Julian Home
by Dean Frederic W. Farrar
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He had not sat there for many minutes—though to him they seemed like hours—when a step on the stairs told him that his tutor's visitor had departed, and the gyp blandly entering, observed—

"Now, sir, Mr Grayson can see you."

"Oh! very well," said Kennedy, rising and assuming, with a painful effort, his most indifferent look and tone.

"Pardon me, Mr Kennedy, my turn first; I have been waiting longest," said a harsh voice behind him, that sounded mockingly to his excited ear. He turned sharply round, and with a low bow and a curl on the protruding lip, and a little guttural laugh, Brogten came from the inner room, and passed before him into Mr Grayson's presence.

If a thunderbolt had suddenly fallen before Kennedy's feet and cloven its sulphurous passage into the abyss, he could hardly have been more startled or more alarmed. Without a word he sat down half stupefied. Was any one else in the inner room? For very shame he dare not look. Had Brogten seen him? If so, would he at once tell Mr Grayson? What would be done in that case? Dare he deny the fact? Passionately he spurned the hateful suggestion. Would Brogten tell all the Saint Werner's men? Brogten of all others, whom he had publicly insulted and branded with dishonour! Ah me, there is no anguish so keen, so deadly, as the anguish of awakened shame!

With unspeakable anxiety Kennedy awaited Brogten's departure. Why should he be so long? Surely he must be telling Mr Grayson.

At last the heavy step was heard, the door opened, and the gyp once more announced that Mr Grayson was disengaged.

Pale and almost breathless, Kennedy went into the room.

"Good morning, Mr Kennedy."

"Good morning, sir."

He quite expected that Mr Grayson was about at once to address him on the subject of the paper, and, expecting this, totally forgot the purpose for which he had come. The tutor's cold eye was upon him, and after a pause he said—

"Well, Mr Kennedy?"

"Well, sir?" he replied, with a start.

"Do you want anything?"

"Oh, I came for—Really, sir, I must beg your pardon, but I have forgotten what it was."

"To look at an examination-paper," were the words which, in his embarrassment, sprang to his lips, but he checked them just in time.

"Really, Mr Kennedy, you appear to be strangely absent this morning," said Mr Grayson, in a tone the reverse of encouraging.

"Oh, I remember now," he replied, desperately; "it was a library order I wanted."

Mr Grayson wrote him the order. Kennedy took it, and, without even shaking the cold hand which the tutor proffered, hurried out of the room, relieved at least by the conviction that Brogten, if he had seen him look at the paper, had not, as yet at any rate, revealed it to the examiner.

"After all," he reflected, "he was hardly likely to do that. But had he told the men?"

Kennedy did not go to the library; he could not bear to meet anybody, and hastened to bury himself in his own rooms. His walk, usually so erect and gay as he went across the court—the tune he used to hum so merrily in the sunshine—and the bright open glance of recognition with which he passed his acquaintances and friends, were gone to-day. He shuffled silently along the cloisters with downcast eyes.

Hall-time would be the time to know whether Brogten had seen him and betrayed him. And if he had seen him, surely there could be no doubt he would tell of him. What a sweet revenge it would be for that malicious heart! How completely it would turn the tables on Kennedy for the day when he had sarcastically alluded to Brogten's bets! How amply it would fulfil the promise of which that parting scowl of hatred had been full.

He went to hall rather late on purpose; and instead of sitting in his usual place near Julian, he chose a vacant place at another table. Half a minute sufficed to show him that there was no difference in his reception; the same frequent nods and smiles from all sides still gave him the frank greeting of which, as a popular man, he was always sure. He looked round for Brogten, but could make nothing of his face; it simply wore a somewhat slight smile when their eyes met, and Kennedy's fell. Kennedy began to convince himself that Brogten could not have seen what he had done in Mr Grayson's room.

The thought rolled away a great load—a heavy, intolerable load from his heart. It was not that with him, as with so many thousands, the fear of discovery constituted the sense of sin, but young as he was, and high as his character had stood hitherto in man's estimation, he prayed for any chastisement rather than that of detection, any stroke in preference to open shame. This was the one thing which he felt he could not bear.

Even now, as conscience strongly suggested, he might make, by private confession to his tutor, or at any rate by not using the knowledge he had thus acquired, the only reparation which was still in his power. But it was a hard thing for conscience to ask—too hard for poor Kennedy's weakness. Much of the paper, as he saw at once, he could very easily have answered from his previous general knowledge and scholarship; so easily, that he now felt convinced that he might have done quite enough of it to secure his first class. His sin then had been useless, quite useless, worse than useless to him. Was he obliged also to make it positively injurious? was he to put himself in a worse position than if he had never committed it? After all the punishment which the sin had brought with it, was he also to lose, in consequence of it, the very advantage, the very enjoyment, for the sake of which he had harboured the temptation? It was too much—too much to expect.

The night before the Aeschylus examination he began to read up the general information on the subject, and he intended to do it quite as if he were unaware of what the actual questions were to be. But it was the merest self-deception. Each question was branded in fiery letters on his recollection, and he found that, as he read, he was skipping involuntarily every topic which he knew had not been touched on in Mr Grayson's paper.

Oh, the sense of hypocrisy with which he eagerly seized the paper next morning, and read it over as though unaware of its contents.

Julian could not help observing that, during the last few days, Kennedy's spirits had suffered a change. His old mirth came only in fitful bursts, and he was often moody and silent; but Julian attributed it to anxiety for the result of the examination, and doubt whether he should be allowed by his father to make one of the long-anticipated party in the foreign tour.

Kennedy dared not admit any one into his confidence, but the last evening, before they went down, he turned the conversation, as he sat at tea in Owen's room, to the topic of character, and the faults of great men, and the aberrations of the good.

"Tell me, Owen," he said, "as you're a philosopher—tell me what difference the faults of good men make in our estimate of them?"

"In our real estimate," said Owen, "I fancy we often adopt, half unconsciously, the maxim, that 'the king can do no wrong'—that the true hero is all heroic."

"Yes," said Kennedy; "but when some one calls your attention to the fact of their failings, and makes you look at them—what then?"

"Why, in nine cases out of ten the faults are grossly exaggerated and misrepresented, and I should try to prove that such is the fact; and for the rest,—why, no man is perfect."

"You shirk the question, though," said Lillyston; "for you have to make very tremendous allowance indeed for some of the very best of men."

As, for instance?

"As, for instance, king David."

"Oh, don't take Scripture instances," said Suton, an excellent fellow whom they all liked, though he took very different views of things from their own.

"Why not, in heaven's name?" said Kennedy; "if they suit, they are good because so thoroughly familiar."

"Yes, but somehow one judges them differently."

"I daresay you do,—in fact I know you do; but you've no business to. I maintain that even according to Moses, king David deserved a felon's death. Murder and adultery were crimes every bit as heinous then as they are now. Yet David, this most human of heroes, was the man after God's own heart. Solve me the problem."

"Practically," said Lillyston; "I believe one follows a genuine instinct in determining not to look at the spots, however wide or dark they are, upon the sun."

"And in accepting theoretically old Strabo's grand dictum, ouch oion agathon genesthai poieeteen mee pzotezon geneethenta anoza agathon. Eh?"

"As Coleridge was so fond of doing," said Julian.

"Ay, he needed the theory," said Suton.

"Hush!" said Julian, "I can't stand any such Philadelphus hints about Coleridge. By the bye, Owen, you might have quoted a still more apt illustration from Seneca, who criticises Livy for saying 'Vir ingenii magni magis quam boni' with the remark, 'Non potest illud separari; aut et bonum erit aut nec magnum.'"

Mr Admer, who was one of the circle, chuckled inwardly at the discussion. "I was once," he said, "at a party where a lady sang one of Byron's Hebrew melodies. At the close of it a young clergyman sighed deeply, and with an air of intense self-satisfaction, observed, 'Ah! I was wondering where poor Byron is now!' What should you have all said to that?"

"Detesting Byron's personal character, I should have said that the very wonder was a piece of idle and meddling presumption," said Owen.

"And I should have answered that the Judge will do right," said Suton reverently.

"Or if he wanted a text, 'Who art thou that judgest another?'" said Lillyston contemptuously.

"And I," said Julian, should have said,—

"Let feeble hands iniquitously just, Rake up the relics of the sinful dust, Let Ignorance mock the pang it cannot heal, And Malice brand what Mercy would conceal;— It matters not!"

"And I," said Kennedy, "should have been vehemently inclined to tweak the man's nose."

"But what did you say, Mr Admer?" asked Lillyston.

"I answered a fool according to his folly. I threw up my eyes and said, 'Ah, where, indeed! What a good thing it is that you and I, sir, are not as that publican.'"

"I should think he skewered you with a glance, didn't he?" said Kennedy.

"No, he was going to bore me with an argument, which I declined."

"But you've all cut the question: tell me now, supposing you had known king David, should you have thought worse of him, should you have been cool to him—in a word, should you have cut him after his fall?"

"I think not—I mean, I shouldn't have cut him," said Owen.

"And yet you would have treated so any ordinary friend."

"Not necessarily. But remember that the two best things happened to David which could possibly happen to a man who has committed a crime."


"Speedy detection," said Lillyston.

"And prompt punishment," added Julian; "but for these there's no knowing what would have become of him."

Unsatisfactory as the discussion had been, yet those words rang hauntingly in Kennedy's ears; he could not forget them. During all those first days of happy travel they were with him; with him as they strolled down the gay and lighted Boulevards of Paris; with him beside the quaint fountains of Berne; and the green rushing of the Rhine at Basle; with him amid the scent of pine-cones, and under the dark green umbrage of forest boughs; with him when he caught his first glimpse of the everlasting mountains, and plunged into the clear brightness of the sapphire lake—the thought of speedy detection and prompt punishment. It was no small pleasure to partake in Violet's happiness, and mark the ever fresh delight that lent such a bright look to Cyril's face; but before Kennedy in the midst of enjoyment, the memory of a dishonourable act started like a spectre, and threw a sudden shadow on his brow. He felt its presence when he saw the sun rise from Rigi; it stood by him amid the wreathing mists of Pilatus; it even checked his enthusiasm as they gazed together on the unequalled glories spread beneath the green summit of Monterone, and as their graceful boat made ripples on the moonlit waves of Orta and Lugans. In a word, the conviction of weakness was the only alloying influence to the pleasure of his tour, the one absinthe-drop that lent bitterness to the honeyed wine. It was not only the consciousness of the wrong act and its possible results, but horror at the instability of moral principle which it showed, and a deep fear lest the same weakness should prove a snare and a ruin to him in the course of future life.



