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of wretchedness at his office. London was very empty; but the approaching elections still kept some there who otherwise would have been looking after the first flush of pheasants. Barrington Earle was there, and was not long in asking Phineas what were his views.

"Ah;

that is so hard to say. Ratler told me he would be looking about."

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Ratler is very well in the House," said Barrington, "but he is of no use for anything beyond it. I suppose you were not brought up at the London University?" "Oh no," said Phineas, remembering the glories of Trinity.

"Because there would have been an opening. What do you say to Stratford, the new Essex borough ?" "Broadbury the brewer is there already!" "Yes; and ready to spend any money you like to name. Let me see. Loughton is grouped with Smotherem, and Walker is a deal too strong at Smotherem to hear of any other claim. I don't think we could dare to propose it. There are the Chelsea hamlets, but it will take a wack of money." "I have not got a wack of money," said Phineas, laughing.

"That's the devil of it. I think, if I were you, I should hark back upon some place in Ireland. Couldn't you get Laurence to give you up his seat?"

"What! Fitzgibbon ?"

"Yes. He has not a ghost of a chance of getting into office again. Nothing on earth would induce him to look at a paper during all those weeks he was at the Colonial Office; and when Cantrip spoke to him, all he said was, Ah, bother!' Cantrip did not like it, I can tell you."

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"But that wouldn't make him give up his seat."

"Of course you'd have to arrange it." By which Phineas understood Barrington Erle to mean that he, Phineas, was in some way to give to Laurence Fitzgibbon some adequate compensation for the surrender of his position as a county member.

"I am afraid that's out of the question," said Phineas. "If he were to go, I should not get it."

"Would you have a chance at shane ?"

"I was thinking of trying it," said Phineas.

this, could not help thinking, that Barrington Erle, though he had certainly expressed a great deal of solicitude, was not as true a friend as he used to be. Perhaps he, Phineas had risen too fast, and Barrington Erle was beginning to think he might as well be out of the way.

He wrote to his father, asking after the borough, and asking after the health of Mr. Morris. And in his letter he told his own story very plainly, almost pathetically. He perhaps had been wrong to make the attempt which he had made. He began to believe that he had been wrong. But at any rate he had made it so far successfully, and failure now would be doubly bitter. He thought that the party to which he belonged must now remain in office. It would hardly be possible that a new election would produce a House of Commons favourable to a conservative ministry. And with a liberal ministry he, Phineas, would be sure of his place, and sure of an official income, — if only he could find a seat. It was all very true, and was almost pathetic. The old doctor, who was inclined to be proud of his son, was not unwilling to make a sacrifice. Mrs. Finn said before her daughters that if there was a seat in all Ireland, Phineas ought to have it. And Mary Flood Jones stood by listening, and wondering what Phineas would do if he lost his seat. Would he come back and live in County Clare, and be like any other girl's lover? Poor Mary had come to lose her ambition, and to think that girls whose lovers stayed at home were the happiest. Nevertheless, she would have walked all the way to Lord Tulla's house and back again, might that have availed to get the seat for Phineas. Then there came an express over from Castlemorris. The doctor was wanted at once to see Mr. Morris. Mr. Morris was very bad with gout in his stomach. According to the messenger it was supposed that Mr. Morris was dying. Before Dr. Finn had had an opportunity of answering his son's letter, Mr. Morris, the late member for Loughshane, had been gathered to his fathers.

Dr. Finn understood enough of elections for Parliament, and of the nature of borLough-oughs, to be aware that a candidate's chance of success is very much improved by being early in the field; and he was aware, also, that the death of Mr. Morris would probably create various aspirants for the honour of representing Loughshane. But he could hardly address the Earl on the subject while the dead body of the late member was lying in the house at Castlemorris. The bill which had been passed in the late session for reforming the constitution of the House

"Of course you know that Morris is very ill." This Mr. Morris was the brother of Lord Tulla, and was the sitting member for Loughshane. "Upon my word I think I should try that. I don't see where we're to put our hands on a seat in England. I don't indeed." Phineas, as he listened to

of Commons had not touched Ireland, a future measure having been promised to the Irish for their comfort; and Loughshane therefore was, as to Lord Tulla's influence, the same as it had ever been. He had not then the plenary power which the other lord had held in his hands in regard to Loughton; but still the Castlemorris interest would go a long way. It might be possible to stand against it, but it would be much more desirable that the candidate should have it at his back. Dr. Finn was fully alive to this as he sat opposite to the old lord, saying now a word about the old lord's gout in his legs and arms, and then about the gout in the stomach, which had carried away to another world the lamented late member for the borough.

