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      Colonel Disney was full of thoughtfulness for his wife in all their going to and fro; and before their day's rambles were half done he would drive her to any quiet spot where she might choose to spend a restful hour in the afternoon sunshinein this or that convent garden, in some shaded corner on the Aventine, or among the wild flowers that flourish and grow rank amidst the ruins of palace and temple on the Palatine. Her favourite resort was still the English cemetery, and she always begged to be set down within reach of that familiar gate, where the custodian knew her as well as if she had been some restless spirit whose body lay under one of those marble urns, and whose ghost passed in and out of the gate every day.

      "I don't know," she faltered, turning over the loose music with a faintly tremulous gesture, while Isola sat by the piano, touching the notes dumbly now and then.That must be very jolly, she said. And where do you live in England? At that place on that little bit of cardboard you showed me? What was itOakfield?

      The two gentlemen were hardly outside the gate, before Doctor Trubie asked;"What do you know of this Doctor Remy's antecedents?"

      There was perfect stillness in the room. Isola had been lying with closed eyes a little time before, and he fancied that she was sleeping.Hark! was not that a cry from the direction of the river? He leaned out of the window, and listened attentively; but the soundif sound it were, and not the simple product of his own disordered fancywas not repeated. Nothing was to be heard save the low sough of the rising wind, and the melancholy voices of the trees, as one solemn old oak-top leaned toward another, and talked mysteriously of some woful event that it had witnessedperhaps a century ago, perhaps lateror recounted drearily the long list of human sorrows and sins and retributions stored up in its dreamy old memory. There might have been heard, too, in its further talk, if only the ear were fine enough that listened,something of patience born of sorrow, and blessedness wrenched from the hand of suffering; of lofty hopes blossoming out of the ashes of despair, and fair, new temples, vocal with the anthem of glory to God and good will to man, built over and out of heaps of ruins. A few words, too, might have been added of lovehuman loveas the crowning grace and gladness of a man's life,the delicate carving beautifying the arches, capitals, and pinnacles of the temple, the thick greenery softening its sharp outlines, and the odorous blossoms rooting themselves in its angles and hollows; but neither its strong foundations, its majestic walls, nor the upward spring of its spire,and never, in any sense, the object of its rightful worship.

      "My dearest, I have not the least doubt you will astonish me. I am very ignorant of everything connected with art. I set my face against the Academy because I thought the training and the life would be too public for my sister."


      "A riverderci," said the priest, grasping his hand. "I felicitate you upon this day's union; a happy one, or I am no judge of men and women."



      The two men came in from the loggia, bringing with them the cool breath of night. Isola went to the piano and played one of those Adagios of Mozart's which came just within the limit of her modest powers, and which she played to perfection, all her soul in the long lingering phrases, the tender modulations, with their suggestions of shadowy cathedral aisles, and the smoke of incense in the deepening dusk of a vesper service. Those bits of Mozart, the slow movements from the Sonatas, an Agnus Dei, or an Ave Maria from one of the Masses, satisfied Captain Hulbert's highest ideas of music. He desired nothing grander or more scientific. The new learning of the Wagnerian school had no charm for him.