It was so bad that he went off instantly into the dining-room to get another. But almost at the same instant, the Selbys entered the church at the further end. ‘His work has some dreadful tendencies. I love that you should think so, but I am compelled to tell you that it is not really so. It inspires me to make the most of any gift or talent that I have. Encourage the best in each other’s nature. Sit down and light your pipe. It is not for myself I speak, God knows. No good that is in me to give her shall ever be wanting while I live. The husband accepts the excellent little dinner, the fried sole, the, Then when every preparation has been made for the dinner—that solemn climax of the British day, there is plenty for Maude to do. There is only one serious objection which my mother can see. Do you know what threepence a day comes to in a year? His nerves winced and quivered before it. Poor dear! ‘Hold your tongue! The very possibility is too awful to think of. Then each side claimed to see the other’s documents, ‘discovery’ they called it, as if the documents were concealed, and they had to hunt for them stealthily with lanterns. There was sometimes just a touch of the savage, or at least there were indications of the possibility of a touch of the savage, in Frank Crosse. It had cost him a hundred odd pounds, and had ended in being unendurably hot in summer, impossibly cold in winter, and so constructed acoustically that it reverberated every sound in the neighbourhood. So make some maxims and try to live up to them. But how is a man with a capital of fifty pounds going to be philosophic when he is fighting an opponent whose assets, as a certain hoarding near Clapham Junction told him every morning, exceeded three millions of pounds. ‘I am afraid I cannot put it back.’. And I also thought—If I don’t get that woman for my own, I will never, never be the same man again.’, ‘Really, Frank, the very first day you saw me?’, ‘And then, day by day, and week by week, that feeling grew deeper and stronger, until at last you swallowed up all my other hopes, and ambitions, and interests. Mrs. Hunt Mortimer prided herself upon her housekeeping, so the problem interested her. Now ride this one on the curb, and don’t let him have his head for a moment.’. She looked round deliberately at the furniture of the room, and reconstructed in her own mind the life of the people who owned it. The people who believe in it can never have looked into a baby’s eyes. Come along where I lead you, and you will understand all about it.’. 16. The first was a very nice fish slice and fork in a case. Mrs. Beeton must have been the finest housekeeper in the world. Now, if you will cut some bread and butter it, we shall soon have our supper ready.’, ‘It’s too new to cut,’ cried Frank, sawing away upon the kitchen table. But where does the hog come in? ‘You’ve seen a memorial of a queen of England,’ said he. Good-bye, and thanks for such a pleasant afternoon!’. It was bewildering, the way in which they skipped from age to age. But Violet’s occasional fits of weakness were never of a very long duration. And so after one hour of precarious life, Mrs. Hunt Mortimer’s Mutual Improvement Society for the elucidation of Browning came to an untimely end. Don’t you bless him? Be keenly watchful for your husband’s wants and comforts. ‘We want the very hardest poem in the book. Everything seemed beautiful to the young wife—the wall-paper, the pictures, the carpet, the rug; but to him, she was so beautiful in mind, and soul, and body, that her presence turned the little room into an enchanted chamber. And see how high his head was from the ear to the crown. Don’t be so prejudiced! The meeting was to be at three o’clock, and at ten minutes to the hour Mrs. Hunt Mortimer arrived with two large brown volumes under her arm. After all, he had to do it a thousand times a year, and so he could not be extravagant in his emotions. ‘We’ll just get down there after lunch,’ said Frank, as he paid his bill. 4. Frank was also in a blue serge boating-suit, which was appropriate enough, for they spent most of their time upon the water, as a glance at his hands would tell. It says somewhere here that the happiness and comfort of the husband depend upon the housekeeping of the wife. ‘It is to you I owe all those sad, tired looks which I have seen upon my wife’s face. I should hate to think that there was anything you did not dare to tell me.’, ‘And you, Maude—would you be equally frank with me?’, ‘Yes, dear, I will. If ever you had a rival, I should think that it must be some consolation to her to know that it was so charming a person who cut her out.’, ‘I never had a rival,’ said she. There could be no doubt either as to the woman or the sleep. Violet Wright having examined her rival, proceeded now with the same cool attention to take in her surroundings. This is a guest post by Aaron Newton, who is working with coauthor Sharon Astyk on the forthcoming book, A Nation of Farmers. You old Bluebeard! I have felt so happy and light-hearted ever since you said it. How many women neglect their music after marriage.’