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with the baby, was put into my hands. My intention at the time
was to be very faithful to my charge; but a temptation was placed
in my way, and I fell before it. Dogwood-he who is now my
husband—came to me, commissioned by my betrayer to offer me
marriage. I was poor, friendless, and helpless, and accepted the
offer. I spoke of sending the child back; but when Jem heard of
the mouey, he advised me to get rid of it in some other way. I
agreed, and left it on the steps of the King's House. You know
the rest."

but
my parents ?

you have not told me who they are, Did my mother recover?"

"She did; and both she and your father are alive at this moment." “Where, O where? and their name

?"Their name is Gray-Mr and Mrs Gray. They reside at Newington."

"Oh! are they my parents ?” cried the excited girl, with enthusiasm. “What! do you know them ?" asked Mrs Dogwood, in surprise. "Only by report. They were very kind to some one I know.”,

Yes; I understand they are very benevolent. Your father rescued Sir Edward's son-in-law, when he left him to rot in prison."

“Ha! you mean Mr Everly ?”.
“Goodness gracious! yes.

Do
you

know him too?
“No, but Henry does; and he that is he-

-Mercify) Heaven! and you would have had me marry that monster?"

" It was wrong, very wroug," answered Mrs Dogwood, penitently. “But may I ask you to forgive me for the great wrong long ago ? It has been on my conscience ever since.”

"God forbid that I should depart from the spirit of the prayer ! was taught to utter every day in childhood," replied Diamond, feelingly. “I forgive you freely, as I trust I have been freely forgiven my many offences.”

The hard, rough nature of the woman was overcome. long, very long since she had wept, and the sealed-up fountain laboured painfully ere it burst furth. But hot, burning tears came at length; and throwing herself forward on the floor, she sobbed with wild vehemence.. Diamond was alarmned; and stooping down, sought to soothe her. Pray, do vot, do not weep so," she murmu

nured, in her softest For some moments, the tempest raged with unabated fury; but, by degrees, she grew

calmer. “Let me weep," she said. 6. It will do me good. It is so long since I have wept before--not since hie left me. There, I will be better presently. Give me your hand, in token of forgiveness."

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Instead of presenting only her hand, Diamond threw her arms round her neck, and kissed her tenderly.

“You will let me go to my parents ?” she pleaded, in winning accents.

“ No one shall harm you, if I can help it,” returned Mrs Dogwood, drying her eyes, and looking fondly at the girl. “But we must be cautious, very, very cautious. I must dissemble still, and conceal my real feelings, in order that your escape may be effected. We have a week before us; for Sir Edward has given me that time to persuade you. At the end of the period, I doubt not he would do as he threatened; but you must be removed from his reach. Hark! I hear footsteps in the passage. I must leave you now. Keep a good heart, dear lady. You need not fear to be disturbed, for no one will visit you but myself. This chamber and the bed-room are the only apartments you will occupy.".

“ And you will visit me as often as you can, will you?" asked Diamond.

“That I will, in order that I may persuade you," answered Mrs Dogwood, with a smile. “Good-bye for the present.” .

" Ah! stop a moment, please. There is a protrait hanging in the bed-room. May I ask whose likeness it is ?

- Sir Edward's elder brother. He was killed by a fall from his horse."

“ Thank you. I was interested by its appearance."

Mrs Dogwood quitted the room, leaving the prisoner to reflect on the strange things which had been told her.

She perceived her husband and the baronet at the far end of the passage, and the latter beckoned her to approach.

Well, what has been your success ?” he asked, sternly. “ Not much as yet, Sir Edward," was the ready reply." But, in time, I hope to prevail on her. Only, don't hurry, and all may yet be as we wish."

"I will wait a week, but not a moment longer,” said Sir Edward, with a fierce oath.

“Certainly not," muttered Dogwood.
“ I will do my best within that time," observed his wife.
What that “best” means, the reader may judge.

Diamond, though left in no very enviable position by reason of the information she had just received from Mrs Dogwoud, was the subject of much satisfaction and delight. She now knew who her parents were, and was able to rejoice in the thought that they were among the best ones of the earth. She had seen neither of them; but they, being “well reported of for good works,” had already secured a favourable place in her heart. Henry had told her Mr Everly's history, shortly after it had been made known to him; and she loved to think of the gentle, benevolent stranger,

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who had, with such generosity and true Samaritan kindness, rescued him from the grasp of bis cruel oppressor. This amiable philanthropist, already respected and esteemed, was her father, the author of her being, and she was the rightful claimant of the warmest outcomings of his loving heart. That tender, watchful lady, too, whom Mr Everly had spoken to her of, in terms of such lively grati-, tude--this was her mother, the very being she would have chosen to repose her orphanized soul upon. Then the shadow of a long sorrow, which she had been told hung over them, that was all explained and understood now. She was the child whose loss they mourned, whose strange disappearance had caused an ever-present sadness to settle on their countenances, and a chastening darkness to surround their hearts. How she longed to chase away that gloom, and bring the long-absent joy back again; to throw herself into her father's

arms, and whisper to him that she was his daughter; to rest upon her mother's breast, and kiss away all her tears; to watch the first gushings of the sealed-up fountain of parental love, and receive into her own heart as a reservoir its clear, springing waters !

