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"Beg pardon, old gentleman, I think you've
took the wrong luggage." A flash of pride
suffused the General's face. " A mistake," he
exclaimed, " I give you my honour," and
handed the portmanteau to the man, receiving
in exchange a small parcel wrapt in a blue
cotton handkerchief with white spots, out of
which projected the heel of a Blucher boot.
" I have had so much baggage to attend to,"
he said, " that I sometimes get confused; but
drive on, my kind protector. I long for the
first glance of Lady Serena's smileI mean,
of Lady Delormo's, pardon the indiscretion,
and don't mention it,"

He was a man of about sixty years of age,
with scanty white hair falling over his ears,
very large eyebrows, a long high sharp nose,
and eyes which seemed to me to look
everywhere at once. He had thin colourless lips,
and his front teeth were remarkably yellow.
A very military personage he was; but his
trunks and his uniforms and orders had been
lost in the transport, which was wrecked on
its way home; and he had escaped by
swimming ashore, and had accepted the loan of
the surgeon's apparel, whose wife he had
saved at the risk of his life. The meeting
between the noble pair I will not attempt to
describe. It will suffice to say that Marianne
was a witness to it with a burst of tears, and
that her description of the interesting scene
had an irresistible effect on my feelings. We
sat down to tea. How the General ate! He
told us in the few intervals when his mouth
was nearly empty, that before even flying to
his darling wife, he had gone to discover his
nephewthe brave, the good, the gallant,
but unfortunate Sir Cecil; and, merciful
Heaven, what did he find? A cornet of thirty
years of age hanging over the couch of his
dying wife, while in a neighbouring bed
three lovely children were lying in the crisis
of scarlet fever! An adverse lawsuit, a series
of unforeseen misfortunes, giving his name to
a bill to oblige a friend, and the burning of
his uninsured house, had reduced that charming
family, that handsome father, that
angelic wife, those innocent children, to
want, to beggary; ay, to starvation ! He
gave them his all. Little was that all; but
it preserved life for a day. By this time the
wretched fund was exhausted, and he trembled
to think of the agonising subject." Marianne
trembled too; but it was with pride.
"General,"she said; " the tea-spoons are all gone,
and all the silver forks but three, to the
daughters of your cousin the late archdeacon;
but the teapot remains willSir Cecil excuse
the humbleness of the offering? We have an
earthenware teapot in the kitchen."

"Excuse it, lady ?" he said. " Forgive
my sobs." Mrs. Delormo covered her face
with her handkerchief. I pressed Marianne's
hand. " Bless you, my little wife!" I said;
and there was silence for a long time, except
when the General broke the shells of three
or four more eggs. When tea was over, the
General took the teapot. " Will you pardon
me for thanking you once more ? " he said.
" Ah! would the precious gift could be
divided!—my poor sistermy lost Sophia!
I say no more! " And with a tear in his
eye, the gallant officer went up stairs to
the bed-room, and locked the teapot in the
drawer.

"What does he mean, my friend ? "
inquired Marianne of Mrs. Delormo. " Who
is his sister ? "

"The loveliest woman in Englandonce
the most guiltyalways the most unfortunate.
The General never utters her name except
under the pressure of extraordinary feeling;
there is disgrace as well as misery
connected with her story. She left her husband
she suffers for it nowshe is lost, lonely,
miserable, starvingbut penitent; and oh,
so submissive!"

"She shall NOT starve! " cried Marianne,
with a flush upon her cheek. The cream jug
and sugar bowl remain. My husband and I
are content with chinaaren't we, dear?"

"Oh yes! " I said. " I never met with
such lofty intellect, combined with so pure a
heart! " I kissed the dear girl as I spoke;
and Mrs. Delormo joined her husband
upstairs, with the silver articles in her hand,
without being able to utter a word of her
gratitude and admiration.

That night my clever and enchanting wife
read us a great many of her poems. Such
power! Such pathos! The General had been
intimate with Byron; had held his dying
hand, and supported his dying head at
Missolonghi. He had lived some weeks with
Shelley on the Lake of Geneva; had met
Thomas Moore at the French Embassy three
times a week for nine years; and preferred
Marianne to them all. And certainly, if I
am any judge, she is more pathetic than any
of them. What a happy night it was!

But such domestic joy was too much for Mrs.
Delormo. She was attacked with a hysteric
complaint to which she was subject when greatly
agitated, and ordered a kettle of hot water, a
little sugar, and a bottle of brandy, into her
room at an early hour. Marianne and I retired
to the garret, happy in the cousciousness of
having done our duty; and in the middle of
the night I knew our guests were happy
too, for I heard the noble General singing Old
King Cole. I wrote to uncle John an account
of all our doings. I told him of the General.
I begged him to exert himself on behalf of
Sir Cecil. I sent him a list of the young
ladies we had relieved, and the aged
prebendaries to whom we allowed a few shillings a
week. I expected a note for fifty pounds to
enable us to extend our donations.

A letter came which turned me purple with
indignation. He said I was the most infern
But why commemorate the harsh language in
which he conveyed his feelings of contempt?
He said we were ruined: and that Marianne
was a perfect idiot, and ought to be sent to

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