-it rapidly melts away all distinctions; the obscure but eloquent commoner finds himself suddenly standing in the rarefied atmosphere of privilege and exclusiveness—the familiar equal, often the conscious superior, of the haughtiest peer of the realm. A single successful speech in the House of Commons, opens before its utterer the shining doors of fashion and greatness, as if by magic. It is as it were POWER stepping into its palace, welcomed by gay crowds of eager obsequious expectants. Who would not press forward to grasp in anxious welcome the hand that, in a few short years, may dispense the glittering baubles sighed after by the great, and the more substantial patronage of office, which may point public opinion in any direction? But, to go no further, what if to all this be added a previous position in society? such as that occupied by Mr Aubrey! There were several very fine women, married and single, in that splendid drawing-room; but there were two girls, in very different styles of beauty, who were soon allowed by all present to carry off the palm between themI mean Miss Aubrey and Lady Caroline Caversham, the only daughter of the Marchioness of Redborough, both of whom were on a visit at the castle of some duration. Lady Caroline and Miss Aubrey were of about the same age, and dressed almost exactly alike, viz. in white satin; only Lady Caroline wore a brilliant diamond necklace, whereas Kate had not a single ornament.

Lady Caroline was a trifle the taller, and had a very stately carriage. Her hair was black as jet-her features were refined and delicate; but they wore a very cold, haughty expression. After a glance at her half-closed eyes, and the swan-like curve of her snowy neck, you unconsciously withdrew from her, as from an inaccessible beauty. The more you looked at her, the more she satisfied your critical scrutiny; but your feelings went not out towards her they were, in a manner, chilled and repulsed. Look, now, at our own Kate Aubrey-nay, never fear to place her beside yon supercilious divinity-look at her, and your heart acknowledges her loveliness; your soul thrills at sight of her bewitching blue eyes-eyes now sparkling with excitement, then languishing with softness, in accord

ance with the varying emotions of a sensitive nature-a most susceptible heart. How her sunny curls har monize with the delicacy and richness of her complexion! Her figure, observe, is rather fuller than her rival'sstay, don't let your eyes settle so in tently upon her budding form, or you will confuse Kate-turn away, or she will shrink from you like the sensitive plant. Lady Caroline seems the exquisite but frigid production of skilful statuary, who had caught a divinity in the very act of disdainfully setting her foot for the first time upon this poor earth of ours; but Kate is a living and breathing beauty-as it were, fresh from the hand of God himself.

Kate was very affectionately greeted by Lady De la Zouch, a lofty and dignified woman of about fifty; so also by Lord De la Zouch: but when young Delamere welcomed her with a palpable embarrassment of manner, a more brilliant colour stole into her cheek, and a keen observer might have noticed a little, rapid, undulating motion in her bosom, which told of some inward emotion. And a keen observer Kate at that moment had in her beautiful rival ; from whose cheek, as that of Kate deepened in its roseate bloom, faded away the colour entirely, leaving it the hue of the lily. Her drooping eyelids could scarcely conceal the glances of alarm and anger which she darted at her plainly successful rival in the affections of the future Lord De la Zouch. Kate was quickly aware of this state of matters; and it required no little self-control to appear un-aware ofit. Delamere took her down to dinner; in doing which he defied the laws of etiquette in a little point of precedence; and he seated himself beside her, and paid her such pointed attentions as at length really distressed her; and she was quite relieved when the time came for the ladies to withdraw. That she had not a secret yearning towards Delamere, the frequent companion of her early days, I cannot assert, because I know it would be contrary to the fact. Circumstances had kept him on the Continent for more than a year between the period of his quitting Eton and going to Oxford, where another twelvemonth had slipped away without his visiting Yorkshire: thus two years had elapsed-and behold Kate had become a

shawl, and resolved to accompany the. servant to the village. She said not a word to either her mother, her sisterin-law, or her brother; but simply left word with her maid where she was going, and that she should quickly return. It was snowing smartly when Kate set off; but she cared not, hurried on by the impulse of kindness, which led her to pay perhaps a last visit to the humble sufferer. She walked alongside of the elderly female servant, asking her a number of questions about Phoebe, and her sorrowing father and mother. It was nearly dark as they quitted the Park gates, and snowing, if any thing, faster than when they had left the Hall. Kate, wrapping her shawl still closer round her slender figure, and her face pretty well protected by her veil, hurried on, and they soon reached Williams's cottage.

