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THE COMMON E R'S DAUGHTER.
for to-day, See! you are the last on the list.
Must I report you the worst?" At Mrs. Candy's school, I had a favourite The tears filled the child's eyes. "I am so pupil, a little girl, who displayed traces of sorry.” strong natural talent, and a gifted sensibility. “But we are all careless at times, dear child Mrs. Candy, indeed, once thought herself bound grown-up people as well as little ones. So, to apologise for the admission of Mary Thorn- Mary, we must omit your name this time from mead into a seminary which she was most the black list; and if this great brother of yours desirous should emulate Mnemosyne House desires to hear you play, I hope he will find you in the gentility of its connexions.
improved.” "A manufacturer's daughter only,” she She was so delighted to find anybody to said, deprecatingly ; “ very wealthy people, but sympathise with her gladness, that with a sudden of low origin-but I had high references ; and impulse she threw her arms round my neck and just in the beginning, you know it won't do kissed me. quite to refuse connexion. Mary is a very lady- “Russell loves music so much," she said. like child, I must say, to come from such a “ Oh, if he could only hear you play and sing!" stock. I believe her grandfather was a rag “There is no chance of that,” I said, smiling. dealer, or something equally horrid. Ah! I wish “ So good-bye, little Mary ; be a good child I could afford to be as select as I desire ; ah! next lesson." dear me!"
I went away; but Fate, designing that I should I said I thought Miss Thornmead had more become acquainted with Mr. Russell Thornmead, talent than all the other girls put together. I put forth one of those stratagems which mortals
« Yes, my dear, and, as a teacher, perhaps I call accident. might prefer talent to birth; but as the principal Mr. Candy, having had his house recently of a ladies' school, I own I prefer family and attempted by thieves, had purchased—not a genteel connexion to all beside.”
respectable-looking creature, such as should But in spite of Mrs. Candy's opinion, I still only have been on duty at a young ladies' school, liked Mary Thornmead better than all the stiff but an ill-conditioned brute of a bull-dog, who and stupid girls who comprised my pupils in chose to consider every one not of the family this school.
who entered or issued from the house, The little girl was exceedingly mild and as thieves and burglars, without respect loving. One day, for the first time, I found her to sex or appearance. Since the advent attention wandering. “Mary," I said, reprove of this amiable animal, I usually had to ingly ; “this is not like you, to give so much enter and depart, under convoy of one of the trouble.”
teachers, or a servant; and now, forgetting the She coloured, and cast down her pretty eyes. 'grim Cerberus, I went out alone, and before I had
“I beg your pardon, Mademoiselle,” she said : 1 proceeded two yards down the gravel approach, “ but Russell, my brother, is coming to-day, tó | he bolted out of some unseen lair, and seizing see me; and I am-oh! so glad, I could not. / my dress by the skirts in his vicious jaws, he sleep all last night for thinking of to-day. Oh pinned me to the ground. I was always a I wish he was going to take me home.”
terrible coward at the sight of ferocious dogs; I “Russell !” smiling at her. “Oh, I suppose
therefore put in practice directly the usual
| feminine resource of a scream, which only he is at school, also, near London."
increased my tormentor's fury. He quitted my “ Russell at school! dear no; how odd! I dress, and flew at my throat-protected, luckily, never remember him at school; but he is so by a fur tippet, which the brute seized instead of clever. He is a man, Mademoiselle, quite old, my neck. At that minute, a young man who had like you; that is, I mean
just appeared at the gate dashed it open, and in “Grown up, my love. Well that will do l'a minute had hold of Cerberus ly the skin of
bis neck, tearing him off with only the loss of gallant bearing. He did not offer his arm, but my tippet, which the dog clenched fiercely walked by my side with a protecting air, as if between his teeth, glaring meanwhile at his determined, spite of my efforts to decline it, to assailant, with evident intentions of doing great afford his escort! first, though, he kissed his deeds when he could get his head at liberty. little sister.
