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moned, and my duties commenced. I made an effort at severity in cross-examination, and really elicited some contradictions. By and by they called the woman in mourning. She took the stand with a humble dignity. Her form was rather bent, and as she drew aside her veil, it disclosed a mild blue eye, while her smile, occasionally awakened, was so calm, that a sunbeam seemed resting on her countenance. She was the mother on whose behalf the action was brought, and she gave her testimony with a modesty and a subdued firmness, which I cannot forget. There was so much of dependency in her situation; she was alone in the world, and not very long for it either; and when they turned to me to re-scrutinize what she had deposed, I was glad to shake my head, and let it pass. My client frowned I remarked at my so doing, and Fleming touched his arm and smiled. I felt at that moment that nothing could recompense me for failure.

'Witnesses were examined; the various counsel finished their arguments; and my turn came to conclude the defence. I had arranged a long line of corroborating circumstances; every point had been patiently considered; and yet foreign thoughts, and a sensation of inadequacy, continually annoyed me. I recollected the saying, 'My son, be for my sake a good man,' and what I had to say, appeared cold and artificial. Still, the magistrate's attention, and the half-respectful and half-sneering gaze of Robert Fleming, urged me along. 'Like most young advocates, I was unusually explicit; touching on the various points minuted on my ample brief, drawing the intended inferences, and commenting on the opposing testimony. But my words wanted the life which, though all-important, no touch of my wand could awaken. Once to suspect we are doing ill, is a positive bar to doing otherwise. I knew I had not said what I ought, or said it as I ought, and I sat down provoked and disheartened.

'I recollect my client's expression of disappointment. Although he had no right to anticipate a very splendid argument, some parts of the defence led him to wonder at the want of regularity and power which marked it as a whole. Neither he nor Fleming made any remark, while the case was submitted to the jury, who, without much delay, returned a verdict for the plaintiff. Thus ended my first professional effort.

'THEY have given it to the widow's children!' said I, as I sat alone in my office, the evening after the unfortunate trial. The events of the day were passing through my mind quickly and painfully. I could not but fancy that my failure was somehow connected with the resolution I had formed, on undertaking my profession. I had looked to that day as the great stepping-stone, perhaps to political eminence, and it had given way beneath my feet.

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Presently Robert Fleming entered. He was not a usual visitor, and I thought his calling at that time peculiarly unfair. We conversed carelessly awhile about ordinary topics. A little anxious lest I might appear down-hearted, I alluded, in an apparently accidental manner, to the business which had occupied the court.

'He turned his deep black eye toward me, and for a time made no

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reply. At length he said, 'You were remarkably unfortunate.' 'Oh!' I replied, with forced unconcern, I hardly hoped any thing else; it was up-hill work.'

There was silence for a moment. I fancied it would interest you, 'he added, rising to go away, 'and to tell the truth, I recommended you to the executor. We had heard of a certain prudish promise, and longed to see how firmly it would be kept. But I perceive you have got the better of it.'

'Oh, entirely!' said I, parting from him with a smile, while the tears came to my eyes, and my heart ached with vexation, that, of all other men, he had sent the temptation, watched my weakness, and seen it work my failure.

'While I was brooding over the events of that unlucky day, and not long after my visitor's departure, a servant put into my hands a note from Judge Lynde. The magistrate was peculiarly condescending, and begged I would meet a few friends at his house on the ensuing evening, in a strain of happy compliment, of which, more than other man, he was master. The clouds seemed breaking


'I said that Lynde was a wary and a contriving man; but his art was perfect, for it was invisible. He was a little past fifty, his hair gray, and spare upon his forehead, and his smile one of the most open in the world. Yet at times his brow would contract, and a shade cross his countenance; but it passed away in a moment, and an expression was resumed, as bright as the moon-beam - as beautiful, and as cold. He was enough a man of the world to dazzle one whose ambition was to win the world's applause.

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During the evening, he took several opportunities of alluding to the difficulties of the late trial; explained with considerable candor his political views, and urged others, as particularly necessary for the generation coming upon the stage.

