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promised prosperity, and Robin received a half- head, is another guess thing. I never saw the dozen newspapers by one post; and next time it wise man yet that marriage did not sober and was heard, from some chance source, that Charles steady.” had again lost his employment, or had as usual Even to such slender consolation the old father abandoned it.
would try to smile. Of the new ties and duties Wise Gilbert had married, in the mean while, Charles had taken upon himself, in a distant land, and brought home his wife ; which made Tibby he knew nothing : but he hoped, and prayed; and prudently abdicate to avert a virtual dethronement. his heart revived, and grew strong in its trust, She retired to a small cottage, in a thriving vil- when his son's next letter called upon him to send lage, some miles off, the recent creation of the his congratulations to the gentle English girl who wool of the adjoining hills. In a few months her had preferred his Charles to wealthier suitors, and “ kind, gude, auld maister” surrendering his con- a grandsire's blessing to the new-born infant, cerns into the hands of his elder son, on a very named, in pride and fondness, by his venerated slender annuity, to terminate with his lease, made name. It had been then that Charles, ever the the ancient maiden happy, by becoming her man of impulse, had written home, and then, unlodger, or rather the master of her cottage. der the influence of new-born feelings, he had
The trusty Robin Steele, who still lived at the vowed, on the lips of his child, a future life of farm, often joined their family worship on the wisdom and firmness of purpose-a resolution kept evenings of Sundays; and so far as Tibby's means for three long months. At the end of that time and management would stretch, the Sabbath his wife requested to add a postscript to his letter Night's Supper, proscribed by the more refined home-for Fernylees was still called home-in manners of the modern lady of Fernylees, was which she declared herself, though cast off by her not yet wholly wanting to the venerable' auld mais- friends, for what they considered her imprudent ter, nor was the health of Charles ever forgotten choice, to be, as the wife of Charles, the happiest by Robin. If ever the father spoke of him, whom woman in England. There was that in the his thoughts seldom left, it was to these two hum- phrase, which made the old father fear, that, short ble friends that his confidings were made; his as her term of married life had been, it had not all fears and hopes, and fears again. In a fit of gene- been thus happy. And he was right. The young rous, though somewhat misplaced indignation, pair-and the wife was very young-had not been Charles, usually a most irregular correspondent, many weeks married, when Charles, by his frewrote home when he learned the terms on which quently recurring inattentions and imprudencies, his father had surrendered his lease, enclosing all lost an advantageous employment. Then came of his year's salary that he could realize, fifty a season of great hardship and privation, in which pounds.
everything failed but the affection which mutual With what exultation did Tibby carry this intel- suffering deepened between them into unutterable ligence to Robin, that same afternoon, as she saw tenderness. Oh, well may the strongest minded him wearing the hoggs down the braes overhang- of the human race dread the subduing force of ing the village. Scarcely could he prevail with evil habit, and guard against the very appearance her to keep from taunting the penurious brother of evil, when Charles Hepburn, now feeling to with the generosity of the prodigal son :-"Ye madness the folly and cruelty of his own unsteady wot not lass,” Robin said, "the hard bargain and conduct, and, pardoned times without number, sore strife Gilbert has with a lady wise, down- could again fall into error! His final lapse was looking merkates, and the ransom rent of the more pardonable in the immediate cause, than Ferny lees.''
