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"No? You amaze me!"

Madame de Beaufort was a plain wo
man, but she had steadfast honest eyes, and
she now raised them to mine with a quick
inquiring glance. She had leaped to the
conclusion that I was désillusioné as to
Irene. By this time we were alone.

"Do you not at last agree with me that
papa and mamma have been grossly
deceived?" she asked me.

"Pardon me, by no means."

"You are right to be cautious," she
retorted, with provoking scorn in her tone.

"Why should I be cautious?"

"Who knows?" she answered petulantly.
"There may be listeners; we may be
overheard. I never feel safe, even in my own
house. I trust it may be reserved to me to
unmask one of the most infamous
hypocrites the world has ever been deceived
by." She said this in a subdued voice;
but she clasped her hands, and the wate
r came to her eyes with the energy with
which she spoke.

Her manner and tone appalled me. I
had tried to speak as if in jest, but there
was a deadly vehemence about her which
made the jest pointless. Detective? She
was more like a Nemesis than anything

Good God! How little I dreamed what
would be the final result of her suspicions.

The result of this dialogue was to efface
the temporary irritation against Irene which
our little discussion as to her dog's name
had caused. I felt I could have laid down
my life to attest the truth and purity of
hers. As Balzac, with his profound
knowledge of human nature, makes one of his
heroes say of a calumniated heroine, "I
will love her more and more to compensate
to her for all those who have misjudged her
and blamed her."

The next morning we did not take our
usual walk, for by some accident I was
later than usual, and the Countess Irene
had already been carried down to one of the
ships in the harbour when I reached her
house. She was in the habit of sometimes
varying her morning excursions by going
on board one or other of the numerous
vessels stationed at Constantinople at that
time. It was good for her health to remain
for an hour or two on deck, inhaling the
sea breezes. She went by daybreak, and
returned for the Mertons breakfast hour.
I sometimes accompanied her, but this
morning, as I stood on the steps of the
quay, I saw the boat with the litter in it
had reached the man-of-war she intended
to visit that morning. A gleam of the
early sunlight fell on her glittering coverlet
as she was borne up in the arms of the
sailors. There were some idlers standing
by me. Their eyes had caught the same
glimmer. One poor fellow uncovered
himself and muttered in the lingua Franca of
the place something which sounded very
like a prayer. The others spoke with great
feeling about her. There was a single-
hearted fervour of gratitude in their
expressions which showed how great had been
her kindness to them. She had built a
hospital, and established more than one
school in Constantinople since her arrival.

"God has afflicted her," said one; "but
if the day of miracles be not passed, and
our priest tells us it has never passed and
will never pass, she will be healed, for I
never forget her in my prayers."

"At any rate," said another, "being as
she is, we can all take care of her and help

They were rough sailors who thus spoke,
but their voices were very tender.

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MESSRS.CHAPPELL AND CO. have great pleasure
in announcing that MR. CHARLES DICKENS, having some
time since become perfectly restored to health, will
resume and conclude his interrupted series of
FAREWELL READINGS at St. James's Hall, London,
early in the New Year.

The readings will be TWELVE IN NUMBER, and none
will take place out of London.

In redemption of  MR. DICKENS'S pledge to those
ladies and gentlemen of the theatrical profession who
addrssed him on the subject, there will be TWO
MORNING READINGS one on Friday, January 14, and one on
Friday, January 21, 1870. The EVENING READINGS
will take place on Tuesdays, January 11, 18, 25;
February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1, 8, and 15. The prices and
all other arrangements will be as before. The announced
number of Readings will on no account be exceeded.

All communications to be addressed to Messrs.
CHAPPELL and Co,. 50, New Bond Street, W.