The whole party then, at Mrs. Bancroft's request, gathered in a circle round the fire, and forming a chain, sang: IN the month of September, 1860, a girl was born, and Ernest was proud and happy. The birth of the child, and a rather alarming talk which the doctor had given to Ellen sobered her for a few weeks, and it really seemed as though his hopes were about to be fulfilled. The expenses of his wife鈥檚 confinement were heavy, and he was obliged to trench upon his savings, but he had no doubt about soon recouping this, now that Ellen was herself again; for a time indeed his business did revive a little, nevertheless it seemed as though the interruption to his prosperity had in some way broken the spell of good luck which had attended him in the outset; he was still sanguine, however, and worked night and day with a will, but there was no more music, or reading, or writing now. His Sunday outings were put a stop to, and but for the first floor being let to myself, he would have lost his citadel there too, but he seldom used it, for Ellen had to wait more and more upon the baby, and, as a consequence, Ernest had to wait more and more upon Ellen. John鈥檚 manner was quiet and respectful. He took his dismissal as a matter of course, for Theobald had hinted enough to make him understand why he was being discharged, but when he saw Ernest sitting pale and awe-struck on the edge of his chair against the dining-room wall, a sudden thought seemed to strike him, and turning to Theobald he said in a broad northern accent which I will not attempt to reproduce: Bigourdin walked across the salon, with his back to her, and snapped his fingers in peculiar agitation, and muttered below his breath: 鈥淣om de Dieu, de nom de Dieu, de nom de Dieu!鈥?Kindest-hearted of mortals though he was, he resented the bottom being knocked out of his scheme of social existence. For years he had looked forward to this alliance with the Viriots. Personally he had nothing to gain: on the contrary, he stood to lose the services of F茅lise and a hundred thousand francs. But he had set his heart on it, and so had the Viriots. To go to them and say, 鈥淢y niece refuses to marry your son,鈥?would be a slash of the whip across their faces. His failure to bring up a young girl in the proper sentiments would be a disgrace to him in the eyes of the community. He felt hurt, too, because he no longer sufficed her; she wanted her mother; and it was out of the question that she should go to her mother. No wonder he swore to himself softly. 开心播播网-开心五月天-五月天开心激情网-开心情色站 At first, evil tidings from the Great Lone Land seemed like a dream from which there would be a glad awakening. But as days went by, and still the spell of silence brooded over her heart and life, and as days ripened into weeks鈥攚eeks into months鈥攎onths into years鈥攃louds of disappointment overshadowed her life, and Chrissy began to grow old and careworn. Loved ones watched her with wistful eyes. Why such a true, lovely woman had been destined to live on and on in a dire eclipse was a problem beyond the comprehension of all. "And that is Episcopalianism," replied the rector. 鈥淛ohn,鈥?said my hero, gasping for breath, 鈥渁re you sure of what you say 鈥?are you quite sure you really married her?鈥? So Martin then and on many occasions afterwards spoke to her of one that was dead more intimately than he could speak to Corinna, who seemed impatient of the expression of simple emotions. Corinna he would never have allowed to see tears come into his eyes; but with F茅lise it did not matter. Her own eyes filled too in sympathy. And this was the beginning of a quiet understanding between them. Perhaps it might have been the beginning of something deeper on Martin鈥檚 side had not Bigourdin taken an early opportunity of expounding certain matrimonial schemes of his own with regard to F茅lise. It had all been arranged, said he, many years ago. His good neighbour, Monsieur Viriot, marchand de vins en gros鈥攐h, a man everything there was of the most solid, had an only son; and he, Bigourdin, had an only niece for whom he had set apart a substantial dowry. A hundred thousand francs. There were not many girls in Brant?me who could hide as much as that in their bridal veils. It was the most natural thing in the world that Lucien should marry F茅lise鈥攏ay, more, an ordinance of the bon Dieu. Lucien had been absent some time doing his military service. That would soon be over. He would enter his father鈥檚 business. The formal demand in marriage would be made and they would celebrate the fian?ailles before the end of the year.