Part 10 out of 12
Faust. If heaven was made for man, 'twas made for me.
Good Angel. Faustus, repent; yet heaven will pity thee.
Bad Angel. Thou art a spirit, God cannot pity thee.
Faust. Be I a devil, yet God may pity me.
Bad Angel. Too late.
Good Angel. Never too late if Faustus will repent.
Bad Angel. If thou repent, devils will tear thee in pieces.
Old Man. I see an angel hover o'er thy head,
And with a vial full of precious grace,
Offers to pour the same into thy soul.
MARLOWE. -- Doctor Faustus.
Mr. Appleditch had had some business-misfortunes, not of a heavy
nature, but sufficient to cast a gloom over the house in Dervish
Town, and especially over the face of his spouse, who had set her
heart on a new carpet for her drawing-room, and feared she ought not
to procure it now. It is wonderful how conscientious some people
are towards their balance at the banker's. How the drawing-room,
however, could come to want a new carpet is something mysterious,
except there is a peculiar power of decay inherent in things
deprived of use. These influences operating, however, she began to
think that the two scions of grocery were not drawing nine
shillings' worth a week of the sap of divinity. This she hinted to
Mr. Appleditch. It was resolved to give Hugh warning.
As it would involve some awkwardness to state reasons, Mrs.
Appleditch resolved to quarrel with him, as the easiest way of
prefacing his discharge. It was the way she took with her
maids-of-all-work; for it was grand in itself, and always left her
with a comfortable feeling of injured dignity.
As a preliminary course, she began to treat him with still less
politeness than before. Hugh was so careless of her behaviour, that
this made no impression upon him. But he came to understand it all
afterwards, from putting together the remarks of the children, and
the partial communications of Mr. Appleditch to Miss Talbot, which
that good lady innocently imparted to her lodger.
At length, one day, she came into the room where Hugh was more busy
in teaching than his pupils were in learning, and seated herself by
the fire to watch for an opportunity. This was soon found. For the
boys, rendered still more inattentive by the presence of their
mother, could not be induced to fix the least thought upon the
matter in hand; so that Hugh was compelled to go over the same thing
again and again, without success. At last he said:
"I am afraid, Mrs. Appleditch, I must ask you to interfere, for I
cannot get any attention from the boys to-day."
"And how could it be otherwise, Mr. Sutherland, when you keep
wearing them out with going over and over the same thing, till they
are sick of it? Why don't you go on?"
"How can I go on when they have not learned the thing they are at?
That would be to build the chimneys before the walls."
"It is very easy to be witty, sir; but I beg you will behave more
respectfully to me in the presence of my children, innocent lambs!"
Looking round at the moment, Hugh caught in his face what the elder
lamb had intended for his back, a grimace hideous enough to have
procured him instant promotion in the kingdom of apes. The mother
saw it too, and added:
"You see you cannot make them respect you. Really, Mr. Sutherland!"
Hugh was about to reply, to the effect that it was useless, in such
circumstances, to attempt teaching them at all, some utterance of
which sort was watched for as the occasion for his instant
dismission; but at that very moment a carriage and pair pulled
sharply up at the door, with more than the usual amount of
quadrupedation, and mother and sons darted simultaneously to the
"My!" cried Johnnie, "what a rum go! Isn't that a jolly carriage,
"Papa's bought a carriage!" shouted Peetie.
"Be quiet, children," said their mother, as she saw a footman get
down and approach the door.
"Look at that buffer," said Johnnie. "Do come and see this grand
footman, Mr. Sutherland. He's such a gentleman!"
A box on the ear from his mother silenced him. The servant entering
with some perturbation a moment after, addressed her mistress, for
she dared not address any one else while she was in the room:
"Please 'm, the carriage is astin' after Mr. Sutherland."
The lady turned to Mr. Sutherland, who, although surprised as well,
was not inclined to show his surprise to Mrs. Appleditch.
"I did not know you had carriage-friends, Mr. Sutherland," said she,
with a toss of her head.
"Neither did I," answered Hugh. "But I will go and see who it is."
When he reached the street, he found Harry on the pavement, who
having got out of the carriage, and not having been asked into the
house, was unable to stand still for impatience. As soon as he saw
his tutor, he bounded to him, and threw his arms round his neck,
standing as they were in the open street. Tears of delight filled
"Come, come, come," said Harry; "we all want you."
"Who wants me?"
"Mrs. Elton and Euphra and me. Come, get in."
And he pulled Hugh towards the carriage.
"I cannot go with you now. I have pupils here."
Harry's face fell.
"When will you come?"
"Hurrah! I shall be back exactly in half-an-hour then. Do be
ready, please, Mr. Sutherland."
Harry jumped into the carriage, telling the coachman to drive where
he pleased, and be back at the same place in half-an-hour. Hugh
returned into the house.
As may be supposed, Margaret was the means of this happy meeting.
Although she saw plainly enough that Euphra would like to see Hugh,
she did not for some time make up her mind to send for him. The
circumstances which made her resolve to do so were these.
For some days Euphra seemed to be gradually regaining her health and
composure of mind. One evening, after a longer talk than usual,
Margaret had left her in bed, and had gone to her own room. She was
just preparing to get into bed herself, when a knock at her door
startled her, and going to it, she saw Euphra standing there, pale
as death, with nothing on but her nightgown, notwithstanding the
bitter cold of an early and severe frost. She thought at first she
must be walking in her sleep, but the scared intelligence of her
open eyes, soon satisfied her that it was not so.
"What is the matter, dear Miss Cameron?" she said, as calmly as she
"He is coming. He wants me. If he calls me, I must go."
"No, you shall not go," rejoined Margaret, firmly.
"I must, I must," answered Euphra, wringing her hands.
"Do come in," said Margaret, "you must not stand there in the cold."
"Let me get into your bed."
"Better let me go with you to yours. That will be more comfortable
"Oh! yes; please do."
Margaret threw a shawl round Euphra, and went back with her to her
"He wants me. He wants me. He will call me soon," said Euphra, in
an agonised whisper, as soon as the door was shut. "What shall I
"Come to bed first, and we will talk about it there."
As soon as they were in bed, Margaret put her arm round Euphra, who
was trembling with cold and fear, and said:
"Has this man any right to call you?"
"No, no," answered Euphra, vehemently.
"Then don't go."
"But I am afraid of him."
"Defy him in God's name."
"But besides the fear, there is something that I can't describe,
that always keeps telling me -- no, not telling me, pushing me -- no,
drawing me, as if I could not rest a moment till I go. I cannot
describe it. I hate to go, and yet I feel that if I were cold in my
grave, I must rise and go if he called me. I wish I could tell you
what it is like. It is as if some demon were shaking my soul till I
yielded and went. Oh! don't despise me. I can't help it."
"My darling, I don't, I can't despise you. You shall not go to
"But I must," answered she, with a despairing faintness more
convincing than any vehemence; and then began to weep with a slow,
hopeless weeping, like the rain of a November eve.
Margaret got out of bed. Euphra thought she was offended. Starting
up, she clasped her hands, and said:
"Oh Margaret! I won't cry. Don't leave me. Don't leave me."
She entreated like a chidden child.
"No, no, I didn't mean to leave you for a moment. Lie down again,
dear, and cry as much as you like. I am going to read a little bit
out of the New Testament to you."
"I am afraid I can't listen to it."
"Never mind. Don't try. I want to read it."
Margaret got a New Testament, and read part of that chapter of St.
John's Gospel which speaks about human labour and the bread of life.
She stopped at these words:
"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will
of him that sent me."
Euphra's tears had ceased. The sound of Margaret's voice, which, if
it lost in sweetness by becoming more Scotch when she read the
Gospel, yet gained thereby in pathos, and the power of the blessed
words themselves, had soothed the troubled spirit a little, and she
"The count is not a good man, Miss Cameron?"
"You know he is not, Margaret. He is the worst man alive."
"Then it cannot be God's will that you should go to him."
"But one does many things that are not God's will."
"But it is God's will that you should not go to him."
Euphra lay silent for a few moments. Suddenly she exclaimed:
"Then I must not go to him," -- got out of bed, threw herself on her
knees by the bedside, and holding up her clasped hands, said, in low
tones that sounded as if forced from her by agony:
"I won't! I won't! O God, I will not. Help me, help me!"
Margaret knelt beside her, and put her arm round her. Euphra spoke
no more, but remained kneeling, with her extended arms and clasped
hands lying on the bed, and her head laid between them. At length
Margaret grew alarmed, and looked at her. But she found that she
was in a sweet sleep. She gently disengaged herself, and covering
her up soft and warm, left her to sleep out her God-sent sleep
undisturbed, while she sat beside, and watched for her waking.
