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wall was an open iron railing, through which the curious passenger might gain a beatific glimpse of Miss Willsie's wallflowers, and of the clean white steps by which you ascended to the house-door. The corresponding loopholes at the outer entrance of Green View and Buena Vista were carefully boarded; so the house of Mr Foggo had the sole distinction of an open eye.
Within the wall was a paved path leading to the house, with a square bit of lawn on either side, each containing in its centre a very small round flower-plot and a minute fir-tree. These were the pine forests of the Islingtonian Killiecrankie; but there were better things within the brief enclosure. The borders round about on every side were full of wallflowers -double wallflower, streaked wallflower, yellow wallflower, brown wallflower-every variety under the sun. This was the sole remarkable instance of taste displayed by Miss Willsie; but it gave a delicate tone of fragrance to the whole atmosphere of Bellevue.
This is a great day at Killiecrankie Lodge. It is the end of April now, and already the days are long, and the sun himself stays up till after tea, and throws a slanting golden beam over the daylight table. Miss Willsie, herself presiding, is slightly heated. She says, Bless me, it's like July!" as she sets down upon the tray her heavy silver teapot. Miss Willsie is not half as tall as her brother, but makes up the difference in another direction. She is stout, though she is so restlessly active. Her face is full of wavering little lines and dimples, though she is an old lady; and there are the funniest indentations possible in her round chin and cheeks. You would fancy a laugh was always hiding in those crevices. Alas! Hannah knows better. You should see how Miss Willsie can frown!
quently are not quite at their ease. These visitors are rather numerous for a Bellevue tea-party. There is Mr Richards from Buena Vista, Mrs Tavistock from Woburn Lodge, and Mr Gray, the other Scotch inhabitant, from Gowanbrae; and there is likewise Mr Foggo Silas Endicott, Miss Willsie's American nephew, and her Scotch nephew, Harry Oswald; and besides all this worshipful company, there are all the Athelings-all except Bell and Beau, left, with many cautions, in the hands of Susan, over whom, in fear and self-reproach, trembles already the heart of mamma.
"So he would not hear of it-he was not blate!" said Miss Willsie. "My brother never had the like in his office-that I tell you; and there's no good mother at home to do as much for Harry. Chairles, lad, you'll find out better some time. If there's one thing I do not like, it's a wilful boy!"
"But I can scarcely call him wilful either," said Mrs Atheling, hastily. He is very reasonable, Miss Willsie; he gives his meaning it is not out of opposition. He has always a good reason for what he does he is a very reasonable boy."
"And if there's one thing I object to," said Miss Willsie, "it's the assurance of these monkeys with their reasons. When we were young, we were ill bairns, doubtless, like other folk; but if I had dared to make my excuses, pity me! There is Harry now will set up his face to me as grand as a Lord of Session; and Marian this very last night making her argument about these two spoiled babies of yours, as if she knew better than me! Misbehaviour's natural to youth. I can put up with that, but I cannot away with their reasons. Such things are not for me."
"Very true-so true, Miss Willsie," said Mrs Tavistock, who was a sentimental and sighing widow. "There is my niece, quite an example. I am sadly nervous, you know; and that rude girl will 'prove' to me, as she calls it, that no thief could get into the house, though I know they try the back-kitchen window every night."
"If there's one thing I'm against," said Miss Willsie, solemnly, "it's that
But the old lady is in grand costume to-night; she has her brown satin dress on, her immense cairngorm brooch, her overwhelming blue turban. This sublime head-dress has an effect of awe upon the company; no one was prepared for such a degree of grandeur, and the visitors conse
foolish fright about thieves-thieves! Bless me, what would the ragamuffins do here? A man may be a robber, but that's no to say he's an idiot; and a wise man would never put his life or his freedom in jeopardy for what he could get in Bellevue.'
Mrs Tavistock was no match for Miss Willsie, so she prudently abstained from a rejoinder. large old china basin full of wallflowers stood under a grim portrait, and between a couple of huge old silver candlesticks upon the mantelpiece; Miss Willsie's ancient teaservice, at present glittering upon the table, was valuable and massive silver: nowhere else in Bellevue was there so much "plate" as in Killiecrankie Lodge; and this was perfectly well known to the nervous widow. "I am sure I wonder at your courage, Miss Willsie; but then you have a gentleman in the house, which makes a great difference," said Mrs Tavistock, woefully. Mrs Tavistock was one of those proper and conscientious ladies who make a profession of their widowhood, and are perpetually executing a moral suttee to the edification of all beholders. "I was never nervous before. Ah, nobody knows what a difference it makes to me!"
Atheling even Harry in it, and the wallflowers! If it had not been for my brother, he never should have set foot in this house again."
"Oh dear, how interesting!" said the widow. Mrs Tavistock turned her eyes to the other end of the room almost with excitement. She had not the least objection, for her own part, in the full pomp of sables and sentiment, to figure at full length in the Mississippi Gazette.
"And what was it for?" said Mr Atheling, innocently; "for I thought it was only remarkable people that even the Americans put in the papers. Was it simply to annoy you?'
