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and natural manners go far in making your society agreeable to men.
But natural manners are not everything, upless it is your nature to be graceful and not self-asserting. If I were making a negative code I should say : Never speak in an authoritative or loud voice, for a low voice is ever “ an excellent thing in women.” Do not make any difference in your expression when you are speaking or listening to a gentleman to what you would do if the gentleman were his sister or mother. Remember I am speaking of simple acquaintanceship. Never look conscious at the natural courtesies you receive from gentlemen, but accept them as though it was what you were always used to from men; as though all men were naturally expected to be gentlemen: it goes a long way towards making them so.
But all men are not alike, and a woman must modify her manners according to the men she meets. There are, thank heaven, English gentlemen in whose society a woman need put on no armour, whose respect for women is so great that a woman may be as amiable, and talkative, and free in her manners as is compatible with being a lady.
A woman must employ all the tac she is endowed with to know how to distinguish those men with whom she may become intimate and those to whom she ought to refuse all intimacy.
Among the latter are many who sin from ignorance, and there is a quiet way by which a well-bred woman can show them they sin, which is often effectual in correcting their manners; but no young girl can attempt this-it only comes with experience.
From amongst our acquaintances we choose our friends and remember
Men esteem women exactly on their own valuation. According to the way you behave towards yourself so will men behave towards you. If you set so poor a price on your intimacy that any ball-room partner or three days' acquaintance can presume upon it, we cannot be astonished that they do so presume.
Women should make men feel they are worth knowing, worth honouring, worth loving, but that their intimacy and love are priceless treasures to be won, not cheap things that any fellow may have for the asking and sometimes without.
It must be distinctly understood that we are no advocates for prudery. If a woman cannot make herself respected without being a prude, she will never know the blessedness of men's friendship, for men do not like prudes, and they are right. Prudery is an affectation of superiority, and of all affectations that is the one least forgiven or forgivable.
The friendship of a good woman—a woman who, while entering into the ways, doings, thoughts, and aspirations of men, can make them feel that womanhood is sacred- the friendship of such a woman is a blessing to any man, and especially to a young man. One of the misfortunes attendant upon a girl's being what is termed
is, that she not only does herself an injury, but injures men and other women too. A young man fresh from school or college, who, on beginning life, meets with women of that sort, gets an estimate of women that sinks all womanhood in his esteem, and often keeps him from realizing to the full that verse of Cowper's :
"Man without woman's a beggar,
Suppose the whole world he possess'd ; And the beggar that's got a good woman,
With more than the world he is blest."
“However many friends you have,
You have never a friend to spare; But if you have one enemy
You will find him everywhere."
-and friendship between men and women is one of the fountain heads of happiness in this world.
And now we have come to a rock on which English girls often split—the gradation that separates friendship from love, or, to speak more plainly, the finding of a husband.
I wish English girls could hear the talk that goes on amongst young men about the girls they meet, or better still they should hear a man who is particular about women's behaviour, talking seriously of the reasons he gives for not choosing a wife amidst his girl acquaintances. “They throw themselves at a fellow's head so," one said to me the other day. “You can't show a girl any attention but she immediately thinks you are in love with her, and behaves as if you had said so. I want to think of women as of something far above me that it will take all that I can do to win; but they will not let me, they make themselves so cheap. You have only to touch the apple and it falls into your hand.”
And now we are entering upon sacred ground, or what ought to be sacred ground, where friendship develops into love, into courtship, and marriage. My readers will say, “But what has etiquette to do there?” This much: it regulates the behaviour of two people who love each other when they are in the society of others. It forbids scenes and all manifestation of that love then.
Nothing degrades any great or sacred feeling like exposing its manifestation to indifferent people.
La Bruyére once drew a woman's portrait, and in it we see many lessons on women's intercourse with men. Our translation does not give the verve of the original, but enough is retained to illustrate our point :
“The mind of this charming woman was a diamond well set. A mixture of intellectual satisfaction and pleasure occupies the eyes and heart of those who speak to her; there is in her the making of a perfect friend; there is also wherewith to take one farther than friendship! Too young and fresh not to please, but too modest to think about pleasing, she only values men for their merit, and only thinks of them as friends.
