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felt the exhilaration of enfranchise- pended on it, and took no notice of ment. But the next moment his the stealthy glances thrown at him. eye sought Jack Wentworth's face, “I'll get a light in the hall,” said which was so superbly careless, so in- Jack; “ good evening to you," and different to him and his intentions, he was actually going away. and the vagabond's soul succumbed “Look here," said Wodehouse, with a canine fidelity to his master. hastily, in his beard; “I ain't á Had Jack shown any interest, any man to forsake old friends. If excitement in the matter, his sway Jack Wentworth does not mean might have been doubtful ; but in anything unreasonable or against a proportion to the sense of his own fellow's honour - Hold your insignificance and unimportance tongue, Waters; by Jove! I know Wodehouse's allegiance confirmed my friends. I know you would itself. He looked wistfully towards never have been one of them but the hero of his imagination, as that for Jack Wentworth. He's not the skilful personage selected his cigar. common sort, I can tell you. He's He would rather have been kicked the greatest swell going, by Jove!” again than left alone, and left to cried Jack's admiring follower, "and himself. After all, it was very true through thick and thin he's stood what Jack Wentworth said. They by me. I ain't going to forsake might be a bad lot, but they were him now—that is, if he don't want gentlemen (according to Wode. anything that goes against a fellow's house's understanding of the word) honour," said the repentant prodiwith whom he had been associ- gal, again sinking the voice which ated ; and beatific visions of peers he had raised for a moment. As he and baronets and honourables, spoke he looked more wistfully than among whom his own shabby per- ever towards his leader, who said son had figured, without feeling “Pshaw !” with an impatient gesmuch below the common level, ture, and put back his cigar. crossed his mind with all the sweet- “This room is too hot for anyness which belongs to a past state thing," said Jack; “but don't open of affairs. Yet it was still in his the window, I entreat of you. I power to recall these vanishing hate to assist at the suicide of a glories. Now that he was rich, and set of insane insects. For heaven's could “cut a figure” among the sake, Frank, mind what you're doobjects of his admiration, was that ing. As for Mr Wodehouse's rebrilliant world to be closed upon mark,” said Jack, lightly, “I trust him for ever by his own obstinacy? I never could suggest anything As these thoughts rushed through which would wound his keen sense bis mind, little Rosa's beauty and of honour. I advise you to marry natural grace came suddenly to his and settle, as I am in the habit of recollection. Nobody need know advising young men; and if I were how he had got his pretty wife, and to add that it would be seemly a pretty wife she would be-a crea- to make some provision for your ture whom nobody could help ad sisters— ' miring. Wodehouse looked wist “Stop there !” said the Curate, fully at Jack Wentworth, who took who had taken no part in the scene no notice of him as he chose his up to this moment. He had stood cigar. Jack was not only the ideal behind rather contemptuously, deof the clumsier rogue, but he was termined to have nothing to do with the doorkeeper of that paradise of his ungrateful and ungenerous prodisreputable nobles and ruined gen- tégé. But now an unreasonable tlemen which was Wodehouse's idea impulse forced him into the disof good society; and from all this cussion. “The less that is said on was he about to be banished ? Jack that part of the subject the better," Wentworth selected his cigar with he said, with some natural heat. as much care as if his happiness de- “I object to the mixing up of VOL XCVI.NO. DLXXXV.
names which—which no one here night, parson, I don't owe much to has any right to bandy about " you," and hastened out close upon
“That is very true," said Mr the heels of his patron and leader, Proctor ; “but still they have their All the authorities of Carlingford, rights," the late Rector added after the virtuous people who conferred a pause. “We have no right to station and respectability by a look, stand in the way of their—their sank into utter insignificance in interest, you know.” It occurred presence of Jack. His admiring to Mr Proctor, indeed, that the sug- follower went after him with a gestion was on the whole a sensible swell of pride. He was a poor one. “Even if they were to-to enough rogue himself, hustled and marry, you know, they might still abused by everybody, an unsuccessbe left unprovided for," said the ful and shabby vagabond, notwithlate Rector. “I think it is quite standing his new fortune; but Jack just that some provision should be was the glorified impersonation of made for that."
