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So spoke the goddess, and at her behest

The nymphs, like arrows, bounded east and west
Alone within the cave Diana stood;

A cry was heard-oh! was it in the wood

The owl's harsh voice, while winging on its way.

"Come, come, Master Nostrat! You have stolen that last line -that about the owl is a plagiarism!" cried P. P., interrupting me, as he started up and pushed back his chair. "As a punishment for your theft you are condemned to stop, and we will hop! As you hear, I also am a poet."

"Yes, yes, let us have some dancing!" they all screeched, with one accord; and I was obliged nolens volens to put my manuscript into my pocket, and conceal my vexation in the glass of jelly the servant handed to me.

When the younger members of the party had got through a couple of waltzes, I seized upon my friend P. P., and taking him into the recess of a window, I attacked him in a whisper with,

"Why did you interrupt me in the very prettiest passage of my whole poem? That was not a friendly act on your part.'

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"Yes, it was a friendly act, though a painful one on my part; for while you had no eyes but for your bulky manuscript, I saw how the other authors were shrugging their shoulders, and sneering, almost from the moment that you began to read, which you did in rather too elevated and pompous a tone. How angry you would have been if you had perceived that the younger poets made faces to each other; and even the ladies, those patient listeners, yawned, and seemed victimised by ennui. I can assure you, had you continued much longer to read, it would have happened to you, as it is said always happened to a certain orator, who never had any other audience than the president and vicepresident of the society to which he belonged, for every one else decamped the moment he opened his lips. Take my advice! Seem as gay as the rest of us, but do not expect to find a publisher in our host, for he would be as opaque as a Dutchman if he were to throw away his money upon such ware. Go now and dance with the Swedish girl; she was the only one who listened with interest to your verses, make yourself agreeable to her, she has money, and would be a better speculation than your poems."

What I felt on the delivery of this long but by no means flattering or agreeable jobation I cannot attempt to describe, but I had to bite the sour apple with which my friend had provided me; and following his advice I sought the young Swedish lady, and asking her to dance, we stood up for a waltz. Just behind me some gentlemen were standing in conversation with our host, and I caught, spoken in low tones, but to me distinctly audible, the following words:

"Perfect rubbish! Common-place trash! If it were to see the light of day, how nicely Goldschmidt would cut it up in his review! The Fædreland would declare it an absurdity, and you would incur a serious loss."

I had heard enough-more than enough. The waltz became for me a Hamburg schottisch; I started off like a maniac with the pretty girl, knocked several couples down, trod upon the toes of the old ladies who were sitting quietly as spectators, never stopping to apologise, but flew impetuously on, swinging my partner in a sort of tarantella whirl, until she fell breathless and exhausted on a sofa. I had scarcely let her go, before I hurried from the room, threw my cloak about me, and rushed out of the house.

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FOR a long time I wandered about the streets, which were becoming quite empty. I was like a deranged person. At length I so far recovered my senses as to perceive that I had better direct my steps homewards, instead of probably encountering some adventure which might not have a pleasant termination. So I went home, but as I was ascending the stairs, which were dark, I felt myself seized by the skirts of my cloak, and at the same moment I heard a low howl. Although I am not very timid, and consequently not easily frightened, I cannot deny that I was very disagreeably surprised by this attack, especially as I could not see who had laid hold of me, and seemed determined not to let me go. Presently, however, it struck me that my assailant might be the major's old dog, Trofast. I therefore called out his name, and asked, somewhat anxiously, "What is the matter?" a question often addressed to him by my old friend. I was right in my conjecture, for he immediately dropped my cloak, but uttered three distinct howls, which, according to the interpretation of those skilled in omens, betokened a death in the house.

I hastened into my room, lighted a candle, and threw my unlucky mythological poem back into its old place in the farthest corner of my desk. In the mean time Trofast seized me again by the skirts of my coat, and shook them so that I began to have serious apprehensions about the beast; I thought he had gone mad, and beheld myself in that frightful situation, a prey to hydrophobia, but on examining more nearly the poor animal I saw water in his eyes like tears, and his whole countenance expressed deep sorrow. He rushed towards the door, and then rushed back to pull me by my coat.

"Oh! now I understand you-you want me to go up to your master," ," I said, as I turned him out of my room, but also went myself, and followed him up to the major's domicile. The major's

door was open, and he was stretched upon a small half brokendown sofa.. I felt much shocked, as my regard for the worthy Puff was great. I busied myself immediately about him, and my endeavours were crowned with success, for a very few minutes after I had begun to rub the palms of his hands he opened his eyes, and murmured, in a weak voice,

"Water, water, I am dying!"

Seized with heartfelt grief and anxiety at the idea of losing my old friend, I hastened to do all that in my confusion I could think of to gratify his wish. So I laid hold of a caraff half full of water, and poured its contents partly into his mouth, partly over his whole face. To my extreme joy, it seemed as if my water-cure had worked wonders on the old gentleman, for he became, or at least appeared to become, a little better, and the best proof of this was that he asked me with kind

"How goes it with Diana?"

concern,

Thereupon I began eagerly to relate to him all my various sufferings. It did my poor oppressed mind good to find a friendly and sympathising ear into which to pour my sorrows and disappointments; I sat looking straight before me as I spoke, but when my long narration was finished, and I turned my eyes towards the old man, I beheld that he was dead!

