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Chapter 2 Roderick

  • Early on the morrow Rowland received a visit from his new friend. Roderick wa_n a state of extreme exhilaration, tempered, however, by a certain amount o_ighteous wrath. He had had a domestic struggle, but he had remained master o_he situation. He had shaken the dust of Mr. Striker's office from his feet.
  • "I had it out last night with my mother," he said. "I dreaded the scene, fo_he takes things terribly hard. She does n't scold nor storm, and she does n'_rgue nor insist. She sits with her eyes full of tears that never fall, an_ooks at me, when I displease her, as if I were a perfect monster o_epravity. And the trouble is that I was born to displease her. She does n'_rust me; she never has and she never will. I don't know what I have done t_et her against me, but ever since I can remember I have been looked at wit_ears. The trouble is," he went on, giving a twist to his moustache, "I 'v_een too absurdly docile. I 've been sprawling all my days by the materna_ireside, and my dear mother has grown used to bullying me. I 've made mysel_heap! If I 'm not in my bed by eleven o'clock, the girl is sent out t_xplore with a lantern. When I think of it, I fairly despise my amiability. It
  • 's rather a hard fate, to live like a saint and to pass for a sinner! I shoul_ike for six months to lead Mrs. Hudson the life some fellows lead thei_others!"
  • "Allow me to believe," said Rowland, "that you would like nothing of the sort.
  • If you have been a good boy, don't spoil it by pretending you don't like it.
  • You have been very happy, I suspect, in spite of your virtues, and there ar_orse fates in the world than being loved too well. I have not had th_leasure of seeing your mother, but I would lay you a wager that that is th_rouble. She is passionately fond of you, and her hopes, like all intens_opes, keep trembling into fears." Rowland, as he spoke, had an instinctiv_ision of how such a beautiful young fellow must be loved by his femal_elatives.
  • Roderick frowned, and with an impatient gesture, "I do her justice," he cried.
  • "May she never do me less!" Then after a moment's hesitation, "I 'll tell yo_he perfect truth," he went on. "I have to fill a double place. I have to b_y brother as well as myself. It 's a good deal to ask of a man, especiall_hen he has so little talent as I for being what he is not. When we were bot_oung together I was the curled darling. I had the silver mug and the bigges_iece of pudding, and I stayed in-doors to be kissed by the ladies while h_ade mud-pies in the garden and was never missed, of course. Really, he wa_orth fifty of me! When he was brought home from Vicksburg with a piece o_hell in his skull, my poor mother began to think she had n't loved hi_nough. I remember, as she hung round my neck sobbing, before his coffin, sh_old me that I must be to her everything that he would have been. I swore i_ears and in perfect good faith that I would, but naturally I have not kept m_romise. I have been utterly different. I have been idle, restless, egotistical, discontented. I have done no harm, I believe, but I have done n_ood. My brother, if he had lived, would have made fifty thousand dollars an_ut gas and water into the house. My mother, brooding night and day on he_ereavement, has come to fix her ideal in offices of that sort. Judged by tha_tandard I 'm nowhere!"
  • Rowland was at loss how to receive this account of his friend's domesti_ircumstances; it was plaintive, and yet the manner seemed to him over- trenchant. "You must lose no time in making a masterpiece," he answered; "the_ith the proceeds you can give her gas from golden burners."
  • "So I have told her; but she only half believes either in masterpiece or i_roceeds. She can see no good in my making statues; they seem to her a snar_f the enemy. She would fain see me all my life tethered to the law, like _rowsing goat to a stake. In that way I 'm in sight. 'It 's a more regula_ccupation!' that 's all I can get out of her. A more regular damnation! Is i_ fact that artists, in general, are such wicked men? I never had the pleasur_f knowing one, so I could n't confute her with an example. She had th_dvantage of me, because she formerly knew a portrait-painter at Richmond, wh_id her miniature in black lace mittens (you may see it on the parlor table), who used to drink raw brandy and beat his wife. I promised her that, whateve_ might do to my wife, I would never beat my mother, and that as for brandy, raw or diluted, I detested it. She sat silently crying for an hour, durin_hich I expended treasures of eloquence. It 's a good thing to have to recko_p one's intentions, and I assure you, as I pleaded my cause, I was mos_greeably impressed with the elevated character of my own. I kissed he_olemnly at last, and told her that I had said everything and that she mus_ake the best of it. This morning she has dried her eyes, but I warrant you i_s n't a cheerful house. I long to be out of it!"
  • "I 'm extremely sorry," said Rowland, "to have been the prime cause of so muc_uffering. I owe your mother some amends; will it be possible for me to se_er?"
  • "If you 'll see her, it will smooth matters vastly; though to tell the trut_he 'll need all her courage to face you, for she considers you an agent o_he foul fiend. She does n't see why you should have come here and set me b_he ears: you are made to ruin ingenuous youths and desolate doting mothers. _eave it to you, personally, to answer these charges. You see, what she can'_orgive—what she 'll not really ever forgive—is your taking me off to Rome.
  • Rome is an evil word, in my mother's vocabulary, to be said in a whisper, a_ou 'd say 'damnation.' Northampton is in the centre of the earth and Rome fa_way in outlying dusk, into which it can do no Christian any good t_enetrate. And there was I but yesterday a doomed habitue of that repositor_f every virtue, Mr. Striker's office!"
  • "And does Mr. Striker know of your decision?" asked Rowland.
  • "To a certainty! Mr. Striker, you must know, is not simply a good-nature_ttorney, who lets me dog's-ear his law-books. He's a particular friend an_eneral adviser. He looks after my mother's property and kindly consents t_egard me as part of it. Our opinions have always been painfully divergent, but I freely forgive him his zealous attempts to unscrew my head-piece and se_t on hind part before. He never understood me, and it was useless to try t_ake him. We speak a different language—we 're made of a different clay. I ha_ fit of rage yesterday when I smashed his bust, at the thought of all the ba_lood he had stirred up in me; it did me good, and it 's all over now. I don'_ate him any more; I 'm rather sorry for him. See how you 've improved me! _ust have seemed to him wilfully, wickedly stupid, and I 'm sure he onl_olerated me on account of his great regard for my mother. This morning _rasped the bull by the horns. I took an armful of law-books that have bee_athering the dust in my room for the last year and a half, and presente_yself at the office. 'Allow me to put these back in their places,' I said. '_hall never have need for them more—never more, never more, never more!' 'S_ou 've learned everything they contain?' asked Striker, leering over hi_pectacles. 'Better late than never.' 'I 've learned nothing that you ca_each me,' I cried. 'But I shall tax your patience no longer. I 'm going to b_ sculptor. I 'm going to Rome. I won't bid you good-by just yet; I shall se_ou again. But I bid good-by here, with rapture, to these four deteste_alls—to this living tomb! I did n't know till now how I hated it! M_ompliments to Mr. Spooner, and my thanks for all you have not made of me!'"
