George MacDonald.

David Elginbrod, Volume 2 online

. (page 1 of 20)
Online LibraryGeorge MacDonaldDavid Elginbrod, Volume 2 → online text (page 1 of 20)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
to make the world's books discoverable online.

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
publisher to a library and finally to you.

Usage guidelines

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for
personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About Google Book Search

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web

at http : //books . google . com/|

Digitized by





Digitized by


Digitized by


Digitized by






VOL. 1190.


Digitized byVjOOQlC

TAiroHNiTZ edition:

By the same Aathor,



Digitized by VjOOQIC










The Right of Trattslation is reserved^

Digitized by



Digitized by VjOOQIC





• Thierry.— ^Tia full of fearfiil shadows.
OrdeUa.-^ So is sleep, sir;

Or anything thaf s merely ours, and mortal ;
We were begotten gods else. But those fears
Feeling but once the fires of nobler thoughts,
Fly, like the shapes of clouds we form, to nothing.

Beaumont and Fl.^tcbjeb,— Thierry and Theodoret.

Margaret sat watching the waking of Lady Emily.
Knowing how much the first thought colours the feel-
ing^ of the whole day, she wished that Lady Emily
should at once be aware that she was by her side.

She opened her eyes, and a smile broke over her
face when she perceived her nurse. But Margaret did
not yet speak to her.

Every nurse should remember that waking ought
always to be a gradual operation; and, except in the
most triumphant health, is never complete on the open-
ing of the eyes.

"Margaret, I am better," said Lady Emily, at last.

"I am very glad, my lady."

**I have been lying awake for some time, and I

9 O ": JL niniti,.HhyGOOQk

■-■ -''- Digitized by V


am sure I am better. I don't see strange-coloured
figures floating about the room as I did yesterday.
Were you not out of the room a few minutes ago?"

"Just for one moment, my lady."

"I knew it. But I did not mind it. Yesterday,
when you left me, those figures grew ten times as
many, the moment you were gone. But you will stay
with me to-day, too, Margaret?" she added, with some

"I will, if you find you need me. But I may be
forced to leave you a little while this evening — you
must try to allow me this, dear Lady Emily."

" Of course I will. I will be quite patient, I promise
you, whatever comes to me."

When Harry woke, after a very troubled sleep,
from which he had often started with sudden cries of
terror, Hugh made him promise not to increase the
confusion of the household, by speaking of what he
had seen. Harry promised at once, but begged in his
turn that Hugh would not leave him all day. It did
not need the pale scared face of his pupil to enforce
the request; for Hugh was already anxious lest the
fright the boy had had, should exercise a permanently
deleterious effect on his constitution. Therefore he
hardly let him out of his sight.

But although Harry kept his word, the cloud of
perturbation gathered thicker in the kitchen and the
servants' hall. Nothing came to the ears of their master
and mistress; but gloomy looks, sudden starts, and
sidelong glances of fear, indicated the prevailing char-
acter of the feelings of the household.

And although Lady Emily was not so ill,, she had
not yet taken a decided turn for the better, but ap-

Digitized by



peared to suffer from some kind of low fever. The
medical man who was called in, confessed to Mrs.
Elton, that as yet he could say nothing very decided
about her condition, but recommended great quiet and
careful nursing. Margaret scarcely left her room, and
the invalid showed far more than the ordinary degree
of dependence upon her nurse. In her relation to her,
she was more like a child than an invalid.

About noon she was better. She called Margaret
and said to her:

"Margaret, dear, I should like to tell you one
thing that annoys me very much."

"What is it, dear Lady Emily?"

"That man haunts me. I cannot bear the thought
of him; and yet I cannot get rid of him. I am sure
he is a bad man. Are you certain he is not here?"

"Yes, indeed, my lady. He has not been here
since the day before yesterday."

*JA-nd yet when you leave me for an instant, I al-
ways feel as if he were sitting in the very seat where
you were the moment before, or just coming to the
door and about to open it. That is why I cannot
bear you to leave me." ^ '

Margaret might have confessed to some slighter
sensations of the same kind; but they did not oppress
her as they did Lady Emily.

" God is nearer to you than any thought or feeling
of yours. Lady Emily. Do not be afraid. If all the
evil things in the universe were around us, they could
not come inside the ring that he makes about us. He
always keeps a place for himself and his child, into
which no other being can enter."

"Oh! how you must love God, Margaret!"

Digitized by




"Indeed I do love him, my lady. If ever anything
looks beautiful or lovely to me, then I know at- once
that God is that."

