One Saturday morning the doctor was called to a place a good many miles
distant, and Juliet was left with the prospect of being longer alone
than usual. She felt it almost sultry although so late in the season,
and could not rest in the house. She pretended to herself she had some
shopping to do in Pine Street, but it was rather a longing for air and
motion that sent her out. Also, certain thoughts which she did not like,
had of late been coming more frequently, and she found it easier to
avoid them in the street. They were not such as troubled her from being
hard to think out. Properly speaking, she thought less now than ever.
She often said nice things, but they were mostly the mere gracious
movements of a nature sweet, playful, trusting, fond of all beautiful
things, and quick to see artistic relation where her perception reached.
As she turned the corner of Mr. Drew's shop, the house-door opened, and
a lady came out. It was Mr. Drew's lodger. Juliet knew nothing about
her, and was not aware that she had ever seen her; but the lady started
as if she recognized her. To that kind of thing Juliet was accustomed,
for her style of beauty was any thing but common. The lady's regard
however was so fixed that it drew hers, and as their eyes met, Juliet
felt something, almost a physical pain, shoot through her heart. She
could not understand it, but presently began to suspect, and by degrees
became quite certain that she had seen her before, though she could not
tell where. The effect the sight of her had had, indicated some painful
association, which she must recall before she could be at rest. She
turned in the other direction, and walked straight from the town, that
she might think without eyes upon her.
Scene after scene of her life came back as she searched to find some
circumstance associated with that face. Once and again she seemed on the
point of laying hold of something, when the face itself vanished and she
had that to recall, and the search to resume from the beginning. In the
process many painful memories arose, some, connected with her mother,
unhappy in themselves, others, connected with her father, grown unhappy
from her marriage; for thereby she had built a wall between her thoughts
and her memories of him; and, if there should be a life beyond this, had
hollowed a gulf between them forever.
Gradually her thoughts took another direction.--Could it be that already
the glamour had begun to disperse, the roses of love to wither, the
magic to lose its force, the common look of things to return? Paul was
as kind, as courteous, as considerate as ever, and yet there was a
difference. Her heart did not grow wild, her blood did not rush to her
face, when she heard the sound of his horse's hoofs in the street,
though she knew them instantly. Sadder and sadder grew her thoughts as
she walked along, careless whither.
Had she begun to cease loving? No. She loved better than she knew, but
she must love infinitely better yet. The first glow was gone--already:
she had thought it would not go, and was miserable. She recalled that
even her honeymoon had a little disappointed her. I would not be
mistaken as implying that any of these her reflections had their origin
in what was peculiar in the character, outlook, or speculation of
herself or her husband. The passion of love is but the vestibule--the
pylon--to the temple of love. A garden lies between the pylon and the
adytum. They that will enter the sanctuary must walk through the garden.
But some start to see the roses already withering, sit down and weep and
watch their decay, until at length the aged flowers hang drooping all
around them, and lo! their hearts are withered also, and when they rise
they turn their backs on the holy of holies, and their feet toward the
Juliet was proud of her Paul, and loved him as much as she was yet
capable of loving. But she had thought they were enough for each other,
and already, although she was far from acknowledging it to herself, she
had, in the twilight of her thinking, begun to doubt it. Nor can she be
blamed for the doubt. Never man and woman yet succeeded in being all in
all to each other.
It were presumption to say that a lonely God would be enough for
Himself, seeing that we can know nothing of God but as He is our Father.
What if the Creator Himself is sufficient to Himself in virtue of His
self-existent creatorship? Let my reader think it out. The lower we go
in the scale of creation, the more independent is the individual. The
richer and more perfect each of a married pair is in the other relations
of life, the more is each to the other. For us, the children of eternal
love, the very air our spirits breathe, and without which they can not
live, is the eternal life; for us, the brothers and sisters of a
countless family, the very space in which our souls can exist, is the
love of each and every soul of our kind.
Such were not Juliet's thoughts. To her such would have seemed as unreal
as unintelligible. To her they would have looked just what some of my
readers will pronounce them, not in the least knowing what they are. She
was suddenly roused from her painful reverie by the pulling up of
Helen's ponies, with much clatter and wriggling recoil, close beside
her, making more fuss with their toy-carriage than the mightiest of
tractive steeds with the chariot of pomp.
"Jump in, Juliet," cried their driver, addressing her with the greater
abandon that she was resolved no stiffness on her part should deposit
a grain to the silting up of the channel of former affection. She was
one of the few who understand that no being can afford to let the
smallest love-germ die.
