Thank you much, Joseph; you have done well for me. You sent that note privately to my friend?
I did, my lord; and have conveyed the money, Putting all things in train for his release, Without appearing in it personally, Or giving any clue to other hands. He sent this message by my messenger: His hearty thanks, and God will bless you for it. He will be secret. For his daughter, she Is safe with you as with himself; and so God bless you both! He will expect to hear From both of you from England.
What money is remaining in your hands?
Two bags, three hundred each; that's all. I fear To wake suspicion, if I call in more.
One thing, and I have done: lest a mischance Befall us, though I do not fear it much-- have been very secret--is that boat I had before I left, in sailing trim?
I knew it was a favorite with my lord; I've taken care of it. A month ago, With my own hands I painted it all fresh, Fitting new oars and rowlocks. The old sail I'll have replaced immediately; and then 'Twill be as good as new.
Well, launch it in the evening. Make it fast To the stone steps behind my garden study. Stow in the lockers some sea-stores, and put The money in the old desk in the study.
I will, my lord. It will be safe enough.
SCENE XIV.--A road near the town. A Waggoner. STEPHEN, in lay dress, coming up to him.
Whose castle's that upon the hill, good fellow?
Its present owner's of the Uglii; They call him Lorenzino.
|Whose is that|
Down in the valley?
That is Count Lamballa's.
What is his Christian name?
That was his father's; his is Julian.
Is he at home?
No, not for many a day.
His steward, honest man, I know is doubtful Whether he be alive; and yet his land Is better farmed than any in the country.
He is not married, then?
|No. There's a gossip|
Amongst the women--but who would heed their talk!-- That love half-crazed, then drove him out of doors, To wander here and there, like a bad ghost, Because a silly wench refused him:--fudge!
Most probably. I quite agree with you. Where do you stop?
At the first inn we come to;
You'll see it from the bottom of the hill. There is a better at the other end, But here the stabling is by far the best.
I must push on. Four legs can never go Down-hill so fast as two. Good morning, friend.
Good morning, sir.
I take the further house.
SCENE XV.--The Nurse's room. JULIAN and LILIA standing near the window.
But do you really love me, Lilia?
Why do you make me say it so often, Julian? You make me say I love you, oftener far Than you say you love me.
|To love you seems|
So much a thing of mere necessity! I can refrain from loving you no more Than keep from waking when the sun shines full Upon my face.
And yet I love to say
How, how I love you, Julian!
[Leans her head on his arm. JULIAN winces a little. She raises her head and looks at him.]
|Did I hurt you?|
Would you not have me lean my head on you?
Come on this side, my love; 'tis a slight hurt Not yet quite healed.
|Ah, my poor Julian! How--|
I am so sorry!--Oh, I do remember! I saw it all quite plain! It was no dream! I saw you fighting!--Surely you did not kill him?
(calmly, but drawing himself up). I killed him as I would a dog that bit you.
(turning pale, and covering her face with her hands.)
Oh, that was dreadful! there is blood on you!
Shall I go, Lilia?
|Oh no, no, no, do not.--|
I shall be better presently.
As from a murderer!
|Oh no, I love you--|
Will never leave you. Pardon me, my Julian; But blood is terrible.
(drawing her close to him). My own sweet Lilia,
'Twas justly shed, for your defense and mine, As it had been a tiger that I killed. He had no right to live. Be at peace, darling; His blood lies not on me, but on himself; I do not feel its stain upon my conscience.
[A tap at the door.]
My lord, the steward waits on you below.
You have been standing till you're faint, my lady! Lie down a little. There!--I'll fetch you something.
SCENE XVI.--The Steward's room. JULIAN. The Steward.
Well, Joseph, that will do. I shall expect To hear from you soon after my arrival. Is the boat ready?
Yes, my lord; afloat
Where you directed.
A strange feeling haunts me,
As of some danger near. Unlock it, and cast The chain around the post. Muffle the oars.
I will, directly.
|How shall I manage it?|
I have her father's leave, but have not dared To tell her all; and she must know it first! She fears me half, even now: what will she think To see my shaven head? My heart is free-- I know that God absolves mistaken vows. I looked for help in the high search from those Who knew the secret place of the Most High. If I had known, would I have bound myself Brother to men from whose low, marshy minds Never a lark springs to salute the day? The loftiest of them dreamers, and the best Content with goodness growing like moss on stones! It cannot be God's will I should be such. But there was more: they virtually condemned Me in my quest; would have had me content To kneel with them around a wayside post, Nor heed the pointing finger at its top? It was the dull abode of foolishness: Not such the house where God would train his children! My very birth into a world of men Shows me the school where he would have me learn; Shows me the place of penance; shows the field Where I must fight and die victorious, Or yield and perish. True, I know not how This will fall out: he must direct my way! But then for her--she cannot see all this; Words will not make it plain; and if they would, The time is shorter than the words would need: This overshadowing bodes nearing ill.-- It may be only vapour, of the heat Of too much joy engendered; sudden fear That the fair gladness is too good to live: The wider prospect from the steep hill's crest, The deeper to the vale the cliff goes down; But how will she receive it? Will she think I have been mocking her? How could I help it? Her illness and my danger! But, indeed, So strong was I in truth, I never thought Her doubts might prove a hindrance in the way. My love did make her so a part of me, I never dreamed she might judge otherwise, Until our talk of yesterday. And now Her horror at Nembroni's death confirms me: To wed a monk will seem to her the worst Of crimes which in a fever one might dream. I cannot take the truth, and, bodily, Hold it before her eyes. She is not strong. She loves me--not as I love her. But always --There's Robert for an instance--I have loved A life for what it might become, far more Than for its present: there's a germ in her Of something noble, much beyond her now: Chance gleams betray it, though she knows it not.
This evening must decide it, come what will.