Many will sympathize with Mrs Murchison at this point, I hope, and regret to abandon her in such equivocal approval of the circumstances which have arisen round her. Too anxiously occupied at home to take her share in the general pleasant sensation of Dr Drummond’s marriage, she was compelled to give it a hurried consideration and a sanction which was practically wrested from her. She could not be clear as to the course of events that led to it, nor entirely satisfied, as she said, about the ins and outs of the affair; this although she felt she could be clearer, and possibly had better grounds for being satisfied, than other people. As to Advena’s simple statement that Miss Cameron had made a second choice of the Doctor, changing her mind, as far as Mrs Murchison could see, without rhyme or reason, that Mrs Murchison took leave to find a very poor explanation. Advena’s own behaviour toward the rejection is one of the things which her mother declares, probably truly, that she never will understand. To pick up a man in the actual fling of being thrown over, will never, in Mrs Murchison’s eyes, constitute a decorous proceeding. I suppose she thinks the creature might have been made to wait at least until he had found his feet. She professes to cherish no antagonism to her future son-in-law on this account, although, as she says, it’s a queer way to come into a family; and she makes no secret of her belief that Miss Cameron showed excellent judgement in doing as she did, however that far-seeing woman came to have the opportunity.
Hesketh had sailed before Lorne left his room, to return in June to those privileges and prospects of citizenship which he so eminently deserves to enjoy. When her brother’s convalescence and departure for Florida had untied her tongue, Stella widely proclaimed her opinion that Mr Hesketh’s engagement to Miss Milburn was the most suitable thing that could be imagined or desired. We know the youngest Miss Murchison to be inclined to impulsive views; but it would be safe, I think, to follow her here. Now that the question no longer circles in the actual vortex of Elgin politics Mr Octavius Milburn’s attitude toward the conditions of imperial connection has become almost as mellow as ever. Circumstances may arise any day, however, to stir up that latent bitterness which is so potential in him: and then I fear there will be no restraining him from again attacking Wallingham in the papers.