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    Book 6 - Chapter 7

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    Chapter 46
    Previous Chapter
    Philip Re-enters

    The next morning was very wet,--the sort of morning on which male
    neighbors who have no imperative occupation at home are likely to pay
    their fair friends an illimitable visit. The rain, which has been
    endurable enough for the walk or ride one way, is sure to become so
    heavy, and at the same time so certain to clear up by and by, that
    nothing but an open quarrel can abbreviate the visit; latent
    detestation will not do at all. And if people happen to be lovers,
    what can be so delightful, in England, as a rainy morning? English
    sunshine is dubious; bonnets are never quite secure; and if you sit
    down on the grass, it may lead to catarrhs. But the rain is to be
    depended on. You gallop through it in a mackintosh, and presently find
    yourself in the seat you like best,--a little above or a little below
    the one on which your goddess sits (it is the same thing to the
    metaphysical mind, and that is the reason why women are at once
    worshipped and looked down upon), with a satisfactory confidence that
    there will be no lady-callers.

    "Stephen will come earlier this morning, I know," said Lucy; "he
    always does when it's rainy."

    Maggie made no answer. She was angry with Stephen; she began to think
    she should dislike him; and if it had not been for the rain, she would
    have gone to her aunt Glegg's this morning, and so have avoided him
    altogether. As it was, she must find some reason for remaining out of
    the room with her mother.

    But Stephen did not come earlier, and there was another visitor--a
    nearer neighbor--who preceded him. When Philip entered the room, he
    was going merely to bow to Maggie, feeling that their acquaintance was
    a secret which he was bound not to betray; but when she advanced
    toward him and put out her hand, he guessed at once that Lucy had been
    taken into her confidence. It was a moment of some agitation to both,
    though Philip had spent many hours in preparing for it; but like all
    persons who have passed through life with little expectation of
    sympathy, he seldom lost his self-control, and shrank with the most
    sensitive pride from any noticeable betrayal of emotion. A little
    extra paleness, a little tension of the nostril when he spoke, and the
    voice pitched in rather a higher key, that to strangers would seem
    expressive of cold indifference, were all the signs Philip usually
    gave of an inward drama that was not without its fierceness. But
    Maggie, who had little more power of concealing the impressions made
    upon her than if she had been constructed of musical strings, felt her
    eyes getting larger with tears as they took each other's hands in
    silence. They were not painful tears; they had rather something of the
    same origin as the tears women and children shed when they have found
    some protection to cling to and look back on the threatened danger.
    For Philip, who a little while ago was associated continually in
    Maggie's mind with the sense that Tom might reproach her with some
    justice, had now, in this short space, become a sort of outward
    conscience to her, that she might fly to for rescue and strength. Her
    tranquil, tender affection for Philip, with its root deep down in her
    childhood, and its memories of long quiet talk confirming by distinct
    successive impressions the first instinctive bias,--the fact that in
    him the appeal was more strongly to her pity and womanly devotedness
    than to her vanity or other egoistic excitability of her
    nature,--seemed now to make a sort of sacred place, a sanctuary where
    she could find refuge from an alluring influence which the best part
    of herself must resist; which must bring horrible tumult within,
    wretchedness without. This new sense of her relation to Philip
    nullified the anxious scruples she would otherwise have felt, lest she
    should overstep the limit of intercourse with him that Tom would
    sanction; and she put out her hand to him, and felt the tears in her
    eyes without any consciousness of an inward check. The scene was just
    what Lucy expected, and her kind heart delighted in bringing Philip
    and Maggie together again; though, even with all _her_ regard for
    Philip, she could not resist the impression that her cousin Tom had
    some excuse for feeling shocked at the physical incongruity between
    the two,--a prosaic person like cousin Tom, who didn't like poetry and
    fairy tales. But she began to speak as soon as possible, to set them
    at ease.

    "This was very good and virtuous of you," she said, in her pretty
    treble, like the low conversational notes of little birds, "to come so
    soon after your arrival. And as it is, I think I will pardon you for
    running away in an inopportune manner, and giving your friends no
    notice. Come and sit down here," she went on, placing the chair that
    would suit him best, "and you shall find yourself treated mercifully."

    "You will never govern well, Miss Deane," said Philip, as he seated
    himself, "because no one will ever believe in your severity. People
    will always encourage themselves in misdemeanors by the certainty that
    you will be indulgent."

