xt7w6m332q16 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7w6m332q16/data/mets.xml Lawrence, George A. (George Alfred), 1827-1876. 1862  books b92-204-30752612 English Dick & Fitzgerald, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Barren honour  : a novel / by the author of "Guy Livingston," "The sword and gown," &c., &c., &c. text Barren honour  : a novel / by the author of "Guy Livingston," "The sword and gown," &c., &c., &c. 1862 2002 true xt7w6m332q16 section xt7w6m332q16 



              A NOVEL.

              c.,  o.,  a.

              NEW YORK:
           No 18 ANN STREET.


           NEW WORKS IN PRESS.

By th Author of "'East Lynne; or, The Earl's Daughter," and "Castle Wafer."

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              A TALE.


           CHAPTER L

           NEW AND OLD.

  A vYER central place is Newmanham,
both by local and commercial position
-a big, black, busy town, waxing bigger
and blacker and busier day by day. For
more than a century that Queen of Trade
has worn her iron crown right worthily;
her pulse beats, now, sonorously with
the clang of a myriad of steam-ham-
mers; her veins swell almost to bursting
with the ceaseless currents of molten
metals; and her breath goes up to
heaven, heavy and vaporous with the
blasts of many furnaces.
  Whenever I pass that way, as a born
Briton, an unit of a great mercantile na-
tion, I feel or suppose myself to feel, a
certain amount of pride and satisfaction
in witnessing so many evidences of my
country's wealth and prosperity; they
are very palpable indeed, those eviden-
ces, and not one of the senses will be in-
clined to dispute their existence. If I
chance to have an exiled Neapolitan
prince, or a deposed grand-duke, or any
other potentate in difficulties, staying
with me (which, of course, happens con-
stantly), I make a point of beguiling the
illustrious foreigner into the dingy laby-
rinth of Newmanham, from which he
escapes not till he has done justice to
every one of its marvels. Nevertheless,
as an individual whose only relations
with commerce consist in always want-
ing to buy more things than one can

possibly afford, and in never, by any
chance, having anything to sell, except
now and then a horse or two, more or
less "screwed," or a parcel of ideas, more
or less trivial-as such an one, I say, I
am free to confess, that my first and
abiding emotion, after being ten min-
utes in that great emporium, is a deso-
late sense of having no earthly business
there, and of being very much in every-
body's way-a sentiment which the na-
tives seem perfectly to fathom and coin-
cide with.
  It is not that they make themselves
in any wise disagreeable, or east you
forth with contumely from their hive.
The operative element does not greet
the stranger with the "1'eave of a arf-
brick," after the genial custom of the
minink districts; neither is he put to
confusion by a broad stare, breaking up
into a broader grin, as sometimes oc-
curs in our polite sea-port towns. A
quick careless glance, as if the gazer had
no time even for curiosity, is the worst
ordeal you will have to encounter in
passing a group of the inhabitants,
whether at work, or by a rare chance,
resting from their labours. There are
is roughs" to be found there more dan-
gerous, they say, than in most places:
but these do not show much in daylight
or frequented thoroughfares. They have
their own haunts, and when the sun
arises they lie down in their dens. In
deed, the upper Ten Thousand-the
great manufacturers and iron-founders
or their representatives-will treat you


