Time passed, but with little change in the condition of the patient.
Winter began to draw on, and both doctors feared a more rapid
Early in the month of November, Dorothy received a letter from Mr.
Herbert, informing her that her cousin, Henry Vaughan, one of his
late twin pupils, would, on his way from Oxford, be passing near
Raglan, and that he had desired him to call upon her. Willing enough
to see her relative, she thought little more of the matter, until at
length the day was at hand, when she found herself looking for his
arrival with some curiosity as to what sort of person he might prove
of whom she had heard so often from his master.
When at length he was ushered into lady Glamorgan's parlour, where
her mistress had desired her to receive him, both her ladyship and
Dorothy were at once prejudiced in his favour. They saw a rather
tall young man of five or six and twenty, with a small head, a clear
grey eye, and a sober yet changeful countenance. His carriage was
dignified yet graceful--self-restraint and no other was evident
therein; a certain sadness brooded like a thin mist above his eyes,
but his smile now and then broke out like the sun through a grey
cloud. Dorothy did not know that he was just getting over the end of
a love-story, or that he had a book of verses just printed, and had
already begun to repent it.
After the usual greetings, and when Dorothy had heard the last news
of Mr. Herbert,--for Mr. Vaughan had made several journeys of late
between Brecknock and Oxford, taking Llangattock Rectory in his way,
and could tell her much she did not know concerning her
friend,--lady Glamorgan, who was not sorry to see her interested in
a young man whose royalist predilections were plain and strong,
proposed that Dorothy should take him over the castle.
She led him first to the top of the tower, show him the reservoir
and the prospect; but there they fell into such a talk as revealed
to Dorothy that here was a man who was her master in everything
towards which, especially since her mother's death and her following
troubles, she had most aspired, and a great hope arose in her heart
for her cousin Scudamore. For in this talk it had come out that Mr.
Vaughan had studied medicine, and was now on his way to settle for
practice at Brecknock. As soon as Dorothy learned this, she
entreated her cousin Vaughan to go and visit her cousin Scudamore.
He consented, and Dorothy, scarcely allowing him to pause even under
the admirable roof of the great hall as they passed through, led him
straight to the turret-chamber, where the sick man was.
They found him sitting by the fire, folded in blankets, listless and
When Dorothy had told him whom she had brought to see him, she would
have left them, but Rowland turned on her such beseeching eyes, that
she remained, by no means unwillingly, and seated herself to hear
what this wonderful young phyisican would say.
'It is very irksome to be thus prisoned in your chamber, sir
Rowland,' he said.
'No,' answered Scudamore, 'or yes: I care not.'
'Have you no books about you?' asked Mr. Vaughan, glancing round the
'Books!' repeated Scudamore, with a wan contemptuous smile.
'You do not then love books?'
'Wherefore should I love books? What can books do for me? I love
nothing. I long only to die.'
'And go----?' suggested, rather than asked, Mr. Vaughan.
'I care not whither--anywhere away from here--if indeed I go
anywhere. But I care not.'
'That is hardly what you mean, sir Rowland, I think. Will you allow
me to interpret you? Have you not the notion that if you were hence
you would leave behind you a certain troublesome attendant who is
scarce worth his wages?'
Scudamore looked at him but did not reply; and Mr. Vaughan went on.
'I know well what aileth you, for I am myself but now recovering
from a similar sickness, brought upon me by the haunting of the same
evil one who torments you.'
'You think, then, that I am possessed?' said Rowland, with a faint
smile and a glance at Dorothy.
'That verily thou art, and grievously tormented. Shall I tell thee
who hath possessed thee?--for the demon hath a name that is known
amongst men, though it frighteneth few, and draweth many, alas! His
name is Self, and he is the shadow of thy own self. First he made
thee love him, which was evil, and now he hath made thee hate him,
which is evil also. But if he be cast out and never more enter into
thy heart, but remain as a servant in thy hall, then wilt thou
recover from this sickness, and be whole and sound, and shall find
the varlet serviceable.'
'Art thou not an exorciser, then, Mr. Vaughan, as well as a
discerner of spirits? I would thou couldst drive the said demon out
of me, for truly I love him not.'
'Through all thy hate thou lovest him more than thou knowest. Thou
seest him vile, but instead of casting him out, thou mournest over
him with foolish tears. And yet thou dreamest that by dying thou
wouldst be rid of him. No, it is back to thy childhood thou must go
to be free.'
'That were a strange way to go, sir. I know it not. There seems to
be a purpose in what you say, Mr. Vaughan, but you take me not with
you. How can I rid me of myself, so long as I am Rowland Scudamore?'
