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or feigned to care, for none other. He spoke not for himself, but rather to help the conversation of others; and so cleverly was it done, that all ascribed to themselves the good things Mansfield had really said for them. Thus he fed men's vanity, and, consequently, won their hearts. Many can resist an open flatterer, but few could withstand the smooth soft hand of such a master as Mansfield.

Mr. Littleton, man of the world as he was, had found more than his match. His eye was acute, and his judgment of men usually correct; but he had entirely failed to discern aright the character of the young nobleman. True, Littleton himself was a hard unscrupulous man, who would sacrifice anything, even his only child's happiness, should his purpose render it necessary. He regarded her as a valuable slave, and tended her with every carc and kindness, so as to increase her value. The glitter of Mansfield's ancient and noble name, and the brilliant talents of the youth, which promised still higher honours, had dazzled him, and the coronet of Esdale he longed to place on his child's head. The wealth of the family was not great, and that circumstance encouraged his hopes. There would be no difficulty in wedding Alice to a titled husband, even should the negotiation with Mansfield fail; but Littleton had just so much affection

for her, that, were it possible, and consistent with his own views, he would give her a husband who would make her happy. He was overjoyed to find in Mansfield all the qualities he sought, and little did he think what a cold and crafty head, what a sensual, cruel heart, lay hid in the fine figure of the talented Scotchman. Mansfield, who saw through his would-be father, and coveted his wealth, was careful to conceal his knowledge of Littleton's intentions, and at the same time to encourage them. He coveted wealth, first, because he loved gold as such, and secondly, because he loved power, and he knew his coronet would stand the higher if it rested on Littleton's money-bags. For these reasons he was anxious for the match, rather than from any love he bore the beautiful girl. Not that Mansfield was indifferent to her person. Her youth, beauty, and innocence, attracted him, and had she been poor, he would have tried to win her by dishonourable means. In her present position she was beyond his reach; and so he consoled himself with the thought that when he began to tire of her, marriage would be no check to the licentiousness of his disposition.

Meanwhile, poor Alice, little guessing the designs of which she was the cause, lived on her Now in her seventeenth year, there

quiet life.

was still much of the child in her. She had her father's commanding features, but whether the mind within had received the stamp of his firm character had not yet appeared. Her circumstances in life had hitherto been such as not to call it into activity. She passed her days at her studies and amusements, or in visiting the poor of the neighbourhood. Her sweet smile and open hand made her the beloved of all. There were few poor dwellings where blessings and prayers for her happiness had not been heard. At home she had always taken her father's kindness for genuine, and loved him tenderly, and for young Mansfield she felt a deep regard.

In the first chapter we have mentioned that an artist had been engaged to take her portrait. One morning, shortly after the party, Alice was sitting to the painter in her father's study. A tap was heard at the door, and an instant after Mansfield entered. Seeing her occupation, and not, indeed, expecting to find her there, the young man bowed with some embarrassment, and would have retired.

"Pardon me, Miss Littleton," he said, "I thought to have found your father here, otherwise I should not have entered so rudely."

Alice rose, and, giving him her hand, wished

E

him good morning, and asked whether he wished to see her father.

"Yes," he replied, "I wish to speak about some parliamentary matters; but he has left for the city,

I fear."

66

No, he will return soon," said Alice; "I expect him every minute. Will you wait for him here?" and she motioned him to a seat.

"Nothing would afford me greater pleasure,

with Miss Littleton's kind permission.

I was

not aware you were so engaged," he added, pointing towards the easel. ""Twere a pity, too, perhaps." "What is a pity?" asked Alice.

Mansfield lowered his voice so as not to be heard by the artist, who had retired to the farther end of the room on his entrance, as if unwilling to intrude on their conversation. "That this gentleman should paint Miss Littleton. I doubt the power of this or any other gentleman's best skill and best will."

"Mr. Mansfield favours me with unusual compliments to-day." Alice bowed satirically. "However, may I ask to see the picture in its present state?" Mansfield asked.

"You don't deserve it, but you

shall if you wish.

Will you kindly come to my assistance, Mr.

Wilson?" said she, addressing the young artist, who

was standing in an alcove, looking out into the street; "this gentleman wishes to see your painting."

Thus addressed, Wilson turned towards the visitor. Their eyes met. Mansfield started, reddened slightly, and then as quickly turned pale. For an instant, and an instant only, the mask fell, and showed beneath a glance of mingled fear and hatred. It was gone in a moment, and calm and unembarrassed he returned the painter's greeting. Wilson showed no signs of recognition, and, indeed, did not appear even to have noticed the look which met him. Alice, also, had failed to observe Mansfield's manner, and, resuming her seat, the painting recommenced.

"Your picture is the size of life, is it not?" said Mansfield, who was leaning negligently on the back of Alice's chair.

"It is," replied the artist.

pause of several minutes ensued.

Mansfield's

A face wore the refined expression usual to it; but the tightly-clenched fingers, and a slight, but uneasy movement of his body, showed that some strong feelings were working within him. At length he said: "Your art must demand much study and patience. How long may a portrait like that require to complete ?"

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