"Yes; I shall start to-morrow," he replied.

"And you still mean to go to Ireland?"

"Yes;--I must go to Ireland. I shan't stay there, you know."

Then she paused a moment before she proceeded. "Shall you see--that young woman when you are there?"

"I suppose I shall see her."

"Pray do not think that I desire to interfere with your private affairs. I know well that I have no right to assume over you any of that affectionate authority which a mother might have,--though in truth I love you as a son."

"I would treat you just as I would my own mother."

"No, Fred; that cannot be so. A mother would throw her arms round you and cling to you if she saw you going into danger. A mother would follow you, hoping that she might save you."

"But there is no danger."

"Ah, Fred, I fear there is."


"What danger?"

"You are now the head of one of the oldest and the noblest families in this which in my heart I believe to be the least sinful among the sinful nations of the wicked world."

"I don't quite know how that may be;--I mean about the world. Of course I understand about the family."

"But you love your country?"

"Oh yes. I don't think there's any place like England,--to live in."

"And England is what it is because there are still some left among us who are born to high rank and who know how to live up to the standard that is required of them. If ever there was such a man, your uncle was such a one."

"I'm sure he was;--just what he ought to have been."

"Honourable, true, affectionate, self-denying, affable to all men, but ever conscious of his rank, giving much because much had been given to him, asserting his nobility for the benefit of those around him, proud of his order for the sake of his country, bearing his sorrows with the dignity of silence, a nobleman all over, living on to the end sans reproche! He was a man whom you may dare to imitate, though to follow him may be difficult." She spoke not loudly, but clearly, looking him full in the face as she stood motionless before him.

"He was all that," said Fred, almost overpowered by the sincere solemnity of his aunt's manner.

"Will you try to walk in his footsteps?"

"Two men can never be like one another in that way. I shall never be what he was. But I'll endeavour to get along as well as I can."

"You will remember your order?"

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