with no small kindness, especially if you as to solicit the suffrages of Newman-
have letters of introduction: they will ham. Were such an one to present him-
show vou over their vast works and self, it is scarcely probable that the free
endless factories, adapting their conver- and independent electors would content
sation always to your limited capacity, themselves with such playful missiles as
becoming affably explanatory or blandly graveolent eggs or decomposed 'cabbage-
statistical, as the occasion demands, stalks: they would be more likely to re-
only indulging in a mild and discreet vive, for his especial benefit, that almost
triumph, as they point out some unut- obsolete argumentum a lapide which
terably hideous combination of steel and has silenced, if it did not convince,
iron peculiar to their own establishment, many obstinate enthusiasts who, nev-
which produces results as unexpected ertheless, were not far from the truth,
as a conjuring trick. Even so have we after all. In no other town of England are
seen Mr. Ambrose Arcturus, the stout Mir. Bright's harangues received with
and intrepid voyager, beguile a Sab- such favour and   sincere sympathy.
bath afternoon in exhibiting to a friend's When the santon-fit is on that meek
child-to the officer of the day from  Man of Peace, and carries him away in
the contiguous barracks-to a fair coun- a flood of furious diatribe against " those
try cousin-or some other equally in- who sit in high places and grind the
nocent and inquisitive creature-the faces of the poor," it is curious to re-
treasures of the Zoological Society, not mark how willingly and completely his
a few of which are the captives of his audience surrender themselves to the in-
own bow and spear; lingering, perhaps fluence of the hour. You may see the
fondly, for a moment, opposite a gigan- ground-swell of passion swaying and
tic bivalve or mollusca which he is re- surging through the mass of operatives
ported to have vanquished in single that pack the body of the hall, till every
combat.                                 gaunt grimed face becomes picturesque
  But, in spite of all this hospitality, in its savage energy: you have only to
the consciousness of being in a false po- look round to be aware that education,
sition, of taking up people's time where and property, and outward respecta-
time is money-in fact, of being rather bility, are no safeguards against the con-
a nuisance than othewise-cannot easily tagion: it is spreading fast now through
be shaken off: the eye grows weary that phalanx of decent broad-clothed
with seeking a resting-place where every- burghers on the platform, and-listen-
thing illustrates perpetual motion, and their voices chime in with ominous alac-
the brain dizzy with the everlasting rity in the cheer that rewards a perora-
tremor and whir of wheels. It is a tion that in old days would have brought
positive relief when we find ourselves the speaker to the pillory.
starting on one of the lines that radiate  That same cheer, once heard, is not
from Newmanham to every point of the easily forgotten: there is not the faint-
compass, like the feelers of a cuttle-fish, est echo of anything joyous, or kindly,
always dragging in "raw material" to or hopeful, in its accent; one feels that
the voracious centre: it is an absolute it issues from the depths of hearts that
luxury, an hour afterwards, to sweep on are more than dissatisfied-through lips
through the great grazing grounds again, parched with a fiery longing and thirst
and to see forty acres of sound, un- for something never yet attained. For
dulating pasture stretching away up to what God help them! they could not
the black " bulfinch" that cuts the sky- tell you-if they dared. Go to an ag-
line.                                   ricultural dinner (farmers are the most
   You may easily guess what the po- discontented race alive, you know), mark
 litical tone of such a borough must be: the tumult among the yeomen when the
 Liberalism of the most enlightened de- health of the county favorite has been
 scription flourishes there unchecked and given, or rather intimated, for they knew
 unrivalled; for no Conservative candi- what the speaker would say, and before
 date has yet been found so self-sacrificing he could finish, the storm  of great,





