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thing lived close to another paganism and the art of life. world, and they thought No people have ever known bravely of death. It doesn't better the georet of a bland matter who they were—Cru. happiness.
happiness. · Look at Fullgaders or Elizabethans or cirole. There are no dark Paritans—they had all poetry corners there. The man that in them and the heroio and built it know all there was & great unworldliness. They to be known about how to had marvellous spirits, and live. . ; . The trouble was that plenty of joys and triumphs; they did not know how to but they had also their hours die. That was the one shadow of blaok gloom. Their lives on the glass.
So they prowere like our weather-storm vided for it in & pagan way. and sun, One thing they They tried magio. They never never feared death, He beoame true Catholios- they walked too near them all were always pagan to the their days to be a bogey. end, but they smuggled a
“But the Restoration was priest into their lives. He was & sharp break. It brought a kind of insurance premium paganism into England - against unwelcome mystery.”
It was not till nearly two of him; and second, that he years later that I saw the should oast such a workmanGiffens again. The May-fly like line. As
lunched season was about its close, together, I observed several and I had snatched & day changes. He had shaved his on a certain limpid Cotswold fluffy beard, and his face was river. There was another notably less lean, and had the man on the same beat, fishing clear sunburn of the from the opposite bank, and countryman. His olothes, too, I watched him with some were different. They also were anxiety, for & duffer would workmanlike, and looked as if have spoilt my day. To my they belonged to him-no more relief I recognised Giffen. the uneasy kniokerbookers of With him it was easy to come the Sanday golfer, to terms, and presently the “I'm desperately keen," he water was parcelled out be- told me. "You see it's only tween us.
my second May-fly season, We forgathered for lunch- and last year I was no better eon, and I stood watching than a beginner. I wish I had while he neatly stalked, rose, known long ago what good and landed a trout. I con- fun fishing was. Isn't this a fessed to some surprise—first blessed place ?” And he looked that Giffen should be a fisher- up through the canopy of man at all, for it was not in flowering chestnuts to the keeping with my old notion June sky.
“I'm glad you've takeu to the junotion. So we extricated sport," I said. “Even if a little two-seater from a you only come here for the thioket of lilacs, and he drove week-ends, sport lets you
you me through four miles of sweet. into the secrets of the scented dusk, with nightinoountryside.'
gales shouting in every thicket. "Oh, we don't go much to I changed into a suit of his London now," was his answer. flannels in a bedroom looking “ We sold our Hampstead house out on the little lake where a year ago. I can't think how trout were rising, and I reI ever could stick that place. member that I whistled from Ursula takes the same view. pure light - heartedness. In ... I wouldn't leave Oxford. that adorable house one seemed shire just now for a thousand to be still breathing the air of pounds. Do you smell the the spring meadows. hawthorn ? Last week this Dinner was my first big meadow
soented like surprise. It was admirable Paradise. D’you know, plain but perfeotly cooked, and Leithen's a queer fellow ?” with that excellence of basio I asked why.
material which is the glory of “He once told me that this & well-appointed oountry house. countryside in June made him There was wine too, which, I sad. He said it was too perfect am certain, was a new thing. a thing for fallen humanity. Giffen gave me a bottle of
a I call that morbid. Do you sound claret, and afterwards see any sense in it?”
some more than decent port. I knew what Leithen meant, My second surprise was my but it would have taken too hostess. Her clothes, like her long to explain.
husband's, must have changed, “I feel warm and good and for I did not notice what she happy here," he went on. “I
was wearing, and I had noticed used to talk about living olose it only too clearly the last to nature. Rot! I didn't time we met. More remarkknow what nature meant. able still was the difference Now" He broke off. “By in her face. For the first Jove, there's a kingfisher. That time I realised that she was & is only the second I've seen this pretty woman.
The contours year. They're getting uncom- had softened and rounded, and mon with us.
& charming well“With us” -I liked the being in her eyes very differphrase. He was becoming a ent from the old restlessness. true countryman.
She looked oontent-infinitely We had a good day-not oontent. extravagantly successful, but I asked about her Mothers' satisfaotory, and he persuaded Cottages. She laughed oheerme to come home with him to fully. Fulloirole for the night, ex- “I gave them up after the plaining that I could oatch an first year. They didn't mix early train next morning at well with the village people.
I'm quite ready to admit my large, but it takes a lot of mistake, and it was the wrong looking after.” kind of charity. The London- The dining-room was long ers didn't like it — felt lone- and low-ceilinged, and had some and sighed for the fried- & white panelling in bold refish shop; and the village lief. Through the windows women were shy of them- oame odours of the garden and afraid of infectious complaints, a faint tinkle of water. The you know.
Julian and I dusk was deepening, and the have decided that our busi- engravings in their rosewood ness is to look after our own frames were dim, but sufficient people,"
light remained to reveal the It may have been malicious, picture above the fireplace. It but I said something about showed a middle-aged man in the wonderful scheme of village the clothes of the later Caroedueation.
lines. The plamp tapering "Another relio of Cookney. fingers of one hand held a book, ism,” laughed the lady; but the other was hidden in the Giffen looked a trifle shy. folds of a flowered waistcoat.
