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tawny bull-dog (with his ‘strangled whistle”) called ‘Tartar” in Shirley, was ‘Keeper’ in Haworth parsonage—a gift to Emily. With the gift came a warning. Keeper was faithful to the depths of his nature as long as he was with friends; but he who struck him with a stick or whip, roused the relentless nature of the brute, who flew at his throat forthwith, and held him there till one or the other was at the point of death. Now Keeper's household fault was this: he loved to steal upstairs, and stretch his square, tawny limbs on the comfortable beds, covered over with white delicate counterpanes. But the cleanliness of the parsonage arrangements was perfect, and Emily declared that if he was found again transgressing, she herself, in defiance of warning and his well-known ferocity of nature, would beat him so severely, that he would never offend again. In the gathering dusk of the evening, Tabby came to tell Emily that Keeper was lying on the best bed in drowsy voluptuousness. Charlotte saw Emily's whitening face and set mouth, but dared not interfere; no one dared when Emily's eyes glowed in that manner out of the paleness of her face, and when her lips were so compressed into stone. She went up stairs, and Tabby and Charlotte stood in the gloomy passage below. Down stairs came Emily, dragging after her the unwilling Keeper, his hind-legs set in a heavy attitude of resistance, held by the ‘scuft of his neck, but growling low and savagely all the time. The watchers would fain have spoken, but durst not, for fear of taking off Emily's attention, and causing her to avert her head for a moment from the enraged brute. She let him go, planted in a dark corner at the bottom of the stairs; no time was there to fetch stick or rod, for fear of the strangling clutch at her throat–her bare clenched fist struck against his red fierce eyes, before he had time to make his spring, and, in the language of the turf, she “punished him till his eyes were swelled up, and the half-blind stupefied beast was led to his accustomed lair to have his swollen head fomented and cared for by the very Emily herself. The generous dog owed her no grudge; he loved her dearly ever after; he walked first among the mourners at her funeral; he slept moaning for nights at the door of her empty room; and never, so to speak, rejoiced, dog-fashion, after her death.
Each of the three sisters commenced a novel; Charlotte's was called The Professor, Emily's Wuthering Heights, and Anne's Agnes Grey. When completed, the tales were sent to London. Charlotte's was rejected by several publishers, and her sisters', after various refusals, were only accepted on terms “impoverishing to their authors. Charlotte, however, was encouraged to try a longer work in a more saleable form, and the very day that The Proifessor was returned, Jane Eyre was commenced. It was finished, accepted by Smith, Elder, & Co., and published in October 1847. Its success was instant and remarkable. Three editions were called for within a twelvemonth. A new genius had arisen, “capable of depicting the strong, self-reliant, racy, and individual characters which lingered still in the north. This individuality of character and description, eulogised by Mrs Gaskell, constitutes the attraction and the value of the novel, for the plot is in many parts improbable, and some of the scenes are drawn with coarseness as well as power. There was truth in the observation that “Jane Eyre' was too like Richardson’s ‘Pamela' in her intercourse with her ‘Master, though the inherent indelicacy of such passages—of which the authoress was unconscious—were soon forgotten in the strong interest excited by Jane's misfortunes and moral heroism. Much of Charlotte's own history, down even to her petite figure and plain face, is embodied in the story of the heroine. The authorship had
been kept a profound secret. But when success was assured, Charlotte carried a copy of the novel to her father; he read it in his study, and at teatime said: “Girls, do you know Charlotte has been writing a book, and it is much better than likely. He had tried book-making himself, but with very different powers and different results.” In December 1847. Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey, by Emily and Anne Brontë, were published. The former had
