The Daisy Chain or Aspirations
Oh, no, we never mention her,
We never breathe her name.--SONG.
A great deal of merriment had come home with Harry, who never was grave
for ten minutes without a strong reaction, and distracted the house with his
noise and his antics, in proportion, as it sometimes seemed, to the spaces of
serious thought and reading spent in the study, where Dr. May did his best to
supply Mr. Ramsden's insufficient attention to his Confirmation candidates, by
giving an hour every day to Norman, Ethel, and Harry. He could not lecture,
but he read with them, and his own earnestness was very impressive.
The two eldest felt deeply, but Harry often kept it in doubt, whether he were
not as yet too young and wild for permanent impressions, so rapid were his
transitions, and so overpowering his high spirits. Not that these were objected
to; but there was a feeling that there might as well be moderation in all
things, and that it would have been satisfactory if, under present
circumstances, he had been somewhat more subdued and diligent.
"There are your decimals not done yet, Harry."
For Harry, being somewhat deficient in arithmetic, had been recommended to
work in that line during his visit at home--an operation usually deferred, as at
present, to the evening.
"I am going to do my sums now, Flora," said Harry, somewhat annoyed.
He really fetched his arithmetic, and his voice was soon heard asking how he
was ever to put an end to a sum that would turn to nothing but everlasting
"What have you been doing, young ladies?" asked Dr. May. "Did you call on
"Flora and Blanche did," said Ethel; "I thought you did not want me to go,
and I had not time. Besides, a London grand young lady--oh!" and Ethel
shook her head in disgust.
"That is not the way you treat Meta Rivers."
"Oh, Meta is different! She has never been out!"
"I should have been glad for you to have seen Miss Walkingham," said her
father. Pretty manners are improving; besides, old Lady Walkingham begged
me to send my daughters."