"But, then, what right have we to take the good
of that, however true it is, when we are not beautiful

"That only makes God the more beautiful — in that
he will pour out the more of his beauty upon us to
make us beautiful. If we care for his glory, we shall
be glad to believe all this about him. But we are too
anxious about feeling good ourselves, to rejoice in his
perfect goodness. I think we should find that enough,
my lady. For, if he be good, are not we his children, -
and sure of having it, hot merely feeling it, some

Here Margaret repeated a little poem of George
Herbert's. She had found his poems amongst Mrs.
Elton's books, who, coming upon her absorbed in it
one day, had made her a present of the volume. Then
indeed Margaret had found a friend.

The poem is called Dialogue:

" Sweetest Saviour, if my soul
Were but worth the having "

"Oh, what a comfort you are to me, Margaret!"
Lady Emily said, after a short silence. Where did you
learn such things?"

"From my father, and from Jesus Christ, and from
God himself, showing them to me in my heart."

"Ah! that is why, as often as you come into my
room, even if I am very troubled, I feel as if the sun
shone, and the wind blew, and the birds sang, and
the tree-tops went waving in the wind, as they used
to do before I was taken ill — I mean before they

Digitized by


THE ghost's walk. Q

thought I must go abroad. You seem to make every-
thing clear, and right, and plain. I wish I were you,

"If I were you, my lady, I would rather be what
God chose to make me, than the most glorious
creature that I could think of. For to have been
thought about — born in God's thoughts — and then
made by God, is the dearest, grandest, most precious
thing in all thinking. Is it not, my lady?"

"It is," said Lady Emily, and was silent.
-The shadows of evening came on. As soon as it
was dark, Margaret took her place at one of the
windows hidden from Lady Emily by a bed-curtain.
She raised the blind, and pulled aside one curtain, to
let her have a view of the trees outside. She had
placed the one candle so as not to shine either on
the window or on her own eyes. Lady Emily was
asleep. One hour and another passed, and still she
sat there — motionless, watching.

Margaret did not know, that at another window —
the one, indeed, next to her own — stood a second
watcher. It was Hugh, in Harry's room: Harry was
asleep in Hugh's. He had no light. He stood with
his face close against the window-pane, on which the
moon shone brightly. All below him the woods were
half dissolved away in the. moonliglit. The Ghost's
Walk lay full before him, like a tunnel through the
trees. He could see a great way down, by the light
that fell itito it, at various intervals, from between the
boughs overhead. He» stood thus for a long time,
gazing somewhat listlessly. Suddenly he became all
eyes, as he caught the white glimmer of something
passing up the avenue. He stole out of the room,

Digitized by



down to the library by the back-stair, and so through
the library window into the wood. He reached the
avenue sideways, at some distance from the house,
and peeped from behind a tree, up and down. At
first he saw nothing. But, a moment after, while he
was looking down the avenue, that is, away from the
house, a veiled figure in white passed him noiselessly
from the other direction. From the way in which he
was looking at the moment, it had passed him before
he saw it. It made no sound. Only some early-fallen
leaves rustled as they hurried away in uncertain ed-
dies, startled by the sweep of its trailing garments,
which yet were held up by hands hidden within them.
*0n it went. Hugh's eyes were fixed on its course.
He could not move, and his heart laboured so fright-
fully that he could hardly breathe. The figure had
not advanced far, however, before he heard a re-
pressed cry of agony, and it sank to the earth, and
vanished; while from where it disappeared, down the
path, came, silently too, turning neither to the right
nor the left, a second figure, veiled in black from head
to foot.

"It is the nun in Lady Euphrasia's room," said
Hugh to himself.

This passed him too, and, walking slowly towards
the house, disappeared somewhere, near the end of
the avenue. Turning once more, with reviving courage
— for his blood had begun to flow more equably —
Hugh ventured to approach the spot where the white
figure had vanished. He found nothing there biA the
shadow of a huge tree. He walked through the avenue
to the end, and then back to the house,, but saw no-
thing; though he often started at fancied appearances.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


Sorely bevildered, he retnmed to his own room. After
speculating till thought was weary, he lay down beside
Harry, whom he was thankful to find in a still repose,
and fell fast asleep.

Margaret lay on a couch in Lady Emily's room,
and slept likewise; but she started wide awake at
every moan of the invalid, who often moaned in her


She kent he was nae gentle knight,

That she had letten in;
For neither wjien he gaed nor cam%

Kissed he her cheek or chin.

He neither kissed her when he cam'

Nor clappit her when he gaed ;
And in and oat at her bower window,

The moon shone like the gleed.

Glenkindie.—Old Scotch BaUad.