She slept thus for an hour. Then lifting her head, and seeing
Margaret, she rose quietly, as if from her prayers, and said with a
"Margaret, I was dreaming that I had a mother."
"So you have, somewhere."
"Yes, so I have, somewhere," she repeated, and crept into bed like a
child, lay down, and was asleep again in a moment.
Margaret watched her for another hour, and then seeing no signs of
restlessness, but that on the contrary her sleep was profound, lay
down beside her, and soon shared in that repose which to weary women
and men is God's best gift.
She rose at her usual hour the next day, and was dressed before
Euphra awoke. It was a cold grey December morning, with the
hoar-frost lying thick on the roofs of the houses. Euphra opened
her eyes while Margaret was busy lighting the fire. Seeing that she
was there, she closed them again, and fell once more fast asleep.
Before she woke again, Margaret had some tea ready for her; after
taking which, she felt able to get up. She rose looking more bright
and hopeful than Margaret had seen her before.
But Margaret, who watched her intently through the day, saw a change
come over her cheer. Her face grew pale and troubled. Now and then
her eyes were fixed on vacancy; and again she would look at Margaret
with a woebegone expression of countenance; but presently, as if
recollecting herself, would smile and look cheerful for a moment.
Margaret saw that the conflict was coming on, if not already
begun -- that at least its shadow was upon her; and thinking that if
she could have a talk with Hugh about what he had been doing, it
would comfort her a little, and divert her thoughts from herself,
even if no farther or more pleasantly than to the count. She let
Harry know Hugh's address, as given in the letter to her father.
She was certain that, if Harry succeeded in finding him, nothing
more was necessary to insure his being brought to Mrs. Elton's. As
we have seen, Harry had traced him to Buccleuch Terrace.
Hugh re-entered the house in the same mind in which he had gone out;
namely, that after Mrs. Appleditch's behaviour to him before his
pupils, he could not remain their tutor any longer, however great
his need might be of the pittance he received for his services.
But although Mrs. Appleditch's first feeling had been jealousy of
Hugh's acquaintance with "carriage-people," the toadyism which is so
essential an element of such jealousy, had by this time revived; and
when Hugh was proceeding to finish the lesson he had begun,
intending it to be his last, she said:
"Why didn't you ask your friend into the drawing-room, Mr.
"Good gracious! The drawing-room!" thought Hugh -- but answered: "He
will fetch me when the lesson is over."
"I am sure, sir, any friends of yours that like to call upon you
here, will be very welcome. It will be more agreeable to you to
receive them here, of course; for your accommodation at poor Miss
Talbot's is hardly suitable for such visitors."
"I am sorry to say, however," answered Hugh, "that after the way you
have spoken to me to-day, in the presence of my pupils, I cannot
continue my relation to them any longer."
"Ho! ho!" resnorted the lady, indignation and scorn mingling with
mortification; "our grand visitors have set our backs up. Very
well, Mr. Sutherland, you will oblige me by leaving the house at
once. Don't trouble yourself, pray, to finish the lesson. I will
pay you for it all the same. Anything to get rid of a man who
insults me before the very faces of my innocent lambs! And please
to remember," she added, as she pulled out her purse, while Hugh was
collecting some books he had lent the boys, "that when you were
starving, my husband and I took you in and gave you employment out
of charity -- pure charity, Mr. Sutherland. Here is your money."
"Good morning, Mrs. Appleditch," said Hugh; and walked out with his
books under his arm, leaving her with the money in her hand.
He had to knock his feet on the pavement in front of the house, to
keep them from freezing, for half-an-hour, before the carriage
arrived to take him away. As soon as it came up, he jumped into it,
and was carried off in triumph by Harry.
Mrs. Elton received him kindly. Euphra held out her hand with a
slight blush, and the quiet familiarity of an old friend. Hugh
could almost have fallen in love with her again, from compassion for
her pale, worn face, and subdued expression.
Mrs. Elton went out in the carriage almost directly, and Euphra
begged Harry to leave them alone, as she had something to talk to
Mr. Sutherland about.
"Have you found any trace of Count Halkar, Hugh?" she said, the
moment they were by themselves.
"I am very sorry to say I have not. I have done my best."
"I am quite sure of that. -- I just wanted to tell you, that, from
certain indications which no one could understand so well as myself,
I think you will have more chance of finding him now."
"I am delighted to hear it," responded Hugh. "If I only had him!"
Euphra sighed, paused, and then said:
"But I am not sure of it. I think he is in London; but he may be in
Bohemia, for anything I know. I shall, however, in all probability,
know more about him within a few days."
Hugh resolved to go at once to Falconer, and communicate to him what
Euphra had told him. But he said nothing to her as to the means by
which he had tried to discover the count; for although he felt sure
that he had done right in telling Falconer all about it, he was
afraid lest Euphra, not knowing what sort of a man he was, might not
like it. Euphra, on her part, did not mention Margaret's name; for
she had begged her not to do so.
"You will tell me when you know yourself?"
"Perhaps. -- I will, if I can. I do wish you could get the ring. I
have a painful feeling that it gives him power over me."
"That can only be a nervous fancy, surely," Hugh ventured to say.
"Perhaps it is. I don't know. But, still, without that, there are
plenty of reasons for wishing to recover it. He will put it to a
bad use, if he can. But for your sake, especially, I wish we could
"Thank you. You were always kind."
"No," she replied, without lifting her eyes; "I brought it all upon
"But you could not help it."
"Not at the moment. But all that led to it was my fault."
She paused; then suddenly resumed:
"I will confess. -- Do you know what gave rise to the reports of the
house being haunted?"
"It was me wandering about it at night, looking for that very ring,
to give to the count. It was shameful. But I did. Those reports
prevented me from being found out. But I hope not many ghosts are
so miserable as I was. -- You remember my speaking to you of Mr.
"I wanted to find out, through you, where the ring was. But I had
no intention of involving you."
"I am sure you had not."
"Don't be too sure of anything about me. I don't know what I might
have been led to do. But I am very sorry. Do forgive me."
"I cannot allow that I have anything to forgive. But tell me,
Euphra, were you the creature, in white that I saw in the Ghost's
Walk one night? I don't mean the last time."
"Very likely," she answered, bending her head yet lower, with a
"Then who was the creature in black that met you? And what became
of you then?"
"Did you see her?" rejoined Euphra, turning paler still. "I fainted
at sight of her. I took her for the nun that hangs in that horrid
"So did I," said Hugh. "But you could not have lain long; for I went
up to the spot where you vanished, and found nothing."
"I suppose I got into the shrubbery before I fell. Or the count
dragged me in. -- But was that really a ghost? I feel now as if it
was a good messenger, whether ghost or not, come to warn me, if I
had had the courage to listen. I wish I had taken the warning."
They talked about these and other things, till Mrs. Elton, who had
made Hugh promise to stay to lunch, returned. When they were seated
at table, the kind-hearted woman said:
"Now, Mr. Sutherland, when will you begin again with Harry?"
"I do not quite understand you," answered Hugh.
"Of course you will come and give him lessons, poor boy. He will be
broken-hearted if you don't."
"I wish I could. But I cannot -- at least yet; for I know his father
was dissatisfied with me. That was one of the reasons that made him
send Harry to London."
Harry looked wretchedly disappointed, but said nothing.
"I never heard him say anything of the sort."
"I am sure of it, though. I am very sorry he has mistaken me; but
he will know me better some day."
"I will take all the responsibility," persisted Mrs. Elton.
"But unfortunately the responsibility sticks too fast for you to
take it. I cannot get rid of my share if I would."
"You are too particular. I am sure Mr. Arnold never could have
meant that. This is my house too."
"But Harry is his boy. If you will let me come and see him
sometimes, I shall be very thankful, though. I may be useful to him
without giving him lessons."
"Thank you," said Harry with delight.
"Well, well! I suppose you are so much in request in London that
you won't miss him for a pupil."
"On the contrary, I have not a single engagement. If you could find
me one, I should be exceedingly obliged to you."
"Dear! dear! dear!" said Mrs. Elton. "Then you shall have Harry."
"Oh! yes; please take me," said Harry, beseechingly.
"No, I cannot. I must not."
Mrs. Elton rang the bell.
"James, tell the coachman I want the carriage in an hour."
Mrs. Elton was as submissive to her coachman as ladies who have
carriages generally are, and would not have dreamed of ordering the
horses out so soon again for herself; but she forgot everything else
when a friend was in need of help, and became perfectly
pachydermatous to the offended looks or indignant hints of that
Within a few minutes after Hugh took his leave, Mrs. Elton was on
her way to repeat a visit she had already paid the same morning, and
to make several other calls, with the express object of finding
pupils for Hugh. But in this she was not so successful as she had
expected. In fact, no one whom she could think of, wanted such
services at present. She returned home quite down-hearted, and all
but convinced that nothing could be done before the approach of the
They'll turn me in your arms, Janet,
An adder and a snake;
But haud me fast, let me not pass,
Gin ye would be my maik.
