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"Should you?" said he eagerly. "Do own room, but meeting the servants in the you wish for the old times over again? passage I turned aside, and darting into No," he immediately added, "I cannot the conservatory, sunk on the floor, and echo that wish. To me the present days burst into a of tears. paroxysm are far, far better." the climax of my woe. In future I could trust no one, confide in no one. Everybody proposed to me. I was alone for

"Do you think so?" said I, with a sigh, as I thought of my many perplexities.

"Can you think otherwise?" said he. "Surely our present enjoyments are of a higher nature. Surely the intercourse of mind with mind must be better than the mere amusements of childhood."

"But there was nothing to trouble one then," said I sadly.

"And I hope you have not very much to trouble you now," said he, with a smile. "Ah, but indeed I have. I have had such dreadful, dreadful trials. Oh such troubles, that there never was anything like it," said I, feeling something of the relief of even a partial confession.

"Indeed!" said he in evident surprise.

"I was not aware

"And I am in dreadful, dreadful distress now," interrupted I. I really believe I had more than half an idea even then of confiding all my griefs to him. He was such a very old friend, and though he did look so much younger than I had expected, I had gradually resumed my old feeling of looking up to him as to some one of almost venerable antiquity.

"In such dreadful, dreadful distress!" he echoed, in extreme astonishment. "I am indeed grieved. I cannot tell you how you pain me. Is there no way in which you can be helped? Is there nothing I could do?" "Oh yes, yes, yes!" I exclaimed excitedly. If you would-I really do think you might I do think I could trust you before anybody in the world," and in my fancy I saw him dismissing the whole array of Carls, Sellings, and Kennets, explaining to Arthur that we were only children still, and reinstating me in my former freedom.

"Yes, I am sure I could trust you," I repeated.

You are right," said he, in a low voice which trembled slightly. "You are indeed right. You may trust me. And you will give me the right to protect you through these trials, Charlotte?"

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My own convulsive sobbing at first prevented me from perceiving that the conservatory was not as entirely deserted as I had imagined, but becoming aware of this fact, as by degrees my excitement grew less violent, I peeped through the foliage which surrounded me, and perceived Colonel Solmes pacing up and down as usual, talking to himself. I held my breath to listen, and this, as far as I can recollect, was what I heard, though, if I make nonsense of it, you must forgive me.

"Sir Charles Lyell, however, told me himself that he is of opinion that we may one day discover the remains of man in these deposits. Now, concentrating the whole powers of the mind on the given point, we recognize three distinct species of fossil elephants in these pre-glacial forest beds.

"The Elephas primigenius or Mammoth contemporary in a later period with man. The Elephas antiquus, also contemporary in a later period with man.


"The Elephas meridionalis, confined to the earlier deposits, and not known to be contemporary with man.

"Now, the Mastodon giganteus· An involuntary sob here arrested his steps, and he looked round with a puzzled air; pronouced his usual formula — the demand for the day, month, year, locality, and other circumstances of note, and then catching sight of my white dress, and eyes glistening with tears, through the dark leaves of the passion-flower, which halfconcealed me, as I crouched behind the frame-work, he rapidly advanced towards me, exclaiming in dreary amazement:

"Bringing the whole powers of the mind. . What do I see?"

Apparently he mistook me for a mastodon, or a fourth species of the Elephas. At least he could not have looked more bewildered had he discovered a specimen of that nature in my place on the floor of the conservatory.

"Surely," said

He gazed. I sobbed. he at length, and the dreamy look began to fade from his eyes, and for the first time I witnessed that rallying of power in lip and eye to which I have before alluded.


Surely this is the child who has treated me with such kind consideration during the

last few days. And can sorrow cloud that | civility not to want to marry me, except you happy face?" and Harry."

My sobs redoubled, and he seated himself on the flower-bench by my side, and began to talk as one would to a child in distress. "Calm yourself, my child," said he, gravely but kindly.

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"I'm not a child at all," said I, spasmodically between my sobs; I'm dreadfully grown up, and I'm very wretched; and there's no good asking anybody to help me."

"Let me help you," said he simply, taking my hand and stroking it gently. "Let me see if we cannot find a way out of this terrible sorrow;" and he gave me one of his rare, grave smiles.

It was wonderful how calm I grew; how safe I felt with my hand in his. How it happened I know not, but I told him all my sorrows, from the very first meeting with Mons. Carl Toolou down to the last episode which had just taken place in the library.

I wish I could hope to convey to you a just idea of the way in which this extraordinary man received my incoherent tale. At first he was evidently perplexed at the discovery that I was not the mere child he had imagined. He even let my hand fall; but as my tale proceeded, and with my very genuine distress touched him with pity, he once more placed it between his own, while his eye deepened and darkened with kindly sympathy. Still stroking my hand, when I ceased speaking, he said with great deliberation (he always spoke very slowly, or with the most unusual rapidity)

"I have, I fear, little experience in these matters, but I cannot but think your tale must be of a most unusual nature."


