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but not in the centre of the almost the archæologist will all find square rectangle which, by their their tastes gratified in this charmappearance, they seem to have ori- ing oasis. The Birket el Kurûn ginally occupied. While Linant offers, probably, better sport to the makes these outside enclosures angler than he would find else
;" and Lepsius“ almost where in Egypt. In the thickets square, Murray's Guide' makes in some of the ravines are to be them measure sixty-five feet by found wild boar; while lynxes, forty-five. Lepsius believes that wolves, jackals, ichneumons, and their height was never greater than hares are more or less abundant. it is now-viz., twenty-three feet- Pelicans, wild geese, ducks, teal, to which must be added a peculiar and water-fowl of different varieties, and somewhat projecting base of frequent the marshy shores of the seven feet. The foundations were lake. The antiquarian would find on Nile mud, and the inclination Arsinoë, the Labyrinth, the Temple of their angle 64°, which is steeper of Kasr Karoon, and the ruins on than that of ordinary pyramids, the western shores of the lake, full, and hence he concludes against not merely of interest, but of posLinant Bey's hypothesis. On the sible discoveries. At Senooris there other hand, the lower stones bear are the graves of the early Christhe traces of water—the Nile mud tians who are said to have been may have been Lake Mæris mud. martyred, and the peasantry have There are no other remains within no scruple in exhuming them to sathe area of the lake, and the remains tisfy the curiosity of the anthropoloof the dams would go to show that gist who desires to have a specimen they stood in its extreme north-east of an early Christian's skull, or the angle. The fact that they were not curious coffins in which their corpses ordinary pyramids, but rather pyr- were placed ; while the fortress-like amidal pedestals for statues, may village of Tamiyeh, the thicket-clad account for the steeper inclination gorge of Fidimin, and the broad of their angles. At all events, the precipitous wady at Nazlet, would point is an interesting one, which a offer subjects for the artist of a charmore thorough investigation would acter not to be found elsewhere in probably decide.
Egypt. It is true that modern no We should gladly have lingered less than ancient writers have in longer in the Fayoum had it been some respects exaggerated the luxin our power to take our tents and uriance of the Fayoum. One writes camels and wander about in search of“ a virgin forest," and of "orangeof the antique and the picturesque. trees as big as oaks ;" and another Unfortunately, our experience of of "a plantation of opuntia, the camel-riding had proved too fatigu- growth of which is so gigantic as ing, and we were obliged to substi- almost to resemble a forest," which tute another project, which, how. I happened to see, and which cerever, proved scarcely less agreeable. tainly fell far short of this descripWe could not leave the Fayoum tion: but in spite of all this, there without wondering at the neglect can be no doubt that the Fayoum of the tourist who has done Thebes, possesses a charm denied to any and Luxor, and the Second Cataract, other section of the country, and its and is looking for more worlds brawling streams and verdant reto conquer—of a region with so cesses will well repay the traveller many attractions, and so accessible. in search of “fresh fields and pasThe sportsman, the artist, and tures new."
THE PRIVATE SECRETARY.-PART IX.
Hilda waited for a minute, not she was now just before him in the to appear in a hurry, and to recover chair, sitting in which she had writfrom the agitation into which the ten her introductory essay-a day message had thrown her, and then separated from the present by a passing out of the office, walked few weeks only, yet which now down the little passage towards seemed a very long way off,Clifford's room. As she did so, “Hilda, I have something to tell Jane passed out by the outer door you which you ought to know. It with her bonnet and scarf on, as is not what you expect to hear,if bound on an errand. Mrs. Sim- at least,” he added in confusion at monds Hilda had not seen that his clumsiness, “I should say it morning.
mainly concerns my cousin and myClifford rose from his chair as self. Hilda, the world believes me she entered his room, and advanc- to be rich, and thinks me a fortuing, offered his hand, but without nate fellow; and, as you know, I betraying any excitement in his have been spending money freely manner, and, indeed, turning away without let or hindrance. But I his eyes to avoid her glances. His am little better than an impostor, “Good morning, Hilda; pray take so far at least as I have been ima seat,” was spoken in his ordinary posing—on you. I have not even way, without any sign of emotion. a life-interest in my fortune. I Hilda, for her part, felt calmer than have only a temporary use of it, she had expected to be, and her subject to a certain condition, the composure returned entirely when time for fulfilling which is now fast he began to talk about her brother's approaching, and if I refuse to acdeparture, inquiring with a friendly cept it, why, then, I am released interest into all the particulars. from my golden fetters, but I be
And yet it was evident that Clif- come a beggar. Hilda, cannot you ford was not quite at his ease. His guess what that condition is ?" calmness was simulated; he was Hilda sat with folded hands and trying to lead the conversation eyes turned away from him, looking into another direction. At last he straight in front of her, but a gleam changed it abruptly.