"Poor Jack!" said Lord Tulla, piteously. "If I'd known it, I needn't have paid over two thousand pounds for him last year; need I, doctor?

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Thank God, yes."

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"It's all very well thanking God, but I should have gone as poor Jack has gone, if I hadn't been the most careful man in the world. He was drinking champagne ten days ago; would do it, you know." Lord Tulla could talk about himself and his own ailments by the hour together, and Dr. Finn, who had thought that his noble patient was approaching the subject of the borough, was beginning again to feel that the double interest of the gout that was present, and the gout that had passed away, would be too absorbing. He, however, could say but little to direct the conversation.

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"Mr. Morris, you see, lived more in London than you do, and was subject to temptation."

"I don't know what you call temptation. Haven't I the temptation of a bottle of wine under my nose every day of my life ? "

"No doubt you have."

"And I don't drink it. I hardly ever take above a glass or two of brown sherry. By George! when I think of it, I wonder at my own courage. I do, indeed." But a man in London, my lord

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Why the deuce would he go to London? By-the-bye, what am I to do about the borough now?"

"Let my son stand for it, if you will, my lord."

"They've clean swept away Brentford's seat at Loughton, haven't they? Ha, ha, ha! What a nice game for him, - to have been forced to help to do it himself! There's nobody on earth I pity so much as a radical peer who is obliged to work like a nigger with a spade to shovel away the ground from under his own feet. As for me, I don't care who sits for Loughshane. I did care for poor Jack while he was alive. I don't think I shall interfere any longer. I am glad it lasted Jack's time." Lord Tulla had probably already forgotten that be himself had thrown Jack over for the last session but one.

"Phineas, my lord," began the father, "is now Under Secretary of State."

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Oh, I've no doubt he's a very fine fellow; but, you see, he's an out-and-out Radical."

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No, my lord."

"Then how can he serve with such men as Mr. Gresham and Mr. Monk? They've turned out poor old Mildmay among them, because he's not fast enough for them. Don't tell me.”

"My anxiety, of course, is for my boy's prospects. He seems to have done so well in Parliament."

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Why don't he stand for Marylebone or Finsbury ?"

"The money, you know, my lord!” "I shan't interfere here, doctor. If he comes, and the people then choose to return him, I shall say nothing. They may do just as they please. They tell me Lambert St. George, of Mockrath, is going to stand. If he does, it's the d piece of impudence I ever heard of. He's a tenant of my own, though he has a lease for ever; and his father never owned an acre of land in the county till his uncle died." Then the doctor knew that, with a little management. the lord's interest might be secured for his

son.

Phineas came over and stood for the bor ough against Mr. Lambert St. George, and the contest was sharp enough. The gentry of the neighbourhood could not understand why such a man as Lord Tulla should ad mit a liberal candidate to succeed bas

brother. No one canvassed for the young Under Secretary with more persistent zeal than did his father, who, when Phineas first spoke of going into Parliament, had produced so many good arguments against that perilous step. Lord Tulla's agent stood aloof, desolate with grief at the death of the late member. At such a moment of family affliction, Lord Tulla, he declared, could not think of such a matter as the borough. But it was known that Lord Tulla was dreadfully jealous of Mr. Lambert St. George, whose property in that part of the county was now nearly equal to his own, and who saw much more company at Mockrath than was ever entertained at Castlemorris. A word from Lord Tulla, so said the Conservatives of the county, would have put Mr. St. George into the seat; but that word was not spoken, and the Conservatives of the neighbourhood swore that Lord Tulla was a renegade. The contest was very sharp, but our hero was returned by a majority of seventeen votes.

-

Again successful! As he thought of it he remembered stories of great generals who were said to have chained Fortune to the wheels of their chariots, but it seemed to him that the goddess had never served any general with such staunch obedience as she had displayed in his cause. Had not everything gone well with him; so well, as almost to justify him in expecting that even yet Violet Effingham would become his wife? Dear, dearest Violet! If he could only achieve that, no general, who ever led an army across the Alps, would be his equal either in success or in the reward of success. Then he questioned himself as to what he would say to Miss Flood Jones on that very night. He was to meet dear little Mary Flood Jones that evening at a neighbour's house. His sister Barbara had so told him in a tone of voice which he quite understood to imply a caution. "I shall be so glad to see her," Phineas had replied.

