BY HENRY JAMES, JR., ILL US
TR A TE D FR O M DRAWING S
BY HARRY W. McVICKAR
HARPER & BROTHERS
NEW YORK AND LONDON
M C M ~ I I
Copyright, 1878, liy HAKPKR & BROTHERS.
Copyright, 1892, by HAKI-EK & BROTHERS.
Ail rights reserved.
AN INTERNATIONAL EPISODE
Frontispiece .... . . . . 1
Tug- boats 3
A Bit of I lie Battery ........ 5
New York Docks 8
I'ercy Beaumont 11
Letter of Introduction ..... . 13
Lessons in American ........ 15
Types They Met Down-town 18
Corner of Greenwich Street 20
Weather vane of Church steeple - 21
Mr. \Vestgate 22
View from Wcstgate's Oflice 25
Fall Iliver Steamboat landing 28
Impressions ... 30
Bookishriess of Boston 31
On the Newport Boat 33
Waiters at the Ocean House .'U, :i. r >
M rs. Wcstgate 37, 38
A (iuest of Mrs. Westgate 41
The Web Lambeth is Warned Against 44
English Hats ... 46
The American Flag 4H
The Pretty Sister of Mrs. Westgate 51
Newport Hocks 58
A Bit of Newport Farm hmd 62
Mrs. Wcstgate's Trap 66
Thames Street (51)
Two Pretty Girls 71
Marquis and Duke's Crown 73
Heading. I'art II. 83
Duke of Green Erin 86
A Cabby . . . 88
Willie Woodley 93
Decoration .... .... 95
The Duchess's Invitation 100
Bessie Alden . ... . 103
In Hyde Park 105
The Duku ... .109
Parliament Buildings . 113
The Gate 118
Duchess of Suffolk and Lord Chamberlain . , 121
Decoration . . 1'25
Not Such a Fool as He Looks .... . 129
Decorations . 133, 139, 145
The Duchess's Cards .... . 149
"Mrs. Westgate glanced at the clock " . . 150
Bessie is Fond of Travelling . ... 151
The Duchess . . ... 153
Journal .... .... 155
The Branches .... 157
Writing . 159
Decoration , ... . 161
Finis . 162
1874 two young
Englishmen had oc
casion to go to the
United States. They
crossed the ocean at
midsummer, and, ar
riving in New York on the first day
of August, were ranch struck with
the fervid temperature of that city.
Disembarking upon the wharf, they
climbed into one of those huge high-
hung coaches which convey passen
gers to the hotels, and, with a great
deal of bouncing and bumping, took
their course through Broadway. The
midsummer aspect of New
York is not, perhaps, the
most favorable one ; still, it
is not without its pictu
resque and even brilliant
side. Nothing could well
resemble less a typical Eng
lish street than the intermi
nable avenue, rich in incon
gruities, through which our
two travellers advanced
looking out on each side of them at the
comfortable animation of the sidewalks,
the high-colored, heterogeneous archi
tecture, the huge, white marble fagades
glittering in the strong, crude light, and
bedizened with gilded lettering, the mul
tifarious awnings, banners, and streamers,
the extraordinary number of omnibuses,
horse-cars, and other democratic vehicles,
the venders of cooling fluids, the white
trousers and big straw-hats of the police
men, the tripping gait of the modish young
persons on the pavement, the general
brightness, newness, juvenility, both of
people and things. The young men had
exchanged few observations ; but in cross
ing Union Square, in front of the monu
ment to Washington in the very shadow,
indeed, projected by the image of the
pater patrice one of them remarked to
the other, "It seems a rum-looking place."
"Ah, very odd, very odd," said the
other, who was the clever man of the
" Pity it's so beastly hot," resumed the
first speaker, after a pause.
" You know we are in a low latitude,"
said his friend.
" I dare say," remarked the other.
" I wonder," said the second
speaker, presently, "if they can
give one a bath ?"
" I dare say not," rejoined the
" Oh, I say !" cried his com
This animated discussion was checked
by their arrival at the hotel, which had
been recommended to them by an Amer
ican gentleman whose acquaintance they
made with whom, indeed, they became
very intimate on the steamer, and who
had proposed to accompany them to the
inn and introduce them, in a friendly
way, to the proprietor. This plan, how
ever, had been defeated by their friend's
finding that his "partner" was await
ing him on the wharf, and that his
commercial associate desired him in
stantly to come and give his attention
to certain telegrams received from
St. Louis. But the two English
men, with nothing but their na-
- ,^ .v."
> . '>
tional prestige and personal graces to
recommend them, were very well re
ceived at the hotel, which had an air of
capacious hospitality. They found that
a bath was not unattainable, and were in
deed struck with the facilities for pro
longed and reiterated immersion with
which their apartment was supplied. Af
ter bathing a good deal more, indeed,
than they had ever done before on a sin
gle occasion they made their way into
the dining-room of the hotel, which was
a spacious restaurant, with a fountain in
the middle, a great many tall plants in
ornamental tubs, and an array of French
waiters. The first dinner on land after a
sea-voyage is, under any circumstances, a
delightful occasion, and there was some
thing particularly agreeable in the circum
stances in which our young Englishmen
found themselves. They were extremely
good-natured young men ; they were more
observant than they appeared ; in a sort
of inarticulate, accidentally dissirnulative
fashion, they were highly appreciative.
This was, perhaps, especially the case with
the elder, who was also, as I have said,
the man of talent. They sat down at a
little table, which was a very different
affair from the great clattering seesaw in
the saloon of the steamer. The wide
doors and windows of the restaurant stood
open, beneath large awnings, to a wide
pavement, where there were other plants
in tubs and rows of spreading trees, and
beyond which there was a large, shady
square, without any palings, and with mar
ble-paved walks. And above the vivid
verdure rose other facades of white mar
ble and of pale chocolate-colored stone,
squaring themselves against the deep blue
sky. Here, outside, in the light and the
shade and the heat, there was a great
tinkling of the bells of innumerable street
cars, and a constant strolling and shuffling
and rustling of many pedestrians, a large
proportion of whom were young women
in Pompadour-looking dresses. Within,
the place was cool and vaguely lighted,
with the plash of water, the odor of
flowers, and the flitting of French wait
ers, as I have said, upon soundless car
" It's rather like Paris, you know," said
the younger of our two travellers.
"It's like Paris only more so," his
"I suppose it's the French waiters,"
said the first speaker. " Why don't they
have French waiters in London ?"
"Fancy a French waiter at a club," said
The young Englishman stared a little,
as if he could not fancy it. " In Paris
I'm very apt to dine at a place where
there's an English waiter. Don't you
know what's - his - name's, close to the
thingumbob? They always set an Eng
lish waiter at me. I suppose they think
I can't speak French."
" Well, you can't." And the elder of
the young Englishmen unfolded his
His companion took no notice what
ever of this declaration.
resumed, in a moment, "I suppose we
must learn to speak American. I
suppose we must take les-
"I can't understand
them," said the clever man.
" What the deuce is he saying ?" asked
his comrade, appealing from the French
u Pie is recommending some soft-shell
crabs," said the clever man.
And so, in desultory observation of the
idiosyncrasies of the new society in which
they found themselves, the young English
men proceeded to dine going in largely,
as the phrase is, for cooling draughts and
dishes, of which their attendant offered
them a very long list. After dinner they
went out and slowly walked about the
neighboring streets. The early dusk of
waning summer was coming on, but the
heat was still very great. The pavements
were hot even to the stout boot soles of the
British travellers, and the trees along the
curb-stone emitted strange exotic odors.
The young men wandered through the ad
joining square that queer place without
palings, and with marble walks arranged
in black and white lozenges. There were
a great many benches, crowded with shab
by-looking people, and the travellers re
marked, very justly, that it was not much
like Belgrave Square. On one side was
an enormous hotel, lifting up into the
hot darkness an immense array of open,
brightly lighted windows. At the base
of this populous structure was an eternal
jangle of horse-cars, and all round it, in
the upper dusk, was a sinister hum of
mosquitoes. The ground-floor of the hotel
seemed to be a huge transparent cage,
flinging a wide glare of gaslight into the
street, of which it formed a sort of public
adjunct, absorbing and emitting the pass
ers-by promiscuously. The young Eng
lishmen went in with every one else,
from curiosity, and saw a couple of hun
dred men sitting on divans along a great
marble -paved corridor, with their legs
stretched out, together with several dozen
more standing in a queue, as at the ticket-
office of a railway station, before a brill
iantly illuminated counter of vast extent.
These latter persons, who carried port
manteaus in their hand, had a dejected,
exhausted look ; their garments were not
very fresh, and they seemed to be ren
dering some mysterious tribute to a mag
nificent young man with a waxed mus
tache, and a shirt-front adorned with
diamond buttons, who every now and then
dropped an absent glance over their mul
titudinous patience. They were American
citizens doing homage to a hotel clerk.
" I'm glad he didn't tell us to go there,"
said one of our Englishmen, alluding to
their friend on the steamer, who had told
them so many things. They walked up
Fifth Avenue, where, for instance, he had
told them that all the first families lived.
But the first families were out of town,
and our young travellers had only the
satisfaction of seeing some of the second
or, perhaps, even the third taking the
evening air upon balconies and high
flights of door-steps, in the streets which
radiate from the more ornamental thor
oughfare. They went a little way down
one of these side streets, and they saw
young ladies in white dresses charm
ing-looking persons seated in graceful
attitudes on the chocolate-colored steps.
In one or two places these young ladies
were conversing across the street with
other young ladies seated in similar post
ures and costumes in front of the opposite
houses, and in the warm night air their
colloquial tones sounded strange in the ears
of the young Englishmen.
One of our friends, never
theless the younger one
intimated that he felt a
interrupt a few of these soft familiar
ities; but his companion observed, per
tinently enough, that he had better be
careful. "We must not begin with mak
ing mistakes," said his companion.
" But he told us, you know he told
us," urged the young man, alluding again
to the friend on the steamer.
"Never mind what he told us!" an
swered his comrade, who, if he had greater
talents, was also apparently more of a
By bedtime in their impatience to
taste of a terrestrial couch again, our sea
farers went to bed early it was still in
sufferably hot, and the buzz of the mosqui
toes at the open windows might have
passed for an audible crepitation of the
temperature. " We can't stand this, you
know," the young Englishmen said to
each other; and they tossed about all
night more boisterously than they had
tossed upon the Atlantic billows. On
the morrow their first thought was that
they would re-embark that day for Eng
land ; and then it occurred to them that
they might find an asylum nearer at hand.
The cave of ^Eolus became their ideal of
comfort, and they wondered where the
Americans went when they wished to
cool off. They had not the least idea,
and they determined to apply for infor
mation to Mr. J. L. Westgate. This was
the name inscribed in a bold hand on the
back of a letter carefully preserved in the
pocket-book of our junior traveller. Be
neath the address, in the left-hand corner
of the envelope, were the words, "Intro
ducing Lord Lambeth and Percy Beau
mont, Esq." The letter had been given
to the two Englishmen by a good friend
of theirs in London, who had been in
America two years previously, and had
singled out Mr. J. L. Westgate from the
many friends he had left there as the
consignee, as it were, of his compatriots.
"He is a capital fellow," the Englishman
in London had said, " and he has got an
awfully pretty wife. lie's tremendously
hospitable lie will do everything in the
world for you ; and as he knows every
one over there, it is quite needless I should
give you any other introduction. Pie
will make you see every one; trust to
him for putting you into circulation.
He has got a tremendously pretty wife."
It was natural that in the hour of trib
ulation Lord Lambeth and Mr. Percy
Beaumont should have bethought them
selves of a gentleman whose attractions
had been thus vividly depicted all the
more so that he lived in Fifth Avenue,
and that Fifth Avenue, as they had ascer
tained the night before, was contiguous to
their hotel. " Ten to one he'll be out of
town," said Percy Beaumont ; " but we can
at least find out where he has gone, and
we can immediately start in pursuit. He
can't possibly have gone to a hotter place,
" Oh, there's only one hotter place,"
said Lord Lambeth, " and I hope he hasn't
They strolled along the shady side of
the street to the number indicated upon
the precious letter. The house presented
an imposing chocolate -colored expanse,
relieved by facings and window cornices
of florid sculpture, and by a couple of
dusty rose-trees which clambered over
the balconies and the portico. This last-
mentioned feature was approached by a
monumental flight of steps.
" Rather better than a London house,"
said Lord Lambeth, looking down from
this altitude, after they had rung the
" It depends upon what London house
you mean," replied his companion. " You
have a tremendous chance to get wet be
tween the house door and your carriage."
"Well," said Lord Lambeth, glancing
at the burning heavens, "I 'guess' it
doesn't rain so much here !"
The door was opened by a long negro
in a white jacket, who grinned familiarly
when Lord Lambeth asked for Mr. West-
" He ain't at home, sah ;
he's down town at his o'fice."
"Oh, at his office?" said
the visitor. " And when will
he be at home ?"
" Well, sah, when he goes
out dis way in de mo'ning, he
ain't liable to come home all
This was discouraging; but the ad
dress of Mr. Westgate's office was freely
imparted by the intelligent black, and
was taken down by Percy Beaumont in
his pocket-book. The two gentlemen
then returned, languidly, to their hotel,
and sent for a hackney-coach, and in this
commodious vehicle they rolled comfort
ably down - town. They measured the
whole length of Broadway again, and
found it a path of fire ; and then, deflect
ing to the left, they were deposited by
their conductor before a fresh, light, or
namental structure, ten stories high, in a
street crowded with keen -faced, light-
limbed young men, who were running
about very quickly, and stopping each
other eagerly at corners and in doorways.
Passing into this brilliant building, they
were introduced by one of the keen-faced
young men he was a charming fellow,
in wonderful cream-colored garments and
a hat with a blue ribbon, who had evi
dently perceived them to be aliens and
helpless to a very snug hydraulic eleva
tor, in which they took their place with
many other persons, and which, shooting
upward in its vertical socket, presently
projected them into the seventh horizon
tal compartment of the edifice. Here,
after brief delay, they found themselves
face to face with the friend of their
friend in London. His office was com
posed of several different rooms, and they
waited very silently in one of them after
they had sent in their letter and their
cards. The letter was not one which it
would take Mr. Westgate very long to
read, but he came out to speak to them
more instantly than they could have ex
pected ; he had evidently jumped up from
his work. He was a tall, lean personage,
and was dressed all in fresh white linen ;
he had a thin, sharp, familiar face, with an
expression that was at one and the same
time sociable and business-like, a quick, in
telligent eye, and a large brown mustache,
which concealed his mouth and made his
chin beneath it look small. Lord Lambeth
thought he looked tremendously clever.
"How do you do, Lord Lambeth how
do you do, sir?" he said, holding the
open letter in his hand. " I'm very glad
to see you ; I hope you're very well.
You had better come in here; I think
it's cooler," and he led the way into an
other room, where there were law-books
and papers, and windows wide open be
neath striped awning. Just opposite one
of the windows, on a line with his eyes,
Lord Lambeth observed the weather-vane
of a church steeple. The uproar of the
street sounded infinitely far below, and
Lord Lambeth felt very high in the air.
' k l say it's cooler," pursued their host,
" but everything is relative. How do
you stand the heat 2"
"I can't say we like it," said Lord
Lambeth; "but Beaumont likes it bet
ter than I."
" Well, it won't last," Mr. Westgate
very cheerfully declared ; " nothing un
pleasant lasts over here. It was very hot
when Captain Littledale was here ; he
did nothing but drink sherry-cobblers.
He expresses some doubt in his letter
whether I will remember him as if I
didn't remember making six sherry-cob
blers for him one day in about twenty
minutes. I hope you left him well, two
years having elasped since then."
"Oh yes, he's all right," said Lord
" I am always very glad to see your
countrymen," Mr. Westgate pursued.
" I thought it would be time some of
you should be coming along. A friend
of mine was saying to me only a day or
two ago, ' It's time for the watermelons
and the Englishmen.'"
"The Englishmen and the water
melons just now are about the same
thing," Percy Beaumont said, wiping
we'll put you on ice, as we do the mel
ons. You must go down to Newport."
" We'll go anywhere," said Lord Lam
" Yes, you want to go to Newport ;
that's what you want to do," Mr. West-
gate affirmed. " But let's see when did
you get here 2"
"Only yesterday," said Percy Beau
" Ah, yes, by the Russia. Where are
"At the Hanover, I think they call it."
" Pretty comfortable ?" inquired Mr.
" It seems a capital place, but I can't
say we like the gnats," said Lord Lam
Mr. Westgate stared and laughed. "Oh
no, of course you don't like the gnats.
We shall expect you to like a good many
things over here, but we sha'n't insist
upon your liking the gnats; though cer
tainly you'll admit that, as gnats, they
are fine, eh ? But you oughtn't to re
main in the city."
" So we think," said Lord Lambeth.
