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heart.' I mounted my horse again, and in less than half an hour was in B. I flew to Melissa. She received me in silence, but without rebuke. Indeed, before she had time for a word, I had knelt at her feet and had covered my face with her hands. On my way through the town I had seen my lady with her children, and one or two fashionably-dressed women, friends who lived in B. My lady was completing her purchases. I implored Melissa immediately to come out with me. She was astonished and hesitated, but my impetuosity was so urgent that she feared to refuse, and without any explanation I almost dragged her into the street. On the opposite side I descried my lady and her party. I crossed over, took Melissa's arm in mine, came close to them face to face, bowed, and then passed on. We then recrossed the road and turned into Melissa's house. I looked back and saw that they were standing still, stricken with astonishment. We went into the little parlour: nobody was there. Melissa threw her arms round my neck, and happier tears were never shed. In all the long years which have now gone by since that memorable day I have never had to endure from that divine creature a word or a hint which
even the suspicion of wounded self-respect could interpret as a reproach.
We were married at B. The customhouse surveyor never entered his parish church again, but went over to B. once every Sunday. He wrote me a letter to say that it was with much regret that he left the church of his own village, but that it was no longer possible to derive any edification from the services there. The captain remained, but discontinued his civilities. The squire informed me that as I was still a priest and possessed authority to administer the holy sacraments he should continue his attendance, but that of course all personal intercourse must cease. I expected that the common people would have been confirmed in their attachment to me, but the opinion of the little village butcher was that I had disgraced myself, and the farmers and labourers would not even touch their hats to my wife when they met her. However, we did not care, and in time it was impossible even to the squire not to recognise her tact, manners, and sense. Her father had constructed an ingenious sun-dial which he had placed on the front of his shop. The great Mr. Halley was staying with Mr. M., who lives about five miles from B., and seeing
the dial when he was in the town, called on my father-in-law, and was so much struck with him that he obtained permission to invite him to dinner. There the squire met him and was obliged to sit opposite him, amazed to hear him converse on equal terms with Mr. Halley and his host, and to discover that he knew how to behave with decency. Hostility continued to wear away. Few people are endowed with sufficient perseverance to continue a quarrel unless the cause is constantly renewed.
My betrayal of Melissa has not been altogether without profit. I had imagined myself morally superior to my parishioners, and if I had put the question to myself I should have said with confidence that it was impossible that there should exist in me a weakness I had never suspected, one which every day moved me to laughter or to scorn. But, sir, I now feel how true it is that in our immortal poet's words, 'Man, proud man, is most ignorant of what he's most assured, his glassy essence.' I hope you will pardon a reference to sacred history: I understand how the Apostle Peter came to deny his Lord. A few minutes before the dreadful crime was committed he would have con
sidered himself as incapable of it as he was of the sale of his Master for money or of that damning kiss, and a few minutes afterwards he would have suffered death for His sake. This, Mr. Rambler, is the lesson which induced me to write to you. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed. lest he fall; and indeed he may take all heed and yet will fall, unless Divine Providence mercifully catches him and holds him up.
A LETTER FROM THE AUTHORESS
OF 'JUDITH CROWHURST'
You have asked me to tell you all about Judith Crowhurst. I will tell you something more and begin at the beginning. You will remember that Miss Hardman said to Mrs. Pryor, Mrs. Hardman's governess : 'WE need the imprudences, extravagances, mistakes and crimes of a certain number of fathers to sow the seed from which WE reap the harvest of governesses. The daughters of tradespeople, however well educated, must necessarily be under-bred, and as such unfit to be inmates of OUR dwellings, or guardians of OUR children's minds and persons. WE shall ever prefer to place those about OUR offspring, who have been born and bred with somewhat of the same refinement as OURSELVES.' I was one of those unhappy women who, mercifully for the upper classes, inherit manners and misery in order that the children of these superior creatures may not put an 'r' at the end of 'idea' and may