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Heartsease or Brother's Wife

Chapter II.12
I saw her hold Earl Percy at the point
With lustier maintenance than I did look for
Of such an ungrown warrior.--King Henry IV
As soon as Violet could leave her little boy without anxiety, the two sisters
deposited Charles Layton at the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, with hopes that a few
years' training there would enable him to become Miss Martindale's little page,
the grand object of his desires.
Their next and merriest excursion was to Percy's lodgings, where he had various
Greek curiosities which he wished to show them; and Theodora consented to
come with her brother and sister in a simple straightforward way that Violet
admired.
His rooms were over a toy-shop in Piccadilly, in such a roar of sounds that the
ladies exclaimed, and Arthur asked him how much he paid for noise.
'It is worth having,' said Percy; 'it is cheerful.'
'Do you think so?' exclaimed Violet. 'I think carriages, especially late at night,
make a most dismal dreary sound.'
'They remind me of an essay of Miss Talbot's where she speaks of her
companions hastening home from the feast of empty shells,' said Theodora.
'Ay! those are your West-end carriages,' said Percy; 'I will allow them a dreary
dissatisfied sound. Now mine are honest, business-like market-waggons, or
hearty tradesfolk coming home in cabs from treating their children to the play.
There is sense in those! I go to sleep thinking what drops of various natures
make up the roar of that great human cataract, and wake up dreaming of the
Rhine falls.
"Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide, And a river flows down
the vale of Cheapside."
Eh, Mrs. Martindale?'
Violet, who always received a quotation of Wordsworth as a compliment to the
north, smiled and answered, 'I am afraid with me it would end in
"The stream will not flow, the hill will not rise."'
'Pish, Violet,' said her husband, 'how can you expect to feel like poets and
lovers? And halloo! he is coming it strong! "Poems by A."; "The White Hind and
other Poems"; "Gwyneth: a tale in verse"; "Farewell to Pausilippo", by the Earl of
St. Erme. Well done, Percy! Are you collecting original serenades for Theodora?
I'll never betray where they came from.'
'It is all in the way of trade,' said Percy.
'Reviewing?' said Theodora.
'Yes; there has been such an absurd amount of flattery bestowed on them that it
must provoke any reasonable being. It really is time to put forth a little common
sense, since the magazines will have it that earls write better than other people.'
'Some of the verses in Lord St. Erme's last volume seem to me very pretty,' said
Violet.
 
 
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