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to attribute it to any thing else. On his occasional visits of ceremony, she received him as if nothing material had happened; but the flush was gone from her cheek, and the smile that remained, was cold and sickly.

Meantime, rumour was liberal in assigning to each of the sisters her share of intended husbands. Vibert listened to the catalogue with all the trepidation of a lover who had really entertained hopes. Alas ! if that selfish principle of denying to another what we cannot enjoy ourselves be excusable in any case, it is so in love. The loved object which belongs to no other, still appears to be in some degree our own; and fancy conjures up in spite of us, an indefinable trust in the future, of which the total destruction falls like the blow of an assassin. It was thus with Vibert, when, after writhing long in secret anguish at the mention of any name connected with that of Marion, report from all quarters concurred in the same uncontradicted tale. Marion was receiving the addresses of Marcus of Heroncliff: of him, for whom he had himself, from motives of the purest kindness, secured the good thoughts of her family—him whom he had made the confidant of his love him who had professed himself to be only waiting for encouragement to throw himself at the feet of her sister! That he should have met him daily, and never hinted at the change in his intentions !—Yet might it not have been that he feared to inflict pain? That he should have deserted Edith when his conduct had implied all that was devoted !-Yet, was it not for Marion? But

then, that Marion should have become the rival of her sister? Yet, oh! how soon she had overcome the remembrance of him, and how natural was it for the cold in love to become the faithless in friendship. Thus Vibert went on arguing for and against all the parties, and winding up with a forced ejaculation of, “it is nothing to me—it is no affair of mine ;”-it was meant to confirm his pride, but only proved his wretchedness.

Upon this principle, and from a sense of his want of self-possession, the name of Marion never passed his lips in the presence of Marcus, who, on his part, was equally silent.

The report upon which this conduct was adopted was not so destitute of reason as those which had preceded it. Marcus, with the failing already noticed, was incapable of being a true friend ; and though at his first introduction at Silvermere, the marked intelligence between Marion and Vibert reduced him to the necessity of devoting his attentions to Edith, yet the bare circumstance of her sister's preference for another was sufficient to kindle in his heart the most burning anxiety to obtain her for himself. Without considering Vibert's earlier acquaintance, he felt himself eclipsed, and his honour wounded. The moment, therefore, that his friend's visits were discontinued, his own were redoubled. They were naturally, from his previous behaviour, laid by the family to the account of Edith ; and upon this conviction, Marion often used him as a protection against the advances

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of her unwelcome host of admirers. If she was asked to dance, she was engaged to Marcus, and his arm was always ready to conduct her to her carriage. It was observed that she received much more of his attention than was bestowed upon her sister; and insensibly their manner in public became the practice in private, where there was no need for it. His hopes rose high, and he scrupled not to advance them by endeavouring to extirpate the last kind feeling, which he thought might yet linger, for poor Vibert. One while he affected chagrin, and invented excesses on the part of his friend as the cause of it: at another time he was incensed at injurious words, which he alleged to have been employed by Vibert towards herself. At last, when he thought himself quite secure, he disclosed his passion, and was rejected with astonish

ment.

The sting for one like him had a thousand barbs : he loved the beautiful Marion with all the energy of a soul which had never before loved a human being. Common report, and his confidence in her resentment against Vibert, had made him consider her as already his own. His triumph over all the competitors that he had feared, envied, and detested, was, as he deemed, on the eve of completion ; and now he was to be the object of derision, and mock pity! The means which he had used to ingratiate himself would probably be divulged. The inmost core of his heart would be exposed and scorned; and Vibert, whom he felt to be the latent cause of his rejection, was perhaps finally to be reinstated, and to flaunt his triumph daily before his eyes! The very evils which bad minds have attempted to inflict upon others, become a provocation to themselves : they have been defeated, and therefore they have been injured ! and the rejected suitor returned home pallid, and quivering with an ague fit of mortal hate.

The attentions of Marcus had never been discussed between the sisters until the occurrence of this catastrophe. He left them in a shaded alley of the pleasure-grounds, which were beginning to be strewed with the yellow leaves of autumn; and a clouded sunset cast a few long streaks across the sward, and made the deep recesses look still more sombre.

There are few who do not feel a melancholy peculiar to this period of the year.

Marion had a double reason; for it was about the same time in the preceding autumn, and in the summer-house but a few steps before her, that she had passed the last happy hour with Vibert ! Marion,”

,” said Edith, as they walked on, with their arms fondly resting upon each other's neck,“ you are not well. It is long since you were well; but I had hoped that the attachment of Marcus would have dispelled a deep grief, of which you forbade me ever to speak. I trusted that your heart had been arrested in its progress of sorrow, and I was silent, lest you should think me jealous of my sweet rival.”

“ Heavens! that my apathy should have been so

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yours.”

great as to mistake his attentions. I only bore with him because I thought him

Marion, I love him not; and never should have wished him loved by you, had I not felt that your

life depended on the diversion of your thoughts. I have been mistaken; you have been dying daily, and unless you would have me die with you, let me write to Vibert. Sweet Marion, let me write, as from myself, in my own wild way, merely to bid him come and dance on my birth-day."

No, Edith, no. He would suspect the reason; it is too humiliating. I have still pride enough left to save me from contempt, if not to support me from ---Edith, let us talk of other things.”

She leaned her head upon her sister's bosom, and both were weeping, when they were startled by the gallop of a horse, and a ring at the garden gate. Edith saw that it was the servant of Vibert, and she sprang like a fawn to inquire his commission. He brought a letter for Marion, and thus it ran :

“ The relations who stood between me and the succession to the estates of Hazledell, are dead. I am now my uncle's heir ; but I fear too late. The sorrow of withdrawing myself to my proper distance when I was poor, is probably to be followed up by the anguish of being forbidden to return now that I am rich. I dare not appear before you till I hear the refutation of your reported engagements with Marcus— till you bid me

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