A small, two-story house, with an attic, was the residence of the Bishop of Dorchester. It stood not far from St. Bridget's Church, and was quite overshadowed by the stately proportions of the parsonage of St. Bridget's, where Dr. and Mrs. Gooby had lived now fifteen years, and with much comfort and respectability were steadily advancing towards the Kingdom of Heaven. A larger house, however, the Bishop hardly needed, for a Diocese of sixty thousand square miles, and a very small salary, gave him little time to be at home, and less money to spend when he chanced to be there. In the brief intervals which he passed in the See city of the Diocese, he was busily employed in the meetings of the Standing Committees, Missionary Board, and in answering the accumulated pile of letters from every quarter of the huge Diocese. Meanwhile there were, at least, three or four Bishops, besides himself, in the city of Dorchester. We do not mean the Roman Catholic Bishop, or the Methodist Bishop, or the excellent Pastor of the First Presbyterian Society; but the four Episcopal Rectors, who were really the Bishops of Dorchester. Dr. Gooby was the Low Church Bishop, Dr. Smoother was the High and Dry Bishop, Dr. Perkins was the Ritualistic Bishop, and Mr. Merler, who had the new Mission Church, was a sort of Bishop-at-large, and was at once, Low, High and Dry, and Ritualistic, as the necessity of his Episcopate demanded.
There had almost been a fifth Bishop in Dorchester, when the excellent Dr. Gooby had procured that very captivating young graduate of the Dorchester University, the Rev. Mr. Arnold, as his assistant. There was a certain mistiness and vagueness about his preaching, when talking about the great doctrines of the faith--a new way of presenting things--a great deal about culture, and certain contemptuous allusions to all the other Bishops, as though he were possessed of some especial gospel that they had never heard of, which greatly delighted a portion of the congregation of St. Bridget.
The gentlemen who rarely attended church, and were supposed to merit the Kingdom of Heaven, by moral virtues which made the Sacraments unnecessary for their peculiar idiosyncracies; the retired school teachers, of whom there were a great many in Dorchester; all the trustees of the Dorchester Polytechnic Academy, who were members of St. Bridget's; Mr. Stebbins, the editor of the Progressive Freeman^ who although not a Churchman, always went to hear Mr. Arnold--all these greatly admired him. Indeed, it was thought by all that when Dr. Gooby should be translated to that higher sphere, for which his virtues so pre-eminently fitted him, Mr. Arnold would unquestionably succeed him. He seemed, so to speak, to possess the right of succession, and, but for the unfortunate circumstance that Dr. Gooby still preferred to remain awhile longer in the flesh, and Mrs. Gooby stirred up a great breeze, on the subject of justification by faith, Mr. Arnold had been the fifth Episcopal Bishop in Dorchester. He prudently, however, retired from the field, and is now the Rector of St. Thomas' Church, in the town of Didimus. Now, the real Bishop had to walk warily, as one may well suppose, amidst these opposing Episcopates. What time he had to spare from his letters and his journeys, and his necessary meetings, was spent in trying to walk warily. The principle to divide and rule, which the former Bishop of Dorchester had admirably acted on, quite failed him, inasmuch as division had reached its highest possible degree of development, and the only thing upon which the other Bishops were agreed, was in resisting any possible encroachments of the real Bishop. He had begun, poor soul, with the enthusiasm of youth, to have visions of a Cathedral, a Sisterhood, Christian schools, men working with him' a body of clergy living in his house--to which last his wife totally objected--and of many other things.
