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the incumbent's shield-bearer. So, she said
to him one day, after a peculiarly joyous
evening at Whitefield House; adding what
she thought an irresistible argument, or
rather inducement: "If you will give up
Madame Floriani, my sisters and I will
follow you." At which Mr. Bentley
stammered and blushed; then sighed, and said
nasally, "We must still hope for her

Apple-cheeked Mr. Bentley was unhappy.
He began even to look so: which was somewhat
difficult to that insignificant countenance
of his. But apple-cheeked Mr. Bentley
was in love. Disguise it as he might
to himself and to others, deny it, scorn and
reject itit was none the less truehe was
in love with Madame Floriani. True, she
was a heathen; but then her natural graces
were so many! True, she was a woman of
the world, an artist, a lover of frivolity
but then she was kind to the poor and so
gentle in her temper! True, she was all that
he most reprobated, all that he most abhorred;
but then he loved her. What should he
do? Marry her, and so lose his influence
over the world he had governed so long?
But should he lose his influence? The
Grandvilles would be angry; perhaps they
would leave Langthwaitehe wished they
might; but he could manage all the rest.
He should be rich too; very rich; and money
always gives power. Mr. Bentley had no
pious horror of that side of worldliness.
Yes, on the whole he should be better off;
even in Langthwaite. Yes, he would marry

These were his reasonings spread out
over many days and weeks, during which
time he was much at Whitefield House, often
to Madame Rosa's great inconvenience and
annoyance. And indeed of late she had
adopted the habit of denying herself; an
offence which took all Mr. Bentley's love to
forgive. For it was a falsehood, he said;
and worseforcing her servants to lie for
her. While Rosa only answered, "Mais,
Monsieur l'Abbé, it is a thing seenit is
understoodeverybody knows what it means
when one says that Madame is not at home,
or does not receive to-day."

"In the world, that may be," said Mr.
Bentley; "but we do not understand such
positions here."

"Monsieur l'Abbé! are you not the same
here as anywhere else? What is there
so peculiarly virtuous in Langthwaite that
you must make laws for yourselves against
all the rest of the world, and condemn all
the rest of the world? You don't seem to
think that there is any crime in pride and
hatred, and self-sufficiency, and all thatonly
in happiness and gaiety of heart. It is
monstrous!" cried Rosa, excited.

"Madame Floriani, I beg of you one favour,
I have asked it before. Do not call me
monsieur l'abbé, I am not a Romish priest, but a
Protestant minister," said Mr. Bentley,

"Oh, pardon!" cried Rosa, with a toss of
her graceful head, and making that pretty
little noise with her lips which you hear
every Italian make when perplexed or
dissatisfied. "Oh, pardon! It is so natural to
me to call men of your profession abbés
or curés, that I forget. I will try to

"At least there is one great difference
between us," said Mr. Bentley, turning very

"What do you mean?" asked the pretty
widow tranquilly.

"Shall I tell you?" said the incumbent, in
a voice that was meant to be caressing.

"If you please," answered Rosa, nestling
herself back in her easy chair, and putting up
her feet on a tabouret.

''I mean," said Mr. Bentley, after a short
pause, and making a desperate rush, like a
cart-horse at a fence. "I mean, that we
Protestant clergy may marry, and the Romanist
priest cannot."

"Yes, that is true; and I don't like
married priests," said Rosa quietly.

"Why, Madame Floriani?" asked the
incumbent, trembling.

"From association, I suppose. It is
distasteful to me."

"Then you would not yourself?—"
stammered Mr. Bentley.

"What?" and Rosa lifted up her eyes in
astonishment at his voice.

"Marry a clergyman!" said Mr. Bentley,
with a kind of roar; and down he came on
his knees, first seizing her hand.

Madame Floriani slowly raised herself
from a reclining posture. She looked at
the young incumbent blushing and
trembling on the ground before her; and gently
drew away the hand he was holding
between his own. And his own were so red!
She was going to speak seriously; butI am
grieved to say it of Rosa who ought to
have known betterthe young man's apple-
face and awkward attitude were so
ludicrousthe remembrance of all his absurd
attempts at solemnity and asceticism came
up so vividly in contrast with the ridicule
and humiliation of his present positionit
was such an unlooked-for offer, and was made
so clumsily, that her gravity gave way, and
she burst into a fit of laughter.

It was very wrong, and there was no
excuse to be made for her; but the situation was
very ridiculousthough she should not have
laughed for all that. Mr. Bentley started up,
seized his hat and very tight umbrellait
was a glorious day in July, but Mr. Bentley
patronised umbrellasand rushed from the
house; turning round at the door to say,
angrily, "Your place shall know me no more,

And so war was finally declared, and Miss
Augusta Grandville was satisfied. I doubt