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his fault or Zillah’s, in a few days the fact grew apparent to me that they were not quite such good friends as heretofore. A restraint, a discomfort, a shadow scarcely tangible, yet still there, was felt between them. Such a cloud often rises--a mist that comes just before the day-dawn; or, as happens sometimes, before the night.

For many days—how many I do not recollect, since about this time all in the house and in the world without seemed to go on so strangelyfor many days afterwards nothing happened of any consequence, except that one Sunday afternoon I made a faint struggle of politeness in some remark about going home' and encroaching on their hospitality,' which was met with such evident pain and alarm by all parties, that I was silent; so we stayed yet longer. One morning—it was high summer now —we were sitting at breakfast: we three only, as Mrs Sutherland never rose early. I was making tea, Zillah near me, and Mr Sutherland at the foot of the table. He looked anxious, and did not talk much, though I remember he rose up once to throw a handful of crumbs to a half-tame thrush who had built on the lawn—he was always so kind to every living thing. There, my fine bird, take some home to your wife and weans!' said he pleasantly; but at the words became grave, even sad, once more. He had his letters beside him, and opened them successively until he came to one-a momentous one, I knew; for though he never moved, but read quietly on, every ray of colour went out of his face. He dropped his head upon his hand, and sat so long in that attitude that we were both frightened.

' Is anything the matter?' I said gently, for Zillah was dumb.

' Did you speak ?' he answered with a bewildered stare. 'Forgive me; I–I have had bad news'—and he tried to resume the duties of the meal; but it was impossible: he was evidently crushed, as even the strongest and bravest men will be, for the moment, under some great and unexpected shock. We said to him—I repeat we, because, though Zillah spoke not, her look was enough, had he seen it—we said to him those few soothing things that women can, and ought to say, in such a time. 'Ay,' he answered, quite unmanned—ay, you are very kind. I think-if I could speak to some one-

-Cassia, will you come?' He rose slowly, and held out his hand to me. To me! That proof of his confidence, his tenderness, his friendship, I have always remembered, and thought, with thankful heart, that, though not made to give him happiness, I have sometimes done him a little good when he was in trouble.

We walked together from the room. I heard a low sob behind us, but had no power to stay ; besides, momentary pang mattered little; the sobs would be hushed erelong.--Standing behind the chair where he sat, I heard the story of Mr Sutherland's misfortunes — misfortunes neither strange nor rare in the mercantile world. In one brief word, he was ruined; that is, so far as a man can be considered ruined who has enough left to pay all his creditors, and start in the world afresh as a penniless honest man. He told me this—an everyday story ; nay, it had been my own father's—told it me with great composure, and I listened with the same.

I was acquainted with all these kind of businessmatters of old. It was very strange, but I felt no grief, no pity for his losses; I only felt, on my own account, a burning, avaricious thirst for

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gold; a frantic envy—a mad longing to have for a single day, a single hour, wealth in millions.

“Yes, it must be so,' said he, when, after talking to me a little more, I saw the hard muscles of his face relax, and he grew patient, ready to bear his troubles like a man-- like Andrew Sutherland. "Yes, I must give up this house, and all my pleasant life here; but I can do it, since I shall be alone. And then he added in a low tone: 'I am glad, Cassia, very glad of two things: my mother's safe settlement, and the winding-up last month of all my affairs with-Miss Le Poer.'

When,' said I, after a pause—when do you intend to tell Zillah what has happened ?' I felt feverishly anxious that she should know all, and that I should learn how she would act.

'Tell Zillah ? Ay,' he repeated, tell her at once-tell her at once.' And then he sunk back into his chair, muttering something about its signifying little now.'

