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darling's next friend, I have to look to these
things. See here. I find by our friend Gallinan,
snug in my pocket" (this was his
familiar style and title for the Englishman's
friend, the excellent Galignani's Messenger),
"the mail-ship sails on the twenty-fourth.
That gives us, you see, little more than four

Vivian, downcast and distressed, answered:

"You are quite right. That is the very day.
Too near, indeed."

"Very well. Now we come to what is to
be done. What is the arrangement? Within
that limit, my dear friend, I leave everything
to you, and pray suit your own

There was a pause.

"Mr. Dacres," said the other, desperately,
"you know how I feel towards your child. She
knows it too; but, if I appear to hesitate in this
matter, I implore you to give me credit for the
most passionate eagerness to do what is right.
You know not what my situation is, and I cannot
tell you."

"I don't want to know," said Mr. Dacres,
good humouredly. "All of us, here at least,
are in queer situations enough. But, as I
said, you'll have time enough to look about
you between this and the sailing of the

"I tell you, I am helpless," said Vivian, more
desperately, "and have no choice. Things
may become smooth, and I pray they may.
But if they should not, I know she will

"Oh now, see here," said Mr. Dacres,
gravely, "I won't understand, though. You
know, yourself, we can't have any of that.
You're a gentleman, and I know all about
you and your belongings; so I feel quite
secure. To any of the raps here, of course,
I'd take quite a different tone, but with you
it's another matter. You see, yourself, there
can't be anything of that sort. You and she
have settled it long ago between you. That
man, West, a fine, intelligent, honourable
fellow, has got his congé—between
ourselves, was rather cavalierly sent about his
businessall for you. But girls are kittle
cattle. I consider it as next to the rising
of the glorious sun to-morrow, that we see
you and she standing together, with Penny
in his gown between ye. My dear friend,
that must be, and no mistake, before you
go. To this complexion we must come
before thewhat's this Gallinan says is
her name? yesthe Duchess of Kent weighs

"I shall behave as a man of honour," said
Vivian, "you may depend on that."

"Indeed, and I wish I was as sure of a
hundred-pound note this moment."

At another time this artful allusion might
have had some effect. But Vivian, looking
gloomily, walked quickly away.

"By——," said Mr. Dacres, savagely, as he
looked after him, "if he's hatching any trick,
I'll shoot him on the sands there. And all that
they'll have for his Majesty's service, or to send
home, will be his body."


UNDER this title, a picture by an Englishwoman
Mrs. Benham Hayis now to be seen
at the French Gallery in London, which
deserves special notice from all persons interested
in the progress of Art, and which, therefore,
receives special notice here.

The scene is the Square of the Cathedral at
Florence, and the period is the Carnival of the
year 1497. It is the time when the pulpit
eloquence of the famous Puritan of Italy
(Savonarola), always fervent in denouncing the
pomps and vanities of Florence, has singled
out for special reprobation every object of
luxury and beauty which can decorate a citizen's
house or adorn a citizen's person. Incapable of
appreciating the genial influences of jewellery in
the formation of female character, or the loyal
homage rendered to the general sense of beauty
by the general use of rouge, the narrow old
Reformer has insisted on the burning of all the
"Vanities," with the ardour of a man who is
only himself accessible to the most ineradicable
vanity of allthe vanity of spiritual rule. A
pious few have succumbed to the great preacher's
arguments, out of church, as well as in. They
have assembled in procession, with their "Vanities"
in their hands. Under a striped awning,
they pass through the old Cathedral Square of
Florence, on their way to the fire which is to
devour their doomed luxuries, in the presence of
the profane many who are celebrating the joyous
Carnival of mediæval times.

This is the moment chosen for illustration in
the picture. It is a work of very considerable
size, containing a large number of figures,
exhibiting several striking dramatic contrasts, and
exacting from the artist unusually severe
intellectual preparation, and unusually elaborate
technical execution. The aim of this picture is
a high one, and (upon the whole) that aim has
been intelligently and conscientiously achieved.

The defects of the workto speak of these
first, and to pay Mrs. Benham Hay the compliment
of confronting her with impartial criticism
appear to lie in a certain meagreness of execution,
and a certain want of easy force in drawing.
It is also to be remarked that the work this
picture has cost the artistthe struggle there
has been here with the terrible technical
difficulties of the most technically-exacting of all
the Artsis a little too visible in certain places.
Take, for example, the timidly-stiff action and
expression of the Carnival-reveller who holds
the dice in his hand, at one end of the composition,
and the curiously overwrought attitude of
the citizen with the extended hands, at the other
end. To these objections, which the artist may
remove in future works, one more remains to
be added, which the artist may remove
immediatelyfor it lies, not in the picture itself, but