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built by Lieutenant Brown, and set more approvers and boys to the manufacture of cotton cloth. And cotton cloth they did manufacture to a considerable extent; but unluckily, when they came to sell it, they found the long cloths of another hemisphere offered in the bazaar at two shillings for six yards, while for the same money they could not afford more than seven of their own, as coarse as dowlas. This now, of course, remained unsaleable. 'Read this, men of Manchester!' says our correspondent. In the valley of the Nerbudda, where cotton is cheaper than in any part of India, and where labour is the cheapest in the worldbeing six shillings a month for weavers who will work with an Indian loom twelve hours a day-in that valley you can sell cheaper cloth than is produced at our very doors, although, to say nothing of the sea voyage of so many thousand miles, you have to bring your manufacture 800 miles inland, and pay duty on it four times after it has left Calcutta!'

What was to be done? The cloth must be used-the work must go on. It was suggested by the overseer to turn the stuff into tents; and although these had hitherto been supposed to require expert workmen, no one now saw a difficulty in teaching the Thugs anything. Expert workmen were brought from Futtyghur; and in twelve months, 100 people were employed in making tents, stamping the chintzes for lining, turning the poles, making carpets, ropes, and a score of other articles indispensable for a Bengal tent. From the year 1840 to 1847, this establishment has increased tenfold: it has now upwards of twenty large workshops, built in good style by the Thugs themselves; and among the hands are 150 boys, most of whom earn more than ordinary workmen in the town. The original 450 murderers by birth and profession who have thus been brought into habits of industry, are represented as exhibiting every appearance of contentment and comfort; their children are growing up respectable members of the new form of society of which they are a part; their wives keep their houses and village clean, and add to the family funds by spinning thread at their leisure hours, which is purchased at the factory. The wages paid to them average L.80 a month; and the goods sold exceed L.300 a month. In fine, the paltry outlay of the government has been already returned, and the establishment supports itself.

We have but one more trait to add to this cheering picture. The question is no longer how to induce the attendance of the children at the factory; but, on the contrary, the advantages derivable from permission to do so are so manifest, that the superintendent is able to make a condition with their parents. The condition is, that the children attend a school provided for them, and learn to read and write before being admitted to work! Notwithstanding all this growing prosperity, our readers will be surprised to hear that Mr Williams has as yet no assistant but a single native clerk to keep the accounts of the establishment. This would be incredible to those who are not aware of the wild extravagance of the Company in matters of show and bloodshed, and the miserable per centage on their princely revenue which they devote to the purposes of education and national progress. There are various persons in this country, however, who have an opportunity, as our correspondent suggests, of assisting the solitary overseer, and in a way perhaps conducive to the gratification of their own tastes. Models, for instance, of such simple machines as would assist him in his labours would be all-important to him: such as a brick-and-tile-making machine, a common windmill, or a warping-mill.

In the account already referred to of the Dundee School of Industry, we gave some details of the previous habits of the objects of the institution; but a picture of the same kind in the present case, besides being infinitely more painful, would have no compensating utility, referring, as it would do, to a state of society so widely different from our own. Still, with reference to the above history of their reform, we must say enough to dispossess

our readers of the idea, if any of them have formed it, that the Thugs were mere ignorant and brutal wretches, who murdered from an innate ferocity of character. On the contrary, their worst crimes were tinged with a sort of wild feeling of religion. In the establishment at Jubbulpoor they are never unwilling to relate their adventures, asserting that they were themselves but blind instruments of a higher power, sent into the world for the purpose of punishing such objects of Divine wrath as were delivered into their hands. Our correspondent states that the approvers in question were supposed to have murdered, collectively, 25,000 persons by strangulation; but he must mean, we presume, that this was the number of the victims of the gangs to which these individuals belonged. The patience, perseverance, and ingenuity they are now exercising in the arts of civilised life, receive a remarkable illustration from the following anecdote related by Colonel Sleeman himself:

