Full text of "Dora"
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D O li A
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NATHALIE,' "ADELE," '^ QUEEN MAB,
IN THREE VOLUMES.
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS,
13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.
Tite right (rf TranAaivM^ w ri:itrvvl
rRlNTKD BY MACD0NAIJ3 AND TDGWELL, BLENHEIM HOUSK
BT^NHEEM STREET, OXFORD STREET.
D O K^ A^.
rF.HE autumn wind swept with a long wail over
lo -*- the broad bay of Dublin, then went and died,
^ still moaning and lamenting, amongst the distant
mountains. In its occasional intervals of silence,
gusts of rain came and beat against the window-
panes with a pitiful, impatient sound, as if claim-
* ! ing to be heard, till the clamorous wind rose again
and drowned every voice save its own tempestuous
^ roar. Dusk was gathering in Mrs. Courtenay's
^i bare parlour, and very chill and cheerless as well
as bare it would have looked on this evening, if
Dora Courtenay had not been standing by the
> window with her work hanging loosely in her
jv^ hand, and her eyes fastened on the prospect of sea
^ and mist and cloudy mountains, which was all
\ that she could see through the slanting rain.
Mrs. Courtenay's parlour was, as we said, a very
bare one. The chairs, the table, the black hearth,
the low ceiling, sadly in need of whitewash, the
dull grey paper on the walls, gave it a desolate
look; but you forgot that when you saw Dora.
No room with a sunbeam, or a Titian, or a Gior-
gione in it would seem cold and desolate to you
were it a garret ; and no room in which this girl
appeared could fail being brightened by her gay
young presence. She was not beautiful, she was
not handsome, she was not even very pretty — but
she was bright, wonderfully bright. If there were
such a thing as brown gold, Dora's hair might be
said to be of that colour. If roses ever bloomed
on a maiden's cheek, they were to be found on
hers. If joy ever beamed in mortal eyes, it surely
shone in Dora's. When you looked at her you
forgot her half-shabby black dress, her mother's
cold parlour — you forgot even that Dora was
young, and had a charming figure — you forgot all
save the shining hair and the happy eyes, and the
genial smile and the young warm voice which
matched with them so well ; and these you remem-
bered for evermore.
" I can't stand this, you know," suddenly said
Dora, flinging down her work ; " I must see if
Paul is coming."
Mrs. Courtenay, who was gently falling asleep
in her arm-chair, awoke wuth a start ; but before
her remonstrative, " Don't get wet," w^as fairly
uttered, the bright head and the brighter face of
Dora had passed through the parlour door, and
the park)ur itself looked very much like a cellar
whence a sunbeam has departed.
" She is so quick," said Mrs. Courtenay, still
amazed and a little plaintive. " I always do feel
for hens who hatch ducks' eggs."
This remark was directed to her sister-in-law,
Mrs. Luan. Very different of aspect were these
two ladies. Mrs. Courtenay was a charming lady
of sixty. She had the whitest hair, the mildest
blue eyes, the pleasantest smile, and the softest
plump hands a lady of sixty ever had. She was
French by birth and Irish by marriage ; and she
spoke English with a pretty French accent, and
French with an equally pretty Enghsh accent ; and
was innocent and delightful in either language.
Mrs. Luan, her late husband's sister, was a
square, low-built woman. She had a dull, com-
monplace face, dingy in colour, a dull brown eye
with a heavy lid, a low narrow forehead and a
thick indistinct utterance. Nature had been very
niggardly to this lady, and Fortune had been very
stingy to both sisters-in-law. The little cottage
in which they resided was one of the plainest near
Dublin ; their cook and maid of all work was a
diminutive girl of thirteen called Peggy, their fur-
niture would not have fetched twenty pounds at
an auction. They dressed very simply, made fires
at the latest extremity, and, when they were alone,
never burned more than one tallow candle.
They were widows, and we dare not say how
slender was their joint income. Mrs. Luan had
a son whom she had penuriously brought up to his
present position of medical student, and Mrs. Cour-
tenay's stepson Paul was an embryo barrister ; and
then there was Dora to dress and educate. How
all this was done, nor yet how far it was done, was
one of the miracles which mothers daily accomplish,
whilst the world looks on, and takes it all as a
matter of course.
Brightness of intellect was not Mrs. Luan's gift.
She took time to ponder over Mrs. Courtenay's pro-
position concerning hens and ducks' eggs, then she
said in her thick, hesitating voice,
"Do you think SO?"
After having uttered this profound and original
remark, she seemed startled at her o\Yn daring, and
relapsed into sudden silence.
Mrs. Courtenay sighed, turned up her eyes, ex-
panded her hands, and shook her head hope-
" It's no use arguing with her, poor soul," she
said, half aloud. "She's so — you know."
This speech Mrs. Luan so far understood, that
she made no comment upon it. She took her intel-
lectual inferiority, as she took her poverty and her
plainness, for granted. So she remained very quiet
in her shady part of the room, thinking of and
brooding over her life, after her own fashion.
"I should like a light, Mrs. Luan," said Mrs.
^Irs. Luan replied calmly,
" Candles are a halfpenny dearer in the pound
Mrs. Courtenay sighed — nature had given her a
liberal, prodigal heart — but she did not attempt a re-
monstrance ; she remembered, however, her youth
in a gay French home, where wax lights were of
no account, and where the saloon mirrors flashed
like a sheet of light in their brilliant glow, and
she sighed again. Mrs. Luan thought, in the
"We burn a candle a night, eight a week, Sun-
days included. Four times eight thirty-two , five
pounds of candles, and two over every month ;
that's more thaii twopence halfpenny a month
dearer than last autumn. We must light the
And made happy by this mental calculation, she
sat with her hands folded on her lap, content to re-
main thus, spite the increasing darkness, for the
sake of saving an inch of tallow.
" That child will be quite wet," said Mrs. Cour-
tenay plaintively, after another while; " you should
have told her not to go, Mrs. Luan."
Mrs. Luan did not answer, she was accustomed
to that too. She was House of Commons in this
little household, perhaps because, thanks to her
power of management, she held the strings of the
purse. Mrs. Courtenay, her constitutional sovereign,
snubbed and coaxed her by turns, and blamed
her not ill-naturedly, but as a matter of course,
"for everything; Dora, her prime minister, tried
every now and then to carry it with a high hand ;
DOR A. 7
and her son John, and her nephew Paul, twitted and
flouted her like saucy young members, and were
as helpless as any brilliant minority at the mercy of
a stubborn majority ever will be. Mrs. Luan was
impenetrable to blame, and coaxing, and ridicule.
She was thick-skinned ; made armour-proof against
all such shafts by provident nature. With perfect
equanimity she now heard herself blamed for
Dora's sin, and after awhile she even said very
" How hard it is raining !"
"Just like her!" exclaimed Mrs. Courtenay,
with gentle exasperation. " She lets the child go
out, and then she says, ' How hard it is raining !'
You would not let John go, Mrs. Luan."
Now Mrs. Luan, though patient, was, like many
a patient animal, endowed with a weapon of de-
fence. This was her voice ; a heavy buzzing, in-
distinct voice, which paused, and stammered, and
hesitated, till the conquered listener would buy
silence at any price. So, w^henever she was driven
into a corner, she roused herself, and talked her
" I have nothing to do with the rain," she be-
gan, in her buzzing fashion.
" Don't," entreated Mrs. Courtenay, alarmed.
But when Mrs. Luan had begun buzzing, who
could stop her? Mrs. Courtenay, folding her
hands in her lap, let Mrs. Luan go on. This lady
from the rain diverged into her husband's last ill-
ness; then, having buzzed through that, she made
a pleasant diversion into the world of fancy by
wondering how people felt when they were dead.
Tlience she went off to butcher's meat, and having
worried her lively little sister-indaw for ten min-
utes, she kindly dropped her, much the worse for
the infliction, and rolled herself back into her
habitual citadel of silence, feeling, with the same
instinct which had suggested her system of de-
fence, that she was safe there for the rest of the
In the meanwhile, Dora was standing in a di-
lapidated summer-house at the end of the garden,
watching for her brother's return. The cottage
rented by Mrs. Courtenay stood on a narrow pro-
montory of heath, with a road on either side. The
front door faced the Dublin road, and the apex
of the triangular garden gave egress on another
road, long and winding, which looked as if it
passed for ever through heath nnd mountain, but
DOR A. 9
which in reality was within five minutes of the
railway station. With a shawl around her, and
standing within the shelter of the summer-house,
Dora, whose look could command the whole
sweep of the road through the grated door, watch-
ed and waited. But the wind moaned, the rain
drifted gustily, the hour at which the train was
due went by, and still Paul came not. Night
darkened around the mountains, the rain ceased,
the wind cleared away a few clouds from the sky
and here and there a star glimmered, and still the
grey road showed no tall figure approaching, and
echoed to no young firm step. Had anything
happened to him ? Had there been a railway
collision ? Had he been waylaid and murdered ?
But not in vain had Dora bright hair, and happy
eyes, and a genial smile. These gloomy, morbid
fancies only passed athwart her mind like clouds
across a clear sky. She shook her head defiantly
at them, and bade them begone.
" I will not believe you," she told them. " Paul
has gone, like the knight or the prince in the
fairy tale, to the dangerous castle or the perilous
wood, and, like him, he will return triumphant.
There is no trial Paul cannot overcome ; there is
no heart Paul cannot win. He was made to pre-
vail and be king. Since he stays so long, 'tis
sure proof of victory, and if he comes by the night
train, wliy, I shall let him in, and none shall be
The wind might blow, the rain might fall —
Dora, whilst she had such thoughts, could not
help feeling happy. She was ambitious, not for
herself, but for her brother. She could sit and
dream about him, with the tender folly of the
young, and never feel that it was folly. There
was no success Paul was not to achieve, no destiny
was too great for Paul, and thus little by little it
came to pass that he was the hero of his sister's
That life had been such as most girls lead ; a
still, narrow path, with a boundless world around it,
dangerously alluring. Such as it was, it contented
her. She was satisfied with the seclusion which
her poverty commanded, with the society of her
friends, with studies wliich to her were no pas-
times, but serious pursuits, and with such relaxa-
tions as an old cracked spinet and her flowers
afforded. All this sufficed her, for she had Paul
— Paul who was to be so great a man, the honour
and the stay of his family. When a young girl
has such a thought as this, it matters little what
dresses she wears, or what sort of a house she lives
in. She has an enchanted tower, whence she
views the nether world with calm indifference.
Who dare pity, and who would not envy her, till
truth comes and knocks at the door, claiming ad-
mittance in a voice that will not be denied ?
"QUT Paul's journey was a secret as yet, so, with
-^ another look up the road, Dora went back
to the cottage through the wet garden. As she
reached the parlour she heard the voice of her
cousin, John Luan, talking within. At once she
broke in, bright and joyous.
^' Oh ! you faithless John, where have you been
till this hour f she cried. " Tell me directly."
A very good-looking young man, with a good-
natured face, very like Dora's in all save its
brightness, turned round on hearing this imperious
mandate, and looked at his cousin with an unmis-
takable adorer look. " Slave " was stamped on his
aspect, ^nd no less legibly was " queen " written on
" I have been dissecting," he began.
"Don't, John," interrupted Mrs. Courtenay,
" Bless you, mamma," remarked Dora, coolly,
"John would dissect us all if he had us."
John had never much to say for himself, but
when he fell into the hands of this bright-haired
tormentor he became helpless.
" Now, Dora, you know I can't," he said.
" Can't dissect ?" she suggested. " Then give
up your profession, and let there be an end of it,"
she kindly added.
A sigh, verging on a groan, expressed John's
" Take pattern on Paul," she resumed. " He
means to be Grattan, or Chatham, or Demosthenes.
Why, don't you mean to be something? Now,
mamma, please not to interfere. I want to make
something of John, but if I am interfered with
how can I ?"
John groaned again, yet did not seem to be very
" Yes, I know you would dissect me," said Dora,
shaking her bright head ; " but you shall not have
the chance, you little wretch I"
Dora Courtenay had a graceful young figure,
but she was not a fine woman, and John Luan was
a remarkably fine young man. Yet little wretch
she had called him since they were children, and
it was the only part of her teazing which Mrs.
Luan never could endure. She now showed such
unequivocal symptoms of buzzing, that Dora, much
alarmed, rose and said quickly,
" I meant a big wretch, aunt. And now let us
have tea, since Paul is not coming."
To make tea was Dora's duty. She began the
process by peremptorily ordering John Luan to
cut some bread and butter, kindly adding an ad-
monition concerning the wisdom of pinning a cloth
bib-wise before him, and not buttering his coat in-
stead of the bread; after which, the diminutive
servant having brought up the tray, Dora sat be-
hind an old-fashioned tea-urn, and looked through
the curling wreaths of steam, like a bright young
Hebe, with the ethereal vapours of Olympus
around her. It was a very plain meal. The tea
was three shillings a pound, the butter was Irish
butter, and therefore could not be bad, but had it
come from a cheese country, John Luan would
have found it delicious, and all China could not
have matched the flavour of that mild Congou.
He sat and ate through a plate full of bread and
butter, and drank through* seven cups of tea —
looking all the time at that bright girl before him,
and meekly enduring such shafts as it pleased her
saucy little tongue to pierce him with.
Dora could not help being aware of her cousin's
intellectual inferiority, and she was not so perfect
as not to take advantage of it now and then. To
make up for this indeed, she gifted him, like a
kind fairy, with some imaginary graces. He was
good-natured, she made him high-hearted ; he was
careless of danger, she made him brave ; but un-
luckily she forgot to feel more than a moderate
regard for the owner of these virtues. The crowu-
gift of her affection was wanting.
John needed to use no such magic powers. He
had no imagination, and could not conceive another
Dora than the one he knew. AYith her he was
quite satisfied. He was in that happy stage of
love when to see and hear the beloved object is
sufficient bliss to the worshipper. He did not
think of marriage. They were first cousins, to
begin with, and were by right of birth supposed
impenetrable to love. Then they were both as
poor as Job ; and best reason of all, marriage was
not in the least necessary to John's happiness. To
see Dora and look at her bright face, to hear
Dora and be worried by her, to obey Dora and
cut bread and butter, or do any humble office for
the pleasure of that haughty little sovereign, was
all John Luan cared for; and as he had but to
come to the cottage to secure these blessings, that
crown of all bliss, the wedded, was not in his
Now this disinterested adoration had been going
on five years — his mother, his aunt, Paul, Dora
herself, looked upon it as a matter of course, and
never gave it a second thought. But a drop will
overflow the full cup, and a remark which Dora
now darted at her cousin across the table made
him blush a little, and caused Mrs. Luan to look
first bewildered, then to turn as pale as her dingy
complexion would let her. With a deeply-trou-
bled mien she put down her cup of tea untasted,
then looked from her son to Dora, and from Dora
to her son again. Yet all Dora had said was : " I
wish you would not stare, John."
She spoke with a pretty little pettish toss of her
head, but something in John's thoughts made him
colour up to the eyes, and dull though she was,
Mrs. Luan was a mother. In a moment she saw
that these two were no longer children, and whilst
she was measuring the extent of the calamity, Mrs.
Courtenay, who had an awkward and innocent
habit of thinking aloud, said with her pleasant
" La ! my dear, John does not stare ; he looks
at you, and he looks because he admires you, I
Which was the exact truth, and, precisely be-
cause it was the truth, made John look foolish,
brought a sudden glow to Dora's face, and caused
Mrs. Luan to pour the contents of her tea-cup
into the sugar-basin. This domestic calamity
sobered them all save Mrs. Luan herself. But
long after the little excitement she thus caused
had subsided, John's mother, though outwardly as
dull and as calm as ever, was brooding over her
She was habitually taciturn, and no one saw
any change in her this evening. She took out her
patchwork, and proceeded with it as usual. This
patchwork, w^hich was literally hideous, was how-
ever the only concession to fancy which Mrs. Luan
had ever made. It was to her what music is to
some, and poetry to others. These lozenges of
faded silks, three of which being put together
VOL. I. C
formed by their different shades a cube with a very
light top, and a very dark side to it, were the only
relaxation Mrs. Luan's mind knew or took from
domestic cares. She loved them, she was proud
of them, she admired them, and felt pleased when
they were praised by some polite stranger. She
never read books or newspapers; she took no
pleasure in news, national or local. The ruin of
an empire, or the scandalous elopement of a near
neighbour, found her equally indifferent. She
could not help this to a certain extent, for she was
partly born so ; but she had likewise partly made
herself so. She had assisted Nature, as we all
do, and had not assisted her very wisely — too fre-
quent a case. Thus she had grown into a silent,
apathetic -looking woman, whose concentrated depth
of purpose no one suspected.
Whilst Dora teased *John Luan this evening,
and Mrs. Courtenay made little innocent speeches,
Mrs, Luan, whom no one heeded, and who seemed
absorbed in her patchwork, felt in a strange
tumult. Her thoughts, unaccustomed to wander
far, centered around this great fact : " John is in
love with her." Gradually her circle widened.
She saw the pair standing at a church altar, and
John's ring on Dora's finger. Then, by a stretch
of her slow mind, she imagined a poor lodging
somewhere, and John and Dora were in it, fight-
ing the great battle of respectability versus pover-
ty, with half-a-dozen children around them. This
was the real point at issue, and it was frightful.
Mrs. Luan liked Dora very well — as well as she
could like a being who was not John. She felt
no maternal jealousy of a daughter-in-law. It
would not have grieved her to see John worship
Dora with the romantic fancy of a lover, or the
yearning tenderness of the fondest husband. Her
objection to the first cousinship was of the slen-
derest sort. She was a woman of few feelings, as
well as of few ideas. But the cruel truth was
that, if John was poor, Dora was poorer. This
was terrible, and nothing could overcome it in
Mrs. Luan's mind. The beauty of Helen, the
mind of a De Stael, the heart of a Mrs. Fry, the
piety of a saint, would have left her alienated, in-
different, and cold. Poverty had early taken and
stamped her, and the mark w^as indelible. She
woke to think of money, as she slept to dream of
it, not exactly for her own sake, but for John's.
She could not give him wealth, not possessing it
20 DOR A.
herself, but slie could try and make him acquire
it; above all, she could try and not let him fall
into such a snare as that of a poor marriage.
That he should love Dora, and think of marrying
her, was something awful in her creed. Save him
she must, no matter how — no matter at what cost.
She had no plans as yet ; her mind was not an
inventive one, but she had a hard, stubborn will,
and on that she relied, not without cause. That
will had borne her up all her life, and it had
borne her successfully through many a trouble.
She now resolved that her son should never marry
Dora Courtenay. She was prepared to use any
means that might prevent him from doing so, and
being irremediably narrow-minded, it never oc-
curred to her that Dora might not be in love
with John. This narrowness, this inability to
take in more than one idea at a time, was the
weak point of a character to which tenacity of
purpose, and recklessness of all save its own ends,
gave dangerous strength, all the more dangerous
that it was unsuspected, and was accompanied with
marked intellectual inferiority.
In the meanwhile, the pleasant little war went
on between Dora and John. Dora had a skein
of wool to wind, and she made John hold it for
her. Very meek and awkward looked this Her-
cules, whilst his Omphale stamped her foot, or
shook her bright head at him with an encouraging
" Don't be stupid," or a flattering " Oh ! dear, if
you would but try and be useful, John, and not
make me snap my wool so !"
*' I do my best, Dora," was the good-humoured
Upon which Dora pensively rejoined —
"I wonder what your worst would be like,
Not a word, not a breath, not a motion, not a
turn of these two did Mrs. -Luan lose. She
watched them till all her senses were strained with
the effort, and her mind felt so bewildered and
confused, that she heard without heeding it the
pleasant little chat of her sister-in-law.
Mrs. Courtenay was doing a patience, and
though she knit her brows, and looked pensively
at the cards spread on the table, she was able to
" I wish you had a new dress, Dora," she said ;
" you could give this to Peggy."
" Peggy must wait, mamma. When Paul is
Demosthenes, he will give me a velvet robe.
John, do mind my wool?"
John, who was innocently thinking that velvet
could scarcely improve Dora, shook his head like
a good faithful dog under the reproof, and, dog-
Hke, was mute.
^' I am to have diamond earrings, too," resumed
Dora — "Paul says so— beau-tiful diamond ear-
Mrs. Courtenay sighed gently. Perhaps she
thought the diamond earrings were rather far away.
Dora herself thought so too.
" I shall be old by that time," she resumed —
" quite old ; thirty, at the very least. John, you
know, or ought to know, anatomy. Do tell me
why people look old. Why do faces get so very
odd, you know? It is not only the skin that
changes. How shall I look when I get old ? —
She puckered her pleasant genial face into the
most extraordinary wrinkles, and made her little
" My darling, how can you ? Surely you do
not mean to say that old people are so horrid ?"
" Oh ! no," coolly replied Dora, resuming her
DOR A. 23
natural form and features, '' but I shall be so,
mamma. Shall I not, John ?"
" Don't," he entreated ; " don't."
" Don't get old ! Do you mean to send me to
an early grave, sir ?"
Dora was rather fond of shaking her head, and
shook it now at the delinquent. So vehement
was the shake that her hair-pins got loose, and a
shower of rich brown gold locks fell down her
neck on her shoulders. Dora blushed a little, and
John, lost in admiration, ventured to stretch out
his hand, and touch with worshipful timidity one
of those beautiful tresses. Dora pulled it from
him with a pleasant laugh, and Mrs. Courtenay
" Has she not beautiful hair, John ?"
And Mrs. Luan put down her work, and in her
blind mad terror at what she feared, would, if she
could, have destroyed Dora that moment. Hatred
she felt none ; but it is not hate wliich works the
most evil, or inflicts the deepest wrongs.
Dora soberly put up her hair, and as the even-
ing was well-nigh spent, Peggy was told to go to
bed ; and ^Irs. Courtenay, Mrs. Luan, and John
and Dora parted, to follow her example.
'^ pAUL will come by the night train," thought
-*- Dora ; so, when that train was nearly due,
she softly stole down to t\e kitchen to make her
brother a hot cup of tea. Dora was a clever girl,
and a clever woman is expert in everything. It
was no trouble to her to light a fire, and prepare
her brother's tea and supper. The event justified
her foresight. The water was scarcely boiling
when she heard a few light grains of sand thrown
against the parlour window. She stole upstairs,
noiselessly opened the cottage door, and got a cor-
dial kiss in the dark for her pains.
" They are all asleep," she whispered ; " come
down to the kitchen."
A pleasant sight to a weary traveller was that
w^hich greeted Paul Courtenay's eyes as he fol-
lowed his sister downstairs. The fire was blazing,
the water was simmering on the hob, a frying-pan
was hissing on the fire, the cloth was laid ; a cot-
tage loaf, butter, and jug of ale were the first in-
stalments of a frugal meal, where fried eggs and
bacon were to plaj the most conspicuous part, and
which a warm cup of tea, and that domestic ini-
quity, hot buttered toast, were to crown.
Poor Mrs. Luan tossing restlessly on your
couch, and planning economy in your dreams,
where were you then ?
Paul Courtenay, a dark, good-looking young
man, with a broad beetling forehead, bestowed a
gratified look on these preparations, sat down,
drew his chair to the fire, rested his feet on the
fender, and said emphatically,
'^ You bright little fairy ! What lucky fellow
will have you, I w^onder !"
" Well, I do think he will be lucky," candidly
replied Dora, minding her frying-pan all the time;
" only I wonder, Paul, if he will appreciate his
" He had better do so," replied Paul with some-
thing like sternness.
" Dear Paul !" thought Dora, " I do believe he
would defend me to the last drop of his blood."
" Why don't you ask for news?" said Paul.
" No, you must eat first. There, hold your
plate, and do not leave a morsel."
Paul obeyed literally. He ate and drank heart-
ily, and soon looked much the better for the meal
his thoughtful little sister had provided.
"And now," said Dora, sitting down at his
knee on a hassock which she had brought down
for that purpose—" now you may tell me all."
Her bright eyes were fastened on his in eager
expectation; her parted lips expressed the very
keenness of desire.
" Well, imagine a wild landscape with moun-
tains around it, a grassy park with noble trees, the
smoke of a waterfall on your right hand, and on
your left a little grey lake with a patch of blue
sky; in the distance a plain white house — that is
Deenah. When I reached the house an old ser-
vant in sober livery showed me into the room
where Mr. Courtenay was sitting. I saw a little
pale old man blind of one eye, on whom I should
have been afraid to blow, so weak did he seem.
He held out his hand, a cold, weak hand, and told
me in a whisper — * I am glad to see you ; but I had
a wretched night — I woke at two — sleeplessness
is constitutional with me. I had a fall three
months back, and some nerve got Injured, for when
the weather changes I feel a great throbbing and
cannot sleep.' "
" Did he ask after mamma or Aunt Luan ?"
" He did not. He could not weary of his sleep-
less night ! Yet he also spoke on business. *You
are my heir-at-law,' he said ; " but I did not get
my property from my ancestors, and what did not
come by inheritance need not go by inheritance.
I shall leave you and your sister, and John Luan
even, five hundred pounds each, which, as I w^as
not on friendly terms with your late father, and
will never see my sister again, is handsome. But
then to whom shall I leave Deenah and the rest
of the property, which is large — to you or to young
Templemore ? He was my late wife's nephew, and
Mrs. Courtenay brought me a good deal of money;
so he, too, has claims, you see."
" Let him share his money between you,"
promptly said Dora.
" Tell him to make two halves of his body," re-
plied her brother, smiling.
" ^ Well, you shall have the first chance,' said
Mr. Courtenay. What that chancfe was I learned
after luncheon. It was too damp for us to visit
the grounds, but Mr. Courtenay — my uncle, I
should say — showed me over the house. He went
gliding about that great lonely place in felt slippers,
like the Italian poet's Sleep, and looking more like
his own ghost than like a living man. But a very
nice ghost Mr. Courtenay made, I must say. He
is small and slender, and neat beyond anyone I
ever knew. His motions are noiseless, quiet, and
graceful, like your cat's, Dora. I could not help
admiring the perfjction of nicety there is about
that insignificant old man. He has made his
house like himself, a complete thing ; but money
has given him the power of acquiring what nature
bestows, but never sells, and thence Mr. Courte-
nay's house is something exquisite. ' You have not
seen my curiosities,* he said, *you must see my
curiosities.' He took me to a sort of gallery, with
windows on one side, and glass cases on the other.
Between the cases were statues, beautiful pieces
of furniture, large porcelain or marble vases, and
more things than I can tell you of. The evening
was coming on, and the room was rather dark.
Well, Dora, on that room hangs my fate ; through
that room I am 'to grow rich, or to remain poor.
That room and its contents will probably decide
whether or not your brother shall ever marry
Florence Gale !"
Paul looked grave, almost sad. It was plain
that he felt by no means sanguine.
" But how — how so f asked Dora, shaking her
bright head a little defiantly.
" Wait and you shall learn. ^ This,' said !Mr.
Courtenay, ^ is my hobby, you know. This col-
lection, such as it is, has been valued at twenty
thousand pounds. It did not cost me twenty hun-
dred. You see taste did not run much this way
when I travelled on the Continent forty-five years
ago. Look at this saucer — ' he opened one of the
glass cases, and took out one of the most hideous
objects you ever saw, Dora — a large round dish,
with a green speckled serpent, and horrible little
lizards filling the centre. ' Do you know, sir,' he
continued, *how much I paid for this treasure,
genuine Palissy, at a bi^ic a brae shop in Paris,
forty-five years ago ? Fifty sous, sir. It w^ould
be cheap at fifty pounds now. And it is unique —
unique ! No other Palissy that I know of has that
kind of serpent.' I cannot tell you, Dora, how he
looked as he spoke. The man was transfigured.
His one eye shone, his pale cheek was flushed, his
very voice quivered. He took me over all his
treasures, and explained them to me one by one in
the same mood* And when we came to a low
glass shade, he stopped with a sort of awe. ' That,'
he whispered, ^is my Henri-deux ware — look I'
I saw a little pale saltcellar, with a very fine pat-
tern upon it, a thing for which I would scarcely
have ^^iven threepence, Dora ; well, it seems it is
worth hundreds. And there is a mystery about
its manufacture, and I am to find out the mys-
tery, though it has puzzled and still puzzles the
"Well, but what about the fortune?" asked
" Why, this — that if I can write a good descrip-
tive account, a first-rate catalogue of Mr. Courte-
nay's collection, both collection and fortune are
" Why, then, you are sure of it," cried Dora,
with sparkling eyes.
" And pray how am I to write such a catalogue ?
It would take half a lifetime to acquire the know-
ledge needed for the task, and Mr. Courtenay
would detect the least flaw in my erudition. I
shall make the attempt, and respond to his kind-
ness in giving me what he calls the first chance,
but I do not reckon on success."
" But you must succeed, Paul. Mr. Courtenay
means you to succeed."
*' ^Ir. Courtenay is a true Courtenay, Dora,
honourable and conscientious, and not knowing
how to decide between this young Templemore's
claims and mine, he has hit on this scheme ; but
being a true Courtenay, he will abide by the law
of his own laying down."
Dora looked thoughtfully at the decaying fire.
" Has John any chance f she asked.
" Can I help you with the catalogue f
" Very little, unless in the way of takimg ex-
tracts in !Mi\ Ryan's library ; but I am not
sanguine, Dora. I feel I shall not succeed, and
I feel, too, I shall not marry Florence Gale."
Paul spoke despondently ; he was liable to such
fits of depression, and they saved him, perhaps,
from the ridicule which might have attached to the
quiet but obstinate good opinion of himself, and
all pertaining to himself, which was his only foible.
But the liumility of his tone, as he thus gave up
all hopes of fortune and Florence, vexed his am-
32 D O K A.
bitious little sister. Moreover, by thus placing
Florence as a prize beyond his reach, Paul de-
cidedly proved himself mortal.
"You must , succeed, and you shall marry her,"
she cried, almost impatiently ; " she must wait for
"How many years, Dora? We are not en-
gaged, you know. I could not help letting her
see that I loved her, dear girl ; but she is not
pledged to me. I know she could never marry me
unless I got rich, and you know," he added, with
his grave smile, " I am not the man to elope with
a rich man's daughter ; besides, I never could
tempt a girl to such a step. It is not in the Cour-
" Suppose I run away," demurely suggested
" Dora," he said, a little austerely, " never jest
so. No sister of mine could do such a thing."
" Florence Gale would run away with a lord,"
thought Dora ; " poor Paul, not to know it !"
Again the sense of her brother's blindness came
to Dora unpleasantly, and almost remorsefully;
for was it not a sort of sin to see it ? But then she
remembered the heel of Achilles, that type of all
heroic weakness, and she was partly comforted.
After all, Paul was not bound to be beyond hu-
" I say you shall marry her," she said again. " It
is your right, and you shall have your right,
"To be sure," he good-humouredly replied; " but
it is late, suppose you go to bed. I shall stay here
and smoke awhile."
Dora saw he wished to be alone, and she let
him have his way. She got up, filled his pipe,
and brought it to him ; then giving him a parting
look on the threshold of the kitchen door, she stole
upstairs with a little sigh. Paul looked very grave,
not in the least like a man who has had the chance
of a handsome fortune just offered to him.
" He does not expect to get it," thought Dora,
as she softly went back to her bed unheard. '" Oh !
if I could but write that catologue for him. It is
not in his way, and it would be in mine."
Lest this confidence should seem presumptuous
in Miss Courtenay, we may as well mention that
she had received a solid education, was well read
in several languages, and could write very well.
From her earliest years she had shared that portion
VOL. L D
34 DORA. '
of her brother's studies and pursuits which could
interest her. Latin and the law • excepted, she
knew as much as he did, and some things she knew
better than Paul. Their father, a man of rare ac-
quirements, had spared nothing to teach them both,
and Dora, he would say sometimes, was the more
brilliant scholar of the two. Dora knew it, in a
careless sort of way. As a rule she forgot the
depth and extent of her information ; but some-
times, too, she remembered it, and she now won-
dered if she could not render her little learning use-
ful to her brother. She sat up in her bed, thinking
of the visit she was going to pay to Mr. B-yan, of
the works she must read, of the manner in which
she could turn her researches to Paul's advantage.
" He must write that catalogue, and write it
w^ell," she thought. " I wish I could see Deenah
and the lake, and the gallery, and that wonderful
These thoughts followed her in her dreams. She
saw a green solitude, and a shining lake, and a
white house. She wandered in its rooms, preceded
by Mr. Courtenay, who, looking on her with his
one eye, said in a whisper —
"Don't be afraid, my dear; I am dead, and can-
not hurt you."
She followed the noiseless little old man till she
came to the gallery, and there she wandered alone,
for, ghost-like, he had suddenly vanished. She saw
every object her brother had described, and especially
did she see Mr. Courtenay's specimen of Henri-
deux ware. The mystery concerning this rare bit
of pottery, dreamed Dora, was to be found within
one of its recesses ; but unluckily she scarcely had
lifted up the glass shade to peep in, when she
woke and saw the sun shining in at her window.
AUL's godfather, Mr. Ryan, had one of the
-*- largest private libraries in Dublin, and to
him Dora at once applied for books. She was an
especial favourite, and was graciously received, so
far as books went, but on hearing of the catalogue
Mr. Ryan laughed derisively.
" Paul does not know human nature," he said,
" or he would never believe such a wild story as
this. Let him get the five hundred pounds — if
he can — and I shall turn them into thousands; tell
Mr. Ryan had made a handsome fortune in the
Funds, and thought himself an authority in all fin-
ancial matters. Dora believed in him implicitly,
save when he ventured to censure Paul. She did
not deny his power of turning five hundred pounds
into so many thousands, but she indignantly vindi-
cated her brother's knowledge of human nature, and
asserted his prospects of success.
"I am sure Paul will have Deenah I" she said
warmly, "and his catalogue will be a beautiful
catalogue; and I hope, Mr. Ryan, that you will let
me read in your library, for I want books, quartos
perhaps, or in-folios, which I cannot take home. I
am to write out all the extracts, you know."
" Yes, yes ! you poor little innocent," kindly said
Mr. Ryan, patting her on the head, " have your
Thus it came to pass that Dora was very busy
in Mr. Ryan's library one bright morning, a week
after Paul's visit to Deenah, and that Mr. Ryan
was reading with her and gently nodding over his
book. Mr. Ryan was a happy man, and sleep
came easily to him, as most things did, and rather
oftener than was needed. It came now insidious
and stealthy. The book was dull, the room rather
close, and Mr. Ryan's luncheon had been comfort-
able. Sleep was having it all his own way, and
would have prevailed entirely, if the library door
had not opened gently, and a very pretty girlish
face peeped in with a merry laugh. Dora looked
up, and ^Ir. Ryan awoke with a start.
" Napping — napping both of you I" said the in-
truder ; " and how is that catalogue to be done, eh?"
"I was not napping, Florence," gravely replied
Dora ; " I was reading."
" Was Mr. Ryan reading too f shrewdly asked
Mr. Ryan laughed, and looked admiringly at the
pretty creature before him. Paul's mistress was
neither short nor tall, neither plump nor thin. Her
figure had every charm which nature can give to
youth, nothing too much and nothing too little.
She stood before Mr. Ryan, dangling her little hat
in her hand, and smiling down at him in conscious
beauty. She was alwaj^s pretty, but these smiles
of hers, which were neither few nor far between,
made her enchanting, and she knew it. Seducing
is the word that describes her best. Never did
softer black eyes beam from beneath more finely-
pencilled eyebrows than those of Florence. Her
dark hair was glossy and abundant ; her teeth
were two rows of pearls ; her .rosy cheeks w^ere
full of the most fascinating dimples, and though
she was by several years Dora's elder, she looked
the younger and the more childish of the tvvo.
"Why w^ere you not reading and helping poor
Paul ? " she asked, coaxingly, of Paul's god-
father ; " and why is not Paul here ?" she added,
turning on Dora, and speaking rather pettishly.
" Paul is not well, Florence."
Miss Gale threw herself into the nearest arm-
chair, and exclaimed petulantly,
" I do think Paul does it on purpose, not to be
well just because he has that catalogue to do, and
the chance of a fortune to get. I suppose young
Templemore will have it ; and I wish he may," she
added, waxing wroth ; " he is my cousin, third or
fourth, and I wish he may get Deenah ! I do,
since Paul does not care for it, and only coddles
Dora looked at her in a silent indignation,
which was wholly thrown away on ^liss Gale ;
while Mr. Kyan remarked gravely,
"Then I suppose you will marry Mr. Temple-
more if he gets Deenah ? "
" Marry him !" exclaimed Florence, raising her
arched eyebrows ; " marry him, Mr. Eyan I"
"What! is he so objectionable? Never mind,
Deenah will make him fascinating enough."
" But he has got a wife and little girls !" ejacu-
lated Florence. " I told you so the other day —
I wish you would not worry, Mr. Ryan."
" Why, yes, it is tantalizing. The little girls
would make no difference ; but the wife is an ob-
Florence laughed, and Dora, bending over her
book, thought with a swelling heart, " It is Deenah
she wants. Paul she does not care for. She does
not even ask what ails him." But this omission
Miss Gale repaired before her departure. After
spending half an hour in listening to Mr.
Ryan's mingled praise and quizzing — provided she
got the one, she had not the least objection to the
other — she suddenly discovered that she was wanted
" I told papa I was going to see aunt," she said,
confidentially, to Dora ; ^' and now I shall have to
say that aunt was out. I thought to find Paul
here — what ails him ?"
" He knocked himself up with working too hard."
" Now, Dora, if you put that into his head, that
wretched catalogue will never^ be done ; so pray
don't. Good morning, Mr. Ryan — a pleasant nap
And putting on her little hat, after waving it in
mock courtesy to Mr. Ryan^ Miss Gale danced out
of the room without giving him time to follow her,
or even ring the bell.
DOKA. . 41
The prettiest, emptiest little thing that ever was,
But whatever Dora's thoughts might be, she
would not grant Paul's mistress to be less than
" Florence is too good-natured, Mr. Ryan," she
said indignantly ; " she allows you to quiz her ! — I
would not tolerate it !"
