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“Before you reproach me,” said Stratford, “I ceive immediate attention from himn. Then, in other think you should remember at whose suggestion the circles, young ladies had requested contributions deception was first entered into."

for their albums, and Adelaide had more than once "I did not foresee the consequences," said Tal. expressed her wish to have new words written for bot.

some of her favorite old airs. “Pardon me," said Stratford; "the consequences Stratford, the morning after his conversation with toere foreseen by both of us. I remarked that I was Talbot, sought the presence of Adelaide, resolved unwilling to strut, like the jay, in borrowed plumes; } that, if his courage did not fail him, he would make and you replied that if the Russian Brothers' at a confession of his misdeeds, and an offer of his hand tained the greatest celebrity, you would never assert and heart before he left the house. Ho found Adeyour rights of paternity.”

laide, as he had wished, alone; she was reading a “You certainly possess an excellent memory," letter when he entered, and it dropped on the ground said Talbot, sarcastically, “whatever other mental as she rose to receive him; he lifted it up, and reattributes you may be deficient in. I remember the cognized the hand in which it was written; it was promise of secrecy to which you allude, but no pro that of Captain Nesbitt, and the letter appeared to mise was made on your part; therefore if you are { be of some length. Stratford felt disposed to be inclined to descend from your usurped position, and rather jealous; Captain Nesbitt was well connected, give it up to the rightful owner, there is no cause remarkably handsome, very lively, and had, like why you should refrain from doing so."

Captain Absolute, “an air of success about him “And can you really," asked Stratford, with sur. { which was mighty provoking." prise, “expect that I should expose myself to the “Do not let me interrupt your perusal of that censure and ridicule of society for the purpose of letter," he said, rather coldly and stifily, reinstating you in rights which you voluntarily made { “You have doubtless," said Adelaide, with a smile, over to me?"

“ seen the handwriting; you do not prevent me Talbot paused some time before he replied. “I from reading the letter-I have just finished it; and feel," he said, “ that I have expected too much. I { although your visit may cause my answer to it to be rescind my proposal. I will only require you to delayed a little while longer, the delay is of no manmake known the truth under a striat promise of se

ner of importance, since I shall only write a few crecy to one individual."

lines of no very agreeable purport." “And that individual is Adelaide Linley, I con “I pity the poor fellow from my heart," raclaimed clude,” said Stratford. “It is," replied Talbot ; Stratford, and he spoke with sincerity; he could “let Adelaide but know me as I really am, and I do afford to pity Captain Nesbitt when he knew that not heed-at least I will endeavor not to heed—the Adelaide was about to reject him. opinion of the world; besides, Stratford, recollect “He does not deserve your pity," said Adelaide. that if you marry Adelaide, she must certainly find “Can the gentle and kind-hearted Adelaide exout the deception eventually; she can never believe } press herself so harshly?" asked Stratford, feeling that the fount of poetry has suddenly dried up within more and more generously inclined towards his you; no doubt, indeed, she has already begun to rival, when he saw how much he was disdained. wonder that you have not given vent to "a woful } “I must explain myself,” said Adelaide ; " for I sonnet made to your mistress' eyebrow.'"

should be very sorry that you (and the delighted Stratford returned no answer, but the conversation lover actually fancied that he detected a slight emleft a deep impression on his mind; and he felt that phasis on the word you) should believe me to be it would indeed be the most honest and upright

