USEFUL INFORMATION AND AMUSEMENT.
pity he is not
enough to induce him to
a fellowship ; it
be the very
I should be in more
if I were one, ' who
at every shrine,' like some persons I know. What say you, Miss
blushed a little, but she was too light-hearted to feel muchembarrassment, and she gaily answered, " ' Men have died from time to time,and worms have
them, but not for
I should not fear a broken
or coroner's inquest, for any one of your degenerate sex, in thesenoderu times."
Many a word at random spoken, May wound or heal a heart that's broken;"
Crofton significantly ; " quotation for quotation; Miss de
Therelave been unconscious prophets before now\"
Percival, too, sighed; Minnie's words had wakened old feelings inlis mind, but before she even noticed his change of expression Ella called her:ousin to
in a duet, and both the young men drew
of the cousins blended well, and they were accustomed to singtogether, from early girlhood, and Crofton, who had a critical ear for music,
was now at leisure to listen, was sincere enough in the praise he bestowed
the conclusion of the duet.
the tenor of
trio, Mr. Crofton ? " asked Ella, cuttingmort
abruptly the graceful compliment on her mode of accompanying,
was concluding the comments on
performance.It was the trio from " Don Giovanni" between the
and Crofton half smiled as he bent over it.
I know you sing this," said Crofton ; "for I have seen the musictumbling about your rooms. I am fairly hoarse with shouting to old Ritson,
ever, and should only
it.""I did not expect such a young-ladyish excuse from you, Crofton," said
smiling; "I have sung nothing for weeks, but I will do my best if
Wilbraham will give me as much help as she can, and forgive my
Oh, expression is everything, my dear
said Crofton, " and I
in such a case you will sing
I suppose you sang inScotland."
flushed, and Ella began the symphony so hastily
Crofton wastolerably certain she had noticed both the words and
There was certainly no apology needed for the performance. Sir Hugh's
was rich and
and her cousin's
singing. The grave discussion of the eldergentlemen and the quiet gossip of the matrons was suspended during the trio ;and the dignified " head " and his musical
both pronounced it admirable.
time, after such exertions, comes the supper
said Mrs.Wilbraham. " I forbid any more singing at present. Minnie, give us
march you were playing to-day, and
we will have something still morerefreshing."
took her cousin's place, and gave the "Wedding March " insplendid style, while Miss Wilbraham busied herself in
some of themass of music lying
perhaps to avoid Crofton's evident intention of
her to a
had she moved to one. She did not altogether succeed,
for he began to
her labours with such skilful zeal
not refuse his services."Have you ever heard 'Don Giovanni,' strongly cast, Miss Wilbraham?"he said, as he placed the music of
in London," she replied. " I did
at Edinburgh, when we weremaking a tour in Scotland. I should
it absolutely perfect, whenthoroughly well done ? "
Yes, the music is exquisite," said Crofton; "but I am absurd enough
even the subject of an opera to be
is so unmitigatedly contemptible, I could never get up an
yet the majority of your sex arc somewhat
poets and novelists
remarked Ella, still bending over her
so as to half conceal her
' Heed not what old rhymers say,' Miss Wilbraham,"
Crofton ;••though, indeed, I fear
is often too much foundation for
assertions.But the worst sort of Don
is not the volatile, open adorer at everyfarine, but the one who, by quiet unspoken devotion to one, lulls all suspicion
sleep."Ella gave a quick glance at Crofton's face as he
these words; but:he could read in it only its
expression, and fromhim her eyes
unconsciously to Trevor, who was leaning against the
distance, listening to Minnie's spirited playing. The
chords were, however, struck at
moment; and the
engaged in the discussion of creams and jellies, and wine and water,
conversation became more general. A concert at the "
at the end
November, and a ball on the
night of the old year were
andboth were talked of, to be patronised by the whole
Lewis Percivalmustered courage to engage Miss De
for a quadrille and waltz at theball, though she assured him it was very doubtful she should remember herpromise so long.
I never remembered anything more
twenty-four hours, unless
Mr. Percival, since I used to be put in the corner forforgetting the verb I had
the day before. So be warned in time, anddon't
your hopes of dancing on my giddy self," she said, gaily ; but herkind
smote her when she saw him
away with a disappointed
quite out of keeping with her gay iest.
was strangely morbid
evening; and for the second time the
of the fair girl who had so
him had jarred painfully on his
sensitive point. It seemed to him like an omen of evil.The
of Mr. and Mrs. Macfarlane w
as a signal for
men ; but during the general leave-takings. Sir Hugh managed to sayto Miss Wilbraham, " I have obtained your
permission to send abeautiful horse I have here for you to try, Miss Wilbraham, and he is
to say I may accompany him and you in your ride.
for it to-morrow."
