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a tono of jest with which much of seriousness | if the first of us does it, it will save the second; was mingled.
but I fear it's a blue look-out.” " By!” said the other, striking his At parting, he shook hands with Charles, clenched fist on the table," there is no honor I could not help thinking, pretty much as two bright' in it; their name is Irving." men would do, who found a source of sympa
It was the work of an instant for Charles thy in being both condemned to death. to rise from his seat and move towards the “ O'Brien," said the poor fellow to me, blustering bully. He was calm and collected. “ will you stand by and see me shot? It is In tones of thunder the words, “ You are a but little trouble ; but I must get some one to liar and a scoundrel !” burst from his lips; do it.” and his clenched fist had stretched Mr. Leeson I scarcely know how to act in taking this beside his chair.
office upon myself. I was utterly unao. I now rose to interfere ; for the dog-stealer quainted with the laws and usages of duelhad grasped a bottle of champagne, apparent- ling; and it seemed a matter in which a ly with the intention of breaking it on knowledge of them might be essential. At Charles' head; the officer, however, dashed last I thought of consulting a relative of my it from his hand, and raised up his fallen com- own, an officer whose regiment was then panion. Charles kept his ground unmoved. quartered in Dublin. Charles and I had spent Mr. Leeson very soon revived. “This," said some evenings with him in barracks; and the officer, “must of course be settled else- having obtained Charles' permission to comwhere."
municate all the circumstances to him, I set “Sir," cried Charles, “ Mr. Leeson knows off without losing a moment to ask his advice. me. I am nephew to the gentleman of whom At the time of which 1 write, the law of he has dared to speak with disrespect; I am public opinion did not bear so strongly against cousin to the young lady whose name he has the practice of duelling as it does now. A dared to pollute with his ruffian lips; he was duel, even where its termination was fatal, for months the guest of that gentleman; he was esteemed a light matter. In this, as in sought that young lady's hand; he has been every other instance, the tone of general feelrejected because he was found out to be a ing influences that of individuals. I confess I scoundrel; and you know sir," he added, looked upon the matter in which I was enemphatically," it what I say be true, bis gaged in a light very different from what I conduct to-night has been that of a liar, a would now regard it. This much I may just ruffian, and a coward.”
hint in extenuation of myself to those who “You shall answer for this, sir,” cried the may be disposed to try my conduct by a rule infuriate Leeson. " Fortescue, the matter more unerring than the ductuating laws of must be settled soon,” he added, with a cold, public opinion. The world has grown wiser sneering expression, to his companion; "the upon the subject since – the same years have sooner the better - you will be my friend." taught me much. No one, perhaps, has ever
“I'm damned if I do,” was the quick reply passed through the changes and chances of a of the other, “ in this or anything else to a varied life without feeling that much of wisman who has acted so."
dom lies in the lessons of experience. The young officer rose in violent agitation With some difficulty I made my way to and pulled the bell; he asked for his share of Major Williams, in his apartments at George'sthe bill; and with a significant" Leeson, you street barracks. He listened calmly to my kriow where to find me," he left the room. story.
Charles flung his card most contemptuously "The fellow escaped too lightly," he said, on the table ; and we followed his example. when I had concluded. “ Of course he will Mr. Fortescue was apparently waiting for us send a challenge. Wilson must, of course, in the passage ; he addressed Charles -- meet him ; but he is not to receive his fire ; "Sir," he said, " I feel it right to apologize to he may shoot him the first time if he can. you for having been in any way a party to I mentioned to him what I had heard of the wanton insult that was offered to you to the skill of the other. He started and benight; but I have done what I could in the trayed visible emotion. “ Poor fellow," he way of reparation."
cried,“ this is a cursed system - this villain Charles assured him that he had inore than will shoot him like a dog — fellows like him exculpated himself. The young officer walked insult society - damn the bully!” he redown with us towards college. As we went peated, bitterly, at the conclusion of the broalong, he said, “ We are both in for a shot ken sentences which he had uttered half as an from him; I may put you on an equal foot- address to me, and half soliloquizing. ing with myself.' Leeson is a professed duel “ Are you up to such matters ?” he said list; he can snuff a candle at twelve paces ; eagerly. this accounts for his conduct to-night; these I can't say I am," I replied. bullies are always cowards at heart; but “Did you ever load a pistol ?" perhaps one or other of us might bore him ; “I have," said I. CCCCLXIU. LIVING AGE.
