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Hoboken, A Romance of New York by Theodore S. Fay



VOL. I.

VOL. II.

VOL. I.

CHAPTER I.

"Where are Frank and Harry?" asked Mr. Lennox, as the family assembled at breakfast.

"I heard them, last night," replied Mary, "agree to go over to Brooklyn early in the morning, and practise with the pistol."

"Ah! here they are," exclaimed Mr. Lennox. "Come, young gentlemen, you're just in time."

"How many people have you shot with those horrid things?" said Mrs. Lennox.

"Nobody but our mark," answered Frank, a young lieutenant just graduated from West Point, "and I think we rather touched that once or twice—didn't we, Harry?"

"Which is the best marksman?" asked Mr. Lennox.

"I am," said Harry, "but Frank comes on famously."

"What are you going to do on your birthday, Harry?" inquired his father. "It's next Thursday, isn't it? and you're one-and-twenty, I believe."

"I haven't formed any projects, sir," replied Harry.

"I hope you're going to give us some sort of a celebration on the occasion, father?" said Mary, laughing.

"I think birthdays ought to be kept in a quiet way," said Mrs. Lennox, "and young people should make their first entrance into the world with reflection and gravity."

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Mr. Lennox: "why gravity? There are occasions enough for gravity when we can't help it. On the contrary, let's have some friends to dinner, and in the evening a ball."

"I was going to propose a trip to Rose Hill," said Mary. "We might ask the Eltons, and one or two others, and make a pleasant family party—a sort of picnic."

"What say you, Harry?" asked his father. "You are the hero of the day."

"Upon my word, sir," said Harry, "I have not even formed a wish on the subject."

"If there is going to be a celebration," said Frank, "I prefer Rose Hill."

"So I thought," remarked Mary, laughing.

"So should I," said Harry. "At a ball, I suppose, I should be metamorphosed into a sort of lion, and I fear I should feel more like Bottom the weaver than the noble animal himself."

"That's right, Harry," observed his mother; "be modest, my son."

"But, now I think of it," said Mr. Lennox, "I can't very well leave town Thursday: I have an engagement."

"If you mean the affair of Brinsley, I can attend to that, I think," said Harry.

"And you," replied his mother, "how can you then join the party?"

"Oh, I don't mind. I shall rather prefer to stay in town."

"Well, that is one way to celebrate one's birthday, to be sure," said Frank, laughing.

"Harry is so odd," exclaimed Mary. "I believe he really dislikes to be with his own family. He's all day at his business, and all the evening at political meetings, or clubs, or the theatre, or heaven knows where! He don't dine at home half the time, and when he does—"

"Young men will be young men," said his father; "nothing is gained by curbing and advising them; though, to say truth, Harry, you have been rather erratic in your way of life lately."

"I'm sorry you think so, sir; but you often say men want not only severe application, but a knowledge of life."

"Certainly, my dear boy, certainly; you are quite your own master. As to Rose Hill, we shall be obliged to give that up for Thursday. I'm sorry, too, with this magnificent weather. But I'll make another proposition, which I hope won't shock your mother's sense of gravity. We'll have no celebration at all, but a quiet family dinner, with your uncle and aunt Henderson, and go in the evening to the theatre and hear Horn."

"I should like that better," said Mrs. Lennox.

"And I," echoed all.

"Good; it is so decreed, then," said Lennox.

"And, father," said Mary, "we'll ask the Eltons to dine, and take them with us. What say you, Frank?"

"Who! I?" exclaimed Frank. "Oh, certainly. Anything for a quiet house—anybody. It's quite the same to me."

"Oh, you hypocrite!" said Mary. "You've no preference for Mrs. Elton! certainly not!"

"What do you mean by that, Mary?" asked Frank.

"And why not Mrs. Elton?" said Mr. Lennox. "She is a very charming lady; a gay, amiable, excellent, and very handsome woman; a little eloquent, perhaps; but I like her because she has a heart. Mrs. Elton is one of my beauties, although she is fifty."

"Why, so are you fifty, father," said Mary, laughing, "for the matter of that."

"Don't mention it, I beg," cried Mr. Lennox. "I don't believe it. It's too ridiculous! Why, I don't feel a bit older than I did when your too susceptible mamma first fell furiously in love with me."

"Nonsense! Nor a bit wiser!" said his wife.

"Wisdom? A fig for wisdom! What is it but caution and cunning, after all? What do we live for? Happiness. Thank Heaven, I've enjoyed it, and I shall leave it within the reach of my children. Let the unfortunate study wisdom; but for me, true wisdom is to enjoy. And yet fifty! I really can't believe it."

"It is nevertheless so," said Mrs. Lennox. "And there's Frank, a man, with a pair of, I must say, very impudentlooking whiskers, and a commission in the army. Here's Mary, a tall woman already; and as for Harry, he's actually growing old and serious. Ah, my children! you little know how short life is to those who look back."

"Very true!" observed Lennox, intending to be grave, but failing in such a droll way as to make every one smile. "It seems but yesterday when I used to think a man of fifty a regular old codger, done with life, gouty, with a cracked voice, gold-headed cane, and a brown wig; and yet now, although arrived fairly at that awful age, I still feel myself the same wild, good-for-nothing young dog as ever."

"And I don't see any particular difference in you either," said his wife, looking at him half reproachfully, half affectionately, "only you've grown rather younger and wilder."

"To be sure I have," replied he; "and why? Because I have not troubled myself with wisdom! I've never fretted and moped about what couldn't be helped. I never thought an hour in my life; never studied more than was just necessary for the morrow. I've taken the world as it came, and not striven for what it did not give me. Do you suppose that, had I pleased, I could not have been as great as any of them? Couldn't I have shone at the bar, and shaken the Senate? To be sure I could. But I disdained it. Fortune made me rich, and my own good sense kept me happy; and, if that is not the true wisdom, I should like to know what is."

"To do you justice," said Mrs. Lennox, with a smile, "when you came to visit me—let me see! five-and-twenty years ago—you certainly were much graver and more sensible than you are now. I never saw such a gentle, low-spoken, modest person. If I could have known what a hair-brained young madeap you would turn out at fifty, I shouldn't have had you!"

This was received with renewed laughter by the happy family circle.

"And how they have gone, those five-and-twenty years!" added Mrs. Lennox. "And I wonder where we shall all be five-and-twenty years hence."

"Be? why here," replied Mr. Lennox; "a little changed or so, but just here, Mary, looking very much what you are now. Frank commander-in-chief, with his eyebrows and whiskers a little more bushy (if possible), and Harry a senator, or Secretary of State, perhaps, for he hasn't unfolded yet any actual designs on the presidential chair."

"How can you speak so lightly of such solemn things?" said Mrs. Lennox. "How can you close your eyes to the possibility of a very different picture?"

"I tell you what, madam," said her husband, gayly, "I'll thank you to give us none of your wisdom. If you choose to go, why that's your affair: I don't; on the contrary, I mean to stay, and I don't think I need despair of providing myself with another helpmate. I know twenty fine women at this moment who would take me, and say `Thank you, sir!' "

"I haven't the slightest doubt of it," replied his wife, laughing at a reckless good-humour, to which she was too well accustomed to misunderstand it, and looking at him with an admiration which the five-and-twenty years aforesaid, whatever other revolutions they might have effected, had not changed.

"Nor I," said he, elevating his chin a little, throwing back his shoulders into something of an attitude, and with a glance into a large mirror opposite, which was intended to pass for affectation, but in which, nevertheless, was no want of a little real vanity. "I think I'm tolerably well preserved! Hair—a touch of gray, perhaps; complexion— a little richer than falls to the lot of inexperienced youth; a line or two in the face, here and there, only visible in the daylight; and, in fact, altogether—"

"Pray take a warm cake, sir," interrupted Harry, laughing.

To say the truth, Mr. Lennox was a very handsome man. His once dark hair was not the less luxuriant or becomingly disposed, from the very general and decided change of colour which he was pleased to denominate a "touch of gray." His complexion showed the natural effect of a long course of good living, in a gentlemanly ruddiness which scarcely detracted from his good looks. His person was tall, well formed, and dignified; his voice manly and pleasing, his eyes fine, and his manners particularly fascinating. In short, he was one of those persons whose appearance and address remind you of a duke or a prince, before you have time to reflect that dukes and princes are, by nature, no handsomer than other men. The benevolence, good humour, and esprit of his character discovered themselves in all he did and said, and the sort of thoughtlessness, which might appear startling in any other man of his age, threw around him only an air of originality.

"To come back to Mrs. Elton, however," said he, while he arranged upon his plate, and duly provided with pepper and salt, a piece of fresh, boiled shad (an exquisite delicacy, peculiar, we believe, to the United States, and some of the rivers of Spain), "if I should be under the necessity of seeking a new helpmate, which, nevertheless, I hope won't be the case, Katy my dear, it wouldn't be the old lady I should make up to, by any manner of means. She has rather too redundant a flow of conversation for my quiet and retiring disposition. I should carry the war into another quarter."

"And, pray, who would it be, father?" inquired Mary. "Whom would you give me for a second mamma?"

"Why, that little witch Fanny, to be sure."

Mary and her mother here interchanged glances, and laughed with a significance which appeared, as Othello says, to "mean something."

"What are you laughing at, miss?" demanded her father.

"Oh, nothing, sir!" answered Mary, laughing still more.

"Come, now, I insist upon knowing."

"Why, only," said Mrs. Lennox, "if you have any serious intentions that way, your pride may have a fall."

"What do you mean?"

"You stand some chance of being rather—rather—"

"Rather what?"

"Rather cut out, father," said Mary.

"What! Fanny Elton?" exclaimed Mr. Lennox, evidently surprised. "Is it possible? And who is the fellow, pray?"

A glance, full of good-natured mischief, which Mary cast towards Frank, appeared to throw some light on the mystery. Frank returned it with a look of great indiguation, but, at the same time, coloured obviously.

"What! the lieutenant?" cried Mr. Lennox. "What, sir! you have had the audacity to—to—hey, sir?"

"It's the most absurd thing possible," said Frank. "Mary is always full of nonsensical ideas."

"You need not look so angry," said Mrs. Lennox. "There's nothing to be ashamed of."

"Ashamed?" repeated Frank, with a certain dignity, rather thrown away, however, upon the company, "I'm not ashamed; but I think Mary might devise more profitable occupation than—than endeavouring to discover facts, and circulating reports of things which—which do not exist."

"Hoity toity! what a grand speech!" rejoined his father.

"Your indignation," said Mrs. Lennox, "reminds me, Frank, of the first time you ever put on a long-tailed coat. Mary had been teazing him all day about it, for she is a shameful teaze, and at last capped the climax by speaking of it to some ladies who were paying me a visit. I shall never forget how Frank drew himself up, in his grand way, and said, `Mary's a mere child, and is always endeavouring to attract attention to every passing circumstance!' Poor Frank!"

"Frank's famous for making memorable speeches," said Mary, while all were laughing heartily except the object of the merriment. "Do you remember what he once told me about reading history? I had asked him some question concerning one of the personages in Hume, whom he could not remember till I related several events of his life. `Oh,' said he, `when I read history, I always skip the names and dates!' "

"I hope you have not skipped Miss Elton's name," said his father, "and the date of your first meeting? Hey! you young dog?"

"Upon my word, it's quite ridiculous," replied Frank, amid the general smiles which these youthful anecdotes had provoked; "I'm sure I might skip Miss Elton herself altogether, for all the truth there is in Mary's accusation. She may be a very decent sort of girl—I've no doubt she is; but as for—in respect to—so far from there being any danger of—"

"Hold your tongue, sir!" cried his father. "How dare you have the impertinence to speak in that way of the loveliest little being that ever grew off a rosebush? If that young lady, sir, has deigned to honour you with an instant's attention—if you've received so much as an accidental look from her, and not gone crazy, you young scoundrel, you're no son of mine."

"You're rather hard upon Frank," said Harry. "He cannot publicly acknowledge a hope without also intimating that such a hope has some foundation. Frank is not only not one of those who would not boast of favours not received, but he would even not boast of favours received."

"Well, really, Harry," said his mother, laughing heartily, "it seems to me you are almost as bad as Frank with your speeches. You are not in love too, I hope?"

"Favours! received and not received!" said Mr. Lennox. "Why, what's all this? Are you such a coxcomb," addressing Frank, "as to suppose that young lady fancies you worthy of the least notice?"

"No; and that's what I've been trying to say. Nothing whatever has passed between Miss Elton and myself which—that in the least—"

He coloured again.

"Come, come!" said Mrs. Lennox. "I won't have you all on Frank in this way. Hand you father the cakes, and let us leave the things of to-morrow unto to-morrow."

"The lucky young rascal!" muttered his father; "and ashamed of it!"

"Really, sir," said Frank, with something more of emphasis than became the relation between him and the person to whom he spoke, "as this is a discussion not altogether agreeable to me, and as I have quite finished my breakfast, I must beg leave to withdraw."

He rose from the table and was leaving the room, when his father called him back.

"Here, sir! Master Frank! Lieutenant Lennox! one thing let me say to you!"

"What is it?"

"If you think the attentions of this young lady importunate, had I not better forbid her the house? Ha! ha! ha!"

The door was closed with a decision which a good observer might have remarked above the merry laughter occasioned by the sally of Mr. Lennox.

"Poor, dear Frank!" remarked Mrs. Lennox. "You really press him too far."

"I wish all my children," said Mr. Lennox, "to be able to stand jesting good naturedly, and to learn the art of constantly governing their temper. Frank is quick as lightning."

"But it's soon over," replied his mother. "Go after him, Harry, and soothe him. This matter is, I fear, too true for jesting."

Harry rose, and followed his brother out of the room.

"The young dog!" said Mr. Lennox, "what an actor he would make! Did you ever see such a splendid countenance! such haughtiness! and to me , too! Our names will live hereafter, Kate, in those two boys. I have frittered away my life in peaceful pleasures. Instead of seeking power and fame, I have confined myself to a narrow circle, without influence, without a name. But if men want to know me hereafter, let them look at my sons. Is Frank really attached to Fanny Elton, though?"

"Certainly," said Mary; "I have long seen it. They love each other passionately."

"I have sometimes half thought," said Mrs. Lennox, "that Harry—"

"Oh no! mother, not at all! He never goes near her. I think, on the contrary, they are perfectly indifferent to each other."

"I confess," said Mrs. Lennox, "I should like no one so well for a daughter-in-law as Fanny Elton."

CHAPTER II.

It is not easy to say what sense there is in jesting at young lovers. If they are entering into a union destined to be favourable to their happiness, there is nothing ridiculous in it; if not, it is rather a serious affair. Miss Elton had been like one of the family for years, and the Lennox children had played with her, and quarrelled and romped in happy freedom from the feverish malady which goes in the world by the name of love. But Time, that revolutionizing old gentleman, always busy with everything, and never leaving the smallest blade of grass one day what it was the day before, had almost imperceptibly altered the individuals in question. He had advanced the little, sturdy, hoop-playing Harry into a promising young lawyer; and Mary, with her short-cropped, boyish hair and pantalettes, into a slender girl of a little over fifteen. Frank's round jacket and smooth, rosy face were metamorphosed into an officer's becoming coat, and a manly, whiskered countenance, very much browned by the sun, where, however, as yet lurked all the transparent beauty and ingenuousness of a boy; while Fanny Elton, from the sweetest little rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed child that ever was seen, who had a kiss for everybody that she loved, without particular reference to age or sex, had, somehow or other, acquired a new form and new ideas. And, in the intervals of Frank's military education at West Point, when he came home on a visit, or the family spent a day or two at that enchanting spot, he saw, year after year, the riotous little, beautiful tom-boy softened and subdued into gentle and lovely girlhood, inches and feet added to her stature, new lines and graces to her countenance, new charms and wonders to her form, timidity, blushes, expression, thought, feeling, and opinions unfolding themselves like hues and leaves in a rosebud, and with a fragrance which touched his senses as strangely. The romping and kissing, the shouting and quarrelling, had ceased. He was deep in the manly mysteries of mathematics, engineering, and other accomplishments indispensable to a soldier and a gentleman, and she—we might here attempt to trace, in a magnificent poetic style, the nature of the silent and enchanting changes which had come over her; but the indulgent reader will doubtless let us off with the simple annunciation that she had shot up into a tall, sweet girl, and that, to make a long story short, Frank was desperately in love with her. In his present condition, he was not altogether, however, at his ease, as what lover ever is! He had no reason to suppose himself disagreeable to her; on the contrary, their long acquaintance, the intimacy of their childhood, the tender and close attachment and companionship existing between her and his sister, placed him on terms of perfect familiarity, and gave him not only the constant access of a favourite cousin, but of a brother. Lovers have been, who, for a moment's solitary interview with the object of their affection, for one touch of the peerless hand, one lock of hair, one worn riband, would have risked their lives. Frank's case was different. He was with this young person as often, as much, and as unobservedly as he pleased. He shook hands with her frequently. He occasionally walked with her from his father's house quite alone. He had already made a tolerable collection of ribands, shoestrings, old roses, etc., in the indefinite augmentation of which he did not see any particular danger or difficulty; and, had he boldly and plumply asked her for a lock of that rich auburn hair, on the occasion of his departure for Prairie du Chien, where he was likely to remain six or seven years, it is probable that, although the request had been preferred at dinner, before the whole family, the warm-hearted, sunshiny girl would have clipped him off a good bouncing handful without a moment's hesitation. Yet here he was, soon to start off for a place so many miles distant, without any probability of seeing her in seven long, changeful, horrible years, and yet he had not dared to venture any actual statement of his case, either to her or to any one else. The profound passion which steeped his soul—for young lieutenants of twenty can, if fairly put to it, love, when they meet such women, as well as other and older men—had led him only to break his repose by frequent moonlight promenades, to a considerable outlay of sixpences and shillings for real Havana cigars, to much melancholy meditation, to many mournful sighs, and to divers valorous resolutions of decisive action, which melted into thin air at the presence of the laughing, lovely girl, who had made all this havoc with him.

One thing, however, he had supposed, viz., that the state of his heart was unobserved by others. He had fancied it in his power to be with such a girl, in the presence of other women, and those women his mother and sister, without betraying himself to them, and perhaps he was not unreasonable in such a supposition. For how could he, in his innocence, fear that, what he had endeavoured so long and ineffectually to communicate to the object of it, had been divined by two comparatively uninterested spectators.

The onset of his whole family at breakfast had cast a new light over the affair. He had been detected, exposed, and quizzed. At first he seriously thought of setting out for Prairie du Chien that very morning, without bidding good-by to anybody, and taking with him only his hat and cane. Then he resolved to throw himself at the feet of Miss Elton, and ask her, just in so many words, whether she would have him or not. Then he conceived the idea of crushing in its bud a passion which could not be fortunate, and all these fiery impulses ended in his choosing, with some care, a cigar from a silver box on the mantelpiece, lighting the same by a pretty fire machine at its side, sitting down in a comfortable fauteuil by an open window looking into a garden full of lilach and other flowers, and smoking furiously. In this state Harry found him when, at his mother's request, he left the breakfast-table on his affectionate commission.

"You'll ruin your health, smoking as you do, Frank," said he, by way of opening the conversation, and with something of the paternal authority of an elder brother. "You smoke altogether too much. One or two cigars a day are enough for any one. Beyond that—by-the-way, those are very nice ones. Where did you get them?"

"I ordered a box home yesterday from Bininger's—try one—they are superb. Look there! Did you ever see anything richer than that?"

And he held out the cigar he was smoking, which, although nearly finished, retained its original form—a phantom of snowy ashes nearly two inches long.

"I don't care, for this once, if I do smoke one with you, though I generally postpone it till after dinner."

The luxury of the cigar is not confined to the mere physical solace. Its management aids conversation, and the attention to be paid to it fills up the pauses. If the smoker be an awkward person, it furnishes employment for his hands; if there is any embarrassment in the interview, it covers it. Could the thing have been, barring the impoliteness of it, and could Frank have had Miss Elton at his side while he smoked his cigar, he would have dared and known his fate long ago.

Some consciousness of this peculiarity of the cigar appeared to pass through the mind of Harry. Perhaps he did not fully know himself why he smoked on the present occasion, and contrary to his advice and habit. He turned his cigar over several times in his mouth, as if trying to get the smoke out of it, although there was no occasion for such endeavours, it being a perfectly good one. He then puffed away rapidly, almost as much so as Frank had done, with a nervous uneasiness, and scarcely had the ashes begun to appear, when he knocked them off with a smart blow of his little finger.

At length he said, after emitting one or two clouds, not with the measured self-enjoyment of a smoker who feels the charm of what he is doing, but with an abrupt air,

"Frank! what's all this fun about you and Fanny Elton?"

"Nothing," said Frank, "but Mary's nonsense."

"Do you tell me, on your honour, that you have no attachment for her?"

"On my honour? Who said anything about honour?"

"I ask you in earnest."

"Then, in earnest," said Frank, with another blush, such as is sometimes seen in a lieutenant, but is rarely known to exist in any higher rank, "yes, I do love her."

"And you mean to marry her?"

"Certainly—if she'll have me."

"Does she love you?"

"Ah! my dear fellow, that's cutting rather close!"

"No matter: answer me."

"I think—I hope she does."

"Has she said so?"

"No, not exactly said so."

"Have you ever spoken to her on the subject?"

"Never."

"Have you good reasons for your hopes?"

"Yes—no—certainly."

Harry paused, but went on smoking at rather a rapid rate.

"Very well; that's enough. I thought it but fair to ask you this. The whole family seemed to think so, and you ought not to deceive them or the young lady herself. I congratulate you, my dear fellow. She's noble girl, and I hope you may win her well and wear her long."

"Where are you going?" asked Frank.

"I've business in the office."

"Stop one moment. I have answered all your questions, Harry, have I not?"

"Certainly."

"Well, now then, if you please, you must answer one of mine."

"What do you mean?"

"Confidence, Harry, begets confidence, and no one puts such broad questions as you have asked me, without laying himself open to be cross-examined in his turn."

"Well, there is truth in that," said Harry. "I have no objection to answer you anything, I'm sure, but you would nevertheless oblige me greatly by not asking."

"That is a favour I can't grant. You must tell me, now, do you love Miss Elton?"

"No. I cannot love a woman who loves another."

"Have you ever loved her?"

There was a pause.

"Yes. I once fancied so."

"And have you had reason to suppose she loved you?" continued Frank; and the blush had now given place to a very unmilitary white.

"Never; on the contrary—a year ago, for a short time, I nourished a sort of foolish idea, but it has entirely vanished of itself, and I have always found her cold and shy."

"Do you think she knows you loved her?"

"No, I don't think she has the remotest idea of it. On the contrary, she thinks I despise her, and so," he added, bitterly, "I almost do."

"Despise Fanny Elton? And why?"

"I think her capricious—a coquette."

"There is only one excuse for such a sentiment," said Frank.

"And what is that?"

"Love! disappointed, perhaps, or imagining itself disappointed, imbittering your criticism, and blinding your judgment. I see how it is. You too love her."

"No, by Heaven, no. If she were kneeling at my feet, I would not marry her. I avoid her presence, and shut my heart against her beauty. If she marry you and make you a good wife, that may reconcile me to respect her in time: nothing else can."

"Softly, my good Harry. What cause have you to hate and despise her, unless a cause growing out, not only of love, but of an idea that you had made some progress in her affection. No, it is clear to me you love her, and doubtless she loves you. I am glad you have disclosed this to me before I made a fool of myself by going any farther. I wonder I never thought of it before. She has been in the constant habit of seeing you since I have been at West Point. It would be strange if she did not love you. But better late than never. Now go, Harry, I have no more questions. I shall take my course."

"And what do you propose to do?"

"Leave here at once and forever. Set out to-morrow morning for Prairie du Chien, and bury the rest of my life in the West."

"You can do as you like," said Harry; "but you must understand me better than to suppose me capable of taking advantage of your departure to seek the affections of Miss Elton. It was not my intention, when I entered the room, to say anything of my own feelings. On the contrary, I thought, and I still think, your union with her would give me pleasure. You have become possessed of my secret by accident; but, since you have discovered it, let me prevent your supposing it other than it is. I will therefore tell you, in perfect frankness, the whole of it, that you may see how the land lies. I really did think Miss Elton liked me, till one day, about a year ago, I commenced telling her so, and she did not appear to be offended. We were interrupted, I don't remember how—a door opened or shut, or something of that sort, in the next room, and she ran off. I hoped for an opportunity to finish the matter; but no, I've never been able to find one. From that time till now, my young lady has kept from being alone with me an instant, and when with me in company, she's altogether a different person from what she used to be—polite, gay, but no more confidence, no more—you understand me. Of course, when I saw how matters were going, I withdrew. Ha! ha! ha! I abdicated. I'm not a man to be extinguished by a tender passion, nor have I time to waste in studying Miss Elton's character and caprices; so for the last six months I've had nothing to say to her more than simple politeness required. On the whole, I've come to the conclusion that she never did really like me, or if she did, she's changed, that's all, as she certainly had full right to do, and devilish lucky it is for me that it happened before matters went any farther. There—now you know all."

"I'm glad you've told me this," said Frank: "I also shall abdicate."

"No, you will not make that resolution."

"Why not?"

"Because I don't see the necessity of it. I have already made a similar one, which I certainly sha'n't break. Besides, I have more cause than you to suppose her affection either never existed or has ceased to exist. It is possible, in her girlish inexperience, she might have fancied she liked me, and afterward discovered her mistake. She may have been inspired with that sentiment by another—by you, perhaps. Go forward—win her hand; it will relieve me from all farther unhappiness. Marry her, Frank, for Heaven's sake, and make all three of us happy."

"And do you think," said Frank, "that I will be excelled in generosity?"

"What's to be done then?" said Harry.

"Why, I see only one way to settle the difficulty," said Frank, ingenuously, "and that is to try our fortune, both of us. There can, after all, be no real conflict of interest here. Fanny Elton wouldn't marry either of us unless she loved. She must know her own mind, and, if she ever mean to do so, she must already have felt a preference for one. In fact, after all, I don't see how we can interfere with each other."

"True—quite true," said Harry, in spite of himself showing the relief he felt at the turn the conversation was now taking.

"We have, then," continued Frank, "only to try; we must each take our chance. The decision of the question does not depend upon us, and we have it not in our power, after all our professed readiness for self-sacrifice, to make her accept any one not agreeable to her. The present state of her heart is probably unalterable, as far as regards us. I have thought myself certain, but, when I look back, I see I might easily have mistaken the familiarity of indifference for that of affection, while you may have thought the shyness of love the coldness of dislike. You are, and always were, as delicate and doubting in such matters, as I have been, I fear, rash and sanguine. Let us enter the arena, then, fairly and kindly. I confess I could never see the sense of quarrels between lovers of the same mistress, unless by supposing the woman a fool."

"I agree," said Harry, "because I believe that my failure will lead to your success."

"And he who succeeds will be the sufferer," said Frank, "because his happiness will be dashed with the thought that it is reached over the heart of the other."

"No, not so," said Harry. "My heart is not so easily shaken, or, at least, broken."

"Well, I will not argue. Who shall make the first trial?"

"You. But no, I think the advantage will be with the second. Should the first be rejected, the other has his own time, and perhaps what is now simple friendship, time may ripen into love."

"Let chance decide," said Frank. "A game of whist— a throw of the dice."

"No," said Harry, "we will not gamble for such a prize. Nothing so common shall interpose between us, but something as frail as my hopes, as idle, and as bright. Look yonder!"

A large butterfly had just lighted upon the rosebush in the window, and stood stirring his broad, powdered wings, spotted with black velvet and gold, as if drinking in at every pore the sweetness of the balmy June air.

"If he fly," continued Harry, "before the expiration of a minute, by the second-hand of my watch, I will take the first chance; if not, you."

"Agreed."

"Agreed," murmured both; and the two brothers drew cautiously near to watch the soft, golden creature, on the caprice of whose airy mind they supposed they had staked their earthly happiness; for beneath their restrained and sometimes apparently gay demeanour, each felt an agitation which amounted to pain. Their mutual affection was sincere, and, in their ordinary moods, each would have been willing to surrender for the other life and happiness. But the struggle for, what almost seemed to them, in this moment, the love of Fanny Elton, filled them with mixed emotions of hope and fear, selfishness and magnanimity; for selfishness, at some time or other, enters every human heart. In one it comes and goes, partially banished by better impulses; some hug it through their entire lives, till they are powerless in its embrace as in the coils of a serpent; few succeed in rising above it completely: yet there are such.

Harry held his watch. The bright sunshine fell full upon it, and upon the superb hues and gently moving wings of the little brilliant air wanderer, which, reposing on its crimson couch, seemed in no haste to depart. There was a profound silence. The brothers stood breathless, their eyes fixed, now upon the watch, now upon the gorgeous arbiter of their fate. Suddenly a crow floated low over the housetops, and uttered his hoarse, repeated cry. The insect changed its position, but did not fly. Several swallows next darted almost into the window with their sharp scream of joy, but as instantly rose again. Each of these interruptions sadly startled the hearts of the two observers. The minute was more than half gone, when a flock of pigeons, from the lower roof of an adjoining building, rose together with their whirring wings, and, rapidly wheeling in a close circle, swept off overhead, darkening for a moment the sunshine in which they stood. The fragile visiter stirs— it flies. No! no! Those sweet sounds of Nature were too gentle and familiar to disturb even Nature's lightest creation. All relapsed into silence, broken only by the distant roar of the town, the barking of the far-off dog, or the exulting crow of a neighbouring cock, proclaiming to earth and heaven his joy, valour, and defiance. The hand wanted only ten seconds of completing the minute, when the insect, which had stood all the interruptions unmoved, from, who can say, what impulse of its tiny mind, and little dreaming what important consequences hung on its motions, bent backward, forward its spotted wings, rose lightly in the air, and floated, fluttering and glittering, down the sunshine.

"Go," said Frank, "Fanny Elton is yours."

"This night, Frank," replied Harry, "you shall sleep without fear of me."

CHAPTER III.

It happened, as Harry descended the stairs, that Miss Elton was going into the drawing-room on an early visit to Mary. A courteous, but not very lover-like salutation passed between them, Miss Elton entering the room, and Harry continuing his way down towards the office. Suddenly he stopped, crossed by a determination peculiar to his character.

"Why should I delay? why waver?" thought he. "No choice is left me. What I must do, why not do instantly? That she scorns me is plain. Yet, were all the hatred and contempt of the human heart concentrated in one word, and I knew she would utter it, I would do what I have now engaged to do—for Frank's sake, not for mine. His heart shall not beat one moment in unnecessary suspense."

He advanced towards the room and stopped.

"But Mary! how to get rid of her?"

The coincidences of life sometimes look so like the contrivance of malicious or ministering spirits, that it is difficult to regard them as accidental. While he stood in perplexity at the recollection that his sister was in the room, she came suddenly out, and said,

"Go in one moment and entertain Fanny, will you? I want to get her my new cape."

And off she ran up stairs.

"Now, then," said Harry.

He opened the door, entered, closed it after him, and was alone with the object of his hopes and his fears. His countenance and manner must have betrayed emotion, for Miss Elton, who was standing by a table carelessly turning over some new engravings, on looking up, exclaimed,

"Why, Mr. Lennox, what's the matter?"

"Nothing, Miss Elton, only I have resolved to delay no longer addressing you on a subject which seriously interests me."

She looked surprised and coloured, and there was a very awkward pause.

"Miss Elton," at length resumed the poor fellow, in a low voice, "I have resolved to throw myself upon your generosity. I come frankly to make an offer of my hand, trembling lest you reject, and scarcely hoping that you will accept me."

"Sir!" said Miss Elton, preserving a cold, undisturbed voice, "I do not understand you."

"Fanny, how have I offended you? Is it possible that I have misunderstood or in any way annoyed you?"

"I do not wish any discussion, sir." And she was about leaving the room.

"I would not be importunate, but some mystery is between us, and a strange necessity hurries me along to know at once—"

"I trust, sir," said Miss Elton, with haughty astonishment, while the colour which had gradually overspread her face now left it entirely, "there can be no serious necessity for you to hold, or for me to listen to such language. I never supposed I could be subjected to an insult from you."

There did not exist a man prouder or haughtier than the young person who, amazed and shocked, heard this observation. But the love which had for so many years been strengthening in his bosom, and for a long time past had been acquiring the force of a strong stream accidentally obstructed, mastered even his pride. It was now his turn to grow pale, but it was more the pallor of anguish than indignation. The immediate prospect of death could not have shaken him more than these words from the lips from which they fell.

"Miss Elton," he stammered, "you cruelly misunderstand. There is certainly some inconceivable error."

She walked to the door, and would have left the room, but he barred her passage.

"If it is your determination," said he, "to treat my proffered love with scorn and insult, let me, at least, request you to hear me explain before I leave the subject forever."

"I cannot choose but do so. I am not free to go," said she, coldly.

"Go, go, Miss Elton; I no longer stop your way."

She advanced, but paused on seeing the expression of his face.

"What do you wish to say? I will hear you."

"With that haughty frown on your brow, with that cold scorn in your voice, I scarcely know, Miss Elton, what to say, or how to begin a tale of love; but, nevertheless, I will do it. My whole life, since first my early boyhood felt what love was, has been filled with your image. I loved you before you yourself were old enough to understand my deeper feelings. I once dared to hope you had discovered, and did not disapprove my affection, till, in a moment of boyish imprudence, I dared to betray my feelings, the strange cause of your present resentment. From that time to this you have chosen to alter the relations which I supposed existed between us. I have felt myself cast off, and have acted accordingly."

"Oh, you must excuse me," said she, again going.

"You will forgive my frankness," continued Harry: "my happiness, however indifferent you may be to it, I cannot see wasted and wearing away without taking some measure to preserve it. I will not so humbly bend beneath your words as to say I must be dependent on you for it always: you can bestow it upon me now, but you cannot always deprive me of it. There are other paths—other—"

"Women!" interrupted she.

"Even so, Miss Elton. If you love me, say so, and I am yours. If your words are a true indication of your feelings, independent of any error, say so, that I may know what to believe, what to feel, and what to do."

The strange mixture of love and rudeness in this speech appeared only to confirm the displeasure of the young girl.

"Mr. Lennox," said she, "I have heard you, that I might reply distinctly. You speak of a necessity, and of your trembling lest I reject you. Let me equally free you from your necessity and your fears: I cannot love you."

He appeared borne down by her decisive words and scornful eyes.

"Fanny, pause one moment before you separate us forever. Pause one moment, till we are both cooler, and can conduct more prudently a conversation which may be for the happiness or misery of us both, and which I shall never resume if you reject me now. My whole happiness, my prospects in life, perhaps my life itself, hang on the breath of your lips in this moment. Give me time to ascertain the cause of your anger (for there is some hidden cause), and to call back the feelings for me which once inspired you. Do not reject me, or I solemnly swear I never will resume the subject."

Miss Elton looked at him a moment, and then very calmly replied,

"Notwithstanding your formidable threat, Mr. Lennox, permit me to say, I not only reject, I despise you!" and she left the room.

CHAPTER IV.

It would be difficult to convey to the, we trust, comparatively happy reader, a just idea of the thoughts of the young man. In his bosom raged the passions of youth untempered by reflection or experience. Perhaps, among the subjects on which time and observation give us light, there are none less understood by the young than themselves, and the manner in which they would feel and act on yet untried occasions. He had supposed a rejection by Miss Elton would end his love by arousing his pride, and that the certainty of her indifference would speedily enable him to resume his own. Alas! he now perceived with consternation that she had acquired only more charms; that he had never before been aware how beautiful, how noble she was. She became infinitely dearer to him than ever. So far from pride being able to overcome love, it was itself overmastered. He could scarcely collect his senses to comprehend the full force of those decisive words, that cold contempt which amazed him from its total unexpectedness. She might have declined his addresses, rectified his boyish mistake, regretted her inability to reciprocate his affection, and promised him, in return, esteem and friendship. For this he had been tremblingly prepared. This he could have scarcely borne. But here were scorn, derision, insult, inflicted with a cruelty as insupportable as it was inexplicable.

He was pacing backward and forward through the room when Mary and Miss Elton re-entered. His sister did not seem to suspect that anything unusual had taken place, but was laughing and talking, and pointing out the peculiarities of the cape, on which Miss Elton appeared to bestow all the desired attention.

"It's very pretty indeed," said she, in an indifferent voice. "I will get one like it."

"Will you be good enough to call Frank down stairs, Harry?" said his sister, suddenly. "He has made an engagement to ride with us. Tell him we're waiting for him, will you? The horses have been at the door a quarter of an hour."

He went out without at first venturing to look at Fanny, but, as he closed the door, he turned to steal one glance. There was an expression in her face, unexpected, indescribable, which renewed all his grief and all his love.

Frank was sitting alone, lost in thought, when he entered, but said immediately,

"You have seen Miss Elton?"

"I have. I have offered myself to her. She has refused me. Go: she is yours. God bless you both!"

"But, Harry, you amaze me: so soon?"

"Not a word—never a word more on this subject, I entreat. It is done. I have fulfilled my part—go and do yours. They are waiting for you in the drawing-room. Go, I beg of you.

"My dear Harry, you are agitated."

"Frank, are you coming?" said Mary, at the bottom of the stairs; "are you going to keep two ladies here and three horses waiting for you all day? You're a fine beau, to be sure!"

Frank left him. He locked and double locked the door, went to his drawer, took from it a pistol, examined the charge, cocked it, and held the muzzle to his forehead.

At this moment a dim idea of God came over him. He had never thought of his Creator before. About to rush into His presence, it struck him that there might be a reality in future, invisible things.

He paused: the reflection of his face from a mirror on the table startled him.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door. He felt like a guilty wretch, and thrust, trembling, the deadly weapon into the drawer.

"Who's there?"

"Your father is waiting for you in the office, if you'll please to come down."

"Yes, in one moment."

It was the voice of little Seth Copely, one of the clerks, who, having delivered the message, withdrew. He heard his steps retreating down stairs till they died away.

"My father! my mother! God! the future! What new thoughts are these? Pause, madman. At least not yet, not here, not so. What you do, do wisely, deliberately. Do nothing rashly, nothing ignorantly."

As he spoke, a sudden debility came over him. His violent excitement abating, the natural reaction followed. He sank into a chair, overpowered by an irresistible revulsion of feeling, covered his face with his hands, and wept in silent agony.

Suddenly, recollecting the summons of his father, he exerted all his strength of character, of which he had an ample share, though unregulated and misdirected, as well as a certain power of concealing his emotions, which he had mistaken for the power to govern them. Copiously bathing his head, therefore, in a large basin of water, washing away the traces of his tears, and arranging his dress and hair, he went down stairs, calmed by the outbreak of emotion to which he had just yielded. No one with whom he came into contact suspected he had a few moments before been prevented, only by a casual thought, from discharging a pistol into his brain.

At dinner he expected to meet Miss Elton, but she had excused herself on the plea of indisposition.

CHAPTER V.

A REJECTED lover generally fancies himself very miserable, even if his fate have been communicated in the mildest manner. But Harry's offer had been disposed of so very unceremoniously, that the young gentleman had a good excuse for being rather out of spirits. There was something inexplicable in it. He knew that he could not have been mistaken in her former obvious affection, or in the certainty that she had been alienated from him by some extraordinary error, to which his utmost conjectures could furnish no clew.

From the dinner-table, whence he perceived his rashness had banished his sister's friend, and a favourite and frequent guest of the family, he started off on an excursion, he scarcely knew whither; but he found his strong wish for a change of scene had driven him over to Hoboken in one of the ferry-boats, and that he was pressing his way through woods, over fields, and up the steep acclivities of the Weehawken heights at a most prodigious rate; stopping sometimes, however, in the midst of his peculiar meditations, to admire the beauties of the various views which broke upon him, of the river, bay, shores, and distant city, now all bathed in the silent, mellow light of a summer sunset.

In the course of this love-sick ramble he had various very serious reflections and sensations, which were more interesting to him than they would be to any one else. Among them were mingled images of despair and resentment; resolutions of flight, of marriage with some one else, of suicide, and of a stoical return to calm and sober reason, to all of which, however, there were certain objections or difficulties, and all of which were melted to air every time the face of Miss Elton crossed his imagination, looking, as she generally did, particularly pretty. One determination, however, he did take. After such a rejection, he might love the young lady or not, according to circumstances, but he certainly would not make her any more declarations. He would meet her hereafter with a lofty insensibility, and if his heart should break outright, he would never let her know anything of it.

While engaged in these reflections, the hours rolled rapidly away, and he heard the bell of the last ferry-boat ringing violently. Hastening his steps, he crossed once more the broad and noble river, and took his way along the streets, now glittering with evening lights, and filled with crowds of pleasure-seekers. Here he wandered till a late hour, endeavouring to deaden, by rapid motion, his sense of unhappiness, which he at length so far succeeded in doing that he felt a consciousness of more than ordinary hunger and thirst, induced by his long and fatiguing ramble, and the exciting nature of his thoughts, after a dinner which, as the young reader may suppose, had not been a very hearty one. He had come to the conclusion that a world in which such a person as he could be so cruelly and contemptuously rejected by such a person as Miss Elton, must be a very wretched one—must be given over to blind chance, if not to the sport of an evil demon. He was not an infidel, but he was by no means a Christian. He belonged to the large class who, perpetually engaged in the cares, pursuits, and pleasures of this life, have no time or inclination to think about anything else. With a sort of buoyant recklessness, he resolved to shake from his thoughts the circumstance which had so much affected him, or, at least, to drown present recollection in a hearty supper and a bottle of wine.

He continued still to wander rapidly on, for he cared not how long, scarcely knowing whither he went, when he found himself before one of those elegantly-furnished ordinaries which, notwithstanding the lateness of the night, was open, to catch such as roamed abroad in search of pleasure. His mental anguish abated a moment at the prospect of refreshment, which his exhausted body greatly demanded.

An ample and tempting meal called him from his gloomy reflections to the keen pleasure of his repast, by which he sought, and, for the moment, with success, to lose sight of his wo. He ate heartily and drank freely, to drown the saddening and tormenting thoughts which would obtrude themselves upon him.

He looked around. The room where he sat was entirely deserted, with the exception of the barkeeper, a young lad, worn out with late hours, who sat, half asleep, retired at some distance, betraying, had there been any one in a situation to observe him, by many an ill-suppressed yawn, his longing for the departure of his ravenous customer, and thinking, perhaps, as he beheld the amply-loaded table, with the honest man in the farce,

"If all this is to be devoured by Mr. Morgan, He must have a deused good digestive organ!"

But Harry was in no such haste. The fumes of his supper, and the inspiration of his bottle of Champagne, gave him a feeling of joyous relief, which kept sleep and the desire of sleep far enough from his eyelids. Here he sat, and ate, and drank, and thought, till the various persons who came in had satisfied their wants and gone out again; till the wine mounted into his head rather more than he intended, and till the idea of blowing his brains out for Miss Fanny Elton, or any other young lady whatever, appeared to him one of the most ridiculous and amusing things he had ever heard of in the whole course of his life.

Finishing, at length, the meal, wine, and reflections together, he called for the bill, with as steady an air of gentlemanly ease and dignity as he could assume, though with a decidedly confused idea as to where he intended to go, or what he proposed to do when he should have resumed his walk. He was considerably struck, too, with a symptom by no means usual with him, viz., a strong inclination to smile without being particular as to the occasion. Thus making his way out of the eating-house, he issued into the street, he scarcely knew how, with his hat thrust down very much over his eyes. He was just sober enough to know that he was intoxicated, and to feel that the cool, fresh air was most grateful to his flushed cheeks. The pavement, however, heaved so beneath his feet, that he could not very well walk, and he caught hold of the balustrade of the Park to prevent his falling. He looked around and up. The moon had now risen, and was shedding a pale, golden gleam upon each object, filling the air with her gentle glory, as he stood holding on firmly to the iron railing, not without an effort preserving himself from lying at full length upon the stones, which seemed to rock like the deck of a ship at sea. He commenced singing a song, but, overcome by the deliciousness of his sensations, and fully aware of the absurdity of his ridiculous position, he began to laugh aloud, and remained thus giving full vent to the overflowing merriment of his soul.

At this moment a figure came towards him, but, on seeing his condition, crossed over as if to avoid an encounter. Urged by some new impulse, however, the person came back, and looked him directly in the face.

"Hallo, my old cock!" said Harry, "what may be your business?"

"What! Harry Lennox?" said the voice.

He turned to look at the speaker, and discovered Emmerson, his father's partner.

"The devil! How are you?" cried Harry, assuming a very grave and sober look.

"Why, my dear sir," said Emmerson, smiling, "what's the matter with you?"

"Oh, I have been unwell this evening, and I have come out to (hiccough) take a little walk."

"You're now going home, I hope?"

"Oh, y—y—yes! my dear fellow. I was just going when you came up. Delightful evening!"

"Delightful!"

"How are you? and how goes bu—bu—business?"

"Very well, I thank you. Good-night."

"G—good—night, my dear boy. Won't you have a cigar? But you don't smoke, I believe. Hallo! he's gone. I think I'm a little drunk—ha, ha, ha!—but he has not the least suspicion. Mum's the word! I had no idea I could have done it so well. I wouldn't have him see me flustered—him, of all men—not for a pipe of the best old Tokay that ever—ha, ha, ha! Hold on, my fine fellow!"

A little sobered, however, but with his head still reeling, laughing occasionally aloud, despite his efforts to keep serious, he staggered on, and reached his home without meeting any farther interruption.

CHAPTER VI.

Harry breakfasted with the family the next morning as usual, and thence went to his ordinary duties in the office. A certain awkward feeling came over him as he met Emmerson, but, from the manner of that gentleman, he could not gather any reason to suppose he had detected his state at their last night's meeting, and he concluded, with a hearty feeling of relief, that in the darkness of night, and from what he presumed had been his own power of self-control, his intoxication, which he firmly resolved should never be repeated, had entirely escaped his attention.

"You have a pamphlet in your room, I believe, from the office library, which I wish very much to consult," said Emmerson to Harry in the afternoon.

"Yes, I took it to look at the proposed — Bill."

"Why, that's what I wished to look at," said Emmerson.

"Perhaps we are occupied on the same subject," said Harry. "I'm going to address the meeting to-night."

"You! you address the meeting?" said Emmerson.

"Certainly: why not?"

"Oh, I do not say `not' at all," said he, with a smile, "only I did not know it was your intention. Have you prepared anything?"

"A few notes. I shall scarcely use them, however. When I speak I very soon get beyond my notes."

"Let me see them, will you?" said Emmerson. "It is barely possible I may wish to say something, but not a speech."

Harry handed the notes, and Emmerson looked them over with an air of no great interest.

"Oh! ah! that's the view you take, is it?"

"Yes; but the most important I don't put on paper, or only a single word, to bring the point to my memory. I am resolved not to accustom myself to dependance on memoranda, but to begin young, and throw myself at once upon all the uncertainty, or perhaps," he added, with a smile, "others may think it the certainty, of extemporaneous speaking; that is—"

He was going to explain, but Emmerson interrupted him.

"Well, I see your drift here. It is good, certainly; but hadn't you better leave out this—for instance, this paragraph?"

"Oh no: why so? that is a common opinion."

"But your mode of proving it is not so common, nor do I think it quite correct."

"Well, if you think so, I'll leave it out in deference to you."

"You had better: though I really think you give yourself more trouble, in speaking at all, than the matter is likely to be worth. The subject has no real interest. I have not made the least attempt to go into it by previous study."

At dinner Harry was a breathless listener to an interesting conversation. The family were speaking of Fanny Elton, and Mary insisted that something had occurred to displease her.

"She is not the same in her manner to me," said she; "she is cold and reserved. Her refusal to dine with us yesterday, I am convinced, was not caused by indisposition, although she really is not well. But how often has she come to us when she was not well? What harm could it have done her just to have dined here instead of at home? And she refuses to come to-day, refuses to dine with us on Thursday, and to go to the theatre with us in the evening."

"Nonsense," said Mr. Lennox. "Who would—what could offend Fanny, I should like to know? She could not suspect any one in this family of an intention to offend her, and I don't think she is the sort of person to be offended when she knows there has been no intention."

"How do you account, then, for these three refusals—this sudden withdrawal of her consent to go to the theatre on Thursday—for her curious manner?"

"I'll go round this evening," said Frank, "and see if I can persuade her, and you shall go with me."

"No," said Mary, "I will not. To say the truth, I am a little hurt and offended, and she saw plainly that I was, and yet did not in the least alter her decision."

"So," thought Harry, "Frank has either not made his offer, or" (and his heart sunk within him at the thought) "he has made it and been accepted."

"I feel sure," said Frank, "I can make her alter her determination."

"Nonsense," said Mrs. Lennox; "why, in such an ingenuous creature as Fanny, look for any other excuse than the one she assigns? She is not very well, is out of spirits, and therefore will not come."

"Well, if you think so," resumed Mary, "I'll go with Frank; but I don't understand it."

"So," thought Harry, "she avoids me. That of course: but in a way which must betray the insult I have received. This I must prevent."

He therefore wrote the following note, and, after a brief explanation, intrusted it to Frank:

"Mr. Henry Lennox begs Miss Elton to forgive and forget the error into which he has fallen, upon his assurance not to repeat it. He hopes she will not make it the cause of interrupting her intercourse with the family, rather than which he will himself withdraw, till time shall test the sincerity of his resolution never to offend again. If he have reason to fear his presence prevents her usual visits and engagements, he will carry into effect a desire he has long had of spending a few years in Europe. Should she, however, be disposed to accord this, the only favour he can ever ask of her, he need scarcely add, he considers himself bound, as a gentleman, to protect her from the annoyance of his society, as far as can be done without exciting attention."

CHAPTER VII.

This was the evening of the great public meeting, called for the purpose of passing resolutions respecting a measure pending in Congress. The subject was one which young Lennox was acquainted with, as it had long engaged his attention. Miserable as he was at this moment, a desire to escape from himself led him to be thankful for such a distraction, and while Frank and Mary were gone to Eltons's, he repaired to deliver his address.

On arriving at the large room which had been designated for the purpose, he found many distinguished citizens assembled. His father and Mr. Emmerson were already there. The hall rapidly filled to overflowing. An eminent man was elected to the chair, and several secretaries appointed. Many speakers were anxious to express their views on the subject, and two or three did so, and were received with interest. At length Mr. Emmerson rose. He was listened to with respectful attention. His remarks showed the results of study; for, as Harry afterward discovered, he had been long and laboriously preparing himself for the occasion. Distinction was his passion, and to it he had resolved to devote himself. But he was regarded as a cold, dry man, laborious in details and learned in facts, without enlarged views, or original inferences or ideas. His discourse, while it made a favourable impression, did not produce any particular effect.

Harry was rather surprised to perceive that he had made use of several arguments similar to those contained in his own memoranda. He set it down, of course, as accident, for there was scarcely a man whom he would not sooner have suspected of anything wrong, so highly was he esteemed for purity and gentleness of mind and manners. He was, however, fairly puzzled, on hearing him, as he proceeded, deliver some remarks in support of a delay in the passage of the offensive bill, an exact counterpart of those which, at the intimation of Emmerson himself, he had proposed to omit in his own observations.

After Emmerson rose a Mr. Holford, a gentleman of large stature and dignified personal appearance, with a sonorous voice and an apparent familiarity with public speaking. He occupied the attention of the audience an hour with fine words and high-sounding phrases, frequently eliciting applause by the artful recurrence of patriotic sentiments. But Harry perceived that this person belonged to the class of mere demagogues, who, by dint of impudence and perseverance, not only thrust themselves into prominent places, but maintain themselves there triumphantly, while men of merit and modesty remain in obscurity. Notwithstanding very general applause, his eloquence was made up of superficial commonplaces and phrases, borrowed, ready-made, from the floating oratory of the day. A part of what he said was good, but that was not his own, and, whenever he ventured into anything like original argument or declamation, he betrayed the poverty of his attainments and the smallness of his understanding by flimsy sophistry or swelling bombast. It was all received, however, with the unexamining approbation characteristic of a public meeting, and which evidently made the speaker (although he repeated the quotation that he was "no orator as Brutus is") believe himself a much greater orator than that ancient or most other modern gentlemen.

At length Harry rose, striving to fly from himself, and to lose in any manner the keen sense of his late disappointment. We have not ventured to describe him, but the reader must imagine a young man rather above the middle stature, as noble in person as expressive and handsome in countenance. His features had a manly gravity and even sternness, which gave place to sweetness when he smiled. His eyes were dark and full of expression, and a voice, more soft, flexible, and, at the same time, powerful, was rarely heard. He had not uttered ten sentences before every one became aware he was no common man. Free from embarrassment, he presented by far the clearest view of the case which had been given, drew enlarged, unexpected, and striking inferences with the logical precision of a more matured orator, and in language the most eloquent, enchained, delighted, and convinced everybody. With all the knowledge of details and facts of Emmerson, and a far more chaste and rich flow of language than Holford, he added that kind of light and fire which only genius and sincerity know how to throw around what they touch. Warmed by the exertion and by the consciousness of his success, he triumphantly completed the argumentative part of his address to an audience who gave neither the cold respect awarded to Emmerson, nor the noisy applause elicited by the clap-traps of the pompous Holford, but the attention of men whose minds are really awakened. In conclusion, when his points were clearly proved, and the objections raised by the opposite party had been undeniably silenced, he ended by an appeal to the clear judgment and higher feelings of the nation, in a strain not often heard at public meetings, and which showed a speaker as far above the petty desire of self-display as the mere interested influence of party views.

A pause followed his concluding words, for his auditors preserved a moment's silence, unwilling to lose a syllable, till a simultaneous burst of applause, ended, resumed, hushed, and prolonged again, told that the minds and hearts of all present had been under the spell of eloquence.

He was acknowledged the speaker of the evening.

On descending from the stage, he was received in triumph by his friends, and heartily congratulated before he could reach and accept the hand of his delighted father.

By the side of the latter stood Emmerson, silent and motionless, and with a peculiar expression of discontent on his dark features. Harry was struck with it, and felt it chill the warm flow of his blood and the pleasure of his success; and had he not known him, he would have thought he saw on his countenance only the workings of mean selfishness and pale envy.

"What's the matter?" asked he, as he perceived his proffered hand was not accepted.

"Oh, nothing," said Emmerson: "the crowd—the heat."

Then, with a singular look, which afterward often rose in Harry's memory, he added,

"I did not expect to see you so soon in public, when I met you last night, you know!"

"Last night!" repeated his father: "where?"

"What do you mean by that?" said Harry, sternly. "You knew I intended to address the meeting, Mr. Emmerson."

"Yes, certainly; but—ha, ha, ha—you have proved yourself a Demosthenes."

Harry did not understand the tone of voice in which this was said. The meeting immediately passed the intended resolutions, availing themselves of various suggestions made by Harry, and the curious " last night, you know!" of Emmerson, passed from his mind.

After the adjournment, Mr. Lennox, Harry, and Emmerson were standing together, with several others, conversing, when the chairman, Mr. Lawrence, an influential leader of the politics of the state, came up, and shaking Harry warmly by the hand, acknowledged in strong terms the pleasure he had received from his address.

"You must sup with me," he added, "you and your father. I have something of importance to say to you."

"To be sure—to be sure," said Mr. Lennox; "and as for my Harry, I tell you what, that young gentleman is destined to be, one of these days, the ornament of whatever office he chooses to desire. You don't know that boy."

"I hope he knows you, sir," said Harry, modestly, "or else he will mistake the language of your heart for that of your judgment."

"Why, you impertinent young dog, what do you mean by that?"

"It's all very well, sir—it's all very well, sir," said the pompous Holford, rubbing his hands, and assuming a look of dignity, which did not hide his vexation and jealousy. "These boys just out of college are full of fine words, but we want a knowledge of things! "

"We do indeed—at least some of us," said Lennox, with an emphasis.

"They've missed the most important resolution, sir—the most important, sir, by far!" said Holford. "I rarely address promiscuous public meetings: I have other and more important duties. But the resolution omitted spoils everything, sir—spoils everything! I'm sorry I spoke. The meeting will do more harm than good. I'll be d—d if I don't regret I have appeared at it."

"If that be an error, as perhaps it is," said Mr. Lennox, coolly, "you will have an opportunity to repair it on future occasions."

"I didn't address my remark to you, sir."

"I addressed mine to you, Mr. Holford."

"Come, gentlemen, my supper will be cold," said Mr. Lawrence. "Mr. Lennox, and you, sir" (to Harry), "you must not give us the slip. I have something to propose to you."

He added no other one to the party, and Emmerson silently withdrew.

They repaired to the house of their host, where the supper-table was already spread. The ladies of the family, after a gay half hour, retired, and the gentlemen were left to discuss subjects which exclusively interested them. It was at once suggested by Mr. Lawrence that Harry should accept an early seat in Congress.

"Well," said his father, "what say you? As you don't appear wanting in the valuable gift of speech, you can answer for yourself, I suppose."

"I think," said Harry, "it requires time for reflection; but I should, of course, be guided by your wishes, if I remain in America."

"Remain in America! Why, where the devil do you expect to remain?"

"I have had some desire lately to go abroad."

"What! a short tour, eh?" said Lawrence.

"A tour, but not a short one."

"May I ask what you mean?" said his father. "You have the intention of going abroad for a long time?"

"Yes, sir; a plan which, with your approbation, would be a very pleasant thing for me."

"What! leave us, Harry? Spend half a dozen years abroad, and come back at last to find some old sexton, who sings while he works, coolly pointing out our respective graves: `Mrs. Lennox's, sir!' `Miss Mary's, sir!' `The old gentleman's, sir—that one with the flowers!' Is that what you call `very pleasant,' with my approbation?"

"My dear father, I did not intend to discuss the point with you—at least not here; but, in respect to the seat in Congress, I scarcely feel myself able—"

"Nonsense!" said Mr. Lawrence. "You are only a boy. If every one had your modesty, where should we find men to make up our tickets? You'll meet there (for I never flatter, young gentleman) men infinitely above you in learning and mind, to equal whom you might with profit spend all the years of your life, and be satisfied if you half attained your object."

"I am fully aware of it, and that is why, or one reason why, I hesitate."

"But," continued Mr. Lawrence, "you will find yet more inferior to you in all these respects—men who do not hesitate, on that account, to take place among legislators and statesmen."

"Fill your neighbour's glass," said Mr. Lennox—"(I beg your pardon, Lawrence; I make myself at home, you see), and then your own, and let me, if you please, hear no more of your going abroad at present. As for the seat in Congress, I shall state at once my views. If I were as rich as I ought to be, and could leave you, and your brother and sister, a hundred or two thousand dollars each, after having handsomely provided for your mother, I might, perhaps, feel a pride in seeing you take your place, where your talents" (Mr. Lennox always said what he thought) "could not fail to be of service to your country, and to reflect a lustre on your and my name."

"Bravo!" said Lawrence.

"But I am not such a Croesus as you appear to suppose. Do you know how much I am worth?"

"No, sir."

"Well, just enough to provide, in case of my sudden death, a decent independence for your mother, and another for your sister, who must be portioned like a sweet girl and a gentleman's daughter as she is."

"I hope so."

"Then there's Frank. He has chosen a profession where, even if he be not ingloriously scalped to begin with, he will have no great opportunity to amass a fortune. His expenses are great, his pay scandalously small, his danger not inconsiderable, his chance of glory quite so. Yet he must live like a gentleman. He has the tastes, habits, and feelings of one; and where is he going to get a fortune if I don't leave him one?"

"Very true!"

"But, my good friend," said the benevolent Mr. Lawrence, amused and interested by this glimpse of a family scene, "if you leave all your property to your other children, what remains for Harry?"

"I have given him a first-rate education. He is fully fitted to go forth into life. He is a scholar and a gentleman, and, what is equally to our present purpose, a superior lawyer. If he attend to business, the honourable profession to which he belongs, and of which he can easily become a most distinguished member, as you may see by his display this evening, will be to him, in twenty years, an ample fortune. Should he then wish it, and he will still be a boy—"

"Your ideas of boyhood," said Harry, "are rather comprehensive."

"Hold your tongue, sir! If he then desire to descend to politics, why, he does it, at least, with the advantage, that if he fail, he has a place to stand on and a hole to creep into. Politics undertaken from the hope of pecuniary gain, or the more selfish ambition after place and power, cannot fail to deprave the moral character as much as it must injure and pervert the mind and destroy the reputation."

"True, very true," said Lawrence.

"There's Holford now," continued Lennox, his fine face beaming with the contempt he felt for everything mean, "a mere ass! an empty demagogue! as ready to do any dirty work as a street scavenger. He was always a paltry fellow, for I knew him at school; but had he adopted a more noble scheme of life, he might have enlarged and enriched his mind with knowledge, and perhaps redeemed his character. But watch the course of that man, and you shall see that every year will make him less particular in his actions and less honest in his opinions. Age will overtake him in the exercise of all his lower faculties and meaner passions, and while, perhaps, he may succeed in his exterior designs, for such characters often do, he will do so, not only at the sacrifice of his honour, but at last of his fame and happiness. He will be obliged to resort to discreditable tricks for advancement, and to perform degrading tasks without reference to the delicacy of a gentleman or the duty of a man of honour. Having started an ass, he will never have time to make anything more of himself, till at last the conviction that pure and noble things are unattainable by him will cause him to despise them, pecuniary dependance will make him a slave, and an old age of neglected insignificance and contempt will end a life of empty assumption and usurped honour."

"Oh, I hope better of my old friend Holford!" said Lawrence. "He is not very strong, perhaps, in the upper story, but he has good points."

"Doubtless! all men have; but I do not wish my son to resemble him. Therefore, as he has to carve his own way with his own good sword, it is time for him to know it, and to perceive the necessity of applying himself to his profession steadily, resolutely, and severely. I myself am not a business-man. I wish I were; but I hate business, and I shall gradually endeavour to withdraw from the office, leaving the whole toil and profit of it to you. You have Emmerson, an inestimable, unassuming man, the most honest and excellent partner in the world, and, withal, a sharp and able lawyer; one of the few who unite integrity of character, gentleness of heart, and mental ability. You and he must manage matters. In a year or so I shall begin to require a little repose, and think a tour abroad for your mother and me would be more proper than for you. Nevertheless, I am gratefully obliged to you, Lawrence, for the honour you have done this youngster, and, in his name and my own, I thank you."

"I must say," said Mr. Lawrence, "that, while I regret your decision, I approve it."

They separated. Harry had not distinctly followed all his father's long harangue. His reveries had wandered to the stern, beautiful face of Fanny Elton, to her cold words and flashing eyes; but he had heard enough to learn that his plan of foreign travel and foreign adventure was likely to be opposed by divers more serious objections than had at first presented themselves to his mind; that, notwithstanding the wealth of his father, he was to start in life without much benefit from it; and that, unless he were to break forcibly away from many tender ties and some sober duties, he was likely to be kept a prisoner in his native city.

CHAPTER VIII.

"Would she receive his note?" such were the thoughts which filled Harry's mind during another very love-sick ramble. "Would she answer it?" (What meant the throbbing of his heart at the idea?) "Would she comply with its request? Would she dine at his father's table to-day? Would she dine and go to the theatre the next day—his birthday—and thus acknowledge and sanction a kind of communion with him, a yielding obedience to his dictation, and a consideration for his wishes, his feelings, his happiness, perhaps? More! Would she accept Frank? Had she accepted him?"

The peculiar relative position of the two brothers acted as a check upon their usual confidence. He had requested Frank not to touch upon that subject again. Had the latter made his offer and been rejected, he would probably have communicated his fate at once—he was under a sort of honourable obligation to do so—but if accepted, delicacy, love for his brother, embarrassment, would all combine to make him shrink from such a confidence. He had been accepted, then; or, last, faint hope! he had not yet made his offer.

Had there been no doubt to be solved, perhaps he might have succeeded in diverting his thoughts from the subject; but the dinner-hour was to decide the fate of his note, and all the interest of his life now concentrated itself upon this single point.

"Do you know how I'm getting on with my boys, Emmerson?" asked Lennox, of his friend, the morning after the meeting; for Lennox's communicative nature confided everything to those about him.

"What new plan?" asked Emmerson, with a smile.

"Time is dashing along," said Lennox. "I feel it every day more forcibly; but, when looking on these young rascals, I can't believe my own eyes. They are scarcely out of their round-jackets—at least, so it seems to me—and yet one is going to marry up to my warmest hopes, and the other—"

"To marry!" echoed Emmerson, with such signs of interest as surprised even the sanguine father.

"Yes, marry!"

"Bless my soul," said Emmerson, fixing his keen, dark eyes upon the speaker.

"Yes," continued Lennox: "I trouble you with affairs in which few men in your situation would take any interest. Yes, he is going to marry, and I am truly glad of it."

"Certainly, certainly; and I suppose the lady is Miss Elton?"

"It is!"

"Indeed?"

"Yes; I hope she will accompany him, at least for a time (although I don't know, after all, if the young dog will ever be content, with his views, to remain in the army), I hope she will accompany him to Prairie du Chien."

"What? Is it not your son Harry, then, who is to marry Miss Elton?"

"Harry? certainly not. What put that into your head?"

"Bless me! this is very unexpected, isn't it?"

"Why yes; these lieutenants have a military brevity of conducting affairs which is rather edifying. I only heard of it myself a morning or two ago."

"I fear," said Emmerson, "this union—but are you sure?"

"Sure? No, not absolutely sure. It is not actually and formally settled yet between the young people, only I understand so from my wife and daughter, and from the demeanour of Miss Elton and my son. Pray, do you know anything in relation to it?"

"No—yes. I was under the impression that your son Harry was—indeed," he continued, in a whisper, and looking cautiously behind and around him—"I know he is also attached to Miss Elton."

"You surprise me!"

"I think I may tell you all," continued Emmerson; "but you will give me your word not to reveal it."

"I assure you it shall go no farther."

"Then I have reason to know Harry is attached to Miss Elton. She is also attached to him. Any difference between them must be but some lover's quarrel. Perhaps the young lady is going to take a step from pique, which will sacrifice the future happiness of both herself and Harry, as well as that of Frank, who would not like to wake from his dream of happiness to discover his wife in reality attached to another."

"You distress me beyond measure," said Mr. Lennox. "I am sure Frank loves her; but I am infinitely obliged to you. This must be looked into. I am really infinitely obliged to you."

"I should not be willing to intrude my interference into such a delicate matter," said Emmerson, "but—"

"I know, I know; nor shall you suffer by such disinterestedness."

"I must repeat, however, that what I say is under the seal of secrecy. You know what these young people are! you know what friends and relations are in these cases! You know what love affairs are!"

"My dear Emmerson," said Lennox, "you may put your mind quite at rest."

"I have one other thing to say, which duty will not permit my concealing. You may have observed that Harry has been of late rather irregular in his hours and habits."

"Yes, yes, it has struck us all."

"I met him the other night," continued Emmerson, in a pale whisper, "quite intoxicated in the street."

"What, Harry?"

"Harry."

"I would not believe any other human being but yourself."

"His love for Miss Elton, interrupted, probably, by this affair with his brother, is driving him into habits of intemperance."

"I thought he was peculiarly attentive to business."

"Before you," continued Emmerson, in an agitated whisper; "but I see more. His mind is shattered—his spirits gone."

"But you heard him last night, how well he spoke."

"Ah!"

"What do you mean?"

Emmerson made no reply.

"What! you don't mean to say that Harry has been assisted?"

"Ah!"

"Have you aided him?"

"Don't ask me, my dear sir; only believe me, I have no motive in this disclosure but your and his good. I fear his mind is, at least at present, unfit for business. As to the young lady, I have scarcely seen—cannot say I really know her. But if you value Harry's happiness and health, you must stop this union with his brother, or delay it. I have the most sincere interest in the happiness of Harry. Such a fine young man!"

"Drunk in the street!" said Lennox; "yet that I could forgive. Shakspeare says, `any man may be drunk some time of his life;' but a mean use of another's talents—parading in borrowed plumage like a peacock, and yet not like a peacock either—for he has, at least, his own gaudy feathers to strut in."

"He is but a boy, that will come right in time! I can't say he borrowed from me. We only spoke together on the subject!" said Emmerson.

"I don't recognise Harry in this at all."

"You had better not say anything to him, however; rather leave it to time."

"And what do you advise?"

"To send Frank off for some years—he is, in fact, too young to marry—and see what time will do. Perhaps a voyage for Harry also would be of use. These young folks very easily take new impressions."

"I really supposed Harry very much above anything of this sort. Do you know he has had the offer of a seat in Congress?"

"Ah!" said Emmerson. "Mr. Lawrence, I suppose?"

"Yes."

"You know this Mr. Lawrence?"

"Know him? Who? Lawrence?"

"Certainly."

"A nice, benevolent man, but—"

"Why, Lawrence is one of the noblest fellows!"

"Ah! that's as people think. I have nothing against him personally; but I have heard curious things."

"But Harry! This is a painful discovery. Why, he is not fit to marry that sweet girl; he is not worthy of her. Poor Frank!"

"We must not be too severe on him," said Emmerson.

"Does he know you are aware of his attachment to Miss Elton?" asked Mr. Lennox.

"Not a word," said Emmerson, in another whisper.

"And how did you discover it, if not from him?"

"I overheard him telling her so one afternoon when they thought themselves alone. The door was ajar; I was passing along the entry, and could not help hearing."

This was also said in a whisper, close to the ear of Lennox, and with an expression of face so agitated that Lennox could not but be struck with it.

"Why, that's nothing so very terrible, my good friend," replied the father, smiling. "It's no more than most men have done at some time of their lives or other."

"Oh, certainly," said Emmerson; "but I only want you to see I am not mistaken in my opinion."

Mr. Lennox had the utmost confidence in his son, but this intimation of plagiarism, thus reluctantly and accidentally drawn forth, made a very disagreeable impression on his mind. In the irreproachable Emmerson he believed he had found perfect disinterestedness united with unusual penetration, while he saw that Harry was of a character yet unformed, and exposed to all the dangerous influences which beset youth and passion.

When the family assembled at dinner, Fanny was not there. Her vacant place was next Harry's. His father was silent and grave; Emmerson talkative and gay. In Frank he could not detect anything unusual, except a disposition to sink into revery. His mother was thoughtful. It was but a trifle, the absence of a young girl, who could never be anything to him; yet his faculty of self-government was so uncultivated, that he suffered during this repast a kind of pain like that of the nightmare. He dared not ask, and no one made any remark from which his curiosity could be gratified. Every time the door opened to admit a servant, the violent beating of his heart taught him how deep-seated his fever was, and he could scarcely refrain from starting up under his insupportable emotion. Her absence he could not rationally be surprised at, yet it had not been expected by him. He imagined all eyes were fixed on him, and could scarcely keep from giving vent, by some word or act, to the feelings which swelled his breast, yet he went on eating like one in a dream.

The door opened, and a servant presented a note to Mr. Lennox, who read it and handed it to Mrs. Lennox.

"Miss Elton, feeling herself still indisposed, begs Mrs. Lennox to excuse her from dinner to-day."

"I hope Fanny is not going to be ill," was all his mother remarked, and they separated without any other recurrence to the subject.

"So! she is, after all, cold and selfish. She will not come. She will betray her power and my unrequited love. She wishes to do so. She feels a pride in it. She is, after all, a commonplace girl, a coquette, trifling with me, laughing at me, ten chances to one. They will ask her, at length, respecting the change in her conduct. She will answer, with seeming reluctance, `To save myself from the importunate addresses of your son.' And this is a woman! How true the poet: " `Most women have no character at all.'

Her beauty makes her vain. Her very sensibility makes her go too far. Her ambition on earth is to subdue man, her master. I swear the libertine, who revenges himself on her sex, is not so bad, after all.

"I must go, then. I must leave my father's house. Not a message—not a word—not a line! Then farewell, country and friends; farewell, prospects, ambition, study, perhaps life. And what difference does it make? Since happiness is a dream, life must be a curse."

A very equivocal piece of reasoning. But men of twenty and men at forty take different views of things.

CHAPTER IX.

The next day was Harry's birthday. He did not spend the morning in the office, as usual, but absented himself in the indulgence of his love of solitude. His father, when he saw him, looked grave, but said nothing. For the first time a cloud had come between them, and both were conscious of it.

The dinner-hour at length arrived, and with it the company. He was early in the drawing-room, and felt calmer than usual, for his resolution was taken to go abroad, if not with, then without his father's approbation. But few guests were expected, and they punctually came. Mr. Emmerson was among the first, who blandly made his congratulation. He was speedily followed by Henderson, the brother of Mrs. Lennox, and his wife. At length came Mr. and Mrs. Elton, and with them, to the extreme astonishment of Harry— for such an event had not once entered his thoughts— Fanny!

Every one expressed surprise. She was received with such a burst of affectionate welcome by all the family that both her confusion, if she felt any, and that of Harry were safe from observation.

"My dearest Fanny! this is so unexpected after your severe illness yesterday."

"She would come," said her mother; "we did all we could to keep her at home; but those young girls are such unaccountable beings. The other day she would not come when all persuaded her to do so; now, for my part, it reminds me of—"

Mrs. Elton was a talker, and she went on with a much longer series of observations, which, however, were only collateral to the conversation of the rest of the company. Mr. Elton and she, however, both came up to Harry to shake hands with him, and to congratulate him upon the occurrence of this happy festival, and to wish him a thousand returns.

"A thousand would be rather more than my share!" said he, with all the gayety he could assume.

And then Fanny came forward to the old friend of her childhood, and frankly gave him her hand. He took it, poor fellow, and held it a moment in his, while he listened to the few words she said, all the rest being engaged talking together.

"I also congratulate you, Mr. Lennox," said she, "and hope you may pass many and yet more happy birthdays, surrounded by all who love you and whom you love."

She was pale, and her face and voice betrayed debility and illness; but her manner was full of its usual gentleness and calmness.

"You have been ill, I fear, Miss Elton?"

"Yesterday and the day before, very."

"And how could you venture out to-day?"

Their eyes met. That look was full of reproach, mingled with the least possible scorn.

"But of course you do not go to the theatre this evening?"

"Oh yes. The party is made up. I feel much better, and think it will do me good. You know I am as great an admirer of Horn as you are."

"I shall not be able, I fear, to hear him to-night," said Harry, in a low voice.

"Fanny! my dear Fanny!" said Mary, looking her tenderly full in the face, and passing her arm around her waist to press her to her bosom. "And did I dare to believe you were not really ill? I shall never forgive myself."

The dinner was announced. Frank led in Fanny. There was a vacant seat next hers when Harry passed round; but he went on, and took a place at the other end of the table, between Mr. Henderson and Emmerson, more in love than ever, hating and despising himself, yearning to pursue at leisure the new thoughts which thronged on him, and yet resolved to tear her from his heart, cost what it might, or else to tear himself away; for this vicinity to her, these exposures to interviews with her, this necessity of feigned familiarity, so dangerous and enervating to his resolution, he saw plainly were beyond his power to resist.

"So you're going to take Fanny to the theatre with you this evening?" said Elton. "I don't half like it."

"When your consent is asked, my good friend," said Mr. Lennox, "it will be time enough to express an objection. I rather think it the present intention of the party to take her, whether you like it or not."

"My dear Mr. Lennox," said Mrs. Elton, "I really admire your address. I have been trying all kinds of ways to persuade Mr. Elton to allow of her going, and I do not think he had made up his mind; but you put the question at rest. I had already—"

"Fanny is not looking well just now. I don't know what's the matter with her," said Mr. Elton; "the day before yesterday she fainted: she never did such a silly thing before in her life. I don't know what to make of it."

Harry stole a glance at her—her eyes were drooped thoughtfully down—he felt like a scoundrel.

"I shall take care she sha'n't faint again!" said Lennox.

"I should like to know how you'll do that; besides, you know, I am no friend to theatres at all."

"My husband is too strict on that and a great many other points," said Mrs. Elton. "I am not of his opinion, however. I think the mind that is pure is pure everywhere, and certainly, were I to—"

"So thought your amiable ancestor Eve," said Elton; "yet it would have been quite as well for her, and us too, if she had stayed by her husband's side, and not gone off where she had no business to be."

"As for me," said Mrs. Elton, who always interrupted everybody, and never stopped till she was interrupted herself, and generally not even then, talking over her competitors with the greatest good-humour in the world, and not the least idea of what she was doing, "I think much may be learned at the theatre, and there can be no reason to fear anything. I know, when I was a girl—"

"Much may be learned everywhere," said her husband, gravely; "but sometimes the lessons cost too much."

"And I know," continued Mrs. Elton, without stopping, "that when I was a girl, my father used to take me often and often, and really, my dear Mrs. Lennox, I cannot discover that I am any the worse for it. For why should—" and she went on with her argument.

"She shall go to-night, as she and you wish it," said her father; "for she is a good girl, and I don't mean to disappoint her; but, as a general thing, I think theatres objectionable."

"Did any man ever hear such nonsense!" said Mr. Lennox. "Theatres are a delightful recreation. The language is improved, the mind restored to its good-humoured elasticity after labour and chagrin, and home is never more delightful than after returning from such pleasures abroad. I have always brought up my children to—"

"And as for me," interrupted Mrs. Elton, "I could never be of the opinion that young people were better for being kept in ignorance of life. If I had sons, I should send them everywhere all alone, never mind, be as wild as they might. Better let off their wildness in youth than have it when they're old. Now, do you know, there's Mr. Franklin, our excellent friend, you know, my dear Mrs. Lennox, they say, when he was a young gentleman—"

"For to-day," said Mr. Elton, "I yield; but, miss, hereafter we shall be a little more strict."

"I have got excellent seats," said Harry, anxious to say something; "you will have the Wilmingtons in the next box."

"Ha! ha! ha!" said his father, "that is an odd piece of logic. You have got excellent seats, we shall have the Wilmingtons in the next box; as if the vicinity of the Wilmingtons made the seats any better, particularly the old fellow, a sneaking, sly, creeping scoundrel, who would desert his best friend in the hour of need, if he could save sixpence by it."

"My dear husband!" said Mrs. Lennox, in a deprecatory tone of voice.

"Mr. Wilmington is a good man!" said Henderson.

"Good? Oh, excellent! in old Shylock's sense of the word," said Lennox, "but in that only. Why, sir?"

"My dear husband," said Mrs. Lennox, "I won't have you going on in this way about people whom you dislike merely because they don't exactly act up to your idea of what is right, and for the sake of his wife I always like him."

"Yes, certainly, she's well enough; a nice little body—"

"Nice little body! She's a very sweet woman."

"I'm sure," said Mrs. Henderson, who seemed to be rather a dry lady, with an expression of face as if she felt a sort of malicious envy for every one and everything she saw, "I'm sure I ought not to speak against her, for she's been uncommonly polite and kind to me, but she is a very odd person! I don't know what to make of her; she pleases at first sight, but when you come to know her more—"

"Frank is saying the most extraordinary things to Miss Elton," interrupted Mary.

"What's the matter now?" said Lennox.

"We, like you, have been conversing on the merits of Mrs. Wilmington, and on my saying, among various other causes why I admired her, that I liked her because she was so fond of Fanny, Mr. Frank takes it upon himself to exclaim, in the most rude way, he thinks that must be allowed to be among the least of her merits!"

"How, sir?" said his father; "I will thank you to explain what you mean by that!"

"Really, Frank," said his mother, laughing, "I don't know how Miss Elton may take such a speech, but I should demand a written apology."

"Mary knows, and I hope Miss Elton also, perfectly what I mean: I mean that it's no merit to admire Miss Elton," said Frank.

This lucid explanation produced a general laugh, and even Miss Elton turned her eyes on him with a look of amusement, not quite unmingled with surprise, which added to the dilemma of the poor fellow.

"I hope you also do not pretend to misunderstand me," said he to Miss Elton.

"Upon my word," said Fanny, "the only meaning I can find is, you don't think better of any one for liking me."

"Well, that is exactly what I meant," said Frank.

But the expression of politeness in his face so much contradicted the apparent meaning of his words, that Miss Elton could not herself help joining in the renewed mirth of the table.

"Ah, Frank, my boy," said Mr. Elton, "you are a bad beau, but I don't think the worse of you for that."

"If that's the way you pay compliments!" said his mother.

"You never heard a gentleman, or a person pretending to be a gentleman, speak his mind so plainly to you before, Fanny," said Mary.

"Frank in name and frank in nature," said Emmerson.

"You are all very dull if you really do not understand the idea I meant to express," said Frank.

"Nonsense," said Harry, "they understand you very well, Frank; they are only laughing at you for being so unsophisticated."

"No, upon my soul," said his father, "I don't understand at all, and I beg you to explain yourself at full. Come, we're all attention."

"They were praising Mrs. Wilmington," said Frank, "for a variety of virtues. She speaks the truth. Well! that is a virtue. She is of a gentle disposition. Well! that also is a virtue. She is charitable, graceful, handsome. Well! it may be said we like her the better for all that sort of thing. But her friendship for, her attachment to, her admiration of, Miss Elton, is a thing which—since everybody— who—as—"

The burst of laughter which greeted this regular breakdown appeared to distress Frank as much as it offended him. He coloured, pushed back the chair, and was apparently about to leave the table.

"Frank!" said his father.

"Sir."

"Stop!"

To that voice he had ever been taught implicit obedience.

"Sit still. Where are you going?"

"You can scarcely be surprised," said Frank, forcing himself into a sort of gayety, "if I withdraw from a circle where I have not the power of making myself understood."

"Hold your tongue. Sit still. You are not a boy."

"I don't know," said Fanny, archly, looking at him with an expression of almost affection, which at least compensated for her share in bringing down on him this reproof; "I'm afraid—"

"How will you get through life," said his father, "with such a quick temper as that? Learn that it is the first duty and the highest accomplishment of a gentleman always to keep his temper, particularly in the presence of ladies."

Frank did not appear altogether to relish this lecture, and before Miss Elton, too; but there was something in his father's manner at once playful and firm, which took off the asperity of command without lessening its power.

"I tell you what, Frank," said his mother, "we must lay a penalty on you for this outrageous attack on Miss Elton."

"Fifty years ago," said Elton, "you would have been obliged to drink a gallon of wine, or brandy perhaps; but we are past that, I hope."

"Let him explain his meaning to Miss Elton herself in a poem," said Harry, generously coming to the aid of his successful rival, as he now considered him, for he had seen the look cast on him by her.

"Excellent!" said Mary. "You are condemned to write an impromptu ."

"Yes," said Mr. Lennox; "an extempore-metaphysicotragico—"

"Comico—" interrupted Miss Elton, with another look.

"Explanatory poem," continued Mr. Lennox, "before we leave this house for the theatre. The company shall assemble ten minutes earlier, to hear the document publicly read."

"By me," said Mary; "for I suppose the repentant author will be too much overcome to read it himself. There, Frank, you can go into the next room; you will find my desk, and pen, ink, and paper."

"Decreed!" said Lennox.

"The punishment is severe," said Frank, "if, indeed, the terms are not impossible; but I have no alternative, and if Miss Elton will accept such an expiation of my unfortunate attempt at a compliment, I will do my best; only she must pity and forgive me."

"Do so," said Miss Elton; "you have my forgiveness, but not my compassion. I can never pity a gentleman in any dilemma caused by attempting a compliment."

"Why, what a horrible little tyrant you are!" said Mr. Lennox, as the company rose, pinching her cheek, till one, at least, wore its usual healthy colour.

"Oh! you hurt me," said she. "You're worse than Frank, a great deal."

"And they have even had the impudence," said Mrs. Elton, who had been all this while talking away upon various subjects not in the least connected with that which occupied the rest of the company—"they have even had the impudence, do you know, my dear Mrs. Lennox, to say that he did not know how to spell."

"He! Who?" said Mrs. Lennox.

"Why, General Washington, notwithstanding manuscripts of his own, which certainly ought to put the question—"

They all retired, and the door closed upon the company, till Mrs. Elton's voice was lost to Frank's ear, like the unceasing gurgling of some persevering little mountain stream which forever fills the wood with its music.

For to him it was music, not only because she was one of the kindest-hearted, most excellent, and noble women in the world, full of sunshine and love to every human creature, and every other creature, too; and not only because she talked well and always generously of every one, and particularly of the absent, but because, still handsome and stately in her person, and really beautiful in countenance, there could be traced in her face some resemblance to the young lady who just at this moment had nearly driven him crazy.

As soon as his tormentors had fairly left him, and his gay, audacious father had dared to touch that cheek—which, had any one else done it, might have induced the enamoured boy to throw him out of the window at least—and as soon as he found himself in quiet and solitary possession of the apartment, and had spent some moments envying the carpet which had been pressed by her foot, wishing himself the air she breathed, and other various matters, which all that part of our readers who have actually felt true love in early youth will understand without farther description, and all that part who have not will set down as the most absurd nonsense possible, and the mere idle invention of fancy— he began to reflect that the sooner the poetry was commenced the sooner it would be finished, and the sooner it was finished, the sooner he would stand a chance of feeling to his trembling heart one more of those looks which made it ache with happiness so. Seizing, therefore, pen and ink, and a sheet of paper, which happened to be at hand, without waiting to go into the next room, which his sister had designated, he began to rack his imagination to comply with the conditions of his punishment. Harry knew he wrote poetry with ease and sweetness, and had made the proposal in the hope of at once extricating him from the rebuke of his father and the merriment of the company, and of affording him an occasion, if, indeed, he had not yet found one, to declare to the object of his love something of the state of his mind.

An impromptu would have been no difficult matter under any other circumstances, or even now, perhaps, if it were to be read by Fanny alone. But the desire to do something particularly fine was a heavy drawback upon his inspiration, and the wish to say something significant to her, and yet in which the uninitiated should be able to find only a commonplace piece of politeness—these were sad labours, before which Hercules, Sisyphus, and other ancient gentlemen might have paused.

He pressed his forehead between the thumb and finger of his left hand, contracted his brow, threw himself back in his chair with his eyes fixed, sometimes on the ceiling and sometimes on the floor, and impatiently dipped his pen full of ink, and shook it as impatiently out again, to the occasional damage of his facetious papa's splendid mahogany dining-table, and after the universal fashion of poets in the composition of the flowing impromptu. It was, however, for a long time in vain. He wrote—erased—wrote again— tore off—chewed up and filliped out of the window, in the shape of ingeniously-formed little balls, several invocations of uncommon elegance and deep pathos, but whose merit was impaired by the peculiarity of their not going farther than the first two lines. Rather red in the face (for, if anything can add to the sensations of a man publicly forced upon an impromptu, it is being obliged to execute the same immediately after a hearty dinner; an event so unusual in the life of most true poets, that the muse seems to fly at the very idea), he murmured over what he had written in a low, declamatory tone.

Oh thou! whose dark eyes, half life and half fire, commandest (erasure)—compellest (erasure)—conferrest—

"Ah, bah!"

He turned the sheet upside down, and commenced on the top of the other page in a new metre.

When Beauty speaks the sweet command To pour the glowing line; When mischief and when malice, and,

Sweet maid—the look divine—the heavenly wine—immortal wine—shine—refine—mine—whose soul once mine.

"Ah, bah! was ever anything so stupid?"

When mischief, and when malice, and—

Ah, ha!"

When innocence combine To force the feeble poet's hand—

"Feeble poet indeed!"

Upon the trembling lyre—

"That'll never do—heighho! Let us try it again."

And, as if caught by a new idea, he went on writing for a few moments very fluently.

"There," said he, after having finished something which he liked better, "that'll do; but, bless me, the theatre commences at seven: it's now six o'clock, and—hallo! what the devil's that?"

The last exclamation was called forth by the discovery of something on the floor. It was a glove. He rose and approached it. He recognised it in a moment. It was Miss Elton's, and it still wore the shape of her hand and breathed the incense of her presence. With a not unnatural impulse, he raised it to his lips and printed upon it an impassioned kiss.

"This at least," murmured he, "sweet girl! I will bear away in spite of fate."

A slight rustling behind him caused him to turn suddenly, and Miss Elton herself stood before him, fully betraying, by her look of embarrassment and surprise, that she had been the witness of this tender folly. She would have withdrawn hastily, but the bold and ardent boy placed himself between her and the door, and seized her hand with the gentleness of a lover, but the firm determination of a man.

"Stay! dear Fanny, stay!"

"I beg you, Frank—what nonsense is this? Give me my glove and let me go. They are waiting for me."

"No, Miss Elton; why should you avoid what I wish to tell you? and why should I conceal what you have already discovered?"

"My dearest Frank, what a child you are! Give me the glove and let me go. You don't wish to make me angry, I hope?"

"Fanny, I love you. I am serious—I am sincere. Be so yourself. I love you to distraction, and can never be happy without you."

"What folly! what a freak is this? Frank! Mr. Lennox! indeed, let me go—"

"One moment, Fanny, hear me; and, as you value my happiness, answer me, can you love me? will you be mine?"

"My dear Frank! love you? Let me go! to be sure I do, most sincerely. No friend, no brother, could ever be dearer."

"No brother! you cruel girl! can you trifle with me at a moment when—"

"You astonish and distress me, Frank. Consider, if any one should come; what do you mean by detaining me so?"

