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was fluttered. There was a great deal of “My dear, you never spoke to me in truth in what Mrs. Lee was saying. She that way before. Nobody ever said yet was smarting a little from Paul's indif- that I'put up with it. I have always— ference to her niece, and he was gone away “Now, now, Aunty,” said May, springand had disappointed her. She had no ing from her corner at last, and putting longer his interests to provide for. Neither her arms round the old lady's neck,“ you did that stray duke, whose interference know very well that you put up with it had once appeared so inevitable, seem to because you could not marry the person be on visiting terms at Camlough after you liked; and I love you for doing it, and all. And it might be a long time, in- I mean to do the same.” deed, before another fine young man with Do the same !" echoed Miss Martha, in twenty thousand a year should come court- astonishment. And then she saw that ing pretty May at Monasterlea. By-and- May's eyes were wet with tears. bye, Aunt Martha faltered forth a con- "The very same," said May, laughing. ditional consent to Mrs. Lee's proposed " And you must promise to say nothing plan. She would talk to her niece, and if more to me about this matter; but try to the child could be persuaded, the marriage get Mrs. Lee to take her poor son away. should take place.
It is quite time that we two old maids May perceived this yielding of her aunt had this house to ourselves again.” with dismay and resentment, and the cere- On Friday morning, as May walked mony of the talking over produced no down the garden path, a gentleman met satisfactory results. Miss Martha, on this her coming towards the house. occasion, found her sitting in the furthest dressed like a clergyman, but carried a corner of her room under the sloping wall, gun. He took off his hat and introduced with her hands locked in her lap, and her himself as a friend of Mrs. Lee, who had mouth tightened up into a straight line of come by appointment to see that lady. determination.
May bade him welcome, and accompanied “I know what you are coming to say, him to the house, knowing very well that Aunt Martha,” drawing still further back here was the parson come to marry her. into her corner, but speaking loud and She conducted him to the parlour where plain. “I never expected that you would go Christopher was sitting, and did not think over to the enemy.
it advisable to awake Mrs. Lee, who had “The enemy, my darling ? Indeed, there slept longer than usual, in consequence of is no enemy. I am just going to ask you much trouble and excitement, and many to think seriously of the thing. The young wakeful nights. man is good and amiable, and will make What passed between Christopher and an excellent husband. My May would be the parson has never been recorded. After a lady, and could go and come when and they had been for some time shut up towhere she liked.”
gether, May saw, from an upper window, " I don't want to go, nor to come,” said the two men walking side by side down May, “ only to stay where I am.” And the path to the gate. Christopher was she locked her feet together, as if in that leaning on his stick, and walked slowly, identical corner she had resolved to live and looked downcast but dignified. The and die.
parson was nodding his head and talking "I should no longer have any anxiety briskly, and as he went away shook hands about providing for your future.”
a second time with Christopher over the ** Never mind that, Aunty. I can turn gate. Then Mr. Lee returned slowly to milkmaid any day."
the house. * You shall not need ; but what I mean Soon afterwards Mrs. Lee came to light, to say is, that a good husband is a treasure and held private converse with her son for not to be met with every week.”
half an hour. There were sounds of weep“But I don't want a good husband every ing from the parlour during this time, and week; nor any week; nor a bad one at last Christopher led back his mother to either. How nicely you have done with the door of her own room, where she reout one yourself, Aunt Martha !”
turned to bed, and would take comfort “Oh, of course, if you desire to be an from no one. Miss Martha sat with Chris. old maid,” said Miss Martha.
topher the rest of the day, while May kept "I do not desire it. I desire nothing of aloof, feeling like a culprit. In spite of the kind. But I had rather put up with it, all she knew to the contrary, it seemed as as you have done, Aunty, than sell myself, if she must be to blame for Christopher's for even twenty thousand pounds a year.' mishap.
