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she said, faltering, “all I know is, that would force me into the society of one you mean to insult me. I know nothing oh, Pat, surely you are doing yourself but that. What is it? Do not insult me wrong! You could not be so cruel as before the children."
that!" “ Pshaw! how should the children un. He laughed again, striding across the derstand?"
fireplace, ever encroaching more upon her “ Not what you mean; but neither do I corner. His face had grown red with understand that. The children know as wrath. He was not without feeling, such well as I do that you mean to hurt me. as it was, and this which he supposed his What is it? – what have I done?” wife's acknowledgment that his cruel de
By Jove !” he said, looking at her, “to vice could indeed wound her, gave himself see you there with your white face, one a start of self-reproach and alarm, though would think you never had done anything there was pleasure in the power he felt but good all your life. You look as if he had acquired of causing pain. butter would not melt in your mouth. " Ah, I've caught you, have I ? I've Not the sort of woman to look down upon caught you at last !” he cried, with a tone her husband and count him a savage, and of triumph. keep thinking of a nice, smooth, soft- “ You could not do it!” cried Lady spoken You would never tell me Caroline, her pale face fushed. “No! his name, and I was a fool, and didn't do not say you made such a cruel plan insist upon; but now he has come back no, no!- to entrap the poor woman who to be your ladyship’s neighbor, and see is your wife — alas ! who never did you you every day:
harm – to rend her heart in two, and She did not answer immediately. She make her life inore miserable. No, no ! looked at him with a curious light steal. do not tell me you have this cunning as ing into her soft grey eyes, raising her well as — all the rest; do not tell me ! head again. Then she said slowly, “I You would not do it, you could not do it. think you must mean Mr. Erskine of Dal. There is no such cruelty in man.” rulzian. If so, you have made a great “ It's a satisfaction," he cried, his face mistake. I think he is younger than burning and glowing, “to think I have I am. He was not much more than a boy you in my grip, Lady Car." when I knew him. He never was any. She breathed quick and hard, pushed thing — but an acquaintance."
back in her corner, gazing up at him with “It's likely you'll get me to believe a look from which a stronger tremor had that,” cried Torrance scornfully. He taken all the timidity. It was some time jumped up from his seat, and came and before she could speak. “Do not think," stood in front of the fire, with his back she said, " that I am afraid of you. I am to it, brushing against her dress, so close only horrified to think - but I might have to her that she had to draw back out of known. Mr. Erskine, by whom you think
“An acquaintance! There are you can make me more unhappy, is nothdifferent meanings to that word. I've ing to me — nothing, nothing at all, noth. been to see him on your account, my lady. ing at all! He is not the gentleman I I've asked him to come here. Oh, I'm not thought it right to tell you about – no, afraid of you, as I tell you. You're too no! a very different person. I do not cold and too proud to go wrong. You want to see him, because I should not shall see him as much as you like - I like - old friends to know; but Mr. Ershave every confidence in you — see him, kine is nothing to me – nothing !' and talk to him, and tell him what you Whether he would have been convinced think of your husband. It will be a nice by the vehemence with which she said sentimental amusement for you; and as this alone, cannot be known — for at that for me, I'll always be by to look on.” moment the carefully festooned velvet
He laughed as he spoke, angrily, fierce-curtains were disturbed in the regulated ly, and glared down upon her from under folds which nobody at Tinto had ever his eyelids with a mixture of fury and ventured to alter, and Edith suddenly satisfaction. She pushed her chair back appeared with an anxious and pale coun. a little with a shiver, drawing away her tenance. She had heard the raised voices dress, upon which he liad placed his foot. as she approached, and her sister's “noth
"If it was as you suppose,” she said, ing to me, nothing !” had been quite dis. trembling, “wliat misery you would be tinct to her as she came in. She could planning for me! It makes ine cold in- not imagine what it was that could have deed to think of such cruelty. What! excited poor Carry so much, and Edith you would put me in such a strait! You had a nervous dislike of any scene. She
