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cacy, he formed a higher estimate of her character, and a spark was kindled that wanted but opportunity to blaze into a flame, pure and bright as the shrine on which it burned. Such is the waywardness and caprice of even the best affections of the human breast.

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CHAPTER V.

—o C'est a moi de choisir mon gendre;
Toi, tel qu'il est, c'est à toi de le prendre ;
De vous aimer, si vous pouvez tous deux,
Et d'obéir à tout ce que je veux."
L'Enfant Prodigue.

* AND now," said Lady Emily, " that I have listened to your story, which after all is really a very poor affair, do you listen to mine. The heroine in both is the same, but the hero differs by some degrees. Know, then, as the ladies in novels say, that the day which saw you depart from Beech Park was the day destined to decide your fate, and dash your hopes, if ever you had any, of becoming Duchess of Altamont. The Duke arrived, I know, for the express purpose of being enamoured of you ; but, alas! you were not—and there was Adelaide so sweet—so gracious—so beautiful —the poor gull was caught, and is now, I really believe, as much in love as it is in the nature of a stupid man to be. I must own she has played her part admirably, and has made more use of her time than I, with all my rapidity, could have thought possible. In fact, the Duke is now all but her declared lover, and that merely stands upon a point of punctilio.” “But Lord Lindore P’ exclaimed Mary, in astonishment. “Why, that part of the story is what I don’t quite comprehend. Sometimes I think it is a struggle with Adelaide. Lindore, poor, handsome, captivating, on one hand; his Grace, rich, stupid, magnificent, on the other. As for Lindore, he seems to stand quite aloof. Formerly, you know, he never used to stir from her side, or notice any one else. Now he scarcely notices her, at least, in presence of the Duke. Sometimes he affects to look unhappy, but I believe it is mere affectation. I doubt if he ever thought seriously of Adelaide, or indeed any body else, that he could have in a straight forward Ally Croker sort of a way—but something too much of this. While all this has been going on in one corner, there comes regularly every day Mr. William Downe Wright, looking very much as if he had lost his shoe-string, or pocket handkerchief, and had come there to look for it. I had some suspicion of the nature of the loss, but was hopeful he would have the sense to keep it to himself. No such thing : he yesterday stumbled upon Lady Juliana all alone, and, in the weakest of his weak moments, informed her that the loss he had sustained was no less than the loss of that precious jewel his heart; and that the object of his search was no other than that of Miss Mary Douglas to replace it ! He even carried his bétise so far as to request her permission, or her influence, or, in short, something that her Ladyship never was asked for by any mortal in their senses before, to aid him in his pursuit. You know how it delights her to be dressed in a little brief authority; so you may conceive her transports at seeing the sceptre of power thus placed in her hands. In the heat of her pride, she makes the matter known to the whole household. Redgills, cooks, stable-boys, scullions, all are quite au fait to your marriage with Mr. Downe Wright; so I hope you'll allow that it was about time you should be made acquainted with it yourself. But why so pale and frightened-looking 2” Poor Mary was, indeed, shocked at her cousin's intelligence. With the high

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