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OR, ,ESTELLE;I WAS SHE WIFE…

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OR, ESTELLE; I WAS SHE WIFE OR WIDO W ? BY THE AUTHOR OF I '< Tried For Her Life," The Fatal Secret," l The Maiden Widow," c., c. CHAPTER IV. I ESTELLE. Meanwhile how passed the tinse 'l""ith her who, stricken at her meridian culmination of honour and happiness, had fallen so suddenly and so h'w ? We left her seated in the carriage with Messrs. OldfieJd and Trevor, on the road to Blooming- dale parsonage. Closely enveloped in the hridal veil, which she had had as yet no opportunity of changing, she sat back in a corner of the car- riage. he was too absorbed in her despair to notice the beautiful country through which their road passed, winding among wooded hills, down through flowery dales, and between high hedges. Neither of her companions addressed her, thinking it was better that, after so much excite- ment, she should be left to herown reflections, if hapty she might uain repose. Neither did they, in their respect for her grief, speak the one to the other; the ride passed in almost total silence. [t v. :is late, and the moon rode high in the heaven. when the carriage turned into the nan 'jv, -haded and deeliviii- road leading dow.n to :tiingciale. We aro- at home, dearest child," said Mr. OMneld. as-the carriage stopped. The footman sprang off from behind, opened the door and let down the steps. Mr. Trevor ali^hled. followed hy Mr. Old- field, who handed < ut Iris protege. They were before a low garden ._>ite, surrounded by an arch all oversown wi: It honeysuckles, whose pendent tendrils kissed their head* in pass;g tiirough. They entered !>y tJii.-s a sin>; circular walk, under a lattice work, co'-cred with graj>e vines, and leading a.rol]1; to the front portico 01* the o.-atage, which was covered closely, as was the whole house, with a matted growth of running roses, clematis, jessamine, flowering ivy, and every description of beautiful and fra- grant climbing vine. Within this green and blooming bower a light, in a shaded alabaster lamp, shone pnreiy as moon over the darkly-polished oaken door. The Rector drew the arm of his charge pro- teciingly within his own, and led her into this poruco. and rapped. His summons was answered by a neatly- dresaed, red-cheeked, bright-eyed servant. j>a:d, who opened the door and smiled andeourtesied on seeing her master but immediately stalled and stared with open-mouthed wonder at the form shrinking near him. "Come, come, Sarah, my good kt u" in Wnac are you thinking of V our 11u.stie.5- is-" Yes, sir, in the parlour exclaimed Sarah, recovering her self-command, and springing aside. Show us in there." Yes, sir," said Sarah, opening a door on the left side of the hall, and revealing one of the coziest of English home scenes. In an arm chair a little to the left of the table, sat a stately old lady of perhaps sixty-h ve years of ace, looking not unlike the dignitied housekeeper of Hyde Hall. On the other side, between the chair and the corner of the fire- place, was a stand on which stood a lamp and a volume of what might have been religious tracts, just closed and laid aside, with her spectacles between the leaves to keep the place. Had Es telle been in a condition to notice any thing, she might have been repelled by the severe aspect of this lady, who the reader has already guessed to be Mrs. Oldfield, the Rector's wife. Mrs. Old held belonged to the old school of English women of the middle classes. A rigid pietist, a severe disciplinarian, a model wife, mother and bonsekeeper she had reared, in high respectability, a large family, had seen her sons established in professions, had married off her daughters to eligible and responsible men—in a word, had completed her life's work without a flaw or blemish, and now at the age of sixty-five had sat down in perfect self-satis- faction and very little charity for those who had been less fortnnate. As she saw the party enter, she arose, some- what stiffly, between formality, age and rheu- matism. and stood ready to receive her guests but soon stared almost as wildly as had Sarah Copley on perceiving the veilerl bridal figure that hung upon her husband's arm; her first idea was, that their old bachelor friend, Mr. I revor, had resolved upon taking to himself a wife, and