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Full text of "Dora"

LI B RARY 

OF THE 

UNIVLRSITY 

or ILLINOIS 

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D O li A 

VOL. I. 



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DORA. 



BY 



JULIA KAVANAGH, 

AUTHOR OF 

NATHALIE,' "ADELE," '^ QUEEN MAB, 

&c. &c. 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. L 



LONDON: 
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS, 

13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET. 

1868. 
Tite right (rf TranAaivM^ w ri:itrvvl 



LONDON : 

rRlNTKD BY MACD0NAIJ3 AND TDGWELL, BLENHEIM HOUSK 

BT^NHEEM STREET, OXFORD STREET. 



Ce:. 

a 

CO 



en 






D O K^ A^. 



CHAPTER I. 



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. 

4 ''^'-^- 



Z DORA. 

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. 3 

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 

B 2 



4 DORA. 

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, 



DORA. O 

"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- 
lessly. 

" 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. 
Courtenay. 

^Irs. Luan replied calmly, 

" Candles are a halfpenny dearer in the pound 
this week." 

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 



6 DORA. 

like a sheet of light in their brilliant glow, and 
she sighed again. Mrs. Luan thought, in the 
meanwhile : 

"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 
candle later." 

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 
calmly, 

" 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 
enemy down. 

" I have nothing to do with the rain," she be- 
gan, in her buzzing fashion. 



O DORA. 

" 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 
evening. 

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 



10 DORA. 

« 

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 wiser." 

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 
life. 

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 



DORA. 11 

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 ? 



12 



CHAPTER II. 

"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 
Dora's. 

" I have been dissecting," he began. 

"Don't, John," interrupted Mrs. Courtenay, 
shivering. 



DORA. 13 

" 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 
mental sufferings. 

" 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 
miserable. 

" 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 



14 DORA. 

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 — 






DORA. 15 

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 



16 L>ORA. 

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 
thoughts. 

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 



DORA. 17 

she was measuring the extent of the calamity, Mrs. 
Courtenay, who had an awkward and innocent 
habit of thinking aloud, said with her pleasant 
smile : 

" La ! my dear, John does not stare ; he looks 
at you, and he looks because he admires you, I 
suppose." 

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 
discovery. 

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 



18 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 19 

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 

C2 



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 



DORA. 21 

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 
reply. 

Upon which Dora pensively rejoined — 

"I wonder what your worst would be like, 

John r 

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 
talk. 

" I wish you had a new dress, Dora," she said ; 
" you could give this to Peggy." 

" Peggy must wait, mamma. When Paul is 



22 DORA. 

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- 
rings, mamma." 

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 ? — 
so?" 

She puckered her pleasant genial face into the 
most extraordinary wrinkles, and made her little 
mother shiver. 

" 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 
said, 

" 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. 



24 



CHAPTER III. 

'^ 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 



DORA. 25 

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 
happiness." 

" 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. 



26 DORA. 

" 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 



DORA. 27 

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 



28 DORAv 

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 



DORA. 29 

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 



30 DORA. 

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 
learned." 

"Well, but what about the fortune?" asked 
Dora. 

" 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 
mine." 

" 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- 



DORA. 31 

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. 

"None." 

" 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 
you, Paul." 

"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- 
tenay blood." 

" Suppose I run away," demurely suggested 
Dora. 

" 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 



DORA. 33 

heroic weakness, and she was partly comforted. 
After all, Paul was not bound to be beyond hu- 
manity. 

" I say you shall marry her," she said again. " It 
is your right, and you shall have your right, 
Paul." 

"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 
salt-cellar." 

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 — 



DOHA. 35 

"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. 



D 2 



36 



P 



CHAPTER IV. 

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 
Paul so." 

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. 



DORA. 37 

"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 
way." 

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?" 



38 DORA. 

"I was not napping, Florence," gravely replied 
Dora ; " I was reading." 

" Was Mr. Ryan reading too f shrewdly asked 
Miss Gale. 

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, 



DORA. 39 

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 
himself up." 

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 



40 DORA. 

would make no difference ; but the wife is an ob- 
jection." 

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 
home. 

" 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 
to you." 

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, 
eh, Dora?" 

But whatever Dora's thoughts might be, she 
would not grant Paul's mistress to be less than 
perfect. 