'There is a way, sir Rowland--and but one way. Human words at least,
however it may be with some high heavenly language, can never say
the best things but by a kind of stumbling, wherein one
contradiction keepeth another from falling. No man, as thou sayest,
truly, can rid him of himself and live, for that involveth an
impossibility. But he can rid himself of that: haunting shadow of
his own self, which he hath pampered and fed upon shadowy lies,
until it is bloated and black with pride and folly. When that demon
king of shades is once cast out, and the man's house is possessed of
God instead, then first he findeth his true substantial self, which
is the servant, nay, the child of God. To rid thee of thyself thou
must offer it again to him that made it. Be thou empty that he may
fill thee. I never understood this until these latter days. Let me
impart to thee certain verses I found but yesterday, for they will
tell thee better what I mean. Thou knowest the sacred volume of the
blessed George Herbert?'
'I never heard of him or it,' said Scudamore.
'It is no matter as now: these verses are not of his. Prithee,
'I carry with, me, Lord, a foolish fool,
That still his cap upon my head would place.
I dare not slay him, he will not to school,
And still he shakes his bauble in my face.
'I seize him, Lord, and bring him to thy door;
Bound on thine altar-threshold him I lay.
He weepeth; did I heed, he would implore;
And still he cries ALACK and WELL-A-DAY!
'If thou wouldst take him in and make him wise,
I think he might be taught to serve thee well;
If not, slay him, nor heed his foolish cries,
He's but a fool that mocks and rings a bell.'
Something in the lines appeared to strike Scudamore.
'I thank you, sir,' he said. 'Might I put you to the trouble, I
would request that you would write out the verses for me, that I may
study their meaning at my leisure.'
Mr. Vaughan promised, and, after a little more conversation, took
Now, whether it was from anything he had said in particular, or that
Scudamore had felt the general influence of the man, Dorothy could
not tell, but from that visit she believed Rowland began to think
more and to brood less. By and by he began to start questions of
right and wrong, suppose cases, and ask Dorothy what she would do in
such and such circumstances. With many cloudy relapses there was a
suspicion of dawn, although a rainy one most likely, on his far
'Dost thou really believe, Dorothy,' he asked one day, 'that a man
ever did love his enemy? Didst thou ever know one who did?'
'I cannot say I ever did,' returned Dorothy. 'I have however seen
few that were enemies. But I am sure that had it not been possible,
we should never have been commanded thereto.'
'The last time Dr. Bayly came to see me he read those words, and I
thought within myself all the time of the only enemy I had, and
tried to forgive him, but could not.'
'Had he then wronged thee so deeply?'
'I know not, indeed, what women call wronged--least of all what
thou, who art not like other women, wouldst judge; but this thing
seems to me strange--that when I look on thee, Dorothy, one moment
it seems as if for thy sake I could forgive him anything--except
that he slew me not outright, and the next that never can I forgive
him even that wherein he never did me any wrong.'
'What! hatest thou then him that struck thee down in fair fight?
Sure thou art of meaner soul than I judged thee. What man in
battle-field hates his enemy, or thinks it less than enough to do
his endeavour to slay him?'
'Know'st thou whom thou wouldst have me forgive? He who struck me
down was thy friend, Richard Heywood.'
'Then he hath his mare again?' cried Dorothy, eagerly.
Rowland's face fell, and she knew that she had spoken
heartlessly--knew also that, for all his protestations, Rowland yet
cherished the love she had so plainly refused. But the same moment
she knew something more.
For, by the side of Rowland, in her mind's eye, stood Henry Vaughan,
as wise as Rowland was foolish, as accomplished and learned as
Rowland was narrow and ignorant; but between them stood Richard, and
she knew a something in her which was neither tenderness nor
reverence, and yet included both. She rose in some confusion, and
left the chamber.
This good came of it, that from that moment Scudamore was satisfied
she loved Heywood, and, with much mortification, tried to accept his
position. Slowly his health began to return, and slowly the deeper
life that was at length to become his began to inform him.
Heartless and poverty-stricken as he had hitherto shown himself, the
good in him was not so deeply buried under refuse as in many a
better-seeming man. Sickness had awakened in him a sense of
requirement--of need also, and loneliness, and dissatisfaction. He
grew ashamed of himself and conscious of defilement. Something new
began to rise above and condemn the old. There are who would say
that the change was merely the mental condition resulting from and
corresponding to physical weakness; that repentance, and the vision
of the better which maketh shame, is but a mood, sickly as are the
brain and nerves which generate it; but he who undergoes the
experience believes he knows better, and denies neither the wild
beasts nor the stars, because they roar and shine through the dark.
Mr. Vaughan came to see him again and again, and with the
concurrence of Dr. Spott, prescribed for him. As the spring
approached he grew able to leave his room. The ladies of the family
had him to their parlours to pet and feed, but he was not now so
easily to be injured by kindness as when he believed in his own