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when the evening came, of having him again with her, was thereby rendered the greater. How eagerly she would watch for his figure to come round the turn in the road, about half a mile distant. How joyfully she would bound off to meet him when he came in sight, and putting her arm round his neck, would forget everything in the happiness of the moment. And then, by the snug fire-side, in their own little parlour, they would sit side by side hours together, never, never tired, and chat about their past lives and future prospects, their hopes and fears, their wishes and projects. would place the old arm-chair in its accustomed spot, and her little stool beside it long before Tom's return from the City; and when he came in, tired with his day's work, she would playfully force him into his seat, and not allow him to move out of it again, declaring that she had learned to do everything much better than he. And Tom would feel


as if spell-bound, and sit with a happy smile on his face, following his beautiful wife with his eyes, as she prepared his tea for him. And when the meal was over, she would take her usual seat on the stool beside him, and resting her elbows on his knees, would laugh and chat gaily. Tom, at such moments, remembered not the cold world without, but felt as if the cup of his happiness were full.

One afternoon, before the usual hour of Tom's return, Alice was surprised by a knock at the front door, and on opening it, started, half afraid, at beholding Mansfield on the door-step.

"You did not expect to see me here,” said he, with a winning smile, as Alice recognized her


"No, I did not, my Lord," replied she; “but you are welcome."

Except on that memorable day when the mirror had betrayed to her the writhen features, and demoniacal expression of her visitor, Mansfield had never given her reason to mistrust him; but still she could not help shrinking, and longing for Tom's return, as he respectfully took her hand.


At her invitation, Mansfield entered the cottage, without showing, by word or look, that he even saw the poverty of Alice's humble home. could not have displayed greater consideration for the highest lady in the richest palace, than he did for Alice in her little parlour.

"I hope, dear Madam," he said, with some apparent embarrassment, "I hope you will pardon the liberty I take in coming here; but you cannot blame me, because my conscience calls on me to make every reparation in my power for the unhappiness I have caused."

"My Lord," said Alice, somewhat proudly, "where no injury has been inflicted, no reparation can be offered."

"Do not misapprehend me," he answered, quickly; "I know well that your present position warrants you more happiness than a palace and a title; but still you cannot blame me for bitterly regretting that my unhappy love has been the indirect means to deprive you of a fortune justly and naturally your own."

"No," replied Alice; "the feeling is a noble and generous one."

"I wish I deserved your praise," continued he. "Oh, dear Madam, bitter, bitter hours has it cost me! Would to God I had known his determination to wed you to me! Would to God I had known to what lengths, to what cruel lengths his obstinacy would carry him, I would never, never have shown him, by word or deed, that I loved you!"

"Do not blame my father for what he did in the violence of passion; he was mad when he wrote that will, and he died before he had time to reflect on what he had done."

"No, no!" said Mansfield, with energy; "I cannot hold Mr. Littleton blameless for disinheriting his child because she would not marry the man she did not love."

"But you must remember," said Alice, "it was the only wish of my father's life respecting me; it was a project he had meditated for years. One can easily conceive his disappointment to find it opposed, and that by the very person whom he thought to make great and happy. Had he lived till the morrow, he would have thought better of it."

Mansfield gently took her hand.

"Though I may not love you," said he, " as I once did, yet is my admiration and reverence increased ten-fold. I am unhappy, very unhappy. Do not misunderstand me," he said, quickly, as Alice's face expressed a half-conceived feeling of distrust. "My sorrow is not that you are another's wife, for, on the contrary, I am overjoyed that you are wedded to the man of your love. You may make me happy again if you will. Will you do so?"

"If it be in my power, yes," answered Alice, hesitatingly.

"Promise me that you will; be assured I speak in all honour."

"I promise it," said Alice.

"However much," continued Mansfield, "your generosity may exonerate me, still the loss of your fortune is a sore in iny heart. You are able to heal

it partially, at all events. Oh that I had words delicate enough to pour out my feelings without offending that noble independence which is so striking a characteristic of you!"

"If," said Alice, "it really relieves you to speak your mind to me, and I believe such to be the case, speak openly and without reserve, and be assured I shall not take offence."

Mansfield paused awhile, and then said, in an earnest and impressive voice :

"I know you are not rich. I am; and I know the precarious nature of your husband's profession. Promise me that, if ever a time should come-God forbid that it should-if ever a time should come when you need a friendly hand to help you, you will not forget that this hand is yours so long as a drop of living blood is in it. Would to God I dared offer you more than this! But I dare not. I know well the noble heart I address; but promise me this; it is not much that I ask. For the sake of that friendly regard which you once had for me, promise me this.”

Alice was touched by his earnestness. stood in her eyes, as she answered:—

"I promise it, my Lord, I promise it."

The tears

"One thing more," continued he, with fresh embarrassment. "Dare I venture to hope that the

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