The Daisy Chain or Aspirations HTML version

Chapter I.30
Weary soul, and burdened sore,
Labouring with thy secret load,
Fear not all thy griefs to pour
In this heart, love's true abode.
Lyra Innocentium.
Tea had just been brought in on the eighth evening from Norman's departure,
when there was a ring at the bell. There was a start, and look of expectation.
"Only a patient," said the doctor; but it surely was not for that reason that he
rose with so much alacrity and opened the door, nor was "Well, old fellow?"
the greeting for his patients--so everybody sprang after him, and beheld
something tall taking off a coat, while a voice said, "I have got it."
The mass of children rushed back to Margaret, screaming, "He has got it!"
and then Aubrey trotted out into the hall again to see what Norman had got.
"A happy face at least," said Margaret, as he came to her. And that was not
peculiar to Norman. The radiance had shone out upon every one in that
moment, and it was one buzz of happy exclamation, query, and answer--the
only tone of regret when Mary spoke of Harry, and all at once took up the
strain--how glad poor Harry would be. As to the examination, that had been
much less difficult than Norman had expected; in fact, he said, it was lucky
for him that the very subjects had been chosen in which he was most up--
luck which, as the doctor could not help observing, generally did attend
Norman. And Norman had been so happy with Richard; the kind, wise elder
brother had done exactly what was best for him in soothing his anxiety, and
had fully shared his feelings, and exulted in his success. Margaret had a most
triumphant letter, dwelling on the abilities of the candidates whom Norman
had outstripped, and the idea that every one had conceived of his talent.
"Indeed," wrote Richard, "I fancy the men had never believed that I could
have a clever brother. I am glad they have seen what Norman can do."
Margaret could not help reading this aloud, and it made Norman blush with
the compunction that Richard's unselfish pride in him always excited. He had
much to tell of his ecstasy with Oxford. Stoneborough Minster had been a
training in appreciation of its hoary beauty, but the essentially prosaic Richard
had never prepared him for the impression that the reverend old university
made on him, and he was already, heart and soul, one of her most loyal and
loving sons, speaking of his college and of the whole university as one who
had a right of property in them, and looking, all the time, not elated, but
contented, as if he had found his sphere and was satisfied. He had seen
Cheviot, too, and had been very happy in the renewed friendship; and had
been claimed as a cousin by a Balliol man, a certain Norman Ogilvie, a name