“Bright and capable of feeling, she surprises and interests men ; nothing ignorant of all that is most delicate and fine in wit, she comes out with happy sallies which give, amongst other pleasures, the impossibility of answering. She speaks as a learner, who wishes to be enlightened, but she listens as an authority, who appreciates what is said, and with whom nothing is lost. Far from trying to show her wit by arguing with you like some women, who would rather be called witty than wise or just, she beautifies your thought and applies it. You are pleased at having thought so well, and at having expressed it better than you had any idea of.
“ She is always above vanity, whether she speaks or writes; she forgets to be superficial where depth is
necessary; she understands already that simplicity is eloquent. If she wishes to serve anyone and to interest you in their cause, she leaves fine phrases and tries to move you by sincerity, ardour, earnestness and conviction. Her strongest trait is a love of reading, with a taste for the society of men of genius, not for the sake of being known by them, but for the sake of knowing them. We may praise her beforeband, for all the wisdom she will one day have, and for the qualities that will increase with her years, because she is upright on principle, and is reserved without being shy. Should occasion serve, we may expect all virtues to shine in her."
Dundee in consequence of an arrangement made by his brother professors by which they divided his duties among them, Dr. Baxter, whose partiality for him was proverbial, taking a double share upon himself. The furlough was not accepted by him without misgivings. He felt that he ought to be in his place at the beginning of the college session, and that to avail himself further of the generous kindness of trustees and faculty, after a year's absence, was an abuse of the same. Dr. Baxter wrote him two strong, short letters to refute this idea, and he found additional solace for his conscience in the discovery that he was needed by the sisters. Eunice and he were joint executors of Mr. Kirke's small property. To Jessie were left her mother's dowry with the accumulated interest ; her mother's picture, and certain articles of jewellery, dress, and furniture, which had been hers. Everything else was Eunice's—a portion that did not nearly equal her sister's, but with which she was more than content. The settlement of the estate was easily accomplished. The just man had no debts, and the few legal papers needful to secure the title of his possessions to his children were in perfect order.
At the end of a week the only open question was that of Eunice's residence. Roy had engaged a house in Hamilton, and was urgent in his desire that she should live with Jessie and himself. The conscientious elder sister hesitated in the knowledge that her income would not support her in like comfort anywhere else.
“My inclination leads me to follow Jessie,” she confessed to her brother-in-law. “My sense of duty to myself and to you makes me doubt the propriety and justice of living in comparative idleness, when, if I had not the shelter of your roof, I must work to eke out a maintenance."
Which quibble Roy pronounced absurd and farfetched.
“Quite unworthy of sensible Eunice! To say nothing of the manifest unkindness to our poor girl here,” he said, as his wife entered the room where he was sitting. “ Come here, love, and convince this unreasonable and sceptical woman that she is indispensable to our happiness."
Jessie yielded passively to the arm that drew her to his knee.
" What is it?" she asked, listlessly.
She looked confused-uncertain whether she bad heard him aright. It was an effort to understand anything, sometimes. Roy and Eunice glanced from her to one another. They saw that dazed look, heard her stammer oftener than either liked; dreaded nothing else so much as they did the repetition of the scenes attending their father's demise and burial.
" Of course she will live with me—with us, whererer we go!” she rejoined. “Unless you object "-to Roy. “But I was under the impression that you wished itthat the matter was definitely arranged.”
“It is now !” said Roy confidently, and Eunice did not dispute it.
There was a clear, more constant light in her eye, nos that the responsibility of the decision was removed from her, and the step determined upon without her vote. The prospect of separation from her sister was very painful. and there were other reasons why Hamilton should be a pleasant home to them all. This was her representation of the case to herself and to the friends who lamented losing her.
“Mourning is very becoming to Miss Kirke !" was the usual remark of these visitors upon leaving the Parsonage.
And—“She is really a most lovely woman. What will the congregation do without her?”
Roy was to leave them for a fortnight, to attend to his classes, and forward the preparations for the reception his bride. When all was ready for their removal, he would return to superintend the sale of furniture, stock, etc., then take the sisters back to town with him.
My family!” he said, in forced gaiety, on the morning of his departure. “I assure you, my consequence in my own eyes is mightily augmented by the acquisition of my new honours."
Eunice called up one of her slow, bright smiles in acknowledgment. Jessie appeared to heed the com. pliment as little as she did the parting, that drew tears from her sister's eyes and choked Roy's farewell directions as to the care she must take of herself while he was away,
"I shall write to you every day, my sweet wife," he promised. "And it will not harm you--it may help you to while away the time, if you can scribble a few lines to me in return, now and then."