many of his former misadventures, though it Tibby was a woman, and, therefore, though al- chanced to be attended by worse consequences ; most always kind, not always perfectly reasonable. for, though the least, it was the last drop in the “ Ye'll see Charlie Hepburn bigg us a braw overflowing cup: selated house with a byre at the gait-end, and mak' Six months before, when sunk in the very the auld maister walk down the town with his depths of misery, shunned by his gay companions, gold-headed cane yet,” was her frequent boast ; and looking forward to the last extremity of povbut till the accomplishment of these prophecies, erty; and when, but for the sake of his wise, he which sometimes made the saint-like old man would have fled to the ends of the earth to avoid smile, he thoughtfully laid aside the greater part or amend his fortunes, he once more found emof the money sent him, fearing that Charles was ployment as an inferior clerk to an extensive comnot yet past all his expensive follies, and therefore pany, the senior partner of which was a native of not above want for himself. And he congratu- Scotland. Their business was chiefly with the lated himself on this forethought, when, after United States. For some weeks the punctuality another long silence, it was heard by accident, from and diligence of Charles were quite exemplary. a neighboring farmer, who had been at Liverpool Mr. Dennistoun began to hope that the bad busito sell his wool, that Charles Hepburn was mar- ness character which his young countryman uniried! Tibby's first impulse was indignation ; but versally bore in Liverpool, was unfounded or she suppressed her own feelings to spare those of exaggerated. her master. "" We'll be sure to get a letter next “ New brooms sweep clean," said the cautious. week,” she would say, at the spare weekly Sab- Mr. William Smith, a junior partner, promoted bath Night's Supper, to which some old friend or from the quill and packing-cord, for industry and neighbor often came in, uninvited but welcome. attention. He had, indeed, been very unwilling “ Postage, Mr. Charles knows to be no light to receive the branded clerk, who, among other charge; ye are aye complaining o' the parlia- sins, was und to have committed that of menters, Robin ; will ye get them to take off that rhyme. Mr. Smith was right. The old leaven post-letter cess that brings sae meikle heart-break still fermented in the constitution of Hepburn; and io poor wives, widow women, and lanely mothers ? simultaneously with the discovery of his superior: But I'se warrant me Mr. Charles, now that he is a intelligence in some departments of business, came married man, with the care of a family upon his the painful experience that had been forced upon
all his employers. The temptations of society, up, love? I hope you did not sit for me; I dare pleasure, and what he called friendship, returned say it was two o'clock before I got home.” with unmitigated force upon their fascinated vic- Agnes did not now say how much later it had tim. Three times in the course of the twelve been, nor yet how long she had held her solitary months he had been discharged, and restored upon vigil. She placed the boy in his father's arms, and promises of amendment. The last time to the hastened to procure a small quantity of tea with tears and intercessions of his wife-whom, as a her almost last shilling. While she moved about desperate expedient, Charles had humbled himself the rooin, Charles, still under the excitement of so far as to permit to plead for him. Mr. Dennis- his revel, talked wildly of the wit, the gaiety, the toun pronounced his conduct "ruinous," such as national feeling, the rapturous conviviality, with he could not overlook, save for Mrs. Hepburn's which his friends and himself, men of different sake, just this once. And could Agnes, who nations, Scottish, English, Irish, and American, loved so tenderly, and hoped so brightly, doubt united by the bond of enthusiastic admiration, had that now her husband, restored to comfort and celebrated the birth-day of Scotland's immortal respectability, would be steady-be all that was bard :wanting to make her, poor and unregarded as she was become, still “the happiest woman in Eng- And the bonds they grew tighter the more they land.” Once again evil habit prevailed over the sincere but infirm resolution of Hepburn.
In the bitter cold morning of the 26th of Janu- He repeated the flashes of Scottish genius which ary, 18—, the young wife of Charles Hepburn, had electrified the banqueters, the bursts of Irish and she was still under nineteen-sat in the single humor which had set the table in a roar. Either poor apartment they rented by the week, hushing the fire and spirit of these sallies had totally evapher moaning child ; and at the same time preparing orated, or Agnes was an unfit recipient. On this coffee for her husband's breakfast, to be ready morning she, for the first time, could not feel with against the minute he would awake. She knew Charles, or her sympathy was feigned or faintthat he slept too long. Her eyes, heavier from a her smile, for she attempted to smile, forced and long night of watching than from tears, for of late languid. Charles, whose sensibility was quick as she seldom wept, were mournfully fixed on her ethereal fire, felt damped, disconcerted, and became infant, and then a single tear stole down the silent. cheek, thin and sunken from the “ peachy bloom" The neighboring church-clock again sullenly once celebrated in Charles' sonnets. The snow-swung forth another hour, with the peculiar heavy drift was spinning without, and the twilight was sound of bells in a snow-fall
. gray and dull enough that morning, in this narrow He paused in playing with and tossing the and mean street of a busy and crowded part of child, whom, in whatever humor it might be, he Liverpool.
