|Chapter Number||XXIX - XXXII|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
By the author of " lady Hutton's Ward," &c.
ÍHE dinner party was over, and carriage [ter carriago rollod up to tho Hall; the rooms I an to fill ! tlicr0 wttB a faint 90UDli of mU9'°>
fflurmur of conversation and laughter.
* ,, -you have not forgotten your promise to me, j[i«s Earle ?" «aid Lord Airlie. " I am to havo
I drat danco, and tho last certainly, and aa mMy moro as you can sparo."
« I havo not forgotten," replied Boatrico. She was never quito at her easo with him, although Bhe loved him bettor than any one oleo
earth. There wore over present with her ¡he consciousness that she did BO love him and the wonder if ho cared for her.
They opened tho ball, and many significant commonts wero made upon tho fact. Gaspar ' Laurence was present. Ho waa deoply engaged
for more than two hours in making up his mind ^bother ho should aBk Boatrico to donee with him or not,-BIIO looked so boautiful, so far aboro him. GaBpar could not help loving her, -that was impossible ; the first moment ho saw ber she took completo possession of him. But his was a humble, hopeloBS kind of adoration. He would soonor havo dreamed of wooing and »inning ono of tho " cold bright storB " than of ever BBking her to bo his wife.
At length ho summoned courago, and was re- garded by a bright Bmilo and kind words. Poor Gaspar!-when tho beautiful face was near him, and his hand rosted on tho round arm, ho thought ho must bo dreaming.
« There," ho said, when tho danco WBB over, " I shall not danco again. " I Bhall not Uko to lose the memory of that waltz."
" Why not ?" she aaked, wonderingly.
111 must bo candid with you," aaid Gaspar, sadly. " Porhops my confession is a vain one ¡ but I love you, Miss Earle-so dearly that tho ground on whioh you stand ¡B Boorod to mo."
" That is not a very timid declaration," said Beatrice, with a smile. "You aro courageous, Mr. Lawrence. I hove only Been you threo
" It would make no difference," said Gaspar, " if I had seen you only once, or if I met you every day. I am not going to pain you, Miss Earle. Think kindly of mo,-I do not ask more ; only remember that, living in this world, there ia ono who would stand botwoon you and all peril,-who would sacrifico bia life for you. You will not forgot ?"
" I will not," said Beatrice, firmly. " Novor could I forgot such words. I am willing to bo your friend,-I know how to valuo you."
" I shall be happier with your friendship than with the love of any other woman," said Gaspar, gratefully.
Just thon Lord Earle carno up, and took Mr. Lawrence away. Bcatrico stood where he had left hor, half screened from sight by tho luxuri- ant foliage and magnificent flowors of a raro Amorican plant. Thero WBB a thoughtful, tondor expression on hor face, that aoffonod it into wondrous beauty. She liked Gaspar, and was both pleased and sorry that ho loved her. It «as very pleasant this delicioUB homngo of love, -pleasant to know that strong, bravo, gifted men laid all thoy had in tho world at her foot to know that her looks, smilcB, and words moved them as nothing olso could.
Yet she was sorry for Gaspar. It must bo sad to giro all one's love and expoct no return, Sho would bo his friend,-never anything moro. She could giro him her sincoro admiration and esteem, but not her love.
The proud, beautiful lips quivered, and tho bright oyes grow dim with tears. No, not hor love,-that was givon, and could never be re- called. In all tho wido world, from amongst all men, Lord Airlie's faco stood out, clear and dis- tinct. Living or dying, Lord Earlo's daughtor know sho would care for no othor man.
She had taken one of tho crimson flowers in
her hand, and seomed loat in contemplating it. She neither saw the blossom nor tho leaveB. She was thinking of Lord Airlio'ß faco, und tho last words ho had said to her, when suddonly a shad ow fell before her, and, looking up hastily, 3ho saw him by her side. Ho appeared unliko himself, palo and anxious.
" Beatrice," ho said, " I muBt speak with you j pray como with mo, away from theso people. 1 eau bear this suspenso no longer."
She looked at him, and would havo refused ; but Ehe saw in his face that which compolled
obedience. For Lord Airlio had watched Gas par Lawrence,-he had watched tho dance and the interview that followed it. He saw the softened look on her face, and it half maddened him. For the first timo in his lifo Lord Airlio was fiercely jealous. Ho dotoBtod this fair haired Gaspar, with his fund of German ro- mance and pootry. Could it bo that ho would win the prizo ho himsolf would havo died to securo? What was ho Baying to her that
softened her fnco ? What had ho said that left i her standing thero with a tender light in her dark eyes which he had never seen beforo ? Ho could not bear the suspense. Perhaps a ball- room might not bo tho most appropriato placo for an offer of marriago, but he must know his fate, let it bo what it might. He went up to her and mado his request.
" Whero aro you going?" asked Beatrice, suddenly j for Lord Airlio hod walked rapidly through tho Euito of rooms, crowded with people, and through the long conservatory,
" We ore not alone," ho ropliod, " Seo, Lady lawrence and Mr. Gresham prefer the rose garden hero to those worm rooms. I must
speak with you, MÍBS Earle. Let mo speak
Thoy stood in the pretty garden, whore rosos of various Eines and huo hung in rich profusion s the air was heavy with perfumo. Tho moon shone brightly in tho evening sky j itB beamB fell upon the flowers, bathing them in floods of »ilrer light.
A little rustic garden-seat stood amidst the sleeping roses ; and there Beatrice sat, wonder- ing at the Btrong emotion sho read in her lover's
"Beatrice," ho said, "I can bear it no longer, ^ny did Gaspar Lawrenco bend over you? "bat vras he saying ? My darling, do you not now how I love you, so dearly and BO deeply, 'bat I could not livo without you ? Do you not »ow that I have loved you from the first foment I ever beheld you? Beatrice," he said hoarsely, "my wordä aro Tflaki j^ at me_ "ad tho love in my faco that my lips know not
how to utter."
