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rein to the bitter tide of passions that rioted in his heart. If Belle had come before him at that minute, I think the devil of jealousy would have so risen up in Fairlie's heart, that I believe he would have killed him where he stood. No such temptation fell in his way, however ; he lay on the grass under the cool morning shadows of the roadside trees, with a fiery curse gnawing at his heart, no sound in the quiet country round him breaking in on his weary thoughts, till the musical ring of a pony's hoofs came pattering down the lane. He never heard it, however, nor looked up, till the quick trot slackened and then stopped beside him.

“ Colonel Fairlie !"

The voice went straight through him, like a Minié ball; he sprang to his feet, fancying himself in a dream : “Good Heavens! Geraldine !"

He stood looking at her, his heart beating like a thousand steam. levers, bewildered with her sudden apparition, unable to reconcile Belle's marriage with her and her apparition here, a hundred wild thoughts rushing into his mind.

Geraldine, who had stopped her pony, wanted to be very stately and cold with him, but somehow she couldn't manage it; perhaps she was too pleased to see him.

Well,” she said, with tears in her eyes and petulant anger in her voice,'“ so you have never had the grace to come and apologise for insulting me as you did last week ?”

“For mercy's sake do not trifle with me,” said Fairlie, catching her pony's reins, and holding that small animal in more violently than he was accustomed to from Geraldine's little fingers.

“Trifle ! No, indeed !” interrupted the young lady. “ Your behaviour was no trifle, and it will be a very long time before I forgive it, if ever I do."

“ Stay-wait a moment,” began Fairlie, as she pulled at her bridle.

“ How can you ask me, when, five days ago, you bid me never come near you with my cursed coquetries again?” asked Geraldine, trying, and vainly, to get the bridle out of his grasp.

“God forgive me! I did not know what I said. What I had heard was enough to madden a colder man than I. Is it untrue ?”

“ Is what untrue ?”

“ You know well enough. Answer me, before Heaven, is it true or not?” said Fairlie, fiercely, still holding her pony so that neither steed nor rider could stir.

“ How can I tell what you mean? You talk in enigmas. Let me go." “ I will let

you go


have answered me. “How can I answer you if I don't know what you mean?” retorted Geraldine, half laughing.

“Do not jest with me," said Fairlie, with such deadly pain in his face, that Geraldine tried no longer to get the bridle away from him.

6 Tell me, yes or no, are you going to marry that cursed fool ?”

" What cursed fool ?' Your language is not elegant, Colonel Fairlie !" said Geraldine, with demure mischief.

“ Belle. Would you have met him ? Did you intend to elope with him?"


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: “Geraldine's eyes, always large enough, grew larger and a darker blue still, in extremest astonishment.

“Belle ! -elope with him! What are you dreaming? Are you mad?”

“Almost," said Fairlie, recklessly. “Have you misled him, then tricked him? Do you care nothing for him ? Answer me, for Heaven's sake, Geraldine !"

“I know nothing of what you are talking!” said Geraldine, with her surprised eyes wide open stili. “Certainly I care nothing for Captain Courtenay—how should I?-certainly I have never misled him, or tricked him in any way; and I think, Colonel Fairlie, you might have known me long enough not to have supposed me capable of playing so unladylike a part. Oblige me by leaving my pony's head. I shall be too late home.”

Very dignifiedly and grandly Miss Geraldine spoke, being irritated at Fairlie's enigmatical conversation, but not a bit did he attend to her ;

he only grasped her bridle tighter.

6 You never answered his advertisement then ?"

“ The very question insults me!" cried Geraldine, passionately.“ Let my pony go."

“You never met him in Fern Wood-never engaged yourself to him -never corresponded with him?”

“ Colonel Fairlie, you have no earthly right to put such questions to me,” interrupted Geraldine, with her hot geranium colour in her cheeks, and her eyes flashing fire. “ You have known me from my infancy, you have been intimate for years with papa, you have always seen us acting as ladies and treated as ladies, and you insult me most unwarrantably in supposing me guilty of such low-bred boldness as answering a marriage advertisement, and meeting one of your own officers clandestinely. I. honour the report, whoever circulated it, far more than it deserves, by condescending to contradict it. Have the kindness to unband my pony, and allow me to continue


ride." She struck the pony sharply enough to make it spring forward with a jerk that would have thrown off a less firm hand, but Fairlie's muscles were like iron, and he kept his grasp on the pony so tightly that it reared and then stood quiet. Poor little beast ! it got rough treatment between them, fond as they both were of animals.