'A stout Mogul officer, of noble bearing and singularly handsome countenance, on his way from the Punjaub to Oude, crossed the Ganges at Gurmuktesur Ghat, near Meeruth, to pass through Moradabad and Bareilly. He was mounted on a fine Turkee horse, and attended by his khidmutgar (butler) and groom. Soon after crossing the river, he fell in with a small party of welldressed and modest-looking men, going the same road. They accosted him in a respectful manner, and attempted to enter into conversation with him. He had heard of Thugs, and told them to be off. They smiled at his idle suspicions, and tried to remove them; but all in vain: the Mogul was determined: they saw his nostrils swelling with indignation, took their leave, and followed slowly. The next morning he overtook the same number of men, but of a different appearance, all Mussulmans. They accosted him in the same respectful manner; talked of the danger of the road, and the necessity of their keeping together, and taking advantage of the protection of any mounted gentleman that happened to be going the same way. The Mogul officer said not a word in reply, resolved to have no companions on the road. They persisted: his nostrils began again to swell, and putting his hand to his sword, he bade them all be off, or he would have their heads from their shoulders. He had a bow and quiver full of arrows over his shoulders, a brace of loaded pistols in his waistbelt, and a sword by his side, and was altogether a very formidable-looking cavalier. In the evening, another party, that lodged in the same surae, became very intimate with the butler and groom. They were going the same road; and as the Mogul overtook them in the morning, they made their bows respectfully, and began to enter into conversation with their two friends the groom and the butler, who were coming up behind. The Mogul's nostrils began again to swell, and he bade the strangers be off. The groom and butler interceded; for their master was a grave, sedate man, and they wanted companions. All would not do; and the strangers fell in the rear. The next day, when they had got to the middle of an extensive and uninhabited plain, the Mogul in advance, and his two servants a few hundred yards behind, he came up to a party of six poor Mussulmans sitting weeping by the side of a dead companion. They were soldiers from Lahore, on their way to Lucknow, worn down by fatigue, in their anxiety to see their wives and children once more, after a long and painful service. Their companion, the hope and prop of his family, had sunk under the fatigue, and they had made a grave for him; but they were poor unlettered men, and unable to repeat the funeral service from the holy Koran: would his highness but perform this last office for them, he would no doubt find his reward in this world and the next. The Mogul dismounted; the body had been placed in its proper position, with its head towards Mecca. A carpet was spread; the Mogul took off his bow and quiver, then his pistols and sword, and placed them on the ground near the body; called for water, and washed his feet, hands, and face, that he

might not pronounce the holy words in an unclean state. He then knelt down, and began to repeat the funeral service in a clear, loud voice. Two of the poor soldiers knelt by him, one on each side, in silence. The other four went off a few paces, to beg that the butler and groom would not come so near as to interrupt the good Samaritan at his devotions. All being ready, one of the four, in a low under-tone, gave the shirnee (signal); the handkerchiefs were thrown over their necks, and in a few minutes all three-the Mogul and his servants-were dead, and lying in the grave in the usual manner the head of one at the feet of the one below him. All the parties they had met on the road belonged to a gang of Jumaldehee Thugs, of the kingdom of Oude. In despair of being able to win the Mogul's confidence in the usual way, and determined to have the money and jewels which they knew he carried with him, they had adopted this plan of disarming him; dug the grave by the side of the road, in the open plain, and made a handsome young Mussulman of the party the dead soldier. The Mogul being a very stout man, died almost without a struggle, as is usually the case with such, and his two servants made no resistance.'

In conclusion, we must permit ourselves to express the pleasure we feel in having had an opportunity of recording in these pages the names of the individuals who have been the proximate agents in bringing about so happy a moral revolution. We have strong hope that the good work will spread, and that the government of India will at length be awakened more fully to a sense of its duty, and even to a sense of the glory it may acquire-if glory be its object-by following up the bloodless triumphs of peace and humanity.

