"Indeed," she said, "if amusement is bad for
my father, he is not likely to get much of it dur-
ing Lord Vieuxbois's stay. But, of course,
mamma, you will do as you please."
"Of course I shall, my dear," answered the
good lady, in a tragedy-queen tone. "I shall
only take the liberty of adding, that it is very
painful to me to find you adding to the anxiety
which your unfortunate opinions give me, by
throwing every possible obstacle in the way of
my plans for your good."
Argemone burst into proud tears (she often did
so after a conversation with her mother). " Plans
for my good I " And an unworthy suspicion
about her mother crossed her mind, and was
peremptorily expelled again. What turn the
conversation would have taken next, I know not,
but at that moment Honoria and her mother
uttered a fearful shriek, as their side of the car-
riage jolted half-way up the bank, and stuck still
in that pleasant position.
The squire awoke, and the ladies simultaneously
clapped their hands to their ears, knowing what
was coming. He thrust his head out of the
window, and discharged a broadside of at least
ten pounds' worth of oaths (Bow Street valua-
tion) at the servants, who were examining the
The Drive Home 115
broken wheel, with a side volley or two at Mrs.
Lavington for being frightened. He often treated
her and Honoria to that style of oratory. At
Argemone he had never sworn but once since she
left the nursery, and was so frightened at the
consequences, that he took care never to do it
But there they were fast, with a broken wheel,
plunging horses, and a drunken coachman. Luckily
for them, the colonel and Lancelot were follow-
ing close behind, and came to their assistance.
The colonel, as usual, solved the problem.
"Your dog-cart will carry four, Smith?"
" Then let the ladies get in, and Mr. Lavington
drive them home. "
"What?" said the squire, "with both my
hands red-hot with the gout? You must drive
three of us, colonel, and one of us must walk."
"I will walk," said Argemone, in her deter-
Mrs. Lavington began something about pro-
priety, but was stopped with another pound's
worth of oaths by the squire, who, however, had
tolerably recovered his good humor, and hurried
Mrs. Lavington and Honoria, laughingly, into
the dog-cart, saying:
" Argemone 's safe enough with Smith; the
servants will lead the horses behind them. It 's
only three miles home, and I should like to see
any one speak to her twice while Smith's fists
are in the way."
Lancelot thought so too.
"You can trust yourself to me, Miss Lav-
ington ? " -
1 1 6 Yeast
"By all means. I shall enjoy the walk
after " and she stopped. In a moment the
dog-cart had rattled off, with a parting curse from
the squire to the servants, who were unharnessing
Argemone took Lancelot's arm; the soft touch
thrilled through and through him ; and Argemone
felt, she knew not why, a new sensation run
through her frame. She shuddered not with
"You are cold, Miss Lavington? "
"Oh, not in the least." Cold! when every
vein was boiling so strangely ! A soft luscious
melancholy crept over her. She had always had
a terror of darkness ; but now she felt quite safe
in his strength. The thought of her own unpro-
tected girlhood drew her heart closer to him.
She remembered with pleasure the stories of his
personal prowess, which had once made her think
him coarse and brutal. For the first time in her
life she knew the delight of dependence the
holy charm of weakness. And as they paced on
silently together, through the black awful night,
while the servants lingered, far out of sight,
about the horses, she found out how utterly she
trusted to him.
" Listen ! " she said. A nightingale was close
to them, pouring out his whole soul in song.
" Is it not very late in the year for a nightin-
"He is waiting for his mate. She is rearing
a late brood, I suppose."
" What do you think it is which can stir him
up to such an ecstasy of joy, and transfigure his
whole heart into melody ? "
The Drive Home 117
"What but love, the fulness of all joy, the
evoker of all song ? "
"All song? The angels sing in heaven."
" So they say : but the angels must love if they
"They love God!"
" And no one else ? "
" Oh yes : but that is universal, spiritual love ;
not earthly love a narrow passion for an
"How do we know that they do not learn to
love all by first loving one ? "
" Oh, the angelic life is single ! "
"Who told you so, Miss Lavington?"
She quoted the stock text, of course : " ' In
heaven they neither marry nor are given in mar-
riage, but are as the angels. ' '
" ' As the tree falls, so it lies. ' And God for-
bid that those who have been true lovers on earth
should contract new marriages in the next world.