of joy passed across her face. She “What do you think of my understood what the condition was, cousin, Hilda ?”
and could not doubt that he was He spoke as if in jest, but yet going to refuse it; and for the mowatched her face eagerly to see how ment the thought of the conseshe would take it.
quences to him was hidden by the “Is that a fair question to ask ?” sweet consciousness that the sacrishe replied. The tone of her voice fice would be made for her sake. was a little scornful, but expressed “Although this necessity,” be also reproach and entreaty.
continued, " has always been before “ Hilda," he continued, rising and me, ever since I first came into postaking his stand before the fire- session of my income, it was presplace, the position he had occupied ent only in a faint, indefinite sort on the day of her first visit, while of way. The years passed on. I heard nothing of my relatives, ex- supposing she would still care to cept by report. Blanche's father take me, even were I in despair at was reputed to be very rich; he not being able to gain what my does not care to secure my money heart is set upon. Hilda, I don't for her, I thought; my fortune ap- want to make much of the sacrifice, pears insignificant to him; he is such as it is. After all, there is not not going to hold me to the bar- much sacrifice involved in giving gain; we shall both be free. The up what costs too much to keep. time approached when his part of Besides, it is only stripping myself the conditions had to be acted on; of what is adventitious about mywhen either they must come and self, that I can find out whether I seek me out, or else in six months have gained that which alone I more I should be free and my own prize, to be loved for my own sake. master. But I heard nothing of Hilda,” he continued, in a voice them, and had hardly taken count of hoarse with emotion, his words the time that was so near at hand, coming with difficulty,“ beggared when suddenly-on that day you as I am, and with nothing but mymust remember, the day you first self to offer, I shall deem myself graced this room with your sweet still rich beyond count if I have presence — I got the fatal news. gained that which I seek.” Blanche and her mother had ar- Still she did not speak. But he rived in London.
needed no answer in words. Her “I could not doubt what their face was now turned upwards topurpose was. I remembered now wards his, and the frank loving that there were just the six months glance she gave him told him all
. remaining before the completion of It seemed to say that his sacrifice the time specified in the will
, which should be repaid. This sweet and were to be allowed me for making tender creature, whose virtues and my cousin's acquaintance. She and graces he had come to know so her mother had come to seek me well, had given him her heart in out, according to the clause which return for his. required them to do so. The other He Jonged to seize her in his side intended to fulfil their part of arms, to allow himself one lover's the compact; I was challenged to embrace, but was kept back by the fulfil mine."
knowledge that even yet she might Still his listener made no answer, turn from him with horror. He but her face assumed a graver as- had not yet told her all. She pect.
should not have cause to feel sul“At one time," continued the lied by even one kiss, till she gave speaker, looking down, and speak- it of her own free will, knowing ing in a low voice, “the condition all. did not seem so very difficult. I “But do you realise all that is was heart-whole then. I tried hard implied in this ?” he continued, in to fancy myself in love with my a low earnest voice, looking at her cousin--you know how beautiful fondly, but still standing in his old she is—and I might perhaps have place. " It means absolute begsucceeded, although I should never gary. I have not saved a shilling. have been so infatuated as to be- What an idiot I have been, to be lieve that she would return the sure, not to have put by my income feeling ; but something came in the while it was mine! I should have way: you know what I mean. I saved quite enough by this time for would not marry my cousin now, my simple wants. But I went on, living in a fool's paradise of vacu- jars! Her present home, once so ity. Because my cousin and her distasteful, looked like a haven of family were abroad, I put off look- perfect happiness compared with ing my fate in the face. Something, the drear prospect now dimly I thought, when I thought about it facing her. As these thoughts at all, might turn up to alter the coursed through her mind, she course of things. Something has could not find words of comfort or turned up. And now, having drawn consolation for her lover or herself. a bill on futurity, it has to be met, Clifford still remained standing and I have not saved a shilling, silent and apart. Presently he said, and am quite incapable of earning “There is yet one way of escape.” my livelihood. Am I too to be Hilda started and looked up at supported by your exertions? And him. Her bright glance gave him where will you bestow them? hope. Where will you find another em- “I have not told you all,” he ployer, when I am no longer able said, “or rather, you have not yet to employ you myself! A pretty been able to infer all that is implied pass I have brought things to, truly, in the position. Hilda, if you marry by my indolence and folly !" me, you marry a beggar. And yet
