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to know that Alice did not love him. His first object was to secure her wealth, his second to make himself master of her person; and in both these projects he felt certain of success. He saw

that the interval which lay between him and Alice was smooth and unobstructed, and that, however unwilling she might be to tread it, her father stood behind urging her onward with all his influence; and he felt certain that any flight her love might choose to take would lead through such a wilderness of thorny obstacles as love, headstrong and powerful though it be, would find itself unable to penetrate. That the mad god had carried off her heart, Mansfield knew, and strongly suspected whither. He had several times of late found Alice and the artist together, and, reasoning from probabilities, foresaw the upshot of such frequent interviews. The danger of leaving his daughter and the artist so much together had never occurred to Mr. Littleton. He considered Wilson to be one of the world of serfs created to obey him, and quite unworthy of his notice, except as the recipient of a command; and he took it for granted that Miss Littleton regarded him in a similar light. Mansfield coveted Alice's love-not because he loved her, which in the high and pure sense of the word he did not; but he desired the possession of

her heart as he would have longed for some uncommon luxury. The want of it, however, caused him little more than momentary vexation. But towards Tom a bitter hatred rankled in his heart.

Envy at preference given to another will often poison with jealousy a heart which, notwithstanding, does not love. Mansfield dreaded nothing from the love which he believed to exist between Tom and Alice; but deemed himself so close upon his prey, that it seemed to be already in his grasp. One thing he had never stopped to consider, the strength and spirit of the proud game he pursued.

About this time news arrived from Scotland that the old lord, who had long been tottering on the brink of the grave, was no more; and Mansfield, overjoyed by this long-expected accession of wealth and dignity, hastened to the north to take possession, in person, of the romantic castle and wild hills of his ancestors. The old peer's re

mains were soon laid aside to moulder in dignified nothingness with his forefathers. The tenantry had soon done homage to their new lord and master, and Mansfield (for we shall still call him by the familiar name) was again in London, admired, courted, and caressed. Neither he nor

Littleton had hitherto discovered to each other the thoughts which interested both so deeply; but each

evidently understood the other's mind. The young nobleman had hitherto kept silence, because he believed that, with a coronet in possession, which, in the course of nature, death must soon snatch from his grandfather's head, the merchant's daughter might be won under more advantageous conditions. The proper moment had at length arrived, and Littleton was made officially acquainted with the honours which awaited his child, and his consent requested to the proposed union. Mansfield was,

of course, received with open arms, and could with difficulty conceal his delight when Littleton named the princely dowry which Alice was to receive on her marriage.

"And now," said the merchant, rising after this satisfactory conference, "now, my Lord, the chief and material points being concluded between us, it only remains for you to visit the lady in person, and to tell her of my hearty assent to the match. To-morrow morning I leave town on business, and shall not return until the evening; I am desirous that you should avail yourself of that opportunity to find her alone. Farewell! and my blessing attend you."

And so they parted, never to meet again.

Mansfield's frequent visits at Littleton's house had caused him to be regarded at last almost as a

member of the family. He was accustomed to come and go at all times, and often unannounced. On the morning after his interview with the merchant, which we have just referred to, Mansfield went at an early hour to Littleton's house, and repaired immediately to the library. As he had expected, Alice was already there, busied with the usual morning occupation of tending her birds and flowers; but feigning embarrassment at his sudden intrusion, he hesitated on the threshold, saying: "I did not expect to find you here so early. I fully anticipated having to while away one impatient hour, at least, if not more, before I could enjoy the honour of paying you my homage on my return from Scotland.”

"Indeed, my Lord," said Alice, "I don't require so many hours at my toilet as you seem to imagine."

"And no praise due to you on that account," retorted he, playfully, "so don't think it. For most of your sex the toilet hours may be necessary, but with you the case is totally different, you see. It is difficult for art to improve that which nature has already made very good."

"Thank you, my Lord," said Alice; "and now, perhaps, your Lordship would have the kindness

to inform me how much of your pretty little wellrounded speeches are worthy of belief."

"Well," answered Mansfield, "I am not, of course, so bold as to demand belief for every word I utter. I am but a man, and, as such, am sometimes liable to misrepresent my own meaning; but I would have you give me credit for good intentions, and," continued he, warmly, "for the profoundest respect and reverence for yourself."

Alice glanced at the speaker, there was a passionate expression on his face, which brought the blood rushing to her cheeks. His eyes spoke more serious meaning than his tongue. She turned away as though she had not observed his manner; but she felt herself trembling, and was aware of a sinking sensation in her limbs. The objects around her became unsteady, and seemed to be floating about in the air; but by a violent effort she remained standing, and continued her employment. Neither Alice's agitation nor its cause had escaped Mansfield's notice, and full well he knew that it was not the flutter of eager love which shook her frame. It was not love struggling to free itself from the restraint of maiden modesty. No, it was fear, shrinking from him as he approached.

A pause ensued. Alice contended bravely with

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