Well had it been for the Bishop of Dorchester, had he heeded the sage advice of the prudent Bishop of Laodicea. "My dear Bishop," he said, "all this is very well. The primitive church was a fine thing, I have no doubt. I hope you will succeed, but we Episcopal Bishops cannot expect to be anything more than machines for ordaining and confirming. You have a little ritualistic tendency, my dear Dorchester, though, of course, as in duty bound, you would stoutly deny it. So have I. Now, our robes are not handsome; but a good traveling overcoat, a pair of heavy boots, and a wide-awake--they ought to be the Episcopal vestments. They suit our traveling functions. For pastoral staff, I should suggest a large railway pass, on the end of a good, stout cane. Indeed, added this thoughtful prelate, I am not sure but that, as railways are multiplied, and station houses increase in beauty, with little flower beds about them and everything proper, it might be a convenience to have the confirmation candidates duly drawn up in them, and with laying on of hands, two at a time, and a short address it might be almost as well, and enable one to make more frequent visitations. Indeed, now that so many Churchmen are railway men, there might be special confirmation trains. You think I am joking, my dear brother. There is a great deal of talk, in the Church newspapers, about the See system, and so on, but the Bishop, who tries to be a Bishop, had better prepare himself for martyrdom; the stake they, will tie him to, will be his own Cathedral; they will pile Church newspapers around for faggots; all the rectors of the city, with their vestries, will stand about with lucifer matches, and what a bonfire he will make. No\v, my dear brother, do not try it; travel over the 60,000 square miles. If the Bishop is to be butter for the Episcopal bread, spread him over as large a slice as possible. Be prudent, and avoid difficult questions; do not try to lead anybody; never command; advise when you can; sit on movements and take care of your health, and leave the improvements to the next generation of Bishops."
Wise Bishop of Laodicea. Is he not now in Paradise, with St. Cyprian, whom he so greatly resembled! Why did not the Bishop of Dorchester heed him? At first, the lesser Bishops of the city had been quite taken with the idea of a Cathedral.
"Let St. Bridget's be the Cathedral," exclaimed Dr. Gooby. "You can ordain and confirm, occasionally, in it, and of course, I shall be glad to have you preach now and then, of an afternoon."
"I have already had a Bishop's chair, with a beautifully carved pastoral staff, placed in my chancel," said Dr. Perkins, the Rector of St. Jerome's. "You will always take the rear of the procession, and officiate pontifically. In other respects, my vestry insist on everything remaining in statu quo."
"I have no objections to a Cathedral," said the admirable rector of St. George's, "but we have gone on. well enough for five and twenty years, without one, and I see no necessity for a change. Still, St. George's had better be the Cathedral on account of its central location. There must, however, be no alterations of any kind, and the Bishop must not wear his robes. If the Bishop has rights, go have his Presbyters."
But our story is not with the Bishop of Dorchester. So much of the difficulties of his position we have had to speak of, as otherwise our story would scarcely be clear. He belonged to that class of Churchmen who believe it to be their duty to practice what they believe. Had he been content to hold all sorts of theories, and never to act on them, no one had molested the Bishop of Dorchester. As it was, he sometimes acted in a less positive sort of way, because he had met with so much opposition, and living in a transition period, went forth bearing precious seed, weeping as he went.
On this particular morning, he had had a vexatious time. At a meeting of the Standing Committee, much talk f had been expended over the papers of a candidate for Orders, who knew nothing, and never expected to know anything, and had no particular qualifications for the ministry, except that he had tried several other occupations, and failed in them, to make an honest livelihood. Still, there were seventeen counties in the Diocese of Dorchester, where there were no Episcopal Churches, and in four others, the venerable Father Gobbler, admirably supported by Mrs. Gobbler and ten pledges of affection, alone upreared the standard of the Cross. The whole thing had left him fretted with difficulties he could not solve. So he was trying to read a little in a new commentary, though his attention had been attracted to an article in a Church newspaper, which he thought alluded to his own difficulties, when a knock at his study door, compelled him to lay both aside. He felt a little impatient, as the door opened, and in walked a woman with her veil down. When she raised it, however, there was a pleasant look about the quiet face a manner, half embarrassed, half resolved, like that of one who had undergone much, and was prepared to bear more, if necessary, for her object, and somehow she so much interested the good Bishop, that he forgot, as he was always ready to do, his fret and impatience, and the unread commentary.
