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no labour too great to be made for us, not on the
tourney field, be it, but in the harder arena of
life."

Charles, who had listened with great attention
to what the two girls had said, turned his eyes on
them.

Bianca was standing with some of the enthusi-
asm of her words expressed in her whole form.
Euphrosyne was sitting at her feet in an attitude
of devotional repose. She was thinking of Arnolfo.
Bianca was dreaming of the man who would invite



74 A BARTERED HONOUR.

her some day to stand by his side and fight the
battle of the world with him.

Enphrosyne was dreaming of the happiness of
a life of eternal rest ; a life void of struggle and
movement ; a life full of poetry, music, sunlight
and flowers, of life, of love, love given, love re-
turned in fullest measure.

Bianca spoke next ; turning to Charles —

" And yon, Signer Carlo ? You are a man.
What will your life be ? Have you a fight to fight,
or are you going to rest ? ^'

She fixed a curious glance on him, and with fire
Hghting in her eyes awaited his answei'.

'' Rest ? " cried Charles, rising to his feet and
throwing out his arms. "Rest? No, lady, if ever
man had work to do it is I. Rest ! while a shame
cankers my innermost soul. Rest ! while I walk
a pariah among lesser men. Rest ! while I grind
my teeth at an unmerited reproach. Rest? No
lady, there is no rest to me. If I had the eternal
force, the restless activity of those blue waves, I
might still desj)air of doing what I have to do.
For me there will be no rest till it is done, or the
Fates achieve their injustice, and I am lain where
I can work no more.^^

Bianca never took her eyes ofi" him while he was
speaking. Euphrosyne, too, startled by the intense
energy and passion expressed in his voice, was
listening intently.

Charles continued —

" I have to smite the world on the cheek and



AMBITION AXD LOYE. 75

say, 'Thou bast lied.' I have to raise myself
from the shade and make myself prominent
among men. I have to climb a hill, barred at
each step of my rngged path by falsehood, by
envy, by contempt, by prejudice. I have to
fight against all the world; I have a bitterer
fight to fight against myself. For," continued
he, turning to Euphrosyne, in a tone full of
love and admiration, ^' there are times when
I think as you do, Signorina; times when
all seems to invite to repose; times when all
is so beautiful that it seems folly to think of the
foolish world ; times when the struggle with such
an opponent seems unworthy ; times when love of
one beautiful, pure angel seems enough. Then it
is that I have to fight against myself/'

" Why ! " said Euphrosyne ; " would you not be
happy thus ? "

"No, Signorina, the woman who marries me
must not be wedded to a living rej)roach. There
are things in this vroiid which nothing can undo.
A murderer may expiate his crime, a renegade re-
cant his heresy, but from the shame of the sins of
our fathers there is no deliverance. But there
shall be a deliverance. And it is to do what even
I, who hope to do it, just called impossible, that I
can take no rest."

The two girls looked at each other in silence.
There was a pause ; all were busy with their
thoughts.

Charles broke the silence by saying —



76 A BARTERED HONOUR.

" Excuse me, ladies, if I have talked too loudly
things which cannot interest you. Iliey interest
me too much, I know, not to appear selfish. They
are of me, my being.''

• With this he bade them good-bye. Euphrosyne
kept his hand in hers some time, then she
-said —

" Do not be unhappy; Carlo ; is not the world
too beautiful ? The world of God, not the world
of men. Men have always been cruel, at least
some. You will tell me some day what your grief
is, will you not? "

Charles bent over her little hand and kissed it.
He then gave his hand to Bianca. She turned
away and released it without a pressure.

He then went, but before he had reached the
gate he heard a nimble step behind him. It was
Bianca. Her cheek was flushed, her whole face
excited, and her eyes were flashing wildly.

"I did not bid you a good good-night just now,"
she said hurriedly. '' I have come to say it now.
I was thinking."

" You are very good," said Charles.

*' I was thinking that to you nothing should be
impossible. I am as excited as you were. I never
heard a man talk as you did. Eemember, to the
brave nothing is impossible. I do not know your
sorrow, but I saw you wince when you were
speaking, and I know it must be great. You
will fight well, will you not ? and now a better
good-night."



AMBITION AND LOVE. 77

Charles raised her hand to his lips and bowed.
He went on his way, but looking back he saw her
white form standing in the midst of the gleaming
foliage, her hand raised aloft as if motioning him
forward, forward !



CHAPTEE VIII.



