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more fully. I hope to do this on a future took the reins. Miss Vane herself wore occasion, after I have had time to exam-no conventual costume ; she had not ine carefully the objections which these abandoned the pleasant things of this Lectures have elicted, and may still elicit.life. She wore rich silks, moaning over But I trust I have said enough to show her own imperfection, which never could you the Science of Language in a new attain to the virtue of serge, and was fond light; and to make you see its para- of her pretty ponies and her pleasant litmount importance for a truly scientific tle carriage. They had a cheerful drive study of Psychology, and for the solution into Sterborne, Miss Vane pointing out of problems which hang like storm everything on the way, and naming every clouds over our heads, and make our house they passed, Innocent paying little very soul to quiver.
attention, yet listening to all that was said to her, and enjoying in her passive way the air, the sunshine, the rapid move
ment. Things no longer seemed to rush From The Graphic.
past her, moved by some dreadful whirl
of their own, but it was she who was in INNOCENT:
motion, lightly, cheerfully — the centre, A TALE OF MODERN LIFE.
not a passive object in the scene. This,
which she could not have explained for BY MRS. OLIPHANT, AUTHOR OF “SALEM CHAPEL," “THE MINISTER'S WIFE," "SQUIRE ARDEN," ETC.
her life, but which she felt vaguely yet
strongly, made the greatest difference to CHAPTER XXXI.
Innocent. She was more alive than she
had ever been before in her life. THE MINSTER AND THE VILLA.
Miss Vane took her over the Minster, “ I MUST take you to see the Minster, rapidly pointing out all the chief won. Innocent," said Miss Vane. “You can-ders; and then left her, seated within not be in this part of the world without sight of the high altar, to enjoy what seeing the Minster. You will be quite everybody at the High Lodge supposed happy in it, you who are so fond of to be meditation of the devoutest kind. church. Put on your hat and your cloak, “ You will be quite happy here,” Miss and be ready when the carriage comes Vane said, kissing her softly, and feeling, round. I have got a number of visits to with warm compunctions for her own make and things to do ; but as I know worldliness, how superior was her young you can make yourself happy in the Min- relation. She stopped at the door, ere ster while I am busy, I will take you with she went about her many businesses, to me. Have you ever seen any of our great point out Innocent to the chief verger, Gothic cathedrals? Then you will be and commend her to his care. “I will perfectly happy, child ; you will feel this come back in about an hour and a half," day an era in your life."
she said. . Thus Innocent was left alone. Little thought Lætitia Vane what she I do not think she had ever been left was saying. The unconscious prophecy entirely alone before, save on the one occame lightly from her lips, and was re-casion of her visit to the Methodist chapceived by Innocent with a smile. She el, since she had been under her aunt's was not excited by the prospect of seeing care, and the sensation was sweet to her, the Minster, but she was pleased to go, - quite alone, silent, no one interfering to do what she was told, to be with the with her, free to do as she would, to be kind but arbitrary mistress, who had still, without speaking, without feeling, brought harmony into her life. She put without thinking. The solemn nave of on her hat, smiling, looking at herself in the Minster, the lovely, lessening arches the glass, which was not very usual with of the apse, the silvery glow of the painther. She had gained some colour on her ed glass in the windows, made no special pale cheeks, her eyes were brighter, her impression upon her for themselves. As whole aspect more life-like. It was a she sat silent they mingled in a confused fresh October morning, warm in the sun- but grateful calm with the little church of shine, though a sharp little chill of au- the Spina — the lingering memories of tumn wind met them occasionally at a her past life. Subdued steps came and corner, promising a cold evening. went about her as in the other little sanc
