"My little Gretchen," he said to me one day, "you are too much in these close rooms with me, and too little in the open air and sunshine." "I had rather be here, Monsieur Maurice," I replied. "But it is not good for you. You are losing all your roses." "I don't think it is good for me to be out when you are always indoors," I said, simply. "I don't care to run about, and and I don't enjoy it."
It contained herbs useful in medicine, and God has ordained that many useful plants are also beautiful in their season. Sage, balm, caraway, monk's hood, thyme, thrift, mint, and other plants therefore dwelt contentedly in a sunny nook of the castle. The Provence roses, lilies and violets needed little care, and having once taken root were not ousted.
Peas and beans, roses and lavender, a mouthful of grass, three gooseberry bushes and an apple-tree. The street boys who stood nearest stared and consulted. Through the shining, black window-panes their glances penetrated no further than to the white lace curtains. One of the boys climbed up on the vines and pressed his face against the pane. "What do you see?" whispered the others.
What we want and seek is to be there, to have done with getting there. 'Here is the house of fulfilment of craving, this is the cup with the roses around it. Compared with this, how disconsolate a prospect is that 'of the sea that hath no shore beyond it, set in all the sea' the endless voyage or quest. Not Progress is or can be the end, but achievement and the enjoyment of it.
The shawl was a map, a representation, of the country of the spirit through which he passed; such emotions, such heat, and such golden roses, all had been, were, his against that background of perilous endeavor.
With ample nerve to enact the part of master, he ascended the stairs, proceeded to the room to which he had always gone before, and waited to hear the woman below retire to her quarters in the basement. The room denoted nothing unusual. The roses, which he had taken from the vase to obtain the water to sprinkle on Dorothy's face, had disappeared. The vase was there on the table.
She fell to plucking the roses again. "This Captain Smith," she said presently; "was he in Valeria six years ago?" "That would be in 189 ?" I reflected a moment. "Yes he was here that year." She thought a bit. "Was he given to reminiscing?" "No one in America but myself knew he had been to Valeria." She smiled. I saw the blunder. "It happened he knew of my Dalberg descent," I hastened to add.
But Leander played him one trick more; for he pushed him down upon the gravel walk, and frightened him so that the soldiers had to take him up, carry him away, and put him to bed. Satisfied with this revenge, he returned to his servants, who waited for him, and giving them money, sent them back to his castle, that none might know the secret of his red cap and roses.
"If I was Mis' Trowbridge I'd always sit in the parlour," said Ide, "instead of keeping it shut up, except for best, just because Mr. Trowbridge's ma did before her. It's a real pretty room. There's a Brussels carpet with roses on the floor, and a handsome suite of red velvet furniture, and a piano, and a marble table.
But it helped her to arrange the scattered thoughts which had been pressing confusedly upon her brain. "Look away from the roses" indeed she could not, for the same range of vision took in the sea and them, and the same range of thought.