"Flowers are lovely. Love is flowerlike, Friendship is a sheltering tree; O the joys that came down showerlike With virtue, truth, and liberty, When I was young."—Coleridge.

"To-morrow, then, we are all to ascend the Schilthorn," said Mr Kennedy, as he bade good-night to the merry party assembled in the salle a manger of the chalet inn at Murrem.

"Or as high as we ladies can get," said Mrs Dudley.

"Oh, we'll get you up, aunt," said Kennedy; "if Julian and my father and I can't get you and Miss Home and Eva up, we're not worth much."

"To say nothing of me" said Cyril, putting his arms akimbo, with a look of immense importance.

"Breakfast, then, at five to-morrow morning, young people," said Mr Kennedy, retiring; and full of happy anticipations they went off to bed.

Punctually at five they were all seated round the breakfast-table, eagerly discussing the prospects of the day.

"I say, did any of you see the first sunbeam tip the Jungfrau this morning?" said Kennedy. "It looked like—like—what did it look like, Miss Home?"

"Like the golden rim of a crown of pearls," said Violet, smiling. "And did you see the morning star, shining above the orange-coloured line of morning light, over the hills behind us, Eva? What did that remind you of?"

"Oh, I can't invent poetic similes," answered Eva. "I must take refuge in Wordsworth's—

"'Sweet as a star when only one Is shining in the sky.'"

"Yes," said Julian; "or Browning's—

"'One star—the chrysolite!'"

"Hum!" said Cyril, who had been standing impatiently at the door during the colloquy; "when you young ladies and people have done poetising, etcetera, the guide's quite ready."

"Come along, then; we're soon equipped," said Violet, adjusting at the looking-glass her pretty straw hat, with its drooping feather, and the blue veil tied round it.

"I say, Miss Kennedy—bother take it though, I can't always be saying Miss Kennedy—it's too long. I shall call you Eva—may I?" said Cyril.

"By all means, if you like."

"Well, then, Eva, the guide is such a rum fellow; he looks like a revived mummy out of—out of Palmyra," said he, blundering a little in his geography.

"Mummy or no," said Julian, "he'll carry all our provisions and plaids to-day up to the top, which is more than most of your A Cs would do."

"A C—what does that mean?" asked Violet. "One sees it constantly in the visitors' books."

"Don't you know, Vi?" said Cyril. "It stands for athletic climber."

"Alpine Club, you little monkey," said Kennedy, throwing a fir-cone at him. "You'll be qualified for the Alpine Club, Miss Home, before the day's over, I've no doubt."

"No," said Julian, "they want 13,000 feet, I believe, and the Schilthorn is only 9,000."

"Nearly three times higher than Snowdon; only fancy!" said Cyril.

Meanwhile the party had started with fair weather, and in high spirits. The guide, with the gentlemen's plaids strapped together, led the way cheerily, occasionally talking his vile patois with Julian and Mr Kennedy, or laughing heartily at Cyril's "bad language"—for Cyril, not being strong in German, exercised a delightful ingenuity in making a very few words go a very long way. Kennedy walked generally with Eva and Violet, while Julian often joined them, and Cyril, always with some new scheme in hand, or some new fancy darting through his brain, ran chattering, from one group to another, plucking bilberries and wild strawberries in handfuls, and trying the merits of his alpenstock as a leaping-pole.

The light of morning flowed down in an ever-broadening river, and peak after peak flashed first into rose, then into crimson, and then into golden light, as the sun fell on their fields of snow; high overhead rose Alp after Alp of snow-white and luminous cloud, but the flowing curves of the hills themselves stood unveiled, with their crests cut clearly on the pale, divine, lustrous blue of heaven, and our happy band of travellers gazed untired on that glorious panorama of glistering heights from the towering cones of the Eiger and the Moench to the crowding precipices of the Ebenen-fluen and the Silberhorn. Deep below them, in the valley, "like handfuls of pearl in a goblet of emerald," the quiet chalets clustered over their pastures of vivid grass, and gave that touch of human interest which alone was wanting to complete the loveliness of the scene.

Every step brought them some new object to gaze upon with loving admiration; now the gaunt spurs of some noble pine that had thrust his gnarled roots into the crevices of rock to look down in safety on the torrent roaring far below him, and now the track of a chamois, or the bright black eyes of some little marmot peering from his burrow on the side of a sunny bank, and whistling a quick alarm to his comrades at their play.

"What an extraordinary howl," said Cyril, laughing, as the guide whooped back a sort of jodel in answer to a salute from the other side of the valley.

"It's very harmonious—is it not?" said Violet.

"Yes, that's one of the varieties of the Ranz des Vaches," said Kennedy.

"And why do they shout at each other in that way?"

"Because the mountains are lonely, Cyril, and the shepherds don't see human faces too often; so men begin to feel like brothers, and are glad to greet each other in these silent hills."

"Did you hear how the mountain echoed back his cry?" said Eva; "it sounded like a band of elves mocking at him."

"Yes, you'll hear something finer directly; the guide told me he was going to borrow an alpen-horn at one of these chalets, and then you'll discover for the first time what echo can do."

In a few minutes the guide appeared with the horn, and blew. Heavens! what a melody of replications! How in the hollows of the hills every harsh tone died away, and all the softer notes flowed to and fro in tenderest music, and fainted in distant reverberations more and more exquisite, more and more exquisitely low. Can it be a mere echo of those rude blasts? It seemed as though some choir of spirits had caught each tone as it came from the peasant's horn, and had deified it there among the clouds, and had repeated it over and over with divinest variations, to show man how crabbed were the sounds which he produced, and yet how ravishing they might one day become, when to the symphony of silver strings they rang out amid the seraph harps and choral harmonies of heaven. All the party stood still in rapturous attention, and even Cyril forgot for ten minutes his frolicsome and noisy mirth.

Reader, have you ever seen an Alpine pasture in warm July at early morning? If not, you can hardly conceive the glorious carpet over which the feet of the wanderer in Switzerland press during summer tours. Around them as they passed the soft mosses glowed with gold and crimson, and the edges of the lady's-mantle shimmered with such diamonds and pearls as never adorned a lady's mantle yet. Everywhere the grass was vivid with a many-coloured tissue of dew-dropped flowers: pale crocuses, and the bright crimson-lake carnation, and monk's-hood, and crane's-bill, and aster alpinus, and the lovely myosotis, and thousands of yellow and purple flowers, nameless or lovelier than their names, were the tapestry on which they trod; and it was interwoven through warp and woof with the blue gleam of a myriad harebells. At last they came to the cold region of those delicate nurslings of the hills, the gentianellas and gentians. Kennedy, who had been keenly on the look out, was the first of the party to find the true Alpine gentian, and instantly recognising it, ran with it to Violet and his sister.

"There," he said, "the first Alpine gentian you ever saw. Did you ever know real blue in a flower before? Doesn't it actually seem to shed a blue radiation round it?"

"How perfectly beautiful!" said Violet; "see, Eva, how intense blue and green seem to be shot into each other, or to play together like the waters of a shoaling sea."

"Shall I take a root or two?" said Kennedy.

"Not the slightest use," said Julian; "they only grow at certain elevations, and would be dead before you got down."

"Isn't it strange, Violet, that Nature should fling such a tender and exquisite gem so high up among these awful hills, where so few eyes see them?"

"Just look," said Julian, "how the moss and the grass seem to be illuminated with them, as though the heavens were golden, and stars in it were of blue."

While they talked, Cyril dashed past them with all the ardour of a young entomologist in full chase of a little mountain-ringlet, which he soon caught and pinned on the top of his straw hat. In a few minutes more he had added a great fritillery to his collection, and it gave him no trouble to pick out the finest of the superb lazy-flying Apollos, which quickly shared the same fate.

"Here's another for you, Cyril," said Eva, pointing to a gorgeous peacock-butterfly which had settled amicably by a bee on the pink-and-downy coronet of a great thistle.

"Oh, I don't want that; one can get it any day in England; here though, look at this lovely burnet-moth," he cried, as the blue-and-red-winged little creature settled on the same thistle-head.

"What a shame to disturb that beautiful Psyche," said Julian, as Cyril dashed his cap over the prey, and the peacock fluttered off; "it was enjoying itself so intensely in the sunshine, opening and shutting its wings in unmitigated contentment." But Cyril had secured his moth without heeding the remark, and was now twenty yards ahead.

A sudden roar of sound stopped him, and he waited to ask the rest, "if they had heard the thunder?"

"It wasn't thunder, but the rush of an avalanche," said Kennedy; "there, you may see it still on the side of the Jungfrau."

"What, those little white streaks, which look like a mountain torrent?"


"And can those threads of snow make all that row?"

"You must remember that the threads of snow are five miles off, and are perhaps thousands of tons in weight."

By this time they had reached the part of the mountain where the climb became really toilsome, and they settled down into the steady pace, which the Swiss guides always adopt because they know that it is the quickest in the long run. And at this point Mr Kennedy and Mrs Dudley left them, preferring, like sensible old people, to stroll back in quiet, and avoid an exertion which they found too fatiguing. They knew that they could safely entrust the party to the care of Julian and the guide. The ladies often needed help, and there seemed to be something very pleasant to Kennedy in the light touch of Violet's hand, for he lent her his arm or his alpenstock oftener than was absolutely required. They only stopped once more to quench their thirst at a streamlet which was rushing impetuously down the rocks, and a little below them foamed over the precipice into a white and noisy cataract.

"I never noticed water before falling from such a height," said Julian; "it looks exactly like a succession of white comets plunging through the sky in a crowd."

