« AnteriorContinuar »
to write or draw himself, and he was compelled to em- To his active habits, Mr Loudon joined great method ploy both an amanuensis and a draughtsman. Still, and love of order. He was also most punctual in busithough he had only the use of the third and little finger ness, open and upright in his transactions, and a lover of of his left hand, he would frequently take a pen or a truth. His firmness and almost stoical fortitude under pencil, and make sketches with astonishing vigour, so very trying circumstances, is thus related of him by a as fully to explain to his draughtsman what he wished friend:to be done.
“ The morning that Drs Thompson and Lauder called In 1826 he established the Gardener's Magazine, be- upon him for the purpose of amputating his right arm, sides publishing in succession a number of other works they met him in the garden, and asked if he had fully and pamphlets; and in 1828 commenced the Magazine made up his mind to undergo the operation. “Oh yes, of Natural History.
certainly,' he said; “it was for that purpose I sent for His first introduction to his future wife has something you;' and added very coolly, but you had better step in it characteristic.
in, and just have a little lunch first before you begin.' About this time, says Mrs Loudon, Mr Loudon formed After lunch he walked up stairs quite composedly, talkhis first acquaintance with me. My father died in 1824, ing to the doctors on general subjects. When all the and finding, on the winding up of his affairs, that it ligatures were tied, and everything complete, he was would be necessary for me to do something for my sup- about to step down stairs, as a matter of course, to go port, I had written a strange wild novel called The on with bis business; and the doctors had great difficulty Mummy, in which I had laid the scene in the twenty- to prevail upon him to go to bed. second century, and attempted to predict the state of « As a man of industry, he was not surpassed by any improvement to which this country might possibly arrive. one. Deducting for the time he has been poorly, he has, Mr Loudon chanced to see the review of this book in the during three-fourths of his literary career, dictated about Literary Gazette, and, as among other things I had men- five and a-half printed octavo pages of matter every day tioned a steam plough, it attracted his attention, and he on an average. He has been frequently known to dicproeured the work from a circulating library. He read tate to two amanuenses at the same time. He often used it, and was so much pleased with it, that he published, to work until 11 and 12 o'clock at night, and sometimes in The Gardener's Magazine for 1828, a notice of it under all night. It may not be amiss to mention here, as ilthe head of “Hints for Improvements;" and he had lustrative of his love of labour, that, whilst his manfrom that time a great desire to become acquainted with servant was dressing him for church on the day of his the author, whom he supposed to be a man. In Feb marriage, he was actually dictating to his amanuensis ruary 1830, Mr Loudon chanced to mention this wish to the whole time. a lady, a friend of his, who happened to be acquainted “ Although Mr Loudon was a matter-of-fact man, be with me, and who immediately invited him to a party, had nevertheless a good deal of poetry in his soul. The where she promised him he should have the wished-for writer happened to dine wi h bim the day that he atintroduction. It may be easily supposed that he was tended Dr Southwood Smith's Anatomical Lecture on surprised to find the author of the book a woman; but the body of his friend Jeremy Bentham. Just at the I believe that from that evening he formed an attach- moment the lecturer withdrew the covering from the ment to me, and, in fact, we were married on the 14th face of the corpse, the lightning Aashed, and an awful of the following September.
burst of thunder pealed forth-Mr Loudon now continued his literary labours with
Crush'd, horrible, convulsing hearen and carth." unabated energy, except when interrupted by some professional tours he made to the north of England and Mr Loudon, during dinner, gave a most touching, poetScotland. Ill health too, and especially severe rheuma- ical, and graphic description of the lecture and the cirtism, frequently interfered with, though it did not subdue cumstances attending it; and every one present could his indomitable perseverance; and his faithful wife was see how deeply he felt the loss of his friend Bentham. constantly at hand to second his labours by acting as “Mr Loudon was a man, like most good men, rather his amanuensis.
easily imposed upon. He, contrary to the ways of the His Arboretum Britannicum, a large and expensive world, looked upon every man as a good man until he work on forest trees, had again involved him in pecu- had proved him otherwise; but whenhe had done so, he niary difficulties; and this, added to the fatigue of in- was firm in his purpose. He was a warm friend, an excessant exertion, with a shattered constitution, brought cellent husband, an amiable brother, and a most affecon consumption, of which he died in the end of the year tionate and dutiful son. Altogether 1843; thus, at the age of 6ixty, closing a life of unre
* He was a man, take him for all in all, mitting labour, but leaving to posterity many works of
We shall not look upon bis like again.' great practical utility.
