of game. Again he advanced deeper into the wood, his light
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The first sight of the rooms made Violet somewhat melancholy, as she missed the beautiful works of art that had been a kind of education to her eye and taste, and over which she had so often dreamt and speculated with Annette. However, there was something nobler in the very emptiness of their niches, and there was more appropriateness in the little picture of the Holy Child embracing His Cross, now that it hung as the solo ornament of the library, than when it was vis-a-vis to Venus blindfolding Cupid, and surrounded by a bewildering variety of subjects, profane and sacred, profanely treated. She could not help feeling that there was a following in those steps when she saw how many luxuries had been laid aside, and how the brother and sister, once living in an atmosphere of morbid refinement, were now toiling away, solely thoughtful of what might best serve their people, mind or body, and thinking no service beneath them.
Lord St. Erme's talent and accomplishment were no longer conducive only to amusement or vanity, though they still were exercised; and it was curious to see his masterly drawings hung round the schools and reading-room, and his ready pencil illustrating his instructions, and to hear him reading great authors to the rude audience whom he awakened into interest. There might be more done than sober judgments appreciated, and there were crotchets that it was easy to ridicule, but all was on a sound footing, the work was thoroughly carried out, and the effects were manifest. The beautiful little church rising at Coalworth would find a glad congregation prepared to value it, both by the Earl and by the zealous curate.
Violet wished Theodora could but see, and wondered whether she would ever venture to make a visit at Lassonthwayte; hardly, she supposed, before her marriage.
Lady Lucy one day asked when Miss Martindale was to be married, and on hearing that no period could be fixed, said she was grieved to find it so; it would be better for her brother that it should be over. Violet ventured to express her hopes that he had at last found peace and happiness.
'Yes,' said Lucy, 'he is very busy and happy. I do not think it dwells on his spirits, but it is the disappointment of his life, and he will never get over it.'
'I hope he will find some one to make him forget it.'
'I do not think he will. No one can ever be like Miss Martindale, and I believe he had rather cling to the former vision, though not repining. He is quite content, and says it is a good thing to meet with a great disappointment early in life.'
Violet doubted not of his contentment when she had looked into his adult school, and seen how happily he was teaching a class of great boys to write; nor when she heard him discussing prices, rents, and wages with Mr. Hunt.