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lady seemed to be of the old school in | meant to have drawn a lady.
this respect, and left the octavos to the
last. When he considered he had given
her sufficient time for a rapid examination,
Gibbs with something of the feeling
with which a schoolboy opens his playbox
crammed with forbidden fruit before his
prepared to show her his treas-
ures. "What an ass I am!" he thought,
as he turned the key. "I have done
nothing wrong; and if I had, how could
this girl know anything about it, unless
she is a very witch!"

And Rowlandson, too-isn't what is called spirit in him often only vulgarity? Look at that dreadful horse- there is no drawing in it -a child eight years old ought to be whipped if it couldn't do better. And look at that man! Certainly his women have sometimes pretty faces, or rather prettier than Cruikshank's, but he never drew a lady either. And I can't admire your salmon-colored wrappers!"

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"Ah!" said Samela as the lifted lid showed her the inside of the box; then she swooped down and picked up the brown calf covering in which the quarto had hitherto had its home. She opened it; it was of course empty, and she asked the question-why?- with her eyes, looking just then -so it seemed to the uneasy man-just a little like a schoolmistress who was not quite satisfied with his conduct. "Yes," he silently repeated, "I am a fool- and now I shall have to tell a lie about that book."

"Ah!" he replied in a sort of echo to her exclamation. "An old cover; it would do to bind something in." For the life of him he could think of nothing bet

ter to say.

Samela looked at the thread by which the quarto had been held in its place and which Gibbs had cut, and then she put the cover gently down. And then he took courage, and did the honors of his box. He expatiated on the beauty and interest of Cruikshank's etchings; he pointed out how much the fine condition of the books added to their value; he enlarged on the spirit and coloring of Rowlandson's plates, and waxed eloquent on the exceeding rarity of the salmon-colored wrappers. Samela listened patiently to his oration, and when he had finished she made him stand and hearken to a lecture from her.

"I dare say you are right," said Gibbs very meekly; he saw the cherished traditions of years overturned in a moment, without daring to fight for them.

I

to

"And now, may I really take any book like for myself?" she asked.

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Any one," replied Gibbs, who began wish himself down the river with Archie. "But some of them are too valuable." "I wish they were more valuable," said Gibbs, feeling rather faint.

"Well," said Samela, "I shall not trouble Messrs. Cruikshank or Rowlandson." She went back to the large pile and picked up one of the books she had looked at before. It was a medium-sized, square, vellum-covered volume, "De Instituendo Sapentia Animo," by Mathew Bossus, printed at Bologna in the year 1495. "May I have this one?" she asked. like it for its beautiful paper and type, and its old, old date."

"I

Gibbs with more truth than when he had last spoken vowed that he was delighted that she should have it; and he begged her to choose another, but this she declined to do. Before carrying off her prize she looked again at the old chest. It had evidently been made to hold valuables in; it was lined with tin and had a very curious lock, which shut with a spring. But the queer thing about it was that the lock would not act when the key was in it, and Gibbs showed her how he had nearly put himself in a fix by laying the key inside the chest when he was shutting it. "I"I was just on the point of snapping the lock," he explained," when I remembered. I don't suppose any smith about here could pick that lock."

"I don't agree with what you say about Cruikshank," said the fair monitress. know it is the fashion to collect his books, and of course there are some of his etchings that are wonderfully spirited and perfect. I like some of those to Sir Walter's 'Demonology,' and there is another book of his which I don't see here"-looking about her "his pictures in Grimm's Fairy Tales," Gibbs nearly fell backwards into the box-"which are quite marvellous bits of work; I mean those that Mr. Ruskin praised. But I always think his women are disgraceful; and when he means them to be pretty and ladylike he is at his worst; he must sometimes have

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Well," said Samela as she prepared to march off, "I am very much obliged to you for the tea, and for this charming book, which I shall value very much, and I am sure my father will too." She added, laughing, "I am afraid I read you a terri ble lecture, but you must forgive me. I dare say I was all wrong. You know a woman never knows anything about books."

