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people are so. Mrs. Sutton has lived with me nineteen years— ever since May was born, in fact-and is invaluable to me."

"Who is she?" asked the colonel. "She looks like a lady." "I know little of her previous history, except that she was married very young to a worthless man, who deserted her, but fortunately died. I have not questioned her much about her husband, as you may suppose, for the subject is extremely painful to her. Apparently, she has no ties, for I never hear her speak of her relations. She has devoted herself exclusively to me, and I have the greatest confidence in her."

"I am sure your confidence is not misplaced. You are most fortunate in possessing such a treasure."

"She is a treasure, and I should be sorry to lose her. She might marry very well, if she chose. Mr. Malham, the surgeon -a most respectable man, and very well to do-has spoken to me about her, but she won't listen to him for a moment. She has had too bitter an experience of wedded life to run a second risk."

"The housekeeper is mistress here, that I can see," thought the colonel. "I am glad on your account, though sorry for poor Malham, that Mrs. Sutton has so decided," he added, aloud. "What a charming boudoir you have got! An Indian life would suit you, Esther. You would be idolised at Calcutta or Bombay. Why not go back with me when I return-and I haven't got long leave?-taking Mr. Radcliffe and May with you, of course."

"How can you make such an absurd proposition?" she exclaimed. But she did not seem displeased, and added, with a half sigh, "I do think my delicate health might be improved by a few years spent in a climate like that of India.”

"Not a doubt of it. Apropos of India, I see you have got my old Bengal tiger here. The magnificent brute who once owned that skin might have made a meal of me. My first shot only wounded him. He sprang upon my elephant, who had enough to do to bear his weight, killed my mahout, and in another instant would have reached my howdah, if I had not despatched him by a ball through the brain. I never shall forget the ferocious aspect of the beast as I fired. It was an awful moment." "I have your letter describing the terrific encounter, Seymour. In fact, I have all your letters.'

The colonel did not seem much gratified by the information. But he made no remark.

"I keep them in that casket," pursued the lady. "Look round. Do you notice anything over the chimney-piece? Any souvenir of former days?"

"Ah! the miniature I gave you. That was taken in my beaux jours. I had not a scarred cheek and a grey moustache then."

"The scar improves you, Seymour, and so does the grey moustache."

He then fell into raptures with the other miniature, and was still admiring it when the door opened, and Mr. Radcliffe came in. "Sorry to interrupt your tête-à-tête," he remarked, in an apologetic tone. But you will excuse me I am sure, my love.” "We have no more secrets to discuss," replied the lady.


"In that case I need not hesitate. Mr. St. Ives is without," he added, with a significant glance at his wife. "Have I your permission to bring him in.”

Charmed by the idea of witnessing the meeting, Mrs. Radcliffe graciously assentel.

"Come in!" cried Mr. Radcliffe.

Thereupon Hilary entered the boudoir, followed by Mr. Thornton, who was obliged to hold a handkerchief to his mouth to stifle his merriment.

Mr. Radcliffe went through his part very well, though he had to check a strong tendency to laughter.

"Allow me, colonel, to present to you our young artist, Mr. Hilary St. Ives," he said, leading the young man forward.

Colonel Delacombe moved politely towards him, but suddenly stopped and stared at Hilary, who looked quite as much astonished as himself.

Thus brought face to face, the resemblance between them was seen to be very striking, allowing, of course, for difference of age. Even their height corresponded as nearly as might be, though the colonel was a trifle the taller of the two. Naturally, the advantages of youth were on Hilary's side, and the palm of good looks must have been assigned to him, but he wanted the refinement of manner and proud military bearing that lent so much distinction to the bronzed and scarred soldier.

Half-suppressed laughter reached the colonel's ears, warning him that he was the object of a practical joke. He glanced at Mr. Radcliffe, as much as to say, "I now understand why the young fellow was brought here." He then addressed Hilary.

"Glad to know you, Mr. St. Ives. Your features appear familiar to me."

"I should think they must be," muttered Mr. Thornton; " uncommonly familiar."

"I was about to make the same remark, colonel," said Hilary. "If it were not presumption on my part, I would venture to ob

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"That you have discovered a likeness," supplied Mr. Radcliffe, laughing. "So have we all."

"Never saw such a likeness in all Mr. Thornton, indulging in a roar. can't help it-ha! ha!"


born days!" exclaimed "Excuse me, colonel-I

"I won't affect to misunderstand what you mean," said the colonel, joining in the laugh. "You pay me a much greater compliment than you do Mr. St. Ives."

"I should be proud to be thought like you, colonel," said Hilary.

"Then make yourself easy on that score, young man," remarked Mr. Thornton.

Mrs. Radcliffe, who had looked on through her eye-glass, much amused by the scene, added her testimony to that of her father. "We have provided you with a son, colonel," said Mr. Thornton, in a loud whisper.

"A son!" exclaimed the other. "My good sir, I wish I had such a son as Mr. St. Ives. But you know very well I have never married."

While making the assertion, he cast a glance at Mrs. Radcliffe, and saw that she was smiling.

"Excuse me, colonel," said Hilary. "May I venture to ask if you chance to know Mr. Courtenay of Exeter?-or have had any correspondence with him?"

"Courtenay! I know lots of Courtenays. Major Courtenay, of the 2nd Foot, is my bosom friend; and Captain Chichester Courtenay, of the 21st, is another great friend. But they are both in India-one at Bombay, the other at Madras. I have no acquaintance with Mr. Courtenay of Exeter, nor have I ever corresponded with him. Does your friend belong to the Devon family?"