Towards evening she ventured to show round her head and shoulders. May seeing her face in the parlour. Aunt Martha had these, a merry idea sparkled up through all left Mr. Lee to take a nap in his chair, but the troubles in her mischievous head. She the young man was wide awake when May tied on the apron, and threw the shawl came stealing in. She brought him a vase over her head, wrapping it well about her of the latest flowers, including the very face. She turned up her long dress and last rose of summer, as a needless peace- made the apron very conspicuous. Then offering, and a vain little temptation to she went out of the door, and set off make him glad. Christopher was not at running across the fields. war with her, but he could not be glad. Paul, meanwhile, walking along the He smiled over the flowers and thanked her meadow path, stopped at the stile to take for her trouble; and then he had a little a last look at the moonlit ruins, and the more to say.
cottage with the red lights in the windows, “I am sorry and ashamed of all the and thus caught sight of (apparently) trouble
have had with us,” he said. Bridget coming running to overtake him, “ It was a monstrous thing to torment you with her white apron flying, and her head as my mother and I have done. I beg of and shoulders swathed up in the identical you to forgive and forget what has passed. shawl which he, in his character of pediar, We shall leave you to-morrow, full of gra- had bestowed on her. May was at that titude for all the kindness you have shown moment thinking also of the pedlar, and to a sick man; and by-and-bye I shall set thinking delightedly that she was going to to work and be a new creature. Will you trick Paul as cleverly as Paul had once give me your hand in token that we are tricked her. friends ?”
“Oh, musha, sir !” she said, as she Right willingly,” said May, giving her stopped, panting, beside him, and mimickhand and feeling sorely distressed. Chris- ing Bridget's voice," but ye do step out fast topher's eyes filled with tears, and he an’ sthrong! long life to ger honor! Sure raised her fingers to his lips. While she the breath is gone from me wid the runnin' thus stood beside him and he kissed her | An' the misthress waitin' the tay on yer hand, there was a witness of this scene of honor; an' begs wid her compliments that forgiveness and farewell. The leaves flut- ye will come back at wanst, sir, an' not go tered at the window as a shadow came way in sich a hurry.” among them, and then quickly disappeared. Paul's heart beat fast, and she conld see Christopher saw nothing, for his face was him flush up in the moonlight. It seemed turned from the window; but May had to him that this was adding insult to glanced up quickly and seen-Paul. injury.
She snatched her hand from Christopher “I am much obliged to your mistress," with a little cry. “What is it ?” he said, he said, “but I could not think of intrudfearing he had offended her; but she said, ing myself on the family at such a time.' "Oh, nothing !" and muttered something · Tħin sich a what time, yer honor?" about the window, so that he thought she “Why at a time when you are prepar: had seen a strolling beggar; but May was ing for a wedding,” said Paul. “You will gone from the room before he could make please take back my good wishes and up his mind. She nearly ran down Bridget, farewell.” who was bringing in the tea-tray and the "Oh, but plase yer honor, the misthress'll candles, and then stopped in the ball, and not be satisfied wid that for an answer. assured herself that she ought to go to her An' the weddin's not to be till—to-morrow,
What, hide in her own room said May, with a mischievous delight in when Paul was outside, hurrying away, tormenting him a little longer. “An' we're never to come back any more! He had not so busy as ye think. She wants to see come at an unlucky moment, and had seen yersel. She's despert anxious to see you ;" what might make him think that he need emphasising Bridget's favourite word. not come again. She wrung her hands in “So the wedding is to be to-morrow,
is an agony of indecision, and finally flew it? Well, tell your mistress I congratulate down the passage to her own room. the bride; and I certainly shall write to
But at the end of the passage there Miss Mourne—the elder lady, I meanwas an open door through which the moon before I sail from the country. was shining, and just hard by there lay on “An' ye won't come back, sir?” said a bench a white apron belonging to Bridget, May, feeling blankly that she had gone too and a large woollen shawl of vivid colours, far in humouring his fancy about the wedwhich the handmaiden was wont to wrap ding.