"My Lord," she said; and how odd it sounded. She seemed a little out of breath, too, and added, as if by some way of excuse, "I had some difficulty in finding the Palace." The Bishop's wife, who was dusting the room into which the study opened, heard the conversation, and immediately went up stairs and put on her best cap. She said afterwards, she did not know why, but, somehow, she felt it necessary, under the circumstances.
As for the Bishop, the words carried him back to the one solitary pleasure trip of his life, when some symptoms of bronchitis had sent him abroad, and he could not help recalling the stately beauty of Farnham Castle. Somehow, though it made him laugh with its inappropriateness, the "My Lord" soothed him. It was such a contrast to the Standing Committee. The voice, too, of the young woman, was a pleasant one, and it rather rested one to look at her! But the Bishop only said "well," and the Bishop's wife, with the best cap on, went on dusting the back room.
"I am very sorry to trouble your lordship with my affairs, but may I present my letters?" . She rose from her seat and handed the Bishop two letters.
One was a formal one ftom the Bishop of Lichfield, introducing "Miss Lucy Bradfield, the daughter of Dr. Bradfield, late Minor Canon of Lichfield Cathedral;" the other, from the Vicar of St. Chad's, whom the Bishop of Dorchester had a slight personal acquaintance with, was fuller and more explicit.
"Miss Bradfield," wrote the worthy Vicar, "has been engaged, for many years, to a certain Mr. Whooney, now a fellow, as I understand, in some College in one of your great Universities. She has been carefully attending, for years, on her paralytic father, whom death has, at last, released from his sufferings. She has been left a comfortable little income by her father, but she will persist in, what I must regard, as her foolish attachment. Letters she has recently received from this Mr. Whooney, lead me to fear that he is playing her false, in some way; but of this she will not hear. She is to leave in the Asia, on Saturday next, to find him if she can, and judge for herself.
"Loving her as I would my own daughter, and knows well her worth, I write to beg you to assist her, as far as your many duties may permit. Of course, this Mr. Whooney, if he marries her, will have to resign his fellowship, if held as in our Colleges; but she has enough for both."
"My dear," called the Bishop of Dorchester to his who was still dusting, "come here."
And the Bishop's wife came.
Mrs. Bishop of Dorchester's maiden name was Perker. Everybody accustomed to society, knows who the Perkers are. John Perker came over in the Mayflower. John Perker, Jr., was Governor of Dorchester, in the colonial times. Eleazer Perker was one of the signers of the Declaration, and there have been Perkers ever since, and will be, no doubt, until an ungrateful world shall show itself unworthy of such a blessing as the Perkers.
When Miss Eliza Perker married the Bishop of Dorchester, then only an assistant minister at St. Bridget's, it was felt generally that it was a union of the Church and the world, in which the world had made great sacrifices. But a good wife she made the worthy Bishop; first, when he was an assistant minister, then when he became Rector of St. Paul's, Dorchester, and afterwards, when called to the Episcopal palace. She was a little low Church--indeed, how could she help it? The Perker's had been Presbyterian, until her grandfather's time, and, as she pathetically remarked, "it was in the blood." "What would greatgrandfather Nehemiah Perker say, could he look down from Paradise--though I am sure he never believed in the intermediate state, and must have been in a state of theological disappointment ever since he got there--and see me bowing in the Glorias or embroidering an altar cloth!" She pardoned it, in people who were not Perkers, but, with her connections, she felt that it was hardly the thing. She grumbled a little, now and then, at the Bishop's hospitality. "I know," she said, "it is in the ordination office, and it is alright, but I did not make the vows, and it is very hard, with only one servant, and on such a small salary.
These were only slight imperfections. Her family pride chiefly showed itself in a very poky bonnet, which no one but a Perker could have worn, and her want of hospitality, when Father Gobbler brought his eldest daughter, Mary, and four smaller Gobblers, to spend a week at the palace. As to her Low Churchmanship, everybody knows that it takes four generations to get Calvinism out of the system, and it was entirely beyond her control. She did her best, and what could one ask more? Therefore it was in a kindly and motherly way, that she welcomed Lucy Bradfield, and soon knew almost as much about poor Mr. Whooney as Lucy did.