"Me!-do you think a lad like yon could trouble me?" exclaimed Miss Willsie. "He says, 'all the scenes through which he has passed will be interesting to his readers.' That's in a grand note he sent me this morning-the impertinent boy! My poor Harry, though he's often in mischief, and my brother thinks him unsteady-I would not give his little finger for half-a-dozen lads like yon."
But Harry is doing well now, Miss Willsie?" said Mrs Atheling. There was a faint emphasis on the now which proved that Harry had not always done well.
"Young folk are a troublesome handful. Where are the girls-what are they doing with Harry?" said Miss Willsie. Harry's a lad for any kind of antics, but you'll no see Foggo demeaning himself. Foggo writes poems and letters to the papers they tell me that in his own country he's a very rising young
"He looks intellectual. What a pleasure, Miss Willsie, to you!" said the widow, with delightful sympathy.
"If there's one thing I like worse than another, it's your writing young men," said Miss Willsie, vehemently. “I lighted on a paper this very day, that the young leasing-maker had gotten from America, and what do you think I saw therein, but just a long account-everything about us,
of my brother and me. My brother Robert Foggo, as decent a man as there is in the three kingdoms-and me! What do you think of that, Mrs
"Ay," said Miss Willsie, drily; "and so Chairles has settled to his business-that's aye a comfort. If there's one thing that troubles me, it is to see young folk growing up in idleness; I pity them, now, that are genteel and have daughters. What are you going to do, Mrs Atheling, with these girls of yours?"
Mrs Atheling's eyes sought them out with fond yet not untroubled observation. There was Marian's beautiful head before the other window, looking as if it had arrested and detained the sunbeams, long ago departed in the west; and there was Agnes, graceful, animated and intelligent, watching, with an affectionate and only half-conscious admiration, her sister's beauty. Their mother smiled to herself and sighed. Even her anxiety, looking at them thus, was but another name for delight.
"Agnes," said Marian at the other window, half whispering, half aloud Agnes! Harry says Mr Endicott has published a book."
With a slight start and a slight blush Agnes turned round. Mr Foggo S. Endicott was tall, very thin, had an extremely lofty mien, and a pair of spectacles. He was eight-and-twenty, whiskerless, sallow, and by no means handsome he held his thin head very high, and delivered his sentiments into the air when he spoke, but rarely bent from his altitude to address any one in particular. But he heard the whisper in a moment in his very elbows, as you stood behind him, you could see the sudden consciousness. He perceived, though he did not look at her, the eager, bright, blushing, half-reverential glance of Agnes, and conscious to his very finger-points, raised his thin head to its fullest elevation, and pretended not to hear.
Agnes blushed it was with sudden interest, curiosity, reverence, made more personal and exciting by her own venture. Nothing had been heard yet of this venture, though it was nearly a month since Charlie took it to Mr Burlington, and the young genius looked with humble and earnest attention upon one who really had been permitted to make his utterance to the ear of all the world. He had published a book; he was a real genuine printed author. The lips of Agnes parted with a quick breath of eagerness; she looked up at him with a blush on her cheek, and a light in her eye. A thrill of wonder and excitement came over her would people by-and-by regard herself in the same light?
Oh, Mr Endicott !--is it poems?" said Agnes, shyly, and with a deepening colour. This simple girl was almost as much embarrassed asking him about his book, as if she had been asking about the Transatlantic lady of this Yankee young gentleman's love.
"Oh !" said Mr Endicott, discovering suddenly that she addressed him yes. Did you speak to me?poems?-ah! some little fugitive matters, to be sure. One has no right to refuse to publish, when everybody comes to know that one does such things."
"Refuse-no, indeed; I think not," said Agnes, in spite of herself feeling very much humbled, and speaking
very low. This was so elevated a view of the matter, and her own was so commonplace a one, that the poor girl was completely crestfallen. She, so anxious to get into print; and this bona fide author, doubtless so very much her superior, explaining how he submitted, and could not help himself! Agnes was entirely put down.
"Yes, really one ought not to keep everything for one's own private enjoyment,' said the magnanimous Mr Endicott, speaking very high up into the air with his cadenced voice. "I do not approve of too much reserve on the part of an author myself."
"And what are they about, Mr Endicott?" asked Marian, with respect, but by no means so reverentially as Agnes. Mr Endicott actually looked at Marian; perhaps it was because of her very prosaic and improper question, perhaps for the sake of the beautiful face.
"About!" said the poet, with benignant disdain. "No, I don't approve of narrative poetry; it's after the time. My sonnets are experiences. I live them before I write them; that is the true secret of poetry in our enlightened days."
Agnes listened, much impressed and cast down. She was far too simple to perceive how much superior her natural bright impulse, spontaneous and effusive, was to this sublime concentration. Agnes all her life long had never lived a sonnet: she was so sincere and single-minded herself, that, at the first moment of hearing it, she received all this nonsense with unhesitating faith. For Agnes had not yet learned to believe in the possibility of anybody, save villains in books, saying anything which they did not thoroughly hold
So Agnes retired a little from the conversation. The young genius began to take herself to task, and was much humiliated by the contrast. Why had she written that famous story, now lying storm-stayed in the hands of Mr Burlington? Partly to please herself-partly to please mamma-partly because she could not help it. There was no grand motive in the whole matter. Agnes looked with reverence at Mr Endi
cott, and sat down in a corner. She would have been completely conquered if the sublime American had been content to hold his peace.