" 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 
that catalogue. 

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 
adieu. 

"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 



I 



DORA. 43 

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." 



DORA. 45 

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 
his undertaking. 

"And it is going on beautifully, Paul," she 
said, with a beaming face. " This is my great 



46 DORA. 

patience, that which Louis the Eighteenth did 
every evening after his dinner. I really think it 
will succeed." 

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, 



DORA. 47 

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. 



48 



CHAPTER V. 

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- 



DORA. 49 

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 
love. 

"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 
suffer." 

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 !" 



DORA. 51 

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 

hug. 

" 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." 
Florence laughed. 
" 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 ?" 

E 2 

UBPvARX 

UKIV£RSiTY OF IUJN0»S 



52 DORA. 

"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 
would last. 

" 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 ! 



DORA. 53 

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, 
thinking, 

" 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. 



DORA. 55 

" 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, 



56 DOKA. 

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 
reign ! 

" 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 
industry." 



I 



DORA. 57 

" 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 
ill." 

"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- 
lishers !" 

" 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- 
rupted. 

" 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 



DORA. 59 

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- 
in-law's silence. 

" 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 
do. 

** 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. 



DORA. 61 

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 
Deenah." 

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 
so." 

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 



62 DORA. 

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 
Poitou.' " 

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 



64 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 65 

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 



66 DORA. 

" 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 
cannot." 

" 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 
kindly." 

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. 



DORA. 67 

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 

F 2 



68 DORA. 

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 
will. 

*' A very strange, uncivil man," said Mrs. Cour- 
tenay, stiffly. 

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 ' 



DORA. 69 

" Nothing," she replied, gravely, " only I was 
tliinking about our five hundred pounds. Mr. 
Ryan says he could double the amount for us in 
no time." 

" I mean to go to London with mine," said John. 

"To London!" 

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 
Dora. 

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 
know?" 

" 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 



DORA. 71 

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 — 



72 DORA. 

"I shall come back sooner than you think, 
Dora." 

" 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- 



DORA. 73 

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. 



74 



CHAPTER VI. 

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 



DOEA. 75 

*'it," and never specified it by any other term. 
So almost her first words to Mr. Ryan this evening 
were, 

" 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. 



76 DORA. 

" 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 
pleasant. 

" You are quite ridiculous, my dear," said Mrs. 
Courtenay. 

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 



DORA. 77 

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 
suddenly silent. 

"Paul I how pale you are I" she said, a little 
anxiously. 

''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," 



78 DORA. 

continued Dora, " and then how soon she forsook 
you !" 

" She was not pledged to me." 

" True love needs no pledges," loftily replied 
Dora. 

"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 
be." 

" 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 



DORA. 79 

Florence Gale had gone by, and her own had 
come back. 

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, 
breathlessly. 

" 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." 



80 DORA. 

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- 
dignation. 

" 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 
year." 

"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 



DORA. 81 

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 
too hard." 

"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 
tale !" 

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 



S2 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 83 

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 

g2 



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 
her patchwork. 

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. 



DORA. 85 

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 
him. 

"The Irish are a light-hearted people, Mr. 
Ryan," solemnly said Mrs. Courtenay to her 
friend. 

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. 
Ryan. 

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 
too." 

'^ Dear mamma, I cannot think that. My dear 
brother was so pale, and you have a lovely colour. 



86 DOKA. 

" 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 
air r 

" 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 
thing !" 

"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 



DORA. 87 

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- 



50 DORA. 

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 ? 



89 



CHAPTER VIL 

'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 



90 DORA. 

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 
still safe. 

" 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 ?" 



92 DORA. 

" 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 
gold." 

" 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 



DORA. 93 

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 
girl!" 

" 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 



94 DORA, 

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 
benefit. 

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 



BORA. 95 

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 
asked. 

" 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. 
Courtenay's life. 

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 



86 DORA. 

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- 
ment. 

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 



DORA. 97 

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 
rendezvous. 

" 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. 

o 

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 
worship ? 

VOL. I. H 



98 DORA. 

" 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 

h2 



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 
men. 

" 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. 



DORA. 101 

" 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 
me." 

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 
end. 

" 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- 



102 DORA. 

ful eye, John took Dora in his arms and kissed 
her. 

