ELINOR WYLLYS: OR, THE YOUNG FOLK OF LONGBRIDGE.

A TALE.

BY AMABEL PENFEATHER.

{Pseudonym of Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894), daughter of James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)}

ELINOR WYLLYS; OR, THE YOUNG FOLK OF LONGBRIDGE. A TALE.

BY AMABEL PENFEATHER.

"Familiar matter of to-day;
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,
That has been, and may be again."
WORDSWORTH

{William Wordsworth, English poet (1770-1850), "The Solitary
Reaper" lines 22-24}

IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL. II.

EDITED BY J. FENIMORE COOPER.

CHAPTER I {would be CHAPTER XXIV, if numbered from beginning of Vol. I}

"But there is matter for another rhyme;
And I to this would add another tale."
WORDSWORTH.

"And how do Miss and Madam do;
The little boy, and all?
All tight and well? and how do you,
Good Mr. What-do-you-call?"
COWPER.

{William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770-1850), "Poems of the Imagination: Hart-Leap Well" lines 95-96. William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "The Yearly Distress, or, Tithing Time at Stock in Essex" lines 33-36}

It is to be feared the reader will find fault with this chapter. But there is no remedy; he must submit quietly to a break of three years in the narrative: having to choose between the unities and the probabilities, we greatly preferred holding to the last. The fault, indeed, of this hiatus, rests entirely with the young folk of Longbridge, whose fortunes we have undertaken to follow; had they remained together, we should, of course, have been faithful to our duty as a chronicler; but our task was not so easy. In the present state of the world, people will move about—especially American people; and making no claim to ubiquity, we were obliged to wait patiently until time brought the wanderers back again, to the neighbourhood where we first made their acquaintance. Shortly after Jane's marriage, the whole party broke up; Jane and her husband went to New-Orleans, where Tallman Taylor was established as partner in a commercial house connected with his father. Hazlehurst passed several years in Mexico and South-America: an old friend of his father's, a distinguished political man, received the appointment of Envoy to Mexico, and offered Harry the post of Secretary of Legation. Hazlehurst had long felt a strong desire to see the southern countries of the continent, and was very glad of so pleasant an arrangement; he left his friend Ellsworth to practise law alone, and accompanied Mr. Henley, the Minister, to Mexico; and from thence removed, after a time, to Brazil. Charlie had been studying his profession in France and Italy, during the same period. Even Elinor was absent from home much more than usual; Miss Wyllys had been out of health for the last year or two; and, on her account, they passed their summers in travelling, and a winter in the West-Indies. At length, however, the party met again on the old ground; and we shall take up the thread of our narrative, during the summer in which the circle was re-united. It is to be hoped that this break in the movement of our tale will be forgiven, when we declare, that the plot is about to thicken; perplexities, troubles, and misfortunes are gathering about our Longbridge friends; a piece of intelligence which will probably cheer the reader's spirits. We have it on the authority of a philosopher, that there is something gratifying to human nature in the calamities of our friends; an axiom which seems true, at least, of all acquaintances made on paper.

"{Minister" = a diplomatic rank below that of Ambassador—a Minister heads a Legation, an Ambassador an Embassy; prior to the Civil War, the United States was not considered an important enough country to send or receive Ambassadors. "Secretary of Legation" = a diplomat serving under a Minister. "A philosopher" = Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1618-1680), French author famous for his maxims or epigraphs: "Dans l'adversite de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons quelque chose qui ne nous deplait pas" = In the misfortune of our best friends, we find something which is not displeasing to us. Maxim No. 99, later suppressed. By the 1840s, a well known expression}

We hear daily that life is short; and, surely, Time flies with fearful rapidity if we measure his course by years: three-score-and-ten, the allotted span of man, are soon numbered. But events, thoughts, feelings, hopes, cares, are better marks for the dial of life, than hours and minutes. In this view, the path of life is a long road, full of meaning and of movement at every step; and in this sense only is time justly appreciated; each day loses its insignificance, and every yearly revolution of the earth becomes a point in eternity.

The occurrences of the three years during which we have lost sight of the Longbridge circle will speak for themselves, as our tale is gradually unfolded. It is evident, however, at the first glance, on returning to the old ground, that the village itself has undergone some alterations. Though belonging to a part of the country occasionally accused of being "unenterprising," it had not proved insensible to the general movement felt throughout the republic, in those halcyon days of brilliant speculation, which commenced with the promise of good fortune to all, and ended by bringing poverty to many, and disgrace to others. A rail-road now runs through the principal street, and the new depot, a large, uncouth building, stands conspicuous at its termination, looking commercial prosperity, and internal improvement. Several new stores have been opened, half-a-dozen "tasty mansions"—chiefly imitations of Mr. Hubbard's—have been built, another large tavern has been commenced, and two additional steamboats may be seen lying at the wharf. The value of property in the village itself, is said to have doubled, at least; new streets are laid out, and branch rail-roads are talked of; and many people flatter themselves that Longbridge will figure in the next census as a flourishing city, with the full honours of a Corporation, Mayor, and Aldermen. In the population, corresponding changes are also perceptible; many new faces are seen in the streets, new names are observed on the signs; others again are missed from their old haunts, for there is scarcely a family in the place, which has not sent its representation westward.

{"those halcyon days" = i.e., before the economic Panic of 1837, and the seven-year depression that followed}

Most of our old acquaintances, however, still remain on the spot, this pleasant afternoon in June, 183-. There stands Mr. Joseph Hubbard, talking to Judge Bernard. That is Dr. Van Horne, driving off in his professional sulkey. There are Mrs. Tibbs and Mrs. Bibbs, side-by-side, as of old. Mrs. George Wyllys has moved, it seems; her children are evidently at home in a door-yard on the opposite side of the street, adjoining the Hubbard "Park." On the door of that bright-coloured, spruce-looking brick house, you will see the name of W. C. Clapp; and there are a pair of boots resting on the window-sill of an adjoining office, which probably belong to the person of the lawyer, himself. Now, we may observe Mrs. Hilson and Miss Emmeline Hubbard flitting across the street, "fascinating and aristocratic" as ever.

{"sulkey" = light two-wheeled carriage, seated for one person; usually spelled "sulky"}

Let us leave the village, however, for the more immediate neighbourhood of Wyllys-Roof; in which, it is hoped, the reader will feel more particularly interested. There stands the little cottage of the Hubbards, looking just as it did three years since; it is possible that one or two of the bull's-eye panes of glass may have been broken, and changed, and the grey shingles are a little more moss-grown; but its general aspect is precisely what it was when we were last there. The snow-ball and the sweet-briar are in their old places, each side of the humble porch; the white blossoms have fallen from the scraggy branches of the snow-ball, this first week in June; the fresh pink buds are opening on the fragrant young shoots of the sweet-briar. There is our friend, Miss Patsey, wearing a sun-bonnet, at work in the garden; and if you look through the open door of the house, you will see beyond the passage into the neat little kitchen, where we catch a glimpse of Mrs. Hubbard's white cap over the back of her rocking-chair. It is possible that you may also see the merry, shining, black face of a little handmaiden, whom Miss Patsey has lately taken into the family; and, as the tea-kettle is boiling, and the day's work chiefly over, the little thing is often seen at this hour, playing about the corners of the house, with the old cat. Ah, there is the little minx!—her sharp ears have heard the sound of wheels, and she is already at the open gate, to see what passes. A wagon stops; whom have we here? Little Judy is frightened half out of her wits: a young man she does not know, with his face covered with beard, after a fashion she had never yet seen, springs from the wagon. Miss Patsey turns to look.

"Charlie!"—she exclaims; and in another moment the youth has received the joyful, tearful, agitated embrace of his mother and sister. The darling of their hearts is at home again; three years since, he left them, a boy, to meet dangers exaggerated tenfold by their anxious hearts; he returns, a man, who has faced temptations undreamed of by their simple minds. The wanderer is once more beneath their humble roof; their partial eyes rest again on that young face, changed, yet still the same.

Charlie finds the three last years have passed lightly over his mother and his sister; theirs are the same kindly faces, the same well-known voices, the best loved, the most trusted from childhood. After the first eager moments of greeting are over, and the first hurried questions have been answered, he looks about him. Has not the dear old cottage shrunk to a very nut-shell? He opens the door of the school-room; there are its two benches, and its humble official desk, as of old; he looks into the little parlour, and smiles to think of the respect he felt in his childish days for Miss Patsey's drawing-room: many a gilded gallery, many a brilliant saloon has he since entered as a sight-seer, with a more careless step. He goes out on the porch; is it possible that is the garden?—why it is no larger than a table-cloth!—he should have thought the beds he had so often weeded could not be so small: and the door-yard, one can shake hands across it! And there is Wyllys-Roof, half hid by trees—he used to admire it as a most venerable pile; in reality it is only a plain, respectable country-house: as the home of the Wyllyses, however, it must always be an honoured spot to him. Colonnade Manor too—he laughs! There are some buildings that seem, at first sight, to excite to irresistible merriment; they belong to what may he called the "ridiculous order" of architecture, and consist generally of caricatures on noble Greek models; Mr. Taylor's elegant mansion had, undeniably, a claim to a conspicuous place among the number. Charlie looks with a painter's eye at the country; the scenery is of the simplest kind, yet beautiful, as inanimate nature, sinless nature, must ever be under all her varieties: he casts a glance upward at the sky, bright and blue as that of Italy; how often has he studied the heavens from that very spot! The trees are rich in their summer verdure, the meadows are fragrant with clover, and through Mr. Wyllys's woods there is a glimpse of the broad river, gilded by the evening sun. It is a pleasing scene, a happy moment; it is the first landscape he ever painted, and it is home.

Then Charlie returns to his mother; he sits by her side, she takes his hand in her withered fingers, she rests her feeble sight on his bright face; while Miss Patsey is preparing all the dainties in the house for supper.

"Well, little one, what is your name?" said Charlie, as the black child passed him with a load of good things.

"Judy, sir," said the little girl, with a curtsey, and a half-frightened look at Charlie's face, for the young artist had chosen to return with moustaches; whether he thought it professional or becoming, we cannot say.

"We shall be good friends I hope, Judy; if you mind my sister better than you ever did anybody else in your life, perhaps I shall find some sugar-plums for you," said Charlie, pleased to see a black face again.

Mrs. Hubbard remarked that, upon the whole, Judy was a pretty good girl; and the child grinned, until two deep dimples were to be seen in her shining dark cheeks, and the dozen little non-descript braids which projected from her head in different directions, seemed to stand on end with delight.

"And so Mr. Wyllys and the ladies are not at home. I wish I had known of their being in New-York; I might at least have seen them for a moment, yesterday."

"I wonder Mrs. Hilson did not mention their being in town."

"Julianna never knows what she is talking about. But I am glad to hear good accounts of them all."

"Yes; Miss Wyllys has come home from the West-Indies, much better."

"Is it really true that Miss Elinor is going to be married shortly?"

"Well, I can't say whether the story is true or not. She seems to have many admirers now she has become an heiress."

"But I don't understand how she comes to be such a fortune."

{"a fortune" = short for a woman of fortune, an heiress}

"I don't understand it myself; Mr. Clapp can tell you all about it. You know most people are a great deal richer now than they were a few years ago. I heard some one say the other day, that my old pupil's property in Longbridge, is worth three times as much now, as it was a short time since."

"Is it possible Longbridge has improved so much?"

"And then your old play-fellow has had two legacies from relations of her mother's; everybody in the neighbourhood is talking of her good-luck, and saying what a fortune she will turn out. I only hope she will be happy, and not be thrown away upon some one unworthy of her, like her poor cousin; for it seems young Mr. Taylor is very dissipated."

Charlie probably sympathized with this remark, though he made no reply.

"Mr. and Mrs. Tallman Taylor are in New-York now, I hear, just come from New-Orleans. The family from Wyllys-Roof have gone over to see them," added Miss Patsey.

"Yes, so I understand. They will be here before long, I suppose."

"Not immediately; for they are all going to Saratoga together. Dr. Van Horne thought Miss Wyllys had better pass two or three weeks at the Springs."

"That is fortunate for me—I shall see them the sooner; for I must be at Lake George before the first of July. I have an order for three views of the Lake, which I have promised to send to England early in the fall."

Here Charlie entered into some details of his affairs, very interesting to his mother and sister; and they seemed to be in a very satisfactory condition, according to his own modest views. After a while the conversation again returned to their Longbridge friends.

"Did you know that Mr. Hazlehurst is coming home too, this summer?" asked Miss Patsey.

"Yes; he wrote me word he hoped we should meet before long. How did that affair with Mrs. Creighton turn out?"

"We did bear they were engaged; but it could not have been true, for the lady has been in Philadelphia, and he in Brazil, for some time, you know. I used to ask about such matters once in a while, on purpose to write you word. But I had no great opportunity of hearing much about Mr. Hazlehurst; for after that unhappy business at Wyllys-Roof, there was, of course, a great coolness; for some time I never heard his name mentioned there, and Mr. Wyllys seldom speaks of him now."

"Are they not reconciled, then?"

"Not entirely, I am afraid; but you know they have not met for three years."

"I shall hardly know myself at Wyllys-Roof, without seeing Mr.
Hazlehurst and Miss Graham there."

"You will find a great change in that respect. Mrs. Taylor has not been here since her marriage; Miss Van Alstyne seems to have taken her place; she is a very pleasant young lady. When the family is at home now, there seems often to be some strange gentleman with them."

"Fortune-hunters, I suppose," said Charlie, with some indignation. "Well, the course of true love never has, and never will run quite as it ought, I suppose. And how do all the Longbridge people come on?—How is Uncle Josie?"

"Very well, indeed; just as good as ever to us. You must go to see him to-morrow."

"Certainly;—and what is Uncle Dozie about?"

"At work in the vegetable-garden, as usual. He sent me a fine basket of salad, and radishes, and onions, this morning."

"Clapp has got into a new house I see."

"Yes; he is in very good business, I believe; you saw Catherine, you say?"

"Yes, for a minute only. I ran in to kiss Kate and the children, while they were harnessing a horse for me at the tavern. Kate looks very well herself. The children didn't remember much of Uncle Charlie; but they are pretty, healthy little things, nevertheless."

The grandmother assented to the commendation of her daughter's family; she thought them remarkably fine children. "Catherine was a very fortunate woman," she said; "Mr. Clapp was a very superior man, so very clever that he must do well; and the children were all healthy—they had gone through the measles wonderfully, that spring."

Charlie had not quite as elevated an opinion of his brother-in-law as the females of the family; he allowed his mother's remark to pass unnoticed, however.

"And so Mr. Taylor has given up Colonnade Manor," he continued.

"Yes; he has just sold it to Mr. de Vaux, a friend of Mr.
Wyllys," replied Miss Patsey.

"Why did he sell it, pray?"

"Well, the young ladies liked better to live about at hotels and boarding-houses in the summer, I believe; they thought it was too dull at Longbridge. Mr. Taylor didn't care much for the place: you know there are some people, who, as soon as they have built a house, and got everything in nice order, want to sell; it seems as if they did not care to be comfortable; but I suppose it is only because they are so fond of change."

We may as well observe, by way of parenthesis, that this fancy of getting rid of a place as soon as it is in fine order, would probably never occur to any man but an American, and an American of the particular variety to which Mr. Taylor belonged.

"I don't wonder at his wanting to get rid of the house; but the situation and the neighbourhood might have satisfied him, I think," said Charlie, as he accepted Miss Patsey's invitation to eat the nice supper she had prepared for him.

As he took his seat at the table, Mrs. Hubbard observed, that he probably had not seen such short-cake as Patsey made, in Rome—to which Charlie assented warmly. He had wished one evening, in Florence, he said, for some of his sister's short-cake, and a good cup of tea of her making; and the same night he dreamed that the Venus de Medicis had made him some. He was ashamed of himself for having had such a dream; but it could not be helped, such was the fact.

{"Venus de Medicis" = Famous nude statue of the Goddess Venus—a 1st Century BC copy of a lost Greek statue by Cleomenes of Athens—in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence}

Mrs. Hubbard thought no woman, Venus or not, ought to be ashamed of making good short-cake; if they were bad, that would be a different matter.

"Well, Charlie, now you have seen all those paintings and figures you used to talk so much about, what do you think of them?—are they really so handsome as you expected?" asked his sister.

"They are wonderful!" exclaimed Charlie, with animation; putting down a short-cake he had just buttered. "Wonderful!—There is no other word to describe them."

Mrs. Hubbard observed, that she had some notion of a painting, from the minister's portrait in the parlour—Charlie took up his short cake—she thought a person might have satisfaction in a painting; such a picture as that portrait; but as for those stone figures he used to wish to see, she could not understand what was the beauty of such idol-like things.

"They are not at all like idols, mother; they are the most noble conceptions of the human form."

How could they look human? He himself had told her they were made out of marble; just such marble, she supposed, as was used for tomb-stones.

"I only wish you could see some of the statues in Italy; the Laocoon, Niobe, and others I have seen. I think you would feel then what I felt—what I never can describe in words."

{"Laocoon" = A famous Greek statue, in the Vatican at Rome, of a Trojan priest and his two sons being crushed by serpents. "Niobe" = a famous statue, in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (a Roman copy of a lost Greek original attributed to Scopas), of Niobe — in Greek mythology the daughter of Tantalus whose children were slaughtered by Zeus and who was transformed into a weeping image of stone}

Mrs. Hubbard said the names sounded very heathen-like to her ears; she had never seen a statue, of any description whatever; she didn't think she could have any satisfaction in looking at one. If they had any colour to them, and were dressed up in uniforms, and handsome clothes, like the wax-figures of General Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Lord Nelson, she had once seen, they would be worth looking at, perhaps.

Miss Patsey wished to know, if among the statues he had seen, there were any supposed to be likenesses of the great men that we read about in history?

"There are many statues and busts in Italy, that are undeniably portraits of some of the greatest men of antiquity," he replied.

"Do you suppose they are really like those old Romans? I don't mean such likenesses as the portrait of our dear father; but still pretty good for those old times?"

"Far better than anything of the kind you ever saw," replied
Charlie, drinking off a cup of tea.

Miss Patsey thought those might be worth seeing. A conversation followed upon the delight Charlie had felt in beholding celebrated places, the scenes of great events in past ages; a delight that an American can never know in his own country, and which, on that very account, he enjoys with a far keener zest than a European. Miss Patsey seemed to enter a little into this pleasure; but, upon the whole, it was quite evident that all the imagination of the family had fallen to Charlie's share. The young man thought little of this, however: when Judy had carried away the remains of the supper, he returned to his mother's side, and the evening passed away in that pleasant family chat, so interesting to those who feel alike. Sympathy of the heart is a tie ten-fold stronger than sympathy of the head; people may think alike, and hate each other; while those who feel together, are often led to adopt the same opinions.

When Charlie had read the usual evening chapter in the Bible, and had received his mother's kiss and blessing, he laid himself down with a thankful heart, in the little garret-room, as in his childish years. The young artist's dreams that night, were a mingled crowd of fancies; the memories of his boyhood reviving in their old haunts, accompanied by more recent images brought from beyond the Ocean, and linked with half-formed plans and ideas for the future. Among these visions of the night, were two more distinct than the rest; one was a determination to commence, the very next morning, a copy of his honoured father's portrait, in which the artist's object was unusual; for it was his chief aim to make it as little like the original before him, as possible. Shall we reveal the fact that another image, wearing a gentler aspect than the stern, rigid features of the minister's portrait, seemed to flit before the young painter's fancy, coming unbidden, and mingling more especially with recollections of the past? As a ray of moonlight stole into the low dormer-window, the young man turned on his humble bed, a sigh burst from his lips, followed by the words, "No, no!"

We shall keep the secret.

CHAPTER II {XXV}

"Yonder, sure, they are coming."
As You Like It.

{William Shakespeare, "As You Like It", I.ii.147}

THE weather had been more than usually warm for several weeks, and the morning after Charlie's return to Longbridge, when the steamboat North America left the wharf at New-York, her decks and cabins were filled by some five or six hundred passengers. There were men, women, and children, of various characters, colours and conditions. The scene on deck was pleasing and cheerful; the day was lovely, the steamer looked neat and bright, and the great majority of the females were gaily dressed in their summer attire; most of the faces looked good-humoured, as if pleased to escape from the heat and confinement of the town, to cooler air, and a sight of the water and green woods. One might have supposed it a party of pleasure on a large scale; in fact, Americans seem always good-natured, and in a pleasant mood when in motion; such is their peculiar temperament. The passengers on board the North America soon began to collect in knots, family-groups, or parties of acquaintance; some chatting, some reading, some meditating. There was one difficulty, however, want of space to move about in, or want of seats for some of those who were stationary.

After the boat had fairly begun her trip, and people had settled themselves as well as they could, according to their different fancies, a pretty little woman appeared at the door of the ladies' cabin. In her light hair, and somewhat insipid face, encased in an extremely fashionable hat, we recognise Mrs. Hilson. Turning towards a gentleman who seemed waiting near the door for her, she addressed him.

"Now, Monsieur Bonnet, do exert your gallantry, and find me a seat on deck. The cabin is intolerably warm, I cannot stay here;—where are Emmeline and the Baron?"

"You see, Madame," he said, pointing towards the couple,
"Montbrun take a tabouret at once, when we come on board, and
Mademoiselle Emmeline now has it. It was very maladroit in me not
to keep one for you; I beg a t'ousand pardons."

{"tabouret" = a stool; "maladroit" = careless (French)}

"Haven't you got a seat; that is a pity. But I dare say you can easily find one."

"Vraiment, ma chere Madame EEL-sun, there is no sacrifice I would not make to procure you one. I am desole it should be impossible. I have been looking; but all the tabourets and chair are taken by ladies and gentlemans. You have a drole de maniere of travel in this countree; so many people together, the ladies must be victimes sometime."

{"Vraiment, ma chere…" = truly, my dear…; "drole de maniere" = funny way (French)}

"Oh, no; you don't know how to manage, that is all. Has not the
Baron a chair?"

"Non, Madame; you see he is debout."

{"debout" = standing (French)}

"Well, there are some gentlemen seated; I see three or four—one quite near you. Ask him for his chair."

The Frenchman shrugged his shoulders, and looked bewildered.

"Pray, ask that gentleman for his chair," repeated the lady, pointing with her parasol to a person sitting at no great distance.

"But, Madame, the gentleman will not know what a charming lady wish for the chair—he will not give it."

"Oh, no danger; if you tell him it is for a lady, of course he will let you have it. Why, how slow you are about it; you are almost as bad as Captain Kockney, who never did anything when he was asked."

"Ah, Madame, de graces do not say that!—I go."

{"de graces" = please (French)}

And Monsieur Bonnet, edging his way here and there behind the ladies, and begging ten thousand pardons, at length reached the person Mrs. Hilson had pointed out to him.

"What did you say?" exclaimed this individual, looking up rather gruffly, at being addressed by an utter stranger.

"Mille pardons, Monsieur," continued Monsieur Bonnet; "a lady is very much oppressed with fatigue, and send me to beg you will be aimable to give her your chair."

{"mille pardons" = excuse me; "aimable" = obliging enough (French)}

"What is it?" repeated the man, who looked like an Englishman; "I don't understand you."

Monsieur Bonnet again urged his request, in terms still more civil. It would be rendering a very great service to the lady, he said.

"I am not acquainted with the lady; I advise you to look for an empty chair," replied the other, resolutely turning his face in an opposite direction.

Monsieur Bonnet shrugged his shoulders, and was moving towards Mrs. Hilson au desespoir, when a gentlemanly-looking man, who was seated, reading, not far from the Englishman, rose and quietly offered his bench for the use of the lady. Monsieur Bonnet was, of course, all gratitude, and returned enchante to Mrs. Hilson, who took the matter very quietly; while M. Bonnet seemed surprised at his own success.

{"au desespoir" = in despair; "enchante" = delighted (French)}

The gentleman who had given up his seat, was obliged to continue standing; shutting up his book, he began to look about him, among the crowd, for acquaintances. There was a very gay, noisy party, at no great distance, which first attracted his attention; it consisted of two pretty young women in the centre of a group of men. The shrill voice and rattling laugh of one lady, might be very distinctly heard across the deck; the other was leaning back listlessly in her chair: one of the young men was reading a paper with a sort of family expression, as if the ladies were his near connexions; and, on a chair, at the side of the silent lady, sat an old gentleman, with a very rusty coat, snuffy nose, and a red handkerchief spread on one knee, while on the other he held a pretty little boy, about two years old.