But Bho never raieed her eyes to his j tho glorious golden light of love that had fallen uP°n her dazzled her.
" So« must not eond me from you, Beatrice," T. saia' clnsP¡ag her hand in his. "I am a
8 man' n°t given to weakness ¡ but believe
me, ' if you send mo from you it will kill mo. Every hope of my lifo is centered in you. Beatrice, will you try to care for me ?"
Sho turned her faoo to his,-tho moonlight Bhowed clearly tho bright tearB in her dark eyes, for answer sho eoid, simply,
" Do not leavo mo,-I caro for you now j my love-my love-did you not know it ?"
The sweet face and quivoring lips were so near him, that Lord Airlie kisBod tho tears owoy ; ho also kissed tho white hands that clasped his own.
" You aro mino-my own," ho whispered j " until death j say so, Boatrico."
" I am yours," she said, " oven in doath."
The moon abono ; numerous flowers filled tho air with perfumo-far off carno tho sound of dolicious music ; it was a stolon half-hour, but BO full of happiness that it might have brightenod many lives. Youth, beauty, lovo, ah, why do thoy dio ?
"I must go," said Boatrico, unelaBping the firm hands that hold hor own. " Oh, Lord Airlio, how am I to meet thoso people ?-why did you not wait until to-morrow ?"
" I could not," ho said ; " and you porhaps
would not thon havo been BO kind." Ho loved
hor all the moro for her simplo words. As thoy loft tho gardon, a whito ro6o bonding down from
a toll troe touched his face.
Lord Airlio gathered it, and gave it to Boa- trico. Long aftorwnrds, when the loaves had bocomo yellow and dry, tho rose was found.
Thoy romaincd in the conservatory a few minutes, and thon went back to the ball-room.
" Every waltz niuat bo mino now," said Lord Airlie. " And, Beatrice, I shall speak to Lord Earle to-night. Aro you willing ?"
Yes, she was willing. It WBB very pleasant to bo taken possession of BO completely. It was pleasant to find a will stronger than hor own. She did not oaro how soon all tho world know sho lovod him. Tho only thing abo won- dered at was why sho should bo so unspeakably happy.
BÉATRICE novor rocolleoted how tho ball
ondod ¡ to hor it was one long tranco of happi- ness. She heard tho music, tho murmur of voices, as though in a dream. Thero wero timos when ovorything seemed brightor than usual ; thoso wero when Lord Airlio stood by her Bide. Her heart and mind wero fillod with unutterable peaco and joy.
It was strange, but in that hour of happiness alio nover even thought of Hugh Fernoly ; the remembrance of him novor onco crossed hor mind. Nothing marred tho fulnoss of hor con-
She Btood by Lady Earlo's sido as guest after guest carno up to Bay adieu. She saw Lord Airlio waiting for her father.
"Lord"Earle will bo ongagod for BOIUO time,I fear," ho said. "I must seo him to-night. Beatrice, promiao mo you will not go to rest until your father has given UB his consont."
She could not oppose him. Whon girls like Boatrico Earle once learn to love, thero is some- thing almost wistful in the oomploto abandon mont of thoir will. Sho would fain havo told him, with goy, toosing words, that ho hod won concession enough for ono night ; as it was, she Bimply promised to do OB ho wished.
Lord Earle reccivod tho porting compliments of hie guests, wondering at tho samo timo why Lord Airlio kopt near him, and seemed unwil- ling to go out of his sight. Tho happy moment arrived whon tho last carriage rolled away, and the family at Earloseourt wore loft alone Lady Earlo asked tho two young girls to go into her room for half an hour " to talk over tho ball.'
Lionel, sorry the ovoning was over, retired to bia room j then Hubert Airlie went to Lord Earlo nnd asked if ho might spoak with him for
" Will it not do to-morrow ?" onquircd Ro- nald, Bmiling as ho held up his watch ; " soo, it
is öfter 2 o'clook."
" No," roplied Lord Airlio ; " I could not pass another night in BUspenBO."
" Como with mo then," said tho muster of Earloseourt, as ho led the way to Ihp library, where the lampB wero still lighted.
" Now what is it ?" ho BBkcd, good-humoredly, turning to the excited, anxious lover.
" Perhaps I ought to study my words," said Lord Airlio, " but I cannot. Lord Earlo, I lovo Beatrice OB no one clso ovor con love her. Will you give her to me to bo my wife?"
" Sooner than to any one oleo in tbo world," replied Ronald ¡ " is Bho willing ?"
" I think so," was tho answer, Lord Airlio's heart thrilling with happiness aB he romombored
" Lot U3 see," said Lord Earlo. Ho rang the boll, and sent tbo man who attended for his daughter.
Lord Airlie novor forgot the beautiful blush- ing face half turned from him as Boatrico en-
tered the room.
" Beatrice," said her father, clasping her in his arms, " is this true P Am I to givo you to
Lord Airlio ?"
" If you pleaso, papa," she whispered.
"I do pleaBo," ho cried. "Hubert, I give you a treasuro beyond all prico. You moy judge my daughter's love from her own words. I know it has never been given to any one but you. You aro my daughter's first lover, and hor first lovo. You may tako hor to your hoart, well satisfied that she has never cored for any ono else. It is true, Beatrice is it not ?"
" Yes," sho said, faltering a moment, as for tho first time she remembered Hugh.
"To-morrow," continued Lord Earle, "wo will talk of the futuro ; we aro all tired to-night. You will sleep in peace, Airlie, I suppose ?"
" If I sleep ot all," ho replied.
