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occasion, that sitting cannot be disassociated from dinner, and that (putting fatigue aside) dinner would be degraded to the level of a stand-up supper if the guests were upright. I leave the question to the future.

This sort of life in Paris is not, after all, more worldly than the same existence is elsewhere. Wherever amusement is lifted to the position of the first object of existence, the moral effect on those who pursue it is virtually the same: there may be shades of local difference, but the tendency of the mind grows everywhere alike. It would therefore be unfair to attribute any special frivolity to Paris because small sections of its society achieve extreme brilliancy of worldliness; just as it would be unfair to praise it specially because other classes are par


ticularly worthy of esteem. the universal average of good and bad, Paris stands on the same general level as other capitals; but in glistening pleasantness it rises, here and there, above them all. How long that superiority of pleasantness will endure remains to be seen: it is weakening fast from the progressive disappearance of the women who, thus far, have maintained it. If it does vanish altogether, Paris will become like any other place, with the same respectabilities and dulnesses; but its indoor life will have left behind it a history and a memory proper to itself, and some day, perhaps, its women will wake up again and will reassume the feminine grace and the feminine capacities which were delightfully distinctive of their ancestors.

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"Courage and Passion are the Immortal facts of Life. spot."

To an outsider the confusion might have seemed purposeless, but, in truth, all this noise and running hither and thither, and clanging of bells, and shouting of sailors, meant that the last moments were being counted out, before the City of Prague started on her Atlantic journey.

The deck was crowded in the usual way with those assembled to speed the parting,-those who had many playful words at command, and those to whom it was sad earnest, and no word of any sort was possible.

A little apart from where the many mourned or joyed, a man and a woman stood close together by the vessel's side, the man half kneeling on a seat, the woman standing straight and motionless by his side. Enough likeness to pronounce them brother and sister; the same straight features and blonde hair, the same slenderness of figure and grace of movement.

"Aymer," she bent forward, after a silence which seemed the result of a difficulty in wording her thoughts, and so leaning, laid her hand on his shoulder, "you are going to be happy out there?"

"Don't you worry about me," -though he did not turn his eyes from where they were fixed on the shore, there was a thrill of feeling in his tones. "Anyway, you know," suddenly looking up, "it was not your fault."

"She was my friend," the woman said, sadly. "If I had not loved

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her, believed in her, I should not have wished my only brother to marry her. I cannot even now think what tempted her!"

"Cannot you?" the man retorted, mockingly. "I do not attempt to compare myself to a grey-bearded, decrepit duke!"

"Ah, hush, Aymer," his sister interposed, gently, "do not be bitter. Vanity, ambition, may govern one woman, but do not allow yourself to imagine it is the rule for all."

"Not while you live, Hilda,"— he spoke more gravely, and he took her hands in his as he spoke; "but remember, it is not the vanity or ambition which I judge so severely

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let her try what they will do to help her! - but the cowardice," there was a sudden flash in the grey eyes, "which kept me dangling on through a long delusive engagement to end in this. There," standing upright, "that is the last word, and I did not intend it should have been spoken; what is the good! I am going to America to shoot big game, and generally amuse myself: Wyndham will meet me in New York, and from there I will write to you, and give you a fresh address. Write often, won't you?"

"Of course. And you? You will not let long silences give me time to grow anxious?" He did not reply, but he laid his hand over the one that rested on his arm, and side by side they paced slowly up and down the deck.

Good-byes are said in so many

ways. Hilda Forsythe's grey eyes were full of tears, though not one fell her voice when she spoke and words grew fewer with each passing moment-trembled a little, but each syllable reached her listener's ear, the touch of the hand on hers told her what the separation cost her companion. Perhaps behind the silence there was as bitter a heartache as that which found expression in those loud sobs, at the sound of which she looked round startled.

A dowdy, fair-haired, elderly German weeping loudly and unrestrainedly, her reddened eyelids and wet cheeks forming a most unpicturesque exhibition of woe. But utterly heedless of spectators, regardless of the angry words and pushes of those who would have thrust her aside, her bonnet crooked, her ungloved hands in her companion's, she stood there pouring out last words and thoughts.

With the instinct of avoiding such an exhibition of trouble, Mrs Forsythe turned back, and as she did so, "Oh, Aymer," she exclaimed, roused from her own thoughts, "what a beautiful girl!"

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His eyes followed the direction of hers. "Yes," he said, absently, "she is handsome,- she is with that Niobe over yonder! have come, or rather she has come, to say good-bye to that German lover, or brother."


"Brother, I think," Hilda said, gently; "they are very much alike." But while she spoke, her eyes still followed the now vanishing figure of the girl who had attracted her attention. A girl of perhaps fifteen, in a sailor-like dress of blue serge, the shirt open a little at the throat, a cloth cap on her thick curls. Her dark eyes were set under slightly arched brows, a brilliant colour was in her cheeks, her young curved mouth was scar

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let as a pomegranate bud. A minute later she had disappeared from sight; her movements were as young and strong and vigorous as the colour on her cheeks and the light in her eyes.

"Let us go away from here," Aymer said, as, for about the tenth time, their walk was checked by a hurrying sailor, a mourning or jocose passenger,-"I cannot stand it any longer."

So saying, he turned and sought the solitude of the upper deck. Total solitude, so at least they fancied, till a more complete survey showed them it was shared by the girl whom Mrs Forsythe had noticed before.

"Wise child," Sir Aymer observed, when he caught sight of the blue serge skirt," or discreet child! She has also thought it desirable to put as much space as possible between her and her weeping guardian.'