" If you would kindly suggest some
''Suggest something, my dear sir?"
and Mr. Westgate looked at him, narrow
ing his eyelids. " Open your mouth and
shut your eyes! Leave it to me, and I'll
put you through. It's a matter of na
tional pride with me that all Englishmen
should have a good time ; and as I have
had considerable practice, I have learned
to minister to their wants. I find they
generally want the right thing. So just
please to consider yourselves my proper
ty; and if any one should try to appropri
ate you, please to say, ' Hands off ; too late
for the market.' But let's see," continued
the American, in his slow, humor
ous voice, with a distinctness of ut
terance which appeared to his visit
ors to be a part of a humor
ous intention a strangely
H leisurely speculative voice
for a man evidently so busy
and, as they felt, so professional
" let's see ; are you going to make
something of a stay, Lord Lam
" Oh dear no," said the young
Englishman ; " my cousin was coming
over on some business, so I just came
across, at an hour's notice, for the lark."
"Is it your first visit to the United
"Oh dear yes."
" I was obliged to come on some busi
ness," said Percy Beaumont, " and I
brought Lambeth along."
"And you have been here before, sir?"
" Never never."
"I thought, from your referring to
business " said Mr. Westgate.
" Oh, you see I'm by
way of being a barris
ter," Percy Beaumont
answered. "I know
some people that think
of bringing a suit against
one of your railways,
and they asked me to come over
and take measures accordingly."
Mr. Westgate gave one of his
slow, keen looks again. "What's
your railroad?" he asked.
" The Tennessee Central."
The American tilted back his
chair a little, and poised it an in
stant. " Well, Pin sorry you want
to attack one of our institutions," he said,
smiling. " But I guess you had better en
joy yourself first!"
"Tin certainly rather afraid I can't
work in this weather," the young barris
"Leave that to the natives," said Mr.
Westgate. "Leave the Tennessee Cen
tral to me, Mr. Beaumont. Some day
we'll talk it over, and I guess I can make
it square. But I didn't know you Eng
lishmen ever did any work, in the upper
" Oh, we do a lot of work ; don't we,
Lambeth?" asked Percy Beaumont.
" I must certainly be at home by the
19th of September," said the younger
Englishman, irrelevantly but gently.
" For the shooting, eh ? or is it the
hunting, or the fishing?" inquired his
"Oh, I must be in Scotland,"
said Lord Lambeth, blushing a
" Well, then," rejoined Mr. West-
gate, " you had better amuse your
self first, also. You must go down
and see Mrs. Westgate."
" We should be so happy, if you
would kindly tell us the train," said Percy
" It isn't a train it's a boat."
"Oh, I see. And what is the name of
a the a town ?"
" It isn't a town," said Mr. Westgate,
laughing. " It's a well, what shall I call
it? It's a watering-place. In short, it's
Newport. You'll see what it is. It's
cool ; that's the principal thing. You
will greatly oblige me by going down
there and putting yourself into the hands
of Mrs. Westgate. It isn't perhaps for
me to say it, but you couldn't be in bet
ter hands. Also in those of her sister,
who is staying with her. She is very
fond of Englishmen. She thinks there
is nothing like them."
u Mrs. Westgate or a her sister?"
asked Percy Beaumont, modestly, yet in
the tone of an inquiring traveller.
" Oh, I mean my wife," said Mr. West-
gate. "I don't suppose my sister-in-law
knows much about them. She has always
led a very quiet life ; she has lived in
Percy Beaumont listened with interest.
" That, I believe," he said, " is the most
a intellectual tcwn?"
"I believe it is very intellectual. I
don't go there much," responded his host.
"I say, we ought to go there," said
Lord Lambeth to his companion.
" Oh, Lord Lambeth, wait till the
great heat is over," Mr. Westgate inter
posed. " Boston in this weather would
be very trying; it's not the temperature
for intellectual exertion. At Boston, you
know, you have to pass an examination
at the city limits; and when you come
away they give you a kind of degree."
Lord Lambeth stared, blushing a little ;
and Percy Beaumont stared a little also
but only with his fine natural complex
ion glancing aside after a moment to
see that his companion was not looking
too credulous, for he had heard a great
deal of American humor. " I dare say it
is very jolly," said the younger gentle
" I dare say it is," said Mr. Westgate.
"Only I must impress upon you that at
present to-morrow morning, at an early
hour you will be expected at Newport.
We have a house there ; half the people
of New York go there for the summer. I
am not sure that at this very moment my
wife can take you in ; she has got a lot
of people staying with her ; I don't know
who they all are ; only she may have no
room. But yon can begin with the hotel,
and meanwhile you can live at rny house.
In that way simply sleeping at the hotel
you will h'nd it tolerable. For the rest,
you must make yourself at home at my
place. You mustn't be shy, you know ;
if you are only here for a month, that
will be a great waste of time. Mrs.
Westgate won't neglect you, and you
had better not try to resist her. I
know something about that. I ex
pect you'll find some pretty girls on
the premises. I shall write to my
wife by this afternoon's mail, and
to-morrow morning she and Miss
Alden will look out for you. Just
walk right in and make yourself
comfortable. Your steamer leaves
from this part of the city, and I
will immediately send out and get
you a cabin. Then, at half-past
four o'clock, just call for me
here, and I will go with you and
put you on board. It's a big
boat ; you might get lost. A |
few days hence, at the end of
the week, I will come down
to Newport, and see how you are getting
The two young Englishmen inaugu
rated the policy of not resisting Mrs.
Westgate by submitting, with great do
cility and thankfulness, to her husband.
He was evidently a very good fellow,
and he made an impression upon his vis
itors; his hospitality seemed to recom
mend itself consciously with a friendly
wink, as it were as if it hinted, judi
ciously, that you could not possibly make
a better bargain. Lord Lambeth and his
cousin left their entertainer to his labors
and returned to their hotel, where they
spent three or four hours in their respec
tive shower-baths. Percy Beaumont had
suggested that they ought to see some
thing of the town ; but " Oh, d n the
town !" his noble kinsman had rejoined.
They returned to Mr. Westgate's office
in a carriage, with their luggage, very
punctually ; but it must be reluctantly
recorded that, this time, he kept them
waiting so long that they felt themselves
missing the steamer, and were deterred
only by an amiable modesty from dis
pensing with his attendance, and starting
on a hasty scramble to the wharf. But
when at last he appeared, and the car
riage plunged into the purlieus of Broad
way, they jolted and jostled to such good
purpose that they reached the huge white
vessel while the bell for departure was
still ringing, and the absorption of pas
sengers still active. It was indeed, as
Mr. Westgate had said, a big boat, and
his leadership in the innumerable and
interminable corridors and cabins, with
which he seemed perfectly acquainted,
and of which any one and every one ap
peared to have the entree, was very grate
ful to the slightly bewildered voyagers.
He showed them their state-room a spa
cious apartment, embellished with gas-
lamps, mirrors en 2 } i e d, and sculptured
furniture and then, long after they had
been intimately convinced that the steam
er was in motion and launched upon the
unknown stream that they were about to
navigate, he bade them a sociable fare-
"Well, good-bye, Lord Lambeth," he
said ; " good-bye, Mr. Percy Beaumont, I
hope you'll have a good time. Just let
them do what they want with yon. I'll
come down by -and -by and look after
The young Englishmen
emerged from their cabin
and amused themselves with wan
dering about the immense labyrin
thine steamer, which struck them
as an extraordinary mixture of a
ship and a hotel. It was dense
ly crowded with passengers, the
larger number of whom appeared
to be ladies and very young chil
dren ; and in the big saloons, orna
mented in white and gold, which
followed each other in surprising
succession, beneath the swinging
gaslight, and among the small side
passages where the negro domes
tics of both sexes assembled with
an air of philosophic leisure, ev
ery one was moving to and fro and
exchanging loud and familiar ob
servations. Eventually, at the in
stance of a discriminating black,
our young men went and had some
"supper "in a wonderful place ar
ranged like a theatre, where, in a
gilded gallery, upon which little
boxes appeared to open, a large orches
tra was playing operatic selections, and,
below, people were handing about bills
of fare, as if they had been programmes.
All this was sufficiently curious ; but the
agreeable thing, later, was to sit out on
one of the great white decks of the
steamer, in the warm, breezy darkness,
and, in the vague starlight, to make out
the line of low, mysterious coast. The
young Englishmen tried American ci
gars those of Mr. Westgate and talked
together as they usually talked, with many
odd silences, lapses of logic, and incon
gruities of transition, like people who
have grown old together, and learned to
supply each other's missing phrases ; or,
more especially, like people thoroughly
conscious of a common point of view, so
that a style of conversation superficially
lacking in finish might suffice for refer
ence to a fund of associations in the light
of which everything was all right.
" We really seem to be going out to
sea," Percy Beaumont observed. "Upon
my word, we are going back to England.
He has shipped us off again. I call that
'real mean.' ' :
"I suppose it's all right,'' said Lord
Lambeth. " I want to see
thpse pretty girls at New
port You know he told 'ns the
place was an island ; and aren't all
islands in the sea?"
''Well," resumed the elder trav
eller after a while, " if his
house is as good as his
cigars, we shall do very
" He seems a very good fel
low," said Lord Lambeth, as
if this idea just occurred to
" I say, we had better remain at the
inn," rejoined his companion, present
ly. " I don't think I like the way he
spoke of his house. I don't like stop
ping in the house with such a tremen
dous lot of women."
" Oh, I don't mind," said Lord Lam
beth. And then they smoked a while in
silence. " Fancy his thinking we do no
work in England !" the young man re
" I dare say he didn't really think so,"
said Percy Beaumont.
" Well, I guess they don't know much
about England over here !" .declared Lord
Lambeth, humorously. And then there
was another long pause. " He was dev
ilish civil," observed the yonng noble
" Nothing, certainly, could have been
more civil," rejoined his companion.
"Littledale said his wife was great
fun," said Lord Lambeth.
" Whose wife Littledale's T
"This American's Mrs. Westgate.
What's his name? J. L."
Beaumont was silent a moment.
" What was fun to Littledale," he said
at last, rather sententionsly, "may
be death to us."
"What do you mean by that?"
asked his kinsman. " I am as good
a man as Littledale."
" My dear boy, I hope you won't
begin to flirt," said Percy Beaumont.
" I don't care. I dare say I sha'n't
" With a married woman, if she's
bent upon it, it's all very well,"
Beaumont expounded. " But our
11 friend mentioned a young lady
a sister, a sister-in-law. For
God's sake, don't get entangled with
u How do you mean entangled ?"
" Depend upon it she will try to hook
" Oh, bother!" said Lord Lambeth.
" American girls are very clever," urged
" So much the better," the young man
" I fancy they are always up to some
game of that sort," Beaumont continued.
" They can't be worse than they are in
England," said Lord Lambeth, judicially.
" Ah, but in England," replied Beau
mont, "you have got your natural pro
tectors. You have got your mother and
" My mother and sisters " began the
young nobleman, with a certain energy.
But he stopped in time, puffing at his
"Your mother spoke to me about it,
with tears in her eyes," said Percy Beau
mont. " She said she felt very nervous.
I promised to keep you out of mischief."
" You had better take care of yourself,"
said the object of maternal and ducal so
' ; Ah," rejoined the young barrister, " I
haven't the expectation of a hundred
thousand a year, not to mention other
"Well," said Lord Lambeth, "don't
cry out before you're hurt !"
It was certainly very much cooler at
Newport, where our travellers found
themselves assigned to a couple of di
minutive bedrooms in a far-away angle
of an immense hotel. They had gone
ashore in the early summer twilight, and
had very promptly put themselves to
bed; thanks to which circumstance, and
to their having, during the previous hours
in their commodious cabin slept the sleep
of youth and health, they began to feel,
towards eleven o'clock, very alert and in-
quisitive. They looked out of their win-
dows across a row of small green fields,
bordered with low stone- walls of rude
construction, and saw a deep blue ocean
lying beneath a deep blue sky, and neck
ed now and then with scintillating patch
es of foam. A strong, fresh breeze came
in through the curtainless casements, and
prompted our young men to observe gen
erally that it didn't seem half a bad cli
mate. They made other observations
after they had emerged from their rooms
in pursuit of breakfast a meal of which
they partook in a huge bare hall, where
a hundred negroes in white jackets were
shuffling about upon an un carpeted floor ;
where the flies were superabundant, and
the tables and dishes covered over with a
strange, voluminous integument of coarse
blue gauze ; and where several little boys
and girls, who had risen late, were seated
in fastidious solitude at the morning re
past. These young persons had not the
morning paper before them, but they
were engaged in languid perusal of
the bill of fare.
This latter document was a great
puzzle to our friends, who, on re
flecting that its bewildering catego-
ries had relation to breakfast alone, had
an uneasy prevision of an encyclopaedic
dinner list. They found a great deal of
entertainment at the hotel, an enormous
wooden structure, for the erection of
which it seemed to them that the virgin
forests of the West must have been terri
bly deflowered. It was perforated from
end to end with immense bare corridors,
through which a strong draught was
blowing bearing along wonderful fig
ures of ladies in white morning -dresses
arid clouds of Valenciennes lace, who
seemed to float down the long vistas with
expanded furbelows like angels spread
ing their wings. In front was a gigan
tic veranda, upon which an army might
have encamped a vast wooden terrace,
with a roof as lofty as the nave of a ca
thedral. Here our young Englishmen
enjoyed, as they supposed, a glimpse of
American society, which was distributed
over the measureless expanse in a varie
ty of sedentary attitudes, and appeared
to consist largely of pretty young girls,
dressed as if for a fete champetre,
swaying to and fro in rocking-chairs,
fanning themselves with large straw
fans, and enjoying an enviable ex-
emption from social cares. Lord Lam
beth had a theory, which it might be in
teresting to trace to its origin, that it
would be not only agreeable, but easily
possible, to enter into relations with one
of these young ladies ; and his companion
(as he had done a couple of days before)
found occasion to check the young no
bleman's colloquial impulses.
" You had better take care," said Percy
Beaumont, " or you will have an offended
father or brother pulling out a bowie-
"I assure you it is all right," Lord
Lambeth replied. " You know the Amer
icans come to these big hotels to make
" I know nothing about it, and neither
do you," said his kinsman, who, like a
clever man, had begun to perceive that
the observation of American society de
manded a readjustment of one's stand
" Hang it, then, let's find out !" cried
Lord Lambeth, with some impatience.
"You know I don't want to miss any
" We will find out," said Percy Beau
mont, very reasonably. "We will go
and see Mrs. Westgate, and make all the
And so the two inquiring Englishmen,
who had this lady's address inscribed in
her husband's hand upon a card, descend
ed from the veranda of the big hotel and
took their way, according to direction,
along a large, straight road, past a series
of fresh - looking villas embosomed in
shrubs and flowers, and enclosed in an
ingenious variety of wooden palings.
The morning was brilliant and cool, the
villas were smart and snug, and the walk
of the young travellers was very en
tertaining. Everything looked as if it
had received a coat of fresh paint the
day before the red roofs, the green
shutters, the clean, bright browns and
buffs of the house fronts. The flower
beds on the little lawns seemed to spar
kle in the radiant air, and the gravel
in the short carriage sweeps to flash and
twinkle. Along the road came a hun
dred little basket-phaetons, in which, al
most always, a couple of ladies were sit
ting ladies in white dresses and long
white gloves, holding the reins and look
ing at the two Englishmen whose na
tionality was not elusive through thick
blue veils tied tightly about their faces,
as if to guard their complexions. At
last the young men came within sight of
the sea again, and then, having interro
gated a gardener over the paling of a
villa, they turned into an open gate.
Here they found themselves face to face
with the ocean and with a very pictu
resque structure, resembling a magnified
chalet, which was perched upon a green
embankment just above it. The house
had a veranda of extraordinary width all
around it, and a great many doors and
windows standing open to the veranda.
These various apertures had, in common,
such an accessible, hospitable air, such a
breezy flutter within of light curtains,
such expansive thresholds and reassuring
interiors, that our friends hardly knew
which was the regular entrance, and, after
hesitating a moment, presented them
selves at one of the windows. The room
within was dark, but in a moment a grace
ful figure vaguely shaped itself in the
rich-looking gloom, and a lady came to
meet them. Then they saw that she had
been seated at a table writing, and that
she had heard them and had got up. She
stepped out into the light ; she wore a
frank, charming smile, with which she
held out her hand to Percy Beaumont.
" Oh, you must be Lord Lambeth and
Mr. Beaumont," she said. " I have heard
from my husband that you would come.
I am extremely glad to see you." And
she shook hands with each of her visitors.
Her visitors were a little shy, but they
had very good manners ; they responded
with smiles and exclamations, and they
apologized for not knowing the front
door. The lady rejoined, with vivacity,
that when she wanted to see people very
much she did not insist upon those dis
tinctions, and that Mr. Westgate had
written to her of his English friends in
terms that made her really anxious. " He
said you were so terribly prostrated," said
"Oh, you mean by the heat?"
replied Percy Beaumont. " We
were rather knocked up, but we
feel wonderfully better. We
had such a jolly a voyage
down here. It's so very good
of you to mind."
" Yes, it's so very kind
of you," murmured
Mrs. Westgate stood smiling; she was
extremely pretty. " Well, I did mind,"
she said ; "and I thought of sending for
you this morning to the Ocean House.