" Well, you understand clearly that had the choice rested with mc, I should have selected you from all others to take charge of my Bea- trice," Baid Lord Earle. "Do not wait to thank mc. I havo a faint idea of how much a
grateful lover has to say. Good night."
" What is it, Beatrico ?" asked Lillian, as the the two sisters stood alone in the bright little dressing-room.
11 can hardly tell you in Bober words," she replied. " Lord Airlie has aeked me to be his wife,-his wife ; and, oh, Lilly, I love him so dearly."
Pride nnd dignity aU broke down j tho beau- tiful face waB bent upon Lillian's shoulder, and Beatrico wept happy tears.
" I loved him BO, Lilly," she went on ; " but I neTer thought he cared for me. What havo I done that I should be so happy ?"
The moonbeams fell upon no sweeter picture than these fair young sisters, Lillian's pure, spiritual face bent over Beatrice.
"I love him, Lilly," she continued, "for himself. Ho is a king amongst men. Who is
so brave, so generous, so noble ? If he were a beggar, I should caro just as much for him."
Lillian listened and sympathised until the bright dark oyes seemed to grow weary ; then sho bade her Bister good night, and went to hor
Beatrico Earle was alono at last,-alono with her happiness and love. It seemed impoBsiblo that her heart and brain could over grow calm or ^uiet again. It was all in vain sho tried to sloop. Lord Airlio's face, his voico, his words,
Sho roso, and put on a pretty pink dressing gown,-the fresh air, sho thought, would make her sloop. She openod tho long window gontly,
and looked out.
The night was still and clear ; tho moon hung Uko a " white flowor " ovor tho dark trcoB j floods of silvery light bathed tho far-off loko, tho sleeping flowers, and the thick, green grass, Thora was a gentle stir amid tho branches ; tho leavos rustled iu the wind ; the bluo, silent hoavena shono bright and calm. Tho solemn beauty of the star-lit sky, and the hushed mur- mur, appealed to her. Into the proud, pas sionato heart there carno somo better, holier thoughts,-thoughts of tho gallant, goncrous Gaspar, who Baid ho would give his lifo for hor. Ah, in tho futuro that lay BO brilliant boforo her, sho would strivo to bo good, sho would bo true and steadfast ; sho would think moro of what Lilly loved, and spoko about at timos. Thou hor thoughts went back to her lovor, and that happy half hour. From her window sho could seo the roso-garden,-tho moon shono full upon it. That moonlight was a fair typo of hor life, that was to be, bright, clear, unshadowed. Even as tho thought shaped itself in her miud, a shadow foil among the rosos. Sho looked, and saw tho figuro of a tall man walkiug down the path that dividod tho littlo gardon from the shrubbery. Ho stood still thoro, gazing long and earnestly at the windows of tho houso, thou went out into the park, and disappeared.
Sho WBB not startled. A passing wonder BB to who it might bo Btrunk hor. Perhaps ono of tho gamokcopors or gardeners ; but BIIO did not
think much about it. A shadow iu tho moon- light did not frighten hor.
Soon the oool fresh air did its work; tho bright dark eyes grew tired in real earnest j and at length Beatrico rotirod to roBt.
Tho Buu was Bhining brightly whon sho owoko. By hor side lay a fragrant bouquet of flowers, the dew-drops still glistening upon thom, and in thoir midst a littlo folded papor, which said
" Beatrico, will you como into the gardon for a fow minutes boforo breakfast, just to toll mo all that happened last night WBB not a dream ?"
She roso quickly. Ovor hor protty morning dress sho throw a lace shawl, and went down to moot Lord Airlio.
" It was no dream," sho Baid, simply, holding out her hand in greeting to him.
"Dear Beatrice, how vory good of youl" re- plied Lord Airlie,-adding preBontly, " Wo havo twenty minutes boforo tho breakfast boll rings ¡
lol ÜB moko tho most of thom."
The Bun shono, tho birds Bang, and tho
flowors bloomed. Some of the rosos had died
during tho night, and tho crimson leavos lay upon tho ground. Tho morning was fresh, fair, and calm ; a soft buzo hanging round tho trees.
"Beatrico," said Lord Earlo, "you seo tho Bun Bhining thero in tho high heavens. Throo weeks ago I should havo thought it easier for that eamo sun to fall than for mo to win you, I cannot underatand why my higheBt ideal of woman is realised. It WBB always my ambition to marry somo young girl who had novor loved any one boforo mo. You novor havo. No man ever hold your hand as I hold it now ; no man ovor kissed your faco as I did last night.
As ho spoko n burning blush covered hor fuco. Sho remomborod Hugh Fcrnoly. Ho lovod hor hotter for the bluBh, thinking how puro and guileless BIIO waa.
" I fear I shall bo a vory jealous lover," ho continued. " I shall cuvy ovorything UIOBO beautiful eyes rest upon. .Will you ride with mo this morning ? I want to talk to you about Lynnton-my homo, you know. You will bo Lady Airlio of Lynnton, and no king will bo BO proud OB I."
Tho breakfast boll rang at last ; timo has littlo pity for lovors. When Beatrico outorod tho room, Lady Earlo went up to her.
" Your papa has told mo," she said. " God
bless you, and mako you happy, dear child." !
Lionel Daoro guossed the Btato of affairs, and | said but little. Tho chief topic of conversation WBB tho ball, interspersed by many conjeoturoB on tho part of Lord Earlo as to why tho post bag was so late.
It did not arrive until breakfast was ondod. Lord Earle distributed the letters ; thero wore threo for Lord Airlie, ono to Lady Earlo from Dora, two for Lionel, none for Lillian. Lord Earlo held in his hands a largo common bluo onvolope.
