|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||The Soldier's Wife|
THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.
Fashion, thou tinsell'd deity! whose shrine
Receives its empty offerings from hearts
Selfish and cold, and sear'd to every thought Or feeling high and holy; leave, oh leave
The young and the pure-hearted! If thou wilt,
Take for thy votaries those whose pulse ne'er beat
With aught of generous warmth; but spare, oh spare The guileless soul, untrain'd to folly's ways!
ON the morning following her arrival Kate rose considerably later than her accustomed hour, and after dispatching her simple toilet found her way to the room in which she had supped with her father on the previous night. But to her great surprise, instead of finding any one there, the apartment was in perfect dark- ness; no preparations had as yet been made for breakfast; for in her simplicity she concluded that this meal must be taken where supper had been.
The uncertain light as it fell on the wainscot walls oppressed her with melancholy, not very common to her nature; and altogether the com- fortless, gloomy air of the library made Kate
heave a sigh of regret for Norah's whitewashed cabin, where the morning sunbeam had danced in at the little casement, and awoke her from refreshing slumbers on a little flock bed. Now she had been pillowed on down, with silken hangings; but she had not slept. To while away the time Kate passed out of the library,
and wandered through the suite of rooms she had traversed the night before; but they looked
still more cheerless and uncomfortable. At last she found her way into some rooms which she had not before seen; they were apparently pre- pared for a festival, being decked with ever- greens and everything which could contribute to ornament them. The walls had immense
plates of glass let in; but as the shatters here also were still closed, the multiplied reflections of Kate's figure were like so many dim shadowy ghosts, from which she instinctively shrunk, and returned to the solitude of her chamber. There she sat till she heard the clock strike 11, and she began to feel in want of breakfast. At last she was relieved by the appearance of Phelim at her door. Her first impulse was to request her foster-father to come in; but, to her sur- prise, he put his finger on his lips, and uttering a low "whist, honey!" motioned her to join him in the gallery.
"Faith, and it's myself as has been kilt out- right," he exclaimed; "Misthress Al—, that is, Miss Donlavy, I mane, sorra's the bit of mate I could git to put in my lips this blissed day, till the clock struck 10. Houly Mary, what a life! They lives like princes, but they fasts too long. Afther all, honey, thim fine jontlemen with their laced coats, as resaved us last sight, was but the sarving men; and one and all of thim calls me Mr. Plainfeeling. St. Pathrick! but they fare well—mate and ale, like any lord. But what a clock of day to ate! When I had somewhat satisfied nature's craving like, it came into my mind to make bold to ask whin their honors took brikfast. 'An hour or two after noon,' says one of them, grinning! I thought you'd be kilt too, and laid hands on what I could git, and have brought it to you." So say- ing Phelim drew from his capacious pocket a clean cotton handkerchief, containing bread and
Kate took the kindly offering with a laugh, and was returning with it to her room, when Mr. Donlavy appeared.
"The top of the morning to your honor," said Phelim, bowing low, "and long life to you! I have made bold to bring Miss Donlavy some—"
"Good morning, dear Kate, good morning, Phelim," said Mr. Donlavy; "I hope you like
"Mighty will, please your honor, if they didn't fast so," replied Phelim; "but though I niver was like the heretic folk, and kept all the church fasts, and it's Father Peter will certify that same, I——"
"Fast!" exclaimed Mr. Donlavy; "pray ask for all you want; and if the people neglect you, complain to the housekeeper. My dear Kate," he added, "I have risen early this morning on purpose, supposing our hours would ill suit you. Here we turn day into night, and night into day. You smile, child, at my calling it early. At Castle Connor I myself should have thought differently; but this—this is not Ireland. Come we will breakfast together; Mrs. Donlavy Bal- four breakfasts at 1. She was at nine routs last night, besides Ranelagh and the play."
"Poor woman, poor woman!" exclaimed Kate; " how much I pity her! Is she obliged to go?"
"Oh yes, my dear," said her father, as he led her into the breakfast-room, "quite obliged. When you have lived longer in the world, Kate, you will find that fashion's votaries are greater slaves than any who toil beneath the burning sun of Africa. But be careful not to express your compassion to anyone but myself—it would offend Mrs. Donlavy, who considers herself supremely happy; and indeed she is so, in her way. Now let me see you make a good break- ast. How long have you been up?"
"Oh, I got up so late!" answered Kate; "I do believe it was 8 o'clock."
"The beginning of the night with us," said Mr. Donlavy, "though it is now probably your dinner-time ; but what have you there?"
Kate opened poor Phelim's hankerchief, and, greatly to her father's amusement, related the provident care with which her foster-father had provided for her breakfast.
"It is well we are alone," said Mr. Donlavy; "those unacquainted with old Ireland, and her warm-hearted sons, might be shocked at so pri- mitive a proceeding."