hard-hearted and unkind. Captain Nesbitt has course that he could pursue, to confess the whole { considerably fallen in my estimation during the last truth to Adelaide, and then silently to withdraw few days. I have received abundant proofs that he himself from the literary society of which he was so does not always love and respect the truth." little calculated to be a member. Nor was this reso- { Stratford began to feel rather nervous; he had a lution of Stratford's so great a sacrifice as might be particular dislike to conversation which turned on imagined; he had for some time felt himself very { the subject of love and respect for the truth. little at ease among his brilliant new associates; he ? “ Captain Nesbitt," continued Adelaide, “when was aware that he was only "cloth of frieze," al. { he first became acquainted with me, informed me though circumstances had for a time matched him that, although his present property was but limited, with “ cloth of gold." He could not respond to the he expected to succeed to the estates of an old and literary quotations and allusions constantly made in infirm uncle residing in Wales. I was lately in his presence. Ho had heard some wonder expressed company with a family who happened to live in the that he had no scraps in his portfolio to show con. } immediate neighborhood of this wealthy old uncle; fidentially to admiring friends; and the editor of a he has indeed large estates, but he has two sons in leading periodical had kindly suggested to him a excellent health, to inherit them.” gubject for a tale in blank verse, which, if written at Adelaide here pansed, expecting to hear an exall in the style of the tragedy, should, he said, "re clamation of indignant surprise from Stratford; but

THE HEIRESS AND HER WOOERS.

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it was not uttered. Stratford was by no means trou casionally it strikes upon some connecting chord, bled with an over development of conscientiousness, and we eagerly listen and respond to it. and it appeared to him that Captain Nesbitt had When Adelaido Linley left school, she had, liko committed a very venial offence in keeping two most young girls, a favorite friend, with whom she Welsh cousins in the background, who might have kept up a regular correspondence, at the rate of interfered so materially with his interests.

three sheets of rose-colored note-paper a week. “Doubtless," he at length remarked, “ this sub Emma Penryn, however, lived in Cornwall; and as terfuge on Captain Nesbitt's part was owing to the year after year passed by, and the friends never met, excess of his affection for you."

the correspondence decidedly slackened. Still, "I doubt it very much," said Adelaide ; "affection however, it was never wholly given up, and Adelaide is always prone to overrate the good qualities of its had written to her friend shortly after the introducobject; now Captain Nesbitt must have greatly un tion of Talbot and Stratford to her, mentioning their derrated mine, if he could deem it likely that, pos names, and speaking of them as likely to prove sessing as I do an ample sufficiency of the goods of pleasant and desirable acquaintance. The day after fortune, it could make any difference to me whether Adelaide's interview with Stratford, a letter arrived the lover of my choice wore wealthy or otherwise." for her from Emma Penryn. She apologized for

"Could you not in any case deem an untruth ex- her long silence, and gave an excellent reason for eusable ?" asked Stratford.

it; she had been receiving the addresses of a very “In none,” replied Adelaide ; “but there are desirable admirer, who had at length proposed, cases in which I deem it particularly inexcusable : and been accepted; he was a Cornish man, and his the falsehoods of pride or vanity, the assumption of property lay within a few miles of that of her father. being better, or richer, or wiser than we really are— After entering into numerous details regarding the these are, in my opinion, as contemptible as they carriage, the trousseau, and the marriage settlement are reprehensible."

(young ladies in the nineteenth century are very apt “Men of the world,” pursued Stratford, " are apt to talk and write about the marriage settlement), to think very little of an occasional deviation from the bride-elect continuedtruth."

“I am quite sure you will hear an excellent char“Pardon me," said Adelaide, “if I entirely differ acter of my dear Trebeek, if you mention his name from you. Should one man of the world tax another to Mr. Talbot; only think of their being great with the violation of truth in homely, downright friends ; indeed, Mr. Talbot was quite confidential phrase, what is the consequence ? the insult is con with Trebeck a year ago, when staying with him in sidered so unbearable, that in many cases the of the country-house of a mutual friend, and actually fender has even been called on to expiate his words was so kind as to read to him the beautiful tragedy with his life. Now, if a departure from truth be so of the 'Russian Brothers,' to which he had just put mere a trifle, why should not the accusation of having the finishing stroke. Mr. Talbot did not let any departed from truth be also considered as a trifle ?" { one else know a word about it, and in fact extracted

