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the bridge, which was to his left as he looked up Parliament Street to the Exchange, and from which began to run, immediately over the river's edge, a low quay-wall, then not as perfectly built as that now occupying its place. Parallel with this wall were the backs of ruinous or mean houses, and a little way along their row, a narrow, dirty street, branching into other streets as inconsiderable, turned up towards the then promenade of the beau monde of Dublin-Dame Street; and in this direction James's eye fixed, full of anxiety and impatience,—the quiet, self-humbling manner which he knew how to assume towards his cousin, his uncle, and indeed towards almost all other persons, being momentarily changed, now that he was alone and unobserved, and full of the solitary enjoyment of his peculiar anticipations, into one more characteristic of his own nature, and even, in his proper estimation, more worthy of himself.
It was a solemn hour, and there was a solemn and imposing scene all around him, but he had no feeling for the one, and no vision for the other. At either hand swept the Liffy's spacious quays, flanked, to his right and to his left, by their seemingly interminable lines of houses, running into and blurring with, at a distance, the night's darkness; and towered over, in the former direction, by the cathedralsteeples of old Dublin to one side of the river, and by the beautiful dome of the Four Courts to the other. Before him, as we have said, crowning the end of Parliament Street, swelled up the massive Exchange, and behind him ran Capel Street to a great length. At this time of midnight the bustle of business had disappeared from its wonted channels ; even pleasure sent along the streets but few equipages, and as few pedestrians; and, indeed, the rare foot-fall of a passer-by now sounded with a kind of melancholy echo upon observant ears. And in the whole of this changed aspect of a large town there was much to awaken thought, and retrospect, and speculation, and philosophy; but again we have to say that to James Hutchinson it afforded no materials for any such digressions.
Still and still his glance was fixed upon the end of the mean narrow street up the quay to his left. The good old-times watchman taking up the chimings and tollings of all the public clocks, far and near, proclaimed the hour of midnight; and far and near, again, his brethren reiterated his superfluous running commentary upon the lapse of time. James Hutchinson, his eye becoming more impatient, though it still remained true to its first point of study, walked a pace or two by the rear of the mean houses alluded to, and again stood still. A quarter of an hour elasped, and he walked rapidly to the street he had hitherto been watching, turned up into it, glided into others of similar character, stopped at a low, small, rough-looking, but very substantial door, in a high windowless house, and bent his ears as if listening to sounds that might reach him from within. In a short time he started into an upright position, smote the palm of one hand with the other, and stepped a little back, as if, so far, fully gratified in his expectations.
« Let me out, let me out, scoundrel !" hoarsely screamed a man's yoice inside the house ; and then, with the noises of unlocking a ponderous lock, and of withdrawing heavy bolts, and of removing heavy chains, the double-panelled and iron-riveted oak-door slowly half opened. The next instant William Hutchinson rushed into the street without a hat, and it was immediately banged to, and secured after him.
He did not notice his cousin, and for a short time his cousin did not notice him, except so far as to watch, standing quite still, the almost staggering motions of his despairing victim, as he raced down the narrow deserted street towards the quay; and there was a slight self-congratulatory smile on his features, such as might mark those of a master in mechanics, who observes the first successful workings of a new machine, which he had spent much time, thought, and trouble, in planning and putting together.
William passed out of the street, and James, now following him, next caught a sight of his cousin half bending over the quay-wall
, his hands grasping its top, his head dropping towards his breast, his brows knitted, and his eyes glaring on the water beneath him. And again James stopped short; and, “Will he trip over at once ?” he asked of himself; “ will he save me farther trouble, and bundle over into the sweet Liffy? But no—I must scarce hope it; if there were nothing else to hold him back, he knows that although the bracketwash is in, the muddy bed of the nasty little stream is not covered with enough of water to drown him-here at its side, at least.” He advanced gently to his cousin, and demanded in an anxious though low voice-" Well, man-alive, well ?”
