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good birth and social position, and Coventry was seldom seen by anyshe would get her medical position one without some little helpless at once."

animal on his shoulder, or in his You won't keep me quiet much pocket, a favourite volum", or a longer,” said a voice from a corner manuscript book devoted to suribof the room. “I nearly died from bling, in his hand. internal convulsions last time they Ernestine Vavasour entored, just were here, to see the dear, gal- as Mr. Silburn had made good lant Doctor so desperately smitten. his retreat. There was an But I marvel not, for Dr. Ernes- wonted look in her handsome face tine is a delicious woman.”

which both ladies noticed-with a “I didn't know you were there, less proud woman it might have Mr. Silburn,” exclaimed Miss been a blush-and both ladies Armine.

thought it explained, when Dr. "Ah, I'm fond of iny quiet Doldy appeared behind her, at a nook,' said that gentleman. distance measured only by the " Dorothy never knows how much trail of her long dress. I hear of her chatter." And so "Together!” exclaimed Mrs. speaking, he drew back a curtain Silburn; and then added hastily, which fellover a deep bow-window, “How charming! Come near the and became visíble, just emerging fire, Miss Vavasour—you must be from a hammock which was slung

so cold!" therein. He presented a quaint "We met," explained Dr. Doldy, appearance as he advanced to with his gallant, punctilious manshake hands with Miss Armine, ner, "at the corner of the street, for on each shoulder clung a very Mrs. Silburn, and found that we small kitten. The lady looked at were both coming to visit this him with professional pleasure ; most pleasant drawing-room of and, indeed, it was no wonder, for yours.' Coventry Silburn's face was of a “Miss Armine-Dr. Doldy,” indreamy, artistic beauty, and his terposed Mrs. Silburn, anxious to movements were full of an entirely spare him his excuses; and then unconscious grace.

she drew her little kettledrum Dorothy lets me have my table near the fire, and rang for hammock there on her kettledrum the tea. Dr. Doldy, who was a days, on condition that I don't man of the world, and full of make myself ridiculous--it's very pleasant gossip, began at once to good of her, isn't it? I never know talk to Miss Armine-but that what dear practical Dorothy re- quick-eyed lady observed that gards as ridiculous, so I keep though he spoke to her, his requiet and enjoy myself with my gards were fixed on Miss Vavababies, who never scold me.” sour, and that he often tried to

A knock was heard at that entice her into the conversation. moment, so Coventry, with a laugh

But Miss Vavasour was of childlike glee, vanished behind usually silent. She never was a his curtain again. Dorothy's eyes woman of small talk, although she followed him with a soft sweet look went much into society. Perfectly in them which he alone could gentle in manner, she of a bring forth. Dorothy was, in kind of burning, fierce disposition; truth, essentially prosaic—while if she might speak on her favourité her husband not only wrote lyrics subjects she would speak so earbut lived them, after his own gay, nestly and so well as to delight, graceful, careless, loving fashion. even if not to convince. But if

un

was

1

those around her talked of mere Miss Armine shrugged her ordinary matters which appeared shoulders and said nothing; but to her not worth notice; or if they looking up she caught such a flash were uncongenial to her mode of from Miss Vavasour's deep eyes thought, then, instead of quietly as made her feel that though Dr. following the lead, as many wo- Doldy might be a grandee of the men would, she preferred to lean old school she need not be crushed, back in her chair, very composed for a champion was by her side, and handsome, with the abstracted only waiting to be roused. look that came at such moments in And are you a student at the her deep, soft, earnest eyes. That Academy ?” resumed Dr. Doldy, look had brought her many ad- as a little pause followed his last mirers, although most of them speech. were rather afraid of her.

“No," she answered, “the AkroDr. Doldy and Miss Armine politan School of Art is much were talking of some of the pic- more advanced in its system, so I ture galleries which were open at entered there.'' the time.

“ The Akropolitan School ? Ah "Take care, Dr. Doldy," said -is not Mr. Richy the Professor Mrs. Silburn, as she handed him there now?" a cup of tea.

“ You don't know “Only temporarily," answered that Miss Armine is an art- Miss Armine. “ We are very anstudent."

xious to learn who our Professor “Indeed!” said Dr. Doldy, stir- is to be." ring his tea, and bowing to Miss “ Mr. Richy is a talented man, Armine with a gallant air that and very agreeable,” said Dr. liad a very decided undertone of Doldy. "He is a patient of mine."

