Charlotte Mary Yonge.

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remembrance of duty; and which of them did not sometimes fail in
kindness, meekness, and patience? Did Emily show that softness,
which was her most agreeable characteristic, in her whining reproofs-
-in her complaints that 'no one listened to a word she said' - in her
refusal to do justice even to those who had vainly been seeking for
peace? Did Lily herself show any of her much valued love, by the
sharp manner in which she scolded the boys for roughness towards
herself? or for language often used by them on purpose to make her
displeasure a matter of amusement? She saw that her want of command
of temper was a failure both in love and duty, and when irritated,
the thought of duty came sooner to her aid than the feeling of love.

And Maurice and Reginald were really very provoking. Maurice loved
no amusement better than teasing his sisters, and this was almost the
only thing in which Reginald agreed with him. Reginald was
affectionate, but too reckless and violent not to be very
troublesome, and he too often flew into a passion if Maurice
attempted to laugh at him; the little girls were often frightened and
made unhappy; Phyllis would scream and roar, and Ada would come
sobbing to Emily, to be comforted after some rudeness of Reginald's.
It was not very often that quarrels went so far, but many a time in
thought, word, and deed was the rule of love transgressed, and more
than once did Emily feel ready to give up all her dignity, to have
Eleanor's hand over the boys once more. Claude, finding that he
could do much to prevent mischief, took care not to leave the two
boys long together with the elder girls. They were far more
inoffensive when separate, as Maurice never practised his tormenting
tricks when no one was present to laugh with him, and Reginald was
very kind to Phyllis and Ada, although somewhat rude.

It was a day or two after they returned that Phyllis was leaning on
the window-sill in the drawing-room, watching a passing shower, and
admiring the soft bright tints of a rainbow upon the dark gray mass
of cloud. 'I do set my bow in the cloud,' repeated she to herself
over and over again, until Adeline entering the room, she eagerly
exclaimed, 'Oh Ada, come and look at this beautiful rainbow, green,
and pink, and purple. A double one, with so many stripes, Ada. See,
there is a little bit more green.'

'There is no green in a rainbow,' said Ada.

'But look, Ada, that is green.'

'It is not real green. Blue, red, and yellow are the pragmatic
colours,' said Ada, with a most triumphant air. 'Now are not they,
Maurice?' said she, turning to her brother, who was, as usual, deep
in entomology.

'Pragmatic, you foolish child,' said he. 'Prismatic you mean. I am
glad you remember what I tell you, however; I think I might teach you
some science in time. You are right in saying that blue, red, and
yellow are the prismatic colours. Now do you know what causes a
rainbow?'

'It is to show there is never to be another flood,' said Phyllis,
gravely.

'Oh, I did not mean that,' said Maurice, addressing himself to Ada,
whose love of hard words made him deem her a promising pupil, and
whom he could lecture without interruption. 'The rainbow is caused
by - '

'But, Maurice!' exclaimed Phyllis, remaining with mouth wide open.

'The rainbow is occasioned by the refraction of the rays of the sun
in the drops of water of which a cloud is composed.'

'But, Maurice!' again said Phyllis.

'Well, what do you keep on "but, Mauricing," about?'

'But, Maurice, I thought it said, "I do set my bow in the cloud." Is
not that right? I will look.'

'I know that, but I know the iris, or rainbow, is a natural
phenomenon occasioned by the refraction.'

'But, Maurice, I can't bear you to say that;' and poor Phyllis sat
down and began to cry.

Ada interfered. 'Why, Maurice, you believe the Bible, don't you?'

This last speech was heard by Lilias, who just now entered the room,
and greatly surprised her. 'What can you be talking of?' said she.

'Only some nonsense of the children's,' said Maurice, shortly.

'But only hear what he says,' cried Ada. 'He says the rainbow was
not put there to show there is never to be another flood!'

'Now, Lily,' said Maurice, 'I do not think there is much use in
talking to you, but I wish you to understand that all I said was,
that the rainbow, or iris, is a natural phenomenon occasioned by the
refraction of the solar - '

'You will certainly bewilder yourself into something dreadful with
that horrid science,' said Lily. 'What is the matter with Phyl?'

'Only crying because of what I said,' answered Maurice. 'So
childish, and you are just as bad.'

'But do you mean to say,' exclaimed Lily, 'that you set this human
theory above the authority of the Bible?'

'It is common sense,' said Maurice; 'I could make a rainbow any day.'

Whereupon Phyllis cried the more, and Lily looked infinitely shocked.
'This is philosophy and vain deceit,' said she; 'the very thing that
tends to infidelity.'

