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Meredith bit his lips and hastened away with the note. It contained a plain statement to Sir Henry Clinton of the motives of Herbert's return, and every fact attending it. The note was thus finished :

“I have told you the unvarnished and unextenuated truth, my dear Sir Henry. I think that justice will dictate my brother's release, or, at least, require that he be treated as a prisoner of war; but if justice (justice perverted by artificial codes and traditionary abuses) cannot interpose in his behalf, I commend him to your mercy; think of him as if he were your own son, and then mete out to him, for the rashness of his filial affection, such measure

a father would allot to such offence.

“If my appeal is presuming, forgive me. My father is suffering indescribably, and we are all wretched. Send us, I beseech you, some kind word of relief."


Late in the afternoon, after many tedious hours, the following reply was brought to Isabella, written by Sir Henry's secretary

“ Sir Henry Clinton directs me to present his best regards to Miss Linwood, and inform her that he regrets the impossibility of complying with her wishes,—that he has no absolute power by which he can remit, at pleasure, the offences of disloyal subjects. Sir Henry bids me add, that he is seriously concerned at his friend Mr. Linwood's illness, and that he shall continue to send his servant daily to inquire about him."

“Yes, no doubt," said Isabella, in the bitterness of her disappointment, throwing down the note,

these empty courtesies will be strictly paid, while not a finger is raised to save us from utter misery!"

“My dearest child !" said her mother, who had picked up the note and reverently perused it, " how you are hurried away by your feelings ! Sir Henry, or rather his secretary, which is the same thing, says as much as to say, that Sir Henry would aid us if he could; and I am sure I think it is extremely attentive of him to send every day to inquire after your poor father. I do wonder a little that Sir Henry did not sign his name ; it would have seemed more polite, and Sir Henry is so strictly polite! I am afraid, my dear, you were not particular enough about your note. Was it written on gilt paper and sealed with wax? Isabella, do you hear me, child ?”

Indeed, mamma, I did not observe the paper, and I forget whether I sealed it at all. “Remit at pleasure the offences of disloyal subjects! Herbert has transferred his loyalty to his country, and is no longer amenable to his sovereign in another hemisphere."

“Feminine reasoning !" interposed Meredith, who entered at this moment. He stopped and gazed at Isabella, and thought he had never seen her so perfectly lovely. Watching and anxiety had subdued her brilliancy, and had given a depth of tenderness, a softness to her expression, bordering on feminine weakness. When a man has a dread, however slight it may be, that a woman is superior to him, her attractions are enhanced by whatever indicates the gentleness and dependance of her sex.

Meredith took her hand : his eyes expressed the emotion she produced, and his lips all the sympathy and none of the vexation he had felt for the last few days; and then reverting to Sir Henry, he said, “I trust the current of your feelings will change when I tell you that I have obtained an order for Herbert's release."

“God bless you, Jasper !—Oh, mamma, do you hear ?"

Pray go, my dear madam,” added Meredith, “and prepare Mr. Linwood for good news. You interrupted me, Isabella," he resumed, when Mrs. Linwood had left the room ; "your wishes always fly over the means to the end--a moment's refleclion will show


brother's release cannot be unconditional.”

“ Well-the conditions are such as can in honour be complied with ?-Sir Henry would propose no other."

“Honour is a conventional term, Isabella.”

“The honour that I mean," replied Miss Linwood, “is not conventional, but synonymous with rectitude."

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Meredith shook his head. He had an instinctive dislike of definitions, as they in Scripture, who loved darkness, had to the light. He was fond of enveloping his meaning in shadowy analogies, which, like the moon, often led astray, with a beautiful but imperfect and illusive light.

“ Even rectitude must depend somewhat on position, Isabella," he replied. “He who is under the pressure of circumstances, and crowded on every side, cannot, like him who is perfectly free, stand upright and dispose his motions at pleasure.”

“Do not mystify, Jasper, but tell me at once what the conditions are.”

Isabella's face and voice expressed even more dissatisfaction than her words, and Meredith's reply was in the tone of an injured man.

“ Pardon me, Miss Linwood, if my anxiety to prepare your mind by a winding approach has betrayed me into awkwardness. Certainly, Herbert's honour, the honour of your brother, cannot be dearer to any one than to me."

“ You have always been his friend, I know,” replied Isabella, evading Meredith's implication ; “watchful nights, and more anxious days, have made me peevish-forgive me.”

Meredith kissed the hand she extended to him. “You cannot imagine, Isabella, what it costs me to infuse another bitter drop into the cup already overflowing with accumulated anxieties. But your aunt's disasters are followed with new trials. Do not be alarmed the threatening storm may pass over."

“Oh, tell me what it threatens !"

“Sir Henry has, within the last hour, received a despatch from Washington, disclaiming all part and lot in Herbert's return to the city, and expressing his deep regret that the sanctity of a flag of truce should be brought into question by one of his own officers."

“ This was to be expected.”

“Of course. But we all know that Washington has his resident spies in this city, and emissaries continually passing to and fro, in various disguises and under various pretences. However, assuming that he is exempt from any participation

this disastrous affair, common humanity would have dictated some plea for a brave and faithful officer,--some extenuation for a rash and generous youth. But Washington is always governed by this cold, selfish policy”

“ Is there not one word ?"

“Not one !—There is, indeed, a private letter from Eliot Lee, stating that the motives of Herbert's return were wholly personal, and containing the particulars you had previously stated; and a very laboured appeal to Sir Henry, with a sort of endorsement from Washington, that these statements are entitled to whatever weight they might derive from the unquestionable integrity of Captain Lee.”

“ Thank Heaven! Eliot Lee has proved a true friend."

"Certainly, as far as writing a letter goes; but,

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