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Amid such banquets, sweet it is to see
Thus spake the money-lender Alfius, bent
Turn'd on the Ides his bonds to cash; but sought
New borrowers on the Kalends.
There is so little of the jocose about Mr. Newman's temperament, that his transfusion of Horatian levities into sober English is not accompanied by any sparkling effervescence of gaiety. The sal ceases to be volatile. Nevertheless, his muse is more elastic and nimble than might be anticipated; and though not quite au fait in poising and twirling on the light fantastic toe, she glides or walks through her part much as a heavy member of a Greek chorus may be supposed to have done, conscientiously and perseveringly, but with more of art and effort than nature or enthusiasm.
He throws no new light upon the chronological arrangement of the Odes; but, premising that the common arrangement is impossible and unendurable, and allowing that the great variety of opinion as to the order of their composition indicates the hopelessness of arriving at truth, he follows what he devises as at least a possible order, for which he does not attempt to offer any convincing reason. Nor does he write any regular biography of the poet-remarking, that the lyrical poetry of the ancients made the individuality of the poet so prominent, that commentator and biographer become almost synonymous terms. There is, however, an ample and judicious provision of explanatory notes, of the kind required by an English reader-and those of historical character, concise as they are, frequently evince painstaking research. Mr. Newman assumes in his reader no knowledge whatever of ancient languages or literature, except to have read Homer in a translation: "And I endeavour," he says, "to afford whatever is subsidiary to full intelligence, — whatever will aid him to that close insight into men and times, which nothing but contemporary literature can ever give."
**Since the foregoing was in type, an important edition of the "Works of Horace" has appeared, for which classical students will own their obligations to that careful and accomplished scholar, the Rev. A. J. Macleane.
THE SEQUEL TO TWO PHASES IN THE LIFE OF AN ONLY CHILD."
BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE UNHOLY WISH."
"Not Thy will, Lord, but mine be done!" Such was the substance of the prayer poured forth by Mrs. Vereker.
But a very short period had elapsed, and Mr. Chenevix was still venturing to speak what he could of consolation, when Mrs. Vereker, looking up from the bed where she was again reclining, saw Mr. Rice enter the room. He came up, and stood by the minister. His face wore a strange expression of hope and joy, causing the life-blood to beat in her heart as it had not yet beaten since the first hours of Georgina's illness. "Can you bear hope," he said, "better than you have borne despair?" She did not answer. She looked at him with her fearfully eager eyes; their expression too plainly asking him what she could not.
"The alarming change that took place in the child's countenance, when you were hurried from the room-I do not know that it was for death."
"The best and the worst," she murmured, "let me know it."
"Then I think it was the crisis of the disorder, and that the child is better," the surgeon answered." She is sleeping sweetly now."
With a sharp cry, partly of joy, partly of pain, Mrs. Vereker essayed to rise from the bed, but the doctor laid his arm across her.
"Not for the world," he uttered. "I know what you would do: you would hasten to the bedside of your daughter, and your presence there might undo all the good that is being done. I do not say she will recover, but I do say there is now a chance of it: and to give that chance a fair trial, she must be kept perfectly still, and free from excitement." Mrs. Vereker clasped Mr. Rice's hands, and burst into a flood of more refreshing tears than any she had in her whole life shed. "I will do all you wish," she uttered: "only come to me from time to time, and tell me that my child's life is being spared."
"I will come to you with news of the slightest change that shall take place in her," answered the surgeon; and as he left the room on his return to Georgina's chamber, Mrs. Vereker turned her face to Mr. Chenevix, and, sobbing upon his arm, declared that Heaven had answered her prayer.
It seemed that the child's life was to be spared; for as hour succeeded hour, day, day, and week, week, she appeared to grow gradually but surely on to convalescence; and ere the summer well came, she was sporting about, gay as ever. To describe the ecstatic joy of her mother, would be impossible; no words could do justice to it; no imagination, however vivid, could adequately portray it: the word "idolatry" would be weak as applied to the feeling cherished by Mrs. Vereker for her child. Be assured that Heaven never meant an all-absorbing passion, such as this, to be indulged in on earth.