THE VICAR OF WILTSHIRE.
(From the German of HEINRICH ZSCHOKKE.) Dec. 15, 1764.- I received to-day from Dr Snarl, my weather, and that the hour and a half's waiting in the rector, L.10 sterling, being the amount of my half-year's ante-chamber had not much rested my wearied limbs, salary. The receipt even of this hardly-earned sum was He pointed with his hand to the money. accompanied by many disagreeable circumstances.
My heart beat violently when I would introduce the After I had waited an hour and a half in the cold subject, long thought of and well conned, of a little in, ante-chamber of the rector, I was admitted to his pre- crease of my salary. Would I were able to overcome sence. He was seated in a large easy chair at his writ- my backwardness in the most innocent, nay, I will say ing-desk; my money was already counted out. My low even in the most righteous cause. With a trepidation bow he returned with a majestic side-nod, while he as if I were about to commit a crime, I endeavoured slightly pushed back his beautiful black silk cap, and twice to tell my tale. Memory, words, and voice failed immediately drew it on again. He is certainly a man of me. The sweat stood in great drops on my forehead. much dignity. I cannot approach him without awe. I “ What do you wish ?" said the rector, benignantly. do believe I should not enter the king's presence with “ I am-everything is so dear-scarcely able to get more reverence.
through these hard times, with my small salary.” He did not ask me to sit down, although he knew that “Small salary, Mr Vicar! How can you think so? I can I had this very morning walked eleven miles in bad any day procure another Vicar for L.15 sterling a year."
“ For L.15! Yes, without a family he might get along with that sum."
“ Your family, Mr Vicar, has not received any addition, I trust. You have only two daughters !"
“ Yes, your reverence; but these are growing up. My Jenny, the eldest, is now eighteen, and Polly, the younger, will soon be twelve."
“So much the better. Can't your girls work ?"
I was going to reply, when he hindered me by rising and observing, while he went to the window and tapped with his fingers on the glass, that he had no time to talk with me to-day. “Think it over," he concluded, "whether you will retain your place at L.15 a-year, and let me know. If you can't, I hope you will get a better situation for a new year's present."
He bowed very politely, and again touched his cap. I hastily seized the money, and took my leave. I was thunderstruck. He had never received nor dismissed me so coldly before. Without doubt somebody has been speaking ill of me. He did not even invite me to dinner, as had always before been his custom. I had counted upon it, for I came from Crekelad without breaking my fast. I bought a loaf in the outskirts of the town at a baker's shop, observed in passing, and ate it on my way homewards.
How cast down was I as I trudged along! I cried like a child! The bread I was eating was wet with my tears.
Fy, Thomas! Shame upon thy faint heart! Lives not the gracious God still? What if thou hadst lost the place altogether? And it is only L.5 less! It is indeed a quarter of my whole little yearly stipend, and it leaves barely 10d. a-day to feed and clothe three of us. What is there left for us! He who clothes the lilies of the field! He who feeds the young ravens! We must deny ourselves some of our superfluities.
Dec. 16.-I do believe Jenny is an angel. Her soul is even more beautiful than her person. I am almost ashamed of being her father. She is so much better and more pious than I.
I had not the courage yesterday to tell my girls the bad news. When I mentioned it to-day Jenny at first looked very serious, but suddenly she brightened up and said, “ Thou art distressed, father!"
“ Have I not reason for being so ?" “ No, thou hast not!"
“ Dear child, we shall never be free from debt and care. I do not know how we shall live. Our need is sore. Who will give us the L. 15, hardly sufficient for the bare necessaries of life ?"