“We must take care not to be late tuary by the Arno; the light was subdued coming back," said Miss Vane, throwing as by the influence of the place ; no sound an additional shawl upon Innocent's lap above a whisper was audible; gliding figbefore she got into the little carriage, and ures appeared in the distance, into which
she gazed, not, indeed, coming there to fling gait; and the two, whom he thought pray, as in Santa Maria, but yet moving lovers, were left alone. softly, with a certain reverence. No They were not lovers, far from that ; gleaming tapers on the altar, no chanting but Innocent clung to the arm of the first priest interposed to furnish a background man whom she had ever identified and for her dreams; but Innocent scarcely felt any warm personal regard for, and felt the want. She said her prayers, Frederick looked down upon her with a kneeling down, all unconscious of obser- I complacency which half arose from a vain vation, on the stone pavement. She sat belief that she loved him, and partly from down again in a hush of soft and peace- a real kindness for his little cousin, and ful feeling — to dream? No, nor even to partly from a sensation of thankfulness think. The mind of this poor little In- to have some one belonging to him to nocent had no need for any exercise ; she look at and speak to — some one not of rested, before the fiery coming of her the terrible Batty tribe, to which he was
bound until Monday morning. This was It was not till the verger, much bewil- Saturday, and he had been imperatively dered by a stillness of attitude to which summoned to visit his wife, who was still he was quite unused, came to ask wheth- ill. He could not get back until Monday er the young lady would like to see the morning, and the thought that this terrichapter-house, or the crypt, or any of the ble moment of duty might be softened by special sights of the Minster, that the the presence of Innocent, who adored girl was roused. She rose then, always him, was sweet. He told her that Amanacquiescent, smiling upon the old man. da was ill in bed, not able to come out But as she turned round, Innocent's eye with him, or to be his companion. “I caught a figure much more interesting to cannot spend my whole time with her," her than the verger's. It was Frederick, said Frederick, "and her father is more who turned round at the same moment, odious than I can tell you. You must and came forward to her, holding out come to see her ; you must stay with me, both his hands. “Ah, Innocent, at Innocent, till I go back.” last!” he cried. There was real pleas- “If Miss Vane will let me," said Innoure in his face.
cent, brightly. * Miss Vane has left me here to wait “ You would like it? You were alfor her,” said Innocent, “but, oh, I am so ways a dear girl. When I take you home glad to see you !” It seemed to her that with me, Innocent,” said Frederick, solshe had found him again that all the emnly, “ you will learn a lesson, which I intermediate time had glided away, that have learnt too late, that it is a fatal thing she was in the church of the Spina, and to connect one's self with people of a he, her new-discovered only guardian, different class from one's own, who canand protector again.
not understand one, whose life is a con“I am glad that you are glad,” said tradiction to all one feels and wishes. I Frederick. “I thought you might have don't speak, of course, of my wife, that is forgotten all about us among the Vanes. my own affair ; whatever I may have to How is it that they neglect you like this? put up with I say nothing on that score I suppose you are the poor relation there, to any one. But, Innocent, a man of Innocent, eh? You never were so at the honour has many things to bear which Elms."
women never know.' "I do not know what you mean," said These fine sentiments were wasted Innocent ; but she put her hand within upon Innocent, who looked up at him his arm, with her old use and wont, look- wondering, and received what he said ing up at him brightly with her soft smile. docilely, but made no attempt to underThe verger looking on, felt that, perhaps, stand. I don't know why Frederick, it was his duty to interfere, but had not knowing her well enough to be aware of the heart to do it.