“I must take care ; I Oh, he is very agreeable," said am very much afraid of Mrs. Sil- Miss Armine, a little brusquely, burn-a lady journalist who can

6 but he is no artist." write a leader upon one in the Dr. Doldy lifted his eyebrows. Morning Mail is sufficiently alarm- “You are always very hard on Mr. ing—but I had no idea I was Richy,” said Mrs. Silburn." I don't speaking rashly in the presence of understand pictures, but he really another learned lady.”

paints very nicely." “Oh, I am not very learned,” Now, Mrs. Silburn,” exclaimed laughingly replied Miss Armine. Miss Armine, “was it not you who I am only a student yet, and wrote that paragraph about his shall be nothing more for many a making Lady Dollywoll buy a year.”

shawl to be painted in that cost some “Ha! ha! ha!” laughed the hundred pounds, and suggested Doctor, softly. Well, I remem- that he probably got a commis ber hearing of Fuseli's fury when sion from the shawl people ?” first the admission of ladies to the “Come, Miss Armine," answered Academy School was broached. He the literary lady, “this is talking stumped off down the stairs, grow- shop with a vengeance! I have to ling as he went, 'Have they no make gossipy paragraphs, and it stockings to darn? Have they no does not follow that because Mr. puddings to make, that they must Richy will only paint the portraits come here?' But those days are of very rich people, and makes

There's a new school rising them always have new silk dresses now, Miss Armine, is there not and India shawls for the occasion, and you, I suppose, are of it?" that he does not paint well.”

sarcasm,

over.

can

" New silk dresses,” groaned ladies any longer. How do you Miss Armine. " Yes, that is just do, Dr. Vavasour ? ” Mr. Richy. Could anything be Dr. Vavasour shook hands with more inartistic ? And I know if him—but now she blushed outwe don't have another Professor right, a beautiful vivid blush: for soon he will do away with our life Dr. Doldy had set his teacup down class. He is afraid of what the with a suddenness that made a grand old ladies say that he meets ringing sound, and had risen to in society-and he is just one of his feet. He looked at Miss them himself !”

Vavasour's face, and then he * Now, Miss Armine,” laughed turned to Mrs. Silburn with an Mrs. Silburn, “you are losing imploring gaze. As her husband your temper.'

had done the mischief, that lady Well, no wonder-I shall was quite prepared to enjoy it. have to leave the school if we lose “Yes, Dr. Doldy,” she said, our life class; I don't want to paint maliciously, “I fear Miss Vavasilk dresses I want to draw my sour belongs to a new school, as figures correctly, and to learn how well as Miss Armine. She has from Nature itself !”

taken her degree, and means to “Of course," said Miss Vava

carry out some modern ideas in sour, “you

do nothing het practice. If you chanced to thoroughly unless you go right disagree with her views, you might through with it. And I fancy find her a sharp antagonist on Mr. Richy himself is a little doubt- some points of medical doctrine." ful about his anatomy, from the Dr. Vavasour had turned to Miss drawing of the figures in his Armine and was speaking earnestly picture in the Academy last year.” to her about her studies—her back

“ Are you, then, an artist ?" was nearly turned to Dr. Doldy, said Dr. Doldy, delighted to so that she could not see his face hear Miss Vavasour's voice at -but she could hear his silence. last.

After forcing a smile for Mrs. ,” said she, drawing Silburn, he had sunk back in his herself in at once, and with that arm-chair-for the moment he forodd look which might have been a got where he was, or who was blush coming over her face again, speaking to him. ** but I know just a little about

“Good heavens !” he was saying anatomy."

to himself, “what have I done?"Do you? Dear me! what an I, that have not lost my head for odd subject for a lady to be inte- twenty years, to lose it now—and rested in !-that is, if she does not make such a ridiculous fool of myreally need it for her-her-pro- self! To fall in love with a lady fession.”

doctor-it's no use now-it's too Dr. Doldy's funny way of bring- late-the woman dazzled my senses ing out the last word made them away-I proposed on the doorstep all laugh, even Miss Vavasour; —and was accepted on the stairs ! and in the midst of the laughter What little Puck has been tripCoventry Silburn appeared, the ping my steps? If I had but kittens both on one shoulder this waited a decent opportunity she time.

would have told me what she was My dear Dr. Doldy,” said he, -and I couldn't wait! Well* I have come to take care of you.

God bless me, how handsome she I really had not the heart to leave is–I couldn't have given her up.” you alone with so many learned And rising, he moved across the

"Oh no,'

your life.”

room to her chair, and, in the between Coventry and Dorothy, next pause in her talk, congratu- talked far into the twilight, about lated her on her entrance into the her thoughts, her hopes, her profession in his most gallant and future. courteous manner.