“Begone!" roared William, starting round upon him, and dashing at his throat like a mastiff ;—“ begone! or, friend to me, or devil to me, as it may be—invent some remedy now ! Half this work is yours—push me on some resource-fling me some plank or sparand tie me fast and hard to it-else, by the fiend that toils and swells within me, and prompts me to anything, I will have revenge on you -first on you—then on the accursed world, and then on my damned self!"
“ Pray loosen your fingers from my throat, William," said James, quietly, or fix a quarrel on me, if you like, and then stand alone to face your
real enemies." These words, as we have said, were quietly uttered, and yet the speaker more than once asked himself, in his own mind, whether he should draw a pistol from his pocket, and, in instant punishment for the outrage on his person, shoot his dupe through the head.
There I” resumed William, letting him go ; " there-pardon me, pardon me, if you like-or do not, if you like-do your pleasure-revile me, spit upon memI am grown fit for it !-1, too, met a few of my creditors--my honourable creditors—in the street, to-night, on my way to yonder little hell ; and my own ears caught their laugh, after I passed them; and they must have got me dodged to it; for while in it I received a note from Blake, inviting me, with sneering politeness, to sup with him to-night, and bring with me my winnings from my new table-insolent cur !”
“ But where are the winnings, William ?”
A loud laugh, to which the quays and streets around them echoed, was William's only answer.
5 And all is gone, then ?"
“ Pshaw !--James Hutchinson, speak to me of things but possible ! By good or by evil-by fair means or foul-by craft or by violencespeak to me of a something to be done !"
“ Stop a moment, William ; neither you nor I are at present in a state of mind fit for considering the subject; I am too much afflicted, and you are too much agitated, so let us talk a moment of other matters. Since you left Howth, your little boy has been taken very ill, and
Ay, there it is again !" interrupted William, grinding his teethvery ill-dangerously ill, do you mean?"
“ Why I cannot distinctly speak as to the danger ; but poor Fanny and the old baronet seemed frightened, and a man and horse were sent into Dublin for the doctor, and another to Major Blake's quarters, near us, in Howth, to tell him he need not come to-night to stand sponsor
for the infant at the intended christening—though, for that matter, Blake will feel no disappointment, as he is still in Dublin, and only preparing, about this very time, I believe, to return into the country with the regiment-money: he carries a round sum with him in the postchaise, I can hear; I wish some poor fellows that I know had the handling of it for a day or two."
“ Yes, by Heavens! money, money, at every side of meone's hands but in mine !—what have I done, that I should stand, bare and stripped in this manner, the world's laughing-stock ?-or why should my father act as no other father does ?-keep my own from me ?-or at least what in a few years must be my own—and sermon me, too, and rate me as if I were a spendthrift servant, or a little boy that threw away too many halfpence on sugar-stick! He hates me !-that's the plain reason, as you and I have often said. He always hated me! ay, since I lay in the cradle: that puling Peter was the light of his eye--I seemed only in his way—that he might kick me out of it !”
“ Well, though I am sorry to agree with you, we need not say more upon that point at present. Something else of a disagreeable nature concerning you happened at your father's while we were both absent to-day. It is necessary I should tell you of the circumstance, though it will pain you as it has pained me. In fact, two law-officers, sent by some of your tradespeople creditors, were looking for you. I learnt as much from the old baronet himself, who told me that he had met with them, and got them to declare their business—though, indeed, he added, that he told them also that neither they, nor those who sent them, need depend upon
his assistance in the matter, or in any other of the kind, and that they might catch you, and make you pay them whenever or wherever they could.”
6 So—he leaves. me- -he absolutely leaves me to the tender mercies of the sheriff at last ?"
“ He certainly does- there is no denying that fact."
“ Let him take care, then! Tell me, James—you know more of his secrets than I do-do you think he hoards any of his miser's gold in the house itself?"