    Lucy gave some playful contradiction, but Philip did not hear what it
    was, for he had naturally turned toward Maggie, and she was looking at
    him with that open, affectionate scrutiny which we give to a friend
    from whom we have been long separated. What a moment their parting had
    been! And Philip felt as if he were only in the morrow of it. He felt
    this so keenly,--with such intense, detailed remembrance, with such
    passionate revival of all that had been said and looked in their last
    conversation,--that with that jealousy and distrust which in diffident
    natures is almost inevitably linked with a strong feeling, he thought
    he read in Maggie's glance and manner the evidence of a change. The
    very fact that he feared and half expected it would be sure to make
    this thought rush in, in the absence of positive proof to the
    contrary.

    "I am having a great holiday, am I not?" said Maggie. "Lucy is like a
    fairy godmother; she has turned me from a drudge into a princess in no
    time. I do nothing but indulge myself all day long, and she always
    finds out what I want before I know it myself."

    "I am sure she is the happier for having you, then," said Philip. "You
    must be better than a whole menagerie of pets to her. And you look
    well. You are benefiting by the change."

    Artificial conversation of this sort went on a little while, till
    Lucy, determined to put an end to it, exclaimed, with a good imitation
    of annoyance, that she had forgotten something, and was quickly out of
    the room.

    In a moment Maggie and Philip leaned forward, and the hands were
    clasped again, with a look of sad contentment, like that of friends
    who meet in the memory of recent sorrow.

    "I told my brother I wished to see you, Philip; I asked him to release
    me from my promise, and he consented."

    Maggie, in her impulsiveness, wanted Philip to know at once the
    position they must hold toward each other; but she checked herself.
    The things that had happened since he had spoken of his love for her
    were so painful that she shrank from being the first to alude to them.
    It seemed almost like an injury toward Philip even to mention her
    brother,--her brother, who had insulted him. But he was thinking too
    entirely of her to be sensitive on any other point at that moment.

    "Then we can at least be friends, Maggie? There is nothing to hinder
    that now?"

    "Will not your father object?" said Maggie, withdrawing her hand.

    "I should not give you up on any ground but your own wish, Maggie,"
    said Philip, coloring. "There are points on which I should always
    resist my father, as I used to tell you. _That_ is one."

    "Then there is nothing to hinder our being friends, Philip,--seeing
    each other and talking to each other while I am here; I shall soon go
    away again. I mean to go very soon, to a new situation."

    "Is that inevitable, Maggie?"

    "Yes; I must not stay here long. It would unfit me for the life I must
    begin again at last. I can't live in dependence,--I can't live with my
    brother, though he is very good to me. He would like to provide for
    me; but that would be intolerable to me."

    Philip was silent a few moments, and then said, in that high, feeble
    voice which with him indicated the resolute suppression of emotion,--

    "Is there no other alternative, Maggie? Is that life, away from those
    who love you, the only one you will allow yourself to look forward
    to?"

    "Yes, Philip," she said, looking at him pleadingly, as if she
    entreated him to believe that she was compelled to this course. "At
    least, as things are; I don't know what may be in years to come. But I
    begin to think there can never come much happiness to me from loving;
    I have always had so much pain mingled with it. I wish I could make
    myself a world outside it, as men do."

    "Now you are returning to your old thought in a new form, Maggie,--the
    thought I used to combat," said Philip, with a slight tinge of
    bitterness. "You want to find out a mode of renunciation that will be
    an escape from pain. I tell you again, there is no such escape
    possible except by perverting or mutilating one's nature. What would
    become of me, if I tried to escape from pain? Scorn and cynicism would
    be my only opium; unless I could fall into some kind of conceited
    madness, and fancy myself a favorite of Heaven because I am not a
    favorite with men."

    The bitterness had taken on some impetuosity as Philip went on
    speaking; the words were evidently an outlet for some immediate
    feeling of his own, as well as an answer to Maggie. There was a pain
    pressing on him at that moment. He shrank with proud delicacy from the
    faintest allusion to the words of love, of plighted love that had
    passed between them. It would have seemed to him like reminding Maggie
    of a promise; it would have had for him something of the baseness of
    compulsion. He could not dwell on the fact that he himself had not
    changed; for that too would have had the air of an appeal. His love
    for Maggie was stamped, even more than the rest of his experience,
    with the exaggerated sense that he was an exception,--that she, that
    every one, saw him in the light of an exception.

    But Maggie was conscience-stricken.

