happiness would not last; praising his goodness to the skies, but with an evident, though but half expressed wish that it were based on a surer foundation than the natural impulses of the heart, and a half prophetic dread of the fall of that house so founded on the sand,--which fall had shortly after taken place, as Hattersley must have been conscious while he read.

Almost at the commencement of the first letter, I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing him blush; but he immediately turned his back to me and finished the perusal at the window. At the second, I saw him, once or twice, raise his hand and hurriedly pass it across his face. Could it be to dash away a tear? When he had done, there was an interval spent in clearing his throat and staring out of the window, and then, after whistling a few bars of a favourite air, he turned round, gave me back the letters and silently shook me by the hand.

`I've been a cursed rascal, God knows,' said he as he gave it a hearty squeeze, `but you see if I don't make amends for it--G--d d--n me if I don't!'

`Don't curse yourself, Mr. Hattersley; if God had heard half your invocations of that kind, you would have been in hell long before now--and you cannot make amends for the past by doing your duty for the future, in as much as your duty is only what you owe to your Maker, and you cannot do more than fulfil it-- another must make amends for your past delinquencies. If you intend to reform, invoke God's blessing, His mercy, and His aid; not His curse.

`God help me, then--for I'm sure I need it.--Where's Milicent?'

`She's there, just coming in with her sister.'

He stepped out at the glass door, and went to meet them. I followed at a little distance. Somewhat to his wife's astonishment, he lifted her off from the ground and saluted her with a hearty kiss and a strong embrace; then, placing his two hands on her shoulders, he gave her, I suppose, a sketch of the great things he meant to do, for she suddenly threw her arms round him and burst into tears, exclaiming,--

`Do, do, Ralph--we shall be so happy! How very, very good you are!'

`Nay, not I,' said he, turning her round and pushing her towards me. `Thank her, it's her doing.'

Milicent flew to thank me, overflowing with gratitude. I disclaimed all title to it, telling her her husband was predisposed to amendment before I added my mite of exhortation and encouragement, and that I had only done what she might--and ought to--have done herself.

`Oh, no!' cried she, `I couldn't have influenced him, I'm sure, by anything that I could have said. I should only have bothered him by my clumsy efforts at persuasion, if I had made the attempt.

`You never tried me, Milly,' said he.

Shortly after, they took their leave. They are now gone on a visit to Hattersley's father. After that, they will repair to their country home. I hope his good resolutions will not fall through, and poor Milicent will not be again disappointed. Her last letter was full of present bliss and pleasing anticipations for the future; but no particular temptation has yet occurred to put his virtue to the test. Henceforth, however, she will doubtless be somewhat less timid and reserved, and he more kind and thoughtful.--Surely, then, her hopes are not unfounded; and I have one bright spot, at least, whereon to rest my thoughts.

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