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东方澳门葡京在线_科幻小说之父30本当前很火的小说排行,烽火戏诸侯依然霸榜第一,你还看过

时间:2022/2/23 14:51:37   作者:admin   来源:   阅读:219   评论:0
内容摘要:  With the pace of life becoming faster and faster, people's life pressure is also increasing. Daily life at three o'clock is becoming more ...

  With the pace of life becoming faster and faster, people's life pressure is also increasing. Daily life at three o'clock is becoming more and more boring. Now the only thing that can be relieved is to watch mobile phones and play with mobile phones. Mobile phones have become daily necessities for people. A person may not go to dinner one day, but leaving the mobile phone for a day is quite difficult. While watching mobile phones, people prefer to watch video clips with intuitive presentation. Interesting pictures. With the popularity of smart phones, everyone can use them from 80 year old Huajia old people to 3-year-old urchins. People not only stay in watching other people's videos, but also prefer to record and present their own lives in the form of videos. Selfie recording, a person can complete a very funny paragraph. Husband and wife can make a very funny humorous story. A family of three is also everywhere. There are also five times as many grandparents and grandchildren to take video together. Shooting video not only enriches our spare time life, but also promotes family harmony. It's also possible to represent a little bit of income. Why not kill two birds with one stone. And watch videos, especially funny videos. Very decompressed and relaxed. Funny sketches are indispensable. It's a very funny video, and it's a very relaxing experience. Happy funny video, bring very happy experience. Sometimes watching funny videos can make people laugh dizzy. Children's funny video, both cute and funny. Is also loved by the majority of netizens. I hope that what we can show you is a treasure house of funny videos. We can see all the funny videos here. Can bring you happiness at the same time, I also very have a sense of achievement 随着生活节奏变得越来越快,人们的生活压力也越来越大,日常生活三点一线变得越来越枯燥乏味,现在唯一能缓解的也就是看手机玩手机了,手机成了人们日常的必需品,一个人可能一天不去吃饭,但是离开手机一天那是相当难受难熬。而看手机人们更喜欢看呈现形式比较直观的视频段子。有趣图文。随着智能手机的普及,上到80岁花甲老人,下到3岁的顽童,人人都在用。人们不只停留在看别人的视频,更愿意用视频的方式记录呈现自己的生活。自拍自录,一个人就可以完成一个非常好玩搞笑的段子。夫妻二人就可以拍个非常搞笑的幽默故事。一家三口拍视频的也是比比皆是。更有一些祖孙五辈人一同入镜拍视频。拍视频不仅丰富了我们的业余生活,促进家庭和谐。还有可能代理一点点的收入。一箭双雕何乐而不为。而看视频,尤其是搞笑视频。非常解压又放松。搞笑小品更是必不可少。非常搞笑视频带来非常放松的体验。快乐搞笑视频,带来非常快乐的体验。看搞笑视频有时候都能把人笑晕。小孩搞笑视频,既可爱又搞笑。也是受到广大网友的喜爱。我希望我们能给大家呈现的是一座搞笑视频宝库,在我们这里能看到所有的搞笑视频大全。能给大家带来快乐的同时,自己也非常的有成就感!医神豪婿林漠许半夏小说免费阅读全文

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  圣医豪婿主角: 林漠, 许半夏

  字数: 1,338,423

  状态: 连载中 共 1132 章

  世界上有很多种关系,唯有一种是无法切断的,那就是血脉联系。男主角林漠,本是一方豪门的大少爷,十几年前,鼎盛的林家突遭巨变,全族覆灭,爸爸为了守护林家身亡,母亲拼死把林漠和妹妹带出来。五年前母亲也病逝,只剩下他们兄妹俩。屋漏偏逢连夜雨,妹妹也得了重病。身无分文的林漠为了给妹妹凑手术费,收了十万的彩礼,从此成了许家的上门女婿,受尽欺辱。妹妹的病就像无底洞。而许家却尽显冷漠。走头无路,妹妹选择轻生,从顶楼一跃而下,抱着奄奄一息的妹妹,林漠悲努交加,眼中尽是血泪流出,当血泪流碰到林漠带着的祖传玉佩时,意外发生。他获得了先祖的传承,医术武术功法,海量的信息拥入脑中,妹妹的病简直小菜一碟。林漠心里一痛,岳父母竟然当着他的面,这样劝许半夏改嫁,这是完全没把他当回事啊。许半夏咬紧牙关,一字一句地道:“你们不用再说了,我就算是饿死,也绝对不会用自己的婚姻,来交换这所谓的成功!

  asked. “I don’t know much about foreign beasts. How do they like it, I wonder?”

  This comprehensive inquiry was addressed to the governess, as the most learned person present. Miss Minerva referred to her elder pupil with an encouraging smile. “Maria will inform you,” she said. “Her studies in natural history have made her well acquainted with the habits of monkeys.”