'The mistress of the house, and others of the family, possessed the same elegant cordiality. The second daughter, Fanny Lynde, was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. She was very

tall, finely modelled, and perfectly graceful. A slight degree of hauteur mingled itself in her still expression, but was lost in the animation of her speech. The mental activity of her father, without his darker musings, enlivened her conversation, and a natural wit, which romps, perhaps, freest, when unencumbered by a heart, gave a charm and freshness to her society. She sought, and secured, and was satisfied with the admiration of gay life. I thought I had never heard any one converse more gracefully.

The image of the magistrate's beautiful daughter haunted me long after I had left the brilliant scene which she adorned. I was to have written to the widow that evening, but the words came slowly, and I found the ink dry in my pen, and myself contrasting the fascinating girl by whose side I had so pleasantly galloped through the evening, with my old friend Anna Carlton. Anna would have quivered like an aspen-leaf in the merry throng, which seemed but to add strength and grace to the young thing I had been conversing with. Then Anna's simplicity, frankness, and self-devotion came to recollection, and (I think of it to this day with pleasure,) for once the

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'MONTHS elapsed; friendships were multiplied; business increased in proportion; my visits at the politician's were frequent, and by degrees, reports buzzed about right merrily. Every one has seen some person or other take a fancy, as the phrase goes, to another less eminent or powerful than himself. To such a fancy was Lynde's condescension to me attributable. He complained of my absence from his house, and frequently, before joining the elegant group in the drawing-room, would explain to me in his study the propriety of urging myself forward in the conservative ranks, and, mixing with his counsel more or less flattery, anticipate the certain triumph of our party principles.

'I have seen in my day men of talents panting for distinction, and men of eminence proud of their achievements; but never one so tinged with the changing hues of ambition, now glittering with success, now bright with hope, and now dark with despair. Every thing was secondary; literary application was necessary to eminence; affability was politic, and hospitality a stepping-stone; the present nothing; the future always anticipated, never attained; his mind working incessantly beneath the oil of social intercourse thrown upon the surface; his energies, and means, and hopes, tending toward one point, and that political advancement. Years ago, I could not see all this as clearly as I now see it.

Touching the hours spent in the magistrate's family, I have nothing now to say. A light, dazzling but not very pure, plays about them in memory; and associations burning to myself, but cold to any other, are enkindled when the embers of recollection are disturbed. They are added to the record of pleasures alloyed by selfreproach, and giddy enjoyments overcoming the resolutions of better moments. Broken projects, unfinished aspirations, and shattered hopes, are the ruins of those days.

In time, I began to be rallied on my good fortune in gaining Lynde's confidence, and on my familiarity at his house. My fortune, Fleming and others said, was made. Reports, which arose naturally out of affairs, were diligently circulated, and, strange to say, with such absurdities I was gratified. Business increased, and a letter to my mother, of this date, thus concludes: I really quite fancy this town life. Professional stumbling-blocks have been gradually removed, and our social intercourse is delightful. I am troubled at accounts of your debility. * * Regards to Miss Carlton.' 'One person only felt fully the freezing conclusion of that letter. Nearly a year of bustle and ambitious exertion followed; unusual success made me arrogant, and led me at last to think of more quiet days the amusements and society of the country village, and the simple household of the widow-coldly and seldom. Scheming, contrivance, and success, occupied the present, and pointed to the future.'

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'It was a very hurried letter, requesting me to meet him without delay. As I entered them agistrate's study, the last rays of day-light

were lingering there, faint and few. The large apartment, strewed as usual with heaps of papers, opened volumes, letters and мss., was perfectly still. I never could conceive of that room being the scene of lifesome gayety, but only of deep thought, and complicated projects of ambition. Lynde, holding a letter which had lately been received, sat half-buried in a large arm-chair, and on my entrance, greeted me with even unusual warmth.

'We had not met for several weeks: circumstances had made me refrain from his house; and in that period, stormy times had passed. There had been several official appointments; one or two foreign ambassadors had been elected; and more than one applicant was vexed and disappointed. Whispers were about, that Lynde had coveted such a distinction; but I had heard them increduously, as a thousand other idle tales.

'The politician walked through the apartment for several minutes; not as usual making an effort at casual conversation, but engrossed with his own hurrying reflections. I had never before seen him resign the command of his feelings.