Juliet hesitated. She was not a little bewildered with the sudden recall
from the moony plains of memory, and the demand for immediate action.
She answered uncertainly, trying to think what was involved.
"I know your husband is not waiting you at home," pursued Helen. "I saw
him on Ruber, three fields off, riding away from Glaston. Jump in, dear.
You can make up that mind of yours in the carriage as well as upon the
road. I will set you down wherever you please. My husband is out too, so
the slaves can take their pleasure."
Juliet could not resist, had little inclination to do so, yielded
without another word, and took her place beside Helen, a little shy of
being alone with her, yet glad of her company. Away went the ponies, and
as soon as she had got them settled to their work, Helen turned her face
"I am so glad to see you!" she said.
Juliet's heart spoke too loud for her throat. It was a relief to her
that Helen had to keep her eyes on her charge, the quickness of whose
every motion rendered watchfulness right needful.
"Have you returned Mrs. Bevis's call yet!" asked Helen.
"No," murmured Juliet. "I haven't been able yet."
"Well, here is a good chance. Sit where you are, and you will be at
Nestley in half an hour, and I shall be the more welcome. You are a
great favorite there!"
"How kind you are!" said Juliet, the tears beginning to rise. "Indeed,
"You used to call me Helen!" said that lady, pulling up her ponies
with sudden energy, as they shied at a bit of paper on the road, and
nearly had themselves and all they drew in the ditch.
"May I call you so still?"
"Surely! What else?"
"You are too good to me!" said Juliet, and wept outright.
"My dear Juliet," returned Helen, "I will be quite plain with you, and
that will put things straight in a moment. Your friends understand
perfectly why you have avoided them of late, and are quite sure it is
from no unkindness to any of them. But neither must you imagine we think
hardly of you for marrying Mr. Faber. We detest his opinions so much
that we feel sure if you saw a little further into them, neither of you
would hold them."
"But I don't--that is, I--"
"You don't know whether you hold them or not: I understand quite well.
My husband says in your case it does not matter much; for if you had
ever really believed in Jesus Christ, you could not have done it. At all
events now the thing is done, there is no question about it left. Dear
Juliet, think of us as your friends still, who will always be glad to
see you, and ready to help you where we can."
Juliet was weeping for genuine gladness now. But even as she wept, by
one of those strange movements of our being which those who have been
quickest to question them wonder at the most, it flashed upon her where
she had seen the lady that came from Mr. Drew's house, and her heart
sunk within her, for the place was associated with that portion of her
history which of all she would most gladly hide from herself. During the
rest of the drive she was so silent, that Helen at last gave up trying
to talk to her. Then first she observed how the clouds had risen on all
sides and were meeting above, and that the air was more still and sultry
Just as they got within Nestley-gate, a flash of lightning, scarcely
followed by a loud thunder-clap, shot from overhead. The ponies plunged,
reared, swayed asunder from the pole, nearly fell, and recovered
themselves only to dart off in wild terror. Juliet screamed.
"Don't be frightened, child," said Helen. "There is no danger here. The
road is straight and there is nothing on it. I shall soon pull them up.
Only don't cry out: that will be as little to their taste as the
Juliet caught at the reins.
"For God's sake, don't do that!" cried Helen, balking her clutch. "You
will kill us both."
Juliet sunk back in her seat. The ponies went at full speed along the
road. The danger was small, for the park was upon both sides, level
with the drive, in which there was a slight ascent. Helen was perfectly
quiet, and went on gradually tightening her pull upon the reins. Before
they reached the house, she had entirely regained her command of them.
When she drew up to the door, they stood quite steady, but panting as if
their little sides would fly asunder. By this time Helen was red as a
rose; her eyes were flashing, and a smile was playing about her mouth;
but Juliet was like a lily on which the rain has been falling all night:
her very lips were bloodless. When Helen turned and saw her, she was far
more frightened than the ponies could make her.
"Why, Juliet, my dear!" she said, "I had no thought you were so
terrified! What would your husband say to me for frightening you so! But
you are safe now."
A servant came to take the ponies. Helen got out first, and gave her
hand to Juliet.
"Don't think me a coward, Helen," she said. "It was the thunder. I never
could bear thunder."
