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"Oh! clever enough; but surely you don't believe it?"

"What, he made it up you think?"

"Most likely he did: he is capable of anything."

Arbridge did not join in the general applause: -his friend turned towards him.

"Well, Charles, you look very grave; this is against your principles, I suppose ?"

"It is, indeed. Why it was a clear case of bribery. Do you call that an election ?"

"Of course, all is fair in war, and an election's a war you know-or at least a battle."

"And how are the people represented ?"

Why they gave their opinions: they gave their votes."

"But their votes were bought their opinions biassed."

"Now I am not going to argue with you, Charles; you know I cannot bear it; but I must just tell you my opinion on the matter. We hear a great deal about bribery and corruption; and many who do bribe are ashamed to confess it. Now I go to work openly, I say it is quite right and proper."

"You do not mean it! I know you better."

"Pray let me finish :—what is it you want? The honest, unbiassed suffrages of pure and

honourable electors, very well; now do you suppose pure and honourable electors can be bribed? Of course they cannot: hence bribery does not corrupt it does not hurt the good; and as for the bad, we know well enough they will be paid, they only vote for those who give them most money; and, therefore, it is a duty, an imperative duty to prevent them from doing wrong-that is, voting with the enemy, by paying them to do right—that is, vote with yourself."

"A specious argument, certainly; it's a pity you were not a lawyer."

"I suppose that is a compliment, or at least it was meant for one, so thank you. But pray let us change the subject, the ladies are all quite angry with me, I am sure. Lady Catherine, let me lead you to the piano,-you will dispel the gathering clouds.”

The circle broke up, and in a few moments all were variously employed. Lord Hewiston approached the fair girl with the pink ribbon ; his manner became more earnest-his voice more tender.

"Miss Arden, I'm afraid you are quite tired of politics. The conversation has not been very amusing."

"I must confess I was rather surprised at all I heard."

"Agreeably so?"

"I understand so little about it, that I am no judge; yet I will own I was disappointed."

"You mean about the election ;-then I'm afraid I stand very low in your opinion. You think me foolish—perhaps dishonest ?"

"I see you expect to be complimented," said Miss Arden, striving by an affected gaiety to conceal the embarrassment she felt, for the ardent manner of the young Lord said more than words. "I see you expect to be complimented, but I shall disappoint you. Perhaps I did think younot very wise."

"Ah you do not mean it! Appearances are deceitful, you know. I trust to your penetration; can you not see that those who seem the gayest and most trifling, often feel the deepest? If so, you will understand me."

"I think you will find it a dangerous practice," she replied, determined to misunderstand him. "The very best and wisest can hardly afford to pass for other than they are."

Lord Hewiston was silent a moment--then he suddenly asked:

"Do you admire the times of chivalry, Miss Arden ?"

"Really I cannot say. They seem very romantic

and magnificent at a distance; yet I would hardly wish to revive them."

"Should you not like to see a tournament; to award the prize to the victor?”

"I am afraid I should only feel pity for the vanquished."

"He would be the real gainer then! But if you are so very pityful you will not refuse my request. I am going to enter the lists, as it were. Now let us revive the chivalric usages-the ladies of old gave guerdons to their knights; give to me this beautiful ribbon I prize so much!"

"I find I quite misunderstood you; I thought you admired the old customs?"

"So I did! so I do!"

"Then can you compare one of those gallant tournays to these insignificant elections?"

"Nay, you judge harshly, and I mistook in thinking you had any pity."

"Juliet, Juliet !" cried Lady Seraphine, approaching, "I have been looking for you everywhere; will you play the Spanish duet? I am so anxious to try it."

Miss Arden could not refuse her friend; indeed she felt half glad to be relieved from her embarrassing téte-à-téte; yet she felt no wish to play, above all, before him. As she approached the

piano, she saw him no longer, and she almost hoped he had left the room; her hopes were however frustrated as soon as formed. Lady Seraphine struck a few chords and then exclaimed:

"But who will turn over? No! you will not do,-it's a most difficult affair, I assure you. Oh! you are there, Lord Hewiston,—will you be good enough?"

And Lord Hewiston approached, and turned over the pages. Poor Juliet was sadly grievedat a little distance it would have been different, Seraphine played with sufficient brilliancy to conceal the hesitation of her imperfect notes, no one would perceive her numerous defects. Now he was beside her he watched the whole, and her trembling fingers could scarcely perform their duty. It was over, and Lady Seraphine, a splendid performer, and one not too modest to exhibit her great talents,-immediately turned the duet into a solo, and Juliet eagerly rose from her seat. Lord Hewiston was at her side, and conducted her away. There was no vacant chair near at hand, and they walked towards the further part of the room, without saying a word.

"Did you like the music?" at length asked Juliet, feeling that any thing would be better than this silence.

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