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since I have been old enough to reason I have looked with righteous horror upon a well-regulated family. Aunt Priscilla, if you don't change your tune I vow and protest I shall decide upon remaining here until my cousin takes me by the shoulders and places me upon the gravel outside.

'I thought, Lilian,' says her aunt severely, you promised me yesterday to think seriously of what I have now been saying to you for a whole week without cessation.'

Well, so I am thinking,' with a sigh. It is the amount of thinking I have been doing for a whole week without cessation that is gradually turning my

hair grey.'

6 And

• It would be all very well,' says Miss Priscilla, impatiently, ‘if I could remain with you, but I cannot. I must return to my duties. These duties consisted of persecuting poor little children every Sunday by compelling them to attend her Scriptural class so she called it) and answer such questions from the Old Testament as would have driven any experienced divinity student out of his mind; and on week days of causing much sorrow (and more bad language) to be disseminated amongst the women of the district by reason of her lectures on their dirt.

your cousin is in London, and naturally will wish to take possession in person.'

'How I wish poor papa had left the Park to me!' says Lilian discontentedly and somewhat irrelevantly.

My dear child, I have explained to you at least a dozen times that such a gift was not in his power. goes—that is, the Park-to a male heir, and

“ Yes, I know,' petulantly. "Well, then I wish it had been in his power to leave it to me.'

And how about writing to Lady Chetwoode?' says Aunt Priscilla, giving up the argument in despair. (She is a wise woman.) The sooner you do so the better.'


• I hate strangers,' says Lilian mournfully. They make me unhappy. Why can't I remain where I am ? George or Archibald, or whatever his name is, might just as well let me have a room here. I'm sure the place is large enough. He need not grudge me one or two apartments. The left wing, for instance.'

• Lilian,' says Miss Chesney, rising from her chair, how old are you? Is it possible that at eighteen you have yet to learn the meaning of the word “propriety”? You—a young girlto remain here alone with a young man!'

"He need never see me,' says Lilian, quite unmoved by this burst of eloquence. 'I should take very good care of that, as I know I shall detest him.'

"I decline to listen to you,' says Miss Priscilla, raising her hands to her ears. You must be lost to all sense of decorum even to imagine such a thing. You and he in one house, how should you avoid meeting?'

• Well, even if we did meet,' says Lilian, with a small rippling laugh impossible to quell, 'I dare say

be wouldn't bite me.'

No'-sternly_ he would probably do worse. He would make love to you.

Some instinct warns me,' says Miss Priscilla with the liveliest horror, gazing upon the exquisite, glowing face before her, that within five days he would be making violent love to you.'

“You strengthen my desire to stay,' says Lilian somewhat frivolously. "I should so like to say “No” to him!'

Lilian, you make me shudder,' says Miss Priscilla earnestly. - When I was your age, even younger,

I had a full sense of the horror of allowing any man to mention my name lightly. I kept all men at arm's length. I suffered no jesting or foolish talking from them. And mark the result,' says Miss Chesney with pride : ‘I defy anyone to say a word of me but what is admirable, and replete with modesty'



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'Did anyone ever propose to you, auntie?' asks Miss Lilian, with a naughty laugh.

Certainly. I had many offers,' replies Miss Priscilla promptly-which is one of the few lies she allows herself; ‘I was persecuted by suitors in my younger days; but I refused them all. And if you will take my advice, Lilian,' says this virgin with much solemnity, you will never, never put yourself into the clutches of a man.' She utters this last word as though she would have said a tiger, or a serpent, or anything else ruthless and bloodthirsty. “But all this is beside the question.'

It is rather,' says Lilian demurely. But, suddenly brightening, 'Between my dismal dreaming last night I thought of another plan.'

• Another !' with open dismay.

'Yes'-triumphantly--it occurred to me that this bugbear my cousin might go abroad again. Like the Wandering Jew he is always travelling, and who knows but he may take a fancy to visit the South Pole, or discover the North-Western Passage, or go with Jules Verne to the centre of the earth? If so, why should not I remain here and keep house for him ? What can be simpler ? '

'Nothing'-tritely—but unfortunately he is not going abroad again.'

• No! How do you know that ?'
Through Mr. Shrude, the solicitor.'

Ah!' says Lilian in a despairing tone, 'how unhappy I am! Though I might have known that wretched young man would be the last to do what is his palpable duty. There is a pause. Lilian's head sinks upon her hand; dejection shows itself in every feature. She sighs so heavily that Miss Priscilla's spirits rise and she assures herself the game is won. Rash hope.

Suddenly Lilian's countenance clears; she raises her head, and a faint smile appears within her eyes,

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* Aunt Priscilla, I have yet another plan,' she says cheerfully.

“Oh! my dear, I do hope not,' says poor Miss Chesney, almost on the verge of tears.

“Yes, and it emanated from you. Supposing I were to remain here, and he did fall in love with me, and married me—what then? Would not that solve the difficulty ? Once the ceremony was performed he might go prying about all over the known globe for all I should care. I should have my dear Park. I declare,' says Lilian, waxing valiant, had he but one eye, or did he appear before me with a wooden leg (which I hold to be the most contemptible of all things), nothing should induce mne to refuse him under the circumstances.'

• And are you going to throw yourself upon your cousin's generosity and actually ask him to take pity on you and make you his wife? Lilian, I fancied you had some pride,' says Miss Chesney gravely.

So I have,' says Lilian, with a repentant sigh. How I wish I hadn't! No, I suppose it wouldn't do to marry him in that way, no matter how badly I treated him afterwards to make up for it. Well, my last hope is dead.'

“And a good thing too. Now, had you not better sit down and write to Lady Chetwoode or your guardian, naming an early day for going to them? Though what your father could have meant by selecting so young a man as guardian is more than I can imagine.'

Because he wished me to live with Lady Chetwoode, who was evidently an old flame; and because Sir Guy, from all I hear, is a sort of Admirable Crichton-something as prosy as the Heir of Redclyffe, as dull as a Sir Galahad. A goody-goody old-young man. part I would have preferred a hoary-headed gentleman, with just a little spice of wickedness about him.'

Lilian, don't be flippant,' in a tone of horror. I tremble when I reflect on the dangers that must attend yonr unbridled tongue.'

For my



•Well, but, Aunt Priscilla' - plaintively_one doesn't relish the thought of spending day after day with a man who will think it his duty to find fault every time I give way to my sentiments, and probably grow pale with disgust whenever I laugh aloud. Shan't I lead him a life !' says the younger Miss Chesney viciously, tapping the back of one small hand vigorously against the palm of the other. With the hope of giving that young man something to cavil at, I shall sustain myself.

* Child,' says Miss Priscilla, 'let me recommend a course of severe study to you as the best means of subduing your eril inclinations.'

'I shall take your advice,' says the incorrigible Lilian: 'I shall study Sir Guy. I expect that will be the severest course of study I have ever undergone.'

Get your paper and write,' says Miss Priscilla, who against her will is smiling grimly.

“I suppose, indeed, I must,' says Lilian, seating herself at her davenport with all the airs of a finished martyr. Needs must,” you know, Aunt Priscilla. I dare say you recollect the rest of that rather vulgar proverb. I shall seal my fate this instant by writing to Lady Chetwoode. But, oh!' turning on her chair to regard her aunt, with an expression of the keenest reproach, 'how I wish you had not called them a wellregulated family!

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Be not over-exquisite
To cast the fashion of uncertain evils.-MILTON.

THROUGH the open windows the merry-making sun is again dancing, its bright rays making still more dazzling the glory of the snowy tablecloth. The great silver urn is hissing and fighting with all around, as though warn

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