Instead of answering, Jenny gently passed one arm round my neck, and pointed upwards with the other, “ He, yonder!" said she.
Polly seated herself on my lap, patted my face, and said, “Let me tell thee something. I dreamed last night that it was new year, and that the king had come to Crekelad. There was a splendid show. The king dismounted from his horse before our door, and walked in. We had nothing to cook or bake. He ordered some of his own dainties to be brought in on dishes of gold and silver. The kettle-drums and trumpets sounded outside, and behold, with the sound of the music, in marched some people with a bishop's mitre upon a satin cushion, a new year's present for thee! It looked very funny, like the cocked hats of the bishops in the old picture books. But you looked right well in it. Yet I laughed myself almost out of breath. Then Jenny waked me up, which made me quite angry. This dream has certainly something to do with a new year's present. It is only fourteen days to new years.”
I said to Polly, “ Dreams are but seems;" but she said, “ Dreams come from God."
Noon.—This morning I received a note, sent from a stranger who had lodged at the inn all night, begging to see me as soon as I could make it convenient. I walked down immediately, and inquired for the stranger. He
was a fine-looking young man, of about six-and-twenty. He wore an overcoat, much the worse for wear, and his boots were soiled with travelling. His hat, though originally of better quality than mine, was even more worn; yet, spite of his threadbare apparel, his bearing was that of a gentleman. I noticed also that his shirt was of fine linen, having been given to him probably by some benevolent person. He asked me into a private room, and after begging pardon for thus troubling me, informed me humbly that he found himself at present in the greatest distress, and having no acquaintance in the village, where he had arrived yesterday evening, he had applied to me, knowing that I was a clergyman. He was, he added, by profession an actor, but without employment, and on his way to Manchester; but was just now unexpectedly out of money. He had expended all his money, and had not enough, in fact, to pay for his night's lodging, and his fare to Manchester; he needed but the merest trifle—twelve shillings. That sum would relieve him from his difficulties—and if I would be kind enough to advance it, I might rest assured that as soon as he obtained anything from his engagement in Manchester, it should be thankfully repaid. His name was John Fleetman.
It was not necessary for him to say how much anxiety his embarrassment caused him, as his distressed looks showed that more plainly than words. Alas! he must have read an answering grief in mine! When he turned his eyes to me he seemed struck with alarm, and exclaimed,—“ Will you not relieve me, sir !"
Without ifs or buts I explained to him the cireumstances in which I was placed,—that the sum he required was no less than the fourth part of my whole property, and that I was by no means certain of retaining the scanty support I had. With evident disappointment and chagrin, he answered, “You comfort the unfortunate with stories of your own misfortunes. I see I can ask nothing of you. But is there no other person in this village who has, if not wealth, at least sympathy for one in my strait ?"
I cast an embarrassed look at Mr Fleetman, and was vexed that I had been tempted to speak of my own unhappy situation, and to make that an excuse for being deaf to the call of distress. I thought over all my acquaintance in Crekelad, but recalled none to whom I could recommend the young man to apply. At last, stepping up to him, and laying my hand on his shoulder, I said, “Mr Fleetman, I am truly sorry for you. Have a little patience; you see I am very poor, but I will help you if I can. In an hour you shall have an answer from me."
On reaching home, I told the girls who the strangerwas, and what he wanted. I wished to have Jenny's advice. She said, in a sympathising tone,-" I know, father, what thou art thinking,
-so I have no advice to give in the matter."
“ And what am I thinking ?"
“ That thou wilt do to this poor actor what thou wishest God and Dr Snarl should do to thee."
That was not what I was thinking; but I wish such had been my thought. I counted out the twelve shillings, and gave them to Jenny, that she might take them to the traveller. I wished to shun his thanks. It would have humbled me. Ingratitude always makes me more proud,--and now I will go on to write my sermon.