After breakfast Mr. Donlavy walked through the different apartments with Kate, and gave her some insight into the purposes to which each was assigned; showed her the paintings, and related a portion of his family history. It did not exactly correspond with Phelim's, which she had previously heard recounted for her hus- band's benefit; that had certainly been much more highly wrought. After a considerable time thus spent, Kate was kindly dismissed by her father, who was obliged to go out on busi- ness, as he called it; that business was play. But he promised to rejoin her early, and till then advised her to amuse herself with a book.
In passing to her own room she heard a lady's voice reproving some of the servants for the un- reasonable bustle that disturbed the house at so early an hour. The plea of justification was that Mr. Donlavy had ordered, and had had, an early breakfast on Miss Donlavy's account, as she was not accustomed to London hours.
"And is my house to be completely over- turned by this little rustic?" exclaimed the lady —"my night's rest thus to be broken! How I detest the Irish!"
Poor Kate shrunk within herself as she heard
the words; but she would not voluntarily
hear more of a conversation not intended for her ear, and therefore came forward.
"Miss Donlavy's maid, I suppose," said the lady, as if speaking to herself, and glancing con- temptuously at the simple gray dress in which Kate was clad. Kate colored, and made a hasty retreat; but the look she gave Mrs. Donlavy as she withdrew was sufficiently expressive.
When Mr. Donlavy returned, he led Kate immediately to the dressing-room of his wife, to introduce her. The lady was all smiles and graciousness; her toilette was proceeding while she conversed. A hairdresser stood behind her chair, drawing up her powdered hair over an immense cushion, so as completely to expose her handsome face, while two maids stood near, handing him hairpins, pomades, &c.
"I am glad to see you, Miss Donlavy," said the mistress of the apartment. "I have risen early for the purpose of admitting you. I hope you will like London, and Ranelagh, and the play, and the parks, and ridotto. Can you play cards, child? and do you know casino? Or I will take you to an auction to-day—such lovely Chinese images!" she continued, turning to Mr. Donlavy, "and selling for nothing in the world. By-the-bye, there is a drum at Lady Lovemore's to-night; shall you go, sir?" (This mode of address was common enough at that day.)
"I think not," said Mr. Donlavy; "you know we have friends at home, and I am anxious to show my little Kate to them," he said, glancing with proud pleasure towards his daughter.
"Oh, yes, of course," said Mrs. Donlavy, "and I have no doubt she will look amazingly well, when we have polished her a little. I have told my woman to look out for a maid for her; but for all these things there must be time, you know, sir; and it will positively take a month to get her wild hair into order; won't it, Mr. Pomadon? So that, all things considered, I don't see how she's possibly to appear to-night."
"As she is," said Mr. Donlavy. Beauty when unadorned, is adorned the most."
"Surely, sir, you would not let your daughter be seen unpowdered, and in such a trim! I should not like to introduce her."
"Kate, my dear," said her father, "should you like to sit two hours every morning while
Mr. Pomadon builds np your hair?"
"Oh no, sir," said Kate; "I should fall asleep; and I could not bear the thoughts of making myself gray-like."
"How should you like the thought then, child, of being taken for your own waiting-maid, which you will be, if you persist in dressing so out of the fashion?" said Mrs. Donlavy, color- ing through her rouge.
"I don't think anyone would make such a mistake as that," said Mr. Donlavy; "for I flatter myself my Kate's birth is seen in her carriage."
"Well, Mr. Donlavy," replied the lady, "as you seem bent on making yourself the town talk, do as you please, sir; but I will take no responsibility. I am going to the Park, and if Miss Donlavy likes to let my woman shake the powder puff through her hair, and put on a patch or two, and a little rouge—"
"Rouge, madam!" cried Mr. Donlavy, "my daughter shall never wear rouge."
"Indeed, madam," said Kate, who foresaw a scene of altercation between her father and his wife, "I am quite willing to do whatever you please; only these ways are so new to me."
"Of course, child," said Mrs. Donlavy Bal- four; "everything must be new to you—but you'll learn in time; and I daresay before a
month or two will have some notion of casino and—"
"No, Mrs. Donlavy," interrupted her hus- band; "if Kate wishes to secure her father's affection, she must acquire no taste for play— tho bane and disgrace of our generation!"
"You play yourself, sir," retorted Mrs. Don- lavy, "and play deep. My lord William Harvey
tells me that—"
"My Lord William Harvey had better mind his own affairs," said Mr. Donlavy, coloring; "I shall mine. But if I played ever so high, that would be no reason for my countenancing the initiation of this innocent young creature into such scenes of dissipation as a passion for play would lead her. No, no; I have had Kate brought up in Nature's simplest nursery, and would not have Nature's holy teaching marred by the false schooling of fashion. You can accompany Mrs. Donlavy, Kate, as you are," continued her father; "but remember, neither powder nor rouge!" So saying he left the room. When he had departed Mrs. Donlavy drew Kate towards her, and kissing her cheek, whispered, "You must not mind his harshness, child, nor let it break your fine spirits."