'I can't help it - it is universally allowed,' said the boy doggedly.

It was fortunate that the next person who entered the room was
Claude, and all at once he was appealed to by the four disputants,
Lily the loudest and most vehement. 'Claude, listen to him, and tell
him to throw away these hateful new lights, which lead to everything
that is shocking!'

'Listen to him, with three ladies talking at once?' said Claude.
'No, not Phyl - her tears only are eloquent; but it is a mighty war
about the token of peace and LOVE, Lily.'

'The love would be in driving these horrible philosophical
speculations out of Maurice's mind,' said Lily.

'No one can ever drive out the truth,' said Maurice, with provoking
coolness. 'Don't let her scratch out my eyes, Claude.'

'I am not so sure of that maxim,' said Claude. 'Truth is chiefly
injured - I mean, her force weakened, by her own supporters.'

'Then you agree with me,' said Maurice, 'as, in fact, every rational
person must.'

'Then you are with me,' said Lily, in the same breath; 'and you will
convince Maurice of the danger of this nonsense.'

'Umph,' sighed Claude, throwing himself into his father's arm-chair,
''tis a Herculean labour! It seems I agree with you both.'

'Why, every Christian must be with me, who has not lost his way in a
mist of his own raising,' said Lilias.

'Do you mean to say,' said Maurice, 'that these colours are not
produced by refraction? Look at them on those prisms;' and he
pointed to an old-fashioned lustre on the chimney-piece. 'I hope
this is not a part of the Christian faith.'

'Take care, Maurice,' and Claude's eyes were bent upon him in a
manner that made him shrink. And he added, 'Of course I do believe
that chapter about Noah. I only meant that the immediate cause of
the rainbow is the refraction of light. I did not mean to be
irreverent, only the girls took me up in such a way.'

'And I know well enough that you can make those colours by light on
drops of water,' said Lily.

'So you agreed all the time,' said Claude.

'But,' added Lily, 'I never liked to know it; for it always seemed to
be explaining away the Bible, and I cannot bear not to regard that
lovely bow as a constant miracle.'

'You will remember,' said Claude, 'that some commentators say it
should be, "I HAVE set my bow in the cloud," which would make what
already existed become a token for the future.

'I don't like that explanation,' said Lily.

'Others say,' added Claude, 'that there might have been no rain at
all till the windows of heaven were opened at the flood, and, in that
case, the first recurrence of rain must have greatly alarmed Noah's
family, if they had not been supported and cheered by the sight of
the rainbow.'

'That is reasonable,' said Maurice.

'I hate reason applied to revelation,' said Lily.

'It is a happier state of mind which does not seek to apply it,' said
Claude, looking at Phyllis, who had dried her tears, and stood in the
window gazing at him, in the happy certainty that he was setting all
right. Maurice respected Claude for his science as much as his
character, and did not make game of this observation as he would if
it had been made by one of his sisters, but he looked at him with an
odd expression of perplexity. 'You do not think ignorant credulity
better than reasonable belief?' said he at length.

'It is not I only who think most highly of child-like unquestioning
faith, Maurice,' said Claude - 'faith, that is based upon love and
reverence,' added he to Lily. 'But come, the shower is over, and
philosophers, or no philosophers, I invite you to walk in the wood.'

'Aye,' said Maurice, 'I daresay I can find some of the Arachne
species there. By the bye, Claude, do you think papa would let me
have a piece of plate-glass, eighteen by twenty, to cover my case of
insects?'

'Ask, and you will discover,' said Claude.

Accordingly, Maurice began the next morning at breakfast, 'Papa, may
I have a piece of plate-glass, eighteen by - ?'

But no one heard, for Emily was at the moment saying, 'The Westons
are to dine here to-day.'

Claude and Maurice both looked blank.

'I persuaded papa to ask the Westons,' said Lily, 'because I am
determined that Claude shall like Alethea.'

'You must expect that I shall not, you have given me so many orders
on the subject,' said Claude.

'Take care it has not the same effect as to tell Maurice to like a
book,' said Emily; 'nothing makes his aversion so certain.'

'Except when he takes it up by mistake, and forgets that it has been
recommended to him,' said Claude.

'Take care, Redgie, with your knife; don't put out my eyes in your
ardour against that wretched wasp. Wat Greenwood may well say "there
is a terrible sight of waspses this year."'

'I killed twenty-nine yesterday,' said Reginald.

'And I will tell you what I saw,' said Phyllis; 'I was picking up
apples, and the wasps were flying all round, and there came a
hornet.'

