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cause new and unfamiliar; others, because | silicious net-work which characterizes these they seem like a weird echo from a remote sponges is found associated with deposits geologic past. Many of the organisms, now dwelling in the quiet ocean depths, are identical with those in existence when the mighty Mastodon roamed the forests of the Tertiary epoch, and the frightful Megatherium silently waited to drop upon his prey. Others, again, point to a still remoter past: the formation which is now taking place at the bottom of the sea, is, it can almost be said, a continuation of the "Chalk." The Atlantic ooze is formed of multitudes of the tiny shells of foraminifera and globigerina, which, under the microscope, so closely resemble specimens of the "Chalk" that only a trained eye can detect the difference. The glass-sponges have at last unriddled the mystery which has so long puzzled geologists, the ventriculites of the "Chalk." At the present moment, the exquisite



of tiny calcareous shells, just as they were
in those ages long past, whose record is en-
graven upon the adamantine rocks. We
look upon them with a sense of awe as we
recognize the mysterious handwriting of the




ANNE MATURIN was an orphan, brought up by her aunt Mrs. Hartley, who was well off, and generous enough to give the solitary girl a home. She was very well and kindly treated, but still there was a shade of difference between her and her cousins. Mrs. Hartley had four children-two boys and two girls-and the difference of treatment to which Anne was subjected was very much what a younger daughter has to submit to while her elder sisters are still reigning in the house. She went out with them only at intervals, when either Letty or Susan happened to be indisposed for some special engagement. She was not quite so well dressed. A number of little occupations which they were not fond of fell naturally upon her, and were considered, without any question as to whether she liked them or not, her duty. Her inclinations, her dislikes, her little ailments, those trifling things which affect only comfort and have little to do either with life or health, were not, perhaps, so instantly or so carefully attended to.



But in all that could really or deeply influ-
ence her well-being Anne was as well cared
for as if she had been in her mother's house.
They were all very kind to her; nay, I use
words which have no business here.
were not kind; they had no thought of being
kind; they were simply her family as nature
had made them. When Letty and Susan
married, Anne worked at both the trousseaux
and danced at both the weddings, and cried
when they went away, and again for joy
when they came back. But," she said, "I
am the only young lady in the house now. I
am quite a great person," and felt her own
importance, as "the youngest" does, when
she finds herself at last promoted and reigning
alone. Thus it will be seen that nothing in
the least of a Cinderella character was in
Anne's thoughts, though indeed there were
friends of the family who called her Cinder-
ella, and remarked that her gowns were
more flimsy, and that her bonnets lasted
longer, than those of the older girls. Letty
and Susan both made very satisfactory mar-
riages, and left their old home somewhat

lonely. It was Anne who kept things going, John, the public office man, was like most and kept her aunt from feeling too much other young men in public offices, and scarcethe loss of her daughters; but yet Mrs. Hart-ly claimed separate notice. The barrister ley, with natural feeling, snubbed her niece when she made her little brag of being the only young lady in the house.

"Anne is a good girl," she said, "but if she thinks she can replace my own girls" “Hush, mamma!" cried Letty, who was a kind soul." She did not mean to replace us; but I am sure she is a comfort."

And Mrs. Hartley admitted that she was a comfort, though not like her very own. Fortunately, however, Anne did not hear this. She missed the girls very much, and she thought it natural that their mother should miss them still more, and that dreary reflection which comes to so many minds,

"Many love me, yet by none
Am I enough beloved,"

had never entered her young soul. She was happy and light-hearted, and contented with what was given to her. The other state of mind, with its deeper questionings, may be more picturesque and more imposing; but to live with, commend me to the fresh heart which takes what it has and is happy, and grumbles not for more. She was twentytwo when she rose to the dignity of being the only young lady in the house; and what with her aunt to love and care for, and her cousins' brand-new houses to visit and admire, and "the boys" still in the house "for company," Anne Maturin was as cheerful and as pleasant a young creature as eye could desire to see. She was pretty and yet not striking, with the prettiness of youth and health, and roundness and bloom and good temper, rather than with positive beauty of any description. Her nose was not worth speaking of; her mouth, like most people's mouths, was somewhat defective. Her eyes were bright but not brilliant; well opened but not very large. In short, nice, warm, shining, ordinary brown eyes, such as you could find by the dozen. Her figure light and springy, her hair wavy and abundant. A nice girl,-this was what everybody said of her; pleasant to talk to, pleasant to look at, but no more remarkable than half of the young women who make our lives pleasant or miserable. I doubt much if in any assemblage of such, at kirk or market, you would have noted Anne at all, or found her special advantages out.