Stratford was silent; his shallow sophistry could { a promise of the strictest secrecy from Trebeck; the not contend with Adelaide's straightforward right reason was, that he meant to produce the tragedy mindedness, and he was rejoiced when the entrance { on the stage, and had a terrible nervous fear of fail. of visitors put an end to the conversation. A tête à are, a fear which was unfortunately realized by the tête with Adelaide had on that morning no charms event; I suppose because it was too good for the for him; he lacked nerve for either a confession or audience to understand. Trebeck kept the secret a proposal! Perhaps, however, it would have been most admirably, never breathing a word of it even better for Stratford if he could have summoned to me, till the brilliant success of the published play courage to have outstaid the visitors, and revealed of course took off the embargo of silence, and now everything to Adelaide ; for discovery was impend w e tell it to everybody; and Trebeck, I assure you, ing over his head from a quarter where he could is not a little proud of the confidence reposed in him not possibly expect it, inasmuch as he was ignorant { by his literary friend." of the very existence of the person about to give the Adelaide read this part of the letter with incredu. information. Every one must have been repeatedly lous surprise, imagining that Emma was under somo called on to remark, that in society there seems to misapprehension; but when she came to reflect on be a mysterious agency perpetually at work, bearing past events, sho could not but see that it was very news from one quarter to another apparently quite likely to be true; she had several times been much unconnected with it. In every class or set we meet struck with the inconsistency of Stratford's conver. with some person who makes us cognizant of the sation and his reputed literary talents, and had felt sayings and doings of another class or set, from surprised that he should so invariably have resisted which we have been hitherto removed at an immea all persuasion, even from herself, to give any fursurable distance. Often the information thus gained ther proof of his poetical abilities. It might seem is desultory and uninteresting, and it passes away astonishing that Talbot should so freely have acfrom our mind almost as soon as we receive it; oc quiesced in this usurpation; but Emma's letter threw

light on the subject, by alluding to Talbot's nervous bell” to the eager ears of Talbot. “Dearest Adehorror of failure, and Adelaide's quick apprehension laide,” he said, “how kindly, how gratifying do soon enabled her to see the real state of the case, { you speak of my talents! They are entirely dediand to become sorrowfully convinced that Captain {cated to you; all the laurels that they may hereafter Nesbitt was not the only one of her “wooers” who } gain for me shall be laid at your feet!" had shown himself regardless of the sacred laws of} “Do not trouble yourself to be so very grateful truth.

{ Mr. Talbot," replied Adelaide. “You will be little Reluctantly, but steadily, did the young heiress obliged to me when you have listened to all that I prepare herself to act as she considered for the best have to say to you. Your talents are undoubtedly under the circumstances. She wrote to Talbot and great, but I do not consider that vividness of imagito Stratford, requesting that they would each wait nation and elegance of composition constitute a man upon her at the same time on the following day. of really fine mind, any more than a suit of regiNeither of them suspected the reason of this sum mentals and an acquaintance with military tactics mons; Talbot had indeed almost forgotten the ex constitute a brave soldier. I may continue the paristence of the silly, good-natured Trebeck; he had allel. You entered the field of battle by your own read the "Russian Brothers" to him, because, like choice, knowing that it was possible you might meet most writers, he felt the wish, immediately after with defeat. Your first defeat came, and what was completing a work, to obtain a hearer for it; and the course you pursued ? Did you resolve to try because, like some writers, he had a great deal of again with added vigor? No, you determined to vanity, and had been flattered by the deferential conceal that you had tried at all; you deserted the admiration of a man much inferior to him, and from noble ranks to which you belonged, to sink into the wbom he need not fear any distasteful criticism. mass of commonplace beings; and should your Talbot knew Trebeck to be perfectly honorable, and conduct ever become generally known, rely upon it if he had ever thought of him at all, be would have that all literary men who sit in judgment upon you remembered the promise of secrecy he had exacted will unanimously sentence you to be cashiered for from him, and would have felt quite at ease. It cowardice !" never entered his mind that circumstances might Stratford breathed a little more freely during this bappen which would induce Trebeck to consider speech; it was a great relief to his feelings to hear himself absolved from his promise, and that, as the his friend so severely reproved. “ Russian Brothers" had been published without a “I will not,” purgued Adelaide, "dwell upon the name, it was perfectly natural and probable that offence that you have mutually committed in departthe Cornish squire might be ignorant that the Lon ing from the straight, clear, and beautiful path of don world of letters imputed the authorship of it to { truth; you well know my opinion on the subject. Stratford, and not to Talbot. The rivals were I could never feel happy in a near connection, or punctual to their appointment, anticipating nothing even in an intimate friendship, with any one who more important than that they should be invited to did not know and revere truth as I have always join a party to a flower-show or the opera-house. done. I shall probably occasionally meet again Adelaido did not keep them in suspense, but said with both of you, but we must meet hereafter only that she wished to read to them part of a letter on the footing of common acquaintance." which she had recently received. When she had The disconcerted “wooers,” now no longer rivals, finished, she told them that she had considered it } took a speedy departure : they exchanged a few right to make them acquainted with this statement, sentences on their way, in which there was much and asked if they had anything to say in refutation more of recrimination than of condolence, and then of it. They looked confused, and were silent. coldly separated. Their friendship had long been Stratford was the first to speak. “Forgive me for at an end; and, in the midst of all their recent mormy seeming assumption of talents not my own," ho tifications, each felt consoled at the thought that he said ; "and remember that my motive was to save was not compelled to cede Adelaide to the other. a friend from the mortification of acknowledging a § It was easy for Adelaide to avoid future intimacy defeat."