" Miss Beatrico Earlo," ho said, " from Brook- field ; why, that is tho nearest post town. What large writing-tho name was intended to
Beatrice took the lottor carelessly from him ; the handwriting was quite unknown to hor ¡ she knew no one in Brookfield ; it waa probably somo circular, some petition for charity, sho thought. Lord Airlio crossed tho room to Bpoak to her, and sho placed tho lottor carelessly in tho pocket of her dross, and in a fow minutes forgot all about it.
Lord Airlio was waiting ; the horses had been ordorcd for an early hour. Beatrice ran up- stairs to put on hor riding' habit, and nover gave a thought to tho letter.
It was a pleasant rido ; in the dark after days sha looked back upon it as a bright hour, one of tho brightest she had ever known. Lord Airlie told her all about Lynnton, hiß beautiful home, a grand old castle, whore every room had a legend, every tree almost a tradition.
For her he intended to work wondors i a new and magnificent wing should bo built, and on one room therein art, skill, and money should bo lavished without stint. " Her boudoir," he said, " should be fitting for a queen and for a fairy."
So thoy rode through the pleasant sunlit air. A sudden thought struck Beatrice.
" I wonder," she Baid, " what mamma will think. You must go lo eeo her, Hubert. She dreaded love and lovers so much. Poor
mamma !" I
She asked herself, with wondering love, what could have happened, that her mother should dread what sho found so pleasant. Lord Airlio entered warmly into all hor plans and wishes. Near the grand suite of roomB that were to bo prepared for his beautiful young wife, Lord Airlie spoke of rooms for Dora, if Bbe would
but consent to live with them. I
" I must write and tell mamma to-day," said
Beatrico. I should not like her to hoar it from any one but mysolf."
" PorhapB you would allow mo to encloso a note," suggested Lord Airlio, "asking her to try to tolerato mo."
" I do not think that will bo very difficult," laughingly replied his companion.
Their rido was a long ono. On their return Beatrico WBB slightly tired, and went straight to her own room. Sho wroto a long lotter to Dora, who must havo Binilod at her description of Lord Airlio. Ho was everything that was truo, noble, chivalrous, and grand. Tho world did not hold suoh anothor. When the lottor was finishod it was time to drosB for dinner.
" Which dress will you wear, miss ?" asked
tho attentivo muid.
" Tho prottieBt I havo," said tho young girl, her bright faco glowing with tho words abo had juet written. What dress could bo protty onough for him ? Ono was found ot last that pleased hor-a rich whito cripe. But sho would wear no jowols-nothing but crimson rosea ; ono lay in tho thick coils of hor dark hair, another nestlod against hor whito nook, othorB looped up tho flowing skirt.
Beatrico'a toilotto satisfied hor ¡ this, too, with hor lover's fastidious tasto to suit. Sho stood boforo tho largo mirror, and a ploasod smilo overspread hor face as she saw horself reflected
Suddonly sho remomborod the lottor. Tho morning dress still hung upon a ohair. Sho took tho envelope from tho pocket.
" Shall you want mo again, Miss Earlo ?"
asked hor maid.
" No," BIIO ropliod, breaking tho seal, " I am roody now."
Tho girl quitted tho room, and Beatrico, standing boforo tho mirror, drew out a long, closely writton lottor, turning proBontly, in amazement, to tho signaturo, wondering who
could bo tho writer.
THE sun shoue brightly upon tho rosos that gloamod in hor hair aud nostlod against tho whito broaBt. Could it bo llngoriug in oruol mockory upon tho palo faco and tho dark oyos
so full of wild horror? As Boatriuo Earlo roud that lottor, tho color loft oven hor lips, her boort seomod to stand still, a vnguo nameless dread took hold of hor, the paper foil from her hands, and with a long low ory sho foil upon her knoos, hiding hor fuco in her hunds.
It had fallon at last,-tho oruol blow that oven in hor dreams and thoughts sho lind con- sidered impossible. Ho had found her out, and
olaimod hor tis his own.
It was from Hugh Fornoly, this lottor whioh had striokon joy and boButy from tho proud faco, and loft it whito and cold almost as tho faco of tho dead. Yes, from Hugh Fornoly ; and tho words it contoinod woro full of snob pnsBionato lovo that thoy torrified hor. Tho
lottor ran as follows :
" My own Beatrico,-From peril by sea and land I havo roturnod to claim you. Since wo parted I havo stood faoo to faoo with death in its moat terrible form, finch timo I conquored, becuuBO I must soo you. It is a trito saying
that lovo ia immortal-death ilsolf would not
part mo from you-nay, if I woro buried, mid you carno to my grave and vvhisporod my untno, it Booma to mo I muat hoar you.
'Beatrico, you promised to bo my wifo-you will not fail mo ? Ah, no, it cannot bo thut thoso bluo heavens above will look on and quiotly witnoss my dooth-warrant. You will como to mo, and givo mo a word, u smilo, to show how truo you havo been.
'Last ovoniug I wandered round tho grouudB, wondering which woro tho windowB of my IOVO'B ohambor, and asking mysolf whether sho waa dreaming of mo. Lifo has ohangod for yon sinco wo Bat upon tho dills at Knutsford and you promiaod to bo my wifo. I hoard at tho farm all about the great alteration, and how tho young girl who had wandored with me through tho bonnio groon woods is tho daughtor of Lord Enrlo, Your home doubtless is a Btatoly ono. Rank and position Uko yours might frighten somo lovora-thoy do not daunt mo. You will not lot thom stand between us. You cannot. I havo kiBaed your faco nnd oallod you my own,
You oonnot desert mo aftor that.
" Boatrico, ray voyago has boon a suocoasful one ; I am not a rich man, but I havo enough to gratify ovory wiah of yourhoart. I will take you away to sunny landa ovor the BOO, where lifo ebal! be BO full of happiuoas that you will
WÍBII it novor to end.