I left him, and with my heart nerved as it were to anything, went back to the room where Zillah was. Her eyes met me with a bitter, fierce, jealous look-jealous of me, the foolish child !- until I told her what had happened to our friend. Then she wept, but only for a moment, until a light broke upon her. 'What does it signify?' cried she, echoing, curiously enough, his own words. 'I am of age — I can do just what I like: so I will give my guardian all my money. Go back and tell him so ! I hesitated. 'I tell you I will: all I have in the world is not too good for him. Everything belonging to me is his, and'- Here she stopped, and catching my fixed look, became covered with confusion. Still the generous heart did not waver. · And—when he has my fortune, you and I will go and live together, and be governesses.' I felt the girl was in earnest, nor wished to deceive me; and though I let her deceive herself a little longer, it was with joy-ay, with joy, that in the heart I clasped to mine was such unselfishness, such true nobility, not unworthy even of what it was about to win. I went once more through the hall——the long, cool, silent hall, which I trod so dizzily, daring not to pause-unto Mr Sutherland's presence. 'Well!' he said, looking up.

I told-in what words I cannot remember now; but solemnly, faithfully, as if I were answering my account before Heaven -the truth, and the whole truth. He listened, pressing his hands on his eyes, and then gave vent to one heavy sigh like a woman's sob. At last he rose and walked feebly to the door. There he paused, as though to account for his going. I ought to thank her, you know. It must not be—not by any means : still I ought to go and thank her-the-dear-child !' His voice ceased, broken by emotion. Once more he held out his hand: I grasped it, and said: 'Go!' At the parlour-door he stopped, apparently for me to precede him in entering there ; but, as if accidentally, I passed on and let him enter alone. Whether he knew it or not, I knew clear as light what would happen then and there. The door shut—they two being within, and I, without. In an hour I came back towards the house. I had been wandering somewhere I think under the fir-wood. It was broad

but I felt very cold; it was always cold under those trees. I had no way to pass but near the parlour-window; and some insane attraction made me look up as I went by. They were standing—they two-close together, as

noon,

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lovers stand. His arm folded her close; his face, all radiant, yet trembling with tenderness, was pressed upon hers—O my God!

I am half-inclined to blot out the last sentence, as it seems so foolish to dilate on the love - makings of people now twelve years married; and besides, growing older, one feels the more how rarely and how solemnly the Holy Name ought to be mingled with any mere burst of human emotion. But I think the All - Merciful One would pardon it then. Of course no reader will marvel at my shewing emotion over the union of these my two dearest objects on earth.

From that union I can now truly say I have derived the greatest comforts of my life. They were married quickly, as I urged, Mr Sutherland settling his wife's whole property upon herself. This was the only balm his manly pride could know; and no greater proof could he give of his passionate love for her, than that he humbled himself to marry an heiress. As to what the world thought, no one could ever suspect the shadow of mercenary feeling in Andrew Sutherland. All was as it should be—and so best.

After Zillah's marriage, I took a situation abroad. Mr Sutherland was very angry when he knew; but I told them I longed for the soft Italian air, and could not live an idle life on any account. So they let me go, knowing, as he smiling said, “That Cassia could be obstinate when she had a mind—that her will, like her heart, was as firm as a rock.' Ah me!

When I came back, it was to a calm, contented, and cheerful middle-age; to the home of a dear brother and sister; to the love of a new generation; to a life filled with peace of heart and thankfulness towards God; to

Hey-day! writing is this moment become quite impossible; for there peeps a face in at my bedroom-door, and, while I live, not for worlds shall my young folk know that Aunt Cassia is an authoress. Therefore goodby, pen !- And now come in, my namesake, my darling, my fair-haired Cassia, with her mother's smile, and her father's eyes and brow—I may kiss both now. Ah, God in heaven bless thee, my dear, dear child !

THE PROGRESS OF AMERICA.

THE invention of printing and the discovery of America signalised with

while the dawn of the sixteenth was brilliantly ushered in by the rising light of the Reformation. Three such almost synchronal events, each of which exercised a considerable influence upon the progress of the Western World, must not be disregarded in an inquiry like the present, relating to the rapid growth of America in population, wealth, and power.

