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** Will you
let me know the name of the young “ You are right-you are right, my boy. gentleman who has saved me this fatigue ?" Well ?"
Boy-like, he gave her his name and address ; “I am very anxious that this young lady should and he immediately proceeded back to the school, speak in private with you and Mrs. Faber. She telling his master of the adventure. Mr. Faber, will then return to the inn, where Mrs. Critchett is who never missed an opportunity of cultivating a expecting her.” new idea, listened attentively, and half seriously, The master assented, and the three were left half jocularly, complimented him on the “con-alone. The interview lasted two hours, or more. quest” he had made, at the same time praising his At the end of that time, a message was sent to the delicacy and good management.
And then the inn that the young lady would sleep at the parsonaffair was soon forgotten.
age. Mr. Faber said nothing to his pupil, beyond It niight have been a month or six weeks af- praising him for the kindness and decision he had terwards. One evening, in the twilight, after tea, shown; nor was it till two or three years after, as the master was seated with his wife and one or when he had grown older, and was leaving the two of the principal boys, it was announced that school for college, that he told him what had the landlady of the Merton Arms wished to speak passed at the interview. In about a week from to Master
her arrival, the young lady again left, and “Aha!” cried Mr. Feber, archly. Master- young champion heard no more about her. But felt conscious that his face was red, yet he did not the adventure left a strong impression on his memknow why. The landlady was called in at his re- ory. quest, when she presented him with a note, superscribed in a small, delicate, female hand.
“Oho!” cried Mr. Faber, again, but rather I was not always so steady as I am now. At gravely.
first, the temptations of a London life are too much The boy handed the note to his master, who for a young man thrown suddenly in their way ; opened and read it with evident interest.
on the other hand, if they do not lead to actual “ It is from the young lady you set down at the vice, they are almost a necessary school. At the Merton Arms. She begs that she may see you.” time I refer to—perhaps twelve or fourteen years
“ Ah, poor young lady!” interposed the land- ago—I was a law student. One night I was, at lady ;
“she has been with us ever since. I'm a late hour, in one of those taverns frequented sure she's a good young lady.”
by young men who lead what they call a
“ fast" Mr. Faber reflected for a few moments ; then life, though anything more dull, stupid, senseless, his face resumed its usual cheering expression, and and “slow," cannot be conceived. Although the he said laughing
tavern I speak of was, and I believe still is, one Well, Harry, I shall have instructed you to of the best and most popular of its kind, the room little purpose if I cannot trust you with this little was but a large dungeon, boxed off on either side adventure. I suppose she is, at least, a princess into separate places of confinement, where to sit in disguise! Go back with Mrs. Critchett. I and eat at ease was a feat for little men alone ; and suppose the end of it will be that you will bring the atmosphere, heated to a poisonous degree with your fair inamorata to the parsonage house." gas, reeked with the conflicting odors of innumerThe youth did as he was desired.
able and indescribable suppers. Here were to be Perhaps the reader thinks that this was very nightly met a motley company, composed of suckimprudent in the clergyman. In an ordinary case ing professionals like myself, intermingled with a it would have been so, but Mr. Faber knew the few steady, toping citizens, to whom their converlad's disposition well ; and, moreover, it was his sation was a relaxation after their daily toil, and system to enforce, wherever it was possible, his occasionally varied by the presence of a flashy, precepts by example, thus preparing inexperienced slangy-looking race of beings peculiar to some minds for the realities of life.
London taverns-wretched imitations of the castIn less than an hour a ring was heard at the off habits of a few notorious aristocratic roués. bell.