Love is eternal. Death may part lovers, but not
love. And how do we know that these angels,
as they call them, if they be really persons, may
not be united in pairs by some marriage bond,
infinitely more perfect than any we can dream of
on earth ? "
"That is a very wild view, Mr. Smith, and
not sanctioned by the Church," said Argemone,
severely. (Curious and significant it is, how
severe ladies are apt to be whenever they talk of
"In plain historic fact, the early fathers and
the middle-age monks did not sanction it: and
are not they the very last persons to whom one
would go to be taught about marriage? Strange 1
1 1 8 Yeast
that people should take their notions of love from
the very men who prided themselves on being
bound, by their own vows, to know nothing about
" They were very holy men. "
" But still men, as I take it. And do you not
see that Love is, like all spiritual things, only to
be understood by experience by loving ? "
" But is love spiritual ? "
" Pardon me, but what a question for one who
believes that * God is love ' ! "
" But the divines tell us that the love of human
beings is earthly."
" How did they know ? They had never tried.
Oh, Miss Lavington ! cannot you see that in
those barbarous and profligate ages of the later
empire, it was impossible for men to discern the
spiritual beauty of marriage, degraded as it had
been by heathen brutality? Do you not see that
there must have been a continual tendency in the
minds of a celibate clergy to look with contempt,
almost with spite, on pleasures which were for-
bidden to them?"
"It must be very delicious," said Argemone,
thoughtfully, "for any one who believes it, to
think that marriage can last through eternity.
But, then, what becomes of entire love to God?
How can we part our hearts between him and his
creatures ? "
"It is a sin, then, to love your sister? or your
friend? What a low, material view of love, to
fancy that you can cut it up into so many pieces,
like a cake, and give to one person one tit-bit,
and another to another, as the Popish books would
The Drive Home 119
have you believe! Love is like flame light as
many fresh flames at it as you will, it grows,
instead of diminishing, by the dispersion."
"It is a beautiful imagination."
"But, oh, how miserable and tantalizing a
thought, Miss Lavington, to those who know
that a priceless spirit is near them, which might
be one with theirs through all eternity, like twin
stars in one common atmosphere, forever giving
and receiving wisdom and might, beauty and
bliss, and yet are barred from their bliss by some
invisible adamantine wall, against which they
must beat themselves to death, like butterflies
against the window-pane, gazing, and longing,
and unable to guess why they are forbidden to
enjoy ! "
Why did Argemone withdraw her arm from
his ? He knew, and he felt that she was entrusted
to him. He turned away from the subject.
" I wonder whether they are safe home by this
" I hope my father will not catch cold. How
sad, Mr. Smith, that he will swear so. I do not
like to say it; and yet you must have heard him
too often yourself. "
" It is hardly a sin with him now, I think. He
has become so habituated to it, that he attaches
no meaning or notion whatsoever to his own
oaths. I have heard him do it with a smiling
face to the very beggar to whom he was giving
half-a-crown. We must not judge a man of his
school by the standard of our own day."
"Let us hope so," said Argemone, sadly.
There was another pause. At a turn of the
hill road the black masses of beech-wood opened,
and showed the Priory lights twinkling right
below. Strange that Argemone felt sorry to find
herself so near home.
"We shall go to town next week," said she;
"and then You are going to Norway this
summer, are you not ? "
"No. I have learnt that my duty lies nearer
"What are you going to do? "
"I wish this summer, for the first time in my
life, to try and do some good to examine a little
into the real condition of English working men."
"I am afraid, Mr. Smith, that I did not teach
you that duty."
"Oh, you have taught me priceless things!
You have taught me beauty is the sacrament of
heaven, and love its gate; that that which is the
most luscious is also the most pure."
"But I never spoke a word to you on such
"There are those, Miss Lavington, to whom a
human face can speak truths too deep for books. "
Argemone was silent; but she understood him.
Why did she not withdraw her arm a second time?
In a moment more the colonel hailed them
from the dog-cart and behind him came the
britschka with a relay of servants.
They parted with a long, lingering pressure of
the hand, which haunted her young palm all
night in dreams. Argemone got into the car-
riage, Lancelot jumped into the dog-cart, took
the reins, and relieved his heart by galloping
Sandy up the hill, and frightening the returning
coachman down one bank and his led horses up
The Drive Home 121
" Vogue la Galtre, Lancelot ? I hope you have
made good use of your time ? "
But Lancelot spoke no word all the way home,
and wandered till dawn in the woods around his
cottage, kissing the hand which Argemone's
palm had pressed.