"I should be far more of a coward than you are, Juliet," answered Helen,
"if I believed, or even feared, that just a false step of little Zephyr
there, or one plunge more from Zoe, might wipe out the world, and I
should never more see the face of my husband."
She spoke eagerly, lovingly, believingly. Juliet shivered, stopped, and
laid hold of the baluster rail. Things had been too much for her that
day. She looked so ill that Helen was again alarmed, but she soon came
to herself a little, and they went on to Mrs. Bevis's room. She received
them most kindly, made Mrs. Faber lie on the sofa, covered her over, for
she was still trembling, and got her a glass of wine. But she could not
drink it, and lay sobbing in vain endeavor to control herself.
Meantime the clouds gathered thicker and thicker: the thunder-peal that
frightened the ponies had been but the herald of the storm, and now it
came on in earnest. The rain rushed suddenly on the earth, and as soon
as she heard it, Juliet ceased to sob. At every flash, however, although
she lay with her eyes shut, and her face pressed into the pillow, she
shivered and moaned.--"Why should one," thought Helen, "who is merely
and only the child of Nature, find herself so little at home with her?"
Presently Mr. Bevis came running in from the stable, drenched in
crossing to the house. As he passed to his room, he opened the door of
his wife's, and looked in.
"I am glad to see you safely housed, ladies," he said. "You must make
up your minds to stay where you are. It will not clear before the moon
rises, and that will be about midnight. I will send John to tell your
husbands that you are not cowering under a hedge, and will not be home
He was a good weather-prophet. The rain went on. In the evening the two
husbands appeared, dripping. They had come on horseback together, and
would ride home again after dinner. The doctor would have to be out the
greater part of the Sunday, and would gladly leave his wife in such good
quarters; the curate would walk out to his preaching in the evening, and
drive home with Helen after it, taking Juliet, if she should be able to
After dinner, when the ladies had left them, between the two clergymen
and the doctor arose the conversation of which I will now give the
substance, leaving the commencement, and taking it up at an advanced
"Now tell me," said Faber, in the tone of one satisfied he must be
allowed in the right, "which is the nobler--to serve your neighbor in
the hope of a future, believing in a God who will reward you, or to
serve him in the dark, obeying your conscience, with no other hope than
that those who come after you will be the better for you?"
"I allow most heartily," answered Wingfold, "and with all admiration,
that it is indeed grand in one hopeless for himself to live well for the
sake of generations to come, which he will never see, and which will
never hear of him. But I will not allow that there is any thing grand in
being hopeless for one's self, or in serving the Unseen rather than
those about you, seeing it is easier to work for those who can not
oppose you, than to endure the contradiction of sinners. But I know you
agree with me that the best way to assist posterity is to be true to
your contemporaries, so there I need say no more--except that the
hopeless man can do the least for his fellows, being unable to give them
any thing that should render them other than hopeless themselves; and
if, for the grandeur of it, a man were to cast away his purse in order
to have the praise of parting with the two mites left in his pocket, you
would simply say the man was a fool. This much seems to me clear, that,
if there be no God, it may be nobler to be able to live without one;
but, if there be a God, it must be nobler not to be able to live
without Him. The moment, however, that nobility becomes the object in
any action, that moment the nobleness of the action vanishes. The man
who serves his fellow that he may himself be noble, misses the mark. He
alone who follows the truth, not he who follows nobility, shall attain
the noble. A man's nobility will, in the end, prove just commensurate
with his humanity--with the love he bears his neighbor--not the amount
of work he may have done for him. A man might throw a lordly gift to his
fellow, like a bone to a dog, and damn himself in the deed. You may
insult a dog by the way you give him his bone."
"I dispute nothing of all that," said Faber--while good Mr. Bevis sat
listening hard, not quite able to follow the discussion; "but I know you
will admit that to do right from respect to any reward whatever, hardly
amounts to doing right at all."
"I doubt if any man ever did or could do a thing worthy of passing as in
itself good, for the sake of a reward," rejoined Wingfold. "Certainly,
to do good for something else than good, is not good at all. But perhaps
a reward may so influence a low nature as to bring it a little into
contact with what is good, whence the better part of it may make some
acquaintance with good. Also, the desire of the approbation of the
Perfect, might nobly help a man who was finding his duty hard, for it
would humble as well as strengthen him, and is but another form of the
love of the good. The praise of God will always humble a man, I think."
