ought to be current; and which conscience, like a grumbling shopkeeper, was contented to accept, rather than come to an open breach with a customer, though more than doubting that the tender was spurious.

While I paced the green alleys, debating these things pro and con. I suddenly lighted upon Andrew Fairservice, perched up like a statue by a range of bee-hives, in an attitude of devout contemplation; one eye, however, watching the motions of the little irritable citizens, who were settling in their straw-thatched mansion for the evening, and the other fixed on a book of devotion, which much attrition had deprived of its corners, and worn into an oval shape; a circumstance, which, with the close print and dingy colour of the volume in question, gave it an air of most respectable antiquity.

“I was e’en taking a spell o’ worthy Mess John Quackleben’s Flower of a Sweet Savour sawn on the Middenstead of this World,” said Andrew, closing his book at my appearance, and putting his horn spectacles, by way of mark, at the place where he had been reading.

“And the bees, I observe, were dividing your attention, Andrew, with the learned author?”

“They are a contumacious generation,” replied the gardener; “they hae sax days in the week to hive on, and yet it’s a common observe that they will aye swarm on the Sabbath-day, and keep folk at hame frae hearing the word—But there’s nae preaching at Graneagain Chapel the e’en—that’s aye ae mercy.”

“You might have gone to the parish church as I did, Andrew, and heard an excellent discourse.”

“Clauts o’ cauld parritch—clauts o’ cauld parritch,” replied Andrew, with a most supercilious sneer,—“gude aneuch for dogs, begging your honour’s pardon—Ay! I might nae doubt hae heard the curate linking awa at it in his white sark yonder, and the musicians playing on whistles, mair like a penny wedding than a sermon—and to the boot of that, I might hae gane to even-song, and heard Daddie Docharty mumbling his mass—muckle the better I wad hae been o’ that!”

“Docharty!” said I (this was the name of an old priest, an Irishman, I think, who sometimes officiated at Osbaldistone Hall), “I thought Father Vaughan had been at the Hall. He was here yesterday.”

“Ay,” replied Andrew; “but he left it yestreen, to gang to Greystock, or some o’ thae west-country haulds. There’s an unco stir amang them a’ e’enow. They are as busy as my bees are—God sain them! that I suld even the puir things to the like o’ Papists. Ye see this is the second swarm, and whiles they will swarm off in the afternoon. The first swarm set off sune in the morning. But I am thinking they are settled in their skeps for the night. Sae I wuss your honour good-night, and grace, and muckle o’t.”

So saying, Andrew retreated; but often cast a parting glance upon the skeps, as he called the bee-hives.

I had indirectly gained from him an important piece of information, that Father Vaughan, namely, was not supposed to be at the Hall. If, therefore, there appeared light in the windows of the library this evening, it either could not be his, or he was observing a very secret and suspicious line of conduct. I waited with impatience the time of sunset and of twilight. It had hardly arrived, ere a gleam from the windows of the library was seen, dimly distinguishable amidst the still enduring light of the evening. I marked its first glimpse, however, as speedily as the benighted sailor descries the first distant twinkle of the lighthouse which marks his course. The feelings of doubt and propriety, which had hitherto contended with my curiosity and jealousy, vanished when an opportunity of gratifying the former was presented to me. I re-entered the house, and, avoiding the more frequented apartments with the consciousness of one who wishes to keep his purpose secret, I reached the door of the library,—hesitated for a moment as my hand was upon the latch,—heard a suppressed step within,—opened the door,—and found Miss Vernon alone.

Diana appeared surprised,—whether at my sudden entrance, or from some other cause, I could not guess; but there was in her appearance a degree of flutter, which I had never before remarked, and which I knew could only be produced by unusual emotion. Yet she was calm in a moment; and such is the

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