Here men nightly sacrificed their rest, forcing un• It is Harry come back from the princess !” timely food on cloyed appetites, and drinking fiery cried Mr. Faber, laughing.
stimulants without relish, save in the mad exciteHarry it certainly was, but he had on his arm a ment they produced. young and singularly beautiful girl. Mr. Faber I sat in a box apart. This night there were not turned pale, and looked very grave. He had not many persons present. I was quietly eating my expected that his jocular remark would be taken chop, thinking how foolishly I had spent my evenliterally by his pupil. Mrs. Faber turned very red, ing. Insensibly my attention was attracted towards and looked rather angrily at the new-comer. the opposite box, where a tall, florid, handsome
The yonth, in whom the adventure had inspired man was entertaining a small knot of listeners with the natural courage of our sex when befriending what seemed to be a good story, so frequent was the other, said
the laughter. Without actually listening, yet I “Sir, you have always told me never to depart could not help hearing. from my word, even if spoken in jest.”
“ Ah, but the way I got the girl was better than
all! I made regular love to her-honorable pro- ting out of his hobble-de-hoyhood. I dare say she posals, you know, and all that sort of thing; and was his first love !!” the old mother was as proud as possible that her Unconsciously, seeing that I looked interested, daughter had a gentleman' for a sweetheart. he had addressed his latter sentences across to me. But she always wanted to put off the marriage; I stepped over, and said — her daughter was too young, she said. The little “But you have not told us the name, one did not think so. As she was very romantic, mantic little name, of the girl ?"! (and, by the way, she had a nice romantic little name, Oh, she was called Rose !--pretty name, is u't too,) I persuaded her to elope, bought the license, it ?"! and did everything quite proper,' you know.”
" And her other name?” I am really almost ashamed to pen the rest of " Ammerford.” his infamous story; yet, if these things are not I was now quite certain. I could bear it no known, where is the value of the warning ? This longer. man went on, in the coolest way, to relate, that “ Monster! fiend! scoundrel !" I cried, to the his victim had eloped with him ; that he had, in utter astonishment of the spectators. “ Kuuw that vain, manæuvred; till, at last, he was obliged to your victim was saved! I can tell you the sequel try what he called a capital dodge,” which he of the story. Providence has protected her. She had once before used with success. Were not the was restored to a life of virtue. I-I am the boy truth of the tale established beyond a doubt, it whom you would have duped, and whom now you would be difficult to believe that any human being seek to defame-reptile!” could be such a fiend. The poor girl had, at last, In an instant a rummer was flung at my head. begun to doubt; but, in the morning, he came to I rushed at the ruffian. Alas! I was no match her with the license open in his hand, and said he for his science ; I had only courage and passion on was prepared to take her to church. Then he my side. I was in a fair way of suffering for my told, with passionate protestations, his “ history ;” interference, when a new-comer changed the face that he had, in early youth, been inveigled into a of affairs. marriage; that his wife had left him many years When the wretch pronounced the name of the before, on finding herself deceived as to his prop- girl, I had fancied I heard something like a groan erty; that he knew not where she was, whether at the other end of the room, but I was too much alive or dead ; that, if he married again, he in-excited to take much notice of it. To my surcurred the risk of the fate of a felon ; but that, prise, a fine, strong-looking fellow stepped between finally, so great was his devotion, he was prepared us, saying to my antagonistto peril all, and fulfil his promise. And then
I have heard your disguisting stor, he conjured her to go to the church. The end You know me, and what it is to me to hear it may be guessed. By her virtue he conquered her This is my business,” turning to me; and then he „yirtue. By her very magnanimity and spirit of covered the other with the most opprobrious epfoving self-sacrifice he effected her ruin. He gave ithets. her a written promise of marriage, " on the death “You impudent rascal, how dare you speak to of his wife.” Of course, he had no wife. Let me in that manner!" roared the other; yet he no one too severely judge the unhappy girl. To quailed under the attack, but his pride made him be utterly ignorant of vice is almost as dangerous fight. This time he had his match. as to be vicious.
