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At this juncture my newly gained wisdom
serves me nothing. I jump up in bed, straight
as an arrow, and the hot blood paints my face
in streaks from brow to chin. In the midst of
my passion, I try to be sarcastic.

"Oh, indeed?" I say; "and he, I suppose,
was thinking of you?"

I laugh in what I intend to be an incredulous
manner, but even to my own ears it sounds
weird and wretched, and I feel that there are
great tears in my eyes. Through them, through
that mist of unshed tears, I look up at her.
And she looks down at me amazed. "How
strange you are!" she says; "and I didn't
think you knew! Yes, we have been engaged
these three years, but we are to be married
almost directly now; he is coming down here
next month."

She blushes. Her face fills with colour,
until it is as red as the berries on a mountain
ash, and her little delicate ears became scarlet.

I lean back on my pillows, ecstatically happy.

It does not even occur to me to inquire to
whom she is engaged, or anything about it. She
is evidently nothing to Bernard, and, beyond
that, nothing signifies. I think she is hurt by
my want of sympathy, for she goes away sadly.

The instant she is gone, I jump off the bed,
plunge my flushed face into a basin of water,
brush up all the wet hair into a great bunch of
curls, shake out my dress into folds, and go
down-stairs, trusting to my composure for not
telling tales.

I edge up to Bernard, and propose a walk.

He agrees at once, although poor fellow, he
has but just come from a walk. He looks hard
at the glued-up appearance of my eyes.

Our walk, is of course, to the haystack, and,
sitting on the top of that golden edifice, the
last wave of trouble recedes from my heart.

Says Bernard to a person who is sobbing in
his arms.

"Poor little Madge. What was it Maggie?"

But I cannot at first explain what it was. I
lift up my tear-stained face, and then hide it
away modestly in the stubble.

Presently, it transpires. Maggie has been
jealous. Bernard opens his sleepy blue eyes
wide at this intelligence, and reflects aloud.

"How strange," he says; "jealous of Flo!"

I tell myself how natural it is, that he should
call my cousin—"Flo'."

"Quite absurd, wasn't it?" I ask nervously.

"Poor little girl," he says, " I am so sorry
for her. She has been so constant to that scamp
of a man. Only to-day she was telling me how
thankful she should be when they really were
married. And I daresay she will be, poor little
thing, for what with his wretched health, and
his endless suspicions, her life is at present not
too easy."

I undergo pricks of conscience which send
me clambering up on the stool of repentance.

"Oh, Bernard, I have been so unkind. But
what a different sort of girl she looks. And
if she cares about him, how can she be so nice
to other people?"

"Other people! Mean me, I suppose?" says
Bernard, giving me a little squeeze, and bending
down to try to see my face. "But she wasn't
particularly nice, Maggie. I was very sorry for
her, of course, but I think I would sooner have
strolled with my own little girl in the woods
this afternoon."

This is as it should be. I compose myself
to listen, and Bernard leaves off. I don't care.
I am so very happy now.

When I go in, I catch Florence round the
waist, and astonish my pretty cousin with some
very warm kisses.

"I am so sorry for you, and so very very glad,
aud I am sure you will be happy when you're

Florence, the adaptable, fits into my new mood.
Exchanging confidences, we compare notes. Her
Bob and my Bernard might be twin brothers.
The virtues of both are so excellent, and they
are so very equally exempt from faults!

The Staffordshire roses are still scenting the
air, though their petals begin to lie thick on
the ground. Every one speaks of a fair little
bride, whose statuesque figure shows soft
through her veil, but the sensation she makes
is lost upon me. I am dimly conscious of the
white buds and blossoms in my own dark hair,
of Bernard unusually solemn beside me, and
all else is but a dream, from which I awake
to find Florence married, and on my own
hand, a link of shining gold that binds me for
ever to Bernard.

We have risked all, and have married without
his mother's wealth.

"Madge," he says, as he takes me away
easily through a crowd that is wrapped up and
absorbed in Florence. "Of whom now, in the
future, do you mean to be jealous?"

I whisper up softly, "Of all those whom I
think you love better than me."

Bernard lifts his hands and eyes, like a
prophet seeing backward.

"Madge, I see in the distance, a host of
such rivals, misty shadows in the background,
softly turning into air."

I laugh at this conceit.

"Before what then, have they vanished?"

Then Bernard looking in my eyes, stoops
down before me, and kisses the ring on my


A NEW champion for the Intelligence of
Animals has revived the discussion in a book*
full of facts and inferences which, if not all
new, are all to the point. Without admitting
that humans are the issue of quadrumans, he
believes with Lactantius that animals possess
in a certain measure the faculties of men, and
that our inferior brethren, as St. Francis d'Assisi
calls them, preceded us on earth, and were our
first instructors. We take an example or two

* L'Intelligence des Animaux, par Ernest
Menault. Paris: Hachette and Co.