Charlotte Mary Yonge.

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Claude, shaking off Lily's arm, and stopping short.

'Oh! - she cared, she really did care,' said Lily, as fast as she
could speak. 'Oh! Claude, how could you think that? I told you I
did not mean what really happened, only that - Eleanor is cold - not as
warm as some people - she did care for him, of course she did - I know
that - I believe she loved him with all her heart - but yet - I mean she
did not - she went on as usual - said nothing - scarcely cried - looked
the same - taught us - never - Oh! it did not make half the difference
in her that it did in William.'

'I cannot tell how she behaved at the time,' said Claude, 'I only
know I never had any idea what a loss Harry was till I came home and
saw her face. I used never to trouble myself to think whether people
looked ill or well, but the change in her did strike me. She was
bearing up to comfort papa, and to cheer William, and to do her duty
by all of us, and you could take such noble resignation for want of
feeling!'

Lilias looked down and tried to speak, but she was choked by her
tears; she could not bear Claude's displeasure, and she wept in
silence. At last she said in a voice broken by sobs, 'I was unjust -
I know Eleanor was all kindness - all self-sacrifice - I have been very
ungrateful - I wish I could help it - and you know well, Claude, how
far I am from regarding dear Harry with indifference - how the thought
of him is a star in my mind - how happy it makes me to think of him at
the end of the Church Militant Prayer; do not believe I was dreaming
of him.'

'And pray,' said Claude, laughing in his own good-humoured way,
'which of us is it that she is so willing to lose?'

'Oh! Claude, no such thing,' said Lily, 'you know what I meant, or
did not mean. It was nonsense - I hope nothing worse.' Lily felt
that she might take his arm again. There was a little silence, and
then Lily resumed in a timid voice, 'I do not know whether you will
be angry, Claude, but honestly, I do not think that if - that Eleanor
would be so wretched about you as I should.'

'Eleanor knew Harry better than you did; no, Lily, I never could have
been what Harry was, even if I had never wasted my time, and if my
headaches had not interfered with my best efforts.'

'I do not believe that, say what you will,' said Lily.

'Ask William, then,' said Claude, sighing.

'I am sure papa does not think so,' said Lily; 'no, I cannot feel
that Harry is such a loss when we still have you.'

'Oh! Lily, it is plain that you never knew Harry,' said Claude. 'I
do not believe you ever did - that is one ting to be said for you.'

'Not as you did,' said Lily; 'remember, he was six years older. Then
think how little we saw of him whilst they were abroad; he was always
at school, or spending the holidays with Aunt Robert, and latterly
even farther off, and only coming sometimes for an hour or two to see
us. Then he used to kiss us all round, we went into the garden with
him, looked at him, and were rather afraid of him; then he walked off
to Wat Greenwood, came back, wished us good-bye, and away he went.'

'Yes,' said Claude, 'but after they came home?'

'Then he was a tall youth, and we were silly girls,' said Lilias; 'he
avoided Miss Middleton, and we were always with her. He was good-
natured, but he could not get on with us; he did very well with the
little ones, but we were of the wrong age. He and William and
Eleanor were one faction, we were another, and you were between both-
-he was too old, too sublime, too good, too grave for us.'

'Too grave!' said Claude; 'I never heard a laugh so full of glee,
except, perhaps, Phyllis's.'

'The last time he was at home,' continued Lily, 'we began to know him
better; there was no Miss Middleton in the way, and after you and
William were gone, he used to walk with us, and read to us. He read
Guy Mannering to us, and told us the story of Sir Maurice de Mohun;
but the loss was not the same to us as to you elder ones; and then
sorrow was almost lost in admiration, and in pleasure at the terms in
which every one spoke of him. Claude, I have no difficulty in not
wishing it otherwise; he is still my brother, and I would not change
the feeling which the thought of his death gives me - no, not for
himself in life and health.'

'Ah!' sighed Claude, 'you have no cause for self-reproach - no reason
to lament over "wasted hours and love misspent."'

'You will always talk of your old indolence, as if it was a great
crime,' said Lily.

'It was my chief temptation,' said Claude. 'As long as we know we
are out of the path of duty it does not make much difference whether
we have turned to the right hand or to the left.'

'Was it Harry's death that made you look upon it in this light?' said
Lily.