brought the iady there to be married she frowned formidably in advance at this supposi- titious irregularity. This is Lady Montressor, Mrs. Oldfielu, said the Rector, presenting his protege. Lady—Mon—tressor ?" slowly repeated the hostess, gazing searchingly into the pale, worn, most despairing, yet perfectly beautiful face, that with its downcast eyes, was now unveiled and bowed before her. She knew that Mr. Oldfield had gone to Hyde that morning to assist at the marriage of Lord Montressor and Miss Morelle, whom by the way she had not seen for years, and could not now recognize in the sorrow-stunned woman before her but why should Lady Montressor, I who was married this morning, be here alone in I bridal array, to-night? I $,Oh I beg your ladyship's pardon," she said at length, recovering her presence of mind, though by no means her astonishment, and offering her own comfortable chair to her visitor—" Pray be seated, Lady Montressor." Estelle mechanically sank into the prof erred seat. ? Mr Trevor greeted his hostess, who welcomed him kindly, and invited him to sit down. The Rector threw himself into his own leathern chair, rnbbedhis handswitl: an assump- tion of cheerful ease, and said Now tea tea! my dear as qn^Uy 1ut can be served. This lady great!} neet.. e 1 ment, for I think she has not broken rei last since morning." •' But, perhaps, Lady Montressor won id \> re- fer first to retire to her room and change he) dress," suggested the old lady, turning toward her guest and gazing with no abatement of astonishment upon her strange attire, wonder- ing whether she had brought any baggage, and in fact wondering all around the compass of which she formed the centre. But Estelle did not reply to her suggestion, most likely did not understand, or even hear it. And Mr. Oldfield hastened to answer. "No, my dear, I think not; her ladyship's trunks have not yet arrived, and I think she will not feel disposed to change until she retires for the night, which should be soon, as she is really ill from fatigue. Tlierefore, tea! tea my good wife, as soon as possible. Then rising, and crossing over to Estelle, he said Yon would like to retire soon, my child, would you not? "Oh! yes-yes," she murmured m a voice nearly extinct with grief and weariness. But-tuhtre is his lordship ? very iittnr-ally inquired the correct old gentlewoman. Lord Montresor-i-ahem !-not here at the present time," replied the Rector, pointedly; but seeing that this very direct answer failed to enlighten and satisfy, he added, Come, come, my dear there is no misunderstanding between Lord and Lady Montressor they are on excellent terms. Well, of conrse, there is something to be explained, which you shall hear in time meanwhile, my dear, tea, tea It was some comfort to be told that there was something real and not to be left to imagine herself under the influence of a wierd dream; and so the excellent woman, set somewhat more at ease upon tbe subject of this strange bridal apparition, rang and ordered tea, which was immediately served. "Mirier sue 1.0 relieve you, my child," said the Rector, gently, but rather awkwardly, officiating as lady's maid and unfastening and removing the veil and wreath from her brow, j "There, let me. draw your easy chair to the table. V., you hear me, dear child' he inquired, une,v "beholding her look of apathetic des- pnJr. "Oh yes, yes, I hear, understand, and thank youi, for thi" and for all. I know—I remem- her. that but tor you, I should have passed this night-t hat wa to have been my wedding-night, in prison, -he murmured, in a deep heart- thrilling tone. • //I /"iÔIf Mrs. Oldfield had heard these fearful Avoids, and involuntarily echoed them Do not mind her, my dear Madam—she— I mean, don't mind her,"whispered Mr. Trevor, to his hostess, whose astonishment had returned with a vengeance. Estelle, had she been less absorbed in her pro- found sorrow, might have noticed the shocked and scandalised expression of the old lady's countenance but as it was, the severe regards of Mrs. Oldfield fell harmlessly upon her whom despair had rendered invulnerable. Come, my child, you must really force your- self to take something. Endeavour now to swallow some tea and toast, for the sake of one in whose name I speak to you," said the Rector, gently placing his charge at the table. Silently and mechanically E.