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dead, dead ever so many years before. He had pensioned her off. She had married, and died in Canada—yes, in Canada. Poor little thing! Yes she was a good little thing, and, at one time, he had been very soft about her. I am sorry to have to state of a respectable gentleman that he told lies, and told lies habitually and easily. But, you see, if you commit a crime, and break a seventh commandment let us say, or an eighth, or choose any number you will—you will probably have to back the lie of action by the lie of the tongue, and so you are fairly warned, and I have no help for yon. If I murder a man, and the policeman inquires, "Pray, Sir, did yon cat this here gentleman's throat?" I must bear false witness, you see, oat of self-defeuse, though I may be naturally a most reliable truth-telling man. And so with regard to many crimes which gentlemen commit —it is painful to have to say respecting gentlemen, but they become neither more nor less than habitual liars, and have to go lying on through life to yon, to me, to the servants, to their wives,

to their children, to O awful name! I

bow and humble myself. May we kneel, may we kneel, nor strive to speak our falsehoods before Thee!

And so, my dear Sir, seeing that after committing any infraction of the moral laws, you must tell lies in order to back yourself out of • scrape, let me ask you, as a man of honor a gentleman, whether you had not better forego the crime, so as to avoid the unavoidable, and uupleasant, and daily recurring necessity of the subsequent perjury? A poor young girl of the lower orders, cajoled, or ruined, more or less, is of course no great matter. The little baggage is turned out of doors—worse luck for her—or she gets a place, or she marries one of her own class, who has not the exquisite delicacy belonging to "gentle blood"—and there is an end of her. But if you marry her privately and irregularly yourself, and then throw her off, and then marry somebody else, you are brought to book in all sorts of uupleasant ways. I am writing of quite an old story, be pleased to remember. The first part of the history I myself printed some twenty years ago; and if you fancy I allude to a.ny more modern period, Madam, you are entirely out in your conjecture.

It must have been a most uupleasant duty for a man of fashion, honor, and good family, to lie to a poor tipsy, disreputable bankrupt merehant's daughter, such as Caroline Gann; but George Brand Firmin, Esq., M.D., had no other choice: and when he lied—as in severe cases, when he administered calomel—he thought it best to give the drug freely. Thus he lied to Hunt, saying that Mrs. Brandon was long since dead in Canada; and he lied to Caroline, prescribing for her the very same pill, as it were, and saying that Hunt was long since dead in Canada too. And I can fancy few more painful and humiliating positious for a man of rank, and fashion, and reputation, than to have to demean himself so for M to tell lies to a little low-bred person, who

gets her bread as a nurse of the sick, and has not the proper use of her A's.

"Oh yes, Hunt!" Firmin had said to the Little Sister, in one of those sad little colloquies which sometimes took place between him and his victim, his wife of old days; a wild, bad man, Hunt was—in days when I own I was little better! I have deeply repented since, Caroline; of nothing more than of my conduct to you; for you were worthy of a better fate, and you loved me truly—madly."

"Yes," says Caroline.

'' I w as wild, then I I was desperate! I had ruined my fortunes, estranged my father from me, was hiding from my creditors under an assumed name—that under which I saw you. Ah, why did I ever come to your house, my poor child? The mark of the demon was upon me. I did not dare to speak of marriage before my father. You have yours, and tend him with your ever coustant goodness. Do you know that my father would not see me when he died? Oh, it's a cruel thing to think of!" And the suffering creature slaps his tall forehead with his trembling hand; and some of his grief about his own father, I dare say, is sincere, for he feels the shame and remorse of being alienated from his own son.

As for the marriage—that it was a most wicked and unjustifiable deceit, he owned; but he was wild when it took place, wild with debt and with despair at his father's estrangement from him— but the fact was it was no marriage.

"I am glad of tha$!" sighed the poor Little Sister.