“What for?" he said, with a smile. her daughter had been preserved from misery,
“ To shoot sparrows," I replied, catching Mr. Irving appeared hurt at his own want of at the moment from him an expression of gay- discrimination ; he consoled himself, however, ety that was far from my heart.
by the reflection that “ the rascal was a most " Good heavens !” he exclaimed ; “ his accomplished hypocrite ;” but, he added, “ Í chance is not worth a groat; this noble young might have suspected him when he took 80 fellow will be shot by that scoundrel ; it is a suddenly to religion.' cursed system
damnable -dampable - if Upon Ellen the effects of the extraordinary it could be done without."
scene she had witnessed were such as might He paced up and down the room for an in- have been expected from its agitating nature. stant. “ He shan't be murdered – no, by, An illness, that confined her for some days to
!” he added, with an oath. “ Will he her room, was the consequence. Charles had let me be his second, O'Brien ? - will you heard something of the occurrence from her give me your place ?" A smile played on his uncle, who told him at the same time that features as he spoke.
Ellen showed more sense than they all. She “ Are you serious, major ?" I asked. never could endure the fellow, though sho
“ Perfectly serious,” he replied ; “his only could give no reason for her dislike. chance is in an experienced second. I have These few words excited a tumult of feeling Been some affairs of the kind," he continued, in Charles' breast. His agitation could not with a melancholy air ; they are horrible escape the notice of the other. businesses ; but this poor young fellow must “Ho, ho !” he cried, with the air of one not be shot without a fair chance."
who had just made a discovery ; “ maybe the It was not difficult to obtain Charles' con- secret 's out-maybe she liked her cousin best, sent to the proposed substitution. " I do not, ho, ho!” however," he added, with a ghastly smile, There was nothing of displeasure in the " release you from your promise ; you must tone in which he spoke. Charles' heart beat come and see me shot."
too violently to permit him instantly to reply, Contrary to our expectation, we heard and, something having called off Mr. Irving, nothing from Mr. Leeson that night. I felt a the conversation dropped. kind of regret; I thought it would have been Brief, however, as it had been, it had a all over the next morning. There was a horri- deep import to Charles' heart. Ellen had ble suspense that was worse than the most rejected Mr. Leeson. How deeply had he terrible certainty ; and yet I could not but wronged her by his unmeaning jealousy! Her feel that it was a day's reprieve to the poor uncle, too, had alluded to the possibility of victim of the system, by which a coward first her loving him, in a tone that conveyed no disinsults and then murders, and calls this satis- approbation. How did he long to ask her faction to injured society.
forgiveness, and declare his own love! SomoNext morning, however, a gentleman waited thing told him that he should find it no hard on Charles, froin Mr. Leeson. There was no matter to obtain the one, and induce her to apology asked or offered. The gentleman accept the other. was referred at once to Major Williams to It was in this state of mind that he had arrange” everything.
met Mr. Leeson in the manner I have de The place chosen was the celebrated spot in scribed. He had not yet scen Ellen, as she the Phönix Park, known by the name of the was not yet sufficiently recovered to leave her Fifteen Acres ; the hour fixed was as early on room. When he found that he had one day, the next morning as there could be sufficient perhaps his last day, to himself, he alınost light for the work of death. All these mechanically bent his steps to Clontarf. arrangements were made, and communicated The face of nature wore a gladness that to Charles before twelve o'clock in the day. could not but throw its hues of cheerfulness
“I have the rest of the day to myself," he over one who felt that he might never look said, bitterly, as Major Williams left him, upon that face again. The keen air of promising to call for him at five in the morn- autumn gave a clear blueness to the sky and ing; and telling him that he would settle all the sea - and the bright sunshine colored other matters, so that he need think do more every object with a tinge of joyousness. As about it.
