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" the people” above the aristocracy, than to a genuine equality of all ranks. Envy, not only of superior station but of superior goodness, lay at the root of King's bitter feelings; and that intolerance of all elevation in rank or merit, which he flattered himself proceeded from a love of his fellow-men, his poorer brethren, was simply the result of his own mortified vanity at finding himself inferior to others.

But we must not now linger to explain the principles of King and his party, which are but too well known to the generality of persons in the present day, when the false and destructive tenets of liberalism are so industriously promulgated; it is not a subject on which we have any wish to enter, except in so far as it is connected with the history of Henry Elliston, on whose career this unfortunate acquaintance with King was destined to have an important effect.

The Mechanics Institute, (a society which wholly ignores the Church, and which she on her part utterly repudiates as possessing no authority from her, and being, in fact, a nere vehicle for the transmission of heretical doctrine,) was the instrument which King made use of for strengthening his party amongst those whom he especially wished to enlist in their ranks-- viz., the young men of the middling and lower classes, who, looking not beyond this world, were generally discontented with their position within it, and were therefore easily caught by the brilliant sophistries of the lecturer. It was no difficult matter to turn their vague aspirations to a genuine enthusiasm for the ignis fatuus of liberty and equality, and so render them active agents in the cause; and in Henry Elliston, King had found one more than usually adapted to suit his purpose. He was just at this time in want of an instrument whom he might mould, into an ardent and determined agitator in favour of the Chartist clubs, and similar institutions in London ; but in order to have a successful instrument, it was necessary that he should be a real believer in the doctrines which King set forth, and that to a hearty faith, in this untenable creed, he should add the personal ambition which would goad him, as no other earthly motive would, to unremitting toil.

All these qualifications Henry possessed, and King's great object at this moment was to detach him from his home and his present occupations, in order to make him entirely his own tool. He had for some days past being doing his utmost to arouse his ambition, and fire his imagination with the most glowing descrip; tion of all the great things that were to result to his country and to himself, if he deterınined on devoting himself wholly and for life to the “Great Cause;" and King was on this evening very urgent with him that he would no longer hesitate, but that

he would pledge himself to obey his call whenever the time should be ripe, as he assured him it would be, very shortly; when he was to throw up his situation at the factory, demand the arrear of his salary, and proceed forthwith to London, where King promised him he would soon be actively and lucratively employed by their own party, in some of their secret machinations.

Henry was almost as eager to consent as King to persuade ; his gratified vanity dazzled him to all considerations of prudence or rectitude ; the idea of escaping the thraldom of the mill was delightful; and a wretched, pitiful pride made him exult in the thought of showing his father and brother, that he was wholly independent of them, and required neither their counsels nor their help; especially John, who had been held up before him as a pattern of good sense and steadiness, till he, in spite of their relationship, entertained for him all the feelings of dislike which usually fall to the lot of “pattern friends.” One obstacle, however, there was to all Henry's ambitious plans, which he this evening for the first time made known to King, asking his advice thereupon.

The facts which he detailed were simply these : he had, in the course of the past year, been much attracted by the beauty and sweet disposition of the young factory girl, Nelly Brooks, whom Maude had seen on her way to S. Alban’s. Having discovered that she was the daughter of a worthy old labourer, he had gone to see her often at her father's house, and had ultimately become sincerely and honestly attached to her; his tendencies to liberalism, which King was now fostering against the higher classes, had at that time taken a worthier form, in causing him to feel an utter contempt for the arrogance, with which his family chose to draw the line of demarcation, between themselves and the poorer classes; and since he deemed little Nelly, whose heart he had won, quite worthy of an honourable position as his wife, he resolved with a right-mindedness which did him credit, that he would marry her so soon as an expected increase of salary should enable him to support her; he was the more resolved on this course, that he felt it to be indispensable to the young girl's happiness; for he knew, that although his own attachment might easily perhaps pass away, if other interests or allurements beguiled him, she had, with all the ardour of a woman's first affection, devoted herself to him, with a firmness and constancy which could be subdued only by death itself.

He had, therefore, entered into a positive engagement with her, which he had carefully concealed from every individual of his family; knowing that their indignation would be so excessive, that they would probably find means to prevent his marriage; he had exacted a similar secrecy from Nelly with regard to her father, without which it would have been impossible to maintain the concealment he desired. Between themselves, however, they had fixed that their marriage was to take place at the period settled by Nelly's father for his emigration. This had long been a favourite plan of the old man's, who was utterly wearied of his life-long struggle with a grinding poverty, and who by means of Mr. Damer's assistance, had been chosen by a young settler to go out with him along with several other labourers. The ship in which he was to sail would be ready very_soon, and Nelly, too utterly absorbed in her devotion for Henry to think much of her parting with her father, was already counting the days till the desired time should come.