"If I can I will. If you wish it I will write certainly. But don't expect to hear every day from me. There's very little here to write about, you know," answered Jessie.
Eunice wondered, to reverent admiration, at the love and forbearance with which he thanked her for the concession.
They attended him to the porch. The morning was foggy, and Roy put Jessie back in the shelter of the halldoor.
“It is too damp for you out here ! Don't stand there to see me off!"
Eunice-maybe he would have been better satisfied had she disregarded the loving command. As it was, when he waved his hand from the carriage-door, Eunice stood alone in the doorway. Yet she was sure Jessie did not mean to be ungracious ; that she was not really insensible to the devotion of the husband of her choice; that but for the stay of his presence she must have gone mad or died in her overwhelming grief. What she mistook for unwifelike reserve was an incessant effort to control herself, to play the woman and not the child. It was best not to interfere even so far as to hint that Roy's kindest schemes for her comfort and pleasure as often as not were unnoticed by verbal thanks or grateful look from her whom he aimed to benefit. As Jessie's interest in the outer world and passing events revived, this blemish would vanish. Older people, who had known more of the discipline of life, had fallen into the mistake of idolizing their sorrows while they were new.
The sisters were at tea on the third day of Mr. Fordham's absence, when a letter was brought to Jessie.
"From Roy!” she said, quietly, and laid it down by her plate until the meal was finished-Eunice hurrying through hers in the belief that the wife wished to be alone when she read it.
Instead of this, Jessie broke the seal, and read the four closely-written pages by the lamp upon the suppertable, while her sister washed the silver and china in the same little cedar-wood pail, with shining brass hoops, her mother had used for this purpose a quarter of a century before. Eunice was inclined to be scrupulous in the matters of extreme cleanliness and system in housekeeping and neatness and fitness of apparel ; and had other and quaint, but never unpleasant, peculiarities that leaned toward what the vulgar and unappreciative style "oldmaidism.” But she was a bonny picture to behold tonight, her black dress setting off her fairness to exquisite advantage; her features chastened into purer outline and a softer serenity by sorrow; her eyes more beautiful for the shadows that had darkened them.
She was younger in appearance and feeling than her companion, who scanned, without change of expression and complexion, the love-words that had streamed, a strong, living tide, from the writer's heart. She read it all, from address to signature ; then handed it to her sister, who had just summoned Patsey to remove the hot water and towels.
“There are several messages to you in it,” she said, languidly. “You can read them for yourself.”
Eunice drew back.
I don't think he meant it for any eyes but yours, dear. Tell me what he says to me."
“I should have to go all over it again in order to do that,” returned Jessie. "They are scattered sentences business items and the like. You may look for them at
I shall leave the letter upon the table here."
She put it down under her lamp, and turned her chair to the fire.
This was their sitting-room, now that the two, with Patsey, composed the household. By tacit consent, they avoided the parlour, as recalling too vividly the gatherings and the happiness of other days. Jessie had leaned back in her cushioned seat, staring, in a blank, purposeless way, at the fire for five minutes or more, when Eunice took her place with her work-box on the other side of the hearth.”
“You insist, then, that I shall read your love-letter ?” she asked, pleasantly.
Faithful to her promise to Roy to do all in her power for the restoration of Jessie's native cheerfulness, she compelled herself to wear a tranquil countenance in her sight, to speak hopefully, and, when she could, brightly, in addressing her.
Jessie neither smiled nor frowned. She looked simply and wearily indifferent.
“If you please," she said, without withdrawing her eyes from the blazing logs.
Eunice skimmed the first three pages cursorily, on the watch for any mention of her own name, beset, all the while, by the idea that her act in opening the letter at all bordered upon profanation, and affected almost to
tears by stray sentences she could not avoid seeing, eloquent of the young husband's tender compassion for his loved one, his longings to be with her, and fond prognostications of the peace and joy of their future life.