They'll turn me in your arms, Janet,
An adder and an aske;
They'll turn me in your arms, Janet,
A bale that burns fast.
They'll shape me in your arms, Janet,
A dove, but and a swan;
And last, they'll shape me in your arms
A mother-naked man:
Cast your green mantle over me --
And sae shall I be wan.
Scotch Ballad: Tamlane.
As soon as Hugh had left the house, Margaret hastened to Euphra.
She found her in her own room, a little more cheerful, but still
strangely depressed. This appearance increased towards the evening,
till her looks became quite haggard, revealing an inward conflict of
growing agony. Margaret remained with her.
Just before dinner, the upstairs bell, whose summons Margaret was
accustomed to obey, rang, and she went down. Mrs. Elton detained
her for a few minutes. The moment she was at liberty, she flew to
Euphra's room by the back staircase. But, as she ascended, she was
horrified to meet Euphra, in a cloak and thick veil, creeping down
the stairs like a thief. Without saying a word, the strong girl
lifted her in her arms as if she had been a child, and carried her
back to her room. Euphra neither struggled nor spoke. Margaret
laid her on her couch, and sat down beside her. She lay without
moving, and, although wide awake, gave no other sign of existence
than an occasional low moan, that seemed to come from a heart
pressed almost to death.
Having lain thus for an hour, she broke the silence.
"Margaret, do you despise me dreadfully?"
"No, not in the least."
"Yet you found me going to do what I knew was wrong."
"You had not made yourself strong by thinking about the will of God.
Had you, dear?"
"No. I will tell you how it was. I had been tormented with the
inclination to go to him, and had been resisting it till I was worn
out, and could hardly bear it more. Suddenly all grew calm within
me, and I seemed to hate Count Halkar no longer. I thought with
myself how easy it would be to put a stop to this dreadful torment,
just by yielding to it -- only this once. I thought I should then be
stronger to resist the next time; for this was wearing me out so,
that I must yield the next time, if I persisted now. But what
seemed to justify me, was the thought that so I should find out
where he was, and be able to tell Hugh; and then he would get the
ring for me, and, perhaps that would deliver me. But it was very
wrong of me. I forgot all about the will of God. I will not go
again, Margaret. Do you think I may try again to fight him?"
"That is just what you must do. All that God requires of you is, to
try again. God's child must be free. Do try, dear Miss Cameron."
"I think I could, if you would call me Euphra. You are so strong,
and pure, and good, Margaret! I wish I had never had any thoughts
but such as you have, you beautiful creature! Oh, how glad I am
that you found me! Do watch me always."
"I will call you Euphra. I will be your sister-servant -- anything
you like, if you will only try again."
"Thank you, with all my troubled heart, dear Margaret. I will
indeed try again."
She sprang from the couch in a sudden agony, and grasping Margaret
by the arm, looked at her with such a terror-stricken face, that she
began to fear she was losing her reason.
"Margaret," she said, as if with the voice as of one just raised
from the dead, speaking with all the charnel damps in her throat,
"could it be that I am in love with him still?"
Margaret shuddered, but did not lose her self-possession.
"No, no, Euphra, darling. You were haunted with him, and so tired
that you were not able to hate him any longer. Then you began to
give way to him. That was all. There was no love in that."
Euphra's grasp relaxed.
"Do you think so?"
A pause followed.
"Do you think God cares to have me do his will? Is it anything to
"I am sure of it. Why did he make you else? But it is not for the
sake of being obeyed that he cares for it, but for the sake of
serving you and making you blessed with his blessedness. He does
not think about himself, but about you."
"Oh, dear! oh, dear! I must not go."
"Let me read to you again, Eupra."
"Yes, please do, Margaret."
She read the fortieth chapter of Isaiah, one of her father's
favourite chapters, where all the strength and knowledge of God are
urged to a height, that they may fall in overwhelming profusion upon
the wants and fears and unbelief of his children. How should he
that calleth the stars by their names forget his people?
While she read, the cloud melted away from Euphra's face; a sweet
sleep followed; and the paroxysm was over for the time.
Was Euphra insane? and were these the first accesses of daily fits
of madness, which had been growing and approaching for who could
tell how long?
Even if she were mad, or going mad, was not this the right way to
treat her? I wonder how often the spiritual cure of faith in the
Son of Man, the Great Healer, has been tried on those possessed with
our modern demons. Is it proved that insanity has its origin in the
physical disorder which, it is now said, can be shown to accompany
it invariably? Let it be so: it yet appears to me that if the
physician would, like the Son of Man himself, descend as it were
into the disorganized world in which the consciousness of his
patient exists, and receiving as fact all that he reveals to him of
its condition -- for fact it is, of a very real sort -- introduce, by
all the means that sympathy can suggest, the one central cure for
evil, spiritual and material, namely, the truth of the Son of Man,
the vision of the perfect friend and helper, with the revelation of
the promised liberty of obedience -- if he did this, it seems to me
that cures might still be wrought as marvellous as those of the
It seems to me, too, that that can be but an imperfect religion, as
it would be a poor salvation, from which one corner of darkness may
hide us; from whose blessed health and freedom a disordered brain
may snatch us; making us hopeless outcasts, till first the
physician, the student of physical laws, shall interfere and restore
us to a sound mind, or the great God's-angel Death crumble the
soul-oppressing brain, with its thousand phantoms of pain and fear
and horror, into a film of dust in the hollow of the deserted skull.
Hugh repaired immediately to Falconer's chambers, where he was more
likely to find him during the day than in the evening. He was at
home. He told him of his interview with Euphra, and her feeling
that the count was not far off.
"Do you think there can be anything in it?" asked he, when he had
finished his relation.
"I think very likely," answered his friend. "I will be more on the
outlook than ever. It may, after all, be through the lady herself
that we shall find the villain. If she were to fall into one of her
trances, now, I think it almost certain she would go to him. She
ought to be carefully watched and followed, if that should take
place. Let me know all that you learn about her. Go and see her
again to-morrow, that we may be kept informed of her experiences, so
far as she thinks proper to tell them."
"I will," said Hugh, and took his leave.
But Margaret, who knew Euphra's condition, both spiritual and
physical, better than any other, had far different objects for her,
through means of the unholy attraction which the count exercised
over her, than the discovery of the stolen ring. She was determined
that neither sleeping nor waking should she follow his call, or
dance to his piping. She should resist to the last, in the name of
God, and so redeem her lost will from the power of this devil, to
whom she had foolishly sold it.
The next day, the struggle evidently continued; and it had such an
effect on Euphra, that Margaret could not help feeling very anxious
about the result as regarded her health, even if she should be
victorious in the contest. But not for one moment did Margaret
quail; for she felt convinced, come of it what might, that the only
hope for Euphra lay in resistance. Death, to her mind, was simply
nothing in the balance with slavery of such a sort.
Once -- but evidently in a fit of absence -- Euphra rose, went to the
door, and opened it. But she instantly dashed it to again, and
walking slowly back, resumed her seat on the couch. Margaret came
to her from the other side of the bed, where she had been working by
the window, for the last quarter of an hour, for the sake of the
"What is it, dear?" she said.
"Oh, Margaret! are you there? I did not know you were in the room.
I found myself at the door before I knew what I was doing."
"But you came back of yourself this time."
"Yes I did. But I still feel inclined to go."
"There is no sin in that, so long as you do not encourage the
feeling, or yield to it."
"I hate it."
"You will soon be free from it. Keep on courageously, dear sister.
You will be in liberty and joy soon."
"God grant it."
"He will, Euphra. I am sure he will."
"I am sure you know, or you would not say it."
A knock came to the street door. Euphra started, and sat in the
attitude of a fearful listener. A message was presently brought
her, that Mr. Sutherland was in the drawing-room, and wished to see
Euphra rose immediately, and went to him. Margaret, who did not
quite feel that she could be trusted yet, removed to a room behind
the drawing-room, whence she could see Euphra if she passed to go
Hugh asked her if she could tell him anything more about Count
"Only," she answered, "that I am still surer of his being near me."
"How do you know it?"
"I need not mind telling you, for I have told you before that he has
a kind of supernatural power over me. I know it by his drawing me
towards him. It is true I might feel it just the same whether he
was in America or in London; but I do not think he would care to do
it, if he were so far off. I know him well enough to know that he
would not wish for me except for some immediate advantage to
"But what is the use of his doing so, when you don't know where he
is to be found."
