Humphrey could remember Pennsylvania a little, although the life in the small democratic township seemed now like a dream to him. All his interests centred in the free forest, where he had grown to manhood. Now and again a longing would come upon him to see something of the great, tumultuous, seething world of whose existence he was dimly aware.
Rickie obeyed, though intent on the transfigured face. He believed that a new spirit dwelt there, expelling the crudities of youth. He saw steadier eyes, and the sign of manhood set like a bar of gold upon steadier lips. Some faces are knit by beauty, or by intellect, or by a great passion: had Stephen's waited for the touch of the years?
They are just at the age which has neither the delicacy of childhood nor of early manhood. Rest assured that conditions will breed like results. "My belief, not lightly formed," says Dr. Butler, "is, that none of the great schools can congratulate themselves on anything like safety from this danger.
Brute strength may be his ideal of manhood, but it's not mine; and he knows so little of women that he thinks I ought to despise one who is simply unfortunate, and through no fault of his own. Poor, poor Vinton!
'Tis sometimes a stain on a man's manhood, the hatred he can bear to a woman who is continually between him and his will, and his keen apprehension of her as a sort of a cat under cover beside his path. So I knew well enough it was Catherine Cavendish, and indeed I marvelled that I had gotten thus far without meeting her.
But they were mostly street-boys of the worst kind lying, and sneaking, and cowardly, without one spark of manhood or one idea of square dealing and fair play. There was only one thing I did like, and that was the books. Oh, I did lots of reading, I tell you! But that could n't make up for the rest. I wanted the freedom and the sunlight and the salt water.
What I had been belonged to the remote past; I knew that I should never be the same again. "I offered you my youth," I said, "and now I offer you my manhood, such as it is. You must answer yea or nay." She gave me a quick, inquiring glance, and her face told me all that I desired to know. "Neither yea nor nay," she replied. "We are both very foolish, but, of the two, I am the more foolish.
When the Bishop resigned his office and became a member of an austere order of monks, there were not lacking those who charged the act to remorse for his connection with her unexplained death; but I doubt not, that whatever that connection was, it did honor to his manhood, however it may have affected his priesthood.
But owing, it was said, to an early disappointment, he led, during youth and manhood, a roving and desultory life, and so put off from year to year the grand experiment matrimonial, until he arrived at old age, with the philosophical determination to select from the other branches of his house the successor to the heritage of St. John.
Enter then, a few moments later, "Beau" Law, "Jessamy" Law, late of Edinboro', gentleman, and a right gallant figure of a man. Tall he was indeed, and, so clad, making a picture of superb manhood. Ease and grace he showed in every movement. His long fingers closed lightly at top of a lacquered cane which he had found within the box.