Hilary shook his head, abashed.

Before any further questions could be put, an interruption was offered by May, who came to inform her mother that Lady Richborough and Sir Charles had just arrived.

"Indeed!" exclaimed Mrs. Radcliffe. "I didn't expect them so soon. Well, go at once with your papa to receive them. I will come down as soon as I can. You will like Sir Charles," she added to Colonel Delacombe.

"I'm sure of it," he rejoined. "I've heard of him. He was in theth Lancers."

"I will say nothing about his sister, Lady Richborough, except that you are certain to fall in love with her. Go down and see her. Mr. Radcliffe will introduce you."

"Yes, come along," cried that gentleman. "You'll find her ladyship a most charming person."

"I must beg to be introduced at the same time," said Mr. Thornton, following them.

Thus Mrs. Radcliffe was left alone with Hilary. What passed between them will be learnt anon.


I hate when Vice can bolt her arguments,

And Virtue has no tongue to check her pride.-MILTON.

THE tragic close of the great poet's career was still an unforgotten theme when his widow, overwhelmed with her load of sorrows, and suffering severely in health, might be seen at Brighton, taking daily exercise in a Bath chair, up and down a then scarcely formed promenade, opposite her house in Brunswickterrace. Those who inquired the name of the pale delicate invalid, experienced a certain pang of compassion when told that it was Lady Byron, thought to be dying. People passed on with a reverend feeling of sympathy, and the more sensitive avoided interrupting the path of her chair out of respect for one so stricken. But, on one occasion, all Brighton was in a state of excitement at a new arrival, and it was with sentiments far different that crowds beset an hotel on the Cliff, and met and followed a handsome conspicuous woman, chiefly remarkable for a profusion of rich golden hair.

This lady could have confined her walks to the fashionable promenades, and been content with the admiration her beauty excited, but she appeared to have some motive which led her to the less frequented terrace where the pale invalid took the air.

Thus the Countess obtained an excellent view of her rival, and was no doubt gratified to observe the contrast which existed be tween them; there was no Duke de Medina Celi to command her to withdraw; it was the widow of her dead admirer who was driven from the field. Lady Byron was seen there no more.

The incident was much talked of at the time, and perhaps the triumph of the Countess was not so complete as she had anticipated. I knew Lady Byron but slightly then, but for a series of years afterwards was on intimate terms with her, and saw her within a few months of her death. I had many opportunities of judging of her character, and had never any reason to think that I had been mistaken in my first impression of its excellence. Her manners were remarkably unpretending, graceful, and obliging, "her voice was low and sweet," and she interested by a soft sadness of demeanour, which seemed rather to have grown upon her than to be her natural habit, for at times she could be quite joyous, and delighted in witty and comic conversation, entering with great spirit into the relation of laughable occurrences. She read everything, and had no prejudices for or against the authors of the day. Her judgment was remarkably correct, and her criticism good. She liked to collect opinions, and was always ready to correct any erroneous idea, and to do justice where it was due: perhaps even her indulgence was sometimes extreme in certain cases.

Poetry always interested her, and her memory served her well in quotation: her language was peculiarly correct, and she spoke without the slightest hesitation, becoming eloquent when the subject excited her; yet she was not pedantic, nor was she ever dictatorial, and was as good a listener as she was a talker" a virtue most uncommon." Her style in letter-writing was animated and expressive, and she never seemed to place a word too much. Her poetry was tender and reflective, with a tinge of obscurity occasionally, caused probably by an endeavour to be concise, in spite of overflowing thought.

She had humour, and caught a lively sally at the rebound. Apropos of a pamphlet which I had sent her proving that the execution of Joan of Arc was a fable, she wrote:

"We must get the Chancellor of the Exchequer to restore Joan of Arc as he has done Romulus. There is danger of our being persuaded that our own existence is a fable; if I were to dwell on certain representations made of myself I must inevitably come to that conclusion. As I think you have found a real one it helps

me to believe I am.”

I had expected a visit from Lady Byron's great friend Mrs. Jameson, who was prevented calling by some occupation. Instead of the visit I received this playful note:

"Mrs. Jameson having eloped with an elderly gentleman, cannot wait on you at present. The Westminster Review may not have any article of interest for you, though there is one by Carlyle (No. 4); but the information under the head of cotemporary literature is always valuable. I hope to present myself in the course of the morning at your door, as I have taken your advice to be unfashionable. "Yours,

"BALLAD SINGER." This signature is a sportive allusion to some lines of mine, which she told me she "went about the house singing."

She was in the habit of sending me poems of her own, and asking for "severe criticism;" which they certainly never deserved. On one occasion, of a song of mine which pleased her, she wrote: "Imagine my 'rage and jealousy' on hearing Miss M. say, 'you never wrote anything as good as that ballad;' nay, she ventured to intimate that all I had written was not worth it. More painful still, as it coincides with some whisperings within. I am obliged to comfort myself with this idea, that if you had as many lawyers' and schoolmasters' letters as I have, your verses might not be much more poetical than mine."

She sent me once a very beautiful poem on the subject of Pascal's separation from the lady of his love, to which I returned an answer in the character of the deserted lady. She was very anxious that her poem should be without defects, and almost forced me to object to a few expressions in it of no real importance.

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