THE PORTER' S SON
THE General' s family lived on the first floor； thePorter's lived in the cellar； there was a great distance be－tween the twofamilies—the whole of the ground－floor，and thedifference inrank； buttheylivedunderthe same roof， and had thesame outlook to thestreet and theyard． Inthe yardtherewasa grass－plotwith a flowering acacia tree—
when itdid flower；and under it sat sometimes the smartly- dressed nurse， with the stillmore smartly－dressed child，the General' s，"Little Emily． Before them thePorter's little boy，with the brown eyesanddark hair， used to dance on his bare feet， and the child laughed， andstretched out her little hands to him，and when the General saw it from his window， he nodded down to them， and said，"Charming！" The General's lady， who was so young thatshe could almost havebeenhis daughter by an earlier marriage， never looked out to the yard， but had given or-ders that the cellar－folks' littleboy might play for the child， butmust not touch it． Thenursekept strictly tothelady'sorders. And the sun shone in upon the people in the first floor， and upon those in the cellar； the acacia tree put forth its blossoms， theyfelloff，and new ones came again nextyear；thetreebloomed，andthePorter'slittleboy bloomed， he looked like a fresh tulip． The General'sdaughter grew delicate and pale，like the pink leaf of the acacia flower． She seldom came down now under the tree；she took herfresh air in the carriage． She drove out with Mamma， and she always nodded to the Porter's little George， even kissedher fingers to him， until her mother told herthat she was nowtoobigforthat．
One forenoon he went up to the General's with the letters and papers which had been left in the Porter's lodge in the morning. As he went upstairs, past the door of the sand-hole, he heard something whimpering inside; he thought it was a chicken chirping there, but insteaditwastheGeneral's little daughter in muslin and lace．
"Don't tell Papa and Mamma，for they will beangry！"
"What is the matter， little miss？" asked George. "It is all burning！" said she．" It is burning andblazing！"
George opened the door to the little nursery： thewindow curtain was almost all burned， the curtain rod wasglowing and in flames． Georgesprang up， pulled it down， and called to the people． But for him there would havebeen a house on fire． The General and his lady questioned little Emily．" I only took one sin- glematch，"said she，"that burned at once， and the curtain burned at once. I spat to put it out， Ispat as hard asI could， butI could not spit enough，and slIran outandhidmy－ self， for Papa and Mamma would be so angry．" "spit！"said the General， "what kind of a word is that？ When did you hear Papa or Mamma say 'spit'？ You have got that from downstairs．"
But little George got a penny．This did not go to the baker， itwent into the savings box； and soon there were so many shillings， that he could buy himself a paint－boxto paint his drawings； and of these he had many． Theyseemed to come out of his pencil and his finger-ends．He presented his first paintings to little Emily．
"Charming！" said the General； the lady herself ad－mitted that one could distinctly seewhatthelittle one had meant．"He has Genius!" These were the words that the Porter's wife brought down into the cellar．
The General and his wife werepeople of rank： theyhad two coats of arms on their carriage； onefor eachofthem． The lady had hers on every piece of clothing， out－side and inside， on her night－cap，andnight－dress bag．Hers was an expensive one，bought by her father for shin-ing dollars；for he had not been born with it， nor she ei－ther；shehadcome too early，seven years before the coat of arms. Most people could remember that， but not the family．The General' s coat of arms was old and big： itmightwellmake one's bones crack to carry it， to say noth- ingoftwo such coats， andher ladyship's boned cracked when， stiff and stately， she drove to a court-ball．
The General was old and grey， but looked well onhorseback． He knew that， and he rode out every day with agroomat a respectful distance behind him．When he came toaparty，itwasasif he came riding on his high horse, and he had so many orders that it was inconceivable；but that was not his fault at all．When quite a young man he had served in the army，had been at the great autumn ma－neuvers，which thenwere held by the troops in the days ofpeace．About that time he had an anecdote， the only one hehad to tell．His under-officer cut off and took prisoneroneofthe princes； and thePrince with his little troop ofcaptured soldiers， himself a prisoner， had toride into thetown behind the General．