A Cathedral Courtship by Kate Douglas Wiggin
A CATHEDRAL COURTSHIP
By the same Author.
=Penelope's Irish Experiences.= 6s.
=Penelope's English Experiences.= Illustrated by Charles E. Brock.
=Penelope's Experiences in Scotland.= Illustrated by Charles E.
=Timothy's Quest.= Illustrated by Oliver Herford. 2s. 6d.
=Marm Liza.= 6s.
=Village Watch-Tower.= 3s. 6d.
=Polly Oliver's Problem.= Illustrated. 3s. 6d.
=Summer in a Cañon.= Illustrated. 3s. 6d.
=Birds' Christmas Carol.= Illustrated. 1s. 6d.
=Story of Patsy.= Illustrated. 1s. 6d.
By Mrs. Wiggin &Miss Nora A. Smith.
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LONDON: GAY AND BIRD.
[Illustration: 'Jack! Jack! save me!']
A Cathedral Courtship
BY Kate Douglas Wiggin
BY CHARLES E. BROCK
GAY AND BIRD 22 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND LONDON
All rights reserved
Originally published in 1893 with 'Penelope's English
Experiences,' and reprinted 1893 (twice), 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897.
'A Cathedral Courtship' was first published in 1893, appearing in a
volume with 'Penelope's English Experiences.' In course of time, the
latter story, finding unexpected favour in the public eyes, left its
modest companion, and was promoted to a separate existence, with
pictures and covers of its own. Then something rather curious occurred,
one of those trifles which serve to make a publisher's life an
exciting, if not a happy, one. When the 'gentle reader' (bless his or
her warm and irrational heart!) could no longer buy 'A Cathedral
Courtship,' a new desire for it sprang into being, and when the demands
became sufficiently ardent and numerous, it was decided to republish
the story, with illustrations by Mr. Charles E. Brock, an artist who
can be relied upon to put new energy into a live tale or resuscitate a
At this point the author, having presumably grown in knowledge of
grammar, spelling, and punctuation, was asked to revise the text, and
being confronted with the printed page, was overcome by the temptation
to add now and then a sentence, line, or paragraph, while the charming
shade of Miss Kitty Schuyler perched on every exclamation point,
begging permission to say a trifle, just a trifle, more.
'You might allow me to explain myself just there,' she coaxed; 'and
if you have told them all I was supposed to be thinking in Winchester
or Salisbury or Oxford, why not tell them what I thought in Bath or
Peterborough or Ely? It was awfully interesting!'
Jack Copley, too, clamoured to be heard still further on the subject
of his true-love's charms, so the author yielded to this twofold
pressure, and added a few corroborative details.
The little courtship, running its placid course through sleepy
cathedral towns, has not been altered in the least by these new pages.
It is only as if the story-teller, meeting a new pair of interested
eyes, had almost unconsciously drifted into fresh confidences.
KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN.
This is all quite true, and anyway we have said nothing that we
are a bit ashamed of.
London, July, 1901.
A CATHEDRAL COURTSHIP
Winchester, May 28, ,
The Royal Garden Inn.
We are doing the English cathedral towns, Aunt Celia and I. Aunt
Celia has an intense desire to improve my mind. Papa told her, when we
were leaving Cedarhurst, that he wouldn't for the world have it too
much improved, and Aunt Celia remarked that, so far as she could judge,
there was no immediate danger; with which exchange of hostilities they
We are travelling under the yoke of an iron itinerary, warranted
neither to bend nor break. It was made out by a young High Church
curate in New York, and if it were a creed, or a document that had been
blessed by all the bishops and popes, it could not be more sacred to
Aunt Celia. She is awfully High Church, and I believe she thinks this
tour of the cathedrals will give me a taste for ritual and bring me
into the true fold. Mamma was a Unitarian, and so when she was alive I
generally attended service at that church. Aunt Celia says it is not a
Church; that the most you can say for it is that it is a 'belief'
rather loosely and carelessly formulated. She also says that dear old
Dr. Kyle is the most dangerous Unitarian she knows, because he has
leanings towards Christianity.
Long ago, in her youth, Aunt Celia was engaged to a young architect.
He, with his triangles and T-squares and things, succeeded in making an
imaginary scale-drawing of her heart (up to that time a virgin forest,
an unmapped territory), which enabled him to enter in and set up a
pedestal there, on which he has remained ever since. He has been only a
memory for many years, to be sure, for he died at the age of
twenty-six, before he had had time to build anything but a livery
stable and a country hotel. This is fortunate, on the whole, because
Aunt Celia thinks he was destined to establish American architecture on
a higher plane, rid it of its base, time-serving, imitative instincts,
and waft it to a height where, in the course of centuries, it would
have been revered and followed by all the nations of the earth.
I went to see the stable, after one of these Miriam-like flights of
prophecy on the might-have-been. It isn't fair to judge a man's promise
by one modest performance, and so I shall say nothing, save that I am
sure it was the charm of the man that won my aunt's affection, not the
genius of the builder.
This sentiment about architecture and this fondness for the very
toppingest High Church ritual cause Aunt Celia to look on the English
cathedrals with solemnity and reverential awe. She has given me a fat
note-book, with 'Katharine Schuyler' stamped in gold letters on the
Russia-leather cover, and a lock and key to conceal its youthful
inanities from the general public. I am not at all the sort of girl who
makes notes, and I have told her so; but she says that I must at least
record my passing impressions, if they are ever so trivial and
commonplace. She also says that one's language gains unconsciously in
dignity and sobriety by being set down in black and white, and that a
liberal use of pen and ink will be sure to chasten my extravagances of
I wanted to go directly from Southampton to London with the Abbotts,
our ship friends, who left us yesterday. Roderick Abbott and I had had
a charming time on board ship (more charming than Aunt Celia knows,
because she was very ill, and her natural powers of chaperoning were
severely impaired), and the prospect of seeing London sights together
was not unpleasing; but Roderick Abbott is not in Aunt Celia's
itinerary, which reads: 'Winchester, Salisbury, Bath, Wells,
Gloucester, Oxford, London, Ely, Peterborough, Lincoln, York, Durham.'
These are the cathedrals Aunt Celia's curate chose to visit, and this
is the order in which he chose to visit them. Canterbury was too far
east for him, and Exeter was too far west, but he suggests Ripon and
Hereford if strength and time permit.
Aunt Celia is one of those persons who are born to command, and when
they are thrown in contact with those who are born to be commanded all
goes as merry as a marriage bell; otherwise not.
So here we are at Winchester; and I don't mind all the Roderick
Abbotts in the universe, now that I have seen the Royal Garden Inn, its
pretty coffee-room opening into the old-fashioned garden, with its
borders of clove-pinks, its aviaries, and its blossoming
horse-chestnuts, great towering masses of pink bloom.
Aunt Celia has driven to St. Cross Hospital with Mrs. Benedict, an
estimable lady tourist whom she 'picked up' en route from
Southampton. I am tired, and stayed at home. I cannot write letters,
because Aunt Celia has the guide-books, so I sit by the window in
indolent content, watching the dear little school laddies, with their
short jackets and wide white collars; they all look so jolly, and rosy,
and clean, and kissable. I should like to kiss the chambermaid, too.
She has a pink print dress, no fringe, thank goodness (it's curious our
servants can't leave that deformity to the upper classes), but shining
brown hair, plump figure, soft voice, and a most engaging way of saying
'Yes, miss? Anythink more, miss?' I long to ask her to sit down
comfortably and be English while I study her as a type, but of course I
mustn't. Sometimes I wish I could retire from the world for a season
and do what I like, 'surrounded by the general comfort of being thought
An elegant, irreproachable, high-minded model of dignity and reserve
has just knocked and inquired what we will have for dinner. It is very
embarrassing to give orders to a person who looks like a Justice of the
Supreme Court, but I said languidly:
'What would you suggest?'
'How would you like a clear soup, a good spring soup, to begin with,
'And a bit of turbot next, miss, with anchovy sauce?'
'Yes, turbot, by all means,' I said, my mouth watering at the word.
'And what else, miss? Would you enjoy a young duckling, miss, with
new potatoes and green peas?'
