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...THE* WIF&STEALBR

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THE* WIF&STEALBR Til? MarkofF family came; from Rtu-sia toward thtl eud of the last century, and i) ^Tisete,- Markcrf, the third descendant of tbts; fAmily, a3 already a large landowner in Hungary and oouid ar.t speak a syllable of the Russiaa tongue. U'em-t^r III. wa* a famous man in aid tune, hv.-c because he could ride down tin) strongest, horse in one day; secondly, because he could swallow the Urgest gia&si of wine at one gulp \1:),1 after- ward* eat tins glass itself); thirdly, because, iiuwever 18"ge his income might be, he could always spend twice a?> much; a.nd. fourthly, becarB^, DO matter what woman he met, he could always either fascinate her or (failing that) marry her—and within a twelvemonth the ladv iu question would punctually he Abolished from the face oi the. earth. When he. mached hI' forty-eighth, year he had just buried his third wife. She was a good soul, they si.y- i^vr complained, and died quietly and without protest. i By his ti"st wite he had a son. Demeter 4 Markotf tlv? four5h. At the time of which '? rite this young man was 24 years of age. 'In many respects he fa led t., resemble Lis father He hLkêtJ that gentleman's- heroic qualities, being a quiet and economical young man, fond of reading, painting, and music. ,"W uie and. tobacco both made mm sick, and if a pretty girl looked at him he would blush. ■Demeter 111. was irritated by his son's vir- tues, and jailed him a. Uic'by. hut he was hi? only sen all the .same, and he could not disown him. l'aternal example had no effect upon him. Tn vain did Dereeter III take him to bear hunts'—the wii .'imply bega.n to Dcjut the forest scenery, in vain did lIe give him money to spend—he bought nothing but boJkz ana pictures in r*in did he take him to places of amusement—he simply v^at to sleep while the fwB vis going on. Une day, however, Demeter III. was astonished by the news that his son wished to marry. In the adjoining county there was a charming young girt who was the youngest of the six daughters of a small iandfc.ii proprietor. It was on the occasion of a vintage festival that tuc youth had first met. her, and ever since then he had been accustomed, in the soft moonlight, to dream away his* time in her company, and to talk uhout the stars and the Sowero. as respectable people are supposed to do when they are in love. The uame of ttus young girl was Angelica. ioung Demeter Markoff now came to his lather and asked him n he would be good en.1?h to journey into t.he adjoining county itui obtain for him the necessary consent to the projected marriage. 'With pleasure replied the father. "Is she pretty'" "Her beauty is trj-cscendant." "Ah, you think so because she i* the first girl you nave met. Is she fond of you?'' ''She worship* me." "19 she young?' '"Only eighteen." That iltt the most interesting age Don't be afraid. I wilt 40 and ?< .mage it, I will bring her back. You oan consider her already here Demeter III. had his horses swiftly har- nessed, five beautiful Arab steeds, and he drove them into the neighbouring county ;it such a terrific rate that they ere pretty well lame before they got, here, Directly he set eyes on Aa^lica he jaw that she was, indeed, the lov'iest of women—also that she bad a. deeply rooted affection for his son Angelica, as already 'Stated, was only eighteen, and a.t that ago fairy rules over the senses. Secret sympathies and inexplicable magnetic irUkKMrccy operate in the soul. These thing? whispered to Miq. Angelica that to be drawn by five Arab steeds is mora delightful than to be drawn by two. auj it. was pleasanter to eat off silver dishes, than 41fT ohina plates; and. indeed, Demeter lV, possessed less property than Ins father, for. whilf tia- latter owned 'arge tracts of country, nothing belonged to his artistic son but the landscapes on canvas which he bad himself painted in the paternal territory. 1,1 oite word. Angelica gave her hand to Demec-er III. instead! of b his offspring. Tin matrimonii go-between kept his word —he brought the young laly home; but Denier IV, was sufficiently astonished when }■■'>+ 1.tther told him that she did net come oha -wrie, but m his stcp-mofchei. The roT' Demeter c«.»w found it necessary to quit Kungsfv altogether, for all the in- habitants were laughing at his expense. He went to Russia, and lived in an old mansion of hs Lit .hers jn Podolia. Thence he never returned. After that tit- people at home tohl all #ort-s of ludicrous stories to the life he was leading in Russia- Some said that he -tr ail I -f>y long in the corner of a room, opposite the portrait of t i¡. girl r? had wished to marry that the spiders were in- dustriously spinning their wt- bs OVT this picture: that they had al'n>-fc covpr;>d it from view, but that the rves "» Angelica were still visible, and that Deinetr. TV would not le,lve the cham^T until they ton. were con- cealed by the filmy meshe- Cithers said he was miking experiments in chemistry, and trv'.ng the effect of certain poison* on dogs win cats A third party *rid that he Ind turned into > vegetarian, and passed hi* life in weighing up the preci-? amount ot food wi.h. h h" considered necessary fur hi.. next meal. But they were a 1\ wrong, and at length their statements were confuted by a letter which arrived from Demeter H., addi«s*ed to his father It should he mentioned, by the wrr that thp be«utifu: Angelica had. indeed, lied within tlf twelveuKvth. On the occasion of a ball Demeter III v.