"Or a throng of white-sheeted ghosts hurrying deliriously through the one too-narrow entrance of the lower world," said Kennedy. "Doesn't it remind one of Schiller's line—

"'Und es wallet und liedet und brauset und Pikcht?'"

"I admire the rainbow most, which over-arches the fall, and plays into light, or dies away as the sunbeams touch the foam," said Violet.

"Doesn't it remind you of Al-Sirat's arch, Miss Home?" asked Kennedy.

"Haven't the pleasure of that gentleman's acquaintance," observed Cyril.

"Nor I," said Kennedy; "but Al-Sirat's arch is the bridge—narrow as the edge of a razor, or the thread of an attenuated spider—which is supposed to span the fiery abyss, over which the good skate into Paradise, while the bad topple over it. Don't you remember Byron's lines about it in the Giaour?

"'Yea, Soul, and should our prophet say That form was nought but breathing clay, By Alla! I would answer nay; Though on Al-Sirat's arch I stood, That topples o'er the fiery flood, With Paradise within my view, And all its Houris beckoning through.'

"Pretty nearly the only lines of Byron I know." Somehow Kennedy was looking at Violet while he repeated the lines.

A few minutes more brought them on to the great field of snow, through which they toiled along laboriously, treading as much as possible in the footsteps of the guide.

"This isn't a glacier, is it?" asked Cyril.

"Oh dear, no! If it were, you wouldn't find it such easy walking, for it would be full of hidden crevasses, and we should have to march much more carefully, occasionally poking our feet through the snow that lightly covers a fathomless depth."

"Yes, you must have read in Murray that eerie story of the guide that actually tumbled, though not very deep, into the centre of the glacier, and found his way back to light down the bed of a sub-glacial torrent, with no worse result than a broken arm."

"There is a still eerier story, though, of two brothers," said Kennedy, "of whom one fell into a crevasse, and was caught on a ledge some fifty feet down, where he could be actually seen and heard."

"Did he ever get out?" asked Violet.

"Yes; the guide went back four hours' walk, and brought ropes and assistance just before dark, and meanwhile the other brother waited anxiously by the side of the crevasse, talking, and letting down brandy and other things to keep the poor fellow alive. He did escape, but not without considerable risk of being frozen to death."

Beguiling the way with talk, they at last got over the tedious climb, and reached the summit. Eva and Violet were very tired, but the difficult and eager air of the icy mountain-top was exhilarating as new wine, and the provisions they had brought with them reinvigorated them completely. To hungry and thirsty climbers black bread and vin ordinaire taste like nectar and ambrosia. The day was cloudless, the view unspeakably magnificent, and Cyril's high spirits were contagious. They lingered long before they began the descent, and laughingly pooh-poohed the guide's repeated suggestion that it was getting late.

"I bet you Kennedy has been writing poetry," said Cyril; "do make him read it, Julian."

"Hear, hear!" said all in chorus, and Julian with playful force possessed himself of the pocket-book, while Kennedy, only asseverating that the verses were addressed to nobody in particular, fled from the sound of his own lyrics, which Julian proceeded to read.

"Rose-opals of the sunlit hills Are flashing round my lonely way, And cataracts dash the rushing rills To plumes of glimmering spray. But mountain-streams and sunny gleams Are not so dear to me, As dawning of the golden love My spirit feels for thee!

"Their diamond crowns and giant forms, The lordly hills upraise; Nor rushing winds nor shattering storms Can shake their solid base: Though Europe rests beneath their crests, And empires sleep secure, Less firm their bases than my love, Their snow less brightly pure."

"There, rubbish enough," said Kennedy, returning and snatching away the pocket-book before Julian could read another verse. "'Like coffee made without trouble, drunk without regret,' as the Monday Oracle, with its usual exquisite urbanity, observed of a recent poet."

"Of course addressed quite to an imaginary object, Eddy," said Eva, while Violet looked towards the hills, and hoped that the glow which covered her fair face might be taken for a reflection of the faint tinge that already began to fall over the distant ridges of pale snow.

"We really must come away," said Julian; "it'll be sunset very soon, and then we shall have to climb down nearly in the dark."

So they left the ridge, and while Kennedy and Cyril, amid shouts of laughter, glissaded gallantly over the slopes of snow, Julian and the guide conducted the girls by a method less rapid, but more secure. Arrived at the rocks, Cyril went forward with the guide, Julian followed with Eva, and Kennedy with Violet led up the rear.

Why did they linger so long? Violet was tired, no doubt, but could she not have walked as fast as Eva, or was Kennedy's arm less stout than Julian's? She lingered, it seemed, with something of a conscious pleasure, now to pluck a flower or a fern, now to look at some yellow lichens on the purple crags; and once, when Julian looked back, the two were some way behind the rest of the party. They were standing on a rock gazing on the fading splendour of the mountains in front of them, while the light wind that had risen during the sunset, flung back his hair from his forehead, and played with one golden tress which had strayed down Violet's neck. He shouted to them to make haste, and they waved their hands to him with a gay salute. Thinking that they would soon overtake him, he pressed forward with Eva, and did not look back again.

While Kennedy walked on with Violet in silence more sweet than speech, they fell into a dreamy mood, and wandered on half-oblivious of things around them, while deeper and deeper the shades of twilight began to cast their gloom over the hills.

"Look, Violet, I mean Miss Home; the moon is in crescent, and we shall have a pleasant night to walk in; won't it be delightful?"

"Yes," she murmured; but neither of them observed that the clouds were gathering thick and fast, and obscured all except a few struggling glimpses of scattered stars.

They came to a sort of stile formed by two logs of wood laid across the gap in a stone wall, and Kennedy vaulting over it, gave her his hand.

"Surely," she said, stopping timidly for a moment, "we did not pass over this in coming, did we?"

Kennedy looked back. "No," he said, "I don't remember it; but no doubt it has been put up merely for the night to prevent the cattle from going astray."

They went forward, but a deeper and deeper misgiving filled Violet's mind that they had chosen a wrong road.

"I think," she said with a fluttered voice, "that the path looks much narrower than it did this morning. Do you see the others?"

They both strained their eyes through the gloom, now rendered more thick than ever by the dark driving clouds, but they could see no trace of their companions, and though they listened intently, not the faintest sound of voices reached their eager ears.

They spoke no word, but a few steps farther brought them to a towering rock around the base of which the path turned, and then seemed to cease abruptly in a mass of loose shale. It was too clear now. They had lost their road and turned, whilst they were indulging those golden fancies, into a mere cattle-path worn by the numerous herds of goats and oxen, the music of whose jangling bells still came to them now and then in low sweet snatches from the pastures of the valley and hill.

What was to be done? They were alone amid the all but unbroken silence, and the eternal solitudes of the now terrible mountain. The darkness began to brood heavily above them; no one was in sight, and when Kennedy shouted there was no answer, but only an idle echo of his voice. Sheets of mist were sweeping round them, and at length the gusts of wind drove into their faces cold swirls of plashing rain.

"Oh, Mr Kennedy, what can we do? Do shout again."

Once more Kennedy sent his voice ringing through the mist and darkness, and once more there was no answer, except that to their now excited senses it seemed as if a scream of mocking laughter was carried back to them upon the wind. And clinging tightly to his arm, as he wrapped her in his plaid to shelter her from the wet, she again cried, "Oh, Edward, what must we do?"

Even in that fearful situation—alone on the mountain, in the storm,—he felt within him a thrill of strength and pleasure that she called him Edward, and that she clung so confidingly upon his arm.

"Dare you stay here, Violet," he asked, "while I run forward and try to catch some glimpse of a light?"

"Oh, I dare not, I dare not," she cried; "you might miss your way in coming back to me, and I should be alone."

He saw that she loved him; he had read the secret of her heart, and he was happy. Passionately he drew her towards him, and on her soft fragrant cheek—on which the pallor of dread had not yet extinguished the glow which had been kindled by the mountain wind—he printed a lover's kiss; but in maidenly reserve she drew back, and was afraid to have revealed her secret, and once more she said, "Oh, Mr Kennedy, we shall die if we stay here unsheltered in this storm."

As though to confirm her words, the thunder began to growl, and while the sounds of it were beaten back with long loud hollow buffetings from the rocks on every side, the blue and winged flash of lightning glittered before their eyes, cleaving a rift with dazzling and vivid intensity amid the purple gloom.

"Stay here but one instant, Violet—Miss Home,"—he said; "I will climb this rock to see if any light is near, and will be with you again in a moment."

He bounded actively up the rock, reckless of danger, and gazed from the summit into the night. For a second, another flash of lightning half blinded him with its lurid glare, but when he was again accustomed to the darkness, he saw a dull glimmer in the distance, and supposing it to come from the hotel, sprang down the rock again to Violet's side.

"This way," he said, "dear Violet; I see a light, and from the direction of it I think it must be from our hotel. Keep up courage, and we shall soon reach it."

Dangerous as it was to hurry over the wet and slippery shale, and down the steep sides of the rugged hill, Kennedy half drew, half-carried her along with swift steps towards the place from which the dim light still seemed to allure them by its wavering and uncertain flicker.



"For the strength of the hills we bless Thee, Our God, our Father's God; Thou hast made our spirits mighty, By the touch of the mountain sod!" Hemans.

"Here you all are, then," said the cheerful voice of Mr Kennedy, as Julian, Eva, and Cyril, followed by the guide, entered the little Murrem Inn.

"Here are three of us," answered Julian; "haven't Edward and Violet arrived? Not having seen them for the last half-hour, I fancied they must have got before us by some short cut."

"No, they've not come yet. Fortunately for you, Eva, Aunt Dudley is very tired and has gone to bed," he said laughing, "otherwise you would have got a scolding for not taking better care of Violet."

"Oh, then, they must be close behind somewhere for certain," said Julian; "they could not have missed the path—it lay straight before us the whole way."

"Well, I hope they'll be in soon, for it begins to look lowering. I've ordered tea for you; make haste and come down to it. You're ready for tea, Cyril, I have no doubt."

