“I am, dear Mr. Sutherland,
“Your grateful scholar,
Hugh burst into tears on reading this letter, — with no overpowering sense of his own sin, for he felt that he was forgiven; but with a sudden insight into the beauty and grandeur of the man whom he had neglected, and the wondrous loveliness which he had transmitted from the feminine part of his nature to the wholly feminine and therefore delicately powerful nature of Margaret. The vision he had beheld in the library at Arnstead, about which, as well as about many other things that had happened to him there, he could form no theory capable of embracing all the facts — this vision returned to his mind’s eye, and he felt that the glorified face he had beheld must surely have been Margaret’s, whether he had seen it in the body or out of the body: such a face alone seemed to him worthy of the writer of this letter. Purposely or not, there was no address given in it; and to his surprise, when he examined the envelope with the utmost care, he could discover no postmark but the London one. The date-stamp likewise showed that it must have been posted in London.
“So,” said he to himself, “in my quest of a devil, I may cross the track of an angel, who knows? But how can she be here?”
To this of course he had no answer at hand.
Since a man is bound no farther to himself than to do wisely, chance is only to trouble them that stand upon chance — sir Philip Sidney. — The Arcadia.
Meantime a feeble star, but sparkling some rays of comfort, began to shine upon Hugh’s wintry prospects. The star arose in a grocer’s shop. For one day his landlady, whose grim attentions had been increasing rather than diminishing, addressed him suddenly as she was removing his breakfast apparatus. This was a very extraordinary event, for she seldom addressed him it all; and replied, when he addressed her, only in the briefest manner possible.
“Have you got any pupils yet, Mr. Sutherland?”
“No — I am sorry to say. But how did you come to know I wanted any, Miss Talbot?”
“You shouldn’t have secrets at home, Mr. Sutherland. I like to know what concerns my own family, and I generally find out.”
“You saw my advertisement, perhaps?”
To this suggestion Miss Talbot made no other answer than the usual compression of her lips.
“You wouldn’t be above teaching a tradesman’s son to begin with?”
“Certainly not. I should be very happy. Do you know of such a pupil?”
“Well, I can’t exactly say I do know or I don’t know; but I happened to mention to my grocer round the corner that you wanted pupils. Don’t suppose, Mr. Sutherland, that I’m in the way of talking about any young men of mine; but it — "