always succeeded in making laugh-paused to Agnes had opened but a small part of the shut- count the strokes. “ Seven, eight, nine-he ter, that her husband might obtain another half- started—“ten, eleven!” He threw down the hour's sleep after his prolonged revel. The clock boy, and seized his watch. It had run down amid of a neighboring church struck a late hour. Start- his jollity. “Good God! is that clock true! ing at the sound, she stole on tip-toe to the side Agnes, how thoughtless, how very thoughtless, to of the bed, and gazed, through now fast-gathering let me sleep so long !" Conscience checked the tears, on the sleeper, the dreamer whether awake unjust reproach. “I could not, Charles ; indeed or asleep!-gently pressed her cold lips to his I could not find heart to awake you while you flushed brow—and turned vay. Soft as her looked so fevered and flushed so much to need movements had been, they had awaked the rest. rest. less slumberer ; and she was but seated, with her “ Foolish woman! For this your child may child in her lap, when he tossed aside the curtain. want bread!” He hastily dressed himself, or
“You are up already, Agnes, love :-I'm afraid rather huddled on his clothes, soiled and unI kept you up very late last night too ; surely brushed from his revel ; while, ready to faint amid you did not watch for me? But what a glorious the struggles of her various feelings, Agnes night, Agnes! how Burns himself would have tremblingly held the cup of tea to his parched enjoyed it ;-a glorious night! a Noctes Ambro- lips, which he but tasted, as with one look fixed sianæ !!"
upon her, in which burned love, grief, and reThere was no immediate reply.
morse, he started away. He flew to the ware“ Was Burns a married man?” at last whis- house, where he should have been, where he had pered the English woman, whose young silv most unconditionally and indeed voluntarily promvoice was already touched with sorrow; and she ised to be, by nine o'clock ; to the dock, where leant her head on the bosom of her child.
the New York packet had lain, in which he was “ Married ! ay, to be sure; have you forgotten that morning to have shipped a valuable consign* Bonny Jean,' and the little charming song you ment of expensive British shawls, which were made me teach you— When first I went a wooing only to arrive in Liverpool through the night. It of you?'” cried the Scotsman, with some impa- was a duty which Mr. Dennistoun, in a fit of contience of his wife's ignorance on points so familiar fidence and good-humor, had entrusted to Charles to himself. “ You have then forgotten Of all -had especially selected him to manage, as a the airts the wind can blaw,'” he went on, in a mark of confidence. The vessel had left the dock half-reproachful, half-playful tone.
-she was out at sea! In a state of feeling very “Oh, no, no, I have not forgotten that.” far from “glorious," Charles bent his steps to his " Then, quick, Agnes dearest, get me some tea place of business with shame and apprehension-not coffee to-day-my throat is parched, and my not unmingled with self-condemnation—striving, head aches like a hundred fiends. Fetch your son in vain to fortify himself with the reflection of how here, and I will nurse him till you get breakfast; weak it was in Agnes not to have roused him I trust he is better to-day. But when did you get | earlier. True, she knew not of his important engagements ; she had indeed scarce seen him for was several miles beyond money-making, manythe last twenty-four hours.