  • "I 'm glad to know you are to see Mr. Striker again," Rowland answered, correcting a primary inclination to smile. "You certainly owe him a respectfu_arewell, even if he has not understood you. I confess you rather puzzle me.
  • There is another person," he presently added, "whose opinion as to your ne_areer I should like to know. What does Miss Garland think?"
  • Hudson looked at him keenly, with a slight blush. Then, with a consciou_mile, "What makes you suppose she thinks anything?" he asked.
  • "Because, though I saw her but for a moment yesterday, she struck me as a ver_ntelligent person, and I am sure she has opinions."
  • The smile on Roderick's mobile face passed rapidly into a frown. "Oh, sh_hinks what I think!" he answered.
  • Before the two young men separated Rowland attempted to give as harmonious _hape as possible to his companion's scheme. "I have launched you, as I ma_ay," he said, "and I feel as if I ought to see you into port. I am older tha_ou and know the world better, and it seems well that we should voyage a whil_ogether. It 's on my conscience that I ought to take you to Rome, walk yo_hrough the Vatican, and then lock you up with a heap of clay. I sail on th_ifth of September; can you make your preparations to start with me?"
  • Roderick assented to all this with an air of candid confidence in his friend'_isdom that outshone the virtue of pledges. "I have no preparations to make,"
  • he said with a smile, raising his arms and letting them fall, as if t_ndicate his unencumbered condition. "What I am to take with me I carry here!"
  • and he tapped his forehead.
  • "Happy man!" murmured Rowland with a sigh, thinking of the light stowage, i_is own organism, in the region indicated by Roderick, and of the heavy one i_eposit at his banker's, of bags and boxes.
  • When his companion had left him he went in search of Cecilia. She was sittin_t work at a shady window, and welcomed him to a low chintz-covered chair. H_at some time, thoughtfully snipping tape with her scissors; he expecte_riticism and he was preparing a rejoinder. At last he told her of Roderick'_ecision and of his own influence in it. Cecilia, besides an extreme surprise, exhibited a certain fine displeasure at his not having asked her advice.
  • "What would you have said, if I had?" he demanded.
  • "I would have said in the first place, 'Oh for pity's sake don't carry off th_erson in all Northampton who amuses me most!' I would have said in the secon_lace, 'Nonsense! the boy is doing very well. Let well alone!'"
  • "That in the first five minutes. What would you have said later?"
  • "That for a man who is generally averse to meddling, you were suddenly rathe_fficious."
  • Rowland's countenance fell. He frowned in silence. Cecilia looked at hi_skance; gradually the spark of irritation faded from her eye.
  • "Excuse my sharpness," she resumed at last. "But I am literally in despair a_osing Roderick Hudson. His visits in the evening, for the past year, hav_ept me alive. They have given a silver tip to leaden days. I don't say he i_f a more useful metal than other people, but he is of a different one. O_ourse, however, that I shall miss him sadly is not a reason for his not goin_o seek his fortune. Men must work and women must weep!"
  • "Decidedly not!" said Rowland, with a good deal of emphasis. He had suspecte_rom the first hour of his stay that Cecilia had treated herself to a privat_ocial luxury; he had then discovered that she found it in Hudson's loungin_isits and boyish chatter, and he had felt himself wondering at last whether, judiciously viewed, her gain in the matter was not the young man's loss. I_as evident that Cecilia was not judicious, and that her good sense, habitually rigid under the demands of domestic economy, indulged itself with _ertain agreeable laxity on this particular point. She liked her young frien_ust as he was; she humored him, flattered him, laughed at him, caresse_im—did everything but advise him. It was a flirtation without the benefits o_ flirtation. She was too old to let him fall in love with her, which migh_ave done him good; and her inclination was to keep him young, so that th_onsense he talked might never transgress a certain line. It was quit_onceivable that poor Cecilia should relish a pastime; but if one ha_hilanthropically embraced the idea that something considerable might be mad_f Roderick, it was impossible not to see that her friendship was not wha_ight be called tonic. So Rowland reflected, in the glow of his new-bor_ympathy. There was a later time when he would have been grateful if Hudson'_usceptibility to the relaxing influence of lovely women might have bee_imited to such inexpensive tribute as he rendered the excellent Cecilia.
  • "I only desire to remind you," she pursued, "that you are likely to have you_ands full."
  • "I 've thought of that, and I rather like the idea; liking, as I do, the man.
  • I told you the other day, you know, that I longed to have something on m_ands. When it first occurred to me that I might start our young friend on th_ath of glory, I felt as if I had an unimpeachable inspiration. Then _emembered there were dangers and difficulties, and asked myself whether I ha_ right to step in between him and his obscurity. My sense of his reall_aving the divine flame answered the question. He is made to do the thing_hat humanity is the happier for! I can't do such things myself, but when _ee a young man of genius standing helpless and hopeless for want of capital, I feel—and it 's no affectation of humility, I assure you—as if it would giv_t least a reflected usefulness to my own life to offer him his opportunity."
  • "In the name of humanity, I suppose, I ought to thank you. But I want, firs_f all, to be happy myself. You guarantee us at any rate, I hope, th_asterpieces."
  • "A masterpiece a year," said Rowland smiling, "for the next quarter of _entury."
  • "It seems to me that we have a right to ask more: to demand that you guarante_s not only the development of the artist, but the security of the man."
  • Rowland became grave again. "His security?"
  • "His moral, his sentimental security. Here, you see, it 's perfect. We are al_nder a tacit compact to preserve it. Perhaps you believe in the necessar_urbulence of genius, and you intend to enjoin upon your protege th_mportance of cultivating his passions."
  • "On the contrary, I believe that a man of genius owes as much deference to hi_assions as any other man, but not a particle more, and I confess I have _trong conviction that the artist is better for leading a quiet life. That i_hat I shall preach to my protege, as you call him, by example as well as b_recept. You evidently believe," he added in a moment, "that he will lead me _ance."
  • "Nay, I prophesy nothing. I only think that circumstances, with our young man, have a great influence; as is proved by the fact that although he has bee_uming and fretting here for the last five years, he has nevertheless manage_o make the best of it, and found it easy, on the whole, to vegetate.
  • Transplanted to Rome, I fancy he 'll put forth a denser leafage. I should lik_astly to see the change. You must write me about it, from stage to stage. _ope with all my heart that the fruit will be proportionate to the foliage.
  • Don't think me a bird of ill omen; only remember that you will be held to _trict account."
  • "A man should make the most of himself, and be helped if he needs help,"
  • Rowland answered, after a long pause. "Of course when a body begins to expand, there comes in the possibility of bursting; but I nevertheless approve of _ertain tension of one's being. It 's what a man is meant for. And then _elieve in the essential salubrity of genius—true genius."
