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“ About Sir John I never trouble my head," returned Adelaide, saucily: “A stolid, stupid man, who cares for nothing but his dinner and his money; he should marry his cook, and I dare say he will, too."

“Not a bit of it; he wants a young and pretty wife.” “I'll leave him to you, Emilie.”

"Thank you for nothing. If he were yours to take or leave, I can imagine which you would do; it is not the first time we have heard of such a thing as sour grapes."

“What a spiteful woman you are, Emmy! If I thought that disappointment would sour me as it has done you, I declare I think I could find it in my heart to sacrifice myself by taking even Sir John Markham."

“ It does not seem to me that you'll be called on to make the sacrifice, as you call it. You had better be careful, or you may chance to find yourself in a much worse case than mine. I never made an exbibition of myself by flirting with married men.”

No, you never flirted much, Einmy dear; in your best days you had nothing but the beauté du diable, and you never were an amusing girl. _Men don't trouble themselves much about any one who is not.”

“You are the most insufferably insolent creature I ever met. If I concerned myself about your proceedings, I should think myself disgraced by your goings on.” “Goings on! What an elegant expression !"

Quite as elegant as the fast slang you talk. You think it makes you very attractive-and perhaps it does, to such fools as Philip Hepburn and Captain Meriton, who laugh with you, that they may laugh at you when your back is turned. So long as you act as you are doing with Colonel Home, no other man will think of you moment; as for Lord Serle, the moment I saw him I knew quite well you had no chance with him; so fastidious and refined as he is he would not look twice at your style of girl.”

“I could make him, if I chose ; what do you think of that, now ?" “I am quite sure you could not; if you could, why do you not, after making a goose of yourself before all the women here the day he was expected, by telling them you looked on him already as your private property ?"

If you want to know my reasons, you can have them. He is not half jolly enough for me-not in my line at all; but, for all that, I should amuse myself with him, were it not that George Home is here, and we are far gone in platonics. And if you had a degree more clear-sightedness than a bat, you could see that Lord Serle has eyes and ears only for Laura, and I don't choose to spoil her amusements, as she is behaving so nicely about mine.”

Emilie was silent for a minute, then she said: “Laura is too stupid to see if a man admired her ever so much, and too much in love with her husband to care about it even if she did it. I wish

you tithe of her good conduct, and respect for yourself.”.

“ Please leave me alone; let me manage my affairs for myself. I am quite capable of that much.”

“ You must allow me to doubt that. Had you not been allowed so much of your own way, you would be better off now."

for a

had a

“I dare say,

“ That moral is stale, my dear; it was delivered before your time by the youth on the gallows, who bit off his mother's ear. Do try if you can't say something original, Emmy, my love. And now, once for all, I mean to do just as I choose, and you must be an evil-minded thing if you can see any harm in my very innocent proceedings with George Home, who is the very nicest fellow in the world.”

“ You evidently think so. My wonder is that Laura bears it."

“George is not a man to be dictated to by his wife, and I am quite certain he has taught her that before this time.”

I don't like him the least bit myself.” "Don't you? I thought you were jealous of my place in his regard."

“You thought no such thing. And Marian is quite as angry about it as I am, although she is such a coward, she is too much afraid of your temper to say it to yourself; at all events, she is very uneasy about you."

“Very good of her, I'm sure! Pray set her mind at rest. I could cause George to make a fool of himself if I pleased, but, as I often had occasion to remark to you, I could do the same with any man. But I don't please it, and therefore he never will do it. So now let us have an end of it, and don't be sulky, for if you are you won't lend me your turquoises, and I want to borrow them.”

“You shan't have them, then."
“Oh yes, Emmy; you could not be so unkind.”
“I am, then. You shall not have them."

Why, pray? You are wearing a light green dress; you never could be such a beast as to think of turquoises with that. Come, give them me.”

“By no means," returned Emilie, surlily, turning the key in her jewel-case, and looking with malicious triumph at her sister." I have not forgotten how you borrowed and broke my ruby bracelet-broke it in three places, and left me to pay for having it mended. If you were decently careful, you could have things as good as mine, but you choose to spend your allowance on fripperies that wear out, and you must either learn wisdom, or suffer for the want of it.”

Exactly so. Vide ' The Ant and the Grasshopper.' Well, I won't suffer, then. I shall still have four times as many dresses as you, and I'm off to Laura now. She will lend me her turquoises, and they are fifty times handsomer than yours.”

She'll be a great fool if she does.” “She is a great fool, and she will lend them, and you are a cross, selfish, penurious old maid. There now!"

And she wisely ran off before Emilie could find words to express

Laura justified Adelaide's prophecy, for the young belle appeared in the drawing-room with turquoise butterflies in her golden hair, a turquoise necklet round her pinky waxen throat, and turquoise bracelets on her round white arms. And her saucy smile of triumph at her sister, as she caught a glance of disdainful anger from the eyes of the latter, was a pretty thing to look at, so long as one knew nothing of the scene which had preceded it, or of the unsisterly feelings which had given rise to it.

That same night Colonel Home and his male guests were as usual

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her anger:

in the smoking-room after the ladies had retired to their rooms, and after the untrammelled freedom of half an hour in loose coats and purely masculine chat, all retired with two exceptions. These were Sir John Markham and his brother-in-law.

“ What do you think of that sister-in-law of Home's, Serle ?” asked Sir John, after a meditative pause.

"He has no sister-in-law. His wife was an only child."

“This girl told me she was Mrs. Home's sister—a beautiful girl, with no end of golden hair, and a lovely complexion.”

“Oh, that girl! Mrs. Home's father married for his second wife a widow with several daughters. This girl, I am told, is the youngest of them. What of her ?"