"Rather!" said Cyril, reviving; for fatigue had made him very quiet during the last half-hour. And, indeed, the tempting-looking display on the table, the bright teapot, and substantial meal, and amber-coloured honey, would have allured a more fastidious appetite.

They ran up-stairs to make themselves comfortable before having tea and retiring to bed, and on re-entering the warm and glowing room, their first question was, "Have they come?"

"No," said Mr Kennedy, anxiously, and even the boy's face grew grave and thoughtful as Julian rose from the tea-table and said, "I must go and search for them."

He seized his straw hat, put on his boots again, and ran out, calling on the guide to accompany him. They took out with them a lighted torch, but it was instantly extinguished by the streaming rain. Julian and the guide shouted at the top of their voices, but heard no sound in reply; and the darkness was now so intense, that it was madness to proceed farther amid that howling storm.

They ran back to the inn, where the rest sat round the table, pale and trembling with excessive fear. In reply to their hasty questions, Julian could only shake his head sorrowfully.

"The guide says that in all probability they must have been overtaken by the storm, and have run to some chalet for refuge. If so, they will be safe and well-treated till the morning."

"You children had better go to bed," said Mr Kennedy to Eva and Cyril, who reluctantly obeyed. "You cannot be of any help, and directly the storm begins to abate, Julian and I will go and find the others."

"Oh, papa," sobbed Eva; "poor Eddy and Violet! What will become of them? Perhaps they have been struck by the lightning."

"They are in God's hand, dearest," he said, tenderly kissing her tearful face, "as we all are. In His hand they are as safe as we."

"In God's hand, dear Eva," said Julian, as he bade her good-night. "Go to sleep, and no doubt they will be here safe before you awake."

"I shall not sleep, Julian," she whispered; "I shall go and pray for their safety. Dear, dear Eddy and Violet."

Cyril lingered in the room.

"Do let me stay up with you, Julian. I couldn't sleep—indeed, I couldn't; and I might be of some use when morning comes, and when you go to look for them. Do let me stay, Julian."

Julian could not resist his brother's wish, though Mr Kennedy thought it best that the boy should go to bed.

So they compromised matters by getting him to lie down on the sofa, while they sat up, and stared out of the windows silently into the rain. How wearily the time goes by when you dread a danger which no action can avert.

Meanwhile the objects of their anxiety had hurried up to the light, and found that it came from the ragged windows of an old tumble-down tenement, built of pine-boards which the sun had dried and charred, until they looked black and stained and forbidding. Going up the rotten wooden steps to the door, and looking through the broken windows, Kennedy saw two men seated, smoking, with a flaring tallow candle between them.

"Must we go in there?" asked Violet; and Kennedy observed how her arm and the tones of her voice were trembling with agitation.

"Isn't it better than staying out in this dreadful storm?" said Kennedy. "The Swiss are an honest people, and I daresay these are herdsmen who will gladly give us food and shelter."

Their voices had roused the inmates of the chalet, and both the men jumped up from their seats, while a large and fierce mastiff also shook himself from sleep, and gave a low deep growl.

Kennedy knocked at the door. A gruff voice bade him enter; and as he stepped over the threshold, the dog flew at him with an angry bark. Violet uttered a cry of fear, and Kennedy struck the dog a furious blow with the knobbed end of his alpenstock, which for the moment stunned the animal, while it drew down on the heads of the tired and fainting travellers a volley of brutal German oaths.

"Can you give us shelter?" said Kennedy, who spoke German with tolerable fluency. "We have lost our way, and cannot stay out in this storm."

The man snarled an affirmative, and Violet observed with a shudder that he was an ill-looking, one-eyed fellow, with villainy stamped legibly on every feature. The other peasant looked merely stolid and dirty, and seemed to be little better than a cretin, as he sat heavily in his place without offering to stir.

"Can't you give us some food, or at any rate some milk?—we have been to the top of the Schilthorn, and are very tired."

The man brought out a huge coarse wooden bowl of goat's milk, and some sour bread; and feeling in real need of food, they tried to eat and drink. While doing so, Kennedy noticed that Violet gave a perceptible start and looking up, observed the one eye of their grim entertainer intently fixed on the gold watch-chain which hung over his silk jersey. He stared the man full in the face, finished his meal, and then asked for a candle to show the lady to her room.

"No light but this," said the Cyclops, as Kennedy mentally named him.

"Then you must lend me this."

And taking it without more ado, he went first to the cupboard from which the milk had been produced, where seeing another dip, he coolly took it, lighted it, and pushed open the creaking door which opened on the close, damp closet which the man had indicated as the only place where Violet could sleep.

This room opened on another rather larger; and here, putting the candle on the floor, for the room, (if room it could be called), was destitute of all furniture, he spread his plaid on the ground over some straw, and said—

"Try to sleep here, Miss Home, till morning. I will keep watch in the outer room."

He shut the door, went back to the two men, looked full at them both, and leaving them their candle, returned to the closet, where, fastening the door with his invaluable alpenstock, he sat on the ground by the entrance of Violet's room. He heard her murmuring words of prayer, and knew well that she could not sleep in such a situation; but he himself determined to sit in perfect silence, to keep watch, and to commend himself and her, whom he now knew that he loved more than himself, in inward supplication to the merciful protection of their God and Father.

He felt a conviction that they had fallen into bad hands. The man's anger had first been stirred by the severe wound which Kennedy had in self-defence inflicted on the dog, and now there was too much reason to dread that his cupidity had been excited by the sight of the gold chain, and by Violet's ornaments, which gave promise that he might by this accident gain a wealthy prize.

After an interval of silence, during which he perceived that they listened at his door, and were deceived by his measured breathing into a notion that he was asleep, he noticed that they put out the candle, and continued to whisper in low thick voices. He was very very weary, his head nodded many times, and more than once he was afraid that sleep would overcome him, especially as he dared not stir or change his position; but the thought of Violet's danger, and the blaze of the lightning mingled with the yell of the wind kept him watchful, and he spent the interminable moments in thinking how to act when the attack came.

At last, about an hour and a half after he had retired, he heard the men stir, and with a thrill of horror he detected the sound of guns being loaded. Violet's candle was yet burning, as he perceived by the faint light under her door, so he wrote on a leaf of his pocket-book in the dark, "Don't be afraid, Violet, whatever you may hear; trust in God," and noiselessly pushed it under the crevice of the door into her room.

The muffled footsteps approached, but he never varied the sound of his regular breathing. At last came a push at the door, followed by silence, and then the whisper, "he has fastened it." Still he did not stir, till he observed that they were both close against the door, and were preparing to force it open. Then guided by a swift instinctive resolution, he determined to trust to the effects of an unexpected alarm. Noiselessly moving his alpenstock, he suddenly and with all his force, dashed the door open, shouted aloud, and with his utmost violence swung round the heavy iron spike. A flash, the report of a gun, and a yell of anguish instantly followed; and as Violet in terror and excitement threw open her door, the light which streamed from it showed Kennedy in a moment that the foremost villain, startled by the sudden opposition, had accidentally fired off his gun, of which the whole contents had lodged themselves in the shoulder of his comrade.

This second man had also armed himself with a chamois-gun, which slipped out of his hands as he fell wounded to the ground. Springing forward Kennedy wrenched it out of his relaxing grasp, and presented it full at the head of the other, who, half-stunned with the blow he had received from the heavy iron-shod point of the ashen alpenstock, was crouching for concealment in the corner of the chalet.

"Violet," he said, "all is now safe. These wretches are disarmed; if you like to take shelter here till the morning, I can secure you from any further attack. If you stir but an inch," he continued, addressing the unwounded man, "I will shoot you dead. Lay down your gun."

The man's one eye glared with rage and hatred, but Kennedy still held the loaded gun at his head, and he was forced sullenly to obey. Kennedy put his foot upon the gun, and was in perplexity what to do next, fearing that the wounded murderer, who was moaning heavily, might nevertheless spring at him from behind, and also momentarily dreading an attack from the mastiff, who kept up a sullen growl.

"Let us leave this dreadful place," said Violet, who, pale but undaunted at the horrors of the scene, had taken refuge by Kennedy's side.

"Dare you pick up and carry the gun?" he asked. "It would be dangerous to leave it in their hands."

Violet picked it up, where it lay under his feet, and then glided rapidly out of the chalet, while Kennedy slowly followed, never once taking his eye from his crouching antagonist. Before he stepped into the open air, he said to the men, "If I hear but one footstep in pursuit of us, I will shoot one of you dead."

"Oh, what a relief to be on the mountain-turf once more!" said Violet in a low and broken whisper, as she grasped Kennedy's arm, and he cautiously led her down a rude path, which was faintly marked a few hundred yards from the lonely cottage where they had been. "Are we safe now, do you think?"

"Yes, quite safe, Violet, I trust. They will not dare pursue me, now that their guns are gone, and I have this loaded one in my hand."

"Dear brave Mr Kennedy. How shall I ever thank you enough for having saved my life so nobly? If you had not been so strong and watchful, we should both have now been killed."

"I would die a thousand deaths," he whispered, "to save you from the least harm, Violet. But you are tired, you must rest here till the dawn. Sit under this rock, dearest, and cover yourself with my plaid. I will keep watch still."

She sat down wearily, and her head sank upon the rock. The storm was over: the thunder was still muttering like a baffled enemy in the distance, but the wind after its late fury was sobbing gently and fitfully like a repentant child. The rock gave her shelter, and after her fatigue and agitation she was sleeping peacefully, while Kennedy bowed down his head, and thanked God for the merciful protection which He had extended to them.

He had not been seated long when his eye caught the light of torches, being waved at a distance in the direction of the hotel. In an instant, he felt sure that Julian was come out to search for them, and gently awakening Violet, he told her with a thrill of joy that help was at hand. The torches drew nearer the place where they were seated, and he raised a joyous shout. As yet they were too far off to hear him, but suddenly it occurred to him to fire his gun. The flash and echoing report attracted their notice; the torches grew rapidly nearer; he could almost see the dark figures of those who carried them; and now in answer to his second shout came the hurried sound of familiar voices, and in five minutes more Julian and his father had grasped him by the hands, and Cyril had flung his arms round Violet's neck.