Who shall describe my consternation when I made this discovery? Who shall depict the fearful pallor of the dead, which, as it were, communicated itself to my cheeks from those of the beatified sleeper? I can only exclaim, with our undying Andersen, "Would that I were a painter!" No words of mine can shadow forth this scene; the pen falls powerless from my hand, when thought would endeavour to form itself into words to represent this heartrending picture.

For eight days after that evening I was not for a moment my own master, being obliged, as heir of everything possessed by the deceased, and executor testamenti, to attend to all that which, in our days, is needful in order to commit any one to the grave. When I read the last will of the blessed departed I was exceedingly moved, for the worthy major had constituted me his heir that I might have the means of bringing out my poem, which he hoped would open the way for me to the greatest earthly good fortune. The only stipulation he made was, that I should take care of Trofast, as long as the old dog lived.

"That I will!" I exclaimed, in much emotion. "It is the least I can do in return for his kindness."

So then I was his only heir! How often had I not envied those who were so fortunate as to be placed in such a position! And see! I had been promoted to this dignity without having laboured to obtain it. This thought-why should I conceal it?

very much mitigated the distress I felt at losing my faithful old friend.

As soon as the good Major Puff had been carried to his long home, and deposited in the earth, borne thither by sundry noncommissioned officers, and I had returned thanks in the newspaper, not only to the invited and the uninvited who had shown him the respect of attending his burial (there were but five of them. altogether), but also to the worthy clergyman who had delivered a funeral oration, a beautiful and heart-stirring discourse, full of praises of the deceased, and of the fine qualities which Puff had never possessed-as soon as all these ceremonies were over, I thought it time to inquire into the amount of Puff's property, and to search for secret depositories, where I hoped to find what was not to be found in his usual keeping places-namely, money, bonds, &c. &c. But in vain! At length, when I had taken into account all his effects, and reckoned up their value, I ascertained that the whole, of my inheritance, which was to have enabled me to publish my "Endymion and Diana," was a deficit of about three marks and eight skillings, which, as sole heir, I had to pay out of my own pocket.

Thus vanished my last hope! From that time forwards my poem lay untouched in the corner of the desk it had at first occupied. Whenever my eyes fell upon the unlucky "Endymion and Diana" I heaved a deep sigh, for I always grieved that I had not got it published. When I am dead and gone-I almost wept at the thought--my muse's great, impressive, and charming offspring may be transferred to a grocer's shop, and some one or other fragment of my poem may delight the servant-girls of a future period, when they occasionally smooth out the yellow crumpled paper which is put round their parcels, and read a portion of my master work, which in this way may be published after my death, though I could not find a publisher for it during my life!

CHRISTINE; OR, COMMON-PLACE PEOPLE.

BY JANET ROBERTSON.

LIII.

SEVEN years have now passed over the dramatis personæ or this history, and the neglected child of Dunkeld, in an undisturbed flow of prosperity, has become the mother of two little girls since the birth of her boy. Emmeline has likewise made Guy the happy father of a son. When the duties of his profession permit him to be in England, the admiral's house in Devonshire is the permanent residence of the young pair; but when obliged to be at sea, the youthful wife, her darling child, and the old sailor are almost constant guests at Berlington Castle. There, surrounded by their much-loved relatives and friends the noble host and hostess live-when at home-a truly patriarchal life, but if obliged to be absent to meet the various calls upon their distinguished station, Mrs. Mordaunt-en pendant to the Signora Cypriani at the beautiful villa Zernini-acts as chaletaine in the fine old mansion, where she receives and entertains the lovely daughter of the house and her idolising old uncle, the admiral. How different a family circle from that in Ainslie-place! where the lady who aimed at surpassing everybody in her sphere, sits in sombre state in her sumptuously furnished apartment, with her once handsome and worshipping husband beside her sunk to a state of idiotcy, and the sour and silly Rachel, in mock dignity and severe superciliousness, looking the worst possible version of an old maid in a married woman. What had occasioned Mr. Douglas's premature imbecility no one could be quite sure, but there was no doubt that his decay of intellect came on after a visit to the lunatic asylum to which Captain Seymour had been consigned, and where as both incurable and dangerous--he is destined to remain a prisoner. Although he was considered more than usually tranquil on the occasion in question, an attendant-who was always obliged to be present in case of any access of violence-reported that the patient with the cunning and malice for which mad people are so remarkable-had said some things which had singularly agitated the generally stoical Mrs. Douglas, and shaken her husband's nerves. After his return to his house in Edinburgh, it was observed that Mr. Douglas lived much more apart from his wife than he had ever done before; that he sometimes kept walking for hours together backwards and forwards in his library

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