"I only asked you what you thought of her."
“I think her a very pretty creature. Don't you ?”
“Yes; but a desperate flirt, don't you think?"
"I suppose so. All girls are, if they are pretty enough."

“ Maria was prettier than any girl I see now-a-days, and she was no flirt."

“Ah, poor thing! she was always so delicate, you see ; she took to the devote line. That Miss Lenox you spoke of just now paid you great attention this evening, Markbam."

"Yes, and very amusing she is; a deal of spirit and dash about her. I had rather thought she had a flirtation with Home, but she talks of bim quite as if he were her brother.”

“ No doubt. I have not spoken much to her myself.”

“No; I have noticed that your attention was altogether engrossed by Mrs. Home-a very nice sort of creature, too."

' My dear fellow-nice! She is my ideal of what a woman ought to be; such a refined, elegant sort of beauty. That old simile about the light shining through a lamp of alabaster always comes into my mind when I look at her."

Sir John laughed.

“ You are quite enthusiastic about her. That's a new thing for you. Take care Home does not hear you.”

“He is quite welcome to do so," answered Serle, with his peculiar soft smile. “If he objects to it, I suppose he will mention it."

“I am sure be is just the fellow to do that,” replied Sir John. “Yes, he has lots of brute courage. I used to get on tolerably well with him. We rather suited each other at one time; but the fellow is as vain as a girl, and has altogether deteriorated since I knew him intimately.”

Has he?" “Yes. What a fool he is! He does not care a straw for that sweet wife of his."

“ Well, if you stay here much longer, he may perhaps live to be sorry for that, although Miss Lenox tells me his wife adores him.”

On my word, Miss Lenox and you seem to have got on tolerably with

your confidences. Did she not tell you whom she adored ?” “No, not yet. I dare say she would, though, if I gave her the chance. But if I marry again at all, I think I shall choose a bandsome woman who has sown her wild oats, not a girl like that, wbo would be certain to plague my life out. I should hate to be jealous."

66

“And you would be right. To be jealous of one's ladye love is all as it should be; but I think I should borrow the sack and bowstring from the Turks if my wife were to try that game." " I don't think

you
will
eyer marry,

Serle." “Probably not.

“But, I say, don't go too far with Mrs. Home; it would not be pleasant.”

“Absurd! I am not a boy now to make a fool of myself about every woman I admire. And don't you say she is folle about her precious husband ?”

“Yes; but you know you are a dangerous fellow, and have not much respect for 'meum and tuum.'

“My dear Markham, don't talk nonsense; we are living in the civilised nineteenth century, when guests and hosts are alike honourable men.' We know nothing, save by tradition, of the men who lost their time making love to other men's wives, when they might have had wives of their own for less trouble." I hope so. But the Divorce Courts tell another story,

andYou think I'm a stupid chap, Serle, and so I am, I suppose, compared with you, but I can see a few things still, and I have seen your eyes following Home’s wife for the last day or two with a look that I know pretty well by this time."

“Markham, you have had a great deal too much wine, that's quite evident. The best thing you can do is to go to bed."

Sir John laughed, and his brother-in-law joined in the laugh, for Lord Serle never lost his temper outwardly unless he so pleased. He was just now angry-very angry with himself for having acted so imprudently as to betray to the obtuse eyes of Sir Jobn that he had anything but the very commonest interest in Laura, who had, in truth, attracted him more powerfully than he had ever been attracted by any

woman.

“I think I shall take your advice and be off to bed, Serle,” said Sir John, throwing away the end of his cigar. “We have a long day's walk before us to-morrow. The gamekeeper says we are to go to the upland fallow, and shall not be home before nightfall. Good night!"

“Good night!"
And Lord Serle was left alone.

“The fool saw that,” he thought to himself. “But what a creature she is ! She might almost make one think there was such a thing as a good woman on the earth. That flirting fool with the yellow hair is bent on working her mischief, or I'm mistaken; and Home bas no objection to the arrangement, and Miss Heathcote is as jealous as a tigress. I can see all that plainly enough. Well, Laura may have her revenge if she chooses. And I am a fortnight in the house with her, and on the pleasantest terms, too, and I have not ventured to hint in the remotest way at such a thing. I can't tell how it is. True enough for Markbam, I cannot help watching her. What a walk she has ! and such a mould of head and throat, and such hands! What a woman that would be to have love one! I must ask Verolles how matters really are between her and Home. I can see a good deal for myself, but servants see and hear everything, and tell all to each other. Ohime !"

501

THE SNOW.

FROM realms of purest æther

November's scowling cloud Hath borne me downwards hither,

The dead earth's form to shroud. Careering o'er the Atlantic,

I mingle with the roar Of breakers dashing frantic

Ou frozen Labrador.

And on the iceberg sailing

I hear the drowning cry
Of shipwrecked crews bewailing

Their stranded argosy.
At Cotopaxi's portal,

On Chimborazo's dome, I sit where step of mortal

Hath never dared to come :-
Where soars the mighty condor,

A speck in middle sky,
And men gaze up with wonder

That aught can live so high.
In lone Helvetian valley,

'Mid Alpine solitudes, I clasp the goatherd's châlet,

I shake the groaning woods. Beyond the Greenland mountains,

Beyond the Polar waves, Where ocean's azure fountains

Congeal in crystal caves ; Beneath the moonlight sleeping

I spread my curtain where Their carnival are keeping

The walrus and the bear. Where Life exists no longer,

And Silence holds her reign, And Want and Cold and Hunger

For victims seek in vain : In unapproached dominion

Beyond them all, alone I fold my feathered pinion

Around my Arctic throne.
Yet one soft warning spoken,

One sunny glance may view
My rod of empire broken,
And melt me into dew.

R

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