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sure that you have a strong and steadfast mind. I have not spoken of your friends, because you have never invited me to do so. That obstacle, if there is one, is your consideration, more than mine. But the obstacles on our part are of a very different nature. Of English ladies I know not much, though I had the honour of being introduced to some of what you call the high society, when I came first to this island; and they seemed to me to be endowed with virtues well adapted to their beauty. But they have to contend with this great danger they are allowed to choose their own partners in life, whenever the money is abundant, before they have attained good intelligence. With our daughters this is not the case. The parents make a wise selection for them, sometimes even dispensing with much revenue, when there are great qualities to compensate."

"We never go quite so far as that," I said, "unless the lady behaves in such a way that it is impossible for us to help it."

"But I have been surprised to find," he continued, with a smile which left me doubtful whether it were of paternal pride, or of that quiet humour which he sometimes showed, "that my daughter seems to take most kindly to the modes of thought and the greater independence which the ladies of this country have permitted to themselves. It may be in the air, or it may be in the nature; but I am often quite astonished at the sayings and doings of my Dariel. She has been brought up by a lady who is partly of English birth, and for a month or two with English children; but still her unusual style of judging for herself is amazing and terrifying to our elder women, who being of a different rank-and that reminds me, if my daughter has a fault, and

I suppose she must have, it is, Mr Cranleigh, the pride of birth. Not an ignoble fault, but still a very serious one, especially as it can never be expelled.

"Through her mother she is of higher birth than I am, though not of more ancient lineage perhaps, as I happen to be one of the Kheusurs. But all these things you cannot understand, even if you wish to do so, without a knowledge of my long sad tale, which I have not told as yet to any person living. Even my daughter has not heard it, and I hope she never may; for it would serve perhaps to do mischief to her young mind with anxiety. The Lord governs all things on earth; all of our race begin to feel that, when their little strength is stripped from them. But you are too young to see things so; and never has the tale of one man's life had any effect upon another's, unless it were to lead him into wild adventures, easy to talk about, hard to go through. Be content without them."

I looked at him, with some hesitation. Would it be kind of me, even if I had the right, to put him through all these griefs again, which had changed him from a bold young Chief, primed with excitement, and peril, and love, into a quiet exile, and a Christian moraliser, a founder of type with hard blue hands, and oh, saddest fate of all, an experimental Publisher? No, it would be a cruel thing, a selfish call upon sad memory, a mere abuse of large goodwill, and a vile advantage taken of an over-tender conscience. With these finer feelings, I almost said, "I entreat you, sir, not to tell me;" when the Spirit that hates the human race whispered to me that there has never been a man, and probably never will be one, who cannot find pleasure in talking of himself, however dark the

subject. And why should I doubt that it would do him good, as soon as he got into full swing?

"The last thing I could desire, Sûr Imar, would be to renew your troubles." There was no humbug in these words of mine, as there was with the pious Æneas; for as the Lesghian Chief sat down and leaned his head upon his hands, he reminded me of my father's look, when his money came to nothing; moreover, I saw in his face a large resemblance to his daughter's in her sorrow over that pet bird. "It would be a terrible trial to you. But until I know more, I am all in the dark. Perhaps you will think it over, and whatever you do will be certain to be right. For the more he reminded me of my sweet one, the less could I bear to worry him.


"This is very good of you," he said most kindly, "and it doubles my duty towards you. I am ashamed of this weak and foolish feeling. You have a right to know all my history, and you shall, if you I will come to-morrow. It is too late now for me to begin to-night, and I have a little duty to discharge. On a Saturday night we always thank the Lord for His care of us

throughout the week. You belong probably to the Church of England. We of the Kheusur tribe have our very simple forms, handed down through ages, from the same source as yours perhaps. We have our little service at noon on Sundays. Would you like to be with us tomorrow?"

Nothing could have been more to my liking; and as it happened, there was no fear of disturbing our home arrangements, for my father was laid up with a slight attack of gout, and my mother in close attendance upon him. So in a few words it was settled that after attending their service, of whatever kind it might be, I should be allowed to hear the history of the Lesghian Chief, which was much more than the first promise I received. Knowing that now I should have full light thrown upon all the strange things which had so long engaged my attention and curiosity, and what was infinitely more than that, upon everything connected with Dariel, I rode home that night in a glow of excitement, tempered at intervals with nervous dread. For I might hear things that would place a bar for ever, or a gulf, betwixt me and my love.