“ Hollo ! some one come here,” shouted my. “Good-bye, Polly; this is a short visit: I champion, lustily: and Mr. Candy, armed with a will come back to-morrow and Poll, mother whip and followed by a train of teachers, pupils, has sent thee a plum-cake as big as thyself. and servants, came to the rescue. Nothing Good little lass, don't cry !" but the sight of his master could have restrained But Polly did cry, thus to lose her brother the dog's fury. Mr. Candy muzzled him, and at first seeing him. I had to comfort her, and led him howling to his kennel.
then we started. As for me, assuredly I had not betrayed a Mrs. Candy's house was not more than single symptom of a heroine. I was very pale, half a mile from Mr. Benvolere's modest extremely sick, and my limbs trembled so much, little mansion. During our walk Mr. that, but for the sustaining power of shame, I Thoromead, spite of his rusticity, did not should have fallen down. My champion had no betray any awkward bashfulness. He changed sooner got rid of the dog, than he was again the homely dialect in which he addressed his fettered. This time it was by the arms of little sister for a better accent, and language which, Mary Thornmead, who, coming along with the certainly devoid of all superfluities, was yet rest, had recognized and as suddenly embraced straightforward and sensible. His sister, of whom her brother.
he seemed both proud and fond, was of course “So, gently, little Poll,” he said. “Is this the mutual theme of discourse. Two strangers, the kind of cattle they keep at boarding-school ? meeting for the first time, perfectly ignorant of Surely you are not taught dog-fighting !"
each other's circumstances or connexions, could Mrs. Candy, who was standing by, greatly not otherwise have conversed save on the usual shocked at this speech, began in some excite- English topic, the weather. ment to attempt an explanation; and Mary, blush “I hope little Polly has not been spoiled by ing, yet unable to resist laughing at her brother's a London boarding-school ?" was his remark uncouth ways, begged Mrs. Candy to excuse after he had inquired about her musical pro
gress; for the little girl, it seemed, had contrived “Tut, Polll never excuse me. But this young to tell him in what capacity I visited the estalady, she is terribly frightened ; no wonder, blishment." You see, Miss I beg your pardon she's but a tender morsel for a brute like that. I scarcely heard my sister when she told me Are you compelled, madam, to keep such a wolf your name.'' to guard your lambs ?”
"Montafauconi," I replied. Mrs, Candy, disdaining to answer, was glad of A shade passed over the young man's face. an excuse to bustle about; and I was conducted “A foreigner!” he said, in a disappointed tone. to the house, where several restoratives were “I should have hardly thought so." offered all at once. I accepted only a glass of “No, not a foreigner: 1" I became slightly water from Mary, and then declared I was well | embarrassed " only a foreign name." enough to start home. Mrs. Candy was dis- “Indeed! I am glad to hear it. I should be tressed. “How was I to go home alone? Mr. sorry not to think you an Englishwoman." Candy had visitors, parish people; or he would I bowed somewhat haughtily. At that moescort me: it was the girls' tea-time.”
ment I was Miss De Trevor Castlebrook, “ You need not be uneasy," said my pre- and this young man was an insolent pleserver, who seemed very blunt and plain- beian taking the liberty to form an opispoken; “I shall see the young lady home :nion about my illustrious self! He went sball I procure a carriage for you?"
on, scarcely heeding my scornful manner : I smiled. “No, thank you; fortunately I “I was about to observe, we ourselves have preserved the use of my limbs; but very are very plain folks ; very plain-sprung from sincerely I thank you. The consequences, un- the people; I am not ashamed to own, from the romantic as was the attack, might have been very dregs of the people; and Polly, I think, distressing.”
would have been best brought up at home, with “I know little about romance," said Mr. some good gentlewoman for a governess : but Thornmead ; “but I do know that a bite from mother got some grand notions in her head, as that brute might have scared a strong man, let women will do when they are set on a lofty alone a piece of ginger-bread like you !"
hill, forgetting sometimes to look back on the “Russell, for shame!" from his sister_"how valley they climbed up from. 'No,' said mother, rude !"
when we talked the matter over--us four, for "My little Poll, has boarding-school taught you see Polly is an only daughter, and I an only thee to despise thy homely brother? The son-'our girl may rise higher in the world young lady will forgive me: I am but a boor, I than ourselves; let'her have a good education believe."
to fit her for any condition in life. Women," And, notwithstanding my gratitude, I believe he said, “are always thinking of rich husbands I coincided in this opinion; yet this Cymon, -I beg your pardon, but even our good, wise spite of a countrified look, had somewhat of a housemother speculates on such matters; 80, though father and I shook our heads, mother make a man that! As for me, Miss Montafau, got her own way, as wives and mothers mostly coni, I am one who holds that the people have do, if they are prudent women : but their rights as well as the lords and princes of she hurt herself the most, for Polly is the darling ! this land; and I hope, one day, to have the of her heart and the very apple of her power of preaching such a doctrine to more eye. After all, mother,' said 'I, at the end of a purpose than before a young lady." long discussion, 'I have my doubts about I had not the smallest sympathy with such boarding-school education being good for views. I had taken but feeble interest in such much-or education (as it goes now as least) at politics as I heard discussed at my father's dinall. What is your opinion, Miss Montafau- ner parties, and knew little more than that Mr. coni?"
