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up again, for the thought of those black eyes made me restless, and I walked on with the bonnet in my hand; presently, I felt ashamed of carrying such an article of female apparel about with me; then I thought I would throw it away, or leave it somewhere hidden; but I didn't like to part with it ; and then I got angry with myself, for I didn't know what the devil to do with it; I could neither part with it nor keep it. It was such an awkward thing. If it had been a glove or a ringlet or a ribbon of some sort, I could have managed with it; but who ever heard of a lover walking about with his mistress's bonnet under his waistcoat. It was too ridiculous ! I sat down almost in the humour to chuck the bonnet back again into the water, when, casting my eyes on my landing-net, it suddenly occurred to me that there was the very way to carry it.

I immediately gathered some dry rushes from the bank of the river, and carefully covering up my acquisition, now become my treasure, so as to conceal it from all inquisitive eyes, I hastened home to deposit it in a place of safety. All this was very foolish, I know; but lovers are proverbially silly when the fit is on them; and as I have promised to be sincere in these confessions, I will not disguise the fact, but I will tell all as it happened for the benefit of the rising generation; besides all such revelations as these assist in the study of psychology.

It so happened that I had to run the gauntlet, that morning, of all the inquisitiveness of the house ; every body was up and about, and all seemed to have nothing to do but to ask questions of me as to the success of my sport. First, one of the grooms offered to take my landingnet from me, as it seemed to be heavy, to carry into the house ; then the gardener, with privileged familiarity, volunteered some remarks on the monstrous great fish which he presumed I carried over my shoulder ; and then the butler expressed his respectful satisfaction at the result of my morning's work, and offered to carry the fish to the cook. But the worst of all was my father, who wanted to see what I had caught ; and as from the bulkiness of my net he concluded that I had met with something extraordinary, he almost insisted on my opening it for his inspection. It was with difficulty that l escaped from him and ran up stairs on some pretext of hurry ; but my mother, as I passed her dressing room, expressed in rather reprehensible terms her surprise at my carrying the fish to my bed-room, which, she said, was by no means a proper place for depositing such un-odorous articles. At last I reached my own room, and there without delay I deposited my lover's prize in a high cupboard, and then I thought I was secure ; but the event proved otherwise.

Presently a servant came with a message from the cook requesting immediate possession of the product of my fishing in order for its due preparation for dinner. I don't know very well what answer I returned to this application, but I fear it was not a very civil one, for I was beginning to get chafed ; it had the effect, however, of causing the man to bolt off much more precipitately than he came, and then, in a sort of pet, having bolted the door, I was left alone. My flurry of spirits, I remember was very great, and it was some time before I recovered myself sufficiently to consider calmly my future course of action.

After a while, however, I thought that the very best thing I could do was to return to the neighbourhood of the trout-stream which my in

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cognita gladdened with her presence. With this intent, and carefully avoiding contact with any one who might trouble me with questions, I made my way to the stables, and ordering my horse to be saddled, hoped to leave the premises unseen; but " Fatis aliter visum ;" just as I was mounting to be off, a message came from my father desiring my immediate presence. I should have cut this knot by an act of filial disobedi. ence in instant evasion, but the moment after my father himself appeared in the yard, holding a slip of paper in his hand, and looking angry. was followed by a man whom I immediately recognised as the manufacturer of my fishing-rod and tackle, and who, I had a disagreeable presentiment, had come for his “little bill.”

“Five guineas for a fishing-rod !" exclaimed my father, reading from the paper as he came forward ; “ three guineas for flies! and I don't know how much for a landing-net! I never heard of such charges ! Leander, how is this? I thought you had paid for these things long ago.

“Oh!” said I, taken unawares, and not knowing well what to say; forgot it-quite forgot it. Come another time," said I, to the man ; “ and you shall be paid.”

“Not these prices,” said my father, glancing at the bill again ; "they are quite monstrous !"

At the word “monstrous,” the ire of the man of fishing-rods began to kindle, as he felt that his honour was at stake ; and he protested in vehement terms, that the charges were so moderate that it was a question if he got a shilling by them; throwing in, at the same time, some deprecatory remonstrances about “ large family” and “long credit,” as makeweights against the sum total.

“I won't allow it," said my father, “ Leander, fetch these things, and let me see them ; its abominable for tradespeople to impose in this manner on young people; I will look into this matter myself.”

