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says Miss Ethel, advancing, and never thinking for a moment of laying aside that fine blush which she brought into the room, and which is her pretty symbol of youth, and modesty, and beauty.
He took a little slim white hand and laid it down on his brown palm, where it looked all the whiter; he cleared the grizzled mustachio from his mouth, and stooping down he kissed the little white hand with a great deal of grace and dignity. There was no point of resemblance, and yet a something in the girl's look, voice, and movements, which caused his heart to thrill, and an image out of the past to rise up and salute him. The eyes which had brightened his youth (and which he saw in his dreams and thoughts for faithful years afterwards, as though they looked at him out of heaven,) seemed to shine upon him after five-and-thirty years. He remembered such a fair bending neck and clustering hair, such a light foot and airy figure, such a slim hand lying in his own--and now parted from it with a gap of ten thousand long days between. It is an old saying, that we forget nothing; as people in fever begin suddenly to talk the language of their infancy, we are stricken by memory sometimes, and old affections rush back on us as vivid as in the time when they were our daily talk, when their presence gladdened our eyes, when their accents thrilled in our ears, when with passionate tears and grief we flung ourselves upon their hopeless corpses. Parting is death, at least as far as life is concerned. A passion comes to an end; it is carried off in a coffin, or weeping in a postchaise; it drops out of life one way or other, and the earth-clods close over it, and we see it no more. But it has been part of our souls, and it is eternal. Does a mother not love her dead infant ? a man his lost mistress ? with the fond wife nestling at his side,-yes, with twenty children smiling round her knee. No doubt, as the old soldier held the girl's hand in his, the little talisman led him back to Hades, and he saw Leonora. .....
“How do you do, uncle?” say girls Nos. 2 and 3 in a pretty little infantile chorus. He drops the talisman, he is back in common life again—the dancing baby in the arms of the bobbing nurse babbles a welcome. Alfred looks up for a while at his uncle in the white trousers, and then instantly proposes that Clive should make him some drawings; and is on his knees at the next moment. He is always climbing on somebody or something, or winding over chairs, curling through banisters, standing on somebody's head, or his own head, -as his convalescence advances, his breakages are fearful. Miss Honeyman and Hannah will talk about his dilapidations for years after the little chap has left them. When he is a jolly young officer in the Guards, and comes to see them at Brighton, they will show him the bluedragon Chayny jar, on which he would sit, and over which he cried so fearfully upon breaking.
When this little party has gone out smiling to take its walk on the sea-shore, the Colonel sits down and resumes the interrupted dessert. Miss Honeyman talks of the children and their mother, and the merits, of Mr. Kuhn, and the beauty of Miss Ethel, glancing significantly towards Clive, who has had enough of gingerbread nuts and dessert and wine, and whose youthful nose is by this time at the window. What kind-hearted woman, young or old, does not love matchmaking ?
The Colonel, without lifting his eyes from the table, says " she
" Indeed ! " cries Miss Honeyman, and thinks Emma must have altered very much after going to India, for she had fair hair, and white eyelashes, and not a pretty foot certainly—but, my dear good lady, the Colonel is not thinking of the late Mrs. Casey.
He has taken a fitting quantity of the Madeira, the artless greeting of the people here, young and old, has warmed his heart, and he goes
courteous bow as becomes a lady of her rank, Ethel takes her place quite naturally beside him during his visit. Where did he learn those fine manners which all of us who knew him admired in him? He had a natural simplicity, an habitual practice of kind and generous thoughts; a pure mind, and therefore above hypocrisy and affectation -perhaps those French people with whom he had been intimate in early life had imparted to him some of the traditional graces of their vieille cour certainly his half-brothers had inherited none such. “What is this that Barnes has written about his uncle, that the Colonel is ridiculous ?” Lady Ann said to her daughter that night. “Your uncle is adorable. I have never seen a more perfect grand Seigneur. He puts me in mind of my grandfather, though grandpapa's grand manner was more artificial, and his voice spoiled by snuff. See the Colonel. He smokes round the garden, but with what perfect grace! This is the man Uncle Hobson, and your poor dear papa, have represented to us as a species of bear! Mr. Newcome, who has himself the ton of a waiter! The Colonel is perfect. What can Barnes, mean by ridiculing him ? I wish Barnes had such a distinguished air; but he is like his poor dear papa. Que voulez-vous, my love ? The Newcomes are honourable, the Newcomes are wealthy; but distinguished ? no. I never deluded myself with that notion when I married your poor dear papa. At once I pronounce Colonel Newcome a person to be in every way distinguished by us. On our return to London I shall present him to all our family: poor good man ! let him see that his family have some presentable relations besides those whom he will meet at Mrs. Newcome's, in Bryanston Square. You must go to Bryanston Square immediately we return to London. You must ask your cousins and their governess, and we will give them a little party. Mrs. Newcome is insupportable, but we must never forsake our relatives, Ethel. When you come out you will have to dine there, and go to her ball. Every young lady in your position in the world has sacrifices to make, and duties to her family to perform. Look at me. Why did I marry your poor dear papa ? From duty. Has your Aunt Fanny, who ran away with Captain Canonbury, been happy? They have eleven children, and are starving at Boulogne. Think of three of Fanny's boys in yellow stockings at the Bluecoat School. Your papa got them appointed. I am sure my papa would have gone mad if he had seen that day! She came with one of the poor wretches to Park Lane; but I could not see them. My feelings would not allow me. When my maid --I had a French maid thenLouise, you remember; her conduct was abominable : so was Préville's --when she came and said that my Lady Fanny was below with a young gentleman, qui portait des bas jaunes, I could not see the child. I begged her to come up in my room; and, absolutely that I might not offend her, I went to bed. That wretch Louise met her at Boulogne and told her afterwards. Good-night, we must not stand chattering here any more. Heaven bless you, my darling! Those are the Colonel's windows! Look, he is smoking on his balconythat must be Clive's room. Clive is a good kind boy. It was very kind of him to draw so many pictures for Alfred. Put the drawings away, Ethel. Mr. Smee saw some in Park Lane, and said they showed remarkable genius. What a genius your Aunt Emily had for drawing; but it was flowers! I had no genius in particular, so mamma used to say-and Doctor Belper said, 'My dear Lady Walham' (it was before my grandpapa's death), 'has Miss Ann a genius for sewing buttons and making puddens ?'-puddens he pronounced it. Good-night, my own love. Blessings, blessings, on my Ethel !"
