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In our hurried conversation, I gathered from the delighted bridegroom that his journey to Bath had been the immediate cause of all I now saw before me. A short acquaintance, commencing at a ball, and cemented by one or two tea-drinkings, had convinced him that life without Miss Cotherstone would be a blank indeedthat was the piece of furniture, without which the Parsonage was incomplete—that was the smile to which it would be so heavenly to return, after clerical duties, or fatiguing field-sports ; and, in short, * Joe” for the first time in his life was completely captivated. As usual, the difference of disposition and character between the two riveted the chain only more firmly. My friend, with his fine manly open heart, his ignorance of guile and deceit—which amounted almost to the simplicity of a child-his trustful nature and unsophisticated candour, was safe to marry a thorough-going woman of the world. Could I blame him? could I, of all people, be astonished at his infatuation ? Ere long he made his proposals to Kate in due form---papa and mamma were abroad, but it took little time to obtain their cordial consent (nor did this surprise me), and the female relative with whom the fair "fiancée " was staying, lost no opportunity of impressing upon her admirer that he was indeed a fortunate man.

Joe's aunt behaved like a trump, as he said himself, like the Queen of Trumps ; and she, too, was so fascinated by the little witch, that in addition to the handsome present, standing in her venerable name in the Three per Cent. Consols, with which she complimented her nephew on the morning of his nuptials, she likewise presented his bride with a valuable set of diamonds-none of your paste, but real genuine sparklers, that had remained safely locked up in the custody of the old lady's bankers for the last fifty years.

“We have now been married a fortnight,” added Joe, his face beaming with delight, and looking a proper man to win the fancy of any young lady; and we have not a secret in the world from each other (good gracious, I thought, I wonder whether she has told him all about me). “ If you wish for happiness, my dear Nogo, follow my example ; I never knew what it was really to enjoy life till I found Mrs. Bagshot sitting down to breakfast on the opposite side of the table every day, as a matter of course.”

The Squire was by this time making a courteous farewell to the cousin who was to him almost a stranger, and it was now my turn to wish the new Mrs. Bagshot good-bye. Again that cordial shake of the hand, again that half-careless, half-meaning glance, that seemed to say "let bye-gones be bye-gone3 " --it was evident that she thought the less said about our previous acquaintance the better ; but I had a right to expect some little embarrassment, some slight half-indicated expression of interest in one for whom she had formerly confessed she entertained a deeided regard ; but no, it was—“Good bye, Mr. Nogo; I trust you will complete your visit here before you leave the country, and not suffer me to frighten you away from your old bachelor quarters,” and she smiled in my face as if I had been her grandfather. They are an inexplicable race,” thought I to myself, as I followed the delighted Squire to the garden-gate; "and this is a chapter in their history that I may puzzle over in vain : the old mythologist was right when he made the Sphinx a lady!”

Reader, have you ever experienced the luxury of being an ill-used

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man? If you have not, depend upon it you are ignorant of one of the most engrossing sensations known to the human organization. A man without a grievance is like a kettle half-filled, or rather a kettle merely filled with cold water ; but let him only consider himself unfairly treated, let him brood and hatch his grievance till it pervades his system, and straightway he frets, and seethes, and simmers, till at last he boils over in a perfect ecstasy of self-condolence. As I walked silently alongside the Squire, on our homeward journey, I felt ill-used, I knew not whyI felt dissatisfied with all the characters of the drama in which I had lately taken part, and, above all, with myself. My companion was neither loquacious himself, nor tolerant of loquacity in others, so I had no one to whom I could unbosom myself ; and as I kept chafing over Kate's indifference, which piqued me to the core, and at the same time despising my own folly in caring two straws about it—as what could it signify to me?-I gradually worked my feelings up to that state in which a man finds he is ready for any action, no matter how foolish, that takes him from himself. In such a mood the sympathy of a female friend is likely to prove dangerous in the extreme, and to such peril was it my fate unwittingly to expose myself. As we entered the shrubberies that surrounded Topthorne Lodge, I caught sight of a light-coloured dress fluttering in the breeze before us, which could only belong to the widow, and declining the Squire's invitation to “ kennel with more decision than I could usually find courage for, I pushed on to overtake and walk home with Mrs. Montague, partly in the hope of unburdening my mind by a detail of our afternoon visit, partly with a lurking feeling of triumphant vanity in the thought that here at least I could command an interest in one sympathising breast—that in those blue eyes I should read no malicious sarcasm, no cold forgetfulness.

It had been dusk an hour ere the dressing-bell summoned us into the house. Backwards and forwards, to and fro, up and down those winding walks and well-kept shrubberies, had we walked and talked, and hinted and hesitated, and lingered, often trenching upon the topic which I believe was nearest both our hearts, and yet the fatal words were unspoken. Grateful to my wounded vanity was the healing salve of Mrs. Montague's implied admiration—triumphant reflection to think that it was in my own power to show Mrs. Bagshot that she was not the only person who could forget : and besides such considerations, the widow's smiles, to do her justice, were sufficiently intoxicating in themselves to make a wiser man than me forget prudence, foresight, and everything but the companion by his side. Yet when I went to dress for dinner I was still a free man—the last meshes of the net were unwoven—the spell was incomplete-I had not passed the Rubicon, but by Jove I had been uncommonly close to its brink.

(To be continued.)

man? If you have not, depend upon it you are ignorant of one of : most engrossing sensations known to the human organization. A Isai without a grievance is like a kettle half-filled, or rather a kettle Dei. filled with cold water ; but let him only consider himself unfairly tres let him brood and hatch his grievance till it pervades his system, straightway he frets, and seethes, and simmers, till at last he boiia. in a perfect ecstasy of self-condolence. As I walked silently alonthe Squire, on our homeward journey, I felt ill-used, I knew not w I felt dissatisfied with all the characters of the drama in which I lately taken part, and, above all, with myself. My companion was ne loquacious himself, nor tolerant of loquacity in others, so I had 11 to whom I could unbosom myself; and as I kept chafing over K indifference, which piqued me to the core, and at the same time des : my own folly in caring two straws about it—as what could it sig? me

e ?-I gradually worked my feelings up to that state in which finds he is ready for any action, no matter how foolish, that tabsfrom himself. In such a mood the sympathy of a fernale fr likely to prove dangerous in the extreme, and to such peril was fate unwittingly to expose myself. As we entered the shrubber surrounded Topthorne Lodge, I caught sight of a light-colour fluttering in the breeze before us, which could only belong to the and declining the Squire's invitation to “kennel” with more than I could usually find courage for, I pushed on to overt. walk home with Mrs. Montague, partly in the hope of unburde mind by a detail of our afternoon visit, partly with a lurking * triumphant vanity in the thought that here at least I could com: interest in one sympathising breast—that in those blue eyes read no malicious sarcasm, no cold forgetfulness.

It had been dusk an hour ere the dressing-bell summone the house. Backwards and forwards, to and fro, up and du winding walks and well-kept shrubberies, had we walked an and hinted and hesitated, and lingered, often trenching upon which I believe was nearest both our hearts, and yet the were unspoken. Grateful to my wounded vanity was the he of Mrs. Montague’s implied admiration—triumphant that it was in my own power to show Mrs. Bagshot that she only person who could forget : and besides such consider widow's smiles, to do her justice, were sufficiently intoxicati selves to make a wiser man than me forget prudence, for everything but the companion by his side. Yet when I for dinner I was still a free man—the last meshes of unwoven—the spell was incomplete I had not passed the by Jove I had been uncommonly close to it- bank

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