"Why ?" asked the other, eagerly. His love was dead, but his vanity was still hale and well. "Did you care for somebody else, Caroline? Did you forget your George, whom you used to—"

"No!" said the little woman, bravely. "But I couldn't live with a man who behaved to any woman so dishonest as you behaved to me. I liked you because I thought you was a gentleman. My poor painter was, whom you used to despise and trample to hearth—and my dear, dear Philip is, Mr. Firmin. But gentlemen tell the truth! Gentlemen don't deceive poor innocent girls, and desert 'em without a penny!"

"Caroline! I was driven by my creditors. I—"

"Never mind. It's over now. I bear you no malice, Mr. Firmin, but I wouldn't marry you, no, not to be doctor's wife to the queen!"

This had been the Little Sister's language when there was no thought of the existence of Hunt, the clergyman who had celebrated their marriage; and I don't know whether Firmin was most piqued or pleased at the divoree which the little woman pronounced of her own decree. But when the ill-omened Hunt made his appearance, doubts and terrors filled the physician's mind. Hunt was needy, greedy, treacherous, uuscrupulous, desperate. He could hold this marriage over the doctor. He could threaten, extort, expose, perhaps invalidate Philip's legirimacy. The first marriage, almost certainly, was null, but the scandal would be fatal to Firmin's reputation and practice. And the quarrel with his son entailed consequences not pleasant to think of. You sec George Firmin, Esq., M.D., was a man with a great development of the back head; when he willed a thing, he willed it so ficreely that he must have it, never mind the consequences. And s0 he had willed to make himself master of poor little Caroline: and so he had willed, as a young man, to hare horses, splendid entertainments, roulette, and ccarte, and so forth; and the bill came at its natural season, and George Firmin, Esq., did not always like to pay. But for a grand, prosperous, highly-bred gentleman in the best society—with a polished forehead and manuers, and universally looked up to—to have to tell lies to a poor, little, timid, uncomplaining, sick-room nurse, it was humiliating, wasn't it? And I can feel for Firmin.

To have to lie to Hunt was disgusting; but somehow not so exquisitely mean and degrading as to have to cheat a little, trusting, humble, houseless creature, over the bloom of whose gentle, young life his accursed foot had already trampled. But then this Hunt was such a cad and ruffian that there need be no scruple about humbugging him; and if Firmin had had any humor he might have had a grim sort of pleasure in leading the dirty clergyman a dance thoro' bush thoro' brier. So, perhaps (of course I have no means of ascertaining the fact), the doctor did not altogether dislik^s the duty which now devolved on him of hood-winking his old acquaintance and accomplice. I don't like to use such a vulgar phrase regarding a man in Doctor Firmin's high social position, as to say of him and the jail-chaplain that it was "Thief catch thief;" but at any rate Hunt is such a low, graceless, friendless vagabond, that if he comes in for a few kicks, or is mystificd, we need not / be very sorry. When Mr. Thurtcll is hung we don't put on mourning. His is a painful lwsition for the moment; but, after all, he has murdered Mr. William Weare.

Firmin was a bold and courageous man, hot in pursuit, ficree in desire, but cool in danger, and rapid in action. Some of his great successes as a physician arose from his daring and successful practice in sudden emergency. While Hunt was only lurehing about the town an aimless miscreant, living from dirty hand to dirty mouth, and as long as he could get drink, cards, and shelter, tolerably content, or at least pretty easily appeased by a guinea-dose or two—Firmin could adopt the palliative system; soothe his patient with an occasional bounty; set him to sleep •vith a composing draught of claret or brandy; and let the day take care of itself. He might die; he might have a fancy to go abroad again; he might be transported for forgery or some other rascaldom, Dr. Firmin would console himself; and he trusted to the chapter of accidents to get rid of his friend. But Hunt, aware that the woman was alive whom he had actually, though

unlawfully married to Firmin, became an enemy when it was necessary to subdue, to cajole, or to bribe, and the sooner the doctor put himself on his defense the better. What should the defense be? Perhaps the most effectual was a ficree attack on the enemy; perhaps it would be better to bribe him. The course to be taken would be best ascertained after a little previous reconuoitring.

