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Mrs. Moreton shuddered. A cry, piercing
and inarticulate like that of a dumb creature
in agony, burst from the inner room.

They rushed together into the boudoir.
"It was the poor woman, ladies," said the
housekeeper, anxiously. "I fear she is very
ill: it has come upon her quite of a sudden."

She was standing up in the middle of the
room, rigid as if her feet had grown into the
inlaid boards. Her eyes were glassy, and her
mouth was drawn a little to one side.

"Run, Jenkyn," exclaimed the young lady,
"for wine, or whatever is most necessary.
We will attend to her."

She took the poor woman by the arm; she
drew her into a chair; she bent over her;
she rubbed her cold hands in her own. When
the wine was brought, she raised the glass to
the patient's lips; and, while she did so, the
sufferer's breath came and went thickly, with
a hard stifling effort. She felt that kind
young heart beating against her own. Who
can tellwho but the Giver of all
consolationwhat balm there was in that one
moment; what deep, unspoken communion;
what healing for a life-long wound? But the
mother kept silence even from good words.
Only, while the young lady was so tenderly
busying herself about her, she took hold, as
it were unconsciously, of one of the folds of
her dressshe stroked it with her handshe
smoothed it down, as if pleased with its
softness; and, so long as she dared to hold it she
did not let it go.

It was almost dark. The young lady stood
at the window of the great drawing-room,
looking after a solitary slowly-retreating
figure, still distinctly visible, in spite of the
grey dusk spreading like a veil over lawn and
lake and garden; through which the distant
mausoleum loomed dimly above the woods.

"The poor woman!" she said, softly; "she
is not fit to travel home alone; yet she would
neither consent to stay all night, as I wished,
nor let old William drive herstrange, was
it not, Mrs. Moreton?"

But Mrs. Moreton had left the room. The
young heiress still looked out upon the
scenes she was so soon to leave, as her
destiny had decreed, for ever. She mused
on she knew not what. Her heart was
stirredan invisible touch had been upon
it. She leaned her head pensively against
the window, while many thoughts, as vague
as the shadows that were so thickly falling
round her, chased each other rapidly
through her fancy. Many visions gathered
round her; but among them there was no
presage of the coronet that afterwards spanned
her browthe coronet of the princely yet
peasant-descended house of Sforza. Still she
watched the retreating figure, until it was
lost in the deepening darkness; and when
she did turn from the window, she heaved a
deep and pitying sigh.

Her sadness suited the hour of twilight, and
it passed with it. She knew not, nor did she
ever know, who had that day been so near to


The ship Futta Mombarrac was a beautiful
vessel of eleven hundred and seventy-four
tons register. After loading with Chinese
light goods, we sailed from Macao for
Bombay by way of Singapore on the twentieth
of September, with a fine fair wind, and
every prospect of an easy voyage.

When night came on the ship had made
considerable progress. The night was lovely, and
the stars appeared so near that, although
fantastic, it seemed natural to fancy that
a sweep of the tall masts might bring
some of them down. I paced the deck;
and, noticing the ship's increasing speedas
she flew under the pressure of studding-sails
at the rate of twelve knots an hour
made up my mind that we should have to
boast of a remarkably quick passage. The
wind continued gradually to increase until it
became requisite to shorten sail. The
studding-sails were taken in, one after the other;
and, by two in the morning, all the small
sails were furled. The vessel was then
running under topsails and foresail, the sky still
being clear and cloudless. At four in the
morning it became necessary to reef the
topsails, and all hands were called. Two reefs
were taken in after much exertion on the part
of the Lascar crew, and the men were about to
come down from aloft, when the captain's voice
resounded through the speaking trumpet,
"Take in the third reef! Bear a hand,
brothers!" His orders were addressed to the
crew not in English but in Hindostanee.

The wind had increased to a gale. The
sea also was rising; but the ship went easily
and gallantly along. While the men were
still on the foretopsail yard and strenuously
labouring to reef the sail, a sudden gust
blew it completely from the yard and out of
the men's hands. There was then daylight,
and we could see the sail hurried away like
a wrecked balloon for half a mile before it
fell into the water. The remnants were then
picked up and made snug to the yard. The
maintopsail was close reefed and set for a
short time; but the wind, which during the
whole morning had continued to blow from
the north eastward, began presently to veer
to the northward, and the sea became a
confused mass of white foam, boiling up fearfully.
The vessel rolling gunwales under, we were
again compelled to reduce sail, and, at
noon on the twenty-first she scudded under
bare poles; not a stitch of canvas could be
shown. For twenty-four hours, she
continued thus to run before the wind at the
rate of from thirteen to fourteen knots an
hour. The wind by degrees got more round
to the northward. It was almost north by
east, when it had forced the ship to within

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