“Tell him—tell him—” said Fanny,—and she paused to make up her mind as to the words of her message,—“tell him to come himself.” And, hurrying from the room, she left the parson alone, to meditate on the singular success of his mission. He stood for about half an hour, thinking over what had occurred, and rejoicing greatly in his mind that he had undertaken the business. “What fools men are about women!” he said at last, to himself. “They know their nature so well when they are thinking and speaking of them with reference to others; but as soon as a man is in love with one himself, he is cowed! He thinks the nature of one woman is different from that of all others, and he is afraid to act on his general knowledge. Well; I might as well write to him! for, thank God, I can send him good news”—and he rang the bell, and asked if his bag had come. It had, and was in his bed-room. “Could the servant get him pen, ink, and paper?” The servant did so; and, within two hours of his entering the doors of Grey Abbey, he was informing his friend of the success of his mission.
[FOOTNOTE 51: Veni; vidi;
vici—(Latin) Julius Caesar’s terse
message to the Senate announcing his victory over
King Pharnaces II of Pontus in 47 B.C.: “I came,
I saw, I conquered.”]
The two following letters for Lord Ballindine were sent off, in the Grey Abbey post-bag, on the evening of the day on which Mr Armstrong had arrived there. They were from Mr Armstrong and Lord Cashel. That from the former was first opened.
Grey Abbey, April, 1844
You will own I have not lost much time. I left Kelly’s Court the day before yesterday and I am already able to send you good news. I have seen Lord Cashel, and have found him anything but uncourteous. I have also seen Miss Wyndham, and though she said but little to me, that little was just what you would have wished her to say. She bade me tell you to come yourself. In obedience to her commands, I do hereby require you to pack yourself up, and proceed forthwith to Grey Abbey. His lordship has signified to me that it is his intention, in his own and Lady Cashel’s name, to request the renewed pleasure of an immediate, and, he hopes, a prolonged visit from your lordship. You will not, my dear Frank, I am sure, be such a fool as to allow your dislike to such an empty butter-firkin as this earl, to stand in the way of your love or your fortune. You can’t expect Miss Wyndham to go to you, so pocket your resentment like a sensible fellow, and accept Lord Cashel’s invitation as though there had been no difference between you.
I have also received an invite, and intend staying here a day or two. I can’t say that, judging from the master of the house, I think that a prolonged sojourn would be very agreeable. I have, as yet, seen none of the ladies, except