THIS story is a
simple analysis of one of the most dangerous phases of female
character ― a phase, alas! but too common in fashionable city life,
on both sides of the Atlantic.
I have seen with my own eyes the curious combination of
intellectual power and instability of purpose portrayed in Tiny
Harewood; I have watched with an aching heart the shifting
weaknesses and faint struggles for redemption described in these
pages; I have known women, equally and honestly critical of their
own faults, who, while capable of assuming the philosophical and
moral tone, occasionally adopted by my heroine, and displaying a
cool acumen and penetration of ethical questions, like her,
persistently "the wrong pursued." Gifted with physical and
mental attractions, although conscious of higher and nobler
aspirations, some appeared unable to resist the temptation of
exercising their perilous love of power, and accordingly drifted
hopelessly away into the shallows and quicksands of life,
extinguishing God's light in the soul by the myriad conventional
crimes which are under the shelter of social, but not within the
pale of moral, laws.
If the delineation of the chameleon nature of my English
heroine, and the gradual crucifixion of the higher purpose beneath
the destroying influence of a frivolous butterfly existence, enables
one American reader to detect in time
"That little rift within the lute
Which by and by will make the music mute,
And gently spreading, slowly silence all―"
the publication of this tale will not be in vain.
N. Y., May 1, 1873.
SHAKEN WITH THE WIND.
"We stand on either side the sea,
Stretch hands, blow kisses, sigh, and lean,
I toward you, you toward me ;
But what hears either save the keen
Gray sea between?"
A. C. SWINBURNE.
"Only I discern ―
Infinite passion, and the pain
Of finite hearts that yearn."
ON a bright frosty day in December, not many
years ago, the Boulogne steamer started from the
pier at Folkestone, containing among its passengers an English family bound for a six-months'
residence in Rome.
The leave-takings were all over; friends who
had accompanied the "outward bound" to the steamer had received
the last distinguishable farewell nod; all who were left behind were already
tired of waving their hands, and had, one by one,
with a single exception, departed from the pier.
Wilfred Lane still lingered. His eyes had been
fixed upon a fair young face until it could no
longer be distinguished. He had watched the
slight figure of a girl who was looking earnestly at
the receding pier, as she leant over the side of
the boat, with her hand over her eyes, shading
her face from the sun. And now the steamer
itself seemed like a moving black mass on the
At last the young man walked rapidly off the
pier, through the town, and, mounting the steep
hill beyond, turned his face once again towards
There was the "Queen of the Isles," already
looking much smaller, and ploughing her way
across the Channel with cruel rapidity. Soon she
appeared like a thick black post, which Wilfred
watched until it grew fainter and fainter, and at
last he could discern nothing at all.
And yet he could not bear to leave the spot.
He felt, while he stayed there, away from every
other human being, and looked out upon the sea
in the direction where he had last seen the steamer,
that he was nearer to Tiny Harewood than he
should be when he went back again into the town.
Besides this, Wilfred Lane felt a curious choking kind of sensation in his throat, which he
thought would get better if he remained in the
open air alone.
"Is human love the growth of human will?"
THE family on board the tidal boat in which
Wilfred Lane's interest was centred consisted of
his aunt and three cousins; and the journey to Rome was undertaken
on account of his attachment to the youngest daughter ― an attachment
which was warmly returned by the young lady
herself, but was unacceptable to the higher powers.
For many years Wilfred Lane had been in the
habit of frequenting Lady Harewood's house so
constantly that he had almost grown to look upon
it as his home. He was accustomed to do for her
and his cousins all those little offices which ladies
without near male relations are so glad to receive
from any man whom they regard in the light of a "tame cat," or a
cousin who will never step beyond certain limits, or claim any other reward for
his devotion than a kindly recognition of his services. His aunt had hitherto received Wilfred's
attentions as her rightful due. Was he not the
only son of her husband's young and foolish sister
who, in spite of all her prudent counsels, persisted
in refusing a wealthy unloved suitor in order to
marry a poor country clergyman, who had not
even the grace to live more than six months after
Wilfred's birth, but left his widow as sole legacy a
delicate little son, who must in future share with
her the income which had barely sufficed for her
own dress previous to this absurd love-match?
And had not Lady Harewood done her utmost to
supply a mother's place, ever since that same weak
silly creature cried herself into an early grave?
Did not Wilfred Lane owe his appointment in the
War Office to interest exerted by her lamented
In fact, Lady Harewood considered that she was
only adding one more to the many favours already
bestowed in allowing her nephew the free run of
her house, permitting him to escort herself and her
daughters to all the fêtes and balls of the season, to call
up her carriage at the opera, and to undertake those many hundred little duties which force
even the stoutest champions of woman's rights to
acknowledge the supremacy of man.
Wilfred Lane on his part was nothing loth to accept the situation, although anything more opposed
to his own character than that of his aunt's can
scarcely be conceived. Lady Harewood was weak
and frivolous, and the worldly maxims which she
occasionally uttered for the benefit of his cousins,
with the small amount of earnestness of which her
nature was capable, were sometimes almost more
than he could endure in silence. Placed by her
marriage in a position above the rest of her family,
which belonged to the trading class in the West
of England, Lady Harewood appeared to live in
constant dread of betraying it, and in order to disguise it she assumed what she believed to be the
correct airs of a lady of fashion, and a sorry sort of
figure she often made in consequence.
The three cousins were the silver lining to Wilfred's cloud, though there were moments when
Charlotte showed tendencies to devote herself to
the beau monde, like her mother; but they all inherited
something of their father's marvellous intellect and genial disposition, and no house could
fail to be agreeable which contained the bright and
fascinating presence of these girls.
Men of all sorts clustered round them, and they
made themselves agreeable to their own sex as
well; still there were ladies who had hard words
for the Miss Harewoods, and condemned them all
three as "sad flirts." For, long before Tiny was
eighteen, a well-known officer in the Life Guards
had made her conspicuous by his public attentions,
and gentle Belgravian voices were not slow to
whisper that by the time Tiny was as old as her sisters she would
have surpassed them both in the
art of coquetry.
These insinuations, of course, never reached
Wilfred's ear. He was regarded by the world
more as a brother than a cousin, and so indeed he
remained, until he learnt to distinguish between
the kindly pleasure with which he undertook to
ride or walk with Charlotte and Madeline, and the
different feelings he experienced when he found
Tiny's arm within his own. Then he felt no
longer a brother or mere cousin, for his pulse
quickened and his heart throbbed with a passion
unknown to such relationships. These were
dangerous times for Wilfred, but he did not shun
them, or think with any distinctness of that to
which they must ultimately lead.
As for Tiny, she was so full of life and spirits that
she seemed scarcely to notice any one save in a
passing way; everything and everybody appeared
to give her pleasure for the moment, no one had
power to arrest her for longer. The admiration of
Captain Clutterbuck amused her and gratified her
vanity, but it certainly never touched her heart.
And so her nineteenth year passed away, and during the following winter the Harewoods went for a
month to some old friends who lived near Windsor.
It was Tiny's first visit to The Cedars, but she
soon became a great favourite with both host and
hostess, and when the time came for her mother's departure, she had
decided (for Tiny generally decided for herself) on accepting Mrs. Wroughton's
invitation to spend the rest of the winter at Windsor. Her motives were never much scrutinized
by her mother, who was in this instance ready to
agree to the plan proposed, and content to lose her child's
companionship if by doing so she secured for Tiny the advantages which might accrue
from visiting in "the best society in the neighbourhood."