" I awnit your commands. Rumor tolls mo Lord Earlo is a Btrango, disappointed man. I will not yot call upon you at your own homo ; I will await your reply at Brookfiold, Writo at onco, Boatrico, and toll mo how and whon 1 may meet you. I will go anywhoro, at any limo. Do not dolay ; my hoart hungorB and thirstB for ono glanoo at your peorlcss faco. Appoint an hour Boon. How shall I livo until it comos ? Until then think of mo as your devoted lovor,
"Addrcsa, Post-ofllco, Brookfiold."
Sho road ovory word carefully, thon plowly turned tho lottor over and read it again. Her whito lips quivered with indignant passion How dare ho prosumo BO far! His lovo! Ah,
dear heaven! if Hubert Airlio could havo read thoBO words. Fornoly's lovo! Sho loathed him j sho hated with floreo, hot hatrod tho vory sound of his namo. Why must this moBt wretched folly of her youth riao up against hor now ? What must she do ? Whore could sho turn for help and counsel ?
Could it bo posBiblo that this man BIIO hated so fiercely had touched her face, and covered her hands with kisses and tears P Sho struok the littlo whito hand which held tho lotter against the marblo stand, and whoro Hugh Fornoly's tears had fallon a dark bruiso purpled the fair skin s whilo, hard, fierce words carno from tho beautiful lips.
" Waa I blind, foolish, mad ?" sho eriod. " Dear hoaven, savo mo from tho fruit of my own folly."
Thon hot anger yielded to despair. What should she do ? Look whioh way she would, thero WBB no hope. If Lord Earlo onco dis- covered that ehe had dealt falsely with him, sho would bo driven from tbo homo she had learned to lovo. Ho would novor pardon auch conceal mont, deceit, and folly as hors. Sho know that. If Lord Airlio ever discovered that any other mon had called hor his love, had kissed her faco, and had claimed her as IIÍB own, ho would cease to lovo her. Of thal aho eho was quito suro.
If sho would remain at Earloseourt, if she would retain her father's affection and Lord Airllo's love, thoy must novor hear of Hugh Fernoly. Thero could bo no doubt on that
What Bhould sho do with him ? Could sho buy bim off? Would money purchaso her free- dom? Remembering bis pride and his love, BOO thought not. Should she appeal to his pity, tell him all her heart and life wore centered in Lord Airlio P Should sho appeal to his lovo for pity?
Remembering his paeBionate words, ehe know it would be useless. Had she boen but married before ho returned-wero she but Lady Airlie, of Lynnton-he oould not harm her. Was tho
man mad to think ho could win hor ? sho who had had somo of tho noblest men iu England at her foot. Did ho think sho would exchange her grand old name for his obscuro one?-her mag nificenco for his poverty ?
Thoio was no more timo for thought ; tho last ring of tho dinner-bell had soundod, and sho must descend. Sho thrust tho lotter hastily into a drawer and lockod it, thon turnod to her mirror. Sho wna startled at tho chango. Surely that palo faco, with its quivering lips and shadowod oyoa, oould not bo hera. What should Bho do to drivo away tho startled fear, tho vaguo dread and doadly pallor ?-tho roses woro but a ghastly contrast.
" I must boar it bettor," sho said to horsolf. " Such a faco as this will botray my Beeret. Lot mo say to urysolf that I do not caro, it will nil como right in tho ond."
She said tho words aloud, but tho voices was ohangod and hoarse.
" Women havo faced moro doadly peril than thia," sho continued, " and havo won j is thoro any peril I would not bravo for Hubert Airlio's
Boatrico Earle loft her room. She swopt, with hor boautifal head orcot, through tho whito corridors and down tho broad staircase. Sho took hor seat at tho sumptuous tablo, whoro gold and silvor shono, whoro ovorythiug re chercliéanà magnificent was displnyod. Livoriod Borvants attondod to her ovory wish ¡ but ebo hnd with her a companion BIIO waa novor again to loso, a haunting fear, a skeleton that was novor moro to quit her BUIO, II misorublo conaciousncBS of folly that was bringing soro wrotohednesa upon hor. Novor iiguin was sho
to fool freo from foar and caro.
" Boatrico," snid Lady Earlo, when dinner was ovor, " you will novor loam prudonco."
Sho startod, and tho beautiful bloom just beginning to return vnnishod again.
" Do not look alarmed, my dour," continued Lady Holoua ; " I am not angry. I four you woro out too long to-day. Lord Airlio must tako moro caro of you ; tho sun was vory hot, and you look quito ill. I novor san you look BB you do to-night."
" Wo had very littlo Bim," roplied Boatrico, with a laugh abo triod to mako a gay ono ; " wo rodo unJor tho shado in tho pork. I am tired» but not with my rido."
It WBB a pleasant ovoniug, and whon tho gontlcmoii joinod tho ladies in the drawing-room tho sunboiims still lingorod on flowor and troo. Tho long windows woro all opon, and tho soft summer wind that carno in WBB ludon with tho Bwoot broath of the flovvors.
Lord Airlio nskod Boatrico to sing. It was a roliof to her ; BIIO could not havo talked ¡ nil tho lovo and sorrow, all the fear and dospair, that tortured hor could find vont in musió. So sho aat iu tho ovoniug gloaming, and Lord Airlie, listoning to tho magnificent voico, woudorod at tho pathos and sadnoBB that Boomod to ring through ovory note.
" What weird music I" ho said nt length. " You aro singing of lovo, but tho lovo ¡B nil sorrow. Your songs aro gonorally BO bright and happy. What has como ovor you P"
" Nothing," was tho reply, but ho, bonding ovor hor, BOW tho dark oyoB woro dim with toare.