"But I do not think my father harsh, madam," said Kate, "to me he seems very indulgent and
full of kindness."
"Ah, I dare say," replied Mrs. Donlavy; "but, poor girl! you know nothing of the world; you will soon understand him better. I can't do a thing I like without his leave, if its only to buying an ivory fan, or a yard of point lace, or a Chinese figure, or——"
"But I shall never want to buy such things," said Kate; "I have never been used to spend money."
"So much the better, child," replied Mrs. Donlavy, "then you won't miss it like me when you can't get any. See, he would not even offer me a few paltry guineas, though I told him about
the auction and old china."
"Is it teacups, madam?" asked Kate.
"Teacups?" said Mrs. Donlavy. "Yes, some; but the principal things are large bowls and images, and vases."
"Of what use are they, madam?"
"Use!" repeated Mrs. Donlavy; "one does not buy such things for use; they're to look at,
and stand about the rooms."
"Indeed!" exclaimed her listener, in real sur- prise.
""Now then," continued Mrs. Donlavy, "that I've had a dish of tea, well set out. Here, my dear, just a sprinkling of powder; he'll never
"But I should, madam," cried Kate, hastily; "I could not disobey my father, even if he never
"Provoking simplicity or affectation! Which is it?" exclaimed the lady.
"Neither, madam," said Kate; "I have been brought up by simple people, but they tried to teach me my duty to God and man."
"Duty to nonsense!" said Mrs. Donlavy; "and all about a powder puff. Schooling me! Well, my girl was not brought up that way, thank goodness! Get your hood then, and come as you are."
Kate hastened from the room to conceal the tears which, in spite of herself, gathered in her eyes. She had never before been addressed as Mrs. Donlavy spoke to her—harshness or mockery was equally new to her ear.
tin out sio: trii
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A Kat baci in c unfi Adc
Will I no who
"i lord! liam'
As she re-entered the room, Mrs. Donlavy's daughter (Miss-Chambers) entered also. She appeared about six or eight and twenty years of age, very tall and finely formed, with dark eyes, and what had been a fine complexion; but the small-pox had made dreadful ravages in her once handsome features, and she had neither philo- sophy nor amiability to bear the infliction with temper and resignation. Her first glance at our heroine was that of an enemy. The contrast between her own ruined form and Kate's fresh young loveliness was too striking not to excite in her bosom ths worst feelings of envy and malignity; but, unlike Mrs. Donlavy, who spoke without restraint, and as an irritable temper suggested, she was determined not to show her feelings, whatever they might be. She was a woman of strong passions, but she masked them well, and could at pleasure appear not only amiable, but interesting. She met Kate with a warmth of manner which surprised her, and which immediately won on her unsuspecting nature. Her voice was low, earnest, and gentle; her manner graceful and pleasing. The party proceeded to the Park in sedan chairs, then alighted and entered the promenade, where there was a large assemblage of the gayest people of fashion.
Kate was so charmed with the animation and novelty of the scene that she forgot to observe how many eyes were fixed on her, first attracted no doubt by the primitive simplicity of her dress, and then perhaps by her loveliness. Among those who most particularly noticed her was a young man of elegant exterior, though somewhat disfigured, as Kate thought, by a close tie-wig, in whom she traced, or fancied she traced, some resemblance to her husband, whom no change of scene or circumstance could banish from her mind. In- voluntarily her eyes followed the stranger's graceful walk, and whonovor a turn of tho pro- menade permitted, he was near the group of ladies, bowing to Mrs. Donlavy as to an old ac- quaintance. The good lady, although no longer young, was still handsome, and had singled out the young gentleman in the tie-wig for her es- pecial favor.
We do not mean to imply that Mrs. Donlavy Balfour was what in fashionable life is styled naughty; no, she was only a lady à la mode, and liked a well-looking young man to be seen fluttering about her. She did not detect the looks cast on Kate, for she supposed those ad- miring glances were directed toward herself. Not so Miss Chambers; her quick eye read in- stantly what was passing, and consummate command of countenance alone enabled her to conceal what she felt on observing this sudden admiration of the new beauty. Several gentle- men approached and addressed the ladies, who were now the admiration of all eyes. The con- versation was according to the fashion of the times—scandal and the doings of the great world, the play, auctions, assemblies, &c., but it was not more sensible or useful than it would be amongst people of a similar class in our own
At length the party thought of returning to dine. Dinner was not then a late affair. The gentlemen dined at clubs and coffee-houses, the most celerated of which were Will's and Tom's; it stamped a man as fashionable to fre- quent them. Mr. Donlavy was essentially one one of that number. He dined that day with a party of friends at Will's, and only rejoined his family in the evening, having previously looked in at the play.