A FEW days after Charles' conversation on the
stirring questions of ambition and love, he received
a visit at the Grande Sentinelle from his friend
the Chevalier de la Vigne, who had moved from
the Villa Castiglione to the luxurious Hotel
Tramontano at Sorrento.

When Charles asked him the reason of his leav-
ing his comfortable quarters at Pausilipo, the little
Chevalier burst out into a storm of reproach against
the unhappy Castiglione.

'' A most unheard-of outrage," said he. " Five*
nights ago, while I was peacefully sitting in my
room I heard a knock at the door, and the secre-
tary of the villa made his appearance. He had
the barefaced audacity to ask me if I had any
objection to leave the house at once, adding that
it did not matter whether I paid my bill or not
immediately, adding with the most consummate
insolence that it might not be convenient to me to
do so. I asked if he had perhaps not been dining
too heavily. He is of the Israelitic persuasion,
and no morsel had passed his lips, so help him
Moses. I then asked him what he meant by
telling me to go, adding that I had no intention
of leaving ; and, as to my solvency, referring him
to Messrs. Altier and Cie. He said he felt sorry,



79

it was not a question of personality, but Sign ore
Castiglione, who had been a long time in treaty
with three Russian princes with a view to lettincr
his villa for three months, had that evening re-
ceived a telegram closing the bargain, and all
jpensionnaires had been asked to go. I said,
^ Damn the three Eussian princes, I am comfort-
able here, and, with the exception of certain eccen-
tricities of certain of the ladies who dine at the
table cPhote, very well contented with the arrange-
ments.' But it appeared that I could not stay,
and so I left that night. It does not speak well
for the discrimination of M. Castiglione to prefer
three shoddy Russians to a de la Vigne. To
punish him I wrote to the editor of the
Pungolo, on the ' Insolence of Italian Hotel-
keepers,' but that rufB.an had the courage to tell
me that he could not insert my letter unless I paid
for it as an advertisement, by postage stamps or
post-ofl&ce order. If that is the way they behave
under a monarchy, I shall certainly lend my
support to the Italia Irridenta party."

'' WeU," said Charles, " there is one comfort,
you are now near Mademoiselle de Bienaimee.-"

"A great comfort that is,^' answered the
Chevalier with a doleful tone. " In spite of my
most elegant toilets and the services of atranscen-
dant hairdresser from Naples I make no progress
with the lady. She seems a marble statue ; and I
did not come here to investigate art. I am
seriously thinking of going back to Paris and
taking up my liaison with la Catalani of the Hippo-



80 A BARTERED HONOUR.

drome, thougli she costs me awful sums, especially
in paying the managerial fines for her."

This was good news to Charles, who, however,
did not dare to encourage the Frenchman in his
proposal for fear of betraying himself.

" But come," added the Chevalier, " I have an
invitation for you. We are to lunch at the Villa
Dresda, and I am really going to do my best to-day
to ingratiate myself with Phrosyne. My uncle
will be so angry if I return to Paris with nothing
but a few cakes of Naples soap, very nice soap by
the way, after all this most Quixotic adventure of
mine. Now be a good fellow and help me in this
matter."

" How can I? '^ said Charles, with an uninten-
tional double entendre.

" When you think I have made an impression,
just nudge me ; it will give me courage to go on.
We must manage to sit next to each other. And
look here at this paper. I have arranged some
little jeiix d' esprit to bring in, in a quiet way, into
the conversation. You see I have written them out.
There is one from Moliere, one I heard at the
Palais-Eoyal theatre, a few from Brillat-Savarin,
and one, by myself, quite original. It took me eight
days to perfect, and when I told it to Catalan i she
said she only hoped she would not remember it at
the Hippodrome that night, or she would surely
fall off her saddle. She added, though I confess I
don^t see the point of it, that the boite was close
enough already."

Equipped with all these weapons of love did the



THE chevalier's WOOING. 81

natty little Chevalier set forth to the Villa Dresda,
accompanied bj Charles. The latter was not in
good spirits ; how could he be, walking side by
side with a rival, who, although excessively foolish
and absurd, was from his position, his birth, and
his claim of kinship with Euphrosyne, by no means
a despicable one.

Arrived at the villa, they were received on the
terrace by the Baroness. She received Charles
most cordially, and told him that he would find
Bianca in the arbour, and that she wanted to show
him some drawings she had made.

Greeting the Chevalier, the Baroness had an
expression of amusement, such as one sees on the
faces of good-natured elderly people when speak-
ing to a child. Truly the Chevalier was amusing.
As soon as he had reached the terrace, and was
in sight of the lady, he had made his first little
bow, which he performed by drawing himself up
stiffly and slowly making a right angle of himself,
the middle of his back being the aj)ex thereof.
This he repeated three times, advancing between
each bow with a little mincing step. Had the
Baroness not been the courtly, well-bred lady that
she was she could not have helped laughing.

