鈥淵our letter, my dear brother, has made me twenty years younger. Yesterday I was sixty, to-day hardly eighteen. I bless Heaven for preserving your health, and that things have passed so happily. It is a service so important rendered by you to the state that I can not enough express my gratitude, and will wait to do it in person.鈥? I'm sure he does, replied Mr. Colfox, the curate. "There isn't a more selfish man living than Lostwithiel." There was disappointment that Meade had not shown more energy after Gettysburg in the pursuit of Lee's army and that some attempt, at least, had not been made to interfere with the retreat across the Potomac. Military critics have in fact pointed out that Meade had laid himself open to criticism in the management of the battle itself. At the time of the repulse of Pickett's charge, Meade had available at the left and in rear of his centre the sixth corps which had hardly been engaged on the previous two days, and which included some of the best fighting material in the army. It has been pointed out more than once that if that corps had been thrown in at once with a countercharge upon the heels of the retreating divisions of Longstreet, Lee's right must have been curled up and overwhelmed. If this had happened, Lee's army would have been so seriously shattered that its power for future service would have been inconsiderable. Meade was accepted as a good working general but the occasion demanded something more forcible in the way of leadership and, early in 1864, Lincoln sends for the man who by his success in the West had won the hopeful confidence of the President and the people. It was amusing to see how the great Diggle comported himself at Farrington Hall. He was a curious example of how low the once mighty may fall. From having been a tremendous personage he had sunk to the position of a mere hanger-on. He was not even prince consort to a reigning queen. His wife looked upon him as an appendage, a person useful in his way, but not entitled to have any voice in the management of affairs, or, indeed, any opinions of his own. He might have resented this, and refused the rather ignominious r?le, but for two reasons. The first was that his health was very indifferent, and he had no spirit to battle for his rights; the second, that Mrs. Diggle had made certain discoveries as to his family and antecedents which left him very much in her power. The fact was that Cavendish really belonged to the great tea firm trading and largely advertising under the name of Diggle; and what was more, the firm was in a very bad way. To have married a Diggle at all was in itself a condescension, but to have become the wife of a pauper Diggle was something like a 鈥榮ell.鈥?There had been settlements, of course, but not to a large amount, as Diggle declared he had but little ready cash, although his prospects were excellent. Moreover, his hopes, undoubtedly well-grounded at the time, of professional advancement, which had been not the least potent inducement to the match, were now fading into nothingness, and there seemed every reason to fear that, owing to his wretched health, Colonel Diggle would continue a half-pay officer for the rest of his life. A parvenu who is poor and without any chances of obtaining social distinction has no raison d鈥櫭猼re at all, and Diggle was fast degenerating into a mere cipher, a poor creature who had no other claims to respect but that of being father to the Diggle-Farrington who would some day be the master of Farrington Hall. I am glad to hear it. Then there is really nothing to[Pg 180] fight about except a good deal of vulgar abuse on your part, which I am willing to overlook. A man of your mature age, married to a beautiful girl, has some excuse for being jealous. 三级黄线在线播放免费 免费看片播放器 午夜影院费试看黄 They had reached the shrubbery by this time, and were hurrying along a winding walk where the rain reached them with less violence. The narrow walk brought them on to a broad terrace in front of the house. Lostwithiel opened a half-glass door, and led Mrs. Disney into the library, a long, low room, full of curious nooks and corners, formed by two massive chimney-pieces, and by the projecting wings of the heavy oak bookcases. Isola had never seen any room so filled with books, nor had she ever seen a room with two such chimney-pieces, of statuary marble, yellowed with age, elaborately carved with cherubic heads, and Cupids, and torches and festal wreaths, bows and arrows, lyres and urns. Herbert felt first a little neglected, although, as he told himself, he had really no reason to expect any extravagant thanks. Probably no one knew that it was he who had extricated Miss Prioleau from her perilous predicament, the general and his daughter least of all, and what did it matter if they did? The service was a very trifling one, after all, and he had only done what any other man would have done in his place. He's an old fox. I knew it as soon as I set eyes on him.