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His own dear sister, came to see him oft,
Abigail pursed up her pretty little mouth into an expression of the most *: wisdom—“ £ now—upon the whole.”—“Admirable, my dear girl, you have uttered the soundest and most intelligent criticism I ever heard. Why, you have got the trick of it as perfectly as if you had been reviewing all your life.” “Vous me trop flattez, Jonathan; still, after all, there's a moral in the tale.” “Yes, my dear Abigail,” said I, “there is a moral in it, which you may carry away with profit, even though you should not remember a line of my poem. Let it teach you, and me, too, that we can never suffer the stormy passions of our nature to sweep over our hearts, without their blighting some green spot or withering some flower, which even the tears of sorrow or the sunshine of love may fail to restore to their full verdure and bloom. Let it teach you, and me, too, how sanctifying are all the domestic charities of life—how at seasons, especially that of Christmas, # solicit us to cherish them. They come to us, as the angels came to Abraham when he sat in the tent door. Ah! let us, like him, ‘run to meet them, and constrain them that “they pass not away; let us honour them and entertain them with the best cheer that we have, that so they may bring to us and to our household, love, and joy, and peace. And now, my dear cousin, you had better have a glass of wine and a biscuit after your early breakfast and canter; while I draw on my boots and prepare to squire you.” Well, my dear Anthony, I have now made up my despatch, and wish you “a happy Christmas"—a wish which, in its full sense, is thronged with the richest benedictions. Your's in all times and seasons,
JoNATHAN FREKE SLINGSBY. To Anthony Poplar, Esq.
BY JOHN Fish ER MURRAY.
We sit by the fire,
My brother's son
Dear Margaret, have you come?
'A' sing us a song of home.
Yet never were expressed
And our Mary loved them best.
I feel your breathing soft upon my cheek;
You are there, I say, although you do not speak.
And homeward I am going to the west;
That one you loved so well loved the best.
No more, my dearest Margaret,
Richmond Harbour, Longford.
BLAssEMARE, meanwhile, made his toilet elaborately, and by ten o'clock was in Paris. He stopped at the Hotel Secqville. “Is the Marquis yet risen ?” he asked. “No ;” he was in his bed; he had not retired until very late, and must not be disturbed. “But I must see him, my good friend; his happiness, indeed his safety, depends upon my seeing him immediately.” Blassemare was so very urgent, that at length the servant consented to deliver a note to his master. Rubbing his eyes, and more asleep than awake, the Marquis took the billet, and read—
“The Sieur de Blassemare, who had the honour of meeting the Marquis de Secqville last night at the Chateau des Anges, implores a few minutes' conversation without one moment's delay; by granting which the Marquis may possibly avert consequences the most deplorable.”
Certain shocks are strong enough to restore a drunken man to sobriety in an instant, and, a fortiori, to dispel in a moment the fumes of sleep. In a few seconds the Marquis, in slippers and morning-gown, received Blassemare, with many apologies, in his dressing-room. “A very slight acquaintance will justify a friendly interposition," said Blassemare, after a few little speeches of ceremony at each side; “and my visit is inspired by a friendly and charitable motive. The fact is—the fact is—my dear friend, that—your coat is torn." “My coat torn!” repeated the Marquis, visibly disconcerted, while he af. fected surprise. “Yes, the coat you wore last night. Ah! there it is--this blue velvet, with diamond button. La! Yes, there is the place. It was caught-ha, ha, ha! -in that cursed door; and, egad, as
one of Le Prun's confidential advisers, has got the piece in his possession *> “Psha! you are jesting. Why, there are more blue coats than one in the world.” “I know ; but there is only one Marquis de Secqville. And as I happened, purely accidentally, upon my honour, to witness with my own eyes no inconsiderable part of his last night's adventure, it may be as well if he reserves his clever points of evidence for Monsieur Le Prun, should his suspicions chance to take an unfortunate direction.” “What adventure pray, sir, do you speak of ?” “Your interview with Madame Le Prun, your unfortunate descent from the balcony, your flight through the park-door, and the disastrous severance of a button and a specimen-bit of velvet from your coat—in short, my dear Marquis, you may, if you please, affect a reserve, which, indeed, I should prefer to a frank confession, by which, although I have nothing to learn, I should, in some