this, should have thought it necessary to - You'll find me in the porch, Miss, if make so solemn a statement. He did it, you want me,” he said. If the young perhaps, from the habit he had acquired lady had met with some one as she liked of posing as a victim to honour. He led better than them Papistical nunnerv-folks her about the Minster, and showed her at the High Lodge, was it his business? many things which Innocent looked at He went away heavily, dragging his feet with her usual docility, pleased to be upon the pavement, as ecclesiastical at- with him, if not much excited by anytendants for ages and ages have dragged thing else. She had been happy at the them, with stooped shoulders and shuf- High Lodge, but after all Frederick was her first friend, her discovery, and to be: Innocent's enjoyment was a little thus alone with him, cared for by him, damped by this long speech, but as she no one else interfering, carried her back was still walking with Frederick, and had, to the first startled awakening of her as yet, no drawback to the pleasant sentorpid youth. He was always kind to sation of being with him, the shadow her when she was thus thrown upon his fitted rapidly from her face. He took care, and Innocent was happy, with her her all over the village, showing her hand clinging to his arm. When Miss everything that was to be seen, before he Vane came to recall her to the present, turned his step towards the villa, where she looked with perhaps a warmer per- Amanda, fretful and peevish, awaited sonal wish than had ever been seen in him, longing for news, for change, for her eyes before at her temporary guar-'something to amuse her. Frederick dian, pleading for the granting of the re- cared very little for the fact that his once quest which Frederick made, with his worshipped beauty was now waiting for verv finest Charles I. look, and melan- i him. His little cousin, with her dreamy choly gentlemanlike grace. Miss Vane, delight in his society, her refined and a busy woman, had partially forgotten her gradually developing beauty, and the brother's warning about Mrs. Frederick. strange attraction of her visionary abShe knew the young man before her had stractiveness from the common world, made a foolish marriage, but still he was was very amusing and pleasant to him. an Eastwood, of prepossessing appear. The mere fact of not seeing her every ance, and a compunction'crossed her day, as he had been in the habit of doing, mind as to her want of civility in not had made him perceive Innocent's beauty, “ calling on" the daughter-in-law of In- and a mingled feeling, half wholly good, nocent's good aunt. A woman takes rank half dubious in character, inclined him from her husband, not from her father, towards the girl who clung to him. She Miss Vane reflected, and if this poor fel- was very pretty, and “ very fond of him," low had found out, as might be guessed which pleased his vanity highly, and from his resigned manner, that he had made him feel vaguely self-complacent made a terrible mistake, it was only right and on good terms with himself in her that a connection should stand by him as company; and by the side of this doubtfar as was practicable. After a few diffi- ful and not very improving sensation, the culties, therefore, as to Innocent's dress, man, who was not wholly bad, had ac&c., she consented, promising to send tually a little wholesome brotherly, prothe gardener with her bag, and to drive tecting affection for the child who had in for her on Monday morning, “when I clung to him from the first moment of will take the opportunity of leaving a seeing him. Thus they wandered through card for Mrs. Eastwood. 'I am sorry to the village, round and round the Minster, hear she is so poorly," said Miss Vane, looking at everything and at nothing till in her most gracious manner. Innocent the October afternoon began to cloud could scarcely believe it when she saw over. “ Now you must come and see her energetic relation drive away, and Amanda," said Frederick, with a sigh. found herself left in Frederick's charge. Innocent sighed too. It seemed to her “I am to stay, then?" she said, with a very hard that there was this inevitable smile which lighted up her whole face ;!“ Frederick's wife" to be always the then added, with a faint shadow stealing shadow to the picture, to take him away over it, “but with you, Frederick ? I do from his family, to separate him from not like -- your wife "
herself, to worry and vex him whatever “ You shall be with me," said Freder- he was doing. Innocent hesitated at the ick, “but, Innocent, you must not say corner of the street. such things. It is imprudent - you “Are you sure I should go ? " she might be misunderstood. I know very said. “She will scold me. She will not well what you mean, and that, of course, be kind like Cousin Lætitia or you. She it is impossible you should feel towards does not like me, and I do not like her. poor Amanda as you do to me ; but you Shall I go back now? I have had all I must not forget what I have told you so wanted, Frederick; I have seen you." often, that a woman's best policy is al- “ That would never do," said Frederick. ways to make friends with her own sex. “ If it were known that you had met me You are coming now, you understand, to in the Minster and walked abou so long visit my wife, who is far from well; but I with me, and then returned without seeshall take care to have you a great deal ing my wife, people would talk — unwith me.”
pleasant things would be said."