"He will try and inflame Caroline," the doctor thought, "by representing her wrongs and her rights to her. He will show her that, as my wife, she has a right to my name and a share of my income. A less mereenary woman never lived than this poor little creature. She disdains money, and, except for her father's sake, would have taken none of mine. But to punish me for certainly rather shabby behavior; to claim and take her own right and position in the world as an honest woman, may she not be induced to declare war against me, and stand by her marriage? After she left home, her two Irish halfsisters deserted her and spat upon her; and when she would have returned, the heartless women drove her from the door. Oh, the vixens! And now to drive by them in her carriage, to claim a maintenance from me, and to have a right to my honorable name, would she not have her dearest revenge over her sisters by so declaring her marriage?"

Firmin's noble mind misgave him very considerably on this point. He knew women, and how those had treated their Little Sister. Was it in human nature not to be revenged? These thoughts rose straightway in Firmin's mind, when he heard that the much-dreaded meeting between Caroline and the chaplain had come to pass.

As he ate his dinuer with his guest, his enemy, opposite to him, he was determining on his plan of action. The screen was up, and he was laying his guns behind it, so to speak. Of course he was as civil to Hunt as the tenant to his landlord when he comes with no rent. So the doctor laughed, joked, bragged, talked his best, and was thinking the while what was to be done against the danger.

He had a plan which might succeed. He must see Caroline immediately. , He knew the weak point of her heart, and where she was most likely to be vulnerable. And he would act against her as barbarians of old acted against their enemies when they brought the captive wives and children in front of the battle, and bade the foe strike through them- Ile knew how Caroline loved his boy. It was through that love he would work upon her. As he washes his pretty hands for diuner, and bathes his noble brow, he arranges his little plan. He orders himself to be sent for soon after the second bottle of claret—and it appears the doctor's servants were accustomed to the delivery of these messages from their master to himself. The plan arranged, now let us take our diuner and our wine, and make ourselves comfortable until the moment of action. In his wild-oats days,

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"I will step out, my dear, and take a little fresh air," says Captain Ganu: meaning that he will be off to the "Admiral Byng;" and the two are together.

"I have had something on my conscience. I have deceived you, Caroline," says the doctor, with the beautiful shining forehead and hat.

"Ah, Mr. Firmin," says she, bending over her work, "you've used me to that."

"A man whom you knew once, and who tempted me for his own selfish ends to do a very wrong thing by you—a man whom I thought dead is alive. Tufton Hunt, who performed that—that illegal ceremony at Margate, of which so often and often on my knees I have repented, Caroline!"

The beautiful hands are clasped; the beautiful, deep voice thrills lowly through the room l and if a tear or two can be squeezed out of the beautiful eyes, I dare say the doctor will not be sorry.

'' Ho has been here to-day. Him and Mr. Philip was here and quarreled. Philip has told you, I suppose, Sir?"

"Before Heaven, 'on the word of a gentleman,' when I said he was dead, Caroline, I thought he was dead! Yes, I declare, at our college, Maxwell—Dr. Maxwell—who had been at Cambridge with us, told me that our old friend Hunt had died in Canada." (This, my beloved friends and readers, may not have been the precise long bow which George Firmin, Esq., M. 1)., pulled; but that he twanged a famous lie out, whenever there was occasion for the weapon, I assure you is an undoubted fact.) "Yes, Dr. Maxwell told me our old friend was dead—our old friend? My worst enemy and yours! But let that pass. It was he, Caroline, who led me into crimes which I have never ceased to deplore."

"Ah, Mr. Firmin," sighs the Little Sister, "since I've known you, you was big enough to take care of yourself in that way."

"I have not come to excuse myself, Caroline," says the deep sweet voice. '' I have done you enough wrong, and I feel it here—at this heart. I have not come to speak about myself, but of some ono I love the best of all the world—the only being I do love—some one you love, you good and generous soul—about Philip."

"What is it about Philip?" asks Mrs. Brandon, very quickly.

"Do you want harm to happen to him?"

"Oh, my darling boy, no!" cries the Little Sister, clasping her little hands.

"Would you keep him from harm?"

