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conviction that Magdalen was not herself when
you saw her on Wednesday, I feel tempted to
stop here, and give you an instance in proof of
what I say. The little circumstance happened
on Wednesday night, just before we went up to
our rooms.

"After we had packed our dresses and our
birthday presents, our books and our music, we
began to sort our letters, which had got
confused from being all placed on the table together.
Some of my letters were mixed with
Magdalen's, and some of hers with mine.
Among these last, I found a card, which had
been given to my sister early in the year, by an
actor who managed an amateur theatrical
performance in which she took a part. The man
had given her the card, containing his name and
address, in the belief that she would be invited
to many more amusements of the same kind,
and in the hope that she would recommend him as
a superintendent on future occasions. I only
relate these trifling particulars to show you how
little worth keeping such a card could be, in
such circumstances as ours. Naturally enough,
I threw it away from me across the table, meaning
to throw it on the floor. It fell short,
close to the place in which Magdalen was
sitting. She took it up, looked at it, and
immediately declared that she would not have had
this perfectly worthless thing destroyed for the
world. She was almost angry with me, for
having thrown it away; almost angry with Miss
Garth for asking what she could possibly want
with it! Could there be any plainer proof than
this, that our misfortunesfalling so much
more heavily on her than on mehave quite
unhinged her, and worn her out? Surely her
words and looks are not to be interpreted
against her, when she is not sufficiently mistress
of herself to exert her natural judgmentwhen
she shows the unreasonable petulance of a
child on a question which is not of the slightest
importance.

"A little after eleven we went up-stairs to try
if we could get some rest.

"I drew aside the curtain of my window, and
looked out. Oh, what a cruel last night it was;
no moon, no stars; such deep darkness, that
not one of the dear familiar objects in the garden
was visible when I looked for them; such deep
stillness, that even my own movements about
the room almost frightened me! I tried to lie
down and sleep, but the sense of loneliness came
again, and quite overpowered me. You will say
I am old enough, at six-and-twenty, to have
exerted more control over myself. I hardly
know how it happened, but I stole into
Magdalen's room, just as I used to steal into it,
years and years ago, when we were children.
She was not in bed; she was sitting with her
writing materials before her, thinking. I said I
wanted to be with her the last night; and she
kissed me, and told me to lie down, and
promised soon to follow me. My mind was a little
quieted, and I fell asleep. It was daylight when
I wokeand the first sight I saw was Magdalen,
still sitting in the chair, and still thinking. She
had never been to bed; she had not slept all
through the night.

"'I shall sleep when we have left Combe-
Raven,' she said. ' I shall be better when it is
all over, and I have bid Frank good-by.' She
had in her hand our father's will, and the letter
he wrote to you; and when she had done
speaking, she gave them into my possession.
I was the eldest (she said), and those last
precious relics ought to be in my keeping.
I tried to propose to her that we should divide
them; but she shook her head. 'I have copied
for myself,' was her answer, ' all that he says
of us in the will, and all that he says in the
letter.' She told me this, and took from her
bosom a tiny white silk bag, which she had
made in the night, and in which she had put the
extracts, so as to keep them always about her.
' This tells me in his own words what his last
wishes were for both of us,' she said; ' and this
is all I want for the future.'

"These are trifles to dwell on; and I am
almost surprised at myself for not feeling
ashamed to trouble you with them. But, since
I have known what your early connexion was
with my father and mother, I have learnt to
think of you (and, I suppose, to write to you)
as an old friend. And, besides, I have it
so much at heart to change your opinion of
Magdalen, that I can't help telling you the
smallest things about her which may, in my
judgment, end in making you think of her
as I do.

"When breakfast-time came (on Thursday
morning) we were surprised to find a strange
letter on the table. Perhaps I ought to mention
it to you, in case of any future necessity for
your interference. It was addressed to Miss
Garth, on paper with the deepest mourning
border round it; and the writer was the same
man who followed us on our way home from a
walk, one day last springCaptain Wragge.
His object appears to be, to assert once more
his audacious claim to a family connexion with
my poor mother, under cover of a letter of
condolence, which it is an insolence in such
a person to have written at all. He expresses
as much sympathyon his discovery of our
affliction in the newspaperas if he had been
really intimate with us; and he begs to know,
in a postscript (being evidently in total
ignorance of all that has really happened),
whether it is thought desirable that he should be
present, among the other relatives, at the reading
of the will! The address he gives, at which
letters will reach him for the next fortnight, is,
' Post-office, Birmingham.' This is all I have
to tell you on the subject. Both the letter
and the writer seem to me to be equally
unworthy of the slightest notice, on our part or
on yours.

"After breakfast, Magdalen left us, and went
by herself into the morning-room. The weather
being still showery, we had arranged that Francis
Clare should see her in that room, when he
presented himself to take his leave. I was
up-stairs when he came; and I remained up-stairs for

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