But it is not of the childhood of Georgina Vereker that we need make further record. Let us hasten on.
YEARS, years had gone by, almost like a dream in their swift flitting, and that one dangerous phase in Georgina's life-that period which had seemed to Mrs. Vereker as the concentration of all earthly agony-was become but as a remote link in life's remembrance. A more truly dangerous phase, though the mother saw it not, was advancing now.
Sweetly simple in appearance, yet queen-like; of manners gentle and winning, yet perfectly self-possessed; her beauty of the rarest character, yet betraying no vanity or consciousness of its own charm-such was Miss Vereker as she grew towards womanhood. She was in her eighteenth year now, looking older, and her mother was painfully awake to the joking hints, dropped sometimes by friends, that one so attractive as Georgina would not be long suffered to remain an inmate of her maiden home. Mrs. Vereker would willingly have kept her in it for ever; and few were so carefully guarded from all advances of the other sex, as was Georgina Vereker.
It was a lovely, lovely afternoon in May, and Georgina sat drawing by the side of her mother. The windows were open to the ground, and Mrs. Vereker reclined in her easy-chair, now enjoying the scent wafted in from the garden flowers, now looking at the group of flowers Georgina was painting. There were few worldly accomplishments in which Georgina did not excel; talents, rarely combined in one person, were united in her. She was a sweet singer, a brilliant player; in short, gifted as she was in person, so she was in talent and intellect.
"Here comes Ruth!" exclaimed Georgina, as a neat-looking young woman was seen approaching the house. She was the housemaid of Mrs. Chenevix.
"What is it, Ruth ?" called out Mrs. Vereker, making a sign to the girl to approach the window.
"Miss Elizabeth has sent me up with this note, ma'am," was the servant's reply, handing in the note she spoke of to Georgina.
"Ruth, I will go back with you," cried Georgina, as she read its contents. "Elizabeth wants me to go and spend the evening there,
It may be observed, that Georgina did not say "May I go?" as most young ladies think necessary to do when addressing a parent; she decided instantly for herself. But the extreme system of indulgence carried on by Mrs. Vereker had long caused Georgina's will to be law in all things: she governed; Mrs. Vereker obeyed. Not that in this instance there could be any grounds for objecting to her wish. Elizabeth and Charlotte Chenevix were her intimate friends; they were good girls, desirable companions, and Georgina was often at the rectory.
"I'll go with Ruth now, mamma," she repeated, as she put aside her painting-box, "and you can send for me in the evening."
The large family of Mr. and Mrs. Chenevix were almost reared. The youngest boy was at college, and of the elder sons, one was just appointed to a country curacy, the rest were in various mercantile situations in London, hoping some time to make their way in the world. The income of Mr. Chenevix, stretch it out as he would, was barely two hundred a year: a rich rectory belonging to a small parish close by, was of
the value of two thousand! When will these disparities in a Christian Church be done away? So the Reverend Mr. Chenevix, like many another badly-paid reverend, was compelled to do something to increase his income, and he took pupils. Half a dozen little boys, not more, who for the consideration of thirty pounds per year each, were boarded, lodged, and instructed in the rectory. He would willingly have given all his time to his clerical duties; to the poor, to the sick, to all the rest of the needs of a large parish; but neither he nor any other clergyman can bring up a large family, in the respectability suitable to their station,. upon two hundred a year. The question may have arisen in the mind of a looker-on, acquainted with the intimacy between the families, "Does Mr. Chenevix ever cast a thought towards Miss Vereker as a possible wife some day for one of his sons?" No; Mr. Chenevix was not ambitious, and he never cast a thought towards anything so improbable, for he knew he might just as well have cast a thought towards one of the stars.
Georgina and the servant walked to the rectory, taking the rural way through the fields, in preference to that of the dusty road. As they came in view of the house, they observed a strange gentleman, young and handsome, as he looked from the distance, pacing to and fro the broad gravel walk in front of the rectory windows, and talking to Mrs. Chenevix.