"Ah, Sir, you know I would. When he had the scarlet fever didn't I pour the drink down his poor throat, and nurse him, and tend him, as if, as if—as a mother would her own child?"

"You did, you did, you noble, noble woman; and Heaven bless you for it! A father does. I am not all heartless, Caroline, as you deem me, perhaps."

"I don't think it's much merit your loving him," says Caroline, resuming her sewing. And perhaps she thinks within herself, "What is he

a coming to?" You see she was a shrewd little person, when her passions and partialities did not overeome her reason; and she had come to the conclusion that this elegant Dr. Firmin, whom she had admired so once, was a—not altogether veracious gentleman. In fact, I heard her myself say afterward, "La! he used to talk so fine, and slap his hand on his heart, you know; but I usedn't to believe him, no more than a man in a play." "It's not much merit your loving that boy," says Caroline, then. "But what about him, Sir?"

Then Firmin explained. This man Hunt was capable of any crime for money or revenge. Seeing Caroline was alive

"I s'pose you told him I was dead too, Sir," says she, looking up from the work.

"Spare me, spare me! Years ago, perhaps, when I had lost sight of you, I may, perhaps, have thought—"

"And it's not to you, George Brandon — it's not to you," cries Caroline, starting up, and speaking with her sweet, inuocent, ringing voice; "it's to kind, dear friends—it's to my good God that I owe my life, which you had flung it away. And I paid you back by guarding your boy's dear life, I did, under—under Him who giveth and taketh. And bless His name!" And she clasps her hands, and thanks.

"You are a good woman, and I am a bad, sinful man, Caroline," says the other. "You saved my Philip's—our Philip's life, at the risk of your own. Now I tell you that another immense danger menaces him, and may come upon him any day as long as yonder scoundrel is alive. Suppose his character is assailed; suppose, thinking you dead, I married another."

"Ah, George, you never thought me dead; though, perhaps, yon wished it, Sir. And many would have died," added the poor Little Sister.

"Look, Caroline! If I was married to you, my wife—Philip's mother—was not my wife, and he is her natural son. The property he inherits does not belong to him. The children of his grandfather's other daughter claim it, and Philip is a beggar. Philip, bred as he has been—Philip, the heir to a mother's large fortune."

"And—and his father's, too?" asks Caroline, anxiously.

"I daren't tell yon—though, no, by Heavens! I can trust you wit h every thing. My own great gains have been swallowed up in speculations which have been almost all fatal. There has been a fate hanging over me, Caroline—a righteous punishment for having deserted you. I sleep with a sword over my head, which may fall and destroy me. I walk with a voleano under my feet, which may burst any day and anuihilate me. And people speak of the famous Dr. Firmin, the rich Dr. Firmin, the prosperous Dr. Firmin 1 I shall have a title soon, I believe. I am believed to be happy, and I am alone, and the wretchedest man alive."

"Alone, are you?" said Caroline. "There was a woman once would have kept by you, only you—you flung her away. Look here, George Brandon. It's over with us. Years and years ago it lies where a little cherub was buried. But I love my Philip; and I wpn't hurt him—no, never, never, never!"

And as the doctor turned to go away, Caroline followed him wistfully into the hall, and it was there that Philip found them.

Caroline's tender "never, never," rang in Philip's memory as he sat at Ridley's party, amidst the artists and authors there assembled. Phil was thoughtful and silent. He did not laugh very loud. He did not praise or abuse any body outrageously, as was the wont of that most emphatic young gentleman. He scareely contradicted a single person; and perhaps, when Larkins said Scumble's last picture was beautiful, or Bunch, the critic of the Counoisseur, praised Bowman's last novel, contented himself with a scornful " Ho!" and a pull at his whiskers, by way of protest and denial. Had he been in his usual fine spirits, and enjoying his ordinary flow of talk, he would have informed Larkins and the assembled company not only that Scumble was an impostor, but that he, Larkins, was an idiot for admiring him. He would have informed Bunch that he was infatuated about that jackass Bowman, that cockney, that wretched ignoramus, who didn't know his own or any other language. He would have taken down one of Bowman's stories from the shelf, and proved the folly, imbecility, and crass ignorance of that author. (Ridley has a simple little stock of novels and poems in an old cabinet in his studio, and reads them still with much artless wonder and respect.) Or, to be sure, Phil would have asserted propositions the exact contrary of those here maintained, and declared that Bowman was a genins, and Scumble a most accomplished artist. But then, you know, somebody else must have commenced by taking the other side. Certainly a more paradoxical, and provoking, and obstinate, and contradictory disputant than Mr. Phil I never knew. - I never met Dr. Johnson, who died before I came up to town; but I do believe Phil Firmin would have stood up and argued even with him.