"I tell you I know she was dead in love with him!" cried the rattling young lady, at the top of her voice. Then, observing the gentleman, who was looking in that direction, she bowed with a coquettish graciousness. The bow was returned, but the gentleman did not seem very anxious to approach the party; when the young lady, beckoning with her finger, obliged him to draw near.

"Now, Mr. Ellsworth, you are just the man I wanted. Three of these gentlemen are against me; I have only one on my side, and I want you to help me to fight the battle."

"Must I enlist, Miss Taylor, before I know whether the cause is good or bad?"

"Oh, certainly, or else you are not worth a cent. But I'll tell you how the matter stands: you know Helen de Vaux and you were at the Springs, last summer, when she and Mr. Van Alstyne were there. Well, I say she was dead in love with him, though she did refuse him."

"Was she?" replied Mr. Ellsworth.

"Why, I know she was; it was as plain as a pike-staff to everybody who saw them together. And here, these good folks provoke me so; they say if she refused him she did not care for him; and here is my ridiculous brother-in-law, Mr. St. Leger, says I don't know anything about it; and my sister Adeline always thinks just as her husband does."

"That's quite right, my dear," said the rusty Mr. Hopkins, taking a pinch of snuff. "I hope you will follow her example one of these days."

"What are the precise symptoms of a young lady's being dead in love?" asked the quiet, business-looking Theodore St. Leger.

"Oh, you know well enough what I mean. You may say what you please about Helen de Vaux not caring for him, I know better," continued the young lady, in a voice that might be heard on the other side of the boat.

"As Miss de Vaux's mother is on board, suppose you refer the question to her," said Mr. Ellsworth, in a dry manner.

"Is she?—I hope she didn't hear us," continued the young lady, lowering her voice half a tone. "But you need not ask her, though; for I don't believe her mother knows anything about it."

"You are going to the Springs, I suppose," said Mr. Ellsworth, by way of changing the conversation.

"I wish we were! No; Adeline has taken it into her head to be romantic, for the first time in her life. She says we must go to the Falls; and it will be a fortnight lost from Saratoga."

"But, have you no wish to see Niagara?"

"Not a bit; and I don't believe Adeline has, either. But it is no wonder she doesn't care about the Springs, now she's married; she began to go there four years before I did."

"Have you never been to Niagara, Mrs. St. Leger?" continued Mr. Ellsworth, addressing the elder sister; who, from the giddy, belleish Adeline, was now metamorphosed into the half-sober young matron—the wife of an individual, who in spite of the romantic appellation of Theodore St. Leger, was a very quiet, industrious business-man, the nephew and adopted son of Mr. Hopkins, Adeline's Boston escort. She had been sitting contentedly beside the old gentleman, for the last half hour, leaving her unmarried sister to entertain the beaux, according to etiquette.

"No, I have never been to the Falls; and all our party but my sister Emma, seemed to think it would be a pleasant jaunt."

"Mr. Hopkins has entered into an engagement to supply me with at least two beaux at a time, and a regular change all the way to Niagara, or else I shouldn't have come," said Miss Emma.

"We are engaged at least by the day, I hope," interposed one of the attendant young men.

"No, indeed; I should be tired to death of you, for more than an hour at a time. I sha'n't speak to YOU again, until we have passed West Point."

"I have had no trouble as yet, my dear, in picking up recruits," said Mr. Hopkins, whose attention seemed equally divided between his snuff-box, and the little Hopkins, junior, on his knee—his great-nephew.

"If there are two, that's all I care for; but I hate to have only one person to talk to."

Mr. Ellsworth bit his lips, to prevent their expressing his opinion, that the young lady must always have a large circle of listeners.

"Have you seen Mr. Wyllys's party this morning?" inquired
Adeline.

"The Wyllyses!—Are they on board?" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth, with surprise and pleasure. "I thought them at Saratoga by this time."

"Oh, no; they are somewhere on the other side of the boat; my sister-in-law, Mrs. Taylor's little girl is with them. By-the-bye, Emma, I am going into the cabin to look after Jane; will you go with me?"

"No, indeed; I hate the cabin of a steamboat!"

Adeline was quite satisfied to leave her sister with the prospect of a good supply of young men to flirt with; though matrimony had changed her in some respects, she still considered it a duty to encourage to the utmost, all love-affairs, and flirtations going on in her neighbourhood. Mr. Hopkins resigned the little boy to his mother's care; Mr. St. Leger helped his wife through the crowd; and, under cover of the movement made to allow Adeline to pass, Mr. Ellsworth made his escape. His eye had been already directed towards the opposite side of the boat, where he had discovered the venerable, benevolent face of Mr. Wyllys, with three ladies near him. Mr. Ellsworth immediately recognised Miss Agnes, Elinor, and Mary Van Alstyne. It was several minutes before he could edge his way through the crowd, to join them; but when he reached the spot, he was received very cordially by Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes, in a friendly manner by Mary Van Alstyne, and possibly there was something of consciousness betrayed by Elinor.

"I thought you already at Saratoga!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth.

"We were detained several days, waiting for Mrs. Taylor," replied
Elinor, to whom the remark was made.

"We shall not be at Saratoga until Monday," added Mr. Wyllys; "we are going to pass a day or two with our friends, the V——-s, at Poughkeepsie."

"I am very sorry to hear it," continued Mr. Ellsworth; "I have promised to carry Mrs. Creighton to Nahant, about that time, and shall have my usual bad luck in missing you."

{"Nahant" = sea-side resort in Massachusetts, then very popular, just north of Boston}

"We must persuade Mrs. Creighton not to run away," said Mr.
Wyllys.

As Elinor stooped at that moment, to untie the hat of the pretty little creature at her side, it was impossible to say whether this intelligence were displeasing to her or not.

"That is Mrs. Taylor's child, is it not?" observed Mr. Ellsworth, looking at the little girl. "She is very like Mrs. St. Leger."

"Do you really think so?—we fancy her like her mother," said
Elinor.

"How is Tallman Taylor now?—he was not well when they passed through Philadelphia."

"He looks badly still," said Miss Agnes. "He is very imprudent, and distresses Jane very much by his carelessness."

"Gentlemen never seem to do what is right when invalids," observed Mary Van Alstyne, smiling. "They are either very reckless, and indifferent to their health, or else over-careful."

"What do you say, Mr. Ellsworth; is that account true?" asked
Miss Wyllys.

"I dare say it is—I have no doubt we are very troublesome to our nurses. But, fortunately, women are endowed with a double stock of patience, to make up for our deficiencies. Is Mr. Taylor on board?—I have not seen him."

"No; he remained in town to attend to some business," replied Miss Wyllys. "We have charge of Mrs. Taylor, however, who was very anxious to get into the country, on account of her youngest child."

"I see, Mr. Ellsworth, that old Ironsides has arrived at Norfolk, bringing Mr. Henley from Rio," observed Mr. Wyllys.

{"Old Ironsides" = the United States Frigate "Constitution"; in the early 1800s, U.S. naval ships frequently carried diplomats to and from their stations}

"Certainly; she arrived on Tuesday."

"I saw it in the Globe, last night, grandpapa, Mr. Henley had arrived at Washington. Harry is with him, of course," said Elinor, in a quiet, natural tone.

"I supposed you knew of their arrival," observed Mr. Ellsworth. "I have a letter from Hazlehurst in my pocket. He seems to have had quite enough of Rio."

"Mr. Henley, I understand, is talked of as minister to Russia," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes; I believe that affair is settled."

"Does Hazlehurst mention whether he is going with Mr. Henley?"

"That may be a state secret," said Elinor, smiling.

"He has had an offer of the situation, I believe—but does not seem to have made up his mind; he is coming home to look about him, he says, having three months' vacation at any rate."

The shrill tone of Miss Emma Taylor's voice was at this moment heard so distinctly, from the other side of the boat that Mr. Wyllys looked up from his paper, and Mr. Ellsworth smiled. It was very evident the young lady had inherited the peculiar tone of voice, and all the cast-off animation of her elder sister.

"Miss Taylor seems to be in very good spirits," remarked Mr.
Ellsworth.

"Yes; she always talks and laughs a great deal," replied Mary Van
Alstyne.

"They are no longer your neighbours, I understand, sir."

"No; Mr. Taylor sold Colonnade Manor this spring; De Vaux has purchased it, and changed the name of the place. It is now to be called Broadlawn, which is certainly a great improvement."

"And where does Mr. Taylor's family pass the summer?"

"Why, Jane tells me he is building something he calls a cottage, at Rockaway, within a stone's throw of the principal hotel. They thought Longbridge too quiet."

Mrs. Taylor's little girl had, by this, time, become very sleepy, and a little fretful; and Miss Agnes advised her being carried to her mother. Elinor led her away, rather, it is believed, to Mr. Ellsworth's regret.

It was no easy task to make one's way among the nurses, and babies, and baskets, filling the ladies' cabin, which was more than usually crowded. But at length Elinor reached Jane and Adeline, who were sitting together.

A single glance was sufficient to show that a change had come over these two young women, since the giddy days of their girlhood. Jane was pale, but beautiful as ever; she was holding on her knees a sick child, about two months old, which apparently engrossed all her attention. What would be her system as a mother, might be foretold by the manner in which she pacified the little girl Elinor had brought with her.

"Give her some candy, Dinah," she said to the black nurse; whose broad, good-natured face was soon covered with shining marks of affection, from the hands of the pretty little charge.

Adeline was less changed in her appearance than her sister-in-law; that is to say, she was as pretty as ever, and neither thin nor pale. But there was something in her expression, and a great deal in her manner, that was no longer what it had been of old. That excessive animation which had distinguished her as a belle, had been allowed to die away; and the restless expression, produced by a perpetual labour to make conquests, which was, at one time, always to be traced upon her features, had now vanished entirely. In its place there was a touch of matronly care and affection, more natural, and far more pleasing. She, too, was sitting by the side of her child, driving away the flies from the little thing, who was sleeping in a berth. Adeline Taylor had married well, in the best sense of the word. Not that she deserved much credit for doing so, since she had only accidentally, as it were, become attached to the young man who happened to be the most deserving among her suitors. Chance had had a great deal to with the match, as it has with many matches. She had, however, one merit—that of not rejecting him on account of his want of fortune; although at the time, she might have married a man who would have given her a four-story, four-window house in Broadway. Mr. Taylor had not interfered: she had done as she pleased in the affair. It is true, that her father rather inclined towards the richest suitor; still, he took it for granted, that if Theodore St. Leger had not a fortune at the time, being a merchant, he would, of course, make one in a few years. But Mr. Taylor's son-in-law was a man of very different character from himself; he was a quiet, prudent, unostentatious young man, of good abilities, who had received by education excellent principles, and moderate views, and who had fallen in love with Adeline's pretty face. Mr. Hopkins, his uncle and adopted father, was a very worthy man, though a little eccentric, and rather too much given to snuff, and old coats, and red handkerchiefs. No one stood better on Change than John Hopkins, whose word had been as good as his bond, throughout a long life. He was a man of some property too, but he had only given his nephew enough to begin life very moderately. Even with the very liberal allowance which Mr. Taylor freely gave his children, Adeline, when she married, was obliged to live in a much plainer and quieter way than she had done for the last five or six years.

{"Change" = the stock exchange}

Altogether, however, the young couple seemed to agree very well, in spite of the difference in their characters: a pretty, good-natured wife was all the young merchant had wished for; and Adeline was really attached to her husband, whose chief fault seemed to be in his coats, which were rather too much after the fashion of those of Uncle Hopkins.

Jane's fate had proved less happy than that of her friend Adeline. Tallman Taylor's habits of extravagance had led them into difficulties in more ways than one. He had spent far more than his income, and his carelessness in business had proved a great disadvantage to the house with which he was connected. During the last year, matters had grown worse and worse; he had neglected his wife, and lost large sums at the gambling-table. Poor Jane had passed some unhappy months, and traces of sorrow were to be seen on her pale face. Towards the last of the winter, young Taylor had been dangerously ill with a malignant fever prevailing in New Orleans; and as a long convalescence interfered with his dissipated habits, and confined him for some time to his own house, his friends hoped that he would have time and leisure to make some useful reflections. But they were deceived; sickness and suffering only made him more selfish and irritable: poor Jane had already paid a heavy penance for her duplicity, and her obstinacy in marrying him. Mr. Taylor had quarrelled with his partners; and it was the object of his present visit to New York, to persuade his father to make some heavy advances in his behalf, as otherwise he would be ruined. Jane, it is true, knew but little of her husband's affairs; still, she saw and heard enough to make her anxious for the future, and she gave herself up to melancholy repining, while her manner lost all cheerfulness. Her father's family were in Charleston, and she had not seen them for more than a twelvemonth; but Mr. Robert Hazlehurst, Miss Agnes, and Elinor had done all that was possible to supply their place, since she had been in their neighbourhood. Adeline, too, was well enough disposed towards her sister-in-law, but she had neither the good sense nor the delicacy of Miss Wyllys and Elinor, and was far less successful in her friendly efforts. The society of her aunt and cousin seemed a relief to Jane; and it was at their request that she was going to pass a fortnight with them at Saratoga, where Miss Agnes had been ordered by her physician.

Elinor, on joining her cousin in the cabin, tried to persuade Jane to have the sick child carried on deck, for the sake of the fresh air, but she did not succeed; and not wishing to leave Mrs. Taylor, she took off her hat, and remained some time in the cabin—a piece of good-nature which Mr. Ellsworth seemed to think ill-timed. As they drew near the Highlands, however, she returned to her seat on deck; for the morning was lovely, and she did not wish to lose the scenery. She found Mrs. Hilson sitting near her aunt.

"Ah, Miss Elinor!—how do you do?" exclaimed the city lady. "It is the first time I have had a chance of seeing you since you returned from the West Indies. You have not been much in New York, I believe, since you arrived?"

"Only for a day or two."

"And how did you like the West Indies? Is there much aristocracy at Havana?"

"We found it very pleasant there; and the climate was of so much service to my aunt, that I shall always remember Havana with gratitude."

"You did not go into society, then?"

"0h, yes; we made many pleasant acquaintances."

"Well, if I go abroad, I hope it will be to England; though I should like very well to visit the stores of Paris."

"Have you seen your cousin, Charles Hubbard, since he arrived from Italy?" inquired Elinor.

"Yes; he called at our boarding-house. He is at Longbridge now, but he is coming to Saratoga, shortly; for he told me he had engaged to take several views of Lake George."

"I am sorry be did not come to see us in town; but I am delighted to hear he is going to Saratoga. Grandpapa, Mrs. Hilson tells me Charles Hubbard will be at Saratoga, with us!"

"I am very glad to hear it, my child; I want to see Charlie."

"Has he brought home many pictures?" continued Elinor.

"I really don't know; I did not think of asking him."

"I should suppose you would be anxious to see your cousin's paintings."

"Oh, no; portraits are the only pictures that interest me. I always have the 'Book of Beauty,' whenever it comes out; you know they are likenesses of the Peeresses of the English Nobility."

{"Book of Beauty" = "Heath's Book of Beauty" an annual volume with engravings of famous British women, sponsored by Charles Heath (1785-1848) (London: Longmans, 1833-1847)}

Elinor bowed. "Yes, I have seen the book."

"I have the 'Children of the Nobility,' too, bound in crimson silk; it is a very fascinating collection. My friend, Mrs. Bagman, tells me they are excellent likenesses, particularly the children of his Royal Highness, the Lord-Mayor."

{"Children of the Nobility" = "Portraits of the Children of the
Nobility," A similar publication, also sponsored by Charles Heath
(Longmans: London, 1838)}

Absurd as such a mistake in heraldry may seem, one might vouch for having heard others quite as extraordinary.

"They may be like," said Elinor, smiling in spite of herself; "but I cannot agree with you as to their beauty. I have seen the volume, and it struck me the artists must have made caricatures of many of the children, who, no doubt, were pretty in reality."

"I was looking at those engravings only yesterday," said Mr. Ellsworth, anxious to engage Elinor's attention; "they almost amount to a libel on childhood; they give the idea of mincing, affected little creatures, at the very age when children are almost invariably natural and interesting. I should quarrel very much with a portrait of my little girl, in the same fashion."

"But it is very seldom you see portraits of children, that are really child-like," observed Elinor. "And then what a trial, to paint a pretty, innocent little creature, in full dress, starched and trim!"

"Children are charming subjects when properly treated; I delight in such pictures," said Mary Van Alstyne.

"You would have been often delighted then, in Italy, Miss Van Alstyne. Raphael's cherubs are as perfect in their way, as his men and women."

{"Raphael's cherubs" = While living in Florence in 1829, James
Fenimore Cooper and his family admired the "Madonna del
Baldacchino" (sometimes called "La Madonna del Trono") by Raphael
(Italian painter, 1483-1520), at the Pitti Palace, and especially
the two singing angels ("perhaps I should call them cherubs) at
the foot of the throne. He commissioned the American sculptor
Horatio Greenough (1805-1852) to sculpt for him a group called
"The Chanting Cherubs," based the angels or cherubs}

Mrs. Hilson, unwilling to be thrown out of the conversation, again addressed Elinor.

"When you joined us, Miss Wyllys, we were speaking of the fire opposite your hotel. Were you not dreadfully alarmed? I hear you were there; although I did not find you at home when I called."

"We were disturbed, of course; but I can't say that we were personally alarmed. The wind, you may remember, carried everything in the opposite direction."

"Did it? Well, I was too much frightened to notice anything; you know it was in the same block as our boarding-house."

"Yes; you were nearer the danger than we were."

"Oh, I was dreadfully frightened. There was one of our ladies wanted to persuade me to look at Trinity Church, lighted up by the fire; I believe she really thought it a fascinating sight. Here comes a gentleman who was staying at your hotel, and has not got over his fright yet; it is one of my escorts—I have two, the Baron and this gentleman; but the Baron is not on deck now—let me introduce you; Monsieur Bonnet, Miss Wyllys. I do believe, Monsieur Bonnet, you were as much alarmed as I was."

"Alarm—Ah, Madame, I was ebloui by the fire. In all my life, I never saw real incendie before; though, of course, I saw the Panorama of the incendie de Moscou—I was not in Russie with l'Empereur. At the spectacle we have incendies sometimes; but never in the street. Ah, I did not see that house until the roof fall, when light burst through my volets, and I spring to the window."

{"ebloui" = dazzled; "incendie de Moscou" = the fire which destroyed Moscow in 1812, while it was being occupied by the Emperor Napoleon; "spectacle" = theater; "volets" = shutters (French)}

"I should have thought the noise would have called you out before that."

"Du tout; when I hear cries, and people marching, I think tout
bonnement it was an emeute, and I turn round to finish my sleep;
I think myself happy not to belong to the Garde Nationale of New
York, and not be afraid of the rappel."

{"du tout" = not at all; "tout bonnement" = simply; "emeute" = riot; "rappel" = call to arms (French)}

"What did you think it was?"

"An emeute, sans doute, say I to myself. It was un tintamarre epouvantable."

{"un tintamarre epouvantable" = a frightful uproar (French)}

"Emeute; pray, what is that?"

"Emeute? A little revolution, as we have in Paris constamment."

"Why, my dear sir, our revolutionary war took place more than fifty years ago. Did you expect to find us fighting now?"

"Certainement; I thought the wheel I hear was cannon. But mon ami Eel-SUN tell me next day, there is incendie every night somewhere in New York. Un drole de divertisement, vraiment. It is a great desagrement, of a city otherwise so beautiful, with so many charming ladies."

{"un drole de divertisement, vraiment" = truly, a strange form of entertainment. "desagrement" = unpleasant feature (French)}

"Thank you, sir; you are very polite. I believe, Miss Wyllys, that French gentlemen, no matter what they talk about, always find an opportunity to pay a compliment."

"C'est tout naturel; cela va sans dire; it is only our devoir, Madame, to exprimer to the ladies some of the many agreeable things they inspire."

{"C'est tout naturel…" = it's only natural; it goes without saying; it is only our duty, Madame, to express to the ladies… (French)}

"Worse and worse," said Mrs. Hilson, laughing. "How different you are from Captain Kockney; he never said a civil thing to me, all the time he was in New York."

"Le capitaine Coquenais was an Anglais, who cannot feel the true politesse Francaise."

"He used to say it is not aristocratic to be polite to other people; he belongs to the English aristocracy, you know."

"L'aristocratie! Oh, that is a vile state of things. La vieille aristocratie of France, Madame, was the cause of our revolution. But in France now, and in America, those happy countree, the spirit of aristocracy is extinct."

"I beg your pardon, Monsieur Bonnet," said Mrs. Hilson, quite indignantly. "It is true there are many plebeians in this country; but we have also many people of the highest aristocracy."

"Ah, vous plaisantez avec tant de grace, Madame!"

{"vous plaisantez…." = You joke so gracefully, Madame (French)}

"It is pleasant, certainly, to me; though some people may not appreciate it. I am a very aristocratic spirit."

"Ah, sans doute, Madame; you have so much esprit, you laugh at me," said the Frenchman, who took Mrs. Hilson's protestation as a joke.

{"esprit" = wit (French)}

"No, indeed; I never was more serious in my life. I should suppose you would have been struck with the high state of aristocracy at our boarding-house, for instance."

Monsieur Bonnet could only shrug his shoulders, being quite at a loss for the lady's meaning.

"Yes; I am thoroughly patrician and aristocratic; if we only had a despotic government, to take away all privileges from plebeians, I should be perfectly happy. My language surprises you, I perceive; but it is quite natural that a descendant of a Scotch Baronet, the Duke of Percy, should have similar feelings."

More and more bewildered, Monsieur Bonnet was reduced to a bow. Happily, as he thought, the warning bell was rung; and the usual cry, "Passengers for West Point please look out for their baggage!" changed the current of Mrs. Hilson's ideas, or rather the flow of her words.

In another moment, Mrs. Hilson and Monsieur Bonnet, with a score or two of others, were landed at West Point, and the ladies of Mr. Wyllys's party felt it no little relief to be rid of so much aristocracy.

The boat had soon reached Poughkeepsie, and much to Mr. Ellsworth's regret, Mr. Wyllys and his family went on shore. Mr. Ellsworth had been introduced to Elinor at Jane's wedding. He was a man of thirty, a widower, with an only child, and had for several years been thinking of marrying again. After having made up his mind to take the step, he next determined that he would not marry in a hurry. He was not a man of quick passions, and was sometimes accused of being fastidious in his tastes. He thought Elinor's manner charming, and soon discovered that she had every recommendation but beauty, the want of which was her only drawback; he liked her family, and probably was not sorry to hear that she would have a large property. But, unfortunately, he seldom met Miss Elinor Wyllys; she was a great part of her time in the country, and he knew nobody in the immediate neighbourhood. He had not been asked to Wyllys-Roof; nor was he, a very recent acquaintance, on terms sufficiently intimate, to present himself at the door, bag and baggage, without an invitation. More than a twelvemonth intervened, in the mean time; but he was still thinking enough of Elinor to make him wish for a meeting, when, accidentally, they passed a few days together at Old Point Comfort, and afterwards met again, not exactly by accident it is believed, at the Sulphur Springs, in Virginia. His good opinion of Elinor was not only confirmed by this intercourse, but his admiration very much increased. It was only natural it should be so; the more one knew Elinor, the more one loved her; good sense, intelligence, sweetness of disposition like her's, united to the simple grace of manner, peculiarly her own, were best appreciated by those who saw her daily. Quite unaware of Mr. Ellsworth's views, and unconsciously influenced at first, perhaps, by the fact that he was an old friend of Harry's, she soon liked him as a companion, and received him with something more than mere politeness. "It is always pleasant to meet with an agreeable, gentlemanly, well-informed man," thought Elinor: a train of reflection which has sometimes carried young ladies farther than they at first intended. Under such circumstances, some ardent spirits would have settled the question during a fortnight passed with the lady they admired; but Mr. Ellsworth, though he thought Elinor's manner encouraging, did not care to hazard a hasty declaration; he preferred waiting a few weeks, until they should meet again in Philadelphia, where the Wyllyses intended passing the winter. But unfortunately, shortly after the family returned home, Miss Agnes was taken ill, and on her partial recovery, was ordered to a warm climate before the cold weather; and Elinor merely passed through Philadelphia on her way to the West Indies, with her aunt and grandfather. Mr. Ellsworth was, of course, disappointed; he expressed his regrets as warmly as he dared, during a morning visit, in a room half-full of company; and he hinted in terms so pointed at his hopes of a happy meeting in the spring, that Elinor's suspicions were for the first time excited, while those of Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes were only confirmed. Since then, Mr. Ellsworth and Elinor had only seen each other once, in the street, until they met on board the steamboat, on their way to Saratoga.