healthy voices broke in. Those two ac-
clamations differ from each other more
strikingly than does the full round shout
of a Highland regiment " doubling" to
charge, from the hoarse, cracked " hour-
ra" of a squadron of Don Cossacks.
  With these dispositions, you may con-
ceive that, albeit Newmanham rather
covets land as an investment (they make
very fair and not unkindly seigneur,
those Novi homines), she cherishes little
love or respect for the landed interest,
its representatives, and traditions. Yet,
when a brother magnate from Tarenton
or New Byrsa comes to visit one of these
mighty burghers, to what object of inte-
rest does the host invariably first direct
the attention of his honored guest De-
ferring to another day the inspection of
his own factory, and of all other town
wonders, he orders round the gorgeous
barouche, with the high-stepping greys,
overlaid with as much precious metal as
the Beautiful Gate, and takes the stran-
ger fifteen miles away, to view the de-
mesne which, through the vicissitudes
of six centuries, has been the abiding-
place of the Vavasours of Dene.
  The house is not so ancient, nor does
it stand on the site of the old Castle.
All that would burn of that crumbled
down in a whirlwind of flame, one black
winter's night during the Wars of the
Roses. There had long been a feud
between the Vavasours and a neigrhbor-
ing family nearly as powerful and over-
bearing. Sir Hugh Mauleverer was a
shrewd, provident man, and cool even in
his desperation. When he saw signs of
the tide turning against Lancaster, he
determined to settle one score, at least,
before he went to the wall. So, on New-
Year's eve, when the 'drinking was deep,
and they kept careless watch at Dene
Castle, the Lancastrians came down in
force, and made their way almost into
the banqueting hall unopposed. Then
there was a struggle-short, but very
sharp. The retainers of the Vavasour,
though taken by surprise, were all fully
armed, and, partly from fidelity, partly
because they feared their stern master
more than any power of heaven or hell,
partly because they had no other chance,
fought like mad wild cats. However,

three to one are heavy odds. All his
four sons had gone down before him,
and not a dozen men were left at his
back, when Simon Vavasour struck his
last blow. It was a good, honest, bitter
blow, well meant and well delivered, for
it went through steel and bone so deep
into Hugh Mauleverer's brain that his
slayer could not draw out the blade;
the grey old wolf never stirred a finger
after that to help himself, and never ut-
tered a sound, except one low, savage
laugh as they hewed him in pieces on
his own hearth-stone. XVhen the slaugh-
ter was over, the sack, of course, began,
but the young Mauleverer, though heated
by the fight, and somewhat discomposed
by his father's death, could not forget the
courtesy and charity on which he rather
prided himself. So, when every living
thing that had down on its lip was put
out of pain, he would not suffer the wo-
men and children to be outraged or tor-
tured, magnanimously dismissing them
to wander where they would into the
wild weather, with the flames of Dene
Castle to light them on their way. Most
of them perished before daybreak; but
one child, a grandson of the baron's, was
saved at the price of its mother's life.
She stripped herself of nearly her last
garment to cover the heir of her house,
and kissed him once as she gave him to
the strongest of the women to carry, and
then lay down wearily in the snow-drift
to die.
  When Walter Vavasour came to man-
hood, the House of York was firm on
the throne, and another manor or two
rewarded his family for what it had suf-
fered in their cause. He commenced
building on the site of the present man-
sion; but it was reserved for his grand-
son (who married one of the greatest
heiresses at the court of Henry VIII.)
to complete the stately edifice as it now
stands, at the cost of all his wife's for-
tune, and a good part of his own.
  There are more dangerous follies thanL
a building mania; and perhaps it would
have been well for Fulke Vavasour if he
had ruined himself more utterly in its
indulgence. Poveity might have kept
him out of worse scrapes. If he resem-
bled his portrait, his personal beauty




must have been very remarkable, though
of a character more often found in South-
ern Europe than in England. The Saxon
and Norman races rarely produce those
long, dark, languid eyes, and smooth,
pale cheeks, contrasted with scarlet lips,
and black masses of silky hair. Fair
form and face were fatal endowments in
those hot-blooded days, when lovers set
no bounds to their ambition, and une
caprice de grande dame would have its
way in spite of-or by means of-poison,
cord, and steel. All sorts of vague ru-
mors were current as to the real cause
which brought the last Lord Vavasour
to the scaffold. The truth can never be
known; for, on the same night that he
was arrested, a cavalier (whom no one
recognized) came to the Dene; he
showed the Baron's signet ring, and re-
quired to be left alone in his private
chamber. The day was breaking when
the stranger rode away; and an hour
afterwards a pursuivant was in posses-
sion of the house, making, as is the
fashion of his kind, minute perquisitions,
when there was nothing left to search
for. Doubtless all clue to the mystery
was destroyed or removed before he
came. But it may well be, that, if Fulke
Vavasour was innocent of the plot for
which he died, he was not guiltless of a
darker one, with which statecraft had
nothing to do. It is certain that his
widow-a most excellent and pious
young woman, one of the earliest Pro-
testant converts, and a great friend of
The Bishops-made little moan over
the husband whom she had long wearied
with her fondness; she never indeed
mentioned his name, except from neces-
sity, and then with a groan of reproba-
tion. They endure neglect like angels,
and cruelty like martyrs; but what de-
vote ever forgot or forgave an infidelity 
  Let it be understood, that I quote this
fact of the widow's scant regret just for
what it is worth-a piece of presumptive
evidence bearing upon a particular case,
and in no wise illustrating a general
principle. I am not prepared to allow,
that a fair gauge of any deceased per-
son's moral worth is invariably the depth
or duration of the affliction manifested
by his nearest and dearest.

