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I have prayed that my heart might warm towards you. Not from my own inclination, but as a filial duty I owed my father. Sometimes I have almost persuaded myself that I loved you, and then I may have shown more regard than I really felt. God forgive me, if I have ever misled you. I cannot be your wife; I can, I do love you sincerely as a sister; but more than that I have not to give. Let us never after to-day speak on this subject again. Do not let it be cause for embarrassment in our future meetings; but let us meet as warm friends as we have ever been; and if you can be content to think me your sister Alice, here is a sister's hand and a sister's heart."

She put her hand in his, and after pausing a few seconds, she continued, with a shade of determination in her voice, such as Mansfield had never observed in her before: "If you seek for more than this, my Lord, we are strangers in future." "And must I leave you thus," he said, retaining her hand," without one hope?"

"Without one hope," repeated she, coldly. "My fate is sealed," said Mansfield, with dejection.

"Not so, my Lord, there are many worthier of you than I, and with this additional advantage, that they love you."

"For God's sake, torment me not with the mention of others," said Mansfield.

"My Lord," continued Alice, with still more determination in her tone, 66 we will, if you

please, drop this subject now, and not renew it again; it is useless and painful to both."

"Do not be angry with me. You loved me once, dear Miss Littleton, at least you began to love me."

Alice was silent. Her conscience confessed the truth of his words. She had once begun to love him.

"You do not speak. It was then as I say. Tell me, dearest Alice." He knelt again at her feet. "Why did not your love increase? What blighted it? What was it which merited your disapproval? Give me a reason; that is to say," darting at her a searching look, and lowering his voice," that is to say, if I dare venture to ask for a reason."

The whole truth now flashed upon her; Mansfield suspected she loved another; a love which she had scarcely dared to confess to herself. The face in the mirror, and the ghastly features which had hung over her in bed, returned fresh to her memory. Again the foreboding of danger to come filled her mind. She sank upon her knees, and, burying her face in the seat of the chair, burst into an agony of tears.

Mansfield stood with folded arms quietly looking at his victim. There was a strange expression of disappointment, exultation, and anticipated revenge

on his face. He saw how just his suspicions had been, and he determined to use his knowledge, should it be necessary; for some time the only sounds heard were the convulsive sobs of the heartstricken girl. Mansfield gently took her hand, but she drew it hastily away. His touch, however, recalled her to herself; she rose with difficulty, and leaned for support on the chair.

In the violence of her agitation she had shaken down some of her long hair which hung in disorder about her shoulders, and her eyes glistened with tears as she looked reproachfully at the hardhearted questioner.

"Unkind, cruel, unnatural," her voice was broken and faint. "My Lord, I did not think you Iwould treat me thus. Leave me, I beseech, implore you. This interview will kill me."

Mansfield approached her, but she shrank back, and held out her hand as if to keep him off. "Leave me, for God's sake, leave me," continued she, imploringly. "If you love me, go now, my Lord, go."

But Mansfield had taken her hand, and keeping it in his, said, with every appearance of truth:

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'By all that is holy, I swear that I do not understand the meaning of this. I am both amazed and shocked that my words should have taken so serious an effect. I know not the cause of your grief, and I will not seek to know, as I observe the mention of it gives you so much sorrow. Dear Miss Littleton, I regret, deeply regret, the pain I have caused, but be assured it was entirely unintentional."

"I believe it, my Lord," said Alice," you are always very, very good, and now farewell."

"May I visit here as hitherto ?" he asked.

"At any time, at all times, I shall be happy to see you," returned Alice, " on the old terms, and in the old manner."


OM Wilson's pecuniary affairs had of . late somewhat improved. His engage

ments, though few, had enabled him to

earn a subsistence. The old invalid lived on from day to day without much apparent change in her condition; but took care that Tom's hard-earned gains should be spent on luxuries for herself.

One afternoon, returning leisurely from town, he was met by a man coming from the opposite direction. Tom would have passed him by unnoticed, had not the stranger, when a few yards distant, suddenly stopped and looked earnestly into his face. Supposing him to be a beggar, Tom kept on without slackening his pace. The other, however, said nothing, but, turning slowly round, watched Tom's retreating figure until he was out of sight. Feeling rather struck by the occurrence, and curious to know what the man could see in him which appeared to interest so much, Tom pondered some

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