  Thus authorised to exhibit her learning, even the discreet Maria actually blushed with pleasure. It was that young lady’s most highly-prized reward to display her knowledge (in imitation of her governess’s method of instruction) for the benefit of unfortunate persons of the lower rank, whose education had been imperfectly carried out. The tone of amiable patronage with which she now imparted useful information to a woman old enough to be her grandmother, would have made the hands of the bygone generation burn to box her ears.

  “The monkeys are kept in large and airy cages,” Maria began; “and the temperature is regulated with the utmost care. I shall be happy to point out to you the difference between the monkey and the ape. You are not perhaps aware that the members of the latter family are called ‘Simiadae,’ and are without tails and cheek-pouches?”

  Listening so far in dumb amazement, Teresa checked the flow of information at tails and cheek-pouches.

  “What gibberish is this child talking to me?” she asked. “I want to know how the monkeys amuse themselves in that large house?”

  Maria’s perfect training condescended to enlighten even this state of mind.

  “They have ropes to swing on,” she answered sweetly; “and visitors feed them through the wires of the cage. Branches of trees are also placed for their diversion; reminding many of them no doubt of the vast tropical forests in which, as we learn from travellers, they pass in flocks from tree to tree.”

  Teresa held up her hand as a signal to stop. “A little of You, my young lady, goes a long way,” she said. “Consider how much I can hold, before you cram me

  ed Klesmer threw a trace of his malign power even across her pleasant consciousness th

  spoke quite randomly,” said Gwendolen; she began to feel a new objection to carrying out her own proposition.

  “But Mrs. Davilow knows I shall take care of you.”

  “It is not to be supposed that

  ny a night there inher youth, traveling with her father. Lord Hoster Tully had been a restless man in his prime, alwaysriding somewhere. She still remembered the innkeep, a fat woman named Masha Heddle who chewedsourleaf night and day and seemed to have an endless supply of smiles and sweet cakes for thechildren. The sweet cakes had been soaked with honey, rich and heavy on the tongue, but howCatelyn had dreaded those smiles. The sourleaf had stained Masha’s teeth a dark red, and made hersmile a bloody horror.

  “An inn,” Ser Rodrik repeated wistfully. “If only … but we dare not risk it. If we wish to remainunknown, I think it best we seek out some small holdfast …” He broke off as they heard sounds upthe road; splashing water, the clink of mail, a horse’s whinny. “Riders,” he warned, his hand droppingto the hilt of his sword. Even on the kingsroad, it never hurt to be wary.

  They followed the sounds around a lazy bend of the road and saw them; a column of armed mennoisily fording a swollen stream. Catelyn reined up to let them pass. The banner in the hand of theforemost rider h

  ?”

  “I want to see my father.”

  The guards exchanged a glance. “I want to fuck the queen myself, for all the good it does me,” theyounger one said.

  The older scowled. “Who’s this father of yours, boy, the city ratcatcher?”

  “The Hand of the King,” Arya told him.

  Both men laughed, but then the older one swung his fist at her, casually, as a man would swat adog. Arya saw the blow coming even before it began. She danced back out of the way, untouched.

  “I’m not a boy,” she spat at them. “I’m Arya Stark of Winterfell, and if you lay a hand on me mylord father will have both your heads on spikes. If you don’t believe me, fetch Jory Cassel or VayonPoole from the Tower of the Hand.” She put her hands on her hips. “Now are you going to open thegate, or do you need a clout on the ear to help your hearing?”

  Her father was alone in the solar when Harwin and Fat Tom marched her in, an oil lamp glowingsoftly at his elbow. He was bent over the biggest book Arya had ever seen, a great thick tome withcracked yellow pages of crabbed script, bound between faded leather covers, but he closed it to listento Harwin’s report. His face was stern as he sent the men away with thanks.

  “You realize I had half my guard out searching for you?” Eddard Stark said when they werealone. “Septa Mordane is beside herself with fear. She’s in the sept praying for your safe return. Arya,you know you are never to go beyond the castle gates without my leave.”

  “I didn’t go out the gates,” she blurted. “Well, I didn’t mean to. I was down in the dungeons, onlythey turned into this tunnel. It was all dark, and I didn’t have a torch or a candle to see by, so I had tofollow. I couldn’t go back the way I came on account of the monsters. Father, they were talking aboutkilling you! Not the monsters, the two men. They didn’t see me, I was being still as stone and quiet asa shadow, but I heard them. They said you had a book and a bastard and if one Hand could die, whynot a second? Is that the book? Jon’s the bastard, I bet.”

  “Jon? Arya, what are you talking about? Who said this?”

  “They did,” she told him. “There was a fat one with rings and a forked yellow beard, and anotherin mail and a steel cap, and the fat one said they had to delay but the other one told him he couldn’tkeep juggling and the wolf and the lion were going to eat each other and it was a mummer’s farce.”

