drawn for shameful extortion and threats practised on an English lady. I know nothing about this but from the letters in the Times. There was another inferior little inn there, the Croix Federale. At either. I think, you could arrange to stay en pension (i. e., to board and lodge) for a week or more, at from fourto five francs a day (five francs at the Dentdu Midi).

There the views of the huge mountain, the Dent dti Midi, which exceeds 10,000 feet in height above the sea, are grand and imposing. Yon can walk under its precipices, and can make excursions of four, five, six, or eight hours in various directions, with rich reward. ■ It is just the place for the condition of health or ill-health I have described, as demands only moderate exertion, and you can have regular meals and sufficient food. I spent three days of fog and mist there, and in such circumstances it is as melancholy as may be. The drawbacks in all such places are the number of children in the families who reside for some time in these pensions ; the noise the children make at night, the want of wet-day amusements, the cold in snowy weather, and the petty espionage of the idle ladies respecting their fellow-visitors. Mountaineers in rough soiled clothes and hob-nailed boots will be quizzed there in a quiet way. Mountain inns were the proper places for them. They have no business amongst idle, dressy females, and over fretted children, and one o'clock dinners. If they will go to such quarters, I can assure them they must be self- contained, contented, and not look for much confraternity.

Of other similar pensions near this locality. I should commend those at the Diablerets, which can be reached at Digle. These, however, are indicated in guide-books, and therefor.1 I have no occasion to say more about them. Murray will give the details: I will only add that the scenery of the Diablerets is rather imposing, and that there you may see a cirque of glacier mountains, more nearly re

sembling those of the Pyrenees than almost any other in the Alps.

One or two last words on personal matters shall be all for the present. Take as little luggage as you can contrive. The cost of transit will equal or finally exceed your own. Press one trunk in two, and if you can make a small one suffice, the "better. To transmit a trunk on mule-back long distances is very expensive. Happy they who can manage with knapsacks, and can carry them themselves!

As to clothes. Let gentlemen take their flannel shirts, stout boots, and a uniform tweed suit, strong and loose. Be sure to add a Scotch plaid, on the uses of which I could write a chapter. Let ladies equip themselves in similar manner; mutatis mutandis, Be particular to take a square or two of soap, and half a pound of good tea. An ounce of bicarbonate of potash will be useful in correcting acidity.

As to money. Take the circular notes of the London Joint Stock Bank.* The managers will explain the details. For ready cash, change your sovereigns at Paris into Napoleons.

In respect of books. Take two or three at most; one should be a Bible. The others either a Milton, a Shakespeare, or similar book, besides your "Guides." A Foreignoffice passport will always be a safeguard for identification, and is easily obtained in London. A language conversation-book, with a Murray's "Handbook of Travel Talk" is serviceable .to all who are not linguists. But in nearly all the places described in this paper, plain English is understood by waiters and some others. It is singular that these people learn English more readily than we learn French. A landlord of a Swiss inn told me that there must be in the popular hotels one English-speaking waiter. He himself had learned English in two long winters by the aid of a dictionary and grammar, in proof of which he asked me if I "would not have the goodness to like a wipe?" That is, would I not wash mvself?

j. it. L.


By The



The moment Cyril saw his friends, he knew that they brought him evil tidings. Sir John's frank face was stern and grave and sad, and Lady Ashburner's sad also, but tenderly compassionate. Had he unwittingly offended ? he asked himself as he stood before them. One asks such mental questions in such seasons of perplexity and dread, far more swiftly than one can utter them, or write them down. Cyril replied to half-adozen suggestions of his own excited thought, before any words of greetingpassed his lips. But those greetings died away almost unspoken, for more and more he felt that something terrible awaited him—some cruel ordeal through which he needs must pass, and from which he must not seek to flee.

