it as a final stopping-place. In the last alternative the child must die.

He would court Marian Deschamps, win her confidence and then decide. But Marian was a golden girl and knew the ring of the genuine metal when suitors came to woo. Marian disliked the Rector. One blink of Charlie Bloomfield's bonny brown eye when she met him at the County ball, was to her as sunshine to the growing corn, as rain to the early violets. Charlie deserved his good fortune, albeit he only dreamed of Marian with a young man's first, unselfish love; too shy to seek her yet.

I have thought how to young Shakspere, the boy Shakspere, when Rosalind, Ophelia, Desdemona, Juliet and all that dainty train slept still in the half-opened calyx of his soul like the rich perfumes in some budding rose,-I have often thought, I say, how came the first love-fancy that stirred his being? Was it in those ferny glades where he watched at nightfall for the fallow deer? Was it dreaming on some bank by Avon, where the eglantine drooped its long sprays to the enamored stream? Doubtless then the veriest Dulcinea del Toboso of all the country maids was apparelled to his sight in a mist of rainbows, viewed through the poetical distance from the common thought that lends enchantment to the view. And I have lain, gazing up through midsummer haloes at the constellations, and mused, I too a dreamer in my humble way, what if in some world showing there its slender crescent, pendant there like a diamond of light, this fair, brave dream of youthful love grows up to be more than realized? Perhaps somewhere, in one of those enchanted islands, the Shaksperes of a kingly race find womanhood all radiant with its own intense perfections, walking apparelled in royal queenliness and needing not the enhancing lustre that lingers in the poet's eyes. I am a dreamer still sometimes. Well, we shall all know one day. Sure I am that the good live somewhere. They

live! And life, so far as it is really human, is love, only love. Take courage, Oh, weary heart, drop not hopeless tears upon this printed page; hold on to thy faith in Providence. Thou shalt be loved and love again.

And Charlie Bloomfield was loved, his mother loved. him. Saucy Nelly, reading this, toss back your flaxen ringlets in disdain; think of the manly fellow who sits by your side unreproved. You are engaged to be married; contrast him with "Ma." But Nelly, a word in your ear. His love has not been tried like that of your mother. I would not stir the gentle breast with any thought of pain; but scorn not that proved affection in this rich prospect of happiness before you. She will twine the orange sprays in those redundant curls and hold back the tears in her shadowed eyes that her darling may not see her weep. But, should all the world prove false, and your heart's flower be plucked only to be trodden under foot, that mother will seek you through a thousand shames, and gather you, in your faded beauty, to her breast again, and cry "Harm her not; she is mine!"



The fun was at its height. Invisible Momus shook the buttons upon his coat for very glee. Epaphroditus Wagge, Past High Mitre of King Hezekiah's Temple of the Grand Consolidated Order of Ancient and Venerable Antediluvians, held a private symposium of a few choice spirits that night in his own hospitable domicile. Apparent in the atmosphere was a prevailing aroma of broiled bones. The service of plate and the emblematical goblet of pure britannia shone conspicuous, and, in their honest faces, reflected the broad grins which distended the cheeks and flattened out the rubicund noses of the jolly mortals around the board. Old Roger Benbow was there, Roger the Forester, master of the hounds at Riverside. An emblematical dogcollar was engraved upon his watch-seal, and he wore a fox's head as a shirt pin. His hair was foxy; indeed, sitting there among so many of the disciples of king Rameses, he might remind one of the game of fox and geese. What brought Roger to Sloppery? Lemons, loaf sugar and prime spirits, mysteriously concocted into the beverage called punch? There were lemons, muscovado and glenlivet in Roger's own private cupboard. Broiled bones were no incentive; his were the choice delicacies of the larder at Riverside Hall. Roger was a judge of claret too, and knew the situation of the late Earl's special and private bin. What brought Roger to Sloppery? He sat there grim and grizzly, like a polar bear who must thrust his nose into the lodge of a

sociable party of Esquimaux fishermen. What wanted Roger? Roger wanted ten thousand pounds. Roger had unearthed foxes, weasels and badgers, and found otters in their holes beneath the shelving banks of many a deep, thick wooded stream. Roger had trapped pole-cats and fished with young gudgeons for pike, not without success. Roger was bent, in his vaulting ambition, at unearthing an heiress. Roger looked at the fox's head upon his cane and said "mum." The fox's head looked back at Roger and was mum.

The Glee club was melodious. It was decidedly melodious. Epaphroditus Wagge had sung a classic ode. Mirthfulness twinkled in every dimple of the goblet of pure britannia that crowned the feast, and Momus, invisible genius of the occasion, shook out the very essence of laughter from his perfumed wig, and sent it floating all around the room. Worse fellows than Momus in this world! Aminadab Vampire was there. Within the dried mummy of his withered shape dwelt a grinning imp, fond of sitting at the tables of good men and of imbibing at their expense. Brickdust was there; Brother Nasal was not there. Hot gin and sugar has its votaries; I am not one. I love no mirth that has to be burned out of its hiding-place in the breast with the red-hot poker of British spirits. Wit should be born, like a sparkling fellow as he is, from the gleam of the good man's evening fire, when it lights up the happy domestic circle. Wit should never be kindled by the sparks of a burning household. Jolly laughter, "holding both his sides," has no natural proclivity for close and fetid rooms, for muddled brains and miserable, drunken faces, that need to be stimulated to a grin. I abominate the mirth that poor men buy at the ale-house or the gin palace of a Saturday night, at the expense of the pair of shoes that Tommy should have to cover his little bare feet, or the stuff gown and linsey

woolsey petticoat that Jane needs in this cold winter wea ther. Out on it!

But Epaphroditus Wagge was jolly; in fact a very prince of jollity. His mirth was a great coat that covered him in winter and an oil-skin jacket for a rainy day. If there is any special luminary called the Fun Star, known to old Chaldeans, that bore rule in the horoscope of Epaphroditus. He made others funny. He talked fun, acted fun, and in fact bred fun by his presence everywhere. But the civilian was grave upon occasions too. He gave a guinea to poor Adam Taffrail, who lost his leg at Trafalgar and now wears a wooden one, with a tear in his eye for Adam's misfortune and a jest at his tongue's end for the oaken stump. He could, when benevolence plead by him, draw more crowns and even sovereigns from Richmanstown, for a case of real suffering, than Brother Nasal, with all his starch and tallow, his fire-works and his fountains of waters, from sympathetic and groaning Ebenezer. He was even known to have borrowed Lugubrius Glim's new hearse and his black mare, without leave, for the purpose of conveying to its bereaved and inconsolable parent a youthful member of the Bacon family, whom said Glim had run over, to the dislocation and serious injury of its locomotive organs, while returning at full speed from one of his professional pilgrimages. Piggy was the property of Brickdust, Flint & Co., and was duly converted, in process of time, to potted meats for the colonies and sausages for Richmanstown-cum-Sloppery. Wagge and Glim from that date were as Pompey and Cæsar to each other, or as Marius and Sylla, sworn foes. Wagge was a lover of his species, Glim a lover of the specie of the species. Wagge and Glim, they too, reader, are journeying fast, one by the way of Ebenezer, the other by the path of king Hezekiah's Temple, to the road's end! Hoard your guineas, Glim, and, with a boast of zeal for the Great Master's name, turn Charity Green shivering and hungry from

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