Though Lady Harewood had not the faintest
notion how to promote them, good matches for her daughters were the
end and aim of her existence. So she said good-by to Tiny with much
hope and little regret, and retired with Charlotte
and Madeline to Torquay, enjoying the satisfactory reflection that two daughters were much more
conveniently chaperoned than three, and that
Tiny's absence might even act beneficially for her
sisters' interest as well as her own.
"And barren corn makes bitter bread."
A. C. SWINBURNE.
" 'Tis strange to think, if we could fling aside
The mask and mantle that love wears from pride,
How much would be, we now so little guess,
Deep in each heart's undreamed, unsought recess;
The careless smile, like a gay banner borne,
The laugh of merriment, the lip of scorn, ―
And, for a cloak, what is there that can be
So difficult to pierce as gayety?
Too dazzling to be scanned, the haughty brow
Seems to hide something it would not avow;
These are the bars, the curtain to the breast.
That shuns a scrutiny."
L. E. LANDON.
NOW if the truth must be told, the society of
Mr. and Mrs. Wroughton did not constitute Tiny
Harewood's attraction to Windsor. She certainly
valued it as far as it went, nor was she by any
means insensible to the pleasures of a large country house, or unable to appreciate an establishment
containing among its most important members an "exquisite French cook."
Tiny had a wonderful capacity for the enjoyment of all material things, but her real inducement to remain at The Cedars consisted in the
presence of a certain Captain Foy, who was staying with a maiden aunt in a cottage just on the
outskirts of the park.
Captain Philip Foy had found Mr. Wroughton's
society agreeable enough before the Harewoods'
arrival, and since then had never lost an opportunity of coming to the house. If he had intended
to tear himself away from his invalid aunt before
he made Tiny's acquaintance, he certainly never
contemplated such a sacrifice afterwards. He
certainly knew of places where he could have
better shooting, and many with more congenial men companions, but it
pleased him better to remain at Windsor, and to see what impression he
could make upon the warm, subtle, and half-perverse nature of Tiny Harewood.
Of course Captain Foy never meant "anything
serious." To begin with, he considered himself
too poor to marry, and when he did commit that
fatal act he intended it to be a stepping-stone to his interests,
which a marriage with a Miss Harewood was not likely, in his opinion, to afford.
Unfortunately poor Tiny mistook Captain Foy's
intentions. His brilliant social and intellectual
qualities so completely captivated her that she soon
fell violently in love with him, and believed he
was equally so with her.
Tiny Harewood was no ordinary girl, and perversity was one of her chief characteristics. Making sure that she was loved, and not feeling
inclined to confess her own sentiments even to
herself, she so teased, tormented, and worried the usually
triumphant Captain Foy, that his love-making was often earnest enough, and once or
twice he was nearly tempted to propose to her in
spite of his firm resolution to keep within the limits which he had prescribed for himself.
One week followed another so rapidly, and the
time passed so quickly while every day brought
with it some mutual pleasure, that Easter arrived
without a word from Tiny respecting her return
A summons, however, from her mother came at
last, and though Captain Foy knew that Tiny's
visit, like everything else in this world, had come to an end, he
contented himself with being additionally tender, and even managed to kiss her in their
parting interview in the shrubbery.
Wilfred, the useful cousin Wilfred, came down
for Tiny and brought her back to London, which
already gave symptoms of a gay and early season, and where she found
her mother and sisters prepared for another campaign.
Tiny expected that before very long Captain
Foy would contrive to call at Grosvenor Crescent.
She knew it would be perfectly easy for him to
find a hundred excuses for doing so, but that
brave officer had no wish to put himself again in
temptation. He felt disposed to think that while
he had managed to amuse himself very pleasantly
during the winter, and enjoyed drawing out all
Tiny's exquisite coquetries, he had very mercifully
and wonderfully been kept within proper limits, in
not having positively made "a fool of himself" by
a definite offer of marriage.
Recognizing the nearness of the danger, however, he determined to avoid Miss Tiny Harewood
in future, and resolved to start another vehement
flirtation (for which, by the bye, he had a great
reputation) directly he got to London. He was
all the more inclined to do this when he found how
much he really missed Tiny's society, for he began
to fear that he had not come out as scathless from
this little episode as he at first fondly imagined.
All this time poor Tiny wondered why Captain
Foy never called. Sometimes she fancied he
would come on a particular afternoon, and then
she would resolutely stay at home. Once, when
she did this, she found her mother and sisters had
met him at the very afternoon reception to which
she refused to go, because she made up her mind
that the fastidious Captain Foy was sure not to go
to the Westbrooks, wherever else he might be.
At last, however, they met at Lady Howard's
dance, but Captain Foy appeared so engrossed
with Miss Peel that he only bowed when he first
saw Tiny. The partner she had been dancing
with had just brought her back to Lady Harewood,
who told her, as a pleasant piece of information
which would greatly interest her, that Captain
Foy was desperately in love with General Peel's
daughter, and added, "it is everywhere reported that they are engaged."
Poor Tiny! She felt as if all the brightness in
her life had gone out, and that it would be impossible for her to know another happy moment.
Her pride rebelled against the feeling that Captain
Foy had only trifled with her affection, and her
one comfort was in the thought that none of her
home circle would ever know the deep and lasting
impression which had been made upon her during her ever to be remembered visit to Windsor.
Turning to Wilfred, who came to claim her
hand for the next waltz, Tiny was soon dancing
with him, apparently the gayest and most light-hearted girl in the
room; and so well had she controlled her emotion, that when Captain Foy came
up and spoke to her, she never even changed colour, but answered him with such perfect friendliness and ease, that he was unable to flatter himself
(which gave that gallant soldier a momentary pang
of disappointment) that Tiny had come out less
heartwhole than he had from a flirtation for which he would most
certainly have been called to account, but for Mr. Wroughton's deafness, and
Mrs. Wroughton's absence from the rides and
walks during which it had taken place ― to say
nothing of the numerous casual meetings in the
shrubberies and park, of which they had both
been kept in complete ignorance.
But whatever appeared on the surface, poor
Tiny's heart ached enough below, and it was many
a long day before it ceased to pain her. At first
she took refuge in the most violent barefaced flirtations with the numerous suitors who were only
too eager to secure her notice, and she certainly seemed more than
likely to fulfil the amiable prophecies of her lady friends.
It was in vain that Lady Harewood expostulated, in her feeble fretful way, at these unseemly
proceedings, or that Tiny's sisters interfered.
Tiny was determined to flirt, and Tiny did flirt,
and once or twice she even passed the boundaries
of flirtation and inflicted on honest hearts the pain
she had herself experienced.
But Tiny's nature was really too good long to
remain satisfied with this kind of life. Gradually her manner
quieted down, and she seemed less inclined to take part in the different gayeties which
were going on, but entered, with a feeling more
akin to joy than anything she had felt since the
Windsor visit, into her cousin Wilfred's intellectual
pursuits and pleasures.
Wilfred Lane's delight was unbounded. Shut
out by his delicate health from the hardier games
and amusements of boys, books had always been
the world he really lived in, and when he saw with
daily increasing satisfaction that Tiny was being
drawn towards him, he gladly provided anything
she cared to study, or read aloud to her while she
worked or drew, much to the amused amazement
of her sisters, who were, however, greatly relieved
by seeing Tiny's whims taking a quieter and far
less conspicuous turn.
Wilfred's greatest delight was in art, and though
he never had produced anything himself, his appreciation and
passionate love of painting had already gained him a considerable reputation as a
critic, not only amongst his own immediate friends,
but in the best literary circle. It therefore excited
no surprise in Lady Harewood's mind when she
saw Tiny studying Ruskin's "Modern Painters,"
preparatory to frequent expeditions with her cousin to the National
Gallery ― a place, be it remarked, strangely neglected by English people who
crowd to the annual exhibitions of the Royal
Academy, and profess to value good paintings, and
sigh for Italy and the foreign places which contain
These were happy days for Wilfred, for he had
an apt scholar, and his whole heart was in his
"The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by, a law divine
In one another's being mingle ―
Why not I with thine?"