    "Yes, Philip," she said, with her childish contrition when he used to
    chide her, "you are right, I know. I do always think too much of my
    own feelings, and not enough of others',--not enough of yours. I had
    need have you always to find fault with me and teach me; so many
    things have come true that you used to tell me."

    Maggie was resting her elbow on the table, leaning her head on her
    hand and looking at Philip with half-penitent dependent affection, as
    she said this; while he was returning her gaze with an expression
    that, to her consciousness, gradually became less vague,--became
    charged with a specific recollection. Had his mind flown back to
    something that _she_ now remembered,--something about a lover of
    Lucy's? It was a thought that made her shudder; it gave new
    definiteness to her present position, and to the tendency of what had
    happened the evening before. She moved her arm from the table, urged
    to change her position by that positive physical oppression at the
    heart that sometimes accompanies a sudden mental pang.

    "What is the matter, Maggie? Has something happened?" Philip said, in
    inexpressible anxiety, his imagination being only too ready to weave
    everything that was fatal to them both.

    "No, nothing," said Maggie, rousing her latent will. Philip must not
    have that odious thought in his mind; she would banish it from her
    own. "Nothing," she repeated, "except in my own mind. You used to say
    I should feel the effect of my starved life, as you called it; and I
    do. I am too eager in my enjoyment of music and all luxuries, now they
    are come to me."

    She took up her work and occupied herself resolutely, while Philip
    watched her, really in doubt whether she had anything more than this
    general allusion in her mind. It was quite in Maggie's character to be
    agitated by vague self-reproach. But soon there came a violent
    well-known ring at the door-bell resounding through the house.

    "Oh, what a startling announcement!" said Maggie, quite mistress of
    herself, though not without some inward flutter. "I wonder where Lucy
    is."

    Lucy had not been deaf to the signal, and after an interval long
    enough for a few solicitous but not hurried inquiries, she herself
    ushered Stephen in.

    "Well, old fellow," he said, going straight up to Philip and shaking
    him heartily by the hand, bowing to Maggie in passing, "it's glorious
    to have you back again; only I wish you'd conduct yourself a little
    less like a sparrow with a residence on the house-top, and not go in
    and out constantly without letting the servants know. This is about
    the twentieth time I've had to scamper up those countless stairs to
    that painting-room of yours, all to no purpose, because your people
    thought you were at home. Such incidents embitter friendship."

    "I've so few visitors, it seems hardly worth while to leave notice of
    my exit and entrances," said Philip, feeling rather oppressed just
    then by Stephen's bright strong presence and strong voice.

    "Are you quite well this morning, Miss Tulliver?" said Stephen,
    turning to Maggie with stiff politeness, and putting out his hand with
    the air of fulfilling a social duty.

    Maggie gave the tips of her fingers, and said, "Quite well, thank
    you," in a tone of proud indifference. Philip's eyes were watching
    them keenly; but Lucy was used to seeing variations in their manner to
    each other, and only thought with regret that there was some natural
    antipathy which every now and then surmounted their mutual good-will.
    "Maggie is not the sort of woman Stephen admires, and she is irritated
    by something in him which she interprets as conceit," was the silent
    observation that accounted for everything to guileless Lucy. Stephen
    and Maggie had no sooner completed this studied greeting than each
    felt hurt by the other's coldness. And Stephen, while rattling on in
    questions to Philip about his recent sketching expedition, was
    thinking all the more about Maggie because he was not drawing her into
    the conversation as he had invariably done before. "Maggie and Philip
    are not looking happy," thought Lucy; "this first interview has been
    saddening to them."

    "I think we people who have not been galloping," she said to Stephen,
    "are all a little damped by the rain. Let us have some music. We ought
    to take advantage of having Philip and you together. Give us the duet
    in 'Masaniello'; Maggie has not heard that, and I know it will suit
    her."

    "Come, then," said Stephen, going toward the piano, and giving a
    foretaste of the tune in his deep "brum-brum," very pleasant to hear.

    "You, please, Philip,--you play the accompaniment," said Lucy, "and
    then I can go on with my work. You _will_ like to play, sha'n't you?"
    she added, with a pretty, inquiring look, anxious, as usual, lest she
    should have proposed what was not pleasant to another; but with
    yearnings toward her unfinished embroidery.

    Philip had brightened at the proposition, for there is no feeling,
    perhaps, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find
    relief in music,--that does not make a man sing or play the better;
    and Philip had an abundance of pent-up feeling at this moment, as
    complex as any trio or quartet that was ever meant to express love and
    jealousy and resignation and fierce suspicion, all at the same time.