"There you are out of my depth," said Faber. "I know nothing about
"I go on then to say," continued the curate, "that a man may well be
strengthened and encouraged by the hope of being made a better and truer
man, and capable of greater self-forgetfulness and devotion. There is
nothing low in having respect to such a reward as that, is there?"
"It seems to me better," persisted the doctor, "to do right for the sake
of duty, than for the sake of any goodness even that will come thereby
"Assuredly, if self in the goodness, and not the goodness itself be the
object," assented Wingfold. "When a duty lies before one, self ought to
have no part in the gaze we fix upon it; but when thought reverts upon
himself, who would avoid the wish to be a better man? The man who will
not do a thing for duty, will never get so far as to derive any help
from the hope of goodness. But duty itself is only a stage toward
something better. It is but the impulse, God-given I believe, toward a
far more vital contact with the truth. We shall one day forget all about
duty, and do every thing from the love of the loveliness of it, the
satisfaction of the rightness of it. What would you say to a man who
ministered to the wants of his wife and family only from duty? Of course
you wish heartily that the man who neglects them would do it from any
cause, even were it fear of the whip; but the strongest and most
operative sense of duty would not satisfy you in such a relation. There
are depths within depths of righteousness. Duty is the only path to
freedom, but that freedom is the love that is beyond and prevents duty."
"But," said Faber, "I have heard you say that to take from you your
belief in a God would be to render you incapable of action. Now, the
man--I don't mean myself, but the sort of a man for whom I stand
up--does act, does his duty, without the strength of that belief: is he
not then the stronger?--Let us drop the word noble."
"In the case supposed, he would be the stronger--for a time at least,"
replied the curate. "But you must remember that to take from me the joy
and glory of my life, namely the belief that I am the child of God, an
heir of the Infinite, with the hope of being made perfectly righteous,
loving like God Himself, would be something more than merely reducing me
to the level of a man who had never loved God, or seen in the
possibility of Him any thing to draw him. I should have lost the mighty
dream of the universe; he would be what and where he chose to be, and
might well be the more capable. Were I to be convinced there is no God,
and to recover by the mere force of animal life from the prostration
into which the conviction cast me, I should, I hope, try to do what duty
was left me, for I too should be filled, for a time at least, with an
endless pity for my fellows; but all would be so dreary, that I should
be almost paralyzed for serving them, and should long for death to do
them and myself the only good service. The thought of the generations
doomed to be born into a sunless present, would almost make me join any
conspiracy to put a stop to the race. I should agree with Hamlet that
the whole thing had better come to an end. Would it necessarily indicate
a lower nature, or condition, or habit of thought, that, having
cherished such hopes, I should, when I lost them, be more troubled than
one who never had had them?"
"Still," said Faber, "I ask you to allow that a nature which can do
without help is greater than a nature which can not."
"If the thing done were the same, I should allow it," answered the
curate; "but the things done will prove altogether different. And
another thing to be noted is, that, while the need of help might
indicate a lower nature, the capacity for receiving it must indicate a
higher. The mere fact of being able to live and act in more meager
spiritual circumstances, in itself proves nothing: it is not the highest
nature that has the fewest needs. The highest nature is the one that has
the most necessities, but the fewest of its own making. He is not the
greatest man who is the most independent, but he who thirsts most after
a conscious harmony with every element and portion of the mighty whole;
demands from every region thereof its influences to perfect his
individuality; regards that individuality as his kingdom, his treasure,
not to hold but to give; sees in his Self the one thing he can devote,
the one precious means of freedom by its sacrifice, and that in no
contempt or scorn, but in love to God and his children, the multitudes
of his kind. By dying ever thus, ever thus losing his soul, he lives
like God, and God knows him, and he knows God. This is too good to be
grasped, but not too good to be true. The highest is that which needs
the highest, the largest that which needs the most; the finest and
strongest that which to live must breath essential life, self-willed
life, God Himself. It follows that it is not the largest or the
strongest nature that will feel a loss the least. An ant will not gather
a grain of corn the less that his mother is dead, while a boy will turn
from his books and his play and his dinner because his bird is dead: is
the ant, therefore, the stronger nature?"
"Is it not weak to be miserable?" said the doctor.
