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THE SCARLET SHAWL.

CHAPTER I.

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WILL,she said, underlining the word rather viciously.

Percival thought she looked so handsome as when she was deter. mined to have her own way.

They were not yet married these two, but she did not conceal her temper. His friends told him it looked very bad for their future ; but he could not see any defect, which was the strongest sign of his really being in love.

Most of our lovers now-a-days are so calm and critical They examine their ladies with an eyeglass, and “spot” (as they call it) the weak points, rather priding themselves on their ability to discover blemishes, much as they would over a horse.

It is bad form now to shut the eyes in the old way, and accept her as perfection. The development of intellect and the

progress of education require us to reject the impulses of the heart, and to submit everything to the test of reason. Besides, most of the fellows have been in love so many times before they run the final heat, that it would be strange indeed if they did not go a little "stale” after such stiff training.

Walking unnoticed behind two young ladies the other day, aged, at a guess, respectively seventeen and eighteen, we overheard them compare their experience (!) of the men, and mutually come to the conclusion that they were frightfully wicked. They believed they never went to church of their own accord !

Delightful simplicity!

Louis Napoleon was the apostle of the non-enthusiastic and refined stolid cultus. His moustaches never curled one hair'sbreadth the less, whether he was cheered on the Boulevards or bombarded at Sedan.

He was the prophet of the “take it cool” religion. Percival, however, had a nervously sensitive organization-savagely sanguine and barbarously vigorous. He never could screw himself down quietly into kid-gloves and dress-coats. Not but that he was civilized on the surface-only you had not got to scratch the soil very deeply before you came to nature, and nature in tropical profusion.

He knew it was no good; still he went on, trying to persuade her in the softest of voices. There was a pleasure even in the power, if not to divert her resolution, at least to make her defend it. He was going the right way to get her in a passion-he felt that; and yet he went on, under something of that sort of peculiar fascination which the exercise of cruelty-say, pulling a cat's tail-seems to possess over some Ininds.

A temper was, in the abstract, a bad thing; but this girl had got a way of making you accept her blemishes beauties. She was a most irregular creature. There

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was nothing about her with which fault could not be found. She had a trick, for instance, of looking down in the mildest way at the carpet when she was getting irritated, till the blue-veined eyelids were almost closed, and the long lashes drooped on the cheek; and as the eyebrows were singularly arched, and set somewhat higher than the upper edge of the orbit of the eye, this habit gave her such an expression of modest self-depreciation that was fearfully deceptive. It only wanted a quiver of the eyelid and the lifting of one corner to make the face insinuatingly wicked.

It was impossible to finally determine the colour of her eyes.

Most of her dearest female friends, who hated her, said they were green and cat-like. Two or three, with a refinement of detraction, said they were an uncommon grey, with a snatch of eau-deNil, and very distingué looking.

These eyes were a constant source of uncertainty to Nora.

She admired every other part of herself devoutly, but about them she could never make up her mind

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