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herited nothing else, I have at least inheri- | it? Would you have come if you

ted a name which has never been thus dishonored."

"If," said Reginald, after a pause, "you believe Miss Chesley's comfort at stake, complain of no one but yourself, for by the performance of a single condition it is possible for you to induce my relinquishment of all pursuit of her hand."

"Pursue your course then," Seymour said bitterly; "I know your terms, and I will not consent to them. Commit the worse than murder which you meditate felicitate yourself upon surpassing in heartlessness the most brutal that have gone before you. Marry Matilda, break her heart -and then enjoy the reward of your doings. I shall offer no further obstruction-settle the matter now with your conscience. I bid you good evening, sir."

At that, Seymour bowed, and with a swelling bosom, left the house.

Before reaching the gate, however, he turned suddenly around and started back, making long strides. Passing through the hall-door, without word or knock, he proceeded directly to the parlor, and there found Reginald still standing by the oriel window.

"I come," he said, "to submit to the degradation. I will forget my birth, forget that I am a man, forget everything but Matilda's danger. I acknowledge that I have been defeated in my dearest pursuit by one whom I contemned, and that I have no hope but in your voluntary withdrawal. There! the act of base submission is over, and Matilda is freed."

"Not so fast, if you please, Mr. Seymour; you have quite mistaken my tion."

had had

any other, the slightest, hope of winning Miss Chesley? And what is this but an acknowledgment of defeat? I should be most foolish, as you cannot but see, to assent to such terms. In exchange for one empty sentence uttered before no witnesses, I should yield up a most lovely girl.'

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"What then, do you demand?" said Seymour. "Is it that I should proclaim the avowal from the house-tops? publish it in the gazettes? have it recorded for the information of future generations?"

"Not so," answered Reginald; "I ask from you no confession at all—” "Because you have received it already," said the other interrupting him.

"Ah yes, it is true; and I have to thank you for the voluntary gift." Reginald, after saying this with an expression of countenance which Seymour thought sardonic, continued: "No, it is but just that I should receive a quid pro quo. Matilda Chesley is mine, and I will not relinquish her for nothing."

Here a pause intervened. At last the Englishman, who felt his nerves losing vigor every moment, could bear the suspense no longer.

"What is it you would have, Ander? Give it forth, whatever it be let me hear your demand, though the evil One himself have suggested it!"

"Oh, be not apprehensive," replied Reginald; "I do not ask your soul, you may dispose of that as you think proper; I am willing to give up my bride on condition that you engage never to take her yourself."

“What mean you? condi

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"I have nothing to do with Mr. Rennoe's assertions," replied Reginald, "and if you take the pains to recall what has fallen from my own lips, you will find nothing which can give you ground to accuse me of bad faith. I might once, perhaps, have been contented with such a declaration as you have just made, but I could What more indeed does it express than is implied in the very fact of your visit this evening, and in the whole conversation which has been the fruit of

not now.

You cannot be in earnest; this would be the very wantonness of cruelty. "You are jesting, I know."

"It is no jest," said Reginald, "unless you choose to be the laugher. For my part, I consider it quite an earnest affair to abandon Miss Chesley. Think you I have not eyes for beauty as well as you; that I have no heart to be touched by her confiding ingenuousness and noble simplicity of character ? You have accused me, Mr. Seymour, of selfishness and a savage disregard for the young lady's happiness; it may now be seen how far your own zeal is disinterested."

"Yet," urged the other, "are you not

still equally unfeeling towards Matilda? | cannot understand a lover's feelings. You You admit that she loves me."

"By no means, Mr. Seymour. It is possible, and of this one may well doubt when we have her word to the contrary, that she would prefer you to me; but who can say that she may not hereafter find some one whom she would prefer to both of us? From this window, Mr. Seymour, I observed your walk towards the gate and the return now shall I bring to your recollection the train of thought that passed through your mind and prompted your decision? Tell me if this is not somewhat like it: The wretch-I coy'd knock him over-abominable-the ge's up-I've lost her but she will not be happy, nor he neither-I am glad of it, with all my heart, for they don't deserve to be. Could not Í stop the match by telling her about this? she would not believe me-'twould do no good-besides hardly gentlemanly to relate a private conversation. No hope-she's gone. Could I possibly own beat?-out of the question-yet to think of it!-never to get Matilda-I cannot stand this-I'll do anything rather.' At this point it was that you wheeled so suddenly around: all the way back to the terrace, your mind did nothing but repeat: I'll do anything rather!' On the way from there to the hall door, you became more animated in consequence of a new series of reflections:Tis bad to be sure-horrible-yet I shall get her from Reginald after all-ho! ho! that's a comfort!'"

