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THE HEIRESS AND HER WOOERS.

gentleman lolling in the carriage returns a lazy nod, in an uproar, from clowns having perpetrated the and the young ladies a stare which, from such enormity of eating. charming creatures, would be acknowledgment Now, as the farmer was never behindhand with enough, if it were only accompanied by a smile. his rent, the Marquis, addressing him by his sur

The Marquis himself rides out on horseback, at name, lowers his dignity so far as to ask him about tended at a respectful distance by two mounted the state of the late crops, and the markets, and the grooms, and surrounded close at hand by half a do old man is enraptured; but still the old fellow-who zen hounds. He makes a point of dressing very in his heart does not care a great deal for a Lord, so plainly in a black coat and velvet waistcoat; the Ź long as "he is able to pay his way"-obstinately only remarkable portions of his attire being a informs him that times are “ dreadful bad,” and an starched muslin cravat tied à la Brummell, and a honest man can't live, and reminds him of the state pair of Hessian boots with aristocratic tassels. He of his barn, whereupon the Marquis assures him that is altogether a jolly-looking fellow, and his manly he has given orders to his steward to have it repaired, cheeks gracefully protrude over his shirt collars, and humors the old farmer by asking for a glass of while his countenance exhibits that appearance of

his “home brewed.” If he is in an extraordinary dignified nobility and ill-temper which is the im. good-humor, he will dismount and enter the house ; memorial perquisite of overwhelming ancestral hon

where he will find “the dame," who has hastily ors, and eternal--remorseless-gout. The Marquis donned her Sunday cap and a clean apron, with has learned that one of his best tenants requires some her daughters in the same articles of dress recently repairs done to his barn; and, being a man of busi adopted, courteseying lowly, and silent with profound Dess, in these rabid anti-cornlaw times, he deems respect, until he familiarly accosts the old lady, and it best to conciliate all men by a display of incredible jokes the young ones upon matrimonial matters, in a condescension, and pay a visit to the farmer, to in

short, abrupt manner, finishing every sentence with spect the premises in person. He therefore arrives an "eh, eh ?" not giving them time to answer him, at the homestead of his tenant just at one o'clock, which, indeed, they are too much “flustrated” to do: when the farmer is at dinner; and while his footmen so he just sips a little of the alo that is brought to are flogging away his hounds, which have commenced } him, and, wishing them a condescending “good a furious attack upon the dogs in the farm-yard, the morning,” mounts his horse, and canters home, disold farmer hurries from his dinner with his head } missing them from his thoughts for another six bare, and his wife, to the utter dismay of the labor

months. ers, sweeps away all vestiges of the unfinished meal,

This slight sketch may serve to give the reader and commands them to retire, lest “his lordship"} some idea of the manners of the great when rusti. should condescend to enter the house and find it {cating.

THE HEIRESS AND HER WOOERS.

BY MRS, ABDY.

“As the Diamond excels every jewel we find,
So Truth is the one peerless gem of the mind!”

