out homeward. My shortest way lay through the Basse Ville, and as the night was excessively dark, wild and wet, I took it. In riding past an old church belonging to a community of Béguines, I saw by a lamp burning over the porch or deep arch of the entrance, a priest lifting some object in his arms. The lamp was bright enough to reveal the priest's features clearly, and I recognized him; he was a man I have often met by the sick beds of both rich and poor: and, chiefly the latter. He is, I think, a good old man, far better than most of his class in this country; superior, indeed, in every way: better informed, as well as more devoted to duty. Our eyes met, he called on me to stop; what he supported was a woman, fainting or dying. I alighted.
"'This person is one of your countrywomen', he said: 'save her, if she is not dead'.
"My countrywoman, on examination, turned out to be the English teacher at Madame Beck's pensionnat. She was perfectly unconscious, perfectly bloodless, and nearly cold.
"What does it all mean?" was my inquiry.
"He communicated a curious account: that you had been to him that evening at confessional; that your exhausted and suffering appearance, coupled with some things you had said——"
"Things I had said? I wonder what things!"
"Awful crimes, no doubt; but he did not tell me what: there, you know, the seal of the confessional checked his garrulity, and my curiosity. Your confidence, however, had not made an enemy of the good father; it seems he was so struck, and felt so sorry that you should he out on such a night alone, that he had esteemed it a Christian duty to watch you when you quited the church, and so to manage as not to lose sight of you, till you should have reached home. Perhaps the worthy man might, half unconsciously, have blent in this proceeding some little of the subtlety of his class: it might have been his resolve to learn the locality of your home—did you impart that in your confession?"
"I did not: on the contrary, I carefully avoided the shadow of any indication; and as to my confession, Dr. John, I suppose you will think me mad for taking such a step, but I could not help it: I suppose it was all the fault of what you call my 'nervous system'. I cannot put the case into words, but my days and nights were grown intolerable; a cruel