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THE BORDER EAGLE

and he laughed aloud—a mellow, ringing, Irish mirtb, that startled all the drowsy echoes and pompous stillness of Downing-street.

"You hit hard and straight, my young Sir Fulke? Very dangerous habit, sir, and very expensive: get rid of it! Go before the commissioners to-morrow, and pass your examination. I'll give you an attacheship, if yon like it better, bat I don't think you'll do for diplomacy! I shall see you again. Good day to you."

The minister nodded, and left the Board-room with as much dash and lightness in his step when he ran down-stairs, as if he were still a Harrow boy; and, in that two minutes' interview in the Foreign Office, Erceldoune had made a friend for life in one who—if he had a short political memory, and took up policies, or treaties, and dropped them again with a charming facility and inconstancy, as occasion needed—was adored by every man he employed, and was as loyal to his personal friendship's as he was staunch to his personal promises.

True to his word, he gave Erceldoune his choice of an attachéship, a messengership, a commission, or one of those fashionable and easy appointments in Downing-street where younger sons and patrician protégés yawn, make their race books, discuss the