After dinner Gibbs lit a big cigar and

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strolled slowly down the glen in a meditative mood. In some ten days his month would be up and he would have to leave his pleasant quarters. A week ago he did not know that such a person as Miss Prendergast existed in the world, and now he was beginning to debate within himself whether, before he went away, it would be wise for him to ask her to be his companion for the rest of his days. He had liked her for so easily accepting his invitation, and it had been pleasant to him to look at her as she sat so comely and at home in the armchair by his fire. He thought in many ways -if she said yes that they would get on well together. Of the likelihood of her saying it he could form no opinion. She might be already engaged; or she might be for all he knew -a great heiress who would look with contempt on his moderate fortune. But as there are more indifferently well-to-do people in the world than wealthy ones Gibbs sagaciously concluded that the chances were that she was not a great heiress. He thought that probably the Prendergasts were not very much burdened with riches; she had no maid with her, and, manlike, be perhaps judged a little by the plainness and simplicity of her dress. But the father and daughter might be criminals flying from justice for all he knew. An attempt he had made to find out from which quarter of the globe the old man came from had been at once nipped in the bud. In the event of success that old man would be a drawback. Then Gibbs looked into the future. He saw a comfortable house on a northern coast sheltered with windswept trees. He saw a sort of doublebarrelled perambulator in the outer hall, and a tall figure emerging from the draw ing-room, with her hand to her lips-as if some one was asleep. Then he looked and looked, but he could see no place for that old man; he did not see his shabby wideawake hanging up anywhere, nor his spiky stick in the place where sticks were wont to be; he could not anywhere get a glimpse of the green japanned knapsack. "If such things should come to pass, thought Gibbs, "I wonder if that old man would care when he was relieved of the responsibility of looking after his charming daughter I wonder if he would care to make an expedition to Honduras or Sierra Leone, and collect specimens of his things in those parts. He would have then a fine field for his energies." Then he thought of himself. Did he in reality wish for this change, or was it merely a passing gleam of light which shone on VOL. LXXIV. 3837

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LIVING AGE.

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him, and which would pass away as similar lights had done before, and be little thought of afterwards? He was well past the romantic age as it is called, and he was very comfortable as he was. Marriage, unless the bride had some fair dower, meant giving up a good many pleasures-perhaps some little comforts; salmon-fishing, for instance, might have to become a thing of the past. "It's a devil of a thing to make up one's mind about," said Gibbs with a sort of a groan. So the man argued with himself; now he found a reason why he should try to win Samela, now another why he should get away to his native land as quickly as he could.

These reveries had carried him a couple of miles down the strath. He had just turned when he heard voices before him, and soon in the deeper one recognized that of his faithful gillie, Archie. Gibbs was in no mood to stop and talk to the lovers; he felt sure that the weaker vessel would turn out to be Jane, and he stood off the road, in the deep shadow of some trees, to let them pass. The pair were sauntering slowly along in very loverlike guise.

"He's after her he's ay after her," said Archie as they came within hearing. He's talking wi' her, and laughing wi' her, and painting wi' her, whenever he gets a chance, but whether he'll get her or no is a matter aboot which I shouldna like to say. And I'm much mistaken if he isna smoking wi' her! If I didna see a cigar in her mooth the very day we lost yon big fish at the General's Rock, I'm no Archie Macrae but some ither body!" This scurrilous observation was founded on the fact that on the afternoon in question, after being nearly devoured by midges, Samela had, at Gibbs's suggestion, tried to defend herself with a cigarette. "Tobacco! wheu! filthy stuff! it's bad eneuch in a man, but in a wummin- You'd better no let me catch you at the likes of yon, Jean, ma lass!

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"And do you think I'm going to ask your leave when I want to do aught?" inquired the shrill voice of Jane. "For if you do you're wrang!- and how'll you stop me?" Then there was a slight scuffle and a slap and the two happy ones passed on.

"You old scoundrel!" muttered the indignant master as he emerged from his place and continued on his way. "See if I don't sort you for that some day, you sanctimonious old beast! I hope she'll comb your hair for you what there's left of it - you long-legged old ruffian!"

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"Haven't you plenty of water?" inquired Gibbs.

"Water! that's the mischief of it, there's far too much! You wouldn't think a big stream like that would be affected by every shower, but it is everlastingly jumping up and down! You get to a pool and think it is in pretty good order; you turn round to light a pipe, or tie a lace, or something, and when you look again it's half a foot higher, and rising still! And when I ask my gillie the reason, he points to a small cloud away in the middle of Caithness and says that's it! Of course, nothing will take; and indeed there is nothing to take; those infernal nets get everything; they got over a hundred last Tuesday-several over thirty pounds! I saw the factor the other day and told him what a shame it was, and he just laughed! The last time I was there, when old Newton had it, we used to get our four or five fish a day, and here have I been slaving away from morning to midnight, nearly, for a fortnight, and only got fifteen!"

