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however, we went to talk in the dining-room ;
and there Miss Jenkyns told me what Major
Campbell had told her;—how he had served
in the same regiment with Captain Brown,
and had become acquainted with Miss Jessie,
then a sweet-looking, blooming girl of eighteen;
how the acquaintance had grown into love, on
his part, though it had been some years before
he had spoken; how, on becoming possessed,
through the will of an uncle, of a good estate
in Scotland, he had offered, and been refused,
though with so much agitation, and evident
distress, that he was sure she was not
indifferent to him ; and how he had discovered
that the obstacle was the fell disease which
was, even then, too surely threatening her
sister. She had mentioned that the surgeons
foretold intense suffering; and there was no
one but herself to nurse her poor Mary, or
cheer and comfort her father during the time
of illness. They had had long discussions;
and, on her refusal to pledge herself to him as
his wife, when all should be over, he had
grown angry, and broken off entirely, and gone
abroad, believing that she was a cold-hearted
person, whom he would do well to forget. He
had been travelling in the East, and was on his
return home when, at Rome, he saw the account
of Captain Brown's death in "Galignani."

Just then Miss Matey, who had been out
all the morning, and had only lately returned
to the house, burst in with a face of dismay
and outraged propriety:—

"Oh, goodness me!" she said. "Caroline,
there's a gentleman sitting in the drawing-
room, with his arm round Miss Jessie's
waist!" Miss Matey's eyes looked large
with terror.

Miss Jenkyns snubbed her down in an
instant:—

"The most proper place in the world for
his arm to be in. Go away, Matilda, and mind
your own business." This from her sister,
who had hitherto been a model of feminine
decorum, was a blow for poor Miss Matey,
and with a double shock she left the room.

The last time I ever saw poor Miss Jenkyns
was many years after this. Mrs. Campbell
had kept up a warm and affectionate
intercourse with all at Cranford. Miss Jenkyns,
Miss Matey, and Miss Pole had all been to
visit her, and returned with wonderful
accounts of her house, her husband, her dress,
and her looks. For, with happiness,
something of her early bloom returned; she had
been a year or two younger than we had
taken her for. Her eyes were always lovely,
and, as Mrs. Campbell, her dimples were not
out of place. At the time to which I have
referred, when I last saw Miss Jenkyns,
that lady was old and feeble, and had lost
something of her strong mind. Little Flora
Campbell was staying with the Misses Jenkyns,
and when I came in she was reading aloud to
Miss Jenkyns, who lay feeble and changed on
the sofa. Flora put down the Rambler when
I came in.

"Ah!" said Miss Jenkyns, "you find me
changed, my dear. I can't see as I used to do.
If Flora were not here to read to me, I hardly
know how I should get through the day. Did
you ever read the Rambler ? It's a wonderful
bookwonderful! and the most improving
reading for Flora"—(which I dare say it
would have been if she could have read half
the words without spelling, and could have
understood the meaning of a third)— "better
than that strange old book, with the queer
name, poor Captain Brown was killed for
readingthat book by Mr. Hood, you know
HoodAdmiral Hood; when I was a girl;
but that's a long time ago,—I wore a cloak
with a red Hood"—she babbled on long
enough for Flora to get a good long spell
at "Miss Kilmansegg and her Golden Leg,"
which Miss Matey had left on the table.

Poor, dear Miss Jenkyns! Cranford is
Man-less now.

THE "MERCHANT SEAMAN'S FUND."

IN an article which we published, on the
occasion of the agitation caused by the
"Mercantile Marine Act," we had to
congratulate the public on one point at all events;
the evident tendency in our modern legislation
to make the management of our maritime
affairs a subject of paramount consideration.
We remarked on the negligent and
unsatisfactory state of the relations between our
Government and our seamen; hailing this new
Act (though without approving all its details)
as full of hope for the future. We have now
to call attention to the "Merchant Seaman's
Fund"—a great nautical institution of the
country; which, after long mismanagement,
has at length, by an Act of the present year,
been sentenced to be "wound-up." It is a
little too bad that such an institution, in such
a naval country, should share the fate of the
West Diddlesex, and the Gibbleton Junction.
Let us glance at the circumstances; availing
ourselves of some important documents which
have fallen into our hands.

By the "Greenwich Hospital" Act of the
seventh and eighth of William the Third, all
seamen were required to subscribe sixpence
a month to it. Of course, as this Hospital
only benefited very partially mercantile
seamen, considerable complaints arose; and in
1747 it was resolved by various ship-owners
and merchants to found an institution for the
benefit of that class, also, of a similar
character. Accordingly, the twentieth of George
the Second was passed, incorporating the
Society, known as the "Merchant Seaman's
Fund;" authorising the erection of a Hospital
for "sick, maimed, and disabled mariners;"
the granting of relief to such seamen by
pensions or gratuities, and to the orphans and
widows of such as were "killed, slain, or
drowned." It was also granted to all out-
ports in England and Wales to form separate
corporate bodies, with all the privileges

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