masted Liverpool, cursing his existence, and the The first object that met the eyes of Charles, on day that had given birth to a wretch whose life entering the dreaded counting-house, was Mr. was fraught with blighting to all that loved Deonisloun himself, writing at the desk usually him. An expression once wrung in anguish from called Mr. Hepburn's. Mr. Smith was similarly his aged father, now haunted him, as one idea will employed at his own desk ; but the young gentle-cling to the brain in which reason is failing : man partner, the capitalist, lounged over a news- “ Unstable as water, thou shalt not ercel!" This paper. Every clerk was, in his own department, he muttered ; shouted in his own ears; screamed quill-driving as if for life and death ; and nought out in his despair. was heard but the rustle of sharp-nibbed pens on paper. The office clock struck the half-hour past The long winter's day wore heavily on with mid-day; clocks, his enemies throughout all his the drooping and ill-boding Agnes ; yet she exlife, were this day to be the ruin of Charles Hep- erted herself to amuse her child, and to prepare burn-living things with mocking voices, taunting such food against her husband's arrival, as her his misery. He stood crushing his hat between slender means afforded, and such as she conceived his hands, by the side of his own desk ; and, on best adapted to the state of inanition in which she his first attempt to speak, the eyes of all the per- knew he must return home after his revel and subsons present were involuntarily turned upon him, sequent exhaustion. That he would not return, with expressions varying with the character of the never once occurred to her, many as were the spectators-all eyes, save those of Mr. Dennistoun, anxious thoughts over which she brooded. As who never once raised his head. As there was, the day wore later, Agnes became more and more after five minutes' waiting, no symptom of that gen- uneasy. Occasionally Hepburn's impulsive zeal ileman relaxing in his writing, Charles, his brow had detained him after the ordinary hours of busiflushing, muttered, in deep confusion, “ I am quite ness; and but too frequently he encountered, in ashamed-quite unpardonable my conduct is this the busy streets of Liverpool, “ friends, countrymorning, sir.” The old gentleman bowed coldly men, and lovers," all joyously met; whom he in assent, and continued his writing. “ But the could not entertain in his own poor lodging, and Washington has not sailed, though the John accordingly adjourned with to a tavern. Adams has gone. I trust there is yet time." In the evening, one or two of Charles' convivial
"Spare yourself all trouble on that account, companions, of the previous night, called at his Mr. Hepburn,” said the old gentleman, who could lodging to fight their battles o'er again ; but he be as stately, when he so pleased, as if bred in a was found to be abroad, and his wife, usually a court, instead of a Glasgow counting-house. very lively person, was
“ sullen,' one young " The goods are shipped—though tardily, yet in man said; and another, more candid, "in low good order. That, sir, became my duty, as I spirits—and no wonder.” Later in the night, a had been credulous enough to believe the Ethio- porter called, belonging to the Dennistoun and pian could change his skin; weak enough to as-Smith firm, who was from Charles' native parish, sime an improper responsibility.” He was still and who felt kindly towards him, and was often writing; and now coolly handed a slip of paper to helpful to him and his wife in many little matters. Hepburn, who, while his eyes flashed, and then When informed that Mr. Hepburn had not yet became dimn, read an order to the cash-keeper to come home to dinner, the man looked so blank, pay instantly whatever arrears of salary were due that the imagination of Agnes, prone of late to to him. That was not much, but Dennistoun, gloomy apprehension, caught fresh alarm, and the Smith and Company had no further occasion for simple man was glad to escape from her anxious his services! Charles stood at first dumb and questionings. Leaving her sleeping child to the petrified; he then attempted to speak, to remon- care of her landlady, Agnes walked to the extenstrate, to supplicate. He thought of Agnes and sive ware-houses of Mr. Dennistoun. All was her boy, and bitter and wretched were his feel- shut up in darkness, and must have been so for ings. This dismissal was not merely loss of em- some hours. With difficulty she made her way ployment; it was the wreck of the last remains home, where Hepburn had not yet appeared ; and of his professional character. Who would trust now exhausted from want of sleep and of food, any man dismissed in disgrace by the calm and and tortured by apprehension, she became so ill, liberal Dennistoun. In reply to his broken solici- that when the landlady proposed to go to the pritation, this gentleman, now inexorable, however vate residence