Charles passed along the shore, he paused to gaze upon the scene. The white sails of a
hundred skiffs moved joyously along the little My readers have of course—that is, if, as I billows that danced in gladness on the bosom am bound to believe, they be possessed of an of the sea - the white clouds sailed slowly ordinary degree of intelligence--understood over the sky — and far away the mountains the results of the disclosures of the unfortunate raised their summits, standing out in unusual Sally. It may be imagined that Mr. Leeson distinctness from the blue line of tho horizon. very speedily took his departure from the cot- All nature was in harmony with life-life and tage. "Mrs. Irving fervently thanked God that I gladness—but that time to-morrow, what
might he be? There was something sickening). It was that chapter in the book of Genesis, in the thought.
in which Abrahain prays for Sodom. When He thought, too, of her who had been the he came to the remarkable verse, " That bo vision of his dreams. He felt assured she far from thee, O Lord, to punish the innocent loved him. Then could she bear his death ?) with the guilty,” his voice faltered; he could What right had he to sear the heart that not go on. was devoted to him? But it was now too late. Both his aunt and cousin fixed their eyes on It must be ; and with this thought he quieted him. He pleaded nervousness as an excuse the emotions which, despite of himself, rose in for his emotion. He could not but remark the his soul.
anxious glance his cousin cast at him, and the He thought, too, of another world, and of anxious tone of voice with which she told him Him, before whom, perhaps, he must shortly to take care and not injure his health by #tand. The recollections of his childhood study. rushed back upon his mind. He thought of My readers must conceive an interview the act in which he was about to engage. A which I confess I am utterly inadequate to cold shudder passed through his frame as con- describe. He dare not allude to the feelings science whispered that it was a violation of of his heart. Indeed, he had no opportunity God's law.
as Mrs. Irving remained constantly with him “ And yet,” he reasoned with himself, until the hour of dinner. “ am I not risking my life in a cause that con Mr. Irving came in great spirits, at the unscience must approve - to defend the peace expected success of some mercantile speculaand sacredness of a happy home, against in- tion. He rallied both Ellen and Charles on juries perhaps as deep and deadly as those of their paleness. which the law takes cognizance? The soldier “Why, man," said he to the latter ; on the field of battle may look for protection you look like a man going to be shot." while he defends his home and his country Fortunately, he turned away too quick to from his foe; why may not he who singly remark the effect his chance words pro defends the peace of society against the enemy duced. that would invade it?"
Dinner passed away, and Charles and Mr. His conscience distrusted the soundness of Irving were left alone. Their conversation the reasoning, but it satisfied him.
was on indifferent subjects, until, just as they On arriving at the cottage, he found that were rising to join the ladies, Mr. Irving said, Ellen was so inuch better as to have altogether standingleft the confinement of her room. A deep “ Charles, you never told me if I was blush crimsoned her entire features when she not right. There is something between you met him; both their manners were embar- and your cousin, is n't there? rassed. Persons are always embarrassed when “ Indeed, sir," said Charles, " if ever we sach is conscious of their own acquaintance had spoken to each other as you seem to supwith a subject of common interest upon which pose, it would not be concealed from you." they have never spoken.
* Well, well," said the other, " that's very Mrs. Irying insisted that Charles should right; but I see plain enough you ’ve a liking remain there for dinner. Her brother and for each other." "He moved off towards the sister-in-law were to come and take share of door, and, putting his hand on Charles' shoula family dinner, and Mr. Irving would be glad der, he added — "She 's my child, Charles, to meet Charles.
and, believe me, I would rather seo her marCharles fancied there was some significance ried to you without a penny, than to some we in the manner in which she spoke. He know of with a title and estates." thought it might be his last day. He did not Charles' heart was touched. He felt as if regret that it would be spent with Ellen. he should communicate to Mr. Irving the
Her cheek was pale from the effects of perilous adventure in which he was next. recent illness. When he gazed apon that pale morning to be engaged. He attempted to cheek, and thought that before the morrow speak, but his voice was choked in his throat ; was over, sorrow might blanch it to a more and, while he was hesitating, the other ghastly hue, he felt as if his heart would break. had passed on, humming a tane.
And yet, when he looked upon her, and The state of his feelings during the rest of thought of her so free from guile, so pure and the evening was bordering on agony, but he upright, he felt as if she was not to suffer for felt a mysterious assurance that he would be his sake.
safe. The words “ Thou wilt not punish the The Bible was lying open on the table, innocent with the guilty,” rested on his soul. when he entered. His arm involuntarily When he looked on Ellen, he felt that there rested on the sacred page.
was a safeguard in her interest in him. Even *** Charles,' said his aunt, “ will you finish when taking leave, the only sign of emotion for us a chapter we were reading when you he manifested was, that'he mechanically came in?"
retained her hand and pressed it for some :
time. She reddened and withdrew it, with sat next me, I presumed to be a surgeon ; something like an expression of anger. but we had enough to do to keep the rain and
Mr. Irving's carriage was at the door; he foggy air out of our mouths, by keeping our pressed Charles to accompany him, and remain mufflers close to them, and neither of us all night. Charles pleaded business as an spoke.
