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Look, reader, once more with the an hour writing, and stood looking eye and heart of sympathy, at a me- over the blinds into the deserted and lancholy page in the book of human almost deluged street—"there are life-a sad one, indeed, and almost one or two poor souls that would the last that will be opened by one certainly hare been here this mornwho bas already laid several before ing, according to appointment, but you, and is about to take his depar. for this unfriendly weather. Their ture!

cases are somewhat critical-one of them especially-and yet they are

not such as to warrant my appreIt was pouring with rain one Wed. hending the worst. I wish, by the nesday, in the month of March 18—, way, I had thought of asking their about twelve o'clock, and had been addresses !-Ah-for the future I raining violently the whole morning. will make a point of taking down Only one patient had called upon the residence of such as I may susme up to the hour just mentioned- pect to be in very humble or embarfor how could invalids stir out in rassed circumstances. One can then, such weather ? The wind was cold if necessary, call upon such persons and bitter-the aspect of things with -on such a day as this—at their out, in short, most melancholy and own houses. There's that poor man, cheerless.

are one or two for instance, the bricklayer-he canpoor souls,” thought I, with a sigh, not leave his work except at breakas I stepped from the desk at which fast time I wonder how his poor I had been occupied for more than child comes on! Poor fellow, how

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* Milton-Lycidas.



anxious he looked yesterday, when case remarkably well, ma'am," said he asked me what I thought of his I with a smile, “ to enable me to child! And his wife bed-ridden! give anything like a reasonable Really l'd make a point of calling, if guess at her state without seeing I knew where he lived! He can't her". afford a coach--that's out of the “Oh-but I may be able to answer question. Well-it can't be helped, many of your questions, sir, for I however !” With this exclamation, am very well acquainted with her half uttered, I looked at my watch, situation, and was a good deal with rung the bell, and ordered the car. her, not long ago.”. riage to be at the door in a quarter

“ Ah-that's well. Then will you of an hour. I was sealing one of the be so kind,” giving a monitory letters I had been writing, when I glance at my watch, as to say what heard a knock at the street door, you know of her case ? The fact is, and in a few moments my servant I've ordered the carriage to be here showed a lady into the room. She in about a quarter of an hour's time, was apparently about four or five and have a long day's work before and-twenty; neatly but very plainly me!” dressed; her features, despite an “She is—let me see, sir-I should air of languor, as if from recent in- bay, about six years older than mydisposition, without being strictly self; that is, she is near thirty, or handsome, had a pleasing expres- thereabouts. I should not think she sion of frankness and spirit, -and was ever particularly strong. She's her address was easy and elegant. seen-poor thing !-a good deal of She was, however, evidently flurried. trouble lately.” She sighed. She “hoped she should not keep " Oh-1 see, I understand ! A me at home—she could easily call little disappointmentthere's the seat again”- I begged her to be seat- of the mischief, I suppose ?” I ined; and, in a quiet tone-at the terrupted, smiling, and placing my same time proceeding with what I hand over my heart. "i Isn't this was engaged upon, that she might really, now, the whole secret?" have a moment's interval in which to " Why-the fact is---certainly, I recover her self-possession-made believe-yes, I may say that love has some observations about the weather. had a good deal to do with her pre.

" It is still raining hard, I per- sent illness—for it is really illness! ceive," said I; “ did you come on She has been"- she paused, hefoot? Bless me, madam, why you sitated, and—as I fancied-coloured seem wet through! Pray come nearer slightly -" crossed in love - yes ! the fire”-stirring it up into a cheer-, She was to have been-I mean-that ful blaze-"sball I offer you a glass is, she ought to have been married of wine, or wine and water? You last autumn, but for this sad aflook very chilly"