-telle did all that was required of her, though the act of swallow- ingwasalmostimpossible. Andnow the deferen- tial care of the two clergymen for their fair charge again modified Mrs. Oldtield's ill suspi- cions of her guest. Directly after tea, at the suggestion of Mr. Oldfield, the bell was rung, and the little bright- eyed maid, Sarah Copley, was summoned to'-l.ow Lady Montressor to her chamber. Mrs. Oldfield gave some d^cctions in a low voice, aside to her "aai1, who couitesied, lighted a night-lamp, and stood ready to attend her ladyship. Silently and mechanically Estelle arose and I bowing good-night to the circle, followed her attendant from the parlour. When they had disappeared, Mr. Oldfield told the story of Lady Montressor's arrest at the altar, and the subsequent developments relating to her school history. But no logic or eloquence of the narrator, no palliating or explaining of the circumstances, could serve to lessen in Mrs. Oidtield's estimation the moral turpitude of her j I whom this rigorous jvdge persisted in regard- ing as a sinner of the deepest dye. And the anxious and distressed rector had the utmost difficulty in obtaining a promise that the un happy lady, while she remained their guest, should be attended and served with the con- sideration due her rank. But this promise once given, however reluctantly, he knew would be faithfully performed. Lady Montressor reached her chamber, which was the front room immediately over the par- lour, and which she found neatly and plainly arranged. The cheerful maid laid cut a deli- cate e^p;i,ndCT-Xi fr"m her n.tre >v £ ;•be, and stood waiting Lady Montressor's orders. Estelle gently declined her further attendance, and dismissed her. And then- For thenrst time.since her appalling calamity, Estelle found herself alone. She sank into an armchair, dropped her throbbing and burning forehead upon her hands, and tried to recolIscL herself and think cohe- rently. For now that she was alone, the fear- ful events of the last twelve horns seemed the wierd and horrible conjurations of feveror night- mare. It was as difficult as it was terrible to realise her position. The first stunning shock of the storm had passed. The thunderbolt had fallen, and the charred and blackened ruins of her happiness lay around her. The whirlwind had crossed her path of life, sweeping away her dearest treasures. The waters of ailliction had rolled over her soul, bearing off her most precious I earthly hopes. Yes, the first shock of the storm had passed; hut desolation was within and around her, and the clouds still lowered, dark, heavy, and threatening, over her devoted head. She rapidly reviewed the chain of circum- stanees-w hen scarcely fourteen years of age, she had been ensnared by an intriguing gover- ness, find an unprincipled fortune-hunter, into a secret marriage, soon bitterly repented by her- self, and disrupted by the man's felony, and now pronounced to have been from the beginning illegal. After ten years of separation, and two of supposed widowhood, she had that morning contracted a second marriage with a party of the highest rank and character, which was said to be legal and binding to all intents and pur- poses. Arrested on leaving the church, upon j a grave and degrading charge, she had been dis"- carded by her parents, who would probably lea ve England for ever, to conceal their humilia- tion under foreign skies but was protected, though most delicately, from adistance, through I reverend hands, by Lord Montressor, a man of stainless honour, who would be the last on earth to sactitice moral principle to human affec- tion, and who had in view of the Jaw and the testimony, dec hired his determination to stand by the legality of their late marriage, had given I her the protection of his name and title and exacted of all others that they should address her only by that finally, she was bound over to appear at. the approaching assizes to answer the charge of a tcrribie and shameful crime Such was the past and present, "Whnt lay before her in the future 1 Her trial. It is true that her counsel and her few devoted friends, flattered themselves and her with the promise of certain deliverance. But even her limited experience taught her that very litlle dependence could be placed upon the prejudgment of partisans, who always made it a point to sustain the hopes