"Send me away if I am de trop," he said, | "Pardon me, dear lady, I have forgotten clasping his plump hands. "It is my something. I'll come back directly if hour of audience, but Rintoul has the first claim."

"Oh, I don't want any audience," said Rintoul. He had exchanged an anxious glance with his mother, and both had reddened in spite of themselves. Not to betray that you have been discussing some one who appears, while the words of criticism are still on your lips, is difficult at all times; and Rintoul, feeling confused and guilty, was anxious to give the interrupted conversation an air of insignificance. My mother and I have no secrets. She is not so easy as the mothers in society," he said, with a laugh.


"No!" said Millefleurs, folding his hands with an air of devotion. "I would not discuss the chronique scandaleuse, if that is what you mean, in Lady Lindores's hearing. The air is pure here; it is like living out of doors. There is no dessous des cartes no behind the scenes."

"What does the little beggar mean?" Rintoul said to himself, feeling red and uncomfortable. Lady Lindores took up her work, which was her flag of distress. She felt herself humiliated beyond description. To think that she should be afraid of any one overhearing what she said or what her son had said to her! She felt her cheeks burn and tingle; her needle trembled in her fingers; and then there ensued a most uncomfortable pause. Had he heard what they were saying? Rintoul did not go away, which would have been the best policy, but stood about, taking up books and throwing them down again, and wearing, which was the last thing he wished to do, the air of a man disturbed in an important consultation. As a matter of fact, his mind was occupied with two troublesome questions: the first, whether Millefleurs had overheard anything; the second, how he could himself get away. Millefleurs very soon perceived and partook this embarrassment. The phrase which had been uttered as he opened the door had reached his ear without affecting his mind for the first moment. Perhaps if he had not perceived the embarrassment of the speaker he would not have given any weight to the words - 66 When a fellow follows Funny alliteration! he said to himself. And then he saw that the mother and son were greatly disturbed by his entrance. He was as much occupied by wondering what they could mean, as they were by wondering if he had heard. But he was the first to cut the difficulty. He said,

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you'll let me," and went out. Certainly there had been some discussion going on between mother and son. Perhaps Rintoul had got into debt, perhaps into love; both were things which occurred daily, and it was always best when such a subject had been started between parent and child that they should have it out. So he withdrew, but with that phrase still buzzing in his ears, "When a fellow follows It was a comical combination of words; he could not get rid of it, and presently it began to disturb his mind. Instead of going to the library or any of the other rooms in the house, he went outside with the sensation of having something to reflect upon, though he could not be sure what it was. By-and-by the entire sentence came to his recollection. "When a fellow follows a girl into the country'- but then, who is it that has followed a girl into the country? - Rio. toul?" This cost him about five minutes' thought. Then little Millefleurs stopped short in the midst of the path, and clasped his hands against his plump bosom, and turned up his eyes to heaven. Why! it is I!" he said to himself, being more grammatical than most men in a state of agitation. He stood for a whole minute in this attitude, among the big blue-green araucarias which stood around. What a subject for a painter if there had been one at hand! It was honor confronting fate. He had not intended anything so serious. He liked, he would have said loved, the ladies of the house. He would not have hesitated anywhere to give full utterance to this sentiment: and to please his father, and to amuse himself, he was consciously on the search for some one who might be suitable for the vacant post of Marchioness of Millefleurs. And he had thought of Edith in that capacity-certainly he had thought of her. So had he thought of various other young ladies in society, turning over their various claims. But it had not occurred to him to come to any sudden decision, or to think that necessary. As he stood there, however, with his eyes upraised, invoking aid from that paternal Providence which watches over marquises, a flood of light spread over the subject and all its accessories. Though he had not thought of them, he knew the prejudices of society; and all that Rintoul had said about leaving a girl planté là was familiar to him. "When a fellow follows" (absurd alliteration! said Millefleurs, with his lisp, to him


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"Not much degradation, certainly only somewhere about the best position in England," with angry scorn Lord Lindores said.

But the lines were not smoothed away from his wife's forehead, nor did the flush of shame and pain leave her face. She looked at him for a moment, to see whether she should tell him. But why poison his pleasure? "It is not his fault," she said to herself; and all that she gave utterance to was an anxious exclamation : " Provided that Edith sees as we do!"

