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all, the most golden of all golden hair could
bestow. Her hair, in fact, was her great
attraction, as much from its peculiarity, as
from its extreme beauty. There were more
verses written about this same hair in the
course of a fortnight, than the magazines
could publish in a twelvemontheven if they
had all editors as insane as——-'s; and more,
therefore, than the concentrated blockheadism
of a century could be persuaded to read.
Our acquaintance was commenced at a ball,
and the mutual impression seemed favourable.
Isabel was most grateful that I did not talk
about either the weather, the opera, or the
hippopotamus; and, above all, that I did not
flattermark the last, for it has a fatal
significance. I certainly did not flatter, not
being addicted to painting lilies, or perfuming
violets. Half-an-hour's conversation made
me her frienda quadrille, her admirera
polka, her adorerand a waltz, her slave.

"Obtaining permission to call the next
day was an easy matter; and I found it not
very difficult to gain a satisfactory response
to my first whispered wishes. When, however,
these wishes passed beyond that sacred
boundary, and openly assumed the form of
'intentions,' our course of love assumed its
proverbial aspect: from a bowling-green it
became a race-course, and from a race-course,
a steeple-chase, with the church almost
invisible. It was necessary, in the first place,
to persuade my father-in-law elect that all
Frenchmen are not of necessity either beggars
or swindlers; and these facts were not
established, as far as my own case was concerned,
without the production of certain satisfactory
title-deeds, and the sacrifice of a no less
satisfactory moustache. Nor were these
arrangements facilitated by the circumstances that
my notary was innocent of English, and that
the French language had apparently been
given to Mr. Walsingham (to pervert the
saying of Talleyrand) for the purpose of
concealing his thoughts.

"These difficulties, however, were at length
overcome; and everything was settled with as
much certainty as is possible in a case where
a young lady has yet a chance of changing
her mind. In an affair of the heart a sensible
man would of course be ashamed of behaving
otherwise than as an idiot; and accordingly,
for the next six weeks, I indulged in every
ecstatic absurdity demanded by my situation;
I made myself as ridiculous, in short, as could
be desired by the most exacting fiancées, or
the most satirical of friends.

"Matters were thus proceeding pleasantly
for all parties, when an unfortunate accident
that is to say, a maiden aunt of my Isabel's
came to interrupt our felicity. Miss Diana
Walsingham, the lady in question, was ill-
tempered and seventytherefore she was
disliked; but Miss Diana was rich and
rheumatictherefore she was caressed. Miss
Diana was going to Parisnobody knew why,
probably not herself. Miss Diana felt,
naturally, the responsibility of travelling
alone, and was looking about her for a
companion. She appeared to be literally running
up and down stairs in search of one, and as
fate would have it, fastened like a vulture
upon Isabel, who was reading Tennyson in
the back drawing-room. Isabel must be her
travelling companion. There should be no
excuse. The marriage could easily (easily!)
be postponed for a few weeks. If it was
inconvenient for Isabel, surely she might be
amiable enough to yield sometimes to her
aunt, who had never asked her a favour
before; and especially as Isabel had reason to
be especially grateful in that quarter, as the
lawyer, who had recently drawn up a certain
will, could testifyand a great deal more to
the same effect. In the end, then, despite my
remonstrances and Isabel's tears, and our joint
surrender of all expectationswhich we
devoutly wished at the bottom of the seait
was agreed by the unanimous prudence of the
remainder of the family, that the despotic old
lady should be obeyed. At this point, rather
than be taken by storm, we wisely resolved
to surrender, and my next endeavour was to
find an excuse for proceeding to Paris myself.
Accordingly, I gently insinuated my wishes
to our secretary, who breathed them in a
mild whisper to his principal, by whom the
proposition was received in a spirit of as profound
disapprobation as a diplomatist can venture
to indulge in. What could Monsieur be dreaming
of? and what attention had he been
bestowing upon the political events of the last
few weeks?  At a period when a hostile fleet
was in the Ægean, when Athens was in a
state of blockade, and notes couched in the
most hostile terms of diplomatic courtesy
were being daily exchanged between the
agents of two powerful European courts, the
withdrawal of Monsieur from the scene of his
official labours could admit of but one
interpretation, and might lead to most disastrous
resultsno less than lighting the flame of
war from the Baltic to the Bosphorus, &c.

"Now, I entertained a private opinion, that
the official labours in question might, possibly,
be conducted without my assistance, considering
that I never performed any duties much
more arduous than being civil to female
diplomatists, and waltzing with the twenty-second
cousins of persons who were acquainted with
others who were supposed to be likely, some
day, to attain political influence. Nevertheless,
I had had too much experience of official
life to have an opinion of my own, and yielded
the point accordingly.

"Everything must have an endeven a
young lady's preparations for a journey.
Accordingly, after a trance of about ten days,
I was aroused to consciousness by a rough
voice observing that 'if that party didn't
make haste and land, he would be carried
across.'  It seems I was at Dover, bidding
a last adieu to my Isabel on board the boat,
which was a few minutes after cutting its

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