“There are maidens in Scotland
more lovely by far,
Who would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.”
“But young Lochinvar got his bride,” said Phineas.
“Take the spirit of the lines, Mr. Finn, which is true; and not the tale as it is told, which is probably false. I often think that Jock of Hazledean, and young Lochinvar too, probably lived to repent their bargains. We will hope that Lord Chiltern may not do so.”
“I am sure he never will.”
“That is all right. And as for you, do you for a while think of your politics, and your speeches, and your colonies, rather than of your love. You are at home there, and no Lord Chiltern can rob you of your success. And if you are down in the mouth, come to me, and I will sing you a Scotch song. And, look you, the next time I ask you to dinner I will promise you that Mrs. Bonteen shall not be here. Good-bye.” She gave him her hand, which was very soft, and left it for a moment in his, and he was consoled.
Madame Goesler, when she was alone, threw herself on to her chair and began to think of things. In these days she would often ask herself what in truth was the object of her ambition, and the aim of her life. Now at this moment she had in her hand a note from the Duke of Omnium. The Duke had allowed himself to say something about a photograph, which had justified her in writing to him,—or which she had taken for such justification. And the Duke had replied. “He would not,” he said, “lose the opportunity of waiting upon her in person which the presentation of the little gift might afford him.” It would be a great success to have the Duke of Omnium at her house,—but to what would the success reach? What was her definite object,—or had she any? In what way could she make herself happy? She could not say that she was happy yet. The hours with her were too long and the days too many.
The Duke of Omnium should come,—if he would. And she was quite resolved as to this,—that if the Duke did come she would not be afraid of him. Heavens and earth! What would be the feelings of such a woman as her, were the world to greet her some fine morning as Duchess of Omnium! Then she made up her mind very resolutely on one subject. Should the Duke give her any opportunity she would take a very short time in letting him know what was the extent of her ambition.
Lord Chiltern at Saulsby
Lord Chiltern did exactly as he said he would do. He wrote to his father as he passed through Carlisle, and at once went on to his hunting at Willingford. But his letter was very stiff and ungainly, and it may be doubted whether Miss Effingham was not wrong in refusing the offer which he had made to her as to the dictation of it. He began his letter, “My Lord,” and did not much improve the style as he went on with it. The reader may as well see the whole letter;—