"Yes--without good cause," answered the curate. "But you do not know
what it would be to me to lose my faith in my God. My misery would be a
misery to which no assurance of immortality or of happiness could bring
any thing but tenfold misery--the conviction that I should never be good
myself, never have any thing to love absolutely, never be able to make
amends for the wrongs I had done. Call such a feeling selfish if you
will: I can not help it. I can not count one fit for existence to whom
such things would be no grief. The worthy existence must hunger after
good. The largest nature must have the mightiest hunger. Who calls a
man selfish because he is hungry? He is selfish if he broods on the
pleasures of eating, and would not go without his dinner for the sake of
another; but if he had no hunger, where would be the room for his
self-denial? Besides, in spiritual things, the only way to give them to
your neighbors is to hunger after them yourself. There each man is a
mouth to the body of the whole creation. It can not be selfishness to
hunger and thirst after righteousness, which righteousness is just your
duty to your God and your neighbor. If there be any selfishness in it,
the very answer to your prayer will destroy it."
"There you are again out of my region," said Faber. "But answer me one
thing: is it not weak to desire happiness?"
"Yes; if the happiness is poor and low," rejoined Wingfold. "But the man
who would choose even the grandeur of duty before the bliss of the
truth, must be a lover of himself. Such a man must be traveling the road
to death. If there be a God, truth must be joy. If there be not, truth
may be misery.--But, honestly, I know not one advanced Christian who
tries to obey for the hope of Heaven or the fear of hell. Such ideas
have long vanished from such a man. He loves God; he loves truth; he
loves his fellow, and knows he must love him more. You judge of
Christianity either by those who are not true representatives of it, and
are indeed, less of Christians than yourself; or by others who, being
intellectually inferior, perhaps even stupid, belie Christ with their
dull theories concerning Him. Yet the latter may have in them a noble
seed, urging them up heights to you at present unconceived and
inconceivable; while, in the meantime, some of them serve their
generation well, and do as much for those that are to come after as you
"There is always weight as well as force in what you urge, Wingfold,"
returned Faber. "Still it looks to me just a cunningly devised fable--I
will not say of the priests, but of the human mind deceiving itself with
its own hopes and desires."
"It may well look such to those who are outside of it, and it must at
length appear such to all who, feeling in it any claim upon them, yet do
not put it to the test of their obedience."
"Well, you have had your turn, and now we are having ours--you of the
legends, we of the facts."
"No," said Wingfold, "we have not had our turn, and you have been
having yours for a far longer time than we. But if, as you profess, you
are doing the truth you see, it belongs to my belief that you will
come to see the truth you do not see. Christianity is not a failure; for
to it mainly is the fact owing that here is a class of men which,
believing in no God, yet believes in duty toward men. Look here: if
Christianity be the outcome of human aspiration, the natural growth of
the human soil, is it not strange it should be such an utter failure as
it seems to you? and as such a natural growth, it must be a failure, for
if it were a success, must not you be the very one to see it? If it is
false, it is worthless, or an evil: where then is your law of
development, if the highest result of that development is an evil to the
nature and the race?"
"I do not grant it the highest result," said Faber. "It is a failure--a
false blossom, with a truer to follow."
"To produce a superior architecture, poetry, music?"
"Perhaps not. But a better science."
"Are the architecture and poetry and music parts of the failure?"
"Yes--but they are not altogether a failure, for they lay some truth at
the root of them all. Now we shall see what will come of turning away
from every thing we do not know."
"That is not exactly what you mean, for that would be never to know any
thing more. But the highest you have in view is immeasurably below what
Christianity has always demanded of its followers."
"But has never got from them, and never will. Look at the wars, the
hatreds, to which your gospel has given rise! Look at Calvin and poor
Servetus! Look at the strifes and divisions of our own day! Look at the
"All granted. It is a chaos, the motions of whose organization must be
strife. The spirit of life is at war with the spasmatical body of death.
If Christianity be not still in the process of development, it is the
saddest of all failures."
"The fact is, Wingfold, your prophet would have been King of the race if
He had not believed in a God."
"I dare not speak the answer that rises to my lips," said Wingfold. "But
there is more truth in what you say than you think, and more of
essential lie also. My answer is, that the faith of Jesus in His God and
Father is, even now, saving me, setting me free from my one horror,
selfishness; making my life an unspeakable boon to me, letting me know
its roots in the eternal and perfect; giving me such love to my fellow,
that I trust at last to love him as Christ has loved me. But I do not
expect you to understand me. He in whom I believe said that a man must
be born again to enter into the kingdom of Heaven."
The doctor laughed.
"You then are one of the double-born, Wingfold?" he said.
"I believe, I think, I hope so," replied the curate, very gravely.
"And you, Mr. Bevis?"