-as so drank that he pointed a gun ,t his wife because she was chatting merriiv u if.'i a jjod-looking young otficew SI:-1 thereupon fled from the ballroom "11 teiror, rubbed out- into the colinight air in bei muslin dress and satin slippers, took and shortly died therefrom. But she had attained her imbition, and if the had married the younger Deleter might, per haps. st;1' have been alll.e, As Mrs. Derneter IV. she won-ft not have 1t(>en lying in such a beautiful velvet-covered* ar.d gilded cuffin, nor have tiet"n drawn to her vault by five -ach beautiful At ah steeds. From the younger Deinete1' If-Her to his father it appeared that he kd been .-{; far aucoes«rfnl in forgetting Angelica that he was bent to ma,rry another girl. Years had already passeu. The elder Dementer was 58 years oil, while his son wa.« "till only 34. Thuc the latter was now in a position to write 1-< 11s father in these terms:— "My dear Father,—I again intend to many. and I have discovered the iro«t. beautiful girl in;-iginabie for my wife. 1 want you to be present ♦•he ceremony. Thi« tune I am not aIr-did that yco wdl carry off rny brick1, for ten years have elapsed, and y n have now lost j your power oi fascination. Ten y- ars ago I was a njerf hijd and vou wre a man to-day I am x m-sn aad you are getting well on into » clii;<!hood. Besides, my hancee loves me with prof'.und devotion. Therefore, if you w'sh ma happincs, corne at ''nee to my Approaching weilding.—Dimeter. The* words inflamed Demeter TIT, His pride waj» wounded. A wicke-1 de-ire took po9«6.<sion of him. Whit SOT*, of a. girl is thic: you, in?ster In- tirds to marry?" he inquned of trie valet who had brought tHe letter. ■ "A most lovely creature, s^r," was the reply, Is s:if> yomig?" "Still almost a chiM. j "Do they iove each other* "Like -i oaii of d^ves." j '"Weil, ?o back and tell m, son Hla": I shall ,» present it his wedding," III. iosf not a rnoment. but trtveUed ]K>st lia^ste. Ftes*hin> Lemherg, he liV:ro happened t.. meet hi* son's coachman. "What a.re you do;<^ here, Dimitm?" he1 i.txuiwd. II The servant hammered and showed that he voidd like to lie. but a handfid of gold promptly irnministr-red indaeerf him to tell the ¡ truth. FI* said that his master got quite I alarmed on hearing that the father did not mind taking the trouble of journeying to PodoUsh. and he bad. therefore, arranged that ¡ the wedding si-ould take pla^e two days earlier, swrnlinir his coachman to Lernberg to buy certain Hungarian commodities for the marriage feast. I Demeter ITI. leaped upon :1. swift horse -for hi-' earna.ge w not qirck enough—and fit '.loped furio asly tr-waro Pc'dxdia Two horses I fell beneath him, and he arrived ;It the church just a« the marriage was about to be sol em- tiised. He demounted, and the cerpnwl; v wa? n r.r<kt that falbe" and son mitV. grt-ct each r.ther, while the brid". 1"P.- mnH near the altar. She was covered with • thick veil whi'.h eomplet^ly !od her fea- tures. Demeter TU. looked with proud <-on- ten pt upon hM "on. wlkwe f'e wa.s sunk with A iio ire ring ailment, and from whose colour jt >^Ktld be ho%-»- m.isny months he had toj livti, wneneas he, the latttos. was stLii vizorra.i' and robuet. Demeter IV.. threw an implor- ing glance upon his paternal relative, who sixap-ly received it with a smile, sud then walked up to the waiting bride and whispered in her ear: "Beautiful woman, I am Demeter Markoff III., whilst that man is my son. His haJids I tremble, mine are steady; his are empty, mine are full of gold. Compare us together, and choose which one you will prefer to lead I you to the altar." D.dora -sn. it was the lady's rame-made her decision with very little hesitation, and it was I the father whom .she allowed to take her to the aitar and make her his wife. She swore to him eternal devotion. Demeter III. was radiant with victory, and glanced around the church to see what had become of his son. The latter was standing with his back against a piilai, watching thp ceremony from thence. He was not weeping. a-s on a fonner occasion. As the party was leaving the church he whispered iu his father s ears, "Good luck to you. Demeter III." The elderly bridegroom took off the veil from the face of the bride. He beheld, not a. thing of bea.uty. but an ugly, erooked1- mouthed, one-eyed horror—an object so very ugly tl«• t he could not find another like it if he searched all over the earth. From this wife he could not escape so easily as from the others. He could not drive her away from him. and she refused to die. He lived with her till his own death. She was not afrai.i of his finder, for she could swear better than he. If he drank, so did Didora I if he attempted tobpat her. she gave hdn a worse thrashing in return. Demeter found it necessary to shave off his bea"d. otherwise I Didora. was fond of pulling it out for him. I She insisted on accompanying him whenever he v'sifed his friends, and, being generally in drink, she would quarrel with him in their houses, and expose him to the Keenest ridi- cule. At length he decided never to go out of doors again, and' he died in seclusion.

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