"I mean that I love you, seriously, passionately—that I am about leaving New-York for many years, and that I will not go without learning from your lips whether the long and ardent attachment I entertain for you is, or can ever be, requited."

"Frank, this is foolish—ridiculous—impossible. I request you to release me."

The blush faded from her cheek, and she lifted her eyes gravely, almost coldly upon his. Startled by her tone, the reserve, the dignity of her manner, and the expression of her face, the young man released her hand, and bent his eyes inquiringly and reproachfully upon her.

"Let me leave you, Mr. Lennox, and forget this moment, as I shall."

"No, Miss Elton," said Frank, firmly, "I shall neither forget this moment nor suffer you to leave me willingly without at least once earnestly repeating the declaration I have made and the question I have asked."

"You are a foolish boy," said Miss Elton, "and have been taking too much wine, I believe!"

"I have told you I love you," said Frank, very seriously. "I am not trifling, and I request a reply. It is important I should know. I have no right to coerce your affections, but I have a right to ask if they are mine. As for your accusation of having taken too much wine, I presume you are jesting. I am not."

"I feel for you so much friendship, such a sister's love, my dear Frank," said Fanny, "that I cannot, without both pain and embarrassment, answer you seriously, or believe at all that a demand so unexpected is intended to be seriously answered."

And then she added in a different tone, and extending her hand, while moisture glistened in her eyes,

"You foolish—foolish boy! how came you ever to have such a thought in your head? You are too young, ardent, and susceptible to know what will ultimately be your choice. Leave this subject forever. Your friend I hope always to remain; your wife I can never be."

"Miss Elton," said Frank, haughtily, but tears gushed to his eyes and grief choked his words, and he murmured in accents of deepest tenderness,

"Dearest Fanny, do not inflict upon me the agony you are now doing, without an unalterable cause. If you have never felt towards me any return for the enduring and tender love I shall never cease to entertain for you, wait and see whether time and my devotion may not inspire you with it. Answer me, but pause before you do so. I am young, I know, but who, capable of loving, will count a few months? You have several times called me a boy. I am not one, believe me. If years can ever bestow upon me strength to love or passion to suffer, believe me—believe me, I possess them now."

"Mr. Lennox," replied Fanny, after a pause, "you take this too seriously. Hear me calmly."

"I will, I will; but whatever you have to say of the present, oh leave the future to decide for itself. Give me one beam of hope that you may hereafter become my wife, when, at least, I shall have made myself worthy of you."

"You are worthy of me now, more than worthy," said Fanny, greatly affected; "but I never can be your wife, and I have listened so long, dear Frank, only to end forever all such thoughts. I sincerely value your friendship. Do not withdraw it because I reply firmly, and without appeal, to your love. Hope nothing from the future. I never can love you. I never will—I never can become your wife."

Much affected by her gentleness, her beauty, her grace, and her tears—subdued, overmastered—he lifted his pale face to hers, and presented her his hand.

"I bow to your decision, Miss Elton. I will never address you as a lover again. Simple friendship I cannot certainly render you; but, while I shall always love you devotedly, you shall find me as careful of the feelings which you have now made me acquainted with, as if you were"— and his voice trembled as he spoke—"already the wife of another."

"Noble, generous Frank!" said she, giving her hand, "you merit a better and a happier heart."

"Go, then, Miss Elton! for I check the terms of endearment which rise to my lips; go! may God bless you! I shall never cease to love and respect you; and should you ever stand in need of a friend to shed his life's blood in your cause—"

"I should not hesitate a moment, dear Frank, to call on you. And be sure, on my part, no recollection of this scene shall remain but the admiration of your noble magnanimity and manly self-government. Good-by, dear Frank."

She left the room; but the moment she was gone, relieved from the sense of her beauty and the enchantment of her manner, Frank began to feel indignation and wounded vanity come to his aid.

"She's a little, impertinent, unfeeling coquette, who has gained all and given nothing in return. A capricious, insufferable jilt!—that's what she is. I have not the slightest doubt she's laughing at me heartily at this very moment. What a simple shepherd I am, to be sure. By Heaven! I wonder I did not see through her. But if she thinks she's going to break my heart, she shall find herself finely mistaken. She shall never see the shadow, no, not the shadow of a shadow on my brow."

He sat down, lighted a cigar, and lost himself in reflections which, notwithstanding his stoical resolution, brought a very black shadow to his brow. At length, puffing away, his eyes occasionally full of tears, which glittered through heavy clouds of smoke, he brought his cigar to a premature conclusion just as Harry came in.

"Hallo!" said Frank.

"Well, what's the matter?"

"The deed is done."

"What deed?"

"My deed! I have offered myself to Miss Fanny Elton. like an ass."

"Well?"

"And am rejected, as if I had, indeed, been that elegant and long-enduring animal."

"You don't mean to say," cried Harry, with a singular feeling, not joy, but certainly not grief, "that Miss Elton has refused you?"

"No! I don't mean to say it, if I can help it, at least to any one but yourself; but I mean to say it to you, and I hereby make the satisfactory disclosure, in return for the little, polite confidence you have been so obliging as to make me, somewhat in the same line. It seems Miss Elton is difficult. By heavens! she not only rejected me, but she wound me round her finger as if I had been a child of six, scolded me for my folly and impertinence, and explained the impropriety of my conduct in the clearest manner. I think we've been rather jilted, Harry. Why! where the devil is the fellow? He's off too! agreeable family I've got into! No matter: I'm young, as she very correctly observed. But there's an old adage she did not repeat, though I swear I thought once she was going to do so, viz., `There's as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it!' and—ah, Fanny!" said he, as the affectation of this flippancy became too much for him, "I'm a villain to wrong you with one light thought."

While the poor fellow, who had sat down in an attitude of deep reflection, was thus agitated with a (to be sure, somewhat miniature) tempest of love and despair, the door of the adjoining drawing-room was suddenly burst open, and in came Mrs. Elton, talking as hard as she could possibly talk, followed by Mr. Lennox and Mrs. Lennox, laughing heartily at something which appeared to have been already said by somebody, and Elton, exclaiming with a benevolent harshness, "Now, sir, we've come to arrest you for your debt," and Emmerson, gliding in softly behind the rest, with an uneasy expression on his brow, and the only silent one in the company, and Mary, actually dragging in the blushing and yet (if any one had taken the trouble to observe her, they might have seen) obviously distressed Fanny, and Mr. Henderson, saying something to his wife, who, without listening to him in the least, was saying something to him. Such a noise, to be sure! and so sudden was the irruption, and they all made so quickly for Frank, as he sat leaning his elbows on the table and his face on his hands, with the inkstand and pen significantly beside him, and two or three sheets of paper, all scribbled over with broken lines and great black erasures, scattered about, and one sheet lying before him, which he had quite forgotten, with a small poem fairly written out, headed, in large, flowing letters, "To Miss Elton." As this clamorous apparition broke upon his solitary meditations, Frank started up with such a look of serious amazement, that those who had not laughed before laughed now, and those who had, laughed yet louder.

"There he is! There's the lieutenant!" said his father. "Ha! ha! ha! reposing after his toils."

"Now then!" exclaimed his mother, "for the `warrior bard!"'

"Come, Frank, produce! bring forth! which is it?" cried Mary, laughing.

"Which is it?" echoed Elton. "Here are a dozen at least."

"This is the one," cried Mrs. Elton. "See! look! To Miss Fanny Elton."

"He really has done sixteen lines," remarked Henderson.

"I'll read it," said Mrs. Elton.

"No, I"—"No, let me," cried several voices.

But Frank had snatched up the paper when he recollected himself.

"I beg your pardon," said he, with dignity, which seemed to amuse every one wonderfully; "it is not finished. I beg—I request another time."

"Read it, then, yourself," said his mother.

"No."

"Frank," cried his father, "give it up this moment. Do you dare to back out—to trifle with the feelings of the public in this way?"

"It is not fit to read."

"Give it me, sir."

Frank obeyed.

"We'll forgive your blushes; in a young lieutenant, with such a furious pair of whiskers as yours, they're rather interesting than otherwise. But the penalty must be paid; it's a debt of honour to a lady. Odds hearts and darts, as Bob Acres would say, the thing's inevitable."

"Well, let me go out, then," said Frank, blushing deeply.

"Not a step. Elton, mind the door. I declare military law. See that Miss Elton does not escape, some of you. She seems also disposed to desert. Attention! now, in the court. Officer, keep silence.

"To Miss Fanny Elton. "When Beauty speaks the sweet command, To pour the glowing—"

"That's the wrong one," said Frank, with something very like drops of perspiration on his forehead.

"What! are there two?"

"I've no doubt the poor fellow has written twenty," said Mary.

"Well! let us see. He shall have only justice and his bond."

"Please to let me off," said Frank, earnestly.

"No, sir. Officer, keep silence there," cried Mr. Lennex.

"To pour the glowing line—"

"Pour a line? Why, what sort of a process is that, Frank? You might as well say `write a glass of punch!"'

"Read the other one," said Mrs. Lennox, observing Frank's embarrassment.

"Well, here it is. Hear ye! hear ye! hear ye! A flowing impromptu, composed by a young lieutenant of the great North American standing army, of five thousand men, to the eyebrow of the most beautiful, young, blushing, blueeyed lady that ever was seen. Done, after a hearty dinner, in the mansion of his distinguished parent, and read, by the delighted latter gentleman, to a select circle of the New-York nobility and gentry, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and—"

"Do, for Heaven's sake, read!" said Mrs. Lennox.

"In order to explain what he meant," continued Mr. Lennox, "by declaring that it was no merit to like the blueeyed, bewitching young lady, as aforesaid"

The peal of laughter with which this Frank to get the better which he did with a very looks and gesture the noisy merriment of the to a delighted but complete silence, passed his hand over his own good-humoured countenance, as if to bring down to the tone of dignified gravity required in a public reader, and proceeded as follows:

"To Miss Fanny Elton. 1. "So charming her figure, her features so fair, Her manners so gentle the while; You say all the graces reside in her air, While love lies concealed in her smile. Whatever the charms of her form, they're excelled By the virtues that shine in the breast; And then—she loves roses! but, surely, I find Of her merits, the last is the least. "With the best of intentions her soul is inspired; Her feelings with charity glow. For a saint, could perfections more rare be desired? And then—she loves roses also! You may praise, if you will, both her mind and her heart, If, indeed, they're so tender and true; But I ask, can they claim, as a merit, her love Of music, or roses—or you?"

"Now, what are you to do with such a young villain as that?" said Mr. Lennox.

"Really, he has made it out admirably," said Mary.

"Admirably?" exclaimed his father. "Why, Moore's nothing to him!"

"I never heard of virtues shining in anybody's breast," whispered Mrs. Henderson to her husband. "Besides, the word charm occurs twice in the first stanza."

"Poor Frank!" said his mother. "The lines are really beautiful."

The whole company broke out into exclamations of admiration and delight very complimentary to the poet; but, on looking around to find where he had hidden himself, it was perceived that, taking advantage of Mr. Elton's attention to the reader, he had quietly made his escape.

"No matter," said his father; "I shall insist upon criticising them before him to-morrow!"

And he pinned them up in full sight against a curtain.

CHAPTER X.

Frank's character was lighter than his brother's. What the latter to madness almost, drove him at first of suicide, and afterward to lose the sense of his , but, nevertheless, keen despair in intoxication, only touched Frank's heart with grief, and then awakened new hopes. He had received a dismissal, too, of a very different kind from Harry's. It was gentle, affectionate almost, confidential, and good-humoured. He was completely convinced that Fanny had never thought of such a thing as his being in love with her. Her surprise, her pain, her earnest desire to save his feelings by throwing over the whole affair the character of a boyish frolic, and, at last, her unequivocal, explicit manner of putting the extinguisher upon his little, unexpected flame, left him no room to doubt that the young girl had acted in good faith, and that at present there was an end to his fine dreams.

"But what then?" thought he. "Now she knows I love her, it will be another thing. She has supposed me a boy, it seems! I don't know what there is about me so very young, I'm sure," and he arranged his whiskers and brought them forward into a more prominent position. "I have five or six months before me. If I can't in that time succeed in changing her opinion, why, then, it will be time enough to despair."

These reveries were enjoyed in the pit of the Park Theatre, whither Frank had gone to sit a while and behold the countenance of Miss Elton before he took his place by her side. The pit of the theatre has been the resort of many a mournful lover to gaze and gaze on the bright star of his worship, without boldness or the fear either of observation or interruption.

He was aroused from his reveries by a touch on the shoulder. On turning he recognised Mr. Earnest, a young lawyer with whom he had a slight acquaintance. As the act curtain fell, though Frank was scarcely conscious it had been up, this gentleman addressed him to beguile the interval. He was a little fellow, with large black whiskers, piercing eyes, over-dressed, over-perfumed, with a variety of rings on his fingers, and a rather startling brooch in his cravat, which was spread voluminously out over his breast. Although Frank had met him once or twice at his father's house, where he occasionally presented himself, he scarcely considered him among his friends, and he was rather surprised at his perfect familiarity of manner.

"Hallo, Frank! that you? How are you? How do you come on? What a devilish stupid thing this opera is? How disgustingly Horn sings! Isn't it very odd that the public allow themselves to be gouged in this way?"

Frank did not think the opera stupid, and he admired Horn; but, not disposed for a dispute, replied only in general terms.

"If I couldn't sing better than that, I would not sing at all," resumed Earnest.

"And do you sing?"

"Why yes, a little! at least, I know enough of music to see the difference between what is bad and what is good. Since I have returned from abroad, I can't put up with the same fare as others. I'm not to be fobbed off with such trash as this."

"Were you long abroad?"

"Six months. I made the whole tour: I saw everything and everybody."

"Really?"

"Oh yes. I went to see, and I did see. I found the character of a stranger, a traveller, and an American, a passport everywhere."

"Indeed?"

"There is scarcely a thing worth seeing that I haven't seen a great man I haven't spoken with, or a sovereign I have not been presented to."

"Well, as for me," said Frank, "I confess that, although I am interested in seeing great men, I have no desire to know them."

"Ah! bah! they like it; it is incense to them. Besides, they are as much interested in us as we are in them, and are always glad of an opportunity of procuring living information. A conversation with an intelligent man just from the spot is worth to them a pile of musty folios or pert books of travels. Why the kings of France and of England talked with me a good half hour. Metternich kept me chatting till I was tired to death. I dined with Scott; and as for Moore, Byron, Rogers, and those fellows, by Jove! we're hand and glove together."

"You must have some delightful recollections?" said Frank.

"Yes, rather. But it has spoiled me for home. Everything here seems little, mean, and vulgar. I really think there is no excellence of any kind. Our great men all strike me like provincial actors to one accustomed to a metropolitan theatre. Our statesmen make long-winded, declamatory, schoolboy speeches, and take two days to say what a clever member, what, indeed, any member of the House of Commons would say in ten minutes."

"Why, it seems to me," said Frank, "that such men as Webster and Clay are as good as others. I would not do our distinguished men such injustice as to attempt to enumerate them in a short conversation."

"We have had one or two clever fellows; but I think our greatest men of the present day would be only fifth rate in England."

"Well, I won't debate with you," said Frank, not sympathizing with the blind admiration of foreign things, which rendered his companion unable to see excellence abroad without denying its existence at home—the sure indication of a small mind.

"Then look at our society," continued Earnest. "What a mere trumpery collection of heterogeneous material, a mere mélange, without a standard of manners or any systematic principle of exclusion or organization."

"As to exclusion," said Frank, "if report and books speak truth, the highest society of Europe is not, with all its exclusiveness, free from vulgar people."

"But then I feel here, as the saying is, like a cat in a strange garret," said Earnest. "I see nothing of the splendour and gorgeousness that I've been in the habit of being surrounded with. Where are our public walks? our magnificent, shady parks? our picture and sculpture galleries? Where our stately equipages? our chasseurs? our footmen with powdered hair and gold-headed canes? our men of science? our beautiful women? Going abroad has ruined me forever as an American."

"Then I think," said Frank, gravely, for his love of country was not only a principle, but a feeling, "it is a great pity you did not remain at home. As for our comparative inferiority in some things, it is undeniable. In others our superiority is equally apparent. Royal parks! there are none, because there are no kings, expensive governments, and wealthy aristocracy! I cannot feel less happiness because I don't see chasseurs and footmen with powdered heads and gold canes! I believe Providence means the English should love their country and we ours, and if travel only impairs our patriotism, then travel is an evil."

"I don't agree with you at all," said Earnest. "I go for truth, and I embrace the truth wherever I find it. Society exists as it is, and man, if a philosopher, wishes to see it as it is , and not under any delusion or prejudice, amiable or unamiable. There are people who talk in the same way of religion. They believe because they wish to believe. If Christianity be not true, I don't wish to believe it. Do you suppose the great characters of antiquity believed in their gods, and miracles, and all that? certainly not. Give me truth! I set up for a man of sense, and I don't care who knows it. I also set up for a man of courage, moral as well as physical. I wish to see things as they are, whether the discovery be pleasing or not. I seek truth even before happiness; truth, if it mean death or annihilation after death."

"Certainly," said Frank, who, during this harangue, had been leaning his face back and away as much as possible, but who was followed up close by the youthful philosopher, and greatly annoyed at finding himself entrapped into a metaphysical dispute with a person whom travelling and his own self-sufficient mind had rendered rather disgusting, "certainly, truth is the object of life, but one cannot be too guarded against illusion."

"Oh yes, but I am sure I have found truth."

"You're a lucky fellow."

"Yes, I am, and it is travel which has opened my mind. Before I went abroad I don't think there was a greater fool to be found anywhere than I. Perhaps you remember me?"

"No! I do not."

"I was badly dressed, bad-mannered, and backward, without any confidence in myself, and blushing like a red cabbage when any one—particularly a lady—spoke to me. Now, egad! I have seen the world—but I am wrong. It is not travel alone which has opened my mind."

"And what else is it?"

"Love!"

"Love?" said Frank, almost with a start.

"Love," repeated Earnest. "You've no idea how you get on in that way abroad. I was in love with three married women. You know no one falls in love with any one but married women on the Continent."

"No, I did not know that. I fear I am as backward as you were before you left America."

"One was a countess at Vienna, one a baroness at Paris, and the third the wife of a general—a very good creature— in Milan."

"And did all these ladies return your passion?" asked Frank.

"Why, that is scarcely for me to say," replied Earnest, modestly, "at least of all of them. They were very kind— particularly so. If I had had time—at least I may say there were some little `passages ' between us—ha! ha! ha! Hey? and I assure you this sort of thing has rather steeled my heart against home attacks."

"Home attacks?"

"Yes, the Yankee young ladies."

"Really?"

"Yes. Dark eyes, bright eyes, tall or short, fair or brown, tender or haughty, it's pretty much the same to me. Thank God! I have seen men, and women too, my lord, hey? and, moreover, I have seen the world. I am rich— that is to say, I have de quoi vivre. I don't mean to marry, unless I get something very superior. Now your cousin yonder—isn't she your cousin?"

"She? who?"

"That devilish pretty Fanny Elton."

"Miss Elton is not my cousin."

"No? I thought she was. She's a devilish nice little piece, though; I say, you've no intentions that way, have you—hey?"

"I? no, certainly not."

"So I thought, otherwise you wouldn't be here in the pit while she was sitting in the boxes with a vacant seat beside her. Well, then, I wouldn't say anything to hurt your feelings, but since you're not carrying on operations in that quarter, I will candidly confess that I myself, at one time—"

Frank turned his glance so sternly on the speaker that most men would have observed it, but Mr. Earnest was too much occupied with himself to pay much attention to others.

"You see, my friends wanted me to marry. The old gentleman is getting rather rickety, and the mamma wants to see the hopeful son settled before she shoots the pit. So I did allow myself to be persuaded to look about me, and she, on the whole, appeared to be about the best thing in the market. Wherever I went it was always Fan Elton . I called to see her several times—but—" he twisted up his mouth to express the total failure of Miss Elton in her desires to please him—"it was no go! I did not exactly think she bore a close view. She's pretty—at a little distance— but her manners are not precisely—besides—matrimony— when one is brought to the point, you see, hey?—so I rather shied. In short, I withdrew without committing myself, though I fear she, poor girl! must think my abrupt clearing out very odd."

Much disgusted, Frank turned away, scarcely preserving his temper sufficiently to avoid openly insulting the little puppy, whose perfect satisfaction with himself was so provoking.

The curtain rose just at the moment, and the occupants of the pit, with their usual dogmatical commands of "hats off," and "down in front," arranged themselves to enjoy the drama on the stage—few dreaming what a drama was going on their side of the orchestra.

For one moment the awkward possibility had flashed across Frank's mind, that there might be some truth in the representation of Earnest. Miss Elton might have refused himself and Harry in consequence of a passion for another, and that other Mr. Earnest. He was—at least some people thought him—good-looking. His features, though irregular, were rather spirituelle (or Frank fancied them so at this moment), his complexion was clear and fine, and his eyes unquestionably good. He had travelled, was rich, and reputed "a young man of talent." He certainly was a clever lawyer, a ready speaker, a spouter at public meetings, and a great ladies' man, though an inherent pertness and self-conceit could scarcely fail to repel persons of discrimination. Was it within the range of possibility that Miss Elton had—for love does sometimes play such curious pranks—fancied this youth worthy her attention? He watched with renewed interest, vexation, and delight, her face as it changed in its mobile features with the incidents on the stage—now shading over with the sadness of a tender scene—now lighted up in the enjoyment of a sweet song, and now, alas! forgetting all around her once more in her own apparently not happy reveries.

The act was finished before he was well aware that it had been begun, and as the curtain fell, said Earnest, leaning over,

"I say, my boy, do you know those gentlemen that have just come into your folk's box, and are sitting exactly behind Fanny?"

"No."

"They are English officers—stationed in Canada—here on leave of absence. I knew them in London, and have renewed the acquaintance here. The younger is Captain Glendenning, the other Captain White—first-rate fellows— high bred—the very tip-top."

"Indeed?"

"They're here almost incog., on a sort of frolic; go nowhere, though, if they chose only to present themselves, they would be honoured to death by our toad-eating fashionables. That Glendenning is the greatest devil that ever breathed. In London he is always getting into the most astounding scrapes. It is his passion. I should not be in the least surprised to see him walk up the aisle of a crowded church on a Sunday, take the clergyman by the nose, and walk out again. It would be just like him—exactly. And his friends have bought him into the army, and got him over to Canada, to keep him out of the way of temptation, or, at least, of disgrace in England."

"I beg your pardon," said Frank; "I believe I'll go and join my party."

"Just stop a moment, can't you," said Earnest, "till this big chap next you gets out? One day he rode a spirited horse directly into a crockery shop, slap! dash! crack! and nearly killed an old woman who was sitting behind the counter; and when the owner came out to remonstrate, he knocked him down senseless with the butt-end of his whip, and left him for dead, for he's as brave as Cæsar—a magnificent fellow!"

"Really," said Frank, "he has not the appearance of being such a desperate rascal. What were the consequences of all this to him?"

"Oh! by Jove," said Earnest, "don't apply quite such plump expressions to him, or he'll knock you through some third story window one of these days. The consequences to him were nothing. He was fined five pounds, I believe, by the magistrate. He paid it, of course (he's a thousand a year), winked to his worship, and left the room. I heard, however, he made, of his own accord, a very handsome present to the poor crockery chap; for he is an excellent-hearted fellow, and just as generous as he is wild."

"I should doubt the excellence of his heart as much as I do that of his head," said Frank, coolly.

"Oh, it's nothing at all—only a frolic; boys must sow their wild oats. `We young men must live,' as Jack Falstaff says. One day he was at the races in England, when he saw a man walking with a pretty girl. He went up to him in the politest way and said, `I say, sir, that's a d—n pretty girl! where did you pick her up?"' The stranger, who was a merchant's clerk, replied, `She's my wife, sir, and you're a puppy, or you would not address me in such a way;' upon which Glendenning knocked him down as flat as a flounder, for he's a capital boxer. When the clerk, a Mr. Heckson, or Hickson, or some such name, got up, he refused to box with Glendenning, because he saw he was a bruiser; but he calmly offered to fight him with pistols. `Your rank?' said Glendenning's friend (for he was, of course, some low fellow!). `Your rank, Mr. Tapeyard, does not permit you to invite a gentleman to meet you.' `If the gentleman, as you call him,' said the stranger, `has the baseness to insult a man beneath him in rank, he ought, at least, to have the courage to meet him.' `You're perfectly right,' said Glendenning. `I'll meet you whenever you please.' They did meet, and Glendenning, had he chosen, could have killed him just as easily as kiss his hand, for he's a first-rate shot; but he only winged him—broke his arm, I believe, or something of that sort. Now, I want to know, who could behave more handsomely than that? I like him amazingly. He's just after my taste. Don't you agree with me?"

"No; on the contrary, I think your friend must be a desperate blackguard!" said Frank, without trying to soften by his manner the bluntness of his remark.

Earnest appeared to feel that this was intended as an offence, but, not liking the idea of quarrelling, changed the conversation.

"Well, I swear, Fanny is looking sweet to-night! I've a great mind to go up into the box with you."

"When I speak of that young lady," said Frank, "I always call her Miss Elton; and if you were a gentleman, you would do the same."

"Hallo!" said Earnest.

But Frank had already risen, and was making his way out of the theatre without deigning him any farther attention.

CHAPTER XI.

Earnest was now insulted, yet he dared not resent it. Although he professed to have found truth, he had not been so fortunate in respect to courage. He was a coward. But in proportion to his fear of the flashing eye and manly arm of the indignant young soldier, was his vanity, and his hatred of him who had wounded it. When men are in that state of passion, the father of evil is generally ready with opportunity to gratify it. The young man saw the departure of his enemy, and presently perceived him seated almost immediately behind Miss Elton, and occasionally interchanging a remark with her. Jealousy added force to his revenge; for the reader need scarcely be informed, that his withdrawal from addressing Miss Elton was in consequence of the cool dislike discovered by the young lady, in a way, gentle and polite indeed, but by far too unequivocal to leave him the slightest hope of success. He had, therefore, in fact, not much more friendly sentiments towards her than towards Frank.

The opera was at length concluded, and Earnest left the theatre in no enviable mood. As he was passing into the street, he felt a friendly, though rather emphatic slap on his shoulder, and a

"Hallo, my little fellow! where do you come from?" showed him Glendenning.

Their greetings were warmly interchanged, and, with Captain White, they agreed to go in next door to Windust's and take supper together before the farce.

"And how goes the world with you?" said White, as each one began to discuss his delicious steak.

"How can it go other than well?" said Earnest, secretly congratulating himself that his companions had not been witnesses of his late humiliation. "With such a steak as that, and a bottle of Champagne by me, the world always goes well. How long do you mean to stay in New-York? How do you like our Yankee metropolis? Where are you going next?"

"Did any one ever hear such a rattle-pated madeap!" said Glendenning. "How many mouths do you think I have, to answer such a discharge of questions as that and eat such a supper as this at the same moment? Have you been into the theatre?"

"Yes. I saw you there. How do you like Horn?"

"What! another question?" said Glendenning. "Cut that cork, will you? I really don't know. I didn't hear him."

"No? Why I saw you there!"

"Don't talk to Glendenning; he's crazy, as usual," said White. "I always wanted his old man to put him into a madhouse. Do you know he has fallen monstrously in love to-night, poor swain! with a girl he never saw before, and never will again. Here, hold your glass, young Romeo. We jest at scars that never felt a wound! This is devilish nice wine."

"I'll bet a dozen of it I see her again, and speak with her too," said Glendenning.

"Who are you raving about?" asked Earnest.

"I don't know."

"Ha, ha, ha! capital!"

"She's a very beautiful Yankee girl, that sat before us this evening. You ought to know your own town's people."

"There were two," said Earnest; "both pretty enough, and both old friends of mine."

"The one with a rose in her bosom," said Glendenning. "Waiter! another bottle of Champagne. Tell me who she is, for I have never felt the keen arrow of the little boy go so deep before."

"The one with a rose on her breast is a Miss Elton."

"A Miss Elton? Thou speakest like a withered lawyer. Miss Elton! the Miss Elton! The only woman I ever saw in my life."

"Ha, ha, ha! Here's a man to have under one's care," said White. "His old gentleman committed him to my prudence, and I'd rather drive an unbroken colt before a park of artillery. Ha, ha, ha!"

"Who is she? What is she? Will you make me acquainted with her?" said Glendenning.

"No, not I. She's a demure coquette. She's jilted me, and I've no more to do with her. I rather think she's consuming the youth behind her—the one next you. He's one of her flames, too, I suspect."

"A coquette, is she?" said Glendenning. "I should like her to try me."

"Oh, you'd have to fight your way through two or three fellows. This chap has a brother, both would-be cocks-of-the-walk. The one with her to-night is a lieutenant in the army."

"What, a militia lieutenant? A `Jefferson Guards' or a `Tompkins's Blues' man?" said Glendenning.

"No, a regular lieutenant; a proud, conceited, free-spoken, upstart sort of a fellow; very rich, very saucy, and, by-the-way, no great admirer of yours."

"How's that?" said Glendenning, in whose cheek and eyes the effect of the wine was already visible. "What does any Yankee lieutenant have the audacity to say of me?"

"Nothing, but that you're a desperate blackguard," said Earnest.

"What!" said Glendenning, laying down his knife and fork.

"Just now—in the theatre—to me. I heard him. I would have knocked him over if it had not been in the theatre."

"Waiter!" said Glendenning.

"Now you're for a row!" said White. "Don't go back. What do you mean, Earnest, by such a statement as that of a man who does not know either of us, and can know nothing but what you must have told him?"

"I? I told him only some of your frolics," said Earnest, sturdily, "and that was his reply. I'll take my oath of it."

"Waiter! the bill!" said Glendenning, mildly.

"Here, let me pay!" said Earnest, putting his hand violently into his pocket, and rattling his money and keys as soon as he saw the bill was paid.

"No matter!" said Glendenning, "the next time! I'm very much obliged to you, my dear fellow. Let's finish the bottle!"

"And where are you going then?" said White.

"Back to the theatre to see the farce."

"Yes, to act in it, perhaps! Glendenning, you shall not go," said White.

"Nonsense."

"I know you perfectly well, and you've taken too much wine."

"Look at me," said the young roué; "am I drunk?"

"I don't say you're drunk, but I say you're quarrelsome. If you wish to notice the, I must say, ridiculous statement of Earnest, do it, at least, in a proper way; send a message. Earnest may take it, if he likes."

"Oh no! not for the world. You must not betray me. I told it you in the strictest confidence," said Earnest.

"Well, I won't send him a message."

"Then you shall not go back to the theatre!" said White, grasping his arm.

"White," said Glendenning, "I give you the honour of a gentleman, I won't disturb this Lieutenant Hancock."

"Lieutenant Lennox," said Earnest. "His name is Lennox."

"Well, Lennox, then. I don't want a row any more than you."

"Your word of honour?"

"My word of honour. I want only to see this girl, because she's so pretty."

"Well, then, for half an hour let us go back."

"I have my seat in the pit," said Earnest, and he sneaked off to resume it.

CHAPTER XII.

Frank sat with his party between the play and farce. When White and Glendenning left the box he felt relieved, for their admiration of Fanny had been so apparent as to inspire the susceptible young lover with some not very placid sensations. His gratification, however, was of short duration, for, after the lapse of fifteen or twenty minutes, which he had spent talking to his mother, the two officers both returned. Thinking, perhaps, that the sight of a gentleman conversing with the object of their rude attention might either abash or intimidate them, he moved nearer and addressed her.

"I've been looking at you, Miss Elton, from the pit," said he, "and considering what a fool you must think me."

"To be sure I do!" said she, smiling, and extending her hand; "but we are friends for all that."

"I really don't quite know!" said Frank.

"You're a spoiled child," said she, "and I shall tell your mamma of you."

"A child? my mamma? I am no child, Miss Elton. Do you know I'm twenty in less than a month?"

"No! What a venerable old fellow you are. Is that your own hair? Why, my poor child, I'm old enough to be your grandmother! How do you like the opera?"

"Not much. It's very good. I haven't heard a note of it."

"Lucid being! your ideas are so clear!"

"And you have the cruelty to laugh at me? You!"

"I must answer you in your father's style. `Hold your tongue, sir!' How dare you have the impertinence to address me in that way?"

He was going to reply, when the younger English officer leaned deliberately forward, and took the rose from Miss Elton's bosom.

For a single moment amazement and incredulity kept Frank motionless, till he saw the two strangers rise as if about to leave the box, when, with a deep exclamation of fury, and his large eyes flashing sparkles of fire, he leaped upon the aggressor, and struck him a fearful blow in his face. There was a shriek of horror, a shout of wrath, and Frank and his foe were linked together in a deadly hug. The audience rose en masse, supposing the house on fire, or that some part of the building had given way. The truth, however, became immediately apparent, when a vociferous burst of voices rose from all quarters, with "Hustle 'em out! Turn 'em out!"

But the combatants were already in the lobby, which was close thronged to suffocation. The terrified family of Frank shrieked after him in vain. They could not even get a sight of him.

CHAPTER XIII.

Harry had also stolen into the pit of the theatre to look at Miss Elton. He had beheld the incident above related, and the effect upon his high-wrought temper may not be easily imagined. Exerting all his strength, he forced his way, not out of the theatre, but through the crowd towards the box, and, leaping over the balustrade, he hastened into the lobby. It was, however, too late. The combatants were already gone, he knew not whither. The family had also disappeared.

"Where are they?" demanded Harry of a by-stander.

"A lady fainted, and they have taken her home."

"But the combatants?"

"Oh! gone off in one coach, four of them; but where is more than they mentioned. The police are after them, but I wish they may catch them, ha! ha! ha! One of those young chaps has got to be made cold meat of before sunrise."

Where, indeed, thought Harry. Which way to go was now the question. To the police? to Hoboken? at length he sprang into a hackney-coach, and directed "home." On arriving, he rushed into the house. He could not rationally expect to meet Frank there, but he felt a shadow of horror on finding he had not yet been heard of. The family were in a delirium of grief; his mother walking up and down the room, wringing her hands in despair, and his father very pale, but calm. The supper-table was set, but, as may be imagined, was untouched. The servants were running to and fro, peeping into the room and slamming the doors in haste and confusion, and there was poor Frank's poetry pinned up against the curtain.

"My son! my son! where is he?" cried Mr. Lennox.

"Then he has gone," said Harry.

"To the police. Oh, go to the police," cried the women.

"No!" said Lennox, "he must go through with the affair: no police!"

"I will go to the police," said Elton.

"I beg, I command," said Lennox, "that no one interfere."

"Pardon me," said Elton, hastening out, "I must not desist from my duty."

He went.

"God have mercy on him," murmured Fanny.

"Police—no. They must meet, and they will meet. An English officer and an American officer cannot go so far as that without going farther. I trust he will lay the scoundrel low, and teach a bully and a blackguard a manly lesson. I hope to meet him presently, safe and successful from his stern duty, and to clasp a hero and a gentleman to my arms," said Lennox.

"And I too, father," said Mary, firmly, but with streaming eyes. "I would have loaded his pistols for him rather than he should have failed to do—act as he has done."

"And hear me too, Almighty God!" cried Mrs. Lennox, falling solemnly on her knees, "rather than a murderer, let me see him brought back a dead corpse!"

"Catharine," cried her husband.

"I could better bear, oh Eternal Father!" continued she, without paying any attention to the interruption, "I could better bear to see him taken by thee. Take him—his mother asks it—let him die in his youth, in his beauty, rather than—"

"Dear Mr. Lennox," said Miss Elton, "hadn't you better go out and see what can be done to stop this dreadful affair?"

"No, never!" said Lennox.

She then turned to Emmerson, but, on finding him taking some refreshment very quietly in the back room, she appealed to Harry.

"And will you see your brother murdered or become a murderer, when, perhaps, you might prevent it?"

"I fear it must take its course, Miss Elton," said Harry, gravely. "The police are already informed. I could in no way aid them."

"Then go to the ground," said Miss Elton, "where you think they will repair. Make at least an effort to find them."

"Were I on the spot," said Harry, "what could I do? They will not obey me. Nor, in fact, could I advise Frank to do anything but go through with the affair."

"You may reach the place in time to receive his dying breath, perhaps some last request," said Miss Elton.

"You are right," replied Harry, shocked and rebuked.

"Go, then."

He hastened out and leaped once more into the carriage, when a police-officer stepped up to him.

"It is quite useless," said the officer: "the gentleman's name is Captain Glendenning. He lodges at the City Hotel. We have sent there, and also over to Hoboken. It is too late, however. The meeting can't be avoided. It is now two—day breaks at three, and they will not probably wait for much light, for they are in earnest. The mischief, whatever it turn out to be, is done, and that's the end of it."

Harry felt this, and that all exertion on his part would prove fruitless. The chance was very slender of his being able to find the parties. But the idea suggested by Miss Elton had given him a new impulse. His affection for his brother was warm and tender. He might find him, perhaps, wounded, gasping his last sigh, alone, abandoned, or deserted by all but strangers and hirelings. This new thought seemed to wing his soul with lightning. He directed the coachman to drive instantly and rapidly to the foot of Courtland, or any of those streets leading to the Hudson, and where small boats might be procured. The man obeyed, and he presently reached the wharf. Boats were found, but no oarsman and no oars. He leaped at length into one, in which, probably by chance, a pair of old oars had been left.

CHAPTER XIV.

The night was clear and calm. The water stretched itself peacefully out till its gently-heaving surface was lost in the dusky shadows. The strongly marked, heavy shapes of the receding town lay indistinct and black on the flood— a few dim forms of vessels at anchor, only half discernible; but, without stopping to claim any more assistance, Harry rowed with all his might out into the broad stream, and was soon surrounded only by sky and waves. Unaccustomed, however, to this violent exercise, he presently found himself breathless and exhausted. Dripping with sweat, agitated and impatient beyond endurance, he was obliged to cease from his exertions, and suffer many long intervals to pass away in passive despair. Then he seized the oars with a new impulse of madness and rowed again, and so more than half an hour elapsed, till, in the east, to him the most dreadful sight, a pale, silver light began to steal upon the long, sleeping clouds, and to touch with a deeper transparency the tender sky.

At daybreak they would doubtless meet. Perhaps, by the aid of these soft and slowly strengthening beams, the brother whom he loved with a passionate tenderness which he could scarcely endure, was presenting his heart to the deadly aim of his enraged and murderous enemy; and so the day broadened, and the green, pellucid waves heaved and broke with their gentle, soothing sound, and streaks of rosy red shot in arrowy lines up to the mid-heaven, and the now distant city began to be unveiled beneath its light covering of smoke, and mist, and shadow, and the green, delicate shores of New-Jersey grew more near, more distinct, more vividly lovely; and he could hear the birds warbling in the woods, and the plaintive cry of three or four snipe, that occasionally rose and alighted again on the winding beach, and the meadow lark shot upward with its joyous scream; and then—the report of a pistol, and then another. He paused and listened till his blood grew cold and his heart dead.

Nothing more could be heard but the ordinary sweet sounds of nature, the dash of the waves, their rolling murmur as they broke on the pebbly beach, the carol of the lark, and the melancholy cry of the snipe.

With the strength of a giant, he now resumed his rowing, and for a few moments the little boat shot swiftly on towards the land, when, in the eagerness of his efforts, one oar broke short off and the other fell into the stream.

With a deep imprecation, he struck his clinched fist against his forehead. We will not repeat his blasphemous maledictions, his dark, unbridled rage, his oaths of vengeance on the murderer of his brother, even if he should be obliged to stab him in the street. Nothing but fiendish fury and black, relentless hate and despair held possession of his mind; not a prayer, or a thought of Him who created and sustained him.

He had not remained long in this state, endeavouring, in a very inefficient and clumsy manner, to propel the boat, with the aid of one of the board seats, by what boatmen term sculling, when he perceived three figures come hastily down, and disappearing behind a little cove, they presently reappeared in a small boat, which began its rapid flight across the stream towards the city. They came near enough for him to see them. They were strangers. He thought he could recognise the person who had taken the rose from the bosom of Miss Elton. His brother was, then, killed. He shouted to them to arrest their attention; but the little boat held on its way, and was soon diminished to a speck.

With great difficulty he neared the land, and, leaving the boat to take care of itself, he leaped ashore and plunged into the thickets and lanes, shouting his brother's name, and looking to behold on every green sward, beneath every flowery and odour-breathing hedge, his body extended and weltering in its gore, or dragged along by some trembling, blood-stained, and guilty-looking friend, to be huddled out of sight, like something worthless and vile.

At last he left the search, with throbbing temples and fevered veins. An early Hoboken ferry-boat was crossing just in time for him, and he found himself at length once more in town.

CHAPTER XV.

At Mr. Lennox's all was yet despair and confusion. It is needless to attempt to paint, what cannot be comprehended but by the unhappy sufferers, the horror, suspense, and anguish of a family while waiting news of a duel, in which some beloved son and brother is engaged. Lennox, although, in the commencement, so obstinately determined to allow of no interference if he could help it, had long since yielded to his feelings,and had despatched several messengers in search of news, and to prevent, if possible, the meeting. Mary was unable to do anything but weep. Mrs. Elton, whose loquacity had been silenced by exhaustion, had gone home ill. Mrs. Lennox and Fanny alone were calm. Both had the support of a communion with their Maker, and in humble prayer had found strength and resignation.

And now, in the broad morning, the whole city was awake, and the roaring streets gave notice that the business of the day had commenced. News of the result, whatever it might be, could not be much longer delayed. Several friends and neighbours came in to inquire and to console, and knock after knock seemed to carry the trial of the poor expectants to the highest supportable pitch. By-and-by Mr. Earnest arrived, with a countenance highly expressive of pleasure.

"I come," said he, "to bring good news. I have just heard a report, from a person who came direct from the City Hotel, that your son has met and killed his man."

Another knock. It was Mr. Elton. He was pale as death.

"You know then," said Mrs. Lennox, wildly.

"Yes, yes, I heard it at the wharf."

"God have mercy on us," said Mary.

"God have mercy on him," said Mrs. Lennox, with ashy cheeks and quivering lips. "I could have borne anything better."

"He fell at the third fire," said Elton, "and never breathed again."

"Who fell?" said Earnest.

"Frank—poor, poor Frank."

The wild shriek of utter horror which this intelligence produced from Mrs. Lennox, and which showed how little she knew the strength of her feelings, was scarcely attended to in the general tumult of grief it occasioned. Mary threw herself into the arms of her friend, and Mrs. Lennox upon the bosom of her husband, as if for protection against the awful scene which was to follow. The servants wept aloud and wrung their hands. Cries of despair and half-uttered prayers were heard.

"He is gone! he's dead—my son! my son!" said the distracted mother, wildly.

"But let us be cool in all cases," said Mr. Elton. "If this heavy grief have fallen on you, we must try to meet it calmly; but we have yet only contradictory reports."

Here Harry entered, stained with dust, and sweat, and water, and looking himself more like a corpse than a living man.

"Your news!" asked Miss Elton, for the rest appeared to have lost the power of speech.

"Mother, you had better go up stairs," said Harry.

"No," said Mr. Elton; "if you have to tell the worst, tell it: and may Almighty God strengthen your hearts to hear it. Is your brother dead?"

"Don't answer, Harry," said Mr. Lennox, covering his face with his hands. "Give me a moment—"

At this instant there was another knock.

"It is the body!" half shrieked the servant-maid.

"My wife, my poor wife!" murmured Lennox, as she sank, gasping, on his bosom.

"Ah, Frank, my son! my son!" said Mrs. Lennox.

"My poor, dear brother!" sobbed Mary.

A rapid, light step was heard on the stairs, a crowd of servants rushed into the room with exclamations of "Here he is! Here he is!" the door was flung forcibly open, and

"Frank!" "My son!" "My brother!" "Oh, God, I thank thee!" broke from every quivering lip; for Frank—no stiffening, marble, bloody body, no murdered, mute, senseless corpse, but Frank himself, the living, glowing, triumphand Frank, his cheeks like roses, his eyes beaming with delight, in all the reality of youth, health, and, as it seemed to them, most transcendent beauty—stood laughing before them.

Mrs. Lennox was for a moment forgotten, but she was engaged in fervent prayer.

"Why, what's the matter with you all?" said Frank, as the rest pressed about him, embracing him, covering him with caresses, kissing the very skirts of his coat, and almost suffocating him with their joyful affection.

"Frank, my boy, let me look at you. Get out of his way! Come here, you noble-hearted hero. God bless you, my son!"

"Why, anybody would think—" said Frank, in the most careless manner, but the affectation of indifference was too much for him. He burst into tears, and, as he clasped each one in succession in a convulsive and convulsively-rendered embrace, as he pressed to his own the white and trembling lips, the cheeks from which terror had drained all the blood, and grasped hands, he scarce knew whose, which shook with the tumult of emotion, he could only, in broken words, exclaim,

"Thank God! I beg your pardon. I came as soon as I could; but I was arrested on my way back by a rascally police-officer, and I'm only this instant released. See, my mother!" and, after tearing himself away from their fond arms, he knelt at the side of Mrs. Lennox, who, reaching out her hands and laying them on his head, could only murmur,

"O God, I thank thee!"

"Welcome back, Frank," said Harry, after a moment's pause, and with an effort struggling to preserve his indifference; "welcome back, my boy."

"My dear Harry!"

"You are ill," said Miss Elton, her eyes swimming in tears.

"No, no," said Harry; "I want only air. It will pass in a moment."

"Miss Elton," said Frank, "he will never insult you again."

"Is my son, then, a murderer?" demanded Mrs. Lennox, shudderingly.

"No, mother. But I did my best. I would have laid him low enough if I could."

"I hope you have at least winged the scoundrel?" said Lennox.

"Oh no, sir; no scoundrel, but one of the noblest fellows that ever breathed. I love him like a brother."

"Frank forever!" said Mary, smiling through her tears. "I shouldn't wonder if they become bosom friends."

"Last night he did not know what he was about," said Frank. "He had just been supping and drinking."

"Intoxicated!" said Mrs. Lennox. "A poor excuse for a cowardly action."

"No, he is no coward," said Frank, disentangling himself from the hands and arms which still grasped and were wound around him, "but a noble fellow. Five minutes after he had dared to touch the rose in the dress of Miss Elton, it was arranged we should cross immediately to Hoboken in two small boats, and meet at the earliest daylight.

"I found Sussex by a lucky chance, who stood my friend like a magnificent fellow. We fired, and missed, but I had the pleasure of spoiling a very handsome new hat for him. Glendenning had coolly discharged his pistol in the air. Our friends here interfered, and said the affair had gone far enough, particularly as Glendenning had wasted his shot. While those gentlemen were disputing what sort of apologies ought to be made on either side, Glendenning stepped forward, against all rule, and superior to all selfish calculation, and said, `I require no apology. Lieutenant Lennox has done nothing but what any one in his place would have done; I have been exclusively in the wrong. I should have apologized long ago, but that I could not do without a meeting. Now, I trust,' he added, showing his hat with a smile, `the reconciliation may take place. I therefore make a full apology for an offence of which I am heartily ashamed." '

"A noble fellow!" said Lennox.

"With that we shook hands; and then stepping to his second, Captain White, he took from him this rose, returned it to me, and said he should be happy if the lady from whom he had taken it in a moment of excitement could be persuaded to pardon him. Tell her, said he, I throw myself on her magnanimity, as I do on that of your friends and family! This rose," continued Frank, with something of a proud air and pulling his whiskers forward a little, "I believe belongs to you, Miss Elton!"

"Bravo! my boy!" exclaimed Mr. Lennox.

Fanny accepted the rose with an enchanting grace, and said: "Frank, I can scarcely tell you how much I admire your manly courage, how sincerely I feel that you would never shrink where duty called, but you know, for we have often spoken on the subject, that I cannot approve—"

"Come! come!" said Lennox. "You are a little Puritan, and I won't have any sermons on my boy. He has risked his life for you, and if there is anything wrong in the matter, it must be borne by the shoulders of society at large (which are good broad ones, you know), not by any individual, and, most of all, not by my Frank."

"Breakfast ready, sar!" said Simon, an old attached black servant of the family, throwing open the doors, his cheeks wet with tears.

"Come on; take Miss Elton's hand. Lead her in," exclaimed Mr. Lennox. "You have won the honour, and I hope she will not refuse to bestow it. Here—hallo! who now? Mrs. Elton, recovered by the news, and Emmerson again! Come along! we'll kill the fatted calf, for the young prodigal has returned."

The well-ordered domestic arrangements of Mrs. Lennox's family moved, in their various operations, almost by themselves, and an abundant and tempting breakfast had risen up with the agreeable facility of Aladdin's palace. The English books of travel have already informed the European reader that, although the Americans are marvellously good-for-nothing creatures, with unfortunate institutions and a bad government, they do know how to serve a good breakfast. There were tea, coffee, and chocolate, hot rolls and Indian cakes, toast, sausages, steaks, and broiled shad, with other dainties to suit the demands and various tastes of the somewhat large company who sat down to enjoy them. To crown the whole was the genuine spirit of hospitality, the ever-delightful attendant at the table of Mrs. Lennox.

It would have made a good picture, the breakfast of this family, on the present memorable morning. Joy had burst upon them like the sunshine after a stormy night, and shed upon all but a few hearts the sympathy of happiness. Mrs. Elton had recovered her appetite, her health, and her radiant smiles, and was talking away for dear life's sake, without any one having the least idea of what she was saying, though each person to whom her pleasure-beaming eyes were successively directed nodded understandingly, with his mouth full, and said, "to be sure!" and "certainly! certainly!" Fanny, relieved from the harrowing apprehensions of the night, had forgotten all her own annoyances. Mr. Elton inclined to be a grave observer of the scene which, however gay, had its origin in a principle shocking to humanity and in violation of the laws of God and man, was still unwilling to disturb the charm of the hour by solemn debates or animadversions which could have but little chance of being listened to. Frank was in the seventh heaven of triumph and hope. He had given to Miss Elton a testimony that he was not quite a "boy," a term for which he began to have all the hatred of Coriolanus, and, besides, he rejoiced in the éclat with which he well knew the duel must surround his name; for let moralists muse as they may, the public opinion yet deals leniently with the offence, and, under most circumstances, delights to honour the offender. Harry was happy in the escape of his brother. So far was his from being a selfish heart, that his own grief was, for the time, merged in the happiness of once more beholding Frank, not only alive and well, but covered with glory, and in witnessing the vivid happiness of his delighted home. Perhaps no face showed more clearly the traces of mental suffering, for he had been exhausted by the emotions and exertions of the past night; but he was even contented to be miserable himself while he saw others around him, whom he loved, relieved from their misery. One countenance alone had a strange, discontented look. It was Emmerson's, whose naturally cold and selfish heart felt little real sympathy with either the anguish or the joy even of his best friends. He seemed really to look a little darker after Frank's return than before. Keenly and morbidly alive to whatever related to himself, he regarded the affairs of others with the calmness of a philosopher. Had Frank been brought home a corpse, he would not have failed to manifest, and perhaps to feel, all the decorous sentiments of grief and horror, but it would not have broken his sleep, or in any way impaired his enjoyments, and he would, perhaps, have worn the dark face, which now struck like a discord upon the general happiness, with something more of an effort.

CHAPTER XVI.

"Well, my boy," said Lennox, as the appetite of all began to subside, "this is better than a bullet through the head."

"What a frightful thing!" said Mrs. Lennox. "Only a few mornings ago we were seated in this very room at breakfast, counting on remaining here twenty years. A few hours pass away, and yet what a change! But for the mercy of God, Frank might have been either murdered, or himself a murderer. Oh Frank! if Christianity is true, you have this day committed a crime."

"Pho!" said his father, "I doubt whether we can ascribe every such event to Providence, or whether the Creator can desire to know all that passes here."

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?" said Mr. Elton; "and yet not one of these falls to the ground without his will."

"Ah, that's a figure of speech, sir," said Harry. "One is surely not expected to believe that so extremely accurate an account is kept of such unimportant matters?"

"No, certainly not," said Lennox.

"I don't see how it would be possible," said Harry; "and, if possible, I don't know what good it would do. Even a father in this world, the most strongly interested in the fate of his children, would not wish to keep an account of the exact number of their hairs, or how many times they breathed a day, and all that sort of thing. Imagine only a big book in heaven, and an industrious angel, with a huge quill behind his ear (at least it ought to be a steel pen), putting down, from age to age, to eternity, `So many sparrows in Jerusalem fell such a day,' `so many in Rome,' `so many at New-York."'

"It is easier to ridicule holy subjects than to understand them," said Mr. Elton, mildly.

"But you cannot ridicule Shakspeare, or Newton, or Euclid so."

"Supposing that to be the case," said Elton: "do you thence draw the inference that the Scriptures are untrue?"

"Oh no! Only that they are too strictly interpreted."

"But you appear to consider the persons you have named as rivals, and, apparently, successful ones, of our Saviour."

Harry felt it impossible to conceal the thoughts and opinions which had been lately stirring in his bosom. His decisive character loved to take a course at once, and to do whatever he meant to do immediately and openly. The whole table listened to the conversation.

"You would not pardon me—you would consider me guilty of a heinous crime—if I said yes," replied he.

"Upon my word I should not," said Mr. Elton, with sincerity. "On the contrary, I think the scheme of Christianity must be doubtful to many who have not carefully examined it, which I perceive you have not done, and I like to see a man honest in expressing his opinions on proper occasions; only have opinions one way or the other. There is hope for all but those who pass the subject over as not worthy of attention. I have been a doubter, and some of my friends, now very firm Christians, have totally disbelieved in all revelation."

"Then," said Harry, "without being flippant, or meaning to wound the feeling of persons who think differently, I confess I believe all religions only indirectly revealed from the Creator."

"That is, not revealed at all," said Mr. Elton.

"My son! my son!" exclaimed Mrs. Lennox.

"The claims of Christianity upon the credulity of a man of sense are not, at least, without serious objections," replied Harry. "It has been two thousand years in the world, and it has not at all effected its purpose. Men are no better, and some of the wisest and best don't believe it. Of the billion inhabitants of the globe, not one fifth even profess it. Of that small proportion, a very great one, and among them men like Gibbon, Voltaire, Hume, and Byron, reject it. Incredible things can't be credited by thinking men. I don't believe Joshua made the sun stand still. You see modern astronomy has thrown a new complexion upon that story. I don't believe in the miracles of Moses and Aaron, and the Egyptian magicians. I don't believe in—"

"My son," said Mrs. Lennox, with an air of alarm and grief, "if you do not wish me to leave the table, have the goodness to go no farther."

"Why, I am only a rationalist. All I ask is, that Christianity be made intelligible, and that men be not called upon to believe impossible things, or to be governed by impracticable precepts."

"Let me give you, my young friend, one piece of advice," said Elton. "I do not mean to discuss the truth of Christianity in so light a way as this. I am a very poor debater, nor have I much faith in debates. Belief will come to you at the proper time, or it will never come. But I recommend you not to lay aside frankness in your remarks and meditations on this subject. Rationalism, if I understand it, is infidelity under a milder name. Christianity is either true or not true. All ingenious theories of explanation are unworthy men of sense and piety. Whoever pays the least attention to the Bible, will see that there can be no half-way point between faith and skepticism. God revealed himself in the Messiah. Christ was born of a virgin. He performed miracles, and rose from the dead, or he did not; one of the two you must believe. You have chosen the latter creed. Take it! hug it! carry it through the world with you. Test its strength and truth, and see if you can go through life with it."

"Many wiser and greater than I have done so," said Harry.

"You cannot know what goes on in the bosom of another. Have you ever examined all the arguments in favour of Christianity?"

"Have you ever examined all the arguments against it?"

Mr. Elton was silent, and Harry felt as if he had the best of the debate.

"Come, come," said his father, "you are on too grave subjects. In these matters, I have always left my children to themselves. I don't think the topic a proper one for the breakfast-table. In Frank's course this morning he has his own approbation and mine. He will also have that of the world."

A young boy in rather a country dress here entered respectfully and somewhat awakwardly. He held a newspaper in his hand.

"What do you want, sir?" said Lennox.

"I wish to ask you," said the boy, apparently embarrassed, on finding himself speaking before so large an assembly, "if the declaration is to be filed in the case of Green versus Thomson?"

"A fig for the declaration in the case of Green versus Thomson," said Mr. Lennox.

"My dear father," said Mary, remonstratingly.

"Do you know what has taken place this morning, sir?"

The boy, who had a good, intelligent face, but who appeared very bashful, looked extremely grave, then suddenly smiled, and immediately looked grave again. This curious habit, which had often occasioned the remarks of the family, now set every one laughing.

"Yes, sir," with a still deeper blush, which overspread his whole face with crimson, but, at the same time, with a look of pleasure, for he well knew Mr. Lennox's roughness was but the eccentricity of a kind heart; "and I thought maybe you'd like to see the paper?"

"What! the declaration in the case of Green versus Thomson?"

The boy looked graver than ever, gave a short laugh, and then put on the immovable seriousness of a judge again.

"No, sir, the newspaper."

"Why so, sir?"

"To show you this here."

"And what the devil is `this here?' "

Indulging again in one of his transitory gleams of mirth, Seth stepped up and handed the paper.

"Well, upon my word," said Lennox, "this is something like."

"Affair of Honour.—We stop the press to announce that a meeting took place this morning at daybreak between Lieutenant Francis Lennox, son of the distinguished lawyer of this city, and Captain Charles Glendenning, of his majesty's—, at the duelling ground, Hoboken—"

"And do you, sir," said Mr. Lennox, suddenly stopping, and putting on a magisterial air, "with such a newspaper in your hand, and the knowledge of such an event in your pericranium—do you dare to come to me, in the bosom of my family, with the son that is thus saved setting miraculously at my very side, and talk to me about a paltry declaration in the case of Green versus Thomson?"

"My dear father, you are so wild. The poor boy is half frightened to death," said Mary.

But Seth only suffered to escape him one of his overflowing laughs, and then looked his master seriously in the eyes, with very much the expression, however, as if he intended to laugh again presently.

"Come here, sir."

The boy obeyed. He was a plain-looking lad of sixteen, badly dressed, without much expression in his face except when he smiled. His complexion was good, his eyes intelligent, and his manners indicative of a high degree of anxiety what to do with his feet and in what part of the world to stow away his hands.

"You are a young villain, sir! Go round to Edgecomb and Radley, No. 12 Maiden Lane, immediately, and get yourself measured for a gentleman's suit of clothes, to be charged to my account. Go out and find, moreover, a hat, two pairs of boots, a dozen pairs of stockings, and a dozen ready-made, respectable, dandified, linen shirts, with very high collars. Add a pair of gloves, and, if you like, a cane, and have the bills sent to me. Do you hear, you little scaramouch?"

The laugh of poor Seth was now heartily joined in by all present.

"And when you have got them, Seth," said Mary, "come to me, I want to speak to you."

"Now tramp—march—vanish into thin air."

The boy obeyed the spirit, though not the letter of this mandate, and Mr. Lennox went on to read,

"Affair of Honour.—We stop the press to announce that a meeting took place this morning at daybreak between Lieutenant Francis Lennox, son of the distinguished lawyer of this city, and Captain Charles Glendenning, of his majesty's—, at the duelling ground, Hoboken. The dispute arose at the theatre, Captain Glendenning having offered a rudeness to a lady in the presence of Lieutenant Lennox, which the latter punished by a blow. The parties repaired almost instantly to the ground, and, after one fire, which, on the part of Captain Glendenning, was discharged in the air, the matter was terminated amicably by the mediation of the seconds. The most ample apologies were offered by Captain Glendenning, and the gallant gentlemen parted on the best terms, and with mutual protestations of friendship. Captain White, of the British army, acted as the friend of his countryman in this rather peculiar affair, and Mr. Sussex, of this city, for Lieutenant Lennox. Nothing could exceed the coolness and courage manifested on the occasion by both the gentlemen; and a ball, it is said, took effect in the hat of Captain Glendenning, who received the awkward indication of skill with immovable composure.

"We must be permitted to remark, however, that, if we have heard the matter correctly represented, it has been reserved for our chivalric townsman to teach to his opponent a valuable lesson, which, we trust, will not be wholly thrown away upon him, or upon the country to which he belongs. Impertinent English travellers may write slanderous books with impunity, but there are insults which can never fail to meet their just reward!!"

"Expressive italics! and a note of admiration!" said Lennox. "Ho! ho! ho!—ha! ha! ha! Frank, you'll be a bit of a lion for six weeks to come."

"I am very sorry for it," said Mrs. Lennox.

We have not attempted to give all the conversation which took place, as, in the general agitation, three or four were nearly always speaking at the same time, and as for Mrs. Elton, she did not stop at all. At length, however, they separated. Some went to bed. The visiters returned home to spread through the town all the particulars of the interesting affair. Emmerson, having heartily shaken every one by the hand, and reiterated his inexpressible joy at the termination of a calamity which had such a threatening commencement, went down stairs into the office to his business duties. Mr. Elton shook his head, in the pursuance of his own grave thoughts. Harry and Frank retired together to talk the matter over, and Mrs. Elton, who had been relating a story to Mrs. Lennox, Mary, and Fanny, of a shipwreck, of which she had read an account some time in her early youth, where the poor sailors were obliged to remain out seven days and nights in an open boat without food, was obliged to break off just as the unfortunate people had discovered a sail in the horizon; but she treated her husband and Fanny to the denouement on her way home.

And so the fierce hurricane, so sudden, unexpected, and terrible, subsided into calm sunshine, and the mourned as dead was restored. The awful night became but a thing to be remembered and talked of over the winter fire, and all breathed again in peace.

CHAPTER XVII.

A FEW days subsequent to this affair, Mr. Lennox gave a dinner to a few friends. Although he humbly confessed himself "no Croesus," it may be asserted that the Lydian king, whatever armies he might have raised, or splendid gifts he might have presented, could not have inhabited a more comfortable house, or given a better dinner—at least according to the tastes of modern palates. His light and generous heart, and unambitious character, cared little for the world, save as it ministered to his pleasure, or gratified his love of hospitable pomp and splendour. His home was one of those sunshiny retreats which few are so fortunate as to possess. Blessed, by a large inheritance and the income of his lucrative profession, with affluence without the necessity of economy, he enjoyed the delights of extravagance unaccompanied by any of its usual cares or apprehensions; for, while nothing can be less like happiness than expensive pleasures to a man who suffers the haunting consciousness of living beyond his income, and of revelling, in advance, on the portion of his widow and orphans, to a person of Mr. Lennox's lively disposition there was a hearty delight, long become habitual to him, in the generous profuseness which prudence itself could not censure.

His home was therefore the scene of all kinds of agreeable pleasures, and his children were educated fully to appreciate them. A beautiful country-seat on the Hudson, about sixty miles from the city, was the usual summer retreat of his family, when not engaged in excursions to some of the numerous and interesting points of interest in which the neighbourhood of New-York is so singularly rich, and in the winter, music, dancing, the opera, the theatre, balls and dinners, made them see even the glad, bright months of summer roll away without regret.

From his youth Mr. Lennox had been favoured by fortune (as he expressed it) with an unbroken course of prosperity, and an almost total exemption from the misfortunes which so generally afflict others. Health smiled upon him and upon his. No death had even interrupted the affectionate happiness of his family. His children were growing up all that his efforts had striven to make them. He was beloved and honoured by his friends, and had no enemies but such as envy and malice, and his independent course on all occasions where duty called him to act, had made him, and at these he could afford to snap his fingers. His life had resembled some of those fabled climates where wind, rain, cold, and clouds never disturb the softness of the air or stain the serenity of the sky.

How far such a long career of unshadowed prosperity is favourable to the development of virtue, the formation of superior character, or the knowledge of real happiness, the moralist may determine, but it had certainly not, thus far, apparently diminished the excellence or the cheerfulness of the Lennoxes. All acknowledged the warm virtues of their hearts and the charm of their manners. They were generous without pride, and affable without condescension. There are not here, as in most other countries, a class of poor who live avowedly on the bounty of the opulent, and hold, from the magnificent charity of the rich, what, but for the perhaps unavoidable errors of government and society, they would owe only to their justice. But whenever misfortune did come in contact with any of the Lennoxes, it was sure of unaffected sympathy, and, if possible, effectual relief; and while his family were silently and benevolently accustomed, with the discrimination which marks true charity, to relieve the distresses of the poor, many a helpless client, without money, perhaps, to defend himself against oppression, or to meet the accidental demands of the law, had found in Lennox a bold advocate, a fearless defender, and a generous friend. Many an innocent accused had seen himself saved from punishment by the outspeaking eloquence which asked no pay but its own pleasure in the act, and many a poor debtor, clutched by the hand of some malignant creditor, and consigned to a dungeon in the midst of the gay, enlightened city of New-York, which would have been more in harmony with the dark council-chamber of Venice (for even such was once, and not long ago, our laws), found not only present ease, but subsequent success in life.

Under these bright auspices, the two brothers had grown up as boys, and were about entering into life as men. Frank, as we have seen, was already a distinguished graduate from West Point, and Harry had been admitted to the bar, and become a partner in the lucrative office of his father, with the intention, on the part of the latter, that he should, as speedily as possible, take the whole responsibility of it on himself, with Mr. Emmerson as his assistant, and, if things went well subsequently, as his partner. But Harry's triumph at overstepping, at length, the obscure retreats of boyhood, however mingled with grand visions of the future, with noble resolutions and an innate love of the right, was crossed, as we have seen, with some influences of an opposite nature. He loved virtue and hated vice, but he had no distinct knowledge of the nature and requisites of the one, nor the dangers, illusions, and insidious character of the other. The peaceful and splendid advantages in the midst of which he had passed his life thus far, the succession of pleasures which he had enjoyed, his father's wealth, his own attainments, which were remarkable, his talents equally so, his very virtues, and, perhaps, the not unthought-of advantages of his person, filled him with selfconfidence, and gave his reflections a leaning towards infidelity, caught from the superficial view which youth takes of life and nature, and confirmed by the study of Byron, Gibbon, and similar authors of fascinating genius and profound attainments, who appear at the bar of history as the representatives of irreligion and the bold scorners of the Bible. Thus, his note-books scribbled over with memoranda of Voltaire and Volney, and his memory stored with splendid passages from Cain and Childe Harold (while he never read the lofty, noble, spiritual, and unanswerable arguments on the other side of the question), young Lennox was about to launch forth on that mysterious sea, whose glittering, treacherous bosom has ingulfed so many a "tall ship." Destitute of any belief in the future, of any reverence for, or confidence in God, of any knowledge of his own soul, more than as the vapoury tenant of a perishing form, his hopes, wishes, and plans were all confined within this life's bounds; bounds which, to youth, seem vast and endless, but which, in a few fleet years, contract to a startling span and vanish like a morning dream.

Mr. Lennox had educated his children with the utmost care and expense in all the graceful accomplishments, as well as the necessary branches of learning. They were excellent musicians, and sweet glees, sweetly sung, were among the attractions of their frequent soirées. In all the essentials of worldly honour they had been carefully instructed, and perhaps no one could be more open to the noble influences of virtue, more incapable of anything paltry or mean. In short, all things but one had been done for them. Like thousands in all parts of Christendom, their lives had flowed quietly on, in peaceful satisfaction with the things around them, happy and communicating happiness, loving and beloved, contented with the practice of virtue and a horror of vice, living in this world, with it, and for it, without a thought beyond. And thus had fled (to Mrs. Lennox, how short and dreamlike did they appear!) the twentyone bright, unclouded years since the birth of her eldest son.

On the evening previous to the dinner to which we have alluded, the family had taken tea, Miss Elton was passing the evening with Mary, and Mr. Lennox was in one of his silent moods, enjoying a cigar by the open window, when Frank, who had several times opened his mouth and shut it again without saying anything, at length delivered what he appeared to have been labouring with.

"I have a favour to ask of you all," said he, "and, moreover, I give you notice beforehand that it is full of poise and danger, and fearful to be granted."

"I don't think there can be any necessity for such a very formal preface," said his mother.

"Don't be too sure!" said Frank, laughing.

"I cannot be too sure of that," replied she, "my dear, wicked boy!"

"Now let us see," said Frank, "how much ladies really mean of what they say. So you positively promise to grant my request before you know what it is?"

"Yes, I do."

"And father?"

"Yes."

"Upon my word I'm afraid to name it."

"Why, what is it?" said his father. "You would not ask, I am sure, anything which ought to be refused."

"I suppose," said Mary, "you want to go abroad, and father is to give his permission, get you leave of absence, and allow you a couple of thousand dollars a year, or so, till you see the world and fight some more duels."

"Would you grant that?" asked Frank.

"I don't know. No—yes," said his father.

"But—" said Mrs. Lennox.

"I know," said Frank, "the dangers I should have to encounter—shipwreck, fire, water, lightning, plague, pestilence, and famine. I know exactly what you are going to say, my dear mother. Then I should probably die several times during my long absence, or you would all die before my return; and I should be robbed in Spain, and murdered in Syria, corrupted in Paris, and killed in several duels, as Mary says, and all that!"

"Nonsense," said Mr. Lennox. "If you wish to go abroad, you can go by the next packet, or as soon as I can arrange with the War Department for your leave of absence. I think it a capital idea."

"My dear boy," said his mother, her eyes filling with tears, "two, three, four years, at my time of life! I should never see you again—I have a presentiment."

"Of course you have," said Frank, laughing; "of course you wouldn't. Who ever did come back safe from a tour in Europe? The idea is absurd on the face of it, of course!"

"Ah, yes, you can laugh! it's a fine thing to be young and thoughtless, to be sure," said Mrs. Lennox. "And how would you go—without any companion, too?"

"I suppose you're like Miss Elton, and think I ought to have my mamma with me all my life, to keep me from being run over, from taking cold, &c., &c., &c."

"Ha, ha, ha!" said Mr. Lennox.

"Well, come! I won't go abroad at present," said Frank, taking his mother's hand, and pressing it tenderly to his lips. "I'll compromise with you for another favour—a very trifling one, which will be begun and ended in a day. Do you agree to that? Come!"

"Yes."

"Now, then, let us see this time what success!"

"Do, for Heaven's sake, let's know what it is?" said Mary.

"Old age makes him garrulous," remarked Miss Elton.

"We have a dinner to-morrow."

"Well?"

"I wish to add two particular friends to the party."

"Why, of course—certainly. What a ridiculous request!"

"As if the dinner were not for you!" said Mary.

"Pray, what objection do you see to your asking whom you please to my house?" demanded Mr. Lennox. "Who are your friends? John shall go for them immediately."

"The first is—Captain White," said Frank, making a face aside to Mary, as of a man who touches a match and stands expecting an explosion.

"What! the second of Captain Glendenning?"

"Yes, my dear mother."

"You're mad, Frank," said his mother, "or else you're jesting!"

"Really, sir," said his father, "it seems to me you choose your associates in rather an eccentric manner."

"Oh, very well," said Frank. "It would have gratified me very much, that's all."

"Well, well," said Mrs. Lennox; "we have already granted it: we cannot retract; though I must say, you often really surprise me, Frank. Captain White is the friend and boon-companion of that Glendenning. Men who frequent profligate society must expect to be thought themselves profligates. Glendenning has insulted you and all of us in the grossest manner; and I must say I do not think the companion of such a person a proper associate either for yourself or your family. Fanny, too, and her mother and father, also, dine with us to-morrow, and—I really think you had better withdraw your request. I should like to know what you will propose next, you unreasonable creature you!"

"Why, as to what I could propose next," said Frank, with a frown upon his brow, softened, however, by the halfsuppressed smile which lurked around his lips, "there is only one thing which I could propose next consistently— under the circumstances."

"And what the devil's that?" demanded his father, somewhat sternly.

"Why," said Frank, coolly, "to bring Glendenning himself!"

"You're trifling with your mother."

"No; I assure you I never was more serious in my life. That is the request you have granted in advance, and I think, if you'll hear me speak a moment, I'll persuade you— convince you that I am quite right."

"Well, Frank," said Mrs. Lennox, with obviously serious displeasure, "if you bring Captain Glendenning here to-morrow, I have nothing more to say, but I shall dine in my room."

"You do injustice to Glendenning," said Frank, warmly. "I have several times met him since our affair, and he has rendered me all the satisfaction that a gentleman could render or a gentleman require. This offence was an act of delirium, committed in a moment of intoxication, for which he nearly atoned with his life. I can't forget, nor should you, that he magnanimously refrained from killing me, even while the blow I had given him was yet burning on his forehead. Is that nothing? It was done, too, at the moment when I was striving my utmost to kill him. I have always been taught that it is the Christian's duty to forgive and forget. On a nearer acquaintance with him, I find him a noble, capital fellow, and I have reason to know that the stories that fellow Earnest told me of him are gross exaggerations. There is something really delightful, fascinating about him. Free-hearted, generous, brave, totally without malice, full of wit, fun, and intelligence—the most agreeable companion you ever saw. Plays sweetly on the piano, sings an excellent song; and, as our affair is settled, I see no reason, since I like him very much, why I should not show him the hospitalities which a stranger ought to meet with. Do, now, my dear mother, do oblige me."

"Well!" said Mr. Lennox, "I'm sure I've no objection. There is some truth in what Frank says. The fact that they fought yesterday is no reason why they should not embrace to-day. Come, wife, let's have him!"

"You are as bad as Frank himself," said Mrs. Lennox. "Here comes an Englishman to New-York, goes about day and night seeking quarrels and raising riots—sometimes, for what we know always, in a state of intoxication—a duellist— in short, a professed roué. He insults a modest young girl under our protection in a coarse and ungentlemanly way, and, instead of meeting such a character and such conduct as they deserve, and avoiding such an example for our own sons, you propose to bring him into your family, because Frank, whose liking is a mere caprice, finds that he sings a good song and plays on the piano. I should like to see my sons select their associates for their moral and intellectual qualities. For my part, I cannot consent to anything of this sort."

"Keep cool! keep cool, Katy, my dear!" said Mr. Lennox; "be assured Frank will not do anything contrary to your wishes. A dinner, you know, Frank, my boy, in order to be agreeable, must contain no discordant materials. As the Eltons are to be here, it seems to me—and as your mother is so serious in her views of your new friend, and, therefore—heh! my son? let the matter rest. Yet, at the same time, Kate, let me make a remark. As to the offence which caused the meeting between these two madcaps, that has been fairly and honourably settled. That subject ought to be now dropped. As for Glendenning's wildness, many a sober, correct youth turns out a paltry, selfish, sneaking scoundrel in the end, and I believe there's just as much to censure and to despise among irreproachable men, who stand fair before the world, as among the frank and careless fellows who take no pains to conceal their faults and follies. Many a young rip, like this Glendenning, is all the better for his wildness, in his after years. I myself—what are you laughing at, miss? How dare you laugh when I'm talking?"

"At the curious illustration of your last proposition, my dear father. You are not going to cite yourself as an example, I hope?"

"Yes, I am. I was as hot-headed, wild, and impudent a young rascal as ever breathed. Yet look at me now! Young men will be young men, and we must take care to distinguish between the mere outbreaks of a merry soul like Harry the Fifth and inherent vice. Now I've been told that this Glendenning is a noble fellow, and that his tricks are mere wildness and high spirits. The only way for a man is to go into the world, and take it as it is. He didn't make it, and can't reform it. If people treat him well, good—be civil to them. If a man is rude, call him out, kill him, and you'll not be insulted again."

"You make my blood run cold, Henry," said Mrs. Lennox, "to hear, from a father's lips, such wicked principles to his son."

"Bah! what do women know of these things? Frank never did anything in his life which does him more honour than going out with that fellow. Men, and women too, love unflinching courage. I have no doubt this circumstance will open to him a brilliant career in life. In the next place, it has made him formidable to the scoundrels by whom one is surrounded in all ranks and classes of life, and who go on, some slandering and imposing upon you, some bullying you just as far as you'll let them, and no farther. Why, Frank himself, ever since the meeting, has looked, walked, acted, thought, and felt more like a man and a gentleman that I ever saw him before."

"But not like a Christian," said Mrs. Lennox.

"That means nothing," said Mr. Lennox.

"You know what pain you cause me, my dear husband, by expressing yourself in this way at all, and particularly before our children. Oh, Henry, you have a fearful thing to answer for. Mary is without religion, and Frank and Harry turn it into ridicule."

"Pooh! pooh! They are not monks, that's all. They're well enough. They believe all they can."

"As for Captain Glendenning," continued Mrs. Lennox, gravely, "I detest and abhor the character and the man. I do not believe, with all my desire to oblige Frank, I could receive such a person in my house with ordinary courtesy."

"Oh, very well!" said Frank, haughtily.

"You'll allow your mother to judge, I hope, what companions are proper for herself and her daughter, if you don't deign to let her choose yours," said Mr. Lennox, a little sharply.

Frank had a face which betrayed every emotion of his soul, a large, full eye, generally very sweet in its expression, and a mouth around which played a smile almost invariably when he spoke, but, in the silence which followed the last remark, every trace of his gentleness had disappeared. His brow darkened, the sternness of his countenance was heightened by a streak of red, which shot burning into his cheek, and his eyes fell upon his mother with an expression which she, at least, had never seen in them before. There was something new and different in his demeanour since the late duel. The first hot days of summer scarcely work greater changes in the tender vegetation than had taken place in this boy within the last few weeks through the influence of passion and action. Love, vengeance, danger, pride, had been busy in his nature; and if strength and manly self-dependance had been added, sweetness, modest humility, and the lowly spirit of true wisdom had been proportionably withdrawn.

"Come!" said Mrs. Lennox, recovering herself, and holding out her hand, for she, too, had been touched with a moment of passion (perhaps a peculiarity in the family disposition), "leave the subject, my dear Frank, and don't be ashamed to yield to your mother."

"Oh, certainly!" said Frank, almost rudely pushing back the proffered hand, "if I cannot be gratified in the simple wish to invite a friend to my father's house, I shall not press it. I can tell Captain Glendenning that—that— indeed, I shall tell him nothing, but let him take it as he likes."

"Why, what necessity is there to speak to Captain Glendenning about it at all?" said Mr. Lennox.

To this no one replied.

"Only this I have learned," continued Frank, after a pause, rising as if about to leave the room; "I have learned what respect to attach to the professions of ladies, and I shall not ask another favour, I can tell you. I did not expect to be treated like a boy all my life."

"Stop, sir!" said his father.

There was something in Mr. Lennox's voice and frown, to which, despite his careless lightness of character, every one in the family had long been accustomed to yield implicit obedience. His son now, with ill-concealed anger, but without hesitation, remained at his call.

"What do you mean by that? In becoming a man, if you are one, have you ceased to be a gentleman and a son? Whatever may be your feelings or opinions, you will be pleased to govern them in my presence, and remember, in this debate, your opponent is your mother ."

"Very well, very well!" replied Frank; "that is a point she is not likely to suffer me to overlook, as she proposes, I perceive, to keep me to her apron-strings. I beg to yield the thing. I withdraw my request."

"Her apron-strings, sir!" said Mr. Lennox, rising. "Upon my word, your expressions are as elegant as your conduct is sensible. I am surprised at your forgetfulness of the respect you owe her. Even if she were wrong, you should instantly yield; but, upon reflection, it is my opinion she's right; and, therefore, if the wishes of so insignificant a person as your father have any influence with your Royal Highness, you will, perhaps, condescend to dismiss that thunder-cloud from your brow, and deign to remember who and where you are."

A month ago Frank would have burst into tears at such an address from one whom he loved with the deepest sincerity and tenderness. But he had now new views. How can the duellist, who has triumphantly outraged society, humanity, and God, preserve his respect for minor things? How can he, who is taught recklessly to present his bosom to the murderous weapon, without adequate motive or regard for consequences, hesitate to meet and to despise, in the moment of proud passion, the tears of a mother or the frowning reprobation of a father. He only replied, therefore, without at all softening his lofty manner,

"I obey you, sir. I perfectly agree with you. I should be the last person in the world to lay myself under obligations to any one. I will write Glendenning a note this moment. I will tell him that circumstances prevent my renewing our acquaintance as I wished, till, at least, I have a house of my own, when—certainly—I presume I shall be at liberty to—to—"

"Heydey, sir! hoity-toity, hoity-toity! what's all this?" said his father. "How dare you, you young dog! address your mother or me in such a style as that? Why, I should think you the Great Mogul, or the Sublime Porte, or a pacha with two or three dozen tails at least!"

"Sir, this jesting is—" said Frank, with flashing eyes, as if about to say something which might have made matters more serious, when an arm gently stole around his waist and drew him affectionately to the sofa, and a voice completed the daring sentence with,

"Is your father's, Frank!"

It was Mrs. Lennox, who had affectionately interfered, her eyes full of tears, to prevent the conversation going too far.

"I beg—" said he.

"My son, my son!" interrupted she, placing her fingers on his brow, and putting away from his flashing eyes the thick, dark hair, "what wild, bad passions have taken possession of you? Is this my sweet, gentle boy, his mother's pride, his father's hope? Is this your new manhood?"

Frank raised his hand suddenly to his eyes and hid his face. Enough was visible of it, however, to show that he was touched with softer feelings.

"Yes, my son," continued she, "it is. You have left already youth and innocence. Dark, fierce passions and bloody thoughts have taken possession of my boy; worldworship, heathen pride, and the evil spirit himself, unchecked by one idea of your Bible—your Saviour—your God."

"Forgive me, my mother!" said the young man, turning away his face, which he still covered with one hand, while with the other he grasped hers. "I am a fool."

"And see to what it leads. You don't know to what it may lead hereafter. I cannot bear to see you enter the state of manhood with such principles as you and Harry possess. It will lead to something dreadful. So young, and already so high and haughty, giving way to passion on every occasion and against everybody; fearless of death yourself, because you don't know what it is, and reckless of shedding the life-blood of others, or of breaking hearts that depend on you for their happiness; without prayer, religion, or any fixed belief in God or a hereafter, and frowning on your own mother with a fierceness which actually made me tremble. And how many times have I carried you in these arms, and kissed your little soft mouth, and watched by you the whole night through, and prayed to God over your sleep, that your future course might be pure and holy, and in the path of right and righteousness. Little did I think, when I used to press those laughing eyes to my lips, that they could ever dart upon me such a look."

There was a pause.

"Frank, you too are an infidel!"

"I do not wish to be, my dear mother."

"But are you not?"

"I cannot control my opinion. I can only believe what I can believe," said Frank, a little impatiently. "I am young. Perhaps hereafter—but now—I cannot be master of my opinions."

"But you can of your actions, and your opinions, I trust, will change more slowly. You know my opinions on duelling. Your death in a duel would break my heart, I solemnly believe, and bring me to a premature grave. Were you so unfortunate and guilty as to kill another, I should find the blow still more intolerable. I am your mother; my health, happiness, and life are interested. I have a right to speak, and a right to be listened to. Hear me, therefore. Bring your new friend Glendenning to dinner to-morrow. I accord the request, and was, perhaps, wrong to refuse it. I grant it unconditionally, and I will so far overcome, or at least command, my own feelings, as to treat him as you would wish a friend of yours to be treated. But I am going to make a request. You have now established your character beyond cavil as a brave man. Now then, my son, I make you a solemn prayer— I, your mother: as a test of your affection, a mark of your gratitude, and a recompense to me for all a mothers' pain and a mother's care, give me your word you will never, under any circumstances, fight another duel."

"What, even if—"

"Even if anything," said she. "It is, perhaps, a sacrifice I ask; but it is your mother who asks it—I implore. It is, perhaps, her own life which a mother begs of her son, and he hesitates."

"My mother," said Frank, greatly affected, but smiling through his tears, "you make me feel like another Coriolanus."

"Do not be, then, less human than he."

"Well, you have succeeded. I do here, in the most solemn manner—"

"Hallo!" said Mr. Lennox, who had stood very quietly regarding this scene, sometimes himself affected, sometimes shaking his head doubtingly, and who had just lighted a new cigar, and was blowing out a long wreath of smoke as he spoke—"Hallo! Stop, my boy. What is all this, Katy, my dear? Don't take advantage of his innoncence and affection for you to extort a promise, the nature of which you do not understand, and which he will possibly hereafter have many reasons to regret, perhaps some to violate. I never knew any good yet come of virtuous resolutions. If a man ain't good without them, he won't be with; and to the sin, whatever it may be, which he commits, they only add perjury, and a double sense of meanness and guilt. How often have I sworn I would not smoke, and yet, here I am, you see! What drawback do you suppose such a resolution would be to him if he received any galling, sudden, scorching insult? By Jove! in such cases, men don't think of resolutions. I don't wish him, or any son of mine, to entangle himself with resolutions, and promises, and oaths, on any subject. Then, as to duelling, I approve it. I wish him to fight. I'll load his pistols for him, and go out with him, rather than he should show the white feather. Society is what it is, and God made it as it is. The Christian doctrine of forgiveness of enemies is nonsense. A man smites you on one cheek, you are to turn the other. He takes your coat, you are to give him your cloak also. What would society become under such circumstances? A wild Indian breaks into your home and murders your wife; you stand quietly by, when a manly defence might save her, and, when she is finished, you politely show him the way to the cradle of your infant child. Captain Glendenning offers an insult to Miss Elton, and Frank stands aside, with a meek smile, and points the drunken scoundrel to Mary and you."

"Oh, my husband, this is not the right interpretation of the word of Christ."

"Well, if we can interpret these things differently, good. You interpret them your way—we, ours. You fancy yourself bound to make no distinction between friend and foe, and when you see a servant stealing your diamonds, hand her, if you choose, the key to your plate. We will forgive our enemies also; but, by Jove! we'll teach them to behave themselves first. But, by-the-way, my dear Kate, it seems to me you and Frank are changing ground here. It is Frank who forgives Glendenning, and you refuse pardon!"

There was so much truth in this that it occasioned a general laugh, in which the differences in this happy and affectionate family generally ended.

"Well, I'll tell you what," said Frank, "I have not been exactly honest with you, and that's one reason, perhaps, why I have been more hurt by mother's refusal than she thinks I ought to have been. To say the truth, I have already asked Glendenning. I have committed myself thus too far to retreat; otherwise, although I do think the fellow very agreeable and clever, I should have never put the mere whim of having him here in comparison with your displeasure or annoyance."

"There! that's your father's own son!" said Mrs. Lennox. "Go and do a thing first, and then ask permission."

"But Miss Elton," said Mr. Lennox; "don't you think she has some right to be consulted?"

"Oh, I am sure, sir," said Miss Elton, who had hitherto been so distressed at the altercation in the family, that she was pleased in almost any way to behold its amicable termination, "I could have no right, no wish to form an opinion."

"There's an angel for you, you young dog!" said his father, who little dreamed how far matters had gone between them. Frank blushed, but Fanny remained undisturbed by the observation.

"Of course, I ought not to have invited him without announcing it to Miss Elton and begging her consent, but I was so sure—"

"Oh, let us have him," said Mary; "perhaps it will be of service to the poor fellow to see what a family he was about depriving of its pride and ornament."

Frank bowed at the compliment.

"Well done! Molly!" said her father. "You are more forgiving than more pious folks!"

"I must not take too much credit," said Mary, "or I should be dishonest. The truth is, I am dying of curiosity to see this young gentleman. Frank says he's agreeable, clever, and handsome. Mr. Emmerson says he's vulgar, coarse, and ugly. Mr. Earnest told me he was the greatest genius that ever lived, and father thinks his conduct is only the effervescence of such noble qualities as Henry the Fifth's. What people talk so much about, and give such contradictory opinions about, of course becomes an object of interest, and, as I am of the fairer sex, and curiosity is one of our allowed foibles, I move we let the youth come, if it's only to have a good look at him."

"I had one look at him," said Mrs. Lennox, with a shudder, "as his face turned on Frank after he had received the blow. His countenance was that of the very evil spirit of darkness and fury himself, and I thought to see Frank struck dead at his feet by the very glance of his eye."

"Pooh! pooh!" said Mr. Lennox; "when men are struck, you must not expect them to look amiable. Eyes don't kill quite so easily; at least" (turning to Fanny) "not those of the male gender. Now, there are obs—"

"Mine, I presume," said Fanny. "If you think them so dangerous, you had better get out of their way."

"You're an impudent little witch," said Lennox, "and for all the trouble you have caused in this family, you must make me some reparation."

"What reparation, you horrid being? Do you think you are going to scold me as you do poor Frank?"

Mr. Lennox approached her, and she started off to the corner of the room, for she had been subjected to these reparations before in the company of her audacious, light-hearted host!

"You must come to it, Fanny," said he. "The laws of the Medes and Persians were mere weathercocks to my determination. You might just as well yield."

"Well, I'll capitulate on honourable terms rather than endure your impertinence," said Fanny, blushing, and looking so provokingly pretty that Frank began almost to think it his duty to interfere.

"Take care!" said Lennox, "I'm coming."

"Well, then, stop, and I'll capitulate."

"How can you be such a child, Henry?" said Mrs. Lennox.

"Silence! good mother hear the embassy," quoted Lennox. "Now say, Chatillon, what would France with us?"

"Well!" said Fanny, laughing, "I will come and kiss you, and I'm not to suffer such an extortion again, at least for a month."