'• What is it?" he asked, when he had fervently but silently shaken

hands. "Is Elizabeth But the

words could not be spoken. He knew that it was concerning Elizabeth they came to speak: and was she dead'—had her proud young beauty faded like the flowers of spring—was the grave covering that queenly form, those lovely eyes, that sweet transcendent bloom? No! for there was no anguish of bereavement in those two pale countenances, and there were no mourning garments to foreshadow the awful truth! Was she then sick, or dying * No! or her mother were not here sorrowful but composed. A telegram would in such case have summoned him to Forest Range; they would not have journeyed up to town to break to him such tidings! Was she then faithless, or at least inconstant? He remembered all the careless letters about the gossip of the neighbourhood, and the state of the conservatories, and the long silence; his own appeals disregarded, his entreaties for "just a line or two " unnoticed, and the sickness and weariness of



spirit that had seized him since the beginning of the month. Yes! that was it: he read it in their faces.

"What have I done?" was his first question, when, recovering somewhat from the blow, he began to understand the aspect of affairs.

•• Nothing! Only Elizabeth finds she was mistaken; she never loved you in the way she thought she did. She will ever regard you as a dear friend, but she cannot marry you; she cannot be your betrothed.'

"Tell her that I will not have her friendship," he cried fiercely, "if she yield me not all, I will accept nothing at her hands. Let her henceforth look upon me—no, not as an enemy; I. never could be that—but as an alien, a stranger. I never wish to see her more!"

"Cyril.'" And Lady Ashburner's gentle eyes were full of tears, and her voice was weak and broken; there was humiliation in her tone. Then it occurred to him, dreamily as it were, that she too was suffering from her daughter's strange caprice; and he was softened, and clasped her hand, and murmured, "tell me all about it."

She looked at her husband, for she was clearly in no condition to tell the tale, and he began : " Really, Cyril, my boy, I don't know how to tell you, for I scarcely know how it all transpired myself. I suppose I am a dunderheaded blockhead, since I went on my own way calmly enough, never for one minute fancying that aught was wrong. You see, at first, I did not like the idea of you and Lizzie making a match of it; neither did my lady there; we had other views for our daughter—our only child. Perhaps we were too ambitious, and we are punished. Besides, to speak plain truth—and it is best always to be plain—we did not trust you sufficiently to commit to you our girl's happiness. Mind, we did not distrust you morally; the blemishes in your character were not such as the world points out and blushes at; we feared your want of energy, your impulsive temperament, your lack of perseverance, your waywardness, so to speak. Nor can I, as a father, be thought mercenary if I say that I seriously considered the fallen fortunes of your family. Though, mark me, your worldly fortunes would not have given me the least uneasiness had you boasted of the far grander and more inalienable possessions of high-toned courage, fortitude, patience, and unwavering constancy in pursuit of any aim.

"Still, Cyril, having so far consented and reconciled myself to the proposed match, I did not repent when the great bubble burst, and your poor mother sank under the shock. I watched you very keenly, and I saw, or thought I saw, that there was the right stuff in you. While your mother influenced you, or rather ruled you, I could scarcely judge impartially. I always felt that much that seemed objectionable in you might be traced to her. I am not speaking unkindly of her, saying thus much, for I reverence my old friend's memory, and she was a grand woman after all, though for her ' the time was out o' joint;' but while she lived you were not exactly a free agent, and I never knew how much of that which most displeased me was attributable to her, or to yourself. Well, as I told you, I watched silently and closely, as it behoved me to watch for my daughter's sake, as matters were between you; as I verily believe I should have watched from sheer interest in yourself —the last remnant on our British soil of that fine old family of the Denhams, who have ever been the Ashburners' time-tried friends and firm allies. And it seemed to me, and to my lady too, that you came out bravely, that you developed qualities we had never suspected in you before, and we were both increasingly satisfied. And we were fully prepared to ratify the half implied engagement, which we rather reluctantly permitted a year ago."

"Then it is from Elizabeth herself the blow comes? But surely—surely! oh! Lady Ashburner, I have feared this, but now it has come! I think

I must be dreaming! When I remember Elizabeth's conduct months ago, when I look over her early letters—those she wrote before and after I staved with you in Cornwall, her many innocent, girlish, but most ingenuous expressions of regard, I cannot believe it? What have I done to estrange her? I have been faithful to her in my inmost thought.''