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
TINY, perhaps, may not have felt absolutely
happy, and she certainly was not exaltée, but she
did feel she was living in a purer, higher atmosphere, and the worldliness of her mother and the
frivolity of her sisters' pursuits began to grate
upon her accordingly. She was beginning, too, to
have a stronger feeling for her cousin than she had
at first thought at all possible; and when she
compared Wilfred's generous, unselfish character
with others, and felt the influence of the high tone
of mind which he brought to bear upon everything
with which he came in contact, she could not help
feeling his superiority to most of the men she ever
knew ― Captain Foy included.
One afternoon late in the summer Wilfred and
Tiny were sitting in a sheltered nook in the Belgrave Square gardens, having borrowed the key
(a not unusual habit) from the Eliots. Wilfred
had been reading aloud some of Mrs. Browning's "Sonnets from the Portuguese," and when he
came to xliii. he paused, for he did not think he
could trust himself to read it to Tiny. It was his favourite sonnet, and exactly expressed his feeling
for his cousin.
Tiny, however, was imperative, especially when
she saw that the page was marked, and a date
written on it which her cousin refused to explain.
At last he began ―
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my dead Saints ― I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! ― and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after Death."
As Wilfred read these lines in a voice of subdued passion, the truth which had lately been
dawning upon Tiny's mind came to her in its fullest force. She knew that she was really loved,
not with the same kind of love with which Captain
Foy had deceived her and amused himself, but
with a love which was Wilfred's very life, and
which would enable him to make any sacrifice of
his own feelings rather than wound or trouble her.
She was not excited by this knowledge, but she
was proud of having won Wilfred's affection; and,
when he looked up, his cousin's eyes were fixed
upon his face, after that strange fashion of hers
which always made it difficult for him to control
himself. He lost all power to do so now: ― the
book fell from his hand, his arm stole round her
waist, and their lips met for the first time.
As Tiny walked back to Grosvenor Crescent
that afternoon she knew if she had not the full
measure of love to return, she had at least obtained
a heart which was hers completely.
But Tiny said nothing of this to her cousin; she
kept to herself the unhappy episode with Captain
Foy, and allowed Wilfred Lane to suppose that his
love had been the first to awaken her own.
Now that Wilfred had been surprised into an
avowal to Tiny, he felt he must not keep it a
secret from her mother. Gathering up all his
courage he requested a few minutes' conversation with his aunt after
luncheon on the following Sunday; but all the said courage seemed absolutely
oozing out at his fingers' ends as he followed Lady
Harewood upstairs, through the drawing-rooms
into her little boudoir beyond.
Wilfred Lane knew that, with all her apparent
refinement, Lady Harewood could sometimes say
and do very rude things ― so can every woman
whose school of manners has not been an honest
and true heart, but a smooth, false world. He
expected his intimation to meet with considerable
opposition, but he was utterly unprepared for the
uncourteous treatment he received. His relationship, as well as his deep love for Tiny, gave him
an unusually strong motive for keeping a firm
hand over himself, and for passing by personalities which any other man would have felt justified
in resenting, even from a lady who might, one
day, become his mother-in-law.
Lady Harewood's anger seemed only equalled
by her amazement. The idea of Wilfred's falling
in love with one of his cousins had never before crossed her mind.
She would as soon have expected a proposal from him to herself.
It was some time before she could at all seize
the idea, and when she had done so, half an hour
did not suffice for the expression of her wrath and
Accusing him of meanness and ingratitude, she
declared that, had his uncle lived, he would never
have dared to seek Tiny's love in such an underhand way, and wondered at his audacity in asking
her permission to take her daughter from ''the lap
of luxury" to such a home as he could offer. She
proceeded to comment upon Wilfred's position and
future prospects, and made allusions to his father
which he felt quite unbearable, and resolved to
answer when the torrent of words with which she
assailed him showed symptoms of abatement.
He was about to do so, when Tiny made her
appearance; her mother's loud and angry tones
reached her in the drawing-room, and excited her
to such a degree that she felt she could not abide
the issue of the conversation, but must go and
take a share in it herself.
With a very pale face, and a quiet, determined
manner, Tiny informed her mother that she came
in to put a stop to any further difficulties, for she
had resolved on marrying Wilfred, and Wilfred
only; in token thereof she sat down by him, and,
taking his hand in hers, seemed to defy her
mother to offer any objection to such a conclusive
and womanly argument.
Lady Harewood was much disconcerted by
Tiny's entrance, but Wilfred felt considerably relieved. He hoped her daughter's presence would
have some effect in inducing her to control herself. To tell the truth, he was positively alarmed
at this exhibition of temper, as his aunt's delicate
health and weak nerves were proverbial. Such a
paroxysm of excitement might even produce a fit,
he thought ― a fainting, or hysterical scene, was the least evil with which he expected the
afternoon to close.
It was one thing, however, for Lady Harewood
to vent her indignation upon an unprotected man,
whose position as her nephew made him singularly
defenceless ― to say nothing of the unusual amount
of forbearance on which she knew she could count
― but with Tiny it was quite another thing.
Having relieved herself by an outburst upon
Wilfred, Lady Harewood was not going in her
present exhausted condition to do battle with a young lady who was
apt, under such circumstances, to get as excited as she did, and to return
blow for blow. She therefore rose to her full
height, and, with as much dignity as she could
muster, rang the bell, and resumed her seat in
When the old butler appeared, he was greatly
surprised at receiving an immediate order for Lady
Harewood's carriage. A Sunday afternoon drive
was not among his lady's usual practices, though she did not scruple
occasionally to require her carriage to take her to a quiet dinner-party. As
Watson shut the door, Lady Harewood turned to
Wilfred and requested him not to call before five
o'clock on the following Sunday, by which he
knew that he was expected to make himself scarce
at once. Without any hesitation he said good-by
to his aunt. While regretting that his wishes had
met with such decided disapprobation, he hoped
she would yet learn to look more favourably on his
suit, and, with a pressure of Tiny's hand, which
said more to her than a thousand words, he left
Before Lady Harewood effected her escape Tiny
heard the hall door close after Wilfred Lane.
Then she and her mother had a sharp passage of
arms, during which Tiny gave her to understand
that she loved Wilfred, and was determined to
marry him in spite of any opposition from the
"Did'st thou but know the inly touch of love.
Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words."
LADY HAREWOOD was essentially a woman.
She felt it impossible to get through the rest of
the day without consulting somebody; but, ready as she was to seek
advice, she was seldom inclined to follow it.
In the present instance her thoughts turned to
her husband's old friend Sir Anthony Claypole,
and she resolved at once to ask his opinion on this unpleasant
family difficulty. Wilfred's relationship had given him such access to Tiny that of
course by this time they thoroughly understood
each other, and probably had done so for weeks
before the words were spoken which obliged them
to take her into their confidence.
Although she determined not to countenance
their "absurd and romantic attachment," Lady
Harewood felt it by no means easy to forbid her
husband's nephew the house.
On reaching Hyde Park Gardens, Lady Harewood found her friends surrounded by their usual
number of Sunday-afternoon callers. She was
prepared for this, and had left orders with the
servants not to bring her carriage until half-past
This would give her ample opportunity for a
quiet talk with Sir Anthony when the other
visitors had dispersed. At present she must of
course be content to join in the general conversation.