SOME three months slipped away right
dreary months for Lancelot, for the Lav-
ingtons went to Baden-Baden for the summer.
"The waters were necessary for their health."
. . . How wonderful it is, by the by, that those
German Brunnen are never necessary for poor
people's health! . . . and they did not return
till the end of August. So Lancelot buried him-
self up to the eyes in the Condition-of-the-Poor
question that is, in blue books, red books, sani-
tary reports, mine reports, factory reports; and
came to the conclusion, which is now pretty
generally entertained, that something was the
matter but what, no man knew, or, if they
knew, thought proper to declare. Hopeless and
bewildered, he left the books, and wandered day
after day from farm to hamlet, and from field to
tramper's tent, in hopes of finding out the secret
for himself. What he saw, of course I must not
say; for if I did the reviewers would declare, as
usual, one and all, that I copied out of the Morn-
ing Chronicle; and the fact that these pages,
ninety-nine hundredths of them at least, were
written two years before the Morning Chronicle
began its invaluable investigations, would be
contemptuously put aside as at once impossible
Whither ? 123
and arrogant. I shall therefore only say, that he
saw what every one else has seen, at least heard
of, and got tired of hearing though, alas ! they
have not got tired of seeing it; and so proceed
with my story, only mentioning therein certain
particulars which folks seem, to me, somewhat
strangely, to have generally overlooked.
But whatever Lancelot saw, or thought he saw,
I cannot say that it brought him any nearer to a
solution of the question; and he at last ended by
a sulky acquiescence in Sam Weller's memorable
dictum: "Who it is I can't say; but all I can
say is that somebody ought to be wopped for
this ! "
But one day, turning over, as hopelessly as he
was beginning to turn over everything else, a
new work of Mr. Carlyle's, he fell on some such
words as these :
"The beginning and the end of what is the
matter with us in these days is that we /iave
Forgotten God ? That was at least a defect of
which blue books had taken no note. And it
was one which, on the whole granting, for the
sake of argument, any real, living, or practical
existence to That Being, might be a radical one
it brought him many hours of thought, that
saying ; and when they were over, he rose up and
went to find Tregarva.
"Yes, he is the man. He is the only man
with whom I have ever met, of whom I could be
sure that, independent of his own interest, with-
out the allurements of respectability and decency,
of habit and custom, he believes in God. And
he too is a poor man ; he has known the struggles,
1 24 Yeast
temptations, sorrows of the poor. I will go to
But as Lancelot rose to find him, there was
put into his hand a letter, which kept him at
home awhile longer none other, in fact, than
the long-expected answer from Luke.
" Well my dear Cousin, you may possibly have some
logical ground from which to deny Popery, if you
deny all other religions with it ; but how those who hold
any received form of Christianity whatsoever can fairly
side with you against Rome, I cannot see. I am sure I
have been sent to Rome by them, not drawn thither by
Jesuits. Not merely by their defects and inconsistencies ;
not merely because they go on taunting us, and shrieking
at us with the cry that we ought to go to Rome, till we
at last, wearied out, take them at their word, and do at
their bidding the thing we used to shrink from with terror
not this merely, but the very doctrines we hold in com-
mon with them, have sent me to Rome. For would
these men have known of them if Rome had not been?
The Trinity the Atonement the Inspiration of
Scripture a future state that point on which the
present generation, without a smattering of psychologi-
cal science, without even the old belief in apparitions,
dogmatizes so narrowly and arrogantly what would
they have known of them but for Rome ? And she says
there are three realms in the future state . . . heaven,
hell, and purgatory . . . What right have they to throw
away the latter, and arbitrarily retain the two former?
