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in fact. He grudged his friend, Mr. Cecil,
such a prize, &c., and so on, in a kind of
tedious rapture. Then came the Doctor's
speech, marked by a certain tenderness
and melting softness. His jewel, his "peril"
so he called herwas being taken from
him. Not that he begrudged her to the
man of her choice, but he warned that man
of her choice, whom he loved as his son, and
whom he would call his son now, that he
must foster and cherish the treasure confided
to him. He must enshrine it in a casket; let
no cold frosts or biting winds come next or
nigh it; take it out into the balmy sun,
and expose it to the soft breezes of summer.
It was not for him to make allusions, but
it was a matter of notoriety that certain
influences had been at work, certain stories
put in circulation d'rogatory to him and to
those nearest and dearest to him. Influences
that had been digging, and mining, and
counterminingwell, he was not going to
rake up the past. There he was himself,
and those he loved dearer than his heart's
blood, a standing refutation of all that had
been said, done, or attempted.

All this time, bride and bridegroom had
been sitting together, according to precedent,
he still looking strangely up and
down the table, scarcely speaking. It was
pronounced very odd, very queer, and
mysterious. It was strange, when being
got to understand that he must stand up
and say something in reply to this drinking
of his health. The Doctor's eyes glanced
at him nervously and anxiously. He
glanced round him still more wildly, and
it was only when Katey's gentle voice
encouraged him that he stood up, and, in a
faint, faltering voice, said he was obliged
to them all, did not feel very well that
morning, and they must excuse him; then
sat down. The Doctor drew a sigh of relief,
and was presently behind him whispering,
filled out something from a little decanter,
and made him swallow it.

All this seemed very strange indeed, and
the good-natured Lord Shipton described it
all at the club with exaggeration. "It
really looked as if they had braced him up,
just to get through, you know."

"Get through!" said Mr. Ridley. "Why
he's drugged the unfortunate lad!"

What was Katey thinking of all this
while? Did any doubts cross her mind?
Not one. To the last she was to have that
marvellous faith in Peter, her own father.
She had not time to think or doubt. Here
was the party all breaking up: cake being
cut with mystic ceremonies; the greys at
the door again; trunks coming down; and
the band braying away outside. The
Doctor had been out among them with
bottles and glasses, stimulating them rather
too much with that wonderful spirit he
received from the west coast of Ireland,
assuring them rather indiscreetly "that the
Queen should never hear a word of it."
Above, Katey was in the hands of her
maidens and friends robing her for travel.
There was a crowd in the street. Now
they were coming down. Cecil Leader,
Esquire, comes out of his parlour, where he
has been closeted with the Doctor, now
quite excited, his eyes dancing in his head,
the Doctor's arm affectionately about him.
They were all crowding down the stairs to
see them off. Colonel Bouchier has half
a dozen old shoes ready. The Doctor takes
his daughter and whispers to her hurriedly:

"My pet of pets, our darling is a little
upset by the day's proceedings; so when
y 'arrive just give him this quieting
medichine, and he'll be all right. Maybe I'll
look in in a day or two."

There is embracing, kissing, hugging.
They have got in. A crack of the whip
and plunging of horses' feet; away they
go; a shower of old shoes. Faces look
after them eagerly and affectionately as
the carriage turns the corner. Then the
Doctor turns abruptly into his study, as if
quite overcome with his parental feelings,
and there, when the door was closed, his
face sank inwards, as though the springs
had suddenly been relaxed, and he
collapsed, as it were, in his chair, uttering a
long and deeply-sustained groan.

"Chief Justice in glory!" he exclaimed
at last, "may Katey, my child, be forgiven
for all this. All I have gone through this
morning was enough to wear my heart out.
And the work's only beginning now!"


THE condition of the Italian peasant is
in some respects worse, and in many
respects better, than that of his English
brother. He has a better soil and a better
climate, to begin with; fewer wants, and a
greater capacity for enjoying life. He is
often a poor man, but seldom a pauper, in
the legal sense of the word. His appearance
in England and elsewhere as an organ-
grinder is not a result of poverty, but of a
desire to escape from the conscription, or
to elude the laws of his native country,
which are very severe in certain cases,