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cates will be sent by some more fortunate hand, and the great and glorious work will prosper, though I be sacrificed in its cause, and live not to see its consummation. There! the last of these papers is destroyed; and now, Mr. Shelton—now that I have nothing about me that I care to lose, for my life I have never valued, except inasmuch as it might benefit my country-now do I earnestly, imperatively call upon you to perform your duty, the duty that you owe to yourself, to your reverend kinsman, to your daughter, to Edith Colyton.".
“I do not comprehend you — I thought I had already discharged my duty;—what should I do farther?”
“ Surrender me up to justice, or rather to the Government ! This is your bounden duty as a subject, as a neighbour, as a father, as
man. Nay, Sir, hear me out - I honour you for that recoiling movement, for that look of abhorrence at the proposition ;-but, gracious Heaven! am 1, in return for the life you have preserved, to place yours, and that of all your family, in peril of the hangman ? Away,
away with such a hideous thought! You have done all that humanity required of you ; more, infinitely more than any other would have performed. Mr. Shelton! I entreat, I adjure you by all that you hold dear, to give me up; and if you will not yield to my supplications, pardon me when I say that I command your compliance, and that I must, I will be obeyed. I would voluntarily surrender myself, but that this would not answer the purpose, for, should it be discovered where I have been harboured, your lives would still be forfeit: so will they remain if I make my escape. There is no certain means of safety for you and yours but in your publicly and instantly giving me up to the law; and upon this, therefore, I peremptorily insist.”
“Never, never !” exclaimed Mr. Shelton with an indignant energy;
have all of us solemnly vowed that we will not have your blood upon our heads.”
“My death may not be so certain as you imagine ; for, though I have no hope, scarcely a
wish for pardon, I am not without the chances of deliverance. My colleagues are numerous and powerful; I have the means of bribery to almost any extent; nor am I unpractised in effecting my own escape from prison.”
“ This will not extenuate the guilt, the cru. elty, the cowardice of our giving you up.”
Forester persisted with an increased energy of purpose, sometimes imploring, sometimes commanding ; but his companion remained immoveable, declaring, that if he himself were base enough to consent-a thought which he rejected with scorn, none of the partners in his responsibility would imitate, or ever forgive his dastardly conduct. After this generous contest had lasted some time, Forester yielded a reluctant acquiescence in his friend's proposal that he should remain in the house till the coming night, when his strength would be sufficiently recruited to allow him to make his way to the coast, which was at no great distance, and search for a vessel to convey him beyond sea.
" I would gladly have detained you," said Mr.
Shelton, “till your health was
was more firmly established; but the suspicious appearances to which I have adverted, warn us to be as prompt as your infirm state will allow; and as an additional precaution against any surprise, I have had you removed into this bed-room, the advantage of which I will now disclose to you. At the end of this dark closet is a secret door; it
opens by pressing your hand against the ceiling, and leads by a few steps down to the shrubbery, which in this part comes up to the very walls of the house. Should any unwelcome visitants present themselves at Hales Court before night, you will of course have instant notice, when you can by this means elude the strictest search within the house. Only remember to shut the door after you, and we must subsequently commit you to those talents for
have just been boasting.” With these words he hastily withdrew, as if to avoid the acknowledgments of his guest, who being now left to his own reflections, weighed over in his mind their recent colloquy, not with
escape, of which
out self-condemnation at his yielding to the solicitations of Mr. Shelton. “The more generous the conduct of this family," he whispered to himself, “the less do I stand excused for thus endangering them. Heavens! why should such precious lives be implicated with minemy noble-minded host, his venerable and exemplary kinsman, the affectionate Edith Colyton, the magnanimous, the glorious, the sublime Agatha, for whom alone I would sacrifice myself a thousand times over! Who and what am I, compared to these my illustrious benefactors ? I ought not to have consented--I should have insisted upon their giving me up." In such reflections he remained for a considerable time immersed, when his reveries were interrupted by the entrance of Father Bartholomew, coming, as he said, to relieve guard at the request of his kinsman, who had just gone out to visit a neighbour. Forester, observing that they might not often meet again, since he was to quit the house at night, poured forth the most animated and heartfelt gratitude for the