She thought that tiresome old Sir George Fullar never would leave off discoursing upon the
epizootic, the number of horses he had lost, and
the curious ways in which the disease made its
appearance on his different farms; but his departure was only the signal for Mrs. Redmarsh to
commence a minute description of the fits her
fourth baby had while cutting its teeth. Lady
Ashworth being announced, the conversation took
a political turn, until Mr. Hargrave drew every
one's attention to himself by some clever remarks
upon Lady Duff Gordon's ''Letters from Egypt."
He concluded by calling Lady Duff Gordon a
most affected person, because the first sentence he
saw on opening her book was, "I put my head
out of the window this morning and delighted in
the smell of the camels." Having lived a long
time in the East, Mr. Hargrave proceeded to tell
stories about camels, which tended to dispel any
preconceived notions of the patience and docility of these animals,
and certainly cast a serious reflection upon Lady Duff Gordon's olfactory
The drawing-rooms, however, were cleared at
last, and then Lady Harewood told her friends her
urgent reasons for seeking their advice.
It was so late when Lady Harewood returned home that there was
hardly time to dress for dinner, which was more formal and uninteresting
Charlotte and Madeline had already guessed
that their mother was ruffled by something of
considerable importance, and Tiny felt but little
inclined to enliven them by her ordinary sallies. It was a
strange thing for Tiny to give way to depression, her spirits being in general equal to any
When the servants left the room after serving
the dessert, Lady Harewood informed her daughters of the cause of Wilfred's non-appearance,
and the sisters ascertained the correctness of their
conclusions respecting Tiny's silence and red
Now, Charlotte had views of her own for Tiny.
There was a certain young baronet, with £10,000
a year, who was desperately in love with her
sister; and as Charlotte had discovered, after
many exertions worthy of a better cause, that he
would not transfer his affections to herself, she
was extremely anxious to promote his wishes, and
induce Tiny to become Lady Fairfax, and mistress
of Downshire Hall, which she promised herself to
enliven by her own presence at seasons when the county races and
hunt balls made Buckinghamshire more than usually attractive. She did not
feel in the least inclined to upset these pleasant
visions for the sake of Wilfred's proposal, and
accordingly came forward at once on her mother's
side, and expressed herself bound to consider
Tiny's real good rather than her present supposed
happiness; and though Madeline was less inclined
to take an active part in the opposition to her
sister's wishes, especially when she saw her little
pleading face, she did not feel more disposed than
Charlotte to accept her cousin for a brother-in-law.
Madeline also entertained strong opinions about
the marriages of cousins, and believed that their
children were always idiotic or blind, and she honestly thought the
good-natured Sir Guy Fairfax, with his comfortable rent-roll, a much more
suitable match. Wilfred was already like a
brother, and it certainly would be much better to
strengthen the position of the family by an
entirely new alliance.
But Tiny had been too long accustomed to have
her own way to yield to it on this occasion, so she startled them
all with the somewhat bold announcement that she "would rather never see her
mother or sisters again than be parted from Wilfred for a week." Retiring from the antagonistic
conclave she took refuge in her own room, from
whence she despatched a note to her cousin assuring him of her affection, and saying that nothing
would induce her to change her mind, for her
whole happiness was centred in looking forward
to a life spent with him as his wife.
When Tiny left the room, Lady Harewood and
her elder daughters withdrew to the library, which
they generally inhabited on Sunday evenings.
She then told them of her visit to the Claypoles,
and how Sir Anthony had long ago suspected
Wilfred's attachment to Tiny, but had not noticed
it openly, fearing that to do so might bring about
the very result so deprecated by Lady Harewood.
Of course Sir Anthony felt Wilfred's prospects
made it natural for Tiny's mother to object to his
proposal; at the same time he observed that no
friend of the family could do otherwise than rejoice
at the change which had come over Tiny during
the last few weeks.
In common with many others, he had noticed
her previous flirtations, and had felt considerable anxiety about
her. He was often annoyed by remarks made at his club by men who did not spare
Tiny Harewood, but attributed her open and foolish transgression of the ordinary conventionalities
of society to an evil and wicked disposition which
would some day break loose altogether.
Although disinclined to place much faith in
Tiny's protestations of attachment to her cousin, Sir Anthony Claypole feared that direct opposition would be the very way to fan the flame. He
did not believe in the result of interference with
the young lady herself, but recommended Lady
Harewood to work through Wilfred, who would,
he thought, see the delicacy of his aunt's position, and the injury which would be inflicted on
Tiny if he persisted in holding her to an engagement of which her mother so thoroughly disapproved.
Before Lady Harewood left Hyde Park Gardens
she had (after judicious allusions to the lamented
Sir Henry's opinion of his friend's judgment, and her own
unprotected condition) induced Sir Anthony to promise that he would see the young
man, and place the matter before him from her
point of view.
Accordingly the post which brought Wilfred
Lane little Tiny's loving note, also conveyed to
him an invitation to dine at Hyde Park Gardens
on the following Tuesday; and, failing that, he
was requested to name an early day for seeing Sir
Anthony "on business of importance, undertaken
at Lady Harewood's request."
Wilfred had no particular engagement for that
evening, and impatiently waited for the time to
arrive when he should hear his aunt's decision.
He felt glad to think she had chosen Sir Anthony
Claypole for her mouthpiece, as he knew this
would give him a fair opportunity of stating his
own case, and prevent a repetition of the scene which had so
dismayed him on Sunday afternoon.
"Love took up the glass of Time, and turned it in his glowing
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands.
Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with
Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, pass'd in music out of
"He either fears his fate too much.
Or his deserts are small,
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all."
LANE walked home that Tuesday
night across the park, he was not in an enviable
state of mind.
Sir Anthony Claypole had conscientiously fulfilled his promise to his friend, and had brought
before her nephew, in very decided language,
every obstacle he could think of to the proposed
marriage. He did not allow that he was at all
shaken by the young man's arguments, nor permit Wilfred to see he had more than half won
over Lady Harewood's own advocate to his view
of the case.
Wilfred Lane was clear upon one point only.
In spite of all his shortcomings, and the errors
into which, like most young men of his class, he
had fallen, he felt himself not altogether unworthy
of Tiny. He could offer her a pure strong love,
and believed that, notwithstanding his position, a
marriage with him would really be the best thing
Wilfred was thoroughly in love, but his love did
not altogether blind him to his cousin's failings.
He knew she was terribly inclined to certain faults
which might lead her into grave dangers, and
that, with a most impulsive nature, she was just
one of those girls who will be either very good or
very bad ― they know no medium ― and are
generally the latter, if their better and higher tastes are
While Wilfred shrank from inducing Tiny to
share with him a life of pecuniary difficulty and
self-denial, he knew her well enough to feel that
material ease was not over good for her, and that
her character specially needed a home with a
purer atmosphere than that of Grosvenor Crescent.
While capable of feeling a distaste for the general tone of London society, Tiny was yet liable
to grow flippant in her own ideas and feelings,
unless encouraged to live in the deeper part of
life instead of on its mere surface. Nevertheless,
she could scarcely become one of those anomalies,
so often met with and yet so strange, which puzzle
the moralist not by badness (which, alas! would
be no anomaly at all), but by their power hanging
on at such a very singular place in the scale of virtues and vices
― a place which entirely ignores individuality; the result, probably, of living in and
for society, and of never raising the thoughts to
any high ideal, or letting them sink to the real
passions of inner human life; but which, by following a meek dead idea of duty, maintain, in
fact, the state which the word ''respectability"
Tiny Harewood was not one who would remain in a class of "respectables," which is ruled by a
standard of right and wrong, made for the mass
rather than the individual; so that Wilfred often feared, unless
helped to strive after her own highest ideal, she would free herself
altogether and become utterly reckless. He had watched her very
closely of late, and though he had not the key to
her wildness during the past year, it had caused
him much anxiety and pain. When she turned
from the frivolity and excitement of a fashionable
life, which seemed to have such a bad effect upon
her, he felt bound to give her all the help he
could; and when that help had developed into
love, he did not think himself justified in allowing
a false spirit of honour to come between them.
