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"MY DEAR MR. ST. JOHN,-I am the bearer to you of unhappy tidings. Before you had well left, this morning, Adeline broke a bloodvessel of the lungs. I fear there is no hope; she thinks she is dying. You may imagine the state the house is in-or rather I don't think you can imagine it, for I am sure you never saw anything like it. She has asked to see you: pray come immediately.

66 "Yours, in haste,


The most perfect quiet, both of mind and body, was essential for Adeline, yet there she lay, restless and anxious, waiting for the return of Louise. Though exhausted and silent, her eye wandered incessantly towards the door. M. de Castella was gone up-stairs to his wife's room, who was falling from one fainting-fit into another.

In came Louise at last, looking, as usual, fiery hot, her black eyes round and sparkling. She had made haste to Madame Baret's and back, as desired, and came in at once, without waiting even to remove her gloves, the only addition (except the parapluie rouge) necessary to render her home-costume a walking one. What would an English lady's maid say to that? In her hand she bore a packet, or very thick letter, for Adeline, directed and sealed by Mr. St. John. Adeline followed it with her eyes, as Rose took it from Louise.

"Shall I open it?" whispered Rose, bending gently over her.

Adeline looked assent, and Rose broke the seal, holding it immediately before her face. It was a blank sheet of paper, without word or comment, enclosing all the letters she had ever written to him. They fell in a heap upon her, as she lay. Rose, at home in such matters, understood it as soon as Adeline, and turned frowningly to Louise.

"Did Mr. St. John give you this ?"

"Ah no, mademoiselle. Mr. St. John is gone." "Gone!"

"Gone away to England. Gone for good.

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Rose gathered up the letters, into the sheet of paper, abstractedly, amusing herself by endeavouring to put together the large seal she had broken. Adeline's eyes were closed, but she heard-by the heaving bosom and crimsoned cheeks, contrasting with their previous ghastly paleness. Louise, like a simpleton, continued in an under tone to Rose, and there was nobody by, just then, to check her gossip:

"He had not been gone three minutes when I got there- -Oh, by the way, mademoiselle, here's the note you gave me for him. Madame Baret was changing her cap to bring up the thick letter, for Mr. St. John had said it was to be taken special care of, and given into Mademoiselle Adeline's own hands, so she thought she would bring it herself. She's in a fine way at his going, Mother Baret, for she says she never saw any

one that she liked so much as Mr. St. John."

"But what took him off in this sudden manner?" demanded Rose, forgetful of Adeline, in her own eager curiosity.

"Madame Baret says she'd give her two ears to know," responded Louise. "She thought, at first, something must have happened up here, a dispute, or some unpleasant matter of that sort. But I told her, No. Something had occurred here, unfortunately, sure enough, but it could have had nothing to do with Mr. St. John, because he had left previously.

She then thought he might have received bad news from England, though there were no letters delivered for him this morning. But whatever it was, he was in an awful passion. He has spoilt the picture."

"Which picture?" asked Rose, quickly. And before recording Louise's answer, it may be well to explain that Adeline's portrait had long been finished and taken up to the château. But on M. de Castella's return from Paris, he had suggested a slight alteration in the background of the picture, so it was sent to the lodge again. Events had then crowded so fast, one upon another, coupled with Mr. St. John's two visits to England, that the change was not at once effected. During the last week or two, however, he had been at work, and completed it. He had given orders, the evening he expected to leave with Adeline, that it should be forwarded the next day to the château.

"Which picture ?" demanded Rose.

"Mademoiselle Adeline's likeness. There was some blue paint standing in the room, and he dashed a brush in it, and smeared it right across the face. My faith! what a way he must have been in, to destroy such a beautiful face and painting!"

"I told him one day, I knew he could be passionate if he liked," was Rose's remark. And Louise continued:

"It was a shame, Madame Baret said, to vent his anger upon a deaf and dumb thing, like that, and quite like an insult to Mademoiselle Adeline as if she had offended him. And when I joined in, and said it was worse than a shame, she flew out at me, and said nobody should speak a word against him, before her. That he was of a perfectly golden temper, and always behaved like a king to everybody about him, and she knows something dreadful must have happened, for he was like one beside himself, and knew no more what he was doing than a child. I'm sure I don't want to speak against him," added Louise, by way of comment; "I only chimed in with Mother Baret for politeness' sake. He was a thorough gentleman, was Mr. St. John, and always behaved like one to us servants; and you know, mademoiselle, he spoke French like a true angel, besides." (Comme un vrai ange.)

