Hamlet. How chances it they travel? their residence,
both in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
Rosencrantz. I think their inhibition comes by the means
of the late innovation.

Many, wearing rapiers, are afraid of goose-quills.
What imports the nomination of this gentleman?

AWAY from the glens and the heather-clad mountains, from the blue loughs and their islands of arbutus, from the harp-music, and from the ocean-music which makes those who hear it ripe for revolt; away from the land whose life is the memory of ancient deeds of nobleness; away from the land that has given birth to more heroes than any nation in the world, the land whose inhabitants live in thousands in squalor and look out from mud windows upon the most glorious scenery in the world; away from all these one must now be borne.

Upon the evening of the fourth day after the chanting of that lament by the bard O'Brian from the depths of Glenmara, the good steamship Cardwell Castle was making its way down Channel with a full cargo and heavy mails for Madeira, St. Helena, and the Cape. It had left its port but a few hours and already the coast had become dim with distance. The red shoreway of the south-west was now so far away that the level rays of sunlight which swept across the water were not seen to shine upon the faces of the rocks, or to show where the green fields joined the brown moorland; the windmills crowning every height were not seen to be in motion.

The passengers were for the most part very cheerful, as passengers generally are during the first couple of hours of a voyage, when only the gentle ripples of the Channel lap the sides of the vessel. The old voyagers, who had thought it prudent to dine off a piece of sea-biscuit and a glass of brandy and water, while they watched with grim smiles the novices trifling with roast pork and apricot-dumplings, were now sitting in seats they had arranged for themselves in such places as they knew would be well to leeward for the greater part of the voyage, and here they smoked their cigars and read their newspapers just as they would be doing every day for three weeks. To them the phenomenon of the lessening land was not particularly interesting. The novices were endeavouring to look as if they had been used to knock about the sea all their lives; they carried their telescopes under their arms quite jauntily, and gave critical glances aloft every now and again, consulting their pocket compasses gravely at regular intervals to convince themselves that they were not being trifled with in the navigation of the vessel.

Then there were, of course, those who had come aboard with the determination of learning in three weeks as much seamanship as should enable them to accept any post of marine responsibility that they might be called upon to fill in after life. They handled the loose tackle with a view of determining its exact utility, and endeavoured to trace stray lines to their source. They placed the captain entirely at his ease with them by asking him a number of questions regarding the dangers of boiler-bursting, and the perils of storms; they begged that he would let them know if there was any truth in the report which had reached them to the effect that the Atlantic was a very stormy place; and they left him with the entreaty that in case of any danger arising suddenly he would at once communicate with them; they then went down to put a few casual questions to the quartermaster who was at the wheel, and doubtless felt that they were making most of the people about them cheerful with their converse.

Then there were the young ladies who had just completed their education in England and were now on their way to join their relations abroad. Having read in the course of their studies of English literature the poems of the late Samuel Rogers, they were much amazed to find that the mariners were not leaning over the ship's bulwarks sighing to behold the sinking of their native land, and that not an individual had climbed the mast to partake of the ocular banquet with indulging in which the poet has accredited the sailor. Towards this section the glances of several male eyes were turned, for most of the young men had roved sufficiently far to become aware of the fact that the relief of the monotony of a lengthened voyage is principally dependent on—well, on the relieving capacities of the young ladies, lately sundered from school and just commencing their education in the world.

But far away from the groups that hung about the stern stood a girl looking over the side of the ship towards the west—towards the sun that was almost touching the horizon. She heard the laughter of the groups of girls and the silly questions of the uninformed, but all sounded to her like the strange voices of a dream; for as she gazed towards the west she seemed to see a fair landscape of purple slopes and green woods; the dash of the ripples against the ship's side came to her as the rustle of the breaking ripples amongst the shells of a blue lough upon whose surface a number of green islets raised their heads. She saw them all—every islet, with its moveless I shadow beneath it, and the light touching the edges of the leaves with red. Daireen Gerald it was who stood there looking out to the sunset, but seeing in the golden lands of the west the Irish land she knew so well.

She remained motionless, with her eyes far away and her heart still farther, until the red sun had disappeared, and the delicate twilight change was slipping over the bright gray water. With every change she seemed to see the shifting of the hues over the heather of Slieve Docas and the pulsating of the tremulous red light through the foliage of the deer ground. It was only now that the tears forced themselves into her eyes, for she had not wept at parting from her grandfather, who had gone with her from Ireland and had left her aboard the steamer a few hours before; and while her tears made everything misty to her, the light laughter of the groups scattered about the quarter-deck sounded in her ears. It did not come harshly to her, for it seemed to come from a world in which she had no part. The things about her were as the things of a dream. The reality in which she was living was that which she saw out in the west.

“Come, my dear,” said a voice behind her—“Come and walk with me on the deck. I fancied I had lost you, and you may guess what a state I was in, after all the promises I made to Mr. Gerald.”

“I was just looking out there, and wondering what they were all doing at home—at the foot of the dear old mountain,” said Daireen, allowing herself to be led away.

“That is what most people would call moping, dear,” said the lady who had come up. She was a middle-aged lady with a pleasant face, though her figure was hardly what a scrupulous painter would choose as a model for a Nausicaa.

“Perhaps I was moping, Mrs. Crawford,” Daireen replied; “but I feel the better for it now.”

“My dear, I don't disapprove of moping now and again, though as a habit it should not be encouraged. I was down in my cabin, and when I came on deck I couldn't understand where you had disappeared to. I asked the major, but of course, you know, he was quite oblivious to everything but the mutiny at Cawnpore, through being beside Doctor Campion.”

“But you have found me, you see, Mrs. Crawford.”

