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a certain day certain parties had a conversation, of which the upshot was so and so. He guesses, of course, at a great deal of what took place; knowing the characters, and being informed at some time of their meeting. You do not suppose that I bribed the femme-dechambre, or that those two City gents, who sat in the same carriage with our young friends, and could not hear a word they said, reported their talk to me? If Clive and Ethel had had a coupé to themselves, I would yet boldly tell what took place, but the coupé was taken by other three young City gents who smoked the whole way.
“ Well, then," the bonnet begins close up to the hat, "tell me, sir, is it true that you were so very much épris of the Miss Freemans at Rome; and that afterwards you were so wonderfully attentive to the third Miss Baliol ? Did you draw her portrait? You know you drew her portrait. You painters always pretend to admire girls with auburn hair, because Titian and Raphael painted it. Has the Fornarina red hair? Why, we are at Croydon, I declare !"
“ The Fornarina”-the hat replies to the bonnet, " if that picture at the Borghese Palace be an original, or a likeness of her-is not a handsome woman, with vulgar eyes and mouth, and altogether a most mahogany-coloured person. She is so plain, in fact, I think that very likely it is the real woman; for it is with their own fancies that men fall in love,-or rather every woman is handsome to the lover. You know how old Helen must have been."
“I don't know any such thing, or anything about her. Who was Helen ?” asks the bonnet; and indeed she did not know.
“It's a long story, and such an old scandal now, that there is no use in repeating it," says Clive.
“ You only talk about Helen because you wish to turn away the conversation from Miss Freeman," cries the young lady" from Miss Baliol, I mean."
“We will talk about whichever you please. Which shall we begin to pull to pieces ?” says Clive. You see, to be in this carriage-to be actually with her--to be looking into those wonderful lucid eyes
to see her sweet mouth dimpling, and hear her sweet voice ringing with its delicious laughter—to have that hour and a half his own, in spite of all the world-dragons, grandmothers, convenances, the future
—made the young fellow so happy, filled his whole frame and spirit with a delight so keen, that no wonder he was gay, and brisk, and lively.
“And so you knew of my goings-on ?” he asked. Oh me! they were at Reigate by this time; there was Gatton Park flying before. them on the wings of the wind.
ás I know of a number of things," says the bonnet, nodding with ambrosial curls.
. And you would not answer the second letter I wrote to you?”
“We were in great perplexity. One cannot be always answering "young gentlemen's letters. I had considerable doubt about answering a note I got from Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square," says the lady's chapeau. “No, Clive, we must not write to one another,” she continued more gravely, “or only very, very seldom. Nay, my meeting you here to-day is by the merest chance I am sure; for when I mentioned at Lady Fareham's the other evening that I was going to see papa at Brighton to-day, I never for one moment thought of seeing you in the train. But as you are here, it can't be helped; and I may as well tell you that there are obstacles."
“What, other obstacles ?” Clive gasped out.
“ Nonsense--you silly boy! No other obstacles but those which always have existed, and must. When we parted—that is, when you left us at Baden, you knew it was for the best. You had your profession to follow, and could not go on idling about about a family of sick people and children. Every man has his profession, and you yours, as you would have it. We are so nearly allied that we maywe may like each other like brother and sister almost. I don't know what Barnes would say if he heard me? Wherever you and your father are, how can I ever think of you but but you know how? I always shall, always. There are certain feelings we have which I hope never can change; though, if you please, about them I intend never to speak any more. Neither you nor I can alter our conditions, but must make the best of them. You shall be a fine clever painter; and I,who knows what will happen to me? I know what is going to happen to-day; I am going to see papa and mamma, and be as happy as I can till Monday morning."
“I know what I wish would happen now," said Clive,--they were going screaming through a tunnel.
6 What?" said the bonnet in the darkness; and the engine was roaring so loudly, that he was obliged to put his head quite close to say
“I wish the tunnel would fall in and close upon us, or that we might travel on for ever and ever.”
Here there was a great jar of the carriage, and the lady's-maid, and I think Miss Ethel, gave a shriek. The lamp above was so dim that the carriage was almost totally dark. No wonder the lady's-maid was frightened ! but the daylight came streaming in, and all poor Clive's wishes of rolling and rolling on for ever were put an end to by the implacable sun in a minute.
Ah, why was it the quick train ? Suppose it had been the parliamentary train ?-even that too would have come to an end. They came and said, “ Tickets, please," and Clive held out the three of their party-his, and Ethel's, and her maid's. I think for such a ride as that he was right to give up Greenwich. Mr. Kuhn was in waiting with a carriage for Miss Ethel. She shook hands with Clive, returning his pressure.
" I may come and see you ?” he said.
“ Bless my soul--they were staying at Miss Honeyman's!” Clive burst into a laugh. Why, he was going there too! Of course Aunt Honeyman had no room for him, her house being quite full with the other Newcomes.