of Mr. Dennistoun, to obtain intellikind he had formerly been, without uttering a gence of Charles, no opposition was offered. word, wrote away, merely powing and waving his The Liverpool merchant was in his splendid hind, in signal to the speaker to be gone. Chok- drawing-room, enjoying his well-earned evening log with feelings of pride, of grief now chased to leisure in the midst of his family, and with a small anger, Hepburn abruptly left the counting-house, circle of friends. Among the pleasures of the and the old gentleman picked up the order he had evening, his favorite grand-child, a girl of thirteen dropt, and desired the cash-keeper to pay over the or fourteen, had sung to the old Highland air to money to himself. As Charles passed through which they were appropriated, the unlucky Burns' the outer-room, the lounging gentleman partner verses of the more unfortunate Hepburn, which had called to him to pay him a compliment on his been so much admired in the newspapers of the verses, recited at the festival of the preceding morning. Mr. Dennistoun was luckily not aware night, which he, an amateur of the muses, had of the author of Letitia's song, or he might have just finished reading, though in business hours. listened, on this night, with impatience. The old It wanted but this, in the present mood of the un- melody, (Arrie nam badan,) tender at once and fortunate Hepburn, to madden him outright. He spirited, had been first heard by him among the rau out; he passed from street to street; his only hills of Argyle, more than half a century before. distinct thought being by which avenue he could Whether it were in the music, the voice of the boonest escape from the town. In an hour he singer, or the braes and brackens, and heather
bells and long yellow broom that mingled in the himself the very feelings on which he had relied song, that the spell lay, or, as was more likely, in for Hepburn's exculpation and forgiveness. He the whole combination, we cannot tell, but the lauded the genius of those men-Scotsmen-in thoughts of Hepburn, which had hung upon the whom warmth and exaltation of feeling palliated old Scotsman's spirits all day, returned to him aberrations unpardonable in the dull, cold-blooded, more painfully than ever. Not that he repented money-making mortals, who lived by square and what he had done, or of anything save his weak rule. “There was,” he continued in illustration, forbearance, and pernicious indulgence of errors
your glorious Burnsof so bad example. Yet a man may be fully ac- “ Be silent, sir !" cried the old man, in a tone quitted by his conscience, as to the justice of a of stern severity, which made Agnes start and particular action, and yet be very far from com- shudder, and which at once imposed silence on the fortable in his inward feelings. So at least it was speaker. “ If there be to young men of genius with Mr. Dennistoun, even before a message was one warning example more impressive and solemn brought up stairs that a woman was below inquir- than another, it is ihat of the life and death of my ing for Mr. Charles Hepburn, one of the clerks, noble and unfortunate countryman, Robert Burns. whose wife was dying, while he could not be And weak, and shallow, and false are they, who heard of anywhere! The old gentleman became dare plead his magnified or imaginary errors in exgreatly agitated. His first thought was indeed tenuation of their meaner follies. Have the weakterrific. Those excitable hare-brained geniuses lings any right to plead his faults, who are neither like Hepburn, there was no saying what mad act, fired by his genius, elevated by his virtues, nor when in a desperate mood, abandoned of reason tortured by his passions and his pride? If Burns and of God, they might perpetrate! He recalled has left a few careless verses, which unthinking the appearance of the young man, the wild ex- fools construe to their hurt, has he not given them citement of hilarity and the fumez of wine scarcely hundreds of lessons of deep and purifying tenderout of his brain, when they must have been suc- ness; of virtue in its loveliest, holiest simplicity ? ceeded by the fierce extremes of despair and of For one careless expression ; for the record-perstinging self-reproach. Late as it was, and in haps fictitions—of one reckless carouse, may we spite of the remonstrances of his family, Mr. Den- not, from his writings, learn of thousands of times nistoun resolved to accompany the woman to Hep-when, after a day of hard toil, he wandered away burn's lodging, and his nephew, the mercantile into solitude, feeling within him the first stirrings amateur of the muses, attended him, to take care of the hidden strength, 'the gropings of the Cyclop of him home again. The uncomfortable apart- round the walls of his cave-his own splendid ment, and its details, were of themselves full of image. Do not the address to a Field-mouse and reproach of the thoughtless and improvident