" Nor deserve it," politely said Mr. Ryan ; '* no,
no, Dora — I know where the shoe pinches. You
cannot understand that Paul should be so smitten
with that silly little bird, but you will not confess
it. Never mind, my dear. ^lost young men
would be no wiser than Paul is. So we will help
him all the same with his catalogue, in order that
he may get his pretty Florence. For unless Paul
has Deenah, or something very like it, Mr. Gale
will never give him his daughter, as we all know."
Dora sighed. Yes, Paul's happiness hung on
Mr. Courtenay was a pitiless collector. He
had specimens of everything, or, to speak more
correctly, he had collected in every possible direc-
tion. Paul had paid a second visit to Deenah,
and come back with a list of objects to be de-
42 DOR A.
scribed that would have puzzled a Benedictine
monk's learning. Etruscan vases and Dutch
hardware, Majolica, Indian carving, mediaeval
armour, old laces, illuminated manuscripts, bewil-
dered Dora, and tried Mr. Eyan's library to the
utmost. So she worked hard, and without relaxa-
tion, till it was time to go and bid Mr. Ryan
"I shall go on with that Hydria," he said,
" and that antique mask as well. I shall do all
the hard work for you, Dora. The rest will be
child's play to Paul and you — tell him so."
Mr. Ryan had been " going on " with the
Hydria and the antique mask for a week. He
was one of the many who mistake a kind intention
for its fulfilment. A promise was so delightfully
easy. It gratified both his amiability by the
prospect of good to be done, and his indolence by
its postponement. Dora smiled at his calmly-
benevolent tone, then went her way.
Mr. Ryan's house — and a handsome, pleasant
house it was — stood near Phoenix Park. There
Dora was to find her brother, who wished to es-
cort her home. He was true to his appointment,
but as he walked towards her Dora was struck
with his pale face, and exclaimed, anxiously,
" Paul, you have been working ?"
" I could not help it. Do you know, I think
that if it was Mr. Courtenay's object to give me a
taste for his curiosities by making me write that
catalogue, he has been successful. I could not
help looking over my notes, and once I had looked
I should write."
Dora looked at him with growing uneasiness.
Paul was very pale, but his dark eyes burned
with a feverish light. Surely he was not ill ? —
surely it was only fatigue that ailed him ?
" You know I told you that Mr. Courtenay has
a salt-cellar of Henri-deux ware ?" resumed Paul,
" and that, though he does not expect me to solve
the great mystery, he nevertheless wishes me to
have a theory on the subject. Well, Dora, I do
believe I am on the track — yes, and I think, too,
my theory is the right one."
Dora looked at him in gi'eat admiration. Of
course, if Paul had a theory, it must be the right
one, and of course a right theory on Mr. Cour-
tenay's salt-cellar of Henri-deux ware meant tri-
umph. She said so with sparkling eyes. Paul
laughed, and shook his head.
44 D O E A.
" I don't know," he said. " I promised Flor-
ence to work hard, and I will."
" When did you see her ?"
" This afternoon. Dear girl I she came to tell
me her father wants her to marry a Mr. Logan,
whom she hates. She was all in tears, but I so
promised to work, and be successful, that she was
bright again wdien she left us."
Dora sighed. What availed it that she did all
she could to spare Paul, if Florence came and
urged him on ? But with that menace of a rival
it was useless to try and check him. Silly though
she was, Florence had an art in w^hich even silly
women are expert. She knew how to rule the
man who loved her, and Dora was too wise to
contend against her influence.
" And so," continued Paul, " I worked hard. I
did more. 1 called on Mr. Gale on my way here."
Dora stood still, and uttered a breathless
" Well r
" Well, I got a diplomatic reply. Mr. Gale
praised my candour, but, of course, pledged him-
self to nothing. Only I know and feel this : if I
succeed, I am sure of Florence, spite all the Lo-
gans there may be."
He seemed so hopeful, that it made Dora happy
to look at him. They spent the evening in work-
ing together, and making use of her notes. They
sat in the cottage parlour, with the rest of the
family around them. Paul's mind required
neither silence nor solitude for its exertions. He
read and wrote, and Dora either helped her bro-
ther, or was wrapped up in him. Though she
had no spare time or speech to bestow on John,
Mrs. Luan's son did not miss his cousin's teazing.
He thought it hard to be excluded from his
chance, as he called it, of Mr. Courtenay's for-
tune, and he had said so bluntly on learning the
terms on which Paul was to compete for it. Mrs.
Courtenay, good soul, had wondered her brother-
in-law did not at once leave the money to Paul,
just gi^^ing him a few thousands to begin life
with ; but of herself, or even of her daughter
Dora's claims, she said nothing. Paul was dear
to her, as if he had been her own son, and on this
evening she was engaged in doing a patience for
a wish, which wish was her step-son's success in
"And it is going on beautifully, Paul," she
said, with a beaming face. " This is my great
patience, that which Louis the Eighteenth did
every evening after his dinner. I really think it
Paul smiled kindly, and Mrs. Luan went on
silently with her patchwork. She had made no
comment on her brother's decision, and her silence
was laid to the fact that they had quarrelled at the
time of her marriage, and never .been reconciled.
It was hard to say what passed in her mind. She
seemed as dull and as apathetic as ever. On one
point she remained firm. Neither Dora's pro-
mised five hundred pounds, nor the chance which
her brother's affection would certainly give her, of a
handsome portion, if he inherited Mr. Courtenay's
fortune, could make her see John's love for his
cousin Dora with anything save detestation. She
had no imagination to mislead her. Mr. Gourtenay
was not dead, but living. His promise could be
revokjed, and the fact that Dora was poor remain-
ed in all its ugly truth. It may be that this fear
was enough for her, her mind not being one which
could hold many ideas, or grasp many projects at
the same time. At all events, it was the only
thought she dwelt upon as she sat and stitched at
her patchwork during the long autumn evening,
whilst brother and sister toiled, and John looked
on with sullen discontent. He thought it hard,
and he said so, to be excluded from the competi-
tion, since there was one. Who was that Tem-
plemore, that he should step in and have a chance
when he, John, had none ? "Why should not John
have attempted a catalogue, and had his theory on
the Henri-deux salt-cellar ! So he grumbled, then
went to bed, whilst Dora sat up with her brother,
caring nothing for either labour or vigil, if they
but helped him to a fortune and Florence Gale.
" Dear girl I" he said fondly. " She is so art-
less, she has alread}^ appropriated half the collec-
tion. She seems to take it for granted that the
poor old gentleman must die off in order to make
room for us."
Dora looked pensive, but did not wonder much ;
there was a charm in everything Florence said.
rpHE catalogue proved a tedious task, and soon
-^ absorbed Paul Courtenay completely. He
grew to be like a gambler watching the fate of his
last stake. The law was neglected now, and he
remained at home day after day " to work at the
catalogue." He had acquired a genuine passion
for the curiosities on which his fate hung, and
that passion held him fast.
"There is no such collection as Mr. Courte-
nay' s," he often said to Dora ; '^ besides, we alone
have got a Henri-deux salt-cellar, you know."
The whole family, indeed, got excited when the
catalogue was mentioned. Mrs. Luan said no-
thing, but looked almost bright. John forgot his
annoyance to wish Paul success ; and Mrs. Cour-
tenay, with a little shrill raising of the voice,
was sure she was that dear Paul must win."
Dora alone was rather grave. She too felt cer-
tain of her brother's success, but then how pale,
how worn he looked. Paul's mother had died
youn^, and Paul was very like the miniature of her
in his room. Oh! what if the cost of success should
prove too dear ! This terrible thought came but
once, and was banished so angrily that it came no
more ; but though the doors were closed upon it,
the baleful presence had been there, and the un-
easiness it had generated remained behind.
At length the catalogue was finished, and Paul,
who would not trust the post with it, took it down
himself to Deenah. He was full of hope, especi-
ally concerning his theory on the Henri-deux ware.
"There is a G on our salt-cellar," he said to
Dora ; " who can doubt that it was put there for
Girolamo della Robbia, the great Italian ?"
How happy and confident he looked, but how
sunken his eyes were, how hollow his cheeks had
grown ! The thought haunted her, as, after seeing
him off, she came home from the station and
passed through the garden to the house, looking
at its last autumn flowers. A few pale and droop-
ing chrysanthemums still braved the night and
morning chill, and held on their languid life, ready
to perish with the first sharp breath of coming
VOL. I. E
50 D O K A.
winter. To Dora, in the fulness of her strength
and youth, these flowers were ungenial. She
looked at them with a sort of pity, but without
"Poor things !" she thought, as she passed on —
" poor things ! I wish for their sakes there were
a perpetual spring. But would they really like
it f They were born to bloom in autumn and to
With this thought came another that passed
through her like a quick sharp pang. Why was
Paul so sad-looking ? Was he, too, meant to live
in sorrow, and die early? She rebelled at the
thought. She would not submit to it. Paul was
her hero and her king, endowed with the heroic
gift of perpetual youth and every kingly attribute.
He should live, he should be strong and happy.
He should prevail and be rich, ay, and have Flor-
ence Gale too, since he wished for her.
" It is a folly," thought Dora, looking down at
it from the height of her superior wisdom. " I
daresay he thinks he cannot help it, as if one
could not always help these things ! Poor Flor-
ence, it is no fault of hers if she is so much be-
neath dear Paul !"
As she came to this charitable conclusion, Dora
entered the cottage and found Florence there.
The young lady flew at her and gave her a warm
" Now, darling !" she cried, " do tell me. Is it
a good catalogue ?"
" Yes, a very good one, Florence."
" And do you think Paul will get Deenah V
"Mr. Courtenay is still living, Florence."
" Oh ! but he is sure to die. He looks so ill !"
"So does Paul."
Florence pouted, and said a little sulkily,
"That is for me, Dora."
Dora sighed, and said more gently —
" I do wish you had spared him a little more ;
but what is done is done. Let us only hope he
will be successful."
" He must be successful if he means to have
me," she said saucily. " But why did he go off
to Deenah ? I came to see him, and he is gone !
Why did he not manage to see me ?"
" He is under a pledge to your father."
" Pledge fiddlesticks !" interrupted Florence.
" Why does he keep it ?"
UKIV£RSiTY OF IUJN0»S
"Because Paul cannot break a promise/' was
the grave reply.
" Oh ! dear," ruefully said Miss Gale ; " why, I
had to tell such a set of fibs to get here. Firstly,
that Mrs. Smith wanted me to take a drive with
her — that was to papa ; secondly, to Mrs. Smith,
that I wanted to see Mrs. Courtenay about a cha-
ritable concern; and thirdly — " here Miss Gale
looked bewildered — " I have forgotten the third,"
she said, " but I know there was one."
Dora heard her gravely. Paul adored Flor-
ence, but she wondered how long such adoration
" We shall soon be going down to Deenah," re-
sumed Florence, who would talk, no matter about
what. " I suppose papa wants some shooting, but I
think it would be much cheaper to buy game,
don't you f '
" I suppose so," replied Dora passively.
" Such a beautiful place as old Courtenay's is,"
continued Florence enthusiastically ; " I shall like
it much, Dora. I have planned all sorts of
changes, you know. These mousey old things
shall not have the best room. We dined with old
Courtenay last year, and oh ! how he did prose !
He had not slept all night, and he said so, also
that his nails grew fast, and did I not think it a
sign of ill-health ? And I was thinking all the
time of his Paschal candelabrum, as he calls it."
**The finest of its kind, excepting one at Milan,"
interrupted Dora with sparkling eyes.
"Is there really an ugHer one V asked Florence,
" Well, I was thinking of it, and that if I had
Deenah I should put it in the hall, and now of
course I will."
Dora did not answer. She longed for silence
and peace. Kelief came ; the door opened, and
John Luan entered the room. It so happened
that this was the first time Florence saw him, for
she was a rare visitor at the cottage. She gave
him a half shy, half doubtful look. He looked at
her, too, and rather scornfully Dora watched what
followed. Miss Gale could not do without admira-
tion. Paul was not present. She at once took up
with John. Mrs. Luan's son, so bashful with
Dora, showed sudden brightness. This pretty
dark-haired gii'l, whose face expressed vivacity
and languor in a most bewitching degree, rather
threw Dora into the shade. Indeed, so far as
beauty went, there could be no comparison be-
54 D O K A.
tween these two. Takeaway her brightness, and a
pair of dark grej' eyes from Dora, and there re-
mained little to her save youth and its bloom.
Dora was not jealous of John, but what girl likes
to be eclipsed ? She resented his faithlessness and
Miss Gale's coquetry in equal degree. Besides,
how dare she trifle thus with another whilst Paul
was away! So she looked at the pair with an
austerity of which John was unconscious, and
which filled Miss Gale with mischievous glee.
But this pretty pastime did not last. Florence
started up with an artless exclamation of —
" Oh ! dear, poor Mrs. Smith will be mad with
me, she will. Good-bye, darling !"
And giving Dora a warm hug, and a fond kiss,
and dropping John Luan a curtsy, she ran away,
" How savage Dora looks, and how sly she is !
but have I not paid her out for it, though."
From which it need not be concluded that Miss
Gale meant any particular harm, or that she had
designs on penniless John Luan. Only pleasure
was her law, and it was very pleasant to be looked
at with such sincere admiration as that to be read
in Mr. Luan's blue eyes.
" What a sweet girl !" he could not help saying,
and he went to the window to look after the grace-
ful figure lightly running down the road towards
the carriage of Mrs. Smith. " Such soft dark
eyes, and nice eyebrows !"
" Yes," apathetically said Dora, " very ! "
She, too, looked after Florence, and as she
looked she tried to solve a problem which puzzles
many women, and the opposite of which no doubt
perplexes many men. How is it, for instance,
that girls like Florence, who have not the better
and nobler part of beauty, its grand or its lovely
meaning, only the white and red, or the well-
shaped eye and arched brow, who have little
mind, not much heart, and no more sense than
wit, how is it they win, ay, and keep men's hearts ?
" Paul has never been the same to me since he
saw her face," thought Dora, with a swelling
heart ; " and it is well for me I do not care for
John, for he swears by her already. How does
she do it f
Vexed question. How often the man of sense
and sterling merit has tried to solve it, when he
has seen himself put by for a coarse or a shallow
fool. But Dora only thought of her own case,
and she thought of it as if with a foreshadowing of
what the future was to bring forth. She was not
surprised, when John left the window, to find
that it was to talk of Florence Gale ; but the sub-
ject rather wearied her She was glad when her
aunt entered the room, and still better pleased
when the evening was over, and she sat up alone
waiting for Paul.
She looked at the fire, and tried to see Deenah
in it. Then she checked herself. What was
Deenah to her, or any place where Florence must
" You are beautiful, Deenah," she said to her-
self ; " but I must not think of you. Well, no
matter, so dear Paul has you and is happy."
And as dear Paul himself was even then knock-
ing at the door, she rose with joyous eagerness to
let him in.
*' Well f ' she said, breathlessly.
" Well, all right !"
He looked radiant, and so did Dora.
" Did he promise ?" she asked.
" No, no. Men like him never promise. But
he paid me some handsome compliments on my
" And what about Mr. Templemore ? "
" Not a word. I never did think that Temple-
more had the least chance. I suspect it was some
promise to his wife. How cold it is ! "
" And now, what will you have ?"
" Nothing, my dear. I shall just take the cold
out of my bones and go to bed."
" How pale you look, Paul I"
" I was rather cold coming down "
" Go to bed at once and take something hot."
But Paul declined the latter part of Dora's
invitation. He would go to bed presently, but he
would take nothing hot, and as Paul had a will of
his oum, Dora did not insist. They sat up awhile,
and Dora mentioned Florence Gale's visit. His
eyes softened, and he laughed when his sister told
him about Florence's three fibs.
" Dear girl !" he exclaimed fondly.
" He must be bewitched," thought Dora ; but
aloud she said, " Go to bed, Paul, you look quite
"I don't feel so. I feel very happy, Dora.
Happiness lies before me. I think myself sure of
the girl I love, of a handsome fortune and a fine
estate, and as I must work on, T V.nn(^ to these
58 DOE A.
blessings to add those of a position won by my
own exertions, and of honourable fame. I say it
again, happiness lies before me, and that prospect
has not always been mine. And you shall be
happy, Dora. A guinea a line will you get for
that catalogue, and let me tell you there are not
many who get so much."
" A guinea a line !" said Dora, clapping her
hands, and looking delighted. " Oh ! you gener-
ous Paul, you are surely the Prince of Pub-
" And what will you do with that money?"
" Buy aunt and mamma new dresses, take a cot-
tage with a large garden to it; then I must have an
aviary, a conservatory."
'' You will find all these at Deenah !" he inter-
" But I do not mean to wait till Mr. Oourtenay
dies, for them, sir."
" Quite right, ma'am ; and so good night."
" And now 1 must go back to the law," said
Paul, next morning.
This was more easily said than done. Paul's
heart was no longer with his austere mistress. The
goal of his ambition had been displaced, and the
task before him seemed dull, flat, and unprofitable.
That catalogue had unsettled them all. And so time
passed. Mrs. Courtenay wondered at her brother-
" He ought to know Paul is anxious," she said,
" and send him word the catalogue is all right. I
believe he quarrelled with my dear husband be-
cause I was French ; but all that must be over
now, and he might call upon me. And if he ob-
jected to Mrs. Luan, he might have asked to know
what day she was out ; and, at all events, he ought
to send us down a basket of game."
None of these things, however, did Mr. Courtenay
** But I am not afraid," said Paul to his sister.
" I am sure my theory about the Henri-deux ware
is the right one."
" Of course it is, Paul."
*^ Ah I you are truer to me than Palissy's wife
was to him. What a fine fellow he was, Dora !
His trials and failures would have sickened any
but a true hero. It did me good to read about
him yesterday. He had laboured nine months, his
oven was ready, his vases were ready, his enamel
60 D O K A.
was ready, — fire was to try all. Six days and six
nights he spent tending that fire, and at the
eleventh hour, when the goal seemed all but won
fuel failed him. Think of that agony ! The man
seized all he had at hand — chairs, tables, furniture,
the very flooring of his room, and his wife goes
distracted, and Palissy's neighbours say he is mad,
and that he is setting fire to his house. Well, that
madness was his last. He had prevailed ; he knew
the Italian secret, and had made it his."
" And you have written a good catalogue, and
found out the secret of the Henri-deux ware, and
Deenah is to be yours," replied Dora.
*' And as you have helped me with the catalogue,
you shall have a suite of rooms in Deenah."
Dora laughed, but there seemed very little like-
liness of any such contingency just yet. Time
passed, and Mr. Courtenay gave no sign. They
all lived in suspense, save Mrs. Luan. She brooded
day after day, no longer over the best way of sav-
ing candle or sparing fire, but over the means of
separating John and Dora.
" John must go to London," she at length dis-
covered. Unluckily, to go to London money was
needed, and neither John nor his mother had any.
Many a sad mess did Mrs. Luan make with her
patchwork about this time.
At length Mr. Courtenay wrote. It was Dora
who received the letter, and with it a large sealed
packet from the postman. She came in with it to
the parlour, where Paul was putting on his gloves
before going out.
" Is it Fate ?" he asked gaily.
" I believe it is," replied Dora. " It comes from
Mrs. Luan put down her patchwork.
" Perhaps John had better not go to London,
after all. Suppose Mr. Courtenay were to portion
Dora. Say giv^e her two thousand pounds or
Whilst Mrs. Luan was thus calculating, Paul
broke the seal of the letter, glanced over it, then
said calmly, " I have failed."
A dead silence fell on them all.
" My theory on the Henri-deux ware was wrong,"
resumed Paul, quietly ; '' at least, my uncle says so."
And he read aloud : " The G on my salt-cellar has
another origin than that you ascribe to it. In the
year 1537, died Madame de Gouffier, wife of the
Lord of Oiron. She left some valuable specimens of
pottery. Now, Henri-deux ware is the only valu-
able French pottery of that period. Hence, Mr.
Templemore concludes that the G on my salt-cellar
is for Gouffier. I agree with him, and shall call
my Henri*deux ware ^Pottery of Oiron in
The letter concluded with some compliments to
Paul's success and industry in other respects, en-
closed a check for two hundred pounds, to make
up for loss of time, and lest he should accuse his
uncle of partiality, was accompanied by a print-
ed copy of Mr. Templemore's catalogue. Paul's
voice never faltered, his cheek never blanched, his
eye remained firm as he read this letter. Mrs.
Courtenay looked blank ; Mrs. Luan bewildered ;
and Dora hid her face in her hands and wept.
" Come," he said cheerfully, " that will mend no-
thing. Let us look at Mr. Templemore's catalogue."
Perhaps that was the hardest trial of all — per-
haps it was too hard. Dora, who had checked
her tears to look at her brother, read with the keen-
est pain the meaning of his face. Defeated was
written there. Ay, Paul Courtenay felt doubly de-
feated, for he felt that his uncle's sentence was just,
and Mr. Templemore's victory complete. He shut
D O K A. 63
the book with some emotion, took his gloves, looked
for his hat, and saying rather hurriedly, " I shall
be late," he left them. They were all silent after
he was gone. They all knew — even Mrs. Luan
knew it — that a thunderbolt had fallen, and that
this young tree, so green, so fresh a few weeks
back, was riven.
Mrs. Courtenay lamented over the loss of Mr.
Courtenay's fortune, as if she had expected Paul
to enter into possession of it the next day, and he
had been unkindly deprived of it. Mrs. Luan,
who never said much, seemed to have grown dumb ;
and Dora, the light, gay Dora, was gloomy, and
surreptitiously took Mr. Templemore's catalogue,
and went up with it to her brother's room, the only
place where she knew that she could look at it in
peace. She sat by the window, whence she could
see, if she chose, the distant bay, with the sea melt-
ing away into a soft, grey sky ; but little charm
had that grand prospect for Dora now. She, too,
for once, wanted to be miserable, and she had her
wish. The catalocrue was a wonderful catalogue.
It was magnificently printed, and the illustrations
were beautiful — mere woodcuts, indeed, but exe-
cuted by a practised hand, and with a vigour and a
spirit which Dora, who drew well, could appreci-
ate. The text, however, was the criterion of Mr.
Templemore's work ; and there too, alas ! he far sur-
passed her brother. Paul's taste for virtu was a
fictitious, acquired taste ; Mr. Templemore's was
evidently a natural gift, matured by long, careful
cultivation. Dora could not tell how far he was
right in his theory concerning the Henri-deux
ware, but she was obliged to confess that it was
infinitely more plausible than her brother's. Mr.
Templemore's superiority in other matters she also
ascertained ; but she could not go to the end of the
painful task. She threw the book away in a pas-
sion of resentment and grief, and burst into a flood
of bitter tears.
Slow and miserable was the rest of this un-
happy day. Paul came home very late, but he
found Dora sitting up for him in the par-
lour. He looked scarcely pleased. Perhaps he
was in one of those moods when silence and soli-
tude are most acceptable. Yet Dora was not
troublesome. She did not intrude advice or con-
solation. She only looked at him with gentle,
loving eyes, until his heart smote him for the cold-
ness of his averted glances, and he beckoned her
to his side. At once she came, and twining her
arm around his neck, laid her cheek to his.
" Poor Dora I" he said kindly, *' von have all the
sorrow, as you had all the trouble. But do not
fret for me. I shall do. It is all over !"
" You saw her ?"
" No ; but I wrote to her. She had never been
pledged to me, but for all that I set her free. I
fancy she will marry soon — I trust she will be
happy, dear girl !"
Dora's eyes flashed. Happy with another ! —
oh ! how could Paul say that ? — how could he
feel it ? But he did feel it. Perhaps his was the
disinterested love which is as rare as true love
itself ; perhaps it was not very deep love, after all,
and could be resigned easily to loss and separation.
"But you, Paul," she said, "how will you feel?"
" Unhappy for a time, then I shall grow com-
forted, no doubt. But, Dora, I do not think I
shall ever marry."
" Then if you do not, I will not either," she
said, impetuously — " never, Paul I"
" Xever ! — what will John say to that ?"
" John may say what he pleases — I do not care
about him. Besides, I would not marry my cousin."
VOL. I. F
" Well, time will show what either of us will
do ; and now, Dora, it is late — go to bed, dear."
" Why should I not sit up here with you ? — we
used to sit up for the catalogue, hoping and
dreaming. Why should we not sit up now, re-
gretting and lamenting together f
" I cannot talk about it," he said, in a low tone.
*• I wish I could — it would be better for me ; but I
" And what will you do about that money,
Paul f asked Dora, with flashing eyes ; " you will
not keep it ?"
" Yes, Dora, I will. My first impulse was to
return it, and if Mr. Courtenay's decision had been
an unjust one — not a farthing of it would I touch.
But there is the hardship of my case. I cannot
think myself an ill-used "man ; I had a chance
given me, and I lost it. It w-as fair play, Dora.
I should only display a small, silly pride, if I were
to refuse this gift of a relative who meant me
Dora was silent. She seldom opposed any de-
cision of her brother's. To please and obey him
was the law of her life, and when he again said
that it was late, she took the hint and left him.
Mrs. Courtenay was already fast asleep, but Dora
could not cpo to bed at once. She could not for-
get Paul, sittinfT by the lonely hearth below, and
mourning over his lost love and lost fortune, both
wrecked in tlie same little tempest — little to the
cold world looking on — to him how grievous and
how sad ! At length he came upstairs, but he,
too, stayed sitting up. What was he doing?
Dora stole out on the dark landing, and listened
at her brother's door. She heard a chair moving
slightly. Paul was sitting, then ; yet if he wanted
to sit up, might he not have stayed below ? His
light was not out. Dora looked in at him through
the keyhole, then stole back to her room with a
deep sigli : Paul was reading the catalogue.
That catalogue became the unhappy young
man's retrospective torment. He never read it in
the presence of his family, yet Dora knew that he
studied it night and morning. He gave the day
to the law ; the hours which were his he devoted
to this morbid brooding over the past. There was
no doubt a sort of dreary satisfaction in comparing
his own fruitless attempt with his rival's sure
effort, in thinking, " I should have succeeded if I
had done this, and I failed just by that hair's
breadth." If Dora had dared, she would have
remonstrated with him, but she did not venture to
do so. It was Paul's misfortune that he must
suffer in silence.
If anything could have added new bitterness to
his regret, it was the sudden decease of Mr. Cour-
tenay. He died at Deenah towards the close of
the year. By his wdll he left the bulk of his
property to Mr. Templemore. To Dora, Paul, and
J ohn he left five hundred pounds apiece. Neither
his sister, Mrs. Luan, nor his sister-in-law, Mrs.
Courtenay, was mentioned in Mr. Courtenay's
*' A very strange, uncivil man," said Mrs. Cour-
Mrs. Luan, who had most reason to complain,
said nothing, but she thought —
" John can go to London now."
How that thought passed from Mrs. Luan's
mind to John's no one ever knew, not even John
himself ; but he entered the cottage one evening
overflowing with the project, and finding Dora
sitting alone by the fire, and looking rather pen-
sive, he came up to her with the question —
" Anything new, Dora f '
" Nothing," she replied, gravely, " only I was
tliinking about our five hundred pounds. Mr.
Ryan says he could double the amount for us in
" I mean to go to London with mine," said John.
If he had said to Timbuctoo, Dora could
scarcely have looked more surprised.
" Yes, for my profession. It will be such an
advantage to me."
John thrust his fingers through his fair locks,
and looked like a man who has five hundred
pounds, and knows his status in society.
" An advantage to leave us," gently replied
She only thought of the cousinship, of the old
familiarity, of the friendship which had grown
with years, and were now to be all put by ; but
her gentle voice, and her mild, reproachful look,
said far more than this to John Luan. He turned
red and pale, and trembled.
" Dora," he faltered, " we are too young — you
" Too young for what ?" asked Dora, rising,
and standing straight before him.
70 D O E A.
She spoke so coldly, she looked so lofty, that
John was dumb ; but if anything had been needed
to urge him to go to London, that look and that
question of Dora's would have done it. He sat
down without answering her, and looked rather
sullen and discomfited. When his mother and
Mrs. Courtenay came in, he spoke of his journey
as a settled thing. Mrs. Courtenay lifted up her
hands in amazement.
" My dear boy," she said, raising her little shrill
voice, '' what can take you to London f
^' Mr. Courtenay's five hundred pounds, aunt,"
answered John, rather carelessly.
" But Mr. Eyan would double it for you," cried
Mrs. Courtenay ; " he w^ould treble it, John," she
added, with a little scream of delight at the pro-
spect of such doubling and trebling, which is indeed
very delightful whilst it takes place on the increas-
ing and not on the decreasing principle. It is
charming to multiply your capital by three, but
such multiplication sometimes ends by the division
of your sum total, and then^ alas ! it is grievous
enough. Such lamentable results Mrs. Courtenay
by no means contemplated, and she candidly
wondered at John's obstinacy in not letting his
five hundred pounds be trebled by Mr. Evan.
" Mr. Ryan would not take the trouble," replied
John, trying to get out of it this way.
" Oh ! yes, he will, if I ask him."
" Well, then, don't ask him, mamma," said Dora,
a little tartly. " John wants to go."
John hung his head and looked sheepish ; but it
was true enough, he wanted to go, and he went.
When it came to the parting Dora forgave him.
She could not go with him to the station, for Mrs.
Courtenay was unwell, but she clung to him
rather fondly as he bade her adieu at the end of
the garden, where the cab stood waiting.
'^ Good-bye, old Johnny !" she said, with a sigh.
" I know you will never come back."
" Yes, 1 will," he interrupted. " Good-bye, my
dear girl !"
Tears stood in his eyes as he kissed her. Per-
haps, seeing her so kind, John Luan was sorry to
be going, after all.
" You'll be late," said his mother, who did not
like that parting.
John looked at his watch, kissed his cousin again,
and entered the cab with Mrs. Luan. His last
words were —
"I shall come back sooner than you think,
" Poor Johnny !" she thought, as the cab drove
away ; " he means it, but he will not come back."
When Mrs. Luan returned from the station she
looked flushed and excited. This parting, the
first which had ever taken place between her and
her son, had been too much for her. Her mind
had not perhaps realized its keen agony until she
was called upon to endure it. Dora looked at her
with gentle pity, but there was a sort of sternness
in Mrs. Luan's eyes as she returned the look.
That bright hair and those pink cheeks had divided
her from her darling, and she hated them. There
is a strange inability in some natures to understand
other natures. It was then, and was ever after-
wards, impossible to Dora to understand this
woman, whom she had know^n all her life. She
saw that she was grieving for her son, but she did
not understand the nature of that grief.
" Dear aunt," she said, going and sitting down
by her, " you must not fret. It is in the nature
of young men, I suppose, to leave those whom they
love best. I daresay John has been thinking about
that a long time, and when he got these five hun-
dred pounds he coald not resist the temptation.*'
This soothing speech Mrs. Luan did not answer,
but, to Dora's surprise, she rose, took off her cap,
and flung it to the other end of the room, saying,
" Oh ! my head is so hot I"
To take off her cap and throw it about became
one of Mrs. Luan's habits from that day forth.
TT may be that Paul Courtenay had hoped to the
-^ last, and that his uncle's will was a blow to
him. It seemed to Dora that he looked sadder
and graver after John's departure than he had
ever looked before. She watched him closely, and
thought that he was both pale and grave when he
came home one evening in the spring that followed
Mr. Coartenay's death. A book lay open before
him, and he never once turned its pages.
" Something new has happened," thought Dora.
Mr Eyan's entrance helped to divert her
thoughts. Mr. Ryan often came to see them of an
evening now. He had invested their thousand
pounds in some wonderful manner, and the
doubling or trebling was going on amazingly.
Mrs. Courtenay, who took the deepest interest in
that process, could not weary of the subject, and
tried many a patience for its sake. She called it
*'it," and never specified it by any other term.
So almost her first words to Mr. Ryan this evening
" Well, Mr. Ryan, how is it going on ?"
"Nobly!" was ^Ir. Ryan's emphatic reply.
" Well, but when am I to be rich ?" asked Dora,
a little tartly. " I want to sit down, and fold my
hands, and be a useless fine lady, Mr. Ryan."
" Oh ! you girl !"
" My dear, did you not hear Mr. Ryan saying
it was going on nobly!" remarked her mother,
with gentle reproof. " Now, when a thing like
that goes on nobly," cried Mrs. Courtena}', raising
her voice, and clasping her hands with a sort of
childish delight, " I call it beautiful."
" Paul, what do you say to it f whispered Dora.
"Are we to be rich ?"
She bent over bis shoulder, and looked in his face.
He smiled gravely.
" Do you wish to be rich, Dora ?" he asked.
Dora had had that wish ; not that wealth was
very dear to her for its own sake, but because she
loved her brother. But now that Paul was to be
poor, and that Deenah was gone, it seemed to her
that money was of little worth.
" I don't know," she hesitatingly replied, " yet I
suppose it must be pleasant."
" Pleasant !" a little indignantly remarked Mr.
Ryan. He had money, plenty said the world, and
he did not like to hear Mammon slighted and called
" You are quite ridiculous, my dear," said Mrs.
But Dora did not heed them. She had returned
to her chair, and thence she looked at Paul so
grave, so sad, and she felt again, " Something new
has happened." She knew what had happened
three days later. On the morning of Mr. Ryan's visit
Florence Gale had married a Mr. Logan, very
rich, said report, and young and handsome, it
added. So it was probable that Mrs. Logan had
not been made a martyr to filial obedience, after
all. Of this Paul said nothing to his sister. He
had closed the book of his life at the page where
love and hope had each written his sad via^it, and
he opened it again at the page of hard work and
lawful ambition. He was grave, and by no means
cheerful, but he was neither nervous nor melan-
choly. He bore his lot manfully, and Mr. Cour-
tenay's fortune and the catalogue and Florence
Gale were soon as things that had never been at
Mrs. Courtenay's cottage.
Seeing him thus, Dora gradually became as
bright and as radiant as ever. Joy had returned
to her, and she v,ould not let the lovely guest be
gone. She read, she sang. She woke music from
her old spinet, she was housekeeper and a young
lady, and she was as happy as the day was long.
Early one summer evening Paul came home. He
found his sister in the garden watering her flowers.
She turned round on hearing him, and became
"Paul I how pale you are I" she said, a little
''Am I?" he cheerfully replied, "I feel very
well, however. I have just met Mrs. Logan," he
added, "she looked both lovely and happy. She
came and shook hands with me, and looked as light-
hearted as a buttei'fly."
"I never liked her,'' resentfully cried Dora ;
" she was never worthy of you."
" It was not her fault, Dora, if I was mistaken
in her ; but it was mine."
" How she lured you on about that catalogue,"
continued Dora, " and then how soon she forsook
" She was not pledged to me."
" True love needs no pledges," loftily replied
"But suppose some women cannot feel true
love," he playfully suggested. " Are you sure of
yourself, Dora ?"
" No," she honestly answered, " for I cannot
imagine I shall ever care for anyone as I care for
you, Paul. And if you do not marry," she added,
warmly, " I never shall — never !"
Paul smiled, but he thought it unlikely that
either he or his sister should ever marry. He
felt no inclination for wedded life, and Dora was
proud and poor, and lived in such seclusion that
the male sex might well be forgiven if they did
not appreciate her merits.
" Well, little Dora," he said, cheerfully, " we
shall be none the more unhappy for it, if it is to
" Unhappy ! I should think not."
She raised her face for a kiss, which she got,
and perhaps, as she received it, Dora felt some
little jealous joy at the thought that the day of
Florence Gale had gone by, and her own had
Paul reUred early that evening. He was a little
tired, he said, and Dora could not waken him by
playing on her "piano," as she and everyone at
home called it, by one of those convenient fictions
in which it is pleasant for the poor to indulge.
She sat and sewed by the light of the solitary
candle, whilst Mrs. Courtenay tried her patience,
and nodded over it, and Mrs. Luan pored over a
letter from " poor John." A loud ring at the gar-
den bell startled them all.
" Light the other candle I" cried ^Mi's. Courtenay,
wakening up with an alarmed start ; but before
Dora could obey that prudent order, the heedless
little servant girl had admitted Mr. Ryan, who
burst in upon them like a tempest.
" News, news !" he shouted, waving his hat in
the wildest excitement.
" How is it going on !" cried Mrs. Courtenay,
" Grandly ! Paul and Dora have two hundred
a year each. It has been coming on these six
months. I sold out and invested again this very
afternoon — two hundred a year each."
A thousand pounds had given them two hundred
a year each ! Ignorant as she was of money mat-
ters, Dora knew that this was grand trebling in-
deed. The tidings so bewildered her that she stood
still and mute. Mrs. Courtenay, on the contrary,
uttered three little screams of delight ; whilst Mrs.
Luan took off her cap and flung it at Mr. Ryan,
on whose head it alighted sideways, giving his red
face a waggish and knowing aspect.
This sobered them all.
" Is the woman mad ?" asked Mr. Eyan, star-
ing, and taking off Mrs. Luan's cap with some in-
" I beg your pardon," said Mrs. Luan, calmly.
" I meant to throw it on the table."
^^ Did you, though ! I wonder why it flew up
upon me, then I And pray, ma'am, why did you
take off your cap at all, and fling it about so f
" My head is so hot," she replied, staring at
him, " and you upset me with your two hundred a
"Yes, yes ; your son John has made ducks and
drakes of his money — I know — I know."
And Mr. Ryan humanely considered that this
disappointment was a sufficient explanation of the
cap affair, as he called it, when he related the in-
cident to his sister, Miss Ryan, who was then on
a visit to him.
" Oh ! how you have trebled I" cried Mrs. Coiir-
tenay, raising her voice and her hands in admira-
tion. " How you have trebled, Mr. Ryan ;"
" Dear Paul," said Dora, as happy tears stood
in her eyes ; '^ he has been working too hard, but
he can rest now."