At the top of the fourth page, a passage seemed to dart up at her from the sheet, and, leaping into view, to be changed into characters of red-hot flame:
“What a discreet little woman you are, never to hint to me your knowledge of Orrin's engagement! The communication took me completely by surprise. He would scarcely believe that you had not told me; said that he went down to Dundee on purpose to impart to you the agreeable and important secret. The marriage is fixed for December. I always prophesied that he would marry in haste when he had once selected the lady, whom I am extremely curious to meet. He has floated from flower to flower so long that his selection ought to be worth seeing. You know her, he tells me. I shall expect a full-length description of her, done in your finest style, when I return. I own I should be better satisfied that he is to be made as happy as I would have him, if Miss Sanford were not an heiress. While we-you and I-and others who know him well, will never suspect him of selling himself for money, the above fact may give occasion for scandal-mongers to rave and exult. The father of the bride-elect is in town. I met him on the street to-day with Orrin. Rumour has it that his business here is to purchase the new house opposite Judge Provost's, as a residence for the happy pair. It will be a handsome home, but I hope and believe that we shall be as content with our love-nest of a cottage.”
Jessie did not look around as her sister refolded the letter, tucked it into the envelope, and laid it upon the table. But while each believed herself to be separated from the other by a fathomless gulf of memories, every one of which was an anguish, both were pondering the same section of the epistle that lay between them. The announcement of Wyllys' approaching marriage was, in itself, nothing to the wife. The thought of it had lost the power to wound when she parted with her faith in him. The wrong he had done her could never be for. given; he had misled her purposely; deceived her cruelly; had robbed her life of love and hope, and given her self-contempt and remorse in her stead. But she did not regret him-as she now knew him to be-or linger fondly upon recollections of their by-gone intimacy. Hester Sanford was welcome to the suitor her gold had bought.
The phrases that had found a sentient spot in her breast were these : “Whom I am extremely curious to meet." "I shall expect a full-length description of her." The apathetic misery which had locked brain and heart with fetters of ice since her father's death had not rendered her totally unmindful of her husband's longsuffering and gentleness, his unselfish love and care of herself. She was persuaded that the girlish passion that had made of him a demi-god was gone for ever. Her Alesh fainted, and her spirit died within her, at the caresses
to which she had turned herself in the days of her idolatry, as roses open to the sun—as innocently and as naturally. She could never love again. The fires had scathed too deeply for that ; but she had begun to believe that she might find comfort in esteeming and liking her only protector ; might seek, and not in vain, in a calm, true friendship for this good man, forgetfulness of the storms that had wrecked her early dreams. In his frank and noble presence suspicion stood rebuked. It was easier to discredit the evidence of one's own senses and judgment, than to doubt his integrity.
But here was a deliberate deception. He—Roy Fordham-had known Hester Sanford before she-Jessie -ever saw her. She was the intimate associate and confidante of his former love; of the woman he had renounced heartlessly and without compunction, and whose name had never passed his lips in his wife's hearing, She recalled faithfully Hester's account of the call "Maria" had paid with her then betrothed at Mr. Sanford's house-a statement she would not have dared to make had it been groundless. Whence this affectation of ignorance, on Fordham's part, of the person and character of his cousin's intended bride, if not as a further means of keeping the knowledge of the affair from her?
“To whom it should have been told more than a year ago!" she reflected, a dreary loneliness creeping over her, with the conclusion, “He is like the rest of them! I would have believed in him if I could ! ”
The door shut quietly. She did not hear it, or miss her sister from her place. It was not an uncommon occurrence for them to sit together without speaking for an hour at a time, Eunice's fingers busied with some article of useful needlework, Jessie's holding a book which she pretended to read as a cover for her grieftal musings. Much less was it in the imagination of the younger sister to follow the elder in her progress up the staircase, her face more stony and eyes more desolate with each step, to the fair, large chamber she had occupied from her childhood.
It was cold and dark, but for the light of the taper she set down upon the mantel. There were none of the fanciful ornaments-none of the luxurious devices, the patches of bright colouring that reflected the owner's tastes and whims in Jessie's apartment. All the draperies—those of the windows, the dressing table, and the antique chairs, were pure white, as were also the walls. The carpet was a sober drab, checkered with narrow lines of blue. The aspect of the whole was so chill and grave on this bleak night, that Eunice shivered as at the breath of winter, as she drew up a seat to a stand in the middle of the floor, and leaned her head upon the hard wood. Not a tear or word escaped her, but a deft and an invisible engraver was at work upon her features, sharpening outlines, deepening here a stroke and there a furrow, until the father would not have known his child.