"I don't know. I wish. I doubt," answered the rector, with equal
"Oh, never fear!" said Faber, with a quiet smile, and rising, left the
But what a morning it was that came up after the storm! All night the
lightning had been flashing itself into peace, and gliding further and
further away. Bellowing and growling the thunder had crept with it; but
long after it could no more be heard, the lightning kept gleaming up, as
if from a sea of flame behind the horizon. The sun brought a glorious
day, and looked larger and mightier than before. To Helen, as she gazed
eastward from her window, he seemed ascending his lofty pulpit to preach
the story of the day named after him--the story of the Sun-day; the
rising again in splendor of the darkened and buried Sun of the universe,
with whom all the worlds and all their hearts and suns arose. A light
steam was floating up from the grass, and the raindrops were sparkling
everywhere. The day had arisen from the bosom of the night; peace and
graciousness from the bosom of the storm; she herself from the grave of
her sleep, over which had lain the turf of the darkness; and all was
fresh life and new hope. And through it all, reviving afresh with every
sign of Nature's universal law of birth, was the consciousness that her
life, her own self, was rising from the dead, was being new-born also.
She had not far to look back to the time when all was dull and dead in
her being: when the earthquake came, and the storm, and the fire; and
after them the still small voice, breathing rebuke, and hope, and
strength. Her whole world was now radiant with expectation. It was
through her husband the change had come to her, but he was not the rock
on which she built. For his sake she could go to hell--yea, cease to
exist; but there was One whom she loved more than him--the one One whose
love was the self-willed cause of all love, who from that love had sent
forth her husband and herself to love one another; whose heart was the
nest of their birth, the cradle of their growth, the rest of their
being. Yea, more than her husband she loved Him, her elder Brother, by
whom the Father had done it all, the Man who lived and died and rose
again so many hundred years ago. In Him, the perfect One, she hoped for
a perfect love to her husband, a perfect nature in herself. She knew how
Faber would have mocked at such a love, the very existence of whose
object she could not prove, how mocked at the notion that His life even
now was influencing hers. She knew how he would say it was merely love
and marriage that had wrought the change; but while she recognized them
as forces altogether divine, she knew that not only was the Son of Man
behind them, but that it was her obedience to Him and her confidence in
Him that had wrought the red heart of the change in her. She knew that
she would rather break with her husband altogether, than to do one
action contrary to the known mind and will of that Man. Faber would call
her faith a mighty, perhaps a lovely illusion: her life was an active
waiting for the revelation of its object in splendor before the
universe. The world seemed to her a grand march of resurrections--out of
every sorrow springing the joy at its heart, without which it could not
have been a sorrow; out of the troubles, and evils, and sufferings, and
cruelties that clouded its history, ever arising the human race, the
sons of God, redeemed in Him who had been made subject to death that He
might conquer Death for them and for his Father--a succession of mighty
facts, whose meanings only God can evolve, only the obedient heart
On such a morning, so full of resurrection, Helen was only a little
troubled not to be one of her husband's congregation: she would take her
New Testament, and spend the sunny day in the open air. In the evening
he was coming, and would preach in the little chapel. If only Juliet
might hear him too! But she would not ask her to go.
Juliet was better, for fatigue had compelled sleep. The morning had
brought her little hope, however, no sense of resurrection. A certain
dead thing had begun to move in its coffin; she was utterly alone with
it, and it made the world feel a tomb around her. Not all resurrections
are the resurrection of life, though in the end they will be found, even
to the lowest birth of the power of the enemy, to have contributed
thereto. She did not get up to breakfast; Helen persuaded her to rest,
and herself carried it to her. But she rose soon after, and declared
herself quite well.
The rector drove to Glaston in his dog-cart to read prayers. Helen went
out into the park with her New Testament and George Herbert. Poor Juliet
was left with Mrs. Bevis, who happily could not be duller than usual,
although it was Sunday. By the time the rector returned, bringing his
curate with him, she was bored almost beyond endurance. She had not yet
such a love of wisdom as to be able to bear with folly. The foolish and
weak are the most easily disgusted with folly and weakness which is not
of their own sort, and are the last to make allowances for them. To
spend also the evening with the softly smiling old woman, who would not
go across the grass after such a rain the night before, was a thing not
to be contemplated. Juliet borrowed a pair of galoshes, and insisted on
going to the chapel. In vain the rector and his wife dissuaded her.
Neither Helen nor her husband said a word.