of the accused by positive promises of acquittal, which were not always confirmed hy the verdict of the jury. The law was proverbially uncertain. It was very possible she might be convicted. And then-- A vision of the convict ceil, the transport ship, the penal colonies, swam darkly before her mind's eyes, turning her soul sick with horror. It was but for a moment, and then, strange to say, she regarded this possible result as the condemned might regard the rack, the wheel, or the stake—a frightful torture certainly, bnfc one happily soon ending in death. Aud merely saying— 1 shonld soon sink under it, and that would be "-siie dismissed the vision, and turned to look upon the other—scarcely the happier- contingency. She misfit be acquitted, as was confidently promised bv her friends, upon the ground of the illegality of the cliI-ILIish marriage into which "a she had first been entrapped. Such were the uncertain prospects of the future. What then was her duty ? It might be indicated by circumstances. In the event of a conviction, her fate would be taken cut of her own hands, leaving her -nothizig to do, but simply to submit and be 1. patient until death should terminate her suffer- I ings. But on the other hand, with the issue of acquittal would come a. mighty moral problem, involving a terrible souhstruggle for then Lord Montressor would immediately claim her as his wife nay more, he would undoubtedly have his travelling carriage in waiting to convey her directly from the scene of her sufferings to his seat in Dorset, or to some other peaceful I retreat he would provnu, where the arms of affection should uphold and nurse her back to life, health, and serenity. The laws of the I realm would sustain him in this course; the world, ever ready to bow to success, would be his partisan and deejter and more potent than law or world, the advocate in her own heart was retained in his service and would plead his II cause. Shonld she admit his claim, yield herself up to his higher wisdom for direction, and with I child's unquestioning trust repose in the blessed haven of his large love? For a a vision of this sweet rest be.-tli)e(I III the holj iight of heaven. Should die give herself up to the happiness prepared for her There was a pause—along pause, and silence in tier soul. Her conscience gave 110 aflirma- tive. She only w herself at a folk in the road of fi-oill Ili life from which two p.-itits diverged. The one splendid with sunshine, beautiful with verdure, brilliant with llowers, and fragrant with their breath, musical with bird songs, and more than all, blessed with the presence of her noble beloved, who stood with outstretched arms, wooing her to enter. But, was Duty tli eve ? The other, dark with cloud and '■torm, barren, silent, solitary, desolate, no helping hand there held out to her, no encouraging voice inviting her, she would tread it, if tread it she must, alone, with tearful eyes and bleeding feet. and stagger- ing steps; yet not unblessed, if Duty were there. 11 ow should she decide ? Thequestion pressed itself upon her conscience for solution. She would not try to shake it off, to say—" Time enough wheu the trial is over"—for she felt constrained to be prepared for the result of that trial. It was a terrible ordeal one not to be safely passed without much prayer. Estelle sank upon her knee-, and prayed long and earnestly for light to see her duty, and for strength to follow it. Who ever .ght the Source of light and strength and came away blind and feeble ? The night snent in prayer brought a morning full of peace and courage. She had decided whit her course should be in the event of an acquittal. It was eight o'clock before her bell snmmoned Sarah Copley, wlnj entered as usual, smilingly, and said If you please, my lady, your trunks have come from tiyde, aud will you please to have them brought up here ? 11 I-es, certainly, my girl, but how came they here 1 'lease, my lady, T don't know but when my master scal back the Bishop's carriage, he sent a note to Sir Parke Morelle, I know, because I handed it to John, the foot man, to deliver and, please your ladyship, the trunks came about half an hour ago. ;>nd your lady- ship's own maid came with them." "What? Susau Copscwoou ? "Yes, your ladyship, shall I send her up ? or would your ladyship accept, my services ? "Thank you, my good girl, 110; send up Susan Coosewood." 