“What could be said ? " asked Inno- I considering how kind the Eastwoods cent.
have been to you, that you might have “Upon my life, one doesn't know come a little sooner to show Mrs. Fredwhether to laugh at you or be angry,” erick some respect.” cried Frederick, impatient. “Will you Innocent listened, wondering, to this never understand ? But come along, it address, gazing at the man whom she had is no use wasting words. Don't you see a confused recollection of having seen you must come now?"
before. All that she comprehended now : “I do not want to come. She will / was, more or less, that he was scolding scold me," said Innocent, standing firm, her, though about what she could not with a cloud upon her face. It was the tell. He was a kind of man totally unfirst time she had openly resisted him or known to Innocent - his thick figure, any one. Poor child, was it some angel his coarse air, his loud voice, and red who stayed her feet ? She felt ready to hands, surprised, without so much recry, which was an unusual thing with her, volting her, as they might have done had and with a frightened instinctive recoil, her organization been more perfect. She stood still, refusing to go on.
| was frightened, but made an effort of poPoor Innocent! Safety and shelter, liteness to conceal it." and the life of order and peace which “Is she better?" . she asked, not suited her half-developed faculties lay knowing what to say. calm and sunshiny on one side. On the “ You'll see what she'll say to you when other was conflict, confused darkness she sees you,” said Batty to Frederick and misery, pain and shame, gathering with a chuckle, “and I don't blame her, in heavy clouds to swallow her up. For poor girl. If this is what you call visitone moment it hung on the balance ing your wife when she's poorly, things which her fate was to be ; terrible mo- have changed since my day. It's close ment which we, none of us, divine, dur- on five, and nearly time for dinner, and ing which we have to exercise that great you've been out since the moment you and awful choice which is the privilege swallowed your lunch.” of humanity, in blindness and uncon- “I have been with my little cousin here, sciousness, ignorant of the issues, stupid and Miss Vane, of the High Lodge, who to the importance of the decision. This is coming to call on Amanda on Monwas decided, however, not by Innocent. day,” said Frederick. “In the meantime Impatient Frederick seized her hand, and I took the liberty of inviting my cousin drew it through his arm.
to stay with my wife for a couple of “This is folly,'' he cried. “What you, nights. I hope it is practicable " Innocent ! you be such a little traitor “Oh, practicable enough,” said Batty, and resist me and get me into trouble ? | with a laugh. “I'm not one of those as No, no, come along. This is out of the leaves themselves without a room to give question now.”
to a friend. Plenty of accommodation Next moment he had knocked at his here for as many as you like to bring father-in-law's door
and the more the merrier, if they're the The villa looked very much as it had right sort. Glad to see you, Miss Innodone the day that Frederick first made cent. Training up for your trade, eh ? — his appearance there. The sun was still at that old nunnery out there. Lord, to shining by intervals, but glimmers of see that old Lady Abbess in my house firelight came from the window, and the will be a sight! Manda will tackle her, garden behind was spare of Aowers. Mr. I'll be bound. Walk up, walk upstairs, Batty met them as they came in, and Eastwood will show you the way; and stared hard at the girl whom Frederick he's sure of a warm welcome, he is. Ha, led by the hand into the narrow light pas- ha, ha, ha!” sage which traversed the house from the Batty stood in the passage holding his street to the garden door. “This is my sides, while Frederick, with disgust on cousin, sir, Miss Innocent Vane,” said every line of his fine features, strode upFrederick. “I have brought her to see stairs. Innocent followed her cousin Amanda. She is on a visit at the High wondering. What the man meant, Lodge, as you may have heard."
