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CHAPTER XIII.

EUSTACE BUYS A PAPER.

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In due course the train that bore Augusta and her fortunes, timed to reach Waterloo' at 5.4 P.M. 1, rolled into the station. The train was a fast one, but the telegraph had been faster. All the evening papers had come out with accounts, more or less accurate, of their escape, and most of them had added that the two survivors would reach Waterloo by the 5.4 express' 2. The consequence was, when the train drew up at the platform 3, Augusta, on looking out, was hor'rified to see a dense mass of human beings being kept in check by a line of policemen.

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However, the guard was holding the door open, so there was nothing for it but to get out, which she did, taking Dick by the hand, a proceed'ing that necessarily put her identity beyond a doubt 5. The moment she got her foot on to the platform, the crowd saw her, and there arose such a tremen'dous shout of welcome that she very nearly took refuge again in the carriage. For a moment she stood hesitating, and the crowd, seeing how sweet and beautiful she was (for the three months of sea air had made her stouter and even

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1) Waterloo Station is the London terminus of the London and South Western Railway Company, on the Surrey, i. e. the south side of the Thames. The train was timed, i. e. the train was due, the train was announced to arrive at 5.4 P. M., i. e. Pōst Meridiem, after twelve o'clock at noon. A. M. is an abbreviation of Ante Meridiem, before

noon.

2) An express train goes at a particularly high rate and stops only at the most important places. It goes at a greater speed than an ordinary fast train.

3) A train is said to draw up at the platform (Dutch: perron), when it stops there. Comp.: the carriage drew up at the door.

4) Nothing else could be done, it was the only thing to do.

5) To the people who had read the account in the paper, it was clear that the lady and the boy whom she held by the hand, must be the expected survivors of the wreck.

6) Stout is evidently not used here in the sense of corpulent; it means strong, well-developed; the sea air had given her a healthier look and filled out her features.

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more lovely), cheered again with that pēcu'liar enthusiasm which a discern'ing (sc = zz) public 1 always shows for a pretty face. But even while she stood bewildered on the platform she heard a loud "Make way-make way there!" and saw the multitude being divided by a little knot of officials, who were escort'ing somebody dressed in widow's weeds 2.

In another second there was a cry of joy, and a sweet, pale-faced little lady had run at the child Dick, and was hugging him against her heart, and sobbing and laughing both at once.

"Oh! my boy! my boy!" cried Lady Holmhurst, for it was she, "I thought you were dead-long ago dead!"

And then she turned, and, before all the people, clung about Augusta's neck and kissed her and blessed her, because she had saved her only child, and half removed the dead weight of her desolation. Whereat' the crowd cheered, and wept, and yelled, and swore with excite'ment, and blessed their stars that they were there to see 6.

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And then, in a haze of noise and excitement, they were led through the cheering mob to where a carriage and pair were standing, and helped into it, Mrs. Thomas being placed on the front seat and

1) A discerning public is able to distinguish, to note the difference, between various things and to act accordingly.

2) Widow's weeds denotes the distinctive dress worn by a widow during the first year of her widowhood. The word is used only in the plural.

3) With verbs of motion at indicates the object, the aim of the action. She ran not merely to or towards the child, but at him, because her purpose was to get possession of him again. Comp.: to throw at, fly at, go at, etc.

4) A dead weight is a heavy oppressive burden. The loss of her husband and her child was the heavy weight that oppressed' her; the return of her child had diminished the load by half. (See also p. 26, note 2.)

5) Whereat for at which, at seeing which.

6) Quotation of the last line of 'John Gilpin': May I be there to see. 7) A haze is a light vapour that fills and obscures' the air so as to prevent clear vision. Here it refers to the surrounding mob and the bewildering effect their shouts had on the travellers.

8) A carriage and pair is a carriage with two horses. So also a carriage and four.

Mr. Meeson's Will.

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Lady Holmhurst and Augusta on the back, the former with the gasping Dick upon her knee.

And now little Dick is out of the story.

Then another event occurred, which we must go back a little way to explain 1.

When Eustace Meeson had come to town, after being formally disinherited, he had managed to get a billet as Latin, French, and Old English reader in a publishing house of repute'2. As it happened, on this very afternoon he was strolling down the Strand 3, having finished a rather stiff day's work, his mind filled with those idle and somewhat confused odds and ends of specula'tion with which most brain-workers will be acquainted. He looked older and paler than when we last met him, for sorrow and misfortune had laid their heavy hands upon him. When Augusta was gone, he had discovered that he was head-over-heels in love 5 with her in that unfortunate way-for, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it is unfortunate-in which many men of susceptibility do occasionally fall in love in their youth, -a way that brands the heart for life in a fashion that can no more be effaced' than the stamp of a hot iron can be effaced from the physical body. Such an affection - which is not altogether of the earth-will, when it overcomes' a man, prove either the greatest blessing of his life or one of the most enduring curses that a maligʻnant fate can heap upon his head. For if he achieves' his desire, even though he serve his seven years, surely for him life will be robbed

1) See p. 45, note 1.

