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man would be back soon ; and though she cared not a pin about him—how could she 3—still, still she should have liked one look, “What, my little girl, all alone 7” asked a new-comer—as the young woman thought, a very rude, and ugly, and somewhat old man. “Got nobody with you, eh? Where's your parents?” “I’m not alone, and that's enough,” said the girl, and she fervently clutched her little bundle. “Very well, my dear; wouldn't offend you, mylass; wouldn't"— “I’m not your dear; and I don't want at all to be talked to by you.” Saying this, the girl continued to grasp her property, and looked with very determined eyes in the harsh, ugly face of the old intruder. The fact is, the girl felt that the time was come to test her energy and caution. She had too soon thought too well of the doings of London. The place swarmed withwicked people, there was no doubt of it; and the man before her was one of them. He looked particularly like a thief as he looked at her bundle. “That's right; quite right, my little wench. This is a place in which you can't be too particlar,” and saying this, Bright Jem —for it was the uncomely honesty of that good fellow's face that had alarmed the spinster—Bright Jem, with his mild, benevolent look, nodded, and passing to the further end of the room, seated himself in one of the boxes. And the girl felt more assured of his wickedness; and anxiously wished the return of that very nice young footman—that honest, sweet-spoken young man—so long engaged in converse with his aunt. Would he never come back? It was odd, but every moment of his absence endowed him, in the girl's mind, with a new charm. Bright Jem was all unconsciously despoiled of every good quality, that his graceless relative, Ralph Gum, might be invested with the foreign excellence. Hark! a footstep. No ; it is not the footman: he still tarries with his aunt. It is Jerry Whistle, the Bow-street officer, with his daily flower between his lips; his happy face streaked like an apple; and his cold, keen, twinkling eye that seemed continually employed as a search-warrant, looking clean through the bosoms of all men. He paused before the girl, taking an inventory of her qualities. And she, to repel the boldness of the fellow, tried to arm herself with one of those thunderbolt looks that woman in her dignity will sometimes cast about her, striking giants off their legs and laying them in the dust for ever. Poor thing ! it was indignation all in vain. She might as well have frowned at Newgate

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stones, expecting to see them tumble, as think to move one nerve of Jerry Whistle. Medusa, staring at that officer, would have had the worst of it, and bashfully, hopelessly let drop her eyelids. And so it was with the country maiden. Jerry still stared: leaving the girl nothing to do but to wonder at his impudence. At length, however, Mr. Gum enters the room; and Jerry, glancing at him, and, as the girl thought, very much awed by his presence, instantly moves away. “Well, I'm so glad you're come!” cried the girl, and her eyes sparkled, not unnoticed by the footman. “Sorry, my daffydil, to keep you waiting ; but aunt is such a 'oman for tongue. A good cretur though ; what I call a reg'lar custard of a 'oman ; made o' nothing but milk and spice and sugar.” “What and no eggs? Pretty custards they'd be,” cried the girl, with a smile of pity for the detected ignorance. “That's like you women,” said Mr. Gum, playfully twitching the girl's bonnet-string ; “you can't allow for a bit of fancy: always taking a man up, and tying him to particlars. Well, you are a rose-bud, though !” “Never mind: I know that: let us go to Mary Axe,” and the girl vigorously retied her bonnet-strings, and stood bolt up. “In a minute. Just half-a-mouthful of brandy and water atween us; just no more than would fill the eye of a little needle. You can't think what a lot of morals my aunt always talks; and you can't think how dry they always make me. Now, don't shake your dear little head as if it was of no use to you : I tell you, we must have a little drop, and here it is.” (And Mr. Gum spoke the truth.) “I ordered it as I came in.” “Not a blessed drop—I won't, that I won't, as I'm a sinner,” cried the girl with feminine emphasis. “A sinner! There never was a cherub on a tombstone like you. I should like to hear anybody call you a sinner—'twould be a bad day's work for 'em, I can tell you. Now, just a drop. Well, if you won't drink, put your lips to the edge of the glass, just to sugar it.” “Well, what a cretur you are!” said the girl; and with cheeks a little flushed, she took a bird's one sip of the liquor. “Ha! now it's worth drinking,” cried Ralph ; and he backed his opinion by taking a long draught. “And now," said he, staring full in the girl's face, and taking her hand, “and now, as a particlar favour, I want you to tell me one thing. Just one private question I have to put. Look in my eyes, and tell me what you think of love.” “Go along with your rubbish 1” exclaimed the girl; at once cutting the difficulty of a definition. Love! Rubbish She knew it not ; but the wench spoke with the tongue of old philosophy. She gave a homely expression to the thoughts of sages, anchorites and nuns. The shirt of hair; the iron girdle ; the flagellating thong, all declare the worthlessness of love. “Love is rubbish ’’ chants the shaven monk : and the like treason breathes the white-lipped sister, and sometimes thinks it truth. The words are writ on monastery, convent walls, though dull and dim-eyed folks without do not believe them ; and—perverse is man 1– turn from the silver music of the syllables for jangling marriagebells. “Ain't you afeard the roof will tumble on you? Love rubbish! Why, it's what I call the gold band about natur's hat,"—for liquor made the footman metaphorical. “Love, my slip of lavender, love is " “I don't want to know nothing about it, and I won't stay a minute longer from Mary Axe.” And again the girl stood up, and began to push her way from the box, Mr. Ralph Gum refusing to give place, at the same time lifting the teaspoon from the glass, and vainly menacing her with it in the very prettiest ruanlier. “Well, my peppermint, you shall go ; to be sure you shall. There now" And with determined swallow, Mr. Gum emptied the glass to prove his devotedness to her will. “We'll pay at the bar, my poppy. Don't forget your bundle. Got your best things in it, eh? Don't forget it, then.” A smile, with something of contempt in it, played about the maiden's lip. Forget it?—as if any woman ever forgot a bundle, the more especially when it contained any of those vestments that, looked upon with thoughtful, melancholy eyes, are only flowing, shining proofs of a fallen state, though the perverse ingenuity of the sex contrives to give a prettiness to the livery of sin, to the badges of our lapsed condition. When we remember that both sorts of millinery, male and female, are the consequences of original wickedness, ought not the manly heart to shrink, and feel a frog-like coldness at an embroidered waistcoat Ž Ought not woman, smitten with the recollection of the treason of her great

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