" Thoro," oriod Lord Airlio, " you BOO I um right. You havo positively sung yourself to
' Ho drew hor from tho piano, und lod hor to tho largo bay window whoro tho rosos pocpod in Bloopily. Ho hold hor faco up to tho mollow ovoniug light, and looked gravoly into hor beau- tiful eyes.
" Toll mo," ho said, simply, " what has sod donod you, Beatrice. You huvo no secrets from mo ; what woro you thinking of jUBt now whon you sang that droamy " Lobowohl ?"-ovory noto was liko a long sigh."
" Shall you laugh if I toll you ?" she uskod.
" No," ho roplied j " I cannot promiso to sigh,
but I will not smilo."
" I was thinking what I should do if-if any- thing happonod to part us."
" But nothing ovor will happon," ho said 3 " nothing can part UB but death. I know what would happen to mo if I lost you, Boatrico."
" What ?" sho askod, looking up into tho handsomo, kindly fuco.
" I would not kill mysolf," ho enid, " for I hold lifo to bo a sacred gift; but I would go whoro tho face of no othor woman should smilo upon mo. Why do you talk BO dolefully, Bea- trico? Lot UB chango tho subject. Toll mo whoro would you liko to go whon wo uro mar- ried-Bhall it bo Franco, Holy, or Spain ?"
" Would nothing ovor mako you lovo mo IOBS, Hubert ?" she asked-" povorty or Bicknoss ?"
" No," ho roplied j " nothing that you can
think of or invent."
"Nor disgraeo ?" sho oontinuod, but ho inter- rupted hor, half angrily.
"Hush!" ho said j "I do not liko suoh a word upon your lipB j novor say it again. Whut disgraeo can touoh you ?-you aro too beautiful, too good, too precious."
Sho turnod from him, and ho fancied a low moan carno from hor trembling lips.
" You aro tired, and-pray forgivo me, Boa- trico- norvous too," said Lord Airlio ¡ " I will bo your doctor. You shall lio down boro upon this soft couch. I will placo it whoro you can Bco tho Bun sot in tho west, and I will road to you something that will drivo all four away. I thought during dinner you looked ill and worn."
Gontly onough ho drew tho pretty couoh to tho window, Lady Earle watohing him tho whilo with smiling face. Ho induced Beatrico to lie down, and thon turnod hor face to the gardon whoro tho sotting sun waa pleasantly gilding tho
" Now you havo something pleasant to look ut," Baid Lord Airlio, " and you shall havo some- thing ploasant to liston to. I am going to read somo of Schiller's ' Mario Stuart.' "
Ho Bat at hor feet, and hold hor whito hands in hie, Ho read the grand, stirring words, that at times seemed liko tho ring of martial music, and again like tho dirge of a soul in despair.
His cloar, rich voico sounded pleasantly in the evening calm. Beatrice's eyes lingered on the western sky, all aflamo ¡ but hor thoughts woro with Hugh Fernoly.
What should she do? If abo could but tomporiso with him,-if she could but pacify him for a time, until Bho WBB married, oil would bo Bofe. Ho would not dare to talk of claiming Lady Airlio,-it would bo vain if ho did ¡ bo sides, she would persuado Lord Airlio to go abroad ; and, seeing all pursuit useless, Hugh would surely givo her up. Even at tho very worst, if Hubert and she wero once married, sho would not fear ; if she confessed all to him ho would forgivo her. Ho might bo vory angry, but ho would pardon his wife. If ho know all about it before marriage, thoro was no hopo for
Sho must temporise with Fornely,-write in Bomo kind of strain that meant nothing, and tell him ho must wait. Ho could not refuse. She would write that evening a lottor that should givo him no hopo, nor yet drivo him to despair.
" That is a grand scone, ia it not ?" said Lord Airlie, suddenly ¡ then ho saw by Beatrice's Btartlcd look that elie had not listened.
" I plead guilty at onco," sho roplied. " I was thinking,-do not bo angry,-I was think- ing of something that relatos to yourself. I hoard nothing of what you road, Hubert. Will you road it again ?"
"Cortainly not," ho said, with a laugh of quiet amusement, " Beading docs not nnsvvor ; we will try conversation. Lot us resume a sub- ject you ran away from before,-whithor shall wo go for our woddiug trip ?"
Only throo days since, and sho would havo auggostod twouty difloroul places ¡ sho would havo smiled aud blushed, hor dark oyes growing brighter at ovory word. Now BIIO listoued to hor lover's plaiiB, as if n cold bond clutched hor heart and bonumbod hor with fear.
* # # # # « #
That ovening it soomed to Boatrico Earlo sho would novor bo loft alono. In tho dravviug room Blood ii duiuty littlo osoritoiro whoro tho ladies of Earloseourt wroto pretty porfumod billots. Here she dare not writo lest Lord Airlie should, us ho often did, llugor by hor, pro tonding to assist hor. If sho wont into tho library, Lord Earle would bo euro to ask care- lessly to whom was sho writing. Thoro was nothing for it but to wait until sho retired to hor own room.
First carno Lady Earle, solicitous about hor health, reoommonding a long rost nnd quiot sloop ; thoii Lillian, full of nnxioty, half longing to nek Boatrico if alio thought Liouol Dacru hundsomor and kindor than any ono olao j thon tho maid Suaotto, who sooinod to llugor as though sho would nover go.
At length she was alono, tho door loekod, and tho outor world away from hor. Sho waa soon Boated at hor littlo doak, where sho spoodily wroto tho following cold lottor, which almost drovo Hugh For-vcVy mad :
" My dear Hugh,-Havo you roully returned ? I thought you wore lost in tho China Sons, or had forgotten tho foolish littlo epiaodo at Knuts- ford. 1 ciinuot seo you just yot. As you havo hoard, Lord Earle has peculiar notions ; I must humor thom. 1 will writo uguin, BOOH, mid say whon and whoro 1 oun soo you.-Yours sin coroly, "BEATRIOU EARLE."