whether he was merry, or angry, or sim"Oh, yes, I've heard,” said Batty, “and ply the most disagreeable strange man I think it's time she should turn up, the she had ever seen, she could not make only one of your family as has ever come out. She remembered vaguely what pear my girl. You're welcome, my dear, Frederick had told her so lately – what better late than never ; though I think, I she had heard repeated on all sides at
the Elms -- that Frederick's wife was of “I should like to throw something at “ another class.” And the stairs were you," she cried. “You cold, wicked, narrow, the passage contracted, the maid careless, unprincipled wretch! Was it who opened the door not like the maids for this you married me, and pretended at the Elms; and Batty's dress and ap- to be fond of me? Was it for this you pearance, and manner of speech very dif- took me from my father, who was always ferent from anything Innocent had ever so kind ? Was it for this ?" known before. This was what it meant, “Of course it was for all that,” said then, to be of “another class.” Thus she Frederick, advancing to the bedside. followed with some new speculations ris “We have gone through the list before. ing in her passive brain, into the presence Amanda, try to keep your temper; it of Frederick's wife.
will be the best thing for you. Here is
Innocent, whom I found in the Minster, CHAPTER XXXII.
and who has come to pay you a visit.
Miss Vane is coming on Monday to fetch THE MOMENT OF FATE.
her; and if you play your cards well- " FREDERICK led Innocent to the door Amanda interrupted him by a shrill of a bedroom which opened from a little laugh. gallery upstairs. He paused there before “Oh, so here is Innocent! and the old he opened it.
nun is coming ?-a great deal I care ! “If we find Amanda in an excitable This is how you try to hoodwink me. state, you must not mind it,” he said ; Innocent, come here! How long has he “ you must not be frightened. Forgive been walking about with you, talking, her because she is ill. It is her way ” and holding your hand, and turning your
With these words of warning he opened head, you little fool ? You think he the door. It was a pretty room enough cares? He cares as much for you as he
- meant to be luxurious - in a some-does for me: he cares for no one but what tawdry style of decoration, yet tol- himself. Oh, go away, or I shall throw erable, in so far that its rose-coloured something at you! Go away, or " hangings and heavy fringes were fresh! She had put out her hand to clutch at a at least, and in good order. Amanda was glass which stood by her on a little table. in bed, with a blue dressing-gown over “Go! Go!” cried some one from beher shoulders, and her elaborately-hind the curtain. dressed hair adorned with a small lace Frederick made a rapid step to the cap. Nothing could be gayer than the door ; but before he had reached it, his composition of colour, her own rose-wife's mood changed. cheeks and golden hair, the bright blue “Oh, you tell him to go, do you ? " she garment in which she was clothed, and cried. “ Then I tell him to stay. Come the blue ribbon in her little cap, all re- here, Innocent; you shall stay and nurse lieved against the rise-coloured hangings. me; I know you'll like it; and Fred, turn A perfect Watteau, some one had told that woman out — turn her off, turn her her, this composition made, and though out of doors. She has been my plague she did not know what a Watteau was, ever since I can recollect. Oh, you she felt it must be something fine, and thought you would keep me all to yourkept up the successful combination. seli, did you, and get the better of me? Her cheeks were not pale, but flushed but I haven't got a husband for nothing. with anger, impatience, and excitement. Fred, turn her out of doors.” She burst forth almost before Frederick Frederick opened the door with servile had come into the room.
haste. He dragged the poor Aunty, the “This is how you visit your wife, is it, souffre-douleur of the household, out by Mr. Frederick Eastwood ? — Three mor- the sleeve, escaping himself along with tal hours have I been left alone without her. Amanda leant back upon her pillow a creature to speak to but Aunty. laying her hand upon her breast. How dare you face me after that ? how “How hot it is,” she said, panting. dare you? I have a hundred minds “ Open the window – take this fan and never to speak to you again — " fan me ; can't you make yourself useful?
" That would be to punish yourself Oh, you are well named; you are a true more than me, my dear,” said Frederick, Innocent! If you will tell me all that he with the conventional speech of the in- was saying to you, I will forgive you. jured husband.
| Tell me what he said.” She looked at his careless smile, and “He told me that I was to come and her fury increased.
| see you ; that I was not to be frightened,"