Seymour seemed to acknowledge the accuracy of this analysis by his confused silence, and Reginald added sarcastically:

"How remarkably disinterested all this was! O, it is the easiest thing in the world to be careful of another's welfare, if you believe it coincident with your own. When loving one's neighbor as one's self, comes to be identical with loving one's neighbor in one's self, charity truly will greatly abound."

Seymour had now recovered his speech. "You are not in love, sir, and-"

"That is to say," interrupted Reginald, "I am not disinterested; very well, go on, sir, if you please; it is proper to have terms exactly defined."

The Englishman was a little disconcerted, but continued. "What I mean is, Mr. Ander, that as you are no lover you

will turn to-morrow to some other matter, and in the course of a few weeks, or, at farthest, months, will have dismissed Miss Chesley altogether from your thoughts. In my case it must be far otherwise. To relinquish Matilda is to tear out hope itself from my breast; existence will become but a succession of separate days bound together by no common purpose or plan. Robbed of all energy, in being robbed of all prospect of reward, I could only live as the animal lives. Would you condemn me to such a fate?"

"I condemn you to nothing," said Reginald, "Decide as you will-whatever be the choice, it is to me a matter of indifference."

"And if I should not submit to the terms, what then?"

"In that case," replied Reginald, “I go to Miss Chesley, and, if she consent, marry her."

"Trifle not with me, I beg you," said Seymour, "speak sincerely. Let me know plainly your real intention."

"I have already done so," rejoined the other. "I have told you my purpose-and my purposes are seldom altered. I do not urge you, Mr. Seymour, to make this sacrifice-if such it be to you-consider calmly. You lay claim to the credit of a pure, unselfish anxiety for Matilda Chesley's happiness-I have heard of such devoted attachments, but confess to some scepticism as to their real existence. It is in your power either to remove or to confirm my doubts-yet let not your conclusion be influenced by any expectation of being subsequently released from the promise, if it be made."

"Hear me, then," exclaimed Seymour, "I promise-but there shall be no further misapprehension. Tell me, precisely, what it is you propose."

"This," said the other; "We, Lawrence Seymour, and Reginald Ander, mutually agree and promise to each other, never to marry Matilda Chesley; and though one of us should die, the survivor is still to hold himself bound upon his honor to adhere to this engagement. Do you assent ?"

"I do," said Seymour, in a low tone. "Then," said Reginald, "the covenant is ratified, solemnly, irrevocably."

Resisting all Reginald's earnest solicitations that he would remain and partake of the hospitalities of the mansion, Seymour withdrew in a state of mind scarcely more calm than that which had impelled his visit.

Next morning, Reginald had an interview with Matilda. He said to her in his abrupt way-" Miss Chesley, I have satisfied myself that if you were to become my wife, it would be at such a constraint upon your affections as must endanger your future peace and contentment-I therefore relinquish altogether, the perhaps presumtuous hopes which I have entertained." Matilda was about to make her grateful acknowledgments, but he continued without pause "Give me no credit for this act it deserves none-I prosecuted my purpose unremittingly, till an obstacle interposed, which it does not become me to contend against. But for that obstacle, I should have persevered-though at the hazard of committing a great wrong. Thank me not for my forbearance, since it proceeds from no regard for your happiness. I was selfish at the first, and remain selfish to the last. Yet Matilda-at this moment, and to you, I will say it-whatever was the object which first impelled me to seek your hand, a deeper and stronger feeling has since sprung up in my breast -a feeling which others have not given me credit for and of whose depth and strength I myself have not till now been fully conscious. My memory will never excite in you, Matilda, any sentiment of tenderness; it is more than probable that, when you know all, you will learn to hate it; yet be assured that Reginald Ander loved you truly, devotedly, jealously-though he never babbled nor ranted of his love."

On his return home, Reginald, did not see Rennoe until they met at the dinnertable. When the meal was over, the young host said, "Well, my dear sir, how prosper Mr. Seymour's affairs? Has your assistance been of much avail ?"

"Of none, whatever," answered Rennoe, frankly.

"Perhaps," said Reginald, "you wish a longer trial?"

"No. I have already done everything that, as a Christian man, I dare."