with her two rejected lovers, without causing any “I cannot conceive that such was your only mo- } remark among her circle of acquaintance. tive,” replied Adelaide; "you evidently took prido} It was now nearly the end of June ; Mr. Grayson and pleasure in your new character. Did you at-} was quite a man of the old school: he did not stay tempt to suspend the publication of the drama? } in London till the middle of August, and then reDid you shrink from the distinctions that followed pair to Kissengen or Interlachen. He had a pretty it? No; you courted popularity, and enjoyed it, country-house a few miles from London, and always knowing all the time that you had done nothing to removed to it at midsummer. Mrs. Grayson, who merit it, and that the whole of the applause that you enjoyed nothing so much as her flower-garden, was received was in reality the right of your friend !" delighted to escape from the brown, dusty trees of a

Adelaide's words sounded a knell to the hopes of London square ; and Adelaide, although she liked Stratford, but they seemed "merry as a marriage- { public amusements, liked them as “soberly" as THE HEIRESS AND HER WOOERS.

35

Lady Grace in the “Provoked Husband," and al-} said Captain Nesbitt; “but I have reason to think ways professed herself ready to rusticate as soon as that he has kept back the truth." the roses were in bloom. Three days after her in “That may do quite as well,” thought Stratford, terview with Talbot and Stratford, she removed from “when one has to deal with so scrupulous a person the bustle of London to a region of flowers, green

as Adelaide ;" and he requested Captain Nesbitt to trees, and singing-birds. The former friends-now, explain himself. alas ! friends no longer-travelled abroad. They “Alton's father,” said Captain Nesbitt, " did not had each studiously contrived to depart on a diffe resemble the father in an old song of O'Keefe's— rent day, and to visit a different point of the conti

Who, dying, bequeathed to his son a good name! Dent; but they happened accidentally to meet on a mountain in Switzerland. They passed each other He was, like his son, a confidential clerk—not, howmerely with the remarks that “the scenery was ever, to a solicitor, but to a Liverpool merchant. Fery grand," and that “the panorama of the Lake He repaid the confidence of his employer by embezof Thun, at the Colosseum, had given one a capital zling sundry sums of money, which he hazarded at idea of it !”

