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cruel! No, she is not cruel. But she is
even she isa little hard on the girl."

"H'm! Is this Miss Levincourt so very
handsome as they say? You have seen

"Yes; I saw her at Lowater. She is
strikingly beautiful. I do not know that
I ever saw such eyes and such colouring."

"And not vain or coquettish, as these
' cruel' women say?"

"Iwell, yes, I think she is fond of
admiration. But her manner was very

"That is charming, Hugh; that love of
admiration. Masculine vanity is always
tickled by the implied flattery of a pretty
woman's airs and graces."


"To be sure. Haughty or espiègle,
stately or languid, what a coquette wants,
is your attention: and that flatters you.
How many men, do you suppose, would
think Venus herself beautiful, if she
honestly did not care two straws whether
they looked at her or not?"

"Well, mother, despite my 'masculine
vanity,' I can truly say that I never in all
my life saw a girl whom I should have
been less likely to fall in love with, than
Veronica Levincourt."

"That was fortunate for you!"

"Good, kind Mrs. Sheardown thought
me in some danger, I believe, for she
dropped a word or two of warning-.
That man must be as black a scoundrel as
ever existed!" cried Hugh, suddenly breaking

"Is the identity of Sir John Gale with
Sir John Tallis known in Shipley?"

"Yes; I had learned it from your letters.
But except to the Sheardowns, I said no
word of the matter. But an old woman
who was staying at Dr. Begbie'sa certain
Betsy Boycewrote up to some gossip-mongering
crony in London for information
about Sir John Gale. And in that
way, the whole story became known."

"Of course you did not see Mr. Levincourt

"No one has seen him except his own
servants and little Plew, the surgeon, since
his daughter's flight."

"Not even in church?"

"Oh in church, of course, he has been
seen. The Sheardowns purposely stayed
away from St. Gildas the first Sunday
after the vicar's return. But I was told
that the rustics, who compose the majority
of the congregation, behaved with more
delicacy than might have been expected
from them. They kept out of the vicar's
way on leaving church; and those who did
see him, contented themselves with silently
touching their hats, and passing on. By
the way, the person who told me all this,
is horribly cut up by this dreadful affair.
It is a certain Mr. Plew, a surgeon, and a
really good little fellow. The village
gossips say that he was a bond-slave of
Miss Levincourt. I never saw a man look
more miserable. He fought her battles
tooth and nail, until it became known that
Sir John Gale had a wife already. Then
of course there was no more to be said of
the girl's being married to him. But
although Plew is the mildest looking little
fellow you ever saw, I should not care to
be in the shoes of any man who spoke an
ill word of Miss Levincourt in his presence.
And the Shipley folks understand this so
well, that if a group of them are discussing
the vicar's daughter, they break off at
Plew's approach as though he were her
brother. He is a loyal little fellow, and I
am sorry for him with all my heart."

"He must be a very uncommon sort of
man," observed Mrs. Lockwood, dryly.

"Ah, mother, mother!" exclaimed Hugh,
kissing her forehead, and looking at her
half fondly, half sadly, "our old quarrel!
I cannot understand how it is that such a
good woman as you are should find it so
hard to believe in goodness!"


MOST readers will be familiar with an amusing
paper in Washington living's Sketch-Book,
suggested by a visit to the Reading
Room of the British Museum, in which the
authors of a bygone age are represented as
stepping down bodily from the canvases on
which they are depicted, and rescuing, vi et
armis, the vestures which modern artificers of
books are purloining from them. It would be
idle to deny the justice of the satire, yet should
one, in some dyspeptic mood, seek to realise
the scene thus suggested, he would not long
have his attention confined to the conflict of
ancient versus modern, dead versus living
writers. There would be many a sore tussle
among the animated canvases themselves. One
can readily imagine a fierce duel occurring over
some trope or metaphor between two of the
resuscitated claimants. In some cases there
would be a complete mêlée, and the bantling
idea would stand bewildered, wondering who
was its own true-begotten father.

The flower she trod on dipt and rose,
And turn'd to look at her,

is the graceful manner in which the Laureate
tells us that a certain young woman, hight