"I should go straight to him, without knowing where I was going."
Hugh rose in haste.
"Put on your bonnet and cloak, and come with me. I will take care
of you. Lead me to him, and the ring shall soon be in your hands
Euphra hesitated, half rose, but sat down immediately.
"No, no! Not for worlds," she said. "Do not tempt me. I must
not -- I dare not -- I will not go."
"But I shall be with you. I will take care of you. Don't you think
I am able, Euphra?"
"Oh, yes! quite able. But I must not go anywhere at that man's
"But it won't be at his bidding: it will be at mine."
"Ah! that alters the case rather, does it not? I wonder what
Margaret would say."
"Margaret! What Margaret?" said Hugh.
"Oh! my new maid," answered Euphra, recollecting herself.
"Not being well at present, she is my nurse."
"We shall take a cab as soon as we get to the corner."
"I don't think the count would be able to guide the horse," said
Euphra, with a smile. "I must walk. But I should like to go. I
will. It would be such a victory to catch him in his own toils."
She rose and ran up stairs. In a few minutes she came down again,
cloaked and veiled. But Margaret met her as she descended, and
leading her into the back drawing-room, said:
"Are you going, Euphra?"
"Yes; but I am going with Mr. Sutherland," answered Euphra, in a
defensive tone. "It is to please him, and not to obey the count."
"Are you sure it is all to please Mr. Sutherland? If it were, I
don't think you would be able to guide him right. Is it not to get
rid of your suffering by yielding to temptation, Euphra? At all
events, if you go, even should Mr. Sutherland be successful with
him, you will never feel that you have overcome him, or he, that he
has lost you. He will still hold you fast. Don't go. I am sure
you are deceiving yourself."
Euphra stood for a moment and pouted like a naughty child. Then
suddenly throwing her arms about Margaret's neck, she kissed her,
"I won't go, Margaret. Here, take my things up stairs for me."
She threw off her bonnet and cloak, and rejoined Hugh in the
"I can't go," she said. "I must not go. I should be yielding to
him, and it would make a slave of me all my life."
"It is our only chance for the ring," said Hugh.
Again Euphra hesitated and wavered; but again she conquered.
"I cannot help it," she said. "I would rather not have the ring than
go -- if you will forgive me."
"Oh, Euphra!" replied Hugh. "You know it is not for myself."
"I do know it. You won't mind then if I don't go?"
"Certainly not, if you have made up your mind. You must have a good
reason for it."
"Indeed I have." And even already she felt that resistance brought
its own reward.
Hugh went almost immediately, in order to make his report to
Falconer, with whom he had an appointment for the purpose.
"She is quite right," said Falconer. "I do not think, in the
relation in which she stands to him, that she could safely do
otherwise. But it seems to me very likely that this will turn out
well for our plans, too. Let her persist, and in all probability he
will not only have to resign her perforce, but will so far make
himself subject to her in turn, as to seek her who will not go to
him. He will pull upon his own rope till he is drawn to the spot
where he has fixed it. What remains for you and me to do, is to
keep a close watch on the house and neighbourhood. Most likely we
shall find the villain before long."
"Do you really think so?"
"The whole affair is mysterious, and has to do with laws with which
we are most imperfectly acquainted; but this seems to me a
presumption worth acting upon. Is there no one in the house on whom
you could depend for assistance -- for information, at least?"
"Yes. There is the same old servant that Mrs. Elton had with her at
Arnstead. He is a steady old fellow, and has been very friendly
"Well, what I would advise is, that you should find yourself
quarters as near the spot as possible; and, besides keeping as much
of a personal guard upon the house as you can, engage the servant
you mention to let you know, the moment the count makes his
appearance. It will probably be towards night when he calls, for
such a man may have reasons as well as instincts to make him love
the darkness rather than the light. You had better go at once; and
when you have found a place, leave or send the address here to me,
and towards night-fall I will join you. But we may have to watch
for several days. We must not be too sanguine."
Almost without a word, Hugh went to do as Falconer said. The only
place he could find suitable, was a public-house at the corner of a
back street, where the men-servants of the neighbourhood used to
resort. He succeeded in securing a private room in it, for a week,
and immediately sent Falconer word of his locality. He then called
a second time at Mrs. Elton's, and asked to see the butler. When he
"Irwan," said he, "has Herr von Funkelstein called here to-day?"
"No, sir, he has not."
"You would know him, would you not?"
"Yes, sir; perfectly."
"Well, if he should call to-night, or to-morrow, or any time within
the next few days, let me know the moment he is in the house. You
will find me at the Golden Staff, round the corner. It is of the
utmost importance that I should see him at once. But do not let him
know that any one wants to see him. You shall not repent helping me
in this affair. I know I can trust you."
Hugh had fixed him with his eyes, before he began to explain his
wishes. He had found out that this was the best way of securing
attention from inferior natures, and that it was especially
necessary with London servants; for their superciliousness is cowed
by it, and the superior will brought to bear upon theirs. It is the
only way a man without a carriage has to command attention from
such. Irwan was not one of this sort. He was a country servant,
for one difference. But Hugh made his address as impressive as
"I will with pleasure, sir," answered Irwan, and Hugh felt tolerably
sure of him.
Falconer came. They ordered some supper, and sat till eleven
o'clock. There being then no chance of a summons, they went out
together. Passing the house, they saw light in one upper window
only. That light would burn there all night, for it was in Euphra's
room. They went on, Hugh accompanying Falconer in one of his
midnight walks through London, as he had done repeatedly before.
From such companionship and the scenes to which Falconer introduced
him, he had gathered this fruit, that he began to believe in God for
the sake of the wretched men and women he saw in the world. At
first it was his own pain at the sight of such misery that drove
him, for consolation, to hope in God; so, at first, it was for his
own sake. But as he saw more of them, and grew to love them more,
he felt that the only hope for them lay in the love of God; and he
hoped in God for them. He saw too that a God not both humanly and
absolutely divine, a God less than that God shadowed forth in the
Redeemer of men, would not do. But thinking about God thus, and
hoping in him for his brothers and sisters, he began to love God.
Then, last of all, that he might see in him one to whom he could
abandon everything, that he might see him perfect and all in all and
as he must be -- for the sake of God himself, he believed in him as
the Saviour of these his sinful and suffering kin.
As early as was at all excusable, the following morning, he called
on Euphra. The butler said that she had not come down yet, but he
would send up his name. A message was brought back that Miss
Cameron was sorry not to see him, but she had had a bad night, and
was quite unable to get up. Irwan replied to his inquiry, that the
count had not called. Hugh withdrew to the Golden Staff.
A bad night it had been indeed. As Euphra slept well the first part
of it, and had no attack such as she had had upon both the preceding
nights, Margaret had hoped the worst was over. Still she laid
herself only within the threshold of sleep ready to wake at the
In the middle of the night she felt Euphra move. She lay still to
see what she would do. Euphra slipped out of bed, and partly
dressed herself; then went to her wardrobe, and put on a cloak with
a large hood, which she drew over her head. Margaret lay with a
dreadful aching at her heart. Euphra went towards the door.
Margaret called her, but she made no answer. Margaret flew to the
door, and reached it before her. Then, to her intense delight, she
saw that Euphra's eyes were closed. Just as she laid her hand on
the door, Margaret took her gently in her arms.
"Let me go, let me go!" Euphra almost screamed. Then suddenly
opening her eyes, she stared at Margaret in a bewildered fashion,
like one waking from the dead.
"Euphra! dear Euphra!" said Margaret.
"Oh, Margaret! is it really you?" exclaimed Euphra, flinging her
arms about her. "Oh, I am glad. Ah! you see what I must have been
about. I suppose I knew when I was doing it, but I don't know now.
I have forgotten all about it. Oh dear! oh dear! I thought it
would come to this."
"Come to bed, dear. You couldn't help it. It was not yourself.
There is not more than half of you awake, when you walk in your
They went to bed. Euphra crept close to Margaret, and cried herself
asleep again. The next day she had a bad head-ache. This with her
always followed somnambulation. She did not get up all that day.
When Hugh called again in the evening, he heard she was better, but
still in bed.
Falconer joined Hugh at the Golden Staff, at night; but they had no
better success than before. Falconer went out alone, for Hugh
wanted to keep himself fresh. Though very strong, he was younger
and less hardened than Falconer, who could stand an incredible
amount of labour and lack of sleep. Hugh would have given way under
O my admired mistress, quench not out
The holy fires within you, though temptations
Shower down upon you: clasp thine armour on;
Fight well, and thou shalt see, after these wars,
Thy head wear sunbeams, and thy feet touch stars.
MASSINGER. -- The Virgin Martyr.
But Hugh could sleep no more than if he had been out with Falconer.