“Yes, thanks to Mr. Glaston; he knew where you had gone; he had been watching you.” Daireen felt her face turning red as she thought of this Mr. Glaston, whoever he was, with his eyes fixed upon her movements. “You don't know Mr. Glaston, Daireen?—I shall call you 'Daireen' of course, though we have only known each other a couple of hours,” continued the lady. “No, of course you don't. Never mind, I'll show him to you.” For the promise of this treat Daireen did not express her gratitude. She had come to think the most unfavourable things regarding this Mr. Glaston. Mrs. Crawford, however, did not seem to expect an acknowledgment. Her chat ran on as briskly as ever. “I shall point him out to you, but on no account look near him for some time—young men are so conceited, you know.”

Daireen had heard this peculiarity ascribed to the race before, and so when her guide, as they walked towards the stern of the vessel, indicated to her that a young man sitting in a deck-chair smoking a cigar was Mr. Glaston, she certainly did not do anything that might possibly increase in Mr. Glaston this dangerous tendency which Mrs. Crawford had assigned to young men generally.

“What do you think of him, my dear?” asked Mrs. Crawford, when they had strolled up the deck once more.

“Of whom?” inquired Daireen.

“Good gracious,” cried the lady, “are your thoughts still straying? Why, I mean Mr. Glaston, to be sure. What do you think of him?”

“I didn't look at him,” the girl answered.

Mrs. Crawford searched the fair face beside her to find out if its expression agreed with her words, and the scrutiny being satisfactory she gave a little laugh. “How do you ever mean to know what he is like if you don't look at him?” she asked.

Daireen did not stop to explain how she thought it possible that contentment might exist aboard the steamer even though she remained in ignorance for ever of Mr. Glaston's qualities; but presently she glanced along the deck, and saw sitting at graceful ease upon the chair Mrs. Crawford had indicated, a tall man of apparently a year or two under thirty. He had black hair which he had allowed to grow long behind, and a black moustache which gave every indication of having been subjected to the most careful youthful training. His face would not have been thought expressive but for his eyes, and the expression that these organs gave out could hardly be called anything except a neutral one: they indicated nothing except that nothing was meant to be indicated by them. No suggestion of passion, feeling, or even thoughtfulness, did they give; and in fact the only possible result of looking at this face which some people called expressive, was a feeling that the man himself was calmly conscious of the fact that some people were in the habit of calling his face expressive.

“And what do you think of him now, my dear?” asked Mrs. Crawford, after Daireen had gratified her by taking that look.

“I really don't think that I think anything,” she answered with a little laugh.

“That is the beauty of his face,” cried Mrs. Crawford. “It sets one thinking.”

“But that is not what I said, Mrs. Crawford.”

“You said you did not think you were thinking anything, Daireen; and that meant, I know, that there was more in his face than you could read at a first glance. Never mind; every one is set thinking when one sees Mr. Glaston.”

Daireen had almost become interested in this Mr. Glaston, even though she could not forget that he had watched her when she did not want to be watched. She gave another glance towards him, but with no more profitable conclusion than her previous look had attained.

“I will tell you all about him, my child,” said Mrs. Crawford confidentially; “but first let us make ourselves comfortable. Dear old England, there is the last of it for us for some time. Adieu, adieu, dear old country!” There was not much sentimentality in the stout little lady's tone, as she looked towards the faint line of mist far astern that marked the English coast. She sat down with Daireen to the leeward of the deck-house where she had laid her rugs, and until the tea-bell rang Daireen had certainly no opportunity for moping.

Mrs. Crawford told her that this Mr. Glaston was a young man of such immense capacities that nothing lay outside his grasp either in art or science. He had not thought it necessary to devote his attention to any subject in particular; but that, Mrs. Crawford thought, was rather because there existed no single subject that he considered worthy of an expenditure of all his energies. As things unfortunately existed, there was nothing left for him but to get rid of the unbounded resources of his mind by applying them to a variety of subjects. He had, in fact, written poetry—never an entire volume of course, but exceedingly clever pieces that had been published in his college magazine. He was capable of painting a great picture if he chose, though he had contented himself with giving ideas to other men who had worked them out through the medium of pictures. He was one of the most accomplished of musicians; and if he had not yet produced an opera or composed even a song, instances were on record of his having performed impromptus that would undoubtedly have made the fame of a professor. He was the son of a Colonial Bishop, Mrs. Crawford told Daireen, and though he lived in England he was still dutiful enough to go out to pay a month's visit to his father every year.

“But we must not make him conceited, Daireen,” said Mrs. Crawford, ending her discourse; “we must not, dear; and if he should look over and see us together this way, he would conclude that we were talking of him.”

Daireen rose with her instructive companion with an uneasy sense of feeling that all they could by their combined efforts contribute to the conceit of a young man who would, upon grounds so slight, come to such a conclusion as Mrs. Crawford feared he might, would be but trifling.

Then the tea-bell rang, and all the novices who had enjoyed the roast pork and dumplings at dinner, descended to make a hearty meal of buttered toast and banana jelly. The sea air had given them an appetite, they declared with much merriment. The chief steward, however, being an experienced man, and knowing that in a few hours the Bay of Biscay would be entered, did not, from observing the hearty manner in which the novices were eating, feel uneasy on the matter of the endurance of the ship's stores. He knew it would be their last meal for some days at least, and he smiled grimly as he laid down another plate of buttered toast, and hastened off to send up some more brandy and biscuits to Major Crawford and Doctor Campion, whose hoarse chuckles called forth by pleasing reminiscences of Cawnpore were dimly heard from the deck through the cabin skylight.

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