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life endured, stand between him and a brighter fate. Till death us do part,' she repeated to herself, with a groan.

In some cases, when we have done wrong, atonement is possible—some terrible expiation, some crushing down of self to confession; for

l a moment she thought of this, and even with the lately repeated sentence trembling on her lip, she questioned its truth. Could not she go away for ever, and never cross his path again?

He had lived so long without her, so long had never known of her existence, why might not this short madness pass away from his memory? why could not he be with his mother again, happy as they had been of old ? But no, her absence would not break the bond; and to forget-could he forget her ?

There needed no other answer than the look with which he was gazing at her even now, as she turned restlessly and saw him. That questioning look which had told her, what no words had done, that he knew-what? she could not tell. She could not guess what he suspected ; she only saw that there was sorrow and inquiry in his glance, but no anger. Poor Mark ! no anger, for he did not yet imagine how completely he had been dreaming; he was


only awakening to a dread that in some way his presence was irksome to her. He had been always so courted abroad, so idolized at home, that he had never paused to consider it improbable he should be loved by this young girl, who was so dear to him ; but now the genuine humility of his nature came forth and whispered to him that, as she knew him better, she was disappointed—she was becoming aware of the faults, the weakness, the baser parts of his character, and shrank from one so much less worthy than herself. So far, but no farther in the untangling of the mystery, he believed him. self to have progressed. It was a singular solution of it to have occurred to a man of his years and experience ; but then there are different kinds of experience, and his lay chiefly in what regarded men, not women. He had peculiar thoughts, peculiar habits, and came often to peculiar conclusions.

In Eve's startled eyes there was no aversion -rather an anxious, compassionate expression which soothed him. But this was no time for explanation. He told her briefly that his mother had waited.

She answered with a depth of contrition much beyond the apparent offence, rising timidly

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from the sofa as she did so. But for the doubt and weight at his heart, he could have smiled to see the slight, shrinking form slide from its recumbent attitude, and stand before him like a chidden child.

Nay, Eve, no need for penitence so deep. My mother will marvel how I can so soon have changed as to have inspired my wife with awe so deep. Think of me not as an angry schoolmaster, but as—as very unworthy, perhaps, but still your husband.'

He put his hand on the head bent towards him, and tried to raise the face which eluded

But with a little laugh she slipped away; and glad that she did laugh, nor guessing how forced it was, he also smiled and left her. Left her to recal to herself that here, in this honoured mother, was another claim upon her for affection and care, which she could scarcely fail to neglect, with a mind so preoccupied and wretched.

With true waywardness, she was tempted to repine that Mrs. Philipson was not a haughty, disagreeable woman, to be kept at arm's length and defied. She dreaded the mild, motherly glance which asked so tenderly for confidence. In wronging him, she had wronged her at the tenderest

his eye.

It was

point. And as all these serpentlike cares devoured her, came the summons to dinner; and so Eve took her place for the first time in the family circle.

Mrs. Philipson's home-circle formed a strange alembic wherein to test the true metal of a character.

free from follies; the world came but little there to disturb her rest; she did not even cultivate the higher follies of literature and science, as many recluses do. Not that, in themselves, literature and science deserve such an epithet; but they have a spurious offspring, which fritter away powers and time as effectually as visiting and dress. If you would not be silent all day long in her house, or talk for ever of politics, or the graver topics of the hour, your conversation must insensibly quit the beaten track, and wander off to higher ground, to the realms of thought and feeling, or the still more holy precincts of the temple. A hypocritical woman of the world, with that valuable possession, plenty of tact, could better have trodden those paths than poor little Eve; whose deceptions had been great, but not habitual ; were less the result of natural evil than bad training. Accordingly, her defective education (defective

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as far as moral culture went), her ill-regulated mind, were frequently betrayed when her opinions were asked, or her judgment appealed to. She was no longer the petted child, to be tapped upon the cheek and laughed at, when a silly or unguarded expression escaped her—but a woman, a wife, whose very words were to carry an influence for good or evil to those around her.

Sir Mark's good sense began to awaken to the mistake he had made; these were no exciting scenes, where accomplishments or mere beauty could dazzle and delude him. Here, in his mother's quiet home, with her words in his ear, telling so unconsciously of a mind and spirit weaned already from the follies of time, and mellowing in the radiance of the eternity to which she was drawing near, Eve's light comments or perverted sentiments jarred upon him for the first time; and the clinging tenderness, which might have blinded his affection or his vanity to her faults, she had not to give, and dreaded now to feign. But if he was not lenient by nature, he was patient, as he had told her long before. In spite of her coldness, in spite of her faults, she was still his. Disappointed in her, as she now was, his hopes turned eagerly to what

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