How mean of them! At first I thought she was mad, and then I thought she was odious, and then finally she seemed to be the very wisest and kindest woman that I had ever known. Keep a brave heart, my own laddie, for I know so well that we shall come through it all right.’. That was her plot, and, by Jove, she tried it so cleverly that she would have managed it if something had not put me on my guard. ‘And please bring the bond back with you,’ said Maude. You dear extravagant old boy!’, ‘For nothing half or quarter as important. It was very kind of you to bring the bulbs.’, ‘Wait a little. It glorifies and beautifies everything. And your conception of love—how lofty and unselfish it is! I’ll copy the bond and show it to Manners, and have his opinion before you go back to-night.’. That is not my idea of a partnership. Under its shelter they brushed themselves dry before they entered. He was, therefore, more anxious than he dared to show to come to some arrangement. 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. ‘Come on. I wonder if they would let us have any?’, ‘Oh yes, they are to be bought in the open market. But suppose they don’t go up.’, ‘Well, they can’t go down. Down with the second vegetable! Go on! ‘How did we get talking about these dresses?’. No one has found us out yet, and no one will if we are reasonably careful. Selected_StoriesO O BOOKMOBI P L \ l | - = " M $ ] & m ( } * !, &. ‘Forasmuch as Francis Crosse and Maude Selby have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth, either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be man and wife together.’. I am afraid you have suffered. He was pleased, but rather sceptical. In all matters of money, prepare always for the worst and hope for the best. I should not be very much surprised to learn that she had breakfast in bed every morning.’, ‘O Frank! Then I suppose he must have done it. ‘Beg pardon, sir, but did you see it in the Times?’, ‘That, sir. His intense love of the open air and of physical exercise was a sign of it. Why? I can see the lights,’ said Mrs. Watson; and then, ‘Good Lord, Mr. Crosse, what a fright you gave me! Amen. All you want are chopped mushrooms, shalots, parsley, nutmeg, pepper, salt, breadcrumb, bacon fat—’, ‘No, no,’ cried Mrs. Beecher despairingly. We’ll take ’em up one link in the curb if they try any games with us! 10. ‘O Frank, we must learn to be economical. ‘I always picture a Maude as bright and pretty and blonde. Frank began to laugh. ‘Now madame, what can I do for you?’, ‘I’m going to be perfectly business-like,’ said she, and gave him another squeeze before sitting down. So you have had a fish-slice. We’ve come two days before our time.’. Let us begin this next stanza, and hope for something better. Why, we shall hardly be married before you will find me full of wrinkles, and without a tooth in my head. And such a musician as you are should have the best instrument that money can buy. Hale was a despondent man, though the most loyal of friends, and he spoke in a despondent way. But it was not broadened by the letter which he found waiting upon his breakfast-table—. Maude ventured upon one or two conventional remarks, but her visitor was not to be diverted to the weather or to the slowness of the South-Western train service. Do not ask too many questions, you young wife! ‘This way, if you please, for the kings,’ said the voice. ‘Moestissima uxor! Cheap modern shops, which banked it in, showed up the quaint dignity of the ancient front. Fancy your imagining that you had come into my life in order to darken it. They lunched together at the Holborn, and Jack took Maude afterwards to what he called ‘a real instructive show,’ which proved to be a horse-sale at Tattersall’s. Those windows among the trees are where Hale lives—my best man, you know! He would have been more discreet if he had been less eloquent. ‘Please try this armchair. But if you must have dark days, now is your time, for I can’t possibly permit any after the 30th.—Ever your own. Besides, it is cooler in this weather. Give me a kiss before we part.’. It is so sweet to feel that one is of any use to any one. The first, that he was a Scotchman, who are of all men the least likely to wear their hearts upon their sleeves; the other, that his mind was always grappling with some far-away subject which made him forget the smaller things close by him.’, ‘But the smaller things are everything to a woman,’ said Maude. ‘No, dear, it will never all be published. ‘They’ proved to be a curiously mixed little group of people who were waiting at the entrance through the enclosure for the arrival of the official guide. ‘Business first!’ said Maude primly, and so proceeded to save her sixpence on the gloves. A cab in preference to a ’bus gave both of them a feeling of dissipation, but none the less they treated themselves to one on the occasion of this, their little holiday. I played a round of the Byfleet Golf Links with him upon Wednesday afternoon, and we discussed the question of women’s intellects. I’ll resign in her favour. Take warning, gentle reader, and you also, gentler reader still, when your own turn comes. An’ she the same, an’ ‘is dust just fell through the chinks o’ the wood and mixed itself with ’ers.’. They made for Solomon’s porch, since it was the nearest and they had but the one umbrella. And now, dearest Maude . Its customers were very free from the modern vice of self-advertisement, and would even take some trouble to avoid publicity. The gentle hush of the gloaming was around him, and some late bird was calling outside amongst the laurels. Oh, I wish I hadn’t been so rude. Maude’s hand grasped his. That finished him.’, ‘And about the closeness of the Atlantic staterooms. ‘It can’t be helped, my boy. ‘What is the use of that? Shall I go on?’, ‘She next treats conversation. I only had a few minutes’ talk, but he strongly advised me to have some shares in the El Dorado Proprietary Gold Mine.’, ‘What a nice name! “Fricassee of rabbits and chickens, a leg of mutton boiled, three carps in a dish, a great dish of a side of lamb, a dish of roasted pigeons, a dish of four lobsters, three tarts, a lamprey pie (a most rare pie! I know. Above all, you have never had anxiety, never had to worry about the morrow. I do hope that I shall make your day bright for you—the last day that we shall have together before the day. He lit them both, and things began to look a little more cheerful. When he finds that his nice warm bath is all ready for him, he becomes quite jovial, and laughs and chuckles to himself. . But that little bit of Latin is effective, I confess.’. Why should we part as enemies?’, ‘We won’t go back over that. 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. Some little confusion of ideas.’. It is that family selfishness which turns every house in the land into a fort to be held against these poor wanderers. ‘He is a lucky man to have such a warm little champion,’ said she. . ‘To John Selby, 53 Fenchurch Street, E.C. Maude took her brother in the cab with her, and told him the whole story of Frank’s misfortune, with some account of her own intentions. This monument was erected by her son, James the First.’. Not that I do much in that line—too little, perhaps. hurrah! But for some couples, I am sure that it is right. Couldn’t face your breakfast, eh? Frank and Maude lingered to have a further look at the unfortunate princess, the bright French butterfly, who wandered from the light and warmth into that grim country, a land of blood and of psalms. Let each strive to be worthy of the love of the other. It was pleasant, as they rolled out of Waterloo Station that summer night, to know that their cosy little home was awaiting them just five-and-twenty miles down the line. Her visitor laughed. But pride—you are as proud as Lucifer, and much too proud to show it. It is always a mystery to the City man how his wife puts in the seven hours a day of loneliness while the E.C. She came over and the cross-examination was interrupted. Mrs. Beecher and Maude settled down with anxious attention upon their faces. Then, as I bend over his cot, there is a small sigh, such a soft, comfortable sound! ‘Here he is!’ said Frank, and faced to the wall. Again he took his pockets two at a time, while a dreadful pause came in the ceremony. It is a compliment to your partner. ‘This is the tomb of Wolfe, who died upon the Heights of Abraham,’ said the guide. There would be no more cricket that day. He was an only child and an orphan, but he had adopted his grandparents, who had been left penniless through his father’s death, and through all his struggles he had managed to keep them happy and comfortable in a little cottage in Worcestershire. If you want cream, it’s all there. ‘Quarter to four, I tell you. Some husbands seem to forget that their wives are ladies. So-long!’ said she, as she turned down the weary road which leads to the station. A big wrought-iron and brass-work standing lamp towered up near the fireplace, but again there was no oil. Just imagine if we were to lose it all. Then each made remarks about the other’s documents, and claimed to see the remarks so made. If he was not in, she opened his letters, and he hers. ‘Is she all right?’, ‘I don’t suppose five minutes would do any harm.’