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after all, and as the natural result of this discovery, he hastened to qualify his former assertion by explaining that perhaps it might be possible to send back the horse to the stables for another hour: now that he came to think of it, a ride home in the cool of the evening would be infinitely pleasanter than to set out along the. dusty highroad at this early hour: there was nothing that he enjoyed more than a game at croquet, &c., &c.
Delighted at having gained his point, like a shot Archie was off to the stables to countermand the steed; and as Miss Dalrymple had apparently no more objections to offer, a match was quickly organised, in which Phemie and Archie Lauriston on one side acted as partners against Chrissy and Mr Hamilton.
The latter gentleman made no attempt to approach Miss Dalrymple for some time, but though ostensibly engrossed in the progress of the game, he contrived to watch her furtively, with an expression of half-puzzled recognition on his countenance. "I must have seen that face before somewhere, but cannot for the life of me remember where. And why did she look at me so savagely, I wonder?" he questioned himself over and over again, without coming to any satisfactory conclusion.
"Have you ever been in India?" he presently inquired of Chrissy, when he had successfully initiated her into the art of sending her ball through two hoops at once.
"Good gracious! no; what on earth should make you suppose so?"
"Because I cannot get over my impression that we have met before somewhere or other. I seem to remember your sister's face somehow, but haven't a notion where it can have been."
Chrissy's eyes sparkled with mis
chievous glee, and her lips were twitching with ill-suppressed merriment, as she replied as gravely as she could
"Phemie has certainly never been in India, unless it was in her sleep. Why, she has never been out of Scotland-as little as I myself have ever been."
"Phemie? Is that her name? Phemie Dalrymple? Why, the name is half-familiar too, as well as the face it seems to wake some old-some very old-chord in my memory which I cannot quite reach. Her face
But Chrissy, unable to contain herself any longer, now burst forth impetuously
"Her face resembles most an unripe
said the young man, with a halfsmile of amusement. "Why, your sister looked just now as if she would not have minded boxing my ears over again. But I shall make my peace by-and-by-just see if I don't."
He smiled again, the self-confident smile of a man who has already sufficiently tested his power over women in order to feel sure of the result. A singularly handsome man with his clean-cut features and well-marked brows overshadowing a pair of dark-brown eyes, in which there ever lurked a slight suspicion of careless devilry, Ronald Hamilton's success with the fair sex was yet not due to appearance only, but fully more to the absence of effort with which he seemed to accomplish most things which are calculated to make us shine in the eyes of the world. A splendid rider, a deadly shot, and a fencer of the first water, he was equally proficient at cards and billiards, cricket and golf, croquet and lawntennis, whenever, as in the present instance, he condescended to take a turn at such minor sports, and demonstrate his superiority over the rest of his fellows; and there was, moreover, this difference between him and other skilful players, riders, and marksmen, that whereas in their case proficiency was evidently the result of teaching and practice, these various accomplishments seemed but natural and instinctive to Ronald Hamilton, no more learnt, apparently, than was his brilliant smile and the seductive glance of his dark-brown eye. Hamilton the Invincible, as half-contemptuously, half-enviously he had been dubbed by his less brilliant friends, had but lately returned from India after an absence of some five or six years; and though, apparently, his moral character had gained but little from the change of climate, there could be no doubt that he
had returned home infinitely more fascinating and seductive than he had previously been. In the free, untrammelled life of the tropics he had acquired greater vigour and independence of bearing than our spoilt children of fashion usually boast; and the slight prestige of an exiled black sheep, which still clung about his person, and out of which he had ingeniously contrived to weave for himself a very fair imitation of a martyr's crown, but further served to invest him with a flavour of romance.
Euphemia, who had recognised her former enemy at the first glance, was firmly resolved that nothing should induce her to unbend towards him. Had not the recollection of that eventful theatrical party been rankling in her mind all these eight long years? and was it not his fault that she had been sent sobbing and supperless to bed, while the other children were making merry down-stairs over pigeonpie and plum-cake? Recognition had not been mutual, of that she felt sure; and if only Chrissy would have the sense to hold her tongue, he need never be the wiser. Chance seemed to favour her wishes by assigning to her Archie Lauriston as partner, when with two blades of grass the question was decided by lots.
