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He here placed the staff in my hands, and bade
me look at it with care. Then he changed the
conversation and renewed the way, leaving the
staff with me, till, suddenly, I forced it back on
him. I could not have explained why, but its
touch, as it warmed in my clasp, seemed to send
through my whole frame a singular thrill, and a
sensation as if I no longer felt my own weight
as if I walked on air.

Our rambles came to a close; the visitors
went away; I re-entered the house through the
sash-window of Forman's study; Margrave
threw his hat and staff on the table, and amused
himself with examining minutely the tracery on
the mantelpiece. Strahan and myself left him
thus occupied, and going into the adjoining
library, resumed our task of examining the plans
for the new house. I continued to draw outlines
and sketches of various alterations tending to
simplify and contract Sir Philip's general design.
Margrave soon joined us, and, this time, took his
seat patiently beside our table, watching me
use ruler and compass with unwonted attention.

"i wish I could draw," he said, "but I can do
nothing useful."

"Rich men like you," said Strahan, peevishly,
"can engage others, and are better employed in
rewarding good artists than in making bad
drawings themselves."

"Yes, I can employ others; andFenwick,
when you have finished with Strahan, I will
ask permission to employ you, though without
reward; the task I would impose will not take
you a minute."

He then threw himself back in his chair, and
seemed to fall into a doze.

The dressing-bell rang; Strahan put away the
plansindeed, they were now pretty well finished
and decided on.

Margrave woke up as our host left the
room to dress, and drawing me towards another
table in the room, placed before me one of his
favourite mystic books, and, pointing to an old
woodcut, said:

"I will ask you to copy this for me; it
pretends to be a fac-simile of Solomon's famous
seal. I have a whimsical desire to have a copy
of it. You observe two triangles interlaced and
inserted in a circle? The pentacle, in short.
Yes, just so. You need not add the astrological
characters, they are the senseless superfluous
accessories of the dreamer who wrote the book.
But the pentacle itself has an intelligible meaning;
it belongs to the only universal language,
the language of symbol, in which all races that
thinkaround, and above, and below uscan
establish communion of thought. If in the
external universe any one constructive principle
can be detected, it is the geometrical; and in
every part of the world in which magic pretends
to a written character, I find that its
hieroglyphics are geometrical figures. Is it not
laughable that the most positive of all the
sciences should thus lend its angles and circles
to the use ofwhat shall I call it?—the ignorance?
ay, that is the word theignorance of
dealers in magic!"

He took up the paper on which I had hastily
described the triangles and the circle, and went
out of the room, chanting the serpent-charmer's
song.

AMERICAN DISUNION.

WITH the heartiest good will for all trans-
atlantic Englishmen wherever in America they
may be settled, and with a hope that they who
are now opposing sword to sword and will not
be subdued one by the other, may suffer
themselves to be subdued by the divine message of
peace and good will among men that is now
bidding us all to Christmas cheer, we speak of
American disunion. Let it be permitted us,
outside the heat of strife, to see what is for a
short season hidden from the combatants, and
let us not be thought unfriendly to our neighbours
if the events that are happening recal to
us the forebodings of their chosen guides, the
founders of the Union now parting, as it seems,
rather by advance of development than by an
act of ruin, into two separate sovereignties. If
any ruin come after fair acknowledgment of the
division of character and interest between the
Northern and the Southern States of the late
Union, it will come, not of the natural partition,
but of the unnatural and unavailing struggle to

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