The assembly was brilliant, not perhaps as one in the present day would be, when art has done
so much to render decoration luxurious and ele- gant; but still Mr. Donlavy's suite of rooms was grand and imposing, and the company gathered in them formed the élite of the day.
According to her father's desire, Kate avoided all artificial appliances, and appeared in a plain white muslin dress, which was confined at the waist by a blue riband. Her fair hair fell round in the assembly was bent on her; but she was saved from the embarrasment such a con- sciousness might otherwise have produced, by having her own attention riveted on a lady who stood near her, and whose dress facinated rather than pleased her inexperienced glance. She was black silk, edged with red and white, and stood from her waist hung a train which swept the ground several feet. The waist itself dimensions, and the whole figure was as great a porting a pyramid of powder and pomatum, with a face disfigured by little patches of court-
noticed in the park. He stood leaning on the her devoted admirer; but what he was most concerned about was to endeavor to draw from her who the unsophisticated nymph could be that head in such an assembly.
"You are curious on the subject, my lord," heard the last words of the conversation.
"I am, madam," replied Lord William. "I never saw a more lovely creature."
"Nor ever professed more violent admiration, I suppose, my lord," said the lady, in a tone of
"Not that I remember, madam," replied Lord
"Certainly, my lord; she is a—a daughter of Mr. Donlavy Balfour's, from Ireland. My
"A daughter, I suppose, by some former marriage," said Lord William.
"Some former connection, I believe," replied Miss Chambers, laying particular stress on the
"Indeed, madam," said Lord William, turn- ing away with a nonchalance more common to
ment of the suite.
"I thank you, madam," replied he, "I hear
by the harpischord that they are dancing minuets; I should very much like to join them;" and, to the lady's chagrin, Lord William passed
The truth was, Lord William had caught a glimpse of Kate near the dancers. She was looking on with such interest, and marking the time to accurately with her elegant foot, that she seemed born to dance. His lordship was famous for his performance in minuets. Kate being disengaged, a most auspicious opportunity presented itself for an introduction; and Lord William hastened to Mr. Donlavy, to request the honor of his daughter's hand for the next
Mr. Donlavy Balfour complied most readily. There was a gleam of satisfaction in his face, as he led his guest to where Kate stood, and, forgetful that she could not dance, requested her to join the graceful couples who were going through evolutions which Sir Christopher Hatton himself, of dancing celebrity, might have been proud of. Kate colored deeply, and declined with a confusion of manner which Lord William interpreted as vanity suggested. Of course he used his persuasive powers, as a modern ball-room hero would, and entreated to have the "honor and happiness," &c.; so that Kate was obliged to confess that she could not dance; and at last his lordship succeeded in drawing from her a confession that she was totally ignorant of many other fashionable ac- complishments. The manner in which Kate's father had introduced her sufficiently convinced his lordship that the insinuations of Matilda Chambers had in reality no foundation, and the more he conversed with the lovely being on whom he gazed, the more he was charmed with her artless and unstudied graces.
Lord William Harvey was one of the most polished men of his time, one who adopted fashion without being ridiculously its slave. A more admirable form or carriage than his could scarely be imagined. His conversation was spirited and sensible, and Kate listened to it with the undisguised interest which it naturally inspired. Her attachment to her absent hus- band was too fervent and enthusiastic to admit of her entertaining a thought opposed to his peace, or detrimental to her own honor; but still so young a girl could not be other than pleased with the attentions of so superior a man as Lord William Harvey. Then he was so like her own George—so very like!
Time passed on, and Lord William became a yet more frequent visitor at Mr. Donlavy Bal- four's than he had previously been. His assi- duities were openly addressed to Kate, who laughed and talked freely with one so agreeable, without the least suspicion of his being seriously attached to her. Her father, on the contrary, looked on with evident satisfaction. He was proud of his daughter's loveliness, and looked forward with exultation to the time when he might call her Lady William Harvey. With this idea, he directed all his attention to her improvement, and determined, so far as possible, to repair former omissions in her education. "Should you like to learn dancing, Kate," he inquired one day "and the harpischord?"
"Oh, yes, sir, I should like it of all things!" she exclaimed; "it would please him so much!"
"I daresay it would," said Mr. Donlavy, smiling, as he gazed on his daughter's face, now crimsoned with the consciousness that she had half betrayed her secret.
She had naturally been thinking of the pleasure and surprise her husband would feel (when they next met) at finding her more polished and ac- complished than he had left her. Her father, just as naturally, had been the person to whom she had unconsciously alluded; and that even- ing, in the plentitude of his satisfaction, and believing he was thereby promoting Kate's in- terest and happiness alike, he promised her hand to the young aspirant, with the under- standing that he should be free to win his daughter's affections, but not at present to al- lude to any definite engagement. How little did poor Kate understand the position in which she now stood! But there was one who clearly discerned all that was passing, and resolved to
overthrow all Mr. Donlavy's best laid plans.