{"Old Point Comfort" = a sea-side resort near Hampton, Virginia}

CHAPTER III. {XXVI}

"Who comes here?"
As You Like It.

{William Shakespeare, "As You Like It", II.vii.87 or III.iv.46}

THERE was to be a Temperance meeting at Longbridge, one of more importance than usual, as a speaker of note was to be heard on the occasion.

"Are you ready, Catherine?" inquired Mr. Clapp of his wife, appearing at the parlour-door, holding his hat and cane in one hand, and running the other through his brown curls.

"Wait one minute, dear, until I have put a clean collar on
Willie."

Little Willie, who had been hopping about the room, delighted with the importance of sitting up later than his younger brothers and sisters, was persuaded to stand still for a few seconds, while his mother tied on the clean collar; when Mr. Clapp, his wife, and eldest boy set out for the meeting-house, which they found already half-filled. They were beckoned into a pew near to one already occupied by the Van Hornes, Miss Patsey, and Charlie. As the evening was very pleasant, men, women, and children crowded in, until a large audience was brought together, urged, as usual, by different motives; some came from curiosity, others from always preferring an evening in public to an evening at home; some, from sincere respect for the object of the meeting, many for the sake of the speeches, and many others merely because they were ever ready to follow the general example. Mr. Clapp had no sooner found seats for his wife and child, than he began to look about him; his eye wandered over the heads around, apparently in quest of some one; at length his search seemed successful; it rested on a man, whose whole appearance and dress proclaimed him to be a sailor.

The meeting was opened by prayer, two different ministers officiating on the occasion; one, a venerable-looking old man, offered a simple, fervent, Christian prayer; the second, a much younger person, placing one hand in his waistcoat pocket, the other under the flaps of his coat, advanced to the front of the staging, and commenced, what was afterwards pronounced one of the "most eloquent prayers ever addressed to a congregation."

The speeches then followed. The first speaker, who seemed the business-man of the evening, gave some account of the statistics of the Society, concluding with a short address to those present, hoping they would, upon that occasion, enrol their names as Members of the Longbridge Temperance Society.

The principal orator of the evening, Mr. Strong, then came forward; he made a speech of some length, and one that was very impressive. Nothing could be more clear, more just, more true, than the picture he drew of the manifold evils of intemperance; a vice so deceitful in its first appearance, so treacherous in its growth; so degrading, so brutalizing in its enjoyments; so blasting and ruinous in its effects—ruinous to body and mind, heart and soul—blasting all hopes for this life and for the next, so long as it remains unconquered. He entreated his friends to count the cost of indulgence in this vice; loss of property, loss of health, loss of character, loss of intellect and feeling, loss of conscience, until roused in those fearful moments of terror and fury, the peculiar punishment of drunkenness. He begged his hearers to look at this evil under all its aspects, from the moment it destroys the daily peace of its miserable victims and all connected with them, until it leaves them, in death, without a hope, exposed to the fearful penalty of sin. As he went on, the heart of many a wretched wife and mother acknowledged the bitter truth of his observations; many a guilty conscience shrunk under the probe. He then made a just and reasonable estimate of the difficulties to be resisted in conquering this evil; he did not attempt to deny that there were obstacles to be overcome; he showed all the force of bad habit, all the danger of temptation—but if there were difficulties in the way, it was equally true that the power to subdue them was fully within the reach of every man. He went on to represent the happy effects of a change from evil to good; a restoration to usefulness, peace, comfort, and respectability, which has happily been seen in many an instance. He concluded by appealing to his hearers as men, to shake off a debasing slavery; as Christians, to flee from a heinous sin; and he entreated them, if they had not done so before, to take, on that evening, the first step in the cheering, honourable, blessed course of temperance.

Mr. Strong's speech was, in fact, excellent; all he said was perfectly true, it was well-expressed, and his manner was easy, natural, and dignified.

He was followed by William Cassius Clapp; the lawyer had been very anxious to speak at this meeting. Temperance societies were very popular at that time in Longbridge, and he was, of course, desirous of not losing so good an opportunity of appearing before the public on such an occasion; he thought it would help him on in his road towards the Assembly. Running his fingers through his curls, he took his place on the stage, and commenced. He was very fluent by nature, and in animation, in fanatical zeal for the cause, he far surpassed Mr. Strong: any other cause, by-the-bye, had it been popular, would have suited him just as well. In assertion, in denunciation, he distinguished himself particularly; he called upon every individual present to come forward and sign the pledge, under penalty of public disgrace; it was the will of the community that the pledge should be signed, public opinion demanded it, the public will required it; every individual present who neglected to sign the pledge of total abstinence, he pronounced to be "instigated by aristocratic pride," and would leave that house, stigmatized as "anti-Christian, and anti-republican;" and in conclusion he threw in something about "liberty."

Mr. Clapp sat down amid much applause; his speech was warmly admired by a portion of his hearers. All did not seem to agree on the subject, however, to judge, at least, by their manner and expression; for, during the delivery of their brother-in-law's oration, Miss Patsey Hubbard seemed to be generally looking down at the floor, while Charlie was looking up at the ceiling: and there were many others present, who thought Mr. Clapp's fluency much more striking than his common sense, or his sincerity. It is always painful to hear a good cause injured by a bad defence, to see truth disgraced by unworthy weapons employed in her name. It would have been quite impossible for Mr. Clapp to prove half his bold assertions, to justify half his sweeping denunciations. Still, in spite of the fanatical character of some of the advocates of Temperance, who distort her just proportions as a virtue—lovely in her own true character—yet drunkenness is a vice so hateful, that one would never wish to oppose any society, however imperfectly managed, whose object is to oppose that dangerous and common evil. Let it not be forgotten, however, that total abstinence from spirituous liquors is not the one great duty of man; intemperance is not the only sin to which human nature is inclined.

Mr. Clapp's speech was the last for the evening.

"I wish you joy, Mrs. Clapp," said Mrs. Tibbs, leaning forward from the seat behind the lawyer's pretty little wife, and nodding as she spoke.

"I really congratulate you; Mr. Clapp has surpassed himself; such animation, such a flow of eloquence!" added Mrs. Bibbs.

Kate smiled, and looked much gratified; she evidently admired her husband's speeches as much as she did his hair.

The moment for enrolling new names had now come; numbers of the audience went forward to sign the Total Abstinence Pledge. There was one worthy woman, a widow, sitting near Miss Patsey, whose only son had, during the last year or two, fallen into habits of intemperance; his attention had quite lately been attracted to the Temperance Societies, he had read their publications, had been struck by a short speech of Mr. Strong on a former occasion; and his mother's joy may possibly be imagined, as she saw him rise and add his name to the list of members engaging to abstain from intoxicating liquors. There were several others whose hearts were cheered, on the same occasion, by seeing those they loved best, those over whom they had often mourned, take this step towards reformation. Among the rest, a man dressed as a sailor was seen approaching the table; when his turn came he put down his name, and this was no sooner done, than Mr. Clapp advanced and shook him warmly by the hand.

"Who is that man, Catherine, speaking to Mr. Clapp?—he looks like a sailor," inquired Miss Patsey.

"I don't know who it is; some client I suppose; William seemed very much pleased at his signing."

Mr. Clapp, after shaking hands with his friend, the sailor, made his way through the crowd, until he reached the pew where his wife and little boy were sitting. Taking Willie by the hand, he led him to the table, placed the pen in his fingers, and left him to write William C. Clapp, jr. as well as he could—no easy matter, by-the-bye, for the child was not very expert in capital letters. As Willie was the youngest individual on the list, his signature was received by a burst of applause. The little fellow was extremely elated by being made of so much consequence; to tell the truth, he understood very little of what he was about. If respect for temperance were implanted in his mind on that evening, it was also accompanied by still more decided ideas of the great importance of little boys, with the germ of a confused notion as to the absolute necessity of the approbation of a regularly organized public meeting, to foster every individual virtue in himself, and in the human race in general. Miss Patsey very much doubted the wisdom of making her little nephew play such a prominent part before the public; she had old-fashioned notions about the modesty of childhood and youth. The mother, her sister Kate, however, was never disposed to find fault with anything her husband did; it was all right in her eyes. Mr. Clapp himself took the opportunity to thank the audience, in a short but emphatic burst, for their sympathy; concluding by expressing the hope that his boy would one day be as much disposed to gratitude for any public favours, and as entirely submissive, body and soul, to the public will of his own time, as he himself—the father—was conscious of being at that moment—within a few weeks of election.

The meeting was shortly after concluded by a temperance song, and a good prayer by the elder minister.

As the audience crowded out of the door, Mr. Clapp nodded again to the sailor, when passing near him.

"Who is that man, William?" asked Mrs. Clapp, as they reached the street.

"It is a person in whom I am warmly interested—an injured man."

"Indeed!—one of your clients I suppose."

"Yes; I am now pledged to serve him to the best of my ability."

"He looks like a sailor."

"He is a sailor, just returned from a three years' whaling voyage. You will be surprised, Catherine, when you hear that man's story; but the time has come when it must be revealed to the world."

"You quite excite my curiosity; I hope you will tell me the story?"

"Yes; you shall hear it. But where are your sister and Charles; are they going home with us?"

"No; I am very sorry; but they told me at the meeting they could not stay, as they had come over in Mrs. Van Horne's carriage. It is a pity, for I had made some ice-cream, and gathered some raspberries, expressly for them; and we have hardly seen Charles since he arrived. But Patsey wants us to spend the day at the grey house, to-morrow, children and all."

Mr. Clapp assented to this arrangement; although he said he should not be able to do more than go over himself for his family in the evening, on account of business.

Kate had only her husband and Willie to share her excellent ice-cream and beautiful raspberries, on that warm evening; the trio did justice, however, to these nice refreshments; and little Willie only wished he could sign a temperance pledge every evening, if he could sit up later than usual, and eat an excellent supper after it.

After the little fellow had been sent to bed, and his mother had taken a look at her younger children, who were sleeping sweetly in their usual places, the lawyer and his wife were left alone in the parlour. It was a charming moon-light evening, though very warm; and Kate having lowered the lamp, threw herself into a rocking-chair near the window; while Mr. Clapp, who had had rather a fatiguing day, was stretched out on the sofa.

"It is early yet, William; suppose you tell the story you promised me, about your client, the sailor."

"I don't much like to tell it, Catherine; and yet it is time you knew something about it, for we must proceed to action immediately."

"Oh, tell me, by all means; you have really made me quite curious. You know very well that I can keep a secret."

"Certainly; and I request you will not mention the facts I shall relate, to any one, for some time; not until we have taken the necessary legal steps."

"Of course not, if you wish it; and now for the story. You said this poor man had been injured."

"Grossly injured."

"In what manner?"

"He has been treated in the most unjustifiable manner by his nearest relatives. His reputation has been injured, and he has been tyrannically deprived of a very large property."

"Is it possible!—poor fellow! Can nothing be done for him?"

"That is what we shall see. Yes, I flatter myself if there is law in the land, we shall yet be able to restore him to his rights!"

"Does he belong to this part of the country?"

"He does not himself; but those who are revelling in his wealth do."

"What is his name?—Do I know his family?"

"You will be distressed, Catherine, when you hear the name; you will be astonished when you learn the whole story; but the time for concealment has gone by now. Several years ago that poor sailor came to me, in ragged clothing, in poverty and distress, and first laid his complaint before me. I did not believe a word of what he told me; I thought the man mad, and refused to have anything to do with the cause. He became disgusted, and went to sea again, and for some time gave up all hope of being reinstated in his rights; the obstacles seemed too great. But at length a very important witness in his favour was accidentally thrown in his way: at the end of his cruise he came to me again, and I confess I was astounded at the evidence he then laid before me. It is conclusive, beyond a doubt, to any unprejudiced mind," said Mr. Clapp, rousing himself from his recumbent position.

"But you have not told me the man's name."

"His name is Stanley—William Stanley."

"You said I knew him; but I never heard of him; I don't know the family at all."

"Yes, you do; you know them only too well; you will be as much surprised as I was myself—as I am still, whenever I allow myself to dwell on the subject. Mr. Stanley is the cousin-german of your friend, Miss Elinor Wyllys. Mr. Wyllys himself, Mrs. Stanley, the step-mother, and young Hazlehurst, are the individuals who stand between him and his rights," continued Mr. Clapp, rising, and walking across the room, as he ran his fingers through his brown curls.

"Impossible!" exclaimed Kate, as the fan she held dropped from her hand.

"Just what I said myself, at first," replied Mr. Clapp.

"But surely you are deceived, William—how can it be?" continued the wife, in amazement. "We always thought that Mr. Stanley was lost at sea, years ago!"

"Exactly—it was thought so; but it was not true."

"But where has he been in the mean time?—Why did he wait so long before he came to claim his inheritance?"

"The same unhappy, reckless disposition that first sent him to sea, kept him roving about. He did not know of his father's death, until four years after it had taken place, and he heard at the same time that he had been disinherited. When he came home, after that event, he found that he was generally believed to have been lost in the Jefferson, wrecked in the year 18—. He was, in fact, the only man saved."

"How very extraordinary! But why has he never even shown himself among his friends and connexions until now?"

"Why, my dear, his habits have been unhappily very bad in every way for years; they were, indeed the cause of his first leaving his family. He hated everything like restraint—even the common restraints of society, and cared for nothing but a sailor's life, and that in the worst shape, it must be confessed. But he has now grown wiser—he has determined to reform. You observed he signed the temperance pledge this evening?"

"It all sounds so strangely, that I cannot yet believe it,
William."

"I dare say not—it took me four years to believe it."

"But what do you mean to do? I hope you are not going to undertake a law-suit against two of our best friends, Mr. Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst?"

"That must depend on Mr. Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst, themselves. I have undertaken, Catherine, to do my best towards restoring this injured man to his property."

"Oh, William; suppose this man is in the wrong, after all! Don't think of having anything to do with him."

"My dear, you talk like a woman—you don't know what you say. If I don't act in the premises, do you suppose he won't find another lawyer to undertake his cause?"

"Let him have another, then: but it seems too bad that we should take sides against our best friends; it hardly seems honourable, William, to do so."

"Honour, alone, won't make a young lawyer's pot boil, I can tell you."

"But I had rather live poorly, and work hard all my life, than that you should undertake a dishonest cause."

"It is all very pretty talking, but I have no mind to live poorly; I intend to live as well as I can, and I don't look upon this Stanley cause as a bad one at all. I must say, Catherine, you are rather hard upon your husband, and seem to think more of the interests of your friends, than of his own."

"How can you talk so, William, when you know you can't think it," said the wife reproachfully, tears springing to her eyes.

"Well, I only judge from what you say yourself. But in my opinion there is no danger of a law-suit. As Mr. Stanley's agent, I shall first apply to Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Hazlehurst to acknowledge his claim; and when the evidence is laid before them, I have no kind of doubt but they will immediately give up the property; as they are some of your very honourable people, I must say I think they are bound to do so."

"Certainly, if the evidence is so clear; but it seems to me, from all I have heard since I have been a lawyer's wife, that evidence never is so very clear, William, but that people disagree about it."

"Well, I flatter myself that people will be staggered by the proofs we can bring forward; I feel sure of public opinion, at least."

Kate was silenced; but though she could think of nothing more to urge, she was very far from feeling easy on the subject.

"I hope with all my heart it will be settled amicably," she added at length.

"There is every probability that it will. Though the story sounds so strangely to you now—just as it did to me, at first—yet when you come to hear all the facts, you will find there is scarcely room for a shadow of doubt."

"How sorry mother and Patsey will be when they hear it!"

"I can't see why they should be sorry to see a man reinstated in his rights, after having been deprived of them for eighteen years. If they are not blinded by their partiality for the Wyllyses and Hazlehursts, they cannot help being convinced by the evidence we can show."

"How old is this man—this sailor—this Mr. Stanley?"

"Just thirty-six, he tells me. Did you remark his likeness to Mr. Stanley's portrait at Wyllys-Roof? that was the first thing that struck me."

"No; I hardly looked at him."

"You must expect to see him often now; I have invited him to dinner for to-morrow."

"For to-morrow? Well, Uncle Dozie has sent me this afternoon a beautiful mess of green peas, and you will have to get something nice from market, in the way of poultry and fish. Though, I suppose as he has been a common sailor so long, he won't be very particular about his dinner."

"He knows what is good, I can tell you. You must give him such a dinner as he would have had at his father's in old times."

"Well, just as you please, William; only, if you really care for me, do not let the man deceive you; be sure you sift the matter thoroughly—what you call cross-examine him."

"Never you fear; I know what I am about, Katie; though if I was to follow your advice in law matters, I reckon we should all of us starve together."

"I hope it will all turn out well, but I seem to feel badly about it," said Kate with a sigh, as she rose to light a candle; "only don't be too hasty—take time."

"We have taken time enough I think, as it is. We are only waiting now for Mr. Hazlehurst to arrive in Philadelphia, when we shall put forward our claim."

CHAPTER IV. {XXVII}

"They call thee rich."
COWPER.

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Translations of Greek
Verses: On A Miser" line 1}

WHEN the Wyllyses arrived at Saratoga, after having paid their promised visit to their friends at Poughkeepsie, the first persons they saw in the street, as they were driving to Congress Hall, were Mrs. Creighton, Mr. Ellsworth, and Mr. Stryker, who were loitering along together. It seemed the excursion to Nahant had been postponed, or given up.

The brother and sister soon discovered that the Wyllyses were among that afternoon's arrivals, and in the course of an hour or two called at their rooms.

"Here am I, Miss Wyllys," said Mrs. Creighton, "the best of sisters, giving up my own private plans to gratify this brother of mine, who would not let me rest unless I promised to pass another week here."

"Josephine makes the most of her complaisance; but I don't think she was so very much averse to giving up Nahant. I am sure at least, she did not care half so much about going, as I did about staying."

Mr. Stryker also appeared, to make his bow to the ladies. This gentleman had indeed come to Saratoga, with the express intention of making himself particularly agreeable to Miss Elinor Wyllys. As long ago as Jane's wedding, he had had his eye on her, but, like Mr. Ellsworth, he had seldom been able to meet her. Mr. Stryker was a man between forty and fifty, possessing some little property, a very good opinion of himself, and quite a reputation for cleverness and knowledge of the world. He was one of those men who hang loose on society; he seemed to have neither relations nor connexions; no one knew his origin: for years he had occupied the same position in the gay world of New York, with this difference, that at five-and-twenty he was known as Bob Stryker; at five-and-thirty he was Colonel Stryker, the traveller; and at five-and-forty he had returned to New York, after a second long absence, as Mr. Stryker, tout court. He prided himself upon being considered a gentleman at large, a man of the world, whose opinion on all subjects was worth hearing. Since his last return from Europe, he had announced that he was looking about for that necessary encumbrance, a wife; but he took good care not to mention what he called his future intentions, until he had actually committed himself more than once. He had several times kindly offered to rich and beautiful girls, to take charge of themselves and their fortunes, but his services had been as often politely declined. He was not discouraged, however, by these repulses; he still determined to marry, but experience had taught him greater prudence—he decided that his next advances should be made with more caution. He would shun the great belles; fortune he must have, but he would adopt one of two courses; he would either look out for some very young and very silly girl, who could be persuaded into anything, or he would try to discover some rich woman, with a plain face, who would be flattered by the attentions of the agreeable Mr. Stryker. While he was making these reflections he was introduced to Elinor, and we are sorry to say it, she appeared to him to possess the desirable qualifications. She was certainly very plain; and he found that there was no mistake in the report of her having received two important legacies quite lately. Miss Elinor Wyllys, thanks to these bequests, to her expectations from her grandfather and Miss Agnes, and to the Longbridge railroad, was now generally considered a fortune. It is true, common report had added very largely to her possessions, by doubling and quadrupling their amount; for at that precise moment, people seemed to be growing ashamed of mentioning small sums; thousands were invariably counted by round fifties and hundreds. Should any gentleman be curious as to the precise amount of the fortune of Miss Elinor Wyllys, he is respectfully referred to William Cassius Clapp, Attorney at Law, Longbridge, considered excellent authority on all such subjects. Lest any one should be disposed to mistrust this story of Elinor's newly-acquired reputation as an heiress, we shall proceed at once to prove it, by evidence of the most convincing character.

{"tout court" = by itself; "period" (French)}

One morning, shortly after the arrival of the Wyllyses at Saratoga, Mr. Wyllys entered the room where Miss Agnes and Elinor were sitting together, with a handful of papers and letters from the mail. Several of these letters were for Elinor, and as she reads them we shall take the liberty of peeping over her shoulder—their contents will speak for themselves. The first which she took up was written on very handsome paper, perfumed, and in an envelope; but neither the seal nor the handwriting was known to Elinor. It ran as follows:

"CHARMING MISS WYLLYS:—

"It may appear presumptuous in one unknown to you, to address you on a subject so important as that which is the theme of this epistle; but not having the honour of your acquaintance, I am compelled by dire necessity, and the ardent feelings of my heart, to pour forth on paper the expression of the strong admiration with which you have inspired me. Lovely Miss Wyllys, you are but too well known to me, although I scarcely dare to hope that your eye has rested for a moment on the features of your humble adorer. I am a European, one who has moved in the first circles of his native land, and after commencing life as a military man, was compelled by persecution to flee to the hospitable shores of America. Chequered as my life has been, happy, thrice happy shall I consider it, if you will but permit me to devote its remaining years to your service! Without your smiles, the last days of my career will be more gloomy than all that have gone before. But I cannot believe you so cruel, so hard-hearted, as to refuse to admit to your presence, one connected with several families of the nobility and gentry in the north of England, merely because the name of Horace de Vere has been sullied by appearing on the stage. Let me hope—"

Elinor read no farther: she threw the letter aside with an expression of disgust and mortification. It was but one of half-a-dozen of similar character, which she had received during the last year or two from utter strangers. She took up another, a plain, honest-looking sheet.

"MADAM:—

"If the new store, being erected on your lot in Market Street, between Fourth and Fifth, is not already leased, you will confer an obligation if you will let us know to whom we must apply for terms, &c., &c. The location and premises being suitable, we should be glad to rent. The best of references can be offered on our part.

"Begging you will excuse this application, as we are ignorant of the name of your agent in Philadelphia, we have the honour to be, Madam,

"Your most obedient servants,

"McMUNNY & CO.,

"Grocers, Market, between Front and Second."

A business letter, it appears, to be attended to accordingly. Now for the third—a delicate little envelope of satin paper, blue wax, and the seal "semper eadem."

{"semper eadem" = always the same (Latin)}

"MY SWEET MISS ELINOR:—

"When shall we see you at Bloomingdale? You are quite too cruel, to disappoint us so often; we really do not deserve such shabby treatment. Here is the month of June, with its roses, and strawberries, and ten thousand other sweets, and among them you must positively allow us to hope for a visit from our very dear friends at Wyllys-Roof. Should your venerable grandpapa, or my excellent friend, Miss Wyllys be unhappily detained at home, as you feared, do not let that be the means of depriving us of your visit. I need not say that William would be only too happy to drive you to Bloomingdale, at any time you might choose; but if that plan, HIS plan, should frighten your propriety, I shall be proud to take charge of you myself. Anne is not only pining for your visit, but very tired of answering a dozen times a day, her brother's questions, 'When shall we see Miss Wyllys?'—'Is Miss Wyllys never coming?'

"I do not think, my sweet young friend, that you can have the heart to disappoint us any longer—and, therefore, I shall certainly look for one of your charming little notes, written in an amiable, complying mood.

"Anne sends her very best love; William begs to be very
PARTICULARLY remembered to Miss Elinor Wyllys.

"With a thousand kind messages to your grandfather and Miss
Wyllys, I remain as ever, my dear young friend,

"Yours, most devotedly and partially,

"ARABELLA HUNTER."

{"Bloomingdale" = a fashionable and still rural area of Manhattan
Island, though technically part of New York City}

Elinor read this note with a doubtful smile, which seemed to say she was half-amused, half-provoked by it. Throwing it carelessly on the sofa, she opened the fourth letter; it was in a childish hand.

