Page images
PDF
EPUB

year, at all events, would soon pass away, had thought of providing against such a and I had already settled how delightful a casualty : nobody requires parasols at ten country villa I would procure, and how o'clock at night, and who would think of stylish a curricle I would drive, when I conveying an umbrella to an assignation ? became a happy Benedict. The guardian, The feathers in Miss Hartopp's hat began Mr. Croston, had a country house at Rich- gradually to droop and bend, and the bows mond, and removed thither with his ward of ribbon in Davison's straw bonnet assumed in the iniddle of May. The day after their a sympathetic depression ; no lover appeardeparture, I received a note from a friend ed on the walk, but in his stead came severesiding at the same place, asking me to ral large frogs, visitants for whom both dine with him on the ensuing 'Thursday. I mistress and maid felt the most unqualified accepted the invitation, determined to quit terror and detestation. After waiting half him at an early hour, and wrote to Miss an hour longer, they returned home, cold, Hartopp, under cover to Davison, the Abi- wet, and desponding, Davison entertaining gail, imploring her, at ten o'clock on the the belief that I had fallen into the river, ensuing Thursday evening, to contrive to and been drowned for want of assistance; meet me on a smooth grass walk upon and Miss Hartopp leaning to the opinion which the garden-gate of her guardian that James Crofton had way-laid and muropened. She returned a favorable answer dered me. to me, assuring me that she would meet me The next morning Miss Hartopp had a on the appointed evening, and I considered severe cold, and was not able to leave her my fortune made for life. Now, one of the bed till the middle of the day; she found atrocities of my handwriting was, that I her guardian's son, who had just arrived always wrote Thursday in a way that looked from London, alone in the drawing-room. exactly like Tuesday, and this mistake led Her first impulse was to shrink from him in to the events afterwards detailed to me by horror; her second to elicit confession Davison, and which I will immediately lay from him by a sudden question, or at all before my readers.

events to entrap him into some sort of deAt ten o'clock on Tuesday night, Miss monstration of his guilt; she entered the Hartopp, accompanied by the faithful Da- room, leaning on Davison's arm, and kept vison, stole down the garden, unlocked the tight hold of her, that she might cite her gate, and emerged on the grass walk, which hereafter as a witness in a court of justice. happened to be exceedingly damp and “When did you see William Seyton dewy. Poets are accused of telling many last ?" interrogated the heiress in a deep untruths; they never tell more than when tone. they write about the delightful month of May. “ Last night,” replied young Crofton, Its bright warm mornings and soft balmy very readily. evenings are generally visions of the imagi- " At what hour ?” pursued Miss Harnation. May is, no doubt, very charming topp, fixing her eyes on him with searching in Italy ; but in England, I constantly as- earnestness. sociate an evening ramble in that month “ About half-past nine," returned the with a tooth-ache and a flannel wrapper !

