beasts may keep us treed here indefinitely. I doubt if
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'He will never grow old!' said Percy. 'He has the poet's gift of perpetual youth, the spring of life and fancy that keeps men young. He has not grown a day older since this time five years. I found he had taken a great deal of trouble about me, recommended me strenuously, brought forward my papers on foreign policy, and been at much pains to confute that report that was afloat against me. He treated my appointment as a personal favour; and he is a man of weight now. You were right, Theodora; it would have been abominable to sulk in our corner, because we had behaved ill ourselves, and to meet such noble-spirited kindness as an offence.'
'I am very glad that you feel it so,' returned Theodora.
'Now that I have seen him I do so completely. And another thing I have to thank you for, Violet, that you saved me from laying it on any thicker in that criticism of his poetry.'
'I told you how he said that you had done him a great deal of good.'
'A signal instance--almost a single instance of candour. But there is a nobility of mind in him above small resentments and jealousies. Ay! there never will be anybody fit for him but Helen!'
'And Helen brought up to be much better than her aunt,' said Theodora.
'It won't be my mother's fault if she is,' said Arthur. 'I was determined yesterday to see what she would succeed in making her do, and I declare the sprite drove her about like a slave--"Grandmamma, fetch me this," "grandmamma, you must do that," till at last she brought my poor mother down on her knees, stooping under the table to personate an old cow in the stall.'
'Oh! Arthur! Arthur, how could you?' exclaimed Violet. 'What were you about to let it go on?'