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applications, of credit; but, by the
side of the bank-note, there rests a vacant
place, which our obligations are called upon
to fill. The principal of these obligations
being to be repayable, only at an epoch
corresponding to that of the property which
they represent in our portefeuille, and to bear
interest to the profit of the holder, their issue
is exempt from every inconvenience. In
accordance with the economy which serves as
the basis of our Society, these vouchers are
not only pledged (gagés) by property of
corresponding amount acquired under
government control, and whose union offers, by
the application of the principle of mutuality,
the advantages of the compensation and the
division of risks; but they will have moreover
the guarantee of a capital which we
have raised with this object, to a considerably
high figure (sixty millions).

But interested parties may talk till they
are tired. An institution of credit, like the
Crédit Mobilier, useful, even necessary, in
respect to its object, has outgrown the
proportions and range of action allowed to
private companies. An institution which can
only exist by the support of the public faith,
cannot be made use of for the furtherance
of private interests. Such an application of
its powers is nothing less than a fraudulent
abuse; and the authorities who tolerate it,
and the speculators who make it their tool,
incurthe one the blame of the nation, the
other the censure of honest men. As to
buying in now, or at any other time, every
one must judge for himself; just as every
one must form his own decision whether
he will dance a fandango on a cracked
tight-rope, whether he will cross an Alpine
ravine on a rotten plank, or whether he
will plunge his hand into a smooth-surfaced
caldron of oil with a brisk fire burning
beneath it.

THE DEAD SECRET.

CHAPTER THE FIRST. THE TWENTY-THIRD OF
AUGUST, 1829.

"Will she last out the night, I wonder?"

"Look at the clock, Joseph."

"Ten minutes past twelve! She has
lasted the night out. She has lived, Robert,
to see ten minutes of the new day."

These words were spoken in the kitchen
of a large country-house situated on the
west coast of Cornwall. The speakers were
two of the men-servants composing the
establishment of Captain Treverton, an officer in
the navy, and the eldest male representative
of an old Cornish family. Both the
servants communicated with each other
restrainedly, in whisperssitting close together,
and looking round expectantly towards the
door whenever the talk flagged between
them.

"It's an awful thing," said the elder of the
men, "for us two to be alone here, at this
dead, dark time, counting out the minutes
that our mistress has left to live!"

"Robert," said the other, lowering his
voice to a whisper that was barely audible,
"You have been in service here since you
were a boydid you ever hear that our
mistress was a play-actress when our master
married her?"

"How came you to know that?" inquired
the elder servant, sharply.

"Hush!" cried the other, rising quickly
from his chair.

A bell rang in the passage outside.

"Is that for one of us?" asked Joseph.

"Can't you tell, by the sound, which is
which of those bells yet?" exclaimed Robert,
contemptuously. "That bell is for Sarah
Leeson. Go out into the passage and look."

The younger servant took a candle and
obeyed. When he opened the kitchen-door,
a long row of bells met his eye on the wall
opposite. Above each of them was painted
in neat black letters the distinguishing title
of the servant whom it was specially intended
to summon. The row of letters began with
Housekeeper and Butler, and ended with
Kitchenmaid and Footman's Boy.

Looking along the bells, Joseph easily
discovered that one of them was still in motion.
Above it were the words, Lady's Maid.
Observing this, he passed quickly along the
passage, and knocked at a large, old-
fashioned oak door at the end of it. No
answer being given, he opened the door
and looked into the room. It was dark and
empty.

"Sarah is not in the housekeepers room,"
said Joseph, returning to his fellow-servant in
the kitchen.

"She is gone to her own room, then,"
rejoined the other. "Go up and tell her that
she is wanted by her mistress."

The bell rang again as Joseph went out.

"Quick!—quick!" cried Robert. "Tell
her she is wanted directly. Wanted," he
continued to himself in lower tones,
"perhaps for the last time!"

Joseph ascended three flights of stairs
passed half-way down a long arched
galleryand knocked at another old-fashioned
oak door. This time the signal was
answered. A low, clear, sweet voice inside
the room, inquired who was waiting without?
In a few hasty words Joseph told his errand.
Before he had done speaking, the door was
quietly and quickly opened, and Sarah
Leeson confronted him on the threshold, with
her candle in her hand.

Not tall, not handsome, not in her first
youthshy and irresolute in manner
simple in dress to the utmost limits of
plainness, the lady's-maid, in spite of all
these disadvantages, was a woman whom it
was impossible to look at without a feeling of
curiosity, if not of interest. Few men, at
first sight of her, could have resisted the
desire to find out who she was; few would

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