I am. very glad you are better, and I am
charmed you have arrived. You must
come round to the other side of the
piazza." And she led the way, with a
light, smooth step, looking back at the
young men and smiling.
The other side of the piazza was, as
Lord Lambeth presently remarked, a very
jolly place. It was of the most liberal pro
portions, and with its awnings, its fanci
ful chairs, its cushions and nigs, its view
of the ocean, close at hand, tumbling
along the base of the low cliffs whose
level tops intervened in lawn-like smooth
ness, it formed a charming complement
to the drawing-room. As such it was in
course of use at the present moment ; it
was occupied by a social circle. There
were several ladies and two or three gen
tlemen, to whom Mrs. Westgate proceeded
to introduce the distinguished strangers.
She mentioned a great many names very
freely and distinctly; the young English
men, shuffling about and bowing, were
rather bewildered. But at last they were
provided with chairs low, wicker chairs,
gilded, and tied with a great many rib
bons and one of the ladies (a very young
person, with a little snub-nose and several
dimples) offered Percy Beaumont a fan.
The fan was also adorned with pink love-
knots ; but Percy Beaumont declined it,
although he was very hot. Presently,
however, it became cooler; the breeze
from the sea was delicious, the view was
charming, and the people sitting there
looked exceedingly fresh and comfortable.
Several of the ladies seemed to be young
girls, and the gentlemen were slim, fail-
youths, such as our friends had seen the
day before in New York. The ladies
were working upon bands of tapestry,
and one of the young men had an open
book in his lap. Beaumont afterwards
learned from one of the ladies that this
young man had been reading aloud ; that
he was from Boston, and was very fond
of reading aloud. Beaumont said it was
a great pity that they had interrupted
him ; he should like so much (from all he
had heard) to hear a Bostonian read.
Couldn't the young man be induced to
go on ?
"Oh no," said his informant, very
freely ; u he wouldn't be able to get the
young ladies to attend to him now."
There was something very friendly,
Beaumont perceived, in the attitude of
the company ; they looked at the young
\ Englishmen with an air of animated sym-
j pathy and interest ; they smiled, brightly
and unanimously, at everything either of
the visitors said. Lord Lambeth and his
companion felt that they were being made
very welcome. Mrs. Westgate seated her-
<self between them, and, talking a great
deal to each, they had occasion to observe
that she was as pretty as their friend
Littledale had promised. She was thirty
j years old, with the eyes and the smile of
a girl of seventeen, and she was extreme-
' ly light and graceful elegant, exquisite.
.'Mrs. Westgate was extremely spontane-
1 ous. She was very frank and dernonstra-
Htive, and appeared always while she
H looked at you delightedly with her beau-
Itiful young eyes to be making sudden
d confessions and concessions after momen-
J " We shall expect to see a great deal
"of you," she said to Lord Lambeth, with
a kind of joyous earnestness. " We are
very fond of Englishmen here that is,
there are a great many we have been fond
of. After a day or two you must come
and stay with us ; we hope you will stay
a long time. Newport's a very nice place
when you come really to know it when
you know plenty of people. Of course
you and Mr. Beaumont will have no diffi
culty about that. Englishmen are very
well received here ; there are almost al
ways two or three of them about. I think
they always like it, and I must say I
should think they would. They receive
ever so much attention. I must say I
think they sometimes get spoiled ; but I
am sure you and Mr. Beaumont are proof
" My husband tells me you are a friend
of Captain Littledale. He was such a
charming man : he made himself most
agreeable here, and I am sure I wonder
he didn't stay. It couldn't have been
pleasanter for him in his own country,
though, I suppose, it is very pleasant in
England for English people. I don't
know myself; I have been there very
little. I have been a great deal abroad,
but I am always on the Continent. I
must say I am extremely fond of Paris ;
you know we Americans always are ; we
go there when we die. Did you ever
hear that before ? That was said by a
great wit I mean the good Americans ;
but we are all good ; you'll see that for
"All I know of England is London,
and all I know of London is that place
on that little corner, you know, where
you buy jackets jackets with that coarse
braid and those big buttons. They make
very good jackets in London ; I will do
you the justice to say that. And some
people like the hats ; but about the hats
I was always a heretic ; I always got my
hats in Paris. You can't wear an English
hat at least, I never could unless you
dress your hair a VAnglaise; and I must
say that is a talent I never possessed. In
Paris they will make things to suit your
peculiarities ; but in England I think you
like much more to have how shall I say
it? one thing for everybody. I mean
as regards dress. I don't know about
other things ; but I have always supposed
that in other things everything was dif
ferent. I mean according to the people
according to the classes, and all that.
I am afraid you will think that I don't
take a very favorable view ; but you know
you can't take a very favorable view in
Dover Street in the month of November.
That has always been my fate.
" Do you know Jones's Hotel, in Dover
Street? That's all I know of England.
Of course every one admits that the Eng
lish hotels are your weak point. There
was always the most frightful fog; I
couldn't see to try my things on. When
I got over to America into the light I
usually found they were twice too big.
The next time I mean to go in the season;
I think I shall go next year. I want very
much to take my sister; she has never
been to England. I don't know whether
you know what I mean by saying that
the Englishmen who come here some
times get spoiled. I mean that they take
things as a matter of course things that
are done for them. Now, naturally, they
are only a matter of course when the
Englishmen are very nice. But, of course,
they are almost always very n?ce. Of
course this isn't nearly such an interest
ing country as England ; there are not
nearly so many things to see, and we
haven't your country life. I have never
seen anything of your country life ; when
I am in Europe I am always on the Conti
nent. But I have heard a great deal
about it ; I know that when you are
among yourselves in the country you have
the most beautiful time. Of course we
have nothing of that sort; we have noth
ing on that scale.
" I don't apologize, Lord Lambeth ;
some Americans are always apologizing ;
you must have noticed that. We have
the reputation of always boasting and
bragging and waving the American flag ;
but I must say that what strikes me is
that we are perpetually making excuses
and trying to smooth things over. The
American flag has quite gone out of fash
ion ; it's very carefully folded up like an
old table-cloth. Why should we apol
ogize? The English never apologize
do they ? No ; I must say I never apol
ogize. You must take us as we come
with all our imperfections on our heads.
Of course we haven't your country life,
and your old ruins, and your great estates,
and your leisure class, and all that. But
if we haven't, I should think you might
find it a pleasant change I think any
country is pleasant where they have pleas
" Captain Littledale told me he had
never seen such pleasant manners as at
Newport, and he had been a great deal
in European society. Hadn't he been in
the diplomatic service ? He told me the
dream of his life was to get appointed to
a diplomatic post at Washington. But
he doesn't seem to have succeeded. I
suppose that in England promotion and
all that sort of thing is fearfully slow.
With us, you know, it's a great deal too
fast. You see, I admit our drawbacks.
But I must confess I think Newport is
an ideal place. I don't know anything
like it anywhere. Captain Littledale
told me he didn't know anything like it
anywhere. It's entirely different from
most watering-places ; it's a most charm
ing life. I must say I think that when
one goes to a foreign country one ought
to enjoy the differences. Of course there
are differences, otherwise what did one
come abroad for? Look for your pleas
ure in the differences, Lord Lambeth ;
that's the way to do it ; and then I am
sure you will find American society at
least, Newport society most charming
and most interesting. I wish very much
my husband were here ; but he's dread-
fully confined to New York. I suppose
you think that is very strange for a
gentleman. But you see we haven't any
Mrs. Westgate's discourse, delivered in
a soft, sweet voice, flowed on like a min
iature torrent, and was interrupted by a
hundred little smiles, glances, and gest
ures, which might have figured the ir
regularities and obstructions of such a
stream. Lord Lambeth listened to her
with, it must be confessed, a rather in
effectual attention, although he indulged
in a good many little murmurs and ejac
ulations of assent and deprecation. He
had no great faculty for apprehending
generalizations. There were some three
or four indeed which, in the play of his
own intelligence, he had originated, and
which had seemed convenient at the mo
ment ; but at the present time he could
hardly have been said to follow Mrs.
Westgate as she darted gracefully about
in the sea of speculation. Fortunately,
she asked for no special rejoinder, for she
looked about at the rest of the company
as well, and smiled at Percy Beaumont,
on the other side of her, as if he, too, must
understand her and agree with her. He
was rather more successful than his com
panion ; for besides being, as we know,
cleverer, his attention was not vaguely
distracted by close vicinity to a remark
ably interesting young girl with dark
hair and blue eyes. This was the case
with Lord Lambeth, to whom it occurred
after a while that the young girl with
blue eyes and dark hair was the pretty
sister of whom Mrs. Westgate had spoken.
She presently turned to him with a re
mark which established her identity.
" It's a great pity you
couldn't have brought
my brother - in - law
with you. It's a great shame he should
be in 'New York in these days."
" Oh yes ; it's so very hot," said Lord
" It must be dreadful," said the young
" I dare say he is very busy," Lord
" The gentlemen in America work too
much," the young girl went on.
" Oh, do they ? I dare say they like
it," said her interlocutor.
" I don't like it. One never sees them."
" Don't you, really 2" asked Lord Lam
beth. " I shouldn't have fancied that."
" Have you come to study American
manners ?" asked the young girl.
" Oh, I don't know. I just came over
for a lark. I haven't got long." Here
there was a pause, and Lord Lambeth be
gan again. "But Mr. Westgate will come
down here, will he not ?"
"I certainly hope he will. He must
help to entertain you and Mr. Beaumont."
Lord Lambeth looked at her a little
with his handsome brown eyes. " Do
you suppose he would have come down
with us if we had urged him ?"
Mr. Westgate's sister-in-law was silent
a moment, and then, " I dare say he
would," she answered.
" Really !" said the young Englishman.
"He was immensely civil to Beaumont
and me," he added.
" He is a dear, good fellow," the young
lady rejoined, "and he is a perfect hus
band. But all Americans are that," she
"Really!" Lord Lambeth exclaimed
again, and wondered whether all Amer
ican ladies had such a passion for gener
alizing as these two.
He sat there a good while : there was
a great deal of talk; it was all very
friendly and lively and jolly. Every one
present, sooner or later, said something
to him, and seemed to make a particular
point of addressing him by name. Two
or three other persons came in, and there
was a shifting of seats and changing of
places ; the gentlemen all entered into
intimate conversation with the two Eng
lishmen, made them urgent offers of hos
pitality, and hoped they might frequently
be of service to them. They were afraid
Lord Lambeth and Mr. Beaumont were
not very comfortable at their hotel ; that
it was not, as one of them said, " so pri-
vate as those dear little English inns of
yours." This last gentleman went on to
say that unfortunately, as yet, perhaps,
privacy was not quite so easily obtained
in America as might be desired ; still, he
continued, you could generally get it by
paying for it ; in fact, you could get
everything in America nowadays by
paying for it. American life was cer
tainly growing a great deal more pri
vate ; it was growing very much like
England. Everything at Newport, for
instance, was thoroughly private; Lord
Lambeth would probably be struck with
that. It was also represented to the
strangers that it mattered very little
whether their hotel was agreeable, as
every one would want them to make
visits ; they would stay with other peo
ple, and, in any case, they would be a
great deal at Mrs. Westgate's. They
would find that very charming ; it was
the pleasantest house in Newport. It
was a pity Mr. Westgate was always
away ; he was a man of the highest
ability very acute, very acute. He
worked like a horse, and he left his wife
well, to do about as she liked. He
liked her to enjoy herself, and she seemed
to know how.
She was ex
iant, and a
er. Some peo
her sister ; but Miss Alden was
very different ; she was in a dif
ferent style altogether. Some people even
thought her prettier, and, certainly, she
was not so sharp. She was more in the
Boston style ; she had lived a great deal
in Boston, and she was very highly ed
ucated. Boston girls, it was propounded,
were more like English young ladies.
Lord Lambeth had presently a chance
to test the truth of this proposition, for
on the company rising in compliance with
a suggestion from their hostess that they
should walk down to the rocks and look
at the sea, the young Englishman again
found himself, as they strolled across the
grass, in proximity to Mrs. Westgate's
sister. Though she was but a girl of
twenty, she appeared to feel the obliga
tion to exert an active hospitality ; and
this was, perhaps, the more to be noticed
as she seemed by nature a reserved and
retiring person, and had little of her sis
ter's fraternizing quality. She was, per
haps, rather too thin, and she was a little
pale ; but as she moved slowly over the
grass, with her arms hanging at her sides,
looking gravely for a moment at the sea
and then brightly, for all her gravity, at
him, Lord Lambeth thought her at least
as pretty as Mrs. Westgate, and reflected
that if this was the Boston style the Bos
ton style was very charming. He thought
she looked very clever ; he could imagine
that she was highly educated ; but at the
same time she seemed gentle and grace
ful. For all her cleverness, however, he
felt that she had to think a little what to
say; she didn't say the first thing that
came into her head ; he had come from a
different part of the world and from a
different society, and she was trying to
adapt her conversation. The others were
scattering themselves near the rocks;
Mrs. Westgate had charge of Percy Beau
" Very jolly place, isn't it ?" said Lord
Lambeth. " It's a very jolly place to sit."
" Very charming," said the young girl.
" I often sit here ; there are all kinds of
cosey corners as if they had been made
"Ah, I suppose you have had some
of them made," said the young man.
Miss Alden looked at him a moment.
" Oh no, \ve have had nothing made. It's
" I should think you would have a few
little benches rustic seats, and that sort
of thing. It might be so jolly to sit here,
you know," Lord Lambeth went on.
" I am afraid we haven't so many of
those things as you," said the young girl,
" I dare say you go in for pure nature,
as you were saying. Nature over here
must be so grand, you know." And Lord
Lambeth looked about him.
The little coast -line hereabouts was
very pretty, but it was not at all grand,
and Miss Alden appeared to rise to a per
ception of this fact. "I am afraid it
seems to you very rough," she said. " It's
not like the coast scenery in Kingsley's
" Ah, the novels always overdo it, you
know," Lord Lambeth rejoined. " You
must not go by the novels."
They were wandering about a little on
the rocks, and they stopped and looked
down into a narrow chasm where the ris
ing tide made a curious bellowing sound.
It was loud enough to prevent their hear
ing each other, and they stood there for
some moments in silence. The young
girl looked at her companion, observing
him attentively, but covertly, as women,
even when very young, know how to
do. Lord Lambeth repaid observation ;
tall, straight, and strong, he was hand
some as certain young Englishmen, and
certain young Englishmen, almost alone,
are handsome, with a perfect finish of
feature and a look of intellectual repose
and gentle good -temper which seemed
somehow to be consequent upon his well-
cut nose and chin. And to speak of
Lord Lambeth's expression of intellectual
repose is not simply a civil way of say
ing that he looked stupid. He was ev
idently not a young man of an irritable
imagination ; he was not, as he would
himself have said, tremendously clever;
but though there was a kind of appealing
dulness in his eye, he looked thoroughly
reasonable and competent, and his appear
ance proclaimed that to be a nobleman,
an athlete, and an excellent fellow was a
sufficiently brilliant combination of qual
ities. The young girl beside him, it may
be attested without further delay, thought
him the handsomest vounjj man she had
ever seen ; and Bessie Alden's imagina
tion, unlike that of her companion, was
irritable. He, however, was also making
up his mind that she was uncommonly
" I dare say it's very gay here that
you have lots of balls and parties," he
said ; for, if he was not tremendously
clever, he rather prided himself on hav
ing, with women, a sufficiency of con
"Oh yes, there is a great deal going
on," Bessie Alden replied. "There are
not so many balls, but there are a good
many other things. You will see for
yourself ; we live rather in the midst of
"It's very kind of you to say that.
But I thought you Americans were al
" I suppose we dance a good deal ; but
I have never seen much of it. "We don't
do it much, at any rate, in summer. And
I am sure," said Bessie Alden, " that we
don't have so many balls as you have in
" Really !" exclaimed Lord Lambeth.
" Ah, in England it all depends, you
" You will not think much of our gay-
eties," said the young girl, looking at
him with a little mixture of interrogation
and decision which was peculiar to her.
The interrogation seemed earnest and the
decision seemed arch ; but the mixture, at
any rate, was charming. " Those things,
with us, are much less splendid than in
" I fancy you don't mean that," said
Lord Lambeth, laughing.
" I assure you I mean everything I say,"
the young girl declared. "Certainly,
from what I have read about English
society, it is very different."
" All well, you know," said her com
panion, " those things are often described
by fellows who know nothing about them.
You mustn't mind what you read."
" Oh, I shall mind what I read !" Bessie
Alden rejoined. " When I read Thackeray
and George Eliot, how can I help mind
ing them ?"
"Ah, well, Thackeray and George
Eliot," said the young nobleman ; " I
haven't read much of them."
" Don't you suppose they know about
society ?" asked Bessie Alden.
" Oh, I dare say they know ; they were
so clever. But these fashionable novels,"
said Lord Lambeth, " they are awful rot,
His companion looked at him a mo
ment with her dark blue eyes, and then
she looked down in the chasm where the
water was tumbling about. " Do you
mean Mrs, Gore, for instance ?" she said,
presently, raising her eyes.