It proved to be Master Harry Lindon's guardian; Master Harry being one of the little pupils. A tall, fine, aristocratic looking man, with a deal of what the world might call beauty in his countenance, but mixed with a singularly disagreeable expression, half sinister, half a sneer. It was only to be observed, however, when he was off his guard, or when his features were in repose. He looked about eight-and-twenty, but hemay have been older.
He was invited to spend the evening with Mr. and Mrs. Chenevix, as a matter of course. His handsome eyes would wander, perhaps in spite of his will, towards Miss Vereker, with a glance of earnest admiration; and she, as she once or twice caught that glance, blushed with a deep blush: secluded as she had been, admiration from one of the other sex
was so new.
"Who is Mr. Lindon ?" she inquired of Elizabeth Chenevix, in the course of the evening.
"We only know him as Harry Lindon's guardian," returned Miss Chenevix; the cousin of his late father, I think Harry said one day. It is he who pays Harry's bills; but this is the first time he has come to see him."
Did a shadow of the future fall upon the heart of Mrs. Vereker that night? Not it for how was it likely that the passing remark made by her daughter on her return, that Harry Lindon's guardian had arrived from London to see him, and had taken tea at the rectory, should induce it? A guardian! Mrs. Vereker associated the name with a staid, sober man, advanced in years, one with white hair, probably, like herself. It never occurred to her to suppose that this Mr. Lindon was young and handsome, and Georgina did not mention that he was so.
They had probably imagined that Mr. Lindon would have returned to town immediately, but he remained in the village to "have some fish
ing," he said. He took up his quarters at the village inn, the CrossKeys: the place contained two, but the Lion had but sorry accommodation for fastidious travellers; in fact, it had degenerated into something little better than a "beer shop," and was now familiarly distinguished by that appellation. It may be, that Mr. Lindon found the Cross-Keys a desirable residence, for he stayed on, and seemed to give no intimation of departing. He was soon 46 up to the local politics," to quote his own phrase when speaking of the passing information he had acquired. He was an agreeable, talkative man when he pleased, and that was when he had an end to serve; and he entered freely into conversation with his host and hostess, who were pleased to be communicative in return; so that, soon, there was not a fact, not a surmise, not an old wife's tale, relative to the village and its inmates, that he was unacquainted with. One day, about a month after his arrival, he was leaning against the door of the hostess's back parlour, half in the garden, half in the room, lounging idly and smoking his meerschaum, when the conversation turned upon Miss Vereker.
"A devilish handsome girl," was Mr. Lindon's careless remark.
"The old lady knows it, too," returned his hostess, who was busy shelling peas, "and keeps her tightly as she would the very apple of her eye. You must understand, sir, the way in which the property is left naturally causes her to be cautious."
"How's that left ?" inquired the gentleman.
"Half Mrs. Vereker's fortune goes to Miss Georgina, unconditionally, when she shall be twenty-one; or on her wedding-day, should she marry previously to that. The rest will be hers at her mother's death."
Marry with the mother's consent, I presume?"
"No, sir; the mother need not give her consent any more than you or I. Miss Georgina is left unfettered. Many persons censure Mr. Vereker for having made such a will: it may possibly place her in the power of some scamp, or fortune-hunter, who would marry her to get possession of her money."
Mr. Lindon retained his position against the door-post, and smoked slowly on till his pipe was exhausted. He then gave himself a hearty stretch or two, and sauntered up-stairs to his bedroom.
A little alteration in his dress, a few touches to his hair and his shining whiskers, a removal of all odour left by his late indulgence, and he took his way to the field path leading from Mrs. Vereker's house to the rectory, and there met Georgina.
Not for the first time had he now met her there. And oh, what had that dangerous man been saying, what done, that that crimson blush, half timidity, half love, should rise to the young girl's face? Alas! alas! even from the very date of his arrival, he had been working to lay his coils round her maiden heart.
Working in secret, not openly: never man knew better than he how to go about his work. Why, in the rector's family it was thought he admired Charlotte Chenevix; and the village, who, as usual, must interfere with everybody's affairs but its own, set down his lengthy stay to Charlotte's account. He had spoken of Charlotte's perfections to Mrs. Vereker: he had hinted to her that a clergyman's daughter, domesticatedly brought up, would be the very match that a man of moderate