could not draw back, having with difficulty |tion of his own appearance in her eyes, sent away the servant who was conducting which is the most mortifying of all reflecher punctiliously to her sister's presence, tions. No caricature made of us can be and she felt herself compelled to face the so disconcerting: Just so Haman must quarrel, which was evidently a serious have seen himself, a wretched pretender, one. Edith was fastidious and sensitive, through the eyes of that poor Jew in the with all the horror of a girl who had never gate. Torrance saw himself an exag. seen anything like domestic contention gerated boor, a loud-speaking, underbred or the jars of family life. Lord Lindores clown, in the clear regard, a little conand his wife had not always agreed since temptuous, never for a moment overawed his recent elevation - indeed they had by him, of Edith Lindores. He had per. disagreed bitterly and painfully on the haps believed his wife's denial in respect most serious questions; but such a thing to John Erskine while they were alone, as a quarrel had been unknown in their but he believed her entirely when she household. To Edith it seemed such an called Edith to witness. He was subdued offence against good taste and all the at once – he drew away from before the courtesies of life, as nothing could excuse fire with sulky politeness, and pushed for- petty and miserable, as well as unhappy forward a chair. “It's a cold day,” he and wrong. She was annoyed as well as said. The quarrel died in a moment a indignant to be drawn into it thus against natural death. He hung about the room her will. Carry had hitherto concealed for a few minutes, while Edith, to lessen with all her might from her young sister the embarrassment of the situation, occuthe state of conflict in which she lived. pied herself with the children. As for Her unhappiness she did not hide; but Lady Car, she had been too much dis. she had managed to keep silent in Edith's turbed to return at once to the pensive presence, so that the girl had never been calm which was her usual aspect. She an actual witness of the wranglings of the leaned back in her chair, pushed up into ill-matched pair. But poor Lady Car for the corner as she had been by her husonce was moved out of her usual precau- band's approach, and with her thin hands tions. She was too much excited even to clasped together. Her breath still came remember them. She appealed to her sis- fast, her poor breast heaved with the ter at once, hailing her appearance with storm - she said nothing to aid in the eagerness, and without pausing to think. gradual restoration of quiet. The spell
* Edith,” she cried, “you have come in being once broken, perhaps she was not time. Tell Mr. Torrance that Mr. Ers- sorry of the opportunity of securing kine, who has just come home, was not a Edith's sympathy. There is a consolation
- special friend of mine. You can speak, in disclosing such pangs, especially when for you know. Mr. Torrance says – he the creator of them is unbeloved. To tell thinks ” — here Lady Car came to her the cruelties to which she was subject, to self, perceiving the disturbed looks of her pour out her wrongs, seemed the only sister, and remembering her own past relief which poor Carry could look for.
She paused, and forced herself ward to. It had not been her will to into a miserable smile. “It is not worth betray it to her sister; but now that the while entering int the story," she said; betrayal had taken place, it was almost a “it does not matter much. It is only pleasure to her to anticipate the unburdena mistake, a – a difference of opinion. Jing of her heart. All that she desired for You can tell Mr. Torrance
the moment was that he would go away, “I don't want any information,” said that she might be free to speak. The Torrance sulkily. He, too, felt embar- words seemed bursting from her lips even rassed by the sudden introduction of while he was still there. Perhaps Tore Edith into the discussion. He moved rance himself had a perception of this; away from the fire with a rude attempt at but then he did not believe that his wife civility. Edith, in her youthful absolutism, had not a hundred times made her comand want of toleration or even understand plaint to Edith before. And thus there ing of himself, overawed him a little. She ensued a pause which was not a pleasant was not, he thought, nearly so aristocratic one. Neither the husband nor the wife in appearance as his wife; but he was spoke, and Edith's agitated discourses slightly afraid of her, and had never been with the children were the only sounds at his ease in her presence. What was audible. They were not prattling, happy the opinion of this little chit to him? He children, capable of making a diversion asked himself the question often, but it in such circumstances; and Edithi was did not divest him of that vague percep- not so fond of the nephew and niece,
who so distinctly belonged to their_fa. world; and then I know — I know what ther, as she ought to have been. The is before me. This man – oh, I cannot situation was relieved by a summons to call him by any name!- this man, whom Torrance to see some one below. He I belong to, who can do what he pleases went away reluctantly, jealously, darting with my
life - I know now what his pleasa threatening look at his wife as he looked ure will be, to torture me, Edie! — for back. Edith was as much alarmed for no purpose but just to see me suffer – in what was coming as Torrance was. She a new way. He has seen me suffer alredoubled her attentions to the children, ready - oh, how much ! - and he is hoping to avert the disclosure which she, blasé ! he wants something more piquant, too, saw was so near.