I never saw a man receive such a punishment. Not a word of this was lost on me. I was not The doors of the tavern having been closed for the sorry to see that even the half-intoxicated listeners night against in-comers, the affair went off without had an instinct that it was a " little too bad.” the interference of the police. was only too One of them asked
glad to slink off to his chambers; and as for my “ And what became of the young lady ?” unexpected champion, he walked away, apparently
The man, who was too much inflamed by wine overcome by deep feeling, and I knew not who or to see the change in their manner, went on- what he was.
• Why, the way I got rid of her was better still. To me, the coincidence seemed singular ; and One day, I took her a-walk. She got tired, and the instantaneous retribution, administered by one we rested a moment in a cottage. A first-rate idea who was evidently interested, was something out struck me. I had promised her that we should of the common course of things. But there were dine at the inn in the pretty village of - I more strange coincidences to come. saw an empty carriage going in that direction. I asked the youngster who drove it to let her ride to the inn. The greenhorn was quite proud of his My professional duties and the turmoil of a toloffice. I need not say that I was off for London erably active life soon obliterated from my mind all directly. I knew she'd be too proud to come back memory of the affair mentioned in the last chapter ; when she found it out."
indeed, except in connection with its antecedents And you never heard of her again ?" and consequences, it was not of a character much
No, nor ever shall. But I believe she was to arrest the attention. I need scarcely say, too, obliged to hook the youngster, who was just get- that I soon gave up those habits of dissipation in
which most young men indulge, for at least a short her imagination, and had obtained an ascendancy time, when they are first thrown upon the world. over her mind. I ought to add, that Eliza was to I applied myself steadily to my profession, and do inherit a very large fortune—not only the same not suppose that, except when engaged in consul- amount of money that Mary was to have, but, in tations, I ever was out of bed later than eleven addition, a considerable sum from a grand-aunt, o'clock. A tavern I never entered ; a theatre, who had formally made her her heir. only when something great or remarkable was to At length an important day came. The unknown be performed ; and I need not remind the reader was to come down and pay his betrothed a visit. how little opportunity has of late been given for I discovered that I was the chief cause of much of any indulgence of that sort. In short, I was one the anxiety I witnessed in the sisters ; for Eliza of the most regular and plodding men in a profes- had somehow conceived an opinion of my judgsion where steadiness and application conduce more ment, and was very nervous as to the impression certainly to success than in any other.
her lover would produce. Mary, on the other As a necessary consequence of these habits, hand, who was all affection, trembled lest I and my wanted to get married. When a man has expe- future brother-in-law should not like each other. rienced the advantage of practising the smaller vir- On the eventful day, I strolled over from the tues, he begins to long for that which is the greatest parsonage. There were the two sisters, with good of all. If one is seriously bent on the delightful old mamma in the corner smiling benigrant satisventure, Fortune is usually kind enough to throw faction. Mary was grave; as for Eliza, I exa lottery ticket in the way; for I never listen to pected every moment to see her neckerchief fly off, those men who say, “Oh, I would marry directly, her little heart thumped and thumped at such a but I can't get a wife !"
rate. My ticket turned out a prize. I do honestly and At length there was a loud ring at the outer sincerely feel that I was utterly unworthy of the gate, then the sound of a horse's hoofs, then a dopreference shown in my favor, and my whole sub-mestic bustle in the passage, aad then the lover sequent life has been devoted to striving to render was ushered in. myself worthy of her. I was on a visit to Mr. It was — -! Faber, when I was first introduced to the family The monster turned pale as death when he saw with which I now have at once the honor and the me. With all his assurance and address, he was happiness to be allied. It is enough for the pur- taken off his guard. But he saluted me distantly, poses of my tale to say, that there were two sis- in the manner of one who has been only introduced. ters, Mary (mine) and Eliza. I don't know which The sisters exchanged glances. was the most beautiful. . I think Mary had the “You know Mr. - ?" said Eliza. strongest mind, but, perhaps, it was my vanity that “ Yes," I said gravely; “Mr.
and I have suggested the idea. Eliza was extremely beautiful, met before." but a little headstrong. After some difficulty, I Poor Mary! All her worst fears were more became the accepted suitor of Mary, and,
than realized. a constant visitor at the house.