  She tried to remember the rest. She hadn’t quite understood everything she’d heard, and now it wasall mixed up in her head. “The fat one said the princess was with child. The one in the steel cap, hehad the torch, he said that they had to hurry. I think he was a wizard.”

  “A wizard,” said Ned, unsmiling. “Did he have a long white beard and tall pointed hat speckledwith stars?”

  “No! It wasn’t like Old Nan’s stories. He didn’t look like a wizard, but the fat one said he was.”

  “I warn you, Arya, if you’re spinning this thread of air—”

  “No, I told you, it was in the dungeons, by the place with the secret wall. I was chasing cats, andwell …” She screwed up her face. If she admitted knocking over Prince Tommen, he would be reallyangry with her. “… well, I went in this window. That’s where I found the monsters.”

  “Monsters and wizards,” her father said. “It would seem you’ve had quite an adventure. Thesemen you heard, you say they spoke of juggling and mummery?”

  “Yes,” Arya admitted, “only—”

  “Arya, they were mummers,” her father told her. “There must be a dozen troupes in King’sLanding right now, come to make some coin off the tourney crowds. I’m not certain what these twowere doing in the castle, but perhaps the king has asked for a show.”

  “No.” She shook her head stubbornly. “They weren’t—”

  “You shouldn’t be following people about and spying on them in any case. Nor do I cherish thenotion of my daughter climbing in strange windows after stray cats. Look at you, sweetling. Yourarms are covered with scratches. This has gone on long enough. Tell Syrio Forel that I want a wordwith him—”

  He was interrupted by a short, sudden knock. “Lord Eddard, pardons,” Desmond called out,opening the door a crack, “but there’s a black brother here begging audience. He says the matter isurgent. I thought you would want to know.”

  “My door is always open to the Night’s Watch,” Father said.

  the Mountains of the Moon, past high passes and deep chasms to the Vale of Arryn andthe stony Fingers beyond. Above the Vale, the Eyrie stood high and impregnable, its towers reachingfor the sky. There she would find her sister … and, perhaps, some of the answers Ned sought. SurelyLysa knew more than she had dared to put in her letter. She might have the very proof that Nedneeded to bring the Lannisters to ruin, and if it came to war, they would need the Arryns and theeastern lords who owed them service.

  Yet the mountain road was perilous. Shadowcats prowled those passes, rock slides were common,and the mountain clans were lawless brigands, descending from the heights to rob and kill andmelting away like snow whenever the knights rode out from the Vale in search of them. Even JonArryn, as great a lord as any the Eyrie had ever known, had always traveled in strength when hecrossed the mountains. Catelyn’s only strength was one elderly knight, armored in loyalty.

  No, she thought, Riverrun and the Eyrie would have to wait. Her path ran north to Winterfell,where her sons and her duty were waiting for her. As soon as they were safely past the Neck, shecould declare herself to one of Ned’s bannermen, and send riders racing ahead with orders to mount awatch on the kingsroad.

  The rain obscured the fields beyond the crossroads, but Catelyn saw the land clear enough in hermemory. The marketplace was just across the way, and the village a mile farther on, half a hundredwhite cottages surrounding a small stone sept. There would be more now; the summer had been longand peaceful. North of here the kingsroad ran along the Green Fork of the Trident, through fertilevalleys and green woodlands, past thriving towns and stout holdfasts and the castles of the river lords.

  Catelyn knew them all: the Blackwoods and the Brackens, ever enemies, whose quarrels her fatherwas obliged to settle; Lady Whent, last of her line, who dwelt with her ghosts in the cavernous vaultsof Harrenhal; irascible Lord Frey, who had outlived seven wives and filled his twin castles withchildren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and bastards and grandbastards as well. All of themwere bannermen to the Tullys, their swords sworn to the service of Riverrun. Catelyn wondered if thatwould be enough, if it came to war. Her father was the staunchest man who’d ever lived, and she hadno doubt that he would call his banners … but would the banners come? The Darrys and Rygersand Mootons had sworn oaths to Riverrun as well, yet they had fought with Rhaegar Targaryen on theTrident, while Lord Frey had arrived with his levies well after the battle was over, leaving some doubtas to which army he had planned to join (theirs, he had assured the victors solemnly in the aftermath,but ever after her father had called him the Late Lord Frey). It must not come to war, Catelyn thoughtfervently. They must not let it.

  What it precisely was to emigrate, Gwendolen was not called on to explain. Mrs. Davilow was mute, seeing no outlet, and thinking with dread of the collision that might happen when Gwendolen had to meet her uncle and aunt. There was an air of reticence in Gwendolen’s haughty, resistant speeches which implied that she had a definite plan in reserve; and her practical ignorance continually exhibited, could not nullify the mother’s belief in the effectiveness of that forcible will and daring which had held mastery over herself.

  uld he?”

  “There have been worse … but not many.” The knight gave his heels to his mount and started offagain.

  Dany rode close beside him. “Still,” she said, “the common people are waiting for him. MagisterIllyrio says they are sewing dragon banners and praying for Viserys to return from across the narrowsea to free them.”

