Chapter 160148760

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Chapter NumberXCIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160148760
Full Date1881-09-10
Page Number45
Corrections0
Word Count1635
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleEndymion
article text

EHDYMION.*

[By the L&uE^bl of Bbacohsfiels.]

OEAPTBR SOUI.

" Well, aomettyng has happened at last," said Lady Montfort, lith a wondering countenance; " it ia too marvelous."

"Bbe goes to Oabome to-day," continned Endymion, " ani I anppoae after that,, in dne course, it will le generally known. I should think the formalannonnoement would be made abroad. It haalbeen kept wonderfnlly olose. She wished yon to know it first, at least from her. I do not mink ahe ever hesitated about aeoeptieg him. There waa delay from various causes; whether there should be a marriage by proxy first it this country, and other points; about religion for example "

••Well?"

"She entots the Oatholto Church, the Arch bishop of Tyre has received her. There is no difficulty an< no great ceremonies in such matters. Sbt was re-baptized, but only by way of precaution It was not necessary, for our orders, you hmw, are recognised by home."

" And that was all!"

" All, with aSrst communion and confession. It is all constmmated now; bs yon say," It is too wonderful.' A first confession, and to Nigel Fenrnddtnk, who ssvs life is fist and insipid!"

" I shell writ* to her; I muot write to her. I wonder if I sha'l see her Before she departs."

"That is certain if you wish it; she wishes

it."

"And when doei she go? And who goes with

her?"

" She will be aider my ohsrge," said Bndy mion. " It is fortunate that it should happen at a time when I an free. I am personally to deliver her to the Eing. The Duke of St. . Angejo, Baron Sergias, and the Arohbiahap

accompany her, and Walderahare, at the particu lar request of Bis Majesty."

"And no lady ?"

" fine takes Adrians with her."

* The right of publishing "Endyinlan" has been purchased by the Fropriettrs of the Ad-laidc Observer

"Adrians!' repeated Lady Montfort, and a clond paused over her brow. There was a momentary paoee, end then Lady Montfort; s&hf, " I wish she would take me."

"That would be delightful," said Endymion, "and moat becoming" to have tor a companion the greatest laoy of oar Oourt."

" She will hot take me with her," said Lady Montfort, sorrowfully but decisively, and shaking her bead. " lJear woman! I loved her alwaye, often most when I seemed least affec tionate— but there was between us aomethiDg'— and she hesitated. "Heigbo! I may be the greatest lady of our Oourt, but I am a very un happy woman, Kndymiou, and what annoys and dispirits me moBt, sometimes quite breaks me down, is that I cannot see that 1 deserve my

It hsppened, as Endymion foresaw, the first announcement came from abroad. King £ lores tan suddenly sent a message to his Parlia ment that,Bis Majesty was about to present them with a Queen. Bhe was not the daughter of a reigning house, but she came from the land of freeaom and politioal wisdom, and from the purest and most powerful Oourt in Europe. His subjects soon learnt that she was the most beautilul of women, for the portrait of the Countess of Boehampton, as it were by magic, seemed suddenly to fill every window in every shop in the teeming and brilliant capital where she was about to reign.

It was convenient that these great events should occur when everybody was out of towu. Lady Montfort alone remained, the frequent, if not constant, companion of the new sovereign. Berenguria soon recovered her high spirits. There was much to do and prepare in which her hints and advice were invaluable. Though she was not to have the honour of attending Myra to her new home, whioh, considering her high place in the English Oourt, was perhaps hardly consistent with etiquette, for so she now cleverly put it, she was to pay Her Majesty a visit in due time. The momentary despondency that had clouded her brilliant countenanoe had not only disappeared, but she had quite forgotten, and oertaiuly would not admit, that she was any thing but the most sanguine and energetic of beings, and rallied Endymion unmercifully for hiB careworn countenanoe and too frequent air of depressiou. The trnth is, the great change that was impending was one which might well make him serious, and sometimes sad.

