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"






THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES





, r



PAUL FABER

SURGEON



BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

-<&$s

Uniform with this Volume.

MALCOLM.

THE MARQUIS OP LOSSIB.

DONAL GRANT,

CASTLE WARLOCK.

WHAT'S MINE'S MINE.

ST. GEORGE AND ST. MICHAEL.

ANNALS OF A QUIET NEIGHBOURHOOD.

THE SEABOARD PARISH : A Sequel to " Annals of
a Quiet Neighbourhood."

WILFRED CUMBERMEDE: An Autobiographical
Story.

PAUL FABER, SURGEON.
THOMAS WINGFOLD, CURATE.
HOME AGAIN.
THE ELECT LADY.
THERE AND BACK.
FLIGHT OF THE SHADOW.



LONDON: KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & Co., LIB



PA U L F A B E R



SURGEON



BY GEORGE MAC DONALD, I.L.D.

AUTHOR OF " THOMAS WING FOLD, CURATE,"
"WHAT'S MIKE'S MINE," ETC.



NINTH EDITION



LONDON
KRGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER, & CO. L

DRYDEN HOUSE, GERRARD STREET, W.



The rights of translation and of .reproduction are reserved.



V, 2-6



TO

W. C T.



Gear- windowed temple of the God of grace,
From the loud wind to me a. hiding-place !
Thee gird broad lands with genial motions rife,
But in thee dwells, high-throned, the Life of life !
Thy test no stagnant moat half-filled with mud,
But living waters witnessing in flood 1
Thy priestess, beauty-clad, and gospel-shod.
A fellow labourer in the earth with God !
Good will art thou, and goodness all thy arts-
Doves to their windows, and to thee fly hearts !
Take of the corn in thy dear shelter grown,
Which else the storm had all too rudely blown ;
When to a higher temple thou shalt mount,
Thy earthly gifts in heavenly friends shall count ;
Let these first-fruits enter thy lofty door,
And golden lie upon thy goLlei. floor.

G. M. It.
PORTO FINO, December, i8jK.



765350



CONTENTS.



CHAP. PAOB

I. THE LANE . I

ii. THE MINISTER'S DOOR 9

III. THE MANOR HOUSE 17

IV. THE RECTORY 23

V. THE ROAD TO OWLKIRK 26

VI. THE COTTAGE 31

VII. THE PULPIT 36

VIII. THE MANOR HOUSE DINING-ROOM 46

ix. MR. DRAKE'S ARBOUR 51

X. THE RECTORY DRAWING-ROOM 58

XI. THE CHAMBER AT THE COTTAGE 71

XIL THE MINISTER'S GARDEN 76

XIII. THE HEATH AT NESTLEY 8l

XIV. THE GARDEN AT OWLKIRK 92

XV. THE PARLOUR AT OWLKIRK IOI

xvi. THE BOTCHER'S SHOP 114

XVII. THE PARLOUR AGAIN 122

XVIII. THE PARK AT NESTLEY 140

XIX. THE RECTORY 14$

XX. AT THE PIANO 155

xxi. THE PASTOR'S STUDY 163

XXII. TWO MINDS 176

xxni. THE MINISTER'S BEDROOM 183

xxiv JULIET'S CHAMBER 194



viii CONTENTS.