" Tell aunt I shall go and see her in Rouen," he 
whispered. 

"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- 
riage. 

" 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 



DORA. 103 

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- 
water. 



104 



CHAPTER VIII. 

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 



DORA. 105 

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 
spouse. 

^' 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. 



106 DORA. 

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 
gently. 

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, 



108 DORA. 

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 
rude hands. 

" 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 



DORA. 109 

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- 
plied. 

" 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 
inadvertently." 



110 DORA. 

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 
lodgers. 

" 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. Ill 

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 
her." 

" 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- 
pare it. 

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 
startled face. 

"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- 



112 DORA. 

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. 



DORA. 113 

"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- 
spent. 

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 



114 DORA. 

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 
solitude." 

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 



DORA. 115 

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 
leaves. 

*^ 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 
charm. 

" 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- 

l2 



116 DORA. 

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. 



DORA. 117 

Madame Bertrand and her friends talked so 
loud, that Mrs. Courtenaj awoke, and looked 
startled. 

" 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 
prose !" 

" 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, 
Dora." 

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 
being. 

" And so will I," resolutely thought Dora, with 
a little defiant shake of her bright head. "So 
will I." 

Alas! it is very easily said — more easily said 
than done. When Dora went back to her room 



118 DORA. 

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. 



119 



CHAPTER IX. 

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 



120 DORA. 

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, 



DORA. 121 

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 



DOHA. 123 

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 
and then. 

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. 



124 DORA. 

" 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 
—miles !" 

" 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 
went. 

She had not walked ten steps when, as she 



DORA. 125 

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 
are !" 

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 



126 DORA. 

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- 
potent wrath. 

" 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 



DORA. 127 

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- 



128 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 129 

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 



130 DORA. 

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- 
provement. 

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 



DORA. 131 

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 

k2 



132 DORA. 

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 
thought. 

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 
Dora. 

The man turned round, and said, civilly, 

" What book, Mademoiselle, if you please ?" 



DORA. 133 

" 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 
sorrows. 

" 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 
at all. 

*' I did not think it was so expensive," she said, 
apologetically. 

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 



134 DORA. 

left the shop. The dealer looked after her and 
chuckled. 

" 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 
Richard r 

" Not very pretty," drily replied Doctor Rich- 
ard, " but very bright. She lit up your shop, 
Monsieur Merand." 

°' 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- 



DORA. 135 

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 
hat. 



136 DORA. 

"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." 



137 



CHAPTER X. 

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 
me." 

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- 



138 DORA. 

certain! ng that neither Epictetus nor the cheese 
was there. 

"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 
them!" 

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 



DOHA. 139 

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 
eyes. 

" I wonder if the man is jesting, or if he would 



140 DORA. 

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- 
marked doubtfully. 

" 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 



DORA. 141 

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 
tone, 

" 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. 



142 DORA. 

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- 
company her. 

"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. 



144 DORA. 

"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 
of age. 

^^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 
floor." 

*' 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 



DORA. 145 

friendly, half ironical fashion. At least, so thought 
Dora. 

** 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 
ambition. 

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 



146 DORA. 

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. 



DORA. 147 

" 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 
bargain." 

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 
one hand." 

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 
more ?" 

" 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 ?" 

• l2 



148 DORA. 

"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, 



DORA. 149 

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. 



150 DORA. 

" Well !" cried Mrs. Courtenay, from the win- 
dow. 

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 



DORA. 151 

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 
emphatically. 

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 



152 DORA. 

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 
francs ? 

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. 



153 



CHAPTER XI. 

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. 



154 DORA. 

" 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 
her streno;th. 



DORA. 155 

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 



156 DORA. 

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 
no charm. 

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 



DORA. 157 

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 
kindle. 

" 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, 



158 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 159 

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 
said. 

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 
her face. 

" 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" 



160 DORA, 

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 



DORA. 161 

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 
own counsel. 

"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 
Monsieur Merand." 

VOL. I. M 



162 DOE A. 

Dora laughed, and said there could be no doubt 
about it. 

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 



DORA. 163 

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 

M 2 



164 DORA. 

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 
relented. 

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, 



166 DORA. 

the white lien artfully slipped under a chest of 
drawers. 

" 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 
their luck. 