A NEW tragedy was about to be brought forth at lady! Adelaide Linley was an accomplished and the Haymarket Theatre. Report spoke loudly of its pretty heiress, who, fortunately for them, was the merits, and report touched closely on the name of its ward of Mr. Grayson, an eminent solicitor, with author. Either Talbot or Stratford must have writ- { whom they had recently renewed an early acquaintten it; those regular attendants at rehearsal, who ance. Rivalry, however, failed of its usual effect in seemed equally interested in every situation, equally their case, it created no dissension between them; at home in every point, throughout the piece. Some { indeed, the manner of Adelaide was very far removed said that it was a Beaumont and Fletcher concern, { from coquetry, and although it was evident that she in which both parties were equally implicated; and { preferred the friends to the rest of her wooers, she this conjecture did not appear improbable, for the showed to neither of them evidence of any feeling young men in question were indeed united together beyond those of friendship and good-will. in bonds of more than ordinary friendship. They The night of the tragedy arrived. Mr. and Mrs. had been schoolfellows and brother-collegians; each Grayson, their ward, and two or three of her “W00was in the enjoyment of an easy independence, and ers," were in attendance before the rising of the their tastes, pursuits, and ways of living were very curtain; they were just as ignorant as other people similar. So congenial, indeed, were they in taste, touching the precise identity of the dramatist about that they had both fixed their preference on the same } to encounter the awful fiat of the public. Talbot and Stratford were sheltered in the deep recesses of there is much beauty in many of the speeches, only a private box; had they been in a public one, no- } that the drama is unsuited for representation ?" body could have doubted which was the hero of the “Exactly so," replied Talbot, dryly; "the only evening. Talbot's flushed cheek, eager eye, and defect he finds in it is, that it is perfectly unsuited nervous restlessness, plainly indicated that the tra-' } for the purpose for which it was written !" gedy was not written on the Beaumont and Fletcher “But,” persisted Stratford, " he says that he is plan, but that it owed its existence entirely to him. certain you would succeed better in a second atself.

tempt.” The curtain rose; the tragedy was admirably "As I shall most assuredly never make a second performed, and many of the speeches were beauti- attempt," replied Talbot, “his opinion, or that of fully written ; but it lacked the indescribable charm any one else on the subject, is of very little importof stage effect, so necessary to stage success; the ance to me." last act was heavy and uninteresting, great disap “Surely, however,” said Stratford, “it is better to probation was expressed, and finally another piece receive the commendation of writers of judgment was announced for the succeeding evening!

and ability, than the applause of the one shilling Adelaide was much concerned; it mattered no gallery. Arbuscula was an actress on the Roman thing to her whether the play was written by Talbot stage, who laughed at the hisses of the populace, or Stratford; sho wished well to each of them, and while she received the applause of the knights." sympathized in the disappointment of the author. { Talbot only replied to this anecdote by a muttered Talbot, who had anticipated stepping forward to the exclamation of impatience. front of the box, and gracefully bowing his acknow And here let me give a few words of advice to my ledgments to the applauding audience, now found readers. Whenever you condole with those in trouhimself under the necessity of making an abrupt ble, do it in the old-fashioned cut-and-dried way; exit, muttering invectives on their stupidity; and it is true that your stock-phrases and tedious truisms Stratford repaired to his own lodgings, aware that may cause you to be called a bore, but thousands of Talbot, in the present state of his mind, was unfitted highly respectable, condoling friends have been for the society even of his favorite friend. The next called bores before you, and thousands will be called morning, Stratford had half finished breakfast when so after you. But if you diverge at all from the Talbot entered the room. Stratford was about to beaten track, and attempt to introduce a literary accost him with a lively remark, that “he hoped the allusion, or venture on a classical illustration, depend severity of the audience had not spoiled his night's upon it you will be cited ever afterwards as an exrest;" but a momentary glance at his friend told tremely hard-hearted person, intent alone on dishim that such a remark would be cruelly sarcastic; playing your own wit or wisdom, instead of properly it was quite clear that his night's rest had been entering into the sorrows of your friend. spoiled; it was quite clear that what had been “The Morning Chronicle,'” resumed Stratford, "sport" to the public had been “death” to the "speaks highly of the scene between the brothers at dramatist; it was quite clear that the “Russian the end of the second act." Brothers," although they had ceased to exist on the “Yes," replied Talbot, "and the Morning Chronistage of the Haymarket Theatre, were still hovering cle' winds up its critic by advising me never to write about, like shadowy apparitions, “to plague the in another drama." ventor !"

