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THERE were few busier diplo- at, but liked him ; while Bella matists in Europe during these gave him all her confidence, and eventful days of Naples than Skef- admired him greatly. And a very fington Damer ; and if England nice thing it is of young ladies, and had not her share of influence, it never to be too much commended, was no fault of his. He sent off how they will hang on the words, special messengers every day. He and store up the sayings, and rewrote to F. 0. in a cipher, of peat the opinions of the man who which it was said no one had the prefers them. It is not exactly key; and he telegraphed in mys- Love, no more than gooseberry-wine tical language to the Admiral at is chainpagne, but it effervesces Malta, which went far to persuade and exhilarates, and I'm not sure the gallant seaman that his corre- if it does not agree very well with spondent was a maniac. He be- weak constitutions, sieged the Court and the ministerial Now Skeffy told Bella every offices, and went home to receive morning in the most mysterious deputations from the wildest lead- manner how he had checkmated ers of the extreme democracy. He Bresson, the French Minister, and was determined, as he said, to outwitted Caraffa and the Cardinal “know the truth," and he sur Riario. They never could make rounded himself for that purpose out whence he had his information. with a mass of inextricable perfidy The Queen had spent a fortune in and falsehood; and yet, with all paying spies to watch him, but he these occupations, he passed his out - maneuvred them all. Noentire mornings with the Lyles, body knew — nobody ever could and dined with them every day. know—the resources of his craft;
It was a great pleasure, as Sir and indeed, except Louis Napoleon, Arthur said, to be “behind the there was not a man in Europe scenes ;” and really the phrase did had fathomed the depth of his not ill represent their position, for astuteness. “I have to pretend," they knew as much of what was would he say, “ to be a light, flipgoing on upon the stage as people pant, volatile creature, given up to usually do who have only an occa- pleasure, fond of play, of the balsional glimpse, and that from a let, and all that sort of thing. I wrong point of view. Sir Arthur, let them hear every day of the however, believed Skeffy to be the sums I have lost at lansquenet, rising diplomatist, the embryo Tal- and the enormous extravagance of leyrand of Great Britain ; and it was my daily life, but they don't know strange to see an old, crafty, case. what goes on here," and he would hardened man of the world listen- tap his forehead ; “they never susing with implicit trustfulness to pect what plots and plans and mathe hare-brained speculations of a chinations are at work within that young fellow, whose solitary pre- brain they imagine to be abantensions were, that he sent off doned to enjoyment. It will come his daily balderdash marked “On out one of these days, dearest Her Majesty's Service," and sealed Bella; they'll know who did it' with the royal arms.
yet.” And this was a very favourite Lady Lyle only half believed in phrase with him, and Bella caught him; and as for Alice, she laughed it up, and talked of the people who had not“ done it," and never to you without an answer, and he could “ do it," and hinted at one declares that if this be not replied whom an ignorant world would to he will address the Chief Secreawake one morning to see had tary at home." “ done it,” and “done it” to per- “Tell the fellow that a Damer fection.
is inaccessible to a menace; tell To hear him talk, you would say him that his stupid letter would that he rather liked the mistaken be promptly referred back to me; estimate the world had formed of and say that, so far as this peninhim ; that it was one of those ex- sula is concerned, I am Ê. 0., cellent jokes whose point lay in and to be propitiated by humility, a surprise ; and what a surprise and not outraged by a threat." would that be one of these days “But if it be really true-if the when he came forth in his true poor fellow should be imprisoned character, the great political genius for nothing, Skeff ?” of Europe! Bella believed it all ; “If so I shall liberate him;" and not that she was deficient in com- as he spoke he arose and walked mon sense, or wanting in discern- the room with a haughty stride ment; but she liked him—there and a head erect. “Writewas the secret. She had made her investment in a certain stock, and “Sir, -I am directed by H. M.'s would persist in regarding it as a Chargé d'Affaires '-or rather say most profitable venture; and thus 'The undersigned has to acknowwould they pass their mornings—a ledge the receipt of '—what's his strange way to make love, perhaps; name?". but that passion, etherealise it how “ Samuel M'Gruder.” you may, trades on some one form “ What a name ! 'of Samuel or other of selfishness; and all these M'Gruder's letter; and although he endearments were blended with the takes exception to the passages thought of how happy they should marked A and B, and requires exbe when they were great people. planation of the paragraph C, begin
Skeify would bring with him, be- ning at the words, “nor can I, "and sides, a whole bagful of papers, de- ending at, “ British subject”spatches, and "private and confi- You'll have to copy out the whole dentials," and suchlike, and make of his despatch, Bella, and then I Bella copy out pages for him of shall mark the passages—where that dreary trash, which, like a bad was I ?” tapestry, has served no other pur- “British subject.” pose than to employ the small mind “Yes, I remember. “Yet that, that devised it. And he would sit conceding much to the feelings' there, with his eyes closed, and —no, that is too familiar-making dictate to her endless “ brief allowances for an irritabilityglances" at the present aspect of "I don't think you can say that, the Italian question, till the poor Skeff. He has now been seven weeks girl was half worn out between the in confinement." importance of her task and its “Lucky dog that he has not been weariness.