Hilda sat still, save for the nerv- that I should marry the one woman ons movement of her folded hands. who alone could avert beggary is Her face was now turned away, more than ever impossible, after and she looked wearily before her. what I have learnt of your heart. The transient feeling of delight had Now I am pledged to you for ever. passed away—her heart was full of And oh, Hilda, dearest
, think how love and pity and despair. She much is implied in this ! What a could not say that he must not change your presence here has made make the sacrifice. She could not in my life! Before you came to counsel him to save his fortune by light up the house, all was dull and the only way open to him; yet the gloomy. I busied myself in a way, announcement of his ruin crushed but my life was really flat and inout of her the joy of having gained sipid-how much so I never fully his love. Hilda was no longer a understood till now. I did my romantic girl. The stern ordeal day's task; but it was a task. But she had undergone had laid bare your coming here changed everyonly too clearly the grim hardships thing. It was not the first day, or of poverty. She could not say to the second, that the change came him,-Take me, and together we about. Have I not said that till will face the world. She knew by lately my thoughts were turned bitter experience all the degrada- another way? But latterly I have tion and the mean shifts involved been wholly loyal to you as you in trying to live without means. gradually took possession of me. Poverty for gentlefolks, she knew, Do you know how I have listened meant duns and insolence to en- day by day for the sound of your counter, and want of proper food footstep on the stairs, as you came and clothing. She could not let to lighten up my gloomy house ! him burden himself with her. Every minute passed with you has Even her own means of living been happiness, as I came to know seemed crumbling away. And you better and better. A husband, compared with the ills of actual I think, could not know his wife poverty, how small appeared the better than I know you, and I have troubles caused by mere family dared to hope that the time might come when, instead of seeing you Then she looked down again, for a few minutes in the day, and away from him. making all these pretexts and pre- “For me, Hilda! Why for me tences for being with you, you only? Have you nothing to say would not have to come and go, for yourself ?” but you would be here always, “I could not wish you to marry mine by day and night-all reserve your-where your heart is not between us removed: you mine given," she answered, speaking in everything, and I yours, to be with difficulty, her modest eyes scolded and ordered about in your still averted. “I am selfish enough own pretty way, and no question not to wish to see you married to of salary or gratitude between us. another woman—at least not just Gratitude! the gratitude would be now. But you are saved from acall mine. And then, perhaps, tual poverty, and I know what a while I grew fonder and fonder of dreadful thing that is. You will you—for my love would always in- live to get over your feeling for crease and never tire—you might me,” she added, withdrawing the come to give me the same sort of hands which he had still been warm love in return. To think of clasping. “And for myself,” she all this happiness, and yet to feel continued, looking round at him that I am painting a picture of what and trying to smile, “I must try can never happen, unless
and be brave. I believe," said Hilda rose by a sudden impulse, poor Hilda, “I was not made to and placing her hands on his shoul- be happy." ders, rested her head against his “But is there no other alternaface.
tive ?” he cried, and his voice was “Can it be,” thought the enrap- thick and hoarse with passion and tured lover, as he folded her in his excitement. “ We love each other ; arms, “that she really gives herself we are both free; we are both lonely ; to me? But there must be no and you know me well enough to misunderstanding or mistake. Per- trust me. Hilda, darling, may we haps even now, in her innocence, not be united in heart and feeling, she does not understand me. Lis- and every real bond save the forten, my dearest,” he said, releasing mal one? Why should we be apart her and then taking her hands in when we might live together in his, while he looked at her with mutual trust and confidence? I ardent glances, “I have still some- can know no happiness without thing to say; I have not told you you, were I to live for ever.” all. If I marry any one but my Clifford had rightly guessed that cousin, every shilling I have goes this proposal would not arouse in to her; but if I do not marry, I his companion any outburst of inhave still something left, not very dignation. She must know him much, but still something-enough well enough to be sure that he to live upon,-more than sufficient would never subject her to any for my modest wants."
outward degradation, and that if Hilda, whose face had been she gave herself to him there need averted while he was speaking, be no loss of self-respect beyond looked up at him now with a glance what was inevitable in such a conin which joy and grief were blended. nection. Still he could not be “Then you are saved !" she cried. certain how the proposal would be “Oh, Mr. Clifford ! oh, Robert, I received, and as he finished speakam so glad, so very glad—for you.” ing he looked eagerly towards her,