When Euphra recovered from the swoon into
which she had fallen — for I need hardly explain to
my readers, that it ^as she who walked the Ghost's
Walk in white — on seeing Margaret, whom, under the
irresistible influences of the moonlight and a bad con-
science, she took for the very being whom Euphra her-
self was personating — when she recovered, I say, she
found herself lying in the wood, with Funkelstein, whom
she had gone to meet, standing beside her. Her first
words were of anger, as she tried to rise, and found
she could not.

"How long. Count Halkar, am I to be your

Digitized by



"Till you have learned to submit."

**Have I not done all I can?"

"You have not found it. You are free from the
moment you place that ring, belonging to me, in right
of my family, into my hands."

I do not believe that the man really was 'Count
Halkar, although he had evidently persuaded Euphra
that such was his name and title. I think it much
more probable that, in the course of picking up a mass
of trifling information about various families of dis-
tinction, for which his position of secretary in several
of their houses had afforded him special facilities, he
had learned something about the Halkar family^ and
this particular ring, of which, for some reason or other,
he wanted to possess himself. -

"What more can I do?" moaned Euphra, succeed-
ing at length in raising herself to a sitting posture,
and leaning thus against a tree. "I shall be found
out some day. I have been already seen wandering
through the house at midnight, with the heart of a
thief. I hate you. Count Halkar!"

A low laugh was the count's only reply.

"And now Lady Euphrasia herself dogs my steps,
to keep me from the ring." She gave a low cry of
agony at the remembrance.

"Miss Cameron — Euphra — are j^ou going to give
way to such folly?"

"Folly! Is it not worse folly to torture a poor
girl as you do me — all for a worthless ring? What can
you want with the ring? I do not know that he has it

"You lie. You know he has. You need not think
to take me in."

Digitized by CjOOQIC


"Xou base man ! You dare not give the lie to any
but a ^oman."


"Because you are a coward. You are afraid of
Lady Euphrasia yourself. See there!"

Von Funkelstein glanced round him uneasily. It
was only the moonlight on the bark of a silver birch.
Conscious of having betrayed weakness, he grew spite-

"If you do not behave to me better, I will compel
you. Rise up!"

After a moment's hesitation, she rose.

"Put your arms round me."

She seemed to grow to the earth, and to drag her-
self/ from it, one foot after another. But she came
close up to the Bohemian, and put one arm half round
him, looking to the earth all the time.

"Kiss me."

"Count Halkar!" her voice sounded hollow and
harsh, as if from a dead throat — "I will do what you
please. Only release me."

"Go then; but mind you resist me no more. I
do not care for your kisses. You were ready enough
once. But that idiot of a tutor has taken my place, I

"Would to God I had never seen you! — never
yielded to your influence over me! Swear that I shall
be free if I find you the ring."

"You find the ring first. Why should I swear?
I can compel you. You ktxow yo^ ^^^ yourself out
to entrap me first with you^ . a»d I only turned
upon you with mme. And y^^ ^ .^ ^y power. But you

Digitized by CjOOQIC


shall be free, notwithstanding; and I will torture you
till you free yourself. Find the ring."

"Cruel! cruel! You are doing all you can to ruin

"On the contrary, I am doing all I can to save
myself. If you had loved me as you allowed me to
think once, I should never have made you my tool."

"You would all the same."

"Take care. I am irritable to-night,"

For a few moments Euphra made no reply.

"To what will you drive me?" she said at last.

"I will not go too far. I should lose my power
over you if I did. I prefer to keep it."

"Inexorable man!"


Another despairing pause.

"What am I to do?"

"Nothing. But keep yourself ready to carry out
any plan that I may propose. Something will turn up,
now that I have got into the house myself. Leave me
to find out the means. I can expect no invention
from your brains. You can go home."

Euphra turned without another word, and went;
murmuring, as if in excuse to herself:

"It is for my freedom. It is for my freedom."

Of course this account must have come originally
from Euphra herself, for there was no one else to tell
it. She, at least, believed herself compelled to do
what the man pleased. Some of my readers will put
her down as insane. She may have been; but, for
my part, I believe there is such a power of one being
over another, though perhaps only in a rare contact
of psychologically peculiar natures. I have testimony

Digitized by CjOOQIC


enough for that. She had yielded to his will once.
Had she not done so, he could not have compelled
her; but, having once yielded, she had not strength
sufficient to free herself again. Whether even he could^
free her, further than by merely abstaining from the
exercise of the powej: he had gained, I doubt much.

It is evident that he had come to the neighbour-
hood of Arnstead for the sake of finding her, and
exercising his power over her for his own ends; that
he had made her come to him once, if not oftener,
before he met Hugh, and by means of his acquaint-
ance, obtained admission into Arnstead. Once ad-
mitted, he had easily succeeded, by his efforts to
please, in so far ^ingratiating himself with Mr. Arnold,
that now the house-door stood open to him, and he
had even his recognised seat at the dinner-table.


