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"Johnston," he said to the butler, when he was sure the footmen could not hear him, "has Mr. Eustace been here?"

"Yes, sir."

"Has he gone?"

"Yes, sir. He came to fetch his things, and then went away in a cab."

"Where to?"

"I don't know, sir. He told the man to drive to Birmingham." "Did he leave any message?"

"Yes, sir; he både me say that you should not be troubled with him again'; but that he was sorry that you had parted from him in anger."

"Why did you not give me that message before?"

"Because Mr. Eustace said I was not to give it unless you asked after him."

"Very good. Johnston!"

"Yes, sir."

"You will give orders that Mr. Eustace's name is not to be mentioned in this house again. Any servant mentioning Mr. Eustace's name will be dismissed'."

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"Very good, sir;" and Johnston went. Mr. Meeson gazed round him. He looked at the long array of glass and silver, at the spotless napery and costly flowers. He looked at the walls hung with works of art, which, whatever else they might be, were at least expensive; at the mirrors and the soft wăxlights; at the marble mantelpieces and the bright warm fires (for it was November); at the rich wall paper, and the soft, deep-hued carpet; and reflected that they were all his. And then he sighed, and his coarse, heavy face sank in and grew sad.. Of what use was this last extremity of luxury 2 to him? He had nobody to leave it to, and, to speak the truth, it gave him but little pleasure. Such pleasure as he had in life was derived from making money, not from spending it.

1) This term, though strictly apply'ing to linen in general, is now confined to ta'ble-cloths and napkins or serviettes (pron. survyets'). The usual term is table-linen.

2) The highest degree' of luxury; greater luxury was not imăginable; comp. the extremity of bodily pain.

The only times when he was really happy were when he sat in his counting-house, directing the enterprises of his vast establishment, and adding sovereign by sovereign to his enôrmous accumulations. That had been his one joy for forty years, and it was still his joy. And then he fell to thinking of his nephew, the only son of his brother whom he had once loved, before he lost himself in publishing books and making money, and sighed again. He had been attached to the lad in his own coarse way, and it was a blōw to him to cut himself loose from him. But Eustace had defied' him, and-whatwas worse he had told him the truth, which he, of all men, could not beâr. He had said that his system of trade was dishonest, that he took more than his due, and it was so. He knew it; but he could not tolerate that it should be told him, and that his whole life should thereby be discredited', and even his accumulated gold tarnishedstamped as ill-gotten; least of all could he bear it from his dependant. He was not altogether a bad man; nobody is: he was only a coarse, vulgar tradesman, hardened and defiled' by a long career' of sharp dealing 2. At the bottom he had his feelings like other men, but he could not tolerate exposure or even contradiction; therefore, he had revenged' himself. And yet as he sat there, in solitary glôry, he re'alised that to revenge' does not bring happiness, and could even find it in his heart to envy the steadfast honesty that had defied' · him at the cost of its own ru'in.

Not that he meant to relent' or alter his determina'tion. Mr. Meeson never relented, and never changed his mind; had he done so he would not at that moment have been the master of two millions of money.

1) M. could not bear to hear dishonour cast upon himself nor upon his wealth and the way in which he had acquired it.

2) See p. 20, note 4.

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CHAPTER III.

AUGUSTA'S LITTLE SISTER.

WHEN Augusta left Meeson's she was in a very sad condition of mind, to explain' which it will be necessary to say a word or two about that accomplished young lady's previous history. Her father had been a clergyman, and, like most clergymen, not o'verburdened with the good things of this world. When Mr. Smithers-or, rather, the Rev. 1 James Smithers-died he left behind him a widow and two children-Augusta, aged fourteen', and Jeannie, aged four. There had been two others, bōth boys, who had come into the world between Augusta and Jeannie, but they had both preceded their father to the land of shadows. Mrs. Smithers had, fortunately for herself, a life interest 2 in a sum of £ 7000, which, being well invest'ed, brought her in £ 350 a year; and, in order to turn this little income to the best possible account and give her two girls all educational opportunities possible under the circumstances, on her husband's death she moved from the village where he had for many years been curate 4, into the city of Birmingham. Here she lived in absolute

1) Rev., short for Reverend, is a title placed before the name of a clergyman.

2) She enjoyed the in'terest of that căpital personally as long as she lived, but it could not be inherited by her children (Dutch: zij had het vruchtgebruik er van).

3) She wished to derive' the greatest possible profit from it, by living as economically as she could.