seven weeks worked almost to a “What's that you are poring over, skeleton, like me, with the cares of Bella ?” he asked, as she read over a whole nation on my head, and the a somewhat lengthy letter.
eyes of Europe upon me.” “It is the complaint of an Eng- “ Just let me say that you will lishman at being detained by the look into his case, and do your best authorities, first at Palermo and to get him out of prison." again here: he was a mere traveller, “With all my heart. It is fearhe asserts, and not in any way en- fully undignified; but let it go, and gaged in political schemes. He I'll send off a messenger to the Presays that this is his fourth appeal fetto Lanzi to deliver up the prison
er M'Gruder to me to-morrow them his presence was an agis morning, and we will interrogate that all parties would know how to him here."
respect: he was, in fact, as he put it, The roll of a drum was now heard a sort of emblematised British lion, in the street without, and from the who, with folded paws, was about balcony could be seen an immense to take an airing for his own amusecrowd of people moving in front of ment. an infantry regiment, who marched “As we drive along," whispered past travel-stained and disordered, he to Bella, "just watch the recog. and with an indescribable some- nitions fellows will throw me-a thing in their air that indicated, it look, a gesture, a sign, scarcely permight be defeat, it might be disaf- ceptible, but enough to say, "Your fection.
Excellency may depend upon us.'” “ Here's strange news," said Sir And Bella felt a certain elation Arthur, as he joined them. “The at the thought that she was the landlord tells me Garibaldi has chosen one of a man so eminent and landed in Calabria, near Reggio, so distinguished. And oh dear, beaten the royal troops, and is in let us not be severe upon her for it! full march on Naples. The regi. If we could not make occasional ment that you see there were order- swans of our geese in this life, we ed off to reinforce the advanced should be very ill off in matters of guard, but cried out · Vive Gari- ornithology. Away they drove baldi!' and have been now recalled, down the Chiaja and up the Toleand are to be sent into the fortress.” do, where, amidst wild yells and
“ Look !” cried Skeff; “ here cries for the King, and at times for comes the artillery after them, a Garibaldi, a dense mass of people strong proof that they don't trust surged and swayed like a mighty these fellows. Bella, I must write monster awaking out of slumber off the news at once.”
and arousing to deeds of violence. “Let me first finish about M'Gru- The populace seemed intoxicated, der," said she, as she sat down to but not with wine or with joy, the table.
but a sort of dare-devil reckless“I wish we were all safe back in ness which sought somethingEngland," said Lady Lyle, as she anything—to vent its passion upon. came up.
Lines of men linked arm in arm, “I was just thinking the very and filling the full breadth of the same thing," said Sir Arthur. street, marched rapidly on, chant
“ Have no fears," interposed ing wild songs; and it was strange Skeffy; “I shall order up the fleet to mark in these the old grey-headed from Malta. You shall have a frigate feeble man coupled with the stal
-a line-of-battle ship, if you like it wart youth, or perhaps the mere better.”
boy. Here and there were groups “I'd much rather we had post- listening to some street-orator, now horses and an escort," said Lady greeting his words with a cheer, Lyle.
now with a burst of vociferous “Would that be possible, Damer ?" laughter; and through all these
“All is possible, Sir Arthur, to went other men, busily, eagerly, power properly exercised. I'll go whispering to this, conferring with down at once to the War-Office and that, now exerting every effort of see what can be done.”
persuasiveness, now seeming to em“If it were perfectly safe,” said ploy incentives to vengeance. Bella," I should like to drive through Except the carriage where sat the streets and see what is going on; the Lyles, not another vehicle of any and as Alice refuses to go out, we kind was to be seen; and as the are just enough for one carriage." horses moved slowly along through The project was agreed to, all the the dense crowd, many a rude jest more readily that Skeff assured and droll comment was passed upon
the “matti Inglesi”—the mad Eng- tions, that when a servant entered lish-who had taken such a time the room to present the card of a and place for a carriage airing. Nor visitor, she was unaware of his prewas the courage of the act unrecog- sence till he had twice addressed nised, and twice or thrice a wild her. cheer proclaimed wbat they thought “It cannot be for us," said she, of a nation whose very ladies were looking at the name. "I do not above all fear and timidity.
know the Count d'Amalfi." The most striking feature in all “He hopes to be better rememthis tumult was, that soldiers were bered as Mr Maitland," said that seen everywhere mixed up with the gentleman, as, pushing wide the civilians ; not merely furloughed half-open door, he approached her men in undress, but soldiers in full and made a low bow. uniform and perfectly armed, but The servant had time to retire yet displaying, sometimes ostenta- and shut the door before Alice had tiously, by the way they carried their sufficiently recovered herself to ask shakoes or their bayonets, or wore Maitland to be seated. So coldly their coats open and unbuttoned, was the request conveyed, howthat they no longer respected the ever, that if he was not deterclaims of discipline.