We talked on indifferent subjects for some time. I now speak of what happened about six years At length a walk in the grounds was proposed. ago.
While we were out contrived to take me aside. I became conscious, after a short time had He had made up for the part of a repentant sinner elapsed, that there was something going on of -perhaps, he calculated on the softness of the which I was not aware. At last I discovered that greenhorn again! He protested, he adjured, he there was some secret between the sisters. I fre- conjured. He was utterly reformed. He had quently asked Mary, but was as often put off with spent years in striving to find Rose, that he might an arch laugh. Once I asked Eliza, but she make her the only reparation. Even now, could blushed so scarlet, and looked so frightened, that I he find her, he would make the sacrifice : and so forbore to repeat my question. At length the on. I listened quietly. His manner was too absecret came to light. Eliza had a lover. Mary ject. It was not the real expression of manly contold me the important fact one evening in the trition. I saw that the wretch was acting. twilight, during a positively intoxicating excess of “Mr. -," I said, “I shall do my duty, tenderness. Well, as soon as the ice was broken, which is, to tell this family the simple facts : they Eliza could talk of nothing else. She evidently can then act as they choose. Of this I am certain ; admired the unknown excessively. He was so the man who could do as you have done towards handsome, so courteous, so well-read; he could poor Rose must have the nature of a fiend. At all sing so well, and ride so well; in short, he had events, the risk is too great for an innocent creaevery manly attraction under the sun. True, he ture like Eliza. Besides, I have heard of you was a little older than Eliza-it seemed to me since. I know that you have neglected your promore than a little; but she had always resolved fession from having an independence. I have never to marry a man who was not considerably in heard also that you have gambled away your foradvance of her in point of years. It seemed to me tune. You seek Eliza's fortune, not herself. No, that Eliza was proud of her lover ; more than that, sir, I shall do my duty, and you can take what she loved him as a woman ought to love, and does steps you like." love, when she loves. IIe had evidently struck He was livid with rage.
Do yon wish that I should give you another | knew that time would clear me ; but, in the meanlesson?” said he, maliciously insolent.
while, the day for the marriage was approaching “ Pooh, pooh, sir! I am wiser now than I was fast. What was to be done ? Oh, for one minthen. Good day!”
ute of Mr. Faber! That would settle all. I blame myself much that, from an instinctive As far as matters went, falsehood had triumphed dislike to come into cont with this man, I did over truth. Mr. Crayford was believed, I was not not at once speak. I let a day elapse. That day believed. Daily I trembled more and more for had nearly proved fatal to poor Eliza : it would Eliza. have done so, but for another coincidence.” When I again sought my dear Mary, she was
The marriage was to take place in two days. grave, and spoke in a manner she had never yet I had conjured, protested in vain. The more used. Still, her hand trembled when I pressed it, efforts I made, the more haughtily and even obstiand a tear stole down her cheek.
nately did Eliza cling to her lover. I was in Mary,” I said, “ where is your mother? I
I foresaw her destiny, yet had not the have a communication to make to her of the utmost means to avert it, having, from the very nature of importance to your sister's happiness."
the case, no proofs. Mary was true to me, but “Oh! you need not do so : Mr. has al
there was a gravity in her demeanor which pained ready confessed all. It was with shame that he
me severely. She, too, was evidently, like her did it; but he said your - hypocrisy' (that sister, more influenced by her lover than by her was the word he said, Harry) compelled him,"
convictions. My antagonist was extending his and the tears fell down her beautiful cheeks.
I knew not what to do.
