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them, only stipulating that she might be People of one idea are not always the made acquainted with their route, in order safest guides for a party; and even Robert to meet them on their return, if so dis- Clifton, with all his good sense, was posed.
too much absorbed to see exactly what The day was beautiful, the sea most was taking place around him. On the brilliant. A fresh breeze played over the present occasion, that glistening aspect of surface of the waves; while gray fleecy the morning which is so inexpressibly clouds, fringed with white, threw here and beautiful, gave place, as it almost always there a quickly passing shadow on the does, to the gathering of soft clouds into waters below, or on the jutting headlands one general mass, so
that the young that stretched out into the ocean, catching travellers became almost simultaneously alternately the lights and shades of this aware that the sun had hid his face, and imposing scene.
that a dead green hue upon the waters had The sea is beautiful, I think, dear usurped the place of that exquisite light Seymy, after all;" said Kitty, in a soft, and "shadow which, as it seemed but a low voice, as she clasped her brother's hand moment before, had thrown into such more closely in her own.
brilliant contrast the soft waves and their · Yes, it is very beautiful as a pic- snow-white foam. ture," Seymour replied, “and it is beau- Seymour stopped, and shuddered as he tiful as God's work."
contemplated this scene.
“Let us go “And does not that make it beautiful to back," said he. But Philip laughed, and you?” asked the child. “You love God shouted, and said he liked it better than so much, dear Seymy.”
before, and hoped the wind would rise, and “ I wish I loved him better," was the send much bigger waves upon the shore somewhat sad reply. And the brother and than those which already ran up hissing sister walked on, not this time separated around their feet. from the rest for more than a few moments For some time the party walked on, now and then ; for, as already stated, all rather more silently than before. At last felt, on this day especially, as if their | Kitty said in her most serious voice, approaching separation had made them “Isn't there a tide, brother Robert?" dearer to each other.
Robert suddenly stopped, looked all For Robert it was a glorious day, and around him, then at his watch, and then for Philip not less so. Both could enjoy faced about, taking the hand of Kitty in themselves after the peculiar bent of their one of his, and that of Helen in the other
. own minds.
Robert, in idea, took the No word did Robert utter as he walked bearings of the land, built breast-works, , along which bore the slightest relation to thrust out the sea, and fortified a huge tide, or wind, or water, or any kind of promontory in case of invasion, for the difficulty in which these elements are conespecial benefit of Philip, who seemed to cerned. He spoke of shells, but he would have been born with a natural anticipation not let his sisters stop and pick them up; of war, and fighting, and mastery over of marine plants, but he led them along some_enemy, either foreign or domes- the higher part of the shore where nothing tic. Thus, when he and Robert built their | looked so fresh and sparkling as near the castles in the air together, they were water's edge. Here he pointed out to chiefly castles of defence, well manned, them the different strata of the cliff, and supplied with ammunition enovgh to discussed the various formations and withstand the attacks the whole world. structures of the earth, and delivered And thus pleasantly accommodating them- quite a geological lecture, but would not selves one to another, the party rambled allow of the gathering of a single specion, Helen alone petitioning sometimes for a men, or even of any relaxation of the halt, in order that she might sit down in speed at which he was walking, though it some quiet nook, and enjoy a delightful might have been for some practical book which she had taken with her for elucidation of the truths he unfolded. that purpose, but which Philip threatened Seymour, all the while, followed closely, should be thrown into the sea, if she did and kept silence. He knew the reason bury herself in its pages.
why his brother was hastening back in
y this determined manner, and he had the out, “Look there, Robert, we shall have zB good sense to keep it to himself; but he to wade through the water-I am quite
could no more have talked of other things, sure we shall !” as Robert did, than he could have flown “ And if we have,” said Robert, " what upon the wings of the sea-bird which of that ? Your little feet will skim skimmed past them; and yet this was the through it like yon sea-bird ; and as for
only way to act a part that was at once Helen, I will carry her on my back.” Denk both manly and kind.
