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of youthful symmetry and comeliness, while his manners and language, as he returned thanks to his preservers, evinced a gracefulness and propriety superior to his station. His. aunt, renewing her acknowledgments in a strain of the most ardent gratitude, stated, in answer to Middleton's inquiries, that the boy's name was Harry Clements, and that his father was in service in London as a coachman. Upon being interrogated as to the name of the family with whom he lived, and their place of residence, she betrayed some little confusion, and then declared that she was utterly unacquainted with either; but renewed her previous statement that though a passionate and violent man, he was the fondest and best of parents, that he doted upon this his only child, suffered him to want for nothing, and came to see him as often as he could. Middleton giving the child a handsome keepsake as a pledge of his protection, dismissed him with his aunt to participate in some of Madge's cakes and home-brewed ale, and invited them both to call at the Lodge as often as it suited them.

"I know not," said Middleton as they left the room, "which calls forth the pleasantest feelings, the conferring or the receiving of an important favour. There is a sort

of reciprocity in gratitude; we owe it, in some degree, to those from whom we may justly claim it, because they have enabled us to perform a kind action, which, like every other virtue, rewards itself. I love this charming boy, for instance, because I have been instrumental in saving his life; and I—” he hesitated, for the word "love" was at the tip of his lips, and though he felt the impropriety of using it, no fitting substitute immediately suggested itself; "and I naturally esteem, and reverence, and admire Miss Nor-berry, even more than I did previously, because she has rescued me from a desperate danger. If I have said little upon this subject, it is really because I have been unable to find expression for my feelings."

"I am glad of it," said Chritty;" and, as you have just declared that every good deed has its own reward, I wish you would leave mine, if it deserve the name, to thank itself."

"Nay," resumed Middleton, "I was not quite disinterested in my logic, for it goes to prove that you ought to stand well-affected towards me for having enabled you to render me a signal service."

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Cry your mercy!" exclaimed Chritty, smiling; "this is either fishing for a compliment, or it is mere sophistry,

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and I have no turn for either; but being a plain-spoken body, as the good housewives say, I will freely confess that, without assuming the smallest merit for obeying a mere impulse, I am delighted that I happened to be on the spot, and that I acted as I did. Come, Lucy, we must be going homewards, as I neither wish to hear any more compliments for not being afraid of a cold bath, nor to face the night-air after taking one."

Both Middleton and her father indicated that she should return in a post-chaise, instead of a taxed cart; but she laughed at their apprehensions, exclaiming, "You forget that I am accustomed to face the weather at all seasons, and consequently never take cold. I am under much more apprehensions for our host, who is not yet recovered from a severe illness, than I am for myself. Besides, Fanny Penfold's clothes are warmer than my own. Dearest Lucy! what will become of us, should we again meet the Miss Talfords, when the horror of the taxed cart will be aggravated by my wearing this peasant's garb? Forefend us, all fays and fairies, against any such calamity!"

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"If they will defend you from catching cold," said the affectionate Lucy, "I will ask no other favour of them."

Middleton, who had disappeared for a moment, now returned with Madge's scarlet cloak, which he wrapped round Chritty, in spite of her protestations that it was unnecessary, and then helped her into the vehicle. Hargarve performed the same office for Lucy; the father and Aunt Patty were already seated, when, after cordial shaking of hands, and mutually expressed hopes that they should all meet again in a day or two, the party drove off on their return to Maple Hatch.

"What a charming, unaffected, and every way superior girl is Miss Norberry!" exclaimed Middleton, on regaining the parlour with his friend. "Though her father was much less morose than usual this morning, I have sometimes seen him treat her so harshly, notwithstanding her filial attentions, which are truly exemplary, that I have been tempted to regret her absolute dependence upon a parent who can be so unconscious of the prize he possesses."

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"What! are you not then aware that he and all the del family are dependent upon Miss Norberry, whose income of three or four hundred a year, which is their sole support, was left to her by a maiden aunt? This fact, which she herself keeps a secret, I gathered from Lucy, who was betrayed into divulging it by her affectionate gratitude towards

her sister. She is always singing the praises of her dear schoolmistress, as she terms Chritty, from whom she received her education. I know not a more generous-hearted and grateful girl than Lucy."