'Vespa Crabro!' cried Maurice; 'oh, I must have one!'

'Well, what of the hornet?' said Mr. Mohun.

'I'll tell you what,' resumed Phyllis, 'he saw a wasp flying, and so
he went up in the air, and pounced on the poor wasp as the hawk did
on Jane's bantam. So then he hung himself up to the branch of a tree
by one of his legs, and held the wasp with the other five, and began
to pack it up. First he bit off the yellow tail, then the legs, and
threw them away, and then there was nothing left but the head, and so
he flew away with it to his nest.'

'Which way did he go?' said Maurice.

'To the Old Court,' answered Phyllis; 'I think the nest is in the
roof of the old cow-house, for they were flying in and out there
yesterday, and one was eating out the wood from the old rails.'

'Well,' said Mr. Mohun, 'you must show me a hornet hawking for wasps
before the nest is taken, Phyllis; I suppose you have seen the wasps
catching flies?'

'Oh yes, papa! but they pack them up quite differently. They do not
hang by one leg, but they sit down quite comfortably on a branch
while they bite off the wings and legs.'

'There, Maurice,' said Mr. Mohun, 'I had rather hear of one such
well-observed fact than of a dozen of your hard names and impaled
insects.'

Phyllis looked quite radiant with delight at his approbation.

'But, papa,' said Maurice, 'may I have a piece of plate-glass,
eighteen by twenty?'

'When you observe facts in natural history, perhaps I may say
something to your entomology,' said Mr. Mohun.

'But, papa, all my insects will be spoilt if I may not have a piece
of glass, eighteen by - '

He was interrupted by the arrival of the post-bag, which Jane, as
usual, opened. 'A letter from Rotherwood,' said she; 'I hope he is
coming at last.'

'He is,' said Claude, reading the letter, 'but only from Saturday
till Wednesday.'

'He never gave us so little of his good company as he has this
summer,' said Emily.

'You will have them all in the autumn, to comfort you,' said Claude,
'for he hereby announces the marvellous fact, that the Marchioness
sends him to see if the castle is fit to receive her.'

'Are you sure he is not only believing what he wishes?' said Mr.
Mohun.

'I think he will gain his point at last,' said Claude.

'How stupid of him to stay no longer!' said Reginald.

'I think he has some scheme for this vacation,' said Claude, 'and I
suppose he means to crowd all the Beechcroft diversions of a whole
summer into those few days.'

'Emily,' said Mr. Mohun, 'I wish him to know the Carringtons; invite
them and the Westons to dinner on Tuesday.'

'Oh don't!' cried Reginald. 'It will be so jolly to have him to take
wasps' nests; and may I go out rabbit-shooting with him?'

'If he goes.'

'And may I carry a gun?'

'If it is not loaded,' said his father.

'Indeed, I would do no mischief,' said Reginald.

'Let me give you one piece of advice, Reginald,' said Mr. Mohun, with
a mysterious air - 'never make rash promises.'

Lilias was rather disappointed in her hopes that Miss Weston and
Claude would become better acquainted. At dinner the conversation
was almost entirely between the elder gentlemen; Claude scarcely
spoke, except when referred to by his father or Mr. Devereux. Miss
Weston never liked to incur the danger of having to repeat her
insignificant speeches to a deaf ear, and being interested in the
discussion that was going on, she by no means seconded Lily's attempt
to get up an under-current of talk. In general, Lily liked to listen
to conversation in silence, but she was now in very high spirits, and
could not be quiet; fortunately, she had no interest in the subject
the gentlemen were discussing, so that she could not meddle with
that, and finding Alethea silent and Claude out of reach, she turned
to Reginald, and talked and tittered with him all dinner-time.

In the drawing-room she had it all her own way, and talked enough for
all the sisters.

'Have you heard that Cousin Rotherwood is coming?'

'Yes, you said so before dinner.'

'We hope,' said Emily, 'that you and Mr. Weston will dine here on
Tuesday. The Carringtons are coming, and a few others.'

'Thank you,' said Alethea; 'I daresay papa will be very glad to
come.'

'Have you ever seen Rotherwood?' said Lilias.

'Never,' was the reply.

'Do not expect much,' said Lily, laughing, though she knew not why;
'he is a very little fellow; no one would suppose him to be twenty,
he has such a boyish look. Then he never sits down - '

'Literally?' said Emily.

'Literally,' persisted Lily; 'such a quick person you never did see.'

'Is he at Oxford?'

'Oh yes! it was all papa's doing that he was sent to Eton. Papa is
his guardian. Aunt Rotherwood never would have parted with him.'

