Temple was dazed by this mystifying address to him; nor could I understand it.
‘Why, papa, you always wished for me to go into Parliament,’ said I.
‘I do,’ he replied, ’and I wish you to lead the London great world. Such topics are for by-and-by. Adieu to them!’ He kissed his wafting finger-tips.
We fell upon our random talk again with a merry rattle.
I had to give him a specimen of my piano-playing and singing.
He shook his head. ’The cricketer and the scholar have been developed at the expense of the musician; and music, Richie, music unlocks the chamber of satinrose.’
Late at night we separated. Temple and I slept in companion-rooms. Deadly drowsy, the dear little fellow sat on the edge of my bed chattering of his wonder. My dreams led me wandering with a ship’s diver under the sea, where we walked in a light of pearls and exploded old wrecks. I was assuring the glassy man that it was almost as clear beneath the waves as above, when I awoke to see my father standing over me in daylight; and in an ecstasy I burst into sobs.
’Here, Richie’—he pressed fresh violets on my nostrils—’you have had a morning visitor. Quick out of bed, and you will see the little fairy crossing the meadow.’
I leapt to the window in time to have in view the little Princess Ottilia, followed by her faithful gaunt groom, before she was lost in the shadow of the fir-trees.
OUR RETURN HOMEWARD
We started for England at noon, much against my secret wishes; but my father would not afford the margravine time to repent of her violent language and injustice toward him. Reflection increased his indignation. Anything that went wrong on the first stages of the journey caused him to recapitulate her epithets and reply to them proudly. He confided to me in Cologne Cathedral that the entire course of his life was a grand plot, resembling an unfinished piece of architecture, which might, at a future day, prove the wonder of the world: and he had, therefore, packed two dozen of hoar old (uralt: he used comical German) Hock for a present to my grandfather Beltham, in the hope of its being found acceptable.