CHAP. PAG8

XXV. OSTERFJEL1> PARK 20$

XXVI. THE SURGERY DOOR . 21$

XXVII. THE GROANS OF THE INARTICULATE .... 224

XXVIII. COW-LANE CHAPEL 238

xxix. THE DOCTOR'S HOUSE 252

XXX. THE PONY-CARRIAGE 26 1

XXXI. A CONSCIENCE 79

XXXII. THE OLD HOUSE AT GLASTON 292

xxxiii. PAUL FABER'S DRESSING-ROOM 303

XXXIV. THE BOTTOMLESS POOL 319

XXXV. A HEART ... 325

XXXVI. TWO MORE MINDS 333

xxxvu. THE DOCTOR'S STUDY 346

XXXVIII. THE MIND OF JULIET 3$6

XXXIX. ANOTHER MIND 368

XL. A DESOLATION 374

XLI. THE OLD GARDEN 386

XLII. THE POTTERY 397

XLIII. THE GATE-LODGE 4IO

XLIV. THE CORNER OF THE BUTCHER'S SHOP .... 421

XLV. HERE AND THERE 427

XLVI. THE MINISTER'S STUDY 434

XLVII. THE BLOWING OF THE WIND ..,.,., 444

XL VIII. THE BORDER- LAND ... 4$4

XLIX. EMPTY HOUSES 463

L. FALLOW FIELDS 473

Li. THE NEW OLD HOUSE 487

LII. THE LEVEL OF THE LYTHE ........ 495*

mi. MY LADY'S CHAMBER ........... 500

LIV. NOWHERE AND EVERYWHERE $11



CHAPTER I.




THE LANE.

|HE rector sat on the box of his carriage,
driving his horses towards his church, the
grand old abbey-church of Glaston. His
wife was inside, and an old woman he had
stopped on the road to take her up sat with
her basket on the foot-board behind. His coachman sat
beside him: he never took the reins when his master
was there. Mr. Bevis drove like a gentleman, in an
easy, informal, yet thoroughly business-like way. His
horses were black large, well-bred, and well-fed, but
neither young nor showy, and the harness was just the
least bit shabby. Indeed, the entire turnout, including
his own hat and the coachman's, offered the beholder
that aspect of indifference to show, which, by the sug-
gestion of a nodding acquaintance with poverty, gave it
the right clerical air of being not of this world. Mrs
Bevis had her basket on the seat before her, containing,
beneath an upper stratum of flowers, some of the first
rhubarb of the season and a pound or two of fresh butter
for a poor relation in the town.

The rector was a man about sixty, with keen gray eyes,
a good-humoured mouth, a nose whose enlargement had
not of late gone in the direction of its original design, and



2 PAUL FABER.

a face more than inclining to the rubicund, suggestive
of good living as well as open air. Altogether he had the
look of a man who knew what he was about, and was on
tolerable terms with himself, and on still better with his
neighbour. The heart under his ribs was larger even than
indicated by the benevolence of his countenance and the
humour hovering over his mouth. Upon the counten-
ance of his wife rested a placidity sinking almost into
fatuity. Its features were rather indications than comple-
tions, but there was a consciousness of comfort about the
mouth, and the eyes were alive.

They were passing at a good speed through a varying
country now a thicket of hazel, now great patches of
furze upon open common, and anon well-kept farm-
hedges, and clumps of pine, the remnants of ancient
forest, when, half-way through a lane so narrow that the
rector felt every yard towards the other end a gain, his
horses started, threw up their heads, and looked for a
moment wild as youth. Just in front of them, in the
air, over a high hedge, scarce touching the topmost twigs
with his hoofs, appeared a great red horse. Down he
came into the road, bringing with him a rather tall, cer-
tainly handsome, and even at first sight, attractive rider.
A dark brown moustache upon a somewhat smooth sun-
burnt face, and a stern settling of the strong yet delicately
finished features, gave him a military look; but the sparkle
of his blue eyes contradicted his otherwise cold expres-
sion. He drew up close to the hedge to make room for
the carriage, but as he neared him Mr. Bevis slackened his
speed, and during the following talk they were moving
gently along with just room for the rider to keep clear of
the off fore wheel.

" Heigh, Faber," said the clergyman, " you'll break your
neck some day ! You should think of your patients, man.
That wasn't a jump for any man in his senses to take."

" It is but fair to give my patients a chance now and
then," returned the surgeon, who never met the rector but
there v as a merry passage between them.