   The barony of course became extinct
with the attainted traitor; but teie broad
lands remained; for the Tiger, in a fit
of ultra-leonine generosity, not only dis-
dained himself to fatten on his victim,
but even kept off the jackals. Perhaps,
the contracting heart of the unhappy
jealous old tyrant was touched by some
dim recollection of early chivalrous days,
when he took no royal road to win the
favor of woman or fortune, but met his
iivals frankly and fairly, and either beat
them on their merits, or yielded the
  The sins of the unlucky reprobate were
not visited on his children. The estate
gradually shook off the burden he had
laid upon it, and during the four suc-
ceeding generations the prosperity of the
Vavasours rather waxed than waned.
Like the rest of the Cavaliers, they had
to bear their share of trouble about the
time of the Commonwealth; but they
were too powerful to -be forgotten when
the king came to his own again. In-
deed, there was a good deal of vitality
about the family, though individually its
members came curiously often to violent
or untimely ends; and the domain had
descended in unbroken male succession
to its present owner with scarcely dimin-
ished acreage. Yet, from a period far
beyond the memory of man, there had
been no stint or stay in the lavish ex-
pense and stately hospitality which had
always been maintained at Dene. Twice
in the last hundred years the offer had
been made of reversing the attainder,
and reviving the ancient barony, and
each time, from whim or some wiser
motive, rejected. No minister had yet
been found cool enough to proffer a bar-
onetcy to those princes of the Squire-
  It is not worth while describing the
house minutely. It was a huge, irregn-
lar mass of building, in the Tudor style,
with rather an unusual amount of orna-
mental stonework; well placed near the
centre of a very extensive park, and on
the verge of an abrupt declivity. The
most remarkable features in it were the
great hall-fifty feet square, going right
up to the vaulted roof, and girdled by
two tiers of elaborately-carved galleries




in black oak-and the garden-front. The
architect had availed himself right well
of the advantages of the ground, which
(as I have said) sloped steeply down,
almost from the windows; so that you
looked out upon a succession of terraces
-each framed in its setting of curious-
ly-wrought balustrades-connected by
broad flights of steps leading down to a
quaint stone bridge spanning a clear,
shallow stream. Beyond this lay the
Plaisance, with its smooth-shaven grass,
studded with islets of evergreens, and
endless winding walks through shady
shrubberies, issuing from which, after
crossing a deep sunk-fence, you found
yourself again among the great oaks and
elms of the deer-park. If there had been
no other attraction at Dene, the trees
would have been worth going miles to
see; indeed, the stanch adherents of the
Vavasours always brought the timber
forward, as a complete and crushing
refutation of any blasphemer who should
presume to hint that the family ever had
been, or could be, embarrassed. The
stables were of comparatively modern
date, and quite perfect in their way;
they harmonized with the style of the
main building, though this was not of
much importance, for the belt of firs
around them was so dense, that a stran-
ger was only made aware of their exist-
ence by a slender spire of delicate stone-
work shooting over the tree-tops, the
pinnacle of a fountain in the centre of
the court. The best point of view was
from the farther end of the Plaisance.
Looking back from thence, you saw a
picture hardly to be matched even
amongst the "stately homes of Eng-
land," and to which the Continent could
show no parallel, if you traversed it from
Madrid to Moscow. The grand old
house, rising, grey and solemn, over the
long sloping estrade of bright flowers,
reminded one of some aged Eastern king
reclining on his divan of purple, and sil-
ver, and pearl. No wonder that Dene
was a favorite resort of the haute bour-
geoisie of Newmanham on Mondays,
when the public was admitted to the
gardens, the state apartments, and the
picture gallery; indeed, on any other
day it was easy to gain admission if the

