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and the life of that to come, which it is the true work of the statesman, the philosopher, the poet, the artist, the philanthropist to restore. As to Cunliff, while the very thought of hoping or caring for aught personal was simply in its present state revolting, he found himself drawn irresistibly to hope and care for others; and note with wonder how all his wanderings seemed somehow or other to lead finally to this.
He summed up the results of his life, having first asked if he could do it truly, that is, justly and inexorably.
In the light, whether lurid or pure, of those facts, he studied his own character-what it had been, what it should be.
Then he scanned narrowly his aspirations, and the quality of his own powers to realize them, if indeed he were about to realize anything.
Finally he asked himself—Could he thenceforward consecrate his life, fortune, and whatever of health, heart, strength, and ability God might have given, or have left him, to the service of his poorer countrymen, at a moment when it seemed to him that a social revolution impended, of the gravest-possibly of the grandest-character.
To quiet the anxieties of his kind landlady, as well as from apprehension of her gossip, he admitted her to his room with food, and ate.
The next few days were spent in silent, continuous study and labour. Many letters were written, much business got through. And, although he went no more abroad than he could help (especially when he found how popular the episode of the old woman had made him), still he would walk out occasionally ; and it was noticed by those who had known him ever since his first arrival among them a year ago, how changed he was in manner. He spoke to no one of his own motion, but if spoken to there was a strange gentleness in the tone of the voice, a pleasant, though sad light in the eye, which threatened even to place him among the simple-hearted Welsh on a pedestal high and peculiar as Hirell's own; but of which he knew nothing, suspected nothing.
All this while he had been discussing within himself a certain act of duty which it seemed to him he ought to perform, and just one week after the collapse of all his hopes and worldly strength, he set out for Dola' Hudol. He had heard that both Mr. and Mrs. Rhys were at the house, and that the lady was very ill.
MIDNIGHT AND DAWN. The first thing that made Elias aware of Sir John's departure, was the opening and gentle closing of the house door.
At that sound he and Kezia looked at each other with eyes full of tender fear, then went together to the room, where they found Hirell with her arm and face on the bureau, white and senseless.
Together they revived her and carried her up to her own room.
When Robert came back from the Abbey Farm there was an almost deathly silence in the house. He found no one in the kitchen, and as he sat there waiting he felt himself punished for the joy that had almost made him tremble when he had seen Sir John Cunliff crossing the little bridge at Capel Illtyd. He had seen him do this as he stood at the refectory door giving his opinion on the merits of a new horse the master of the Abbey Farm had just brought home from Dolgarrog fair, Then Robert when he saw him, was assured of the truth; and it had amazed him and filled him with a strong irrepressible hope, and a gladness of which he was too much ashamed to go back at once to Bod Elian. He could not stay at the Abbey Farm, his excitement was too great to be concealed; so he went for a walk on Moel Mawr, and did not return till he was thoroughly tired, and his shoulder was paining him, and forcing him to think more of Cunliff and less of his own suddenly revived hopes.
When he found himself so long alone in the lower part of the house, and heard no sound anywhere about it, his heart sank within him. He had so schooled himself, his look, his voice, before he entered, that his untimely joy might not show itself too plainly, and then there he sat alone, his hopes growing fainter and fainter, his fears stronger, as the slow minutes passed.
At last, nearly an hour after he had been in, Kezia came down stairs.
The first thing he saw her do, as he lifted his eyes in almost timid inquiry to her face, was by no means comforting. She sat down in a chair, and putting her apron to her eyes, had,
what she afterwards called, a good cry; but to poor Robert it was a bad and ominous one.
He sat looking perplexed and anxious till it occurred to him that the poor woman had probably touched nothing since their early breakfast, and now it was past four.
She had brought a little tray with tea on it downstairs with her, and seeing this on the dresser, Robert made use of his housekeeping experiences at the hooded house to pour Kezia out a cup of tea, which he brought her as gallantly as if she had been one of the finest young ladies in one of the best drawing-rooms at Reculcester.
'Indeed now, Master Robert. Only to think !' said Kezia as he took her apron out of her hand, and put the cup of tea into it; then, after sipping it, she added :
'It's just that beautiful I'll take it up to Elias, for not a bit or sup, Master Robert, has passed his lips since breakfast.'
'Nor yours either. You'll do no such thing,' said Robert, laying his hand on her shoulder. "You shall take him some afterwards. Drink this yourself, and here's some cake in niy pocket Cicely Lloyd sent for you.'
Sitting on the edge of the high table, he watched her in silence a minute or two, then said:
Is it very sad up there, Kezia ? '
Oh, Master Robert, her suffering is very sad to see. She has given him up: you know that she has vowed she will never marry him?