  • "Very good," said Cecilia, with an air of resignation which made Rowland, fo_he moment, seem to himself culpably eager. "We 'll drink then to-day a_inner to the health of our friend."
  • Having it much at heart to convince Mrs. Hudson of the purity of hi_ntentions, Rowland waited upon her that evening. He was ushered into a larg_arlor, which, by the light of a couple of candles, he perceived to be ver_eagrely furnished and very tenderly and sparingly used. The windows were ope_o the air of the summer night, and a circle of three persons was temporaril_wed into silence by his appearance. One of these was Mrs. Hudson, who wa_itting at one of the windows, empty-handed save for the pocket-handkerchie_n her lap, which was held with an air of familiarity with its sadder uses.
  • Near her, on the sofa, half sitting, half lounging, in the attitude of _isitor outstaying ceremony, with one long leg flung over the other and _arge foot in a clumsy boot swinging to and fro continually, was a lean, sandy-haired gentleman whom Rowland recognized as the original of the portrai_f Mr. Barnaby Striker. At the table, near the candles, busy with _ubstantial piece of needle-work, sat the young girl of whom he had had _oment's quickened glimpse in Roderick's studio, and whom he had learned to b_iss Garland, his companion's kinswoman. This young lady's limpid, penetratin_aze was the most effective greeting he received. Mrs. Hudson rose with _oft, vague sound of distress, and stood looking at him shrinkingly an_averingly, as if she were sorely tempted to retreat through the open window.
  • Mr. Striker swung his long leg a trifle defiantly. No one, evidently, was use_o offering hollow welcomes or telling polite fibs. Rowland introduce_imself; he had come, he might say, upon business.
  • "Yes," said Mrs. Hudson tremulously; "I know—my son has told me. I suppose i_s better I should see you. Perhaps you will take a seat."
  • With this invitation Rowland prepared to comply, and, turning, grasped th_irst chair that offered itself.
  • "Not that one," said a full, grave voice; whereupon he perceived that _uantity of sewing-silk had been suspended and entangled over the back, preparatory to being wound on reels. He felt the least bit irritated at th_urtness of the warning, coming as it did from a young woman whose countenanc_e had mentally pronounced interesting, and with regard to whom he wa_onscious of the germ of the inevitable desire to produce a responsiv_nterest. And then he thought it would break the ice to say somethin_layfully urbane.
  • "Oh, you should let me take the chair," he answered, "and have the pleasure o_olding the skeins myself!"
  • For all reply to this sally he received a stare of undisguised amazement fro_iss Garland, who then looked across at Mrs. Hudson with a glance whic_lainly said: "You see he 's quite the insidious personage we feared." Th_lder lady, however, sat with her eyes fixed on the ground and her two hand_ightly clasped. But touching her Rowland felt much more compassion tha_esentment; her attitude was not coldness, it was a kind of dread, almost _error. She was a small, eager woman, with a pale, troubled face, which adde_o her apparent age. After looking at her for some minutes Rowland saw tha_he was still young, and that she must have been a very girlish bride. She ha_een a pretty one, too, though she probably had looked terribly frightened a_he altar. She was very delicately made, and Roderick had come honestly by hi_hysical slimness and elegance. She wore no cap, and her flaxen hair, whic_as of extraordinary fineness, was smoothed and confined with Puritani_recision. She was excessively shy, and evidently very humble-minded; it wa_ingular to see a woman to whom the experience of life had conveyed so littl_eassurance as to her own resources or the chances of things turning out well.
  • Rowland began immediately to like her, and to feel impatient to persuade he_hat there was no harm in him, and that, twenty to one, her son would make he_ well-pleased woman yet. He foresaw that she would be easy to persuade, an_hat a benevolent conversational tone would probably make her pass, fluttering, from distrust into an oppressive extreme of confidence. But he ha_n indefinable sense that the person who was testing that strong youn_yesight of hers in the dim candle-light was less readily beguiled from he_ysterious feminine preconceptions. Miss Garland, according to Cecilia'_udgment, as Rowland remembered, had not a countenance to inspire a sculptor; but it seemed to Rowland that her countenance might fairly inspire a man wh_as far from being a sculptor. She was not pretty, as the eye of habit judge_rettiness, but when you made the observation you somehow failed to set i_own against her, for you had already passed from measuring contours t_racing meanings. In Mary Garland's face there were many possible ones, an_hey gave you the more to think about that it was not—like Roderick Hudson's, for instance—a quick and mobile face, over which expression flickered like _andle in a wind. They followed each other slowly, distinctly, gravely, sincerely, and you might almost have fancied that, as they came and went, the_ave her a sort of pain. She was tall and slender, and had an air of maidenl_trength and decision. She had a broad forehead and dark eyebrows, a trifl_hicker than those of classic beauties; her gray eye was clear but no_rilliant, and her features were perfectly irregular. Her mouth was large, fortunately for the principal grace of her physiognomy was her smile, whic_isplayed itself with magnificent amplitude. Rowland, indeed, had not yet see_er smile, but something assured him that her rigid gravity had a radian_ounterpart. She wore a scanty white dress, and had a nameless rustic ai_hich would have led one to speak of her less as a young lady than as a youn_oman. She was evidently a girl of a great personal force, but she lacke_liancy. She was hemming a kitchen towel with the aid of a large stee_himble. She bent her serious eyes at last on her work again, and let Rowlan_xplain himself.
  • "I have become suddenly so very intimate with your son," he said at last, addressing himself to Mrs. Hudson, "that it seems just I should make you_cquaintance."
  • "Very just," murmured the poor lady, and after a moment's hesitation was o_he point of adding something more; but Mr. Striker here interposed, after _refatory clearance of the throat.
  • "I should like to take the liberty," he said, "of addressing you a simpl_uestion. For how long a period of time have you been acquainted with ou_oung friend?" He continued to kick the air, but his head was thrown back an_is eyes fixed on the opposite wall, as if in aversion to the spectacle o_owland's inevitable confusion.
  • "A very short time, I confess. Hardly three days."
  • "And yet you call yourself intimate, eh? I have been seeing Mr. Roderick dail_hese three years, and yet it was only this morning that I felt as if I had a_ast the right to say that I knew him. We had a few moments' conversation i_y office which supplied the missing links in the evidence. So that now I d_enture to say I 'm acquainted with Mr. Roderick! But wait three years, sir, like me!" and Mr. Striker laughed, with a closed mouth and a noiseless shak_f all his long person.
  • Mrs. Hudson smiled confusedly, at hazard; Miss Garland kept her eyes on he_titches. But it seemed to Rowland that the latter colored a little. "Oh, i_hree years, of course," he said, "we shall know each other better. Befor_any years are over, madam," he pursued, "I expect the world to know him. _xpect him to be a great man!"
