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you had the heart and courage for it, as well as the ability, or I never should have betrayed myself to you as I have done; but it seems I am mistaken, and if so, sir, I shall wish you a good evening, and leave you to the delightful obscurity of a life devoted to the maintenance of a beggarly factory girl, and the engrossing cares of the father of a family."
So saying, King drew his cloak around him with a movement of haughty carelessness, and began to move away. This put the finishing stroke to his victim's indecision. Henry made a bound after him, and grasped his arm.
“Stay, King! I am not such a fool as you think. Come, I admit all you say is perfectly true; it were positive madness to lose my whole life, and all that I may make of it, for a mere piece of youthful folly like this. It will be much better for her to emigrate as you say. There, I enlist myself in your service; I put myself into your hands. Show me only how I may get my foot on the first step of the ladder, and I shall soon mount to fame.”
“Will you swear, then, never to marry this girl, and to give her up entirely ?" said King, turning sharply round upon him.
“I swear !” said Henry. And he repeated the words of an oath, administered to him by his tempter, who took good care that the terms of it should be greatly more binding than those which he had promised himself to poor Nelly:
“ And now," said King, “ before we finish with this ridiculous business, which has kept us too long from more important matters, just let me tell you how to manage the affair, so as to avoid all sorts of annoyance which it may bring upon you, if you go awkwardly to work upon it. Do not you say one syllable to the girl of your change of intention, till the time for her father's emigration arrives; if you tell her now, you will have all manner of disagreeable scenes with her, and will involve yourself in a host of troubles, which might end in demolishing some of our plans, after all : whereas, it will do no earthly harm to go on as you have been doing till the time of departure comes,it will amuse you both very well,” he added, laughing ; " and when the day is fixed for the sailing of the ship, do you go quietly and firmly to her father, and tell him that the girl has taken some fancy into her head of staying behind and marrying you, which of course you cannot dream of, but that you recommend him to be very careful that she does not give bim the slip, and that he had better be off a day or two sooner than she expects him to start, so as to make all sure. You can easily come down on an old fellow like that with a high hand; then do you come to London to me for a week or so, to be out of the way till they are fairly gone, and there is an end to the matter for life.”
“King! I declare it is delightful to have anything to do with you !” exclaimed Henry; " you settle all difficulties so admirably. Well, I shall follow your advice to the letter; and now it is all right, and I am a free man once more."
"And soon to be a great one,” said King; who forthwith proceeded to pour into the ears of his dupe every sort of flattering and brilliant vision for the future, which prevented him not only from regretting his resolution, but which bound him more and more entirely, beart and soul, beneath the control of King's master mind, and filled him with the most ardent desire to follow the counsels of the guide who was to lead him to such magnificent results.
Henry was dismissed by King at last, in a state of great exhilaration of spirits; and a very natural desire took possession of him, to communicate to some one the brilliant anticipations he now entertained for the future. It was to Maude at once that his thoughts turned, whose never-failing sympathy and loving interest in all that concerned him were far more valuable to him than he was aware of. He had no intention of declaring any of his plans to her, as King had bound him to secrecy; but the very mystery would enhance the charm of the bright visions on whose magnificence he might dilate, without being obliged to reduce them to the level of actual facts.
He was exceedingly thankful that, even to his favourite sister, he had maintained such a rigid silence in respect to Nelly Brooks; he now trusted that his former intentions respecting her would never transpire at all, and that the whole affair would be buried in complete oblivion so soon as she should have crossed the seas,-a consummation which he most devoutly desired.
Heury looked eagerly for Maude on arriving at home, but he soon saw he would have no opportunity of talking with her that night. Charlotte was in the midst of her preparations for her departure, which consisted in the manufacture of as much new finery as Mrs. Elliston could procure from the shop, with her husband's most unwilling consent,-extracted from him in the course of a tragic scene enacted before he was allowed to have any breakfast that morning, in the course of which she ingeniously plied him with a series of reproaches, flatteries, and hysterical reminiscences of their courtship. No means less vigorous could have procured the display of silks and ribbons on which the three sisters were now hard at work ; Fanny with a hearty good will, because she felt she was thereby hastening the departure of ber domineering sister; and Maude in obedience to her mother's positive commands, who told her she was not so inuch as to think of going to bed, till she had completed a certain blue silk dress for Charlotte, which Mrs. Elliston was firmly convinced would consummate the conquest of the visionary gentleman of matrimonial tendencies, in whom she believed with such comfortable faith.
