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him. Yet it is a good sign that he sometimes leaves the library to come here. The law, of which he justly complains, is hard upon us all. Yet we cannot alter it by crying. The Jesuit Fathers made of him a great scholar, and wanted to make him one of themselves, and in the end a priest-nay, perhaps a Bishop, or even a Cardinal. Higher than that one need not look unless one is an Italian, when the Triple Crown itself of Christ's Vicar on earth is possible. It is long since we had a Bishop in the family, and a Cardinal never. But if Frank will not, he must content himself with having such amusements as he can find for himself which will please a simple scholar and a private gentleman. He will grow wiser and merrier in time as he grows older. Meantime, we are as yet strangers in the country, and have much to learn. For the people are not like the people whence we have come ; the gentlemen are not like those at St. Germain's ; the ladies are not like those my mother (who hath never seen the north) taught me to expect—namely, hoops and patches and courtesies and fine sayings,

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instead of Arcadian shepherdesses, and the charms of Nature—and fair Dorothy.

Alas! To think that the melancholy of this unhappy young gentleman was caused by so humble and insignificant a person as my maid Jenny. Yet, strange as it seems, there is, in fact, no person in the world so humble and so insignificant — not even a shepherd boy, a hind, a stable-help, a scullion — but he can do mischief. The story how one was so desirous to achieve fame, and so helpless by himself, being dull of understanding and unlearned, that he was fain to fire and destroy the noblest temple in Asia Minor, the ruins of which remain to this day, and have been seen by travellers, is, I think, an allegory.

CHAPTER XIII.

CHRISTMAS EVE.

Now I come to tell of a fortnight of so much happiness that I can never forget it, or tire of remembering it. Every day—nay, every hour of that happy time, lives still in my mind, though it is now nearly thirty years ago, and I, who was then eighteen, am now well-nigh fifty, and am no more beautiful. This matters not, and before long, if it please merciful Heaven, I shall be beautiful again. This time was so happy to me because it changed an admirer into a lover, and a woman who waits for love into a woman who has received love. Call me not an old maid, I pray you, though I am no wedded wife and mother of a husband's children, because I have enjoyed the love of a man and exchanged with him those sweet VOL. II.

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endearments which are innocent and lawful between a young man and a maid who love each other. She alone is an old maid who hath never been wooed; into whose eyes no lover hath gazed to rob her of her heart ; whose hands have never been pressed ; whose ears have never listened to the fond exaggerations with which a lover pleads his passion, and tries to tell how great and deep it is, though words fail. But, as for me, I have been loved by many, and I have loved oneyea, I have loved him—alas ! alas !-with all my heart and with all my soul; yet, I hope and pray, with innocency of heart, so that this my passion may not be laid to my charge, for though I loved him well, I loved, or tried to love, my God better. And this, too, I will show you.

The time was Christmas. My lord kept open house at Dilston for his friends and cousins, as many as chose to come (but he invited Tom and me); his farmers and tenants, and all the poor people around, even counting those of Hexham, so generous he was. During all the time from Christmas to Candlemas there was nothing but the roasting

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of beef and the eating of it, with the drinking of ale and everyday amusements such as men of all sorts and conditions love: as quarterstaff, cudgels, wrestling, fighting with dogs and cocks, and so forth; the people of the town flocking to see it—the gentlemen not ashamed of getting a bloody crown from a rustic champion; the rustics proud to prove their mettle before the gentlemen, and pleased to drink to them afterwards. A busy and lively time—the maids running about to see the shows, and more eager to witness a wrestling-match than to do the dairy-work; the grooms talking and playing with the girls, and no one reproaching them ; no one zealous for work but the cooks and serving-women, who had a hard time of it, poor souls, continually roasting, boiling, laying of cloths, bringing of meat, carving it for hungry men, carrying pails of beer an 1 pouring it out into the brown jugs with their great heads of foam. Yet none grumbled : the more they served the merrier they became. Cooks are only happy when they are at work ; between whiles they are irritable, short of temper, and grumbling at the hard

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