THE OLD MAID FROM PRINCIPLE. 'Let him deny himself." 'COUSIN LUCY, when will you tell me why you are not married? You often promised to tell me when I was a little older. I am now nearly sixteen: is not that old enough?'

'Yes, love,' replied the mild-eyed Cousin Lucy; 'you are, I think, old enough, and thoughtful enough, to apply my tale to useful purpose; so I will defer it no longer. Let us go to my favourite seat under the fir-trees, and we can then watch the sun set, while you listen to the old maid's prosy story. Come, the shadows are stretching nearly across the lawn, and I have the history of a life to relate.'

The fir-trees crowned the brow of a gentle western declivity, along which ran the miniature moat and palisades which formed the boundary of the pleasant garden. The slope below was rich with waving corn, mellowing in the breath of a warm July. Farther still, the hedgerow elms' were here gathered into majestic groups, and there stretched away in long irregular lines, enclosing fields of every hue, presented by a rich country in high cultivation. There was the bright tender green where the young grass was springing up after the hay harvest, the duskier shade of the pastures, the yellow barley, the feathery oats, and the sombre bean-field, all studded here and there with patches of the brilliant scarlet poppy. Bounding the prospect on the right might be seen a portion of the park-like meadow belonging to the house, dotted with enormous oaks and beeches; while on the extreme left lay a wide extent of moorland, glowing with flowering gorse and heath flowers. The rich landscape swept away, diversified by an occasional village spire, a mass of darker wood, the picturesque gable of some old farmhouse, or the silvery windings of a small river, and was terminated by a chain of lofty hills, towards which the sun was just sinking in a blaze of golden and crimson light. The smell of dairy farms' mingled with the thousand luscious perfumes that hang about the air of a summer evening; and the ear was soothed by the cooing of the wood pigeons, the tinkling of sheep bells from the heath, the evening song of the blackbird, and the ceaseless murmur of a hidden brook.

A rustic bench of unbarked wood extended beneath the ancient firs, and on this Cousin Lucy and her youthful auditor sat for a while, watching in silence the sunset changes of the gorgeous landscape.

Now Cousin Lucy was by no means the venerable personage she seemed to think herself. She was not forty, and looked considerably younger; her complexion was pale and clear; her figure slight and graceful; and although the usual expression of her face, and her fine full eyes, was thoughtful almost to sadness, a sweet bright smile was ever ready to light them up as she witnessed the enjoyment of those around her.

There is no romance in my narrative,' she began, after a pause, so you must not expect any stirring incidents, flitting ghosts, or mysterious warnings. I have had my trials, it is true; but I have the satisfaction of knowing that my life has been much more useful, and far happier, than it would have been had I not borne them with a patient spirit.'

'Well,' exclaimed Margaret, it is a comfort to know at the beginning that, whatever troubles and miseries you describe, it will all end happily at last.'

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'Not according to the sense you generally give to those words, my wilding,' responded her cousin, caressing the young girl's redundant tresses; since that implies that the lovers are married, and live happily all the rest of their lives. My story, remember, is an answer to the question, Why am I an old maid?' 'Yet you seem happy?'


Nay, I know not seems: I am happy: and there is no happiness equal to that which is inspired by the consciousness of having acted rightly. But your question reminds me that I must begin my story, or night will overtake us before it is ended. You must know that my mother died when I was quite an infant. She had had many children, but of the whole number, only the eldest and the youngest grew up to womanhood. Now pray observe how many circumstances, arising chiefly from ignorance, conspired to bring my poor mother to her grave at the age of twenty-seven. She was naturally delicate, and this delicacy was increased by a boarding-school education, where the confined polluted air, the want of exercise, the tight stiff stays, and the unceasing mental exertion, completed the destruction of the little vigour she once possessed. Nevertheless, like a forced flower, she flourished precociously for a time. At sixteen, she was a woman in appearance and manners; and she had only left school a few months, when she married a man as ignorant as herself of the grave error they were committing. Within a year, she gave birth to a daughter. Six years more passed away, each being marked by the birth of a child. I was the last, and, with the exception of my eldest sister, the only one who survived the age of eighteen. All the others sunk under some form of consumption, that fell disease to which my mother had a strong constitutional bias. Shortly after my birth, she, too, showed symptoms of this disorder, and in a few months she was laid beside her children.'

