« ZurückWeiter »
was Hamlet jumping into Ophelia's grave: he was the Stranger taking Mrs. Haller to his arms, beautiful Mrs. Haller, with the raven ringlets falling over her shoulders. Despair and Byron, Thomas Moore and all the Loves of the Angels,Waller and Herrick, Beranger and all the love-songs he had ever read, were working and seething in this young gentleman's mind, and he was at the very height and paroxysm of the imaginative phrensy, when his mother found him.
"Arthur," said the mother's soft silver voice: and he started up and turned round. He clutched some of the papers and pushed them under the pillow.
"Why don't you go to sleep, my dear?" she said, with a sweet tender smile, and sate down on the bed and took one of his hot hands.
Pen looked at her wildly for an instant—"I couldn't sleep," he said—" I—I was—I was writing."—And hereupon he flung his arms round her neck and said, "O mother! I love her, I love her!"—How could such a kind soul as that help soothing and pitying him? The gentle creature did her best: and thought with a strange wonderment and tenderness, that it was only yesterday that he was a child in that bed: and how she used to come and say her prayers over it before he woke upon holiday mornings.
They were very grand verses, no doubt, although Miss Fotheringay did not understand them; but old Cos, with a wink and a knowing finger on his nose, said, "Put them up with th' hother letthers, Milly darling. Poldoody's pomes was nothing to this." So Milly locked up the manuscripts.
When then the Major being dressed and presentable, presented himself to Mrs. Pendennis, he found in the course of ten minutes' colloquy that the poor widow was not merely distressed at the idea of the marriage contemplated by Pen, but actually more distressed at thinking that the boy himself was unhappy about it, and that his uncle and he should have any violent altercation on the subject. She besought Major Pendennis to be very gentle with Arthur: "He has a very high spirit, and will not brook unkind words," she hinted. "Doctor Portman spoke to him rather roughly—and I must own unjustly, the other night—for my dearest boy's honour