. Eleven o’clock, sir, The singular service was read out to them, the exhortations, and the explanations, sometimes stately, sometimes beautiful, sometimes odious. And you must not think that I am ever with you to be amused. ‘Not at all. It makes me smile to think of it. ‘Won’t you take my word for this money?’, ‘I am sorry to have to say it, sir, but we have trusted in your word too often.’, ‘It is the Company’s money, and we must have it.’, ‘It will ruin my credit locally if I draw out my whole account under compulsion.’. It is easy to understand if one will only put it into ordinary language. Frank soon recovered his spirits now that he had something to do. Their conversation was unhappily upon a very much lower plane than when we overheard them last. It’s things like that as shakes your trust in ’uman nature.’. There was the sound of steps, of several steps, outside upon the gravel path. It was pleasant among all that jangling of the past to think of the love which had written them, and that other love which had so carefully preserved them. ‘Let me see: you are twenty-seven now, so you have loved four women a year since you were seventeen.’, ‘If you reckon it that way,’ said Frank, ‘I am afraid that it must have been more than forty.’. Then we stirred them up with flour and butter and things. And then, as the idea became more familiar to him, other emotions succeeded that of anger. Give me a kiss before we part.’. Any compromise which they would accept would be as much out of our power to pay as the whole sum would be, and so we may just as well see it through.’ But for once Maude did not take his opinion as final, but lay awake all night and thought it over. It is hopeless to prove that you are not a hero when your disclaimers are themselves taken as a proof of heroism. The man dissipates over many things, while she concentrates upon the one. As a matter of fact, it was just this telling her which made his trouble hard to bear. Why are you laughing?’, ‘Well, it came into my head how funny it would be, if the forty were all gathered into one room, and you were turned loose in the middle of them.’. ‘That waiter was getting on my nerves.’, ‘Well, my saying I should come down to Woking, and all that.’, ‘I should have been angry if I thought you had meant it.’, ‘Just to get level with you, Frankie, if you threw me over too completely. Frank made a grimace. ‘I reckon,’ remarked the father, ‘that if any one went through as much as that lady did, it would not tend to improve her beauty. It is such a very cheap way of doing things. You imagine me to be a hero, and a genius, and all sorts of things, while I know that I am about as ordinary a young fellow as walks the streets of London, and no more worthy of you than—well, than any one else is.’, ‘I like to hear you talk like that,’ said she. The least said the soonest mended. I have noticed that the maids and the waiters seem to look at us with a certain interest.’, ‘My dear girlie, you will find as you go through life that every man will always look at you with a certain interest.’, ‘Some butter, waiter, and the Stilton. ‘Is she all right?’, ‘I don’t suppose five minutes would do any harm.’. ‘Well, we saw you when you came to Woking,’ said Maude. But in this man’s case, it took the form of wishing to make a sensation after his death. You are tall enough to carry it off, and you have the figure also. It’s a sin and a shame.’. ‘I confess that my acquaintance with the poet has up to now been rather superficial. ‘When they come to excavate all this some thousands of years hence, they will think it was constructed by a race of giants,’ Frank answered. I’m so sorry if I have annoyed you.’ He had gone back to his chair, so she paid him a flying visit. For example, I have not time to write a book explaining to every one how nice Frank Crosse is; but if he were nasty my life would be empty, and so of course I should write my book.’, ‘I feel such a fraud when you talk like that.’, ‘Why, Frank, what is the matter with you to-day?’, ‘No, I am sure that you are not. ‘I can’t be angry with you,’ said she. Do you suppose a man has bought as many hairies as I have, and can’t tell when a dealer is bluffing? Do you really suppose that Mr. Pepys is in that wall?’, ‘I presume that the monument marks the grave.’, ‘There’s a little bit of plaster loose. But the visitor did not respond to the pretty gesture of welcome, nor did her handsome face return that sympathetic smile. Maude wanted to see her kitchen. ‘And please bring the bond back with you,’ said Maude. It was overwhelming, the grandeur of the roof above and of the contents below. By a coincidence it was Frank’s birthday. Beside the clock in the centre lay an open telegram. She cannot explain it to him, for she can hardly explain it to herself. ‘I always thought that people on their honeymoon lived on love.’, ‘Yes, isn’t it dreadful, Frank? They will always come in useful. The kettle is singing, so it won’t be long. We had to take her up one link in the curb, or there would have been no holding her.’