* Mrs Gaskell was probably not aware—and Charlotte Brontë might wish to conceal-that the singular minister of Haworth, while resident at Hartshead, published two small volumes of verse-Cottage Poems, 1811; and The Rural Minstrel, a Miscellany of Descriptive Poems, 1813—the year after his marriage. His name is prefixed to both—“By the Rev. Patrick Brontë, B.A., Minister of Hartshead-cum-Clifton, near Leeds, Yorkshire; and both volumes bear the imprint, ‘Halifax, printed and sold by P. K. Holden, for the Author. There would have been difficulty in ushering them into the world in any other way, for assuredly no publisher would, at his own cost, have undertaken the risk. The poems have nothing but their piety to recommend them. In a pretty long “Advertisement' to the Cottage Poems, Mr Brontë states that they were chiefly designed for the lower classes of society, and he complacently adds: “When released from his clerical avocations, he [the author] was occupied in writing the Cottage Poems; from morning till noon, and from noon till night, his employment was full of indescribable pleasure, such as he could wish to taste as long as life lasts. His hours glided pleasantly and almost imper- . ceptibly by; and when night drew on, and he retired to rest, ere he closed his eyes in sleep, with sweet calmness and serenity of mind, he often reflected that, though the delicate palate of criticism might be disgusted, the business of the day, in the prosecution of his humble task, was well-pleasing in the sight of God, and might, by His blessing, be rendered useful to some poor soul, who cared little about critical niceties, &c. The first piece—“To the Rev. J–B–, whilst Journeying for the Recovery of his Health’—is an epistle modelled after Burns: When warmed with zeal, my rustic muse Feels fluttering fain to tell her news, And paint her simple, lowly views, With all her art, And, though in genius but obtuse, May touch the heart.
Of palaces and courts of kings,
Another piece, “The Irish Cabin, might seem to promise some fresh feeling and early recollections, but it is a fancy piece, without one bit of characteristic painting, except that the supper presented to the pious visitor in the cabin consists of ‘the mealy potato and herring, and water just fresh from the spring. Mr Brontë's character of his countrymen, however, has the merit of truth:
In friendship, fair Erin, you glow;
To the Rural Minstrel another prefatory ‘Advertisement' is prefixed, but without stating how the previous volume had been received. He says: ‘He does not think it necessary to apologise for delivering his sentiments in verse, since he is authorised to do so by many excellent precedents in human composition;' and he “has preferred writing the greater part of this little volume in the irregular metre, as it is sanctioned by the authority of some of the most eminent authors, is most congenial to his mind, and seemed to him best calculated for poems of a descriptive nature. Of this truly irregular metre we give one stanza or "s' from
Never in all her life had she [Emily] lingered over any task that lay before her, and she did not linger now. She sank rapidly. She made haste to leave us. Yet, while physically she perished, mentally she grew stronger than we had yet known her. Day by day, when I saw with what a front she met suffering, I looked on her with an anguish of wonder and love. I have seen nothing like it; but, indeed, I have never seen her parallel in anything. Stronger than a man, simpler than a child, her nature stood alone. The awful point was, that while full of ruth for others, on herself she had no pity; the spirit was inexorable to the flesh; from the trembling hand, the unnerved limbs, the faded eyes, the same service was exacted as they had rendered in health. To stand by and witness this, and not dare to remonstrate, was a pain no words can render. Two cruel months of hope and fear passed painfully by, and the day came at last when the terrors and pains of death were to be undergone by this treasure, which had grown dearer and dearer to our hearts as it wasted before our eyes. Towards the decline of that day, we had nothing of Emily but her mortal remains as consumption left them. She died December 19, 1848 [in her thirtieth year]. We thought this enough; but we were utterly and presumptuously wrong. She was not buried ere Anne fell ill. She had not been committed to the grave a fortnight, before we received distinct intimation that it was necessary to prepare our minds to see the younger sister go after the elder. Accordingly, she followed in the same path with a slower step, and with a patience that equalled the other's fortitude. She was religious, and it was by leaning on those Christian doctrines in which she firmly believed that she found support through her most painful journey. I witnessed their efficacy in her latest hour and greatest trial, and must bear my testimony to the calm triumph with which they brought her through. She died May 28, 1849 [aged twenty-nine].
the best piece in the collection, “Lines Addressed to a Lady on her Birthday’—evidently his gentle wife Maria:
Then let the vernal landscape's ample bound,
The strong interest attaching to this remarkable man, in connection with his family, and the apparent rarity of his Poems—for the sight of which we are indebted to Mr Hotten, *: Piccadilly-will readily excuse this long note.