supposed assassin. The wind blew coldly; Miss Hartopp "How guilt betrays itself!" mentally was picturesquely arrayed after the fashion moralized the heiress. of Lucy Bertram, in the opera of Guy Man- “Name the spot on which you encounnering, in a hat and feathers, and a floating tered him," she continued, in a Siddonian scarf; she arrived at the spot just two min- accent. utes after the clock had struck ten, and “ My dear Anne," said the young man, fully expected to find me in waiting for her. looking up with some surprise, “ do you She was doomed, however, to be disap-imagine that I have been fighting a duel pointed; and wrapping her scarf closely with Seyton ?" round her, paced up and down the green “No, I do not,” she answered in meawalk as rapidly as she could, hoping to sured and mysterious tones. warm herself by exercise; but alas! at “I will give you every particular of our every turn, the thick dew of the grass satu- interview most willingly,” said James Crofrated more thoroughly the sole of her deli- ton. Yesterday evening I was caught in cate satin slipper. It was now a quarter a shower of rain in the Strand; and as at past ten, and a small drizzling rain began that moment I rested my eyes on a bill anto fall; neither Miss Hartopp nor Davison nouncing that a celebrated conjurer (or illusionist, I believe, is the fashionable term) in the world would have unanimously decidwas exhibiting his trickeries, I was tempted ed to be an unquestionable Tuesday, and to walk in, principally to procure shelter, enclosed it to me in a blank cover with the but was really very well amused. I had word scored under ! A month afterwards not been long there when Seyton arrived, she was Mrs. James Crofton. and took a vacant place by my side; he Two years elapsed before I fell in love told me, that having an idle evening on his again. Emily Brooks was, like my first hands, he thought that he would come and love, an orphan, but she was three-andsee if he could penetrate into the mysteries twenty, and emancipated from the control of legerdemain; we conversed together of guardians; her fortune was ten thousand very amicably and pleasantly, and even held pounds, and she resided with a family of a piece of tape between us, which the man friends in a country town, where I first beof magic, after cutting through the middle, came acquainted with her while staying on succeeded in re-uniting. I never saw Sey- a visit in the neighborhood. She received ton in better spirits; and I assure you that my attentions favorably. Mr. and Mrs. I neither said nor did any thing to depress Williamson, her friends, had fortunately no them.”

unmarried son; and although the young The frank good-natured openness of the doctor of the town was evidently much young man carried conviction with it : Miss smitten with herself or her ten thousand Hartopp's fear was converted into indigna- pounds, she decidedly gave the preference side her own blighted hopes, slighted affect I was suddenly called up to London on tions, ruined feathers, and soaked slippers ; business, but promised to return in a fortand on the other the conjuror, the crowded night. I felt anxious to write to Emily, audience, and the laughing false one who but was afraid she would deem it a liberty; had so cruelly sported with her feelings. fortunately, however, she was a subscriber

“I do not take the slightest interest in to a public charity, and I resolved to write Mr. Seyton,” she said, tossing her head; to her to solicit her vote for a protégé of “I think him the least agreeable young man my friend George Gordon's. I bought I ever saw in my life.'

some beautiful French paper and a box of “Not quite so bad as that,” said James silver wafers for the purpose: took a newlyCrofton, smiling with infinite delight; “ but made pen, and achieved a much more deupon my word, you show great judgment cently written letter than usual. Before I in your opinion of him; he is not at all de- put it in the post, I resolved to call on serving of the attention of so fair a lady." Emily's uncle, Mr. Drewett, a wealthy mer

“ Davison, you may go,” said Miss Har- chant in the city, with whom I had some topp, sinking languidly on a sofa.

acquaintance. I met him, however, in St. The conversation between the young Paul's Churchyard; he stopped and acpeople lasted for an hour ; when Mr. Crof- costed me in a very friendly manner, and ton entered the drawing-room, his hand was evidently in high spirits. some son advanced to meet him, looking, Mr. Drewett was one of those men who as the Persians say, as brilliant as the sun, seem born to good luck; he had a handand as placid as the moon ;” and Miss Ilar- some wife, pretty children, pleasant friends, topp ran up stairs, and communicated to and a flourishing business; he had only Davison that she had just accepted James one ungratified wish, and this he had for Crofton. Davison instantly wrote to me an years had sense enough to bury in his own account of the affair ; she put her letter in bosom, and never revealed it to any one the post that evening, and it reached me on till the time of its fulfilment. That time Thursday, in sufficient time to prevent me had now come,--Mr. Drewett was a barofrom feeling any inclination to go and dine net,--and when he informed me of his new with my friend at Richmond.

honors, I was quite delighted to think that I wrote to Miss Hartopp under cover to I should be able to send the news to Emily, Davison, explaining the circumstances, and who was much attached to her uncle. Be(forgetting for the time my bad writing) fore I reached home, I met at least a dozen imploring her to refer to my letter, when people, all of whom had seen the new baroshe would find that I had requested her to net that morning, and been informed by meet me two evenings later than the one him of his dignities : and, with the excepwhich she had concluded me to name. She tion of a few sarcastic inuendoes respecting did refer to my letter, found what any jury the restless ambition of some people,"

they really bore it better than people gene-Just then the young doctor hastened into rally bear the good fortune of a neighbor. the room on the wings of love, having pre