The tone in which Robert spoke rePhilip, although he also directed his assured his sisters again ; so much so, steps the same way, knew little about the that Kitty actually clapped her hands, exreason why they should return, and cared claiming “That would be charming fun!”
less. To him there was infinite amuse- To which Robert replied by snatching Ement any way, in clambering occasionally her up playfully, as a sort of preliminary cis half way up the cliff, then overtaking the movement, and running with her nearly ma party by double speed; and then, when to the spot where the waves were already
he did keep on the shore, tempting the rolling in rather more than he had excapricious waves to follow and catch him pected. He knew that when he did so if they could.
the others would follow, and that thus a The waves were not so capricious, how- little time would be gained. ever, but that they gained rapidly and It appeared, on reaching this spot, that steadily upon the shore, so that a very a very narrow passage, from rock to rock, narrow strip remained for the party to was all that was necessary to be made walk upon, compared with the space they good, in order to secure the safety of the had recently enjoyed. The sisters, if they whole party. There were some fragments noticed this at all, thought it was occa
of broken timber laid about, and many sioned by the bend of the coast, for Ro- loose stones of considerable size. With bert had succeeded so well in his endea- these, it struck Robert, that he could very vours to inspire them with confidence, soon construct a sort of bridge, on which that so long as his voice remained cheer- | his sisters might pass over without so ful, and his manner self-possessed, they much as wetting their feet. He, thereentertained not a thought of danger, nor, fore, placed Kitty on the sand, and telling indeed, were aware that any danger was at them what he was about to do, busied hand.
himself immediately in collecting togeThere was but one point-one little ther such materials as he could find, the spot along the shore,—to which Robert two girls helping him as well as they attached any importance. Once safely could. past that, and all would be well. It was a But, where was Seymour all this while, little gully or creek, where the land was and what was he doing ? Robert was broken and irregular ; and here, he very startled on turning round to catch a view naturally thought, the sea would soonest of his countenance. It was absolutely reach the cliff. But then, here also, from white with terror and agony. From the the nature of the land, there might be a first moment when the party turned back, means of escape, by clainbering up the he had given himself up to being swalside of the cliff. So Robert looked lowed in by the sea. Every roll of the anxiously onward for this point, though waves, every burst of the heavy breakers, he ceased not for a moment to amuse and seemed like the roar of an enemy about interest his sisters, speaking all the time to devour him in its horrid jaws. His in the clearest, liveliest tones of his fine sisters, too,-his brothers—almost all he manly voice.
loved best in the world-all appeared to At last, on turning suddenly round a him about to share the same dreadful slight bend of the coast, the little hollow doom; and so strong was this impresop hay became visible. Robert thought sion, so terrible the working of fear in there was a good deal of white foam about his distempered mind, that the spectacle it, and he could not see anything at all of what Robert was about, and the really likely to prove a pathway above. Kitty, trifling nature of the difficulty which they 100, disturbed his composure by calling all had now to encounter, served in no
degree to dispel his fears, or to soothe the he threw down a block of stone intended agony he was enduring.
for the foundation of his bridge, exclaimNotwithstanding Robert's sound and ing as he did so, “ What a fool I have been excellent sense, he was a good while con- to stand here contriving, while you were structing his bridge, and the tide was acting!”
After which he also dashed gaining upon him all the time.
through the water, and was soon beside “ You must make it very wide," said his sisters. Kitty, looking on; “ for see, Robert-do Seymour alone was now left. Had no see—the water is rolling in there, too. If previous terror filled his mind, he would we had been quick, and gone over at have thought little more of crossing the once,
water than his brothers thought of it; but But before Kitty had done speaking, a when once his mind was taken possession loud voice called out-"What are you all of by this feeling, all attempts to call back about ?'
anything like manly resolution were in “Building a bridge,” screamed Kitty, vain. Utterly fruitless, then, were all the for it was Philip who shouted to them loud callings of his brothers to him to from an elevated position which he had come over-all the imploring attitudes and reached on the side of the cliff.
gestures of his sisters.
He who would • They can't get this way, that's clear," have walked through the furnace had said he, as he sprang down like a goat, and there been a moral cause for doing so, was soon upon the beach with the others. dared not trust himself to the shallow
Robert was still busy, very busy, indeed, waves of the foaming sea, though he had so much so, that he failed to observe what just seen how lightly they might be enwas going on.
countered by others. “Come, Kitty,” said Philip, stooping Robert wished, for Seymour's own sake, down, “you spring upon my back.” that he would come over unassisted, and
“Take Helen first,” whispered the therefore he called to him the more earnchild. “She is rather frightened. I am estly. But Seymour thought it was not at all."
because of greater danger, and he was the So Philip snatched up his sister Helen, more afraid to go. Philip had no such and carried her across, sometimes wading scruples about his brother's dignity and knee deep in the water, and sometimes credit; but, dashing through once more, edging towards the foot of the cliff, so as he snatched the terrified boy upon his to escape the splash of a breaking wave. shoulders and bore him harmless through.