“ You shall not go,” said Fairlie, as passionately as she, “till you have answered me one more question : Can you,

will you ever forgive “No,” said Geraldine, with an impatient shake of her head, but a smile nevertheless under the shadow of her hat.

Fairlie shifted his grasp of the bridle from the right hand to the left, and took her hands in his: "Not if you know it was jealousy of him which maddened me, love for you which made me speak such unpardonable words to you?--not if I tell you how perfect was the tale I was told, so that there was no link wanting, no room for doubt or hope ?--not if I tell you what tortures I have endured in losing you—what bitter punishment I have already borne in crediting the report that you were secretly engaged to my rival—would you not

forgive me then ?"

me ?"

“No,” whispered the young lady perversely, but smiling still

, the geraniums brighter in her cheeks, and her eyes fixed on the bridle.

Fairlie dropped the reins, let go her hand, and left her free to ride, if she would, away from him.

“Will you leave me, Geraldine ? Not for this morning only, remember, nor for to-day, nor for this year, but-for ever?"

“No!” It was a very different “No” this time. Her mischievous eyes filled with tears, and she stretched out her hands with their little white gauntlets to him in involuntary supplication. The permission to go was not so palatable, vehemently as she had craved it, and she seemed to relish her liberty very little now it was given to her. Fairlie was soon at the pony's side again it was a happy thing that small quadruped was as quiet as one of Astley's) :

“Will you forgive me, then, my darling?”.

Her fingers clasped his hand closely, and Geraldine looked at him under her hat; her eyes, so like an April day, with their tears, and their tender and mischievous smile, were so irresistibly provocative that Fairlie took his pardon for granted, and thanked her in the way that seemed to him at once most eloquent and most satisfactory. The two in that partie carrée that I DON'T

envy were


and Vivandière, whose patience must have been sorely tried; for the coffee had been many hours cold, and the eggs long hard, and her mother was just sending the grooms off to scour the country, thinking she must have lost her way, or had a fall, when Geraldine saw fit to make her reappearance after her morning ride, and bring Colonel Fairlie home to breakfast with her.

If you wish to know what became of Belle, he fled across the country to the railway station, and spent his leave Heaven knows where-in sackcloth and ashes, I suppose--meditating on his frightful sell. We saw nothing more of him; he could hardly show in Norwich again with all his laurels tumbled in the dust, and all his trophies of conquests laughing-stocks for all the troop. He exchanged into the Z Battery going out to India, and I never saw or heard of him till a year or two ago, when he landed at Portsmouth, a deuced deal wiser and pleasanter man. The lesson, joined to the late campaign under Sir Colin, had done him a vast amount of good: he had lost his conceit, his vanity, his affectation, and was what Nature meant him to be—a sensible, good-hearted fellow. As luck would have it, Pretty Face, who had joined the Eleventh, was there too, and Fairlie and his wife as well, and Belle had the good sense to laugh it over with them, telling that little devil of a Pretty Face that he had intended to give him a thrashing, but gave him instead a vote of thanks for curing his conceit, and assuring Geraldine that scores of pretty women as he had seen up at Calcutta, no one had eclipsed the G. v. whom he had once hoped had answered his memo. rable advertisement. He has grown wiser, and makes a jest of it now; it may be a sore point still, I cannot say–nobody sees it ; but, whether or no, in the old city of Norwich, and in our corps, from Cadets to Colonele, nobody forgets THE LINE IN THE “ TIMES ;" WHO DID IT, AND WHO WAS DONE BY IT.



Two of the most remarkable comets that are mentioned in historyor, more probably, two appearances of the same comet-are those of the years 1556 and 1264; and the coincidence of elements (to use the proper astronomical term), calculated on the observations which have been recorded, has led to the conclusion that the comet of 1556 is identical with that of 1264, and may be expected to return after its long travel of three hundred years.

It has therefore become, for some time past, extremely interesting to anticipate the probable reappearance of this ancient wanderer of space. Antiquity, speculation, and, in some minds perhaps, even a degree of dread, have concurred to give interest to the expectation of beholding a comet which was last seen more than three centuries ago amidst great perturbations in Europe, and which, having shortly preceded the abdication of the Emperor Charles V., came to be distinguished by his name. When the comet which is now visible first appeared, it was thought pos. sible that this visitant might be the great comet in question ; but Mr. J. R. Hind took an early opportunity to state that the elements have no resemblance.