Itwas an event not tobe forgot－ten， which always，throughall the years， was re-told bythe General，withjust the same memorable words which he hadusedwhenheretumedthePrince'ssabretohim， "Only my subaltern couldhave taken your Highness prison-er，Inever！"and the Prince answered，"You are incompa- rable！" The General had neverbeen in areal war；when thatwent through the land， hewent on the diplomatic path， through three foreigncourts．He spoke theFrench language，sothathealmost forgothisown；he danced well， he rode well，orders grew on his coat in profusion；sentinels presented arms to him， and one of the most beau－tiful young girls presented herself to him and became hiswife，andthey had a charming baby，whichseemed to have fallen down from Heaven， it was so lovely， and the Porter'ssondancedintheyardforher，assoonasshecouldtake notice， and gave her all his coloured pictures， and shelooked at them， and was delighted with them， and tore them to pieces．She was sofine and so charming！
"My rose－leaf，" said the General's lady，"you areborn for a Prince！"
The Prince already stood outside the door；but they did not know it． People cannot see very far beyond the door－step．
"The other day， our boy shared his bread and butterwith her，" said the porter's wife；"there was neithercheese nor meat on it， but she enjoyed it as if it had beenroast－beef．" The General's People would have broughtthe house down if they had seen that feast， but they didn't see it．
George had shared his bread and butter with little Emily ； he would willingly have shared his heart with her，if it would have pleased her．He was a good boy，he was clever and sprightly， he now went to the evening class at the Academy， to learn to draw properly． Little Emily alsomade progress in learning；she talked French with hernurse， and had a dancing－master．
"George will be confirmed at Easter，" said the Porter's wife．George was now so far advancde ．
"It would be sensible to put him to a trade，" saidthe father—"a nice trade it should be， of course， and sowe should have him out of the house．"
"He will have to sleep at home at night，" said themother；"it is not easy to find a master who has room forhim to sleep； clothes，too，we must give him；the littlebit of food he eats is easily got，he is quite happy withone or two boiled potatoes； he has free education too．Just let him go his own way， you will see that he will bea pleasure to us； the Professor said so．"
The confirmation clothes were ready． The motherherself had sewed them， but they were cut out by the job-bing tailor， and he cut well． If he had only been in abetter position， and had been able to have a workshop and workmen， said the Porter's wife，he might very well have been court-tailor．
The confirmation clothes were ready， and the confir－mant was ready．On the confirmation day George got a large pinchbeck watch from his godfather，the flax-dealer'sold workman， the richest of George's godfathers．The watch was old and tried； it always went fast，but that is better than going slow．It was a costly present；and fromthe General' s came a Psalm－book，bound in morocco， sentfrom the little lady to whom George had presented his pie－tures．In the front of the book stood his name and her name and "earnest well-wishes"． It was written from the dictationof the General's lady， and the General had read it throughand said，"Charming！"
"It was really a great attention from such grand gen－tlefolk，" said the Porter's wife； and George had to go upin his confirmation clothes and with the Psalm－book， toshow himself and return thanks．
The General's lady was much wrapped up， and hadone of her bad headaches，which she alwayshad when she was tired of things．She looked kindly at George， andwishedhim everything good and never to have her headaches． The General was in his dressing－gown， and wore a tassllea cap and red-topped Russian boots．He went up and down the floor three times in thoughts and memories of his own，stood still， and said， "So little George is now a Christian man？ Let him be also an honest man ，and honour his superiors． Some day， as an old man， you can say that the General taught you that sentence！"
This was a longer speech than he usually made， andhe returned again to his meditation and looked dignified．But of all that George heard or saw up there， he kept most clearly in his thoughts the little Miss Emily； how charmingshe was， how gentle， how light， and how fragile！ If shewas to be painted， it must be in a soap－bubble． There wasa fragrance about her clothes， about her curly， goldenhair ， as if she was a fresh－blossomed rose－tree；and withher he had once shared his bread and butter！She had eat－ en it with a hearty appetite，and nodded to him at every other mouthful． Could she remember it still？ Yes， certain－ly； she had given him the beautiful Psalm-book"in memo－ ry"of it；and then the first time the New Year's new moon was seen， he went outside with bread and a farthing， andopened the book to see what Psalm he would light upon． It was apsalm of praise and thanksgiving ；and he opened itagain to see what would be granted to little Emily．He took care not to dip into the book where the funeral hymnswere， and yet he opened it between Death and the Grave．This was nothing to put faith in， and yet he was fright-ened when the dainty little girl was soon laid up in bed，and the doctor's carriage stopped outside the gate everynoon．