Matilda Chambers, with a true feminine in- stinct, read every glance of the lover, and re- membered with bitter anguish the time when those admiring and impassioned eyes had spoken
the same language to her, ere illness had de-
stroyed her fleeting loveliness. She remembered too how her heart had beat responsive to the passion of Lord William, and how she had woke to the agonising knowledge that her loss of beauty had entirely extinguished her lover's affection. There had been no explicit declara-
tion on his part, and therefore Lord William considered his honor unscathed when he finally withdrew his attentions from the hapless Matilda. But she had loved him with all the passionate intensity of her nature, and had even hoped to draw back his truant faith, if not from affection, perhaps by worldly considerations. She had considered herself, and had been considered by the world, her stepfather's heiress, until Kate was suddenly drawn from her distant obscurity, and became immediately the centre of all her father's thoughts and affections; but now Ma- tilda had the additional mortification of seeing herself rivalled by the little rustic beauty in a quarter in which she felt it yet more keenly.
Mrs. Donlavy was too much absorbed in the passing trifles and amusements of the day to enter into her daughter's sorrows and chagrins even if she could have understood them; and Matilda was left alone, with her strong resent- ments and bitter feelings as her only counsellors. "None are all evil." There were moments when her heart softened towards that innocent young being who evinced for her the most artless and confiding affection; but the emotion was transi- tory; and one glace at her recreant lover's countenance averted from her in something ap- proaching to scorn, but bent on her young rival with looks of earnest fondness, was sufficient to chase away the momentary softness and restore
Matilda to herself.
Meanwhile Kate was obliged to part from Phelim, who returned to Norah and his cabin. It was with a burst of real anguish that she saw her foster-father depart; it seemed like breaking the last link that bound her to her childhood's home (to her the loveliest spot on earth), and after the departure of that kind heart, had it
not been for George's letters, which however came "few and far between," and each of them, as she fancied, less and less fervent, all the past would have appeared to her like a dim vision.
The young wife's apprehensions were not un- substantial creations of a jealous fancy. George was now actively engaged in foreign service under the Duke of Cumberland—in the eyes of
his friends and partisans a stern hero; in those of his enemies a "butcher," as they emphati- cally designated him; and perhaps the still
fresh memories of Culloden field justified the
It having been the lot of George Allan to fight immediately under the eye of the duke, his Royal Highness could not but applaud his in- trepid bravery; and under his approving auspices the young soldier won his captaincy. But it must be acknowledged, while indulging in dreams of future ambition, and enjoying in perspective the distinction he meant to attain, George's love for poor Kate was becoming gra- dually cooled by absence. It might be that other images sometimes displaced hers in his heart; and when they were swept away the shrine was no longer pure enough for so unde- filed a memory as hers. A hero may be faithful in absence; an ordinary man cannot.
A king he was in name and stubborn will; But a mere common, vulgar mortal still.
A heart of stone, to nature's feelings dead, Unregal gait, and slow, unthinking head,
OUR heroine had now been a considerable time an inmate of her father's house, and, un- consciously to herself, the principal mover of all his plans, whether of business or pleasure. For her, he did violence to his feelings, and mingled in scenes of which he was tired even to satiety, that he might not deprive her of pleasures suit- able to her age, and yet might watch over her guileless innocence; while at home he directed her light and more serious studies with un- wearied assiduity, and was repaid by her rapid improvement. But for George's absence, and seeming forgetfulness, Kate would have been supremely happy in her present mode of life. Her father's tenderness and affection were such unlooked-for blessings, that she felt as if she could never value them sufficiently. She saw little of Mrs. Donlavy excepting in public. That lady was not what could be called an ill- natured stepmother; she was often irritable and jealous, but on the whole easy to live with, so long as her own comforts and pleasures were indulged. Mr. Donlavy being, as she expressed it, "in humor" since Kate's arrival, had been unusually liberal with his purse, and interfered even less than usual in her pursuits.
Matilda almost invariably testified the utmost affection to her "young friend;" though now and then Kate was startled by a sharp tone, or a passing look of concentrated malice, which gave her a vague uneasiness, though she was slow to read its depth of meaning. Meanwhile Lord William continued his assiduties, and they were sufficiently marked to keep back other pre- tenders from the field. Poor Kate, in her inno- cence, when she met him with real pleasure, talked to him in preference to any other person, listened with intense interest to his conversation, little thought that she was, in everybody's eyes but her own, in fact by solemn promise, his des- tined bride. Perhaps had Lord William known the cause of Kate's seeming preference he had been less flattered. The truth was, he was ac- customed to entertain her with the news of the army, stories of the chivalrous gallantry of the King of Prussia, of the brilliant exploits of Ferdinand of Brunswick, and once he related to her an anecdote of daring bravery in an almost unknown young Irish officer, which had saved the life of Prince Ferdinand, and had for weeks been the theme of the whole army. How Kate's heart beat as she listened! Her eyes filled with tears of pleasure, and a glowing color suffused her cheeks. "It must be my George!" she was ready to exclaim; but she checked herself, and only asked if Lord William knew the officer's name. His lordship, ascribing her omotion to his own eloquence, carelessly repoatod, us if tho name were of no consequence, "Captain Allan." Oh, what a thrill did those words occasion in the mind of his hearer!