"I am afraid I haven't read that, ei
ther," was the young man's rejoinder,
laughing a little and blushing. "I am
afraid you'll think I am not very intel
" Reading Mrs. Gore is no proof of in-
Itellect. But I like reading everything,
about English life even poor books,
am so curious about it."
"Aren't ladies always curious?" asked
the young man, jestingly.
But Bessie Alden appeared to desire to
answer his question seriously. " I don't
think so I don't think we are enough so
that we care about many things. So
it's all the more of a compliment," she
added, " that I should want to know so
much about England."
The logic here seemed a little close;
but Lord Lambeth, made conscious of a
compliment, found his natural modesty
just at hand. " I am sure you know a
great deal more than I do."
" I really think I know a great deal
for a person who has never been there."
" Have you really never been there ?"
cried Lord Lambeth. " Fancy !"
"Never except in imagination," said
the young girl.
"Fancy!" repeated her companion.
"But I dare say you'll go soon, won't
'It's the dream of my life!" said Bessie
" But your sister seems to know a tre
mendous lot about London," Lord Lam
beth went on.
The young girl was silent a moment.
" My sister and I are two very different
persons," she presently said. " She has
been a great deal in Europe. She has
been in England several times. She has
known a great many English people."
"But you must have known some, too,"
said Lord Lambeth.
" I don't think that I have ever spoken
to one before. You are the first Eng
lishman that to my knowledge I have
ever talked with."
Bessie Alden made this statement with
a certain gravity almost, as it seemed to
Lord Lambeth, an impressiveness. At
tempts at impressiveness always made
him feel awkward, and he now began to
laugh and swing his stick. "Ah, you
would have been sure to know !" he said.
And then he added, after an instant, "I'm
sorry I am not a better specimen."
The young girl looked away ; but she
smiled, laying aside her impressiveness.
" You must remember that you are only a
beginning," she said. Then she retraced
her steps, leading the way back to the
lawn, where they saw Mrs. Westgate come
towards them with Percy Beaumont still
at her side. " Perhaps I shall go to Eng
land next year," Miss Alden continued ;
" I w r ant to, immensely. My sister is
going to Europe, and she has asked me
to go with her. If we go, I shall make
her stay as long as possible in London."
" Ah, you must come in July," said
Lord Lambeth. " That's the time when
there is most going on."
" I don't think I can wait till July,"
the young girl rejoined. "By the first
of May I shall be very impatient." They
had gone farther, and Mrs. Westgate and
her companion were near them. "Kit
ty," said Miss Alden, " I have given out
that we are going to London next May.
So please to conduct yourself accord
Percy Beaumont wore a somewhat ani
mated even a slightly irritated air.
He was by no means so handsome a man
as his cousin, although in his cousin's ab
sence he might have passed for a striking
specimen of the tall, muscular, fair-beard
ed, clear- eyed Englishman. Just now
Beaumont's clear eyes, which were small
and of a pale gray color, had a rather trou
bled light, and, after glancing at Bessie
Alden while she spoke, he rested them
upon his kinsman. Mrs. Westgate mean
while, with her superfluously pretty gaze,
looked at every one alike.
" You had better wait till the time
comes," she said to her sister. "Perhaps
next May you won't care so much about
London. Mr. Beaumont and I," she went
on, smiling at her companion, " have had
a tremendous discussion. We don't agree
about anything. It's perfectly delight
" Oh, I say, Percy !" exclaimed Lord
" I disagree," said Beaumont, stroking
down his back hair, "even to the point
of not thinking it delightful."
" Oh, I say !" cried Lord Lambeth again.
"I don't see anything delightful in
my disagreeing with Mrs. Westgate," said
" Well, I do !" Mrs. Westgate declared ;
and she turned to her sister. " You know
you have to go to town. The phaeton is
there. You had better take Lord Lam
At this point Percy Beaumont certainly
looked straight at his kinsman ; he tried
to catch his eye. But Lord Lambeth
would not look at him ; his own eyes
were better occupied. " I shall be very
happy," cried Bessie Alden. "I am only
going to some shops. But I will drive
you about and show you the place."
" An American woman who respects
herself," said Mrs. Westgate, turning to
Beaumont with her bright expos
itory air, " must buy something
every day of her life. If she can
not do it herself, she
for the pur
forth to ful
fil my mis
walked away, with Lord Lambeth by her
side, to whom she was talking still ; and
Percy Beaumont watched them as they
passed towards the house. " She fulfils
her own mission," he presently said ; " that
of being a very attractive young lady."
" I don't know that I should pay very
attractive," Mrs. Westgate rejoined. " She
is not so much that as she is charming,
when you really know her. She is very
"Oh, indeed !" said Percy Beaumont.
"Extremely shy," Mrs. Westgate re
peated. " But she is a dear, good girl ;
she is a charming species of a girl. She
is not in the least a flirt ; that isn't at all
her line ; she doesn't know the alphabet
of that sort of thing. She is very simple,
very serious. She has lived a great deal
in Boston, with another sister of mine
the eldest of us who married a Bos-
tonian. She is very cultivated not at
all like me; I am not in the least cul
tivated. She has studied immensely and
read everything ; she is what they call in
"A rum sort of girl for Lambeth to
get hold of!" his lordship's kinsman pri
" I really believe," Mrs. Westgate con
tinued, " that the most charming girl in
the world is a Boston superstructure
upon a New Yorkfbndsj or perhaps a
New York superstructure upon a Boston
fonds. At any rate, it's the mixture,"
said Mrs. "Westgate, who continued to
give Percy Beaumont a great deal of in
Lord Lambeth got into a little basket
phaeton with Bessie Alden, and she drove
him down the long avenue, whose extent
he had measured on foot a couple of hours
before, into the ancient town, as it was
called in that part of the world, of New
port. The ancient town was a curious
affair a collection of fresh-looking little
wooden houses, painted white, scattered
over a hill-side and clustered about a long,
straight street, paved with enormous cob
ble-stones. There were plenty of shops,
a large proportion of which appeared to
be those of fruit venders, with piles of
huge watermelons and pumpkins stacked
in front of them ; arid, drawn up before
the shops, or bumping about on the cob
ble-stones, were innumerable other bas
ket-phaetons freighted with ladies of high
fashion, who greeted each other from
vehicle to vehicle, and conversed on the
edge of the pavement in a manner that
struck Lord Lambeth as demonstrative,
with a great many " Oh, my dears," and
little, quick exclamations and caresses.
His companion went into seventeen shops
he amused himself with counting them
and accumulated at the bottom of the
phaeton a pile of bundles that hardly
left the young Englishman a place for
his feet. As she had no groom nor foot
man, he sat in the phaeton to hold the
ponies, where, although he was not a
particularly acute observer, he saw much
to entertain him especially the ladies
just mentioned, who wandered up and
down with the appearance of a kind of
aimless intentness, as if they were looking
for something to buy, and who, tripping
in and out of their vehicles, displayed
remarkably pretty feet. It all seemed to
Lord Lambeth very odd and bright and
gay. Of course, before they got back to
the villa, he had had a great deal of des
ultory conversation with Bessie Alden.
The young Englishmen spent the whole
of that day and the whole of many suc
cessive days in what the French call the
intimite of their new friends. They
agreed that it was extremely jolly, that
they had never known anything more
agreeahle. It is not proposed to narrate
minutely the incidents of their sojourn
on this charming shore ; though if it
were convenient I might present a rec
ord of impressions none the less delec
table that they were not exhaustively an
alyzed. Many of them still linger in the
minds of our travellers, attended by a
train of harmonious images images of
brilliant mornings on lawns and piazzas
that overlooked the sea; of innumerable
pretty girls ; of infinite lounging and talk
ing and laughing and flirting and lunch
ing and dining; of universal friendliness
and frankness ; of occasions on which
they knew every one and everything,
and had an extraordinary sense of ease ;
of drives and rides in the late afternoon
over gleaming beaches, on long sea-roads
beneath a sky lighted up by marvellous
sunsets; of suppers, on the return, infor
mal, irregular, agreeable ; of evenings at
open windows or on the perpetual ve
randas, in the summer starlight, above
the warm Atlantic. The young English
men were introduced to everybody, enter
tained by everybody, intimate with every-
I body. At the end of three
days they had removed their
luggage from the hotel, and
gone to stay with Mrs. "Westgate
a step to which Percy Beau
mont at first offered some conscientious
opposition. I call his opposition conscien
tious, because it was founded upon some
talk that he had had, on the second day,
with Bessie Alden. He had indeed had
a good deal of talk with her, for she was
not literally always in conversation with
Lord Lambeth. He had meditated upon
Mrs. Westgate's account of her sister, and
he discovered for himself that the young
lady was clever, and appeared to have
read a great deal. She seemed very nice,
though he could not make out that, as
Mrs. Westgate had said, she was shy. If
she was shy, she carried it off very well.
"Mr. Beaumont," she had said, "please
tell me something about Lord Lambeth's
family. How would you say it in Eng
land his position ?"
"His position?" Percy Beaumont re
"His rank, or whatever you call it.
Unfortunately, we haven't got a 'peer
age,' like the people in Thackeray."
" That's a great pity," said Beaumont.
" You would find it all set forth there so
much better than I can do it."
" He is a peer, then ?"
" Oh yes, he is a peer."
" And has he any other title than Lord
"His title is the Marquis of Lambeth,"
said Beaumont; and then lie was silent.
Bessie Alden appeared to be looking at
him with interest. " He is the son of
the Dnke of Bayswater," he added, pres
" The eldest son ?"
" The only son."
" And are his parents living ?"
" Oh yes ; if his father were not living
he would be a duke."
" So that when his father dies," pursued
Bessie Alden, with more simplicity than
might have been expected in a clever girl,
"he will become Duke of Bayswater f
" Of course," said Percy Beaumont.
"But his father is in excellent health."
" And his mother ?"
Beaumont smiled a little. " The duch
ess is uncommonly robust."
" And has he any sisters 2"
" Yes, there are two."
" And what are they called ?"
" One of them is married. She is the
Countess of Pimlico."
"And the other?"
" The other is unmarried ; she is plain
Bessie Alden looked at him a moment.
" Is she very plain ?"
Beaumont began to laugh again. " You
would not find her so handsome as her
brother," he said ; and it was after this
that he attempted to dissuade the heir of
the Duke of Bayswater from accepting
Mrs. Westgate's invitation. " Depend
upon it," he said, "that girl means to try
" It seems to me you are doing your
best to make a fool of me," the modest
young nobleman answered.
" She has been asking me," said Beau
mont, " all about your people and your
" I am sure it is very good of her !"
Lord Lambeth rejoined.
"Well, then," observed his companion,
"if you go, you go with your eyes open."
"D n my eyes!" exclaimed Lord Lam
beth. " If one is to be a dozen times a
day at the house, it is a great deal more
convenient to sleep there. I am sick
of travelling up and down this beastly
Since he had determined to go, Percy
Beaumont would, of course, have been
very sorry to allow him to go alone ; he
was a man of conscience, and he remem
bered his promise to the duchess. It
was obviously the memory of this prom
ise that made him say to his companion
a couple of days later that he rather won
dered he should be so fond of that girl.
" In the first place, how do you know
how fond I am of her ?" asked Lord Lam
beth. "And, in the second place, why
shouldn't I be fond of her?"
" I shouldn't think she would be in
"What do you call my 'line?' You
don't set her down as ' fast V r
' Exactly so. Mrs. Westgate tells me
that there is no such thing as the ' fast
girl' in America; that it's an English
invention, and that the term has no mean
" All the better. It's an animal I detest."
" You prefer a blue-stocking."
" Is that what you call Miss Alden ?"
" Her sister tells me," said Percy Beau
mont, "that she is tremendously literary."
"I don't know anything about that.
She is certainly very clever."
" Well," said Beaumont, " I should have
supposed you would have found that sort
of thing awfully slow."
" In point of fact," Lord Lambeth re
joined, " I find it uncommonly lively."
After this Percy Beaumont held his
tongue ; but on August 10th he wrote
to the Duchess of Bayswater. He was,
as I have said, a man of conscience, and
he had a strong, incorruptible sense of
the proprieties of life. His kinsman,
meanwhile, was having a great deal of
talk with Bessie Alden on the red sea-
rocks beyond the lawn ; in the course of
long island rides, with a slow return in
the glowing twilight ; on the deep veran
da late in the evening. Lord Lambeth,
who had stayed at many houses, had never
stayed at a house in which it was possible
for a young man to converse so frequently
with a young lady. This young lady no
longer applied to Percy Beaumont for in
formation concerning his lordship. She
addressed herself directly to the young
nobleman. She asked him a great many
questions, some of which bored him a
little ; for he took no pleasure in talking
" Lord Lambeth," said Bessie Alden,
" are you a hereditary legislator ?"
" Oh, I say !" cried Lord Lambeth, "don't
make me call myself such names as that."
" But you are a member of Parliament,"
said the young girl.
"I don't like the sound of that, either."
" Don't you sit in the House of Lords ?"
Bessie Alden went on.
"Very seldom," said Lord Lambeth.
"Is it an important position?" she
" Oh dear no," said Lord Lambeth.
" I should think it would be very
grand," said Bessie Alden, " to possess,
simply by an accident of birth, the right
to make laws for a great nation."
"Ah, but one doesn't make laws. It's
a great humbug."
" I don't believe that," the young girl
declared. " It must be a great privilege,
and I should think that if one thought of
it in the right way from a high point
of view it would be very inspiring."
"The less one thinks of it the better,"
Lord Lambeth affirmed.
" I think it's tremendous," said Bessie
Alden ; and on another occasion she asked
him if he had any tenantry. Hereupon
it was that, as I have said, he was a little
"Do you want to buy up their leases?"
" Well, have you got any livings ?" she
" Oh, I say !" he cried. " Have yon
got a clergyman that is looking out?"
But she made him tell her that he had a
castle ; he confessed to but one. It was
the place in which he had been born and
brought up, and, as he had an old-time
liking for it, he was beguiled into de
scribing it a little, and saying it was really
very jolly. Bessie Alden listened with
great interest, and declared that she would
give the world to see such a place.
Whereupon " It would be awfully kind
of you to come and stay there," said Lord
Lambeth. He took a vague satisfaction
in the circumstance that Percy Beaumont
had not heard him make the remark I
have just recorded.
Mr. Westgate all this time had not, as
they said at Newport, "come on." His
wife more than once announced that she
expected him on the morrow ; but on
the morrow she wandered about a little,
with a telegram in her jewelled fingers,
declaring it was very tiresome that his
business detained him in New York ; that
>he could only hope the Englishmen were
having a good time. " I must say," said
Mrs. Westgate, " that it is no thanks to
him if you are." And she went on to
explain, while she continued that slow-
paced promenade which enabled her well-
adjusted skirts to display themselves so
advantageously, that unfortunately in
America there was no leisure class. It
was Lord Lambeth's theory, freely pro
pounded when the young men were to
gether, that Percy Beaumont was having
a very good time with Mrs. Westgate,
and that, under the pretext of meeting
for the purpose of animated discussion,
they were indulging in practices that
imparted a shade of hypocrisy to the
lady's regret for her husband's absence.
"I assure you we are always discussing
and differing," said Percy Beaumont.
u She is awfully argumentative. Ameri
can ladies certainly don't mind contra
dicting you. Upon my word, I don't
think I was ever treated so by a woman
before. She's so devilish positive."
Mrs. Westgate's positive quality, how
ever, evidently had its attractions, for
Beaumont was constantly at his hostess's
side. He detached himself one day to
the extent of going to New York to talk
over the Tennessee Central with Mr.
Westgate ; but he was absent only forty-
eight hours, during which, with Mr. West-
gate's assistance, he completely settled
this piece of business. " They certainly
do things quickly in ]Sew York," he ob
served to his cousin ; and he added that
Mr. Westgate had seemed very uneasy
lest his wife should miss her visitor he
had been in such an awful hurry to send
him back to her. " I'm afraid you'll
never come up to an American husband,
if that's what the wives expect," he said
to Lord Lambeth.
Mrs. Westgate, however, was not to en
joy much longer the entertainment with
which an indulgent husband had desired
to keep her provided. On August 21st
Lord Lambeth received a telegram from
his mother, requesting him to return im
mediately to England ; his father had
been taken ill, and it was his filial duty
to come to him.
The young Englishman was visibly an
noyed. " What the deuce does it mean T
he asked of his kinsman. "What am I
to do ?"
Percy Beaumont was annoyed as well ;
he had deemed it his duty, as I have nar-
rated, to write to the duchess, but he had
not expected that this distinguished wom
an would act so promptly upon his hint.
" It means," he said, " that your father is
laid up. I don't suppose it's anything
serious ; but you have no option. Take
the first steamer ; but don't be alarmed."
Lord Lambeth made his farewells ; but
the few last words that he exchanged
with Bessie Alden are the only ones that
have a place in our record. " Of course
I needn't assure you," he said, "that if
you should come to England next year, I
expect to be the first person that you
inform of it."
Bessie Alden looked at him a little and
she smiled. " Oh, if we come to Lon
don," she answered, " I should think you
would hear of it."