  “The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends,” Ser Jorahtold her. “It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left inpeace.” He gave a shrug. “They never are.”

  Dany rode along quietly for a time, working his words like a puzzle box. It went against everythingthat Viserys had ever told her to think that the people could care so little whether a true king or ausurper reigned over them. Yet the more she thought on Jorah’s words, the more they rang of truth.

  “What do you pray for, Ser Jorah?” she asked him.

  “Home,” he said. His voice was thick with longing.

  “I pray for home too,” she told him, believing it.

  Ser Jorah laughed. “Look around you then, Khaleesi.”

  But it was not the plains Dany saw then. It was King’s Landing and the great Red Keep that Aegonthe Conqueror had built. It was Dragonstone where she had been born. In her mind’s eye they burnedwith a thousand lights, a fire blazing in every window. In her mind’s eye, all the doors were red.

  “My brother will never take back the Seven Kingdoms,” Dany said. She had known that for a longtime, she realized. She had known it all her life. Only she had never let herself say the words, even ina whisper, but now she said them for Jorah Mormont and all the world to hear.

  Ser Jorah gave her a measuring look. “You think not.”

  “He could not lead an army even if my lord husband gave him one,” Dany said. “He has no coinand the only knight who follows him reviles him as less than a snake. The Dothraki make mock of hisweakness. He will never take us home.”

  “Wise child.” The knight smiled.

  “I am no child,” she told him fiercely. Her heels pressed into the sides of her mount, rousing thesilver to a gallop. Faster and faster she raced, leaving Jorah and Irri and the others far behind, thewarm wind in her hair and the setting sun red on her face. By the time she reached the khalasar, itwas dusk.

  The slaves had erected her tent by the shore of a spring-fed pool. She could hear rough voices fromthe woven grass palace on the hill. Soon there would be laughter, when the men of her khas told thestory of what had happened in the grasses today. By the time Viserys came limping back among them,every man, woman, and child in the camp would know him for a walker. There were no secrets inthe khalasar.

  Dany gave the silver over to the slaves for grooming and entered her tent. It was cool and dimbeneath the silk. As she let the door flap close behind her, Dany saw a finger of dusty red light reachout to touch her dragon’s eggs across the tent. For an instant a thousand droplets of scarlet flameswam before her eyes. She blinked, and they were gone.

  Stone, she told herself. They are only stone, even Illyrio said so, the dragons are all dead. She puther palm against the black egg, fingers spread gently across the curve of the shell. The stone waswarm. Almost hot. “The sun,” Dany whispered. “The sun warmed them as they rode.”

  She commanded her handmaids to prepare her a bath. Doreah built a fire outside the tent, while Irriand Jhiqui fetched the big copper tub—another bride gift—from the packhorses and carried waterfrom the pool. When the bath was steaming, Irri helped her into it and climbed in after her.

  “Have you ever seen a dragon?” she asked as Irri scrubbed her back and Jhiqui sluiced sand fromher hair. She had heard that the first dragons had come from the east, from the Shadow Lands beyondAsshai and the islands of the Jade Sea. Perhaps some were still living there, in realms strange andwild.

  “Dragons are gone, Khaleesi,” Irri said.

  “Dead,” agreed Jhiqui. “Long and long ago.”

  Viserys had told her that the last Targaryen dragons had died no more than a century and a halfago, during the reign of Aegon III, who was called the Dragonbane. That did not seem so long ago toDany. “Everywhere?” she said, disappointed. “Even in the east?” Magic had died in the west whenthe Doom fell on Valyria and the Lands of the Long Summer, and neither spell-forged steel norstormsingers nor dragons could hold it back, but Dany had always heard that the east was different. Itwas said that manticores prowled the islands of the Jade Sea, that basilisks infested the jungles of YiTi, that spellsingers, warlocks, and aeromancers practiced their arts openly in Asshai, whileshadowbinders and bloodmages worked terrible sorceries in the black of night. Why shouldn’t therebe dragons too?

  “No dragon,” Irri said. “Brave men kill them, for dragon terrible evil beasts. It is known.”

  “It is known,” agreed Jhiqui.

  “A trader from Qarth once told me that dragons came from the moon,” blond Doreah said as shewarmed a to

  comparative deficiency, is the ordinary cortège of egoism; and his pet dogs were not the only beings that Grandcourt liked to feel his power over in making them jealous. Hence he was civil enough to exchange several words with Deronda on the terrace about the hunting round Diplow, and even said, “You had better come over for a run or two when the season begins.”

