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nothing. When my father won't be merciful, I can't expect any one else to be. Oh, dear! I'm awfully afraid I shall get to like him immensely, if this goes on. Nature and I abhor a vacuum; and there will be such a dreadful void of pity and affection about Francis Grey, I sha'n't be able to keep from rushing in to fill it up."
"Papa!" she said, turning round, but without leaving the window.
He looked at her coldly.
"If you were to speak kindly to him, and give him some good advice, don't you think it would be better?"
"Certainly not!" he replied with decision. “And now, will you have the goodness to recollect that I have dismissed the subject?"
With a sigh of perplexity Rose returned to the window. Presently a servant entered and gave her a letter. She glanced listlessly at the cover, wondered a little who her correspondent might be, broke the seal, and immediately became absorbed in the contents.
After a while her father's attention was attracted by a sound very like weeping, and, glancing that way, he saw Rose leaning in the shadow of the curtain, with her face in her hands.
"What's the matter, child?" he exclaimed. "Why, I didn't mean to be cross, dear. Come and make up."
Rose went to him, wiping her eyes. "There, papa," she said, you can't help pitying him after reading that."
Judge Fanshawe's countenance changed as he took the letter and settled himself back in his chair to read it. Rose had not, then, been grieving over his displeasure.
If Mr. Francis Grey had known into what hands his missive was to fall, its composition would, doubtless, have been more carefully considered. But, addressing himself only to Rose, and thinking only of her, every line he wrote was calculated to exasperate her father. He did not dream of renewing his offer of marriage, the young man wrote, but he begged for her pity and sympathy, and for a few lines, assuring him at least of her friendship. "I had
no right to risk the property of others, I own," he admitted. "But if I had succeeded, those who are now the loudest in denunciation would have been first to praise."
Judge Fanshawe's face grew dark as he read, and having finished, he crushed the letter in his hand, and tossed it contemptuously into the fire. Facing his daughter then, for the first time he saw in her the reflection of his own haughty spirit.
"Father," she said, "you have burned every word of that letter into my heart!"
"Rose," he exclaimed, angrily, "you astonish me! I thought you had more sense of propriety. Let there be an end to this. I will inform Mr. Grey what I think of his trying to draw my daughter into a clandestine correspondence."
Rose was very pale, but quiet. "I would like to write to him," she said. "" I forbid it!"
She was silent a moment; then repeated, "I really think I shall write to him, papa."
Judge Fanshawe looked at his daughter, too astonished and indignant to speak at once. Her calmness, no less than her unexpected defiance, had taken him completely by surprise. Evidently she needed a strong hand. He must make short work of it, or his authority would be gone before he knew it. "Rose," he said deliberately, "when an answer to that note goes out of this house, you may go with it-and not return!"
"Very well!" she answered, quietly, and, after a moment, left the room.
That evening Miss Campbell saw no pretty family group in the house across the way; but on the curtain of Miss Fanshawe's chamber was the silhouette of a lady, writing, and in the library a gentleman alternately walked up and down, and fretfully tossed over a litter of papers, with which he seemed to be out of patience.
Judge Fanshawe was not alarmed, though he was mortified and angry. A woman's revolt is usually so trivial and short-lived, her heart beating ever
against her brittle will, that men seldom regard it with any feeling more serious than impatience or contempt. Her "last word" has been well interpreted by one who well knows:
"What so false as truth is,
False to thee?
Where the serpent's tooth is, Shun the tree.
"Where the apple reddens
Lest we lose our Edens,
Doubtless Rose Fanshawe's father expected such a submission from her.
The next morning breakfast passed almost in silence, the father stern and taciturn, the daughter pale, and rather wistful, each waiting for the other to approach the subject of their difference. When they left the table there was a moment of embarrassment, for that was the time when Rose embraced her father, and wished him a happy day.
Judge Fanshawe fastened the loop of his cloak, and drew on his gloves, waiting for unconditional surrender and the usual valedictory. They did not come. Rose was one of those purely sincere persons, with whom a caress or a tender word is a sign of love and peace. She had never learned, disdained to learn, the trick of hollow sweetness; and she had never been taught the duty of humility and submission.
She, too, waited, but finally asked, "Papa, have you thought over what we were speaking of last night?"
He put his hat on to go; the slight relenting of his face chilled at once. "I could have but one thought on the subject," he replied severely. "I hoped and expected that by this time you would regret your absurd and disrespectful conduct."
"Aren't you willing I should write him a note, telling him that I am sorry for him, and you read it before it goes?"
Judge Fanshawe turned, with his hand on the door-knob. "Rose, your persistence is an insult to me. If you
mention this subject again, I shall order you to leave the room. For the last time I repeat, I forbid your taking any notice whatever of Mr. Francis Grey."
"And you mean all you said about it last night, papa?"
"Every word! When an answer to that letter goes out of this house, you may go with it."
He said no more, but went out without a backward glance, and Rose, sighing heavily, returned to the library. Reaching the centre of the room, she forgot to go any farther, and stood there, locked in thought. Presently her thoughts broke out in soliloquy : "My father has an uncommonly fine mind; but he can make mistakes, and he has made one with me. He forgets that I have a mind of my own, and a right to my own opinions, and to have them treated with some respect. Since I have been made, I must grow. And yet, I am a sort of heliotrope, and if he would only shine on me, I should be pretty sure to grow his way. But now I feel very implacable. I suppose I take it from him."