the gaming-table. At length, the frequency of his Stratford returned to London in January: Cap losses occasioned him to commit a more daring act tain Nesbitt was the first person of his acquaintance than a breach of trust: he forged the name of the whom he encountered. Now Captain Nesbitt pos merchant to a banking-house check; discovery ensessed an infallible characteristic of a narrow-mind sued, and he only escaped the punishment of tho ed, mean-spirited man : he never forgave a woman law by committing suicide. This event happened who had refused him, and never omitted an oppor five years ago, and is fresh in the remembrance of tunity of speaking ill of her. After having anathe many persons in Liverpool.” matized Adelaide and her coquetries for some time, “But do you not think it likely that Alton may he proceeded

have revealed these facts to Adelaide ?" asked Strat“Her marriage, however, will shortly take place, ford. and it is, I think, a fitting conclusion to her airs and “I do not think it in the least likely that he graces. Perhaps, as you have only just arrived in should have proved himself such a blockbead !" England, you are not aware that she is engaged to replied Captain Nesbitt. “Adelaide would never her guardian's clerk ?"

marry the son of a man who only escaped hanging “ To Alton !” exclaimed Stratford. “To that by suicide!" quiet, dull young man! Impossible ! She used to “ They do not hang for forgery in these days," ridicule his unsocial habits, and also was very severe said Stratford. on his propensity for boarding money."

“So much the worse,” said Captain Nesbitt. “It " However that might be," replied Captain Nes is a crime that cannot be too severely punished. I bitt," he has proved himself not too dull to devise remember hearing that, many years ago, a man was and succeed in an admirable matrimonial specula hanged for forging the ace of spades: I wish those tion : and, as for his system of hoarding, perhaps good old times would come back again." the fair Adelaide, although she objected to it in an Stratford was silent; not all his pique, nor all his indifferent person, may not disapprove of it in a jealousy, could induce him to think that it would be husband. Heiresses are always terribly afraid of desirable for the times to come back again, when a marrying men who are likely to dissipate their mo- } man was banged for forging the ace of spades! ney."

The next day, Stratford called at Mr. Grayson's, “When is the marriage to take place ?” asked and found Adelaide alone in the drawing-room. Stratford, with affected carelessness.

She looked a little surprised at seeing him, but “I believe in a few weeks," said Captain Nesbitt; { received him as she would have done a common " that is, if nothing should happen to prevent it. I acquaintance. Stratford congratulated her on her think I could set it aside at once, if I took interest future prospects, and uttered some forced commend. enough in Adelaide to make it worth my while to į ations on the excellence of Alton's character. do so. I could communicate to her something ro “He affords a convincing proof,” he said, with & specting Alton which would decidedly lower him in little trepidation, “that the son of an unworthy her opinion."

father need not necessarily tread in his steps." “ Indeed!” exclaimed Stratford, eagerly. “Has “There are so many similar instances of that Alton, then, been guilty of any deviation from the fact," said Adelaide, “that I think there is nothing truth ?"

astonishing in them. The good or bad qualities of Poor Stratford ! “He that is giddy thinks the } a father are not, like landed estates, entailed upon world turns round;" and he had no idea that a lover his son." could offend in any other way than by deviating “Then you do know," said Stratford, "that Alfrom the truth.

ton's father was an unworthy man ?” “I do no: know that Alton has told any untruth," S Adelaide looked at bim with rave, earnest sur.

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prise. “You have chosen a strange subject of con- was creditable to him, and because he wished to versation," she said; "but I have no objection to avoid the appearance of boasting of his own good satisfy your curiosity. I heard of the circumstance deeds : and so it, indeed, proved to be. Alton had to which you allude from Alton himself.”

for five years been denying himself every enjoyment “I conclude," said Stratford, " that Mr. Grayson suitable to his age and tastes, for the purpose of insisted on his being candid with you, previous to saving the sum of money of which his father had your engagement being concluded ?"