He was as restless as a wild beast in a cage. Something would not
let him be at peace. So he rose, dressed, and went out. As soon as
he turned the corner, he could see Mrs. Elton's house. It was
visible both by intermittent moonlight above, and by flickering
gaslight below, for the wind blew rather strong. There was snow in
the air, he knew. The light they had observed last night, was
burning now. A moment served to make these observations; and then
Hugh's eyes were arrested by the sight of something else -- a man
walking up and down the pavement in front of Mrs. Elton's house. He
instantly stepped into the shadow of a porch to watch him. The
figure might be the count's; it might not; he could not be sure.
Every now and then the man looked up to the windows. At length he
stopped right under the lighted one, and looked up. Hugh was on the
point of gliding out, that he might get as near him as possible
before rushing on him, when, at the moment, to his great
mortification, a policeman emerged from some mysterious corner, and
the figure instantly vanished in another. Hugh did not pursue him;
because it would be to set all on a single chance, and that a poor
one; for if the count, should it be he, succeeded in escaping, he
would not return to a spot which he knew to be watched. Hugh,
therefore, withdrew once more under a porch, and waited. But,
whatever might be the cause, the man made his appearance no more.
Hugh contrived to keep watch for two hours, in spite of suspicious
policemen. He slept late into the following morning.
Calling at Mrs. Elton's, he learned that the count had not been
there; that Miss Cameron had been very ill all night; but that she
was rather better since the morning.
That night, as the preceding, Margaret had awaked suddenly. Euphra
was not in the bed beside her. She started up in an agony of
terror; but it was soon allayed, though not removed. She saw Euphra
on her knees at the foot of the bed, an old-fashioned four-post one.
She had her arms twined round one of the bed-posts, and her head
thrown back, as if some one were pulling her backwards by her hair,
which fell over her night-dress to the floor in thick, black masses.
Her eyes were closed; her face was death-like, almost livid; and
the cold dews of torture were rolling down from brow to chin. Her
lips were moving convulsively, with now and then the appearance of
an attempt at articulation, as if they were set in motion by an
agony of inward prayer. Margaret, unable to move, watched her with
anxious sympathy and fearful expectation. How long this lasted she
could not tell, but it seemed a long time. At length Margaret rose,
and longing to have some share in the struggle, however small, went
softly, and stood behind her, shadowing her from a feeble ray of
moonlight which, through a wind-rent cloud, had stolen into the
room, and lay upon her upturned face. There she lifted up her heart
in prayer. In a moment after the tension of Euphra's countenance
relaxed a little; composure slowly followed; her head gradually
rose, so that Margaret could see her face no longer; then, as
gradually, drooped forward. Next her arms untwined themselves from
the bed-post, and her hands clasped themselves together. She looked
like one praying in the intense silence of absorbing devotion.
Margaret stood still as a statue.
In speaking about it afterwards to Hugh, Margaret told him that she
distinctly remembered hearing, while she stood, the measured steps
of a policeman pass the house on the pavement below.
In a few minutes Euphra bowed her head yet lower, and then rose to
her feet. She turned round towards Margaret, as if she knew she was
there. To Margaret's astonishment, her eyes were wide open. She
smiled a most child-like, peaceful, happy smile, and said:
"It is over, Margaret, all over at last. Thank you, with my whole
heart. God has helped me."
At that moment, the moon shone out full, and her face appeared in
its light like the face of an angel. Margaret looked on her with
awe. Fear, distress, and doubt had vanished, and she was already
beautiful like the blessed. Margaret got a handkerchief, and wiped
the cold damps from her face. Then she helped her into bed, where
she fell asleep almost instantly, and slept like a child. Now and
then she moaned; but when Margaret looked at her, she saw the smile
still upon her countenance.
She woke weak and worn, but happy.
"I shall not trouble you to-day, Margaret, dear," said she. "I shall
not get up yet, but you will not need to watch me. A great change
has passed upon me. I am free. I have overcome him. He may do as
he pleases now. I do not care. I defy him. I got up last night in
my sleep, but I remember all about it; and, although I was asleep,
and felt powerless like a corpse, I resisted him, even when I
thought he was dragging me away by bodily force. And I resisted
him, till he left me alone. Thank God!"
It had been a terrible struggle, but she had overcome. Nor was this
all: she would no more lead two lives, the waking and the sleeping.
Her waking will and conscience had asserted themselves in her
sleeping acts; and the memory of the somnambulist lived still in the
waking woman. Hence her two lives were blended into one life; and
she was no more two, but one. This indicated a mighty growth of
"I woke without terror," she went on to say. "I always used to wake
from such a sleep in an agony of unknown fear. I do not think I
shall ever walk in my sleep again."
Is not salvation the uniting of all our nature into one harmonious
whole -- God first in us, ourselves last, and all in due order
between? Something very much analogous to the change in Euphra
takes place in a man when he first learns that his beliefs must
become acts; that his religious life and his human life are one;
that he must do the thing that he admires. The Ideal is the only
absolute Real; and it must become the Real in the individual life as
well, however impossible they may count it who never try it, or who
do not trust in God to effect it, when they find themselves baffled
in the attempt.
In the afternoon, Euphra fell asleep, and when she woke, seemed
better. She said to Margaret:
"Can it be that it was all a dream, Margaret? I mean my association
with that dreadful man. I feel as if it were only some horrid
dream, and that I could never have had anything to do with him. I
may have been out of my mind, you know, and have told you things
which I believed firmly enough then, but which never really took
place. It could not have been me, Margaret, could it?"
"Not your real, true, best self, dear."
"I have been a dreadful creature, Margaret. But I feel that all
that has melted away from me, and gone behind the sunset, which will
for ever stand, in all its glory and loveliness, between me and it,
an impassable rampart of defence."
Her words sounded strange and excited, but her eye and her pulse
"How could he ever have had that hateful power over me?"
"Don't think any more about him, dear, but enjoy the rest God has
"I will, I will."
At that moment, a maid came to the door, with Funkelstein's card for
"Very well," said Margaret; "ask him to wait. I will tell Miss
Cameron. She may wish to send him a message. You may go."
She told Euphra that the count was in the house. Euphra showed no
surprise, no fear, no annoyance.
"Will you see him for me, Margaret, if you don't mind; and tell him
from me, that I defy him; that I do not hate him, only because I
despise and forget him; that I challenge him to do his worst."
She had forgotten all about the ring. But Margaret had not.
"I will," said she, and left the room.
On her way down, she went into the drawing-room, and rang the bell.
"Send Mr. Irwan to me here, please. It is for Miss Cameron."
The man went, but presently returned, saying that the butler had
just stepped out.
"Very well. You will do just as well. When the gentleman leaves
who is calling now, you must follow him. Take a cab, if necessary,
and follow him everywhere, till you find where he stops for the
night. Watch the place, and send me word where you are. But don't
let him know. Put on plain clothes, please, as fast as you can."
"Yes, Miss, directly."
The servants all called Margaret, Miss.
She lingered yet a little, to give the man time. She was not at all
satisfied with her plan, but she could think of nothing better.
Happily, it was not necessary. Irwan had run as fast as his old
legs would carry him to the Golden Staff. Hugh received the news
with delight. His heart seemed to leap into his throat, and he felt
just as he did, when, deer-stalking for the first time, he tried to
take aim at a great red stag.
"I shall wait for him outside the door. We must have no noise in
the house. He is a thief, or worse, Irwan."
"Good gracious! And there's the plate all laid out for dinner on
the sideboard!" exclaimed Irwan, and hurried off faster than he had
But Hugh was standing at the door long before Irwan got up to it.
Had Margaret known who was watching outside, it would have been a
wonderful relief to her.
She entered the dining-room, where the count stood impatient. He
advanced quickly, acting on his expectation of Euphra, but seeing
his mistake, stopped, and bowed politely. Margaret told him that
Miss Cameron was ill, and gave him her message, word for word. The
count turned pale with mortification and rage. He bit his lip, made
no reply, and walked out into the hall, where Irwan stood with the
handle of the door in his hand, impatient to open it. No sooner was
he out of the house, than Hugh sprang upon him; but the count, who
had been perfectly upon his guard, eluded him, and darted off down
the street. Hugh pursued at full speed, mortified at his escape.
He had no fear at first of overtaking him, for he had found few men
his equals in speed and endurance; but he soon saw, to his dismay,
that the count was increasing the distance between them, and feared
that, by a sudden turn into some labyrinth, he might escape him
altogether. They passed the Golden Staff at full speed, and at the
next corner Hugh discovered what gave the count the advantage: it
was his agility and recklessness in turning corners. But, like the
sorcerer's impunity, they failed him at last; for, at the next turn,
he ran full upon Falconer, who staggered back, while the count
reeled and fell. Hugh was upon him in a moment. "Help!" roared the
count, for a last chance from the sympathies of a gathering crowd.