THE LANE. 3

" Upon my word," said Mr. Bevis, " when you came
over the hedge there, I took you for Death in the
Revelations, that had tired out his own and changed
horses with t'other one."

As he spoke, he glanced back with a queer look, for he
found himself guilty of a little irreverence, and his con-
science sat behind him in the person of his wife. But
that conscience was a very easy one, being almost as in-
capable of seeing a joke as of refusing a request.

" How many have you bagged this week?" con-
cluded the rector.

"I haven't counted up yet," answered the surgeon.
" You've got one behind, I see," he added, signing with
his whip over his shoulder.

" Poor old thing ! " said the rector, as if excusing
himself, " she's got a heavy basket, and we all need a lift
sometimes eh, doctor ? into the world and out again, at
all events."

There was more of the reflective in this utterance than
the parson was in the habit of displaying ; but he liked the
doctor, and, although as well as every one else he knew
him to be no friend to the church, or to Christianity, or
even to religious "belief of any sort, his liking, coupled
with a vague sense of duty, had urged him to this most
unassuming attempt to cast the friendly arm of faith
around the unbeliever.

" I plead guilty to the former," answered Faber, " but
somehow I have never practised the euthanasia. The
instincts of my profession, I suppose, are against it.
Besides, that ought to be your business."

" Not altogether," said the rector, with a kindly look
from his box, which, however, only fell on the top of the
doctor's hat

Faber seemed to feel the influence of it notwithstand-
ing, for he returned,

" If all clergymen were as liberal as you, Mr. Bevis,
there would be more danger of some of us giving in."

The word liberal seemed to rouse the rector to the fact



4 PAUL FABER.

that his coachman sat on the box, yet another conscience,
beside him. Sub divo one must not be too liberal.
There was a freedom that came out better over a bottle
of wine, than over the backs of horses. With a word
he quickened the pace of his cleric steeds, and the
doctor was dropped parallel with the carriage window.
There, catching sight of Mrs. Bevis, of whose possible
presence he had not thought once, he paid his com-
pliments, and made his apologies, then trotted his gaunt
Ruber again beside the wheel, and resumed talk, but not
the same talk, with the rector. For a few minutes it
turned upon the state of this and that ailing parishioner ;
for, while the rector g left all the duties of public service to
his curate, he ministered to the ailing and the poor upon
and immediately around his own little property, which
was in that corner of his parish farthest from the town ;
but ere long, as all talk was sure to do between the par-
son and anybody who owned but a donkey, it veered
round in a certain direction.

" You don't seem to feed that horse of yours upon
beans, Faber," he said.

" I don't seem, I grant," returned the doctor; "but you
should see him feed ! He eats enough for two, but he
can't make fat : all goes to muscle and pluck."

"Well, I must allow the less fat he has to carry the
better, if you're in the way of heaving him over such
hedges on to the hard road. In my best days I should
never have faced a jump like that in cold blood," said
the rector.

" I've got no little belongings of wife or child to make
a prudent man of me, you see," returned the surgeon.
"At worst it's but a knock on the head and a longish
snooze."

The rector fancied he felt his wife's shudder shake the
carriage, but the sensation was of his own producing.
The careless defiant words wrought in him an unaccount-
able kind of terror : it seemed almost as if they had
rushed of themselves from his own lips.



THE LANE. J

" Take care, my dear sir," he said solemnly. " There
may be something to believe, though you don't be-
lieve it"

" I must take the chance," replied Faber. " I will do
my best to make calamity of long life, by keeping the
rheumatic and epileptic and phthisical alive, while I
know how. Where nothing can be known, I prefer not
to intrude."

A pause followed. At length said the rector,

"You are so good a fellow, Faber, I wish you were
better. When will you come and dine with me ?"

" Soon, I hope," answered the surgeon, " but I am too
busy at present For all her sweet ways and looks, the
spring is not friendly to man, and my work is to wage war
with nature."

