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In Three Books.




NEVER did the sun go down with a brighter
glory on the quiet corner in Soho, than one
memorable evening when the Doctor and his
daughter sat under the plane-tree together.
Never did the moon rise with a milder radiance
over great London, than on that night when it
found them still seated under the tree, and shone
upon their faces through its leaves.

Lucie was to be married to-morrow. She had
reserved this last evening for her father, and
they sat alone under the plane-tree.

"You are happy, my dear father?"

"Quite, my child."

They had said little, though they had been
there a long time. When it was yet light
enough to work and read, she had neither engaged
herself in her usual work, nor had she
read to him. She had employed herself in both
ways, at his side under the tree, many and many
a time; but, this time was not quite like any
other, and nothing could make it so.

"And I am very happy to-night, dear father. I
am deeply happy in the love that Heaven has so
blessedmy love for Charles, and Charles's
love for me. But, if my life were not to be, still
consecrated to you, or if my marriage were so
arranged as that it would part us, even by the
length of a few of these streets, I should be
more unhappy and self-reproachful now, than I
can tell you. Even as it is——"

Even as it was, she could not command her

In the sad moonlight, she clasped him by the
neck, and laid her face upon his breast. In the
moonlight which is always sad, as the light of the
sun itself isas the light called human life is
at its coming and its going.

"Dearest dear! Can you tell me, this last
time, that you feel quite, quite sure no new
affections of mine, and no new duties of mine,
will ever interpose between us? I know it well,
but do you know it? In your own heart, do
you feel quite certain?"

Her father answered, with a cheerful firmness
of conviction he could scarcely have assumed,
"Quite sure, my darling! More than that," he
added, as he tenderly kissed her: "my future is
far brighter, Lucie, seen through your marriage,
than it could have beennay, than it ever was
without it."

"If I could hope that, my father!——"

"Believe it, love! Indeed, it is so.
Consider how natural and how plain it is, my
dear, that it should be so. You, devoted and
young, cannot freely appreciate the anxiety
I have felt that your life should not be

She moved her hand towards his lips, but he
took it in his, and repeated the word.

"—wasted, my childshould not be wasted,
struck aside from the natural order of things,
for my sake. Your unselfishness cannot entirely
comprehend how much my mind has gone on
this; but, only ask yourself, how could my happiness
be perfect, while yours was incomplete?"

"If I had never seen Charles, my father, I
should have been quite happy with you."

He smiled at her unconscious admission that
she would have been unhappy without Charles,
having seen him, and replied:

"My child, you did see him, and it is Charles.
If it had not been Charles, it would have been
another. Or, if it had been no other, I should
have been the cause, and then the dark part of
my life would have cast its shadow beyond myself,
and would have fallen on you."

It was the first time, except at the trial, of
her ever hearing him refer to the period of his
suffering. It gave her a strange and new sensation
while his words were in her ears; and she
remembered it long afterwards.

"See!" said the Doctor of Beauvais, raising
his hand towards the moon. "I have looked at
her, from my prison-window, when I could
not bear her light. I have looked at her, when
it has been such torture to me to think of her
shining upon what I had lost, that I have beaten
my head against my prison walls. I have looked
at her, in a state so dulled and lethargic, that I
have thought of nothing but the number of
horizontal lines I could draw across her at the
full, and the number of perpendicular lines with
which I could intersect them." He added
in his inward and pondering manner, as he
looked at the moon, "It was twenty either
way, I remember, and the twentieth was difficult
to squeeze in."

The strange thrill with which she heard him