"Cyril, do you recollect that I told you Elizabeth was naturally fickle? It is hard, it may seem cruel, to sayso of my child, but it is the truth; only I hoped—-I do hope—that maturity of womanhood may remedy the fault. I think as she grows older she will become more stedfast: she will cease to be capricious. I always dreaded that she would attract and win hearts only to discard them, not from any hateful love of coquetry, but from sheer changeable ness of feeling and intention, and for that reason more than other—quite as much for your sake, Cyril, as for hers—I refused so long to countenance your mutual attachment. I feared this might ensue. I knew Elizabeth to be a very child, but you were a man; and I would have saved you this suffering had it been possible. But you would not have believed me, Cyril, had I pointed out your danger a year ago; indeed, I think Sir John did warn you that you were risking your happiness on the ver3r frailest tenure. But you were deeply in love, and love heeds not counsel: it is ever the old, old tale!"

"I had been a wretch had I doubted Elizabeth then, Lady Ashburner. My love for her was as ardent as it is abiding, and I should have hated myself had I even fancied hers was not the same. I trusted her, Lady Ashburner, fully, implicitly. I though if our marriage were delayed for years, I should find her still loving constant, faithful! and now^-only one little year! But go on, I interrupt the wretched story: let me know it fully, and then we will refer to it no more. Has Elizabeth really said in so many words,

that she, that all must be over

between us?"

"She has said so, very distinctly," returned Sir John, "I forced her to a plain statement of her feelings; it is but a fortnight since I began to suspect that her sentiments had undergone a change."

"One word, Sir John; have I a rival?"

•• It pains me deeply to say, yes!"

"Who is the man?"

"I would not answer your question if it were possible to keep you in the dark, but sooner or later you must know."

"Let me know all now, I would rather accept the worst at once. A bitter draught is none the more palatable for being taken in sips; better drain the cup at once, and have done with it."

"It is Vivian Gower who has supplanted you."

'• The man is a villain; was it not enough that he must possess my very birthright?"

"Hush! you are speaking under the influence of strong feeling, and you have cause to speak, but you must not be unjust."

"I retract the latter part of my foolish sentence. He has honourably bought Monkswood, and if he were not its master, some other man would be there in his place. And heartily I wish any other man had been my successor; but he might have left me Elizabeth."

"Elizabeth is more to blame than he, Cyril; he knew not of your claims. He did not and he could not look upon Elizabeth as an engaged woman. He believed that the coast was clear for him as for other pretenders to her hand: only, instead of coming forward handsomely and openly, he seems to have preferred a very crooked policy."

"But he has explicitly declared himself? You are sure he is not trifling with her? I tell you that he is just the sort of man to play fast and loose with woman's love!"

"I am convinced of it! Yes! He has spoken out,—to Elizabeth, to her mother, and to myself; also to Agnes Craven."

"What did Agnes say to him?"

'■ I cannot tell, but she offended him very deeply. She has a very bad opinion of Vivian Gower.''

"She cannot think worse of him than I." said Lady Ashburner; "I altogether distrust him; he is a thorough man of the world, selfish, heartless, arrogant!"

"And you will give your daughter to such an one?"

"Never, Cyril! Nothing will induce either her father or myself to consent to such a marriage. Prudence, principle, personal aversion, and affection for our child, alike forbid it!"

"At least she will be saved then from Vivian Gower.' I can the better resign her if I am sure she will not be thrown on the mercy of that man! any other.any other, Sirjolui! Better that you wed her to some honest, God-fearing farmer — the humblest of your tenants, than to an infidel, a libertine, like Vivian Gower."

"I knew that Mr. Gower held what are called peculiarly broad views, and I had strong suspicions about his private character. Are you sure that he is all you say?"

"Perfectly sure. I can refer you to persons who know him but too well. But you have refused to wed your daughter to him?"