I hesitated a little at this command; but my father cut the matter short by preceding me to my room; for his anger against the man who, he considered, was attempting to practise an imposition on me, was fairly roused; and, in his excitement, he seemed determined to take the matter into his own hands.

“ The fishing-rod ?” said he.
I produced the fishing-rod.
“ The flies ?”

“ Here are the flies," said I, displacing sundry cards on which they were symmetrically arranged, in gaudy colours, calculated to attract buyers at least, if they would not deceive fishes.

« The landing-net?"

“ The landing-net!" said I, “ the landing-net !-oh! I must have left the landing-net by the river.”

“ You did not do that," rejoined my father," for you passed me with it on your shoulder.”

“ Did I ?" said I ; "why, where could I have put it?"

I looked about the room in a most innocent way; but my father, proceeding in a more methodical manner, at once opened the cupboard-door, and seizing it with his hand, bore it, with the other apparatus, unrelentingly down stairs.

“It's very light,” said he, "for the quantity of fish that seems to be in it !"

“ No wonder!” thought I ; but my heart was very heavy; and I had most disagreeable sensations as to the discovery that was to come next.

Bearing these trophies into the hall, my father proceeded to examine the articles seriatim, at which his displeasure increased; for whether he was in an unusually economical humour that morning, or that he really was determined to thwart what he considered an attempt at imposition, he pronounced the articles to be so shamefully overcharged, that he was determined, he declared, that nothing should induce him to pay for them!

The man, on the contrary, vowed that they were dirt-cheap at the money, and swore that he would not abate a farthing; and the altercation ended by my father, in a rage, chucking the articles at him one by one, accompanying each with an appropriate but by no means flattering remark on the man's honesty, and telling him with an oath, which was not borrowed from the heathen mythology, to go to the devil, and to take his trumpery along with him.

As my father turned away with an indignant air as he uttered this malediction, it afforded me the opportunity to convey by an expressive gesture, for I did not like to impart my meaning in words, and as there were one or two servants present, I wished to put an end to the scene as quickly as possible, my own desire to the man that he would quietly acquiesce, trusting to my ingenuity to preserve from the profanation of his vulgar hands the only article that was precious to me. With this furtively-conveyed desire on my part, he had the ready wit to comply, not doubting that when the son was free from the “ interference, the matter would be settled to his satisfaction. He turned, therefore, though rather sulkily, to go away, and he had got as far as the end of the hall, when my father, who seemed determined to be disagreeable that morning, unexpectedly called him back.

“Stay,” said he, “you need not carry away Leander’s fish that he has been at so much trouble to catch. Open the net,” he continued, to one of the servants, for all this passed in the great hall, through which the domestics were constantly coming and going ; "open the net, and let us have the fish; that is Leander's property at any rate, for he caught it.”

Here was a pretty dilemma for me! The man flung the landing-net pettishly on the stone floor :“ There's not much in it worth taking away, for that matter," said he.

I thought otherwise. I was in a cold sweat. Let those who have ever been exposed to the risk of a similar exposure, judge of a lover's feelings !

“i It's no matter," said I, with a very red face, “let the man have the fish ; it will be some recompense for his trouble.

But on this point, also, my father chose to be obstinate ; something had gone wrong with him that morning ; he insisted on keeping the fish; and here he found an ally in my mother, who, hearing angry words, had joined the group, and who now agreed with my father, “ as she was happy to agree with him, she said, wherever she could find occasion ;" declaring that she had conceived a particular fancy for having the very fish that her dear Leander had caught that day for dinner.

There was neither retreat for me nor hope! The time was past when

governor's" some heathen deity might have interposed to avert the coming catastrophe! The inexorable John the footman, the instrument of a still more inexorable fate, with horrible alacrity proceeded to disencumber the fish of its covering of rushes, while all eyes were directed to the net with inquiring wonder, to see what so curiously shaped fish as that could be ! The last rush was removed-at that moment I did not care a rush for

my life, and the footman's vulgar fingers clutching a rose-coloured ribbon, drew forth the contents, and holding it out at arm's length in a most officious way, displayed a woman's bonnet !

“Crimini!" said the man of fishing-rods, with a rascally chuckle.
“My gracious !” exclaimed my mother.
“What the devil's the meaning of this ?" said my

father. There was, as the French say, “a sensation.”

