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Constancy in the Nineteenth Century.

proprietor of the place, Lord Elmsley—and, of course, apologised for her intrusion. He equally, of course, declared that his grounds were only too happy in having so fair a guest.

Next they met by chance again, and, at last, the only thing that made Emily relapse into her former languor was—a wet day; for then there was no chance of seeing Lord Elmsley. The weather, however, was, generally speaking, delightful—and they met, and talked about Lord Byron—nay, read him together;—and Lord Elmsley confessed that he had never understood his beauties before. They talked also of the heartlessness of the world; and the delights of solitude in a way that would have charmed Zimmerman. One morning, however, brought Lord Elmsley a letter. It was from his uncle, short and sweet, and ran thus:—

"My dear George,
"Miss Smith's guardians have at last listened to reason—and allow that your rank is fairly worth her gold. Come up, therefore, as soon as you can and preserve your interest with the lady. What a lucky fellow you are to have fine eyes—for they have carried the prize for you! However, as women are inconstant commodities at the best, I advise you to lose no time in securing the heiress.
"Your affectionate uncle,

"Tell them," said the Earl, "to order post-horses immediately. I must be off to London in the course of half an hour."

During this half hour he dispatched his luncheon, and,—for Lord Elmsley was a perfectly well-bred man,—dispatched the following note to Miss Worthington, whom he was to have met that morning to show her the remains of the heronry:—

"My dear Miss Worthington,
"Hurried as I am I do not forget to return the volume of Lord Byron you so obligingly lent me. How I envy you the power of remaining in the country this delightful season—while I am forced to immure myself in hurried and noisy London. Allow me to offer the best compliments of "Your devoted servant,

No wonder that Emily tore the note which she received with smiles and blushes into twenty pieces, and did not get up to breakfast the next day. The next week she had a bad cold, and was seated in a most disconsolate-looking attitude and shawl, when a letter was brought in. It contained the first epistle of Edward’s, and the following words in the envelope:—

"My adored Emily,
"You may forgive me—I cannot forgive myself. Only imagine that the inclosed letter has by some strange chance remained in my desk, and I never discovered the error till this morning. You would pardon me if you knew all I have suffered. How I have reproached you! I hope to see you to-morrow, for I cannot rest till I hear from your own lips that you have forgiven
"Your faithful and unhappy

That very morning Emily left off her shawl, and discovered that a walk would do her good. The lovers met the next day, each looking a little pale—which each set down to their own account. Emily re-