Ah, then, I see why you would not marry: you feared that all your children might die of consumption?' 'Exactly. But I was not so fortunate as to learn my danger at your early years. In my young days, such subjects as physiology, or anything relating to it, were scouted, even by those who professed liberality, as quite unnecessary, if not improper, in female education. And so, for the want of the merest elementary knowledge of these important sciences, mothers, with the best intentions, bound up their daughters' figures in unyielding web and whalebone, compressed their lungs, distorted their spines, impeded the action of their hearts, shut them safely up from the free breath of nature, taught them assiduously every fashionable accomplishment and every artificial grace, but would have fainted at the vulgarity of a morning run over a breezy hill, had common sense ventured to propose such a remedy for the poor creatures' pallid cheeks and wasting forms. And as for reflecting on the effect this false system must

have on their children's children, that of course they never did. Women did not often reflect at that time, except upon the characters of their neighbours. It has often struck me as a singular anomaly, that we calculate the extent of land or the amount of money we shall bequeath to our offspring, but never bestow a thought on the health they will inherit from us!


'Well, ignorance of such matters was prevalent when my sister, then about eighteen, married a young man of good family, but no wiser than herself. My father rejoiced at the unexceptionable match, and pleased himself with flattering visions of her future welfare. short, everything seemed to me to smile upon their union, until one evening I happened to overhear a conversation that made a strong impression upon me, though I did not understand it till some years after. Our medical friend, Dr Winter, who had been on the continent for several months, and had only heard of my sister's marriage on the day of his return, was chatting with Miss Rumball, the clergyman's sister, and another lady-the wedding of course being the staple of their discourse.

"It is a great pity," said the doctor with a deep sigh; "her mother died of consumption, and I understand that his family is not free from the same malady. They ought on no account to have married. The children will pay the penalty."

"But there may not be any, you know, doctor," interposed one of the ladies (not Miss Rumball, for she, I remember, kept her eyes fixed on the point of her toe, and looked excessively shocked); "there are many happy marriages without children."

Miss Rumball here cast a horrified glance first at me and then at them. Mrs Bland stopped short; the doctor shrugged his shoulders, and walked away. I could not imagine why Miss Rumball had checked them, as if they were saying something which it was improper for me to hear; so I stood behind the window-curtain (not very creditable, you will say; and I hope you will not suspect I should do so now), that I might hear the remarks of the two ladies when the doctor was gone.


"Singular man!" said Mrs Bland, who was a warmhearted, weak-headed matron; "now, for my part, I can see no possible objection to the match; there are youth, wealth, and beauty on both sides."

"Oh, I've no patience!" exclaimed Miss Rumball, indignantly whisking the crumbs off her black silk dress; "it is dreadful, it is dis-gust-ing, to hear human beings with immortal souls talked of in that way!-actually brought down to the level of the brutes that perish! Dr Winter ought to have been a horse-dealer, or something of that sort, and then he'd have been in his proper element. One would really think, to hear him talk, that there were different kinds of human beings, just as there are of cattle and such things."


Why, I've heard him say," replied Mrs Bland, "that if we took half as much care to improve our own race as we do to improve our horses and sheep, the doctors would be obliged to turn farmers."

"Pray, my dear friend, don't repeat such things to me. The man is low."

"He is rather indelicate sometimes," said the other, urbanely siding with indignant virtue; "but then he's such a clever creature, one must make allowances for his odd little ways."