I found that I was later than I imagined, ferred trusting to his own speed, rather and had scarcely time to save the post, con- than wait till an elderly, wheezing, raggedsequently I only added in a postscript-looking horse, who could not walk half so " have you heard of the baronetcy of your fast as himself, was harnessed to his gig. uncle Drewett? it has created quite a sen- He entered the room while Mrs. Williamsation in the city;" and remembering son was expressing her fears that Mr. George Gordon's remark that it was impos- Drewett must have been very speculative sible to distinguish my a's from my u's, I and improvident, and a few questions put took especial care, for the first time in my him in possession of the facts of the case. life, that the a following the b in baronetcy “ Miss Brooks must not agitate herself,” should be exceedingly distinct and clear. he said, “nothing is so bad for the health

I will now, as I did on a former occasion, as depression of the spirits." acquaint my reader immediately with cir- Mrs. Williamson rejoined that it was excumstances that only came to my own know- tremely wrong in any one to suffer their ledge at a subsequent period. Emily re- spirits to be depressed, related some anecceived and read my communication; the dotes of the cheersulness with which the substance of a lady's letter is said to be French emigrants bore their misfortunes, contained in the postscript; how truly did and instanced the case of a fascinating that observation apply in the present in- countess in particular, who had been restance to the postscript of a gentleman ! duced from a magnificent château at VerWhat was the horror of Emily to read an sailles, to live upon fifteen pounds a-year inquiry whether she had heard of the bank-in an attic in St. Martin's Lane, and was ruptcy of her uncle Drewett! She gave always the life of every society in which one loud shriek, which brought the whole she moved ! house to her assistance, and then went into Just then the young doctor jumped up, violent hysterics. Lest Emily's sensibility vehemently struck his forehead, and deshould be thought by my readers to be clared he had that moment remembered rather greater than the occasion demanded, that Mrs. Goodwin, who lived five miles off, I will explain to them the reason which and was the most anxious nervous mother made her peculiarly sensitive in regard to in the world, had feared the day before that the commercial prosperity of her uncle. her six children were sickening with scarWhen she came of age, she took possession latina, and, no doubt, was accusing him of of her property of ten thousand pounds, but great neglect and unkindness in not calling on consulting Mr. Drewett respecting the to inquire after them; therefore, as his permanent investment of it, he advised her friend Miss Brooks was doing so exceedto intrust it to him to employ in his busi- ingly well, he must run home without delay, ness, promising to pay her much better in- and order his horse to be harnessed. ACterest than she would gain in the funds ; cordingly he disappeared, not having, as the ruin of her uncle, therefore, involved was his wont, ordered three pale pink her own. Mrs. Williamson called for burnt draughts a day for his patient, probably befeathers, hartshorn, and eau de cologne, sent cause he thought that the means of payfor the young doctor, and then took up the ment for needless luxuries might not in letter, no doubt imputing the hysterics of future be very abundant in the exchequer her young friend to a disappointment in of his beloved. love. She found, however, that the case Poor Emily was completely overcome by was much worse than she had surmised; the coolness and nonchalance of her friends, Emily had confided to her, (and through who, although born and bred in a little her means the whole town had become third-rate country-town, exhibited, it must aware of it,) that she had placed her for- be admitted, all the worldliness of St. tune in the hands of her uncle, and when James's; she requested that a postchaise the poor girl revived to consciousness, she might be immediately sent for, as she was found her affectionate friend sitting by her anxious to go to London, and mingle her with the letter in her hand, and kindly ad- tears with those of her uncle and his family. vising her “not to give way so, but to re- Mrs. Williamson paused for a moment, but member that she had received an excellent remembering that Emily had asked for education, and that it was no disgrace to change for a twenty-pound note the day any body to earn their own maintenance !" before, and that her quarter's board was JULY, 1844.

