The Heir of Redclyffe HTML version

Chapter 18
This just decree alone I know,
Man must be disciplined by woe,
To me, whate'er of good or ill
The future brings, since come it will,
I'll bow my spirit, and be still.
AESCHYLUS, (Anstice's Translation.)
Guy, in the meantime, was enduring the storm in loneliness, for he was unwilling to
explain the cause of his trouble to his companions. The only occasion of the suspicions,
which he could think of, was his request for the sum of money; and this he could not
mention to Mr. Wellwood, nor was he inclined to make confidants of his other
companions, though pleasant, right-minded youths.
He had only announced that he had had a letter which had grieved him considerably, but
of which he could not mention the contents; and as Harry Graham, who knew something
of the Broadstone neighbourhood, had picked up a report that Sir Guy Morville was to
marry Lady Eveleen de Courcy, there was an idea among the party that there was some
trouble in the way of his attachment. He had once before been made, by some joke, to
colour and look conscious; and now this protected him from inconvenient questions, and
accounted for his depression. He was like what he had been on first coming to Hollywell-
-grave and silent, falling into reveries when others were talking, and much given to long,
lonely wanderings. Accustomed as he had been in boyhood to a solitary life in beautiful
scenery, there was something in a fine landscape that was to him like a friend and
companion; and he sometimes felt that it would have been worse if he had been in a dull,
uniform country, instead of among mountain peaks and broad wooded valleys. Working
hard, too, helped him not a little, and conic sections served him almost as well as they
served Laura.
A more real help was the neighbourhood of Stylehurst. On the first Sunday after
receiving Mr. Edmonstone's letter, he went to church there, instead of with the others, to
St. Mildred's. They thought it was for the sake of the solitary walk; but he had other
reasons for the preference. In the first place it was a Communion Sunday, and in the next,
he could feel more kindly towards Philip there, and he knew he needed all that could
strengthen such a disposition.
Many a question did he ask himself, to certify whether he wilfully entertained malice or
hatred, or any uncharitableness. It was a long, difficult examination; but at its close, he
felt convinced that, if such passions knocked at the door of his heart, it was not at his own
summons, and that he drove them away without listening to them. And surely he might
approach to gain the best aid in that battle, especially as he was certain of his strong and
deep repentance for his fit of passion, and longing earnestly for the pledge of forgiveness.