-oups.' .... .

? What are you saying, ohild P It is your own taste, love, not mine.' . *

. ' Mine P Aunt .Zinny, I assure you - I

never saw them before.' ;

»Yon "didn't. Then who could have sent them? They came last week, bearing T. M. and Co's, label, and I said to mother at onoe,, ' This is a present from dear little Marian. "

Then a light broke upon Marian's face. 'Now I know who sent them. A week or so ago father asked me when Aunt Zinny's birthday waa, and £ told him on the 1st of this month. That was all/

. ? Bless his kind heart,' said Zinny ; ' and thank him tor them, Marian. Are they not beautiful P Six of them ; they are fit for the queen, as mother says.'

Aunt Zinny had no fault in Marian's eyes ; but if she had one, it was entirely and characteristically feminine-she loved dearly to gossip. Partly with thia objeot in view, sho xmnaged to got Marian into a quiet corner, and, at tho same time, contrived to establish a conversation botweon tho old dame (her mother) and Miss Lilian.

. Nbw, dear Marian, tell your aunty the news-all of it-and more particularly about yourself.'

. ' BlflSB you, Zinny, what news have I, more particularly of myself P 'Tis you whs always have the news -you know everything.

However yon manage it, in this compara- tively quiet plaoe, I can't conceive.'

* You have nothing then to tell me o yourself, Marian ?*' r

'Positively nothing, aunt, I assure you.' .

But Zinny looked unsatisfied, sp muoh iso

that Marian's interest and curiosity wera ; ;

aroused. >;

'You have heard something, I can see.. What is it, Zinny P'

'Yes, I have heard something; but. X :! would rather hear it' from yourself, my. ;

dear.' ' ' ? ..' .'.

'Then I'm sure I Jaave not the faintest suspicion of what you mean.'

' Well, my dear, you will excuse your old auntie, I'm sure. But I heard that the pretty Miss Gonisby was engaged.'

* Poor life ! What will che gossips find to talk about next? I'm surprised at you, Zinny ; and what answer did you make to the gossips ?'

' That I couldn't quite credit it, as you had never as muoh as mentioned that you. had a preference-'that any young gentleman was so muoh as paying you attention !' .

' That is tight, quite right, Zinny. 1'nt .afraid that when I am honored by an

admirer I shall have no option but to take, - you into my confidence, Zinny; and then

they-at least, the goBs'ips-rwill not forestall , you.' .

*? Thank you, my dear ; I would not like' to be the last to hear of any good fortune that happened to my pet lamb,' and she bestowed a kiss on the girl's oheek to seal the compact, while Marian laughed, and . shook' the crumbs from her lap and the ourla,

on her head, having finished the tea and the cake that Aunt Zinny had insisted. on her taking.

'Como, Lilian, when is your profound . discussion with good grandma coming to a conclusion? We must be going.'

> * 1 was interested in glimpses of our city

as it was in 1860, just a little before you and I entered upon the scene, Marian. What wondai s have been done in 30 years, to be sure ! Was ever a great oity like Mel- bourne built up iu 20 years before in the world's whole history ?'

' Oh, yes, in America they build oities in

1.0. . years, you know.. Do you - forget .' Chicago F'- .. , '. ?

Good-bye was said to Aunt Zinny and the old lady ; and the girls shot home by a dif- ferent route, gaily chatting the whole way, but (whioh is a way with women) one was talking of every snbjeot save the one whioh lay nearest her heart-how any one could have started the rumour that she was engaged, or had thought of such a thing.

What a wild conjecture, she thought. Yet was it so wild ? Gould any of the gossips, whom Aunt Zinny met with, have whispered a word as to the lad who-if any one did-' paid her attention' ? Was it pos- sible her old friend, her boy companion of old (but boy no longer), was suspeoted of ' paying her attention' P 'Thus she solilo- quised.

An exclamation from Lilian awoke her.

' Gracious !-is it he P I'm sure, it is. Look, Marian, surely that is George ! Did you ever see any one in such a state, walking the streets of Prahran tooP* They had palled up, as Lilian laid her hand on the arm of Marian, who was driving, and it was near the station where passengers alight

from the train.

' Yes, of ooutbe, that is George. He is ooming up to us.' / . . / "

' We must get an explanation,* -said. Lilian, who, so soon as her brother was near enough, cried : . >-, ??'<? y<U '<-, ' '

' Where in the world baye you been, George, to get your clothes-in suoh a state ?'

''1'his,' replied her brother in his sun- shiny way, ' is a sample of the elegant stuff to be met with in the beautiful Esdralia. ' Capital building sites, I assure you, for wigwams, or whatever is tho proper name for those human habitations whioh aro built on poles, and whioh make fishing handy even unto tho doors. We wero knee-deep in it in many plaoes, and I shall bo under the painful necessity of suggesting to the governor to take out a boat with UP, before we can completo our arduous undertaking in the matter . of survey and sub-division.' And he laughed at tho condition of his boots and his other garments.

' I am afraid wo cannot aBk you to take a seat with us,' laughed Marian.

' No ; but a thousand thanks for the kind thought, Marian. I would not spoil your dainty turn-out for the world ; and as the folks going by are quizzing us, and no doubt passing remarks on tho impropriety of two defoncoloss damsels oonvorsinicr on the high- way with suoh a muddy-looking tramp. I will wish you 'au rovoir,' ' and ho taiaed ni« hat, whioh had opoaped the mad.'

(To be continued.)