25

always paid in advance, could not foresee “My dear Emily, what has happened ?" any ill consequences from indulging her she asked. desire, and even graciously commended "O my dear aunt!" replied Emily," you her for it.

know too well what has happened. How “ Perhaps something may yet be saved can you bear the restraint of company in out of the wreck, my dear,” she said, “ and your present unhappy situation ?" it is well to be on the spot, to see what is “What are you talking about, Emily ?" doing ; besides, people in trouble always said her uncle, who had broken from his get on best in the society of each other." companions as soon as he recognized her.

“ They indeed seem to be very unwel- “ All my good friends have met at my house come inmates in the abodes of the happy," to-day to congratulate me on my good sighed Emily, as alone, unprotected, and fortune.” sorrowful, she ascended the steps of the

"Good fortune!" sighed the mystified, postchaise which was to bear her to Lon- bewildered girl, thinking of the wreck of don.

her ten thousand pounds. “I am acquaintShe was a kind, warm-hearted girl, and ed with every thing, uncle; I have come although deeply deploring her own missor- not to reproach, but to console you. This tune, she also acutely felt for her bonora- morning I was made aware of your failure ble and respectable uncle, no longer able in business." to take his station among the good and safe Sir David burst into a loud laugh, and men of commerce, and likewise for her repeated the words of his niece to several aunt, losing the luxuries which long habit of his friends; in a moment, however, he must have made her regard as necessaries, knit his brows, and looked very angry. and for the poor children, some of whom “Some rascal has been spreading slanderwere old enough to value the advantages of ous rumors about me, to injure my credit," affluence, and to feel the deprivations of he exclaimed; " you will, doubtless, give poverty. A few hours brought Emily to me up his name, Emily ?" London, and the chaise drove up to her “ Willingly," replied his neice. uncle's house, in Russell Square, at about She had deposited my letter in a black half-past six o'clock. Sir David and Lady velvet reticule, which, unlike the generality Drewett were on that day entertaining a of ladies, she had not left by mistake on party of friends, whom the baronet had the seat of the postchaise; it was hanging invited to dinner for the purpose of cele- over her arm, and she speedily presented brating his new honors; they were all her uncle with the “ document," as a lawassembled in the drawing-room, and waiting yer in company called it, which identified the announcement of dinner, when Emily, the “slanderous rascal” in question with pale, weeping, and wearied, rushed into the my unfortunate self! room, disregarding all the efforts of one Dinner was just then announced, Emily servant to announce her, and of another to retired to another room, to compose her disencumber her of her cloak. About a spirits and arrange her curls, and my letter dozen portly, comfortable-looking lords of was handed round at the dessert, in comthe creation, and the same number of gaily- pany with the sliced pine-apple and preservdressed, perhaps rather over-dressed ladies, ed ginger. occupied the drawing room ; the lights were “It is the clearest case of defamation I blazing brilliantly. Lady Drewett, in a new ever knew in my life,” said the lawyer. corn-flower blue satin dress, and an elabo- "Here is the signature and address of the rate cap with long blonde streamers, sat slandering party, and also the date of the placidly smiling on her visitors, the picture month and year; the letter is addressed to of good-humor, health, and affluence. Her Miss Brooks, and you are characterized as children were arrayed in all the perfection her uncle Drewett. There is not a mere of crisp book-muslin frocks, and exquisitely obscure insinuation as to any possible inshining hair, and the new baronet was talk- volvement of your circumstances, but there ing to a little knot of friends, and laughing is a distinct statement of your bankruptcy, louder and looking happier than he had with the accompanying comment that it ever done in his life. Emily's appearance makes quite a sensation in the city. The excited great astonishment. Lady Drewett matter must be taken up; it is a duty to advanced to meet her, perfectly horrified at society to do so.” her dusty travelling dress and straw cottage “To be sure, to be sure," chorused bonnet.

three or four of the “fat friends” of the

man

and a

EARTH A GRAVE-YARD.