Percy Beaumont returned with his
cousin, and his sense of duty compelled
him, one windless afternoon, in mid-At
lantic, to say to Lord Lambeth that he
suspected that the duchess's telegram
was in part the result of something he
himself had written to her. " I wrote to
] ier as I explicitly notified you I had
promised to do that you were extremely
interested in a little American girl."
Lord Lambeth was extremely angry,
and he indulged for some moments in
the simple language of indignation. But
I have said- that he was a reasonable
young man, and 1 can give no better
proof of it than the fact that he remarked
to his companion at the end of half an
hour, " You were quite right, after all.
I am very much interested in her. Only,
to be fair," he added, "you should have
told my mother also that she is not
seriously interested in me."
Percy Beaumont gave a little laugh.
" There is nothing so charming as mod
esty in a young man in your position.
That speech is a capital proof that you
are sweet on her."
"She is not interested she is not!"
Lord Lambeth repeated.
"My dear fellow," said his companion,
"you are very far gone.'*
N point of fact, as Percy
Beaumont would have said, Mrs.
Westgate disembarked on May
18th on the British coast. She
was accompanied by her sister,
but she was not attended by any
other member of her family.
To the deprivation of her husband's so
ciety Mrs. Westgate was, however, habitu
ated ; she had made half a dozen journeys
to Europe without him, and she now ac
counted for his absence, to interrogative
friends on this side of the Atlantic, by al
lusion to the regrettable but conspicuous
fact that in America there was no leisure
class. The two ladies came up to London
and alighted at Jones's Hotel, where Mrs.
Westgate, who had made on former oc
casions the most agreeable impression at
this establishment, received an obsequi-
ous greeting. Bessie Alden had felt much
excited about coming to England; she
had expected the "associations" would
be very charming, that it would be an
infinite pleasure to rest her eyes upon
the things she had read about in the poets
and historians. She was very fond of the
poets and historians, of the picturesque,
of the past, of retrospect, of mementos
and reverberations of greatness ; so that
on coining into the great English world,
where strangeness and familiarity would
go hand in hand, she was prepared for
a multitude of fresh emotions. They
began very promptly these tender, flut
tering sensations; they began with the
sight of the beautiful English landscape,
whose dark richness was quickened and
brightened by the season ; with the car
peted fields and flowering hedge-rows, as
she looked at them from the window of
the train ; with the spires of the rural
churches peeping above the rook-haunted
tree -tops; with the oak -studded parks,
the ancient homes, the cloudy light, the
speech, the manners, the thousand differ
ences. Mrs. Westgate's impressions had,
of course, much less novelty and keen
ness, and she gave but a wandering atten-
tion to her sister's ejaculations and rhap
" You know rny enjoyment of England
is not so intellectual as Bessie's," she said
to several of her friends in the course of
her visit to this country. "And yet if it
is not intellectual, I can't say it is phys
ical. I don't think I can quite say what
it is my enjoyment of England." When
once it was settled that the two ladies
should come abroad and should spend a
few weeks in England on their way to
the Continent, they of course exchanged
a good many allusions to their London
" It will certainly be much nicer hav
ing friends there," Bessie Alden had said
one day, as she sat on the sunny deck of
the steamer at her sister's feet, on a large
"Whom do you mean by friends?"
Mrs. Westgate asked.
"All those English gentlemen whom
you have known and entertained. Cap
tain Littledale, for instance. And Lord
Lambeth and Mr. Beaumont," added Bes
"Do you expect them to give us a
very grand reception ?"
Bessie reflected a moment; she was ad
dicted, as we know, to reflection. "Well,
"My poor, sweet child!" murmured her
" What have I said that is so silly ?"
" You are a little too simple ; just a
little. It is very becoming, but it pleases
people at your expense."
"I am certainly too simple to under
stand you," said Bessie.
" Shall I tell you a story ?" asked her
" If you would be so good. That is
what they do to amuse simple people."
Mrs. Westgate consulted her memory,
while her companion sat gazing at the
shining sea. "Did you ever hear of the
Duke of Green-Erin?"
" I think not," said Bessie.
" Well, it's no matter," her sister went
It's a proof of my simplicity."
My story is meant to illustrate that of
some other people," said Mrs. West-
gate. " The Duke of Green-Erin is
what they call in England a great
swell, and some five years ago he came
to America, He spent most of his time in
New York, and in New York he spent his
days and his nights at the Butterworths'.
Yon have heard, at least, of the Butter-
worths. Bien. They did everything in
the world for him they turned them
selves inside out. They gave him a doz
en dinner-parties and balls, and were the
means of his being invited to fifty more.
At first he used to come into Mrs. Butter-
worth's box at the opera in a tweed trav
elling suit; but some one stopped that.
At any rate, he had a beautiful time, and
they parted the best friends in the world.
Two years elapse, and the Butterworths
come abroad and go to London. The
first thing they see in all the papers in
England those things are in the most
prominent place is that the Duke of
Green-Erin has arrived in town for the
season. They wait a little, and then Mr.
Butterworth as polite as ever goes
and leaves a card. They wait a little
more ; the visit is not returned ; they
wait three weeks silence de mort the
duke gives no sign. The Butterworths
see a lot of other people, put down the
Duke of Green-Erin as a rude, ungrate
ful man, and forget all about him. One
fine day they go to the Ascot races, and
there they meet him face to face. He
stares a moment, and then comes up to
Mr. Butterworth, taking something from
his pocket-book something which proves
to be a bank-note. < I'm glad to see you,
Mr. Butterworth,' he says, 'so that I can
pay you that 10 I lost to you in New
York. I saw the other day you remem
bered our bet; here are the 10, Mr.
Butterworth. Good-bye, Mr. Butter-
worth.' And off he goes, and that's the
last they see of the Duke of Green-Erin."
"Is that your story?" asked Bessie
" Don't you think it's interesting?" her
" I don't believe it," said the young girl.
"Ah," cried Mrs. Westgate, " you are
not so simple, after all ! Believe it or
riot, as you please ; there is no smoke
" Is that the way," asked Bessie, after
a moment, " that you expect your friends
to treat you ?"
" I defy them to treat me very ill, be
cause I shall not give them the oppor
tunity. With the best will in the world,,
in that case they can't be very offensive."
Bessie Alden was silent a moment. "I
don't see what makes you talk that way,"
she said. " The English are a great peo
"Exactly; and that is just the way
they have grown great by dropping you
when you have ceased to be useful. Peo
ple say they are not clever ; but I think
they are very clever."
" You know you have liked them all
the Englishmen you have seen," said
" They have liked me," her sister re
joined ; " it would be more correct to
say that. And, of course, one likes that."
Bessie Alden resumed for some mo
ments her studies in sea-green. "Well,"
she said, " whether they like me or not, I
mean to like them. And, happily," she
added, " Lord Lambeth does not owe me
During the first few days after their
arrival at Jones's Hotel our charming
Americans were much occupied with
what they would have called looking
about them. They found occasion to
make a large number of purchases, and
their opportunities for conversation were
such only as were offered by the defer-
ential London shopmen. Bessie Alden,
even in driving from the station, took an
immense fancy to the British metropolis,
and at the risk of exhibiting her as a
young woman of vulgar tastes, it must
be recorded that for a considerable period
she desired no higher pleasure than to
drive about the crowded streets in a hari-
som cab. To her attentive eyes they were
full of a strange, picturesque life, and it
is at least beneath the dignity of our his
toric muse to enumerate the trivial ob
jects and incidents which this simple
young lady from Boston found ser enter 1
taining. It may be freely mentioned,
however, that whenever, after a round of
visits in Bond Street and Regent Street,
she was about to return with her sister
to Jones's Hotel, she made an earnest
request that they should be driven home
by way of Westminster Abbey. She had
begun by asking whether it would not
be possible to take in the Tower on the
way to their lodgings ; but it happened
that at a more primitive stage of her
culture Mrs. Westgate had paid a visit
to this venerable monument, which she
spoke of ever afterwards vaguely as a
dreadful disappointment ; so that she ex-
pressed the liveliest disapproval of any
attempt to combine historical researches
with the purchase of hair -brushes and
note-paper. The most she would consent
to do in this line was to spend half an
hour at Madame Tussaud's, where she saw
several dusty wax effigies of members of
the royal family. She told Bessie that
if she wished to go to the Tower she
must get some one else to take her.
Bessie expressed hereupon an earnest dis
position to go alone ; but upon this pro
posal as well, Mrs. Westgate sprinkled
"Remember," she said, "that you are
not in your innocent little Boston. It is
not a question of walking up and down
Beacon Street." Then she went on to
explain that there were two classes of
American girls in Europe those that
walked about alone and those that did
not. " You happen to belong, my dear,"
she said to her sister, " to the class that
" It is only," answered Bessie, laugh
ing, "because you happen to prevent
me." And she devoted much private
meditation to this question of effecting a
visit to the Tower of London.
Suddenly it seemed as if the problem
might be solved ; the two ladies at Jones's
Hotel received a visit from Willie Wood-
ley. Such was the social appellation of
a young American who had sailed from
New York a few days after their own
departure, and who, having the privilege
of intimacy with them in that city, had
lost no time, on his arrival in London, in
coming to pay them his respects. He
had, in fact, gone to see them directly
after going to see his tailor, than which
there can be no greater exhibition of
promptitude on the part of a young
American who had just alighted at the
Charing Cross Hotel. He was a slim,
pale youth, of the most amiable dispo
sition, famous for the skill with which
he led the " German " in New York.
Indeed, by the young ladies who habitu
ally figured in this Terpsichorean revel
he was believed to be " the best dancer
in the world ;" it was in these terms that
he was always spoken of, and that his
identity was indicated. He was the gen
tlest, softest young man it was possible
to meet ; he was beautifully dressed
"in the English style" and he knew
an immense deal about London. He
had been at Newport during the previ
ous summer, at the time of our young
Englishmen's visit, and he took extreme
pleasure in the society of Bessie Alden,
whom he always addressed as "Miss Bes
sie." She immediately arranged with
him, in the presence of her sister, that he
should conduct her to the scene of Anne
" You may do as you please," said Mrs.
Westgate. " Only if you desire the in
formation it is not the custom here for
young ladies to knock about London with
Miss Bessie has waltzed with me
so often," observed Willie Woodley ;
"she can surely go out with me in a
" I consider waltzing," said Mrs. 4HHh v 1L ' ;
Westgate, " the most innocent pleasure
of our time."
"It's a compliment to our time!"
exclaimed the young man, with a little
laugh in spite of himself.
"I don't see why I should regard
what is done here," said Bessie Alden.
"Why should I suffer the restrictions
of a society of which I enjoy none of
" That's very good very good," mur
mured Willie Woodley.
" Oh, go to the Tower, and feel the
axe, if you like," said Mrs. Westgate. " I
consent to your going with Mr. Woodley;
but I should not let you go with an Eng
"Miss Bessie wouldn't care to go with
an Englishman !" Mr. Woodley declared,
with a faint asperity that was, perhaps,
not unnatural in a young man, who, dress
ing in the manner that I have indicated,
and knowing a great deal, as I have said,
about London, saw no reason for drawing
these sharp distinctions. He agreed upon
a day with Miss Bessie a day of that
An ingenious mind might, perhaps,
trace a connection between the young
girl's allusion to her destitution of social
privileges and a question she asked on
the morrow, as she sat w r ith her sister at
" Don't you mean to write to to any
one?" said Bessie.
"I wrote this morning to Captain Lit-
tledale," Mrs. Westgate replied.
" But Mr. Woodley said that Captain
Littledale had gone to India."
He said he thought he had heard so ;
lie knew nothing about it."
For a moment Bessie Alden said noth
ing more ; then, at last, " And don't you
intend to write to to Mr. Beaumont?"
" You mean to Lord Lambeth," said
" I said Mr. Beaumont, because he was
so good a friend of yours."
Mrs. Westgate looked at the young
girl with sisterly candor. " I don't care
two straws for Mr. Beaumont."
" You were certainly very nice to him."
" I am nice to every one," said Mrs.
" To every one but me," rejoined
Her sister continued to look at her;
then, at last, " Are you in love with Lord
Lambeth f she asked.
The young girl stared a moment, and
the question was apparently too humor
ous even to make her blush. " Not that
I know of," she answered.
" Because, if you are," Mrs. Westgate
went on, " I shall certainly not send for
" That proves what I said," declared
Bessie, smiling " that you are not nice
" It would be a poor service, my dear
child," said her sister.
"In what sense? There is nothing
against Lord Lambeth that I know of."
Mrs. Westgate was silent a moment.
"You are in love with him, then?"
Bessie stared again ; but this time she
blushed a little. " Ah ! if you won't be
serious," she answered, " we will not men
tion him again."
For some moments Lord Lambeth was
not mentioned again, and it was Mrs.
Westgate who, at the end of this period,
reverted to him. " Of course I will let
him know we are here, because 1 think
he would be hurt justly enough if we
should go away without seeing him. It
is fair to give him a chance to come and
thank me for the kindness we showed
him. But I don't want to seem eager."
"Neither do I," said Bessie, with a
" Though I confess," added her sister,
"that I am curious to see how he will
" He behaved very well at Newport."
"Newport is not London. At New
port he could do as he liked ; but here it
is another affair. He has to have an eye
"If he had more freedom, then, at
Newport," argued Bessie, " it is the more
to his credit that he behaved well ; and if
he has to be so careful here, it is possible
he will behave even better."
"Better better," repeated her sister.
" My dear child, what is your point of
"How do you mean my point of
" Don't you care for Lord Lambeth a
This time Bessie Alden was displeased ;
she slowly got up from the table, turning
her face away from her sister. " You
will oblige me by not talking so," she
Mrs. Westgate sat watching her for
some moments as she moved slowly about
the room and went and stood at the win
dow. " I will write to him this after
noon," she said at last.
"Do as you please !" Bessie answered ;
and presently she turned round. "I am
not afraid to say that I like Lord Lam
beth. I like him very much."
" He is not clever," Mrs. Westgate de
" Well, there have been clever people
whom I have disliked," said Bessie Alden ;
" so that I suppose I may like a stupid
one. Besides, Lord Lambeth is not
" Not so stupid as he looks !" exclaimed
her sister, smiling.
" If I were in love with Lord Lambeth,
as you said just now, it would be bad
policy on your part to abuse him."
" My dear child, don't give me lessons
in policy!" cried Mrs. Westgate. "The
policy I mean to follow is very deep."
The young girl began to walk about
the room again ; then she stopped before
her sister. " I have never heard in the
course of five minutes," she said, "so
many hints and innuendoes. I wish you
would tell me in plain English what you
" I mean that you may be much an
" That is still only a hint," said Bessie.
Her sister looked at her, hesitating an
instant. " It will be said of you that you
have come after Lord Lambeth that you
Bessie Alden threw back her pretty
head like a startled hind, and a look flashed
into her face that made Mrs. Westgate
rise from her chair. "Who says such
things as that?" she demanded.
" I don't believe it," said Bessie.
"You have a very convenient faculty
of doubt. But my policy will be, as I
say, very deep. 1 shall leave you to find
out this kind of thing for yourself."
Bessie fixed her eyes upon her sister,
and Mrs. Westgate thought for a mo
ment there were tears in them. "Do
they talk that way here ?" she asked.
" You will see. I shall leave you
"Don't leave me alone," said Bessie Al
den. " Take me away."
" No ; I want to see what you make of
it," her sister continued.
" I don't understand."
" You will understand after Lord Lam
beth has come," said Mrs. Westgate, with
a little laugh.
The two ladies had arranged that on
this afternoon Willie Wood ley should go
with them to Hyde Park, where Bessie
Alderi expected to derive much entertain
ment from sitting on a little green chair,
under the great trees, beside Rotten Row.
The want of a suitable escort had hitherto
rendered this pleasure inaccessible ; but
no escort now, for such an expedition,
could have been more suitable than their
devoted young countryman, whose mis
sion in life, it might almost be said, was
to find chairs for ladies, and who appeared
on the stroke of half past five with a
white camellia in his button-hole.
" I have written to Lord Lambeth, my
dear," said Mrs. Westgate to her sister,
on coming into the room where Bessie
Alden, drawing on her long gray gloves,
was entertaining their visitor.
Bessie said nothing, but Willie Wood-
ley exclaimed that his lordship was in
town ; he had seen his name in the Morn
"Do you read the Morning Post?"
asked Mrs. Westgate.
"Oh yes ; it's great fun," Willie Wood-
so to see
it," said Bes-
sie ; " there is so much about it in Thack
" I will send it to you every morning,"
said Willie Woodley.
He found them what Bessie Alden
thought excellent places, under the great
trees, beside the famous avenue whose
humors had been made familiar to the
young girl's childhood by the pictures in
Punch. The day was bright and warm,
and the crowd of riders and spectators,
and the great procession of carriages,
were proportionately dense and brilliant.
The scene bore the stamp of the London
Season at its height, and Bessie Alden
found more entertainment in it than she
was able to express to her companions.