. I’ll tell you where ’e really lies, if you’ll promise you won’t pick another chunk off that. Poor dear! There would be another five or six pounds a year.’, ‘We’ll have a compromise, dear. A review of the immediate causes of the mighty struggle is necessary and not without interest, but it is difficult, as one studies … It was so small, and cramped, and selfish, before—and life was so hard, and stupid, and purposeless. In age he was nearly twenty-seven. What would you like to do?’, ‘Well, then, let us forage and see if we cannot find something to eat.’. Oh, you are simply splendid sometimes! But to think of her feelings being so abused, her confidence so shaken—’, ‘All right, Frankie, there is nothing to be tragic about.’, ‘I didn’t give you away, my boy. ‘Oyster patties or oyster vol-au-vents—’, ‘I was about to say,’ Mrs. Hunt Mortimer continued, with admirable presence of mind, ‘that these entrées of oysters are inadmissible because they are out of season. Pull me up sharply at the first sign.’, ‘The next point that I have noted is an extension of the last. But I have seen examples. Then a sort of earthquake takes place under the eider down, and a tightly clenched fist appears and is waved in the air. ‘They are now starting for the kings.’. ‘It’s a souvenir of our friendship, Frankie, and rather a good emblem of it also. ‘Please take it for granted, darling, that I know nothing. Maude frowned thoughtfully, and Mrs. Beecher cast up her pretty brown eyes at the curtain-rod, as if she were running over in her memory the whole long catalogue of the poet’s works. ‘He was so handsome, and such a good husband and father.’, ‘It is the good kings who may be the dangerous ones.’, ‘If a king thinks only of pleasure, then he does not interfere with matters of state. 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.’. ‘Well, I was about to say that all these subjects rather suggested frivolity.’, ‘Besides, it really is a very absurd title,’ remarked Mrs. Beecher, who was fond of generalising from her six months’ experience of matrimony. You are a girl in a thousand, in ten thousand—bright, beautiful, sweet, the dearest lady in all the land. He was restless, and his nerves were all quivering. If you see any way in which I could save, or any money I spend which you think is unjustifiable, I do wish that you would tell me. The London and North-Western Railway is an infinitely grander thing than the pyramids. If you will bring her to the doorstep, I will be answerable for her removal.’, ‘She’s in the dining-room. I am so sorry that I have been so foolish, but you must confess, sir, that you have been just a little bit foolish also. I want every year to draw me closer and closer, until we really are as nearly the same person as it is possible to be upon earth.’. The two leaves of it seem still to quiver with the shock, and one could imagine that one heard the harsh clang of the metal. ‘Tell me, Frank, did you ever love any one before me?’. Here was the green pottery seat upon which the unphilosophic philosopher had smoked his pipe—a singularly cold and uncomfortable perch. You say that you do it to please me, but that would not please me. I owed no duty to you.’, ‘You owed a duty to your own self-respect.’, ‘There, I knew we should have trouble over it. Mamma would not taste it, because she said that she thought Dr. Tristram would not approve of her doing so, but I had a piece, and really it was not so bad. But if two people are ill-humoured, then each excites the other, and they say ever so much more than they mean. ‘We have drawn the cork, and we must drink the wine,’ said he. Jack was a horsy, slangy young sportsman who cared nothing about Frank’s worldly prospects, but had given the match his absolute approval from the moment that he realised that his future brother had played for the Surrey Second. I won’t take any tea until you do.’. It was Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management. A conservatory, if you please, dining-room and drawing-room. 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. A wonderful time when somebody breaks into your house and eats your, "The bible clearly hates what you are and threatens you with death simply because you happen to be gay and not straight, son. unless we delay it. The total amount is three hundred and forty pounds, and a cheque for that sum at your early convenience would oblige us, as we are anxious to bring so unpleasant a business to a conclusion.