"I've got him!" cried Hugh.
"Let the man alone," growled a burly fellow in the crowd, with his
fists clenched in his trowser-pockets.
"Let me have a look at him," said Falconer, stooping over him. "Ah!
I don't know him. That's as well for him. Let him up,
The bystanders took Falconer for a detective, and did not seem
inclined to interfere, all except the carman before mentioned. He
came up, pushing the crowd right and left.
"Let the man alone," said he, in a very offensive tone.
"I assure you," said Falconer, "he's not worth your trouble; for -- "
"None o' your cursed jaw!" said the fellow, in a louder and deeper
growl, approaching Falconer with a threatening mien.
"Well, I can't help it," said Falconer, as if to himself.
"Sutherland, look after the count."
"That I will," said Hugh, confidently.
Falconer turned on the carman, who was just on the point of closing
with him, preferring that mode of fighting; and saying only: "Defend
yourself," retreated a step. The man was good at his fists too,
and, having failed in his first attempt, made the best use of them
he could. But he had no chance with Falconer, whose coolness
equalled his skill.
Meantime, the Bohemian had been watching his chance; and although
the contest certainly did not last longer than one minute, found
opportunity, in the middle of it, to wrench himself free from Hugh,
trip him up, and dart off. The crowd gave way before him. He
vanished so suddenly and completely, that it was evident he must
have studied the neighbourhood from the retreat side of the
question. With rat-like instinct, he had consulted the holes and
corners in anticipation of the necessity of applying to them. Hugh
got up, and, directed, or possibly misdirected by the bystanders,
sped away in pursuit; but he could hear or see nothing of the
At the end of the minute, the carman lay in the road.
"Look after him, somebody," said Falconer.
"No fear of him, sir; he's used to it," answered one of the
bystanders, with the respect which Falconer's prowess claimed.
Falconer walked after Hugh, who soon returned, looking excessively
mortified, and feeling very small indeed.
"Never mind, Sutherland," said he. "The fellow is up to a trick or
two; but we shall catch him yet. If it hadn't been for that big
fool there -- but he's punished enough."
"But what can we do next? He will not come here again."
"Very likely not. Still he may not give up his attempts upon Miss
Cameron. I almost wonder, seeing she is so impressible, that she
can give no account of his whereabouts. But I presume clairvoyance
depends on the presence of other qualifications as well. I should
like to mesmerize her myself, and see whether she could not help us
"Well, why not, if you have the power?"
"Because I have made up my mind not to superinduce any condition of
whose laws I am so very partially informed. Besides, I consider it
a condition of disease in which, as by sleeplessness for instance,
the senses of the soul, if you will allow the expression, are, for
its present state, rendered unnaturally acute. To induce such a
condition, I dare not exercise a power which itself I do not
For though that ever virtuous was she,
She was increased in such excellence,
Of thewes good, yset in high bounté,
And so discreet and fair of eloquence,
So benign, and so digne of reverence,
And couthé so the poeple's hert embrace,
That each her loveth that looketh in her face.
CHAUCER. -- The Clerk's Tale.
Hugh returned to Mrs. Elton's, and, in the dining-room, wrote a note
to Euphra, to express his disappointment, and shame that, after all,
the count had foiled him; but, at the same time, his determination
not to abandon the quest, till there was no room for hope left. He
sent this up to her, and waited, thinking that she might be on the
sofa, and might send for him. A little weary from the reaction of
the excitement he had just gone through, he sat down in the corner
farthest from the door. The large room was dimly lighted by one
He sat for some time, thinking that Euphra was writing him a note,
or perhaps preparing herself to see him in her room. Involuntarily
he looked up, and a sudden pang, as at the vision of the
disembodied, shot through his heart. A dim form stood in the middle
of the room, gazing earnestly at him. He saw the same face which he
had seen for a moment in the library at Arnstead -- the glorified face
of Margaret Elginbrod, shimmering faintly in the dull light.
Instinctively he pressed his hands together, palm to palm, as if he
had been about to kneel before Madonna herself. Delight, mingled
with hope, and tempered by shame, flushed his face. Ghost or none,
she brought no fear with her, only awe.
She stood still.
"Margaret!" he said, with trembling voice.
"Mr. Sutherland!" she responded, sweetly.
"Are you a ghost, Margaret?"
She smiled as if she were all spirit, and, advancing slowly, took
his joined hands in both of hers.
"Forgive me, Margaret," sighed he, as if with his last breath, and
burst into an agony of tears.
She waited motionless, till his passion should subside, still
holding his hands. He felt that her hands were so good.
"He is dead!" said Hugh, at last, with all effort, followed by a
fresh outburst of weeping.
"Yes, he is dead," rejoined Margaret, calmly. "You would not weep so
if you had seen him die as I did -- die with a smile like a summer
sunset. Indeed, it was the sunset to me; but the moon has been up
for a long time now."
She sighed a gentle, painless sigh, and smiled again like a saint.
She spoke nearly as Scotch as ever in tone, though the words and
pronunciation were almost pure English. -- This lapse into so much of
the old form, or rather garment, of speech, constantly recurred, as
often as her feelings were moved, and especially when she talked to
"Forgive me," said Hugh, once more.
"We are the same as in the old days," answered Margaret; and Hugh
"How do you come to be here?" said Hugh, at last, after a silence.
"I will tell you all about that another time. Now I must give you
Miss Cameron's message. She is very sorry she cannot see you, but
she is quite unable. Indeed, she is not out of bed. But if you
could call to-morrow morning, she hopes to be better and to be able
to see you. She says she can never thank you enough."
The lamp burned yet fainter. Margaret went, and proceeded to trim
it. The virgins that arose must have looked very lovely, trimming
their lamps. It is a deed very fair and womanly -- the best for a
woman -- to make the lamp burn. The light shone up in her face, and
the hands removing the globe handled it delicately. He saw that the
good hands were very beautiful hands; not small, but admirably
shaped, and very pure. As she replaced the globe, --
"That man," she said, "will not trouble her any more."
"I hope not," said Hugh; "but you speak confidently: why?"
"Because she has behaved gloriously. She has fought and conquered
him on his own ground; and she is a free, beautiful, and good
creature of God for ever."
"You delight me," rejoined Hugh "Another time, perhaps, you will be
able to tell me all about it."
"I hope so. I think she will not mind my telling you."
They bade each other good night; and Hugh went away with a strange
feeling, which he had never experienced before. To compare great
things with small, it was something like what he had once felt in a
dream, in which, digging in his father's garden, he had found a
perfect marble statue, young as life, and yet old as the hills. To
think of the girl he had first seen in the drawing-room at
Turriepuffit, idealizing herself into such a creature as that, so
grand, and yet so womanly! so lofty, and yet so lovely; so strong,
and yet so graceful!
Would that every woman believed in the ideal of herself, and hoped
for it as the will of God, not merely as the goal of her own purest
ambition! But even if the lower development of the hope were all
she possessed, it would yet be well; for its inevitable failure
would soon develope the higher and triumphant hope.
He thought about her till he fell asleep, and dreamed about her till
he woke. Not for a moment, however, did he fancy he was in love
with her: the feeling was different from any he had hitherto
recognized as embodying that passion. It was the recognition and
consequent admiration of a beauty which everyone who beheld it must
recognize and admire; but mingled, in his case, with old and
precious memories, doubly dear now in the increased earnestness of
his nature and aspirations, and with a deep personal interest from
the fact that, however little, he had yet contributed a portion of
the vital food whereby the gracious creature had become what she
In the so-called morning he went to Mrs. Elton's. Euphra was
expecting his visit, and he was shown up into her room, where she
was lying on a couch by the fire. She received him with the warmth
of gratitude added to that of friendship. Her face was pale and
thin, but her eyes were brilliant. She did not appear at first
sight to be very ill: but the depth and reality of her sickness grew
upon him. Behind her couch stood Margaret, like a guardian angel.
Margaret could bear the day, for she belonged to it; and therefore
she looked more beautiful still than by the lamp-light. Euphra held
out a pale little hand to Hugh, and before she withdrew it, led
Hugh's towards Margaret. Their hands joined. How different to Hugh
was the touch of the two hands! Life, strength, persistency in the
one: languor, feebleness, and fading in the other.
"I can never thank you enough," said Euphra; "therefore I will not
try. It is no bondage to remain your debtor."
"That would be thanks indeed, if I had done anything."
"I have found out another mystery," Euphra resumed, after a pause.
"I am sorry to hear it," answered he. "I fear there will be no
mysteries left by-and-by."
