Read THE BOY-ARTIST : CHAPTER VII of The Boy Artist‚ A Tale for the Young, free online book, by F.M. S., on ReadCentral.com.

THE SUCCESS.

And the day came, after years of patient labour.

The morning sun shone in brightly upon a room, in one of those pleasant villas which abound in the suburbs of London. A party were assembled at breakfast an old, infirm man, and his son and daughter. The old man was Mr. Leicester, and the other two were Raymond and Madge. Their father had come back to them, broken down in health and spirits. Raymond met him accidentally in the streets of London, and brought him to the little home where he and Madge lived, and they had cared for him tenderly ever since.

We last saw Raymond and Madge almost as children; we find them now grown up. Raymond’s character has deepened. He is a great artist, and a great man also for, added to the depth and strength of mind which the mastery of one subject gives, there were many noble traits in him and many men now feel themselves privileged if they call Raymond Leicester their friend.

Madge has the same character, and nearly the same face, as she had when a child. She is still Raymond’s fireside genius, and a dutiful, tender daughter to her father.

But we were speaking of that sunshiny morning when they were at breakfast. A newspaper lay by Raymond’s side, and when he had sipped his coffee he unfolded it. “The Academy is open, Madge,” he said quickly; then ran his eye down the long columns.

Madge looked up eagerly, and saw the deepening colour in his cheek as he read. She took up the paper as he laid it down, quickly found the place, and her heart bounded as she read:

“But, without doubt, the picture which attracts most notice is the one which Mr. Raymond Leicester exhibits. We feel, as we study it, that we are gazing on the work of a great man, and a deservedly famous artist. He has not belied the early promise of his youth; and that man must have but little taste and good feeling who can move away, after the contemplation of this masterpiece, without feeling that he is the better for having seen it,” &c.

The tears blinded Madge, so that she could read no more. But what more was there for her to read? The wish of her life was fulfilled. Raymond was a great artist the world proclaimed him so and he was her brother, her pride, and her glory.

“Little Madge,” and Raymond’s hand rested with its caressing touch upon her head, “I feel that I owe it all to you.”

“No, no,” she answered, laying her hand upon his. “No, not to me to Mr. Smith.”

“Noble-hearted man!” said Raymond warmly; and then his voice sunk so low that only Madge could hear it. “I will go and ask for Lilian to-day.”

“God speed you!” said Madge, smiling through her tears; “and papa and I will go and look at your picture in the Academy.”

Anybody who had been in the Royal Academy that morning would have seen a feeble old man leaning on the arm of his daughter, lingering near the picture round which every one thronged. Madge was feasting on their praise of it, and repeating chosen bits to her father, who was very proud of his son now. It was a happy day to Madge, as she looked at the picture, and felt that Raymond was worthy of the praise that was bestowed upon it. She thanked God in her heart that he had spared Raymond’s life, and allowed her to see this day.

Raymond gained Lilian for his wife, but he is “Madge’s glory” still.