She raised her head, and looked timidly but searchingly in his countenance.
He rose cheerfully: “Well, then, tell my mother I will come directly.”
Coventry to the last was more or less reluctant to leave her; but she ignored his hesitation, and when the hour of departure came she drove with him gaily to the railway station, and with a cheerful, smiling face saw him off by the night mail.
“By jove I will!” ses Mr. James, “I’ll accipt the London corryspondint job to-morrow.”
The paleness of Walter's face, the intensity of his tone, held Lady Caroline's attention fixed upon him. How handsome he was! and the man could evidently feel too! How nice it would be to make him feel, to see the face pale, and to hear the voice deepen, like that, for her! It would be quite new.She had any amount of flirtation always at hand, whenever she chose to summon its aid in passing the time; but feeling did not come at call, and she had never had much of that given her. These were the thoughts of only a moment, flashing through her mind before Mr. Gould had time to answer Joyce's appeal.
I am not a man, Sir!——said the Little Gentleman.——I was born into this world the wreck of a man, and I shall not be judged with a race to which I do not belong. Look at this!——he said, and held up his withered arm.——See there!——and he pointed to his misshapen extremities.——Lay your hand here!——and he laid his own on the region of his misplaced heart.——I have known nothing of the life of your race. When I first came to my consciousness, I found myself an object of pity, or a sight to show. The first strange child I ever remember hid its face and would not come near me. I was a broken-hearted as well as broken-bodied boy. I grew into the emotions of ripening youth, and all that I could have loved shrank from my presence. I became a man in years, and had nothing in common with manhood but its longings. My life is the dying pang of a worn-out race, and I shall go down alone into the dust, out of this world of men and women, without ever knowing the fellowship of the one or the love of the other. I will not die with a lie rattling in my throat. If another state of being has anything worse in store for me, I have had a long apprenticeship to give me strength that I may bear it. I don’t believe it, Sir! I have too much faith for that. God has not left me wholly without comfort, even here. I love this old place where I was born;——the heart of the world beats under the three hills of Boston, Sir! I love this great land, with so many tall men in it, and so many good, noble women.——His eyes turned to the silent figure by his pillow.——I have learned to accept meekly what has been allotted to me, but I cannot honestly say that I think my sin has been greater than my suffering. I bear the ignorance and the evil-doing of whole generations in my single person. I never drew a breath of air nor took a step that was not a punishment for another’s fault. I may have had many wrong thoughts, but I cannot have done many wrong deeds,——for my cage has been a narrow one, and I have paced it alone. I have looked through the bars and seen the great world of men busy and happy, but I had no part in their doings. I have known what it was to dream of the great passions; but since my mother kissed me before she died, no woman’s lips have pressed my cheek,——nor ever will.
“If its Minnie ye’re swate on——” but here he interrupted and took the paper from his coat and tossed it up in the air.
"Treaty! That scrap of paper!"详情 ➢
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