  • Mrs. Hudson looked at first as if this could be but an insidious device fo_ncreasing her distress by the assistance of irony. Then reassured, little b_ittle, by Rowland's benevolent visage, she gave him an appealing glance and _imorous "Really?"
  • But before Rowland could respond, Mr. Striker again intervened. "Do I full_pprehend your expression?" he asked. "Our young friend is to become a grea_an?"
  • "A great artist, I hope," said Rowland.
  • "This is a new and interesting view," said Mr. Striker, with an assumption o_udicial calmness. "We have had hopes for Mr. Roderick, but I confess, if _ave rightly understood them, they stopped short of greatness. We should n'_ave taken the responsibility of claiming it for him. What do you say, ladies?
  • We all feel about him here—his mother, Miss Garland, and myself—as if hi_erits were rather in the line of the"—and Mr. Striker waved his hand with _eries of fantastic flourishes in the air—"of the light ornamental!" Mr.
  • Striker bore his recalcitrant pupil a grudge, but he was evidently trying bot_o be fair and to respect the susceptibilities of his companions. But he wa_nversed in the mysterious processes of feminine emotion. Ten minutes before, there had been a general harmony of sombre views; but on hearing Roderick'_imitations thus distinctly formulated to a stranger, the two ladies mutel_rotested. Mrs. Hudson uttered a short, faint sigh, and Miss Garland raise_er eyes toward their advocate and visited him with a short, cold glance.
  • "I 'm afraid, Mrs. Hudson," Rowland pursued, evading the discussion o_oderick's possible greatness, "that you don't at all thank me for stirring u_our son's ambition on a line which leads him so far from home. I suspect _ave made you my enemy."
  • Mrs. Hudson covered her mouth with her finger-tips and looked painfull_erplexed between the desire to confess the truth and the fear of bein_mpolite. "My cousin is no one's enemy," Miss Garland hereupon declared, gently, but with that same fine deliberateness with which she had made Rowlan_elax his grasp of the chair.
  • "Does she leave that to you?" Rowland ventured to ask, with a smile.
  • "We are inspired with none but Christian sentiments," said Mr. Striker; "Mis_arland perhaps most of all. Miss Garland," and Mr. Striker waved his han_gain as if to perform an introduction which had been regrettably omitted, "i_he daughter of a minister, the granddaughter of a minister, the sister of _inister." Rowland bowed deferentially, and the young girl went on with he_ewing, with nothing, apparently, either of embarrassment or elation at th_romulgation of these facts. Mr. Striker continued: "Mrs. Hudson, I see, i_oo deeply agitated to converse with you freely. She will allow me to addres_ou a few questions. Would you kindly inform her, as exactly as possible, jus_hat you propose to do with her son?"
  • The poor lady fixed her eyes appealingly on Rowland's face and seemed to sa_hat Mr. Striker had spoken her desire, though she herself would hav_xpressed it less defiantly. But Rowland saw in Mr. Striker's many-wrinkle_ight blue eye, shrewd at once and good-natured, that he had no intention o_efiance, and that he was simply pompous and conceited and sarcasticall_ompassionate of any view of things in which Roderick Hudson was regarded in _erious light.
  • "Do, my dear madam?" demanded Rowland. "I don't propose to do anything. H_ust do for himself. I simply offer him the chance. He 's to study, t_ork—hard, I hope."
  • "Not too hard, please," murmured Mrs. Hudson, pleadingly, wheeling about fro_ecent visions of dangerous leisure. "He 's not very strong, and I 'm afrai_he climate of Europe is very relaxing."
  • "Ah, study?" repeated Mr. Striker. "To what line of study is he to direct hi_ttention?" Then suddenly, with an impulse of disinterested curiosity on hi_wn account, "How do you study sculpture, anyhow?"
  • "By looking at models and imitating them."
  • "At models, eh? To what kind of models do you refer?"
  • "To the antique, in the first place."
  • "Ah, the antique," repeated Mr. Striker, with a jocose intonation. "Do yo_ear, madam? Roderick is going off to Europe to learn to imitate the antique."
  • "I suppose it 's all right," said Mrs. Hudson, twisting herself in a sort o_elicate anguish.
  • "An antique, as I understand it," the lawyer continued, "is an image of _agan deity, with considerable dirt sticking to it, and no arms, no nose, an_o clothing. A precious model, certainly!"
  • "That 's a very good description of many," said Rowland, with a laugh.
  • "Mercy! Truly?" asked Mrs. Hudson, borrowing courage from his urbanity.
  • "But a sculptor's studies, you intimate, are not confined to the antique," Mr.
  • Striker resumed. "After he has been looking three or four years at the object_ describe"—
  • "He studies the living model," said Rowland.
  • "Does it take three or four years?" asked Mrs. Hudson, imploringly.
  • "That depends upon the artist's aptitude. After twenty years a real artist i_till studying."
  • "Oh, my poor boy!" moaned Mrs. Hudson, finding the prospect, under ever_ight, still terrible.
  • "Now this study of the living model," Mr. Striker pursued. "Inform Mrs. Hudso_bout that."
  • "Oh dear, no!" cried Mrs. Hudson, shrinkingly.
  • "That too," said Rowland, "is one of the reasons for studying in Rome. It 's _andsome race, you know, and you find very well-made people."
  • "I suppose they 're no better made than a good tough Yankee," objected Mr.
  • Striker, transposing his interminable legs. "The same God made us."
  • "Surely," sighed Mrs. Hudson, but with a questioning glance at her visito_hich showed that she had already begun to concede much weight to his opinion.
  • Rowland hastened to express his assent to Mr. Striker's proposition.
  • Miss Garland looked up, and, after a moment's hesitation: "Are the Roman wome_ery beautiful?" she asked.
  • Rowland too, in answering, hesitated; he was looking straight at the youn_irl. "On the whole, I prefer ours," he said.
  • She had dropped her work in her lap; her hands were crossed upon it, her hea_hrown a little back. She had evidently expected a more impersonal answer, an_he was dissatisfied. For an instant she seemed inclined to make a rejoinder, but she slowly picked up her work in silence and drew her stitches again.
  • Rowland had for the second time the feeling that she judged him to be a perso_f a disagreeably sophisticated tone. He noticed too that the kitchen towe_he was hemming was terribly coarse. And yet his answer had a resonant inwar_cho, and he repeated to himself, "Yes, on the whole, I prefer ours."
  • "Well, these models," began Mr. Striker. "You put them into an attitude, _uppose."
  • "An attitude, exactly."
  • "And then you sit down and look at them."
  • "You must not sit too long. You must go at your clay and try to build u_omething that looks like them."
  • "Well, there you are with your model in an attitude on one side, yourself, i_n attitude too, I suppose, on the other, and your pile of clay in the middle, building up, as you say. So you pass the morning. After that I hope you go ou_nd take a walk, and rest from your exertions."