"Oh, clever! I've no patience!" exclaimed Miss Rumball.

He was the only survivor of a large family, and had lived from infancy with his widowed mother in the mildest regions of Italy. Important business at length compelled them to come to England, and it was then that Henry Goring paid his first visit to our quiet home.

'I sometimes smile, and sometimes weep, but oftener both together, when I think how very happy I was for two months after his arrival. Every object seemed to glow with radiant colours; the perfume of the commonest flowers became intoxicating; all the sounds and sights of nature spoke a new and delightful language. Music was-ah, I must not attempt to describe what music was! A strain that was familiar then, and is mixed up, as it were, with the dream-like recollections of that delightful time, will sometimes return, and wander through my brain for days and nights together, and then I sadly live over again my former happiness. But that is enough. One day you will know by experience how delightfully such moons as these roll by.

For many an hour afterwards did I puzzle my little brain to make out what they had been talking about; but, as I said before, the interpretation came at last. Six years passed away. My dear sister was blessed, as we thought it, with four sweet children-little fairies, like living lilies and roses; but her own health was delicate. But suddenly my whole attention was engrossed by a new object; and the consequences, a new and powerful feeling. This object was a cousin, a nephew of my mother. He was about twenty-two years of age, intellectual, accomplished-in short, a perfect gentleman.

'As yet, no word had been said of our attachment. We had looked into each other's eyes, and read our souls there; and we might have gone on in the same way for two months more, had not Henry been summoned to London upon the business that had brought him from Italy. This drew matters to a crisis. It was just such a lovely evening as this when he first spoke to me of his attachment. It was agreed between us that he should speak to my father the next morning. He did so; and all seemed propitious to our wishes, for my father gave a cordial consent. Another day of bliss, almost too intense for endurance, and then came my first sorrow-the departure of my lover for one whole wearisome week. Well might Moore sing

"There's nothing half so sweet in life as love's young dream!" The first-love of a girl who knows that she loves worthily-the sacred halo which her pure thoughts cast around her ardent feelings-all make of that epoch in life a veritable foretaste of heaven.

'My approaching marriage soon became the talk of the little town. Everybody said what a good match it was. Miss Rumball was quite oracular on the subject; but Dr Winter called upon my father, with a book under his arm, and after being closeted with him for nearly two hours, went away, leaving the book behind him. I met him in the hall: he stopped, looked earnestly at me for a moment; then his eyes filled with tears, and he passed on without speaking. I felt as if under the influence of a coming nightmare. I could do nothing but wander about the house and gardens, visiting again and again the spots that were rendered sacred by some association with my beloved Henry; and cherishing but one definite idea throughout all the chaos of my feelings, and that was, a firm resolve that no power on earth should prevent my fulfilling the promise I had given him.

My father remained in his study the whole day. The meals passed away without his appearing; and as I crept up stairs to bed, I saw, by a ray of light streaming through the keyhole, that he was still watching. The vague sense of approaching evil still hung over me; and as I laid my aching head upon my pillow, the words which I had heard Dr Winter utter respecting my sister's marriage rushed upon my memory, giving to this foreboding a shape of formless yet ghastly terrors. My dream of happiness was at an end!

'You may imagine I did not sleep much that night. In the morning, I hastened down, anxious to see my father. He was in the breakfast room, and a glance at his soiled dress and disordered hair showed that he had been up all night. I even thought I could detect the traces of tears on his pale and haggard cheeks. He looked at me as I entered, and then turned away with an expression of keen suffering on his face. In the midst of my agitation, that look made me think of Jephtha and his daughter. He was evidently striving to arrange his words and ideas to open some painful

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"Thank God!" he exclaimed, clasping me to his heart; and thank you too, my beloved child, for sparing me the trial I so much dreaded. I could not have hoped for this fortitude in one so young. My poor Lucy!" and as he said this he held back my face to look at me, "it is a severe trial for you, and one that ought not to have been imposed upon you; but how could I teach you that which I knew not myself? Read this book carefully. Had I been acquainted with it before I married, I should have avoided committing two grievous errors. Your noble conduct gives me the assurance that you will help me to prevent another. May God in heaven bless and reward you!" And so we parted at the untouched breakfast table.