cleverness and wickedness and tri. And then there was a pause. umph to Wodehouse. He grew inFrank Wentworth was sufficiently solent when he was permitted to aware after his first start of indig- put his arm through that of his nation that he had no right to in- hero, and went off with him trying terfere, as Mr Proctor said, between to copy, in swagger and insolence, the Miss Wodehouses and their his careless step and well-bred interest. He had no means of pro- ease. Perhaps Jack Wentworth viding for them, of setting them felt a little ashamed of himself as above the chances of fortune. He he emerged from the gate of the reflected bitterly that it was not in Rectory with his shabby and dishis power to offer a home to Lucy, reputable companion. He shrugged and through her to her sister. What his shoulders slightly as he looked he had to do was to stand by back and saw Gerald and Frank silently, to suffer other people to coming slowly out together. “ Codiscuss what was to be done for the raggio !” said Jack to himself, “it woman whom he loved, and whose is I who am the true philanthropist. name was sacred to him. This was Let us do evil that good may come.” a stretch of patience of which he Notwithstanding, he was very thankwas not capable. “I can only say ful not to be seen by his father, who again," said the Curate, “that I had wished to consult him as a man think this discussion has gone of the world, and had shown cerfar enough. Whatever matters of tain yearnings towards him, which, business there may be that re- to Jack's infinite surprise, awakquire arrangement had better be ened responsive feelings in his own settled between Mr Brown and Mr unaccustomed bosom. He was half Waters. So far as private feeling ashamed of this secret movement goes
of natural affection, which, cer“Never fear, I'll manage it," tainly, nobody else suspected; but said Jack Wentworth, “as well as it was with a sensation of relief a dozen lawyers. Private feeling that he closed the Rectory gate behas nothing to do with it. Have hind him, without having encouna cigar, Wodehouse? We'll talk it tered the keen, inquiring, suspicious over as we walk home," said the glances of the Squire. The others condescending potentate. These dispersed according to their pleawords dispersed the assembly which sure-Mr Waters joining the party no longer had any object. As Jack up-stairs, while Mr Proctor followed Wentworth sauntered out, his faith- Jack Wentworth and Wodehouse ful follower pressed through the to the door with naïve natural curiothers to join him. Wodehouse osity. When the excellent man was himself again. He gave a sulky recollected that he was listening to nod to the Curate, and said," Good- private conversation, and met Wodehouse's look of sulky insolence, he to do something in it-to be good turned back again, much fluttered for something and with your faand disturbed. He had an interest culties, Gerald!” cried the admirin the matter, though the two in ing and regretful brother. "Can whose hands it now lay were the abstract right in an institution, if last whom he would have chosen as that is what you aim at, be worth confidants; and to do him justice, the sacrifice of your existence—your he was thinking of Lucy only in his power of influencing your fellowdesire to hear what they decided creatures ?" This Mr Wentworth upon. “Something might happen said, being specially moved by the to me," he said to himself; "and, circumstances in which he found even if all was well, she would be himself-for, under any other conhappier not to be wholly dependent ditions, such sentiments would have upon her sister;" with which self- produced the warmest opposition exculpatory reflection, Mr Proctor in his Anglican bosom. But he was slowly followed the others into the so far sympathetic that he could drawing-room. Gerald and Frank, be tolerant to his brother who had who were neither of them disposed gone to Rome. for society, went away together. “I know what you mean,” said They had enough to think of, with. Gerald ; "it is the prevailing theory out much need of conversation, and in England that all human insti. they had walked half-way down tutions are imperfect. My dear Grange Lane before either spoke. Frank, I want à Church which is Then it was Frank who broke the not a human institution. In Engsilence abruptly with a question land it seems to be the rule of faith which had nothing to do with the that every man may believe as he business in which they had been pleases. There is no authority engaged.
either to decide or to punish. If * And what do you mean to do?" you can foresee what that may said Frank, suddenly. It was just lead us to, I cannot. I take refuge as they came in sight of the grace in the true Church, where alone ful spire of St Roque's; and, per- there is certainty-where,” said the haps, it was the sight of his own convert, with a heightened colour church which roused the Perpetual and a long-drawn breath, “there is Curate to think of the henceforth authority clear and decisive. In aimless life of his brother. “I England you believe what you will, don't understand how you are to and the result will be one that I at give up your work. To- night least fear to contemplate; in Rome even "
we believe what we must,” said “I did not forget myself,” said Gerald. He said the words slowly, Gerald ; "every man who can dis- bowing his head more than once tinguish good from evil has a right with determined submission, as if to advise his fellow-creature. I bending under the yoke. “Frank, have not given up that common it is salvation !” said the new Caprivilege-don't hope it, Frank," tholic, with the emphasis of a desaid the martyr, with a momentary spairing hope. And for the first smile.
time Frank Wentworth perceived “If I could but understand why what it was which had driven his it is that you make this terrible brother to Rome. sacrifice !” said the Curate—“No, “I understand you now," said the I don't want to argue-of course, Perpetual Curate; “it is because you are convinced. I can under- there is no room for our conflicting stand the wish that our unfortunate doctrines and latitude of belief. Indivision had never taken place; stead of a Church happily so far but I can't understand the sacrifice imperfect, that a man can put his of a man's life and work. Nothing life to the best account in it, withis perfect in this world; but at least out absolutely delivering up his intellect to a set of doctrines, you difficult questions. Can your Church seek a perfect Church, in which, for explain why one man is happy and a symmetrical system of doctrine, another miserable ?-why one has you lose the use of your existence!” everything and abounds, and the Mr Wentworth uttered this opinion other loses all that is most precious with all the more vehemence, that in life? My sister Mary, for exit was in direct opposition to his ample,” said the Curate," she seems own habitual ideas ; but even his to bear the cross for our family. veneration for his “Mother” yield Her children die and yours live. ed for the moment to his strong Can you explain to her why? I sense of his brother's mistake. have heard her cry out to God to
“It is a hard thing to say,” said know the reason, and He made no Gerald, “but it is true. If you answer. Tell me, have you the but knew the consolation, after interpretation ?” cried the young years of struggling among the pro- man, on whom the hardness of his blems of faith, to find one's self at own position was pressing at the last upon a rock of authority, of moment. They went on together certainty-one holds in one's hand in silence for a few minutes, at last the interpretation of the without any attempt on Gerald's enigma,' said Gerald. He looked part to answer. “You accept up to the sky as he spoke, and the explanation of the Church breathed into the serene air a wistful in respect to doctrines," said the lingering sigh. If it was certainty Curate, after that pause," and conthat echoed in that breath of un- sent that her authority is sufficient, satisfied nature, the sound was sadly and that your perplexity is over out of concord with the sentiment. — that is well enough, so far His soul, notwithstanding that ex- as it goes: but outside lies a pression of serenity, was still as world in which every event is an wistful as the night.