He immediately asked how her daughter was,
and the Baroness said she was well. He then
paused, he wanted to ask where she was, but did
not want to appear too pressing.

To tell the truth, the Baroness did not look with
a favourable eye on the little Chevalier-'s suit. She

VOL. II. a



82 A BARTERED HONOUR.

had her own ideas on the subject of manliness, and
wanted to see her wedded to the most perfect man
she conld find. Still, though the contemplation
of a union between Euphrosyne and de la Yigne
caused her no pleasurable feelings, she was too just
and honest to attempt to interfere in any way with
her daughter's inclinations, or to force her oneway
or the other.

Indeed, though she wished Euphrosyne to marry
eyentually, lest the ancient line of the illustrious
Eienaimees should die out, she did not recog-
nise any immediate necessity for a step which
would separate her from her darling child. If she
entertained the idea of anyone as a son-in-law, she
decidedly inclined to the manly, strong, and hand-
some di Caserta. She knew that Euphrosyne ad-
mired him, but she did not understand his feelings
towards Euphrosyne. He appeared indifferent,
but well the Baroness knew that men often don
the mask of indifference to conceal feelings of
which they affect to feel ashamed.

She resolved, however, to let the Chevalier have
his full chance, and so she told him that he would
find Euphrosyne in the arbour with Bianca.

The Chevalier accordingly proceeded to the
moss-grown rockery that was called the arbour.
He found the two girls busy showing Charles
some drawings they had made. Bianca's were
all illustrations of her fancies of chivalrous
knights and doughty warriors. Euphrosyne's
were sketches of the beautiful nature of the Bay
of Naples, of flowers and trees, views of the sea.



83

pleasant little rills trickling from some age-
greened boulder on tlie Mils behind, and in all
her drawings was expressed the artist's love of
sunlight and repose. Bianca's illustrated the
moving incidents of romance, the moonlit battle-
field, the tournej, the fight against dragons and
similar subjects ; Bianca drew movement and
tragedy, Euphrosyne repose and peace.

Charles was in one of his quietest moods, and
had for some time abandoned his ambitious yearn-
ings, so that he found more pleasure in the quiet
harmonies of Euphrosyne, than in the wild designs
of Bianca. \Yhen he was asked, therefore, by the
Chevalier which of the class of the drawings he
preferred, he said —

"La Signora Euphrosyna's. They suit my
mood. They all suggest quiet, repose, happi-
ness."

" Tityre, tu recubans, &c.," put in the Cheva-
lier.

"Why," said Bianca, pleading her cause with
fire, " did you not say that for you there should
be no rest, and do you recant now? Does not
movement and battle urge you on, does not the
contemplation of the beauties of repose invite you
to pernicious sloth ? Pernicious, for you said that
you had the world to smite on the cheek."

" What a very outree proposal,^' said the Cheva-
lier.

" It is one of my relapses to-day, Signorina,"
answered Charles.

"The ambitious should suffer no relapses," said



84 A BARTERED HONOUR.

Bianca, scornfully. " I despise the gladiator wha
sleeps at the entrance of the arena, putting off the
struggle he is bound to undergo."

" Do not talk about arenas,'^ said the Chevalier,,
" for you bring to my mind that very unpleasant
day I spent at Pompeji. Some very vigorous
Englishmen who were staying at the Villa Castig-
lione, the manager of which establishment is, in
parenthesis, unacquainted with the rudiments of
politeness, got me to accompany them to Pompeji.
I shall never forget the discomfort I suffered. The
dust, the heat ! And there was nothing to see
after all. I felt like Tantalus all the time I was
promenading the streets. The guide would lead
us up to an old ruin and say to me, dying of
thirst and hunger, ^This, gentlemen, was the shop
of a fruiterer. The most luscious melons, the
coolest of grapes, the juiciest of pomegranates,
may be supposed to have lain on this slab.' Or,
leading us to another tumble-down hut, he would
remark that a perfumer had formerly exercised his
profession there. My remark that it was a pity
that no perfumes had escaped the lava to scent the
air, in lieu of a peculiar, strong smell of garlic, was
received by the guide as an insult. Not content
with dragging me off my legs, through all the
narrow streets of this town, I was obliged to follow
my friends a long way, till we got to the arena. I
hope no gladiator ever suffered as much as I did
from weariness. When some sturdy Briton sug-
gested Herculaneum, I attributed it to the playful
irony which distinguishes the countrymen of



85

Shakespeare. It subsequently transpired, however,
that he was in full earnest/'

During this speech Bianca and Charles ex-
changed glances more than once. Bianca's eyes
turning with amusement from the Chevalier, rested
with a look of pity on Euphrosyne, who was listen-
ing patiently to her cousin^ s talk.