"They won't keep her！" said the Porter's wife；"our Lord knows well whom He will have！"
But they did keep her；and George drew pictures and sent them to her；he drew the Castle of the Czar，theold Kremlin in Moscow， exactly as it stood， with towersand cupolas；they looked like gigantic green and goldencucumbers， at least in George's drawings．They pleasedlittle Emily so much， and therefore， in the course of a week，George sent a few more pictures， all of them build－ings，because with them she could imagine so much insidethe doors and windows． He drew a Chinese house， withbells throughout all the sixteen stories；he drew two Greektemples， with slender marble pillars， and steps round about；he drew a Norwegian church； one could see that itwas made entirely of timber， carved and wonderfully setup， every story looked as if it were on cradle－rockers．Most beautiful of all， however， was one drawing， a cas－tle，which he called" Little Emily's．" In such a oneshould she live； George had completely thought it out，and had taken for that castle everything that he thought most beautiful in the other buildings． It had carved beamslike the Norwegian church， marble pillars like the Greektemple， bells in every story， and at the top of all， cupo－las，green and gilded，like those on the Czar's Kremlin．It was a real child's castle， and under each window waswritten what the room or hall was to be used for："HereEmily sleeps．""Here Emily dances，" and"Here Emily plays at receiving visitors．"It wat amusing to see， and itwas looked at too．
"Charming！" said the General．
But the old Count， for there was an old Count， whowas still more dignified than the General， and himself hada castle and an estate， said nothing； he heard that it wasdesigned and drawn by the Porter's littleson．He was notso little， however， seeing that he was confirmed． The oldCount looked at the pictures，and had his own quiet thoughts about them．
One day， when the weather was downright grey，wet，and horrid，was one of the brightest andbest forlittle George．The Professor of the Academy of Art called him in．
"Listen， my friend，" said he，"let us have some talktogether！ God has been very good to you with abilities；Heis also good to you with good people． The old Count at thecornerhas spoken to me about you； Ihave also seen your pictures ；we will draw the pencil over them； in them thereis much to correct！Now you can come twice a week to the drawing school， and you will be able to do better after－wards． I believe there is more inyou to make an architectthan a painter； you can have time to consider that yourself；but today you must go up to the old Count at the corner， and thank our Lord for such a man！"
It was a great house at the corner； round the windowswere carved elephants and dromedaries，all from olden times； but the old Count thought most of the new times with whatgood they brought， whether it came from the firstfloor， the cellar， orthe garret．
"I believe，" said the Porter's wife，"that the morefolks are really grand， the less stuck－up they are！ Howcharming and straightforward the old Count is！ And hespeaks just like you and me！The General's people can'tdo that． Was George not quite wild with delight yesterday，over the delightful treatment he got from the Count；and to-day Iam the same after having spoken with the great man．Isit not agood thing now， that we did not apprentice George to a trade？He has abilities．"
"But they must have help from outside， said the fa-ther．
"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 setgoing！" said the father．"We must also thank them．"
"That we can well do，"said the mother，"butIdon'tbelieve there is much to thank them for；Iwill thank ourLord， andI will also thank Him because the little Emily iscoming to herself again！" Emily kept getting on， andGeorge kept getting on； in the course of the year he gotthe 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 neversee 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 thefather．
"Yes， thank you， my friend，" said the mother， "but you don't mean what you say！ YOu are as much dis－tressed as I am！"
And it was true， both about the grief and the goingaway． Everybody said it was great good fortune for theyoung fellow！