Reginald rewarded this confession of his triumph, with information of his relin

quishment of Miss Chesley, and of the terms of the agreement between himself and Seymour.

Rennoe's gratification was evident from his countenance, and he declared in words: "You will hardly believe me, Reginald, yet it is sober truth, that this conclusion gives me even more pleasure, coming as it does from your voluntary motion, than it would if it were the consequence of my own strenuous exertions. You are not one to stop at half-way measures; and this decision, I now feel assured, is the forerunner of another; of one whose importance the world must acknowledge, and whose consequences will be recorded by history."

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Come, let us walk," said Reginald.

The young man led his companion through the garden at the rear of the dwelling to a wide common, in which the bastard-pine had sprung up, and even in that early day attained considerable size. Reginald pursued his course briskly and confidently through the mazes of a labyrinth, more perplexing than that of Dædalus. Rennoe, as he found all his care scarcely adequate to preserve his face from the spring burs, which every shrub eagerly threw across his path, wondered in silence what were the charms of scenery that the other had found to attract him. Finally they came to a low, worn fence, which enclosed a little bubbling spring, a cabbage patch, three peach trees, and a cabin, fifteen feet by ten, constructed of logs, well daubed with mud, and covered by great rude shingles, whose thickness bid defiance to nails, and which were kept in place by the superincumbent weight of numerous stones and oaken poles. At the door sat a black woman, whose hair, as it appeared from beneath the edges of her cap, was literally white as the driven snow; and a crutch which leaned against the wall at her side, showed that she labored under other infirmities, than those which are the legitimate attendants of age. She was neatly clad, and her countenance, though bearing the characteristic marks of her race, indicated considerable intelligence.

Reginald, leaning his arm upon the fence, drew her into conversation. In the course of it, Rennoe observed, "You must lead a dreary life out in this dreary wilderness, my good lady. Few visitors are apt to pierce through a thicket as you have around you.”

"It has not long been so," she answered. "The day Master Reginald was born, I could see the mansion plain from here; and I can remember in the time of the first Master Reginald; that's the son of Wriothesly-when as fine tobacco was growing on it, as ever was raised anywhere, I suppose.'

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"Indeed! Does your memory extend thus far? Your age, then, without your other ailments, would prevent you from going abroad much."

"Its five-and-forty years, sir," answered the woman, "since I have been outside of that fence."

"Of course," said Rennoe, "you have somebody to nurse you."

"No, sir; I'm thankful I haven't yet come to stand in want of that. I've always had good masters to give me my meal and bacon, and firewood, and the garden truck I can raise myself"

"But are you not lonely?"

"How can I be, when I have this?" As she spoke she lifted a much worn Bible, from her lap. "Well, indeed, may I thank God for this affliction, for it is only since it laid me up in a manner useless, that I have learned to read the good message which He has sent to all his servants; and what a blessed thing it is that by his mercifulness, the crippled can hope for as good wages as the strongest.

They conversed long with the old woman, and could not fail to observe both her thorough acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures, and her unwavering faith in the promises which they contain. After that, Reginald led the way down along the little branch, till the cabin was quite out of view, then turning around he addressed his companion thus: "You know, sir, that some months ago I determined to defeat and humble Laurence Seymour; that object is now accomplished, and my mind is open for another. I have resigned Miss Chesley, and with her the hope of domestic happiness; is not this a good deal? Yet you are not satisfied, and would have me resign more; my fortune and my personal independence; tell me what recompense you can promise in return for such sacrifices."

"It is summed up in one word, Reginald-power. Look at me; how am I able to raise this arm; to extend this foot?

Just so,

Is it not the soul which moves? the company of Jesus is the soul of the world; all the rest of mankind are but its limbs and external instruments."

"Power-power-" repeated the youth. "Yes," said Rennoe," does not that content you ?"

"At least," Reginald answered, (6 it might tempt, if it failed to satisfy-but I have brought you here, to inform you of a resolve already made. Released from all ties here, I am about to enter upon a new and graver scene, and one so important, that it demands from me an earnest preparation. I want an instructor. There are two in view; one, whose great natural abilities have been developed to the utmosta man learned as few are learned, yet, at the same time thoroughly versed in practical affairs. The other teacher, very far inferior in natural endowments, is destitute besides of all the pretensions to the wisdom of the schools. The first is Simon Rennoe, the ablest of the Jesuits-the other Judith, the old woman who exists in yonder hovel; and of the two, I mean to choose Judith.”