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She was evidently unconscious of their presence, for she was kneeling on the seat that ran round the deck, looking down with amusement and interest on the moving, excited crowd below. She held her cap in her hand, and Mrs Forsythe's looks were still attracted towards her.

"She is beautiful," she said—" a child, of course; and yet there is something about her, perhaps the way her hair grows, that reminds me of the pictures of Henrietta Maria."

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raised, and made the discovery that she was no longer alone, and with the discovery she vanished.

of some belated visitor. It did not need the look he gave to assure him that the sobbing woman being hurried away into the semidarkness, utterly regardless of the angry words, was the same German woman whose loud weeping had alternately annoyed and touchAnd the moment for last words ed him earlier in the afternoon. had arrived.


When Sir Aymer Digby turned in his walk, and found such to be the case, he was relieved,-it made it easier to say these last words to his sister.

A great bell was clanging loudly and fiercely, an insistent whistle was rendering speech and hearing alike impossible, the gangway plank was crowded with a stream of people making their way on shore.

Without an explanatory wordwhen both knew, words were unnecessary-brother and sister followed the departing throng.

For a moment the man paused ere reaching the exit, and clasped a little closer the hand he held, and, at the same moment, stooped his head and kissed her.

"Good-bye, Hilda, I shall look for letters."

"Good-bye, Aymer"-her voice was unsteady-" remember I shall live in the hope of your return."

For a second her eyes were lifted to his; then her tall figure had mingled with the crowd, almost unconscious, as she hurried along, of anything but her own sad thoughts, behind the shelter of her veil.

On the deck Aymer Digby stood: well aware of those loving, watching eyes, he never moved as long as the outlines of that quiet, tall figure were 'visible, standing little apart from the small crowd which surrounded her. And, after all, it was not for very long-twilight was throwing a haze over everything, even before his reverie was disturbed by the loud, angry voice which jerked out furious observations, in his immediate vicinity, at the presence still on board

"Well, poor soul, the wrench is over now ;" and he looked with a sort of wondering pity at her disordered hair, and red, swollen eyelids, the tears dripping disconsolately down her cheeks: it was with a sigh of relief his eyes turned back to Hilda Forsythe's quiet, graceful figure and clasped hands.

Long after it was impossible to see her, he knew the expression in her tender grey eyes.

The confusion consequent on departure reigned a little longer, but moment by moment routine regained its dominion.

The lights of Queenstown disappeared almost immediately: with the dusk had come up a light mist, not thick enough for fog, but sufficiently penetrating to make the passengers forsake the deck, and seek the shelter of the saloon. When dinner was over only Aymer Digby returned to the deck, and paced its solitary length, as the great ship slipped steadily through the quiet waters, and the stars peered now and then through the filmy mist overhead.

His thoughts were elsewhere,they had wandered to the land he had left, the sister he had left; almost imperceptibly from her they had wandered to the fair, treacherous woman who had laid bare his life. Painted on the curtain of the darkness appeared the tall, lovely figure, the delicate oval face, the forget-me-not blue eyes, and crown of rich gold hair,

a picture that it seemed he might never hope to forget. It was with an impatient movement he recognised whither his thoughts had strayed, and with the movement, he turned to find himself face to face with one of the officers of the ship.

The man was about to pass him, his solitary pacing did not seem to invite companionship, but Sir Aymer, tired of loneliness, paused, and as he did so

"You have got the place to yourself," the new-comer said. "You have made your escape, I suppose, from all the excitement below?"

"Excitement!" Sir Aymer repeated, wonderingly; "every one seemed to me half asleep before dinner was over."

"You have not then heard "—the officer laughed as he spoke-" that we have found a 'stowaway' on board?"

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"No." Sir Aymer shook his head, and looked inquiringly at his companion, roused to curiosity by something in his voice and smile. "Oh, not the usual stowaway, a whimpering, half-starved, halffrightened boy very much the contrary! This is a fine handsome girl, not at all frightened or displeased with her performances, and hungry, shockingly hungry. They are feeding her down there now; every one on board is assisting, I should think, except you and me.'

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our young lady secreted herself, and somehow apparently managed to escape notice in the confusion of departure."

There came to Sir Aymer an instant's pained reminder of the weeping woman from whose presence he had turned away this afternoon-the weeping woman of whom Hilda had spoken pitifullyand almost immediately the doubt was converted into certainty.

"Here she is." And up on deck, close beside where they stood, appeared the blue sergeclad figure of the girl he had noticed.

Certainly, no regret or anxiety visible there. The red mouth was curved into happy smiles, the rich colour burnt in her cheeks, the black-lashed eyes reflected the smile as she stepped on to the deck. As she stood still a second, the wind lifting her dark curls, health, careless, youthful happiness, was in every line of the fresh face and strong young figure.

By her side was the grey-headed captain; following her a tall, slight, languid American, enveloped in wraps, whose high-pitched voice reached the ears of Sir Aymer Digby as she proffered the contents of her dressing-bag and portmanteau.

"She is a smart girl," she said, as the quicker steps of the other two made hurry requisite to keep up with them, pausing by Sir Aymer's side; "and a handsome girl," glancing after her with honest admiration; "and only fifteen! My, I would never have thought she was English!" "And is she?"

"Yes, her name is Felicity Brooke: she is an orphan, and lives with an aunt. The aunt has gone to London, taking her daughters with her, and left miss in the charge of a stupid old

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