Mrs. Hartley had two sons, Francis and John-the one a barrister, the other in a public office.

was the pride of the house. He had gone through a very successful career both at school and college; had made a successful appearance at the bar very early, and bade fair to be a successful man. The successfulness of success was already apparent in him. The further he advanced, the greater became his rate of progress, and the more rapidly he continued to go on. He was only about thirty, and he was already known as a rising man. The Hartleys were all proud of him, though I am not sure that his sisters, at least, were as fond of him as they were proud. Sisters judge impartially in many cases, and have many little data to go upon unknown to the outside world. Letty and Susan had an impression of his character which they would not for the world have put into words, but which they communicated to each other by little side remarks, saying: "It is just like him," when any incident happened which confirmed their theory. This theory was that Francis was selfish. He liked his own way (as who does not?), and when his way came into collision with other people's way, never yielded or compromised matters; so at least his sisters said. But Anne held no such doctrine. Since her earliest capabilities of use began she had been the little vassal first, and recently the champion and defender of Francis; and he was always good to her. That is to say, he accepted her services with much kindness, and spoke to her pleasantly, and sometimes even would applaud her gentle qualities, especially in points where she differed from his sisters. I do not know if he had ever in his life exercised himself to procure a pleasure, or done anything else in Anne's behal which cost him trouble. But

he was always "nice" o his cousin, and she thought immensely f this easy kindness. She was ready to fetch him whatever he wanted-to study his looks, to talk or be silent, according as the humor pleased him. And she could divine his humors much more quickly than even his mother could; for, indeed, Mrs. Hartley was not one of the mothers who sacrifice or annihilate themselves for their children. She was a very good mother-very careful of them and very anxious for their welfare; but withal she retained her own personality and independence. She was very good and indulgent to Francis, but she did not search his looks, and follow tremulously every shade

of meaning on his face, neither did she make everything in the house subservient to her sons. She was the mistress, and such she intended to be as long as she lived.

It was therefore with some solemnity and a little excitement, but with nothing of the intense and painful feeling which often attends such a revelation, that she made a certain disclosure to Anne one wintry spring afternoon, which changed the current of the poor girl's life, though nobody knew of it.


"I am going to tell you some news, Anne," she said; "of a very important kind. don't quite know whether I am pleased or not; but, at all events, it is something very important and rather unexpected." "What kind of a thing, aunt ?" said Anne, looking up from her knitting.

Her fingers went on with her work, while her eyes, brightening with expectation and interest, looked up at the speaker. She was full of lively, animated curiosity, but nothing more. No fear of evil tidings, no alarm for what might be coming, was in her peaceful soul.

"What would you say to a marriage in the family?" said Mrs. Hartley.

"A marriage! But, dear aunt, there is nobody to marry-unless," said Anne, with a pleasant ring of laughter, "without my knowing anything about it, it should be


"Nobody to marry? Do you think the boys are nobody?" said Mrs. Hartley, with a little snort of partial offense.

"The boys! Oh, did you mean the boys?" said Anne, bewildered.

She made a little momentary pause, as if confused, and then said, rather foolishly:

"The boys' weddings will be weddings in other families, not here."

"That is true enough if you think of nothing but the wedding; but I suppose you take more interest in your cousins than that," said Mrs. Hartley. "Francis came in quite unexpectedly when you were out." "Francis? Is it Francis ?" said Anne, in a hurried low tone of dismay.

"Why not?" said Mrs. Hartley. Why not, indeed ? There could be nothing more natural. He was a full-grown

But the surprise (surely it was only surprise made Anne quite giddy for the moment. Her head swam, the light seemed to change somehow, and darken round her. She felt physically as if she had received a violent and sudden blow.

"To be sure," she said, mechanically, feel

ing that her voice sounded strange, and did not seem to belong to her-" Why not? I suppose it is the most natural thing in the world, only it never came into my head." "That is nonsense," said her aunt, somewhat sharply. "Indeed the wonder is that Francis has not married before. He is over thirty, and making a good income, and when I die he will have the most part of what I have. Indeed it is in a sort of a way his duty to marry. I do not see how any one could be surprised."

Anne was silent, feeling with a confused thankfulness that no reply was necessary, and after a pause Mrs. Hartley resumed in a softened tone:

"I confess, however, that for the moment I did not expect anything of the kind. I generally have a feeling when something is going to happen; but I had not the least warning this morning. It came upon me all at once. Anne, I do think, after living with us all your life, you might show a little more interest. You have never even asked who the lady is."

