I fancy deemed fit guide to lead my way,
And as I deemed I did pursue her track;
Wit lost his aim, and will was fancy’s prey;
The rebel won, the ruler went to wrack.
But now sith fancy did with folly end,
Wit, bought with loss — will, taught by wit, will mend.
After dinner, Hugh wandered over the well-known places, to bid them good-bye. Then he went up to his room, and, with the vanity of a young author, took his poems out of the fatal old desk; wrote: “Take them, please, such as they are. Let me be your friend;” inclosed them with the writing, and addressed them to Euphra. By the time he saw them again, they were so much waste paper in his eyes.
But what were his plans for the future?
First of all, he would go to London. There he would do many things. He would try to find Funkelstein. He would write. He would make acquaintance with London life; for had he not plenty of money in his pocket? And who could live more thriftily than he? — During his last session at Aberdeen, he had given some private lessons, and so contrived to eke out his small means. These were wretchedly paid for, namely, not quite at the rate of sevenpence-halfpenny a lesson! but still that was something, where more could not be had. — Now he would try to do the same in London, where he would be much better paid. Or perhaps he might get a situation in a school for a short time, if he were driven to ultimate necessity. At all events, he would see London, and look about him for a little while, before he settled to anything definite.
With this hopeful prospect before him, he next morning bade adieu to Arnstead. I will not describe the parting with poor Harry. The boy seemed ready to break his heart, and Hugh himself had enough to do to refrain from tears. One of the grooms drove him to the railway in the dog-cart. As they came near the station, Hugh gave him half-a-crown. Enlivened by the gift, the man began to talk.
“He’s a rum customer, that ere gemman with the foring name. The colour of his puss I couldn’t swear to now. Never saw sixpence o’ his’n. My opinion is, master had better look arter his spoons. And for missus — well, it’s a pity! He’s a rum un, as I say, anyhow.”
The man here nodded several times, half compassionately, half importantly.
Hugh did not choose to inquire what he meant. They reached the station, and in a few minutes he was shooting along towards London, that social vortex, which draws everything towards its central tumult.
But there is a central repose beyond the motions of the world; and through the turmoil of London, Hugh was journeying towards that wide stillness — that silence of the soul, which is not desolate, but rich with unutterable harmonies.