Sho folded tho lottor, aud addressed it as ho wished ¡ then sho loft hor room and wont down into tho hall whoro tho post-bag lay opun upon tho table. Sho placed ii itisido, knowing that
no ono would toko tho trouble to look at tho
loiters ¡ then returned as sho hud como, silontly.
That hitler reached Brookfiold at noon tho following day. Whon Hugh Fornoly oponod it ho bit his Ups with rugu. Cold, heartless linos ; not ouo word of vvolooino, not ono of sorrow ovor liia supposed death ; no mention of love, truth, or fidolity j no rooognilion of his puB Bioiuito worship j no promise that BIIO would bo Ina : what could miali u lottor moan P
Ho almost cursed tho girl whom ho had loved so well. Yot ho could not, would not boliovo nnylhiug, oxcopt that porhaps during his long iibsonoo she had grown to think loss kindly of bim. Sho had promised to bo his wifo, and, lot como what might, ho would mako hor koop hor
So ho said, and Hugh Fornoly moant it. n¡B wholo Ufo wiiB controd in her, and ho would not tamely givo her up.
The lottor despatched, Boatrico uwuitod tho roply with usiiBpoiiBo no words eau dosoribo. A dull wonder carno ovor hor ni- timoB why sho must suffer BO koonly. Othor girlB had donu what Bho did, nay, fifty timos vvorso, and no Nomosis huuntcd thom. Why was this apoctro of fear und shame to stand by her sido ovory
moment and dietrosa hor?
True, it vvuB vory wrong of hor to moot this tirosomo Hugh Fornoly in the pleasant summer woods and on the Boa-Bhoro ; but it hod broken tho monotony that sooinod to bo killing hor, His paBsionato lovo had aoomod doIioiouB flattery ; still sho had no1, intonded nnything Borious. It had only boon a novelty und amuso mont to hor ; although to him, porhaps, it had boen lifo or death. 'But sho had deceived Lord Earlo. If, when ho nuked that question, und Bought with Buch tonder wisdom to win hor con- fidence-if BIIO hud told him her story then, ho would huvo savod her from persecution, und from tho effects of her own folly ¡ if sho had told him thon, it would not havo mattered there would havo boon no obstado to her love for Lord Airlio.
It waa different now ¡ if sho woro to toll Lord Earlo after his deliberate and emphatic words, BIIO could oxpocl no morey : yet, BIIO Baid to hor solf, othor girls had dono ovon worso, and puuishmont had not overtaken them so swiftly.
At last sho Blopt, tired und worn out with thought.
FOR tho first timo in hor life, when tho bright Bun shono in hor room, Boatrico turnod hor faco to tho wall, and dreaded the sight of day. Tho post-bag would leave tho Hull at 0 in the morn- ing-Hugh would huvo the lottor ut noon. Until then eho wus safe.
Noon carno and went, but tho length of tho summor's doy brought nothing save fresh misory. At ovory unUBUul stir, ovory loud poal of tho boll, every quick footstep, sho turnod palo, und hor heart seemed to dio within her.
Lady Earlo watched her with anxious eycB, Sho could not understand tho ehango thut hud como ovor tho brilliant young girl who usod to bo the lifo of tho houso. Every now and thon sho appeared to indulge in a burst of fovoriBh gaiety. Lillian saw that something ailed hor B¡Bter ; eho could not toll what.
For tho fiftieth time that day, when tho hall door boll sounded, Beatrico lookod up with trembling lips sho vainly tried to still. At last Ludy Eurie took tho burning hands in her own.
11 My dear child," she said, "you will havo a nervous fever if you go on in this way. What makes you Btarl at every nolao ? You look aa though you wero waiting for Bomcthingdreadful to happen."
" No ono ovor called mo nervouB," roplied Beatrice, with a smile, controlling horsolf with an effort ¡ " mamma's chief complaint aguinat mo was that I bad no nerves;" adding presently to hersolf, " This will not do : I would rather die at onoo than livo in this agony."
Tho weary day carno to a CIOBO, however ; and it WBB well for Beatrice that Lord Airlio had not spent it with her, Tho gontlomon at Earles court had all gono to a bachelor's dinner, givon by old Squire Newton, of " The Grange." It was late when they returned, and Lord Airlio did not notice anything unueual in Beatrice.
" I call this o day wasted," ho said, as he bada her good night ; " for it has been a day spent away from you, I thought it would novcr coma
to au ond."
Sho sighod, romomboring what a dreary day it had been to hor. Could slid live through such anothor ? Half tho night she lay awako, won doring if Hugh's answer to hor letter would como by tho firat post, and whether Lord Earle would say anything if ho noticed another lotter from Brookfiold. Fortune favored her. In the morning Lord Eurlo waa dcoply ongrossed by a story Lionel was tolling, and asked Beatrico to opon tho bag for him. Sho saw tho well-known, hatod bluo cnvolopo, bearing her own nnmo. Whon all tho othor letters wero distributed, she slipped it iuto tho pockot of her dress without any one porcoiving tbo action.
Evorything comos to an ond j breakfast was ovor at last j and, leaving Lord Airlio talking to Lillian, Boatrico hastoned to road tho lotter. Nono of Hugh's augor was thoro sot down j but if abo had cured for him, hor honrt must havo ached at tho pathos oí his simplo words. Ho had received hor noto, ho said-tho noto so un Uko herself-and hastoned to toll hor that he waa obligod to go to London on somo important busincsa conncotcd with his ship, nnd that ho should bo ubsont throo woeks. Ho would writo to her at onco on his return ; and bo should insist upon seeing hor then, as well as exact tho fullllmont of her premiso.