" Oh I you girl ! A young man can never work
"And I say that Paul has been working too
hard," wilfully replied Dora ; " but I must go and
tell him the news. A fairy tale — a real fairy
She lightly ran upstairs, leaving her mother in
ecstasies, and Mrs. Luan settling her cap on, but
looking very dull and grey. What had become
of John's five hundred pounds by this time ? And
why had she sent him away from Dora, who had
two hundred a year now ? Was this the end of
her planning ? Oh I if she had but w^aited ! .
" I shall not waken him if he sleeps," thought
Dora ; " but if he is awake, I will tell him with a
kiss. Paul, my darling, we are rich now. We
VOL. I. G
can afford not to think any more of Mr. Courte-
nay's fortune. And with two hundred a year
and your profession you can find a wife — a true
good wife — not a Florence Gale, who could forget
you for a Mr. Logan."
With a noiseless foot she entered his room. It
was dark, and the light she held fell on the pillow
where his calm face lay sleeping. She put the
candlestick down and softly stole towards him.
When she stood by his side she looked at him with
eyes swimming in tears. How altered he was
since the day when he had come back from Dee-
nah, full of eager hope ! How pale and thin and
worn he looked in his sleep ! And what had he
been reading? — that dreadful catalogue again!
She knelt on the rug and softly took his hand,
which hung loosely outside the bedclothes. But
scarcely had she touched it when she started up
and uttered a piercing cry. That hand was cold
— cold as marble ; and, alas ! that cry, though it
filled the house and brought up its terrified tenants
around her, did not waken her brother. Never,
never more would Paul draw her to his side and
call her his little Dora. Brother and sister, whom
nothing was to divide, were parted thus early on
their journey ; and whilst one took his rest, having
earned his wages, the other was to go on the sad
pilgrimage alone and desolate !
" My brother, my brother !" was all she could
say. For weeks this was her cry, for years it rang
in her heart, " My brother !" In every hour of
tribulation the sorrowful words were spoken.
Everyone grieved for this young man. Mrs.
Courtenay mourned for him as for a son. Mrs.
Luan shed genuine tears, and remembered with a
pang that his death gave Dora four hundred a
year. Mr. Ryan did not weary of lamenting " the
poor boy's untimely fate ;" but of all those who
could say, '^ Thus died Paul Courtenay," none
knew that with him died the pride and the ambi-
tion of his sister's heart. She had loved him, but
she had also hoped in him. He had been, though
she knew it not, perhaps, the great stake in her
life. All her hopes and her desires had rested
upon him, never once upon herself. Through
him she was to be honoured, in his reflected glory
she was to shine. Of her own value and her own
part in the great human drama she never thought.
When he went, all went with him. It might be
well for both of them that it should be so. He
84 DOR A.
never knew the bitterness of disappointment, nor
she that of a sudden wakening. He was her hero
now for ever. He was to have been a great ora-
tor, the rich man, the pride and stay of his family.
How often had the triumphs of Demosthenes, of
Chatham and Grattan, made her heart throb ! How
often had she sat at twihght, by the open win-
dow, or over the smouldering fire, listening to her
brother's fervid eloquence, to the murmurs of ap-
plause and the deafening cheers of a senate, whilst
her mother chatted prettily or her aunt stitched at
All this was over now ; but better perhaps that
death had stepped in, silencing the eloquent lips
with an icy hand, than that Time, the great dis-
enchanter, should have shown to Paul and his
sister the folly of a long-cherished dream.
But this Dora never felt, and never was to feel.
The object of her adoration was safe from a fate
so grievous. Yet perhaps because she had loved
him so fondly, and hoped in him so fervently, was
her grief felt and not spoken. To all seeming,
indeed, it was not a deep grief. She mourned,
but not with such a sorrow as her impassioned
love ought to have called forth. So thought Mr.
Ryan, and even her mother. Dora was pale and
thin, but she smiled brightly, nay, she laughed —
why, she actually sang again, though Paul was in
his grave. She sang his songs, too — not plaintive,
but merry Irish melodies, which had been dear to
"The Irish are a light-hearted people, Mr.
Ryan," solemnly said Mrs. Courtenay to her
Mr. Ryan did not answer this national question,
but listening to Dora's singing upstairs in Paul's
room, he thought, " That girl puzzles me." He
also thought that he would study her, but the
opportunity to do so was not granted to Mr.
Paul had not long been dead, when ]Mrs. Cour-
tenay said to her daughter one afternoon,
"I am sure it was this dreadful climate that
killed my poor bo3\"
" But, mamma, Paul's was a heart complaint."
" Of course it was ; well, the climate killed
him — and I am sure I have a heart-complaint
'^ Dear mamma, I cannot think that. My dear
brother was so pale, and you have a lovely colour.
" But such dreadful palpitations !" sighed Mrs.
Courtenay ; " oh ! such palpitations !"
Dora put down her work and fell into the
saddest dream. Paul had never complained of
palpitations, but said he was well to the last.
" I want a change," pursued Mrs. Courtenay ;
" and I think I shall go to London."
" To London ! " cried Dora, much startled.
" Yes ; Loudon air always agreed with me."
'^ But, mamma, London air is surely not good
" Beautiiul air !" cried Mrs. Courtenay, raising
her voice with enthusiasm.
Dora looked at Jier aunt. Was it she who, to
be with her son, had suggested so strange a step to
her mother ; but Mrs. Luan stitched on stolidly at
her patchwork, and said,
^' There is no air like Dublin air."
'^ Do listen to her !" compassionately exclaimed
Mrs. Courtenay. '^ No air like Dublin air ! Poor
"Then aunt had nothing to do with it," thought
Dora, in her innocence.
She tried to oppose Mrs. Courtenay's wish ; Mr.
Eyan also interfered, but to no purpose — there was
a secret agency at work more potent than they
knew of. Mrs. Luan's plan was of the simplest
kind. She asked her sister-in-law daily how she
was, and if she felt quite well. She put these
questions when Doira was not present, and with
them, and a few careless hints, she carried the day,
and the London journey was decided upon. The
cottage was given up, the furniture was sold ojB",
and on the morning of the day when they were to
go to Kingston, thence to sail for Holyhead, Dora
went alone to Glasnevin.
A plain head-stone marked Paul Courtenay's
grave. His name and age, and the word Requi-
ESCAT, were his only epitaph. Grass and a few
flowers already grew over him. As she looked at
that narrow space, at these few feet of earth which
held all that had been dearest to her, Dora's heart
overflowed with other feelings than those of sorrow.
There came to her in that sad hour a bitterness
which she could not restrain. She remembered
her uncle, who had tempted Paul in his poverty,
and urged him to a task beyond his ability ; she
remembered Florence Gale, who had spurred him
on to labour beyond his strength, then forgotten
him ; she remembered Mr. Templemore, whose tri-
umph had embittered even Paul Courtenay's last
hours ; and to these three she attributed his prema-
ture death. " I must forgive them," she thought ;
" I must forgive the living as well as the dead ;
but to forgive is not to love, ar^d never, never shall
there be kindness between them and Paul's sister !"
Alas ! was this a spot, was this an hour for
thoughts like these ? A lowering grey sky bent
over the cemetery, a south-westerly wind moaned
amongst the young trees ; it had rained all night,
and the sodden earth said how cold and how dreary
was the bed of the dead. There they slept around
Dora in hundreds, in thousands. Did they mur-
mur, did they complain? Life, its fever, its
troubles, and its hundred cares were over for them,
and was it not well ? If they could have spoken,
w^ould not their faint, low voices have risen to
reprove the resentful girl who brought to their
peaceful realm the angry feelings of life ?
'I T RS. COURTENAY had left Dublin a year
-^'-*- Avhen Mr. Ryan took a journey to London,
and scarcely giving himself time to dine, at once
entered a cab, and drove off to see his old friends.
Mrs. Courtenay lived in a pretty little villa in
Bayswater ; a white nest, with young green trees
around it. Mr. Ryan gave the place a gratified
look as he alighted and saw it in the clear moon-
light of a cold spring evening. " Dora's bower,"
thought Mr. Ryan. A neat little parlour-maid
opened the door and admitted him. "That's
right," thought Mr. Ryan ; " no page in buttons —
no fourth-rate man-servant, but an irreproachable
young woman. Dora is a sensible girl." The
crimson staircase carpet, with its brass rods ; the
spacious landing, adorned with pretty flower-stands,
confirmed this favourable impression ; and the
drawing-room added to it. A very charming
drawing-room it was, not luxurious, though grace-
ful and elegant. " Dora's kingdom," thought Mr.
Ryan ; and when the folding-doors opened, and
Dora entered the room, robed in white silk, with
roses blushing on her bosom, and wreathed in her
bright hair, she appeared in Mr. Ryan's eyes as the
fair queen of that little realm. Mr. Ryan looked at
her and at the drawing-room, and at Mrs. Courte-
nay's black satin dress — nay, even at Mrs. Luan's
stylish cap, with admiring eyes. For were not all
these luxuries and tokens of prosperity the result
of the four hundred a year his skilful management
had secured to Dora Courtenay.
" Ah ! ha ! you were going off to a party ?" he
cried, gaily ; *' why, even that rascal, John Luan,
has white kid gloves on. You did not expect me,
did you, now ?"
'' No, indeed, Mr. Ryan," replied Mrs. Courte-
nay, in a most dolorous tone.
She sank down on a chair with a heavy sigh.
Mrs. Luan took a low seat, and sat straight and
motionless upon it. John Luan threw himself on
the sofa and looked deeply sulky. Dora alone
remained standing, and she greeted her old friend
very kindly ; but something ailed her too, for there
DOR A. 91
was a deep flush on her cheek, very different from
its pure clear bloom.
" Why, what has happened ?" cried Mr. Kyan,
staring around him in amazement.
" Oh ! we are not going to the party," rephed
Mrs. Courtenay. " Professor Gray has just called
to tell us that Brown and Co. haye stopped pay-
ment, and that Mr. Brown is off somewhere or
other with poor Dora's four hundred a year, and
other people's thousands."
This was news indeed ! And though Mr. Ryan
burst forth into incredulous exclamations, very cer-
tain news, unfortunately. Dora's money had
vanished for ever in the gulf of Brown and Co.'s
difficulties, though, luckily for them all, the little
income of !Mrs. Courtenay and Mrs. Luan was
" And we were going to such a nice party,"
plaintively said Mrs. Courtenay. " I almost wish
Professor Gray had kept his news till to-morrow."
"Professor Gray takes a strong interest in
Dora," ironically remarked John. " Did you not
see, aunt, how he changed colour when she told
him she was penniless, and how crestfallen he
looked as he left us ?"
" Yes," innocently replied Mrs. Courtenay, " he
is one of Dora's admirers, you know. And so
was Mr. Brown. The last time she wore that
dress and these roses, he said they were set in
" Brown is a scoundrel !" angrily said John.
Poor John Luan 1 For the last year he, too,
had sighed at Dora's feet ! He, too, had thought
she looked lovely in her white silk dress, and with
the roses in her hair, and he had burned with
jealous wrath whenever Professor Gray or the de-
linquent Brown looked at her. Of one rival he
was rid, and the other he suspected he need not
fear ; but what availed it ? Dora was penniless,
and John Luan as poor as ever. He had come
to take his aunt and cousin to the party, and to
worship and admire Dora, and feel wronged be-
cause others did as much ; instead of which he had
the doubtful satisfaction of calling Brown a scoun-
drel, and of knowing that he could by no means
afford to marry a poor girl and keep a wife.
" Poor John !" thought Dora. " I like him, I
admire Professor Gray, and that cool, fair-looking
Mr. Brown was very pleasing in his way ; but the
thought of becoming Mrs. Luan, Mrs. Gray, or
Mrs. Brown always made me shudder. I wish I
could tell him so."
" Dear, dear, that is sad !" exclaimed Mr. Ryan,
shaking his head at Dora. " That is sad, my poor
" Yes," she replied, " my little prosperity came
like a fairy gift, and like a fairy gift it went
away. But I was born poor, you know, and can
go back to poverty very easily."
John gazed admiringly at this young stoic, who
looked so serene — and so pretty — with the roses
in her hair, and he said, with sudden animation,
" It was only yesterday Thompson said I was
sure of that appointment. I shall certainly go
down to Oxfordshire to-morrow."
Mrs. Luan heard him, and looked at him and
Dora with the sullen look of yore. For the last
year she had, as it were, wooed Dora for John,
after her own awkward fashion. And now her labour
was worse than vain, and she once more saw John
and Dora in a poor cottage, with babies around
them, whilst in the background appeared a vision
of Mr. Brown in an express train, with Dora's
four hundred a year in his carpet-bag.
" If she had taken John at once," resentfully
thought Mrs. Luan, *'her money would be all
right ; [and if he had not taken a fancy to her his
money would not be almost all gone."
" Dear I dear !" again said Mr. Ryan, *' it is
very dreadful ! Four hundred a year, such a nice
little income ; and all gone — all gone !"
Yes, it was all gone, indeed, and with it had de-
parted the new life which had been so pleasant —
the admirers, the parties, the intellectual society,
the little luxuries, the many comforts. All these
were gone, and Mr. Ryan no longer wielded that
magic wand of capital which would conjure them
back again. With a heavy heart he left his friends,
and he spent the night in maturing plans for their
But when he called the next day Mr. Ryan
found that everything had already been settled
without the help of his advice.
^' It is no use fretting, you know, Mr. Ryan,"
said Mrs. Courtenay, with airy fortitude ; ^' stay-
ing in London is out of the question, and Dublin
air disagrees with me, so we shall go to France."
"To France! — why, who put that into your
head, Mrs. Courtenay ?"
" No one," tartly replied that lady ; ^' but I am
sure my native air is the very thing for me."
Mr. Ryan stared. Mrs. Luan was looking at
the wall, and Dora's eyes were downcast. John
was not present.
" And what does John Luan say to that ?" he
" John knows nothing about it," was the super-
cilious reply. " He went off to Oxfordshire by
the first train, and it was only five minutes ago I
made up my mind that Rouen was to be our fu-
ture residence. But now, Mr. Ryan, I have a
great favour to ask of you.- Mrs. Luan and 1
will go off at once, and settle our new home. Will
you kindly take care of Dora here, and help her
to dispose of the furniture ?"
Mr. Ryan tried to remonstrate, but opposition
only confirmed Mrs. Courtenay in her purpose.
Seeing her so determined, Mr. Ryan desisted.
After all, going to France might not be so bad a
plan. France was cheaper then than it is now,
and economy must be once more the law of Mrs.
It is always sad to break up a home, and so
Dora now found it, spite her stoicism. When it
had been ascertained bej^ond doubt that not a
farthing of her money could be recovered, Mrs.
Courtenay and Mrs. Luan proceeded together to
France. Once more John Luan's mother con-
sented to leave him, in order to separate him from
Dora. She knew that the best way to keep Mrs.
Courtenay and Dora in their new home was to
accompany them. Indeed, she had a strong pre-
sentiment that her volatile little sister-in-law^ if
not watched, might escape back again to England.
Rather than run so great a risk, Mrs. Luan would
forego even bidding adieu to her son, who was still
down in Oxfordshire, hunting for liis appoint-
A letter soon came from Rouen, informing
Dora that Mrs. Courtenay had discovered the
most delightful lodging, with the dearest old crea-
ture, and that all she wanted to be perfectly happy
was her dear Dora's presence.
The furniture was disposed of to a broker, so
that on receiving this letter Dora had but to pack
up her trunk and leave the house where she had
spent some pleasant, if not happy hours. She
went over it alone, sighing gently at the loss of
her four hundred a year. She looked wistfully at
the deserted drawing-room, which she had taken
such pleasure in adorning. Never more should
Dora Courtenay see pleasant, genial faces gather-
ed there ; no more should she hear intellectual and
witty talk within its walls. A few letters from
Mr. Ryan to a few clever people in London, a few
parties, and Dora's blight happy face had soon
made Mrs. Courtenay's little villa an attractive
" But all that is over now," thought Dora, as
she closed the door, and went up to her own room ;
" we must return to the old life. Ah ! if we had
but dear Paul, how welcome it would be !"
That was the thousfht that ever came back.
Deep within her heart slept the remembrance of
her great sorrow, but every now and then it woke
again to cruel and bitter life. That was the
thought, too, which had kept Dora's heart free.
No man seemed able to waken within her even a
far echo of that passionate love which she had
once bestowed on her brother Paul. When she
looked at his portrait, the keen eye, the intellec-
tual brow, the manly look, all seemed to say,
"Find the like of us if you can." Who, indeed,
could compare with the lost hero of her young
VOL. I. H
" Yes, all would be well if 1 had you," she now
thought, glancing towards the miniature, which
hung between the fireplace and her narrow bed.
" Oh ! my brother ! my brother !" she exclaimed,
as she clasped her hands in sudden sorrow, and
could not see that adored image for blinding tears.
" Why did I lose you, my brother V
Vain appeal to the inexorable grave ! Yet
how often will that pitiful cry, " My brother !" be
heard like a wail in the life of Dora Courtenay ?
She had sunk on a chair in her grief, when her
room door opened, and Mrs. Luan came in.
" x\unt," exclaimed Dora, much amazed, " what
has happened ?"
" Nothing. What are you crying for V
Dora did not answer. She never could speak
of her grief. Mrs. Luan took her bonnet off and
threw it on a chair.
" You want to stay," she said, angrily.
'^ Aunt, I do not."
" Then you want to go back to Dublin."
" Oh ! no," sadly repKed Dora.
The thought of returning to her lost home was
exquisitely painful to her. What was that home
without Paul's dear presence to cheer it, or fill it
DOR A. 99
with bright hopes and fond illusions? ^Moreover,
in Dublin she must meet Florence, or see Mr.
Templemore. She did not hate them, but they had
so filled her brother's heart with grief, that this
proud and silent heart had broken, and the spot
that held them became to her as the fatal gulf, or
the pitiless rock where some loved being has
perished, to be shunned for evermore. But Mrs.
Luan still looked at her mistrustfully. She had
come back to fetch her niece and take her away,
actuated by one of those wonderful maternal pre-
sentiments which fail so rarely, and she had found
John Luan below with Mr. Ryan. He had just
arrived from Oxfordshire, rather sulky and crest-
fallen at having failed completely in his object,
and very indignant with Mrs. Courtenay for taking
her daughter off to a strange country. Thus he
spoke to his mother with the unconscious selfish-
ness of the young. She looked at him sullenly.
Why did he not think of her going ? Why did
he not want her to stay w ith him ? Why was it
all about parting with Dora, and nothing for the
separation between himself and his mother? In
this jealous mood Mrs. Luan went up to Dora's
room, and seeing her tears, gave them but one
100 D O K A.
meaning. Dora was crying at parting from John
Luan ! From that moment forward Mrs. Luan
no longer left Dora's side. She allowed Mr. Ryan
to settle with the brokers, she suffered the furni-
ture to be removed and money to be wasted and
squandered at a terrible rate, according to her
economical principles, and still she stuck to Dora;
whilst John stalked about the house with gloomy
and sullen looks, and thought of his lonely rooms
in Rowland Street.
In one respect Mrs. Luan's caution was not
needed. John had no intention of making open
love to Dora. He had not done so when she had
four hundred a year, and he would not do so now
that she had not a shilling. Indeed, all Dora's
admirers, with Professor Gray at their head, had
vanished. Report exaggerated her losses, and the
thought of marrying a whole family daunts most
" It is well for me I cared for none of them,"
thought Dora, rather stung to find how suddenly
her value had fallen.
And now all was ready, and Dora and Mrs.
Luan had but to depart. John and Mr. Ryan
saw them to the station.
" Good-bye, dear girl," said Mr. Ryan, kindly ;
'^ I shall keep my eye on ]Mr. Brown, you know,
and if anything turns up, why, you may rely upon
Dora could scarcely repress a smile. Mr. Ryan's
eye in London, or even in Dublin, did not seem to
her very likely to affect Mr. Brown in America,
and she had not the faintest hope of anything
turning up in the shape of money. John was
silent, but he was rather pale, and Dora saw that
this parting affected him. "Poor John," thought
Dora, kindly; " he has fancied himself so long in
love with me, that he believes it. I daresay he
will go on so to the end."
But she went up to him and said a few kind
words about better times that were coming for
them all, and his getting that appointment in the
" And if I do get it," began John, rather eagerly ;
but he ceased abruptly on seeing his mother be-
hind him. He had a vague consciousness that
Dora's altered circumstances had also altered his
mother's feelings and wishes.
"Time to go, John," said Mr. Ryan.
Yes, it was time, and spite Mrs. Luan's watch-
ful eye, John took Dora in his arms and kissed
" Tell aunt I shall go and see her in Rouen," he
"What is it? What did John say?" eagerly
asked Mrs. Luan, when the two gentlemen were
gone, and she and Dora sat in the railway car-
" John says he will come and see us in Eouen,"
simply replied Dora.
Railway and steamboat travelling has no ro-
mance now. It is swift and convenient — we must
not ask it to be eventful. After an easy passage,
and a rapid journey through a green landscape,
Dora and her aunt reached Rouen in the evening.
Narrow streets and church spires rising through
the darkness, seemed to Dora the chief character-
istics of Rouen as they drove through it.
" Oh ! such a dear old place," said Mrs. Courte-
nay, whom they had found at the station ; " I am
sure you will like our apartments, Dora, and that
dear old thing, Madame Bertrand."
Dora asked no better than to be pleased with
everything. But when she reached their new
home, and saw a dingy old house, a dark and
narrow staircase, a clean little old landlady in a
cotton apron and white cap, and some very poorly-
furnished rooms on the first floor, she tried not to
sigh as she remembered the pretty villa in Bays-
rPHE often boasted charm of novelty was not
•*■ felt by Dora when she awoke the next morn-
ing and looked around her. The little room, with
its dingy old fashioned furniture, not one article
of which was endeared by familiarity, seem'ed both
cheerless and unpleasant. The ceiling was low
and depressing. The few sounds which arose
from the street had no old homely meaning in
them. A certain quaintness there was, indeed, in
the aspect of the place, but even Dora was ob-
liged to confess that there was no more.
" And yet I shall be happy here in spite of you,
you poor httle room !" she thought, as she rose and
dressed herself. " I never had such bed-curtains
before. I shall remember that when I feel dull,
and be thankful."
Those curtains were certainly peculiar, more
peculiar than beautiful. Dora sat down on the
edge of the bed to look at them. They were of a
dull lilac tint, which many a washing had faded,
and they represented the fortunes of the fair and
much-tried Griselidis. Dora saw her standing at
her father's door in humble, shepherdess attire; then
came the noble wooer and his suite to bear the
new Marchioness away. Now Griselidis sits on a
throne in state, and with rank and dignity begin
her sorrows. Her children are taken from her,
her husband grows unkind, and finally repudiates
his too patient wife. Dora, who had raised the cur-
tain to follow the story to its happy end, dropped
it with some scorn as the last print showed her
the Marquis of Saluces embracing his forgiving
^' How I should have hated that man I" she
thought, her bright eyes flashing. " Some sour
old bachelor certainly had these curtains first.
What woman would choose such a subject for
night or morning contemplation ? "
She was dressed by this, and opened the window
a little impatiently. Stranger still than within
did ever}'thing without look to her unaccustomed
eye. On the opposite side of the narrow street
stood an old church, at the corner of a dark alley.
It had long been disused for worship, and was
now the storehouse of a large foundry. Through
the open door Dora could see heaps of grape shot
and musket balls lying on the dusty floor. The
cold grey walls were stripped of all their ecclesias-
tical pageantry. The painted glass windows had
long been shattered and walled up. Altar, pic-
tures, flowers, and golden candlesticks were all
gone, but high up near the roof Dora could still
read the half-effaced words, " Gloire a DIeu."
Above the gate stood a stone bishop in his
mitre. The figure, though sadly mutilated, still
stretched out a benignant hand to bestow the pas-
toral blessing. But the staff, emblem of authority,
was broken in the other hand, which grasped but
a useless fragment. Very brown and grey was
the carved front of this dilapidated edifice. And
yet the sad old ruin had a charm which struck
Dora as being both quaint and graceful. The
keeper of this place probably had a taste for
flowers, for he had made himself a garden high
up among the buttresses. A sort of terrace he
had fashioned there ; he had brought mould to it,
and then filled it with stocks and lilies. Tall,
white, and spotless«rose the virgin flowers, looking
D O E A. 107
very fair and pure against that sombre background.
A vine, too, there was, that scattered its green
arms about and hung over the street in festoons,
which the lic]jht breath of the mornino; stirred
The street itself was narrow, steep, and very
old. It had been of some note in the days gone
by. Presidents and members of the Parliament
of Rouen had dwelt in those largo hotels, with
quiet grass-grown courts in front and broad gar-
dens behind. They were now the abode of manu-
facturers and of retired legal practitioners, who
kept them in repair, but who cared to do no more.
Everything was tranquil and silent. One house,
more poorly inhabited than the rest, showed a few
tokens of life. A ffreen siirnboard dangled from
one of the second-floor windows, and informed the
passers-by that Professor Didier lived within. A
pale thin old woman looked out for a few mo-
ments, then shut the window. A rosy boy ap-
peared at another window on the third floor, and
stared at Dora, but he too vanished, and the house
became as silent and as quiet as its neighbours.
In the street Dora saw two children lazily going
to school, then a servant girl in clattering sabots,
who came back with a pale of water from a foun-
tain that was almost underneath her window ; but
when the children had gone by, and the servant
girl had passed beneath a dark archway in the
alley, not a soul was to be seen in the whole street,
and not a sound was to be heard save the little
flow and plash of the invisible water. Dora tried
to see it, and leaned out, but she only caught
sight of some stone carving with a green fern
growing on the top of it, high out of the reach of
" It will be very quiet," she thought.
Already a sort of torpor, the forerunner of the
life she was to lead, stole over her. She looked
down the street, and at its narrow close she saw
the green hazy river, with a black boat gliding
down ; and thus looking and leaning on her win-
dow-sill, Dora fell into a vague yet not unpleasant
reverie. The clear foreign sky, the strange city,
and the quiet street, with its picturesque memorials
of bygone days, lulled thought to rest, and drove
care away. The loss of some money seemed an
event of little magnitude when compared with
these impressive tokens of ruin and decay. Be-
sides, Dora was still young, and as a rule gold
is neither youth's hope nor its desire. Other
wishes, other longings than the sordid are they
which haunt the heart of twenty-three.
" Well, my dear," said her mother's voice behind
her, " how do you like this ?"
Dora turned round, smiling brightly.
" It is very picturesque and peculiar," she re-
" Picturesque and peculiar !" exclaimed Mrs.
Courtenay, with that little shrill raising of the
voice by which she expressed astonishment. "My
dear, it is simply enchanting. I have not felt so
happy for years as I have felt since I came here ;
and Madame Bertrand is the most delightful .old
creature you ever saw !"
" Is she old f demurely asked Dora.
" Is she old !" exclaimed Mrs. Courtenay, with
the little shrill raising of the voice again. " Old
as the hills, but so good ; only I suspect, my love,
that she is a little touchy. She has been better off,
you see, and feels it hard to have to wait upon us
now. She made it a stipulation that she was to
be called Madame Bertrand, and I came in to tell
you so — I was afraid you might hurt her feelings
Dora promised to be careful, but expressed some
wonder that Madame Bertrand should have under-
taken to be their servant-of-all-work. Upon which
it turned out that Madame Bertrand had under-
taken no such thing ; but had volunteered her ser-
vices with restrictions so numerous that Dora was
amused to hear them recapitulated by her mother.
She promised, however, to attend to all this touchy
lady's regulations. Mrs. Oourtenay nodded, and
at once resumed Madame Bertrand's praises.
That lady, it seemed, had had a succession of
" And they all adored her, save one," said Mrs.
Courtenay. " He was a Monsieur Theodore, and
after behaving abominably, coming in and going
out at all hours, and caUing her * Bertrand,' quite
short, as if she were a man, he ran away without
paying the poor old soul."
Dora laughed merrily.
" Do they do that in France too f she asked,
" My dear, how can you be so simple ! They
do it everywhere. But it is a shame to impose on
that poor old thing, who, from all she has told me
about herself, must be one of the best creatures
who ever breathed !"
Dora did not attempt to answer this. She
knew it was her mother's habit to take her opinion
of people from their own account of themselves.
So she listened to Madame Bertrand's praises with
an amused smile, but without other contradiction
than the demure remark —
" I wonder if Monsieur Theodore made love to
" My dear, I tell you she is old — old !" remon-
strated her mother ; and in the same breath she in-
formed her that breakfast was ready, Madame
Bertrand having condescended so far as to pre-
Dora cast a quick, keen look around their sitting-
room, as she sat down to breakfast. It was a clean,
cold, and poor-looking apartment enough.
"But you shall have another look before the
day is out," said Dora aloud. " I am talking to
the room, aunt," she added, smiling at Mrs. Luan's
"Don't spend, Dora!" exclaimed Mrs. Luan,
putting down her cup in alarm.
" Oh ! I must ; but it shall not be beyond pence.
I know that shillings are forbidden now."
Mrs. Luan still looked uneasy, but did not ven-
ture on further remonstrance. When breakfast
was over, Dora entered her room, unpacked her
trunk, and took out some of those httle toys which
are the deh*o;ht of a woman's heart. She had
saved them from the wreck of her fortunes, not
merely because habit had endeared them to her,
but because, though valuable of their kind, they
would only have been swallowed in the great catas-
trophe, and would have brought in little or nothing
at a sale. Within an hour the room, as Dora had
told it, had another look. She had hung up a few
water-colour drawings on the walls, put up two
brackets with the bronze heads of Shakespeare and
Dante upon them, and for the dingy, common
French porcelain vases, with artificial flowers in
them, under glass globes, w^hich adorned Madame
Bertrand's black marble mantel-piece, Dora substi-
tuted two white and blue vases of genuine china,
which she filled with fresh wallflowers, bought
from a woman in the street. This, and a work-
basket on the table, a few books on a shelf, and
here and there a little feminine trifle, so altered the
aspect of the place, that when Mrs. Courtenay
came out of her own room, and saw it again, she
uttered a little scream of delight.
"You are a fairy!" she cried, clasping her
hands in admiration.
"Twopence for nails, and twopence for flowers,"
triumphantly said Dora, looking at her aunt ;
" total, fourpence !"
Mrs. Luan was mute; but, if she had dared,
she would have said that the fourpence were ill-
The day had been a busy one for Dora, and
towards the close she entered her room and sat
down to rest by her open window. She looked at
the old church, at the lilies, at the house where
the professor lived, and she found them all quiet
and silent as in the morning. The little rosy boy,
whom she had already seen, was peeping at her
from behind a window curtain ; but when he saw
her smiling face, he disappeared. A glimpse of
the professor's wife she also had, but it was a
brief one. Madame Didier was looking out at
her husband, a lame, infirm man, who walked
down the street leaning heavily on his stick. She
watched him' till he turned the corner of the street,
then she shut her window, and was seen no more.
Dora leaned back in her chair, with a book lying
unopened on her lap. She could imagine from
VOL. I. I
this day what her life would be. She would not
have pictures to hang or brackets to put up daily,
but daily she might if she pleased sit by her win-
dow and read, or sew, or look at the old church.
Mrs. Courtenay was too delicate to take long
walks, Mrs. Luan too indifferent, and they could
not afford to hire carriages. She had been out
for an hour alone, and she had caught a glimpse
of Rouen. It looked a dull, grave, commercial
city, with magnificent Gothic churches, but it also
looked very dreary. Little light or cheerfulness
was there in those ancient streets, over which huge
mediaeval piles shed their gloom.
" And we do not know a soul here," she
thought ; *^ and if we stay years in Rouen, as we
may, I shall spend those years in comparative
There was something almost appalling to Dora
in the thought, and the evening of that first day
was not calculated to contradict it.
It was a spring evening, hot as summer, yet
they remained within, for whither should they
have gone? Mrs. Luan, who never felt dull,
perhaps because she never felt merry, was busy
with her patchwork. Mrs. Courtenay at first
talked in a very lively strain, and was enthusiastic
about the pleasures of this new life, but gently
fell asleep in the end. Dora looked at a flower-
pot on the window-ledge, in which a weak
shoot was attempting to send forth a pair of
*^ I suppose I shall have to take some interest in
you," she thought ; " but you are not animate
enough for me. I wish one could make slips of
living creatures, and watch them growing. It would
be pleasant to see the tips of a pair of brown, furry
ears shooting up, then bright eyes, then a round
head, then the rest of the creature ; but the ears
would be the really pretty part of it. I should
like to have a kitten so, or a pup ; but where is
the use of liking anything more ? I, who could
not see a bird fly but I longed for it, must now
learn to be as sober and demure as any nun."
In this austere mood, Dora took up a book and
tried to read, but reading seemed to have lost its
" I must study," she thought — " nothing else
will do." So she went and fetched Dante, and
did her best to fathom one of the piost obscure of
his difficult passages. But neither would that an-
swer. Study cannot be taken up as a foil against
passing tediousness. She is an austere mistress,
and requires undivided worship. Besides, there
rose sounds from below which disturbed Dora.
Madame Bertrandhad friends who spent the even-
ing with her. Their loud talking and louder
laughter came up to Dora as a sorrowful comment
on the present, and a no less sorrowful remem-
brance of the past. She remembered joyous
young days in Ireland, pleasant evenings between
her brother Paul and her cousin, John Luan.
She remembered evenings when she had conversed
with the gifted and the wise during the brief year
of her prosperity. That, too, had had its charm,
colder than that of her youth, but happy because
intellectual. And now, how had it ended ? She
had lost the two friends of her girlhood ; she had
lost the intercourse which is so dear to an inquir-
ing and cultivated mind, and she was the denizen
of a strange city, thrown on her own resources,
bound to live without a purpose or a task in life
other than that of life itself — a dull and a hard
prospect at twenty-three.
But we do not all feel alike on these subjects.
Madame Bertrand and her friends talked so
loud, that Mrs. Courtenaj awoke, and looked
" Dear me !" she said, innocently, '^ I thought
I was at one of our parties, and that I had fallen
asleep whilst Mr. Gray was telling me of a scien-
tific experiment. It is such a relief to find it a
dream ! Poor Mr. Gray ! — how he used to
" Thank Heaven she regrets nothing !" thought
Dora, with a smile.
**Do listen to these people laughing," good-
humouredly continued Mrs. Courtenay. "You
have no idea how cheerful my country-people are,
She spoke airily. It was plain that she appro-
priated the cheerfulness of Madame Bertrand and
her friends, and made it her own for the time
" And so will I," resolutely thought Dora, with
a little defiant shake of her bright head. "So
Alas! it is very easily said — more easily said
than done. When Dora went back to her room
that evening, and looked at the prim and patient
Grisehdis, she wondered if ennui had ever been
amongst the trials of that lady's lot.
A BRAVE heart will go through more than
-^ Dora had to bear. After all, her lot was
not so hard. She had the shelter of a roof, daily
bread, raiment, all the things that thousands
struggle for so wearily, and can so seldom win.
She had these, and with them leisure, a few books,
the companionship of two beings who loved her,
and a happy, sunny temper, to make all good. If
she sometimes heaved a little regretful sigh, it was
because she was still young, you see, and did not
know the wonderful blessings of peace. Give her
a few years more, let her go forth and be tossed
in some lonely boat on the waves of life, and how
she will look back to this safe haven, and pine for
its sweet shelter ! Happy girl ! Neither passion
which is wasting, nor sorrow which is cruel, nor
care which is remorseless, is with you now. So
this is still your golden time, and these are still
your halcyon days, though Rouen is rather a
gloomy city to live in.
But though Dora, more through temperament
than from any philosophical appreciation of the
blessings which remained to her, was happy and
contented ; though Madame Bertrand said it did
one good to see the demoiselle's bright face, and
grew poetic with her neighbours when she once
broached that theme ; though everything, in short,
seemed as it should be, still Dora heaved that
little regretful sigh we have spoken of. It came
probably because no human life can be free from
it. We may be sure that on the day when Na-
poleon was crowned in Notre Dame he heaved a
sigh for Corsican hills, or for having eaten cherries
with a pretty girl in an orchard when he was
sub-lieutenant — for anything, in short, which he
had no more. It is the mortal lot to repine.
Saints fret over their sins, and sinners lament
their lost follies, and every one has suffered some
deprivation or other. Dora's was money, and
with money the loss of comforts, and pleasures,
and enjoyments, which that modern lamp of
Aladdin summons forth at its bidding from the
dark recesses of life, where they sleep so soundly,
SO far as the needy are concerned. Tlie cruel en-
chanter Brown had taken her lamp away ; the spell
was gone, and some trouble was the result. On
most days she defied her fate, and forbade it to vex
her ; and on other days, as we said, she sighed.
Her mother and her aunt, who shared her loss,
did not deny its existence, but they were not pre-
pared to sympathise with Dora when she felt dull
now and then. The sound of her native language
had not yet lost its charm for Mrs. Courtenay,
and Mrs. Luan professed herself delighted with
the cheapness of Rouen. So Dora behaved like
a true stoic. She endured and did not complain.
Rouen is a picturesque city, and Dora liked
the picturesque, and found and made herself plea-
sures out of it. The solemn gloom of Notre Dame
and Saint Ouen, the glorious painted glass in Saint
yincent and Saint Patrice, the wonderful fa9ade
of Saint Maclou, or the exquisite court of the Palais
de Justice, gave her many a delightful hour.
But one cannot live upon architecture, and Dora
often felt restless, and scarcely happy, even though
these magnificent memorials of the past were daily
within her view. She missed something — some-
thing which Athens itself, and the Acropolis, which
122 DOR A.
glimpses of Olympus and Mount Athos could not
have supplied. The open space and border of
heath, the view of a gleaming or stormy sea, which
she had had from her mother's cottage in Ireland,
often came back to her with a sort of passion.
Oh ! that sad memory did not stand between her
and that past ! For a year back again in the old
country, with the bracing sea air, and with it the
breath of liberty, far, far away from those grand
frowning Gothic heaps of stone.