    "Oh, yes," he said, seating himself at the piano, "it is a way of
    eking out one's imperfect life and being three people at once,--to
    sing and make the piano sing, and hear them both all the while,--or
    else to sing and paint."

    "Ah, there you are an enviable fellow. I can do nothing with my
    hands," said Stephen. "That has generally been observed in men of
    great administrative capacity, I believe,--a tendency to predominance
    of the reflective powers in me! Haven't you observed that, Miss
    Tulliver?"

    Stephen had fallen by mistake into his habit of playful appeal to
    Maggie, and she could not repress the answering flush and epigram.

    "I _have_ observed a tendency to predominance," she said, smiling; and
    Philip at that moment devoutly hoped that she found the tendency
    disagreeable.

    "Come, come," said Lucy; "music, music! We will discuss each other's
    qualities another time."

    Maggie always tried in vain to go on with her work when music began.
    She tried harder than ever to-day; for the thought that Stephen knew
    how much she cared for his singing was one that no longer roused a
    merely playful resistance; and she knew, too, that it was his habit
    always to stand so that he could look at her. But it was of no use;
    she soon threw her work down, and all her intentions were lost in the
    vague state of emotion produced by the inspiring duet,--emotion that
    seemed to make her at once strong and weak; strong for all enjoyment,
    weak for all resistance. When the strain passed into the minor, she
    half started from her seat with the sudden thrill of that change. Poor
    Maggie! She looked very beautiful when her soul was being played on in
    this way by the inexorable power of sound. You might have seen the
    slightest perceptible quivering through her whole frame as she leaned
    a little forward, clasping her hands as if to steady herself; while
    her eyes dilated and brightened into that wide-open, childish
    expression of wondering delight which always came back in her happiest
    moments. Lucy, who at other times had always been at the piano when
    Maggie was looking in this way, could not resist the impulse to steal
    up to her and kiss her. Philip, too, caught a glimpse of her now and
    then round the open book on the desk, and felt that he had never
    before seen her under so strong an influence.

    "More, more!" said Lucy, when the duet had been encored. "Something
    spirited again. Maggie always says she likes a great rush of sound."

    "It must be 'Let us take the road,' then," said Stephen,--"so suitable
    for a wet morning. But are you prepared to abandon the most sacred
    duties of life, and come and sing with us?"

    "Oh, yes," said Lucy, laughing. "If you will look out the 'Beggar's
    Opera' from the large canterbury. It has a dingy cover."

    "That is a great clue, considering there are about a score covers here
    of rival dinginess," said Stephen, drawing out the canterbury.

    "Oh, play something the while, Philip," said Lucy, noticing that his
    fingers were wandering over the keys. "What is that you are falling
    into?--something delicious that I don't know."

    "Don't you know that?" said Philip, bringing out the tune more
    definitely. "It's from the 'Sonnambula'--'Ah! perchè non posso
    odiarti.' I don't know the opera, but it appears the tenor is telling
    the heroine that he shall always love her though she may forsake him.
    You've heard me sing it to the English words, 'I love thee still.'"

    It was not quite unintentionally that Philip had wandered into this
    song, which might be an indirect expression to Maggie of what he could
    not prevail on himself to say to her directly. Her ears had been open
    to what he was saying, and when he began to sing, she understood the
    plaintive passion of the music. That pleading tenor had no very fine
    qualities as a voice, but it was not quite new to her; it had sung to
    her by snatches, in a subdued way, among the grassy walks and hollows,
    and underneath the leaning ash-tree in the Red Deeps. There seemed to
    be some reproach in the words; did Philip mean that? She wished she
    had assured him more distinctly in their conversation that she desired
    not to renew the hope of love between them, _only_ because it clashed
    with her inevitable circumstances. She was touched, not thrilled by
    the song; it suggested distinct memories and thoughts, and brought
    quiet regret in the place of excitement.

    "That's the way with you tenors," said Stephen, who was waiting with
    music in his hand while Philip finished the song. "You demoralize the
    fair sex by warbling your sentimental love and constancy under all
    sorts of vile treatment. Nothing short of having your heads served up
    in a dish like that mediæval tenor or troubadour, would prevent you
    from expressing your entire resignation. I must administer an
    antidote, while Miss Deane prepares to tear herself away from her
    bobbins."