It was a most curious coincidence their meeting; but altogether Lady Ann thought it was best to say nothing about the circumstance to grandmamma. I myself am puzzled to say which would have been the better course to pursue under the circumstances; there were so many courses open. As they had gone so far, should they go on farther together ? Suppose they were going to the same house at Brighton, oughtn't they to have gone in the same carriage, with Kuhn and the maid of course ? Suppose they met by chance at the station, ought they to have travelled in separate carriages. I ask any gentleman and father of a family, when he was immensely smitten with his present wife, Mrs. Brown, if he had met her travelling with her maid, in the mail, when there was a vacant place, what would he himself have done?
INJURED INNOCENCE. FROM CLIVE NEWCOME, Esq., TO LIEUT.-COL. NEWCOME, C.B.
“Brighton, June 12, 1866 M Y DEAREST FATHER,--As the weather was growing very hot at
IV Naples, and you wished I should come to England to see Mr. Binnie, I came accordingly, and have been here three weeks, and write to you from Aunt Honeyman's parlour at Brighton, where you ate your last dinner before embarking for India. I found your splendid remittance on calling in Fog Court, and have invested a part of the sum in a good horse to ride, upon which I take my diversion with other young dandies in the park. Florac is in England, but he has no need of your kindness. Only think! he is Prince de Montcontour now, the second title of the Duc d'Ivry's family; and M. le Comte de Florac is Duc d'Ivry in consequence of the demise of t'other old gentleman. I believe the late duke's wife shortened his life. Oh, what a woman! She caused a duel between Lord Kew and a Frenchman, which has in its turn occasioned all sorts of evil and division in families, as you shall hear.
“In the first place, in consequence of the duel and of incompatibility of temper, the match between Kew and E. N. has been broken off. I met Lord Kew at Naples with his mother and brother, nice quiet people as you would like them. Kew's wound and subsequent illness have altered him a good deal. He has become much more serious than he used to be ; not ludicrously so at all, but he says he thinks his past life has been useless and even criminal, and he wishes to change it. He has sold his horses, and sown his wild oats. He has turned quite a sober quiet gentleman.
“At our meeting he told me of what had happened between him and Ethel, of whom he spoke most kindly and generously, but avowing his opinion that they never could have been happy in married life. And now I think my dear old father will see that there may be another reason besides my desire to see Mr. Binnie, which has brought me tumbling back to England again. If need be to speak, I never shall have, I hope, any secrets from you." I have not said much about one which has given me the deuce's disquiet for ten
needlessly with reports of my griefs and woes.
“Well, when we were at Baden in September last, and E. and I wrote those letters in common to you, I daresay you can fancy what my feelings might have been towards such a beautiful young creature, who has a hundred faults, for which I love her just as much as for the good that is in her. I became dreadfully smitten indeed, and knowing that she was engaged to Lord Kew, I did as you told me you did once when the enemy was too strong for you -I ran away. I had a bad time of it for two or three months. At Rome, however, I began to take matters more easily, my naturally fine appetite returned, and at the end of the season I found myself uncommonly happy in the society of the Miss Baliols and the Miss Freemans ; but when Kew told me at Naples of what had happened, there was straightway a fresh eruption in my heart, and I was fool enough to come almost without sleep to London in order to catch a glimpse of the bright eyes of E. N.
“She is now in this very house upstairs with one aunt, whilst the other lets lodgings to her. I have seen her but very seldom indeed since I came to London, where Sir Brian and Lady Ann do not pass the season, and Ethel goes about to a dozen parties every week with old Lady Kew, who neither loves you nor me. Hearing E. say she was coming down to her parents at Brighton, I made so bold as to waylay her at the train (though I didn't tell her that I passed three hours in the waiting-room); and we made the journey together, and she was very kind and beautiful, and though I suppose I might just as well ask the Royal Princess to have me, I can't help hoping and longing and hankering after her. And Aunt Honeyman must have found out that I am fond of her, for the old lady has received me with a scolding. Uncle Charles seems to be in very good condition again. I saw him in full clerical feather at Madame de Montcontour's, a good-natured body who drops her h's,. though Florac is not aware of their absence. Pendennis and Warrington, I know, would send you their best regards. Pen is conceited, but much kinder in reality than he has the air of being. Fred Bayham is doing well, and prospering in his mysterious way.
“Mr. Binnie is not looking at all well ; and Mrs. Mack-well, as I know you never attack a lady behind her lovely back, I won't say a word of Mrs. Mack-but she has taken possession of Uncle James, and seems to me to weigh upon him somehow. Rosey is as pretty and good-natured as ever, and has learned two new songs ; but you see, with my sentiments in another quarter, I feel as it were guilty and awkward in company of Rosey and her mamma. They have become the very greatest friends with Bryanston Square, and Mrs. Mack is always citing Aunt Hobson as the most superior of women, in which opinion, I daresay, Aunt Hobson concurs.
“Good-by, my dearest father ; my sheet is full ; I wish I could put my arm in yours and pace up and down the pier with you, and tell you more and more. But you know enough now, and that I am your affectionate son always,
In fact, when Mr. Clive appeared at Steyne Gardens stepping out of the fly, and handing Miss Ethel thence, Miss Honeyman of course was very glad to see her nephew, and saluted him with a little embrace to show her sense of pleasure at his visit. But the next day, being Sunday, when Clive, with a most engaging smile on his countenance, walked over to breakfast from his hotel, Miss Honeyman would