A second pause followed. The rector would gladly
have said something, but nothing would come.

" By the bye," he said at length, " I thought I saw you
pass the gate let me see on Monday : why did you
not look in ?"

" I hadn't a moment's time. I was sent for to a patient
in the village."

" Yes, I know ; I heard of that. I wish you would
give me your impression of the lady. She is a stranger
here. John, that gate is swinging across the road. Get
down and shut it. Who and what is she ? "

" That I should be glad to learn from you. All I
know is that she is a lady. There cannot be two opinions
as to that."

" They tell me she is a beauty," said the parson.

The doctor nodded his head emphatically.

" Haven't you seen her ? " he said.

" Scarcely only her back. She walks well. Do you
know nothing about her ? Who has she with her ? "

Nobody."

" Then Mrs. Bevis shall call upon her."

"I think at present she had better not Mrs. Puck ridge
is a good old soul, and pays her every attention."



6 PAUL FABER.

" What is the matter with her ? Nothing infectious ? "

" Oh, no ! She has caught a chill. I was afraid of
pneumonia yesterday."

"Then she is better?"

" I confess I am a little anxious about her. But I
ought not to be dawdling like this, with half my patients
to see. I must bid you good morning. Good morning,
Mrs. Bevis."

As he spoke, Faber drew rein, and let the carriage
pass ; then turned his horse's head to the other side of
the way, scrambled up the steep bank to the field above,
and galloped towards Glaston, whose great church rose
high in sight. Over hedge and ditch he rode straight for
\ts tower.

" The young fool ! " said the rector, looking after him
admiringly, and pulling up his horses that he might more
conveniently see him ride.

" Jolly old fellow ! " said the surgeon, at his second
jump. " I wonder how much he believes now of all the
rot ! Enough to humbug himself with not a hair more.
He has no passion for humbugging other people. There's
that curate of his now believes everything, and would
humbug the whole world if he could ! How any man
can come to fool himself so thoroughly as that man does,
is a mystery to me ! I wonder what the rector's driving
into Glaston for on a Saturday."

Paul Faber was a man who had espoused the cause ot
science with all the energy of a suppressed poetic nature.
He had such a horror of all kinds of intellectual decep-
tion or mistake, that he would rather run the risk of re-
jecting any number of truths than of accepting one error.
In this spirit he had concluded that, as no immediate
communication had ever reached his eye or ear or hand
from any creator of men, he had no ground for believing
in the existence of such a creator; while a thousand unfit
nesses evident in the world, rendered the existence oi
one perfectly wise and good and powerful, absolutely
impossible. If one said to him that he believed thousands



THE LANK. 7

of things he had never himself knovrn, he answered he
did so upon testimony. If one rejoined that here too we
have testimony, he replied it was not credible testimony,
but founded on such experiences as he was justified in
considering imaginary, seeing they were like none he had
ever had himself. When he was asked whether, while he
yet believed there was such a being as his mother told
him of, he had ever set himself to act upon that belief,
he asserted himself fortunate in the omission of what
might have riveted on him the fetters of a degrading faith.
For years he had turned his face towards all speculation
favouring the non-existence of a creating Will, his back to-
wards all tending to show that such a one might be. Argu-
ment on the latter side he set down as born of prejudice,
and appealing to weakness ; on the other, as springing from
courage, and appealing to honesty. He had never put it
to himself which would be the worse deception to be-
lieve there was a God when there was none ; or to believe
there was no God when there was one.

He had, however, a large share of the lower but equally
indispensable halt of religion that, namely, which has
respect to one's fellows. Not a man in Glaston was
readier, by day or by night, to run to the help of
another, and that not merely in his professional capacity,
but as a neighbour, whatever the sort of help that was
needed.