A bell sounded. It was the postman, a rare of his time, and had told his own story in his own visitor at the house, whose arrival always caused a way; but, in order to put me forever out of the
sensation. He left a letter addressed to Eliza. I witness-box, he had coined a lie, to the effect that know not whence came the presentiment, but it he had intended to fulfil his promise, but that I had withdrawn the affections of the girl, and that was from the aged relative I spoke of, who had
gave me a sort of undefined hope. The letter I had forever concealed where she was to be found.
future sister-in-law, and it ran thus :With Mary, a solemn assurance that it was a falsehood was enough, but Eliza looked on me
“MY DEAREST Child—I should not rest in my with very different feelings. Her lover's influence grave if I had not been present on the occasion
which is to decide the happiness of your future was too strong even for the truth. He had, too, life. It is not enough that I highly approve of the taken advantage of the affair to precipitate the mar- young man you have chosen-I must be there riage. A day, not very far distant, was fixed.
when you give him your hand. I must give you “ But why,” says the reader, “ do you not my blessing at the altar, and then I shall die in bring Mr. Faber on the scene?” First, the par- peace. But a severe attack of my old complaint sonage I was now at was not the parsonage of the makes it impossible for me to set out to-day, as I
had wished. Can you, will you, postpone this early story, but one in a different part of the country. Secondly, Mr. Faber and his wife had gone my only remaining wish in this world ? Ever, my
marriage for a few days, that I may enjoy almost to the south of France with a consumptive child, child, your own affectionate aunt. and it was not known when they would return. " P.s. You know I have advertised for a new It might be in a week, it might not be for months. companion, one who can read to me my favorite They might be on the way home, they might have German authors. I have received one answer been obliged to stay longer, and we did not know which pleases me much. The young lady writes
from- and as that town is nearer to you than to where to address them. Thirdly, I was as much at home at the parsonage as if they had been there, my place, I have asked her to come over there." having received permission to make use of it, as This was a respite. I looked at Crayford. He Paddy says,
“ for the convaynience o coortin'." was pale with anger and disappointment. Here I was in a most painful position. This man- was his prize removed a short distance from his fiend had so well used his time, and his influence expectant grasp.
Bad men have no trust in the over Eliza, that she really believed I was the mean future. For my part, though my position was fellow he represented me to be. At once head- not bettered, yet to have gained time was somestrong and imaginative, she took a sort of roman- thing. Mr. Faber might come : I knew his influtic interest in upholding her lover. She was ence was great. ready to make any sacrifices for him. I was Three or four days passed over. “ Aunty,” as rapidly becoming de trop in the family. It was she was called, arrived, and I made her acquaintonly by the affection and trustfulness of Mary that ance. She was really a good-natured, wellI held on.
The old lady sided with the strongest informed, charming old maid, and not at all likely character, but without diving very deeply into the to die in a hurry. Fortunately, I am pretty well
Old people often mistake suspicion and read in German literature, and I flatter myself I cunning for wisdom; and it was more easy for had a little advantage over my antagonist in some her to suspect me of the artifice attributed to me other respects. He had spent too much time in than, by a strong effort, to see the truth. Mean- vicious indulgence to have read much. In short, while, I cared little except for poor Eliza. I "aunty” and I “cottoned” to each other admira
bly, and insensible my position improved. So ous insinuations of my antagonist. Even Eliza's much for the presentiment.
confidence left her. Another day had, of course, been fixed for At length Mr. Crayford was announced. I Eliza's marriage. At the earnest prayer of Mary, had laid out my plan of action. I knew that, with and even of Eliza, who unbent so far, I consented all his successful villany, this fellow had not presto remain silent on a subject which they regarded ence of mind. As he entered the room Rose was as already disposed of. I never could withstand a sitting with her back to the door. I gave him no woman's tears; and, besides, Crayford had played time to suspect. I took her by the hand and led his part so well, each time he had come to visit his her up to him. intended, that really my own resolution almost " Rose Ammerford!" I said. shook. I doubted whether, without proofs, I Had she come from the tomb, he could not have ought to go further.