'With a despairing calmness I shut myself up with that terrible volume, whose pages seemed to be inscribed with my death-warrant. For a while I felt prompted to blind myself to its warnings, and rush madly to the enjoyment of a brief summer-day of happiness. But calmer reason, and my father's solemn words, prevailed, and I sat down to its perusal. You shall read that book yourself one of these days: it is sufficient for me now to tell you that it explains the laws governing the transmission of qualities, mental and bodily, from parent to child; the immense amount of suffering and disease with which the world is filled in consequence of the frequent disregard of these laws; and how fearfully the sins of those who marry with a strong taint of hereditary disease are visited upon their children, even to the third and fourth generation. I now understood Miss Rumball's outcry against Dr Winter's indelicacy. She was a good sort of person, but too narrow-minded to perceive that prudery is in general far more indelicate than philosophy.

'Well, love, I must not now stand shivering on the brink of resolution, as I did when the light of that calmly-reasoned book was clearing away the mists which had made the valley of the shadow of death look like a paradise. As I read on, I saw clearly the position in which I was placed. The very affection, so ardent, so buoyant in its youthful energy, which I bore to my lover, was enlisted to oppose my marriage with him; for what true love would doom its object to the misery of seeing all his dearest ones sinking into an early tomb? Such at least was not my love; and seeing my path of duty thus strongly marked out before me, I resolved unflinchingly to follow But here was something more to be done. He, too, was deeply tainted with the same fell disease, and must therefore be convinced that marriage was forbidden to him. My own grief was nearly forgotten when I thought of this. Could I have borne the burden alone, it would have been comparatively light; but he must share it, and that indeed was bitter. To teach him to love me as a friend-to behold him happily married to some one who might marry-to train up his children, and rejoice over their health and beauty-this would have been to me a dear delight; but, alas! the ban was upon him likewise, and bound us both in the same dreary fate. All that was left me, as I now thought, was sternly to pluck out every hope of happiness from both our hearts, and make the best preparation for the early grave that yawned at our feet.

'I could fill a volume with the thoughts and emotions that passed through my mind during those few hours,

but such a recital would be useless. It is enough, that when the sharp conflict was over, and my resolution firmly bent to perform the hard task assigned to me, I felt a degree of tranquil composure that surprised myself, and which arose from a lofty faith that so great a sacrifice to truth and justice would not be made in vain.

'I went into my father's study, to concert with him the best means of breaking the subject to Henry. He was dreadfully agitated, but my calmness communicated itself to him; and when I saw that, it stimulated me to still greater efforts of self-control. He appeared astonished and delighted; and the fervent blessing he called down upon me, mingled with praises of what he called my heroic fortitude, reflected back upon me the consolation I had inspired. This was the first fruits of the faith that sustained me.

'It was agreed that I should not write to Henry immediately, but await the arrival of his next letter, which would give me time to deliberate. Sorrow seldom comes alone: while expecting this letter, we received a summons to my sister's bedside, as her illness had taken an alarming character. Her husband had carried her to Torquay soon after Henry's first arrival, and thither we followed them.