"If there ever was an angel on earth, it is Mary," said Barbara Finn.

"I know that she is as good as gold," said Phineas.

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"Don't laugh at me, Phineas, when I am thinking of nothing but of you and your interests, and when I am making all manner of excuses for you because I know what must be the distractions of the world in which you live." Barbara made more than one attempt to renew the conversation before the evening came, but Phineas thought that he had had enough of it. He did not like being told that excuses were made for him. After all, what had he done? He had once kissed Mary Flood Jones behind the door.

"I am so glad to see you, Mary," he said, coming and taking a chair by her side. He had been specially warned not to single Mary out for his attention, and yet there was the chair left vacant as though it were expected that he would fall into it.

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"But you are something - of State now;

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are you not?"

Well;-yes. That's the name they give me. It simply means that if any member wants to badger some one in the House about the Colonies, I am the man to be badgered. But if there is any credit to be had, I am not the man who is to have it."

“But it is a great thing to be in Parliament and in the Government too."

"It is a great thing for me, Mary, to have a salary, though it may only be for a year or two. However, I will not deny that it is pleasant to have been successful."

"It has been very pleasant to us, Phineas. Mamma has been so much rejoiced." "I am so sorry not to see her. She is at Floodborough, I suppose."

"Oh, yes; she is at home. She does not like coming out at night in winter. I have been staying here you know for two days, but I go home to-morrow."

"I will ride over and call on your mother." Then there was a pause in the conversation for a moment. "Does it not seem odd, Mary, that we should see so little of each other?"

"You are so much away, of course." "Yes; - that is the reason. But still it seems almost unnatural. I often wonder when the time will come that I shall be quietly at home again. I have to be back in my office in London this day week, and yet I have not had a single hour to myself since I have been at Killaloe. But I will certainly ride over and see your mother.

You will be at home on Wednesday I sup- | episode, pose."

"Yes, I shall be at home." Upon that he got up and went away, but again in the evening he found himself near her. Perhaps there is no position more perilous to a man's honesty than that in which Phineas now found himself; - that, namely, of knowing himself to be quite loved by a girl whom he almost loves himself. Of course he loved Violet Effingham; and they who talk best of love protest that no man or woman can be in love with two persons at once. Phineas was not in love with Mary Flood Jones; but he would have liked to take her in his arms and kiss her; he would have liked to gratify her by swearing that she was dearer to him than all the world; he would have liked to have an

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and did, at the moment, think that it might be possible to have one life in London and another life altogether different at Killaloe. "Dear Mary," he said as he pressed her hand that night, “ things will get themselves settled at last, I suppose." He was behaving very ill to her, but he did not mean to behave ill.

He rode over to Floodborough, and saw Mrs. Flood Jones. Mrs. Flood Jones, however, received him very coldly; and Mary did not appear. Mary had communicated to her mother her resolutions as to her future life. "The fact is, mamma, I love him. I cannot help it. If he ever chooses to come for me, here I am. If he does, not I will bear it as well as I can. It may be very mean of me, but it's true."