And parting visits were paid，including one to theGeneral's； but the lady did not show herself， she had oneof her headaches． By way of farewell the General told hisonly anecdote， about what he had said to the Prince， andwhat the Prince said to him，"You are incomparable！"Then he gave George his hand—his flabby hand ； Emilyalso 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 alsowhen one is doing nothing． The time is equally long，butnot equally profitable．For George it was profitable， andnot at all long， except when he thought those at home． How were they getting on upstairs and downstairs？Well， he got news of them； and one can put so much in aletter， both the bright sunshine， and the dark， heavydays． They lay in the letter， which told that the fatherwas dead， and only the mother was left behind． Emilyhad been like an angel of comfort； she had come down toher， the mother wrote， and added that she herself had gotleave to keep the employment at the gate．
The General's lady kept a diary； in it was recordedevery party， every ball， she had gone to， and all the visi-tors she had received．The diary was illustrated with thevisiting cards of diplomats and the highest nobility． Shewas proud of her diary；it grew for many a day， during many big headaches， and also during many brilliantnights，that is to say， court－balls．
Emily had been at a court-ball for the first time． Themother was dressed in pink with black lace；Spanish！Thedaughter in white，so clear，so fine！green ribbons flut－tered－like leaves of sedge amongst her curly， golden hair，which bore a crown of water－lilies． Her eyes were so blueand so clear， her mouth so small and red， she looked like a little mermaid， as lovdy as can be imagined． Three princes danced with her， that is to say， first one and thenanother；the General's lady did not have a headache for a week．
But the first ball was not the last one； it was all toomuch for Emily， and it was a good thing that the summercame with its rest and fresh air． The family was invited to the old Count's castle．It was a castle with a garden worthseeing． One part of it was quite as in olden days，withstiff，green hedges， where one seemed to go between green screens， inwhich there were peep－holes．Box-trees and yew－trees were clipped into stars and pyramids；water sprang from great grottoes， set with cockle－shells： roundabout stood stone figures of the very heaviest stone， one could see that by the clothes and the faces； everyflower－ bed had its shape of a fish， shield， or monogram； that wasthe French part of the garden． From there one came， as it were， into the fresh open wood， where the trees dared togrow as they would， and were therefore so big and so beau－ tiful．The grass was green， and good for walking on ； it wasrolled，mowed， and well kept； that was the English part ofthe garden．
"Olden times and modem times，" said the Count，"here they glide well into each other！ In about two years the house itselfwillget its proper appearance． Itwill un－ dergo a complete change to something better and more beautiful． I shall show you the plans， andI shall show youthe architect． He is here today for dinner！"
"Charming！" said the General．
"It is like Paradise here！" said her ladyship，"andthere you have abaronial castle！"
"That is my hen-house，" said the count．"The pi- geons live in the tower， the turkeys on the first floor， buton the ground floor oldDame Elsie rules．She has guest－ chambers on all sides：the sitting－hens by themselves， thehen with chickens by herself， and the ducks have their own outlet to the water！"
"Charming！" repeated the General， and they all went to see this fine show．
Old Elsie stood in the middle of the room， and by the side of her was George， the architect； he and little Emily met after many years， met in the hen－housc． Yes，there he stood， and he was nice enough to look at； hisface open and decided， with black glossy hair，and on his lips a smile which said，"There sits a rogue behind my ear who knows you outside and in．" Old Elsie had taken her wooden shoes off， and stood on her stocking soles， in honour of the distinguished guests． And the hens cackled，and the cock crew， and the ducks waddled away with "quack， quack ！" But the pale，slender girl， the friend ofhis childhood，the General's daughter，stood there with a rosy tinge on the otherwise pale cheeks；her eyes becameso big，and her mouth spoke without saying a single word，and the greeting he got was the prettiest any young man could wish for from a young lady， if they were not related or had never danced much together；she and the architect had never danced with each other．
The Count shook hands with him，and presented him："Our young friend， Mr．George， is not quite a stranger．"