Rose nodded. "But what did he go away for?"

"Nobody knows. When he came in, he was like a deranged man, and ordered a horse to be got ready for him. He then went into the painting-room, and stayed there ever so long, and then into his chamber. By the time he came out, his anger was over, at least he was calm to appearance, and gave Dame Baret the packet for mademoiselle, and told her he was going to leave. She says you might have knocked her down with a whiff of old Baret's pipe. She asked him when he was coming back again, and he said, Never: but he should write and explain to M. d'Estival. And off he rode, giving orders that his clothes and other things should be packed and sent after him, and leaving a mint of money for all who had waited on him."

It is impossible to say how much more Louise would have found to relate, and Rose to listen to, but the clattering hoofs of a horse were heard outside, and Louise sprang to the window. It was the surgeon from Odesque. He came into the room with Mademoiselle de Beaufoy and M. de Castella. And soon his fiat was whispered all over the housethat there was no hope; that Adeline de Castella was doomed to die.



THOSE palmy days in which Irish gentlemen thought it an indispensable part of their duties to put at least five bottles of claret under their belt before seeking their couches, had passed when I joined the HCircuit. The humours and the oddities which distinguished our fathers, together with their powers of imbibing vinous fluids, had become considerably toned down with us their successors, and though the same flashes of wit and brilliancy of conversational powers were not to be expected, there was enough of peculiarity about our habits and little social reunions in those stupid assize towns, to render an account of my first evening on circuit somewhat interesting to that very large class of the public who have never yet made one of a bar mess. As I have already said, the hard-drinking days of the Irish gentleman, and, consequently, of the Irish bar, had passed, and it was, therefore, but a little after nine in the evening that we (that is, the great un-briefed, who had neither consultations nor clients to attend to) rose from table, after having consumed a reasonable share of the claret which had been sent as a present to the H-bar by the then recently-appointed chancellor, who had formerly been a member of the circuit. Ours was but a small bar: and it was a boast with us that we had, in proportion to our members, a greater number of gentlemanlike, good-looking, and clever juniors than any other circuit in Ireland, and that more unanimity and good (I might almost say brotherly) feeling existed amongst our members than amongst any of the others. Comparatively a stranger, my reception by all, both leaders and juniors, at dinner, prepared me for the hearty invitation of Busheton, the life and soul of the circuit, as we were rising. "The fellows are coming to my lodgings this evening, mon ami, for their coffee and whist. I have plenty of pipes and weeds (we are licensed to smoke on the premises), so, if you have no letters to write, you may as well come along with us now, and I will steer you." While I was fishing a cigar out of his case, which he proffered to me at the same time with his invitation, I expressed myself free as air, and ready to join his party at once.

One thing more remained to be done. Busheton, who was a very clever fellow, though somewhat addicted to what I might call mild dissipation, had been assigned as counsel, by one of the judges, to defend a man who was to be tried for murder in the morning, and who had employed neither counsel nor attorney for his defence. His only brief was a copy of the informations, which, by the directions of the judge, was furnished to him by the crown solicitor.

"Mark, my boy," said Busheton, turning to another junior, Mark Hearn, who preferred going quietly to his lodgings, and, after reading a dozen pages of some useful book, turning quietly into bed before eleven o'clock" Mark, my boy," said he, whilst lighting his cigar, "as an earnest of your future promotion and of what I intend to do for you when I am attorney-general, I hereby appoint you my devil. I shall send you over the informations in that case of Tunny's, which the press of my civil business will not permit me to attend to properly; note them up

for me to-night, and be ready in the morning to tell me all about the case."


It must be borne in mind that Busheton was a barrister of three whole years' standing, while Mark was but of two, and that neither one nor the other had ever held a record-brief in their lives at the time, in order to appreciate the gravity with which Busheton delivered himself thus, while addressing (as he called him) "his young friend." Hearn promised compliance with an air of equal though not mock gravity; and Busheton, calling on some half-dozen of us to come along," we rattled down the stairs of the hotel in which our mess-room was situated, into the street. The night was raw and cold (it was a rough March evening), and the wretched, bleak appearance of everything out of doors, and of the one principal street of the town, lit only by the few rays straggling from an occasional shop, made Busheton's sitting-room look unusually cosy when we were ushered into it, with its blazing turf-fire, comfortable carpet, neat, though somewhat gaudy, furniture and engravings, and general air of carefulness and regularity. Knowing, from the hearty style of the invitation, that I was welcome, I proceeded to follow the example of the others, who disposed of themselves in various lazy and grotesque, if not graceful, attitudes, on chairs, sofas, and loungers through the room, and made myself extremely comfortable in a large arm-chair, thankful for the progress of civilisation, which had brought such articles into country towns. Tea was ordered, and placed on the table in the midst of the most religious silence from the smokers, who, with the true appreciation of the weed, were devoting themselves entirely to blowing clouds, and building castles in the said clouds, undisturbed by chatter.