"It was very stupid of me," said Anne, forcing herself to speak. "Do we know her? Do you like her? I cannot think of any one."


"No, indeed, I suppose not," said Mrs. Hartley. "She is not one of our set. will be a capital marriage for Francisthough, indeed, a man of his abilities may aspire to any one. It is Miss Parker, the daughter of the Attorney-General, Anne; a man just as sure to be Lord Chancellor as I am to eat my dinner. She will be the Honorable Mrs. Francis Hartley one dayof course the Honorable is not much of itself. If it had been some poor Irish or Scotch girl, for instance, who happened to be a Lord's daughter; but the Lord Chancellor is very different. Fancy the interest it will give him, not to say that it will be of the greatest importance to him in his profession; the Lord Chancellor's son-in-law; nobody can have a greater idea than I have of my son's abilities," continued the old lady; "but such a connection as this is never to be disregarded. I am to call upon Lady Parker to-morrow, and make acquaintance with my future daughter. Perhaps as the girls have both got their own engagements, and Letty would not like me to take Susan without asking her, perhaps I had best take you with me, Anne."

"Oh, thanks, aunt," said Anne, tremulously. "Did you hear anything about the young lady herself?"

"Oh, I heard that she was an angel, of course," said Mrs. Hartley. "That, one takes for granted, and he gave me her photograph; it is lying about somewhere. Look on my little table under the newspaper, or under my work. Pretty enough; but you never can tell from a photograph. What is the matter with you, Anne?"

"I only tripped against the stool," said Anne, hastily turning her back to the light, and catching a glimpse of herself in the glass, which frightened her.

She was thankful to go with the photograph to the window after she had found it, the waning light being an excuse for her. The photograph was like a hundred others, such as every one has seen. A pretty young face, with the usual elaborate hair-dressing, and the usual elaborate costume. As for such things as expression or character, there were none in the so-called portrait, which might of course be the fault of the original; but this no one would dare to make sure of. It seemed to Anne, looking at it with her hot eyes, to swell and magnify, and smile disdainfully at her, as she gazed at it. She was still stupid with the blow, and, at the same time, was making so desperate an effort to restrain herself, that between the stunned sensation of that shock, and the selfrestraint which she exercised, she seemed to herself to be like marble or iron, rigid and cold. The photograph fell out of her stiff fingers, and she had to grope for it on the floor, scarcely seeing it. All this occupied her so long that Mrs. Hartley became impatient.

"Well, have you nothing to say about it, now that you have seen it ?" she asked. "She is very pretty," said Anne, slowly. I hope Francis will be very happy with her. Did he seem very much


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"Oh, he seemed all a young man ought to be, as foolish as you please," said Mrs. Hartley; "but he is coming home to dinner this evening, so you can question him to your heart's content. Give me a cup of tea, Anne. I think I shall go to my room and rest a little before dinner. There is nothing tires one like excitement," said the placid old lady; and she continued to talk about and about this great subject while she drank her afternoon cup of tea.

How glad Anne was when she left the room to take that nap before dinner; how thankful that she had a moment's breathingtime, and could, so to speak, look herself in the face. This was precisely the first thing she did when she was left to herself. She

went up to the mantel-piece and leaned her arms upon it, and contemplated in the mingled light, half twilight, half ruddy gleams from the fire, the strange, forlorn, woe-begone face, that seemed to look back at her mournfully out of that rose-tinted gloom. The giddiness was beginning to go off a little, and the singing in her ears was less than it had been; the strange whirl and revolution of earth and heaven had ceased, and the things were settling down into their places. What was it that had happened to her? "Nothing, nothing," she said to herself, vehemently, the red blood of shame rushing to her face in a painful and tingling glow. Poor pretense; nothing was changed, but everything was different. The whole world and her life, and everything she was acquainted with, or had any experience of, seemed suddenly to have been snatched from her and thrown into the past. The very path she was treading seemed cut away under her feet. She had stopped short, startled, feeling deadly faint and sick when the sudden precipice opened at her feet; but there it was, and there did not seem another step for her to take anywhere upon solid ground. This sudden, wild consciousness of the difference, however, though it was bad enough, was not all. Bitter and terrible shame that it should be so, scorched up poor Anne. Shame flamed upon her innocent cheeks. Her eyes fell before her own gaze, ashamed to meet it. A man feels no such shame to have given his love to a woman who loves him not. He may be angry, jealous, mortified, and vindictive; but he is not abashed. But the woman who has given her heart unsought is more than abashed. She feels herself smitten to the earth as with a positive stain. Shame embitters and impoisons all her suffering. It is almost worse than a crime-it is a disgrace to her and to all womankind-or at least so the girl feels in the first agony of such a discovery, though her love may be as pure and devoted and unselfish as anything known in this world.