  Lush, not displeased with delay, amused himself very well, partly in gossiping with Sir Hugo and in answering his questions about Grandcourt’s affairs so far as they might affect his willingness to part with his interest in Diplow. Also about Grandcourt’s personal entanglements, the baronet knew enough already for Lush to feel released from silence on a sunny autumn day, when there was nothing more agreeable to do in lounging promenades than to speak freely of a tyrannous patron behind his back. Sir Hugo willingly inclined his ear to a little good-humored scandal, which he was fond of calling traits de moeurs; but he was strict in keeping such communications from hearers who might take them too seriously. Whatever knowledge he had of his nephew’s secrets, he had never spoken of it to Deronda, who considered Grandcourt a pale-blooded mortal, but was far from wishing to hear how the red corpuscles had been washed out of him. It was Lush’s policy and inclination to gratify everybody when he had no reason to the contrary; and the baronet always treated him well, as one of those easy-handled personages who, frequenting the society of gentlemen, without being exactly gentlemen themselves, can be the more serviceable, like the second-best articles of our wardrobe, which we use with a comfortable freedom from anxiety.

  “Well, you will let me know the turn of events,” said Sir Hugo, “if this marriage seems likely to come off after all, or if anything else happens to make the want of money pressing. My plan would be much better for him than burdening Ryelands.”

  “That’s true,” said Lush, “only it must not be urged on him—just placed in his way that the scent may tickle him. Grandcourt is not a man to be always led by what makes for his own interest; especially if you let him see that it makes for your interest too. I’m attached to him, of course. I’ve given up everything else for the sake of keeping by him, and it has lasted a good fifteen years now. He would not easily get any one else to fill my place. He’s a peculiar character, is Henleigh Grandcourt, and it has been growing on him of late years. However, I’m of a constant disposition, and I’ve been a sort of guardian to him since he was twenty; an uncommonly fascinating fellow he was then, to be sure—and could be now, if he liked. I’m attached to him; and it would be a good deal worse for him if he missed me at his elbow.”

  Sir Hugo did not think it needful to express his sympathy or even assent, and perhaps Lush himself did not expect this sketch of his motives to be taken as exact. But how can a man avoid himself as a subject in conversation? And he must make some sort of decent toilet in words, as in cloth and linen. Lush’s listener was not severe: a member of Parliament could allow for the necessities of verbal toilet; and the dialogue went on without any change of mutual estimate.

  However, Lush’s easy prospect of indefinite procrastination was cut off the next morning by Grandcourt’s saluting him with the question,

  “Are you making all the arrangements for our starting by the Paris train?”

  “I didn’t know you meant to start,” said Lush, not exactly taken by surprise.

  “You might have known,” said Grandcourt, looking at the burned length of his cigar, and speaking in that lowered tone which was usual with him when he meant to express disgust and be peremptory. “Just see to everything, will you? and mind no brute gets into the same carriage with us. And leave my P. P. C. at the Mallingers’.”

  In consequence 葡京线上mg they were at Paris the next day; but here Lush was gratified by the proposal or command that he should go straight on to Diplow and see that everything was right, while Grandcourt and the valet remained behind; and it was not until several days later that Lush received the telegram ordering the carriage to the Wanchester station.

  He had used the interim actively, not only in carrying out Grandcourt’s orders about the stud and household, but in learning all he could of Gwendolen, and how things were going on at Offendene. What was the probable effect that the news of the family misfortunes would have on Grandcourt’s fitful obstinacy he felt to be quite incalculable. So far as the girl’s poverty might be an argument that she would accept an offer from him now in spite of any previous coyness, it might remove that bitter 新葡京平台黑久 objection to risk a repulse which Lush divined to be one of Grandcourt’s deterring motives; on the other hand, the certainty of acceptance was just “the sort of thing” to make him lapse hither and thither with no more apparent will than a moth. Lush had had his patron under close observation for many years, and knew him perhaps better than he knew any other subject; but to know Grandcourt was to doubt what he would do in any particular case. It might happen that he would behave with an apparent magnanimity, like the hero of a modern French drama, whose sudden start into moral splendor after much lying and meanness, leaves you little confidence as to any part of his career that may follow the fall of the curtain. Indeed, what attitude would have been more honorable for a final scene than that of declining to seek an heiress for 瑞安市塘下葡京酒店 her money, and determining to marry the attractive girl who had none? But Lush had some general certainties about Grandcourt, and one was that of all inward movements those of generosity were least likely to occur in him. Of what use, however, is a general certainty that an insect will not walk with his head hindmost, when what you need to know is the play of inward stimulus that sends him hither and thither in a network of possible paths? Thus Lush was much at fault as to the probable issue between Grandcourt and Gwendolen, when what he desired was a perfect confidence that they would never be married. He would have consented willingly that Grandcourt should marry an heiress, or that he should marry Mrs. Glasher: in the one match there would have been the immediate abundance that prospective heirship could not supply, in the other there would have been the security of the 2015葡京赌侠全年诗 wife’s gratitude, for Lush had always been Mrs. Glasher’s friend; and that the future Mrs. Grandcourt should not be socially received could not affect his private comfort. He would not have minded, either, that there should be no marriage in question at all; but he felt himself justified in doing his utmost to hinder a marriage with a girl who was likely to bring nothing but trouble to her husband—not to speak of annoyance if not ultimate injury to her husband’s old companion, whose future Mr. Lush earnestly wished to make as easy as possible, considering that he had well deserved such compensation for leading a dog’s life, though that of a dog who enjoyed many tastes undisturbed, and who profited by a large establishment. He wished for himself what he felt to be good, and was not conscious of wishing harm to any one else; unless perhaps it were just now a little harm to the 葡京博彩分红 inconvenient and impertinent Gwendolen. But the easiest-humored of luxury and music, the toad-eater the least liable to nausea, must be expected to have his susceptibilities. And Mr. Lush was accustomed to be treated by the world in general as an apt, agreeable fellow: he had not made up his mind to be insulted by more than one person.