But this was the last thing which occurred to Mr Endicott. He continued his utterance, and the discouraged girl began to smile. She was no judge of character, but she began to be able to distinguish non
sense when she heard it. This was very grand nonsense on the first time of hearing, and Agnes and Marian,
are obliged to confess, were somewhat annoyed when mamma made a movement of departure. They kept very early hours in Bellevue, and before ten o'clock all Miss Willsie's guests had said good-night to Killiecrankie Lodge.
CHAPTER XIV.-THE HOUSE OF FOGGO.
It was ten o'clock, and now only this little family circle was left in the Lodge of Killiecrankie. Miss Willsie, with one of the big silver candlesticks drawn so very close that her blue turban trembled, and stood in jeopardy, read the Times; Mr Foggo sat in his armchair, doing nothing save contemplating the other light in the other candlestick; and at the unoccupied sides of the table, between the seniors, were the two young men. These nephews did not live at Killiecrankie Lodge; but Miss Willsie, who was very careful, and a notable manager, considered it would be unsafe for "the boys" to go home to their lodgings at so late an hour as this so her invitations always included a night's lodging; and this kind and arbitrary little woman was not accustomed to be disobeyed. Yet "the boys" found it dull, we confess. Mr Foggo was not pleased with Harry, and by no means took" to Endicott. Miss Willsie could not deny herself her evening's reading. They yawned at each other, these unfortunate young men, and with a glance of mutual jealousy thought of Marian Atheling. It was strange to see how dull and disenchanted this place looked when the beautiful face that brightened it was gone.
So Mr Foggo S. Endicott took from his pocket his own paper, the Mississippi Gazette, and Harry possessed himself of the half of Miss Willsie's Times. It was odd to observe the difference between them even in manner and attitude. Harry bent half over the table, with his hands thrust up into the thick masses of his curling hair; the American sat perfectly upright, lifting his thin broadsheet to the height of his spec
tacles, and reading loftily his own lucubrations. You could scarcely see the handsome face of Harry as he hung over his half of the paper, partly reading, partly dreaming over certain fond fancies of his own; but you could not only see the lofty lineaments of Foggo, which were not at all handsome, but also could perceive at a glance that he had " a remarkable profile," and silently called your attention to it. Unfortunately nobody in the present company was at all concerned about the profile of Mr Endicott. That philosophical young gentleman, notwithstanding, read his "Letter from England" in his best manner, and demeaned himself as loftily as if he were a "portrait of a distinguished literary gentleman" in an American museum. What more could any man do?
Meanwhile Mr Foggo sat in his armchair steadily regarding the candle before him. He loved conversation, but he was not talkative, especially in his own house. Sometimes the old man's acute eyes glanced from under his shaggy brow with a momentary keenness towards Harrysometimes they shot across the table a momentary sparkle of grim contempt; but to make out from Mr Foggo's face what Mr Foggo was thinking, was about the vainest enterprise in the world. It was different with his sister: Miss Willsie's wellcomplexioned countenance changed and varied like the sky. You could pursue her sudden flashes of satisfaction, resentment, compassion, and injury into all her dimples, as easily as you could follow the clouds over the heavens. Nor was it by her looks alone that you could discover the fluctuating sympathies of Miss Will
sie. Short, abrupt, hasty exclamats, broke from her perpetually. -The vagabond!-to think of that!" -Ay, that's right now; I thought there was something in him." "Bless e-such a story!" After this mamber ran on her unconscious ements. She was a considersve politician, and this was an interesting debate; and you could TET soon make out by her contis observations the political opiLous of the mistress of Killiecrankie. She was a desperate Tory, and at The same moment the most direful and anconstitutional of Radicals. With a hereditary respect she apmanded the sentiments of the old adityarty, and clung to every yst ritam with the pertinacity of a 7. we with the same breath, so de mat danghai inconsistency, * whom and enthusiastic in Surf the wildest schemes of reCửu whờh w sppose, is as much Sad Miss Willsie was a En. nine politician, the most PHAN ANNE itists, and had serves awamp for all prac**NOTIKUS when she had chusa chat anything was
"And who is this Mr Atheling?"
"He's Cash and Ledger's chief
"Marvellous in this country!" said the American; but Mr Endicott belonged to that Young America which is mightily respectful of the old country. He thought it vulgar to do too much republicanism. He only heightened the zest of his admiration now and then by a refined little sneer.
"In this country! Where did ye
This was said with a little enthusiasm, and brought the rising colour to Harry Oswald's brow. His cousin looked at him, with a curl of his thin lip, and a somewhat malignant eye. Miss Willsie looked at him hastily, with a quick impatient nod of her head, and a most rapid and emphatic frown. Finally, Mr Foggo lifted to the young man's face his acute and steady eye.
"Keep to your physic, Harry,” said Mr Foggo. The hapless Harry when they did not meet the glance, but he under
the sette coun
stood the tone.