“What's the meaning of this?" repeated my father, exchanging looks with my mother, and doubtless suspecting that I had been catching fish that seemed evidently contraband! “ Leander

But Leander, at this revelation, so mortifying to his heart and his pride, had disappeared through a side window, with a strong inclination to put an end to his miserable existence by becoming food for the fishes in the pond at the bottom of the garden.

CHAPTER XVII.

I RUSJIED down the gravel walk to the left, where it was shaded by the trees, and bounding over an invisible fence which separated the end of the garden from a meadow, made my way to a thick clump of bushes by the side of a poud. There I abandoned myself to despair.

There was something so intensely mortifying in the exposure which I had suffered of my heart's secret – before the servants too!-that I thought I should never be able to recover it, nor dare to look any body in the face again. And then I pictured to myself all sorts of scenes, which my active imagination conjured up, full of the world's derisions of me for carrying about a bonnet, of all things in the world, as a lover's token of his mistress! And then the laughing eyes

of
my

unknown would seem to look at me with a mocking expression which I could not bear ; and how to face my father and answer his inquiries, I did not know! And then, although my mother would say nothing, I knew that she would smile as she looked at me, and talk at me to herself, so that it would be quite wretched to endure; and altogether I felt my existence was too miserable to be borne.

I was too young, perhaps, to contemplate seriously any suicidal act; besides, young as I

I had conceived a great contempt for those who fly from the burdens and duties of life, although great pains had been taken with me in my more boyish days to admire that passage in Plutarch descriptive of the death of Cato. But I was very wretched,--and the pond was handy ; I peeped into it as I lay ; had it been a clear and pellucid well, or a piece of water of whatever depth, fed by a bubbling fountain,-or had there been any thing poetical about it, I might, perhaps, have been tempted ; but the fact was, it was very muddy, and the feet of the cows had poached the soft ground on all sides, and it had an

was,

unpleasant green and pea-soup look, revolting to my feelings. Besides, I observed two or three fat frogs peeping from the margin of the water with a waggish air, as if curious to learn my intentions. This last circumstance disconcerted me, and, in truth, put me a little out of temper, for the little bloated wretches seemed to be laughing at me, and I looked about for some stones to punish their impertinence. As I raised up my head, I saw my father's above the hedge on the other side of the meadow, bobbing up and down at a quick rate, by which I knew that he was riding at a brisk pace, and that probably he had some business to transact at a distance.

The ground being so far clear to the house, I determined to put a bold face on the matter; and, to tell the truth, I was a little tired of my position ; for the grass was rather damp, and the effect of my morning's walk beginning " to tell," I became every moment more and more forcibly reminded that I had not had my breakfast. “ Nothing adds more to the pangs of unrequited love," as some writer not very romantically has observed, “ than the pangs of an empty stomach ;” and, indeed, I have observed in the course of my existence in life, that the converse of this philosophic axiom holds good in a very extensive sense ; for it is a truth, that people are always better able to bear a grief under easy circumstances than the contrary ; which is the reason, perhaps, why heirs to the property of deceased relations in numerous instances so soon recover from the affliction in which such bereavals are calculated to cast them.

However, without entering into any metaphysical disquisition on that point, the fact was I was very hungry; and when I entered the breakfastroom, having first reconnoitred the inside through the window, to be sure that it was empty, I must confess I was more pleased at the moment to behold a cold round of beef, which the forethought of my excellent mother had prepared for me, than my unknown divinity herself-s0 differently are we affected by the same objects on different occasions. Having refreshed myself with beef and ale, my spirits rose considerably, and I was inclined to regard the recent revelation of the bonnet rather in a ludicrous than a serious light; and, as my confidence revived, I became seized with a violent desire to learn how the lady herself considered it ; although, from the merriment which she had not been able to repress at the time, I had little fear of meeting with implacable resentment in that quarter. With this view, I went up stairs to change my fisherman's clothes for a more appropriate dress of ceremony, when, on entering my room, to my extreme surprise, I beheld the identical bonnet carefully deposited in an elegant box on my toilet-table !

I guessed in a moment to whose considerate thought I was indebted for this kind attention to my feelings, and I felt grateful to my excellent mother for sparing me the humiliation of contemplating its further profanation by vulgar hands. The circumstance, however, rather strengthened my determination to seek another interview with its unknown proprietor, and the sight of it furnished me with

reason for calling on her; as nothing, as it seemed to me, was more natural and proper than to wait on her in person to restore her property, and to make the apologies and explanations which were due from me for my startling aggression on her person.

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