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relief; it was good news to learn that the smugglers had despaired of effecting their cruel end.

By way of diverting her thoughts from their sorrowing bent, she took notice of the wretched Jemmy.

"Has he hurt himself, poor boy?"

"That is how Mr. Hexamer canes him, till he is black and blue; it was done a week ago, but he has not struck him since for fear he should hit the mark."

"It is very wrong, James; you should take measures to prevent this another time."

"I have pipe-clayed it a little, it looked so very gay; but it is still all colours," recited James.

Jem, on hearing these tender remarks, thought himself loved, and went close to his father.

"He is a dear lad," said Mrs. Prentis.

But it forcibly struck James that he was the reverse.

"I wonder very often what I shall do with him," observed James, imposing his hand on his son's head.

"What should you like him to be?" inquired Mrs. Prentis, in the goodness of her heart.

"If I was a gentleman," replied James, "he should enter the Church; look up, Jemmy!'

Jemmy brightened, and looked up at his father with as much fervour as if he were receiving holy orders.

"He may be suited to the Church one day; who can tell?" observed Mrs. Prentis.

"In the mean time," continued James, "a knife-board and an apron in your service would be the height of his ambition."

"Then it is in my power to oblige you for all your kindness, is it, James? Pray let him come at once.


"Thank you, madam,” replied James; "then we will fix it for to-morrow, if you please."

Once more alone, she employed herself in communicating the information she had received to her advisers, with whom she maintained a frequent correspondence. She sighed over the paper as she gazed on the blank sheet that was presently to be covered with fresh images of her sorrow. Oh, reader, if you have a heart, look with pity on one like your own, but nearly broken!

"I must not be out of spirits," were her commencing words; and she wrote such simple passages in her life that Mr. Sheldon, lawyer as he was, would give a tear to charity; and when hardheaded men do that it is a compliment to the whole world. In these letters she poured out her troubles as the pious speak in their prayers; to read them was to share her confidence with Heaven.

As she transcribed the smuggler's words, "We shall never earn that chap Hervey's money; who is to catch the boy, with the land and sea service to swallow us;-I shall give it up!" she drew from

their closer study a more hopeful presage than they had inspired her with, as they flowed coarsely from the valet's mouth; and she concluded with her usual wish for a dissolution!

Thus she ended as she began, with cheerfulness, that her sufferings might be concealed; in wearing a smile the broken heart takes the veil !

Oh, dissembling Nature, prodigal ever, thou canst not hide from us that a heart is wanting in thy breast? Inventor of human affliction, thou art not content to visit all with the capital punishment, death, but thou must pluck the blossoms of joy and cast them away, not to perish like the lily, but to mourn! Behold the bereaved whom thou thus destroyest, explain thy wanton acts! Thou feignest to be dumb. Those who know thee best must admire, but they cannot respect thee. But Mary found comfort; Heaven did not desert her, nor did man.

Mr. Sheldon was early associated with Mr. Stewart in the suit. The latter had laid it down as a principle that such interests should not be entrusted to one man, but were always to be in the hands of two, that, in the event of either dying, the survivor might appoint another in his place.

Mrs. Prentis had scarcely finished writing, when she was reassured by a few lines from Mr. Steward himself.


Captain Nelson," he wrote, " has orders to scour the coast, and keep it clean from kidnappers. Vinnicomb and Bray, independently of each other, will keep double watch. Peto is this moment despatched as a spy on Hervey, alias Phipps. Suggest any other measures you like, and they shall be set on foot, though it may be a visit from the Channel fleet! All is going on well. There will be a dissolution of parliament at the end of the session, and then, if my plan does not prosper, we will enter on a new one, and exercise some stronger means.

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"Tell Captain Nelson," said the postscript, "that he shall not be overlooked again."

"Captain Nelson!" said Nancy.

"Yes, Captain Nelson. Did you hear me? I must have been reading very loud," observed Mrs. Prentis.

"He has called. Shall I show him in?"

"How very stupid of me. Pray ask him in.”

The gallant officer entered.

"Madam," said he, "my commission is in my pocket. If it were in my power to thank you I would do it, but words fail me " "Mr. Stewart is your friend," replied Mrs. Prentis, "and you could not have a better."

"He would not have heard my name but for you, madam." "And but for you, Captain Nelson, I should have lost my darling son! Who, then, is the greatest debtor?"

"I have my secret orders," rejoined Nelson, with emotion. "You may depend on my services by night and day."

"I am authorised to tell you that you will not be forgotten again," added Mrs. Prentis. You may read this postscript if you


He glanced at it, and blushed.

"Would that my father were alive to hear all this," said he; and taking the fair hand of his friend, he kissed it, splashing it with a tear.

Perceiving how deeply he was moved, she changed the subject by inquiring after Mr. Vinnicomb and Captain Bray.

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"They are both ill," answered Nelson. Yesterday they were

confined to their beds."

"I am grieved to hear it," said Mrs. Prentis. "It is not serious, I trust?"

"No, not at all; they are both better. Their complaint is the same, and to-day it has taken a favourable turn."

"Then they can feel for each other."

"Yes; and they communicate through the party wall, which is only lath and plaster."

"How glad I am that they are friends."

"It has only been so since the rescue."

"It struck me that they did not agree very well, though both behaved so nobly."

"It was in the heat of the moment," said Nelson.

Mr. Wynn had observed that it was very hot that day.

