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been arranged between the two mothers, and Lisette, whose heart had never been touched, and whose simple phlegmatic nature knew of few emotions, had accepted, we cannot say the lover, but the bridegroom, of her mother's choice.
Heinrich had been round to the back of the mill before starting, and had found Rosa in the barn threshing with the men, and he had followed her out of the barn, and had given her a kiss, and had promised to dance with her. And this was one reason why Rosa's tears had flowed; she really loved Heinrich, and for his sake she wished that she were rich like Lisette. But she did not long sit doing nothing ; in a few minutes she was at work again, but her eyes were red, and there were dark rims round them.
You say, you'll marry me, if I be willing.
As You Like it. NESTA GORDON was some years younger than her sister. At the time of Mary's engagement to Frank Stanley, she was a girl in the schoolroom, old enough to be keenly alive to all that was going on, and young enough to be left unnoticed in the midst of more exciting interests. Masters came and went, and praised and blamed; and Nesta, deep in the intricacies of French grammar, or practising ponderous sonatas, or stooping over her water-colours, was supposed to have neither eyes nor ears for the world into which her sister had already entered. But Nesta's thoughts were not always on the task before her. It is true, her sister's world was not her world; she had no desire for the gay dresses of the wedding trousseau which she heard discussed; the balls, and the concerts, and the operas, unknown pleasures as they were to her, had little attraction for her; but she had a secret happiness of her own, which sometimes strangely interfered with schoolroom duties.
'I shall keep Nesta a child,' her mother used to say, “till Mary is married ; she is too young to be brought out at present;' and so they left her as a child to her own devices. It was scarcely strange that at seventeen, she began to feel herself no longer a child ; that suddenly it dawned upon her that there was such a thing as love—not learned second-hand through her sister's engagement—but learned truly and deeply as a treasure she herself possessed.
They had met as boy and girl_Nesta Gordon and Hugh Arden. They had met months before, when Hugh had first arrived in England, with the reputation of a scapegrace, having run away from a desk in his uncle's office at Calcutta, and worked his way home as a sailor on board a merchant vessel. The bait had neither been love of the sea nor friends in England; to escape the weary work that he hated had been the one sole incitement. But he found the work he had chosen was little preferable ; he could have endured the toil and exposure, but the companionship rendered it unbearable. As the son of an old friend, Hugh Arden was received at Mr. Gordon's house, and he and Nesta, having little in common with the rest of the family, were incessantly thrown together. No one questioned what was beneath the rough exterior of the sailor boy—no one guessed the sensitive feelings, the refined mind and the poetic imagination which lay beneath the shy manner and silent ways; no one but Nesta found it out, as the boy and girl wandered about her father's woods, or sat together under the beech trees. Nesta listened to strange stories of scenes and places in other lands, wild stories of his life before the mast on stormy nights, weird tales of wonderful adventures such as she had never dreamed of. Often, too, when all the rest were out, Hugh would steal up into the schoolroom, and Nesta's French exercise would be forgotten as they pored together over volumes which she had never before cared to open. We human beings are not wooden dolls that can be played with; we may have shining hair, and bright eyes in common with them, but that is all ; we have souls to be repelled or attracted, and hearts that beat sometimes when they should not.
Nesta was only seventeen, and she knew nothing of all this ; she only knew what she had learned in the schoolroom from a very strict governess, who had taught her to make wonderful calculations with algebraical letters, and had instructed her in historical lore with the most careful precision, and had read deep books with her on moral subjects, but who had left her in perfect ignorance of the world she was to enter, and in her virtuous discipline had scarcely allowed her the initiation of a harmless novel. Nesta, with her warm childish heart and inexpe