I am told that Scripture gives no warrant for a third
state. She says that it does that it teaches that im-
plicitly, as it teaches other, the very highest doctrines ;
some hold, the Trinity itself. ... It may be proved
from Scripture ; for it may be proved from the love and
justice of God revealed in Scripture. The Protestants
Whither ? 125
divide in theory, that is mankind into two classes,
the righteous, who are destined to infinite bliss; the
wicked, who are doomed to infinite torment; in which
latter class, to make their arbitrary division exhaustive,
they put of course nine hundred and ninety-nine out of
the thousand, and doom to everlasting companionship
with Borgias and Cagliostros, the gentle, frivolous girl,
or the peevish boy, who would have shrunk, in life, with
horror from the contact. . . . Well, at least, their hell is
hellish enough ... if it were but just. . . . But I,
Lancelot, I cannot believe it ! I will not believe it !
I had a brother once affectionate, simple, generous,
full of noble aspirations but without, alas ! a thought
of God ; yielding in a hundred little points, and some
great ones, to the infernal temptations of a public school.
. . . He died at seventeen. Where is he now? Lance-
lot ! where is he now? Never for a day has that thought
left my mind for years. Not hi heaven for he has no
right there ; Protestants would say that as well as I. ...
Where, then ? Lancelot ! not in that other place. I
cannot, I will not believe it. For the sake of God's
honor, as well as of my own sanity, I will not believe it !
There must be some third place some intermediate
chance, some door of hope some purifying and re-
deeming process beyond the grave. . . . Why not a
purifying fire? Ages of that are surely punishment
enough and if there be a fire of hell, why not a fire of
purgatory ? . . . After all, the idea of purgatory as a fire
is only an opinion, not a dogma of the Church. . . .
But if the gross flesh which has sinned is to be punished
by the matter which it has abused, why may it not be
purified by it?
"You may laugh, if you will, at both, and say again,
as I have heard you say ere now, that the popular Chris-
tian paradise and hell are but a Pagan Olympus and
Tartarus, as grossly material as Mahomet's, without the
honest thorough-going sexuality, which you thought made
his notion logical and consistent. . . . Well, you may
say that, but Protestants cannot ; for their idea of heaven
and ours is the same with this exception, that theirs
will contain but a thin band of saved ones, while ours
will fill and grow to all eternity. ... I tell you, Lance-
lot, it is just the very doctrines for which England most
curses Rome, and this very purgatory at the head of
them, which constitute her strength and her allurement ;
which appeal to the reason, the conscience, the heart of
men, like me, who have revolted from the novel supersti-
tion which looks pitilessly on at the fond memories of
the brother, the prayers of the orphan, the doubled
desolation of the widow, with its cold terrible assurance,
'There is no hope for thy loved and lost ones no
hope, but hell for evermore ! '
" I do not expect to convert you. You have your
metempsychosis, and your theories of progressive in-
carnation, and your monads, and your spirits of the stars
and flowers. I have not forgotten a certain talk of ours
over Falk Von Muller's ' Recollections of Goethe,' and
how you materialists are often the most fantastic of
theorists. ... I do not expect, I say, to convert you.
I only want to show you there is no use trying to show
the self-satisfied Pharisees of the popular sect why, in
spite of all their curses, men still go back to Rome."
Lancelot read this, and re-read it; and smiled,
but sadly and the more he read, the stronger
its arguments seemed to him, and he rejoiced
thereat. For there is a bad pleasure happy he
who has not felt it in a pitiless reductio ad
absurdum, which asks tauntingly, "Why do you
not follow out your own conclusions ? " instead
of thanking God that people do not follow them
out, and that their hearts are sounder than their
Whither ? 127
heads. Was it with this feeling that the fancy
took possession of him, to show the letter to
Tregarva? I hope not perhaps he did not alto-
gether wish to lead him into temptation, any
more than I wish to lead my readers, but only to
make him, just as I wish to make them, face
manfully a real awful question now racking the
hearts of hundreds, and see how they will be able
to answer the sophist fiend for honestly, such
he is when their time comes, as come it will.
At least he wanted to test at once Tregarva' s
knowledge and his logic. As for his "faith,"
alas ! he had not so much reverence for it as to
care what effect Luke's arguments might have
there. "The whole man," quoth Lancelot to
himself, " is a novel phenomenon ; and all phe-
nomena, however magnificent, are surely fair sub-
jects for experiment. Magendie may have gone
too far, certainly, in dissecting a live dog but
what harm in my pulling the mane of a dead
So he showed the letter to Tregarva as they
were fishing together one day for Lancelot had
been installed duly in the Whitford trout pre-
serves Tregarva read it slowly ; asked, shrewdly
enough, the meaning of a word or two as he went
on; at last folded it up deliberately, and returned
it to its owner with a deep sigh. Lancelot said
nothing for a few minutes ; but the giant seemed
so little inclined to open the conversation, that
he was forced at last to ask him what he thought
"It isn't a matter for thinking, sir, to my
mind There 's a nice fish on the feed there, just
over-right that alder. "
" Hang the fish ! Why not a matter for think-
"To my mind, sir, a man may think a deal too
much about many matters that come in his
" What should he do with them, then ? "
"Mind his own business."