"It gives me the greatest pleasure to hear this, for I could not bear the idea of their differing on my account, when both had played their part so well."

"They have now no angry feelings, and are firm friends. If Mr. Vinnicomb finds any little thing to relieve him, he divides it with Captain Bray, and Captain Bray sends half of all that suits him best to Mr. Vinnicomb."

The bank-notes not included, though it would have made no difference.

"How very nice it is," remarked Mrs. Prentis.

"Yes," continued Nelson, "they prefer each other's broths and jellies to their own, and hold their physic in common."

Mrs. Prentis thought Nelson very amusing, but neither had penetrated the cause of this strange affection. Vinnicomb and Bray had kept their secret; neither had revealed that he was the owner of a Bank of England note. Yet was the circumstance that their united fifties made a hundred pounds acting unconsciously in their brains, and balancing their motives of action. It was sympathy, that noblest of passions! It drew them thus close, bound them together, and fused them into one! Sympathy that opens the heart, while benevolence gushes out and spreads joy over the troubled world.



WE reached Florence late on Saturday evening. Our first daylight view of the city was a melancholy one, for it rained hard as we walked the next morning to church-passing on our way the Duomo and Giotto's Campanile at its side, beautiful, no doubt, both of them, but reminding me, I fear, a little of Minton's tiles in the colour, and in the regular patterns of the mosaics with which they are covered.

The Protestant church at Florence is a spacious, well-lighted building, near the curious old church of San Marco; the congregation was a large one, for, though it is said that the increased expense of living produced by the presence of the court has driven some away, there are still in Florence a large number of English residents.

Passion week was drawing near, and we desired to reach Rome before Palm Sunday, intending to revisit Florence on our return; so that, with time only for a hurried view of the treasures of the Tribune in the Uffizii and a short stop to gaze on Fedi's wondrous group of Ecuba e Polissena in the Loggia de' Lanzi, with a peep into one or two churches, we started in two days for Perugia. The line ran through the valley of the Arno, closed in on either side by mountains, the snow-tipped Apennines in the distance-reaching Incisa, and passing thence by Figline to Monte Varchi, a large market town, we travelled amidst a succession of orchards; the road was lined with olive, mulberry, and figtrees; the vines, now only skeletons, soon to be covered with bright young leaves and purpling fruit, stretched their bare brown. branches from tree to tree; beneath them grew luxuriant crops of wheat. The Arno, muddy and shallow, ran by our side; the hedges were gay with wild flowers, till reaching San Giovanni, the whole scene changed. We were again amid the Apennines, tunnel after tunnel had been pierced to carry us on, and, as we ran through them, we found the rich fertile soil had changed to sand; and curiously abraded sand hills, looking almost like the excavated palaces of Petra and Nineveh, had replaced the "mystic floating grey of olive-trees," and the rich vegetation of the earlier portion of our journey. Again, as we travelled on, another scene presented itself; we are now running along the shores of a large lake dotted over with many an island, on the largest, the Isola Maggiore, is a picturesque monastery; the Roman history lessons of our school

days come back to our memory, as we hear that this is the ancient Lake of Thrasimene, well remembered for its vicinity to one of Hannibal's great victories. Now there is little to remind one of carnage and battles; the water lies calm and blue, the grey olives reflect themselves in it, and the little villages that have arisen near the lake look bright and gay as the sun sends his rays upon them, and seem to be peopled with an inoffensive merry population. The newness of the railway drew numbers of these to each station as the train stopped; many had a gay word and smile for the travellers; others held out the hand with a beseeching "carita." At Passignano, the group of young beggars, who stood like steps opposite our carriage, with a one-legged man at their side, grinned with delight as I sketched them, and then threw them a few halfpence in payment of the "sitting" they had given


But the cry of "Perugia!" tells us we have reached our destination, so far, at least, as the rail will take us. Far beyond, on the summit of a rock, up which creep at intervals tall dark cypress trees, stands a group of brown buildings. A weary ascent of five miles in an omnibus must be made before we reach them; at length we rattle over the irregular stones of the brown streets, and are driven into a court-yard, the entrance to what has been the palace of a lord of Perugia, and is now the Albergo della Posta. The yard is full of goats and sheep, pigs and poultry, and the stairs, up which we are guided by the light of a dim candle, are dirty enough to make one fancy they are not unfrequently visited by the animals without; reaching the kitchen floor, we are led up again along dark mysterious galleries to a room rich in the ruins of a bygone splendour, with moth-eaten velvet hangings, tarnished gold, and pictures made almost terrible to look at by the hardening effect of smoke and dirt. A cheerful fire of logs, however, blazes in the chimney, and, as we are not alone, we are not afraid to sleep in this Castle of Otranto-like chamber. We locked our door as usual before we retired to rest, though as the fire burnt low, and the remnants of wood gave out little fitful dancing flames, showing for a moment the grim faces on the wall, and lighting up the dark embrasures of the deep-set windows to leave them again in obscurity, it required no very vivid fancy to bring the thought that the visitors most likely to intrude upon us would be those against whom bolt and key would have no power, and that the next flame might show us one or more of the former occupants of the palace revisiting at midnight hour the room they had known as theirs, and resting in the old tapestry-covered oak chairs, that looked quite ready to receive them. The night passed, however, with no disturbance from either spirit or mortal, and, remembering the advice of our Florentine friend, "Be sure to ask for

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