“Did you not say just now that you never in“Read these papers," said Talbot, placing four or} tended to do so ?” asked Stratford. five newspapers in the hands of Stratford, “and do “How I wish, Stratford,” exclaimed Talbot, imnot wonder that I look and feel miserable at having petuously, “ that I could make you enter into my thus exposed myself to the derision of the world.” feelings. How very differently you would think and

Stratford hastily finished a cup of coffee, and speak if you were the author of a condemned trapushed away a just broken ogg; it seemed quite gedy!" unfeeling to think of eating and drinking in the “I do not consider,” said Stratford, “ that if such presence of so much wretchedness. He turned to were the case, I should in any respect think or speak the dramatic article of one newspaper after another, differently. I should feel far more pleasure in expecting to find his friend victimized, slandered, knowing that I had written a work which deserved and laughed to scorn ; but in reality, as my readers { to be successful, than mortification at the want of may perhaps be prepared to hear, the critics were good taste in a mixed and misjudging audience, very fair, reasonable critics, indeed; and it was only which had caused it to fail of success." the sensitiveness of the author which had converted Stratford, having been unfortunate in his previous them into weapons of offence.

attenipts at consolation, had taken somo pains to "I am sure," said Stratford, after the scrutiny devise a prettily turned speech; but he little thought was concluded, “the dramatic critic of the Times' } how completely successful it would prove; the counspeaks very kindly of you; does not he say that tenance of Talbot actually lighted up with pleasure. THE HEIRESS AND HER WOOERS.

29

“Are you really sincere in what you have said ?” pact so satisfactory to both of them. I wish I could the replied. “I have a particular reason for wishing say that conscience bore any share in their disto know; do not reply to me in a hurry; take a few quietude, and that each felt grieved and humiliated minutes for consideration."

at the idea that he was violating the sacred purity Somewhat surprised, Stratford began the course of truth; but such was not the case. Either Talbot of mental examination prescribed by his friend; and or Stratford would havo shrunk from the idea of the result of it was that, although he had only meant telling a falsehood of malignity or dishonesty; but to speak civilly, he found that he had been speaking the polite untruths of convenience or flattery wero truly; for Stratford had a great admiration for lite as “household words” in their vocabulary. A dim rary talents, and a great wish to possess them; he foreboding of evil, however, now seemed to overalso knew that Adelaide Linley was a warm admirer shadow them. Talbot had something of the same of dramatic poetry; he could not doubt that her sensation which a man may be supposed to have judgment would lead her to approve of the “Rus who has cast off a troublesome child in a fit of irrisian Brothers;" and, in regard to its condemnation, tation, His tragedy had been a source of great disshe, like every other intelligent person, must be fully appointment and mortification to him; but still it aware that the plays that read best in the closet are was his own; it had derived existence from him; often least adapted to the stage.

he had spent many tedious days and nights watching “I have considered the matter again,” said Strat- over it before he could bring it to perfection; he ford, after a pause," and I repeat what I previously was not quite happy in the idea that he had forever said; I should be glad to be the author of the made over all right and title in it to another. * Russian Brothers,' even although it has been con. Stratford also was somewhat dispirited; he could demned; but after all, Talbot, how useless is this not help thinking about a paper in the Spectator" conversation! no good wishes on your part, or as concerning a “Mountain of Miseries," where Jupiter piring wishes on my own, can make me the author allowed every one to lay down his own misery, and of a drama to which I never contributed an idea or take up that of another person, each individual in a line."

the end being bitterly dissatisfied with the result of “Yet," said Talbot, "I do not see why the busi. the experiment. Stratford had laid down his liteness might not be arranged to our mutual satisfaction. } rary insignificance, and taken up the burden of unYou wish to be known as the author of this play; I,

successful authorship; should he live to repent it? perhaps foolishly and irritably, repent that I ever This in the course of a little time will appear. wrote it; no one but ourselves is aware which of us Adelaide Linley sat in the drawing-room of her is the author; why should you not own it? I will guardian, eagerly awaiting a visit from her two most joyfully give up my claim to you."

favorite admirers. She was not alone, neither was Stratford was a little startled at this propo- } one of her “wooers" with her. Her companion was sition.