Charlotte alone was now left with the aged father, for Branwell, after sinking from vice to vice, had died the year before, in his thirty-first year. Literary labour was indispensable; and Charlotte completed her tale of Shirley, another series of Yorkshire delineations, fresh and vigorous as the former, and as well received by the public. It was published in 1849. With the publication of Shirley ended the mystery of the authorship. A Haworth man, residing in Liverpool, read the novel, and recognised the localities and dialect; he guessed it to be Miss Brontë's, and communicated his discovery to a Liverpool paper, after which Miss Brontë paid a visit to London, and the fact was made distinctly known. It was three years after this ere she appeared again as a novelist. Her experiences at the pensionnat in Brussels, and the insight she had obtained into French character, suggested the subject of her next work, Vilette, which was published in 1853. In merely literary merit and skill of construction, it is superior to Shirley, but it had not the same strong interest or air of reality. This was to be the last of Charlotte Brontë's triumphs. Her father's curate, Mr Nicholls, had entertained a deep and enduring attachment for her. The old minister was at first opposed to the match; but he at length yielded, and Charlotte was married in June 1854. A few months of happy wedded life brightened the close of her strange and sad career, in which she had displayed the virtues of a noble self-sacrificing nature, and she died March 31, 1855, in the thirty-ninth year of her age. Her first novel, The Professor, has since been published, but it will not bear comparison with her other works.
was then in his thirty-third year, and had seen ‘life” both at home and abroad. He studied medicine in his native city of Dublin, and afterwards in France; practised for some years in the north of Ireland, and then removed to Brussels as physician to the embassy there. The success of Lorrequer soon led to another novel of the same class, Charles O'Malley, the Irish Dragoon, 1841, and two other semi-military fictions, # Hinton, the Guardsman, 1842, and Tom Burke of Ours, 1844. In his next work Mr Lever sought to picture Ireland in its days of trouble and revolt. In 1845 he produced The O'Donoghue, a Tale of Ireland # Years Ago; then The Knight of Gwynne, a Tale of the £, 1847; Roland Cashel, 1849; The Daltons, 1852; The Dodd Family Abroad, 1854; The Martins of Cro Martin, 1856; The Fortunes of Glencore, 1857; and Davenport Dunn, 1859. For a short period, after 1842, Mr Lever conducted the Dublin University Magazine. The novels of this versatile and lively author had all a considerable sale—some of the early ones rivalled the works of Dickens in popularity. In addition to his battle scenes and romantic exploits, Mr Lever has a rich, racy, national humour. His heroes have all a strong love of adventure, a mational proneness to blundering, and a tendency to get into scrapes and questionable situations. The author's chief fault is his sometimes mistaking farce for comedy—mere animal spirits for wit or humour. In Glencore he tried the higher style of fiction—‘the detection of character, and the unravelment of that tangled skein which makes up human motives, but his satire and serious painting are not equal to his light-hearted gaiety, rollicking fun, and broad, laughable caricature. Another Irish worthy—a poet, novelist, painter, and musician—is MR SAMUEL LovER, born in Dublin in 1797. In 1818 Mr Lover sang a song of his own composition at a dinner given to Moore, and he has produced a number of good Irish songs—The Angels Whisper, Molly Bawn, Rory O'More, The Four-leaved £ &c. His Irish novels, Rory O'More (1839), Handy Andy, Treasure Trove, and The Confessions of Con Gregan, were well received. His short Irish sketches, however, are much better, and by reciting some of these, and singing some of his fine wild ballads, he makes up a public entertainment, which he has given with great success in Ireland and England, and also in America.