    Stephen rolled out, with saucy energy,--

    "Shall I, wasting in despair,
    Die because a woman's fair?"

    and seemed to make all the air in the room alive with a new influence.
    Lucy, always proud of what Stephen did, went toward the piano with
    laughing, admiring looks at him; and Maggie, in spite of her
    resistance to the spirit of the song and to the singer, was taken hold
    of and shaken by the invisible influence,--was borne along by a wave
    too strong for her.

    But, angrily resolved not to betray herself, she seized her work, and
    went on making false stitches and pricking her fingers with much
    perseverance, not looking up or taking notice of what was going
    forward, until all the three voices united in "Let us take the road."

    I am afraid there would have been a subtle, stealing gratification in
    her mind if she had known how entirely this saucy, defiant Stephen was
    occupied with her; how he was passing rapidly from a determination to
    treat her with ostentatious indifference to an irritating desire for
    some sign of inclination from her,--some interchange of subdued word
    or look with her. It was not long before he found an opportunity, when
    they had passed to the music of "The Tempest." Maggie, feeling the
    need of a footstool, was walking across the room to get one, when
    Stephen, who was not singing just then, and was conscious of all her
    movements, guessed her want, and flew to anticipate her, lifting the
    footstool with an entreating look at her, which made it impossible not
    to return a glance of gratitude. And then, to have the footstool
    placed carefully by a too self-confident personage,--not _any_
    self-confident personage, but one in particular, who suddenly looks
    humble and anxious, and lingers, bending still, to ask if there is not
    some draught in that position between the window and the fireplace,
    and if he may not be allowed to move the work-table for her,--these
    things will summon a little of the too ready, traitorous tenderness
    into a woman's eyes, compelled as she is in her girlish time to learn
    her life-lessons in very trivial language. And to Maggie such things
    had not been every-day incidents, but were a new element in her life,
    and found her keen appetite for homage quite fresh. That tone of
    gentle solicitude obliged her to look at the face that was bent toward
    her, and to say, "No, thank you"; and nothing could prevent that
    mutual glance from being delicious to both, as it had been the evening
    before.

    It was but an ordinary act of politeness in Stephen; it had hardly
    taken two minutes; and Lucy, who was singing, scarcely noticed it. But
    to Philip's mind, filled already with a vague anxiety that was likely
    to find a definite ground for itself in any trivial incident, this
    sudden eagerness in Stephen, and the change in Maggie's face, which
    was plainly reflecting a beam from his, seemed so strong a contrast
    with the previous overwrought signs of indifference, as to be charged
    with painful meaning. Stephen's voice, pouring in again, jarred upon
    his nervous susceptibility as if it had been the clang of sheet-iron,
    and he felt inclined to make the piano shriek in utter discord. He had
    really seen no communicable ground for suspecting any ususual feeling
    between Stephen and Maggie; his own reason told him so, and he wanted
    to go home at once that he might reflect coolly on these false images,
    till he had convinced himself of their nullity. But then, again, he
    wanted to stay as long as Stephen stayed,--always to be present when
    Stephen was present with Maggie. It seemed to poor Philip so natural,
    nay, inevitable, that any man who was near Maggie should fall in love
    with her! There was no promise of happiness for her if she were
    beguiled into loving Stephen Guest; and this thought emboldened Philip
    to view his own love for her in the light of a less unequal offering.
    He was beginning to play very falsely under this deafening inward
    tumult, and Lucy was looking at him in astonishment, when Mrs.
    Tulliver's entrance to summon them to lunch came as an excuse for
    abruptly breaking off the music.

    "Ah, Mr. Philip!" said Mr. Deane, when they entered the dining-room,
    "I've not seen you for a long while. Your father's not at home, I
    think, is he? I went after him to the office the other day, and they
    said he was out of town."

    "He's been to Mudport on business for several days," said Philip; "but
    he's come back now."

    "As fond of his farming hobby as ever, eh?"

    "I believe so," said Philip, rather wondering at this sudden interest
    in his father's pursuits.

    "Ah!" said Mr. Deane, "he's got some land in his own hands on this
    side the river as well as the other, I think?"

    "Yes, he has."

    "Ah!" continued Mr. Deane, as he dispensed the pigeonpie, "he must
    find farming a heavy item,--an expensive hobby. I never had a hobby
    myself, never would give in to that. And the worst of all hobbies are
    those that people think they can get money at. They shoot their money
    down like corn out of a sack then."

