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"I did not hear it. I was watching you; I feared that you were ill; indeed you look so now."

"Oh, not at all," said Juliet, in a faint voice, "I am only tired. I am not quite used to all this gaiety."

"You are more than tired; surely you are ill. What can I do ?"

"Nay, if you will not be offended, the best thing you can do, is to leave me."

"Offended? Will you sit here?" and he was

gone.

Juliet, gratified by his instant compliance, hastily left the room. In her own chamber she could find relief in tears. Why, why, she asked, had she left her home, why occasioned all this trouble? Yet with her sorrow was mingled one gleam of joy he loved her, surely he loved her! She thought upon his words, his voice, his looks, -he loved her, and all would be well. And had she, then, forgotten-alas, happiness was not for her. Could she, who knew her father's history, her own position, could she, dared she think thus? And again she gave way to her sorrow.

CHAPTER X.

Was his wealth

Stored fraudfully, the spoil of orphans wronged,
And widows who had none to plead their right?
All honest, open, honourable gains,
Fair legal interest!

SOUTHEY.

JULIET had cause to weep-her's was, indeed, a gloomy prospect. Her father, Mr. Arden, was an apparently wealthy merchant of London. Enjoying the sunshine of outward prosperity, yet a prey to never-ceasing apprehension and neverending dread. All his sorrow may be summed up in one word-one word, comprising how much of human agony and anguish-the child of necessity, the parent of care-of care, and of suffering, and sorrow-a a deadly incubus, a crushing weight, paralysing the faculties, withering the heart, embittering the spiritsthat word, who can doubt it? is-debt. It was

his, like Sisyphus, to roll, or rather to attempt feebly and ineffectually to roll, the awful stone up the insurmountable hill. Each temporary advance that strength and energy might obtain, only made the recoil more terrible. It was his to fill, or to attempt to fill, the bottomless cup; it was hisbut similes are useless. They cannot illustrate reality, they fall infinitely short of its excess. And yet we read, and with interest and wonder, the tales of the martyrs and victims of old, indifferent and careless of the living suffering around us. Of course !—for it is common, it is true.

Debt is the supposed consequence of improvidence, of idleness, of misfortune. In some cases it is a deserved punishment, in others a sad calamity. But it is also, at times, as in the case of Mr. Arden-and that is mainly why we would introduce it here-it is another evidence of the awful power of might. It shows how right is but as dust in the balance, when the iron hand weighs down the other scale. Without entering into details, suffice it to say, Mr. Arden was the proprietor of a very prosperous business, in which Sir Stephen Alsinger had once been a chief partner. When his father was made a Baronet, he relinquished the concern, which passed to other hands. Some time afterwards Mr. Arden, then young in business, joined

the establishment, and after awhile became sole. manager. His predecessor had involved himself in great debt with Sir Stephen, his former partner, and many others; but Mr. Arden, very sanguine, and, perhaps, over-confidently felt secure that such a concern under his management, would soon be enabled to pay off all encumbrances.

came

Time passed, and some of the creditors beimportunate. Then he listened to the advice of Sir Stephen, and agreed to increase his debt to him, by borrowing from him enough to satisfy all the rest. And then this kind friend, his only creditor, would wait for his convenience, and give him time. The offer was eagerly accepted. In his joy at being relieved from these pressing demands, and in the full conviction that he would shortly be enabled to pay off every thing, Mr. Arden agreed to all Sir Stephen's demands; and, as he was a very sharp man of business, these were not very moderate. At first all seemed plausible enough; but the truth was soon apparent. This sole creditor was worse than twenty others; all Mr. Arden's exertions could only pay the very exorbitant and increasing interest he had exacted, nor was this all, for, connected with him in business (Sir Stephen, though too aristocratic for such affairs in London, still preserved a considerable share in a foreign con

cern) Mr. Arden found he had to pay tithes in every direction. This fairly crippled his powers, and retarded his exertions, yet had he no redress. Any appeal to Sir Stephen only elicited a bland smile, and a hope that they might soon be able to close the connection-a hope which he certainly had no cause to wish realised, for his money could not have been invested more advantageously-and the victim had only to submit. Sir Stephen had the power to claim the money at any moment, and such a claim must bring to his debtor inevitable ruin!

Mr. Arden was endowed with a strong intellect, acute perception, great common sense, and unwearying patience and perseverance: all these qualities were most necessary for one so situated. Too late he saw himself in the spider's toils. He understood all, and resolved to conquer. He did not give way, he did not despair: he felt it was a question of time, and resolved to endure to the end. Maintaining his friendship and connexion with Sir Stephen, he devoted all his energies to achieve his freedom. By his excellent management, and constant exertions, his business prospered, and all seemed well. He was regarded as rich and flourishing. In order to preserve his credit, he was compelled to keep up an appearance above his means, at least, above his real

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