This gentleman, long and extensively connected with periodical literature, is author of four novels, Schinderhannes, the Robber of the Rhine; The Game of Life; The Magician; and '' Common, 1855. Mr Ritchie is also author of a volume of short tales, Head and Tail Pieces, and of various contributions to literary journals. His most elaborate works are descriptions of continental tours, published with illustrations, under the titles of Turner's Annual Tour, and Heath's Picturesque Annual, of which illustrated works Mr Ritchie produced twelve volumes. An illustrated Pedestrian Tour of the Wye, by Mr Ritchie, is of the same class. The Romance of French History, The Library of Romance, and other editorial labours of a kindred description mark Mr Ritchie's literary career; and after having been connected with several London journals and magazines, he repaired to Scotland, and for several years bore a part in conducting Chambers's Journal. He is again (1859) in London, professionally engaged on literature—an able and indefatigable labourer in that crowded
. This lady differs from most of her sister-novelists in a love of the supernatural and mysterious. She walks in the unseen world of dreams, apparitions, and spiritual influences; yet withal she possesses a vigorous intellect, acute observation, and dramatic skill in describing characters and incidents. Few who have taken up one of her stories will lay down the volume until it has been wholly perused. Mrs Crowe's first publication was a tragedy, Aristodemus, 1838, which was recognised by the critical and select few as a production of great merit. Her next work was addressed to the many. The Adventures of Susan Hopley, 1841, is a novel of English life, and was very successful. It was followed by Men and Women, or Manorial Rights, 1843—a tale less popularly attractive than Susan Hopley, but undoubtedly superior to it in most essential points. Mrs Crowe next translated The Seeress of Prevorst, revelations concerning the inner life of man, by Justinus Kerner; and two years afterwards (1847) she published The Story of Lilly Dawson. The heroine, when a child, falls into the hands of a family of English smugglers, desperadoes of the Dirk Hatterick stamp, and the account given of the gradual development of her intellect and affections amidst scenes of brutal violence and terror, with the story of her subsequent escape and adventures when the world was all before her, forms a narrative of psychological as well as of romantic interest. Among the opinions and reflections thrown out by the authoress is an admission that the intellectual faculty of woman is inferior in quality and calibre to that of man:
If, as we believe, under no system of training, the intellect of woman would be found as strong as that of man, she is compensated by her intuitions being stronger—if her reason be less majestic, her insight is clearer—where man reasons, she sees. Nature, in short, gave her all that was needful to enable her to fill a noble part in the world's history, if man would but let her play it out, and not treat her like a full-grown baby, to be flattered and spoiled on the one hand, and coerced and restricted on the other, vibrating betwixt royal rule and slavish serfdom.
In 1848 Mrs Crowe issued two volumes representing The Night Side of Nature, or Ghosts and Ghost Seers. Some of the stories are derived from the German, and others are relations of supernatural events said to have happened in this country, some of them within the author's knowledge. The evidence in support of them is slight, but such as delight to revel in details of symbolical dreams, presentiments, and wraiths, will find Mrs Crowe's work a curious and interesting storehouse. Our authoress relaxed for a short space from such midnight studies, and produced, also in 1848, an excel. lent story for children, Pippie's Warning, or Mind Your Temper. In 1850 we find Mrs Crowe again endeavouring to unlock the secrets of nature. Her Light and Darkness, or Mysteries of Life, is a collec, tion of marvellous stories, some of them tales of continental jurisprudence, and all related in Mrs Crowe's clever, earnest, and undoubting manner. Another three-volume novel from her pen appeared in 1852, The Adventures of a Beauty, describing the perplexities arising out of a secret marriage contracted by a wealthy baronet's son with the daughter of a farmer; and another domestic story. £any Lockwood, two volumes, 1854, appears to complete the round of Mrs Crowe's works of fiction. The novelist, we may add, is a native of Borough Green, county of Kent; her maiden name was Catherine Stevens, and in 1822 she was married to Colonel Crowe.
The Priest of St Quentin. [Abridged from Light and Darkness.]