'Just the thing; and for dessert' I couldn't think what I ought to
order next in England, but the high-minded model coughed
apologetically, and, correcting my language, said:
'I was thinking you might like gooseberry-tart and cream for a
Oh that I could have vented my New World enthusiasm in a sigh of
delight as I heard those intoxicating words, heretofore met only in
'Yees,' I said hesitatingly, though I was palpitating with joy, 'I
fancy we should like gooseberry-tart' (here a bright idea entered my
mind); 'and perhaps, in case my aunt doesn't care for the
gooseberry-tart, you might bring a lemon-squash, please.'
Now, I had never met a lemon-squash personally, but I had often
heard of it, and wished to show my familiarity with British culinary
'It would 'ardly be a substitute for gooseberry-tart, miss; but
shall I bring one lemon-squash, miss?'
'Oh, as to that, it doesn't matter,' I said haughtily; 'bring a
sufficient number for two persons.'
* * * * *
Aunt Celia came home in the highest feather. She had twice been
mistaken for an Englishwoman. She said she thought that lemon-squash
was a drink; I thought, of course, it was a pie; but we shall find out
at dinner, for, as I said, I ordered a sufficient number for two
persons, and the head-waiter is not a personage who will let
Transatlantic ignorance remain uninstructed.
At four o'clock we attended evensong at the cathedral. I shall not
say what I felt when the white-surpliced boy choir entered, winding
down those vaulted aisles, or when I heard for the first time that
intoned service, with all its 'witchcraft of harmonic sound.' I sat
quite by myself in a high carved oak seat, and the hour was passed in a
trance of serene delight. I do not have many opinions, it is true, but
papa says I am always strong on sentiments; nevertheless, I shall not
attempt to tell even what I feel in these new and beautiful
experiences, for it has been better told a thousand times.
[Illustration: It would 'ardly be a substitute for gooseberry-tart,
There were a great many people at service, and a large number of
Americans among them, I should think, though we saw no familiar faces.
There was one particularly nice young man, who looked like a Bostonian.
He sat opposite me. He didn't starehe was too well bred, but when I
looked the other way he looked at me. Of course, I could feel his eyes;
anybody canat least, any girl can; but I attended to every word of
the service, and was as good as an angel. When the procession had filed
out, and the last strain of the great organ had rumbled into silence,
we went on a tour through the cathedral, a heterogeneous band, headed
by a conscientious old verger, who did his best to enlighten us, and
succeeded in virtually spoiling my pleasure.
After we had finished (think of 'finishing' a cathedral in an hour
or two!), Aunt Celia and I, with one or two others, wandered through
the beautiful close, looking at the exterior from every possible point,
and coming at last to a certain ruined arch which is very famous. It
did not strike me as being remarkable. I could make any number of them
with a pattern without the least effort. But, at any rate, when told by
the verger to gaze upon the beauties of this wonderful relic and
tremble, we were obliged to gaze also upon the beauties of the
aforesaid nice young man, who was sketching it.
As we turned to go away, Aunt Celia dropped her bag. It is one of
those detestable, all-absorbing, all-devouring, thoroughly respectable,
but never proud, Boston bags, made of black cloth with leather
trimmings, 'C. Van T.' embroidered on the side, and the top drawn up
with stout cords which pass over the Boston wrist or arm. As for me, I
loathe them, and would not for worlds be seen carrying one, though I do
slip a great many necessaries into Aunt Celia's.
I hastened to pick up the horrid thing, for fear the nice young man
would feel obliged to do it for me; but, in my indecorous haste, I
caught hold of the wrong end, and emptied the entire contents on the
stone flagging. Aunt Celia didn't notice; she had turned with the
verger, lest she should miss a single word of his inspired testimony.
So we scrambled up the articles together, the nice young man and I; and
oh, I hope I may never look upon his face again.
There were prayer-books and guide-books, a Bath bun, a bottle of
soda-mint tablets, a church calendar, a bit of gray frizz that Aunt
Celia pins into her cap when she is travelling in damp weather, a
spectacle-case, a brandy-flask, and a bon-bon-box, which broke and
scattered cloves and peppermint lozenges. (I hope he guessed Aunt Celia
is a dyspeptic, and not intemperate!) All this was hopelessly vulgar,
but I wouldn't have minded anything if there had not been a Duchess
novel. Of course he thought that it belonged to me. He couldn't have
known Aunt Celia was carrying it for that accidental Mrs. Benedict,
with whom she went to St. Cross Hospital.
After scooping the cloves out of the cracks in the stone
flaggingand, of course, he needn't have done this, unless he had an
abnormal sense of humourhe handed me the tattered,
disreputable-looking copy of 'A Modern Circe,' with a bow that wouldn't
have disgraced a Chesterfield, and then went back to his easel, while I
fled after Aunt Celia and her verger.
* * * * *
Memoranda: The Winchester Cathedral has the longest nave. The
inside is more superb than the outside. Izaak Walton and Jane Austen
are buried here.
Winchester, May 28,
The White Swan.
As sure as my name is Jack Copley, I saw the prettiest girl in the
world to-dayan American, too, or I am greatly mistaken. It was in the
cathedral, where I have been sketching for several days. I was sitting
at the end of a bench, at afternoon service, when two ladies entered by
the side-door. The ancient maiden, evidently the head of the family,
settled herself devoutly, and the young one stole off by herself to one
of the old carved seats back of the choir. She was worse than pretty! I
made a memorandum of her during service, as she sat under the dark
carved-oak canopy, with this Latin inscription over her head:
There ought to be a law against a woman's making a picture of
herself, unless she is willing to allow an artist to 'fix her' properly
in his gallery of types.
A black-and-white sketch doesn't give any definite idea of this
charmer's charms, but sometime I'll fill it inhair, sweet little hat,
gown, and eyes, all in golden brown, a cape of tawny sable slipping off
her arm, a knot of yellow primroses in her girdle, carved-oak
background, and the afternoon sun coming through a stained-glass
window. Great Jove! She had a most curious effect on me, that girl! I
can't explain itvery curious, altogether new, and rather pleasant.
When one of the choir-boys sang 'Oh for the wings of a dove!' a tear
rolled out of one of her lovely eyes and down her smooth brown cheek. I
would have given a large portion of my modest monthly income for the
felicity of wiping away that teardrop with one of my new handkerchiefs,
marked with a tremendous 'C' by my pretty sister.
An hour or two later they appeared againthe dragon, who answers to
the name of 'Aunt Celia,' and the 'nut-brown mayde,' who comes when she
is called 'Katharine.' I was sketching a ruined arch. The dragon
dropped her unmistakably Boston bag. I expected to see encyclopædias
and Russian tracts fall from it, but was disappointed. The 'nut-brown
mayde' (who has been trained in the way she should go) hastened to pick
up the bag for fear that I, a stranger, should serve her by doing it.
She was punished by turning it inside out, and I was rewarded by
helping her gather together the articles, which were many and
ill-assorted. My little romance received the first blow when I found
that she reads the Duchess novels. I think, however, she has the grace
to be ashamed of it, for she blushed scarlet when I handed her 'A
Modern Circe.' I could have told her that such a blush on such a cheek
would almost atone for not being able to read at all, but I refrained.
It is vexatious all the same, for, though one doesn't expect to find
perfection here below, the 'nut-brown mayde,' externally considered,
comes perilously near it. After she had gone I discovered a slip of
paper which had blown under some stones. It proved to be an itinerary.
I didn't return it. I thought they must know which way they were going;
and as this was precisely what I wanted to know, I kept it for my own
use. She is doing the cathedral towns. I am doing the cathedral towns.
Happy thought! Why shouldn't we do them togetherwe and Aunt Celia? A
fellow whose mother and sister are in America must have some feminine
I had only ten minutes to catch my train for Salisbury, but I
concluded to run in and glance at the registers of the principal
hotels. Found my 'nut-brown mayde' at once in the guest-book of the
Royal Garden Inn: 'Miss Celia Van Tyck, Beverly, Mass., U.S.A. Miss
Katharine Schuyler, New York, U.S.A.' I concluded to stay over another
train, ordered dinner, and took an altogether indefensible and
inconsistent pleasure in writing 'John Quincy Copley, Cambridge,
Mass.,' directly beneath the charmer's autograph.
* * * * *
Salisbury, June 1,
The White Hart Inn.
