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hurry. I do not suppose that there is any real likelihood of his going to sea again soon?'

· Yes, there is,' said Mary, keeping her eyes fixed upon her work, lest Thomasina should think that she wished to note the effect of her words. “Anthony heard from Admiral Burton this morning. He says

that there are several vacancies to fill up in the ships on the China station, and, as he has sent in Robin's name to the Admiralty, he may expect his orders every day.'

'I wonder that you should talk of it so complacently,' said Thomasina; “I should not like my brother—you yourself, when Dick's turn comes, would not like him to go out to fight with barbarians. We have everything to lose and nothing to gain.'

• If you call honour and glory nothing. Robin's heart is in his profession, and he will think himself fortunate in the chance given

him of winning fame, or at all events of seeing service.

* You seem to care very little about his going, Polly

• I do care a good deal, however. But it would be absurd and useless to make a grievance of his getting what he asks for. Anthony is very good, and says that he would spare me for a few days to go to Cheshire and see Robin at home before he sails, but I know that he and the children would be uncomfortable, and it is better not to think of it.'

• In that case your brother may find time to run down here?

. I do not think it likely, rejoined Mary; he could not afford the time or money to come here again so soon.'

Mary had got her roses, but Thomasina had not got the satisfaction for which she

Robin was going out of the country



without a sign of regret or a message of farewell, and she could not even feel sure that it was on her account he went. However that might be, she would not allow the unwarrantable interference of others to estrange their hearts. If he truly loved her -and Thomasina did not start as the possibility presented itself to her mind—he would, he must, find some means of declaring his passion; and for such a declaration she resolved to wait patiently for months or, it might be, for years.

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