鈥榃hat I consider one of my most valuable possessions, and therefore send to my beloved Laura, to whom it will recall past days.鈥? 鈥淲e will, we will; our faces shall be the first to gladden his eyes as he comes out, and our voices the first to exhort him to return to the paths of virtue.鈥? Ernest is as fond of music as ever, perhaps more so, and of late years has added musical composition to the other irons in his fire. He finds it still a little difficult, and is in constant trouble through getting into the key of sharp after beginning in the key of and being unable to get back again. Why should you suppose it was to please my husband that Rhoda was invited to the Bodkins? asked Castalia. "I don't see that at all. The girl might have been asked to please Miss Bodkin. I daresay she had heard of her from Mrs. Errington. Mrs. Errington is always raving about her." There were exceptions, of course. Miss McDougall stood up for her friend, as she said, albeit with some admixture of Mrs. Smith's judicial tendency to blame everybody all round, and a personal disposition towards spitefulness. Minnie Bodkin said very little when the subject was mentioned in her presence; but when an opinion was forced from her, she did not deliver it entirely in favour of Algernon. She was sorry for his wife, she said. And nine-tenths of her hearers would retort with raised hands and eyes, that they, for their part, were sorry for the young man, and that they could not understand what dear Minnie found to pity in Mrs. Algernon Errington. "A woman who spies on her husband, my dear! Who condescends to open his letters鈥攈ow a woman can so degrade herself is a mystery to me! And they say she actually follows him about the street at nights鈥攕kulks after him! Oh! it is almost too bad to repeat!" 丁香五月开心婷婷综合 五月婷婷开心缴情网 开心网五月 But the official gentleman declined to enter into the question of Mr. Errington's family connections. "Oh," said he, coldly; "we must hope there will be no question of scandal or disgrace." Then he went away, leaving Algernon in a chaos of doubt as to whether he should, or should not, speak further on the subject to Obadiah Gibbs. Obadiah Gibbs, however, decided the question for him. He came into Algernon's room, closing the door carefully behind him, and asked to speak a few words in private. Algernon was sitting in the luxurious easy-chair which he had had carried into the office for his own use. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon of a dull November day. The single window which looked on to a white-washed court threw a ghastly pallid light on Algernon's face as he sat opposite to it, with his head thrown back against the cushions of the high chair. Mr. Gibbs was touched with compassion at seeing how changed the bright young face looked since he had first been acquainted with it. And yet, in truth, the change was not a very deep one: it was more in colouring, and the expression of the moment, than in any lines which care had graven. Martin and Bigourdin walked home through the narrow, silent streets and over the bridges. There was a high wind sharpened by a breath of autumn which ruffled the dim surface of the water; and overhead a rack of cloud scudded athwart the stars. A light or two far up the gloomy scaur shewed the H?tel des Grottes. Bigourdin waved his hand in the darkness. 鈥淪o I feared,鈥?said Theobald, 鈥渁nd now, Ernest, be good enough to ring the bell.鈥? At length Mrs. Errington slowly nodded her head two or three times, drew a long breath, folded her hands, and, assuming a judicial air, spoke as follows: The only excuse I can make for him is that he was very young 鈥?not yet four-and-twenty-and that in mind as in body, like most of those who in the end come to think for themselves, he was a slow grower. By far the greater part, moreover, of his education had been an attempt, not so much to keep him in blinkers as to gouge his eyes out altogether.