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land, a great deal of India, and had there's a reason. Come along, or a trilling acquaintance with some you'll have all the vagrants at of the colonies; but of London, your heels," his more experienced Paris, all the capitals that count companion would reply. They had for anything, and all the life that thus a little difficulty in getting counts for anything, he was as him safely through the streets at ignorant as a child.
his first arrival. Home was strange This combination is one which to him; it was a place where all was not at all unusual in Scotland the men were honest and all the a generation since, and produced a women true. He was ready to kind of character full of attraction, believe everything that was said the most piquant mixture of ex- to him in the new England which perience and ignorance, of sim- somehow was so unlike the old plicity and knowledge, that can be which he had seen only in passing conceived. A man who had an so long ago. eye as keen as lightning for the The party he had brought down wiles of an Eastern, were he prince with him consisted of two or three or slave, but could be taken in brother officers, unnecessary to with the most delightful ease by dwell upon here; an older friend, the first cab-driver in the streets ; Colonel Hayward, whom he had who could hold his own before a known very well and served under, durbar of astute oriental politi- and who had now retired from the cians, but was at the mercy of the service, who joined young Bellenfirst flower-girl who offered him a dean in Edinburgh, being already rosebud for his button-hole, or in the North; and a young man gamin who held his horse. He about town called Essex, who had had the defects as well as the made a tour in India a year bevirtues common to a dominant fore, and was very willing to rerace, and probably was imperious pay the kindness shown him then and exacting in the sphere which by taking care of his military he knew best ; but this tendency friend and steering him through was completely neutralised by the the dangers of London. Essex, confusion which arose in his mind who had a mild handle to his name, from the fact of finding himself and was Sir Harry, would have suddenly among a population en- liked to prolong the period of his tirely made up of this dominant tutorship, and lead his young solrace, to whom he could be nothing dier about into pleasures and wonbut polite, whatever their condition ders unknown. But the claims might be. He was very polite and of Bellendean and the great festivifriendly to the railway porters, to ties concerted there were supreme. all the people he encountered on And then it was drawing towards the journey home, and reluctant the end of July—a period when phito give trouble to the pretty fair losophy becomes easy. It was thus chambermaids at the hotels, or to a party of four or five young men, pass without inquiring into their chaperoned, if the word is applistory, the women who begged or cable, by the vieux moustache, the sold trifles on the streets. "A steady old soldier, as ready for a respectable - looking woman, and frolic as any of them, who was yet, English by her accent," he would as he assured them, old enough to
“We must stop and inquire be their father, who arrived at the into it. There must be a reason, Bellendean station, where flags you know." “Oh yes; probably were flying, and the militia band
blaring forth its welcome, and a rich and mellow landscape, brightbody of mounted farmers waiting ened with vast rolling fields of corn to escort their landlord to his pa- and ripening orchards, startled ternal halls. For Bellendean it the visitors from India, whose was a very fine reception indeed; ideas of Scotland were all Highand Norman himself, being of a land ; but increased their respect simple mind, was much impressed. for their lucky comrade, of whom If the others laughed a little, that they had been accustomed to think was partly, no doubt, because they that his estate was some little were by no means the heroes of patrimony among the mountains, the day, and because, in the eager- where there might indeed be grouse ness about “the Ca'aptain," the and perhaps deer to make poverty desire to identify him, and the sweet, but nothing more profitable. disdainful indifference shown to The Lowland landscape lay under a everything that was not he, these flood of afternoon light. The roads gentlemen were thrown into the were populous with passengers,background, where they grinned there were groups of ladies in front and looked on. Colonel Hayward, of the house, on the terrace to however, was as much impressed which the long windows opened. and still more delighted than Nor- Everything was wealthy, almost man. He would have liked to splendid — a beautiful park and shake hands with all the tenantry fine trees, and all the evidences of as he did with Mr. Bellendean the that large life which a country father, and assure them all that potentate leads in what our fathers “there could not be a finer fellow;" called his “seat.” Bellendean and when they raised a cheer as himself felt a certain awe as he the carriage drove off, joined in it looked upon all this which was lustily, with a mingled sense of his own. He remembered everybeing a spectator yet an actor in thing keenly, and yet it had not the scene which it was delightful seemed to him so great, so imposto see.
