If the reader could call back the flight of time some twenty years, and with an Ariel's wing transport him or her self on board the homeward-bound P. and O. steamer Elephanta, he or she would, on a certain evening between the hours of 7 and 8 p.m., or rather on most evenings at that time, have seen assembled in the saloon, near the piano, some twenty persons, ladies and gentlemen, standing, sitting, or lounging about. In the centre of the group stood Captain James Ward, the commander of the vessel, a tall, thin, wiry man, with handsome, but weather-beaten, features, who had been for many years in her Majesty's Navy, and retained in all respects the manner and bearing of a gentleman. On the Captain's right hand sat Lady Jervois, the young widow of old General Sir Thomas Jervois, K.C.B., and a very pretty sample of widowhood the Lady Sarah was. Her mourning became her wonderfully, and showed the graceful outlines of her figure to perfection—a figure so beautifully proportioned that the most rigid censor could find nothing to object to, unless it might be a slight tendency to embonpoint, which many regarded as an additional charm. Generally Lady Jervois bore her recent loss with beautiful resignation; sometimes, indeed, the piquancy of her observations or replies showed that her vivacity, if subdued or scotched by affliction, was not altogether killed; and as the world at large, and especially small worlds like those on board ship, will ever build on slight foundations, the universal opinion seemed to be that she would not long remain a widow. The two ladies next in place to the Lady Sarah were Mrs. Smythe and Mrs. Forbes; the former of these ladies sat on the Captain's left hand, and the latter next to Mrs. Smythe; both possessed pleasing features, and were good-looking persons, and both estimated the value of their respective positions to a hair's breadth.