“Must one attain all this, O father, to be a follower of Christian Rosencreutz?”
She began the acquaintance with the usual remarks and queries that greet all the newly arrived in India. Mrs. Coventry had never been out here before? What did she think of the country, of an Indian station? How did she like the life? What an extraordinary contrast it seemed at first, and so on.
“He’s ill in bed with influenza.”
"India is a wicked place!" cried Rafella; "full of gossips and scandalmongers and evil-minded people. Why can't they leave one alone?"
Lady Hetherington looked splendidly handsome, he thought. She was dressed in maroon-coloured velvet, the hues of which lit up wonderfully in the firelight, and showed her classically shaped head and head-dress of velvet and black lace. Joyce had read much of Juno-looking women, but he had never realised the idea until he gazed upon that calm, majestic, imperious face, so clearly cold in outline, those large, solemnly radiant eyes, that splendidly moulded figure. The man who was bending over her chair as he addressed her--not deferentially, as Joyce felt that (not from her rank, but rather her splendid beauty) she should be addressed; on the contrary, rather flippantly--had a palpable curly wig, shaved cheeks, waxed moustache, and small white hands, which he rubbed gently together in front of him. He was Colonel Tapp, a Crimean hero, a very Paladin in war, but who had been worn by time, not into slovenry, but into coxcombry. Mr. Biscoe, the rector of the parish--a big, broad-shouldered, bull-headed man, with clean-cut features, wholesome complexion, and breezy whiskers: excellent parson as well as good cross-country man, and as kind of heart as keen at sport--stood by her ladyship's side, and threw an occasional remark into the conversation. Joyce could not see Lady Caroline Mansergh, but he heard her voice coming from a recess in the far side of the fireplace, and mingled with its bright, ringing Irish accent came the deep growling bass of Captain Frampton, adjutant of the depot battalion, and a noted amateur singer. The two gentlemen chatting with Lord Hetherington on the rug were magnates of the neighbourhood, representatives of county families centuries old. Mr. Boyd, a very good-looking young gentleman, with crisp wavy hair and pink-and-white complexion, was staring hard at nothing through his eyeglass, and wondering whether he could fasten one of his studs, which had come undone, without any one noticing him; and Mr. Biscoe was in conversation with a foxy-looking gentleman with sunken eyes, sharp nose, and keen, gleaming teeth, in whom Joyce recognised Mr. Gould, Lord Hetherington's London agent, who was in the habit of frequently running down on business matters, and whose room was always kept ready for him.
Rage and disgust almost choked him. "Bah!" he exclaimed furiously, "don't talk rot like that to me." He took a step forward, and seized her wrist. "Can you swear to me that the beast has never attempted to make love to you? Can you deny that he follows you about, and writes you notes, and gives you presents, and that you have never tried to stop him? The fellow is notorious,
The leading characters are Joseph Watts and Lucinda Haynes, who were first thrown together in 1805 when children on their way from North Carolina to the West, Joseph going to Tennessee and Lucinda moving with her parents to Kentucky. A few years later Joseph Watts began a search for Miss Haynes and found her near Salem, Kentucky. After a courtship such as none but lovers in a new country could experience, they were married and became the parents of the author who tells their story. Among other characters is Charles H. Webb, who gave Watts an account of his capture at Cave-in-Rock and escape from the outlaws and who later married the daughter of James Ford.
In a few days af-ter the bat-tle of Bull Run the Pres-i-dent went out to see the sol-diers. He made a kind speech, and told them to “cheer up,” for he “knew that bet-ter days were com-ing.”
Young Rutland’s true love, and Haddon’s heir.
“Me?” said she. “O, I ha’n’t got no husband nor no child to think about and hope for, and so I think of myself, and what I should like, honey. And sometimes I remember them varses,——here! you read ’em now,——Luke xiii. 11.”
But no help comes, for Rome herself is devastated by Hun and Vandal, and the empire is falling like a shattered world.
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