'He is the only son,' interposed Emily.

'Uncle Rotherwood put him quite in papa's power; Aunt Rotherwood
wanted to keep him at home with a tutor, and what she would have made
of him I cannot think,' said Lily; and regardless of Emily's warning
frowns, and Alethea's attempt to change the subject, she went on:
'When he was quite a child he used to seem a realisation of all the
naughty Dicks and Toms in story-books. Miss Middleton had a perfect
horror of his coming here, for he would mind no one, and played
tricks and drew Claude into mischief; but he is quite altered since
papa had the management of him - Oh! such talks as papa has had with
Aunt Rotherwood - do you know, papa says no one knows what it is to
lose a father but those who have the care of his children, and Aunt
Rotherwood is so provoking.'

Here Alethea determined to put an end to this oration, and to Emily's
great relief, she cut short the detail of Lady Rotherwood's offences
by saying, 'Do you think Faith Longley likely to suit us, if we took
her to help the housemaid?'

'Are you thinking of taking her?' cried Lily. 'Yes, for steady,
stupid household work, Faith would do very well; she is just the
stuff to make a servant of - "for dulness ever must be regular" - I
mean for those who like mere steadiness better than anything more
lovable.'

As Alethea said, laughing, 'I must confess my respect for that
quality,' Mr. Devereux and Claude entered the room.

'Oh, Robert!' cried Lily, 'Mrs. Weston is going to take Faith Longley
to help the housemaid.'

'You are travelling too fast, Lily,' said Alethea, 'she is only going
to think about it.'

'I should be very glad,' said Mr. Devereux, 'that Faith should have a
good place; the Longleys are very respectable people, and they
behaved particularly well in refusing to let this girl go and live
with some dissenters at Stoney Bridge.'

'I like what I have seen of the girl very much,' said Miss Weston.

'In spite of her sad want of feeling,' said Robert, smiling, as he
looked at Lily.

'Oh! she is a good work-a-day sort of person,' said Lily, 'like all
other poor people, hard and passive. Now, do not set up your
eyebrows, Claude, I am quite serious, there is no warmth about any
except - '

'So this is what Lily is come to!' cried Emily; 'the grand supporter
of the poor on poetical principles.'

'The poor not affectionate!' said Alethea.

'Not, compared within people whose minds and affections have been
cultivated,' said Lily. 'Now just hear what Mrs. Wall said to me
only yesterday; she asked for a black stuff gown out of the clothing
club, "for," said she, "I had a misfortune, Miss;" I thought it would
be, "and tore my gown," but it was, "I had a misfortune, Miss, and
lost my brother."'

'A very harsh conclusion on very slight grounds,' said Mr. Devereux.

'Prove the contrary,' said Lily.

'Facts would scarcely demonstrate it either way,' said Mr. Devereux.
'They would only prove what was the case with individuals who chanced
to come in our way, and if we are seldom able to judge of the depth
of feeling of those with whom we are familiar, how much less of those
who feel our presence a restraint.'

'Intense feeling mocks restraint,' said Lily.

'Violent, not intense,' said Mr. Devereux. 'Besides, you talk of
cultivating the affections. Now what do you mean? Exercising them,
or talking about them?'

'Ah!' said Emily, 'the affection of a poor person is more tried; we
blame a poor man for letting his old mother go to the workhouse,
without considering how many of us would do the same, if we had as
little to live upon.'

'Still,' said Alethea, 'the same man who would refuse to maintain her
if poor, would not bear with her infirmities if rich.'

'Are the poor never infirm and peevish?' said Mr. Devereux.

'Oh! how much worse it must be to bear with ill-temper in poverty,'
said Emily, 'when we think it quite wonderful to see a young lady
kind and patient with a cross old relation; what must it be when she
is denying herself, not only her pleasure, but her food for her sake;
not merely sitting quietly with her all day, and calling a servant to
wait upon her, but toiling all day to maintain her, and keeping awake
half the night to nurse her?'

'Those are realities, indeed,' said Alethea; 'our greatest efforts
seem but child's play in comparison.'

Lilias could hardly have helped being sobered by this conversation if
she had attended to it, but she had turned away to repeat the story
of Mrs. Walls to Jane, and then, fancying that the others were still
remarking upon it, she said in a light, laughing tone, 'Well, so far
I agree with you. I know of a person who may well be called one of
ourselves, who I could quite fancy making such a speech.'

'Whom do you mean?' said Mr. Devereux. Alethea wished she did not
know.

'No very distant relation,' said Jane.

'Do not talk nonsense, Jane,' said Claude, gravely.