Rouen has few attractions as a modern city
— and they were fewer then than they are now —
and these Dora quickly exhausted. The theatres
she did not visit, her mother did not care for ex-
cursions, and the feminine delight of looking in
at shop windows she seldom indulged in. She
was still young, and not insensible to the charms
of elegant and costly attire. So it was rather hard
to see velvet and silks which she must now never
wear, or jewels that could no longer be hoped for
as a good yet to come. The gate of all luxurious
enjoyment was closed upon her ; and if Dora was
not wise enough to scorn such vanities, she was too
proud to indulge in weak and useless regret.
To stay very much within was therefore one of
the features of her lot, and such tranquillity is
utterly obnoxious to youth. She sometimes longed
for motion with a feverish restlessness. She did
her best to conquer the unquiet mood, and she
tried to make herself home pleasures, but this was
no easy matter. Madame Bertrand's cat did in-
deed steal up to her, but she only slept and purred.
So Dora made friends with a host of sparrows,
whose nests were in the old church. She bribed
them with crumbs, and soon so tamed them that
they would come and flutter past her open win-
dow, and, if she sat very still, peck on the ledge
whilst she looked on. She also opened a flirtation
with the little rosy boy in the opposite house, and
she seldom appeared at her window but he was to
be seen at his, laughing and nodding to her. A
silent interest she likewise took in the doings of
the lame professor and his pale wife ; and alto-
gether she made the best of her lot, but, as we
have said, she could not help feeling restless now
That unquiet mood had been very strong upon
her on a bright day in summer, when, in the after-
noon, Mrs. Courtenay suddenly expressed the wish
to partake of some From age de Brie.
" I should like it, oh ! of all things," she ex-
claimed, raising her voice in her little shrill tone.
Dora looked up from her work, and supposed
the wish was one her mother could gratify.
*' Oh ! no," was the slightly plaintive reply, " I
would not touch one of the cheeses they sell about
here ; and Madame Bertrand's woman lives miles
away, at the other end of Rouen — miles away !"
" I shall go and fetch you a cheese, mamma,"
quickly said Dora, throwing down her work.
" My dear, it is ever so far away. Oh ! so far
" Then it is the very thing for me," gaily said
Dora. '' I feel just now as if I should like to go
to the edge of the world and look over."
" My dear !" expostulated her mother.
"I should!" wilfully said Dora. "Oh! for
one good peep out of this world, and to see the
stars spinning ! "
The journey to fetch the cheese Mrs. Courtenay
longed for promised no such prospect, and was
described by Madame Bertrand as something for-
midable; but Dora was bent on going, and slie
She had not walked ten steps when, as she
passed the house where the lame teacher lived, she
heard a groan of distress coming from beneath the
archway. The gate, as is usually the case on the
Continent, stood wide opgn, and Dora put her
head in and saw a lamentable picture. A httle
woman, very old, and very poorly dressed, was
sitting on the last step of the stone staircase, star-
ing at half-a-dozen of broken eggs and some spilt
milk. An earthen bowl and a plate also lay in
fragments near her.
" Can I help you ?" asked Dora.
" Can you pick up milk," was the sharp retort,
" or mend broken ego-s ?"
" Yes, " good-humouredly replied Dora, " I
think I can do both."
" I had not tasted a drop of milk, or seen the
yolk of an egg, since I lost my five-franc piece,"
groaned the old woman, without heeding her;
" and now that I had saved and saved till I could
have an egg again, I stumbled, and there they
are, dish and all — dish and all! There they
Dora stooped and carefully picked up two of
the eggs, which had escaped with a gentle crack.
" These wiU do," she said, softly laying them on
a fragment of the plate ; " and for the other four
and the milk here is a cure."
She put her hand in her pocket and took out a
few pence; but the old. woman shook her head.
" Have eggs and milk got feet ?" she asked.
" Will they come ? I cannot go and fetch them —
no, I cannot, I am too tired," she added, as if
Dora were attempting to persuade her.
*^ You are but a cross old fairy," thought Dora ;
*' but still you shall have your way, and I will see
if I cannot make you happy."
So she took back the money which she had put
in the old woman's lap, and she went away.
The little old woman remained sitting on the
step of the staircase groaning over the broken eggs
and the spilt milk, and addressing them with im-
" You did it on purpose," she said, shaking her
head at them, " you know you did !"
" Did they, though ?" said some one, coming in
from the street. " That was too bad of them."
" Go your way," was her angry reply. " Go to
your old frippery, and let me be quiet. Don't
touch them," she almost screamed, ag, in going up
the staircase, the stranger seemed likely to tread
on the two eggs which Dora had put on the broken
plate. "She is bringing me more; but I will
have these too."
Even as she spoke Dora appeared underneath
the archway, followed bv a child with a cup full
of milk, and four eggs on a plate.
" There," she said, gaily, " they did come to you,
after all; and they are all yours, the cup, the
plate, the milk, and the eggs," she added, taking
them from the child's hand to present them to her.
" The cup too ?" screamed the old woman.
" Yes, yes, the cup too," replied Dora, gravely.
" Are you glad ?"
" Ravished !" was the ardent reply ; " enchanted !
Oh ! the beautiful cup ! Why, who are you t"
she suddenly exclaimed, glancing from the gifts
to the giver, and shading her eyes with her hand
to see her better.
Dora stood before her bright and smiling, with
her little donations in her hands. She saw that
her protegee was dazzled with her blooming, radiant
face, and it amused her. To charm animals, allure
children, and conquer ill-tempered people, was
her gift ; she knew it, and she liked it. " I
thought I should prevail over you," was her tri-
umphant, tliougli unspoken boast, as the old woman
still stared like one confused.
" Good-bye," she said aloud ; " the child shall
carry these up for you," and handing both milk
and eggs to the little girl who had brought them,
Dora nodded and went her way. •
^' Who is she, eh ?" asked the receiver of the
milk and eggs.
'' She lives opposite," replied the child, glibly ;
" and she sits at her window. Such a beautiful
demoiselle ! "
Unconscious of her double triumph, Dora went
on her way. The distance was great, but it was
reached at last. Dora bought the cheese, and
with the precious dainty carefully wrapped up, so
that no untoward accident should cause it to break,
she turned homewards. The cheesemonger lived
very far away, and the sun was now near its set-
ting. As Dora went down a steep street, she saw
all Rouen beneath her. It was a picture ! Many
a poor, struggling artist, living in a dull, smoky
city, would give a year of his life to have the
chance of painting such a one. The gleaming
river, now dark purple, now flowing gold, wound
through the old town, and passed beneath the
bridcres ; church towers and spires rose above the
dark sea of roofs, and appeared in fine clear lines
on a sky of pale azure ; luxuriant verdure and
rounded hills framed the magic picture over which
spread a haze both soft and bright. It was beau-
tiful, wonderfully beautiful, and Dora stopped
and gazed in deep admiration. But neither that
nor the long walk which had tired her could quell
the restlessness within her. She had brought it
out, and she was taking it back. Her life was a
dull life, and Dora had tasted another life than
this. She had had a life full of ferv'our and hope
with her lost brother in Ireland ; she had had a
life of intellectual pursuits and social pleasures in
London, and now she was hngering the last bright
years of youth away in a French provincial town.
In short, Dora felt not merely restless, but dull.
It is sad to say it, but more than one half of the
human species, womankind, is sorely troubled with
that modern complaint of dulness. After all,
there was some good in the olden time, when men
fought and strove, and women sat at home and
spun wool, and both liked it. Yes, there was a
philosophy in the spindle and distaff, or in the silk
and worsted, no doubt about it. When Matilda
VOL. I. K
and her maidens sat down to their tapestry and
worked in tent stitch the history of the Norman
Conquest, they were thus saved many a trouble
and many a weary hour. Of course there was
sorrow in these days, and there was love too, easy,
natural love, which came and went like a gentle
epidemic ; but we doubt if these medigeval women
were haunted with the ideal, or if they made their
moan because they failed to secure variety. Peace,
which we prize so little, was one of their blessings.
A calm and tranquil life they led in the main.
Strong walls were raised, and men wore heavy
armour, that tiiese ladies might sit in quiet and
work on canvas strange warriors on gaunt horses,
or quaint trees, with birds never known out of
fable perched on the boughs. We have improved
all that, to be sure ; but then let us not complain
if we are called upon to pay the penalty of the im-
Vain admonition ! Dora had a warm, genial
nature ; she loved her mother and she liked her
aunt, but she longed for a life in which there
should be some other purpose than to make the two
ends of a narrow income meet.
That longing was strong upon her as she stood
and looked at dusk gathering over the city below
her. With a sigh at its uselessness, she roused
herself from her reverie, and went down the street
at a quick pace. To reach home sooner she took
a short cut throucrh one of the narrow lanes that
were to be found within the shadow of Notre
Dame. A grey twilight still reigned there. As
she passed by one of the low shops, with beetling
first-floors over them, Dora saw some books on a
stall outside. Had she ever seen them there be-
fore ? It seemed not to her. The shop was not
a mere second-hand bookseller's shop; many wares
were sold within it. There were portfolios of draw-
ings in stands inside near the door ; in a corner
she saw some old portraits, with fixed eyes staring
through the gloom. A few plates of old Rouen
ware, a worm-eaten box of carved wood, a shat-
tered Etruscan vase, and a heap of ancient tapes-
try, appeared in the window above the book-stall.
At once Dora's thoughts flew back to the days
when her brother and she were engaged in the
catalogue. She paused and looked at that old
biic-a-hrac shop with a sad, troubled eye. Oh !
ye days gone by, how you can haunt us ! It was
a pain to linger there, and yet Dora could not
bear to go. A light burned in the shop ; its rays
fell on the stall outside. She took up a book to
stay and look a little longer. The book itself
woke kindred recollections. She remembered
how she had once provoked her brother Paul with
a piece of girlish folly, and how he had answered
her with a " Read Epictetus — read Epictetus " —
a tantalizing injunction, since he read it in the
classic original. Now the book Dora had taken
up was an old French translation of Epictetus.
Her heart beat as she opened its pages ; then, as
she glanced over them, and read a few maxims,
the calm and divine wisdom of the Phrygian slave
won on her by its beauty.
*' I wonder if the book is a dear one f she
She hesitated a while, then ventured into the
shop with the volume in her hand. The dealer
was not alone. There was a customer with him,
a slender, dark man, for whom he held a candle
in a dingy iron candlestick.
^^ Pray how much may this book cost ?" asked
The man turned round, and said, civilly,
" What book, Mademoiselle, if you please ?"
" Epictetus," she answered.
The customer, who was gazing intently at an
old engra^^ng, now looked up as he heard this
girlish voice uttering the name of the stoic philo-
sopher, and there was just a touch of perplexity in
his glance as he saw Dora. You would scarcely
have connected philosophy under any shape with
her open, genial face. Thus, bright, hopeful, and
young might have looked a Psyche before her
" Ten francs," was the dealer's reply.
Dora had made up her mind to give so much
as one franc for the volume, but ten made her
blush with confusion at having entered the shop
*' I did not think it was so expensive," she said,
He saw her embarrassment, and replied, good-
naturedly, that the edition was a rare one. Dora,
who was reluctantly putting the book by, bright-
ened up. Had he got a cheaper edition ?
" Xo," and he shook his head, " he had not ;
and what was more, Epictetus was rather a scarce
book. Few people cared about it."
Dora apologised for having troubled him, and
left the shop. The dealer looked after her and
" Whenever an out-of-the-way book is asked of
me," he said, turning to his customer, " it is by
your countryfolk, Doctor Richard, and especially
by your countrywomen. To think of a little
chicken like that wanting to peck at Epictetas 1"
" Who is she f asked Doctor Richard ; and he
made good his claim to be Dora's countryman by
a moderate yet unmistakeable accent.
'* I do not know her name, but I often see her
about Notre Dame. A pretty girl, eh, Doctor
" Not very pretty," drily replied Doctor Rich-
ard, " but very bright. She lit up your shop,
°' Come, you shall have another candle," said
Monsieur Merand, taking the hint. " You must
see that engraving well in order to appreciate it."
He entered the dark parlour behind his shop.
Dr. Richard remained alone, and he wondered.
^' Where can I have seen; this girl, who wants
to buy Epictetus, with that joyous face ? It was
she who was giving milk and eggs to the cross old
witch on the staircase, but I knew then I had al-
ready seen her. When and where was it ? "
Doctor Richard's memory was one tenacious of
faces, and it never deceived him. Yes, he had
certainly seen and been struck with that bright
face, " with eyes so fair," Hke CoUins's Hope, be-
fore this day. Suddenly the remembrance flashed
across his mind. He had seen her at a concert
six months ago, a bright, happy, and admired girl.
He remembered her looks, and her smiles, and the
bouquet of rare roses on her lap — rare for the
season of the year. He remembered, too, some
unknown lady's comment, " Miss Courtenay is the
most extravagant girl. Now, these roses cost a
guinea, at least." And now Epictetus was too
dear at ten francs. And the milk and eggs,
moreover, suf^lgested a strange contrast between
the present and the past. The story of her losses
Doctor Kichard had also heard, and thinking over
it, he fell into a fit of musing, whence Monsieur
Merand, returning at length with the candle,
roused him. But the engraving, on being seen
more closely, proved what Doctor Richard was
pleased to call " an impostor." He put it down
with a great show of contempt, and looked for his
"Well, then, have 'Epictetus/" said Monsieur
Merand, thrusting the book towards him.
" Not I," curtly replied Dr. Richard. " Good
night, Monsieur Merand; you must keep better
wares if you want my custom."
"He will come for it to-morrow," said Monsieur
Merand composedly, putting the engraving aside ;
" and I daresay he will take Epictetus as well. I
saw him looking at it."
II IRS. COURTENAY was getting uneasy
■^'-^ when her daughter came home.
" My dear, how long you were !" she said with
a sigh of relief.
" It is very far away. But the cheese is per-
fect, and " here Dora paused in dismay. The
cheese might be a first-rate one, and was so, no
doubt, but it was no longer in her possession. She
had probably left it at the hric-a-hi^ac shop.
"I looked at a book-stall near Notre Dame,"
she said, feeling Mrs. Luan's reproving eye upon
her, " and I must have forgotten it there. I shall
go back for it at once. Pray don't wait tea for
She was gone before Mrs. Courtenay could re-
monstrate. Within a few minutes Dora had
reached Monsieur Merand's shop. She entered it
after first casting a look at the book-stall, and as-
certain! ng that neither Epictetus nor the cheese
"You come for Epictetus?" he said, recognizing
her at ouce.
" No, sir, I come for a parcel which I forgot."
" There is no parcel. Take Epictetus for nine
francs, eh ?"
" It is still too dear at that price, thank you. I
am sure I left my parcel here."
She looked for it, but without assisting her
Monsieur Merand went on,
"Let us make an exchange. Mademoiselle.
Have you got an old engraving ? I am very fond
of an old engraving. Look, here is a stock of
He opened a portfolio, so that Dora could not
help seeing its contents.
" These are not engravings," she said ; " these
are crayon drawings — and very bad ones too," she
added, shutting up the portfolio, and again looking
for her missing cheese.
" Bad I" exclaimed Monsieur Merand, throwing
the portfolio open once more — "you call these
bad ! Then, Mademoiselle," he added, taking off
his hat to her with a mock politeness, which was
not impertinent, ^' I will make you a present of
Epictetus if you can do me a head like this."
Dora smiled a little scornfully. She drew
tolerably well, and she knew it ; but not choosing
to enter into an argument with Monsieur Merand,
she quietly remarked that as he had not got her
parcel she would trouble him no longer.
" Is this your parcel ?" he asked, taking it from
the chair on which it . had lain concealed all the
time ; " why," he added, smelling it and looking at
her, " it is cheese !"
Dora began to think that this Monsieur Merand
was a ver}' odd man ; but he looked both good-
humoured and good-natured, spite his oddity, and
she could not help laughing.
" It is cheese," she said ; ''but pray give it to
me, sir, I am in a hurry."
" This is a particularly good cheese," he con-
tinued in a pensive tone. " Now," he added, giv-
ing it up to her and putting his hands behind his
back, " it is a pity you cannot draw ; I would have
let you have Epictetus for a crayon sketch like
this ;" and he took and flourished one before her
" I wonder if the man is jesting, or if he would
really buy my drawings ?" thought Dora, suddenly
fluttered at the golden vision thus opened to her.
" I suppose, sir, you are in earnest f she re-
" To be sure I am ; but can you draw ?"
He already seemed to hesitate and draw back.
" I have one or two things by me," said Dora,
still doubting his sincerity ; " shall 1 show them to
you to-morrow 1"
" Perhaps you had better not," kindly replied
Monsieur Merand. " I am a severe critic, and
— and we all know how young ladies draw."
" I care nothing about criticism," emphatically
declared Dora ; " besides, I can keep to my own
opinion, you know, which is, that I can produce
something much better than this."
Monsieur Merand's breath seemed gone at the
audacious confession ; but Dora, without waiting
for him to recover and utter some other discour-
aging speech, bade him a good evening, took up
her cheese, and walked out of the shop.
Even Mrs. Luan noticed how bright and ex-
cited Dora looked when she came back.
" Did you get it ?" cried Mrs. Courtenay.
" Here it is," replied Dora, gaily ; ^' and what
is more," she added, tossing off her bonnet and
shaking her bright head, " I think I am going to
earn cheeses by the dozen !" She laughed at their
amazed looks, and related to them what had
passed, adding saucily, " And my drawings are a
great deal better than his. It would not take me
more than two days to draw such a head as he
showed me. Now, suppose he gave me ten francs
a head, that would be a hundred and fifty francs
a month, or eighteen hundred francs a year. Xay,
as to that, I could produce a drawing a day, which
would make three thousand francs a year."
Mrs. Luan put down her patchwork and stared ;
whilst Mrs. Courtenay said innocently,
*' Three hundred and sixty-five drawings a year!"
Dora looked bewildered at this unexpected cal-
culation, then she remarked in a much more sober
" Well, I suppose Monsieur Merand would
scarcely take a drawing a day. No, nor yet one
every other day. But then, he may give me more
than ten francs a drawing, you see. I shall cer-
tainly try him to-morrow," she added, sitting down
to take her tea with the composure of an old
woman of business.
They were all three rather elated at this unex-
pected prospect. Epictetus, who had led to this,
could afford to despise money, live in a garret,
sleep on a straw mattress, and never lock his door ;
but Dora had not yet reached these sublime heii^hts
of philosophy. Money was much to her. Money
meant a little of that pleasure and relaxation
which was the grievous want of her new life ;
money, too, in this case meant exertion, and a mo-
tive for it ; no wonder then that Dora looked
once more as bright as sunshine, and spent a rest-
less, hopeful night, full of projects and dreams,
some sleeping and some waking.
Nevertheless, Miss Courtenay felt in no great
hurry to try her fortunes when the next day came
round. She took out her portfolio, selected the
best drawing in it, and looked at it in doubt. Was
it, after all, so good as she had thought it to be ?
Mrs. Courtenay, who felt very impatient to know
Monsieur Merand's opinion of her daughter's pro-
duction, urged her to go to his shop early ; but,
Dora prudently said, " It would not be dignified,"
and she lingered until she suddenly discovered
that if she did not go at once, it would be too late
to go at all. So she slipped her portfolio under
D O K A. 143
her arm, and went out alone, though Mrs. Courte-
nay first, then Mrs. Luan afterwards, offered to ac-
"No," decisively said Dora; "I will not under-
take Monsieur Merand in company."
She went, and her mother, and even her aunt,
looked out of the window after her. Dora saw
them, and nodded and smiled and looked very
brave, though her heart beat a little. She walked
briskly whilst she was within view, but slackened
her pace when once she had turned the corner of
the street. To say the truth, she felt an arrant
coward. " I wonder what takes me to that Mon-
sieur Merand,'' she thought ; " I could do without
Epictetus, and live without that odd man's money.
Perhaps he was only laughing at me yesterday,
and that I shall have had a sleepless night and a
useless walk for my pains."
" The milk and eggs were very good, mademoi-
.selle," said a cracked voice ; " very good : and the
cup is beautiful !"
Dora raised her eyes, which were bent on the
earth, and saw the little old woman whose distress
she had relieved the day before.
" I am glad of it," she replied, with a smile.
"And what is your name, mademoiselle?"
promptly asked the old woman, leaning her head
towards her right shoulder, and looking up at
Dora with a keen, brown eye, that bore no token
^^I cannot tell it you," mysteriously answered
Dora ; *^ I am a princess in disguise, and it is a
great secret ; but," she good-humouredly added,
noticing the old woman's blank look, "I know
where you live, and I shall go and see you."
" Do !" cried the old woman, brightening. '* The
third door on the right hand on the fourth
*' You poor little fairy," thought Dora, looking
after her, as the little old woman passed beneath
the archway, and entered the house where she had
seen her yesterday, "you have seen better days, I
am sure. And I wish you were a fairy indeed,
for then you would give me wonderful luck in ex-
ciiange for my milk and eggs. Whereas I do be-
lieve I am only going to get a humiliating rebuff."
She had half a mind to turn back as she en-
tered Monsieur Merand's street. But it was too
late to do so. Monsieur Merand stood at his door,
he had seen her, and nodded recognition in a half
friendly, half ironical fashion. At least, so thought
** Oh ! you have brought the drawing," he said,
as she approached.
He glanced at the portfolio under her arm.
"Yes," carelessly replied Dora, entering the
shop. " I hope you did not sell Epictetus," she
added, composedly, perhaps to impress the dealer
with the fact that Epictetus was the summit of her
Monsieur Merand shook his head compassion-
ately, and Dora understood his meaning quite
well. Of course he had not sold Epictetus, but of
course he did not expect to part with it to her in
exchange for her labour. She began to feel an-
noyed at his impertinent scepticism, and some-
what defiantly she opened her portfolio and handed
him the sketch.
" Oh ! that is it, is it f said Monsieur Merand,
taking it from her hand, and moving to the door,
in order to have as much light as the street
afforded full on the drawing. Dora remained in
the gloomy background, and looked at him with
a beating heart.
Her drawing was taken from a cast of Michael
VOL. I. L
Angelo's famous " Night." The wear}^ goddess
hung her head, heavy with sleep, and seemed to
forget the cares, the sorrows, and the sins of life,
in those deep slumbers. A repose which was not
that of death, for there was suffering in it still,
wrapped the whole figure, and was well expressed
in the bowed head. Monsieur Merand looked
long and attentively, then he put the drawing
down, went to the other end of his shop, and came
back with a book, which he silently placed in
Dora's hands. She looked at it, though she truly
had no need to look. It was Epictetus.
There are delightful moments in life, moments
of boasting and triumph, which we never forget.
Dora had a genial, happy nature, keenly suscepti-
ble of emotion, as all such natures are. Her heart
beat with joy at this little success ; her eyes
sparkled, and, alas ! for stoic philosophy, old Epic-
tetus shook a little in her hands. It was not
vanity, it was not pride, it was the knowledge
that she had prevailed, that she, too, possessed a
gift, and that this gift was worth something. She
could not speak, she could not trust herself to say
one word — her stammering tongue might have be-
trayed her. Monsieur Merand addressed her first.
" Of course," he said, " the professor touched
up that drawing — but it is no business of mine.
The drawing is a good one, and a bargain is a
This gave Dora her tongue back again.
" Indeed, sir," she replied, a Httle saucily, " I
thought you were too good a judge not to know when
a drawing had been ^ touched up,' or not. This
drawing never underwent such treatment."
"It is yours — all yours?" exclaimed Monsieur
Merand, in the tone of a question.
"I do not say that," replied Dora, not unwilling
to mystify him ; " but I say that it is the work of
Monsieur Merand's face fell.
"Then you have no more such ?" he said, seem-
ing rather annoyed.
" I did not say that either," retorted Dora,
much amused. "Do you really wish for
" Let us deal openly," suggested Monsieur
Merand, putting on a look of great candour. " I
care not who does these drawings, but will you let
me have more by the same hand — say two to
begin with ?"
"But not for ten francs a piece," suggested
Dora, looking grave.
" No, this and the others shall be twenty. Epic-
tetus and fifty francs for the three."
" Very well," replied Dora, after a pause, seem-
ingly given to deliberation, but really afforded to
joy. " Are you in a hurry ?"
" I should like them this week. To-day is Tues-
day — say by Saturday, eh V
" Very well," again answered Miss Courtenay,
doing her best to look careless and business-like.
" Good morning, sir."
She gave Monsieur Merand a pretty, conde-
scending nod : " for he must be in my power, and
not I in his," she thought, as she leisurely walked
down the street, till she reached a side-door of
Notre Dame, which she entered.
Dora felt happy, and happiness with her at once
found its way into prayer and thanksgiving. The
grand old church, with its mighty columns and
gorgeous windows, 'Could not awe her, or turn
her joy into other channels. Yes, life is brief, and
eternity awaits us all ; but life is sweet, too, and its
joys are keen, and gladness, also, is a form of wor-
ship. So Dora felt ; but a sunbeam stealing in,
lighting up the aisle, and falling on a grave-stone,
whence the word " Requiescat " suddenly seemed
to flash forth, turned Dora's joy to chill and
sad regret. Requiescat ! The word was written
on Paul's grave, in Glasnevin. She triumphed,
she had her little joy and her little boast, and he
had been denied his. He had gone down to his
premature rest, and he slept too early a sleep be-
cause of that disappointment..
" Oh ! my brother I — my brother I" thought Dora,
her tears flowing at the thought, " how can I be
happy and forget you !"
But did she really forget him ! Was not his re-
membrance ever in her heart, ready to rise at the
first whisper ? Did she not remember him in joy,
because he did not share it ; in sorrow, because he
would have borne it with her ; in everything of
weal or woe, which stirred her heart or passed
through her life. If she now lingered in that
ancient church, was it not to think in peace of
him ? When she roused herself with a " I must go
in," it was with a sort of pain ; so dear was that
thought, so hard it was to bid it once more return
to those depths of her heart where it slumbered,
indeed, but ever ready to waken.
" Well !" cried Mrs. Courtenay, from the win-
Dora looked up and saw her mother's face look-
ing down at her. She laughed saucily, showed her
the book, and sprang upstairs. No sunbeam was
brighter than Dora when she broke in upon her
mother and her aunt.
"Victory, victory I" she cried, clapping her
hands, after throwing .poor Epictetus on the nearest
chair. "Monsieur Merand gives me twenty francs
a drawing, and wants two more by Saturday. We
shall be quite rich now, and Pactolus — is it Pacto-
lus ? — is going to flow in the room."
"That is delightful!" cried Mrs. Courtenay,
with her little shrill raising of the voice. " Oh !
quite delightful !"
Mrs. Luan, who looked a little flushed and ex-
cited, stared hard at Dora, and said,
" Where is the money f '
"I have not got it yet, aunt. By next Saturday
I hope to show you two Napoleons and a half. I
wonder what drawings I ought to let him have."
She brought out her portfolio, and the three
looked over its contents. Dora selected a Niobe
and a Dying Gladiator, Mrs. Courtenay opined for
a Sleeping Ariadne and a Cupid, and Mrs. Luan
reckoned up Dora's drawings, and valuing each at
twenty francs apiece, made up, mentally of course,
a goodly sum.
"The Ariadne is much better than the NIobe,
my dear," said Mrs. Courtenay, nodding her cap
Dora looked at the two as only artists can look
at their own work. She liked them both, and now
that she had a market for them, she regretted part-
ing with them. She remembered how that sleep-
ing woman, unconscious of abandonment, had
charmed her ; how the meaning of that fine antique
had stolen upon her, the more she studied it. And
then the Niobe ! The immortal sorrow in those
upraised eyes, and in those parted lips !
" Let them both go," she said, with a little sigh,
and putting them away as she spoke. " I shall
keep the Cupid and the Dying Gladiator — for an-
other time, if, as I hope, Monsieur Merand will
want them. And now, mamma, since I am getting
rich again, we shall take drives in the country, and
you and aunt must get a silk dress each, and I shall
try books, and hire a piano."
' Mrs. Luan's patchwork fell from her hands on
her lap, and she stared at Dora with unmitigated
astonishment. Had the girl gone crazy, for how
could she expect to achieve all this with fifty
Dora laughed a clear ringing laugh.
" I will do all that, aunt," she said wilfully,
"and a great deal more. I wonder what old Epic-
tetus has to say on the subject ?"
She took up the volume, and sitting with it on
her lap by the open window, she soon became ab-
sorbed and grave. Epictetus spoke of virtue, of
heroism, endurance, and self-denial, but said not
one word of drives in the country, silk dresses, or
musical instruments of any kind.
rpHE event proved Dora to have been in her
-*- senses when she foretold the golden results
which were to accrue from her connexion with
Monsieur Merand. He took the Niobe and the
Ariadne without hesitation, and asked for more.
"I have got a Cupid and a Dying Gladiator,"
replied Dora with a gentle thrill of emotion.
" Will you let me see them ?" asked Monsieur
Merand rather eagerly.
" Yes, to-morrow," she answered quietly.
She brought them the next morning. Monsieur
Merand purchased them at once, put them away
very carefully in a portfolio, then said gravely,
"Mademoiselle, could you copy in crayons a
few heads from a painting in our gallery here V*
" I can try."
" Then you are not sure ?"
" I can try," said Dora again ; and her bright
smile expressed the certainty of success.
" Well, then, here is the catalogue ; this is the
picture — Hemmeling's. The heads are marked ;
size of the original. Take your time. Mademoi-
selle. I am in no hurry, and should like the draw-
ings to be good."
" I shall do my best," answered Dora with a
wistful look, for she already felt less confident of
success. Instead of going home, she went straight
to the Musee. With a beating heart she passed
by the majestic front of Saint Ouen, and turning
round the edifice, found herself in its deep sha-
dow, facing the narrow door which leads to the
picture gallery. Sight-seers were scarce that day;
Dora met none. She went up the broad stone
staircase alone, and went in the mood of one go-
ing to meet her fate. These pictures, which she
had often looked at with a calm critical eye, now
seemed to her like so many judges waiting for
her, the future culprit. The door of the library
was open ; within, a broad cool room, Dora could
see a few gentlemen reading. She remembered
the days of Mr. Kyan's library, and Paul's eager
labours and sad failure, and she quailed to think
that she, too, perhaps, was bent on a task beyond
She looked around her for comfort, and found
none. The statues which adorn the hall, the
severe Augustus, the writhing Laocoon, the cold
Pudicitia, had little sympathy with a girl's trouble
or with her fears. What did the Roman emperor
care for the triumph or defeat of her little ambi-
tion ? What was it to the victim of Apollo's revenge
that she failed or succeeded ? As for Pudicitia, she
would surely have said, if consulted by Miss Cour-
tenay, " Stay at home and spin wool."
"What is there between these Greeks and Ro-
mans that they should meet us at every path?"
thought Dora a little resentfully ; ^' they can
soothe no grief, raise no hope, dispel no trouble.
Why have we not, then, the images of our own
flesh and blood, of our own heroes around us, like
the painter below with his pallet in his marble
hand ? It would be cheering to see a Bernard de
Palissy there instead of that Laocoon and his
heathen serpents. Poor and little as I am, that
obstinate Bernard, who fought so hard a battle, is
kith and kin to me, and these are nothing — oh !
surely nothing !" and still she stood with the cata-
logue in her hand, hesitating to enter the rooms,
within which, in her present mood at least, her
fate seemed to lie. True, failure would not be
ruin, but it would be humiliation, and that surely
has its bitterness.
But when Dora entered the sunlit rooms, and
wandered through them, looking at the quaint
old pictures with their stiff staring faces, she felt
hopeful once more. It did not seem so very hard
to prevail and get the better of these grim person-
ages. Yet how fine, when you looked into them,
were some, and how correct was Monsieur Me-
rand's taste. Every head he had chosen had its
character and its beauty.
"If he is so good a judge," thought Dora, "I
shall get afraid of him."
But fear is not a logical feeling. Dora, as she
looked over Monsieur Merand's selection, felt
cheerful, and not despondent. Her buoyant na-
ture rose with the magnitude of the task laid upon
her. That would be a tame journey of adventure
indeed which should have no path beset with
perils. The toil that has no difficulties surely has
On her way home, Dora resolved to go and see
the old fairy, as she mentally called her. The
poor woman's real name was Nanette — so Dora
had learned ; also, that Nanette bore an unexcep-
tionable character for ev^erything save temper.
" I am sure she is lucky," thought Dora, climb-
ing up the dingy staircase that led to Nanette's
room. " The eggs I gave her are fast turning
into gold, and as for the milk, we all know it is the
symbol of abundance."
Nanette's door was open, so Dora had no trou-
ble in finding her. Nanette lived in a room
which was about the size of a large cupboard, but
which was exquisitely clean and neat, and Na-
nette, being as small and as neat and as clean as
her room, looked more than ever like a fairy, in
Dora's opinion. A cross fairy she was just
then, scolding a charcoal fire, which would not
" Ah ! you will not, eh ?" she said, angrily, and
vainly using a bellows beyond her strength — '' you
know I am old, you do I"
" Let me try," said Dora, looking in.
She took the bellows from Nanette's hand, and
lo I in a trice the fire was bright.
" Yes, you are young," said Nanette, with a
wistful look, " and you can work. I cannot I — I
cannot ! I am seventy-three, and I cannot work,
and have to live on charity," she added, with an
angry flash in her brown eye.
Dora tried to soothe her, but Nanette would
admit of no consolation. Her temper was roused
again. Dora wanted her to have more milk and
eggs, but Nanette scorned the offer. ^' She took
charity, but she was not a beggar," she said,
loftily. " An accident was an accident, but she
did not want milk and eggs daily."
Dora suggested bacon, but greatly imperilled
her power of fascination by doing so. Nanette's
brown eye burned like a live coal. It turned out
that bacon was her particular aversion,
"Yes, you are a cross fairy," thought Dora,
" but for all that, I shall prevail over you once
more." So she made no further offers, but gently
drew out Nanette. She learned how Nanette had
been rich — quite rich. She had earned as much
as seventy francs in one month by lace-mending,
but now her eyesight was gone, and her hand was
unsteady, and there were days when Nanette
could not get up, she was so weak, and then she
lay sleepless all night. " When the moon shone
in at her window, and lit up her room, it was well
and good ; but when the night was dark, and the
room was black, it was very dreary, you see."
Dora's briglit eyes flashed with triumph.
" I shall give you a pound of candles," she
Nanette was fairly conquered. Candles were
the secret desire of her heart. Even pride and ill-
temper could not reject such a boon. She put
her withered hand on Dora's, and looked up in
" I shall show it to you," she said. '^ Doctor
Richard wants it, but I would not let him see it —
not I ; but you shall see it !"
She unlocked a square box on the floor, fum-
bled in it, then drew out a velvet case, which she
opened, but jealously kept in her hand. Dora
might look, but by no means touch. This trea-
sure, which was a treasure indeed, was an ancient
and exquisite enamel portrait. It showed Dora
a young girl in all the bloom and radiance of
youth, and with hair of a golden brown.
" Yes," said Nanette, as Dora gave a little
start, "• it is like you ; you have the same hair
— I saw that at once. And she was a great,
great lady, and my great-great-grandmother,
too," added Nanette, " and no one shall have it I"
she angrily continued, shutting up the case, and
putting away the portrait hurriedly; "and he
shall not even see it !" she said, with a sort of
scream, meant for Doctor Richard.
'• My poor old fairy ! " thought Dora, as she
left Nanette, and went down the staircase, " I fear
your luck is all for me, and that you can keep
none for yourself. Are you indeed the descend-
ant of that bright-looking lady in rich blue velvet ?
You may have mended the exquisite point your
great-great-grandmother, as you call her, wore
round her white neck, and been paid for your la-
bour by the great-great-grand-daughter of her
chambermaid. And that lady's face and mine are
not unlike. I never was so pretty, but still there
is a sort of national likeness. Who knows but
the original was the daughter of some Irish Ja-
cobite who came over with James Stuart ? I may
be Nanette's seventeenth cousin, for all I can tell.
And Nanette shall have milk, and eggs, and but-
ter, since bacon will not do, and candles, by all
means, for the sake of the grand relationship we
all have in Father Adam."
She sent in her gifts at once, and that same
evening, looking up to Nanette's window, she saw
a liglit burning in it. The night was black and
sultrv ; neither moon nor stars were out, but it
did Dora good to see that light, and to know that
the lonely old woman need not fret her poor heart
away in the darkness. When she turned back
from the window the smile on her face was so
bright, that it puzzled Mrs. Courtenay.
" ^ly dear, you look very happy," she said.
^' Yes, I am happy," replied Dora ; but she
said nothing about Nanette and the candles. She
would have told her mother, if Mrs. Courtenay
could have kept a secret from ^Irs. Luan, but
that was impossible. And as it would have been
cruel to make poor Mrs. Luan wretched by letting
her know Dora's extravagance, her niece kept her
"And you look happy, too, mamma," continued
Dora, approaching the table, and looking over her
shoulder at the cards spread upon it. " I see you
liave been successful."
" So successful !" exclaimed Mrs. Courtenay ;
*' all the cards came out. And as I luckily did it
for a wish, I am quite sure you will get on with
VOL. I. M
162 DOE A.
Dora laughed, and said there could be no doubt
Having procured the requisite permission, Dora
began her task the next day. The Musee was a
quiet place — two or three old gentlemen, who had
been painting there for the last twenty years, were
her only companions. They looked as antique,
and they were as silent as the pictures they copied ;
but for the bright sun shining in the place below,
and the sound of carriages rolling on its stones,
Dora might have fancied herself in some en-
chanted palace. She liked this tranquillity. She
liked her task too ; and as it progressed, and she
felt that she was successful, she loved it. With a
cheerful heart she left home in the morning ; Vv'ith
a sense of happiness she went up the stone stair-
case and entered the rooms where her silent friends
and companions, the pictures, were waiting for her.