sort, be compelled to regard your secret as one of honour; as it is, you know, I am free * * “No gentleman is free to compromise a lady's character by his insinuations.” “Nor by his conduct, my dear Marquis. But should he be so unfortunate as to have done so, he ought, in prudence and generosity, to seal as many lips as he possibly can.” “It seems, sir, to me that you have come to me with a cock-and-a-bull story, to establish an imaginary connexion between me and some stupid adventure, which occurred at the Chateau des Anges.” “And such being your belief, my dear Marquis, I have, of course, only to make my adieux, and relieve you from so impertinent an intrusion.” “Stay, sir. You are a gentleman; there are, perhaps, circumstances of suspicion. It is very embarrassing to have a lady's name involved; and— and—in short, sir, I He hesitated. “What, sir?” “I throw myself upon your honour!” said the Marquis, with an ef. fort, and extending his hand. “You are right, my dear Marquis,” said Blassemare, accepting his proffered hand. “You know I am Le Prun's friend; and as there was no obligation of secrecy, till your own confidence imposed it, I should have been in a difficult position as respected him. I have now learned your secret from yourself-honour seals my lips; and so, having put you upon your guard, and enjoined the extremest caution, at least for the present, I commend you to your presiding planets, Mercury and Venus. But you had better burn that tell-tale coat; for there is not a shrewder fellow in all France than Le Prun, and gad you are not safe till it is in ashes.” “My dear Blassemare, be my friend; quiet his suspicions. I shall one day tell you all; only avert his suspicions from her.” “By my faith, that is more than I can do. Give me a line to her ; I must direct her conduct, or she will ruin herself. I know Le Prun; it needs a skilful player to hide one's cards from him. I am a man of my word; and I pledge my honour that Le Prun shall not have a hint of your secret.” “You are right, Blassemare. I can't see her without exposing her to risk; do all you can to protect her from jealousy.” “Well, give me my credentials.” Secqville wrote:—“Blassemare is the friend of Dubois, Lucille may trust him.” “She knew me first by that name; be careful not to risk losing the paper." Again they bid farewell, and Blassemare departed. Blassemare's head was as full of strange images as the steam of a witch's chaldron. He had his own notions of honour—somewhat fantastic and inconsistent, but still strong enough to prevent his betraying to Le Prun the secret of which he had just made himself completely master. He was mortified intensely by the discovery of a successful rival where he had so coolly and con
fidently flattered himself with a solitary conquest. He looked upon himself as the dupe of a young girl and her melancholy lover. His vanity, his spleen, and his guilty fancy, which, with the discovery of his difficulties, expanded almost into a passion, all stimulated him to continue the pursuit, and his brain teemed with schemes for outwitting them both, supplanting his rival, and gaining his point. Full of these, he reached the Chateau des Anges—a sage, trustworthy, and virtuous counsellor for old Le Prun to lean on in his difficulties! “You did wrong, in my opinion, to unmask your suspicions to old Charrebourg,” said Blassemare, after he and Le Prun had talked over the affair. “But he has not seen my wife since, and she, therefore, knows nothing of them.” “Were I in your place, notwithstanding, I should see him again, undo the effect of what I had said, and so prevent his putting Madame Le Prun on her guard.” “You are right for once. I thought of doing so myself.” Le Prun generally acted promptly; and so he left Blassemare to his meditations. Framing his little speech of apology as he went along, he traversed several passages, descended a stair in one of the towers, and found himself at last at the lobby of the Visconte's suite of rooms. It was now night—and these apartments lying in the oldest part of the chateau, and little frequented, were but very dimly lighted. There was nobody waiting in the ante-room—the servant had probably taken advantage of his master's repose, or reverie, to steal away to the gay society of his brother domestics; and these sombre and magnificentlyconstructed rooms were as deserted as they were dim. Having called in vain, the FermierGeneral lighted a candle at the murky lamp, and entered the Wisconte's apartment. His step was arrested by a howling from the inner chambers that might have spoken the despair of an evil spirit. “Charrebourg | Visconte | Charrebourg !” No answer-There was a silencethen another swelling howl. “Pshal—it is that cursed old cur,