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BY THE AUTHOR OF
“THE DISCIPLINE OF LIFE,” “CLARE ABBEY,”
“We may accuse our nature, but it is our pleasure; we may pretend
IN TWO VOLUMES.
349. W. 537
“Oh ! my best sir, take heed,
Take heed of lies."
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
“WHAT are you doing here, Ralph ?” exclaimed a young man, laying his hand on the shoulder of another, as he stood transfixed before the window of a print shop, in Regent Street.
“Nothing, my dear fellow."
“Nothing, my dear fellow, I assure you; nothing at all.”
"Then, my dear fellow,” said the new comer, laughingly imitating his friend's peculiar mode of address, “will you walk with me ? for I want to speak to you."
I shall be too happy. But stay, Edward, what do you think of that face?—that was what I was looking at, I believe.”
It was the head of a Madonna, remarkable, not so much for divine beauty, as for the expression of a more earthly perfection—a look of guileless purity and stedfast truth.
The Edward thus addressed paused as he was moving away, and returned to look at theprint in question : it seemed to rivet his fancy. “Such a face,” he said at last, in reply, “as awes and shames a man's bad nature." And there was something like a sigh as he spoke.
“That was what I felt, at least I think it
I wonder how long I have been here.” "Shall I ask ?” said his companion laughingly. “I should suppose it might have been two hours ; you looked as if you were established for the day.”
“No, not so long," he replied gravely; “but it doesn't matter, it has done me good. Now, Edward, I am quite at your service.” And he moved on.
Edward stood for another moment with
his eyes on the Madonna ; then following his friend, and putting his arm within his, they went off together.
This friend, Ralph Caradoc by name (the surname pronounced at full length with care and pride, and not degraded to the abbreviation, Cradock), was a tall young man of nineand-twenty or thirty. His figure was ungraceful, his features large, and his fair com