And now at last Kennedy gave way to his emotion, and his highly-wrought feelings found relief in a burst of passionate tears. It was no time for questionings. Julian passed his arm round his sister's waist, and, aided by Mr Kennedy, half-carried her to their hotel. Kennedy leaned heavily on the guide's arm; the honest landlord, who accompanied the searching party, carried the plaid, the alpenstock, and one of the guns, and Cyril, impressed by the strange scene, carried the other gun, full of wondering conjecture what Kennedy could have been doing with it, and from whence it could have come.

And when Violet reached Eva's room, in which she slept, she could only say, as they sat locked in a long embrace:—

"Dearest Eva, it is only through Edward that my life has been saved."

Eva had never before heard Violet call her brother by his name, and she was glad at heart.



"And, last of all, Love, like an Alpine harebell, hung with tears, By some cold morning glacier." The Princess.

Violet's fluttered nerves and wearied frame rendered it necessary for the party of English travellers to stay for a few days at Murrem, and afterwards it was decided that they should all go down to Grindelwald, and spend there the remainder of the time which they had set apart for the Swiss tour. The landlord of the Jungfrau treated them with the utmost consideration, and amused Kennedy by paying him as much deference as if he had been Tell or Arnold himself. Leaving in his hands all endeavours to discover the two scoundrels, who had entirely decamped, Kennedy gave him one of the guns, while he carried with him the other to keep as a trophy in his rooms at Camford.

There are few sights more pleasant than that of two families bound together by the ties of friendship and affection, and living together as though they were all brothers and sisters of a common home. For long years afterwards the Homes and the Kennedys looked back on those days at Grindelwald as among the happiest of their lives, and, indeed, they glided by like a dream of unbroken pleasure. How is it that there can be such a thing as ennui, or that people ever can be at a loss what to do? In the morning they took short excursions to the glaciers or the roots of the great mountains, and Cyril made adventurous expeditions with his fishing-rod to the mountain-streams. And at evening they sat in the long twilight in the balcony of their room, while Eva and Violet sang them sweet, simple English songs, which rang so softly through the air, that the crowd of guides and porters which always hang about a Swiss hotel used to gather in the streets to listen, and the English visitors collected in the garden to catch the familiar tones. Julian and Kennedy always gave some hours every day to their books, and Cyril, though he could be persuaded to do little else, spent some of his unemployed time on his much-abused holiday task for the ensuing quarter at Marlby.

And when the candles were lit, the girls would sketch or work, and Julian or Kennedy would read or translate to them aloud. Sometimes they spent what Mr Kennedy used to call "an evening with the immortals," and taking some volume of the poets, would each choose a favourite passage to read aloud in turn. This was Mr Kennedy's great delight, and he got quite enthusiastic when the well-remembered lines came back to him with fresh beauty, borne on the pleasant voices of Eva, Julian, or Cyril, like an old jewel when new facets are cut on its lustrous surface.

"Stop there; that's an immortal, lad—an immortal," he would say to Cyril, when the boy seemed to be passing over some flower of poetic thought without sufficient admiration; and then he would repeat the passage from memory with such just emphasis, that on these evenings all felt that they were laying up precious thoughts for happy future hours.

"Now, Mrs Dudley, and you young ladies, we're going to translate you part of a Greek novel to-night," said Julian.

"A Greek novel!" said Cyril, with a touch of incredulous suspicion. "Those old creatures didn't write novels, did they?"

"Only the best novel that ever was written, Cyril."

"What's it called?"

"The Odyssey."

"Oh, what a chouse! You don't mean to call that a novel, do you?"

"Well, let the ladies decide."

So he read to them how Ulysses returned in the guise of a beggar, after twenty years of war and wandering to his own palace-door, and saw the haughty suitors revelling in his halls; and how, as he reached the door, Argus, the hunting-dog, now old and neglected, and full of fleas, recollected him, when all had forgotten him, and fawned upon him, and licked his hand and died; and how the suitors insulted him, and one of them threw a foot-stool at him, which by one quick move he avoided, and said nothing, and another flung a shin-bone at his head, which he caught in his hand, and said nothing, but only smiled grimly in his heart—ever so little, a grim, sardonic smile and how the old nurse recognised him by the scar of the boar's tusk on his leg, but he quickly repressed the exclamation of wonderment which sprang to her lips; and how he sat, ragged but princely, by the fire in his hall, and the red light flickered over him, and he spake to the suitors words of solemn warning; and how, when Agelaus warned them, a strange foreboding seized their souls, and they looked at each other with great eyes, and smiled with alien lips, and burst into quenchless laughter, though their eyes were filled with tears; and how Ulysses drew his own mighty bow, which not one of them could use, and how he handled it, and twanged the string till it sang like a swallow in his ear, and sent the arrow flying with a whiz through the twelve iron rings of the line of axes; and then, lastly, how, like to a god, he leapt on his own threshold with a shout, and gathered his rags about him, and aided by the young Telemachus and the divine Swineherd, sent hurtling into the band of wine-stained rioters the swift arrows of inevitable death.

Pleased with the tale, which the girls decided, in spite of Cyril's veto, to be a genuine novel, they asked for a new Greek romance, and Julian read to them from Herodotus about the rise and fall of empires, and "Strange stories of the deaths of kings." One of his stories was the famous one of Croesus, and the irony of his fate, and the warning words of Solon, all of which, rendered into quaint rich English, struck Cyril so much, that, mingling up the tale with reminiscences of Longfellow's "Blind Bartimeus," he produced, with much modesty at the breakfast-table next morning, the following very creditable boyish imitation:—

"Speak Grecia's wisest, thou, 'tis said, Full deeply in Life's page hast read, And many a clime hath known my tread; Tis pantoon olbiotatos?

"The monarch raised his eager eye, Gazed on the sage exultingly, And slow came forth the calm reply Tellos ho Atheenaios.

"Upon his funeral pyre he lay Crownless, his sceptre passed away, The shade of Solon seem to say, oudeis toon zoontoon holbios.

"How little thought that Grecian sage Those words should live from aye to aye, Tis pantoon olbiotatos? Tellos ho Atheenaios, oudeis toon zoontoon holbios."

[Note. These verses were really written by a boy of fourteen.]

In a manner such as this the summer hours glided happily away. But all things, happy or mournful, must come to an end, lest we should forget God in our prosperity, or curse Him in our despair. Too quickly for all their wishes their last Sunday in Switzerland had come. Most of them had spent the day in thoughtful retirement or quiet occupations, and both morning and evening they assembled together in their pleasant sitting-room for matins and evensong. Their thoughts were full of the coming separation, and it gave a deep interest to these last services; for the Homes, unwilling to leave their mother and Frank so long alone at Ildown, were to start for England on the following day, and the Kennedys intended to visit Chamounix for two weeks more.

On the Sunday evening they strolled down to the glacier to look once again, for the last time, into its crevices, and wonder at its fairy caverns, fringed with icicles, like rows of silver daggers, and ceiled with translucent sapphire, beneath whose blue fretwork the stray sunbeams lost their way amid ice-blocks of luminous green, and pillars of lapis-lazuli and crystal. They sat on a huge boulder of granite, which some avalanche had torn down, and tumbled from the mountain's side, and there enjoyed the icy wind which tempered the warm evening air, as it swept over the leaping waves of the glacier stream.

"What a mixture of terror and beauty these monstrous glaciers are," said Julian; "crawling down the valleys, and shearing away the solid rocks before them like gigantic ploughshares."

"Yes," said Eva. "When you look up at the tumbled pinnacles of those seracs, does it not seem as if Summer had rent in anger with some great ice-axe the huge enemy whom she could not quite destroy?"

"And see," said Mr Kennedy, "how Nature gets out of these terrible heaps of shattered ice both use and beauty; and since she must leave them as the eternal fountains of her rivers, see how she tinges them with her loveliest blue."

They talked on until it was time to return, but Violet and Kennedy still lingered, sitting on the vast boulder, under pretence of seeing the sunset.

"Well, don't get lost again, that's all," said Cyril sagely.

"Oh no, we shall be back very soon," answered Violet, but she felt instinctively that the "very soon" in time might measure an eternity of emotion.

Need we say that Kennedy and Violet had, since that night of wild adventure, loved each other, hour by hour, with deeper affection? He was young, and brave, and light-hearted, and of a pleasant countenance; and she was a young, and confiding, and graceful, and lovely girl, and they were drawn to one another with a love which absorbed all other thoughts, and overpowered all other considerations; and it was unspeakable happiness for each to know how lovely were all their acts, and how dear were all their words in the other's eyes. And now that the time was come to declare the love in words, and ratify it by a plighted troth, there was something in the act so solemn as almost to disturb their dream of a lover's paradise.

They sat silent on the rock until the sun had set behind the peaks of snow, and their eyes were filled with idle yet delicious tears. Ripples of luminous sunshine, and banks of primrose-coloured cloud still lingered on the path which the sun had traversed, and, when even these began to fade, there stole along the hill crests above them a film of tender colour, flinging a veil of the softest carnation over their cold grey rocks, and untrodden fields of perpetual snow.

"Look, Violet, at that rose-colour on the hills; does it not seem as it rests on those chill ledges, as though Nature had said that her last act to-day should be a triumph of glory, and her last thought a thought of love?"

Violet murmured an assent.

"Oh, Violet," he continued, "you know that I love you, and I know that you love me;—is it not so, Violet?"

He hardly heard the "Yes," which came half like a sigh from her lips.

"Violet, dear Violet, we part to-morrow; let me hear you say 'Yes' more clearly still."

"You know I love you, Edward—did you not save my life?"

"I know you love me," he repeated slowly, "but, oh Violet, I am not worthy of you—I am not all you think me." There passed over his fair forehead the expression of humiliation and pain which she had seen there with wonder once or twice before.

"You are good and noble, Edward," she answered; "I see you to be good and noble, or I could not love you as I do."