  • "Unquestionably. But to a sculptor who loves his work there is no time lost.
  • Everything he looks at teaches or suggests something."
  • "That 's a tempting doctrine to young men with a taste for sitting by the hou_ith the page unturned, watching the flies buzz, or the frost melt on th_indow-pane. Our young friend, in this way, must have laid up stores o_nformation which I never suspected!"
  • "Very likely," said Rowland, with an unresentful smile, "he will prove som_ay the completer artist for some of those lazy reveries."
  • This theory was apparently very grateful to Mrs. Hudson, who had never had th_ase put for her son with such ingenious hopefulness, and found hersel_isrelishing the singular situation of seeming to side against her own fles_nd blood with a lawyer whose conversational tone betrayed the habit of cross- questioning.
  • "My son, then," she ventured to ask, "my son has great—what you would cal_reat powers?"
  • "To my sense, very great powers."
  • Poor Mrs. Hudson actually smiled, broadly, gleefully, and glanced at Mis_arland, as if to invite her to do likewise. But the young girl's fac_emained serious, like the eastern sky when the opposite sunset is too feebl_o make it glow. "Do you really know?" she asked, looking at Rowland.
  • "One cannot know in such a matter save after proof, and proof takes time. Bu_ne can believe."
  • "And you believe?"
  • "I believe."
  • But even then Miss Garland vouchsafed no smile. Her face became graver tha_ver.
  • "Well, well," said Mrs. Hudson, "we must hope that it is all for the best."
  • Mr. Striker eyed his old friend for a moment with a look of some displeasure; he saw that this was but a cunning feminine imitation of resignation, an_hat, through some untraceable process of transition, she was now taking mor_omfort in the opinions of this insinuating stranger than in his own toug_ogmas. He rose to his feet, without pulling down his waistcoat, but with _rinkled grin at the inconsistency of women. "Well, sir, Mr. Roderick's power_re nothing to me," he said, "nor no use he makes of them. Good or bad, he '_o son of mine. But, in a friendly way, I 'm glad to hear so fine an accoun_f him. I 'm glad, madam, you 're so satisfied with the prospect. Affection, sir, you see, must have its guarantees!" He paused a moment, stroking hi_eard, with his head inclined and one eye half-closed, looking at Rowland. Th_ook was grotesque, but it was significant, and it puzzled Rowland more tha_t amused him. "I suppose you 're a very brilliant young man," he went on,
  • "very enlightened, very cultivated, quite up to the mark in the fine arts an_ll that sort of thing. I 'm a plain, practical old boy, content to follow a_onorable profession in a free country. I did n't go off to the Old World t_earn my business; no one took me by the hand; I had to grease my wheel_yself, and, such as I am, I 'm a self-made man, every inch of me! Well, i_ur young friend is booked for fame and fortune, I don't suppose his going t_ome will stop him. But, mind you, it won't help him such a long way, either.
  • If you have undertaken to put him through, there 's a thing or two you '_etter remember. The crop we gather depends upon the seed we sow. He may b_he biggest genius of the age: his potatoes won't come up without his hoein_hem. If he takes things so almighty easy as—well, as one or two young fellow_f genius I 've had under my eye—his produce will never gain the prize. Tak_he word for it of a man who has made his way inch by inch, and does n'_elieve that we 'll wake up to find our work done because we 've lain al_ight a-dreaming of it; anything worth doing is devilish hard to do! If you_oung protajay finds things easy and has a good time and says he likes th_ife, it 's a sign that—as I may say—you had better step round to the offic_nd look at the books. That 's all I desire to remark. No offense intended. _ope you 'll have a first-rate time."
  • Rowland could honestly reply that this seemed pregnant sense, and he offere_r. Striker a friendly hand-shake as the latter withdrew. But Mr. Striker'_ather grim view of matters cast a momentary shadow on his companions, an_rs. Hudson seemed to feel that it necessitated between them some littl_riendly agreement not to be overawed.
  • Rowland sat for some time longer, partly because he wished to please the tw_omen and partly because he was strangely pleased himself. There was somethin_ouching in their unworldly fears and diffident hopes, something almos_errible in the way poor little Mrs. Hudson seemed to flutter and quiver wit_ntense maternal passion. She put forth one timid conversational venture afte_nother, and asked Rowland a number of questions about himself, his age, hi_amily, his occupations, his tastes, his religious opinions. Rowland had a_dd feeling at last that she had begun to consider him very exemplary, an_hat she might make, later, some perturbing discovery. He tried, therefore, t_nvent something that would prepare her to find him fallible. But he coul_hink of nothing. It only seemed to him that Miss Garland secretly mistruste_im, and that he must leave her to render him the service, after he had gone, of making him the object of a little firm derogation. Mrs. Hudson talked wit_ow-voiced eagerness about her son.
  • "He 's very lovable, sir, I assure you. When you come to know him you 'll fin_im very lovable. He 's a little spoiled, of course; he has always done wit_e as he pleased; but he 's a good boy, I 'm sure he 's a good boy. And ever_ne thinks him very attractive: I 'm sure he 'd be noticed, anywhere. Don'_ou think he 's very handsome, sir? He features his poor father. I ha_nother—perhaps you 've been told. He was killed." And the poor little lad_ravely smiled, for fear of doing worse. "He was a very fine boy, but ver_ifferent from Roderick. Roderick is a little strange; he has never been a_asy boy. Sometimes I feel like the goose—was n't it a goose, dear?" an_tartled by the audacity of her comparison she appealed to Miss Garland—"th_oose, or the hen, who hatched a swan's egg. I have never been able to giv_im what he needs. I have always thought that in more—in more brillian_ircumstances he might find his place and be happy. But at the same time I wa_fraid of the world for him; it was so large and dangerous and dreadful. N_oubt I know very little about it. I never suspected, I confess, that i_ontained persons of such liberality as yours."
  • Rowland replied that, evidently, she had done the world but scanty justice.
  • "No," objected Miss Garland, after a pause, "it is like something in a fair_ale."
  • "What, pray?"
  • "Your coming here all unknown, so rich and so polite, and carrying off m_ousin in a golden cloud."
  • If this was badinage Miss Garland had the best of it, for Rowland almost fel_-musing silently over the question whether there was a possibility of iron_n that transparent gaze. Before he withdrew, Mrs. Hudson made him tell he_gain that Roderick's powers were extraordinary. He had inspired her with _linging, caressing faith in his wisdom. "He will really do great things," sh_sked, "the very greatest?"
  • "I see no reason in his talent itself why he should not."
  • "Well, we 'll think of that as we sit here alone," she rejoined. "Mary and _ill sit here and talk about it. So I give him up," she went on, as he wa_oing. "I 'm sure you 'll be the best of friends to him, but if you shoul_ver forget him, or grow tired of him, or lose your interest in him, and h_hould come to any harm or any trouble, please, sir, remember"—And she paused, with a tremulous voice.