We left Winchester on the 1.16 train yesterday, and here we are
within sight of another superb and ancient pile of stone. I wanted so
much to stop at the Highflyer Inn in Lark Lane, but Aunt Celia said
that if we were destitute of personal dignity, we at least owed
something to our ancestors. Aunt Celia has a temperamental distrust of
joy as something dangerous and ensnaring. She doesn't realize what fun
it would be to date one's letters from the Highflyer Inn, Lark Lane,
even if one were obliged to consort with poachers and trippers in order
to do it.
Better times are coming, however, for she was in a melting mood last
evening, and promised me that wherever I can find an inn with a
picturesque and unusual name, she will stop there, provided it is clean
and respectable, if I on my part will agree to make regular notes of
travel in my Russia-leather book. She says that ever since she was my
age she has asked herself nightly the questions Pythagoras was in the
habit of using as a nightcap:
'What have I learned that's worth the knowing?
What have I done that's worth the doing?
What have I sought I should have shunned,
And into what new follies run?'
I asked her why Pythagoras didn't say 'runned' and make a consistent
rhyme, and she evaded the point by answering that Pythagoras didn't
write it in English.
We attended service at three. The music was lovely, and there were
beautiful stained-glass windows by Burne-Jones and Morris. The verger
(when wound up with a shilling) talked like an electric doll. If that
nice young man is making a cathedral tour like ourselves, he isn't
taking our route, for he isn't here. If he has come over for the
purpose of sketching, he wouldn't stop with one cathedral, unless he is
very indolent and unambitious, and he doesn't look either of these.
Perhaps he began at the other end, and worked down to Winchester.
Yes, that must be it, for the Ems sailed yesterday from
Southampton. Too bad, for he was a distinct addition to the landscape.
Why didn't I say, when he was picking up the collection of curios in
Aunt Celia's bag, 'You needn't bother about the novel, thank you; it is
not mine, and anyway it would be of no use to anybody.'
We intended to go to Stonehenge this morning, but it rained, so we
took a 'growler' and went to the Earl of Pembroke's country place to
see the pictures. Had a delightful morning with the magnificent
antiques, curios, and portraits. The Van Dyck room is a joy for ever;
but one really needs a guide or a friend who knows something of art if
one would understand these things. There were other visitors; nobody
who looked especially interesting. Don't like Salisbury so well as
Winchester. Don't know why. We shall drive this afternoon, if it is
fair, and go to Bath and Wells to-morrow, I am glad to say. Must read
Baedeker on the Bishop's palace. Oh, dear! if one could only have a
good time and not try to know anything!
Memoranda: This cathedral has the highest spire. Remember:
Winchester, longest nave; Salisbury, highest spire.
The Lancet style is those curved lines meeting in a rounding or a
sharp point like this [inverted U shape] /\, and then joined together
like this \/\/\/, the way they scallop babies' flannel petticoats.
Gothic looks like triangles meeting together in various spots and
joined with a beautiful sort of ornamented knobs. I think I recognise
Gothic when I see it. Then there is Norman, Early English, fully
developed Early English, Early and Late Perpendicular, Transition, and,
for aught I know, a lot of others. Aunt Celia can tell them all apart.
Salisbury, June 3,
The Red Lion.
I went off on a long tramp this afternoon, and coming on a pretty
river flowing through green meadows, with a fringe of trees on either
side, I sat down to make a sketch. I heard feminine voices in the
vicinity, but as these are generally a part of the landscape in the
tourist season, I paid no special notice. Suddenly a dainty
patent-leather shoe floated towards me on the surface of the stream. It
evidently had just dropped in, for it was right side up with care, and
was disporting itself most merrily. 'Did ever Jove's tree drop such
fruit?' I quoted as I fished it out on my stick; and just then I heard
a distressed voice saying, 'Oh, Aunt Celia, I've lost my smart little
London shoe. I was sitting in a tree taking a pebble out of the heel,
when I saw a caterpillar, and I dropped it into the riverthe shoe,
you know, not the caterpillar.'
[Illustration: I offered it to her with distinguished grace]
Hereupon she came in sight, and I witnessed the somewhat unusual
spectacle of my 'nut-brown mayde' hopping, like a divine stork, on one
foot, and ever and anon emitting a feminine shriek as the other, clad
in a delicate silk stocking, came in contact with the ground. I rose
quickly, and, polishing the patent leather ostentatiously inside and
out with my handkerchief, I offered it to her with distinguished grace.
She sat hurriedly down on the ground with as much dignity as possible,
and then, recognising me as the person who picked up the contents of
Aunt Celia's bag, she said, dimpling in the most distracting manner
(that's another thing there ought to be a law against): 'Thank you
again; you seem to be a sort of knight-errant.'
'Shall Iassist you?' I asked. I might have known that this was
going too far. Of course I didn't suppose she would let me help her put
the shoe on, but I thoughtupon my soul, I don't know what I thought,
for she was about a million times prettier to-day than yesterday.
'No, thank you,' she said, with polar frigidity. 'Good-afternoon.'
And she hopped back to her Aunt Celia without another word.
I don't know how to approach Aunt Celia. She is formidable. By a
curious accident of feature, for which she is not in the least
responsible, she always wears an unfortunate expression as of one
perceiving some offensive odour in the immediate vicinity. This may be
a mere accident of high birth. It is the kind of nose often seen in the
'first families,' and her name betrays the fact that she is of good old
Knickerbocker origin. We go to Wells to-morrowat least, I think we
Salisbury, June 3.
I didn't like Salisbury at first, but I find it is the sort of place
that grows on one the longer one stays in it. I am quite sorry we must
leave so soon, but Aunt Celia is always in haste to be gone. Bath may
be interesting, but it is entirely out of the beaten path from here.
Bath, June 7,
The Best Hotel.
I met him at Wells and again this afternoon here. We are always
being ridiculous, and he is always rescuing us. Aunt Celia never really
sees him, and thus never recognises him when he appears again, always
as the flower of chivalry and guardian of ladies in distress. I will
never again travel abroad without a man, even if I have to hire one
from a feeble-minded asylum. We work like galley-slaves, Aunt Celia and
I, finding out about trains and things. Neither of us can understand
Bradshaw, and I can't even grapple with the lesser intricacies of the A
B C Railway Guide. The trains, so far as I can see, always arrive
before they go out, and I can never tell whether to read up the page or
down. It is certainly very queer that the stupidest man that breathes,
one that barely escapes idiocy, can disentangle a railway guide when
the brightest woman fails. Even the boots at the inn in Wells took my
book, and, rubbing his frightfully dirty finger down the row of
puzzling figures, found the place in a minute, and said, 'There ye are,
miss.' It is very humiliating. I suppose there are Bradshaw
professorships in the English universities, but the boots cannot have
imbibed his knowledge there. A traveller at table d'hôte dinner
yesterday said there are three classes of Bradshaw trains in Great
Britain: those that depart and never arrive, those that arrive but
never depart, and those that can be caught in transit, going on, like
the wheel of eternity, with neither beginning nor end. All the time I
have left from the study of routes and hotels I spend on guide-books.
Now, I'm sure that if any one of the men I know were here, he could
tell me all that is necessary as we walk along the streets. I don't say
it in a frivolous or sentimental spirit in the least, but I do affirm
that there is hardly any juncture in life where one isn't better off
for having a man about. I should never dare divulge this to Aunt Celia,
for she doesn't think men very nice. She excludes them from
conversation as if they were indelicate subjects.
But to go on, we were standing at the door of Ye Crowne and Keys at
Wells, waiting for the fly which we had ordered to take us to the
station, when who should drive up in a four-wheeler but the flower of
chivalry. Aunt Celia was saying very audibly, 'We shall certainly miss
the train, if the man doesn't come at once.'
'Pray take this cab,' said the flower of chivalry. 'I am not leaving
for an hour or more.'
Aunt Celia got in without a murmur; I sneaked in after her, not
daring to lift my eyes. I don't think she looked at him, though she did
vouchsafe the remark that he seemed to be a civil sort of person.
I was walking about by myself this afternoon. Aunt Celia and I had
taken a long drive, and she had dropped me in a quaint old part of the
town that I might have a brisk walk home for exercise. Suddenly it
began to rain, which it is apt to do in England, between the showers,
and at the same moment I espied a sign, 'Martha Huggins, Licensed
Victualler.' It was a nice, tidy little shop, with a fire on the hearth
and flowers in the window, and I thought no one would catch me if I
stepped inside to chat with Martha until the sun shone again. I fancied
it would be delightful and Dickensy to talk quietly with a licensed
victualler by the name of Martha Huggins.
