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"Many sittings," was the reply.

Mansfield's uneasiness evidently increased; he quitted his position behind Alice's chair, and stood in silence beside the artist. The passion, whatever it was, which raged with such violence within, showed itself only in the terrible right hand. The fingers opened and closed convulsively, as if they sought to grasp some dangerous weapon.

But

still there was the same expression, and the same clear and silvery voice, as he said: "You have yet much to do, have you not?"

"Very much," replied the artist," the portrait is far from completion."

Mansfield returned to Miss Littleton's chair, and stood leaning again over the back without speaking. Presently, looking up, Alice caught sight of his face reflected in the mirror at the end of the room. The mask had again fallen, the fierce look of bitter hatred and fear was again there, his eyes gleamed with cat-like fury, and his features were deadly pale. He had forgotten the mirror.

Terrified by his look, Alice started from her seat and confronted him, exclaiming: "Gracious heavens, Mr. Mansfield, what is the matter, are you ill?" and hurrying to the bell, she rang it violently.

But the mask was on again, and, gently taking

It was

her hand, he said: "Do not be afraid. nothing, I assure you. Merely a momentary faintness. I am subject to it at times, and I have felt it coming on ever since I rose this morning. If you will kindly ask the servant to fetch me a little water, I shall be well in a few minutes."

" I

"What is the matter, Mansfield, are you ill?" said Mr. Littleton, who entered at the moment. “A little,” said the young man, bathing his forehead from an eau-de-Cologne bottle. "I was rather faint. I suppose it is the heat of the day. There, I am all right now," he continued. came to talk with you about business, and, unfortunately for Miss Littleton, I enjoyed the good fortune of finding her here unexpectedly, and she has kindly borne with my society for the last half hour."

"Farewell." And the two gentlemen were left to their politics.

CHAPTER V.

[graphic]

HERE is sometimes said to be in woman an ever-wakeful instinct pointing out with unerring truth the good and bad of the other sex. It is a sort of kind

genius who exposes before her the honest heart of the pure, and warns her from the evil eye of the impure. It is not a knowledge springing from reason, for she cannot tell why she shrinks from this one, or trusts the other. Instinct is a perfect attribute of the mind, and reason imperfect at the best; woman's knowledge, therefore, of the good and evil qualities of the other sex is more true and certain than man, with all his reason, can attain. But reason is a better servant to man than instinct is to woman. It is, to be sure, short-sighted, and often fails to see danger until surrounded by it; but then it shows its strength, bursts the toils, and hews out a way to escape. The eye of woman's good spirit, Instinct, may be unerring; but the spirit itself, like the delicate being it would control, is of

yielding, tender make. Woman often submits, apparently with willingness, to the embrace which the still small voice of her weeping spirit whispers will, before long, throw around her the graveclothes of her happiness.

The handsome and brilliant Mansfield had dazzled poor Alice. She felt that every interview brought her and him nearer and nearer together. She did not love him, and grieved not so much on her own account, as because, in her simple heart, she wished to love all who appeared to have her father's esteem. But still, whilst she felt, unwillingly felt, that the deep gush of feeling which had poured direct from her heart towards him on the first evening of their acquaintance dwindled day by day, yet, at the same time, she was sensible of an influence which drew her, day by day, nearer to the magic circle which seemed to surround him. She struggled against this influence which bore her onward so impetuously; she held back with all her strength, but apparently in vain. Was no friendly hand near to arrest her progress? None? But why was her eye strained tearfully towards some other object which grew more and more distant as the current of events carried her on? At least, why did her mind's eye look so mournfully back? There was some other feeling in the young

girl's bosom, some other cord, which, stretching from an opposite direction, wound itself like a thing of life round her heart-a thread which daily grew thinner and thinner as the intervening space widened, and cut and hurt her heart till it ached with the tension. Another influence there was, but Alice dared not confess it even to herself. What was it which had been working in her bosom so gently, so softly, so unseen? Alice scarcely knew, and yet she felt the fulness of its presence. Whose hand could have placed there the sweet rose which had grown, and was growing still, so quietly but so surely, so surely? And what was that sweet influence? Was it love? It were hard to say, but the virgin soil had opened, and something had burst into life, and that new life looked like love in infancy. Love, but for whom?

Alice was standing before her glass, sunk in a deep reverie. She was partly undressed, and the shining hair hung in rich clustering masses about her. Her right hand, with its long slender fingers, rested on her bosom, and her thoughtful eyes, in which joy and sadness strangely mingled, looked up as if asking Heaven for help.

What was passing in her mind she herself could scarcely have told. There was a confused dread, and a longing still more undefined; but what she

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