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bornthat hardest of hard masters, Ill
Success. Instead of being a prosperous artist,
known to fame and familiar with the chink of
gold pieces; he was only superintendent of a
provincial government school of design, with
a limited salary and no prospects. The poor
fellow had given up hoping ambitiously for
himself at last, and was looking forward to
his son's future, measuring his strength with
far more accuracy than self-love had ever
suffered him to measure his own. Valentine,
he promised himself, would be a great man
some day.

In the mean time Valentine was a patient
drudging boy who spent whole days in the
school drawing from plaster casts, and
dreaming, who shall say what splendid
dreams of the days to come? He was now
engaged on a Hercules with a vast development
of muscle, in the immediate vicinity
of a mild-eyed quakeress who was copying a
landscape in water-colours. Valentine liked
the companionship of Rachel Myers because
she was fair, pretty, and gentle, but the
glory of the lad's fancy, and the star of his
premature worship, was a young lady with
whom he had never yet exchanged a word.
Most of the pupils who attended the class
were engaged in some task-work by which
they earned a livelihood; but Miss Rosamund
Wilton was a lady of quality, who
drew only for amusement; yet still drew
better than anybody there, except his sister

She came in when the lesson was nearly
half over, and, acknowledging Tom Unwin
with a grave little bow, went straight to her
place in the upper-class, where old Wisp
always placed her easel near Mary Unwin's.

She was a bright beauty. Valentine Unwin,
who read so much sentimental poetry
at home, had made a pretty sonnet upon
her; in which the sun, under the figure of a
lover, was represented as warming the chaste
snows of her fair neck, ripening the rosy
peach of her complexion, caressing the wavy
braids of her hair, and leaving love-tokens of
dead-gold entangled amongst them. After
she came, the powerful Hercules did not
make much progress. Valentine could see the
soft sweeping folds of her dress beyond his
easel, and continued to dwell upon their
graceful undulations until he was startled out
of his reverie by a slight flick on the side of
his head, and his father's voice grumbling in
his ear:

"Is that the way you make studies for
future draperies, sir? No idling. Work

Valentine of sixteen dropped down from
cloudland blushing furiously, and applied
himself with instant diligence to Hercules'
knotty arm.

Rosamund Wilton was painting a group of
flowers from nature, and painting them very
well, although Tom Unwin found fault with
their arrangement, and demonstrated how
their colours would have harmonised and
contrasted better, in other positions.

Miss Craggs, who always kept one ear
open whenever she spoke, heard her ask the
master if he had seen a certain picture which
was then exhibiting in the town; and, when
he said he had not, she also heard her
advise him to lose no time in going, as it was
well worth a visit. From that they passed to
painting and art in general. Rosamund was
no connoisseur, but she spoke intelligently of
what she had seen and what she had learnt
from books; she accepted information and
the results of other people's mature judgment
confidingly, and was, as Tom Unwin
said, always a sensible and pleasant girl to
talk to. She had a simple natural manner,
which was exceedingly captivating, and
there was neither conceit nor affectation about

From her position, Mary Unwin could not
help hearing the conversation of her father
with Miss Wilton, though its subject was
uninteresting. Majolica, Palissy-ware, and
old dragon china which they were discussing,
had no peculiar charm for her; but at length
they diverged to the Spanish school of
painters, and their world-renowned labours.

"I have never seen any Murillo except my
own, but it is very fine," said Miss Wilton;
"my father bought it when the Alburton
Gallery was dispersed, and always regarded
it as the gem of his own collection."

"You possess an authentic Murillo? And
the subject?" asked the master eagerly.

"It is a child Saint John. I shall be very
glad to show it to you, if you will call upon
me." Mary Unwin looked up hastily, and
Miss Wilton caught her eye: "And will you
come too?" she added, addressing her.

"I was thinking of Valentine; it might do
him good to see it," replied Mary, nervously.
Valentine hearing his own name peeped past
his easel.

"Valentine shall even copy it, if he likes,"
said Miss Wilton, with a glance at her young
adorer; who, feigning not to observe her,
immediately eclipsed his crimson face behind
his drawing-board. Mary, for the first time
since Miss Wilton had known her, appeared
pleased. Valentine, and Valentine's happiness,
were all her thought.

"He shall thank you for himself," said Tom
Unwin, smoothing his corrugated brows.
"Valentine, come here!" But Valentine
was profoundly absorbed in Hercules' elbow.
Mary interpreted his shyness, and covered it
by saying: "He will have to be content
with looking at it now; copying it will lie a
work for some future day;" and her father

Old Wisp had been listening and fidgetting
from one foot to the other with anxiety.
Might hehumble disciple of art, its servitor,
washer of pallettes, collector of mahl-sticks,
and general scrub-hope for a glimpse of this
grand picture? As the master went towards