It was true that, in comparison to Tiny, who
inherited from her father an income of £800 a
year, he was poor, and likely to remain so; and it
was anything but pleasant to a man of Wilfred Lane's sensitive
nature to feel that his wife's income must go towards the mutual expenses of
their home, instead of being devoted to the indulgence of her personal whims and fancies.
Then, too, he knew of Sir Guy Fairfax's attachment to Tiny, and could not shut his eyes to the
advantages of such a connection to the family.
When he thought over the many kindnesses he
had received from his aunt, he shrank from the
very idea of acting in an apparently ungrateful
Essentially a proud man, Wilfred Lane felt
almost tempted to relinquish his own happiness,
and most probably would have done so but that
he felt assured that Tiny had given him what she
could never give to any other man ― the first love
of a very passionate nature. To resign this from
a feeling of false honour, was to do her an injury
for which no worldly advantage or position could
ever atone, and Wilfred resolved never to do so.
Sir Anthony Claypole had not been unreasonable in his arguments, nor weakly violent like
Lady Harewood, and Wilfred Lane spent the
greater part of that night in battling with his own
passionate love for his cousin, and in trying to see
the matter from an unselfish point of view.
As morning dawned, he became somewhat
calmer, and, lighting a cigar, determined upon following the course of action which at last suggested itself to his mind.
Lady Harewood had often talked of going to
Rome ― he would himself propose that she should
do so this winter. Rome would be full of interests
for Tiny ― interests which could not fail to be good
for her. If a marriage with him were really essential, a six-months' absence in such a place could
do her no harm, and, in entirely different circumstances, she could follow more easily those pursuits and pleasures which seemed in keeping with
her better nature. If, on the other hand, Tiny's
love for him was less genuine than he believed it,
such a separation would be a sure test, especially
as he knew that, whether in Rome or London, the
Harewoods would see plenty of society, and would
certainly lose no opportunity of trying to wean his
cousin's affections from himself
The more Wilfred Lane thought of the self-sacrifice such a plan entailed the more he inclined
to it, and though he knew Tiny must at first share
with him the pain such a separation involved, he
consoled himself with the reflection that her natural vivacity and light-heartedness, and the vivid
pleasure which she took in every passing occurrence, would considerably diminish any suffering
on her part, to say nothing of the intense delight
a visit to Rome would be certain to afford a nature
Wilfred determined to see Sir Anthony Claypole before breakfast, for, like all lovers, his business
appeared to him important enough to warrant an unusually early intrusion. After a couple
of hours' sleep, refreshed by a bath and a cup of
coffee, he soon crossed the Park, and, sending up
his card, requested Sir Anthony to see him, as
he had something of importance to say respecting
their conversation on the previous night.
Sir Anthony Claypole thought Wilfred's proposal very reasonable ― to say the truth, he was
rather proud of the good result of his interference,
and willingly undertook to see Lady Harewood
during the day.
Wilfred wished his aunt to give him an early
interview, but first to allow him to see Tiny alone.
"If," said he, "my aunt will agree to what is
reasonable and fair, I will be patient; but I have
determined not to sacrifice Tiny to pride on my
part, or mere worldliness on hers."
True to his promise, Sir Anthony Claypole delivered the spirit of Wilfred Lane's message, but
wisely suppressed the form of it. He advised
Lady Harewood to adopt the plan suggested by
her nephew, and agreed with her in thinking that
such a separation would probably bring about the
desired end. If it failed to do so, Sir Anthony
hoped Lady Harewood would no longer oppose
the marriage. On this point, however, Tiny's
mother was silent; she was content to accept
Wilfred's sacrifice, and if that did not succeed, she
would try some plan of her own.
When Tiny heard the winter was to be spent
in Rome without Wilfred, she was furious.
"Nothing would induce her to go," "she would
sooner be a governess," "go on the stage,"
"sweep a crossing" ― do anything, in short,
rather than leave London, and it took a great
many conversations (which, perhaps, Wilfred did
not regret) to persuade her to yield.
At last, however, it was settled, and Tiny's
unwilling consent given, on condition that she
should be free to write to and hear from Wilfred
during her absence, and that no opposition should
be made to their marriage on her return.
To these conditions Sir Anthony gave his full
consent; but then he was not her mother, or even
her guardian. Still he was an important ally,
and he undertook to do all he could to obtain
Lady Harewood's concurrence. She, like a wise
general, hastened the departure, and managed to effect it without
having given any positive promise; but Wilfred quieted Tiny by his belief
that her mother tacitly accepted the conditions
in following out the course suggested by himself.
The morning came for leaving London, and
Wilfred Lane received a reluctant permission to
accompany his aunt and cousins as far as Folkestone. Partly because Sir Anthony had good-naturedly interceded for him, but chiefly because
Lady Harewood's courier was to join her in
Paris, and, as she told Charlotte, "it was very
inconvenient to have only a maid to help them with their bags and
dressing-cases from the railway to the pier."
"With weary steps I loiter on,
Tho' always under alter'd skies
The purple from the distance dies,
My prospect and horizon gone.
Oh yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final goal of ill."
was undergoing no ordinary
struggle. Looking across the English Channel
in the direction where he last saw the Boulogne
steamer, he realized in its fullest force the sacrifice
he had made; and when he thought over the
possible results of this separation almost regretted
having insisted on Tiny's leaving him, and accused himself of
allowing his pride ― which resented his aunt's imputation of
of his position in the house to get Tiny completely
under his personal influence" ― to conquer his
Now the deed was really done he almost repented of it altogether,
and there were moments when he contemplated following the Harewoods by the next boat.
He knew Tiny's fine and ardent nature needed
a better direction than it was likely to receive
from her mother and sisters; and when the
balance is not struck between aspirations and
the power which is able to realize them, a half-developed mind, no longer satisfied with common
life, and to which some excitement is necessary, will seek its
gratification in emotions and pleasures which are always dangerous and sometimes
Tiny Harewood still needed the constant presence of some wise loving counsellor to induce her
to accept the "better part," and Wilfred could
scarcely think with calmness over the dangers
of repressed capabilities and unsatisfied desires
which, for want of being helped towards the good
and true, too often fix themselves on the bad and
false. An incomplete development is a dangerous
stage ― a higher horizon is discerned, but there
is not sufficient strength to reach it.
Wilfred felt but little comfort at this moment
in remembering that in making his decision he
had really tried to choose what appeared the
best for Tiny, and that her mother considered he
had succeeded in doing so. After all Tiny was
bound to be subject to her mother, and an open defiance of a
parent's wishes was not what Wilfred
would lightly encourage. A compromise at
present was all that could be thought of, and that
entailed this Roman visit.
Another thought also crossed his mind. If
Tiny could not stand the test of a six-months'
separation, was her love really deep enough to
enable her to share a whole life with him, without
regretting her choice when the charms of novelty
and satisfied affection had given place to the
difficulties which find their way into the happiest
home? If this were so, would he not be undertaking more responsibility than he ought ― more
indeed than he was capable of?
Walking slowly down the hill, Wilfred Lane
went to the restaurant of the Pavilion Hotel,
where he lunched, before returning to the station.
He had arranged to stop on the line to see an
old friend, now a country parson with a wife
and one or two olive branches. He left Folkestone by the tidal express, and when the train
stopped at the Red Hill Station, the Rev. Henry
Frampton was waiting for him in a very unorthodox dog-cart, with the pleasing intelligence
that Mrs. Frampton had presented him with a fine
little son early that morning.
