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critical eye than undergo the ordeal myself, Mr. Sackville said.
* You must not prejudice my pupil too strongly against me; I
Miss Cuthbert, if I am not lenient, I can be patient.'
Eve looked up dubiously; were the two assertions compatible ? A question she often asked herself in after years.
Whilst she remained at the Heath, Sir Mark rode with them almost every day, or rather they rode with him either as he went to town or returned. Eve did credit to those careful instructions, although she could not throw off her awe of the teacher. He dined often at the Heath, and listened gravely to her music. He had not been so well entertained for years.
Childhood, I believe, does sometimes pay a second visit to man-youth, never!
anticipated, and yet Mordaunt unselfishly rejoiced in it when he saw how blooming Eve was when she returned. That bloom did not quickly fade, for the present home was pleasanter than the other, and even Mrs. Cuthbert was less irksome in her recent mood of satisfaction with her daughter. She liked to hear of Sir Mark's kindness, and patted the head of its object complacently.
But, Mordaunt, you are very busy; I think you have more to do than ever,' Eve said. * Perhaps I have.
It is more agreeable, though.'
But your strength ?'
not probable the struggle will last long. These are wonderful epochs in trade, more wonderful than any of your fairy tales, Eve. I am working now with might and main for a special purpose. The post of which Sir Mark held out a prospect to me when I first spoke to him, will be vacant probably in a couple of months, and I wish to satisfy him to the utmost before the question is decided. I shall have more to do yet, for Sir Mark is going to Wales.'
It was toil, incessant toil then ; early off to the dense fog-girt city in those chill autumnal mornings; home late with books to write up, and regular budgets to compile for the master, who never could have too full a report of all transactions which passed in his absence. There was the general view of the business to be reported, without reference to the regular official
count of them; and there was besides much to be said respecting the various extra concerns in which Sir Mark, as a man of wealth and standing, bore a prominent part-great companies, of which he was chairman or directorcharities of which he took anxious care-and much relating to his landed property, which passed through Mordaunt's hands before it reached his.
Sir Mark liked the Welsh air, and roamed about his mother's pretty woods and gardens, not gloomily, although possibly even more abstractedly than ever; and yet he had no special zest in the renewal of his youthful associations.
'I thought, Mark,' said Mrs. Philipson, you would feel like a boy again when you set your foot on the heath once more.'
'Is it desirable, mother? Was the boy so much happier than the man ? I question it. I was a restless, discontented youth, I fancy, and you may remember that those days had not a few clouds and mortifications. not sure that I was ever young; for prosperity brought with it such responsibilities, such loads of care, such necessity for exertion and selftuition, that I have never had time to be
young or to be happy—as people describe happiness.'
* Then let me hope the youth and joy have yet to come, and with a richer glory than if they had bloomed earlier,' the mother murmured; and the face on which she gazed wavered a little from its usual imperturbability, as if the first dawn of that coming light gleamed on it even now.
Mrs. Philipson paused; slowly her son's downcast eyes were raised to hers, doubtfully,
deprecatingly, and then the half smile stole across his lips.
They turned away from the gate which opened on the mountain, and went down to the bright terrace before the house. Up and down they paced, and spoke no word for a long time; the mother anxious, yet afraid to intrude upon his confidence; and he, busy, as usual, with his own thoughts. Of course, when she broke silence, it was not about the subject uppermost in her mind.
* And so you have taken up this new trade with ? You will laugh, my dear, at my giving advice to you on commercial affairs, but I don't like it.'
'Why not ?'
Oh! it is such a gigantic enterprise-a certain risk, a dubious gain.'
And therefore I should have left it to inferior houses, who could not carry it out. Well, I own it is a great undertaking, but I am a sort of enthusiast in my craft. I have a certain pride in devoting my colossal powers to a colossal enterprise. Men who derive great estates from their ancestors take delight in transmitting them intact to the same family; but commerce has been my liberal endower