ing in his recollection as it was in Bellendean was handsome reality. He had remembered his house, of no particular age or pre- own favourite haunts, which were tensions, not very far from Edin- not the most important feature in burgh. That beautiful town was the scene. He turned to his father indeed visible from various points with a curious shyness and embarin the park, which, on the other rassment. “I had forgotten what hand, commanded a view of the a fine place it was,” he said ; but Firth and the low hills of Fife, at his eyes said something else, which the point where the great estuary natural reserve and the presence closes in, and with a peaceful little of strangers kept from his lips. island in mid-stream, and a ruin What his eyes said was—« Paror two on the margin of the water, don! that it should not be yours forms that tranquil basin, in which but mine." -driven by storms of wind and “It is a fine place,” said Mr storms of nations, the Athelings, Bellendean. “ The places we have pious folk, the Confessor's kindred, known only in youth are apt to not strong enough by themselves to look diminished when we come hold head against fierce Normans back. I am glad it has not that and Saxons any more than against effect on you. All the same, my the wild tides of the Northern dear boy, I am glad it is you and Ocean—once found a refuge. The not I that have to live in it.
Neither Mrs Bellendean I he could have any one of them!” care for Bellendean."
The Colonel sighed at this thought. At this Norman grasped his He belonged himself to an age in father's hand, and said, “You which statistics had 10 place, are very good, sir,” in a way before it was known that there which much perplexed the excel- was a million or so of superfluous lent Colonel, who did not under- women, and being a chivalrous stand wherein the virtue lay, and soul he did not like this thought. who was further stricken dumb He was much pleased to discover by the next question. “In the afterwards that several of the confusion and excitement of seeing young ladies were married, and you again, I believe I have not so out of the competition. But asked for Mrs Bellendean?" it was a pretty sight.
The reader is too experienced After this the days were tolnot to perceive that this question, erably well filled.
There was which bewildered Colonel Hay- dinner to the neighbouring gentry, ward, conveyed the not very ex- and a dinner to the tenantry. traordinary fact that Norman had There was a ball. There was a a step-mother, which was one of great supper in tents to the labourthe chief reasons of his long ab- ers and cottagers on the estate; sence. Not that Mrs Bellendean finally, there was a vast entertainwas a harsh or cruel step-mother, ment for the school children in the or one of those spoilers of domes- united parishes of Bellendean and tic peace who flourish in literature Prince's Ferry. The Colonel went under that title; but only that through them all manfully. He the young man remembered his carried out his original impulse, mother, and could ill bear to see shook hands with everybody, and another in her place. She stood said, “I assure you he's a capital on the steps of the great door at fellow." " I had him under my this moment, awaiting the carriage command at So-and-so, and So—a woman not more than forty, and-so, and I know what's in him,' tall and fair, dressed a little more he said. In this way Colonel Haysoberly than her age required, but ward was himself a great success. full of youth and animation in The old county neighbours liked look and figure. A number of this assurance, and the farmers ladies stood behind her, some of delighted in it. And when it them “as pretty creatures as ever came to the turn of the masses, I saw," the Colonel said to him- and the old soldier went about self, cousins of all degrees, old among the tables at the labourers' playfellows, old friends. The vieux supper, repeating his formula, moustache stood by while these the enthusiasm
immense. pleasant spectators surged about “Eh, Cornel, but that's a real satyoung Bellendean. He stood isfaction,” the old men said.
" Sae aside, and made his remarks. “I lang as he's done his duty, what shouldn't wonder now if he might can mortal man do mair?" His marry any one of them," he said own assurances and reassurances to himself. “Lucky fellow. I went to the good Colonel's head. shouldn't wonder now if they were He felt like a trumpeter whose all waiting till he throws the note was the word of command handkerchief. Talk about sul- to everybody, and marched about tans ! all those pretty English with his head high. “I assure no, they are Scotch-girls: and you he's a capital fellow, a capital
He was in the very act took away his utterance. He hurof repeating them, when the ried up to Mrs Bellendean, who stood words seemed to fail him all at at the head of the tent looking on. once. He stopped in the middle “A young lady, my dear Colonel? with his mouth open, and gazed at there are no young ladies there." some one who at that moment “ You must know her if I could for the first time caught his eye. but point her out to you. She is
Was it because her place did like no one else there. It is not not seem to be there? A girl of curiosity. I have a particular reatwenty or so-tall, slight, her figure son for asking." "Tell me what like a lily-stalk slightly swaying she was like," the gracious lady forward, her head raised, with a said; but just then her husband tremor of sympathy in every fea- came to consult her about someture. Her face was like a lily, thing, and the opportunity was too, pale, with large eyes, either lost. brown or blue, he could not be Colonel Hayward retired from his sure which, and long eyelashes trumpeting for that night. He uplifted ; and the most sensitive let Norman's reputation take its mouth, which smiled yet quivered, chance. He was very silent all and made as though repeating the the rest of the evening, not even words, which the eyes seemed to repeating his question when he divine before they were said. She had an opportunity, but sitting by was seated at the end of a table himself and thinking it over. It with two old people, too old to be was a remarkable face : but no her father and mother, looking as doubt the resemblance must be a if she had strayed there by some chance resemblance.