'A description of her illness would add nothing to the usefulness of my narrative, so I will not burden your young mind with it. She died a fortnight after our arrival. There is, however, one painful circumstance which I shall relate, because it bears directly on the principle I am endeavouring to enforce. This was my poor father's sorrow. He saw his daughter die, and that was grief enough; but it was trifling compared with the remorse that gnawed his soul at having first, by his imprudent marriage, inflicted upon her the enfeebled existence which could not stand the ordinary trials of a mother's life; and having then allowed her to commit the same error, by which her life was probably shortened, and her fatal malady transmitted to her four innocent children. It was no alleviation that he had acted in ignorance; he continually repeated that "he ought to have known it." The only drop of comfort in this bitter cup was derived from my patient submission to my own sorrow. To the hour of his death, he never knew what were my real sufferings; for I fortunately possess a good share of self-control, which enabled me to appear more calm than I felt. He did not see the paroxysms of agony which at times prostrated all my energy. They did not last long, however, and became daily of less frequent occurrence, for the resignation which I affected soon began to assume a real existence. I may praise myself at this distance of time, just as old ladies are permitted to boast of their youthful charms, because I have now nothing to do with disinterestedness, heroism, or anything, in fact, but taking care of my own little self, and doing such atoms of service to my fellow-creatures as chance may throw in my way. Then life appeared to me a blank-dull, hopeless, soulless. I was immolated on the altar of unrelenting justice, a sinless but unresisting victim; for the sentence was as distinct as it was righteous, and I could not wish to evade my doom. Gradually a serener mood came over me. First of all, my father required my every care: he would sit for hours plunged in melancholy reverie; and Dr Winter, a wise student of human nature, excited me to redoubled exertions, by awakening fears concerning his mental health-knowing that the surest means of drawing me from my own grief was to engross my attention with some external object. Under our united care, my father slowly regained his tranquillity; but he had sustained a shock from which he never wholly recovered.

'I had received one letter from Henry Goring, to which I had answered briefly, informing him of my sister's death. This sad event was also an excuse for leaving long unanswered that which he sent in reply, full of gentle and affectionate condolence, but not a word of our expected marriage. But the work was to

be done, and delay seemed but to magnify the evil. By Dr Winter's advice, I wrote at first vaguely, hinting that our marriage might be deferred longer than we had anticipated, but without assigning any reason. By return came his answer, assuring me that he would not press our union until my grief had quite subsided. I thought he had not taken the alarm as we intended he should do; but then followed these words in a postscript "On reading your letter again, my mind misgives me. Surely there can be no other reason than your late bereavement for any delay of our marriage? For mercy's sake do not speak to me in riddles, but write immediately, and explain." I did write as he wished, intreating him to read the fatal book, and, divesting himself as much as possible of the trammels of passion, to submit implicitly to the dictates of right and justice.

"On the evening of the following day, as I sat by my father's sofa, watching the first sound sleep which he had enjoyed for many a weary day and night, the door opened hastily, and Henry entered. I suppressed with difficulty the scream that was bursting from my lips, and rising quietly, with a gesture of silence, I took his hand and led him into the garden.

"Have you read the book?" was my first question. "I have," he replied.

"Then," said I, "you know what must be our resolution."

'Alas! I had judged too hastily. Either his feelings were stronger than mine, or he was less in the habit of controlling them. I was terrified at the storm my words aroused. The wildest expressions of love were mingled with anger, despair, bitter reproaches, jealousy, vengeance on those who had instigated me to such unnatural conduct: he was indeed shaken by a tornado of all violent emotions. He even declared, poor fellow, that changed affection was the real cause, and that the book and its arguments were only a subterfuge to get rid of him. Very, very dearly and truly did I love him, so you must not be surprised that, unaided and weak as I was, my resolution began to quail. Still I argued, I intreated, I wept; and he did the same, yielding at times to fearful paroxysms of passion. Dreading the effects of such powerful excitement upon his delicate lungs, I strove to calm him; and was about to give him a promise to reconsider my resolve, when his voice became suddenly husky and stifled, a deadly paleness displaced the brilliant flush upon his cheeks, he staggered, and fell upon a garden seat, near which we had been standing. Believing that he had fainted, raised his head, when I felt my hand covered with the hot blood that was gushing from his mouth. He had broken a bloodvessel.