  • "Remember, my dear madam?"
  • "That he is all I have—that he is everything—and that it would be ver_errible."
  • "In so far as I can help him, he shall succeed," was all Rowland could say. H_urned to Miss Garland, to bid her good night, and she rose and put out he_and. She was very straightforward, but he could see that if she was to_odest to be bold, she was much too simple to be shy. "Have you no charge t_ay upon me?" he asked—to ask her something.
  • She looked at him a moment and then, although she was not shy, she blushed.
  • "Make him do his best," she said.
  • Rowland noted the soft intensity with which the words were uttered. "Do yo_ake a great interest in him?" he demanded.
  • "Certainly."
  • "Then, if he will not do his best for you, he will not do it for me." Sh_urned away with another blush, and Rowland took his leave.
  • He walked homeward, thinking of many things. The great Northampton elm_nterarched far above in the darkness, but the moon had risen and throug_cattered apertures was hanging the dusky vault with silver lamps. Ther_eemed to Rowland something intensely serious in the scene in which he ha_ust taken part. He had laughed and talked and braved it out in self-defense; but when he reflected that he was really meddling with the simple stillness o_his little New England home, and that he had ventured to disturb so muc_iving security in the interest of a far-away, fantastic hypothesis, h_aused, amazed at his temerity. It was true, as Cecilia had said, that for a_nofficious man it was a singular position. There stirred in his mind an od_eeling of annoyance with Roderick for having thus peremptorily enlisted hi_ympathies. As he looked up and down the long vista, and saw the clear whit_ouses glancing here and there in the broken moonshine, he could almost hav_elieved that the happiest lot for any man was to make the most of life i_ome such tranquil spot as that. Here were kindness, comfort, safety, th_arning voice of duty, the perfect hush of temptation. And as Rowland looke_long the arch of silvered shadow and out into the lucid air of the America_ight, which seemed so doubly vast, somehow, and strange and nocturnal, h_elt like declaring that here was beauty too—beauty sufficient for an artis_ot to starve upon it. As he stood, lost in the darkness, he presently heard _apid tread on the other side of the road, accompanied by a loud, jubilan_histle, and in a moment a figure emerged into an open gap of moonshine. H_ad no difficulty in recognizing Hudson, who was presumably returning from _isit to Cecilia. Roderick stopped suddenly and stared up at the moon, wit_is face vividly illumined. He broke out into a snatch of song:—
  • "The splendor falls on castle walls And snowy summits old in story!"
  • And with a great, musical roll of his voice he went swinging off into th_arkness again, as if his thoughts had lent him wings. He was dreaming of th_nspiration of foreign lands,—of castled crags and historic landscapes. What _ity, after all, thought Rowland, as he went his own way, that he should n'_ave a taste of it!
  • It had been a very just remark of Cecilia's that Roderick would change with _hange in his circumstances. Rowland had telegraphed to New York for anothe_erth on his steamer, and from the hour the answer came Hudson's spirits ros_o incalculable heights. He was radiant with good-humor, and his kindl_ollity seemed the pledge of a brilliant future. He had forgiven his ol_nemies and forgotten his old grievances, and seemed every way reconciled to _orld in which he was going to count as an active force. He was inexhaustibl_oquacious and fantastic, and as Cecilia said, he had suddenly become so goo_hat it was only to be feared he was going to start not for Europe but fo_eaven. He took long walks with Rowland, who felt more and more th_ascination of what he would have called his giftedness. Rowland returne_everal times to Mrs. Hudson's, and found the two ladies doing their best t_e happy in their companion's happiness. Miss Garland, he thought, wa_ucceeding better than her demeanor on his first visit had promised. He trie_o have some especial talk with her, but her extreme reserve forced him t_ontent himself with such response to his rather urgent overtures as might b_xtracted from a keenly attentive smile. It must be confessed, however, tha_f the response was vague, the satisfaction was great, and that Rowland, afte_is second visit, kept seeing a lurking reflection of this smile in the mos_nexpected places. It seemed strange that she should please him so well at s_lender a cost, but please him she did, prodigiously, and his pleasure had _uality altogether new to him. It made him restless, and a trifle melancholy; he walked about absently, wondering and wishing. He wondered, among othe_hings, why fate should have condemned him to make the acquaintance of a gir_hom he would make a sacrifice to know better, just as he was leaving th_ountry for years. It seemed to him that he was turning his back on a chanc_f happiness—happiness of a sort of which the slenderest germ should b_ultivated. He asked himself whether, feeling as he did, if he had onl_imself to please, he would give up his journey and—wait. He had Roderick t_lease now, for whom disappointment would be cruel; but he said to himsel_hat certainly, if there were no Roderick in the case, the ship should sai_ithout him. He asked Hudson several questions about his cousin, but Roderick, confidential on most points, seemed to have reasons of his own for bein_eticent on this one. His measured answers quickened Rowland's curiosity, fo_iss Garland, with her own irritating half-suggestions, had only to be _ubject of guarded allusion in others to become intolerably interesting. H_earned from Roderick that she was the daughter of a country minister, a far- away cousin of his mother, settled in another part of the State; that she wa_ne of a half-a-dozen daughters, that the family was very poor, and that sh_ad come a couple of months before to pay his mother a long visit. "It is t_e a very long one now," he said, "for it is settled that she is to remai_hile I am away."
  • The fermentation of contentment in Roderick's soul reached its climax a fe_ays before the young men were to make their farewells. He had been sittin_ith his friends on Cecilia's veranda, but for half an hour past he had sai_othing. Lounging back against a vine-wreathed column and gazing idly at th_tars, he kept caroling softly to himself with that indifference to ceremon_or which he always found allowance, and which in him had a sort of pleadin_race. At last, springing up: "I want to strike out, hard!" he exclaimed. "_ant to do something violent, to let off steam!"
  • "I 'll tell you what to do, this lovely weather," said Cecilia. "Give _icnic. It can be as violent as you please, and it will have the merit o_eading off our emotion into a safe channel, as well as yours."
  • Roderick laughed uproariously at Cecilia's very practical remedy for hi_entimental need, but a couple of days later, nevertheless, the picnic wa_iven. It was to be a family party, but Roderick, in his magnanimou_eniality, insisted on inviting Mr. Striker, a decision which Rowland mentall_pplauded. "And we 'll have Mrs. Striker, too," he said, "if she 'll come, t_eep my mother in countenance; and at any rate we 'll have Miss Striker—th_ivine Petronilla!" The young lady thus denominated formed, with Mrs. Hudson, Miss Garland, and Cecilia, the feminine half of the company. Mr. Strike_resented himself, sacrificing a morning's work, with a magnanimity greate_ven than Roderick's, and foreign support was further secured in the person o_r. Whitefoot, the young Orthodox minister. Roderick had chosen the feasting- place; he knew it well and had passed many a summer afternoon there, lying a_is length on the grass and gazing at the blue undulations of the horizon. I_as a meadow on the edge of a wood, with mossy rocks protruding through th_rass and a little lake on the other side. It was a cloudless August day; Rowland always remembered it, and the scene, and everything that was said an_one, with extraordinary distinctness. Roderick surpassed himself in friendl_ollity, and at one moment, when exhilaration was at the highest, was seen i_r. Striker's high white hat, drinking champagne from a broken tea-cup to Mr.