The next day was a bright spring morning. It was an early spring that year, and the grass plots, in front of the Dorchester houses, were fresh and green, with crocuses, hyacinths and tulips, already in blossom. The buds were swelling, the birds were singing, and the air and the sunlight were full of promise of the happy summer time. It was a good day to take this faithful Lucy to the Dorchester Polytechnic Academy. The Bishop's wife awoke, with a sense of something romantic and pleasant, and when she opened her window to let in the fresh air, and the perfume of the early morning; when she saw the bright colored tulips below, and heard the piping of a robin in a tree close by, she came as near believing in bright colors for the sanctuary, and incense, as a Perker could. Still, she had no time for speculation, as the Bishop's robes had to be packed, for while she went to the Academy, he, poor soul, I had an Ordination, three Confirmations, and a meeting of some Board of Trustees to attend. At family prayers, which the Bishop read, he wanted--for he took a very kindly interest in this quest of Lucy's--to pray for God's blessing on it; but the Bishop had no gift in an extempore way, and all he could remember was the passage in the marriage service about "Isaac and Rebecca living faithfully together," which he said, and made poor Lucy blush, though nobody saw it but the angels. After the Bishop had gone, Mrs. Bishop brought out a bow of lilac ribbon which she thought would be becoming to Lucy's complexion, and when she had pinned it on, gave the poor girl, whose color came and went, a hearty kiss. So Mrs. Bishop, in the poky bonnet, and Lucy with the lilac bow, went forth that bright spring morning to the Dorchester Polytechnic Academy. Mrs. Gooby saw them pass the window of the parsonage of St. Bridget's, and looked up from the Evangelical Gazette. Mrs. Smoother met them in the street, and hoped the dear Bishop was well, and not worn out with all his labors, and at last safely seated in the train, they were on their way to Hubville. Lucy's imagination was very busy. Had she not been in Oxford once, and lunched in the hall at Oriel, on Commemoration Day? She saw an old Quadrangle, with the grey stones of the building made gay with bright flowers in the window. A respectable verger would meet her. She would, at once, give him a shilling. She would ask for Mr. Whooney. He would have pleasant rooms, with a little library. To be sure, they would want tidying up a little, poor fellow, but then how glad he would be! Perhaps some of the older students, with whom he was intimate, would drop in. There might be tea in his rooms, or dinner in the hall of the College, and how happy they would be.
A little boy with a basket, who would insist upon selling her peanuts, and another who was always dropping hideous novels in her lap, and prize packages containing jewelry, of untold value, for twenty-five cents, kept interrupting the pleasant vision, but on that bright, spring morning, with the fresh air blowing in through the open window, there was no place for anything but happy thoughts. As they stopped at one little station, the birds sang sweetly; a young married couple, very conscious, accompanied by a troop of friends, got in at another; at another place, a bell from some steeple rang out a joyous peal; the very car which was a new one with fresh plush and new pamt, seemed to have caught the spirit of the journey, and the conductor, jauntily going through, would take no fare from Mrs. Bishop and her friend.
Whiffles, who was at the station at Hubville, and saw Miss Bradfield get out, fell in love with her at once; and Mr. Whooney, all unconscious in the book store, saw the carriage drive by, and never knew what made him think of Lucy and Lichfield, and forget all about Miss Hetty Neverasole.
The carriage stopped at the front gate of the Academy; as it did so, another carriage moved on a little, to let them alight.
The tall, brick building, which even the spring sunshine could not make look cheerful, stared at them, while in front of the door, a great crowd of boys stopped the way, and gave them no opportunity of reaching it. Mrs. Bishop' who was not to be daunted by boys, was about penetrating the crowd, when the door opened, and the boys parted hither and thither, to make room for some one--Mr. Stebbins, Robert Graham and Dr. Neverasole. From an upper window, Mrs. Jollipop, with her face quite red and her eyes full of tears, and Miss Hetty Neverasole also, were looking down.