  With this imperfect preparation of a war policy, Lush was awaiting Grandcourt’s arrival, doi

  “Ah, you understand all about his music.”

  “No, indeed,” said Gwendolen, with a light laugh; “it is he who understands all about mine and thinks it pitiable.” Klesmer’s verdict on her singing had been an easier joke to her since he had been struck by her plastik.

  “It is not addressed to the ears of the future, I suppose. I’m glad of that: it suits mine.”

  “Oh, you are very kind. But how remarkably well Miss Arrowpoint looks to-day! She would make quite a fine picture in that gold-colored dress.”

  “Too splendid, don’t you think?”

  “Well, perhaps a little too symbolical—too much like the figure of Wealth in an allegory.”

  This speech of Gwendolen’s had rather a malicious sound, but it was not really more than a bubble of fun. She did not wish Miss Arrowpoint or any one else to be out of the way, believing in her own good fortune even more than in her skill. The belief in both naturally grew stronger as the shooting went on, for she promised to achieve one of the best scores—a success which astonished every one in a new member; and to Gwendolen’s temperament one success determined another. She trod on air, and all things pleasant seemed possible. The hour was enough for her, and she was not obliged to think what she should do next to keep her life at the due pitch.

  “How does the scoring stand, I wonder?” said Lady Brackenshaw, a gracious personage who, adorned with two little girls and a boy of stout make, sat as lady paramount. Her lord had come up to her in one of the intervals of shooting. “It seems to me that Miss Harleth is likely to win the gold arrow.”

  e school, the university, and the hospital have all in turn taken his education out of my hands. My mind must be filled, as well as my heart.” She seized her exquisite instruments, and returned to the nervous system of the bee.

  In course of time, Mr. John Gallilee —“drifting about,” as he said of himself — drifted across the path of science.

  The widowed Mrs. Vere (as exhibited in public) was still a fine woman. Mr. Gallilee admired “that style”; and Mr. Gallilee had fifty thousand pounds. Only a little more, to my lord and my lady, than one year’s income. But, invested at four percent, it added an annual two thousand pounds to Mrs. Vere’s annual one thousand. Result, three thousand a year, encumbered with Mr. Gallilee. On reflection, Mrs. Vere accepted the encumbrance — and reaped her reward. Susan was no longer distinguished as the sister who had her dresses made in Paris; and Mrs. Gallilee was not now subjected to the indignity of getting a lift in Lady Northlake’s carriage.

  What was the history of Robert, during this interval of time? In two words, Robert disgraced himself.

  Taking possession of his country house, the new squire was invited to contribute towards the expense of a pack of hounds kept by subscription in the neighbourhood, and was advised to make acquaintance with his fellow-sportsmen by giving a hunt-breakfast. He answered very politely; but the fact was not to be concealed — the new man refused to encourage hunting: he thought that noble amusement stupid and cruel. For the same reason, he refused to preserve game. A last mistake was left to make, and he made it. After returning the rector’s visit, he

  moment’s pause.

  “It seemed to me that you did not care for dancing,” said Gwendolen. “I thought it might be one of the things you had left off.”

  “Yes, but I have not begun to dance with you,” said Grandcourt. Always there was the same pause before he took up his cue. “You make dancing a new thing, as you make archery.”

  “Is novelty always agreeable?”

  “No, no—not always.”

  “Then I don’t know whether to feel flattered or not. When you had once danced with me there would be no more novelty in it.”

  “On the contrary, there would probably be much more.”

  “That is deep. I don’t understand.”

  “It is difficult to make Miss Harleth understand her power?” Here Grandcourt had turned to Mrs. Davilow, who, smiling gently at her daughter, said,

  “I think she does not generally strike people as slow to understand.”

  “Mamma,” said Gwendolen, in a deprecating tone, “I am adorably stupid, and want everything explained to me—when the meaning is pleasant.”

  “If you are stupid, I admit that stupidity is adorable,” returned Grandcourt, after the usual pause, and without change of tone. But clearly he knew what to say.

  “I begin to think that my cavalier has forgotten me,” Gwendolen observed after a little while. “I see the quadrille is being formed.”