It is in the annals of the doings and sufferings of the good and brave spirits of the earth that we should learn our lessons. It is by these that our hearts are mellowed, our minds exalted, and our souls nerved to go and do likewise. But there are occasionally circumstances connected with the history of great crimes that render them the most impressive of homilies; fitting them to be set aloft as beacons to warn away the frail mortal, tossed on the tempest of his passions, from the destruction that awaits him if he pursues his course; and such instruction we hold may be best derived from those cases in which the subsequent feelings of a criminal are disclosed to us; those cases, in short, in which the chastisement proceeds from within instead of from without; that chastisement that no cunning concealment, no legal subtlety, no eloquent counsel, no indulgent judge can avert. In the year 1822, a young priest was inducted into the cure of a small village called St Quentin, situated on the borders of Piedmont. He was about eight-andtwenty years of age; tall, stout, and gifted with uncommon bodily strength. But his countenance was not pleasing; his complexion was sallow, his eye malicious, his smile treacherous. He was, moreover, a rigid pastor; zealous overmuch; reproving harshly, inflicting severe penances, and magnifying small faults into great sins. The fact was, he was extremely ambitious, and not possessing those qualities that were likely to recommend him to the notice of his superiors, he sought to win their favour by his burning zeal and exemplary rigour. About a quarter of an hour's walk from the church there resided a retired soldier, named Stephen Charnelot, with his beautiful wife Marie Guérin. He was the possessor of a small bit of land, and passed his days in peace and contentment with Marie, who was as pious and prudent as she was beautiful. Her only fault was, that where religion was concerned, she did not allow herself the exercise of her judgment; her piety amounted to fanaticism, and every priest, in her eyes, was a saint. £ Mingrat was her confessor, and the pastor of her parish. On the 8th of May 1822, several young persons in the adjoining parish of Weuray were to receive their first communion, and Marie, who was a constant attendant at all the religious festivals in the neighbourhood, announced her intention of being present. Mingrat, hearing of this, made it the pretext of a visit to her. He had a letter for the minister there, which he requested her to take charge of. He had not, however, brought it with him, but promised to have it ready by the evening when she came to confession. On the same afternoon she was seen to leave the village for this purpose, having requested her friends, when her husband came home, to tell him whither she was gone. Poor Marie never returned to her happy home, and, after one other momentary glimpse of her, we see her alive no Inore, We learn from Madame St Michel, a lady of great respectability, who happened to be at her devotions in the church of St Quentin, about five o'clock on that afternoon, that she saw Marie Charnelot enter and throw herself on her knees before the confessional, whilst at the same moment she perceived a strange figure in black, apparently without either arms or legs, and with some sing: head-gear, glide behind the altar. Alarmed at
the phantom, she tried to draw Marie's attention to it; but the latter was too deeply absorbed in her devotions to heed her; and when Madame St Michel looked again the spectre had disappeared. There can be no doubt that the phantom was Mingrat, though the motive of his assuming the disguise does not appear; neither do we know what further occurred in the church, except that she must have been induced to accompany him to his house, which was close at hand, probably for the urpose of receiving the letter for the minister of euray. No one, however, saw her enter. The priest kept but one maid, a simple, honest young creature, who was also very devout, and standing in great awe of her master. The first indications we gather that a crime had been committed, are from the evidence of this girl. Somewhere betwixt the hour of five and the closing in of the evening, she thought she heard suppressed sighs proceeding from a back room of the parsonage, but these sounds she did not investigate further. Later, came the sacristan, to ask if he should ring in the mass for the dead, and then the girl knocked at the door of the parlour where she supposed her master to be, in order to make the inquiry. There being no answer, she ascended the stairs to his chamber, where at first she was not more successful, although she heard heavy sighs from within. She tried to lift the latch, but the door was fast, and, alarmed, she knocked vehemently. Then the priest spoke, and in a loud voice bade her go below and he would follow her immediately. She went, but she had scarcely reached the bottom of the stairs when he appeared at the top, inquiring who wanted him. On learning what the sacristan sought, he answered decidedly no; and then retreating into his chamber, closed the door behind him. There was something in this that seems to have awakened the girl's curiosity as well as her fears, so she crept softly up the stairs and listened at the door; she heard still the sighs and groans—then the groans ceased, and there was silence. Pale and trembling she went below. By and by the priest came down, evidently much disturbed. She told him she had been frightened; she thought he had been dying in the chamber above. He bade her hold her tongue, called her a fool, and ordered her to take the newspaper to Monsieur Huddard, with his compliments. But curiosity was stronger than obedience. She took the paper, but instead of going to the neighbour's with it, she went round the church and came again to the portal. She could now hear nothing; but she saw a light in the upper room, and tried to climb to the window; but she could not do this without making some noise—instantly the light was extinguished, and she heard the priest descending the stairs. Presently he opened the door, and stepping out, cried : “Who’s there?” He had called several times before she had courage to speak; at length she answered, trembling: “It is I.’ ‘What are you doing there?” he asked in an angry tone. “I was going to shut the door of the hen-coop,' she replied. ‘That's false!" said he. “You were here for some other purpose. Then he ascended the stairs again, and shut himself into the mysterious chamber. The girl remained below, oppressed with fear and anxiety; what could be going on above? She took a book of devotion and tried to calm her mind by reading it; but in vain—she could not collect her thoughts. Suddenly she was startled by a violent knocking at the door, but before she could reach it, the priest came down, and thrusting her aside, opened it himself. It was Charnelot, come to inquire for his wife; she had left home, saying she was going to confession, but had not returned. Mingrat had his answer ready. He said that he had seen her in the church, but that, displeased with the unsuitableness of her attire, he had sent her home again. Nevertheless, his speech was not calm; he stammered and spoke thick; but no suspicion of the truth seems to have entered the husband's mind. He retired; and Mingrat sent away the maid, who did not sleep in the house, and then commenced the labours of that most awful night. Not far from the church was an ascent, on the summit of which rose a wall of huge strangely formed rock; at the foot of this cliff flowed the river Isère. Mingrat's object appears to have been to convey the body of his victim thither, and throw it into the stream. With this view, he bound it hand and foot with cords, and let it down from the window; then he extinguished the light, and, descending himself by the stairs, he lifted it, and partly by carrying, and partly by dragging, he succeeded in conveying it to the top of the hill; but here he found a difficulty he had not reckoned on; great as was his strength, he could not raise the body over the rock. This was an alarming discovery, for the night was short where there was so much to be done. It then occurred to him, that if he could separate the limbs from the trunk, he might more easily dispose of it; and he attempted this by means of his pocket-knife, but all were inadequate. And now imagine his situation | Let us picture to ourselves the murderer as he stood on that lonely hill, scantily sprinkled with thorn-bushes and withered hazel-trees; battered by the storm, for the rain fell and the wind raged furiously on that awful night: before him, the steep ascent that he could not surmount; beside him, the body that he could not get rid of ! Conceive his horror, his anguish, his despair ! How little do we think, when each night we lay our heads calmly on our pillows, of the scenes that at that moment may be acting in different parts of the world! For myself, I could not, on hearing this fearful story, help endeavouring to recall the fearful drama; bringing back to my memory that May of 1822; contrasting situations—my peaceful chamber, my calm sleep, and my cheerful waking. I felt ready to fall upon my knees, and bless God that I had been exempted from such trials. Indeed, it is the melting of the heart that this tale produced on myself that has induced me to relate it; for such contemplations are very wholesome. Trembling whilst we rejoice, we learn the inestimable value of innocence; and whilst humbly thankful for the past, we prepare to encounter the future, at once softened and strengthened, encouraged and reproved. But to return to that lonely hill and the conflict there. What was to be done? He must either carry the body round to the river by the public path, or return home and fetch a more efficient instrument. The time that either operation would absorb was terrific to think of. At length he decided on the latter expedient, probably from the apprehension that passengers would be abroad upon the road before he could accomplish his task. So with rapid strides he made his way back to the manse, possessed himself of the kitchen hatchet, and returned to the hill. With the aid of this weapon he attained his object, and then succeeded in conveying the mangled remains to the river; leaving, as he believed, no traces of his own whereabout, or of his victim's fate, except a handkerchief she had worn about her neck. This he hung on a thorn-bush near the water, in order to encourage the idea that she had destroyed herself. The morning now began to dawn, but his night's work was scarcely half finished. How much must be done before the maid returned ! There were the murdered woman's clothes to be disposed of; his own bloodbesprinkled habiliments to be cleaned; the hatchet to be polished. It was a sore labour, for still, toil as he would, some spot, some stain remained ! Her dress he burned, cutting it up into shreds, and then cutting again to make them small enough for hasty combustion; but the very ashes were treacherous, and cried aloud against him. They were so red that he was obliged to mingle sand and earth amongst them to disguise the colour.