Her ladyship curtsied， the daughter was about to give him her hand， but she did not give it．" Our littleMr．George！" said the General，"old house－friends ；
"You have become quite an Italian，"said her lady－ship，"and you talk the language like a native，I sup－pose．"
Her ladyship sang Italian， but did not speak it， theGeneral said．
At the dinner-table George sat at Emily's right hana． The General had taken her in， the Count had taken in her ladyship．
Mr．George talked and told anecdotes， and he toldthem well； he was the life and soul of the party， althoughthe 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．
"Thank you for your kindness to my old mother！"said he；"Iknowthatthe night my fatherdied， you camedown to her， and stayed with her till his eyes wereclosed．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 hertenderblue eyes．
"Your mother was a lovingsoul！ How fond she wasof you！ And she let me read all your letters；I believeIalmost know you！ How kind you were to me whenI was little；you gave me pictures—"
"Which you tore in pieces！" said George．
"No！ Ihave still my castle，—the drawing of it．"
"And nowI must build it in reality！" said George，and grew quite hot with what he said．
The General and her ladyship talked in their ownroom about the Porter's son； he knew how to comporthimself， and could express himself with knowledge andintelligence．"He could be a tutor！" said the General．
"Genius！"said her ladyship， and she said no more．
Often in the lovely summer-time Mr． George came tothe castle of the Count． He was missed when he did notcome．
"How much more God has given to you than to us other poor creatures！" said Emily to him．"Do you realizethat properly？"
It flattered George that the lovely young girl lookedup to him，and he thought her uncommonly gifted．Andthe General felt himself more and more convinced thatMr． George could not possibly be a child of the cellar．
"The mother was， however， a very honest woman，"said he；"Iowe that to her memory．"
The summer went and the winter came， and therewas more talk about Mr．George； he had been receivedwith favour in the highest places．The General had methim at a court-ball． And now there was to be a ball in thehouse for little Emily． Could Mr． George be invited？
"Whom the king invites，the General can invite，"said the General， and lifted himself a whole inch from thefloor．
Mr．George was invited， and he came；and princes and counts came， and the one danced better than the oth－er； but Emily could only dance the first dance． In it shesprained her foot， not badly， but enough to feel it； so shehad to be careful，stop dancing， and look at the others；and she sat and looked， and the architect stood by herside：
"You are surely giving her the whole of St． Peter's！"said the General， as he went past， and smiled like benevolence itself．
With the same benevolent smile he received Mr．
George some days after． The young man certainly came to call after the ball，what else ？Yes，the most as- tounding， the most astonishing thing；he came with in－sane words； the General could not believe his ownears； a perfectly incredible proposal，—Mr． George asked for little Emily as his wife！
"Man！"said the General，and began to boil．"I don't understand you in the least！ What do you say？
What do you want？ I don 't know you！ Sir！ Fellow！ itcomes into your head to come like this into my house！
Am I to be here，or am I not to be here？"and he went backwards into his bedroom and locked the door， leav－ ing George standing alone． He stood for some minutes， and then turned about to go． In the corridor stood Emily．
"My father answered—？" she asked， and her voice trembled．
George pressed her hand．"He ran from me！
— there is abetter time coming！"
There were tears in Emily's eyes； in those of theyoung man were courage and confidence；and the sun shone in upon the two and gave them his blessing． In his room sat the General， perfectly boiling； in fact he boiled over and sputtered out，"Madness！ Porter's madness！"—
Before an hour had passed， the General's lady got it from the General's own mouth， and she called for Emily and sat alone with her．
"You poor child！to insult you so！ to insult us！ Youhave tears in your eyes， but it suits you！You are charmingin tears！ You resemble me on my wedding－day． Cry away，little Emily！"
"Yes，that I must，" said Emily，"if you and fatherdon't say'Yes！'"
"Child！"cried herladyship，"youareill！youtalkin delirium， andI am getting my frightful headache！ to thinkof all the unhappiness which comes to ourhouse！Do not beyour mother's death， Emily．Then you will have no moth－er！"
And her ladyship's eyes grew wet； she could not bearto think of her own death．
In the newspaper one read amongst the appointments ："Mr．George，appointed Professor．"
