« PreviousContinue »
as a kind of moveable carpet for her own delicate paws. The evening was warm and still, and the twilight drawing on.
“And what has my little girl been doing to-day P" asked Monsieur Vanheegue at length.
Luce roused herself from her reverie, and began to recount how she had spent the day, coming at length to the visit to the painting-room in the Enclos de la Cathédrale. It required a finer ear than Monsieur Vanheegue's---besides, he was too pre-occupied-to hear the tremor of enthusiasm in her voice when she tried to describe the picture Mr. O'Hara was painting which had impressed her so much.
Oh, indeed ! it must be very pretty,—a clever young fellow I dare say; I rather thought so when I spoke to him the other day; yes-hum-ba-ah, yes." Monsieur Vanheegue seemed to be seized with a sudden disturbance in his throat, in the pauses of which he smiled blandly to himself, and looked meditatively at his cigar.
Have you caught cold, papa ?” asked Luce. “No, my dear-no, thank you-ha, hum--the fact is, Luce, that I want a little word with you upon an important subject, and one which nearly touches your future life and happiness, my dear child, and therefore a most important subject to me also,” said Monsieur Vanheegue, suddenly thinking it necessary to assume a certain air of grandeur suitable to the importance of the occasion. After another clearing of his throat—"Monsieur le Comte de Senlecq has been speaking with me, dear Luce,” he said with grandeur, "and has requested me to bestow upon him my dearest earthly possession; he solicits my permission to pay his addresses, which I have of course given, with my full consent to the alliance, provided it will be agreeable to you.”
After a short but impressive pause, as Luce did not speak, he continued with increasing importance and fluency,
“He lays his ancient name and title, his estates and position, at your feet, my dear child; he is, I feel assured, a most estimable man, who appears to be in every way worthy to be the protector of your youth and your happiness--one to whom you can look up with confidence and respect—a man highly esteemed by all, of most amiable disposition, high character, and—and-in short, my dear, if any one is to take my little girl away from me”-said Monsieur Vanheegue, coming to an abrupt termination of his panegyric, and his grand air collapsing with a break in his voice-stopping short to fold Luce in his arms "what is thy poor old father to do without his little Luce, I should like to know ?"
“O! papa !” Luce said, and laid her face down on his shoulder.
“And it seems but the other day we were playing cache-cache together along here, and now talking of being married. I could hardly believe it when the Count began to talk, and made me find out how my little girl had been taking me unawares, and sprung up into a tall young woman; yes, yes, I know you will be sorry to leave me."
“I will not leave you, papa ; I am not going to leave you,” said Luce.
“Ah, mignonne, I should be a selfish old father if I agreed to that; the day must come some time, and though it comes rather soon, the Count is such a good man and so desirable in every way that we must try and get reconciled to it. So let us take another turn, my child, and talk it all over.”
At the mention of the Count a little of his grand manner returned. Monsieur Vanheegue drew his daughter's arm through his own once more, and they resumed their walk.
It was growing darker ; the walks and trees at the end of the garden grew indistinct and shadowy; Frou-frou's little white body moved vaguely to and fro at the opposite end of the terrace ; Stephanie had lit up the drawing-room candles, and a tremulous stream of light shone forth from the unshuttered windows over the terrace. She was playing on the piano—something of Chopin's—that came falling out into the dusk in a sweet rain of notes like sudden showers shaken from the leaves and dropping into silence. As she sat at the piano she could dimly see the two figures in the dusk outside, as they passed and repassed, sometimes stopping to talk more earnestly-Luce wrapped in her white shawl like a ghost, her father always speaking—their shadows stretching long and gigantic beside them, and stopping as they stopped. She grew nervous and anxious as she watched, listening all through her playing, for their voices and footsteps coming and going, and mingling vaguely, with its tremulous showers, and its rising and its dying. Luce drew her shawl closer round her head; the pale, pure face beneath it looked steadily out into the shadows; she was praying for courage to speak. Papa,” she said, “I am so sorry, but I cannot marry the Comte de Senlecq."
“ Cannot ! and why not, mignonne ?” “Because I do not like him enough.”
"Do not like him, Luce? Why, he is one of the most estimable of men ; every one speaks in the highest terms of him.”
“Yes, my father, I know all that; I did not mean that I did not respect him, only-I could not be his wife."
“My dear child, you have been reading novels; you must not apply the follies of romance to the grave matters of life, or indulge in notions of that kind. You like and respect him, my dear-you surely must have a high esteem for his character-he makes a proposal of marriage which is highly approved both by myself and your sister. Stephanie is delighted, Luce, and you know what good judgment she has in all the affairs of life. He appears to have a most sincere regard for you, and will do everything to make you happy-I plainly discerned that, or I would not think of entrusting my darling's happiness to him even for the sake of so advantageous a settlement in life; he wants you and Stephanie to go and stay with his mother when all is arranged, at Senlecq-a lovely place, I believe; what more do you require than all this ? I am sure my little girl would not wish to be capricious about the husband her father chooses for her”
“No, certainly not, if I can help it," answered Luce; "M. de Senlecq is all that you say, I know, and I am very much obliged to him, and very sorry--but, O, papa, I cannot marry him."
