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in future. A man's “Iamity”—to use a word taken from Mr. Lewes's witty account of his transcendental friend is but a dull business. Let us clear the ground by saying that Silcote conceived himself to have suffered an inexpiable wrong, that he had nursed and petted that wrong instead of trying to forget and forgive it, and that he had brooded so long over his original wi ing that, on the principle of crescit indulgens, he had come to regard everything as a wrong, and very nearly to ruin both his life and his intellect. Well did the peasantry call him the “Dark Squire.” The darkness of the man's soul was deep enough at this time, and was to be darker still; but there was a dawn behind the hill, if it would only rise, and in the flush of that dawn stood Arthur and the peasant woman. Would the dawn rise over the hill, and flush Memnon's temples, till he sang once more ? Or would the dark hurtling sand-storms always rise betwixt the statue aud the sun, until the statue crumbled away?

Wherever Anne went that morning she was naughtier and naughtier. In the fowl-yard she hunted the largest peacock, and pulled out his tail; and, if she behaved ill in the fowl-yard, she was worse in the stable, and worse again in the kennels. She carefully put in practice all the wickedness she knew-luckily not much, but, according to her small light, that of a Brinvilliers, unrestrained by any law, for her

grandfather never interfered with her, and her uncle Arthur was miles away. Children can go on in this way, being very naughty with perfect good temper, for a long time; but, sooner or later, petulance and passion come on, and hold their full sway until the child has stormed itself once more into shame and good behaviour. As one cannon shot, or one thunder growl, will bring down the rain when the storm is overhead, so, when a child has been persistently bad for some time, the smallest accident, or the smallest cross, will bring into sudden activity the subdued hysterical passion, which has, in reality, been the cause of a long system of defiant perversity. Anne's explosion, inevitable, as her shrewd grandfather had seen with some cynical amusement, came in this

At the kennel she had asked for a Scotch terrier puppy

this way.


as a present; and, of course, her grandfather had given it to her. She had teased and bullied it ever since, until at last, when they had gone to the end of a narrow avenue of clipped yews which led to the forest, and had turned homewards, she teased the dog so much that it turned and bit her.

She was on the homeward side of her grandfather, and came running back to him, to put in force the child's universal first method of obtaining justice, that of telling the highest available person in authority. “I'll tell mamma," or, “ I'll tell your mother, as sure as you are born:" who has not heard those two sentences often enough? The puppy

had bit Anne; and she, white with rage, ran back to tell her grandfather. “He has bit me, grandpa. You must have seen him bite

The woman saw him, for I saw her looking.” “The woman?” said Silcote, “what woman?” He turned as he spoke, and found himself face to face with the woman-Mrs. Sugden, who had come out of the forest end of the alley, and was standing close to him.

Very beautiful she was, far more beautiful than he had thought when he had seen her first. The features perfect, without fault; the complexion, though browned with field labour, so exquisitely clear; the pose of the body, and the set of the features, so wonderfully calm and strong. Her great grey eyes were not on him, though he could see thein. They seemed to Silcote the cynical to be sending rays of pity and wonder upon the passionate child, as indeed they were. And, while he looked, this common labouring woman, with the cheap cotton gown, turned her large grey eyes on him, Silcote, the great Squire; and in those eyes Silcote saw perfect fearlessness and infinite kindness; but he saw more than the eyes could show him. The eye, as a vehicle to carry one man's soul to another, has been lately very much overrated. Silcote, as a barrister, knew this very well; the eye to him was a good and believable eye, but what said the eyebrows? Their steady expansion told him of frankness and honesty, forming an ugly contrast to the eyebrows he saw in the glass every morning. What said the mouth? Strength and gentleness. What said the figure ? Strength, grace, and wild inexorable purpose in every line of it.

. So she was in silence and repose : in speech and action how different ! How reckless the attitude, how rude and whirling the words !

“Silcote, you are making a rod for your back in your treatment of that child. She'll live to break your heart for you. Why do you not correct her?—Come here, child; what is the matter ?

The astonished child came and told her.

“ You should not have teased him, then. You are naughty, and should be punished. Silcote, will you let me walk and talk with you ?”