" 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, 



DORA, 167 

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, 
too " 

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 



168 DORA. 

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." 



DORA. 169 

"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. 



170 DORA. 

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 
sick again. 

"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 
Monsieur Merand. 

" 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, 



DORA. 171 

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 
Dora's agony. 

^' The Redmore Mines," was his brief reply. 

Dora turned pale ; but uttered not one word at 
first. They both looked at her anxiously and 
gravely. 

"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 
the first. 

" God's will be done," said Dora, after another 
pause. " Here is your drawing, Monsieur Me- 
rand !" 

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. 



172 DORA. 

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 
loved.^ 

"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 



DORA. 173 

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 
thought — 

" 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 



174 DORA. 

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 
amazed. 



DOKA. 175 

" 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- 
ment, 

" It is not true — the mines are good !" And 
she took up and put down her patchwork in evi- 
dent emotion. 

!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 



176 DORA. 

would you til ink it likely that he should or could 
be mistaken about a thing he asserts so positively 
as this." 

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 
dressed." 

" 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 
south." 

" 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. 



DORA. 177 

" 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 
one." 

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 



178 DORA. 

" Monsieur Merand asks me for another draw- 
ing," said Dora ; " besides, I shall try and get 
some teaching." 

" 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 



DORA. 179 

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 

k2 



180 DORA. 

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- 
gone. 

" 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. 



DOKA. 181 

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. 



182 



CHAPTER XII. 

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 
little." 

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 



DORA. 183 

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 
door followed. 

" 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 



184 DORA. 

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. 
Courtenay. 

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 
not sew?" 

But age has not the elasticity of youth. Ruin 



DORA. 185 

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 



186 DORA. 

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 
chair. 

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, 



DORA. 187 

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 



188 DORA. 

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 
pleasure. 

"My mother is ill," replied Dora, "and I want 
a doctor." 

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, 



190 DORA. 

or indeed any one^ she had never seen about the 
place. 

" 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- 
ried it. 

"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- 



DORA. 191 

moiselle's mamma is very poorly, so we came for 
you." 

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 
me." 

" There is probably no cause for alarm," he com- 



192 DORA. 

posedly replied, " though there may be some for 
care." 

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 
Eichard." 

"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. 



DORA. 193 

"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- 
case. 

"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 
come again." 

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 



194 DORA. 

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 
a little. 

" 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 
dress, Dora." 

Mrs. Luan smiled grimly. 

" She thinks me foolish 1" she said, " does she ? 
Eh?" 

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- 



DORA. 195 

fort, either, to administer. Dora returned to her 
mother's bedside. 

"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 
death-watch I" 

Dora felt almost angry. 

*^ That is Madame Bertrand's great clock tick- 
ing," she replied, warmly. "I wonder at you, 
aunt!" 

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 

2 



196 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 197 

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- 
tempered. 

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 



198 DOKA. 

time to reply, he continued, '' I cannot tell 
yet. Will you let me sit an hour here and 
wait?" 

^' Certainly ; but it is robbing you of a night's 
sleep, sir." 

"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 
then. 

" Dora," she once exclaimed, eagerly, " is every- 
thing safe?" 

" 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- 
plained hastily, 



DORA. 199 

"Mr. Brown was our banker, and we unfor- 
tunately lost some money through him," she said ; 
«so " 

"^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 
with interest. 

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. 



200 DORA. 

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- 
treatingly. 

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 
was. 

" 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?" 



DORA. 201 

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 
speaking. 

" Well, sir ?" she said eagerly, as soon as the 
door was closed upon them, and they stood on the 
landing. 

" 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 
night. 

" 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." 



202 DORA. 

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 
night." 

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. 



203 



CHAPTER XIII. 

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 
speak low." 

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 



204 DORA. 

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- 
ment. 

*' 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 
me." 

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, 
curtly, 

" 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 
look. 

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 
might be. 

" And what do you expect for this ?" he asked, 
after a while. 

Dora hesitated. 

" Say two hundred francs," suggested Monsieur 
Merand, cavalierly. 

Before Dora could answer. Doctor Richard in- 
terfered. 

" I suppose you mean four hundred," he said, 
very coolly. 

" 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. 



DORA. 207 

" 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 
and fifty." 

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- 
ively amused. 

" 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 
Merand !" 