Just after I had settled myself, the flower of chivalry came in and
ordered ale. I was disconcerted at being found in a dramshop alone, for
I thought, after the bag episode, he might fancy us a family of
inebriates. But he didn't evince the slightest astonishment; he merely
lifted his hat, and walked out after he had finished his ale. He
certainly has the loveliest manners, and his hair is a more beautiful
colour every time I see him.
And so it goes on, and we never get any further. I like his
politeness and his evident feeling that I can't be flirted and talked
with like a forward boarding-school miss; but I must say I don't think
much of his ingenuity. Of course one can't have all the virtues, but if
I were he, I would part with my distinguished air, my charming easein
fact, almost anything, if I could have in exchange a few grains of
common-sense, just enough to guide me in the practical affairs of life.
[Illustration: I was disconcerted at being found in a dramshop
I wonder what he is? He might be an artist, but he doesn't seem
quite like an artist; or just a dilettante, but he doesn't look in the
least like a dilettante. Or he might be an architect; I think that is
the most probable guess of all. Perhaps he is only 'going to be' one of
these things, for he can't be more than twenty-five or twenty-six.
Still, he looks as if he were something already; that is, he has a kind
of self-reliance in his miennot self-assertion, nor self-esteem, but
belief in self, as if he were able, and knew that he was able, to
Aunt Celia wouldn't stay at Ye Olde Bell and Horns here. She looked
under the bed (which, I insist, was an unfair test), and ordered her
luggage to be taken instantly to the Grand Pump Room Hotel.
Memoranda: Bath became distinguished for its architecture and
popular as a fashionable resort in the 17th century from the deserved
repute of its waters and through the genius of two men, Wood the
architect and Beau Nash, Master of Ceremonies. A true picture of the
society of the period is found in Smollett's 'Humphry Clinker', which
Aunt Celia says she will read and tell me what is necessary. Remember
the window of the seven lights in the Abbey Church, the one with the
angels ascending and descending; also the rich Perp. chantry of Prior
Bird, S. of chancel. It is Murray who calls it a Perp. chantry, not I.
It was very wet this morning, and I had breakfast in my room. The
maid's name is Hetty Precious, and I could eat almost anything brought
me by such a beautifully named person. A little parcel postmarked Bath
was on my tray, but as the address was printed, I have no clue to the
sender. It was a wee copy of Jane Austen's 'Persuasion,' which I have
read before, but was glad to see again, because I had forgotten that
the scene is partly laid in Bath, and now I can follow dear Anne and
vain Sir Walter, hateful Elizabeth and scheming Mrs. Clay through
Camden Place and Bath Street, Union Street, Milsom Street, and the Pump
Yard. I can even follow them to the site of the White Hart Hotel, where
the adorable Captain Wentworth wrote the letter to Anne. After more
than two hundred pages of suspense, with what joy and relief did I read
that letter! I wonder if Anne herself was any more excited than I?
At first I thought Roderick Abbott sent the book, until I remembered
that his literary taste is Puck in America and Pick-me-up
and Tit-Bits in England; and now I don't know what to think. I
turned to Captain Wentworth's letter in the last chapter but oneoh,
it is a beautiful letter! I wish somebody would ever
write me that he is 'half agony, half hope,' and that I 'pierce his
soul.' Of course, it would be wicked to pierce a soul, and of course
they wouldn't write that way nowadays; but there is something perfectly
delightful about the expression.
Well, when I found the place, what do you suppose? Some of the
sentences in the letter seem to be underlined ever so faintly; so
faintly, indeed, that I cannot quite decide whether it's my imagination
or a lead-pencil, but this is the way it seems to look:
'I can listen no longer in silence. [underlined: I must speak to you
by such means as are within my reach.] You pierce my soul. I am half
agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious
feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart
even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a
half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his
love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have
been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.
[underlined: You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think
and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my
wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your
feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine.] I can hardly
write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You
sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when
they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do
us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and
constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating,
Of course, this means nothing. Somebody has been reading the book,
and marked it idly as he (or she) read. I can imagine someone's
underlining a splendid sentiment like 'Dare not say that man forgets
sooner than woman!' but why should a reader lay stress on such a simple
sentence as 'You alone brought me to Bath'?
Gloucester, June 10,
The Golden Slipper.
Nothing accomplished yet. Her aunt is a Van Tyck, and a stiff one,
too. I am a Copley, and that delays matters. Much depends upon the
manner of approach. A false move would be fatal. We have seven more
towns (as per itinerary), and if their thirst for cathedrals isn't
slaked when these are finished, we have the entire Continent to do. If
I could only succeed in making an impression on the retina of Aunt
Celia's eye! Though I have been under her feet for ten days, she never
yet has observed me. This absent-mindedness of hers serves me ill now,
but it may prove a blessing later on.
I made two modest moves on the chessboard of Fate yesterday, but
they were so very modest and mysterious that I almost fear they were
Gloucester, June 10,
In Impossible Lodgings chosen by Me.
Something else awfully exciting has happened.
When we walked down the railway platform at Bath, I saw a pink
placard pasted on the window of a first-class carriage. It had 'VAN
TYCK: RESERVED,' written on it, after the English fashion, and we took
our places without question. Presently Aunt Celia's eyes and mine
alighted at the same moment on a bunch of yellow primroses pinned on
the stuffed back of the most comfortable seat next the window.
'They do things so well in England,' said Aunt Celia admiringly.
'The landlord must have sent my name to the guardyou see the
advantage of stopping at the best hotels, Katharinebut one would not
have suspected him capable of such a refined attention as the bunch of
flowers. You must take a few of them, dear; you are so fond of
Oh! I am having a delicious time abroad! I do think England is the
most interesting country in the world; and as for the cathedral towns,
how can anyone bear to live anywhere else?
Oxford, June 12,
It was here in Oxford that a grain of common-sense entered the brain
of the flower of chivalry; you might call it the dawn of reason. We had
spent part of the morning in High Street, 'the noblest old street in
England,' as our dear Hawthorne calls it. As Wordsworth had written a
sonnet about it, Aunt Celia was armed for the fraya volume of
Wordsworth in one hand, and one of Hawthorne in the other. (I wish
Baedeker and Murray didn't give such full information about what one
ought to read before one can approach these places in a proper spirit.)
When we had done High Street, we went to Magdalen College, and sat down
on a bench in Addison's Walk, where Aunt Celia proceeded to store my
mind with the principal facts of Addison's career, and his influence on
the literature of the something or other century. The cramming process
over, we wandered along, and came upon 'him' sketching a shady corner
of the walk.
Aunt Celia went up behind him, and, Van Tyck though she is, she
could not restrain her admiration of his work. I was surprised myself;
I didn't suppose so good-looking a youth could do such good work. I
retired to a safe distance, and they chatted together. He offered her
the sketch; she refused to take advantage of his kindness. He said he
would 'dash off' another that evening and bring it to our hotel'so
glad to do anything for a fellow-countryman,' etc. I peeped from behind
a tree and saw him give her his card. It was an awful moment; I
trembled, but she read it with unmistakable approval, and gave him her
own with an expression that meant, 'Yours is good, but beat that if you
She called to me, and I appeared. Mr. John Quincy Copley, Cambridge,
was presented to her niece, Miss Katharine Schuyler, New York. It was
over, and a very small thing to take so long about, too.
He is an architect, and, of course, has a smooth path into Aunt
Celia's affections. Theological students, ministers, missionaries,
heroes, and martyrs she may distrust, but architects never!
'He is an architect, my dear Katharine, and he is a Copley,' she
told me afterwards. 'I never knew a Copley who was not respectable, and
many of them have been more.'
After the introduction was over, Aunt Celia asked him guilelessly if
he had visited any other of the English cathedrals. Any others,
indeed!this to a youth who had been all but in her lap for a
fortnight. It was a blow, but he rallied bravely, and, with an amused
look in my direction, replied discreetly that he had visited most of
them at one time or another. I refused to let him see that I had ever
noticed him beforethat is, particularly.