"She must see as we do," Lord Lindores said.

self) "a girl into the country, he muth | hope we are not going to have it all over mean thomething"-and once more he again, as we had before Carry's wedding." clasped his hands and pressed them to Oh, don't speak of poor Carry's wed his breast. His eyes, raised to heaven, ding in comparison with this. This, God took a languishing look; a smile of con- grant it, if it comes to pass, will be no sciousness played about his mouth; but degradation - no misery this was only for a moment, and was replaced at once by a look of firm resolution. No maiden owed her scath to Millefleurs: though he was so plump, he was the soul of honor. Not for a moment could he permit it to be supposed that he was trifling with Edith Lindores, amusing himself any of those pretty phrases in use in society. He thought with horror of the possibility of having compromised her, even though, so far as he was himself concerned, the idea was not disagreeable. In five minutes - for he had a quick little brain and the finest faculty of observation, a quality cultivated in his race by several centuries of social eminence - But when Rintoul came in, his mother Millefleurs had mastered the situation. went to him and seized his arm with both All the instructions that Rintoul had so her hands. "He heard what you said!" zealously endeavored to convey to his she cried, with anguish in her voice. mother's mind became apparent to Mille-"Now I shall never be able to hold up fleurs in the twinkling of an eye. It my head in his presence - he heard what would be said that he had left her planté you said!" là; he allowed himself no illusion on the subject. So it might be said, but so it never must be said of Edith Lindores. He was perfectly chivalrous in his instant decision. He was not to say in love though did Providence bestow any one of five or six young ladies, among whom Edith stood high, upon him, Millefleurs felt positively convinced that he would be the happiest man in the world. And he was not sure that he might not be running the risk of a refusal, a thing which is very appalling to a young man's imagination. But notwithstanding this danger, Millefleurs, without hesitation, braced himself up to do his duty. He buttoned his coat, took off his hat and put it on. again, and then pulling himself together, went off without a moment's hesitation in search of Lord Lindores.

An hour later the earl entered his lady's chamber with a countenance in which gratification, and proud content in an achieved success, were only kept in check by the other kind of pride which would not permit it to be perceived that this success was anything out of the ordinary. He told her his news in a few brief words, which Lady Lindores received with so much agitation, turning from red to white, and with such an appearance of vexation and pain, that the earl put on his sternest aspect. "What is the meaning of all this flurry and disturbance?" he said. "I

Rintoul too, notwithstanding his more enlightened views, was somewhat red. Though it was in accordance with his principles, yet the fact of having helped to force, in any way, a proposal for his sister, caused him an unpleasant sensation. He tried to carry it off with a laugh. Anyhow, since it has brought him to the point," he said.

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This was the day on which Millefleurs was to be taken to Tinto to see the house and all its curiosities and wealth. In view of this he had begged that nothing might be said to Edith, with a chivalrous desire to save her pain should her answer be unfavorable. But how could Lady Lindores keep such a secret from her daughter? While she was still full of the excitement, the painful triumph, the terror and shame with which she had received the news, Edith came in to the morning room, which to-day had been,the scene of so many important discussions. They had been perhaps half an hour together, going gaily on with the flood of lighthearted conversation about anything and nothing which is natural between a girl and her mother, when she suddenly caught a glimpse in a mirror of Lady Lindores's troubled face. The girl rushed to her instantly, took this disturbed countenance between her hands, and turned it with gentle force towards her. Her own face grew grave at once. "Something is the

matter," she said; "something has hap- as a willow-wand, unyielding, drawing her pened. Oh, mother, darling, what is it? garments as it were, about her, insensible Something about Carry?" to the quivering lines of her mother's up


No, no; nothing, nothing! Certainly turned face, and the softer strain of her nothing that is unhappy Don't ques-embrace. No, not indifferent-but retion me now, Edith. Afterwards, you sisting-shutting her eyes to them, holdshall know it all." ing herself apart.

"Let me know it now," the girl said; and she insisted with that filial tyranny against which mothers are helpless. At last Lady Lindores, being pressed into a corner, murmured something about Lord Millefleurs. "If he speaks to you tonight, oh, my darling—if he asks you do not be hasty; say nothing, say nothing, without thought."

"Speaks to me asks me!" Edith stood wonder-stricken, her eyes wide open, her lips apart. "What should he ask me?" She grew a little pale in spite of herself.

"My dearest! what should he ask you? What is it that a young man asks—in such circumstances? He will ask you perhaps to marry him."

"For heaven's sake, Edith! Oh, my darling, think how different this is from the other! Your father has set his heart on it, and I wish it too. And Millefleurs is - Millefleurs will be

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"Is this how you persuaded Carry?" cried Edith, with sad indignation; but mother, mother, listen! not me. It is better that never another word should be said between us on this subject, for I will never do it, whatever may be said. If my father chooses to speak to me, I will give him my answer. Let us say no more— not another word;" and with this the girl unbent and threw herself upon her mother, and stopped her mouth with kisses, indignant, impassioned- her cheeks hot and flushed, her eyes full of angry tears.