a quiet-looking young man, whose personal appear“But should the deception be discovered," he said, ance had nothing in it to recommend him to notice, “people will allege that, like the jay, I have been although a physiognomist would have been struck strutting in borrowed plumes."

with the good expression of his countenance. His “Not at all,” replied Talbot; "your plumes are name was Alton, and he was the confidential clerk not borrowed, but are willingly bestowed upon you of her guardian. He had never presumed to address by the owner; besides, how should any discovery the heiress, save with distant respect; but she valued ensue, except from our own disclosures? You, of him for the excellent qualities which had made him a course, will not wish to disown what you consider it high favorite with Mr. Grayson, and always treated 4 credit to gain; and, for myself, I give you my } him with kindness and consideration. On the preword 1 that, should the Russian Brothers' be des- sent occasion, however, she was evidently somewhat tined to attain high celebrity at a future day, I shall out of humor, and accepted the sheet of paper from never assert my rights of paternity-they are the him, on which he had been transcribing for her some children of your adoption; but, remember, you adopt passages from a new poem, with a cold expression them for life.”

of thanks. Alton lingered a moment at the door of “ Willingly," replied Stratford; "and now let us the room. “There is peculiar beauty," he said, " in pay a visit at Mr. Grayson's house. Doubtless the the closing lines of the last passage." fair Adelaide will be impatient to pour balm into “There is," replied the heiress, carelessly; "but the wounds suffered by one of her adorers; pity is I should scarcely have thought, Mr. Alton, that you sometimes akin to love."

would havo taken much interest in poetry: why did "It is more frequently akin to contempt," mur you not accompany as last night, to see the new mured Talbot, in too low a voice to be heard ; but tragedy, although so repeatedly pressed to do so ?” nevertheless the friends proceeded on their way, “I had a reason for declining to go, Miss Linley,” talking much less cheerfully, and looking much less said Alton. contented than might be supposed, when it is con "Probably you disapprove of dramatio represensidered that they had recently entered into a com- } tations,” said Adelaide ; "in which case I approve your consistency and conscientiousness in refusing to Stratford's tragedy, and remarking that “the poor frequent them."

fellow was so terribly cut up about it, that he had Alton would have liked to be approved by Ade advised him to keep quiet for a few days, and let laide ; but he liked to speak the truth still better. the affair blow over."

" That was not my reason,” he replied; “I do Talbot and Stratford dined together; both were not disapprove of the drama, nor could I expect in good spirits; neither of them had yet begun to anything that was not perfectly excellent and unex feel any of the evils of the deceptive course they ceptionable from the reputed authors of the tragedy were pursuing. A week passed, and the sky was no in question-I had another reason."

longer so fair and cloudless. Adelaide's pity for “May I beg to know it?" said Adelaide, half in jest Stratford was evidently far more 'akin to love than and half in earnest.

contempt; she was an admirer of genius, and was Alton's cheek became flushed, but he replied, “I never wearied of talking about the tragedy, which am not in the habit of withholding the truth, when had really made a deep impression upon her. She expressly asked for it. I never go to public amuse requested Stratford to let her have the rough copy ments, because I object to the expense.”