So Lane had just come in time to enjoy a cosey
bachelor dinner with Harry Frampton, and it
must be confessed that the young Rector rejoiced
in the idea of a long talk over old school-days
with his class-mate, accompanied by an unlimited
supply of pipes and whiskey, for which he would
not be called to account by his wife.
And a good talk they had far into the night, although Wilfred avoided the subject nearest his
heart, and Frampton's conversation was somewhat
altered ― perhaps for the better, since his college
days ― in spite of the nursery anecdotes, for example, which now formed a new and not unimportant
item, but among these he told a story for which
Lane was willing to forgive the rest. The birth
of the new brother had duly been announced to
little Katie Frampton by her father, and not very
many minutes after he left the nursery, the child was
found on her knees praying that "another little
baby might be sent directly." It was also strange, when
talking over the world and its ways and settling that it was better if possible to live your own
life out of it, to hear Harry Frampton assert an
entire belief in his wife's opinion that "the queerness of the age
was to be attributed to the introduction of the new feeding-bottles,
which enabled babies six months old to feed themselves."
The next morning Wilfred returned to London
by an early train. He had little opportunity,
however, to indulge his own reflections, thanks to
the pertinacy of a fellow-traveller ― a man with a
shining countenance and a double chin ― who persisted in making, with a self-satisfied air, the most
commonplace observations upon the appropriateness and use of all things in nature. When this
man remarked that "trees were green because
green is good for the eyes," Wilfred could no
longer refrain from quoting Heine's answer on a
similar occasion; and, assenting to his companion's proposition, he added that
made because beef soup strengthened man, that
jackasses were created to serve as comparisons,
and that man existed that he might eat beef soup
and realize that he was no jackass;" a quotation
which freed him from further interruption, and
doubtless gave the possessor of appropriate ideas
sufficient food for thought during the rest of the
By a few minutes after ten o'clock Wilfred Lane
was at his place in the War Office; everything belonging to his outward life was going on in the
same way; people were coming in and out, the
usual amount of business was being transacted,
London was as full as ever, but yet to him life
seemed going on with its heart out.
He got through his work, and after dinner
strolled into the Haymarket Theatre. Feeling
disinclined to read and incapable of writing, he
thought while his pain was fresh it was wiser to
distract his mind from his own griefs by the representation of unreal ones, than to brood over the
events of the last two days and their probable
says, 'Old letters lose their vitality.'
"Not true. It is because they retain their vitality that it is so
dangerous to keep some letters ― so wicked to burn
FIVE days after Wilfred's return from Folkestone
he found a foreign letter on his breakfasttable. He opened it and read as follows:
"I watched till I saw only one person left on
the pier. Was that you? It isn't the pain of
parting which is the worst to bear, darling Wil, it
is finding out more and more the loneliness of life
without the one whom I love best, and love most
in the every-day commonplace hours of life, no,
not commonplace when my own Wil is near, to
sweeten and purify every moment. This is eating
the very hardest bread and cheese of life after the
sweetest fruits of true love.
"I slept a little in the train to Paris, and woke
realizing more than I had hitherto done that the
part of myself I most cared to call my own was
every moment being left farther behind. After
our night's rest in Paris, Mamma determined on
coming straight through to Marseilles, and we certainly managed the journey with as little fatigue as
it is possible to imagine. I slept nearly all the
night, which helped to make the sixteen hours
pass more quickly; we got here at half-past twelve
in the morning, and, to make up for any rest we
might have lost, we had fourteen hours' real sleep
"I enjoyed looking out of the windows as the
sun rose ― such a blue sky and bright sun. The
country is very pretty between Lyons and Marseilles. You see the Alps in the distance covered
with snow, and the railway runs for some time
along the Rhone, and the pink light made it all so
"Mamma retired early, and Charlotte said such
very aggravating things about you that it ended
in our having a regular quarrel, after which we all
went to bed. Mamma telling me through the
door that I talked so loud it made her head ache,
which I thought very unfair, having said one word
to Charlotte's twenty, and about the same proportion in sound. After this little excitement I slept
for thirteen hours, and then thought I would have
some breakfast in bed to recover my equilibrium.
Madeline came to me afterwards and read 'Corinne' while I dressed, and then we all trotted out
and went to the top of a hill, from which we had a
most splendid view of the town and hill behind,
and the sea and bay of Marseilles in front. It is
really a very handsome town, and I enjoyed my
walk as much as I could without my own arm to
"I suppose you are back at your work. I hope
you will repent of your cruelty in sending your
unhappy little Tiny away. If you had been me,
and I you, I am sure I should never have had the
heart to do it, and I don't believe you love me a
bit. But you will find it quite useless. Being
away from you only shows me how much I love
you, and I will never give you up unless you find
some one whom you love too well to send away
to Rome for a whole winter; but you will never
find any one who will love you half as much as
''P.S. ― If I don't find a long letter waiting for
me in Rome, I shall never forgive you. I hope
we shall have a good passage, the sea seems very
calm, and there is no wind at present."
Wilfred Lane was not the man to make a half
sacrifice. If Tiny could be induced to regard him
simply as a cousin, he determined never to hold
her to the repeated promises she had made since
that day in the Belgrave Square gardens, when he
betrayed his love. In suggesting this six-months'
absence, he felt that her mother and sisters would
have every opportunity to influence her ultimate
decision, and that Tiny herself, after the first pain
of parting, would be better able to judge of the
strength of her attachment when quite out of the
reach of his personal influence, which was, he knew,
of a very remarkable kind.
Wilfred was generally able, without any effort on
his part, to establish a sympathy between himself
and people with whom he came in contact, even if
they were previously prejudiced against him.
Without being handsome his face was decidedly
attractive, with a mass of rich brown hair brushed back from a full,
earnest brow. No one with anything artistic in their composition could refrain
from watching the variety of expressions which
passed over his face in the course of an hour, and women,
especially, felt the power of his dark expressive eyes, through
which a singularly determined will made itself understood, in spite of a
yielding manner. Yet to some people Wilfred's
chief fascination was in a voice, which was very remarkable for its
varied intonations. Of a medium pitch, soft, yet exceedingly clear, and capable
of wonderful modulation, there was an irresistible charm in his
speaking voice, which even men considered "soothing," and which gave him an unusually
strong and often entirely unsought-for dominion over the other sex.
Recognizing the power of this personal influence
to a certain degree, though far from realizing its
full effects, Wilfred thought that while he could
never of his own free will have imposed such a test
upon Tiny Harewood, he did not feel it an undesirable one, when he remembered her peculiarly
impulsive, impressionable nature.
Of course he knew that Tiny would be unhappy
at first, but unless he was really essential to her life
he questioned whether she would long remain so,
in a place which would be full of interest. He
therefore determined on leaving her while in Rome
as free as possible. If by assuming a quiet cousinly tone he could induce her to return to their old
relationship, he resolved to control himself and to
conquer his own deep love.
Nothing short of a whole-hearted effort on his part would satisfy
his conscience, or justify the decided opposition he intended to offer his aunt,
should Tiny remain true to the feeling she now entertained for him,
and Lady Harewood still refuse her consent to their marriage.
Accordingly the letter which greeted Tiny on
her arrival in Rome quite astonished her. Instead
of any regrets over her departure, or groans over
his own loneliness, Wilfred simply acknowledged
her letter from Marseilles. After saying that he
had no London news or gossip of any description
to send, he added:
"If you care to please me you
will make yourself as happy as you can in Rome,
and you ought not to be miserable in such a place.