.-IMUR OF THE PRICE OF FAME.

“Hearts are tonibs

master of the house; "such a thing might she long in making that selection. The happen to any of ourselves; an example lawyer to whom I have before alluded was ought to be made of this young fellow.” intimate at the house of Sir David, and as

“May not Mr. Seyton's assertion be what he was neither fat nor elderly, appeared to the aristocracy call a hoax ?" asked a little some advantage by the side of the other quiet man, who sat deliberately peeling an friends of the family; he was disappointed orange, and had not hitherto spoken. in not being permitted to conduct an action “Sir," replied the new baronet, there for defamation against me,

but recompensed is no intermediate path, in my opinion, be- himself by making love to Emily. In three tween truth and falsehood, and I shall al- months after her melo-dramatic entrance ways hold it the true aristocracy to hold to into the drawing-room of Russell Square, the first, and despise the last."

she became the bride of her Chancery Lane So excellent a sentiment, from a gentle adorer. My affections were not speedily man in his own house, could not be allowed transferred to another. I remained heartto pass unnoticed, and there was a great whole for two years and a half, when I knocking of hands upon the table, and became enamored with my third love, who shuffling of feet beneath it, accompanied was far more dear to me than either of her by sundry exclamations of “Well done, predecessors had been. Sir David-spoken like a Briton."

The next day, instead of being favored, as I had hoped, with an answer from Emily, I received, to my great surprise and annoyance, a lawyer's letter, informing me tha an action for defamation was to be instituted against me at the suit of Sir David BY ELIZABETH vom-,

wiece,

From the Metropolitan. Drewett , I having asserted hisobomo

Silw in a moment the source of the mistake, and determined to Where secret loves are buried out of sight." call on Sir David Drewett without delay, and explain the circumstances to him. I If human hearts indeed are tombs took with me George Gordon, who I felt

Where secret loves are buried out of sight,

O! then I wist the earth one grave-yard is, would be a valuable witness in my favor on

All fill'd with sepulchres, pale, cold, and two accounts; first, because he could depose

white; to the early and hopeless wretchedness of And not less sad, because conceal'd by flowers my hand-writing, and, secondly, because he bright! had passed the preceding evening at my Low, sweet laughter haunted every place, house, and I had told him that I had written

And beauty meets the eye where'er it turns. to Miss Brooks, to ask her vote for the child Spell-bound we view earth's glittering coronals, in whose case he was interested, and that I Nor dream that they can hide sad funeral urns, had informed her of the baronetcy of her wherein a life-consuming fire for ever burns. uncle, with which I had that morning be- But oh! a loving faith shall still be ourscome acquainted. Sir David received my That nouchere all is gloom! explanation, and acquitted me of all evil Each pining heart a rest shall surely find,

The sunshine gild the tomb ! intentions, but told me, with some stiffness and hopes, kepi green by tears, more brightly and sternness, that my mistake might have bloom! occasioned the most disastrous consequences, and that he considered my want of skill in one of the most necessary and important attainments for a young man, who had his way to make in the world, as a serious

THE ROYAL LIBRARY AT COPENHAGEN.- The calamity. I wrote to Emily the next day, Conservators have just completed the catalogue of apologizing for the uneasiness I had unwa- its contents, a work upon which they have been rily caused her, and entreating her permis- engaged for eleven years. It comprises 463,332 sion to call upon her. She never answered volumes, without the pamphlets and single sheets.

It is to be printed and published at the expense

of my letter. She did not return to Mrs. the government. The manuscripts in this library Williamson's, but staid with her uncle till amount to about 22,000, of which only between she could select another home. Nor was 4,000 and 5,000 are yet catalogued. --Athenæum.

J. WESTLAND MARSTON.

« PreviousContinue »