With a fatigue which was welcome, for it meant
labour, success, and money, she put by her draw-
ing when the day was over, and the keeper gave
out the summons to depart. Happy are the
women who have to toil for their bread in some
loved vocation. The curse of labour is lightened
for them, and sweetened into a blessing. Happy
they before whom the fair fields of art lie open.
Small though the harvest may be — not unto all
are plenteous crops given — it is pure wheat, pure
and good. Happy therefore was now Dora
Courtenay. Monsieur Merand praised the first
samples of her skill, and Dora's taste and judg-
ment confirmed his approval. The results of her
labour were satisfactory in every sense. Ere long
she was in the receipt of an income varying from
ten to fifteen pounds a month. Thanks to this
unexpected piece of good fortune, comfort under
many shapes crept into their home. Mrs. Courte-
nay and Mrs. Luan had their promised silk
dresses; now^ and then a carriage drew up at
Madame Bertrand's door, and took her lodgers
away for the day in the lovely environs of Rouen ;
and every evening the sounds of a piano stole out
of Dora's window, and filled the dull old street
with brilliant music. The change made her very
happy. It was not merely the money, though that
was welcome, it was also and especially the sense
of leading a useful and active life, which charmed
her. She had been poor, and she had been, if not
rich, at least in easy circumstances, but never be-
fore this time had she earned money, never had
she felt independent, and one in the great scheme
of social life. It was a delightful feeling, and the
more delightful that habit and time had not yet
deadened its enjoyments and destroyed its fresh-
ness, x^nd thus the happy summer stole away.
On a bright afternoon in September, Dora, on
leaving the picture-gallery, went to the house of a
poor gilder out of w-ork, from whom she had or-
dered a frame a month back for a drawing she had
undertaken on her own account. A series of mis-
fortunes had prevented Dubois from keeping his
promise. Dora had been patient and forbearing,
and generous even, but now her patience was out,
and she entered the dark lane at the end of which
Dubois lived, prepared to bestow nothing upon
him save a severe scolding. " I shall not be at all
good-natured," she thought ; " but very firm and
dignified." As she came to this austere resolve,
Dora reached the gilder's door, but when a dirty
child admitted her within, and she once more saw
the poverty-stricken aspect of the place, her heart
There is a terrible resemblance between all poor
homes. Place them in what latitude, under what
sky 3'ou will, they are akin in three essential cha-
DOE A. 1()5
racteristics — darkness, dirt, and dinginess ; we do
not speak of exceptions, but of the general rule.
Some features, too, they have in common to a
singular degree. Why, for instance, must the poor
be everywhere so fond of poultry ? The Dubois had
three children, but they also found room for a
white hen, wdiich went scratching and cackling
about tlieir two rooms. Dora had often looked
at that hen with a secret shudder, inspired by the
thought that it might possibly be killed, taken to
market, and there purchased by Mrs. Luan for
home consumption. " It must be such a fowl as
this that she brought home last week," thought
Dora, now watching the wretched bird as it wan-
dered under an old bedstead, and looked ghost-
like in that gloomy refuge; "one should really
know more about the creatures one eats, and what
their rearing has been, for instance."
" Mademoiselle is looking at the white hen,"
said Madame Dubois, a dirty young woman.
" Catch it, Joseph, and let Mademoiselle feel how
fat it is getting."
In vain Mademoiselle protested. Joseph was
already on his knees groping under the bedstead ;
but just as he stretched out his liand to seize her,
the white lien artfully slipped under a chest of
" Shall I get a stick and poke her out ?" asked
Joseph, coming out from under the bed very red
in the face, and much the worse for the dust he
had found there. On hearing this suggestion, the
white hen cackled a feeble protest, and Madame
Dubois angrily promised Joseph the best slap he
had ever had in his life if he made the attempt.
Dora now expounded her errand. Madame Du-
bois clasped her hands and looked piteous.
They were the most unfortunate people. Poor
Dubois had hurt his hand, his right hand, and was
gone to the chemist's to get it dressed. That was
" Well, you are unlucky," kindly said Dora.
" But w^here is the frame ? I want to see that it is
of the right size,"
Madame Dubois looked despondent. They were
so unlucky that she had not liked to tell Made-
moiselle, but just as the frame was ready to be
gilt, Joseph and the hen had combined against it,
and broken it that very morning. Dora nearly
lost patience, but again pity prevailed, and with a
few kind, comforting words, and a little donation,
she left this abode of ill-luck. The sight of con-
tinued misfortune is oppressive, and Dora breathed
a little sigh of relief as she got out again into the
free and open air.
"I never knew such unlucky people," she
thought. "It is simply dreadful; and if these
were the da3^s of witchcraft, I should say that the
white hen was at the bottom of it. And who
knows but she is ? Who knows that sorcery has
really gone by with the Middle Ages? What are
all these grim old Gothic monuments which have
remained but stone legends'? Why may not
goblins and evil spirits abide in their walls, as they
are said to live in waste places ? Suppose one of
the frightful stone chimeras that peep down at you
from the water-spouts and buttresses, should take
a fancy to be alive, and suiting itself to modern
ideas and habits, should assume a more sober shape
than it received from its Gothic carver. Suppose,
Here Dora's fancies received a sudden check.
She stood at Monsieur Merand's door, and as she
had a drawing for him in her portfolio, she was
recalled from the world in which stone becomes
animate, to that in which drawings are exchanged
for coined gold and silver. With a cheerful sense
of labour, and reward, and usefulness upon her,
Miss Courtenay entered the shop.
Monsieur Merand was not alone. That Doctor
Richard, whom we have already seen there, was
with him. He looked for his cane as if to go, but
Monsieur Merand said eagerly,
"Not without taking that engraving. Doctor
Richard — you must have it."
Dora was struck, and amused, too, at Doctor
Richard's look. It was both shrewd and boyish —
a school-boy look. Doctor Richard was past thirty,
yet there was fun and mischief in his swarthy face,
and in his dark eyes.
*^ I should not care to have that Doctor RIcliard
attending on me if I were ill," thought Dora. " I
am sure he laughs at all his patients. Has he
patients?" she mentally added, seeing that his
clothes, though scrupulously neat and clean, had
seen some wear.
" Come, have it," urged Monsieur Merand.
" Not on those terms. Did I not tell you I was
a ruined man ?"
" Come, Doctor Richard, those mines did not
take all your money."
"They plucked some good feathers from my
wing, I can tell you."
"Mines! has he lost in mines'?" thought Dora.
" Not our mines, I hope." For the slender pro-
vision remaining to her mother and aunt was in-
vested in tin mines in the west of England.
Some more arguing issued between the dealer
and his customer, but the latter proving obdurate,
Monsieur Merand put away the engraving, and
Doctor Eichard walked out of the shop without
seeraino; to see Dora. She looked after him with
a vacrue fear at her heart. How she would have
questioned him concerning his losses if she had
dared. Monsieur Merand saw her look, and he
tapped his forehead.
" A good gentleman," he said, " a very good,
humane gentleman — attends on half the poor in
Rouen for nothing — but not right there, you know."
" He has had losses," remarked Dora.
" Yes, the news came this afternoon. I am sorry
for him, poor fellow !"
Dora was untying the strings of her portfolio.
Her hands shook a little.
"Pray where are those mines'?" she asked,
trying to speak carelessly.
Monsieur Merand thrust his hands in his pockets,
raised his eyebrows, and shook his head. His
answer was a doubtful one. The mines were in
England, then in Wales, then in Cornwall. Dora,
who had breathed a relieved sigh, felt faint and
"I ho])e — T trust they are not those of which my
mother holds some shares," she said.
Some, alas! she might have said all that Mrs.
Courtenay possessed was thus invested. The
anxiety and distress on her countenance struck
" Shall I ask Doctor Richard ?" he said.
*' Yes, Monsieur Merand, do,» pray. It will ob-
lige me. It is very foolish of me to think anything
of the kind ; but we have had losses already, and
that makes me timorous."
" I shall be sure to see him this evening, or to-
morrow at the latest," continued Monsieur Merand,
" and then — why, here he is," he added, breaking
off as Doctor Richard re-entered the shop.
Something in their two faces showed Doctor
Richard that they were talking of him. He bent
his full black eyes on either alternately, and his
countenance assumed a sudden look of mistrust,
not unmiiigled with defiance. Monsieur Merand
stood on ceremony with no one. In a few words
he exposed Miss Courtenay's anxiet}^, and her pur-
pose in inquiring. Xo kind and courteous peri-
phrasis marked Doctor Richard's answer. He was
a quick and sure surgeon, and did not prolong
^' The Redmore Mines," was his brief reply.
Dora turned pale ; but uttered not one word at
first. They both looked at her anxiously and
"These are the mines," she said at length.
After a while she added, looking at Doctor Rich-
ard. " Will there be nothing left f '
" Scarcely a sixpence in the pound, I believe ;
but no one can tell yet."
It was ruin. A second ruin, deeper, fuller than
" God's will be done," said Dora, after another
pause. " Here is your drawing, Monsieur Me-
She gave it to him as she spoke.
" I shall want another soon," he said, quickly.
She nodded assent, bowed to Doctor Richard,
and left the shop without uttering another word.
She could not speak, her heart was full, and her
brain as yet felt too dizzy for thought.
There is a terrible kind of poverty ; the poverty
of the millions, who, being used to it from their
birth, luckily do not see it in all its horrors ; the
poverty which the narrowest plank, which the
frailest barrier divides from the deep, dark gulf of
want. That poverty Dora had never known. She
had been reared on a slender income ; but she ever
felt safe in her little cage, and had no conception
of the life led by such as hav^e to shift in the
wilderness, and are not sure, when they go to bed
at night, that there shall be bread for them on the
morrow. To lose the nine-tenths of her income
was nothing, whilst the tenth, which was strictly
sufficient, remained unto her. But to lose that, to
have to face a second poverty, grim and bare as
the first, and far more pitiless than it had ever been,
filled her with a sort of horror — not for her own
sake merely, but for that of the beings whom she
"My poor mother ! My poor aunt !" she thought
when she could think.
She was standing on the place, with the massive
gloom of Notre Dame hanging over her. She
entered the grand old church. She wanted to be
calm ere she faced them at home ; the dim light,
the cool atmosphere, the faint breath of incense,
the vastness, yet the seclusion of this Christian
home of souls, lulled the brief storm of her soul to
rest. After all, she could work, she could earn ;
she was young, and had energy. She was thrown
on Providence, and Providence was thereby bound
to take care of her, and those who were dear to her.
She was now like one of those birds of the air
whose fleetness and freedom she had so often en-
vied. There was nothing in store for her ; like
them she was to live in boundless trust, neither
hoping nor despairing.
Dora's heart beat as she came to this conclusion.
She was a brave girl, and now that the first shock
was over, she could meet her new lot, and look it
in the face. Besides, there was consolation in all
its bitterness. Her eves sou<2;ht the m-ave-stone with
its Requiescat. It was too dark to read it ; but she
knew it was there, and her heart was full as she
" Poor Paul I he is best at rest, after all ! Best
in Glasnevin, away from all these troubles, which
woidd have bowed him down so heavily. He need
fear no care, no burden now. Toil is over for
him. He has got his wages. That is the meaning
of the old latin word Requiescat ! May he rest !
Is life such a trouble and a toil, that repose must
needs be man's dearest wish to the dead ? And
now I must go in and tell . them, poor things, and
see tears, and hear lamentations."
She left the church and went home, and never,
if the truth must be confessed, never had she felt so
arrant a coward as when she went up the staircase.
She heard them talking within. Mrs. Courtenay's
tones had their usual airy cheerfulness, and even
Mrs. Luan's husky voice told Dora, by its brisk-
ness, that her aunt was in a good humour.
" I daresay they have had a letter from John,"
thought Dora with a sigh ; and, feeling like a cul-
prit, she entered the room. She did not delay
one second — she could not.
" I have had such strange news," she said, look-
ing at them wistfully ; " not good news, I confess,
but I hope you will take it well, and remember
that I am young and can work, and that Monsieur
Merand means to go on employing me."
"News! — what news?" asked Mrs. Courtenay
" Our shares in the Redmore Mines are worth-
less," answered Dora in a low voice; and she
gave them the few particulars of the catastrophe
which she knew.
Dora had been prepared for her mother's grief
and her aunt's consternation, but she had not ex-
pected to find them both incredulous. Yet so
they were. Mrs. Luan said, with some excite-
" It is not true — the mines are good !" And
she took up and put down her patchwork in evi-
!Mrs. Courtenaj was still more positive.
" My dear," she said good-humouredly, " if this
were true we should know it as well as that Doc-
tor Dick "
" Doctor Richard," interrupted Dora.
"Doctor Richard," placidly resumed Mrs. Courte-
nay, ^^can scarcely have means of information
denied to us. Besides, I daresay he was entertain-
ing himself at your expense, child."
Dora looked very earnestly at her mother.
" If you had seen him and heard him speak,
mamma," she said, "you could scarcely connect
the idea of a foolish jest with that m.an ; still less
would you til ink it likely that he should or could
be mistaken about a thing he asserts so positively
Mrs. Courtenay looked slightly disturbed.
" Why, what is he like f she asked.
" A gentleman — a real gentleman, I mean. Yes,
truly, a real gentleman ; though almost shabbily
" I don't believe him — he is a liar I" excitedly
said Mrs. Luan.
" He looks one straight in the face, aunt."
" But, my dear, you know nothing about him,"
urged her mother.
"I have seen him, mamma, and both his appear-
ance and manner are remarkable."
" Is he handsome ?"
"Not at all. Indeed, he is dark and rather
plain. I feel pretty sure that he comes from the
" Then he is an Irishman !"
"Yes— at least I think so."
"I don't believe it," again put in Mrs. Luan ;
" Richard is not an Irish name — he is a liar !"
But Dora noticed that her hand shook so that
she could not thread her needle.
" I am not sure he is Irish," she resumed, " but
his countenance makes me think he is. Whatever
his country may be, his face is that of a generous,
warm-hearted man, and, I will add, of an upright
Mrs. Courtenay said innocently,
"My dear, how you must have looked at him to
see all that in his face I"
"I did indeed look at him," replied Dora
gravely. " When he uttered these terrible news,
I looked at him as I seldom look at people, mamma.
But you see it was Destiny, our Fate that was
speaking. He seemed sorry, very sorry for me,
but he softened and miticrated nothinor. I do not
think he could do so even if he wished it — the
truth is too strong for him."
They both looked at her with some surprise.
She was pale, but grave and collected. The blow
had fallen on her, but it had not crushed her ; and
though she felt it still, she was already rallying
from its effects. They exchanged alarmed looks.
AVas it, could it be true ?
" But if the money is lost, what shall we do ?"
exclaimed Mrs. Courtenay, raising her voice, and
clasping her hands in terror.
VOL. I. N
" Monsieur Merand asks me for another draw-
ing," said Dora ; " besides, I shall try and get
" I shall write to Mr. Derring at once !" cried
Mrs. Courtenay, much agitated. "As my solici-
tor, he must know the truth."
'' It is too late for the post to-day, mamma. I
I daresay we shall know the truth to-morrow."
But it was very plain that concerning that truth
Dora herself felt no doubt. The dreary certainty
had entered her soul in Monsieur Merand's shop,
and could leave it no more.
They spent a melancholy evening. Mrs. Cour-
tenay took out her cards, and tried the favourite
patience of His Majesty Louis Dix-huijfc, but she
changed colour ere she had gone half through it.
She had placed an omen upon it, and whether the
cards would not come right, or whether — what
was just as likely — Mrs. Courtenay's disturbed
mind would not let her take advantage of the
chances of the game, it was plain that the result
would have been a cruel " no " to her secret hopes.
So she would not trust fate, but mixed up the
cards hurriedly, and put them away with a fright-
ened look that went to Dora's heart. It was a
relief to her when she retired to her room for
the night. As she closed her window, which had
remained open, she looked up to Nanette's, where
a light was burning.
" My poor little fairy," she thought, " that light
of yours has often cheered me, and done me good,
for poor though I am, it showed me I was not
powerless. And now, must I bid you be careful
and sparing of your poor rushlight, or, saddest of
all, give up my little bounty because I can afford
it no longer f
These were not cheerful thoughts, and Dora
felt depressed as she sat on the edge of her bed,
and looked at the story of the patient Griselidis on
the faded curtains.
" She worked for her living, to be sure,"
thought Dora, as she examined the prim figure
standing with its spindle and distaff by the cot-
tage door, " but did she ever know the cruel
doubt and fear which are upon me now ? She
had always wool to spin, I suppose, that patient
Griselidis. Was there a time when she thought
of sitting empty-handed, with nothing to do, and
therefore nothing to earn ? God help us ! If
those shares are really lost, are we three to be de-
pendent on my drawings, and on Monsieur Me-
rand? John will do something for his mother,
poor fellow ! — but what can he do 1 Oh ! how
weak and ungrateful I was all this time, complain-
ing that I led a dull life, forsooth, and not appre-
ciating the inestimable blessing of security and
independence, mean and humble though both
were ! I fear no labour, no drudgery ; but what
if these should fail me, and with them honest live-
lihood ! If I had been sinking at sea, or shut in
by flames from all help, that Doctor Eichard
could scarcely have looked more compassionate
than he did. He seemed struck with pity. I
daresay my face told him it was ruin ! ruin ! —
cruel ruin ! — -irrevocable ruin ! God help me !
what shall we do f
Once more a sort of despair filled her heart, but
it soon passed away. Hope and a naturally brave
spirit chased the cowardly feeling, and bade it be-
" I will be brave — I will be strong !" thought
Dora, proudly, " and, with God's help, we shall
have the needful."
She went to bed and slept— ^slept soundly, even.
But Mrs. Courtenay's slumbers were agitated and
broken, and Mrs. Luan's eyes did not close once
through the whole of that long night.
nnHE two elder ladies were anxiously waiting for
-*- post-time. Dora was calm. She needed no
confirmation to her knowledge of the worst. " We
must bear it," she thought, reducing into practice
the lessons of Epictetus. ^' The rest matters
That " rest," which she thus dismissed, was
much to the two elder women. They denied its
existence, yet waited for its coming with fear and
trembling. What if those Kedmore Mines should
indeed prove as treacherous as Dora's four hun-
dred a year ! We all know that sorrows come not
singly. These dark sisters are in a league against
man, and when one has done with him, she calls
another to fill her vacant place by the stricken
hearth. Well may people in trouble be gloomy.
Thej^ know that, though one misfortune is gone,
the other is surely coming. But it is hard to feel
a butt for Fate, so against that knowledge Mrs.
Courtenay and Mrs. Luan both rebelled.
" I am sure the postman has gone by," triumph-
antly said Mrs. Courtenay.
She had been looking out of the window for the
postman during the last hour. She now looked
again, and to her dismay saw him turning the
corner of the street. At once she drew in her
frightened face, and sat down, pale and expectant.
Mrs. Luan looked scared, and turned rather yel-
low. Dora put down her sewing, and waited pa-
tiently. A ring was heard at the door below.
" It is the baker," murmured Mrs. Courtenay.
A step came up the stairs — a discreet tap at their
" Come in," faintly said Mrs. Courtenay.
The door opened, and Madame Bertrand en-
tered the room, with a blue foolscap letter, an
English letter, in her hand. She came in smiling
and nodding. English letters were always welcome
to her lodgers.
" Here it is," she said, still nodding. " ' How
pleased tlie ladies will be,' I said to the postman ;
* they have not had one for such a time.' * Well,
then,' he replied, ^ they will not mind paying the
extra postage : it Is written on thick paper, and
overweight, you see.' So I paid him the twenty-
four sous/' continued Madame Bertrand.
Dora put her hand in her pockety paid the
money, and took the letter. Madame Bertrand
withdrew, unconscious of the desolation she had
left behind her.
" Read it, Dora — I cannot," said poor Mrs.
Dora obeyed and read. They heard her in
death-like silence. Their little all was gone, their
little hoard had been swallowed in the great wreck ;
they were left, two white-haired, helpless women,
dependent on a girl. Dora's tears flowed at the
sight of their silent grief.
"Dear mamma, dear aunt," she said, looking
from one to the other, " I am young, and I can
work. It is Providence that sent me to Monsieur
Merand's shop. And I like drawing — I did it for
pleasure as much as for money ; if he will but
continue and take my sketches, we can live on my
earnings. Besides, can I not teach English or
music, or do a hundred things? As to that, can I
But age has not the elasticity of youth. Ruin
was before !Mrs. Courtenay and her sister-in-law.
and they could see nothing else. Dora's voice fell
on their ear without a note of hope or comfort in
it. It sounded idle, far away and dull, and left
the bitter truth in all its bitterness. In vain she
tried to console them — she failed,* and each re-
jected her well-meant efforts after her own fashion.
Mrs. Luan by a silent, moody motion of her hand,
and heav}', averted looks; Mrs. Courtenay by piti-
ful lamentations, ending in sobs and tears.
There is something very grievous in the despair
of age. Childhood and youth have their passion-
ate griefs, but we know that the Siren Hope keeps
many a sweet lure in store for either. The old
she deserts without pity ; let them suffer, their
troubles at the best will be brief, and there is a
cure for all sorrows beneath the green sod. Rest
is there, and silence, and with both a balm to every
earthly grief; is it worth while for that bright,
fair-haired Hope to take thought of them ? To
Dora she was prodigal of promises in this sad
hour. A national gallery would scarcely have
held all the drawings she held up to her view.
Bags full of silver five franc-pieces, rouleaux of
gold, blue bank-notes, this gay young goddess held
in either of her white hands. Dora's courage
was but the fast belief in future good rising out of
this present woe. Of work and money she felt
sure ; but she vainly tried to impart her certainty
to her mother,
"No, no," despondently said Mrs. Courtenay ;
" I daresay Monsieur Merand will be like the Red-
more Mines, and we shall all starve ! — all starve !'*
she added, rocking herself to and fro in her
Dora thought at first that as her mother's
grief was loud, it would be soon oyer — sooner per-
haps than that of Mrs. Luan, who sat silent and
moody, like a yellow statue of despair ; but it was
not so. Mrs. Luan rallied a little, and grew less
torpid as the day passed ; whilst Mrs. Courtenay
became more and more excitable. She had borne,
with great resignation, with a sort of cheerfulness,
indeed, the loss of Dora's four hundred a year, but
nothing a year threw her into a sort of distraction
over which Dora found that she was powerless.
Mrs. Courtenay cried the whole day, refused to
eat, and when she at length went to bed, it was
not to sleep, but to fret and moan. Dora became
uneasy, and that uneasiness rose to alarm when,
on enterlnrr her mother's room to see if she was
sleeping, she found Mrs. Coiirtenay sitting up in
her bed, talking aloud and at random.
It had not seemed to Dora before this that
grief in one of her mothers excitable tempera-
ment might be dangerous. But now the convic-
tion that it could be so rushed to her mind with
terrible force, and conquered her equanimity.
" Aunt !" she cried, going back to Mrs. Luan
in their little sitting-room, " stay with mamma ; I
must go for a doctor."
She hastily put on her bonnet and ran down-
stairs to Madame Bertrand. She found her in
her chair snoring comfortably, whilst the grey
Angola cat, gathered up in a demure attitude on
the table by her mistress, was purring in unison.
The lamp burned unused, for though Madame
Bertrand's spectacles were on her nose, and a half-
mended stocking was on her left hand, the good
lady was, as we said, fast asleep. It was but a
little Dutch picture of domestic comfort ; yet that
homely woman in the homely room, with the
brown old furniture and the ancient clock ticking
behind the door, gave Dora a brief, sharp pang.
Oh ! to be so once more, with health and humble
comfort, and the sweetest of human blessings, a
blessing, indeed, which is more of Heaven than of
earth — dear, happy peace !
Madame Bertrand was not very fast asleep —
only dozing, as she said when on awakening she
saw Dora standing before her : and she good-
humouredly asked to know her young lodger's
"My mother is ill," replied Dora, "and I want
Madame Bertrand stared.
" 111 r she exclaimed, amazed. " Then we
must have the English doctor — Doctor Richard."
Dora could not help giving a little start. She
did not want Doctor Richard ; she herself could
not have said why.
" Is he a good doctor f she asked doubtfully —
" a very good one, I mean ?"
" Good !" screamed Madame Bertrand ; " why,
did he not save Madame Bernard's child- that was
black in the face ! And when poor Monsieur Le-
grand had that brain fever, did he not get him
through — only is he within now ? He would be
the greatest doctor in Rouen if he were not always
nobody knows where."
DOR A. 189
" Then let us go for some one else," hurriedly
said Dora ; '^ I must lose no time."
"I shall go \Yith you to Doctor Richard's," Ma-
dame Bertrand good-naturedly proposed ; '^ and if
he is not within, we can only go to Doctor Merson
— but I have no great faith in /u'??2," she added,
with an ominous shake of the head.
They went out together. The night was fine,
but cool. The chill air did Dora good, and
helped to calm her.
"I daresay it is only a little natural excitement,"
she thought, already rallying from her fears ;
" still, I shall be glad to have advice. I hope
that Doctor Richard is a good doctor ?"
And she asked if he lived far away.
*'This is the house," answered Madame Ber-
trand, stopping before a low and very old mansion.
Dora knew that house well. It stood next to that
in which Nanette lived. She passed it daily on
her way to the Musee. She knew that grey
fa9ade, that low arched door, those grated windows
on the ground-floor. Once she had seen the door
open, and caught a glimpse of a green court with
mildewed walls, an old shattered fountain, and a
heap of sculptured rubbish ; but Doctor Richard,
or indeed any one^ she had never seen about the
" He is within," said Madame Bertrand ; she
looked up at the first-floor windows as she spoke —
they were curtainless. Dora saw a light passing
from room to room, but she could not see who car-
"Does Doctor Eichard live here?" she in-
quired, as her companion rang the bell, which
gave aloud dismal peal in the empty rooms within.
" Not always ; but, poor gentleman ! he spends
all his money in buying old things, and he stows
them away here, you see."
The light vanished from the windows above, a
step was heard coming down the staircase, and
presently the door opened, and Dora saw Doctor
Richard with his hat on and a light in his hand*
She saw him, but he did not see her. He only
saw Madame Bertrand, behind whom she stood,
in the darkness of the street.
" Well I" he said, with good-humoured asperity.
" Who is ill ? Who is dying now, just to vex me
and keep me in Rouen to-night f '
" No one is dying, I hope. Monsieur Richard,"
replied Madame Bertrand, curtsying ; " but Made-
moiselle's mamma is very poorly, so we came for
Doctor Richard moved his light till it fell on
Dora's face ; his look showed that he recognized
her, but he betrayed no other token of previous
acquaintance. He extinguished the candle, put it
away on the last step of the staircase, then walked
out, locking the door behind him. It was plain he
lived alone in that dreary old mansion.
" How strange and sharp he looks," thought
Dora, to whom that night aspect of Doctor Rich-
ard's dark face gave a very different impression
from that which she had received in Monsieur
Merand's shop. *^ I hope he is a good doctor.
I fear he is a wilful one."
At first Doctor Richard walked up the street
before them. Then suddenly slackening his pace,
he stayed by Dora's side, and began questioning
her. How long had her mother been ill, and what
were the symptoms ?
" She got bad news this morning," replied
Dora, "news which agitated her, and she is
slightly delirious now. It is this that frightens
" There is probably no cause for alarm," he com-
posedly replied, " though there may be some for
He spoke no more, and when they reached the
house he followed her upstairs to her mother's
room, without uttering a word.
" Mamma, I have brought Dr. Richard to see
you," said Dora, going up to her mother.
" My dear, we cannot afford doctors now," an-
swered Mrs. Courtenay, excitedly. " They are ex-
pensive, you know. Besides, that is not Doctor
"Yes, it is!" he good-humouredly replied in
English, and at the same time sitting down by her,
and taking her hand to feel her pulse, " I am not
merely Doctor Richard, but your close neighbour,
don't you know that ?"
The sick lady gave him a puzzled look, and then
with a wearied sigh she let her upraised head sink
back on her pillow. Doctor Richard looked at her
very attentively ; he leaned back in his chair at the
foot of the bed, and scanned her features with the
closest scrutiny, seeming in no hurry either to
speak or to move. Mrs. Luan stared at him
amazed, whilst Dora watched him with breathless
suspense. At length he rose and looked for his hat.
"Is there nothing to be done, sir?" asked Dora.
" Not yet," he replied, " but you may as well
sit up with her. I shall call again in an hour or
so, and then I shall know better how to act."
Dora followed him out of the room.
" There is no cause for alarm, sir, is there ?"
she asked, detaining him at the head of the stair-
"Not that I know of ; but to tell you the truth,
I do not know what is the matter with this lady,
and I do not wish to prescribe until I have such
knowledge. I shall call round in an hour or so."
" But my mother cannot be very ill !" urged
Dora. " She was so well this morning."
" I do not think she is very ill," he answered,
quietly ; " but it is to feel sure of it that I shall
He left her, and Dora, much relieved, returned
to her mother's room. But the relief was only
momentary. As she sat and listened to Mrs.
Courtenay's gentle wanderings, and looked at her
flushed face, a subtle but sickening fear crept to
her heart. What if the blow had been too severe ?
What if the terror of poverty had irremediably
shaken a mind of no great strength ? For it was a
VOL. I. ' O
cruel— a very cruel blow. She need only look at
Mrs. Luan's dull, heavy face, at her vacant eyes,
and hands idly clasped on her lap, and see how
that blow had told on her. She tried to rouse her
" Do not look so, aunt," she said, going to her
chair and bending over it, " take your patchwork
and cheer up. Mamma will get well, and John will
help us, and I shall draw for Monsieur Merand,
and all will be right again."
'* We shall give a party next week," here said
Mrs. Courtenay, " and your aunt shall wear a yellow
Mrs. Luan smiled grimly.
" She thinks me foolish 1" she said, " does she ?
She was evidently triumphing in her superior
wisdom. Dora's eyes grew dim as she looked to-
wards the bed.
" Some people look wise and are silly," continued
Mrs. Luan with a nod. " Oh ! dear, how hot my
head is I"
She took off her cap as she spoke, and flung it to
the other end of the room.
There was no comfort to receive there, no com-
fort, either, to administer. Dora returned to her
"It is a party, a beautiful party," resumed Mrs.
Courtenay ; " only where is Paul ? You must dance
with Paul, Dora. Pity you are brother and sister
— I should have liked you to marry Paul. So ac-
complished — such a gentleman !"
" Do listen to her !" scornfully said Mrs. Luan,
still seeming to triumph in her superiority. Then
she gave a start, and added abruptly, " That's the
Dora felt almost angry.
*^ That is Madame Bertrand's great clock tick-
ing," she replied, warmly. "I wonder at you,
Mrs. Luan stared at her without replying.
Then she rose, picked up her cap, put it on, after
shaking it, and, to Dora's relief, went to her own
room. She remained alone with her mother, look-
ing at her, listening to her in troubled silence.
The evening, the house, the street, all seemed pre-
ternaturally still, but Madame Bertrand's clock
was awfully distinct.
"How cruel of aunt to say that," thought Dora;
" but, poor thing, she knows no better. Why do
I listen to that foolish old clock ? It is a hundred
years old, at least, and is in its dotage — why, then,
do I mind it ?"
Why is superstition, latent in the human heart,
ready to start forth at the first call of sorrow?
Oh ! what a relief it was when a ring was heard
below, when the street-door opened, and Doctor
Richard's step came up the staircase. A relief,
yet Dora's heart beat so with a sudden fear, that
she could scarcely rise to receive him when he
entered the room. Without speaking he went and
took the chair she had left vacant. He sat down
again, and he looked at Mrs. Courtenay with the
closest attention. Dora stood at the head of the
bed looking at him with an intent gaze. Years
afterwards she could have drawn his face from
memory as she saw it on this evening, so keen,
so watchful was the look she bent upon him
then. Doctor Richard was not very young, and
he was not at all handsome. He was still in the
prime and strength of life, but he was plain and
dark. He had a broad massive forehead, strongly
marked eyebrows, and fine but very piercing eyes.
Some sternness there was in the upper portion of
his face, but a handsome, genial mouth redeemed it
from anything like coldness. With all this his was a
perplexing countenance, perhaps because it was
one of many contrasts, and therefore not easily
read. Intellect it expressed and power tempered
by good-humour; but with these attractice gifts
there were others which qualified them. Doctor
Richard looked like a man of strong passions, and
especially like one with whom anger is both quick
and vehement. He might be, and probably he was,
warm-hearted, but he was certainly very warm-
Dora looked, not to observe all this, though
many a time later she remembered and construed
every one of these signs, but to read in that dark
expressive face the fate of her sick mother.
Doctor Richard remained long silent. When he
spoke at length, it was to say,
"I am just as much puzzled as before."
He spoke with a candour rare in medical men.
They cannot afford it. Their patients expect
them to be endowed with Godhke infaUibility, and
woe be to them if by word or look they disappoint
the preposterous expectation ! But Doctor Richard
did not seem to care much for the reputation of
his professional skill. For without giving Dora
time to reply, he continued, '' I cannot tell
yet. Will you let me sit an hour here and
^' Certainly ; but it is robbing you of a night's
"Not it. I can read, you know."
He took a book out of his pocket as he spoke,
and was soon intent upon its contents. The door
of the inner room opened ere long, and Mrs. Luan
came forth ; but Doctor Richard only turned a
page without looking round. Mrs. Luan sat down
not far from him, and still Doctor Richard was,
or seemed to be, unconscious of her presence. Thus
all three sat in painful silence, whilst Mrs. Courte-
nay uttered some flighty remark every now and
" Dora," she once exclaimed, eagerly, " is every-
" Yes, mamma, quite safe."
" I mean the money. Because, you see, Mr.
Brown is in the room."
She looked significantly at Doctor Richard, who
raised his eyes, gave a little start of surprise, and
even coloured slightly. Dora blushed and ex-
"Mr. Brown was our banker, and we unfor-
tunately lost some money through him," she said ;
"^Irs. Courtenay connects me with him," said
Doctor Richard, without letting her go on ; " pray
do not apologise."
" Mr. Brown was a rogue !" remarked Mrs. Luan,
staring at Doctor Richard, who returned the look
Dora, much perplexed and confused, said no-
thing. Doctor Richard preserved the greatest
composure, and resumed his reading. A book lay
on the table — Dora took it up. It was " Epicte-
tus." Never, alas ! had her mind felt less inclined
to receive the stoic's teaching than it felt then.
How hard, how cold, how heartless it all seemed !
She compelled herself to read, indeed, but half the
time she found no meaning in the words before
her. Ever and anon her eyes wandered from the
page to Doctor Richard, and every time they did
so, they found, on their way, the face of Mrs.
Luan, sitting in the gloomy part of the room, and
staring at the stranger with that fixed stare which
one sometimes sees in animals when a guest to-
wards whom they feel but half friendly is present.
That look, of which Doctor Eichard was, or chose
to seem, unconscious, added to Dora's nervousness.
She could read no more — her anxiety was too great ;
and still time passed, and still Doctor Richard
read on, and showed no inclination to go.
Suddenly a church clock struck the hour — two
of the morning ; then a few minutes later another
clock took up the tale, and another again — for a
whole quarter of an hour it was two. Dora sat
no longer reading, but, with her cheek resting on
the palm of her hand, and her elbow on the table.
" Will he never go ? — will he never speak f she
thought ; and she looked towards him almost en-
This time Doctor Richard saw her. He had
half closed his book on his knee, and bending a
little forward, he was looking at her keenly and
intently. If she had been a picture or a statue, his
gaze could not have been a more fixed one than it
" How is she ? — What is it ?" whispered Dora,
rising, and going up to him, for such a look, she
thought, could have but one meaning.
Mrs. Courtenay had fallen into a gentle sleep.
Dora's expressive eyes asked: *'Is this good?"
And Doctor Richard nodded and smiled, put his
book in his pocket, and rose to go. He was silent,
and Dora, taking the hint, let him out without
" Well, sir ?" she said eagerly, as soon as the
door was closed upon them, and they stood on the
" Well," he replied, " I know all about it now,
and Mrs. Courtenay sleeps without an opiate,
which I did not dare to give her. I believe she
will be well in a few days ; but if, as I fear, men-
tal uneasiness be at the root of her disease, pray do
all you can to compose her."
Poor Dora ! this threw her back on her almost
forgotten trouble. Doctor Richard saw her eyes
grow dim, and her lips quiver. But he could do
or say nothing, and he merely bade her a good
" Good night, sir," said Dora, following him
down ; " I thank you much, very much — will you
come again ?"
He seemed surprised at the suggestion.
" Of course I shall," he said — " there, do not
come down any further — I can let myself out ; the
night air is keen."
But Dora would follow him to the street door,
and even hold the .light for him down the street.
He walked away a few steps, then came back.
" You need not sit up with Mrs. Courtenay,"
he said. " I feel quite sure of her now. Good
He held out his hand. Dora gave him hers,
and thanked him again. He pressed her hand,
and that with so cordial, so friendly a grasp, that
as he walked away and Dora closed the door upon
him, she thought, with some emotion, "I am sure
Doctor Richard is a friend." And so he was — a
fast, true friend to her. Such a friend as life
grants to few.
TTTHEX Dora softly entered her mother's room
' ' the next morning, she found Mrs. Cour-
tenay still sleeping. Her head lay on her pillow,
her hands were clasped, and in the subdued light,
which stole in horizontal rays through the closed
shutters, she looked so calm, so peaceful, that
Dora's last apprehensions vanished as by enchant-
ment. Her face was radiant when she went forth
into the little sitting-room, and there found Ma-
dame Bertrand, who brought the intimation that
Monsieur Merand was below.
" Ask him to come up," whispered Dora, " but
tell him my mother has been ill and that we must
Presently Monsieur Merand came up on tip-toe,
and with many whispered apologies for troubling
Mademoiselle, he told his errand.
In her distress at the unexpected catastrophe of
the Redmore Mines, Dora had left her portfolio
behind her. This Monsieur Merand now brought
back, but not without having, as he confessed, first
inspected its contents. His own drawing he had
found, also Dora's copy of Keyser's music lesson,
and concerning this he now ventured to speak.