Edith gave a kind of shriek - and then It may be thought that the drive to burst into a peal of agitated laughter. Tinto of this strange party, all palpitating "Mother, dear, what a fright you have with the secret which each thought ungiven me! I thought I didn't know known to the other, was a curious episode what to think. Poor little man! Don't enough. Millefleurs, satisfied with himlet him do it don't let him do it, mam-self, and feeling the importance of his poma! It would make us both ridiculous, sition with so much to bestow, found, he and if it made him at all-unhappy; but thought, a sympathetic response in the that is nonsense -you are only making look of Lady Lindores, to whom, no fun of me," said the girl, kissing her, with doubt, as was quite right, her husband had a hurried eagerness as if to silence her. disclosed the great news; but he thought Lady Lindores drew herself away from that Edith was entirely ignorant of it. her daughter's embrace. And Edith and her mother had their se

"Edith, it is you who are making your-cret on their side, the possession of which self ridiculous consider how he has sought you all this time—and he came after you to the country. I have felt what was coming all along. My dearest, did not you suspect it too?"

Edith stood within her mother's arm, but she was angry and held herself apart, not leaning upon the bosom where she had rested so often. "I suspect it! how could I suspect it?" she cried. It went to Lady Lindores's heart to feel her child straighten herself up, and keep apart from her and all her caresses.

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was more momentous still. But they all talked and smiled with the little pleasantries and criticisms that are inevitable in the conversation of persons of the highest and most cultivated classes, and did not betray what was in their hearts.

From Blackwood's Magazine.


NOT long ago an American journal suggested the expediency of forming a "Society for the suppression of cruelty to Scripture;" not, as might perhaps have been imagined, for the purpose of protecting the sacred volume from maltreatment by its open foes, but to save it from the "twisting, torturing, thumbscrewing, and other savage and outrageous processes," habitually inflicted on it by "its professed friends, in their desperate ef


forts to extort, haul forth, and by sheer while all around the gloom was breaking and ingenious methods of torture, tear up, and the monsters of ignorance and out of a Scripture passage doctrines error were flying before the advancing which never were in any way or degree connected with or involved in it at all.” We propose to take this quaint suggestion for our text. It is impossible to help being amused at the scene which it conjures up before the mind, of the reverend expositors assembled in the torturechamber, like so many familiars of the Inquisition, and busy with a grim alacrity at interrogating the divine word by the peine dure et forte, till they wring from it, instead of its own truth, the confession or assent which they are determined by violence to extort. But the pity is that, under the exuberant and racy phraseology characteristic of transatlantic humor, so much of solid truth should lie. Those who have had most experience in overhauling commentaries on the Bible, and exploring the enormous mass of current religious literature, will be the last, we suspect, to extenuate the fact or accuse the statement of exaggeration. That the representation is well founded, we have no shadow of doubt; and it is because we are sure that the evil to which it points is a crying one, and is the cause of much of the distaste notoriously felt by the educated laity for sermons and books of theology and devotion in general, that we make the attempt to hold it up to reprobation, and furnish some brief hints for its abatement.

The earliest and doubtless the most flagrant sinners against sound principle and common sense in the use of the sacred books were the rabbis of Israel, whose hermeneutical vagaries and monstrous applications of Scripture form the staple of the Talmud. To those doctors of the law, the Old Testament from beginning to end was a congeries of riddles, to the solution of which they dedicated their lives. In comparison with their own tortuous and mystical explanations, the plain grammatical sense had little interest for them. The inspired text they used to compare to water; but their Mishna or oral tradition to wine, and their Gemara or commentary to spiced wine. Every verbal resemblance, however superficial, every variation of spelling and peculiarity of arrangement or order, suggested to them a mystery; out of texts arbitrarily pieced together, meanings were evolved for which not a shadow of warrant could be found; from the mere metaphors latent in common speech portentous conclusions were deduced; in the numerical values of the letters of which words were composed occult meanings were discovered. The results may be imagined, and were perhaps surprising even to the scribes themselves in their saner moments; for among their traditions is one which depicts the amazement of Moses, when in a vision he saw some rabbi of the future extracting whole bushel-loads of meanings and decisions from every angle, curl, and horn of every letter of the law.