woman, and he a man! They had mutual predispositions towards each other, and 'twas mere accident which of them first manifested symptoms of fondness for the other-the same result must have followed, namely (to use a great word) reciprocation. Lord and Lady De la Zouch idolized their son, and were old and very firm friends of the Aubrey family; and, if Delamere really formed an attachment to one of Miss Aubrey's beauty, accomplishments, talent, amiability, and good family-why should he not be gratified? Kate, whether she would or not, was set down to the piano, Lady Caroline accompanying her on the harp-on which she usually performed with mingled skill and grace; but, on the present occasion, both the fair performers found fault with their instruments then with themselves—and presently gave up the attempt in despair. But when, at a later period of the evening, Kate's spirits had been a little exhilarated with dancing, and she sat down, at Lord De la Zouch's request, and gave that exquisite song from the Tempest,-" "Where the bee sucks,"all the witchery of her voice and manner had returned; and as for Delamere, he would have given the world to marry her that minute, and so for ever extinguish the hopes of as he imagined -two or three nascent competitors for the beautiful prize then present.

That Kate was good as beautiful, the following little incident, which happened to her on the ensuing evening, will show. There was a girl in the village at Yatton, about sixteen or seventeen years old, called Phœbe Williams; a very pretty girl, and who had spent about two years at the Hall as a laundry-maid, but had been obliged, some few months before the time I am speaking of, to return to her parents in the village, ill of a decline. She had been a sweet-tempered girl in her situation, and all her fellow-servants felt great interest in her, as also did Miss Aubrey. Mrs Aubrey sent her daily, jellies, sago, and other such matters,suitable for the poor girl's condition, and about a quarter of an hour after her return from Fotheringham, Miss Aubrey, finding one of the female servants about to set off with some of the above-mentioned articles, and hearing that poor Phoebe was getting rapidly worse, instead of retiring to her room to undress, slipped on an additional

Its humble tenants were, as may be imagined, not a little surprised at her appearance at such an ́hour, and in such inclement weather, and so apparently unattended. Poor Phoebe, worn to a shadow, was sitting opposite the fire, in a little wooden arm-chair, and propped up by a pillow. She trembled, and her lips moved on seeing Miss Aubrey, who, sitting down on a stool beside her, after laying aside her snow-whitened shawl and bonnet, spoke to her in the most gentle and soothing strain imaginable. What a contrast in their two figures! 'Twould have been no violent stretch of imagination to say, that Catharine Aubrey at that moment looked like a ministering angel sent to comfort the wretched sufferer in her extremity. Phoebe's father and mother stood on each side of the little fireplace, gazing with tearful eyes upon their only child, soon about to depart from them for


The poor girl was indeed a touching object. She had been very pretty, but now her face was white and wofully emaciated-the dread impress of consumption was upon it. Her wasted fingers were clasped together on her lap, holding between them a little handkerchief, with which, evidently with great effort, she occasionally wiped the dampness from

her face.

"You're very good, ma'am," she whispered, "to come to see me, and so late. They say it's a sad cold night."

"I heard, Phoebe, that you were


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not so well, and I thought I would just step along with Margaret, who has brought you some more jelly. Did like the last?" "Y-e-s, ma'am," she replied, hesitatingly; "but its very hard for me to swallow any thing now, my throat feels so sore. Here her mother shook her head and looked aside; for the doctor had only that morning explained to her the nature of the distressing symptom which her daughter was alluding to-as evidencing the very last stage of her fatal disorder.

"I'm very sorry to hear you say so, Phœbe," replied Miss Aubrey. "Do you think there's any thing else that Mrs Jackson could make for you?"


No, ma'am, thank you; I feel it's no use trying to swallow any thing

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"While there's life," said Kate, in a subdued, hesitating tone, "there's hope they say." Phoebe shook her head mournfully. "Don't stop long, dear lady-it's getting very late for you to be out alone. Father will go".

"Never mind me, Phœbe-I can take care of myself. I hope you mind what good Dr Tatham says to you? You know this sickness is from God, Phoebe. He knows what is best for his creatures."

"Thank God, ma'am, I feel resigned. I know it is God's will; but I am very sorry for poor father and mother-they'll be so lone like, when they don't see Phoebe about." Her father gazed intently at her, and the tears ran trickling down his cheeks; her mother put her apron before her face, and shook her head in silent anguish. Miss Aubrey did not speak for a few moments. "I see you have been reading the prayer-book mamma gave you when you were at the Hall," said she at length, observing the little volume lying open on Phoebe's lap.

“Yes, ma'am—I was trying; but somehow, lately, I can't read, for there's a kind of mist comes over my eyes, and I can't see.”

"That's weakness, Phoebe, said Miss Aubrey, quickly but tremulously. "May I make bold, ma'am," commenced Phœbe, languidly, after a hesitating pause, "to ask you to read the little psalm I was trying to read a while ago? I should so like to hear you."