Castlebrook advocated liberalism, and practised “I would almost rather not give one. I was in his own family absolute despotism; neither brought up entirely at school; yet I have, I own, had I given the matter one thought, except that known girls to depart, anything but well edu. I had a general idea that the working classes cated.”
were, as a rule, ruffianly, imposing, ignorant “Ay, because the head is so well looked to a lamentable degree, but yet to be kept unafter, and so crammed, that there is no room for educated for the general safety of society. the heart to expand: but little Polly's heart is When, therefore, I heard this young man debig enough, poor child, and crammed full of liver opinions so opposite to what I deemed love for home.”
right, I confounded him with those I had uniI warmly responded to his view of his sister's formly heard vituperated by all classes of polidisposition, and told him how fondly Mary had ticians, viz., Cobbett, Hunt, and men of that spoken of him. His face glowed with gratified stamp, who were then universally denounced by affection. “After all," he said, “ the child has most persons of intelligence and knowledge. Mr. had the good seed sown which always bears Benvolere himself, enlightened and liberal, was fruit. She has learned at home to love her a strong tory in his politics. I somewhat shrank, God, and to try to do His will on earth. And then, from Mr. Thornmead, who, on his part, was other lessons Polly has had, her good mother's not slow to perceive that he had given a bad imteaching : she can make a pudding or a basin pression of himself. of broth as well as mother herself; and the very We were now nearly arrived at my home, and, linen I wear is of Polly's sewing. So I think before turning down the avenueof trees which led she may bear a little polishing- I won't say but to Mr. Benvolere's house, I stopped, and making I might have been the better for a little more a formal curtsey, declined Mr. Thornmead's myself; but you see Manchester folk are a further attendance. “I am now," I said. rough kind, and can't away with much fettle-"close by my home; my friends would not be ing."
pleased to see me with a stranger. Once more, I stared, and he laughed outright. Perhaps sir, I thank you for my preservation from that he thought to elicit a compliment; and, had he fierce dog, and for this attention. I shall be known all that passed in my heart at that happy always to hear of your welfare from my minute, he would have found no bad one. I sweet friend and pupil, Mary, for whom I assure thought that I had never heard Colonel Tarra- you I have the greatest affection." gon utter such good thoughts, homely though Mr. Thornmead, I fancy, was hardly prepared the language was, in which the speaker clothed for so stately a dismissal; but he took it in exthem. I thought this, and I was sorrowful at cellent part, and, adopting a more ceremonious the thought.
manner than he had hitherto assumed, he hoped “If Polly resembles the young lady who that no ill effects would proceed from my acciteaches her music," said my escort, with some dent, and that at some future time he might hesitation, “I shall be only too glad.”
have the pleasure of meeting me again. Then “Sir," I answered gravely, you can only he lifted his hat, and, turning back in the direcjudge of me externally; and I must observe, Ition of Mrs. Candy's house, he left me. Not never receive the compliments of a stranger !” greatly prepossessed in his favour-an avowed
I was again Miss Castlebrook. He was not champion of the people, one, moreover, who much abashed.
took the liberty of regarding me as a mere “I ask your pardon; but you look like a young lady, incompetent to judge of his opi. gentlewoman; and some people say that is a nions—he was not likely to enlist either my feeldistinction born with one, and not to be ac |ings or my prejudices. My thoughts, though, quired. Now, naturally, as we are of plebeian scarcely rested on him a moment after his derace, we desire to seem of better blood than we parture. The comparison which had mentally are. My father is now a rich man, his cotton arisen between his religious feeling and the total mills are like a small town, so extensive are the want of such principles, which I feared was only premises and so many the hands we employ : too apparent in Colonel Tarragon, caused me to but my grandfather was only a rag-picker, and pursue a vein of thought into which I had lately made his money by collecting what we should fallen oftener than was good for me. I had been call in these times rubbish: but John Thorn- away, now, seven months from my father's mead was an honest man; and his son, my roof-how was it all to end? Should I live all father" (he took off his hat), “is one of God's my days a hireling, teaching, grinding into dull own gentlemen, and no patent of nobility can I ears, the mere primer of the art I loved so well ? you ?