"Agreed!"

"Agreed!"

She left the corner and fairly kissed him on his cheek, upon which he smacked his lips in such a way that Frank's dark eyes flashed and Mrs. Lennox said,

"If I were Fanny, I'd box your ears for you."

"But, unfortunately, you are not Fanny, my dear," said Lennox.

"You're so ready to order everybody else to be horsewhipped," said Fanny, "what do you think you yourself deserve?"

"To hear you, Frank, and Mary sing a glee as a punishment," said Lennox. "Come, we have had no music since Frank's scrape."

She sat down at the piano and ran her fingers rapidly over the keys. Frank drew near with Mary, and they commenced a favourite glee, both Mr. and Mrs. Lennox joining, for both sang well.

Harry came in, for it was late, while they were singing. Had they attended to him, they would have marked the pale thought and moody sadness of his countenance; but the rest were too absorbed in their delightful occupation to observe anything else, and the young man entered unnoticed, or at least unspoken to, and stood in the embrasure of a deep window, half concealed behind a heavy curtain, with folded arms and glowing brow, leaning against the wall, gazing at the group as on a picture.

"Miss Elton's servant!" said a domestic, opening the door.

"Why, what does Miss Elton want of a servant?" said Mrs. Lennox. "Is not Frank here?"

"Oh, I thought, perhaps, my dear Mrs. Lennox, I am so troublesome to you; and, besides, it's cruel to take Frank out this time of night."

"Really, Miss Elton," said Frank, "you and everybody else seem to think me a very delicate child!"

"Certainly!" said she, laughing. "Poor little fellow! He looks as if he ought to have been in bed an hour ago!"

Contrary to his resolution, Harry tried to catch her parting glance, but she went off laughing, and without looking at him.

CHAPTER XVIII.

The hour for the dinner, which was to introduce Glendenning and his friend, at length arrived, and Mr. and Mrs. Lennox, Frank, Harry, and Mary, repaired to the drawing-room to receive the guests.

First came the Eltons, the old gentleman looking rather grave; Mrs. Elton, her face, as usual, radiant with pleasure, talking the whole time from the moment she entered; Fanny, arrayed in all the charm of youthful beauty which exercised such an influence over the two susceptible young men, and which was destined unconsciously to mingle such consequences in the subsequent lives of more than one of the persons present. Then Mary went down stairs, and led in, almost by force, little Seth Copeley, in a perfect flame of blushes, partly called up by the idea of appearing, for the first time in his life, in society, and partly by the lively consciousness of having on a very new suit of uncommonly city-looking clothes.

"Come in, Seth, come in," said Mary, whose good heart took a great interest in this friendless boy, and who had arranged, with somewhat more taste than he had been able to do, various points of his toilet, brushed back his locks from his forehead, and put a neat brooch, a present from herself, into the folds of his stock. "What are you afraid ef? I do believe, if I had not gone down stairs and brought him up, we should not have had the pleasure of his society to-day."

"Walk up here, you young Lothario!" said Mr. Lennox, "and let us look at you. What are you twisting your waistcoat button off in that style for? Have you any conscientious objections to buttons?"

"No, sir," said Seth, after one of his short laughs.

"Very well, then. Take your hands out of your pantaloons pockets; throw back your shoulders; lift up your head; stand strait. Look at me, sir! Can't you stand so, sir?"

"He is really a very handsome, sweet little fellow," whispered Mrs. Elton, loud enough for him and every one else to hear her, "and such delightful eyes! I'm sure one of these days those eyes will do their affair, and—"

"How do you expect to become a lawyer and a gentleman, sir," continued Mr. Lennox, "if you bury yourself in an office, and do nothing but read and copy? The law is the noblest profession in the world. It offers you a brilliant career, and demands knowledge not only of books, but of men. That's the reason why I have asked you to dine with me to-day. You must begin to accustom yourself to society, to meet men and women without flinching or being flustered. Stop that blushing, sir! How do you think you'll ever be able to perform the high functions of President of the United States—as I presume you will have to do one of these days—if you can't come into a room without obviously wishing you could leave your hands and feet at the bottom of the Red Sea?"

"Come here, Seth," said Mrs. Lennox; "you'll learn all these things by-and-by. You shall sit next me, my dear little boy, and I'll take care of you at dinner."

The poor fellow went awkwardly where he was bid, glad to escape the boisterous benevolence of his master. As he did so, guests were announced in quick succession.

The usual salutations had scarcely passed, when the conversation, by general consent, appeared to fall on the two expected English guests. Various opinions were expressed as to the extraordinary character of Glendenning, who was warmly defended by Mr. Lennox, Frank, and Mrs. Elton, against the rest of the company. Frank praised him enthusiastically. His father declared against the principle of putting a man in coventry because he had exhibited the follies of youth; and Mrs. Elton was sure he was a noble fellow from his magnanimous conduct on the field, where he had risked his own life by wasting his shot, and, at the same time, saved that of Frank, and where he had made all the reparation possible. Any one, she said, was liable to do wrong, but only the good were ashamed of it afterward; and we ought to recollect that there was more joy in heaven at the recovery of one lost sinner than for the ninety-nine who had never gone astray. She was going on to relate an occurrence which had come under her own observation only two years previous, when she was interrupted by the opening of the door, and the servants announcing Captain White and Captain Glendenning. They were received by Frank with a countenance expressive of the sincerest pleasure, and led by him first to his mother, then to his father, who shook them warmly by the hand. The kind greeting of Mrs. Lennox was rendered much less difficult than she had supposed it would be, by the agreeable surprise she felt at seeing a person so different from what she had expected. The two strangers were presented to all the company, including the Eltons and Fanny. At the sight of the latter the embarrassment and shame of Glendenning were so obvious as to considerably soften the sentiment of indignation which had been generally felt at his entrance. Fanny at first turned pale, but her colour came presently back deeper than before. There was a moment's extremely awkward pause, which Glendenning broke, with equal grace and frankness, by touching boldly and successfully the dangerous chord vibrating in every breast.

"I should think myself at this moment even more censurable than I am if I hesitated to express, my dear Mrs. Lennox, my shame and regret at what has happened; and my appearance before you would be a new insult if I did not come most deeply repentant and to seek your pardon!"

"Nonsense, my dear fellow!" said Frank. "Don't give yourself the trouble."

"You are the first, sir," said Mrs. Lennox, "to touch upon a subject which I should not have alluded to, as it cannot but awaken in a mother's breast emotions far from agreeable. But your frankness merits equal frankness in return, and I will confess I did not think, ten minutes ago, that any circumstance could make me forgive you. I hope, however, I am too much of a Christian to withhold from true repentance the pardon which we all ourselves require."

"Bravo! my dear mother!" said Frank, in high glee at the smooth manner in which affairs were going.

"If Miss Elton, also," rejoined Glendenning, "knew how I detest myself for the incident which has distressed her, she too would forgive me."

Miss Elton bowed her head without speaking.

"I assure you," said White, "my friend has changed more since the little affair with your son than I could have believed possible; and, upon my soul, I haven't the slightest doubt that he will get on hereafter famously."

"Say no more!" said Lennox; "you will find me, boys, always as ready to grant pardon, when asked, as to—"

"Certainly," said Mrs. Lennox, who saw that her candid husband was running upon breakers. "If the affair have had such a favourable effect upon what, I hope, is but the thoughtlessness of youth, I shall regret it the less."

"Since it has made us acquainted with Captain Glendenning and his friend, I don't think we can regret it at all," said Lennox.

"My dear father!" cried Frank.

Dinner was announced, and the company were soon seated. The manner and appearance of Glendenning, as well as every word he said, gained him the good opinion of all present, who, like Mrs. Lennox, had been prepared to meet a very different sort of person. Instead of a coarse roué, he was a slender, handsome young man of six-and-twenty, of manners mild and modest, a prepossessing and even beautiful countenance, and betraying, in various ways, embarrassment, ingenuousness, delicacy of feeling, and kindness of heart. Mrs. Lennox felt singularly interested in him, and resolved to inquire into his history. As she sat near White she was enabled to do so, and privately learned from that gentleman all she desired.

"Glendenning," said White, "has a constitutional peculiarity. His temper is as quick and his blood as hot as his judgment (although good when it makes itself heard) is slow. With the best heart in the world, and the very best intentions, he has always been in difficulty. He lost his mother, whom he tenderly loved, at the age of thirteen, and his father immediately married again, by which he brought an accession of two thousand a year to his fortune, a woman of a sharp, peculiarly disagreeable temper and character into his house, and a world of trouble to poor Charley. The step-mother hated him of course. The father, also, of course played into the hands of the lady. Charley inherited from his mother an independence of his own, which, perhaps, made him less patient than he should have been. There are half a dozen step-sisters and step-brothers, who all hate him like the parents, and he hates them as heartily. His hot temper, perhaps, did carry him too far in his relations with them. Considering his own mother's memory wronged by the sudden union, for, in truth, `the funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables,' he found the feeble affection which his father bore him not enough to protect him from certain annoyances at home, and he was therefore driven into a course of dissipation. He then shunned society, and sought only companions of an improper description, till they bought him a commission, more to get rid of him than anything else, and his papa, after recommending me to keep an eye on him, and see that he did not get himself hanged, or in any other way disgrace his family (I really don't think the old gentleman cares one iota about Charley himself), shipped him off, and I have been his best friend ever since. I assure you, a more affectionate, generous, warm-hearted, noble fellow never breathed. Since the little affair with your son he has apparently devoted some time to sober reflection, and I have no doubt he will become as fine a fellow as heart can wish. In short, I think his interval of thoughtless desperation is over. He has gone through his transition state, and I should judge him to be a reformed man."

"You have greatly interested me in him," said Mrs. Lennox. "Do you remain long at New-York?"

"Some weeks, I think."

"If your friend and yourself can be induced to visit us sometimes, I should like to see more of him."

"Oh! he will, I doubt not, be happy; and I must assure you the magnanimity you display in forgiving him will not fail to make a deep and salutary impression on him."

"I hope so; he appears to possess a fine mind."

"And a very grateful and warm heart, I assure you."

The hope of being able to exert a beneficial influence on such a character inspired Mrs. Lennox with the resolution to make the attempt, and there was something in the face of her proposed pupil which caused her to think the undertaking not an extravagant one.

While this conversation was going on, in a low voice, between Mrs. Lennox and Captain White, Mrs. Elton was talking so busily to Glendenning as to preclude the possibility of his attending to anything else, and Mrs. Henderson was stating the very disagreeable impression both the strangers made on her to Mr. Brigham, and her astonishment at finding such improper persons at table with her.

"Mr. Lennox is, I, of all persons, should allow," said that lady, carefully lowering her voice, so that Harry, who sat near, could catch nothing of her communications, "a most excellent man. To me he has been the most devoted friend, but it is curious what ideas he has on some subjects, and how his wife yields to him on all occasions."

"And should not a wife yield to her husband?" mildly asked Mr. Brigham.

"Well! I don't know," said she, fixing her envious black eyes on the persons of whom she spoke, while a shade of sharp discontent passed over her forbidding, yellow countenance. "Mrs. Lennox is an amiable, nice woman, and I ought to be the last person in the world to say anything against her, since she is my husband's only sister, and both I and Mr. Henderson have received nothing but one continued series of hospitalities from them, and they have, with their princely fortune, as you know, been the means of putting my husband into his prosperous business. I am sure they love us with all their hearts, and never lose an opportunity of showing it. One can't help using one's eyes and ears, you know. But I ought to be the last person—"

"Your kind heart," said Mr. Brigham, with a gentle irony, "instructs you wisely to be silent respecting the weaknesses of your friends."

"Certainly. If there is one thing in this world which I hate more than another, it is backbiting. I'm like a child in that respect. My heart always gets the better of my head. What a lovely girl Fanny has grown?"

"Yes."

"I think her character has improved as much as her person."

"I always fancied Miss Elton the gentlest of beings."

"Yes, she has that look."

"The whole family are perfect," said Mrs. Elton to Glendenning. "There isn't a fault in one of them. Two such noble young men were never seen. Mary is an angel out of heaven, and Mr. Lennox the most delightful of men, while my dear Mrs. Lennox—ah!" and tears actually came into her eyes, "if you knew her as I do, Captain Glendenning, you would love her with all the devotion of a son."

"It is all very well," said Harry to Elton (who had designedly led his young friend to the subject of religion again), "but duelling is, and ought to be sanctioned by public opinion, and society could not hold together without it."

"You will allow, I think," said Elton, "that Christianity forbids it?"

"Yes."

"That it regards it as a crime?"

"Yes."

"Then you cannot fight a duel without violating the spirit and precept of Christianity?"

"Yes."

"Then the question narrows itself to a single one: will you admit the institution of duelling and dismiss Christianity, or will you embrace Christianity and denounce duelling?"

"It does!"

"And yet you advocate duelling?"

"I do."

"Then you are willing to see Christianity rejected by mankind?"

"A grave question," said Harry, after a pause. "But no man shall make me a hypocrite. Christianity is a useful institution. I do not wish to see it destroyed. But it is not true; it is not divine. Its precepts are beautiful, but not possible. They cannot be applied to practice, nor am I singular in thinking so, however I may be in confessing my thoughts. Other people think the same; but they do not say so. Only a few enthusiasts, or men not fairly brought into the currents of active life, pretend to make the precepts of Christ really the shapers of thought and the rules of action. I would not express these opinions to the world, not even to my own friends generally. But to you, who are not a bigot, I speak freely."

"I honour your frankness," said Mr. Elton, "as much as I regret your opinions. Most men, particularly the ardent and self-confident, if possessed of thinking and cultivated minds, are liable, not only to doubt, but to disbelieve, at some period of their lives. If it had been the intention of Providence that the subject should be placed to the world at large beyond a doubt, then no one could have doubted. It is the most solemn one which can engage the attention of a human being, and, in proportion as life glides away, its solemnity and importance increase. But it requires, to the generality of mankind, attention and study like any other of the various advantages which are placed within the reach of industry. If it pleased you flippantly to deny the truths of astronomy, you might do so, and only study could place you in possession of them. The earth does not seem to us round or in motion. You are not conscious of being whirled through space at the rate of so many thousand miles an hour. To the ignorant you may even successfully deny these facts, and appeal to reason, sight, and common sense with success; only study and examination can make you properly acquainted with the subject, which turns out to be, upon examination, very different from what it appears to mere human sight and mere human reason. So with the still more vast spiritual truths of Christianity. From your love of right, from the clearness of your understanding and the virtues of your heart, I hope, when you have tested by trial the insufficiency of infidelity to bear a human soul even to the verge of eternity; when you have had time fairly to discover the empty errors which now wear in your eyes the aspect of truth, I hope you will reconsider the subject and change your opinion. My object in eliciting from you the present distinct avowal of your complete unbelief is to let you yourself see clearly what your own opinions are. Don't slip through life without being anything; without either belief or unbelief. Irrational animals may do this, but a rational being is formed to acquire opinions by reason, used in study or reflection. Excuse me for sliding into a sermon at dinner; this is not the proper place and you are not in the proper mood. I should be glad to speak with you oftener alone, coolly and with only truth for our object. Now, however, all I wish is to establish one point. You are an infidel; that is, you do not believe the Bible. It is certain, as you say, that Christendom is full of professing Christians who do not believe more than yourself. You are young: life is before you. You will have time to observe, if God please to prolong your days. All I ask of you is, do observe. Don't avoid or forget the subject."

"I appreciate the interest you show in me," said Harry. "But to him who has not yet chosen any religion, it is necessary, if resolved on adopting one, that he should study them all. I should spend my days and nights in comparing Fetichism with Sabeism, the claims of Mohammed, Brahma, and Confucius. My professional studies must not be neglected while engaged in these misty researches, and I fear I should waste my life before I had succeeded in ascertaining what it is, whence it came, and to what it tends."

"You are young and happy," said Elton, gravely. "You will not always continue so. There are years when the mortal stands, or seems to stand, in no need of religion. But years pass away. If you will allow, we will resume this subject at some future time."

"I fear it will be of no avail; but I can never refuse the advice which comes from a friend."

This debate was conducted between the two speakers, and was not, probably, overheard by any one else. Elton was surprised to find the steady determination with which his young companion adhered to opinions so dangerous, while Harry secretly congratulated himself on having always the best of the argument (although, in truth, Mr. Elton had not commenced to argue at all), and regarded the latter as a very worthy, Puritanical gentleman, who believed the nonsense he had been taught from his cradle, and he envied him his self-satisfied freedom from doubt.

"What a delightful painting I could make of this circle," said Brigham to Harry, "in this light. Upon my soul, I have a mind to do it, as a sort of continuation to your family history."

"You have painted us all so many times before," said Harry, alluding to several productions on the wall, "that I should think you would be nearly tired of us."

The pieces to which Harry referred were various paintings and drawings of the children in as many attitudes and costumes. There was Frank, a two-years' old child, with his papa's hat and coat on. Harry, a boy of thirteen, looking you directly in the face with an expression of sunshiny, careless happiness, which formed a striking contrast to his present countenance. Mary, as a shepherdess of ten, tending a lamb; and Frank, again, still earlier, with a rattle and coral.

"I have heard your father speak lately of a tour in Europe," said Brigham, "and Frank is going off to Prairie du Chien; your sister will be getting married next, and what say you to a small painting, but sufficiently large to preserve portraits, and to produce all the effect of reality, of this company just as it now is."

"If it could be done soon," said Harry, thinking of his own plans of travel, "I should like it of all things, and very seriously I engage you to do it. You can take portraits from every person. I'll have even little Seth in."

"I'll do it," said Brigham. "I'll set about it immediately. I should scarcely need to alter an attitude. Miss Elton in the foreground, and those two English officers, your father and Emmerson, your mother and Frank. We must talk of this hereafter. Your father especially will make an admirable head."

"We'll talk of this more particularly to-morrow," said Harry.

"Emmerson's is a singular-looking countenance. He's a clever man, I believe?" asked Brigham.

"Oh, very; the apple of my father's eye. His history is interesting."

"I think I have heard of a service your father rendered him."

"Ten years ago," said Harry, "my father had occasion to visit, several times, one of the prisoners in the old jail. While there he observed a man of three or four-and-thirty, of quiet manners and not unpleasing exterior, shabbily dressed, pale, thin, and evidently unhappy. He was informed that the person was an attorney, who was imprisoned for a small debt, and seemed to suffer in health as well as spirits, particularly from want of good food and bedclothing. The old Roman law which gave to creditors the dead body of their debtor was less barbarous than that of our enlightened land, which then plunged the living into a cheerless dungeon, deprived them of the means to exercise their industry, and yet, while the felon was fed, made no provision to supply them with the necessaries of life."

"Yes, it is really startling to observe," said Brigham, "what abhorrent forms of error sometimes stand in the midst of us, with the daylight shining full upon them, and yet exciting no notice because we are used to them."

"Well," said Harry, "my father sought the acquaintance of this person—offered his services—sent him the best of food from his own table—supplied him with books, newspapers, etc., till at length, learning his history, and also that he had been practising law for a year in New-York, or, rather, endeavouring to practise it, without the least chance of obtaining any business, requested to pay his debt, which was only $300, and to take him into his own office as an attorney, to assist him in business. He found him well-informed, keen, and intelligent, a perfectly cool and steady business mind, and a careful, indefatigable student. I believe he often sits up the whole night to study, and he has now got to be such an able lawyer that, although he has not the talent of oratory, he really takes the lead in the business of the office, and is a most invaluable assistance. He is a silent man, very quiet, very modest, very amiable. He never speaks of the circumstances under which he made our acquaintance, but I presume he feels them not the less deeply; and he devotes himself to the business of the office with such indefatigable zeal and fidelity, that we all see in it the evidence of a mind not the less grateful because somewhat reserved and silent."

"You spoke of his history. What is it?"

"He is the son of an honest farmer, who, although himself poor and uneducated, discovered the intelligence of his son, and sent him to school and then to college, where his severe application acquired for him a respectable standing. He afterward taught Latin and Greek as an usher in a day school while he was studying law; and when admitted to the bar and obliged to abandon this means of support, his cold and silent manners not being of a kind likely to procure him friends and clients, he languished for some time in obscurity and indigence, necessarily running in debt, till at last, although one of the very cleverest men at the bar, he found himself in jail."

"Poor fellow!"

"Ah! now the scene is changed. My father loves and trusts him like a brother. Everything is committed to his hands. I, so much his junior in age, and so much his inferior in instruction and in habits of study, am very glad of an opportunity to learn under such an able master. We all love him as a superior being. Everything is Mr. Emmerson with us. If my father is at a loss for an opinion, he goes to Mr. Emmerson. If he thinks of purchasing a house or a horse, he consults Mr. Emmerson. If Frank wants anything, he applies to Mr. Emmerson. If I am at a loss, and my father is not at hand, Emmerson is my man. And I vow, I believe my mother, who esteems him entire perfection, if she were hesitating whether to have mince-pie or plum-pudding for desert, would go down and ask the advice of Mr. Emmerson."

"Ha, ha, ha! I suppose his fortune is made, then?"

"I believe my father considers it to be, at least, secure. He received at first a salary, which was subsequently raised. When I entered the office as a partner, it was agreed that we should, after the third year, make a new arrangement, putting him upon an equal footing. My father, you know, has scarcely need of his professional income, either for himself or any of his family except me, and is too happy in being able to bring forward so clever a man as Emmerson; we are, in fact, going to arrange the matter this very summer."

"He must be a great pleasure to you all."

"He is, as my mother often says, `perfection,' and, at the same time, in business I never saw a keener, more watchful, far-seeing eye. In fact, there is something rather remarkable about him."

"And the young, country-looking boy, farther down, who is he?"

"What, Seth? Ah, poor little Seth! ha, ha, ha! Another of my father's protégés. A little country fellow from Vermont, well-descended from the Green Mountain Boys, who resisted every attempt, vi et armis, to make a cobbler of him, and declared he would be nothing but a scholar and a great lawyer. He was whipped at the plough, they say, worse than the oxen which drew it, and sent into the barn to thresh corn, only to be much more thoroughly threshed himself, till at last his father kicked him neck and heels out of doors, and told him to go and be a gentleman and be— closing with a very naughty word. His mother, however, sent after him a small, yearly supply of cash, which he made go a great ways. My father met him by chance during an excursion into Vermont, and you know his enthusiasm for anything striking and out of the common routine. He ordered the young lad into his room, examined him a little, found he had picked up a good deal of learning in the raw material, and offered him a place as clerk in his office with a pittance sufficient to live on. We've had him now several years. I like him much; so do the rest of us; but Emmerson finds him rather intractable. Nevertheless, my father does his best to bring him out; my father never does anything by halves, you know. It is his happiness to do good—to help along young people in the world—to find merit anywhere—the more unsuspected the place, the better,— and to call it forth. He fancies he sees in little Seth a certain excellence of nature, and a certain moral and intellectual capacity, which circumstances and time are to ripen into something very remarkable. I don't know how it is. I like him; but Emmerson, whose opinion has great weight, says he's a stupid, obstinate little mule, and that nothing can be made of him worth the trouble we have bestowed on him. This judgment of Emmerson has put poor Seth lately rather under a cloud, and nobody but my father, whose heart shines on all alike, continues to have any high hopes of him. He invites him to his own table as one of his sons, as he says, to form his manners and make a gentleman of him. Poor Seth!"

The eyes of both the gentlemen here turned on Seth, who, attired in his elegant suit of new clothes, presented rather a ludicrous figure. He had a long shirt-collar, which, while it appeared in danger of cutting his ears off, at the same time interfered with the ingress of food into his mouth, and the aspiring propensities of which Mary had in vain endeavoured to bring under. He said nothing, and when spoken to, only blushed deeply, and stammered an answer that made him appear all that Emmerson had declared him. He formed a striking contrast to Emmerson himself, who, although his manners were peculiarly quiet and unassuming, was drawn into the general conversation several times, and discovered an extensive information, displaying a mind stored with facts, the result of long study; and the respect with which he was listened to by all the members of the Lennox family communicated itself imperceptibly to the rest of the company.

CHAPTER XIX.

About a week after the foregoing scene, on a morning which seemed to have assumed its brightest looks for the occasion, the bell of the steamboat Chancellor Livingston, advertised to start at eight for Albany, rang the notice to dilatory passengers that the moment of departure was at hand. It wanted but two minutes of the appointed time, the captain had just shouted, "All aboard!" in that vociferous voice peculiar to persons of his profession, and a couple of men had stooped to draw in the plank, when two carriages were seen rapidly approaching, and the already revolving paddles were checked. The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Lennox, Mrs. Elton and Fanny, with Frank, Mary, and little Seth, all in high glee, and in a very great hurry. They were speedily shown on board by the polite captain, who waited a moment to see that the luggage followed in safety. Under his superintendence, and to the silent amusement of the crowd of passengers and of various miscellaneous groups upon the bales, barrels, and piles of pine wood on the wharf, three or four stout fellows soon transferred to the deck the large hair trunk and the little leathern one, the three portmanteaus and the five bandboxes, besides an indefinite number of valises, hat-cases, canes, fowling-pieces, fishing-rods, and umbrellas. This effected, the captain breathed again. He once more shouted "All aboard!" and the wheels again commenced their violent vocation, when another carriage was observed thundering down Courtlandt-street, with a directness of purpose sufficiently indicating, on the part of the occupants, a determination to transfer their persons from it to the boat, if possible. The several hundred passengers drew to one side of the decks to watch the denouement of this little drama, which they appeared unfeelingly to regard as a comic performance; while the driver of the approaching vehicle, the horses thereof, the people within, and the desperate and indignant captain, all seemed affected with emotions more or less approaching to the tragic. The latter gentleman, in a tone of voice rather animated than otherwise, ordered the plank to be hauled in, muttering, at the same time, something which might possibly have resulted from a ruffled temper, and which appeared to have a reference either to his own eyes or those of the rapidly-arriving strangers. Despite these inauspicious circumstances, the said travellers reached the scene, and, without pausing to reply to various propositions respecting "very fine, sweet oranges," and newspapers containing "the last arrivals from Europe," proceeded forthwith to leap on board. Their luggage, happily light in weight and not numerous in articles, was pitched after them, in an unceremonious style, by a man, who first stopped, however, to decipher the inscription, "Captain Glendenning," on the plate of a valise. It is generally understood, by those conversant with the character of the captain (of the steamboat), that if his glances could have killed outright, the said man, at that same instant, would have descended at an uncommonly rapid rate, and probably head first, into the shades below.

"All aboard!" "Will you haul in that plank?" shouted the captain, now full three quarters of a minute after his time. "All aboard!" echoed half a dozen voices. The bell gave one more deafening toll, which made many ladies place their hands against their ears and draw up their faces into the prettiest and drollest expressions imaginable, laughing all the time, while those with whom the reader is acquainted were heartily shaking White and Glendenning by the hand. The plank (at length!) was drawn in with a force bordering on ferocity, to the imminent danger of the feet and legs of some forty or fifty individuals. The broad wheels gave plunge after plunge as the huge engine began to heave and pant with its great labour, the cables were cast loose, happily (though miraculously!) without injury to any one's neck or limbs, the surrounding green water grew white and distracted with foam, the shore, with its crowded and admiring audience, receded from the eyes of the throng of smiling travellers, who began to inhale more freely the cool air of the open bay instead of the hot dust of the town, and as the immense boat put fairly off into the river, and turned her prow up the Hudson, the band stationed beneath the broad awning on the upper deck began to play such a soul-stirring air, that everybody looked as bright and happy as if there had not been such a thing as care in the whole world.

The meeting of the Lennoxes with their two English friends was altogether unexpected, and so much the more agreeable on that very account. It was nothing but, "My dear Captain Glendenning," and "My dear Mrs. Lennox," and "Who expected to see you?" and "Where in the world did you come from?" "I thought your engagements prevented your leaving," and "Now we've got you, we shall carry you off to Rose Hill!" Glendenning explained to Mr. Lennox, while White explained the same to Mrs. Lennox, how they had been unable to resist the pleasure of taking the trip with them, and how they had successfully pleaded to be let off from their engagement, and how happy and delighted they were, etc., etc., etc., while Mrs. Elton was launching off, to nobody in particular, into a glowing description of Rose Hill and its resources, in which the words boating, shooting, fishing, riding, flowers, moonlight, bread and butter, poetry, and many others, followed each other with such earnest rapidity that her eyes were half full of tears, and glittered through her continual smiles like an April sun-shower. Lennox insisted upon keeping them at least a month, and, when something was intimated of "leave of absence" being expired, and a "very severe lieutenantcolonel," he said he didn't care a fig for all the lieutenantcolonels in Christendom, and they might lay all the blame on his shoulders; and if he could catch the lieutenant-colonel at Rose Hill, he would serve him the same way, and, if they chose, they might tell him he said so!

Never was there such a merry party, such superb weather, such bright things said, and such a wonderful growth of familiarity and friendship. One of the most spirited things possible is this way of starting off from New-York up the Hudson. There was more seen of each other's minds and hearts in a day than would have been the case in a year anywhere else. What with the crowd, and the movement, and the noise, and the voices, and the shaking of hands, and the hailing of friends to bid good-by from deck to shore, and the bracing, sweet air, and the beautiful women, and the jokes and the laughter at everybody and everything, and the sharp, first-rate appetite occasioned by all this, and the smell of the very nice breakfast you are going to get presently, and the flying by of the great, red, smoking, dusty, magnificent, brawling, bristling, crowded city, with the black wharves and old meal-stores vanishing in double-quick time, and the sloops, and ferryboats, and barges, and ships, and the green woods, and shores, and rocks, and sand-beaches, and farm-houses, and villages, and villas, and leaning hills, and broken, perpendicular precipices, all floating behind you like a perfect vision of enchantment, all as fresh and new in the tender morning light as if just finished on the painter's easel, all steeped in radiant colours, and perfumes, and grateful silence—in short, to a person, like most of our present party, healthy and happy, with plenty of money in his pockets and hope in his bosom, entirely free from business and care, such a trip, under such circumstances, is almost enough to make him forget the extremely bad character human life has received from most who have favoured us with their opinions on the subject.

The next memorable incident of the day was another deafening peal from a large hand-bell mercilessly rung by an honest negro, his face shining with delight at the noise he made and the important duty he was performing, who announced, in a magisterial voice, "Them gentleman as hasn't paid his passages, will please walk to the captain's office and settle it!"—a piece of rhetoric which brought the gayety of our little party to its highest possible point, made even Fanny, who was inclined to be pensive, give one of her old girlish laughs, and threw Seth into such convulsions of delight that the merriment of his companions was, if possible, enhanced thereby.

Then came a black lady, very ingeniously, and, as she probably thought, tastefully dressed, with a variety of ornaments and elegances peculiarly patronised by our sable belles; and after she had quietly and mysteriously selected the ladies by a freemason sort of nod and gesture, and thus caused most of them to vanish before the three or four hundred single gentlemen knew anything of what was going on, it was announced to the lady-less, male remnant of the ravenous assemblage, that the hour of breakfast had arrived, and that, by transferring their persons below, they might partake of the same. If any of them declined the invitation, we can only state, the fact has not come to our knowledge.

There are various sights in this world calculated to awaken intense emotion, but few more so than that which burst upon the individuals who brought up the rear of the procession into the cabin, as they beheld the splendidly furnished saloons, and the long, endless tables smoking with every delicacy, which would provoke the appetite more than it was already provoked, had such process been desirable, or, indeed, possible. The Lennox party had been obligingly placed in possession of one end of the principal table, where, Lennox at the head and leading the attack, such an onset was made upon the enemy as never was seen. The effect of the motion, the excitement, the sharp morning air had been irresistible. A most extraordinay disappearance of the various surrounding edibles took place, the four gentlemen, like gallant knights, hovering around their "ladies fair," and anticipating their wants, and thereby drawing closer the bands of friendship than could have been believed possible. Mrs. Lennox took good care of Seth, who, when Mr. Lennox ironically asked him "why he did not eat something," at a moment when he was just depositing into his mouth a prodigious piece of toast and butter, and half a sausage, came near meeting his death by reason of his sudden laugh and its abrupt termination, which set everybody else laughing again, so that, in fact, it was quite a miracle that everybody got safe through with it all.

Once more on deck, the spirits tranquillized, and the scenery growing every instant more beautiful, the crowd of passengers began to yield to those affinities which attract like to like. A large number were, of course, acquaintances. Such as were strangers were duly presented, and the enjoyment of society could scarcely be anywhere greater than thus, under the broad awning of the upper deck of the immense steamboat, and floating through scenes which recalled the valley of Rasselas or the still brighter abodes of the, alas! once innocent and happy parents of mankind.

In this circle, the presence of the two young duellists occasioned a considerable sensation. The affair had by this time become universally known, and the part Frank had borne in it rendered him an object of universal admiration and interest. Not only is the unthinking multitude dazzled by every display of prompt and manly courage, but there is in it something fascinating, also, to the soberest and wisest. It seems to redeem even a bad cause, but how much more brilliant is it when manifested to punish aggression and protect women? Even they who were opposed to the custom of duelling, and who would have pronounced it inexcusable under any circumstances, had life-blood once flowed on their own floors, were silenced by the general approbation bestowed upon Frank. Had a British officer been permitted to leave the United States unpunished after such an act— to have worn, perhaps, on his own bosom the rose thus snatched from that of an American lady, with an American officer at her side, what would England, what would the whole world have said? There was so much force in this argument that they who had nothing to oppose but the Word of God were but slightly listened to; so difficult is it for pure Christian principle to contend successfully against the passions and illusions of life.

On the present occasion it was soon perceptible that Frank was the lion of the day. When it was whispered about who he was, he could not have been insensible to the eyes which were fastened on him (and some of them, as Mr. Mantelini says, "demned handsome ones too!"). He had entitled himself to the applause of his native city. The newspapers had been full of compliments; judges, lawyers, statesmen, and public magistrates shook him heartily by the hand; and among the ladies, a young hero who had just saved his country in some brilliant battle could scarcely have been more openly admired. Mary and Lennox enjoyed all this, and Mrs. Elton, who, from her whole time being occupied in talking, did not think much one way or the other, shared in the triumphs of her favourite young friend. But Mrs. Lennox looked on with regret and apprehension, lest a serious injury might be thus inflicted on her son's character.

Glendenning, too, against whom, at first, the general indignation had run high, began to be regarded, not as a libertine who spent

"His rich opinion For the name of a night-brawler,"

but as a mere frolicksome young madcap, who had firmly and magnanimously atoned in his sober senses for a boyish spree. White, too, who, it was understood, had done all in his power to prevent the occurrence at all, was praised for the officer-like firmness with which he had pressed it through to just the point where his thoughtless friend might withdraw in a chivalric way from an affair of which he had become justly ashamed.

In the mean while everybody was introduced to everybody, and everybody talked to everybody about all sorts of things, and each individual of our party would have thought him or her self as happy as possible, if he and she had not felt they were growing happier every moment.

We wish we could put down the light and continual conversation which beguiled the swift hours of this delightful day, and also the thoughts which passed through their various minds. Mrs. Lennox, as she led on White to new communications respecting his friend, felt it more than ever her duty to avail herself of his present visit, which seemed a providential opportunity, to awaken in his volatile mind some serious religious impressions. She thought she saw in him an ingenuousness of character which did not contradict his engaging manners and prepossessing countenance. The enterprise of redeeming such a person from infidelity, and the dangers and misery consequent upon it, appeared one justly worthy of a Christian. Facility of disposition, which allowed him to be led away by bad example, and impetuous impulses and passions which he had never yet learned to govern, were obviously his principal faults. As for the scheme of Christianity, its history, and the evidences on which it stands, he was totally and singularly ignorant of them, and she promised herself the pious pleasure of lifting the curtain from those sacred truths, and of displaying to his candid mind, in all its sublime and unutterable glory, the ancient and eternal fabric of Christianity.

Glendenning was pleased with the prospect of a week at Rose Hill, and White was too agreeably impressed with his new acquaintances to interpose objections. Miss Elton was glad to have any one to occupy Frank's thoughts and time. She saw that his duel had given him new hopes, although the delicacy of his heart caused him to betray them only in an indirect way. She did, indeed, begin to regard him as no longer a boy, and the admiration and friendship which she really felt for him she was too artless to conceal, and he too inexperienced to understand. He evidently hoped that time might effect a favourable change in her sentiments towards him, and trusted everything to the future, which looked so bright and cloudless.

But of the whole party, perhaps none were so completely rapt in enchantment (though of a very different kind) as Mrs. Elton and Seth. The former, who, in the darkest hour, had around her an atmosphere of sunshine, when that orb did really pour his splendours on the spot where she stood, beheld in the earth only a scene of uninterrupted bliss. All nature and every individual wore in her happy eyes a colour of brightness. To her everything was beautiful, everybody was charming; the ugliest physiognomy was handsome; a cross temper was honest roughness, and a pug-nose spirituel. She never saw a fault in any human being. She gave White and Glendenning such astounding accounts of the excellence of everything and everybody, that they began to fancy themselves stumbled into one of the volumes of the Arabian Nights.

As for little Seth, he was, for the first time in his life, going up the Hudson, and arrayed in all the splendours of his new suit. He said nothing except when spoken to, and then generally answered only with a huge blush and an abrupt laugh, which opened and closed with an evanescence quite remarkable even in a world where all is so extremely transitory. Mr. Lennox, who saw how offensive he had become to Emmerson, and who could not understand why, had resolved to take him with the family to spend a month in the country, as much for the gratification of Emmerson as of the boy himself. He noticed him a great deal, made it a point to introduce him to everybody, as if he had been his own son, never failing, on such occasions, to pronounce, in a most flourishing manner, his three names, Seth Jacob Copely, and to add that he possessed talents and attainments which would inevitably one day place him at the head of his profession, if not in the presidential chair. Poor Seth had heard these astounding eulogies so repeatedly that he began to be used to them—for he felt they were full of kindness—and to love more and more the person who showered them on him. All treated him with a gentleness and consideration which sank into a heart not without warmth, although rarely displayed, and into a mind, though slow, both thoughtful and observing. His old, uncomfortable bashfulness had begun to give place to a feeling of greater ease and satisfaction. He saw that, where Mrs. Lennox's mild, sweet face was, he had always a friend to help him out of the embarrassing dilemmas into which he was frequently plunged by the thoughtless good-nature of Mr. Lennox; and as Mary took as much care of him as if he had been her brother (or her grandson), he got along tolerably well. Frank quizzed him, and Glendenning mystified him sometimes, in a mere spirit of fun; but Mary was an excellent champion, and Frank met in her an ancient and formidable foe. In short, Seth, somehow or other, found himself strangely happy. Of all men on earth, he most disliked and feared Emmerson; now he had escaped from the dark face of that gentleman for a time. He saw his representations had not injured him in the opinion of his benefactors, and, with the facility of youth, regardless of the future, he gave himself up to the pleasing impressions of the moment, watched the easy and elegant manners of the three gentlemen, and delighted to bestow such attentions as he knew how upon the ladies, each one of whom he loved with all the unbounded fervour of boyish gratitude and admiration. Strange and sweet impressions, too, began to descend upon his mind, from the varying and resplendent scenes of nature which were so rapidly flying behind him. He listened, too, with mute wonder to the conversation of the rest, of other shores and other rivers, of the scenes of Europe (that great dim vision of imagination to him), and to the thousand interesting remarks upon life which he heard now for the first time. The scenery, which struck every one else, and brought forth various exclamations of noisy rapture, sank into his soul silently, but not with a less deep effect, and this little, stupid country boy, thus introduced, almost by accident, into a sphere of life so much above his own, began to feel within him the development of new thoughts and the stirrings of new emotions. The beautiful countenance of Mary Lennox (who seemed to consider herself quite a woman and him only a little boy of no account whatever; and if she thought so, of course it must be so, for very far from him was the boldness to have an opinion of his own) had a sort of unaccountable attraction in his eyes. He could have sat gazing on it for hours, and so he did quite uninterrupted, for no one looked at him. If the young girl herself sometimes caught his eyes with her own in these encounters, she only smiled so kindly and good-naturedly, that, as we before observed, somehow or other, this passage up to Rose Hill was the most enchanting, delicious day he had ever known.

Fanny Elton, who appeared only recovering from her late indisposition, required no other explanation for a certain reserve which seemed lately to have shed itself over her mind. She presented with Mary the rare spectacle of a young lady decidedly prettier than her friend, yet without believing so herself; while Mary, equal in character, if not quite so in countenance, knew it well and unfeignedly rejoiced in it. Far, indeed, were both their pure souls above the mean passions of vanity and envy.

The bright, breathless noon brought the boat into the Highlands, whose bold, gigantic forms frowned darkly on the winding flood, and printed their sharp angles against the stainless azure sky. This spot, the region of a thousand romantic as well as historical associations, and invested by nature with such a startling beauty, and rendered still more charming by the chaste and tender genius of Irving, never appeared so bright, so still, so enchanting as on the present occasion. The sharp beak of the boat went bursting through the sleeping water, now close upon one shore, now upon the other. Sloops, their sails fully spread to catch every breath of air, stole silently along. The sturgeon leaped and fell heavily back into his watery home, and the eagle floated low over the rocky heights, balancing himself in idle enjoyment upon his immense, motionless wings (who could help wishing he possessed such a glorious power?). At last the bell, which a few hours ago had pealed through the hot and dusty streets of the city, now sent its deafening voice to die away among the echoes of the mountains, and the passengers to be landed at B— Point, upon whose beautiful and verdant acclivity Rose Hill stood, were obliged to get down a very unsafe sort of ladder, into a still more unsafe-looking small boat, most perilously attached by a rope to the always rapidly advancing steamer, all of which looked like a reasonable chance of favouring the merry party with a ducking. But the descent into their rather ticklish seats was most boldly and successfully made— boxes, portmanteaus, umbrellas, valises came tumbling in one after the other, and sometimes two at once, and off dashed the boat, in a style which there is not time here to describe at all, only there were various wavings of white pocket-handkerchiefs from the steamer to those in the little boat, and they in the little boat waved back again theirs to those in the steamer, and Miss Elton sat quietly thoughtful in the stern, while Frank wished, with all his heart, she might fall overboard, that he might jump in after her, only he would not have had her wet the sole of her shoe for twenty worlds, lest she might take cold, and—but stop: here we are already ashore. Out go people and portmanteaus (the captain of the Chancellor Livingston made things fly); the little boat was already far off; the steamer began to puff, and blow, and pant, and thunder at a greater distance; and the first thing Seth and Glendenning knew, they found themselves winding up a most sweet and odoriferous road, shaded with cedar, and oak, and sycamore, and locust, and wild roses, and all sorts of trees and flowers that make the air smell delicious; and then they were all standing on the portico of one of the most perfectly beautiful countryhouses that (at least so thought Seth) ever was or could possibly be seen, or even conceived. It was a sweet place (Rose Hill), but we are not going to describe it.

CHAPTER XX.

Perhaps there never were any people, altogether, quite so happy as the party now assembled at Rose Hill. There never was such glorious weather, such capital eatables, such delicious butter, and honey, and marmalade, and preserves, and cherry-wine, and ice-cream, and home-made bread, and fruit-pie, and, in short, all sorts of the very nicest things imaginable. White and Glendenning were fairly fascinated; and even Fanny, although she had some reason not to be as gay as she had been in other years, even she could not resist the effect of the bright scenes, hilarious and inspiriting incidents, and very agreeable people around her. As for little Seth, he had got to be quite a different person; as his true character developed itself, he was found, besides being not at all wanting in intelligence, so warm-hearted, grateful, and amiable, that he became a favourite. His stiff awkwardness gave place to more freedom of manner, and the changes going on in his heart began to show themselves on his countenance.

But if Seth appeared to have undergone a favourable alteration, in Glendenning there was perceptible a much greater one. He soon captivated his hospitable entertainers, and their obvious partiality for and complete forgiveness of him had a serious effect upon him. Frank and he were really become attached friends. Their prompt and daring courage and impetuosity of disposition were not unlike, only Frank's had been better regulated by education. Both were possessed of many of the faults as well as the virtues of youth—hot-headed, thoughtless, passionate, and inexperienced, but generous, affectionate, noble, and impressionable. They soon learned to love each other sincerely. Glendenning, sensible of his culpable folly and heartily ashamed of his past life, evinced in various ways his sincere repentance and desire to reform; and it was not in the power of the amiable family to see any one so truly inspired with good resolutions, without conceiving for him both sympathy and friendship.

There are periods when all that the earth affords of happiness seems gathered around us, and all its evils and cares disappear, just as some rare days break without a chill, a cloud, or a breath of wind. The brightness and repose of outward nature descend into our hearts. Our capacity for happiness is full. Not only do the trees, sky, rivers, and fields wear an unwonted charm, but the people around us appear invested only with grace and love, and arouse in us all our better feelings, as if they were so many radiant angels. Who has not come suddenly upon some such a happy valley in life's pilgrimage, where he would fain have lingered forever, but that the dusky phantoms of fate beckoned him onward, and the resistless and invisible current of circumstances, flowing with its turbid tide on and on, bears him away to other scenes, leaving only an enchanting recollection of these little holydays of the heart? And who has not felt, at such moments, the mysterious nearness— the viewless and noiseless presence of supernatural things? who has not observed that these intervals of peace and joy (not the legitimate inheritance of the fallen race which is doomed to eat of the ground in sorrow all the days of its life) come often just before some terrible crisis?

The week at Rose Hill was one of those periods of unusual enjoyment, and the only drawback upon all the fun at present was the necessity which called Mr. Lennox back to town early Monday morning, with the promise, however, to call and see them again Friday or Saturday. Music, drives, sketching and riding, gay and instructive conversation, poetry and literature, and, on all sides, the unreserved confidences of the heart. Glendenning wondered he had ever sought happiness in such different circles.

They had arrived at Rose Hill on Tuesday, and it was arranged that they should remain at least one week. The first afternoon and evening were devoted to an examination of the house and grounds. There were an excellent farm, a delightful garden; conservatories, promenades, etc., etc., etc.; a drive along a road following the river, and presenting a series of views remarkable for beauty: and then the family assembled in the drawing-rooms, which opened upon a balcony extending entirely around the house, and which was situated in so commanding a site, that the gorgeous and picturesque Highland river-scenery was spread out beneath and above like a superb panorama. Here the teatable gathered together not only the members of the party, but half a dozen distinguished strangers, either visiters at West Point, distant a short sail on the opposite side, or from some of the neighbouring seats. The expensive and elegant style in which Mr. Lennox lived, the luxurious furniture and very well-kept grounds; the opulence which made itself seen in all the details of the domestic arrangement— opulence, showing itself, however, rather in matters of comfort and genuine hospitality than display—surprised the two young officers, who had both been impressed with the idea that English comfort was not to be found in quite such perfection out of the sea-girt isle.

Little Seth saw in all this only a dream of perfect enchantment. He roamed about the grounds with his mouth open, peered into the garden, sat, half stupified with delight, looking at the magnificent landscape which lay beneath and above him, mingling silently with the persons who made up the evening party, bearing their jokes with immovable good-humour, hearing them talk, wondering at the easy flow of their words, and the bold and sportive way in which they spoke to each other, and in which they did the most serious as the most trifling things, and, in short, enjoying a great many new thoughts and feelings. Mary was his ever-faithful friend. She explained everything to him which he did not understand, told him where to go, and what to do and say, laughed him out of his bad grammar and country phrases, arranged his cravat and collar in a way so becoming that he was quite surprised himself at his genteel appearance, and was not likely to forget her manner of tying the knot in front. When she ordered him up to let her examine him sometimes—when she fixed her eyes on him with a scrutinizing look, gave him various instructions, put aside the hair from his forehead with her own soft, white hand, and arranged it around his temples, he said nothing, but he thought and felt a great deal. He felt as if he had entered into a new world, and as if a new soul had entered into his body.

Several days thus passed away delightfully. It seemed that none of them had ever before been so happy. Every morning saw our merry party early up and abroad upon some expedition of pleasure: a visit to some picturesque part of the shore in Harry's boat, or a drive and walk to the summit of some neighbouring mountain which commanded a celebrated view. From breakfast till dinner, riding, boating shooting sometimes, driving, newspapers, reviews, and calls every day. The whole party dined out or received at home, or made pic-nic parties to interesting spots. In the afternoons and evenings, when the sun, descending into a sea of glory, increased in splendour as the fierceness of his beams abated, and the cool, refreshing night air, full of perfumes, braced the nerves and soothed the spirits, Glendenning thought he had never seen a spot of the earth where he should so like to spend his life, nor people with whom his days would glide more pleasantly away. He had no family or home. His father, his only living relative, had discovered so little consideration for or interest in him that, however a sense of duty might modify his sentiments, he could not look forward to a return to the paternal roof as an event either possible or desirable. Here, at once, all the best qualities of his mind, all the noblest impulses of his heart, were called into being; and, as he became more acquainted with Mary, a dream of happiness rose up in his imagination, which, however immature, gave a great weight to the maternal counsels of Mrs. Lennox, and a new impulse to his schemes of reformation and self-improvement. In short, if Mary had given him the least encouragement, he would have fallen in love in the same off-handed way in which he did everything else. Whatever was the adventure which presented itself to him—a noble or a foolish action, a love-scrape or a duel—in he went headlong at ten minutes' notice.

During these fine times Mrs. Lennox by no means neglected her serious plan of turning Glendenning's attention to the subject of religion. The hope of convincing a young officer of such a disposition, and with whom her acquaintance had originated in such a singular manner, would have been thought, by most persons, rather Quixotic. But her genuine piety did not suffer itself to be discouraged by any ordinary objection, and she was delighted to find her task infinitely easier than she had dared to hope. Glendenning's facile nature was now softened by happiness and the novelty of pure and rational attachments. Mrs. Lennox's sweetness of manner, which only reflected that of her countenance and soul, had a pleasing effect upon him. He was, as we have before observed, so completely ignorant of the nature of our divine religion, and of the evidence by the aid of which it has resisted the stormy shocks and wearing influences of so many centuries, and she was so well acquainted with the subject, and was able so clearly to explain that which she so clearly understood, that she soon succeeded in raising in him both astonishment and curiosity. She artfully availed herself of many an interval to appeal frankly to his good sense and calm reason, and she had the gratification to see that he was sufficiently ingenuous to confess when her facts were new to him and her arguments unanswerable. He listened at first with respect, and afterward with unfeigned attention and increasing interest, laid candidly before her all his ignorance and all his objections, and saw that the ground he stood on was taken by her earnest and pious eloquence and superior knowledge, inch by inch, from beneath his feet. He promised her, at last, that he would make a full study of the subject the first duty of his future life; that if doubts continued in his way, he would apply to her before he yielded to them, and that he would correspond with her after his departure, and let her know the progress of his opinions. There was in this no affectation. He had been very much impressed by new views of what, he saw, he had never understood, or even taken the trouble to examine. His nature was not wanting in the purity requisite in a believer, but only in the stability, strength, and seriousness. But what he would never have sought himself, this best of friends presented to him with disinterested anxiety for his welfare. She began to love him with almost the force of a mother, and her gentle, affectionate, and intelligent character had not failed to awaken in his breast reciprocal sentiments.

After one of these long conversations, during a ramble through a neighbouring wood, when she had separated him from the rest of the company to pursue, without interruption, her plan of awakening his attention to the subject of religion, the whole party returned to the house, where, after a slight repast, Mrs. Lennox reminded them they might expect her husband and Harry by the noon boat. It was therefore proposed to go down to the landing at the proper hour, and receive the new visiters with all the honours of war. Accordingly, at about one o'clock, the whole party repaired to the spot, laughing and talking as friends who have spent a week in the country are very apt to talk, for nothing brings mind and heart closer together than such an interval of uninterrupted intimacy. A few moments after their arrival they discovered a light cloud of ascending smoke and steam peering over the summit of a green hill, then the plunging strokes of the wheels and panting of the engine, and immediately the large and stately vessel, more like a floating palace than a boat, darted from behind a projecting angle of black, broken rock, with the well-known barge cleaving the foamy flood at its side, and containing the three figures of Mr. Lennox, Harry, and Mr. Emmerson.

"Hallo! hurrah, boys! how are you? here we are!" shouted Lennox, waving his hat. "Now then, my fine fellows, out with ye. Hand up the valise. That's it; all right! How d'ye do? How de do?"

And then the various embraces and shaking hands natural to the occasion. As Lennox and Mrs. Elton did not find it convenient to stop talking, the exclamations of the rest were edged in as well as they could; and as nobody waited for any answers, it was pretty much all the same in the end. Emmerson's face was all smiles and blandness, though his gratulations, like everything else he did, were performed in a quiet way.

"But what's the matter with you, Harry?" said his mother; "you don't look well."

"Oh yes, perfectly. Never so well and so gay in my life," said Harry, rousing himself from a revery.

"Where's Fanny?" demanded Lennox.

"Here she is, at least here she was, or I thought she was here."

"Didn't she come down?" asked Mary.

"No, I don't think she did," said Frank. "I observed she was not with us."

Up the steep, fragrant foot-path they wound, and met Fanny just coming down, looking quiet, but Mrs. Lennox thought it was not altogether a natural tranquillity. She had observed, when she spoke of the arrival of the party by the boat, a certain change in her expression and manner, which revived a thought not altogether a stranger to her mind.

CHAPTER XXI.

Mr. Lennox had brought up with him newspapers, magazines, caricatures, and letters. He was, besides, full of town news, and rattled away faster than ever. He met White and Glendenning with the hearty, hilarious hospitality which belonged to his character, kissed Fanny whenever he could catch her, and seemed in high glee. The dinner hour arrived before they had time to ask and answer all their mutual questions, and Champagne and cigars upon the beautiful flower-wreathed piazza succeeded.

The piazza extended entirely around the house, so as to form a most agreeable promenade. It was at this time that Fanny, who had withdrawn herself again from the family when the cold, melancholy manners of Harry, only relieved at times by a forced gayety, oppressed her with a feeling of painful uneasiness, was surprised by the sudden and silent appearance of Emmerson close at her side—so close and unexpected, indeed, that the sigh which happened at the moment to escape her was perceived by him.

"Does Miss Elton sigh?" said Emmerson, with more than his usual gentleness.

"Did I?" said Fanny, blushing. "I really was not aware."

"Miss Elton, I am going to ask your advice."

"Advice? mine! Oh, Mr. Emmerson," she replied, laughing, "on what subject could I pretend to advise you?"

"And why not me?" said he, smiling blandly.

"Oh, because you, of all men, know best how to act on every occasion. I might ask advice from you, but to give it I wish I were worthy."

"My dear Miss Elton, do your words really express your sincere sentiments?"

"Why, certainly."

"Your good opinion makes me happy. To say the truth, I do not exactly so much propose to seek your advice as to offer you my—my confidence."

"If I can serve you by receiving it," replied the young girl, both pleased and flattered by the respectful attention of one so generally esteemed.

"Listen to me, then. Mr. Lennox, you know, has long desired to retire in some degree from his profession. He yesterday made me an offer of one half the income of the office, which cannot amount to less than $5000, and may go considerably beyond it."

"I congratulate you with all my heart," said Miss Elton.

"But I have an objection to receiving this obligation."

"What! from Mr. Lennox? What objection can you have? You accept only what you are entitled to. I have frequently heard him say you have been of the greatest service to him. He is rich enough himself, and, in retiring, has certainly the full right to choose his successor."

"But this son of his—this Harry."

Miss Elton was silent.

"I have already told you, Miss Elton, my secret opinion of this young man. He can never himself make a good lawyer or a good man. He is too light and fickle; too— too—yet, nevertheless, ought I to accept a share of what, it may possibly be considered, should of right fall to him alone?"

"If his father found your assistance necessary, it is not likely he could dispense with it."

"It is not exactly that. I am under a great embarrassment in communicating to you what I have now to say; but, as your old friend and your father's, you will allow me, won't you, to speak frankly?"

"You cannot offend me," said she, although a colour overspread her face as she spoke, "because I know whatever you say will be the truth , and because you have already, with the disinterestedness of real friendship, rescued me from a great danger."

"Then, this is it: while the slightest possibility remained of your yielding to what will probably be the serious wish of his family, in receiving the addresses of Mr. Henry Lennox—"

"Mr. Emmerson," said Fanny, "let me assure you, there is as little danger of his preferring as of my accepting any such proposition."

"I breathe again," said Emmerson, extending his hand to hers, which she did not refuse. "I should, in fact, be doubly distressed at the possibility of your union with him; first, because he is unworthy of you, as I have already told you, and, secondly, because, my dearest Miss Elton, I have, after much painful resolution to the contrary on my part and a deep sense of my own presumption, determined to throw myself upon your generosity, your good sense, your excellent understanding—to—in short—to ask your advice respecting my own future prospects."

"In what way, Mr. Emmerson?"

"I am now in possession of an independent income, and I have, moreover, an opportunity, by a fortunate speculation, of turning it into a large fortune."

"You really delight me," said Fanny, while such lively pleasure beamed from her face that Emmerson could not doubt either its strength or sincerity.

"May I then venture to hope that the sentiments of unalterable regard with which you have inspired me, and which, you say, I have had the happiness to inspire on your side—dare I venture to hope that the clear intelligence of Miss Elton, superior to the illusions of youth or the impulses of any mere girlish passion, may condescend to allow me to reveal to her the earnest and profound esteem which I have myself entertained for her? may I hope to find in her not only advice on temporary occasions, but an adviser to cheer and guide my future steps through life? In offering you my hand, I need scarcely say, my heart has been yours from the moment I first beheld you."

Miss Elton fixed her eyes upon her companion, as he closed this speech, with an astonishment and consternation which prevented her uttering a single word in reply.

"Consider the advantages a union with me would ensure to you. A friend, soberly and unchangeably attached, who has passed the danger of youth, with me your days will not be clouded with doubt or your feelings harrowed by dissipation. No bloody duels or midnight brawls! but our lives will glide peacefully on, without a doubt to shade or a care to interrupt them. My dear Miss Elton, I have for years looked forward to this moment as the most important—the most delightful of my life. Answer me: will you be mine? Consider the advantages a union with me would secure to us both. Do not hesitate."

"I do not hesitate," replied Miss Elton; but, as she raised her eyes, she beheld Harry close behind Emmerson, his form drawn back in stern surprise, mingled with embarrassment. He had evidently, and by mere accident, overheard the last words of Emmerson and her own. Conscious of the impression he must have derived from them, she became so unusually agitated that Emmerson once more took her hand. Harry had already disappeared.

"I do not hesitate," repeated she, "or, if I did, it was only from amazement. Respect and esteem I shall always feel towards you, Mr. Emmerson, but I can never entertain any warmer sentiment."

"Let me at least request, Miss Elton," said Emmerson, after a pause, and with a look of deep mortification, "that you will consider my offer a confidential secret."

"Certainly, sir."

"Have I your promise?"

"You have."

"Hallo here! where are these runaways?" said Mr. Lennox's voice. "What, Emmerson, are you making love to Fanny?"

"I should hardly presume," said Emmerson, laughing in an easy way, which rather surprised Miss Elton in one she had always considered so artless and sincere.

"We're going out in the boat to see St. Anthony's Nose. Bring along the young lady, and take good care of her, mind!"

CHAPTER XXII.

Glad of an opportunity to run away, Fanny went in after her bonnet, and in a few moments the whole party were on their way down the steep, winding path, talking and laughing, Mr. Lennox occasionally rallying Emmerson upon having been detected in making love to Miss Elton, as if the very idea were the most capital joke conceivable. Emmerson received and replied to this badinage with a skilful duplicity, which let Fanny still more into the peculiarities of his character, and awoke in her mind a train of serious reflections. In the first place, she recollected a thousand instances of kindness and delicate private attention bestowed upon her as long back as she could remember, and which she had always ascribed to the disinterested partiality of a father. She recollected that it was Emmerson who had accidentally interrupted her interview with Harry, when that young gentleman had commenced to make to her the offer of his heart and hand. When she next saw him, it was again Emmerson, who, on the grounds of paternal disinterestedness, had addressed her on the subject of Harry, had warned her against him by repeated hints and innuendoes, as one who, to oblige his parents, might put on a show of attachment, but who had confessed to him his hope that he might be rejected, and his sincere passion for another. In looking back over her whole acquaintance with Emmerson from her present point of view, she could perceive how greatly he had influenced her, and how cautiously and secretly he had always done it. Every dark hint had been breathed in a whisper; every secret innuendo uttered in strict confidence. In short, from various things, she began to suspect that he was sly. The affair looked like an intrigue, however irreconcilable with his irreproachable character. These new thoughts at length produced another, which at once overwhelmed her with pleasure and pain. She had, then, without grounds, rejected and insulted Harry, whom she had sincerely loved till Emmerson had shaken her confidence in him. She had, then, been sincerely and honestly loved by Harry, and she had thrown him away forever. The poor fellow little knew with what a changed heart she walked silently down the hill by his side.

The boat in question was a large and beautiful one, built for Harry, who loved solitary excursions among the mountains, as well as such merry parties as the present. It accommodated the whole company, and the two men who aided in managing the sail, or, when necessary, the oars. A fine breeze carried them swiftly forward beneath West Point, and within sight of the famous "Nose," which tradition (or the genius of Irving) has immortalized as that of the saint. A great many bright things were said, as all were in high glee except Fanny, who had sunk into a silent revery, and Emmerson, who, what with the entire failure of his attack on Miss Elton, and his jealous displeasure at seeing the happiness of little Seth, looked rather yellow and bilious.

At length the breeze died entirely away, and the little sail hung idly against the mast. The general merriment, too, was rather checked by the sight of a deep, heavy thunder-cloud, which began to project a ragged, ink-black, island-looking edge over the outline of the green hill above their head and into the transparent azure of the sky. This threatening visiter had been concealed by the mountain till it was just ready to burst upon the breathless scene. The ladies were alarmed, of course, for their bonnets, if not for their lives. Some spoke of a squall, and others of lightning, while the bravest acknowledged that a proper drenching was tolerably inevitable. The oars were put out, and, manned each one by two, made the boat advance with velocity towards the shore, but scarcely so fast as the prodigious mass of pointed vapour above them, which, lowering with the portentous opaqueness of granite, seemed pursuing them with ominous fury. Although the gentlemen were positive as to their security from the lightning, from which the high hills afforded a sufficient protection, yet dreadful squalls often forced their way down the high and narrow ravines. The lowering cloud, however, still delayed to pour down its contents or to launch the terrible bolt, and the boat seemed happily destined to reach the shore before the tempest commenced, when a violent wind swept over the smooth water, and soon lashed it into such waves as a good deal interfered with the skill of Harry, who had taken the helm, and was guiding it directly to the shelter of a steep, overhanging rock, projecting into the deep channel of the river. At this moment a sudden shout sent terror into every bosom. A sloop, with all sail set, suddenly appeared turning the point at a fearful velocity, making so directly for the boat as to render the destruction of all on board apparently certain. The danger was sudden and appalling. The helmsman of the sloop, startled by the fierce command of Harry, appeared stunned into stupid inactivity, and let her come steadily on without in the least altering her course.

"Save the ladies!" shouted Harry.

"Save me!" cried Emmerson, "save me!"

Each gentleman seized one of his fair companions, ready to leap overboard with her, except Emmerson, who, without thinking of any one but himself, clung to the stout farm-lad next him in such a convulsive way, that he actually pushed Miss Elton into the stern, where her danger was imminent, both of falling overboard and of being crushed to death by the heavy and swiftly-advancing mass. Harry, who had just perceived that, by the power of his own helm, he had cleared the main body of the sloop, but that a piece of heavy timber projecting from her low deck might come in contact with Miss Elton, who was standing in mute terror, leaped forward and bore her back, but at the peril of his own life; for, while he succeeded in rescuing her from certain death, he stumbled himself, and, receiving a severe blow, fell headlong into the river. The voices of the ladies, which thus far actual fright had restrained, now vented their emotions in a general shriek, among which that of Mrs. Lennox and Fanny was not the least loud. The sloop swept fearfully by; the little boat rocked violently in the billows of its wake, and Harry appeared to have sunk beneath forever.

"My son! save him! Harry! he's gone!"

"Nonsense," said Lennox; "he swims like a duck."

A moment of intense anxiety passed, and "There he is!" broke from every lip. But Frank had already plunged into the stream; for, on reappearing, it was perceived that the young man, instead of beating the waves with his athletic arms, lay like a senseless corpse upon the flood, and then sank slowly out of sight. The next moment he was borne into the boat by Frank, but senseless, and his forehead stained with blood from a wound. At this moment the thunder burst from the cloud, the lightning seemed to set earth and heaven in a blaze, and a deluge poured itself down upon the unfortunate pleasure party.

"He's dead! he's dead!" cried Mrs. Lennox.

"To save my life, which I would have sacrificed a thousand times for him!" cried Fanny, beside herself with grief and horror.

Even in that terrible moment, this remark, and the manner in which it was uttered, struck Frank, Emmerson, and Mrs. Lennox, and was afterward remembered. Only love the most passionate and sincere could have inspired it; and the poor young girl, covering her face with her hands, remained in a state impossible to be described.

In a few moments they reached the shore, and the body was conveyed into a farmer's house, where, in a very short time, to the unutterable delight of everybody, it not only came to, under the various appliances usual on such occasions, but presently appeared in a standing position, and arrayed in a suit of Farmer Smith's Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. In the mean while the carriage had been sent for, and the ladies, with very mixed emotions of grief, joy, horror, and being very wet, had attired themselves in various articles of Mrs. Smith's and Mrs. Smith's daughter's wardrobe, and, by the time the carriage arrived, they were all ready to be put in, and (Harry first) entered accordingly— some on the box, and forming the most extraordinary-looking party of pleasure that ever was seen; they all reached Rose Hill, went to bed, took warm egg-nog, and tea, punch, etc., etc., etc., and, by the time the storm had passed away and the sunshine had come out again, they had all reassembled in the drawing-rooms in unexceptionable toilets—the gentlemen in a high state of elegance and glee, the ladies looking lovelier than ever; Harry somewhat pale and interesting, and appearing very advantageously behind a large bit of sticking-plaster (which the doctor had applied, with the assurance that no possible bad effect could arise from the accident, at least as far as concerned his bodily health), and Miss Elton in a state of most becoming embarrassment, endeavouring in vain to keep her usual cool composure of manner, through her painful consciousness that she had betrayed a degree of interest for Harry, which, whatever might be her real sentiments, she had had no intentions to communicate confidentially to a whole boatful of people at once. Never did she appear so beautiful, so timid, or with so little definite idea what she should do with herself.

CHAPTER XXIII.

The next day was the one fixed for the departure of the guests, and, on this their last evening, the family assembled on the broad piazza very much softened by the accident so nearly fatal to one, if not to all. The idea of danger escaped is an agreeable one, and, while it renders more lively the sense of existence, it excludes from the mind commonplace thoughts and prepares the heart for the tenderest emotions. The sun went slowly down, as if he hated to leave such a beautiful scene, and the western sky was all bathed in hues of purple and gold. The moon rose broadly and silently up over the hilltops, and every instant the sweet summer night made some delightful change in the soft landscape. The fire-flies flashed and floated in the black shadows of the woods and hillsides, and the softened cry of the frog and katydid was blended from the distant shore with the sturgeons plash, or music from the deck of a passing steamboat, or the barking of some farmyard dog, or the occasional voice of a sailor from the sloops that stole around the point beneath. Never had Glendenning felt before what it was to possess a mind and a soul, what it was to love poetry and music, and that the rational being may enjoy pleasures, tranquil and innocent, and far superior to those vulgar amusements in which he had wasted so much of his youth.

A sadness by no means unpleasant, but very different from the noisy mirth which had, till now, animated the party, appeared to have fallen over them. In some bosoms this sadness was not without a definite cause, while in the rest it was but the vague shadow of half-felt presentiments or tender memories. Each one had peculiar thoughts which checked idle mirth. Mrs. Lennox had detected in Miss Elton the secret of her soul, and regarded Frank with sympathy. She was also but partly recovered from the shock of her late alarm, for her maternal heart was absorbed in her children, and she felt if she erred in loving the earth too much, they were the cause: "Where the treasure is, there will the heart be also." She beheld in Glendenning, too, a noble young man, who only wanted advisers to preserve him in a path of virtue and piety, but who, with a most impressionable nature, was about re-entering into the dangerous vortex of life.

Frank and Emmerson had both marked the expression of Miss Elton on seeing what she supposed the dead body of Harry, and both formed the same opinion as to its meaning, although this opinion awoke in their separate breasts very different emotions. In Frank, a melancholy, despairing conviction that his attachment was hopeless, while it strengthened his affection for both Miss Elton and his brother: in Emmerson, mean rage against Miss Elton and a malignant envy of his successful rival. The character of this gentleman, however artfully he placed it before the world, and however carefully he guarded it against all manifestations, could not be examined closely and tested fairly without betraying its selfish meanness and quiet perfidy. He saw Miss Elton had detected him, and he trembled for his profitable place in the family of his benefactor. These thoughts made him wretched, and painted themselves on his pale and silent countenance. No one, however, but Miss Elton knew how to read there the workings of a bad heart, disappointed in a treacherous attempt to undermine and calumniate the son of his patron. By a mutual instinct, she appeared to have discovered him, and he to know that he was exposed.

The conversation naturally dwelt long on the accident, which Mr. Lennox attempted to turn into a capital joke, but in which his wife found food for serious reflection. Fanny was silent and subdued, and scarcely ventured to thank Harry for the life he had preserved. When she did so, she found, with a feeling not far from anguish, that to her gentle words and strangely altered demeanour he returned only cold replies. Since the interview in which she had so seriously insulted him, and in which he had sworn never again to resume the subject of his love, he had invariably met her with the same distant but guarded courtesy, but as she scarcely addressed him in a different manner, she could not be surprised or disappointed. The suspicions she had now conceived of Emmerson, and the tender emotion Harry had betrayed in the moment of her danger, had entirely altered her feelings, and she knew not whether gratitude or love most actuated her in the words she addressed to her preserver, and in her manner of uttering them. But the unchanged civility with which they were received, and with which the advances towards reconciliation were thrown back, filled her with an astonishment which certainly she had no right to experience if she had known the delicacy, the pride, and the high character of her lover, and the various impressions of her which had been communicated to him. She perceived now for the first time, with amazement and consternation, that his attachment was really chilled, perhaps destroyed forever, and grief for her loss was mingled with indignation against Emmerson, whom, with the unexamining ardour of a young girl, she concluded to be the cause. It was not, therefore, without a certain delightful tremour that she heard Mr. Lennox say Harry should not return with him to town, but that he should remain a week at Rose Hill to recover from the effects of the accident and take care of the girls. Harry strenuously resisted, until, overcome by the general voice, he declared he would not consent unless Glendenning and White would also remain two or three days. This they both pronounced seriously impossible, on which Harry, who declared himself perfectly recovered, persevered in his intention to return to the city the next Sunday afternoon.

While the rest of the company were laughing and talking over their ice-cream at one end of the piazza, Mrs. Lennox walked to and fro on the other, leaning on Glendenning's arm, and engaged in earnest conversation.

"I don't know what it is, my dear Captain Glendenning: I am not generally, I hope, very superstitious, but I feel a painful presentiment on seeing you return to Montreal."

"Such a confession gives me pleasure rather than pain," said Glendenning; "for, while it convinces me of your friendship, it does not alarm me for my safety. But what is it you fear?"

"You will not be offended?"

"Can you ask such a question?"

"I fear, then, yourself. I fear lest new scenes and influences hereafter prevent your perseverance in your present mode of self-cultivation and self-government. I fear your compliance, even against your own sense of right, with the customs of the world—your yielding to its passions, temptations, and illusions."

"Mrs. Lennox, you do me injustice. I can never forget the time I have spent with you amid this beautiful scene of nature, charmed and refined by such hearts and minds as those of your family. My character has been neglected, but I feel the stirrings of its better qualities. You have awakened in me a sense of religion; at least, of the possibility that it may be true. It is no longer, in my eyes, ridiculous or impossible; and with this sentiment will always remain recollections of my happy visit to Rose Hill. Do you think I can ever forget these mountains, that river, this happy domestic circle, and the hours we have spent together? Shall I ever forget our rides and rambles, the sloops stealing on their course beneath us, and the steamboats staining the woods and sky with smoke? Shall I ever forget this delicious evening? and, more than all, touched as I am with your magnanimous forgiveness of a mad act, and with the generous attachments I have formed in your family, can I forget that you have returned good for evil, and endeavoured to rescue me from my worst enemy— myself?"

"I hope not; but you are young. A military life is not favourable to the continuance of the impressions you now entertain. If circumstances threw you into another duel, should you have the firmness to resist?"

"I think I should."

"Not unless supported by unwavering faith in Christianity. Nothing else can sustain you. That alone makes a man calm, lofty, and unselfish. There is no philosopher like the Christian. Neither his principles nor his reward depend upon this fluctuating world. You are not yet a Christian, but you are destined to be one. Read the volumes I have given you. You are, I hope, destined to undergo an important change: I mean, you are to be converted. Do not smile at a term which is not, I am aware, quite free from very commonplace, perhaps ridiculous and vulgar associations. But you must go on, despite those and other influences, to a study of religion. I am older than you. I have studied it. Believe me, no man (I speak not only my own sentiments, but those of some of the greatest men, the most learned, cool, practical, and sensible that have ever lived, such, for instance, as Washington, Newton, Butler, and a host of others), no man can examine all the evidences of Christianity without confessing them to be unanswerable. There is no equivocation; there is no possibility of escape. Hume, Voltaire, and Volney never did examine them candidly. The works of the latter traveller, called his "Ruins," abound at every page with proofs that he had not carefully read the Scriptures, that he did not know their meaning; and as for Voltaire, he somewhere speaks of the `Pentateuch and the rest of the books of Moses. ' The whole purpose of this life is to place man in possession of truth by means of his own free search, and the doubtful features of the Christian scheme are meant, as Grotius (another great believer) asserts, to try us. He says that the proof given of Christianity is less than it might have been, so that it may be a `touchstone for trying the docility and soundness of a man's mind.' You must read, and you will then see that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation."

"I am, in truth, very ignorant," said Glendenning.

"Will you study the subject?" asked Mrs. Lennox. "Will you examine—will you hear what the believers in Christianity, such men as Grotius, have to say in support of their faith?"

"I will, I give you my word."

"Study it, if it is only to find out evidence of its falsehood."

"Indeed, I will."

"And if I can be the means of awakening your mind to these truths—if, under Him who disposes of all things, I can be an humble instrument, I shall think Providence has conducted you in mercy under our roof."

Glendenning was touched with the interest she showed in him. He had no distinct idea that the religion she so warmly pressed upon his attention was true; but he was grateful for the mother's love she manifested, and the memory of his own mother was the softening and purifying idea of his character.

"Shall I trust you?" said Mrs. Lennox.

"As I am a gentleman."

"I had rather you had said, as you are a Christian."

"Perhaps, when I see you again, I shall say so!"

CHAPTER XXIV.

Glendenning retired to bed at a late hour, for the night was so deliciously bright and tranquil he could scarcely tear himself away, and the little happy circle, remembering they might, perhaps, never spend another evening together, were but too ready to postpone the hour of separation. The conversation took a confidential and almost a romantic and tender tone, sometimes interrupted by a remark of Mr. Lennox, which set every one laughing, or by a glee, which the young ladies were very fond of joining in with Frank. Harry coldly abstained from taking a part, but listened to the sweet voice of Fanny as it sometimes trembled on words which might seem to bear a reference to her own position and feelings. Emmerson, whose presence, somehow or other, threw a chill over the group, had withdrawn early to a book, and then to bed. This last evening of Glendenning with the Lennoxes often afterward recurred to his memory.

The next evening he was to start at nine by the passing Albany boat.

The regret felt by all at the breaking up of their agreeable party was concealed by none, and when they came out upon the walk before the door to pay the parting salutations, Mrs. Elton talking the whole time to each individual in his and her turn, her eyes swimming in tears—Mr. Lennox laughing and joking to hide his softened feelings— Frank embracing affectionately his departing friend, and even Miss Elton and Mary protesting that they should read no more poetry, have no more music, make no more excursions for a month, Glendenning began to feel that he had formed attachments of a serious nature, and some, or at least one, which, had time and tide allowed, might have become more serious still. Mary had excited in him a certain odd, warm, cold, curious sentiment, which a more philosophical stranger would have identified as an embryo passion. The gay young lady herself—we must do her justice on this extremely delicate point—had not dreamed of any other feelings towards the warm-hearted, generous traveller than a sincere and friendly interest.

"There, there comes the boat," said Miss Elton; "I see the sparks over the trees, on that broad part of the river Don't you see?"

"Yes, too well," said Glendenning.

"It will be here exactly in twenty minutes."

"And have all my joys, then, shrunk to this little measure?"

"Now, you don't believe what a monstrous tender-hearted being this travelling companion of mine is," said White. "He won't be worth anything for a month."

"God bless you, God bless you," broke from every lip, as the general shaking of hands was renewed and renewed again, till everybody's heart was beating double quick time in their bosom. "Write us often, I'll always answer," and Come down again next summer," and "Don't forget to read Halleck, and Irving, and Bryant," and "We shall see the boat as you come under this point," and "I'll wave a handkerchief to you," and "I'll be on the upper deck, and wave mine," and "We shall drink your health to-morrow precisely at four, and then think of us," and "There's the bell, don't forget us!" These and various other phrases from all present were interrupted by,

"We shall be too late, sir," in the quiet voice of the coachman, as the bell of the steamboat rose in impatient, quick peals through the trees from the river below.

"Good-by, and God bless you."

And then some very hearty shaking of hands again, and White leaped into the carriage with Frank and Lennox.

"And now really good-by," said Glendenning, once more shaking each of the ladies by the hand. "Kind, dear Mrs. Elton, I shall never forget you. Miss Elton, you have forgiven me like an angel, and I shall always recollect you as one. Mrs. Lennox, I could call you my mother," and he pressed her hand warmly to his lips. "Miss Lennox, I should be even more unhappy than I am if I didn't think we should one day—"

"Come, d—n it," said Lennox, "if you don't want to be left behind, young man—"

He sprang into the carriage.

"Adieu. God bless you, and happiness be yours; and mind," said Mrs. Lennox—"remember! you have made a promise!"

The coachman cracked his whip, and the carriage dashed down the winding road, and was lost among the trees.

"There goes as fine a fellow as ever lived," said Mrs. Lennox.

"And what does Mary think?" said Mrs. Elton. "He will not carry away a whole heart, poor fellow. Such expressive eyes! such a sweet manner! Do you know, really, my dear Mrs. Lennox—"

"Let us go out on the point, where they will see us in the moonlight."

The party repaired to the spot indicated by Mrs. Lennox, where, after waiting some ten minutes, they heard once again the loud bell, the voices of the captain and porters below, then the heavy thunder of the revolving wheels, and presently the black mass, glittering in the moonlight, flashing with lights, music bursting from her deck, the figures of people passing to and fro, and, in the stern, a single form, not recognisable in itself, but easily identified as Glendenning by the handkerchief which was slowly waved towards them, till the moving city disappeared behind a sudden bend among the mountains.

Thus they met, and thus they parted. How will they meet again? But as none of the gay folks of Rose Hill was gifted with the faculty of reading the future, the question, which presented itself to more minds than one, remained as yet unanswered.

CHAPTER XXV.

The charm of the Rose Hill circle was broken by the departure of their two gay and pleasant guests. Other thoughts and feelings now began to rise. Harry, who, true lover as he was, despite his very unequivocal rejection, had clung to a hope that the whole was the result of error, and might one day be explained and arranged, imagined all doubt terminated by the discovery he had accidentally made of Miss Elton's partiality for a flirtation with Mr. Emmerson. He had, therefore, in his own decisive way, changed his mind entirely as to her character, and conceived an opinion, in which he did not again intend to waver, that this beautiful girl, with whom he had allowed himself to fall so desperately in love; for whom he had come so near blowing his brains out; from whom he had tamely received an insult as cruel as it was unnecessary—he had come to the conclusion that this lovely and engaging young person was neither more nor less than a heartless coquette. His opinion, however false, was not altogether without apparent foundation. Both Frank and himself had been led to declare their passion, both, it seemed, drawn on by her arts, and both, at the proper point, instantly and unmercifully rejected; and now even Mr. Emmerson, a cold and obviously unsocial man, old enough to be her father, was in his turn ensnared, and was either really honoured with her approbation (for the air and attitude which had struck him appeared to warrant such an idea), or was led on to think so by her love of conquest. If she had accepted this last one of her adorers, Harry felt, somehow or other, that he should equally despise her heart and her understanding; but if he, too, had been encouraged to form and confide his hopes only to be in his turn rejected, the evidence of Miss Elton's proficiency as a coquette—a proficiency made perfect by so much practice— would scarcely require addition. In either case, Harry awoke to a sense of his own weakness, and in his bosom the idle anguish of disappointed love gave place to more manly sentiments and resolutions. "Like a dew-drop from the lion's mane," he resolved to shake off the boyish folly, and to meet Miss Elton with exactly the same polite regard as he was accustomed to bestow on other indifferent young ladies: a regard to be tempered, however, with considerable firmness, and a constant recollection of the character and charms of his fair and dangerous enemy. These were the reflections consequent upon his awkward interruption of the tête-ù-tête on the back balcony. Only the quiet indignation and contempt which it raised in his bosom could have enabled him to sustain the pang with which he saw at last dissolved into empty air all his hopes of all his confidence in Fanny Elton. It may be remarked, too, as among the proverbial caprices to which the destiny of lovers is exposed, that his passion seemed to be extinguished at the very moment when, and by the very means by which, her confidence in him was established, and all her doubting tenderness was confirmed with more strength than ever.

Frank had read the young girl's heart more correctly; he had seen the look of unutterable horror at the rising of Harry's lifeless body. Even while he sprang to his brother's rescue, so inconceivably rapid are the operations of the spirit, that blanched face, those clasped hands, that fervid expression, crushed, as it were, by the shock of death from a tender, breaking heart, were distinctly observed. From that moment he abandoned all hope, all endeavour; and he felt a double triumph in saving his brother's life, as he saw the value she attached to it. He now longed for the orders to repair to his post, once so dreaded. Seriously alarmed for his peace of mind, he saw that, if he were destined ever to master his unfortunate passion, it must be by tearing himself away from her.

Emmerson's wily eye immediately perceived the course things were taking. At first he had yielded himself only to rage and mean envy, but now he began to think better of his prospect. Without any particular regard for Miss Elton, he had long fixed his eyes upon her large fortune, which the profound vanity he cherished in secret, beneath an exterior of striking modesty, induced him to suppose might be brought within his reach, with proper management. He saw Frank was forever out of his path, and that Harry had fairly turned the tables on his mistress. Among his peculiarities, although concealed from the world, was a disposition to leave nothing unwon for want of striving to obtain it, which he did, however, only with the utmost slyness; for whatever he did was silent and mysterious. It was by the aid, asked in a confidential way, of Harry, on whom he had done his best to inflict a fatal injury, that he had brought about the very arrangement with Mr. Lennox by which he was to possess five thousand dollars a year. His addresses to Miss Elton had been preferred much more prematurely than he had intended, but the intoxicating triumph of his new arrangement had been rendered more difficult of resistance on that unlucky day by three or four extra glasses of Champagne, forced upon him at dinner by his generous patron. He had, however, been sufficiently in possession of his usual diplomatic abilities to from Miss Elton (and he knew she would never break word) an unconditional promise of secrecy. If he not himself obtain the lovely heiress, he was resolved Lennox should not. He disliked, because he envied family. Their services to him were welcome gratitude was not a blessed, but a cursed sensation He was one of those men who hate in proportion are obliged, and who, when it can be safely and done, like to return an injury for a favour. Does believe there are no such characters? May undeceived by experience!

But poor Fanny was the most of all. She loved Harry, she always had loved him the whole ardour of her soul. Rashly yielding to the secret representations of Emmerson, she had acted under impressions which she could no longer entertain. The moment an interested motive appeared for that gentleman's insinuations, a new light, broke over his whole character, and she saw that Harry was so deeply offended, and so far from her, would require more boldness an ingenuity she sessed to explain her conduct. She soon perceived, also, that he was not only acting on the impulse received from her first interview with him, when, stung with the idea that he was offering his hand in compliance with the wishes of his family, while his heart and his vows were, in fact, another's, she expressed the indignation such conduct naturally inspired. From that time till recently there was in his manner, stern and distant as it was, something which made her conscious he was yet in her power, and something which made her hope she had done him injustice, and that the pure and disinterested Emmerson might find he had been in error. But now Harry's demeanour was changed. A careless indifference, almost levity, succeeded to his grave and obviously feigned composure, and his guarded determination to avoid her. Now he neither sought her society nor withdrew from it. He seemed careless whether chance placed her by his side, or even quite alone with him. His air was that of a gentleman to a young lady with whom he was not very familiarly acquainted, but to whom he extended the courtesies, somewhat stiff and ceremonious, of a host to a stranger guest. There was in it no affectation, no display of forced indifference. It was, she saw, and her heart swelled as she did so, the unmistakeable absence of any sentiments of regard. It was the coldness of indifference, or, rather, of contempt. She saw she had lost him: not only lost him, but his respect. The idea was so painful that she resolved to fix upon some mode of explanation.

But how to do this? Her ingenuous and inexperienced mind might naturally form such a resolution, but the difficulty of carrying it into effect became very soon apparent. She thought, at first, of her mother, Mary, or Mrs. Lennox, but gave up the idea instantly; such a confidence involved a disclosure of her opinion of Emmerson, the grounds she had for that opinion, his declaration to her, which she had promised not to reveal, and Harry's also, which she felt equally bound to conceal. Emmerson's charges and insinnations against Harry had also been communicated to her in a strict confidence, which she did not feel herself at liberty to betray. No, whatever was to be done, must be done by herself alone. Frank once rose to her mind. But the impropriety and cruelty of making him a mediator between her and Harry rendered the stop impossible; though such justice did she render him, she felt sure, had he been aware of her position, he would have faithfully and nobly performed the task.

So many and various were the changes which had come over the before perfectly happy party indeed, that the country had almost ceased to be beautiful and the fine weather agreeable. The shore-walks and gardens were abandoned. There were no more rides or long rambles through the woods, or boatings, or pic-nics. Little Seth's bright dream was already over. With Emmerson came the painful sense of a secret enemy, whose true character he could never hope to expose or escape from, and which broke upon the sweet strains of his imagination like a discord. From his lowly position, he had seen fully displayed Emmerson's cold, selfish arrogance and subtle perfidy. Yet he saw that his opinion, if expressed, would only recoil upon himself, as Emmerson had the crafty skill to make what impression he pleased upon his friends and the world. He would not have feared him notwithstanding all this, for Seth had a bold, lion-heart to meet open danger, but he found Emmerson so wily and silent, so full of management and petty tricks, the very pettiness and baseness of which would have made an accusation appear ridiculous, that the poor, artless, indignant boy, with all his honest courage, had learned to feel in his presence the irrepressible fear of a man walking in a garden where he knows there is a snake.

At length Monday morning came, and Mr. Lennox, Harry, and Emmerson were to leave. Mr. Lennox had been duly informed by Mrs. Lennox as to certain ideas and discoveries of her own respecting Miss Elton, and he in his turn, although he had expressly promised not to do so (but men will tell their wives!), related to her the conversation he had once had with Emmerson, when that gentleman, to suit his own purpose and break off the match with Frank, had stated his accidental, but certain knowledge of Harry's attachment to Miss Elton. Mrs. Lennox having thus testified to the sentiments of the young lady, and Mr. Lennox of the young gentleman, Euclid could not well have demonstrated a problem more clearly.

"I'll tell you what," said Mr. Lennox to his wife, on the morning of the day on which he was to return to town, while, lathered from his throat to the tip of his nose, he was drawing his glittering razor over the strop, occasionally (not stealing, but) taking a look at himself in the glass, which look appeared in no way to interrupt the satisfaction of those two duplicates of a most capital fellow on meeting each other, "I'll tell you what, Kate, if so is so, Harry shan't stir back to town this week. He's out of sorts that anybody may see. Emmerson, who sees everything, and, I believe, only lives to watch over our interests, has sufficiently established that fact and the cause. What do you think? he caught my young master, the other night, in the street—ha! ha! ha! (damn it, I've cut my chin!)—drunk as a piper."

"Harry? You astound me! you distress me."

"Drunk as Dick Dashall, singing `Robin Adair'—ha! ha! ha!—and holding on to the Park railing for fear of falling off the ground! Ha! ha! ha!"

"And you laugh! What would you say if you were yourself to meet your son in such a disgusting state?" asked Mrs. Lennox, with a look of sincere distress.

"Say? Why, slap him on the back, and say, `Go it, my boy! Call in and let us know how you feel in the morning! ' I've no objection to my son's knowing evil once. He'll not do it again. It'll all come right at last."

"Henry! how can you speak so lightly?"

"The fact is, Harry is in love, and these are the signs of it. Emmerson told me another curious circumstance. But, on reflection, I am convinced there he is mistaken. His fidelity to me makes him over-anxious. But Harry is in love, and so, you say, is Fanny. Now, I'll tell you what: he shall remain here this week."

