"Well, it matters not," she said, impatiently, "so it be seven days. My father is there, and will quickly send a trusty person after me. Now, tell me, friend, who are the persons of chief consideration in this town?"
SCENES AT A HOLY WELL.
"And, Shonaidh," he went on, after a little, "just when your heart fails you is the time to play the soldier as truly as if you had a broadsword in your hand. Homesick you'll be—I'd be sorry for you if you were not—but remember, I went through it all before you, and, though I have done nothing for it, my time in the old Scots College was the best gift my father ever gave me. If God wills it, you will be a priest, but neither I nor yet the Rector will force you. You are going under the care of one of the best of men, a nobleman and one whose slightest word you should be proud to treasure; and, remember, the first duty of a gentleman who would some day command is to learn to obey."
"Indeed, he smiles a good deal at every one, for he is a very good-natured, amiable, and kindly man, and seems to think little of his wealth. I am sure he is dreadfully imposed upon--indeed, I have found out many instances of it. How happy he could make us if he would! dare say he would not miss the money which would make us comfortable. But I must not think of such a thing. No one could afford to give so much as it would be wise to marry on, and we never should be happy if we were not wise. I don't think Mr. Creswell has a trouble in the world, except his son Tom, and I am not sure that he is a trouble to him--for he doesn't talk much about himself--but I am quite sure he ought to be. The boy is as graceless, selfish, heartless a cub, I think, as ever lived. I remember your thinking him very troublesome and disobedient in school, and he certainly is not better at home, where he has many opportunities of gratifying his evil propensities not afforded him by school. He is very much afraid of me, short a time as I have been here, that is quite evident; and I am inclined to think one reason why Mr. Creswell likes my being here so much is the influence I exercise over Tom. Very likely he does not acknowledge that to himself as a reason, perhaps he does not even know it; but I can discern it, and also that it is a great relief to the girls. They are very kind to Tom, who worries their lives out, I am sure, when they are alone; but 'schoolmaster's daughter' was always an awful personage in the old days, and makes herself felt now very satisfactorily, though silently. I fancy Tom will turn out to be the crook in his father's lot when he grows up. He is an unmannerly, common creature, not to be civilised by all the comfort and luxury of home, or softened by all the gentleness and indulgence of his father. He is doing nothing just now; he did not choose to remain with papa's successor, and is running wild until he can be placed with a private tutor--some clergyman who takes only two or three pupils. Meantime, the coachman and the groom are his favourite associates, and the stable his resort of predilection.
“Well, the two men were apparently not on very good terms. Lowen is a speculator in quite a small way. Nevertheless, he has been able once or twice to score a coup off Davenheim in the market, though it seems they seldom or never actually met. It was a matter concerning some South American shares which led the banker to make his appointment.”
“I had planned to move to Athens,” continued the poet, “so my elder son could attend the Academy, but God saw fit to snatch him forever from me in the late war with the oriental barbarians.”
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