habits the Cotter's Saturday Night, alone, tell us of of the owner. Agnes, recovered from the faint- months and years of meditation on the loftiest and ing fit which had so much alarmed the landlady, the tenderest themes that can exalt the thoughts on the appearance of the two gentlemen, taxed of the true poet, musing on humanity-of the rapt her spirit to its utmost powers to learn the worst spirit, rising to Him who walks upon the wings that fate had in store for her ; but Dennistoun had of the wind;' or, in another mood, welling up neither heart nor nerve, nor could he think it wis- from its depths of tenderness, over the little wild dom to say more at this time, to the poor creature flower lying crushed in his path? And what for whom he felt so strongly, than that he had chilling years of barren toil and hopeless privation seen Hepburn early in the day. And, in a tone were those !-I declare, before Heaven, it were of parental kindness, he added, “We are both enough to make that mighty spirit burst its aware, madam, that our friend Charles is not prison-house to hear a crowd of drivelling idiots always the most punctual of men.” Agnes sighed. charge their vices and follies upon the memory of The nephew, who, from delicacy, had not ven- Burns !” tured farther than the door of the room, could The old gentleman struck his cane upon the from thence see that Hepburn's girlish-looking floor with an energy that recalled his own senses wife, sitting on a low stool by the side of the cra- to the obstreperousness of his tone, and the viodle, was the most meek, pale, Madonna-like, lence of his indignant rhapsody. An octave or mournful beauty he had ever beheld. Hepburn two lower, he apologized to Agnes for his viohimself was, he knew, a man of great talents, ab- lence, while he acknowledged that this was a subsolutely a genius. He felt the strongest desire in ject which always provoked him. “ There is," the world to have him pardoned and reïnstated. he said, " no doubt something wrong, and in false Certainly it was shameful, unkind, disgraceful, to taste in a few of the bravading verses of Burns, leave so sweet and beautiful a creature pining in and in later things of the same kind from other poverty in this iniserable place, while her husband pens, in which fools read damnation to themwas revelling, spending a guinea, or perhaps two selves; but still nothing whatever to excuse those guineas, on a single dinner.
who thus construe them to their own hurt. Those But even the light that led astray,
scenes of gaiety, merriment, and extravagant conWas light from Heaven !
viviality, or of downright degrading sensuality,
certainly never had existence, save in the brains As much from pity for Agnes, however, as of the writers, or the pages of a book. Shall we from sympathy with her husband's poetical and blame the genius of Schiller, because a few hotsocial tastes, he ventured farther into the apart-headed, excitable, and weak-principled lads chose ment; and to his uncle spoke something between to band themselves as robbers, and take to the excuse and vindication of the absent culprit. forests in emulation of his hero ?” Agnes then, first looking eagerly up, her eyes “Yes,” cried Agnes, inpressively," the heartswimming in grateful tears, gave him encourage- broken mothers and sisters of those misled youths ment to proceed ; and he urged his suit till he had well might blame him whose writings proved so fairly exasperated the benevolent, but somewhat perniciously seductive. Why will not genius inimpatient temper of his senior, and turned against list itself in a nobler cause ?"
“My dear madam, this I fear often resolves another man's will. Need I say, my own Agnes, itself into a simple question of commerce,” said dearest! best beloved ! most injured! that I Dennistoun, smiling, “which is another cate- carrying with me but one feeble hope—the hope gory. The conversation reverted to Hepburn; of once again appearing before you, if conscience and, kindly enjoining Agnes to take care of shall, after my long, self-prescribed period of herself and her child, and to send Charles to exile and probation, say, that there is still peace him early in the morning, Mr. Dennistoun took on earth for the veriest wretch its surface now his leave.
bears." This well-meant advice could not realize itself The rule which the unhappy man had preto the extent of the benevolent man's desire. The scribed for himself was as rigid as that of the forsaken Agnes could indeed undress herself and most self-mortified anchorite. It was more severe, her child, and fold its little fevered frame to her from being practised in the midst of society and bosom, and for its sake endeavor to take necessary business. His rule was not temperance, for he sustenance ; but she could not command her tor- had never been intemperate, but total abstinence tured spirit to be tranquil, nor her aching eyes to from wine. Solitude was not in his power, for he close.