“ No, not a shilling—or at least not much more than a shilling; I
wish he did—for your sake I wish he did: by heaven, William, I would help you to find out his hiding-hole! And now, perhaps, we are both of us cool enough to turn to the real state of your
affairs. Well, I own they are desperate ; and in that case remember the adage about desperate diseases and desperate remedies. Come now-you want a long purse—why ?--because both the laws of the statute-book and the laws of honour press you equally hard ; and again, because your own means are unjustly withheld from you ; and because, in the second instance, the statute-law—the tradesman's law—taking you at its pleasure, every turn you make, swears that you commit a sin, if— James paused. 56 Go on! urge it hard !" cried William, scowling deeply round him.
Pray now, cousin William, where shall we find, amid all their legislation, if we only look at the measure philosophically and quietly, where shall we find a fixed standard for any man's right to possess superfluous wealth ? In fair battle, upon the land or the sea, the purchase-money of an earldom may be had, only for courage
and a few good blows—how strange that, in their every-day life, similar means of self-assertion would be a sin ?" Again I tell you go on, James: I think I
would drive at-in principle, I mean, though I cannot fancy how
would run it into practice just now; and, by the horns of old Moses, it does not startle me
and I, James, know more of this than the crammed world of juggling knaves we at present live in! Ha! we have roamed the jolly sea together in fellowship such as these clerks would- -hang! Hah, sir ! - don't you remember when the western pirate, as they called him, took the first pretty frigate we sailed in, knocking a good many of our crew on the heads, to be sure, yet giving noble quarters to a few sensible chaps like you
and me?” “ And when the Frenchmen chased us, William, while we gaily lent our hands and tongues to keep the rover tight.”
“ And when we turned upon them like young tigers !"
“ Did we fight less keen because we hoped for a recompense out of his freight of dollars ?”
“O for the sea again to-night!" resumed William Hutchinson, clenching his hand above his head; and his cousin now observed that he had been rather freely indulging in wine, or in some other strong stimulant- —“O for the sea again to-night-its blue boundless fields of freedom !—and we the mates of just such a rover, to cater for a hundred-fold the amount of the poor sum that now— -dishonours us! I'll go farther with your theory, James: there is nothing to be had, you say, by a bold, manly attempt in my own father's house—in my own house I should rather call it; but whisper to me into what corner any other miser's thin starved fingers have swept his mouldering guineas, or point out the road that some sleek official slave takes homeward with his treasure, to-night, and I swear to you, by my wants and by my wrongs, I will have my share of nature's common dross."
To-night, William ?” asked James, seemingly in half surprise, but pleasurable excitement.
“ This very night !- I have said so- -how is it to be done ?-ha! stop—you mentioned a name just now the name of the father of the swaggering young fop that I hate as I hate hell!”
“ And the very fellow,” interrupted James, “who, by his superior skill in the dice, has swindled you out of more money than you can ever hope to gain this night by his father; and besides, man alive, what the old major carries with him is what they call public money -treasury money-got by taxing you and me and all of us—pshaw! why do I hesitate a moment to help you in such an attempt to set yourself right in the world again ?--here is my hand, William ; I'm with you in the thing; and I do know the road that will bring us upon luck; but
“ Come then, at once." William was dragging him onward, their hands locked together.
“ Listen to me a moment: meet me, in half an hour, about a mile outside Dublin, on the Howth road."
Why do we part, now-why do we pause ?" “ A few minutes' preparation is necessary, and few, indeed, they shall be ; turn into the little tavern—the Ship Tavern--on the part of the road I mean, and while you are drinking a glass of wine I shall rejoin you. We shall want a few things--cloaks, crape for our faces, perhaps—besides a hand or two to help us
66 A hand or two to help us ? Can you trust them ?” • Pho! can we trust each other ?”
“ Very well--the Howth road, then !”—and William Hutchinson ran along the
quay James looked after him a moment; then turned to Essex Bridgethere saw, pacing up and down, the friend with whom we have heard him make an appointment, exchanged a signal with him, and after some conversation the pair hurried off in the direction which William had taken. *
* To be continued.
SNATCHES OF SONG.
BY MRS. C. BARON WILSON.
Sighs are unavailing,
Tears are also vain ;
Are not restor'd by rain :
Could reproaches cure,
Never maids endure;