David Elginbrod eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 522 pages of information about David Elginbrod.
a pang.  “What might I not have done for the boy!  He, too, was in the hands of the enchantress, and, instead of freeing him, I became her slave to enchain him further.”  Yet, even in this, he did Euphra injustice; for he had come to the conclusion that she had laid her plans with the intention of keeping the boy a dwarf, by giving him only food for babes, and not good food either, withholding from him every stimulus to mental digestion and consequent hunger; and that she had objects of her own in doing so —­ one perhaps, to keep herself necessary to the boy as she was to the father, and so secure the future.  But poor Euphra’s own nature and true education had been sadly neglected.  A fine knowledge of music and Italian, and the development of a sensuous sympathy with nature, could hardly be called education.  It was not certainly such a development of her own nature as would enable her to sympathise with the necessities of a boy’s nature.  Perhaps the worst that could justly be said of her behaviour to Harry was, that, with a strong inclination to despotism, and some feeling of loneliness, she had exercised the one upon him in order to alleviate the other in herself.  Upon him, therefore, she expended a certain, or rather an uncertain kind of affection, which, if it might have been more fittingly spent upon a lapdog, and was worth but little, might yet have become worth everything, had she been moderately good.

Hugh did not see Euphra again for more than a fortnight.

CHAPTER XXX.

Changes.

Hey, and the rue grows bonny wi’ thyme! 
And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime.

Refrain of an old Scotch song, altered by burns.

He hath wronged me; indeed he hath; —­ at a word, he hath; —­ believe me; Robert Shallow, Esquire, saith he is wronged.

Merry Wives of Windsor.

At length, one evening, entering the drawing-room before dinner, Hugh found Euphra there alone.  He bowed with embarrassment, and uttered some commonplace congratulation on her recovery.  She answered him gently and coldly.  Her whole air and appearance were signs of acute suffering.  She did not make the slightest approach to their former familiarity, but she spoke without any embarrassment, like one who had given herself up, and was, therefore, indifferent.  Hugh could not help feeling as if she knew every thought that was passing in his mind, and, having withdrawn herself from him, was watching him with a cold, ghostly interest.  She took his arm to go into the dining-room, and actually leaned upon it, as, indeed, she was compelled to do.  Her uncle was delighted to see her once more.  Mrs. Elton addressed her with kindness, and Lady Emily with sweet cordiality.  She herself seemed to care for nobody and nothing.  As soon as dinner was over, she sent for her maid, and withdrew to her own room.  It was a great relief to Hugh to feel that he was no longer in danger of encountering her eyes.

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David Elginbrod from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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