It wus n rospito; muoh might happen in throo wooka. Sho toro tho lottor into shreds, and felt na though a deadly woight woro lifted from hor. If timo could but bo conquered, if something would but happen to make hor Hubort Airlio'fl wifo beforo Hugh returned ! At uny rato, for tho iiiomont sho waa froo.
Sho lookod liko hcrsolf again whon Lord Airlio carno to ask hor if sho would rido or walk. Tlio beautiful bloom had roturnod to hor fuco und the light to hor oyos. All dav sho was in brilliant spirits. No need now to tromblo at a loud ring or a rapid etop j throo wooka waa a long timo ¡ muoh might happen. " Oh, if Lord Eurlo would only force mo to marry him
That vory ovoning Lord Airlio asked hor if sho would go out with lum, Ho wanted to talk lo hor alono, for ho waa going away on tho mor- row, and bud nuioli to any to hor.
"Where uro j on going?" sho aakod, with sad wondering oyes, her chanco of escapo seeming rapidly to diminish,
" I am going to Lynnton," ho replied, " to soo about plans for tho now buildings. Thoy should bo bogun at oneo i oven if wo romain abroad a wholo your, thoy will thon bo hurdly fiuishod. I ahull bo uwuy a fortuighl or ton days. Whon I return, Beatrice, 1 shall ask you a question. Omi you guoos what it will bo?"
Thoro was no answering smilo upon hor face. Perhaps ho would bo absent, throe woeks. What chnnco of escupo hud BIIO now ?
"I BIIBII BBIC you when you will koop your promise," ho continued-" whon you will lot ma multo you in dood nnd in word my wifo. You must not be oruol to mo, Boatrico. I havo waited long enough. You will think about it while I am gono, will you not ?"
Lord Earlo smiled tis ho noted his daughter's fuco. Airlio was going uw.ny, and sho was dull ovor it-that was just nu it should bo. Ho was dolightod that sho cured so muoh for him. Ho told Lady Helena that ho hud not thought Boa- trico cnpnblo of snob doop nffoolio». Lady Iloloim told him BIIO bud novor known any ono who could love na well or bato as thoroughly as
Tho morning cunio, and Lord Airlio lingered BO long ovor his furcwoU that Lady Holona, bogan to think ho would altar his mind uud re- main whoro ho vvaB. Ho started at last, how ovor, promising to writo by ovory poat to Boa- trico, mid followed by tho good wishoa of tho
Ho waa gono, and Hugh wns gone j for throo wookB sho bud nothing to fear, nothing to hope, and u settled melancholy calm foil upon upon hor. Her futhor und Lndy Holona thought sho was dull bocauao hor lovor was away ; thu musical laugh that used to gladden Lord Eurlo's henri was hushed, the bright frank words carno loss oflon, the beautiful faoo grow palo and sud. They smiled, und thought it natural. Lillian, who know ovory oxpression of her Bistor's faco, grow unxious, loaring thero was Bomo ailiuonl cither of body or mind that nono
of thom wero nwaro of.
Thoy bolioved Bho was thinking of hor abBonfc lovor, and fooling dull without him. In reality, hor thoughts were contred upon ono idea-what oould she do to got rid of Hugh Fornoly? Morning, noon, and night, that ono quoatiou was always before hor. Sho talked whon others did, sho laughed with thom ; but if thero carno an interval of BIIOIICO, tho bountiful faoo took a far-off, dreamy expression Lillian had novor scon thoro boforo. Bealrico wus gonorully on hor gnurd, watchful and careful j but thoro woro times whon tho mask sho woro BO bravoly foil off, and Lillian, looking at her then, know all was
not vv oil with her sister.
What was to bo done to got freo from Hugh ? Evory hour in tho day froeh plans carno boforo hor-somo so absurd as to provoko fovorish, un naturel laughter, but none that woro foasiblo, or that could bo carriod out. With ali hor daring wit, her quick thought, hor vivid fancy, with all hor resource of mind and intellect, sho could do nothing. Morning and night tho one ques- tion was still thoro-what could Bho do to got freo from Hugh Forucly ?
[TO IIB CONTINUED.]
KlSBES.-Tho monks of the middlo ages, who woro of courso colibatcB and theorists on every- thing appertaining to marriage, divided kissing into fifteon distinot ordors, namely-1. Tho decorous, or modest hies. 2. Tho diplomatic, or kiss of policy. ' 3. Tho spying kiss, to UBCortain if a woman had drunk wine. 4. Tho sluvo kiss. 5. The slipper kiss, practised towards tyrunts. G. Tho penitential kiss. 7, Tho judicial kiss. 8. Tho feudal kiss. 0. Tho religious kiss (kissing the cross). IO. Tho noademicnl kiss (joining a Boloran brotherhood). 11. Tho hand kiss. 12. The Judas kiss. 13. Tho medical kiss (to heul certain kinda of dis- euse). 14. The kies of etiquette. 15. The kia» of love, tho only real kiss, but variously estimated, such as that of ardent onthusiaam, as by lovorB, or that of matrimonial affection, or oven betwoon two mon, tasting like sandwiohes
without butter or moat !
SEKRETS ar Uko tho mcazols-thoy tako easy and sprcd oazy.-Advice iz like kissing-it dont
koBt nothing, and ¡z a pleasant thing to do.-If / yu seok wisduni, mi yung frond, studdy men and .r things-! if yu desire laming, studdy dikslnon urvs_I think opportunitys are mado full as often as thev happen.-Good common sense iz uz holtby oz onionB ; wo often soo thoso who ara good, simply bekuuao they hoint got senao enuf£ tow bo bud, and thoso whoare bad, just boeauza they haiut got sonso enufl' tow be good.-The man who don't know himself iz a poor judgo ov- ille other phellow.-Trusting to luck is only another name for truBting to lnzyness.-JosTt