THE PORTER'S SON
just like you and me 1 the General's people can't do that. Was George not quite wild with delight yesterday, over the delightful treatment he got from the Count; and to-day I am the same after having spoken with the great man. Is it not a good thing now, that we did not apprentice George to a trade ? He has abilities.'
1 But they must have help from outside,' said the father.
' He has got that now,' said the mother, ' the Count said it clearly and distinctly.'
' It is from the General's, though, that it was all set going ! ' said the father. ' We must also thank them.'
1 That we can well do,' said the mother, ' but I don't believe there is much to thank them for ; I will thank our Lord, and I will also thank Him because the little Emily is coming to herself again ! ' Emily kept getting on, and George kept getting on ; in the course of the year he got the little silver medal, and afterwards the bigger one.
' It would have been better if he had been put to a trade,' said the mother, and wept; ' then we should have kept him ! What shall he do in Rome ? I shall never see him again, even if he comes home, but he won't do that, the sweet child ! '
' But it is his good fortune and his glory ! ' said the father.
1 Yes, thank you, my friend,' said the mother, ' but you don't mean what you say! You are as much distressed as lam!'
And it was true, both about the grief and the going away. Everybody said it was great good fortune for the young fellow !
And parting visits were paid, including one to the General's ; but the lady did not show herself, she had one of her headaches. By way of farewell the General told his only anecdote, about what he had said to the Prince, and what the Prince said to him, You are incomparable ! ' Then he gave George his hand—his flabby hand ; Emily also gave George her hand and looked almost distressed, but George was the most distressed of all.
Time goes when one is doing something ; it goes also when one is doing nothing. The time is equally long, but