1 o. madam," said the Abigail, disappear- ing. In a few minutes r.fter, Susan Copsewood entered, and immediately upon the sight of her adored and unhappy mistress, sank down at her feet, embraced her knees, and burst into tears. Lady Montressor laid her hand upon the girl's ilea;1. i;i sib nt benediction. There wa.- no v ■■ ■ y--<M spoken When, however, Susan niut v>pi ..ei-eii inca calmness, and had arisen from her feet, and fctood waiting, Lady Montressor inquired How are my father and mother, Susan?" "lieni dear lady, I always tell you the truth if I speak at all. But now please excuse me from speaking," said the girl, sadly. Al, uod, is it so ?-have I killed or mad- dened my parents ? exclaimed Lady Montres- sor, growing deathly pale and faint, and sink- ing into the nearest seat. "Oh, then, I >ee I must speak No, dear madam, Sir Parke and my lady are not dead, nor are they any madder than they always were—saving your presence; but, sincalmust tell the truth lest worst be thought, they are both very angry." It was to be expected But what put; it in your head, kind girl, to come to me ? Why, no one pm it c.,tiiie there naturally, my lady What else couhl I do but come to you the first opportunity ? Last night about eleven o'clock. John Brownloe, the Bishop of Exeter's footman, brought a note from Mr. Oidi'ield to master. I saw it handed to master's own man to be carried up. Well soon the bell wa« rung for me, and I was ordered to pack up all your ladyship's wardrobe, and have it ready to dispatch' at four o'clock this- morning. So I went to work and did it. Jn>t I before I strapped down the hist tinnk, 111:1.-u-r came in. Aud 'Susan,'says he, 'have you strapped til tiicttiiijlc,? All but this -,Il) tite ii(I.1 lie. I did so, and he put a letter "A letter! Susan, my girl, where is it?" exclaimed Lady Montressor, eagerly. In the buff-coloured trunk, my lady, which they are going to bring up psesently." "Goon." Well, ns I was saying, fiear lady, after I bad packed everything up, and looked around to see if anything had been forgotten, lo and behold there was myself that Blight have been left behind, if I hadn't recollected, so I gob ready v; ILit the rest of your ladyship's effects, to be sent off. Thus at four o'clock in the morn- ing I delivered myself along with the trunks. 'And who are Yoti ?' say. the drayman. 'I hired to take no passengers, but only baggage,' says he. Very well,' says I, I'm part of her ladyship's -,L hand and hoist. we up.' So after a little more altercation the .stupid fellow let me up, and here I am, your ladyship "Thank you, Susan; YOll-" She was here interrupted by a rap at the door. It was a couple of plough-boys, who had brought np her trunks. As soon as they were placed, and the boys had retired, Lady Mon- tressor hastened to take the keys from Susan, and unlock one—the one indicated as contain- ing the letter. There it lay upon the top of all the contents-she snatched it eagerly. Oh might it bear one word of peace and pardon to her sorrow-stricken heart: She tore it open. I It was an envelope, containing a cheque for a thousand pounds, drawn in her favour, upon the bank of Exeter. No more,, not a line—not a word. With a deep sigh, Estalle laid it aside, and sank into her chair. The maid, with a tact and delicacy above her condition in life, selected from among the many rich dresses of the trousseau, a morning robe of pale gl"ty silk-tIle plainest there, and laid it out for her lady's use; and then, withoutwords, prepared her toilet; so that. Lady Montressor was ready to go below to aieet the family at. their niue o'clock breakfast. As she descended, the hall door was open, and she looked out. How beautiful, on this bright May morning, was the parsonage and Jts surroundings,—a wilderness of llowers, shrubs, and trees, with the old church spire rising from tbe midst. Upon any other former L':S ,8wt:et mral landscape would have failed the heart of Estelle with delight; now, however, she only saw that it was lovely, and j tasked on to the door on he right, leading iuto tiif [larioiw. The family were ahready there. A& she opened the door, Mr. Oidfield arose and came to meet her, and with a kind- Good-morning, my child I hope you have rested well," led her to the table. Mrs. Oldfield treated her with stately eour. tesy. And Mr. Trevor, with