'No nonsense at all, Claude,' cried Jane in her very very pertest
tone, 'it is exactly like Eleanor; I am sure I can see her with her
hands before her, saying in her prim voice, "I must turn my old black
silk and trim it with crape, for I have had a misfortune, and lost my
brother."'

'Lilias,' said Miss Weston, somewhat abruptly, 'did you not wish to
sing with me this evening?'

And thus she kept Lilias from any further public mischief that
evening.

Claude, exceedingly vexed by what had passed, with great injustice,
laid the blame upon Miss Weston, and instead of rendering her the
honour which she really deserved for the tact with which she had put
an end to the embarrassment of all parties, he fancied she was
anxious to display her talents for music, and thus only felt fretted
by the sounds.

Mr. Weston and his daughter intended to walk home that evening, as it
was a beautiful moonlight night.

'Oh, let us convoy you!' exclaimed Lilias; 'I do long to show Alethea
a glow-worm. Will you come, Claude? May we, papa? Feel how still
and warm it is. A perfect summer night, not a breath stirring.'

Mr. Mohun consented, and Lily almost hurried Alethea upstairs, to put
on her bonnet and shawl. When she came down she found that the
walking party had increased. Jane and Reginald would both have been
in despair to have missed such a frolic; Maurice hoped to fall in
with the droning beetle, or to lay violent hands on a glow-worm;
Emily did not like to be left behind, and even Mr. Mohun was going,
being in the midst of an interesting conversation with Mr. Weston.
Lily, with an absurd tragic gesture, told Alethea that amongst so
many, such a crowd, all the grace and sweet influence of the walk was
ruined. The 'sweet influence' was ruined as far as Lily was
concerned, but not by the number of her companions. It was the
uneasy feeling caused by her over-strained spirits and foolish
chattering that prevented her from really entering into the charm of
the soft air, the clear moon, the solemn deep blue sky, the few
stars, the white lilies on the dark pond, the long shadows of the
trees, the freshness of the dewy fields. Her simplicity, and her
genuine delight in the loveliness of the scene, was gone for the
time, and though she spoke much of her enjoyment, it was in a high-
flown affected style.

When the last good-night had been exchanged, and Lily had turned
homeward, she felt the stillness which succeeded their farewells
almost oppressive; she started at the dark shadow of a tree which lay
across the path, and to shake off a sensation of fear which was
coming over her, she put her arm within Claude's, exclaiming, 'You
naughty boy, you will be stupid and silent, say what I will.'

'I heard enough to-night to strike me dumb,' said Claude.

For one moment Lily thought he was in jest, but the gravity of his
manner showed her that he was both grieved and displeased, and she
changed her tone as she said, 'Oh! Claude, what do you mean?'

'Do you not know?' said Claude.

'What, you mean about Eleanor?' said Lily; 'you must fall upon Miss
Jenny there - it was her doing.'

'Jane's tongue is a pest,' said Claude; 'but she was not the first to
speak evil falsely of one to whom you owe everything. Oh! Lily, I
cannot tell you how that allusion of yours sounded.'

'What allusion?' asked Lily in alarm, for she had never seen her
gentle brother so angry.

'You know,' said he.

'Indeed, I do not,' exclaimed Lily, munch frightened. 'Claude,
Claude, you must mistake, I never could have said anything so very
shocking.'

'I hope I do,' said Claude; 'I could hardly believe that one of the
little ones who cannot remember him, could have referred to him in
that way - but for you!'

'Him?' said Lilias.

'I do not like to mention his name to one who regards him so
lightly,' said Claude. 'Think over what passed, if you are
sufficiently come to yourself to remember it.'

After a little pause Lily said in a subdued voice, 'Claude, I hope
you do not believe that I was thinking of what really happened when I
said that.'

'Pray what were you thinking of?'

'The abstract view of Eleanor's character.'

'Abstract nonsense!' said Claude. 'A fine demonstration of the rule
of love, to go about the world slandering your sister!'

'To go about the world! Oh! Claude, it was only Robert, one of
ourselves, and Alethea, to whom I tell everything.'

'So much the worse. I always rejoiced that you had no foolish young
lady friend to make missish confidences to.'

'She is no foolish young lady friend,' said Lilias, indignant in her
turn; 'she is five years older than I am, and papa wishes us to be
intimate with her.'

'Then the fault is in yourself,' said Claude. 'You ought not to have
told such things if they were true, and being utterly false - '

'But, Claude, I cannot see that they are false.'

'Not false, that Eleanor cared not a farthing for Harry!' cried


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