"But if they have quarrelled?"

"Pho! nonsense! quarrelled indeed! Put two young pouting lovers a week in a pretty country place, with nothing to do but look into each other's faces, or watch each other go in and come out of the room, and all that sort of thing, eating currant-pie and home-made bread and butter, and a glass of cherry-bounce now and then, and if they don't make up, why—let them separate. But in this I have a serious object."

"You a serious object!" said Mrs. Lennox. "I should like to know what it is?"

"You musn't be alarmed, now; but Harry, about three days ago, formally requested leave to go abroad for a few years. Emmerson thinks he ought to go; I have no objections; but I don't wish him to go off in a pet with sweet little Fanny, if they like each other. I have not fully consented, but he requested me to break it to you and get your permission."

"It seems destined that we can't have our boys at home."

"Of course it does. Our boys are now men, my dear. So we'll leave him here this week, to take care of the girls and you, and steer you up against sloops and through thunder-storms, and afterward it will be time enough to give him an answer, if he wish one."

This plan was in due time communicated to Harry by his father, in the Oriental style in which that gentleman was accustomed to make his suggestions to his family. Harry could not offer any farther resistance to the proposition without betraying some stronger motive than he desired to assign, so he only remarked that, although he had rather go down—he had some little things to attend to, etc., etc., etc.—yet he would remain if his father wished.

Poor Fanny, not fathoming the motives of those around her, not dreaming of the suspicions of Mrs. Lennox, and far less supposing that Emmerson had ever carried his double-dealing so far as to make such representations of her to Mr. Lennox—ignorant, too, that Harry was meditating a voyage to the opposite side of the globe, and that, perhaps, nay, probably, the few days she was now passing with him would be the last for years, perhaps literally the last—poor Fanny, as she heard the final decision that Harry should spend the week at Rose Hill, felt her young heart bound with delightful emotion, and a confidence that, however impossible she found it to fix upon any definite way of explaining her apparently inexcusable caprices, all would come right before that day week. There did not breathe on the earth a being more modest and pure, or one less likely to contrive and manoeuvre in order to win the affection of any young man; but, while she was pure and modest, her very innocence and ingenuousness prevented her seeing any impropriety in attempting to undeceive Harry under the present peculiar circumstances. In an instant the perfect happiness which had been a stranger to her for the last year returned. The gayety and charm of her past days once more appeared in her manner and countenance. Mrs. Lennox, an observer too affectionate and experienced to suffer any sign to escape her, saw and correctly interpreted this happy change. She had before her a week's duty, by no means uninteresting to such a mother, of watching the little drama which had commenced about her; particularly as upon its denouement depended, as she thought, not only the question of Harry's proposed absence of several years in Europe, but his future happiness and that of her beloved and lovely young friend.

As to Frank, her skilful eye had already seen that the attachment of Miss Elton to him was of a different nature from his to her; and the thoughtful mother, accustomed to consider all things for the best, and to "observingly distil out" "a spirit of good from things evil," found in his youth, his elastic spirits, and his gay and impressionable character, a hope that this early and tender disappointment would not eventually interfere with his happiness, but might, on the contrary, not only keep him in an atmosphere of purity now that he was launching off into the world alone, but might lead him to reflection and self-communing favourable to the development in his mind of religious truth. So commenced the second week in the pretty, charming, but now somewhat less gay and noisy Rose Hill.

At length the hour of departure arrived, and as the boat came in sight, they all accompanied Mr. Lennox down to the landing-place, when the Chancellor Livingston came in fine style, and this time stopped at the wharf, puffing out immense volumes of white, hot steam, with a noise which obliged the family thus separating to deliver their affectionate, confidential parting phrases in a tone of voice as if they had been shouting across the river, instead of into each other's ears through the hand, by way of a trumpet. There was considerable shaking of hands, and a slight tumbling in of valises, enlivened by divers hearty smacks between Mrs. Lennox and her husband, Mary and Mr. Lennox, Mrs. Elton and Mr. Lennox (Mr. Lennox usually went the whole! ), and Mr. Lennox and Fanny. The latter generally made somewhat more resistance to the tyrannical extortions in this way of her light and warm-hearted host, yet now, what with the noise, and the running to and fro, and the fury of the steam, and the little agitation of parting, and her strange, deep delight at the presence of one who did not depart, and Mr. Lennox's extremely sudden and determined manner of claiming his unprincipled, but, alas! customary right, and the well-known, ferocious cry of the indomitably punctual captain, "All aboard!" and "Haul in the plank!" the poor girl had not only received, but actually bestowed such a hearty smack as made Frank blow his nose in order to hide his wet eyes, and caused even Harry, for a single, unobserved moment, to utter something which would have borne a very respectable resemblance to a sigh, if it could have been heard in the deafening din around.

"That's right, Fanny!" said Lennox, through his hand, and quite red in the face from the exertion of speaking so loud. "What's worth doing at all is worth doing well!"

"You're a despotic tyrant!" replied she, but he could not hear her words. He stopped a moment to look at her lips, around which played an enchanting smile, and which were working away so comically without producing any sound audible through the general uproar, but the indulgence had wellnigh lost him his passage; for, at the captain's indignant second command, his old friend the "plank" was "hauled in" with an intense promptitude, Emmerson and Seth having barely time to reach the deck with their lives. The boat was already a couple of yards on her way to New-York, when, leaving Fanny in the midst of a sentence, he leaped aboard, to the breathless anxiety of his wife and the undisguised amusement of the passengers, and in two minutes he had shaken hands with about a hundred people, and had seized an influential member of the Legislature by the button, for the purpose of laying down some startling doctrines on the subject of Mr. Van Buren and the United States Bank.

Seth—for Emmerson, in a spiteful mood at the idea of being left behind, had expressed an opinion that the boy would be wanted in the office—poor little Seth, with a heart as heavy as lead, and a certain indefinite shrinking from Emmerson, had gone to the stern, as far as he could get, and was gazing back on the receding point on which Rose Hill stood, lessening to a white dot on the green mountain-side, and at last fading away. The boy was not generally thought over-susceptible, but he certainly was enough so to feel the difference between the kind, rosy, sweet, sunshiny face of his young, charming friend and protector, Mary, and the bilious countenance of Mr. Emmerson. If he hadn't loved the whole Lennox family to adoration, and Mary several hundred million times more than the rest, he would have very likely let fly an inkstand or a ruler at Mr. Emmerson's head, and left the man to enjoy alone, in all his selfish greediness, the advantages of the place. But the genuine kindness of his friends (to say nothing of Mr. Lennox's frequent promises respecting the presidential chair!) and Mary's good-natured, sisterly interest in his welfare—no, he could not help himself. Besides, he hadn't a home to go to, or any other prospect of employment. No, he must bear all Emmerson could inflict in the meanness of power, and the pettiness of spite and jealousy, and, what was more, he must endeavour to bear it patiently. That gentleman had once intimated to him the possibility of his being turned adrift to beggary and disgrace. Who would receive him with the odium of Emmerson's unfriendly opinion? Thus, before he was aware of it, two passions (under however hopeless and ridiculous circumstances) had entered into this obscure and friendless boy's heart—love and hate! They developed themselves there unobserved, unsuspected by the whole world. He did not strive to check them, but in his ardour and inexperience he abandoned himself fully to both. He felt within him hope, firmness, and determination. Some of the immortal ornaments of his country had risen from an origin as humble as his own. Absurd and undreamed of by others as was his love for Mary, it refreshed and supported his soul; and although Emmerson seemed his evil genius and an insurmountable obstacle in his path, the hatred he conceived for him strengthened and concentrated his intellect and character. Everything changes, and in nothing were there going on changes more striking than in little, stupid, awkward, bashful Seth Copely.

When the Chancellor Livingston at length ploughed her way out of sight, and Mrs. Lennox, Mary, Fanny, and Mrs. Elton (who, the reader mustn't suppose, has stopped talking because we have stopped recording her talk), with Frank and Harry, had stood watching her receding image till they fully realized that the beloved husband and father had indeed disappeared for another week, they turned and walked up the hill towards the house.

Mrs. Lennox had given Mrs. Elton an intimation of what was going on, and that lady, who seized with avidity on everything that came in her way, instantly pictured the dear, happy lovers as dying to be alone. So, without making any particular mystery of her ideas and intentions, but with sundry mysterious nods and smiles, when she saw Mary walking with her mother quite in advance, she put her arm within Frank's and drew him (not much resisting) on, so as to leave Fanny behind alone with Harry.

The poor girl, who had ardently longed for an occasion to appeal to the good sense and magnanimity of her companion, and regain at least the respect which she saw, with insupportable anguish, she had lost, now found herself favoured with the best of all possible occasions. The party had strolled on a long way ahead, up the winding and deeply shadowed road. But, alas! so far from being able to carry her design into execution, she found her heart beating so quick and so violently as to deprive her of the power to utter anything at all. She was so intimidated by the sense of her awkward position, and by the indifferent, passive air and expression of Harry, that the shrinking of her soul might have been accompanied by a corresponding movement of her person. Harry saw it, and felt it as proceeding from a fear, on her part, lest, "time and place agreeing," he might be tempted to resume his suit.

"She may spare herself the anxiety," thought he; "I shall make no more mistakes of that kind."

Through the civility with which he offered his arm, therefore, there was something almost of freezing coldness, and she accepted it with an embarrassment and a timid manner as little like love as his own. Thus these two young people, who loved each other so sincerely, were estrayed by the arts of one man.

For some moments they walked on at a pace which, to accommodate itself to his rather firm and rapid stride, she was obliged to quicken, and which showed, at least on his side, a sincere desire to regain the company. The silence was awkward for her, but did not seem so for him, for he presently broke it, in the laughing tone of one perfectly at his ease, and said,

"How do you like this new universal favourite of ours, Glendenning, Miss Elton? Do you, with the rest of us, think him such a fine, warm-hearted fellow?"

"Yes, I do."

"He amused me extremely. I like him better than I do White; his mind may be less matured, but his heart is fresher."

"Do you think him really reformed?" inquired Miss Elton, timidly.

"I think that must depend upon circumstances and upon the sort of society he falls into. He is sincere now; there can't be a doubt of it; but he's facile, I fear, and fickle."

"If he were fickle without being sincere," remarked Miss Elton, in the same sweet, low voice, "I should fear much for him; but sincerity is a virtue so rare and so redeeming, that, where it exists, reformation can never be hopeless."

"Yes," said Harry, in a light tone, "I don't doubt he'll turn out a fine fellow. We shall miss him as a companion, this country week of ours, at all events. There is our party; shall we join it?"

Fanny felt she was thrown back, but she also felt she had deserved it. The air of perfect carelessness, the firm, advancing step, the deliberate change of the conversation at the point where it might have become serious, the absence of all his usual haughty distance of manner, and the haste to join the rest, had in them something which struck her painfully; but she remembered the cause he had to suppose this precisely what she required of him, and his promise never to resume the subject again, and she did not despair of letting him see, in time, the true state of her feelings. She, therefore, left his arm and joined Mary.

In the evening the delicious weather once more gathered them together on the balcony to tea. Harry was gay, and chatting more than usual. He was less distant than he had been before for many months to Miss Elton, but it was that sort of courtesy which a gentleman bestows upon a lady, without any effort or any meaning more than meets the eye. Fanny felt it with alarm, almost with anguish, but patiently bore what she had so rashly brought upon herself.

The tea was nearly over, and some of the party had already risen from the table, when Mrs. Lennox said,

"What is that elegant, very red volume in your pocket, Harry?"

"A guide-book!"

"A European one?"

"Yes."

"You'll not want it, my son. We shan't let you go. I can't make up my mind to it. You and Frank both— `all my little chickens at one fell swoop!' "

"Too late, my dear mother; my mind's quite made up. Before I left town, indeed, I had completed all the necessary arrangements. This day week at farthest I shall be on the `deep blue sea!' "

"What, all these decisive arrangements before you had consulted us?"

"I did not intend to set out, of course, without your full permission."

"Like father like son! You and Frank are famous for doing a thing first, and asking permission afterward."

"But, my dear mother, if it is ever to be done, better now than later in life. There's Emmerson, now, ready to take good care of the office till I get back. Besides, the yearning I feel to see Europe has lately grown intolerable."

"Europe!" exclaimed Fanny, with a face much paler than she had any idea of, and trying, with obvious difficulty, to speak in a careless manner, and as if her breath did not come and go considerably quicker than would be requisite for such an undertaking.

"Yes. He persists in his determination!"

"What determination?" inquired Fanny, fixing her eyes on Mrs. Lennox.

"He has told you of his plan, of course—has he not? To go off in six days, by the next packet for London."

"You are jesting," said Fanny, laughing.

"Why he has certainly told you," said Mrs. Elton. Fanny was silent.

"I did not think of troubling Miss Elton with affairs in which she must feel so slight an interest."

Her artless eyes were lifted to his one moment, but fell beneath his cold, grave expression.

"And how long do you propose remaining away, if I may venture to inquire?" asked Mrs. Lennox.

"Three, perhaps four years. I mean to attend one or two courses of lectures on the Roman law in Germany, under Savigny, and to spend a winter in Italy, and I can't give less than a year to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; and I must see Egypt, and Jerusalem, and Constantinople when once so near—and—"

"Mercy on me! my dear son," cried Mrs. Lennox. "Why, you're laying out work for a lifetime. Can't I persuade you to give it up?"

"Oh, pooh! nonsense! The time will soon fly away."

"There, there's your father's own son again."

"I am dying to see a foreign shore," continued Harry.

"Ah, I wish I could go with you," exclaimed Frank.

"And I," added Mary.

"And what changes may take place here before you get back! and what changes may—nay, must take place in you!"

"Not changes for the worse!"

"You go a boy, you will come back a man."

"I hope so, I'm sure!" replied Harry, with some emphasis.

"And what may you find here on your return?"

Here Frank, and Mary, and Mrs. Elton, all exclaimed against any gloomy predictions or apprehensions, and united in declaring that every young man ought to travel; that it was a most delightful thing to see London, and Paris, and Rome, and Greece, and Egypt, and all those outlandish places, and that it would doubtless do him a vast deal of good.

Fanny said not a word; but Mrs. Lennox perceived she was chilled and shocked, and she began to think it might be the best thing, after all, for the young girl as well as for her son to get him out of the way for a year or two. As for any love of his for Fanny, she concluded, from what she saw, that the attachment was altogether on one side, and her sigh of tender sympathy for Fanny was not unmingled with surprise at the indifference of Harry to so much sweetness, beauty, and affection. "But thus it is," thought she: "the course of true love never did run smooth."

The party now all rose, and strolled out upon the lawn with the exception of Harry, who, his mother said, had gone with his maps and books to study out a route. He did not present himself again till a late hour in the evening.

When Fanny laid her cheek that night upon her pillow, it was wet with long-suppressed tears. The leaving her uninformed of so important a resolution, while it had been communicated to everybody else, she acknowledged was what she might have expected, but it nevertheless seemed a slight so marked, the evidence of a contempt so cold, that she scarcely knew whether it affected her with more anguish or indignation.

"If he really have ceased to love me," thought she, "it is my own fault, and I will bear the penalty."

She longed to confide to Mrs. Lennox or Mary the offer of Emmerson, and her rejection of it, but that gentleman was too old a head for her, and the promise given she never dreamed of breaking, even if Harry should leave his country under the conviction that she had accepted him, or had trifled with him. Time would set it all right. But time, to such a young, tender, impassioned girl, was not the most acceptable medicine for such suffering. At length all her sad thoughts, by the force of habit, merged into one, as she closed the long train of her reflections with an humble prayer to Him who ordains all, that, wherever the object of her affection might go, he might be protected and led the right way; and that both he and she herself might receive either aid to avert calamity, or strength to support it. She had, at least intentionally, done no wrong, and she did not mean to do any. She committed herself and her young sorrows, therefore, to His care who had promised to give rest to the weary, and with a lightened heart, though tears were yet on her lashes, she fell into a sleep, the blessed privilege of the pious and the innocent, disturbed by no ungoverned passion or painful dream.

Several more days passed away in the same manner. Harry's spirits seemed high, and everybody remarked how elated he was with the idea of his approaching voyage. Fanny had schooled herself into tranquillity; while Frank, whose sadness equalled her own, took lonely walks, often going out early with a gun, and returning late. Mary went on rallying everybody else into a good humour, and Mrs. Elton had pretty much all the rest of the talk to herself. In fact, the spell of the party was broken.

Towards the end of the week there came a letter to Frank and one to Mrs. Lennox from Captain Glendenning. He described his arrival at Montreal. To Frank he gave a humorous description of his journey and arrival. To Mrs. Lennox he wrote in a more serious, and even in an eloquent strain. Both were delighted at this mark of attachment. Frank read his aloud, as it was obviously intended he should do, and it clearly recalled the writer, whose playful descriptions occasioned much laughter. Mrs. Lennox folded her letter carefully and put it away. She found its confidential and serious tone too sacred for the hour and scene.

With each day the distance between the hearts of Fanny and Harry had increased. He had now conceived such a seriously unfavourable opinion of her, that he often showed it unconsciously. It is by a thousand minute and nameless details that our sentiments towards each other manifest themselves. His manly and noble character could receive from an artful coquette but one impression. Her dismissal of himself and Frank, and the scene with Emmerson, were constantly before him, and the passion which had raged in his heart was calmed, if not destroyed. He jested with her sometimes as if he had never seen her before the present week. He exhibited not the slightest disinclination to be alone with her, or to be interrupted when alone. He complimented her freely and flippantly when others did. In short, she began to feel not only indignant at herself for longer thinking of him, but to be convinced that their relations were in good earnest broken off completely and permanently. Had she herself given him no reason to believe she did not love him, his present demeanour would have long ago cooled, and, perhaps, terminated her attachment to him; but when she reached this point, the recollection of the scornful words she had uttered, and of the attitude in which he had seen her with Emmerson, took from her all strength and resolution, and overwhelmed her with fluctuations of hope and grief, of love and pride.

Friday came, and with it Mr. Lennox. At dinner they sat longer than usual, to hear the city news and chat of the past and future.

"So Harry is really off?" said Mrs. Lennox.

"He's his own master. I have no objection."

"Give me but three or four years," said Harry, "to see the world, and study what can be better studied in Europe than here, and I'll come back and turn man of business the rest of my life."

"It is but fair," said his father, to whom Mrs. Lennox had already communicated the result of her observations. "Go, my boy, when you please. I will prepare letters of introduction, and will procure such others as I think necessary. You will have a letter of credit on Rothschild. Your introductions will place you in the first society. Mr. B— has pressed upon me a letter to the Duke of G—, and another to the Earl of W—; not ordinary letters, but such as will throw open to you the most interesting, at least the highest circles of English society. There you may spend what you like, for, without attempting display, I wish you to live like a gentleman, and to have every facility for acquainting yourself with the world. For Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Florence, Rome, and Naples, you will be amply provided with introductions. Enjoy yourself, my son; but you know that, without some serious, intellectual, daily occupation, no enjoyment can last long. I expect you to be back in three years, with your mind and manners much improved. Don't forget us. Take good care of yourself. Write often. Perfect yourself in the German and French. Remember, we send you off with implicit confidence in your good sense and discretion, that your letters will be a great consolation, and your return the most joyful era the future has in store for us. Let me hear your opinions on the political state of the various countries you pass through, and sketches of whatever interests you. Don't lose your temper when cheated. Take things as they go, cheerfully and quietly. Don't think yourself obliged to quarrel with a man because you discover him to be a scoundrel, or to swear eternal friendship to all who please you at first sight. You go to learn, not to teach. Of all things, come back a good American, a sensible, modest fellow, and without a mustache!"

The eyes of more than one person were a little moist as Mr. Lennox proceeded, but, as usual, his close set the whole party laughing. They were a little startled, however, by his next words, which were,

"And now, sir, all I have to add is, that, once resolved on going, you can't be off too soon. The next packet sails on Wednesday. I recommend you to go to town by this afternoon's boat. Do all you have to do coolly, and we'll be down to-morrow and see you off."

"But, my dear, dear Harry," cried Mrs. Lennox, "you'll want a thousand things. I had no idea you really would go so soon too. I cannot believe it."

"Oh no, I shall want nothing but a single portmanteau. All my things are ready. I can renew my wardrobe in London better than here."

"But if you're going in to-day's boat, you'd better be moving, sir," said his father; "she'll be here in less than an hour."

There was something so extremely sudden and unexpected in this whole arrangement, that more than one countenance was pale.

"My beloved son!" and "My dear brother!" and "You are a devilish lucky fellow, Harry!" and "I wish I were going with you!" and "Don't go off till we come down!" and various other expressions from various lips announced the interest all took in the proceeding. Harry withdrew to his room, and hastily, and with a somewhat trembling hand, packed up the necessary things. By the time he had finished the whole family were assembled on the lawn, with hats and bonnets, to accompany him down to the landing-place, already the scene of so many sad and merry partings and meetings.

In the whole course of the preceding conversation Harry had never once looked at Fanny nor she at him. She behaved admirably. A slight pallor might have been perceptible to a close observer, but there were, luckily, around her no such impudent and detestable personages. All who suspected anything of her state of mind were delicately careful not to pay her the least attention. They strolled down the well-remembered hill in no very regular order, laughing and talking about the ridiculous absurdity of a man's starting up so suddenly after dinner to go to Jerusalem. Mary said it reminded her of a man who was asked "How soon he could be ready to set off for China," and who replied, "As soon as I can get my hat!" Mary and Fanny were walking together. The former had not been initiated into the real state of affairs between Harry and Fanny, her acuteness being diverted by the fixed idea she had of an attachment that was, or was to be, between Frank and Fanny. All of a sudden she called back Harry, who happened to be the nearest. Fanny had trodden on a sharp stone and hurt her foot.

"Come here, Harry, will you?"

"What for?" inquired Harry.

"Well, you're a gallant knight, to be sure! Here's a lady actually wounded on the occasion of your departure, and when I call you to assist her, you hang back and say `what for?' "

"Wounded! Miss Elton!" exclaimed Harry.

"Oh, don't fall into any mistake," said Mary, laughing; "it's only her foot, not her heart. But she has really hurt herself, and would have gone back if I had not called you to lend your arm."

"Indeed, it's nothing. I had better go back! It will be over in a moment."

"Admirable logic," said Mary; "if it will be over in a moment, why go back? Recollect, you may not see Mr. Harry again these five years, if ever. So, your arm, sir."

"Certainly," said Harry.

Miss Elton hesitated a moment.

"Mary!" cried her father; "where's Mary?"

"Here, sir!"

And she ran off.

"Really, Miss Elton," said Harry, politely, "you seem to be quite lame."

"Oh yes—oh no—don't let me detain you, Mr. Lennox, I beg; you will be too late."

"I have twenty minutes," replied Harry, looking at his watch. "If you insist upon going on, I beg you to spare your foot. I really hope the injury is not serious."

"Let us, at least, try," said she, "not to miss your boat."

But the steep descent of the hill had carried the rest of the party long ago out of sight, through the divers bends of the road, much more rapidly than Fanny could follow, do all she could.

"An artifice," thought Harry, but as he looked down in her face, over which a slight expression of pain was mingled with one of emotion, he felt he did her injustice. His error was made more certain by the appearance of a spot of blood upon the white, thin shoe that clothed the slenderest, most graceful foot in the world.

"I had no idea of being called upon to walk so suddenly," said she, "or I should not have ventured out in these slippers. I think a piece of glass has cut me."

"You must return, indeed you must," said Harry, alarmed and ashamed of his suspicions.

"Oh no," replied Fanny, also alarmed, not at the hurt, but at the idea of returning alone with him in her present state of mind; "pray let us hasten on."

They did so; but a long walk and a lonely one was before them, and she was obliged to lean much more heavily than she had ever done before upon his arm.

"I shall be uneasy about your foot," said Harry; "I wish this had not happened. I am almost inclined to go back!"

"What can it be but a trifling wound?" said Fanny. "You might lose your boat here, and your passage to London, by such a delay. You've a delightful voyage before you."

"Yes, I anticipate four or five years of unalloyed happiness."

A pause.

"You will find many changes on your return."

"I presume so, of course. Five years can scarcely fail to bring some; but I always look on the bright side of things. These changes are as likely to be pleasing as sad ones."

Another pause.

"Yes," said Harry, "it must indeed be a singular sensation to return to one's country after an absence of some years."

"Do you really go as far as Syria?"

"Yes, I mean to see Jerusalem, and Egypt too. Pray use my arm, Miss Elton."

"Such a journey must require much time."

"I hope my father will prolong my leave of absence. I think, perhaps, in five years, I shall be back."

"Perhaps—never!" said Fanny, with a voice which was not intended to tremble in the least.

"Perhaps is a word which covers a large space of contingencies, Miss Elton."

"Mr. Lennox," said Fanny, "you will not misconstrue me if I say I regret the rudeness with which I once addressed you."

"It is entirely forgiven," said Harry, coldly. As he spoke, he felt that the light, loved arm trembled in his. He was affected, but he remembered Emmerson.

There was another pause, and the idea that he ought to be too sensible to yield to the artifices of a coquette rose in his mind. He looked once more on Miss Elton's face, and her eyes were raised to his. They were full of tears, and their expression thrilled him to the soul.

"Fanny," said he, "will you answer me one question?"

"What question?"

"What passed between you and Mr. Emmerson?"

"I cannot tell you."

"Why did you address to me the language for which you have just expressed regret?"

"I cannot explain."

There was another pause. Fanny had scarcely time to collect herself and repress her tears, for they suddenly came full in sight of the whole party on the landing-place, and the steamboat lying off the wharf, with the barge cutting her way towards them, a sheet of green and sunny foam half hiding her swiftly-advancing bows.

"Good-by!" "God bless you!" "We shall be down to-morrow." "Take care of yourself."

Ere these and other similar expressions were uttered, Harry was half way from the land to the steamboat. Various handkerchiefs were waved to him, which he answered by wafting back again a kiss with his hand. But one kiss, wafted from such a distance, so indefinitely divided among so many people, did not produce the effect that sort of thing sometimes does when differently managed. As the eyes of all (we were positively going to say survivers) on the landing-place were fairly full of tears (even Frank's and Mr. Lennox's), the few trifling drops which happened to steal noiselessly from Fanny's averted eyes were not brought into any prominent notice.

And now Harry felt as if he were, indeed, launched upon the world, already a free, independent man. He looked around with a sort of inexpressible tenderness, mingled with bewildering delight, from hill to hill, and from shore to shore, each point of which was so familiar, so admired, and so dear. He was gazing on them for the last time for many years, perhaps he should never see them again. At all events, in the ordinary course of things, some changes would occur about him and within him before he should again behold those soft and solemn mountain-shapes, which seemed silently crowding around him, and looking down to say farewell, ere he left his home and his native land to go abroad into the mighty, brilliant, vast, dangerous world.

As for Fanny Elton, he was now yet more indignant at her, and he despised himself for the momentary weakness she had caused him to betray. Thank Heaven! I am tearing myself at last from—an artful coquette!

CHAPTER XXVI.

When Harry reached the city, he went directly home, and when he got home, the first room he entered was the office. There sat poor little Seth, among half a dozen other clerks, copying away for dear life's sake, with a very sad face. After such kind and familiar salutations as Harry delighted to bestow on those beneath him, or in any way in his power, he went into the next room and shut the door.

"How are you, Emmerson?"

"How d'ye do?" said Emmerson, taking his hand with both his, and giving him a warm, bland welcome.

"I want you to do me a favour."

"What is it?"

"I am going to unbosom myself to you, as the young ladies say, frankly and freely. I never yet knew any good cause of concealment."

"You are quite right!" said Emmerson, with a clear smile; "there's nothing I detest more than duplicity or double-dealing. But what is it?"

"I am going to London in the packet of Wednesday next, on a tour of three, four, perhaps five years. The office is sufficiently taken care of by you, and my advantage in having at command a substitute so kind and able ought not to be thrown away. I shall leave all my interests in your hands, sure to find everything, on my return, ready for me to set firmly and steadily forth again in my professional career. But for your ability and fidelity I could not do this."

"Well, you rate me too highly; but to the point."

"One reason why I go is, of course, the natural desire of a young man to see the world."

"Well: and the other?"

"Listen to me. You are the best, the nearest friend, not only of myself, but of my father's family. I need not blush to make you a little confidence."

"Go on; you know I would do anything to oblige you."

"You will be surprised to hear, perhaps, that I have not only been long a very—serious—admirer of Miss Elton, but that I have had the insane stupidity several times to suppose she saw, approved, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth. You understand?"

"Why, not clearly," said Emmerson.

"In short, then, I offered myself to her; she rejected me: not simply rejected—she—all but—in fact, she rejected me. Now I can immediately get the better of this sort of thing, and I am resolved to leave—to pull up stakes, as they say, and quit till I get my disappointment under control. Since my last visit to Rose Hill, I have been struck with a particularly absurd idea that this young lady has been labouring under some strange mistake."

Emmerson raised his hand as if carelessly to his eyes and forehead, so as to conceal, however, the change he felt was taking place in his countenance.

"But for one circumstance, I should give in and place myself at her feet again."

"And that circumstance?"

"I stumbled upon you and her the other day on the balcony, and it-struck me you were speaking and standing in the character of a lover. Is it so?"

"Your question is rather sudden," said Emmerson, again rubbing his brow and eyes with his hands, and turning pallid with an embarrassment disagreeable to see.

"Understand me," said Harry. "I have no right to demand your confidence, but as my going abroad depends upon your reply, I hope you will let me know. Are you a lover of Miss Elton?"

Emmerson turned away his face, and busied himself a moment arranging some papers on the table.

"If Miss Elton have rejected you, I shall postpone my departure, under the conviction that she loves me. If you have any, the slightest reason to imagine she means to receive your addresses—nay, if she even wavered or seemed to waver, she is either your wife or she is the most accomplished coquette that ever breathed, and I'm off till my heart is as free as air."

"My young friend!" said Emmerson, in a pale whisper, "she more than wavered. If she mean to accept me or not, I am not fully prepared to say; that she hesitated, I assure you, and the impression left on my mind is of a nature which will not prevent my trying again. This I will say, however, but in sacred confidence. You must give me your word never to reveal it."

"I do."

"Then this I will say: I had some idea you were attached to her, and I am not capable of such a base act as endeavouring to supplant you. I, therefore, particularly asked her whether any attachment of hers to you ought to prevent my continuing my addresses. She replied, `No; he is as far from offering, as I should be from accepting him if he were to offer!' "

"Miss Elton said that to you?"

"I swear it!" said Emmerson again, in a whisper.

"Enough. Your statement I cannot doubt in the least. You even mean more than you say!"

No answer, but a very significant look.

"Good! give me your hand! I am infinitely obliged to you for your friendly frankness. I see it has given you pain to wound me thus, but no matter. I wish you joy. If you win her, she will bring you happiness unutterable, for I shall believe she married you from affection; if she jilt you, why you may have the consolation of knowing you are not the first, nor the second!"

"But I must lay you once more under a solemn injunction of secrecy," said Emmerson. "I would not, even if she be all you fear, injure the character of the young lady. You must promise me what I have said shall never go beyond us two, and also that you will never say you saw me— you know—on the balcony with her. If I am to be jilted, of course I wish to conceal my folly."

"I promise solemnly."

Harry went out, humming an opera tune.

"What I say is quite true," thought Emmerson. "She did waver, and I do mean to pursue it farther, and she did make use of the remark to me as I stated. Besides, a voyage to Europe is the best thing this young gentleman can undertake. Frank in Prairie du Chien, Master Harry in Jerusalem—the old fellow will follow after him, doubtless, before a year. I can manage that. And then, if Miss Elton won't marry me, I don't think I shall be obliged to go to Europe to recover from the disappointment, although $ 100,000 settled on herself is a comfortable affair. But, as matters are going, I don't think I need despair of finding some suitable alliance. I think my boat sails tolerably well!"

CHAPTER XXVII.

As Fanny left Rose Hill with the family next day, her heart beat high with the hope of—she scarcely knew what Harry's last words had been more than kind—they were confidential and tender. She felt that his good opinion had been partly regained, and she looked forward, if not to the postponement of his voyage, at least to such a parting as would not leave her in such a painful state of mind as she had suffered the last two days. She saw the refusal to answer his two questions had surprised him; but she depended upon his perceiving (without being told) that she was under some necessity in not doing so. She was thus the gayest of the whole party, and Mrs. Lennox, who talked it over with her husband, quite agreed with him in the conclusion that to attempt to understand lovers and their ways was a hopeless task.

They reached town, at length, on a bright evening, and preferred to walk home, looking (particularly Fanny) to see Harry each moment coming to meet them. But Harry was not to be seen, either on their way home or when they arrived there. At length he made his appearance, greeted with more than his accustomed warmth each individual of the family he was about to be so soon separated from, including in his heartiest welcome Mrs. Elton. To Miss Elton he bowed stiffly, without offering his hand or meeting her inquiring look. Thus, in one moment, all the poor girl's aërial hopes vanished into nothing.

Fanny spent part of the evening there, but the same coldness was persevered in, till she felt that if she had appeared cruel and capricious, he was much more so. Complaining of a headache, by no means a feigned one, she withdrew early with her mother and father, who had hastened to meet them, and sought the longed-for solitude and darkness of her own pillow: imploring aid from Him who always gives to those who ask, she schooled herself to resignation and peace.

The next day she did not go at all to Mr. Lennox's, and Tuesday also passed without her yielding to the solicitation of her mother to pay them a visit.

In the evening Frank and Mary came round, to say that they were all going to accompany the packet-ship out to sea as far as Sandy Hook in the steamboat, and to see Harry fairly off. As strong objections as the poor girl could or dared to make against this trial, she did urge, but without success. She positively must go. She had never seen a packet-ship at sea, or the sea itself at all; she had never seen the Hook; and Harry would be so disappointed if the whole of the Rose Hill party did not honour his embarcation; and various other irresistible reasons were so persevered in by Mary, that she was obliged to acquiesce, though she felt she was destined to undergo a terrible ordeal.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

On the last evening that Harry was to spend at home, Mrs. Lennox took an occasion to seek him, when he was alone in his room, arranging his things preparatory to his embarcation. The tender and thoughtful mother had resolved to address him upon two points with the frankness which is the privilege of maternal affection. She hoped to find the heart of her son, whose keen susceptibilities and noble qualities she well knew, so softened by the idea of separation, as to give to the confidential communion she desired a sacred character of truth and love.

Instead of being busied with his preparations, she found him, evidently not anticipating such an interruption, sitting motionless, his head leaning on his hand, and lost in thought. On the table, and the object, apparently, of his reveries, for his eyes rested full upon it, lay a lock of hair, which, from its rich auburn hue, might easily be recognised as Miss Elton's. He started as she entered, and, snatching up the silent, but, doubtless, eloquent souvenir, thrust it into his waistcoat pocket.

"Harry," said she, seating herself by his side, and fixing her gentle eyes full upon him, "that is Miss Elton's hair."

He coloured, but she continued.

"It offers me an appropriate opening for a question I have to ask you before you leave us for so many long years— perhaps forever."

"What question?" asked Harry, recovering, not without an effort, from his confusion.

"You know, my son, I would ask none from idle curiosity, and I am equally sure you will not withhold your confidence from me, now that we are going to part."

"There is not a question on earth, my dearest mother, that you can ask, which I will not answer you as truly as if I were on my dying bed."

"Thank you! I knew, I was sure you would."

"Now, what is your question?"

"Fanny Elton, Harry, is, of all beings out of my family, the one I most admire, for whom I have the sincerest affection. Her happiness is as dear to me, almost, as yours. I have sometimes thought you, too, were as much interested in it as I. The lock of hair you have endeavoured to conceal confirms my opinion. The first question I have to ask you is, do you love Fanny Elton?"

"No, mother," said Harry, firmly, almost sternly.

"But have you ever loved her?"

"Years ago, I had a boyish passion for her, and procured from her, without much persuasion, this ringlet."

He took it out and handed it to her.

"You can see by the brighter colour that she was younger when she gave it than she is now."

"Tell me all, my son!"

"That is all, mother. As we both grew older, we both grew wiser—ha! ha! ha! I have not seen this before for a year, I do assure you. I was going to say I had almost forgotten I had it, when it turned up accidentally among my old things. I was thinking of my folly when you came in. Take it: you may hand it to her, with my compliments, if you like. It'll do for somebody else perhaps."

"What do you mean? Have you changed, or is it the change in her? Is it a lover's quarrel, or pique, or jealousy, or what?"

"Upon my soul, I am on the best of terms with her. But the change is in both of us. I do not admire her character, upon a close study of it, quite as much as I expected, and the fact is, she—she—"

"She what?"

He was going to disclose what he had learned from Emmerson, but that gentleman had exacted from him a distinct promise of secrecy, so he stopped and said nothing.

Mrs. Lennox also ceased her inquiries. She had no authority, of course, from Miss Elton to make any. She was not disposed to reveal her own suspicions of Miss Elton's attachment for him without the certainty of effecting a union; and though she perceived a bitterness in his manner which did not argue perfect indifference, yet his denial of any affection for her was so positive that she feared pressing her mediation any farther, lest the cause of Miss Elton might suffer. She knew, if there were any real affection, absence would rather strengthen than weaken it. She, therefore, concluded to pursue the subject no farther.

"Well, then, leave her. If it is so, you will have one tie the less to call you back to your native land."

"But there are ties enough without her, my dear mother," said Harry.

"I have now another and much more serious remark to make," resumed Mrs. Lennox. "You are going off beyond my care, out of my sight, for years, to be exposed to all the dangers as well as the temptations and errors of life. You have everything to make you happy but one thing , and, that one thing wanting, all the rest, sooner or later, must prove vain. Like your father, Mary, and Frank, you are without religion. Answer me frankly and like a man, are you not?"

"I am; since you ask me so seriously, I must tell you the truth. I am without the least approach to religious belief; nor do I find I am more likely to sin without it than with it. Be assured, I shall love virtue and walk in the path of honour as long as I live."

"I thank you for your frankness, Harry. I myself once doubted, and I know how plausible doubt can be. I see, also, in others, like your father for instance, that a man may possess every noble quality of mind and heart, and yet be an infidel. I don't start from you; I ain't afraid of you. You are my son. I admire, sympathize with, and love you still."

The tears rolled down her cheek as she spoke, and she took his hand and pressed it fervently to her lips.

"But I have to request from you," she continued, "the same toleration—the same respect I extend. Do not despise or shrink from me because I believe; for I am older than you, and have thought of the subject more. I will not now offer you any argument . We will suppose Christianity false, the most absurd, impossible series of fables that folly ever heaped together or credulity ever received. But, true or not true, I have to request that, during your absence, and at as early a moment as possible, you will acquaint yourself with the subject thoroughly. Do not reject it without understanding it. That is not the part of a well-informed, sensible man. As Christianity is the religion of modern civilization, you should comprehend it, if not as religion, as a remarkable system of philosophy. If the history of its divine origin be not true, you can scarcely mingle on equal terms with gentlemen and scholars without, at least, knowing its history as an earthly influence; yet you do not know anything of it. Can you tell me on what grounds other sensible men believe it?"

"No! I confess that it is to me the most unfathomable of mysteries."

"Are you exactly aware what are the prophecies?"

"No, I am not."

"Have you ever read the Bible through?"

"No, not continuously."

"Have you ever read any commentator on it?"

"No. You cross-examine, mother, like a lawyer," he replied, laughing, but at the same time blushing.

"Now, then, I am going to make you a parting request. First, you will not come back till you are well informed upon the scheme, and the internal and external evidence of Christianity. I do not ask you to study it for the sake of believing in it, but that you may seek only to explain what it is that falls like a spell upon the intellects of so many other people, and makes them cling to it, notwithstanding its absurdities, through life and through death. That you should believe I do not ask; but I ask you to ascertain what it is that makes other men believe. Will you do this?"

"At least, I will try; indeed, I have always been intending to study the theory, the philosophy of Christianity, and to investigate the mystery of its influence on mankind. I will come back well acquainted with the Bible; I will examine it as I would a law question —coldly, firmly, without passion, without respect. But I give you notice," he added, laughing, "I shall tell you, without concealment, the result of my inquiry. I shall spend some time in Germany, where these questions are dissected with merciless precision. But if, after three years, I still find (as of course I shall) that the myths of antiquity, and the ignorance of an age without a press, had combined to palm upon the credulity of mankind a religion now in its wane, I fear you will be yourself shaken in your faith, and that I shall be the instrument of depriving you of what you value as the greatest consolation."

"My son," said Mrs. Lennox, "I know you are candid, generous, and pure. Sealed as your eyes now are, when a beam of light reaches them you will acknowledge it. When the physician heals you, you will believe on him. No man, with your sincerity of nature, your clearness of understanding, and your moral courage and devotion of soul, can ascertain what makes others believe without believing himself. I know you will keep your promise, and, keeping it, I know you will come back to me a Christian. You will learn what I mean by telling you `seek ye out of the Book of the Lord and read,' and you will find the `fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."'

He shook his head and smiled.

"Well, I am satisfied," said she, "that you will neither break your faith with me, nor continue blind to your relation with Him who died to save you."

The term "died to save you" grated on Harry's ear as the cant of a class. The idea of a God "dying" to save the creatures of his own creation, held out but little prospect of a realization of his mother's pious wishes. He answered, however, only,

"I have promised to study the subject conscientiously, and I will."

"I have brought you several works," continued she, "which you must also promise to read, and which will grow more interesting to you as your mind becomes sufficiently enlightened and enlarged to comprehend them. They are all small editions, to take up as little room as possible. The `Bible,' a `Prayer Book,' `Butler's Analogy,' and `Paley's Evidences.' You will read them?"

"Why, if you wish it, yes."

"I do wish it, and receive your promise seriously and solemnly. If you have no desire for the labour, do it in memory of me."

"I will, you have my word of honour."

"Now, then, good-night! your obedience deserves a reward, and will receive one, I am sure."

She embraced him affectionately, and saying,

"This is the last time I shall bid you good-night, Harry, for many a year," left him with her eyes full of tears.

"My poor, dear, kind mother," thought he, when he found himself alone, and looking upon the, to him, somewhat formidable pile of books which he had promised to read. "Who can oppose such amiable and tender weakness? who can refuse to gratify such affectionate whims? A nice, studious time she intends I shall have of it; but no matter, I will keep my word."

And for the last time for a long period, he sought the repose of sleep beneath his father's roof and in his native land.

CHAPTER XXIX.

The morning broke still and bright, just the very sort of weather one would like to go to sea in. The softest possible zephyr toyed with the tree-tops, and there was scarcely a cloud in the whole heaven as large as a pocket-handkerchief. The Eltons were to breakfast with Mr. Lennox at eight, and the passengers to go out in the Montreal were requested, by an advertisement in the newspapers, to be on board the steamboat De Witt Clinton, Whitehall wharf, precisely at ten o'clock A.M.

The breakfast was attempted to be made very lively by Harry and his father, but Mrs. Lennox and Mary were both plainly affected, and Mrs. Elton did not think it even necessary to wipe away with her handkerchief the tears which came trembling, one after another, down her cheeks, till she was at last obliged to stop eating altogether, in order to blow her nose. Fanny did not weep; she even smiled, and sometimes ventured a timid remark to Harry on the delightful weather; but she was so pale with strong, suppressed emotion, and so ten thousand times more lovely and touching than ever she had been before, that Harry, after one stolen look at her, when their eyes did not meet, for hers were drooped in silent and most sad revery upon the floor, formed an inward vow not to look at her again, unless he were contented to make a regular fool of himself by countermanding his passage, and remaining at home to be duped and laughed at a third time by one who certainly, at this present moment, looked like anything on earth but a coquette. Nevertheless, he had scarcely formed the vow, when he found his disobedient eyes fixed once more on that charming figure, now so still and passive, on that beautiful, once bright face, now more like death than life, and yet where, unless art were fair as nature, firm and modest pride held government over a breaking heart, and kept all silent and resigned.

"The carriage is ready," said the servant. "It is half past nine."

"I cannot, cannot believe it," said Mrs. Lennox, folding Harry to her bosom, "that I am losing my beloved son, perhaps forever."

"Oh, pooh! nonsense!" said Mr. Lennox; "think of him when he comes back, with a pair of mustaches as big as your arm curled up under his nose, a Turkish turban on his head, and a strange, foreign accent in his English—hey! Katy!"

"I shall bid you good-by here," said Mary; "I ain't going to have any tragedy scenes on board the boat for the amusement of strangers."

"Ah! this is only a rehearsal!" said Mrs. Elton; "you'll do it in earnest when the time really arrives," and down came another shower of tears on her cheeks.

"Upon my word!" said Lennox, "it is a ticklish sort of thing, this bidding good-by, isn't it? I do feel somehow as if I were going to execution! But only think how much worse it must be to be really hanged."

"Please, sir!" said the attentive servant.

"Ah! very true. This is no time to be too late. This is no `Chancellor Livingston' affair! Come along, come along."

"My dear mother," said Harry, offering his arm. Fanny's was already closely thrust into Mr. Lennox's. Down they went to the carriages, crowded in anyhow, and laughing through their tears.

"Come along, Harry, come along."

"Ah, no; I shall walk!" said Harry.

Fanny felt, oh who can describe how deeply, all these little manifestations of complete indifference.

"Walk! Well, you'll be too late, I'm sure you will," said his father; "and a sensible set we shall look like, to be sure, driving down in such a crowd as this, and leaving the only one who is really going—behind."

"That's Harry, all the world over," said Mary. "You know he was going to send us all out of town to celebrate his birthday except himself, and he was going to stay at home and work!"

Harry now shook heartily the clerks by the hand (didn't they envy him, too?), and the servants, also, now came up to bid young master good-by, and poor black Simon looking as if his heart would break, and the foolish old fat cook blubbering away till everybody else began to cry again, too, though they could scarcely do so for laughing, and off went the carriage, thundering away, and off walked Harry just as fast, and they all got there just in the very nick of time.

"Two minutes more," said Lennox, "and we should have had our young mad-cap with us at least another month."

"I wish with all my heart," said Mrs. Lennox, "it were so."

"Why not go back at once then?" proposed Mary, laughing.

And now poor Fanny's true agony commenced. There was everybody on board the boat; many ladies and gentlemen with whom she was well acquainted, and Emmerson among the rest. There they all were, laughing, talking, and jesting, and Harry shaking every human being by the hand, and speaking so warmly, and smiling so gracefully at all but herself; and she, of course, received her share of jests, at which she was obliged to laugh, and of attentions which she must return, and all the while the steamboat was pushing her way rapidly towards the tall, noble-looking ship, which, with sails gradually rising to the air, and her prow already turned seaward, was beginning to move, her anchor being already weighed.

During this little interval, Harry was, of course, surrounded (perhaps eaten up would be a more appropriate expression) by his affectionate relatives, and some twenty or thirty personal friends who happened to be on board. On Fanny he never turned his eyes; but she could not help looking often and with a swelling heart on his noble, manly form, and really very handsome countenance, as he seemed enjoying himself just as if he were not leaving the warmest heart in the world to pine and break in silence behind him— just, in fact, as if he were not conscious there was such a person as she on earth.

And now they have reached the packet, and all hands are assisted on board, and there is a cold collation, and some excellent wine, and the company all stand round the long table and drink each other's health, and happy voyage, and pleasant weather, and short passage, and safe and speedy return, and, before the now half-bewildered Fanny quite expected it, the bell rang, and all were ordered off the ship, and there were various groups formed of families and friends embracing (long, deep, oft-repeated embraces they were, too)—and Harry stood, tall and quiet, and took, by turns, mother and father in his arms and to his heart. Perhaps there was a moisture in his lashes while he received and returned those last sweet tokens of love; then Mary, who (no one dreamed she would have done so) fairly burst into tears; then Frank, who smiled a bright, clear smile, and said,

"Did you ever see such a set of simpletons, Harry?" and yet, as he embraced his brother, came glittering out of his own eyes also something which, if they were not tears, he dashed away exactly as if they had been. The truth is, a vast deal of business was done this memorable morning, as Sam Weller would say, "in the water-cart line," by various people.

Fanny was the only one whom Harry had not bade farewell to. She thought he was not going to at all, and she wished he might not; and when he approached her, at length, with a cold and formal bow, she would have given worlds if he could have totally overlooked her. Somehow or other, she was the very last one to leave the ship, for she had stood trembling, and thrilling, and holding on to her tears, till she really scarcely knew how to get away, or where she was to go.

"Harry," said she, not altogether suppressing a sob, "good-by! God bless you!"

"Good-by, Miss Elton!" was his cold reply; "should we never meet again, you have my best wishes. Here, steward, take that portmanteau below, will you?"

Fanny was handed down into the steamboat, she scarcely knew by whom. She stood there a moment among the crowd, looking up to the beautiful, lofty ship, whose broad, snowy sails were now nearly all unfurled to the wind, which began to freshen. The songs of the sailors rose together with the trampling sound of their many feet as they hastened across the deck; the vessel began to glide more rapidly on, while the steamer turned her prow in the contrary direction; and numbers of people looked down on them from the quarter-deck, of whom she could not distinguish any individual. Then some one shouted,

"Three cheers!"

They were given with enthusiasm, and then returned from the ship.

"Again!"

And again the same process was gone through with.

"Once more!"

And once more three hearty huzzas were given and reciprocated.

Already the vessel was distant many hundred yards, commencing her long, perilous way across the ocean.

Fanny felt nothing could enable her longer to restrain her feelings. She groped her way down into the cabin, too blinded by tears to see; and throwing herself upon a sofa, where she was fortunately quite alone, covered her face with her handkerchief and wept in silence.

Poor Fanny! It is not every beautiful, proud, high-spirited girl who knows what an unpleasant thing it is to be rejected.

CHAPTER XXX.

Fanny's paleness and indisposition passed off as a fit of sea-sickness, in which she had the sympathy of all, particularly of Emmerson. By the time they reached town again, all but herself were, or seemed, quite recovered from the sadness of mere leave-taking; and when she remembered the perfect indifference with which Harry had pronounced his last farewell, she too began to be supported by pride, shame, and indignation, and made a tolerably successful attempt to regain her spirits. This was more easy in consequence of the manner of Emmerson towards her. He approached and conversed with her some time, with a gentleness which it seemed could only proceed from an excellent heart and a sincere character. There was something about him so unassuming, so ingenuous and persuasive, that, while he spoke with her, and when she heard his frank and confidential conversation with the Lennoxes, she could not believe he had ever been guilty of duplicity or meanness, and she blushed at her ungenerous suspicions. Harry's cold "good-by" confirmed her in the conviction that she was not and had never been beloved by him; and that was exactly what Emmerson had told her. She had, then, perhaps, done Mr. Emmerson wrong. The idea gave to her manner towards him a gentleness equal to his, and in proportion as her own hopes died away, his were reawakened. But she longed for the privacy of her own apartment, to give vent to her anguish in unseen and unrestrained tears. The sight of the beautiful city, which now no longer contained the object of her affection, the thought that he would no more for years, and perhaps never again, behold the surrounding shores, or mingle with the thousands among whom her life was to pass, cast a gloom over all things and over her own soul; but she was pious as well as tender, and she had been taught to calm the violence of every feeling and passion by humble appeals to Heaven. And so time passed on, and things seemed once more to fall into their usual channel.

For a few weeks, however, the high spirits of the Lennox family were rather dashed. Fanny's heart was continually full almost to overflowing, and her eyes were wet with tears, which she was ashamed or afraid to shed; for, while reason taught her to be indifferent, feeling and memory often overcame her strength. The grief of Mrs. Lennox, also, was too obvious not to be contagious, and the yet undisturbed high spirits of Mr. Lennox only contrasted more strangely with the sadness of the rest. Frank, by his noble, delicate demeanour, humbled as well as affected her. He plainly showed how well he saw he was not loved, and never could be; yet in him appeared no anger, pique, or coolness. His attentions were continued and his friendship increased, but with a consideration for her which awoke the sincerest gratitude. That he was unhappy was evident; but it was the unhappiness of a manly and patient mind, which is far from yielding to the oppressive weakness. He neither attempted to excite her compassion, to awaken her jealousy, nor to pique her vanity by resentful coolness or affected indifference. In this respect he offered a graceful contrast to his brother, not unremarked by Miss Elton; but she did not understand the difference between the two cases. Sometimes she almost imagined that now Harry's want even of esteem for her had been so clearly and so cruelly displayed, she might return some rays of encouragement to the faithful attachment of Frank, whose unhappiness she could not bear to see, and might in time bring herself to alleviate. But she had been educated upon the strictest moral and religious principles, and knew how to distinguish between the impulses of amiable weakness and the dictates of duty; and the image of Harry, careless, forgetful, contemptuous as he was, reigned too strongly in her heart to permit her to think of ever receiving the addresses of another.

After some weeks, during which none of the family had spirits for another trip to Rose Hill, it was proposed by Mr. Lennox that they should go again. Various pros and cons were discussed, and the tendency of the party was decidedly towards remaining in town. Frank was now momentarily expecting orders to repair to his post, from which his leave of absence had been, at the request of his father, prolonged to an almost unhoped-for period. Under all the circumstances, no one cared for another country excursion. To inhabit even that delightful house, when thus deserted by so many who had made it the happiest spot in the world, to wander alone by the winding beach, and through the solemn, silent wood, where the voices of Frank, Glendenning, White, and Harry had been so often heard, did not seem an attractive idea. But Mr. Lennox was anxious not to have them spend the sultry month of August in town, and he himself enjoyed the weekly holyday passed with them, away from the dust and noise of the city, the bustle of crowded courts, or the confinement of a close office.

"May we take Seth with us, father?" inquired Mary.

"No, my dear," replied Mr. Lennox, without hesitation; "I don't believe he can be spared. His last trip has not done him any good, but has, on the contrary, rather spoiled him. Besides, the effect is unfavourable upon the other clerks, of selecting one for a pet: it makes him insolent, and them jealous."

"Insolent, father? what, poor little Seth? Why, I never saw such a timid, obliging, manageable boy in my life."

"Mr. Emmerson will tell you a different story."

"Mr. Emmerson?"

"He says he can't get along with him at all since his last trip; and I think you'll allow that he who can't live with Emmerson, can't live with any one."

"It's very strange," said Mrs. Lennox; "but, if Mr. Emmerson says so, there must be truth in it."

It was decided, therefore, that they should go without Seth.

CHAPTER XXXI.

In the afternoon of the day on which this conversation occurred, Mr. Lennox, with Mary and Miss Elton on either arm, and Frank with Mrs. Elton, were coming in from a walk, when, as they entered the house, their attention was arrested by the sound of voices in the office.

"It is true."

"It is not true."

"Do you mean to say I am telling a falsehood?" said the gentle voice of Emmerson.

"I mean to say you first gave it me to copy, and that you then desired me not to copy it till you should correct it."

The door of the office now opened and discovered the whole party, with Mr. Lennox at the head, but unobserved, apparently, by either of the disputants.

"I do not say you tell a wilful untruth, my young friend," said Emmerson, gently, although the expression which came over his dark and now pallid countenance betrayed considerable emotion, "but I deny your statement. You are habitually negligent. You have forgotten, and propose this as an excuse. I wish your faults ended there."

"It is false!" said Seth; "I am not negligent. I appeal to every clerk in the office. I do my best; I neglect nothing, and I am incapable of an untruth. I remember most distinctly your countermanding your order to copy the bill, that you might correct it; and, moreover, I believe, sir, you know what I say to be the truth."

"What is all this?" said Mr. Lennox, coming forward.

"Oh, nothing. One of the daily occurrences of the office when you are absent," said Emmerson, with mild indifference.

"What is it you charge so boldly upon Mr. Emmerson?" inquired Mr. Lennox, gravely.

Seth was silent.

"Will you be good enough to favour me with an answer?" reiterated Mr. Lennox, yet more mildly.

Seth turned very red, then very pale—commenced to speak, but had, for the moment, either not the presence of mind or the bodily strength to do so.

"Will you explain, Mr. Emmerson, if you please?"

"I really should be sorry to do so," said Emmerson, smiling. "I believe the boy speaks in a passion, and will deny to-morrow what he has dared to insinuate to-day."

"But what does he insinuate?"

"I gave him a bill in chancery to copy—it should have been done a week ago, and if not filed to-day, will be too late. I should have reminded him of it, but he is so susceptible and irritable when I speak to him of anything, that I abstained from doing so, supposing he had copied it, perhaps, when I was not in the room. To-day I ask him for it; he replies I requested him not to copy it—a thing on the face of it—at least—a mistake."

"And you added, Master Seth," remarked Mr. Lennox, "that Mr. Emmerson had not only countermanded this order to you in this way, but knew he had done so—that is, was not only making a mistake, but preferring against you deliberately a false accusation."

Seth turned still paler, but did not reply.

"I should never have mentioned this," said Emmerson, "for I do not wish to injure the boy; but this is what I mean when I say I cannot get along easily with him."

"Seth," said Mr. Lennox.

"Sir," said Seth, suddenly lifting his pale face, but meeting the stern glance of his benefactor with one, if not as stern, at least not less firm.

"Ask Mr. Emmerson's pardon, and confess you have uttered an unworthy falsehood, this moment."

Fire darted into the cheeks of Seth and flashed from his eyes as he turned them upon Emmerson with a haughty indignation, totally unlike anything ever seen in him before. He answered in a low voice,

"Never!"

"You persist in your charge, then?"

"It is true," said Seth.

"You mean to say that Mr. Emmerson asked you to defer copying the bill till he had corrected it, and now, while denying it, is conscious of having done so?"

"I do, sir!"

"Seth! do you know what you say? Do you mean to charge Mr. Emmerson with dishonour—with duplicity?"

"Before man and God!" replied Seth, firmly.

"Look!" said Emmerson, showing the bill to Mr. Lennox. "It is drawn by yourself: is it likely I should propose to correct it?"

"How do you explain this fact, sir?" demanded Mr. Lennox, still suppressing beneath the calmest exterior an obviously rising storm of indignation.

"I cannot explain it—I can't explain anything connected with Mr. Emmerson, but I have asserted the truth. I repeat it, and Mr. Emmerson knows it."

"Oh, if you believe me capable of laying a snare for you!" said Emmerson, with a smile.

"I would not have voluntarily advanced such a charge," said Seth, his face extremely pale, but his voice steady and his eye unshrinking; "but since the point is raised, I scorn to conceal my opinion. I do believe Mr. Emmerson capable of any act of selfish meanness or malignant slander, of any art to provoke, and any lie to ruin me."

The boy stood erect, with a deep emotion, which appeared to have given tallness to his stature as well as grace and dignity to his gestures; his brow and cheeks grew absolutely swarthy with indignation, and his eyes flashed with the fire of a noble soul fully aroused. There was a moment a dead silence. Mr. Lennox, thunderstruck, appeared for an instant to hesitate what course to pursue, while Emmerson was so speechless with surprise and rage, that impartial observers would have certainly supposed him the culprit of the two. His cheek was yellow with emotion, his dark eyes were sunken and bent beneath Seth's keen glance, and the paper shook with an audible noise in his trembling hand. He looked, in short, more like a fiend than a man.

But everybody found, in these marks of agitation, only the shame and natural anger which any irreproachable person might feel on being publicly charged with a dishonourable act, and, after a single glance of sympathy at him, Mr. Lennox stepped up to Seth and took him by the shoulder.

"Listen to me, sir," said he, with a serious tranquillity, which boded no good. "You are a little, homeless, friendless boy, with a temper too rebellious and brutal to hope for employment elsewhere, or I would this instant turn you out of my house. If you were my son, I would horsewhip you within an inch of your life; as it is, believing you to be insane with rage, and not responsible for what you say, if you go down upon your knees and ask that gentleman's pardon for the atrocious insult you have offered him, and if he grant it—"

"Oh! I pardon him unasked," said Emmerson. "Pray let us drop the subject. I am far from wishing to destroy the prospects of the poor little fellow."

"I may, for the present," continued Mr. Lennox, "abstain from turning you out of the house, at least until I can get you some other mode of support. But obey me at once, or I shall teach you on the spot how a character so deceitful and worthless must be dealt with."

"If I am so worthless," said Seth, respectfully, but firmly.

"Silence, sir!" said Mr. Lennox, too much accustomed to implicit obedience from his own grown-up sons to hear without amazement these bold words. "One breath more, and you shall learn I can punish as well as reprove."

"Punish!" echoed Seth.

"My dear father!" murmured Mary.

"I have not been used to suffer such a threat in my boyhood," said Seth, "and I don't know why—"

"Pray go on," said Lennox.

"You are the only man living to whom I would not go on; but punishment, if you mean chastisement, I did not permit when a child, and I would not permit now, even if I merited it!"

"Leave the room! leave the house! never cross my threshold again!" cried Lennox.

"My dear husband," said Mrs. Lennox.

"I obey you, sir," said Seth, and, passing through the group of ladies at the door quite firm, but his face very white, he walked with a proud step down the street.

As he turned the corner, however, he remembered he had no place to go to—no home—not a cent of money—no resources but what he held from Mr. Lennox, who even paid his board in a house in which he had now no right to remain. He remembered, too, the kind friends he might now never see again, Mrs. Lennox, and Miss Elton, and Mrs. Elton, and, most of all, Mary, and what they must now think of him, and how clearly all Emmerson's hints and calumnies would now appear well founded, and what a cruel advantage his hated foe would take to slander him, now that he had really committed such a shocking outrage.

"No matter," he murmured, "I will saw wood, dig, sweep the streets, or starve, but I won't have anything more to do with Emmerson. If there were anything of the man in him, I'd make him eat his words. But one might as well threaten and insult a woman! He `pardons me unasked!' He pardons me! Ah, the scoundrel!"

Thus yielding to the ungovernable passions of inexperienced youth, and despising, as youth so often does, the dictates of prudence and propriety, the boy had not only insulted the person whom he imagined his enemy, but also Mr. Lennox and his whole family. As this last recollection forced itself upon him, the tears, which the thought of his destitute state could not make him indulge in, began to overcome his power of resistance, and turning down a side street where no one happened to be walking, he wept and sobbed as if his heart would break.

But, luckily, the hearts of fine, honest, bold fellows like him don't break quite so easily.

CHAPTER XXXII.

The next morning the ladies, particularly Fanny, who, somehow or other, spent nearly her whole time there, importuned Mr. Lennox to recall his sentence of banishment against poor Seth; but that gentleman afforded no encouragement to their petitions.

"He can never again come into my office. The young scoundrel! I am indignant as well as amazed at the change which has taken place in him, or, rather, at my discovery of his real character. Who ever saw such a modest, bashful, blushing little fellow three months ago? He could not find courage to speak, and now, yesterday, when he had a point to carry, I never saw more nerve, determination, and strength of character: burning cheek, flashing eye, and words flowing from his lips that sounded more like Junius or Sheridan than a little, impertinent, country ploughboy."

"But these," said Mrs. Lennox, "are indications of talent, which, you know, you always predicted he would one day reveal from under his unpromising exterior."

"Talent? yes, but talent accompanied by a want of principle, which promises no very brilliant close to his career. I really hate the boy, not so much for what he has himself done, as for one or two doubts which he half caused in me of the strict integrity of Emmerson's representations. But I see Emmerson was, as he always is, perfectly, strictly honest and right. He said the boy was bold, insolent, unprincipled, and would make mischief in the family; and you see he has done his best to verify the prediction."

"But Mr. Emmerson never spoke to us in this way of Seth," said Mary.

"No, of course not! He did not wish to interfere with the boy; but, as the superintendent of my business, it was his duty to state to me exactly his opinion of all the subordinate agents of the office."

"Upon my word!" said Mary, "I don't believe Seth has had the least intention to do wrong in this circumstance."

"What! do you imagine Emmerson really countermanded his order to copy the bill, that he might first correct it?"

"Why, Seth looked to me like a person who meant to tell the truth at all hazards, simply because it was the truth."

"But Emmerson denies this. Besides, the bill is mine. Mr. Emmerson never corrects my draughts."

"He might have mistaken; he might have forgotten. It is certainly very strange, but—"

"You pay Mr. Emmerson's memory a poor compliment."

"And, my dear father, this poor little Seth! what could possess him, but his unflinching honesty, to throw himself into such a dilemma? He knows he is entirely dependant on you; he knows the confidence you have in Emmerson. If he had, from negligence, omitted to copy the bill, he might have better acknowledged it at once, than told a lie which must bring him thus openly in conflict with his superior and master; or even had he been inclined to a falsehood, why add the grave charge against Emmerson that he knew the truth of his excuse?"

"Mary," said Mr. Lennox, after a pause, "you seem to take a great interest in this boy, but I beg you will conduct his defence with a little more forbearance towards others. You have almost inferred, not only that Seth is innocent, but that Mr. Emmerson is guilty. Of course, you are not aware of what your words might be made to infer, but hereafter I beg you will be more careful. What Mr. Emmerson says is not only honest, but true. He is not only the purest, most frank, and disinterested of men, but he is the most acute judge of character, and the best informed upon every subject on which he ventures to speak. I trust not only his integrity, but his memory. He never forgets. The precision and coolness of his mind are actually astonishing. It is to him I look as the guardian of Harry and the inheritor of half my business, whenever I may choose to retire myself from the toils of the office. A breath against his character, and I am sure he would withdraw himself from me forever. You will oblige me by never mentioning Seth's name again, either to him or to me. But here he comes."

"Good-morning!" said Emmerson, with a smile and manner of such quiet self-possession that, while he spoke, every one present acknowledged the truth of Mr. Lennox's representation of him, and gave up Seth as a good-for-nothing, indomitable, quarrelsome little rascal. Even Mary, for the moment, ceased to justify him in her thoughts. Fanny alone began to see a little into the peculiar character of Emmerson.

"We are discussing the merits and demerits of that young scamp Seth," said Mr. Lennox, "and I am doing justice to your superior discrimination of character."

"Oh," replied Emmerson, modestly, "my opportunities were better. I was with him more, and he was less on his guard with me. But I am sorry you were so severe with him."

"His conduct was certainly very extraordinary," said Mrs. Lennox, "and seems, indeed, inexplicable."

"Why, the fact is, the poor little fellow has a morbid, diseased imagination!" said Emmerson, as if speaking upon a subject in no way interesting to him. "I have always found him so suspicious and susceptible, that I was neither surprised nor displeased at the explosion of yesterday. He is always fancying people are trying to injure him—a most unfortunate disposition. Do you know that this little gentleman is ambitious, too?" he continued, as if relating an excellent joke. (Emmerson rarely joked, unless the subject had, as in the present case, some bearing upon himself.) "Ha! ha! ha! he has ideas and plans of all sorts. Do you know he expects to be a very great man one of these days? Ha! ha! ha!"

"Well," said Mary, quietly, "it depends only on himself. Many a great man has risen from the plough."

"He's much more likely to come to the gallows, I fear," said Emmerson, in a whisper. "I dont speak all I could of this wicked little fellow. He is a bad, worthless, dangerous person."

They were going to ask what he meant by this insinuation, when a servant entered with a letter for Frank, and Emmerson took his leave.

"At last!" said Frank. "By your leave, ladies and gentlemen! So! I am to start for my post in three days."

This news threw the family into a commotion, although it was no more than they had long expected. Perhaps, strange as it may appear, no one was pleased at it except Fanny and Frank himself.

He had no sooner been convinced that her love was bestowed on his brother, than he conscientiously resolved to master his own passion without the least diminution of his esteem for her qualities or interest in her happiness. While daily exposed to her presence, he found this a difficult task, and he prepared, therefore, to leave her with a tender satisfaction, shared by her, because she knew that, when absent, he would speedily succeed in diverting his thoughts by new scenes and adventures. But the sweet, pretty girl unconsciously added to his passion by her desire to show towards him the utmost warmth of a friendship which only stopped short at love.

The preparations for sending Frank off, however, did not prevent Mrs. Lennox from following her wish and that of the rest of the family, fully sanctioned by Mr. Lennox, in seeking out Seth, with the purpose of offering him such aid as he might require. With considerable difficulty, they succeeded in tracing him to the office of a lawyer, where he had procured some copying at a price sufficient to provide him with a sustenance. Mrs. Lennox enclosed a note to him for twenty dollars, begging to hear from him whenever he might require similar assistance. Her husband would allow her to say no more, either in the way of encouragement or advice, as he said it would look like an intimation against Emmerson.

The next day was the last of Frank's stay, and at dinner the family sat longer than usual, and the young officer received much excellent advice from everybody present. Mrs. Lennox was going on to beg he wouldn't smoke so much, would wear flannel next his skin, etc., etc., etc., when two notes came in, one for Frank and one for Mrs. Lennox.

The latter was from Seth. The twenty dollar bank-note was enclosed, with the following words:

"To Mrs. Lennox. - "Madam,

"I haven't done anything wrong that I know of; but while I labour under the imputation I will not accept assistance, except it is offered because they think me incapable of a dishonourable action. I seize this occasion to apologize for my rudeness to Mr. Lennox, once my noble friend and benefactor; you and all your family have my thanks and best wishes. I respectfully thank you for your interest in me; but don't fear, I shall get along somehow, and don't intend to knock under yet.

"Your respectfully obedient, Humble, and grateful servant,

"Seth J. Copely."

"There's a young, haughty, ungrateful dog for you," said Lennox.

"Now, I like that!" said Mary; "that's noble—that's the way a man ought to act. Seth is as innocent as Emmerson himself."

"Mary!" said Lennox, with a frown of displeasure.

"Where's Frank?" said Mrs. Lennox.

He was gone.

"He also had a letter," remarked Mary.

"Did you see him read it?"

"No, I paid him no attention."

"Did you observe Mr. Frank?" inquired Mr. Lennox of the servant.

"Yes, sir. He opened the letter, read it, rose, and immediately went down stairs."

"Is he gone out?"

"He took his hat, sir, and went out."

"Did he seem surprised or alarmed on reading this letter?" inquired Mrs. Lennox, anxiously.

"He looked, ma'am," answered the servant, "very much as he usually does, and got right up and went out."

"I hope," exclaimed Mrs. Lennox, rising suddenly, "he has received no bad news."

"I hope," cried Mr. Lennox, good-naturedly, imitating her manner, "I hope he has not jumped out of the window!"

"But," said Mrs. Lennox, half laughing and half alarmed, "should anything have happened!"

"Pooh, pooh, Katy! what a superfine Spartan mother you would have made! I fancy your presenting Frank his shield, and telling him ` with it or upon it!' "

"Mother would say," interrupted Mary, laughing, " `with it or without it! but, at all events, do you mind and come home!' "

CHAPTER XXXIII.

We must now request the reader to go back to Glendenning. When he reached Montreal, he began to feel the stirrings of different thoughts. Two or three recollections came coldly in among his warm reveries of Rose Hill, and the higher aspirations which his residence there had awakened. In the first place, he had not been very particular in his society in that town, and, truth to say, although his wildness and love of frolic had not prevented his forming intimate relations with the most worthy among his brotherofficers, he had also admitted to a perfect familiarity one or two whose principles and character were not by any means what they should be. Among these was a Lieutenant Breckenbridge, who had been his companion in various nameless orgies, and whose reputation did not stand high, Glendenning determined to gently and imperceptibly disentangle himself from this intimacy, in obedience to his laudable resolution of reform. It was a delicate, perhaps a difficult thing to do, for Breckenbridge was hot-headed, daring, quick to suspect a slight, and prompt in his resentment. But, as Glendenning knew him to be licentious, unprincipled, and a habitual sneerer at everything pure and holy, he determined to avoid future contact with him.

There was another circumstance, much more grave, which checked the pleasure of his virtuous dreams as he entered the town of Montreal. It was the terms on which he stood with his commanding officer, Lieutenant-colonel Nicholson. This gentleman was the second son of Lord Middleton, and a specimen of the sort of man into which a bad-hearted, spoiled child may be transformed. Full of the idea of his high family, great expectations, and personal rank and appearance (for he was a very handsome man of fifty), his character was cold, pompous, and arrogant. While his understanding was small, his opinion of it was immense, and nothing could exceed his vanity, unless, perhaps, the vindictiveness with which he revenged any offence that wounded it.

A coward in secret, his cowardice was overmastered by his self-importance; but while even in his overbearing manners he studied his own safety, he was indifferent to the danger of others. A toad-eater where his fears or his interests required, he was a relentless tyrant to those beneath him. Although invested by his rank, connexions, and wealth, with a certain consideration in the eyes of the world (for how few are not worshippers of these things?), his real character was cruel and despicable. His stature was tall and commanding, and an erect and military air added to the impression of a countenance which announced not only the habit, but the determination of command. In birth and education he was a gentleman, but fashion, unfortunately, considers compatible with that character qualities which are in themselves not desirable. His own passions were his only law, the world his only thought, and himself his only god. His manner was usually cold and haughty, but when among persons he considered his equals, it became free and agreeable, and he possessed the power, in the society of his immediate associates, of veiling his darker peculiarities beneath an appearance of military frankness, and a certain air of bonhomie which enabled him to make plenty of friends when he desired to do so. If nature had bestowed upon him any good quality, it was, perhaps, a spirit of hospitality, of which the marked magnificence was visible in the splendour of his balls, the elegant taste which presided at his dinners, and the hearty welcome with which, at his own table and in his own house, he received all whom he had deemed worthy the honour of an invitation. But even this originated in his love of ostentation and the vulgar ambition of self-display; for, while giving a ball, for the perfect brilliancy of which no expense was spared, he would stint a deserving servant even of his just dues, and turn with the coldest indifference from the most touching case of homely distress. To these sharp, but not uncommon features, let it be added, that Colonel Nicholson's supreme delight was to thwart everybody, to make all around him uncomfortable, to wound the feelings of his wife, and friends, and servants, to touch sore points, to entangle everything, to distress and insult everybody, and to keep people at a distance, and the reader has as much of his portrait as is necessary to the development of our story.

Yet, such are men, such is the world, and such is public opinion, it was not easy for any, except those immediately in contact with him in a subordinate station, to say whether Lieutenant-colonel Nicholson was an extremely good or a very bad man. There is no despicable quality which may not be called by a graceful name, and there is no despicable man, either, who may not find a clique to praise and whitewash him. The choice few among whom this great personage thought it not beneath him to unbend, meanly flattered by his selection, and deriving various advantages from the intimacy, feeling all the little good of his character, and, of course, not brought in contact with any of his bad points, sturdily defended him against the just indignation of those who had smarted beneath his arrogant insults, and seen the malignity of his heart and the smallness of his mind. From these the world at large learned that his despotism was a mere necessary habit of command, his vain hospitality was generous kindness, his cunning sagacity, his cowardice prudence, and his stinginess wise economy. Thus, by dwelling upon and exaggerating his better peculiarities, by denying or explaining away the worse ones, he was made out by them to be a meritorious person; and the world, who heard him execrated by one set and adulated by another, decided, when they took the trouble of deciding at all, that he was probably a severe disciplinarian, and therefore an excellent commander, and that the accusations against him arose from the unbending haughtiness of his disposition, which, although it made him unpopular, was but the repelling cover of a magnanimous heart. As he had executed his sometimes unpleasant duties with unscrupulous fidelity and impartiality, too noble and careless to consider consequences, or to descend to arts of conciliation, he must be a superior officer and a worthy man. Thus, in this strange world, the purest person is often weighed down by misfortune and blackened by calumny, while a scoundrel in the perpetration of unprincipled actions, not only often escapes free from public reprobation, but receives the public applause, particularly if Providence have placed him in an exalted position.

But, though the world at large would not take the trouble to decide respecting Lieutenant-colonel Nicholson, the officers who served under him had too often felt his ungenerous arrogance and paltry insults not to hate him with all their hearts. His complete power to worry those under his command was practised without restraint from mercy or generosity. They had long smarted under a thousand vague and unnameable pieces of oppression, each one of which, to a gentleman, is more galling than broader insults. If there are few who know how to obey, there are still fewer who do not betray the innate depravity of human nature when called upon to command. In the history of absolute sovereigns, and particularly of the Roman emperors, the human character is sculptured in colossal forms, and we there see man intrusted with power. Rome is fallen through the infinite mercy of Providence, and the world is cut up into small states; but the human heart, only narrowed in its sphere, remains essentially the same, when religious influences have not rescued it from itself; and how many an inglorious Roman emperor is there on the deck of a ship, at the head of a regiment, in a schoolroom or a workship, who, if he dared, or if he could, would place his statue in the temple of God.

Of all the officers of the — regiment, Glendenning had been the least likely to bear with patience the irritating slights of his commander, and on his first entrance into the army, our young madcap had not been many months under his treatment, when, stung by one of those insults which Colonel Nicholson knew so well how to inflict without compromising himself, he resolved, with characteristic impetuosity, to make him answer it in the field. He had possessed sufficient prudence, however, to cause a mutual friend to sound his enemy in an informal way, as to whether, in case of a cartel, he would accept it, waving his rank, or whether he would proceed, as, under the circumstances, he possessed the right to do, to bring the officer sending such a challenge to court-martial. The worst feelings were awakened in the breast of Colonel Nicholson at this intimation, which had been made in so indirect and confidential a way as to render any notice of it impossible. Wounded vanity, therefore, at finding his mighty dignity thus set at naught by a subordinate officer, and a thirst for revenge, prompted him to reply, "Let him only try me!" with a wish to have the intimation supposed an affirmative.

Not thinking this answer could be intended to have the double meaning of an ancient oracle, Glendenning directed a friend, accordingly, to invite him to a meeting, but, by an accident, discovered, just in time to save himself, that it was Colonel Nicholson's determination to decline the meeting and bring upon the challenger the severest consequences of a military prosecution. Glendenning was known to be a dead shot; and there were not wanting persons who gave this fact weight in accounting for the course of the commanding officer. The affair was, however, arrested just in time, but not without an important change in the feelings of both the gentlemen towards each other. In addition to the opinion entertained by Glendenning of his commander as a cold-hearted, malignant person, he now felt that he was a coward; while Colonel Nicholson had, with an inexpressible but concealed rage, beheld in Glendenning an open and insolent rebel against his authority, who barely hid beneath the necessary mask of official prudence the fact, that he despised his pretensions, suspected his courage, and read his character aright.

Perhaps the most vindictive feeling that can be aroused in the breast of such a man is that with which he perceives his claims to importance ridiculed by an inferior. All else that he had availed him nothing, "so long as he saw Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."

CHAPTER XXXIV.

There are, or, at least, at the time of which we are writing, there were, no barracks for officers in Montreal. It was customary for two or three to take a house together. For some time White and Glendenning had lived in this way, but latterly Glendenning had found rooms in the house of a young portrait painter, who, with his wife and child, occupied only the lower part of the building.

The life of an officer in a garrison town is not varied by many pleasures. Both at the parades and the daily messtable dinner, he had the not very agreeable certainty of meeting Lieutenant-colonel Nicholson, and of being subjected to the offensive superciliousness of that high and mighty personage. The evenings were enlivened by a certain routine of society, and sometimes by a rout, in giving which species of entertainment, the reader has been informed, it was Colonel Nicholson's peculiar ambition to excel.

Till now, Glendenning, unaccustomed to read, study, or reflect, without any particular respect for himself or purpose in life, had been driven by ennui, and the example of his chosen companions, into billiard-rooms and whist-clubs, where he spent a large portion both of his time and money. But since his return he had adopted different habits; he was more reserved among his old comrades, and much less seen abroad than formerly. He attended, with punctilious care, to his professional duties, and came under the hand of Colonel Nicholson several times, with a tranquil and even gentle forbearance which astonished, while it did not at all conciliate, that gentleman. Various invitations to take part in certain old larks were courteously but firmly declined. Breckenbridge at first rallied him, but, after having made several ineffectual attempts to bring him into his old ways, coolly ceased his endeavours, and for some time they scarcely met, except in a general way. Breckenbridge felt as if he were cut, a process to which his style of life had not rendered him entirely a stranger, but which became the subject of serious reflection when experienced from Glendenning. The latter, however, pursued his way quietly, laid out a course of reading, which he followed assiduously, and continued in earnest to look into the evidences of Christianity, in which he even began to feel a singular interest. He had been but imperfectly educated, and now, for the first time in his life, he began to study and to think. He read the "Analogy of Religion," by Butler, a book in everybody's hands, but which he had never heard of but through the recommendation of one who, he felt, was perhaps his truest friend on earth—Mrs. Lennox. This remarkable piece of reasoning deeply riveted his attention, and overwhelmed his light and trivial mind with astonishment. He thus gathered a conviction that, notwithstanding the silent and inactive indifference with which many intelligent, cultivated, and fashionable people choose to regard the subject, the scheme of Christianity may be true. The thought was new, vast, and sublime. He felt its quickening power penetrate his mind, throw a new aspect over life and nature, and startle him to the deepest recesses of his soul. He meditated on it continually. He studied with severest perseverance. He doubted, he feared, he rejoiced and trembled. Then some old instinct, ludicrous association, or unlucky word would rise in his heart or his recollection, and all the sublime but half-formed vision would melt away.

Still, however, he studied, and many a day and many a night he spent—himself greatly surprised at the power which had led him to such an occupation—reading the Bible and works illustrative of it. The more he read, the more he was struck—the more he was convinced. But when he closed the volume and went to a drill or parade, or when he came under the eye of Colonel Nicholson, and felt the blood in his veins moving quicker at the cold tone of his voice, or the decisive, magisterial wave of his hand, he wondered at his folly in yielding credit to nursery fables.

At this interesting epoch of his life, a kind Providence seems to have in some degree separated him from White, by leading him to a lodging with Mr. Southard and his family, the young painter before mentioned. White was a gentleman in more than one sense, but he was one of those gentlemen whose opinions are most perfectly decided against the claims of any religion to divine origin. Southard and his family, on the contrary, were devout and cheerful believers, and perhaps the sweet little group gathered at his table, could the artist have painted it, would have been the most graceful and pleasing of all his subjects. He was one of those pure and simple beings whom nature sometimes forms and religion perfects on the earth, an humble, contented, and not altogether unsuccessful imitator of his divine master. He was poor, without being either dazzled with riches or ashamed of poverty, lowly in rank, and yet lowlier in spirit. Even his talent in his profession was not above mediocrity, but he knew it and smiled at it, and was contented with what his Creator had given him. He had the enthusiasm without the jealous susceptibilities of an artist. He was almost unknown, and scarcely desired to become less so. His modest wants were supplied by his industry, and in a heart tenderly alive to the charm of nature, the sweetness of truth, and the beauty and meaning of all things, he had a source of constant and extreme enjoyment. In compensation for the want of professional talent, and of the distinctions and luxuries which it produces, besides a warm, true heart, an upright character, and a sensible mind, he had been blessed with a lovely wife, in whom he found at once the most useful and delightful companion and the tenderest, most affectionate friend. A single child was the fruit of their union, a little girl three years old. Careless of the stern toil and gorgeous spectacles and sorrows of the world, he lived—rare fate—happy in himself— doubly happy in his wife; and all the happiness he desired seemed trebled to him—beyond his hopes and merits— while he watched the growth and improvement of the little Catharine.

For these people Glendenning had long conceived a warm regard. There was something in the picture of their humble and contented happiness, so rich with so little, in their pure and sincere characters, which had touched his soul. Now particularly, that he was beginning to experience a change of opinion on the most important of subjects, he found a new charm in their society, and he spoke to them frequently on the great topics which were engaging his attention. Nothing but such a happy home of his own could have been so soothing and delightful to his feelings as this circle, where he every day became more and more familiarly welcomed, and more and more regarded as a valuable acquisition and a necessary part of the circle. These companions, in some measure, filled the chasm which had been left by his separation from the Lennoxes, and they were interested in the same subject, and continued with him the same course of reasoning. Here he began to feel at home—a sweet word, the meaning of which he had never known before. Thus passed away several weeks in elevating studies and deeply interesting conversations, until he said one day to his hosts, "Almost you persuade me to become a Christian!"

He had already received one affectionate maternal letter from Mrs. Lennox, full of minutiæ respecting the family, and closing with an earnest and impressive hope that he would continue his study of the religion of Jesus, assuring him that "it was good tidings to the meek, and a light shining in a dark place; that it revealed the method of reconciliation for iniquity, and presented the oil of joy for mourning, and the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

He smiled at this characteristic language, which so vividly recalled his affectionate friend, but the smile was not one of ridicule. He even thought he began to comprehend the meaning of those phrases, as he had already done of the sweet word home. They conveyed ideas and feelings which had never before found entrance into his mind or heart.

"Poor fellow!" said Mrs. Southard, one evening, as he went out to go to bed, after a long and ingenuous debate on the theme, in which he now found singular interest—"Poor fellow! the scales are balanced."

"Yes," said Southard, "a hair will turn them."

CHAPTER XXXV.

One morning, as Glendenning was returning from a drill, he met an officer with whom he had long been well acquainted. He had come to Montreal from Quebec on some business, and this was their first meeting.

"Hallo! Clinton!" said Glendenning, as he approached. "How are you?"

The young man walked directly on, without turning to the right or left, and as stiffly as if he had been going through a drill. Glendenning thought it was a boyish jest, and stopped, expecting to see him presently turn and burst into a laugh, to exchange their accustomed salutations. But he passed, and continued on his way with the same rigid and rather quickened pace, till he disappeared round a corner.

Glendenning rubbed his eyes, astonished and also bewildered. Could he have been mistaken in the man? Impossible! And yet the total unconsciousness of his presence shown by the stranger, whoever he was, implied that he had been. He laughed at the incident, and thought no more about it, concluding that the friend he had supposed himself addressing was probably, in reality, at Quebec.

The next day invitations for a grand fête were issued to all the officers by an old military friend who had served in India, and was now spending a few months at Montreal. Glendenning himself was not among the guests invited. He thought it very odd—but, of course, a mistake. He soon lost all recollection of it in his absorbing studies.

A day or two afterward he was met in the street by Breckenbridge, who, as the reader has been already told, had in former times been long one of his companions. He felt that his example had been most pernicious to him. Breckenbridge was warm-hearted, handsome, and witty, a dare-devil, thoughtless, good-for-nothing fellow, whom one could not be much with without liking till the discovery was made that a naturally good heart had been so completely depraved by debauchery and gambling, that every spark of real honour was extinguished in it, and that he was likely to retain even the exterior qualities of an amiable, amusing companion, only as long as he found any interest in assuming them. By slow but sure degress, he was degenerating into buffoonery, and his libertinism had been latterly deepened by ruinous extravagance. The more he indulged in sensual enjoyments, the more unappeasable became his appetite, and the less fastidious his taste, till at length his best friends asked for him but the questionable praise of being a bon enfant. He was not malignant, but he was violently passionate, and the bold recklessness of his temper made him one dangerous to offend. Glendenning had not been able to effect his awkward task of withdrawing from this intimacy without awakening the suspicion of the object of his distrust, but, whether he did so or not, he was quite resolved to be seen no more than was actually necessary with a man whose habits he had already learned to abhor, and for whose character he felt anything but esteem. He found it, however, rather difficult to disentangle himself from an acquaintance with no other cause than a conviction that it was morally derogatory to him, as he desired to avoid a quarrel with the associate thus abandoned. He was no hypocrite, yet he did not exactly wish to say to one whose friendship he had encouraged, you are unworthy of me as a companion, either directly or indirectly, and Breckenbridge, who had at last caught an idea of the truth, felt a malicious delight in pressing himself importunately upon his reformed friend whenever they accidentally met in public.

"How d'ye do, Glendenning? how are you?" said Breckenbridge, holding out his hand.

Glendenning politely, rather gravely, returned the salutation.

"What the devil is the matter with you?" said Breckenbridge.

"With me? Nothing!"

"You're so d—d grave and stiff, I don't know you."

"Let me introduce you, then," said White, laughing, as he joined them: "This is my reformed friend Glendenning— the virtuous and scientific companion whom we used to know."

White had, not maliciously, but unfortunately, struck on the very chord. He himself had felt vexed at the stupid gravity of his friend, but thought of noticing it by nothing more than a jest.

"So!" said Breckenbridge, "you are a d—d fine chap for a small party! What's come over you? I don't understand it. We used to be `hale fellows well met.' Now, I swear! you act as if you wanted to cut me."

"Pooh! nonsense," said White, who now perceived, by the expression of Breckenbridge's face, that he was in earnest; "let us go in here, and you shall have a game of billiards."

"Certainly," said Breckenbridge. Then turning to Glendenning: "You won't come, I suppose?"

"Oh yes, I will," said Glendenning, with his habitual facility of character.

"Will? that's something like. Do you know there's a report going round that you're going to resign and turn parson?"

"Will you play, White?" said Glendenning.

"No; I've a nasty rheumatism in my shoulder; I can't hold a cue."

"I'll play," said Breckenbridge.

This was exactly what Glendenning did not want. He was obliged to yield, however, though with reluctance; and the worst of it was, his reluctance was clearly detected by his antagonist.

Several other officers came in. Glendenning, who had scarcely been in a billiard-room since his arrival, now embarrassed and vexed, nodded to them slightly, and received as slight a return.

"I'm glad to have a crack with you," said Breckenbridge. "You used to be a hand worthy of me; but now, I suspect, you're practising other games."