I wish I had had an opportunity of talking to him of our plans, but
just as I was leading the conversation into the proper channels, the
waiter came in for breakfast ordersas if it mattered what one had for
breakfast, or whether one had any at all. I can understand an interest
in dinner or even in luncheon, but not in breakfast; at least not when
more important things are under consideration.
* * * * *
Memoranda: 'The very stones and mortar of this historic town seem
impregnated with the spirit of restful antiquity.' (Extract from one
of Aunt Celia's letters.) Among the great men who have studied here
are the Prince of Wales, Duke of Wellington, Gladstone, Sir Robert
Peel, Sir Philip Sidney, William Penn, John Locke, the two Wesleys,
Ruskin, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Otway. (Look Otway up.)
Oxford, June 13,
I have done it, and if I hadn't been a fool and a coward I might
have done it a week ago, and spared myself a good deal of delicious
torment. 'How sweet must be Love's self possessed, when but Love's
shadows are so rich in joy!' or something of that sort.
I have just given two hours to a sketch of Addison's Walk, and
carried it to Aunt Celia at the Mitre. Object, to find out whether they
make a long stay in London (our next point), and, if so, where. It
seems they stop only a night. I said in the course of conversation:
'So Miss Schuyler is willing to forego a London season? Marvellous
'My niece did not come to Europe for a London season,' replied Miss
Van Tyck. 'We go through London this time merely as a cathedral town,
simply because it chances to be where it is geographically. We shall
visit St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey, and then go directly on, that
our chain of impressions may have absolute continuity and be free from
any disturbing elements.'
Oh, but she is lovely, is Aunt Celia! London a cathedral town!
Now, for my part, I should like to drop St. Paul's for once, and
omit Westminster Abbey for the moment, and sit on the top of a bus with
Miss Schuyler or in a hansom jogging up and down Piccadilly. The hansom
should have bouquets of paper-flowers in the windows, and the horse
should wear carnations in his headstall, and Miss Schuyler should ask
me questions, to which I should always know the right answers. This
would be but a prelude, for I should wish later to ask her questions to
which I should hope she would also know the right answers.
Heigho! I didn't suppose that anything could be lovelier than that
girl's smile, but there is, and it is her voice.
I shall call there again to-morrow morning. I don't know on what
pretext, but I shall call, for my visit was curtailed this evening by
the entrance of the waiter, who asked what they would have for
breakfast. Miss Van Tyck said she would be disengaged in a moment, so
naturally I departed, with a longing to knock the impudent waiter's
head against the uncomprehending wall. Breakfast indeed! A fellow can
breakfast regularly, and yet be in a starving condition.
Oxford, June 14,
I have just called. They have gone! Gone hours before they intended!
How shall I find her in London?
London, June 15,
Walsingham House Hotel.
As a cathedral town London leaves much to be desired. There are too
many hotels, too many people, and the distances are too great. For ten
hours I kept a hansom galloping between St. Paul's and Westminster
Abbey, with no result. I am now going to Ely, where I shall stay in the
cathedral from morning till night, and have my meals brought to me on a
tray by the verger.
Ely, June 15,
At Miss Kettlestring's lodgings.
I have lost him! He was not at St. Paul's or Westminster in
Londongreat, cruel, busy, brutal London, that could swallow up any
precious thing and make no sign. And he is not here! They say it is a
very fine cathedral.
Memoranda: The Octagon is perhaps the most beautiful and original
design to be found in the whole range of Gothic architecture. Remember
also the retrochoir. The lower tier of windows consists of three long
lancets, with groups of Purbeck shafts at the angles; the upper, of
five lancets, diminishing from the centre, and set back, as in the
clerestory, within an arcade supported by shafts. (I don't believe
even he could make head or tail of this.) Remember the curious
bosses under the brackets of the stone altar in the Alcock Chapel. They
represent ammonites projecting from their shells and biting each other.
(If I were an ammonite I know I should bite Aunt Celia. Look up
Ely, June 18,
The Lamb Hotel.
I cannot find her! Am racked with rheumatic pains sitting in this
big, empty, solitary, hollow, reverberating, damp, desolate, deserted
cathedral hour after hour. On to Peterborough this evening.
Peterborough, June 18.
He is not here. The cathedral, even the celebrated west front, seems
to me somewhat overrated. Catherine of Aragon (or one of those Henry
the Eighth wives) is buried here, also Mary Queen of Scots; but I am
tired of looking at graves, viciously tired, too, of writing in this
trumpery note-book. We move on this afternoon.
Peterborough, June 19.
A few more days of this modern Love Chase will unfit me for
professional work. Tried to draw the roof of the choir, a good specimen
of early Perp., and failed. Studied the itinerary again to see if it
had any unsuspected suggestions in cipher. No go! York and Durham were
double-starred by the Aunt Celia's curate as places for long stops.
Perhaps we shall meet again there.
Lincoln, June 22,
The Black Boy Inn.
I am stopping at a beastly little hole, which has the one merit of
being opposite Miss Schuyler's lodgings, for I have found her at last.
My sketch-book has deteriorated in artistic value during the last two
weeks. Many of its pages, while interesting to me as reminiscences,
will hardly do for family or studio exhibition. If I should label them,
the result would be something like this:
1. Sketch of a footstool and desk where I first saw Miss Schuyler
2. Sketch of a carved oak chair, Miss Schuyler sitting in it.
3. 'Angel choir.' Heads of Miss Schuyler introduced into the
4. Altar screen. A row of full-length Miss Schuylers holding lilies.
5. Tomb of a bishop, where I tied Miss Schuyler's shoe.
6. Tomb of another bishop, where I had to tie it again because I did
it so badly the first time.
7. Sketch of the shoe, the shoe-lace worn out with much tying.
8. Sketch of the blessed verger who called her 'Madam' when we were
9. Sketch of her blush when he did it; the prettiest thing in the
10. Sketch of J. Q. Copley contemplating the ruins of his heart.
'How are the mighty fallen!'
* * * * *
Lincoln, June 23,
At Miss Smallpage's, Castle Garden.
This is one of the charmingest towns we have visited, and I am so
glad Aunt Celia has a letter to the Canon in residence, because it may
keep her contented.
We walked up Steep Hill this morning to see the Jews' house, but
long before we reached it I had seen Mr. Copley sitting on a
camp-stool, with his easel in front of him. Wonderful to relate, Aunt
Celia recognised him, and was most cordial in her greeting. As for me,
I was never so embarrassed in my life. I felt as if he knew that I had
expected to see him in London and Ely and Peterborough, though, of
course, he couldn't know it, even if he looked for, and missed,
me in those three dreary and over-estimated places. He had made a most
beautiful drawing of the Jews' House, and completed his conquest of
Aunt Celia by presenting it to her. I should like to know when my turn
is coming; but, anyway, she asked him to luncheon, and he came, and we
had such a cosy, homelike meal together. He is even nicer than he
looks, which is saying a good deal more than I should, even to a locked
book. Aunt Celia dozed a little after luncheon, and Mr. Copley almost
talked in whispers, he was so afraid of disturbing her nap. It is just
in these trifling things that one can tell a true mancourtesy to
elderly people and consideration for their weaknesses. He has done
something in the world; I was sure that he had. He has a little income
of his own, but he is too proud and ambitious to be an idler. He looked
so manly when he talked about it, standing up straight and strong in
his knickerbockers. I like men in knickerbockers. Aunt Celia doesn't.
She says she doesn't see how a well-brought-up Copley can go about with
his legs in that condition. I would give worlds to know how Aunt Celia
ever unbent sufficiently to get engaged. But, as I was saying, Mr.
Copley has accomplished something, young as he is. He has built three
picturesque suburban churches suitable for weddings, and a State
Aunt Celia says we shall have no worthy architecture until every
building is made an exquisitely sincere representation of its deepest
purposea symbol, as it were, of its indwelling meaning. I should
think it would be very difficult to design a lunatic asylum on that
basis, but I didn't dare say so, as the idea seemed to present no
incongruities to Mr. Copley. Their conversation is absolutely
sublimated when they get to talking of architecture. I have just copied
two quotations from Emerson, and am studying them every night for
fifteen minutes before I go to sleep. I'm going to quote them some time
offhand, just after matins, when we are wandering about the cathedral
grounds. The first is this: 'The Gothic cathedral is a blossoming in
stone, subdued by the insatiable demand of harmony in man. The mountain
of granite blooms into an eternal flower, with the lightness and
delicate finish as well as the aerial proportion and perspective of
vegetable beauty.' Then when he has recovered from the shock of this,
here is my second: 'Nor can any lover of nature enter the old piles of
English cathedrals without feeling that the forest overpowered the mind
of the builder, and that his chisel, his saw and plane still reproduced
its ferns, its spikes of flowers, its locust, elm, pine, and spruce.'