With an air of diffident yet injured candour, he
asked to know if Dora had been working for any
other dealer. Her freedom to do so Monsieur
Merand never questioned, but then he could as-
sure her that she would find him as liberal as any
other member of the trade.
" Now, with regard to that drawing of Keyser's,"
he added, in his most insinuating tone, " I should
like it much if it were not secured."
" It is not," honestly replied Dora, and in the
fulness of her heart she was going to add that
Monsieur Merand was welcome to it, when the
door opened and Dr. Richard entered the room.
Dora forgot the dealer and the drawing in a mo-
*' Mamma is sleeping," she said, eagerly — ^' is
that a good sign. Doctor Richard ?"
" A very good sign," he answered, smiling.
" I believe, however, she will soon waken."
DOR A. 205
" Then I shall wait till she does."
He took a chair, and put down his hat. He
e\ndently did not think that Dora's business with
Monsieur Merand could be of a private nature.
The portfolio lay open on the table, the drawing
was displayed to Doctor Richard's view, and he
unceremoniously bent forward to see it better.
'^ What a fine drawing !" he exclaimed — "is that
yours, Miss Courtenay ?"
" It is," she replied, blushing a little, " and
Monsieur Merand wants to purchase it from
But either Doctor Richard's entrance, or his
praise of Dora's performance, had changed Mon-
sieur Merand's mood, for he looked superciliously
at the drawing, put forth his nether lip, and said,
" Yes, I want a drawing that size ; but this is
not one of your best efforts, Mademoiselle ?"
Dora changed colour. Was Monsieur Merand
going to turn critical in the hour when she most
needed his admiration ?
"Nonsense, Monsieur Merand," put in Doctor
Richard — " that is a first-rate drawing."
" Not in my opinion," drily said Monsieur Me-
206 DOE A.
rand, thrusting his hands into his pockets, and
looking rather defiantly at his customer.
" I cannot do better," said Dora, with a wistful
Monsieur Merand looked at the drawing again,
and grumbled something about being in a hurry,
and not being able to help himself. Dora felt
mortified, but necessity is a hard mistress, and this
was not the time to revolt against Monsieur Me-
rand's criticism, however harsh and unpleasant it
" And what do you expect for this ?" he asked,
after a while.
" Say two hundred francs," suggested Monsieur
Before Dora could answer. Doctor Richard in-
" I suppose you mean four hundred," he said,
" Doctor Richard," hotly answered Monsieur
Merand, " do I meddle in your business ?— -do I
go and prescribe for your patients ?"
" My dear sir, would my patients follow your
prescriptions ?" was the amused reply.
" Well, then, I decline to submit to your inter-
ference, Doctor Richard ! I will give Mademoi-
selle two hundred francs — that and no more."
" And I will engage, by sending that drawing
to a house I know in London, to get her, if not
four hundred francs for it, at least three hundred
Doctor Richard spoke confidently ; Monsieur
Merand looked blank.
"I cannot help myself," he said at length, and
speaking very sullenly. ^' I will give Mademoi-
selle the three hundi'ed and fifty francs. I do
not gain a franc by the transaction— not one," he
added with an injured look.
Doctor Richard chuckled, and seemed excess-
" I declare it is better than a play to hear you I"
he said good-humouredly. " Only to think of your
wanting to pass off these tricks upon me, Monsieur
Monsieur Merand looked as if he did not know
whether to be entertained or angry at the cool
tone in which his customer addressed him. He
took the wisest course, however, and, not deigning
to answer him, he turned to Dora, to whom he
208 DOR A.
said very civilly — " When may I have the draw-
ing, Mademoiselle ?"
" I should like to give it a few last touches ;
and if my mother is so far well that I can leave
her, I shall work at it to-day, Monsieur Merand."
" Then I hope she will be well," he said a little
crossly. " Good morning ;" and with the look of
a conquered man, he left the room.
Dora turned towards Doctor Richard. Her
beaming face expressed her thanks before they
were spoken. He gave her no time to utter a
" Do not," he said quickly. " You would not
have had me stand by and see you robbed ? Why,
your drawing is worth more than the sum I have
" I cannot understand it," replied Dora, looking
perplexed ; " I never knew I was so clever ; but
however that may be, I do cordially thank you.
Money is invaluable to me just now. Doctor
He nodded gravely, as much as to say, " Ah !
yes, I know — the Redmore Mines ;" and as he
heard Mrs. Courtenay talking to Mrs. Luan with-
in, he asked if he could not see her. Dora went
D O E A. 209
in before him, then came back and signed him to
Mrs. Courtenay was sitting up in her bed. She
looked calm and collected ; and, indeed, was so
far recovered, that Doctor Richard's presence
startled and surprised her. At once she looked to
her daughter for explanation.
" You have been quite unwell, mamma," said
Dora smiling, *' and Doctor Eichard, who is our
neighbour, called in to see you. And what do
you think, mamma, Monsieur Merand came a
quarter of an hour ago to ask me for a drawing
from one of the pictures in the Gallery. And he
is in a desperate hurry for it. So do make haste
and get well."
" And the Redmore Mines," said Mrs. Courte-
nay plaintively ; " I did not dream that, did I,
" No, indeed, you did not. But the Redmore
Mines are here now," she added gaily, showing
her little right hand. "You must know, mamma,
that I am quite clever. Doctor Richard has been
looking at my last drawing whilst you slept, and
he thinks that Monsieur Merand scarcely pays
me enough. He advises me to raise my terms,
VOL. I. P
and/' continued Dora, suddenly dropping the
present for the past tense, *^ I have done it ; for
he spoke opposite Monsieur Merand himself, who
could not deny it, and gave me nearly a hundred
per cent, more at once. So what do you think of
Mrs. Courtenay, scarcely able to think at all,
looked both confused and happy. She also
looked grateful, and her mild blue eyes were
raised to Doctor Richard's face with an expression
he could not mistake. He smiled kindly, and
sitting down by her bedside, entered into conver-
sation with her. He attacked the Redmore Mines
at once, and put the matter in a cheerful and
airy point of view, which happened to be particu-
larly suited to Mrs. Courtenay's turn of mind.
" Such catastrophes," said Doctor Richard, " are
like railway accidents and steamboat collisions,
the only variety of modern life. The ups and
downs formerly were of another nature. Beauti-
ful ladies were not safe for a moment, especially
when they were wealthy, but were the lawful prey
of the king, his favourites, and his powerful sub-
jects. As to men, the strong hand was the right
sort of hand then. Themis had not merely her
DOE A. 211
eyes bandaged, but fast closed in sleep. Every
man had to be his own policemanj and, as a
natural consequence^ his own judge and jury.
This variety of occupations must, to say the least
of it, have made a gentleman irritable, and ac-
counts for many little peculiarities of those days
which would otherwise be inexplicable to our mo-
dern ideas. And now, you see, all that is done,
for lovers do not kidnap heiresses, but companies
wheedle them out of their gold. Robin Hood or
Claude Duval neither put bishops to ransom, nor
dance minuets with fine ladies on the highway ;
but for all that, money flies out of our pockets by
a magical process called high interest. Sad, very
sad, Mrs. Courtenay, only, you know, we are not
bom with pockets."
" Dear me, to be sure not !" cried Mrs. Courte-
nay, much struck with the fact, which had never
occurred to her before ; " that is a very original
remark. Doctor Eichard."
" It is none of mine/' he answered, smiling :
" but it is full of philosophy. So let us bear with
this catastrophe, which we cannot mend, and let
us bless pur stars that it is not the destruction of
life or limb, as it might be if it occurred through
a railway or a steamer. Loss of money is, after
all, the least of the three modern evils."
" I think so," said Mrs. Courtenay, brightening.
" I have always had a horror of being drowned or
disfigured, and I would much rather lose my shares
of the Redmore Mines than even my left eye."
She looked quite gay and cheerful again, and in
this mood Doctor Richard left her, promising to
call again in the evening.
Mrs. Courtenay was charmed with her medical
attendant. " How kind he seems ! " she said.
" Seems ! " repeated Dora, with emotion ; " is,
mamma. Twice he came to you yesterday even-
ing, and he sat up here till past two rather than
prescribe an opiate, which, it seems, might have
injured you. And think how kind it was of him
to interfere with Monsieur Merand on my behalf.
Monsieur Merand looked so angry ! I am sorry
to lose my good opinion of him, but I am afraid
he has almost cheated me. How kind, though, of
Doctor Richard not to mind exposing him.
"Yes, very kind," murmured Mrs. Courtenay.
" And when are you to get the money, Dora ?"
" To-day, if I can finish my drawing," eagerly
replied her daughter. "Indeed, I had better go
at once," she added, rising ; " Monsieur Merand is
in a hurry for it, and I am in a hurry for Monsieur
Merand' s five-franc pieces."
"Yes, I wish you had the money," ratlier
querulously said Mrs. Courtenay.
Dora saw she could trust her mother to Mrs.
Luan's care, and that it would be better for her
to go and calm the poor lady's mind by the prospect
of gain, the only prospect which then seemed to
have any charm in it for Mrs. Courtenay. So
with a cheerfulness half real, half put on — alas !
how many things are so put on by brave hearts,
heroism, patience, and the rest — Dora took her
portfolio and went forth. On her way she
thought, " Since I am selling the drawing, I no
longer want the frame ; and since it is not ready,
had I not better go and tell that poor Dubois not
to make it. Poor fellow ! I hope he will not be
too much disappointed !"
Dora found the door of the Dubois' ajar, and
she pushed it open hesitatingly ; but she was not
prepared for the sight that met her view. Her
frame, bright as gilding could make it, stood be-
fore her, held by Monsieur Dubois, whose hand
had got miraculously well during the night, and no
less a person than Doctor Richard stood with his
back to her. He turned round, and seemed sur-
prised to see her, whilst consternation appeared
on Madame Dubois' face, and Monsieur Dubois
turned pale as a ghost.
" Doctor Richard," said Dora, reddening, " was
that man's hand unwell f
^' Unwell ! no. Has he been imposing on you,
Miss Courtenay ? I suppose he was out of work
-—a child ill, eh ?"
" Yes," replied Dora, " that is it. Was it not
Doctor Richard laughed heartily, and seemed
'^ The old story !" he said. " My dear young
lady," he added, " why did you not look at the
man's low, mean face, and read him ? His story
is this. I have kept him in work for the last six
weeks, and during that time neither he, nor his
wife, nor his children, nor even the white hen, has
had a moment's ailment !"
Dora was mortified. She had been cheated and
deceived, and Doctor Richard only laughed at her
"He is a low vagabond," resumed Doctor
KIchard, still speaking English, but shaking his
forefinger good-huraouredly at the culprit, ^vho
looked extremely uneasy, " but clever, Miss Cour-
tenay, a self-taught genius ; and though it is
abominable that he should thus impose upon you,
I cannot afford to be angry with him. Look at
that frame I have just bought. There is fancy and
invention for you ! Look at that foliage !"
" Excuse me, Doctor Richard," said Dora,
gently touching his arm, and looking both amused
and puzzled, ^' but this frame was made for me."
" Have they sold you my frame ?"
"Doctor Eichard, I ordered it."
" So did I, Miss Courtenay."
They exchanged looks — then Doctor Kichard
burst out laughing.
" The vagabond ! — the low vagabond !" he said
again. " He wanted, perhaps, to sell the same
frame twice over. Now, Miss Courtenay, take my
advice, do not let yourself be so easily imposed
upon. But what a pity the rascal should be so
clever ! Look at that design, how correct and how
graceful, and those I have at home are better still.
I must forgive him, Miss Courtenay, for the sake
of that leaf !"
Dora blushed and laughed.
"But, Doctor Kichard," she stammered, "the
design is not his — 'tis mine, I drew it."
" YoQ drew it, Miss Courtenay !"
" Yes. I wanted it for my drawing, and I drew
several designs, but he told me this was the best —
and so "
She did not proceed. Doctor Richard was an
altered man. The veins in his forehead were
thick and swollen, and his full brown eyes burned
with resentment so blighting that it almost
frightened her. The amusement with which he
had heard Dora tell of the imposition practised
upon her vanished when he thus learned the fraud
attempted on himself.
" And so they were your drawings ?" he cried
at length, speaking angrily and fast, and evidently
in a great rage. " Your drawings, which the rascal
passed upon me for his ; and I, a gull as I ever
am, believed him."
His look, as it fell on the convicted gilder, ex-
pressed the most vehement indignation. Evidently
Doctor Richard found nothing humorous or enter-
taining in being made a dupe of.
" Is not this abhorrent and shameful V* he pro-
ceeded, addressing the gilder in French, which he
spoke forcibly and well. " You might have spared
yourself this disgrace, and been none the poorer.
Nay, the truth should have brought you in more
than that base lie."
Monsieur Dubois murmured some unintelligible
reply, but already Doctor Richard's anger had
melted into scorn. His brow grew smooth again,
his brown e3^es resumed their serenity, and he burst
into a hearty laugh at his own expense.
"To think of my addressing that low-minded
wretch as if he could know the beauty of truth,"
he said, turning to Dora. " Whereas she never
left her well, so far as he is concerned. But how
are we to deal with this rascal. Miss Courte-
nay ? Who keeps the frame ? I ordered it, but
then you gave the design, so that if you want
" I do not," replied Dora, colouring a little.
" Then I shall keep it," he said readily. " I shall
call again and settle with you, sir," he added, giving
Monsieur Dubois a significant look ; " for I can see
in your face. Miss Courtenay," he continued, look-
ing at her with a smile, as they both left the place,
" that I must not be too hard on this guilty couple
in your presence. Yon looked quite startled a
" You looked very angry, Doctor Eichard."
"Did I? Well, Saint Augustine says that
each man bears within himself Adam, Eve, and
the serpent, and I confess I find it so. Often that
weak Adam, and frail Eve, and tempting serpent
are busy with me. So lest Adam should prevail
against me, I now leave that sneaking impostor
and his wife. I have no doubt they are quarrel-
ling now, with the boy looking on, and the white
hen cackling. Let them ! Confess that you
think me a fool !" he abruptly added, stepping on
the staircase to look hard at Dora.
" You forget that I, too, was deceived," replied
" In matters of which you could have little or
no knowledge. But if I had looked at the man's
head, I might have known he could not be the
author of that beautiful drawing. Yet it was that
which blinded me. I saw it, and forgot the man.
So there is ever something to account for my mis-
takes ; for it is a humiliating confession, though a
true one, to say that it is my lot to be deceived.
There is something inexpressively persuasive and
convincing to me in an assertion. A child's false-
hood has often prevailed over me, and yet, Miss
Courtenay, I am not an idiot, I assure you."
He spoke with a gravity which nearly discon-
" I can see you are much inclined to laugh," he
resumed ; " but you are all wrong. It is idiotic to
be so easily deceived, and yet I am no idiot — I
maintain it in the face of what has just occurred.
Do not protest ; but just allow me to follow out
my argument. You have read Don Quixote, I
have no doubt ; well, then, has it not struck you
that this unfortunate gentleman commits but one
error, only it is the first ; in all else he is shrewd,
clever, sensible, well informed. This is my case.
Ninety-nine things I see clearly ; but the hun-
dredth which escapes me is just the keystone of
the edifice. If that Dubois had assured me that
he was benevolent, humane, a kind husband, a
faithful friend, I should have been amused at his
attempting to practise on my credulity ; but he said
I am an untaught genius, and I became his vic-
Doctor Richard spoke very composedly of his
deficiencies, as composedly, indeed, as if they con-
cerned him not. Dora, though she heard him in
silence, drew her own conclusions. Though his
brown eyes were piercing enough, eyes that could
see far and deep, they were more penetrating than
shrewd. The glamour of imagination could baffle
the keenness of that vision, and Doctor Richard
belonged to the class of men who are to be the
victims of their inferiors. He knew it, but the
knowledge availed him not.
" His very gifts betray him," thought Dora, "and
have kept him back in the race of life. Poor
fellow," she continued, in her mental soliloquy, as
he left her, and walked away briskly, " I am afraid
he spends his money very foolishly. What could
he want with all those frames, now ?"
Dora shook her head at Dr. Richard's impru-
dence, and was still censuring him when she enter-
ed the Gallery.
rpHERE were some last touches to be bestowed
-*- on the music lesson, and Dora lingered over
her task. For suppose Monsieur Merand should
again find fault with this drawing, and utter those
severe remarks which, in Dora's present position,
it would be so hard to hear ? Whilst she was thus
engaged in the picture-gallery, she heard a step
behind her chair, and looking round in some sur-
prise at the unwonted interruption, she saw Doctor
" Will you allow me to make one or two sug-
gestions to you, Miss Courtenay ?" he said, in his
Dora assented with a little flush of emotion,
which Doctor Richard did not seem to perceive.
He proceeded with his suggestions, as he called
them ; and keen, subtle suggestions they were, im-
plying no small amount of theoretical and practi-
" He talks more like a painter than like a doc-
tor," thought Dora, " and, indeed, more like a
professor than like either."
" You draw, Doctor Richard f ' she could not
^' Yes, 1 do all my own illustrations," he care-
" He is a writer upon art," thought Dora.
But memory, though questioned, remained
mute, and had nothing to tell about Doctor
" You did well to take this pretty little music-
lesson," he resumed — " here, at least, imagination
is free. I am not an inquisitive man, not in the
ordinary sense of the word ; my neighbour's busi-
ness troubles me not, but I confess to you that a
little picture by one of the minor Dutch painters
once gave me many a pleasant hour. The
burgher father, the matronly mother, and the
daughter fair and blooming, were all primly seat-
ed before me. The room was large, rather dark,
perhaps, with plenty of plate, and two blue china
vases on an oaken sort of dresser. It was all so
minutely painted, that the Eastern pattern of the
carpet, the flowering of the brocade in the mo-
ther's dress, the fine lace cape of the daughter,
were recognizable, and could have been identified.
The picture was about two hundred years old.
Two hundred years, and their, vicissitudes, battles,
and generations had passed since that calm home
had been somewhere in one of the old Dutch
cities. I would have given anything to have had
the power of going back for a while to those large
oaken rooms, with their substantial furniture — to
have conversed with these people, or, if that were
too ambitious a desire, considering that I do not
know Dutch, to have seen them in their daily life,
and household occupations. Surely there must
have been some chamber upstairs in which that
merchant kept his money-bags, or reckoned his
tuHp bulbs ? Surely, too, that good dame must
have had her empire in wide store-rooms, with jars
of pickles and preserves. As for the young lady,
I could imagine her bower with birds, and an em-
broidery frame, and a looking-glass in the win-
dow. I could imagine all that, but as in a dream ;
for, after all, this supposed merchant may have
been some hard reader, a disciple of Grotius, who
stored books, and not gold, and who scorned tulips.
His wife, in her way, may have set her mind
224 D O E A.
above mere household comforts, and been a stern
Christian, and between these two the poor young
damsel probably led a dull life. I doubt if she
had birds. Their singing would have disturbed
her papa's studies, and her severe mamma held
embroidery a profane loss of time, and condemned
her to knitting and her Bible. So, you see, here
are two totally different versions of the same story ;
and having found that I could thus construct not
two, but twenty, I turned the picture with its face
to the wall, and forbade it to speak to me more."
Did he speak in jest or in earnest? Dora
could not tell, but stole a doubtful look at Doctor
Richard, but he seemed unconscious of her sur-
prise. He spoke with the composure of one who
is unaware of having said anything unusual, and
with the facility which comes from the habit of
being listened to.
" Is he a lecturer, an author, or both f ' thought
Dora ; " and yet there is something in him which
belongs to none of these — something of the man
of the world, who makes himself at home every-
where and with everyone."
But if Doctor Richard had no suspicion of the
conjectures in which Dora indulged concerning
him, be saw very well that her pencil remained idle.
" I must not prevent you from working," he
said, smiling ; and renewing his promise to call on
^[rs. Courtenav in the eveninij, he left her.
As he walked away, Dora's look followed him a
"Poor fellow I" she thought, contrasting his
erect figure and easy carriage with his indifferent
apparel, " I fear he has been sadly tossed about
by life. Medicine, art, authorship have not done
much for him I"
But she admired him for all that. She ad-
mired him as the independent and the clear-
sighted always admire a vigorous and original
mind, even though Fortune should not have fa-
Dora left before the closing of the Gallery ;
and as she passed by the open library -door on her
way downstairs, she saw Doctor Richard reading
within. A heavy folio lay open b^^fore him, and
he was absorbed in its contents.
" Doctor Richard has not got many patients,"
thought Dora ; " I wonder whether he reads on
medicine or on art? And to think of his spend-
ing so much money at Monsieur Merand's !"
VOL. I. Q
To receive from and not to spend with that
gentleman was now Dora's errand on her way
home. She entered his shop with slight hesita-
tion ; but Monsieur Merand was an altered man.
The drawing was perfect, and he had but one
regret — he must pay Mademoiselle in silver five-
franc pieces. But with her bright smile Dora
tied up the welcome though cumbersome coins in
her pocket-handkerchief, and thus laden, went
"Here are news from the Kedmore Mines,"
gaily said Dora, and opening her pocket-handker-
chief, she scattered its contents on her mother's
Mrs. Courtenay's eyes glistened as she saw
the silver shower.
" It is not that I am so fond of money," she
apologetically said; "but then one cannot do with-
Mrs. Luan was mute, but Dora saw the flush
on her sallow cheek, and could read its meaning.
Dora felt happy, and happiness is loquacious.
She told them how she had worked at her draw-
ing, how gracious Monsieur Merand had been,
and in all she said the name of Doctor Richard
D O E A. 227
invariably came back. Mrs. Courtenay was too
much pleased with her medical attendant to cen-
sure this frequent repetition of his name ; but
when, even after dinner, Dora took up the theme,
Mrs. Luan, who had been almost silent since the
preceding day's catastrophe, now looked up, and
said sullenly —
"I hate Doctor Eichard !"
"Aunt !" cried Dora amazed — too much amazed
to be indignant.
" I hate him!" resumed Mrs. Luan ; "look at
his clothes — shabby ; he is no good doctor, not he!
He is nothing — no one — nobody."
She was almost excited now. Dora would
have answered, and perhaps with less respect and
gentleness than she generally showed to Mrs. Luan
— for her cheeks were flushed and her eyes
sparkled — if Doctor Richard himself had not at
that precise moment been shown up by Madame
" A good sign when the patient is lively," he
said, going to Mrs. Courtenay's bed with a plea-
sant smile ; " but I do not mean to give up my
attendance yet. You are not quite well, my
" I do not feel quite well, doctor, but much bet-
ter — oh ! so much better," she added with her
little raisins; of the voice.
He sat down by her and felt her pulse. As
Mrs. Courtenay drew back her hand the motion
disturbed the counterpane, and the five-franc
pieces which Dora had left and forgotten there,
rolled on the floor with many a silver ring. Doctor
Richard gave a little start of surprise, and Dora
'^ I put them there to show mamma that I can
earn money," she said, trying to laugh it off, " for,
thanks to you. Doctor Richard, Monsieur Merand
has been liberal."
She began picking up the fallen coins, and
Doctor Richard assisted her. When he handed
her those which he had gathered he was smiling,
and Dora could not help thinking how different
was the warm genial face she now looked at, from
the dark wrathful countenance she had seen that
morning. That was all storm — this was all sun-
" I am sure he is good," thought Dora ; " he
looks as pleased as if that money w^ere his !"
" Doctor Richard," she said aloud, " 1 met Ma-
dame Dubois. She begged hard to be forgiven."
" Will you forgive them, Miss Courtenay ?"
"Yes — will not you?"
" No ; you know the Chinese saying, ' If I am
deceiv^ed once, the blame lies with the deceiver ;
but if I am twice deceived, the blame lies with
Doctor Richard spoke so positively, that Dora
" Now, Miss Courtenay," he resumed, " do not
think me, soft as I have proved myself, a victim to
the dreadful delusion of the deserving poor.
There are such, I suppose, but just as there are
deserving rich, in a very moderate ratio. No, I
do not ask for that wonderful bird — a virtuous
man in distress. I am satisfied to take humanity
such as it is, and relieve its sufferings so far as I
can, which is very little ; but I have a strong
hatred for moral ugliness, and so when I get such
a reptile as the gilder in my path, and can see no
redeeming trait in him, I leave him to shift for
himself. Some people will be drowned like the
man in the story, and who can prevent it? Listen
to that drunken wretch now shouting down the
street. Who can save him ?"
" Poor fellow !" compassionately said Mrs. Cour-
tenay ; " it is all the cider. Perhaps you drink
wine, Doctor Richard, and do not know how per-
fidious cider is. I do. When we came here first,
I actually got tipsy !" said Mrs. Courtenay, raising
her voice in amazement at the strangeness of the
fact ; " and all for one glass of cider."
" Indeed !" exclaimed Doctor Richard, much
" I did," emphatically continued Mrs. Courte-
nay. '^ I came in very warm, and Madame Ber-
trand would make me taste her cider. I took one
glass, and my head began spinning, oh ! so much.
'Madame Bertrand,' I cried, 'your cider is very
good, but it is very perfidious !' ' Not at all, ma-
dame,' she replied ; ^ you are only a little dizzy.'
Doctor Richard, you may believe me, I could not
get upstairs — I had to sit down on the steps; and
I must have been really tipsy, for it seems I got
so affectionate, and squeezed Madame Bertrand's
hand quite fondly. And I talked so — oh ! how I
did talk ! Poor Dora came down to me a little
frightened, and what do you think I said to her,
doctor ? ' Dora,' I said, * you are a dear, good girl,
but I must say it, once for all — I have never told
you before, but I must tell you now. You stav
too lou^ at your prayers in the morning j and
then, Dora, you are too fastidious about your
dress. It is all very well to be pious, and to wear
nice collars, but still, Dora, thoucrh I like it, I
also like not to be kept so long from my break-
fast, so please to mend I' Dora was quite be-
wildered, poor dear I at the lecture, but she helped
me upstairs, and I took a nap in my chair and
woke quite well. And that is how I got tipsy on
a glass of cider ; and, Doctor Richard," added
Mrs. Courtenay, raising her voice in wonder at her
own suggestion, " think what a terrible effect a
good many glasses must have."
Dora had felt rather uncomfortable during this
naiTative, especially at that portion which referred
to the length of her devotions, and the nicety of
her collars; but though Doctor Richard seemed
much amused, he never looked at her. Moreover,
his manner as he listened and spoke to Mrs. Cour-
tenay expressed a gentle and respectful sympathy
that went to Dora's very heart. With Dora her-
self, when he addressed her, his tone, his looks,
his bearing, were those of a friend — kind, but not
too familiar. His manner, which had been a little
232 DOE A.
abrupt at first, was now tempered by a refinement
and a courtesy which to Dora seemed both rare
and delightful. She thought she had never met
with so perfect a gentleman. Did her bright open
face betray her secret admiration, or was it part of
Doctor Kichard's plan to fascinate both mother
and daughter? Even a keen observer might have
failed to settle this question, but the dullest must
have seen that Doctor Richard bestowed a consider-
able portion of his attention on Miss Courtena3^
Even when he spoke to her mother, it was on Dora
that his eyes rested. Few people had ever looked
at this girl coldly, the light in her face compelled
corresponding warmth in the gazer, and Doctor
Richard obeyed the general rule. When she
spoke he smiled and listened with evident pleasure
to the little sallies by which she endeavoured to
amuse her mother. When she was silent his gaze
wandered towards her, and rested on her radiant
face and light figure, with evident enjoyment. She
was like a Titian or a Giorgione to him, a glorious
bit of colour lighting those dull rooms, and con-
trasting in its brightness with the paleness and
subdued tints of age, as seen in Mrs. Courtenay and
Now there is a subject on which women have a
quickness of perception nothing can baffle — it is
the impression they produce. Dora knew, as well
as if Doctor Richard had sworn it, that he admired
her. She had been accustomed to such admiration
formerly, and had received it too often to be mis-
taken now. What she saw, ]Mrs. Courtenay saw
too, only she drew maternal conclusions which
Dora left in abeyance — that Doctor Richard was
a very fascinating man, a very kind one, too ; how
delightful if he were to marry Dora ! Good, in-
nocent soul I She never looked at Doctor Richard's
coat, nor asked herself how he could keep a wife
and rear a family I The future had, in more
senses than one, ever been a sealed book to this
amiable and improvident lady. Mrs. Luan, too,
being a woman, saw what was going on, and con-
jectured. Her slow, dull mind fastened on Doctor
Richard's admiration of her niece with the tenacity
of a leech, and extracted all that such admiration
could possibly yield.
She already disliked the man, as the bearer of
woeful tidings ; she now hated him as being poor,
and coming to the house to rob them of their only
support. In her sluggish way she had thought
over their position, since the preceding morning,
and she had realized the fact that Dora was now
their mainstay. John would help ; but Mrs. Luan
could not bear to rob poor John, and she was will-
ing to lean heavily, if need be, upon her niece.
Such being the case, why did that needy doctor
coming hankering after Dora ? They did not
want him. Let him begone, with his shabby
clothes and look of decayed gentility ! For that
Doctor Richard's admiration might be the disin-
terested feeling which many men yield to a young
and fascinating woman, Mrs. Luan did not admit
in that moment of selfish terror. She only saw
the danger ; and she not merely saw it, but she
magnified it tenfold.
Doctor Richard was too quick and observant not
to become aware of Mrs. Luan's hard, intent look.
It annoyed him, yet, thanks to the blindness of
which he was uselessly conscious, its meaning was
not apparent to him. He saw a dull, heavy-look-
ing lady, with a hideous piece of patchwork on her
lap, and he felt that there was something unplea-
sant to him, almost repugnant in her aspect ; but
he never thought that this low-browed woman was
the Nemesis of his life. He never thought, as, after
spending an hour and more with "Mrs. Courtenay
and her daughter, he took his leave, that the wo-
man who rose and gave him a cold, lifeless hand,
was the arbitress of his fate ; that from her would
spring the greatest sorrows and the greatest joys
of his existence. That this being, his moral and
intellectual inferior, would nevertheless rule him
with a rod of iron in weal and in woe, Doctor
Richard never suspected.
" Poor thing I she is predestined to a brain dis-
ease," was his medical conclusion, as he looked at
TTTHAT subtle and mysterious chain of small
* * events is it which we so often qualify as
inevitable? Is there anything not immediately
dependent on God's will to which "inevitable"
does really apply ? Are we not free to avoid or
to seek? Could we not walk on the right side
of the road as well as on the left ? Must we per-
force take that turning instead of this ? If we
go on board the boat which is to perish, might we
not have sailed in that which, after crossing smooth
seas, will come to port safely? Inevitable, for-
sooth ! It is the word of presumption and of weak-
ness, the excuse for all shortsighted folly, the plea
of all error, slight or fatal.
That " inevitable," as it is called, was now busy
with Dora Courtenay's destiny. Her motlier got
well again. Even Mrs. Luan recovered the shock
of the Kedmore Mines ; a trifle was saved out oi
the wreck ; poor John Luan wrote an affectionate
letter, and sent twenty pounds ; and Monsieur
Merand ordered a series of drawings, which kept
Dora in constant occupation. All this was as it
should be — was, at least, as it often is in life, where
the waters flow smoothly again ov^er the greatest
wrecks, but the supererogation was in the continued
visits of Doctor Eichard. He came to see Mrs.
Courtenay, and perhaps because her complaint was
mental rather than bodily, he came more as a
friend than as a doctor. He wished to cheer her,
and he succeeded. His conversation was attractive
and varied — the conversation of a well-read man ;
he had also a beautiful voice, mellow, harmonious,
and full-toned, and Mrs. Courtenay once frankly
told him it was like music to hear him. His society,
in short, was both genial and interesting, and
Dora's mother was getting accustomed to it, and
required it as much as her cup of tea in the even-
ing, when it suddenly ceased.
" I wonder why Doctor Richard comes no more?"
rather plaintively said Mrs. Courtenay.
'' Because you are quite well, mamma,*' replied
Dora, trying not to look as disappointed as she felt.
For Doctor Richard had grown invisible. ]S either
when she passed by his house, nor in the picture-
gallery, nor in the reading-room, nor even at Mon-
sieur Merand's, did Dora see him. And there now
fell a restlessness upon her, of which she herself
knew not the cause. She worked, she played, she
read, she sewed, she was never idle a second, and
yet something ailed Dora.
"What a pity Doctor Kichard is not a friend of
ours," she sometimes thought, ^' it used to do me
good when he came. His fancies are rather wild
sometimes, and one does not exactly know when
he is in jest or in earnest ; but he used to set me
thinking, and I feel the want of it now that he is
gone. It is wonderful all I learned from him
when he came and stood behind my chair and
advised me. Some of his criticisms were so many
rays of light. I know I want a critic, and mamma
and aunt admire all I do."
But requisite though his presence was to Dora,
Doctor Richard came not. Then she did her best
to remember all that this judicious critic had said.
And memory brought it all back to Dora. Looks,
words, the very intonation with which they had
been spoken, returned so vividly that it sometimes
seemed Doctor Richard himself stood by. And
DORA. ^ 239
she never asked herself why she thus brought this
stranger in her life, when he had evidently sought
another path than that which she trod. Why she
compelled him to be thus with her in spirit, when
his will kept him so far away in body.
Some of the ancient philosophers thought that
a man could be struck with a thunderbolt and
neither know nor feel it. Perhaps they came to
this strange conclusion from their knowledo^e of
what happens in the mysterious world of a human
heart. There, indeed, the thunderbolt may fall,
and leave us unaware of its presence. The great
calamity, the crowning sorrow of our life, may
have come to us, and we may not even suspect it,
so sudden and so invisible was its approach. If
such a grief had come to Dora, her ignorance of
it was complete. She felt dull, and reason telling
her she had no cause for such dulness, that she
led a useful, active life, with many legitimate
sources of interest in it, she argued against herself,
and resisted the enemy ; but, unluckily, reason
too often took Doctor Richard's voice, and spoke
in his language.
Dora was sitting with her mother and Mrs.
Luan. It was evening-time ; the lamp, with its
2'iO , DORA.
green shade, gave a circle of liglit on the table,
and left the room in a soft brown gloom, through
which you caught dim outlines of furniture, with
here and there a speck of light from some bit of
china or gilt frame on the wall. Mrs. Luan was
engaged on her patchwork, Mrs. Courtenay was
busy with a game of patience, and Dora was
mending linen. They were very silent, but the
wind moaned without, and now and then a gust
brought a heavy pattering shower of rain against
" How different it would all be if Doctor
Richard were here !" thought Dora, and a thrill
passed through her at the thought ; " then, instead
of this heavy silence, w^e should hear his full,
genial voice talking pleasant wisdom, or no less
pleasant paradox. How he would preach me out
of this dulness of mine, if he knew of it ! How
he did go on about ennui the last time he came !
Was it the last ? ' Depend upon it. Miss Cour-
tenay,' he said, ' the great drama of ninety-three
was hastened by the feeling which the French call
ennui. There must have been dreadful w^eariness
in that pompous old Versailles, with its routine,
and its endless round of solemn gaieties. These
long-clipped avenues, and statues, and vases, and
waterworks, lookinor all so formal in the brif^ht
hot sun, made one pine for variety. Anything for
a change. So welcome Yoltaire, welcome Rousseau,
welcome that insolent barber Figaro, who sapped
so gaily the foundations of the old regime. Wel-
come, above all, the Encyclopedic. There is a
charm about impiety when all else fails. The
end, to be sure, was tragic, and seas of blood had
to flow ere the safe shore was reached ; but then,
for a few years, at least, the French nation was
saved from ennui — an inestimable blessing. Miss
Courtenay, for so lively a nation.' "
Yes, thus had Doctor Richai'd spoken ; and as
she recalled his language, and wisely admonished
herself with it, Dora seemed to see Doctor Richard
himself sitting in yonder vacant chair, and looking
at her across the table with those genial brown
eyes, in which he could put no small amount of
mirth and humour. The vision brought no blush
to Dora's cheek, no emotion to her heart ; but it
was pleasant, though brief.
" What a pity he does not like our society as
much as we like his !" she thought, honestly ;
" but it is no great wonder. It must be dull to
VOL. I. K
come and sit here with us, and yet I am selfish
enough to wish that he would come again !"
As she confessed thus much to herself, her mo-
ther pushed the cards away, and exclaimed, a little
" How dull you both are ! I wish Doctor
Richard would come in," she added.
Dora could not help smiling at this coincidence
in their wishes.
" But you are not ill, mamma," she said, gaily,
" so why should he come ?"
" Not ill !" replied Mrs. Courtenay, looking
much injured — " and pray, how do you know that
I am not ill ?"
" But I may hope, mamma, you are not so,"
gravely answered her daughter.
"I do not feel at all well," triumphantly re-
joined Mrs. Courtenay, sitting up in her chair
and looking around her with a sort of exultation
at her superiority over her daughter and her sister-
in-law — " I have the most extraordinary buzzing
in my right ear."
Spite this ominous symptom, Dora testified no
great uneasiness, and Mrs. Courtenay saw it and
"I think Tou might send round for Doctor
Richard," she said a little warmly ; " I really think
you might, Dora, seeing me so poorly."
"But, mamma," argued Dora, '-you were so
well a while ago, that it seems a pity to disturb
Doctor Richard uselessly."
" Uselessly !" exclaimed Mrs. Courtenay, raising
her voice in mingled amazement and indignation.
" Uselessly! when I tell you I am quite poorly, and
when Doctor Richard has only to cross the street
to come to us."
Dora did not reply, but bent her burning face
over her work. She felt ashamed to send for
Doctor Richard without cause, and she longed to
do so, yet did not dare to indulsre that lonmncr.
For suppose it should affront him to be disturbed
from his readinor? A while ao^o she had stood at
the window and looked down the street, and she
had seen a liorht burnincr in Doctor Richard's case-
ment ; sure proof that he was within. What right
had they to intrude on his solitude? But Mrs.