Glendenning went on playing, without making any reply to that and various other exclamations on the part of Breckenbridge, in which the words "sanctified face" and "too good to be worth much" appeared directed ironically against him. A year before, he would have been in a row with less provocation, but now he had other ideas, and had really made progress, though but a slight one, in the manly art of self-government.

While the game was thus going on, a gentleman whom Glendenning had seen at Mr. Lennox's, in New-York, came in, having recently arrived. The acquaintance was renewed warmly on both sides.

"I have a letter for you," said this person, "from your friend Mrs. Lennox. I was going to your lodgings, when some one who had accidentally seen you directed me here."

He handed the letter, and, excusing himself, went out, when Glendenning, with an apology, opened and commenced reading.

He had not proceeded more than a few lines, when he felt a sharp blow upon his shoulder from Breckenbridge's cue, and a

"Now, then, old fellow! D—n your letters! Push ahead, will you?"

"I tell you what, Mr. Breckenbridge," said Glendenning, haughtily, "I wish you to understand that I don't allow any man to take such a liberty as that with me, and you less than another."

"What do you mean by that?" said Breckeabridge, with a darkening brow.

"What I say, sir."

"Indeed? me less than another? you mean that as an insult."

Glendenning's eye fell flashing on him, and he was about to reply, "He might consider it so if he chose," when he checked himself.

"No, Mr. Breckenbridge, I do not wish to insult you."

"Then please to explain why you allow me to take such a liberty with you less than another."

"I have no explanation to make."

"Then you have an insult to retract, and you shall eat your words at this table."

"I am not in the habit of speaking without a cause," said Glendenning, quietly, "neither am I in the habit of retracting without one."

"Explain, then, explain. If you are grown so touchy as not to allow any one the ordinary familiarity of a friend, I have nothing to say. But why me less than another?"

"Oh! if you drive me to an explanation," said Glendenning, his hot blood mounting higher and higher, "I will give it you, certainly, but I did not desire to give it, at least not in public."

"Let us hear it, at all events," said Breckenbridge, with a laugh which infuriated his opponent.

"You less than another," said Glendenning, calmly and haughtily, "because, from your manners, character, and occupations, I consider you less desirable as a friend, Mr. Breckenbridge, and I avail myself of this occasion, moreover, to say that our acquaintance must, hereafter, be upon a less familiar footing."

"Well, Captain Glendenning," said Breckenbridge, quietly, and without showing the expected indignation at this insult, "I tell you what! I may not be what I ought to be— few of us are—yet I trust I can be reproached only with rashness which has injured myself. Your character and actions do not admit of such a defence."

"Sir!" said Glendenning.

"I suppose you heard my observation; if not, I'll repeat it," said Breckenbridge, without any symptom of anger or loss of composure.

"Your remark is not worthy even of you," said Glendenning; "if I have insulted you, take the course of a gentleman; I am ready to meet you as if you were one, but an unmeaning calumny can be as little creditable to you as injurious to me."

"Meet you," said Breckenbridge, "meet you! ha! ha! ha!"

The laugh was echoed by several gentlemen and officers among the by-standers.

"What do you mean by that?" said Glendenning, with an air rather of astonishment than anger.

"Ah! ha!" said Breckenbridge. "Now, then, it's my turn. Every dog has his day! I mean, sir, precisely what I say."

There was another laugh, and Glendenning saw, with an emotion difficult to be described, that the feeling of the room was against him.

"You shall retract your atrocious insinuation on the spot," cried he.

"Ah! bah!" repeated Breckenbridge, laughing; "I'm not in the habit of speaking without a cause, neither am I in the habit of retracting without one."

"I will give you cause, then," said Glendenning.

"You can't do it!" replied Breckenbridge, firmly. "Captain Glendenning, the high and the haughty, let me tell you a secret: there isn't an officer in Montreal that would meet you."

"You're a fool!" cried Glendenning.

"Come, come away!" said a Captain Drake, taking Breckenbridge by the arm.

In a moment the room was empty. Glendenning, astounded, stood alone with White.

"Well, that's cool!" said White. "I don't quite understand it."

"Will you take a message?" cried Glendenning.

"Certainly," replied White, rolling the balls against each other on the table.

"Then let us be acting immediately."

As they left the house, Glendenning came upon the officer who had yesterday so singularly passed him in the street.

"Clinton!" cried he, bewildered; "it was you, then?"

The young man gently turned aside, and continued his way without offering the least sign of recognition.

Glendenning uttered an exclamation of bewildered astonishment.

In the evening White took a message to Breckenbridge, but did not return to give any account of its reception.

CHAPTER XXXVI.

Glendenning did not sleep that night, neither did he resume his studies. His old passions were fully aroused, and he resorted to his old habits of deadening them—a bottle of Madeira and a box of cigars. Hour after hour he paced the floor, "like a proud steed reined, champing his iron bit." The mystery in which he was involved was perfectly inexplicable; so that, during long intervals of reflection, shame and rage were almost lost in curiosity and wonder. His past life had been rash and thoughtless; that he knew and regretted. But that had been sufficiently known before, and not visited with consequences like these. Yet now that new and more rational plans had opened upon him for the first time, with boiling veins and a heart appalled, he saw himself scornfully, and, it seemed, generally insulted and despised. What act of his had produced this, or by what means the unanimity of public action had been brought about, he racked his imagination and memory in vain to conceive. He reviewed his past life, as far as possible, in every minute detail; his words—his very thoughts. He saw with humiliation the course of a trivial, reckless, till now worthless young man, employed in no respectable purpose or occupation—governed by unworthy impulses and passions—guilty of wild and unwarrantable actions. But nothing that he could fix his eyes on accounted, in the remotest degree, for the present state of affairs. He was cut. His fellow-officers had openly refused to associate with him, and a blackguard, whom he himself considered beneath him as a companion, had, with the unconcealed approbation, and to the unconcealed amusement of a roomful of his brother soldiers, jeeringly and tauntingly declined noticing his insult, and, apparently, receiving his message; for White, who had taken it in the early part of the evening, had not even returned to inform him of the result. White himself seemed to have abandoned him.

What pestilential slander had attached itself to his name? Was he charged with robbery or murder? What crime had he committed more than is committed (alas! that it should be so! but it is) by other young men, who, notwithstanding, keep their places in society, are courted and caressed, are presented by fathers and mothers to their modest and innocent young daughters, and hailed by their companions with pride and delight? None. He had done nothing. Could the odium against him have any relation with the affair of Frank Lennox? His reason rejected the possibility. True, he had there insulted a lady; but surely that had been amply expiated; and, since the lady herself and her friends forgave him, it could hardly be conceived that strangers should take up the matter at this late date, and even if they had taken it up, it could never have produced such startling effects.

Was it that he had "almost become a Christian?" He knew that many gentlemen, worldly men and military officers, distinguished statesmen, and the leading men of modern Christian society, smiled at the visionary idea of adopting Christian precepts in active life; and that able and conscientious conductors of that free press which cannot fail greatly to modify public opinion, did not hesitate to state in their columns that Christian precepts had been found incompatible with the operations of practical life. But was he to be made a pariah for examining into them? Was the Bible, as in the time of Nero, become a mark of scorn and dishonour? and the Christian—was he, then, an outcast? No; it was absurd. All his attempts at explaining the causes of his present galling position were lost in wild and improbable conjectures.

The clock struck eleven, twelve, one, two, and no White— three, four, and day broke, first overflowing the star-paved shore of heaven with a stream of pale light, which deepened into radiant floods and gorgeous, fiery shapes, so that he paused in his disturbed walk of agony, to look into those abysses of insupportable, ineffable glory, and as the sun lifted itself calmly and slowly above the horizon, he forgot a moment his own private griefs in thinking how much nature exceeds imagination, and in remembering scenes of his visit to Rose Hill, where he had often been thus abroad early on some excursions of pleasure in the cool, oderous morning air.

But the clock struck five, and he started at the recollection of Breckenbridge, Clinton, and White. At the recurrence of their images, nature, morality, and the sense of God, the new-born faith in the religion of Jesus, thoughts of duty, the idea that this state on earth is one of trial and probation, and all the associations of Rose Hill, and the Lennoxes, and those delicious evenings, and those pure and spiritual conversations, passed from his mind, to give place to unbridled passion and visions of bloody revenge.

It was, he knew not how near morning, when his reflections were interrupted by a knock at the door, and Southard entered in morning-gown and slippers.

"I beg your pardon," said Southard, "but I've come up to see what's the matter with you. We've heard you pacing all night backward and forward, and often speaking aloud."

"I hope I haven't disturbed you?"

"Only with the apprehension that you are either uneasy or ill."

"I'm both," said Glendenning, "vexed and grieved, as well as ill."

"What is it? Can we do anything for you?"

"No, no, my dear fellow, no. You cannot aid me—cannot, at least yet, even share my troubles."

"Then I must ask no more," said Southard; "but, without knowing them, I can advise you not to yield too much to merely temporary cares and sorrows. They pass away. Leave them to Him who sends them."

"It's easier to advise those things than to do them, my friend," said Glendenning.

"Of course it is; but it is nevertheless possible to do them."

"No, no; it is not possible."

"Yes, it is. All is possible with the aid of God."

"And if you had lost your wife last night," said Glendenning, "perhaps you would feel how insufficient mere precepts, either of morality or religion, are to meet the blighting cares of life."

"I should suffer, doubtless," replied Southard. "I should shrink, and mourn, and weep; but he who believes and trusts in the one true and everlasting God, and comprehends with faith the perfect system of consolation offered by the Christian religion, although he cannot avoid the storms and wrecks of life, yet he has a star to guide him and a pilot to steer him. Believe me, there is neither wisdom, philosophy, nor religion in worrying one's self about things that can't be helped. Do your best, and let things go. Satisfy your conscience and sleep in peace. Read your Bible, and you will find support. `Which of ye, by taking thought for himself, can add one cubit unto his stature?' "

Glendenning was at first disposed to think it intrusive and rather ridiculous, a man's coming into his room to preach religion at daybreak in morning-gown and slippers. But the words of Southard, and the answering echoes which thrilled in his own heart and his own reason, did once more make him pause, and called up again a feeble sense of his new-born hope and faith.

"Trust in God," continued Southard. "Man neither made himself, nor can take care of himself without his Creator. He placed you in the world; He will receive you going out of it; and if you will let him, he will guide, support, and console you during your progress through it."

Glendenning shook his head.

"Come to me, ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

"I wish I had your unwavering faith," said Glendenning, "and sometimes I have; but it is fluctuating and feeble. The first storm whirls it away."

"It will be given you if you truly and sincerely ask it; that is all you want to be a happy man. Once convinced, you walk the earth like a god, careless of its inconveniences, its cold or its heat, its joy or its sorrow, its glory or its shame, and only waiting your summons to go back to a celestial abode, where moths do not corrupt and thieves no more break in and steal. But come! I will have done preaching, and leave you to better thoughts. You've been awake all night, too. You must sleep, or you'll cut a poor figure at the ball to-night."

"Ball!" said Glendenning. "What ball?"

"Why, the ball—Colonel Nicholson's ball."

"Does Colonel Nicholson give a ball? and to-night?" said Glendenning, a flush of painful emotion overspreading his face.

"You don't mean to say you're ignorant of it?" said Southard, with some surprise. "Why all the town are talking about it."

"I was ignorant of it," said Glendenning.

"But how is it that you—where is your invitation? All the officers are to be there. Have you not received your invitation?"

"Has any one come for me?"

"Not to my knowledge."

A ray of light shot into Glendenning's mind.

"It is very extraordinary," said Southard. "It is quite certain there must be some mistake."

But perceiving Glendenning, was not attending to him, and appeared lost in thought, he bade him good-morning and left him.

"So!" said Glendenning, "that's my man. He has done it by some infernal slander; but let him beware. If I can catch him — him, of all men! But stop, be cool; I have only to wait. The Horse Guards? I defy them. A court martial? I invite—I court one. My commission? I'll resign it. Let me be cool and patient! I shall know all in a day or two. No more questions! no more challenges yet! Some one must be at the bottom of it, and who but he! If I can trace it to him—I throw away all considerations of self. I care not for rank, power, laws, nor consequences. Does he think again to shelter himself behind paltry questions of etiquette and articles of war?"

He went out and bathed, came home and dressed as usual, breakfasted, and still no White. His heart was oppressed with passion and his mind bewildered in mystery; but he kept himself composed with the words, "Wait, be cool! The hour will come!"

Shunning the society or even the eye of every human being, he spent the whole day alone in the environs of this magnificently situated town, wandering, now along the shores of the broad and noble stream, now climbing some of the heights, from which he beguiled the intervals of keener reflection by the dazzling and exquisite views which broke upon him of the island, town, and river, and now penetrating into the green, untrodden solitudes of a forest, soothing himself with the sweet sights and sounds of that nature which God has directly given as a significant reflection of the human soul, as an eternal type and a deep lesson to those who study and read aright; but to others, a book of pretty pictures for the amusement of children.

He took some refreshment in the course of the day at a tavern, and when the evening was sufficiently advanced to permit his walking home unrecognised by such of his acquaintances as might be abroad in the streets, he returned to town.

No change had taken place in his mind. He had sought neither in the advice of any wiser friend, nor in the perusal of the Bible or any religious book, nor directly from his Creator in humble prayer, light for his guidance or strength for his support.

On his way home he found himself suddenly before the elegant house of Colonel Nicholson. It was blazing with lights, and within and around it were all the tokens of a brilliant fête. Figures passing and repassing before the windows, carriages dashing up, giving out their gay and richly-dressed company, and hurrying away, the heads of dancers, the sound of music, etc.

The stigma his commanding officer had cast upon him by omitting to invite him seemed to burn like a brand of shame on his forehead for all the world to see. The surrounding darkness seemed scarcely black enough to hide it. He stood a moment with folded arms and a pale countenance to gaze and brood.

It was not only an intentional insult—meant as such, received as such—but it was, in sober truth, an injury which the reputation of a young officer could scarcely survive. It was an undisguised declaration of enmity on the part of Colonel Nicholson; a public proclamation of his contempt and of Glendenning's shame, of his opinion that Glendenning was not a proper associate for gentlemen. And, moreover, he knew that Nicholson's mean and cowardly soul, however vindictive and merciless, would not have ventured upon so bold and open a measure, unless protected from the consequences, from the reproach of public opinion, and the indignant resentment of his victim, by circumstances of a very marked and extraordinary nature. Nicholson was a man who launched the deadly blow only from a place of safety.

With these fierce and burning thoughts, the young man stood some time in the shadow, meditating on the best mode of action, and "feeding fat" his thoughts of vengeance. Once he approached a few steps, resolved to stalk into the gay and crowded rooms, all dusty, sweat-stained, and ghastly as he was, reckless of the screams of affrighted women and the frowns of furious beaux, and to take by the throat the malignant villain who had cast this black shell upon him; but he withheld himself from what a moment's reflection told him would be only an act of unmanly desperation, perhaps most gladly hailed by his enemy, and most triumphantly used as a means of completing his ruin. The very intensity of his passion taught him prudence; his very agitation made him calm and wary.

"Ah!" uttered he, as he turned away, sick and suffocated with his unaccustomed effort to restrain violent emotion, one of the highest and most necessary arts of a moral being, and one possessed only by the truly great and good—"Ah! if the dog would but fight! if I could but plant him, face to face, before me!"

Poor Mrs. Lennox! where was her mild and gentle image, her holy words? where the new ideas she had awakened, the promise she had extorted, the angel voices she had called up in his bosom, the light of heaven she had shed over his path? Gone, lost! as hope, love, reason, truth, common humanity, respect for God, and the moral sense, and all that is pure and high, and spiritual and unworldly, must ever be lost in the heart that gives itself to the brutal, bloody, depraving duel, when, "groping at noonday," the infidel turns from heaven and voluntarily embraces earth and hell!

CHAPTER XXXVII.

At last he reached his home. A violent ring of the bell brought Southard himself to the door.

"You frighten us," said he; "we did not know what had happened."

"How so?"

"By ringing so hard."

"I was not aware of it," said he, coming in, and putting down his hat. "Has White been here?"

"No."

"Nor sent?"

"No."

He sunk into a chair with folded arms, in dark and moody silence. He looked like a demon thus breaking in from the lower world, gnawed by fierce thoughts of murder and hate, upon a scene full of very different influences.

Mrs. Southard had been engaged in their neat, humble drawing-room washing and dressing her little girl for bed. The carpet was strewed with flowers, mutilated dogs, sadly misused nine-pins, and the fragments of a broken tin carriage, which, now thrown aside and neglected, showed that the child had finished another innocent and happy day. Bright, clean, as fresh as a morning rose-bud, her lips and cheeks not at all unlike one, and her large eyes of tender blue as full of light and soul as they could be, she sat on her mother's knee, her silken hair only half covered by the small, snowy cap, but peeping out here and there in soft, rebellious curls, half auburn, half gold. Southard, who had been reading Milton, had laid down the volume, and was looking at the group with the delight of an artist mingled with the tenderness of a father, and watching to see its effects upon their friend.

Glendenning had a sould for such a picture, and was arrested by it. It struck strangely on his thoughts. He was one of those who feel the singular refreshment of being with children, and with this one he had long formed a tender intimacy.

"There," said Southard, "is the most beautiful object in creation—a child just fresh from the hands of God."

"The most beautiful," said Mrs. Southard, "at least in the eyes of a father. But Kate has a remarkable face."

"She has, indeed," said Glendenning.

"Do you know," said the mother, charmed to find that he appeared enlivened by the sight, "do you know she can sing, and dance, and play horse, and run like a robin-redbreast, and repeat twenty pieces of poetry? Come, Katy, tell Captain Glendenning about `Reason, and Folly, and Beauty, they say'—come—`Went on a party of pleasure one day.' "

"No, no," said Kate, with a side-long, blushing look at Glendenning.

"Naughty girl," said the mother. "Come!"

But Katy only put her finger to her lip, and turned bashfully towards her friend a fat little snowy shoulder, so beautiful that the desire to touch and kiss it drove even Nicholson out of his mind.

"And do you believe how the little toad is learning to talk?" resumed Mrs. Southard. "I can't do a thing that she does not imitate. I told her to-day she must not have something which she wanted, and she replied, `She could not possibly do without it!' and this afternoon she wanted to go out, saying `I had no notion how extremely delightful it was.' "

"Mothers are the same all over the world," said Southard, apologetically.

"And what have you been doing to-day, my little dear?" asked Glendenning, taking her on his knee, for a moment forgetting his troubles, and looking with delight at her beauty, thus set off beyond the power of jewels, or the toilet of Pope's Belinda, by the little nightgown and snowy cap.

"I watered my ikle wose-bush." said the child.

"Your ikle wose-bush! Ah! did you ever hear the story of the silver trout?"

"No."

"Once there was a little silver trout, and her mamma told her she might go off and swim about, but she mustn't eat anything she should see, without first asking her. So the little trout went off, and at length came to a nice little worm, and, being very hungry, you know, she forgot what her mamma had told her, ate up the worm, and, oh dreadful, don't you think there was a hook, like a naughty pin, in it, and a string to it, and a naughty boy had hold of the string, and he drew the poor little trout out of the water and killed him, and had him fried for supper."

"Tell more!" said the child, fixing her blue eyes on him with a kind of hushed and beautiful awe.

"That's deep tragedy to her," remarked her father, smiling at her profoundly serious countenance.

"Once there was a little girl," continued Glendenning, "who was very naughty, and wouldn't mind her mamma."

A shadow came over Kate's face.

"And then her mamma died, and she had no home, and then she had no dinner, and no coat, and no hat, and no nice little shoes, and, don't you think, she had to stand by the roadside alone in the cold winter, and to beg for some bread, and the first man she asked said, `No, go away, naughty, naughty little girl;' and then—"

But the quivering lip, and the two great tears forcing themselves from the blue eyes of his little listener, and rolling down her cheeks, warned the narrator not to deal too largely in the pathetic.

"Oh!" said the mamma, delighted, and herself rather touched by the idea of the little girl on the roadside without any mamma, "she's very tender-hearted, my little Kate."

"And, I vow, I believe Julia's eyes were wet too!" said Southard, laughing.

"Come, now, to bed!" said Mrs. Southard; "but first say `Twinkle, twinkle, little star,' for Captain Glendenning."

"No," said the child.

"Yes."

"No, no, mamma, not to him."

"Then tell him about,

`Oh, ladies, beware of the gay young knight, For he loves and he rides away!' "

"Oh, no! mamma, not to him."

"And why not to him?"

"Because he's a coward," replied the child, with her b oken accent.

"A what?" said Glendenning.

"Colonel Nicholson says so, you know," said the child.

"A what, my dear little girl?" asked Glendenning, gently, the expression of repose and pleasure which had gradually come into his face, however, entirely disappearing.

"Oh hush, Katy, naughty girl," said Mrs. Southard, exchanging a look of such meaning with her husband, and giving such other evidences of alarm, that Glendenning needed no farther explanation to convince him the child had overheard and was repeating some real conversation. He seized her gently by the hand, and said,

"Do you mean a coward, my dear?"

"Yes! yes! a coward!" said she, delighted to be understood.

"For Heaven's sake!" exclaimed Southard.

"Dear Captain Glendenning!" interrupted Mrs. Southard.

"I understand—I partly know," said Glendenning; "but you will, of course, explain this to me, Southard?"

"Certainly I will. It's a stupid and a painful thing. But I intended to reveal to you what I heard this afternoon, and the child has, perhaps, broached the subject opportunely."

"It's the greatest nonsense in the world, Captain Glendenning," said Mrs. Southard, rising with the child. "Don't be angry or rash! It will pass over, if you are prudent and patient. Good-night! good-night! I shall not be able to leave Katy for at least half an hour. I always sit by her till she falls asleep."

"Now, then," said Glendenning, when they were alone, "if you are my friend, tell me frankly, fully, all the calumny that has been hatched against me by that man."

"The circumstance to me," said Southard, "would not, could not wear such a serious aspect as I confess others find in it. I hope you will treat it with the contempt it merits."

"Let me hear it first."

"You had an affair of honour in New-York this summer with Mr. Lennox?"

"I had."

"A lieutenant of the United States army?"

"Yes."

"You were insulted in the theatre, and received a blow?"

"I did."

"You went out with him, and settled the matter amicably?"

"I did."

"Dined with the young man, and spent a week at his country seat?"

"I did. All this I did; and now your story. The rest, the rest!"

"You have it. It is this that I have told you. Colonel Nicholson has, informally, unofficially, revived the affair, and expressed an unfavourable opinion of it. He does not seem a friend of yours, and, in his way, has chosen to view the matter as an evidence of your—now be calm—"

"Go on!" said Glendenning.

"You have his words. My little Kate heard an officer, who is sitting for his head to me, tell my wife—"

"I'm a coward?"

"These were the words, as reported to us, of Colonel Nicholson, who declares that he has some intention of ordering an official investigation. He has, 'tis useless to deny it, for the moment seriously injured your reputation."

Glendenning made no reply, but paced thoughtfully backward and forward, with a tranquillity which surprised his informant. At length he said,

"Thank you for explaining this to me. I see it all."

"And, I trust, treat it with contempt."

"Not exactly with contempt, but nothing can be done with it. I can't undo the past; I can't fight the duel over again. If my brother officers have the stupidity to be led away by the opinion of a person they despise as much as they do this Colonel Nicholson, let them. I will resign my commission, and meet Colonel Nicholson himself. Should he refuse to meet me, I'll horsewhip him, if he were twenty Colonel Nicholsons."

"Tut! tut! tut!" cried Southard: "horsewhip your lieutenant-colonel?"

There was a ring at the door, and the servant announced Captain White, who immediately entered with his usual undisturbed and indifferent manner. He was one of those natures which nothing lashes into phrensy. Deep emotion only stilled him, and gave him more perfect mastery over his reason and passions.

"How are you, Southard? How are you, ma'am?" said he to Mrs. Southard, as she entered hastily and affrighted, for the voice of Glendenning had reached her while watching her child to sleep.

"How are you, Glendenning?"

"Where have you been?" inquired Glendenning. "Why did you not return to me? Why are you not at the ball?"

"I have been looking into matters a little, and, as for my absence from the ball, if you mean Colonel Nicholson's ball, I have not been invited. I wish you'd give me a cup of tea, Mrs. Southard, will you?"

"We are just going to have some," said she, as she rang. "Oh, what is all this to end in?"

There was a pause, which no one seemed inclined to break.

"You take it coolly, Captain White," at length said Glendenning.

"Coolly! why not?"

"You are just in time with your coolness now," said Southard; "Captain Glendenning is likely to have use for it."

"It is at his service, and therefore I sought him. A little sugar, if you please! your tea has positively the flavour of Caravan, Mrs. Southard."

"It is but common tea," said the lady.

"Then, perhaps, I am thirsty. What a day we've had. Rome and Naples have few more delightful."

"If it would but last the year through," said Mrs. Southard, who perceived he desired to change the conversation.

"It wouldn't be so pleasant." answered White. "I remember once spending a winter at Rome, and I positively surfeited on the beauty of the climate. No wind, no cloud; a sky of the most transparent clearness and exquisite hues; week after week, month after month, nothing but that everlasting bright heaven and still air. I got monstrously sick of it, to be sure, and was as glad to see a dull day as I am here to see a fine one."

"What a climate for art, for architecture, statues, temples, columns, and triumphal arches!" said Southard.

"Yes, famous place! interesting things! good buildings! and devilish nice people they must have been!"

"Unchristian, bloody, and barbarous, though!"

"But immensely clever," said White, finishing his second cup. "Now, then, Glendenning, a word to you."

His friend silently rose and followed him into his room, where the servant had placed lights.

END OF VOL. I.

VOL. II.

CHAPTER I.

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"Glendenning," said White, when they were alone, "you are in an extremely awkward position, and so am I. I bore your message last evening to Lieutenant Breckenbridge. He declined receiving it on the plea that you are not a gentleman."

"Go on," said Glendenning, who had gradually, since the appearance of White, reassumed a manner perfectly composed, and who listened, without gesture and without passion, to the startling commencement of his friend's narration.

"I asked an explanation. He referred me to Colonel Nicholson. Of course, I immediately determined to call him out on my own account. On seeking a friend, I learned for the first time the whole affair, which I presume you know."

"I have heard it indirectly."

"The person to whom I applied was Captain Gresham; and what do you suppose he told me? That, until I had explained a charge against my own honour, which had been some days current in society, he must decline bearing a message for me. Your affair with Lennox, as you have already learned, is considered to have been prematurely arranged. The originator and circulator of this opinion is Colonel Nicholson. He has so managed it as to set the matter in the light in which he desired it to be seen, and certain of his intimates, tools and toad-eaters, have worked for him with a success undeniable and incredible. For two days I had felt, I could not distinctly say what or why, a certain coolness and stiffness in the manner of everybody towards me, ascribing it to my own imagination till it grew too unequivocal to be mistaken. In short, we are both cut. We are fairly in Coventry; I think most unjustly, and altogether in consequence of the bilious views adopted by that great potentate, Colonel Nicholson. Still that is his view, and it has produced this effect. You have now my story."

He paused, but Glendenning made no reply.

"What do you propose?" said White.

"There is but one thing I can propose—"

"There is! and that is to—"

"To give up my commission, and force Nicholson to meet me."

"Ah!" said White, coolly, "that's an alternative which, I confess, had not struck me."

"Nicholson," said Glendenning, "is a malignant coward! The course he has adopted in this affair is not the result of candid conviction, but of secret vengeance. I have not been able to conceal from him the contempt in which I hold his character, and I have had the temerity to detect his meanness, without the imprudence to put myself within his reach. I allude to the challenge I proposed to send him, and his characteristic manner of backing out of the scrape. Afraid (for I shall hereafter speak openly of him) to meet me himself, he has hit upon this way to gratify his passion without personal danger, safely sheltered, as he has the folly to suppose, behind his rank."

"You have read his heart, I believe," said White, "as if you held it in your hand; but to what practical purpose I cannot pretend to discover. What particular course do you propose to pursue? I do not quite understand you."

"Immediately call him to account for the opinion he has expressed. I will write him this night."

"Give me one of those cigars, will you?" said White. "Your suggestion is not practicable. Nicholson is what you represent him; he has done what you accuse him of. His motive, I doubt not, you have correctly construed; but he is your commanding officer. You have not the power to escape from his supervision in anything occurring while under his command; nor can you, with propriety, address him but respectfully and as your superior. Were you to do otherwise, you would do exactly what he would like the most. He could ruin you forever, and he would, too, I can tell you."

"What do you advise?" said Glendenning. "I know Nicholson is as base as he is cunning, and as revengeful as he is cowardly. Oh how my arm aches to horsewhip him!"

"Stop, stop. Take me with you, my young friend!" said White, knocking the ashes off his cigar with his little finger nail. "It is not at all certain that Nicholson is a coward. Perhaps he would meet you gladly if he had no better way of compassing his ends. He will destroy your prospects; he will blast your name; he will break your heart, if you don't take the greatest care. But he won't now—he never will meet you."

"And what, then, do you advise?"

"You have conceived accurately many features of his character. But you are irritated; you hate him, and I think you exaggerate his bad qualities. I suspect he's a better fellow than you think him!"

"Oh!" said Glendenning, "I can bear anything but hearing him defended. Pray go on."

"I hope I have judged him more justly. He is, at least, born and bred a gentleman; he must have some gentlemanly feeling."

"Well, perhaps I am heated," said Glendenning, who began to be overmastered by an awful thought which sometimes darkly crossed his mind, and which he had thus far succeeded in avoiding any allusion to, yet which cowed and silenced him as a fiery horse is often stilled in the crisis of a storm or battle.

"I will go to him to-morrow," said White, "calmly and courteously, like a gentleman and a brother officer, request him, as your friend, to state his opinions and wishes, rectify his misconceptions, represent the matter right (for perhaps he don't really understand it), and appeal to his reason—his justice." He paused and added, "If you please, to his mercy."

Glendenning rose and paced impatiently across the floor.

"It is, I know," said White, "not an agreeable duty; it is, in fact, a humiliation. But we must all swallow some nasty doses on our way through life. He is a peculiar fellow; but I fancy I can manage him. His understanding is weak, his heart cold, his idea of his own self-importance exaggerated. These are constitutional defects. We must get over them as we can. On the other hand, in proportion to his vindictiveness where he fancies himself not sufficiently respected, will be, perhaps, his magnanimity when we frankly place ourselves at his feet and in his power."

"But to bend to him," said Glendenning.

"You must not forget, my young friend," continued White, in a still graver tone, "that you owe your present dilemma partly to your own imprudence. You came here in a subordinate station, and (excuse me) with a reputation for wildness, quarrelsomeness, and contempt of authority, which foreran you. Your commanding officer happened to be a gentleman peculiarly susceptible upon such points—vain, pompous, arbitrary, and unforgiving—equally powerful in his connexions, his position, and his rank. You knew him and you bearded him. You did not conceal your consciousness of his weakness, your contempt for his vices, and your scornful indifference to his resentment. You even took pains to wound his vanity, without pausing to reflect that, by such a heart, that offence is rarely forgiven. A great and noble soul would have raised him above your follies and led him to pardon your opposition, and he would have conciliated your respect and affections by showing that he deserved them. But, my dear fellow, few men have great and noble souls. They are generally inspired with mean and selfish motives; he in a peculiar degree; and you have not only, in some measure, impaired his standing with others, but you have lowered him in his own eyes. Do you expect him to forgive you? Do you expect him now to refrain from revenge, when he thinks you have placed yourself in his power? and do you expect him to do this unasked?"

"There are truth and reason in what you say," said Glendenning, singularly docile. "I have been rash. But what advice can he give? How can he unsay what he has said? A fool like him may set a house on fire, but he can't extinguish the flames. Besides, another objection strikes me. If we ask this man's advice, shall we not be obliged to follow it?"

"My friend Glendenning, there are difficulties in the way of all things. You must let me manage this matter for you."

"But—" said Glendenning.

"The necessity is not a pleasant one," interrupted White, in a low voice, "but it is one of two alternatives. If—"

"Go! for God's sake!" said Glendenning.

"Then leave all to me. Say no more of it; think no more of it. What, man! we've been in a gale of wind before! Smoke a cigar; drink a bottle of wine; go to bed, and to-morrow morning be here to learn the result."

Glendenning was at length alone! What spell had fallen on him? He shunned all company, even that of Southard, and throwing himself on his bed, endeavoured to sleep. For some hours he succeeded; but at two he woke from a frightful dream—cold, trembling, oppressed with horror. He endeavoured with deep draughts of wine to steady his nerves, and partly succeeded. Pacing a thousand times across the floor, he lost himself in thought. Oh, could he but bring back the past! That was impossible. But the future was in his power. Yet he had not the true courage to think so. He felt like some one, bound and alone, on the deck of a ship, which steadily and silently, with a slow but increasing motion, is borne on and on along a resistless current, to the black maelstrom, whose fatal roar is faintly heard in the distance. Only one power could save him! Kneel, man, and ask its aid.

CHAPTER II.

When he left Glendenning, White's mind was at ease, because his resolution was fixed. He was disturbed by no moral views or conscientious scruples, no new-born beams of dim religious light, and, truth to say, very little keenness of sympathy or warmth of heart. He was a man of the world and a gentleman, but nothing more. The idea of troubling himself about a hereafter never entered his head. He was a good-natured, well-meaning, and, in some respects, warm-hearted sensualist. An infidel, of course. He had picked up some smart arguments against Christianity, and they sufficed him. Without literary tastes, love of art or of nature, he squared his thoughts and actions upon the rules of the highest classes of society, and perhaps the thing which he considered of paramount importance in life was his standing as a man of honour and of ton—his name in the most exclusive circles—the influence he had at his club among the leaders of fashion. His idea of vice was anything "odd." His character, manners, and rank made him a welcome and rather a caressed guest at the tables of the great, and he was a professed, and one might almost say a professional diner out. If he ever studied, it was to display his knowledge in this arena. Horses, wine, the opera, the ballet, beauty, and women, the last new novel, the passing event in the political world—without any particularly solid information even on these his favourite subjects, he was here considered an amusing and even a brilliant talker. This was his aim and ambition. He did not think. He had long frittered away his capacity to feel except when seriously aroused (which did not happen often). He admired nothing but from a fashionable point of view. Quite destitute of the moral sense, which an habitual worshipper of mere worldly things and an habitual liver among mere worldly influences can scarcely fail to be, he judged in all cases by his interest or by merely adventitious standards. Neither a coarse nor an ungenerous man, he was, when tested, cold and selfish. His mind was as much above mediocrity as his manners were; and their effect was aided by a fine military person, a certain cool, self-possessed energy; nerves which nothing disturbed, and the instinctive courage of a gentleman. He piqued himself upon being a firm friend and a bitter enemy. Although selfish, he noted down with equal care both kindnesses and offences; and it was one of his favourite boasts that he never forgot a favour or forgave a wrong. Vengeance in him was not malignant and mean, as it was in the pompous Nicholson. It could be aroused only by what he imagined a just cause: and when it was aroused, it never slept, never flagged. It was pursued as a duty through years with patient determination, tempered on no moral principle and checked by no religious fear. He was, in short, wholly "of the earth, earthy," without a disinterested impulse which he would gratify at any self-sacrifice, or a tender or holy susceptibility to truth, humanity, or nature.

"A primrose by a river's brim, A yellow primrose was to him, And it was nothing more!"

Such was the companion and friend whom Glendenning had allowed to manage the "little matter" for him in which he now found himself engaged.

On his way to his lodgings, after his interview with Glendenning, he also passed Nicholson's house, and saw, at a late hour, the blazing windows, the dancing crowd, and heard the gay music. The annoyance of being cut by his commander was not lost upon him, and he determined to bring the thing to a speedy termination one way or the other. To be excluded from such circles did not at all suit his tastes.

On reaching home, he immediately wrote a note to Colonel Nicholson, couched in the most respectful terms, and begging the honour of half an hour's private conversation on a subject of interest. After a short delay, the servant came back with an answer.

"Lieutenant-colonel Nicholson has to acknowledge the note of Captain White, and begs the honour of Captain White's company to breakfast at nine o'clock tomorrow morning, etc., etc. Nicholson."

"Breakfast at nine! yes, certainly!" muttered White. "What could be more civil? Perhaps we haven't done him justice. I rather fancy he's a pretty good fellow, after all, if you take him right. If I can get poor Glendenning out of the scrape in any other way, so much the better. But if not—"

He walked once or twice across the room.

"Why not—that's all!"

Penning a hasty, but most ostentatiously respectful acceptance, such as he thought suited the peculiar calibre of the grand personage he addressed, he smoked another cigar, and with the fragrant blue wreaths, which he quietly blew out of the open window, floated away all fear of the result.

At nine the next morning he was in the anteroom of his commanding officer, whose opulence and love of display were sufficiently visible in the expensive and luxurious style in which his house was furnished, the suite of elegant rooms, and the number of richly-liveried servants. After a few minutes' delay (the great man loved those manifestations of power), he was ushered into a small, rich, eastern boudoir, opening upon a balcony and lovely garden, and in which he found Colonel Nicholson and his lady. The latter was a sweet, girlish-looking person, whose graceful form and beautiful, gentle countenance and manners had often excited his admiration, and who, despite the most guarded air of general cheerfulness, sometimes betrayed, by a shade across her face, or an unconscious sigh, that she was (as she could scarcely fail of being) far from happy with the personage with whom the pecuniary interests of her family had recently united her.

Another man might have been somewhat abashed under the circumstances of his present visit, but White felt nothing of the sort. Had he manifested anything like embarrassment, he would have probably found his host more haughty and forbidding. He was at first received with a certain dignity and grandeur, which it was Colonel Nicholson's peculiar pleasure to put on and put off at various times and to various persons, and which the young officers under his command had found so offensive. But White had seen the world, and, highly born and connected himself, was not dazzled by the splendour of the great. He made his salutations, therefore, with that ease and self-possession which Nicholson found most difficult to contend against, and, in consequence, presently felt quite at home, chatting familiarly with the amiable and pretty young creature, with whom his previous acquaintance had been on a favourable footing, and placed, in regard to the great man himself, on the perfect level which marks the communion of real gentlemen, without respect to difference of rank. Even Nicholson was sometimes ashamed of the pettiness of endeavouring to keep up his official grandeur in a private room, and suffered it to soften down into a bland and courtly importance.

The conversation was gay and general. The unfortunate last night's ball was carefully unmentioned. Various things, persons, and events were canvassed, which brought out the charming qualities of Mrs. Nicholson's mind and heart. Nicholson, his stilts once laid aside, appeared in a favourable light, with the exception of one or two sharp insinuations and abrupt reproofs, which seemed to have for their sole intention to distress his wife, although her patient and good-natured manner of receiving them was admirable. The conjugal despot was satisfied with the, to him, gratifying consciousness of having insulted a helpless and beautiful being wholly in his power, and thus displayed his unresisted, irresistible authority; and White was elated and more brilliant than ever at the certainty of arranging, with a few words, a matter of life and death to his friend, to say nothing of the injury to his own reputation, which he hoped, on the present occasion, to do away.

At length, resolved not to shy the subject, and not perceiving that Nicholson made any move towards a private interview, White boldly touched the chord by asking Mrs. Nicholson "how she enjoyed herself at the ball last evening."

"Why, but for the painful circumstance—"

"My love!" said her husband, cuttingly.

"I meant—very much—only—"

"Perhaps, my dear, you had better confine your remarks to subjects which you understand."

"Oh!" said White, feeling that a certain hardihood would be more effective with his amiable host than any manifestation of embarrassment, as they say a mad bull is more likely to attack you if you fly, "the circumstance to which, I presume, you allude, will, I hope, be found susceptible of a most favourable issue."

"Thank Heaven!" said Mrs. Nicholson: "I shall be relieved from a dreadful anxiety if your hopes prove true."

"Ladies who wish, they know not what," said Nicholson, "and express opinions without any knowledge of the subject, are very likely to do their judgment little credit."

"Well, my dear husband," said she, rising with graceful submission, "I confess my ignorance, but I shall not abandon my hopes. I will leave you and Captain White to discuss the matter at your leisure."

Had she expressed a desire to stay, she would not have been allowed to do so. But her lord and master had a characteristic delight in arbitrary decisions.

"Pray oblige us by remaining," said Nicholson, determined to punish her for her merciful tendencies by conducting the conversation in her presence. "As you have delivered your ideas, perhaps it would not be asking too much of you to hear mine."

"Oh, I have heard them," said she, still going, and evidently only with an effort restraining her tears.

"Did you hear me request you to remain, my love?" said Nicholson, fixing his eyes on her and pointing his hand to her seat.

She sat down without a word.

Nicholson was now in a position the most delightful to him in the world. He had an opportunity of acting the tyrant; of annoying and insulting a gentleman who had placed himself in the attitude of a suppliant; of distressing the timid and tender feelings of his wife, and of showing his full power (whether or not he chose to exert it against him) over Glendenning, whose lofty spirit and high-wrought temper had dared to place themselves in opposition to him.

"I can scarcely, I presume, be expected to apologize," said Nicholson, in his highest manner, with his nose considerably in the air, "for the circumstance which my wife has deemed it proper to call a painful one."

"Oh, you mean my absence from your ball?"

"I do, sir."

"It is probably occasioned by an error, which I shall be able, I trust, to explain," said White.

"I had already formed the conclusion that your request last evening referred to this point," said Nicholson, still farther receding from familiarity.

There was a moment's pause. Even White felt the awkwardness of his position, and fully shared Glendenning's yearning to horsewhip such a conceited ass.

"It is from a high and imperative sense of duty that I have deemed it proper to hear you," said Nicholson. "What have you to urge?"

"I will first ask you to state explicitly," said White, "why I am so unfortunate as to rest under the disapprobation of one whose good opinion it has been so ardently my wish to obtain."

"As the commanding officer of this regiment, sir," said Nicholson, "it is, of course, my duty to watch over the honour of the individuals composing it."

"Certainly."

"You were the friend of Captain Glendenning in an affair with a Yankee officer, which, under your directions, was suffered to terminate in an equivocal manner; at least, so it has been related to me, and the evidence which has come under my notice confirms the account. As you have taken the extraordinary measure of a personal interview with me, I presume, of course, you have testimony of a contrary nature. I need not say that, although the weak mind and light and trivial character of Captain Glendenning have not allowed him to be so fortunate as to obtain my respect, the father wrote me, and took the precaution to claim my forbearance in favour of his son. Having promised it, I shall extend it as far as his own conduct will allow. Don't let me interrupt you, sir; I shall be happy to hear your account of the matter."

"Why, the mere fact is, we were at the theatre together. Captain Glendenning had been supping, and had taken too much wine. On the bosom of a young lady who sat before us, a rose had become nearly displaced. Not knowing well what he did, he took it, and was, of course, engaged in a sort of row with the young lady's companion. Blows were interchanged. They met at daybreak. Glendenning received a shot in his hat and discharged his in the air, which, you must allow, was a magnanimous sort of thing. He was, of course, reluctant to take the life of a noble young fellow whom he had originally and wantonly offended. I thought the matter had gone far enough, and so thought all the world. This is the simple story."

"All the world, sir, is a very comprehensive phrase. Will you have the goodness to touch the bell, my dear?"

Mrs. Nicholson obeyed, and a servant entered.

"John!" said Colonel Nicholson, "open the third drawer of my secretary on the right, and bring me the first packet of papers."

"The affair happily stopped where it did," said White. "The two boys, for they are nothing more, became subsequently the best friends in the world. We spent a week or two in the country with them at the villa of Mr. Lennox on the Hudson, and I assure you," continued he, turning to Mrs. Nicholson, "I could not but feel sincere gratification at seeing so fine a youth returned to so interesting a family."

"Oh, I am sure Colonel Nicholson will see, from this statement, that no reproach at all rests upon you, and none on your friend, except in having originated such a quarrel and proceeded too far in it."

"My love! you know women always appear best when they confine themselves to their proper sphere. The name is Lennox, I believe?" said Nicholson, coldly.

"It is."

"And the young fellow is in the army?"

"A lieutenant just graduated from West Point."

"Captain Glendenning received a blow?"

"He was struck, I believe, in the scuffle."

"You saw the blow?"

"Given and returned."

"You are interested in Captain Glendenning, I believe?"

"Yes. His father also begged me to look to him, as he was, although he is now greatly improved, rather wild. He has recently entirely changed his character in this respect, and is likely to become a different sort of man altogether. The friendship between him and Lieutenant Lennox is really remarkable. They are, indeed, all extremely fond of him."

"It seems to me, Captain White," said Nicholson, when the servant placed in his hands the packet he required, "that your friendship for Captain Glendenning has strangely blinded you in this matter. My view of it is essentially different from yours, and is likely to remain so. You have brought a very disgraceful affair to a— I wish to spare you, sir—but I must say, an extraordinary and most premature termination."

"My opinion, sir—" said White, who now saw the dark, deliberate intention of his host.

"Your opinion was one which I should not have expected from a gentleman and a soldier, unless he had been misled by private feeling."

"You are severe."

"I deem it a high duty to be so. Your explanation throws a still darker shade over an affair too dark before, and I cannot regret that I have, in common with others, expressed my dissatisfaction in the most marked manner."

"I am extremely sorry, Colonel Nicholson," said White, coldly and firmly, "that my opinions have not the good fortune to coincide with yours. But, really, I cannot change them."

"Every man's opinions are his own, I know," said Nicholson; "but his actions are not, inasmuch as they compromise the honour of those with whom he associates. A blow, Captain White, a public blow, given before thousands of people, is anywhere, under any circumstances, one of those insults which, if I have been properly educated, a gentleman, to say nothing of an officer, cannot submit to. But, in this case—good God! only think of it! a British officer, in a foreign country, struck— struck in a theatre! and by whom? an officer in the American army!"

"The blow was returned."

"The American officer, sir, is the guardian of his own honour, and of his country's. If he choose to bear the brand on his forehead, let him. Perhaps the low standard of honour which must reign in a mobocracy may find in it nothing derogatory; but a British officer, if my humble and insignificant opinion can be supposed to have any weight, if my feelings and character render me a person competent to judge, cannot take a blow."

"I must confess my inability to see my way out of the affair, then," said White.

"You are fortunate in an opinion which your superiors have not the happiness either to share or to admire, sir."

"What can I do? the thing is already past and forgotten!"

"Past, not forgotten. What! an officer in his majesty's service walking about society with a blow on his forehead! the offending party an American officer, boasting to all the world of his feat? If your friend and you choose to swallow such an insult, you may, perhaps, have the right to do so, but the regiment to which you have the honour to belong, his majesty's whole army, his majesty—I—I myself —are greatly insulted. The affair cannot drop here. I shall institute a Court of Inquiry."

"You will reflect," said White, his composure no more ruffled than by a spot of red which had been slowly heightening in his cheek, "that such a measure, or even the suggestion of it, must lead to another meeting between these two young men. They are very, very young. The matter originated in an unpardonable act of folly on the part of Glendenning; committed, to be plain, while drunk, and met, as I must say, most properly, by a high spirited youth, who did exactly what I should have done on the occasion, or any other officer in his majesty's service. The meeting was prompt, fair, and in earnest. Both parties are excellent shots, and their courage was tested beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. The world, the public press spoke loudly respecting it, and blame was universally and justly attached to Glendenning for the original offence, but none for his subsequent course, and the redeeming feature in the part he bore in it was his discharging his fire in the air, and arranging the matter frankly and magnanimously. You are the first, Colonel Nicholson, the very first person, if I am correctly informed, who has chosen to adopt a new, and, you will permit me to add, a most unnecessarily severe view of the circumstance. Notwithstanding the attachment now existing between the parties, your perseverance in the views you have been so obliging as to lay before me this morning, must create the necessity for another meeting. Such another meeting can only result in the death of one or both. Their families and friends will be plunged in grief, and they themselves (bear in mind that they are friends) will be reluctantly forced into a contest inevitably fatal, actually horrible. I have come, sir, respectfully, but earnestly to address your reason, and if I fail in convincing that, to appeal to your mercy. I stand here as the defender, the friend, the adviser of Glendenning, whose tokens of reform promise him hereafter a distinguished and honourable career. I place myself at your disposal. I throw myself upon your generosity. I am even authorized, on the part of Glendenning himself, to solicit from your humanity, from your mercy, a reconsideration of the opinions you have expressed in the matter, and which have materially affected both his and my reputation."

An expression of mean, selfish triumph lighted the yellow face of Nicholson, but unsoftened by any gentle beam of mercy.

"I have heard you through, patiently and attentively, sir," replied he, coldly and grandly, "hoping to be able to find something in support of your opinions, and calculated to diminish the just odium which rests on your unfortunate friend. My consenting to receive you at all will, I presume, be sufficiently indicative to the world of my desire to yield to the impulses of my personal feelings; but I find nothing in your representations to alter my impressions. Your appeal to my sensibility is painful, but the world, I trust, has known me as one superior to such influences; and a high regard to my own character, and a proud consciousness that my station demands I should listen only to the voice of duty, induce me to disregard all private considerations. I pity your friend from the bottom of my soul. But affairs of this nature must be settled like gentlemen and public officers, not like school girls. The families of these persons are nothing to me. The parties should have considered the matter in that sentimental light before they brought themselves into their present position. The honour of the regiment I command is what I must look to; and I presume my worst enemies will not deny that I am the proper guardian of it, and that it is not likely to suffer in my hands. There must be a Court of Inquiry. God forbid that I should advise such a second meeting as you have described; but my own character requires that I should institute a Court of Inquiry."

"Good God! sir," said White, rising in disgust.

"My dear, dear husband! consider that life and death hang on your determination," interrupted Mrs. Nicholson, her eyes full of tears.

"And you will permit me to repeat," continued Nicholson, haughtily, "that I am the lieutenant-colonel of this regiment; and it is not presumable I should have the honour to be so if not competent to form opinions and able to carry them into execution, and that without offensive remarks from officers under my command."

"Certainly, sir," said White. "I have nothing more to say. I shall advise my friend accordingly. Only let me repeat—"

"Repeat nothing—act, sir," said Nicholson.

"Poor—poor Captain Glendenning!" said Mrs. Nicholson, weeping.

"I will, sir—at your suggestion: good-morning."

"Stop, sir. Do not understand me to have made any suggestion. I will have none of the responsibility of your friend's follies cast upon my shoulders. I suggest nothing but the necessity of a Court of Inquiry. Have the goodness to favour me with your company a little longer."

White stood with his tall form proudly and sternly drawn up; his almost passionless face darkened with no longer concealed, though tranquil indignation. Nicholson, still seated, with the air of a sovereign giving audience to a subject, took up the package of papers the servant had brought, slowly untied the tape, drew forth a newspaper, and carefully unfolded it. It was the very one which the triumphant Mr. Lennox had read to the delighted family circle on the morning of the duel. Nicholson ran it over once himself, leaving White still standing. While in the act of doing so, his features, at the first sight handsome and noble, grew contracted and mean. His always colourless complexion assumed a paler hue. To White, at the moment, perhaps, not a very indulgent observer, he appeared absolutely ugly, and he wondered he could have ever thought a handsome man, one whose countenance was so expressive of cunning and malignity. The soul was at this moment painted there; the workings of all his worst qualities were visible while he fairly gloated on anticipations of vengeance.

Having finished the article, Nicholson at length looked up, and met the eyes of White fixed full and sternly upon him, and for a moment he quailed, conscious that his hatred of Glendenning had been betrayed by his countenance to his keen and fearless observer. He felt the cold, undisguised displeasure, perhaps contempt, with which White regarded him, and the sense of inferiority, which he could not but be conscious of, notwithstanding his general pompous egotism, to one who, however far himself from being a good man, was destitute of any inhuman tendencies, and was peculiarly gifted with manly firmness and quiet, determined independence of opinion. He was thus suddenly checked and awed in the full career of his malicious triumph, and his manner visibly changed beneath the strong eye and guarded, but deeply-marked manner of the person he had so many times, in the course of the conversation, shown his wish to insult, and yet who evidently neither feared nor respected him.

"God bless me! you are standing all this while, my dear White," said he, in a mild and friendly manner, entirely putting off his grandeur. "Pray be seated. There isn't the slightest doubt that you have acted perfectly like a gentleman, bating the unavoidable error of a too kind and amiable heart. Sit down. I beg your pardon for my warmth. I am most favourably inclined towards you. But do me the favour to hear me read this article."

White bowed stiffly and sat down.

"It is the principal reason why I deem it proper to call a Court of Inquiry. You have appealed to my generosity; I now appeal to yours. Hear this, and say what can I do? It is an American newspaper, remember. And what is in one American newspaper, thanks to the licentious freedom of the press, both in the United States and England, is everywhere as `common as the steps that mount the Capitol.' Nay, more; it is certain this article has already appeared in every English, French, German, and Russian journal. This insult to the English army and to England is at this moment flying over every sea and every land. It is read by every sovereign; it is laughed at in every club and reading-room, discussed in every salon, and sneered at in every diplomatic circle of Europe. I fear your too benevolent heart has overlooked these obvious considerations, my dear White. Now listen.

"`Affair of Honour.—We stop the press to announce that a meeting took place this morning at daybreak between Lieutenant Francis Lennox, son of the distinguished lawyer of this city, and Captain Charles Glendenning, of his majesty's—, at the duelling-ground, Hoboken. The dispute arose at the theatre, Captain Glendenning having offered a rudeness to a lady in the presence of Lieutenant Lennox, which the latter punished by a blow. The parties repaired almost instantly to the ground, and, after one fire, which, on the part of Captain Glendenning, was discharged in the air, the matter was terminated amicably by the mediation of the seconds. The most ample apologies were offered by Captain Glendenning, and the gallant gentlemen parted on the best terms, and with mutual protestations of friendship. Captain White, of the British army, acted as the friend of his countryman in this rather peculiar affair, and Mr. Sussex, of this city, for Lieutenant Lennox. Nothing could exceed the coolness and courage manifested on the occasion by both the gentlemen, and a ball, it is said, took effect in the hat of Captain Glendenning, who received the awkward indication of skill with immovable composure.

" `We must be permitted to remark, however, that, if we have heard the matter correctly represented, it has been reserved for our chivalric young townsman to teach to his opponent a valuable lesson , which, we trust, will not be wholly thrown away upon him, or upon the country to which he belongs. Impertinent English travellers may write slanderous books with impunity, but there are insults which can never fail to meet their just reward!'

"Be good enough, Captain White, to remark that the last words are in italics, and that, appended to them, is a note of admiration."

"Oh, I have seen the article before," said White, coldly. "But I should scarcely think of sacrificing the life of one, or perhaps two men, in consequence of a note of admiration."

"Of the life of your friends I know nothing," said Nicholson, stung by this sarcasm. "Permit me to add, I care less. Their future course they are at liberty to choose. I shall not be denied, I presume, the right to select mine. It is my opinion that Captain Glendenning has disgraced himself and his regiment. How far the position in which he has placed himself is shared by his advisers, the world may judge. My personal feelings towards the unfortunate, weak-minded youth are of the kindest nature; but I deem it proper to make higher and loftier principles the guide of my conduct. I have condescended to hear you somewhat more at length than I originally intended, or than my various avocations permitted without inconvenience. In regard to the Court of Inquiry, my opinion is unchanged; I may add that I never change my opinions. I have heard your views; you have heard mine. Other important duties call me. So, sir, I wish you good-morning."

"I regret," said White, "that I should have trespassed so far upon your patience."

"As for your friend—oh, do nothing rashly," said Mrs. Nicholson, in terror and grief.

"My love!" said Nicholson, with a fixed regard and an expressive wave of the hand, "your presence was requested to listen, not to advise!"

White made his salutations with composure and dignity, and left the presence, mortified, disgusted, and inwardly resolved to write Nicholson's name down in his books as a man to be remembered. "If he cross my path, or I cross his again," said he, "no matter where—no matter when—I'll teach that man a lesson!"

CHAPTER III.

"Well! what's the matter with you? you look grave!" said White, gayly, as he entered the room of Glendenning.

"Do I? That's strange; but the result of your embassy will enliven me."

"Ah! if you are grave before, you'll not be more cheerful after hearing it."

"Let us have it, however."

"Glendenning, you must arouse yourself and act like a man. If I feign gayety, it is to hide serious reflections. Keep cool. Sit down: I can't talk to any one walking backward and forward in that way."

"Go on," said Glendenning, gloomily, folding his arms.

"I have breakfasted with Colonel Nicholson. He's going to call a Court of Inquiry for the investigation of our affair with Lennox."

"Well, let him!" said Glendenning; "I'll stand it."

"It cannot but be unfavourable to us."

"The I'll resign my commission."

"I would call him out, if I could, myself," said White, "but he has too much of what the world would call right on his side to meet me, and I must not subject myself to another refusal. The story I told him, but he grew rather yellow than otherwise under it, and said it deepened the shade of the affair. It certainly deepened his. He's an ass—but, egad, he's got us in his power, and very coldly assured me the affair should not stop here."

"Should not?"

"Should not!"

"I see the man's object," said Glendenning.

"He wishes to drive you to another meeting with Lennox—but he does not, of course, say so. He held over me, like a birch over a naughty schoolboy, his `Court of Inquiry.' The `Court of Inquiry' is his nominal object. He talked of nothing but `a blow,' and the `disgrace of the regiment,' his own mighty self, and a `Court of Inquiry.' "

"But were I to meet Frank Lennox again, it could only be with the determination either to kill or be killed."

"Of course."

"But the man must suppose me insane—a ruffian—a dupe—a fool."

White was silent.

"I had rather be broken on the wheel—rather die on the scaffold—rather feel the finger of every officer in the regiment pointed at me, and hear nothing but yells and hisses as I walk through the world, than hurt a hair of Frank Lennox's head, or wound one heart in that family. I would blow my brains out first."

White was silent.

"I will go to Nicholson myself."

"You shall not."

"I will write him this moment."

"No. Be cool—you are beside yourself. Trust all to me."

"I am not beside myself. I am cool, calm, and master of myself. I can speak to him truths that will scorch his soul, and make his coward, malignant, shuffling heart quail in his breast. I can go to him as calm as—as—"

"As you are to me," said White, coldly, glancing at the ashy, compressed lips, the white cheeks, the eyes glistening with fury, and the drops of perspiration that stood upon his forehead.

"No, Glendenning, no more speaking, no more interviews , no more humiliation! You cannot touch his heart or convince his reason. He cringes to his superiors, but repays himself by trampling on all beneath him. You he hates beyond my worst apprehensions. You have drawn it on yourself wilfully—recklessly. He is a curious—a remarkable character. He will never forget—never forgive. The luscious triumph now in his hands—oh, he would not forego it for his commission, which, in my opinion, he stands a fair chance of losing before we've done with him. Don't go to him. Believe me, he will only insult you, as he has done me."

"I'll take him by the throat on the parade ground."

"You will be cashiered."

"Then I will throw up my commission—leave the service and the country."

"Pardon me, Captain Glendenning," said White, firmly and gravely; "you will not do any such thing; you must not—you shall not!"

"Shall not?"

"Shall not, because you cannot as a man, an officer, a gentleman, a friend."

"And why not?"

"Because you will not adopt any measure contrary to the advice and demand of your friends, and which, in staining your own honour, must compromise theirs."

"The demand, Captain White?"

"The demand, Captain Glendenning. Be cool and hear me. Your character as a gentleman, and your whole prospects in life, depend upon your conduct now. Had you resigned your commission before learning the sentiments of your colonel, it would have been a different thing. This you did not do. Were you to do so now, it would be received as a proof of your desire to avoid another meeting with Lieutenant Lennox."

"You take upon yourself the character of an adviser," said Glendenning; "yet you advise nothing."

"I can advise nothing," said White, "because there is no choice. You have but one thing to do."

"And that is to—"

"Call out Lenox again instantly."

Glendenning fixed his eyes on him without saying anything.

"You are in the lion's den—in the lion's jaws!" continued White. "Stir, and you are gone. Let me rescue you from this dilemma. It is like performing a surgical operation; it's a horrid thing; the patient shrinks under it. But it's necessary. A moment's pain, the leg is off! and the patient is well and happy again."

"I understand you," said Glendenning, "but I will never consent: never—never! Perish my commission! perish my name! perish the name of regiment and my country! perish this black world and all the friends that walk on it, rather than take one step in the bloody path you point to!"

"Well, well!" said White, soothingly, as one would speak to an affrighted horse. "So! so! so! so! let it be for the present. There is no immediate hurry—to-morrow— the next day. I'll see you again before long. In the mean time, when you're cooller, think it over like a man."

He took his leave, really sorry for his friend, but determined to make all the necessary arrangements for a sudden departure, including those requisite for leave of absence. He sent the assistant surgeon of the regiment to see him, that he might give a certificate and put him on the sick list, as he really was not in a fit state to go out. By the next day he had everything arranged, and waited only the moment, which he was pretty sure would speedily arrive, when Glendenning's light and impressionable mind would change, and he might get him off at once; for, whatever happened or might happen, Captain White was determined not to suffer any stain to rest on his own character as a gentleman, and that, if the duel were considered prematurely terminated, it should be repeated. To the cold-blooded selfishness of this determination he was entirely blind. Looking on duelling as a necessary and proper institution, he took it, of course, with all its consequences.

"Poor fellow," thought he; "it comes hard. It is like having an old tooth out, but, once over, he won't mind it."

Thus bent in bringing about an encounter, which could scarcely fail to terminate in the death of one, if not two human beings, he put not a whit less zest in each petty enjoyment and studied luxury of his life.

CHAPTER IV.

We must beg the reader to imagine, we cannot paint the desperation and agony which harrowed the feelings of Glendenning for the two or three days subsequent to this interview. A certificate from the surgeon, placing him on the sick list, at least enabled him to keep his room, and hide himself from every eye. He did not go out; he saw no one. He scarcely slept at night. His appetite, his spirits, his buoyant energy and strength of mind deserted him. Even Southard absented himself from some unaccountable cause. His face had grown pale and haggard. He was like a man haunted with a horrible spectre.

In the nights he had lain for hours stretched passively on his back, writhing beneath images of shame, scorn, and insult, and striving to form plans for his future life, what he should do, and where he should hide his dishonoured head. From the society of gentlemen he felt he was banished forever. Sleep and exhaustion would sometimes come together after these dark and oppressive thoughts, but then the voice of Breckenbridge, and his cold and contemptuous face, would flash upon him with "You! meet you?"

The scene with Breckenbridge had made a vivid impression on his brain. There was something in it marked, striking, and dramatic. Himself, the lofty, the proud, the scarcely condescending, haughtily disentangling himself from an offensive, derogatory, too familiar intimacy, throned, as it were king-like, on his own character and the world's opinion, and then, with a word, a look, hurled headlong down, a fallen angel, with the object of his fastidious dislike pointing at him with derision, spurning him with his foot, his derisive laugh, the laugh of the by-standers, magnified, in his disturbed imagination, into the hideous leers and yells of the whole world to pursue him forever and forever.

From these insupportable dreams he would start up, gasping, shrieking, or striving to shriek, and, abandoning his bed, would pace the room, or read, or smoke, or drink till morning broke. He had become fond of Shakspeare, and he found in him power to divert his thoughts, but when he laid the volume down, the dark waters of wretchedness closed over him again.

The third morning, he had started long before daybreak from his bed, and sat, gloomy and miserable, smoking a cigar, with a half-emptied bottle of wine on the table, and a volume of the "Three Spaniards" in his hand, when a low knock at the door startled him. He was surprised to find, by the effect it had on him, how shattered his nerves were.

It was Southard, who gently opened the door.

"What's the matter, my dear fellow?" said Glendenning.

"I heard you up. I know you are distressed, and I determined to come to you."

"Sit down."

"You look ill."

"Yes, I am. This Nicholson affair is annoying me terribly. I cannot make up my mind."

"It is the town talk," said Southard. "I am not in a mood to deny it. Your position demands all your presence of mind. But if you have read the Book of Life aright, you will seek His approbation, and His alone."

"I hope I shall," said Glendenning, "though it is easier to advise than to act."

"In advising submission to His will," said Southard, who, Glendenning now, for the first time, perceived, was unusually agitated, "I advise only what I am called upon to set an example in."

"What do you mean?"

"My little Catharine."

"What's the matter with her?"

"You know she's been ill several days."

"I remember I heard something of it; she's not worse, I hope?"

"She's dead" said Southard.

"Dead!"

"She died last evening at nine."

"Almighty Heaven!" cried Glendenning.

"She yielded up her little, pure spirit at nine last night," repeated Southard.

"My poor friend!"

Southard threw himself into his arms, and wept for a few moments on his bosom in uncontrolled agony.

"I did not come to thrust my weakness on you, but to speak to you of yourself. You are more unhappy than I or her mother. You are debating with yourself a second meeting with Lieutenant Lennox. If you were a Christian, you would know how to act. But you are not. Julia and I both fear your facility of character, and the influence of the world and of White. You may fancy her feelings over the yet warm body of her child. But even now she has requested me to bring you this volume. It is a Bible, with passages marked for you. On the table, where lies our little Catharine, she has written your name in it, and begs you to read it, and make it the guide of your conduct in this painful affair. Her religion teaches her not to be selfish, and even in the midst of her own distress she feels a sincere anxiety for you."

"Dear Southard," said Glendenning, much touched, "my heart bleeds for you and her. How can I ever be sufficiently grateful for such true, such noble friendship?"

"By giving your serious attention to the advice of my poor Julia. Since the last evening you were with us, notwithstanding the illness of our little one, she has frequently thought of you, and of the danger you are in of fancying yourself obliged to rush upon self-murder, or the butchery of a friend, in compliance with the ideas of a portion of society. Be a man—be more—be a Christian. Dare to act right. No one doubts your courage to meet personal danger. Show yourself, also, morally brave. Break away, at once and forever, from the damning net they are throwing around you. Do your duty; leave the rest to Him . He knows—He watches you. `He who made the eye, doth he not see? ' "

"I wish I had your undoubting faith," said Glendenning.

"Pray for it, and He will help your evil spirit of unbelief. Seek here, in this book, light for your guidance. We have tried it. We have found it sufficient to soothe us, even in this sad extremity. What calamity can be more insupportable than the loss of our little Catharine? You cannot know the happiness she has been to us; the dreams we have woven of her future character and mind, and our own delight in beholding her grow up from a child to woman, in preparing an humble independence for her, in becoming old and decrepit with her to aid me, to smooth my white hair, support my tottering steps, and scatter the path to the grave with the flowers of filial love. Now all this is over; all this bright, universal sunshine is quenched. The earth is dark to me, and life has lost its charm, and yet in this book I find delight, consolation, hope, resignation—nay, more, peace and happiness. Take it, my friend; try it— read it; don't reject it without examination."

"My dear Southard!" said Glendenning, "you are unconsciously using the words of a beloved friend. I really feel to my very heart the strength and disinterestedness of your friendship."

"Come down, then, with me, and see my poor wife. Tell her you will resist all endeavours to make you meet Lieutenant Lennox; tell her you will seek advice, not of White, or Colonel Nicholson, or of the world, but here, in the volume she has given you, and I assure you, in this way you will greatly alleviate her grief. Come! she asked me to bring you down."

Southard led the way, and Glendenning followed him down stairs into the very room where, a few evenings before, he had seen the little Catharine in perfect health, and been struck with her remarkable beauty. The very roses she had been playing with, the broken nine-pins, the noseless dog, and tin carriage, had been carefully placed by the fond mother upon a stand. The little body lay on a table. Mrs. Southard sat by its side, pale almost as the being she mourned, but perfectly composed.

"See!" said she, with a smile that made Glendenning's heart ache, "my poor little Kate! God has taken her. Oh, never more shall I hear that beloved voice, that light, quick step! never behold the long, golden hair waving on her forehead as she runs, or see the light dancing in those deep blue eyes. God has taken her where she is happy. He will not let her forget her mother. I shall meet her again, and He will teach me to be patient."

"My dearest Mrs. Southard!" said Glendenning.

But at the sound of his voice, both she and her husband covered their faces, and wept in silence such tears as only parents weep over the mute, sweet, cold bodies of their children.

And tears, also, came freely into Glendenning's eyes, partly for them, partly for himself, partly from the heavy, crushing sense of the mockery of life, to all but the high, philosophical, aspiring Christian.

"Now!" said Southard, with a bright smile, "these are things man was born to meet. Whom he loveth he chasteneth. Has he not said, suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven? Look at her, Glendenning."

The young man, awe-struck, approached, and gazed on the angel face and form of his little radiant friend. The mother stood on one side of him, the father on the other, and as they gazed they murmured, "Thy will be done."

"Amen!" cried Glendenning, so fervently that Southard felt his friend was again and really touched with a beam of faith. Kneeling down with his wife, a short prayer broke from his lips, which the scene made natural, and his profound grief strangely eloquent. Yet there was in it less of grief than of hope, joy, and calm, spiritual triumph, a peace above the world, and the fervour of a spirit blessed. He bade adieu to the soul of his infant, which he seemed to see floating up to heaven. He poured forth his grateful thanks for the resignation and strength which, in this trying moment, had been vouchsafed, and prayed it might be continued when mother and father should kiss, for the last time, the cold, unanswering lips, whose music was stilled, and the icy forehead, from whose sweet tenement the habitant had fled. Then, with a sudden allusion to Glendenning, he prayed that the scene might not be lost upon the young and wavering heart which was called upon now, also, to meet its trials. He implored that this wavering soul might be led to see, might not grope at noonday, but seek and find strength and light from above, to fling away the world, to follow the Redeemer, and give up things temporal for things eternal.

Glendenning, also, knelt for the first time in his life, and each word of his friend's invocation went through his heart like a ray of celestial light. He not only knelt; he prayed, and, strange enchantment! (for thus it seemed to him), he did feel, as he raised his soul to God, new light to judge, new courage to act.

"You will no longer waver, dear Captain Glendenning?" said Mrs. Southard.

"My resolution is taken," said Glendenning. "Don't fear for me. I here make a vow to bear any evil rather than commit the crime they are trying to drive me to. This pure angel may bear my oath to the throne of Heaven, and if, from weakness or passion, I yield my sense of right, may all the curse of vice fall on my head!"

He once more approached to look on the body. It lay there like a type of heaven. An almost unearthly beauty rested on the face—a smile, a light, as if it knew and rejoiced in the holy mission he had confided to it. The mother clasped her hands silently, and, as Glendenning withdrew, he heard a sob and a convulsive kiss, and then all again was still.

CHAPTER V.

It was yet night when he regained his room. He sat down, however, unable to sleep, by his solitary lamp, and opened the volume Mrs. Southard had given to him. Several leaves were turned down, and various passages were marked with a pencil. The example—the contagious piety of his friends—their grief, and their resignation under it— the sight of his little favourite, dead, had completely touched his heart, weakened the grasp on him of mere worldly feelings, and made him conscious, for the moment, of the vanity and evanescence of life.

The silence was profound and unearthly, unbroken even by the barking of the distant dog, or the step of a single passenger, or any token of human beings, or of the city that lay wrapped as in death around; only ever and anon the sound of some warping panel, or, perhaps, a wall settling more heavily into its foundation—into its decay. The shadows of the furniture were thrown grotesquely on the floor and ceiling, wearing a strange, impressive aspect—unearthly almost, as if unreal beings were looking from them. There was something startling and preternatural in it.

He looked from the window. The broken moon was palely emerging from a pile of silver clouds, gathered in motionless fragments about her. Her ragged edge looked strangely near and worldlike, and on its disk he thought he could distinctly trace deserts, vales, and mountains. For the first time, he felt the sight sink into his soul as a stupendous wonder—a present, visible miracle—for years before his eyes, unseen, uncomprehended.

"Like this thrilling story," he murmured, as he sat down and opened the Bible.

His eyes fell on the eighteenth chapter of St. John, and he read it through. The emotion of a lover perusing a letter from his mistress was far less keen than that awakened in him by the holy page, now that, for the first time, the scales had fallen from his eyes, and he conceived it as it was. His understanding was no more darkened. He had eyes, and he saw; he had ears, and he heard. In that sacred hour, whatever was prejudiced, scornful, selfish, or unbelieving in his nature disappeared, and the found himself as if ministered unto by angels.

It is at such moments, when all other books cease to possess any power or attraction, that the Sacred Volume manifests its inspired nature by performing its promises even here on the earth, filling the soul with divine light, speaking to it with spiritual voices, raising it above the shock, delirium, and blinding smoke of mortal passions and interests, and bestowing a foretaste of that calm bliss which it is to enjoy in a future existence.

"The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword," and the young convert felt its piercing influence. He read that part of the wonderful story here related by the favourite apostle and friend. The betrayal by Judas, the falling of the officers to the ground, the smiting of Malchus's ear, the taking of Jesus, Peter's denial, the arraignment of the Son of man before the cold, worldly Roman, and the cry of the Jews (groping at noonday) for "Barabbas! Barabbas!"

He read on to the end of the book. It was the first time in his life he had read the chapters consecutively. He had heard parts from the pulpit as a dull lesson—associated only with weariness, restraint, long faces, and hypocrisy. The eloquence, the deep meaning, the tender, immortal beauty of the simple narration, startled and overwhelmed him. He felt himself in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. He thrilled with sublime thoughts, tremendous hopes and apprehensions. Sobered, subdued, his proud man's heart was melted. The image of Mrs. Lennox and Frank rose before him, and, kneeling, he raised his hands to Heaven, about to offer up a prayer to the throne of Mercy, for the light which had been shed upon him to guide his steps, and hold his rash arm from the damning deed he had so nearly perpetrated, when—the door burst open, and White entered abruptly. He had not time to rise. He was caught on his knees. A man, a gentleman, an officer—on his knees!

And now he stands in the crisis of his fate. If he have moral courage to acknowledge his change of opinion, he need care little for White or the world. If he blush to confess that he has discovered his weakness as a mortal, without the sustaining hand of his Creator, he will be hurled once more adrift upon the dark waters of life, to float where the storms and waves of chance and passion may choose to blow him.

"Well, Glendenning," said White, folding his arms in an attitude of calm, incredulous, ludicrous astonishment, "you don't mean to say you're praying?"

"And if I were, Captain White?"

"And the volume before you is—'

"The Bible."

White pressed his lips closely together, and walked two or three times backward and forward through the room, turning his face carefully away, so that Glendenning could not catch a glimpse of it.

"Well! this," said he, at length, "I confess I did not expect. What in the name of the devil's got into you now? Are you going to turn priest or monk?"

"Captain White," said Glendenning, "spare me your ridicule, while I give you the reply briefly which, I presume, you have come to seek. I did not know how late it was, or you should have found me more prepared to receive you."

"But, my dear fellow, I had no idea—it's perfectly inconceivable."

"Spare me, and hear, once for all, my irrevocable decision respecting the Nicholson affair: I am going to pass it over, to treat it with silent contempt. I forgive Nicholson, though I despise him. Meeting Lennox is an act so diabolical that I shall not think of it, be the consequences what they may. I shall sell out of the army or resign. I am older and wiser than I was last year. If my friends cut me, let them."

During this harangue, which was uttered rapidly, White stood, with folded arms, gazing steadily at the speaker, as if curious to hear all he had to say, and resolved not to interrupt him till he had done.

"Well! upon my word," said he, at length; "do you know, my dear Glendenning, you're a—ha! ha! ha!— you're a devilish odd fellow! Just let me feel your pulse! Hallo! here's a gallop! Your hand is burning. Your pulse goes like a horse run away. I tell you what, you're ill."

"I know I am."

"I could have sworn it. Your mind has disordered your body, which, in return, has disturbed your mind. This is the secret of your extraordinary ideas on the Nicholson affair."

"Extraordinary they may be," said Glendenning, "but they are unchangeable."

"I'm sorry to hear it," said White, "and reluctant to believe it."

"I see no cause for sorrow."

"I do."

"You are different; you are a man of the world."

"And what are you?"

"I am—I am beginning to be—you need not smile nor lift your eyebrow—why should I deny it?—a Christian—a believer in Christianity. If I believe in it, I shall act up to my belief."

"By G—d! you're as mad as a March hare," said White. "But you don't mean to abandon the position, and lay aside the character of a gentleman, I hope?"

"I don't know what exact meaning you and others may attach to the word gentleman, but the name shall never make me act contrary to my sense of right."

"Why, Glendenning, I don't know you," said White. "Are you the same clear-headed, sensible fellow that was `wont to keep the table in a roar?' Are you really going to turn into a canting, whining, weak-minded dreamer? Well, I am nonplused. You of all persons. Knock a man into a crockery shop, kick up a row in the theatre that rings through the whole world (if Nicholson speaks truth), and then go home and talk of your `sense of right,' read the Bible, and make it your code of honour."

"If it is true, why not?" said Glendenning.

"But it is not true. Hand it to me."

He took it up, opened it, and read over the heads of several of the chapters.

" `Moses' rod is turned into a serpent. The sorcerers do the like. The river is turned into blood, and the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments.' My dear fellow, is this your religion? ` The wise men of the East are directed to Christ by a star. Stilleth the tempest on the sea! Driveth the devils out of two men possessed, and suffereth them to go into the swine. Feedeth five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes. Walketh on the sea,' and so forth, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth! As a man of sense, now, my dear fellow, I put it to you—"

He paused, and his listener blushed.

"It's all very well, my good friend, for women and children—and weak-minded people—who must have a hobby— and require to be whipped or duped along the way of right by fears of a hell and hopes of a heaven, but—men—of education—gentlemen—and soldiers—I put it to you—is this credible? Will you—can you—seriously and permanently give in to this nonsense?"

Glendenning was silent, chilled, ashamed.

"Why, if it is true, did not Pilate believe it? He was there. Egad! he could have seen—a Roman gentleman, on the spot. Why didn't the Jews believe it? or, if they did, why did they crucify him? Did you never read Gibbon? I tell you what, you're ill and nervous. Religious melancholy is one of the most obstinate of maladies, and as much a physical disease as the gout. Take care what you do. Don't let this get abroad, or you'll be a by-word before you know it. What would Nicholson say? One of his charges against you is that your understanding is weak. Just fling that curious old book out of the window—take a dose of salts, and let me tell you, religious responsibilities or not, all earth—all heaven, can't keep you from calling out Lennox."

"Never!" said Glendenning, rather faintly.

"You must—you shall. Hear what I've heard this moment, and what brought me to you so early. Breckenbridge is going down to New-York to-morrow to challenge Lennox on behalf of the regiment, to vindicate its honour and damn yours forever. This I cannot permit. If you don't anticipate him, I must. So the matter, in fact, lies between you and me. Should I kill him, of course, Captain Glendenning, the acquaintance between you and me is at an end forever. Should I fall—"

Glendenning turned deadly pale, rose, took the Bible from the table, and, with a mingled impulse of horror and despair, threw it as far as he could out of the window.

"Then away with heaven and heavenly things, and come hell and all hell's fiends, and light me on my path! Will you go down with me to New-York?"

"Certainly."

"See to everything, then: what you do, do at once."

"Spoken like yourself," said White. "It's awkward, but we have nothing to do with causes or consequences. Don't look to the right or left, but strait before you."

"Go—go, and get all ready."

"We are agreed, then? Don't think! no wavering! we start to-day ."

"You have my word of honour."

"A la bonne heure!"

Glendenning bent his forehead down upon the table as his friend left him, and remained in the same attitude an hour, with the coldness of death creeping more and more into his heart as he strove to look steadfastly forward into the dark and bloody path before him.

"Not think," muttered he, at length; "oh yes! let me rather steep myself in burning thoughts; let me rather feel in advance all the fangs of hell fastened, festering in my soul."

"A letter, sir," said the maid, coming in with his breakfast. He tore it open. It was from Mrs. Lennox.

"New-York, - August 1st, 18—. "My dear Captain Glendenning:

"Your last, most gratifying favour reached us in due course of mail. Need I say how the spirit which inspired it delighted me, and how much we are all charmed with the friendship which has risen from such a strange cause? We have left Rose Hill at last. Harry has gone to Europe, and Mr. Lennox's business requires his presence in New-York. We all thought and talked of you yesterday, and drank health and happiness to you, at Mr. Lennox's suggestion, in Champagne. I added water to mine, but it did not diminish the ardour of my wishes for your continued prosperity, or of my prayers that you will receive strength from above to follow to the end the noble path of reformation you have adopted. You will have long since learned that all the reasonings and inferences which seem to militate against the truth of religion are erroneous, and, though they may tend to excite doubts, are not sufficient to create unbelief.

"Frank expects every day to be ordered to his post at Prairie du Chien, whence, he says, he means to keep up a brisk correspondence with you. My daughter is well, and begs to be remembered. Your favourite saddle-horse, `Fancy, ' ran away the other day with Frank, and threw him into a ditch, but without any serious consequences, which has furnished Mary a new means of tormenting him, by comparing his riding with yours. The Eltons are well, and often speak of you. Frank's departure affects me strangely. But all my gay family laugh at me and my foolish mother's heart. We hope to see you one day again; perhaps in England. How deeply happy I am in the thought that I have been the humble instrument of aiding in the change in your opinions. There is no security or happiness in the world like that of having every doubt of Christianity removed. You are brought out of the land of Egypt. Do not forsake the Lord, and serve Baal and Ashtaroth. Faith is now yours. It will protect you from danger as well as from sorrow. But you must cling to it, for the bad world will be always striving to wrest it from you. `The Lord will prove Israel!' When once you have examined, you will never surrender it. `Search the Scriptures:' `prove all things, and hold fast that which is good.' There is no knowledge like that knowledge: it is, indeed, like unto a treasure which a man found hid in a field, and sold all that he had and bought it.

"But I shall tire you with my preaching.

"Truly your friend,

"Catharine Lennox."

"One thing, at least, I can do," said Glendenning, as he finished this letter. "I can fall: I can sacrifice myself. Nothing shall tempt me to fire at Frank Lennox. My doom is sealed."

CHAPTER VI.

"Is Captain White here?" said Frank Lennox to the barkeeper of the City Hotel.

"There he is, sir."

"My dear White!"

"Good-day to you," said White, gravely laying down the newspaper he had been reading, not accepting the proffered hand, and not taking the cigar from his mouth.

"But—I'm delighted to see you—and—"

"A word with you!"

"What's the matter?"

"Waiter! the room is ready?"

"Yes, sir!"

"Lead the way!"

They followed in an awkward silence, which greatly perplexed Frank.

"You need not wait," said White to the waiter.

"Yes, sir!"

When they were alone, Captain White walked forward, and said,

"Lieutenant Lennox!"

"Why, what is all this, Captain White?"

"Captain Glendenning—"

"Has anything happened to him?"

"Yes."

"What is it?"

"I have accompanied him from Montreal."

"Glendenning in town?"

"In this hotel—in the adjoining room!"

"He is ill—he is dying," said Frank, hastening to the door.

"Pardon me. I have a painful commission. Let me proceed to it at once. In short, Captain Glendenning is not satisfied with the termination of the late affair with you. His friends think it prematurely settled. He has returned to repeat the meeting."

"You are jesting, Captain White."

"I never jest, sir; I am directed to hand you this note." He went on smoking gravely and quietly, while Frank read:

"City Hotel, - August, 18—. "Sir!

"Circumstances not necessary to be explained render me apprehensive that the affair which took place between you and myself has not been quite properly arranged. The meeting must be renewed. When acquainted with my opinion, I feel certain you will require no other inducement to afford me the satisfaction I have not yet received, and to name a friend who will immediately make the necessary arrangements.

"Yours, etc.,

Charles Glendenning."

The blood flowed from the cheeks and lips of Frank as he read this note.

"The meeting must be renewed?" repeated he; "why, that can mean only one thing."

White was silent.

"I must see Glendenning!"

"Impossible."

"But it is infatuation. Twenty words would—"

"We have come here, sir, not to talk, but to act," said White, coldly. "Lieutenant Lennox need not be twice told that the meeting is unavoidable, and must be immediate."

Frank collected his stunned and scattered senses.

"I'm sorry," said White, "but—"

"Oh, sir, sorrow is unnecessary. I will send a friend to you in an hour. Good-day."

"A la bonne heure," said White.

He rang as soon as he was alone.

"Waiter! wine, cigars, and the newspaper I was reading."

Frank left the steps of the City Hotel as one in a dream. An unavoidable, immediate, and fatal meeting! His mother— his father—Miss Elton. From the friend he loved, too— and White's cold, insulting manner, and the greatness of his danger, which seemed to render the death of one, at least, certain. What to do? whither to turn? whom to choose for a friend?

While lost in these reflections the clock struck six. He had promised to send a friend in an hour. He ran over in his mind all the persons of his acquaintance who lived near enough to allow him to call on them; but when he came to select from among them one proper for such a duty, he found it difficult, almost impossible. He was not willing to trust himself to every one in this emergency, for he felt that, shocked, stunned as he was, he wanted not only assistance, but advice. He looked up, and perceived he was passing a fashionable boarding-house, which Mr. Earnest honoured by making it his residence. Urged by the necessity of the moment, he was about to call upon him, but he recoiled from the flimsy, conceited character of this person, and, remembering their conversation at the theatre, he passed the door. As he did so, he met a Mr. Bayard, who politely saluted him. He was an old acquaintance, but he had in him nothing to command respect, far less confidence and attachment. He was a fop, devoting himself to dress—a mere ladies' man—and as they passed each other a waft of perfume filled the air. He strolled down the Battery to think farther. At the gate stood a Mr. Carr; he was a gentleman, but a man of the world, and only a man of the world—a debauchee, who mingled with the sober duties of a merchant ideas of European luxury and sensuality; for he had travelled and seen the aristocratic society of England, with a desire to imitate its costly peculiarities as far as his means and the usages of his native city would permit. He would, doubtless, have gladly accepted the office of second in this affair, but it would only have been in order to carry it through as a mode of brilliant notoriety for himself. He had no heart, no high moral sense. They bowed and passed each other. Sussex lived a mile distant. Besides, he could not forget (what he had never yet mentioned) that, in his last meeting with Glendenning, Sussex had leaned towards the necessity of a second fire. He was a duellist, as some one had remarked of him, "dyed in the wool."

"How are you?" said a well-known voice.

It was a Mr. Woodbury, a man of the highest worth, a solid mind richly cultivated, principles of the most unbending integrity, large and correct views of life. But he was married, and had several children. Had he asked him, he would have been sure of wise counsel, and, if necessary, he thought, prompt aid; but his nobleness of nature would not permit him to bring into a desperate duel, clearly predestined to a fatal termination one way or the other, a husband and a father.

Brigham, the painter, lived just round the corner. He was the very man. He instantly sought his house, rang, and was admitted. The servant showed him into the artist's painting room, but no one was there.

"I will call him immediately," said the man.

Left alone, Frank cast his eyes around upon the various productions, finished and unfinished, with which the apartment was crowded. Among others, what was his astonishment to behold on the easel, and so far advanced as to be most striking in its beauty and the resemblance of the figures, an admirable view of his father's dining-room with the company assembled at dinner as they had been on Glendenning's first visit. There were his father and his mother, Mary, Harry, and himself, living, actually living before him. There were Mrs. Elton and Mr. Elton, Emmerson, Glendenning, and poor little Seth.

"Admirable! admirable!" he murmured.

There was brought prominently and exquisitely out, Fanny Elton, her lovely self, and all the rest who had formed a part of the company. Mr. Henderson's dry, hard face, was strangely real, and the envious, repelling countenance of Mrs. Henderson, with an expression just as if she were in the act of tearing to pieces the reputation of some dear, absent friend, "who had always been excessively kind to her," but whose "odd peculiarities" she pointed out with compassionate, benevolent regret.

The tears gushed into his eyes. He could not but reflect on the probability that he might never, in reality, behold one of those beloved faces again. He was gazing only on a dream of the irrevocable past, and, overmastered by a singular emotion, he covered his face with his hands, and felt the blood almost freezing in his veins.

And they were impatiently waiting for him this moment at home.

And White was waiting at the City Hotel.

And he had yet done nothing, and time was flying.

The servant again entered.

"Mr. Brigham has gone out; but he will doubtless return presently. Will Lieutenant Lennox be good enough to wait?"

"Oh, no, no matter; I will call to-morrow."

To-morrow!

He hurried on.

His thoughts now began to return to him, and to become more under his control. He looked steadily at his situation. Called abruptly to an instantaneous meeting, which, from the remarkable circumstances, was deliberately and mercilessly intended to end in death, the equal chance was that he was on the point of being shot. He had but a few more hours to live. He hastened along, again bending his steps towards the Battery.

"Some very nice oranges, sir?" said a man.

"Come along, my dear!" said a mother to a little girl; "it is getting late, and you will be ill to-morrow if you take cold."

"To-morrow!" again.

"Will you be good enough, sir, to tell me the hour?" said a boy.

"Half past six," said Frank.

"How are you, Lennox?"

"How are you?"

"Charming weather!"

"Delightful."

"You are going off, then?"

"Yes—to-morrow!"

"Success to you. Good-by, and God bless you!"

"Stop!" said Frank; "I want to speak to you."

"I beg your pardon, but I have an appointment, and I am ten minutes too late. It's with a lady."