The scene was one of peace and tranquil enjoyment worthy of a divan. At last, when we were getting to the ends of our second cigars, and were inclined to cry "Ohe, jam satis," Busheton broke the silence as usual with something to raise a good-humoured laugh at the expense of some one present. His jokes, however, and humorous allusions were so devoid of bitterness, that none laughed more heartily than the individual caricatured, as I may call it. It would be impossible to fairly appreciate the point of his fun unless one knew the peculiarities of the individual assailed. His attack now was upon Haughton, a tall, swarthy, dark-haired, good-humoured, good-hearted young fellow of about four-and-twenty, who never gave any symptoms of extraordinary mental qualities until he was set down at a whist-table, when he displayed powers of memory, reasoning, and calculation, which were, as the Yankees would say, "rayther a caution." As for law, he neither knew, cared, nor pretended to know anything about it, but he had a remote notion that whenever he got a brief he would work it up some way or other. He was always late everywhere and for everything, forgetting anything of importance he had to do, cursing himself and everything else when he found out his mistake, and rather given to squeal out, in some extraordinary way, imprecations on his luck or his partner (if he were on terms of sufficient familiarity with him to take such a liberty), and to watch until he got some man to listen attentively and sympathetically to his sorrows and to some fearfully abstruse point about the fourth last trick, when his partner led the seven of spades fourth round with the eight in

his hand, and his right-hand adversary threw away a losing card, and he, he trumped it, certain, of course, that the last player had the eight; and how they lost the odd trick, and how anything so simply absurd never was known-never, and how he was always persecuted with such infernal luck, and men would always, when his partners, play in such a -disgusting way. He was at bottom an honourable and high-minded gentleman, and these peculiarities, somewhat rough though some of them were, like the antagonistic elements in a salad, served to give a zest to our society as a whole; and when he left us, on receiving a legal appointment, we often felt that, though we might lose wiser men, we could not lose a more agreeable companion, or one that could be less spared. After this little sketch of William Haughton, Esq., barrister-at-law, and worthy scion of a distinguished midland family, I will allow Busheton to speak for himself.

"I think you fellows are sufficiently accustomed to tumbling into my rooms without waiting to be asked," said he, after giving me a cup of tea with his own hand, "to want me to help you; so take care of your


The hint was acted upon in a straggling way, as some, lazier than others, wanted those who went to the table to be charitable in filling and handing a few cups, a prayer sometimes acceded to, and sometimes refused in (as it was called by the lazy ones) the most savage manner. With the appearance of the tea there was a general brightening up, and the men began chatting to one another, some growling together over their ill-luck in not getting as much as an assignment-i. e. being appointed to defend some poor person indicted for a capital offence, which, though it brought no money, gave the ambitious and clever an opportunity for display. Master Billy was loud in his complaints at one time how a confounded fellow, a tenant of his father's, actually had a case to be tried in the very town, and had not given him a brief, the infernal

scoundrel. The peculiarity of the converse here was, that while in other societies people go into corners to say hard things of their neighbours, the whole thing fell spiritless to the ground unless the victim could hear, and was dragged into the fight something like a bull who is roused by the picadores in the arena.

"Well," sang out a gentleman who was lying stretched on his back on a sofa, and who had given no proof of vitality hitherto, except occasional wreaths of smoke from his lips, rousing himself up, flinging away the butt of a cigar, and turning on the company a very pallid but clever face, with a magnificent forehead, and his thin hair carefully arranged over it, "I never saw such a mull as Busheton and Haughton made of that infanticide case at T" (the last town where, as I afterwards learned, they had been assigned, and got the prisoner off cleverly from the capital charge). "They were like a couple of ill-conditioned dogs, that never ran in couples, each taking a line of his own and choking the other, and, when brought to a stand-still, snarling and biting at one another. I wonder they did not hang the woman; they did all that men could do, at any rate."

This diatribe, which was entirely unprovoked, was delivered in the most sententious manner, and received with a roar of laughter. Busheton had sufficient cleverness to join the laugh, but Haughton was proceeding

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