"The Germans must be a nation of heroic men," said Kate, as their conversation continued, and some further allusion was made to the King
"Wait to form so decided an opinion till you have seen our own gracious sovereign, madam," said Lord William, smiling; "he is a German, heart and soul; but let me advise you to profess Jacobitism itself rather than praise the Germans in a mixed assembly. All our leading men (except indeed a few placemen, whose interests make them adopt court measures) are incensed at the waste of English blood and treasure in Germany, merely to save the insig- nificant electorate from disturbance or annoy-
"I hope you do not reckon Mr. Pitt among the placemen, my lord," said Mr. Donlavy Bal- four, as he approached his lordship; "Mr. Pitt has yielded to the pressure of the times, and considered the king's feelings on the Hanoverian measures; but he is a true Briton and a patriot."
"Indeed, sir, I give him the foremost position among the placemen," said the young man.
"Sorry for it, very sorry," said Mr. Donlavy. "I fear you are on the wrong side, my lord; I have half a mind to break with you."
"Come, come, Mr. Donlavy, you that never interfere in public matters, and usually take no interest in politics, must not be severe on me for a trifling difference of opinion."
"Trifling, my lord! trifling, do you call it?" reiterated Mr. Donlavy, with warmth. "Pitt is the only man amongst us fitted to lead; the only great man; one destined to be the salvation of his country. He a placeman! nay, never call
that a trifle."
"I do not use the term in any way dishonor- able, sir," said Lord William, who began to fear that he had gone a little too far. "I only meant a placeman, inasmuch as he is in place, and I hope will long continue so, for the honor and safety of the United Kingdom; but I did not know you felt so keenly on the subject."
"I hope I feel keenly in every right cause, my lord," said Mr. Donlavy, with dignity "Though constitutional laziness and distrust of my own powers have kept me back from public life, none can look on with indifference while events of such interest as the present are passing. But what were you and Kate saying of the king?—talking treason, eh? Have you been delighting her with tales of the young chevalier? I drew tears from her this morning with the I drew tears from her this morning with the
"No, we were not speaking of him, sir," said Kate,—"only of the king. I want to see him of all things. I fancy the Germans must all be gallant men; and my Lord William tells me his majesty is a true German."
"He is right, Kate," replied her father, "and you shall see him at the drawing-room to-mor- row. But what interests you in the Germans? This morning I am sure you were a Jacobite."
"It is the army," replied Kate, somewhat confusedly—"hearing so much about the army in Germany, sir."
"Why, Kate," exclaimed her father, "if I did not know to the contrary, I should think you had some lover in the army, fighting under Prince Ferdinand. We had best send you over to him, I think."
"Oh, sir, I wish you would!" ejaculated Kate,
coloring crimson at her own words.
"To Prince Ferdinand, indeed! He would not thank me for such a recruit," said Mr. Don- lavy, smiling, as he turned away, leaving the supposed lovers to pursue their conversation.
On the morrow Kate appeared for the first time at the drawing-room, interested in what she saw, though not free from timidity, as she passed through the glittering crowds of officers in their robes of state, military men in their uniforms, and ladies as huge as hoops and bro- caded petticoats could make them.
The king was then a widower, and held draw- ing-rooms himself.
As the timid débûtante approached the circle of royalty her eye sought the king, and naturally rested on the most regal form she saw. She was as yet too unsophisticated to mark the dis- tinction of costume, and how could she do other- wise than in her own mind fix on the kingly- looking man before her as the sovereign? He stood erect, as if born to govern, not men alone, but minds—to be "the first man of the first nation upon earth;" and he was so. Faultless in feature and in form, neither of these advan- tages struck the beholder as did the majesty of his countenance and mien; both alike spoke a master mind. A slight and almost impercep- tible curl of the upper lip betrayed a power of biting sarcasm that could crush an opponent, but yet was not malevolent. There was an ex- pression, not of vanity; for, as Swift somewhere remarks, "great minds are too proud to be vain;" but it was that consciousness of his own transcendant abilities that awed the beholder. Kate gazed on him in bewildered admiration, and having some vague notion that she should kneel to the sovereign, hastily, but not without grace, bent her knee, and raised the hand of the unknown to her lips. She knelt at the feet of
"Eh, what? what is it?" exclaimed the real king between a laugh and a frown.