"MY DEAR MISS WYLLYS:—

"My mother wishes me to thank you myself, for your last act of goodness to us—but I can never tell you all we feel on the subject. My dear mother cried with joy all the evening, after she had received your letter. I am going to school according to your wish, as soon as mother can spare me, and I shall study very hard, which will be the best way of thanking you. The music-master says he has no doubt but I can play well enough to give lessons, if I go on as well as I have in the last year; I practise regularly every day. Mother bids me say, that now she feels sure of my education for the next three years, one of her heaviest cares has been taken away: she says too, that although many friends in the parish have been very good to us, since my dear father was taken away from us, yet 'no act of kindness has been so important to us, none so cheering to the heart of the widow and the fatherless, as your generous goodness to her eldest child;' these are her own words. Mother will write to you herself to-morrow. I thank you again, dear Miss Wyllys, for myself, and I remain, very respectfully and very gratefully,

"Your obliged servant and friend,

"MARY SMITH."

This last letter seemed to restore all Elinor's good humour, acting as an antidote to the three which had preceded it. The correspondence which we have taken the liberty of reading, will testify more clearly than any assurance of ours, to the fact that our friend Elinor now stands invested with the dignity of an heiress, accompanied by the dangers, pleasures, and annoyances, usually surrounding an unmarried woman, possessing the reputation of a fortune. Wherever Elinor now appeared, the name of a fortune procured her attention; the plain face which some years before had caused her to be neglected where she was not intimately known, was no longer an obstacle to the gallantry of the very class who had shunned her before. Indeed, the want of beauty, which might have been called her misfortune, was now the very ground on which several of her suitors founded their hopes of success; as she was pronounced so very plain, the dandies thought it impossible she could resist the charm of their own personal advantages. Elinor had, in short, her full share of those persecutions which are sure to befall all heiresses. The peculiar evils of such a position affect young women very differently, according to their various dispositions. Had Elinor been weak and vain, she would have fallen into the hands of a fortune-hunter. Had she been of a gloomy temper, disgust at the coarse plots and manoeuvres, so easily unravelled by a clear-sighted person, might have made her a prey to suspicion, and all but misanthropic. Had she been vulgar-minded, she would have been purse-proud; if cold-hearted, she would have become only the more selfish. Vanity would have made her ridiculously ostentatious and conceited; a jealous temper would have become self-willed and domineering.

Change of position often produces an apparent change of character; sometimes the effect is injurious, sometimes it is advantageous. But we trust that the reader, on renewing his acquaintance with Elinor Wyllys, will find her, while flattered by the world as an heiress, essentially the same in character and manner, as she was when overlooked and neglected on account of an unusually plain face. If a shade of difference is perceptible, it is only the natural result of four or five years of additional experience, and she has merely exchanged the first retiring modesty of early youth, for a greater portion of self-possession.

In the first months of her new reputation as an heiress, Elinor had been astonished at the boldness of some attacks upon her; then, as there was much that was ridiculous connected with these proceedings, she had been diverted; but, at length, when she found them rapidly increasing, she became seriously annoyed.

"What a miserable puppet these adventurers must think me—it is cruelly mortifying to see how confident of success some of them appear!" she exclaimed to her aunt.

"I am very sorry, my child, that you should be annoyed in this way—but it seems you must make up your mind to these impertinences—it is only what every woman who has property must expect."

"It is really intolerable! But I am determined at least that they shall not fill my head with suspicions—and I never can endure to be perpetually on my guard against these sort of people. It will not do to think of them; that is the only way to keep one's temper. If I know myself, there never can be any danger to me from men of that kind, even the most agreeable."

"Take care," said Miss Agnes, smiling, and shaking her head.

"Well, I know at least there is no danger at present; but as we all have moments of weakness, I shall therefore very humbly beg that if you ever see me in the least danger, you will give me warning, dear Aunt; a very sharp warning, if you please."

"In such a case I should certainly warn you, my dear. It strikes me that several of your most disagreeable admirers—"

"How call you call them ADMIRERS, Aunt Agnes?"

"Well, several of your pursuers, then, are beginning to discover that you are not a young lady easily persuaded into believing herself an angel, and capable of fancying them the most chivalrous and disinterested of men."

This was quite true; there was a quiet dignity, with an occasional touch of decision in Elinor's manner, that had already convinced several gentlemen that she had more firmness of character than suited their views; and they had accordingly withdrawn from the field.

"Suppose, Elinor, that I begin by giving you a warning, this morning?" continued Miss Agnes, smiling.

"You are not serious, surely, Aunt?" replied Elinor, turning from some music she was unpacking, to look at Miss Wyllys.

"Yes, indeed; I am serious, so far as believing that you are at this moment exposed to the manoeuvres of a gentleman whom you do not seem in the least to suspect, and who is decidedly agreeable."

"Whom can you mean?" said Elinor, running over in her head the names of several persons whom she had seen lately. "You surely do not suspect—No; I am sure you have too good an opinion of him."

"I am very far from having a particularly good opinion of the person I refer to," said Miss Agnes; "I think him at least, nothing better than a fortune-hunter; and although it is very possible to do many worse things than marrying for money, yet I hope you will never become the wife of a man whose principles are not above suspicion in every way."

"I am disposed just at present, I can assure you, dear Aunt, to have a particularly poor opinion of a mere fortune-hunter."

"Yes; you do not seem to feel very amiably towards the class, just now," said Miss Agnes, smiling.

"But who is the individual who stands so low in your opinion?"

"It is your opinion, and not mine, which is the important one," replied Miss Agnes.

"Ah, I see you are joking, Aunt; you half frightened me at first. As far as having no fears for myself, I am really in an alarming state."

"So it would seem. But have you really no suspicions of one of our visiters of last evening?"

Elinor looked uneasy.

"Is it possible," she said, lowering her voice a little, "that you believe Mr. Ellsworth to be a common fortune-hunter? I thought you had a very different opinion of him."

"You are right, my child," said Miss Agnes, apparently pleased by this allusion to their friend; "I have, indeed, a high opinion of Mr. Ellsworth; but he was not our only visiter last evening,"

"Is it Mr. Stryker? I have half-suspected some such thing myself, lately; I cannot take credit for so much innocence as you gave me. But it is not worth while to trouble oneself about Mr. Stryker; he is certainly old enough, and worldly-wise enough to take care of himself. If he actually has any such views, his time will be sadly thrown away. But it is much more probable that he is really in love with Mrs. Creighton; and it would be very ridiculous in me, to imagine that he is even pretending to care for me, when he is attached to some one else."

"He may flirt with Mrs. Creighton, but, if I am not mistaken, he intends to offer himself before long to Miss Wyllys; and I thought you had not remarked his advances."

"I fancy, dear Aunt, that men like Mr. Stryker seldom commit themselves unless they feel pretty sure of success."

The conversation was here interrupted, Elinor was engaged to ride with Mr. Wyllys, who now returned from the reading-room for his grand-daughter. Mrs. Creighton was also going out with her brother, and proposed the two parties joining; an invitation which Mr. Wyllys had very readily accepted. The horses were ordered, Elinor was soon equipped, and on joining Mrs. Creighton at the door, she was assisted to mount by Mr. Ellsworth. Mr. Stryker had also been invited to ride with them by the pretty widow.

It was a lovely morning, and they moved off gaily on one of the roads leading to Saratoga Lake; Elinor enjoying the air and the exercise, Mr. Ellsworth at her side, doing his best to make his society agreeable, Mrs. Creighton engaged in making a conquest of the two gentlemen between whom she rode. Yes, we are obliged to confess the fact; on her part at least, there was nothing wanting to make up a flirtation with Mr. Wyllys. The widow belonged to that class of ladies, whose thirst for admiration really seems insatiable, and who appear anxious to compel all who approach them to feel the effect of their charms. Elinor would have been frightened, had she been aware of the attack made that morning by Mrs. Creighton, on the peace of her excellent grandfather, now in his seventy-third year. Not that the lady neglected Mr. Stryker—by no means; she was very capable of managing two affairs of the kind at the same moment. All the remarks she addressed particularly to Mr. Wyllys, were sensible and lady-like; those she made to Mr. Stryker, were clever, worldly, and piquant; while the general tone of her conversation was always a well-bred medley of much fashionable levity, with some good sense and propriety. Mr. Stryker scarcely knew whether to be pleased, or to regret that he was obliged to ride at her side. He had lately become particularly anxious to advance in the good graces of Miss Elinor Wyllys, for two reasons; he had lost money, and was very desirous of appropriating some of Elinor's to his own use; and he had also felt himself to be in imminent danger of falling in love with Mrs. Creighton, and he wished to put it out of his own power to offer himself to her in a moment of weakness. Much as he admired the beauty, the wit, and the worldly spirit of the pretty widow, he was half-afraid of her; he judged her by himself; he knew that she was artful, and he knew that she was poor; for her late husband, Mr. Creighton, during a short married life, had run through all his wife's property, as well as his own, and his widow was now entirely dependent upon her brother.

The attention of the two gentlemen was not, however, entirely engrossed by Mrs. Creighton. Mr. Stryker was by no means willing to resign the field to his rival, Mr. Ellsworth; and Mr. Wyllys was not so much charmed by the conversation of his fair companion, but that his eye could rest with pleasure on the couple before him, as he thought there was every probability that Elinor would at length gratify his long-cherished wish, and become the wife of a man he believed worthy of her. As the party halted for a few moments on the bank of the Lake, Mr. Wyllys was particularly struck with the expression of spirit and interest with which Elinor was listening to Mr. Ellsworth's description of the lakes of Killarney, which he had seen during his last visit to Europe; and when the gentleman had added a ludicrous account of some Paddyism of his guide, she laughed so gaily that the sound rejoiced her grandfather's heart.

Elinor had long since regained her former cheerfulness. For a time, Harry's desertion had made her sad, but she soon felt it a duty to shake off every appearance of gloom, for the sake of her grandfather and aunt, whose happiness was so deeply interwoven with her own. Religious motives also strengthened her determination to resist every repining feeling. The true spirit of cheerfulness is, in fact, the fruit of two of the greatest virtues of Christianity—steadfast faith, and unfeigned humility; and it is akin to thankfulness, which is only the natural consequence of a sense of our own imperfections, and of the unmerited goodness of Providence.

"We have had a charming ride, Miss Wyllys!" said Mrs. Creighton, as the party returned to the hotel.

"Very pleasant," said Elinor.

"Delightful!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth. "I hope we shall have such another every day."

"Then I must try and find an animal, with rather better paces than the one which has the honour of carrying me at present," said Mr. Stryker.

"But Mrs. Creighton has been so very agreeable, that I should think you would have been happy to accompany her on the worst horse in Saratoga," observed Mr. Wyllys.

"Only too agreeable," replied Mr. Stryker, as he helped the lady to dismount, while Mr. Ellsworth performed the same service to Elinor.

CHAPTER V. {XXVIII}

"I do beseech your grace, for charity,
If ever any malice in your heart
Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly."
Henry VIII.

{William Shakespeare, "Henry VIII", II.i.79-81}

ONE evening, about a week after the arrival of the Wyllyses, there was a dance at Congress Hall, where they were staying. Mrs. Creighton, with her brother, who were already engaged to meet some friends there, urged Elinor very much to join them; but she declined, not wishing to leave Jane. Mr. Ellsworth, who had been very devoted, of late, seemed particularly anxious she should go. But although Elinor's manner betrayed some little embarrassment, if not indecision, as the gentleman urged her doing so, still she persisted in remaining with her cousin.

{"Congress Hall" = the most fashionable hotel in Saratoga Springs — built in 1811, the original building burned in 1866}

"Well, I am sorry we cannot persuade you, Miss Wyllys; though I dare say you will have a very pleasant evening in your own parlour."

"We must put, off our game of chess until to-morrow, Mrs.
Creighton," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, unfortunately for me; for I have fully determined to beat you, sir, at our next trial. Well, Frank, we cannot stay here all the evening; I dare say, our friends, the Stevensons, are looking for us in the ball-room already."

"Mrs. Creighton is a very pretty woman," observed Mr. Wyllys, as he seated himself at the chess-board, opposite his daughter, after the brother and sister had left the room.

"Yes, a very pretty woman; and she always looks well in her evening-dress," replied Miss Agnes.

Elinor devoted herself to Jane's amusement. Ever since they had been together, she had given up a great part of her time to Mrs. Taylor, whom she was very anxious to cheer and enliven, that she might persuade her to throw off the melancholy and low spirits, which her cousin seemed purposely to encourage. The sick baby was better, and Elinor was in hopes that before they parted, she should succeed in awakening Jane to a somewhat better frame of mind. She was very desirous that the time they were together should not be lost; and her kindness was so unwearied, her manner was so affectionate and soothing, and the advice she sometimes allowed herself to give, was so clear and sensible, that at last Jane seemed to feel the good effects of her cousin's efforts.

After Mr. Ellsworth and his sister had left the room to join the dancers, Jane suddenly turned to Elinor, with tears in her eyes. "How kind you are!" she said. "I daresay you would like to go down-stairs;—but you are too good to me, Elinor!"

"Nonsense, Jenny; I can't help it if I would. Do you think I should enjoy dancing, if I knew you were sitting alone in this dark corner, while grandpapa and Aunt Agnes are playing chess! You are looking a great deal more woe-begone than you ought to, now baby is so much better."

"You spoil me," said Jane, shaking her head, and smiling with more feeling than usual in her unexpressive face.

"I shall spoil you a great deal more before we get through. Next week, when Mr. Taylor comes, I intend to talk him into bringing you over to Wyllys-Roof, to pay a good long visit, like old times."

"I had much rather think of old times, than of what is to come.
There is nothing pleasant for me to look forward to!"

"How can you know that, Jane? I have learned one lesson by experience, though I am only a year older than you, dear—and it is, that if we are often deceived by hope, so we are quite as often misled by fear."

"I believe, Elinor, you are my best friend," said Jane, holding out her hand to her cousin.

"Oh, you have more good friends than you think for, and much good of every kind, though you will shut your eyes to the fact."

"It may be so," said Jane; "I will try to follow your advice, if
I can."

"Try hard, then," said Elinor, "and all will go well. And now, shall I sing you the song Mrs. Creighton cut short?"

She began to sing "Auld Lang Syne;" but the song was interrupted before she had finished the second verse. Several persons were heard approaching their room, which was in a retired, quiet part of the house; the door soon opened, and in walked Robert Hazlehurst.

"Well, good people," he exclaimed, "you take the world as quietly as anybody I know! We supposed, of course, you were at the ball, but Elinor's voice betrayed you. This way, Louisa," he said, returning to the door, after having shaken hands with Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes.

"How glad I am to see you!" exclaimed Elinor—"you are as good as your word; but we did not expect you for several days;" and Jane and herself went to the door to meet Mrs. Hazlehurst.

"And, pray, what reason had you to suppose that we should not keep our word?" said the latter, as she appeared.

"We thought Harry would probably detain you," said Elinor.

"Not at all; we brought him along with us."

"That was a good arrangement we had not thought of," observed
Miss Agnes.

Harry entered the room. He was not entirely free from embarrassment at first; but when Mr. Wyllys met him with something of the cordial manner of old times, he immediately recovered himself. He kissed the hand of Miss Agnes, as in former days, and saluted Elinor in the same way, instead of the more brotherly greetings with which he used to meet her of old.

"And here is Jane, too, Harry," said Mrs. Hazlehurst, who had just embraced her sister. "You have been so long away, that I dare say you have forgotten half your old friends."

"Not at all," said Harry, crossing the room to Jane. "I think myself a very lucky fellow, at finding them all collected here together, for my especial benefit. I met Mr. Taylor for a moment in New York," he continued, addressing Jane.

"Did he say when he was coming for me?" replied Mrs. Taylor, offering her hand to her kinsman.

"He told me that he should be at Saratoga very shortly."

"I have a letter for you in my trunk, Jane," said Mrs. Robert
Hazlehurst.

"Don't you think our invalid much better, already, Louisa?" asked
Elinor.

"Yes; she does credit to your nursing."

"No wonder," said Jane; "for during the last month I have been petted all the time—first by Mrs. Taylor, then by Aunt Agnes and Elinor."

"It's very pleasant to be petted," said Harry; "that's precisely what I came home for. I give you my notice, Louisa, I expect a great deal from you in the next three months."

"Is that the length of your holiday?" inquired Miss Agnes.

"So says my master, Mr. Henley. I understand," he added, turning to Elinor, "that you have all the agreeable people in the country collected here."

"There are some thousands of us, agreeable and disagreeable, altogether. They say the place has never been more crowded so early in the season."

"So I'm told. I was warned that if I came, I should have to make my bed in the cellar, or on the roof. Are Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton at this house, or at the other?"

"They are staying at the United States. They are here this evening, however, at the dance."

{"United States" = the other major hotel in Saratoga Springs, less fashionable at this time than Congress Hall}

"Indeed!—I have half a mind to take Ellsworth by surprise. Will they admit a gentleman in travelling costume, do you think?"

"I dare say they will; but here are your friends, coming to look for you."

At the same moment, Mr. Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton joined the party.

"How d'ye do, Ellsworth?—Glad to see you, my dear fellow!" cried the young men, shaking each other violently by the hand.

"How do you do, Mr. Hazlehurst?" added the lady, "Welcome back again. But what have you done with your sister-in-law?—for I did not come to call upon you alone. Ah, here you are, Mrs. Hazlehurst. My brother observed you passing through the hall, as you arrived, and we determined that it would be much pleasanter to pass half an hour with you, than to finish the dance. We have been wishing for you every day."

"Thank you. We should have set out before, if we had not waited for Harry. Elinor tells me half Philadelphia is here, already."

"Yes; the houses have filled up very much since I first came; for
I am ashamed to say how long I have been here."

"Why, yes: I understood you were going to Nahant."

"We ought to have been there long ago; but I could not move this obstinate brother of mine. He has never found Saratoga so delightful, Mrs. Hazlehurst," added the lady, with an expressive smile, and a look towards Elinor. "I can't say, however, that I at all regret being forced to stay, for many of our friends are here, now. Mr. Hazlehurst, I hope you have come home more agreeable than ever."

"I hope so too, Mrs. Creighton; for it is one of our chief duties as diplomatists, 'to tell lies for the good of our country,' in an agreeable way. But I am afraid I have not improved my opportunities. I have been very much out of humour for the last six months, at least."

"And why, pray?"

"Because I wanted to come home, and Mr. Henley, my boss, insisted upon proving to me it would be the most foolish thing I could do. He was so much in the right, that I resented it by being cross."

"But now he has come himself, and brought you with him."

"No thanks to him, though. It was all Uncle Sam's doings, who wants to send us from the Equator to the North Pole."

"Are you really going to Russia, Hazlehurst?" asked Mr.
Ellsworth.

"Certainly; you would not have me desert, would you?"

"Oh, no; don't think of it, Mr. Hazlehurst; it must be a very pleasant life!" exclaimed Mrs. Creighton. "I only wish, Frank, that you were enough of a politician to be sent as minister somewhere; I should delight in doing the honours for you; though I dare say you would rather have some one else in my place."

"We will wait until I am sent as ambassador to Timbuctoo, before
I answer the question."

"You have grown half-a-dozen shades darker than you used to be as a youngster, Harry; or else this lamp deceives me," observed Mr. Wyllys.

"I dare say I may have a fresh tinge of the olive. But I am just from sea, sir, and that may have given me an additional coat."

"Did you suffer much from heat, on the voyage?" asked Miss
Wyllys.

"Not half as much as I have since I landed. It appeared to me
Philadelphia was the warmest spot I had ever breathed in; worse
than Rio. I was delighted when Louisa proposed my coming to
Saratoga to see my friends."

"You will find it quite warm enough here," said Mr. Wyllys. "The thermometer was 92 {degrees} in the shade, yesterday."

"I don't expect to be well cooled, sir, until we get to St. Petersburgh. After a sea-voyage, I believe one always feels the cold less, and the heat more than usual. But where is Mrs. Stanley?—we hoped to find her with you. Is she not staying at this house?"

"Yes; but she left us early, this evening, not feeling very well; you will not be able to see her until to-morrow," said Miss Agnes.

"I am sorry she is not well; how is she looking?"

"Particularly well, I think; she merely complained of a head-ache from riding in the sun."

"Mrs. Stanley has been very anxious for your return; but she will be as agreeably surprised as the rest of us, to find you here," said Elinor.

"Thank you. I look upon myself as particularly fortunate, to find so many old friends collected in one spot, instead of having to run about, and hunt for each in a different place, just now that I am limited for time."

"You ought to be greatly indebted to Frank and myself, for breaking our word and staying here; instead of keeping our promise and going to Nahant, as we had engaged to do," said Mrs. Creighton.

"Certainly; I look upon it as part of my good luck; but I should have made my appearance at Nahant, if you had actually run away from me."

"I shall believe you; for I make it a point of always believing what is agreeable."

"As I knew Mrs. Hazlehurst and your brother had engaged rooms here, I hoped you would join us, soon after your arrival," said Mr. Ellsworth.

"It was much the best plan for you," said Mr. Wyllys.

Harry looked gratified by this friendly remark.

It was already late; and Mrs. Hazlehurst, who had been conversing in a corner with Jane, complained of being fatigued by her day's journey, which broke up the party. The Hazlehursts, like Mrs. Creighton and her brother, were staying at the United States, and they all went off together.

When Elinor, as usual, kissed Mr. Wyllys before retiring to her own room, she hesitated a moment, and then said:

"I must thank you, grandpapa, for having granted my request, and received Harry as of old. It is much better that the past should be entirely forgotten. Self-respect seems to require that we should not show resentment under the circumstances," she added, colouring slightly.

"I cannot forget the past, Elinor. Harry does not stand with me where he once did, by the side of my beloved grandchild; but we will not think of that any longer, as you say. I hope for better things from the future. Bless you, dear!"

CHAPTER VI. {XXIX}

"The foam upon the waters, not so light."
COWPER.

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Truth" line 43}

As usual at Saratoga, early the next morning groups of people were seen moving from the different hotels, towards the Congress Spring. It was a pleasant day, and great numbers appeared disposed to drink the water at the fountain-head, instead of having it brought to their rooms. The Hazlehursts were not the only party of our acquaintances who had arrived the night before. The Wyllyses found Miss Emma Taylor already on the ground, chattering in a high key with a tall, whiskered youth. The moment she saw Elinor, she sprang forward to meet her.

{"Congress Spring" = principal mineral water source at Saratoga
Springs}

"How do you do, Miss Wyllys?—Are you not surprised to see me here?"

"One can hardly be surprised at meeting anybody in such a crowd," said Elinor. "When did you arrive?"

"Last night, at eleven o'clock. We made a forced march from Schenectady, where we were to have slept; but I persuaded Adeline and Mr. St. Leger to come on. You can't think how delighted I am to be here, at last," said the pretty little creature, actually skipping about with joy.

"And where is Mrs. St. Leger?"

"Oh, she will he here in a moment. She has gone to Jane's room. I left her there just now."

The platform round the spring was quite crowded. In one party, Elinor remarked Mrs. Hilson and Miss Emmeline Hubbard, escorted by Monsieur Bonnet and another Frenchman. They were soon followed by a set more interesting to Elinor, the Hazlehursts, Mrs. Creighton, and her brother.

"I hope none of your party from Wyllys-Roof are here from necessity," said Harry, after wishing Elinor good-morning.

"Not exactly from necessity; but the physicians recommended to Aunt Agnes to pass a fortnight here, this summer. You may have heard that she was quite ill, a year ago?"

"Yes; Robert, of course, wrote me word of her illness. But Miss Wyllys looks quite like herself, I think. As for Mr. Wyllys, he really appears uncommonly well."

"Thank you; grandpapa is very well, indeed; and Aunt Agnes has quite recovered her health, I trust."

"Miss Wyllys," said Mr. Stryker, offering a glass of the water to Elinor, "can't I persuade you to take a sympathetic cup, this morning?"

"I believe not," replied Elinor, shaking her head.

"Do you never drink it"' asked Mrs. Creighton.

"No; I really dislike it very much."

"Pray, give it to me, Mr. Stryker," continued Mrs. Creighton. "Thank you: I am condemned to drink three glasses every morning, and it will be three hours, at this rate, before I get them."