"It is a pityhis parents are in their grave and cannotreadit！ saidthe new porter－folk， who nowlivedinthe cellar， under the General's； they knew that the Professorhad been born and brought up within their four walls．
"Now he will come in for paying the tax on titles，"said the man．
"Yes， is it not a great deal for a poor child，" saidthe wife．
"Forty shillings in the year！" said the man，"yes，that is a lot of money！"
"No，I mean the position！"said the wife．"Do yousuppose he will trouble himself about the money； he canearn that many times over； and he will， no doubt， get arich wife besides． If we had children， they should also bearchitects and professors．"
George was well spoken of in the cellar，he was wellspoken of on the first floor；even the old Count conde－ scended to do so．
It was the pictures from his childhood days which gave occasion for it． But why were they mentioned？ Theywere talking about Russia， and aboutMoscow， and so of course they came to the Kremlin， which little George hadonce drawn for little Emily；he had drawn so many pic－ tures！but one in particular， the Count remembered： littleEmily's castle， where she slept， where she danced， andplayed at"receiving visitors"．The Professor had much ability；he would certainly die an old Privy－Councillor， itwas not impossible，and before that he might have built a castle for the young lady； why not？
"That was curious flight of fancy！" observed her ladyship， when the Count had departed． The General shook his head thoughtfully， rode out with his groom at a respectful distance，and sat more proudly than ever on his high horse．
It was little Emily's birthday； flowers and books，letters and cards， were brought； her ladyship kissed heron the mouth， the General on the forehead； they were affectionate parents， and both she and they had distinguished visitors—two of the Princes． There was talk about balls and theatres， about diplomatic embassies， the government of kingdoms and countries．There was talk of talent， native talent， and with that， the young Professor was brought into the conversation—Mr． George，the architect．
"He builds for immortality！"it was said，"he will certainly build himself into one of the first families， too！"
"One of the first families？"repeated the General to his lady afterwards；"which one of our first families？"
"Iknow which was meant，" said her ladyship，"but Iwill say nothing about it！ Iwill not even think it！ God ordains！ butI will be astonished！"
"Let me also be astonished！" said the General，"I have not an idea in my head， and he sank into areverie．
There is a power， an unspeakable power， in the fountain of favour from above，the favour of the court， orthe favour of God；—and all that gracious favour little George had． But we forget the birthday．
Emily's room was fragrant with flowers from friends of both sexes，on the table lay lovely presents of greetingand remembrance， but not a single one from George；thatcould not come，but it was not needed either，the whole house was a remembrance of him． Even from the sand- hole under the stair a memorial flower peeped；there Emi－ly had hidden when the curtain was burnt， and Georgecame as first fire-engine ． A glance out of the window，andthe acacia tree reminded her of childhood's days．Flowersand leaves had fallen off，but the tree stood in the hoar－frost，as if it were a monster branch of coral， and the moonshone big and clear amongst branches，unchanged in all its changing， as when George shared his bread and but－ter with little Emily． From a drawer she took out the draw－ings of the Czar's castle， with her own castle，—keepsakesfrom George．They were looked at and mused upon， andmany thoughts arose； she remembered the day， when， un－observed by herfatherand mother，shewent down to the Porter's wife，who was lying at the point of death．She satbeside her and held her hand，and heard her last words，—
"Blessing—George！"The mother thought of her son． Now Emily put her own meaning into the words． Yes，George was with her on her birthday，really with her！
The next day， it so happened， there was again a birthday in the house－the General's birthday；he wasborn the day after his daughter， but of course at an earlierdate， many years earlier． Again there came presents， andamongst them a saddle， of distinguished appearance，com－fortable and costly；there was only one of the princes whohad its equal．Who could it be from？ The General was de－lighted． A little card came with it． If it had said，"Thanksfor yesterday，"we could have guessed from whom it came；but on it was written，"From one whom the General does not know！"
"Who in the world doI not know？" said the General．
"I know everybody！" and his thoughts went into society； heknew every one there．"It is from my wife，" he said at last，"she is making fun of me！ Charming！"
