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MRS. JULI ET

CHAPTER I.

THE DIVINE PARTHENESSA.

• True to the kindred points of heaven and home.'— WORDSWORTH.

• The servitor's gown clung to him with Nessian venon. He thought himself ridiculous in a garb under which Latimer must have walked erect, and in which Hooker in his young days possibly flaunted in a vein of no discommendable vanity. In the depth of college shades, or in his lonely chamber, the poor student shrank from observation.'-Essays of Elia.

'I Do so wish I had never consented to go!' said the Rev. Brampton Gerard, as he contemplated a portmanteau, hat-box, railway-rug, and umbrella, which were piled up by the door of the hall. So do I, sometimes,' said a dutiful little

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VOL. I.

wife, who had done much to achieve the feat of getting him ready ten minutes before the carriage came round ; but I am

• but I am sure you will enjoy it.

•I never enjoyed it when I was young. London was too big for me then. It is twice as big now, and I am twice as old.'

He sighed. She sighed too, but promptly said : * And you know that

you are only going to be

away a fortnight. '

Mr. Gerard had not been many miles south of Kendal for the last twenty years. He had spent them in his peaceful and beautiful home, which was within five minutes' walk of one of the prettiest of the English Lakes.

When a holiday had fallen to his lot, he had enjoyed it with friends in Scotland, or had crossed over to Ireland by the Barrow route ; but London pavement had not felt the pressure of his feet for nearly a quarter of a century, and London people had only been seen by him as temporary occupants of 'genteel apartments ? or furnished houses in the Lake District. Now, however, in the year 1857, when he was all but threescore-and-ten, one of the best

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known and liked of his friends had invited him to spend a fortnight in London in the month of May.

I shall know no one! I shall care for no one!' he groaned. “I shall lose my way every time I go out. I shall not even know how to behave myself !

Fashions are changed ; manners are quite different. People dine when you and I are beginning to think of going to bed!

* Never mind, you will enjoy it,' reiterated the comely old lady who forty years before had stood by the altar with him ; ' and I hope and trust you will doubly enjoy your home when you return.'

" That I certainly shall,' he answered. It was a blessed day for me when I married

you. Do you know, when I think of my own happiness I am so grateful that I should like to travel about from place to place marrying all true lovers.'

“My dear, take care ; that's a very dangerous frame of mind! And yet I don't know !

I I must say I always want to see them happy myself. Brampton, everyone tells me that you and I are too romantic.'

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* That's impossible! Quite impossible! If people would but cherish the little bit of romance that is born with them, the world would be a thousand times happier. Oh, Phæbe, I am afraid that I hear the sound of wheels.'

She had heard it already.

'You will enjoy London, I am sure,' she once more repeated. It will do you good.'

*I don't know, dear. When a man has such a home as I have, it is very foolish to leave it.'

The carriage had come to the door; the luggage was being put in. "Good-bye,' she said.

'You are going into the great wide world, away from me. Be careful. Steel your heart : you are so tenderhearted !'

'I tender-hearted! Surely not more than I ought to be ?' Yes, you are.

If anyone pleads piteously, you do find it so hard to resist.'

He smiled at her anxiety and bade her farewell.

• Good-bye,' he said once more, and thought, • How wonderfully my poor dear wife mistakes

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