He paused; he pondered deeply; he even rose, and once more commenced pacing up and down the tesselated pavement. I almost dreaded to hear of the extinct hyæna, so long did he continue in deep thought. Of most unusual nature" repeated he at length, "that in less than four weeks one young lady should receive no less than five proposals of marriage, and should fail, utterly and entirely fail, in declining any one of them; although, as I understand, most anxious to do so. Here must exist some curious mental peculiarity. This total inability to pronounce a negative under any circumstances whatever, might surely have been conquered by judicious training in very early youth. Even now it would be a question of interest whether'

"I should have had to say it so very of ten," said I, with another sob. "There wasn't one who came that had the common

He had stopped to listen. He started as I mentioned him. A new idea had struck him. He resumed his walk.

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"Me!" he repeated. "Me! And why not I?... True, the idea is new child, a mere child; and yet not a child. She tells me she is grown up. Probably I should never find any one more so. Decidedly for myself I should ever fail to make the discovery. To my eyes they are all children until they merge into old age." Again he paused, and passed his hand over his forehead.


It has totally escaped my memory," said he, "but surely I came to England for the express purpose of seeking a wife! Assuredly this must be the case; and yet I have allowed the time to slip by, and if I mistake not but a small portion of my leave can remain. Let me pause. Let me think. Setting myself on one side; bringing the whole powers of the mind to concentrate on the given point, what course should she pursue? What can be done to extricate her from her embarrassments? Clearly, her circumstances are, I take it, exceptional. The remedy must be the same. I doubtI doubt the power of man to unravel the skein of entanglement in which she is involved, in any other way. Yes; it follows. As long as she remains here and unmarried, she will never be free from the annoyances which her mental peculiarities render her totally incapable of meeting."

This was not flattering. "I'm sure I should not give any trouble at all to anybody, if they'd only leave off proposing to me," said I, in another sob; "and I don't think I have any mental peculiarity at all.”

He looked at me fixedly. " Concentrating the whole power of the mind on the given point, the position I take to be this. Required for her, a trustworthy person to extricate her from her difficulties. For me, a wife. By marrying her, I should set her free. Now, the question arises, could I make her happy? Would she not, child as she is, pine and fret, and probably droop with only the companionship of

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"Oh no, no, no, no, no!" cried I, "I never fret and pine, and I don't know how to droop. I'm sure I should be very happy, and I always know the day of the week, and month, and year, and all about everything."

It was done, my dears! I had pronounced the negative, and yet in doing so, I had ac cepted one more to add to my already too long list. But my heart had found its home, and I was happy. It was dreadfully undig

nified, of course, but I cared very little for that; for, I repeat, I was happy. I knew, moreover, that he would never remember the circumstances of our engagement, any more than the day of the week, month, or year in which it took place. We sat there, I cannot tell how long, among the gently falling blossoms of the jessamine, and the sad dark foliage of the passion-flower.

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One more little paroxysm of suffering, or rather of excitement, I had to pass through when he proposed that we should go at once and tell Cousin Mary. He had already forgotten my perplexities. I stopped him with a vehement flow of words; and after some consideration, and bringing his mind to bear on the given point-as I impudently advised him to do- -be remembered that at the first moment that the idea of marrying me himself had occurred to him, it had been coupled with the conviction that it must of necessity be a case of running away. In point of fact it was quite an exceptional case. We should not be running away to be married. Quite the reverse. We agreed to be married merely that I might be able to run away from my difficulties. Which I


On that Thursday, the very day so

dreaded, I crept out of Markham Hall at the earliest dawn, and, meeting Colonel Solmes at the park-gate, walked two miles with him to the station went up to London by the express; rested at his sister's house while he made the necessary arrangements, and stood at the altar by his side, probably at the very hour when James Kennet was claiming me from Lady Markham as his promised bride.

I only hope Sir Robert and Carl Toolou arrived at the same moment; I have often laughed at the idea of their discomfiture. But I try to think as little as possible of poor Arthur Kingsley and dear Mr. Dow. I was much amused at Colonel Solmes's horror at discovering that he had positively rnn away with an, heiress, and I could not resist the pleasure of advising him to devote my fortune to the endowment of an asylum for orphan mastodons and the extinct man when found.

And now, my dears, my story is finished. Thank you for listening so patiently. In conclusion, I have only to add that we sailed for India within ten days of our marriage that Colonel Solmes is quite charming, and, I, myself, the happiest wife in the world.