a newer torture, a finer invention to get “ It is their time to - go back to the more satisfaction out of me. nursery,” said Carry, with a voice full of tell me I must not think of the past ! passion, ringing the bell; and the chil- * Carry, Carry!” cried Edith, tremdren were scarcely out of bearing when bling; "what can I say? You ought not the storm burst forth : “I have borne a to bear it. Come home; come back to great deal, oh, a great deal more, far us. Don't stay with him, if this is how more, than you can ever know; but think, you feel about him, another day.” think! what he intended for me. To Carry shook her head. “ There is no invite John Erskine here, thinking he was going back," she said ; “alas ! I know
some one else; to bring us into each that now, if never before. To go back is other's company day after day; to tempt impossible : my father would not allow it; me to the old conversations, the old walks. my mother would not approve it. I dare Don't contradict me — - he said so: that I not myself. No, no, that cannot be. might feel my misery, and drink my cup However dreadful the path may be, all to the last dregs.”
rocks or thorns, and however your feet “Carry, Carry! you must be mistaking may be torn and bleeding - forward, forhim; he could not wish that; it would be ward one must go. There is no escape. an insult - it would be impossible.” I have learned that."
“ That is why it pleases him,” cried the There was a difference of about six poor wife; "he likes to watch and make years between them — not a very great sure that I suffer. If I did not suffer, it period; and yet what a difference it would do him no good. He says I am too inade! Edith had in her youthful mind proud and too cold to-go wrong, Edith! the certainty that there was a remedy for That is how he speaks to your sister; every evil, and that what was wrong and he wishes to show me - to show me, should not be permitted to exist. Carry as if I did not know — what I have and knew no remedy at all for her own condiwhat I have lost!”
tion, or, indeed, in the reflection of her Carry, you must not. Oh, don't let own despair, for any other. Nothing was us even think of what is past now!” to be done that she knew of; nothing
“ It is easy for you to say so. I have could do any good. To go back was imtried – oh, how I have tried ! never to possible. She sat leaning back in her think of the past — even now, even to-chair, clasping her white, thin hands, day. Think, only think! Because he looking into the vacant air, — knowing of supposed that, he went expressly to see no aid, but only a little comfort in the John Erskine, to ask him to come here, mere act of telling her miseries — nothing planning to torture me, – no matter to more; while Edith sat by her, trembling, him, because he was sure I was too glowing, impatient, eager for something proud to go wrong. He wanted to watch to be done. the meeting to see how we would look “ Does mamma know?” the girl asked, at each other, what we would say, how we after a pause. would behave ourselves at such a mo- Carry did not move from her position of ment. Can you believe it, Edith? Was quiet despair. you think, ” she said, there ever anything in a book, in the the. " it is possible that mamma, who has atre, so cruel, so terrible? Do you sup- seen so much, should not know ? " pose one can help, after that, thinking of To this Edith could make no reply, the past, thinking of the future too ? — for knowing how often the subject had been suppose it had been Edward Oh discussed between her mother and her. no, no! I don't want to name his name ; self, with the certainty that Carry was but suppose it had been — he. Another unhappy, though without any special extime it may be he. He may come to visit planation to each other of the nianner of John Erskine. We may meet in the her unhappiness.