"No," he said, "alas! not good, not noble, Violet—in no wise worthy of one so pure, and bright, and beautiful as you are." He bent his face over her hand, and his warm tears fell fast upon it. "But," he continued, "I will strive to be so hereafter, Violet, for your sweet sake. Oh, can you take me as I am? Will you make me good and noble, Violet, as Julian is? Can you let the sunshine of your life fall on the shadow of mine?"

She did not understand his passion as he raised to her his face, not bright and laughing as it generally was, but stained with the traces of many tears; she only knew that he had won her whole heart, and for one moment she let her hand rest in the curls of the head which he had bent once more.

"Oh, Violet," he said, looking up again, "I can be anything if you love me." In an instant the cloud had passed away from his face, and the old sunshine brightened his blue eyes. For one instant their eyes met with that lustrous and dewy love-gleam that only lovers know, but during that instant it seemed as if their souls had flowed together into a common fount. With a happy look she suffered him to take her hand, and draw off from her finger a sapphire ring; this he put on his own finger, while on hers he replaced it by the gold-set ruby, his mother's gift, which he usually wore.

The crescent moon had risen as they walked home, and they found the rest of the party seated in the hotel garden, under her soft silver light; but nobody seemed to be much in a mood for talking, until that little monkey Cyril, who observed everything, exclaimed—

"Why, Julian, do look; Violet has got Kennedy's ring on, and—well, I declare if he hasn't got hers."

"Let us all come up-stairs," said Kennedy hastily and then, before them all, he drew Violet to his side, and said—

"Julian, Violet and I are betrothed to each other."

"As I thought," said Julian with a smile, as a rush of sudden emotion made his eyes glisten, and he warmly grasped Kennedy's hand.

"And as I hoped, Julian," said Mr Kennedy, as he turned away to wipe his spectacles, which somehow had grown dim.

The moonlight streamed over them as the two stood there together, young, happy, hopeful, beautiful, and while Cyril held Kennedy's hand, Eva and Violet exchanged a sister's kiss.

And Julian looked on with a glow of happiness—happiness that had one drawback only—a passing shadow of sorrow for the possible feelings of De Vayne.



"Erubuit! salva res est!"—Plautus.

Back from the glistening snow-fields, where every separate crystal flashes with a separate gleam of light—back from the Alpine pastures, embroidered with their tissue of innumerable flowers, over which, like winged flowers, the butterflies flutter continually—back from the sunlit silver mantle of the everlasting hills, and the thunder of the avalanche, and the wild leap of the hissing cataract—back to the cold grey flats and ancient towers of Camford, and the lazy windings of the muddy Iscam, and the strife and struggle of a university career.

Kennedy arrived at Camford at mid-day, and as but few men had yet come up, he beguiled the time by going out to make the usual formal call on his tutor. As he passed the door of the room where temptation had brought on him so many heavy hours, he could hardly repress an involuntary shudder; but on the whole, he was in high spirits, and Mr Grayson received him with something almost approaching to cordiality.

"You did very well in the examination, Mr Kennedy; very well indeed. With diligence you might have been head of your year—as it was, you were in the first ten."

"Was Owen head of the year, sir?"

"No, Home was head; his brilliant composition, and thorough knowledge of the books, brought him to the top. Either he or Owen were first in all the papers except one."

"Which was that, sir?"

"The Aeschylus paper, in which you were first, Mr Kennedy; you did it remarkably accurately. If you had seen the paper, you could hardly have done it better."

"Indeed! Would you give me a library order, sir?" said Kennedy, rising abruptly, to change the subject. Mr Grayson was offended at this sudden change of subject, and, silently writing the order, bade Kennedy a cold "good morning." All that Kennedy hoped was that he would not tell others as well as himself, the odious fact of his success.

The thought damped his spirits, but he shook it off. The novelty of returning as a junior soph, the pleasure of meeting the familiar faces once more, the consciousness of that bright change of existence, which, during the past vacation, had bound the golden thread of Violet's destiny with his, filled him with inward exultation. And then there was real delight in the warmth with which he was greeted by all alike.

He found himself, very unexpectedly, a hero in the general estimation. The romantic adventure on the Schilthorn had been rumoured about among the numerous English visitors to the Valley of Lauterbrunnen, until it had reached the editor of a local paper, and so had flowed through Galignani into the general stream of the English journals. True, the names had been suppressed, but all the Saint Werner's men knew who was intended by "Mr K dash y," and as he entered the hall there was a murmur of applause.

He was greeted on all sides with eager questions.

"I say, Mr K dash y," said one, "did the fellow whom you shot die of his wound?"

"It was rather a chouse to shoot a cretin, though," said another, in chaff.

"I didn't shoot him," said Kennedy.

"No, you very leerily managed to make the other fellow shoot him. Preserve me from my friends, must have been his secret reflections."

"Have you kept the guns, Kennedy? You must let me have a look after hall."

While this kind of talk was going on, Brogten, who was nearly opposite to Kennedy, sat silent, and watched him.

He did not join in the remarks about the night adventure in Switzerland, but when there was a slight pause in the fire of questions, he turned the conversation to the subject of the May examination.

"Those are not your only triumphs, Kennedy, it appears. You seem to have been doing uncommonly well in the examination, too."

"Oh aye, you were in the first ten," said Suton; "Mr Grayson told me so."

"Who was first?" asked Lillyston.

"Oh, Home of course; except in one paper, and Kennedy was first in that."

"I believe that was the Aeschylus paper," said Brogten, throwing the slightest unusual emphasis into his tone; "you were first in that, weren't you, Kennedy?"

The men were surprised to hear Brogten address him with such careless familiarity, knowing the old quarrel that existed between them; and they were still more surprised to hear Brogten interest himself about a topic usually so indifferent to him as the result of an examination. It seemed particularly strange that he should give himself any trouble to inquire about the present list, because he himself had been posted, in company with Hazlet and Lord Fitzurse, i e, their names had been written up below the eighth class, as "unworthy to be classed."

"Was I?" said Kennedy in the most careless tone he could assume.

"Yes—really, didn't you know it? You did it so well that Grayson said, you couldn't have done the paper better if you had seen it beforehand."

"I say, Kennedy, you must have come out swell, then," said D'Acres, "for Grayson said just the same thing to me."

"How very odd," said Brogten, affectedly. "You didn't see the papers beforehand, Kennedy—did you?"

The last few moments had been torture to Kennedy; he had moved uneasily; the bright look of gratified triumph, which the allusions to his courage had called forth, had gone out the moment the examination was mentioned, and it was only by a painful and violent exercise of the will that he was able to keep back the blood which had begun to rush towards his cheeks. In the endeavour to check or suppress the blush, he had grown ashy pale; but now that Brogten's dark and cruel eye was upon him—now that the protruding underlip curled with a sneer that left no more room to doubt that he was master of Kennedy's guilty secret—the effort was useless, and spite of will, the burning crimson of an uncontrollable shame burst and flashed over Kennedy's usually clear and open face. It was no ordinary blush—no common passage of colour over the cheeks. Over face, and neck, and brow the guilty blood seemed to be crowding tumultuously, and when it had filled every vein and fibre till it swelled, then the rich scarlet seemed to linger there as though it would never die away again, and if for an instant it began to fade, then the hidden thought sent new waves of hot agony in fresh pulses to supply its place. And all the while the conscious victim made matters worse by his attempts to seem unconcerned, until his forehead was wet with heavy perspiration. By that time the men had turned to other topics, and were talking about Bruce's laziness, and the utter manner in which he must have fallen off for his name to appear, as it had done, in the second class; and, in course of time, Kennedy's face was as pale and cold as it before had burned and glowed.

And all this while, though he would not look—though he looked at his plate, and at the busts over his head, and the long portraits of Saint Werner's worthies on the walls, and on this side and on that—Kennedy knew full well that Brogten's eye had been on him from beginning to end, and that Brogten was enjoying, with devilish malignity, the sense of power which he had gained from the knowledge of another's sin. The thought was intolerable to him, and, finishing his dinner with hasty gulps, he left the hall.

"Brogten, how rude you were to Kennedy," said Lillyston.

"Was I?" said Brogten, in a tone of sarcasm and defiance.

"No wonder he blushed at your coarse insinuations."

"No wonder," said Brogten, in the same tone; "am I the only person who makes coarse insinuations, as you call them?"

"It is just like you to do so."

"Is it? Oh well, I shall have to make some more, perhaps, before I have done."

"Well, you'd better look out what you say to Kennedy, at any rate. He is a fiery subject."

"Thank you, I will."

This wrangling was very unprofitable, and Lillyston gladly dropped it, not however without feeling somewhat puzzled at the air which Brogten assumed.

That night Kennedy was sitting miserably in his room alone; he had refused all invitations, and had asked nobody to take tea with him. He was just making tea for himself, when Brogten came to see him.

"May I stay to tea?" he asked, in mock humility.

"If you like," said Kennedy.

He stayed to tea, and talked about all kinds of subjects rather than the one which was prominent in the thoughts of both. He told Kennedy old Harton stories, and asked him about Marlby; he turned the subject to Home, and really interested Kennedy by telling him what kind of a boy Julian had been, and what inseparable friends he had always been with Lillyston, and how admirably he had recited on speech-day, and how stainless his whole life had been, and how vice and temptation seemed to skulk away at his very look.

"You are reconciled to him, then," said Kennedy in surprise.

"Oh, yes. At heart, I always respected him. He wasn't a fellow to take the worst view of one's character, you know, or to make nasty innuendoes—" He stopped, and eyed Kennedy as a parrot eyes a finger put into his cage, which he could peck if he would. "He wasn't, you know, a kind of fellow who would force you to leave the table by sneering at you in hall—" He still continued to eye Kennedy, but in vain, for Kennedy kept his moody glance on the table and was silent, and would not look at him or speak to him. Brogten could not help being struck with his appearance as he sat there motionless,—the noble and perfectly formed head, the well-cut features, the cheek a little pale now, so boyishly smooth and round, the latent powers of fire and sarcasm and strength in the bright eye and beautiful lip. It was a base source of triumph that made Brogten exult in the knowledge that this youth was in his power; that he held for a time at least the strings of his happiness or misery; that at any time by a word in any public place he could bring on his fine features that hue of shame; that for his own purposes he could at any time ruin his reputation, and put an end to his popularity.