Then her thoughts all rushed to the question of self-defense. She must not make a show of herself and her emotions. must smile and congratulate and gossip as if the event were one of the happiest which could have occurred, as she had done with a light heart when Letty and Susan were married. Their weddings had been the greatest gala-days she had ever known. She had been bridesmaid to both, with a fresh dress, and an important position, and much

attention from everybody. She had taken the most genuine interest in everything that was done and said. Her life seemed to date indeed from these great occasions. And now must she go over all this, and probably be bridesmaid again to Francis's wife? Her very heart grew sick at the thought; but she must do it, must keep up, and give no one any reason to think-no one that her heart was broken.

She was still standing thus, when the door opened, and Francis himself came into the room. Anne's heart gave a wild bound, and then seemed to stand still; but perhaps it was best that it should happen so, for she must have met him soon, and the room was dark, and he could not see how she looked. He came up to her where she stood, and took her hand, as he had a way of doing.

"Well, Anne," he said.

"Well, Francis," she returned faintly, as by some mechanical action, and withdrew her hand. She looked down into the fire, which threw a ruddy reflection on her face and disguised her paleness. She did not feel able to look at him.


"What's the matter?" said Francis, jauntily; "not displeased, are you? course my mother has told you," and he took her hand again. She dared not withdraw it that time, but had to leave it in his hold, though the poor little fingers tingled to their tips with the misery and bitterness and shame in her heart. All that he meant, of course, was friendliness, cousinshipwhile she-she, a woman, had allowed other thoughts to get entrance into her mind!

"I am not displeased," she said, summoning all her courage, "except that you did not give us any warning, Francis. You might have told me something about her; I was rather hurt at that."

"Were you, dear?" he said, with a tenderness that was unusual, and he put his other arm round her waist, as if somehow this new change had increased instead of diminishing his privileges. And Anne, poor Anne, dared not resent it-dared not break from him, as probably, laughing and blushing, she would have done yesterday. She had to stand still, making herself as stiff and cold as she could, enduring the half embrace. "If I had thought that, you should have known everything from the beginning; but it has not been a very long business; and, until I knew her sentiments, I saw no need to betray mine. It might have come to nothing, and a man does not care to make a fool of himself."

"Then tell me about her now," said Anne, holding firmly by the mantel-piece, and desperately plunging to the center of the misery at once.

Francis laughed.

"I don't know what I can say. I left her photograph somewhere, and I suppose my mother told you."

"Only that it was an excellent marriage, nothing about her."

Once more Francis laughed. He shrugged his shoulders, and bent down to look into her face.

"I suppose Letty and Susan raved of him to your sympathetic ears, did they? But men don't go in for that sort of thing. No; I want you to tell me, Anne, my dear little girl-look up, that I may see your face -are you pleased ?"

"Francis! of course I am pleased if you are happy," faltered poor Anne; "but how can I tell otherwise, when I don't know her, and you won't tell me anything about her?"

"Give me a kiss then and wish me joy," he said.

Anne felt his cheek touch hers. There seemed to ensue a moment in which everything whirled round her-the fire-light, the pale evening sky through the window, the glimmer in the glass. Whether she should faint in his arms, or break away from them, seemed to hang upon a hair. But that hairbreadth of strength still remained to her. She escaped from his hold. She flew out of the room and upstairs like a hunted creature and dropped down upon her knees in her own little chamber, hiding her face on her bed. Had he suspected?. Could he know? But in the passion that swept over her, Anne was beyond entering very closely into these questions. She dared not cry aloud or even sob, though nature seemed to rend her bosom; but the darkness fell on her mercifully, hiding her even from herself.

Mr. Francis Hartley remained behind and contemplated himself in the glass as Anne had done. He caressed his whiskers and drew his fingers through his hair, and said. "Poor little Anne!" to himself with the ghost of a smile about the corners of his mouth. Yes, Anne was piqued, there was no doubt of it. Her little heart had been touched. Poor, dear little thing! it was not his fault; he had never given her any encouragement, and it was hard if a man could not be kind to his little cousin without raising hopes of that sort in her mind. But he liked Anne none the worse for her

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