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before three o'clock. The sea winds rush
up this narrow gully from a rocky shore,
and whistle among the chimneys of the
great house, built of hard grey stonean
uninteresting, uncompromising structure,
which has scarcely submitted to take a
lichen unto itself in the course of fifty
years. The chief windows face the north,
and within view of them is no flower or
fountain, or other sight than a great sea of
shaven lawn, with a broad, flat shore of
gravel, unbroken by balustrade or vase.
The vast gardens are half a mile away:
there are orchid-houses, and ferneries, and
acres of glass devoted to all sorts of rare
plants, in which the head-gardener feels a
just pride, and which visitors at Mortlands
are taken to see; but for any living delight
to the eyes of its inmates, these things
might as well be in the tropics. To right
and left, upon the hills for many a mile,
stretch broad oak-woods and rich farm
lands. Sir Andrew Herriesson owns the
property here, far as the eye can reach;
and his ancestors, for some hundred years,
have owned it before him. They are well-
known in the county as a wealthy race, and
proudnot too proud to have added to
their original wealth by intermarriage with
heiresses of a plebeian stockbut too proud
ever to have permitted such marriages,
minus money plus love; too proud ever to
associate on terms of equality with their
poorer neighbours; too proud to be popular
with any sort or condition of people.

Sir Andrew, however, as every one
knows, married for love, or for something
which, in his nature, was understood to
represent that sentiment; in other words,
he married a poor woman. But then,
though poor, she was well born, and well
widowed, her late husband being a scion of
the noble house of Pomeroy, and her own
family "curiously old," as they say of wine.
Instead of money, Mrs. Pomeroy brought
for her portion good looks, graceful
manners, a weak brain, a weaker will, and a
stepdaughter. This stepdaughter, Maud,
at the time of Mrs. Pomeroy's second
marriage, was fifteen. The little money
which Mrs. Pomeroy had was her own.
This child of her husband's, by an early
and imprudent marriage, had not a
farthing. Mr. Pomeroy had originally the
small property of a younger son, but this
he ran through very soon, living upon his
second wife's fortune (fortunately settled
upon herself) which just enabled them to
subsist. The life of the stepmother and
daughter, for four years after the link
between them had snapped, was uncomfortable
in all ways. Mrs. Pomeroy was not
unkind to her stepdaughter. On the
contrary, she wished and tried to do her duty
by the girl. But there was no point of
sympathy between them. The woman was
pliant, vain, and childish; the girl was
wilful, outspoken, and intolerant of all the
shams and subterfuges which straitened
circumstances entailed on a lady of Mrs.
Pomeroy's turn of mind. Then came the
change. The widow married; and,
notwithstanding the pleasant relief from all
anxiety about butchers' and bakers' bills,
which the child had shared with her step-
mother, Maud found that, in the splendid
monotony of Mortlands, she looked back
with bitter regret to the old shifty days
of poverty and freedom which she had
hitherto known.

Maud had not received a good education
in any sense of the word. She had not
even had a fashionable one, the widow's
means having been unable to compass
anything beyond some dancing lessons, and an
old French daily governess, with whom
Maud read aloudan accomplishment
which, curious to say, materially affected
her after life. In other respects she was
ignorant, and she knew her ignorance;
but with that energy which the self-taught
always possess, she set herself to work,
when about sixteen, to repair the omissions
of her childhood, and whatever she applied
herself to she mastered by sheer force of
will. Yet she was not what the world
considers very clever. She had read
comparatively few books, and she never talked
of any she had not read. She never
expressed the cream out of Edinburgh and
Quarterly Reviews, and whipped it into
trifle for conversation. She had a strange
fearlessness in saying what she thought;
but her thoughts were often too unconventional
to be available coin in society, where
the smallest change passes the most readily.
Therefore it often came to pass that she
was silent, and looked upon as stupid or
morose. Her pride was as great as Sir
Andrew's, but it was pride of another kind
pride in which he could have no part or
sympathy. A rejection of all the world's
doctrines and ways of thought, an
intolerance of opinions that would not stand
the test of clear and honest argument, but
took refuge behind expediency and the like;
such was the girl's pride, dauntless and
scornful, and growing more so every day
by reason of her surroundings. She did
not love her stepmother much; Sir Andrew