But when I had fed my good to do with my own affairs just horse that evening, and bedded him comfortably as he deserved, returning with a hock of cold bacon to my den, and a jug of ale which I needed sorely, there I found my white deal table, just where I was going to lay the cloth, covered with a canopy and tissue-fringing of gold too bright for the candle-light.

"Who has brought this beehive here, and stuck it on my table?" I asked with a tone of wonder and vexation; for I had quite enough

"Did you ever see a beehive of this colour? Then I should like to know where they got the straw from?"

Grace had lifted her head, and was passing both hands through the curls of which she was so proud that she cared not what we called them, and her cheeks had a rich unusual flush; and there was some new brightness in her eyes as well, bright enough always, now too

bright, with unsettled weather in the depth beyond the blue. I saw that there was something up, but left her to begin it.

"George, have you taken it into your head, not to care a straw for your sister any more?" This was exactly what I expected; but I looked at her with innocent astonishment. I put down my bacon and my jug of beer, but drew back the cloth, to leave room for her arms, and then gazed at her with some dignity.

Oh, you need not be afraid. I am not going to cry over it," she exclaimed, with the usual ingratitude of girls; "in fact I feel much more inclined to laugh. You have been trying to sell me, to sell your own sister! Can you not imagine, George, that I am not for sale?"

"Look here!" I said, for this was coming it too strong; "you have got into some tantrums, some feminine delusions. I have not had a bit to eat, I don't know when ; and I must recruit the inner man, while you come to your senses."

"Poor thing! It cannot be so very deep in love, or it would be satisfied to live on air. But don't they feed you where you go, dear George? Well, that does seem inhospitable. And they must be rich people, or you would not go so often."

This was almost more than I could stand. However, I kept up my dignity, remembering that the more impudent a girl is, the more she "climbs down" afterwards. "Your very good health, my dear child!" I said, and then observed her through the glass which formed the bottom of the tankard. Now I say that she was a very sweet young woman, and a worthy wife for the best man that ever lived, not to lose all self-command at this; for the loveliest creature ever born cannot flatter herself that she looks well thus.

"You want to make me cry, but you won't do it. And once for all, just understand this little point. I don't care a rap-as you elegantly express it-what airs you put on, to exasperate me. Because I am certain that you understand me, George. All the very small things you say—and you have a low gift of walking under your own feet-all of them, what I mean is, none of them have the smallest effect upon my poor mind. In the first place, I am not clever, any more than you are. And if I were, I should only use it to make you more and more fond of me, instead of endeavouring to make you feel small. But oh, George, I never thought that you would scheme to sell me!"

"All this is Abracadabra to me," I replied quickly, in fear of a torrent. For when a girl tells you that she won't cry, you may be quite sure that she will soon think better of it.

"How innocent you look! But just one little question. Did you not send Mr Stoneman Jackson to propose to me, this very evening?"

"Nothing of the sort. And as if you did not know his name! I have not even seen him, since that day when you were cutting such a shine in the sun, as the frugal, virtuous, and lovely milkmaid. That is what has fetched him; not your stupid brother." I owed her a cut or two, as everybody will perceive.

"George, you are cruel, even more than crafty. As if I did anything so low as that! But will you assure me, upon your honour, that you did not encourage him to-to try what he has been trying?"

"Not only that, but I did all I could to damp him off, so far as such a dry fellow could be damped. I told him to hold off, while the Earl was in the running."

"There was no Earl in the running. This is too bad of you. It was only the walking that Lord


Melladew went in for, and I am sure he meant no harm by that." 'Well, he made the running fast enough, when they peppered his gaiters, and some one else did the tumbling. But I told Jackson to hold off, for I was sure that he had no chance yet. He is a decent sort of fellow enough in his way; but what chance could he have against a belted Earl, and a gaitered Earl too, who can shriek in sonnets? Poor Stoneman could scarcely put thumb to rhyme with mum; and mum he should have been, though it is rather hard upon him. Never mind, he can find some other girl, when he gets over it. I heard of a Duke's daughter who was wild to catch him. But he is much too hard hit, to think of any one for years."

"One of Mr Erricker's tales, I daresay," said Grace with a little sigh of sympathy, as I fetched a sham groan for my poor friend, "about that beautiful Duke's daughter.