As for the hatchet, in his anguish he rubbed it so bright that its very lustre stood out as a testimony against him. It is surely one of the providences of God that the stains of blood should be so difficult to efface | But suddenly he pauses—his whole frame is relaxed —his visage, inflamed by the torture of his mind and his vehement labours, is overspread with a ghastly pallor -what is it that affrights him so? Is there a noise without, or has he discerned some human eye watching him through an unguarded chink? Why does he fling down the hatchet, and thrust his hands wildly into his pockets, and then rush frantically from the house? He has missed his pocket-knife! He must have left it behind him on the hill. Oh, the agony of that moment Away he strides again, this time in the broad light of day—but everything must be risked to recover such a damning evidence. He reaches the summit—seeks it -looks here, looks there—under every bush, in every cleft—runs hither, thither—but in vain; the knife has disappeared. He dare linger no longer—he must return without it. He reached the parsonage before the maid's arrival, and, had it not been for her fanatical faith in his holy office, his demeanour must now have betrayed him. He met her now with confusion; addressed her with fury— ‘Where had she been ? What had she seen! What did she think?” The poor girl, trembling, answered that she had seen nothing, understood nothing. She had only heard a sighing and groaning, and she fancied that her master was ill. Nevertheless, she could not close her eyes to what she saw; why was the kitchen hearth heaped with ashes? There must surely have been a large fire since she had last been there! She swept them aside, and there appeared a half-burned wreath of flowers; in the back yard, upon some straw, she perceived blood spots, and picked up a withered leaf of hazel; there were no hazeltrees there, and the leaf was stained, and there was something adhering to it that made her own blood freeze. She found a bit of the minister's cloak, too, and that was stained. What should she do? What ought she to do? When she saw him she durst not open her lips to speak, and was about to retreat, when he sternly bade her go up stairs. This harshness rendered her desperate, and folding her hands, as in earnest prayer, she besought him to ‘let her go away, for she could bear it no longer.’ What a thunder-clap to Mingrat ! The request told all. He was betrayed; his fatal secret, his life, his honour, were in the power of this girl. Shaking like a leaf, the girl stood before him ; whilst he, barring her way to the door, and holding her arm with a grasp of iron, his eyes fixed on the earth, deliberated what was to be done. Suddenly a resource presents itself. He is acquainted with her simplicity and scrupulous conscience, and hope awakes once more. Still grasping her arm, he dragged her to the churchit was yet early morning, and no one was there to witness the scene—flung her on the steps of the altar, and gave her the choice at once to die or there swear to observe an inviolable secrecy on the events of that night. She consented to take the oath, and he held the crucifix upon her lips whilst she pronounced it. In the meanwhile, the disappearance of the beautiful Marie Charnelot was beginning to excite general attention, and her husband naturally became extremely uneasy. Her having been seen to enter the village of St Quentin, conjoined to her avowed intention of going to confession, inevitably connected Antoine Mingrat with the mystery; but the people of the neighbourhood were extremely pious; however unlovable a being their pastor was, he was a holy one in their eyes. It happened that very early on that morning, a gentleman, named Michon, had occasion to visit a part of his property which was situated at a little distance from the village. His way lay across the hill, and, alth.' the