4) The clergyman at the head of a parish in the English episcopal church bears the title of rector or vicar. A rector has a right to the tithes and all the other adväntages connected with his post. A vicar, properly a sub'stitute for some one else, enjoys only a part of the revenues of the părish, which part may be determined in vârious ways. These revenues, for instance, may be in the hands of a layman, who appoints a vicar at a fixed sălary. In many cases the distinction between a rector and a vicar has practically ceased to exist. A curate is a clergyman who is appointed by and assists the rector or vicar in the discharge' of his duties. The term parson may include them all, though really it comprises only the rector and the vicar. The higher ranks in the ecclesiastical scale are denoted by the names cănon, dean, bishop, archbishop. The leader of a dissenting congregation is called minister and his church is called a chăpel.

retire'ment for some five years and then suddenly died, leaving the two girls, then respectively nine'teen' and nine years of age, to môurn her loss, and, friendless as they were, to fight their way in the hard world.

Mrs. Smithers had been a saving woman, and, on her death, it was found that, after paying all debts, there remained a sum of £600 for the two girls to live on, and nothing else; for their mother's fortune died with her. Now, it will be obvious that the interest arising from £600 is not sufficient to support' two young people, and therefore Augusta was forced to live upon the principal 1. From . an early age, however, she had shown a strong literary tendency, and shortly after her mother's death she published her first book, at her own expense'. It was a dead failure 2, and cost her fifty-two pounds, the balance between the profit and loss account'. After a while, however, Augusta recovered from this blow, and wrote "Jemima's Vow," which was taken up by Meeson's; and strange as it may seem, proved the success' of the year. Of the nature of the agreement into which she entered with Meeson's the reader is already informed', and he will not therefore be surprised' to learn that under its cruel provisions, notwithstanding her name and fame, Augusta was ab'solutely prohibited from reaping the fruits of her success. She could only publish with Meeson's, and at the fixed pay of seven per cent. on the advertised price of her work. Now, something over three years had elapsed' since the death of Mrs. Smithers, and it will therefore be obvious that there was not much remaining of the £ 600 which she had left behind her. The two girls had, indeed, lived ĕconomically enough in a couple of small rooms in a back street; but their expenses had been enormously increased' by the serious illness, from a půlmonary complaint 3, of little Jeannie, now a child between twelve and thir'teen' years of age. On that very morning, Augusta, had seen the doctor and been crushed into the dust 4 by .

1) The principal is the with the profit or interest. 2) A complete failure. dead loss.

capital sum of money, so called in contrast To live on the capital is to use it up. Comp.: a dead certainty, a dead calm, a

3) A disease of the lungs.

4) The verdict of the doctor had overwhelmed her so much that she had, as it were, been struck down to the ground.

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the expression of his conviction, that, unless her sister was moved to a warmer climate, for a period of at least a year, she would not live through the winter, and might die at any moment.

He might as well have told

Take Jeannie to a warmer climate! Augusta to take her to the moon. Aläs, she had not the money and did not know where to turn to get it! Reader, pray to Heaven that it may never be your lot to see your best belov'ed die for the want of a little miserable money wherewith 1 to save her life!

It was in this terrible emergency that she had-driven thereto by her agony of mind-tried to get something beyond' her strict and lēgal due out of Meeson's-Meeson's, that had made hundreds and hundreds out of her book and paid her fifty pounds. We know how she fared in that attempt'. On leaving their office, Augusta bethought' her 2 of her banker. Perhaps he might be willing to advance something. It was a horrible task, but she deter'mined to undertake' it; so she walked to the bank and asked to see the manager. He was out, but would be in at three o'clock. She went to a shop near and got a bun3 and a glass of milk, and waited till she was ashamed to wait any longer, and then walked about the streets till three o'clock. At the stroke of the hour she returned, and was shown into the manager's private room, where a dry, unsympathetic-looking little man. was sitting before a big book. It was not the same man whom Augusta had met before, and her heart sank propôrtionately.

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What followed need not be repeat'ed here. The manager lis(t)ened to her faltering tale with a few ster'ēōtyped expressions of sympathy, and, when she had done, "regretted" that speculative loans were contrary to the custom of the bank, and polite'ly bowed her out".

1) See p. 9, note 3.

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2) To bethink is mostly followed by a reflexive pronoun. The meaning is she remembered her banker, her thoughts turned to him. 3) Buns are cakes or very small loaves, baked upon tins and sweetened in various ways.

4) Just when the clock was striking three.

5) Her hopes had not been high when she thought of the manager she knew; now that she saw a perfect stranger, they sank lower still. 6) Speculative loans involve' possible loss.

7) To bow one out is to send one away in a very polite manner by bowing and so putting an end to the interview.

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