"Oh!" said Frank, "a lady! don't let me detain you."

And time was flying, and he had, he scarce knew why, hastened on to the Battery. And he now found himself in that delightful promenade, a sky all radiant with the glory of a golden sunset bending over him; the heavy verdure of the trees and grass around, full of fragrance and freshness; the birds singing as if gratefully enjoying the delicious coolness of the hour, and the limpid floods, which stretch so magnificently around the town, sleeping in lucid and waveless splendour, all painted with the reflected hues of the glowing heavens. Several sloops lay off here and there, becalmed, their snowy sails hanging useless against the mast. Various vessels of a larger description were at anchor, all bright in the peaceful flush of golden fire—all steeped in the spirit of deep repose. Among them, and not far from the shore, was a magnificent ship-of-war getting ready to weigh anchor, from whose decks came faintly and musically the voices of the seamen as they cheered their labour with a sailor's song. The star of evening hung on the air, and, making around the northern point of the Battery, a superb barge, filled with young men, the members of a boat-club, with all of whom Frank knew he must be acquainted, floated onward, rowed with a slow and equal stroke, the chorus of a well-known song floating, softened by the distance, and keeping time to the regular plash of the oars. The sun—his huge orb of unquenchable fire, now almost supportable to the eye—red and magnified, lay on the edge of the horizon, as if to enable him to gaze on it for the last time, then slowly, majestically, solemnly sinking behind the dark, blue shore, disappeared.

A thrilling ense of life sunk into his soul, and he felt that he was not called upon to plunge into a bloody grave, and thus to break the hearts of his family and friends.

"I will decline this meeting," said he, "firmly, calmly decline it."

And as he came to this conclusion, a mountain of insupportable anguish rolled away from his soul.

"My character for courage I have already established. I will have the magnanimity to refuse this challenge. Perhaps Glendenning in his heart will thank me for doing so. Perhaps some heartless villain, with whom he has quarrelled, has stung him to this by some insolent remark. In a desperate moment, urged by brutal advisers, he has adopted this course, from which he cannot now retract. I am not stung. I will refuse. I will go back to the hotel, and demand to see him."

He turned and retraced his steps towards the hotel.

Suddenly he felt a hand upon his shoulder. It was Emmerson, who, in his usual silent and stealthy manner, had approached him before he knew he was near.

"What are you doing here, my dear Frank?" said he, affectionately. "I have watched you for several minutes. You have looked at your watch four times."

"Did I? I really was not aware of it."

"You go off in the morning?"

"Yes—that is—I hope so."

"Is it not certain? your father told me—that—"

"Yes—he thinks—I presume—where are you going?"

And he looked again at the watch.

"I am going to the theatre."

"Shall you see my father?"

"Why, no. You are to spend the evening with him— are you not?"

"Yes—no. The fact is, something has occurred. Should you see my father—"

He stopped in inexpressible agitation.

"But what is the matter? You don't seem to know what you are going to do."

During this colloquy Frank was, in fact, paying little attention to what he was saying. He was running over in his mind the propriety of disclosing his situation to Emmerson. But that keen gentleman had already surmised, by his hesitation and emotion, his contradictory answers, and his looking so frequently at his watch, that something serious was on the tapis. Almost any other man would have, under such circumstances, endeavoured to ascertain the cause of his distress, and striven to prevent any catastrophe. To do him justice, that was Emmerson's first natural impulse; but it was checked by various characteristic considerations. He was himself alarmed. He opposed himself habitually to all impulses of nature, distrusted everything and everybody, thought twice before he acted once, and had a dislike to trouble, odium, or meddling in the business of others without a motive of self-interest. "After all," he thought, "it is his affair." And the prudent friend, therefore, pretended not to remark farther anything extraordinary in Frank's demeanour, and took his leave abruptly.

As he receded from Frank, who, irresolute, suffered him to depart without farther resistance, he looked back.

"He's certainly in some new scrape," said Emmerson to himself. "That a child may see. Poor fellow! It may be a duel. I've a great mind to go after him. But he's too far. I could overtake him. But, after all, why should I put myself to trouble for him or any one else? I don't wish to mingle myself with such matters. Besides, I've to see Green about that new purchase at seven—and it only wants ten minutes. He did not ask my advice! He's old enough to take care of himself It's his affair! Every man for himself in this world!"

And so he turned his steps, not towards the theatre, where he had no idea of going, but to Mr. Green's, to consult on a promising speculation.

Frank had nearly reached the City Hotel, when he met his very man—Colonel Randolph.

"I'm delighted to see you!" cried Frank. "You're not engaged this evening?"

"Not in the least, nor to-morrow—nor the next day after, if I can be of the least service to you."

"Thank Heaven!" said Frank, putting his arm in that of his friend, and, in hasty words, he related his present position.

"The devil!" was Colonel Randolph's only remark, when he had heard the narration to an end.

"Now I'll tell you at once what my views are," said Frank; "but, of course, I put myself unconditionally in your hands. I propose to decline this invitation. I love Glendenning. I have no sympathy, or passion, or interest here, except on the side of reconciliation. I fear nothing for my reputation. If any one attacks it with a whisper, I am here, and ready to make him answer even a look. But a meeting with Glendenning, so cold-blooded, so deadly, so causeless, so absurd: I confess I recoil from it with horror and disgust. You are an officer, known in such affairs. Your advice will always protect me from a shadow of blame."

"Lennox, I must think this over a moment," said Randolph, gravely.

Frank's bright, warm heart grew black and cold at the tone of his voice.

They walked on in silence.

"Lennox," resumed Randolph, after two or three minutes' reflection, "there is no doubt of it. You must meet this fellow."

"I'm in your hands," said Frank, in a low, but firm voice.

"There can be no question of it. It's a peculiar and most unrefusable challenge, and, don't you see? it's obviously getting to be invested with the character of a national affair. He's been back to Montreal, and the feeling there among his brother officers has obliged him to return and renew the thing, The honour of the American army is in your hands. It's the most extraordinary thing I ever heard in my life. Accept it."

"If you think so?"

"Certainly! and that at once. Read this communication over again. Why, here's a threat."

"It is, evidently."

"When a man threatens—by G—d! there's an end of it. Where are these gentlemen?"

"Here, in the hotel."

The clock struck seven.

"Go in, then," said Frank; "I'm in your hands."

"And I'll tell you what—can you handle a rifle?"

"Can I?" said Frank. "William Tell wasn't more used to his bow and arrow. I never miss."

"So! meet him? good God! that you shall, and kill him too. What! are we to be browbeaten in this way by an insolent English officer? why, we should be the laughingstock of both countries. We'll not only meet him, but in such a way as to show him and those who send him what stuff the Yankees are made of. Meet him! meet him with rifles at the earliest moment—to-morrow morning. This is no child's play. If they want a meeting, by ——, they shall have one! Step down on the Battery; I'll be after you in a quarter of an hour."

And they parted.

Stunned by the suddenness and seriousness of all this, Frank continued his walk towards the appointed place. Strange, oppressive thoughts flew through his mind—loved images, sweet voices, bright things—but he could not well pursue any regular train of reflection. He could not yet quite realize it; he seemed lost in a terrible, ghastly dream. One determination, however, possessed his mind.

"Whatever happen to me, I will not, in this way, murder my friend. I will die. I am gone. Oh God, forgive and receive me! Oh nature, light, life, farewell!"

He was aroused by a touch on the shoulder.

"All right," said Colonel Randolph, in a gay, business-like voice. "To-morrow at daybreak, at Hoboken; but since we've chosen rifles, they've insisted on the shortest distance, eighty paces, and the parties to fire together, at a given signal."

"Good!" said Frank. "I really thank you very much."

"Pooh, pooh! it's nothing. We cross at half past three in separate boats; I am to bring a surgeon. What are you to do with yourself in the mean time?"

"Why, really," said Frank, "I scarcely know. Hadn't I better write some letters, and—"

"Pooh! no; leave all that. Don't go at anything to make you brood or think. These things must be gone through with at a dash. Do nothing to soften your heart with unmanly impressions; it'll make your hand unsteady, when you require the most perfect coolness."

"Oh, as to that," said Frank, "it is an unimportant consideration, for I'm determined not to fire at my friend."

"The devil you are! Then where's the use of going out?"

"Why should I kill a man I love? He is obviously forced into this. He knows nothing of the rifle; I once heard him say so. If I fire at him, he dies, just as sure as fate. I could never forgive myself for his blood; I had rather be shot myself."

"Why, if you don't kill him, he'll kill you, for let me tell you they are in earnest. Let us suppose a case: you fire one round; he finds you have wasted your shot; he can't then very well proceed. Won't he, won't his friends, won't his whole regiment say you showed the white feather and backed out? Why, you might as well refuse to meet him at all, as meet him in this way."

"Then you advise me to take his life if I can?"

"Most indubitably—most unquestionably. It is not only your right, but your duty. Any other course would be feeble and unmanly. You have duties—duties to society, duties to the profession to which you belong, duties to yourself, to me, and to your country. You have no right to throw away your life. Consider your family. Indeed, I am responsible for it. Good God! self-defence is the instinct of the meanest brute. Shall it be denied to a gentleman and an officer?"

"But blood!" said Frank, as a feeling of sickness came over him. "Murder, and of my friend! I know so well he is unacquainted with the use of the rifle—I am such a perfect master of it—to slaughter in this way a human being whom really I love, I confess—"

"Fiddlesticks!" said Colonel Randolph; "you're young, that's all. When you shall have been a few more years in the world—ha! ha! ha!—you'll learn to view things differently. I'm devilish glad, though, you're such a shot. Ha! ha! ha! the poor dupe! to come so far to bully an American officer, and then to be met in this way—ha! ha! ha! It's capital."

"It is a piece of bullying, and a most cold-hearted one," said Frank, catching by degrees the tone of his companion, "and I don't know why I should hesitate."

"Certainly; and if you are going to be such a Don Quixote as to throw your life into the hands which are so fiercely and resolutely grasping at it, why, really, I must decline going any farther in the business. Hesitate? why it's ridiculous! it's imbecile! Didn't the fellow insult you first? Wasn't it one of the most gratuitous insults ever offered to a gentleman and a soldier? A rose from the bosom of a young girl under your protection! and then, when you magnanimously forgave him—when you received him into your family—into your friendship—after he has had a full opportunity to see what sort of person you are, and what misery your death would cause your parents and friends, to come back here, on some d—d, cold-blooded, insolent caprice (he's a dead shot himself, remember—with the pistol), to call you out with the undisguised determination to slaughter you, like an ox in the shambles? When you choose rifles, don't you see they take a short distance, and you hesitate! My dear fellow! if you saw a snake in your path—in the act of springing upon you, wouldn't you put your foot upon him? Hesitate? no, indeed. Be bullied by no one; take the best weapon you can find, and use it in the best way. Shoot the fellow through the heart, and there is not a man breathing who won't say you served him right!"

"His blood be on his own head, then," said Frank.

"Certainly! We must go through this affair to the end. But you needn't make arrangements for any accident to yourself. We shall have to go off somewhere; that's to be thought of. Have you cash handy?"

"Yes; I was to set out in the morning for Prairie du Chien."

"Admirable."

"But, in the mean time, they are waiting for me at home."

"Well, go there. Pretend fatigue and retire early. Come, then, down to me, say at twelve. We'll have a supper at the B— House, which is near to the river. I'll order everything, and then look in at the theatre; at one we'll sup. You wouldn't sleep if you went to bed. At three we'll go over, and at ten, my boy, you shall be on your way to Prairie du Chien."

"Good-night!" said Frank, thoughtfully.

"Good-night, my boy! Remember—twelve! and mind, don't let your old woman suspect anything."

CHAPTER VII.

On reaching home, Frank found company there—a few chance visiters. He had resolved to act on Randolph's advice, and he called up all his force of character to go through with it. Some dark thoughts would flash through his mind ever and anon; but he felt it useless to resist or to think, and he abandoned himself to the stream. He had a stern task to perform, but a necessary one. He had not sought it. It had been thrust upon him, and when he did, at intervals, turn the affair over in his mind, he could not but feel a buoyant pride, a stern triumph in the thought that such a deadly attempt upon him had been met so promptly and manfully. The words of Randolph rang in his ears: "If they want a meeting, they shall have one." Sometimes he shuddered at the possibility that he himself might be killed. But his reason told him that, under the circumstances, his fate, scarcely preferable, was fixed, as the slaughterer of his poor friend, the infatuated, reckless, doomed Glendenning. "He will have it. It's his own doing! His blood be on his own head!" and with these thoughts he applied himself to the gayeties of the company with more than his usual lively and cheerful calmness.

"Come," said Miss Elton, blushing as she did so, "a last duet, Frank."

"A last, indeed," said he.

It was a peculiarity in the present evening that, as he was to set off on a long separation from his family in the morning, all the incidents and remarks had reference to a parting. Mrs. Lennox's eyes were more than once full of tears. Mary ceased to torment, and Miss Elton to be on her guard with him. All hearts were saddened and softened visibly enough through the cheerfulness which nevertheless reigned over it all. On Frank these continued allusions had a singular effect. It was almost as if everybody knew he was to meet a dangerous foe in the deadliest strife in the morning. Everything breathed of absence, separation, and a long farewell.

His romantic and tender nature made him delight to yield himself to this illusion. He felt, indeed, that, although the catastrophe of the morning would probably be Glendenning's death, it would, in fact, break the spell which rendered him the happy, bright blessing of his father's family circle, and that by a dark destiny he was there now for the last time as a sunshiny, innocent boy. He was about being transformed into a man of blood—to stain his peace of mind with murder, and thus to surround himself with associations which must make even his own mother regard him with fear and horror. But the world—custom—the fashion! must be satisfied. Must!

He sang several duets and trios with Miss Elton and Mary. His noble form and handsome features were the object of everybody's gaze, for, somehow or other, he appeared inspired with more than his usual beauty and manliness.

The clock struck eleven, and the visiters took their leave.

"And so, my dearest Frank," said his mother, putting back (a favourite habit of hers) the thick hair from his forehead, "we are to lose you."

"Yes, mother."

"And your boyhood is over," said Mary.

"I fear."

"And what shall I do for you in your absence?" said Fanny, her heart reproaching her for the unavoidable coldness she had been obliged to put on towards him.

"Think of me sometimes," said Frank. "Remember my virtues (if I have any!), not my follies or my faults."

"Of the latter you have none," said Mrs. Elton.

"And what will become of your music?" said Fanny.

"Oh, I'm prepared to bid abieu to that and many other pleasures."

"How wonderfully romantic," exclaimed his father.

"I'll have this lock," said his mother; "now don't start away."

"Why should I?" said Frank. "As much as you like."

Half playfully, half in earnest, she took up a pair of scissors and cut off a lock, while the laughing circle closed around to witness the ceremony.

"Now the other side," said Fanny, "to make it even."

"Quite right," replied his mother; "we mustn't destroy his equilibrium on the eve of such an important event."

"Why, one would think he was getting shorn for execution," cried Mary, with one of her bright smiles.

"There!" said Mrs. Lennox, holding up two curls.

"`Beg a hair of him for memory, And, dying, mention it within your wills, Bequeathing it as a rich legacy Unto your issue."'

This quotation was received with general laughter by all but Frank himself, who, despite his utmost exertions, could not prevent the unexpected thrill with which he had submitted to the operation from being visible in his manner and countenance.

"What a fool you make of him!" said his father.

"And his own eyes wet!" said Mrs. Elton, pointing to Mr. Lennox.

"Ridiculous!" said Mr. Lennox. "The boy's setting out on a delightful journey; seven years will soon pass away. Why sadden him with all this sentimental nonsense?"

"Nonsense? No nonsense at all!" exclaimed Fanny, laughing. "You mustn't think we're all such hard-hearted, prosaic old bodies as you. What could make us sentimental, I should like to know, if not this? a young soldier setting out for the field from the haunts of his youth, and all that sort of thing! Why, it's poetry itself."

"To be sure," said Mary.

"`Upon the hill he turned To take a last fond look Of the valley, and the village church, And the cottage by the brook. He listened to the sounds, So familiar to his ear, And the soldier leaned upon his sword, And wiped away a tear."'

Mary began this in jest, but she appeared almost in earnest as she closed, for she observed with surprise the agitation of Frank. His lip quivered, though the smile still lingered, and suddenly he placed his hand over his eyes, and turned away his head.

"Dear, dear Frank!" said his mother.

"And where is the wonder?" demanded his father, angrily. "Wouldn't any one fancy he was going to be hanged, by the fuss you make about it?"

"I'm tired," said Frank. "I'm a very poor hand at leave-taking. I think I'll go to bed, as we have a fatiguing day's travel to-morrow."

Mrs. Elton, rising to go, came forward, bade him good-by, and, with the privilege of age, kissed him on the forehead.

And Fanny came to say good-by.

Terrified lest some burst of feeling should betray him, he took her hand, almost coldly, pressed it a moment to his lips, and, turning away, she departed.

"Now, Frank," said Mary, "you foolish fellow! I thought you had more sense."

"Let him be!" said Mr. Lennox. "Go along to bed, sir! I hope you'll return with a little more of the `bold dragoon' about you. What, a roystering blade like you, with `the' beard of Hercules and frowning Mars—"

"A night's rest is all I want," said Frank, gayly.

"Well, go along!" repeated his father. "No more embracing while you're all in this ridiculous mood."

"Oh, don't mind me," cried Frank. "Good-night, my dear father."

"Good-night, my boy: off with you."

"One embrace—good-night!"

"Mary!"

"Well, then—good-night—you're a foolish creature."

"My mother!"

"My son!"

They embraced.

He took up a candle, and went slowly out of the room.

In a few moments the family were all in bed. But no one slept. A nervous, broken slumber fell upon Mrs. Lennox, from which, every ten minutes, she started into wakefulness.

"My dear Catharine," at length exclaimed Mr. Lennox, "you are a perfect galvanic battery! I had as leave sleep with an electric fish."

"I'm glad you're awake," said she. "I'm very anxious about Frank!"

"Pooh, pooh! go to sleep."

"Won't you get up and see how he is?"

"My good, dear Catharine! will you have the kindness to hold your tongue?"

"I'm perfectly sure he's going to have a fit of illness," said Mrs. Lennox, in about ten minutes.

"Well, my love, if you won't sleep, will you get up and read, or go out and take a walk, or dance a jig on the tight-rope, or something of that sort. Be quiet, be quiet. What absurd nonsense have you got in your head?"

"Don't laugh at me," said Mrs. Lennox, a quarter of an hour afterward, "but I'm sure something is the matter with Frank. I'm sure of it."

"Why? Why do you think so? Because a sensitive, affectionate boy is touched on the eve of leaving his home for several years—perhaps forever—with a parcel of women clipping his locks off, and repeating poetry, and fingering and fiddling about him like the last scene in an opera? Do go to sleep."

"No, that's not it. Something extraordinary is the matter with him. He acted very strangely. His persisting in the desire to embrace us all—and how did he embrace us? White lips, cold hands, face turned away, or buried in my bosom. My dear husband, get up. Some horrible catastrophe is hanging over us."

"My heavens! Catharine, how can you be so weak? If you think anything's the matter with him, go and see him, and get quizzed to death for it in all his letters for the next six months. The idea of waking a man up at two o'clock in the night to ask him how he does!"

With trembling hands and pale face, the affrighted mother hastily rose, threw over her a loose robe de chambre, and ascended the stairs to Frank's room. A singular feeling induced the father to follow her. She knocked.

"Frank! rap, rap, rap."

"Frank! my son! It's I—your mother."

"Rap, rap, rap. Frank! Frank!"

There was no answer.

Lennox heard her rapidly open the door, and then—a shriek of wild horror. He rushed up. The room was empty. Frank was not there. His bed had not been slept in.

"The letter yesterday! his conduct last night! my son!" gasped Mrs. Lennox, clasping her hands. "It's another duel!"

CHAPTER VIII.

Night! silence! solitude! not a whisper! not a sound! He softly threw up the window and looked into the street. Not the shuffle of a step, not the murmur of a distant wheel. The great city lay hushed as in death, a noiseless phantom. He looked up. The sky, like the earth, was voiceless. There was no moon. Perhaps he would never see it again. He thought a moment of that bright silver disk, as a corpse in its grave would remember it, had the mouldering relic of what had been a man the power of reflection. The stars lay scattered along the unbreathing void, some crowded in far-off clusters, points scarcely perceptible to the straining eye; some, individually too far for sight, fused together by millions into a soft flush of light; some, low and near, burned with a liquid, flickering flame, bright and large. Across the heavens, the irregular and undefined outline of the milky-way, that mysterious road through eternal space, here vaguely lost to the unconscious gaze, there deepening into luminous nebuloe, where worlds clung to each other like a cloud of bees.

"Oh God!" murmured the young man, overwhelmed with the stupendous thoughts which rose and rolled through his mind.

But the clock struck twelve, and called his contemplations back to earth. He started like the convict whose hour has come—whose hair is to be shorn—whose arms are to be pinioned—and who is to be led, hemmed in on all sides by tramping troops, to the scaffold. He shuddered. The idea of killing his enemy now lost its hold on his mind. He felt he was himself to die. A preternatural instinct seemed to tell him his life was terminated. Whatever he was looking on around him, he was looking on for the last time. He was parting from it forever. From all that he loved most deeply—most thrillingly, he had already parted. His father, his mother—ah, now the big tears gushed to his eyes—Mary, Harry, Fanny Elton—his friends, the haunts of his youth, the hopes of his manhood—all were to him things of the past—shapes of a vanished dream.

Oh God! whither were the turbid waves of chance bearing him? Was he indeed never more to behold the sun, the crowded streets, the woods, the hills and valleys of the beautiful earth? Was the voice of human beings no more to sound in his ears? Was he no more to look in the faces he loved? A few hours, and the brain that throbbed, the heart that heaved, the hand which he lifted before his eyes, the eye itself, were to be hurled into the black and icy cavern of death! Was he, then, to cease to exist, to sink from nature like a nameless insect, an unnoted grain of sand— to be forever destroyed and forever forgotten? Dreadful thought! and as impossible as dreadful. Was there, then, no power which watched him? no hand to sustain him? He knelt unconsciously! But to what? Who heard him? No one? Was he, then, utterly alone with night and death?

At this moment his mother's exhortations rose to his memory. Her faith in God and the Bible! her humble adoration of Jesus! Ah! what new conceptions broke over his mind. Could the dreams of his religious mother be true? Was Christianity the voice of that God who had hung those mighty heavens with beaming worlds?

Suddenly he asked himself why he should perpetrate this act. He recoiled from death; he felt he was not fit to die. Still more he recoiled from murder. He had felt like the convict; but how different was his situation? His arms were not pinioned; no stern troops were around him; no officers of justice bore him forward; no executioner had power over him if he choose not to mount the scaffold. He was free.

Bitterly did he now lament his application to Randolph. Oh, had he but sought at once some enlightened Christian friend—Elton, Emmerson—but now it was too late. The challenge, so fiercely given, had been promptly accepted, in a manner haughty and stern, as the case demanded. Could he now retreat? could he show the white feather? could he, after all this swaggering bravado, back out, fly, and throw away the reputation which he had won for a chivalric defender of woman, of his country's honour, and his own? Could he meet public opinion? Could he bear the glance of the great and distinguished men who sanctioned by their approbation, and their example, the custom of duelling? And, after all, was it wrong? If it were wrong, would those great and good men adopt it, advocate it, and take the lead in it?

He ran over in his mind those who had fought. The array of splendid names staggered his reason, for he was but a boy—inexperienced, and susceptible to public opinion. Had he been able to remember one, only one, distinguished man, one public orator, one judge, one experienced statesman who had declined a challenge, under strong circumstances, publicly and unequivocally, on the ground that it was immoral and unchristian to accept it, he would have had force of character to follow the bright and godlike example. But he could not remember one. All for the world— not one for God.

"Up, then, and away!" he murmured. "This is no time to discuss moral questions. My fate calls me; I cannot consider consequences; I'm in the world, and of it. The die is cast; shame on my weakness! I will hesitate no more!"

The clock struck one. The heavy stroke quivered over the hushed, sleeping city, and startled him from his dreams of right and wrong.

One moment he knelt, and implored his Creator to forgive him. Thus much to early associations and inner instincts. One moment he looked around upon the peaceful chamber, where he had spent so many happy hours, where he had woven so many bright dreams. One moment he bade farewell to the beloved beings from whom he was thus separating himself on his dark and desperate adventure, and then, stealing carefully down stairs, and wafting a kiss to his mother's door, he sallied forth into the street, and hastened with flying steps over the solitary, echoing pavement, towards the hotel designated by Colonel Randolph.

CHAPTER IX.

As he reached the Park, a figure started out from the deep shadow of St. Paul's Church, and stood directly before him. It was with a singular emotion that he recognised Glendenning. The two young men, who had thus strangely met, were quite alone. They stood face to face in the dim starlight.

"This is a strange meeting, Captain Glendenning," said Frank.

Glendenning made no answer.

"If it is accident, stop my way no more."

"It is not accident," replied Glendenning, in a hollow and tremulous voice. "I stole from White with a vague hope of meeting you."

"If not accidental," said Frank, haughtily, "it is yet stranger."

"Frank," said Glendenning, "I throw myself on your generosity. By what humiliation, by what bitter taunts I have been driven to this crisis I need not explain. I have risked my character, and the mortal enmity of White, by seeking you here, and therefore our meeting must be a secret. Give me your hand, and hear what I have to say."

"I will not take your hand," replied Frank, sternly; "I can have no secret with you."

"Pity me and forgive me," said Glendenning. "I am only a victim."

"I scorn you, Glendenning," said Frank, "scorn and despise you. The struggle I have undergone you can never know. Your conduct has been as unworthy of a friend as of a man. If I kill you, I shall not mourn you. If I fall, I shall not forgive you. You might have spared me the pain of speaking with you. Let me pass."

"Lennox," said Glendenning, "your anger I can bear, because you are ignorant of my position and my feelings."

"Spare me your confidence," said Frank, coldly. "I shall not sympathize with a weakness which has led you to this new outrage. No friend, not beneath contempt, could have advised you. You have mistaken the taunts of a coterie for those of the world. Tell your advisers what I say, and should you meet the fate you justly merit from a hand that will not shrink from bestowing it, I will triumph in having been your chastiser, and shall be ready to become theirs. Let me pass, sir, or I shall think you a coward as well as a—"

"Frank," said Glendenning, "I make allowances for your irritation. I am patient beneath your insults, for I deserve them; at least, all except the last. Despicable, false, and fickle I have been; may God forgive me! As for avoiding this meeting, I wish to do so, because, if we meet, one or both of us must fall. I did intend to waste my fire. My life is without the least value to me. It would be grateful to me to fall beneath your hand, but not only my honour forbids, but the honour and life of at least one of my friends. Suffering and thought have made me cool: be so yourself, and hear me. I have weighed the matter in every way, looked at it from every point. Without any hatred to each other, we are involved in a dark destiny, from which only a chance of escape is left us. I do not mean escape from death; I mean escape from the horror of destroying each other. My own happiness, Frank, I would resign rather than proceed; but my honour! Besides, I am not my own master. Were I to apologize to you—were I to refuse to call you out—"

"Pray go on," said Frank.

"Two or three officers of my regiment are resolved to do so. The step which has sunk me so low in your estimation does not add to your danger. We are both surrounded by determined enemies, watching to consummate our ruin. It is not my fault; it is necessity."

"The tyrant's plea and the coward's excuse," said Frank, his high temper mounting at the narration of the danger in which he stood.

"But that I loved you, Frank, loved you and yours—oh, more than my tongue has power to say—let your reason tell you I am incapable of the dishonour of seeking this interview. But I remember the mad act by which I first brought this on myself, and I hope I may partly expiate the outrage by this shame."

"If you have anything to say, say it," said Frank.

"You must make a step to stop this affair."

"I?"

"You! not for my sake; I ask nothing at your hands. If I fall, I forgive you. Neither for your sake, but for your mother's!"

"I make a move? and what move have you the coolness to ask from me?"

"Write me the most guarded apology, the faintest regret for the blow you gave me—say but one word, and I will withdraw my message—even now—in spite of—"

"I? I bear the shame of your outrage? I apologize? I humiliate myself before you, who first forced upon me a quarrel, who, when punished less than he merited, now, to conciliate heartless worldlings, throws reason, humanity, decency, friendship, to the winds, and with a threatening note and a bullying friend calls me out? Do you ask me to soil my name, to bend my knee, to become a by-word and a mark of scorn? No, sir. I do not regret the blow; I only regret that, misled by my own feelings, I ever touched in friendship the hand that, even in a moment of intoxication, could offer an insult to a lady."

"Go, then, Mr. Lennox," said Glendenning. "It must be confessed, if my crime has been great, my punishment is not trifling. But your passion is too just to move in me other feelings than pain. You will remember hereafter that I sought your forgiveness in vain. Remember, also, to the end of your life, that I have given you mine unasked. Tell your mother I pray for her happiness. Good-evening to you."

He turned and walked slowly away.

CHAPTER X.

Frank found Randolph and a surgeon waiting impatiently.

"D—n it, Lennox, we began to think you had backed out," said his friend, heartily shaking him by the hand. "Do you know its two, and the man is to call for us at three with the boat, and the supper is cooked to death."

"I'm as hungry as a shark," said Frank, who, in the presence of Randolph, resolutely turned from all reflection.

"A very nice supper, at all events," said Doctor Wilson.

"Nothing is wanting but time to eat it," said Frank. "What's this?"

"Chateau la rose," replied Randolph, "and devilish good, too; but mine host says the Champagne is something particular."

"Come along," cried Frank, laughing; "let's get at it at once. How's the tongue?"

"Pretty good!" replied Wilson.

"Egad!" remarked Randolph, "there's nothing like a first-rate supper on these occasions; only, my good fellow, a little moderation with the wine, if you please; eat as much as you like, but wine we must stint you in."

"Nonsense," said Frank, who had already filled several times; "don't fear for me."

"A clear eye and a steady hand, my boy, and many more such bumpers as this," cried Randolph, emptying his glass.

"Wilson," said Frank, "you don't drink?"

"Thank you," replied the young man: "in the night I'm obliged to be a little careful."

"What's the matter with you? Dyspepsy?"

"A touch or so."

"This bird is delicious," said Frank, feeling a strange life and spirit under the influence of the excitement, and of the wine.

"How goes the enemy?" said Randolph.

"Ten minutes to three."

"No—twenty—you're too fast."

"No—ten," said Wilson, "and rather five than ten. My watch is very accurate."

"Then sharp's the word!" said Frank; "just cut that other cork, will you?"

"No, by G—d! no, Lennox," said Randolph; "no more. You must wait: at breakfast as much as you like, but—"

"Oh, one—damn it, do you take me for a boarding-school girl?"

"Well, then, only one."

"Success to us!" exclaimed Frank; "I've eaten like a boa-constrictor. Positively not another go at the Champagne?"

"Not another drop."

"Well, there's no harm in singing, I suppose?" said Frank.

"Did you ever see such a madcap?" asked Randolph, smiling approvingly to Wilson. "That's the stuff we Yankees are made of. This is the way we meet threats and bullying. We'll make Pistol eat his leaks. Ah! ha! ha!"

"Ah! ha! ha!" said Frank; "but won't you sing? Don't you sing, Wilson?"

"No, no," said Wilson, who did not seem so completely at his ease as his two companions, and who had the air of being a guest rather from professional duty than taste.

"Will you sing, Randolph?"

"No—excuse me; my voice is rather in the bullfrog line. Anything wanted in the way of a trombone, I'm your man!"

"Well, I can sing," said Frank.

" `A bumper of Burgundy fill, fill for me, Give those who prefer it Champagne—" ' and he sang very sweetly and gayly a verse of that popular melody.

As he was commencing the second, they were interrupted by a knock at the door.

"Hallo! pull up!" said Randolph.

"It's three, sir," said the man, who had entered, taking off his hat. "The boat is ready."

"Come along, then," said Randolph. "Push ahead, Wilson! don't forget your box."

"Scarcely," said Wilson, with a grave air.

"And where's the little person that says such sharp things?" asked Randolph, facetiously.

"The rifle's in yonder corner," said Wilson.

"Ah, ha!" exclaimed Randolph, and, handling with an air of familiarity the formidable instrument, he led the way out through the deserted street and to the wharf.

"Now, then, governor, where's your boat?"

"Here she is, sir," replied the man, with a knowing grin. "Bring her round, Sam."

"Are you good oarsmen?"

"No mistake."

"In with you, then; in with you, Wilson. Hallo! old fellow, don't fall overboard. Hand the box; take care of the rifle! Now, then, governor."

"All aboard?"

"All aboard!"

"You'll hold us harmless, gentlemen?" inquired the boatman.

"Why, damn it! certainly," said Frank. "Who's going to hurt you? "

"Very well! But pay in advance is our motto: pay to-day and trust to-morrow. I'm a poor man, with a wife and twelve children, and—"

"How many at the breast?" asked Frank, laughing.

"Two, sir."

"Well, there's ten dollars! nearly a dollar apiece for your brats."

"Thank'ee, sir. Now shove her off, Sam!"

"Let her went," said Randolph; "keep dark, and row, you villains, as if the devil were after you."

"Perhaps he is after some on us."

"Just mind your oar, will you, my honest friend!" cried Randolph, in a low voice; "when we wish your jokes, we'll ask for them."

"Ay, ay, sir," said the man, and, stripping off coat and waistcoat, and equipping his jaws with an ample quid, he applied himself to his labour, and the small and heavily-laden boat darted out from the shadow of the wharf, glided noiselessly forth among the dark, silent ships which lay around, and at length gained the broad open bay, when the two athletic fellows put themselves yet more seriously to their toil, with a strength which made them fairly fly through the quiet water.

"That's right, my men; pull hard," said Randolph; "a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together."

"Ay, ay, sir."

"What a beautiful, still night!" remarked Frank.

"How perfectly glassy the bay is!" added Wilson.

"Famous weather for a lark!" said Randolph.

They soon receded from the black, long, level town, with nothing around them but the broad, sleeping flood, through which the boat cut with a gurgling rush, breaking its mirror surface into large flakes of phosphoric fire, and over them the sky and stars, paling before a pearly light, which began to grow visible in the East. In the spot thus indicated, as that where the sun was to rise, a few fixed clouds, lying long, and low, and in singularly level lines, began to be just tipped with silvery whiteness, which changed, as they proceeded, to a deeper, brighter hue.

"The day is breaking," said Wilson. "Beautiful nature, how—"

But he stopped suddenly, as if recollecting himself, and Randolph quietly gave him a wink.

"How far is it across here, squire?" asked Randolph.

"About two thousand seven hundred and forty-six yards, sir," said the man.

"And that point?"

"Jersey City," said Frank.

"And Governor's Island, which is that?" inquired Randolph.

"Here, don't you see?" said Frank, "away off to the left, behind us."

"Yonder is Weehawk," said Wilson, "and yonder lies the 74 gun-ship."

"And that pretty point ahead?"

"Hoboken," replied the man.

There was something in these details which struck Frank strongly. The soft, fresh air, the gentle, soothing motion, the sight of nature in its calmness, purity, and beauty, going on with its radiant and sweet changes, as usual, the broadening daylight, the now stirring clouds, the sight of the distant, steepled, bristling city, exercised a certain influence, not only over the young man himself, but over all the little party bent on their dreadful purpose. It contrasted as much with their object, as with the flippant jests and smiles with which that object was pursued. Upon Frank's mind it was peculiarly impressive. The fumes of the supper and wine had passed away, and his passion had cooled. All personal fear, too, had completely disappeared, and the awful image in his mind was the body of his murdered friend weltering in its gore. He was going to do the deed with his eyes open, with his heart softened. He shuddered, but shook off the relenting weakness with a sort of savage coarseness and gayety, most foreign to his real nature, and which he had several times assumed in the company, the contagious company of Randolph. Darkly and brutally, therefore, turning from all thought and feeling, all reflection of a religious nature, all communion with his Creator, he resolved, since he was in it, to go through with the matter like a man.

They were now close on the land. The boat drew near to a somewhat elevated and beautiful shore, thickly wooded, even to the edges of the naked rocks, which here and there projected into the stream. The next moment the keel ran grazing upon a little sandy beach.

"Land ho!" cried Randolph.

"Take care of the oar, sir," said the boatman.

"Now, then, my son-a-wax," said Randolph, "run her right in here—so, so. Wilson, the rifle. Take care of your box. By G—d! there they are!"

The party got out. In the actual presence of danger, the wavering emotions of Frank ceased. The cool courage of his character gave a manly dignity to his person and a quiet pride to his step. He felt no longer sure of killing, or of being killed, but only that he was about engaging in a serious contest, in which he must bear himself with perfect composure, and the consequences of which he was prepared to abide by. He never appeared more at ease in his life, while Wilson was pale with the deepening interest of the scene, and even Randolph, although a thoughtless and flippant duellist, lost a portion of his colour and some of his natural coolness. The brave man may step forward to be shot at himself, but the bravest may falter while standing passively by, to behold the instrument of death directed against his friend.

"You had better remain here, my good fellows," said Frank to the boatmen. "Lie quiet. Some of us will want you in half an hour."

"Ay, ay, sir."

But these men were rather too much interested in the progress of the little drama to obey. Hastily mooring their boat, therefore, to a large stone, with eager feet they stole noiselessly up after the rest of the party, who were too much occupied with other thoughts to pay them any attention, and planted themselves close to the scene of action, where they could, with an undisturbed luxury, be spectators of this—in the nineteenth century—fashionable, honourable, oft-repeated, oft-yet-to-be-repeated scene. We may all have an opportunity of testing, like them, the excitement which used to give Commodus and Nero an appetite for breakfast.

"Now, Lennox," said Randolph, in a low voice, his flippant manner entirely changed, "I understand you to assure me of your intention to fire to the best of your skill?"

"Certainly," said Frank. "I have not come here to play."

The parties now approached each other, and calm and courteous greetings were interchanged. The rifles were immediately loaded, and the distance measured with deliberate and careful precision. A few words were exchanged between White and Randolph. The principals were ordered to their places, and the pieces handed to them.

"Anything more, my boy?" whispered Randolph.

"Nothing," replied Frank, with a bright smile.

"When I say three, gentlemen!" said the business-like voice of Randolph, as all receded and left the opponents planted upon the green, level lawn, erect, silent, and alone.

There was one moment's pause.

Randolph advanced a step to give the signal.

"One—two—three!"

Each piece was discharged as he spoke. Frank sprang into the air and fell heavily to the ground, like an eagle which a skilful huntsman has brought from the clouds, while the blue smoke rolled slowly off, curling away upon the dim morning light, and up through the green branches. All present rushed to the spot. The unfortunate young man lay extended at full length, writhing in great pain and absolutely weltering in gore, which gushed from his breast and mouth. His eyes were turned inward in the convulsion of nature's last appalling struggle.

Glendenning, from whose face horror had drained every trace of colour, staggered forward, and threw himself upon his knees with clasped hands, gasping for breath.

"Frank! Frank!" he rather shrieked than said, in a hoarse voice.

But, on catching a full view of the face, he stopped, petrified and dumb. It was death he was looking at. The countenance was undergoing a frightful change. A stream of blood, apparently exhaustless, continued to flow from the wound. Wilson cut away the clothing in awful silence. Drops of sweat had burst out on the forehead of the dying man, who, with lustreless and broken eyes, sunken cheeks, the nose sharpened with the strain of the great agony, was obviously undergoing a last crisis.

"Frank! Frank!" gasped Glendenning, his hair rising with terror, "speak to me!"

"I, I, for—" but he could not proceed.

"Doctor! save him! it's nothing," said Glendenning. "He's fainting. See! see! Doctor, quick! why don't you save him?"

"The lung!" said Wilson, in a low voice—"it has perforated the lung."

"My—mother—" gasped Frank. "Tell her—that—"

He fell back.

"But do something, doctor," said Glendenning. "Your instruments—your art—he's fainting, doctor. G—d d—n it! why don't you do something?"

"My dear sir," said the surgeon, dropping the heavy hand with a singular smile, "it's perfectly absurd. He's quite dead."

"Dead?"

"Dead!"

And the word went round from one blanched face to another.

"Now, then," cried White, "I hope Colonel Nicholson will be satisfied."

"Poor devil!" muttered the boatman, "his jig's up."

"Farewell, noble heart!" cried Randolph, dashing the quick-coming tears from his eyes.

"Poor young fellow," said White, looking at his watch. "Now, Glendenning, we must be off."

"Dead!" echoed Glendenning, aghast, dripping with cold sweat, and staring at the outstretched, stiffening body and rigid countenance, which had already assumed a marble fixedness. "Frank! Frank!"

There was no answer, there was no motion; and he stood gazing on the face of his dead friend.

"It will pass in a moment," said White, quietly, to the surgeon. "Be a man: come! there is no time to lose."

Glendenning, with a bewildered stare, suffered himself to be led off. Once he looked back. Once he looked up and around, as a fiend just out of hell might gaze upon the upper world of light, and joy, and peace, and beauty. Once he murmured, "Oh God, his mother!" then dashing his clinched fist against his forehead, he pursued his flight to the boat in silence.

CHAPTER XI.

By the time they reached the city, Glendenning had collected his senses. The steamboat to start at six for Albany was lying at the wharf. No persuasion could induce him to land. He went instantly on board, and retired into the cabin. His friend hastened to the hotel, and returned at the hour of starting, and once more the gay and animated scene of a setting forth up the Hudson went on around them. Hours stop for nothing; the day advanced; the beautiful shores of the river flew by, bathed in the tender morning light and dew, and printing their graceful outlines against the sky, as the successful duellist hastened on, leaving behind the great city, already beginning to ring with the incident in which he had played such a bloody part. It was long before the exquisite nature through which he was passing, the rapid motion, and the crowds around began to make upon his mind the impression of reality, or to divest him of the feeling that he was in a horrible dream. White was grave and silent; his purpose was accomplished; his duty as a man of honour and a gentleman had been strictly performed, and he left his companion to the course of his own reflections, which gradually fell back into a more slow and collected motion. He would gladly have avoided reflecting on the past or on the future, or, indeed, reflecting at all; but the power of banishing thought he had lost; the spectre of his murdered friend presented itself to him everywhere; he saw it upon each green sward; it glared at him even when he closed his eyes; it seemed like a curse; it was religion. They believe because they wish to believe. If Christianity be not true, I don't wish to believe it. Do you suppose the great characters of antiquity believed in their gods, and miracles, and all that? certainly not. Give me truth! I set up for a man of sense, and I don't care who knows it. I also set up for a man of courage, moral as well as physical. I wish to see things as they are , whether the discovery be pleasing or not. I seek truth even before happiness; truth, if it mean death or annihilation after death."

"Certainly," said Frank, who, during this harangue, had been leaning his face back and away as much as possible, but who was followed up close by the youthful philosopher, and greatly annoyed at finding himself entrapped into a metaphysical dispute with a person whom travelling and his own self-sufficient mind had rendered rather disgusting, "certainly, truth is the object of life, but one cannot be too guarded against illusion."

"Oh yes, but I am sure I have found truth."

"You're a lucky fellow."

"Yes, I am, and it is travel which has opened my mind. Before I went abroad I don't think there was a greater fool to be found anywhere than I. Perhaps you remember me?"

"No! I do not."

"I was badly dressed, bad-mannered, and backward, without any confidence in myself, and blushing like a red cabbage when any one—particularly a lady—spoke to me. Now, egad! I have seen the world—but I am wrong. It is not travel alone which has opened my mind."

"And what else is it?"

"Love!"

"Love?" said Frank, almost with a start.

"Love," repeated Earnest. "You've no idea how you get on in that way abroad. I was in love with three married women. You know no one falls in love with any one but married women on the Continent."

"No, I did not know that. I fear I am as backward as you were before you left America."

"One was a countess at Vienna, one a baroness at Paris, and the third the wife of a general—a very good creature— in Milan."

"And did all these ladies return your passion?" asked Frank.

"Why, that is scarcely for me to say," replied Earnest, ed the thunderbolt. The agony, the despair, the broken-hearted mother, shrieking, fainting, raving in delirious despair, perhaps; the crowds of sympathizing friends, the stark cold, noble body, thus struck ruthlessly down in its young hopes, its radiant life.

"Oh God! have mercy on my soul!" he strove to pray, but, with a sickening effort, he succeeded in turning from these images.

As night came on his fellow-passengers retired to their berths. He alone paced the solitary deck, watched the soft, glittering stars, and strove in vain to escape from the bloody apparition, which, wherever he looked, lay convulsed, trembling, gasping before him, trying without success to utter a word—a parting word—of forgiveness and love, and the red stream of life gushing from those sunshiny lips, so full of smiles and sweetness, from which no breath of dishonour had ever fallen, and yet warm with the fond mother's deep kiss.

Southard's form then rose before him, and his wife, and the dead child, and the Bible he had blasphemously hurled away, and the vow he had taken, and the curse he had called on himself if he ever gave up the mild and pure precepts of the Son of man to worship the dark world and follow his own wild passions.

"Wine! wine!" he muttered, sick with horror; and, going below, he roused the steward, and ordered upon deck a couple of bottles of Madeira and cigars.

Ah! ha! the immortal stream rolled warmly through his icy veins. He quaffed deep and often, and rose superior to his puny fears. New, brighter, more manly views came to him. He was the victim of a stern destiny. He had not shrunk—would not shrink. Duty and honour before all things. Now, then, he could face the scoffing, sneering, laughing, insolent Breckenbridge. Now he could stand before the malignant eye of the dog, Nicholson. Did they think they could blast him thus with impunity? No! no! The ruin he had wrought must be avenged somewhere . First he would call to a stern account the arch-fiend who had made him what he was: ay, though he had to grasp his throat at the head of his regiment; ay, though he had to stab him as he slept. "Die—die in peace, horrible spectre! Close those hideous, starting eyes. If there be another world, where I am one day to join you, I will have a tale to tell dark as your early grave."

The daybreak found him still staggering to and fro in the drunken triumph of his bloody anticipations.

On reaching Montreal, he separated from White, whose cold indifference disgusted him.

"Ah, my friend!" said Southard, pale and agitated, "where have you been? What is it I have heard?"

"You would not take my hand, Southard," said Glendenning. "It is red with the heart's blood of the only friend I ever had, wet with the tears of the only family who ever took the least interest in me."

"You have not—you cannot have—"

"All—the worst—open the window—your room is suffocating— and leave me—"

"Oh, Glendenning! what have you done?"

Glendenning covered his face with his hands.

Southard left him in horror.

As soon as he found himself alone, he rushed out of the house, and directed his steps towards the lodgings of Breckenbridge. It was late in the afternoon. The front door was open. Several persons were passing slowly in and out. As no one questioned him, he questioned nobody. He felt that he was sent on a stern mission of vengeance. He was going to seek his insolent enemy, and to dash upon his forehead a blow of hate and insult. He mounted the stairs. Clinton was at the door, but made no salutation. In the room was a silent group of brother officers: they stood around a bed. His fierce eye passed rapidly in among them in search of his victim. The last one his glance fell on was Nicholson. They were all gazing tranquilly upon a form extended on the bed. It was a corpse, arrayed in the vestments of the grave, stretched peacefully, stiffly, at full length, the waxen hands crossed on the breast, the chin bound tightly in snowy linen, the features white, sunken, changed. At first he could not recognise them, till, still gazing, a dim idea—a faint resemblance—it was Breckenbridge!

When he lifted his eyes, at length, he found his companions had disappeared. They had left him in disgust. He was alone. His hot hate turned to icy horror.

One moment he laid his hand on the forehead, which sent a sensation of cold to his heart.

He went back calmly to his rooms, where he strove to pray, but he could not.

CHAPTER XII.

In the evening a stranger was announced. It proved to be a Mr. Beckford, an old and venerable friend of his father, but one who, in his difficulties with his family, had always been of the opinion that his father was in the wrong. This gentleman had known and loved him from his earliest infancy. He had dandled him on his knees a thousand times.

Beckford approached in the kindest manner and embraced him.

"What is all this I hear, my dear young friend?" said he, with deep and tender commiseration. "You are looking ill, and are, I learn, in trouble. I have but this morning arrived. Let me be your confidant and counsellor."

Glendenning frankly related his misery to him, and felt strangely relieved by it.

"Dreadful! most frightful! and what do you mean to do?"

"Oh, leave the army, of course, forever."

"Right! quite right! But what! man! don't despair; you are not the first who has been in a painful dilemma. Cheer up! don't be too much alone, and dine with me tomorrow at four."

"I will."

"I am going to call on your lieutenant-colonel this evening."

"What, Nicholson?"

"Yes."

"He does not dine with you, I hope?"

"I intended to ask him before I saw you, but will not now, of course."

They conversed long together. Oh, how sweet is the voice of friendship to the heart bruised and broken with treachery, unkindness, and despair!

At length Beckford took his leave.

Early the next morning a note came for Glendenning. It was from Beckford. He opened it and read:

"August, 18-. "Dear Sir,

"Circumstances have obliged me to put off the dinner to-day; I shall not, therefore, have the pleasure of seeing you.

"Truly yours,

"Horace Beckford.

"Captain Glendenning, etc., etc., etc."

The next day and the next passed, but no farther visit or invitation from Beckford. Had he, too, abandoned him?

In the mean time, Glendenning had resumed his military duties, dined at the mess-table, and attended drills and a parade; but the coolness of all his brother officers, with two or three exceptions, was more marked than ever. The news of his fatal duel had spread like wildfire. The papers were full of it, although he never looked into them. White he met often, but they had together no confidential conversations, and he began to conceive for him a loathing which he found it impossible altogether to conceal. The deed he had perpetrated did not seem to have produced the desired effect. A meeting with rifles startled and shocked the public mind. It was pronounced bloody, savage, horrible. True, the choice of weapons had not rested with Glendenning; but no matter; he was in the affair; he was covered with odium; he was received everywhere with such stiffness, that he saw, too late, the blind, stupid, dreadful error he had committed. He had risked all, lost all, and gained nothing. He was not long in discovering evidence enough, that even Beckford had dropped him. That gentleman was a great deal with Nicholson; they dined together. Their intimacy was a sufficient explanation of Beckford's coldness to him.

"Nicholson again!" muttered the young man.

At this period his mind, unsupported by any strength but its own, appeared to give way and break down. It was crushed by the great events around him. He lost his power of self-command, and vacillated even in his purpose of revenge against Nicholson. He was seen more than once intoxicated in the streets. At length, maddened with grief, shame, indignation, and despair, he wrote Colonel Nicholson a letter, pouring forth upon him every opprobrious name, and demanding to meet him in the field. In reply, he was placed under arrest. The principal charge was disrespect to his colonel. But the whole affair with Lennox came under review, and every dark stain upon his character was brought out in its blackest light. He was tried by a Court Martial. From the beginning to the end of it, the investigation was against him. He was sentenced to be cashiered. From that time nothing more was seen of him at Montreal.

Colonel Nicholson's triumph was complete, and he enjoyed it without any compunctious visitings of pity. In his defence, Glendenning had made an attempt to fasten upon him the odium of having caused the second duel; but it had failed completely. White soon after sold his commission in disgust. He was a man of fortune, and fond of pleasure, to which he resolved to devote the remainder of his life. He expressed freely his opinion of the part Nicholson had borne in the affair, hoping to be brought into contact with him, but that gentleman, from whatever motive, did not condescend to be aware of the fact. White soon after passed down through New-York, and sailed for England.

CHAPTER XIII.

We must leave the reader to imagine the scene at Mr. Lennox's when the news of Frank's death was abruptly brought by a messenger, and presently afterward, covered with a military cloak, and borne by hired hands, the corpse, drenched in gore. We shall not attempt to paint the guilty horror, the conscience-stricken anguish of the father, as he gazed on the result of his own lessons, the despair and sobs of Mary and Fanny, and the wild shrieks of the mother, who, tearing herself from the hands which would have withheld her, rushed into the hall, met the body, and, after a series of convulsions, fell at last into a swoon. She caught but that one terrible look of the face of her son, who was buried before she recovered from the delirium which succeeded to her state of insensibility. In a week her life was declared to be in danger, and her family waited to behold her also sacrificed to the brutal error of the age. She continued a long time in this dying state, her mental anguish only rendered supportable, perhaps, by excessive bodily suffering. At length the crisis passed, and she recovered, but so changed that even they who had previously been but slightly acquainted could not behold her without surprise and compassion. Her deep mourning struck their attention less forcibly than the emaciated form, the pale countenance, the ever-moistened eyes, the thin, quivering lips, and the deep sighs which continually and unconsciously burst from her bosom.

At length, thoughts less painful took possession of her. She had herself wished, at a former period, that her son might rather be brought back dead than a murderer. Perhaps the great penalty of so young and noble a life might be received as an expiation. Who shall put limits to the mercy of God? Who attempt to fathom his judgments? As week after week stole away, her excessive grief changed more and more to profound melancholy, tempered by pious resignation. She possessed the support of religion, the inestimable consolation of prayer. In the train of these, the merciful hand of Providence has scattered the silent but heavenly blessings of fortitude, hope, submission, and tranquillity. Even while sorrow ravaged her cheek, He who watches over his own shed upon her heart a soothing repose, and, after long imploring the power to do so, she was at length enabled to say with sincerity, "Not my will, but thine be done."

Poor Mr. Lennox had no such consolation, and he began to feel that he had not. The death of his son was by far the heaviest shock he had ever suffered, and it taught him at once the precarious nature of human felicity. He did not know how to endure it, and he envied, while he could not share, the holy peace of his wife. Grief had not only shaken his health, but destroyed his spirits. That inexhaustible flow of cheerfulness—it was at last at an end. He never jested and rarely smiled. He became careless in his dress and irregular and negligent in his habits. He seldom dined out, or asked company to his own table; partook of no pleasures or amusements of any kind, and showed a particular disinclination to anything like business. He was now fifty, and, even previous to the catastrophe which had thus broken him down, from his general habits and opinions, as well as his fortune, he had entertained ideas of leisure and repose, natural enough to a person of his age and character, after a life of confinement and occupation. But the death of his son, with the attending circumstances, rendered him still less disposed to the toils and responsibilities of the office, which he now rarely entered, committing the whole business to the care of Emmerson.

Mary and Fanny were young, and youth recovers from the stroke of sorrow in proportion to the keenness of its first pangs. These two lovely girls, thus startled by an event as shocking to their imaginations as to their affections, exhausted their anguish in tears, and, while both had been too faithfully attached ever to forget the loved lost one, the thoughts of the present and the future naturally diverted them, with time, from that gloomy and unalterable brooding over the past—the destined doom of the bereaved parents.

The affair made a great noise in the city for a while; indeed, it threw the whole country into an excitement. Frank's sad fate was deplored publicly and privately. The press honoured his memory with a burst of mournful admiration, with very few comments on the immorality of the manner in which he had met his fate. Several short poems appeared in the journals, tendering sympathy to the afflicted family, and then new events, new deaths, new actors and opera, new dancers, new duels, and other nine days' wonders, drove the incident from the public mind. Poor Frank, if thought of at all, was remembered only as the "young officer shot in a duel."

Whatever might have been the opinion of that small portion of men who really believe and endeavour to act up to the principles of Christianity, the editors, the magistrates, the public men, and leading characters of all classes, by no means excluding women, gave few tokens of disapprobation or of horror except at the accidental issue. It is fashionable to point at the drunkard the finger of scorn, but the murderer and the duellist, only by chance prevented from becoming one, hears the murmur of interest, of admiration, and applause.

Emmerson watched the course of affairs with interest. By some magical influence, his secret wishes seemed already almost realized. Frank, Harry, and Seth were out of his way. He had become the master spirit of the office, and Mr. Lennox had already abandoned to him the general control of his professional affairs. The fortune which had been intended for Frank might now descend to Harry. Miss Elton, with her large fortune, might be persuaded to listen to him, now that Harry was not only away, but had left her with unconcealed indifference. So entirely had Mr. Lennox been unfitted for business by the late misfortune, that Mr. Emmerson was obliged to appear, not only as an attorney, but in the new character (and one peculiarly his ambition to assume) of counsellor and advocate, and he had several times, in cases of interest, addressed the jury. Although never great, he was always, on these occasions, respectable, and it happened that various paragraphs appeared in the newspapers, calling public attention to these cases, and particularly mentioning the able and eloquent speeches of Mr. Emmerson. These eulogies were sometimes accompanied by intimations respecting the good fortune of Mr. Lennox in having a partner so capable of supplying his place, now that his health and mind were so seriously injured by the late affecting family affliction. Who it was that took such peculiar pains to acquaint the world with the merits of Emmerson, must be left to the imagination of the reader. It is not likely we should be able to get much proof of it without spending more time than we are at present able to spare, and probably not even then. It is, however, within our power to state that, on several occasions, when Mr. Lennox sent down stairs for the newspaper, it was found to have been unaccountably mislaid, and that, by an odd coincidence, each one of the said mislaid papers contained a paragraph of this kind. Some of them, however, Mr. Lennox could not but see. Far from being offended, however, he was pleased at the compliments to his friend, and took pains to advance him on all possible occasions. He spoke of him enthusiastically to his clients, as a man superior to himself in coolness and business habits. He congratulated and complimented him on his essays as an orator, delicately forced him forward, and loudly praised his efforts. With feigned modesty and reluctance, but secret triumph, Emmerson received these generous attentions.

"Yes, my dear fellow!" said Lennox to him one day, "I am done—my heart is broken; I shall never be worth anything again. You must, in some measure, supply my place till Harry, poor boy, gets back. Let us have all ready for him; you and he must take care of matters. There is enough for both of you, and I want him to distinguish himself as a lawyer, and, at the same time, keep him near us the rest of our lives. Poor boy! poor boy! poor boy!" he continued, his eyes filling with tears.

"Has anything happened to him?" inquired Emmerson.

"No; we have not yet had a line from him, and it's two months since he sailed. But I was thinking of—"

He rose and left the room.

CHAPTER XIV.

We must hurry over this part of our story. The Lennox family, from the most happy had become the most miserable in existence. If anything could have added to their anguish, it was the particulars of the affair, and of Glendenning's part in it, which they learned in due time. Mr. Lennox even went to Montreal, and ascertained sufficiently the state of the case to comprehend, however, that the unfortunate young man was less to blame than his colonel. Even his father's grief began to turn into indignation as he received from Southard, to whom, as Glendenning's landlord, he had applied, the description of the manner in which he, whom he had regarded as the murderer of his son, had been drawn into his present position. He learned that he was ruined, degraded, and desperate, and that he had disappeared, no one knew whither. He conceived at one time the resolution to insult, and thus meet Colonel Nicholson, but here, in lieu of religious principles, his excellent heart and his sincere attachment to his poor wife saved him. He would not, in her present state of health and spirits, subject her to another shock. He would have no more dead bodies brought into the home once so happy and gay, and he so well knew that the event of his returning to her, his hand stained with lifeblood, would utterly destroy her, that he found himself once or twice in society with Nicholson, his arm yearning to dash upon that haughty forehead a blow, fit herald of the death of one or the other, and yet, great as was the effort, he restrained the swelling emotions of his heart. He had seen that side of the duelling question which the world do not always see. He had caught a fearful glance behind the scenes. He had beheld the mother's anguish, he had felt the father's heart.

"No! no!" he said. "Poor Katy is not so wrong, after all. No matter what the provocation, a man has no right to fight a duel."

On his way down to New-York from Albany he had Mr. Lawrence as a companion. This gentleman heard with surprise that he had been to Montreal, and, with still more obvious marks of astonishment, listened to the recital of what he had learned there, and what he had refrained from doing.

"What!" said he. "Your wife has allowed you to go alone to Montreal to make inquiries on this subject?"

"Alone?" repeated Lennox; "and why not alone?"

"And you found the blame lay with this Colonel Nicholson, and you met him in society, and from prudence, and considerations for your family, refrained from calling him to account?"

"Certainly. Do you not approve what I have done?"

"Approve? my old, faithful friend!" cried Lawrence.

"It is the noblest action you ever did in your life. He who governs himself is the greatest of men. But you're very well—you're mind is tranquil—you don't seem to— to—"

He paused.

"My heart is broken!" said Lennox.

"Yes, but—" resumed Lawrence, without showing the sympathy his friend had expected, "your heart is broken, certainly! That's very well! that's all right! that's as it should be! but—"

"What do you mean?" demanded Mr. Lennox, surprised.

"I'll tell you what I mean—I'll tell you frankly and fully. It is my duty to you as my old friend, and, moreover—it is utterly impossible. You! a man capable of such self-government as that."

"I really don't understand you."

"The long and the short of it, then, is this," replied Lawrence. "It is generally reported and believed in New-York that you are—that—that—"

"That what?" demanded Lennox.

"That you're reason has been affected; that you're, in fact, not in your right mind."

"I?" said Lennox, thunderstruck.

"You! I've heard a hundred people speak of it as a thing certain . Grief, they say, has affected you in this way. Now I see so plainly it is an absurd mistake, that I don't hesitate a moment to make you acquainted with the report, in order that you may take what measures you please to set the matter right."

"But whom did you hear say so?"

"It's a general topic of conversation."

There are few more disagreeable things than this. Such a report, whether true or false, is so sure to be contradicted, that contradiction can scarcely be said to mean anything, and the annoyance is heightened by the difficulty of disproving it.

Mr. Lennox procured from Mr. Lawrence the names of several persons who were under the impression he was not in his right mind. On his return to town he made some effort to trace the rumour, but could not do so. His abandonment of business had given probability to it, and some one had fairly and distinctly made the assertion. Who this some one was, he found it impossible to discover. Once or twice he came so near him as to hear, in so many words, that the statement had been made on the best of authority, but it had been communicated in a confidence too strict to be betrayed.

"I can tell you who it is," whispered Emmerson one day, "but I would not make an enemy of the man for the world."

"Don't be afraid; I will never name you as my informant."

"On that condition, then," said Emmerson. "It is the young doctor you recently called in, in the absence from town of Doctor. N—."

"What, young Doctor B—?"

"The same. He hinted something of the sort to me, but I did not rightly understand what he meant. Now, I see, he must have had some absurd idea of this sort in his mind."

"He shall never cross my threshold again," said Lennox.

"He's a weak, ignorant young man—a poor devil. I wouldn't notice him; he isn't worth it. The report will die away of itself—let it go. Any noise about it, you know, will only spread it wider."

"True, quite true."

"Such an infamous slander must fall to the ground of itself," replied Emmerson, with one of his confidential, friendly smiles.

CHAPTER XV.

The excitement of getting out to sea for the first time, to a young fellow like Harry, is very great. It is one of those immense changes which make life look most like a passing drama. In one hour he is in the midst of a gay, crowded, roaring city, surrounded by the scenes of his youth and boyhood, and beholding only the horizon, which has, till now, bounded his existence within a narrow circle; the next he is abroad on the eternal ocean. All the objects of his love, all the shapes familiar to him, have passed away, and who can say whether he will ever see them again?

As the last point of land, a dim shape of blue, melted into the air under Harry's thoughtful gaze, he was assailed by various serious and some tender reflections. How long should he be absent? What changes might take place before his return? Might he not leave his bones in a foreign land, perhaps in the ocean? Might not death strike some of those beloved objects, and might he not come back, after years' wandering, to find seats empty in the home circle? If fate had decreed it so, which one was it he was destined never to see again? The last look, the pale face, the anguish, and trembling agitation of Fanny Elton at the moment of parting, he felt could never, never fade from his memory; and he felt, also, that, but for the certainty he had acquired from her own rejection of him, and from Emmerson's statement, he was a monster to part from her so coldly. All the hopes once cherished respecting her, her beautiful and noble form and face, her easy and graceful manners, the numerous tokens of love he had received from her at various times, all came thronging together upon his memory, and affected him again with the inexpressible, sweet, and yet painful idea that her alienation was the result of an error. It is no imputation on his manhood to say that, as he stood on the stern of the now fast-advancing ship, and saw the last point of blue cloud which marked the spot of all his love, and where so many hearts beat with love for him, an irrepressible tendency to moisture obliged him to keep his eyes for some time longer than he should otherwise have done, away from the observation of his fellow-passengers.

These tender emotions were, however, soon lost in those with which father Neptune delights to agitate inexperienced intruders into his watery domain. It was not till after the expiration of several days that his health and appetite returned; when they did, he felt that, if the horrors of suffering had been great, they were more than compensated by the pleasures of convalescence. His spirits were never lighter or his thoughts clearer. To the natural elasticity of youth were added the anticipations and excitement consequent upon his voyage. For some time these occupied his mind almost exclusively, in a manner of which a European can form but a faint idea.

The abrupt and total transition from the New World to the Old, to one quitting the former for the first time, is, perhaps, the nearest approach to enchantment ever granted to a mortal. Let the European be indulgent when he remarks the amazement, bewilderment, and enthusiasm of the newly-arrived American. The poor fellow is in a dream, looking on what have always been to him mere ideal forms, now suddenly conjured up around him in shapes of still only half-credited reality. London and Paris have hitherto been mere sublime visions of his imagination side by side with ancient Rome, Babylon, Thebes, or Jerusalem. The town of Louis Philippe or Queen Victoria is as astounding a spectre to him as that of Pilate or Pharaoh, and when he first gazes on Peel, or Moore, or Wordsworth, or Wellington, the delightful novelty would scarcely seem greater were he to discover among these celebrated personages Shakspeare, Cæsar, Pericles, or old Homer.

For some time these reflections formed the subject of our young traveller's reveries, but by-and-by his mind reverted to his home, to the bright scenes of his native city, to his happy family circle, the well-known rooms, the loved voices, the familiar forms already beginning to be hallowed by time and distance. Among them his fancy distinguished Miss Elton with new and strange emotions. Despite all the proofs he had of her frivolous and capricious character, there were certain words and looks which remained printed on his memory. Her image no more came to him as a coquette, but arrayed in all the charms of tender fidelity and patient sadness. He was beginning to count over, with the solitary delight of a miser, each look and word of hers, when, recollecting he had proof positive from Emmerson that she was but a trifler, he refused to follow the subject farther, and resolved (not for the first time!) to think of her no more.

At last he recollected the promise he had given his mother to read the other volumes with which her affectionate piety had supplied him.

"What time so proper as the present?" thought he, with a yawn and a smile. "To be sure, I had rather study something a little more profitable and interesting, and more immediately in connexion with the countries I'm going to see; but, once ashore, I shall have no more time or inclination to wade through the Bible. Here, at least, we have plenty of time."

So he went down, and, taking out the volume in which were inscribed the words, "To Henry Lennox, from his affectionate mother—`Be not wise in your own conceit,' " he commenced it with a sturdy determination to devote a large portion of every day until he should complete it. He accordingly set himself seriously to the performance of this resolution. He felt a certain consciousness of embarrassment and shame when any of his fellow-passengers walking near him discovered what he was reading.

"They'll take me for a Methodist parson, I suppose," said he to himself; "but no matter! I don't mind their opinions, and I quite agree with my mother, that, as a mere matter of curiosity—as an accomplishment even—the book ought to be read by every gentleman."

For some days he read steadily on. The weather happened to be calm and pleasant, and he pursued his task with unremitting assiduity. He was habitually a rapid reader, and, once fairly engaged, he made great progress. In a week he had finished the Old Testament, and got far into the second evangelist.

"You pursue your studies with great diligence," said a voice to him, one afternoon, as he was absorbed in his labour.

The person who addressed him was a gentleman of about fifty, of a pleasing and dignified exterior, whom Harry had previously remarked accompanied by a young lady of a more than prepossessing appearance.

"Oh, I am—I was going to say, performing a wager. I mean, I am fulfilling an injunction in giving the Bible the benefit of a continuous perusal."

"You do not read from the attractions you yourself find there?"

"I did not at first, but I find some parts of it more interesting than I could have supposed."

"Really," rejoined the stranger, with a smile, "you must think that very odd."

"Oh, no, I don't," replied Harry. "In the first place, any resolute employment is a protection against ennui, which, with sea-sickness, is the fashionable malady on board a ship, you know."

"May I ask, without boldness, who has enjoined this task upon you?"

"My mother."

"She is a believer then?"

"Oh, yes; she believes it all."

"And you do not?"

Harry paused and looked his interrogator in the face, uncertain whether to be pleased or offended at his freedom. There was something, however, in his countenance and manner so benevolent and intelligent that he replied with frankness.

"I don't think any man of sense can believe it literally; it is rather too heavy a task upon credulity."

"Has it interested you as a literary production?"

"Yes; some scenes are dramatic and some descriptions poetic. It is a curious—a very curious book. Did you ever take the trouble to read it through continuously?"

"Yes, I have read it quite through; but I fear I interrupt you."

Harry returned his polite salutation, and resumed his reading. In two weeks he finished it, and closed the volume with a sigh of fatigue.

"Well, it's done at last," thought he; "I really had no idea I could get through with it in so short a time; I had always a fancy, somehow or other, that reading the Bible was a work of years, and, consequently, postponed it to some indefinite period of sickness, confinement, or old age. Now it's done, and, thank Heaven, it's off my mind. I hope my poor, dear mother will be satisfied."

Thus was one of the works disposed of, but without one beam of light which his "poor mother" hoped such a perusal would send into his mind. He had read a curious historical monument of ancient credulity, palmed upon mankind when there was no press, and descended to the present time in some odd way, which he remembered Gibbon had admirably explained, though he did not recall exactly how. So far from having become any more inclined to believe, he was ten times more confirmed in his incredulity. He had forgotten much of the Bible. Some of it he never had read, and was entirely unacquainted with, and, truth to say, he could conceive nothing less probable, less believable, than the principal parts of both the Old and New Testaments. The supernatural events were so glaringly fabulous, and the historical ones so infinitely removed from inspiration—so darkened with blood, crime, ignorance, and superstition, that the only reflection it raised in his mind was wonder how it could all be received, in the present enlightened age, as the faith of civilized Europe and America; how churches and chapels could be forever rising to it, and how it came that those sensible, brave fellows who had honestly written against it should rest under an odium.

In this mood of mind he took up Newton on the Prophecies, and fell fairly asleep a dozen times before he reached the welcome "finis ." Here was another mystery—a real unsolvable problem. Did Newton believe in what he has displayed so much learning at attempting to prove? If yes, by what extraordinary hallucination of intellect—by what unimaginable train of reasoning had he formed his opinion? If no, why had he lent himself with such apparent earnestness to a fraud—a pious one, perhaps, but still a palpable fraud? There was something despicable, he found, in such an enterprise. He must have been, then, either a block-head or a charlatan.

From Newton on the Prophecies he went to Butler's Analogy. But he was now tired of following an ungrateful subject, and could not accompany this author through his deep reasonings. They demanded an attention too unremitting and severe. Besides, he was already convinced that Butler was attempting to establish the truth of an impossibility. He might certainly do this with more or less acuteness and logic. A skilful lawyer may throw a wonderful plausibility around a bad cause, particularly if he believe it to be a just one, and an enthusiastic mind may be led by sophistry to believe anything. He therefore read on with his eyes, but not with his reason. His mind, too, began to be crowded again with briliant images of Europe, or with soft recollections of home, or of Miss Elton. He would read—that he had promised to do—page after page, but he aroused himself at the end of each chapter to a weary conviction, that, instead of accompanying the author through his abstruse, complicated arguments, he had been, in imagination, leading Miss Elton down the road from Rose Hill to the landing-place, or bidding her good-by with affected indifference, while his heart thrilled with the expression of her face and those flattering words, "Harry, good-by! God bless you!"

In short, he laid by the volumes of which thus, according to his promise, he had read every word, with a renewed conviction that Christianity was a mere Eastern fable. He had not even seen any beauty in it; he had not felt any moral power. The mysterious person to whom all tends, and from whom all flows, was no more, in his eyes, than a historical character, extraordinary only from the notice subsequently taken of him. If before he had disbelieved from instinct, he now conceived himself entitled to reject upon more rational grounds. He had examined, and remained unconvinced. He acknowledged himself a Deist, and, true to his impatient and decisive character, from Deism he stepped to Atheism. If there were no God, of course there was no hereafter. Thus, in the mind of youthful philosophers, are disposed of these grave questions.

CHAPTER XVI.

Harry had scarcely made any observations on his fellow-passengers, so much had he been engaged in his reveries and studies. He exchanged with them the ordinary courtesies of the day, but had experienced no desire to cultivate the acquaintance of any, with the exception of the familiar and kind stranger, Mr. Rivington and his daughter. Several casual occurrences brought them more together, and, on a nearer view and better acquaintance, he perceived that they were particularly agreeable, and that the young lady was a very charming girl in mind and manners. She had not appeared to him, at first, beautiful, but, while conversing, he perceived a certain loveliness dwelt in her countenance, which, as if a quality of her soul as well as of her features, seemed to increase in proportion as the conversation grew animated and interesting. There was in her a mixture of frankness and modesty, of self-possession, and yet of reserve, which at first attracted his attention, and then captivated his taste. On seeing yet more of her, he found that nature had not been less bountiful in the solid qualities of sense and virtue, than in that external grace which made her so engaging.

One day a death occurred on board, the little son of a poor Englishman, who, with his wife and three children, had emigrated several years before to America, been unsuccessful, and was now returning in the steerage to his native country. The small body was the next morning sewed up in a piece of sail and shoved off into the sea. The burial service was read by Mr. Rivington. The mother stood by without a word, and heard the plunge of her child into the waves. It was painful to conjecture, by the deadly paleness of her face and the expression of her features, what emotions filled her soul.

The circumstance drew the attention of Harry to the family. Fearing, from their appearance, that they were but ill provided with the necessaries of life, he offered to supply their wants, but found Mr. Rivington and his daughter had already anticipated him.

It was by and by discovered that another child was ill, and with a dangerous and contagious malady. There was among the passengers a physician, who called himself Dr. Mason. Mr. Rivington politely informed him of the illness of the second child and the distress of the family.

"Pray, doctor, see her at once."

"Not I," was the answer.

"No?"

"Certainly not," and, taking out a fire-box, he lighted a cigar. "I don't consider myself on duty at present, and a contagious disorder. I don't deem it necessary to expose myself, and the other cabin passengers too."

"I will cheerfully compensate you," remarked Mr. Rivington, mildly, after a pause.

"Oh, d—n it! that's not it."

"But it seems to me, my good sir," resumed Mr. Rivington, more gravely, "if duty did not urge you, humanity—"

"Of that," replied the doctor, coolly, "I must be the best judge."

"My daughter has been at the bedside of the little girl," said Mr. Rivington.

"But Dr. Mason is not your daughter," interrupted Mr. Barnett, a tall, ugly-looking young gentleman of one or two-and-twenty, and a great ally of the doctor in smoking, drinking, and backgammon.

A few days after, despite the assiduous attentions of Mr. and Miss Rivington, and Harry, the little sufferer also died. The same funeral ceremony was gone through with. The mother heard the same plunge, with the same pale, silent face, while the father, in a distant part of the ship, sat alone, leaning his head on his hands.

Harry's soul was struck with deep compassion. He had watched the little drama with interest, and, ardent in his feelings, he at once formed a strong and tender attachment for Rivington and his daughter, and at the same time conceived a lively indignation, mingled with a disgust which he scarcely made any effort to conceal, against Dr. Mason.

At length the poor mother became ill—too much so to leave her berth; and, to fill the cup of her misery to overflowing, the third and last child, a very pretty boy three years old, was attacked with the same disorder which had carried off his brother and sister. Miss Rivington determined to descend into the dark and filthy hole where the poor sufferers lay, but she was met by Harry, who gently but firmly refused her admittance.

"I have been below," he said. "The child must die. I don't think the poor mother will. For her sake, one might almost wish she might. Her only ailment is grief, and that does its work slowly. I will see that the little creature has all the attention possible."

"Is the father below?"

"Poor fellow! yes, but completely prostrated with despair."

"I think, Mr. Lennox, I had better go down."

"No; I positively interpose force. I will not permit your daughter, sir, to expose herself to any more danger. I have been below. The child must die, probably to-day, but, while he exists, suffer me to be his nurse. The exposure of one person is necessary, of two would be useless and imprudent. You and your daughter attended the last: now it is my turn."

Mr. Rivington shook him warmly by the hand.

In the evening, as he had predicted, the boy died. This time the mother was too weak to witness the third ceremony, which left her childless. The father retired, as before, to a distant part of the deck, and covered his ears with his hands, as if to shut out the sound of the fatal plunge.

In pity to the bereaved mother, Harry spent some time below with her. She spoke with him freely, and even cheerfully.

"You do not seem, my good woman," remarked he one day, when they had been speaking of her bereaved state— "you do not seem to be as much prostrated by your loss as I feared you would be."

Her lips quivered, and she wept a moment in silence.

"I feel, but I do not yield to my feelings generally. Whom He loveth, He chasteneth. I am in his hands. My children are removed, I doubt not wisely, from a cruel world, where I had little power to protect or make them happy. They are in heaven, where I hope to meet them soon. Their sufferings are over. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away: blessed be the name of the Lord."

Harry felt as if he could have shrugged his shoulders, but he contented himself with the reflection that her trust in the Lord had been but poorly answered.

"I would not be ungrateful for the blessings left me," added the woman.

"Blessings?" echoed Harry, looking around upon the wretched den, which he could not remain in a moment without a sensation of disgust, and then upon the emaciated form and face, the ragged clothes of the poor woman. "Blessings? what blessings?"

"Here," replied she, laying her hand upon her bosom, "and here."

She produced from under her pillow a small Bible. Harry took it and turned over the leaves. They appeared worn and almost ready to fall to pieces by the constant use of years, but it was obviously in a state of the most perfect cleanliness and preservation possible.

"You love to read your Bible, then?"

"I hope so: I should be very ungrateful if I did not; for it has consoled and supported me through many a long year of suffering. My story is rather a sad one, but the more sad the life, the more clear appears the divine power of that book. I have often thought it is like the stars, which, the blacker the night is, look more bright."

"You have not always been in your present impoverished state?" inquired Harry, becoming interested. "Your language and thoughts imply education and reflection."

"Oh yes, sir, I have always been poor and wretched, but people are apt to think those in our class have not thoughts and feelings like them; and when they find we have, and when they hear us utter them, they are as surprised as if a dumb man should speak."

"There is a good deal of sad truth in that. But where did you learn to express yourself so well?"

"If I express myself better than others of my condition, it is because I have been more diligent in studying my Bible. It has been education as well as happiness to me. It has, moreover, taught me how to live, and, I hope, how to die. The loss of my sweet children, in one sense, makes me happy, and I bend to the judgment of God with more patience than others might. Those children were so dear to me—they were all of them so sweet, so pretty—so—"

Here she stopped and wept again.

"My mind was always disturbed with apprehensions about them. I could neither live nor die in peace, for they bound my soul to earth. Now I never can suffer anything more this side the grave which will disturb my peace. A few more years, perhaps days, and I shall join them. All our troubles will then be at an end. I look upon my own death as a desirable and even happy change. How can I, then, yield to grief for them?"

"The Bible," thought Harry, "is certainly useful in such a case as this. What would this sick, childless, friendless woman be without some such consolation? True or false, earthly or divine, the Bible has its use. It is not, as I once thought, a mere collection of absurdities. It has a task in the world, as much as air or medicine. It performs an appointed duty. It is like the sunshine, which warms the unclothed and houseless, which shines with its blessed light into the cottage as into the palace."

Thus a certain respect for the volume he had hitherto neglected with such indifference rose in his heart. He regarded it as he would have beheld some notorious quack doctor actually perform a remarkable cure. True, it might be by acting on the imagination of the patient, but he who can cure the ills of life in any way, cannot justly be passed over with contempt.

He related the conversation to Mr. and Miss Rivington, with whom he had now become much better acquainted, and who appeared to return his obvious friendship with one as sincere. He expressed his astonishment and admiration at the "philosophy of the woman."

"I can conceive that, as the keenest anguish of life may arise from the severing of affections, the mother's grief for the loss of her child must approach nearest to the inconsolable; but three children, one after the other, torn from her in that way: it is enough to crush the heart of Socrates or Zeno, and yet she seems actually happier than she was before."

"This is not philosophy; it is religion," remarked Mr. Rivington.

"That is, philosophy embellished by fancy and strengthened by superstition!" answered Harry.

"I perceived some time ago," observed Mr. Rivington, "that, while Providence has blessed you with a heart capable of feeling all the necessity of religion, you have not yet become aware of its truth."

Harry looked at Miss Rivington with a certain embarrassment.

"Oh, you need not mind Helen. She has made the subject a study, and will not be any more frightened at your open acknowledgment of infidelity than a good physician at the confessions of a sick patient."

"I could hope Miss Rivington might pardon me," said Harry, "for acknowledging my own deficiency."

"You mean by that, boasting of your own superiority," said Miss Rivington, smiling.

"I should not pardon myself," continued he, "were I to expose her to the contagion of bad example."

"If it were not," said Mr. Rivington, "that I never approach lightly a sacred subject, I would let you try the effect of your example on her. The contagion could not take. You have not an argument or an impression which she could not confute to her and your own satisfaction. Pray confess what you like. It will, perhaps, prove the first step to reformation."

"Well, then," said Harry, frankly, "I confess at once, that the only mystery in religion to me is, that any one of education and sense can be found to believe it."

"You have not examined the subject?"

"Oh yes, I have, carefully, and believed less after the examination than I did before."

"You did not come to the task with the proper spirit," observed Miss Rivington.

"Ah, that is the way the advocates of Christianity defend their cause. First it is, you have never examined it; then, you did not examine in the proper spirit. And pray define to me what sort of spirit a man of sense must have before he can be made to believe black is white."

"My father can perhaps explain," said Miss Rivington.

"No," said her father; "it would be like explaining what light is to a blind man. Life will explain it as it rolls on over your head. Death will explain it when the spectre appears to you. Sorrow and sickness, should you suffer them (and you can scarcely go through the world without doing so), will shed upon you that spirit."

"Mysticism, transcendentalism, and all the isms," said Harry, laughing, "can't have any more incomprehensibleism than this. What can a fit of the gout have to do with an opinion on the subject? You place a sum in arithmetic before me, and tell me twice two make five. I don't believe it. You accuse me of not examining. Well, I do examine, and find two and two make four. Then my spirit is not yet prepared. I must wait till I lose my papa and my mamma, till I get very ill (and imbecile, perhaps); then you come to me with your arithmetic, and I tell you, perhaps, two and two make five, or twenty, if you will, and believe it, perhaps, simply because my feelings predominate over my reason: and yet, after all, two and two do make four."

"I never debate on religion," said Rivington, gravely, "because a debate is a struggle for victory, not a search after truth. Only do not deceive yourself with the idea that you have examined the evidences of Christianity. If Heaven spare your life, you will one day feel the want of religion. With the want will come the spirit, and then you will understand me."

Harry was silent before the mild dogmatism of the amiable enthusiasts. He shrugged his shoulders while alone he paced the deck late that evening to enjoy his cigar.

"Thus it is," he thought, "that education makes of men what it will: `just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.' Had this amiable person been educated to believe theft and murder justifiable, he would still retain the opinion. Had he been taught that Mohammed was the true God, he would tremble and bow at the name of Mohammed. Hence, through the wonder-working power of education, a Galilean peasant, executed for disturbing the public peace, becomes a divine being, and receives the worship of the same intelligent mind which would think adoration paid to Mars or Minerva utterly ridiculous."

"And what do I believe?" he added, gloomily, after a long pause. "That this world has ever been what it is, will ever remain what it is. If God may be eternal and from eternity, why may not the world? If God made himself, why may not Nature have done the same? What, then, is man? an insect! an accident! Where have gone those dead children? Into the deep, to the fishes. They are matter, nothing more, and the poor duped mother, who thinks she will meet them again beside summer streams and amid perennial groves—she is a fool! and there is no real difference between Rivington and Barnett, between Miss Rivington and Dr. Mason. One is as good as the other. Yes, this lovely being, so fair, so gentle, so self-sacrificing, has no real, only an abstract, temporary superiority over this selfish, cowardly Mason. I ought to respect one as much as the other. Certainly, to the eye of philosophy, they are the same. A rose is sweeter, but not more innocent, than a thistle. God, that is, Nature, made them both, and hereafter they will go together to the dust. The difference between them will not exist after death. The admiration I feel for the one, the disgust towards the other, is a weakness. Strange world! But as it is, it is!"

And with a cold and barren heart, the young infidel paced the deck, quenched in his bosom all holy impulses, and strove to turn from truth and nature into paradoxes and follies, which he called reason and philosophy: strove, and for the time succeeded, for to his youthful fancy life seemed endless, and he was surrounded by all that could make it gay and happy. Memory brought him scarcely a care, and hope pointed to joys which filled him with delight. He was rich, handsome, young, gifted, absorbed by this world, its proud plans and graceful pleasures and virtues. He was satisfied with infidelity, because he felt no need of God or religion. He had resources enough without them. His happiness was his misery; his hopes were his despair. He was like some traveller carrying a torch, whose smoky and lurid light prevents his beholding the moon and the stars, the order and harmony of the universe, and the hand that created and sustains it.

CHAPTER XVII.

In the mean time the great ship had ploughed her way, rushing and thundering on, sometimes half ingulfed in the black and smoky waves, sometimes groaning, shrieking, and trembling beneath a tempest; now advancing regularly and majestically over the blue deep, now becalmed and abandoned to the heaving, glaring flood, in a very disagreeable state of inactivity.

For the want of other excitement, Dr. Mason and Mr. Barnett had undertaken to amuse themselves lately by quizzing Mr. Seers, a young, modest, and rather shabbily-dressed man, who had been sea-sick nearly the whole time till within a few days, who scarcely ever opened his mouth, and never without blushing, and who turned out to be a Methodist clergyman travelling to regain his health. A slight attempt had been made to pursue the same course towards Harry, but they were speedily satisfied that, however gay he might naturally be, he was not exactly the man to stand much quizzing from them. Their facetious humour, therefore, sought a less dangerous object.

On the health of Mr. Seers being sufficiently re-established for the purpose, it was proposed by some one, the day being Sunday, and destined, probably, to be the last Sabbath of the voyage, that he should perform a religious service. Every one acquiesced, and the company were assembled accordingly.

The service commenced with a prayer, which, though not long, was fervid and eloquent, without in the least offending against the coolest Episcopalian taste. The bashful hesitation of the speaker disappeared as he proceeded, and Harry listened to his strong devotional language with an interest for which he could not account. Becoming accustomed, as he grew older, to analyze his feelings, he asked himself whence came his emotion. He did not believe the young preacher was right in his creed, or that the Creator, if, indeed, there were one, of the infinite system of things, cared or knew what was said or done in the globe itself, which, compared with the whole universe, is so inconceivably insignificant, far less what a few individuals were doing in an obscure spot of the globe; yet, what was it which, during the earnest prayer, and more particularly during the succeeding sermon, enchained his attention, calmed his thoughts, elevated and broadened his mind, and thrilled his soul? He ascribed it partly to a reawakening in him of early religious associations, dim, sweet, tender visions of those years when he also had folded his little hands, and on his bended knees offered up thanks and prayers to the Creator at his mother's knee. Partly, too, he perceived in the picture before him something strikingly poetic and sublime. There was no God; there was, at least, no revelation from him except through the ordinary course of nature, but it raised in his mind the reflection of what a different scene the earth would be, what a different thing life would be, if there were a God made manifest; if the mysterious and celebrated being who rose from the lowly condition of a Galilean peasant, an untravelled, uneducated Jew, a Roman slave, were really an incarnation of the Divinity, descended to walk with man as an example, a guide, and a star, such as that which led the fabled shepherds to the holy child. He was not a believer, but he was beginning to be a thinker. The grand fabric of Christianity rose before him at a distance, and he was beginning to look at it, and the form of Jesus began to appear to him, amid the crowd of historical characters, as a remarkable one; remarkable from the purpose he had adopted, from the effects he had produced. Various questions concerning him began to rise in his mind, to arouse and awaken his curiosity. Had he really lived? Was there such a person as Jesus at all? If not, the wonder was not less striking, that such a character should have formed itself in the human imagination, and glided into the credulity of so many ages and countries; or had the sublime structure of Christianity been raised upon the life of a real personage, only altered by the Oriental mind at a superstitious period? Still, the wonder continued, for how came the cold science of modern times to receive it? A fable it seemed upon the face of it, but what a fable! and by how many millions received as the most sacred of truths!

Beside him sat the bereaved mother. He could not without emotion behold her, as she listened to the glorious visions of the speaker, who represented this world, and its cares and pleasures, as so insignificant compared with the mansions of bliss prepared for mortals in another and better one. The unfortunate woman listened with eager devotion, and although tears were on her cheeks, they were obviously tears of joy. She was drinking in from the lips of her spiritual teacher, not only consolation, but triumph. Although her hopes might be but illusions, yet, in her case, the grave was deprived of its victory and death of his sting.

At this picture, Harry felt with singular force what a sublime, what a magnificent thing life would be if religion were true! if there were a God to superinted, to guide, to reward; if death, the remorseless, resistless tyrant, might be overcome; if this mortal scene were but a state of probation and preparation.