Squire was at home, for Hubert Vava-
sour, firom his youth upwards, had always
been incapable of refusing anybody any-
thing in reason. If "' my ladv y' happened
to be mistress of the position, success
was not quite such a certainty.
  I think we have done our duty by the
mansion; it is almost time to say some-
thing about its inmates.

           CHAPTER II.

             MP, A CULPA.

  THERE were all sorts of rooms at
Dene, ranging through all degrees of
luxury, from magnificence down to
comfort. To the last class certainly be-
longed especial apartment, which, from
time immemorial, had been called "the
Squire's own."  For many generations
this had represented the withdrawing-
room, the council chamber, the study,
and the divan of the easy-going poten-
tates who had ruled the destinies of the
House of Vavasour; if their authority
over the rest of the mansion was some-
times disputed, here at least they reigned
supreme. There was easy access from
without, by a door opening on a narrow
winding walk that led through thick
shubberies into the stables, so that the
Squires were enabled to welcome in
their sanctum, unobserved, such modest
and retiring comrades as, from the state
of their apparel or of their nerves, did
not feel equal to the terrors of the grand
entrance. Hither also thev were wont
to resort, as a sure refuge, whenever they
chanced to be worsted in anv domestic
skirmish: though tradition preserves the
names of several imperious and power-
ful Chatelaines, and chronicles their
prowess, not one appears to have forced
or even assailed these entrenchments.
It almost seemed as if provision had
been made against a sudden surprise;
for, at the extremity of the passage lead-
ing to the main part of the building,
were two innocent-looking green-baized
doors, with great weights, so cunningly
adjusted, that one, if not both of them,
was sure to escape from weak or unwary




hands, and to close with an awful thun-
derous bang, that went rolling along the
vaulted stone roof, till even a Dutch
garrison would have been roused from
its slumbers. Very, very rarely had the
rustle of feminine garments been heard
within these sacred precincts; hardly
ever, indeed, since the times of wild
Philip Vavasour-"1 The Red Squire"-
who, if all tales are true, entertained
singularly limited notions as to his own
marital duties, and enormously extensive
ones as to les droits de seigneurie.
  It was a large, square, low-browed
room, lined on two sides with presses
and book-cases of black walnut wood,
that, from their appearance, might have
been placed there when it was built.
The furniture all matched these, though
evidently of quite recent date; the chairs,
at least, being constructed to meet every
requirement of modern laziness or las-
situde.  An immense mantelpiece of
carved white marble, slightly discolored
by wood-smoke, rose nearly to the
vaulted ceiling, in the centre of which
were the crest and arms of the family,
wrought in porphyry. There were two
windows, large enough to let in ample
light, in spite of heavy stone mullions
and armorial shields on every other pane
-the south one looking to the garden-
front, the west into a quiet, old-fash-
ioned bowling-green, enclosed by yew
hedges thick and even as an ancient
rampart, and trained at the corners into
the shape of pillars crowned with vases.
Not a feature of the place seems to have
been altered since the times when some
stout elderlv Cavalier may have smoked
a digestive pipe in that centre arbour;
or later, when -some gallant of Queen
Anne's court may have doffed delicately
his velvet coat, laying it, like an offer-
ing, at Sacharissa's feet, ere he proceeded
to win her father's favour by losing any
number of games.
  A pleasant room at all hours, it is un-
usually picturesque at the moment we
speak of, from the effects of many-colored
light and shade. A hot August day is
fast drawing to its close; the sun is so
level that it only just clears the yews
sufficiently to throw into strong relief,
against a dark back-ground, the torso of

