Whether her hopes were realised, or,—as human hopes never are realised,—how far her content was assured, these pages cannot tell; but they must tell that, before the coming winter was over, Lady Carbury became the wife of Mr Broune and, in furtherance of her own resolve, took her husband’s name. The house in Welbeck Street was kept, and Mrs Broune’s Tuesday evenings were much more regarded by the literary world than had been those of Lady Carbury.
It need hardly be said that Paul Montague was not long in adjusting his affairs with Hetta after the visit which he received from Roger Carbury. Early on the following morning he was once more in Welbeck Street, taking the brooch with him; and though at first Lady Carbury kept up her opposition, she did it after so weak a fashion as to throw in fact very little difficulty in his way. Hetta understood perfectly that she was in this matter stronger than her mother and that she need fear nothing, now that Roger Carbury was on her side. ’I don’t know what you mean to live on,’ Lady Carbury said, threatening future evils in a plaintive tone. Hetta repeated, though in other language, the assurance which the young lady made who declared that if her future husband would consent to live on potatoes, she would be quite satisfied with the potato-peelings; while Paul made some vague allusion to the satisfactory nature of his final arrangements with the house of Fisker, Montague, and Montague. ’I don’t see anything like an income,’ said Lady Carbury; ’but I suppose Roger will make it right. He takes everything upon himself now it seems.’ But this was before the halcyon day of Mr Broune’s second offer.
It was at any rate decided that they were to be married, and the time fixed for the marriage was to be the following spring. When this was finally arranged Roger Carbury, who had returned to his own home, conceived the idea that it would be well that Hetta should pass the autumn and if possible the winter also down in Suffolk, so that she might get used to him in the capacity which he now aspired to fill; and with that object he induced Mrs Yeld, the Bishop’s wife, to invite her down to the palace. Hetta accepted the invitation and left London before she could hear the tidings of her mother’s engagement with Mr Broune.
Roger Carbury had not yielded in this matter,—had not brought himself to determine that he would recognize Paul and Hetta as acknowledged lovers,—without a fierce inward contest. Two convictions had been strong in his mind, both of which were opposed to this recognition,— the first telling him that he would be a fitter husband for the girl than Paul Montague, and the second assuring him that Paul had ill-treated him in such a fashion that forgiveness would be both foolish and unmanly. For Roger, though he was a religious man, and one anxious to conform to the spirit of Christianity, would not allow