The Last of the Foresters eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 411 pages of information about The Last of the Foresters.

But far from bearing any resemblance to the picture of the poet’s imagination—­instead of standing mute with rage, and annihilating the musician with a horrible scowl from beneath his shaggy and frowning brows, Mr. Rushton presented a perfect picture of softness and emotion.  His head bending forward, his eyes half closed and filled with an imperceptible mist, his whole manner quiet, and sad, and subdued, he seemed to hang upon the long-drawn sighing of the violin, and take a mournful pleasure in its utterances.

Verty’s hand passed more and more slowly backward and forward—­the music became still more affecting, and passing from thoughtfulness to sadness, and from sadness to passionate regret, it died away in a wail.

He felt a hand upon his shoulder, and turned round.  Mr. Rushton, with moist eyes and trembling lips, was gazing at him.

“Do not play that any more, young man,” he said, in a low tone, “it distresses me.”

“Distresses you, sir?” said Verty.


“What?  ‘Lullaby?’”

“Yes,” muttered the lawyer.

Verty’s sad eyes inquired the meaning of so singular a fact, but Mr. Rushton did not indulge this curiosity.

“Enough,” he said, with more calmness, as he turned away, “it is not proper for you to play the violin here in business hours; but above all, never again play that music—­I cannot endure the memories it arouses—­enough.”

And retiring slowly, Mr. Rushton disappeared, closing the door of his room behind him.

Verty followed him with his eyes until he was no longer visible, then turned toward Mr. Roundjacket for an explanation.  That gentleman seemed to understand this mute interrogation, but only shook his head.

Therefore Verty returned to his work, sadly laying aside the two sketches of Redbud, and selecting another sheet to copy the record upon.  By the time he had finished one page, Mr. Roundjacket rose from his desk, stretched himself, and announced that office hours were over, and he would seek his surburban cottage, where this gentleman lived in bachelor misery.  Verty said he was tired, too; and before long had told Mr. Roundjacket good-bye, and mounted Cloud.

With Longears at his side, soberly walking in imitation of the horse, Verty went along toward his home in the hills, gazing upon the golden west, and thinking still of Redbud.



Instead of following Verty, who, like most lovers, is very far from being an amusing personage, let us go back and accompany Mr. Ralph Ashley, on his way to the Bower of Nature, where our young friend Fanny awaits him; and if these scenes and characters also fail to entertain us, we may at least be sure that they are from the book of human nature—­a volume whose lightest chapters and most frivolous illustrations are not beneath the attention of the

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The Last of the Foresters from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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