Henry had, however, been of late occupied with very different thoughts, as we have seen. His connection with the Mechanics Institute, and latterly with King, had diverted all his aspirations and desires into another channel; and the attachment to Nelly, founded as it was on the mere attraction of her outward loveliness and childlike playfulness, and therefore lacking the stability which it could only have possessed on the sure basis of esteem, had well-nigh evaporated altogether. When he was actually in her presence, the force of habit, and some lingering tenderness, rendered it impossible for him to show her the least trace of the change which had taken place in his affections; but when that passing influence was withdrawn, he had no other feeling save one of extreme annoyance at his own folly, as he now called it, in having hampered himself with an engagement of this kind at the very outset of his career, which he was resolved should be one so brilliant. And now his irritation on the subject knew no bounds, when it seemed to him that it was likely to prove a complete obstacle to his accepting the tempting offers of King, at least, if he fulfilled his promise to Nelly, the accomplishment of which could not be postponed, by any possible means, beyond the period of her father's emigration,- for if she remained behind him, she would of course be cast on the wide world, unless she became the wife of Henry at once; and he had never yet contemplated the actual breach of his pledged word, which could alone free him from her.

He had within the last few days again and again revolved every excuse by which he could in any way escape from a bond which had become hateful to him, but none presented itself; and his intercourse with the liberals had not so completely quenched all idea of honour in his mind, as to enable him to decide upon committing an actual act of perjury, by casting his word to the winds; or rather, we should say, that the seeds of baptismal grace, never fostered, alas ! by sacraments, or developed by holy instruction, yet worked with a gentle influence on that poor, darkened spirit.

The emissary of him, however, who comes by night to catch away that pure

seed from the heart that willeth not to understand the Word of the kingdom, was now at hand to stifle these faint strivings of his better nature. King had no sooner heard the facts we have just recorded, than he felt that Henry was altogether lost to him, unless this " ridiculous”

engagement, as he termed it, were put an end to at once and for ever. Much of this man's success (so to speak) in life was owing to a certain decision of character, which enabled him to act on all occasions with a promptitude that had generally as much weight with weaker minds, even when the counsels he gave were evil, as if he had deliberately argued with them to the full satisfaction of their reason.

Suddenly stopping in their walk, he grasped Henry's arm with a determination which showed he was in no mood to be trifled

with.

“Elliston,” he said, " understand me at once; either

you

will now, in my presence, solemnly pledge yourself, by an oath, to break off this silly, boyish engagement, utterly, and for ever, or else I quit you here, and we never meet again ; when I shall only have to regret that I ever let you so far into our counsels, which I shall do most bitterly. There is no alternative. Do you suppose, for a single moment, that you could obtain the appointment I have just been offering you,-that of secret agent to the most important society which exists in England,-if you are to have a wife at your heels, who would become unavoidably acquainted with the weighty matters entrusted to you, and would, in fact, render you utterly useless, were it only by causing your movements to be known,-a thing incompatible with our affairs? But in fact it is not for our work only, great and glorious as it is, that you would be incapacitated; but if you burden yourself with a family at your age, in the very prime of life, you must renounce the noble prospects before you once and for ever. Never dream again of stirring hand or foot to benefit your country, or make yourself a name, or further the sublime cause of liberty; never so much as think of turning your talents and energies to account, either for yourself or others. Why, man, I tell you, you will have enough to do, toiling day and night to put bread in your children's mouths; and perhaps at the last you will have to beg it from some of the rich nobles I had hoped to see you trainple under foot, when your wife and her needy relations, of whom she has scores, no doubt, have eaten you out of house and home.”

And King laughed scornfully as he spoke; his words had stung Henry to the very quick.

King, you will drive me mad!” he exclaimed vehemently ; “I cannot stand this. I tell you, I detest this miserable en

gagement with my whole heart; there is nothing I would not do to escape from it, but I do not know how on earth to free myself!"

“Why what in the world is to prevent you ?” said King, with well-feigned astonishment.

“Honour !” replied Henry, hanging his head; for something in the tone of King's voice made him feel as if this were a reason to be ashamed of.

“Honour !” replied King, with the stinging contempt which he knew to be his best weapon against Henry's lingering remains of good feeling ; "what does the boy mean? How on earth can you fancy that honour has anything to do with a few pretty speeches made to a silly child, when she has no claim upon you of any kind whatever? whilst your bleeding country, your oppressed brethren, demand your aid by every law of justice and truth."

And King uttered this grandiloquent nonsense in the authoritative tone of the lecturer.

“But I have sworn to marry her,” said Henry, with an eagerness which showed that he only desired to be contradicted.

“ Bah! such an oath as every young man makes to half the girls he meets. Do you suppose

is the first she has received, or will be the last ? I really thought you knew more of the world. She will forget it all fast enough when a new suitor comes in her way: and besides, Elliston," he continued, speaking with much apparent seriousness, "you will really be doing this child an irreparable injury, if you prevent her emigrating with her father, where she would be comfortably married and settled at once, in order to keep her here as your wife. She would ruin your prospects, and you would make her miserable. How could you possibly have a moment's happiness, -yon, a man of mind and intellect,-in the society of a poor, uneducated creature like that? You would end in starving, both of you ; your relations would cast you off; you would be driven out of your own station; and, in short, you would go down hill as fast as you may rise now, if you will but have done with this nonsense.

The latter part of King's speech, in which he so contemptuously depreciated poor Nelly, displayed that glaring inconsistency with his own liberal principles, which is one of the great characteristics of his party.

“ If you really thought I could—” said Henry, hesitatingly, “If I thought you could !” said King,

as if any one with common sense could entertain a doubt on the subject! I tell you what, Henry, I should be loth to suspect you, but upon my word this does look uncommonly like a ruse, to escape from a career too independent and noble for you to venture upon. I thought

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