wished to be continually engaged in business ; but The first tidings of Charles Hepburn were not he resolved never to employ English speech farobtained by Mr. Dennistoun until the fourth day, ther than was absolutely needful, nor one superand then through a Lancaster newspaper; in fluous word in any human language. Charles which, for the humane purpose of giving informa- Hepburn left the ship at Bombay. By his contion tq friends, a gentleman answering the appear- duct he had secured the esteem and goodwill of ance of Hepburn, was described to be lying in a the captain ; and from this circumstance, and the violent brain-fever, at a little wayside public-house. proofs of his superior education and capacity, he His hat and his linen bore the initials C. H., but (obtained an appointment on an indigo plantation, no papers, or property of any kind, nor means of in the Upper Provinces, where he esteemed himtracing him, had been found about his person, self fortunate in having no European associateswhich had probably been rifled before he was dis- no society whatever, save that of the simple covered by a traveller passing in a gig. A man natives. After remaining here for two years he had been seen running from the spot across a had money to transmit, and he ventured to write field ; but there was no visible injury on the per- home ; but these letters never reached his wife son of the stranger. The condition of his clothes and his father. The money was never claimed. showed that he must have wandered far; and He now imagined himself strong enough to endure probably lain in the open air for one or more of better the temptations of society; and he longed those severe nights. It was added, that the to be rich! Who had motives like his for gainincessant, incoherent, hoarse cry of the unfortu- ing what an Indian would smile at as but a very nate man, was “Unstable as water, thou shalt not paltry competence! The speechless, melancholy ercel."
inan becaine the supercargo of a private ship It was a week later, and far up on the topmost trading between Bengal and China. "His associheights of the Fernylees pasture range, that Robin ates-or those human beings about him-were now Steele, at all times a much greater newsmonger chiefly Lascars, for suillohe shunned European than his master, read the saine paragraph in a society. Again he had written home, but this Carlisle paper, and instantly left his flock; and time he sent no order for inoney. All he was only four more days had elapsed before the gray- worth was embarked in trade on his own account; headed, heart-broken father stood by the bedside of and his intelligence and energy were agreeably his daughter-in-law and her apparently dying in- manifested in the success of his speculations. At fant, poisoned by the fevered maternal nutriment the end of his third voyage Hepburn hoped he was which should have been its life.
reformed! He was at least rich enough in his By the prompt care of the humane Dennistoun, own estimation, for he had in his possession bills Charles Hepburn had, meanwhile, received every on London for £8000 ; and letters from Agnes attention needful to his condition. He was now and his father had waited him at Madras, beseechin the house of a medical man, in Lancaster, and ing him to come to them-only to come home the strength of his constitution had already over- to love-to happiness—to a share of the bread mastered the fever. of the more enduring and which, by God's blessing on frugal industry, had less medicable ailments of his patient, the surgeon never yet failed them—which his exertions must knew, and could say nothing, save that it had done increase—his presence sweeten! They had comMr. Hepburn immense good to hear that his plied with all his proud wishes ; never had his father was in Liverpool with his wife, and that name been mentioned by them. It was enough he might probably join them in a few days. that in their own liearts they knew that he lived But long years elapsed before that meeting took and loved them. place.
About noon on an October Sunday, the Carlisle
mail, rolling over the same moor, but at a vastly It was with prospects dark enough that Charles augmented rate of speed, set down a traveller, on Hepburn, commending, in the most passionate the exact spot, where, ten years before, Charles terms, his forsaken wife and his infant to the care Hepburn had left his Greysteel. The traveller and love of his father, and to the tenderness of was a handsome, grave-looking, man, between Agnes the gray hairs he was, indeed, bringing to thirty and forty, embrowned by the burning suns the grave with sorrow, took a pathetic leave of of a hot climate, and of the appearance, which, for them both when about to enter, as a private sea- want of a more accurate definition, is usually called man, a merchant vessel preparing for the voyage military. He carried a very small portmanteau ; to India. His letter was dated at Bristol, where and, as the coach drove off, proceeded on foot up the ship was lying. “Since I cannot live by the stony path, merely a bridle-way, which led reason," he said, “I must live by rule ; since I winding into the hills from the wide open moor. cannot be my own master, I must be the slave of 'Frequently he paused-looked round the country,