mined on having an interview, he Patrols on foot or horseback would have affected to make his would be met too; but the men, call an offer of some sort of attenunder no restraint, would not only tion, and taken his leave almost on exchange words of greeting with the instant. Far different were his the mob, but accept offers of wine present intentions; and as he deor cigars; and it was seen that the posited his hat and cane, and took officers were either powerless to his place in front of her, there was prevent or unwilling to curb this a methodical slowness that indi. indiscipline.
cated purpose. “What does all this portend, “I am almost afraid to tell you, Damer?" asked Sir Arthur. “We Mr Maitland,” she began," that I hear cheers for the King; but all I gave orders to be denied to all visisee seems to threaten his down- tors. They have all gone out to
drive, and " Skeffy was puzzled, and a wiser “ It was for that reason I took man might have been puzzled; but this opportunity to call, madam," his diplomatic instincts forbade such said he, very quietly, but in a tone a humiliating ayowal, and so he of some decision. “I desired to see merely muttered something to the you all alone.” purport, that "We” had not fully “Not, surely, if you were aware determined what was to be the that I did not receive ?" issue; and that till "We" had made “Do not oblige me to convict up our minds, all these signs and myself, Mrs Trafford ; for I, too, portents were mere street-noises. shall be almost afraid to tell the
If I am not perfectly just to truth," and a very faint smile moved him in this rendering of his expla- his mouth as he spoke. nation, I am at least merciful to my “But, as I conjecture, you would reader; and, leaving the party to fol. like to meet my father- " low out the exploration, I shall re- “My visit at present is for you." turn to the drawing-room they had said he, interrupting; "and as I just quitted, and where Alice now cannot assure myself how long the sat alone, and deep in thought. opportunity may last, let me profit The yells and cries that filled the by it.” street outside, and the continual She became very pale; some fear uproar that resounded through the shecertainly felt : but there was more city, were all unheeded by her; and of anger than fear in the thought so immersed was she in her reflec- that this man was, by his manner,
almost asserting a right to see and Maitland gave no heed to the speak with her.
irony of her tone, but went on. “If "Mr Maitland is too accom- I was conscious of my own unplished a man of the world to need worthiness, I had certain things in being told, that when a person has my favour which served to give me declared an indisposition to receive courage-not the least of these was it is usually deemed enough to your brother's friendship." secure privacy."
"Mark was always proud of be“Usually-yes; but there are ing Mr Maitland's friend," said she, occasions which are not in this cate- rather touched by this haughty gory.”
man's humility. “And do you mean to say this “That friendship became very is one of them, sir?” said she, precious to me when I knew his haughtily.
sister. Indeed, from that hour I “Most certainly, madam, this is loved him as a brother.” one of them !” As Maitland said “ Forgive me, sir, if I interrupt this he saw the colour mount to her you. At the time to which you alface; and he saw, too, how, now lude we would seem to have been that her proud spirit was, as it were, living in a perfect realm of misconchallenged, she would not think of ceptions. Surely it is not necessary retreat, but brave him, whatever to revive them: surely, now that we might come of it.
have awoke, we need not take up “ Indeed !” said she, with a the clue of a dream to assist our rescornful laugh-"indeed!” and flections." the last syllable was drawn out in “ What may be the misconcepan accent of most insolent irony. tions you refer to ?” said he, with
“Yes, madam," he continued, a voice much shaken and agitated. in a tone perfectly calm and unim- “ One was, it would appear, that passioned; “our last relations to Mr Maitland made me certain progether fully warrant me to say so fessions. Another, that he wasmuch ; and however presumptuous that he had—that is, that he held it might have been in me to aspire - I cannot say it, sir ; and as I did, the gracious favour with I beg you to spare me what a rash which I was listened to seemed to temper might possibly provoke me plead for me."
to utter.' “What favour do you speak of, “Say all that you will ; I loved sir?"said she, with evident agitation. you, Alice."
“I must not risk the faint hope “You will force me to leave you, that remains to me, by recalling sir, if you thus forget yourself.” what you may not wish to remem- “I loved you, and I love you ber; but I may at least ask you to still. Do not go, I beg, I implore bring to mind a certain evening- you. As the proof of how I love you, a certain night—when we walked I declare that I know all that you together in the garden at Tilney." have heard of me, all that you have
"I do not think I am likely to said of me; every harsh and cruel forget it, sir : some anonymous slan- word. Ay, Alice, I have read them derer has made it the pretext of a as your hand traced them, and most insolent calumny. I do not, through all, I love you." I need not say, connect you in any “I will not stoop to ask how, sir; way with this base scandal ; but it but I will say that the avowal has is enough to make the incident the not raised you in my estimation." reverse of a pleasant memory." “If I have not your love, I will
“And yet it was the happiest of never ask for your esteem. I wanted my whole life."
your affection, as a man wants that “It is unfortunate, sir, that we which would make his life a realshould look back to an event with ity. I could have worked for you, I feelings so diametrically opposite." could have braved scores of things