. You have heard the story of the Scotch visitor who came on board one of our battleships and asked to see the captain. I have only just got back myself, and I saw by your wire that you had bought them all right.’, ‘Yes, I thought I had better let you have your contract at once. And yet she had said that she would ring or send word the moment she could see him, and so perhaps he had better wait where he was. She died somewhere in the north, and he had the body carried south to bury it in Westminster Abbey. Oh don’t, Maude, please don’t! ‘Inside was an inscription, which said, “Here lies the hammer of the Scots.” He was a fine man, six feet two inches from crown to sole.’. The photograph is flattering.’, ‘Oh, you think so!’ said Maude coldly. I think it was so kind of you to call.’. The stained glass—especially that which surmounted the altar—contained those rich satisfying purples and deep deep crimsons which only go with age. Maude and Frank were seated at the favourite small round table near the window, where they always lunched. He opened the door for him with his finger upon his lips. They could never understand why he begged for that extra five minutes. It was just sweet of you to come, dear, and I shall never forget it. I thought it was to last for ever.’, ‘Sensible! All these details are wasted upon you, sir, but you will like it when you see it. Come on, Maude, and get it over.’. In the base of the statue is an iron door, which has been thrown open, and the sculptor’s art has succeeded wonderfully in convincing you that it has been thrown open violently. ‘We are going into it.’. His intense love of the open air and of physical exercise was a sign of it. Even that drive through the streaming streets, with the rain pattering upon the top of their four-wheeler, could not depress him any longer. Of course it would be very unpleasant for him to have to travel at such a time, and we must strain every nerve to prevent it. And my income, £400 a year with a commission on business I introduce. There are six years. It is so true, but neither Frank nor I can imagine how you knew. Maude rose with her pleasant smile. ‘You never knew. Look at the Wardrops. He never saw the doctor until he came beside him and touched him on the shoulder. ‘Roubillac is his name,’ said Maude, reading it from the pedestal. Our ambition must be to so master him that he becomes from this time forward part and parcel of ourselves. Maude put a rug over the prostrate form, and they returned to their boiling kettle and their uncooked eggs. I never saw such a lovely case. The nearest approach to sense was when it was divided in this way—Pepys—buttered toast—suède gloves—four—Monument, wait late. A hundred failures never convince a man how impossible it is to deceive a woman who loves him. That finished him.’, ‘And about the closeness of the Atlantic staterooms. Your whole life is at stake. I know that you really love me just as much as I love you, or I should not open my heart like this. Money is not essential to happiness, but happy people usually have enough. A cleaner woman than Mrs. Carlyle never came out of Scotland. We have the gold shares all right.’. ‘Of course that would be your impression,’ said she. Princes, bishops, generals, once the salt of the earth, the mightiest of men, and now lumped carelessly together as thirty-eight Stuarts. We’ve done it this time. It satisfies my conscience over everything which I have done. A cab swung round a distant corner. The lady to please him worked hard at these subjects also. Mrs. Hunt Mortimer looked at her reproachfully. ‘May your innings be long and your partnership unbroken until you each make a hundred not out.’ That was the inscription upon a card. The other day the curate drove up in his donkey-cart, and mother said, ‘Oh, what a nice tandem!’ I think that she meant to say ‘turn-out’; but papa said it was the neatest thing he had heard for a long time, so mamma is very pleased, but I am sure that she does not know even now why it should be so funny. ‘Well, dear, I don’t think it is so very beautiful,’ was the best that she could do. There are also several unjustifiable economies. May you never have one sad hour under this roof! Doesn’t it frighten you when you read them and think that is the person with whom I have to spend my life. Let us walk.’, ‘I can’t and won’t be economical to-day.’, ‘There now! It was as well for his peace of mind that Frank could not hear the conversation between the fat waiter and their chambermaid, for whom he nourished a plethoric attachment. Now, dear, we have seen the man—let us look at the house!’