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country rustics assembled below, haggling over fruit, tomatoes, and lean fowls.

A tremendous ravine opens immediately under Cadorre, broken by rocks and woods and waterfalls, backed by mountains very Dolomitic in outline, down which our road descended for four miles.

At the bottom lies Peraiolo, a pretty town bordering the Piave, which here, swollen by the torrents of the pass above, becomes a broad and stately river.

All through that long and weary day we followed its banks, which, after a burst or two into Dolomite cliffs, calm down into the tranquil feature of a dull and fertile campagna. The direct road to Conegliano does not touch Belluno, but in our letter-carrying capacity we visited, perforce, that most unclean and wretched town. No time, however, is lost thereby, as, to those arriving from Ampezzo, the only train available that night from Venice arrives at
Conegliano at three in the morning, reaching Venice in about two hours.

IN THAT STATE OF LIFE.

CHAPTER XVIII.

IT was one of the few very hot days of that summer, and Mrs. Cartaret was up and dressed; not, as she declared, that she felt any better, but rather worse, after a sleepless night. It was in honour of her son, whom she expected back shortly, that she had had her fauteuil placed under the awning on the terrace, and now sat there clad in white raimenta very peculiar figure, with her silver hair brushed back, and a huge green fan wherewith she tried to coax a little breeze up from the sun-struck sheet of water in the park below.

She was not alone. A visitor was with her, who had just come down by the London train. He sat in a garden-chair, which he had drawn close to herscloser, I suppose, than any of her punctilious old French courtier friends would ever have done. But this man was neither punctilious nor a courtiera shy man, on the contrary, only so deeply interested in what he was saying as to forget all else. We
will take up the conversation at a point where the visitor, after pleading with all his eloquence the cause of a certain young lady, ended thus:

"Believe me, ma'am, I should not be here to-day, to try and disabuse your mind of the prejudice it has contractedI confess not without causeabout Miss Pomeroy, were I not as sure of her purity and nobility of soul as I am that there is a heaven above us!"

"Ah! sir, I loved her. I really loved the girl in those few weeks she was here. But to find that she was deceiving me and decoying my son all the time!"

"Decoying? You know her, indeed, very little to use such a word in connexion, with her. It is evident that your mind has been poisoned on this subject."

"Bah! Perhaps you defend her conduct altogether? Perhaps you find it comme il faut for a young lady to run away from home, and make herself to be talked of by the servant's hall?"

"I do not defend her conduct in leaving her home as she did. I think she was highly blamable. But there are allowances to be made. She was young, high-spirited, and had suffered much. She felt that she did not belong to any one; that what was done for her was done more from a conventional necessitymore as an almsthan from love; and her independent spirit, when they tried to force a hateful marriage on her, could brook it no longer.  That is the history of her running away.  I don't defend it, ma'am; but at least there is some excuse for her, and, after all, she injured no one but herself by her exceeding folly."

"Sir, she has injured my son, and she has injured me. She has made us to quarrelshe has made Lowndes to say things, and to act in a way ——" the old lady brushed the tears from her eyes.  "It's very hard. I, who would have sacrificed my life to him, to have a little coquine like this coming between us. When I begged him, when I prayed him to marry, why, out of all the world, must he go and choose this girl?"

"Because, out of all the world, she is the only one who has been able to inspire him with a real attachment."

"Bah! He does not know his own mind."

"It has not changed in six months' absence."

"Ah! so he says. He is obstinate, my dear sir, as a pig; and if I give way I shall seem to be a sotte, a weak old fool, to all the world."

"To the few whose judgments are worth anything, Mrs. Cartaret, you will seem a wise mother, who values the true interests of her son more than all the world's gossip. Is the world's opinion really worth so much

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