"I'll try, Phoebe," said Miss Au

brey, taking the book, which was open at the sixth psalm. 'Twas a severe trial, for her feelings were not a little excited already. But how could she refuse the dying girl? So she began, a little indistinctly, in a very low tone, and with frequent pauses; for the tears every now and then quite obscured her sight. She managed, however, to get as far as the sixth verse, which was thus:

"I am weary of my groaning: every night wash I my bed, and water my couch with tears: my beauty is gone for very trouble."

Here Kate's voice suddenly stopped. She buried her face for a moment or two in her handkerchief, and said hastily, "I can't read any more, Phoebe !" Every one in the little room was in tears except poor Phoebe, who seemed past that.

"It's time for me to go, now, Phoebe. We'll send some one early in the morning to know how you are," said Miss Aubrey, rising and putting on her bonnet and shawl. She contrived to beckon Phoebe's mother to the back of the room, and silently slipped a couple of guineas into her hands; for she knew the mournful occasion there would soon be for such assistance! She then left, peremptorily declining the attendance of Phoebe's father-saying that it must be dark when she could not find the way to the Hall, which was almost in a straight line from the cottage, and little more than a quarter of a mile off. It was very much darker, and it still snowed, though not so thickly as when she had come. She and Margaret walked side by side, at a quick pace, talking together about poor Phoebe. Just as she was approaching the extremity of the village, nearest the park

"Ah! my lovely gals!" exclaimed a voice, in a low but most offensive tone-"alone? How uncommon"Miss Aubrey for a moment seemed thunderstruck at so sudden and unprecedented an occurrence: then she hurried on, with a beating heart, whispering to Margaret to keep close to her, and not to be alarmed. The speaker, however, kept pace with them.

"Lovely gals!-wish I'd an umbrella, my angels!-Take my arm ? Ah! Pretty gals!"

"Who are you, sir?" at length exclaimed Kate, spiritedly, suddenly

stopping, and turning to the rude speaker.

"Who else should it be but Tittlebat Titmouse. Who am I? Ah, ha! Lovely gals! one that loves the pretty gals."

"Do you know, fellow, who I am?" enquired Miss Aubrey indignantly, flinging aside her veil, and disclosing her beautiful face, white as death, but indistinctly visible in the darkness, to her insolent assailant.

"No, 'pon my soul, no; but-lovely gal! lovely gal!-'pon my life, spirited gal!-do you no harm!-Take my arm?"

"Wretch !-ruffian !-how dare you insult a lady in this manner? Do you know who I am? My name, sir, is Aubrey-I am Miss Aubrey of the Hall! Do not think"

Titmouse felt as if he were on the point of dropping down dead at that moment, with amazement and terror; and when Miss Aubrey's servant screamed out at the top of her voice, "Help!-help, there!" Titmouse, without uttering a syllable more, took to his heels, just as the door of a cottage, at only a few yards' distance, opened, and out rushed a strapping farmer, shouting-"Hey! what be t'matter?" You may guess his astonishment on discovering Miss Aubrey, and his fury at learning the cause of her alarm. Out of doors he pelted, without his hat, uttering a volley of fearful imprecations, and calling on the unseen miscreant to come forward; for whom it was lucky that he had time to escape from a pair of fists that in a minute or two would have beaten his little carcass into a jelly! Miss Aubrey was so overcome by the shock she had suffered, that but for a glass of water she might have fainted. As soon as she had a little recovered from her agitation, she set off home, accompanied by Margaret, and followed very closely by the farmer, with a tremendous knotted stick under his arm -(he wanted to have taken his doublebarreled gun)-and thus she soon reached the Hall, not a little tired and agitated. This little incident, however, she kept to herself, and enjoined her two attendants to do the same; for she knew the distress it would have occasioned those whom she loved. As it was, she was somewhat sharply rebuked by her mother and brother, who had just sent two men

out in quest of her, and whom it was singular that she should have missed. This is not the place to give an account of the eccentric movements of our friend Titmouse; still there can be no harm in my just mentioning that the sight of Miss Aubrey on horseback had half maddened the little fool; her image had never been effaced from his memory since the occasion on which, as already explained, he had first seen her; and as soon as he had ascertained, through Snap's enquiries, who she was, he became more frenzied in the matter than before, because he thought he now saw a probability of obtaining her. "If like children," says Ed. mund Burke, "we will cry for the moon, why like children we mustcry on." Whether this was not something like the position of Mr Tittlebat Titmouse, in his passion for CATHARINE AUBREY, the reader can judge. He had unbosomed him. self in the matter to his confidential adviser Mr Snap; who, having accomplished his errand, had the day before returned to town, very much against his will, leaving Titmouse behind him, to bring about, by his own delicate and skilful management, a union between himself, as the future Lord of Yatton, and the beautiful sister of its present occupant.