We had reached that part of the Phoenix “ Well,” said the other, “come out to Park where the road winds at the bottom of breakfilst with me; get up early, and do your the glen, the sides of which are thickly business first. Nine o'clock,” he shouted, as covered with hawthorns. I do not know the carriage rolled off.
whether it has any particular name.
A lady “ Yes," answered Charles, and proceeded to of my acquaintance has assured me that it is make his way home, with some rather gloomy called “ The Valley of Thorns;" but I more than reflections as to the probability of his keep- suspect that her own poetical taste has been the ing his engagement.
source of this appropriate name. About one That night he addressed two letters, one to bundred yards above the magazine, the major Mr. Irving, and the other to Ellen, both of desired the car to stop. We were then just which he entrusted to my care to deliver, in in the very heart of the Valley of Thorns; we case he should fall.
struck off the roads at once. The light was by The college gates had just opened next this time so clear that we could distinctly dismorning, when Major Williams, true to his cern objects. Just as we passed an old hawappointinent, came to Charles Wilson's rooms. thorn tree, a most extraordinary apparition Charles and I were both waiting for him. He burst upon our sight. I need not tax my was wrapped up in a military cloak, under reader's patience by circumlocution. It was which he carried a box, which, of course, I that of Sally Browne. None of the entire conjectured to contain a case of pistols. party knew her except Charles, and even he at
• Make haste, Wilson,” he said. “I have first did not recognize her. She presented, been kept waiting at these cursed gates until certainly, a most singular appearance, standthe hour for opening came. Your college ing in our path in that sequestered situation, clock is, like everything else about it, infernally Her long hair was streaming behind-the red slow."
band could not confine it to her head. She Charles put out the candle which was rushed down, and looked from one to another burning on the table, and we moved down of the party. She soon recognized the object stairs. It was a rainy morning; a thick miz- of her search. zling rain was drifted in our faces. As we “ Master Charles,” said she, looking steadpassed through the college gates, two or three ily in his face, “ do you remember when half-sleeping porters eyed us suspiciously, and last I saw you I speyed, Master Charles, and yawned.' Outside the gate, a hack car was my speying is come truc.". waiting; on one side of it a gentleman sat, Even the coolness of Major Williams was beside whom the major desired me to get completely disconcerted by this singular iaCharles and he got upon the other.
terruption. “Where now, yer honor?" said the driver, “Sally Browne,” said Charles, “what in · touching his hat with a leer that implied that the name of Heaven brings you here?" - he anticipated the answer.
" What brings me hero? I know what • Up Dame Street," said the major, sternly, brings you here. Did you not revenge me - anxious to avoid the inquisitiveness of a porter long ago - long, long ago?- and now he's who luitered lazily after us.
gone up there
- he would have taken my life The driver applied the whip to the thing of but for them that were with him, who said is skin and bones which supplied the place of a was a sin to harm the mad girl. I stood in horse, and the animal dashed forwards with a his road like his wraith, and I cursed him speed which his appearance did not promise. and he trembled like that tree that the wind 's
“To the Acres, yer honor?" said the shaking. It's a morning, Master Charles, driver, when he had gone far enough to need that one would fear to meet their bad con fresh directions. The major nodded assent. science; I cursed him — here – cursed
“Gee up, my ould play-boy,” said the fel cursed.” low to his horse ; and he applied the lash “What, in the name of Heaven, is the with a zest that seemed to indicate that he meaning of this ?" said Major Williams, in a expected some sport and good pay.
whisper to Charles. The first dawn of day was scarcely discerni “ 'I'he curse be upon him," said Charles, ·ble. The lamps were all burning in the earnestly; "this - this is his doing." streets. Scarcely any one was astir. It was “ The speying 's come out, Master Charles, altogether a dismal morning, and, wrapped when they that heard it are with the dead. ap in our cloaks, on the crazy vehicle on I'm wilder now, but not so light-hearted.” which we sat, we seemed a dismal party. Poor, poor soul!" said the major, feet Not a word was spoken. The gontleman who lingly.