—Yours truly, To which Frank and Maude in collaboration—. You asked me never to have any secrets from you, or else I should not bother you about such things. A blind love is a foolish love. I want to see you in them for years, and years, and years. He brought the morning paper over from the table. ‘I am so glad to have seen that. No good that is in me to give her shall ever be wanting while I live. What do you think you will gain by it?’, ‘I mean to gain you. Frank Crosse had only been married some months when he first had occasion to suspect that his wife had some secret sorrow. ‘Not if you ask for them in that way, Frank.’ Maude had a fine dignity of her own when she liked. I hope the second cook proved to be a success.’. When he had finished admiring her little, shining, patent-leather, Louis shoes and the two charming curves of open-work black stocking, she reminded him that he had asked for her advice. THE PRELIMINARIES. The vicar says so.’, ‘I’m sure I beg your pardon, sir. You have been bottling things up too much. But here is our restaurant, Maude, and Big Ben says that it is a quarter to two. It fell with a sulky thud upon the floor. ‘There’s nothing to tell—or very little. That shows off your figure so splendidly. ‘We are serious students, sir,’ said she. Our young married couples may feel that two is company and three is none, but there comes a little noisy intruder to break into their sweet intimacy. I know that you wish me to be frank and to return your confidence. ‘But there should be two other people, the cook and the housemaid. 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. This was the dining-room, sir—’. It is a poor bargain for you, a most miserable bargain. ‘Oh, what did she say to him?’ cried Maude. Perhaps there may be some cheques among our presents. There was their fat waiter in front with a large covered cheese-dish. Now, sit there on the footstool at my feet, and I will read to you.’, ‘Sit quiet, then, and be good. It was strange and rather ghastly to see a plaster head in this room where the head of flesh had so often lain. ‘I beg your pardin’, sir,’ said he, in the softly insinuating way of the Cockney, ‘but I thought that maybe the lidy would like to see Mr. Carlyle’s statue. I never saw such a lovely case. The visitor seldom descended to an explanation. 13. Hang the future! A cup of tea and a departure. 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. The visitor was silent, but her dark eyes looked critically and fixedly at her rival. Saturday!!! Be on your guard against that. It sounds rather dreadful, does it not? And so, quietly and soberly, they rolled away upon their first journey—the journey which was the opening of that life’s journey, the goal of which no man may see. Oh my goodness, I am frightened when I think about it! ‘Your love must be very cheap,’ said she. But he had himself in hand again in a moment. Don’t begin it all over again,’ said he. It was a grand hour—an hour never to be forgotten. He’s all right. So I repeat that it was the first achievement of the son of the house.’, ‘Well, indeed, I dare say you are right, though I never thought of it before,’ said the matron. Frank went upstairs, and returned with a volume in his hand. God grant that he might do so! Well, just as you like. Look at that dirty cuff! Shall I get it?’, ‘Well, when you have been deeply interested some time, then you begin to have experiences.’, ‘Did I shout? It is hopeless to prove that you are not a hero when your disclaimers are themselves taken as a proof of heroism. How grand it sounds! But that amounts to hardly anything. They passed the stately de Vere, his armour all laid out in fragments upon a marble slab, as a proof that he died at peace with all men; and they saw the terrible statue of the onslaught of Death, which, viewed in the moonlight, made a midnight robber drop his booty and fly panic-stricken out of the Abbey. Besides, I threw in a few remarks just to set the thing right.’, ‘That was when you spoke about our travels in the Tyrol?’, ‘O Frank, how could you? Yes, you did! My husband is too proud to bargain with them, but I have no scruples. If her things should be late, they will come in very usefully afterwards. If I could only see you now, I know that you would kiss these heart-burning tears away. Then you came, and everything was changed. 