When Judge Fanshawe came home that night he saw no smiling face in the window, and no cheerful greeting met him at the threshold. "I did not know that Rose could be sulky," he thought, and opened the door for himself.
A note addressed to him lay on the hall-table. He tore it open, and read:
"MY DEAR FATHER: Since you are master in your own house, my note and I are going out together. I am sorry to disobey you, but it isn't in my heart to let any one in trouble cry out to me and never give in reply a word of pity. I am going to Mrs. Bond's, and I shall be very careful, and no one will know from me why I am there. When you want me back you can let me know, and I shall be very glad to come.
"Your affectionate daughter,
Whatever the father may have suffered in reading that, no one knew it.
"Hasn't Miss Rose come in yet, sir?"
the servant asked when he went down alone to dinner.
"She will not be in to dinner," was the concise reply.
"Am I to sit up for Miss Rose, sir?" he was asked, as he went up-stairs that night.
"When Spring comes, I always want to live," she said, sighingly, as she looked out. "A pale little hope, about as large as a snowdrop, and as fragile, springs up in my heart."
"My poor Hester!" exclaimed the soldier, taking her shadowy little hand
"She will not come back to-night," in his strong one. he replied.
Days passed without her being summoned home: weeks and months passed, and still there was no sign of invitation on the one side, or of penitence on the other.
"It is not so much the mere fact of her writing the note," the Judge said to himself. "It is the disobedience, the defiance, and ingratitude. A principle is involved, and she must humble herself."
"I don't mind so much that he sent me out for nothing," thought Rose. "But since he has sent me, of course I shall wait till he calls me back again."
And so the two, gently calm in appearance, but as immovable as rocks, held to their will in silence, satisfying no person's curiosity, and refusing to listen to their own hearts or consciences.
Winter passed away, and Spring came. There had been a succession of wild storms, March coming in like a lion; but at length the lamb appeared. A last fling of rain, sharp as a lash, out of the darkening east and into the reddening west; a last growl that ended in an exhausted sough, and all at once there was Spring, a melting loveliness over earth and sky, rosy and rain-washed and still. In such stillness the last vestige of the storm disappeared, and the heavens balanced the waning glory of the sun and the waxing glory of the moon. Then the starry beam tilted, and it was night.
Miss Hester Campbell, paler and frailer than ever, sat in her bow-window, with her cousin beside her. He had been away all winter in the Mediterranean, and they were just subsiding into quiet after the excitement of their first meeting since his return.
"But I don't mean to complain," she added hastily. "Indeed, I have but one real trouble, and that is that desolate house," glancing across the way.
"Hasn't he taken the young couple home?" asked Lieutenant Campbell, in a constrained voice.
"The young couple, Donald? Nonsense!" his cousin exclaimed. "That's what comes of your getting none of my letters. There was no thought of their being married. The trouble must have been about something else, nobody knows what. Didn't you hear that Blentdavir came to the rescue and sent Grey off to the East in one of his ships? It was an escape, though. He had to run away in the night. Mrs. Bond says that he came to her house once after Rose went there, but she wouldn't see him."
At Miss Hester's first word her cousin dropped her hand; but not before she had felt a strong pulse fly to each of his finger-tips.
"Have you seen her?" he asked. "Rose? No. Well, Ann, what is it?"-to the servant.
"A lady to see you, Miss Campbell," was the answer.
The visitor came forward swiftly, and stood in the moonlight-Rose Fanshawe!
"Please don't disturb yourself," the girl said in a soft, hurried voice that sounded as if she were out of breath. "Sit down again. There! I want to talk with you a little while. But you are engaged "-perceiving that Miss Campbell was not alone.
The gentleman came out of the shadow.
"Oh! Lieutenant Campbell! You are welcome back. I heard that you had been away. But I want to talk with your cousin, now."
"I'll finish my cigar down-stairs," he said. "And when you are ready, let me know, and I will go home with you." "Miss Campbell, I want you to tell me about my father," Rose began abruptly the instant the two were alone. "There is no one else whom I would ask, and no one else who can tell me what I wish to know. You see him often, of course. Do you think he is lonely? Do many people go there?
Does he look well?"
"My dear, he seems to me desolate," Miss Hester said gravely. "I think he often spends the evening quite alone. And he does not look well."
It is never pleasant to sit alone at table, especially at evening, when loneliness is least tolerable. Judge Fanshawe had found this to his cost. But
he could not bear to invite company. While his daughter's place was vacant he could fancy that she was only lingering a moment-that presently the door would open, a slight shape come tripping in, a bright cheek touch his faded one, and his own dear little girl put to flight, by her gay presence, all the cruel imaginings that had been tormenting him. To-night his trouble pressed more heavily than ever. He left his dinner untouched, went into the library and tried to read. But the
"Don't say desolate!" Rose cried out sharply. "That is a terrible word. What have you heard him say, or seen him do? When did you see him page might as well have been blank for last?"