If we glance back over the history of that region, and recur to a period little more than three centuries ago, we find that those two vast continents which stretch from the Northern to the Antarctic Oceans were but recently discovered : the tribes of aborigines who inhabited their vast uncultivated tracts were all, with the exception of Mexico and Peru, sunk in gross barbarism, living in a state of degenerate nature, and addicted to the most cruel customs of savage life : industry was despised amongst them; commerce, the soul of civilisation, was misplaced by rapine and predatory incursions; whilst war distributed to a bloodthirsty people those honours which should have encouraged agriculture and the arts of peace. We turn to the present condition of America, and see substituted a strange people, spreading far and wide, and carrying with them principles for the advancement and amelioration of mankind. Instead of issuing forth with implacable enmity against hostile tribes, shouting the wild war-cry, and wielding the knife of destruction, they offer the right hand of fellowship, and invite their neighbour population to enjoy with them those blessings which are the offspring of labour and ingenuity. The abuses of tyrannical government have been in some countries restrained, in others, entirely abolished : republics have sprung up, based on the broadest principles of equity, and acquiring every year increased order and stability : a firm sense of honour, of justice, and of freedom abounds, and the sincere desire to adjust national differences by amicable arrangement must lend another feature to the contrast. Favourable, however, as the picture is which we have here depicted, we cannot forbear observing at once that it refers more particularly to Canada and the United States, and that a vast disparity exists between the northern and southern hemispheres in their social and political developments, the true causes of which we shall endeavour to point out.

America, it is well known, was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. San Salvador, one of the Bahama Isles, was the first land seen No. 95.

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by Europeans; and on its shore the Genoese navigator, having debarked, erected the standard of Spain, and claimed it as an appendage to the crown and sovereignty of that kingdom. Hayti, Cuba, and Jamaica, the principal of those innumerable islands lying at the entrance of the Mexican Gulf, next graced the triumphant enterprise of this intrepid naval hero. As he sailed up the channels of the Caribbean Archipelago scenes of exquisite beauty opened before him. All was bathed in luxuriant light. Nature, profuse in the wild foliage of a thousand years, brilliant in the variegated dyes of unnumbered flowers, prodigal in fruits of luscious quality, and spreading around seas that sparkled like waters of living emerald, presented to his fond imagination the idea of a fabulous region, or the blissful valley of paradise; but he knew not the extent of his discoveries, nor dreamed that while feasting his eyes on the delights of the Western Indies, he was about to lay open another world to the knowledge and enterprise of the old.

America, which is upwards of 8000 miles in length, enjoys two summers and a double winter. It possesses all the variety of climate which the earth affords, and on either side roll two vast oceans, ready to bear its merchandise or its people to any portion of the world : it contains the most magnificent lakes, the mightiest rivers, the widest plains, and the loftiest mountains : it offers every facility for internal intercourse, and yields in abundance, not only every necessary and every luxury for the support of life and the indulgence of mankind, but is rich in the most. valuable metals and rarest gems.

SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE COLONIES.

The West Indies, with the coast which extends from the furthest point of East Florida to the Gulf of Paria, in Colombia, were the first countries explored by the Spaniards. The curiosity which had been excited by the strange appearance of the natives and their rude and barbaric manners was quickly converted into insatiable avarice by the sight of the gold which adorned the persons of the simple islanders. The acquisition of that precious metal became a most powerful incentive to discovery and conquest. Mexico, Peru, and Chili were subdued by the indefatigable exertions of Cortez, Pizarro, and Almagro-men whose cruelty to the conquered has left their memories odious to mankind--and Brazil shortly afterwards fell subject to the king of Portugal. The dark superstitions of the times disallowed the claims of the native Americans; the inherent right of occupancy, which perhaps thousands of years had given them, was disregarded. They were looked upon as outcasts from the care of Heaven, because they were heathen; and the evil avarice of the Spaniards tore them from their homes and liberty, to work in hopeless chains for the benefit of their oppressors.

The territory subjected to Spain by these conquests was immense. In the north she possessed the ancient empire of Mexico, which comprised California, Texas, and the Floridas, together with Yucatan and the Isthmus of Panama. Colombia---which extended from the Pacific on the west to the Atlantic on the east, and as far inland as the river Maranon or Amazon

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