Memoranda: Lincoln choir is an example of Early English or First
Pointed, which can generally be told from something else by bold
projecting buttresses and dog-tooth moulding round the abacusses.
(The plural is my own, and it does not look right.) Lincoln Castle
was the scene of many prolonged sieges, and was once taken by Oliver
* * * * *
York, June 26,
The Black Swan.
Kitty Schuyler is the concentrated essence of feminine witchery.
Intuition strong, logic weak, and the two qualities so balanced as to
produce an indefinable charm; will-power large, but docility equal, if
a man is clever enough to know how to manage her; knowledge of facts
absolutely nil, but she is exquisitely intelligent in spite of
it. She has a way of evading, escaping, eluding, and then gives you an
intoxicating hint of sudden and complete surrender. She is divinely
innocent, but roguishness saves her from insipidity. Her looks? She
looks as you would imagine a person might look who possessed these
graces; and she is worth looking at, though every time I do it I have a
rush of love to the head. When you find a girl who combines all the
qualities you have imagined in the ideal, and who has added a dozen or
two on her own account, merely to distract you past all hope, why stand
up and try to resist her charm? Down on your knees like a man, say I!
* * * * *
I'm getting to adore Aunt Celia. I didn't care for her at first, but
she is so deliciously blind. Anything more exquisitely unserviceable as
a chaperon I can't imagine. Absorbed in antiquity, she ignores the
babble of contemporaneous lovers. That any man could look at Kitty when
he could look at a cathedral passes her comprehension. I do not presume
too greatly on her absent-mindedness, however, lest she should turn
unexpectedly and rend me. I always remember that inscription on the
backs of the little mechanical French toys: 'Quoiqu'elle soit très
solidement montée, il faut ne pas brutaliser la machine.'
And so my courtship progresses under Aunt Celia's very nose. I say
'progresses'; but it is impossible to speak with any certainty of
courting, for the essence of that gentle craft is hope, rooted in
labour and trained by love.
[Illustration: She ignores the babble of contemporaneous lovers]
I set out to propose to her during service this afternoon by writing
my feelings on the flyleaf of the hymn-book, or something like that;
but I knew that Aunt Celia would never forgive such blasphemy, and I
thought that Kitty herself might consider it wicked. Besides, if she
should chance to accept me, there was nothing I could do in a cathedral
to relieve my feelings. No; if she ever accepts me, I wish it to be in
a large, vacant spot of the universe, peopled by two only, and those
two so indistinguishably blended, as it were, that they would appear as
one to the casual observer. So I practised repression, though the wall
of my reserve is worn to the thinness of thread-paper, and I tried to
keep my mind on the droning minor canon, and not to look at her, 'for
that way madness lies.'
* * * * *
York, June 28,
High Petergate Street.
My taste is so bad! I just begin to realize it, and I am feeling my
'growing pains,' like Gwendolen in 'Daniel Deronda.' I admired the
stained glass in the Lincoln Cathedral the other day, especially the
Nuremberg window. I thought Mr. Copley looked pained, but he said
nothing. When I went to my room, I consulted a book and found that all
the glass in that cathedral is very modern and very bad, and the
Nuremberg window is the worst of all. Aunt Celia says she hopes that it
will be a warning to me to read before I speak; but Mr. Copley says no,
that the world would lose more in one way than it would gain in the
other. I tried my quotations this morning, and stuck fast in the middle
of the first.
Mr. Copley thinks I have been feeing the vergers too liberally, so I
wrote a song about it called 'The Ballad of the Vergers and the Foolish
Virgin,' which I sang to my guitar. Mr. Copley thinks it is cleverer
than anything he ever did with his pencil. Of course, he says that only
to be agreeable; but really, whenever he talks to me in that way, I can
almost hear myself purring with pleasure.
We go to two services a day in the minster, and sometimes I sit
quite alone in the nave drinking in the music as it floats out from
behind the choir-screen. The Litany and the Commandments are so
beautiful heard in this way, and I never listen to the fresh, young
voices chanting 'Write all these Thy laws in our hearts, we beseech
Thee,' without wanting passionately to be good. I love, too, the joyful
burst of music in the Te Deum: 'Thou didst open the kingdom of
heaven to all believers.' I like that word 'all'; it takes in foolish
me, as well as wise Aunt Celia.
And yet, with all its pomp and magnificence, the service does not
help me quite so much nor stir up the deep places, in me so quickly as
dear old Dr. Kyle's simpler prayers and talks in the village
meeting-house where I went as a child. Mr. Copley has seen it often,
and made a little picture of it for me, with its white steeple and the
elm-tree branches hanging over it. If I ever have a husband I should
wish him to have memories like my own. It would be very romantic to
marry an Italian marquis or a Hungarian count, but must it not be a
comfort to two people to look back on the same past?
* * * * *
We all went to an evening service last night. It was an 'occasion,'
and a famous organist played the Minster organ.
I wonder why choir-boys are so often playful and fidgety and
uncanonical in behaviour? Does the choirmaster advertise 'Naughty boys
preferred,' or do musical voices commonly exist in unregenerate bodies?
With all the opportunities they must have outside of the cathedral to
exchange those objects of beauty and utility usually found in boys'
pockets, there is seldom a service where they do not barter penknives,
old coins, or tops, generally during the Old Testament reading. A dozen
little black-surpliced 'probationers' sit together in a seat just
beneath the choir-boys, and one of them spent his time this evening in
trying to pull a loose tooth from its socket. The task not only engaged
all his own powers, but made him the centre of attraction for the whole
Coming home, Aunt Celia walked ahead with Mrs. Benedict, who keeps
turning up at the most unexpected moments. She's going to build a
Gothicky memorial chapel somewhere, and is making studies for it. I
don't like her in the least, but four is certainly a more comfortable
number than three. I scarcely ever have a moment alone with Mr. Copley,
for, go where I will and do what I please, as Aunt Celia has the most
perfect confidence in my indiscretion, she is always en évidence.
Just as we were turning into the quiet little street where we are
lodging, I said:
'Oh dear, I wish that I really knew something about architecture!'
'If you don't know anything about it, you are certainly responsible
for a good deal of it,' said Mr. Copley.
'I? How do you mean?' I asked quite innocently, because I couldn't
see how he could twist such a remark as that into anything like
'I have never built so many castles in my life as since I've known
you, Miss Schuyler,' he said.
'Oh,' I answered as lightly as I could, 'air-castles don't count.'
'The building of air-castles is an innocent amusement enough, I
suppose,' he said; 'but I'm committing the folly of living in mine.
Then I was frightened. When, all at once, you find you have
something precious that you only dimly suspected was to be yours, you
almost wish it hadn't come so soon. But just at that moment Mrs.
Benedict called to us, and came tramping back from the gate, and hooked
her supercilious, patronizing arm in Mr. Copley's, and asked him into
the sitting-room to talk over the 'lady-chapel' in her new memorial
church. Then Aunt Celia told me they would excuse me, as I had had a
wearisome day; and there was nothing for me to do but to go to bed,
like a snubbed child, and wonder if I should ever know the end of that
sentence. And I listened at the head of the stairs, shivering, but all
that I could hear was that Mrs. Benedict asked Mr. Copley to be her own
architect. Her architect, indeed! That woman ought not to be at
largeso rich and good-looking and unconscientious!
* * * * *
York, July 5.