been more affrighted. He turned livid, gave one The evening before the wedding-day, I received shriek, covered his face with his hands, and vana hurried note from Mary. “ What was she to ished like a bottle-demon from the house. think of me? The young woman who was to Perhaps the reader says that this return of come to meet her aunt, when asked for a refer- Crayford's early vision at the opportune moment is ence, had actually given my name and address! I improbable. I answer, that I do not write probamust come over immediately and explain myself, bilities, but facts. My tale exhibits a moral or her heart would break !"
agency working in the shape of “Coincidences.” I galloped over like a madman, or like the Erl The explanation of the improbability is this :King, or Tam o'Shanter. Mary's letter was a mys- When Mr. Faber determined to protect Rose tery. What young woman could have given a Ammerford, he interested in her behalf an elderly reference to me? Was it some new trick of Mr. lady of his acquaintance, who was of an eccentric Crayford ?
turn, but whose eccentricity chiefly took the shape I arrived. I was ushered into the drawing- of benevolence. She engaged Rose, first as a sort room, where was assembled all the family, evi- of lady’s-maid, but soon became so attached to her, dently prepared for a “scene." Eliza looked tri- from her goodness and natural abilities, that she umphant, Mary was in tears.
made her her companion, developed her lastes, and " What is all this?" I cried. “For God's improved her in those accomplishments which she sake, speak! Mary says some young woman has had been taught as a child. The lady's passion given a reference to me. Who is she? What is was for travelling. She seldom rested anywhere she? Where is she?''
for more than a few months. Rose always accomI was in a rage at being thus hastily and panied her; and frequently she had told her that groundlessly suspected. Till now, I had not been she had taken care to provide for her future life. fully sensible of the extent to which the poison of Many years passed over. Always in motion, they my antagonist had worked.
made many acquaintances, but no permanent Aunty," answered—
friends. Suddenly, the old lady died, and without “ The young lady, sir, is not yet come. It having time to do anything for poor Rose. This was by letter she sent the reference to you. We was in a foreign capital—in Germany. Rose, are expecting her.”
who had become quite a woman of business, Under other circumstances, I should only have wound up the lady's affairs ; and, after paying laughed the thing away as an absurdity. But my herself the balance of her salary, caused the prodfeelings had been wrought up for many days. I uce of the lady's effects to be remitted to the knew that the best that Eliza could hope for would bankers in London. All they knew of the lady be to her high spirit unhappiness. And what was, that she had left with them a power of attormore contributed to excite me on the occasion was, ney to receive her dividends, and pay them to her that Mary had not as usual saluted me, but had order. The cause of the lady's eccentricity had sat apart in grief. Strange to say, my seriousness been some family affairs ; and she had never given contributed to fortify their suspicions.
Rose the slightest clue to her relations. ThereAt length the young lady was announced. Of fore Rose determined, when she returned to Engcourse, the reader has anticipated who she was. land, to apply to Mr. Faber. He was gone It was now nearly fifteen years since I had parted abroad. But, in the mean while, her funds were from poor Rose. She was still a young woman, being exhausted ; and she sought employment, and but her beauty had become more mature than found it, in the way I have described. Positively, when her lovely face in tears first touched my she had no other means of identifying herself than boyish feelings in the little parlor of the Merton by giving my name and address. Observe, good Arms. What struck me most, however, was the reader, that if I were afraid of that bugbear of the dignity of her carriage, and a striking air of high super-wise, “ improbability,” I should not dare to breeding exhibited even in her simplest gestures. record the fact of that singular coincidence,"
I pass over the explanations. It pained me which brought Rose face to face with her seducer, much to be compelled to revive the memory of the very night when the beauty and virtue, the Rose's early griefs ; but the case was desperate. character and the property of Eliza, were alike The artlessness, yet earnestness, with which she about to be sacrificed to his cupidity. “Probabiltold her story, quite cleared me from the slander- | ity” would not have made Rose mention my name ;