"See!" said Miss Bradfield, in a whisper to Mrs. Bishop "what a face that boy has. It looks like a picture I once saw of Sir Galahad. What can it all mean?"
The three passed along, Mr. Stebbins glancing on this side and that, and whistling under his breath; Dr. Neverasole, with a severe judicial aspect, as became the occasion and Robert, with his head down, not daring to look at any one, until Popkins caught him by the hand and squeezed it; then he glanced up, and something gave him the look Miss Bradfield saw. Robert had refused to sign the paper, and his uncle was taking him home to Danville, to hia Grandmother, who was now so ill that she could not leave her bed, with a view to bring him to confess his wrong, and make restitution. Scarcely had they entered the carriage, when the boys moved away, in little groups, to talk it over, and Mrs. Bishop rang at the door, with a bold and determined ring. Up above, Mrs. Jollipop was still looking out of the window, Miss Hetty having retired to her room.
"I declare," said Mrs. Jollipop to herself, "where have I seen that face before," as she caught a glimpse of Lucy's pleasant countenance. "It looks like--who does it look like?" she had no time to finish her inquiry, for the bell rang again, and as she knew that the servant was far away in a remote dormitory, she went down herself. She opened the door and ushered them into the parlor. "Did you wish to see Dr. Neverasole? or Mrs. Neverasole, or any of the boys? Perhaps you are a parent," she added, in a sort of defiant way to Mrs. Bishop. All the while her eyes kept wandering to Lucy's face, busied with a sort of startled recollection, which filled her with vague alarm.
"I am Mrs. Bishop of Dorchester," replied the good lady, "and this is Miss Bradfield of Lichfield, England, and we have called to see Mr. Whooney."
"Mr. Edward Whooney, B. A.," said Lucy, blushing as she said it "a fellow of the College. Could we be shown to his rooms?"
She tried, as she said so, to put a quarter of a dollar in Mrs. Jollipop's hand, just as she had done to the much more elegant looking house-keeper at Warwick Castle, when she had been to see it some time before.
Mrs. Jollipop did not even perceive her intention; she smoothed down her apron, looked first at one, then at the other and repeated, "Mrs. Bishop of Dorchester! Lucy Bradfield! Lucy Bradfield!"
Both persons greatly overcame her. A Bishop, in Mrs. Jollipop's mind, came next in order to the angels, and a Bishop's wife was almost as exalted. Then, there was Lucy Bradfield of Lichfield, to whom, in some sort, she had been a traitor, standing before her, and accompanied by the wife of a Bishop. No doubt the Bishop had sent his wife, as of course he could not come himself, and she was armed with all sorts of canons and ecclesiastical terrors. All that Mrs. Jollipop could do, was to gaze at one and the other, and then, without saying a word to either, to rush out of the room, up stairs, to the room of Miss Hetty.
Miss Hetty had been very much overcome by Robert's going away, and was seated at a table, by the window, reading the Bible. It had opened at the history of Jepthah's daughter. She was just reading the story of that sublime self-sacrifice, as the door opened, and Mrs. Jollipop exclaimed:
"Hetty Neverasole, the Lord requires a sacrifice of you."
The whole thing chimed in with what she was reading so well, that, somehow, it did not surprise her. She only looked up, waiting for what was to come.
"Lucy Bradfield is down stairs with the wife of the Bishop, come after Mr. Whooney," said Mrs. Jollipop. "It wouldn't be right to break off that engagement, and she come so far and the Bishop's wife with her, too," she added. "Hetty can you do it?"
"Do what?" said Miss Hetty.
"Give up Mr. Whooney," she replied.
"I can, if I ought to," said Miss Hetty. "Is she real ugly?" she added, going to the glass and brushing her hair, which was a little in disorder.
"No," answered Mrs. Jollipop; "that's the worst of it. She is just as pretty and sweet-like, as anybody I ever saw." Hetty was very much interested in it, all at once.
"How nice it would be," said Mrs. Jollipop, "to settle it all up, surprise Mr. Whooney, and you be bridesmaid."