'I knew it well enough before,' said Claude, 'it was what he had
often set before me. Indeed, till I came home, and saw this place
without him, I never really knew what a loss he was. At Eton I did
not miss him more than when he went to Oxford, and I did not dwell on
what he was to papa, or what I ought to be; and even when I saw what
home was without him, I should have contented myself with miserable
excuses about my health, if it had not been for my confirmation; then
I awoke, I saw my duty, and the wretched way in which I had been
spending my time. Thoughts of Harry and of my father came
afterwards; I had not vigour enough for them before.'

Here they reached the house, and parted - Claude, ashamed of having
talked of himself for the first time in his life, and Lily divided
between shame at her own folly and pleasure at Claude's having thus
opened his mind.

Jane, who was most in fault, escaped censure. Her father was
ignorant of her improper speech. Emily forgot it, and it was not
Claude's place to reprove his sisters, though to Lily he spoke as a
friend. It passed away from her mind like other idle words, which,
however, could not but leave an impression on those who heard her.

An unlooked-for result of the folly of this evening was, that Claude
was prevented from appreciating Miss Weston He could not learn to
like her, nor shake off an idea, that she was prying into their
family concerns; he thought her over-praised, and would not even give
just admiration to her singing, because he had once fancied her eager
to exhibit it. It was unreasonable to dislike his sister's friend
for his sister's folly, but Claude's wisdom was not yet arrived at
its full growth, and he deserved credit for keeping his opinion to
himself.



CHAPTER IX - THE WASP



'Whom He hath blessed and called His own,
He tries them early, look and tone,
Bent brow and throbbing heart,
Tries them with pain.'

The next week Lily had the pleasure of fitting out Faith Longley for
her place at Mrs. Weston's. She rejoiced at this opportunity of
patronising her, because in her secret soul she felt that she might
have done her a little injustice in choosing her own favourite Esther
in her stead. Esther's popularity at the New Court, however, made
Lilias confident in her own judgment; the servants liked her because
she was quick and obliging, Mr. Mohun said she looked very neat,
Phyllis liked her because a mischance to her frock was not so brave
an offence with her as with Rachel, and Ada was growing very fond of
her, because she was in the habit of bestowing great admiration on
her golden curls as she arranged them, and both little girls were
glad not to be compelled to put away the playthings they took out.

Maurice and Reginald had agreed to defer their onslaught on the wasps
till Lord Rotherwood's arrival, and the war was now limited to
attacks on foraging parties. Reginald most carefully marked every
nest about the garden and farm, and, on his cousin's arrival on
Saturday evening, began eagerly to give him a list of their
localities. Lord Rotherwood was as ardent in the cause as even
Reginald could desire, and would have instantly set out with him to
reconnoitre had not the evening been rainy.

Then turning to Claude, he said, 'But I have not told you what
brought me here; I came to persuade you to make an expedition with me
up the Rhine; I set off next week; I would not write about it,
because I knew you would only say you should like it very much, but -
some but, that meant it was a great deal too much trouble.'

'How fast the plan has risen up,' said Claude, 'I heard nothing of it
when I was with you.'

'Oh! it only came into my head last week, but I do not see what there
is to wait for, second thoughts are never best.'

'Oh! Claude, how delightful,' said Lily.

Claude stirred his tea meditatively, and did not speak.

'It is too much trouble, I perceive,' said Lord Rotherwood; 'just as
I told you.'

'Not exactly,' said Claude.

Lord Rotherwood now detailed his plan to his uncle, who said with a
propitious smile, 'Well, Claude, what do you think of it?

'Mind you catch a firefly for me,' said Maurice.

'Why don't you answer, Claude?' said Lilias; 'only imagine seeing
Undine's Castle!'

'Eh, Claude?' said his father.

'It would be very pleasant,' said Claude, slowly, 'but - '

'What?' said Mr. Mohun.

'Only a but,' said the Marquis. 'I hope he will have disposed of it
by the morning; I start next Tuesday week; I would not go later for
the universe; we shall be just in time for the summer in its beauty,
and to have a peep at Switzerland. We shall not have time for Mont
Blanc, without rattling faster than any man in his senses would do.
I do not mean to leave any place till I have thoroughly seen twice
over everything worth seeing that it contains.'

'Then perhaps you will get as far as Antwerp, and spend the rest of
the holidays between the Cathedral and Paul Potter's bull. No, I
shall have nothing to say to you at that rate,' said Claude.