a sitting figure which is well worth a
second glance.
  You look upon a man past middle
age, large-limbed, vast-chested, and evi-
dently of commanding stature, with pro-
portions not yet too massive for activity;
indeed, his bearing may well have gained
in dignity what it has lost in grace. The
face is still more remarkable. Searching
through the numberless portraits that
line the picture-gallery, you will hardly
find a dozen where the personal beauty
for which the Vavasours have long been
proverbial is more strikingly exemplified
than in their present representative.
There'are lines of silver-not unfrequent
-in the abundant chesnut hair and
bushy whiskers; but fifty-four years
have not traced ten wrinkles on the high
white forehead, nor filled the outline of
the well-cut aquiline features, nor altered
the clearness of the healthy, bright com-
plexion, nor dimmed the pleasant light
of the large frank blue eyes. There is
a fault, certainly-the want of decision,
about the mouth and all the lower part
of the face; but even this vou are not
disposed to cavil much at, after hearing
once or twice Hubert Vavasour's ready,
ringing laugh, and watching his kindly
smile. His manner had that rare blend-
ing of gentle courtesy with honest cor-
diality, that the rudest stoic finds irre-
sistibly attractive: you never could trace
in it the faintest shade of condescension,
or aggravating affability. Presiding at
his own table, talking to a tenant at the
cover-side, discussing the last opera with
the fair Duchess of Darlington, or smok-
ing the peaceful midnight cigar with an
old comrade, the Squire of Dene seemed
to be, and really was, equally happy,
natural, and at home.
  At this particular moment the ex-
pression of his pleasant face was unu-
sually grave, and there was a eloud on
his open brow, not of anger or vexation,
but decidedly betokening perplexity.
He was evidently pondering deeply
over words that had just been address-
ed to him by the only other occupant
of the " study."
  The latter was a tall man, slightly
and gracefully built, apparently about
thirty; his pale, quiet face had no




remarkable points of beauty, except
very brilliant dark eyes, looking larger
and brighter from the balf-circles un-
der them, and a mouth which was
simply perfect. You could not glance
at him, however, without being remin-
ded of all those stories of unfortunate
patricians, foiled in their endeavours
to escape because they could not
look like the coal-heaver, or rag-mer-
chant, or clerk, whose clothes the-
wore. If the whim had possessed Sir
Alan Wyvern to array himself, for the
nonce, in the loudest and worst-assorted
colors that ever lent additional vulgari-
ty to the person of a Manchester "tiger,"
it is probable that the travestie would
have been too palpable to be amusing;
he would still have looked precisely as
he did now and ever-from the crown
of his small head to the sole of his slen-
der foot-" thoroughbred all through."
  The intelligreuce which seemed to
have involved the Squire in doubt and
disquietude was just this. Five minutes
ago lie had looked upon Wyverne only
as his favourite nephew; he had scarce-
ly had time to get accustomed to him
in the new light of a possible son-in-
law; for the substance of Alan's brief
confession was, that in the course of
their afternoon's ride he had wooed
and (provisionally) won his fair cousin
  Now, when the head of a family has
five or six marriageable females to dis-
pose of, forming a beautiful sliding-scale,
from ' thirty offt downwards, his feel-
ings, on hearing that one is to be taken
off his hands, are generally those of
unmixed exhilaration. Under such cir-
cumstances, the most prudent of " par-
ents" is apt to look rather hopefully
than captiously into the chances of the
future menage: he is fain to cry out,
like the "heavy father," "i take her, you
rascal, and make her happy!" and in-
deed acts up to every part of the stage
direction, with the trifling exception of
omitting the hand over the bulky note-
case, or the " property" purse of gold.
But it is rather a different affair when
the damsel in question is an only
daughter, fair to look upon, and just in
her nineteenth summer. Then it will