If you will throw yourself into the interests by
which you are surrounded, the time will pass all
the quicker, and you will not have to regret lost
opportunities ― opportunities which will scarcely
come again if you marry me.
"Do not think me cold, for it costs me more
than I dare tell you to urge what I think due to
you as well as to your mother. Remember, if at
any time during this absence you can persuade
yourself that your whole happiness is not bound
up in our mutual love, if you can possibly free
yourself from the feeling which at present binds
you to me, I implore you to do so.
"Life, with me, will be very full of material
difficulties, and I could not bear to think I had put
out the sweet sunshine of your life. Do not come
back to me unless you feel certain that your love
for me is so strong that you could not be happy
without me. I shall not allude to this again, but
remember that, if now, ― a little later, ―
during your last week in Rome, you are able to
resume your old cousinly footing with me, I will
never blame you for it, but have myself invited
you to do so.
"But if, Tiny, you feel your happiness completely linked with mine, the devotion of my entire
life shall be yours, and I shall never cease to thank
God for a blessing so great, that every outward trial
will be lost sight of in the sense of that deep joy."
When Tiny received this letter she almost felt
inclined to be angry with Wilfred. It was absurd
to suppose she should change. She loved her
cousin, and she meant to marry him, although she
knew she had once had a deeper feeling for
another. When she first realized that Captain
Foy had only trifled with her affection, she never
intended to marry anybody, and began to take an interest in Wilfred
without ever dreaming of caring for him in the same passionate way. Gradually his love, from soothing her, became essential,
and her real sympathy with his tastes and pursuits
gave her a greater sense of rest and quiet than she
had yet experienced.
Even those who had put the worst construction
on Tiny's flirtations in the first days of her bitter
disappointment were less conscious than she was
herself of the innate wildness from which they
sprang ― a wildness which was not very far from
developing into wickedness. Once or twice she
became so thoroughly reckless that even she had
been positively frightened.
In her calmer moments she longed for an influence strong enough to arrest her; her own principles were too unformed, and her impulses far too
strong, ever to be controlled by the mere worldly
maxims which were the standard of her home, and
sufficed for less unmanageable natures. In spite
of the unusually strong physical temperament
which her early education, and the kind of life she
had led, developed, Tiny knew of another side
which Wilfred had called into fuller existence.
To cultivate this higher part of her character was
not only to satisfy her intense craving after what
was really noble and pure, but she believed it to
be the only safeguard against temptations to which she was strongly
inclined. Too weak to trust herself, or to stand alone, she looked upon Wilfred's
love as a special Providence, from which, at first,
she dared not turn, and to which she finally gladly yielded herself,
believing that her feeling for Captain Foy was the first passionate love which is so
seldom realized in this world, and that her affection for Wilfred
was enough to satisfy her, especially as he had already elicited a much stronger
response than she ever supposed she could give
any one else. That she had won the affections of
a man whose character she so intensely respected,
gratified her ― the opposition she encountered from
her family aroused the perversity of her disposition, and her enforced separation kindled her imagination, until she forgot her past feeling in the
longing for the daily and hourly sympathy and
love she received from Wilfred, the want of which now made such a
void that her life seemed worthless unless shared with him.
It was true that her love for Captain Foy had
made a lasting impression, but it was also true that
at the present moment she was really in love with
Wilfred Lane. Tiny Harewood was not one of those who love once
and forever; she loved with
her whole nature for the time being, but it was a
nature capable of "change upon change" ― a nature often combined with vivid imagination and
intellectual power, but rarely united with the
depth and earnestness possessed by Tiny. Her
character was singularly intricate, and Wilfred,
fascinated by her childish grace and apparent
frankness, believed in the ultimate development of
the beautiful qualities which existed in rare profusion among the baser elements of this peculiarly
gifted being. The finer the nature the more flaws
will it show through the clearness of it. The best
things are not often seen in their best form. The
wild grass grows well and strongly one year with
another, but the wheat is, by reason of its greater
nobleness, liable to the more bitter blight.
Wilfred often remembered a saying of Mrs.
Jameson's, as he thought over Tiny's character:
"Good principles derive life and strength and
warmth from high and good passions; they do not
give life, they only bind up life into a consistent whole. We
are not to take for granted that passions can only be bad, and are to be ignored and
repressed altogether ― an old mischievous, monkish
The great thing was, not to inculcate principle,
but to train Tiny's feeling, and he could not prefer a more perfect
character in its narrower requirements to what appeared so much higher and
nobler, though mingled with many faults. He
believed that all Tiny really wanted was wise guidance, and that the past circumstances of her life
had exposed her to many dangers, especially to
the pursuit of false pleasure. He had watched
her abandon her early instinctive delight in true pleasures,
sacrificing her natural and pure enjoyment to her pride, and he thought she had already
discovered that these were the bitterest apples of
Sodom on which she could feed.
It was very strange, but equally true, that Wilfred Lane, like many other men before him, lived
day by day by the side of her he loved best, and
never guessed the secret influence which acted in
such a powerful way on Tiny's soul, nor the hidden life carried on within the folds of her outward
existence. Had he done so ― had he but known
the feelings with which Tiny still regarded Captain
Foy, and had glided into her present relation with
him, he might have acted differently; and, instead of giving her the
choice of returning to him or otherwise, he would have understood her divided heart
better than she did herself, and would have shown
a resolute regard for their future interests, in spite
of present suffering. He might not have blamed
her, for it is the propensity of an ardent nature
to love and trust notwithstanding disappointment,
just as a flower throws out fresh buds again and
again, only to be nipped by a killing frost; but he
would never have treasured up the belief that he
had been the one to excite in Tiny's heart the
deepest feeling of her life, and that her nature,
once roused to a sense of his love, and giving such a
full and free response to it, could know no change.
"Thou art the garden of the world, the home
Of all Art yields, and Nature can decree;
Even in thy desert, what is like to thee?
Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste
More rich than other climes' fertility;
Thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced
With an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced.
Chaos of ruins!
The ocean hath his chart, the stars their map,
And Knowledge spreads them on his ample lap;
But Rome is as the desert ― where we steer
Stumbling o'er recollections."
PERHAPS few women would have appreciated
Wilfred Lane's letter if addressed to themselves.
They prefer to hear from their lovers how impossible life is without them, and that, in spite of
parents or guardians, they will carry them off to
the other end of the world rather than give up the
being in whose existence their own is merged, and that, if tempted
by any one to prove unfaithful,
deeds of violence will ensue, for no revenge will
be too great for them to take upon any one who
supplants them in the heart of the "only woman
who has ever had sufficient power to kindle in
their own the undying flame of a deep and lifelong attachment," ― and so forth!
Anyhow, Lady Harewood was probably the
only person in this instance who would have really
liked Wilfred's letter, had she seen it, and even
she would have thought it much more sensible if
the last sentence had been omitted.
It certainly did not please Tiny in her present
state of mind, and she resolved to express her sentiments very
clearly, and did so in the following manner:
"You absurd, aggravating Wil, I don't know
if I ought not to be very angry with you. I shall
not have any consideration for your feelings, I
shall only consider my own, and come back to you
and claim my right to torment you for the rest of
your natural existence. I don't care what objections you like to raise; never was your love so
necessary as it feels now, though, I daresay, it is
very improper and unlady-like of me to tell you
so. I think it is very unmanly of you to be afraid
of Mamma and compel me to fight our battles or
allow you gracefully to retire from the field. No,
Mr. Wilfred Lane, I don't intend to let you off so
easily. You often correct me for little wee faults
(and by the way you have no business to see any in me, at all), and
you allow yourself the most unlimited amount of the worst sin a man, woman, or
child can indulge in ― PRIDE. Because I am
obliged to confess to you that I am very miserable
without you, and don't continually brandish over
you the fear of losing me, you take up a tone
which I think most unbecoming. However, I
will soon do something to bring you on your knees
again ― the right position for both of us. I am
glad you say you shall 'not allude to this again;'
I make you a profound curtsey, sir, and beg you
to waste no more time in writing ridiculous letters.