“ You are a strange woman, “He is infatuated!” whispered Minerva Medica,” said Coventry, Mrs. Silburn to her husband. Dr. rising from his seat by her side, Doldy had at the same moment after a while. “ You are in love whispered a word to Dr. Vavasour. thoroughly, for you can only do She bowed ber head slightly. He things thoroughly—and yet it turned to the Silburns.

seems to be quite a side affair in “ Mrs. Silburn,” he said, “ you and your husband are such good “Not necessarily so,” said she, friends of ours that I am sure you gently, “ because I talk of other will be pleased to hear that Miss things more—and think of them Vavasour has consented to become more, too. Is it not likely that my wife; and,” he added, with an the real centre of our lives is not inimitable courtly grace, “as I

that about which we busy ouram not now so young as to enjoy selves the most? I suppose a delays, she has allowed me to an- man's home is his centre of life, nounce the fact at once.".

when it is really a home; but it is A little buzz of chatter and con- to him his place of rest, not his gratulation followed this speech, place of worry, as most women's for they all tried to help out a homes are to them. You know, rather awkward moment. In the Mr. Silburn, that I believe a midst of it Coventry went quietly woman only enlarges her life by to Dr. Vavasour's side.

work, not alters it; and if she “Minerva Medica," said he, “I grows larger surely her capacity am ashamed of you.”

for rest and affection will but be " What was I to do?" she an

the greater?" swered; and looking, he saw tears "I am glad to hear you say in her eyes. And his poetic heart that so sweetly, Ernestine," said recognised that she was in love! Dorothy, “for indeed I was be

ginning to think you were growing

daily more practical." CHAPTER II.

“Surely you don't object to that,

Mrs. Silburn? You set us all an STREAMS.

example in practical capacity. DOCTOR DOLDy's carriage, as he “But it suits me—I'm just a well knew, was waiting for him at commonplace little woman-but the door. He had to make one or two you have always made me feel as professional visits which would if you were the sort of woman to barely leave him time to reach his consecrate yourself to something." house at the dinner-hour. And so "That is what I am doing," after a few minutes more of talk, said Ernestine, quietly. “I do he tore himself from Miss consecrate myself to my beliefs. Vavasour's side and made his bow. But in the nineteenth century Miss Armine very soon followed it is necessary for us to underhis example ; for general conversa- stand the practical; to obtain tion did not flow very easily after power by knowledge, and to be Dr. Doldy's little announcement. afraid of no details, for these are When they were gone Ernestine days of details. If we have indrew nearer the fire, and sitting spiration it is of very little use to

MING LING

us, now that the masses obtain Ernestine Vavasour was greatly education, unless we can give it a disliked by most of her female backbone by means of both know- acquaintances because she was ledge of the world and knowledge entirely incapable, by her very of the sciences."

nature, of taking any interest in And yet,” said Coventry, gossip. Many women, in her ** knowledge, even of the sciences, present position, would have of the arts, of this life—knowledge keenly pricked their ears at the even of human nature—knowledge mention of Laura Doldy's name, is but a little thing. Inspiration and would have proceeded to ought to carry us far beyond this extract from Mrs. Silburn everylife-beyond anything we know thing which she knew about of understand — into the great her. But Ernestine

never took realities."

any interest in personal de"You are speaking of poetic tails about individuals; when inspiration,” said Ernestine. "The she herself met them she tested poet or the seer may escape from them by her own standard, and the limits of our present life ; but quickly decided whether they could not so the practical teacher, .the belong to her real life or not. Pospractical worker. I suppose all sibly she sometimes decided a little my largest aims might be reduced too quickly, for Ernestine, though into the simple fact that I want to a creature whose bosom was full help people around me in their of burning faith and love, had been lives.

And to do that I must be made into rather an unbeliever in perfectly practical, or I am no- the value or loveableness of the thing."

mass of human beings. And “I admire your courage," said though she was regarded in her Coventry. “I believe I should own circle as a champion of her die if I put myself in your fetters. sex, there was perhaps not a woman I admire you : but, oh! I thank of her acquaintance whose integrity Heaven for the ideal !”

she deeply trusted in save Mrs. * The ideal is greater than the Silburn. For Ernestine's standard practical, Mr. Silburn,” said of integrity was different from that Ernestine, gravely. “It has wings of many; those deep eyes of hers which carry it over the mud in probed far into the characters of which we practical workers have her friends. The small artifices, to walk. But you grant me that frivolities, weaknesses, which apif

our vocation lies in the practical peared to her so abundantly chaWe should follow it thoroughly?" racteristic of her sex made that very

"Indeed I do," said Coventry, sex for which she dared to plan a with a sigh; “ and I say again great future very unacceptable to I admire your courage."

her in the present. ** Come," said Mrs. Silburn, “I hardly think you are likely you two are turning into to see much of her," resumed Mrs. Mutual Admiration Society. Er- Silburn. She is scarcely ever at nestine, have you ever met Dr. her uncle's house as it is, for she Doldy's ward, Laura Doldy ?" is always visiting. And then I

"No," she answered, leaning heard something of an engagebak in her chair again, and re- ment not long ago. I don't know treating within herself a little. whether it is settled yet. But at Mrs. Silburn knew her sufficiently all events, whether she marries well to know what the look meant

this man

or no, she will marry which came into her dark eyes. some one before long," concluded

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