"I have, most unconditionally. But, Cyril, you know something of Elizabeth's temper, and I fear the fellow's artifice. She is easily wrought upon, and she may be persuaded into disobedience. I would fain know all I can about this suitor, who must be decidedly repulsed. Self-willed she may be, but I think not defiant: and she would certainly perceive the mistake she has made if she really knew the objectionable charact er of theman to whom she has so rashly pledged herself. She would be content to submit to her parents' will.

"It would not be fit that Elizabeth should hear any particulars of Vivian (lower's conduct:—they could not be repeated to any innocent girl: but you, her father, shall know and judge for yourself; she must be content to rely on your assurance. Once more I affirm that Vivian Gower is a bad man.— a hollow, specious man. I told you this before, when I never dreamed he would be my rival."

"I know you did! And even before you spoke, I had perceived much in him that I strongly disapproved,—a lightness in speaking of sacred subjects, a dangerous contempt for law and precedence: also careless allusions to sins that ought to be regarded with profounded horror: added to this— I distrusted his professions on many points, I thought him generally insincere; beneath the polish of the highly bred and world-wise gentleman, there seemed to me to lurk that which is neither fair, nor lovely, nor of good report. And my lady never took to him; from the very first, she regarded him with disfavour, and after that visit he paid ns last year, she abstained from asking Kate Gower, whom we all love, to come to us again, because it was evident that the brother and sister could not be separated. Then you know he bough tMonkswood, and came to live at once in the Close at Southchester, and ever since he has been.ridingover constantly ostensibly to ask my counsel, to consult about some architectural difficulty, or to show us plans. We have given him the cold shoulder more than once, but he would not be repulsed. I was mostly afraid to have him coming about the place on Agnes' account. I felt quite secure about Elizabeth, and rejoiced to think that in her speedy engagement and the private understanding that actually sub• stated between you, between us all, indeed, I need have no anxiety on this score. If my daughter did not make a wealthy marriage, I trusted she would make a happy one, and I was content,—it was simply on my ward's account that I disliked his frequent presence among us."

"I do not think Vivian Gower would ever succeed with a girl of Agnes Craven's stamp! And as regards Elizabeth,—she is utterly deluded, carried away by a deceiver. It is but a dream ;—she cannot continue to care for him! Still she is lost to me,— I can never again cheat my heart into the belief that I only am her best beloved. But tell me, did Elizabeth confess to you or to her mother, her change of sentiments? "

"Not till we forced her to explain herself. She told Agnes Craven first, and begged her to intercede with us, but Agnes refused to interfere, only counselling her to be candid and explicit—and to be sure of her own feelings. Then, by chance, Janet, in looking over Elizabeth's dressing-box, searching for something which was wanted, found therein a valuable antique ring, which she had never seen before. When asked—carelessly enough by Janet—Elizabeth replied so strangely as to suggest a mystery, but at last she confessed that she had received it from Vivian Gower, but feared to show it lest her mamma should be displeased on Cyril's account. Janet was alarmed, and some conversation ensued, in which it transpired that Gower had dared to speak of love, and that she was quite inclined to regard her implied engagement with yourself as a mere girlish fancy, which had died out of itself, in the natural course of things."

"A fancy ! — a mere girlish fancy! and I thought I had gained a woman's heart '.—the heart of the only woman I could ever make my wife, if indeed I might be so supremely blessed!'' And then it was that Cyril broke down most completely, and seemed to realize in all its bitterness the great sorrow that had come upon him. The passing away of Monks wood was not half so hard to bear;—for a while it seemed as if this great grief could not be borne. The hope to which he had clung in the hour of his extremity was gone, the fair promise of the future, which had lighted all the dreary months since he left St. Croix had faded into nothingness and darkness: even Elizabeth herself seemed mythical, shadowy, for it was to him, as if the radiant creature he had loved, and who had pledged her faith so coniidingly, so willingly, had been but his ideal—had never really lived! no ! the Elizabeth of his imagination was frank and true, impetuous certainly and enthusiastic, but most loving, most devoted, most warmhearted, a girl to be trusted among

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