It was a perplexing moment, though a natu- ral occurrence after all. The cause of the mistake, with ready presence of mind, repaired the error, and gently raising the fair girl, led her to the foot of the throne, while he whispered, "Compose yourself and be not again misled by mere externals; the king will not be offended, and will kiss your cheek."
Kate was very ill-disposed to offer her cheek to the undignified being who sat listlessly in his chair of state, and whose whole demeanour expressed, not stupidity, but obstinacy, selfish- ness, and sensuality. Ungraceful, and entirely devoid of dignity, there was nothing in George the Second to arrest the eye of a beholder for a moment. His features were homely and heavy, his eyes unnaturally protruding, and his entire countenance bespoke a narrow mind and a cold heart. It has been said of this monarch, and truly said, that "he had the haughtiness of Henry the Eighth, without his spirit; the avarice of Henry the Seventh, without his exactions; the indignities of Charles the First, without his bigotry or prerogatives; the vexa- tions of King William, with as little skill in the management of parties; and the gross gallantry of his father, without his good nature and honesty." His unnatural hatred to his father, and aversion to his son, sufficiently showed the man; and the marvel is, that his repulsive qualities and clumsy vices did not make every man in the kingdom a Jacobite! Many must have drawn comparisons between him and the graceful, exiled prince, rendered doubly interest- ing by his bravery and misfortunes.
In her excessive confusion poor Kate had lost her mother-in-law; indeed Mrs. Donlavy Bal- four had been too much ashamed of her step- daughter's awkwardness, to stand the satirical glances of the crowd, and had withdrawn in perfect dismay from the presence chamber, leav- ing Kate to her own protection. The poor girl looked round in consternation, but saw no fami- liar face; there were several ladies whom she knew slightly, but none came forward to assist her, and she did not like to claim their protec- tion. A lovely woman may have many admirers, but rarely has sincere friends. One eye only rested on her with kindly interest; and waiving the usual court etiquette, and even at the risk of offending a monarch, the dignified minister ad- vanced, and gracefully offering his hand con- ducted her into the ante-chamber, while he soothed her by the assurance that the accident, as he termed it, having been occasioned by con- fusion in a crowd, would soon be forgotten. To men and parties reserved even to haughtiness, none could unbend and be more fascinating than Pitt; and as Kate listened to his melodious voice and eloquent words, she "wished that Hea- ven had made her such a man." At last she perceived her father in the throng, and having pointed him out to her kind conductor, he led her to him, and disappeared with a bow. By this time, in some measure recovered, Kate was enabled to inform her father of the mistake into which she had fallen.
"Never mind, child," said he, kindly; " will not produce very serious results. I am not likely, directly or indirectly, to ask a favor from the king, as I only come hither occasionally to pay my respects to his majesty; so I shall not feel his resentment, even should he be angry. After all, Kate," he continued, in an almost whisper, "you have not been so far out. You have but knelt to the real king instead of the nominal sovereign; ay, and to one who is every inch a king!"
"What a seditious insinuation, sir," said Lord William Harvey, who happened to hear the last words. "Shall you be at Ranelagh to- night, madam?" he asked, addressing Kate; "the Royal family will be there."
"I would rather see Mr. Pitt," said Kate naively.
"There is a greater man, a far greater man, as far as parts go, madam, if you will only glance yonder." Kate followed the direction pointed out by his lordship, and her eye rested on Fox, the only man in England who dared a rivalry with Pitt; the more acute reasoner of the two; the more subtile thinker in the opinion of some; but he wanted his great opponent's manly decision; moreover, he wanted that majestic, gracious, commanding presence, which spoke more forcibly than his own impetuous and burning eloquence. Fox had a lowering countenance, a sensual mouth. In him the animal would have preponderated—
But for the soul,
That struggled through, and temper'd down the whole!
"Oh, he is not like my great man," said Kate; "no more like him than I to Hercules." Then replying to the previous question, she said, "Yes, my lord, I hope we shall be at Ranelagh to-night."
They met again at Ranelagh. What he deemed Kate's overweening admiration of the great statesman had somewhat ruffled Lord Wil- liam. He had heard the episode of the morning
though he had not witnessed it, having arrived after the circumstance occurred, and was deter- mined to come to some explanation with her. They danced minuets, or rather promenaded to- gether as usual; but whenever his lordship at- tempted to draw her into a more private con- versation, she denied him all opportunity by asking some indifferent question. Indeed she had heard whispers around her which in some degree awakened her to a consciousness of her position with regard to Lord William, and she determined in future to avoid him as far as pos-
The attention of the company was much drawn to the Duke of Cumberland, who was present. Stern, haughty, and unbending, he felt full of resentment for the unjust treatment he had re- ceived from the worst of fathers, towards whom he nevertheless preserved an outward respect of demeanour, and an uncomplaining silence, which did credit to his principles and understanding, whatever his blemishes of character might be; but still he was "the butcher duke," unloved and unlovable; and even his late unmerited misfortunes had softened few hearts in his favor. He had vowed never more to bear arms in his ungrateful parent's service, but at the same time never to show him other than the loyal respect of a son and subject. Several other "royalties" were present, "the cheapest family to see, and the dearest to keep in the world," as a witty
When Lord William saw his attempts to make a declaration so constantly frustrated, he began to feel suspicious of some secret attachment on Kate's part, which had escaped his watchful scrutiny. He felt too something of those jea- lous pangs which were rending the heart of the woman he had deserted, who, whatever may have been her faults, loved him, and was now looking on him and his beautiful partner in all the bitterness of unshared sorrow and loneli- ness, though she stood in a crowd. At that moment the attention of the company was fixed on a gentleman who passed, very plainly dressed, and walking slightly lame from gout.