At these Thursday divans the host provided the modest and kindly refreshment, and Betsy the maid, or Virgilio the model, traveled to and fro with glasses and water. Each guest brought his own smoke, and I promise you there were such liberal contributions of the article that the studio was full of it; and new-comers used to be saluted by a roar of laughter as you heard, rather than saw, them entering, and choking in the fog. It was, "Holloa, Prodgers! is that you, old boy?" and the beard of Prodgers (that famous sculptor) would presently loom through the eloud. It was, "Neweome, how goes?" and Mr. Clive Neweome (a mediocre artist, I must own, but a famous good fellow, with an uncommonly pretty villa and pretty and rich wife at Wimbledon) would make his appearance, and be warmly greeted by our little host. It was, "Is that you, F. B.? would you like a link, old boy, to see you through the fog?" And the

deep voice of Frederick Bay ham, Esquire (the eminent critic on Art), would boom out of the tobacco-mist, and would exclaim, "A link? I would like a drink." Ah, ghosts of youth, again ye draw near! Old figures glimmer through the cloud. Old songs echo out of the distance. What were you saying anon about Dr. Johnson, boys? I am sure some of ns must remember him. As for me, I am so old that I might have been at Edial school—the other pupil along with little Davy Garrick and his brother.

We had a bachelor's supper in the Temple so lately that I think we must pay but a very brief visit to a smoking party in Thornhangh Street, or the ladies will say that we are too fond of bachelor habits, and keep our friends away from their charming and amiable society. A novel must not smell of cigars much, nor should its refined and genteel page be stained with too frequent brandy-and-water. Please to imagine, then, the prattle of the artists, authors, and amateurs assembled at Ridley's divan. Fancy Jarman, the miniature painter, drinking more liquor than any man present, asking his neighbor {sub eoce) why Ridley does not give his father (the old butler) five shillings to wait; suggesting that perhaps the old man is gone out, and is getting seven-and-sixpence elsewhere; praising Ridley's picture aloud, and sneering at it in an undertone; and when a man of rank happens to enter the room, shambling up to him, and fawning on him, and cringing to him with fulsome praise and flattery. When the gentleman's back is turned, Jarman can spit epigrams at it. I hope he will never forgive Ridley, and always continue to hate him: for hate him Jarman will, as long as he is prosperous, and curse him as long as the world esteems him. Look at Pym, the incumbent of Saint Bronze hard by, coming in to join the literary and artistic assembly, and choking in his white neckeloth to the diversion of all the company who can see him! Sixteen, eighteen, twenty men are assembled. Open the windows, or sure they will all be stifled with the smoke! Why, it fills the whole house so that the Little Sister has to open her parlor window on the ground-floor, and gasp for fresh air.

Phil's head and cigar are thrust out from a window above, and he lolls there, musing about his own affairs, as his smoke ascends to the skies. YoungMr. PhilipFirmin is known to be wealthy, and his father gives very good parties in Old Parr Street, so Jarman sidles up to Phil and wants a little fresh air too. He enters into conversation by abusing Ridley's picture that is on the easel.

'' Every body is praising it; what do you think of it, Mr. Firmin? Very queer drawing about those eyes, isn't there?"

'' Is "there?" growls Phil.

"Very loud color."

"Oh!" says Phil.

"The composition is so clearly prigged from Raphael." "Indeed!"

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