As if any girl with any self respect would allow herself to be talked of in that way! And as if Mr Stoneman would permit it for a moment! However, you seem to have thoroughly discussed my case. Did you settle what my pin-money was to be? Oh, George, George, will you never understand how very different we are from you? I did think I could have respected Mr Stoneman; but when I find out that he has been to you, trying to buy me like a colliery share, or not even that, for it is all divorce now -to take me on lease like a cottage or a stable, oh, I see why you took me for a beehive now; but you'll find less of honey than of sting in me, when you buy and sell me by the pound, like this."

What a fool that stockbroker must have been to mention my name in the matter, for it was sure to set her off upon this sort of tack! However, it proved afterwards that

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she, being perfectly calm, while he was in a frightful flurry, had extracted from him with the greatest ease everything she cared to know, till she came with the usual leaps and bounds of feminine reason to the wrong conclusion-that I had suggested and worked up the whole affair.

"Now go to bed, my dear child," I said, perceiving how vain it was to argue now; "I have business to see to, and even you can scarcely expect me to be swallowed up in your affairs, when you make a point of disliking this man, because your own brother likes him."

That little turn was almost worthy of her own ingenuity. She looked at me with a twinkle, because it was so like what she herself in my position would have said, and then after wishing me good night, she added

"But I never said a word about disliking him. There has scarcely been time enough for that as yet. Women very seldom form those sudden prejudices. That they leave for the lords of creation."

As she vanished with this very poor miss-fire, I began to put two and two together, and arrived at the conclusion that the stockbroker's case was not altogether hopeless. She had not come to care about him yet perhaps; but now he would be in her thoughts more often; and if he kept his distance, and looked downcast, and did a lot of good among the poor with strict orders to have it kept secret, and caused general uneasiness about his health; above all, if he could only be bankrupt-without losing his cash, which of course would never do, I could not see why he should not have a Mrs Stoneman, who belonged to an old Saxon family, and had gold enough in her heart and head to do without any in her maiden pocket, and who was blest with a brother of the name of George.


SOME time ago, when in the innocence of our heart we chose as the heading of this paper the words which appear above, it was suggested to us that they were capable of a double interpretation. Now the art of saying one thing and meaning another is not an accomplishment on which we pride ourselves, and we hasten to observe that our title does not refer to any volume of Reminiscences published of late years, however remarkable the statements it may contain. The class of literature with which we are about to deal is strictly that which the librarians of the British Museum, with a paternal care for the moral welfare of their generation, withhold from the ordinary reader for the space of five years after its publication, in the faint hope that a portion, at least, of its deleterious influence may have evaporated during the interval.

Confining ourselves, then, to books of this reprehensible nature, we are surprised to find how large a number of them demand our attention. Of all the great events of this century, as they are reflected in fiction, the Indian Mutiny has taken the firmest hold on the popular imagination. Leaving out of sight the long wars with France, which are dear, probably on account of their many sea-fights, to the hearts of writers for boys, but less so to those who cater for the taste of their elders, we must go back to the Jacobite outbreak of 1745 to find an epoch in English history, the characters and scenes of which appeal with equal vividness to the writers and readers of romance. To demonstrate the truth of this statement

it is only necessary to refer to the case of the Crimean War, which in its day stirred the heart of the nation, after its forty years' lethargy, as it had never been stirred by the Napoleonic wars. The newspapers and magazines of the years 1854 to 1856 speak of nothing but Eastern Europe, the races which inhabit it, and the events happening upon its soil; articles on subjects the most remote from Russia or from war arrive by some strange process of gravitation at the sufferings of our troops or the iniquities of the Czar Nicholas, and yet the impression made on imaginative literature by the Crimean War is a very faint


We cannot at the moment recall more than three or four novelists, among those that are read to-day, who have treated of it in their works. The reason for this sudden failure of interest is not far to seek. The grim fighting and grimmer hardships of the Crimea paled before the tragedy of the Indian massacres and the splendours of Lucknow and Delhi. Men alone took part in the earlier struggle, but in the Mutiny it was the the sufferings of women and children which roused England to madness, and drove men like Charles Kingsley, as his letters tell us, half-wild with the horror of it all.

We have heard it remarked that there are two epochs in history on which every young writer feels irresistibly impelled to exercise his 'prentice hand-that of the Indian Mutiny and that of the Spanish Inquisition; and it was unkindly suggested that the principal reasons were that both both periods abounded in gore, and that it was

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