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her son Caliban was as handsome as Apollo, she would have been pleased, witch as she was. Perhaps, too, Joseph Sedley would overhear the compliment-Rebecca spoke loud enough—and he did hear, and (thinking in his heart that he was a very fine man), the praise thrilled through every fibre of his big body, and made it tingle with pleasure.

Then, however, came a recoil. “Is the girl making fun of me?" he thought, and straightway he bounced towards the bell, and was for retreating, as we have seen, when his father's jokes and his mother's entreaties caused him to pause and stay where he was. He conducted the young lady down to dinner in a dubious and agitated frame of mind. “Does she really think I am handsome?” thought he, "or is she only making game of me?" We have talked of Joseph Sedley being as vain as a girl. Heaven help us! the girls have only to turn the tables, and say of one of their own sex, "She is as vain as a man,” and they will have perfect reason. The bearded creatures are quite as eager for praise, quite as finikin over their toilets, quite as proud of their personal advantages, quite as conscious of their powers of fascination, as any coquette in the world.

Down stairs, then, they went, Joseph very red and blushing, Rebecca very modest, and holding her green eyes downwards. She was dressed in white, with bare shoulders as white as snow---the picture of youth, unprotected innocence, and humble virgin simplicity. “I must be very quiet,” thought Rebecca, “and very much interested about India."

Now we have heard how Mrs. Sedley had prepared a fine curry for her son, just as he liked it, and in the course of dinner a portion of this dish was offered to Rebecca. "What is it?” said she, turning an appealing look to Mr. Joseph.

“Capital,” said he. His mouth was full of it; his face quite red with the delightful exercise of golbling. "Mother, it's as good as my own curries in India."

“Oh, I must try sonie, if it is an Indian dish," said Viss Rebecca. “I am sure everything must be good that comes from there."

"Give Miss Sharp some curry, my dear,” said Mr. Sedley, laughing.

Rebecca had never tasted the dish before.

“Do you find it as good as everything else from India ?" said Mr. Sedley.

"Oh, excellent !" said Rebecca, who was suffering tortures with the cayenne pepper.

"Try a chili with it, Miss Sharp,” said Joseph, really interested.

"A chili," said Rebecca, gasping. "Oh, yes!" She thought a chili was something cool, as its name imported, and was served with some. “How fresh and green they look,” she said, and put one into her mouth. It was hotter ihan the curry; flesh and blood could bear it no longer. She laid down her fork. “Water, for Heaven's sake, water!" she cried. Mr. Sedley burst out laughing (he was a coarse man, from the Stock Exchange, where they love all sorts of practical jokes). “They are real Indian, I assure you,” said he. "Sambo, give Miss Sharp some water."

The paternal laugh was echoed hy Joseph, who thought the joke capital. The ladies only smiled a little. They thought poor Rebecca suffered too much. She would have liked to choke old Sedley, but she swallowed her mortification as well as she had the abominable curry before it, and as soon as she could speak, said, with a comical, goodhumoured air

"I ought to have remembered the pepper which the Princess of Persia puts in the cream-tarts in the Arabian Nights. Do you put cayenne into your cream-tarts in India, sir ?"

old Sedley began to laugh, and thought Rebecca was a good-humoured girl. Joseph simply said—“Cream-tarts, Miss ? Our cream is very bad in Bengal. We generally use goats' milk; and, gad, do you know, I've got to prefer it!"

"You won't like ct'crything from India now, Miss Sharp," said the old gentleman; but when the ladies had retired after dinner, the wily oid fellow said to his son, "Have a care, Joe; that girl is setting her cap at you."

"Pooh! nonsense!” said Joe, highly flattered. "I recollect, sir, there was a girl at Dumdum, a daughter of Cutler of the Artillery, and afterwards married to Lance, the surgeon, who made a dead set at me in the year '4—at me and Mulligatawney, whom I mentioned to you before dinner -a devilish good fellow, Mulligatawney-he's a magistrate at Budgebudge, and sure to be in council in five years. Well, sir, the Artillery gave a ball, and Quintin, of the King's 14th, said to me, 'Sedley,' said he, 'I bet you thirteen to ten that Sophy Cutler hooks either you or Mulligatawney before the rains.' 'Done,' says I; and egad, sir--this claret's very good. Adamson's or Carbonell's?”

A slight snore was the only reply: the honest stock-broker was asleep, and so the rest of Joseph's story was lost for that day. But he was always exceedingly communicative in a man's party, and has told this delightful tale many scores of times to his apothecary, Dr. Gollop, when he came to inquire about the liver and the blue-pill.

