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you here?" I asked. "Does Mr. Fairlie

Marian suspended the question on my lips,
by telling me that Mr Fairlie was dead. He
had been struck by paralysis, and had never
rallied after the shock. 'Mr. Kyrle had
informed them of his death, and had advised them
to proceed immediately to Limmeridge House.

Some dim perception of a great change
dawned on my mind. Laura spoke before I had
quite realised it. She stole close to me, to
enjoy the surprise which was still expressed in
my face.

"My darling Walter," she said, "must we
really account for our boldness in coming here?
I am afraid, love, I can only explain it by breaking
through our rule, and referring to the past."

"There is not the least necessity for doing
anything of the kind," said Marian. "We can
be just as explicit, and much more interesting,
by referring to the future." She rose; and
held up the child, kicking and crowing in her
arms. "Do you know who this is, Walter?"
she asked, with bright tears of happiness
gathering in her eyes.

"Even my bewilderment has its limits," I
replied. "I think I can still answer for knowing
my own child."

"Child!" she exclaimed, with all her easy
gaiety of old times. "Do you talk in that
familiar manner of one of the landed gentry of
England? Are you aware, when I present this
august baby to your notice, in whose presence
you stand? Evidently not! Let me make two
eminent personages known to one another: Mr.
Walter Hartrightthe Heir of Limmeridge"

So she spoke. In writing those last words,
I have written all. The pen falters in my hand;
the long, happy labour of many months is over!
Marian was the good angel of our liveslet
Marian end our Story.



BORN of the Sea on a rocky coast
    Was old King Hake,
Where inner fire and outer frost
    Brave virtue make!
He was a hero in the old
    Blood-letting days;
An iron hero of Norse mould,
    And warring ways.
He lived according to the light
    That lighted him;
Then strode into the eternal night,
    Resolved and grim.
His grip was stern for free sword play,
    When men were mown;
His feet were roughshod for the day
    Of treading down.
When angry, out the blood would start
    With old King Hake;
Not sneak in dark caves of the heart,
    Where curls the snake,
And secret murder's hiss is heard
    Ere the deed be done.
He wove no web of wile and word;
    He bore with none.
When sharp within its sheath asleep
    Lay his good sword,
He held it royal work to keep
    His kingly word.
A man of valour, bloody and wild,
    In Viking need;
And yet of firelight feeling mild
    As honey-mead.

Once in his youth, from farm to farm,
    Collecting scatt,
He gathered gifts and welcomes warm;
    And one night sat,
With hearts all happy for his throne
    Wishing no higher
Where peasant faces merrily shone
    Across the fire.
Their Braga-bowl was handed round
    By one fair girl:
The Sea-King looked and thought, " I've found
    My hidden pearl."
Her wavy hair was golden fair,
    With sunbeams curled;
Her eyes clear blue as heaven, and there
    Lay his new world.
He drank out of the mighty horn,
    Strong, stinging stuff;
Then wiped his manly mouth unshorn
    With hand as rough,
And kissed her; drew her to his side,
    With loving mien,
Saying, "If you will make her a Bride,
    I'll make her a Queen."
And round her waist she felt an arm,
    For, in those days,
A waist could feel: 'twas lithe and warm,
    And wore no stays.
"How many brave deeds have you done?"
    She asked her wooer,
Counting the arm's gold rings: they won
    One victory more.
The blood of joy looked rich and red
    Out of his face;
And to his smiling strength he wed
    Her maiden grace.
'Twas thus King Hake struck royal root
    In homely ground;
And healthier buds with goodlier fruit
    His branches crowned.

But Hake could never bind at home
    His spirit free;
It grew familiar with the foam
    Of many a sea;
A rare good blade whose way was rent
    In many a war,
And wore no gem for ornament
    But notch and scar.
In day of battle and hour of strife,
    Cried Old King Hake:
"Kings live for honour, not long life."
    Then would he break
Right through their circle of shields, to reach
    Some chief of a race
That never yielded ground, but each
    Died in his place.
There the old Norseman stood up tall
    Above the rest;
Mainmast of battle, head of all,
    They saw his crest
Toss, where the war-wave reared, and rode
    O'er mounds of dead,