"But what is the reason P” persisted M. Vanheegue, beginning to show a little irritation, “there must be some reason for such a whimfor this antipathy."
“I have no reason but that one,” said Luce.
“Do you think of a love marriage, little foolish one? You may wait long enough for the trouwring! It is a thing, as I have told you, only known in novels; and for this fantasy you would overthrow all our wishes and hopes, the most brilliant prospects ;-—this is not a proposal that you can have every day, understand, Luce,” said M. Vanheegue with increasing indignation, —"a fine château, an ample fortune, a husband with a position and seat in the Chambers, a house at Brussels, and an ancient and noble family! Do you expect all that to fall from the skies every day into your hands ? Be reasonable, Luce; consider that you have duties towards your own family-your own ancient name—and this is an alliance with one of the best and oldest families in Flanders !—no, I cannot allow you, child as you are, to overturn your own good prospects. M. de Senlecq will call again soon to know the result, and by that time you will see everything as we do, and we shall be so happy,"
Luce had stopped again to wrap her shawl close round her, shivering as though with cold; as she stood there amongst the shadows, a ray of light from the nearest window streamed upon her, and her father caught a glimpse of her face, pale, silent, downcast, with sorrowful and trembling lips.
“My child,” he exclaimed, “ do not look so sad !”
“Do not send me away, papa! Mamma did not marry because she was obliged. O let me wait a little longer ; let me stay a little while at home with
!” Stephanie had stopped playing, unable to contain her impatience any longer : she came and stood in the window and looked out. Monsieur Dambricourt had come into the room, and was obediently perusing his paper, prevented by his wife from joining the two outside.
“What an age they are !” exclaimed Mme. Dambricourt impatiently. “I could have said everything in half the time; but men are so slow about everything. I wish papa had let me do it; I am dying to speak to her!”
“Have a little patience, mon amie, they are sure to come presently," said her husband soothingly.
“Well, I suppose that is the least that can be said,” answered Stephanie with sarcasm. “What a blessing it must be to possess your phlegmatic disposition, Jules.”
Jules made no reply, and a few moments passed.
“Well, I wish mon beau-père would finish his conference too,” said M. Dambricourt then in his turn, looking up dolefully over the top of his newspaper.
“Really, Jules ! how unreasonable you are, wishing to disturb an important affair of this kind for the sake of your stupid game of dominoes !” answered his wife unpolitely, whereupon Jules meekly collapsed behind his paper.
When Luce and her father came near once more, Stephanie was standing in the window, dark against the brightly-lighted room.
“ Are you not coming in ?” she said ; “here is Jules waiting for a game with you, papa.” She was looking keenly at her sister. “Well, and is it all settled, petite soeur ?" she said gaily.
“O yes, Stephanie," answered M. Vanheegue quickly, “so far that our little Luce is going to stay with us awhile longer; we will not turn her out into the world just at present.”
“ Comment ! she does not consent ?”
“Yes, yes, it will all come right presently; we must wait a little, wait a little, voilà tout.”
“What nonsense !” exclaimed Stephanie, surprised and wrathful. “I will talk to Luce; you have not represented things rightly, papa."
“No, my daughter, Luce must not be troubled-she shall do as she likes; I will see M. de Senlecq to-morrow, and explain that I cannot make up my mind to part with her just yet, and I dare say all will be as you wish in the end.”
“I am so sorry, Stephanie,” said Luce, humbly, as she came into the room with downcast head draped in the white shawl, looking pale and confused, -almost as if she were guilty of something wicked, beneath her sister's angry gaze.
"Soyez tranquille, mon amie !" said little M. Dambricourt, kindlyfor a wonder venturing to speak for his wife—“it will all come right in the end, as your father says, and I'm glad you are not going to be married just yet. Come, petite soeur, let us have a game of dominoes, and you shall have the first throw !”
NOTES ON THE PRIMITIVE LITURGIES.
BY D. BURNARD JONES.
(Continued from page 59.) III. THE STRUCTURE OF THE LITURGIES. 8.13. We have already stated that the framework of every Liturgy is the same, although in the order and language of the prayers each one differs more or less from the rest. This being so, the best way of showing the structure of the Liturgies will be to give an analysis of a fairly representative one, afterwards pointing out the peculiarities of individual Liturgies or Liturgical Families. The Liturgy of S. James (otherwise of Jerusalem) is on several grounds the best adapted to our purpose, one reason being that it is the parent of the largest number of daughter Liturgies.
This Liturgy, then, consists of two principal parts, the first comprising all the prayers before the Sursum Corda, the second extending