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prompted me to ask the groom the name of his
master, and he replied, "The Honourable Captain

The very essence of all jealousy is, that it is
unreasoning. It is well known that husbands
that much-believing and much-belied class
always suspect every one but the right man;
and now, without the faintest clue to a
suspicion, I grew actually sick with jealousy!

Nor was it altogether blamable in me, for as
I looked through the uncurtained window, I
could see the captain, a fine-looking, rather
tigerish sort of fellow, standing with his back
to the fireplace, while he talked to Miss Herbert,
who sat some distance off at a work-table.
There was in his air that amount of jaunty ease
and self-possession that said, "I'm at home
here; in this fortress I hold the chief
command." There was about him, too, the tone of
an assumed superiority, which, when displayed
by a man towards a woman, takes the most
offensive of all possible aspects.

As he talked, he moved at last towards a
window, and, opening it, held out his hand to
feel if it were raining.

'' I hope," cried he, " you'll not send me back
with a refusal; her ladyship counts upon you as
the chief ornament of her ball."

"We never do go to balls, sir," was the dry

"But make this occasion the exception. If
you only knew how lamentably we are off for
pretty people, you'd pity us. Such garrison
wives and daughters are unknown to the oldest
inhabitant of the island. Surely Mrs. Keats
will be quite well by Wednesday, and she'll not
be so cruel as to deny you to us for this once."

"I can but repeat my excusesI never go

"If you say so, I think I'll abandon all share
in the enterprise. It was a point of honour
with me to persuade you; in fact, I pledged
myself to succeed, and if you really persist in a
refusal, I'll just pitch all these notes in the
fire, and go off yachting till the whole thing is
over." And with this he drew forth a mass oJ
notes from his sabretasche, and proceeded to con
over the addresses: "'Mrs. Hilyard, 5 'Mr.
Barnes, 'Mr. Clintosh,'  'Lady Blagden.' Oh,
Lady Blagden! Why it would be worth while
coming only to see her and Sir John; and here
are the Crosbys, too; and what have we here?
Oh! this is a note from Grey. You don't know
my brother Greyhe'd amuse you immensely.
Just listen to this, by way of a letter of

"' DEAR GEORGE,—Cherish the cove that wil
hand you this note as the most sublime Snob
I have ever met in all my home and foreign
experiences. In a large garrison like yours,
you can have no difficulty in finding fellows to
give him a field-day. I commit him, therefore,
to your worthy keeping, to dine him, draw him
forth, and pitch him out of the window when
you've done with him. No harm if it is from the
topmost story of the highest barrack in Malta.
his name is Pottsseriously and truthfully,
Potts. Birth, parentage, and belongings all
unknown to, " ' Yours ever,
        " ' GREY BULLER.'"

"You are unfortunate, sir, in confiding your
correspondence to me," said Kate, rising from
her seat, " for that gentleman is a friend, a
sincere and valued friend, of my own, and you
could scarcely have found a more certain way to
offend me than to speak of him slightingly."

"You can't mean that you know himever
met him?"

"I know him and respect him, and I will not
listen to one word to his disparagement. Nay,
more, sir, I will feel myself at liberty, if I
think it fitting, to tell Mr. Potts the honourable
mode in which your brother has discharged the
task of an introduction, its good faith, and
gentlemanlike feeling."

"Pray let us have him at the mess first.
Don't spoil our sport till we have at least one
evening out of him."

But she did not wait for him to finish his
speech, and left the room.

It is but fair to own he took his reverses with
great coolness: he tightened his sword-belt, set
his cap on his head before the glass, stroked
down his moustache, and then lighting a cigar,
swaggered off to the door with the lounging
swing of his order.

As for myself, I hastened back to the town,
and with such speed that I traversed the mile
in something like thirteen minutes. I had no
very clear or collected plan of action, but I
resolved to ask Captain Rogers to be my friend,
and see me through this conjuncture. He had
just dined as I entered the coffee-room, and
consented to have his brandy-and-water
removed to my bedroom while I opened my
business with him.

I will not, at this eleventh hour of revelations,
inflict upon my reader the details, but simply
be satisfied to state that I found the skipper
far more practical than I looked for. He
evidently, besides, had a taste for these sort of
adventures, and prided himself on his conduct of
them. "Go back now, and eat your dinner
comfortably with your friends; leave everything
to me, and I promise you one thingthe
Cyclops shall not get full steam up till we have
settled this small transaction."

               MR. CHARLES DICKENS
Will read on FRIDAY EVENING, March 22nd, at ST. JAMES'S
            HALL, Piccadilly, his Story of
                  FROM PICKWICK.
   And on THURSDAY EVENING, March 28th, his
                 FROM PICKWICK.

CONCLUDED in the Next Number; which will also conclude
             VOLUME THE FOURTH,
to be published in boards, price 5s. 6d., on the 27th instant.