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 
word. 

" 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 
stated." 

" 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 
Richard." 

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 
follow her. 

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, 
Dora?" 

" 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 



210 DOKA. 

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 
all that?" 

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 

p2 



212 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 213 

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 



214 DORA. 

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 
true?" 

Doctor Richard laughed heartily, and seemed 
much amused. 

'^ 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 
simplicity. 

"He is a low vagabond," resumed Doctor 



DORA. 215 

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 !" 



216 DORA. 

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- 



DORA. 217 

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 
it " 

" 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 



218 DORA. 

in your presence. Yon looked quite startled a 
while ago." 

" 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 
Dora, smiling. 

" 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 



DORA. 219 

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- 
certed Dora. 

" 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- 
tim ?" 

Doctor Richard spoke very composedly of his 
deficiencies, as composedly, indeed, as if they con- 



220 DORA. 

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. 



221 



CHAPTER XIV. 

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 
Richard. 

" Will you allow me to make one or two sug- 
gestions to you, Miss Courtenay ?" he said, in his 
easy way. 

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- 
cal skill. 



222 DORA. 

" 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 
help saying. 

^' Yes, 1 do all my own illustrations," he care- 
lessly replied. 

" He is a writer upon art," thought Dora. 

But memory, though questioned, remained 
mute, and had nothing to tell about Doctor 
Richard's name. 

" 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- 



DORA. 223 

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 



DORA. 225 

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 
little pensively. 

"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- 
voured it. 

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 



226 DORA. 

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 
home. 

"Here are news from the Kedmore Mines," 
gaily said Dora, and opening her pocket-handker- 
chief, she scattered its contents on her mother's 
bed. 

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- 
out it." 

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 
Bertrand . 

" 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 
dear madam." 

q2 



228 DORA. 

" 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 
bkished. 

'^ 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- 
shine. 

" 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- 



DORA. 229 

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 
me.' " 

Doctor Richard spoke so positively, that Dora 
was silenced. 

" 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 ?" 



230 DORA. 

" 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 
amused. 

" 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 



DORA. 231 

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 
Mrs. Luan. 



DORA. 233 

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 



234 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 235 

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 
her. 



236 



CHAPTER XV. 

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 



DORA. 237 

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 



238 DORA. 

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 
the window-panes. 

" 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 



DORA. 241 

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 



242 DORA. 

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 
pettishly, 

" 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 
looked offended. 



BORA. 243 

"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- 
rn n 

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 

R 2 



244 DORA. 

she said. Thus urged, Dora hesitated, then at 
length yielded. 

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 



BORA. 245 

asked Monsieur Merand if it was Doctor Kichard's 
habit to forsake his patients thus without warn- 
ing. 

" 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- 
ther." 

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 
cried, 

" My dear, what has happened ? Are the Red- 
more Mines coming up ? " 

" No ; but a child was run over, and " 



246 -DORA. 

^^ My goodness ! is that why you look so de- 
lighted?" 

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. 
Luan. 

" 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- 



DORA. 247 

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 
Richard?" 

But another of the self- woven links of fate was 
around her, for on reflection she resolved to be 
silent. 

" 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 



248 DORA. 

and that joyous vine growing, as it were, out of its 
stone heart. 

'^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 
years." 

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." 



DORA. 249 

" 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 
absence. 

" 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 
prescription. 

" 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 
time?" 

She looked at him with the most innocent curio- 
sity beaming in her face. 



250 DORA. 

'* 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- 
sachs." 

" 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 
money." 



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 
just then. 

" 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, 



DORA. 253 

and all for such common-place performances. It 
is incredible." 

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. 
Courtenay. 

"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 
insult. 

"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 



254 DORA. 

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 
saying, 

" 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- 



DOHA. 255 

jured child the next morning, on her way to the 
Picture-gallery. 

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. 

"JSIotatall." 



256 DORA. 

"A natural gift, then. Yes, children are won- 
derful physiognomists." 

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- 



DORA. 257 

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 
injured. 

"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 



258 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 259^^ 

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 
Courtenay." 

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 
him thoughtfully. 

" 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 

s2 



260 DORA. 

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 
practical wisdom. 

" 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." 



DORA. 261 

"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. 



262 



CHAPTER XVI. 

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." 