Then came the thought of the dear old man, I own master : your means, I presume, are in. the lover of my lost mother's own youth; and creased by your brother's death. Am I to unthen rose, ever and again, above all things, that derstand that now no obstacle prevents your one engrossing image which, alas, too often fulfilling the engagement to which I at least have came between my God and me-Vincent, dear, remained faithful, and for the sake of wbich I beloved of my soul ! As I thought and wondered, have, for a time, renounced my station and the distant sound of a horse galloping aroused | home?" me, and, turning into the main road, I had to He was evasive. I knew and felt he was step hastily back, so closely upon me came the though, an instant before, I would have staked steed and his rider. My veil was up; it was but my life on his sincerity. twilight. With an exclamation strangely like “My love! you do not doubt my eagerness; an oath, the horseman pulled up his steed sud- but my poor brother's death has done little for denly, and, dismounting, with one hand he me, beyond giving me expensive rank to keep up. held the animal's bridle, with the other he | However, the Regent has promised to do someseized my arm. Our eyes met-it was Vincent | thing for me, and" Tarragon!
"The Regent ! you, who spurned his very name!”
Lord Tarragon, as now I must call him, coloured. “Oh 1 of course," he replied. “But on my
brother's death, a friend presented me to the CHAP. VI.
Prince, who paid me so much attention that it
was impossible-in short-he will be of use to For an instant we were both speechless. On me in my future career. He has really a noble, my own part a sensation belonging to a culprit forgiving inind. He is, indeed, the finest gentlehindered me from expressing the joy I felt at man of his day." this unexpected meeting, joy indeed equal to my “And the wickedest, I believe," said I, curtly. great embarrassment. Vincent was the first to “ But, Isabella. This is not satisfaction. break the spell of silence, cast seemingly over / Where do you reside ?” botb.
I regarded him fixedly. “ Vincent, I “Great heaven! is this really my Isabella ?” I answered, “your sister aided in driving me Rather, Colonel Tarragon, is it indeed from my father's roof. If you are still faithful
to the professions you once made, I know not. “ Colonel Targon My o.valo ve, then you I believe now that I erred in clandestinely do not know-pos
accepting them; but I am still very young, and " What ?"
have bad little experience in the world's ways. If “ That my brother is dead : I possess his title, you repent our engagement, tell me so plainly, poor fellow.is
and go your way, wbile I pursue mine; if not, I “Is it possible? apparently so full of health ! | confide in you, but I must receive your word of You then are my lord ;' but are you still to honour not to betray my residence to my family, me, Vincent, only Vincent Tarragon?"
till, at least, I give you the permission.” He caught me in his arms. “Can you ask so He was as eloquent, in professions, as ever. cruel a question ?”
Was I not his promised bride? It was but “I have lost sight of you so long."
waiting a little longer. The confidence I “ Was that my fault? Did I run away from honoured him with, should be as sacred as his you ?” (I coloured). “But, Isabella, why do I own soul. He freely tendered his word of honour. meet you thus alone, at an hour when no woman How was I to know that honour was already of fashion or birth, is abroad unattended ?"
a thing so blurred and blotted, that a falsehood “I am no woman of fashion, but one who more or less, signified nothing to the man who works for her living ; and till this minute I have had sold his sole possession, for the hope of not been unattended, Lord Tarragon.”
titles and rewards? “ You will certainly drive me mad. What on I told him all-his sister's ill usage, my earth can you mean?" Suddenly_."Isabella, how despair, my flight, and finally demanded that beautiful you have grown! far more so than this should be our last interview till he could ever.”
freely and honourably claim me as his wife. If "I dislike even your flattery. If I look well, I had expected any opposition to this last clause it is, perhaps, because I am happier than when of mine, I was mistaken: he acquiesced at once I lived at home."
in my desire. Was I weak enough to griere “Why did you not answer the advertisements that it seemed so easy to obey me? which your family, and I myself, since my return We parted at last, not before I had pointed to England, have inserted in the papers ?” out the poor dwelling, which in my hour of need
"I am not in the way of seeing newspapers ; ) had been a holy refuge. His kiss was still on and, besides, I did not wish to see them. It my lips when I entered Benvolere's house, would have been unavailing. I did not desire with an aching head, and a heart still more to go back."