I said, many pages back, that Orrin Wyllys' victims made no moan. Least of them all, was this one likely to publish her case to the world—to shriek out her great and sudden woe in the ear of heaven and of her kind. She had never loved before she met him, and the discovery of this curious fact had stimulated his professional zeal—animated his pride in the honour and success of his vocation. He had found the key to her heart, and had used it. Love is no holiday romance when it comes thus late in life to a woman of large capacity for affection, and a will the strength of which has hitherto made the repression of such seeking instincts and needs as win for weaker girls the reputation of lovingness and dependence, appear even to those who know her 'best like tranquil contentment with her allotted share of love and companionship. She had heard herself called “a predestined old maid” ever since her mother left her, a demure infant, apt and serious beyond her years-to become her father's co-worker and comforter. Her calm smile at the nickname looked like conscious superiority to dread of the obloquy—a fear that infects all classes of her sex. Her love was as reticent as her longing for affection had been. Orrin's most insidious arts had not sufficed to surprise her into confession. Of marriage he had never spoken, nor she permitted herself to think. Her attachment was artless and uncalculating as a child's. He had convinced her that the subtle sympathy of their souls had made them one from their earliest meeting ; that he had then recognized in her his spirit-mate. The seductive cant came trippingly from his tongue with the fluent convincingness of much practice, and she was · listening to it for the first time. His dual game was adroitly conducted, and the result was a triumphant capsheaf to his harvest of hearts. His bride-expectant would have torn her flaxen hair-natural and artificial—with rage had she guessed how tame he found his pursuit of herself; how deficient in the flavour of excitement that had marked his courtship of the beautiful but fortuneless country girls.
The hall-clock rang out nine strokes when Eunice shook off her reverie, and unlocked a drawer of her bureau. It was lined with silver paper, and the odour of dried violets stole into the still, cold air when she opened it. A bunch of withered flowers; a small herbarium filled by Wyllys and herself in their woodland and mountain rambles—the vignette on the title-page from his pencil; all the inscriptions, names of specimens, and poetical legends penned by his hand; a thin bundle of letters and notes; five or six books— favourite works with both of them-composed the contents. She took them out carefully, one by one, and laid them in a heap upon the table. Then she sought in the closet for a walnut box, one of her childhood's treasures, an oblong casket with a sliding top and a strong lock. Without audible evidence of suffering, she arranged the relics within it with the nice regard to neatness and order which was, with her, intuitive as it had become habitual. The last
article was a volume of Spenser's “ Faerie Queene'-an English edition elegantly illustrated. Wyllys had sent it to her, the Christmas Jessie passed with Mrs. Baxter. His pencillings were upon several pages, and one of the fly-leaves bore an extract from Tennyson. He had apologized for transcribing it, there, in the letter accompanying the gift, by saying that it was ever in his mind, when he watched or talked with her. save his and hers had ever seen the lines as written upon that
page, and they were the more precious to her that this was so.
Eyes not down-dropt, nor over-bright, but fed
Were fixed shadows of thy fixed mood.” She unclosed the book and re-read them before consigning it to its place. How vividly a rose before her the scene of that Christmas Eve, when the parcel was brought to her!
Her father always spent the evening of the twenty-fourth of December in his study—and fasting. It was an anniversary with him; scrupulously observed for many years, of what event or crisis in his life his daughters never knew.
Eunice had made her preparations for a lonely evening by her chamber-fire; collected her books and work about her that she might not feel too sadly the want of human converse. But she had touched none of these ; was sitting, her head on her hand, gazing into the fire, hearkening to the wind as it flung fierce dashes of sleet against the windows, and longing, how hungrily! for some visible evidence that she was remembered and missed by another, as she thought of and missed him. Into her solitude had come his gift and letter, and the night was all light about her; the world was no more dark and cold and tempestuous. She walked in Paradise hand in hand with the good genius who had wrought the spell.
The idealistic character of woman's love is at once her blessing and her curse. Orrin Wyllys, at that hour dancing at a Christmas rout, the gayest of the season, looking meaning but unuttered flatteries into other eyes ; feigning-as he best could feign--to wait as for the sentence of life and death, upon other “sweet lips," would have laughed in unmixed amusement had he seen, in a magic mirror, the representment of himself before which a pure, fervent soul was laying votive offerings of her best affections and richest fancies; to which she was looking up as to the highest of human intelligences, the embodi. ment of manhood's virtues and graces. While to her the delusion was happiness without stain or shade, while it lasted.
It was over now! Returning from the pursuit of these shadows-dearer and fairer than any real joy and positive delight that would ever visit her solitary life,