New Year's Day, 17 A. M.-A wonderful yet sad affair opens the year. Here follows its history,
Early this morning, about six o'clock, as I lay in bed thinking over my sermon, I heard a knock at the front door. Polly was up and already in the kitchen. She sprang to open the door and see who was there. Such early visits are not usual with us. In the darkness of the morning, she could only recognise a man having a bandbox on his arm, which he handed to Polly with these words: “ Mr
(Polly lost the name) “sends
this box to the Rev. Vicar, and requests him to be very and weary with the sacred labours of the day. I was careful of the contents.”
compelled to pass over an exceedingly bad road on foot. Polly took the box with joyful surprise. The carrier But I was enlivened by a happy return home, by the disappeared. Polly tapped lightly at my chamber door cheerfulness of my daughters, by our pleasant little parto see whether I was awake. She came in on my an- lour. The table was ready laid for me, and on it stood swering, and wishing me “ a happy new year," as well a flask of wine. It was a New Year's present from an as “good morning," added laughing, “ you will see now, unknown hand. dear father, whether Polly's dreams are not prophetic. The looks of the sweet little fellow in Jenny's arms inThe promised bishop's mitre is come!” Then she told vigorated me above all things. Polly showed me the me how a New Year's present had been given her for beautiful little bed of our nursling, the dozen fine napme. It vexed me, that she had not asked more particu- kins, the dear little caps and night-clothes which were in larly for the name of my unknown patron or benefactor. the box, and then a sealed packet of money directed to
While she went out to light a lamp and call Jenny out me, which they had found at the feet of the child when of bed, I dressed myself. I cannot deny that I burned it awoke, and had taken it out. with curiosity. For until now the New Year's presents Anxious to learn something of the parentage of our for the vicar of Crekelad had been as worthless as they little unknown inmate, I opened the packet. It containwere rare. I suspected that my patron the farmer, ed a roll of twenty guineas and a letter as follows: whose good-will I appeared to have won, meant to sur- “ REVEREND SIR:
-To your well known humanity and prise me with a box of cake, and admired his modesty kindness the unfortunate parents of this infant entrust in sending me the present before he could be seen. him. Do not forsake it. We may one day be enabled
As I entered the parlour, Polly and Jenny were stand- to show you our gratitude when circumstances permit ing at the table, on which lay the box directed to me, us to make ourselves known. Although at a distance, carefully sealed, and of such a size as I had never seen whatever you do for him will not fail to be seen by us. before. I lifted it, and found it pretty heavy. In the The boy's name is Alfred. He has been already christop were two smoothly cut round holes.
tened. The twenty guineas enclosed are for the first With Jenny's help, I opened the box very cautiously, quarter; every three months you will be punctually re. as I had been warned to handle the contents carefully. mitted the like sum. Receive our child. We comA fine white cloth was removed, and lo!--but no, our mend him to the kind care of your noble-hearted Jenny.” astonishment is not to be described! We all exclaimed When I had read the letter, Polly leaped with joy, and with one voice," my God!”
cried, “ There's the bishop's mitre!” Gracious Heaven! There lay a little sleeping child, some six or eight how rich we're suddenly become. Away with you, weeks old, dressed in the finest linen, with rose-coloured miserable Vicarship! But I will not so rejoice! The ribbons. Its little head rested upon a soft blue silk letter might have mentioned the noble Polly too! We eushion, and it was well wrapt up in a blanket. The read the letter a dozen times. We did not trust our eyes covering, as well as the little cap, was trimmed with the with a glance at the gold upon the table. What a New costliest Brabant lace.
