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never shall acquire, the means. I have neither
the virtue nor the industry. I tell you, I am
utterly good for nothing. I am a rascala
scoundrel, and a despicable knave. I played
for a large summeaning to take it if I won
itand not being able to pay, I lost itand
that, I have still sense of honour enough left
to call a rascally proceeding. Now there is
one way, and one way only, of cancelling all
this in the eye of the world. When a man
destroys himself, the world is sorry for him
half inclined to forgive himto say the least
of it, absolves his family. Butif he turn
tail- and sneak away to America, and has so
little sense"—he went on, passionately and
earnestly—"of all that is noble, and faithful,
and honourable, that he can bear to drag on
a disgraced, contemptible existence, like a
mean, pitiful, cowardly, selfish wretch, as he is
why, thenthen he is utterly blasted, and
blackened over with infamy! Nobody feels
for him, nobody pities himthe world speaks
out, and curses the rascal as heartily as he
deservesand all his family perish with him.
Now, Ella, choose which you will."

"I choose America," she said, with firmness.

"And how am I to get to America? and
how am I to live there when I am there?
To be sure, there are your mother's diamonds,"
he added.

"Those are included in the bill of sale. Did
you not say so?" she asked.

"Well, perhaps I did. But if a man is to
live, he must have something to live upon. If
he is to take flight, he must have wings to
fly with."

"I will provide both."

"You will?"

"I am of age. What I have which was
not your giftis at least my own. Lionel has
been generous; I have the means to pay your

"Aye, ayeLionel! But afterwards, how
am I to live? He will not likeno man
would liketo have to maintain a wife's father,
and that man a defaulter too. You should
think of that, Ella."

"I do! I will never ask him."

"Then who is to maintain me? I tell you,
I shall never manage to do it myself."

"I will."

"My poor child!" he criedone short touch
of nature had reached him at last—"what are
you talking of?"

"I hope, and believe, that I shall be able
to do it."

"I stood with my household gods shattered
around me," is the energetic expression of that
erring man, who had brought the fell catastrophe
upon himself.

And so stood Ella nowin the centre of
her own sitting-room, like some noble figure
of ruin and despair; yet with a light, the light
divine, kindling in an eye cast upward.

Yes! all her household godsall the
idols she had too dearly loved and cherished,
were shattered around her, and she felt that
she stood alone, to confront the dreadful fate
which had involved all she loved.

What a spectacle presented itself to her
imagination, as drearily she looked round!
On one side, defaced and disfigured, soiled,
degraded, was the once beautiful and animated
figure of her father,—the man so brilliant,
and to her so splendid a specimen of what
human nature, in the full affluence of nature's
finest gifts, might be. Upon another side her
lover!—her husband! who was to have
been her heart's best treasure! who never
was to be hers now. No! upon that her high
spirit had at once resolved; never. Impoverished,
and degraded, as she felt herself to be,
never would she be Lionel's wife. The name
which would, in a few hours' time, be
blackened by irremediable dishonour, should
never be linked to his. One swell of tender
feeling, and it was over! All that is wrong,
and all that is right, in woman's pride, had
risen in arms at once against this.

The last figure that presented itself, was
that of her delicate and gentle sister. But
here there was comfort. Clementina was of
a most frail and susceptible temperament,
and eminently formed to suffer severely from
adverse external circumstances; but she had
a true and faithful heart; and if to Ella she
would be obliged to cling for support, she
would give consolation in return.

Ella looked upwardshe looked up to

That holy name was not a stranger to her
lips. It had been once, until the child of
charity had taught the rich man's daughter
some little knowledge of it. But such ideas had
never been thoroughly realised by her mind;
and now, when in the extremity of her destitution,
she looked upwhen, "Out of the
depths she cried unto Him,"—alas! He
seemed so far, far off, and her distresses were
so terribly near!

Yet even then, imperfect as all was, a beginning
was made. The thick darkness of
her soul seemed a little broken,—communion
with the better and higher world was at
least begun. There was a lightdim and
shadowy but still a light. There was a
strength, vacillating and uncertain, but still a
strength, coming over her soul.


ON the 7th of next May, it will be twenty
years since the largest meeting ever held in
our island was assembled at Newhall Hill,
Birmingham. At the bottom of the hill were
the hustings, whence it was declared that the
Reform Bill should become the law of the
land; and from every part of the slope, from
tens of thousands of voices, came the solemn
chant of the Union Hymn, and the words of
the oath, singly spoken, by every man present,