When he had finished, and was refreshing him-
self after his exertion by fanning himself with his
scented handkerchief, Euphrosyne said with a
little laugh —

" Well, Monsieur Alphonse, I am sorry you do
not like Pompeji, because mamma wants me to go
tliere, and thought you could escort us.''

" I would do any service for a lady," said the
Chevalier, bowing, "even this disagreeable one. I
shall have much pleasure in escorting you to
Pompeji."

'^ Oh, do not put yourself out, dear Cavaliere,"
said Bianca, hastily. "We would not for the
world expose you to fatigue, and, as you find this
service a disagreeable one, we must find another
escort."

The Chevalier was heartily relieved ; he bowed.

" Perhaps," said Euphrosyne, glancing at
Charles, " il Signor Inglese would be so kind?"

" Mademoiselle," answered Charles, " nothing
would make me happier, but I will not infringe on
the privileges and rights of this gentleman."

" Privileges ? " said Euphrosyne.

" Eights ? " echoed Bianca.

The poor little Chevalier looked at Charles as



86 A BARTERED HONOUR.

mucli as to saj, " Well, that is your way of fiirtlier-
ing my suit, is it ? "

Lunch was then announced^ and during it the
subject of their proposed visit to th.e disinterred
town was discussed. Indeed, it occupied the whole
conversation, and the Chevalier did not get one
opportunity of shining. It was only while coffee
was being handed round that he saw bis chance,
and before losing it, he burst, without any intro-
duction, into the following.

" One day, at Naples, I saw a man selling cocoa
nuts, and so I asked the man,

" ' Comment appelle-t^on cela? '

" He answered —

" ' Non si pela^ ma si rompe.'

^''Comment?' said I.

" ' Non con mano, ma con martello,' answered
he.

" ' Je ne vous comprends pas,' said I.

" ' Eh,' said he, ^ se non lo comprate voi, lo
compra un altro.'

" Then he turned to a neighbouring orange-
vendor and added —

'^ ' Well, at least, one can understand these
Germans.' "

Euphrosyne was perhaps the only one who had
listened; she laughed heartily.

This so encourao-ed the Chevalier that he beeran
to tell a dubious Palais-Royal witticism, but one
reproachful glance of the Baroness' was enough to
silence him. He understood Euphrosyne as little as
Charles did.



THE chevalier's WOOING. 87

It was then arranged that Charles should accom-
pany the three ladies to Pompeji, leaving Sorrento
the next day at about four, in time to catch the
5.30 p.m. train from Castellamare.

Very happy at this prospect, he returned home ;
happier still because before leaving the Villa
Dresda Euphrosyne had asked him if he would
like to take one of her drawings with him to keep.

" You are a poet," she said. " I see that, and
you will find beauty in this poor little sketch of
mine. You see the subject was rather a sad one, a
bunch of flowers thrown into the cruel salt sea. I
saw it the other day. The flowers had lost their
fragrance and were withering in the biting waters.
Take it as an emblem if you like ; an emblem of a
beautiful life thrown away in the bitterness of the
world, or of the blight of a searing ambition on a
mind made to enjoy the beautiful."

Charles took it, and Bianca, who was standing
by, said —

" I will put a piece of paper round it, it will get
soiled with the dust if you carry it thus."

When he got home and undid the cover he found
not one but two pictures. The other was signed
Bianca.

It represented a knight departing armed for
battle from his castle. Under the gateway stood a
lady, with her hand raised aloft, as if motioning
him onward and forward to victory. Her expres-
sion was beautifully studied, her face denoted a
victory over the pain she felt at losing her dear
lord, and yet an expression of courage, and the



88 A BARTERED HONOXJE.

smile of a triumpli anticipated rested on her
features.

The handful of sweet flowers, thirsting in the
pitiless salt waters of the cruel, devouring sea, and
the knight sped on his way by his ambitious lady
to conquer or to die, were they emblems ? were
they tokens ?



CHAPTEE IX.

A LETTER FEO^ AMERICA.

It was just after dinner; Herbert liad gone
upstairs to play a game of bezique with John
Merton, and Charles was sitting oyer his coffee
with a " little white enemy " between his teeth.
He was interrupted in a pleasant meditation by a
waiter, who brought him a delicate little note and
two letters.