Thomas Wingfo Id, the curate, had a great respect for him.
Having himself passed through many phases of serious,
and therefore painful doubt, he was not as much shocked
by the surgeon's unbelief as some whose real faith was
even less than Faber"s; but he seldom laid himself out to
answer his objections. He sought rather, but as yet ap-
parently in vain, to cause the roots of those very objec-
tions to strike into, and thus disclose to the man himself,
the deeper strata of his being. This might indeed at first
only render him the more earnest in his denials, but at
length it would probably rouse in him that spiritual nature
to which alone such questions really belong, and which



8 PAUL FABEK.

alone is capable of coping with them. The first notable
result, however, of the surgeon's intercourse with the
curate was, that, whereas he had till then kept his opinions
to himself in the presence of those who did not sympa-
thize with them, he now uttered his disbelief with such
plainness as I have shown him using towards the rector.
This did not come of aggravated antagonism, but of ad-
rriration of the curate's openness in the presentment of
truths which must be unacceptable to the majority of his
congregation.

There had arisen therefore betwixt the doctor and the
curate, a certain sort of intimacy, which had at length
come to the rector's ears. He had, no doubt, before
this heard many complaints against the latter, but he had
laughed them aside. No theologian himself, he had found
the questions hitherto raised in respect of Wingfold's
teaching, altogether beyond the pale of his interest. He
could not comprehend why people should not content
themselves with being good Christians, minding their own
affairs, going to church, and so feeling safe for the next
world. What did opinion matter so long as they were
good Christians? He did not exactly know what he
believed himself, but he hoped he was none the less of a
Christian for that ! Was it not enough to hold fast what-
ever lay in the apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian
creed, without splitting metaphysical hairs with your
neighbour? But was it decent that his curate should be
hand and glove with one who denied the existence of a
God? He did not for a moment doubt the faith of
Wingfold ; but a man must have some respect for ap-
pearances : appearances were facts as well as realities
were facts. An honest man must not keep company with
a thief, if he would escape the judgment of being of
thievish kind. Something must be done; probably some-
thing said would be enough, and the rector was now on
his way to say it.




CHAPTER 1L
THE MINISTER'S DOOR.

r ERYBODY knew Mr. Faber, whether he
rode Ruber or Niger Rubber and Nigger,
his groom called them, and many were the
greetings that met him as he passed along
Pine Street, for, despite the brand of his
atheism, he was popular. The few ladies out shopping
bowed graciously, for both his manners and his person
were pleasing, and his professional attentions unexcep-
tionable. When he dropped into a quick walk, to lei
Ruber cool a little ere he reached his stall, he was several
times accosted and detained. The last who addressed
him was Mr. Drew, the principal draper of the town. Ht
had been standing for some time in his shop-door, but
as Faber was about to turn the corner, he stepped out or
the pavement, and the doctor checked his horse in the
gutter.

" I wish you would look in upon Mr. Drake, sir," he
said. " I am quite uneasy about him. Indeed I am sure
he must be in a bad way, though he won't allow it.
He's not an easy man to do anything for, but just you let
me know what can be done for him and we'll contrive.
A nod, you know, doctor, &c."
" I don't well see how I can," returned Faber. "To



io PAUL FABER.

call now without being sent for, when I never called
before ! No, Mr. Drew, I don't think I could."

Tt was a lovely spring noon. The rain that had fallen
heavily during the night, lay in flashing pools that filled the
street with suns. Here and there were little gardens before
the houses, and the bushes in them were hung with bright
drops, so bright that the rain seemed to have fallen from
the sun himself, not from the clouds.

" Why, goodness gracious ! " cried the draper, " here's
your excuse come direct ! "

Under the very nose of the doctor's great horse stood
a little woman-child, staring straight up at the huge red
head above her. Now Ruber was not quite gentle, and it
was with some dismay that his master, although the
animal showed no offence at the glowering little thing,
pulled him back a step or two with the curb, the thought
darting through him how easily with one pash of his
mighty hoof the horse could annihilate a mirrored
universe.

" Where from ? " he asked, by what he would himself
have called a half-conscious cerebration.