  • Striker's health. Miss Striker had her father's pale blue eye; she was dresse_s if she were going to sit for her photograph, and remained for a long tim_ith Roderick on a little promontory overhanging the lake. Mrs. Hudson sat al_ay with a little meek, apprehensive smile. She was afraid of an "accident,"
  • though unless Miss Striker (who indeed was a little of a romp) should pus_oderick into the lake, it was hard to see what accident could occur. Mrs.
  • Hudson was as neat and crisp and uncrumpled at the end of the festival as a_he beginning. Mr. Whitefoot, who but a twelvemonth later became a convert t_piscopacy and was already cultivating a certain conversational sonority, devoted himself to Cecilia. He had a little book in his pocket, out of whic_e read to her at intervals, lying stretched at her feet, and it was a lastin_oke with Cecilia, afterwards, that she would never tell what Mr. Whitefoot'_ittle book had been. Rowland had placed himself near Miss Garland, while th_easting went forward on the grass. She wore a so-called gypsy hat—a littl_traw hat, tied down over her ears, so as to cast her eyes into shadow, by _ibbon passing outside of it. When the company dispersed, after lunch, h_roposed to her to take a stroll in the wood. She hesitated a moment an_ooked toward Mrs. Hudson, as if for permission to leave her. But Mrs. Hudso_as listening to Mr. Striker, who sat gossiping to her with relaxe_agniloquence, his waistcoat unbuttoned and his hat on his nose.
  • "You can give your cousin your society at any time," said Rowland. "But me, perhaps, you 'll never see again."
  • "Why then should we wish to be friends, if nothing is to come of it?" sh_sked, with homely logic. But by this time she had consented, and they wer_reading the fallen pine-needles.
  • "Oh, one must take all one can get," said Rowland. "If we can be friends fo_alf an hour, it 's so much gained."
  • "Do you expect never to come back to Northampton again?"
  • "'Never' is a good deal to say. But I go to Europe for a long stay."
  • "Do you prefer it so much to your own country?"
  • "I will not say that. But I have the misfortune to be a rather idle man, an_n Europe the burden of idleness is less heavy than here."
  • She was silent for a few minutes; then at last, "In that, then, we are bette_han Europe," she said. To a certain point Rowland agreed with her, but h_emurred, to make her say more.
  • "Would n't it be better," she asked, "to work to get reconciled to America, than to go to Europe to get reconciled to idleness?"
  • "Doubtless; but you know work is hard to find."
  • "I come from a little place where every one has plenty," said Miss Garland.
  • "We all work; every one I know works. And really," she added presently, "_ook at you with curiosity; you are the first unoccupied man I ever saw."
  • "Don't look at me too hard," said Rowland, smiling. "I shall sink into th_arth. What is the name of your little place?"
  • "West Nazareth," said Miss Garland, with her usual sobriety. "It is not s_ery little, though it 's smaller than Northampton."
  • "I wonder whether I could find any work at West Nazareth," Rowland said.
  • "You would not like it," Miss Garland declared reflectively. "Though there ar_ar finer woods there than this. We have miles and miles of woods."
  • "I might chop down trees," said Rowland. "That is, if you allow it."
  • "Allow it? Why, where should we get our firewood?" Then, noticing that he ha_poken jestingly, she glanced at him askance, though with no visibl_iminution of her gravity. "Don't you know how to do anything? Have you n_rofession?"
  • Rowland shook his head. "Absolutely none."
  • "What do you do all day?"
  • "Nothing worth relating. That 's why I am going to Europe. There, at least, i_ do nothing, I shall see a great deal; and if I 'm not a producer, I shall a_ny rate be an observer."
  • "Can't we observe everywhere?"
  • "Certainly; and I really think that in that way I make the most of m_pportunities. Though I confess," he continued, "that I often remember ther_re things to be seen here to which I probably have n't done justice. I shoul_ike, for instance, to see West Nazareth."
  • She looked round at him, open-eyed; not, apparently, that she exactly suppose_e was jesting, for the expression of such a desire was not necessaril_acetious; but as if he must have spoken with an ulterior motive. In fact, h_ad spoken from the simplest of motives. The girl beside him pleased hi_nspeakably, and, suspecting that her charm was essentially her own and no_eflected from social circumstance, he wished to give himself the satisfactio_f contrasting her with the meagre influences of her education. Miss Garland'_econd movement was to take him at his word. "Since you are free to do as yo_lease, why don't you go there?"
  • "I am not free to do as I please now. I have offered your cousin to bear hi_ompany to Europe, he has accepted with enthusiasm, and I cannot retract."
  • "Are you going to Europe simply for his sake?"
  • Rowland hesitated a moment. "I think I may almost say so."
  • Miss Garland walked along in silence. "Do you mean to do a great deal fo_im?" she asked at last.
  • "What I can. But my power of helping him is very small beside his power o_elping himself."
  • For a moment she was silent again. "You are very generous," she said, almos_olemnly.
  • "No, I am simply very shrewd. Roderick will repay me. It 's an investment. A_irst, I think," he added shortly afterwards, "you would not have paid me tha_ompliment. You distrusted me."
  • She made no attempt to deny it. "I did n't see why you should wish to mak_oderick discontented. I thought you were rather frivolous."
  • "You did me injustice. I don't think I 'm that."
  • "It was because you are unlike other men—those, at least, whom I have seen."
  • "In what way?"
  • "Why, as you describe yourself. You have no duties, no profession, no home.
  • You live for your pleasure."
  • "That 's all very true. And yet I maintain I 'm not frivolous."
  • "I hope not," said Miss Garland, simply. They had reached a point where th_ood-path forked and put forth two divergent tracks which lost themselves in _erdurous tangle. Miss Garland seemed to think that the difficulty of choic_etween them was a reason for giving them up and turning back. Rowland though_therwise, and detected agreeable grounds for preference in the left-han_ath. As a compromise, they sat down on a fallen log. Looking about him, Rowland espied a curious wild shrub, with a spotted crimson leaf; he went an_lucked a spray of it and brought it to Miss Garland. He had never observed i_efore, but she immediately called it by its name. She expressed surprise a_is not knowing it; it was extremely common. He presently brought her _pecimen of another delicate plant, with a little blue-streaked flower. "_uppose that 's common, too," he said, "but I have never seen it—or notice_t, at least." She answered that this one was rare, and meditated a momen_efore she could remember its name. At last she recalled it, and expresse_urprise at his having found the plant in the woods; she supposed it grew onl_n open marshes. Rowland complimented her on her fund of useful information.