Next this marble venomed seat,
Smeared with gams of glntlnoua heat,
I touch with chaste palms moist and cold —
Now the spell hath lost his hold.

Next morning Lady Emily felt better, and wanted
to get up: but her eyes were still too bright, and her
hands too hot; and Margaret would not hear of it.

Fond as Lady Emily was in general of Mrs. Elton's
society, she did not care to have her with her now,
and got tired of her when Margaret was absent.

They had taken care not to allow Miss Cameron
to enter the room; but to-day there was not much

Digitized by



likelihood of her making the attempt, for she did not
appear at breakfast, sending a message to her micle
that she had a bad headache, but hoped to take her
place at the dinner-table.

During the day, Lady Emily was better, but rest-
less by fits.

"Were you not out of the room for a little while
last night, Margaret?" she said, rather suddenly.

"Yes, my lady. I told you I should have to go,

"I remember I thought you had gone, but I was
not in the least afraid, and that dreadful man never
came near me. I do not know when you returned.
Perhaps I had fallen asleep; but when I thought about
you next, there you were by my bedside."

"I shall not have to leave you to-night," was all
Margaret's answer.

As for Hugh, when first he woke, the extraordinary
experiences of the previous night appeared to him to
belong only to the night, and to have no real relation
to the daylight world. But a little reflection soon con-
vinced him of the contrary; and then he went through
the duties of the day like one who had nothing td do
with them. The phantoms he had seen even occupied
some of the thinking space formerly appropriated by
the image of Euphra, though he knew to his concern
that she was ill, and confined to her room. He had
heard the message sent to Mr. Arnold, however, and
so kept hoping for the dinner-hour.

With it came Euphra^ very pale. Her eyes had
an unsettled look, and there were dark hollows under
them. She would start and lock sideways without any

Digitized by



visible cause; and was thus very different from her
usual self — ordinarily remarkable for self-possession,
almost to coolness, of manner and speech. Hugh
saw it, and became both distressed and speculative in
consequence. It did not diminish his discomfort that,
about the middle of dinner, Funkelstein was an-
nounced. Was it, then, that Euphra had been tre-
mulously expectant of him?

"This is an unforeseen pleasure, Herr von Funkel-
stein," said Mr. Arnold.

"It is very good of you to call it a pleasure, Mr.
Arnold," said he. "Miss Cameron — but, good heavens!
how ill you look!"

"Don't be alarmed. I have only caught the

*^Only?" was all Funkelstein said in reply; yet Hugh
thought he had no right to be so solicitous about
Euphra's health.

As the gentlemen sat at their wine, Mr. Arnold

"I am anxious to have one more trial of those
strange things you have brought to our knowledge.
I have been thinking about them ever since."

"Of course I am at your service, Mr. Arnold; but
don't you think, for the ladies' sakes, we have had
enough of if?"

"You are very considerate, Hen von Funkelstein;
but they need not be present if they do not like it."

"Very well, Mr. Arnold."

They adjourned once more to the library instead
of the drawing-room. Hugh went and told Euphra,
who was alone in the 8rawing-room, what they were

Dazfid Elgitibrod. II. ^

Digitized by



about. She declined going, but insisted on his leaving
her, and joining the other gentlemen.

Hugh left her with much reluctance.

"Margaret," said Lady Emily, "I am certain that
man is in the house."

"He is, my lady," answered Margaret.

"They are about some more of those horrid ex-
periments, as they call them."

"I do not know."

Mrs. Elton entering the room at the moment,
Margaret said:

"Do you know, ma'am, whether the gentlemen
are in the library again?"

"I don't know, Margaret. I hope not. We have
had enough of that. I will go and find out, though."

"Will you take my place for a few minutes first,^
please, ma'am?"

Margaret had felt a growing oppression for some
time. She had scarcely left the sick-room that day.

"Don't leave me, dear Margaret," said Lady Emily,

"Only for a little while, my lady. I shall be back
in less than a quarter of an hour."

"Very well, Margaret," she answered dolefully.

Margaret went out into the moonlight, and walked
for ten minutes. She sought the more open parts,
where the winds were. She then returned to the sick-
chamber, refreshed and strong.

"Now I will go and see what the gentlemen are
about," said Mrs. Elton.

The good lady did not like these proceedings, but
she was inesistibly attracted by them notwithstanding.

Digitized by



Having gone to see for Lady Emily, she remained to
see for herself.

After she had left, Lady Emily grew more uneasy.
Not even Margaret's presence could make her comfort-
able. Mrs. Elton did not return. Many minutes

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Online LibraryGeorge MacDonaldDavid Elginbrod, Volume 2 → online text (page 1 of 20)