  “He deserves to be renounced,” said Grandcourt.

  “I think he is very pardonable,” said Gwendolen.

  “There must have been some misunderstanding,” said Mrs. Davilow. “Mr. Clintock was too anxious about the engagement to have forgotten it.”

  But now Lady Brackenshaw came up and said, “Miss Harleth, Mr. Clintock has charged me to express to you his deep regret that he was obliged to leave without having the pleasure of dancing with you again. An express came from his father, the archdeacon; something important; he was to go. He was au désespoir.”

  “Oh, he was very good to remember the engagement under the circumstances,” said Gwendolen. “I am sorry he was called away.” It was easy to be politely sorrowful on so felicitous an occasion.

  “Then I can profit by Mr. Clintock’s misfortune?” said Grandcourt. “May I hope that you will let me take his place?”

  “I shall be very happy to dance the next quadrille with you.”

  The appropriateness of the event seemed an augury, and as Gwendolen stood up for the quadrille with Grandcourt, there was a revival in her of the exultation—the sense of carrying everything before her, which she had felt earlier in the day. No man could have walked through the quadrille with more irreproachable ease than Grandcourt; and the absence of all eagerness in his attention to her suited his partner’s taste. She was now convinced that he meant to distinguish her, to mark his admiration of her in a noticeable way; and it began to appear probable that she would have it in her power to reject him, whence there was a pleasure in reckoning up the advantages which would make her rejection splendid, and in giving Mr. Grandcourt his utmost value. It was also agreeable to divine that this exclusive selection of her to dance with, from among all the unmarried ladies present, would attract observation; though she studiously avoided seeing this, and at the end of the quadrille walked away on Grandcourt’s arm as if she had been one of the shortest sighted instead of the longest and widest sighted of mortals. They encountered Miss Arrowpoint, who was standing with Lady Brackenshaw and a group of gentlemen. The heiress looked at Gwendolen invitingly and said, “I hope you will vote with us, Miss Harleth, and Mr. Grandcourt too, though he is not an archer.” Gwendolen and Grandcourt paused to join the group, and found that the voting turned on the project of a picnic archery meeting to be held in Cardell Chase, where the evening entertainment would be more poetic than a ball under chandeliers—a feast of sunset lights along the glades and through the branches and over the solemn tree-tops.

  Gwendolen thought the scheme delightful—equal to playing Robin Hood and Maid Marian: and Mr. Grandcourt, when appealed to a second time, said it was a thing to be done; whereupon Mr. Lush, who stood behind Lady Brackenshaw’s elbow, drew Gwendolen’s notice by saying with a familiar look and tone to Grandcourt, “Diplow would be a good place for the meeting, and more convenient: there’s a fine bit between the oaks toward the north gate.”

  me pains to behave with a regretful affectionateness; but neither of them dared to mention Rex’s name, and Anna, to whom the thought of him was part of the air she breathed, was ill at ease with the lively cousin who had ruined his happiness. She tried dutifully to repress any sign of her changed feeling; but who in pain can imitate the glance and hand-touch of pleasure.

  This unfair resentment had rather a hardening effect on Gwendolen, and threw her into a more defiant temper. Her uncle too might be offended if she refused the next person who fell in love with her; and one day when that idea was in her mind she said,

  “Mamma, I see now why girls are glad to be married—to escape being expected to please everybody but themselves.”

  Happily, Mr. Middleton was gone without having made any avowal; and notwithstanding the admiration for the handsome Miss Harleth, extending perhaps over thirty square miles in a part of Wessex well studded with families whose numbers included several disengaged young men, each glad to seat himself by the lively girl with whom it was so easy to get on in conversation,—notwithstanding these grounds for arguing that Gwendolen was likely to have other suitors more explicit than the cautious curate, the fact was not so.

  Care has been taken not only that the trees should not sweep the stars down, but also that every man who admires a fair girl should not be enamored of her, and even that every man who is enamored should not necessarily declare himself. There are various refined shapes in which the price of corn, known to be potent cause in their relation, might, if inquired into, show why a young lady, perfect in person, accomplishments, and costume, has not the trouble of rejecting many offers; and nature’s order is certainly benignant in not obliging us one and all to be desperately in love with the most admirable mortal we have ever seen. Gwendolen, we know, was far from holding that supremacy in the minds of all observers. Besides, it was but a poor eight months since she had come to Offendene, and some inclinations become manifest slowly, like the sunward creeping of plants.

  In face of this fact that not one of the eligible young men already in the neighborhood had made Gwendolen an offer, why should Mr. Grandcourt be thought of as likely to do what they had left undone?

  Perhaps because he was thought of as still more eligible; since a great deal of what passes for likelihood in the world is simply the reflex of a wish. Mr. and Mrs. Arrowpoint, for example, having no anxiety that Miss Harleth should make a brilliant marriage, had quite a different likelihood in their minds.

  CHAPTER 10.

