hoarse thunder, and a rival far up the valley gave back a trumpet note of defiance, and was himself defied from heathery brows which quivered far away above, half seen through the veil of eastern mist. And close at home, upon the terrace before the house, amid romping spaniels and golden-haired children, sat Lady Grenville herself, the beautiful St. Leger of Annery, the central jewel of all that glorious place, and looked down at her noble children, and then up at her more noble husband, and round at that broad paradise of the West, till life seemed too full of happiness, and heaven of light.

And all the while up and down paced Amyas and Sir Richard, talking long, earnestly, and slow; for they both knew that the turning point of the boy’s life was come.

“Yes,” said Sir Richard, after Amyas, in his blunt simple way, had told him the whole story about Rose Salterne and his brother,— “yes, sweet lad, thou hast chosen the better part, thou and thy brother also, and it shall not be taken from you. Only be strong, lad, and trust in God that He will make a man of you.”

“I do trust,” said Amyas.

“Thank God,” said Sir Richard, “that you have yourself taken from my heart that which was my great anxiety for you, from the day that your good father, who sleeps in peace, committed you to my hands. For all best things, Amyas, become, when misused, the very worst; and the love of woman, because it is able to lift man’s soul to the heavens, is also able to drag him down to hell. But you have learnt better, Amyas; and know, with our old German forefathers, that, as Tacitus saith, Sera juvenum Venus, ideoque inexhausta pubertas. And not only that, Amyas; but trust me, that silly fashion of the French and Italians, to be hanging ever at some woman’s apron string, so that no boy shall count himself a man unless he can vagghezziare le donne, whether maids or wives, alas! matters little; that fashion, I say, is little less hurtful to the soul than open sin; for by it are bred vanity and expense, envy and heart-burning, yea, hatred and murder often; and even if that be escaped, yet the rich treasure of a manly worship, which should be kept for one alone, is squandered and parted upon many, and the bride at last comes in for nothing but the very last leavings and caput mortuum of her bridegroom’s heart, and becomes a mere ornament for his table, and a means whereby he may obtain a progeny. May God, who has saved me from that death in life, save you also!” And as he spoke, he looked down toward his wife upon the terrace below; and she, as if guessing instinctively that he was talking of her, looked up with so sweet a smile, that Sir Richard’s stern face melted into a very glory of spiritual sunshine.

Amyas looked at them both and sighed; and then turning the conversation suddenly—

“And I may go to Ireland to-morrow?”

“You shall sail in the ‘Mary’ for Milford Haven, with these letters to Winter. If the wind serves, you may bid the master drop down the river tonight, and be off; for we must lose no time.”

“Winter?” said Amyas. “He is no friend of mine, since he left Drake and us so cowardly at the Straits of Magellan.”

“Duty must not wait for private quarrels, even though they be just ones, lad: but he will not be your general. When you come to the marshal, or the Lord Deputy, give either of them this letter, and they will set you work,—and hard work too, I warrant.

“I want nothing better.”

“Right, lad; the best reward for having wrought well already, is to have more to do; and he that has been faithful over a few things, must find his account in being made ruler over many things. That is the true and heroical rest, which only is worthy of gentlemen and sons of God. As for those who, either in this world or the world to come, look for idleness, and hope that God shall feed them with pleasant things,

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