. If the mistress be a wife, never let a word in connection with her husband’s failings pass her lips—”’. ‘Well!’ said he, impatiently. He was looking the other way. I suppose there are some men who are quite good when they are bachelors. ‘But I have no doubt, dear, that your dress was an exceedingly effective one. If. But little youth and love care for that! ‘It’s no go,’ said he. Mr. Wingfield had entered, and his manner was very different to that of the secretary. I was off the rails. ‘You dear, good girl, how sweet of you to think of it. But now that he was on the ground he realised that she was very exact to her word, and that she would neither be early nor late. It should be “our.”’, ‘I know, I know. I dare say it is absurd, but that is my instinct.’, ‘Never mind, dear, it wasn’t such a big jump as all that. Oh my goodness, what a bombshell! I’ll tell you an anecdote as a dreadful example. In person Frank Crosse was neither tall nor short, five feet eight and a half to be exact, with the well-knit frame and springy step of a young man who had been an athlete from his boyhood. O Maude, I may write lightly and speak lightly, perhaps, sometimes, but there never was a woman, never, never in all the story of the world, who was loved more passionately than you are loved by me. They live at the back, no doubt.’, ‘But I gave them the hour. In those dark corners of the spirit either a saint or a sinner might be lurking, and there was a pleasurable excitement in peering into them, and wondering which it was. ‘I’m sorry about this business, Mr. Crosse,’ said he. Thirty-four yesterday. Let us inspect our property.’. We could do it later. She flopped about like a sawdust doll, with her arms swinging in front of her. As you say, one can never be certain.’. I thought it would brace you up for—well, for the week afterwards.’, ‘Yes, dear. The wickets are very fast over there. But she slept as soundly sitting as lying. ‘This bust was placed among the memorials of the poets of England by English admirers of an American poet.’. He could not by reproaches add to the wretched man’s humiliation. But none the less it was beautiful and characteristic. But you must not study and work too hard. And so I want Her Majesty to lay it—mustn’t wrinkle your brow though—that is not allowed.’, ‘But it is a great responsibility, Frank.’, ‘No, dear, we must not lose it. ‘Charming!’ cried Mrs. Beecher and Maude. You’ve got your own little banking account, have you not?’, ‘That’s right. One Saturday afternoon he happened to come home earlier than he was expected, and entering her bedroom suddenly, he found her seated in the basket-chair in the window, with a large book upon her knees. ‘By Jove, it simply went with a buzz from the word “go.”’, ‘You sign it here and here,’ said the vicar, ‘and the witnesses here and here. ‘Yes, dear—but only next week. No more simple statue in all London, but human to a surprising degree. We must be so material.’, ‘Good old mother Nature! Two wedding-presents arrived. His heart gave a bound at the sight of her, but he had the English aversion to giving himself away, and so he walked quickly forward to meet her with an impassive face, but with a look in his eyes which was all that she wanted. Write to me, my own darling Maude, and tell me all you think, your very inmost soul, in this matter. Perhaps if he had been quite alone he might at that moment, as the great wave of joy washed through his soul, bearing all his fears and forebodings away upon its crest, have dropped upon his knees in prayer. ‘There’s a dog or something in the room.’. ‘If that cove’s wife could see him—huddup, then!’ said the cabman. Then, as I bend over his cot, there is a small sigh, such a soft, comfortable sound! Now we’ll put this thing through together, Maude. Your health will break down under it. And first of all, would you mind explaining all about the gentleman, from the beginning, and taking nothing for granted, just as if I had never heard of him before.’, ‘Never mind, sir! But now it is more serious. And as to Jemima and the cook, it is really extraordinary the amount which they consume.’, ‘But the tendency is for meals to become much too elaborate. I don’t think I should like them, for they must be dry, cold, unsympathetic, unemotional, unwomanly creatures.’, ‘I won’t deny that I have been interested deeply interested in several men.’, ‘It was before I had met you, dear. A look which was new to her came over his face. Frank stayed at the Metropole, and so did Rupton Hale. ‘I really don’t see why we should put ourselves out for her. He was, for example, continually adding up how much money he had, or cataloguing