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“We should be accused,” he continued, " of being nothing better than a pair of match-makers, abusing the trust which had been placed in us for the benefit and advancement of our own son."

“But, Gideon, if all circumstances were known, I am sure the whole world would absolve us from having been actuated by any such motive." "I am not so sure of that, my dear," said her husband. “At

äny rate I beg you will not speak to me again on the subject, nor attempt in any manner to elicit any feeling of affection between Giddy and Charlotte. On the contrary, watch over them, and if you see a tendency to anything of the kind (and they are both at a somewhat susceptible age) put a stop to it. If I see any symptoms of too great an intimacy arising between them, I shall certainly take steps to prevent their meeting as frequently as they have hitherto done."

Mrs. Harcourt, with true feminine duplicity in matters of the kind, promised to carry out her husband's instructions, determining at the same time to bring about the match if she could. It is more than probable that the idea of an ultimate union between his son and Charlotte Brandon was not as repugnant to Harcourt's feelings as he pretended. Certainly he fell readily into his wife's suggestion that Giddy should accompany them to Paris, “ As,” he said, " he thought nothing would better open the lad's mind, and do away with many of those prejudices which boys who had not travelled were apt to contract in English public schools.

CHAPTER XXV.

A CONTINENTAL TRIP. GIDEON HARCOURT had taken upon himself to superintend the law proceedings necessary to be accomplished in settling the sum of twenty thousand pounds on Charlotte Brandon. The progress he made in drafting the deed of settlement was very slow, and nearly a month had passed before it was fully completed for Messrs. Thornburg and Potts to carry through. It must not be imagined that this tardiness arose from any want of interest Gideon took in the responsibility he had accepted. Brandon, who was anxious to have it completed without delay, had spoken once or twice to Harcourt on the subject, when, one evening, after dinner, the latter said to him:

“I wish, Brandon, to have a little conversation with you on a somewhat delicate point. I should not have mooted it had it not related in some way to yourself, but in a far greater degree to Charlotte. Your name in connection with that unfortunate circumstance which occurred, and to which I will not particularly allude, renders you peculiarly liable to detection ; and although the adoption of your Christian name as a surname might to a certain degree make it less dangerous, I would submit to you the better plan would be to adopt entirely another surname. This is frequently done. True, you may read in the papers of the Crown giving permission to an individual to bear the name and arms of another, but the name is not unfrequently changed without it. In your case, perhaps, the maiden name of your mother might be added to your own. The few young friends Charlotte has may easily be made to believe that her change of name has been caused by a large fortune left to you, and to which the fact of your settling so great a sum of money on her will give great plausibility. It appears to me that if you do so you will be able to remain without the slightest fear of detection, especially if you do not habitually reside in London.”

“I am perfectly ready to adopt the course you suggest,” said Christian, “and am obliged to you for proposing it. My daughter will thus be relieved from the stigma of bearing the name of a convicted felon, though I flatter myself that the last ten or twelve years of my life have, to a certain extent, absolved the crime I formerly was guilty of. Yes, I like the idea immensely."

"What name will you assume, then ?" asked Harcourt.

“I cannot do better than adopt the one you suggested. My mother's maiden name was Gourlay." “That you definitively decide on?” said Harcourt.

Certainly, and to-morrow I will order cards to be printed with that name.'

The reader may reasonably inquire what should have induced Harcourt to take so much interest in this subject, and to return a satisfactory answer would be somewhat difficult. Even the best that could be given might induce the belief that, notwithstanding the lecture to his wife on the impropriety of encouraging any matrimonial views between their son and Charlotte Brandon, Harcourt was not as free from them himself as he pretended. The most charitable way of looking at the affair would, perhaps, be that the idea was latent in him without his being aware of it. Certain it is, that it would render it far more easy for him, in case the union should ever take place, to introduce the father of his future daughter-in-law by a name more respectable than the one he had formerly borne, however honourable his life afterwards might have been. However, all this is simply conjecture; and although very reasonable suspicions to the contrary might arise in the reader's mind, Harcourt thought he was solely instigated in advising a change of name by the interest he felt in his friend.

The deeds were at length completed, and all was now in readiness for their departure for the Continent so soon as Giddy should return from school. Christian Brandon had his cards printed as “Mr. Christian B. Gourlay,” the name by which he was to be known in

future. Mrs. Harcourt had informed her son by letter of this change in the name, hinting that it was in consequence of a fortune which had lately been left him, Giddy having been kept in ignorance of Brandon's true history, always imagining that he was a merchant in America who had left his daughter under the care of his (Giddy's) father, who had been appointed her guardian under the will of her aunt. Giddy at last arrived from Eton, and was introduced to Mr. Gourlay, who accosted the lad with great cordiality. He looked at him with much interest, and that not merely from the good feeling he would entertain for a son of an old friend, but from the handsome and attractive appearance of the young fellow himself.

It would do an injustice to Giddy to say that he strongly resembled his father, for, although Harcourt's countenance was indicative of great intelligence, he was still by no means handsome, though, at the same time, far from being ugly. His son, on the contrary, was remarkably good-looking, with a clear expansive brow, well-marked features, and an open, bold, confiding expression of countenance. It was one of those so frequently met with among English boys in our great public schools. While perfectly good-tempered, and even amiable and docile, there were, at the same time, about him positive indications that an offence could not be offered with impunity, and that the difficulties lying in the way of any enterprise he might be about to attempt would rather stimulate him to exertion than otherwise. Again, he was like Christian when a boy, remarkably well made, powerfully knit together, though supple and tall for his age. The impression made by Christian on Giddy was scarcely less favourable. He admired the good-humoured, open expression of his countenance, and from the interest he took in athletic exercises, the great strength visible in the form of Charlotte's father particularly attracted his attention and admiration.