"It would be quite like Angelica, in 'Emma's Revenge' except the poisoning of the Grandmother, and I could wear my white muslin, with a pink sash," said Miss Hetty.
Meanwhile, the blood of the Perkers alone sustained Mrs. Bishop, under the extraordinary treatment of Mrs. Jollipop. "It is very curious," she said to Lucy; "what can the woman mean? Can she have gone for Mr. Whooney?"
"Perhaps he is ill," said Lucy; "or may be something has happened to him," and she quite trembled as she said it. "How did she know my name was Lucy," she added, as Mrs. Bishop bent over her, and kindly reassured her, as well as she could.
"Come, Hetty," said Mrs. Jollipop, "we had better take our Prayer Books with us." Somehow, Mrs. Jollipop, who had never seen a Bishop but once, and that was when she was confirmed, felt the occasion was an ecclesiastical one, and that everything should be done in a suitable and proper way. So Mrs. Jollipop paused at her own room, and took from the table her large Prayer Book, and put on her spectacles, while she handed Miss Hetty a smaller Prayer Book. "Find the articles of religion," said Mrs. Jollipop, solemnly. "Then, if she examines us, we shall know just what to answer in the very words of the Prayer Book." So she opened her own Prayer Book at the seventeenth article, and marched down as if she were leading a procession, followed by Miss Hetty.
As Mrs. Bishop bent over Lucy, the door opened, and they walked solemnly in. Mrs. Bishop felt annoyed at the waiting, and said in a depressed way: "Is Mr. Whooney at home--we wish to see him."
"Mr. Whooney has gone to Hubville, and, as it is a holiday to-day, may not be back till night. I do not know the articles by heart, and some of them I do not understand; Hetty is a Baptist, but can say all the Church Catechism, except the Desire, four of the selection of Psalms, and seven hymns"--she added, as though it was all one subject.
"What does she mean? Is she crazy?" said Mrs. Bishop, in a whisper to Lucy, and then turning to Mrs. Jollipop said severely:
"What is your name?"
"Elizabeth Jemima" said Mrs. Jollipop.
"Elizabeth Jemima what?" cried Mrs. Bishop.
"My sponsors in Baptism," replied Mrs. Jollipop, beginning the well known answer.
"She thinks I am hearing the catechism" whispered Mrs. Bishop, "I will try the other one. What is your name?" she said, turning to Hetty.
"I don't know it very well, because I only began to learn it since I was engaged to Mr. Whooney, but I always knew the ten commandments and the Lord's Prayer, but I get all mixed up on the Desire, and I can't see the use of that either;" replied Miss Hetty.
"She is as crazy as the other," whispered Mrs. Bishop.
"Stop!" said Lucy very pale, and rising from her seat, with her lips pressed together--"What do you mean, by saying you are engaged to Mr. Whooney--is that true?"
"Lucy Bradfield,'' said Mrs. Jollipop, "we are all ready to pass any examination the Bishop's wife may wish."
"Please answer my question," said Lucy. "Does she speak the truth--is she engaged to Mr. Whooney?"
Poor Lucy's pale face, and her evident distress, made Mrs. Jollipop forget the Prayer Book, articles of religion, and even Mrs. Bishop, in the desire to comfort her. "Poor little lamb!" said Mrs. Joliipop, as though she were a small boy; "it is not anything at all. We thought he would never see you again, and the poor soul needed to be comforted, so it was all arranged, almost without his knowing anything about it. Hetty don't mind, and wouldn't think of making him break his engagement with you, on any account; she will be bridesmaid if you want her. It's all right. He doesn't care much for Hetty--does he Hetty?"
"Well," said Hetty, beginning to cry, "it is pretty hard to have to give him up and all, and then say he does not care for me, when I thought it was all settled, only I hadn't told Ma and Pa, and I don't know what they would have said." And then, forgetting herself at the sight of Lucy's white face and wide-opened eyes, she said, very earnestly-"I don't think he knew what he was about, and he has never kissed me, nor squeezed my hand, nor looked me in the eyes, nor anything at all, and he is not a bit like a lover. His heart is just broken, somehow, and you can't help feeling sorry for him. So, don't mind, Miss Lucy--he will be in love with you, as much as ever, as soon as he sees you. He only gave you up because he lost his money, which Robert Graham didn't steal."