“But if my father were to speak to him, I such profusion that I was led to call him Carry ? My father ought to do it; it was Esau. he who made you - it was he who
The bottle most likely did not impart a “No one can say anything ; no one can generous warmth, and probably the garish do anything. I am sorry I told you, light of day was not pleasant to this deniEdie; but how could I help it? And it zen of the rafters and remote corners, yet does me a little good to speak. I must he settled bimself in bis new habitation complain, or I should die.”
with a calmness, which commanded my " Oh, my poor Car, my poor Car!” admiration. No fear entered his breast; Edith cried, throwing herself upon her he was not daunted by captivity. He did knees beside her sister. Die ! she said, not wildly seek an outlet, like inost of the within herself; would it not be better - things we call insects. He seemed to be far better - to die? It was living that of the school of the ascetic Brahmins, seemed to her impossible. But this was and apparently regarded fate as invin. another of the sad pieces of knowledge cible. which Carry had acquired : that you can. “ Even if I keep you in captivity,” I not die when you please, as the young said, " I will provide you with a mansion, and untried are apt to suppose — that and you shall have an amplicity of food.” mortal anguish does not always kill. It After a little search a wide-necked jar was was Edith who was agitated and excited, obtained, and I set to work to catch flies. seeking eagerly for a remedy any rem- The jar was glass, and its mouth was covedy – even that heroic and tragical one; ered with muslin; but in case Arachnida but Carry did not feel that even in that cared not for light and ventilation, I pro. there was any refuge for her now. vided him with a piece of paper rolled
This was by no means John Erskine's conewise, and in this inner chamber he fault. He was as innocent of it, as un- could seek retirement. conscious of it, as any man could be; but On being placed in his new abode, my Edith, an impatient girl, felt a sort of friend betrayed no curiosity. He merely visionary rage against him, in which there settled himself on the piece of paper, as was a certain attraction too. It seemed it had a more genial feel than the transto her as if she must go and tell him of parent floor. Perhaps he watched me, this sad family secret, though he had so but I could not tell that from his expres. little to do with it. For was not he in- sion. His face was typical of indiffervolved, and his coming the occasion of it? ence. If she could but have accused him, con- I now began to make havoc among a fided in him, it would have given her mind colony of fies who had apparently spent a certain relief, though she could not well their lives in obtaining from the windowtell why.
panes some occult flavor which is not perceptible to our coarser palates. I made three captives, who were passed beneath the muslin door of the jar with a
little sleight of band. The appearance of From The Gentleman's Magazine.
these flies was my next subject of obser
vation. They each had an individuality A SPIDER, sitting placidly on a hat-peg, which I did not till then know that flies awakened in me a vague enthusiasm for possessed. Their deportment, their fig. natural history; so I captured him, and ures, their very moral tone, had a distinct put him in a bottle. He was lean and stamp; yet there was an harmonious gaunt, and had an ominous countenance. something which united characters so The small row of eyes on the vertex of different. The first had a fuffy appear. his head looked murder and rapine, and ance; his body looked sodden, and he the formidable jaws — which he moved behaved in a fat and sensual manner. He slowly, as if he were sucking his teeth took the grossest pleasure in warming his meant death to those who were his infe- ventral surface on the side of the jar toriors in strength. He seemed to have wards the sun. He sipped the sweets of been lately in distressed circumstances, life to excess, and bad lost that activity a for the light came through his very car. fly ought to possess. Alas! his career cass, and his legs were almost as weakly rendered him unfit to battle in the strug. as the gossamer he wove. The strongest gle for existence. He became the spider's part of him seemed to be the stiff hairs first meal. ihat covered him. They stood out inde- The second fly had but one wing. He pendently, and covered his body withi | was lean and ill-nurtured, yet he had withal
