‘Oh no, you must never call me that any more.’
‘It is a name belonging to my happiest days.’
’It was only in play. It reverses the order of things. I must look up to you.’
‘If you can!’ aaid Louis, playfully, slipping down to a lower step.
A tear burst out as Mary said, ’Mamma said it must never be that way.’ Then recovering, she added, ’I beg your pardon, Louis; I was treating it as earnest. I think I am not quite myself to-day, I will go to my room!’
‘No, no, don’t,’ he said; ’I will not harass you with my gladness, dearest.’ He stepped in-doors, brought out a book, and when Mrs. Frost arrived to congratulate and be congratulated, she found Mary still on the step, gazing on without seeing the trees and flowers, listening without attending to the rich, soothing flow of Lope de Vega’s beautiful devotional sonnets, in majestic Spanish, in Louis’s low, sweet voice.
Therefore thine eye through mist of
Shines bright; and beauty, like a lingering rose,
Sits on thy cheek, and in thy laughter plays;
While wintry frosts have fallen on thy foes,
And, like a vale that breathes the western sky,
Thy heart is green, though summer is gone by.
Happy Aunt Kitty!—the centre, the confidante of so much love! Perhaps her enjoyment was the most keen and pure of all, because the most free from self—the most devoid of those cares for the morrow, which, after besetting middle life, often so desert old age as to render it as free and fresh as childhood. She had known the worst: she had been borne through by heart-whole faith and love, she had seen how often frettings for the future were vain, and experienced that anticipation is worse than reality. Where there was true affection and sound trust, she could not, would not, and did not fear for those she loved.
James went backwards and forwards in stormy happiness. He had come to a comfortable understanding with old Mr. Mansell, who had treated him with respect and cordiality from the first, giving him to understand that Isabel’s further expectations only amounted to a legacy of a couple of thousands on his own death, and that meantime he had little or no hope of helping him in his profession. He spoke of Isabel’s expensive habits, and the danger of her finding it difficult to adapt herself to a small income; and though, of course, he might as well have talked to the wind as to either of the lovers, his remonstrance was so evidently conscientious as not to be in the least offensive, and Mr. Frost Dynevor was graciously pleased to accept him as a worthy relation.