Being an invalid, Joseph Sedley contented himself with a bottle of claret besides his Madeira at dinner, and he managed a couple of plates full of strawberries and cream, and twenty-four little rout cakes, that were lying neglected in a plate near him, and certainly (for novelists have the privilege of knowing everything), he thought a great deal about the girl upstairs. "A nice, gay, merry young creature,” thought he to himself. “How she looked at me when I picked up her handkerchief at dinner! She dropped it twice. Who's that singing in the drawing-room? 'Gad! shall I go up and see?"

But his modesty caine rushing upon him with uncontrollable force. His father was asleep: his hat was in the hall: there was a hackney-coach stand hard hy in Southampton Row. "I'll go and see the Forty Thicies," said he, "and Miss Decamp's dance;" and he slipped gently away on the pointed toes of his boots, and disappeared, without waking his worthy parent.

“There goes Joseph," said Amelia, who was looking from the open windows of the drawing-room, while Rebecca was singing at the piano.

"Miss Sharp has frightened him away,” said Mrs. Seda ley. "Poor Joe, why will he be so shy?"

CHAPTER IV
The GREEN SILK PURSE

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OOR Joe's panic lasted for two or three days; during

which he did not visit the house, nor during that

period did Miss Rebecca ever mention his name. She was all respectful gratitude to Mrs. Sedley; delighted beyond measure at the Bazaars; and in a whirl of wonder at the theatre, whither the good-natured lady took her. One day, Amelia had a head-ache, and could not go upon some party of pleasure to which the two young people were invited; nothing could induce her friend to go without her. "What! you who have shown the poor orphan what happiness and love are for the first time in her life--quit you? never !” and the green eyes looked up to Heaven and filled with tears; and Mrs. Sedley could not but own that her daughter's friend had a charming kind heart of her own.

As for Mr. Sedley's jokes, Rebecca laughed at them with a cordiality and perseverance which not a little pleased and softened that good-natured gentleman. Nor was it with the chiefs of the family alone that Mis, Sharp found favour. She interested Mrs. Blenkinsop by evincing the deepest sympathy in the raspberry-jam preserving, which operation was then going on in the Housekeeper's room; she persisted in calling Sambo "Sir," and "Mr. Sambo," to the delight of that attendant; and she apologised to the lady's maid for giving her trouble in venturing to ring the bell, with such sweetness and humility, that the Servants' Hall was almost as charmed with her as the Drawing Room.

Once, in looking over some drawings which Amelia had sent from school, Rebecca suddenly came upon one which caused her to burst into tears and leave the room. It was on the day when Joe Sedley made his second appearance.

Amelia hastened after her friend to know the cause of this display of feeling and the good-natured girl came back

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without her companion, rather affected too. “You know, her father was our drawing-master, Mamma, at Chiswick, and used to do all the best parts of our drawings.”

"My love! I'm sure I always heard Miss Pinkerton say that he did not touch them-he only mounted them."

"It was called mounting, Mamma. Rebecca remembers the drawing, and her father working at it, and the thought of it came upon her rather suddenly-and so, you know, she"

"The poor child is all heart," said Mrs. Sedley.

“I wish she could stay with us another week,” said Amelia.

"She's devilish like Miss Cutler that I used to meet at Dumdum, only fairer. She's married now to Lance, the Artillery Surgeon. Do you know, Ma'am, that ouce Quintin, of the 14th, bet me

“O Joseph we know that story," said Amelia, laughing. "Never mind about telling that, but persuade Vamma to write to Sir Something Crawley for leave of absence for poor dear Rebecca :-here she comes, her eyes red with weeping."

"I'm better, now," said the girl, with the sweetest smile possible, taking good-natured Mrs. Sedley's extended hand and kissing it respectfully. "I low kind you all are to me! All,” she added, with a laugh, "except you, Mr. Joseph.”

"Me!” said Joseph, meditating an instant departure. "Gracious Heavens! Good Gad! Miss Sharp!"

“Yes; how could you be so cruel as to make me eat that horrid pepper-dish at dinner, the first day I ever saw you? You are not so good to me as dear Amelia.”

“He doesn't know you so well,” cried Amelia.

"I defy anybody not to be good to you, my dear," said her mother.

“The curry was capital; indeed it was," said Joe, quite gravely. "Perhaps there was not enough citron juice in it: no, there was not."

“And the chilis ?"

"By Jove, how they made you cry out!" said Joe, caught by the ridicule of the circunstance, and exploding in a fit of laughter which ended quite suddenly, as usual.

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