a chirpy and pleasing manner. He had ment. The fly was still, except for a neither the pompous bearing of opulence quivering motion of one of its legs. It nor the boisterous ways of rude health. was the tremor of death. He was a sweet-tempered and amiable fly, For ten minutes at least the spider did and among the local muscæ undoubtedly not move a limb. The palpi forgot to occupied the same position that Tiny Tim wave, and he abandoned himself to the did in his family. I should have let him full and gross enjoyment of his meal. I go, only I feared that, if I did so, I should forgot the fly's agonies. also release the third fly, whom my soul starved creature, safe from the persecu. loathed. Now, let me tell you why that tion of the housemaid, was revelling in fy was objectionable. He was the only the juices of a luscious fly. The gloom fly left on the window-panes, and he of his life was dissipated by a bright spot. walked over them with the arrogance of a Starvation even had a charm when follandlord. I sought to catch him, but lowed by such a meal. each attempt was more futile than the At last he fixed the fly against the last. He dodged, lie flew away from the paper with one foot, and loosened his window, he calmly floated about the room, grip, and after giving a sigh of satisfacand I followed him, fapping with my tion, proceeded to decapitate his prey. pocket-handkerchief till I visibly, per. He then held the carcass in such a man. spired. He was as cunning as the fox of ner at I thought he was going to blow Ballybogue, who, you remember, used to into it, but he did not. The pangs of take in the newspaper to see where the hunger were assuaged, and with an Epimeets were to be. My temper overcame curean manner worthy of Brillat-Savarin me, and I swore I would have that fly. he sought for some dainty morsel in the
After a hunt, which brought out all chest. my worst characteristics, I caught him, Half an hour after, he still lovingly held and deposited him in my vivarium, rejoic. his prize, although he ate no longer. The ing to myself that his death-agonies would child-rhyme was floating in his memory – be some compensation for my pains. As
Oh, what fun! soon as he got into the jar, Mr. Fly dis
Nice plum bun! covered that his poor little brother in ad
How I wish versity had a raw place where his wing
It never was done! had been torn off, and he would follow him from place to place to put his sucker I went to bed, and on the morrow another on to the sore. It was not the kindliness corpse, that of Tim, lay on the floor of of the dogs of Lazarus which led him to the bottle. His expression was placid as lick the wound. He saw that Tim did in life, and there was that beast of a fly, not like it, and as he was a nasty, bullying whom I described before, sucking at the cad, he persisted in his obnoxious per: old wound. formances. I left him disgusted. He Days went on, and Esau's digestion was a beast!
seemed a laborious process. I watched In the course of an hour or so I re. with eagerness to see whether he would turned. The sensual fly was in the arms lay his hands on his companion by force of the spider. The hunter, with his or fraud. The spider lay immovable, the quarry in bis clutch, was on the piece of fly was idly busy in security. paper, and I could see him well. Four Now, the utter disregard of decency black bead-like eyes, situated on the very paraded by that fiy would have sent a cold summit of his head, gleamed at me with shiver down the spine of any properferocity. His mandibles were stretched minded person. He hustled the corpses to their utinost. The hooked extremity of his brethren who were dead. He was of one was driven into the fly's eye, the constantly trying to extract from their other was fixed somewhere about its bodies what juices the spider had left. throat. Between these a pair of jaws He turned them on their stomachs. He were working with a synchronous and turned them on their backs. He had no scissors-like movement, and his upper and regard whatever for the deceased. lower lip (for such they were, I afterwards I sat in my armchair and pondered learned) worked, as it were, between over the levity of that wretch till the dinwhiles. As the jaws approached each ner-bell rang, and I went sorrowfully to other, the lips parted. His palps, or leg. my evening meal. “ How much superior like antenna, waved slowly as the tail of am I to that fly! If a steak from one of an angry cat; and his very spinnerets, six my fellow-creatures were laid before me, in number, stood out turuid with excite. I should reject it with abhorrence,"