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letters was a natural though very unfortunate one. The learned gentleman spoke at considerable length, and drew a most touching picture of Yriarte as a forlorn and ill-used foreigner. The hero of the story preserved his composure ad. mirably, and the prosecution maintained the silence which they had bound themselves to.

But the magistrate, who much mistrusted the appearance of the prisoners, asked so many questions that the fabric so carefully built by their counsel soon vanished. It was impossible to conceal Yriarte's character, and Anton was too plainly his tool.

The result was that the prisoners were committed for trial by jury, as the magistrate considered the case too serious, and the necessary punishment too heavy, for it to be decided in a police court. As soon as this was known, Dorothy went straight away to her home and burried to her drawing - room. There she found Ernestine walking up and down in a state of suppressed excitement, her face pale, her hands clasped tight together.

“ Is it over?” she exclaimed, as Dorothy entered.

“ Yes," said Dorothy, sinking into a chair, quite exhausted with her rapid walk.

“Is he found guilty ?”

“He is to be tried by jury; and it is expected, I heard, that he will get penal servitude for life.”

“What!” cried Ernestine, in a tone of voice that electrified Dorothy; “No-surely you don't mean it?”

“ Indeed I do.”

“ Penal servitude for life !" re. peated Ernestine: “Oh, how shock ing-how shocking! How wicked she is—how cruel ! when she-oh, it is too terrible to think of.” And, quite overcome with agitation, Ernestine covered her face with trembling hands. Dorothy looked

at her keenly, then rose, and brought her a glass of wine.

“Drink it,” she said ; “ you will make yourself ill, and you cannot afford to do so. These people can take care of themselves.”

“Yes, I suppose so; I don't understand them. But, Dorothy, think of it--a man whom she has loved! Thank Heaven, I am not in that house now.”

“But she did not love him," replied Dorothy contemptuously.

“Oh yes, she did,” said Ernestine; “ with her sort of love she did. But I never dreamed till now how near a neighbour such love is to hate."

“Have you met him?" asked Dorothy, with a look of suppressed curiosity. She was intensely puzzled by the depth of Ernestine's agitation, and the knowledge she seemed to possess of Laura's relations with Yriarte. .“ Never," answered Ernestine.

“ Well, I recognised him, and his accomplice too; oddly enough, I had seen them both before without being aware of it. I have a tenacious memory for faces. Do you remember one evening long ago, when you were coming here with me from Mrs. Vavasour's, we met a little dandy who you said had followed you from the hospi. tal ? He admired your personal appearance, and you did not return the compliment; I remember you said he ought to be put under sanitary regimen. He remarked that you were a deuced fine woman as we passed him in the street. Do you recall the man I mean?”

“I think so," said Ernestine. “Yes ; I remember the man who said that as we passed, just under a lamp-post. And that was Yriarte ! I wish I had not seen him ! I wish I had never heard of him! Oh, Dorothy, it is making a weak fool of me, this helpless position in the midst of such a hateful tragedy.''

“Dear Ernestine, I think you are When, after some moments of a nervous, and exaggerate the horrors sad silence, she raised her head of the affair. Yriarte richly again, Coventry stood opposite her, deserves his punishment, and Laura his eyes fixed upon her with is quite proud of having accom- a strange expression in them plished the duty of punishing which deeply moved her. They him.”

were full of love and a yearning “But she-how dare she take up desire to help her. such a task ? I wonder the Dorothy was not in the room. heavens did not fall on her. There is something priestly in Dorothy, don't talk to me; I am the poetic character. Poets are provoked into saying foolish things. truly the elder brothers of the I begin to see that this world race, and the younger members of is a mystery to me.”

that great family are penetrated “You are in it, but not of it,” by their insight and aided by their said Dorothy; “ you are the most spiritual experience. The true unworldly person I know, and I am ghostly father is he who can quite glad you recognise the fact breathe the rarified air of those at last. Don't put on your heights of the spirit where poetry hat in such a hurry-you are not finds her home. fit to run away to your work yet. Ernestine, looking up into his And you have not heard about my eyes, recognised in Coventry the recognising Yriarte's fellow-pri. ideal father confessor. This unsoner.”

worldly being would read rightly “ Well ? ” said Ernestine, an opened heart, and was incapable wearily.

of any of the pettinesses of or. "I knew him at once; I have dinary human nature which make seen him sitting as a model at half. confession unsafe. a-crown an hour many a time. A “He ought not to be so heavily splendidly handsome fellow; all punished,” she said, full of excitebody, and no brains-regularly run ment, and seeming not to remember to beauty as a plant runs to seed. that Coventry had only just come A mere tool in Yriarte's hands, evi- into the room, and had not been dently--he had never had any money present during her talk with to lend Yriarte, it was perfectly Dorothy. “He does not deserve plain on the face of it. The whole it, and it is wicked that she should thing was so easily seen to have be able to crush him merely for her been got up to frighten Laura, that own selfish ends—that his whole I don't at all wonder at the talk I life should be sacrificed so cruelly heard about a heavy sentence.” in order that she may be rich.