'Depend upon it, it will be you that will wish to stand still when I
had rather be on the move,' said the Marquis.

'Then you had better leave me behind. I have no intention of being
hurried over the world, and never having my own way,' said Claude,
trying to look surly.

'I am sure I should not mind travelling twice over the world to see
Cologne Cathedral, or the field of Waterloo,' said Lily.

'Let me only show him my route,' said Lord Rotherwood. 'Redgie, look
in my greatcoat pocket in the hall for Murray's Handbook, will you?'

'Go and get it, Phyl,' said Reginald, who was astride on the window-
sill, peeling a stick.

Away darted Lord Rotherwood to fetch it himself, but Phyllis was
before him; her merry laugh was heard, as he chased her round the
hall to get possession of his book, throwing down two or three cloaks
to intercept her path. Mr. Mohun took the opportunity of his absence
to tell Claude that he need not refuse on the score of expense.

'Thank you,' was all Claude's answer.

Lord Rotherwood returned, and after punishing the discourteous
Reginald by raising him up by his ears, he proceeded to give a full
description of the delights of his expedition, the girls joining
heartily with him in declaring it as well arranged as possible, and
bringing all their knowledge of German travels to bear upon it.
Claude sometimes put in a word, but never as if he cared much about
the matter, and he was not to be persuaded to give any decided answer
as to whether he would accompany the Marquis.

The next morning at breakfast Lord Rotherwood returned to the charge,
but Claude seemed even more inclined to refuse than the day before.
Lilias could not divine what was the matter with him, and lingered
long after her sisters had gone to school, to hear what answer he
would make; and when Mr. Mohun looked at his watch, and asked her if
she knew how late it was, she rose from the breakfast-table with a
sigh, and thought while she was putting on her bonnet how much less
agreeable the school had been since the schism in the parish. And
besides, now that Faith and Esther, and one or two others of her best
scholars, had gone away from school, there seemed to be no one of any
intelligence or knowledge left in the class, except Marianne Weston,
who knew too much for the others, and one or two clever inattentive
little girls: Lily almost disliked teaching them.

Phyllis and Adeline were in Miss Weston's class, and much did they
delight in her teaching. There was a quiet earnestness in her manner
which attracted her pupils, and fixed their attention, so as scarcely
to allow the careless room for irreverence, while mere cleverness
seemed almost to lose its advantage in learning what can only truly
be entered into by those whose conduct agrees with their knowledge.

Phyllis never dreamt that she could be happy while standing still and
learning, till Miss Weston began to teach at the Sunday school.
Obedience at school taught her to acquire habits of reverent
attention, which gradually conquered the idleness and weariness which
had once possessed her at church. First, she learnt to be interested
in the Historical Lessons, then never to lose her place in the
Psalms, then to think about and follow some of the Prayers; by this
time she was far from feeling any fatigue at all on week-days; she
had succeeded in restraining any contortions to relieve herself from
the irksomeness of sitting still, and had her thoughts in tolerable
order through the greater part of the Sunday service, and now it was
her great wish, unknown to any one, to abstain from a single yawn
through the whole service, including the sermon!

Her place (chosen for her by Eleanor when first she had begun to go
to Church, as far as possible from Reginald) was at the end of the
seat, between her papa and the wall. This morning, as she put her
arm on the book-board, while rising from kneeling, she felt a sudden
thrill of sharp pain smear her left elbow, which made her start
violently, and would have caused a scream, had she not been in
church. She saw a wasp fall on the ground, and was just about to put
her foot on it, when she recollected where she was. She had never in
her life intentionally killed anything, and this was no time to begin
in that place, and when she was angry. The pain was severe - more so
perhaps than any she had felt before - and very much frightened, she
pulled her papa's coat to draw his attention. But her first pull was
so slight that he did not feel it, and before she gave a second she
remembered that she could not make him hear what was the matter,
without more noise than was proper. No, she must stay where she was,
and try to bear the pain, and she knew that if she did try, help
would be given her. She proceeded to find out the Psalm and join her
voice with the others, though her heart was beating very fast, her
forehead was contracted, and she could not help keeping her right
hand clasped round her arm, and sometimes shifting from one foot to
the other. The sharpness of the pain soon went off; she was able to
attend to the Lessons, and hoped it would soon be quite well; but as
soon as she began to think about it, it began to ache and throb, and
seemed each moment to be growing hotter. The sermon especially tried
her patience, her cheeks were burning, she felt sick and hardly able
to hold up her head, yet she would not lean it against the wall,
because she had often been told not to do so. She was exceedingly
alarmed to find that her arm had swelled so much that she could
hardly bend it, and it had received the impression of the gathers of
her sleeve; she thought no sermon had ever been so long, but she sat
quite still and upright, as she could not have done, had she not
trained herself unconsciously by her efforts to leave off the trick
of kicking her heels together. She did not speak till she was in the
churchyard, and then she made Emily look at her arm.