THE death of Mr. Mark Lemon, for thirty a speech, the point of which was that the Emyears Editor of Punch, should not be allowed to peror had laid down the basis of a Parliamentary pass without a note. Mr. Lemon's own capac- system, and then Napoleon read his long-exity might easily be overrated, but no man had a pected reply. It is rather vague. Our adverquicker eye for ability of the kind he needed, or saries, said the Emperor, extended the Plebisgreater success in keeping his company together, cite, originally intended to confirm a liberal resuccess which, when artists, literateurs, and form, into a question between the Empire and the public are all to work together, it is not Revolution. The country has decided in favour given to many to obtain. A genuine humorist of the Empire. The Government, without parand most genial man, Mr. Lemon was perhaps tialities, but also without weakness, will know of all editors of satirical journals in the world the how to cause the national will to be respected, one who did least moral harm, and his journal thewill calm party passions, insure public securione which has done least to create in its readers the jeering tone of mind. That he kept it clean is nothing uncleanness would kill it in a week, but he kept it reverential of all worthy things as no paper of the kind ever has been. He often gave the reins to international hate, but never vilified a political foe, and a personal foe he probably never had.

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ty, preserve social interests from the contagion of false doctrines," and seek the means of increasing the greatness and the prosperity of France. "To diffuse education; to simplify the administrative machinery; to carry activity from the centre, where it superabounds, to the extremities, where it is wanting; to introduce into our codes of laws, which are monuments, the improvements justified by experience; to multiply the general agencies of production and riches; and, finally, to find the best distribution of the burdens which press upon the taxpayers. Such is our programme.' It is a good programme, but its goodness does not prove that the Emperor is less than master, or that France could not carry it out without his aid.

From The Saturday Review.

Ir a country is happy that has no history, Belgium ought to be very happy so far as we in England know, for it is only recalled to our recollection when the King pays one of his welcome visits to this country. He is here now, and how very glad he must be that his father had the sense not to accept the throne of Greece, and wait for that of Belgium instead. It is perhaps easy to forget how great a success the Kingdom of Belgium has been, partly owing to the wisdom and immense experience of the late King, and partly to its enjoying a European guarantee from spoliation, but very much owing to the people of Belgium themselves. Belgium was to all appearance a very artificial contrivance. It had never had an existence in history. It had been successively the possession of Spain, of Austria, of France, and of Holland. It had never been accustomed to freedom or to free political institutions. Its ancient military history was that of being the cockpit of Europe; its recent military history was not re-assuring. It comprised two distinct and alien populations, and even now a Flemish labourer will remain half-starved and half-employed rather than move a few miles away to get nearly double the wages in a Walloon district. Its population is indeed all of one religious faith, but it would be difficult to adduce an instance of a fiercer fight within constitutional limits than has been fought since 1830 between the priestly and the Liberal parties in Belgium, with a slight but steady victory for the latter. Diversities of condition, of habits, and possibly of race, are great obstacles in the way of the cohesion of the different parts of a territory that is suddenly told to consider itself a country. But from one cause or another Belgium did cohere, and there is always something in success that defies analysis; and now that it has cohered we are able to see how much life and vigour are imparted to its social and political existence by the great variety to be found in its different districts. Considering how small a portion of Europe Belgium occupies, and that in spite of the density of population in some of its provinces the total population is under five millions, it is astonishing how many and great are the diversities of people, of soil, and of industries that Belgium presents. There is the special district of small cultivation, the cockpit of political economists, comprising the sandy districts of East and West Flanders, the Pays de Waes, and the Campine. Then there are the two great Walloon districts of Hainault and Liège, the first rich in mines, the latter in manufac

tures, where the soil, naturally better, is held in larger holdings, and where land occupies a secondary place in the thoughts of men; and lastly, there is the district of Luxembourg, mostly in the hands of considerable proprietors. If, on the one hand, it is true that the intense Conservatism which seems everywhere to go with what is very inaccurately termed peasant proprietorship has had much to do with the cohesion of Belgium, and has furnished, as in France, a useful counterpoise to the socialism of the large towns, it is also certain that Belgium has grown into a nation because it had other elements of social life than the cultivation of land on a small scale can supply, and that its manufacturing industry, and its aristocracy, with estates of very considerable extent and fair revenue, have combined to make it what it is.