2) A house of repute is widely known and has a good reputation. 3) The Strand is one of the liveliest thoroughfares in London, combining more than any other street the aspects of business and amusement. It contains several theatres, a couple of churches, the new Law Courts, several newspaper offices, and a great many shops. It runs parallel to the Thames from Trafalgar Square eastward to Fleet Street.

4) Odds and ends is an expression used to denote scraps of various kinds, fragments of miscellaneous articles. Disconnected thoughts relating to his work or his reading passed through his mind in rapid succession. 5) See p. 120, note 6.

6) To brand is to burn a distinctive mark upon an object to indicate ownership, origin, etc., and formerly also upon convicts as a sign of infamy. In a fig. sense it means to make an indelible impression.

7) This is a reference to Genesis 29, 20: And Jacob served seven years for Rachel.

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of half its evil. But if he lose her, either through misfortune or because he gave all this to one who did not understand the gift, or one who looked at love and on herself as a currency wherewith' to buy her place and the luxury of days', then he will be of all men2 among the most miserable. For nothing can give him back that which has gone from him.

Eustace had seen Augusta but twice in his life; but then passion does not necessarily depend upon constant previous intercourse with its object. Love at first sight is common enough, and in this instance Eustace was not altogether depend'ent upon the spoken words of his adored', or on his recollec'tion of her very palpable beauty, for he had her books. To those who know something of the writer - sufficient, let us say, to enable him to put an approximate value on his or her sentiments, so as to form a more or less accurate guess as to when he is speaking from his own mind, when he is speaking from the mind of the puppet in hand3, and when he is merely putting a case a person's books are full of information, and bring that person into a closer and more intimate contact with the reader than any amount of personal intercourse. For whatever is best and whatever is worst in an individual will be reflected in his pages, seeing that, unless he is the poorest of hack authors, he must of necessity set down therein the images that pass across the mirrors of his heart. Thus it seemed to Eustace, who knew 'Jemima's Vow' and also her previous abor'tive work almost by heart, that he was very inti

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1) A currency is that which passes from one to another, and serves as the means for negotiating sales or purchases. It may consist of coins or of banknotes (metallic or paper currency). The meaning here is that she considers herself as something of value, because she is rich or beautiful, and that by means of these gifts she can marry one in a high position and lead a luxurious life.

2) More than any one else he will have to be ranked among the most miserable.

3) The puppet in hand is the character the author introduces to express particular views.

4) Putting a case is making a supposition, stating a supposititious case. 5) See p. 4, note 3.

6) An abortive work appears too soon, is premature' and therefore unsuccessful. Comp.: an abortive attempt, an abortive enterprise. The reference is to Augusta's first book, which was a dead failure. (See p. 26.)

mately acquainted with Augusta, and as he walked home that May evening, he was reflecting sadly enough on all that he had lost through that cruel shipwreck. He had lost Augusta, and, what was more, he had lost his uncle and his uncle's vast fortune. For he, too, had seen the report' of the application re1 Meeson in the Times, and, though he knew that he was disinherited, it was a little crushing 2. He had lost the fortune for Augusta's sake, and now he had lost Augusta also; and he reflected, not without dismay, on the long dreary exist'ence that stretched away before him, filled up as it were with prospect'ive piles of Lătin proofs 3. With a sigh he halted at the Wellington Street crossing in the Strand, which, owing to the constant stream of traffic at this point, is one of the worst in London. There was a block 5 at the moment, as there generally is, and he stood for some minutes watching the frantic dashes of an old woman, who always tried to cross at the wrong time, not without some amusement. Presently, however, a boy with a bundle of unfolded Globes 6 under his arm came rushing along, making the place hideous with his howls.

1) Re is a legal Latin term meaning in the matter of.

2) A thing is said to be crushing when it feels like a heavy load oppress'ing and overwhelm'ing one. (Dutch: verpletterend.)

3) Having accepted an appointment as reader in Latin, etc., and having lost his greatest attraction in life, he saw no other prospect before him than that of having to correct great numbers of Latin proofs.

4) A crossing is a place where two roads intersect each other; also a particularly well paved path across a road by which foot-passengers in dirty weather can cross more conveniently than in other parts of the road. Crossings are often kept clean by voluntary scavengers, called crossing sweepers, who expect to get an occasional copper from passers-by. Wellington Street forms part of a busy thoroughfare, leading from Waterloo Bridge across the Strand to Oxford Street.

5) A block is a temporary stoppage of the traffic in the street, owing to some accident or to over-crowding. During a block it may be dangerous to cross, because the files of carts and carriages may begin to move again at any moment.

6) As soon as the evening papers appear, newsboys fill the streets with their cries, calling out the name of the paper and the heading of some article containing important tidings. These boys carry a number of papers unfolded over their arm, only folding them up when they are bought.

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