was not spiritually possible. Something within kept saying
"Because he doesn't mean a word he says," put in Fanny Dover, uneasy at the long cessation of her tongue, for all conversation with Don Cigar had proved impracticable.
"Are you there still, my Lady Disdain?" said Vizard. "I thought you were gone to bed."
"You might well think that. I had nothing to keep me up."
Said Zoe, rather smartly, "Oh, yes, you had--Curiosity;" then, turning to her brother, "In short, you make your mind quite easy. You have lent your money, or given it, to a worthy person, but a little wrong-headed. However"--with a telegraphic glance at Severne--"she is very accomplished; a linguist: she need never be in want; and she will soon have her mother to help her and advise her. Perhaps Mrs. Gale has an income; if not, Miss Gale, with her abilities, will easily find a place in some house of business, or else take to teaching. If I was them, I would set up a school."
Unanimity is rare in this world; but Zoe's good sense carried every vote. Her prompter, Severne, nodded approval. Fanny said, "Why, of course;" and Vizard, who it was feared might prove refractory, assented even more warmly than the others. "Yes," said he, "that will be the end of it. You relieve me of a weight. Really, when she told me that fable of learning maltreated, honorable ambition punished, justice baffled by trickery, and virtue vilified, and did not cry like the rest of you, except at her father dying in New York the day she won her diploma at Montpelier, I forgave the poor girl her petticoats; indeed, I lost sight of them. She seemed to me a very brave little fellow, damnably ill used, and I said, 'This is not to be borne. Here is a fight, and justice down under dirty feet.' What, ho!" (roaring at the top of his voice).
_Zoe and Fanny_ (screaming, and pinching Ned Severne right and left). "Ah! ah!"
"But, with the evening, cool reflection came. A sister, youthful, but suddenly sagacious (with a gleam of suspicion), very suddenly has stilled the waves of romance, and the lips of beauty have uttered common sense. Shall they utter it in vain? Never! It may be years before they do it again. We must not slight rare phenomena. Zoe _locuta est--_Eccentricity must be suppressed. Doctresses, warned by a little starvation, must take the world as it is, and teach little girls and boys languages, and physic them with arithmetic and the globes: these be drugs that do not kill; they only make life a burden. I don't think we have laid out our twenty pounds badly, Zoe, and there is an end of it. The incident is emptied, as the French say, and (lighting bed-candles) the ladies retire with the honors of war. Zoe has uttered good sense, and Miss Dover has done the next best thing; she has said very little--"
Miss Dover shot in contemptuously, "I had no companion--"