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oh, my darling, you will break my heart if you cry so bitterly.”

“You can call me that, and yet how I treated you !" she murmured, catching his hands and holding them fast. “I deserted you, beguiled by a handsome face and a flattering tongue. You never flattered me, Edward."

“Yes, Fredericka, you did desert me, but I have never forgotten you; you have suffered terribly of late, perhaps far more than I shall ever know; but if my love can atone-if you think you could ever love me

“Ever!” she interrupted. “Oh, Edward ! but I must not

“ listen to you yet; be my friend for a few short months, and then

" Then, Fredericka ?

“You must wait until the time comes,” she answered gaily; "and here is my boy; you must try to like him for my sake.”

The nurse entered the room as she spoke, carrying a handsome little fellow of about two years old. The interruption was not welcomed by Sinclair. The love he felt for Fredericka had not yet, at least, been extended to her child; for was not the handsome, merry little fellow also the child of the man who had robbed him of the mother, who had ill-treated her, and then left her to be pointed at as the suicide's wife? Of course, Sinclair's morbidly sensitive nature exaggerated the ill effects of the wild act which had made Fredericka a widow. She was not pointed at. The English and Americans in the hotel seemed to think that her husband's death was about the best thing that could have happened to her, and were tacitly agreed that she could take very good care of herself.

But Sinclair, confined to bed with his wounded arm, knew nothing of all this. He was miserable about Fredericka, whom he pictured to himself as alone and utterly crushed by the calamity which had befallen her; and when at last he was able to seek her out, it gave him an unacknowledged pang to find her looking as placid as if no high wave of trouble had lately swept over her life. It was, perhaps, inconsistent of Sinclair to feel unconsciously disappointed that the awful death of Captain Douglas should have, to all appearance, made so slight an impression upon Fredericka; but then it would have gratified him to have been able to bring her gradually into a more peaceful state of mind; to have drawn her tenderly from the contemplation of her past misery, and gently to have opened out

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before her sad eyes the great happiness which his faithful love could give. It was a little startling, therefore, to find her willing to accept a comforter, but not in any abject need of one.

Poor Sinclair! he felt almost in the way as Mrs. Douglas took the laughing child in her arms and exhibited him to her old friend; but ere long the boy grew fretful, and was dismissed, and Sinclair breathed more freely; but he was ashamed to confess, even to himself, how much he hated to see the little fellow in Fredericka's arms, and he excused himself in his own mind by saying that there was so much he wanted to know about the events of the last fortnight, and which he could not inquire into while the mother was taken up with her child.

But for some reason inquiry did not seem easy to him even when they were again alone; however, he at length hazarded à question very timidly, being fearful of causing pain or agitation to his companion.

“Had you anyone to look into things for you?” he said; were there not some affairs to settle ? Could I be of any use

now?"

Oh, no, no, thank you.” She spoke very eagerly, and the agitation he had so much feared to create was visible in her heightened colour and troubled eyes. Everything has been done, I assure you."

And Sinclair was satisfied; he could not know by instinct, and happily there was no one to tell him, that a gentleman who introduced himself as confidential clerk to Messrs. Harcourt and Ferrers, solicitors to the Douglas family, had come from England as quickly as possible—the suicide was in all the London evening papers the day after it occurred-after the death of Captain Douglas became known, and had taken possession of all the effects left by the dead man, had paid the expenses of the funeral and the hotel bill; and then, without taking any notice whatever of the widow and her child, had gone back to his employers; nor had there been since his return any communication between the friends of the dead man and Fredericka.

Sinclair knew nothing of all this, so he asked a few more very natural questions. “Had that unfortunate, that unhappy man, your-Captain Douglas-"

She looked up quickly as he paused after “your.”

“Did he leave no property? nothing which your son will inherit, no provision for you - not that any is necessary,

Fredericka?"

“He did not leave sixpence,” she answered quickly and decidedly. “He had gambled away everything, and I believe if he had lived for another month he would have been beggared but for my money. I have two hundred a year that my poor father left me; it was all he could do, I believe, as the property was entailed, so there will always be enough for Harry and

me."

Sinclair did not reply, but he was sitting beside her, and he laid his hand fondly upon her arm. The action was in itself a question, and she looked at him and repeated, “ Yes; quite enough.”

“For a time,” he answered softly; "only for a time, Fredericka.”