Year's present! From my heaviest cares for the future, We stood a few minutes in silent amazement, till at was I thus suddenly released. But in what a strange and length Polly burst out into a silly laugh, and said: unexpected way! In vain did I think over all the peo* What shall we do with the little captive! It is no ple I knew, in order to discover who it might be who bishop's mitre!” Jenny seemed rather inclined to tears had been forced by birth or rank to conceal the existthan laughter. She touched its soft cheek with her fin- ence of their child, or who were able to make such a ger, saying, “ Poor little thing, hast thou no mother! liberal compensation for a simple service of Christian How cruel to abandon so helpless, innocent a creature! charity. I thought on. I recollected no one. And yet See, father, see, Polly, how quietly it sleeps-unconscious these parents were well acquainted with me and mine. of its condition, as though it lay in the hand of God! The ways of Providence are wonderful! Sleep on, thou poor forsaken one! Thy parents are Jan. 2.–Fortune is lavishing her favours upon me. perhaps too high in rank to care for thee, and too This morning again I received a packet of money, twelve happy to permit thee to disturb their happiness. Sleep pounds sterling, by the post, with a letter from Mr on, we will not east thee out. They have brought thee Fleetman. It is too much. For a shilling he returns to the right place. I will be thy mother.
me a pound. Things must have gone well with him. As Jenny spoke thus, two large tears fell from her He hints as much, even. I cannot, alas, thank him, for eyes. I caught the pious gentle-hearted creature to my he has forgotten to mention his address. God forbid I breast, and said, “ Yes, be mother! The step-children should be puffed up with my present riches! I hope of fortune come to her step-children. God tries our now in time to pay off honestly my bond for Brooks to faith--no, he does not try it. He knows it already. Mr Withiel. Therefore is this outcast little creature brought to us. When I told my daughters that I had received a letter True we do not know how we shall subsist from one day from Mr Fleetman, there was a new festival. I do not to another. But He knows, who has made us the pa- understand what the girls have to do with Mr Fleetman. rents of this orphan.”
Jenny grew very red, and Polly jumped up laughing, Thus it was soon decided. The child continued to and held both her hands before Jenny's face. Jenny sleep sweetly. In the meanwhile, we exhausted ourselves behaved as if she was right mad at the foolish girl. in conjectures about its parents, who were undoubtedly I read Fleetman's letter. I could scarcely do it, for known to us, as the box was directed to me in bold let- the young man is an enthusiast. He writes flatteries ters. Polly, alas! could tell us nothing more of the which I do not deserve. He exaggerates everything, bringer of it than she had already told. Now, while the even indeed when he speaks of the good Jenny. I pitied little thing softly slumbers and I run over my new year's the poor and modest girl while I read. I did not dare
" the Power of the Eternal Providence," to look at my daughter. The passage, however, which my daughters are holding a council about the nursing of relates to her, is worthy of note. It runs thus: the new-comer. Polly rejoices like a child. Jenny ap- “When, sir, I went from your door, I felt as if I pears to be much moved. With me, it seems as if I
went from a father's roof out into the bleak world. I entered upon the new year at a season of wonders, and shall never forget you, never forget how happy I was --it may be superstition, or it may be not-as if this with you. I see you always before me, in your rich polittle child were sent to be our guardian angel in our verty, in your Christian humility, in your patriarchal Need. I cannot express how much more freely I breathe, simplicity. And the admirable, smiling, fascinating and how serene my feelings.
Polly; and the-ah! for your Jenny I have no epithet. Same day. Evening.— I came home greatly exhausted In what words shall one describe the heavenly loveliness
by which everything earthly is breathed? I shall for ever remember the moment when she gave me the twelve shillings, and the consolatory language in which she accosted me. Wonder not that I have the twelve shillings still. I would not part with them for a thousand guineas. I shall soon perhaps make everything clear to you personally. Never in my life have I been so happy or so miserable as I am now. Commend me to your precious daughters, if they still bear me in remembrance."
So he intends to come to Crekelad again! It would give me pleasure. I could then return him my thanks. In his unbounded gratitude, the young man has perhaps sent me his all, because I once lent bim half of my ready money. That grieves me. He seems to be a light-minded youth, yet he has an honest heart. 'The little Alfred rejoices us. The child laughed to-day at Polly, as Jenny was holding him, like a young mother, in her arms. The girls are more handy with the little cosmopolite than I had anticipated. But it is a beautiful child. We have bought him a handsome cradle, and provided in abundance for all his little wants. The cradle stands at Jenny's bedside. She watches day and night like a guardian spirit, over her tender charge.