Kitty watched the process with intense Indeed, to Philip the whole affair was so anxiety. She had just said she was not at amusing, and so little fraught with anyall afraid ; but her blanched cheek and thing like danger, that he could not quivering lip now told a different story. refrain from his accustomed jokes at his Her turn came, however, very quickly, for brother's expense. So, carrying him on Helen was soon standing almost dry upon his back a great deal further along the the shore, while Philip dashed back shore than was necessary, he called out amongst the waves, really quite enjoying lustily-" Three cheers for the admiral !" the exploit.
and then, lifting him with all his might, “ You are very wet about the legs, dear acted the best representation he could of Philip,” said Kitty, in a most pathetic tone an electioneering chairing, with plentiful as he approached her. “Do you think I hurrahs and shouts, too, that startled the shall be wet, too? Is the water very cold ?" sea-gulls from the rocking waves. she added, grasping his neck so tightly This day, then, which had begun so with her small arms that her brother pleasantly, only added another of those declared he should be suffocated, if he was dark pages to poor Seymour's experience, not drowned. But Kitty spoke no more, which threatened to fill up, in a considerand she also was soon set safely down able degree, the volume of his life. But beside her sister Helen.
he was beginning to have practical things Robert, on awaking to a sense of what to think of that were enough, and somewas going on, felt first surprised, then times a little too much, to fill each passing amused ; and bursting into a loud laugh, moment with its full snare of bitterness.
Though nearer and nearer drew the time I should think it holy, and should desire of his departure from home, and more to think it so, if I were in your place." and more fixed the chains which were · Perhaps so; but you and I are very still not finally rivetted, Seymour made different." no absolute resistance, nor, in justice “ That is the sole reason why I ask you to his parents, it must be stated, ever made now to make one last effort to bring about them really acquainted with the state of his an exchange between us.” own feelings on the subject. Those who “ It would be of no use; not the least in observe little of human nature may think the world.” this improbable those who watch it nar. “But do try, dear Philip, just once. rowly will know better; for how many Do try, as you love me, and desire my voluntary victims may be found, even in happiness." the kindest families, who go on to their "Why, look you, Seymy, you may graves complaining that all things were take my pulpit any day, and preach in it against them in early life, when they never as often and as long as you like. But as made any full and clear explanation at to the navy, I tell you what, my boy, I home, either of what were their own real once caught a sight of that old uncle of wishes, or what were their sufferings from ours, the admiral, with his goldheaded the wishes of others.
cane, and ruffled shirt, and gouty legs. But with all this, Seymour was not Did you ever see him ?” learning the virtue of practical obedience. “ Yes, many times.”' He was rebelling every moment in his And did you like the look of him?' heart, and working in many indirect ways “No, not at all.” with a hope that grew fainter every day “Well, if my being an admiral must as to any real good to be attained. depend upon pleasing that old fellow, I
Philip," said Seymour, one evening, as can't do it, Seymy; and that's enough.” they strolled along the shore together, "But can you do the other ?" and he spoke very seriously, for his heart " What?" was heavy and sad," Philip, don't you “Study for the Church?” think you could persuade papa and mamma “I can go to college. I don't think to let you change places with me, even yet? | the fellows there study much. They eat, I am sure you would make a better admi- and drink, and row I can do all that with ral than I ever shall.”
any of them." " And you a better parson than I shall “But you must do something else, or make," said Philip, laughing. “That's you will be disgraced.”. clear enough."
“ Not much of it, I fancy. Do you “Then do try what you can do,” added think Wellesborough studies, or Page, or Seymour.
Jackson ?” “You are so very grave about the “ They are not in the Church yet.” matter,” said Philip.
No, but they will be; and where they " It is a grave subject,” observed his can pass, I can follow. At least it is so brother,“ in whatever light you look at it.” in riding, I know, and a little beyond.