"I gave it up because it The long-ourled wig framed a didn't seema
while. delioate face, with something What is the use of spoiling of the grace of youth left to a perfectly wholesome scheme it. There were quizzioal lines of life by introduoing unneces. about the mouth, and the eyes sary complications ? Medicine smiled pleasantly yet very is no good anless & man is wisely. It was the face of a sick, and these people are not man I should have liked to siek. Education is the only dine with. He must have been cure for certain diseases the the best of oompany. modern world has engendered, Giffen answered my question. bat if you don't find the dis- “ That's the Lord Carteron ease the remedy is saperfluous. who built the house. No. No The fsot is, I hadn't the face relation. Our people were the to go on with the thing. I Applebys, who came in in 1753. wanted to be taught rather Wo've both fallen so deep in than to teaoh. There's & love with Fulloirole tbat we whole world round me of wanted to see the man who which I know very little, conceived it, I had some and my first business is to trouble getting it.
It oame get to understand it. Any out of the Minster Carteron village poacher can teach me sale, and I had to give a Jew more of the things that dealer twice what he paid for matter than I have to tell it. It's a jolly thing to live him.”
with.” “Besides, we have so much It was indeed a curiously to do," his wife added. charming pioture. I found my “There's the house and the eyes straying to it till the dusk garden, and the home-farm obsegred the features. It was
It isn't the face of one wholly at home
and the property,
in a suave world, learned in all I dared say it did, but I was the urbanities. A good friend, convinced that the guests were I thought, the old lord must no longer Dr Swope and Mr have been, and a superlative Peroy Blaker. companion. I could imagine One of my many failings is neat Horatian tags coming that I can never enter a room ripely from his lips. Not containing books without a strong face, bat somehow & Boanning the titles. Giffen's dominating one. The portrait colleotion my hearty of the long-dead gentleman had approval. There were the very still the atmosphere of life. few novelists I can read myself Giffen raised his glass of port –Miss Austen and Sir Walter to him as we rose from table, and the admirable Marryat; as if to salute & comrade. there was a shelf full of
We moved to the room across Memoirs, and a good deal of the hall, which had onoe been 17th and 18th century poetry; the Giffens' workroom, the there was a set of the classics
a oradle of earnest committees in fine editions, Bodonis and and weighty memoranda. This Baskervilles and such - like; was my third surprise. Baize- there was much county history, covered table and raw-wood and one or two valuable old shelves had disappeared. The Herbals and Itineraries. I place was now half smoking- was certain that two years room, half library. On the before Giffon would have had walls hung a fine colleotion of no use for literature exoept coloured sporting prints, and some muddy Russian oddmente, below them were ranged low and I am positive that he Hepplewhite bookcases. The would not have known the lamplight glowed on the ivory name of Surtees. Yet there walls, and the room, like every- stood the tall ootavos rething else in the house, was cording the onedifying careers radiant. Above the mantel. of Mr Jorrooks, Mr Facey piece was a stag's head-a fair Romford, and Mr Soapy eleven-pointer.
Sponge. Giffen nodded proudly to- I was a little bewildered as wards it. "I got that last I stretched my legs in a very year at Machray. My first deep arm.chair. Suddenly I stag.”
had a strong impression of There was a little table with looking on at & play. My an array of magazines and hosts seemed to be automata, weekly papers. Some amuse- moving dooilely at the orders ment must have been visible in of a masterful stage-manager, my face as I caught sight of and yet with no various light-hearted sporting bondage. And as I looked on journals, for he laughed apolo- they faded off the scene, and getioally. “You mustn't think there was only one personality that Ursula and I take in that that house 80 serene and stuff for ourselves. It amuses Booure, smiling at our modern our guests, you know."
antios, but weaving all the
while an iron spell over its an affectionate hand on his lovers. For a second I felt an shoulder. oppression as of something to They were happy people, be resisted. But no. There and I like happiness. Self. was no oppression. The house absorbed perhaps, but I prefer was too well-bred and dis- selfishness in the ordinary way dainful to seek to captivate. of things. We are most of us Only those who fell in love selfish dogs, and altruism makes with it oould know its mastery, as anoomfortable. But I had for all love exacts a price. It somehow in my mind a shade was far more than a thing of of aneasiness, for I was the stone and lime; it was a creed, witness of a transformation an art, a scheme of life-older too swift and violent to be than any Carteron, older than wholly natural. Years, no England. Somewhere far back doubt, turn our eyes inward in time-in Rome, in Attios, or and abate our heroios, but not in an Æggan island — there a trifle of two or three. Some must have been such places; agency had been at work here, and then they called them some agenoy other and more temples, and gods dwelt in potent than the process of them.
time, The thing fascinated I was roused by Giffen's and partly frightened me. voise discoursing of his books. For the Giffens — though I "I've been rabbing up my soaroely dared to admit itclassios again," he was saying. had deteriorated. They were "Queer thing, but ever since I far pleasanter people. I liked left Cambridge I have been out them infinitely better. I hoped of the mood for them. And to see them often again. I I'm shookingly ill-read in detested the type they used to Eoglish literature. I wish I represent, and shunned it like had more time for reading, for the plague. They were wise it means a lot to me."
now, and mellow, and most “There is such an embar- agreeable human beings. But rassment of riches here," said some virtue bad gone out of his wife. “The days are far them. An uncomfortable vir. too short for all there is tae, no doubt, but a virtue, to do. Even when there something generous and ad- . is nobody staying in the venturous. Aforetime their house I find every hour ooou- faces had had a sort of wistful pied. It's delicious to be busy kindness. Now they had geniover things one really cares ality-which is not the same for.”
thing. "All the same I wish I could What was the agenoy of do more reading,” said Giffen. this miracle? It was all around "I've never wanted to so much me: the ivory panelling, the before."
olive-wood staircase, the lovely " But you come in tired from pillared ball. I got up to go
“ shooting and sleep sound till to bed with a kind of awe on dinner," said the lady, laying me.
As Mrs Giffen lit my