Mr. Hind published in 1848 a pamphlet, in which he stated the result of elaborate calculations into which he had entered, and the whole data on which the identity of the comet of 1556 with that of 1264 has been inferred, and which have been regarded by himself, and also by Sir John Herschel and other astronomers, as strongly in favour of such identity. Mr. Hind added a concise history of former appearances of comets in the middle ages; and the probability that, in 1264 and 1556, the world beheld apparitions of one and the same comet, is in the language of Sir John Herschel) further increased by the fact of a comet of similar orbit, with a tail forty degrees in length, and a head brilliant enough to be visible after sunrise, having appeared at a nearly similar interval, namely, in the year 975, and of the Chinese annalists having observed comets in the years 395 and 104. It is true that if these were appearances of the same comet, its mean period would be somewhat short of two hundred and ninety-two years (the interval between its last and last preceding appearance); " but the effect of planetary perturbations,” says Herschel, "might reconcile even greater differences.'

Some of the English monastic historians, especially William of Malmesbury and Florence of Worcester, on the authority of some Saxon writer or writers unknown, record the appearance of a comet during the autumn of the year 975, which was visible for about eighty days. This recorded comet has, in the opinion of Mr. Hind, a great analogy to the one in question, and is very probably the same comet which appeared in 1264.

The comet of 1556 was observed by Fabricius, astronomer at the court of the Emperor Charles V., at Vienna; and his original observations, together with a chart of the comet's path, were recently discovered; as were also a longer series of observations by Heller, of Nurnberg, embracing a period of fifty-three days—the time for which, as it would seem, the comet remained visible on its last visit, it having been seen early in March, and remained visible until late in April. From the data previously known, Richard Dunthorne (an English astronomer), Halley, and Monsieur Pingré, the French astronomer, and more lately Mr. Hind him. self, concluded that one and the same comet appeared in 1556 and 1264, and might be expected to reappear after the lapse of a similar interval (1848), and the subsequently recovered observations are said to confirm, in a very remarkable manner, the results which had been deduced by Mr. Hind. Meantime, Monsieur Bomme, a Dutch astronomer, undertook the laborious work of calculating what changes the orbit of the comet would undergo in consequence of perturbations by the planets; and his conclusion was recently stated by the Rev. Professor Chevallier, of Durham, to be such as to account for the non-appearance of the comet in 1848. The Dutch astronomer computes its return to have been retarded for ten years and half by those perturbations, or until the close of 1858; and referring to that calculation, the Durham professor said in December, 1856, that “there is a high probability that the comet will reappear within perhaps two years of the period it assigns.” It is proper to quote here what Mr. Hind has said on this subject since the publication of his pamphlet. When the comet that appeared in August, 1853, became visible without a telescope, Sir W. R. Hamilton, in a letter published in the Dublin papers at the time, hinted at the possibility of that visitant being the comet of a long period that was expected by Mr. Hind, who thereupon took the opportunity to explain that the elements of the orbits have no resemblance ; and he adds, “ the comet referred to will probably reappear between the years 1858 and 1861, and if the perihelion passage take place during the summer months, we may expect to see a body of far more imposing aspect than the one at present visible.”

This comet of August, 1853, afforded an example of the enormous volume of cometary matter: the bright nucleus had an actual diameter about equal to that of the earth, while the tail had a length of four million five hundred thousand miles, and a breadth greater than the distance separating the moon and the earth.

The probable aspect and character of the expected comet is not entirely matter of speculation. Nearly all historians who have written on events of the thirteenth century (some of whom were eye-witnesses of the facts they relate) mention the comet of 1264 as a great and splendid object. The terms in which it is referred to indicate that, in apparent size and brilliancy, it must at all events have far surpassed any comet previously seen by the observers. Matthew Paris, the historian monk of St. Albans, says it rose in the east with great splendour, and its tail stretched past the mid-heaven towards the west. It was observed by the Chinese astronomers also; but neither Matthew Paris nor the Chinese astronomers afford anything more definite as to its apparent magnitude. When seen in 1556 the apparent diameter of the nucleus was about half that of the moon, and the tail was of such length as to astonish and terrify beholders. If the comet has not much diminished in brilliancy since the times when its bright nucleus and luminous train alarmed our forefathers—if, in fact, old age shall not have told upon its constitution, and time have thinned its flowing hair—the comet will present an imposing object in our summer

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