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saying that, although it pleased him to converse with her sometimes, and to learn from her the secrets of palmistry, and other little things which he persuaded her to teach him, he had no knowledge of the trance into which she could throw him at will ; and that, during that period, he could tell her what people were doing anywhere in the world, and what were their thoughts; that she was exercising this gift of sorcery, the power of which belongs only to the gipsies, and to few among them, when Miss Dorothy surprised her; that she hastened to send Mr. Frank, still unconscious, back to the library, so that, when he returned to himself, he knew not that anything had happened ; and thereby she was able to deceive her mistress.
In the name of Heaven, child !' cried Mr. Hilyard in affright, "hast thou such a power over me ?
Jenny swore she had none, nor was like to have if she tried ; and that she would never try upon him, being afraid of detection; nor upon his honour, Mr. Forster, as in duty bound; nor upon her mistress. But that, as to this young gentleman, he forced himself upon her, coming continually to her, and begging to have the future revealed, either by cards, or by the lines of his hand, or the shape of his head, or the circumstances of his birth ; and then nothing would satisfy him but to know, and to learn for himself how, and by what rules and observations, these things were done ; so that he laid himself directly open, as it were, to the Evil One; and when the young witch, for so one must now think her, essayed her art upon him, he fell a ready victim. Lastly, the girl implored Mr. Hilyard, with many tears, and on her bended knees, to forgive her, promising that never again would she speak with Mr. Frank, nor practise upon him this truly diabolical art, on penalty of being instantly dismissed the service of Miss Dorothy, and haled before a Justice of the Peace to be dealt with as a witch,
Well, Mr. Hilyard, as he afterwards confessed, was greatly concerned at this narrative, which surprised as well as terrified him. First, he endeavoured to convince the girl that she was in the hands of the Evil One,
who would infallibly, unless she repented, bring her to such sufferings as she could not yet even dream of; next, that it was the height of presumption for her to exercise this dreadful power upon a young gentleman; thirdly, he promised to consider what was best to be done, and, if he could, to hide the fact, on her faithful promise to abstain for the future, to fast once a week for six months for penance, and to pray night and morning to be delivered from the Devil. So he dismissed her.
Next,' he told me afterwards, 'I fell to thinking how dreadful a thing it must be to possess this power, and how constant a temptation there would be to use it for one's own advantage, or to gratify malice, revenge, and private spite : so that, if all possessed it, for one who would use it for the public good à hundred would use it for their own selfish ends. Further, that an unfortunate creature under this power, and compelled by this influence, might commit the most horrible crimes and know nothing about it. Why, many a poor wretch may have been hanged for things done by command
of her who had bewitched him. And as for me, I confess (which shows my unworthiness) that I forgot the wickedness of tempting the Lord and the sin of Saul, and longed to consult so strange an oracle on my own account. From this I was protected by Grace.'
For my own part, I resolved to say nothing about it, thinking that we should leave Dilston in a few days, and that meanwhile I would watch diligently, and prevent the meeting together in any place of the girl and Mr. Frank. But she gave me no more trouble, and I think there was not another meeting before we went away.
HE LOVES ME.
Of all pleasant things upon the earth, there cometh an end in time. Nay, the more pleasant are the things, the shorter they are, and the faster do they hasten away. This is wisely ordained lest we forget in the present the joys which await us, greater than mind can conceive or tongue can utter, in the world to come. Whereas I, for my part, by foretaste, and as it were by looking through the gates of Paradise (which I certainly was permitted to do while my lord bestowed his affections upon me), am privileged above my less fortunate fellowcreatures to know something of the grateful, happy, and contented heart of those who wear the golden crown and play upon the golden harp.