Miss Fanshawe's face looked quite pale in the moonlight, and her cheeks had lost something of their roundness. Her friend noticed that, and took her hand kindly. "I heard him speak yesterday," she said. "When he came home in the evening a little girl was running along before him, with a package in her hand. Evidently it was something very precious. But she was too eager and delighted to mind her steps, and just in front of your house she slipped on the wet pavement, and fell. There was a little crash as she fell, and bits of painted china flew about. Judge Fanshawe took the poor little sobbing thing up-he is very kind to children, my dear-and asked about her mishap. It appeared that she had, for a long time, been saving up her money to buy her father a birthday present, and had got a painted coffee-cup; and there it was!
"When she had finished her little story, crying bitterly all the while, he gave her money to buy another cup. 'It was better to break that than to break your father's heart,' he said, and went up the steps to his own house, where there was no child to welcome him. He looked very sorrowful, and he seems to be getting old. I think he stoops a little."
any sense he took of it. The book dropped from his hand, and he sat looking into the fire, and thinking-not such thoughts as the young have, when life is all before them, but such as come to those whose illusions are faded, and who feel upon their souls the grasp of solemn realities. Till that proud, rebellious daughter left him, Judge Fanshawe had scarcely thought of age or death. His heart could not grow dull with her young heart bounding so near, and gray hairs did not trouble him when her pretty, prying fingers found them out, and her sweet voice chid him so merrily. "You think too much, papa; that's the trouble. You mean to be Chief-Justice, and you turn your hair gray with plotting." He could hear her loving nonsense in his ears now.
His eyes grew dim, and long rays stretched, trembling, toward them from the fire.
That miserable affair of Francis Grey's! Judge Fanshawe owned to himself now that he had been hasty, and that Rose, in spite of her disobedience, had shown the nobler spirit. "Other girls might have been more obedient, without being any better," he muttered. "I don't want a daughter of mine to be led by a ring in her nose. It is only in the light of religion that she has done wrong."
And what religion had he taught her? None. He had sowed in humanity alone, and must be content with such harvest as humanity could bring forth.
"It is evident that she will not come till I have humbled myself to ask her," he said. "I thought I could not do that; but to-night-"
He drew a table to him, and wrote one line: "Rose, will you not come home to your father?"-his eyes filling as he wrote. When the note was sealed and directed, he dropped his face into his hands, and wept like a child. It was cruel that he should have to ask her, even if she should come willingly at his summons.
The door-bell rang as he sat there. He wiped his eyes hastily, and turned his face from the light.
"Do you want any thing, sir?" asked Thomas, the contraband, putting his .head into the room.
"No. What should make you think I want any thing? The street doorbell rang."
"Yes, sir!" said Thomas, lingering. "Confound the fellow!" said the Judge to himself. "He's prying-thinks something is the matter since I ate no dinner. 66 Well, Thomas," — aloud"what are you waiting for? Did any one come in?"
"Yes, sir! No, sir!" replied the contraband, in a highly lucid manner.
"Try to make up your mind about it," recommended his master dryly, without once turning his face toward the door.
"Yes, sir!" said Thomas again, and withdrew in a fumbling way, obeying the imperative wave of a hand that was not Judge Fanshawe's.
Left to himself again, the master of the house, with a long-drawn sigh that told of a weary weight at heart, went back to his bitter musings.
"Father!" said a breathless voice at his side, at his shoulder, where a tearful face drooped. "May I stay with you? I've waited and waited-and, oh! father, you would have called me back long ago if you had known how sorry I was, how I wanted to come."
After all, the harvest of him who sows only human love may be very sweet. Or is it, as Coleridge says, that there is religion in all deep love?
"You're not growing old, are you, papa?" she asked, after a while, winking the tears off her eyelashes that she might see him, but in vain, since they gathered again immediately.
"I was old an hour ago, my child," he said.
She made a great effort, and wiped her eyes with both hands. “Now, papa, won't you please to stand up?"
The Judge stood up obediently, but with some wonder, possibly with an impression that he was going to be put upon oath.
Rose looked him over with anxious criticism. Then a triumphant laugh and blush broke together into her face. "You don't stoop one bit!" she cried, embracing him with transport. "And now"-pressing him into his chair again in her pretty, half-imperative, half-entreating way, and kneeling down beside him--" how shall I ever tell you half how sorry I am? I don't mean to say," she corrected herself, "that I am sorry I gave him a kind word, but I am sorry I did it without your consent. For I could have got your consent-you know I could—papa, if I had coaxed long enough for it. I could coax any thing out of you, you dearest and most indulgent father, that a hard-hearted, ungrateful girl like me ever had! And I'm sorry I hadn't gone on my knees to you afterwards. I would if I had known that you wanted me to. You see, papa, I thought I was doing right, and I forgot that my first duty was to you."
"Your first duty was to God, my dear," he replied. "But how could you know that when I never taught you, and when I myself forgot that duty? Let us mutually forgive, and try to do better in the future."
After a while, when she had given her father an account of the manner in which she had spent the winter, Rose told of her visit to Miss Campbell, and that Lieutenant Campbell came home