"Pleasant for those whom they concern!
That 's rather a cold-blooded speech for you,
Tregarva ! "
The Cornishman looked up at him earnestly.
His eyes were glittering was it with tears?
"Don't fancy I don't feel for the poor young
gentleman God help him ! I *ve been through
it all or not through it, that 's to say. I had a
brother once, as fine a young fellow as ever
handled pick, as kind-hearted as a woman, and as
honest as the sun in heaven. But he would
drink, sir; that one temptation, he never could
stand it. And one day at the shaft's mouth,
reaching after the kibble-chain maybe he was
in liquor, maybe not the Lord knows; but
"I didn't know him again, sir, when we picked
him up, any more than " and the strong man
shuddered from head to foot, and beat impatiently
on the ground with his heavy heel, as if to crush
down the rising horror.
"Where is he, sir?"
A long pause.
"Do you think I didn't ask that, sir, for years
and years after, of God, and my own soul, and
heaven and earth, and the things under the earth,
too? For many a night did I go down that mine
out of my turn, and sat for hours in thac level,
watching and watching, if perhaps the spirit of
Whither ? 1 29
him might haunt about, and tell his poor brother
one word of news one way or the other any-
thing would have been a comfort but the doubt
I couldn't bear. And yet at last I learnt to bear
it and what 's more, I learnt not to care for it.
It 's a bold word there 's one who knows whether
or not it is a true one."
" Good heavens ! and what then did you say
" I said this, sir or rather, one came as I
was on my knees, and said it to me What 's
done you can't mend. What's left, you can.
Whatever has happened is God's concern now,
and none but His. Do you see that as far as you
can no such thing ever happen again, on the face
of His earth. And from that day, sir, I gave
myself up to that one thing, and will until I die,
to save the poor young fellows like myself, who
are left nowadays to the devil, body and soul,
just when they are in the prime of their power to
work for God."
"Ah!" said Lancelot "if poor Luke's spirit
were but as strong as yours ! "
"I strong?" answered he, with a sad smile;
" and so you think, sir. But it 's written, and it 's
true ' The heart knoweth its own bitterness. ' "
"Then you absolutely refuse to try to fancy
your his present state ? "
"Yes, sir, because if I did fancy it, that would
be a certain sign I did n't know it. If we can't
conceive what God has prepared for those that
we know loved Him, how much less can we for
them of whom we don't know whether they loved
Him or not? "
"Well," thought Lancelot to himself, "I did
G Vol. V
not do so very wrong in trusting your intellect to
cut through a sophism. "
" But what do you believe, Tregarva ? "
"I believe this, sir and your cousin will
believe the same, if he will only give up, as I am
sore afraid he will need to some day, sticking to
arguments and doctrines about the Lord, and
love and trust the Lord himself. I believe, sir,
that the judge of all the earth will do right and
what 's right can't be wrong, nor cruel either,
else it would not be like Him who loved us to
the death, that's all I know; and that's enough
for me. To whom little is given, of him is little
required. He that didn't know his Master's
will, will be beaten with few stripes, and he that
did know it, as I do, will be beaten with many,
if he neglects it and that latter, not the former,
is my concern."
"Well," thought Lancelot to himself, "this
great heart has gone down to the root of the
matter the right and wrong of it. He, at least,
has not forgotten God. Well, I would give up
all the teleologies and cosmogonies that I ever
dreamt or read, just to believe what he believes
Heigho and well-a-day! Paul! hist? I'll
swear that was an otter!"
"I hope not, sir, I'm sure. I haven't seen
the spraint of one here this two years."
"There again don't you see something move
under that marl bank ? "
Tregarva watched a moment, and then ran up
to the spot, and throwing himself on his face on
the edge, leant over, grappled something and
was instantly, to Lancelot's astonishment, grap-