Then another thought occurred to him, and again he felt grieved to remember how little he knew of the recent life of this woman whom he loved with all his heart. He saw with her now but the one child, this baby-boy; but surely he remembered to have heard—and it was the only news which had reached him of Fredericka after her desertion of him—that there had been a girl born within the first year of her marriage. Where was that child now? Had she died, or was she at school, or with her father's friends in England ? He felt sure she was dead, or the mother would have mentioned her, so he decided not to ask any questions—why should he add to the suffering which his poor darling had already gone through? So letting all that was puzzling and unexplained sink down into undisturbed sleep, Sinclair and Mrs. Douglas began to talk of England—of Sinclair's travels of life in sundry curious old foreign towns; and so agreeable did he find her that the afternoon wore on to evening, and a loud bell clanging through the house called the inmates to the table d'hôte.

Sinclair started up.

“I do not dine at the public table,” Mrs. Douglas said, smiling, as she held out her hand, which she allowed to rest in Sinclair's fervent clasp; "and for obvious reasons I must not ask you to share my lonely meal. Good-bye, dear friend."

He stooped down and chivalrously kissed the little hand he held.

“I accept the title for the present,” he said; and there was deep feeling in his voice and in his eyes as he turned and left her.

* What a good man, was her comment, as she watched him, herself unseen, from the balcony. "Too good to join his

. fate with mine;” and when Fredericka came back into the room she was crying bitterly.

66

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The Romance of Surgery,

BY ÆSCULAPIUS.

INTRODUCTION.

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THE proverbial statement that "Fact is stranger than fiction” differs from most similar sayings, in that it contains much more than a half-truth. It may be that the boldest or wildest flights of imagination, and soarings of fancy, may conjure up or create narratives which will be as astounding as they must almost of necessity be incredible. Such romances certainly enthral the reader for the time being, and then their object is served ; but when one knows that, however extraordinary a tale may appear, it is nevertheless founded on fact; and if, moreover, the

, aim of the story be to impart a modicum of instruction plus the facts which, unexplained, would savour strongly of pure imagination, the mental impress, it is permissible to conceive, will be more permanent and satisfactory. For such reasons, in these narratives, the prime purpose of light literature--viz., to amuse

as well as the subsidiary one, to inform, will both meet with due consideration.

Talented Samuel Warren has most truly said: “It is somewhat strange, that a class of men who can command such interesting, extensive, and instructive materials, as the experience of most members of the medical profession teems with, should have hitherto made so few contributions to the stock of polite and popular literature. The Bar, the Church, the Army, the Navy, and the Stage, have all of them spread the volumes of their secret history before the prying gaze of the public, while that of the Medical Profession has remained hitherto, with scarcely an exception, a sealed book. And yet there are no members of society whose pursuits lead them to listen more frequently to what has been exquisitely termed

The still, sad music of humanity. It is perfectly true that there is no more fertile field for the littérateur in which to delve than that which lies uncultivated in the regions of surgical and medical experience; and it is equally correct that no medical man has yet essayed to enlighten the public on matters which, from their very humanity, cannot fail to be deeply interesting and instructive. Medical men are usually too absorbed in the anxieties and practice of their professional duties, and are, moreover, so unused to wield the pen in any domain which is foreign to the work of their lives, that there is good excuse for them; and there is also excellent reason for those popular authors who are in search of stirring plot and thrilling incident for having neglected to explore so rich and varied a territory. The fact is, that to do justice to such subjects, an individual must combine that which is rare, a large and varied medical experience with the pen of a ready and graceful writer, and the man who could snatch much time from the acquisition of the former to sedulously cultivate the latter, has yet to be born, and is more likely to fail in both than to obtain celebrity in either. Mine is the experience—but the gentle goose-quill is strange to me, and should I sometimes wield it clumsily, let my shortcomings of execution be excused for the sake of my honesty of intent. If I sigh in vain after the entrancing style of a Warren or a Poe, I may console myself by the reflection that I am fortunate in the possession of that in which they were deficient. I allude to the fact that they were not medical men, and consequently had no large medical and surgical experience on which to draw.

Warren was for a few years only among medical men. not prepared to say if he were only a student, or mixed with them, or whether he ever qualified for the practice of the profession ; but this I know, that powerful and delightful as his

; writings are, it is soon obvious to a medicai man that the purely medical portions of his works are not the touches of an experienced practitioner. In justice to him, it is correct to add, that possibly he may purposely have neglected to be very accurate in his medical pictures, since disease and agony are often merely loathsome, while Sin in its higher phases is not only deeply interesting, but by the false glamour of imagination, may be made more seductive than could be pictures of health and

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