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to her. She thought that if people only knew
how to manage him, and cared to give way
to his little peculiaritiesand we all have
peculiaritieshe would be quite a lamb to
live with!" She added also, " that she saw
through the motive of Mrs. Fitzgerald's advice,
which was to get a rich wife for her son."

The attempt was hopeless. Between folly
and knavery the sterling worth and honesty
of the mother fell dead, and all that she had
done was simply to embroil herself with both
her son and her daughter. Things went on
without her consent pretty much as they
would have done with it, and of all the party
she was the only one who suffered. The
wedding-day came amidst smiles and laughter
from all but her. Even Eveline merged her
personal distaste for Charles in her gratified
ambition, and Mrs. Chesterton was more
pseudo-French, and dressy than ever. Eveline
looked undeniably lovely. The church was
crowded with the Chestertons' friends, all
saying among themselves, " How beautiful she
is!" a few, such as Horace Graham of the
Guards, adding, " and what a fool she is
marrying; " or, "by Jove, what a life she
will lead that muff!"

After the honeymoonthat prescribed
season of legal blissMr. and Mrs. Charles
Fitzgerald came back to London. She, radiant
with smiles and happiness, at escaping from
the tedium of her country life; where she
had been bored to death; where she had
yawned all day, and where she had slept when
she was not yawning. He, saddened to think
that his green lanes must be abandoned, his
evening walks in the moonlight in the wood
foregone, and his young dream of quiet
happiness exchanged for the turmoil called
pleasure. Yet when in town he found another
pleasure in the happiness of Eveline. For he
had been obliged to confess to himself that she
was often sad and melancholy in the country;
and now it was such a pleasure to see her
dimpling smiles and hear her merry laugh
again. He said she had got tired of Ormsby
Green, because she was away from her mother
she wanted to see her mother; dear child!
she had never left her before; and it was a
very sweet and natural feeling in her, and he
loved her all the more for it.

When they arrived homeMrs. Chesterton's
cottage answering that purpose for the
presentthe first person they met was
Horace Graham, looking more handsome
and impudent than ever. He had called in
by chance, he said; and hearing that " Mrs.
Charles" was expected, he had stayed just to
shake hands with his old friend. Eveline
thanked him very prettily, and then asked
him to spend the evening with them so
engagingly that Charles was fain to second
the invitation, which he did with an awkward
attempt at cordiality that did his powers
of dissimulation no credit. But Horace accepted
the invitation in his off-handed way,
and the evening passed merrily enough; he
singing to Eveline's playing, and Charles
applauding in the middle of bars, and saying,
"but the next verse?" when all was finished.

A house was bought in Belgravia. It
was furnished with extreme elegance, and
did honour to the decorative taste of
Mrs. Chesterton, she having been
extraordinarily active among the upholsterers and
decorators. With their new house began the
young couple's new life. Charles bore his
part in the whirlpool that it became bravely;
and, for the first three months, was all that
the most dissipated woman of the world
could require in the most complaisant of
husbands. A strange kind of peace rested
between the married pair. Strange, because
unnaturalthe violent binding together of
two opposing natures: the lurid stillness that
glides on before a storm: a peace that was
not the peace of love, nor of sympathy, nor of
respect; that was the peace of indecision, the
peace of ignorance, the peace of fear, and
worst of all, the peace of slavery.

Mrs. Fitzgerald was in the country, brooding
mournfully over the angry silence of her
son; for he had not yet forgiven her
interference in his marriage. But she would not
understand it thus, and wrote often to him and
to Eveline grave, kind, earnest letters; speaking
much to her of her son's goodness, and
susceptibility of nature, and feeling sure that
Eveline was all that a fond mother could wish
in the wife of a son. At last Eveline no
longer read the letters; she threw them aside,
crying, " The tiresome old woman! as if I did
not know every word of her sermon beforehand!"
And saying this before her husband
too, from whom she did not care to hide her
open contempt of his mother. Indeed,
emboldened by his timid compliance with all
her wishes, and his weak approval of all her
actions, she cared to hide very little that was
disagreeable; and more than once startled
him with exhibitions of temper and of
coldness. Charles was fretted at his wife's
indifference, fretted at Horace Graham's
constant presence, and at the undisguised
good understanding that existed between him
and Eveline; fretted at Mrs. Chesterton's
contemptuous manner of interfering in his
household arrangements, and at her assertion
of motherly rights superior and opposed to
his own, over his wife; fretted at the constant
round of dissipation in which they
lived, and at the breaking up of all his fairy-
castles of bliss and quiet; fretted at this, and
at that, and at everything, and in the fair
way of falling seriously ill with some brain
or nervous affection.

"You will not go to the ball to-night, Evy?"
he said one day, in a timid but querulous
voice, flinging himself wearily on a sofa. They
had been married about four months, and
were very unhappy in secret; although nothing
had been said or done openly.

"Why not, Charles?" asked his wife, coldly.

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