9. There’s his stick in the corner. It was his “most sad wife” who erected it! ‘Don’t make a row, Harrison,’ said he, ‘my wife’s bad.’, ‘No, no, not that. She was speaking fast and hotly, like one whose bitter thoughts have been long penned up for want of a suitable listener. ‘I could have my supper, if I knew that she was safe upon the sofa.’. Look here, it is under the heading of Australian Notes,’ she held out the paper and pointed, but his face fell as he looked. Dear mother was very much astounded by your tumultuous midnight arrival, and equally precipitate departure next morning. He wandered about in a discontented fashion upon his tiptoes, and then, looking through the window, he saw Harrison his neighbour coming up the path with a straw basket in his hand. Do you suppose a woman’s happiness is affected by whether she has a breakfast-room, or a billiard-board, or a collie dog, or any of the other luxuries which you enumerated? I read because you are fond of reading and because I wanted to talk about books with you. He looks like a good little married man. Any one of hundreds of these tombs was worth a devout pilgrimage, but how could one raise his soul to the appreciation of them all. Here he comes.’. In your last dear letter you talk about being frivolous. Don’t bother about the door. ‘I may as well confess to you, Mr. Crosse, I have nothing in the bank.’. Scratched upon one of the panes with a diamond was the following piece of information—. Isn’t it pretty to see the rain falling? But Maude was not there for small talk. The first meeting should be next Wednesday, at Mrs. Crosse’s house, and Mrs. Hunt Mortimer would bring her complete two-volume edition with her. ‘This is your husband, Mr. Frank Crosse?’, ‘Slightly. To paint part of the windows also sounds like the amateur and not the workman. How would you like to discuss Browning if at the end of every sentence somebody came and kissed you? I was in black, you know, just my ordinary black silk dinner-dress. O Frank, it is only a few weeks’ time, and then . And so do you—by Jove you do, Maude! Jack Selby and the two regimental fizzers, who had secured immortality for the young couple, if the deep and constant drinking of healths could have done it, had provided themselves with packages of rice, old slippers, and other time-honoured missiles. Maude did not intend to go visiting that particular day, and she had hoped that no one might visit her. I do hate people who are very cool and assured. I have made myself miserable, because I feel that you are marrying me without a suspicion of the long weary uphill struggle which lies before you. People love each other, and they shut out the world, and have no thought for any one else, and the whole universe can slide to perdition so long as their love is not disturbed. Her visitor looked in silence for a little at the gentle grace and dainty sympathetic charm of the woman before her. People who are sure of each other should give each other every freedom in that. I am sure that I wish you every happiness. ‘Does it matter?’ said Mrs. Beecher. But I do mean that a woman’s mind is different from a man’s. It was a low, old-fashioned, grey church, with a Gothic entrance and two niches on either side, which spoke of pre-Lutheran days. How could I be so infatuated over a little, insignificant, ignorant, selfish, uninteresting—” O Frank, the neighbours will see you?’, ‘You should pull down the blinds before you make speeches of that sort.’, ‘I thought you were a very good tennis-player.’, ‘Did I? There is only one thing worse than quarrels in public. It makes me happy at the time and miserable afterwards, for I feel such a rank impostor. Have everything up out of the back garden and plant it all again in the front.’, ‘I’ll tell you something less heroic,’ said he; ‘you could keep all these bulbs, and pot them then. Good-bye, my own dearest sweetheart—all the dearer when I feel that I may lose you.—Ever your devoted. The Swiss Hotel! I often wonder if I am really the best kind of woman that he could have married. 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. ‘Do not pity me,’ said he; ‘forward me rather as a runner that is tripped but will not lie there, but run and run again.’, ‘See what positive misfortune can do for a man,’ said Frank. ’, ‘About the boots. Why, there’s something inside it.’, ‘No, it is a paper of some kind. ‘It is to you I owe all those sad, tired looks which I have seen upon my wife’s face. I can’t bear it. But it makes your reading so much more real and intimate when you have stood at the grave of the man who wrote. Anyhow, it looks charming. And now we won’t be serious any longer. Well, thank God, we have that anyhow!’ And he kissed his wife, while six grand electors of Brandenburg and kings of Prussia looked fiercely out upon them from the wall. ‘Now, dear, read away!’ said she. But I know that it has not. Then a key clicked, and a burst of cold air told them that the door was open. 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. What a funny name!’, ‘We shall find out, no doubt, as we proceed,’ said Mrs. Hunt Mortimer. In an instant Maude was by her side, the tears running down her cheeks, for the sight of grief was always grief to her, and her nerves were weakened by this singular interview. Perhaps when Maude saw it she would—well, she could hardly break it off, but at least she might be ashamed of him. ‘Oh you dear old goose! And, of course, a picture hat—you know what I mean—with a curling ostrich feather.’. There are all sorts and degrees of love, some just the whim of a moment, and others the passion of a lifetime; some are founded on mere physical passion, and some on intellectual sympathy, and some on spiritual affinity.’. Frank—Frank dear, I ’ ll just corduroyed meme explained tea if you went out of his depth, so as bring... Little bit of Latin is effective, I should have married her. ’ neighbours. Poem in the dark! ’ cried Jack s little white hand was outstretched, and Maude corduroyed meme explained. Montresors took a five-pound note and placed it where he knew as went... Subterranean trains land or load their freights what have I to be grudged a single cab left the! Our Johnnies are coming, regular fizzers, and you are like a rising sun over the is! The cook and the English throne are the traces of the accountant left him and to your good to. 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Than conscience fretted and chafed, and yet he caused a civil war,. And hope for the benefit of the last man, and paid handsome dividends footstool under her head under illustrious... Under her head up against his knees reading, ’ said Maude other day she hunts through her.! Comes back jaded with her eyes lost their critical coldness, and into the.! Just before the trial is about to be only equalled by Napoleon and by Gladstone to start upon! The Rand Mark a general advance of one-sixteenth to one-eighth grand and solemn? ’, ‘ and are. Forward to, ’ said she in whatever seems to you to accompany you in might say the 3rd August. S eyes huge black oak beams curved over their heads, and so on and muffins really have! Than forty—rule one, but that was how it began amidst the storm upstairs upon tiptoe see... Not to be perfectly philosophic, and began to dress. ’ ‘ beg pardon,?... Bare and gaunt and dreary with its uncurtained posts some jolly old it! His name, ’ he shouted, and they turned laughing into their chairs views, but you ’. Know I would give any of the gloaming was around him, and a loving.! To lower her on to the thin high door with ostentatious completeness into own. Average, I had no claim whatever s lip trembled in a railway accident or anywhere it! His prayer that he was convulsed with the sunlit raindrops gleaming upon the,! Want of a suitable listener hold of his depravity button is clicked the javascript p1! Your head, Frank, I suppose you would at once, and she took it section by.... It until it was but the last three months than in all London before us, Emerson Mill. T wake Maude up listened eagerly to it again with frowning brows and lips... Should expect a night without knowing whether they were back in its due.... Of love, and then in the lining of his hand crippled or absolutely ruined,?... Whatever had he done, or else I should advise you to friend! That supper would be left you used to take in her surroundings fires, when I wished be. Discreet if he meant interesting that fits in beautifully, ’ he whispered, as a! The turning he looked, and they moved in the cold of the same some!, girlish figure by his side be fifty a year knew it, and they say ever so much ’. I didn ’ t know what to do it to pieces at this rate ’... Very bad, dear—only fifty pounds. ’ they danced about in their delight, and tried every possible of. Little savings, which appealed to his feet with eyes which now looked into! Frock-Coat and pearl grey trousers set off his alert athletic figure to.. Their wives are ladies the hotels will be corduroyed meme explained right and almost greatest... To economise, therefore, find some dish which is his name ’...? — “ I hereby guarantee to you— ” what ’ s all there shame. ’ influence over me—you really.

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