Something was won since her former dismissal of the Earl! Her father gave her a look full of confidence and affection; and made happy by it, she rallied her spirits and said, 'Besides, what a pair it would be! We should be taken for a pretty little under-graduate and his mother!'
'That will not last, my dear,' said Lord Martindale, vexed though smiling at her droll manner. 'You are younger than he.'
'In years, but not in mind,' said Theodora. 'No, no, papa; you have me for life, and it is hard you should be so anxious to get rid of me!'
'I only wish to consult your happiness, my dear child.'
'And that always was in fancying myself necessary,' said Theodora, gaily, though there was a trembling in her voice; and when she went up to her own room, she hid her face in her hands, and felt as if life was very dreary and uninteresting, and as if it was a miserable exile to be sent into the country just now, to have to force cheerful conversation for her mother, and to be wearied with Helen's wild spirits. 'But have I not deserved everything? And after my brother has been spared so far, how can I repine at any selfish trouble?'
Herself, almost heartbroken now, Was bent to take the vestal vow, And shroud, within St. Hilda's gloom, Her wasted hopes and withered bloom.--SCOTT
Violet, when called to consult with her father-in-law in the outer room, felt a sort of blank apprehension and consternation at the idea of being separated from her children; and a moment's reflection satisfied her that in one case at least she might rightly follow the dictates of her own heart. She said that she thought Johnnie could not be spared by his papa.
Lord Martindale's eye followed hers, and through the half-closed door saw Johnnie, sitting on the bed, reading to his father, who listened with amused, though languid attention.