defrauded his employer. When he first began this “You are quite in the wrong," returned Adelaide. { undertaking, it seemed likely to prove a very tedious “Mr. Grayson is much attached to Alton-whom he ? one; but, two years ago, be happily received a is on the point of taking into partnership—and was { legacy from a relation, which more than half reavery desirous that he should propose to me. He {lized the amount that he required; still, however, enjoined him to keep secret the melancholy circum- } he did not slacken in his laudable energy; and, stapces connected with his father, as they could shortly after the conversation to which I have alonly tend to give me uneasiness; and it was quite luded, he was enabled to pay over the whole sum, certain that no one else would be so deficient in with the accumulated interest, to the Liverpool merkind feeling as to mention them to me." Stratford chant, who sent him a letter full of the kindest exfelt rather embarrassed and uncomfortable as Ade pressions of approbation, concluding with the assurlaide uttered these words. “Alton's strict and ance that he should make his noble act of atonement honorable love of truth, however,” pursued Adelaide, generally known among all his friends. Therefore, “led him to disregard this counsel; some weeks by this time, every one who has censured the faults before he proposed to me he made known to me and frailties of the father, is engaged in lauding the every particular of his father's trangression; and I honor and hone assured him, in reply, that I did not consider bim Stratford had heard quite enough; he took a in the smallest degree lowered in excellence by hasty leave, sincerely repenting that he had ever having become good, conscientious, and truthful, thought of troubling the bride elect with a morning without the aid of parental precept or example." call.

Stratford was determined to discharge a parting Alton and Adelaide were married in the course of arrow at the provoking heiress. “You have shown a few weeks: two years have elapsed since that yourself extremely liberal in your opinions," he time, and I am of opinion that the unusual bappisaid ; "and you have the very comforting reflection ness they enjoy is greatly to be attributed to the that, from Mr. Alton's known and remarkable habits { truthfulness which is the decided characteristic of of frugality, he is never likely to fall into the same both of them. I am aware that many of my readsnares that proved fatal to his father, but will dis ers will say that it is of little importance whether a tinguish himself rather by saving money than by married couple, whose interests necessarily bind squandering it."

them together, should mutually love truth, or mutuAs you appear,” said Adelaide, “ to speak in ally agree in sanctioning the thousand and one litrather an ironical tone concerning Alton's economy, tle falsities of worldly expediency; but I think that I think it due to him to enter into a short explana those who hold such an opinion cannot have had tion of his motives. When Alton first paid me those many opportunities of closely observing the domesmarked attentions which I knew must lead to a tic circles of their friends and neighbors. Had they proposal, I sometimes rallied him on his strict fru- done so, they would bave been aware that the begingality, and sometimes gently reproved him for it: ning of matrimonial unhappiness repeatedly arises he was not only sparing to himself, but I felt grieved from the detection by one party of some slight vioto remark that, although ever willing to devote time lation of truth on the part of the other. Often such and thought to the poor, he rarely assisted them a violation is committed with no ill intent; nay, with money. He assured me that he had a reason often, indeed, is it done with the kind motive of for bis conduct, and that he was certain that I sparing some little trouble or anxiety to the beloved should not blame him if I knew it. He added that one. A trifling trouble is concealed, a small exthe necessity for economy would soon cease, and pense kept in the background, the visit of an intruthat he should then have the pleasure of indulging {sive guest unmentioned, or a letter read aloud with his natural feelings of liberality. I was not satis- the omission of a short part of it, which might be fied with this reply: I required him to give a direct supposed to be unpleasant to the listener. These answer to a direct question, and to tell me what concealments and misrepresentations, in themselves were his motives for saving, and why they should so seemingly slight, decome of terrific account when exist at one time more than another.

frequently repeated; confidence is shaken; and, “It was very merciless of you," said Stratford. when once that is the case, conjugal happiness is

“Not in the least,” replied Adelaide. “Alton soon at an end. Adelaide and her husband are on had given me such proofs of his truthful and honor- the most confidential terms, because neither of them able nature, that I knew, if he held back any com- } ever thinks whether a true remark or communicamunication from me, he could only do so because it tion is agreeable or not: they speak it because it is

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