The note was from Euphrosyne. When the
woman we love first writes to us, how minutely we
weigh each word, striving to find in each conven-
tional word of polite endearment something we can
construe into an expression of a predilection on her
part towards us. The note was short, written in
polite Italian, It ran thus —

" Splendid Mr. Chaeles,

""Could your friend, Mr. Lovell, accom-
pany us to-morrow to Pompeji ? Mamma thought
he might like to come, and we should be glad of
his company.

" Your most devoted,

''^EUPHEOSYNE."

"Wliy has she written in Italian?'' thought
Charles with a sigh of regret. " Why did she not
show me in English what she thinks her relation to
me is ? " Eor Charles well knew that the words



90 A BAETERED HONOTTE.

*' splendid " and "most devoted" are in use between:
the g^reatest strangers in courteous Italy. For-
my part, T should be better pleased to be told by a
pretty girl that she was " most devoted " to me
in hyperbolical Italian than to hear that she re-
mained " mine sincerely " in formal English.

One of the letters was for Charles. It came from
Dorothy. She told him that she had been very-
ill, nigh unto death, but that the little woman was
better now, and could get about comfortably. She
begged him to write to her, for, as she said, " Who
in the world, except the mother you have lost,
has ever cared for you as I do ? "

The other letter was in a mourning envelope,
and came from America. It was not for Charles
at all. It was addressed to Herbert Lovell, at
Leipzic, and had been forwarded.

Charles took the note and the letter up to
Merton's apartment. He gave them to Herbert
and waited to hear his answer. Mildred brought
him some coffee, and John^ who had heard his
praises sung repeatedly by Herbert, reproached
him for not coming oftener.

Charles said he had so much work to do that he
could not well manage to pay any visits.

" Visits ? Mr. Hauberk. Please don't use such
very formal words. We live in the same house,
and we ought to be good friends. No, I don't want
you to leave cards on me at intervals, but to come
and see us, and play cards, and hear Mildred sing,
and then we would come and see you."

" I regret," said Charles, " that I cannot avail



A LETTER FROM AMERICA. 9T

myself very often of the pleasures of the interesting
programme you hold out. I have infinite work to
do, and I am sure if I came often I should come too
often, and then my work would be neglected. But,
Herbert, what is the matter ? "

Herbert had read his letter in silence, and at the
end had risen to his feet pale and excited.

" I have bad news, very bad news, from New
Tork. My step-father is dead."

"Your father is dead?" exclaimed John and
Mildred rising to their feet.

" My poor friend," continued John, taking hold
of Herbert's hand, while Mildred timidly took the
other. " Your father dead ? "

" No, that grief has passed long ago. I don't
remember it. It is my step-father, who was as
kind to me as any father could be, who is dead."

" Sit down again and get calm," said Mildred in
a voice full of compassion,

" I am quite calm," said Herbert, with a grate-
ful glance at the girl. " I have not realised it yet.
My mother is in the greatest grief. He was the
best of men."

Sister and brother both did their best to comfort
their stricken friend,, and Charles too helped in
this ministration. By-and-bye Herbert said he
would rather retire, he would feel better alone.
Then bidding his friends good-night, with many
thanks, he walked slowly and sorrowfully out of
the room.

" Poor fellow," said John.

"Poor, poor boy," said Mildred, "and yet a



92 A BAETEKED HONOXTR.

brave boy too ; lie bears it well, strongly, man-
fully, does he not ? "

" I never doubted that Herbert Lovell would
lack in manliness at any time, or under any cir-
cumstances,^^ said John with warm affection.

When Charles went to bed that night he found
on his table Euphrosyne^s note, Herbert^s letter,
and a pencil line from his friend, telling him to
read the letter, and adding that he could not go
out on a pleasure-trip at present.

{Copy of a letter from Mrs, Dixon to her son
Herbert Lovell.)

"New York.

"My Dearest Herbert,

" When last I wrote, I told you that your
papa was ailing and now I have to tell you the
fearful news that he is dead. He died yesterday
afternoon, quite peacefully and conscious to the
end. Almost his last words were, ' Give my dear
love to my boy and tell him what I regret, next
to leaving you, is not to see him again. He was
always a good, true, honest, affectionate lad," and
a great comfort to all of us.' Shortly afterwards
he tried to write you a few lines, expressing his
love, but his pen fell from his hand, and a few
minutes afterwards he left us.

" I am in the greatest affliction, and miss you


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