THE PORTER'S SON
Her ladyship curtsied, the daughter was about to give him her hand, but she did not give it. ' Our little Mr. George !' said the General, ' old house-friends; charming !'
4 You have become quite an Italian/ said her ladyship, and you talk the language like a native, I suppose.'
Her ladyship sang Italian, but did not speak it, the General said.
At the dinner-table George sat at Emily's right hand. The General had taken her in, the Count had taken in her ladyship.
Mr. George talked and told anecdotes, and he told them well; he was the life and soul of the party, although the old Count could have been that too. Emily sat silent; her ears heard, and her eyes shone, but she said nothing. Afterwards she and George stood in the verandah amongst the flowers ; a hedge of roses hid them. George was again the first to speak.
1 Thank you for your kindness to my old mother ! ■ said he ; ' I know that the night my father died, you came down to her, and stayed with her till his eyes were closed. Thanks !' He caught Emily's hand and kissed it; he might do that on this occasion. She blushed rosy-red, but pressed his hand again and looked at him with her tender blue eyes.
1 Your mother was a loving soul! how fond she was of you ! And she let me read all your letters ; I believe I almost know you ! how kind you were to me when I was little ; you gave me pictures------■
' Which you tore in pieces ! ' said George.
* No ! I have still my castle,—the drawing of it.'
1 And now I must build it in reality ! ' said George, and grew quite hot with what he said.
The General and her ladyship talked in their own room about the Porter's son; he knew how to comport himself, and could express himself with knowledge and intelligence. ' He could be a tutor 1' said the General.
* Genius ! ' said her ladyship, and she said no more.
Often in the lovely summer-time Mr. George came to the
castle of the Count. He was missed when he did not come.
' How much more God has given to you than to us other