So the old saying was once more justified. "It used to be a good river, but it's gone Then Gibbs went home with a lot of res-all to grass now.' olutions and arguments so jumbled up in his brain together that he was quite unequal to the work of laying hold of any particular one and getting it out by itself. Much to his surprise our fisherman had a good night, and came down to breakfast with quite an appetite. The old professor had nearly finished - he was an early bird and he was just off on an expedition in charge of a keeper to a loch some miles away, where a remarkably fine specimen of the Belladona Campanulista was said to have its habitation. Never had he shown himself so crabbed and unsociable as he did that morning. Really," thought Gibbs, as he dug a spoon into his egg, one would think I had done the old gentleman some personal injury by the way he treats me. But you had better be careful, my old cock! You little know what sort of a bomb-shell may be bursting inside your dearest feelings in the course of a day or two. When you find yourself, with a steerage ticket in your pocket, on board a P. and O. en route for foreign parts, you will perhaps be sorry that you didn't treat your new relation that was to be, rather better." The old cock took this oration (which was delivered in camera) very quietly, and shortly after started for his loch. "It might clear the way if he got into a bog with no bottom to it," thought Gibbs, as he watched him slowly climbing up the hill opposite. "He is probably beetle-catcher in general to some college — he would be a father-in-law to have!"

On the whole he took a rather less roseate view of matters in the cold daylight. "There is no doubt it would be a horribly rash thing to do," said he as he began to fish his first pool, “ knowing nothing about them; I think I'll. "then up came a fish and the line ran out and the reverie was ended.

III.

FORTY miles away over the hills was another river, rented by a man whom Gibbs knew. Had sport been good, nothing short of an order from the war office would have torn this man away from his water; but his fishing had been poor, and he had announced his intention of taking a holiday from Saturday to Monday and spending it with his old friend. In due time this gentleman, Captain Martingale, arrived, full to overflowing with grumbles and pity for himself.

"I never saw such a place,” he exclaimed as soon as they had shaken hands.

"Oh, come!" said Gibbs, "that's not so very bad, after all."

"Oh! that's all very well for you!" retorted the grumbler. "Look what you've done. In my opinion Scotland is played out for fishing. I shall go to Norway next year; and I don't know that Norway is not as bad."

Martingale picked up a couple of good fish that evening and so became a little more cheerful. He had been shut up by himself for his two weeks and was consequently very full of conversation, which was all about the great object of his lifesport. Before dinner ended he had nearly driven old Mr. Prendergast frantic.

"Seems a queer old gentleman," he said the next morning, as Gibbs and he started on a smoking constitutional down the strath. "Not much of a sportsman I fancy." Gibbs thought he was not much of a sportsman.

"The daughter is a fine-looking girl, though she doesn't look as if she was his daughter. I say, old chap, you had better be careful what you are doing; these are rather dangerous quarters for a susceptible man like you!"

When Gibbs learnt that his friend was to honor him with a visit he resolved to be most careful in not giving him a hint as to the state of his - Gibbs's-feelings. Good fellow as Johnny Martingale was, he was hardly a sympathetic person to confide in when the question at issue concerned a

woman. As Quakers have been held to be incapable judges as to the morality of any particular war because they are against all wars, so Martingale's opinions as to any particular woman were worthless, for he was against all women—so far as matrimony was concerned. So Gibbs made this resolve. But instead of fighting shy altogether of the subject and confining the conversation entirely to sport which he might very easily have done he allowed himself to hang about on the borderland, as it were, of the matter, and before dinner time that Sunday the soldier knew pretty well what there was to know. In a solemn voice, and with many shakes of his curly head, he pointed out to his friend the danger of the path which lay before him. He explained - and really to listen to him one would have thought he had been married himself half-a-dozen times—all the disadvantages of matrimony.

"Marriage," said this philosopher, climbing on to the top of a stone gatepillar, and emphasizing his remarks with many waves of his pipe, "is a most serious matter." Gibbs climbed on to the top of the other pillar, and, facing his mentor, acknowledged the fact.

"You see," said Martingale, "so long as a man is a bachelor he knows pretty well how he stands; but it is quite a different thing when he's married. He doesn't know then what his income is or which are his own friends and which are his wife's. He can't go off at a moment's notice as we do whenever he wants; he has to consider this and that and everything. Look at old Bullfinch! I assure you he'd no more dare to pack up his things and come here or go to town for a fortnight without his wife than he dared jump off London Bridge.'

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Well, but," objected Gibbs, "Lady Bullfinch is such a caution! You don't often come across a woman like that."

"Don't you be too sure of that! She's married; they all lie low till they're mar ried, and then they make up for lost time."

"I don't think Miss Prendergast would ever be like Lady Bullfinch," said Gibbs.