Jan. 6th.--Mr Withiel is an excellent man, to judge from his letter. He sympathizes with me in regard to my unfortunate bond, and comforts me with the declaration that I must not disquiet myself if I am not able to pay it for ten years or ever. He appears to be acquainted with my domestic circumstances, for he alludes to them very delicately. He considers me an honest man; that gratifies me most. He shall not be mistaken. I will ride to Trowbridge as soon as I can, and pay Mr Withiel Fleetman's twelve pounds sterling, as an instalment of my enormous debt.
Although Jenny insists that she sleeps soundly with little Alfred, who is very quiet o' nights, and only wakes once, when she gives him a drink out of his little bottle, I feel anxious about the maiden. She is not so lively by far, as formerly, although she seems so much serener and happier than when we were every day troubled about our daily bread. Sometimes she sits with her needle, lost in a reverie, dreaming with open eyes; or her hands, once so diligent, lie sunk upon her lap. When she is spoken to, she starts, and has to bethink herself what was said. Evidently all this comes from the interruption of her proper rest. But she will not hear a word of it. We cannot even persuade her to take a little nap in the day-time. She declares that she feels perfectly well.
I had no idea that she was so vain. Fleetman's praises have not displeased her. She has asked me for his letter to read once more. And she has not yet returned it to me, but keeps it in her work-basket!
For my sake! the vain thing!
Jan. 8ih.-My farewell sermon drew forth the tears of most of my hearers. I see now for the first time that my parishioners love me. They have expressed their obligations on all hands, and loaded me with gifts. I never before had such an abundance of provisions in the house, so many dainties of all kinds, and so much wine. A hundredth part of my present plenty would have made me account myself over-fortunate in past days. We are really swimming in plenty. But a good. ly portion has already been disposed of. I know some poor families in Crekelad, and Jenny knows even more than I. The dear people share in our pleasures.
I could not deliver my farewell sermon without deep emotion. It was written with many tears. I was parting from what has hitherto been my world, my business, my pursuit in life. I am thrust out of the vineyard like a superannuated servant; yet have I laboured not as an hireling; I have planted some promising vines, and pruned many. I am driven from the field of my labours, where night and day I have toiled, and watched, and planted, and pruned, and prayed. I have sought the
bed of the sick, and shrunk not from fatigue, so I might administer strength and comfort, and holy hope to the dying. I have warned sinners to turn from their evil ways; I have filled the destitute with joy; I have led back the lost to the way of life. All this I say without pride; these souls are knit to mine with the strongest ties, and now that tie is broken. Why should not my heart bleed? But God's will be done!
Most gladly would I ask the favour of Dr Snarl, to allow me to remain, and perform the vicar's duty without salary, had not my successor already entered upon his office! I am used to poverty and hardship from my childhood; I should not fear them, now that I have enough, and more than enough, with the money sent and promised with Alfred, to keep me and my daughters from want. We could be happy, and lay by enough for days of sickness or adversity. I would never more complain of wind and weather, however often and severely they beat upon my grey head, were I only privileged still to preach the word of God to my dear parishioners!
Be it so; I will not murmur. The tears that fall upon this sheet are not tears of discontent. I have never prayed for riches or prosperity, nor do I pray for them now. But, oh Lord! let not thy servant be dismissed entirely from thy service, while he has yet strength to wait on thee! Grant that I may again enter into thy vineyard, and with thy blessing, win souls.
Jan. 13th. -My journey to Towbridge has altogether surpassed my expectations. I arrived late at night with weary feet at a little old city, and could not rouse myself from sleep until late the next morning. After I had put on my clean clothes (I had not been so finely dressed since my wedding-day-the good Jenny has a daughterly care for her father), I left the inn and went to Mr Withiel's. He lives in a magnificent big house.
He received me at first somewhat coldly, but when I mentioned my name, he led me into his small but beautiful office. Here I thanked him for his great goodness and consideration, told him how I bad happened to give the bond, and what hard fortunes had hitherto been mine. I then laid my twelve pounds upon the table.