Not that he intended to do so. He had the power, but unless provoked, he did not wish or mean to use it. It was far more luxurious to keep it to himself, and use it as occasion might serve. Everybody's secret is nobody's secret, and it was enough for Brogten to enjoy privately the triumph he had longed for, and which accident had put into his hands.

"Come, come, Kennedy," he said, "this is nonsense; we understand each other. I saw you coolly read over the whole examination-paper, you know, which wasn't the most honourable thing in the world to do—"

He paused and half relented as he saw a solitary tear on Kennedy's cheek, which was indignantly brushed away almost as soon as it had started.

"Come," he said, "cheer up, man. I'm not going to tell of you; neither Grayson nor any of the men shall know it, and at present not a soul has a suspicion of such a thing except ourselves. Come—I've had my triumph over you, for your sharp words in hall last term, before all the men, and that's all I wanted. Don't let's be enemies any longer. Good-night."

But Kennedy sat there passively, and when Brogten had gone away whistling "The Rat-catcher's Daughter," he leant his head upon his hand, and his thoughts wandered away to Violet Home.

O holy, ennobling, purifying love! He felt that if he had known Violet before, he should not now have been in Brogten's power. He fancied that the secret had oozed out; he fancied that men eyed him sometimes with strange glances; he pictured to himself the degradation he should feel if Julian, or De Vayne, or Lillyston ever knew of what weakness he was capable. This one error rode like a night-mare on his breast.

But none of his gloomy presentiments on the score of detection were fulfilled. Except to Bruce, and that under pledge of secrecy, Brogten never betrayed what he knew, and the only immediate way in which he exercised the influence which his knowledge gave him, was by claiming with Kennedy a tone of familiarity, and asking him to card parties, suppers, and idle riots of all kinds, in which Bruce and Fitzurse were frequent visitors.



"Oui autrefois; mais nous avons change tout cela."—Moliere.

Bruce was disgusted with his second class in the Saint Werner's May examination. He had quite flattered himself that he could not fail to be among the somewhat large number who annually obtained the pleasant and easy distinction of a first. He had not been nearly so idle as men supposed, although he had managed to waste a large amount of time; and if he could have foreseen that his name would only appear in the Second class, he would have endeavoured to be lower still, so as to make it appear that he had not condescended to give a thought to the subject. As it was, he hoped that if he got a first, men would remark, "Clever fellow that Bruce! Never opened a book, and yet got a first class;" whereas now he knew that the general judgment would be, "Bruce can't be half such a swell as one fancied. He's only taken a second."

His vanity was wounded, and he determined to throw up reading altogether. "What good would it do him to grind? His father was rolling in money, and of course he should cut a very good figure in London when he had left Camford, which was a mere place for crammers and crammed, etcetera."

So Bruce became more and more confirmed as a trifler and an idler, and he suffered that terrible ennui, which dogs the shadow of wasted time. Associating habitually with men who were his inferiors in ability, and whose tastes were lower than his own, the vacuity of mind and lassitude of body, which at times crept over him, were the natural assistants of every temptation to extravagance, frivolity, and sin.

An accidental conversation gave a mischievous turn to his idle propensities. Coming into hall one evening, he found himself seated next to Suton, and observing from the goose on the table, and the audit ale which was circling in the loving cup that it was a feast, he turned to his neighbour, and asked:—

"Is it a saint's-day to-day?"

"Yes," said Suton, "and the most memorable of them all—All Saints' Day."

"Oh, really," said Bruce with an expression of half contemptuous interest, "then I suppose chapel's at a quarter past six, and we shall have one of those long winded choral services."

"Don't you like them?"

"Like them? I should think not! Since one's forced to do a certain amount of chapels, the shorter they are the better."

"Of course, if you regard it in the light of 'doing' so many chapels, you won't find it pleasant."

"Do you mean to tell me now," said Bruce, turning round and looking full at Suton, "that you regard chapels as anything but an unmitigated nuisance?"

"Most certainly I do mean to tell you so, if you ask me."

"Ah! I see—a Sim!" said Bruce, with the slightest possible shrug of the shoulders.

"I don't know what you mean by a 'Sim,' Mr Bruce," said Suton, slightly colouring; "but whether a Sim or not, I at least expect to be treated as a gentleman."

"Oh, I beg pardon," said Bruce; "but I couldn't help recognising the usual style of—"

"Of cant, I suppose you would say. Thank you. You must find it a cold faith to disbelieve in all sincerity."

"Well, I don't know. At any rate, I don't believe that all your saints put together were really a bit better than their neighbours; so I can't get up an annual enthusiasm in their honour. All men are really alike at the bottom."

"Nero's belief," said Owen, who had overheard the conversation.

"It doesn't matter whether it was Nero's or Neri's or Neander's," answered Bruce; "experience proves it to be true."

Suton had finished dinner, and as he did not relish Bruce's off-hand and patronising manner, he left the discussion in Owen's hand. But between Owen and Bruce there was an implacable dissimilarity, and neither of them cared to pursue the subject.

Bruce, who went to wine with D'Acres, repeated there the subject of the conversation, and found that most of his audience affected to agree with him. In fact, he had himself set the fashion of a semi-professed infidelity; and amid his most intimate associates there were many to adopt with readiness a theory which saved them from the trouble and expense of a scrupulous conscience. With Bruce this infidelity was rather the decay of faith than the growth of positive disbelief. He had dipped with a kind of wilful curiosity into Strauss's Life of Jesus, and other books of a similar description, together with such portions of current literature as were most clever in sneering at Christianity, or most undisguised in rejecting it.

Such reading—harmless, or even desirable, as it might have been to a strong mind sincere in its search for truth, and furnished with that calm capacity for impartial thought which is the best antidote against error—was fatal to one whose superficial knowledge and irregular life gave him already a powerful bias towards getting rid of everything which stood in the way of his tendencies and pursuits. Bruce was not in earnest in the desire for knowledge and wisdom: he grasped with avidity at a popular objection, or a sceptical argument, without desiring to understand or master the principles which rendered them nugatory; and he was ignorant and untaught enough to fancy that the very foundations of religion were shaken if he could attack the authenticity of some Jewish miracle, or impugn the genuineness of some Old Testament book.

When all belief was shaken down in his shallow and somewhat feeble understanding, the structure of his moral convictions was but a baseless fabric. Error in itself is not fatal to the inner sense of right; but Bruce's error was not honest doubt, it was wilful self-deception, blindness of heart, first deliberately induced, then penally permitted.

In Bruce's character there was not only the error in intellectu, but also the pertinacia in voluntate. All sense of honour, all delicacy of principle, all perception of sin and righteousness, all the landmarks of right and wrong, were obliterated in the muddy inundation of flippant irreverence and ignorant disbelief.

"For when we in our viciousness grow hard, O, misery on't! the wise gods seal our eyes: In our own filth drop our clear judgments, make us Adore our errors, laugh at us while we strut To our confusion."

"I'm sometimes half inclined to agree with what you were saying about would-be saints," said Brogten, as they left D'Acres' wine-party.

"What fun it would be to try the experiment of a saint's peccability on some living subject," said Bruce.

"Rather! Suppose you try on that fellow Hazlet?"

"Oh, you mean the lank party who snuffles the responses with such oleaginous sanctimony. Well, I bet you 2 to 1 in ponies that I have him roaring drunk before a month's over."

"I won't take the bet," said Brogten, "because I believe you'll succeed."

"I'll t-t-take it for the fun," said Fitzurse.

"Done, then!" said Bruce.

So Bruce, pour passer le temps, deliberately undertook the corruption of a human soul. That soul might have been low enough already; for Hazlet was, as we have seen, mean-hearted and malicious, and in him, although unknown to himself, the garb of the Pharisee but concealed the breast of the hypocrite. But yet Hazlet was free, and if Bruce had not undertaken the devil's work, might have been free to his life's end, from all gross forms of transgression—from all the more flagrant and open delinquencies that lay waste the inner sanctities of a fallen human soul.

He was an easy subject for Bruce's machinations, and those machinations were conceived and carried on with consummate and characteristic cleverness. Bruce did not spread his net in the sight of the bird, but set to work with wariness and caution. He determined to try the arts of fascination, not of force. The thought of the desperate wickedness involved in his attempt either never crossed his mind, or, if it did, was rejected as the feeble suggestion of an over-scrupulous conscience. Bruce pretended at least to fancy that the basis of all men's characters was identical, and that, as they only differed in external manifestations, it made very little difference whether Hazlet became "fast" or continued "slow." "Fast" and "slow" were the mild euphemisms with which Bruce expressed the slight distinction between a vicious and a virtuous life.

At hall—the grand place for rencontres—he managed to get a seat next to his victim, and began at once to treat him with that appearance of easy and well-bred familiarity which he had learnt in London circles. He threw a gentle expression of interest into his face and voice, he listened with deference to Hazlet's remarks, he addressed several questions to him, thanked him politely for all his information, and then adroitly introduced some delicate compliments on the agreeableness of Hazlet's society. His bait took completely; Hazlet, whom most men snubbed, was quite flustered with gratified vanity at the condescending notice of so unexceptionable a man of fashion as the handsome and noted Vyvyan Bruce. "At last," thought Hazlet, "men are beginning to appreciate my intellectual powers."

After continuing this process for some days, until Hazlet was unalterably convinced that he must be a vastly agreeable and attractive person, Bruce asked him to come to breakfast, and invited Brogten and Fitzurse to meet him. He calculated justly that Hazlet, accustomed only to the very quiet neighbourhood of a country village, would be duly impressed with the presence and acquaintance of a live lord; and he instructed both his guests in the manner in which they should treat the subject of their experiment. Hazlet thought he had never enjoyed a breakfast party so much. There was a delicious spice of worldliness in the topics of conversation which was quite refreshing to him, accustomed as he was to the somewhat droning moralisms of his "congenial friends." Nothing which could deeply shock his prejudices was ever alluded to, but the discussions which were introduced came to him with all the charm of novelty and awakened curiosity.