fair” - I bowed, looking again at “ No, thank you, sir; I am rather my watch, and she went on more wet, certainly, but I am accustomed quickly to describe her friend as to rain-I will, however, sit closer being naturally rather delicate-that to the fire, if you please, and tell you this“ disappointment” bad occain a few words my errand. I shall sioned her a great deal of annoynot detain you long, sir,” she conti- ance and agitation--that it bad left nued, in a tone considerably more her now in a very low nervous way assured; "the fact is, I have received -and, in short, her friend suspected a letter this morning from a friend herself to be falling into a decline. of mine in the country, a young That about two months ago she had lady, who is an invalid, and has bad the misfortune to be run over written to request I would call im- by a chaise, the pole of which struck mediately upon some experienced her on the right chest, and the physician, and obtain, as far as can

horses' hoofs also trampled upon be, his real opinion upon her case- her, but no ribs were broken”. for she fancies, poor girl! that they Ah, this is the most serious part are concealing what is really the of the story, ma'am-this looks like matter with her!"

real illness! Pray, proceed, ma'am. “Well! she must have stated her I suppose your friend after ibis com

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plained of much pain about the very pale. A suspicion of the real chest-is it so? Was there any state of the case flashed across my spitting of blood ? "

mind. Yes, a little-no-I mean-let “ Now, tell me, ma'am, candidly me see”.

here she took out of -confess!. Are not you speaking her pocket a letter, and unfolding it, of yourself? You really look ill! cast her eye over it for a moment or She trembled, but assured me two, as if to refresh her memory by mphatically that I was mistaken. looking at her friend's statement. She appeared about to put some

“ May I be allowed, ma'am, to question to me, when her voice faillook at the letter in wbich your ed her, and her eyes, wandering to friend describes her case ?" I en- the window, filled with tears. quired, holding out my band.

Forgive me, sir! I am so anxi. There are some private matters ous about my friend,”—she sobbed contained in it, sir,” she replied _" she is a dear, kind, good ”quickly; "the fact is, there was her agitation increased. some blood-spitting at the time, Calm – pray, calm yourself, which I believe has not yet quite ma'am-do not distress yourself ceased.”

unnecessarily! You must not let And does she complain of pain your friendly sympathies overcome in the chest ? "

you in this way, or you will be unYes-particularly in the right able to serve your friend as you side.”

wish-as she has desired!” “ Is she often feverish at night I handed to her a bottle of smelland in the morning?"

ing salts, and after pausing for a few “ Yes--very-that is, ber hands moments, her agitation subsided. feel very hot, and she is restless and Well,” she began again, tremu. irritable.”

lously, “ what do you think of her “ Is there any perspiration?” case, sir? You may tell me candid

“ Occasionally a good deal-dur- ly, sir,”-she was evidently making ing the night."

violent struggles to conceal her Any cough ?”

emotions—" for I assure you I will “ Yes, at times very troublesome, never make an improper use of what she says."

you may say-indeed I will not ! “ Pray, how long has she had it? What do you really think of her bad she it before the acci.

case ?” dent you spoke of ?"

“ Why—if all that you have said “I first noticed it-let me see-ah, be correct, I own I fear it is a bad about a year after she was married." case-certainly a bad one," I replied,

"After she was married !" I echo- looking at her scrutinizingly. ed, darting a keen glance at her. She have mentioned some symptoms that coloured violently, and stammered are very unfavourable.” confusedly

“ Do you-think-her case hope“No, no, sir-I meant about a less, sir?" she enquired in a feeblo year after the time when she expected tone, and looking at me with sorrowto have been married.”

ful intensity; There was something pot a little “ Why, ihat is a very difficult curious and puzzling in all this. question to answer-in her absence. “Can you tell me, ma'am, what sort One ought to see her—to hear her of a cough it is ? ” I enquired, shift- tell her own story-to ask a thouing my chair, so that I might obtain sand little questions. I suppose, by a distincter view of her features. the way, that she is under the care She perceived what I was about, I of a regular professional man?” think-for she seemed to change “ Yes, I believe so-no, I am not colour a little, and to be on the verge sure; she has been, I believe.” of shedding tears. I repeated my I felt satisfied that she was speaking question. She said that the cough of herself. I paused, scarce know. was at first very slight; so slighting what to say. “ Are her circumthat her friend bad thought nothing stances easy ? Could she go to a of it, but at length it became a dry warmer climate in the spring, or and painful one. She began to turn early part of the summer ?" I really