Courtenay could be wilful when she chose ; she
now persuaded herself that she was very unwell
indeed, and that Jt was quite unkind of Dora not
to send for Doctor Richard, and what she thought
she said. Thus urged, Dora hesitated, then at
Madame Bertrand was much amazed at Mrs.
Courtenay's sudden illness ; but obligingly went to
fetch Doctor Richard at once, whilst Dora sat in
her vacant chair. She wanted to see Doctor
Richard before he went upstairs, and to make
some apology for thus disturbing him. But there
was no need to do so. Madame Bertrand came
back alone. The house was locked up — Doctor
Richard was gone.
" And when he goes away," added Madame
Bertrand, " it is for days and weeks."
" Then how do his patients manage ?"
" He has no regular patients," replied Madame
Bertrand. " My impression," she confidentially con-
tinued, '^ is, that he goes about the country bleed-
ing, extracting teeth, and so on ; and when he has
made a little money, he comes back here and buys
a heap of rubbish with it."
Dora laughed at this vision of an itinerant doc-
tor, and went back to her mother, who looked
much injured on learning that Doctor Richard had
probably left Rouen.
Days passed on, and he did not return. Dora
asked Monsieur Merand if it was Doctor Kichard's
habit to forsake his patients thus without warn-
" Patients I — he has none. Besides," he tapped
his forehead — " hem ! you know."
'* Indeed I know nothing of the kind/' replied
Dora gravely ; " and if I thought so, Doctor
Richard should certainly not attend on my mo-
Monsieur Merand looked alarmed.
" Do not tell him I said so !" he exclaimed
hastily; "I do not wish to injure him, poor fellow !
He wants all the money he can earn. He is as poor
as Job, you know."
He stared at Dora as if to see the effect his
words produced upon her. To all seeming they
produced none. She went away, looking rather
pensive ; but no other expression save that of
thoughtfulness appeared on her face.
Two days later, however, Dora came home
looking so bright and gay, that Mrs. Courtenay
" My dear, what has happened ? Are the Red-
more Mines coming up ? "
" No ; but a child was run over, and "
^^ My goodness ! is that why you look so de-
Dora blushed, and Mrs. Luan stared at her.
" Monsieur Merand wants a new drawing," said
Dora, apologetically, " and as I was talking to him
Doctor Kichard came in carrying a poor little
thing that had just been run over. I helped him
to undress it ; for the child has got an untidy mo-
ther, and he had pricked himself awfully with the
pins. I also assisted in bandaging its poor little
leg ; but I did little good there, for Doctor Richard
said I was no heroine, after all. I know I was as
pale as a ghost."
"You are not pale now," remarked Mrs. Luan.
" No, I came home so fast, mamma !" she added,
turning to her mother. "Doctor Richard will
look in upon you this evening."
" Who wants him ?" almost angrily said Mrs.
" Aunt, why do you dislike Doctor Richard f"
asked her niece. " I wish you had seen how kind
and tender he was with the child ; and when I got
her to tell me her name and abode, and he went
off with her in a cab, Monsieur Merand said to
me, ' Do you know why he does not send that ob-
ject to the hospital ? — because he means to feed as
well as cure it.' "
" What right has he to give away ?" asked Mrs.
Luan, still gloomy. " He is too poor to give."
"The poor give more away than the rich,"
rather indignantly said Dora.
Mrs. Luan's answer was to take off her cap
and fling it on the sofa.
"(How often she does that now !" thought Dora.
"I wonder if I ought to mention it to Doctor
But another of the self- woven links of fate was
around her, for on reflection she resolved to be
" We shall wait tea for Doctor Richard," said
Mrs. Courtenay. Dora assented, and Mrs. Luan
went and put on her cap and looked sulky.
The evening was a warm one, and Dora went
and sat by the open window. A faint breeze
came from the river up the quiet street, which
seemed to sleep in grey shadow. How calm all
these ancient houses looked in their decaying age !
— how pathetic in its way was that bit of green
up amongst the buttresses of the poor old church
crumbling away to ruin, with these bright flowers
and that joyous vine growing, as it were, out of its
'^Poor thins: !" thought Dora with a sort of
pity, " it does its best to be beautiful to the last !
I wonder how it looked on the day of its consecra-
tion five hundred years ago, when it was first
opened to human worship ? It was bright and
strong and new then. Everyone of its outlines
was sharply chiselled ; every one of its ornaments
was painted in gaudy blue, deep violet, strong red,
or pure gold. Doctor Richard, I remember, told
me once we can have no idea of the revel of colour
in those medisBval times. We are too apt to
fancy them grey and stern as they look to us
now", through the dimness of so many hundred
Her thoughts had gone thus far when the sound
of a step up the street made her look down. She
saw Doctor Richard coming slowly, and as his look
■was never once raised to the window, she could
scrutinize him as closely as she pleased. He
looked pale and somewhat worn.
"He has had trouble," thought Dora; "but
what trouble ? His carriage is not erect and free
as it used to be."
" I wish Doctor Richard would come," a little
querulously said Mrs. Courteiiay ; " 1 confess I
want my tea."
"He is coming, mamma," answered Dora, leav-
ing the window.
They soon heard him talking below to Madame
Bertrand, who in a loud plaintive voice informed
him that she had been dreadfully ill during his
" Such pains as she had had in all her limbs !"
Then followed a separate description of each par-
ticular pain, after which came Doctor Richard's
" Madame Bertrand is a very good sort of wo-
man," superciliously said Mrs. Courtenay, ^' but
she does take liberties. To think of her keeping
Doctor Richard in that way !"
Doctor Richard's entrance put an end to the
cause of her displeasure.
" I am so glad to see you. Doctor Richard !" she
cried warmly ; " I was so sorry you were away —
and, goodness me ! where have you been all this
She looked at him with the most innocent curio-
sity beaming in her face.
'* I have been in the country with one of my
patients," he repHed quietly.
" Then he has patients," thought Dora.
" Is it pretty about there ?" asked Mrs. Courte-
nay — " I mean the landscape, you know."
Doctor Richard smiled.
" Yes," he said, " it is pretty according to the
present day's idea of beauty ; for I need scarcely
tell you, Mrs. Courtenay, that the beauty of a
landscape is as much subject to the laws of fashion
as a lady's dress."
" Dear me !" cried Mrs. Courtenay amazed ; " I
never knew that !"
" It is a fact, I assure you," he gravely replied ;
" Switzerland and the Highlands are going down,
like Byron's poetry. The fast generation which
is coming on will probably call Mont Blanc an old
impostor — I use a mild word — and scorn the Tro-
" I cannot say that I admire them much my-
self," confidentially said Mrs. Courtenay — " not
that I ever saw them, I confess," she frankly added.
" To see is by no means necessary for admira-
tion or dislike," returned Doctor Richard, with
unmoved gravity, " since either is a matter of
DOE A. 251
fashion. The fact is, the sublime will soon be pro-
nounced a bore. AYe are getting tired of it. Even
the Romans got wearied of their classical land-
scape, and one of their latter poets complained that
he knew the woods of Mars and the cave of
Vulcan as well as his own house. We are in the
same predicament. We know it all too well."
"Is common-place so old, Doctor Eichard?"
asked Dora, with a merry laugh.
" Do not laugh at it. Miss Courtenay. Common-
place is one of the powers that be, and will make
you rue it."
Doctor Richard spoke in a tone of grave rebuke,
which roused Dora's mirth anew.
" Dora has a horror of common-place," remarked
Mrs. Courtenay. " Such a charming man as Mr.
Brown was, and he admired Dora so much ; but
she thought him common-place."
" And was he not revenged upon Miss Courte-
nay?" asked Doctor Richard, without noticing the
blush which this indiscreet revelation brought up
to Dora's cheek.
" Oh ! yes," innocently answered Mrs. Courte-
nay; "he was our banker, and he took all our
252 DOE A.
"The thief!" said Mrs. Luan. "It was her
money he wanted !"
"Oh! but he did admire Dora," retorted Mrs.
Courtenay, a little jealously. " He said her hair
was like dark gold !"
Dora shook her head, and a meaning, half rue-
ful, half comic, passed across her expressive face.
" 1 am afraid the gold he admired was more sub-
stantial than that which nature has given me !" she
said. " At all events, not feeling sure of obtaining
the one, he took care to secure the other."
"The thief !" said Mrs. Luan again.
Dora laughed, and her clear, ringing laugh
showed how far all thought of care was from her
" He has done me good service, aunt," she said ;
" but for him I should never have known that I
was a little bit of a genius in the way of drawing.
Oh ! Doctor Kichard," she added, suddenly becom-
ing grave, and fastening an earnest look on his
face, " 1 do wish you would tell me the truth — I do
not mean the polite truth, but the whole truth —
about these drawings of mine. It seems to me at
times that I must be labouring under a pleasant
delusion. Here am I earning plenty of money,
and all for such common-place performances. It
Now, neither Mrs. Courtenay nor Mrs. Luan
liked this imprudent speech, and neither gave
Doctor Richard time to reply.
"My dear, you draw beautifully," cried Mrs.
"Monsieur Merand does not give you half
enough," said ]Mrs. Luan ; " a cheat, like the rest
of them. I hate the French !" she heartily added.
" You hate the French !" cried Mrs. Courtenay.
" Mamma !" implored Dora.
Mrs. Courtenay was magnanimous, and made a
sign implying that she would take no notice of the
"Do tell me the truth. Doctor Richard," re-
sumed Dora. " What are my drawings worth ?
You know. Do tell me how far I can rely, for
instance, on my talent as a means of support."
She spoke very gravely, and leaning back in her
chair, looked with rather sad earnestness at Doctor
Richard. Now, Doctor Richard, who was usually
so gay, so composed, so much of a man of the
world, for once looked thoroughly disconcerted.
" My dear Miss Courtenay," he said, trying to
rally, " the terms Monsieur Merand gives you are
a test of the value of your drawings. That you
draw well, very well, I have often told you, and I
say so again."
He spoke so emphatically that a bright, happy
blush stole over Dora's face, and made it as fresh
and glowing as a young Aurora's. If Doctor
Kichard had been more polite than truthful, he
was rewarded for his sin by so radiant a smile, and
a look so bright that, whilst they lasted, they made
Dora's countenance the most bewitching he had
ever seen. Joy, not vanity, innocent triumph, did
that beaming face express, till, as if ashamed of
her own gladness, Dora tried to laugh it off by
" Your verdict is so favourable. Doctor Richard,
that I will believe every word of it, and seek to
know no more. And now, do tell us something
about your little patient."
There was not much to tell, but Mrs. Courtenay
uttered little screams of horror, and little screams
of relief, according as Catherine's state was de-
scribed ; and Dora listened and thought Doctor
Richard's conversation delightful, and without say-
ing anything about it at home, called on the in-
jured child the next morning, on her way to the
Catherine, who had a temper of her own, was in
a towering passion, and screaming at the pitch of
her shrill voice, when, after crossing a damp court-
yard, Dora entered the chill and dark room in
which Catherine's mother lived. The child was
kicking violently in her bed — kicking is one of the
infantine protests most in use in every countr}' ;
her mother vainly tried to soothe her, and Doctor
Richard stood looking on helplessly with a linen
bandage in his hand, when the door opened, and
the bright face of Dora appeared amongst them.
" Some good angel sent you to tame this little
lioness !" said Doctor Richard, gaily ; " now we
shall get on."
Dora smiled and looked doubtful ; but mothers
cannot always charm their own children, and there
is a sweet and natural freemasonry between youth
and childhood. Dora had scarcely sat down by
Catherine, and taken her hand, when the child
ceased crj'ing, stared, and finally smiled.
" You are accustomed to children," said Doctor
Richard, with a keen look.
"A natural gift, then. Yes, children are won-
His look rested on her bright face with that
complacency which such bright faces as hers ever
inspire. " Am I getting vain ?" thought Dora,
ashamed at the glow of pleasure which overspread
her countenance. " Granted that he admires me,
need I be any the prouder for it ?"
Oh ! if wisdom would but come at our call, or,
what would often be as great a boon, if a truer
and a keener knowledge of our inner self than we
have were granted to us in the crisis of existence !
If we could know the why and wherefore of much
that we care not perhaps to scrutinize too closely,
and scan our own springs of feeling and action
as they rise within us — if we could do all this,
how different a lot might be ours ! But there is
a languid pleasure in ignorance. To see through
a mist, to hear as in a dream, to be borne down
the tide of life, and idly played with by its waves,
instead of bravely swimming our way to shore
against them — all these things are fraught with a
perilous sweetness. Happy, but surely few, are
they who know how to resist that seducing tor-
por ere it be too late to repel it. Some forewarn-
ing Dora felt, however, for after putting on the
bed of the little sufferer the sweatmeats she had
brought it, she rose to go. Doctor Richard looked
"Will jou not stay and manage her whilst I
dress her leg ?" he asked.
Thus adjured, Dora remained. Doctor Richard
expressed himself highly satisfied with the state of
the injured limb.
" I daresay the little creature will be able to get
into mischief again," he said gaily ; " and of
course she wdll do so with that careless mother of
hers. Pity," he thoughtfully added, " one cannot
stop the growth of some children, put them in
cages, and hang them up like canary birds. Look
at this child, Miss Courtenay — she is lovely, with
delicate, refined features, and if her great-great-
ancestor had only been a baker, or a butler, or a
groom in William the Conqueror's train, we should
now have her portrait in a book of beauty, and be
told in the letter-press how the infantine features,
&c., of the honourable Adelina Fitz-Norman, &c,
were the purest model of the Anglo-Norman type
so remarkable in the English aristocracy, &c. I
am really sorry I am not acquainted with this
VOL. I. S
young lady's Scandinavian pedigree. For all we
know, she may be a lineal descendant of Kollo
himself. I am afraid you will think me a man of
insatiable curiosity, Miss Courtenay, but lost pedi-
grees are one of my torments. I believe in race, in
the transmission of form and feature, of mind, and
of certain defects and qualities. Now, I want to
know what has become, for instance, of the descend-
ants of the Scipios, the Gracchi, the Julii, and tutti
quanti of those famous old Romans who are the
misery of our childhood. I want to know it, for I
owe them a grudge, and should like to pay it out.
But a Barbarian tide, leaving behind it an endless
Gothic sea, has swept away every sure token of the
past. It is impossible to doubt but that some of
those renowned families still flourish — only where
are they? Blood of inestimable value flows in
their veins, but this rare treasure not being ap-
prehensible by any of our senses, its possessors live
and die unconscious of their own greatness. I
always felt convinced that my washerwoman in
Rome had been an empress — I mean in the per-
son of one of ^her. ancestors, for the transmigra-
tion of souls is not one of my doctrines — and that
Benedetto, the facchino, was a remote cousin of
Catilina's. He had the man's audacious subtlety,
even as he had his features. Unlucky wretch!
he had no knowledge of his illustrious ancestry ! I
had a great mind to enlighten him, but forbore,
lest I should render him too much dissatisfied with
his humble lot ; for, you see, I can temper my
fancies with a certain amount of prudence. Miss
Doctor Richard was sitting on the edge of the
child's bed as he spoke thus, with much composure
and his usual fluency. Dora, leaning back in her
chair with her portfolio on her knees, looked at
" He must have some little income," she thought,
^* some slender provision between him and want.
The tone and substance of his remarks — and how
strangely he does talk ! — both tell of leisure. I be-
lieve he likes his profession ; but, poor fellow, I
fear it does not like him."
Spite the patient in the country, Dora did not
think Doctor Kichard a busy or a prosperous man.
He had been w4th the child before she came, he
stayed when she now rose to .go, and she had
scarcely been an hour in the picture-gallery, when
Doctor Richard stood behind her chair. He did
not remain long, however ; he had to go and read
in the library, he said.
" I want to get the song of Eoland," he in-
formed Dora, "I w^ant to get back to Romance
and Roncevaux, and the mighty horn^and Du-
randal, the heroic sword, and Oliver and Ganelon,
and above all, to that grand death scene, when
Archbishop Turpin blesses the dead and dying
heroes, and then dies himself, leaving Roland, as
was but fitting, to die last, with all these noble
knights lying around him. Do you read old
French, Miss Courtenay? No! what a pity. There
are some rare treasures here."
Now, Dora, being but mortal, thought she could
give Doctor Richard a little useful hint towards
" I must work, not read," she said, demurely.
"Work," good-humouredly replied Doctor
Richard, '^is one of the modern mistakes. We
are born to be as well as to act, and thinking is
one of the many forms of action, whatever matter
of fact may say. So I keep to my creed, and
venture to blame yours."
" Oh ! but I do read," said Dora, blushing ;
" but I have little time and few books."
"Then, as I have the command of a large
library, allow me to lend you some. You will find
the catalogue at Madame Bertrand's, and can mark
the volumes you prefer."
Dora looked so happy as she turned round, that
Doctor Kichard exclaimed gaily,
" Come, you are a reader, after all !"
But he gave her no time to stammer her
thanks ; before they were half uttered he ^vas gone.
rpHE catalogue was waiting for Dora on Ma-
dame Bertrand's table when she went home.
" How kind he is !" she thought ; but to her
sense of that kindness succeeded surprise when on
looking over the catalogue she saw how valuable
and extensive a collection was thus placed at her
command. Dr. Richard seemed to know no one
in Rouen ; this library must belong to his patient
in the country. But that patient did not seem to
take up much of Doctor Richard's time.
Early though it was when Dora called on Ca-
therine the next morning, Doctor Richard was
already with the child. He was alone with her
too, and pulling the string of a little pasteboard
puppet to amuse her. He stood with his back to
the door, and did not see Dora.
" Faster !" said Catherine, who lay in her bed
looking on gravely at Doctor Richard's perform-
ance — " do it faster."
" So," suggested Doctor Richard, giving the
figure such a jerk, that its legs and arms both shot
out in horizontal directions, " is that right ?"
" No," was Catherine's peevish reply, and she
turned her head aside and shut her eyes.
Dora now approached, and Doctor Kichard
turned round and saw her.
" Good morning, Miss Courtenay," he said,
gravely ; " you find me verifying the truth of that
saying, uttered by a woman of genius, that we are
all born kings. This young lady, I can assure
you, is born a queen. I offered to stay with her
whilst her mother went out on some necessary
errand, and all the return I have got for my kind-
ness is that she has neither screamed, nor kicked,
nor attempted to bite. In all else I have been
treated with the most absolute contempt. Well,
well," he added, sitting down on the edge of the
bed, and looking down kindly on the little crea-
ture, who still kept her eyes shut, "this brief
royalty is the compensation granted by nature for
all the future maltreatment of society. And after
all, Miss Courtenay, is not life full of such atone-
ments ? My belief is, that the * Arabian Nights,'
for instance, and all such stories of enchantment
and buried treasure, were meant to charm tlie
poor man into a more patient endurance of his
barren life. It is glorious to finger diamonds and
pearls, and have the wealth of an emperor, even
tliough it be but for a moment. But the most
glorious bit of all is, to be Haraoun-al-Raschid
— to go about the streets of Bagdad at night
with Giafar and Mesrour, and set every wrong
right again — to give a bastinado to this man,
and a purse of gold to t'other one. Happy
Caliph ! "
'^ The ' Arabian Nights ' are amongst the books
you so kindly offered to lend me," said Dora ;
'* and I confess that, not having read them since
I was a child, I have asked for them."
^'And for Macchiavel's ^Prince?'" he said,
glancing over the list she handed him. " Do you
really wish for that book, Miss Courtenay ?" He
looked up at her in surprise.
" I do," frankly answered Dora ; " Mr. Ryan
would never let me read it. He would not help
to ruin my political principles, he said ; and I
confess that famons book has all the charm of for-
bidden fruit for me."
*' You shall have it. I shall play the part of
serpent in this temptation, since you are so willinor
to be Eve. But you will be disappointed, for, wo-
man like, I daresay you will run away with your
first impression. And yet, you see, this Macchiavel
deserves consideration. He was one of the few
pitchers who go to the well and do not come back
as empty as they went. But for all that you will
" I am not such a girl, nor yet so ignorant a girl,
as Doctor Richard imagines," thought Dora, a
little displeased. " I suppose he considers Macchia-
vel's pitcher too full for me. I require something
more readable — somethins^ that will do between
that last sweet crochet stitch or the new quadrille.
Paul was not so. He thought nothing above or
beyond his sister."
Unconscious of offence. Doctor KIchard once
more devoted his attention to Catherine, who had
opened one eye, then the other, and who finally
uttered an imperious " Give it to me," referring to
Whilst he was en^acped with the child, Dora
rose to go.
" You leave me to my fate !" he said reproach-
" Yes," she answered smiling, " I do ;" and she
went thinking, " Am I getting vain, that I care
so much for what Doctor Richard may care for
Alas ! it was not vanity that stung her then.
She did not know it, yet something she vaguely
felt, for she went no more to see the sick child in
the morning. She thus missed meeting Doctor
Richard, but not hearing about him. Catherine's
mother was full of his praises, especially after he
had given her ten francs for an old cracked plate
not worth ten sous. Dora sighed over Doctor
Richard's improvidence. What wonder that he
had not been a successful man when he spent his
time and money thus ! But she forgot his sins
the very first time he came to see them. Her
colour deepened and her eyes lit as she heard his
step and voice coming up the staircase one even-
ing. Mrs. Courtenay uttered a little scream of
delight, and immediately poured him out a cup of
Doctor Richard took it, though he also excused
himself for calling so late, but he had met Ma-
dame Bertrand, and that lady had told him Mrs.
Courtenay was not quite well. But Mrs. Courte-
DOE A. 267
nay was ill when she pleased, and not when it
pleased other people that she should he so. She
looked affronted with Madame Bertrand's officious-
'* Very foolish of her," she said stiffly ; then re-
laxing into her usual good-humour, she added
confidentially, " I was not ill. Doctor Richard ;
I was only purring."
^' Purring !" he said, a little surprised.
" Yes," triumphantly resumed Mrs. Courtenay.
"When people get to my age they take to purring,
Doctor Richard — that is to say, they like to sit
and muse and think over bygones, and close it all
with a nap sometimes. And you will purr too
with time, and very nice you will find it. I
wanted Dora to do it the other eveninor when I
could see she felt dull ; but young people are
saucy, and so she answered that she was a kitten,
and could not purr yet."
" But kittens do purr. Miss Courtenay," argued
Doctor Richard, looking with evident amusement
at Dora's flushed face.
" So I told her," cried Mrs. Courtenay, with-
out giving Dora time to put in a word ; " but she
is an obstinate girl. Doctor Richard. Purring is too
quiet for her, and she says she would as soon be
the painted Griselidis on her bed-room curtains, as
sit and purr."
" But Miss Courtenay sits long and patiently at
the Gallery," said Doctor Richard.
How kindly he spoke !
*' He may be improvident," thought Dora ;
" but he is our countryman, we meet in a foreign
land, and surely we may take pleasure in his so-
ciety, and deal leniently with his faults ; these are
but the excesses of a fine, generous nature. Ah !
how delightful it w^ould be if he would but con-
tinue to come and see us every now and then !
His very presence brings warmth with it."
Thus -she thought ; but if there had not been a
bandage over Dora's eyes, she might have seen
that the cordiality with which Doctor Richard was
received in their home had generated no confidence
on his part. He was quite familiar with all their
concerns — of his tliey knew literally nothing.
Now, strangely enough, the first to be struck with
this fact was Mrs. Luan. The perception had
been coming to her for some time, everything she
now heard and saw confirmed it, and with it other
suspicions which she had long had. She brooded
over them in her usual sulky silence, however, and
went on with her patchwork, seemingly absorbed
Doctor Richard seemed to take particular plea-
sure in Dora's company this evening. She felt
happy, and looked as bright as sunshine. The
genial light in her face did Doctor Richard good.
He had been severed for some time from all plea-
sant society, almost as completely severed as Dora
herself. So no wonder that he enjoyed looking at
the face and listening to the voice of this radiant
girl. If he liked her society, his was new to her,
as, indeed, it ever was, like manna after the long
fast to the Israelites. It was so pleasant to talk
about something beyond the common-place oc-
currences of daily life. Never did danger and
temptation wear a subtler guise than did these.
So they talked of many things. A good deal of
drawing, in which Doctor Richard gave Dora some
excellent advice ; a good deal of music, with the
theory of which he was thoroughly conversant, and
more than all of books, which were evidently the
food of his life.
Now, perhaps, because Dora took evidently
great pleasure in listening to Doctor Richard, was
her danger so very plain this evening to Mrs.
Luan. She watched him. He looked very well.
He was attired, too, in a respectable suit of black,
which Mrs. Luan had not given him credit for
possessing. Altogether he seemed to be enjoying
himself, and, as Mrs. Luan saw, Dora engrossed
him almost entirely. As soon as tea w^as over he
asked to see her last drawing. She went and
fetched it somew^hat diffidently. She had learned
to think a great deal of, and, indeed, to dread
Doctor Richard's most lenient criticism. Perhaps
a subtle, unacknowledged desire of pleasing him in
everything might be at the root of that feehng.
Doctor Richard looked at the drawing in silence —
in silence, too, he gave it back to her ; he noticed
her flushed cheek and troubled look, but her
nervous little hands shaking as she tied the strings
of the portfolio he did not see.
" It is not good, is it ?" asked Dora, unable to
bear the suspense of his silence.
" Far from it. It is very good indeed ; but I
am accustomed to that from you. Miss Courte-
The blood rushed up to her face and dyed it with
the most beautiful rosy glow, but she bent over
the portfolio, and Doctor Eichard saw nothing, or,
at least, he seemed to see nothing.
" But as I looked," he resumed, " I thought of
the paintings in the Campo Santo of Pisa — some-
thing in one of your figures brought back the
whole spot to my mind in a second ; and, to be
frank with you, I was there, not here, for the time
" What figure f quickly asked Dora.
"That of the youth. He is like one of the
cavaliers in Orgagna's Triumph of Death."
Dora looked pensive.
" The triumph of death !" she repeated ; " what
can that be lil^e ?"
" Like life. Youths and ladies, with falcons
and dogs, sit beneath orange-trees. They have
been hunting and hawking, and they are tired.
A troubadour and a singing-girl entertain them.
Cupids are abroad, too, as they usually are in such
company — but Death is coming — Death, a terrible
woman, with sharp claws, bat's wings, and a
"An impressive picture," said Dora, slowly — it
seemed to be painted for her on the thin air as she
spoke, and it was painful, exquisitely painful.
The thought of death was abhorrent to her then,
and chilled her very heart.
" Yes, impressive enough," was his careless
answer ; " but so is that newspaper, Miss Courte-
nay. Take it up, and you will find its births,
marriages, and deaths, as impressive as any homily.
Orgagna's merit is that he just painted what
he saw — all in his fresco is real, save the figure of
" When did you see that ?" asked Mrs. Luan.
She so seldom spoke, that they all looked at her.
Doctor Eichard answered composedly :
" It was some years ago."
Dora rose and put away her portfolio, and, as
she did so, she wondered what had taken him to
Mrs. Luan spoke again.
" From what part of Ireland do you come. Doc-,
The question was a natural one enough; the
only wonder was it had not been put before this
evening. Yet Dora saw just a shade of annoy-
ance cross Doctor Eidiard's countenance as Mrs.
Luan spoke. '
" I come from Kerry," he briefly replied, and
with less than his usual courtesy he turned at
once from Mrs. Luan to Dora, and said quickly,
" We were speaking of the Irish melodies, Miss
Courtenay. Am I to conclude that you prefer
' Eileen Aroon ' to ' Gramachree V "
" * Gramachree !' " repeated Dora, not under-
standing at first.
"Yes, that fine melody to which Moore set
his words of ' The Harp that once through Tara's
Mrs. Luan was decidedly excited this evening.
" I hate Mr. Templemore," she said — " a
swindler, a cheat ! He cheated Paul, he cheated
John, he cheated Dora out of Mr. Courtenay's
They all remained aghast at this unexpected
outbreak. Doctor Richard looked as suprised as
a well-bred man ever allows himself to look. Mrs.
Courtenay spoke at length —
" My dear," she said, " it was not cheating."
"It was," insisted Mrs. Luan, whose hands shook
over her patchwork.
" No, aunt, it was not," said Dora, quietly ;
then turning to Doctor Richard, shI gave such ex-
planation as this brief scene required. " An uncle
VOL. I. T
of ours left his property to that Mr, Templemore,
and though he is not to blame, there are such
painful recollections connected with his name,
that it is never mentioned amongst us."
Doctor Eichard bent" his head in token of assent,
and changed the subject. Painting had led to
questions, music to a scene — he tried literature.
" How do you like Macchiavel's ^ Prince V " he
Dora gave him no direct answer, but looking at
him earnestly, she said,
" You surely do not admire that man, Doctor
" I beg your pardon, I do — dear, candid old
boy! Hear him on the subject of Conquest. Do
you wish to conquer a kingdom, Miss Courtenay ?
Why, then, take care to exterminate the native
princes whom you rob. Or have you injured your
neighbour ? — a common case — well, then, if you
cannot conciliate, kill him ! When you injure a
man, do not leave it in his power to be revenged.
I declare I admire the man prodigiously. It is
quite comfortable to hear murder, robbery, and so
forth, spoken ot in that calm, impartial manner."
" Then you do not admire him ?" said Dora.
** Not admire him ! — why, one of his volumes is
never out of my pocket. I only lament the dear,
good-natured fellow is dead, and cannot write
leaders in newspapers, or make speeches in senates.
The great difference between him and us degene-
rate moderns, you see, is that, we have lost that
beautiful candour of his. Yes, I fear that is
gone," added Doctor Richard, in a tone of feeling
regret ; " but," he resumed, looking at Dora with a
a smile, " I preach in the desert. To tell you the
truth, I would never have suggested that you
should read ' The Prince.' It was your own de-
sire which you followed, not my advice, you
"I hate Mr. Templemore," said Mrs. Luan,
again ; " he is a cheat, a swindler, a thief ! Why
are we beggars and is he rich ?"
" Aunt !" remonstratively said Dora, very much
annoyed at this second unseemly outbreak.
Doctor Richard smiled.
" That Templemore is a fool," he said ; " he
should, having injured Mrs. Luan, have taken
some Macchiavel-like means to pacify her — either a
handsome slice out of the inheritance, or if that
should have been too expensive, a sedative, a cool-
ing draught of some kind or other."
Now Mrs. Luan did not always understand
irony, being a woman of slow literal mind, and all
she now understood was that Doctor Richard re-
commended poisoning her. She could not speak,
but her features worked, and her hands shook with
anger. Perhaps he was aware of these signs ;
perhaps, too, he felt that he had commented too
freely on a strictly private matter. At all events,
he looked at his watch, and rose to go, like one
who had let an appointed hour slip by.
" I shall not see you for a few days," he said,
shaking hands with Mrs. Courtenay, " for I am
going down to the country to-morrow ; but I trust
to find you still quite well when I return. If
anything should ail you in my absence, let me ad-
vise you to call in Doctor Le Roux."
He handed her a card as he spoke. Mrs. Cour-
tenay looked at it with childish curiosity.
" I suppose he takes care of your patients in
your absence ?" she suggested.
" He would do so," carelessly replied Doctor
Richard, " if I had any patients to take care of ;
but, unluckily, that is not the case."
He spoke a little recklessly, as if the matter
were one of profound indifference to him. Dora
looked at him with involuntary compassion. He
was more than thirty, and yet his career had done
so little for him. It was a hard — a very hard
Doctor Richard turned to bid Mrs. Luan adieu,
but Mrs. Luan, probably to avoid shaking hands
with him, had left the room. Doctor Richard
made no comment, and turned to Dora. She had
taken a candle to light him down the dark stair-
case. Madame Bertrand was in bed, and, more-
over, would not have left her comfortable fireside
for any such task. Doctor Richard went down
without saying a word, but paused at the foot of
" Do you like flowers ?" he asked, with his hand
on the banisters.
" Yes, very much."
" Then you will allow me to bring you some
from the country ?" he said, quickly. " I might
have known that you liked flowers," he added,
without giving her time to reply ; " but the doubt
on my mind arose from the fact that I never see
any with you."
^78 DOE A.
Dora coloured, then said, without false shame,
" Flowers — beautiful flowers especially — are ex-
pensive at this time of the year."
" Just so. Well, the gardener at the house to
which I am going is a very good friend of mine,
and he shall give me flowers — beautiful flowers,
too, or I will have none of them."
Dora coloured again, with pleasure this time,
and she gave him a happy, grateful look. They
shook hands, and he was gone.
^' T WONDEE where he is going," thought
-*- Dora ; " or where his rich patient lives ?"
" My dear, how flushed you are !" said Mrs.
Courtenay, as her daughter entered the sitting-
room again, and put down the light with a pensive
look. " Does your head ache ?"
" Oh ! no, I am only thinking how kind Doctor
Richard is. He is going to bring me flowers —
beautiful flowers from the country."
"He is the very kindest man!" cried Mrs.
Courtenay, clasping her little plump white hands,
" is he not, Mrs. Luan ?"
Dora now perceived that her aunt had returned
to the sitting-room. She saw too that Mrs. Luan
looked herself again. Quite coolly she answered :
" I am sure Doctor Richard is married."
An earthquake could not have inflicted a more
fearful shock upon Dora than did these words, nor
one to which every fibre of her being was more
terribly responsive. It seemed as if the floor shook
beneath her feet — as if the room, with her mother
and Mrs. Luan, went round and round before her
swimming eyes. The revelation to herself of her
secret hopes and wishes was both violent and cruel.
One word she could not speak ; but she sat down
pale, breathless, full of terror, and covered with
Mrs. Courtenay's consternation, though not equal
to her daughter's in depth, was as great in extent.
'* Married !" she said, in an injured tone, which
showed she did not think Doctor Eichard could be
guilty of such a crime ; " I do not believe it."
" And I am sure of it," retorted Mrs. Luan,
with dark triumph at the sinner's iniquity. " What
did he go to Italy for ? Why did he not like to
say he came from Kerry ? Why does he never
speak about himself? I am sure he is married,
and that he ill-uses his wife."
"And I am sure Doctor Richard would ill-use
no one," quietly put in Dora. She had recovered
by this, and though rather pale, was perfectly
calm. '*How late it is," she added, as the old
clock below struck the hour.
She left them, still looking very quiet; but
when she had entered her room, when she had
closed and locked the door, and was free from in-
trusion, she flung herself on a chair near her bed,
and burying her face in her pillow, she gave way
to her humiliation and her grief. She, Dora
Courtenay, a girl of twenty-three, loved this
stranger ! — and he might be married ! She had
never thought of that — but had she thought of
anything ? She had known him a few weeks, and
how could she dream of danger? And there was
nothing to justify this terrible folly. He had been
kind, he had been courteous, he had shown that
he admired her, but no girl in her senses, and with
the least experience of life, could say that he had
betrayed any of the symptoms of love. A mar-
ried man might behave to her exactly as Doctor
Eichard had behaved. Kindness, courtesy, and
admiration are not prohibited to or from the
wedded. It was all her folly, her own miserable
folly. She told herself so again and again ; but
did it lessen the hardship of her fate that she alone
was to blame for it ? Alas ! the more she looked
into the past, the deeper was her sense of abase-
ment. She knew nothing of Doctor Richard,
literally nothing. Of his family, of his antece-
dents, of his fortunes, she was deeply ignorant.
He might be an adventurer, one of life's outcasts,
for all Dora Courtenay knew. That he was poor,
and led rather a useless, idle sort of life, was cer-
tain. What had brought him to Eouen ? Debts,
perhaps — debts, or worse. Dora's heart sickened
and revolted at the thought. No, she would be-
lieve nothing mean, nothing dishonourable of him.
The open manliness of his countenance gave her
firm security against all degradation. That clear,
frank look was the look of a man without fear or
shame. But he might be married, and the thought
was misery ; he might have left his wife in Italy
or in Ireland — nay, he might have gone to see her
in the country. " But surely in that case he would
say it," thought Dora ; " it would be neither
honourable nor courteous to make a mystery of it.
No, if he is married, his wife is not here. I dare-
say she is in Ireland." Suddenly a picture rose
before Dora Courtenay's eye — a beautiful, heart-
rending picture. She saw a bright hearth, a fair
woman, with a child on her knee, and Doctor
Kichard smiling happily. She sat up, she clasped
her hands tightly, she knit her brows and set her
D O K A. 283
teeth. "I must bear it," she thought; *'I must.
What right have I to quarrel with his domestic
happiness ? Let him be married or not married,
what is it to me ?"
But pride is a weak stay at the best. That
spirit of defiance with which Dora uttered her
" What is it to me ?" soon died away, and left her
desolate and weak. There is a well of strength,
however, which she knew of old. To it she now
turned, asking the Divine ^Master for a cup of
those sweet waters which the Samaritan woman
lo^^ged for. There were many pious memorials in
Dora's room — many signs of man's weakness and
God's mercy — almost all were also tokens of her
lost brother's love ; and as she now looked at them,
each had its own language. That pathetic little
image of the child Jesus sleeping on the cross
Paul had bought from an Italian boy, and given
her. That Saint Catherine borne by angels she
had found hanging by her bedside on her six-
teenth birthday ; and that divine head crowned
with thorns she had taken away from Paul's room
after his death. From the position of the picture,
Dora had often thought that her brother's last
look had rested upon that calm, sorrowful face —
sorrowful for man's sin, and not for the cost of
redemption. The tears rushed to her eyes, and
her lips quivered as sacrifice, suffering, death, and
immortal love, all thus admonished and condemn-
ed her. She knelt and said her prayers, feeling
both stricken and humbled by her folly, and ask-
ing for power to conquer, or for resignation to en-
dure it, if endurance must indeed be her lot.
But though prayer is ever heard in heaven, we
are not told that it is ever heard at once. A long
sleepless night did Dora spend — long and cruel.
She could not bear to go on loving this stranger,
and she could not help it. This was her first love
— the only love she was ever to know, and it had
come to her, like Minerva from the brain of Jove,
full grown and all-powerful. She tried to strive
against it, but it seemed to her as if she only
came out of the struggle weak, helpless, and
beaten. A sickening sense of her powerlessness
stole over her, then a vague, pitiful, yearning hope
closed the long contest.