There are strange chance, as if she had no- so many faces in the world, and thing to do with the vulgar fea- some of them here and there must tures of the feast, like a young resemble each other. It must be princess who had sat down among something in his own mind, some them to please them. The words recollection that had come to him were stopped upon the Colonel's unawares, an association from the lips. He broke down in the middle, Scotch voices he heard round him. and stood staring at her, not That, when he came to think of it, knowing where he was. Good must have been working in his Lord ! that face: and sitting there mind all day; indeed, ever since among the common people, among he came. And this was the issue. the labourers, the ploughmen! It Every mental process (people say) did not seem to Colonel Hayward can be explained if you trace it out. that anybody about was surprised And this one was not so difficult at his stare. They, too, turned after all, not difficult at all, when round and looked at her kindly, you came to think of it, he said to or-not kindly, as the case might himself, nodding his head; but all be. But they were not surprised. the same, he could not help wish. They understood his wonder.“ Ay, ing that Elizabeth had been here. sir, she's a very bonnie lass,” said And then he began to think again one old man. "A bonnie lass! a of that girl. She was not like a bonnie lass !” the Colonel repeated; girl to be found sitting with the but not with the tone in which ploughmen's families. He seemed he had spoken about the capital to see her before him, especially fellow. It was as if some blow when he shut his eyes and gave had been struck at him which himself up to it, which he did in a
retired corner on the terrace after them very old, but they drew toeverybody had gone away. Though gether with a natural sympathy it was late, there was still light amid that band of youth. in the skies, partly the lingering Next day was the concluding northern daylight, partly the moon, day of the Bellendean festivities, and he shut his eyes while he and it was chiefly to be devoted to smoked his cigar and pondered. the children. In the afternoon the He could see her before him, that park was turned into an immense girl, in a dark dress made (he playground. Every kind of game thought — but then he did not and entertainment that could be know much about it) like a lady's thought of was provided. There -certainly with a face like a was a conjurer, there was Punch, lady's, or how could she have there was a man with marionnettes, resembled- -? Of course, it was and what the children liked still only association, and the recollec- better, there were games of all tions that came back to him with kinds, in which they could themthose Lowland voices. The High- selves perform, which is always land ones had never affected him more agreeable than seeing other in the same way. The fact was, people do so. And finally, there he said to himself, he was never tea wonderful tea, in half a man when Elizabeth was not which mountains of cake and
She would have under- cookies innumerable disappeared stood the sequences of ideas at like magic. The ladies were all once. She would have found out there, serving actively the flushed in five minutes who the girl was and happy crowds of children, and all about her, and set him at throwing themselves into it with rest. He was interrupted in those much more sympathy than they thoughts by the sudden irruption had shown with the substantial of the band of young men with feasts of the previous days. The their cigars into the balmy quiet young men were set free, they of the nighi. It was warm, and were not required to help in the they had found the smoking-room entertainment of the boys and hot. " And there is old Hayward girls; and except Norman, who gone to sleep in a corner," he heard had bravely determined to do his one of them say.
duty to the end, the male portion “He must not sleep,” said Mr of the company was represented Bellendean ; " wake him up, Nor- only by Mr Bellendean and the
The air here is too keen for Colonel, who looked on from the that."
terrace, and finally took a walk “ I am no more asleep than any round the tent where the meal was one of you young fellows,” the going on, and partook, as the newsColonel said, jumping up. “ But papers say, of a cup of tea at a as old Hayward has more sense little separate table in a corner, than a set of boys, he kept outside where Mrs Bellendean was taking here in the cool while you were all that refreshment. It was when heating yourselves in the smoking- the Colonel (who liked his tea) was room. Í don't think they've got standing with a cup in his hand, the best of it this time, Mr. Bel- just outside the great tent, which lendean, eh?"
was steaming with the entertain“ They don't half so often as ment, that he suddenly stopped they think,” said the other old once more in the midst of a little gentleman. They were neither of speech he was making about the