And now, Kezia, now you think the act is costing her-her life perhaps ? Is it not, Kezia ?'.
Oh the poor lamb!' cried Kezia, setting down her cup and resuming the apron, 'to see her on her knees, Master Robert, to hear her, ever since she came to from her faint, calling herself the cause of all her father's troubles, and asking forgiveness for all her false pride, and I can't tell you all. Her father has prayed with her, and comforted her now, a bit, and they are sitting talking beautiful to hear, Master Robert. But oh, she is that white and cold! and when we try to make her lie down she says she cannot rest till her heart is more at peace.'
"Yes, it will kill her, Kezia, don't you feel it will kill her?' said Robert, almost fiercely; then in voice suddenly softened, he said, as he took her hand : . Kezia, I am nothing now, of course. I may do nothing, may not see her, perhaps, for many days, may I?'
Robert had always been a great favourite of Kezia's, and now when he stood looking her 'through and through' as she said, his eyes questioning her so much more beseechingly and wistfully than his lips had done, she was moved a second time to use Elias's confidence in her in a manner with which he would certainly not have been pleased.
Oh, Master Robert, you must not expect things to be different-not yet, if erer,' said Kezia. 'Iought not to tell you, but I would not have you hoping with that hope that maketli the heart sick. They have talked about you, Master Robert. Her father asked her in their talk how her heart was towards you, and she cried very much, and called herself ungrateful, but begged and prayed of us to let her stay with us, and say no more about you, and she knew you would find one more deserving, and all that. Oh, Robert, the truth is, she feels her hoart is broken.' .
• Thank you, Kezia; I will keep all this a secret, and I will go away to-morrow. I'll cause her no distress—God forbid I should do that if I cannot comfort her—which I would cut off my right hand to do.'
Ah, Master Robert, you have been faithful to her, and always so tender in saving her any pain, the Lord will reward you at His own time-in His own way.
She went up then to Hirell's room, and Elias came down.
Robert and he did not speak; but Robert when he came in set a chair for him, and waited upon him with a woman's care and gentleness. He was filled with gratitude too deep for words for what Elias had tried to do for him—too deep for words even if he had not been compelled to be silent for Kezia's sake. He was so surprised, too; for he had little thought that Hirell's father considered him so worthy of her as to be induced to overlook the differences of their religion, though he certainly knew Robert was not one to interfere with Hirell's faith.
Elias was in a very silent and absorbed mood when he came down, and did not speak for a long time or take any apparent heed of Robert's attention; but when at last he awoke from his sorrowful oblivionsness to the fact that he was eating food of which he stood in great need and was being waited upon and supplied with every comfort, and saw, too, Robert's own dainty wool-worked slippers on his feet-he looked up at Robert, then down at the slippers, then at the table, and the toast cut and buttered on his plate, and then he turned his eyes again on the
handsome, subdued face bending down near the fire, and gazed upon it with a look of deep, solemn regret and sorrow. Robert felt rather than saw the look, and understood it to mean-'My lad, thy fate is fixed. I cannot alter it.' He understood it so well that he felt he should make some reply to it, but all the reply he could make was to answer Elias's gaze with a look manly and cheery, and a smile shortlived as lightning, but it made Elias's eyes glisten as he withdrew them.
He spent the rest of the evening at his daughter's side at the request of Robert; who made Kezia tell him all there was to see to indoors, and who did ever so much more than was necessary, or than Elias would have approved of his doing on a Sunday evening, bad he known.
Kezia and Elias never once left Hirell alone till prayer-time, and then when they and Robert were on their knees, came a cry of wild restlessness and pain
It thrilled Elias to his heart's core, but he would not rise till his prayer was ended. But Robert could not bear it-could not have her call left a second unanswered. He rose and crept up to the foot of the stairs and called softly, but with his whole heart's love and yearning breathing in his voice,
“Hirell, dear Hirell, what is it ? He is coming—he is coming instantly.'
It was not till the middle of the night when he had heard Kezia go from Hirell to her own room and Elias leave his second watch beside his daughter, it was not till then, when the house was very still and he found himself yet sitting cold and reluctant to move in the great kitchen, that Robert knew to the full how bitter his disappointment was to him.
He felt like a man who sees himself being fast overtaken by a black devouring tide, from which he tries vainly to escape. His life had so little fitted him to know how to endure a prospect of long years of joylessness and hopelessness, such as he saw before him, that he felt himself to-night rebelling against fate like a passionate coward, as he called himself. Other men had to face such things, and why should not he ? And yet ho felt as if he would rather that the wound in his shoulder should open afresh, and let him bleed to death-or that he should fall from the Major's coach on his way to Llapsaintfraid, over Criba Ban, and be dashed to pieces in some slate quarry-or come to