Was there not joy and peace in such a prospect as this? Here was a glorious dispersion of the clouds that had deeply darkened her own young life. In the midst of dense, hopeless gloom, to the desolation of which she had shudderingly resigned herself, a bright, beaming ray had shot suddenly forth, illuminating the present with the highest hope, and promising for the new future the most complete illumination. Light had come long before eren-time; nay, her sun had only been struggling with thick morning clouds, and these now passing rapidly away, he appeared in all the freshness and radiance of his early lustre, shedding full upon the maiden's heart the balmy influences of hope and joy.

At times, however, the peculiar situation in which she was now placed disturbed her. That she was in great danger, she could not forget. True, Mrs Dogwood had promised to do her utmost to liberate her before the week of grace was expired, and she did not doubt her willingness to perform that promise; but what if her plan should fail ? what if Sir Edward should suspect her, and take measures to prevent her fight? This fear was dreadful! for she knew enough of the bold, bad man, to be aware that he would ruthlessly carry his threat into execution, could not give herself up to despair.

She could not believe that a kind Providence, who had so graciously watched her hitherto, and had just lifted the veil from a long darkness, would permit her to fall a sacrifice to the proud and wicked baronet; and in humble yet trustful confidence, she looked forward to deliverance.

Mrs Dogwood's interview with the young girl made a deep impression on the mind of the former; and when she quitted her presence, it was with a fixed resolution to rescue her from the

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danger in which she was placed. Yet, she felt she had a difficult game to play. She must keep up appearances with her master and husband, to make them suppose that she was as faithful to the baronet's interest as before, and was doing all in her power to persuade Diamond to chime in with their views. If she could succeed in this, any plan she could devise for the girl's libera would be the easier put in execution, and there would be less chance of her share in it coming to light; for she had no notion of running herself into an untoward position, even for Diamond's sake. She had high hopes, however, of working out her views successfully. It was very unlikely that they would doubt her, after the proof sle had just given of her willingness to serve her master in the matter; and by artful speeches and reports, she did not fear to preveut their suspicions even from arising.

Time, however, will show how far she will be able to accomplish her new-formed resulution.

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CHAPTER XXIII.

THE FRUITLESS SEARCH.

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It was late, and Andrew Pringle still sat by the glowing embers of the tire. He had mused on many things on the joys and sorrows of his lung, industrious life, on the comforts with which he had been surrounded during the evening of his days, and more particularly on the blessed fruits which one deed had yielded. The little outcast which he had taken to his home and heart had grown up, and was now the solace of his departing strength and declining years. With a gushing, grateful, satisfied heart the old man reHected on this deed and its results, and somehow or other the words of the Bouk he had printed a thousand times came into his mind, * Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after many days."

Andrew Pringle was a quiet, goud-natured old man, and had been go all his days. He was a pressman's son; in due time he became a pressman

himself; and his contented nature never tortured him by a desire to get above the condition in which he had been born. He was a genuine Scotchman; and, along with a Scotchman's shrewdness and intelligence, he possessed a warm, generous heart, glowing with benevolence, a deeply religious spirit, & calm, placid tempera. ment, and a most amiable disposition. His acquaintances wondered that he had never married; for his babits were so domestic, his mature so affectionate, and his heart so tender. Alas! they knew

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not the reason. In early youth, he had loved and lost; and though, as the poet says, it is better thus than never to have loved at all, yet the wound never healed so as to let the heart open to a similar affection; and even to old age the shadow from that far-off grave lingered over him, and mellowed with a pensive sadness the fine nature that had been for a time crushed. But the soul thus made darkly desolate could not shut itself for ever up in the prison of its bereavement. Denied for ever, by a cruel, sudden stroke of the intenser -and more concentrated affections, its more diffusive regards became still more prominent. Its social beatings grew louder and stronger; it went out in its grasp to all mankind, and glowed grandly with good will to men.” To do good to others was his delight; to make the weary road of life less rugged to fainting hearts, was an exquisite luxury; to draw aside the cloudy curtain, and let in a sunbeam upon a struggling, despairing spirit, was a joy; to cheer, to animate, to encourage a toiling brother or a weak sister beneath a load of care, was a holy, sacred privilege; and many tears did he dry, many smiles did he evoke, many songs in the night did he cause to burst forth, as he went on his quiet kindly way.

Such was Andrew Pringle, the protector of Diamond Hunter. Early did he instil into the girl's heart those sentiments and principles wbich he himself cherished, aud the good seed fell upon good soil. Proudly did he see her grow up before him in outward loveliness and inward beauty; for the somewhat superior education that was given to her only served to refine the instructions of her first preceptor. Humble as Andrew was, he possessed the feelings which are the highest ornaments of the highest rank; and though station may polish these, it cannot make them more sterling. We cannot describe the affection which existed between the foundling and the

It was not only of the strongest kind, but peculiar in its strength, being rendered so by the circumstances amid which it flourished. He loved her with a fond, proud love; she was all-inall to him; if she was made happy, his earthly felicity was secured.

When we come to know him, bis best and strongest days are over. By weakness and ill health, he is laid aside from work; but his contented spirit does not repine. He knows it is the lot of man to fail at even-time, if not sooner, and he unhesitatingly resigns himself to his human fate. He is very anxious now about Diamond; for if he should be called away while she has yet no other protector, he fears for her lonely, friendless position. Long and sore has he mourned over her rejection of Henry; but so earnestly conscientious had been her refusal, that he has ceased to persuade her.

After a long period of silent communion with himself, he started up, and began to wonder why Diamond remained so long away. stirred the sinking fire into a lame, in order that he might see the face of the old clock that ticked in the corner. It was more than

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