"Sally," said Charles, “we have not time : “ Then, sir," said the major, "you can to talk now : go back home again ; this is no have no objection to nine ?" place for you at this hour."
I felt my blood run cold. “ Home !" she cried, with an hysteric " It would be little better than murder," scream, that was something like a whoop; said the other. " bome! I have no home - I must wander “Nine, sir," taking no notice of what he the wide world till I meet with the old man said, said the major ; you
have refused fif- the dead man with the white hairs — my teen ; I am anxious, on the part of my friend, home 's the home of the wind — but I'll go to give you every satisfaction. -I'll not stop you as I stopped him — I After some few words, the ground was tracked him these three days, and I found out measured at nine paces. When Mr. Leeson that he was coming here, and I met him to was placed, he became deadly pale. His coat curse bim - and I saw his heart all wither was open, so as to expose a part of his linen up, and now I'm gone to wander for the on his breast. He atteinpted to button it; but dead man - the old man with the gray head his hand trembled so violently that he could - my father — father — father!” and, still not. The dog-stealer remarked it, and buto muttering these words, she passed us at a toned it for him. mpid step, and disappeared among the white The seconds loaded the pistols, and handed thorns.
each to his respective friend. Some few words The delay bad kept us so much that we had previously passed between Major Williams bad not tinie to ask for explanation of this and Charles, at which I moved off, that I singular occurrence. I heard Charles say to night not overhear. He now handed him his the major, “ A victim of his perfidy." The pistol, and we all moved off. major sighed heavily, and we walked on. The word was given — there was first one
A few minutes more brought us to the report - an instant afterwards the other. I ground. Mr. Leeson and his second were trembled to look round. I heard some one there before us; and a third person, whom I exclaim, with an oath, " He's killed !” I recognized as the gentleman to whom I had looked towards the spot where Charles stood, attributed the office of dog-stealer. Mr. Lee- certain that my eyes would be blasted by the son had brought no surgeon. By this time sight of his bleeding corpse. But he stood, the light was clear enough for all our pur- just in the attitude in which he had fired. poses. The gentleman who was to act as Mr. Opposite to him his friends had raised up
his Leeson's second stepped out to Major Wil- unfortunate antagonist. liams :
I ran towards him. Our surgeon was be“ You have taken proper precautions — a side him. The wounded man had his hand professional gentleman, I presume,” said he, upon his left side, indicating the direction In a tone that seemed to imply that his friends the ball had taken. He had opened up his had no need of such precautions.
coat and waistcoat to search for the wound “I have done all, sir," said the veteran, the ball had carried in a portion of bis dress " that I thought right,” with a dignified into the wound. The surgeon shook his tone.
head. “Very probably," said the other, dryly. The dying man perceived it. " I know it,"
“We are now ready for business," said he cried; :I'm done - curse it - I wanted the major in a tone approaching to haughti- his blood, and he has mine — curse hin!” he ness.
cried, as he clenched his fist. “ Nine paces “Quite," replied the other, in a voice of it should have been three - then we would imperturbable composure.
have gone together — curse that mad banshee They moved a little further from their - CURSE YOU ALL!” he roared with a fiendish principals to settle preliminaries.
energy. A few more terrible imprecations, a “ Twelve paces,” said Mr. Leeson's second, few gnashes of the teeth, and that ferocious with an appearance of
spirit had passed away. “ No, sir,” said the major, sternly.
There was silence for some seconds ; the " It's the usual distance."
surgeon was the first to break it. “ I believe, sir," said the major, “ the chal Fly, gentlemen,” he said; “it's all over lenged party has a right to some discretion ; I here." wish fit'teen.”
The admonition to fly was quickened by the The other retired to consult his principal; appearance of a party rapidly moving tothey talked awhile in visible agitation. wards us. All dispersed in different directions
The major eyed them with a look, of which - Major Williams almost dragging with him the scorn was not concealed.
bis unheeding principal. There was some" Major Williams," said the other, re- thing terrible in thus leaving the corpse of a turning, “ my friend seeks satisfaction for an fellow-creature, who, but a few minutes beoutrageous insult — the distance you propose fore, had come with us in health and strength. is too great.
I felt I could not fly. I was amazed when