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so near them, and still denied them, and what a
requital, too, was this for all the pleasure I had
surreptitiously enjoyed from those same readings!
I could write a note, it is true, saying
that having by a mere accident overheard
overheard was a most unhappy word, and an ugly
confession besides! One should not overhear,
or if they did, should never avow it. What was
then to be done? " Yes," cried I, " I have hit
it; there is a way to do it! I'll leave the
volume on the little marble table under the
orange-tree, with a card for Miss Sewell on it,
and set out at once for Naples. This would
save me the awkwardness of presentation, and
the embarrassment of any recognition they
might accord to my attention."

I did this the next day, and was some miles
on my road to Naples by the time they came to
know it.

Three months later almost to a day I was
standing on the shore at Palermo, when a young
lady passed me, walking by the side of a wheeled
chair, in which an invalid was seated. I paid
little attention to this object, only too frequent
in this land of convalescence, when I heard my
name, or something like my name, uttered, and
immediately afterwards, a courier coming up,
saluted me respectfully, and said his master
(pointing to the chair) would take it as a great
favour if I would speak with him. I walked
forward, and found myself in front of the
Sewells. Long estrangement from society and
intercourse had of course served to render me
more bashful and awkward than ever, but such
was the tact and delicacy of their address, so
easy and unaffected the kindliness of their manner,
as they thanked me for my book, and
all the pleasure it had afforded them, that,
poor hermit as I was, I felt half-choking with
gratitude for even so slight a touch of interest.

I have promised to be brief, and I will keep
my word. From that day I grew intimate with
the Sewells. They lived in the same hotel with
me, and I soon became one of them. I cannot
trust myself to speak of the delight it gave me
to be again reconciled to my species, and
admitted into the human family. I took to shells,
and sea-machines, and cough lozenges, and the
"sensitive plant," andthere's no use blinking
itfell head over ears in love.

"And Barnes has consented to come with us,
father," cried George, one day, after breakfast.
"Barneswho hates the sea, and detests a yacht
says that he will come to Corfu."

"Well done, Barnes! and we'll have a dredge,
just like what the fellows use for the coral fishery,
and you'll see what glorious things we'll rake up
out of old ocean," said the general.

"And such sketches as we'll make, Mr.
Barnes," said another and sweeter voice, "of
those Albanian Alps, with the glow of sunset
on them. That amber and opal blending you
grew so poetical about t'other evening."

"But we can't leave this before the
fourteenth," returned George. " Do what he will,
he cannot reach this earlier than the tenth,
and we must at least let him have four days'

"Who is it that he speaks of?" asked I, of

"A great friend of George's. Neither papa
nor I know him; but George raves of him of
his tact and pleasantry, his temper, and his high

"And his name?"

"How is your Admirable Crichton called,
George?" asked she, laughing; " for I as often
style him Wilkins as Popkins."

"I think you might have learned his name by
this time, Bella, not to say that every one on
town has at least heard of Price Watkins."

"If I had not caught the chair in my hand, I
should have fallen; but I trembled so violently
that Bella noticed it, and in a gentle whisper
said, " Could I have said anything to offend you?
Is he a dear friend of yours?"

"Of minea friend of mine!" What a
thought! " I have spasms of the heart sometimes;
they take me suddenly. A friend of
mine! Oh, Bella, if you but knew —"

I could not utter more, but rushed madly out
of the room, and down to the quay. This time
I never stopped to pack up my effects, but left
them there, scattered and at large, all behind
me. There was a steamer starting for Tunis. I
jumped on board of her, and hurrying down
below, gave free course to my sorrow.

It is now eighteen months and three weeks
since that unhappy day, and I still live here,
almost on the very spot where I landed. My
daily occupation is to con over the deaths in the
Times, which the consul is so kind as to let me
see each afternoon, but no record of Price Watkins
having gone to his audit has reached me,
and till assured of such a consummation, I must
live, perhaps die, an exile. To the
sympathising reader I appeal, if by any chance he
should learn that P. W. is no more, to address
one line to Thomas B. Barnes, care of H.M.
Consul, Tangiers, with the assurance that
though the event may be matter of sorrow to
some, it will make my heart the lightest heart
in Africa.



On Thursday Evening, June 19th, at ST. JAMES'S HALL, at
                            8 o'clock precisely,

                      Mr. CHARLES DICKENS
         Will read, in compliance with many requests, his

                           CHRISTMAS CAROL,


                      THE TRIAL FROM PICKWICK