"Ah, there he is! See, see, my lord, there is Mr. Pitt!" exclaimed Kate. "You said he
would not come."
"I have seen Mr. Pitt a thousand times, madam," said Lord William in a tone of vexa- tion. "I really wonder at your admiration of
so elderly a man."
"My father does not wonder at it, my lord; he admires him as much as I do, if with less
"And are your father's thoughts always yours,
"Always, my lord," she replied.
"I rejoice to hear it, madam; for I need no longer hesitate to acquaint you with his wishes, if he has not already done so."
"His wishes!" faltered Kate, with a vague anticipation of evil.
"Yes, madam, his wishes, lovely, adored Kate," he continued, breaking through the stiff conventional form of address then in usage, "your father would make me the happiest of men, by bestowing you on me. Nay, withdraw not your hand so hastily. I have waited long and patiently—waited till I felt almost sure you would confirm his promise."
"But I cannot, no, indeed I cannot, my lord," stammered Kate. "You do not know the in- surmountable barrier between us; but you are a man of honor, and I will trust you with my secret. To-morrow I will tell you all, but not to-night, my lord—oh, not to-night!" And she looked so miserable and distressed that his lordship was obliged to yield a reluctant assent to post- pone the explanation he so earnestly desired.
In her agitation Kate entreated her father to take her home. Mrs. Donlavy would not leave her cards, but Matilda drew Kate's arm in hers, and so effectually prevented Lord William's handing her to the carriage. A mutual look of defiance passed between those who had once been fond lovers, and the party withdrew; Lord William returning to the gay and brilliant crowd, to dissipate his chagrin by any passing amusement, but inwardly resolving a signal re- venge on Matilda, should she prove in any way an obstacle to his happiness.
Meanwhile our heroine proceeded home, and was so unusually lost in thought that she re- plied to her father's affectionate remarks only by short, absent sentences, which showed how entirely her mind was pre-occupied, whilst Ma- tilda Chambers remained a silent but passive
"No doubt my Lord William has made his declaration," thought Mr. Donlavy, and he ceased for a while to converse with his child, that she might indulge in her supposed dreams of happiness; but he drew her closer to him as they sat in the large old-fashioned coach, and embraced her affectionately.
"My dear, dear father! you don't know how much I love you," said Kate involuntarily.
"Nor you, my child, how fondly your father loves you," he replied. "Nay, no tears, my sweet one. Your happiness is my dearest earthly
"Dear father," said Kate, timidly, "would you do anything to make me happy?"
"Anything, my darling, replied Mr. Donlavy.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
A MAN cannot possess anything better than a good woman, nor anything worse than a bad
HE who weeps for everybody soon loses his eye-sight. To live quietly, one should be blind,
deaf, and dumb.
THE Viceroy of Egypt has invited Louisa Muhlbach to spend a few months in Egypt, in order to write a book about the land of pyra-
ELIHU BURRITT estimates the waste of pens, ink, paper, type-setting, and printing in the world by the use of the letter "u" in words from the Latin—such as labour, favour—where it is not needed—at £10,000 a year.
THE strong prejudice against the negro race, which still exists in many parts of the South, excited some young men recently to attempt to lynch a colored preacher. They were, however, disarmed by his remarking meekly: "I have been wondering for a long time how it was that so good a man as the Apostle Paul should have been whipped three times for preaching the Gospel, while such an unworthy man as I am should have been per- mitted to preach for twenty years without ever getting a lick."
GOOD SOUND ADVICE.—Never throw a stone at any one until you have looked to see whether there is a window behind, or you may have to pay rather dearly for your revenge. Never leave your hat in the passage, unless it is a bad one. Never fix your own price, but leave it "entirely to the liberality" of the gentleman, as the chances are you will got a good deal more by it. Never sit next a young lady at dinner, for she only talks, and does not care about eat- ing. Never be executor to a will, as it is all liability, great trouble, and no profit. Never quarrel with your wife, as you will only have to make it up, and pay for a reconciliation. Never mention that you have received a legacy, or some impertinent fellow will be asking you to stand a dinner. Never pay to see a balloon go up, as you can see it much better by remaining outside.