'My poor child, it is frightful,' said Emily, 'what is the matter?'

'A wasp stung me just before the Psalms,' said Phyllis, 'and it goes
on swelling and swelling, and it does pant!'

'What is the matter?' asked Mr. Mohun.

'Papa, just look,' said Emily, 'a wasp stung this dear child quite
early in the service, and she has been bearing it all this time in
silence. Why did you not show me, Phyl?'

'Because it was in church,' said the little girl.

'Why, Phyllis, you are a very Spartan,' said Lord Rotherwood.

'Something better than a Spartan,' said Mr. Mohun. 'Does it give you
much pain now, my dear?'

'Not so bad as in church,' said Phyllis, 'only I am very tired, and
it is so hot.'

'We will help you home, then,' said Mr. Mohun. As he took her up in
his arms, Phyllis laughed, thanked him, replied to various inquiries
from her sisters and the Westons - laughed again at sundry jokes from
her brothers, then became silent, and was almost asleep, with her
head on her papa's shoulder, by the time they reached the hall-door.
She thought it very strange to be laid down on the sofa in the
drawing-room, and to find every one attending to her. Mrs. Weston
bathed her forehead with lavender-water, and Lily cut open the sleeve
of her frock; Jane fetched all manner of remedies, and Emily pitied
her. She was rather frightened: she thought such a fuss would not
be made about her unless she was very ill; she was faint and tired,
and was glad when Mrs. Weston proposed that they should all come
away, and leave her to go to sleep quietly.

Marianne was so absorbed in admiration of Phyllis that she did not
speak one word all the way from church to the New Court, and stood in
silence watching the operations upon her friend, till Mrs. Weston
sent every one away.

Adeline rather envied Phyllis; she would willingly have endured the
pain to be made of so much importance, and said to be better than a
Spartan, which must doubtless be something very fine indeed!

Phyllis was waked by the bells ringing for the afternoon service;
Mrs. Weston was sitting by her, reading, Claude came to inquire for
her, and to tell her that as she had lost her early dinner, she was
to join the rest of the party at six. To her great surprise she felt
quite well and fresh, and her arm was much better; Mrs. Weston pinned
up her sleeve, and she set off with her to church, wondering whether
Ada would remember to tell her what she had missed that afternoon at
school. Those whose approbation was valuable, honoured Phyllis for
her conduct, but she did not perceive it, or seek for it; she did not
look like a heroine while running about and playing with Reginald and
the dogs in the evening, but her papa had told her she was a good
child, Claude had given her one of his kindest smiles, and she was
happy. Even when Esther was looking at the mark left by the sting,
and telling her that she was sure Miss Marianne Weston would have not
been half so good, her simple, humble spirit came to her aid, and she
answered, 'I'll tell you what, Esther, Marianne would have behaved
much better, for she is older, and never fidgets, and she would not
have been angry like me, and just going to kill the wasp.'



CHAPTER X - COUSIN ROTHERWOOD



'We care not who says
And intends it dispraise,
That an Angler to a fool is next neighbour.'

In the evening Lord Rotherwood renewed his entreaties to Claude to
join him on his travels. He was very much bent on taking him, for
his own pleasure depended not a little on his cousin's company.
Claude lay on the glassy slope of the terrace, while Lord Rotherwood
paced rapidly up and down before him, persuading him with all the
allurements he could think of, and looking the picture of impatience.
Lily sat by, adding her weight to all his arguments. But Claude was
almost contemptuous to all the beauties of Germany, and all the
promised sights; he scarcely gave himself the trouble to answer his
tormentors, only vouchsafing sometimes to open his lips to say that
he never meant to go to a country where people spoke a language that
sounded like cracking walnuts; that he hated steamers; had no fancy
for tumble-down castles; that it was so common to travel; there was
more distinction in staying at home; that the field of Waterloo had
been spoilt, and was not worth seeing; his ideas of glaciers would be
ruined by the reality; and he did not care to see Cologne Cathedral
till it was finished.