Never did Dora forget the bitter suspense of
the next three days — three long, weary days of
impatience and heart-sickening expectation. Ma-
dame Bertrand knew nothing — besides, Dora
could put no plain questions, and her open in-
genuous nature revolted from indirect inquiry.
" Oh ! if he were but back !" she thought —
^' that this wretched suspense might be over — that
I might either be at peace with myself, or never
see him again !"
At length the hope of relief came. On the
morning of the third day Madame Bertrand came
up with a nosegay of flowers so exquisite and so
rare, that Dora remained mute as they were put
in her trembling hands, and Mrs. Courtenay
screamed with admiration, whilst even Mrs. Luan
"They come from a conservatory," thought
Dora, as she bent her flushed face over them.
He might be married, but she could not help feel-
ing happy at the gift. Yet she would not indulge
herself. She was dressed to go out, and she went,
and refused to linger and admire these rare and
beautiful flowers. " I must not," she thought ;
and to her mother she said, ^' I must work, you
She went to her task, but her mind, no more
than her heart, was in it. She longed for the
evening. She felt sure he would look in, and that
Mrs. Luan would question him, and then a
blank followed the thought,
" And then," thought Dora, after a while, ^* all
will be over, and I shall be at rest. It is impossi-
ble that I cannot conquer this madness. I feel
sure it is a sort of madness, and no more. It is
impossible that I should care — really care — for a
man of whom I know nothing. I do not believe
it — I will not ! Besides, how can I, if he is mar-
ried ? But, then, suppose he is not f
Her hand slackened in its labour, her pencil
paused, then was still. Her heart beat, her pulses
throbbed. If Doctor Richard was not married,
might she not hope that he came to her mother's
house for her sake ? It was a natural hope and a
natural conjecture. The young are allowed to
indulge in such thoughts and such feelings.
Later, they are forbidden, and none but the fool-
ish can think and feel so. Indeed, it is part of
the wisdom of age to put by and forget these fond
badges of youth. They are things to be pinned
on, and unpinned again, and left off early. The
rosy favours of love are apt to fade, and the gay
colours of pleasure have but a time. Truly it is
lucky that the old are allowed to grow wise, to
leave off their follies, and deny them gravely. It
would be sad if Phillis should wear her shepher-
dess's hat and fluttering ribands till three-score,
and if Corydon should pipe to his sheep when the
warm summer days have for ever gone by.
But Dora's early spring was scarcely over, and
her May was in all its sweet fervour. Love to her
was a hope, a mystery, and a delightful promise.
A poor life, a life of toil, frightened her not, if
this kind and true companion would but share it
with her. She believed him honourable and good
— what more w^as needed ? For that is youth's
glorious privilege. It is equal to any folly granted,
but then it comes short of no heroism, no daring,
no sacrifice. For this, we all love it, and in some
sense we all honour it. We look at it as we might
look at some noble tree full of the sap of life, its
green boughs laden with flowers, and birds making
sweet music beneath the leaves. We know, in-
deed, that they will be mute some day, for winter
must come ; we know that the leaves will turn yel-
low, and lie dead on the sodden earth ; but all the
sweeter for that knowledge are this fair tree's brief
splendour and beauty.
Of that brevity youth is as happily unconscious
as the tree in the forest. If its sacrifices are to be
boundless, so are its loves to be immortal. It was
not in Dora's power to foresee an end to her pre-
sent feelings, and hence, perhaps, she surrendered
herself to dangerous conjecture. But she could
be wise, too, for there is a wisdom which is not the
fruit of experience, a wisdom which springs from
the habit of self-subjection, and this soon came to
the rescue. With a guilty start she banished the
vision which turned the kind and courteous visitor
into a fond lover. No modest girl who has had
the misfortune to give her affection unsought,
willingly, and in the first bitterness of the dis-
covery, indulges in such fancies. Later they may
come with hope, and be cherished, but surely not
" I must work," thought Dora, resolutely ; and
she worked hard and conscientiously, till a step
behind her made her cheeks burn. She knew well
enough it was Doctor Richard, who was coming to
look at her drawing. She turned round, try-
ing to look calm, and she thanked him for the
flowers with tolerable composure. ,
"I shall bring you more next time," he said,
smiling. Then he asked after Mrs. Courtenay.
"She is pretty well," replied Dora, quickly;
" but I wish you would come in this evening and
How she hated herself for saying that ; but she
could bear the suspense no longer. She knew that
if he came Mrs. Luan would surely get the truth
from him. Doctor Richard promised to look in
readily enough, and he proceeded to talk to her of
her drawing. He stayed long, advising, suggest-
ing, and, do what she would, Dora felt happy.
The evening came, that evening which Dora
longed for, and with it came Doctor Richard,
pleasant and genial. !Mrs. Luan glared at him,
but, contrary to Dora's expectation, she was mute.
Would she let him depart without putting the mo-
mentous question ? But when, in answer to Dora's
thanks, Doctor Richard said,
"I told the gardener's wife to choose such
" Your wife !" interrupted Mrs. Luan, pretend-
ing to misunderstand him. " Is she in France,
A deep silence followed this question. Dora's
breath seemed gone, and she looked furtively at
VOL. I. U
Doctor Eichard. He coloured, and a few seconds
elapsed ere he replied.
" I have no wife, Mrs. Luan. — I am a widower,"
he added, gravely.
Mrs. Luan, who had looked triumphant for a
moment, now looked blank, and Doctor Richard,
turning to Dora, continued —
" Will you allow me to bring my little girl to
see you. Miss Courtenay, I shall have h^r in Rouen
for a day f '
Dora scarcely knew what she answered. She
felt in heaven. She expected nothing, but Doctor
Richard was not a married man. She need feel
no humiliation, no shame. Her reply seemed
satisfactory, however, for he smiled, and looked
satisfied ; whilst Mrs. Courtenay, though rather
offended that Doctor Richard did not want to bring
his little girl to see her, asked how old the young
" Seven — but very delicate," he answered, with
Dora felt full of pity, and questioned eagerly.
Was she tall, dark, or fair, and did she speak
French ? And Doctor Richard, like most parents,
answered readily. Dora thus learned that Eva
was the child's name — that she was tall, dark, and
spoke French fluently.
" And when will you bring her to us?" she asked.
He saw her eager eyes bent upon him ; he read
desire in her parted lips, and he smiled a kind,
" After to-morrow, if you like it," he said.
'^Doctor, what made you call her Eva?" in-
quired Mrs. Courtenay.
" It was her mother's name."
A cloud came over his face as he spoke, which
looked more like the shadow of a past trouble than
like the remembrance of a sorrow.
" I wonder if he was happy with his wife !"
thought Dora ; " perhaps not, and perhaps, too, he
does not mean to marry again."
The thought gave her no pain. To love is
love's true happiness, and, in its early stage at
least, it looks for none other. Delightful, there-
fore, was this evening to her. She spoke little,
but she felt happy ; and as she felt she looked,
though she sat in silent reverie. She tried, in-
deed, to rouse herself, and at length she succeeded.
When she came back from the world to which she
had been wandering — the pleasant world of a girl's
fancies — and was once more, both in body and in
spirit, present in her mother's sitting-room, she
found Mrs. Courtenay and Doctor Eicbard talk-
ing gaily, and Mrs. Luan moody and sulky. Doc-
tor Richard was a free man — nothing could atone
for that calamity. Mrs. Courtenay looked at her
sister-in-law, then winked significantly at Doctor
Richard, adding, in broken words, which Mrs.
Luan was supposed not to understand —
" Always was so — likes nothing — does not mind
me now — does not know what I am talking of."
Doctor Richard was of another opinion, and he
succeeded in changing the discourse, which re-
ferred no more to Mrs. Luan till he left.
Almost from the first moment that he had men-
tioned the existence of his child, Dora had been
full of a project, which she imparted to her mo-
ther as soon as he was gone, and Mrs. Luan had
retired to her own room.
^' Mamma," she said rather eagerly, " Doctor
Richard has been very kind to us. Suppose I
dress a doll for Eva — the handsomest I can find ?"
Mrs. Courtenay was charmed with the idea, and
added confidentially —
*^ It is to you Doctor Richard wishes to bring
his little girl. Dora, depend upon it he wants to
Dora turned crimson, and denied this — but
^' And I am sure of it," said Mrs. Courtenay ;
" but perhaps you do not like him ? Then, Dora,
do not encourage him. He looks as if he would
take such a matter to heart ; better not give the
child a doll, after all."
Dora did not think that to give Eva a doll was
to encourage Eva's father in a hopeless passion ;
and she said so.
"And as my white silk dress would only get
yellow and old-fashioned," she added, " I shall cut
" Cut up your beautiful silk, Dora !"
" I shall never wear it again ; and I do not like
dyed silks. Besides, it is better to save money
Mrs. Courtenay gave in, but with a sigh.
" I shall dress her like a bride," resumed Dora,
" with a veil and orange wreath."
Mrs. Courtenay screamed with delight.
" And she shall have a train ever so long, and
satin shoes, and white kid gloves. She shall be
the handsomest doll in Kouen. I shall go and
buy it to-morrow morning ; and, mamma, you will
not tell aunt?"
'' Of course not," shrewdly said Mrs. Courtenay,
who liked a conspiracy of all things.
Whfen Dora retired to her own room, she took
out the white silk dress, and looked at it. She
had looked well in this dress, and she knew it.
Were those days for ever gone by? Was she
never to go to a party again, but to spend life in
its present obscurity ? It really was a pity to cut it
up ; but then they could not afford to buy, and
Doctor Richard had been so kind. There was no
harm, however, in putting on this doomed robe
once more, and seeing how she looked in it. So
Dora slipped it on, and looked at herself in the
glass, and bade a sort of farewell to life's vanities
as she saw her own image there. It is pleasant to
look well — it is pleasant to wear silken garments,
with their folds to rustle as we move — it is plea-
sant to be clad in the hue which suits our youth
and its bloom, both, alas ! so fleeting ; but it is
scarcely pleasant to do so when we feel that Plea-
sure has closed her gates upon us, and will open
them no more.
"And yet why should there not be some won-
derful story for me too ?" thought Dora, sitting
down to muse over her future ; " why should dull
commonplace be my lot ? I do not feel as if the
straight and beaten road were to be mine. I seem
to see many winding paths before me. It may be
an illusion, but it is a harmless one, and I will not
bid it begone. As to the dress, I care not for it."
She took it off, and to prevent the possibility of
repentance, took two breadths out of the skirt.
This sacrifice being accomplished, she went to bed
and dreamed of a marvellous doll with a train
half a yard long. Early the next morning, Dora
went out. She succeeded in finding such a doll
as she w^anted, and brought it home under her
cloak, so that Mrs. Luan mif;ht not see it. She
set about her task at once, and locked herself in to
prevent a surprise ; but Mrs. Courtenay, who,
though she liked a conspiracy, did not seem to un-
derstand that secrecy was one of its most necessary
ingredients, came and knocked for admittance
every five minutes, "just to see how she was
getting on." As Dora carefully locked the door
after her mother every time she thus came, Mrs.
Luan, had she been an observant person, could not
have failed detecting the existence of a mysteiy.
Luckily, few things, unless when connected in a
very direct manner with her concerns, drew her
attention, and all she thought, if she thought at
all, was that Dora was engaged in some new
" What a pretty doll it is !" whispered Mrs.
Courtenay, bending over the pillow on which the
doll lay carefully wrapped in tissue paper ; *' and,
oh ! Dora, how it does stare !"
This Mrs. Courtenay announced as a decidedly
singular fact, and as if the staring of dolls were a
new discovery of hers.
" Yes," gaily said Dora ; " it was shut up in a
box, you see, and having just come out, it is mak-
ing the best use of its eyes. Besides, it is fresh
from Germany, and has a good deal to learn, poor
thing ! in this new country. Perhaps it is think-
ing of the Fatherland, and lamenting the change
from the Rhine to the Seine."
*' And, oh !" said Mrs. Courtenay, with her little
scream, " you have got shoes for it !" and she took
and twirled on her finger a pair of white satin
bridal shoes, beautifully made.
" Yes," replied Dora, looking at them with a
DOR A. 297
little envious sigh ; " I knew 1 could not make
them so well, so I bought them, and stockings and
gloves. The rest I shall fashion myself."
And very cleverly did Dora set about her task.
Her eye and her taste were both correct, and ere
the day was half over the bride's attire was nearly
"Is not Dora going out to-day?" asked Mrs.
Luan, with some wonder.
Mrs. Courtenay winked several times very fast,
pursed uj) her lips, and uttered a mysterious "No."
" What is she doing, then V
" Nothing particular," replied Mrs. Courtenay,
whose tone implied that Dora was doing something
very particular indeed.
"Is she not well?"
"Dear me, Mrs. Luan, how many questions you
do put ! Cannot the child stay within without your
knowing why ?"
Now, if Mrs. Luan's inquisitiveness had not
been stimulated after this, she should have had
no such organ. But as she did possess some share
of this important faculty, she determined to know
what Dora was doing. Very craftily, however,
did she set about her purpose. When Mrs.
Courtenay left the room, Mrs. Luan went and
knocked at Dora's door, and Dora, thinking it was
her mother, opened wdth a chiding smile.
"Is not your mother here f asked Mrs. Luan.
- "' No, aunt," replied Dora, blushing with vexa-
No change, no emotion, appeared on Mrs. Luan's
heavy face as she withdrew ; but she had seen the
doll standing with her back to a chair, her white
dress on, and the orange wreath and veil on the
table ; and she w^as not quite so dull but that she
knew what this meant. Mrs. Luan had a spice
of vindictiveness in her composition. She felt
aggrieved at Dora's daring act, and still more ag-
grieved at having been excluded from all know-
ledge of it. She resolved to be revenged, and
watched her opportunity so well, that when Dora
left her room after dinner, Mrs. Luan stole into it
unsuspected. But in vain she looked on the bed,
on the furniture — the doll was not there ; in vain
she tried the drawers, Dora had locked them and
taken the key. Mrs. Luan's homicidal intentions
against Eva's doll were defeated, and she crept out
of the room unseen indeed, but none the less sulky
at having been baffled.
Doctor Richard came in the evening. He
had not intended doin^ so, but he liad been to the
Gallery, and not seeing Dora there, he concluded
that either she or her mother was unwell. He now
called to ascertain the correctness of his suspi-
Dora smiled demurely at his surprise, and re-
" No, I could not go to-day."
Mrs. Courtenay pursed up her lips not to laugh,
and said, with a mysterious and puzzled assump-
tion of carelessness,
" No, Dora could not go to-day."
"Dora "was dressing a doll," put in Mrs. Luan,
who w^ould not be quite balked of her reyenge.
" A doll for your little girl. Doctor Richard."
Doctor Richard smiled, looked surprised as well
as pleased, and said, " Indeed !" whilst Dora
uttered a remonstratiye, " Oh, aunt !" and tried
not to seem too much annoyed. Mrs. Courtenay
did not attempt to conceal her indignation.
" Of all talkative creatures, Mrs. Luan," she said,
austerely, " you are the most indiscreet. You
miglit know Dora wanted to surprise her young
Mrs. Lnan resorted to her usual defence, and
began to buzz.
*^ I don't know anything about that," she said.
" The doll was dressed like a bride, which did not
look like a secret. At least, I know that when my
aunt ran away with Sir John Barry she went in a
cotton dress, in order to be taken for the cook.
Though how she could be taken for the cook, who
was stout, and forty-five, I don't know."
*' There ! — there !" superciliously replied Mrs.
Courtenay, "who ever heard the like? Do you
suppose we mean to say the doll was going to con-
tract a private marriage, or to run away with any
one, when the orange wreath and the veil tell a
plainly as can be that she is going off to churcli ?"
" My dear Miss Courtenay," said Doctor Richard,
pathetically, " do let me have a peep at the bride.
I shall be miserable if I do not see her, and you
may be sure I shall not say a word about it to
Dora, nothing loath, rose, and went and brought
out " the Mariee." She placed her standing safely
against the wall, and having set her off by putting
a sheet of blue paper behind her back, she with-
drew several steps, and looked rather anxiously at
DOE A. 301
Doctor Richard's dark face. This doll was a very
pretty one — she had blue eyes, pink cheeks, and red
lips. Somewhat deficient in figure she had been,
but, thanks to Dora's unscrupulous skill, she had
now the most delicate round waist. These '* natu-
ral " advantages were set off by the loveliest bridal
dress maiden ever wore on her marriacre morn.
Her robe of long sweeping white silk, looped up
in front to show a pair of fairy white feet, was ex-
quisitely trimmed with tulle bouillonne, as an
article on the fashions would have said. A long
veil, through which shone her fair hair, flowed
around her. The orange wreath nodded over her
snowy brow ; pearls gleamed on her plump white
neck, and were twisted in rows around her fair
arms. Doctor Richard frowned.
" Miss Courtenay," he asked, " does a bride wear
"I believe pearls are allowed," timidly said
Dora. " Besides," she pleaded, " they are sure to
please the child."
"Pearls, and no prayer-book!" he continued,
But Dora shut his mouth. She produced a
combination of white satin and gilt paper, which,
302 DOR A.
when completed, was to be placed in the hand of
the bride, and to be considered a prayer-book.
Doctor Kichard smiled, and made no further ob-
" Dear Miss Oourtenay," he said, evidently much
gratified, "I cannot tell you how gratefnl I feel
for all the trouble you have taken, and if Eva does
not go crazy with joy, I know nothing about her !"
" I hope she will like it," remarked Dora, with
a smile. " I have done my best."
"You have done wonders — and the doll is a
beautiful doll ! Indeed, I feel bound to wish her
bridegroom joy, whoever he may be. This Minna
or Thecla — for who can doubt her parentage ? —
will surely make a good wife I There is truth in
her honest blue eye, and good-humour in her
round, rosy face. She has a good intellectual de-
velopment, too. In short, I see a store of do-
mestic bliss for the happy man I"
" Dear, dear !" exclaimed Mrs. Courtenay, " to
think you should see it all in the doll's face, Doc-
tor Richard ! I only saw that she stares."
" She does stare a lee-ttle — just a leettle bit,"
deprecatingly observed Doctor Richard. " In her
maiden innocence, you see, she looks at this wicked
world, and thinking no harm of it, forgets to drop
her eyelids. Besides, this bit of insolence shows
her high birth and perfect breeding. Then how
do we know but that she is a specimen of the fast
young lady ! These rosy lips may talk slang for
all I can tell to the contrary ; but oh ! if she does
talk slang, let it be German slang, I pray, and not
English slang, wherewith she might corrupt my
little Eva's vernacular."
"She shall not talk at all. Doctor Richard,"
gaily exclaimed Dora. " I am a fairy, and I lay
upon her the spell of silence."
" An L'ish Geis, such as used to be laid on our
kings and heroes," said Doctor Richard, rising.
" Dear Miss Courtenay, your bride is perfect now;
for as she can never say the fatal * yes,' so can she
never cease to be a bride. Life to her will be a
perpetual marriage morning, with orange wreath
ever in bloom. Time is no more for her. Youth
and beauty cannot fade. Truly you are a fairy
" What, going so soon I" cried Mrs. Coui'tenay,
as she saw him looking for his hat.
"Yes, I have an appointment. But I shall
bring you Eva to-morrow."
"Bring her to luncheon," warmly said Mrs.
Doctor Richard seemed to hesitate.
" With great pleasure," he said, after the pause
of a moment ; " but though I by no means pre-
sume to make the favour I am going to ask a con-
dition of my little Eva's coming to-morrow, I hope
you will grant it. I have long promised Eva that
she and I should have luncheon together on the
grass before the weather got too cool. Will you
join us ? The spot is pretty, and within five
minutes of Rouen by rail."
Mrs. Courtenay and her daughter were taken
by surprise. They exchanged looks, then Mrs.
Courtenay spoke and accepted.
" You see, my dear," she said to Dora after
Doctor Richard had left them, " it would really
have been unkind to refuse Doctor Richard ; he
would have thought we were afraid of putting him
to some expense, and that would have annoyed
and humbled him."
T)EAUTIFUL and bright shone the next morn-
■^ iufr when Dora opened her window and
looked out. A warm sunbeam stealing over the
roof of their low house lit the opposite church ; the
vine-leaves reddened in its glow, the air was crisp
and sharp, and everything to Dora looked enchant-
" We must give Doctor Richard and his little
girl a good luncheon," said Mrs. Courtenay, who
partook of her daughter's exhilaration ; " a pair
of roast fowls, and a tart. The little thing is sure
to like the pastry."
" And so is the father," suggested ^Irs. Luan
grimly ; " he eats our bread and butter as if he
w( re starving."
" Nonsense, Mrs. Luan," shortly replied Mrs.
Courtenay; "how can Doctor Richard be starv-
VOL. I. I
o06 DOE A,
ing when he has that large house to himself?"
" I daresay he pays no rent," said Mrs. Luan
after a pause ; " they have put him in to keep it
" They !— who ?— what they ?"
But to answer this question was beyond Mrs.
Luan, She replied impatiently that she did not
know their name ; and Mrs. Courtenay had too
much to do to spend more time in the argument.
A terrible deal of fuss and worry had to be gone
through before the luncheon could be got ready
for one o'clock, the appointed hour.
Mrs. Courtenay joined Madame Bertrand in the
kitchen, and a little squabbling, polite of course,
but decidedly squabbling, was the consequence of
her appearance there. Dora, too, had her share
of preparation, though Mrs. Courtenay would not
hear of her venturing on anything culinary, lest
she should soil her clothes or spoil her hands ; and
Mrs. Luan alone sat idle, and in high dudgeon.
Most cordially did she hate these doings, and Doc-
tor Richard and Eva, and the expense and the
doll. But she was mute. She knew she had no
right to speak, and that her objections, if she
made any, would not be regarded. So she was
silent, and looked on — brooding over her wrongs,
and thinking them many.
And now the hour came round, and both Dora
and Mrs. Courtenay began to look anxiously at tlie
clock. At a quarter to one, steps were heard com-
ing up the staircase, and a chiklish voice mingled
with deeper tones. Dora went and opened the
door, and received her young guest with a smile
and a kiss. Eva had her father's dark eyes and
his genial smile, but otherwise she was not much
like him. She gave Dora a shy, wistful look, then
she returned her embrace, and was familiar and
free in a moment.
" You live here ?" she said, running to the win-
dow and peeping out. " Oh ! what a queer old
church ! Do you like it? Are these your birds f
She looked curiously at Dora's sparrows, who
fed tamely on the ledge of the open window, look-
ing sharply at Eva, however, with their little keen
black eyes, then suddenly flew away twittering.
" Miss Courtenay prevails over everything," said
Doctor Richard ; " birds and children."
" Come to my room," whispered Dora. " I have
a young lady there who is waiting for you."
" For me 1" said Eva, looking interested.
Dora nodded, and taking her hand, led her
away. They entered her room, and she there pro-
bably introduced Miss Eva to the bride, for Doctor
Eichard smiled as he heard a succession of raptu-
rous screams from within. Presently Eva came
out with the doll in her arms, and ran to her
father, her eyes sparkling, her cheeks flushed with
" Oh ! do look !" she entreated ; " do !"
Doctor Kichard pretended to be greatly pleased
and surprised, and everything would have gone on
charmingly, if Mrs. Luan had not uttered a croak-
ing note :
"That doll will not live — it is consumptive !'*
'' Dolls do not die," pertly said Miss Eva ; " they,
get broken, though."
She laughed, but no one else laughed. Doctor
Richard's eye had an angry flash as it lighted on Mrs.
Luan, and Dora and her mother looked shocked
and distressed, for the glow of health was wanting
to Eva's dark cheek, and now and then a hectic
flush appeared there in its stead. She was a sickly
child, too, and ate little. The chickens, though
done to a turn, did not tempt her ; the tart she
would not touch. "Ah! there is sorrow in store
for him there, and he knows it," thought Dora ;
but conscious of future grief though he might be,
Doctor Richard did not intrude his apprehension
upon his friends. He was as gay and cheerful
as he could well be, uttered some pretty nonsense
about the bride, and indulged himself in some of
those flights of speech which, if they entertained
Dora, always saddened her, as showing how little
share the practical had in his life. Mrs. Courtenay
seemed struck with this fact too, and she remarked
in her innocence :
" Doctor Richard, what a pity you do not do
something. Write books, I mean," she added, a
little confused at the uncalled-for advice ; " I am
sure you could write— oh ! so well."
" Papa does write," put in Eva, rather jealously ;
" he wrote me out ' Cinderella,' and illustrated it,
with her glass slipper and all."
" Dear me !" cried Mrs. Courtenay ; " are you
really an author, Doctor Richard ?"
" I am afraid having written out ^ Cinderella '
will scarcely give me a claim to authorship, Mrs.
Courtenay," he replied, smiling.
" Oh ! but one can put a great deal of originality
even into an old fairy-tale/' kindly said Mrs.Courte
nay ; *'l am sure," she added emphatically, "your
version of ' Cinderella ' is charming. Is it pub-
" I have taken some liberties with it," gravely
replied Doctor Richard; "and therefore I dare
not face the juvenile public, which is apt to be
cruel at times. For instance, I have called ^ Cin-
derella' 'Rhodopis.' You are not aware, perhaps,
that Cinderella's prince was one of the Pharaohs,
and that she now sleeps as a mummy beneath one
of the Pyramids. Now, how w^ould the little men
and the little women like that ? Not at all, I dare-
say, for, you see, Eva persists in calling poor Rho-
dopis Cinderella, and her sandal a glass slipper."
Mrs. Courtenay tried to look both knowing and
captivated, and was sure that the story of Rhodopis,
alias Cinderella, was mightily interesting, and she
reiterated her wish that Doctor Richard would be-
come an author. " I assure you you would be
successful," she added, with much simplicity.
Doctor Richard seemed amused.
" I might, as you kindly predict, be successful,"
he replied, " but then I should no longer be Doc-
tor Richard, which is, I confess it, the character I
prefer. If you were to know, my dear madam,
how many a fine fellow has been spoiled, to mv
knowledge, by some such hobby. I like to keep
my identity, and feel as sure as human frailty will
let me, that I shall remain what I am. Change is
so dangerous. History aad daily life are both full
of perplexing questions bearing on this matter.
Take Robespierre, for instance, and put him on
horseback, and perliaps the man is a hero. Take
Napoleon, and maie a disappointed lawyer of him,
and he sends all his friends to the scaffold, as he
sent bo\-ish conscripts to death, and follows them
there, instead of dying like a chained eagle in
Saint Helena. Nay, even a trifle — if there be
such things as trifles, which I doubt — can change
the aspect of a country and the character of a
people. There was a time when it was a capital
offence to burn coals in London. Fancy London
without smoke or soot, and just tell me if the
Londoners must not have been then a different
people from what they are now.''
" Good gracious !" cried Mrs. Courtenay —
" London without coals !"
" Dreadful I is it not ?"
" And fame, Doctor Richard," said Dora, rather
earnestly — " do you not care for that f
" Fame for writing about Rhodopis," he good-
" There are other subjects," she urged.
" So there are — ' Red-riding Hood/ ^ Beauty
and the Beast,' and others ; and to tell you the
truth, I have written about them too. A set of
gipsies ! There is no knowing where they came
from. They are here, they are there, in every
point of the compass do we find these pretty Zin-
gari. A world of trouble they gave me."
" And so you do not care abo\it fame ?" re-
sumed Dora, who would not be balked of an
" Verily, Miss Courtenay, I do not. I admire
the man who first said, ' What has posterity done
for me, that I should do anything for posterity V
Think, moreover, how fragile a good it is ! Think
of poor Ptolemy and his eleven ethereal regions.
For a thousand years and more he reigns supreme
in astronomy, then comes a Copernik, or a Galileo,
and Ptolemy may sleep in Egyptian dust for ever-
" Ah ! if one could rouse him out of that apathy
to generous ambition !" thought Dora, with a secret
But of that there seemed little chance. Doctor
Richard looked too good-humoured, and too well-
satisfied with his poverty to be easily roused. But
however deficient these genial natures may be,
they have a charm which is irresistible. When
Doctor Richard, noticing how languid Eva began
to look, spoke of going, it seemed to Dora that his
three hours' stay had been too brief, and she long-
ed to join her entreaties to Eva's prayer to be al-
lowed to remain. But she did not — perhaps slae
dared not. Doctor Richard looked, moreover, as
if he would have been inexorable, so Eva sub-
mitted, threw her arms around Dora's neck, and
" Do come and see me — do !"
" Miss Courtenay has no more time to lose,
Eva," said her father. '^ She lost yesterday in
dressmg your doll, and to-day in receiving you ; it
is out of the ^w^stion that she should sacrifice a
Eva looked rather cresttnllen, but Dora whis-
" Never mind ; you will come a^ad g^e me
again," and the brightness returned to the cJaild's
face, and with a look of intelhgence she noddea,
adding in Dora's ear, " I love you, Miss Courte-
nay. Oh ! I do love you so !"
A fond parting followed, and Dora went to the
window and looked out, and saw Doctor Richard
and his little girl walking down the street. Ere
they turned the corner, Eva looked up at her, and
gave her a last friendly nod.
When Dora drew her head away, and .looked
in, she found her aunt in a towering passion.
Whenever Mrs. Luan was angry, speech failed
her utterly. She stammered through her wrath,
and became almost incomprehensible. Dora looked
at her flushed and agitated face, then glanced to
her mother for explanation.
" Your aunt is angry with poor Doctor Richard,"
said Mrs. Courtenay.
" A low, vulgar upstart !" stammered Mrs.
Luan — " how dare he ? — how dare he f '
" Why, what has Doctor Richard ^^ne f ' asked
Dora, with a little indignatio^i.
"No doctor!" said Mrs. Luan— " not he. I
know a doctor."
" Aunt, ''^^t is the matter ?"
"jxjn't tease her," whispered her mother.
" She Is in a rage because she considers that Doc-
tor Richard has retracted his invitation."
" Oh ! aunt," remonstrated Dora, " is it possible
you do not see that Doctor Richard spoke so to
surprise Eva to-morrow ? He looked at me quite
significantly all the time."
This did not mend matters.
" Why does he look the beggar f
Poor Mrs. Luan ! she was nearly a beggar her-
self, yet in her wrath she could find no keener
word of reproach for the offender than this. Dora
blushed a little, but was mute.
" Why does he come here f angrily continued
Mrs. Luan. " He is old, he is poor ! — you can't
want him !"
Dora became crimson. " Aunt — " she began, but
Mrs. Courtenay interrupted her a little angrily.
" Nonsense," she said, " Dora wants no one ;
but I must say that even if Doctor Richard comes
here for her sake — which I do believe — Dora could
not do better than to receive his addresses. He is
a most delightful man," she added emphatically ;
" and I should like to see my dear Dora provided
for before I die."
Now, the idea of Dora being provided for by
" the beggar," as she called him, added fuel to the
fire of Mrs. Luan's wrath, and there is no know-
ing to what a height it might have risen if Madame
Bertrand had not just then made her appearance
with a note, which she handed to Dora. It was
from Doctor Richard, and reminded her of her
promise to meet Eva the next day. He also in-
timated that, " in case they did not find ten too
early, the carriage of the lady with whom Eva re-
sided, and which had been placed at his disposal,
would come round for Mrs. and Miss Courtenay
and Mrs. Luan, at that hour."
Dora's bright face took a flush of pleasure and
triumph as she read this note aloud, and it was
with the mildest reproach that she said,
Mrs. Luan was silent and sulky, and Mrs.
Courtenay full of childish glee.
" A carriage !" she said. " Then I suppose the
lady is quite rich. I should not wonder if she had
not adopted little Eva. Poor darling ! It is an
injudicious plan, I think. How will she like
poverty when she has to go back to it ? Parents
should think of these things."
She shook her head, and breathed a philosophic
sigh over Doctor Richard's imprudence. Dora
folded up her note, and went into her room to read
There is a rapid downward path in all things,
and Dora Courtenay was going down very fast to
the dangerous depths whence it is all but hopeless
to look up to the free level world again. She
knew it, and yet she went on and never cared to
stop or to look back. Doctor Richard was free,
that was enough for conscience. He was free, and
though it might be a misfortune to love him, it
could no longer be a sin. Foolish girl, as if a mis-
fortune to which our will says " yes " were not
almost always guilt more or less deep, but guilt
none the less. Her aunt's jealous observation of
Doctor Richard, her mother's fond comments on
his frequent visits, were as music to her ear, Syren
music, wondrous and strange, that made her reck-
less of the breakers and sand-banks to which her
poor barque was rapidly steering. Oh ! if it were
true ! If he really liked her I If he came to the
house for her ! If he had brought his child be-
cause he wished her to become that child's mother !
If he hoped to bind her to himself by the closest
and the dearest ties known to man ! She was
alone now, yet at the thought she hid her flushed
face in both her hands. She was so happy that
she could scarcely bear it. It did occur to her,
indeed, that she might be mistaken — that Doctor
Richard had no such intentions as her mother and her
own secret hopes attributed to him. But even if
he had not these wishes now, might they not come
with time ? Few women who have the power to
fascinate do not know that it is theirs. Dora Cour-
tenay had charmed many hearts in her day. She
knew she had the gift to attract even those for
whom she cared little ; was it presumption to think
that she might win a heart so dear ? — was it wrong
to try and do so ?
" I will be good !" thought Dora. " I will try
and conquer my faults. If I reach his liking it shall
be through his esteem, and then I can at least look
back on the attempt without self-reproach or shame.
Perhaps he is too poor to marry. Perhaps, seeing
aunt and mamma almost dependent upon me, and
having a child himself, he will not be so imprudent.
If so, I cannot blame him, surely. And yet people
can be poor and very happy !"
As Dora came to this conclusion, she could not
help looking towards the lame teacher's window.
It was open, to let in the pleasant autumn heat ;
and Dora's eye could dive down into the clear
darkroom, dark not because it was gloomy, but on
account of the surrounding brightness of the street.
It was very neat, though poorly furnished; the bees-
waxed floor shone again, the distant bed looked snow
white, and the lame teacher's wife sat mending linen
with a work-basket on a chair by her. Presently
she put down her task to peep out of the window.
She gave a long wistful look down the street, then
she glanced towards a little clock on the mantel-
piece. Was her husband late ? — was she getting
anxious at his delay ? But there was no need — a
door opened, and Dora saw him coming in. He
went up to his wife and kissed her. She took
away his hat and books, made him sit down in her
chair, and brought him a glass of wine.
" Yes, one can be poor and be happy," thought
Dora, turning away from the little homely picture,
" but I could be happy also even though I should
never marry him, or though we did not marry till
we were both as old as that poor teacher and his
wife. I could wait twenty years for him and
think it but a day. It would be strange indeed to
marry at past forty, and yet I know I could be
happy still — very happy. His hair would be quite
grey, and mine would be turning fast. I should be
rather a faded old maid, such a one as people say
of, * She must have been good-looking w^hen she
was twenty.' He would be brown and rather
thin, and Eva would be a young matron with
children on her knees — but I should be happy,
very happy. We should have a little money then
— not much, but just a little ; a cottage near Dub-
lin, too ; and he would be out all day, and would
come home to me of an evening a little tired, but
cheerful. ^Dora,' he would say, as we sat^ and
talked by the fire, * do you remember when you
were young ? You had bright hair and brighter
eyes, and a blooming face enough then, and now
they are gone.' I shall answer, * You should have
come earlier, sir, and you should have had them
all.' Ah ! what will he say to that?"
Poor Dora ! Her dream from subjective and
contingent has become future, so swift is the tran-
sition. She stands in her room with Doctor
Richard's note in her hand, and happening to
raise her eyes, she sees her own image in the
greenish glass above her mantelpiece. It is a dull
plate, tarnished and gloomy, but Dora's radiant
face shines from its depths with the glorious light
of hope and young love. And Dora is not forty
yet, but twenty-tree, and she barely looks beyond
her teens. There is not a silver thread in the
rich brown gold of her hair, nothing has yet
dimmed the brightness of her happy, radiant eyes.
"VYith that pure, fresh bloom on her cheek, and
that smile of delight on her ripe lips, Dora looks
enchanting just then. Mere beauty would seem
cold near her, for beauty is not always a light
from within ; and the fervour of her dream, and
the consciousness that she is still young' and plea-
sant to look at, make Dora's heart beat with secret
rapture. She knows, too — how can she help
knowing it ? — that she has more to give than to re-
ceive in the exchange she is contemplating. How
many women would care for the poor widower
of thirty odd ? — and how many men could help car-
ing for the young radiant girl ?
" He is worth ten of me," thought Dora, turn-
ing away from the glass ; " but most girls would
remember his half shabby coat, and laugh at him
if he came to woo. Perhaps he knows it, and is
VOL. I. Y
diffident. Ah ! if he knew all — if he but knew
But on reflection Dora thought it was as well
tliat he should not know it. She opened a drawer,
took out a little inlaid mother-of-pearl casket, in
which she kept her choicest treasures — memorials
of her brother — and she put Doctor Richard's
note with them.
" Paul would have liked him," she thought, the
tears rushing to her eyes. " Oh ! if I could but
have seen these two together — if I could but have
sat and listened to them, how happy, how very
happy I should have been !"
But sad and troubled are the dreams we indulge
in when we remember the dead. We cannot, if
we have truly loved them, let fancy free where
they are concerned. The gloom, the sad austerity
of the grave, its silence and its hopelessness, ever
come between us and our reverie. The remem-
brance of her brother, ever loved, ever lamented,
fell like a pall over Dora's happy imagining.
" I must not think of these things," she thought
rather sadly ; " if Doctor Richard wished to marry
he need not have waited so long to do so ; and
if he does not care for me, why should I be ever
thinking of him ?"
But she left his note where she had put it with
the treasures and the mementoes of her youth.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
LONDON: PRINTED BY MACDONALD AND TUG WELL, BLENHEIM HOUSE.
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