For the first time in his life, the meaning of his mother's exalted enthusiasm respecting Christianity began to break upon his comprehension. He believed, not that it was or could be true, but he saw, if it were true, how glorious it would be. Thus, for his mind was pure and his heart good, his humanity towards and his sympathy for this poor woman awoke in him the first conception of spiritual light.

In the midst of the sermon and of Harry's reflections, Doctor Mason and Barnett fell into a fit of laughing. For some moments they appeared willing to suppress it, but, at length, finding it not easily done, they leaned forward their faces on their hands, and continued to indulge in a mirth so noisy as not only to greatly disturb the little congregation, but at length to render the speaker's continuing impossible. The young clergyman stopped, waited a few moments, resumed, stopped again, unable to go on, and then mildly remarked upon the indecency as well as the impiety of the interruption. This only made the offenders laugh louder, upon which the clergyman, with dignity and firmness, requested that they would leave the cabin, or he should not proceed with the service.

"I shall certainly not leave the cabin," said Barnett. "I have paid my passage; I have as much right here as another. My consent was not requested to have the service here, and no man has a right to convert my house into a church, any more than I have a right to turn a church into a theatre."

"I shall send for the captain," said Mr. Seers.

"The captain's business is with his ship, not with me," replied Barnett.

"Then I must desist," said the clergyman, mildly.

"My good friends," remarked Mr. Rivington, "the occasion seems to warrant the interference of your fellow-passengers."

"Indeed!"

"At least of the captain" (who was on the deck at that time).

"If the captain or any one else," cried Mason, "attempts to prohibit a man's laughing at what amuses him in the cabin of a packet ship, where he has paid his passage, he will find himself in the wrong box."

"I quite agree with you," replied Rivington, with perfect forbearance; "and, rather than promote any difference, we are so near the land, I think, sir (to the clergyman), you had better desist."

This circumstance rendered the doctor and his friend extremely ashamed and indignant, but, at the same time, more bold. They now took pains to annoy the rest on all possible occasions, playing whist and backgammon with loud oaths, and in as noisy and reckless a way as possible. The captain was vexed, but, being a mild man, and the voyage nearly concluded, he begged the company to bear it as well as they could.

One day Mr. Seers was walking the deck, when Barnett commenced also walking in a way to meet him. Mason stood by with a curious expression on his face. It was after dinner, where, as no deduction was made in passage money for those who did not take wine, these two gentlemen had at command the whole stock of the ship, into which they appeared regularly every day desirous of making as great an inroad as possible. Harry was standing by, and watched the manoeuvre with considerable interest. It struck him, from the manner of the young bully, that he had the intention to offer an insult, although he could scarcely have expected to pick a quarrel with the most inoffensive and amiable of human beings. The proceeding continued with a more and more definite approach to a crisis. At each turn Barnett gave less way, till, at length, Mr. Seers, who did not seem to understand the spirit of the thing, and who had kept yielding more and more place as he was pressed upon more rudely, not supposing it necessary to go entirely out of his path, received such a violent push with the shoulder of Barnett as to throw him aside with some violence.

"Mr. Barnett!" exclaimed he, with mild amazement.

"Get out of the way, then, can't you?" cried Barnett, coarsely. "You don't expect people to give you up the cabin and the deck too, do you?"

"I expect nothing from you, sir," said Mr. Seers, with a flush of indignation, "which a gentleman would require or a gentleman bestow."

"What do you mean by that?" demanded Barnett, coming close up to him with a clinched fist held threateningly just behind him.

"I can have but one meaning," replied Seers, folding his arms.

"You wouldn't dare to brave me so," cried Barnett, with a contemptuous laugh, "if you did not feel safe in your insignificance and helplessness."

"If I am insignificant and helpless," rejoined Mr. Seers, "why does Mr. Barnett select me as the object of his insults?"

"That's good!" interrupted Mr. Rivington, emphatically, "and you deserve it, young man."

"Pray keep your opinions to yourself, sir," retorted Barnett, in an under voice, for there was something in Mr. Rivington's figure and countenance which inspired respect as well as fear.

"Oh, my lad," said Rivington, with a quiet smile, "you have the power to prevent religious worship in the cabin, but not to prohibit conversation on deck, I believe."

"Who wants to prevent conversation?" demanded Barnett, fiercely; "d—n me, sir, who are you? and whom do you take me for?"

"I am a gentleman, very much disgusted with your bearing during this passage, and I take you to be an ill-educated boy, with a very weak understanding, and I should judge not a good heart, who knows what is due neither to himself nor to others."

"I'll be d—d, sir, if you sha'n't unsay that!" exclaimed Barnett.

"Then you'll be d—d without a doubt, for I shall not unsay it."

"If you are a gentleman, sir—"

"Oh, if," retorted Rivington, laughing. "You are very polite to apply that celebrated little word to me."

"And why not, sir, pray?" demanded Dr. Mason, coming to the support of his friend, with a swagger.

"Because if supposes a doubt," rejoined Mr. Rivington. "Respecting the claim of yourself and friend to the character of gentlemen, I hope you will agree with me there can be none."

"Certainly not, sir, certainly not," cried Mason, not exactly knowing what it was he was agreeing to.

Another laugh from various by-standers, who had collected in a circle, now made Mason almost as enraged as his comrade.

"Are you presuming to quiz us, sir?" demanded Barnett, in a manner intended to intimidate.

"Yes, I am," replied Rivington.

"Why, damme, sir! that's an insult!" said Barnett.

"I meant it as one," replied Rivington.

"You dare not refuse to give me the satisfaction of a gentleman!"

"Oh, yes, I dare; I dare refuse to give you anything that can't possibly belong to you!"

"Do I understand you to say, sir," interrupted Dr. Mason, with a swagger, "that you decline meeting Mr. Barnett?"

"Of course I do, if possible, either as a friend or an enemy."

"Then, sir," cried Barnett, with a swagger of importance and triumph, "I shall post you for a coward."

"Thank you; it will save me the trouble of posting you for a fool!" rejoined Rivington, laughing heartily and good-naturedly, and without at all altering his usual manner.

A general laugh announced that the scene, so threatening in its commencement, had now changed into one of mere merriment, and appeared to overcome the young men with rage and shame. They sneaked away to plot some other better method of revenge than seemed procurable by their conversational abilities.

It was very soon observed, however, that the several outrages they had committed with impunity, and particularly their discovery that the gentlemen on board would not fight them, added to their impudence and audacity. They strutted about the deck all day, making whispered remarks to each other, and then laughing aloud, smoking, drinking, and swearing, and intentionally annoying their fellow-passengers. They had now attacked both Mr. Seers and Rivington without any particular danger or inconvenience, for they were not persons to feel to their full extent the "whips and scorns" of superior wit. Harry had an idea he himself might be their next object. He had been delighted with the admirable manner in which Mr. Rivington had met their vulgar attacks. There was something in that gentleman's age, appearance, and manners which rendered such a mode of self-defence proper. He was too old and dignified a man to be engaged in brawls and duels, at least with such characters. But Harry was young and hot, and he inwardly vowed to pursue a different course, should the least occasion present itself.

CHAPTER XVIII.

The voyage was now nearly completed. It had been, luckily, free from storms, and, generally speaking, favoured with pleasant weather, although long delayed by head winds, and sometimes by no wind at all. Harry grew more and more happy. When he thought of home and Fanny Elton, his mind shaded over sometimes with sadness, but he found it every day more easy to shake off this amiable weakness, and to forget Miss Elton he resolved to make the first purpose of his life. What, with the various incidents of the ship, the anticipations of soon seeing England, and the attachment, each day more strong and familiar, which had mutually arisen between him and the Rivingtons, he had scarcely found time to think of ennui. As to the two persons last mentioned, he fairly loved them; they appeared to love him also, and to enjoy a certain benevolent amusement in hearing his opinions, anticipations, and raptures about Europe. The approaching end of the voyage, and disembarcation at Portsmouth, and their return to the great, mighty, gigantic London, appeared to interest them less for themselves than for their pleasure in beholding the effect on him, as an old theatre-goer enjoys the amazement and delight of an intelligent child for the first time introduced into that magical scene, much more than he does the scene itself.

The captain's daily reckoning was now listened to with intense anxiety, and his announcement that they would make land that same day was received with a profound satisfaction, of which mere "land-lubbers" can have but a very feeble idea. The breakfast to-day was ominously fine, and the dinner appeared to have no object on earth except to throw the breakfast into the shade. Champage was added to the usual fare, and carried to a yet higher point the good-humour of the passengers, which even before seemed to admit of no augmentation.

After dinner Mr. Rivington, having chatted as a man might with his son (for there is nothing which creates so close an intimacy as a sea-voyage, between people of a kindred nature), had taken a seat and a book. Harry offered Miss Rivington his arm, and they began talking and pacing the deck.

"I think you said that you had been but little in the United States," remarked Harry, for he had long ago discovered his friends to be English.

"My father has an estate in the West Indies. It required the presence of a confidential agent. My father was not very well. My health, also, was rather delicate, so he was advised by the physicians to give both himself and me the benefit of the voyage. It was our intention to have seen much of the United States, but he was called to London by business, and we were obliged to leave at once. We saw your sweet Hudson and magnificent Niagara, however."

"Of what profession is your father?" asked Harry, with all the frankness of a sea-friend in the last days of the voyage.

"What should you think?" asked she, smiling.

"Well, let me see," said Harry, thoughtfully, measuring with his eyes the quiet, noble form of the plainly-dressed but gentlemanly-looking person, who sat reading at a little distance. "A physician? the army? an author? a lawyer? a merchant?"

These guesses were replied to by a smiling negative on the part of Miss Rivington, who was greatly amused by them, and who at length said:

"You must not think too badly of him when I confess that he is not anything."

"Is London your residence?"

"Sometimes."

"And sometimes the country. How delightful! Do you know I look upon you with extreme curiosity, Miss Rivington, as one who has seen and knows London and England."

"And I look on you with equal interest, as one who has never seen London. It seems to me impossible a person can have lived a whole lifetime, and occupied himself and been happy, and never seen London. I hope you will let us see you when we get home."

"If you will allow me to renew my acquaintance."

"Oh, say to continue, not renew," said Miss Rivington, laughing; "for it is not going to be broken off, I hope."

"What is a good hotel in London?" inquired Harry.

"Really," replied Miss Rivington, "there are so many; there are some rather expensive, but you have no wife, and don't wish to dazzle. I should recommend L—'s hotel, in Bond-street."

"It is in a good neighbourhood, at all events! Bond-street is a term in the language for splendour and fashion."

"Oh dear, Bond-street is not splendid; it is a very plain-looking street. You mustn't have too high expectations. All London is plain, indeed: a dark, black, dull-looking place. You must not expect the bright architecture and hanging gardens of Athens or Babylon."

"What I am most interested in seeing," said Harry, "is your distinguished persons. We have heard all our lives of these great names, and we naturally wish to behold them. What should you say, now, if I possessed the ability to raise up before you any personage of history? whom would you most like to see?"

"Napoleon, Dante, Shakspeare, and your own Washington. But I hope, if you really have such miraculous power," she added, laughing, "you would not confine me to so few."

"Well, I feel, on entering London, as if I had acquired such a power; and I shall be as much thrilled with curiosity and delight in first beholding Moore, Peel, Lyndhurst, Rogers, etc., as you would be on having raised up before you, on the deck of this ship, Pontius Pilate or Pliny."

"You Americans are the most enthusiastic beings on earth, I believe," observed she.

"Did you ever seen Moore?"

"I know him very well," replied Miss Rivington.

"I should have asked you if you knew him at once, but the simplicity of us Americans in coming abroad is to be borne in mind. The expression `do you know Moore?' has in it something as extraordinary to me as `do you know Nebuchadnezzar?' or `have you seen Anacreon lately?"'

At this moment, just from their after-dinner wine, Dr. Mason and Mr. Barnett came on deck, and began pacing to and fro so as to meet Harry and his companion at every turn.

"Those interesting gentlemen!' said Miss Rivington: "I am really afraid of them since they got what the captain calls such a `regular sitting down' from my father."

"If I dare ask so much confidence in me, I beg you will not gratify them by going away."

And they continued their walk. Closer and closer came Mr. Barnett each time they passed, till at length, although the young lady shrank perceptibly away from the contact, she received a by no means equivocal push with his shoulder. Harry's quick blood mounted. He disengaged her from his arm, turned upon the offender, and knocked him down. He rose with a frightful oath, and rushed upon Harry, who coolly knocked him down again. A second time he rose, and, with desperate rage, leaped again on his foe, but stopped short on beholding his cool, stern attitude and flashing eyes.

"Mason, come down stairs here," he cried, and, pulling his friend violently along, they descended into the cabin, to do, no one could conjecture what.

A general exclamation of the passengers applauded the course of Harry, who did not seem at all flustered by the circumstance.

Mr. Rivington smiled, and, shaking him by the hand, said, "You're a true John Bull, Mr. Lennox, and I'm very much obliged to you. I'm quite sure you may now pace the deck all day with my daughter, and they will not be impertinent again. But where's the enemy?"

"I'll tell you," said Harry; "they're gone down stairs, probably, for pistols."

Miss Rivington turned pale.

"Don't be alarmed, Miss Rivington, either at their measures or mine. That they are bullies is plain enough, and as despicable cowards as ever breathed. Did you see him stop when he came up to me the second time, and quail when I looked at him? He has gone down for pistols. I am a shot, however, such as is rarely seen. I venture to boast, because I can give you proofs of my skill. These men will never dare to proceed to extremities. They count on our contempt, on the interference of the captain, or the police when we land, etc., etc., etc. Let us be repaid for all the annoyance they have been to us, by amusing ourselves with them, and, should they really not back out before the matter goes so far, I shall exhibit to them evidence of my skill which will bring down their courage."

All agreed. The captain said he would not have any serious affair occur on board his ship, but he was so convinced they were a pair of cowardly poltroons, that he promised not to interfere.

"Now, sir," cried Mason, coming up with a note, "I have to request your perusal of this document, which requires you to name a friend. There, sir, put that in your pipe and smoke it."

Harry read the challenge, and immediately referred the bearer to Mr. Rivington.

"You will be so good," said Harry to the latter, "as to bring this affair to an immediate conclusion."

"I see no occasion for consultation," remarked Mr. Rivington, gravely; "your weapons, I suppose, are pistols?"

"Certainly; and I have them ready below with powder and balls."

"Ten paces," said Rivington, "and fire when I say three; and the time of meeting?"

"The daybreak of the morning after our arrival at Portsmouth," replied Mason; "the very, very first morning, sir."

Barnett, who stood by and heard this colloquy, turned pale.

"No, I cannot then attend to it," said Rivington. "I have an affair of the same kind in my hand on that day."

"Well, as soon as you possibly can," said Barnett, unable to repress his relief.

"You had better arrange this little matter here?"

"What, on board the ship?"

"Certainly; now, this moment."

"Agreed!" said Mason, firmly; "I have no objections."

"Agreed!" echoed Barnett, in a somewhat fainter voice.

"Here are no policemen," said Rivington, "no magistrates, and those impertinent meddlers. Here we can do it perfectly at our ease."

"But the captain," stammered Barnett, in vain endeavouring to keep up his swagger.

"Oh, pray don't mind me," remarked the captain.

"Well, gentlemen," said Rivington, "it is arranged, then. You have pistols, I think you said, Mr. Barnett?"

"Y-y-yes—that is—no. My pistols are not ready for immediate use. They want cleaning and some repairs."

"Oh, I have pistols," remarked Harry; "I never travel without them, or part with them even when at home. My greatest pleasure is practising with them, which I have not failed in these ten years scarcely a day. I'll go down and get them."

He went down, and presently reappeared with a box, which, on opening, presented, sure enough, a fine glittering pair of rather large duelling pistols, with the necessary appurtenances of powder and ball.

"Captain," said Harry, "put a board up there, will you? Not having used them since I left shore, my hand may be a little out. I can see a sensible difference in my aim if I neglect one day's practice; besides, they must be reloaded."

The captain ordered a plank, chalked a circle on it about as large as a man's head, to which it bore a ludicrous resemblance from the provisional eyes, nose, and mouth, and a large quantity of outstanding hair with which it was adorned, and ordered a sailor to set it up in such a way as to permit its being fired at.

"For Heaven's sake!" exclaimed Miss Rivington, turning a little pale, and putting her hands over her ears.

"What, you ain't afraid of pistols, ma'am, are you?" asked Barnett, with a hysterical attempt at a composed laugh, which died away, however, utterly from his lengthened, ugly countenance, when Harry, at a good, long distance, and apparently without any effort, sent the ball directly through the unhappy chalked head, for which Barnett exhibited more sympathy than he had probably ever before felt for anything in his life.

"Ah, ha!" exclaimed Harry, in a business-like tone; "let us try the other."

He discharged it accordingly, and again the ball struck the unfortunate head, while a murmur of real admiration became audible among the delighted spectators, too happy in having the monotony of a sea-voyage relieved by such a scene.

To say that Barnett was pale as a sheet would be to pay most laundresses a compliment.

"Load them, Rivington, will you?" said Harry.

"Damnation!" cried Barnett. "Do you think to frighten me in this way? But this is no time or place: the captain will not, I fear, permit us to proceed; for I shall make this a damn bloody thing, I can tell you—damn me!"

"Oh!" said the captain, "I have no more right to keep a man who has paid his passage on board a packet ship from fighting a duel, if it amuses him, than I have to prevent his walking the deck or laughing in church; I should be afraid of getting in the wrong box. A captain's business is with his ship, you know."

"But before ladies!" stammered Barnett.

"Oh, don't mind us," said Miss Rivington.

"Measure the ground, Rivington," exclaimed Harry, impatiently.

His friend took ten short paces, and marked the positions with a piece of chalk.

"Time flies!" said Harry, taking his pistol and his place.

"Perhaps the ladies had better go down stairs," said Rivington, with profound gravity.

"No, we'll retire into the round-house," said Miss Rivington.

"I will go so far as to say that it was merely accident that made me push against Miss Rivington," exclaimed Barnett. "It was the rolling of the ship."

"Don't make any apology," said Mason, fiercely.

"My friend Mr. Lennox requests me to say that, if he survives this affair, he shall give Dr. Mason the pleasure of a shot with him; if not, that honour will fall to me," said Rivington, with a stern look.

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Lennox," cried Barnett, walking close up to him. "I cannot massacre you in this way, when I feel myself to have been the aggressor," and he suddenly discharged his pistol in the air.

"I can't accept an apology, sir," said Harry, firmly. "You must load again!"

At this moment the man at the mast cried out, "Land ahead!" which the captain said was the Scilly Islands.

"Never!" cried Barnett. "At such a moment as this I can no longer entertain feelings of revenge or anger. You may fire at me if you will: I am not afraid of you, but I will not be frightened into anything—damn me!"

"Your magnanimity," exclaimed Harry, "is no more than I expected, and equals your courage. I have always found that the most brave are the most generous. For sparing my life in this chivalric manner, your own feelings must be a sufficient reward; if not, you must find the honour you will gain by this circumstance an ample compensation."

"Don't mention it, I beg," said Barnett, with a mock-heroic air, which infinitely amused the spectators.

The scene, indeed, had been exquisite, and in its full breadth of caricature was so far beyond what could have been thought possible, that, while it reduced the two heroes to a most inimitable tone of quiet politeness, it carried the good humour of the rest of the company to its highest point. Harry gained "golden opinions from all sorts of people." Captain, mates, crew, and passengers were enthusiastic in their admiration; and as Master Barnett had not only received such lessons in his attempts at colloquial display, but had been so severely "punished" in another way, and as everybody saw in the exposed bully only an object of contempt and ridicule, it appeared to be universally understood, by tacit consent, that the tone of mock admiration assumed by Harry should be followed up. The poor devils, therefore, found themselves, during the rest of the period of their stay on board, quite amazed and bewildered by general tokens of exaggerated respeet, which they knew not whether to consider real or ironical. Every one took off his hat to them with a sweeping, profound salutation. Everybody turned widely and ostentatiously out of their way. The ladies made them timid courtesies: the captain asked if everything on board the ship was to their liking. Never was a pair of braggarts honoured with such gratifying attention, and never did braggarts receive attentions with blushes more like those of modest merit, accidentally discovered and brought to light. At dinner everybody drank wine. The steward was ordered to serve them first. Their opinion was asked by everybody on all possible occasions, and all regretted such a rich hoax had not been put in operation at an earlier period.

CHAPTER XIX.

But now this happy voyage was over; for happy it was to all but the sad mother and father, who, however, had found such substantial friends in Rivington and Lennox as were likely to guard them from future want. Harry was in a state of exquisite excitement, more like an enchanting dream than sober reality, and opened as his heart was by these novel and delicious sensations, he gave vent to his feelings in all the eloquence of his nature, to the constant admiration and amusement of his more quiet friends the Rivingtons. These amiable people took extreme delight in his freshness of character, his intelligence and nobleness of disposition, which could never appear to more advantage. With a sort of incredulous rapture, he beheld at last that little bit of blue, the first dim herald of the mighty old Europe. A fine breeze carried them swiftly along up the Channel, over water now smooth as a summer lake. The passengers appeared in new clothes and with shaved faces. The sky was bright, the air balmy. Everybody was animated. The very turkeys, and hens, and sheep, had a contented look; the very cock began to reassume his magisterial bearing (which, at one or two windy points of the passage, had been rather laid aside!).

Ah, what is there on this earth so delightful as the American's first approach to England, his venerable and beloved mother? If it may be said without irreverence, it more resembles the sensations of a blessed spirit which has just passed the dark valley of the shadow of death, and rises into the enchantment of a new and brighter existence. The limpid, idle water has lost all its terrors, and the threatening wind sinks from a sublime and despotic fiend into the softest and sweetest of playful angels, and weeds and branches are seen floating around, lately washed from the near shore, and Mother Carey's chickens have long since disappeared with the flying froth of the tumbling billows, and land birds come singing in gay flocks from the yet unseen European groves, and English and French porpoises are tumbling together in amity, and a delicious, sunshiny atmosphere of hope and happiness wafts onward the good ship, after all her dangers, over the surface of the beautiful and lucid sea. Now do you behold all sorts of vessels passing you outward bound, and fishing-smacks lie scattered around, and give a supply of fresh fish to add to breakfasts and suppers which already seem perfect, and the pilot, a silent, weather-beaten English face, comes on board with newspapers, and your bewildered and half-incredulous fellow-passengers, on learning that the breeze is fair for landing that very afternoon, appear newly clad in still more fine clothes, so that you scarcely know them. Everything speaks the end of the mighty traverse. The poor captain looks like an ex-monarch. He who was regarded at sea with such profound veneration, the oracle of that mysterious and awful world, now stands with his hands in his pantaloon's pockets, unquestioned, uncared for, an actor off the stage.

Harry was giddy with delight as he beheld, at last, the soft, sweet shore close at his side, and heard the new (and yet so old!) names of Dorset, Cornwall, Devonshire, Cowes, and Leamington, for they were gliding up to Portsmouth. Scenes, bright as if just from the easel, met his eyes. Old castles covered with ivy, antique towns, orchards and roads, gardens and hills, vales and creeks, peaceful cot and opulent palace, foliage and flowers, rock and hill, steeped in shadow and sunshine, all soft as a vision, all harmonious as music, all beautiful and pure as Heaven itself; and the land odours were upon the air, and the land sounds came floating to his ear, the barking of a dog, the lowing of a cow, and the ringing of a bell.

"Oh!" exclaimed he, as Miss Rivington stood on one side of him and her father on the other, answering his questions, but not interrupting his enchantment by unbidden information, for they felt he was enjoying a rare sensation, perhaps granted only once or twice in a lifetime.

"Oh," cried he, while his handsome face was all lighted with soul, "this is ecstasy. This it is to travel; and I have crossed the Atlantic; I am looking on England! England! beautiful, merry, brave, time-worn, warlike, intellectual, immortal England!"

"Yes, there she is," said Miss Rivington, and her own eyes, if not wet, were not quite dry; "there's my country."

"I protest," said Harry, "that the spirits of the past seem hovering around me in the air and welcoming me to these renowned and hallowed shores. King and queen, fierce noble and unshrinking commoner, poet and statesman, orator and author, Shakspeare and Scott, Charles and Cromwell, Burke and Chatham, Elizabeth and Mary, the past and the present, all crowding together in my mind. Hail! great parent! Hail! England!"

If these rhapsodies read rather wild on shore, they had no such appearance in the high-wrought excitement which reigned around him, nor did the Rivingtons see in them other than the manifestations of a clever, ingenuous, and very warm-hearted young man under circumstances well-calculated to awaken lively emotions.

The ship at length came to anchor off the town of Portsmouth. The usual visit of the government officer was made, a pretty, yacht-like boat was sent by the packet agent to bring the passengers ashore, and Harry, with a thrill, at length placed his foot on English ground .

His pleasure was a little dampened by the necessary separation from the Rivingtons, who said they had friends in Portsmouth, where they should first repair; that they might possibly go up to London without delay. Rivington, on parting with him on the quay, shook him warmly by the hand. His daughter, who, without the least idea of love on either side, had learned to entertain for him a sincere friendship, did the same.

"You will find me at No. — Grosvenor-street," said Rivington; "come and see me when you get in town."

And so they parted.

The doctor and his friend were not visible after landing. The unfortunate parents were not forgotten by Harry in his whirl of delightful sensations. He inquired particularly where they were going to put up, what their prospects were, and what they were going to do. He found he had been, however, anticipated by Rivington, who, besides a rather ample donation of glittering English gold, had given them his address in London, with a promise to do something for them. On their way up from the ship he requested them to stop with him into a book-store, where, remembering the scene in the steerage cabin, he bought a plain, well-printed Bible and prayer-book, and presented them to his unfortunate protegée.

With tears in their eyes, the poor people made him their parting salutations.

"This Rivington is really a fine fellow, and a true Englishman," said Harry to himself, as he took possession of his room at the Ship Hotel. "I wonder who he is?"

If anything on earth can be more delightful than the deck of a ship on approaching the end of a voyage, it is the wellfurnished, neat, and comfortable apartments of an English hotel: the different sort of meals you get from those on ship-board, the admirable attendance; in short, everything you see, hear, taste, and feel. Harry had brought Mr. Seers up with him. That excellent young man, although he regarded him as a mere enthusiast, was so pure, sincere, and intelligent, that he could not have wished a more agreeable companion. They spent a day together at Portsmouth; went to see Netley Abbey, and wandered round the town; breakfasted, dined, and supped—at least, so it appeared to them—as if each had been the autocrat of all the Russias: the fine, fresh fruit, the very sweet butter, the uncommonly nice soles with shrimp sauce (did the reader ever eat sole with shrimp sauce?), the first-rate tea, milk, and beefsteaks. The fact is, so perfectly happy were they, that Harry spouted with Othello, "If it were now to die, 'Twere now to be most happy; for I fear My soul hath her content so absolute, That not another comfort like to this Succeeds in unknown fate;" while Seers, who, when brought out, was full of sensibility and humour, proposed, with half-sincere gravity, to proceed no farther in their travels, but spend the rest of their lives happily at the Ship Hotel. Right heartily did they laugh over their voyage, and the glorious denouement of the little tragedy in which the two turkey-cocks, Mason and Barnett, had played such distinguished parts; while sometimes their sunshine was shaded by the remembrance of the sad events which had deprived the poor emigrants of their family. At length it was agreed that they should start the next day for London on the outside of a stage-coach, with which both were well acquainted (as who is not?) through the pen of the immortal Irving (whose health they drank with a right hearty blessing on his chaste and tender genius).

Harry retired to his room, to sleep for the first time in a foreign country; but he could not sleep. The transcendent loveliness of the night, the cloudless sky, burning and glittering all over with stars, the only familiar objects which reminded him of home, the broad, full moon just opposite his window, slowly ascending up the hushed and magnificent heavens, and the soft air wafting into his apartment the land odours of which he had been so long deprived, disposed his mind for tender revery. He sat by the window, he knew not how long, lost in silent, sweet thought, fond dreams of the past and images of home mingling with vague, high aspirations of future bliss. Only the idea of Fanny Elton awakened a discord in the general harmony, which seemed to wrap earth, the heavens, and his own soul in one tranquil emotion of tender delight.

"Ah, Fanny!" he thought, "if to all this I could be convinced you were not unworthy! if I had not heard those scornful words, and if Emmerson himself had not told me what he did, at this delicious moment I would dismiss all doubt from my mind, and my happiness would be complete, full, perfect. Perhaps she now sits also in solitary thought; perhaps she gazes on those flashing stars, that spotted moon."

And he gazed and gazed, lover-like, lost in a tide of soft associations.

"It is nonsense," at length he said: "it is but a boyish weakness. Years—travel will overcome it. In the mean time, let me enjoy myself. Her ungrateful and capricious conduct shall not prevent it. The world is bright before me. Who says it is not a happy one? Whining moralists and lying priests. It is at least happy enough for me. I ask no better, want no other. I have health, wealth, an affectionate, merry home: I have before me the most brilliant tour possible. After a few dazzling years abroad, I will return, and forget in the sober duties and mature pleasures of a man, boyhood's once sweet and tender dream of love."

As he spoke he perceived the sky had changed its appearance. The yellow moon had assumed a silver cast; a new, pearly lustre had overspread the heavens, and the smaller of the but now glittering stars had disappeared, while the few large ones had paled their yellow beams. It was morning, which, in the far northern latitude of England, and at this period of mid-summer, is visible in the east almost before the radiance of the dying yesterday has faded from the western horizon.

"Another day and another night! Do they flow so quickly, and am I so far and to be so long separated from the still lovely, still beloved?"

CHAPTER XX.

Notwithstanding his romantic night reveries, Harry was up, refreshed, and in scarcely repressible spirits, in time to partake with Seers of as good a breakfast as the most respectful of landlords could provide for the most hungry of guests, and which in no way impaired the agreeable state of his sensations. The day was again one of those preternaturally bright ones with which Nature blesses the foggy, "sea-girt isle" at this season, as if in compensation for her indifferent generosity during the rest of the year. The sky and atmosphere of Naples seemed transferred to the particular road over which the coach took its way with our hero, feeling more like a healthy, young Nemæan lion than a mere man; and such a road, and such enthusiastic admiration as it inspired our two travellers with, and such questions as they asked the coachman, and such astonishment as the latter evinced to be asked such questions by Englishmen, and such still farther amazement as he was thrown into on discovering they were Americans, and such unaffected and highly gratifying compliments as he paid them on the "wery excellent manner in vich they spoke the English langvedge," and such questions as he asked about Jerusalem when he found they were from the United States! and such a famous lunch as they took, and such a fluttering at the heart as Harry experienced as they approached London, and such an immense, endless, black, crowded, busy, stupendous sort of place as it seemed to be, and such glances as he cast around him to see any one who might be Moore, or Wellington, or the king; and, in short, if the reader have any sort of experience in the composition of this sort of historical narrative, he must see at once that to describe it all is impossible. Besides, we are not quite certain we ought to tell the simple feelings which roll through the mind of a susceptible young Yankee on coming abroad for the first time. This, however, Harry himself was afterward heard to confess, that he was as much astonished on seeing Piccadilly and Hyde Park Corner, as the boy in the story was on being shown, for the first time, the useful and celebrated letter A!

A hackney-coach brought the two wanderers safe and sound to L—'s Hotel in Bond-street. Harry first indulged himself in a short walk, in which, somewhat to his disappointment, though he knew all the while how ridiculous it was, he did not see St. Paul's, Drury Lane, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Palace, the Parliament House, the Tower, and the Monument all standing together in a row to be looked at, and in which, although he met many people, he did not see O'Connell, or Lord Byron, or Shakspeare, or Scott, or Lord Chatham, or Falstaff, or Richard the Third, didn't have his pockets picked, and didn't, in short, meet with any astounding adventures whatever. He then returned to the hotel to as nice a dinner as could possibly be prepared, and ate it, in company with Seers, with as nice an appetite as a reasonable man might wish to have.

It would give us infinite pleasure to go on in this way, and describe each one of his sensations as the wonderful metropolis broke gradually upon him, what absurd American ideas were now and then corrected, what surprises and delights he experienced, and so forth. But the fact is, he got through with several days in such a confused, exquisite sort of way that it would be difficult to render any coherent account. At the end of that time, however, he began to subside a little. He had graduated himself to the dimensions and peculiarities of the place he was in, and began to have a dim recollection that he lived in the nineteenth century, and that there were various personages mentioned in English history and literature who possibly might have other occupations than walking about the streets of London to be stared at by very green young Yankee travellers.

Seers was to start for the Continent in a day or two, and before he went they both bethought them of their promise to their old, good-natured sea comrade, Rivington. Having hunted up his address, which Harry had taken in his pocketbook, and inquired the proper calling hour, they repaired to Grosvenor-street.

The house was rather a stately one, and both the visiters fancied they had made some mistake as they rang the bell. A dignified-looking man, in a plain livery, with powdered hair, opened the door, and to their query, if Mr. Rivington lived there, replied with an air of some surprise, but very respectfully,

"The Earl of Rivington lives here. His lordship is at home. Shall I take your names?"

"The Earl of Rivington!" echoed Harry.

"His lordship!" said Seers, stepping back. "Oh no, certainly not; we have mistaken the house."

The servant waited with deference their ultimate conclusion. Seers was for going back at once, but Harry had a different idea.

"Pray, has his lordship lately been absent from England?" he inquired.

"His lordship returned a few days ago from—ah! perhaps," continued the man, still more respectfully, "you are the two American gentlemen who came with his lordship from America?"

"Yes, yes," replied Harry, not quite concealing his astonishment.

"Let us go back!" whispered the modest Seers, blushing very much. "An earl! bless me! I have no desire to—"

"No, let us go in," said Harry.

"You were expected," said the servant, "some days ago."

The man led them to the broad stairs, where they were received by another, who conducted them through several lofty and richly-furnished rooms, into one which belonged to a side apartment. Here they were left a few moments alone, struck with the elegance and opulence of all they saw, and the beauty of various marble statues, and large and splendid paintings which adorned the walls. Seers, who had probably pursued a path of humble obscurity and simple poverty, scarcely dared sit on the deep fauteuils, but, after attempting one, rose with a new blush, and took a place on the edge of a large damask chair. Harry had seen luxury before, but he was rather curious to see how the distinguished nobleman, whom he had been so very free and easy with for the last few weeks, would receive his humble travelling companions in their own character.

"Why, Mr. Lennox," whispered Seers, "isn't this an extraordinary adventure?"

"Yes, but a pleasant one."

"I don't know, really; I certainly had rather be well out of it. What if there be ladies with him!"

"Well, you're not afraid of ladies, I hope!"

"But will he come in his own dress, just as usual, do you think? or have earls any particular costume?"

"What! cap and ostritch-feathers, and velvet robes, do you think," said Harry, laughing, "like a stage nobleman?"

"At least," said Seers, "it's very embarrassing to feel such an immense difference between one man and another, to stand before a fellow-creature as if he were a—a—"

"Pooh! nonsense!"

"And to have people looking down upon you with their high greatness, and asking you to kneel like Mordecai the Jew at the king's gate. When he was incog. he was, of course, very civil; but now, I don't believe he can be pleased to see such an humble man as I in his royal halls: I think I'll go back."

"No, no," said Harry, laughing, and holding him by the arm. "You shan't stir a step. The Earl of Rivington is a gentleman, as you are, and a gentleman is the same in all countries and all ranks. He asked you to his house, and— hush, some one comes."

The door was opened, and the object of their fears entered with a rapid step and a delighted smile, and, taking the hand of each in succession, but first of Seers, in both of his, said:

"I beg a thousand pardons for detaining you. I had a person with me. How do you do?"

"I'm very well, your lordship, very well indeed," said Seers, with the most unlimited blush he had ever been seen to produce. "I am, in short, your lordship—perfectly well."

"You have deceived us," said Harry. "I was quite ignorant we were honoured with the acquaintance of the Earl of Rivington."

"I shall consider that title a misfortune if it make the least alteration in our friendship," replied the earl. "But you are standing. Now, then, what have you been doing with yourself? Where have you been? Have you seen anything of London?"

"A part of it," said Harry.

"A part of it, my lord," echoed Seers.

"And how do you get on, Mr. Seers? You look so well, if you left home in search of health, I hope you will not be obliged to go farther."

"Oh yes, my lord; I am going to the Continent in a day or two."

"But you must not go without seeing something more of our famous little island. I have been expecting you several days."

"May I inquire after—after—"

"My daughter? Oh, she is getting on famously, and raves about her voyage. She'll be delighted to see you, and will be here in a moment. She will not forget in a hurry the noble reply you made, Mr. Seers, to that sad fellow, Mr. Barnett."

Seers bowed and blushed, and got himself more at ease on the chair, which before he had scarcely touched.

"Ah, there she is. Here are our friends at last, my dear."

"Are you not ashamed of yourselves, both of you?" she said, giving her hand, with pleasure beaming from her face too plainly to be affected; "we thought you had forgotten us."

"You have given us such a pretty romantic adventure," said Harry, "that forgetfulness for the future is quite out of the question."

"Where are you staying? Ah, at L—'s; well, I must insist upon Mr. Seers putting off his departure for a few days. We must not let him go away without doing the honours of our Old England for him. You must come into the country for a week, and we must show you a little more of the town than mere passing strangers see—and—"

"My lord," said a servant, opening the door, "the Duke of G—."

Seers started and blushed again.

"Two American friends, Mr. Lennox, Mr. Seers," said the earl.

"You're just from America, I suppose?" inquired the duke.

"Yes," said Harry; "and I believe I have the honour of bringing you a letter of introduction."

"Delighted to meet you," said the Duke of G—.

And a light, laughing, lively conversation of several minutes ensued, in which both Harry and Seers were unconsciously made to bear a part, and in which they already felt as much at their ease as when chatting on the deck of their old packet-ship. Harry, however, though fascinated, rose to go, and the earl said:

"What! you have already learned to be so careful of your time? Well, off with you, then, if you are so wild; but you must come dine with me next Saturday at six—both of you."

"With the greatest pleasure," said Harry, while Seers blushed and bowed in speechless astonishment and delight at his previous fears of English aristocratic society.

"And before I let you go," added the earl, "I must have your promise to spend at least a week with me in the country, and to let me put you in the way of seeing something of the town."

The servant conducted them to the door, which was opened by another one with a bow, and the two young Americans, a few days after their arrival in London, found themselves at once in the very highest circle of that celebrated society, for which so many millionaires sigh and strive in vain, and under the friendly and familiar protection of one who, without farther inquiries, they had no difficulty in perceiving, was one of the wealthiest and most distinguished noblemen of England, as, on inquiry, they learned he was.

Seers was astounded.

"Why, they're delightful, superb people," said he. "I never felt more at ease in the company of my most intimate friends. I'm sure I never expected to be so sociable with a duke and an earl!"

CHAPTER XXI.

On returning to the hotel Seers found a letter for him. He became pale as he saw it, for it was sealed with black. While reading it he trembled violently, sank into a chair, and burst into tears.

Harry had learned to love this young man for his purity and gentleness, his warm heart and intelligent mind, which, though he was totally unacquainted with the world, was richly stored with the knowledge to be derived from books. Harry approached him with feeling, while Seers wept in silence.

"What is it, my dear friend?"

"My wife!" murmured he. "We were all in all to each other. She gave up a little income of her own in order to enable me to come abroad. She refused to accompany me from motives of economy. I left her in perfect health, and now she's dead—dead—dead!" and he repeated the word, as if he had forgotten all other things in that tremendous idea. An interesting scene followed, in which Harry manifested the deepest sympathy and attempted to offer consolation. At length the poor fellow took his hand and said,

"I thank you for your sympathy, Mr. Lennox; but, for the present, leave me."

For a moment Harry hesitated, almost apprehensive lest the sudden and violent shock might lead to some act of desperation; but, on looking at the face of his unfortunate friend, his streaming and upraised eyes, and the tranquil resignation which even acute anguish did not deprive him of, he felt ashamed of his suspicion, and still more ashamed of the manner in which he himself had met the first (and, compared with the present affliction of Seers, how insignificant!) shock he had received from the displeasure of Miss Elton, when he for a moment proposed to terminate his existence. He went out, therefore, and, his heart swelling with compassion, left him alone.

The whole of that day and the next Seers kept his chamber, refusing to receive even his friend. In the afternoon of the third day, however, he sent for Harry, and met him with a calm and even cheerful smile. A Bible lay open before him.

"Well, my dear Mr. Lennox, it is over," said he; and, though his eyes were continually wet, he did not weep. "You would not believe me if I were to describe to you how calm, cheerful, and happy I am; how this loss has purified and elevated me; how much more spiritual and intellectual it has made me. I now possess two inexhaustible sources of delight, which, although they existed before, were not visible to me in their true value. One is the recollection of her, the spotless purity of her mind, the inexhaustible tenderness of her nature, and the angelic sweetness of her temper. From this, when it renders me too sad, I turn to the second. I paint the wished-for, happy moment when death shall relieve me from the cares and griefs of life, and I shall meet her once more, a radiant angel, never to be separated again."

Harry saw it relieved him to speak, and he, therefore, suffered him to go on without interruption. As he now raised his face, beaming with hope and pleasure, he addressed him with feeling and sincerity on the subject of his loss.

"But, after all," continued he, "notwithstanding your grief, how happy you are! I have never lost a friend. I don't know what death is; I cannot fancy what effect it would have on me. Should I ever suffer such a calamity, I shall think of you; I shall do more—I shall envy you."

"Here," said Seers, laying his hand on the Bible, "I find consolation for all grief, solution to all mystery, advice for every situation. You are an unbeliever; but you will come to it one of these days."

Harry shook his head.

"Indeed, I wish I could."

"Ah, my young friend, I once, like you, doubted, derided it all. Youth sees only the objections, of which there are some, apparently, unanswerable, I freely allow; but the united arguments in its favour are infinitely more so. A subject so vast—a scheme which commenced with the globe, runs through all human history, and, embracing the creation, the universe, and man, passes over death, and comprehends the ultimate destiny of the soul beyond the grave, and the final termination of sublunary things. So vast a subject may be supposed to contain some discrepancies, or, at least, what may appear so to us."

Harry listened with respectful attention and interest.

"What do you mean," inquired he, "for I am very ignorant on this subject, by the scheme of Christianity extending from the beginning of the world? Christianity is only eighteen hundred years old, is it not?"

"Have you ever examined the prophecies?"

"I have looked them over."

"Well! you are but a young pupil! but I'll tell you what," he added, cheerfully, "you shall go through a course of religious reading with me; it will not, believe me, be either a dull or a sad task. We will look into the evidences of Christianity together. It will relieve me" (and his eyes were full of tears while he spoke) "from a weak indulgence of grief, and I venture to hope you will either make me an infidel, or I shall convert you into a Christian."

"Yes, but," said Harry, "I have already examined; I have read the Bible continuously through; I have read Newton, Butler, and all that sort of thing."

"All that sort of thing!" echoed Seers. "But an examination, by a mind in such a state as yours, unaided by one more experienced, is sometimes likely to do more harm than good. Let us do it together. Let us leave London together: accompany me on to Italy, for I have now less cause to return to America than I had before. We will read and study the whole subject together; I will point out the way. It is the most important thing for you, for of what avail is it if a man gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Oh, you will find more happiness in this than in any other thing. One day in his courts is better than a thousand. You had better be a doorkeeper in the house of your God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. You will then be able to say, when misfortune overtakes you, as it has now overtaken me—and it will overtake you—you cannot expect to walk through this vale of tears unscathed—you will be able to say, as I do, `Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God."'

From whatever secret association, there was nothing which repelled Harry more than phrases quoted in conversation from the Scriptures. Strong in yet undisappointed hope and buoyant happiness, he felt a disagreeable impression from the sight of his friend's sorrow, nor was he pleased with the prediction of evil to himself. He therefore only replied:

"My good friend, you know I have come abroad to see Europe—not to study what I might better have studied at home. Besides, I am engaged to-day to dine with the Earl of Rivington, to go into the country with him, to pay a visit to the Duke of G—, to do a thousand things. You, also, are engaged to the earl, you know."

"He will require no better apology for my absence from his table and from London, than the sad event which has struck me, and which you will please to tell him. I shall start for the Continent to-morrow. I was wrong to press you too far, perhaps. Your time will doubtless come. In the mean while, we must bid good-by now. You are now going to dine with the earl, and will be late out. I shall go early in the morning, and we shall not see each other again."

"Good-by, my friend. We shall meet, doubtless, once more, when, I trust, time will have softened your anguish."

"Time!" said he: "I trust myself to Him who made time."

And so they parted, poor Seers to his sad thoughts and spiritual consolations; Harry to a scene of brilliant gayety and novel delight, which might well have dazzled an older person, and over his anticipations of which the light shadow caused by the grief and the prediction of Seers passed immediately away.

Time and space will not allow our relating at full the experience of our hero as a man of pleasure and fashion: how he found himself at dinner after he left Seers, in the midst of the most distinguished society that one of his own fancies would have conjured up; how every individual he sat by, when he heard him named, almost made him start; how Moore sat opposite him, and Lord Brougham near, and Sir Robert Peel on one side, and Mr. Bulwer on the other; and how the delightful young lady he had known as Miss Rivington smiled and whispered to him something about Pontius Pilate and Nebuchadnezzar, and how the earl was exactly like a father to him, and how much at ease and perfectly delighted he found himself in five minutes, and what a charming person Lady Rivington was, and what plans were made for his future sight-seeing, and how he had another invitation to pass a week or two at the enchanting seat of Lord H——, and how he went home from this dinner, and stopped in at the king's theatre to hear the most magnificent music in the world, and had the inexpressible pleasure of seeing Taglioni floating about the stage like a sylph, and how he did go out to the seat of his distinguished friend, though not before he had seen London pretty well and made some agreeable acquaintance, and how many letters he wrote to his father and Frank, describing all these fine things in the style of the Arabian Tales, and how anxious he was to have letters from home, and how he never had been, since his first birthday, one ten thousandth time so enchanted with life and this bright world. A poor time for the sad and spiritual Seers to ask him to leave London and all these fine things, and bury himself in studies of so grave a nature as religion.

Two weeks thus passed away, as time would naturally pass to such a young man, with such friends and under such circumstances.

In the very midst of it all, when his sky was the most cloudless and his prospect the brightest, the news of the bloody and inexplicable duel—of Frank's death—of his mother's almost fatal illness, and of the grief and despair of the family, burst upon him like a thunderbolt. It was communicated in a letter from his father, but in a style so different from his usual gayety, that the manner shocked Harry almost as much as the matter. The letter was not long, but, after simply detailing the event, their horror and wonder, concluded by requesting him to remain abroad, as it was the advice of the physician and the intention of Mr. Lennox to bring his wife and Mary to Europe in the course of the autumn. Emmerson also strongly advised it, and offered, with a disinterestedness characteristic of him, to bear the whole burden of the office till they should all return.

But for this injunction, Harry, in his anguish, would have sailed for New-York in the next ship. The blow was almost too much for him. He staggered into his room on finishing the letter, blind with tears, stunned, and in an agony of horror and despair. He could not believe it. The last letter of Frank was lying on his table, fresh from his hand; he could only exclaim, amid his bursting sobs, "Oh Frank, my brother! my beloved brother! shall I never see you more!"

Never was brother more tenderly beloved. In a moment all the splendid gayeties around him lost their charm. The sun seemed extinguished, Nature a dead blank, and the idea of future happiness utterly impossible.

CHAPTER XXII.

Colonel Nicholson saw the ruin he had caused with a vindictive delight. It soothed his wounded vanity and gratified his revenge. Glendenning, who had presumed to mate himself with him, had fallen into insignificance. White, whom he feared as much as he detested, had been obliged to act as the humble instrument of his friend's destruction and his own disgrace. Let not the reader suppose the character too darkly drawn. Life affords examples enough, although the unthinking world does not always become fully acquainted with them. When selfishness and ambition take possession of a character not blessed with the Divine light of religion, that character will go as far in the way of evil as its own interest will let it. The death of Frank, the desperate folly of Glendenning, who ran directly into the snare laid for him, his degradation from his rank, the resignation and departure of White, were all so many triumphs to Nicholson, while it rendered him more arrogant and inflated his ideas of his own importance to a yet higher degree. His ambition had been unusual before, now it was overweening. His parasites and flatterers, and they were not few, played upon his weakness and exaggerated it almost into a malady—a monomania. His demeanour to all whom he did not consider his equals became intolerable, and to insult every one near him (and who had not the means of resenting) from a vicious amusement became at length an unconscious habit. His exorbitant pomposity appeared to be pampered by the course of events, and, as if Providence were willing to punish such a character by displaying it fully in the broad sunshine, a circumstance occurred calculated to infect him with new arrogance, and to cause him to conceal his peculiarities with less caution.

This circumstance, by which, it seemed, the worse he grew, the more favoured he was with worldly success, was the sudden death of his elder brother, which was immediately followed by that of his father. By these events a princely estate and the title of Lord Middleton fell very unexpectedly to him, and he returned to England.

On reaching London, that love of display, which was one of his strongest passions, led him to an immediate assumption of a style dazzling even amid the splendours of this most dazzling of all metropolises. The once admired soir ées at Canada of the comparatively humble Lieutenant-colonel Nicholson were cast into the shade by the costly elegance and hospitality of Lord Middleton. Few gave more or better dinners. But however his love of show was gratified by this munificence, that was not his principal object. It had been always one of his strongest desires to receive a diplomatic appointment, and both his late father and brother had long been engaged in negotiations to this effect. If these negotiations had not been carried on with any particular prospect of success, they had kept the subject alive in the minds of certain distinguished persons in England, and they had kept alive the pleasing flame in the bosom of the great man himself, engaged in the arrogant and haughty duties of his distant post; and if they had been broken off by the death of the two noble applicants, it was only that they might be renewed with much more energy by the party principally concerned.

Among those who, unacquainted with the real character of the present Lord Middleton, had yielded to his solicitations and given him their influence, was the Earl of Rivington, and his influence was of a kind not likely to be exercised without effect. At the moment to which we now call the attention of the reader, he had exerted himself with so much sincerity that success appeared about to crown the most determined, the most brilliant desire which had ever swelled Lord Middleton's cold and pompous heart with the sweets of selfish triumph.

The Earl of Rivington had a seat about thirty miles from London, to which he was in the habit of resorting when business did not permit a more distant excursion, and where he constantly gave rendezvous to his noble friends. Here he lived with the freedom and simplicity of a farmer, though, it must be confessed, a farmer pretty well surrounded by the comforts and luxuries of life. Here he was staying at the opening of our present chapter.

Harry had become a familiar and very favourite guest in the family of his benevolent and distinguished old travelling companion, before the affecting intelligence of his brother's death had reached him. The high polish and thorough acquaintance with the world of the English nobleman, combined with his cultivated mind, open, warm heart, and easy manners, had presented to Harry something so fascinating, that he not only admired, but learned to love him almost as a father, and the freshness, intelligence, and ingenuousness of the young American, his warmth of heart, strength of mind, and straightforward sincerity and honesty of character, combined with (for so young a man) very considerable attainments and particularly pleasing manners and person, charmed the earl into an intimacy which became gradually a friendship. Long before the dreadful blow had fallen upon him, Harry had unbosomed himself to his illustrious host, who knew all about him, his unlucky affair with Miss Elton, his affectionate family relations, his generous, warm-hearted father, Frank's prompt and spirited character, and even little Seth's difficulties in finding a commodious resting-place for his hands and feet. He had brought to Europe with him, also, such letters of introduction as, when produced, did not at all check the earl's predisposition in his favour.

When in some degree recovered from the first effects of the appalling calamity which had fallen upon his family, and in pursuance of the advice and request of his father to wait in Europe, Harry resolved to spend a year or two in seeing England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and carried the plan into effect thoroughly, with great benefit to his mind, but not without a perceptible change in his health and happiness. He had found it impossible to bear, with anything like the philosophy of which he had been somewhat previously in the habit of boasting, the loss of Frank in such a way. Time seemed rather to strengthen than diminish its effects on his imagination.

No philosophy but one can afford consolation to grief for the dead without hardening the heart and narrowing the mind, and Harry was far too sensible and affectionate to seek relief in flippant forgetfulness or selfish pleasure.

In these two years his character had altered as much as his appearance. He had grown thin and pale. Death, the most tremendous of thoughts, had entered his mind; he had several times since his departure seen its effects upon others, but now it presented itself to him in a new aspect. He loved his brother so, he had been so much with him, all his plans and thoughts of life were so interwoven with him, that Frank formed a part of the world, of nature, in his imagination. This part of nature was now annihilated; one black, terrifice, and ominous blot had been dashed upon the picture, before all happiness and sunshine. He could hereafter do nothing without thinking of Frank; he could enjoy no pleasure, cherish no hope, overcome no difficulty, achieve no honour, accomplish no enterprise without being haunted by the shadow of Frank. Over his visit to Europe a frightful cloud had come—a cloud which could never be dissipated; and on his return home, among all the images which awaited him there, stood prominent and horrible, shrouded in unnatural gloom, the grave, the early, unhonoured, blood-stained grave of him who, until now, had been his brightest hope and surest reliance. By nature he was of a thoughtful and brooding disposition. There are men who can thus behold a beloved object struck suddenly down and mysteriously hurled from the arena, and yet forget, in their selfish interests, the solemn lesson. Harry was not one of those. He felt he could never forget, never recover from the shock. He could never be to others what he was; the world could never be what it had been to him.

But it was not grief alone from which he suffered; it was not only his heart which had been struck A new idea, and the most mighty and startling of all ideas to those who are not wholly possessed by mere vulgar, visible things, had entered his mind. Death, like some sublime discord, had made itself heard through the deep, universal harmony of nature. His meditations thus aroused, he saw, with horror, could never again be laid at rest. Death had been revealed to him; the scales had fallen from his eyes; the universe had become a new universe to him; the real had been transformed into the unreal. All the pomp and promise of the world had shrunk to a theatric spectacle; those he loved, to empty visions, destined to vanish at any moment; himself to an insect without any just value or rational object.

This state of mind prevented all the expected enjoyment of his year's travel, and counteracted, in a great degree, the desire of self-cultivation. Without faith in revelation, the idea of a future existence appeared ridiculous. Even grief for the loss he had sustained seemed a weakness, for why weep for or continue to love that which does not, which never can exist?

Exhausted by these reflections, he at length found a certain relief in the languor by which they were succeeded, though this languor itself soon became almost insupportable. In his desire to escape it he consulted a physician.

Of all men, physicians possess the best opportunities of doing good; none have such influence over a vast variety of individuals; none are the depositories of so many family secrets, behold the human mind in a state more favourable to the reception of true knowledge. But how few of these gentlemen are religious men? how few, while they give their senna and rhubarb, think of looking into "the mind diseased?" In the pursuit of worldly learning, how frequently do they forget to seek, and so administer spiritual light?

Doctor Jackson was a fat, florid-faced, sleek little man, with a very round stomach, who had his guinea a visit, rolled about town in a luxurious carriage, loved the pleasures of the table, and never thought of looking beyond the world to remedy the world's evil.

"You want pleasure—society—excitement," said Doctor Jackson. "Take your bottle of wine—Port or old Sherry! Ride, go to the opera, and dash into the world a little. You want excitement."

Harry sighed. At the moment a note was brought in from the Earl of Rivington, begging him to come down to his seat.

"There! there's your man," said the doctor. "Go to him; dine, sup, play, laugh, fall in love. Tut, man! in a month there'll be no holding you back."

So Harry accepted the earl's invitation, and resolved to seek excitement. He had been too much with his own thoughts. The affair of the duel had absorbed him. He had not yet learned the details, and he could not imagine them. He seemed to be the sport, indeed, of a destiny equally cruel and capricious. First Miss Elton, whom he loved, and who, on mature reflection, he could not but believe loved him, had chosen to cast him off with unconcealed scorn. Then Frank's bosom friend, the amiable and beloved guest of his family, had left them in apparent friendship, and returned to murder him. The cause was a mystery to him, which he had yearned to fathom; but he dreaded to probe his yet unhealed wound by the discovery of new details. The grief he experienced was scarcely more strong than the deep disgust and indignation with which he regarded Glendenning, who appeared to him a hollow and unprincipled man of the world, whom he felt he could not meet without losing his self-command. This thought by degrees became habitual to him. It was the only one which afforded him any relief, or, as Dr. Jackson would call it, "excitement." He would not seek Glendenning. He had no reason to suppose his brother had not fallen in a fair duel, such as must and ought to take place between gentlemen; but, in the present one, the circumstances appeared so peculiar, that the anticipation of one day meeting Glendenning afforded him a dark delight. He would not own floors, were silenced by the general approbation bestowed upon Frank. Had a British officer been permitted to leave the United States unpunished after such an act— to have worn, perhaps, on his own bosom the rose thus snatched from that of an American lady, with an American officer at her side, what would England, what would the whole world have said? There was so much force in this argument that they who had nothing to oppose but the Word of God were but slightly listened to; so difficult is it for pure Christian principle to contend successfully against the passions and illusions of life.

On the present occasion it was soon perceptible that Frank was the lion of the day. When it was whispered about who he was, he could not have been insensible to the eyes which were fastened on him (and some of them, as Mr. Mantelini says, "demned handsome ones too!"). He had entitled himself to the applause of his native city. The newspapers had been full of compliments; judges, lawyers, statesmen, and public magistrates shook him heartily by the hand; and among the ladies, a young hero who had just saved his country in some brilliant battle could scarcely have been more openly admired. Mary and Lennox enjoyed all this, and Mrs. Elton, who, from her whole time being occupied in talking, did not think much one way or the other, shared in the triumphs of her favourite young friend. But Mrs. Lennox looked on with regret and apprehension, lest a serious injury might be thus inflicted on her son's character.

Glendenning, too, against whom, at first, the general indignation had run high, began to be regarded, not as a libertine who spent

"His rich opinion For the name of a night-brawler,"

but as a mere frolicksome young madcap, who had firmly and magnanimously atoned in his sober senses for a boyish spree. White, too, who, it was understood, had done all in his power to prevent the occurrence at all, was praised for the officer-like firmness with which he had pressed it through to just the point where his thoughtless friend might withdraw in a chivalric way from an affair of which he had become justly ashamed.

In the mean while everybody was introduced to everybody, and everybody talked to everybody about all sorts of things, and each individual of our party would have thought of these Harry had listened with apparent attention, though in silence, without taking any share in them. At length, gliding carelessly from subject to subject, they fell into a debate upon pistol-firing; and one person, who had spoken a great deal, and with the authoritative air of one accustomed rather to decide than to debate questions, asserted that he had acquired a perfection of aim not surpassable.

"I tell you what, my lord," said the earl, still anxious to bring forward his young friend, "I believe you are a practised hand, but I will not allow that you are either infallible or unsurpassable; and I'll undertake to find a shot at least your equal, if not your superior."

"You have not seen me fire, I presume," replied the person to whom this was addressed, rather grandly. "I should not feel honest in allowing you to engage in such a hopeless enterprise."

"Well," said the earl, rather misquoting Byron,

`Most men, till by experience rendered sager, Are willing to back their opinions (or whatever the line is) with a wager.'

What will you bet?"

"If you seek throughout England for my equal, a hundred guineas," said Lord Middleton.

"If I go no farther than this table, and threaten you a superior?" rejoined the earl, laughing.

"Five hundred guineas to one hundred," replied Lord Middleton, casting his eyes slowly around the company, as if to assure himself that no celebrated shot was, unknown to him, seated by his side.

"I take the bet," replied the earl; "and as it's quite light enough, we'll decide it this moment."

"Agreed!" exclaimed Middleton; "but who's your man?"

"My young friend Lennox, there," said the earl, delighted, at last, to have hit upon a method of breaking his reveries.

Lord Middleton started, and fixed his eyes on the young man thus abruptly introduced to him. After ordering pistols, and the necessary preparations to be made upon the lawn before the door, the earl related the incident which had occurred between Harry and Barnett on their voyage across the Atlantic.

The story was admirably told, and brought Harry at once into the foreground. In the mean while, by the mild light of the late setting sun, although it was nearly nine o'clock, a mark had been set up, pistols loaded, and the whole company repaired to the spot.

The target was a board, upon which was painted the form of a man of not above the usual dimensions. Upon the breast had been ordered a star, but the person acting as the painter, entering poetically into the spirit of the thing, instead of a star, had drawn, in about its natural size, a human heart.

The scene and the occasion gave rise to a great many lively remarks, and it was in the midst of a peal of merry laughter that Lord Middleton marched forward, with his commanding military figure, and, after some moments' careful aim, launched his ball into the little finger of his painted victim. His previous conversation had rather produced the impression that he was a brag; and although the earl would certainly not have bet had he not believed he possessed much of the skill of which he boasted, yet there were others who were rather surprised that he hit the mark at all.

Harry stepped forward, and fired without any pause. His ball lodged in the breast, within two inches of the heart.

The second fire, Middleton struck the arm; and with a very important and rather proud face, gave way to his opponent, who, in a manner equally careless with that of his previous attempt, sent his ball again through the body one inch below the object of his aim.

"Now to decide!" said the earl; for they were to fire three times; "though I rather think, my lord, you are a loser."

"We shall be able to tell that better after the contest is concluded," said Middleton, with a certain grandeur, as he fired, carefully, slowly, and skilfully. He did not strike the heart, but his ball went rather nearer to it than the nearest of his opponent's.

This was the best shot yet, and the noble marksman received the compliments of all, and even offered his condolence to Rivington for the loss of his wager. But while he was playing off in advance the modest airs of a conqueror, Harry stepped forward with somewhat more care, and aimed with a steadier eye. A general exclamation announced the result. The ball had sunk directly into the centre of the heart. We should have observed that the distance had been lengthened much beyond that usually prescribed in real "affairs." cient and formidable foe. In short, Seth, somehow or other, found himself strangely happy. Of all men on earth, he most disliked and feared Emmerson; now he had escaped from the dark face of that gentleman for a time. He saw his representations had not injured him in the opinion of his benefactors, and, with the facility of youth, regardless of the future, he gave himself up to the pleasing impressions of the moment, watched the easy and elegant manners of the three gentlemen, and delighted to bestow such attentions as he knew how upon the ladies, each one of whom he loved with all the unbounded fervour of boyish gratitude and admiration. Strange and sweet impressions, too, began to descend upon his mind, from the varying and resplendent scenes of nature which were so rapidly flying behind him. He listened, too, with mute wonder to the conversation of the rest, of other shores and other rivers, of the scenes of Europe (that great dim vision of imagination to him), and to the thousand interesting remarks upon life which he heard now for the first time. The scenery, which struck every one else, and brought forth various exclamations of noisy rapture, sank into his soul silently, but not with a less deep effect, and this little, stupid country boy, thus introduced, almost by accident, into a sphere of life so much above his own, began to feel within him the development of new thoughts and the stirrings of new emotions. The beautiful countenance of Mary Lennox (who seemed to consider herself quite a woman and him only a little boy of no account whatever; and if she thought so, of course it must be so, for very far from him was the boldness to have an opinion of his own) had a sort of unaccountable attraction in his eyes. He could have sat gazing on it for hours, and so he did quite uninterrupted, for no one looked at him. If the young girl herself sometimes caught his eyes with her own in these encounters, she only smiled so kindly and good-naturedly, that, as we before observed, somehow or other, this passage up to Rose Hill was the most enchanting delicious day he had ever known.

Fanny Elton, who appeared only recovering from her late indisposition, required no other explanation for a certain reserve which seemed lately to have shed itself over her mind. She presented with Mary the rare spectacle of a young lady decidedly prettier than her friend, yet without believing so herself; while Mary, equal in character, if not

"I hope I am not bloodthirsty," answered Harry, "nor will I, under any circumstances, go one step out of my way to meet the man who killed my brother. But, should chance throw me in his way, any statement from you would direct me how far the circumstance requires an investigation. I should be able to make up my mind how to act. Where was your regiment stationed, my lord?"

"In Montreal."

"Why, you were Glendenning's commanding officer!"

"I was!"

This short conversation excited extreme interest. Lord Middleton was a coward, although, from vanity and the associations and habits of a military life, he could, when occasion required, meet death, at least, with apparent composure. His very love of display made him bold, but at this moment, of all moments, he did not wish to leave the world, which was just becoming brighter to him than ever. Neither did he desire to kill Mr. Lennox, the friend of his noble host, and after the part he had played in the duel which had ended in the death of his brother. He was not inclined seriously to be cruel, except when urged by some selfish passion, and in the present case every consideration united to make a conflict disagreeable, as one in which he could gain nothing, and might lose much. It would be ignorance, too, of human nature, to suppose that, with other thoughts, the very particular precision with which young Lennox's ball had hovered around the centre of the target, and at last plunged directly into it, had not some influence over him. He perceived, however, that, although on the brink of a precipice, he had only to walk calmly forward to avoid the chasm. White and Glendenning were not there to betray him, and no one present actually knew any of the details of the matter. Harry had declared he never would, under any circumstances, step out of his way to seek him who had caused his brother's death, but that only in case of being accidentally thrown into his society would he act (and action, under such circumstances, was rather a serious business!). He had, then, but to quietly disengage himself from so dangerous a companion, and he inwardly resolved to leave B— Hall on some occasion, real or feigned, with as little delay as possible.

These various considerations, which have occupied us so long to write, passed through Lord Middleton's mind in the instant's pause which followed the last question and reply.

"At last, then, may I hope for an authentic statement?" demanded Lennox.

"It would be useless," replied Middleton; "Captain Glendenning is not a person with whom a gentleman can associate. To notice him—to meet him would be impossible. He was an officer of my regiment, but he is so no longer. Of his reckless character, you yourself had a specimen in the original insult offered to your brother. He is a hot-headed roué and an unprincipled blackguard. This is the person after whom you inquire. Shall I go on?"

"Go on," said Harry, gravely.

"On his return from his first duel with your brother—I fear I pain you, Mr. Lennox."

"Pray go on, my lord."

"He became engaged in a brawl in a billiard-room with a young officer, who was challenged by him, and who refused to fight. The prematurely arranged duel with your brother was stated as the cause. Anxious to save the young man, I proposed to call a Court of Inquiry, but before it could assemble, he was off. The rest you know."

"And where is Glendenning?"

"As his commanding officer, let me assure you he is unworthy your attention, and entirely beneath it. For this and other gross misconduct, he has been already punished. He was first cut by all his brother officers, and then tried by a Court Martial. His misconduct was as undeniable as it was unpardonable. He was cashiered, and left the place, degraded and ruined forever. Where he is now, I know not. What he is, I have told you. The subject is a painful one to me, for I know the unfortunate, weak-minded young man's father, and had wished to save him."

"I thank your lordship," replied Lennox, after a pause.

The earl smiled. Middleton breathed more freely, and taking Harry by the hand, said,

"I need not add, my young friend, how sincerely I sympathize with you; how sincerely, indeed, I have sympathized with you long before I knew you."

The next morning, Middleton announced to his host his intention of returning to London, a departure rather sudden, but which occasioned more surprise than disappointment.

A few days subsequently Harry received letters from home. His father, mother, and Mary had also written. He could not refrain from tears as he reflected with what perfect happiness he would have had the precious treasures completed by one from Frank. The nervous agitation into which letters from home throw the wanderer in a foreign land can only be fully understood by him who has experienced it. His mother's health did not yet permit her coming abroad. His father was attempting to engage himself in his professional occupations to divert his mind. Mary was become the most tender of nurses, and continued the most devoted of daughters. Not a word of the late calamity! not a word of Fanny. Harry was requested to continue his travels, to visit the Continent, to see what was to be seen, preparatory to a final return and a serious business career. He was, indeed, rather struck with the earnestness of his father's letter on this subject.

"I wish you," thus it read, "to bear continually in mind that you are to acquaint yourself with the foundation of your profession philosophically and historically, for which purpose you must by no means abandon your intention of hearing Savigny, and any other distinguished professor of jurisprudence. While you need not deny yourself any necessary expense, I wish you to form a habit of sober economy, and remember what I have always told you, your way through the world is to be achieved by your own industry and talents. Do not fall into the idea that you are to start a man of fortune. I shall leave you a business which cannot fail to be a source of independence. I desire you to be studious, and not to come home without availing yourself of the advantages which Europe affords in order to render you a superior lawyer. We shall be with you by-and-by."

His mother's letter was short, and written as with the tremulous hand of an invalid. The sight of it affected him strangely; it was full of an affection, which he felt had concentrated upon him with more force since his brother's death, and it closed with an earnest appeal that, amid his other studies, he would not neglect the most important study of all.

"Take no thought to yourselves, saying, what shall we eat and what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed? for after all these things do the Gentiles seek, and your Heavenly Father knoweth you have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

"Ay, my dearest mother!" he murmured, "how happy are you in such a soothing, such a holy illusion. How I envy you the power of belief; perhaps one day I shall share it. I have made, at least, one step towards it; I have learned to overcome myself; I have learned to forgive. Glendenning, the murderer of my brother, lives."

For two years he had been subdued by grief for the dead, a gloomy, hopeless, helpless grief. He often thought it insupportable. Alas! we are all apt to think our present sufferings the worst till we experience those which follow.

Some beams of religious light seemed penetrating into the darkness. He resolved once more to read, not only law, but, as his mother had recommended, Christianity. His breast was sad, but calm; his sky was dark, but it almost seemed as if the morning were going to break. He did not believe, but he admired; he saw no truth, but he began to discover beauty, mystery, and sublimity; he wished for faith. Frank's death had overshadowed him. He felt how much of his happiness had depended upon that which an instant had borne away. The dead, cold breath of the tomb had chilled him, and he saw he could never altogether shake its icy horror from his heart. What guarantee had he that father, mother, sister, and that Fanny Elton, would not, also, die before his return? Why might not one, why might not all be torn from him, and what would be his state of mind then? Upon these he had built his hope, his happiness: alas! then he had built his happiness and his hope upon air!

"Ah!" he murmured, "if Christianity were true! if Frank were not gone from me forever; if some almighty power were directing and protecting us; if there were a refuge from grief, a rewarder of virtue, a punisher of sin, a conqueror of death, a friend, a father, a God! what a world this would be!

"But, alas! these high and flattering dreams are false! the visions of poets and madmen! Reality is dark, cold, and terrible! Destiny crushes without pity or care!"

With these opinions, it is not remarkable that his heart grew sadder and sadder every day; that life appeared a mockery, and virtue, even while he loved it, an idle dream.

CHAPTER XXIV.

No man enjoyed life more than Middleton; we mean by life the world. His contracted understanding and selfish heart permitted him to drink all the sweets of the present without troubling himself with recollections of the past or speculations concerning the future. His mania for distinction had been gratified beyond his most aspiring hopes. His pomposity had increased with his power, wealth, and rank, and it would be difficult to find a gentleman more fully possessed with the idea of his own greatness, and more desirous of possessing others with it. These high airs were set off by his fine person, and he met few who denied to him all the outward tokens of the immense respect he required. It was now even more than ever his pleasure to dazzle all around him, to make the vulgar stare, to reveal himself in striking attitudes, and with that sort of effect which nine out of ten of those simple people who compose the world innocently suppose real. All the disagreeable points of his character were ripened by prosperity into more odious perfection, and he had never been more disposed than at present to arrogate to himself, to keep people around him at a distance, and to enjoy the profound awe and admiration of valets and hotel-keepers. The reader must not suppose we are attempting to draw an English gentleman; nothing can be more unlike. Simplicity of manner and a perfect indifference to display almost invariably form a part of their characteristics. The Earl of Rivington was an English gentleman. Lord Middleton belonged to no class of any country, but to human nature.

One morning, towards the autumn of the present summer, the proprietor of the Hôtel de Saxe, at Dresden, was gratified with the sight of a very elegant travelling-carriage and four horses, which dashed across the square and stopped before his door. If a "milor Anglaise" had not been written in every point of the equipage and its appurtenances, the stately, proud-looking, officer-like person who alighted, and proceeded immediately to the most expensive apartment in the house, would have revealed the nationality of that agreeable vision, and flattered the imagination of mine host with brilliant promises of a long bill indefinitely augmented and uninquiringly paid.

The flutter of delighted agitation which such an arrival sends through the various departments of a hotel on the Continent was not wanting in the present instance, and everything that the humble efforts of mere Continental politeness could invent was put in operation to render his lordship (for they have adopted the word at last) " comfortable." No one approached him without a bow. No one spoke to him without emphatic exclamations of milor, monseigneur, excellence , or mon prince, which last, a very fat, very handsome, exorbitantly well-dressed, particularly impudent-looking, and yet extremely respectful waiter, with whiskers and mustaches cultivated to the last imaginable point of perfection, bestowed upon him with impunity, having detected the sort of man he had to deal with the moment he set eyes on him.

"Here, waiter!" said his lordship, after having bathed and completed his toilet.

"Mon prince?"

"Have you many in the house?"

"Oui, mon prince."

"At what hour is your table d'hôte?"

"At two o'clock, mon prince."

"And can one get anything fit to eat there?"

"Mon prince," replied the waiter, with one of the sweetest smiles, "il faut esperer, we must hope to satisfy your excellency."

"Well, put some Champagne to cool! I'll dine with you."

"Oui, mon prince," fell once more from the lips of the bowing attendant.

At the hour designated, propelled partly by a desire to display himself before the company, Lord Middleton, with his person drawn up erect, and all the military commander and embryo ambassador in his air, entered the room. The first person he met on his way to the table was Harry Lennox. There were few men he would not rather have seen.

"My lord," said Harry, "I'm delighted! I didn't even know you were on the Continent."

"And I thought you also in London. Which way are you going?" from the rest of the company to pursue, without interruption, her plan of awakening his attention to the subject of religion, the whole party returned to the house, where, after a slight repast, Mrs. Lennox reminded them they might expect her husband and Harry by the noon boat. It was therefore proposed to go down to the landing at the proper hour, and receive the new visiters with all the honours of war. Accordingly, at about one o'clock, the whole party repaired to the spot, laughing and talking as friends who have spent a week in the country are very apt to talk, for nothing brings mind and heart closer together than such an interval of uninterrupted intimacy. A few moments after their arrival they discovered a light cloud of ascending smoke and steam peering over the summit of a green hill, then the plunging strokes of the wheels and panting of the engine, and immediately the large and stately vessel, more like a floating palace than a boat, darted from behind a projecting angle of black, broken rock, with the well-known barge cleaving the foamy flood at its side, and containing the three figures of Mr. Lennox, Harry, and Mr. Emmerson.

"Hallo! hurrah, boys! how are you? here we are!" shouted Lennox, waving his hat. "Now then, my fine fellows, out with ye. Hand up the valise. That's it; all right! How d'ye do? How de do?"

And then the various embraces and shaking hands natural to the occasion. As Lennox and Mrs. Elton did not find it convenient to stop talking, the exclamations of the rest were edged in as well as they could; and as nobody waited for any answers, it was pretty much all the same in the end. Emmerson's face was all smiles and blandness, though his gratulations, like everything else he did, were performed in a quiet way.

"But what's the matter with you, Harry?" said his mother; "you don't look well."

"Oh yes, perfectly. Never so well and so gay in my life," said Harry, rousing himself from a revery.

"Where's Fanny?" demanded Lennox.

"Here she is, at least here she was, or I thought she was here."

"Didn't she come down?" asked Mary.

"No, I don't think she did," said Frank. "I observed she was not with us."

Up the steep, fragrant foot-path they wound, and met "I should not dare to do so, Mr. Lennox," cried Glendenning, growing yet paler; "I should have fled from your presence in shame and horror, had I not learned you were on friendly terms with that man. Had I not just seen you touch his hand in kindness, and speak to him—him, of all human beings—with a smile on your face—"

"I do not know what you mean," said Harry.

"He means," cried Middleton, "I should presume, from his language, some new calumny against one whom he has no other means of revenging himself upon for having him dismissed the army."

"I am not likely to credit the insinuations of one," cried Harry, "who has already, in regard to himself—"

He stopped, unable to proceed.

"But know, sir," he added, after a pause, "that while you so meanly attack Lord Middleton, you live only by his sufferance. His intercession alone has saved you from the fate you merit."

"Lord Middleton, I presume, persuaded you, then, not to seek me? "

"He did."

"As one unworthy of notice, perhaps?"

"To what other consideration could you owe your life at this moment?" demanded Harry. "What but contempt would save you from vengeance?"

"Mr. Lennox," replied Glendenning, "you would be too noble to insult the fallen, and to strike the helpless, if you knew the truth. Leave that to Lord Middleton, who pretends to be calm while his heart trembles to its centre lest I betray his secret."

"Landlord!" exclaimed Middleton, rising in ungovernable rage, "the person seated opposite me is not a fit character for your table. I , Lord Middleton, formally acquaint you with the fact. If he remain at the table longer, I shall leave it."

"I do not understand, milor," replied the landlord, "on what ground I am to decline receiving one gentleman at my table, merely because he has a difference with another."

"Will you do me the favour to dine with me in my room, Mr. Lennox?" said Middleton.

"You dare not leave me one half hour in company with Mr. Lennox," cried Glendenning. "You dare not suffer him to hear from me that you, the lieutenant-colonel of my regiment, were the malignant reviver of my first affair with his brother, and that your cruel interference obliged me to go back, and steep my hands in the heart's blood of my noble and beloved friend."

"Great heavens!" cried Harry, turning his flashing eyes on Middleton.

"You will not, I trust, by one instant's attention, give colour to a slander so diabolical," said Middleton. He laid his hand on his bosom with all his accustomed grandeur. "The commander of a regiment can have no connexion with a cashiered officer, desperate beneath the lash of merited punishment, and sunk in irreparable degradation."

Glendenning started up. The landlord rose and cried,

"But, gentlemen, I beg, I entreat!"

Harry folded his arms, pale and agitated, for the conviction was now clear to him that there had been some foul play in the matter, and that he was about to have it laid open before him. Middleton preserved a calm and dignified air; conscious innocence, or conscious power, showed itself in his tranquil demeanour and quiet smile.

"Will you come with me, Lennox?" said he. "This thing is really too absurd,"

"What is too absurd, my lord?" interrupted a strange voice.

He started, he turned, and White stood before him.

"My dear White," exclaimed Middleton, with an affectionate familiarity, and without a trace of the self-important superiority with which he had dealt with Glendenning. "My dear White, how are you?"

"Thank you," replied White.

"But where did you come from?" cried Middleton, extending his hand, "and how are you?"

"My lord—" said White, without accepting the proffered courtesy.

"Had we not better conduct this inquiry in private?" remarked Harry, with a grave mildness, which made Middleton turn yet paler.

"Pray walk into my drawing-room," said Middleton.

"And Mr. Glendenning!" suggested Harry.

"Would you take into your society a dishonoured man?"

"And the murderer of your brother?" added White, with a singular smile.

"Whether he be so or not, is the question we are to investigate," replied Harry.

"I really cannot consent," cried Middleton, imperiously and grandly.

"Pass on, my lord!" interrupted Harry, sternly, with a look and gesture of command, which made his distinguished companion start and knit his brow. But he obeyed. He could not help it. He had, at length, met his master.

"A la bonne heure!" said White, in a low voice.

CHAPTER XXV.

"We wish to be alone," said Middleton to his servant.

And these four gentlemen, so strangely connected together by the various incidents of the past—the blood-stained, heart-broken Glendenning; the sad, grief-worn brother, upon whom he had caused to fall such a heavy blow; White, who hated Middleton with all the hatred of his nature, yet who had, till now, been unable to give vent to his feelings; and Middleton, whose arrogant and malignant course had so profoundly changed the destinies of all three, and who, till now, believed himself far beyond their power.

When they were at length alone, there was a pause. Harry's heart beat thick with the new train of thought so suddenly awakened, and he silently drew up his tall form and folded his arms, to gaze upon each one of those three dark men, among whom rested the guilt of his brother's death; for guilt, it was now evident, there had been somewhere. As he stood, like a judge with the power to doom, the whole subject of Frank's death appeared conjured up again in his imagination in all its original distinctness, and the idea of vengeance once more, like a demon, took possession of him. His agitation was increased by the demeanour of Glendenning, who, without any trace of the fiery, high-tempered youth of eighteen months ago, scarcely lifted his eyes, till, at length, as if no longer able to suppress his emotion, he prostrated himself upon the very floor at Harry's feet, and wept.

"Speak!" cried Harry.

"I cannot!" replied Glendenning. "I would ask forgiveness— mercy—but I cannot, I do not, I dare not."

Nobody was prepared for this extremity of agony and self-abasement. It touched both Harry and White. Down the cheeks of the former rolled large tears, and even White grew a shade sterner than he was on first entering.

"This is a very extraordinary scene, gentlemen," said Middleton.

"Where is my brother?" at length demanded Harry.

"Murdered!" said Glendenning, springing to his feet. "Slaughtered in his young beauty, savagely, like a lamb, by the hands of a ruffian and a butcher, but not by mine!"

"Will you allow me to light a cigar, my lord?" said White.

Lord Middleton bowed, and led him apart to a fire-machine, took him by the button, and was beginning to speak, when White, who had leisurely lighted his cigar, said,

"Your lordship won't smoke?"

"No! not now. In respect to this sad affair, my dear White—"

"It is a bad, filthy habit," said White; "but I beg your pardon; your lordship was saying something."

Deep to his soul Middleton felt this disrespect, and yet more when, as he once again commenced to speak, White again interrupted him with,

"I beg your lordship's pardon, but I had rather say nothing in this matter, except in the presence and with the full understanding of my friend Glendenning."

"Will you not, at least, be seated?"

"No, my lord, not beneath roof of yours."

"Do you mean to insult me, Captain White?"

"And if I did?" replied White.

"You would, of course, not refuse me immediate satisfaction."

"I should refuse you for the present, till I had fully given my testimony in this, as your lordship just now justly termed it, sad affair of Glendenning."

Middleton from pale grew to paler as he detected the design of White to drive him into a duel, which, but for him, he might easily avoid: a duel with a man whose skill with the pistol he had seen so fearfully displayed, and whose lofty determination of character and fatal cause of quarrel made him such a formidable, not to say, at once, fatal foe. Most bitterly did he now regret the insults he had not hesitated to heap upon White when that gentleman had come to him a suppliant, and borne with such cool patience and self-government those sneers and insinuations which, at length, brought the matter to such a terrible crisis. They had now changed places. White had the vantage ground. He himself (oh, galling thought!) was the suppliant. Glendenning was the witness of his awkward position and humble endurance of insults, while Lennox, the brother of the Yankee lieutenant, whose life he had so recklessly sacrificed to his own pomposity and malice, had thrown himself upon a sofa, and sat with folded arms, pale face, and a frowning brow, as if determined to wait patiently the result of the present interview, and then to act as circumstances should require.

"My lord," said Captain White, "let us be frank. The meeting down stairs was not accidental. I have been travelling with Glendenning for some months. Although the world has deserted him, I have not deserted him, because I knew he was not to blame in the affair with Lieutenant Lennox, and only to blame for imprudence in a very difficult position, in the matter for which he has been court martialed. I heard you and Mr. Lennox had arrived at the same hotel the same day, and I agreed to dine here with Glendenning, in the hope of meeting you. In accordance with my hopes, we met you together at the same table, in a friendly greeting! This is so remarkable, that it imboldens me to ask you, would you be unwilling to join me in the task of reconciling these two young men? Don't you think circumstances have cut them out for bosom friends?"

"I see you mean to be impertinent," replied Middleton. "They must settle their own concerns. Nor shall I expose myself any longer to your insults. I pronounce the charges of Mr. Glendenning false. If you back them, you are also guilty of falsehood: so I brand you, and you may take your course."

"That means, my lord, you prefer a meeting with me rather than one with Mr. Lennox."

"You are insolent, sir. If you have business with me, you had better send a friend, who may know what is due to the usages of gentlemen."

"Not till this question of your agency in causing the death of Lieutenant Lennox be settled one way or the other. Mr. Glendenning charges you with being the cause. I bear my testimony to the truth of the charge."

"It is false."

"I waive the insult. Dare you answer me three questions?"

"I answer no questions, sir."

Harry rose and walked up to Middleton. Deep was the suspicion aroused within him. There is something in the human countenance, too, which speaks more than words, and while he read on that of Glendenning grief and truth, Middleton's was full of guile and shuffling cowardice. Glendenning he could have pardoned; for Middleton there was no excuse.

"You will, perhaps, be so obliging, my lord," said he, in a deep, tranquil voice, "as to reply to any question which I may put you."

"Certainly, my dear Lennox, certainly; but these gentlemen are both old enemies of mine, and I confess I—"

"You desired to put three questions," interrupted Lennox, turning to Captain White, with the utmost calmness. "What was the first?"

"After the return of Glendenning from his first visit to New-York, did his lordship give a ball?"

"Did you give a ball, my lord?"

"I did."

"Did you invite Captain Glendenning?" said White.

"I did not."

"And did his lordship never state to any one a reason for not doing so?"

"This is a captious question of Captain White's, not your own," said Middleton to Lennox.

"Answer it as if it were mine, my lord," replied Lennox, sternly.

"I do not understand you," said Middleton, haughtily.

"Mr. Lennox," interrupted Glendenning, stepping up, "hear me speak. If Lord Middleton denies the truth of what I say, let him put his denial on paper, and I engage to bring twenty witnesses against him."

"Gentlemen, this is intolerable," exclaimed Middleton. "If I were a culprit at the bar of justice, I could scarcely be expected to stand in a more humiliating position. I hope you will excuse me for intimating that this apartment is a private one, and I have not yet dined."

"Your lordship refuses to reply to the interrogatories, then?" demanded Harry.

"I have nothing to confess, and I no longer condescend to deny," replied Middleton. "You have my warning against the calumnies of both these gentlemen."

"My lord, you will not leave town before I can communicate with you?"

"Your question is insolent."

"Captain White, Captain Glendenning, I request your company in my room," said Harry.

CHAPTER XXVI.

Lord Middleton, when alone, involuntarily clasped his hands. He then rose and locked the door, that no chance intruder or servant might see the paleness of his face; for he beheld death staring in his very path. With an effort, however, not difficult for men who live much in and for the world, he recovered his composure, unlocked the door, ordered dinner in his room, and ate and drank as if nothing had happened.

In the mean time Harry had heard the whole story, heightened by the cool recollection of White, and the agitation and anguish of the forever ruined and heart-broken Glendenning. He had details not only of the causes of the second meeting, but the particulars of the meeting itself. Frank's calm bearing, his bright smile, his dying agonies, and the broken words of forgiveness he had uttered, as his young spirit took its fearful flight.

We have seen Harry, from his high-wrought temper, on the eve of suicide, lashed into insanity by the frown of a girl. The reader may imagine the extent of his present emotion. He had no principle, moral or religious; no doubt of the propriety of duelling; no scruples against sending such a wretch as this headlong into eternity. Neither had he the least fear for himself. The idea of his own fall scarcely entered his thoughts. He wrote no letters, made no preparations, desired no delay. His mind was made up. He had a stern duty to perform. He had found, at last, the murderer of his brother: a person who had perpetrated the most diabolical crime that ever was committed without the least shadow of excuse. That per son must die—die by his hand—die like a dog, and at once. His soul was aroused to such a state of burning indignation that he could scarcely wait the necessary formalities of one of these fashionable combats. He brought forth his pistols; he had them instantly put in order; he examined them with care, with delight; he was going to inflict a just punishment for a heinous crime; he was going to lay low in the dust the vindictive, arrogant, remorseless villain who had brought his brother to an early grave; who had broken his mother's heart, and cast a shadow over the last days of his father and his own. Oh, what might not Frank have become, had his career not been cut short! His high-wrought, sympathizing heart burned at the thoughts even of the pale, blood-drenched, spiritless Glendenning, crushed, trampled on, his hopes and good name, nay, his happiness and his innocence, blasted forever by the reckless pride and power of one malignant man; and this man, high in rank, and opulence, and strength, thought himself above retribution. He looked down on his victims and their avengers; and a thought added fury to Harry's mind, that he himself, had he appeared to him as a stranger, had he not been presented to him by even no less a person than the Earl of Rivington, he too would have been treated with that contempt with which the haughty and inflated Middleton chose to regard all mankind beneath him in rank.

"It is left for me, then," thought Harry, as he paced his room, "to teach this proud villain a lesson. Rest, my brother, rest—rest, pale, bloody shade! I am here to avenge thee, or to follow thee. Dear Frank, would you not have done as much for me? Oh vengeance, keep steady my heart, and fortune sit upon my arm, that I may cut short this monster in his career of triumph and guilt."

Thus, with half-heathen, half-theatrical thoughts, our young philosopher awaited the result of his message. He panted for the deadly conflict. He trembled lest, by some chance, his victim might escape him.

White bore his message. He found Middleton in a dressing-gown and slippers, smoking a cigar. "Well, sir," said the latter, "I suppose I need not ask to what I am indebted for the honour of this visit?"

"Scarcely, my lord," said White, smiling, as he presented a note, whose bold, deep characters appeared traced by a hand impatient for action.

"I have already provided for this little contingency," said Middleton. "Colonel Rochelle, at the Hotel de Russie, is kind enough to charge himself with the matter. Good-morning to you."