I suppose you wrote the last because you had
nothing else to do, or wanted to cultivate a new
style! Anyhow, you only wrote it because you
knew your self-denial would be received with appropriate indignation and scorn. But, as you are
always quoting Sir Peter Teazle's naughty expression about sentiment, I shall leave this subject
and tell you of our journey.
"We had an awful passage. It was quite calm
when we started; but the wind rose very soon, and we tossed about
fearfully, and towards morning had to put back into the harbour of Toulon,
where we remained a day and a night. Most of
the passengers were very ill. I stayed on deck,
watching such a beautiful moonlight on the water,
and the mountains, which are all round the harbour, reminding one of
Gibraltar ― quite a land-locked harbour, and full of French men-of-war. One of
them sent up rockets and burnt blue lights, apparently for my edification.
"How you would have enjoyed seeing the rippling water
lit up by the moon and the lights from
the ships. Such a pretty colour it is, a tender deep
blue, always shifting into golden ripples, and then
the dark hills with a bright line of lights and their
reflections ― some creeping up the sides and struggling quite high up the hills, and, beyond all this,
the gray mountains rising against the clear bright
"I looked, too, at the pretty setting of the stars
― you gave me that idea ― but then what a different sky they are set in here!
"The worst part of our passage was between
Toulon and Villafranca. We spent a miserable day ―
trying to run along the coast, then attempting the open sea, tossing and dancing about,
making no way at all. But at last it came to an
end, and here we are in Rome.
"This is such a place! The climate is delicious, and everything one sees surpasses one's
expectations. Not exactly that anything we have
seen is beautiful, but everything is so interesting
and picturesque, and has a character of its own,
and a completeness of association which makes one enjoy it much more
than simply beautiful buildings. Not that I feel inclined to enjoy anything;
when I think of you in that grimy, foggy, old
London, I feel as if I were cut in two, and that
the best half of me were there, not here.
"The charm of this place I cannot describe,
but you of all people would appreciate it. We
have a lovely garden to this hotel, which we can
get to by a terrace leading from a passage outside
our rooms. It is full of fountains and flowers,
lovely shrubs, and terraces, where you could
smoke and enjoy yourself in the sun by day, and
in the moon by night, and I could come down to
my own strong Wil, when I felt I needed to be
calmed and soothed.
"I don't lead my own life a bit with the others;
of course it is no fault of theirs, but one's own
weakness. So it is. I am pulled along with the
stream, theoretically wishing to go one way, but
practically having all one's time, mind, and nerves
used up in the family life.
"Charlotte is just singing Schubert's 'Parting
of Hector from his Wife.' I daresay you don't
know it, but you ought to. It is, perhaps, a slightly
classical parting, but it is a good downright sort of one, strong,
hopeful, and wildly intoxicated with love.
"Wilfred! if you were ever sure of anything in
this world, you may be sure of the good effect of
your love upon me. When I think of what you
have saved me from, I can't help thanking God
for it. You have done what no saint, or angel,
or anything less human, could have effected, and
given reality and form to what were only vague,
occasional sentiments ― dreamy, unreal sort of impulses.
"I go on with my readings of the two Brownings and Ruskin. I think Ruskin is very like the
Bible ― the Bible made comprehensible, just what
is divine taken out, but much of the beauty and
purity left in.
"Yesterday I saw a perfect picture ― Raphael's
Fiddler. Such a face, Wil, rather the type of his
own, but not so fair, and instead of the dreamy,
loving expression of the Louvre portrait, a perfect
load of Art ― sensitive, passionate Art ―
countenance sad, not wholly beautiful ― as no
artist's face ought ever to be made. To do and to
be are quite incompatible, don't you think so? I
think, somehow, artists ought not to be beautiful, or their personal
influence detracts from the influence of their Art, for after all there is nothing
like people, and it is not fair to oppose them to
any Art whatever. But Raphael's Fiddler is so
steeped in his Art, that one hardly thinks whether
it is a man, a boy, or a woman. He has no
individuality but his Art. I have been thinking
of him ever since, and can't get him out of my
head, with his dark face, and matted hair, cut
straight along the forehead, surmounted by a little
black cap. The fur tippet he wears is something
quite beyond admiration ― a most delightful mixture of yellow, brown, and gray ― over a sad green
dress, and the fiddle itself a red brown. Some
dark blue flowers with rich green leaves are in his
hand, and all besides is well kept in the shade. I
have gone quite wild over this picture, and can
think of nothing else.
"I send you a few of what we agreed together
were favourite flowers of ours ― do you remember?
I got them in the Ludovici Gardens. Such a view
we had from the top of the villa!
"A stormy day, raining a little ― and all the
ilexes and cypresses ink-black in the foreground, and, beyond, a
burning sheet of gold on the Campagna, and the piles of mountains all mixed up in
the clouds; some bright peaks of snow with bronze
light, the stormy, violent light that gives snow
such a wonderful colour, reminding one at the same
time of metal and of the softest, mellowest swan's
plumage. Then, the next mountain the fullest
lapis blue, and far off in the sunshine Soracte piled up all alone,
quite light cobalt in a sky of the fairest blue (like an old Francia's sky), as if it knew
nothing whatever about what was going on in the
dismal parts of the heavens. The only thing that
was not ink-black in the foreground was the Tiber,
and Heaven only knows where it got its flaming
brightness as it twisted under the black clouds on
its winding way. Yes, Rome is a wonderful place when you see
all that (and a thousand things besides) up at the top of a tower, and at the bottom
such statues as the Mars in repose, the Juno's head, and several
others which are beyond description beautiful.
"One of the best pictures I have seen was at a
concert the other night. A quartett of Mozart,
played by Madlle.* Julie, two violins, and a violoncello. Madlle. Julie's face ― as I saw its profile
all full of earnest quiet music, with the load in the eyebrows which
in musicians seems to me to express all the pain of Art ― the spirit much too
strong for utterance, a bewilderment of the brain
in the higher regions ― a quiet, sensitive mouth, a
yellow skin, the same all over (no artist ever had
a good complexion, I'm sure) and black unnoticeable hair. If you have ever seen Rubenstein you
will understand what I mean by the load in the
eyebrows. Then came the violins and violoncellos, and
interesting clever musician-faces playing them, half hid by the pretty curves of their
instruments and the stands for their music, all
their black coats, and Madlle. Julie's simple black
dress without a white collar even, all more than
half hid, but coming so well and seriously against
the wall behind. The wall of the theatre is
painted with a full, soft drapery, with little gold
touchings here and there ― all much hurt by time,
and therefore the better for the picture. It was
altogether perfect, as the colours of the instruments
― yellow, red, and brown mingled ― and the sallow
faces of the players looked perfectly delightful
against the subdued green background. But of
course the music in the faces (particularly in
Madlle. Julie's) made the picture. It reminded
me so of George Sand's 'Consuelo,' which is full
of artistic scenes; Haydn and Co.'s little musical
meetings in the old musical atmosphere of the old
times ― all old ― nothing of the nineteenth
"But now I have well dosed you with my prosings, I shall only add that what Rome would be to
me under favourable circumstances I cannot imagine. You see if I am only to write occasionally
I mean to send you letters you cannot read all in a
minute, but which will compel you to think for at
least one half hour after you receive them of the