“ No, my good girl; and I am sorry for “ Then you are only trifling with this giving you so much trouble. You will take poor man and his wonderful fortune-just this little present from me to buy you a as you are trying to make a fool of me!" new dress."
The moonlight gleamed vividly a moMay was dazed with her utter failure. ment on a little white wrist and hand, as She had just enough presence of mind to May tossed up her handful of thistle-down know that she ought to keep up the into the air; and then she turned suddenly character she had assumed; she must ac- round upon Paul. For one moment she cept the money, and Bridget should be the looked the image of womanly indignation, richer for it. But May quite forgot that and opened her lips to speak her mind though she had borrowed Bridget's shawl, in good earnest; but suddenly her mood Bridget's hands were at home, and she held changed. Without saying a word she threw out a hand which was unmistakably her Bridget's shawl once more over her head, own, and which Paul knew as well as he dropped a prim curtsy to her unmanageknew her face. How could brown buxom able lover, and set off walking as fast as Bridget give forth such a bit of snow into she could towards the house. the moonlight ?
Upon this Paul regained his senses im“What is this? May!” cried Paul, mediately, and found that he was not at looking down at the little hand, as if it all prepared to turn about and continue his had been a thing not of flesh and blood. way towards Australia, without further ex
“ There, I am caught!” said May, throw- planation of the state of affairs at Monasing back the shawl from her face. “ And terlea. His pain had made him rude, and I could cry for vexation, only it is so at least he could not go without offering an ridiculous.'
apology. He started off to follow May, and, “ What does it mean?” asked Pau). with a few swift strides, came to her side.
“ It means that Bridget wanted to thank May !” he cried fervently at her ear; the pedlar for her shawl,” said May, drop- but May tripped on, and did not appear to ping a curtsy. “That is all it means. An' have heard any one speaking just at her now, plase, sir, shall Bridget take back back. your message to her misthress ?”
“ May !” he cried again. “Speak to “I feel that I ought to be highly flat- me! You must not leave me in this way. tered by this mark of attention from Mr. You must give me some explanation of the Lee's bride,” said Paul, with some scorn things I have seen and the stories I have in his face, as he drew back a little, as if heard." in disgust, from the very lovely figure “ She was spakin' to yer honor long which the moonlight shone upon.
enough,” said May, talking over her “Don't call hard names if you please,” shoulder as she still sped along.
“ As for said May, “I am not accustomed to it. I me, I'm only Bridget, an' I'm goin' home never was called a bride before in my life." wid my message.”
“This is strange conduct,” said Paul, “For Heaven's sake stop a momentsternly, "for a lady who is going to be Bridget !" cried Paul. married to-morrow.
“ What have ye got to say to Bridget ?” “It would be a little odd in that case,” she said, slackening her pace a little. said May.
“I want you to tell me something about "Would be? Why, do you forget that your young mistress. Will you swear that you have just told me that the wedding is she is not engaged to marry Mr. Christo be to-morrow ?”
topher Lee ?" “So it is,” said May, plucking the
feth I will !" thistle - down that grew_by the stile. “That she never was engaged to him ?” “Barney Fagan and Judy Lynch are to be By my troth I will !" married in the morning. Tenants of Aunt That she does not care about him, Martha's. Bridget is to be bride's-maid.” except as a friend ?"
“Pshaw !” said Paul, impatiently, with “I never swore so much in all my life a stamp of his foot. “Have not I spoken before ; but I'll swear that too. Is there with the parson who was brought here any more?” especially from Dublin to perform a mar- That he did not ask her to marry riage at Monasterlea ?”
him?" “ Have you ?" said May. "How simple “I couldn't swear that." you are, both you and he. It is only in Well, then, will you swear that she romances that one hears of a wedding refused him ?” without the consent of the bride."
“ Ay, will I !”