Mr Withiel, smiling, looked at me for a while in silence, and with some emotion, and extended his hand to shaké mine, and said, “ I know you already. I have informed myself particularly about you. You are an honest man. Take your twelve pounds back. I cannot find it in my heart to rob you of your New Year's present. Rather let me add a pound to it, if you will be so good as to take it, to remember me by.”
He arose, brought a paper from another room, opened it and said, “ You know this bond and your signature! I give it to you and your children.” He tore the paper in two, and placed it in my band. I could find no words, I was so moved.
My eyes filled. He saw that I would thank him, but could not, and he said, “ Whist! whist! not a syllable, I pray you; that is the only thanks I desire of you. I would gladly have forgiven poor Brooks the debt, lad he only dealt frankly with me.”
I don't know a more noble hearted man than Mr Withiel. He was too good. He wished me to relate to him much of my past history. He introduced me to his wife, and to the young gentleman his son. He had my little bundle, containing my old clothes, brought from the inn, and kept me at bis house. The entertainment was princely. The chamber in which I slept, the carpet, the bed, were so splendid and costly, that I hardly dared to make use of them.
The next day my kind friend sent me back to Crekelad in his elegant carriage. I parted full of emotion from my benefactor. My girls wept with me for joy, when I showed them the torn bond, and said, “ See; this piece of paper, light as it is, was yet the heaviest burden of my life. Pray for the life and happiness of our deliverer.”
January 16th.— Yesterday was the most remarkable “ I am no comedian, but a baronet, and my name is day of my life.
Cecil Fayrford. My sister and myself have been long We were together before dinner to-day; Alfred was kept wrongfully from the estate we inherited from our in his cradle, which I rocked, while Polly read from a late father, by an uncle, who made some difficulty about book, and Jenny was sewing by the window. Suddenly the will, and involved us in a lawsuit. We have lived, Jenny started up, and became pale as death. We asked till very recently, on a little property left us by our mowhat was the matter, “ He is coming,” she replied; ther. My sister suffered much from the tyranny of our and the next instant the door flew open, and Fleetman uncle, who was her guardian. He had promised her in entered in an elegant travelling suit. We all greeted marriage to one of his friends; whereas she was betrothhím cordially, and were right glad to see him again, un- ed to the son of Lord Sandom, whose father, meanwhile, expected as was his entrance—and especially to see him was bent on forcing his son to wed a rich heiress he had in better circumstances than before; he embraced me, in view. The lovers, persecuted as they were, resolved kissed Mary, and bowed to Jenny, not yet recovered on a private union; and shortly after, their marriage from her agitation. Her paleness attracted his atten- was solemnized without the knowledge of either my uncle tion. He inquired earnestly about her health. Polly or Lord Sandom. answered his inquiry, and he then kissed Jenny's hand, “ Alfred is their son. My sister went, under my proas if in atonement for having caused her so much fright. tection, to reside in a country place, where she could But nothing was to be said about it, as the poor girl have the benefit of sea-bathing, as her health was deliblushed like an opening rose.
When the child was born, our great concern was I bade the girls bring out wine and cold meats, to en- to find a place for it where it would have the tenderest tertain my guest and friend in rather better style than
I accidentally heard a touching account of the before; but he declined my invitation, having left, he poverty and humanity of the parish minister of Crekesaid, his company at the inn. Yet at Jenny's entreaty, lad, and I came hither to satisfy myself. The manner he consented to sit down and lunch with us.
in which I was treated by you decided me. As he had spoken of his company,” I supposed of “I have forgotten to mention that my sister never recourse, he meant a theatrical company, and I asked if turned to her guardian; for about six months ago I won they expected to play here in Crekelad, adding that it the suit against him, and entered into possession of my was a poor place. Fleetman laughed, and said, " We patrimony. My uncle instituted a new suit against me will act a piece or so, but it shall be altogether gratui- for withdrawing my sister from his charge; but the old tous.” Polly was delighted to hear this; she had always Lord Sandom died suddenly a few days ago of apoplexy, wished, she said, to see a play. She told the news to and my brother-in-law has made his marriage public. Jenny, who just then came in with the wine.