This was no pleasant task for Maude, and she was pursuing it in perfect silence, scarcely hearing the incessant talking of her mother and sisters, emulated as it was by the screams of an unhappy canary, who, having been awoke out of his first sleep by the unwonted noise, evidently thought himself bound to drown the shrillness of their voices, or perish in the attempt. But suddenly a whisper sounded in her ear, which she caught at once, experiencing as she did so a thrill of pleasure that was quite unexpected.
“Dear Maude,”—(how seldom Henry called her “dear !") “don't let anything prevent us walking together to-morrow morning, as I have a great deal to say to you.'
He was gone, being quite unable to endure the noise, before she could answer; but he left her with a pleasant thought wherewith to beguile the tedium of her occupation, in the sweet consciousness that she was a little-a very little-necessary to the brother she loved so fondly. It was more than her humility could have dared to hope; and she revelled in the happy recollection all night.
Henry had scarcely finished his breakfast next morning, when Maude stood at his side with her bonnet on, ready to accompany him to the factory.
Now it so happened that Mr. Elliston was in an excessively bad humour precisely at that moment. His wife, having found the starving system exceedingly efficacious the day previously, had kept him three quarters of an hour without food, in order to obtain for Charlotte a certain parasol, with silken fringes, on which that young lady had set her heart; and although the unfortunate haberdasher had been compelled to yield from pure inanition, he was thoroughly enraged at himself for having done so, and quite disposed to vent his anger on the most upoffending individual he could find. Maude in her walking dress was precisely suited to his purpose.
Hallo! Miss Maude! what is the meaning of this, I should like to know? Do you suppose that I shall let you go gadding about after shop hours have begun, now that you are to take Charlotte's place in the show-room ?"
“I am only going to walk with Henry to the factory,” said Maude, her colour rising with the feeling of complete rebellion against her father, which began to take possession of her. “I shall be at home again in half an hour; it cannot make any difference.”
“Don't answer me, Miss! I shall thank you just to take off your bonnet, and go down to your own proper place this very moment. If I don't find you at work, hanging out the goods, when I come, five minutes hence, it will be worse for you, I can
Maude was naturally passionate, but it was seldom that even her strongest feeling overcame the yet stronger tendency to reserve,-a sort of sullen endurance, which was gradually becoming a very unamiable feature in her character. If ever she did lose her self-control, however, she was wont almost to terrify her family by her vehemence; and on this occasion, the intensity of her vexation and annoyance had nearly mastered her, when suddenly she heard the door shut with an angry violence, and saw that Henry, almost as much irritated as herself, had gone out, without waiting to make any further attempt to have her with him. Then she turned away in silence, feeling resistance to be useless, and went to the show-room as her father desired; but it was with a swelling heart and a bitter resentment, which required only some slight occasion to make itself manifest in a fit of angry passion. Such an opportunity was unhappily very soon found, in a circumstance calculated to work on her feelings with a very powerful effect.
RELICS OF THE DEAD.
She was not fair nor young: at eventide
She knew that careless hands aside would cast
It might not be--for with the morning hours
C. A. M. W.
“ That they may be one, even as We, FATHER, are one."
The first of these verses, you will remember, forms a part of our Blessed Lord and Master's words in His Prayer, the very night of His Passion, and oh ! how strangely do they sound on one's ears when we look on the outward surface of all around us! What! is it possible that even the prayer of Jesus could remain, as it were, unheard, and, apparently, unanswered? Well then may we despair that our prayers should find acceptance.
Never did it at first sight seem to be so little answered as in these days of terrible division and sharp controversy. And yet, may be, if we look deeper (and great truths generally lie somewhat hidden, so as to need to be searched after, and, like a rich treasure, do not at once unfold to our eyes, but after using labour and persevering in our search) we may yet find traces of God's work leading the minds of men to crave for the very blessing He means to bestow.
Now it seems to me that this state of things, this very longing for the great gift of God, which our Master prayed might be given us, is more strong among us, as a sort of under-current to the wide stream of controversy, than at first
appears. Both in the world without, and in all the schools (as they are called) of Christian thought and study among us, there seems to be, when we can get at it, a strong and earnest desire for the fulfilment of this prayer, and a looking forward to the days, and those as very near at hand, when there may be indeed but one LORD, one faith, one Baptism.
In the world without there are yearly meetings, calling them. selves the Congress of Peace, whose one desire is to turn the sword into the ploughshare--the spear into the pruning hook.