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in black, varnished frames, which, as the light was never very strong in such cheerful dungeons, were magnified in the boy's apprehension into fantastically frightful examples of Jasper's peculiar tastes, and he hated them accordingly.

There were prayers night and morning, at which Jasper himself officiated; not the beautifully simple, heartfelt outbreathings of a family, gathered together to offer up their petitions to the eternal throne; but the empty, and hollow, and false pretensions of sanctity, in which Jasper Vernon clothed himself in the eyes of his fellow men—there were Sunday tasks, which differed from those of the week, only, in that they were ten times as long, and wearisome, and stupid ; and above all, Herbert who yearned for society and sympathy in those of his own age, found it not; for Jasper's house was not the rendezvous

young people—no merry, roguish, mischief-loving lads ever came within its holy precincts; the very walls would have quivered and shook with pious horror, as they groaned out an anathema upon the intruders,—and poor Herbert was indeed desolate.

And when the tutor did come—Herbert thought he never would-matters were not one whit improved, weeks passed away, and every week Jasper professed to wonder and speculate when Mr. Boodle would come. He was really growing quite afraid that Herbert was forgetting everything he had learned, if indeed, Mr. Boodle had not to unlearn him everything on his arrival; it really was extremely improper conduct of Mr. Boodle, and if he had not had the highest recommendations from a gentleman on whom he could rely, he really would not permit Mr. Boodle to come at all.

But Mr. Boodle did come, when he was least expected, and Jasper was in ecstacies. Mr. Boodle had red hair, and white cheeks, and green eyes, and mouldy, weak-looking whiskers, which had a perpetual warfare to be seen with a contumaciously upstart shirt collar; and Mr. Boodle wore a white neck-cloth, which made him look like a ranter, and used spectacles, for he was very short sighted. Mr. Boodle dressed in rusty black too, and the tones of Mr. Boodle's voice made the blood run cold in your veins, for Mr. Boodle had very proper notions about the vanity of all sublunary matters, and Mr. Boodle was prosy and kept up a continual diluted milk and water strain, which exactly suited Jasper Vernon, and by no means suited Herbert's taste; and Mr. Boodle had a lean body, and spindle legs, and wore gaiters, and had splay-feet, which were always treading upon other people's. Ah, poor Job Boodle was a dismal specimen of humanity, indeed, for Herbert to study human nature with, at the outset of his career.

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How he fagged the poor lad! Lessons before breakfast and after, then a walk and more lessons. Latin, and Greek, and French, and Italian, for Mr. Boodle was a polyglott in himself, and thought that all the world lay within the limits of Dr. Porson and the Greek choruses, and that there was nothing higher, and nobler, and better to live for in the world, than to pore over old musty records of a byegone people, whilst Shakspere, and Milton, and Wordsworth lay unopened before him.

And every one sang the praises of Job Boodle.

“A second Porson,” cried Jasper Vernon, rubbing his bony hands enthusiastically whenever he came into the school room, where Herbert and Boodle were at work. "Ah, Herbert, cherish Mr. Boodle, and you will beat the whole bench of bishops, my boy."

And then Mr. Job Boodle would shake his huge ears and vouchsafe a sickly smile, as he disclaimed the compliment, and Jasper would shuffle away to read over his last letters from Delaval, where a new steward had been appointed in the room of the honest Mr. Simpson, who had thrown up his situation in disgust at the meanness of his new master.

But Herbert felt that this sickening state of existence could not continue long, and he soon grew weary of hearing Mr. Boodle's sepulchral voice, and of seeing him creeping stealthily into his bedroom in the early mornings, with his ugly red hair combed straight over his mean forehead, and his prim, precise, ready cut and dried, "Good morning, Master Herbert; ready for your studies, my boy ?—the industrious sun is already high in the heavens, (if it rained in torrents it was always the same, and young men ought to emulate that luminary.And then Job Boodle coughed, and hemmed, and stood at the window until he had crawled lazily out of bed, when he would go away to lie in wait for him in the cold school room below.

At last Herbert's detestation of such a hateful and monote nous existence burst its barriers, and he determined to make his escape from such a hateful scene of thraldom; he hoarded up his little store of pocket money, and with a heart throbbing with hope, awaited the first favourable opportunity to put his plan into execution. It was already early spring, and though he had not the remotest idea whither to direct his steps, he never hesitated for a moment to calculate consequences, but resolved upon trusting to chance, or fortune, to befriend him.

Had Herbert been seventeen instead of seven, he would never have dreamed of such a wild chimera, but he was only a child, and who that can wing his memory back to that guileless and innocent time, cannot believe that to a child whose sole knowledge of the world was confined to the admiring and caressing visitors at his father's table, every house is an asylum for him to fly to, and a sanctury from oppression; it is only when we are men that we learn to mistrust!

"To-morrow, Master Clarendon, we will commence Terence," said Mr. Boodle, solemnly, as he bade his pupil good night. "Terence, sir," turning to Jasper Vernon,“ Terence is the

, most extraordinary example --"

Of what Herbert did not stay to hear, for he had closed the door and slunk off without a candle to his little bed-room. It was a briglit moonlight, and by drawing the blind up to the top he could catch a glimpse of the dark wallnut presses, and the little book case, and the few old pictures with which the walls were hung. Herbert flung up the window, and leaning his arms upon the sill, lay looking out upon the quiet scene, and the bright sky above and around him. The night air was balmy and mild, and the very wind, as it whistled and sighed around him, seemed to whisper hope, courage and resolution.

