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      He changed the conversation instantly, asking her what she thought of Glenaveril.

      "No, no, no, my dear. The home is safe enough; the house will stand firm as long as you and I live. I am not a shilling poorer than I was yesterday. There is nothing the matternothing worth speaking about; blue devils, vapours if you like. That's all.""Well, if I am to be candid, I must confess that I have a[Pg 102] positive aversion to that young lady. The airs she gives herself on the strength of her father's wool are really insupportable, and since Lord Lostwithiel disappointed her she has been more odious than she was before."

      "I dare say if I were daring enough to open one of the doors and go in I should find them all asleep," she thought, "and I might roam all over the house without awakening anybody." She was too depressed to-day to give more than a careless, unseeing glance at those many gables as she walked along the muddy path beside the dripping copse. The chestnut boughs were nearly bare, but here and there clusters of bright yellow leaves were still hanging, shining[Pg 7] like pale gold in the last watery gleams of the sun; and though the leaves were lying sodden and brown among the rank, wet grass, there were emerald mosses and cool, green ferns, and red and orange fungi to give colour to the foreground, and to the little vistas that opened here and there amidst the underwood.

      We shall see, said Lord Selvaine. I may say, my dear Mr. Helby, that I am using my powers in that direction. We shall see.I dont know yet, he said. Leave her in your charge for the present.

      He knew that in this desire he exceeded the teaching of churchmen; that another priest in his place might have bade her keep her sad secret to the end, he down with it in her early grave, be remembered as a saint, yet die knowing herself a sinner. If he had thought of the husband's peace first, he would have counselled silence. But he thought most of this stricken soul, with wings that spread themselves towards heaven, held down to earth by the burden of an unpardoned sin."I never touch wine of any kind."

      As for being called by harsh names, he was too much a man of the world to attach any importance to an angry husband's abuse. It made him not a sixpence the poorer; and as there had been no witness to the interview it scarcely diminished his dignity. The thing rested between him and his enemy.

      "Only thistell your husband the truthhowever painful, however humiliating the confession. That will be your best atonement. That is the sacrifice which will help to reconcile you with your God. You cannot hope for God's love and pardon hereafter, if you live and die as a hypocrite here. God's saints were some of them steeped in the darkness of guilt before they became the children of lightbut there was not one of them who shrank from the confession of his sins."



      [Pg 200]One of this smoking cabinet was a celebrated adventurer named Gundling, endowed with wonderful encyclopedian knowledge, and an incorrigible drunkard. He had been every where, seen every thing, and remembered all which he had either heard or seen. Frederick William had accidentally picked him up, and, taking a fancy to him, had clothed him, pensioned him, and introduced him to his Tabagie, where his peculiar character often made him the butt of ridicule. He was excessively vain, wore a scarlet coat, and all manner of pranks were cut up by these boon companions, in the midst of their cups, at his expense.