We do not for a moment pretend that the habit of wresting and misapplying Scripture is peculiar to modern times. It is as old as Christianity, even older, and by a long line of descent has come down to the divines of the present day as a damnosa hereditas · -a traditional incu- We shall try, by a few specimens of bus and hereditary disease. Nor do we the more quotable sort, to give an idea of deny that, with the comparatively recent the rabbinical style of handling Scripture. growth of the critical sciences, a better It might seem to an unsophisticated readday has begun to dawn for Biblical exe- er rather difficult to determine from the gesis in general, and even for the popular text, "The ox knoweth his owner, and religious literature of tract and periodical the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth and broadsheet, purveyed in such amaz- not know, my people doth not consider," ing quantities for the uneducated classes. what kind of scourge should be used But it seems to us that the very fact of to inflict the "forty stripes save one the rise and spread of accurate criticism those who broke the law. But the ingein other departments of study makes our nuity of the rabbis was not to be foiled. protest against the still prevalent misin- Ought not the men who know not, to be terpretation of the Bible all the more beaten by the animals whose knowledge needful; for the last places to catch the shames them? Then twist together light of the intellectual dawn have always thongs of ox-hide and ass-hide, and lay been the haunts of theological discussion the compounded lash on the back of the and exposition, and religion has griev- guilty. Out of Laban's invitation to ously suffered from the shadows being Abraham's servant, "Come in, for I permitted to lie over them undisturbed, have prepared the house, and room for

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the camels," evidence was extracted to ordinary course of nature, as to be cour show that the piety of the great father of ageous and strong enough to resist and the faithful was so transcendent and con- kill the wolves that attacked them. To tagious as to be shared even by his cam- take one more specimen: the rabbis laid els; for by imagining some occult con- it down that in speeding the parting guest nection between the phrases for " making one ought not to say, "Go in peace," but ready the house” and “removing idols," "Go unto peace; " for David said to Abthe meaning was reached that the camels salom, "Go in peace," and he went and piously declined to enter till the emblems was hanged; but Jethro said unto Moses, of idolatry had been cleared out. In "Go unto peace," and he went and prospraise of the phylacteries, or little leath-pered. ern boxes containing texts from the law, Here, then, in the rabbinical method which the Jews were accustomed to bind of handling Scripture, was the fons et on the brow and left arm, a proof that origo of the evil practice of compelling they were worn by Jehovah himself was the sacred text to yield up any meaning found in the text, "Jehovah hath sworn that the reader wished to extract from it. by his right hand and the arm of his From the Jewish schools the infection strength," ie., the left arm bound with was caught by the Fathers of the Chrisone of those curious amulets. But on tian Church, of whose exegesis one of the entering a cemetery it was ruled that they principles seems to have been that whatshould be taken off, on the ground that ever, of an orthodox tenor, can be got out those who wore them in the presence of of the Bible by any kind of mystic or the dead would be guilty of the insolent allegorical interpretation may be safely ostentation condemned in the passage, accepted as the meaning of the Bible. A "Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth few specimens will be sufficient to exhibit his Maker." On the narrative which re- their perverse ingenuity in making Scriplates that the news of the capture of Lot ture speak what they wanted it to say. was brought to Abraham by "one that No one can object to the doctrine said to had escaped," the curious myth was have been conveyed by Constantine's visfounded of the escape of Og, the king of ion of the cross with the inscription, Bashan, from the deluge, his gigantic" By this conquer; " but nothing can be stature being supposed to have enabled him to wade beside the ark till the waters subsided. The question whether prayer should be said on a low or an elevated place was decided in the favor of the former by the Psalmist's words, "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee." That the second temple should lack five of the excellent things which distinguished the first, was inferred from the casual omission of the final letter, which happens to be the numeral for five, from the word for "glory" in the prediction, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former." A proof that it is the Messiah who shall bruise the serpent's head was discovered in the identity of the numerical value of the letters in the words for Messiah and serpent. A rule that no man ought to eat before he has fed his beast was extricated from the order of the words in the promise, "I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full," "thy cattle" first, and "thou" afterwards. In the remark that Job's cattle increased literally, broke forth in the land, evidence was found of the extraordinary measure in which the divine favor rested on his possessions; the metaphor being taken as signifying that even his goats so broke through the

less satisfactory than to establish it by an appeal to the outstretched arms of Moses during the battle with Amalek, unless it be the discovery of it in the cross-like shape of the letter which in Greek stands for the number (300) of Gideon's conquering band, and more plainly still in the three letters which express the number of the trained servants (318) with whom Abraham defeated the marauding kings, on the ground that the first is the same cross-shaped numeral, and the other two are the primary letters of the word Jesus. The importance of the sacraments is unquestionable; but on no legitimate principle of interpretation can they be found in the table spread for the Psalmist in the presence of his enemies; or in the metaphorical use of liquor and wheat by the royal lover in the Canticles to depict the comeliness of his mistress; or in the genial advice of the Preacher, "Go thy way; eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; or in the two pence given by the good Samaritan to the innkeeeper. The building up of the Church on the Gospel does not follow very naturally from the Psalmist's statement that the Creator has founded the earth on the seas, and established it on the floods; nor the two advents of the

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