a smile and a bow, placed a chair for her use. Breakfast, that seemed only to await her arrival, was immediately served. During that meal Mrs. Oldfield never, except in strict neces- sity, addressed her fair guest; and when she spoke it was with the most ceremonious polite- ness. There was nothing to complain of, yet Lady Montressor felt depressed and chilled; but she accepted this, as all else, in the sub- missive spirit of expiation. immediately after breakfast Mr. Trevor, whose charge lay in the neighbourhood of Mon- tressor Castle, in the adjoining county of Dor- set, took leave, saying as he held the hand of Lady Montressor: Though I depart from your presence, I re- main ir your service, my child. When I can render you any assistance, command me; I am ever at your ordets." "iearnesHy titanic you, sir, replied Estelle, 4 Mr. Trevor was gone. Mr. Oldn.dd went out to make parish calls. And Lady Montressor was left alone with her hostess, who, tiiough polite, was not con- gi-nial. r Soon, therefore,Estelleretiren to her chamber. Her faithful ntaid had set the room in order, and was now engaged in unpacking and hanging up iier dresses in the two clothes closets that flanked the fireplace. Have they sent my pocket Bible among the rest, Susan ? "Yes, my lady, and she handed it to her mistress. Lady Montressor received the blessed volume ■with reverciice, and sinking into her arm-chair, opened its pages to seek for light and strength and comfort. While Lady Montressor meditated, read, and prayed in her chamber, the news that she had sought; sanctuary with t he Rector of Bloonr.ng- dale spread swiftly through the neighbourhood, And many were the friends and acquaint-mo'S Of tl)C to in during the course of that day. Some few j among them wee personally known to Estelle, j and these ventured to enquire for her; but j Mrs. Oldfield, after sending a message to her j guest. "ild receiving an answer, replied Litil y th:,t Lady Montressor preferred to keep her chamber, and declined visitors. And so day | after day passed, during which Estelle secluded j herself, or only appeared when summoned to join the family at meal times. 1 Lord Montressor, busy in her cause, forchore to visit or even to correspond with his hapless bride. Lord Dazzleright devoted the wllole of his I valuable time and great le^al abiiity to It case, and spoke confidently of a fortunate issue. Oncedmingtheweelvhe called upon his client, and was the first and only visitor that Lady Montressor, during her re- ceived. Be came to gather fi-olli lei, iiiiiiille and detailed particulars of her school-life, and quasi marriage, and having possessed himseli 01 ali, and taken notes, he said; There can be no doubt as to the result 01 this trial. It will be not only an acquittal, j but a full and complete vindication. Therefore, permit me to say, Lady Montressor, that you I do wrong to withdraw yourself from your hus- band's protection. Your course argues, 011 your part, a doubt of your true position, winch may injure your case, when it comes before LIe ¡),i; "My lord, there is a higher tribunal, at oiiie day, I shall have to appear, and I- I must act in view of that," replied the lady, m a deep, liquid, melodious voice, tlrat seemed to How and ripple over the fragments of a broken heart. Lord Dazzleright looked suddenly into her face, and through its dark and lovely features recognized the spirit that could "suffer and be strong "—the spirit pdtient aud firm as sad. He -dished and pressed hp.r hand as lie took his ;ay Estelle leair^d. fhrough Sns:i,n Copsewood, who had oLtct;ed the news from a,uthenticsouices, that her parents had gone to Southampton, whence they would sail in a few days for Italy. Aiiotiter blow I accept it l' Oh, Cod, I accept it! Only make me patient to suffer, and strong to act was the prayer that went up from her crushed heart, upon hearing of this desertion. In a few days intelligence was received that the judges were within a few days' journey of Exeter, and that the Assizes would be opma on the following Monday. I Good Mr. Oldfield heard this neira with much more agitation than was felt by his charge, I who, pale and still, awaited her fate. The Rector wrote a note and sent it by a special messenger to Lord Dazzleright, desiring I his lordship to come at his earliest possible con- venience and advise with hiin. Lord Dazzleright lost no time in oomplying with the reque. c, and arrived the next day at the parsonage. 