of it; the request was not so embarrassing as might Alton could scarcely have made any speech that be supposed, for Stratford had been obliged to ask would more have lowered him in Adelaide's estima- { Talbot to give it to him, that he might be able to tion. The young can make allowance for “the good { answer Adelaide's continual questions as to the conold gentlemanly vice" of avarice, in those who have duct of the story and development of the characters; lived so many years in the world that gathering the handwriting of the friends was very similar, and gold appears to them as suitable a pastime for age the blotted, interlined manuscript revealed no secrets as that of gathering flowers for childhood; but ava 'as to its especial inditer. “Remember," said Aderice in youth, like a lock of white hair in the midst laide, as she playfully received it, " that I consider of sunny curls, seems sadly out of its place. Ade this as a gift, not as a loan; it will probably be in. laide knew that Alton received a liberal stipend from troduced into various circles." her guardian, and that he had also inherited some Talbot was present at the time, and felt a pang property from a cousin; he had not any near rela of inexpressible acuteness at the idea of the offspring tions, he was doubtless hoarding entirely for his own of his own brain being paraded in various circles" profit; he was a gold worshipper in a small way, as the production of Stratford. He could not offer accumulating the precious metal by petty economies any opposition to Adelaide's intentions; but he rein London, instead of going out manfully to dig it venged himself by constant taunting allusions to the up by lumps in California! She therefore merely mortifications of an unsuccessful dramatist, shunned replied, “You are very prudent, Mr. Alton," with a by the manager, scorned by the performers, and marked and meaning intonation of the last word, even a subject of sarcastic pity to the scene-shifters! which converted it into a severe epigram, and took { These speeches hurt and offended Stratford, espeup & book with an air of such unmistakable cold cially as they were always made in the presence of ness, that the discomfited economist was glad to Captain Nesbitt, another of the “wooers" of the beat a retreat. Adelaide's solitude was soon more heiress, who shared Talbot's newly-born jealousy agreeably enlivened by the arrival of Talbot and of Stratford, and consequently was delighted both Stratford. Talbot quickly dispelled all embarrass to prompt and keep up any line of conversation mont as to the subject of the tragedy, by playfully likely to humiliate him in the presence of his lady. caying, “I bring with me an ill-fated author, who love. A short time ago Talbot and Stratford had I am sure you will agree with me deserved much been generous and amicable rivals; but they had better treatment than he has met with.”

ceased to walk together in peace from the period Hereupon Adelaide offered words of consolation, when they entered the crooked paths of dissimulaand very sweet, kind, and winning words they were ; tion. When Adelaide had attentively read the indeed, Stratford deemed them quito sufficient to manuscript tragedy, she transcribed it in a fair compensate for the failure of a tragedy; but then, hand; she had already fixed on a destination for it. we must remember that Stratford was not really the One of the oldest friends of Adelaide's late father author of the “ Russian Brothers ;" his wounds were was a fashionable London publisher. Adelaide had only fictitious, and therefore it was no very difficult kept up frequent intercourse with him, and waited task to heal them. Possibly Talbot might have felt on him with her manuscript, secure of being kindly a little uneasy at Adelaide's excess of kindness, had received, even if he did not grant her request. Forhe been present during the whole of Stratford's visit; } tunately, however, for her, he had been present at but Talbot had soon made his escape to his club; the representation of the “Russian Brothers," and he had several friends there, who suspected him of had been extremely struck with the beanty of the having written the tragedy of the preceding night; dialogue, and he readily agreed to print it. When a few hours ago he had dreaded the idea of meeting the proofs were ready, Adelaide, quite sure that she them; but now he encountered them with fearless should be giving great pleasure to Stratford, anopenness, expressing his concern for the failure of nounced to him what she had done.

THE HEIRESS AND HER WOOERS.

31

Stratford nervously started, and gave a hurried, ter of a lion, where he was treated with much solemn apprehensive glance at Talbot.

reverence, and his most commonplace remark was “ It will be certain to be a favorite with the read evidently treasured as the quintessence of wit and ing public, will it not ?" said Adelaide, addressing judgment. These festivities Talbot did not wish to Talbot.

share. But frequently Stratford was invited to lite“I am sure it will," answered Talbot, with anima rary, real literary parties, where everybody in the tion, forgetting for the moment everything but that room was celebrated for doing something better he was the author of the Russian Brothers, and than it is done by people in general; and were any that the Russian Brothers' was going to be printed. half-dozen guests taken at random from the assem“ How well the scene will read between the brothers blage, they would have sufficed to stud an ordinary at the end of the second act!”