"Did you ever hear a better shriek than that, Miss Wyllys?" said Mr. Stryker, lowering his voice, and pointing to Emma Taylor, who was standing on the opposite side of the spring, engaged in a noisy, rattling flirtation. After drinking half the glass that had been given to her, she had handed it to the young man to whom she was talking, bidding him drink it without making a face. Of course, the youth immediately exerted himself to make a grimace.

"Oh, you naughty boy!" screamed Miss Taylor, seizing another half-empty glass, and throwing a handful of water in his face; "this is the way I shall punish you!"

There were two gentlemen, European travellers, standing immediately behind Elinor at this moment, and the colour rose in her cheeks as she heard the very unfavourable observations they made upon Miss Taylor, judging from her noisy manner in a public place. Elinor, who understood very well the language in which they spoke, was so shut in by the crowd that she could not move, and was compelled to hear part of a conversation that deeply mortified her, as these travellers, apparently gentlemanly men themselves, exchanged opinions upon the manners of certain young ladies they had recently met. They began to compare notes, and related several little anecdotes, anything but flattering in their nature, to the delicacy of the ladies alluded to; actually naming the individuals as they proceeded. More than one of these young girls was well known to Elinor, and from her acquaintance with their usual tone of manner and conversation, she had little doubt as to the truth of the stories these travellers had recorded for the amusement of themselves and their friends; at the same time, she felt perfectly convinced that the interpretation put upon these giddy, thoughtless actions, was cruelly unjust. Could these young ladies have heard the observations to which they had laid themselves open by their own folly, they would have been sobered at once; self-respect would have put them more on their guard, ESPECIALLY IN THEIR INTERCOURSE WITH FOREIGNERS. It is, no doubt, delightful to see young persons free from every suspicion; no one would wish to impose a single restraint beyond what is necessary; but, surely, a young girl should not only be sans peur, but also sans reproche—the faintest imputation on her native modesty is not to be endured: and, yet, who has not seen pretty, delicate creatures, scarcely arrived at womanhood, actually assuming a noisy, forward pertness, foreign to their nature, merely to qualify them for the envied title of belles? There is something wrong, certainly, wherever such a painful picture is exhibited; and it may be presumed that in most cases the fault lies rather with the parents than the daughters. Happily, the giddy, rattling school to which Miss Emma Taylor belonged, is much less in favour now, than it was some ten or fifteen years ago, at the date of our story.

{"sans peur, but also sans reproche" = without fear, but also without reproach (French); the French national hero Bayard (1476-1524), is traditionally called "Le Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche"}

"How little do Emma Taylor, and girls like her, imagine the cruel remarks to which they expose themselves by their foolish manners!" thought Elinor, as she succeeded at length, with the assistance of Mr. Ellsworth, in extricating herself from the crowd.

As the Wyllys party moved away from the spring, to walk in the pretty wood adjoining, they saw a young man coming towards them at a very rapid pace.

"Who is it—any one you know, Miss Wyllys?" asked Mr. Ellsworth.

"He is in pursuit of some other party, I fancy," replied Elinor.

"It is Charlie Hubbard coming to join us; did we forget to mention that he came up the river with us?" said Harry, who was following Elinor, with Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Stryker.

The young painter soon reached them, as they immediately stopped to welcome him; he was very kindly received by his old friends.

"Well, Charlie, my boy," said Mr. Wyllys, "if Harry had not been here to vouch for your identity, I am not sure but I should have taken you for an exiled Italian bandit. Have you shown those moustaches at Longbridge?"

"Yes, sir;" replied Charlie, laughing. "I surprised my mother and sister by a sight of them, some ten days since; it required all their good-nature, I believe, to excuse them."

"I dare say they would have been glad to see you, if you had come back looking like a Turk," said Elinor.

"I am determined not to shave for some months, out of principle; just to show my friends that I am the same Charlie Hubbard with moustaches that I was three years ago without them."

"I suppose you consider it part of your profession to look as picturesque as our stiff-cut broadcloth will permit," said Mr. Wyllys.

"If you really suspect me of dandyism, sir," said Charlie, "I shall have to reform at once."

"I am afraid, Mr. Hubbard, that you have forgotten me," observed Mr. Ellsworth; "though I passed a very pleasant morning at your rooms in New York, some years since."

Charlie remembered him, however; and also made his bow to Mrs.
Creighton and Mr. Stryker.

"And how did you leave the Mediterranean, sir?" asked Mr.
Stryker, in a dry tone. "Was the sea in good looks?"

"As blue as ever. I am only afraid my friends in this country will not believe the colour I have given it in my sketches."

"We are bound to believe all your representations of water," remarked Mr. Wyllys.

"I hope you have brought back a great deal for us to see; have you anything with you here?" asked Elinor.

"Only my sketch-book. I would not bring anything else; for I must get rid of my recollections of Italy. I must accustom my eye again to American nature; I have a great deal to do with Lake George, this summer."

"But you must have something in New York," said Miss Wyllys.

"Yes; I have brought home with me samples of water, from some of the most celebrated lakes and rivers in Europe."

"That is delightful," said Elinor; "and when can we see them?"

"As soon as they are unpacked, I shall be very happy to show them to my friends. They will probably interest you on account of the localities; and I have endeavoured to be as faithful to nature as I could, in every instance. You will find several views familiar to you, among the number," added Charlie, addressing Hazlehurst.

"I have no doubt that you have done them justice."

"They are far from being as good as I could wish; but I did my
best. You will find some improvement, sir, I hope," added
Charlie, turning to Mr. Wyllys, "since my first attempt at
Chewattan Lake, in the days of Compound Interest."

"You have not forgotten your old enemy, the Arithmetic," said Mr. Wyllys, smiling. "I am afraid Fortune will never smile upon you for having deserted from the ranks of trade."

"I am not sure of that, sir; she is capricious, you know."

"I should think you would do well, Charlie, to try your luck just now, by an exhibition of your pictures."

"My uncle has already proposed an exhibition; but I doubt its success; our people don't often run after good pictures," he added, smiling. "If I had brought with me some trash from Paris or Leghorn, I might have made a mint of money."

A general conversation continued until the party returned towards the hotels. They were met, as they approached Congress Hall, by several persons, two of whom proved to be Mrs. Hilson, and Miss Emmeline Hubbard. Charlie had already seen his cousins in New York, and he merely bowed in passing. Miss Emmeline was leaning on the arm of M. Bonnet, Mrs. Hilson on that of another Frenchman, whose name, as the "Baron Adolphe de Montbrun," had been constantly on her lips during the last few weeks, or in other words, ever since she had made his acquaintance. Charlie kept his eye fixed on this individual, with a singular expression of surprise and vexation, until he had passed. He thought he could not be mistaken, that his cousin's companion was no other than a man of very bad character, who had been in Rome at the same time with himself, and having married the widow of an Italian artist, a sister of one of Hubbard's friends, had obtained possession of her little property, and then deserted her. The whole affair had taken place while Charlie was in Rome; and it will readily be imagined that he felt no little indignation, when he met a person whom he strongly suspected of being this very chevalier d'industrie, flourishing at Saratoga, by the side of his uncle Joseph's daughter.

{"chevalier d'industrie" = con man; swindler; man who lives by his wits (French)}

Charlie had no sooner left the Wyllyses on the piazza at Congress Hall, than he proceeded to make some inquiry about this Frenchman. He found his name down in the books of the hotel, as the Baron Adolphe de Montbrun, which with the exception of ALPHONSE for the first name, was the appellation of the very man who had behaved so badly at Rome. He went to Mrs. Hilson, and told her his suspicions; but they had not the least effect on the "city lady;" she would not believe them. Charlie had no positive proof of what he asserted; he could not be confident beyond a doubt as to the identity of this person and the Montbrun of the Roman story, for he had only seen that individual once in Italy. Still, he was convinced himself, and he entreated his cousin to be on her guard; the effect of his representations may be appreciated from the fact, that Mrs. Hilson became more amiable than ever with the Baron, while she was pouting and sulky with Charlie, scarcely condescending to notice him at all. Hubbard only remained twenty-four hours at Saratoga, for he was on his way to Lake George; before he left the Springs, however, he hinted to Mr. Wyllys his suspicions of this Montbrun, in order to prevent that individual's intruding upon the ladies of the Wyllys party; for Mrs. Hilson delighted in introducing him right and left. As for her other companion, M. Bonnet, he was known to be a respectable merchant in New York.

Several days passed, during which our friends at Saratoga, like the rest of the world there, walked, and rode, and drank the waters, and seemed to pass their time very pleasantly; although the ladies did not either dress or flirt as much as many of their companions, who seemed to look upon these two occupations as the peculiar business of the place. Jane's spirits improved very much; there was much curiosity to see her, on account of her reputation as a beauty; but, like the rest of her party, she was only occasionally in the public rooms.

"Have you seen the beautiful Mrs. Taylor?"—"I caught a glimpse of Mrs. Taylor, the great beauty, this morning—"What, the beautiful Jane Graham that was? is she as lovely as ever?"—were remarks that were frequently heard in the crowd.

Elinor also came in for her share of the public notice, and the attention she attracted was, of course, of a directly opposite character. There happened to be staying at Congress Hall, just then, a very pretty young lady, from Savannah, who was also considered a great fortune; she was known as the "lovely heiress," while Elinor, in contradistinction, was spoken of as the "ugly heiress."

"Do you know," said a young lady, standing on the piazza one evening, "I have not yet seen the ugly heiress. I should like to get a peep at her; is she really so very ugly?" she continued, addressing a young man at her side.

"Miss Wyllys, you mean; a perfect fright—ugly as sin," replied the gentleman.

Elinor, at the very moment, was standing immediately behind the speakers, and Mr. Ellsworth, who was talking to her, was much afraid she had heard the remark. To cut short the conversation, he immediately addressed her himself, raising his voice a little, and calling her by name.

The young lady was quite frightened, when she found the "ugly heiress" was her near neighbour, and even the dandy was abashed; but Elinor herself was rather amused with the circumstance, and she smiled at the evident mortification of the speakers. Never was there a woman more free from personal vanity than Elinor Wyllys; and she was indifferent to remarks of this kind, to a degree that would seem scarcely credible to that class of young ladies, who think no sound so delightful as that of a compliment. On the evening in question, the piazzas were crowded with the inmates of the hotels; those who had feeling for the beauties of nature, and those who had not, came out alike, to admire an unusual effect of moonlight upon a fine mass of clouds. Elinor was soon aware that she was in the neighbourhood of Mrs. Hilson and her sister, by the silly conversation they were keeping up with their companions. These Longbridge ladies generally kept with their own party, which was a large one. The Wyllyses were not sorry that they seldom met; for, little as they liked the sisters, they wished always to treat them civilly, on account of their father. The English art of "cutting" is, indeed, little practised in America; except in extreme cases; all classes are too social in their feelings and habits to adopt it. It is, indeed, an honourable characteristic of those who occupy the highest social position in America—those who have received, in every respect, the best education in the country—that, as a class, they are free from the little, selfish, ungenerous feeling of mere exclusiveism.

"Oh, here you are, Miss Wyllys!" exclaimed Emmeline Hubbard to Elinor, who was talking to Mrs. Creighton. "I have been wishing to see you all the afternoon—I owe you an apology."

"An apology to me, Miss Hubbard?—I was not at all aware of it."

"Is it possible? I was afraid you would think me very rude this morning, when I spoke to you in the drawing-room, for there was a gentleman with you at the time. Of course I ought not to have joined you at such a moment, but I was anxious to give you the Longbridge news."

"Certainly; I was very glad to hear it: the conversation you interrupted was a very trifling one."

"Oh, I did not wish to insinuate that you were conversing on a PARTICULARLY interesting subject. But, of course, I am too well acquainted with the etiquette of polished circles, not to know that it is wrong for one young lady to intrude upon another while conversing with a gentleman.

"If there be such a point of etiquette, I must have often broken it very innocently, myself. I have never practised it, I assure you."

"Ah, that is very imprudent, Miss Wyllys!" said the fair Emmeline, shaking her fan at Elinor. "Who knows how much mischief one may do, in that way? You might actually prevent a declaration. And then a young lady is, of course, always too agreeably occupied in entertaining a beau, to wish to leave him for a female friend. It is not everybody who would be as good-natured as yourself at such an interruption."

"I have no merit whatever in the matter, I assure you; for I was very glad to find that—"

Just at that moment one of Miss Hubbard's admirers approached her, and without waiting to hear the conclusion of Elinor's remark, she turned abruptly from the lady, to meet the gentleman, with a striking increase of grace, and the expression of the greatest interest in her whole manner.

Elinor smiled, as the thought occurred to her, that this last act of rudeness was really trying to her good-nature, while she had never dreamed of resenting the interruption of the morning. But Miss Hubbard was only following the code of etiquette, tacitly adopted by the class of young ladies she belonged to, who never scrupled to make their manner to men, much more attentive and flattering than towards one of themselves, or even towards an older person of their own sex.

Elinor, however, had seen such manoeuvres before, and she would scarcely have noticed it at the moment, had it not been for Miss Emmeline's previous apology.

Mrs. Hilson soon approached her. "Has Emmeline been communicating our Longbridge intelligence, Miss Wyllys? Do you think it a good match?"

"I hope it will prove so; we were very glad to hear of it. Mary Van Horne is a great favourite of my aunt's, and Mr. Roberts, I hear, is highly spoken of."

"Yes; and he is very rich; too; she has nothing at all herself; I believe.''

"Do you know whether they are to live in New York? I hope they will not go very far from us."

"I suppose they will live in the city, as he is so wealthy; Mary will have an opportunity of tasting the fascinations of high life. I shall introduce her to a clique of great refinement at once. Don't you think Saratoga the most delightful place in the world, Miss Wyllys? I am never so happy as when here. I delight so much in the gay world; it appears to me that I breathe more freely in a crowd—solitude oppresses me; do you like it?"

"I have never tried it very long. If you like a crowd, you must be perfectly satisfied, just now."

''And so I am, Miss Wyllys, perfectly happy in these fashionable scenes. Do you know, it is a fact, that I lose my appetite unless I can sit down to table with at least thirty or forty fashionably dressed people about me; and I never sleep sounder than on board a steamboat, where the floor is covered with mattresses. I am not made for retirement, certainly. Ah, Monsieur Bonnet, here you are again, I see; what have you done with the Baron?—is not the Baron with you?"

"No, Madame; he has not finish his cigar. And where is Mlle. Emmeline?—I hope she has not abandonne me!" said M. Bonnet, who, to do him justice, was a sufficiently respectable man, a French merchant in New York, and no way connected with the Baron.

"Oh, no; she is here; we were waiting for the Baron and you to escort us to the drawing-room; but we will remain until the Baron comes. I have heard something that will put you in good-humour, another of those marriages you admire so much—one of the parties rolling in wealth and luxury, the other poor as Job's turkey."

"Ah, vraiment; that is indeed delightful; cela est fort touchant; that show so much sensibilite, to appreciate le merite, though suffering from poverty. A marriage like that must be beau comme un reve d'Amour!"

{"vraiment" = truly; "cela est fort touchant" = that is very touching; "beau comme un reve d'Amour" = as beautiful as a dream of Love (French)}

"You are quite romantic on the subject; but don't people make such matches in France?"

"Ah, non, Madame; le froid calcul dominates there at such times. I honour the beautiful practice that is common in votre jeune Amerique; cela rappelle le siecle d'or. Can there be a tableau more delicieux than a couple unis under such circonstances? The happy epoux, a young man perhaps, of forty, and la femme a creature angelique;" here M. Bonnet cast a glance at Miss Emmeline; "une creature angelique, who knows that he adores her, and who says to him, 'mon ami je t'aime, je veux faire ton bonheur,' and who bestows on him her whole heart, and her whole fortune; while he, of course, oppressed with gratitude, labours only to increase that fortune, that he may have it in his power to make the life of his bien aimee beautiful comme un jour de fete."

{"froid calcul" = cold calculation; "votre jeune…" = your young America; it reminds one of the golden age; "tableau more delicieux than a couple unis under such circonstances" = a prettier picture than a couple united under such circumstances; "epoux" = husband. "la femme a creature angelique" = the wife an angelic creature; "mon ami, je t'aime, je veux faire ton bonheur" = my friend, I love you, I wish to make you happy; "bien aimee beautiful comme un jour de fete" = beloved as beautiful as a day of festival (mixed French and English)}

"You are eloquent, Mr. Bonnet."

"N'est ce pas un sujet, Madame, to toucher le coeur de l'homme in a most delicate point; a man who could be insensible to such delicacy, to such aimable tendresse, would be no better than one of your sauvages, one of your Mohicans!"

{"N'est ce pas un sujet, Madame, to toucher le coeur de l'homme…" = Is this not a subject, Madame, which touches the heart of man…; "to such aimable tendresse" = to such pleasant affection (mixed French and English)}

"Well, I don't think so much of it, because it is very common here; such matches happen every day."

"And who are the happy couple you refer to at present?"

"'Tis a young gentleman of New York city, Mr. Roberts, who is going to marry a young lady, whose father is a neighbour of pa's."

"And what is the sum the young lady has bestowed upon her grateful adorateur?"

"Oh, the lady has not anything to bestow in this case; it is the gentleman, who is very wealthy, and doing a very handsome business in New York."

"Ah," said M. Bonnet, taking a pinch of snuff; "that is not so interesting I think, as when the mari is the favoured party. The heart of man is more susceptible of lasting gratitude for un tel bienfait."

{"mari" = husband; "un tel bienfait" = such a favor (French)}

"The gentleman has all the money, this time; I don't think Mary
Van Horne will have a cent; do you, Miss Wyllys?"

But Elinor was gone. As the Baron appeared, however, Mrs. Hilson did not regret it.

"Ah, Baron, I thought you were never coming. You ought to be much obliged to me, for I had just told Monsieur Bonnet, we must not move till the Baron comes; the Baron will not know where to find us."

CHAPTER VII. {XXX}

"They sit conferring —————————."
Taming the Shrew.

{William Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew", V.ii.102}

THE usual evening circle had collected in Miss Wyllys's parlour, with the addition of Mary Van Alstyne, who had just arrived from Poughkeepsie, and Mrs. St. Leger. Miss Emma Taylor had gone to a concert with her good-natured brother-in-law, and a couple of her admirers. Jane and her sister-in-law, Adeline, were sitting together in a corner, talking partly about their babies, partly about what these two young matrons called "old times;" that is to say, events which had transpired as far back as three or four years previously. To them, however, those were "old times;" for, since then, the hopes and fears, cares and pleasures, of the two friends were much changed.

Among the rest of the party the conversation became more general; for Elinor had just finished a song, and Mr. Wyllys had just beaten Mrs. Creighton at a game of chess.

"Mr. Hazlehurst, pray what have you done with my saya y manto?" asked the pretty widow, taking a seat at the side of Elinor, on a sofa. "Here have you been, three, four, five days, and I have not even alluded to it, which, you must observe is a great act of forbearance in a lady, when there is a piece of finery in question."

{"saya y manto" = skirt and cloak (Spanish)}

"I am really ashamed of myself for not having reported it safe at Philadelphia, before. I would not send it to your house, when I heard you were here, for I wished to deliver it in person; and I did not bring it with me, because Mrs. Hazlehurst told me it was too warm for a fashionable lady to wear anything as heavy as black silk for the next three months."

"Well, of course I am very much obliged to you for the trouble you have had with it; but I shall defer thanking you formally, until I find out whether it is becoming or not."

"Do you expect to make a very captivating Spaniard?" asked Mr.
Stryker.

"I shall do my best, certainly; but I shall leave you to decide how far I succeed, Mr. Stryker. Are the Brazilian women pretty, Mr. Hazlehurst?—what do they look like?"

"Very like Portuguese," was the answer.

"More than the Americans look like the English?" inquired Elinor.

"Far more," said Harry; "but you know there is less difference between the climates of Brazil and Portugal, than between ours and that of England."

"For my part," observed Mr. Ellsworth, "I do not think we look in the least like the English—neither men nor women. We are getting very fast to have a decided physiognomy of our own. I think I could pick out an American from among a crowd of Europeans, almost as soon as I could a Turk."

"You always piqued yourself, Ellsworth, upon having a quick eye for national characteristics. We used to try him very often, when we were in Europe, Mrs. Creighton, and I must do him the justice to say he seldom failed."

"Oh, yes; I know all Frank's opinions on the subject," replied
Mrs. Creighton: "it is quite a hobby with him."

"What do you think are the physical characteristics of the
Americans, as compared with our English kinsmen?" inquired Mr.
Wyllys.

"We are a darker, a thinner, and a paler people. The best specimens of the English have the advantage in manliness of form and carriage; the American is superior in activity, in the expression of intelligence and energy in the countenance. The English peculiarities in their worst shape are, coarseness and heaviness of form; a brutal, dull countenance; the worst peculiarities among the Americans are, an apparent want of substance in the form, and a cold, cunning expression of features. I used often to wonder, when travelling in Europe, particularly in France and Germany, at the number of heavy forms and coarse features, which strike one so often there, even among the women, and which are so very uncommon in America."

"Yes; that brutal coarseness of features, which stood for the model of the old Satyrs, is scarcely to be met in this country, though by no means uncommon in many parts of Europe," observed Hazlehurst.

"I was very much struck the other evening, at the dance, with the appearance of the women," continued Mr. Ellsworth. "Not that they are so brilliant in their beauty—one sees beautiful women in every country; but they are so peculiarly feminine, and generally pretty, as a whole. By room-fulls, en masse, they appear to more advantage I think, than any other women; the general effect is very seldom broken by coarseness of face, or unmanageable awkwardness of form."

"Yes, you are right," said Mr. Stryker. "There is a vast deal of prettiness, and very little repulsive ugliness among the women in this country. But it strikes me they are inclining a little too much to the idea, just now, that all the beauty in the world is collected in these United States, which, as we all know is rather a mistaken opinion."

"Certainly; that would be an extremely ridiculous notion."

"You think delicacy then, the peculiar characteristic of American beauty?" said Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, sir; but I could point out others, too. Brown hair and hazel eyes are another common feature in American beauty. If you look over the pretty women of your acquaintance, you will find that the case I think."

"Like Mrs. Creighton's," said Elinor, smiling.

"No; Josephine's features are not sufficiently regular for a beauty," said her brother, good-naturedly.

"I shan't get a compliment from Frank, Miss Wyllys," replied the widow, shaking her head. "I agree with him, though, about the brown-haired beauties; for, I once took the trouble to count over my acquaintances, and I found a great many that answered his description. I think it the predominating colour among us. I am certainly included in the brown tribe myself, and so are you, Miss Wyllys."

"As far as the colour of my hair goes," replied Elinor, with a smile which seemed to say, talk on, I have no feeling on the subject of my plain face. One or two persons present had actually paused, thinking the conversation was taking an unfortunate turn, as one of the ladies present was undeniably wanting in beauty. To encourage the natural pursuit of the subject, Elinor remarked that, "light hair and decidedly blue eyes, like Mrs. St. Leger's, are not so very common, certainly; nor true black hair and eyes like your's, Jane."

"You are almost as much given to compliments, Miss Wyllys, as I am," said Mrs. Creighton; "I have to say a saucy thing now and then, by way of variety."

"The saucy speeches are for your own satisfaction, no doubt, and the compliments for that of your friends, I suppose," replied Elinor, smiling a little archly; for she had very good reasons for mistrusting the sincerity of either mode of speech from the lips of the gay widow; whom, for that very reason, she liked much less than her brother.

"Do you really think me too severe?—wait till we are better acquainted!"

"I shall always think you very charming," replied Elinor, with her usual frank smile; for, in fact, she admired Mrs. Creighton quite as much as the rest of the world. And then observing that Mr. Ellsworth was listening to their conversation, she turned to him and asked, if the true golden hair, so much admired by the Italian poets, and so often sung by them, were still common in Italy?

"Judging from books and pictures, I should think it must have been much more common some centuries ago than at the present day; for, certainly, there is not one Italian woman in a hundred, who has not very decidedly black hair and eyes. I remember once in a translation from English into Italian, I used the expression 'grey eyes,' which diverted my master very much: he insisted upon it, there was no 'such thing in nature;' and even after I had reminded him of Napoleon, he would not believe the Emperor's eyes were not black. He was a thorough Italian, of course, and knew nothing of the northern languages, or he would have met with the expression before."

"Let me tell you, Ellsworth," said Harry, after a short pause in the conversation, "that it is very pleasant to pass an agreeable evening in this way, chatting with old friends. You have no idea how much I enjoy it after a three years' exile!"