She sat silent, under her parasol, and her
imagination, according to its wont, let it
self loose into the great changing assem
blage of striking and suggestive figures.
They stirred up a host of old impressions
and preconceptions, and she found her
self fitting a history to this person and a
theory to that, and making a place for
them all in her little private museum of
types. But if she said little, her sister on
one side and Willie Woodley on the other
expressed themselves in lively alternation.
'Look at that green dress with bine
flounces," said Mrs. Westgate. u Quelle
" That's the Marquis of Blackborongh,"
said the young man "the one. in the
wliite coat. I heard him speak the other
night in the House of Lords ; it was some
thing about ramrods ; he called them
wamwods. He's an awful swell."
"Did you ever see anything like the
way they are pinned back ?" Mrs. West-
gate resumed. " They never know where
" They do nothing but stop," said
Willie Woodley. " It prevents them
from walking. Here comes a great ce
lebrity, Lady Beatrice Bellevue. She's
awfully fast ; see what little steps she
" Well, my dear," Mrs. Westgate pur
sued, " I hope you are getting some ideas
for your couturiere?"
" I am getting plenty of ideas," said
Bessie, " but I don't know that my cou-
turiere would appreciate them."
Willie Woodley presently perceived a
friend on horseback, who drove up beside
the barrier of the Row and beckoned to
him. He went forward, and the crowd
of pedestrians closed about him, so that
for some ten minutes he was hidden from
sight. At last he reappeared, bringing
a gentleman with him a gentleman
whom Bessie at first supposed to be his
friend dismounted. But at a second
glance she found herself looking at Lord
Lambeth, who was shaking hands with
" I found him over there," said
"and I told him you ^
And then Lord
his hat a little, shook
hands with Bessie.
"Fancy your being
here!" he said. He
was blushing and
smiling; he look
ed very hand
some, and he had
a kind of splen
dor that he had not had in America
sie Alden's imagination, as we know, was
just then in exercise ; so that the tall
young Englishman, as he stood there look
ing down at her, had the benefit of it.
" He is handsomer and more splendid
than anything I have ever seen," she said
to herself. And then she remembered
that he was a marquis, and she thought he
looked like a marquis.
"I say, you know," he cried, "you
ought to have let a man know you were
" I wrote to you an hour ago," said
" Doesn't all the world know it '?" asked
" I assure you I didn't know it !" cried
Lord Lambeth. " Upon my honor, I
hadn't heard of it. Ask Woodley, now ;
had I, Woodley 2"
" Well, T think you are rather a hum
bug," said Willie Woodley.
" You don't believe that do you, Miss
Alderi ?" asked his lordship. "You don't
believe I'm a humbug, eh?"
" No," said Bessie, " I don't."
"You are too tall to stand up, Lord Lam
beth," Mrs. Westgate observed. " You
are only tolerable when you sit down.
Be so good as to get a chair."
He found a chair and placed it side-
wise, close to the two ladies. " If I
hadn't met Woodley I should never have
found you," lie went on. " Should I,
" Well, I guess not," said the young
" Not even with my letter ?" asked Mrs.
" Ah, well, I haven't got your letter
yet; I suppose I shall get it this even
ing. It was awfully kind of you to
" So I said to Bessie," observed Mrs.
" Did she say so, Miss Alden ?" Lord
Lambeth inquired. " I dare say you
have been here a month."
"We have been here three," said Mrs.
" Have you been here three
months ?" the young man
asked again of Bessie.
" It seems a long time,"
" I say, after that you had
better not call me a
humbug!" cried Lord
Lambeth. " I have
only been in town
three weeks; but you
must have been hid-
ing away ; I haven't seen you any
" Where should yon have seen ns
where should we have gone ?" asked Mrs.
" You should have gone to Hurling-
ham," said Woodley.
" No ; let Lord Lambeth tell us," Mrs.
" There are plenty of places to go to,"
said Lord Lambeth; "each one stupider
than the other. I mean people's houses;
they send you cards."
" No one has sent us cards," said Bessie.
" We are very quiet," her sister de
clared. " We are here as travellers."
" We have been to Madame Tussaud's,"
" Oh, I say !" cried Lord Lambeth.
" We thought we should find your im
age there," said Mrs. Westgate "yours
and Mr. Beaumont's."
" In the Chamber of Horrors ?" laughed
the young man.
"It did duty very well for a party,"
said Mrs. Westgate. " All the women
were decoUeteex, and many of the figures
looked as if they could speak if they
"Upon my word," Lord Lambeth
joined, " you see people at London parties
that look as if they couldn't speak if they
" Do you think Mr. Woodley could find
us Mr. Beaumont ?" asked Mrs. Westgate.
Lord Lambeth stared and looked round
him. "I dare say he could. Beaumont
often comes here. Don't you think you
could find him, Woodley? Make a dive
into the crowd."
" Thank you ; I have had enough div
ing," said Willie Woodley. " I will wait
till Mr. Beaumont comes to the surface."
"I will bring him to see you," said
Lord Lambeth ; " where are you stay
u You will find the address in my let
ter Jones's Hotel."
"Oh, one of those places just out of
Piccadilly ? Beastly hole, isn't it ?" Lord
" I believe it's the best hotel in London,"
said Mrs. Westgate.
"But they give you awful rubbish to
eat, don't they ?" his lordship went on.
" Yes," said Mrs. Westgate.
" I always feel so sorry for the people
that come up to town and go to live in
those places," continued the young man.
" They eat nothing but filth."
"Oh, I say !" cried Willie Woodley.
"Well, how do you like London, Miss
Alden ?" Lord Lambeth asked, unper
turbed by this ejaculation.
" I think it's grand," said Bessie Alden.
"My sister likes it, in spite of the
1 filth!'" Mrs. Westgate exclaimed.
" I hope you are going to stay a long
" As long as I can," said Bessie.
" And where is Mr. Westgate ?" asked
Lord Lambeth of this gentleman's wife.
" He's where he always is in that tire
some "New York."
"He must be tremendously clever,"
said the young man.
" I suppose he is," said Mrs. Westgate.
Lord Lambeth sat for nearly an hour
with his* American friends ; but it is not
our purpose to relate their conversation in
full. He addressed a great many remarks
to Bessie Alden, and finally turned tow
ards her altogether, while Willie Wood-
ley entertained Mrs. Westgate. Bessie
herself said very little; she was on her
guard, thinking of what her sister had said
to her at lunch. Little by little, however,
she intersted herself in Lord Lambeth
again, as she had done at Newport; only
it seemed to her that here he might be
come more interesting. He would be an
unconscious part of the antiquity, the im-
pressiveness, the picturesqneness, of Eng
land ; and poor Bessie Alden, like many
a Yankee maiden, was terribly at the
mercy of picturesqneness.
" I have often wished I were at New
port again," said the young man. " Those
days I spent at your sister's were awfully
" We enjoyed them very much ; I hope
your father is better."
" Oh dear, yes. When I got to Eng
land he was out grouse-shooting. It was
what you call in America a gigantic fraud.
My mother had got nervous. My three
weeks at Newport seemed like a happy
" America certainly is very different
from England," said Bessie.
" I hope you like England better, eh ?"
Lord Lambeth rejoined, almost persua
" No Englishman can ask that seriously
of a person of another country."
Her companion looked at her for a
moment. "You mean it's a matter of
"If I were English," said Bessie, "it
would certainly seem to me a matter of
course that every one should be a good
" Oh dear, yes, patriotism is every
thing," said Lord Lambeth, not quite
following, but very contented. " Now,
what are you going to do here ?"
" On Thursday I am ^oing to the
"The Tower of London. Did you
never hear of it ?"
" Oh yes, I have been there," said Lord
Lambeth. " I was taken there by my
governess when I was six years old. It's
a rum idea, your going there."
"Do give me a few more rum ideas,"
said Bessie. " I want to see everything
of that sort. I am going to Hampton
Court, and to Windsor, and to the Dul-
Lord Lambeth seemed greatly amused.
" I wonder you don't go to the Bosher-
"Are they interesting?" asked Bessie.
" Oli, wonderful !"
" Are they very old ? That's all I care
for," said Bessie.
" They are tremendously old ; they are
falling to ruins."
"I think there is nothing so charming
as an old ruinous garden," said the young
girl. " We must certainly go there."
Lord Lambeth broke out into merri
ment. " I say, Woodley," he cried," here's
Miss Alden wants to go to the Rosher-
ville Gardens !"
Willie Woodley looked a little blank ;
he was caught in the fact of ignorance of
an apparently conspicuous feature of Lon
don life. But in a moment he turned it
off. " Very well," lie said, " I'll write
for a permit."
Lord Lambeth's exhilaration increased.
" Gad, I believe you Americans would go
anywhere !" lie cried.
'' We wish to go to Parliament," said
Bessie. " That's one of the first things."
" Oh, it would bore you to death !"
cried the young man.
" We wish to hear you speak."
"I never speak except to young la
dies," said Lord Lambeth, smiling.
Bessie Alden looked at him a while,
smiling, too, in the shadow of her para-
sol. " You are very strange," she mur
mured. "I don't think I approve of
"Ah, now, don't be severe, Miss Al
den," said Lord Lambeth, smiling still
more. " Please don't be severe. I want
you to like me awfully."
" To like you awfully? You must not
laugh at me, then, when I make mistakes.
I consider it my right, as a free-born
American, to make as many mistakes as
"Upon my word I didn't laugh at
you," said Lord Lambeth.
" And not only that," Bessie went on ;
" but I hold that all my mistakes shall be
set down to my credit. You must think
the better of me for them."
" I can't think better of you than I do,"
the young man declared.
Bessie Alden looked at him a moment.
" You certainly speak very well to young
ladies. But why don't you address the
House ? isn't that what they call it ?"
" Because I have nothing to say," said
" Haven't you a great position ?" asked
He looked a moment at the back of his
glove. "I'll set that down," he said, "as
one of your, mistakes to your credit."
And as if he disliked talking about his
position, he changed the subject. " I
wish you would let me go with you to
the Tower, and to Hampton Court, and
to all those other places."
" We shall be most happy," said Bessie.
"And of course I shall be delighted to
show you the House of Lords some day
that suits you. There are a lot of things
I want to do for you. I want to make
you have a good time. And I should
like very much to present some of my
friends to you, if it wouldn't bore you.
Then it would be awfully kind of you to
come down to Branches."
"We are much obliged to you, Lord
Lambeth," said Bessie.
"What is Branches?"
"It's a house in the M
country. I think you
might like it."
Willie Woodley and
Mrs. Westgate at this
moment were sitting in silence, and the
young man's ear caught these last words
of Lord Lambeth's. " He's inviting Miss
Bessie to one of his castles," he murmured
to his companion.
Mrs. Westgate, foreseeing what she
mentally called "complications," imme
diately got up ; and the two ladies, tak
ing leave of Lord Lambeth, returned,
under Mr. Woodley's conduct, to Jones's
Lord Lambeth came to see them on the
morrow, bringing Percy Beaumont with
him the latter having instantly declared
his intention of neglecting none of the
usual offices of civility. This declaration,
however, when his kinsman informed
him of the advent of their American
friends, had been preceded by another
" Here they are, then, and you are in
" What am I in for ?" demanded Lord
" I will let your mother give it a name.
With all respect to whom," added Percy
Beaumont, " I must decline on this occa
sion to do any more police duty. Her
Grace must look after you herself."
" I will give her a chance," said her
Grace's son, a trifle grimly. " I shall
make her go and see them."
" She won't do it, my boy."
" We'll see if she doesn't," said Lord
But if Percy Beaumont took a sombre
view of the arrival of the two ladies at
Jones's Hotel, he was sufficiently a man
of the world to offer them a smiling;
countenance. He fell into animated con
versation conversation, at least, that was
animated on her side with Mrs. West-
gate, while his companion made himself
agreeable to the young lady. Mrs. West-
gate began confessing and protesting, de
claring and expounding.
" I must say London is a great deal
brighter and prettier just now than when
I was here last in the month of Novem
ber. There is evidently a great deal going
on, and you seem to have a good many
flowers. I have no doubt it is very
charming for all you people, and that you
amuse yourselves immensely. It is very
good of you to let Bessie and me come
and sit and look at you. I suppose you
think I am satirical, but I must confess
that that's the feeling I have in London."
" I am afraid I don't quite understand
to what feeling you allude," said Percy
" The feeling that it's all very well for
you English people. Everything is beau
tifully arranged for you."
"It seems to me it is very well for
some Americans, sometimes," rejoined
" For some of them, yes if they like
to be patronized. But I must say I don't
like to be patronized. I may be very
eccentric and undisciplined and outra
geous, but I confess I never was fond of
patronage. I like to associate with peo
ple on the same terms as I do in my own
country ; that's a peculiar taste that I have.
But here people seem to expect something
else Heaven knows what ! lam afraid
you will think I am very ungrateful, for
I certainly have received a great deal of
attention. The last time I was here, a
lady sent me a message that I was at
liberty to come and see her."
"Dear me! I hope you didn't go," ob
served Percy Beaumont.
" You are deliciously naive, I must say
that for you !" Mrs. Westgate exclaimed.
" It must be a great advantage to you
here in London. I suppose if I myself
had a little more naivete, I should enjoy it
more. I should be content to sit on a chair
in the park, and see the people pass, and be
told that this is the Duchess of Suffolk, and
that is the Lord Chamberlain, and that I
must be thankful for the privilege of be
holding them. I dare say it is very wicked
and critical of me to ask for anything else.
But I was always critical, and I freely
confess to the sin of being fastidious. I
am told there is some remarkably supe
rior second-rate society provided here for
strangers. Merci ! I don't want any su
perior second-rate society. I want the
society that I have been accustomed to."
" I hope you don't call Lambeth and
me second-rate," Beaumont interposed.
" Oh, I am accustomed to you," said
Mrs. "YVestgate. " Do you know that you
English sometimes make the most won
derful speeches? The first time I came
to London I went out to dine as I told
you, I have received a great deal of at
tention. After dinner, in the drawing-
room I had some conversation with an
old lady ; I assure you I had. I forget
what we talked about, but she presently
said, in allusion to something we were
discussing, ' Oh, you know, the aristoc
racy do so-and-so ; but in one's own class
of life it is very different.' In one's own
class of life ! What is a poor unprotected
American woman to do in a country
where she is liable to have that sort of
thing said to her?"
" You seem to get hold of some very
queer old ladies; I compliment you on
your acquaintance !" Percy Beaumont ex
claimed. " If you are trying to bring
me to admit that London is an odious
place, you'll not succeed. I'm extremely
fond of it, and I think it the jolliest
place in the world."
"Pour vous autres. I never said the
contrary," Mrs. Westgate retorted. I
make use of this expression, because both
interlocutors had begun to raise their
voices. Percy Beaumont naturally did
not like to hear his country abused, and
Mrs. Westgate, no less naturally, did not
like a stubborn debater.
" Hallo !" said Lord Lambeth ; " what
are they up to now ?" And he came
away from the window, where he had
been standing with Bessie Alden.
" I quite agree with a very clever
countrywoman of mine," Mrs. Westgate
continued, with charming ardor, though
with imperfect relevancy. She smiled at
the two gentlemen for a moment with
terrible brightness, as if to toss at their
feet upon their native heath the gaunt
let of defiance. " For me there are only
two social positions worth speaking of
that of an American lady, and that of the
Emperor of Russia."
" And what do you do with the Ameri
can gentlemen ?" asked Lord Lambeth.
" She leaves them in America !" said
On the departure of their visitors,
Bessie Alden told her sister that Lord
Lambeth would come the next day, to go
with them to the Tower, and that he had
kindly offered to bring his "trap," and
drive them thither.
Mrs. Westgate listened in silence to
this communication, and for some time
afterwards she said nothing. But at last :
" If you had not requested me the oth
er day not to mention it," she began,
"there is something I should venture
to ask you." Bessie frowned a little;
her dark blue eyes were more dark than
blue. But her sister went on. " As it
is, I will take the risk. You are not in
love with Lord Lambeth: I believe it,
'perfectly. Very good. But is there, by
chance, any danger of your becoming so ?
It's a very simple question; don't take
offence. I have a particular reason," said
Mrs. Westgate, " for wanting to know."
Bessie Alden for some moments said
nothing ; she only looked displeased.
" No ; there is no danger," she answered
at last, curtly
" Then I should like to frighten them,"
declared Mrs. Westgate, clasping her
" To frighten whom ?"
" All these people ; Lord Lambeth's
family and friends."
"How should you frighten them?"
asked the young girl.
"It wouldn't be I it would be you.
It would frighten them to think that you
should absorb his lordship's young affec
Bessie Alden, with her clear eyes still
overshadowed by her dark brows, con
tinued to interrogate. " Why should that
frighten them ?"
Mrs. Westgate poised her answer with
a smile before delivering it. " Because
they think you are not good enough.
You are a charming girl, beautiful and
amiable, intelligent and clever, and as
Men-elevee as it is possible to be ; but
you are not a fit match for Lord Lam
Bessie Alden was decidedly disgusted.
"Where do you get such extraordinary
ideas ?" she asked. " You have said some
such strange tilings lately. My dear
Kitty, where do you collect them ?"