Rennoe's fine features were expressive of intense scorn, as he replied, "And has Reginald Ander sunk to this?"

"Before you pronounce judgment," said the young man, "hear me. My mother had three brothers, and a sister. They all died prematurely of the same disease. Her father died of it also. The disease is one, whose characteristic it is to be hereditary. Seven years ago, I became aware of the fate which menanced me, and since then, that disease has been the subject of my study. Every medical work of eminence relating to it has been mastered. Without the knowledge of guardians or teachers, I have personally consulted the most distinguished physicians. I have learned what preventive measures were advisable, and how to estimate every symptom which should arise. Some weeks ago, in fording a run near Reveltown, I got wet, and could not afterwards change my clothing. That exposure gave my constitution a shock, which afforded an opportunity for my lurking enemy to show his power. I know that there is in medicine nothing which can remove the grasp of death which is laid upon me. I can almost count up to you with the certainty of an astronomical calcula

tion, the very number of hours that remain."

"Perhaps," said Rennoe, "the case is not so hopeless as you imagine, and let it be as it may, you cannot do better than to unite yourself with our order. Should your fears prove, as I hope and believe, destitute of sufficient ground, you will have before you the grandest field which earth can offer to a vigorous and penetrating intellect; should, alas the worst result follow, you will have every advantage of enlightened spiritual preparation."

Such arguments," said Reginald, would once have had weight, but I tell you, Simon Rennoe, that the sight of death, standing upon the threshold, works a wonderful change in the estimation which we place upon the things both of this world and of the next. Within a period of less than four revolutions of the moon, I, who now stand before you, will be- can you tell me where? That old crippled being yonder, has endured for nearly half a century, misery which Zeno and Seneca would have confessed intolerable; yet she is at this moment happier than you are. In ignorance as gross as can be conceived, of all human lore, she can yet explain the grounds of her faith, in terms fixed, clear, consistent, rational, sublime. You, Simon Rennoe, know everything but the Bible -she knows nothing but the Bible. For five years I have been a diligent pupil in your school; during the few months which remain to me, I mean to take lessons of her."

"Let me know, Reginald," said the Jesuit, "whether this is your settled pur


"It is," answered the other, "and you may therefore abandon altogether those hopes which have made you my companion to America. Yet I shall be pleased to have you remain as long at the mansion as you find agreeable; can I not indeed persuade you to listen with me to Judith's pious teachings?"

"You must excuse me," said Rennoe, smiling ironically, "I would prefer to sit at the feet of a somewhat different Gamaliel. As you have made your determination, however, I know you well enough not to attempt to change it. To-morrow morning, therefore, I shall bid you farewell. I have already devoted to you more time

than I would give to win to the service of the company any other mind, that fifty years intercourse with the world has made me acquainted with; yet that space of time, Reginald, I would give thrice over to win thee."

In the walk home, Rennoe observed, "I now understand the full force of your agreement with the Englishman."

"Yes," said Reginald, "and was it not a most admirable measure? How foolish it would have been in me to have made Matilda a wealthy widow for Seymour's benefit? The fellow luckily was unaware of the predicament in which I was placed, and now, though on the point of death, I can enjoy the satisfactory reflection that Seymour can derive no advantage from his survivorship."

"And is this," said Rennoe, "the devout frame of mind which your dusky Saint yonder would inculcate ?"

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"Oh," answered the other composedly, as you are not my spiritual adviser, give yourself no uneasiness about the matter: indeed, on the whole I do not think I shall trouble even Judith with it-my conscience and I can settle this question unassisted."

Next day, the Jesuit, in accordance with the intention he had declared, started from Anderport on his way to Europe. A few hours after, there was another departure, Seymour's, who went to prosecute his mining speculations.

Reginald remained, and, with the indomitable firmness which characterized him, calmly watched the measured approach of death. For months he made daily visits to old Judith, and, it is to be hoped, derived benefit from her serious and faithful admonitions. Before the close of winter he was confined to the house, soon after to his chamber, and finally to his bed. Now, for the first time, the rumor spread abroad that the mansion was like to lose its master. Reginald during all that fearful interval had kept the secret locked in his own breast. Giving way to no grief himself, he was too proud to desire the condolence of others. He yearned not for the comfort which man is able to bestow.

Spring, therefore, was near at hand before Laurence Seymour heard of the condition of his former rival. Ever since the evening of the memorable agreement, he

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