Poor Lucy couldn't take it all m, and was about to repeat her question, when Mrs. Bishop laid her hand on Lucy's arm, and addressed Mrs. Jollipop: "You seem to be a woman of mature years--do tell me what this means."
"It simply means this," answered Mrs. Jollipop, "that Mr. Whooney had his money stolen--thought he should never see Lucy Bradfield again, and one night, when he was sitting in my room, engaged himself, after a sort, to Hetty. He was just heart broken like, and did not half know what he was doing. Hetty will marry somebody else, some day, and now that Lucy has come, poor Mr. Whooney will be happy enough."
"Do you know," said Mrs. Bishop with great solemnity, "that it is very wrong to break off engagements, without great and sufficient cause? You might have broken my poor Lucy's heart."
As she spoke, Lucy rose from her seat and said in a low voice, as if she were repressing some great feeling: "Let Us go--it is time we went back to Dorchester."
"Please, stay," said Mrs. Jollipop. "Mr. Whooney may be back at any moment."
"Do stay," said Miss Hetty, "it will be all right."
"Let us stay," said Mrs. Bishop, persuasively. "I under, stand it all--a word or two will make it all right, I am sure."
"No, no," said Lucy; "how could he have done it. I must go back!"
In vain, were Mrs. Bishop's exhortations; in vain, were Mrs. Jollipop's entreaties. She would go back again. "It was unmaidenly for her to stay. She had not thought it of him."
So, in the bright spring sunshine, with the birds still sing, ing and the flowers blossoming, they went out of the Academy, Lucy with a heavy heart, and Mrs. Bishop, who had had time to whisper to Mrs. Jollipop, to be sure to send Mr. Whooney to Dorchester, planning how she could bring these loving souls together. The little romance about it, and the elements of difficulty, quite raised Mrs. Bishop's spirits, and she was even happier than she had been in the morning. So, it suddenly occurred to her, that they might meet Mr. Whooney, after all, on their way back to Hub-ville. "Lucy," she said, "we have two hours yet, before the train leaves. It makes me quite ill to ride in the carriage; would you mind walking, and letting the carriage go on ahead?"
"No," said Lucy. So they walked on together.
Mrs. Bishop was a wise woman. She had never seen Mr. Whooney, but whenever a man passed them, she put her arm in Lucy's, as though she would support herself on her young companion. By and by, she spied a somewhat ungainly person, with his head down, and a package of books under his arm, some distance ahead. Presently, Lucy looked up, and Mrs. Bishop felt her arm tremble, and Mrs. Bishop knew it was Mr. Whooney.
Lucy looked this way and that, but there was no turn, and cruel Mrs. Bishop walked on faster than ever.
Mr. Whooney did not look up. "Will the creature go by?" thought Mrs. Bishop "without ever seeing her." She was meditating dropping her parasol at her feet, or stumbling over a stone, which lay conveniently in the path, when just as she was about to put this admirable stratagem into effect, Mr. Whooney fixed his eyes full on Lucy's face, and with a cry rushed forward, saying "Lucy! Lucy!"
"Edward!" was the answer--what came next we do not know, for Mrs. Bishop spent at least half an hour knocking off the tops of dandelions with her parasol, and always declared she did not look. "She supposed they shook hands, of course; what else would you expect after so long an absence?"
"My dear, how late you are," said the Bishop of Dorchester, as he opened the door, in the evening, for Mrs. Bishop.
"We missed the train," said Mrs. Bishop, looking at Lucy, who blushed scarlet.
"Is it all right," said the Bishop.
"My dear," said Mrs. Bishop, "we are tired to death;" but she said it in such a way that the Bishop immediately kissed Lucy, and Mrs. Bishop made no objections.