Kitty was evidently enamoured of her
idea. " Yes, it would put them on pins
and needles, and it wouldn't hurt you.
Mr. Beaumont is already most uneasy; I
could soon see that."
The young girl meditated a moment.
u Do you mean that they spy upon him
that they interfere with him?"
" I don't know what power they have
to interfere, but I know that a British
mamma may worry her son's life out."
It has been intimated that, as regards
certain disagreeable things, Bessie Alden
had a fund of scepticism. She abstained
on the present occasion from expressing
disbelief, for she wished not to irritate
her sister. But she said to herself that
.Kitty had been misinformed that this
was a traveller's tale. Though she was a
girl of a lively imagination, there could in
the nature of things be, to her sense, no
reality in the idea of her belonging to a
vulgar category. What she said aloud
was, " I must say that in that case I am
very sorry for Lord Lambeth."
Mrs. Westgate, more and more exhila
rated by her scheme, was smiling at her
again. " If I could only believe it was
safe!" she exclaimed. "When you be
gin to pity him, I, on my side, am
"Afraid of what ?"
" Of your pitying him too much."
Bessie Alden turned away impatiently;
but at the end of a minute she turned
back. " What if I should pity him too
much ?" she asked.
Mrs. Westgate hereupon turned away,
but after a moment's reflection she also
faced her sister again. " It would come,
after all, to the same thing," she said.
Lord Lambeth came the next day with
his trap, and the two ladies, attended by
Willie Woodley, placed themselves under
his guidance, and were conveyed east
ward, through some of the dusker por
tions of the metropolis, to the great tur-
reted donjon which overlooks the London
shipping. They all descended from their
vehicle and entered the famous enclosure;
and they secured the services of a vener
able beef -eater, who, though there were
many other claimants for legendary in
formation, made a fine exclusive party of
them, and marched them through courts
and corridors, through armories and pris
ons. He delivered his usual peripatetic
discourse, and they stopped and stared,
and peeped and stooped, according to the
official admonitions. Bessie Alden asked
the old man in the crimson doublet a
great many questions ; she thought it a
most fascinating place. Lord Lambeth
was in high good -humor; he was con-
stantly laughing; he enjoyed what he
would have called the lark. Willie Wood-
ley kept looking at the ceilings and tap
ping the walls with the knuckle of a pearl-
gray glove ; and Mrs. Westgate, asking
at frequent intervals to be allowed to sit
down and wait till they came back, was
as frequently informed that they would
never come back. To a great many of
Bessie's questions chiefly on collateral
points of English history the ancient
warder was naturally unable to reply ;
whereupon she always appealed to Lord
Lambeth. But his lordship was very
ignorant. He declared that he knew
nothing about that sort of thing, and he
seemed greatly diverted at being treated
as an authority.
" You can't expect every one to know
as much as you," he said.
" I should expect you to know a great
deal more," declared Bessie Alden.
" Women always know more than men
about names and dates, and that sort of
thing," Lord Lambeth rejoined. "There
was Lady Jane Grey we have just been
hearing about, who went in for Latin
and Greek, and all the learning of her
" You have no right to be ignorant, at
all events," said Bessie.
" Why haven't I as good a right as any
one else ?"
"Because you have lived in the midst
of all these things."
" What things do you mean ? Axes,
and blocks, and thumb-screws?"
" All these historical things. You be
long to a historical family."
"Bessie is really too historical," said
Mrs. Westgate, catching a word of this
" Yes, you are too historical," said Lord
Lambeth, laughing, but thankful for a
formula. "Upon my honor, you are too
He went with the ladies a couple of days
later to Hampton Court, Willie Woodley
being also of the party. The afternoon
was charming, the famous horse- chest
nuts were in blossom, and Lord Lambeth,
who quite entered into the spirit of the
cockney excursionist, declared that it was
a jolly old place. Bessie Alden was in
ecstasies; she went about murmuring and
" It's too lovely," said the young girl ;
"it's too enchanting; it's too exactly
what it ought to be!"
At Hampton Court the little flocks of
visitors are not provided with an official
bell-wether, but are left to browse at dis
cretion upon the local antiquities. It
happened in this manner that, in default
of another informant, Bessie Alden, who
on doubtful questions was able to suggest
a great many alternatives, found herself
again applying for intellectual assistance
to Lord Lambeth. But he again assured
her that he was utterly helpless in such
matters that his education had been
"And I am sorry it makes you un
happy," he added, in a moment.
"You are very disappointing, Lord
Lambeth," she said.
" Ah, now, don't say that !" he cried.
" That's the worst thing you could possi
"No," she rejoined, "it is not so bad
as to say that I had expected nothing of
" I don't know. Give me a notion of
the sort of thing you expected."
" Well," said Bessie Alden, " that you
would be more what 1 should like to be
what I should try to be in your place."
" Ah, my place !" exclaimed Lord Lam
beth. "You are always talking about
my place !"
The young girl looked at him ; he
thought she colored a little ; and for a
moment she made no rejoinder.
" Does it strike you that I am always
talking about your place?" she asked.
" I am sure you do it a great honor,"
he said, fearing he had been uncivil.
" I have often thought about it," she
went on, after a moment. " I have often
thought about your being a hereditary
legislator. A hereditary legislator ought
to know a great many things."
" Not if he doesn't legislate."
"But you do legislate ; it's absurd your
saying you don't. You are very much
looked up to here T am assured of that."
"I don't know that I ever noticed
"It is because yon are nsed to it, then.
You ought to fill the place."
" How do you mean to fill it ?" asked
" You ought to be very clever and
brilliant, and to know almost everything."
Lord Lambeth looked at her a mo
ment. " Shall I tell you something?" he
asked. " A young man in my position,
as you call it
" I didn't invent the term," interposed
Bessie Alden. " I have seen it in a great
"Hang it! you are always at your
books. A fellow in my position, then,
does very well whatever he does. That's
about what I mean to say."
" Well, if your own people are content
with you," said Bessie Alden, laughing,
" it is not for me to complain. But I
shall always think that, properly, you
should have been a great mind a great
" Ah, that's very theoretic," Lord Lam
beth declared. "Depend upon it, that's
a Yankee prejudice."
" Happy the country," said Bessie Al
den, " where even people's prejudices are
so elevated !"
" Well, after all," observed Lord Lam
beth, " I don't know that I am such a
fool as you are trying to make me out."
" I said nothing so rude as that ; but I
must repeat that you are disappointing."
" My dear Miss Alden," exclaimed the
young man, " I am the best fellow in the
" Ah, if it were not for that !" said
Bessie Alden, with a smile.
Mrs. Westgate had a good many more
friends in London than she pretended,
and before long she had renewed ac
quaintance with most of them. Their
hospitality was extreme, so that, one
thing leading to another, she began, as
the phrase is, to go out. Bessie Alden,
in this way, saw something of what she
found it a great satisfaction to call to
herself English society. She went to
balls and danced, she went to dinners
and talked, she went to concerts and lis
tened (at concerts Bessie always listened),
she went to exhibitions and wondered.
Her enjoyment was keen and her curi
osity insatiable, and, grateful in general
for all her opportunities, she especially
prized the privilege of meeting certain
celebrated persons authors and artists,
philosophers and statesmen of whose
renown she had been a humble and dis
tant beholder, and who now, as a part of
the habitual furniture of London draw
ing-rooms, struck her as stars fallen from
the firmament and become palpable re
vealing also sometimes, on contact, quali
ties not to have been predicted of side
Bessie, who knew so many of her con
temporaries by reputation, had a good
many personal disappointments; but, on
the other hand, she had innumerable satis
factions and enthusiasms, and she com
municated the emotions of either class to
a dear friend of her own sex in Boston,
with whom she was in voluminous corre
spondence. Some of her reflections, in
deed, she attempted to impart to Lord
Lambeth, who came almost every day to
Jones's Hotel, and whom Mrs. Westgate
admitted to be really devoted. Captain
Littledale, it appeared, had gone to India;
and of several others of Mrs. Westgate's
ex -pensioners gentlemen who, as she
said, had made, in New York, a club
house of her drawing-room no tidings
were to be obtained ; but Lord Lambeth
was certainly attentive enough to make
up for the accidental absences, the short
memories, all the other irregularities, of
every one else. He drove them in the
park, he took them to visit private collec
tions of pictures, and, having a house of
his own, invited them to dinner. Mrs.
Westgate, following the fashion of many
of her compatriots, caused herself and
her sister to be presented at the English
court by her diplomatic representative
for it was in this manner that she alluded
to the American minister to England, in
quiring what on earth he was put there
for, if not to make the proper arrange
ments for one's going to a Drawing-room.
Lord Lambeth declared that he hated
Drawing-rooms, but he participated in
the ceremony on the day on which the
two ladies at Jones's Hotel repaired to
Buckingham Palace in a remarkable coach
which his lordship had sent to fetch
them. He had a gorgeous uniform, and
Bessie Alden was particularly struck with
his appearance, especially when on her ask
ing him rather foolishly, as she felt if
he were a loyal subject, he replied that
he was a loyal subject to her. This dec-
laration was emphasized by his dancing
with her at a royal ball to which the two
ladies afterwards went, and was not im
paired by the fact that she thought he
danced very ill. He seemed to her won
derfully kind ; she asked herself, with
growing vivacity, why he should be so
kind. It was his disposition that seemed
the natural answer. She had told her
sister that she liked him very much, and
now that she liked him more she won
dered why. She liked him for his dispo
sition ; to this question as well that seemed
the natural answer. When once the im
pressions of London life began to crowd
thickly upon her she completely forgot
her sister's warning about the cynicism
of public opinion. It had given her
great pain at the moment, but there was
no particular reason why she should re
member it ; it corresponded too little
with any sensible reality ; and it was dis
agreeable to Bessie to remember disagree
able things. So she was not haunted
with the sense of a vulgar imputation.
She was not in love with Lord Lambeth
she assured herself of that.
It will immediately be observed that
when such assurances become necessary
the state of a young lady's
affections is already ambigu
ous ; and, indeed, Bessie Al-
den made no attempt to dissim
ulate to herself, of course a cer
tain tenderness that she felt for the
young nobleman. She said to her
self that she liked the type to which
he belonged the simple, candid,
manly, healthy English tempera
ment. She spoke to herself of him
as women speak of young men they
like alluded to his bravery (which
she had never in the least seen test
ed), to his honesty and gentlemanli-
ness, and was not silent upon the
subject of his good looks. She was
perfectly conscious, moreover, that
she liked to think of his more ad
ventitious merits ; that her imagi
nation was excited and gratified
by the sight of a handsome young
man endowed with such large oppor-
tunities opportunities she hardly
knew for what, but, as she supposed, for
doing great things for setting an exam
ple, for exerting an influence, for confer
ring happiness, for encouraging the arts.
She had a kind of ideal of conduct for a
young man who should find himself in
this magnificent position, and she tried to
adapt it to Lord Lambeth's deportment,
as you might attempt to fit a silhouette in
cut paper upon a shadow projected upon
But Bessie Alden's silhouette refused
to coincide with his lordship's image, and
this want of harmony sometimes vexed
her more than she thought reasonable.
When he was absent it was, of course,
less striking; then he seemed to her a
sufficiently graceful combination of high
responsibilities and amiable qualities. But
when he sat there within sight, laughing
and talking with his customary good-
humor and simplicity, she measured it
more accurately, and she felt acutely that
if Lord Lambeth's position was heroic,
there was but little of the hero in the
young man himself. Then her imagi
nation wandered away from him very
far away; for it was an incontestable fact
that at such moments he seemed distinct-
ly dull. I am afraid that while Bessie's
imagination was thus invidiously roam
ing, she cannot have been herself a very
lively companion ; but it may well have
been that these occasional fits of indiffer
ence seemed to Lord Lambeth a part of
the young girl's personal charm. It had
been a part of this charm from the first
that he felt that she judged him and
measured him more freely and irresponsi
bly more at her ease and her leisure, as
it were than several young ladies with
whom he had been, on the whole, about
as intimate. To feel this, and yet to feel
that she also liked him, was very agree
able to Lord Lambeth. He fancied he
had compassed that gratification so desir
able to young men of title and fortune-
being liked for himself. It is true that
a cynical counsellor might have whispered
to him, " Liked for yourself ? Yes ; but
not so very much !" He had, at any
rate, the constant hope of being liked
It may seem, perhaps, a trifle singular
but it is nevertheless true that Bessie
Alden, when he struck her as dull, de
voted some time, on grounds of con
science, to trying to like him more. I
say on grounds of conscience, because she
felt that he had been extremely " nice "
to her sister, and because she reflected
that it was no more than fair that she
should think as well of him as he thought
of her. This effort was possibly some
times not so successful as it might have
been, for the result of it was occasionally
a vague irritation, which expressed itself
in hostile criticism of several British in
stitutions. Bessie Alden went to some
entertainments at which she met Lord
Lambeth; but she went to others at which
his lordship was neither actually nor po
tentially present ; and it was chiefly on
these latter occasions that she encoun
tered those literary and artistic celebri
ties of whom mention has been made.
After a while she reduced the matter to a
principle. If Lord Lambeth should ap
pear anywhere, it was a symbol that there
would be no poets and philosophers ; and
in consequence for it was almost a strict
consequence she used to enumerate to
the young man these objects of her admi
"You seem to be awfully fond of those
sort of people," said Lord Lambeth one
day, as if the idea had just occurred to him.
"They are the people in England I
am most curious to see," Bessie Alden
" I suppose that's because you have
read so much," said Lord Lambeth, gal
"I have not read so much. It is be
cause we think so much of them at home."
"Oh, I see," observed the young noble
man. " In Boston."
"Not only in Boston ; every where," s-aid
Bessie. " We hold them in great honor ;
they go to the best dinner-parties."
" I dare say you are right. I can't say
I know many of them."
"It's a pity you don't," Bessie Alden
declared. "It would do you good."
" I dare say it would," said Lord Lam
beth, very humbly. " But I must say I
don't like the looks of some of them."
" Neither do I of some of them. But
there are all kinds, and many of them
" I have talked with two or three of
them," the young man went on, "and I
thought they had a kind of fawning
" Why should they fawn ?" Bessie Al
" I'm sure I don't know. Why, in
"Perhaps you only thought so," said
"Well, of course," rejoined her com
panion, " that's a kind of thing that can't
"In America they don't fawn," said
"Ah, well, then, they must be better
Bessie was silent a moment. " That is
one of the things I don't like about Eng
land," she said " your keeping the dis
tinguished people apart."
" How do you mean apart ?"
" Why, letting them come only to cer
tain places. You never see them."
Lord Lambeth looked at her a moment.
" What people do you mean ?"
"The eminent people the authors
and artists the clever people."
" Oh, there are other eminent people
besides those," said Lord Lambeth.
" Well, you certainly keep them apart,"
repeated the young girl.
"And there are other clever people,"
added Lord Lambeth, simply.
Bessie Alden looked at him, and she
gave a light laugh. "Not many," she
On another occasion just after a din
ner-party she told him that there was
something else in England she did not
"Oh, I say!" he cried, "haven't you
abused us enough ?"
"I have never abused you at all," said
Bessie; "but I don't like your prece
" It isn't my precedence !" Lord Lam
beth declared, laughing.
"Yes, it is yours just exactly yours;
and I think it's odious," said Bessie.
" I never saw such a young lady for
discussing things ! Has some one had
the impudence to go before you ?" asked
"It is not the going before me that I
object to," said Bessie ; " it is their think
ing that they have a right to do it a
right that I recognize"
" I never saw such a young lady as you
are for not ' recognizing.' I have no
doubt the thing is beastly, but it saves
a lot of trouble."
" It makes a lot of trouble. It's horrid,"
" But how would you have the first
people go ?" asked Lord Lambeth. " They
can't go last."
" Whom do you mean by the first
"Ah, if you mean to question first
principles!" said Lord Lambeth.
" If those are your first principles, no
wonder some of your arrangements are
horrid," observed Bessie Alden, with a
very pretty ferocity. " I am a young
girl, so of course I go last; but imagine
what Kitty must feel on being informed
that she is not at liberty to budge until
certain other ladies have passed out."
" Oh, I say she is not ' informed !' r
cried Lord Lambeth. "No one would
do such a thing as that."
" She is made to feel it," the young
girl insisted u as if they were afraid she
would make a rush for the door. No;
you have a lovely country," said Bessie
Alden, " but your precedence is horrid."
" I certainly shouldn't think your sister
would like it," rejoined Lord Lambeth,
with even exaggerated gravity. But
Bessie Alden could induce him to enter
no formal protest against this repulsive
custom, which he seemed to think an
Percy Beaumont all this time had been
a very much less frequent visitor at
Jones's Hotel than his noble kinsman ;
he had, in fact, called but twice upon the
two American ladies. Lord Lambeth,
who often saw him, reproached him with
his neglect, and declared that, although
Mrs. Westgate had said nothing about it,
he was sure that she was secretly wounded
by it. " She suffers too much to speak,"
said Lord Lambeth.