    Lucy felt a little nervous under her father's apparently gratuitous
    criticism of Mr. Wakem's expenditure. But it ceased there, and Mr.
    Deane became unusually silent and meditative during his luncheon.
    Lucy, accustomed to watch all indications in her father, and having
    reasons, which had recently become strong, for an extra interest in
    what referred to the Wakems, felt an unsual curiosity to know what had
    prompted her father's questions. His subsequent silence made her
    suspect there had been some special reason for them in his mind.

    With this idea in her head, she resorted to her usual plan when she
    wanted to tell or ask her father anything particular: she found a
    reason for her aunt Tulliver to leaving the dining-room after dinner,
    and seated herself on a small stool at her father's knee. Mr. Deane,
    under those circumstances, considered that he tasted some of the most
    agreeable moments his merits had purchased him in life,
    notwithstanding that Lucy, disliking to have her hair powdered with
    snuff, usually began by mastering his snuff-box on such occasions.

    "You don't want to go to sleep yet, papa, _do_ you?" she said, as she
    brought up her stool and opened the large fingers that clutched the
    snuff-box.

    "Not yet," said Mr. Deane, glancing at the reward of merit in the
    decanter. "But what do _you_ want?" he added, pinching the dimpled
    chin fondly,--"to coax some more sovereigns out of my pocket for your
    bazaar? Eh?"

    "No, I have no base motives at all to-day. I only want to talk, not to
    beg. I want to know what made you ask Philip Wakem about his father's
    farming to-day, papa? It seemed rather odd, because you never hardly
    say anything to him about his father; and why should you care about
    Mr. Wakem's losing money by his hobby?"

    "Something to do with business," said Mr. Deane, waving his hands, as
    if to repel intrusion into that mystery.

    "But, papa, you always say Mr. Wakem has brought Philip up like a
    girl; how came you to think you should get any business knowledge out
    of him? Those abrupt questions sounded rather oddly. Philip thought
    them queer."

    "Nonsense, child!" said Mr. Deane, willing to justify his social
    demeanor, with which he had taken some pains in his upward progress.
    "There's a report that Wakem's mill and farm on the other side of the
    river--Dorlcote Mill, your uncle Tulliver's, you know--isn't answering
    so well as it did. I wanted to see if your friend Philip would let
    anything out about his father's being tired of farming."

    "Why? Would you buy the mill, papa, if he would part with it?" said
    Lucy, eagerly. "Oh, tell me everything; here, you shall have your
    snuff-box if you'll tell me. Because Maggie says all their hearts are
    set on Tom's getting back the mill some time. It was one of the last
    things her father said to Tom, that he must get back the mill."

    "Hush, you little puss," said Mr. Deane, availing himself of the
    restored snuff-box. "You must not say a word about this thing; do you
    hear? There's very little chance of their getting the mill or of
    anybody's getting it out of Wakem's hands. And if he knew that we
    wanted it with a view to the Tulliver's getting it again, he'd be the
    less likely to part with it. It's natural, after what happened. He
    behaved well enough to Tulliver before; but a horsewhipping is not
    likely to be paid for with sugar-plums."

    "Now, papa," said Lucy, with a little air of solemnity, "will you
    trust me? You must not ask me all my reasons for what I'm going to
    say, but I have very strong reasons. And I'm very cautious; I am,
    indeed."

    "Well, let us hear."

    "Why, I believe, if you will let me take Philip Wakem into our
    confidence,--let me tell him all about your wish to buy, and what it's
    for; that my cousins wish to have it, and why they wish to have it,--I
    believe Philip would help to bring it about. I know he would desire to
    do it."

    "I don't see how that can be, child," said Mr. Deane, looking puzzled.
    "Why should _he_ care?"--then, with a sudden penetrating look at his
    daughter, "You don't think the poor lad's fond of you, and so you can
    make him do what you like?" (Mr. Deane felt quite safe about his
    daughter's affections.)

    "No, papa; he cares very little about me,--not so much as I care about
    him. But I have a reason for being quite sure of what I say. Don't you
    ask me. And if you ever guess, don't tell me. Only give me leave to do
    as I think fit about it."

    Lucy rose from her stool to seat herself on her father's knee, and
    kissed him with that last request.

    "Are you sure you won't do mischief, now?" he said, looking at her
    with delight.

    "Yes, papa, quite sure. I'm very wise; I've got all your business
    talents. Didn't you admire my accompt-book, now, when I showed it
    you?"

    "Well, well, if this youngster will keep his counsel, there won't be
    much harm done. And to tell the truth, I think there's not much chance
    for us any other way. Now, let me go off to sleep."
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