enigma, where nothing that comes “Have you the interpretation ?” offers any explanation of itself; said his brother; and Frank, too, where God does not show himself looked up into the pure sky above, always kind, but by times awful, with its stars which stretched over terrible-a God who smites and them serene and silent, arching over does not spare. It is easy to make the town that lay behind, and of a harmonious balance of doctrine ; which nobody knew better than he but where is the interpretation the human mysteries and wonderful of life?” The young priest unanswerable questions. The heart looked back on his memory, and of the Curate ached to think how recalled, as if they had been in many problems lay in the darkness, a book, the daily problems with over which that sky stretched silent, which he was so well acquainted. making no sign. There were the As for Gerald, he bowed his head sorrowful of the earth, enduring a little, with a kind of reverence, as their afflictions, lifting up pitiful if he had been bowing before the hands, demanding of God in their shrine of a saint. bereavements and in their miseries “I have had a happy life," said the reason why. There were all the elder brother. "I have not the inequalities of life, side by side, been driven to ask such questions evermore echoing dumbly the same for myself. To these the Church awful question ; and over all shone has but one advice to offer : Trust the calm sky which gave no answer. God." “Have you the interpretation ?” he “ We say so in England," said said. “Perhaps you can reconcile Frank Wentworth; "it is the grand freewill and predestination — the scope of our teaching. Trust God. need of a universal atonement and He will not explain Himself, nor the existence of individual virtue ? can we attempt it. When it is cerBut these are not to me the most tain that I must be content with
this answer for all the sorrows of of the family. As he went up to life, I am content to take my doc- his own room, a momentary spasm trines on the same terms,” said the of doubt came upon the new convert Perpetual Curate ;-and by this whether, perhaps, he was making time they had come to Miss Went- a sacrifice of his life for a mistake. worth's door. After all, perhaps He hushed the thought forcibly it was not Gerald, except so far as as it rose; such impulses were no he was carried by a wonderful force longer to be listened to. The same of human sympathy and purity of authority which made faith certain soul, who was the predestined priest decided every doubt to be sin.
Next morning the Curate got up dubious light brightened in the with anticipations which were far skies. Unawares, he had been from cheerful, and a weary sense of wondering never to receive any the monotony and dulness of life. token of sympathy, any word of He had won his little battle, it was encouragement from those for whom true; but the very victory had re- he had made so many exertions. moved that excitement which an. When he had read Lucy's letter, swered in the absence of happier the aspect of affairs changed consistimulants to keep up bis heart and derably. To be sure nothing that courage. After a struggle like that she had said or could say made in which he had been engaged, it any difference in the facts of the was hard to come again into the case; but the Curate was young, peaceable routine without any par- and still liable to those changes of ticular hope to enliven or happiness atmosphere which do more for an to cheer it, which was all he had at imaginative mind than real revolupresent to look for in his life, and it tions. He read the letter several was harderstillto feel the necessity of times over as he lingered through being silent, of standing apart from his breakfast, making on the whole Lucy in her need, of shutting up an agreeable meal, and finding himin his own heart the longing he had self repossessed of his ordinary towards her, and refraining himself healthful appetite. He even canfrom the desperate thought of unit- vassed the signature as much in ing his genteel beggary to hers. reading as Lucy had done in writThat was the one thing which must ing it-balancing in his mind the not be thought of, and he subdued maidenly “truly yours” of that himself with an impatient sigh, and subscription with as many ingenicould not but wonder, as he went ous renderings of its possible meandown-stairs, whether, if Gerald had ing, as if Lucy's letter had been been less smoothly guided through articles of faith. "Truly mine," the perplexing paths of life, he he said to himself, with a smile : would have found time for all the which indeed meant all a lover difficulties which had driven him to could require; and then paused, as take refuge in Rome. It was with if he had been Dr Lushington or this sense of hopeless restraint and Lord Westbury, to inquire into the incapacity, which is perhaps of all real force of the phrase. For after sensations the most humbling, that all, it is not only when signing the he went down-stairs, and found Articles that the bond and pledge lying on his breakfast-table, the of subscription means more than is first thing that met his eye, the intended. When Mr Wentworth was note which Lucy Wodehouse had able to tear himself from the agreewritten to him on the previous able casuistry of this self-discussion, night. As he read it, the earth he got up in much better spirits to somehow turned to the sun; the go about his daily business. First