1 Mr. Oldfield immediately conducted his lord- ship into his library. When they had reached this apartment, the Rector liande(I a chair to his guest, and dropped I himself into another, saying: The Assizes are at hand." "I know it—thank Ifenven, the suspedsewill » be over," said Lord Dazzleright, cheerfully. j But—I took the liberty of sending for your lordship to ask—what am as Lady Montres- sor's surety, expected to do ? Am I to wait j here with her until a tipstaff summons ns to f nppear, or must I take her to Exeter, and render her up ? Yon see, though I am seventy i y sars of age, I was never in a criminal court in ( fwiy capacity in my life, and know no m&rs of 1 its- forms than a child." j "I see: of course you are expected, without it-rtnei notice-, to bring your charge into court. But, anticipating this natural embarrassment oir your part, 1 have brought and left my car- riage at the 5an, and will call with it to-naorrow to take yourself and Lady Montressor to Exeter —if you will "Oh, with promptitude, and many. tS-aaks, ) my. lord." "In this case, then, all that you will have to | do v,sill be to take ?eats in the carriage and | leave the rest to myself, as her couasel." "r am very grateful to have my miad thus > far relieved, my lord." I I shall be at your do or to-morrow 'cerning, at ten-if that hour will suit you." f:} I H, Perfectly, my lord." -I,Itl Dow, as I have a world of business on I my hands, I must bid you good-day, said Lord I Divzzlerigbt, (>ood-ds<y, and many thanks, mgt lQrd. I The next morning at the appointed honr, Lord Dazaleright's carriage stood before the vius-.glmded garden ga.te of the parsonage. It was a dark, gloomy, foreboding day, and seiisibly affected the spirits of all comeerried. Estelle grayed long and earnestly, in her eha.ni.ber, itemained on her knees, until a gentle ni;ti' at the door, and the voice of her faithful attendant warned her that her friends were waiting. Then she arose, and over her simpie giey silk dress wrapped a fine grey woollen sfeiaw 1, put Oil a close cottage bonnet of grey eiape, threw over it a black lace veil, took her gloves and followed her maid d»-a stairs. Mr. Oidiield waited in the hall, and Lord Dazzleright. in the carriage, to receive her. Lord Dazzleright's kindness of heart sn ggestell all things oeedful. WL.ne is her ladyship's woman? beqslced, I after greeting Lady Montressor, and observing that she was unattended. Sils she not going with her mistress ? Why, nothing has been said of it, my lord we did not know that it would be convenient to your lordship to- Is that she ? hasten, my good girl, throw on your bonnet, and get ia here beside me—did you not know your lady would require your services ?" said Lord Daazleright, interrupting j the Rector to hurry the maid. Yes, my lord, I knew it well enongh, only the rest of her sentence was lost in dis- tance, as she hurried around the circular walk toward the house. She re-appeared in five minutes, and took her place in the carriage. And Lady Montressor and the Rector occnpy- ing the back seat, and Lord Dazzleright and the maid the front one, they drove rapidly off toward the Exeter turnpike. A long, dreary ride, under a dark and weep- ing sky, and over a landscape humid with its fallen tears, brought them, at the close of day, into the city of Exeter, the capital of Devon- shire, and the alicient seat of the West Saxon kings. They drew up, and turned into the court-yart of quiet hotel in theneigliboui-hood of the Assizes. There was uo registry of names required there, as in our enn free country, and therefore no gaping and staring crowd could identity the pale, beautiful woman, who came attended by a clergyman and an attorney, as the high-born lady, whose approaching trial for a grave offence, occupied all thoughts, and attracted crowds to the city and no officious reporters could publish the fact that—" Ladv ..HI ESSOI occupied a.pa.I tioeu Is at ME • Clown I twice attended Divine service in public, without attiacting attention. She passed the e\ eni ug ni hei ciiamber, in prayc anil self-cominunion, be ready to meet the morrow and the opening of the Assizes. (To be concluded,)

CORPULENCY THE THIEF OF TIME.I

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