windows of one wing; but all the other windows were in darkness, and many exhibited their black, cavernous gulfs, entirely destitute of glazing or frame work.

`Do you not find it a desolate place to live in? said I, after a moment of silent contemplation.

I do, sometimes,' replied she. `On winter evenings, when Arthur is in bed, and I am sitting there alone, hearing the bleak wind moaning round me and howling through the ruinous old chambers, no books or occupations can repress the dismal thoughts and apprehensions that come crowding in - but it is folly to give way to such weakness I know. - If Rachel is satisfied with such a life, why should not I? - Indeed I cannot be too thankful for such an asylum, while it is left me.'

The closing sentence was uttered in an under tone, as if spoken rather to herself than to me. She then bid me good evening and withdrew.

I had not proceeded many steps on my way homewards when I perceived Mr Lawrence, on his pretty grey pony, coming up the rugged lane that crossed over the hill top. I went a little out of my way to speak to him; for we had not met for some time.

`Was that Mrs Graham you were speaking to just now?' said he, after the first few words of greeting had passed between us.


`Humph! I thought so.' He looked contemplatively at his horse's mane, as if he had some serious cause of dissatisfaction with it, or something else.

`Well! What then?'

`Oh, nothing!' replied he. `Only, I thought you disliked her, he quitely added, curling his classic lip with a slightly sarcastic smile.

`Suppose I did; mayn't a man change his mind on further acquaintance?'

`Yes of course,' returned he, nicely reducing an entanglement in the pony's redundant, hoary mane. Then suddenly turning to me, and fixing his shy, hazel eyes upon me with a stead penetrating gaze, he added, `Then you have changed your mind?'

`I can't say that I have exactly. No; I think I hold the same opinion respecting her as before - but slightly ameliorated.'

`Oh.' He looked round for something else to talk about; and glancing upon the beauty of the evening, which I did not answer, as being irrelevant to the subject.

`Lawrence,' said I, calmly looking him in the face, `are you in love with Mrs Graham?'

Instead of his being deeply offended at this, as I more than half expected he would, the first start of surprise, at the audacious question, was followed by a tittering laugh, as if he was highly amused at the idea.

`I in love with her!' repeated he. `What makes you dream of such a thing?'

`From the interest you take in the progress of my acquaintance with the lady, and the changes of my opinion concerning her, I thought you might be jealous.'

He laughed again. `Jealous! no--But I thought you were going to marry Eliza Millward.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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