"No fear of that," she rejoined, "so long as the angels come down to
men." And she turned towards Margaret as she spoke.
Margaret smiled. In the compliment she felt only the kindness.
Hugh looked at her. She turned away, and found something to do at
the other side of the room.
"What mystery, then, have you destroyed?"
"Not destroyed it; for the mystery of courage remains. I was the
wicked ghost that night in the Ghost's Walk, you know -- the white
one: there is the good ghost, the nun, the black one."
"Yes, indeed. She has just been confessing it to me. I had my two
angels, as one whose fate was undetermined; my evil angel in the
count -- my good angel in Margaret. Little did I think then that the
holy powers were watching me in her. I knew the evil one; I knew
nothing of the good. I suppose it is so with a great many people."
Hugh sat silent in astonishment. Margaret, then, had been at
Arnstead with Mrs. Elton all the time. It was herself he had seen
in the study.
"Did you suspect me, Margaret?" resumed Euphra, turning towards her
where she sat at the window.
"Not in the least. I only knew that something was wrong about the
house; that some being was terrifying the servants, and poor Harry;
and I resolved to do my best to meet it, especially if it should be
anything of a ghostly kind."
"Then you do believe in such appearances?" said Hugh.
"I have never met anything of the sort yet. I don't know."
"And you were not afraid?"
"Not much. I am never really afraid of anything. Why should I be?"
No justification of fear was suggested either by Hugh or by Euphra.
They felt the dignity of nature that lifted Margaret above the
region of fear.
"Come and see me again soon," said Euphra, as Hugh rose to go.
Next day he dined by invitation with Mrs. Elton and Harry. Euphra
was unable to see him, but sent a kind message by Margaret as he was
taking his leave. He had been fearing that he should not see
Margaret; and when she did appear he was the more delighted; but the
interview was necessarily short.
He called the next day, and saw neither Euphra nor Margaret. She
was no better. Mrs. Elton said the physicians could discover no
definite disease either of the lungs or of any other organ. Yet
life seemed sinking. Margaret thought that the conflict which she
had passed through, had exhausted her vitality; that, had she
yielded, she might have lived a slave; but that now, perhaps, she
must die a free woman.
Her continued illness made Hugh still more anxious to find the ring,
for he knew it would please her much. Falconer would have applied
to the police, but he feared that the man would vanish from London,
upon the least suspicion that he was watched. They held many
consultations on the subject.
A NEW GUIDE.
Das Denken ist nur ein Traum des Fühlens, ein erstorbenes Fühlen,
ein blass-graues, schwaches Leben.
Thinking is only a dream of feeling; a dead feeling; a pale-grey,
NOVALIS. -- Die Lehrlinge zu Sais.
For where's no courage, there's no ruth nor mone.
Faerie Queene: vi. 7, 18.
One morning, as soon as she waked, Euphra said:
"Have I been still all the night, Margaret?"
"Quite still. Why do you ask?"
"Because I have had such a strange and vivid dream, that I feel as
if I must have been to the place. It was a foolish question,
though; because, of course, you would not have let me go."
"I hope it did not trouble you much."
"No, not much; for though I was with the count, I did not seem to be
there in the body at all, only somehow near him, and seeing him. I
can recall the place perfectly."
"Do you think it really was the place he was in at the time?"
"I should not wonder. But now I feel so free, so far beyond him and
all his power, that I don't mind where or when I see him. He cannot
hurt me now."
"Could you describe the place to Mr. Sutherland? It might help him
to find the count."
"That's a good idea. Will you send for him?"
"Yes, certainly. May I tell him for what?"
"By all means."
Margaret wrote to Hugh at once, and sent the note by hand. He was
at home when it arrived. He hurriedly answered it, and went to find
Falconer. To his delight he was at home -- not out of bed, in fact.
"Who is it from?"
"Miss Cameron's maid."
"It does not look like a maid's production."
"It is though. Will you come with me? You know London ten thousand
times better than I do. I don't think we ought to lose a chance."
"Certainly not. I will go with you. But perhaps she will not see
"Oh! yes, she will, when I have told her about you."
"It will be rather a trial to see a stranger."
"A man cannot be a stranger with you ten minutes, if he only looks
at you; -- still less a woman."
Falconer looked pleased, and smiled.
"I am glad you think so. Let us go."
When they arrived, Margaret came to them. Hugh told her that
Falconer was his best friend, and one who knew London perhaps better
than any other man in it. Margaret looked at him full in the face
for a moment. Falconer smiled at the intensity of her still gaze.
Margaret returned the smile, and said:
"I will ask Miss Cameron to see ye."
"Thank you," was all Falconer's reply; but the tone was more than
After a little while, they were shown up to Euphra's room. She had
wanted to sit up, but Margaret would not let her; so she was lying
on her couch. When Falconer was presented to her, he took her hand,
and held it for a moment. A kind of indescribable beam broke over
his face, as if his spirit smiled and the smile shone through
without moving one of his features as it passed. The tears stood in
his eyes. To understand all this look, one would need to know his
history as I do. He laid her hand gently on her bosom, and said:
"God bless you!"
Euphra felt that God did bless her in the very words. She had been
looking at Falconer all the time. It was only fifteen seconds or
so; but the outcome of a life was crowded into Falconer's side of
it; and the confidence of Euphra rose to meet the faithfulness of a
man of God. -- What words those are! -- A man of God! Have I not
written a revelation? Yes -- to him who can read it -- yes.
"I know enough of your story, Miss Cameron," he said, "to understand
without any preface what you choose to tell me."
Euphra began at once:
"I dreamed last night that I found myself outside the street door.
I did not know where I was going; but my feet seemed to know. They
carried me, round two or three corners, into a wide, long street,
which I think was Oxford-street. They carried me on into London,
far beyond any quarter I knew. All I can tell further is, that I
turned to the left beside a church, on the steeple of which stood
what I took for a wandering ghost just lighted there; -- only I ought
to tell you, that frequently in my dreams -- always in my peculiar
dreams -- the more material and solid and ordinary things are, the
more thin and ghostly they appear to me. Then I went on and on,
turning left and right too many times for me to remember, till at
last I came to a little, old-fashioned court, with two or three
trees in it. I had to go up a few steps to enter it. I was not
afraid, because I knew I was dreaming, and that my body was not
there. It is a great relief to feel that sometimes; for it is often
very much in the way. I opened a door, upon which the moon shone
very bright, and walked up two flights of stairs into a back room.
And there I found him, doing something at a table by candlelight.
He had a sheet of paper before him; but what he was doing with it,
I could not see. I tried hard; but it was of no use. The dream
suddenly faded, and I awoke, and found Margaret. -- Then I knew I was
safe," she added, with a loving glance at her maid.
"I know the place you mean perfectly," he said. "It is too peculiar
to be mistaken. Last night, let me see, how did the moon
shine? -- Yes. I shall be able to tell the very door, I think, or
"How kind of you not to laugh at me!"
"I might make a fool of myself if I laughed at any one. So I
generally avoid it. We may as well get the good out of what we do
not understand -- or at least try if there be any in it. Will you
Hugh rose, and took his leave with Falconer.
"How pleased she seemed with you, Falconer!" said he, as they left
"Yes, she touched me."
"Won't you go and see her again?"
"No; there is no need, except she sends for me."
"It would please her -- comfort her, I am sure."
"She has got one of God's angels beside her, Sutherland. She
doesn't want me."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that maid of hers."
A pang -- of jealousy, was it? -- shot through Hugh's heart. How could
he see -- what right had he to see anything in Margaret?
Hugh might have kept himself at peace, even if he had loved Margaret
as much as she deserved, which would have been about ten times as
much as he did. Is a man not to recognize an angel when he sees
her, and to call her by her name? Had Hugh seen into the core of
that grand heart -- what form sat there, and how -- he would have been
at peace -- would almost have fallen down to do the man homage. He
"My dear fellow!" said Falconer, as if he divined his feeling -- for
Falconer's power over men and women came all from sympathy with
their spirits, and not their nerves -- "if you have any hold of that
woman, do not lose it; for as sure as there's a sun in heaven, she
is one of the winged ones. Don't I know a woman when I see her!"
He sighed with a kind of involuntary sigh, which yet did not seek to
hide itself from Hugh.
"My dear boy," he added, laying a stress on the word, " -- I am nearly
twice your age -- don't be jealous of me."
"Mr. Falconer," said Hugh humbly, "forgive me. The feeling was
involuntary; and if you have detected in it more than I was aware
of, you are at least as likely to be right as I am. But you cannot
think more highly of Margaret than I do."
And yet Hugh did not know half the good of her then, that the reader
"Well, we had better part now, and meet again at night."