The Colonel from his balcony saw the slim figure of the retreating girl, and looked fondly after her; and as the smoke of his cigar floated in the air, he formed a fine castle in it, whereof Clive was lord, and that pretty Ethel, lady. “What a frank, generous, bright young creature is yonder!” thought he. “How cheery and gay she is; how good to Miss Honeyman, to whom she behaved with just the respect that was the old lady's due-how affectionate with her brothers and sisters. What a sweet voice she has! What a pretty little white hand it is ! When she gave it to me, it looked like a little white bird lying in mine. I must wear gloves, by Jove I must, and my coat is old-fashioned, as, Binnie says; what a fine match might be made between that child and. Clive! She reminds me of a pair of eyes I haven't seen these forty years. I would like to have Clive married to her, to see him out of the scrapes and dangers that young fellows encounter, and safe with, such a sweet girl as that. If God had so willed it, I might have been happy myself, and could have made a woman happy. But the Fates were against me. I should like to see Clive happy, and then say Nunc dimittis. I shan't want anything more to-night, Kean, and you can go to bed."
“ Thank you, Colonel,” says Kean, who enters, having prepared his master's bed-chamber, and is retiring when the Colonel calls after him:
“ I say, Kean, is that blue coat of mine very old ?"
“Is it older than other people's coats?"-Kean is obliged gravely to confess that the Colonel's coat is very queer.
“Get me another coat, then-see that I don't do anything or wear anything unusual. I have been so long out of Europe that I don't know the customs here, and am not above learning."
Kean retires, vowing that his master is an old trump; which opinion he had already expressed to Mr. Kuhn, Lady Hann's man, over a long potation which those two gentlemen had taken together. And, as all of us, in one way or another, are subject to this domestic criticism, from which not the most exalted can escape, I say, lucky is the man whose servants speak well of him.
CHAPTER XVI. IN WHICH MR. SHERRICK LETS HIS HOUSE IN FITZROY SQUARE. TN spite of the sneers of the Newcome Independent, and the Colonel's: | unlucky visit to his nurse's native place, he still remained in high favour in Park Lane; where the worthy gentleman paid almost daily visits, and was received with welcome and almost affection, at. least by the ladies and the children of the house. Who was it that. took the children to Astley's but Uncle Newcome? I saw him there. in the midst of a cluster of these little people, all children together. He laughed delighted at Mr. Merriman's jokes in the ring. He beheld the Battle of Waterloo with breathless interest, and was amazed amazed, by Jove, sir-at the prodigious likeness of the principal actor to the Emperor Napoleon, whose tomb he had visited on his return from India, as it pleased him to tell his little audience who sat clustering round him: the little girls, Sir Brian's daughters, holding each by a finger of his hands; young Masters Alfred and Edward clapping and hurraing by his side; while Mr. Clive and Miss Ethel sat in the back of the box enjoying the scene, but with that decorum which belonged to their superior age and gravity. As for Clive, he was in these matters much older than the grizzled old warrior his father. It did one good to hear the Colonel's honest laughs at Clown's jokes, and to see the tenderness and simplicity with which he watched over this happy brood of young ones. How lavishly did he supply them with sweetmeats between the acts! There he sat in the midst of them, and ate an orange himself with perfect satisfaction. I wonder what sum of money Mr. Barnes Newcome would have taken to sit for five hours with his young brothers and sisters in a public box at the theatre and eat an orange in the face of the audience? When little Alfred went to Harrow, you may be sure Colonel Newcome and Clive galloped over to see the little man and tipped him royally. What money is better bestowed than that of a schoolboy's tip? How the kindness is recalled by the recipient in after days! It blesses him that gives and him that takes. Remember how happy such benefactions made you in your own early time, and go off on the very first fine day and tip your nephew at school!
The Colonel's organ of benevolence was so large that he would