"My lord!" said White.

Middleton turned short round upon him with an expression of countenance of which the interest, although veiled under an air of quiet indifference, was not, could not be concealed. His eye glistened with a wavering hope. His lip (for he loved life with a sensualist's, with an infidel's love, and he knew a meeting with Mr. Lennox was almost certain death), his lip, although through a well-bred smile, trembled perceptibly.

"I suppose that's all, White: we are now entirely in your hands—m—my dear fellow."

"Of course, my lord! but—"

There was a moment's pause, which Middleton broke with an air of careless annoyance, as if the interest in question were a mere trifle.

"White, you see my position. This hot-headed young man is rushing on his fate. He is too good a shot to permit of much magnanimity on my part. A fine, spirited young fellow; I would give him his life if I could. I hate to fire at him. I—I detest bloodshed."

"Well, my lord," said White, listening attentively.

"I speak for your friend. He has father, mother, sister— and—"

"No, my lord, no brother," interrupted White, so mildly that it was impossible to say whether there were in his mind any deeper meaning than that which met the ear. Middleton paused, looked at him keenly, but then, as if after having overcome an effort, proceeded.

"Before you go to Rochelle, I should make a remark to you. In representing the part I took in that unhappy occurrence, you have, of course, stated your implicit belief. But, my dear White, let me refresh your recollection on one point. I did not advise any second meeting; I did not want it. I had heard the matter alluded to, and, as much for the honour of Captain Glendenning as yours—and—and— mine—I proposed a Court of Inquiry. You may remember, I said to you I did not advise a meeting. I said so expressly, in so many words. Did I not? I appeal to you."

"You did, my lord."

"Well, then!" continued Middleton, "don't you think it your duty to state this to your friend; it may be the means of saving him. For myself, of course I can ask nothing, though I might with perfect propriety implore to be saved from the cruel necessity of shedding innocent blood. You see my position. I cannot—God knows I would if I could— but I cannot spare this young fellow. He is too resolute, too skilful. Yet with what heart shall I pursue the rest of my life, with the blood of a noble, high-spirited, innocent young man, who, au reste, has never injured me, upon my hand and upon my conscience."

"Upon your what, my lord?" asked White.

"Upon my conscience," replied Middleton, the shade suddenly returning to his yellow countenance: "I hope you fully understand. I hope you do not misconstrue what I say, Captain White."

"My lord," said White, with a sardonic smile, which revealed all his hate and all his triumph, "it would afford me the greatest pleasure to adopt your lordship's view of the case, and I have listened to you with patience, in hopes of hearing something which might change my opinion. I am sorry to say your remarks rather cast a deeper shade over the affair."

"Good God, what have I said?"

"I deem it a high duty, my lord, and your lordship's noted sense of duty cannot but sympathize with me, to advise my friend, Mr. Lennox, to carry the affair through to the end. Your lordship's well-remembered example has taught me how to be firm, and to place a lofty sense of duty above all personal feelings. You will pardon my suggesting that, as to your dislike to budren your conscience (I think that was the word your lordship used) with the blood of an innocent, noble young man, you should have thought of that before you meddled with the original affair. When I waited on you in Montreal, one word, one look, one concession from you would have saved my friend Glendenning from a nauseous deed, which has blasted his life and broken his heart. That word your lordship's high sense of duty did not permit you to utter. I bent to you; I implored you; I all but placed myself upon my knees before you; I threw myself upon your generosity, your humanity. I told you I was authorized by Glendenning to solicit from your mercy a reconsideration of your views. I need not say how this humiliation was received. I need not recall to your lordship's recollection the cutting sneers, the lofty insults, the immovable disregard with which I, a supplicant beneath your own roof, was coolly, remorselessly, insolently dismissed to my task of death. I am not accustomed to beg, nor, to be frank, inclined to forgive. The details of that hour are written

`Where every day I turn the page to read them.' "

"You are driving your friend into this matter then, sir, from mere motives of revenge?" said Middleton.

"No, my lord, no. I would, if I were in the place of Lennox, do as I advise him to do. I shall act towards him as I would, under such circumstances, he might act to me. You are, my lord, and you know it very well, the deliberate murderer of his brother. You became so from motives of personal malice. You hurled the bolt without caring where it fell, nor what ruin it wrought, so long as you struck the devoted head of a rash, high-tempered young man, who had thoughtlessly offended you. The blood of Frank Lennox rises up against you from the earth. You have dashed to pieces the happiness of a most sweet and affectionate family. You have put your foot upon the neck, upon the heart of my friend. He is a wreck: only in the grave can he ever taste repose. Towards me, my lord, you have but manifested the indifference which I now feel towards your lordship. You have asked a favour of me. I refuse it. Should Lennox fall beneath your arm, you have his blood as well as that of his brother to reflect upon; should you fall, your lordship will, I trust, know how to meet yourself the fate you have not hesitated to inflict on others."

"Captain White!" said Middleton, rising and ringing the bell.

A servant came.

"Show Captain White to the door!"

CHAPTER XXVII.

When Middleton was once more alone, he pressed both his hands upon his bosom, and paced backward and forward in an uncontrollable agitation. The world does not see the boasting duellist in his solitary chamber, when, running up his account with Heaven, he gazes around him for the last time on the familiar objects of life and nature. There was a chance for his life, perhaps, but it was very remote, and even that chance was only the alternative of killing his antagonist. Bad as he was, steeped in worldliness, tainted with selfish pride and ungodly thoughts, he recoiled from imbruing his hands in more blood, and from the notoriety of an affair which began to have the regular denouement of a drama. But it was far far more probable that the indignant arm of his terrible foe would leave him a corpse upon the field. He was startled, appalled, overwhelmed. His memory ran over his past years,

    "Nor left one sunny resting-place; Nor brought him back one branch of grace."

Ah, life was sweet! His wealth, his rank, his splendid house, his noble villa, his luxurious carriage, his expected embassy, all the pomp, pride, and circumstance of the world he had loved and alone lived far, floated before him like a glorious vision—things seen in a vanished dream—never, never to be met with again. Each shape of opulent pleasure rose up and passed off like Macbeth's apparition of kings:

    "Show his eyes and grieve his heart; Come like shadows, so depart."

"By G—d! I'm a lost man!" broke from his quivering lips, as he locked and doubly locked the door, till he could recover from this fit of agitation.

For an hour he remained alone. It would be difficult to describe his meditations.

At length his not very agreeable solitude was interrupted by a knock at the door, and the servant announced "Colonel Rochelle."

"Well! hallo!" said the smiling second, without a care upon his brow.

"Ah! ha!" replied Middleton, greeting his friend with a bland, clear smile. "You're a business man. How are you again? Scarlet! wine!"

"All right!" said Rochelle, with a look of triumph, as the servant closed the door. "To-morrow—daybreak—pistols— ten paces—passports vise'd already—yours for England!"

"England? Good! A very necessary idea, that of the passports. I'll be damned if I should have thought of it!"

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Neither party had much time to think. Every preparation was made with a skill, secrecy, and rapidity which left nothing to be desired. Both White and Rochelle were in their element when presiding over one of the remarkable orgies of modern civilization—while decking with flowers and bearing the sacrificial victim to this old surviving image of Baal and Ashteroth. Middleton strove to write a few letters, but could not, and remained some hours like Prometheus on his rock, the prey of thoughts from which he could not fly. Harry did not even attempt any letters or other arrangements. He sat by an open window that looked abroad over the desert square and hushed city, steeped in moonlight and peopled only with those vague, blended, harmonious sounds, which float—unresting echoes of the day— over the dim night masses of a great city. There was no fear in his bosom. Life was not dear to him, and death was not terrible. The one had been already scathed with two blows of fortune, than which he thought none could be more crushing and insupportable: the fading of his earliest, only dream of love, and the loss of a brother for whom his affection was tender and strong. With Frank in one hand, and Fanny Elton in the other, ah! what a scene of bliss would the world have been! Both were gone: one to the grave, the other he believed unworthy of him. Should the approaching combat leave him a corpse, neither he nor any one else, he thought, would be greatly the loser. Sometimes the image of his pale mother, clothed in black, floated up to his eyes, but Time, that heals all wounds, must heal hers, or bear her with him into the black and empty void. Then Frank's well-known voice rang in his ear—his bright smile, his snowy teeth, his rosy cheek, his thick, silky hair, his broad, white forehead, his thousand little endearing ways, and then the image of his stiff, cold corpse, to be avenged in a few moments.

But all these meditations were vague and mingled, and he felt oppressed and bewildered by one tremendous thought of what lay before him—to kill. Sometimes he asked himself, was it right? but that was too late. Besides, do not all men—all gentlemen—sanction the duel, and was ever cause more holy than his? So the silent, fragrant, soft hours fleeted along and bore him on, as with the swift, black current of a river that lapses to the edge of the cataract. He would not pause if he could, he could not if he would. The custom had caught him with its resistless tide, and thus duty, honour, vengeance, and necessity, all united to sanction the deed he was about to do. With a stern resolution, he sat lost in thought, till the wheels of the carriage were heard, and White came, and deliberately determined to take the life of his opponent or lose his own, he set off for the appointed ground. As the dark shapes of the city, the open spaces, shadowy woods, fragrant gardens, and dim, sweet shores of the Elbe flew by him, he could not but reflect he was on a dark errand, which contrasted strangely with the calm and tender beauty of outward nature.

"There they are!" cried White.

"They are welcome," said Harry, gravely.

Nothing could have been better managed. Harry himself had nothing to do but float with the stream. Before he knew it, he was standing, with a pistol in his hand, on a green lawn by the road-side, in the silver light of daybreak, ten paces in front of the pale and silent Middleton.

"At the word three;" said White, and began to count.

"One!—two!—three!"

They fired. Middleton staggered forward a few paces, and fell headlong.

Harry stood motionless, looking down on that once haughty form, now prostrate, and which, after turning twice over, lay on its back, the face staring wildly upward, at his very feet. The surgeon knelt, and said, in a hurried voice,

"You had better be off—quick!—quick!"

"He is not dead?" cried Harry.

His voice sounded strange—like that of ons who addresses an immense, listening multitude.

"Dead—quite dead—through his very heart!" said the surgeon.

"Come! Lennox—come!" cried White.

With the smoke in his nostril—the thunder surging in his ear—his hand benumbed with the thrill of so unaccustomed a deed—his head reeling and the ground moving under his feet, Harry stood, still motionless, looking down on his victim, and only repeated,

"Lord Middleton is not dead!"

"Dead enough," repeated White. "Won't you get into your carriage?"

"Yes," said Harry.

"Your passport is vise'd for Vienna, you know!"

"Is it?"

"Mine is for London. What's the matter with you? rouse yourself—it's getting light!"

"Frank is avenged, then!" said Harry, "and I have done my duty."

His arm dropped without strength to his side. The carriage drew up, and he got in, but his eyes, as if by a fatal fascination, were riveted upon the form which, with stark, marble face, the blood-drenched clothes torn and cut from the naked breast, the convulsive hands clutched full of grass and earth, had already received the eternal seal of death.

The carriage-door was gently closed, and the postillion mounted. Colonel Rochelle and the surgeon lifted their hats. Harry returned their salutations calmly, and in a few moments the spot was left far behind him, and the deed was written among the irrevocable, ineffaceable records of the past.

CHAPTER XXIX.

It was with a singular sensation that our hero felt himself in rapid motion, dashing as fast as four swift horses could carry him, he scarcely knew where. He endeavoured to enjoy the stern triumph of his just and holy vengeance, but it was, somehow or other, a very different thing from what he had expected. The murder of his brother, which had, till now, filled his mind, had given place to another thought, viz., the fellow-being he had left stretched in death upon the road-side, and a stunning and bewildering sense of responsibility fell upon him which he could not well analyze. His mind had undergone a startling change. His fiery indignation was quenched—quenched in pity, in horror— nay, more, in regret. Lord Middleton, perhaps, deserved to die, but rather by the hands of an executioner than by his. A thousand reasons flashed suddenly upon him why he had better have left the deed undone; while the inducements to it now appeared but the dictates of the hot rage which had overflowed him yesterday. The image of his mother rose before him. She was already ill from Frank's death. What effect would this new shock have upon her? How would she meet her sole surviving son? But yesterday the sight of him would have been balm to her wounded soul; but now, with what different emotions would she press to her bosom the dark, blood-stained murderer?

The effect of this morning's work upon himself, through the rest of his life, also startled him. For good or for evil, the dreadful distinction of having killed a man was to mark him wherever he went. True, his victim merited his fate, but it was an awful thing to have inflicted it. To be a butcher—to be drenched with blood! There was nothing mean, or selfish, or even vindictive in the act he had just committed. It was not for himself, but for his beloved brother he had perpetrated it. He had not even sought his victim. Chance had thrust him before his face, and it was with the irrepressible impulse of a noble and sublime emotion, in which all men must sympathize, that he had killed him. Yet the deed was a mighty and a terrible one. A class of his fellow-creatures would applaud it, but there were others— all the pious, all the calm and wise—who would regard it as a crime, and him as a murderer. He shuddered; his blood grew cold; he ordered the postillion to drive faster.

On reaching Vienna, he, for the first time, entered a room to sleep. On undressing himself, he perceived the button of his waistcoat had been shot off, and a ball had passed through the lappel of his coat.

"D—n him!" he exclaimed.

But he stopped. He had forgotten. He was speaking of the dead—dead by his hand. The thought pierced him like a sword, and his utmost efforts could only bring himself to a gloomy and unsmiling tranquility. Indeed, he felt as if he should never smile again. He felt as if every man's eyes were on him, and he muttered, as he laid himself, chilled and shocked, into bed, "Shall I never get that dying look out of my imagination?"

His fatigue and excitement had been great, and he fell into a deep sleep, and then into a dream.

He thought he was at home, which he had never quitted. He sat in the midst of the family circle at breakfast. Frank was at his side, laughing and talking with a strange living distinctness, and the rest were gayly rallying him about Fanny Elton.

"And I wonder where we shall be five-and-twenty years hence?" said his mother.

"Be?" replied his father; "why here—Frank commander-in-chief, with his eyebrows and whiskers a little more bushy, if possible; and Harry a senator or secretary of state."

"Miss Elton may be a very decent sort of girl," said Frank, "but as for—in respect to—so far from there being any danger of—"

"Hold your tongue!" said his father.

And then a burst of gay laughter, in which he thought he joined till the tears filled his eyes.

Then he was at Rose Hill, wandering with Frank through the scented walks, and gazing on Fanny Elton's graceful and noble form; and then he was with her alone, walking down the hill and asking her why she had forgotten him.

"I have not forgotten you," cried she, fixing her eyes on him. "I love you beyond all other earthly things. It is a cruel mistake which has separated us;" and, as she spoke, she came nearer to him, put her arm around his neck, and kissed him.

And then he knelt at her feet, and she placed her fingers on his forehead and parted his hair, and looked at him with her deep, tender eyes; and he led her back to the house and to his mother, who received her with open arms, and embraced, first her, then him, and an ineffable happiness overspread all things: and a clergyman came, and they stood together at the altar, and the holy man opened the book and read, and a peace that passeth understanding entered his heart; and soft music rose in the distance, and the odour of flowers was wafted to his senses by the cool afternoon air, and Fanny Elton was his bride.

Then—like a stroke of thunder bursting from a cloudless sky— Middleton suddenly appeared in the midst of them, and fired a pistol at Frank, who shrieked and fell back, dead, and covered with blood. Then his cold, ghastly body lay extended upon a table; and the whole circle stood around, and gazed at it with pale faces and quivering lips, in deep silence; when a peal of contemptuous and triumphant laughter broke the solemn stillness, and Middleton again stood leering like a fiend, pointing to the sad group and the stark body, and laughing till the tears ran down his cheeks. Then the blood of the dreamer began to boil in his veins, and he knelt down and swore he would pursue and kill this demon; and his mother, and Mary, and Mrs. Elton, and Fanny, surrounded him and implored him to desist, and caught him with convulsive grasp, and screamed, and prayed; but he shook them fiercely off—nay, in his impatient vengeance, he thrust Fanny from him with a force that threw her senseless to the earth, and dashed a reckless blow upon his mother's forehead, and then he was free, and, with rapid feet, and burning curses on his lips, he went on and on in the pursuit; and his enemy fled, and he followed; till at length he no no longer ran—he flew—he rose from the ground— he glided through the air—he ascended to the roofs of houses, the battlements of old castles, the black, ragged edges of inaccessible cliffs; at last, in a green plain, he overtook the fugitive, and shot him through the heart, and placed his foot upon his breast, and laughed, in his turn, till he could scarcely stand. When lo, beneath his feet, the ghastly body, all dripping and red, began to stir; and he looked down to see, and behold, the corpse arose, with its dead, sunken, horrible face, and wide, fixed eyes, and caught at him with convulsive hands, as of a man in a fit, or a raving lunatic. He started and fled, but his pursuer was at his back; and wherever he went, the spectre still followed— over seas, over valleys, over mountains, over moors— through busy cities and laughing crowds—across uninhabited deserts, into black, wet caves, down fathomless abysses— but still the spectre, with outstretched hands, chased him. He strove with agony unutterable, till at length he found himself in a sepulchre full of dead men's bones, and dripping with blood, and echoing with the wailings and moanings of damned spirits, and he thought he was in hell, and there was no outlet, so that he could no longer elude his frightful enemy; and he felt an iron and a burning grasp upon his shoulder, and he saw Frank walking near in a sunshiny garden, smiling and picking the flowers carelessly, and he knew he could save him if he could but make him aware of his danger, and he tried to scream, but could not stir—could not utter a sound—could not even breathe.

In his struggle of agony he awoke, dripping with sweat, trembling, and overcome with terror.

He started up and looked around; the form of Middleton still seemed to stand before him, gazing sadly on him. Hastily rising, he rang the bell, threw over him a robe de chambre, and when, at length, with some difficulty, he aroused a servant, he ordered a light, on the plea of indisposition.

Unable to sleep, he sat lost in reflection till the morning broke. We shall not attempt to lift the veil from his meditations. It will be easily imagined they were not of precisely the same nature as those which had occupied him the wakeful night previous to the meeting.

CHAPTER XXX.

Several days passed, and several nights. The former were employed in vain attempts to divert his mind by sight-seeing and other pleasures. He found he was a "wiser and a sadder man" than he had been before; he had lost the power of enjoyment from simple things; he had thrown away his careless ease; boyhood was gone; even youth had passed away; he had become suddenly a man, and a stern one; he suffered inexpressibly, as any one with an element of good in him must, and ought to suffer, under similar circumstances. But it was very different suffering from that of grief. The loss of his brother had also been suffering; but, ah! how unlike his present experience! Grief is softening, elevating, purifying; remorse withers, consumes, and destroys.

His nights were invariably sleepless. There is nothing more exhausting than the loss of sleep—more wearing on both mind and body—more likely to impair health and happiness. Yet he found he had in a great degree, at least for the present, thrown away that blessing. From his first slumber he would speedily awake with a start, and then came those long, weary watches of the night, when the most cheerful subjects of earthly meditation wear an aspect so different from that which they present in the day. Here he could not withdraw himself from the voice of reproach and accusation. Then the idea that he had shed human blood in merciless vengeance weighed on his mind and oppressed his soul; and Middleton's dying face presented itself to his imagination with a horrible distinctness. And whom had he slain? A weak, pompous fool; a poor victim. And how had he slain him? The world would consider that his opponent had had an equal chance; but his conscience taught him better. He had not had an equal chance; his own perfect skill with the pistol, he was well aware, far surpassed that of his victim; he felt, when he fired, he was inflicting death . Whatever interpretation, therefore, the world might put upon the matter, he knew he was a murderer. Whatever excuse he might have had, he had deliberately killed a man who could neither escape, nor resist, nor resent; he had taken from the laws of society and from God (if, indeed, there were one), the task of punishment; he had cut off a despicable fool in the midst of his folly; he had launched a new thunderbolt upon the heart of his mother, which might destroy her also. Ah! he repented of the bloody deed! Not that he had a definite feeling of guilt, but he was overwhelmed with sympathy, horror, disgust, alarm, doubt, pity for the mother who watched his course with such interest, and regret that his own thoughts and feelings should be thus shocked and overshadowed.

After a week spent in this state of depression, he resolved to arouse himself, to shake off the superstitious and nervous terrors to which he had so weakly yielded, and to drown, in a rapid and brilliant tour, all his youthful meditations. He concluded to start immediately; but first to write to his mother a simple account of the circumstance. He tried to do so. He wrote and rewrote again and again, and tore up letter after letter, unable to satisfy himself as to the best mode of making the communication. While engaged in this task, his candour obliged him to confess that the act, so difficult to relate, must be, at least, a doubtful one. Its nobleness, its stern justice, its terrible retribution, which, before the perpetration, had been so clear to him, seemed but mockery when he attempted to set them forth to his mother. Her pale face, her streaming eyes, her look of despair, her hands uplifted for mercy on him, seemed to fill the page he was writing on. It was, however, a necessary duty, and he accomplished it; and a cool, simple statement, announcing the discovery of Middleton's guilt, proved by White and Glendenning, the instantaneous meeting, and the fall of the man who had deprived them of their beloved Frank, was at length completed. He appealed, at the same time, to his mother's forgiveness, and, before he was aware of what he had written, volunteered a sacred promise never, under any circumstances, to engage in another duel. He would take blows, insults, opprobrious epithets—anything—everything rather than repeat an event which, he candidly acknowledged, rendered him deeply unhappy. He desired, at the same time, to know whether he was to have the great pleasure of seeing the family in Europe, and when; and stated his intention to take an extended Eastern tour, from which due notice of their intended embarcation would, however, speedily recall him.

On reading over the letter, he added the following postscript:

"I perceive, my dearest mother, that I have laid myself under a vow. Do not fear I shall ever break it; I repeat it here deliberately, and with regreat that I had not made it before rather than after this last calamity, for such I consider it. I acknowledge your superior wisdom and sense of right. I wish I had complied with your desire so often expressed. I am convinced no man ever fell in a duel without acknowledging to himself, if he had time to do so, that he had been a fool, and no one killed another without bitterly and eternally repenting of it, unless deprived, by nature or education, of a warm heart and a clear understanding."

This duty performed, Harry set off upon his travels, whither we shall not follow him. He extended his tour as far and with the design of occupying as much time as possible. The letters he received from home were heart-rending. Those from his mother affected him profoundly, more from their subdued, deep melancholy, than from their allusions to the new calamity which had fallen upon her. With a characteristic gentleness, she spared him all reproaches, and she even assured him that she had borne the blow with a patience which could only have come from above. Their visit to Europe was still deferred, and Harry still lingered in the East, examining into the state of those interesting countries, which to the European have almost the awful solemnity of a previous world.

From Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt, spending a winter or a summer first in one town, then in another, according to the caprice of the moment or the relief he found in any particular place, or from any particular person or study, he went over into Russia, and occupied himself with the various peculiarities of that vast empire, sometimes plunging into the splendid gayeties of the court circles, and sometimes loitering in the retreats of the nobles, or watching with interest the modes of life and mind among the serfs. He devoted eighteen months to the northern countries of the Continent, so little visited by travellers, where he found, with surprise, materials of interest he had never dreamed of. In their turn, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy occupied his attention. He studied their forms of government, their history, the character of the people, moral, political, and religious, their various resources and peculiarities, and their relations with his own country. Gradually, as the months and years of this period rolled away, he had conceived the plan of a systematic course of self-cultivation, and carried it into effect with severe determination. He had the custom to stop months, and sometimes a whole season, in order to investigate some particular subject thoroughly. By means of these habits of intense application, and of the materials thus poured richly into his mind, and carefully digested, his intellect became strengthened and matured. His opinions, subjected to a new course of examination, were rejected or remodelled, and became more definite and just, the result of observation and reflection. His reasoning powers were enlarged and sharpened, and, besides a large stock of general information, he had attained a far more accurate idea of history, of the present state of mankind, of the literature and achievements of different nations, and of the powers, characteristics, and limits of the human mind. He had not neglected either his own country or his own profession, but, by a careful study of the Roman law, added to that of the existing codes of various countries, and particularly those of his own, he was far more competent to take a high rank at the bar of his native city than he would have been had he spent the whole of this time in the routine of daily business.

But (let not the reader start, for he will one day find his own life has passed even thus unheeded away) all this travelling and studying, these winterings in one part of the globe and summerings in another, took time, and when Harry, one winter, settled himself in a comfortable lodging at Florence to consider what he would do next, he happened to calculate how long he had been abroad, and he found, with a very considerable surprise, which recalled the amazement of his father on reaching his fiftieth birthday, that he had been absent from home ten years. He started to perceive so much of his life had vanished, and his conscience smote him for having remained so long away from his father and mother, deprived as they were, too, of Frank, and by so frightful an accident. But he had, from year to year, expected them in Europe, and he had really been profoundly occupied, and the recollection of Middleton's death clung to him with a never-ceasing horror, and his own infidel opinions had made him indifferent, if not selfish, and he dreaded going home with his dark, stern, bloody brow, to meet Miss Elton, and to throw a new shadow over his altered domestic circle. He had improved his mind, but he had not acquired any moral light. He had enjoyed pleasures, but they had come and passed away like bright shadows, leaving no trace behind. He had sought the alleviation of all kinds of society, from that of the royal hall to that of the student's closet and the peasant's lowly hut, but from the great and the gay, like the wise and the gifted, he had gained nothing, learned nothing to make him happy. Happiness had been the object of his search, but he had not found it. Through all his enjoyments, all his studies, and all his occupations there was one dark, tremendous idea— death! He had seen it: he had suffered; he had inflicted it. It was the shadow, the crowning mystery of his life; he could neither reconcile himself to it nor understand it. The two fatal events, the death of Frank and the fall of Middleton, had deprived him of youth's greatest charm and greatest danger, thoughtlessness. He had become a thinker, and all things were changed to him and he was changed to all things. This idea of death had gradually awakened in him a deep sense of the valuelessness, the mockery, the mystery of life. His existence was rolling away; his career would speedily come to an end, and he was weighed down with astonishment and agony at the fleetingness, the worthlessness of everything. The skies, the air, and the objects of the world were but visions. The ground seemed passing away from beneath his feet, and his own insignificant, useless, perishable nature to be on the brink of annihilation. All around him was a cloud, a folly, an insult, a mockery, a lie. Pen may not paint the indignant and bitter scorn, the sense of wrong and oppression, the hatred and the despair which fair things raised in his bosom, his curling lip when he gazed on a flower, his gloomy scorn when the rising sun threw his glory over the sky and earth, and, more than all, his infinite contempt for the whole human race, with their idle credulity and dreams of superstition, their inflated hopes of immortal happiness, their ceremonies of worship paid to the merciless, crushing, unlistening, blind chance which presides over the universe.

In short, pleasure, society, study, and travel at length fatigued him; science disappointed, knowledge oppressed him. He wanted a refuge; he wanted repose. He continued to receive frequent letters from all his family, as well as from Emmerson. Those of his father had recently grown shorter and more vague, and, at length, announced that circumstances had obliged him to abandon entirely his contemplated European tour, and that Harry might turn his step homeward. The reader must imagine the tenour of his mother's letters, although it was evident she did not allow herself to give way to all her feelings. Emmerson, on the contrary, wrote at full, and it was on the strength of his representations that Harry had remained so long abroad. He assured him that everybody was well, that he had hopes, notwithstanding the proposed abandonment of the European tour, that the next summer would see the whole family in Paris, and that all was going on as usual.

These frequent epistles from Emmerson, written in an affectionate and confidential manner, were very grateful to Harry. They were the accounts of a cool, disinterested observer on the spot, and effectually calmed the fears and anxieties so apt to assist the heart of an absentee from home.

Harry had devoted a great part of his time in Germany to philosophy, and philosophy led him to religion, or, rather, to irreligion.

About this period the celebrated Life of Jesus Christ by Strauss fell into his hands. This work is the most learned, searching, powerful, and successful attack ever made on Christianity, and has been justly considered an important event in ecclesiastical history. The mighty intellectual efforts of the German mind in philosophy had fully prepared our student to read, and to yield to this astonishing production, particularly as he saw that the great and learned people received it with enthusiasm, and that, with exceptions, the savans of the day did not conceal their opinion that it would prove a death-blow to the greatest illusion that had ever occupied the human mind.

Harry read it, and, for a time, the triumph of discovering so able a champion of his own views threw around the subject a sort of wonder and delight. It confirmed, apparently forever, his entire infidelity. Why was delight among his feelings on arriving at a certainty that the most cheering hope ever conceived by mortals was an illusion? Because it relieved him from a secret fear, of which, with all his philosophy, he had not been able to divest himself, that when he killed Middleton, he had offended a superior power, which would hereafter call him to account. He went on now studying with more zeal than ever all the arguments against Christianity. He nearly confined his reading to infidel authors and historians. His industry was great, and he possessed himself of the entire ground on which the skeptic stands, of all the probabilities of infidelity, and all the improbabilities and impossibilities which can be urged against religion. He read again with attention certain portions of the Bible; but only to confirm his disbelief of it.

While thus employed, he was attacked with a strange weakness, and heavy, painful headache, the consequence of too much mental exertion, too little exercise, and too constant brooding over his own dark thoughts and his one terrible recollection.

One evening he had returned from a gloomy, solitary ramble, much more unwell than usual, and was undressing for bed, when, in a chair by the table, he observed the figure of a man seated. On fixing his eyes on him, he beheld, with a thrill of horror, the face of Middleton, calm, pale, sad, and noble, the lip and temple spotted with blood.

This same appearance had, at different times during the previous years, presented itself to him, and, generally, before a severe illness. He knew it was the vision of a heated imagination, but it always overcame him with unutterable terror.

He rushed forward, but the apparition disappeared. He seized the chair and threw it across the room. No one was there. He staggered back to the bed, literally overcome.

Before morning he was in a raging fever. In a week his life was in danger. In a month it was despaired of, and, as he retained at times the possession of his senses, his physician told him frankly to regulate his affairs.

He did not suffer much. At intervals his power of reflection appeared rather increased than diminished, and he lay thus some days.

During this period he was visited by many strange, new, large thoughts. The incidents of his vanished years passed before him, and the images of his distant home and friends were present with him. Sometimes he was delirious, and again his faculties came clear and distinct to him. We cannot trace, thought by thought, the process of change which now went on with him. His feelings were often thrilling and sublime beyond description. He saw now what it was to want religion; what a helpless creature the mortal is by himself. About to step off the precipice, he looked around for some hand to guide, some voice to console him; nor, infidel as he was, could he believe it possible that a support so necessary should be denied to man even by the blind chance which had given the ear to hear and the eye to see. Was it credible that, all wants else supplied, this, the greatest, should have been omitted? No, it was not. A singular consciousness shot into his mind that he had never given the subject the serious consideration it merited. The recollection of the famous work of Strauss occurred to him, and he thought this author had fulfilled but a useless and a cruel task if he had really caused any Christian to abandone his faith. As he lay thus powerless, weak, and dying, never to see the green earth again, never to hear the voices of those he loved, neither here nor hereafter, to all eternity, this want of some aid above the world—in short, of supernatural aid, grew intense. The thought that a wonderful and mysterious personage had once lived who professed to give this light, struck him with a very strange effect. This person had been predicted, had come, and had been received by millions. The wisest and greatest of men had believed in him. He saw nothing improbable in it. He who made the sun, the moon, the stars, the comets, could make a prophet, or could manifest himself in person, or in any other way could conceal himself or reveal himself, or do what he pleased; for he was obviously beyond the conception of man.

Too much reflection heated his brain and brought on another crisis. He felt his senses wavering. The universe seemed to reel around him, and the earth to pass away from beneath him. He felt like a wretch falling off a precipice, impotent and lost in infinite horror and despair.

When he recovered his senses, his physician informed him he was out of danger. The strength of his constitution had mastered the disease. But he must not speak or move.

CHAPTER XXXI.

In a few days he sat up. He was extremely emaciated and weak. He was informed that his recovery had been almost miraculous. On relating the circumstance of the figure which had appeared the first evening of his illness, and at the previous periods of the last several years, the physician referred it at once, of course, to shattered nerves and a disturbed imagination, and stated that it was not an uncommon symptom.

When the doctor left him, a feeling of weakness and wo came over the feeble invalid; he threw himself upon a sofa, and could not restrain his tears. His heart swelled with mingled emotions, which all merged in an insupportable despair. Thoughts of his happy, innocent boyhood, of Fanny Elton, the still deeply-beloved, first-chosen object of his affection, and of Frank, his brother, now mouldering in his early grave; the horrible image of the dying Middleton, the conviction that he could never know peace of mind again, and the idea that he had recovered from death only to sink back, in the course of a few years, into a state of annihilation—all these thoughts pressing upon him together were too much for him. He regretted his recovery. Why had they brought him back to life? Why had he not gone to ashes and the worm? Why! since he must go to them at last? He looked forward to the path before him: a world of phantoms and blind chance, with no reward for virtue, no protection from vice, no guarantee against death, no hope for the future, no motive in self-cultivation but what arose and ended with this transitory scene, no glory in pure things; no distinction, but passing and conventional ones between right and wrong, no meeting again with the dead, no future, no God; all dark, all accidental, all reckless, all cold and lonely, and all fleeting away into nothing. What was the world, what was life on such terms? Oh, nothing, worse than nothing.

His long illness had made him hysterical, and, as these really sad and withering thoughts rolled through his mind, like the dark, damp clouds of a stormy sky over the head of the wave-tossed sailor, who, in his little boat, without compass or rudder, finds himself abandoned to the pitiless tempest, the saddest tears a mortal could shed flowed down his cheeks, and he abandoned himself to utter despair.

"Yes!" he murmured, "my poor mother, and Mr. Elton, and Seers, were right in one respect. I have tried the world, and found it wanting. I have gone abroad in life confident in infidelity, and all around me has become hollow and miserable. I do want aid and protection from that Great Being who created me. I am weak and guilty, blood-stained and broken-hearted—oh God!"

And now, from his loneliness and his despair, his soul turned to his Maker at last.

"If thou hearest thy creatures, have mercy upon me! If there be light, let it shine on me! for, of a truth, by myself I am a wretch."

There was a knock at the door. He rose hastily, ashamed of his tears. The intruder was his servant. He brought a letter and went out again. Harry left it on the table a long time untouched. He was afraid to open it; he felt he had no strength in himself to bear any shock. That proud self-confidence, that buoyant strength, that daring readiness to meet events, alas! they had left him. They had gone with his youth and thoughtlessness, his iron nerves, his round cheek, his careless forehead, and unshaded heart.

At length he took the mute messenger. It was covered with addresses and post-marks. It seemed redolent of the air of home. The flowers of Rose Hill breathed from its folds. The faces of the loved ones associated with that spot crowded around him, and he kissed it as he recognised the writing of his mother, and saw that it was not sealed with black.

"No, no! They are yet all there. No new stroke has bereft me; my father, my mother, Mary, and Fanny are not yet gone down into the black, unfathomable, eternal abyss. Oh why am I so long away from them? Why do I spend my weary, lonely life, distant from this sweet circle? True, Frank is no more there; true, I shall go back a strange, altered, darkened, gloomy man, with bloody hands and a broken heart. But I will go back; they will pity and forgive me."

He tore open the letter. It was from his mother. It was dated nearly a year ago. It had been following him through several places, had been in the house since his first illness, and been withheld till now by order of the doctor. It contained another addressed by the hand of his father. He read his mother's first.

CHAPTER XXXI.

"My beloved Son,

"Come home and share our sorrows. Come home and lessen our unhappiness—"

He trembled at this ominous commencement, but went on.

"Great changes have taken place within the last year. We have lost all our property. A succession of the most unexpected events has ruined hundreds, and involved us in the same fate. An appalling monetary crisis, as you must well know, is sweeping over the country. Your father, in his generous confidence in, and characteristic desire to assist other people, has risked everything and lost everything. He is obliged to begin the world again. Poor Mr. Elton is no more. He died five months ago. Heavy losses, sustained, in common with so many of his townsmen, occurring at a time when his health was feeble, proved too much for him. Mrs. Elton is with us, and Fanny also—the tenderest of nurses and the sweetest of friends. Mr. Emmerson —but the story is not altogether one to commit to paper. You will hear it on your arrival, which I hope will not be long delayed. We have a thousand interesting things to tell you, but will not enter upon such subjects till we meet.

"It grieves me to add still farther to your distress and alarm, but I think it better to prepare you at once for the state of your dear father. He has been dangerously, and is still distressingly ill. For some time his disorder went into his eyes, and he was, during a period, entirely blind. He is better, but his final recovery of sight is doubtful. Hoping to retrieve our affairs, we long resolved not to communicate them to you till we could accompany the recital with better tidings. That hope is now past. It is decreed by an All-wise Providence that we shall taste sorrow in our old age. But He has mingled the cup with one good, which counterbalances the evil. What this blessing is you will learn by the enclosed letter from your dear father, which he insisted upon writing himself, lest you should think his blindness worse than it is. Indeed, since a few days, he sees very well, and can read at intervals without danger. I fear, however, for purposes of business, he will never be what he was.

"I know you will hasten home, my dearest son, the moment this reaches you. But do not be too much alarmed, knowing, as we do, that `whom He loveth He chasteneth, ' and that this life and all its vicissitudes are comparatively unworthy the grief of a rational being, except those events of it which relate to spiritual things. Do you know, can you believe you have been absent nearly ten years? When I pass in review what has befallen us in the interim, the period seems long enough; but when I recall the morning we accompanied you to your ship, I can fancy you left us only yesterday; and so life passes away. Answer me now, my son, is it not a dream?

"Mary is well and happy, and sends her love. There is a story connected with her, but, with a yet unconquered love of mischief, she has forbid my even alluding to it. And—I shall really tell you nothing until you are here. By the blessing of God, notwithstanding what I have suffered, my health is excellent. My heart yearns to embrace you, my dear Harry. Oh, may God grant you that light which will render all things endurable, all things welcome. I do not doubt there is happiness yet in store for us. Read the enclosed letter with attention. Surely our misfortunes are but His means to accomplish His wise ends.

"God bless, preserve, and enlighten you, my beloved wanderer, and soon return you to your ever affectionate mother."

Although Harry's hand literally trembled at this astounding intelligence, he hastened to open his father's letter. It ran thus:

"My dear Boy,

"Your beloved mother will have informed you of the fine doings we have had here, or, at least, of some of them. But don't mind; we'll manage matters yet, only now I must depend a little more on you. As I have no doubt these agreeable epistles will bring you home double quick time, I shall not enter into any particulars, especially as my doctor pretends that I must yet be careful of my eyes. Keep up your spirits, and let us see you here when you can conveniently manage it. We are beginning to feel your absence, really.

"I would not write at all to-day, were it not my desire, as well as my duty, to make one remark to you, which will probably occasion you more surprise than all the rest of our revolutions. The truth is, I am much altered since you left. Many circumstances have occurred to change my character. Poor Frank's death was the first and most important. Your own affair with Lord Middleton came so close upon it as to furnish me serious food for reflection. Men have lost their sons before now; they do every day, and will continue to do so; but the sudden cutting off of poor Frank in that manner was sufficient to shake and loosen the world's hold of me. It is an old and trite saying, that `life is a dream;' but I begin to feel that it is so. I am sixty years old, and the longer I live, the more I see the fleetingness, the nothingness of everything around me, taken by itself. This has led me to a train of thought and to a habit of reading and investigation very different from any I ever had before, and which eventually caused me to look forward through the medium of the great truths of Christianity to that other and better world, to which we are all so rapidly hastening. I had my doubts at first, but they gradually faded away, and I am of the conviction that, whatever may be the arguments on the other side of the question, they are nothing against those in its favour. The only reason why all men are not Christians is, either that they are wilfully bad and corrupt, or that they are too much engaged with the cares, pleasures, and pursuits of this world to allow of their examining the subject attentively and candidly. Vain speculations in philosophy and empty, visionary views, I have depended on long enough, and found them entirely useless. They are not what the Great Creator has given his creatures to support, guide, and instruct them in their way through this life. I am no enthusiast, my dear Harry. I am more gay, more happy, and cheerful than I was before, nor do I shrink from all the innocent pleasures to which I have been accustomed, because I am convinced I am under the immediate government of a merciful God. On the contrary, while I endure sorrow with more resignation, I should find in prosperity abundant charms. Need I add that, if anything could increase my happiness in meeting my dear boy after so long and eventful and absence, it would be the certainty that he also has really examined the question of Christianity. I say examined, because I am quite satisfied that no one can candidly and cooly examine, at least, no sensible and clear understanding, without becoming a believer in the Holy Scriptures.

"Don't mistake me, my boy: I am not a long-faced bigot, afraid of looking at the world, and flying from mirth and pleasure. I was a broken-hearted, gloomy being after poor Frank's accident, but this change in my opinions has restored to me my gayety and more than my accustomed happiness. You will find a man can believe in God and our Redeemer without running into any irrational excess or practising the familiarities of some believers; nor must you suppose grief has turned my head or weakened my understanding— grief had nothing to do with changing my opinions— it only drove me into an examination; by taking from me the props and supports of the outward world, it threw me upon myself, and taught me the tremendous truth, that there existed there nothing but darkness and chaos—not a place to rest on—not one subject which I could bear to reflect on in the long and terrible hours of the wakeful nights. Everything in the universe seemed destroyed, or destined to be so, except Christianity, and I grasped at that, because there was nothing else to save me from infinite destruction and infinite despair. Happily, the more I examined, the more I was convinced. When the great idea had once entered my mind, everything I observed in nature, history, life, and myself, confirmed it. Each moment grew brighter, as at the dawn of a day streaming gradually and gloriously into the windows of a smoky theatre, whose lurid light and false splendour pale and fade before the broadening glory of nature.

"If you have not made the same experience, my son, we will make it together. Doubts will arise. but they will melt away like night-fogs from the solid mountains. If you have not at once the perfect faith of the centurion, you will, at least, say, with the father of the possessed child, `Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!"'

CHAPTER XXXII.

Harry's astonishment, on the perusal of these letters, was too great for expression. He sent instantly for the doctor again, and earnestly pleaded the necessity of immediately starting for New-York. He was met by an inexorable negative. He was too weak to move at all, under six weeks at least, and by no means could he yet venture upon a sea-voyage. The anxiety of the patient, so far from persuading, only confirmed his merry little tyrant of a doctor in his decision.

"But what is the affair?" inquired the doctor. "What has happened? You are nervous and agitated. Ah! I see! Your letters: you have had them too soon. I ought to have delayed them at least a month longer."

"If you knew, doctor, what necessity there is for my going."

"Necessity! Bah! There's no necessity that must not yield to sickness or death. Man can't alter predestination. Were you to start in this state, you would probably, in two days, find yourself on your back in some little dirty Gasthof, full of tobacco-smoke and noise, in a fever ten times more dangerous than ever. The result would be, you would leave your bones there, and that would be the end of you. Your news is bad, I perceive. What's the matter? You've something on your mind, and, excuse me if I add, your recovery has been retarded, I fear, by something on your mind. It seems your morale is affected. This figure, this apparition, ma foi! ce sont des bêtises, mais—enfin—there must be some cause, some secret."

"There is a secret, certainly."

"Well, so I thought, and, eh? don't you think your doctor ought to know? How do you expect me to cure you, if I treat you for bodily disease while you are all the while wearing away under mental sufferings?"

"My story is sad," said Harry, "and, perhaps, you ought to know it. I believe my malady is more of the mind than body."

"Well, there! put this pillow beneath your shoulders; don't exert yourself to sit up. Tell me, now, what is the peculiar trouble. You are married—hey? and live unhappily with your wife, eh? or, rather, don't live with her at all?"

"I am not a married man!" said Harry. "My unhappiness has a deeper, more unalterable cause."

"A deeper and more unalternable cause than a bad wife? Ma foi! " cried the doctor, smiling in that very easy manner in which most men (physicians in particular) listen to the misfortunes of others. "I should like to know what sort of a trouble that could be."

"I will tell you," said Harry, "in the fewest possible words. I left a happy, affluent home between nine and ten years ago."

"And?" said the doctor.

"My first blow was the death of a young brother, of whom I was rather fond, in a duel, and under very peculiar circumstances."

"So? Well, that's bad, mais—ma foi!—que voulez vous? In this world men must die, in one way or other, and others must survive them."

"I should have premised that my mind had been prepared for unhappiness by—by the—you won't think me a fool, doctor, but the fact is, I had an attachment to a young girl, whose character, loveliness, superior mind, and gentle heart—"

"Put all your descriptions in one single word," interrupted Doctor B—, smiling again, "and say she was your mistress. Of course, there never was, and there never can be, another equal to her in all the—the—charms and virtues, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, of mind, manners, person, heart, face, head, feet, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!"

Harr looked rather grave, and raised his eyes to the countenance of the fat, gay, frisky little man who presumed to jest at the confidence he had required in his professional character, but the doctor looked so equally indifferent to his wrath or his sadness, and so excessively cool and knowing, that his frown changed into a smile, although rather a melancholy one.

"There, that's right!" said the doctor. "You were going to be angry; that's a good symptom—sign you're not dead yet. Then your smile is an indication that your senses are returning—good again: go on with your story. If I jest and take a cheerful view of it, my good friend, believe me it is only to counteract the very gloomy one you have long been accustomed to take of it. Perhaps mine is too light; probably yours too dark. Truth may lie in the medium; but be assured I regard the matter as the generality of men will. We should mourn less over our afflictions could we but see them with the eyes of other people. Now what became of this wonderful, enchanting—I beg your pardon! you are looking serious again—what became of this young lady?"

"She—she did not return my attachment."

"Ah!" said the doctor, feeling under his chin with the handle of his gold-headed stick. "So, after all, your dulcinea turned out un peu coquette. But men don't die nowadays from these things."

"I left home and country in order to forget her."

"A little romance!" said the doctor.

"In Dresden, some years ago," continued Harry, who felt a certain relief in unbosoming himself, "I met the person who had caused the slaughter of my brother. I called him out and killed him."

"Allons done!" exclaimed the doctor, more seriously.

"He fell beneath my first fire, and died instantly. This circumstance has, I confess, occasionally given me considerable uneasiness. To say the truth, I have never been happy since, never shall, never can be happy again. Death has been ever since almost the only subject of my contemplation. I have travelled far and wide; I have sought the attractions of society and study. But the world is an altered place to me. Life is a burden; a secret voice whispers me continually, all is vanity, all a dream, all I love are phantoms. I am myself a phantom. I shall soon die, and sink into annihilation without having enjoyed one pleasure or accomplished one should purpose worth living for."

"Ah!" ejaculated the doctor, arranging his cravat in the mirror as he listened. "I see, I see!"

"The thought of the person whom I have killed seems to grow more distinct with time, instead of fading away, as I hoped it would. The spectre which I have described to you made its appearance first some years since, and has always either come during an illness or has proved the immediate herald of one. In the course of the terrible malady, from which your skill—"

The doctor slightly bowed.

"Has just rescued me, I saw it several times. I know it's an illusion, but confess it's not a pleasant one, and I presume I shall be haunted with it as long as I live."

"Well," said the doctor, looking at his watch, "these are, certainly, rather serious events; but I don't see how they make your immediate departure necessary."

"These letters—I will be quite frank, doctor—bring very bad news; in short, the total ruin of my family. You know our country is undergoing a commercial crisis. My father, who has never known what it was to want money, has lost his fortune, and I am, I will not say a beggar, for I am master of a profession, but I am a poor man. In staying abroad, I am spending money to which, perhaps, I have no right, and neglecting pressing interests and duties."

"That's bad," said the doctor.

"And yet the greatest of my misfortunes I have not told."

"And what may that be, pray?"

"It is a certain state of melancholy, of misery into which I have fallen. It is not grief, but it is the result of reflection caused by grief. I have lost my sense of reality in life. I see corruption and decay in all things. I have no respect for anything and no interest in anything, not even in myself. I don't see what I was made for nor the use of living. If, from habit or forgetfulness, I enjoy anything, I suddenly start, remember what a wretched, worthless insect I am, and despise myself for being duped into content in an existence where only a fool can be contented. The natural desire I feel to improve and cultivate myself, or to love others, is constantly checked by this idea. Why cultivate myself? why not rather brutify myself as much as possible, since intelligence and virtue only show more clearly the frightful difference between what man might have been and what he is? And why love even my relations? Why love even mother, or father, or sister? since the appearances which we choose to call by those names are, after all, but illusions, as completely as the figures in a magic lantern. I had a brother once: where is he now? an idea! a recollection! Why pour out upon these visions, which vanish at each instant— why pour out on them the rich treasures of affection, which seem worthy to be poured forth only upon angles? Were I to marry, I could never love wife or child, except with a cold, dark, and trembling love. I should behold in them but charming shadows. I should see beneath the tender blush of my wife only the dead skeleton. I should imagine the worm had already begun to take up his abode in the eyes of my child, now full only of light, that seems to merit such a different fate. I am going home: but what shall I do there? With what heart shall I commence my toiling career—a career which means nothing, ends in nothing, subject to the merest and most cruel chances, where all that seems holiest and noblest is but a mockery, and where scoundrels and hypocrites carry on their manæuvies with perfect impunity, and are as good as other men?

"In short, doctor, I am wretched. I see that the world, left to itself, is a hell, yet I cannot see but that it is left to itself. I don't believe there is a God; I can't believe it. He would never have created so much evil, so much misery, so much guilt. I don't understand how the world could have made itself, but, if there be a God, neither can I comprehend how He made himself. Men talk of the order of the universe: certainly, there is order in some things, though not in all. But if order be an evidence of a preexisting intelligence, whence came that pre-existing intelligence? I have not been able to satisfy myself that there is one. Of course, if the existence of a God be doubtful, our own existence hereafter is more so. I don't believe in a future: I don't believe we're immortal beings. We are but beasts, doctor, but mere beasts, more elevated, but also more unhappy. We have reason, but we have also guilt. We know, but, oh God, we suffer!

"These thoughts, doctor, prey upon me; they oppress, they pursue, they torment me. In the night I sleep badly, I am quite wretched. I lie on my back, cold and trembling, weak, impotent, cowardly, despicable, contemptible. I hate, I despise myself. Oh how I envy the brown-faced, rough, thoughtless, ignorant peasant. Nay, I envy the beast, the dog, the very calf that goes to the shambles. He does not hope. He does not fear. He does not think. He does not know what a horrible thing death is. He does not look forward and speculate on annihilation. His heart does not bleed when the butcher slaughters his brother.

"To conclude my story, I am seriously afraid I shall one day commit suicide. I have a longing for it. I yearn to take the leap at once, and be at rest. I scorn to stand so long shrinking on the brink, since I know so well I must go at last. This feeling at times nearly masters me. It accompanies me always. The greatest pleasure I have is studying the most easy kind of death. Sometimes I he awake in the night and form visions of self-murder. Now in fancy I go to Russia, to Siberia, and freeze myself to death. The cold overcomes me; sleep steals over me, and I delight to picture myself sinking into a slumber from which I am never to awake, and thus escaping intolerable life. Again I go into a hot bath and open a vein. Life flows rapidly forth: I fall painlessly into insensibility and death. Now I blow my brains out, and am destroyed in an instant; and now I leap, in imagination, from some immense height, and dash myself to pieces.

"Were I even prosperous in this world, I could never be happy with these opinions. There are no elements for happiness in this world. All is hollow, all is false. But I am far from being prosperous; I am sure it would be my wisest step to end my gloom and horror with one bold stroke. I cannot express what I suffer from the recollection of my victim. That dying look haunts me always; when I am nervous, ill, and alone, it is fearfully distinct, till at times it passes the line of the ideal, and assumes the perfect bodily form and colour of reality. This horrible spectre takes part, too, in nearly all my dreams. I am quite aware it is a mere shape of the imagination; still it is an almost unendurable misery.

"In this state of mind, all those qualities which men call virtues are only in my way, and become disadvantages, if not follies, while the scoundrel is, in some respects, the wise man. Self-sacrifices and self-denials are ridiculous. Selfishness is the true wisdom, and he who plunges into the stream of worldly pleasures, drowns all thought and feeling in dissipation, and lives and dies without a thought or a care, he is your true philosopher. The good and the wise are fools to him.

"I am lost in mystery. I shall one day, I believe, go mad with vain struggles to conceive the meaning, the origin, and the object of life. The deep black which envelops me on all sides, that mighty curtain of midnight shadow which veils the future, against which the human mind has directed all its efforts, from age to age, so vainly, so foolishly, it is that which has so fixed my attention that I cannot think of anything else.

"Now, doctor, you have my story, I want you to answer me a question. How is it you are so fat, and smooth, and happy? Have you no disappointment? Do you never reflect upon the shortness of life? What do you believe respecting death and our fate hereafter?"

"My young friend," said the doctor, who discovered a certain irrepressible disposition to smile, although he endeavoured not to do so, "you have done very right to confide to me exactly your state of mind. Now I know how to treat you. I'll tell you frankly and at once what's the matter with you; you are hypped. Some of your troubles are serious. The principal one is the loss of your fortune; the rest are mostly imaginary. You ask if I have never suffered disappointments. To be sure I have, plenty of them. Mais, ma foi! que voulez vous? The way I`bear them is, I don't think of them; and I keep my stomach in order. That's the great secret of human happiness. No man whose digestion was good ever bothered himself about what would become of him after death. We are here. We are made. We live and we die. That we know; the rest we don't know. It's all very well for those who can believe the fine things they tell us. There are people who pretend to know—so much the better for them. Mais pour nous autres, ma foi! que voulez vous! we must take the world as it is. I have no doubt the supreme principle will manage matters for us after death, as before. It not, ma foi! que voulez vous?

"Let me, however, as your physician, tell you one thing. Such thoughts as you have disclosed to me, this hankering after things future—things veiled from us, is a mere symptom of malady. You must not bore yourself with such subjects. You shall take a course of the Carlsbad waters. Until then, you shall remain here, quietly amusing yourself as well as you can; and afterward you can go home. I don't doubt you will find things better than you suppose. You will learn to enjoy life; to seize the present without worrying yourself about the past or the future. I find in you an extreme delicacy and susceptibility of the nervous system, and an excessive weakness of the organs of digestion. The nerves act on the stomach, and, through the stomach, injure the mind. These dreams, and phantoms, and gloomy notions of religion are physical. Why grieve over the past, which is gone? why fret about the future, which is not here? You have killed a man. You did quite right, if you will only think so. Don't yield to youthful nursery superstitions. I'll take care of your phantom! Ha! ha! ha! Leave him to me! All the reasoning in the world could not lay him, but he won't stand one of my pills! Ha! ha! ha! Don't think, don't study. Don't go to plunging into dark, gloomy subjects. Take a glass or two of Champagne every day, follow a generous diet, ride on horseback when you get strong enough, and you shall be well and happy again, although you can't penetrate into all the mysteries of nature."

"If I could really think," said Harry, "that my melancholy was physical, and removable by physical remedies!"

"Bah! Be assured it is by me, your doctor—ma foi! I know. I have had a hundred such cases. This melancholy, which renders people incapable of enjoying the pleasures of life, is a degree of insanity. Sometimes it terminates in absolute madness. It proceeds from intense thinking, especially upon one subject; violent passions, love, fear, grief, revenge, solitude—ma foi! half my patients are afflicted in the same way. I see it in your eyes. Your body is inflated, your complexion pale, your pulse slow and weak. The whole functions of your mind are perverted. You are hypped. You think yourself miserable, and therefore you are so. I have had patients who fancied themselves tea-pots. Do you like honey?"

"Yes."

"Take plenty of that; plenty of compote. Don't fast long at a time, and let your food be solid and nourshing. Rub yourself well in the morning with a brush or coarse cloth. I have given you a prescription, an excellent preparation of iron and the Peruvian bark, to strengthen the alimentary canal and promote the secretions. You have been, I perceive, for years undergoing a complicated series of nervous symptoms, which have reduced you to an unusual relaxation and debility. Good-by, good-by. My horses, I see, are getting impatient. Stay where you are till June, and I'll send you home a well man, although you may not know how the world was formed, or what's going to become of it. You want nothing but a course of Carlsbad."

CHAPTER XXXIII.

Just risen from what he had considered a death-bed, Harry was not in a mood to be particularly impressed with the easy philosophy of the little doctor. He was too serious to see in it anything but shallow worldliness; fit to content a common mind in the ordinary emergencies of life, but not to be of much use to the really unhappy, far less to the dying. The "mais, ma foi! que voulez vous?" of his not very sympathizing friend, would have seemed profound wisdom to him ten years before; but now, his yearning for sacred and necessary knowledge required more solid aliment.

He passed several days, coolly and seriously reviewing his past life, and reflecting, as he had never done before, on the future, The present, too, which the doctor found so enjoyable, furnished some subjects of meditation. At one time he resolved to start immediately for New-York, and he even went so far as privately to consult another physician. He was told, however, that the plan would prove not only dangerous, but impossible, and that a course of Carlsbad would be of the utmost importance to his future health. On reflecting, he found that, with a slight difference of expense, he could prolong his stay the necessary time; and he concluded it would be, perhaps, for the best to reject no means within his reach to carry home with him good health, that he might commence in earnest the serious duties of life. He was aided, too, in forming a conclusion, by a letter, although of an old date, received a day or two after from Emmerson. It was written in his usual friendly, confidential, and quiet manner, and alluded to the general confusion of monetary affairs; but stated that, although his father had been indisposed, and at one time threatened with a disagreeable weakness of the eyes, he was now doing very well, and he had not given up the hope (although Mr. Lennox himself appeared at one time to have done so) of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Lennox resume their plan of European travel, which would greatly benefit their health. He added, that they had had a fright respecting money affairs; but he was persuaded Mr. Lennox would come out of it much better off than he had at first apprehended. Miss Elton (he stated in a careless way) was about, at last, to abandon the maiden independence she had prized so highly, in favour of a wealthy gentleman of Charleston, who had long been received as her devoted admirer. She was in fine health and spirits, and continued to be the life of every society, etc., etc., etc.

This letter determined Harry to remain, and he wrote his father, accordingly, that a slight indisposition would detain him some months longer in Europe, but that in the summer he should at length turn his steps homeward.

The next six weeks he spent alone, reading the "History of Christianity," and the other volumes which his mother had given him. A strange, deep, absorbing curiosity, mingled with a hope inexpressibly cheerful and sublime, urged him on in this new study. He entered upon it with very different emotions from those with which he had undertaken it on board the packet ship, when, with only one faint cloud over his life, he had looked forward to a brilliant tour and perfect happiness. Then he was young, healthy, rich, selfconfident, in the highest possible spirits; now he was in a far different situation and in a far different mood of mind. Ten years of experience and reflection had caused him to regard life and the world as a bubble. Grief had gone into his soul. He had shed blood; he had felt guilt; he had seen the strength depart from his limbs and the brightness from his heart; he had seen, he had felt, he had inflicted death; he had himself stood on the awful brink, and he now asked of man, of earth, of heaven, and of his own deep soul, what came after, or what resources the Creator had granted mortals to pass through the last dread scene. The belief of an all-wise, all-powerful, benevolent, paternal God had gradually risen up in his mind, even as the morning follows the night; and it was an immovable foundation on which to erect his new system of philosophy. The extraordinary letter of his father, confessing his change of opinion, he had brooded over with the most inexpressible interest, partly owing to the intrinsic remarkableness of the incident, and partly to the peculiar state of mind in which the intelligence of it found him. He was at that moment at last conscious that he groped in darkness, that there was on the earth no single beam of light, and the simple fact, that a mind like his father's, so clear, bold, and independent, so far above vulgar terror or superstition, had discovered in Christianity a sublime truth, not only startled and bewildered him, but raised in him a very exciting curiosity.

Of all volumes which have ever been written in illustration and confirmation of Christianity, the work of Bishop Butler, called the "Analogy of Religion," is perhaps the most extraordinary. He commenced this book, not as he had before done, with a mere desire to get through with it as a tedious task, but with an intense thirst for truth, now the deepest want of his nature. He had not gone through twenty pages before he perceived he was in the hands of an intellectual giant, whose strength of reasoning he was as unable to resist as he was to oppose the decrees of fate. Not only did he find, at the outset, all those arguments upon which his unbelief had rested, demonstrated as fallacies, but other arguments in favour of infidelity, which he had never heard of, also advanced, and also reduced to nothing. No poor man examining a deed conveying to him a magnificent estate, ever drank in each sentence and word with more profound interest. As he read, his late sad news, his past anxieties—life, death, the world, and all it contained, faded into comparative insignificance beside the stupendous discovery he was making, that Christianity, with all its absurdities, with all its impossibilities, might be true—true according to the strictest rules of evidence, true according to the severest principles of philosophy, true beyond the contradiction of the most wilful skeptic, true to reason, true even to Nature, true to the plainest dictates of common sense.

In the midst of these studies the period arrived when the doctor gave him leave to visit Carlsbad.

CHAPTER XXXIV.

It was in the early part of June that, in a diligence, for he had laid aside the expensive luxury of a travelling carriage, he reached the superb broad road which leads down the steep mountain, at whose base, hidden in one of the loveliest valleys of Bohemia, lies the town of Carlsbad. The striking scenery of the spot would alone render it remarkable, but it is known to invalids as the monarch of German watering-places, to which, in the fine season, resort pilgrims from distant parts of the globe.

The scene which presents itself to the eye of the stranger as, with locked wheel, he winds slowly and carefully down, is exquisite beyond description. The peculiar character of the chaussée reveals the various features of the picture with a pomp of display resembling the studied artifice of a theatric exhibition, if, indeed, a theatric exhibition could be so bright and imposing. At first, from the high mountain brow, the stranger beholds nothing but a sea of solitary verdure, waving upon the sides and tops of apparently inaccessible eminences; but, as he descends towards the valley, by short and acute angles, turning suddenly along a series of platforms, each one immediately beneath the other, at every abrupt bend some new portion of the enchanting panorama bursts upon him, till he who has, perhaps, come thousands of miles, in hopes of leaving here some distressing or dangerous malady, feasts his eyes at last on the welcome scene, the green, tender lawns, the pretty river, the broad, leaning hill-sides, the winding walks, the various bridges, the long avenues of trees, and the ancient town, with its crowded, irregularly built, antique-looking houses and picturesque old cathedral—a sort of Jerusalem in the visions of the invalid.

As Harry followed the course of this zigzag road, he looked from the window upon the ever fresh and beautiful face of nature, and hailed the resplendent scene with an emotion as new as it was delicious and indescribable. He felt as if he were just born. He began, at least, to have an idea what it was to be born again. For years he had ceased to admire nature, or to regard it as other than a false and lying cheat, a sweet accident, a fair and cruel illusion. But now it raised far other thoughts and feelings. It was a portion of the works of an Almighty God, and a benevolent, superintending, affectionate father, given to man for his benefit and his delight. It was spread thus splendidly before his eyes as an emblem of virtue and of truth. It was the magnificent path over which he was to travel in his pilgrimage of immortal life. He was not an insect, by chance crawling on its surface, and destined to pass away, unmourned and forgotten, from its bright fields and solemn rocks. He was its lord, its master, treading with celestial feet its beauteous fields, and destined to quit it only for scenes more bright and eternal.

It is not our intention to follow the mind of our young hero through its various changes during the six weeks spent at this delightful spot. The subject may be considered by some too serious for this species of history, though we can see nothing more interesting or more worthy to be described, in a proper spirit, on all occasions, than the swaying round of an intelligent young mind from youthful skepticism to religious faith.

He had, however, already become a Christian. He had not by any means examined the whole subject; there were often in his mind doubts which he could not explain, and which appeared totally inconsistent with belief. But he had caught a ray of that celestial faith which the sublime Being who appeared on earth to enlighten, purify, and console poor, guilty, weary, and struggling man, demanded of his followers as a sign of sincerity. For the first time in his life, our doubting skeptic saw and felt what it was to have faith. He believed he should become a Christian, and therefore he was one. He could not always disperse every dark cloud of doubt, but he believed they would one day be dispersed. He felt he had been for years plunged into an agony of gloom and ignorance, which, by a single idea, once fairly admitted, was ended forever. The Essay of Butler had clearly convinced him that Christianity was not only not impossible, according to the dictates of the coldest reason, but was as clearly and unanswerably proved as any fact in science, history, or nature. This was an astounding discovery—the most tremendous and sublime event of his life; it thrilled him with unutterable emotion—unutterable hope—unutterable love; it gave new action, new vitality to every faculty and attribute of his being that was noble and high, while it checked at once and forever all the puny fears, all the dark doubts, all the grovelling desires and trembling misgivings which had, till now, counteracted the best purposes and chilled the holiest impulses of life. Yes, he was a Christian. The moment he was persuaded Christianity was not impossible, he believed it to be true. It was convincing like the solution of an enigma, which, once spoken, is self-evident. Regarded from this point of view, the world assumed a different—a more important—a more real—a brighter—warmer—nobler appearance. He looked abroad upon the infinite universe, and far down into his own deep heart, and all that was dark grew bright, and all that was confused and mysterious became intelligible. A flood of rapture rolled in upon him. Immortality! It was a thought too dazzling, too stupendous. It rescued not only himself from insignificance, destruction, and despair, but it restored to him all those he loved. So long had he been accustomed to regard himself as a worm, to contemplate the grave as his last, only resting-place, to look upon all things around as matters in which he could have no concern, and the skies above him, and the immeasurable future, as secrets locked forever from him as one too contemptible and fleeting ever to know, or have part in them, that this new change in his destiny had in it something overwhelming, and he saw it would require his whole life to rearrange his thoughts and plans on this mighty scale.

These were the emotions with which, just released from a death-bed and a long confinement to a sick-room, our young traveller saw burst upon him the broad, distant champaign, and the deep, rich valley which greet the stranger on arriving at Carlsbad.

CHAPTER XXXV.

It happened, at this time, that Dr. K—, one of the greatest physicians of Europe, was himself taking the waters. Harry at once placed himself under his care. The second morning after his arrival, Dr. K— paid him his first professional visit.

"Tell me your symptoms."

Harry explained his bodily sensations.

"Let me look at you—come to the window."

He obeyed. A stream of light fell upon his face as the eyes of his examiner were fixed upon him. There was something in the appearance of this celebrated man which denoted a remarkable person. His countenance beamed with mind and benevolence. His eyes were large, black, and piercing. His manner full of thought and experience. There was that in him which instantly made you feel he was an uncommon man.

Harry almost blushed as he stood the long, deliberate, searching scrutiny of those eyes, which, piercing into each line and feature, at length seemed to gaze through his own, and to read the secret thoughts of his soul.

"Your original disease is in your mind," said the doctor, after several minutes' pause. "Your morale has been over-cultivated and consumed. You have long had something preying on your spirits?"

"I have."

"I will not ask farther, but is it removable?"

"That, doctor," said Harry, "you can tell better than I."

And he proceeded with frankness, as he had done to Doctor B—, to relate his feelings and opinions, with the various circumstances of the last ten years which had led to them, and particularly the state of mind into which he had fallen respecting religion.

The doctor smiled, but in a very different way from the merry, little, fat Doctor B—.

"By disclosing your complaint, you prove that the remedy is at hand, and your manner of relating your extremely interesting history induces me to hope you are about to find it. But it is not physical, and cannot be cured by physical remedies. In order to ensure in you a more zealous search of it, let me make one remark: I am sixty years old. I have practised my profession forty years. My duties have brought me in contact with all kinds and classes of men, and I have given particular attention to this subject. When I was two-and-twenty I was, also, an infidel. The grave events of life, also, made me re-examine. Upon doing so with more mature mind and greater care, I became convinced that there is nothing more shallow, pert, ignorant, and unreasonable than infidelity, and nothing more rational, wise, tranquillizing, and durable than a full, entire faith in the Bible and in Christianity. Without it, although thoughtless or bad men, engaged in the absorbing pursuits of life, may fancy themselves for a time contented, no man can be permanently and truly happy. Go on! you cannot fail to arrive at perfect faith. You never can be happy without it, nor can you ever be perfectly happy with it. The Carlsbad waters will benefit you, but a holy and solemn study of Christianity will cure you. Religion is the proper air, light, and nutriment of the human soul, and it came, believe me, from the hand of God—his last, best gift to mortality."

Harry felt an ineffable delight at hearing these words. Young skeptics often find their greatest difficulty a certain shame of being supposed duped by an absurd superstition, and their confidence in the sublime and mysterious truth requires, at first, the support of example, on the part of the enlightened. The infidel example of Harry's father had produced a powerful influence in his younger years. He had unconsciously stood upon that in his skepticism. Now that it was removed, and his father himself had acknowledged his error, the contrary effect became instantly visible in his new desire to examine.

A certain intimacy speedily took place between the doctor and his young patient. There was a sympathy which, notwithstanding the difference in their age, could scarcely fail to lead to friendship, especially in a place like Carlsbad, where people are continually together in the open air, and very much thrown upon each other for modes of passing away the time. The doctor was as learned as he was sincerely pious, and was pleased to see an intelligent young mind caring less for the sensual, visible things immediately around it, than for those mighty, invisible truths which most men trouble themselves so little about, and which, nevertheless, at some period or other of all our lives, get to have such a tremendous importance. Harry was charmed to find one so much older and wiser than himself, one stamped by the voice of fame as a man, not only of sense and knowledge, but of genius, regarding his blind gropings after truths, which no one else cared about, with lively sympathy and a friendly desire to assist.

In the mean time, Harry went on studying industriously. He read, for the first time, in connexion with the prophecies, a History of the Jews, which filled him, as well it might, with awful amazement. The doctor marked a Bible for-him and designated some German volumes illustrative of it, the perusal of which added to his wonder—at the perfect clearness of the subject, and his own complete previous ignorance. In truth, he had before no conception of it whatever.

When he came to a difficulty, as he frequently did, the doctor was at hand to solve it, and he was surprised to see how many difficulties apparently inexplicable were made clear as the simplest fact by a new idea or a little closer study. Under such wise direction, this young mind was led along a path of reading, reflection, and observation, very different from the wild and idle wanderings of its earlier days. He passed in regular review the direct and fundamental proofs, and that long series of things reaching from the beginning of the world to the present time, and making up, in the whole, one argument, which, viewed together, has been said to resemble the effect of architecture.

In the course of his examination he found one remarkable peculiarity. The more closely he examined the more he believed. Each step was a discovery, and always pointing one way. If he ever doubted, it was just in proportion as he receded from the subject.

Harry was thus, at last, engaged in a very important investigation, under extremely favourable circumstances. His mind was enlarged by travel, reflection, and study. His heart was purified by grief and softened by self-reproach. He had, for the time, leisure and exemption from those pressing cares which keep most men's minds for years in one daily routine, and he had at his side a very remarkable man, belonging to a profession not easily led away by enthusiasm, a man of talent, celebrity, calmness, and learning, fully believing in Christianity, and also at leisure and ready to reply to his inquiries. Dr. K—understood the subject like a theologian, but explained it with the coolness of a man of the world. Few men in these utilitarian days think of examining Christianity; and those who do, rarely give it the time and attention bestowed by our hero. For several months it had exclusively occupied his mind. He had pursued it with a zealous industry and determination, which men often exhibit in their projects of avarice, revenge, love, or ambition, but (and is it not strange that it should be so?) rarely in things not connected with the little, transitory hour of human existence. Men see themselves more fleeting than the pebbles they walk on and the houses they build. They fall, with every breath, like autumn leaves. Their very hats and coats outlast them, and yet, one in ten thousand, like Harry, and he only when startled into it by an extraordinary chain of events, thinks of really examining, with any degree of interest, into the life, deeds, and claims of the sublime Being who receives the worship of modern civilization; at whose name so many adoring nations bend the knee; whose coming was heralded so many thousand years by the voice of prophecy and the murmur of human expectation; at whose appearance the most stupendous fabrics of mortal strength dissolved into air, and not only temples and towers, but thrones and systems vanished like vapours before the rising sun; whose calm words have penetrated to the remotest parts of the earth, and will penetrate to the most distant period of time; to whom so many millions and millions of dying eyes have been turned when all things else were shrouded in night; and who has left in men's possession proofs of his existence, of his power, of his works, of his origin, of his design, as unanswerable as those of any inscrutable truth of science, the sun's light or the comet's speed.

CHAPTER XXXVI.

The waters of Carlsbad, under such propitious circumstances, rapidly and completely re-established Harry's health. His happiness, with the exception of some painful thoughts, was in a still more remarkable manner restored by the elevating moral influence of his new opinions. With each delightful day he brought to the doctor some new, or, rather, some old, objection against the Bible, and he continued to be amazed at the satisfactory manner in which all these were explained. The striking and apparently fabulous events of the Scriptures, the crimes of God's chosen people and his favourite individuals, the cruelties ordered by the Creator, the miracles of the Old and New Testaments, the thousand arguments so naturally urged by an intelligent unbeliever against the whole system, one after the other of these were so satisfactorily replied to, that he could not help wondering he had so long been the passive dupe of fallacies so apparent.

One or two plausible arguments against religion still remained.

"There are other religions to which some of the arguments used in support of Christianity would equally apply. Once allow miracles, and all the rest is easy. One of Volney's most powerful passages is where he represents the followers of Jesus as wrangling with those of the Arabian prophet, and lost in a crowd of other groups who claim the palm of divine honours for Zoroaster, Vishnu, or Brahma."

The doctor replied to this with a smile.

"Here is wherein Volney is either deceived or dishonest. Bring before you, for instance, all the evidence in favour of all the other religions; do you suppose your opinion could be made to waver an instant respecting the absurdity of pretending a divine origin to a single one of them? Do you believe it could be proved, even sufficiently to raise a single doubt, that Mohammed was other than a man, or that Mars or Neptune were gods, or that fire is the proper object of worship? Go study these religions, and you will soon be aware that Christianity is as much better founded on reason and nature, as much more incontrovertible when examined by the highest intelligence, and according to the received rules of evidence, as modern astronomy and chymistry are better founded than astrology and alchymy. God has given to navigation the compass, to moral philosophy the Bible . If any doubt the mysterious wonders of either, let them examine, and they will be convinced. Your great Butler searched into the foundations of Christianity. Do you suppose his `Analogy' could have been written upon any other religion?"

"But confess," rejoined Harry, "that if Christianity has its Newtons and its Butlers, infidelity has its Humes, Gibbons, Paines, Volneys, and Strausses."

"Truth," replied the doctor, "cannot take its place in the world without opposition; it is that which tries, tests, and establishes it. In science and philosophy, has it not always been attacked and persecuted? Can you show that these attacks have destroyed it? That Christianity would be opposed is one of its own doctrines. Did not Christ predict it? and was he not crucified?"

"But the small number of really sincere Christians?"

"Another of its predictions. It is said repeatedly, `not every one shall understand,' and `narrow is the gate, and few there be that find it.' But is not virtue truth, and yet how few are virtuous?"

"But at so late an age, a good man, and a most intelligent one, like Strauss, produces such a book as his `Life of Jesus,' and finds for it so many supporters! I confess that sometimes startles me."

"Germany," said the doctor, "is an instrument in the hands of Providence. She is the type of modern, earthly philosophy, and is destined to bring to the unbelieving side all the light of science and all the force of intellect. The nation is going through a process. At present she doubts. She will one day recover from her doubt. She is now in a transition state. From Luther to Strauss is a period in her history. Have you not read the work of Neander on the same subject?"

"No!"

"I must tell you, then, an anecdote. When Strauss's work was published, it was proposed to his majesty, the King of Prussia, to prohibit it in his dominions. He referred the matter to Neander, who advised against prohibiting it, with the assurance that it would eventually make more apparent the divine origin of the religion it so powerfully attacks. But this book seems to have made an impression on you?"

"A deep one; and on you?"

"At first, yes; but the more I examined it, the more I perceived it was but an ingenious concentration of all that could be said against what is, nevertheless, the truth. The arguments and evidence on the other side still preponderate."

"But there is something convincing," rejoined Harry, "there is something staggering in the clear, practical, searching, and sensible views of Strauss. The reason and the heart sometimes respond to his appeals."

"This proves," said the doctor, "that he is a clever man and sincere in what he advocates, but it does not prove that what he advocates is not an error. I know Strauss very well. He's an amiable, worthy, honest man; but he's made a mistake. He has the wrong side, and it has been very distinctly proved that he has. He begs the question."

"In what way?"

"He says, for instance, whenever there's a miracle, we may presume a myth. The sophistry of this, when the possibility of miracles is the subject of the debate, is clear. He does not admit the early existence of the Gospels. His whole system is founded on an impossibility as contrary to nature and experience as the very miracles which he dogmatically assumes to be myths. In short, however forcible his reasoning, it falls to the ground the moment we discover his premises are false. There are enthusiasts in infidelity as well as in superstition. This worthy Dr. Strauss is one."

"Yet," resumed Harry, after a pause, "I confess a doubt occasionally comes over me, when I see whole nations, like Germany and France, reject Christianity, and when I see that, after it has been in the world more than eighteen hundred years, such men as Strauss, Hume, Gibbon, and that school, openly ridicule it."

"And, granting it to be really true, do you suppose it could be otherwise? Do you know there is an astronomer now living who denies the truth of the Copernican system? and yet this is susceptible of mathematical demonstration. Take any question that arises, in England, for example, any look, any personage, any system of philosophy, there will be an attack and a defence. That Christianity would be attacked, rejected, persecuted, ridiculed, and would, nevertheless, survive, is a remarkable part of Christian prophecy— is, in fact, a strong evidence of its Divine origin. But Germany and France, as nations, do not reject it. The ablest refutation of Strauss's book is from the French press, and, while it leaves untouched the superstructure, has demolished the foundation. Christianity is inextinguishable. It is a part of nature, like air and light. It is a creation, not an invention. It has become a necessary aliment of the human soul. The rich, the great, the learned, the philosopher, and yet more particularly the young, the bad, the selfish, and the thoughtless, may fancy they can do without it. Mankind, as a race, think otherwise. Doubt may come over nations as over individuals, but, nevertheless, it will last till the end of all things. The very fact that, at this age, it requires to be attacked by science and philosophy, and that it is attacked vainly, is an evidence of its indestructibility and truth. We don't believe any more in Neptune or the nymph of Egeria. No other religion would bear the scrutiny it has received. What said its sublime founder? `The heavens and the earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away.' Be assured, the ultimate effect of Strauss's book will be to display the uselessness of attacking Christianity."

CHAPTER XXXVII.

Our limits, and the plan of this work, do not permit us to follow the various conversations of the learned believer and the young tyro, whose habits of skepticism still sometimes clung to him, who guarded himself as far as possible from every impulse of enthusiasm, and who yielded each lingering doubt only when reason showed it was without foundation. Nor, even could we relate them, did these conversations embrace half the arguments in confirmation of that truth which had dawned upon Harry's mind the moment he commenced an examination in the right spirit. The attempt to compress all the proofs within a few conversations would be like endeavouring to unfold, in the same space, history, science, and Nature.

In the midst of his researches his estimable friend was suddenly struck with a dangerous illness, which in a few days was declared incurable. For a time the physician refused Harry, as well as crowds of other friends, admission to the sick-chamber, but at length, when the immediate and fatal termination of the disorder became apparent, they no longer opposed an interview. Harry was, accordingly, admitted to the presence of the person who, but a day or two before, had been striding with him up those bright mountain walks in all the vigour of life. He was altered shockingly, so much so, indeed, as to be scarcely recognisable. His attenuated features, pallid complexion, large, sunken, terrible eyes, were enough to frighten a stouter heart.

Harry, for a few moments, felt as if he should be unable to support the approaching awful spectacle. The invalid made one or two attempts to say something, but had not the strength. His desire, however, to make some remark or request was so apparent, that the nurse suggested various observations, to each of which he replied by a scarce perceptible shake of the head.

"Do you wish anything?"

"No."

"Would you like to see anybody?"

"No."

"Do you suffer?"

"No."

"Do you wish to say something?"

An affirmative look.

"Shall I leave you, my friend?" inquired Harry, with tearful eyes.

"No."

"Shall I remain with you?"

"Ah! yes, yes."

"That is what you wished to say?"

"Yes, yes."

And the smile with which he saw that, at length, he was understood, seemed full of peace and happiness. Even while it lingered on his lips he fell asleep.

"He will wake in a short time," said the physician, "but only to pass away."

In an hour he awoke.

"Read to me," he said, in a stronger voice.

"What book?" inquired Harry.

"There is but one."

Harry read a part of the Gospel of St. John.

The dying man looked up to him gratefully when he had finished.

"I am going," he said, "I am passing away. Study your Bible. It's the only thing that can help you when you lie here."

He fell back with a smile. The physician closed his eyes. His spirit had passed away, calmly and happily.

"And this," thought Harry, "is Death. This is what I have so much feared, so much misunderstood. This has been the bugbear of my youth, the spectre, the tyrant. Noble friend! I thank you for obliging me to behold this, the last and the sublimest of all your lessons."

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

The last day he was to spend at Carlsbad was a bland, still, and most delicious one. All nature appeared bright and promising, full of deep meaning, and ineffable, almost intolerable beauty. Harry was strong and in calm spirits again. His nerves were tranquillized, his head clear, his heart light, his hopes high. Periods of great depression he had suffered while reflecting on the dark deed he had committed, but he found in the volume to which he had now been taught to look for consolation and guidance, so many promises of pardon to those who asked it in the proper spirit, that his whole soul floated in an element of pure happiness.

For the last time, he wandered about the exquisite promenades of this delightful spot. He mounted the steep hills; he folded his arms, and gazed in mute rapture on the enchanting views. He entered the solitary, sombre woods, and looked down on the broad tract of splendid scenery which, dotted with towns and villages, lay unrolled beneath his feet like a map. He breathed the fragrant air of the mountains; he heard the voices of the falling brooks and the warbling birds; he beheld the streams of sunshine pouring richly into the dark glades and tranquil valleys, the silky clouds scattered in soft groups about in the air, and it seemed to him that his immortal soul, long lost in a blind sleep and a dark and terrible dream, had been just returned to him. All his oppressive gloom had passed away. He looked around him with the calm grandeur of an immortal being just setting out in its career of ages, scarcely treading with mortal feet the rolling earth; destined to soar above death itself, and to continue, in spite of the clouds of earth, its cares or its disappointments, a course of happiness without end.

The whole day he remained upon the mountains. He watched the setting sun descend, and the silver moon rise broad and silent from the opposite hills. He beheld the stars one after the other become visible, and he listened to the strains of a band of music which rose softened from below, mingled with the voices of children playing in the fields.

We stop. We drop the veil over the mind and heart of him who, through ignorance, error, solitude, and sickness, through grief for the dead, crime, unhappiness, despair, and profound thought, had receded a step from the world and approached the throne of his Creator. We shall not attempt to penetrate farther the sacred mystery of the process which God grants here and there to a pure heart, by which the things seen "as in a glass, darkly," become less confused and obscure, and the soul appears to be partly freed from earth before the body is. It has been said that the most interesting of histories would be that of a human heart, but we are not disposed to approach with a too profane familiarity the inner workings of the spirit. We have ventured to trace the exterior events which fixed our hero's attention to his own nature and destiny, and which, at length, gave to his blind soul the power of vision. There can be, in all the range of human sensations, none so sublime as that of a man who, long accustomed to regard himself as a miserable, passing worm, feels the first foreshadowings of immortality, and sees through the gates of death into the perennial groves beyond.

"The sublime effect of religion," says Zimmermann, "is tranquillity;" and, at length, this unaccustomed blessing descended upon our wanderer, with that deep stillness which the Divine Master has promised to his followers under the name of "rest." Far be it from us to attempt to depict his emotions. Ever so well described, they could not be comprehended, except by those who have experienced them, and such need no description. He felt himself undergoing a change, and beholding the most stupendous and infinite changes going on around him; not carried away by that enthusiasm which attends great earthly discoveries and triumphs, but with that silent and sublime attention with which an astronomer, through his glass, gazes on the motions and habits of the heavenly bodies, beholds rings, and moons, and comets, and suns appear and disappear at the command of God. He scarcely felt wonder, for nothing was more wonderful than other things. The Son of man came to bear witness to the truth. Pilate (and, through his lips, all the unbelieving part of mankind) asks, "What is truth? " The Galilean peasant replied not to the worldly Roman magistrate, but to those who seek it, he replies at length by the spiritual light which is shed upon their souls.

Harry's prospects on earth were but sad. He could not be certain that sorrow did not await him at home. He had reason to fear events had stripped him of all his earthly fortune. The object of his affection was, he did not doubt, already united to another. His father was ill. He knew not what painful discoveries awaited him on reaching America, and yet he was calm. His love for each object of affection was increased, but at the same time he had become more brave and more trusting; he no longer relied on himself. He was no longer tossed by the waves of his own ungovernable passions. He no longer felt himself the sport of chance: a new confidence, a new dignity had entered his soul. Who shall tell the change which had already taken place in his character?

CHAPTER XXXIX.

Home—home again. Harry was on the sea. Europe had sunk behind him with its mighty forms and lessons. He had been away ten years. They did seem strangely fleeting when looked back upon. It appeared but yesterday that his mother had made such a remark at breakfast.

As the voyage drew near its close, various emotions filled his mind. Since his departure he had learned two grave lessons. First, that he could never be happy without religion; second, a life spent abroad must be, at least to him, a melancholy one. He felt the want of a thousand nameless influences which exist only at home. There is a breath in the native air which the soul requires. The foot longs to tread the haunts of boyhood; and alpine cliffs and foreign shores become far less lovely to the eye than the simple fields where the mind caught the first rays of light, and where the heart first opened itself. Let no one who is wise and good choose to live absent from his country: it either spoils the character or overshadows the happiness. There are yearnings, and pains, and sadnesses, and dis appointments, which they who mourn at the necessi ty of remaining at home have no idea of. To come abroad, and gaze a while on the brilliant and thrilling things unveiled to the traveller, is a rational and great pleasure: but go home before your home is changed— before you are changed. Return before friends grow cold and suspicious; before the place you filled in their hearts is given to others. Live with those who saw your youth, who have watched your course, who know and who love you. He who has passed his life abroad, however warm and true his heart (and sometimes it becomes warmer and truer in absence), returns not the same in person, and, of course, somewhat different in habit and mind. He finds all changed. Children are men and women; the old have become sensibly older— some are fallen, some dead, some have entered into entirely new relations. All those vicissitudes which are supportable when they take place with slow transitions, strike him at a glance, and many a friend he only meets to discover he has parted from him forever.

These thoughts passed through Harry's mind as he stood gazing upon the heaving waste of ocean over which he was ploughing his way towards the scenes so cherished in his memory—towards persons now beloved more than ever.

Let not the reader think he was altogether happy. Dark clouds were sometimes on his mind. Frank's death. He was hastening back to the grave of his affectionate brother, and there are times when the weak mortal body, in spite of all the cheering promises of faith, cannot resist grief for the dead, and, most of all, for those dead in such a manner. The recollection of Middleton's fate still more appalled him. Oh, why had he not listened to his mother? why had he not properly examined before? Here he bore in his bosom a subject of eternal regret.

What was he going to see on landing? Was his father well or ill? Would any more be absent from the domestic circle? He had received no letters within dates later than a year. They had expected him, and had probably, therefore, not written. To what extent had the changes in his father's pecuniary affairs taken place? What was the story his mother had referred to concerning Mary? What had she to say about Emmerson? Miss Elton, too, was now either married or poor, and living with his family. In the latter case, he was going to inhabit the same roof with her. He compelled himself to repress his strange emotion at this thought. He was surprised to find how he still clung to the image of one who had so clearly manifested her indifference to him; but she was, doubtless, married, as Emmerson had mentioned her intentions in his last letter. He resolved to admit no thought of her among the tender anticipations and associations of home which now crowded upon him; but the pang with which he forced himself to hope that she was married and settled with her (at length) chosen husband in Charleston, might have taught him what would be the difficulty of keeping this resolution. Despite his sternest efforts, her image would rise before him. A thousand tender inquiries connected with her pressed themselves upon him. What sort of a person was her husband? Would she be happy? Did she—could she love him? Had she married him for his fortune? It looked like it. He blushed at his ungenerous suspicion, but facts stared him in the face. Had she not encouraged Emmerson? Had he not himself confessed it? and yet to reject him for yet another! Strange character! cold, fickle, selfish, and yet under a form so attractive, so fair, so noble. Nothing could have convinced him of her complete unworthiness, had not Emmerson himself borne his accidental and unwilling testimony against her.

The recollection of Emmerson raised a new train of reflections. He thought he could comprehend his mother's mysterious hint about him; his imagination dwelt on the subject, and constructed a little romance out of it. His father had taken Emmerson from a state of destitution, had brought him out, and placed him in a career of prosperity. Now that these changes had come over the spirit of their dream, Emmerson had, doubtless, stepped forward, and devoted his talents and his whole life to repay the obligation. Emmerson, in the absence of his benefactor's sons, had been himself a son—had conducted the affairs of the office—had relieved him in the period of his illness from all anxiety. He felt almost jealous of so much goodness; he nearly envied him the pure delight of thus expressing his gratitude.

CHAPTER XL.

"Land ahead!&