"I can readily believe it."

"No, I don't think you understand it at all. It is true you were roving about the world several years, but you were not alone, my dear sir. You had indeed the advantage of particularly agreeable companions with you: in Paris you had Mrs. Creighton, and in Egypt you had your humble servant. And then, in the next place, your mind was constantly occupied; you lived with the past while in Italy and Greece, and with the present in Paris. Now, at Rio, there is no past at all, and not much of a present."

"Is there no general society at Rio?" inquired Miss Wyllys.

"Oh, yes; society enough, in the usual meaning of the word. I was very fortunate in meeting with some very agreeable people, and have really a strong regard for Manezes {sic}—a good fellow he is, and I hope to see him here one of these days. But they were all new acquaintances. You cannot think how much I wanted to see a face I had known all my life; I was positively at one time on the verge of being home-sick."

"You found out that you were more tender-hearted than you had believed yourself," said Mr. Ellsworth.

"So it seems," replied Harry; a shade of embarrassment crossing his face as he spoke.

"I should have thought some old acquaintance or other would have gone straggling towards Rio, in these travelling days," observed Mr. Ellsworth.

"No, I was particularly unfortunate: once when the American squadron lay at Rio for some weeks, and I had several friends on board the Macedonian, I happened at that very time to be absent on an excursion in the interior. For six months, or so it did very well; it takes one as long as that to enjoy the lovely scenery, to say nothing of the novelty; but after admiring the bay and the Corcovado under every possible aspect, I got at last to be heartily tired of Rio. I should have run away, if we had not been recalled this summer."

{"Macedonian" = a United States warship, commanded during the early 1840s by Commodore William Branford Shubrick (1790-1874), a life-long close friend of James Fenimore Cooper. Susan Fenimore Cooper wrote a biography of him in 1876; "Corcovado" = a famous mountain peak overlooking the bay of Rio de Janeiro}

"You should have fallen in love," said Mrs. Creighton.

"I don't think I succeeded in that; perhaps I did not try very hard."

"But is not the state of society pleasant at Rio?" inquired Mr.
Wyllys.

"Not particularly, sir; it is too much like our own for that; something provincial lingering about it, although they have an emperor of their own. We cannot do without the other hemisphere yet, in spite of our self-important airs. We Yankees have coaxed Time out of a great deal, but he is not to be cheated for all that. People were not busy for thousands of years in the Old World, merely to qualify them for discovering America, whatever some of our patriots may say on the subject."

"Yes, you are right, Harry; I have often wished that our people would remember what they seem to forget, that Time has a prerogative beyond their reach. There is a wide difference between a blind reverence for Time, and an infatuated denial of his power; and I take it to be one of the duties of your generation to find out the dividing line in this and other points, and shape your practice accordingly."

"Yes, sir; it appears to me high time that the civilized world set about marking more distinctly a great many boundary lines, on important moral questions; and it is to be presumed, that with so much experience at our command, we shall at last do something towards it. It is to be hoped that mankind will at length learn not always to rush out of one extreme into the other; and when they feel the evil of one measure, not to fly for relief to its very opposite, but set about looking for the true remedy, which is generally not so far off."

"You don't believe in moral homoeopathy?" said Mrs. Stanley.

"Not in the least."

"Well, we are very much obliged to you for getting tired of Rio," said Mrs. Creighton; "and thinking that the gay world of Philadelphia was quite as agreeable as the Imperial Court."

"I take it for granted, however, that it was not exactly the gay world that you regretted," said Ellsworth.

"Not exactly, no; general society is not sufficiently perfect in its way among us, for a man to pine after."

"I have often thought," observed Elinor, "that the spirit of mere dissipation must be less excusable in this country than in Europe. Society must have so many attractions there—more general finish—more high accomplishment."

"Yes; we want more of the real thing; we have smatterers enough as it is," replied Mr. Ellsworth.

"And then the decorations are so well got up in Europe!" exclaimed Mrs. Creighton. "I must confess myself enough of a woman, to be charmed with good decorations."

"Something far better than mere decoration; however, is requisite to make society at all agreeable," continued Mr. Ellsworth. "There is luxury enough among us, in eating and drinking, dressing and furniture, for instance; and yet what can well be more silly, more puerile, than the general tone of conversation at common parties among us? And how many of the most delightful soirees in Paris, are collected in plain rooms, au second, or au troisieme, with a brick floor to stand on, and a glass of orgeat, with a bit of brioche to eat!"

{"au second, or au troisieme" = on the third or fourth floor; "orgeat" = a syrup flavored drink; "brioche" = a simple pastry (French)}

"Lots and Love—Speculation and Flirtation, are too entirely the order of the day, and of the evening, with us," said Harry; "whether figuring on Change, or on a Brussels carpet."

{"on Change" = at the stock market}

"I have often been struck, myself, with the excessive silliness of the conversation at common parties, especially what are called young parties; though I have never seen anything better," said Elinor.

"Those young parties are enough to spoil any society," said
Harry.

"Perhaps, however, you have too high an idea of such scenes in Europe, precisely because you have not seen them, Miss Wyllys," observed Mr. Ellsworth.

"That may very possibly be the case."

"There are always silly and ignorant people to be met with everywhere," remarked Harry; "but the difference lies in the general character of the circle, which is not often so insipid and so puerile in Europe."

"It is the difference, I suppose, between a puppet-show and genteel comedy," said Elinor.

"Precisely, Miss Wyllys," said Mr. Ellsworth, smiling.

"We have very pretty puppets, though," observed Mrs. Creighton; "quite well-dressed, and sufficiently graceful, too; that is to say, the young lady puppets. As for the gentlemen, I shall not attempt to defend them, en masse, neither their grace nor their coats."

"You won't allow us to be either pretty or well-dressed?" said
Mr. Stryker.

"Oh, everybody knows that Mr. Stryker's coat and bow are both unexceptionable."

"Why don't you go to work, good people, and improve the world, instead of finding fault with it?" said Mr. Wyllys, who was preparing for another game of chess with Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst.

"A labour of Hercules, sir!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker, shrugging his shoulders. "The position of a reformer is not sufficiently graceful to suit my fancy."

"It is fatiguing, too; it is much easier to sit still and find fault, sir," observed Robert Hazlehurst, smiling.

"Sauve qui peut, is my motto," continued Mr. Stryker. "I shall take care of myself; though I have no objection that the rest of the world should profit by my excellent example; they may improve on my model, if they please."

{"sauve qui peut" = everyone for himself (French)}

"The fact is, that manners, and all other matters of taste, ought to come by instinct," said Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst; "one soon becomes tired of beings regularly tutored on such points."

"No doubt of that," replied Harry; "but unfortunately, though reading and writing come by nature, as Dogberry says, in this country, yet it is by no means so clear that good taste follows as a consequence."

{"Dogberry" = a constable in Shakespeare's comedy, "Much Ado About Nothing": "To be a well-favor'd man is the gift of fortune, but to write and read comes by nature." III.iii.14-16}

"Good taste never came by nature, anywhere but in old Greece, I take it," said Ellsworth. "In a new state of society, such things must force themselves upon one."

"Certainly," said Mr. Wyllys; "and you young people, who have had so many advantages of education and leisure, are very right to give the subject some attention, for the sake of the community in which you live. Manners in their best meaning, as a part of civilization, are closely connected at many different points, with the character and morals of a nation. Hitherto in this country, the subject has been too much left to itself; but in many respects there is a good foundation to work upon—some of our national traits are very creditable."

"That is true, sir," replied Mr. Ellsworth; "and Americans are naturally very quick in taking a hint, and in fitting it to their own uses. They are a good-natured, sociable race, too, neither coarse nor unwieldy in body or mind. All they want is, a little more reflection on the subject, and a sufficiently large number of models, to observe, and compare together; for they are too quick and clever, not to prefer the good to the bad, when the choice lies before them."

"Remember too," said Mr. Wyllys, "that if you cannot do everything, you must not suppose you can do nothing."

"There is one point in American manners, that is very good," said Harry: "among our very best people we find a great deal of true simplicity; simplicity of the right sort; real, not factitious."

"Sweet simplicity, oh, la!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker. "Well, I am a bad subject to deal with, myself. I am too old to go to school, and I am too young yet, I flatter myself, to give much weight to my advice. Not quite incorrigible, however, I trust," he added, endeavouring to smile in a natural way, as he turned towards Elinor and Mrs. Creighton. "I shall be most happy to learn from the ladies, and try to improve under their advice. Have you no suggestions to make, Miss Wyllys?"

"I am afraid I could not be of much use in that way."

"There are only a thousand-and-one hints that I should give you," said Mrs. Creighton, laughing.

"You must be frightfully particular!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker; "pray, what is hint No. 1?"

"Oh, I should not have time to make even a beginning; it is growing very late, and I shall defer your education until the next time we meet. Mr. Hazlehurst, that is my scarf, I believe, on your chair."

The party separated; Harry offering his arm to Mrs. Creighton.

CHAPTER VIII. {XXXI}

"Verily
You shall not go—a lady's verily is
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?"
Winter's Tale.

{William Shakespeare, "A Winter's Tale", I.ii.50-51}

MRS. STANLEY had joined the Wyllyses at Saratoga, a few days after they arrived, and the meeting between Hazlehurst and herself had been very cordial. She had always felt a warm interest in Harry, looking upon him as her husband's chosen representative, and all but an adopted son; the intercourse between them had invariably been of the most friendly and intimate nature.

Mr. Stanley's will had placed the entire control of his large estate in the hands of his widow, and his old friend, Mr. Wyllys. Mrs. Stanley, herself, was to retain one half of the property, for life; at her death it was to be divided in different legacies, to relatives of her own, and to charitable institutions, according to her own discretion. The other half was also to be kept in the hands of the executors until his own son returned, and had reached the age of five-and-twenty; or, in case the report of William Stanley's death, which had just reached his family, were to be confirmed, then Harry Hazlehurst was to take his place, and receive his son's portion, on condition that his, Hazlehurst's, second son should take the name of Stanley. Hazlehurst was a nephew by marriage; that is to say, his father, after the death of a first wife, Harry's mother, had married Mr. Stanley's only sister: this lady died before her brother, leaving no children. At the time this will was made, Mr. Stanley had given up all, but the faintest, hope of his son's being alive; still, he left letters for him, containing his last blessing, and forgiveness, in case the young man were to return. He also expressed a wish that an easy allowance, according to Mrs. Stanley's discretion, should be given, after the age of one-and-twenty, to his son, or to Harry, whichever were to prove his heir; on condition that the recipient should pursue some regular profession or occupation, of a respectable character. Hazlehurst was to receive a legacy of thirty thousand dollars, in case of William Stanley's return.

Such was Mr. Stanley's will; and circumstances having soon showed that the report of his son's death was scarcely to be doubted, Hazlehurst had been for years considered as his heir. As Harry grew up, and his character became formed, his principles proving, in every respect, such as his friends could wish, Mrs. Stanley had made very ample provision for him. The allowance he had received for his education was very liberal, and during his visit to Europe it had been increased. At different times considerable sums had been advanced, to enable him to make desirable purchases: upon one occasion, a portion of the property upon which his ancestors had first settled, as colonists, was offered for sale by a distant relative, and Harry wished to obtain possession of it; twenty thousand dollars were advanced for this purpose. Then, Hazlehurst was very desirous of collecting a respectable library, and, as different opportunities offered, he had been enabled, while in Europe, to make valuable acquisitions of this kind, thanks to Mrs. Stanley's liberality. As every collector has a favourite branch of his own, Harry's tastes had led him to look for botanical works, in which he was particularly interested; and he had often paid large sums for rare or expensive volumes connected with this science. Since he had reached the age of five-and-twenty, or, during the last two years, he had been in full possession of the entire half of Mr. Stanley's property, amounting, it was generally supposed, to some ten thousand a year. According to a codicil of the will, Hazlehurst was also to take possession of Greatwood, at his marriage: this was a pleasant country-house, surrounded by a place in fine order; but Mrs. Stanley, who preferred living in town, had already given him possession.

"I wish, Harry, we could keep you at home, now," said Mrs. Stanley to her young friend, one morning, as he was sitting with herself, Mary Van Alstyne, and Elinor, in her rooms at Congress Hall. "I think Mr. Henley could spare you better than we can. Is it quite decided that you go to Russia?"

"You are very kind to express so much interest in my movements. But you must permit me to remind you of a piece of advice I have often received, as a youngster, from your own lips, dear Mrs. Stanley; and that is, never to abandon merely from caprice, the path of life I might choose."

"Certainly; but I think you might find very good reasons for staying at home, now; your affairs would go on all the better for some personal attention; I should be sorry to have you a rover all your life, Harry."

"I have no, intention, Ma'am, I assure you, of being a vagrant all my days. And if there is nothing else to keep me at home, it is highly probable that I shall be thrown on the shelf before long by Uncle Sam. When a man has served his apprenticeship, and is fully qualified to fill his office creditably, he may prepare to be turned out; and, very likely, some raw backwoodsman, who knows nothing of the world in general, or of diplomacy in particular, will be put in his place. That is often the way things are managed among us, you know.

{Susan Fenimore Cooper is reflecting the views of her father, based on his experience with American diplomacy in Europe from 1826-33. The United States Foreign Service did not become a fully professional, career organization until 1946}

"For that very reason, I would not have anything to do with public life, if I were a young man!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley, earnestly. "So many men who are ill-qualified for either public or private confidence, get into office, that I should think no man of high principles and honourable views, would care to belong to the body of public servants."

"There is all the more need, then, that every honest man, who has an opportunity of serving his country, should do so," observed Harry. "I do not believe, however, that as regards principles, the public men among us are any worse than the public men elsewhere," he added.

"Where all are chosen, they ought to be better," said Mary Van
Alstyne.

"That I grant," said Hazlehurst; "the choice by election, or by appointment, might often be more creditable; whenever it is bad, it is disgraceful to the community."

"Look at A——-, B——-, and C——-, whom you and I happen to know!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"No doubt they are little fit for the offices they hold," replied
Harry.

"The worst of it is this, Harry: that the very qualities which ought to recommend you, will probably keep you back in the career you have chosen," said Mrs. Stanley. "Your principles are too firm for public life."

"I shall try the experiment, at least," said Harry. "Mr. Henley urges me to persevere, and with his example before me, I ought not to be discouraged; he is a proof that a public man is not necessarily required to be a sycophant, and a time-server; that he is not always neglected because he is an upright man, and a gentleman. I shall follow his example; and I am convinced the experiment would succeed much oftener, provided it were fairly tried."

"Mrs. Stanley shook her head. She was a woman of rather a peculiar character, though very warm in her feelings, and firm in her principles. She had become disgusted with the world, from seeing much that was evil and disgraceful going on about her; forgetting to observe the good as well as the bad. Of late years, she had withdrawn entirely within a narrow circle of old friends, among whom the Wyllyses and Hazlehursts held a conspicuous place. She was disposed to mistrust republican institutions, merely because she attributed every evil of the society about her, to this one cause: her opinions on this subject were, however, of no value whatever; for she knew nothing of other countries, their evils and abuses. If warmly attached to her friends, she was certainly too indifferent to the community in which she lived. She was very decided in all her actions and opinions: thus, for instance, she would never allow a newspaper, of any character whatever, to appear in her house—she held every sheet alike, to be loose in principles, and vulgar in tone; because, unfortunately, there are many to be found which answer such a description. An office-holder, and a speculator, she would never trust, and avoided every individual of either class as much as possible. Her friends would have wished her more discriminating in her opinions, but she never obtruded these upon others. Personally, no woman could be more respected by her intimates; there was nothing low or trivial in her character and turn of mind—no shadow of vacillation in her principles or her feelings. Mrs. Stanley and her young friend Hazlehurst, much as they esteemed and respected each other, disagreed on many subjects. Harry made a point of looking at both sides of a question; he was loyal to his country, and willing to serve it to the best of his ability—not at all inclined to be an idler, and play the drone in the bee-hive, whether social or political. Mrs. Stanley had much regretted his being in any way connected with public life, but she seldom attempted to influence him.

"What do you say, young ladies?" asked Harry, at length, turning towards Elinor and Mary Van Alstyne, who had hitherto thought the conversation of too personal a nature, to speak much themselves. "Do you think I had better stay at home, and look after the stock at Greatwood, or go to St. Petersburg, and set up my droschky?"

{"droschky" = a four-wheeled open carriage used in Russia}

"I should never have the least fancy for going to Russia," replied Mary; "and, therefore, I am not much disposed to admire your constancy in adhering to Mr. Henley."

"Oh, go, by all means," said Elinor; "you will see so much! And be sure you go to the Crimea before you come home."

"The Crimea is certainly a temptation," observed Harry. "I beg, ladies, you will honour me with your commands for St. Petersburg, some time during the next three months. I refer you to Mrs. Creighton for a certificate of good taste; her saya y manto is perfect in its way, I am told."

"Perhaps I ought to have engaged Mrs. Creighton on my side, before I tried to coax you into staying at home," said Mrs. Stanley, smiling.

We are obliged to confess that Harry coloured at this remark, in spite of a determination not to do so; and a great misdemeanour it was in a diplomatist, to be guilty of blushing; it clearly proved that Hazlehurst was still in his noviciate. Happily, however, if the Department of State, at Washington, be sometimes more particular in investigating the party politics of its agents in foreign countries, than other qualifications, it is also certain, on the other hand, that they do not require by any means, as much bronze of countenance as most European cabinets.

{"bronze of countenance" = unblushingness, brazen lying}

"Oh, Mrs. Creighton strongly recommends me to persevere in diplomacy," said Harry.

Just at that moment, a note was brought in from this very lady.

"With Mrs. Creighton's compliments," said the man who brought it.

Harry's colour rose again, and for a second he looked a little embarrassed. Mrs. Stanley smiled, and so did the young ladies, just a little.

"I will look for the book immediately,'' was Harry's reply; and turning to the ladies, he communicated the fact, that Mrs. Creighton had asked for the volume of engravings which he had shown to Mr. Wyllys, two or three evenings before. The book was in Miss Wyllys's room, and Elinor went for it.

"Will you dine with us to-day, Harry, or at the other house?" asked Mrs. Stanley.

{"other house" = i.e., other hotel, Congress Hall and the United States being the two fashionable hotels in Saratoga Springs}

"Thank you, ma'am; I am engaged to dine with Mr. Henley, who is only here for the day, and wishes to have a little business-talk with me. We are to eat a bachelor's dinner together, in his room."

Elinor returned with the book, and Harry made his bow.

As he left the room, Mary Van Alstyne observed that Mr. Hazlehurst seemed quite attentive to his friend's sister. "He admires the pretty widow, I fancy," she said.

"No wonder," said Elinor; "Mrs. Creighton is so very pretty, and very charming."

"Yes; she is very pretty, with those spirited brown eyes, and beautiful teeth. She is an adept in the art of dressing, too, and makes the most of every advantage. But though she is so pretty, and so clever, and so agreeable, yet I do not like her."

"People seem to love sometimes, men especially, where they do not LIKE," said Mrs. Stanley. "I should not be surprised, at any time, to hear that Harry and Mrs. Creighton are engaged. I wish he may marry soon."

"The lady is, at least, well-disposed for conquest, I think," said Mary Van Alstyne.

"She will probably succeed," replied Elinor, in a quiet, natural voice.

Miss Agnes, who had just entered the room, heard the remark, and was gratified by the easy tone in which Elinor had spoken. Since Hazlehurst's return, Elinor's manner towards him had been just what her aunt thought proper under the circumstances; it was quite unembarrassed and natural, though, of course, there was more reserve than during the years they had lived so much together, almost as brother and sister. We are obliged to leave the ladies for the present, and follow Hazlehurst to his tete-a-tete dinner with Mr. Henley.

We pass over the meal itself, which was very good in its way; nor shall we dare to raise the curtain, and reveal certain communications relating to affairs of state, political and diplomatic, which were discussed by the minister and his secretary. Harry heard some Rio Janeiro news too, which seemed to amuse him, but would scarcely have any interest for the reader. At length, as Mr. Henley and Harry were picking their nuts, the minister happened to enquire the day of the month.

"It is the twentieth, I believe, sir; and by the same token, to-morrow will be my birth-day,"

"Your birth-day, will it?—How old may you be?"

"Twenty-seven, if I remember right."

"I had thought you two or three years younger. Well, I wish you a long life and a happy!"

"Thank you, sir; I am much obliged to you for the interest you have always shown me."

"No need of thanks, Harry; it is only what your father's son had a right to expect from me."

A silence of a moment ensued, when Mr. Henley again spoke.

"You are seven-and-twenty, you say, Hazlehurst?—let me give you a piece of advice—don't let the next ten years pass without marrying."

"I was just about making up my mind, at Rio, to be a gay bachelor, my dear sir," said Harry.

"Yes; I remember to have heard you say something of the kind; but take my advice, and marry, unless you have some very good reason for not doing so."

Hazlehurst made no answer, but helped himself to another supply of nuts. "More easily said than done, perhaps," he observed.

"Nonsense!—There are many amiable young women who would suit you; and it would be strange if you could not meet with one that would have you. Some pretty, lady-like girl. I dare say you know twenty such, in Philadelphia, or even here, at Saratoga."

"Five hundred, no doubt," replied Harry; "but suppose the very woman I should fancy, would not fancy me." Whether he was thinking of his past experience with Jane, or not, we cannot say.

"I don't see that a woman can find any reasonable fault with you—you do well enough, my good fellow, as the world goes; and I am sure there are, as you say, five hundred young women to choose from. In that point a man has the best of it; young girls of a certain class, if not angels, are at least generally unexceptionable; but there are many men, unhappily, whose moral reputations are, and should be obstacles in a woman's eyes."

'A regular old bachelor's notion, a mere marriage of convenience,' thought Harry, who rather resented the idea of the five hundred congenial spirits, in the shape of suitable young ladies.

"You are surprised, perhaps, to hear this from me," continued Mr.
Henley.

"No, sir: for I once before heard you express much the same opinion."

"Did you?—I don't often think or speak on such matters; but I remember to have heard you talk about a single life occasionally, at Rio; and I always intended to give this piece of advice to my nephews, and to you, Harry. If I were to live my life over again, I should marry myself; for of late years I have felt the want of a home, and one can't have a pleasant home without the women."

"There I agree with you, sir, entirely."

"That is more than some gay, rattling young fellows would admit. Since you think so," continued Mr. Henley, smiling, "perhaps you have also fixed upon some amiable young girl, who would be a pleasant companion for you."

Hazlehurst was silent.

"I dare say you have, and I might have spared you the advice. If that is the case, you must make the most of the next three months; persuade her to marry you, and we can take her to Russia, to do the honours for us."

"Things have not gone quite so far as that, yet," said Harry, just a little embarrassed.

"Well, my good fellow, settle the matter your own way; I have at least satisfied my conscience, by telling you not to follow my own bad example," said the minister, as he rose from table.

It seemed that Mr. Henley, like most old bachelors, regretted not having married; though he thought that his habits had all become too confirmed, to make it worth while to attempt a change. As a general rule, it will be found that your decidedly old maid is contented with her lot, while your very old bachelor is dissatisfied with his. The peculiar evils of a single life—for every life must have its own—are most felt by women early in the day; by men, in old age. The world begins very soon to laugh at the old maid, and continues to laugh, until shamed out of the habit by her good nature, and her respectable life. The bachelor, on the contrary, for a long time finds an ally in the world; he goes on enjoying the pleasures it offers, until old age makes him weary of them—and then, as his head grows grey, when he finds himself going out of favour, he begins to feel the want of something better—a home to retreat to. He looks about him, and he finds that his female contemporary has outlived her peculiar annoyances; "the world forgetting, by the world forgot;" she has long since found some collateral home; or, in her right as a woman, has made a home for herself, where she lives as pleasantly as her neighbours. Perhaps he sets about imitating her example; but, poor fellow, he finds it an awkward task; he can never succeed in making his household gods smile with a good will, on a home where no female voice is heard at the fire-side.