I had just established myself comfortably near to Miss Van Tyck's
hotel, and found a landlady after my own heart in Mrs. Pickles, No. 6,
Micklegate, when Miss Van Tyck, aided and abetted, I fear, by the
romantic Miss Schuyler, elected to change her quarters, and I, of
course, had to change too. Mine is at present a laborious (but not
unpleasant) life. The causes of Miss Schuyler's removal, as I have been
given to understand by the lady herself, were some particularly
pleasing window-boxes in a lodging in High Petergate Street; boxes
overflowing with pink geraniums and white field-daisies. No one (she
explains) could have looked at this house without desiring to live in
it; and when she discovered, during a somewhat exhaustive study of the
premises, that the maid's name was Susan Strangeways, and that she was
promised in marriage to a brewer's apprentice called Sowerbutt, she
went back to her conventional hotel and persuaded her aunt to remove
without delay. If Miss Schuyler were offered a room at the Punchbowl
Inn in the Gillygate and a suite at the Grand Royal Hotel in Broad
Street, she would choose the former unhesitatingly; just as she refused
refreshment at the best caterer's this afternoon and dragged Mrs.
Benedict and me into 'The Little Snug,' where an alluring sign over the
door announced 'A Homely Cup of Tea for Twopence.' But she would
outgrow all that; or, if she didn't, I have common-sense enough for
two; or if I hadn't, I shouldn't care a hang.
Is it not a curious dispensation of Providence that, just when Aunt
Celia is confined to her room with a cold, Mrs. Benedict should join
our party and spend her days in our company? She drove to the
Merchants' Hall and the Cavalry Barracks with us, she walked on the
city walls with us, she even dared the 'homely' tea at 'The Little
Snug'; and at that moment I determined I wouldn't build her memorial
church for her, even at a most princely profit.
On crossing Lendal Bridge we saw the river Ouse running placidly
through the town, and a lot of little green boats moored at a
'How delightful it would be to row for an hour!' exclaimed Miss
'Oh, do you think so, in those tippy boats on a strange river?'
remonstrated Mrs. Benedict.
The moment I suspected she was afraid of the water, I lured her to
the landing-stage and engaged a boat.
'It's a pity that that large flat one has a leak, otherwise it would
have held three nicely; but I dare say we can be comfortable in one of
the little ones,' I said doubtfully.
'Shan't we be too heavy for it?' Mrs. Benedict inquired timidly.
'Oh, I don't think so. We'll get in and try it. If we find it sinks
under our weight we won't risk it,' I replied, spurred on by such
twinkles in Miss Schuyler's eyes as blinded me to everything else.
'I really don't think your aunt would like you to venture, Miss
Schuyler,' said the marplot.
'Oh, as to that, she knows I am accustomed to boating,' replied Miss
'And Miss Schuyler is such an excellent swimmer,' I added.
Whereupon the marplot and killjoy remarked that if it were a
question of swimming she should prefer to remain at home, as she had
large responsibilities devolving upon her, and her life was in a sense
not her own to fling away as she might like.
I assured her solemnly that she was quite, quite right, and pushed
off before she could change her mind.
After a long interval of silence, Miss Schuyler observed in the
voice, accompanied by the smile and the glance of the eye, that 'did'
for me the moment I was first exposed to them:
'You oughtn't to have said that about my swimming, because I can't a
bit, you know.'
'I was justified,' I answered gloomily. 'I have borne too much
to-day, and if she had come with us and had fallen overboard, I might
have been tempted to hold her down with the oar.'
Whereupon Miss Schuyler gave way to such whole-hearted mirth that
she nearly upset the boat. I almost wish she had! I want to swim, sink,
die, or do any other mortal thing for her.
We had a heavenly hour. It was only an hour, but it was the first
time I have had any real chance to direct hot shot at the walls of the
maiden castle. I regret to state that they stood remarkably firm. Of
course, I don't wish to batter them down; I want them to melt under the
warmth of my attack.
York, July 5.
We had a lovely sail on the river Ouse this afternoon. Mrs. Benedict
was timid about boating, and did not come with us. As a usual thing, I
hate a cowardly woman, but her lack of courage is the nicest trait in
her whole character; I might almost say the only nice trait.
Mr. Copley tried in every way, short of asking me a direct question,
to find out whether I had received the marked copy of 'Persuasion' in
Bath, but I evaded the point.
Just as we were at the door of my lodging, and he was saying
good-bye, I couldn't resist the temptation of asking:
'Why, before you knew us at all, did you put Miss Van Tyck:
Reserved, on the window of the railway carriage at Bath?'
He was embarrassed for a moment, and then he said:
'Well, she is, you know, if you come to that; and, besides, I
didn't dare tell the guard the placard I really wanted to put on.'
'I shouldn't think a lack of daring your most obvious fault,' I said
'Perhaps not; but there are limits to most things, and I hadn't the
pluck to paste on a pink paper with Miss Schuyler: Engaged, on it.'
He disappeared suddenly just then, as if he wasn't equal to facing
my displeasure, and I am glad he did, for I was too embarrassed for
Memoranda: In the height of roofs, nave, and choir, York is first
of English cathedrals.
Durham, July something or other,
At Farmer Hendry's.
We left York this morning, and arrived in Durham about eleven
o'clock. It seems there is some sort of an election going on in the
town, and there was not a single fly at the station. Mr. Copley looked
about in every direction, but neither horse nor vehicle was to be had
for love or money. At last we started to walk to the village, Mr.
Copley so laden with our hand-luggage that he resembled a pack mule.
We called first at the Three Tuns, where they still keep up the old
custom of giving a wee glass of cherry-brandy to each guest on his
arrival; but, alas! they were crowded, and we were turned from the
hospitable door. We then made a tour of the inns, but not a single room
was to be had, not for that night, nor for two days ahead, on account
of that same election.
'Hadn't we better go on to Edinburgh, Aunt Celia?' I asked, as we
were resting in the door of the Jolly Sailor.
'Edinburgh? Never!' she replied. 'Do you suppose that I would
voluntarily spend a Sunday in those bare Presbyterian churches until
the memory of these past ideal weeks has faded a little from my memory?
What! leave out Durham and spoil the set?' (In her agitation and
disappointment she spoke of the cathedrals as if they were souvenir
spoons.) 'I intended to stay here for a week or more, and write up a
record of our entire trip from Winchester while the impressions were
fresh in my mind.'
'And I had intended doing the same thing,' said Mr. Copley. 'That
is, I hoped to finish off my previous sketches, which are in a
frightful state of incompletion, and spend a good deal of time on the
interior of this cathedral, which is unusually beautiful.'
At this juncture Aunt Celia disappeared for a moment to ask the
barmaid if, in her opinion, the constant consumption of malt liquors
prevents a more dangerous indulgence in brandy and whisky. She is
gathering statistics, but as the barmaids can never collect their
thoughts while they are drawing ale, Aunt Celia proceeds slowly.
'For my part,' said I, with mock humility, 'I am a docile person,
who never has any intentions of her own, but who yields herself sweetly
to the intentions of other people in her immediate vicinity.'
'Are you?' asked Mr. Copley, taking out his pencil.
'Yes, I said so. What are you doing?'
'Merely taking note of your statement, that's all. Now, Miss Van
Tyck' (of course Aunt Celia appeared at this delightful moment), 'I
have a plan to propose. I was here last summer with a couple of Harvard
men, and we lodged at a farmhouse about a mile distant from the
cathedral. If you will step into the coffee-room for an hour, I'll walk
up to Farmer Hendry's and see if they will take us in. I think we might
be fairly comfortable.'
'Can Aunt Celia have Apollinaris and black coffee after her morning
bath?' I asked.
'I hope, Katharine,' said Aunt Celia majestically'I hope that I
can accommodate myself to circumstances. If Mr. Copley can secure
apartments for us, I shall be more than grateful.'
So here we are, all lodging together in an ideal English farmhouse.
There is a thatched roof on one of the old buildings, and the
dairy-house is covered with ivy, and Farmer Hendry's wife makes a real
English curtsey, and there are herds of beautiful sleek Durham cattle,
and the butter and cream and eggs and mutton are delicious, and I
never, never want to go home any more. I want to live here for ever and
wave the American flag on Washington's birthday.
I am so happy that I feel as if something were going to spoil it
all. Twenty years old to-day! I wish mamma were alive to wish me many
The cathedral is very beautiful in itself, and its situation is
beyond all words of mine to describe. I greatly admired the pulpit,
which is supported by five pillars sunk into the backs of squashed
lions; but Mr. Copley, when I asked him the period, said, 'Pure
There is a nice old cell for refractory monks, that we agreed will
be a lovely place for Mrs. Benedict if we can lose her in it. She
arrives as soon as they can find room for her at the Three Tuns.