"What time shall I come to you?"
"Oh! about nine I think will do."
So Hugh went home, and tried to turn his thoughts to his story; but
Euphra, Falconer, Funkelstein, and Margaret persisted in sitting to
him, the one after the other, instead of the heroes and heroines of
his tale. He was compelled to lay it aside, and betake himself to a
stroll and a pipe.
As he went down stairs, he met Miss Talbot.
"You're soon tired of home, Mr. Sutherland. You haven't been in
above half an hour, and you're out again already."
"Why, you see, Miss Talbot, I want a pipe very much."
"Well, you ain't going to the public house to smoke it, are you?"
"No," answered Hugh laughing. "But you know, Miss Talbot, you made
it part of the agreement that I shouldn't smoke indoors. So I'm
going to smoke in the street."
"Now, think of being taken that way!" retorted Miss Talbot, with an
injured air. "Why, that was before I knew anything about you. Go up
stairs directly, and smoke your pipe; and when the room can't hold
any more, you can open the windows. Your smoke won't do any harm,
Mr. Sutherland. But I'm very sorry you quarrelled with Mrs.
Appleditch. She's a hard woman, and over fond of her money and her
drawing-room; and for those boys of hers -- the Lord have mercy on
them, for she has none! But she's a true Christian for all that,
and does a power of good among the poor people."
"What does she give them, Miss Talbot?"
"Oh! -- she gives them -- hm-m -- tracts and things. You know," she
added, perceiving the weakness of her position, "people's souls
should come first. And poor Mrs. Appleditch -- you see -- some folks is
made stickier than others, and their money sticks to them, somehow,
that they can't part with it -- poor woman!"
To this Hugh had no answer at hand; for though Miss Talbot's logic
was more than questionable, her charity was perfectly sound; and
Hugh felt that he had not been forbearing enough with the mother of
the future pastors. So he went back to his room, lighted his pipe,
and smoked till he fell asleep over a small volume of morbid modern
divinity, which Miss Talbot had lent him. I do not mention the name
of the book, lest some of my acquaintance should abuse me, and
others it, more than either deserves. Hugh, however, found the best
refuge from the diseased self-consciousness which it endeavoured to
rouse, and which is a kind of spiritual somnambulism, in an hour of
God's good sleep, into a means of which the book was temporarily
elevated. When he woke he found himself greatly refreshed by the
influence it had exercised upon him.
It was now the hour for the daily pretence of going to dine. So he
went out. But all he had was some bread, which he ate as he walked
about. Loitering here, and trifling there, passing five minutes
over a volume on every bookstall in Holborn, and comparing the
shapes of the meerschaums in every tobacconist's window, time ambled
gently along with him; and it struck nine just as he found himself
at Falconer's door.
"You are ready, then?" said Falconer.
"Will you take anything before you go? I think we had better have
some supper first. It is early for our project."
This was a welcome proposal to Hugh. Cold meat and ale were
excellent preparatives for what might be required of him; for a
tendency to collapse in a certain region, called by courtesy the
chest, is not favourable to deeds of valour. By the time he had
spent ten minutes in the discharge of the agreeable duty suggested,
he felt himself ready for anything that might fall to his lot.
The friends set out together; and, under the guidance of the two
foremost bumps upon Falconer's forehead, soon arrived at the place
he judged to be that indicated by Euphra. It was very different
from the place Hugh had pictured to himself. Yet in everything it
corresponded to her description.
"Are we not great fools, Sutherland, to set out on such a chase,
with the dream of a sick girl for our only guide?"
"I am sure you don't think so, else you would not have gone."
"I think we can afford the small risk to our reputation involved in
the chase of this same wild-goose. There is enough of strange
testimony about things of the sort to justify us in attending to the
hint. Besides, if we neglected it, it would be mortifying to find
out some day, perhaps a hundred years after this, that it was a true
hint. It is altogether different from giving ourselves up to the
pursuit of such things. -- But this ought to be the house," he added,
going up to one that had a rather more respectable look than the
He knocked at the door. An elderly woman half opened it and looked
at them suspiciously.
"Will you take my card to the foreign gentleman who is lodging with
you, and say I am happy to wait upon him?" said Falconer.
She glanced at him again, and turned inwards, hesitating whether to
leave the door half-open or not. Falconer stood so close to it,
however, that she was afraid to shut it in his face.
"Now, Sutherland, follow me," whispered Falconer, as soon as the
woman had disappeared on the stair.
Hugh followed behind the moving tower of his friend, who strode with
long, noiseless strides till he reached the stair. That he took
three steps at a time. They went up two flights, and reached the
top just as the woman was laying her hand on the lock of the
back-room door. She turned and faced them.
"Speak one word," said Falconer, in a hissing whisper, "and -- "
He completed the sentence by an awfully threatening gesture. She
drew back in terror, and yielded her place at the door.
"Come in," bawled some one, in second answer to the knock she had
"It is he!" said Hugh, trembling with excitement.
"Hush!" said Falconer, and went in.
Hugh followed. He knew the back of the count at once. He was
seated at a table, apparently writing; but, going nearer, they saw
that he was drawing. A single closer glance showed them the
portrait of Euphra growing under his hand. In order to intensify
his will and concentrate it upon her, he was drawing her portrait
from memory. But at the moment they caught sight of it, the wretch,
aware of a hostile presence, sprang to his feet, and reached the
chimney-piece at one bound, whence he caught up a sword.
"Take care, Falconer," cried Hugh; "that weapon is poisoned. He is
no every-day villain you have to deal with."
He remembered the cat.
Funkelstein made a sudden lunge at Hugh, his face pale with hatred
and anger. But a blow from Falconer's huge fist, travelling faster
than the point of his weapon, stretched him on the floor. Such was
Falconer's impetus, that it hurled both him and the table across the
fallen villain. Falconer was up in a moment. Not so Funkelstein.
There was plenty of time for Hugh to secure the rapier, and for
Falconer to secure its owner, before he came to himself.
"Where's my ring?" said Hugh, the moment he opened his eyes.
"Gentlemen, I protest," began Funkelstein, in a voice upon which the
cord that bound his wrists had an evident influence.
"No chaff!" said Falconer. "We've got all our feathers. Hand over
the two rings, or be the security for them yourself."
"What witness have you against me?"
"The best of witnesses -- Miss Cameron."
"And me," added Hugh.
"Gentlemen, I am very sorry. I yielded to temptation. I meant to
restore the diamond after the joke had been played out, but I was
forced to part with it."
"The joke is played out, you see," said Falconer. "So you had better
produce the other bauble you stole at the same time."
"I have not got it."
"Come, come, that's too much. Nobody would give you more than five
shillings for it. And you knew what it was worth when you took it.
Sutherland, you stand over him while I search the room. This
portrait may as well be put out of the way first."
As he spoke, Falconer tore the portrait and threw it into the fire.
He then turned to a cupboard in the room. Whether it was that
Funkelstein feared further revelations, I do not know, but he
"I have not got it," he repeated, however.
"You lie," answered Falconer.
"I would give it you if I could."
The Bohemian looked contemptible enough now, despite the
handsomeness of his features. It needed freedom, and the absence of
any urgency, to enable him to personate a gentleman. Given those
conditions, he succeeded. But as soon as he was disturbed, the
gloss vanished, and the true nature came out, that of a ruffian and
a sneak. He quite quivered at the look with which Falconer turned
again to the cupboard.
"Stop," he cried; "here it is."
And muttering what sounded like curses, he pulled out of his bosom
the ring, suspended from his neck
"Sutherland," said Falconer, taking the ring, "secure that rapier,
and be careful with it. We will have its point tested.
Meantime," -- here he turned again to his prisoner -- "I give you
warning that the moment I leave this house, I go to Scotland
Yard. -- Do you know the place? I there recommend the police to look
after you, and they will mind what I say. If you leave London, a
message will be sent, wherever you go, that you had better be
watched. My advice to you is, to stay where you are as long as you
can. I shall meet you again."
They left him on the floor, to the care of his landlady, whom they
found outside the room, speechless with terror.
As soon as they were in the square, on which the moon was now
shining, as it had shone in Euphra's dream the night before,
Falconer gave the ring to Hugh.
"Take it to a jeweller's, Sutherland, and get it cleaned, before you
give it to Miss Cameron."
"I will," answered Hugh, and added, "I don't know how to thank you."
"Then don't," said Falconer, with a smile.
When they reached the end of the street, he turned, and bade Hugh
"Take care of that cowardly thing. It may be as you say."
Hugh turned towards home. Falconer dived into a court, and was out
of sight in a moment.
THE LAST GROAT.
Thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing;
A man that fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blessed are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please.
Most friends befriend themselves with friendship's show.