Mr Aubrey and Kate were sitting together playing at chess, about eight o'clock in the evening; Dr Tatham and Mrs Aubrey, junior, looking on with much interest; old Mrs Aubrey being busily engaged writing. Mr Aubrey was sadly an overmatch for poor Kate-he being in fact a firstrate player; and her soft white hand had been hovering over the half-dozen chessmen she had left, uncertain which of them to move, for nearly two minutes, her chin resting on the other hand, and her face wearing a very puzzled expression. "Come, Kate," said every now and then her brother, with that calm victorious smile which at such a moment would have tried any but so sweet a temper as his sister's. "If I were you, Miss Aubrey," was perpetually exclaiming Dr Tatham, knowing as much about the game the while as the little Marlborough spaniel lying asleep at Miss Aubrey's feet. "Oh dear!" said Kate, at length, with a sigh, "I really don't see how to escape."

"Who can that be?" exclaimed Mrs Aubrey, looking up and listening to the sound of carriage wheels.

"Never mind," said her husband, who was interested in the game"come, come, Kate." A few minutes afterwards a servant made his appearance, and coming up to Mr Aubrey, told him that Mr Parkinson and another gentleman had called, and were waiting in the library to speak to him on business.

"What can they want at this hour?" exclaimed Mr Aubrey, absently, intently watching an expected move of his sister's, which would have decided the game. At length she made her long-meditated descent, in quite an unexpected quarter.

"Check-mate!" she exclaimed, with infinite glee.

"Ah!" cried he, rising, with a slightly surprised and chagrined air, "I'm ruined! Now, try your hand on the doctor, while I go and speak to these people. I wonder what can possibly have brought them here. Oh, I see-I see; 'tis probably about Miss Evelyn's marriage-settlementI'm to be one of her trustees." With this he left the room, and presently entered the library, where were two gentlemen, one of whom, a stranger, was in the act of pulling off his great


It was Mr Runnington; a tall, thin, elderly man, with short grey hair-his countenance bespeaking the calm, acute, clear-headed man of business. The other was Mr Parkinson; a plain, substantial-looking, hard-headed, country attorney.

"Mr Runnington, my London agent, sir," said he to Mr Aubrey, as the latter entered. Mr Aubrey bowed. "Pray, gentlemen, be seated," he replied, taking a chair beside them. Why, Parkinson, you look very serious-both of you. What is the


matter?" he enquired, surprisedly. "Mr Runnington, sir, has arrived, most unexpectedly to me, only an hour or two ago from London, on business of the last importance to you."

"Well, what is it? Pray, say at once what it is-I am all attention," said Mr Aubrey, anxiously.

"Do you happen to remember sending Waters to me on Monday or Tuesday last, with a paper which had been served by some one on old Jolter?"

"Certainly," replied Mr Aubrey, after a moment's consideration.

"Mr Runnington's errand is con> nected with that document.'

"Indeed!" exclaimed Mr Aubrey, apparently a little relieved. "I assure you, gentlemen, you very greatly over-estimate the importance I attach to any thing that such a troublesome person as Mr Tomkins can do, if I am right in supposing that it is he who

Well, then, what is the matter?" he enquired quickly, observing Mr Parkinson shake his head, and interchange a grave look with Mr Runnington; "you cannot think how you would oblige me by being explicit."

"This paper," said Mr Runnington, holding up that which Mr Aubrey at once recollected as the one on which he had cast his eye on its being handed to him by Waters, "is a Declaration in Ejectment with which Mr Tomkins has nothing whatever to do. It is served virtually on you, and you are the real defendant."

"So I apprehend I was in the former trumpery action."

"Do you recollect, Mr Aubrey," said Mr Parkinson, with much anxiety, "several years ago, some serious conversation which you and I had together, when I was preparing your mar riage-settlements?"

Mr Aubrey's face was suddenly · blanched.

"The matters we then discussed have suddenly acquired immense importance. This paper occasions us, on your account, the deepest anxiety." Mr Aubrey continued silent, gazing on Mr Parkinson with intensity. "Supposing, from a hasty glance at it, and from the message accompanying it, that it was merely another action of Tomkins's about the slip of waste land attached to Jolter's cottage, I sent up to London to Messrs Runnington, requesting them to call on the plaintiff's attorneys, and settle the action. He did so; and perhaps you will explain the rest," said Mr Parkinson to Mr Runnington.

"Certainly," said that gentleman. "I called accordingly yesterday morning on Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap-they are a very well known, but not very popular firm in the profession, and in a very few minutes my misconception of the nature of the business I had called to settle was set

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