He had fallen into a reverie, perhaps he had fallen asleep, and might have been dreaming, for he was cold, and chill, and stiff when he aroused himself and looked around him. He could see lights in the distance, as if of a village, and looking in again, the silence, and quiet, and gloom, of the room, terrified him so much that, with a palpitating heart he crept to the door, and looked over the balustrade; everything was quiet, the servants had evidently retired to rest, for it was in reality nearly midnight; and so Herbert, after lingering for a moment endeavouring to determine what to do, stole back again, and taking a little bundle in which he had tied up a few clothes, and his prayer book in his hand, crept back again.

It was fully a quarter of an hour before he dare venture to stir, but re-assured by the silence of everything around him, he stole down a step or two.

How the stairs creaked beneath even his light tread ! Herbert had never noticed them do so before, and yet every plank he trode upon seemed to cry out, as if to discover him to his jailers. He would have given worlds to turn back, but the remembrance of that dark, silent, lonely room, rooted him to the spot-people might have died in it, and their ghosts might hauut it, and before these terrible phantoms Jasper Vernon and the pedantic Boodle sank into insignificance, and he crept on again.

And yet, even the staircase had a ghostly look about it, with the cold moonlight falling in long shadows on the wall, through the narrow windows. Herbert shivered and shook with terror, and still he crept on; suddenly a door opened lower down, and

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Herbert heard Jasper Vernon's creaky boots coming towards him—Herbert knew that it was him, for his boots always creaked—what was he to do? to fly back again and bury himself in his room under the bed clothes-to stand where he was and be discovered, and punished accordingly, either were terrible—for both would bring upon him the full measure of Jasper's vengeance, which he had sense enough to know would in this instance be fiendish.

He looked around him in despair—a couple of paces farther on, close to Jasper Vernon's dressing room, stood an old Indian cabinet, a huge, grotesque, mis-shapen thing, with half a dozen sides, rambling in and out in all directions, behind which he had once before ensconced himself, after committing some trifling fault; and behind this Herbert crept, with his heart beating almost loud enough for Jasper Vernon to hear, had he known who was concealed behind it.

And then, all at once Herbert grew calm, and composed, and resolute, for he was constitutionally brave, and through the chinks of the cabinet he peered until he saw Jasper approaching, eying everything right and left as he came, as if he expected to confront a thief at every gaze; under his arm he carried a bundle of papers, in one hand he held a candlestick, whilst the other grasped a small pocket pistol, on which he continually gazed whenever he chanced to look down; he was haggard, and looked very ill, and his dressing gown hung in loose folds around his miserable figure, but there was the same habitual sneer hovering about his jaws, which we have described before.

Herbert saw him pause, and look up the stairs with a quick, distrustful gaze, ere he turned into his room, and then he was only conscious of the light having disappeared, by the shutting and bolting of Jasper Vernon's door.

Many minutes elapsed, almost an hour, before Herbert ventured forth from his hiding place, for his quick ear told him that Jasper had not yet retired into the inner room, and until that event took place, he durst not venture to continue his progress. At length all was quiet, and grasping his bundle, once more he stole out upon the landing place; something white lay on the floor, folded in the form of a letter, and scarcely knowing what he did, Herbert picked it up and thrust it into his pocket; and then, silently and noiseless as a spirit, crept away. It was a matter of no small difficulty to escape from a house, the master of which by the vigilant care he took to prevent an attack from without, had every thing so strongly barricaded within. The front door was double locked and bolted, and the dining room shutters were too heavy for him to move,

- he was nearly giving up in despair, when he remembered the window of the school-room, which was easily opened, and not very far from the ground; to his great joy he found the door open, and with less caution than he had hitherto used he flung open the window, and was about to leap upon the sill, when Jasper Vernon's dog began to bark violently-in an instant he heard the door above opened, and caught the heavy sound of Jasper's foot descending the stairs ; he paused at the first landing, and after the lapse of a few minutes returned to his room, again convinced that it had been a false alarm.

A few moments after, Herbert lowered himself to the ground, and creeping along under the shadow of the wall, did not trust himself to run until the paddock was between him and the house.

The air was deliciously calm and sweet, myriads of angels' eyes seemed to look down upon him from the azure vault of heaven above him, the blustering breeze that came laden with a thousand balmy odours, whispered hope and resolution in his ear he was alone with God in the world !

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CHAPTER XIII.

Cecil meets once more with Jasper Vernon; the latter attempts to play the

hypocrite, and is detected by Linden.

LINDEN was gloomy and reserved when sitting over his hurried breakfast with Cecil the next morning; he looked fagged and dispirited, and for the first time during their intercourse, betrayed symptoms of impatience at Cecil's bonhommie. The moment after he had done so, however, he seemed to be anxious to atone for his unkindness, and Cecil did not again detect the wandering eye and abstracted air, which had heretofore on this occasion characterized him.

“And now, Cecil, for unravelling the mystery, for something beyond the mere hope of booty has incited this attack of last night," and as Linden spoke, his lofty brow grew dark and contracted, and his lips moved, spasmodically.“ Sibbeth has given me the address of the nearest magistrate, and as I have

May, 1848.-vol. LII.–No. ccv.

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