party with stars. Here Stratford was introduced to “It will, indeed," returned Adelaide, with an ap brilliant novelists, exquisite poets, profound scholars, proving glance at Talbot, whom she had lately sug- and men of searching science. Here, also, he met pected of being somewhat envious of the genius of with literary women, as gentle and unassuming as his rival; “really, we must try and inspire our friends they were gifted and celebrated, who wore their with a little more confidence. I don't think he is laurels with as much simplicity as if they had been at all aware of his own talents.”

wild flowers; and who, so far from possessing any “I don't think he is, indeed," said Talbot, with a of the old-fashioned pedantry which has aptly been distant approach to a sneer.

defined as “intellectual tight lacing," were ready to “But my favorite passage,” pursued Adelaide, converso on the most trite and every day subjects “is the soliloquy of Orloff, in the third act. Will you casting, however, over every subject on which they repeat it, Mr. Stratford ?"

conversed, the pure and cheering sunshino of geStratford began to repeat it as blunderingly and" nius. monotonously as he had been wont to repeat “My All these new acquaintances of Stratford's were name is Norval" in bis schoolboy days; but Talbot extremely kind and encouraging in their manner quickly took possession of it, and recited it with towards him, inquiring into his tastes and employ. feeling and spirit.

ments, praising him for that which he had already “How strange it is,” said Adelaide," that authors done, and encouraging him to do more in future. rarely give effect to their own writings ! But how Such society and such conversation would bave beautiful is the sentiment of that speech-more realized Talbot's earliest aspirations, and he could beautiful, I think, every time one hears it. How not willingly cede those privileges to a man who had did you feel, Mr. Stratford, when you wrote those never written half a dozen lines to deserve them. lines ?

Yet Talbot was not a vain nor a selfish man; had Stratford declared, with sincerity, that he had not Stratford been really gifted by nature with superior the slightest recollection how he felt; and Adelaide abilities to his own, he would have been quite satisasked Talbot to repeat another speech, and praised fied that he should have reaped the harvest of them. his memory and feeling, in return for which he But that Stratford should be distinguished at onco praised her good taste. Poor Talbot, he was some by the notice of the gifted ones of earth, and by tho what in the position of the hero of a German tale; smiles of Adelaide Linley, and that he might hima kind of metempsychosis seemed to have taken self have been occupying that doubly enviable posi. place in relation to himself and his friend, and he tion, had he only kept in the simple path of truth did not know whether to be delighted; that his { it was indeed a trial to the nerves and to the temper. tragedy should be admired, or angry that it should { At length, one day, when the rivals were alone, the be admired as the composition of Stratford. All smouldering fire burst forth. contradictory feelings, however, merged into un “I am very much surprised, Stratford," said Talmistakable resentment and discontent when the bot, flattering himself that he was speaking in a retragedy was published; it became decidedly popu- markably cool, self-possessed tone, when in reality lar; the Reviews accorded wonderfully in their his cheeks were flushed with excitement, and his commendation of it, and the first edition was speedily voice trembled with irritation_“I am very much sold off. Stratford's name was not prefixed to it, at surprised that you can continue from day to day to his own especial request : he did not want to plunge enjoy literary celebrity to which you must feel that deeper into the mazes of falsehood than he had al you have not the shadow of a claim." ready done. But Talbot bad proclaimed with such Stratford did not return an angry answer to his unwearied perseverance that Stratford was the au friend; he was on the winning side, and successful thor of the condemned tragedy, that his name on people can always afford to be good-tempered. “I the title-page would have been quite an unnecessary do not see,” he replied, “how I can possibly escape identification. Poor Talbot! he certainly had much all the marks of kindness and distinction that are to try his patience at present Stratford received shown to me.” abundance of invitations, in virtue of his successful } Have you any wish to escape them ?" asked authorship; he went to many parties in the charac- } Talbot, sneeringly.

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