Memoranda:Casual remark for breakfast-table or perhaps for
luncheonit is a trifle heavy for breakfast: 'Since the sixteenth
century, and despite the work of Inigo Jones and the great Wren (not
Jenny Wren: Christopher), architecture has had, in England
especially, no legitimate development.' This is the only cathedral with
a Bishop's Throne or a Sanctuary Knocker.
* * * * *
Durham, July 19.
O child of fortune, thy name is J. Q. Copley! How did it happen to
be election time? Why did the inns chance to be full? How did Aunt
Celia relax sufficiently to allow me to find her a lodging? Why did she
fall in love with the lodging when found? I do not know. I only know
Fate smiles; that Kitty and I eat our morning bacon and eggs together;
that I carve Kitty's cold beef and pour Kitty's sparkling ale at
luncheon; that I go to matins with Kitty, and dine with Kitty, and walk
in the gloaming with Kittyand Aunt Celia. And after a day of heaven
like this, like Lorna Doone's loveray, and like every other lover, I
supposeI go to sleep, and the roof above me swarms with angels,
having Kitty under it.
She was so beautiful on Sunday. She has been wearing her favourite
browns and primroses through the week, but on Sunday she blossomed into
blue and white, topped by a wonderful hat, whose brim was laden with
hyacinths. She sat on the end of a seat in the nave, and there was a
capped and gowned crowd of university students in the transept. I
watched them and they watched her. She has the fullest, whitest
eyelids, and the loveliest lashes. When she looks down I wish she might
never look up, and when she looks up I am never ready for her to look
down. If it had been a secular occasion, and she had dropped her
handkerchief, seven-eighths of the students would have started to pick
it upbut I should have got there first! Well, all this is but a
useless prelude, for there are facts to be considereddelightful,
warm, breathing facts!
We were coming home from evensong, Kitty and I. (I am anticipating,
for she was still 'Miss Schuyler' then, but never mind.) We were
walking through the fields, while Mrs. Benedict and Aunt Celia were
driving. As we came across a corner of the bit of meadow land that
joins the stable and the garden, we heard a muffled roar, and as we
looked around we saw a creature with tossing horns and waving tail
making for us, head down, eyes flashing. Kitty gave a shriek. We
chanced to be near a pair of low bars. I hadn't been a college athlete
for nothing. I swung Kitty over the bars, and jumped after her. But
she, not knowing in her fright where she was nor what she was doing,
supposing also that the mad creature, like the villain in the play,
would 'still pursue her,' flung herself bodily into my arms, crying,
'Jack! Jack! save me!'
It was the first time she had called me 'Jack,' and I needed no
second invitation. I proceeded to save her, in the usual way, by
holding her to my heart and kissing her lovely hair reassuringly as I
'You are safe, my darling; not a hair of your precious head shall be
hurt. Don't be frightened.'
She shivered like a leaf.
'I am frightened,' she said; 'I can't help being frightened. He will
chase us, I know. Where is he? What is he doing now?'
Looking up to determine if I need abbreviate this blissful moment, I
saw the enraged animal disappearing in the side-door of the barn; and
it was a nice, comfortable Durham cow, that somewhat rare but possible
thinga sportive cow.
'Is he gone?' breathed Kitty from my waistcoat.
'Yes, he is goneshe is gone, darling. But don't move; it may come
My first too hasty assurance had calmed Kitty's fears, and she
raised her charming flushed face from its retreat and prepared to
withdraw. I did not facilitate the preparations, and a moment of
awkward silence ensued.
'Might I inquire,' I asked, 'if the dear little person at present
reposing in my arms will stay there (with intervals for rest and
refreshment) for the rest of her natural life?'
She withdrew entirely now, all but her hand, and her eyes sought the
'I suppose I shall have tothat is, if you thinkat least, I
suppose you do thinkat any rate, you look as if you were
thinkingthat this has been giving you encouragement.'
'I do indeeddecisive, undoubted, bare-faced encouragement.'
'I don't think I ought to be judged as if I were in my sober
senses,' she replied. 'I was frightened within an inch of my life. I
told you this morning that I was dreadfully afraid of bulls, especially
mad ones, and I told you that my nurse frightened me, when I was a
child, with awful stories about them, and that I never outgrew my
childish terror. I looked everywhere about. The barn was too far, the
fence too high; I saw him coming, and there was nothing but you and the
open country. Of course, I took you. It was very natural, I'm sure; any
girl would have done it.'
'To be sure,' I replied soothingly, 'any girl would have run after
me, as you say.'
'I didn't say any girl would have run after youyou needn't flatter
yourself; and besides, I think I was really trying to protect you as
well as to gain protection, else why should I have cast myself on you
like a catamount, or a catacomb, or whatever the thing is?'
'Yes, darling, I thank you for saving my life, and I am willing to
devote the remainder of it to your service as a pledge of my gratitude;
but if you should take up life-saving as a profession, dear, don't
throw yourself on a fellow with'
'Jack! Jack!' she cried, putting her hand over my lips, and getting
it well kissed in consequence. 'If you will only forget that, and
never, never taunt me with it afterwards, I'llI'llwell, I'll do
anything in reasonyes, even marry you!'
* * * * *
Canterbury, July 31,
The Royal Fountain.
I was never sure enough of Kitty, at first, to dare risk telling her
about that little mistake of hers. She is such an elusive person that I
spend all my time in wooing her, and can never lay the flattering
unction to my soul that she is really won.
But after Aunt Celia had looked up my family record and given a
provisional consent, and Papa Schuyler had cabled a reluctant blessing,
I did not feel capable of any further self-restraint.
It was twilight here in Canterbury, and we were sitting on the
vine-shaded veranda of Aunt Celia's lodging. Kitty's head was on my
shoulder. There is something very queer about that; when Kitty's head
is on my shoulder, I am not capable of any consecutive train of
thought. When she puts it there I see stars, then myriads of stars,
then, oh! I can't begin to enumerate the steps by which ecstasy mounts
to delirium; but, at all events, any operation which demands exclusive
use of the intellect is beyond me at these times. Still, I gathered my
stray wits together, and said:
'Now that nothing but death or marriage can separate us, I have
something to confess to you.'
'Yes,' she said serenely, 'I know what you are going to say. He was
I lifted her head from my shoulder sternly, and gazed into her
childlike, candid eyes.
'You mountain of deceit! How long have you known about it?'
[Illustration: Lor', miss! said Farmer Hendry, he haven't been
pastured there for three weeks"]
'Ever since the first. Oh, Jack, stop looking at me in that way! Not
the very first, not when Inot when younot when weno, not then,
but the next morning, I said to Farmer Hendry, I wish you would keep
your savage bull chained up while we are here; Aunt Celia is awfully
afraid of them, especially those that go mad, like yours! Lor',
miss! said Farmer Hendry, he haven't been pastured here for three
weeks. I keep him six mile away. There ben't nothing but gentle cows in
the home medder. But I didn't think that you knew, you secretive
person! I dare say you planned the whole thing in advance, in order to
take advantage of my fright!'
'Never! I am incapable of such an unnecessary subterfuge! Besides,
Kitty, I could not have made an accomplice of a cow, you know.'
'Then,' she said, with great dignity, 'if you had been a gentleman
and a man of honour, you would have cried, Unhand me, girl! You are
clinging to me under a misunderstanding!'
Chester, August 8,
Jack and I are going over this same ground next summer on our
wedding journey. We shall sail for home next week, and we haven't half
done justice to the cathedrals. After the first two, we saw nothing but
each other on a general background of architecture. I hope my mind is
improved, but oh, I am so hazy about all the facts I have read since I
knew Jack! Winchester and Salisbury stand out superbly in my memory.
They acquired their ground before it was occupied with other matters. I
shall never forget, for instance, that Winchester has the longest spire
and Salisbury the highest nave of all the English cathedrals. And I
shall never forget so long as I live that Jane Austen and Isaac Newt
Oh dear! was it Isaac Newton or Izaak Walton that was buried in
Winchester and Salisbury? To think that that interesting fact should
have slipped from my mind, after all the trouble I took with it! But I
know that it was Isaac somebody, and that he was buried inwell, he
was buried in one of those two places. I am not certain which, but I
can ask Jack; he is sure to know.
BILLING AND SONS, LTD., PRINTERS, GUILDFORD