{"the world forgetting…." = Alexander Pope (English poet, 1688-1744), "Eloisa to Abelard" I.207-208: "How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot."}

So thought Mr. Henley, and he had been intending to recommend to Harry to look out for a wife, for some time past. The minister's ideas on the subject of love and matrimony were, to be sure, rather matter of fact, and statesmanlike; he would have been quite satisfied if Hazlehurst had married the first young girl, of a respectable family, that he met with; the hundredth part of Mrs. Creighton's attractions he would have thought sufficient. Harry forgave him, however, for the sake of the kindness intended by the advice he had given; and the minister had the satisfaction of seeing his secretary, that evening, at a concert, quite gallant and attentive to a party of ladies, several of whom were young and pretty, although one was young and ugly.

"Who is that?" he asked of a friend; "that lady to whom Hazlehurst is talking? Half the young people here have grown up, since I was last at home."

"That is Mrs. Creighton."

"No; not Mrs. Creighton; I know her—a charming woman; the lady on the right."

"That is Miss Van Alstyne. Mrs. St. Leger is next to her; the young girl before her is Miss Emma Taylor."

"A pretty girl—but noisy, it seems."

"On the next bench, with Ellsworth, are Mrs. Tallman Taylor, the great beauty, and Miss Wyllys, the heiress."

"Yes, I know the family very well; but I never saw Mr. Wyllys's granddaughter before."

"She is quite plain," observed one gentleman.

"Very plain," replied the other, turning away.

The evening proved very sultry, and after accompanying the ladies home from the concert, Mr. Ellsworth proposed to Harry a stroll in the open air. The friends set out together, taking the direction of the spring; and, being alone, their conversation gradually became of a confidential nature. They touched upon politics, Mr. Henley's character and views, and various other topics, concluding with their own personal affairs. At length, when they had been out some little time, Mr. Ellsworth, after a moment's silence, turned to Harry and said:

"Hazlehurst, I have a confession to make; but I dare say you will not give me much credit for frankness—you have very probably guessed already what I have to tell."

"I certainly have had some suspicions of my own for the last few days; but I may be mistaken; I am not very good at guessing."

"I can have no motive," continued Mr. Ellsworth, "in concealing from you my regard for Miss Wyllys, and I hope you will wish me success."

"Certainly," replied Harry; who was evidently somewhat prepared for the disclosure.

"It is now some time since I have been attached to her, but it is only lately that I have been able to urge my suit as I could wish. The better I know Elinor Wyllys, the more anxious I am for success. I never met with a woman of a more lovely character."

"You only do her justice."

"There is something about her that is peculiar; different from the common-place set of young ladies one meets with every day; and yet she is perfectly feminine and womanly."

And Mr. Ellsworth here ran over various good qualities of Elinor's. It is impossible to say, whether Harry smiled or not, at this lover-like warmth: if he did, it was too dark for his friend to observe it.

"In a situation like mine, with a daughter to educate, the choice of a wife is particularly important. Of course I feel much anxiety as to the decision of a woman like Miss Wyllys, one whose good opinion is worth the wooing: and yet, if I do not deceive myself, her manner is not discouraging."

"Is she aware of your feelings?" asked Harry.

"Yes; I have only proposed in form quite lately, however, a day or two after you arrived. Miss Wyllys scarcely seemed prepared for my declaration, although I thought I had spoken sufficiently distinctly to be understood, some time since. She wished for time to consider: I was willing to wait as long as she pleased; with the hope of eventually succeeding. Her friends are quite well disposed towards me, think. Mr. Wyllys's manner to me has always been gratifying, and I hope her aunt is in my favour. To speak frankly, there have been times when I have felt much encouraged as regards Miss Wyllys herself. You will not think me a coxcomb, Hazlehurst, for opening my heart to you in this way."

"Certainly not; you honour me by your confidence."

"I should like to have your honest opinion as to my future prospects; for, of course, one can never feel sure until everything is settled. Josephine is hardly a fair judge—she is very sanguine; but like myself she is interested in the affair."

"Mrs. Creighton has so much discernment, that I should think she could not be easily deceived. If my kinswoman knows your views, I should say that you have reason to be encouraged by her manner. There is nothing like coquetry about her; I am convinced she thinks highly of you."

"Thank you; it gives me great pleasure to hear you say so. The question must now be decided before long. I was only prevented from explaining myself earlier, by the fear of speaking too soon. For though I have known Miss Wyllys some time, yet we have seldom met. I dare say you are surprised that I did not declare myself sooner; I am inclined to think you would have managed an affair of the kind more expeditiously; for you are more rapid in most of your movements than myself. But although I might imagine love at first sight, I never could fancy a declaration worth hearing, the first day."

"Do you insinuate that such is the practice of your humble servant?" asked Hazlehurst, smiling.

"Oh, no; but I was afraid you might disapprove of my deliberation. My chief hope rests upon Miss Wyllys's good sense and the wishes of her friends, who, I think, are evidently favourable to me. She has no silly, high-flown notions; she is now of an age—three or four-and-twenty I think—to take a reasonable view of the world; and I hope she will find the sincere affection of a respectable man, whose habits and position resemble her own, sufficient for her."

"You wish, I suppose, to hear me repeat, that such will undoubtedly be the result," said Harry, smiling again.

"Perhaps I do," replied Mr. Ellsworth, in the same tone. "I suppose you are discerning enough to be aware that I have a rival in Mr. Stryker."

"Stryker attentive to Elinor? It has not struck me; I had fancied him rather an admirer of Mrs. Creighton's."

"Of Josephine? Oh, no; she can't endure him, they are quarrelling half the time when together. No, it is very evident that Stryker is courting Miss Wyllys's favour. But I confess I feel encouraged by her conduct towards him; there is a quiet civility in it, which speaks anything but very decided approbation."

"I know Elinor too well, not to feel assured she must despise a man of Stryker's character," said Harry, with some indignation. "He can't appreciate her; it can be nothing more, on his part, than downright fortune-hunting."

"No doubt; there you mention another motive I have, for not being too hasty in my declaration to Miss Wyllys. I could wish to convince her that my attachment is sincere."

"Certainly. I forget twenty times a day that she is now a fortune, until I see some fellow, like William Hunter, or Stryker, paying their court to her. I have never been accustomed to consider her in that light, of old. In fact I had no idea of her reputation as an heiress, until I found it so well established when I arrived here. But Saratoga is just the place to make such discoveries. I was quite behind the age in every respect, it seems; for although it did not require much penetration to find out your secret, Ellsworth, yet I was taken entirely by surprise. You never made any allusion to anything of the kind, in your letters to me."

"It was so seldom that I met Miss Wyllys, that for a time my mind was undecided. But, of course, I should have written you word, if anything had been finally settled; even if you had not come to look after me in propria persona."

Having reached their hotel, the gentlemen parted. Mr. Ellsworth would, in all probability, have been less communicative with his friend Hazlehurst, on the subject of their recent conversation, had he been aware of the state of things which formerly existed between Elinor and himself. He had only heard some vague stories of an engagement between them, but had always supposed it mere gossip, from having seen Harry's attention to Jane, when they were all in Paris together; while he knew, on the other hand, that Hazlehurst had always been on the most intimate terms with the Wyllyses, as a family connexion. He was aware that Harry had been very much in love with Miss Graham, for he had remarked it himself; and he supposed that if there had ever been any foundation for the report of an engagement with Elinor, it had probably been a mere childish caprice, soon broken, and which had left no lasting impression on either party.

CHAPTER IX {XXXII}.

"Nor have these eyes, by greener hills
Been soothed, in all my wanderings."
WORDSWORTH.

{William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770-1850), "Yarrow Visited,
September 1814" lines 11-12}

CHARLIE HUBBARD had been at Lake George for some days; and it was a settled thing, that after he had established himself there, and fixed upon a point for his picture, his friends from Saratoga were to pay him a visit. Accordingly, the Wyllyses, with a party large enough to fill a coach, set out for the excursion, leaving Mrs. Stanley, Jane, her sister, Mrs. Hazlehurst, and their children, at the Springs. The weather was fine, and they set out gaily, with pleasant prospects before them.

Charlie was very glad to see them, and as he had already been some time on the ground, he thought himself qualified to play cicerone. Most of the party had a relish for natural scenery, and of course they were prepared to enjoy very much, a visit to such a lovely spot. Robert Hazlehurst, it is true, was indifferent to everything of the kind; he acknowledged himself a thorough utilitarian in taste, and avowed his preference for a muddy canal, running between fields, well covered with corn and pumpkins, turnips and potatoes, rather than the wildest lake, dotted with useless islands, and surrounded with inaccessible Alps; but as he frankly confessed his want of taste, and assured his friends that he accompanied them only for the sake of their society, they were bound to overlook the defect. Mr. Stryker also said a great deal about his indifference towards les ormeaux, les rameaux, et les hameaux, affecting much more than he felt, and affirming that the only lakes he liked, were the ponds of the Tuileries, and the parks of London; the only trees, those of the Boulevards; and as for villages, he could never endure one, not even the Big Village of Washington. He only came, he said, because he must follow the ladies, and was particularly anxious to give Mrs. Creighton an opportunity of finishing his education, and—to fish. Some of the party were: sorry he had joined them; but Mrs. Creighton had asked him.

{"cicerone" = guide (Italian); "les ormeaux, les rameaux, et les hameaux…" = elms, branches, and hamlets (French)}

"Are Mrs. Hilson and her sister still at Saratoga?" inquired
Charlie Hubbard of Hazlehurst, the evening they arrived at
Caldwell.

{"Caldwell" = village at the southern end of Lake George in New
York State; the village has since been renamed Lake George}

"I believe so; they were there the day before, yesterday, for Mrs. Hilson asked me to a pic-nic, at Barkydt's {sic} —but I was engaged. I think I saw Miss Hubbard in the street, yesterday."

{"Barkydt's" = Barhydt's Pond, a "little ear-shaped lake…surrounded by pyramidal firs, pines and evergreens," once famous for its trout fishing, owned by Jacobus Barhydt (often spelled Barhyte). A pleasure spot two miles east of Saratoga Springs, it was, in the 1830s, the site of a popular tavern and restaurant. Jacobus Barhydt died in 1840, and the property was dispersed; to be reassembled in 1881 by New York banker Spencer Trask as a summer estate After many changes, it is now owned by the Corporation of Yaddo, and run as a world-famous summer center for creative artists and writers}

"Had they the same party with them still?"

"Yes; it seemed to be very much the same party."

Hubbard looked mortified; but he was soon busy answering inquiries as to the projected movements for the next day.

The following morning the whole party set out, in two skiffs, to pass the day on the lake. Under Charlie's guidance, they rowed about among the islands, now coasting the shores, now crossing from one point to another, wherever the views were finest; generally keeping near enough, as they moved leisurely along, for conversation between the two boats.

"How beautifully clear the water is!" exclaimed Elinor.

"The water in the Swiss lakes is limpid I suppose, Charlie, like most mountain streams?" observed Mr. Wyllys.

"It is clear, sir; and in the heart of the Alps it has a very peculiar colour—a blueish tinge—from the glaciers, like molten lapis lazuli; entirely different from the deep, ultra-marine blue of the Mediterranean."

"Have you any views of the Swiss lakes?" asked Elinor."

"Yes; I can show you several—and, as usual, there is a difference in their colouring: from Lugarn; a little bit of lapis lazuli, lying like a jewel, in the green pastures, half way up the Alps, just below the ice and snow, to the reedy lake of Morat, on the plains of Neufchatel, more like an agate," added Charlie, smiling.

"We shall hope to see them, when we pass through New York," said
Elinor, listening with interest.

"I will show them to you with great pleasure, faute de mieux,
Miss Elinor; but I hope you will one day see the originals."

{"faute de mieux" = for want of something better (French)}

"In the mean time, however, we shall be very glad to enjoy your pictures. Have you any Italian views?"

"Yes, quite a number; wherever I went, I made sketches at least; though I have not yet had time to finish them all as pictures. In my boxes there are Venetian lagoons, and Dutch canals; a view of the Seine, in the heart of Paris, and the Thames, at London; the dirty, famous Tiber, classic Arno, and classic Avon."

"You make our eyes water, Charlie, with such a catalogue," said Mr. Wyllys. "You must certainly get up an exhibition, and add several of your American pictures to those you have just brought home."

"I really hope you will do so," said Elinor. "The transparent amber-like water of the Canada, and the emerald colour of Niagara, would appear finely in such a collection."

{"Canada" = from the context, probably Trenton Falls on the West
Canada Creek, a major tourist attraction during the 19th century}

"I shall never dare attempt Niagara," exclaimed Charlie. "All the beauties of all the other waters in the world are united there. It will not do to go beyond the rapids; I should be lost if I but ventured to the edge of the whirlpool itself."

"I have no doubt you will try it yet," said Harry.

The young artist shook his head. "I am sometimes disposed to throw aside the brush in disgust, at the temerity of man, which can attempt to copy even what is most noble, in the magnificent variety, and the simple grandeur of nature."

"You have been sufficiently successful in what you have attempted hitherto," said Harry. "I saw your view of Lake Ontario, in Philadelphia, just after I arrived; and I can never forget the impression it produced on me. Of all your pictures that I have seen, that is my favourite."

"It is indeed a noble picture," said Mr. Wyllys.

"And few men but yourself, Charlie, could have given so deep an interest to a broad field of water, with only a strip of common-place shore in the fore-ground, and a bank of clouds in the distance. A common painter would have thrown in some prettiness of art, that would have ruined it; but you have given it a simple dignity that is really wonderful!" said Hazlehurst.

"You mortify me," said Charlie; "it is so much inferior to what I could wish."

"Captain C——-," continued Harry, "who was stationed at Oswego for several years, told me he should have known your picture without the name, for a view of one of the great lakes; there was so much truth in the colour and movement of the water; so much that was different from the Ocean."

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is cruel in you to flatter a poor young artist at this rate," said Charlie.

"If it is criticism you want," said Hazlehurst, "I can give you a dose. You were very severely handled in my presence, a day or two since, and on the very subject of your picture of Lake Ontario."

"Pray, let me hear the criticism; it will sober me."

"What was the fault?" said Elinor; "what was wanting?"

"A few houses and a steamboat, to make it lively."

"You are making up a good story, Mr. Hazlehurst," said Mrs.
Creighton, laughing.

"I give you the critic's words verbatim. I really looked at the young lady in astonishment, that she should see nothing but a want of liveliness in a picture, which most of us feel to be sublime. But Miss D——- had an old grudge against you, for not having made her papa's villa sufficiently prominent in your view of Hell-Gate."

"But, such a villa!" said Hubbard. "One of the ugliest within ten miles of New York. It is possible, sometimes, by keeping at a distance, concealing defects, and partially revealing columns through verdure, to make one of our Grecian-temple houses appear to advantage in a landscape; but, really, Mr. D——-'s villa was such a jumble, so entirely out of all just proportion, that I could do nothing with it; and was glad to find that I could put a grove between the spectator and the building: anybody but its inmates would have preferred the trees."

"Not at all; Miss D——- thought the absence of the portico, with its tall, pipe-stem columns, the row of dormer windows on the roof, and the non-descript belvidere crowning all, a loss to the public."

{"belvidere" = as used here, a raised turret on top of a house (Italian)}

"The miserable architecture of this country is an obstacle to a landscape painter, quite too serious to be trifled with, I can assure you," said Charlie.

"It must be confessed," said Mr. Ellsworth, "that the order of things has been reversed here. Architecture is usually called the parent of the fine arts; but with us she is the youngest of the family, and as yet the worst endowed. We had respectable pictures, long before we had a single building in a really good style; and now that we have some noble paintings and statuary, architecture still lags behind. What a noise they made in New York, only a few years since, about St. Thomas's Church!"

{St. Thomas's Church" = St. Thomas Episcopal Church was erected at the corner of Broadway and Houston Street, in New York City, in 1826, in the Gothic style which was only beginning to replace the Greek Revival. Susan Fenimore Cooper shared her father's dislike of Greek Revival houses that imitated Grecian temples, and his love of the Gothic}

"Yes," said Mr. Stryker; "the curse of the genius of architecture, which Jefferson said had fallen upon this country, has not yet been removed."

"Some of the most ludicrous objects I have ever laid my eyes on," said Hazlehurst, "have been pretending houses, and, I am sorry to say, churches too, in the interior of the country; chiefly in the would-be Corinthian and Composite styles. They set every rule of good taste and good sense at defiance, and look, withal, so unconscious of their absurdity, that the effect is as thoroughly ridiculous, as if it had been the object of the architect to make them so."

"For reason good," observed Mr. Wyllys; "because they are wanting in simplicity and full of pretension; and pretension is the root of all absurdity."

They had now reached the spot Charlie had selected for his picture; the young artist pointed it out to Miss Wyllys, who was in the other boat.

"This is the spot I have chosen," he said, "and I hope you will agree with me in liking the position; it commands some of the finest points on the lake: that is the Black mountain in the back-ground."

His friends admired his choice, acknowledging that the view was one of the most beautiful they had seen.

"It must be difficult to choose, where every view is charming," said Elinor. "How beautiful those little islands are; so much variety, and all so pleasing!"

"You will see hundreds of them, Miss Wyllys, when you have been over the lake," said Hubbard.

"There are just three hundred and sixty-five, marm," added one of the boatmen, the guide of the party; "one for every day in the-year."

"This must be May-day island," said Elinor, pointing to an islet quite near them. "This one, half wood, half meadow, which shows so many flowers."

"May-day island it shall be for the next six weeks," said
Charlie, smiling. "I have chosen it for another view."

"Well, good people!" exclaimed Robert Hazlehurst, from the other boat; "you may be feasting on the beauties of nature; but some of us have more substantial appetites! Miss Wyllys is a little fatigued, Mr. Stryker all impatient to get out his handsome fishing-rod, and your humble servant very hungry, indeed!"

As they had been loitering about for several hours, it was agreed that they should now land, and prepare to lunch.

"We will put into port at May-day island," said Charlie; "I have been there several times, and there is a pretty, grassy bank, where we may spread a table-cloth."

They soon reached the little island pointed out by Elinor, and having landed with their baskets of provisions, the meal was prepared, and only waiting for the fish which Mr. Stryker had promised to catch, and for a supply of salt which one of the boatmen had gone for, to a farm-house on the shore; this necessary having been forgotten, when the provisions were laid in. There never was a pic-nic yet, where nothing was forgotten.

Mr. Stryker soon prepared himself for action; he was a famous fisherman, and quite as proud of his rod as of his reputation, which were both Dublin-made, he said, and, therefore, perfect in their way. Mr. Wyllys and Mrs. Creighton admired the apparatus contained in his ebony walking-stick, to the owner's full satisfaction: he had a great deal to say about its perfections, the beauty of his flies, the excellence of his hooks and lines, and so forth; and the ladies in general, Mrs. Creighton especially, listened as flatteringly as the gentleman could desire. As he was to supply the perch for luncheon, however, he was obliged to begin his labours; and taking a boat, he rowed off a stone's throw from the shore. In turning a little point, he was surprised, by coming suddenly upon a brother fisherman: in a rough, leaky boat, with a common old rod in his hand, sat our acquaintance, Mr. Hopkins, wearing the usual rusty coat; his red silk handkerchief spread on his knee, an open snuff-box on one side of him, a dirty tin pail on the other. The party on shore were not a little amused by the contrast in the appearance, manners, and equipments of the two fishermen; the fastidious Mr. Stryker, so complete, from his grey blouse to his fishing-basket; the old merchant, quite independent of everything like fashion, whether alone on Lake George, or among the crowd in Wall-Street. Charlie, who did not know him, said that he had met the same individual on the lake, at all hours, and in all weathers, during the past week; he seemed devoted to fishing, heart and soul, having left the St. Legers at Saratoga, and come on to Lake George immediately, to enjoy his favourite pastime. It was a pleasure to see how honestly and earnestly he was engaged in his pursuit: as for Mr. Stryker, we strongly suspect that his fancy for fishing was an acquired taste, like most of those he cherished; we very much doubt whether he would ever have been a follower of Izaak Walton, had there not been a fashionable accoutrement for brothers of the rod, at the present day.

{"Isaak Walton" = Isaak Walton (1593-1683), author of "The
Compleat Angler"}

Several of the ladies also fished for half an hour; Mrs. Creighton begging for a seat in Mr. Stryker's boat, that she might profit by his instructions. While they were out, a small incident occurred, which amused the spectators not a little. Mrs. Creighton had risen, to look at a fish playing about Mr. Stryker's line, when she accidentally dropped a light shawl, which fell from her arm into the water; an involuntary movement she made as it fell, also threw a basket of her companion's flies overboard, at the same instant: he had just been showing them off.

"Oh, Mr. Stryker, my shawl!" exclaimed the lady.

But the fashionable fisherman was already catching eagerly at his own precious flies; he succeeded in regaining the basket, and then, bethinking him of his reputation for gallantry, turned to Mrs. Creighton, to rescue the shawl; but he had the mortification to see old Mr. Hopkins already stretching out an arm with the cachemere, which he had caught almost as soon as it touched the water, and now offered to its fair owner, with the good-natured hope that it had not been injured, as it was hardly wet. The lady received it very graciously, and bestowed a very sweet smile on the old merchant; while Mr. Stryker, quite nettled at his own flagrant misdemeanour, had to face a frown from the charming widow. It was decidedly an unlucky hour for Mr. Stryker: he only succeeded in catching a solitary perch; while Mr. Hopkins, who had been invited to join the party, contributed a fine mess. The fault, however, was all thrown on the sunshine; and Mr. Hopkins confessed that he had not had much sport since the clouds had broken away, earlier in the morning. Everybody seemed very ready for luncheon, when hailed from the island, for that purpose. The meal was quite a merry one; Mrs. Creighton was the life of the party, saying a great many clever, amusing things. She looked charmingly, too, in a little cap, whose straw-coloured ribbons were particularly becoming to her brown complexion. Mr. Stryker gradually recovered from the double mortification, of the shawl, and the solitary perch, and soon began talking over different fishing excursions, with his friend A——-, in Ireland, and his friend B——-, in Germany. The rest of the party were all cheerful and good-humoured. Mr. Ellsworth was quite devoted to Elinor, as usual, of late. Mary Van Alstyne amused herself with looking on at Mrs. Creighton's efforts to charm Harry, pique Mr. Stryker, and flatter Mr. Wyllys into admiring her; nor did she disdain to throw away several arch smiles on Mr. Hopkins. "She seems successful in all her attempts," thought Mary. Harry was quite attentive to her; and it was evident that Mr. Stryker's admiration had very much increased since they had been together at the Springs. He had set out for Saratoga, with the firm determination to play the suitor to Elinor; he resolved that he would not fall in love with the pretty widow; but a clever coquette and a man of the world, are adversaries well matched; and, as usual in such encounters, feminine art and feminine flattery seemed likely to carry the day. Mr. Stryker, in spite of himself, often forgot to be properly attentive to Elinor, who appeared to great disadvantage in his eyes, when placed in constant contrast with Mrs. Creighton. He scarcely regretted now, his little prospect of favour with the heiress, for the poorer widow had completely fascinated him by her graceful flatteries, the piquancy of her wit, and her worldliness, which, with Mr. Stryker, passed for her wisdom. Even Mary Van Alstyne, though prejudiced against her, was obliged to confess, as she watched Mrs. Creighton, that she admired her. The lady had thrown herself on the grass in a graceful position; excited by admiration, she had a brilliant colour; her dress was always studiously fashionable and becoming, in its minutest details; her amusing remarks flowed freely from a conscience under no other restraints than those of policy or good-breeding; and her manner, though always studied for effect, was particularly well studied and agreeable. Her companions thought her charming. Elinor, at the same moment, was standing by her side, in a simple dress, with no attempt to disguise a plain face under finery, and in a perfectly quiet position, which was graceful without her knowing it. Her whole manner, indeed, was always natural; its simplicity was its great charm, for one felt confident that her grace and sweetness, her ease and quiet dignity, flowed readily from her character itself. Whether these ideas occurred to any of the party besides Miss Van Alstyne, we cannot say; it is certain, however, that Mrs. Creighton was all prepared for observation, Elinor, as usual, quite regardless of it.

"We must carry off some flowers from May-day island," said Mr. Ellsworth, preparing to gather a bouquet for Elinor. He had soon succeeded in collecting quite a pretty bunch, composed of wild roses, blue hare-bells, the white blossoms of the wild clematis, the delicate pink clusters of the Alleghany vine, and the broad-leaved rose-raspberry, with several other varieties.

{"Alleghany vine" = a flowering wild vine, which had been a favorite of Susan Fenimore Cooper's paternal grandmother Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper}

Mr. Stryker offered a bouquet to Mrs. Creighton.