  1st Gent. What woman should be? Sir, consult the taste

  Of marriageable men. This planet’s store

  In iron, cotton, wool, or chemicals—

  All matter rendered to our plastic skill,

  Is wrought in shapes responsive to demand;

  The market’s pulse makes index high or low,

  By rule sublime. Our daughters must be wives,

  And to the wives must be what men will choose;

  Men’s taste is woman’s test. You mark the phrase?

  ‘Tis good, I think?—the sense well-winged and poised

  With t’s and s’s.

  2nd Gent. Nay, but turn it round;

  Give us the test of taste. A fine menu—

  Is it to-day what Roman epicures

  Insisted that a gentleman must eat

  To earn the dignity of dining well?

  Brackenshaw Park, where the archery meeting was held, looked out from its gentle heights far over the neighboring valley to the outlying eastern downs and the broad, slow rise of cultivated country, hanging like a vast curtain toward the west. The castle which stood on the highest platform of the clustered hills, was built of rough-hewn limnt between them?

  “Was the tall doctor so very interesting?” she ventured to inquire.

  “Not in the least!” He answered as if the subject was disagreeable to him — and yet he returned to it. “By-the-by, did you ever hear Benjulia’s name mentioned, at home in Italy?”

  “Never! Did he know my father and mother?”

  “He says so.”

  “Oh, do introduce me to him!”

  “We must wait a little. He prefers being introduced to the monkey to-day. Where are Miss Minerva and the children?”

  Teresa replied. She pointed to the monkey-house, and then drew Ovid aside. “Take her to see some more birds, and trust me to keep the governess out of your way,” whispered the good creature. “Make love — hot love to her, doctor!”

  In a minute more the cousins were out of sight. How are you to make love to a young girl, after an acquaintance of a day or two? The question would have been easily answered by some men. It thoroughly puzzled Ovid.

  “I am so glad to get back to you!” he said, honestly opening his mind to her. “Were you half as glad when you saw me return?”

  He knew nothing of the devious and serpentine paths by which love finds the way to its ends. It had not occurred to him to approach her with those secret tones and stolen looks which speak for themselves. She answered with the straightforward directness of which he had set the example.

  “I hope you don’t think me insensible to your kindness,” she said. “I am more pleased and more proud than I can tell you.”

  “Proud!” Ovid repeated, not immediately understanding her.

  “Why not?” she asked. “My poor father used to say you would be an honour to the family. Ought I not to be proud, when I find such a man taking so much notice of me?”

  She looked up at him shyly. At that moment, he would have resigned all his prospects of celebrity for the privilege of kissing her. He made another attempt to bring her — in spirit — a little nearer to him.

  “Carmina, do you remember where you first saw me?”

  “How can you ask?— it was in the concert-room. When I saw you there, I remembered passing you in the large Square. It seems a strange coincidence that you should have gone to the very concert that Teresa and I went to by accident.”

  Ovid ran the risk, and made his confession. “It was no coincidence,” he said. “After our meeting in the Square I followed you to the concert.”

  This bold avowal would have confused a less innocent girl. It only took Carmina by surprise.

  “What made you follow us?” she asked.

  Us? Did she suppose he had followed the old woman? Ovid lost no time in setting her right. “I didn’t even see Teresa,” he said. “I followed You.”

  She was silent. What did her silence mean? Was she confused, or was she still at a loss to understand him? That morbid sensitiveness, which was one of the most serious signs of his failing health, was by this time sufficiently irritated to hurry him into extremities. “Did you ever hear,” he asked, “of such a thing as love at first sight?”

  She started. Surprise, confusion, doubt, succeeded each other in rapid changes on her mobile and delicate face. Still silent, she roused her courage, and looked at him.

  If he had returned the look, he would have told the story of his first love without another word to help him. But his shattered nerves unmanned him, at the moment of all others when it was his interest to be bold. The fear that he might have allowed himself to speak too freely — a weakness which would never have misled him in his days of health and strength — kept his eyes on the ground. She looked away again with a quick flush of shame. When such a man as Ovid spoke of love at first sight, what an instance of her own vanity it was to have thought that his mind was dwelling on her! He had kindly lowered himself to the level of a girl’s intelligence, and had been trying to interest her by talking the language of romance. She was so dissatisfied with herself that she made a movement to turn back.

  He was too bitterly disappointed, on his side, to attempt to prolong the interview. A deadly sense of weakness was beginning to overpower him. It was the inevitable result of his utter want of care for himself. After a sleepless night, he had taken a long walk before breakfast; and to these demands on his failing reserves of strength, he had now added the fatigue of dawdling about a garden. Physically and mentally he had no energy left.

  “I didn’t mean it,” he said to Carmina sadly; “I am afraid I have offended you.”

  “Oh, how little you know me,” she cried, “if you think that!”

  This time their eyes met. The truth dawned on her — and he saw it.

  He took her hand. The clammy coldness of his grasp startled her. “Do you still wonder why I f

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