But she was not making fun of him； that time had gone past．
And now there was a festival again， but not at theGeneral's；a costume ball at the house of one of theprinces． Masks were also allowed．
The General went as Rubens， in a Spanish costume with a little ruff， a sword and stately bearing；her ladyshipas Madame， inblack velvet， high－necked， fright－ fully warm， with a mill－stone round her neck—that is tosay， a huge ruff， quite in accordance with a Dutch paint－ing which the General possessed， and in which the handsin perticular were much admired—they were quite like her ladyship's． Emily Psyche in muslin and lace．
She was like a floating tuft of swan's－down：she had noneed of wings， she only them as sign of Psyche．
There was splendour， magnificence， lights， and flowers，richness， and taste；there was so much to see， that noone noticed Madame Rubens's beautiful hands．
A black domino， with acacia－blossoms in the hat，danced with Psyche．
"Who is he？" asked her ladyship．
"His Royal Highness！"said the General；" Iamquite sure of it， Iknew him at once by his hand－shake．"
Her ladyship doubted．
General Rubens had no doubts； he approached the black domino， and wrote royal initials on his hand；theywere denied， but a hint was given ；—"The motto of thesaddle！ One whom the General does not know！"
"ButI do know you， then！" said the General．"Youhave sent me the saddle．"
The domino lifted his hand， and disappearedamongst the others．
"Who is the black domino you were dancing with，Emily？" asked the General's wife．
"I have not asked his name，"she answered．
"Because you knewit！It is the Professor！Your Professo is here， Count，"she continued， turning to theCount ，who stood close by．"Black domino， with acacia-blossom！"
"Very possibly ， my dear madam，" answered he；"but one of the princes is also wearing the same cos－tume．"
"Iknow the hand-shake！" said the Ceneral．"The Prince sent me the saddle． Iam so certain of it， thatIshall invite him to dinner．"
"Do so！ If it is the Prince，he will be sure to come，"said the Count．"And if it is the other，he will not come！" said theGener－al，and approached the black domino，who was just then talking with the king． The General delivered a very re－spectful invitation，—"so that they might get to know eachother．"The General smiled in full confidence and certaintyof whom he was inviting； he spoke loudly and distinctly．
The Domino raised his mask： it was George．
"Does the General repeat the invitation？" asked he．The General drew himself an inch higher， assumed a stifferbearing， took two steps backwards， and one step forwards，as if in a minuet； and there was gravity and expression， asmuch of the General as could be expressed in his aristo－cratic face．
"Inever take back my word； the Professor is invit－ed，" and he bowed with a glance at the King， who couldcertainly have heard the whole．
And so there was a dinner at the General's， only theCount and his protégé were invited．
"The foot underthe table，" thought George，"then the foundation－stone is laid！ and the foundation－stone wasreally laid with great solemnity， by the General and her la-dyship．
The person had come， and as the General knew and recognized， had talked quite like a man of good society，had been most interesting； the General had been obligedmany times to say his"Charming！" Her ladyship talked ofher dinner－party， talked of it even to one of the courtladies； and she， who was one of the most gifted， beggedfor an invitation the next time the Professor came． So hehad tobe invited again，and he was invited and came，andwas agaom charming；he could even play chess．
"He is not from the cellar！" said the General，"he isquite certainly of agood family！There are many of goodfamily， and the young man is not to blame for that．"
The Professor， who was admitted to the house of theKing，might well be allowed to enter the General's； but totake root in it，—there was no talk of that， except in thewhole town．
He grew． The dew of grace fell from above！
It was therefore no surprise， that when the Professorbecame a privy Councillor， Emily became a Privy coun－ cillor's wife．
"Life is either a tragedy or a comedy，"said the General．"In tragedy they die， in comedy they marry eachother．"
Here they had each other． And they also had threestrong boys， but not all at once．
The sweet children rode hobby－horses through the rooms and halls， when they were at Grandfather's andGrandmother's，and the General also rode on a hobby－horse behind them"as groom for the little Privy－Council－lors！"
Her ladyship sat on the sofa and smiled，even if shehad her bad headac he．
So far had George got on， and much farther too，else it would not have been worth while telling about the Porter's son．