" From somewhere they say you don't believe in,
doctor," answered the draper. " It's little Amanda, the
minister's own darling. Naughty little dear ! " he con-
tinued, his round good-humoured face wrinkled all over
with smiles, as he caught up the truant, " what ever do
you mean by splashing through every gutter between
home and here, making a little drab of yourself? Why
your frock is as wet as a dish-clout ! and your shoes !
My gracious ! "

The little one answered only by patting his cheeks,
which in shape much resembled her own, with her little
fat puds, as if she had been beating a drum, while Faber
looked down amused and interested.

" Here, doctor ! " the draper went on, " you take the
little mischief on the saddle before you, and carry her
home : that will be your excuse."

As he spoke, he held up the child to him. Faber took



THE MINISTER'S DOOR. II

her, and sitting as far back in the saddle as he could, set
her upon the pommel She screwed up her eyes, and
grinned with delight, spreading her mouth wide, and
showing an incredible number of daintiest little teeth.
When Ruber began to move, she shrieked in her ecstasy.

Holding his horse to a walk, the doctor crossed the
main street and went down a side one towards the river,
whence again he entered a narrow lane. There with
the handle of his whip he managed to ring the door-bell
of a little old-fashioned house which rose immediately
from the lane without even a footpath between. The
door was opened by a lady-like young woman, with smooth
soft brown hair, a white forehead, and serious, rather
troubled eyes.

" Aunty ! aunty ! " cried the child, " Ducky 'iding ! "

Miss Drake looked a little surprised. The doctor
lifted his hat. She gravely returned his greeting, and
stretched up her arms to take the child. But she drew
back, nestling against Faber.

" Amanda ! come, dear," said Miss Drake. " How
kind of Dr. Faber to bring you home ! I'm afraid you've,
been a naughty child again running out into the street."

" Such a g'eat 'ide !" cried Amanda, heedless of reproof.
" A yeal 'ossy big ! big ! "

She spread her arms wide, in indication of the vastnes" 1
of the upbearing body whereon she sat. But still she
leaned back against the doctor, and he waited the result
in amused silence. Again her aunt raised her hands to
take her.

" Mo' 'yide ! " cried the child, looking up backward, to
find Faber's eyes.

But her aunt caught her by the feet, and amid
struggling and laughter drew her down, and held her in her
arms.

" I hope your father is pretty well, Miss Drake," said
the doctor, wasting no time in needless explanation.

** Ducky," said the girl, setting down the child, " go and
tell grandpapa how kind Dr. Faber has been to you. Tell



12 PAUL FABER.

him he is at the door." Then turning to Faber, " I am
sorry to say he does not seem at all well," she answered
him. " He has had a good deal of annoyance lately,
and at his age that sort of thing tells."

As she spoke she looked up at the doctor, full in his
face, but with a curious quaver in her eyes. Nor was it
any wonder she should look at him strangely, for she felt
towards him very strangely : to her he was as it were the
apostle of a kakangel, the prophet of a doctrine that was
evil, yet perhaps was a truth. Terrible doubts had for
some time been assailing her doubts which she could
in part trace to him, and as he sat there on Ruber, he
looked like a beautiful evil angel, who knew there was
no God an evil angel whom the curate, by his bold
speech, had raised, and could not banish.

The surgeon had scarcely begun a reply, when the old
minister made his appearance. He was a tall, well-built
man, with strong features, rather handsome than other-
wise ; but his hat hung on his occiput, gave his head a
look of weakness and oddity that by nature did not be-
long to it, while baggy ill-made clothes and big shoes
manifested a reaction from the over-trimness of earlier
years. He greeted the doctor with a severe smile.

" I am much obliged to you, Mr. Faber," he said, " for
bringing me home my little runaway. Where did you
find her?"

" Under my horse's head, like the temple between the
paws of the Sphinx," answered Faber, speaking a parable



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