The Government plays in Belgium a part which seems admirably adapted to the circumstances of the country. There is much less interference of the police in Belgium than in France, and a greater reliance on the ordinary operation of the law. Fiveand-twenty years ago there was in South Belgium a widely spread agrarian agitation, full of the horrors of arson and assassination so familiar to the readers of recent Irish news, and arising from new tenants being admitted without the out-going tenant being recouped for what he considered he had laid out. The out-going tenants went on in fact just as if they had been in Ireland; but they found out their mistake. The agitation had spread into France, and the Belgian and French Governments determined to put it down, and their different modes of proceeding are very suggestive of the difference between the two countries. French Government with that ingenuity and that indifference to anything but results which distinguish it, hit upon the effective plan of forcing the out-going tenant to domicile himself near his old holding, and then seizing on him and making him liable if damage was done. They used him as a hostage, and rather than submit to that he preferred to give up murder. In Belgium the Government declined to do more than put the ordinary law in force; but then they did put it in force, and the agitation died out with the execution of a hired assassin who had undertaken to soothe the feelings of an injured tenant for ninety francs. The Belgian Government, again, does little to interfere directly for the promotion of prosperity in particular places, after the fashion so popular in Imperial France. It tried some years ago to set up a sort of agricultural colony in one of the most barren

and unpromising parts of the Campine, but | cautious people to pretend to decide with it found the enterprise a failure. The col- any great degree of confidence. But there onists would not work, for they considered are a few general remarks on the small culthat the Government was bound to provide tivation of Belgium, which may be safely for them; and it was only when Govern- made. In the first place, small cultivation, ment sold off its property for a sixth of its where it answers, does answer very well. cost, and a spirited proprietor began to More is got out of the land than in any grind the tenants as Belgian tenants are ac- other way, and the combination of capital customed to be ground, that the concern and of minute personal skill and attention, took a new start. On the other hand, the which is commonly found in Belgium, proGovernment has interfered to promote the duces marvellous results in getting a great general prosperity of the country by becom- variety of crops out of very poor soil. But ing possessed of the great channels of com- when this is once said, we may go on to obmunication, to an extent not known in any serve that the general position of those enother country. Almost all the canals be- gaged in small cultivation in Belgium is long to the Government, which allows lime very different from that which is supposed and manure to pass free of dues; and, as to be the condition of peasant proprietors. lately in the Campine, the Government con- In Belgium the small cultivators are, as a structs canals through barren districts as a rule, not proprietors, but tenants. In some means both of communication and irrigation. parts of Belgium, where small cultivation is The railways, too, are in a large measure most developed, there is only one proprieState property, and within the last few days tor cultivating his land to five tenants cula debate of more than usual liveliness has tivating the lands of small proprietors. The taken place on a proposal of the Govern- small proprietors reside in the towns, are ment to purchase a large group of railways engaged in other forms of industry, and let under the control of a Company. There off the whole or part of their lands. These are of course objections to the purchase and small tenants of small proprietors seem to working of railways and canals by the State lead very unattractive lives. They are the with which we are sufficiently familiar in servants of many masters; for, in order to England. But the balance of opinion in get land lying together, they are obliged to Belgium appears to be most decidedly in get one piece from one man and another favour of the system. There' can be no piece from another, and the opportunity for doubt that the extreme cheapness with petty tyranny thus presented is not neglectwhich passengers and goods are carried in ed. The grocer who lets the tenant have Belgium has had much to do with the de- the piece he wants, expects him to come for velopment of the resources of the country. sugar and candles to his landlord; and if But the possession of all the principal arter- he cared for electoral liberty he would have ies of circulation by the State has also had to stifle his feelings, for he is always beset in Belgium the effect, of which there was by the solicitations or orders of those who there especial need, of making the whole can aid or injure him. He has no lease, as body feel itself to be one. The cohesion of a general rule, to protect him;, the law the nation has been materially aided by the gives him no claim for improvements, and general feeling that the district of Belgium the legal machinery for distress and execuwas more than a geographical expression, tion would have been thought satisfactory and that it meant a territory the parts of even by a Parliament of Irish landlords. which were bound together by a network of Leases for more than nine years are almost communication having a national character. unknown in Belgium, and in proportion as It was probably the fear lest this feeling the cultivation is not small the leases begin should be impaired, much more than the to exist and to increase in length within the fear of direct aggression from France, that nine years' limit. The tenant has naturalled the Belgian Government to insist so ly to give up every thought, and retain positively, at the risk of offending the every member of his family, male and feFrench Government, on forbidding the male, in carrying on his anxious struggle transfer of the Luxemburg line to a French for existence. Small cultivators will not Company. send their children even to schools where the education is gratuitous, and as small cultivation advances, ignorance advances also. The Belgian tenants make money in spite of everything, and this is the one charm of their lives. It is a great charm, and money, which is the root of all evil, is also the root of many virtues; but it is de

All disputants who wish to write up or to write down small cultivation fly to Belgium for illustrations, and the economical condition of Belgium is deserving undoubtedly of the most attentive study. What the final conclusion to be deduced from this study ought to be, too little even yet is known perhaps for

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