DORA. 263 

" 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 



264 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 265 

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 
be disappointed." 

" 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 
the puppet. 

Whilst he was en^acped with the child, Dora 
rose to go. 

" You leave me to my fate !" he said reproach- 
fully. 



266 DORA. 

" 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 
mer' 

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 
tea. 

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- 
ness. 

'* 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 



268 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 269 

over them in her usual sulky silence, however, and 
went on with her patchwork, seemingly absorbed 
in it. 

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 



270 DORA. 

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- 
nay." 

The blood rushed up to her face and dyed it with 
the most beautiful rosy glow, but she bent over 



DORA. 271 

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 
being." 

" 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 
scythe." 

"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. 



272 DOKA, 

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 
Death." 

" 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 
Italy. 

Mrs. Luan spoke again. 

" From what part of Ireland do you come. Doc-, 
tor Eichard?" 

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 



DORA. 273 

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 
Halls.' " 

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 
money !" 

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 



274 DORA. 

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 
asked. 

Dora gave him no direct answer, but looking at 
him earnestly, she said, 

" You surely do not admire that man, Doctor 
Richard r 

" 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. 



DORA. 275 

** 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 
know." 

"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 

T 2 



276 DOKA. 

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." 



DORA. 277 

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 
case. 

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 
the staircase. 

" 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. 



279 



CHAPTER XVn. 

^' 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 



280 DORA. 

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 
shame. 

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. 



DORA. 281 

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, 



282 DORA. 

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 — 



284 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 285 

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 
stared. 

"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 
know." 

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 



286 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 287 

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 



288 DORA. 

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 
at first. 

" 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. 



DORA. 289 

"She is pretty well," replied Dora, quickly; 
" but I wish you would come in this evening and 
see her." 

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 
jSowers " 

" Your wife !" interrupted Mrs. Luan, pretend- 
ing to misunderstand him. " Is she in France, 
Doctor Richard?" 

A deep silence followed this question. Dora's 
breath seemed gone, and she looked furtively at 

VOL. I. U 



290 DORA. 

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 
lady was. 

" Seven — but very delicate," he answered, with 
a sigh. 

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 



DORA. 291 

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, 
pleasant smile. 

" 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 

u2 



292 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 293 

his little girl. Dora, depend upon it he wants to 
marry you." 

Dora turned crimson, and denied this — but 
faintly. 

^' 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 
it up." 

" 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 
than buy." 

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 



294 DORA. 

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. 



DORA. 295 

"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 



296 DORA. 

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 
drawing. 

" 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 
completed. 

"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. 



298 DORA. 

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- 
tion. 

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. 



DORA. 299 

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- 
cions. 

Dora smiled demurely at his surprise, and re- 
plied gaily, 

" 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 
friend." 



300 DORA. 

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 
Eva !" 

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 
jewels?" 

"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, 
critically. 

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- 
jection. 

" 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 



DORA. 303 

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 
indeed I" 

" 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." 



304 DORA. 

"Bring her to luncheon," warmly said Mrs. 
Courtenay. 

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." 



305 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

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- 
ing. 

" 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 
aired." 

" 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 



DORA. 307 

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. 

x2 



308 DORA. 

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 

joy. 

" 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 



DORA. 309 

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 



310 DORA. 

nay ; *'l am sure," she added emphatically, "your 
version of ' Cinderella ' is charming. Is it pub- 
lished r 

" 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, 



DORA. 311 

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 



312 DORA. 

t 

" Fame for writing about Rhodopis," he good- 
humouredly replied. 

" 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 
answer. 

" 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- 
more." 

" Ah ! if one could rouse him out of that apathy 
to generous ambition !" thought Dora, with a secret 
sigh. 



DORA. 313 

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 
said, kindly, 

" 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 
third day." 

Eva looked rather cresttnllen, but Dora whis- 
pered, 

" 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, 



314 DORA. 

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. 



DORA. 315 

" 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." 



316 DORA. 

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, 

"There, aunt!" 

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." 



DORA. 317 

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 
it again. 

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 



318 DORA. 

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 



DOEA. 319 

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 



320 DORA. 

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 



DORA. 321 

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 



322 DORA. 

diffident. Ah ! if he knew all — if he but knew 
it!" 

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 



DORA. 323 

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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