pained. « But how on earth do you exist ? and"
I related my adventure with the dog, and Mr. "I have told you—by work. But now, Vincent, Thornmead's escort; but I was silent about my let me at least congratulate you on being your 'meeting with Lord Tarragon. I felt I could
not discuss the matter. Love had already, not very well know what to say—a woman's taught me one thing foreign to my very nature glance, summing up the personnel at least dissimulation,
quickly enougli, chiefly too by comparison; I I made my fatigue an excuse for retiring at noticed Mr. Thornmead to be but of middle once to rest; but I was long before I could height, broad in the shoulders, and of a figure sleep; and then fearful dreams oppressed ine. rather square than elegant. Squareness might Lady Laura hung over me with threats; her have been his characteristic, indeed, both physibrother repudiated me. My father again tauntedcally and morally. The form of the massive brow ine, I woke the next morning unrefreshed, and convinced you that the man and the conscience ill with the agitation of my nervous system ; must be straight and even, or no peace could and my pale face and heavy eyes attracted no-exist. Yes, beneath the forehead all was trantice, even from the unobservant Madame quil; serenity dwelt in the placid eyes. There Theresa.
was no attempt at fashion in the dress, but the “ Dear ! dear !” she said, “I am sure, my plainness of the attire was not in the least relove, you work too hard; even the holidays markable ; it seemed a part of the individual bring no rest to you, because of the private and his character. Such, in short, was the teaching. My sweet Isabella, my brother and judgment I formed--full of error in many points, I often deplore that you are wasting the flower as women's judgments of men generally are. of your days on two old useless people; and I deemed Mr. Thornmead a simple unlearned now your health gives way. Holy Mary! what person, who had never known temptation, and who is to be done ?"
| had therefore little right to the esteem we yield I assured the good lady that I was well, only to those who have been tempted and have rerather tired. I was glad to escape Madame sisted. I concluded that hitherto his affections Theresa's scrutiny, for I wished to reflect, had been his mother's and sister's exclusively. though reflection brought no pleasure to me. Few women fail to perceive admiration betrayed Something would whisper that in spite of for themselves. I might have a lurking susVincent's protestations he was changed. I picion that my pupil's brother threw himself could hardly point out to myself how he could purposely in my way; but the idea simply prohave acted differently; and yet I felt that he duced a kind of disdain that Miss Castlebrook ought. In short, I was bewildered with a chaos should be the object of admiration to a Manof doubt, mingled with distracted suspicious chester cotton-spinner. Kept in subjection as love.
I had been in childhood and youth, it was “ Fie,” I said, at last, to myself. “ You perhaps strange that I should experience this desired neither more nor less than that he sudden outbreak of family pride. I never saw should have proposed an immediate union; and the least incongruity in my mother's attachment pray what would have become of your fine self- to my dear old master; full of benevolence sacrifice to Benvolere, that in your heart of and kindly philanthropy as was the dear old hearts you think so much of ? Lord Tarragon, it man's age I never connected a thought of deseems, is not rich enough to keep a wife : could gradation, with such a union; but for myself he give support to these aged friends of I should have believed death preferable to a yours? moreover, would he?" I could not mésalliance. I suppose these thoughts naturally answer that last question; and I was angry be- produced abstraction; for I was presently cause I could not, to my own satisfaction, do aroused by hearing my self-constituted escort so. Again the thought of the future flashed across me, and the feeling which of late had oc. curred to distress me, that I had sunk from my
“A prince can mak' a belted knight, proper station, came aga in to irritate and annoy
À marquis, duke, an' a' that ; me. I was not, I fear, in a very placable mood;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Good faith, he maunna fa' that.” few of us are, when we fancy we cannot dis. tinguish between right and wrong. I went in “Is that your creed ?" said I, smiling, yet the afternoon to Fulham, where I had some wistfully, for I thought of scenes that had pupils, and after I had walked a short time, I passed away, and in those lines I recognized became conscious some one was walking by the earnest truth of an earnest soul. my side. I looked up nervously, and beheld " It is. Oh ! if you knew " Russell Thornmead.
He stopped. “ You are in what people call a brown study, “I know that your opinions, Mr. Thornmead, Mademoiselle Montafauconi," he said, with a are what I have heard called radical : indeed, I smile. I never felt so strongly inclined to be know very little of political opinions; but such rude, in all my life.
reflections as I have made on the subject, have Yet there was something in those large clear brought me to the conclusion that no good man grey eyes and the open intelligent face, that one would desire to produce anarchy and confusion was forced to respect, and very possibly might in his country instead of order and governeome to like, on intimate acquaintance. That, ment. Such, I have always heard, are the tenhowever, was the last thing in my thcughts. Idencies of English radicals.” cast a side-glance at my companion as he “I am glad," he said, eagerly, "that you have started some trivial subject about the weather, even thought of the subject at all. It confirms or the topics usually selected when people do' my opinion of your character, which, if I can