“Dorothy, don't tell me any Now I can believe in the accusamore; I am sated with horrors.” tions of cruelty which are made

Dorothy opened her eyes very against women-I never could wide indeed. “Horrors ?” she before. But what can be more repeated; “why, this is not so hideous than for a woman to condreadful."

demn a man to the life of a convict “Oh, it is, it is,” said Ernestine, because he is in her way? Why passionately; "why, the world is could she not stab him, or pay an heartless—cold, cruel-yes, heart assassin ? Such a deed would less." .

have been angelic by the side of She dropped her face upon her this, which civilisation permits and hands, which were clasped on the justice shields. I understand now table before her.

how vivisection can exist; there

are natures to whom the occupation She was talking to herself all is natural and easy. It is the in this while, only feeling an intense justice of the thing that hurts me." relief in the sense that there was

“I have often thought,” re someone in the same room with marked Coventry reflectively, “that her whom she could trust utterly. I ought rather to have christened Coventry asked no questions ; he you Themis than Minerva, you let her talk on and ease her heart, have such an instinctive love of and when she paused he turned to justice in your character.”

her and said, “ Laura has come “But,” said Ernestine, “there between you two, and spoiled the is such a crying lack of justice here, harmony of your lives. But why that one who knew all the circum- let her spoil them altogether? stances must perceive it.”

Why not let Dr. Doldy at least You know too much for your understand the motives of your peace of mind,” said Coventry, actions ?” looking at her with that expression He had touched, as he well in his eyes which seemed to draw knew, upon a tender spot. Ernesout her soul.

tine would have given ten years of “And too little to be of any real life to have Dr. Doldy understand use,” she answered ; “but I am so her conduct aright. thankful I had the courage to come “No, she said, starting to her away before this was done. If I feet; "that may not be. I have were with Arthur now, I think I tried to see the right, and will try could not hold my tongue, and let to follow it. I have a secret to Laura get all she wishes by just keep, and I will keep it; but I will putting her foot upon her lover. not be paid for keeping it.” The cold and bloodless cruelty of With which enigmatical speech this is to me intolerable. I could she departed, forgetting to say not have borne to see him sink into good-bye. Coventry was too abthis degradation of selfishness with sorbed himself to notice her rudeher-I should have betrayed her.” ness.

(To be continued.)

CONTEMPORARY PORTRAITS.

NEW SERIES.—No. 8.

CHARLES DARWIN, F.R.S.

here be su took the the "Ben In 18

CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN was born on the 12th of February, 1809, at Shrewsbury. His father was Dr. Robert Waring Darwin, F.R.S., his grandfather the celebrated Dr. Erasmus Darwin, and his maternal grandfather Josiah Wedgwood, F.R.S., the well-known potter. He was educated at Shrewsbury, under Dr. Butler, from whence he proceeded to the University of Edinburgh; there he stayed two years, and then entered Christ's College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In 1831 he sailed with Captain Fitzroy in the “Beagle,” on her voyage round the world, returning at the close of 1836. In 1839 he married his cousin, Miss Emma Wedgwood, and ever since 1842 he has lived at Down, near Bromley, in Kent.

Mr. Darwin's journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited by H.M.S. “Beagle” is universally admitted to be one of the most instructive and most charming books of travel in the English language. During his voyage he paid much attention to the interesting problem presented by the peculiar conformation of coral islands, and in the year 1842 he published his celebrated work on this subject. The circular or oval shape of so many reefs, each having a lagoon in the centre closely surrounded by a deep ocean, and rising but a few feet above the sea level, had long been a puzzle to the physical geographer. The favourite theory was that these were the summits of submarine volcanoes, on which the coral had grown. The great size of some of these "atolls" was, however, a serious difficulty. Again, as coral does not grow at greater depths than about twenty-five fathoms, the immense number of these reefs formed an almost insuperable objection to this theory. The Laccadives and Maldives, for instance, meaning literally the “ lac of islands” and the "thousand islands,” are a series of such atolls ; and it was really impossible to imagine so great a number of craters, all so nearly of the same altitude. Mr. Darwin showed, however, that so far from the ring of coral resting on a corresponding ridge of rock, the lagoons on

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