Apparently Mr Hamilton was quite satisfied with the arrangement, for after those few phrases of conversation with Chrissy, he had abruptly changed the subject, and during the first half of the game kept studiously avoiding the pale green ball which belonged to Miss Dalrymple, and even refrained from glancing in her direction. Presently, however, just when she least expected it, Phemie, leaning listlessly on her mallet, was startled by a sharp click close at hand, causing her to turn round with a start of surprise. It was Mr Hamilton's
globe which, bearing down he other end of the croquetI with the unerring aim of a m Tell and ten times the y of the Flying Scotchman, sted her own green ball from vantageous position close to ntre bell.
o bad of you, Hamilton!" ned Archie, aggrievedly. is what I call malice preto go out of your way to unoffending mortals." mere chance," said the er, sauntering up to rejoin "I was aiming at the bell, I was, and had not even ed the green ball So exhe colour of the grass, you To whom does it belong? iss Dalrymple! Very sorry, ure, to have disturbed a lady, I means are fair in war-or -you know the proverb." xnow the rules of the game," Enemie, a little shortly. "Of you have a right to roquet v." ell, that is just about it, I id, and I am only admiring ilosophical coolness with you submit to the inevitYou will have to make an tary excursion to some disint of Lady Lauriston's park, . Where shall it be? See enerous I am: I leave you nounce your own sentence. desire to make nearer acnce with that copper beecher there? or would you rather join those charming young which are frolicking so sweete end of the avenue?" hichever you like," returned , impatiently; "only, please ck, or we shall never be 1 with this game."
re goes for the lambs, then!" ed Mr Hamilton, swinging llet on high with a formidesture.
"We are lost now, Phemie!" cried Archie, piteously. "I know what Hamilton's roquets mean, and we shall never be able to make up for the ground we lose."
Twice thrice the mallet was brandished on high, as though to prolong the agony of suspense, then the blow descended; but, contrary to all anticipation, it was neither to the lambs nor yet to the shade of the copper beech-tree that the hapless green ball was exiled.
"Missed, by Jove!" exclaimed Archie, executing a rapturous caper on the grass. "Only fancy the Invincible having slipped his foot in that incomprehensible fashion!" "Incomprehensible !" echoed Hamilton, rubbing his left foot with an admirably assumed expression of excruciating agony. "Such a thing has not happened to me for years, and I cannot imagine how on earth it came about. The tables are turned with a vengeance, for now it is I who am at your mercy, Miss Dalrymple."
"Give him no quarter, Phemie," said Archie. "He does not deserve any pity."
"Certainly no pity," agreed Phemie, drawing her pretty eyebrows together with a ferocious frown as she prepared to adjust her mallet.
"Not even if I have smashed my foot and nearly made myself a helpless cripple for life?" pleaded the victim, glancing at Phemie with an expression of abject supplication, through which, however, there pierced a certain humorous twinkle, for the first time raising doubts in her mind as to whether the accident had been entirely unpremeditated on his part. Then, seeing that she gave no answer, he proceeded in a lower tone, not intended to reach the others-"How lucky it is, is it not, that my foot is not made of glass-like - like Cinderella's
slipper, for instance? If it were, it must inevitably have been shattered by the blow."
Phemie flushed scarlet up to the roots of her hair, and in order to cover her confusion, played a rather reckless stroke which called forth the violently expressed disapprobation of her partner.
"What do you know about Cinderella?" she said at last, looking at him with clearly expressed defiance in her hazel eyes.