"I'm not so sure of that-you never can tell. She's the son of her fathershe's the daughter of her father I mean and look at him! How would you like to have that old customer about your house for the next twenty years?"

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Ah," said Gibbs, glad to be able now to defend his conduct from the charge of rashness; "I've thought about that! You

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in the summer; of course in the winter he would have to vegetate-and write his reports."

"Well, there may be something in it," said the soldier, pondering over this summary way of getting rid of a possible father-in-law. If the old boy is willing to go, it is all right; but I rather think you mayn't find it so easy to pack him off to such a place he mayn't care about wolves and vegetation."

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"He may not," said Gibbs with rather a downcast face.

"I say, my dear fellow," cried Martingale, nearly falling off his pedestal in his eagerness, "don't you be led into this! You don't know what it is! She has no money, you think? You won't be able to get away from home at all, and what will you do all the time? Go out walks with Samela, eh? You'll get tired of that in time."

"Oh, hang it!" interposed Gibbs, "other people do it and seem fairly happy. I think there's something in a domestic

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"You had better add scarlet fever and cholera. People don't have those sort of things all at the same time."

"Don't they? You ask my old aunt; she'll tell you. She had scarlet fever and measles and whooping-cough and erysipelas when she was seven years old — all at the same time. Think of your doctor's bills! Think of all the servants giving notice at once! Think of the cold mutton and the rice pudding at two o'clock! And not being able to smoke in the house! And your horses sold! And a donkeycart for the kids! And think of all their clothes! Oh, Gibbs, my dear fellow, for goodness' sake don't be so rash!"

"Gibbs shifted uneasily on his gatepost. "It sounds an awful prospect," he murmured, with a very uneasy counte

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'Nothing to what the reality would be," retorted the philosopher. Then there was a long pause, the two worthies sat in silence on their pillars, disconsolately swinging their legs.

"Come, I say, Johnny," said the wouldbe wooer at last, a sudden light breaking in upon him. "It's all very well for you to sit and preach away like that; how do you know so much about women?"

"Because I've studied them," replied his mentor sententiously.

"I should like to know when. You fish all the spring; you shoot four days a week from August to February, and then hunt till the fishing begins again. I'm sure I don't know how you square your colonel. When do you find time to study them?" "Ah, that's it," said Martingale, looking very wise. "There's a good gap between the hunting and fishing time, and then there are two days a week over, not counting Sundays; and all the time you devote to those musty books I occupy in studying the female woman. 99

"Then you've studied a bad sample. I know a lot of men who have married, and I can't at this moment think of one who has had all those diseases you reckoned up, or who eats cold mutton, or who doesn't smoke in the house if he wants to." "Can't you? Look at old Framshaw." "Well, but Mrs. Framshaw is a perfect Gorgon."

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They nearly all turn out Gorgons when they've got you; and it doesn't follow that when a man says he doesn't care about smoking that he is telling the truth; the wives make them say that. I'll tell you what, Gibbs, if I was you I'd be off."

"Do you mean at once?"

"I do," said the counsellor, looking very solemn.

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"Oh, hang it!" exclaimed Gibbs, “I can't go till the end of my month." "Look here," said his friend, earnestly considering, "why not go to my place? "But your water won't carry two rods.” 'No, it won't. Well, now, supposing I came over here ?" "What! in my place ?" "Well, it would let you away." "You abominable old humbug! 99 cried Gibbs, jambing his stick into the other's waistcoat, and nearly sending him over backwards. "I see what you're after! You want Samela for yourself, and my fishing as a little amusement into the bargain! I'll see you somewhere first!"

When these two debaters on matrimony came in to dinner, they found that they were to be deprived of the society of their only lady — Samela had a headache and was not visible. Perhaps Mr. Prendergast had not looked forward with much pleasure to his dinner that night, but if he had known what he was to go through while it was taking place, we think he would have followed the example of his daughter without so good a reason. conversation soon turned on sport, as it was sure to do when Martingale made one of the party. If it had been earlier, hunting would have been the topic to be discussed; if it had been later, shootingnow fishing held the field.

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"Ever fished in Sutherland? inquired Martingale of the professor.

"No, sir, I have not," replied he. "Fishing is getting played out in Scotland, I think," went on Johnny.

"It is possible," said the old gentleman. "The fact is of the less moment to me as I never intend to fish in Scotland."

"Ah," said the other, who could hardly conceive of any one not wishing to fish somewhere. "I dare say you are right; Norway is better, but Norway is not what it used to be."

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one.

"Oh, no.

Probably not," grunted the tormented Newfoundland is better, but the mosquitoes are very bad there-eat you up; and then there's that place".

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