If papa wishes it, certainly, Sir Hugh," replied Ella.Sir Hugh was at a loss to know whether the coldness of her manner wasintended to
she did not recognise any right on his
in her arrangements, or to hide a feeling more propitious to his
He only waited the completion of his
career, till which timehe was under a promise to his guardians not to form any engagement, to tellher openly what he thought she must have long perceived—that she was the
of his deep and first
He had often flattered himself also
she was not indifferent to him, if an evident pleasure in his society, and
of her feelings to himself;but
was a change in her
and tone which, more
chilled and alarmed him.Sir Hugh
from his companions on the
staircase, and soughthis rooms in a vexed and uneasy
of mind, for which he chid himself invain, and which kept him long from sleeping, while Percival and his cousinwere equally wakeful, though from very different causes. Lewis heard, moreplainly and loudly
noises which had so often chilledhis very
and more plainly and loudly
ever did they seem to sayto his excited imagination
of his predecessors would be his.
Alfred Crofton, too, paced his room till a
hour ; but his usually well-
features were exulting, and his keen eyes Hashed with contending
Yes," he said, "the shots told well, and I could see
cousin and Ella herself were alive to my meaning ; they
to him, and were more cordial with me
Jessie Macdonald will
if I had pursued my
fancy for her, when I met her and Trevor in the Highlands with her
his sober old guardian. Trevor, you have been my rival in everythingas yet; my superior in
and fortune; at least my equal in
and itmay be in honours too, and worse
all, my rival in
is power in human will I will be your superior, your successful,
superior; or I will be avenged. Should I fail—then . But I
not dream of such a possibility. I never yet was mastered; and now,when all
is dearest to me is at stake, I am hardly likely to let. any
between, or difficulties
me in my
fortune, Ella Wilbraham
them all, and
charm of changeful, yet always fascinating
and manner. She mustand shall be mine, though at present she half fears, half dislikes me ; but s*omuch the more glory and excitement in winning her; and
for I know well his is no fleeting passion; he will suffer, as I wouldhave him, if he loves her and sees her another's, whom he
almost as I
him. It will be glorious."
threw himself in a chair, and sat for some time with his face covered,as if weighing the chances of his deep-laid plan's success.
all these thoughts and emotions were occupying the young gownsmen
Oriel, the two fair girls they had just left were
fire, in no very gay
to judge from Ella's sad and Minnie'sanxious
Mr. Crofton had some motive for telling me this, Elia,darling," said Minnie, after
to her cousin what Alfred had insinuatedabout Sir Hugh Trevor's supposed engagement. " I do not
but still I thought it right to tell you what he said; for it is plain
Sir Hugh wishes you to
he is attached to you, and if he is nothe is base indeed."
Minnie, Minnie, do not
" said Ella. " I am not so vain as
would make me. I confess I have fancied sometimes
like me, and behaved differently to me from others,
my own fault, and, if he is engaged, he perhaps thought I knew it too,and could not misunderstand him. I "Tears were too
Ella's eyes, and her maidenly pride was too strong forher to allow even her pet cousin to see how deeply she was suffering, and she
to reach some article for the toilette to conceal her emotion.
My dearest Ella, do not
nonsense, though it is very proper modestnonsense," said Minnie, impatiently. "There is no doubt about the
I was as certain till
Sir Hugh Trevor was to be my cousin,and my sweet Ella Lady Trevor, with all due accompaniments of diamondsand presentation at court, as
she is my own mother's
child, as old
would say, and if it is
ho is engaged, why, he is a great deal
Mr. Crofton, whom I have so often abused."
I must act as if it were
Minnie," said Ella. " I shall dismiss all
silly dreams from
Sir Hugh shall not
I ever fancied he was anything but a mere friend. He shall not believe
whether his manner has been intended or not."Ella's cheek crimsoned at the very idea of such a suspicion on the
of her faithless admirer.
I fear it will not be as easy as you seem to
Ella," said her cousin."Nothing is more difficult in my opinion
manner towards aperson with whom one has been as friendly and
as you and Sir Hugh
been, without going to an opposite extreme, which is
course just as suspicious. And though I should particularly like him to bopunished by losing your friendship and society, he would
youwere piqued at hearing of his engagement."
You shall see, Minnie," said Ella. "He shall certainly not
I regretit, even if he does imagine
I have any suspicion of the
which 1 donot
he can. And now
night, for I am sleepy, and even you
not sorry to
the usually bright eyes which her