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seemed inflated with important intelligence,
Sir Philip has made a most extraordinary will. Passing over his lady, on whom it appears that no settlement beyond that of her own small fortune was made, the late baronet has named another lady as the inheritress (if I may so call it) of his fortune, Only the Abbey with its demesne is entailed. A bare six hundred pounds per annum to support a dignity so ancient and respected. The lady—yourself, madam'—he added with a bow, more to the golden idol than to her; ‘bas now a clear twelve thousand pounds a year, and Sir Edgar, the present baronet, is almost a beggar!'
It was not a very business-like way of conveying the intelligence; but for once a lawyer's impulses had burst their red tape and parchment bonds, and had spoken as though dictated by the nature of other men. The fact was, that Messrs. Tonkin and Davis had been too long in the possession of metal cases bearing on their smooth outsides the
name and title of the baronets of Thornleigh, not to feel considerably indignant at the provisions of the will, made, and duly witnessed and signed by the deceased gentleman.
Fully aware of the nature of that testament (for it had been drawn up by themselves) the firm of Tonkin and Davis had always indulged in a hope that something would arise to change the dispositions of the testator. He was in the prime of life, strong and hale, and there was a son who must inherit the title, even though his father should alienate the estates. The lady in whose favour he had made so extraordinary a testament, was not his wife, and was said to have unbounded influence over him; but, on the other hand, there was the chance that she might be caught “tripping,' and then farewell to her inheritance of yearly thousands. She might die, too, before Sir Philip, and happily, she had no child, at least, as far as the firm knew, to inherit after her. But all these speculations were at an end, when the news of Philip's death was spread abroad. The contents of the will were then made public, and it being pronounced valid, all that remained was to make known to the fortunate testatrix that she, and only she, was the legatee whose name appeared as interested in these parchment sheets.
As it has been shown, it was not by letter, but through the means of an ambassador (as is the case when an important communication is to be made to a first-rate power), that the accession of wealth was made known to Helen. The intelligence was received by her with perfect composure, she merely saying :
"You seem more surprised than I am by this disposition of Sir Philip Thornleigh's property. It is one that I deeply regret, but which is surely not out of my power to remedy.'
Pardon me,' replied the man of law, 'Sir Philip has deprived you of the power of changing his intentions, so far, at least, as the giving over this property to others is
concerned. In the event of your declining to accept of this rich inheritance, it reverts to charitable institutions named in the will.'
This may increase the difficulty of doing justice to others,' said Helen ; 'but I can see no insuperable obstacles to the performance of what is so clearly a duty. I thank you for your visit, and shall communicate by · letter with the gentlemen whose address you have given me. .
Never was hint for the closing of an audience more clearly given. So pointed, also, were the words for a dismissal, both by voice and manner, that the envoy of Messrs. Tonkin and Davis could do no other than take up his hat and go.
He did not leave Helen alone, for who is alone whose whereabout is peopled with busy thoughts; and who, in life's arduous duties, finds a theme so engrossing that it bars out the sense of solitude? Who is alone when he has a problem to solve or a resolution to arrive at ? Not even a woman is solitary,
when her unseen companions are high thoughts and determinations, founded on honourable principles; and when (avoiding an indulgence in tender and enervating imaginings) she braces her mind to endurance and to self-sacrificing deeds.
The sudden death of Sir Philip Thornleigh would have been soon forgotten but for the unrighteous testament, which kept alive the memory of the man. We are longer remembered for our evil deeds than for our good; for how short is the list of those, who by purely disinterested love for their fellowcreatures, have obtained a name that is beyond praise. The powerful, the ambitious, the cruel, and the rich are in their deeds handed down to posterity by hundreds; but let us name the few who, beyond the pale of private charity, stand out as the doers of good to those that are in sorrow, sickness, and adversity, and the record will soon be closed. In the prisons and among the captives, a Howard and a Fry have worked