and indexing his library, and so on. Don’t you think that we might say the 3rd of August? It fell with a sulky thud upon the floor. He comes afterwards. It was a dingy little room with a round table covered by a soiled cloth in the middle. Well, she seemed to me a very soft-spoken, obligin’ young lady.’, ‘So she may be, but they’re a queer couple, I tell you. There is only one serious objection which my mother can see. That should satisfy you, Mrs. Crosse. I thought you had been looking at the tradesman’s books. Macaulay’s Essays, Holmes’ Autocrat, Gibbons’ History, Jefferies’ Story of my Heart, Carlyle’s Life, Pepys’ Diary, and Borrow’s Lavengro were among his inner circle of literary friends. ‘You lucky girl, you actually married the one love of your life!’, ‘What a splendid thing to do! So people of fashion in the days of the early Georges trod these same rooms where Carlyle grumbled and his wife fretted. I will sell half your debentures and charge you with brokerage. What fun it all is! You speak as if our love were a thing which we might change or suppress. The sun had gone, a ragged slate-coloured cloud was drifting up from over the river, and the rain was falling with a soft persistency which is more fatal than the most boisterous shower. It ran in this way—, (Subject to the Specific Rules and Regulations of the Stock Exchange.). The Tantalus spirit-stand—stood upon the walnut sideboard, and the bronzes from the cricket-club looked splendid upon each side of the mantelpiece. This was a new Frank Crosse to her. But to say that because, ‘Please don’t let us go into details. Frank sat for a few minutes absorbing it. ‘Now, dear, read away!’ said she. The sale of their furniture would hardly meet it. ‘You have not seen the Australians, have you?’, ‘Yes, dear, I saw them at Clifton four years ago.’, ‘But this is a new lot. ‘Well, Gordon, perhaps. Well, that is really wonderful!’. Harrison, you must have a drink. Now, sir, any other economy?’, ‘I don’t think money causes happiness. ‘It’s awful to think of, Maude—awful! You may not be the handsomest, and you may not be the cleverest—one cannot expect one’s absolute ideal,—but I love you far, far the best of any. She guessed in some extraordinary way what my secret feelings were about it. ‘Yes, sir, I have it here. Giffen is their best all-round man, but Darling and Iredale and young Hill are good enough for anything. And don’t be discouraged if you fail. I believe in strict business between relatives. He enjoys the process, but he is convinced that only his own exertions keep him from drowning, so his little fists are desperately clenched, his legs kick up and down the whole time, and he watches every movement of mother and nurse with suspicion. ‘This tomb is that of Queen Eleanor,’ said he. Now do please look facts in the face and help me to do the right thing, for it would be so much easier if you would help me. You wanted two hundred El Dorados, did you not?’, ‘Four and ninepence! I am sure of it. ‘See how one little bit of knowledge links on with another.’, ‘And here is the tomb of her husband, Edward the First. Duly entered upon the minutes. ‘I am so glad to have seen that. “Diarist!” says they, “wot’s a Diarist?” I could sit down sometimes an’ cry. I insist upon hearing the experiences.’. Is it not a sin that we young Englishmen should be familiar with every music-hall in London and should know so little of this which is the centre of the British race, the most august and tremendous monument that ever a nation owned. ‘Wright,’ said the visitor, as she walked in—‘Mrs. That is so nice that you should both start with a clean sheet! I fancy that the difficulties in understanding him have been very much exaggerated, and that with goodwill and perseverance we shall manage to overcome them.’. you know! Red and black all over, something like Mephistopheles, you know, and a peaked hat with a bell at the top. He, poor chap, was all liver and nerves, porridge-poisoned in his youth. I contradicted you.’, ‘Oh, it was a shocking display of temper.’, ‘Yes, you’ll have to apologise to his Stilton before he will forgive you.’, ‘And I don’t believe he is a bit more convinced that we are veterans than he was before.’, ‘All right, dear; leave him to me. Two candles were standing on the sideboard. You have no reverence for anything.’, ‘“Frugality and Economy are home virtues without which no household can prosper. My own sweetest Maude,—I do want you to come up to town on Saturday morning. Maude was frightened to death when she saw the document, and felt as if unawares they must have butted up against the British Constitution, but Owen explained that it was only a little legal firework, which meant that there might be some trouble later. Oh, how they must pain you!’, ‘I get no practice at rowing. 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