" That's all gammon," said Percy Beau
mont ; "there's a limit to what people
can suffer !" And, though sending no
apologies to Jones's Hotel, he undertook,
in a manner, to explain his absence. "You
are always there," he said, "and that's
reason enough for my not going."
"I don't see why. There is enough
for both of us."
"I don't care to be a witness of yonr
your reckless passion," said Percy Beau
Lord Lambeth looked at him with a
cold eye, and for a moment said nothing.
" It's not so obvious as you might sup
pose," he rejoined, dryly, "considering
what a demonstrative beggar I am."
" I don't want to know anything about
it nothing whatever," said Beaumont.
'Your mother asks me every time she
sees me whether I believe you are really
lost and Lady Pimlico does the same.
I prefer to be able to answer that I know
nothing about it that I never go there.
I stay away for consistency's sake. As I
said the other day, they must look after
" You are devilish considerate," said
Lord Lambeth. "They never question
" They are afraid of you. They are
afraid of irritating you and making you
worse. So they go to work very cau-
tiously, and, somewhere or other, they
get their information. They know a
great deal about you. They know that
you have been with those ladies to the
dome of St. Paul's and where was the
other place ? to the Thames Tunnel."
" If all their knowledge is as accurate
as that, it must be very valuable," said
" Well, at any rate, they know that you
have been visiting the i sights of the me
tropolis.' They think very naturally,
as it seems to me that when you take to
visiting the sights of the metropolis with
a little American girl, there is serious
cause for alarm." Lord Lambeth re
sponded to this intimation by scornful
laughter, and his companion continued,
after a pause : " I said just now I didn't
want to know anything about the affair ;
but I will confess that I am curious to
learn whether you propose to marry Miss
On this point Lord Lambeth gave his
interlocutor no immediate satisfaction ;
he was musing, with a frown. " By
Jove," he said, " they go rather too far !
They shall find me dangerous I promise
Percy Beaumont began to laugh. " You
don't redeem your promises. You said
the other day you would make your
Lord Lambeth continued to meditate.
" I asked her to call," he said, simply.
" And she declined ?"
" Yes ; but she shall do it yet."
" Upon my word," said Percy Beau
mont, " if she gets much more frightened
I believe she will." Lord Lambeth looked
at him, and he went on. " She will go
to the girl herself."
"How do you mean she will go to
" She will beg her off, or she will bribe
her. She will take strong measures."
Lord Lambeth turned away in silence,
and his companion watched him take
twenty steps and then slowly return. " I
have invited Mrs. Westgate and Miss
Alden to Branches," he said, "and this
evening I shall name a day."
"And shall you invite your mother
and your sisters to meet them ?"
" That will set the duchess off," said
Percy Beaumont. " I suspect she will
" She may do as she pleases."
Beaumont looked at Lord Lambeth.
"You do really propose to marry the
little sister, then ?"
" I like the way you talk about it !"
cried the young man. " She won't gob
ble me down ; don't be afraid."
" She won't leave you on your knees,"
said Percy Beaumont. "What is the in
"You talk about proposing : wait till I
have proposed," Lord Lambeth went on.
" That's right, my dear fellow ; think
about it," said Percy Beaumont.
" She's a charming girl," pursued his
"Of course she's a charming girl. I
don't know a girl more charming, intrin
sically. But there are other charming
girls nearer home."
" I like her spirit," observed Lord Lam
beth, almost as if he were trying to tor
ment his cousin.
" What's the peculiarity of her spirit ?"
" She's not afraid, and she says things
out, and she thinks herself as good as
any one. She is the only girl I have
ever seen that was not dying to marry
" How do you know that, if you haven't
" I don't know how ; but 1 know it."
" I am sure she asked me questions
enough about your property and your
titles," said Beaumont.
" She has asked me questions, too ; no
end of them," Lord Lambeth admitted.
" But she asked for information, don't
" Information ? Aye, I'll warrant she
wanted it. Depend upon it that she is
dying to marry you just as much and just
as little as all the rest of them."
" I shouldn't like her to refuse me I
shouldn't like that."
" If the thing would be so disagree
able, then, both to you and to her, in
Heaven's name leave it alone," said Percy
Mrs. Westgate, on her side, had plenty
to say to her sister about the rarity of
Mr. Beaumont's visits and the non-ap
pearance of the Duchess of Bayswater.
She professed, however, to derive more
satisfaction from this latter circumstance
than she could have done from the most
lavish attentions on the part of this great
lady. " It is most marked," she said
"most marked. It is a delicious proof
that we have made them miserable. The
day we dined with Lord Lambeth I was
really sorry for the poor fellow." It will
have been gathered that the entertain
ment offered Lord Lambeth to his Ameri
can friends had not been graced by the
presence of his anxious mother. He had
invited several choice spirits to meet
them ; but the ladies of his immediate
family were to Mrs. Westgate's sense
a sense possibly morbidly acute con
spicuous by their absence.
"I don't want to express myself in a
manner that you dislike," said Bessie
Alden ; " but I don't know why you
should have so many theories about Lord
Lambeth's poor mother. You know a
great many young men in New York
without knowing their mothers."
Mrs. Westgate looked at her sister, and
then turned away. " My dear Bessie,
you are superb !" she said.
" One thing is certain," the young girl
continued. " If I believed I were a cause
of annoyance however unwitting to
Lord Lambeth's family, I should insist
" Insist upon my leaving England,"
said Mrs. Westgate.
"No, not that. I want to go to the
National Gallery again ; I want to see
Stratford -on -Avon and Canterbury Ca
thedral. But I should insist upon his
coining to see us no more."
" That would be very modest and very
pretty of you ; but you wouldn't do it
"Why do you say 'now?'" asked Bes
sie Alden. "Have I ceased to be mod
" You care for him too much. A
month ago, when you said you didn't, I
believe it was quite true. But at pres
ent, my dear child," said Mrs. Westgate,
"you wouldn't find it quite so simple a
matter never to see Lord Lambeth again.
I have seen it coming on."
"You are mistaken," said Bessie. " You
"My dear child, don't be perverse,"
rejoined her sister.
" I know him better, certainly, if you
mean that," said Bessie. "And I like
him very much. Bat I don't like him
enough to make trouble for him with his
family. However. I don't believe in
" I like the way you say ' however,' "
Mrs. Westgate exclaimed. " Come ; you
would not marry him ?"
" Oh no," said the young girl.
Mrs. Westgate for a moment seemed
vexed. " Why not, pray ?" she demanded.
" Because I don't care to," said Bessie
The morning after Lord Lambeth had
had, with Percy Beaumont, that exchange
of ideas which has just been narrated,
the ladies at Jones's Hotel received from
his lordship a written invitation to pay
their projected visit to Branches Castle
on the following Tuesday. "I think I
have made up a very pleasant party," the
young nobleman said. " Several people
whom you know, and my mother and
sisters, who have so long been regrettably
prevented from making your acquaint
ance." Bessie Alden lost no time in call
ing her sister's attention to the injustice
she had done the Duchess of Bays water,
whose hostility was now proved to be a
" Wait till you see if she comes," said
Mrs. Westgate. " And if she is to meet
us at her son's house, the obligation was
all the greater for her to call upon us.
Bessie had not to wait long, and it ap-
peared that Lord Lambeth's mother now
accepted Mrs. Westgate's view of her
duties. On the morrow, early in the
afternoon, two cards were brought to the
apartment of the American ladies one
of them bearing the name of the Duchess
of Bayswater, and the other that of the
Countess of Pimlico. Mrs. Westgate
glanced at the clock. " It is not yet
four," she said; "they have come early;
they wish to see us. We will receive
them." And she gave orders that her
visitors should be admitted. A few mo
ments later they were introduced, and
there was a solemn exchange of amen
ities. The duchess was a large lady,
with a fine fresh color ; the Countess of
Pimlico was very pretty and elegant.
The duchess looked about her as she
sat down looked not especially at Mrs.
Westgate. " I dare say my son has told
you that I have been wanting to come
and see you," she observed.
" You are very kind," said Mrs. West-
gate, vaguely her conscience not allow
ing her to assent to this proposition-
arid, indeed, not permitting her to enun
ciate her own with any appreciable em.
" He says you were so kind to him in
America," said the duchess.
"We are very glad," Mrs. Westgate re
plied, " to liave been able to make him a
little more a little less a little more
" I think that he stayed at your house,"
remarked the Duchess of Bayswater,
looking at Bessie Alden.
" A very short time," said Mrs. West-
"Oh!" said the duchess; and she con
tinued to look at Bessie, who was en
gaged in conversation with her daughter.
"Do you like London?" Lady Pim-
lico had asked of Bessie, after looking at
her a good deal at her face and her
hands, her dress and her hair.
"Very much indeed," said Bessie.
"Do you like this hotel?"
"It is very comforta
ble," said Bessie.
" Do you like stopping
at hotels?" inquired
Lady Pimlico, after a
"I am very fond of
travelling," Bessie an
swered, "and I suppose
hotels are a necessary part of it. But they
are not the part I am fondest of."
" Oh, I hate travelling," said the Count-
ess of Pimlico, and transferred her atten
tion to Mrs. Westgate.
" My son tells me you are going to
Branches," the duchess said, presently.
" Lord Lambeth has been so good as to
ask us," said Mrs. Westgate, who per
ceived that her visitor had now begun to
look at her, and who had her customary
happy consciousness of a distinguished
appearance. The only mitigation of her
felicity on this point was that, having in
spected her visitor's own costume, she
said to herself, " She won't know how
well I am dressed !"
"He has asked me to go, but I am
not sure I shall be able," murmured the
" He had offered us the p the pros
pect of meeting you," said Mrs. Westgate.
"I hate the country at this season,"
responded the duchess.
Mrs. Westgate gave a little shrug. " I
think it is pleasanter than London."
But the duchess's eyes were absent
again ; she was looking very fixedly at
Bessie. In a moment she slowly rose.
walked to a chair that stood empty at the
young girl's right hand, and silently
seated herself. As she was a majestic,
voluminous woman, this little transaction
had, inevitably, an air of somewhat im
pressive intention. It diffused a certain
awkwardness, which Lady Pimlico, as a
sympathetic daughter, perhaps desired to
rectify in turning to Mrs. Westgate.
u 1 dare say you go out a great deal,"
u No, very little. We are strangers,
and we didn't come here for society."
" I see," said Lady Pimlico. " It's
rather nice in town just now."
" It's charming," said Mrs. Westgate.
" But we only go to see a few people
whom we like."
" Of course one can't like every one,"
said Lady Pimlico.
" It depends upon one's society," Mrs.
The duchess meanwhile had addressed
herself to Bessie. " My son tells me the
young ladies in America are so clever."
" I am glad they made so good an im
pression on him," said Bessie, smiling.
The duchess was not smiling; her
large, fresh face was very tranquil. " He
is very susceptible," she said. "He
thinks every one clever, and sometimes
" Sometimes," Bessie assented, smiling
The duchess looked at her a little, and
then went on : " Lambeth is very sus
ceptible, but he is very volatile, too."
" Volatile ?" asked Bessie.
" He is very inconstant. It won't do
to depend on him."
"Ah," said Bessie, " I don't recognize
that description. We have depended on
him greatly my sister and I and he
has never disappointed us."
" He will disappoint you yet," said the
Bessie gave a little laugh, as if she
were amused at the duchess's persistency.
"I suppose it will depend on what we
expect of him."
" The less you expect the better," Lord
Lambeth's mother declared.
"Well," said Bessie, " we expect noth
The duchess for a moment was silent,
though she appeared to have more to say.
" Lambeth says he has seen so much of
yon," she presently began.
" He has been to see us very often ; he
has been very kind," said Bessie Alden.
"I dare say you are used to that. I
am told there is a great deal of that in
" A great deal of kindness ?" the young
girl inquired, smiling.
" Is that what you call it ? I know
you have different expressions."
"We certainly don't always under
stand each other," said Mrs. Westgate,
the termination of whose interview with
Lady Pimlico allowed her to give atten
tion to their elder visitor.
" I am speaking of the young men
calling so much upon the young ladies,"
the duchess explained.
" But surely in England," said Mrs.
Westgate, " the young ladies don't call
upon the young men ?"
"Some of them do almost!" Lady
Pimlico declared. " When the young
men are a great parti"
" Bessie, you must make a note of
that," said Mrs. Westgate. " My sister,"
she added, " is a model traveller. She
writes down all the curious facts she
hears in a little book she keeps for the
The duchess was a little flushed ; she
looked all about the room, while her
daughter turned to Bessie. " My brother
told us you were wonderfully clever,"
said Lady Pimlico.
"He should have said my sister," Bessie
answered " when she says such things
" Shall you be long at Branches?" the
duchess asked, abruptly, of the young girl.
" Lord Lambeth has asked us for three
days," said Bessie.
"I shall go," the duchess declared,
" and my daughter, too."
" That will be charming !" Bessie re
"Delightful!" murmured Mrs. West-
" I shall expect to see a great deal of
you," the duchess continued. " When I
go to Branches I monopolize my son ? s
"They must be most happy," said Mrs.
Westgate, very graciously.
"I want immensely to see it to see
the castle," said Bessie to the duchess.
" I have never seen one in England, at
least ; and you know we have none in
"Ah, you are fond of castles?" in
quired her Grace.
" Immensely !" replied the young girl.
" It has been the dream of my life to
live in one."
The duchess looked at her a moment,
as if she hardly knew how to take this
assurance, which, from her Grace's point
of view, was either very artless or very
audacious. " Well," she said, rising, " I
will show you Branches myself." And
upon this the two great ladies took their
" What did they mean by it ?" asked
Mrs. Westgate, when they were gone.
" They meant to be polite," said Bessie,
" because we are going to meet them."
" It is too late to be polite," Mrs.
Westgate replied, almost grimly. " They
meant to overawe us by their fine man
ners and their grandeur, and to make you
"Lacker prise f What strange things
you say !" murmured Bessie Alden.
" They meant to snub us, so that we
shouldn't dare to go to Branches," Mrs.
" On the contrary," said Bessie, " the
duchess offered to show me the place
"Yes, you may depend upon it she won't
let you out of her sight. She will show
you the place from morning till night."
" You have a theory for everything,"
" And you apparently have none for
"I saw no attempt to 'overawe' us,"
said the young girl. " Their manners
were not fine."
" They were not even good !" Mrs.
Bessie was silent a while, but in a
few moments she observed that she had
a very good theory. " They came to
look at me," she said, as if this had been
a very ingenious hypothe
sis. Mrs. Westgate did
it justice ; she greet
ed it with a smile,
and pronounced it
most brilliant, while,
in reality, she felt
that the young giiTs
scepticism, or her
charity, or, as she
had sometimes called
it appropriately, her
idealism, was proof against
irony. Bessie, however
remained meditative all the
rest of that day and well on into the
On the morrow, before lunch, Mrs.
Westgate had occasion to go out for an
hour, and left her sister writing a letter.
When she came back she met Lord Lam
beth at the door of the hotel, coming
away. She thought he looked slightly
embarrassed ; he was certainly very grave.
" I am sorry to have missed you. Won't
yon come back ?" she asked.
"No," said the yonng man, "I can't.
I have seen your sister. I can never
come back." Then lie looked at her a
moment, and took her hand. " Good-bye,
Mrs. Westgate," he said. " You have
been very kind to me." And with what
she thought a strange, sad look in his
handsome young face, he turned away.
She went in, and she found Bessie still
writing her letter that is, Mrs. Westgate
perceived she was sitting at the table with
the pen in her hand and not writing.
"Lord Lambeth has been here," said the
elder lad}- at last.
Then Bessie got np and showed her a
pale, serious face. She bent this face
upon her sister for some time, confessing
silently and a little pleading. "I told
him," she said at last, " that we could not
go to Branches."
Mrs. Westgate displayed just a spark
of irritation. " He might have waited,"
she said, with a smile, "till one had seen
the castle." Later, an hour afterwards,
she said, " Dear Bessie, I wish you might
have accepted him."
" I couldn't," said Bessie, gently.
" lie is an excellent fellow," said
" I couldn't," Bessie repeated.
"If it is only," her sister added,
" because those women will think
that they succeeded that they par
Bessie Alden turned away ; but
presently she added, "They were
interesting; I should have liked to
see them again."
"So should I !" cried Mrs. West-
gate, s ig n i ti cai ) tly .
"And I should have liked to see
the castle," said Bessie. "But now
we must leave England," she added.
Her sister looked at her. " You
will not wait to go to the National
Gallery f '
" Not now."
"Nor to Canterbury Cathedral V
Bessie reflected a moment. " We
can stop there on our way to Paris,"
Lord Lambeth did riot tell Percy
Beaumont that the contingency he
was not prepared at all to like had oc
curred ; but Percy Beaumont, on hear
ing that the two ladies had left London,
wondered with some intensity what had
happened wondered, that is, until the
Duchess of Bayswater came a little to his
assistance. The two ladies went to Paris,
and Mrs. Westgate beguiled the journey
to that city by repeating several times :
"That's what I regret; they will think
they petrified us." But Bessie Alden
seemed to regret nothing.
BY HENRY JAMES
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