conduct? I asked myself. That will be a novelty: but she may come to the point as she will--I shan't help her! No, she felt small trouble regarding any subject, save her own concerns.

`Oh, dear!' she cried at last. `I'm very unhappy!'

`A pity,' observed I. `You're hard to please: so many friends and so few cares, and can't make yourself content!'

`Nelly, will you keep a secret for me?' she pursued, kneeling down by me, and lifting her winsome eyes to my face with that sort of look which turns off bad temper, even when one has all the right in the world to indulge it.

`Is it worth keeping?' I inquired, less sulkily.

`Yes, and it worries me, and I must let it out! I want to know what I should do. Today, Edgar Linton has asked me to marry him, and I've given him an answer. Now, before I tell you whether it was a consent or denial, you tell me which it ought to have been.'

`Really, Miss Catherine, how can I know?' I replied. `To be sure, considering the exhibition you performed in his presence this afternoon, I might say it would be wise to refuse him: since he asked you after that, he must either be hopelessly stupid or a venturesome fool.'

`If you talk so, I won't tell you any more,' she returned peevishly, rising to her feet. `I accepted him, Nelly. Be quick, and say whether I was wrong!'

`You accepted him! then what good is it discussing the matter? You have pledged your word, and cannot retract.'

`But, say whether I should have done so--do!' she exclaimed in an irritated tone; chafing her hands together, and frowning.

`There are many things to be considered before that question can be answered properly,' I said sententiously. `First and fore-most, do you love Mr Edgar?'

`Who can help it? Of course I do,' she answered.

Then I put her through the following catechism: for a girl of twenty-two it was not injudicious.

`Why do you love him, Miss Cathy?'

`Nonsense, I do--that's sufficient.'

`By no means; you must say why?'

`Well, because he is handsome, and pleasant to be with.'

`Bad!' was my commentary.

`And because he is young and cheerful.'

`Bad, still.'

`And because he loves me.'

`Indifferent, coming there.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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