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the bed-side of the invalid, as above recounted, another adventure was experienced by Miss Portland, which exposed her still more to a just apprehension of violence.

It was between nine and ten o'clock when Emma left the abode of the honest property-man and his sick wife ; and except the light which issued from the back door of the theatre, (open that evening for a pantomime rehearsal,) the street or alley was in perfect obscurity. Knowing, as she did, how much the invalid relied upon her for consolation, in the trying hour which was fast approaching, Emma's visits of charity had been so frequent, and she had become so familiar with the route, that as she glided with rapid steps, she was almost unconscious of the presence or absence of any other living creature but herself, in the lonely, narrow, and dark passage she was threading. She had not proceeded far on her way, when she heard the door of the theatre open, and turning her head, she saw the figure of a man, by the light which momentarily issued. She thought nothing of this; it was a frequent occurrence, when, (as she knew was then the case,) the stage was occupied by performers. Quick steps were, however, heard approaching her. The strides were long, and notwithstanding her usual light and elastic walk, were fast overtaking her. She approached the wall of the theatre to let the person pass; and, at the same time, slackened her pace. The sound of steps approaching were very close, but much slower than before. She stopped, nothing doubting but it was the man whose person she had seen as he issued from the door of the theatre, and who, even in that momentary glance, had impressed on her the image of a tall and gentlemanly figure. When arrived opposite to her, the pursuer arrested his steps, and in gentle accents, begged permission to attend her through the solitary passage. She knew the voiee was that of a stranger; and, at the same time, the tones struck on her ear as similar to sounds she had heard, but when, or from whom, she had no recollection of circumstances to guide her to any conclusion; and she could only see enough of the figure to discern that it was a remarkably tall person, and enveloped in a cloak. Indefinite as her impressions were respecting the voice, it excited sensations very unusual in her, and nearly allied to terror. Drawing up her fine figure to its utmost height, and darting a look at the person who addressed her, she said, “pass on, sir !"

“ This is a dangerous place for youth and beauty. Permit me to accompany you until you have passed this dismal street."

“ Pass on, sir!" she repeated, as the stranger placed himself more in her path.

“ You must not be offended, lovely girl; when out of this place, you have only to command my absence-"

“I command it now. I must judge for myself of the necessity of protection. None is needed, but from such importunity as you now assail me with.”

I cannot forego this opportunity” “ Your appearance is that of a gentleman ; and your figure indicates a time of life that cannot claim excuse from inexperience. Pass on before I call for assistance."

" I have sought this opportunity of speaking to you."
* You are mistaking me for some other."
0, no, there is none like you. I have watched for

your coming out from that house, where I have often observed you to go; and I must"

Emma was by this time convinced that she had heard the same voice before, and memory recalled the occurrence on the private stair-way of the theatre. This was the person who had blown out the lamp, and waylaid her, when descending from the dressing-room of her aunt and cousin. The conviction flashed upon her, and the feelings that overcame her were gaining upon her rapidly. He attempted to take her hand. She recoiled as from a serpent, and would have called for help, but found that her voice did not obey her will. She looked up and down the black and lonesome alley, in the hope that some one

Why this terror-my object is your happiness; I know your dependant situation"

The terrified girl heard him not; but seeing a light glimmering from the door of the theatre, the thought suddenly suggested itself of seeking a place of refuge in that house which this same persecutor had caused her to abjure. She suddenly turned and attempted to retrace her way; but before she could take a step, she found herself impeded by the arm and cloak of her assailant she shrieked—the clang of a watchman's bludgeon was heard on the pavement beyond the asylum she had in view, and at the northern extreme of the alley. This signal, which is equivalent to the rattle used in Europe, gave her courage, and she disengaged herself, as she again shrieked for “ help.” In a moment she was alone. As she hesitated whether to return or pursue her way towards her aunt's, she looked to the door of the theatre, and saw several persons come

would appear.

66

out, who were immediately lost in the darkness. She determined to go from them, and towards her home, although she heard the footsteps of the wretch who had assaulted her, pursuing the same course ; but she knew that a few steps would bring her to Ann-street and place her in safety. She hastened on in the same direction with the person whom, the moment before, she had turned back to avoid—she saw him by the light of the street, beyond the alley, turn towards Broadway, and she, taking the opposite course, after issuing from the abodes of poverty and vice, gained, without further molestation, the shelter of her aunt's dwelling.

The persons who had issued from the playhouse, had been met by the watchman whose signal put the aggressor to flight. Uncertain from whence the voice crying for help proceeded(a cry not uncommon in that neighbourhood at that time)-he had stopped to make inquiry of the histrions: his inquiries, and their conjectures, had given Emma time to escape observation and to reach home, as she thought, unnoticed; but as she cast a furtive glance back, before closing the door, she saw a watchman returning towards the theatre. 66 Could it be that the same individual had again watched over and protected her?"

She found Mrs. Spiffard and her mother busy in preparation for the next evening's performance. Mr. Spiffard was reading. The ladies made soine inquiries respecting the sick person ; which, being answe

vered, Emma retired to her chamber. She was agitated by the recollection of the late occurrence : not that she feared personal injury. She knew herself and the country of her birth too well. But to be insulted by the licentious address of a stranger who had been on the watch for her. To have so narrowly escaped the mortification of being seen, flurried, frightened, and crying for help-seen by strangers—in such a place. Then the certainty that she was systematically pursued by some one whose perseverance might render him dangerous. That he was not one of the performers, she was convinced, from her knowledge of the members of the company.

Their persons and voices were too familiar to her for mistake. She felt that her freedom of action was contracted, and feared that she might be circumscribed in her efforts to do good. She debated with herself on the propriety of speaking to Mrs. Spiffard, her cousin, on the subject. She concluded not. There was one, to whom she would relate the circumstance. She determined not to expose herself to like insult unless called imperiously by duty to the pestilential neighbourhood, where the poor are, from necessity, mingled with the depraved, and where the licentious feel licensed to prowl. She opened a book that was a gift from her brother. She read-she prayed; and with a quieted mind retired to the rest of the pure and virtuous.

CHAPTER V.

The hoax progresses.

" Awake the pert and nimble spirit of th."
6 All's brave that youth mounts, and folly guides."
"Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time;

Some that will ever inore peep through their eyes
And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper.
"With mirth and laugher let old wrinkles come.”
"Men may construe things, after their fashion,

Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.”

" I combat challenge of this latten bilbo." " He is, indeed, sir, the most skilful, bloody and fatal opposite that you could possibly have found in any part of Illyria."-Shakspeare.

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We have seen in the last chapter that Emma found Spiffard on her return, reading. But he read to little purpose. The events of the day had troubled and perplexed him.

Before we recount them, it is necessary to mention what passed at the theatre after Numpo made the stage wait.

The sportive manager having gone through the arduous part of Macbeth, and received ample testimonies of the approbation of a full house ; and after having tricked Hilson into a forfeit for not being ready to go on' at his cue; proceeded, with all the happy buoyancy of youth, health, wealth, and popularity, to take a seat in the boxes, and laugh at Numpo, while Kent procured the tarrapins. His object was merely to beguile the time until, the farce being ended, he might return to meet Tam, and Ned, and other worthies, at a supper-table in

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