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"But how immeasurably is the character of Christiana exalted," said Middleton, 'by the circumstance you have just revealed to me! The maintainer of the whole family, and yet its most industrious servant; entitled to every thing, and yet almost denying herself comforts, that she may provide little luxuries for them; exposed to such incessant annoyance from her harsh and splenetic father, and yet so meek, so humble, so enduring, so magnanimous! Her income a bare competency, and yet enabled not only to maintain a respectable appearance at home, but to administer charitable assistance to her neighbours! Imbued, even to her heart's core, with the very spirit of religion, and yet cheerful as the sunrise in May, and free from the smallest taint of bigotry and intolerance! O thou unparagoned and all accomplished girl! happy was the augury, and faithful the prophetic promptings, that led thy parents to bestow upon thee the hallowed name of Christiana."

While he admitted the merits of the elder sister, Hargrave maintained with all a lover's zeal, the claims of the sparkling Lucy, observing that the pupil was every way worthy of her instructress. "There you have pronounced her highest eulogy!" exclaimed his friend, and in this strain the conversation proceeded, until Middleton complained of a shivering sensation in his limbs, and expressed a fear that he had, indeed, caught cold, when Hargrave, reminding him of his debilitated state and the danger of a relapse, prevailed upon him to retire immediately to bed.

CHAPTER V.

- Distempered nerves
Infect the thoughts; the languor of the frame
Depresses the soul's vigour. Quit your couch,
Cleave not so fondly to your inoody cell;

Nor let the hallowed powers, that shed from heaven
Stillness and rest, with disapproving eye

Look down upon your taper through a watch
Of midnight hours.

WORDSWORTH.

NOTWITHSTANDING all Chritty's admiration of Middleton's character, he entertained certain notions, which she considered so inimical to his own happiness, and, consequently, to the mental peace of those who should be intimately connected with him, that she could not reconcile herself to the thought of receiving him as a suitor. It was, therefore, with a double pain, both on her own account and his, that she reflected on the betrayal of regard into which she had been inadvertently hurried. Frank and straight-forward in all her actions, she determined to conduct herself towards him as if nothing had occurred, but, at the same time, to hold a strict guard over her feelings in future; and, above all, to efface, if she could, any impression that she might have made, by discountenancing, rather than encouraging

his attentions.

Hargrave and Lucy, visited by no such misgivings, nourished the passion which had sprung up in their bosoms without restraint or apprehension. The former, though his temperament had become grave and almost saturnine at times, from the disappointment in his affections of which we have given a brief outline, delighted to behold in others the vivacity which he himself had lost; and, imagining that he should possess in Lucy an ever-flowing fountain of gaiety, equally innocent and fascinating, he felt a daily increase of

his attachment. Strange as it may sound, Lucy liked her admirer all the better for being a sedate character and some years older than herself. The sprightliness in which a giddy girl might indulge even to exuberance, would not, she thought, have assorted either with the sex or the sacred calling of Hargrave; as to his age, the difference between them was not so disproportionate as to amount to an objection; and she only felt the more flattered that a man of mature years should select her from the crowd, and, instead of paying the sugary compliments with which she had sometimes been surfeited by dangling youngsters, should converse with her rationally and even confidentially, as if he sought her society from motives that rendered his preference a real honour. Conscious of her inferiority to her sister in point of intellect, she had been accustomed to believe that all other girls possessed equal advantages over her, and had thus formed a disparaging and unjust opinion of herself. With all her humility, however, she had sufficient pride and self-love to feel flattered by the attentions of Hargrave, and, perhaps, the more so because she thought so humbly of her own merits.

Chritty proved right in her predictions as to the consequences of the accident at the mill-dam. Braced into vigorous health by constant exercise in the open air, in almost every state of the atmosphere, she herself experienced no injurious effects from her immersion; while in Middleton, it brought on a relapse, attended with inflammatory symptoms, which, at first, assumed a very menacing aspect. It was this illness which prevented his going to London, as he had purposed, to attend the marriage of his sister with Sir Dennis Lifford, a mark of affection and respect which he would gladly have testified towards Cecilia, though he could not conceal his dislike of her intended husband, and had indeed entered a sort of protest against the match.

No sooner was he convalescent, and again able to quit his bed-room, than Hargrave, who inferred from his own feelings with regard to Lucy that no medicine could be more restorative, no specific more magical in its influence on the invalid, than the sight of his mistress, hired an open carriage, and brought over Mr. Norberry and his family from Maple Hatch. It is much easier to control the head than the heart; when Chritty's judgment had dictated a resolution, she seldom swerved from it, unless when an appeal was made to the kindlier and more tender sympathies of her nature. All her determinations as to the coldness and

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