· By my,
“ And why was the parson brought from in his ears and head, and seems to have Dublin to marry them ?”
seen nothing but the lumps of chalk and " Och ! sure that was but the crazy fint lying side by side at the bottom of the fancy of a poor mother in throuble.” Channel. Things are very much improved
“One word more, Bridget. Why did your since then. We go under the sea, down mistress refuse to marry this rich man ?" a broad flight of stairs, dressed with our
“ Thin that's a saycret of her own. If usual elegant simplicity, and without the ye want to know that ye must ax hersel’.” smallest trouble in our head or ears. More. “ May !"
over, on arriving at our destination, instead “ Paul!”
of being relegated to the company of a stupid “ For Heaven's sake stop, and speak to diver, we find a learned and enthusiastic me in earnest for a moment. Is this all guide awaiting us; and, instead of lumps of true that Bridget has been swearing ?” flint and chalk, we see around us all kinds
“I would not keep a servant who would of fish and other marine animals bronght swear against the truth, Mr. Finiston.”' together with great difficulty, watched
“ Will you answer me one more ques- over, nourished, and preserved with untion, as May, not as Bridget? Why have wearied care, and affording to the natural you refused to marry Mr. Lee ?”
history student greater opportunity for “ For a great many reasons. A great study and inspection than he has ever many more than I have time to tell you previously met with. For we are under
The tea will be waiting, and I must the sea at the Crystal Palace Aquarium, give an account of myself.”.
and our companion is Mr. W. A Lloyd, “ The tea waiting! I declare it shall wait its excellent superintendent. until I hear my sentence from your lips, It is curious to note the difference which May! Do you remember all I said that has taken place in the principles on which last evening four weeks ago ?”
aquaria are constructed since the erection “Yes; I remember it. You were very of the Marine Aqua-Vivarium, as it was uncivil.”
called, in the Zoological Gardens of the “I was mad. I am an unhappy person Regent's Park, a description of which to have anything to do with. I am of a was published in Household Words nearly dangerous nature, uncertain, and moody." eighteen years ago. Truth to tell, the
you think I am so stupid as not to knowledge of the subject was then very have found out all that long ago ?”
limited; it was known that marine and “And in spite of all that, May, will you fresh-water animals could be kept alive marry me?"
in unchanged sea or river water by the “I will, Paul. That is, if you would action of growing vegetation, but the like it very much.”
vegetation was expected to do too much, Like it! Oh my darling!”
and accordingly in those days aquaria " But the tea, Paul! The tea will be were kept in light and
warm places. cold. And the whole house will be turning almost, in fact, under the condition of out with lanterns to look for me."
conservatories, while the tanks themselves Nevertheless the tea went on cooling for containing the collection were glazed on at least ten minutes longer ; and when May all sides so as to admit as much light as slipped in at last to take her seat behind possible. Moreover, no care was taken to the teapot she was rebuked as she deserved observe the proportions of the tanks, and by her Aunt Martha.
hence the water in them was piled up in “ I met a friend, Aunty,” she said ; “and tall masses instead of being spread out in he is coming in to see you."
shallow ones, so as to absorb as much at" A friend !” said Miss Martha; and then mospheric air as possible by surface conPaul appeared.
tact. The result was that the collections were kept too warm, and the water not
having in its too high temperature power UNDER THE SEA.