be seen, how a man of average intellect
can approve himself at need, keenly
calculating in foresight, unassailable in
arguments, and grandiloquent on the
duties of paternity. His stern sagacity
tramples on the roses with which our
romance would surround Love in a
Cottage. It is no use trying to put
castles in Spain into settlements, -hen
even Irish estates are narrowly scrutin-
ized.  Perhaps we never were very
sanguine about our expectancies, but
till this instant we never regarded them
with such utter depression and humility
of spirit. Our cheery host of yester-
night-he who was So convivially de-
termined on that " other bottle before
we join the ladies"-has vanished sud-
denly.  In his stead there sits one
filling his arm-chair as though it were
a judgment seat, and freezing our guilty
hearts with his awful eye. Our hopes
are blighted so rapidly, that before the
hour is out not one poor leaf is left of
the garland that late bloomed so freshly.
We have only one aim and object in
life now-to flee from that dread pres-
ence as quickly as we may, albeit in
worse plight than that of Sceva's sons.
How sorry we are that we spoke!
   But Hubert Vavasour's voice was not
angry nor even cold. If there was the
faintest accent of reproach there, it
surely was unintentional; but in its
gravity was something of sadness.
   " Alan, would it not have been better
to have spoken first to me"
   His own conscience, more than that
simple question or the tone in which it
was uttered, made Wyverne's cheek
flush as he answered it.
   "D ear Uncle Hubert, I own it was a
grave fault. I am so sorry for not having
told you the secret first, that I hardly
know how to ask even you to forgive
me. But will you believe that there
was no malice propemne  I swear that
when I went out this afternoon, I had
no more idea of betraying myself to
Helen than I had of proposing to any
Princess-Royal. I am sure I have no
more right to aspire to one than the
other. But we were riding fast and
carelessly through Holme Wood; a
,'branch caught Telen's sombrero, and




held it fast. I went back for it-we youth and manhood came trooping up
could not pull up for a second or two. fast, some faint and distant, some so
When I joined her again, she was try- d near and briglhtly-coloured, that they
ing to put in order some rebellious almost seemed tangible-vanishing and
tresses which had escaped from  their reappearing capriciously, as one fair vis-
net; the light shot down through the ion chased another from light into shade,
leaves on the dark ripples of hair; like elves holding revel under a midsum-
there was the most delicious flush you mer moon.
can fancy on her cheek, and her lips   True, the days of his gipsyhood were
and eyes were laughing-so merrily! past and gone; but the spirit of the Zin-
I don't believe that the luck of painters garo had tarried with Vavasour longer
ever let them dream of any thing half than with most men, if indeed it was
so lovely. I suppose I've seen as many even yet extinct. He could not help
fair faces as most men of my age, and I owning that, if the same temptation had
ought to be able to keep my head (if assailed himself at the same age, he
not my heart) by this time. Well-it would have yielded quite as easily as
went, on the instant. I had no more Wyverne had done that day, with per-
self-control or forethought than a school- haps rather less of prudent scruple, and
boy in his first love. Before I was with more utter contempt of conse-
aware, I had said words that I ought quences. Though he had seldom given
never to have spoken, but which are grounds to Lady Mildred for grave ac-
very, very hard to unsay. Don't ask cusation, or even suspicion, gayer gallant
me what she answered. I should have never breathed since Sir Gawaine died.
been still unworthy of those words if, A chivalrous delicacy and high sense of
since my manhood begun, I bad never honour had borne him (and others) scath-
done one ill deed, never thrown one less through many fiery trials; yet-no