At the time of the introduction Mr. and Mrs. Harcourt and Charlotte were all in the room, and each watched the meeting with considerable interest. Mrs. Harcourt drew from it the most favourable conclusion. With the perspicuity of a true woman in matters of the kind, she easily perceived her son had made a most pleasing impression on Christian. Although it would be wrong to imagine that Charlotte yet entertained anything beyond a sisterly affection for Giddy, that was sufficiently strong to cause her much pleasure in seeing the welcome reception her father had given him. What Harcourt's ideas on the subject were it would be difficult to say beyond the fact, that Christian's friendly tone and manner gave him great satisfaction.

In the evening the family met in committee to arrange matters for their trip, as it was now within two days of the time arranged for their departure. Harcourt had written to Meurice's, in Paris, to

reserve an apartment for them, and a reply had already arrived to say it would be ready for their reception.

Miss Fanny Turner, the lady whom Mrs. Harcourt had engaged as companion for Charlotte, and who was to remain with her during the whole time she was on the Continent, now joined the party, so as to be in readiness to start with them. The choice of a lady for the appointment had caused Mrs. Harcourt much anxiety and trouble. To do her justice, the one she selected from many applicants did her judgment great credit. Miss Turner was in every way qualified for the post. She was intelligent, amiable, and well educated. She had resided many years on the Continent, and spoke both French and Italian with great fluency. In the French language especially it would have been difficult to distinguish her from a native. In age and staidness of deportment she also was well adapted for the duties she had to perform. The number of summers she had seen might have amounted to thirty, one or two more or less. In person she had many attractions. Though somewhat tall in stature, she was remarkably well formed, and her features delicate and regular, with an expression of countenance both gentle and confiding. Altogether she was a very loveable girl or woman, as the reader may consider a lady of her age. Indeed, so attractive was she, that at first Mrs. Harcourt had some little objection to engage her, thinking the attention she would receive might disturb her thoughts from the surveillance she was expected to exercise over Charlotte. On making further inquiries, however, Mrs. Harcourt's scruples vanished, for she found Miss Turner had been for many years engaged to a curate, whom she tenderly and faithfully loved, and to whom she was to be married as soon as he could find any one liberal enough to present him with a living, which appeared at the time a very remote probability. During the two days Miss Turner resided with the family prior to leaving England, she contrived to gain Charlotte's confidence, and for many years afterwards they remained excellent friends.

The day at length arrived for their departure, and all were in high spirits. Not one of the party, with the exception of Miss Turner, had hitherto visited France, and great indeed were their expectations at the pleasure they should receive. The eyes of both Charlotte and Giddy seemed positively to sparkle with delight, and indeed it would almost have been difficult for the reality to have surpassed the satisfaction they felt in anticipation of what was in store for them. The carriage at last came to the door, and they proceeded to the railway station, where they were to take the train to Folkestone, that line having lately been completed. Of their journey and adventures by diligence to Paris little need be said beyond that each successive object gave them a fresh delight, which possibly was still further increased by the happiness they felt in each other's society. Arrived in Paris, they engaged a professed cicerone, who accompanied them in their visits to all the many sights and curiosities there to be seen. When these were finished, then for the first time a sensation of sorrow began to be felt by all-the rapidly approaching day for their parting, as Harcourt, notwithstanding his best wishes to remain longer with his friends, found it imperative that he should return to the duties of his profession in London.

The feeling of depression continued to increase till within two days of Harcourt's departure, when it was somewhat relieved by his allowing his wife and son to stay a fortnight longer. Mrs. Harcourt, notwithstanding her love for her husband, would willingly have made it a month, but this wish of his wife's Harcourt positively refused to gratify. He urged that Gideon's holidays would then have expired, and he must return to his studies. A somewhat animated conversation ensued on the subject between the husband and wife, Mrs. Harcourt saying that probably Giddy might never have another opportunity of visiting Paris, and that it was cruel not to allow him to remain there as long as possible.

"I am sorry to refuse you anything, my dear,” said her husband; " but still prudence must be kept in view. Giddy is now getting almost old enough to leave Eton for Oxford. Although a good lad, he is, I am sorry to say, by no means as far advanced in his education as I could wish, and it is absolutely necessary he should pursue his studies with greater energy than he has hitherto done. Indeed, not a day ought to be lost. He has to make his way in the world, and that in the present day is not done by energy and perseverance alone, but requires a good education as well.”

" What nonsense it is of you to talk in that manner,” said Mrs. Harcourt. You really speak as if the boy had not a shilling in the world. With his expectations, there is no occasion for him to work like the son of a country curate."

“His expectations !” said Harcourt, looking at his wife with surprise. “And what may they be, might I ask ?”

His wife merely shrugged her shoulders, and remained silent.

“I think I understand you," continued Harcourt. “Now, I warned you before that I would not have you entertain any subject of the kind. It is utterly derogatory, if not dishonourable.”

“Gideon, you worry me!" said his wife; "what is the use of your going on in that manner ?"

" I should be sorry there should be any difference between us Gideon commenced slowly, sententiously, and emphatically.

"Nonsense !” said his wife, interrupting him. “I say nonsense, Gideon. There is no difference in opinion between us; or, if any, it is simply that you act the hypocrite, and I do not. You have the thing at heart as much as I have, with all your plausibility. Now, I

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