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-I mean,

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think that change of scene would do broken hearted! I meant to pay her greater good than any thing I you, sir, all the while. I only wishcould prescribe for her.”

ed to get your true opinion about She sighed. “It might be so; but my unhappy husband. Oh how very, -I know it could not be done. Cir- very, very wretched I am! What is cumstances, I believe”

to become of us! So, my poor “ Is she living with her family? husband !-there's no hope! Oh Could not they

that I had been content with igno"Oh no, there's no hope there, rance of your fate!” She sobbed sir !” she replied with sudden im- bitterly, and my worthy little wife petuosity, “ No, no; they would see exhibited so much firmness and preboth of us perish before they would sence of mind, as she stood beside lift a finger to save us,” she added her suffering sister, that I found it with increasing vehemence of tone necessary gently to remove her from and manner. “So now it's all out the room. What a melancholy picmy poor, poor husband !” She fell ture of grief was before me in Mrs into violent hysterics. The myg. Elliott, if that were her name. Her tery was now dispelled-it was her expressive features were flushed, husband's case that she had been all and bedewed with weeping; her the while enquiring about. I saw eyes swollen, and her dark hair, it all! Poor soul, to gain my can- partially dishevelled, gave a wilddid, my real opinion, she had devis- ness to her countenance, which add. ed an artifice to the execution of ed to the effect of her incoherent which she was unequal; over esti- exclamations. “ I do—I do thank mating her own strength, or rather you, sir, for your candour. I feel not calculating upon the severe tests that you have told me the truth! she would have to encounter.

But what is to become of us? My Ringing the bell, I summoned a most dreadful fears are confirmed! female servant, who, with my wife But I ought to have been home be(she had heard the violent cries of fore this, and am only keeping my patient), instantly made her ap- you”pearance, and paid all necessary at- “Not at all, ma'am-pray don't”tentions to the mysterious sufferer, “ But my husband, sir, is ill--and as surely I might call her. The let- there is no one to keep the child but ter from which-in order to aid her him. I ought to have been back little artifice-she had affected to long ago!” She rose feebly from read, had fallen upon the floor. It her chair, hastily re-adjusted her was merely a blank sheet of paper, hair, and replaced her bonnet, prefolded in the shape of a letter, and paring to go. She seemed to miss directed, in a lady's hand-writing, something, and looked about the to“ Mrs Elliot, No. 5, - street." floor, obviously embarrassed at not This I put into my pocket-book. She discovering the object of her search, had also, in falling, dropped a small " It is in your reticule, ma'am," I piece of paper, evidently containing whispered_"and, unless you would my intended fee, neatly folded up. affront and wound me, there let it This I slipped into the reticule remain. I know what you have which lay beside her.

been looking for-hush! do not From what scene of wretchedness think of it again. My carriage is at had this unhappy creature come to the door,-shall I take you as far as

street? I am driving past The zealous services of my wife it." and her maid presently restored No, sir, I thank you; but-not my patient, at least to conscious. for the world! My husband has no ness, and her first look was one of idea that I have been here; he thinks gratitude for their assistance. She I have been only to the druggist. I then attempted, but in vain, to would not have him know of this speak, and her tears flowed fast. visit on any account. He would in“Indeed, indeed, sir, I am no im- stantly suspect all.” She grew again postor I and yet I own I have de- excited. « Oh what a wretch I am! ceived you! but pity me! Have How long must I play the hypocrite! mercy on a being quite forsaken and I must look happy, and say that I

me ?

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