So that the suit falls to the ground, and all cause for " Have you many actors in your company, Mr Fleet- keeping the child's birth secret is removed. Its parents man!" asked Polly. He replied, “ Only a gentleman have now come with me to take the child away, and I and his wife, but they are both excellent performers." have come to take you and your family away, if the pro
Jenny looked unusually grave. She cast a sorrowful posal I make you shall be accepted. glance towards Fleetman, and asked, “ And you, sir- “ During the lawsuit in which I have been engaged, are you going to perform?” This was said in that soft the living, which is in the gift of my family, has remainbut marked and penetrating voice, which I seldom ob- ed unoccupied. I have at my disposal this situation, served but when she was seriously deciding upon some which yields over two hundred pounds per annum. You, important step. Poor Fleetman trembled even, at this sir, have lost your place. I shall not be happy unless solemn tone, like that of a doom-angel. He did not an- you come and reside near me, and accept this living." swer for a moment; then stepping nearer to her, he said God only knows how I was affected at these words. almost in a whisper, “ That, by my God and yours, Miss My eyes were blinded with tears of joy. I stretched out Jenny, depends upon you."
my hands to the man who came a messenger from heaMy daughter looked down; he spoke; she replied; and
I fell upon his breast. Polly threw her arms I confess I was rather at a loss to know what they around him with a cry of delight. Jenny thanktully meant. Polly and I listened, but we neither heard a kissed the baronet's hand. But he snatched it from her word, or rather heard words without any meaning. And with visible agitation and left us. yet Fleetman and Jenny appeared not only to under- My happy children were still holding me in their emstand one another perfectly, but, what struck me as braces, and we were still mingling our tears and congravery strange, Fleetman was deeply moved by Jenny's tulations, when the baronet returned, bringing his brotheranswers, although they expressed the veriest trifles. At in-law, Lord Sandom with his wife. The latter was an last Fleetman clasped his hands passionately to his uncommonly beautiful young lady. Without saluting breast, raised his eyes, streaming with tears, to heaven, us, she ran to the cradle of her child. She knelt down and with an impressive appearance of emotion, exclaim- over the little Alfred, kissed his cheeks, and wept freely ed, “ Then am I indeed unhappy!”
with mingled pain and delight. Her lord raised her up, Polly could hold out no longer. With a comical viva- and had much trouble in composing her. city, she looked from one to the other, and at last cried When she had recovered her composure, and apoloout, “I do believe that you two are beginning a comedy gized to us all for her behaviour, she thanked first me already!”
and then Polly, in the most touching terms. Polly disHe pressed Polly's hand, and said, “Ah! that it were so. owned all obligation, and pointed to Jenny, who had I put an end to the confusion by pouring out the withdrawn to the window, and said, “ My sister there wine. We drank to the welfare of our friend. Fleet- has been its mother!" man turned to Jenny, and stammered out, “ Miss, in Lady Sandom approached Jenny, gazed at her long in earnest, my welfare!" She laid her hand upon her silence, and with evidently grateful surprise, and then heart, cast down her eyes, and drank.
glanced at her brother with a smile, and folded Jenny in Our guest went to the cradle, and asked many ques
her arms. The dear Jenny in her modesty scarcely tions about little Alfred. I related the circumstances of dared to look up. “I ain your debtor," said my lady, my singular New Year's present, and my vain conjec- “ but the service you have rendered to a mother's heart tures as to who had sent it.
it is impossible for me to repay. Become a sister to me, “I can give you some information respecting that," lovely Jenny; sisters can have no obligations between said he. "The New Year's present came from me.” them.” As they embraced each other, the baronet ap
" From you!” exclaimed I and the girls, with incre- proached. “ There stands my poor brother,” said my dulous astonishment.
lady; “ as you are now my sister, he may come wearer Then he told us the following story:
to your heart, dear Jenny, may he not?"