to contain a sufficiency of oxygen, the
animals died rapidly. An attempt was The last gentleman who, in the interests made to increase the amount of oxygen by of this periodical, made a pilgrimage under unduly stimulating the vegetation under the sea, was lowered down in a diving- excessive light, but the consequence was bell from the Admiralty Pier Works at that the plant life grew too luxuriantly and Dover, was dressed in a costume apparently choked up everything ; the water became modelled on that of the wicked smuggler green and dirty, and quite unfit for the in a transpontine drama, had acute pains / maintenance of animals. This being the
result generally arrived at, both in public of the public, there are a workroom, a instrtutions and private houses, it is not to steam-engine and boiler-room, a receptacle be wondered at that the aquarium mania, for the heating apparatus, two storerooms, which began in 1853, died out in England, an attendants' gallery running from end to after feebly fighting for existence during end, and an office. One side of the prin
cipal gallery is divided into eighteen large Not so in Paris, however, where, in 1860 tanks; through the glazed side of each you and 1861, at the Jardin d'Acclimatization, look into a kind of rocky cavern, alive with Mr. Lloyd, our present curator, introduced monsters of the deep, whose learned names aquarium keeping in a much better manner. you can read on a ledge before you, but He lessened the quantity of glass in every with whose personal appearance you have tank from four pieces to one piece, and hitherto only been familiar in connexion decreased the amount of light and heat, with fresh salad or melted butter. Here, thereby at once tending to keep the vege- in separate compartments, are our old tation to its proper service, that of being an friends the sole and the plaice; the whiting, auxiliary only for the supply of oxygen, or whose normal state it does not appear to be rather for the decomposition of the cars to have his tail in his mouth; the lobsters, bonic acid gas evolved by the animals, the who do not seem quite so ill at ease as when carbon being absorbed by the plants, and they are wedged together on a corner of the oxygen set free for the animals' use. the fishmonger's slab; the crawfish, hobFurther, by keeping the sea and fresh bling up and down his sanded floor, so water in perpetual motion day and night like the pantaloon whom we saw in last in streams, Mr. Lloyd was enabled to in- night's pantomime; the filmy shrimp, refinitely increase the oxygenating surfaces miniscent of Gravesend, where he is spoken exposed to the air; and he also hit upon of without his “h,” and devoured in large a better way of introducing the vegetation quantities with tea; and the greedy prawn. which, at that time, was put in either grow. There are about twenty thousand gallons ing on stones, or rooted in shingle or sand. of salt water contained in these tanks, This last discovery Mr. Lloyd shall tell in while the large reservoir running from his own words. “One day I saw bright end to end of the saloon holds eighty bubbles of air rising from a corner of a thousand gallons more. The sea-water in drinking glass in a bird-cage, the corner, the tanks, which is maintained at a unidifficult to get at, being left uncleaned. The form temperature of from fifty to sixty sun was shining on the glass where the degrees, is kept in good order by being bubbles were rising, and I suspected them in constant circulation, being pumped into to be oxygen gas, so scraping away a little of day and night from the large reservoir below. the green stuff from the glass and examining A double set of machinery; two boilers, each it under a microscope, I found it was spon- of four horse power, two steam-engines, taneously growing vegetation. Hence- each of three horse power, and two of forward, therefore, beginning in Paris, I Forbes's patent pumps; is devoted to effectdepended only on the self-coming plants, ing this circulation, one of each article the germs of which abound in all waters, being at work while the other is in reserve. and need only exposure to light to make this sea-water, which needs thus never to the plants themselves appear." These, and be changed, year after year, and which other improvements, were developed in an weighs a million pounds, was brought up aquarium built under Mr. Lloyd's super- by the Brighton Railway at merely nominal intendence by the Zoological Society at rates of cost, through the kindness of the Hamburg, and opened under his manage- general manager, Mr. Knight. The pipes ment in 1864, and which, at the time of its through which the water passes are made construction, was the best specimen of its of vulcanite or hard india-rubber, incorclass in Europe, and still remains the best rodible by sea-water deposit, and with the one on the Continent. Neither in size nor water forced from the main pipe into allthese arrangement, however, is it to be compared tanks through jets is mixed a great quantity to the establishment at Sydenham. of air, which, in a cone-like cloud of minute
The aquarium is at the northern, or, as it bubbles, can be seen forcing its way to the is more generally called, at the "tropical" bottom, and thus aërating the tank as the end of the Crystal Palace, on a portion of body of the sea is aërated by the rush of the site ravaged by the fire of 1866, and the passing waves. It is observable, also, occnpying ground nearly four hundred feet that the ventilation everywhere is remarkin length and seventy feet in breadth. Be ably good, and that in the entire series of sides those portions open to the inspection sixty tanks (for in addition to those we