'Egerton, you have known me more privately,' at length he said, still walking rapidly backward and forward, and smoothing the white hair from his forehead, 'than such a difference in years generally warrants. Your intimacy in this family has been very great; God knows, I approve of it, and its consequences!' He paused, seeming to doubt whether he could, even for once, draw thoughts and feelings from the very bottom of a well, deeper than whose surface the light of human sympathy seldom penetrated.

"I am an old man,' he added. The world call me eminent, and most men ambitious. But what I had been, had not the substance been transformed to shadow in my grasp, no one has conceived! Do they not mutter some thing about the late embassy to the Court of St. James? Do they say I am disappointed?'

'I replied that vague reports had been circulated touching the


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They lie, by the light of heaven!' He paused; and smiling, added, in an under tone, I hope we understand each other?' "If years of intercourse,' said I, 'have not recommended me to your confidence

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Ay: whatever I have felt concerning that appointment, is locked up here. I am sinking below the horizon, but he who has gained the distinction, has hardly reached the meridian. The honorable station of foreign secretary at the same court is yet to be filled, and here, and here, and here,' he said, turning over letters and documents, 'are assurances that my interest will weigh much in the choice.'

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He moved closer toward me, and with a searching but half-hesitating glance, discovered the project which had been occupying his mind, adjuring me to avail myself of this opportunity of advancement. I wondered a little at his eagerness, but he hurried on, and taking my hand, exclaimed: It may be yours without a struggle! Observe the ambassador; scrutinize every movement every motive; use warily the confidence - he must needs repose and secretly and faithfully report all to me. By aid of a little ingenuity in disposing of a


few late events-by watching the future - I fancy he will not long adorn his coveted station.'

"Become a spy!' said I, with some indignation.

Nay, merely a political opponent; a friend in the smile and courtesies of life in heart only an enemy. You cannot say I often solicit favors. If I fall of a sudden, remember he balked me of the honor, and act as I would act!'

'A hundred emotions rushed across my mind. I thought something about self-respect, and official corruption, and moral independence, and about being hurried away by temptation. But the spark had fallen, and as the train which years had laid, burned and flashed along its way, the last relic of good resolution was consumed. I took his hand, and bound myself to second him. Other matters were then touched upon, which I may be allowed to pass over. 'God be thanked!' said he, as we parted, 'I fancy the girl too will be a rare flower at the Court of St. James.'

'EVERY one is pleased to be thought a rising man; and notwithstanding an occasional sneer at my intimacy with the veteran politician, the terms began to be applied to me pretty frequently. In a few weeks, the appointment from which he promised himself materials for revenge, fell, as he had prayed, upon me. It was my first great step on ambition's ladder, and although after years elevated me more, my head was never again so giddy. Favors greater than the political distinction hung upon the choice, and I entered Lynde's mansion for the first time, the accepted suitor of his beautiful daughter.

'All this now seems like a dream; I can hardly realize how years have gone, and hopes, and good desires, and prospects, have changed. 'Solemn fools nodded their heads on learning the result of the intimacy;' several who had hardly known me when business was dull, were especially cordial in their congratulations; and Fleming averred that he had always foreseen that I should meet with good luck. To say the truth, when I looked upon the majestic creature leaning on my arm, and found myself appointed to a responsible office at a foreign court, and yet a young man, I half doubted if all were reality. But the brightest sun casts shadows, and somehow a train of dark recollections would mingle themselves with the splendid images, which used to flit before me, and despite myself, compel me to pay regard to them. I dreamed now and then of standing in my mother's chamber, and in the brightest gayeties of life, a fitful flash of memory would sometimes show me in the past, the happy country girl, poor Anna Carlton. But I threw into my letter to my mother, announcing the state of affairs, all the affectionate warmth for which once, alas! I had no need to strive. I fear to her it was the form, and semblance, and elegance of regard, without the soul. Before she replied, I went to visit her.

THE cottage door was not opened as usual by Anna Carlton, but by a neighbor, whose countenance brightened when we met, in spite of her efforts at a little ceremony. The widow, she said, had been

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