"It doesn't seem so very grave to me." them I can go at a leap." “Not yet, perhaps. But it will, I hope, “And when you are in the Church, as sometime; that is, if you do take upon you call it, Philip, what do you mean to yourself the holy office you are contem- do ?” plating.”
“Oh! attend to parish business, to be “Don't talk in that canting way, Seymy. sure ; make myself comfortable; and It reminds me of the old conventicle. You shoot, when the season comes,-perhaps know it is not in my nature to contemplate hunt a little too." anything, as you call it; and as to a holy Seymour could not help smiling at the office, I never look at it in that light, difference of their tastes--at the wide or I should give the thing up at once.” extremes at which they lived in thought
“And yet that is the only way to make and feeling ; but he felt secretly more the office either respectable in the sight disposed to sigh than smile, at the idea of others, or tolerable to oneself. I know that this was all which entered into his
brother's calculations. He thought, too, unacquainted with the nature or the cause with how much he himself would have of their own malady, was becoming rather invested the sacred office, had it been his difficult to do with in the office, and often privilege to contemplate it as his own. charged his son with blame which was The subject was altogether a very sad one wholly undeserved. The clerks to him. Could his brother have been becoming dissatisfied, and often went to brought seriously to contemplate the Robert to complain. The affairs of the change he proposed, so that the Church business were falling into more confusion and the Admiralty might still have been re- than Robert knew how to bring into order, tained in the family, all might have been scarcely even to understand. His father, well ; but Philip, as he grew older, did too, forgot himself sometimes, but more not altogether dislike the comforts which frequently changed his mind without his own destination had in store; and, sufficient cause, giving orders and revok. therefore, he was wary about exchanging ing them in a hurried, vacillating manner, them for those which were less certain. which put every body out of temper, In fact, as he grew older, it was evident and himself most of all ; so that poor that his own future grew less disagreeable Robert seemed to have a weight upon his in contemplation. Many other fine spirited young shoulders heavier at times than he fellows, he thought, went into the Church knew how to bear. And all the while he did -it was a gentlemanly calling, at all not like the business-almost hated it, events, and saved a man a good deal of and wished himself anywhere but in that trouble, in keeping up appearances.
dark dull office, amongst account-books, But Philip has not got into the Church and invoices of things that were to him little yet. There are a good many things to be better than filthy and disgusting ; such done first. Above all, there is his college as tallow, and other commodities, which, life to lead, for which, however, he is touched in detail, are supposed to degrade preparing as fast as a most patient tutor the character, but dealt with in the mass can prepare him ; only that the boy has seem to give it dignity and worth. already got his head filled with dogs, and Robert Clifton had so much to do with horses, races,
grooms; and the tutor things of this kind, so little with his fafinds them rather inconvenient, as well as vourite objects of pursuit; he was boisterous companions, in the hours of pressed down, too, by heavy galling cares, study. Somewhat expensive, too, the that a premature old age seemed to be young man's tastes begin to be, so that creeping over him; and his once athletic altogether it is a serious matter getting form grew spare and meagre in its proporPhilip Clifton into the Church.
tions. His face also was too pale and To the oldest brother these tastes were sharp for perfect health : and his heavy becoming particularly serious, when con- black hair sometimes cast a shadow over sidered in connection with the general his fine brow so deep that a mother's circumstances of his family. Robert was heart might well have sunk within her at now old enough to take these into calcu- the sight. But Robert did not complain: lation, and he did so with a gravity which he was only out of his element, that was all. often called forth a laugh from Philip at “That was all,” the mother would have the “old man” as he was pleased to said ; hundreds of grave kind experienced designate his brother. Such laughter, friends would have said that was nothing however, seldom lasted long, for Robert compared with duty-duty to a well-regu. had something about him which equally lated mind was paramount. Robert Clifdisarmed ridicule, and comma respect. ton knew this as well as the gravest of Besides which, he had early become so them all-he knew it practically, for he responsible an agent in the pecuniary acted upon it every day; but it made his transactions of the household, that self- cheek pale nevertheless-yes, and his heart interest, if Philip ever acknowledged such a little heavy sometimes; but he was getan influence, dictated a manner calcu- ting himself “schooled in,” he said, and lated to conciliate, rather than offend, or when youth was over, and those silly fancies repel.
which floated through his brain had all Mr. Clifton, like many half-invalids, passed by, he should do very well.