"I only know that she is an exceedingly dangerous young lady, and that I must be careful never again to incur her displeasure if I wish to preserve my ears intact.'
agination she had thought of a possible meeting with her former enemy, she had always seen herself as mistress of the situation, crushing Ronald Hamilton by the weight of contempt, and coldly disdainful of all his efforts at reconciliation. And now, without exactly knowing how it had come about, here she was having entered into a sort of tacit alliance with her quondam foe. With a tardy attempt to regain her lost dignity, she added, "I do not care to let any one know that such-such a ridiculous thing ever took place. And you have ever so much more reason to keep silence than I have, for it was all your fault, you know. If it had not been for those silly verses nothing would have happened.”
"Exactly. The verses were undoubtedly very silly, and I richly deserved my punishment. But all the same, I scarcely thought you would have done me the honour to remember this youthful flight of poetical fancy during eight whole years. I really had no notion that young ladies had such excellent memories, or that they nursed revenge so carefully. That is scarcely Christian, you know. Undoubtedly I am a very black sinner, but even black sinners occasionally repent, and I shall be delighted to make amends for my crime by sending you a fresh copy of verses in place of those which had such a disastrous effect. You will find, I am sure, that I have greatly improved as a poet since those days.'
He was bending towards her now, and his laughing brown eyes were telling her very plainly what would be the gist of the poem he was offering to make upon her face.
"No, thank you," she said, as she turned away in some confusion, "I don't think I care for any more of your verses. You had better keep them for some one else."
REMINISCENCES OF JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE.-I.
I FANCY that I shall always herefter associate the plaintive strains -f Gluck's "Orpheo" with the fatal llness of one of my dearest friends. I was on my way to hear Julia Ravoglio at a morning perform nce of the Orpheo," when I earnt that Froude was dying. ulia Ravoglio, as Orpheus, has lways been and is still (as I think) without a rival; but that day it eemed as if the news I had just eceived added a keen, a poignant, athos to music which I never ear unmoved. While one was eing recalled from Hades, another igh and pure spirit was passing way! Somehow the tender apeal, the exquisite pain and pasion, the lofty consecration of a ove stronger than death, elicited - responsive echo. Were it pos
ible to revoke the sentence that ad gone forth! Might not Death e appeased once more? Even at he eleventh hour might he not be persuaded to relent?
But in our prosaic modern world where even the piping of an Orheus would be unregarded) there s no relenting. Science has felt er way too surely when she tells s with impartial composure, with ruel serenity, that there is no ope, we ask in vain for a reprieve. Froude, if we count by years, was n old man; yet it was wellnigh mpossible to believe that he could e dying. Until a year or two go he had retained much of his outhful vigour. His eye was not im, nor his natural force abated. He could still land his salmon; nd he had been a famous angler. He could still handle a gun; and e had been a crack shot in his
ime. When aboard the tidy little raft that he kept at Salcombe,
especially if the waves ran high, he was almost boyishly elate. Sometimes, no doubt, he was sad; but it was the sadness of one who, looking before and after, has found that the riddle is hard to read. He had indeed an ever-present sense of the mysteries of existence, and of the awful responsibility of the creature to the unknown and invisible lawgiver. I have heard him described by shallow observers as "taciturn" and "saturnine." No two words could be less descriptive. He was a singularly bright and vivacious companion; his smile was winning as a woman's; possibly he did not always unbend, but when he unbent he unbent wholly. In congenial society he was ready to discourse on every topic in the heaven above or on the earth beneath; and when at his best he was not only a brilliant and picturesque but a really suggestive talker. I would not have it thought that he was not sometimes severe. high standard of right and wrong. He hated all shams, religious, literary, political. The casuistry of the rhetorician, the sophistical makebelieve of the worldly ecclesiastic, he could not abide. In public as in private they were abhorrent to him. But while he had a passionate scorn of meanness and truckling, he had an equally passionate reverence for truth, as he understood it, whatever guise it assumed. The mask might be sometimes as impassive as Disraeli's; but behind it was an almost tremulous sensitiveness-a tenderness easily wounded. His presence was striking and impressive,-coalblack eyes, wonderfully lustrous and luminous ("eyes full of genius
He had a very