The withdrawal of a female influence eo potent on hia life as that of bia eiater waa itself a great event There had been between them from the cradle, which, it may be aaid, they had ahared, a strong arid perfect sympathy. They had experienced together vast and strange vicissitudes of life. Though much separated in hia early youth, there hod still been a constant interchange ot thought and feeling between them, lor the last twelve years or eo, ever since Uyia had become acquainted with the JNeuchatel family, tbey may bB said never to have separated—at least they had maintained a constant communication, and generally

personal one. She had in a great degree moulded his life. Her unfaltering, though often unseen, influence had created his advance ment. Her will was more powerful than his. He was more prudent and plastic. He felt this keenly. He was conscious that, left to himself, he would probably have achieved moch less. He remembered her words when they parted for the first time at Huntley, '• Women will be yoar best friends in life." And that brought his thoughts to the only subject on which they had

ever differed—her wished-for union between himself and Adrians. He felt he hod crossed her there—that be had prevented the fulfilment of her deeply matured plans. Perhaps, had that marriage taken place, she would never have quitted England. Perhaps; but was that desir able? Was it not fitter that ao lofty a spirit should find a seat as exalted as her capacity'! Myra was a sovereign I In this age of strange events not the least strange. Ho petty oares and griefs most obtrude themselves in sach majestic associations. And yet the days at Hainault were very happy, and the bright visits to Qaydene and her own' pleasant thongh stately home. Hia heart was agitated, and his eyes were often moistened with emotion. He seemed to think that all the thrones of Ohrlaten dom could be no compensation for the loss of this heloved genius of his life, whom he might never see ogaiD. Sometimes, when he paid his

daily visit to Berengaria, she who knew him by. heart, who studied every expression of his countenance and every tone of his voioe, would say to him, after a few minutes of desultory and feeble conversation, "Yon are thinking of your siBter, Endymion ?" '

He did not reply, but gave a sort of faint

mournfnl smile.

•' This separation is a trial, a severe one, and I know yon would feel it," said Lady Uontfort. " I feel it; I loved your sister, but she did not love me. Hobody that I love ever does love

me."

" Oh! do not si; that, Lady Montfnrt."

" It is what I feel. I cannot console yon. There is nothing I can do for yon. Uy friend ship, if yon value it, which I will not doubt you do, yon folly possessed .before yonr sister was a Queen. do that goes for nothing."

" I mnst say, I feel sometimes most miser able."

"Nonsense, Endymion; if anything oonld annoy your sister more than another, it would be to bear of enoh feelings on your pert. I mnst say she has courage. She has found her fitting place. Her brother onght to do the same. Yon have a great object in life, at least yon had,bnt I have no faith in .sentimentalists.. If I had been aeuti mental, I should have gone into a convent long ago."

•' If to feel iB to be sentimentel, I cannot help it."

"All feeling which has no objeot to attain is morbid and maudlin," said Lady Hontforc. " Yon say yoa are very miserable, and at the same time yon do not know what you want. Would yoa have yonr sister dethroned ? And if yon would, could yon accomplish your par pose? Well, then, what nonsense to think about her except to feel proud of her elevation, and prouder still that she is equal to it!"

" Yon always have the best of every argu ment," said Eudymion.

"Of oourse,",said LadyMontfort. "What I ant you to do is to exert yourself. Yon have now a strong social position, for Sidney Wilton tells me the Qneen hss relinquished to you her mansion and the whole of her income, which is no mean one. Yon mnst collect yonr friends about yon. Oar Government is not too strong,

I can tell yon. We most brash np in the' recess. What with Mr. Bertie Trem&ine and bis friends joining the Protectionists, and the ultra-Radicals wanting, as they alwayedo, some thing impossible, I see seeds of disoom&tore unless they are met with energy. Yon stand high, and are well spoken of even by oar opponents. Whether we stand or fall, it is a moment for yon to increase yonr personal

influence. That is the element now to encourage in your career, because you are not like the eld .fogies in the Cabinet, who, if they go out, will never enter another again. Yon have a future, and tbongh yon may not be an emperor, you may be what I esteem more. Prime Minister of this country."

•' Yon are always so sanguine."

" Not more sanguine than yonr sister. Often we have talked of this. I wish she were here

to help us, l ut I will do my part. At present let us go to luncheon."