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whose likeness to the lover of her youth would have been in itself sufficient excuse for the tender freedom which existed between them.

Towards her younger children, the three moonfaced schoolgirls who had appeared on the scene since her second union with the eligible and elderly Sir Thomas Tilbury (now also defunct), the widow was a wholesome restraining influence; a kindly, orthodox, arbitrary parent; at times a trifle exacting and unreasonable; still on the whole as comfortable a mother to get along with as any in the neighbourhood-but towards Iva she was soft, very soft.

Alike Irish by birth-for Captain Kildare and his wife had both been natives of the Sister Isle-the two were always sharpening their wits upon each other; fencing with foils, and enjoying the exercise. It exhilarated them. Lady Tilbury looked as young as her daughter, with a roguish sparkle in her eye; matron and maid had the same eyes--wet blue, overhung by a fringe of dark lashes (people said that her ladyship's Irish eyes could have landed a third husband for her on more than one occasion had she been so minded)—while the rich bloom which lit up Iva's rounded cheeks had its counterpart, only a single shade deepened, in her mother's.

Both had the same low, broad, white brow; and the tendrils which clustered round it in the one case clung as softly, if not quite as thickly, in the other.

"She has me nose, too, and me mouth, that was always thought me greatest beauty." In confidential moments, when her heart was warm and open, the great county lady could not remember to be careful about certain clinging accents of her youth; otherwise it was a common remark that Lady Tilbury was really almost— really she almost spoke like other people. Iva would merrily gibe at her mother for the care with which Sir Thomas's wife had learnt to talk as like Sir Thomas as possible during the dozen years of his reign, and Iva herself loved nothing better than to break out into the richest brogue her native land could afford, whenever she had the chance. Ordinary intercourse, however, was carried on in ordinary language.

"I say, mother"-after a pause of some duration, during which the elder lady had been busily writing, while the younger mused, Iva again lifted her voice, and resumed the conversation—“you know we want Reggie for the balls?"

Pen in hand, her mother looked round, made an impatient movement, half-opened her lips to speak, then, as though thinking better of it,

dipped into the inkstand, and wrote on. She did and she did not agree with the want. "We have just got to have him," proceeded Iva emphatically.

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"Then we can't bother with quarrelling. Besides, as likely as not, from very devilry

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"I can't help the word; I don't know any other for what I mean."

"What do you mean?" 'I mean-devilry."

"Well, well; 'devilry,' if you will have it. But mind, Iva, only to me, your mother; don't be so free in your language

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"My dear thing! Free in my language! I wish you heard other girls

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"I wish nothing of the kind," said Lady Tilbury, with her severest air. "It's shocking; and Sir Thomas always told me to be particular with his daughters; that he wouldn't have them grow up 'slangy and stabley'-those were his very words. I wasn't to let them into the stables without either him or me

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She was off on her hobby-horse, but Iva caught the rein.

"I want to talk about Reggie; not about girls and their slang. What I wanted to say was this—that if Reggie finds out that we have begun to take him au sérieux, and be offended with anything he says or does, pure devilry will make him seize the opportunity—perhaps the very day before a ball, or on the morning of it-to stir us up. He likes nothing so much as to have some one in the huff with him; he always did, as a boy; and though of course it did not matter then, it-we can't have that kind of thing now."

"Of course we can't." The writer wiped her pen, and knitted her brows in meditation. She began to perceive that she had best defer her correspondence, and give the matter in question more of her attention than it had previously seemed to demand. "If only Reggie would behave himself!" she remarked tentatively.

"That he never will; but I think between us we may keep him in hand, if we are on our guard, and work together. Look here, dear; there is one thing you must remember -eagerly "it is this--not to be 'drawn' by him when he proposes for us to do things that he knows you will not allow, and that we should never think of asking for. Just laugh, as if it were a joke."

"But he is so outrageous; you know, Iva, Sir Thomas

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"Never understood Reggie in the least. We do; and we know what he always was, You are fond of him your

and will be.

self."

Lady Tilbury was silent.

"We all are; and he is fond of us. I am certain that if anything were to happen to any of us, if we were in any real trouble, Reggie would come out so strong

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"That he would! Oh, yes, I believe you are right there."

"And though he is so tiresome and provoking, he is not really malicious."

"Malicious! Dear me, no! Who could ever think of calling poor Reggie 'malicious'?"

"And though he is five and twenty, he is ridiculously young for his age. Sometimes he seems an absolute boy, in spite of his age and height, and his long moustache."

“That moustache is a regular take in!” cried Lady Tilbury, suddenly turning round, and waking up. "When I saw it, and saw how it had grown since he was last here, I fancied-you may laugh, Iva, if you will, but I did fancy somehow that Reggie must have sobered down. I thought: How sensible he looks!' And I was quite formal and serious

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