  • "It 's not especially useful," she answered; "but I like to know the names o_lants as I do those of my acquaintances. When we walk in the woods a_ome—which we do so much—it seems as unnatural not to know what to call th_lowers as it would be to see some one in the town with whom we were not o_peaking terms."
  • "Apropos of frivolity," Rowland said, "I 'm sure you have very little of it, unless at West Nazareth it is considered frivolous to walk in the woods an_od to the nodding flowers. Do kindly tell me a little about yourself." And t_ompel her to begin, "I know you come of a race of theologians," he went on.
  • "No," she replied, deliberating; "they are not theologians, though they ar_inisters. We don't take a very firm stand upon doctrine; we are practical, rather. We write sermons and preach them, but we do a great deal of hard wor_eside."
  • "And of this hard work what has your share been?"
  • "The hardest part: doing nothing."
  • "What do you call nothing?"
  • "I taught school a while: I must make the most of that. But I confess I di_'t like it. Otherwise, I have only done little things at home, as they turne_p."
  • "What kind of things?"
  • "Oh, every kind. If you had seen my home, you would understand."
  • Rowland would have liked to make her specify; but he felt a more urgent nee_o respect her simplicity than he had ever felt to defer to the comple_ircumstance of certain other women. "To be happy, I imagine," he contente_imself with saying, "you need to be occupied. You need to have something t_xpend yourself upon."
  • "That is not so true as it once was; now that I am older, I am sure I am les_mpatient of leisure. Certainly, these two months that I have been with Mrs.
  • Hudson, I have had a terrible amount of it. And yet I have liked it! And no_hat I am probably to be with her all the while that her son is away, I loo_orward to more with a resignation that I don't quite know what to make of."
  • "It is settled, then, that you are to remain with your cousin?"
  • "It depends upon their writing from home that I may stay. But that i_robable. Only I must not forget," she said, rising, "that the ground for m_oing so is that she be not left alone."
  • "I am glad to know," said Rowland, "that I shall probably often hear abou_ou. I assure you I shall often think about you!" These words were hal_mpulsive, half deliberate. They were the simple truth, and he had aske_imself why he should not tell her the truth. And yet they were not all of it; her hearing the rest would depend upon the way she received this. She receive_t not only, as Rowland foresaw, without a shadow of coquetry, of any apparen_hought of listening to it gracefully, but with a slight movement of nervou_eprecation, which seemed to betray itself in the quickening of her step.
  • Evidently, if Rowland was to take pleasure in hearing about her, it would hav_o be a highly disinterested pleasure. She answered nothing, and Rowland too, as he walked beside her, was silent; but as he looked along the shadow-wove_ood-path, what he was really facing was a level three years o_isinterestedness. He ushered them in by talking composed civility until h_ad brought Miss Garland back to her companions.
  • He saw her but once again. He was obliged to be in New York a couple of day_efore sailing, and it was arranged that Roderick should overtake him at th_ast moment. The evening before he left Northampton he went to say farewell t_rs. Hudson. The ceremony was brief. Rowland soon perceived that the poo_ittle lady was in the melting mood, and, as he dreaded her tears, h_ompressed a multitude of solemn promises into a silent hand-shake and too_is leave. Miss Garland, she had told him, was in the back-garden wit_oderick: he might go out to them. He did so, and as he drew near he hear_oderick's high-pitched voice ringing behind the shrubbery. In a moment, emerging, he found Miss Garland leaning against a tree, with her cousin befor_er talking with great emphasis. He asked pardon for interrupting them, an_aid he wished only to bid her good-by. She gave him her hand and he made he_is bow in silence. "Don't forget," he said to Roderick, as he turned away.
  • "And don't, in this company, repent of your bargain."
  • "I shall not let him," said Miss Garland, with something very like gayety. "_hall see that he is punctual. He must go! I owe you an apology for havin_oubted that he ought to." And in spite of the dusk Rowland could see that sh_ad an even finer smile than he had supposed.
  • Roderick was punctual, eagerly punctual, and they went. Rowland for severa_ays was occupied with material cares, and lost sight of his sentimenta_erplexities. But they only slumbered, and they were sharply awakened. Th_eather was fine, and the two young men always sat together upon deck lat_nto the evening. One night, toward the last, they were at the stern of th_reat ship, watching her grind the solid blackness of the ocean int_hosphorescent foam. They talked on these occasions of everything conceivable, and had the air of having no secrets from each other. But it was on Roderick'_onscience that this air belied him, and he was too frank by nature, moreover, for permanent reticence on any point.
  • "I must tell you something," he said at last. "I should like you to know it, and you will be so glad to know it. Besides, it 's only a question of time; three months hence, probably, you would have guessed it. I am engaged to Mar_arland."
  • Rowland sat staring; though the sea was calm, it seemed to him that the shi_ave a great dizzying lurch. But in a moment he contrived to answe_oherently: "Engaged to Miss Garland! I never supposed—I never imagined"—
  • "That I was in love with her?" Roderick interrupted. "Neither did I, unti_his last fortnight. But you came and put me into such ridiculous good-humo_hat I felt an extraordinary desire to tell some woman that I adored her. Mis_arland is a magnificent girl; you know her too little to do her justice. _ave been quietly learning to know her, these past three months, and have bee_alling in love with her without being conscious of it. It appeared, when _poke to her, that she had a kindness for me. So the thing was settled. I mus_f course make some money before we can marry. It 's rather droll, certainly, to engage one's self to a girl whom one is going to leave the next day, fo_ears. We shall be condemned, for some time to come, to do a terrible deal o_bstract thinking about each other. But I wanted her blessing on my career an_ could not help asking for it. Unless a man is unnaturally selfish he need_o work for some one else than himself, and I am sure I shall run a smoothe_nd swifter course for knowing that that fine creature is waiting, a_orthampton, for news of my greatness. If ever I am a dull companion and over- addicted to moping, remember in justice to me that I am in love and that m_weetheart is five thousand miles away."
  • Rowland listened to all this with a sort of feeling that fortune had playe_im an elaborately-devised trick. It had lured him out into mid-ocean an_moothed the sea and stilled the winds and given him a singularly sympatheti_omrade, and then it had turned and delivered him a thumping blow in mid- chest. "Yes," he said, after an attempt at the usual formal congratulation,
  • "you certainly ought to do better—with Miss Garland waiting for you a_orthampton."
  • Roderick, now that he had broken ground, was eloquent and rung a hundre_hanges on the assurance that he was a very happy man. Then at last, suddenly, his climax was a yawn, and he declared that he must go to bed. Rowland let hi_o alone, and sat there late, between sea and sky.