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The

THE DEATH OF THE CZAR NICHOLAS.-All night Sire, I rebel!" exclaimed the poor physician; long the imperial family and the two physicians, "I have no right to give you up like this, and it Mandt and Karel, watched anxiously in the ad- is my duty not to do so. "Will you guaranjoining room, without daring. so despotic was tee my cure?" The physician bent down his the Emperor's word- to open, or even to knock head; he could not reply. "Farewell, my at his bedroom-door. About two o'clock, Mandt, | friend." Sire, God is great, and for the sake hearing a faint moan, ventured to scratch at the of Russia, which He defends, He may yet work door; but even that displeased the Emperor, and a miracle." "It is because I know God defends it remained closed. He called Mandt in the Russia that I neither hope nor wish to be cured. morning, and said, "I think you were right; Mandt, send my family to me; I assure you that I believe I am a dead man." "Oh, sire, I only I feel that I have no time to lose." said that to dissuade your majesty from such im- Emperor's family remained with him at least prudence.' "Look me in the face and tell me three hours, leaving the room, after taking leave it is possible to hope." "I think so, sire." "I of him, one by one. One by one his grandchiltell you I am a dead man. Come, do your dren, sons, and brothers, came out, the heredibusiness and sound me; I should like science to tary grand duke the last, with his face bathed confirm my conviction." Mandt did as he in tears. Another hour's agonizing suspense was ordered, and shook his head. "Well?" passed, during which there was a total silence in "Sire !" Mandt, you are troubled, your the imperial chamber. Then a noise was heard hand is shaking; you see I am braver than you. in the corridor, and a courier from Sebastopol Come, pass sentence on me quickly, for I must was announced. The general aide-de-camp finish my business in this world, and there is a thought himself justified in knocking at the Emgreat deal to do." Your majesty is more peror's door. Then came a faint murmured realarmed than is necessary. There is nothing to ply, "What am I wanted for? Let me be left despair of yet; and with God's help. in peace.' "Sire, a courier from Sebastopol." Nicholas fixed his eyes full upon the physician," Let him speak to my son; I have nothing more and Mandt could not meet them. "Mandt, you to do with that." Then came the Metropolitan know I am not easy to deceive. Come, the truth, Nicanor and his clergy, in procession, to bring and the whole truth. Do you think Nicholas the dying Emperor the last consolations of relidoes not know how to die?" "Sire, in forty-gion; and after these appeared the ministers of eight hours you will be either dead or saved." "Mandt, I thank you," said the Emperor, with the utmost calmness. "Now, farewell; let my family come to me.' Then, as the physician was turning away, he recalled him. Mandt, let us embrace, old friend. We shall probably never see one another again on earth. You have been an honest and faithful servant; I shall recommend you to my son." What, sire-not see you again! On the contrary, I hope, and my utmost care "Ah, henceforward your care will be useless. There is nothing left for me but to call the priest, to see my Ministers, and make my peace with God. Human skill can do no more, and I would rather try nothing."

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state, with Count Orloff at their head. At ten o'clock at night the Emperor sent for the officers of his household. His grand, immovable face, now ashy pale, bore the impress of approaching death. Stretched upon that poor camp-bed, he bade them all farewell, and even while dismissing them with kind words, he was interrupted by the death rattle, and his agony had begun. He signed to the attendants to leave the room, and they never saw him again alive. The next day, February 18th, 1855, the grand chamberlain went into the Emperor's room, and on coming out, announced that Nicholas Paulowitch was dead.

The Month.

From Macmillan's Magazine. LITTLE SEAL-SKIN.

THE Fisherman walked up the hill,
His boat lay on the sand,

His net was on his shoulder still,
His home a mile inland.

And as he walked amongst the whin He saw a little white seal-skin,

Which he took up in his hand. Then "How," said he, "can this thing be?

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"A seal-skin, and no seal within?"

Thus pondered he,
Partly in fear,

Till he remembered what he'd heard
Of creatures in the sea,
Sea-men and women, who are stirred
One day in every year,
To drop their seal-skins on the sand,
To leave the sea and seek the land
For twelve long hours,

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Playing about in sweet sunshine,
Amongst the cornfields, with corn-flowers,
Wild roses and woodbine:

Till night comes on, and then they flit

Adown the fields, and sit

Upon the shore and put their seal-skins on,
And slip into the sea, and they are gone.

The Fisherman stroked the fur
Of the little white seal-skin,
Soft as silk, and white as snow,
And he said to himself, "I know

"That some little sea-woman lived in "This seal-skin, perhaps not long ago. "I wonder what has become of her;

"And why she left this on the whin,
"Instead of slipping it on again,
"When all the little sea-women and men
"Went hurrying down to the sea!
"Ah! well, she never meant
"It for me,

"That I should take it. But I will,
"Home to my house upon the hill,"
Said the Fisherman, and home he went.

The Fisher dozed before his fire,
The night was cold outside,

The bright full moon was rising higher,
Above the swelling tide.

And the wind brought the sound of breakers

nigher,

Even to the hill-side,

When suddenly

Something broke at the cottage-door,

Like the plash

Of a little wave on a pebbly shore,
And as water frets in the backward drain
Of the wave, seeming to fall in pain,
There came a wailing after the plash. -
The Fisherman woke, and said, "Is it rain?"

Then he rose from his seat,

And opened his door a little way,

But soon shut it again,
With a kind of awe;

For the prettiest little sea-woman lay

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"Yes, Fisherman," said she.

way,

So the Fisherman had his
And seven years of life
Passed by him like one happy day;
But, as for his sea wife,
She sorrowed for the sea alway,
And loved not her land life.
Morning, and evening, and all day,

She would say

To herself-"The sea! the sea!" And at night, when, dreaming,

She stretched her arms about her, seeming To seek little Willie,

It was the sea

She would have clasped, not he

The great sea's purple water,

Dearer to her than little son or daughter. Yet she was kind

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