On this Lily set up an outcry of horror.

'One comfort is, Lily,' said Lord Rotherwood, 'he does not mean it;
he did not say it from the bottom of his heart. Now, confess you did
not, Claude.'

Claude pretended to be asleep.

'I see plainly enough,' said the Marquis to Lily, 'it is as Wat
Greenwood says, "Mr. Reynold and the grapes."'

'But it is not,' said Lily, 'and that is what provokes me; papa says
he is quite welcome to go if he likes, and that he thinks it will do
him a great deal of good, but that foolish boy will say nothing but
"I will think about it," and "thank you"'

'Then I give him up as regularly dense.'

'It is the most delightful plan ever thought of,' said Lily, 'so
easily done, and just bringing within his compass all he ever wished
to see.'

'Oh! his sole ambition is to stretch those long legs of his on the
grass, like a great vegetable marrow,' said Lord Rotherwood. 'It is
vegetating like a plant that makes him so much taller than any
rational creature with a little animal life.'

'I think Jane has his share of curiosity,' said Lily, 'I am sure I
had no idea that anything belonging to us could be so stupid.'

'Well,' said the Marquis, 'I shall not go.'

'No?' said Lily.

'No, I shall certainly not go.'

'Nonsense,' said Claude, waking from his pretended sleep, 'why do you
not ask Travers to go with you? He would like nothing better.'

'He is a botanist, and would bore me with looking for weeds. No, I
will have you, or stay at home.'

Claude proposed several others as companions, but Lord Rotherwood
treated them all with as much disdain as Claude had shown for
Germany, and ended with 'Now, Claude, you know my determination, only
tell me why you will not go?'

'Then I do tell you, Rotherwood, the truth is, that those boys,
Maurice and Reginald, are perfectly unmanageable when they are left
alone with the girls.'

'Have a tutor for them,' said the Marquis.

'Very much obliged to you they would be for the suggestion,' said
Claude.

'Oh! but Claude,' said Lily.

'I really cannot go. They mind no one but the Baron and me, and
besides that, it would be no small annoyance to the house; ten tutors
could not keep them from indescribable bits of mischief. I undertook
them these holidays, and I mean to keep them.'

Lilias was just flying off to her father, when Claude caught hold of
her, saying, 'I desire you will not,' and she stood still, looking at
her cousin in dismay.

'It is all right,' cried the Marquis, joyfully, 'it is only to set
off three weeks later.'

'Oh! I thought you would not go a week later for the universe,' said
Claude, smiling.

'Not for the Universe, but for U-,' said Lord Rotherwood.

'Worthy of a companion true, of the University of Gottingen,' said
Claude; 'but, Rotherwood, do you really mean that it will make no
difference to you?'

'None whatever; I meant to spend three weeks with my mother at the
end of the tour, and I shall spend them now instead. I only talked
of going immediately, because nothing is done at all that is not done
quickly, and I hate delays, but it is all the same, and now it stands
for Tuesday three weeks. Now we shall see what he says to Cologne,
Lily.'

Claude sprung up, and began talking over arrangements and
possibilities with zest, which showed what his wishes had been from
the first. All was quickly settled, and as soon as his father had
given his cordial approbation to the scheme, it was amusing to see
how animated and active Claude became, and in how different a style
he talked of the once slighted Rhine.

Lord Rotherwood told the boys that their brother was a great deal too
good for them, but they never troubled themselves to ask in what
respect; Lilias took very great delight in telling Emily of the
sacrifice which he had been willing to make, and looked forward to
talking it over with Alethea, but she refrained, as long as he was at
home, as she knew it would greatly displease him, and she had heard
enough about missish confidences.

The Marquis of Rotherwood was certainly the very reverse of his
chosen travelling companion, in the matter of activity. He made an
appointment with the two boys to get up at half-past four on Monday
morning for some fishing, before the sun was too high - Maurice not
caring for the sport, but intending to make prize of any of the
'insect youth' which might prefer the sunrise for their gambols; and


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