Hazlet never could endure being a silent or inactive listener while a conversation was going forward. No matter how complete his ignorance of the subject, he generally managed to hazard some remarks. Bruce talked a good deal about actors and theatres, and Hazlet had never seen a theatre in his life. He did not like, however, to confess this fact, and, after a little hesitation, began to talk as if he were an habitue. The dramatic criticisms, which he occasionally saw in the papers, furnished him with just materials enough to amuse Bruce and the others at his assumption of "savoir vivre," and to furnish a laugh at his expense the moment he was gone; but of this he was blissfully unconscious, and he rather plumed himself on his knowledge of the world. He had yet to learn the lesson that consistency alone can secure respect. He had indeed ventured at first to remark, "Don't you think the stage a little—just a little—objectionable?"

"Objectionable," said Bruce, with a bland smile; "oh, my dear fellow, what can you mean? Why, the stage is a mirror of the world, and to show virtue her own image is one of its main objects."

"Yes," said Hazlet, "I am inclined to think so. I should like to see a theatre, I confess."

He had let slip unintentionally the implied admission that he had never been to a theatre; but when Fitzurse asked in astonishment, "What, have you never been to a theatre?" he merely replied, "Well, I can hardly say I have; at least not for a long time."

"Oh, then we must all run down to London some night very soon," said Bruce, "and we'll go together to the Regent."

"But I've no friend in London, except—except a clergyman or two, who perhaps might object, you know."

"Oh, never mind the clergymen," said Bruce; "you shall all come and stay with me at Vyvyan House."

Here was a triumph!—to go to the celebrated Vyvyan House, and that in company with a lord, and to be a partaker of Bruce's hospitality! Of course it would be very rude and wrong to refuse so eligible an invitation. How pleasant it would be to remark casually at hall-time, "I'm just going to run down for the Sunday to Vyvyan House with Bruce and Lord Fitzurse!"

"Let me see," said Bruce, "to-day's Monday; supposing you come to wine with me on Thursday, and then we'll see if we can't manage to get to London from Saturday to Monday."

"Thursday—I'm afraid I've an engagement on Thursday to—"

"To what?" asked Bruce.

The more Hazlet coloured and hung back, the more Bruce, in his agreeable way, pressed to know, till at last Hazlet, unable to escape such genial importunity, reluctantly confessed that it was to a prayer-meeting in a friend's rooms.

"Oh," said Bruce, with the least little laugh, "tea and hassocks, eh?" He said no more, but the little, scornful laugh, and the few scornful words had done their work more effectually than a volume of ridicule. It need not be added that Hazlet came, not to the prayer-meeting, but to the wine-party. Cards were introduced in the evening, and one of the players was Kennedy. Kennedy played often now, but he certainly did feel a qualm of intense and irrepressible disgust as, with great surprise, he found himself vis a vis with the spectacled visage of Jedediah Hazlet.

"But how shall I get my exeat to go to London?" said Hazlet.

"Oh, say a particular friend has invited you to spend the Sunday with him. Say you want to hear Starfish preach."

Mr Norton, Hazlet's tutor, who did not expect him to fall into mischief, and thought that very likely Mr Starfish's eloquence might be the operating attraction, granted him the exeat without any difficulty, and on Saturday Hazlet was reclining in a first-class carriage, with Bruce, Brogten, and Fitzurse, on his way to Vyvyan House. A change was observable in his dress. Bruce had hinted to him that his usual garb might look a little formal and odd at a theatre, and had persuaded him to come to his own egregious Camford tailor, Mr Fitfop, who, as a particular favour to his customer Bruce, produced with suspicious celerity the cut-away coat and mauve-coloured pegtops, in which unwonted splendour Hazlet was now arrayed. It was a pity that his ears were so obturated with vanity as not to have heard the shrieks of half-stifled laughter created by his first public appearance in this fashionable guise, which only required to be completed by the death's-head pin with which Bruce presented him, (and which therefore he was obliged to wear), to make it perfect.

The sumptuous and voluptuous richness of all the appointments in Vyvyan House introduced Hazlet to a new world. Sir Rollo and Lady Bruce were not in town, so that the four young men had the house entirely to themselves, and Bruce ordered about the servants with royal energy. Soon after their arrival they sat down to a choice dinner, and Bruce took care, although the champagne had been abundant at dinner, to pass pretty freely, at dessert, the best claret and amontillado of his father's cellars. Hazlet was not slow to follow the example which the others set him; he helped himself plentifully to everything, and after dinner, lolling in an easy attitude, copied from Fitzurse, he even ventured to exhibit his very recently acquired accomplishment of smoking a weed. Very soon he imagined that he had quite made an impression on the most fashionable members of the Saint Werner's world.

They went to the Regent, and between the acts, Bruce, who knew everything, introduced them behind the scenes. Hazlet, rather amazed at his own boldness, but in reality entirely ignorant which way to turn, necessarily followed his guides, and, exultant with the influence of mellow wine, imitated the others, and tried to look and feel at home. Within a month of Bruce's manipulation this excellent and gifted young man, this truly gracious light in the youthful band of confessors, was seated, talking to a fascinating young danseuse who wore a gossamer dress, behind the scenes of a petty London theatre. Bruce looked on with a smile, and hummed to himself—

"Jene Tanzerinn Fliegt, mit leichtem Sinn Und noch leichtern Kleide Durch den Saal der Freude Wie ein Zephyr bin, etcetera."

The head of Jedediah Hazlet was somewhat confused, when, after the play and an oyster supper in the cider cellars, it sank deep into the reposeful down of a spare chamber in the gay Sir Rollo Bruce's London house.

The next morning was Sunday. They none of them got up till twelve to a languid breakfast, and then read novels. Hazlet, who was rather shocked at this, did indeed faintly suggest going to church. "Oh yes," said Bruce, looking up with a smile from his Balzac, "we'll do that, or some other equally harmless amusement." The dinner hour, however, coincided with the time of evening service, so that it was impossible to go then, and finally they spent the evening in what they all agreed to call "a perfectly quiet game at cards."



"I tempted his blood and his flesh, Hid in roses my mesh, Choicest cates, and the flagon's best spilth." Robert Browning.

"Faugh," said Bruce, on his return to Camford, "that fellow Hazlet isn't worth making an experiment upon—in corpore vili truly; but the creature is so wicked at heart, that even his cherished traditions crumble at a touch. He's no game; he doesn't even run cunning."

"Then I hope you'll p-p-pay me my p-p-p-ponies," said Fitzurse.

"By no means; only I shall cut things short; he isn't worth playing; I shall haul him in at once."

Accordingly, Hazlet was invited once more to one of Bruce's parties— this time to a supper. It was one of the regular, reckless, uproarious affairs—D'Acres, Boodle, Tulk, Brogten, Fitzurse, were all there, and the elite of the fast fellow-commoners, and sporting men besides. Bruce had privately entreated them all not to snub Hazlet, as he wanted to have some fun. The supper was soon despatched, and the wine circled plentifully. It was followed by a game of cards, during which the punch-bowl stood in the centre of the table, rich, smoking, and crowned with a concoction of unprecedented strength. Hazlet was quite in his glory. When they had plied him sufficiently—which Bruce took care to do by repeatedly replenishing his cup on the sly, so that he might fancy himself to have taken much less than was really the case—they all drank his health with the usual honours:

"For he's a jolly good fe-el-low. For he's a jolly good fe-el-low, For he's a jolly good fe-el-l-ow— Which nobody can deny, Which nobody can deny; For he's a jolly good fe-el-low," etcetera.

And so on, ad infinitum, followed by "Hip! hip! hip! hurrah! hurrah!! hurrah!!!" and then the general rattling of plates on the table, and breaking of wine-glass stems with knives of "boys who crashed the glass and beat the floor."

Hazlet was quite in the seventh heaven of exaltation, and made a feeble attempt at replying to the honour in a speech; but he was in so very oblivious and generally foolish a condition, that, being chiefly accustomed to Philadelphus oratory, he began to address them as "My Christian Friends;" and this produced such shouts of boisterous laughter, that he sat down with his purpose unaccomplished.

Before the evening was over, Bruce, in the opinion of all present, including Fitzurse himself, had fairly won his bet.

"I shan't mind p-p-paying a bit," said the excellent young nobleman; "it's been such r-r-rare f-f-fun."

Rare fun indeed! The miserable Hazlet, swilled with unwonted draughts, lay brutally comatose in a chair. His head rolled from side to side, his body and arms hung helpless and disjointed, his eyelids dropped—he was completely unconscious, and more than fulfilled the conditions of being "roaring drunk!"

Now for some jolly amusement—the opportunity's too good to be lost! What exhilaration there is on seeing a human soul imbruted and grovelling hopelessly in the dirt or rather to have a body before you, without a soul for the time being—a coarse animal mass, swinish as those whom the wand of Circe smote, but with the human intelligence quenched besides, and the charactery of reason wiped away. Here, some ochre and lamp-black, quick! There—plaster it well about the whiskers and eyelids, and put a few patches on the hair! Magnificent!—he looks like a Choctaw in his war-paint, after drinking fire-water.

Screams of irrepressible laughter—almost as ghastly, (if the cause of them be considered), as those that might have sounded round a witch's cauldron over diabolical orgies—accompanied the whole proceeding. So loud were they that all the men on the stair-case heard them, and fully expected the immediate apparition of some bulldog, dean, or proctor. It was nobody's affair, however, but Bruce's, and he must do as he liked. Suton, who "kept" near Bruce, was one of those whom the uproar puzzled and disturbed, as he sat down with sober pleasure to his evening's work. His window was opposite Bruce's, and across the narrow road he heard distinctly most of what was said. The perpetual and noisy repetition of Hazlet's name perplexed him extremely, and at last he could have no doubt that they were making Hazlet drunk, and then painting him; nor was it less clear that many of them were themselves half intoxicated.

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