The Heir of Redclyffe HTML version

Chapter 42
She was not changed when sorrow came,
That awed the sternest men;
It rather seemed she kept her flame
To comfort us till then.
But sorrow passed, and others smiled
With happiness once more;
And she drew back the spirit mild
She still had been before.--S. R.
Philip's marriage could not take place at once. No one said, but every one felt, that it must
not be talked of till the end of Amabel's first year of widowhood; and in the meantime
Philip remained at Hollywell, gaining strength every day, making more progress in one
week than he had done in six at St. Mildred's, finding that, as his strength returned, his
mind and memory regained their tone, and he was as capable as ever of applying to
business, and, above all, much settled and comforted by some long conversations with
Mr. Ross.
Still he could not endure the thought of being at Redclyffe. The business connected with
it was always performed with pain and dislike, and he shrank with suffering at every
casual mention of his going thither. Mrs. Edmonstone began to wonder whether he could
mean to linger at Hollywell all the summer, and Amabel had some fears that it would end
in his neglecting Redclyffe, till a letter arrived from Lord Thorndale, saying that his
brother, the member for Moorworth, had long been thinking of giving up his seat, and
latterly had only waited in hopes that the succession at Redclyffe might come to Philip
Morville. Moorworth was entirely under the Thorndale and Morville interest, and Lord
Thorndale wrote to propose that Philip should come forward at once, inviting him to
Thorndale instead of going to his own empty house.
To be in parliament had been one of the favourite visions of Philip's youth, and for that
very reason he hesitated, taking it as one of the strange fulfilments of his desires that had
become punishments. He could not but feel that as this unhappy load of wealth had
descended on him, he was bound to make it as beneficial as he could to others, and not
seeking for rest or luxury, to stand in the gap where every good man and true was needed.
But still he dreaded his old love of distinction. He disliked a London life for Laura, and
he thought that, precarious as his health had become, it might expose her to much
anxiety, since he was determined that if he undertook it at all, he would never be an idle
It ended in his referring the decision to Laura, who, disliking London, fearful for his
health, eager for his glory, and reluctant to keep back such a champion from the battle,
was much perplexed, only desirous to say what he wished, yet not able to make out what
that might be. She carried her doubts to Charles and Amabel, who both pronounced that