“Yes, if you won't scold me. You made a fine tirade the last time I spoke to you about the vices of our order. I wonder you are not afraid to walk with me.” “I am neither afraid of you nor of any


thank you. I certainly am not afraid of you, because you were originally not a very bad man, and have only come to your present level by your own unutterable selfish conceit. That there is no chance of mending you now I am quite aware: but still I have come to ask you a great favour, a favour which will cost you trouble and money. Mend your ways for this once, and grant my request, and afterwards“Go to the deuce, hey?"

By no means. I mean something quite different from that. You have not, I believe, done an unselfish thing for twenty years. Five-and-twenty is nearer the mark; you have been eating your own heart, and reproducing your own nonsense, ever since your first wife's death.

Make a change. Do me this favour, and it will become easier to you to do others. In time, if you live long enough, you may be a man again. Come.”

He was not a bit surprised at her tone. She had startled him at his first interview with her, but that surprise had worn off. Let a man for twenty years shut himself into a circle of perfectly commonplace incidents and thoughts, the outside edge of that circle will become too solid to be easily broken. New facts, new phenomena, new ideas, may indent that outside edge ; but the old round whirls on, and, before the “wheel has come full circle" again, the dent is gone, as in a fused planet some wart of an explosive volcano is merely drawn to the equator, only leaving one of the poles flattened to an unappreciable degree. Mrs. Sugden, like Arthur, had dinged the outside edge of his selfishness. He soon became accustomed to both of them.

The globe remained intact; either there must be an internal explosion, or it would spin on for ever.

He answered her without the least hesitation or surprise. She was only a strong-minded woman in cotton, with a deuce of a tongue, and a history; possibly a queer one, though she said it was not. She was a new figure, and to a certain extent odd, but his last recollections of life were in a court of law, and he had seen odder figures there. He was perfectly content that she should walk up and down the garden with him, speaking on terms of perfect equality. Besides, she was clever, and bizarre, and required answering, and after so many years he had got tired of worrying his sister; and it was a new sensation to have a clever woman to face, who would give scorn for scorn, and not succumb with exasperating good nature.

“You say you are come to ask a favour, the granting of which will cost trouble and money. I love money, and hate trouble. You have


wrong way to work." "I am sorry for that, Silcote, because the thing I want done must be done, and you must do it. I really must have it done. Therefore, if you will be kind enough to point out how I have gone wrong, I will follow your directions and begin all over again; only you must do what I require. If you grant that, as you must, I will go to work in any way you choose to dictate.”

“ I can't go on twisting words about with a woman, who not only commits for herself ignoratio elenchi and petitio principii in the same breath, but also invents and uses some fifty new fallacies, never dreamt of by Aristotle or Aldrich. What do you want done ?"

“You remember a conversation we had the week before last?" 6 There she goes. There's your true woman.

Violates every law of reason and logic; then when you put her a plain question, asks you whether you remember a conversation you held with her the week before last. No I don't legally remember that conversation. I would perish on the public scaffold sooner than remember a word of it. I ask you what you want me to do, and I want an answer.”

“Do you know my boy ?

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“ You do."

Then, as I never contradict a lady, I lie. But I don't all the same.”

“You came after him the week before last, and you wanted him for a groom.”

“That may be, but I don't know him. I have seen more of the Lord Lieutenant than I have of him ; but I don't know the Lord Lieutenant, and I don't want to. He is a Tory, and I never know Tories. How do I know that your boy is not a Tory? Now what do you want of me?"

“I wish you would leave nonsense, Silcote, and come to the point."

“I wish you would leave beating about the bush, and come to the point." “I will. You do know my boy, Squire, don't you ?"

, “There she goes again. I knew she would. Who ever could bring a woman to the point? No, I don't know your boy. I have told you so before. I ask you again what do vou want with me?.

“ We shall never get on like this,” said Mrs. Sugden. “I don't think we shall,” said Silcote.

“ But come, you odd and very queerly-dressed lady, confess yourself beaten, and I will help you out of your muddle."

“I shall do nothing of the kind,” said Mrs. Sugden.

“ Then we have come to a hitch. We had better come into the garden and have some peaches.”

She was silent for a moment, and then she took his hand. “Squire," she said, “ for the first time in twenty-five years will you be serious, will you be your old and better self? Instinct partly, and rumour partly, tell me that you were not always the foolish and unhappy man you are now. Help me, Silcote, even though I come asking for help with strange rude words in my mouth. Throw back your memory

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