“I have done so,” answered Cornelia. And then she felt a sudden anger at herself, so much so, that as she walked home, she kept assuring her heart with an almost passionate insistence, “I have not given him up! I will not give him up! I believe in him yet.”
Madame’s advice might be wise, but there are counsels of perfection that cannot be followed; because they are utterly at variance with that intuitive knowledge, which the soul has of old; and which it will not surrender; and whose wisdom it is interiorly sure of. And after this confidence Cornelia did not go so often to madame’s. Something jarred between them. We know that a single drop taken from a glass of water changes the water level swift as thought, and the same law is certain in all human relations. Madame was not quite the same; something had been taken away; the level of their friendship was changed; and when Doctor Moran could not but perceive this fact, he said—
“Go less frequently to madame’s, Cornelia. You do not enjoy your visits; dissolve a friendship that begins to be incomplete. It is the best plan.”
A HEART THAT WAITS
Late summer on the Norfolk Broads! And where on earth can the lover of boats find a more charming resort? How alluring are the mysterious entrances to these Broads! where a boat seems to make an insane dive into a hopeless cul de sac of a ditch, and then suddenly emerges on a wide expanse of water, teeming with pike and bream and eels; and fringed with a border of plashy ground, full of reeds and willows and flowering flags; and alive with water fowl.
Now close to the Manor of Hyde, the country home of Earl Hyde in Norfolk, there was one of these delightful Broads—flat as a billiard table, and hidden by the tall reeds which bordered it. But Annie Hyde lying at the open window of her room in the Manor House could see its silvery waters, and the black-sailed wherry floating on them, and the young man sitting at the prow fishing, and idling, among the lilies and languors of these hot summer days. Her hands were folded, her lips moved, she was asking of some intelligence among the angels, grace and favour for one who was dearer to her than her own life or happiness.
An aged man sat silently by her, a man of noble beauty, whose soul was in every part of his body, expressive and impressive—a fiery particle not always at its window, but when there, infecting and going through observers, whether they would or not. He was dressed altogether in black, and had fine small hands, a thin austere face and clean sensitive lips which seemed to say, “He hath made us kings and priests”—a man of celestial race, valuing things at their eternal, not at their temporal worth.
There had been silence for some time between them, and he did not appear disposed to break it; but Annie longed for him to do so, because she had a mystical appetite for sacred things, and was never so happy and so much at rest as when he was talking to her of them. For she loved God, and had been led to the love of God by a kind of thirst for God.