'I dared not scream, lest I should arouse my father, whose reason might be wholly unseated by the spectacle that poor Henry then presented. I dared not leave him while I ran to the house; but I supported him in my arms, and looked wildly round for help; and help was at hand. Dr Winter had caught a glimpse of Henry's face as he rushed through the town in a postchaise, and had followed immediately, to sustain me by his presence and advice, or to be at hand in case of such an accident as had actually happened. He quickly summoned the servants, who, under his direction, removed the poor invalid to the bed which he had occupied a few weeks before in apparent health.

'You may be sure that every imaginable care was lavished upon him that affection and skill could suggest; but I saw from the first that Dr Winter entertained little hope. The intelligence was broken with the utmost care to my father, whose greatest anxiety was on my account; but when he saw me no less tranquil than before (paler, my glass had told me, I could not be), he resigned himself patiently to this new affliction.

'It was now the commencement of autumn; during that season, and the following winter and spring, I was a constant attendant upon Henry Goring. His mother shared with me the duties of nursing him. At first, she

treated me with great coldness, I might almost say harshness, because she thought I had sacrificed her son's life and happiness to a fantastic and unnatural whim. But when Henry himself, calmed by suffering, at last recognised the rectitude of my conduct, her manner completely changed, and she became as kind as she had before been stern. At the beginning of the spring our patient seemed to rally; but Dr Winter warned me not to be deluded by appearances. Again he sunk; again his mother thought she read returning health in the bright hectic flush; and yet again was she compelled to own that her hopes had been illusory. Amid all these apparent variations, the insidious enemy silently continued its ravages, and ere the spring was quite gone, my poor Henry slept in his grave. He died; and (mark this, dear Margaret, for it has been my consolation during all the years that have since elapsed) his last words were a blessing on me for clinging to the right.

I bore his loss with comparative patience, for sorrow had become my familiar companion; and thenceforth I devoted myself wholly to promoting my father's comfort. When he died, which was about six years ago, I became, at the invitation of your kind parents, a member of your family. And here I am still, you see; living very happily, and prepared, but not watching, for death; rendering what services I can to my fellow-creatures, and thereby securing constant pleasure to myself; fearless as to the future, careful of the present, and, above all-and oh, Margaret, think, think, think of this-free from remorse for the past! And now, do you at last understand,' continued Cousin Lucy with a gentle smile gleaming through a tear that did not fall, why I am an old maid?'

'I do, dear cousin; but may I ask you one or two questions? Will it be painful to you to say something more?'


Certainly not. It must always be a sad, but can never be a painful subject. Ask as many questions as you like; my object would be ill attained if you did not perfectly understand all that I have said.'

'I think I understand it all; but I wish to know if you did not feel as though you had been the cause of poor Mr Goring's accident? I think I should.'

'In the first burst of grief I did; but I was soon convinced that I had done right, and that left no room for self-reproach.'

And yet you must have been very miserable when you reflected that you could never have a kind husband, or loving children to comfort you: you who are so fond of children too?'

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For that very reason, how much more miserable should I have been to see those children blighted in their youth; or, dying myself, to know that I left behind me unfortunate beings whom I had endowed with mortal disease! With what tranquillity could I meet death, knowing that my life had been injurious to the world-that I had spread contamination throughout unborn generations-that by my deliberate and premeditated guilt, incurred from intensely selfish motives, I had increased, to the utmost of my power, the mass of human misery? Is not my present lonely life preferable to this?'

'A thousand times!' exclaimed Margaret; 'as your poor sister must have felt. What became of her children?'

'By very great care, they were reared to the age of man and womanhood; and then, one by one, they dropped off, and now all are dead.'

To what can you attribute your own exemption from this dreadful disease?'

In the first place, to my having been brought up from my earliest infancy in a very healthful farmhouse; and secondly, to the incessant watch which I keep over my health, thanks to the judicious advice of Dr Winter. In short, to avoid being thrown a sickly burden upon my friends, my existence is one continued course of selfdenial. Am I invited to a ball (and you know that I am

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