"It is really quite pretty; but to make it complete, I must have one of those scarlet lobelias, on the next island; they are the first I have seen this season. Mr. Hazlehurst, do be good-natured, and step into that boat, and bring me one."

"I can do that without the boat, Mrs. Creighton, here is a bridge," replied Harry, springing on the trunk of a dead tree, which nearly reached the islet she had pointed out; catching the branch of an oak on the opposite shore, he swung himself across. The flowers were soon gathered; and, after a little difficulty in reaching the dead tree, he returned to the ladies, just as they were about to embark again. Perhaps he had caught a spark of the spirit of coquetry from Mrs. Creighton, and resented her flirting so much with Mr. Stryker; for he did not give her all the flowers he had gathered, but offered a few to each lady as she entered the boat.

"Thank you, Mr. Hazlehurst, very gallantly done," said Mrs.
Creighton, placing one of the lobelias, with a sprig of Mr.
Stryker's, in her belt.

As they rowed leisurely along, Charlie Hubbard pointed out some of the localities to Miss Wyllys and Robert Hazlehurst.

"These mountains are very different in their character, Mr.
Hubbard, from those you have recently been sketching in Italy and
Switzerland," observed Mr. Ellsworth.

"Entirely different; their forms are much less bold and decided."

"Yes; all the mountains in this country, east of the Mississippi, partake, more or less, of the same character; forming rounded ridges, seldom broken into those abrupt, ragged peaks, common in other parts of the world."

"But the elevation of these mountains is much less than that of the Alps, or high Apennines," observed Mr. Wyllys; "do not the mountains in Europe, of the same height, resemble these in formation?"

"No, sir, I think not," replied Ellsworth. "They are generally more bold and barren; often mere masses of naked rock. I am no geologist, but it strikes me that the whole surface of the earth, in this part of the world, differs in character from that of the eastern continent; on one hand, the mountains are less abrupt and decided in their forms with us; and on the other, the plains are less monotonous here. If our mountains are not grand, the general surface of the country seems more varied, more uneven; there is not so large a proportion of dead level in this country as in France, Germany, Russia, for instance; we have much of what we call a rolling country—even the prairies, which are the plains of this region, show the same swelling surface."

"The variety of character in the landscape of different countries, must be a great charm to one of your profession, Hubbard," observed Harry. "A landscape painter must enjoy travelling more than any other man; nothing is lost upon you—every time you look about you there is something new to observe. How you must have enjoyed the change from the general aspect of this country—fresh, full of life and motion, yet half-finished in the details—to old Italy, where the scenery and atmosphere are in perfect harmony with the luxurious repose of a great antiquity!"

"I did indeed enjoy the change beyond expression!" exclaimed Charlie. "I have often felt thankful, in the best sense of the word, that I have been enabled to see those great countries, Italy and Switzerland; it has furnished me with materials for thought and delight, during a whole lifetime."

"It would be a good plan to get you appointed painting attache to the Legation, Hubbard," said Harry. "As you have seen the south of Europe, would you not like to take a look at the northern regions?"

"Not much," replied Charlie. "I should have nothing but ice to paint there, for half the year."

"Well, I suppose there is something selfish in my wish to carry you to the North Pole; but when I was in Brazil, I had a very disinterested desire that you should see the Bay of Rio."

"Is it really so beautiful?" asked Elinor.

"Yes; finer even than Naples, as regards scenery; though it wants, of course, all the charm of recollection which belongs to the old world."

"You must forget everything like fine scenery when you go to St.
Petersburg," said Robert Hazlehurst.

"Not at all; I hope to take a trip to the Crimea while I am in Russia. I shall do my best to ingratiate myself with the owner of some fine villa on the Black Sea."

"And have you really made up your mind to be a regular diplomatist?" asked Mr. Wyllys.

"For a time, sir; so long as I can serve under Mr. Henley, or a man like him."

"I used to see a good deal of Henley, some twenty years since," observed Mr. Wyllys. "I should think him particularly well fitted for his duties."

"I have the highest respect for him," replied Harry.

"He is a good model for an American diplomatist," added Robert Hazlehurst. "A man of ability, good education, and just principles, with simple, gentlemanly manners; always manly in his tone, and firm as a rock on all essential points."

"But those are only a small portion of the qualifications of a diplomatist," said Mr. Stryker. "According to the most approved models, the largest half should be cunning."

"Mr. Henley is particularly clear-sighted—not easily deceived either by himself or by others; and that is all that American diplomacy requires," said Harry. "I am proud to say that our government does not give us any dirty work to do; we have chiefly to act on the defensive."

"Set a thief to catch a thief," said Mr. Stryker, with his usual dry manner. "I don't believe in the full success of your virtuous diplomatist. How is a man to know all the turnings and windings of the road that leads to treaties, unless he has gone over it himself?"

"But an honest man, if he is really clear-headed and firm, has no need of these turnings and windings; he goes more directly to the point, and saves a vast deal of time and principle, by taking a more honourable road."

"Suppose a man has to make black look white, I should like to see your honourable diplomatist manage such a job," said Mr. Stryker.

"But our government has never yet had such jobs to manage. We have never yet made a demand from a foreign power that we have not believed just. Intrigue is unpardonable in American diplomacy, for it is gratuitous; a man need not resort to it, unless his own taste inclines him that way. It is an honourable distinction of our government, AS A GOVERNMENT, that it has never committed a single act of injustice against any other power, either by open force, or underhand manoeuvres. We have been wronged sometimes, and omitted to demand justice as firmly as we might have done; but there is, probably, no other government among the great powers of Christendom, that has been so free from OFFENSIVE guilt, during the last sixty years, as that of this country."

{This was, of course, before the Mexican-American War, which the Cooper family viewed with considerable misgivings. James Fenimore Cooper was incensed that the United States did not pursue with greater vigor American claims against France for damages caused to American shipping during the Napoleonic wars}

It was evident that Mr. Stryker was not in the least convinced by
Harry's defence of honest diplomacy.

"The ladies must find great fault with Washington diplomacy," he added, turning to Mrs. Creighton and Elinor: "they are never employed; not a single fair American has ever figured among les belles diplomats of European saloons, I believe."

"Perhaps the ladies in this country would not condescend to be employed," said Elinor.

"Don't say so, Miss Wyllys!" exclaimed Mrs. Creighton, laughing;
"I should delight in having some delicate mission to manage: when
Mr. Stryker gets into the cabinet, he may send me as special
envoy to any country where I can find a French milliner."

"You had better go to Russia with Mr. Henley and Mr. Hazlehurst; I have not the least doubt but they would find your finesse of great service," said the gentleman.

Mrs. Creighton blushed; and Harry coloured, too.

"The very idea of such an ally would frighten Mr. Henley out of his wits," said the lady, recovering herself; "he is an incorrigible old bachelor; that, you must allow, is a great fault of his, Mr. Hazlehurst."

"If he be incorrigible," said Harry.

"But that is not clear," said Mr. Stryker to the lady; "he is a great admirer of yours."

"Come, a truce to diplomacy, Josephine; I am going to beg Miss
Wyllys for a song," said Ellsworth.

Elinor sang very readily, and very sweetly; the Swiss airs sounded charmingly among the hills; and she was accompanied by Mary Van Alstyne, while Charlie, with the two Hazlehursts, made up a respectable second for several songs.

Some gathering clouds at length warned the party to turn inn-ward again.

"It is to be hoped the shower won't reach us, for your sake, ladies," said Robert Hazlehurst.

"I hope not, for the sake of my bibi!" said Mrs. Creighton. "It is the prettiest little hat I have had these three years; it would be distressing to have it spoilt before it has lost its freshness."

{"bibi" = a stylish hat of the 1830s}

"There is no danger, marm," said one of the boatmen, with a good-natured gravity, that made Mrs. Creighton smile. "Them 'ere kind of clouds often goes over the lake, without coming up this way."

And so it proved; the party reached the hotel safely, all agreeing that they had had a very pleasant day, and were not at all more tired than was desirable after such an excursion.

CHAPTER X. {XXXIII}

"……………………….. Sebastian are you?
If spirits can assume both form and suit,
You come to fright us!"
SHAKSPEARE. {sic}

{William Shakespeare, "Twelfh Night", V.i.221, 235-236}

ON their return to Saratoga, the Wyllyses and Hazlehursts found startling intelligence awaiting them. Letters had just arrived for Harry, for Mrs. Stanley, and for Mr. Wyllys, all of a similar nature, and all of a character that was astounding to those who received them. They could scarcely credit their senses as they read the fact, that the executors of the late John William Stanley, Esquire, were called upon to account for all past proceedings, to William Stanley, his son and heir. Hazlehurst was also summoned to resign that portion of the property of which he had taken possession two years since, when he had reached the age of twenty-five.

The letters were all written by Mr. Clapp, Charlie Hubbard's brother-in-law, who announced himself as the attorney of William Stanley, Esquire.

"Here are the letters addressed to myself," said Mrs. Stanley, who had immediately sent for Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, as soon as they returned from Lake George: she had not yet recovered from the first agitation caused by this extraordinary disclosure. "This is the letter purporting to come from my husband's son, and this is from the lawyer," she added, extending both to Hazlehurst. Harry read them aloud. The first ran as follows:

"MADAM:—

"I have not the honour of being acquainted with you, as my late father was not married to you when I went to sea, not long before his death. But I make no doubt that you will not refuse me my rights, now that I step forward to demand them, after leaving others to enjoy them for nearly eighteen years. Things look different to a man near forty, and to a young chap of twenty; I have been thinking of claiming my property for some time, but was told by lawyers that there was too many difficulties in the way, owing partly to my own fault, partly to the fault of others. As long as I was a youngster, I didn't care for anything but having my own way—I snapped my fingers at all the world; but now I am tired of a sea-faring life, and have had hardships enough for one man: since there is a handsome property mine, by right, I am resolved to claim it, through thick and thin. I have left off the bottle, and intend to do my best to be respectable for the rest of my days. I make no doubt but we shall be able to come to some agreement; nor would I object to a compromise for the past, though my lawyers advise me to make no such offer. I shall be pleased, Madam, to pay my respects to you, that we may settle our affairs at a personal meeting, if it suits you to do so.

"Your obedient servant, and step-son,

"WILLIAM STANLEY."

"Can that be my husband's son!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley, in an agitated voice, as Harry finished reading the letter, and handed it to Mr. Wyllys.

"It will take more than this to convince me," said Mr. Wyllys, who had been listening attentively. The handwriting was then carefully examined by Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys, and both were compelled to admit that it was at least a good imitation of that of William Stanley.

"A most extraordinary proceeding in either case!" exclaimed
Harry, pacing the room.

Mr. Clapp's letter was then read: it began with the following words:

"MADAM:—

"I regret that I am compelled by the interests of my client, Mr. William Stanley, Esquire, to address a lady I respect so highly, upon a subject that must necessarily prove distressing to her, in many different ways."

Then followed a brief statement of his first acquaintance with Mr. Stanley; his refusing to have anything to do with the affair; his subsequent conviction that the ragged sailor was the individual he represented himself to be; his reluctance to proceed, &c., &c. But since he was now convinced, by the strongest proofs, of the justice of Mr. Stanley's demand, and had at length undertaken to assist him with his advice, he was, therefore, compelled by duty to give the regular legal notice, that Mrs. Stanley, as executrix, would be required to account for her proceedings since her husband's death. His client, he said, would much prefer an amicable arrangement, but, if necessary, would proceed to law immediately. He wished to know what course Mrs. Stanley was disposed to take, as his client's steps would necessarily be guided by her own, and those of Mr. Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst. He concluded with a civil hope that the case might be privately adjusted.

"Clapp all over," said Harry, as he finished reading the letter.

"A most bare-faced imposition, depend upon it!" exclaimed Mr.
Wyllys, with strong indignation.

Mrs. Stanley was listening with anxious eagerness for the opinion of the two gentlemen.

"I am strongly disposed to mistrust anything that comes through Clapp's hands," said Harry, pacing the room thoughtfully, with the letters in his hand. "Still, I think it behooves us, sir, to act with deliberation; the idea that it is not impossible that this individual should be the son of Mr. Stanley, must not be forgotten—that possibility alone would make me sift the matter to the bottom at once."

"Certainly; it must be looked into immediately."

"What has the lawyer written to you?" asked Mrs. Stanley.

The letters to Mr. Wyllys and Harry were then read aloud; they were almost identical in their contents with that to Mrs. Stanley. The tone of each was civil and respectful; though each contained a technical legal notice, that they would be required to surrender to William Stanley, the property of his late father, according to the will of the said John William Stanley; which the said William, his son, had hitherto neglected to claim, though legally entitled to it.

"There: is certainly an air of confidence about those letters of
Clapp's," said Harry, "as if he felt himself on a firm foothold.
It is very extraordinary!"

"Of course: he would never move in such a case, without some plausible proof," said Mr. Wyllys.

"But how could he get any proof whatever, on this occasion?" said Mrs. Stanley. "For these eighteen years, nearly, William Stanley has been lying at the bottom of the ocean. We have believed so, at least."

"Proofs have been manufactured by lawyers before now," said Mr. Wyllys. "Do you suppose that if William Stanley had been living, we never should have heard one trace of him during eighteen years?—at a time, too, when his father's death had left him a large property."

"What sort of a man is this Mr. Clapp?" asked Mrs. Stanley. "His manners and appearance, whenever I have accidentally seen him with the Hubbards, struck me as very unpleasant: but is it possible he can be so utterly devoid of all principle, as wilfully to countenance an impostor?"

"He is a man whom I do not believe to possess one just principle!" said Mr. Wyllys. "Within the last year or two, I have lost all confidence in his honesty, from facts known to me."

"I have always had a poor opinion of him, but I have never had much to do with him," said Harry; "still, I should not have thought him capable of entering into a conspiracy so atrocious as this must be, if the story be not true."

"He would do any dirty work whatever, for money. I KNOW the man," said Mr. Wyllys, with emphasis.

"It is possible he may be deceived himself," observed Mrs.
Stanley.

"Very improbable," replied Mr. Wyllys, shaking his head.

"A shrewd, cunning, quick-witted fellow, as I remember him, would not be likely to undertake such a case, unless he had some prospect of success," said Harry, pacing the room again. "He must know perfectly well that it is make or break with him. If he does not succeed, he will be utterly ruined."

"He will give us trouble, no doubt," said Mr. Wyllys. "He must have got the means of putting together a plausible story. And yet his audacity confounds me!"

"Eighteen years, is it not, since William Stanley's death?" asked
Harry, turning to Mrs. Stanley.

"It will be eighteen years next October, since he sailed. I was married in November; and from that time we have never heard anything from the poor boy, excepting the report that the Jefferson, the ship in which he sailed, had been shipwrecked on the coast of Africa, the following winter, and all hands lost. That report reached us not long before my husband's death, and caused him to word his will in the way it is now expressed; giving to the son of his kinsman and old friend, half his property, in case his son's death should be confirmed. The report WAS confirmed, some months later, by the arrival of an American vessel, which had ridden out the storm that wrecked the Jefferson: she saw the wreck itself, sent a boat to examine it, but could find no one living; although several bodies were picked up, with the hope of reviving them. But you have heard the whole sad story before, Harry."

"Certainly; I merely wished to hear the facts again, ma'am, from your own lips, lest I might have forgotten some important point."

"Although you were quite a child at the time, Harry," said Mr. Wyllys, "eight or ten I believe, still, I should think you must remember the anxiety to discover the real fate of William Stanley. I have numbers of letters in my hands, answers to those I had written with the hope of learning something more positive on the subject. We sent several agents, at different times, to the principal sea-ports, to make inquiries among the sailors; it all resulted in confirming the first story, the loss of the Jefferson, and all on board. Every year, of course, made the point more certain."

"Still, we cannot say that is not impossible {sic} he should have escaped," observed Harry.

"Why should he have waited eighteen years, before he appeared to claim his property?—and why should he not come directly to his father's executors, instead of seeking out such a fellow as Clapp? It bears on the very face every appearance of a gross imposture. Surely, Harry, you do not think there is a shade of probability as to the truth of this story?"

"Only a possibility, sir; almost everything is against it, and yet I shall not rest satisfied without going to the bottom of the matter."

"That, you may be sure, we shall be forced to do. Clapp will give us trouble enough, I warrant; he will leave no stone unturned that a dirty lawyer can move. It will be vexatious, but there cannot be a doubt as to the result."

"You encourage me," said Mrs. Stanley; "and yet the idea of entering into a suit of this kind is very painful!"

"If it be a conspiracy, there is no treatment too bad for those who have put the plot together!" exclaimed Harry. "What a double-dyed villain Clapp must be!"

"He will end his career in the State-Prison," said Mr. Wyllys.

"The Hubbards, too; that is another disagreeable part of the business," said Harry.

"I am truly sorry for them," replied Mr. Wyllys. "It will give them great pain."

"What steps shall we first take, sir?" inquired Harry.

"We must look into the matter immediately, of course, and find out upon what grounds they are at work."

"I am utterly at a loss to comprehend it!" exclaimed Mrs.
Stanley. "Such a piece of bare-faced audacity!"

"Clapp must rest all his hope of success on our want of positive proof as to the death of William Stanley," observed Harry. "But his having dared to bring forward an individual to personate the dead man, is really a height of impudence that I should never have conceived of."

"If I did not know him to be an incarnation of cunning, I should think he had lost his senses," replied Mr. Wyllys; "but happily for honest men, rogues generally overreach themselves; after they have spread their nets, made the mesh as intricate as possible, they almost invariably fall into their own snare. Such will, undoubtedly, be the result in this case."

"Had you not better return to Longbridge at once," said Mrs.
Stanley, "in order to inquire into the matter?"

"Certainly; we had better all be on the spot; though I am confident we shall unmask the rogues very speedily. You were already pledged to return with us, Mrs. Stanley; and I shall be glad to see you at Wyllys-Roof, again, Harry."

"Thank you, sir; you are very good," replied Hazlehurst, with something more than the common meaning in the words; for he coloured a little on remembering the occurrences of his last visit to Longbridge, more than three years since.

"We shall find it difficult," continued Mr. Wyllys, "to get an insight into Clapp's views and plans. He will, no doubt, be very wary in all he does; though voluble as ever in what he says. I know his policy of old; he reverses the saying of the cunning Italian, volto sciolto, bocca stretta."

{"volto sciolto, bocca stretta" = open countenance, tight lips (Italian)}

"But his first step has not been a cautious one," observed Harry.
"It is singular he should have allowed his client to write to
Mrs. Stanley. Do you remember William Stanley's handwriting
distinctly?" he added, again handing the letter to Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes; and it must be confessed this hand resembles his; they must have got possession of some of young Stanley's handwriting."

"But how could they possibly have done so?" said Mrs. Stanley.

"That is what we must try to find out, my dear madam."

"He must have been very confident that it was a good imitation," said Hazlehurst; "for, of course, he knew you must possess letters of William Stanley's. I don't remember to have seen anything but his signature, myself."

"Yes; it is a good imitation—very good; of course Clapp was aware of it, or the letter would never have been sent."

"William was very like his father in appearance, though not in character," observed Mrs. Stanley, thoughtfully. "He was very like him."

"Should this man look like my poor husband, I might have some misgivings," said Mrs. Stanley. "We must remember at least, my dear Mr. Wyllys, that it is not impossible that William may be living."

"Only one of the most improbable circumstances you could name, my dear friend. I wish to see the man, however, myself; for I have little doubt that I shall be able at once to discover the imposture, entirely to our own satisfaction at least—and that is the most important point."

"Should the case present an appearance of truth, sufficient to satisfy a jury, though we ourselves were not convinced, it would still prove a very serious thing to you, my dear Harry," observed Mrs. Stanley.

"No doubt: very serious to Hazlehurst, and a loss to all three. But I cannot conceive it possible that such a daring imposture can succeed so far. We shall be obliged, however, to proceed with prudence, in order to counteract the cunning of Clapp."

After a conversation of some length between the friends, it was agreed that Hazlehurst should answer the letters, in the name of Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys, as well as his own. It was also decided that they should return to Longbridge immediately, and not take any decided steps until they had seen the individual purporting to be William Stanley. The bare possibility that Mr. Stanley's son might be living, determined Mrs. Stanley and Hazlehurst to pursue this course; although Mr. Wyllys, who had not a doubt on the subject from the first, had felt no scruple in considering the claimant as an impostor. We give Harry's letter to Mr. Clapp.

"Saratoga, June, 18—.

"SIR:—

"The letters addressed by you to Mrs. Stanley, Mr. Wyllys and myself, of the date of last Tuesday, have just reached us. I shall not dwell on the amazement which we naturally felt in receiving a communication so extraordinary, which calls upon us to credit the existence of an individual, whom we have every reason to believe has lain for nearly eighteen years at the bottom of the deep: it will be sufficient that I declare, what you are probably already prepared to hear, that we see no cause for changing our past opinions on this subject. We believe to-day, as we have believed for years, that William Stanley was drowned in the wreck of the Jefferson, during the winter of 181-. We can command to-day, the same proofs which produced conviction at the time when this question was first carefully examined. We have learned no new fact to change the character of these proofs.

"The nature of the case is such, however, as to admit the possibility—and it is a bare possibility only—of the existence of William Stanley. It is not necessarily impossible that he may have escaped from the wreck of the Jefferson; although the weight of probability against such an escape, has more than a hundred-fold the force of that which would favour a contrary supposition. Such being the circumstances, Mr. Stanley's executors, and his legatee, actuated by the same motives which have constantly guided them since his death, are prepared in the present instance to discharge their duty, at whatever cost it may be. They are prepared to receive and examine any proofs, in the possession of yourself and your client, as to the identity of the individual purporting to be William Stanley, only son of the late John William Stanley, of ——- county, Pennsylvania. They demand these proofs. But, they are also prepared, sir, to pursue with the full force of justice, and the law of the land, any individual who shall attempt to advance a false claim to the name and inheritance of the dead. This matter, once touched, must be entirely laid bare: were duty out of the question, indignation alone would be sufficient to urge them, at any cost of time and vexation, to unmask one who, if not William Stanley, must be a miserable impostor—to unravel what must either prove an extraordinary combination of circumstances, or a base conspiracy.

"Prepared, then, to pursue either course, as justice shall dictate, Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys, executors of the late Mr. Stanley, and myself, his legatee, demand: First, an interview with the individual claiming to be William Stanley. Secondly, whatever proofs of the identity of the claimant you may have in your possession. And we here pledge ourselves to acknowledge the justice of the claim advanced, if the evidence shall prove sufficient to establish it; or in the event of a want of truth and consistency in the evidence supporting this remarkable claim, we shall hold it a duty to bring to legal punishment, those whom we must then believe the guilty parties connected with it.

"Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys wish you, sir, to understand this letter as an answer to those addressed by you to themselves. They are on the point of returning to Longbridge, where I shall also join them; and we request that your farther communications to us, on this subject, may be addressed to Wyllys-Roof.

"HENRY HAZLEHURST"

This letter was written, and approved by Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys, before the consultation broke up; it was also signed by them, as well as by Harry.

The amazement of Miss Wyllys and Elinor, on hearing the purport of Mr. Clapp's letters, was boundless. Had they seen William Stanley rise from the ground before them, they could scarcely have been more astonished; not a shadow of doubt as to his death in the Jefferson, had crossed their minds for years. Like their friends, they believed it a plot of Mr. Clapp's; and yet his daring to take so bold a step seemed all but incredible.

When some hours' consideration had made the idea rather more familiar to the minds of our friends, they began to look at the consequences, and they clearly saw many difficulties and vexations before the matter could be even favourably settled; but if this client of Mr. Clapp's were to succeed in establishing a legal claim to the Stanley estate, the result would produce much inconvenience to Mrs. Stanley, still greater difficulties to Mr. Wyllys, while Harry would be entirely ruined in a pecuniary sense; since the small property he had inherited from his father, would not suffice to meet half the arrears he would be obliged to discharge, in restoring his share of the Stanley estate to another. Hazlehurst had decided, from the instant the claim was laid before him, that the only question with himself would regard his own opinion on the subject; the point must first be clearly settled to his own judgment. He would see the man who claimed to be the son of his benefactor, he would examine the matter as impartially as he could, and then determine for himself. Had he any good reason whatever for believing this individual to be William Stanley, he would instantly resign the property to him, at every cost.

All probability was, however, thus far, against the identity of the claimant; and unless Hazlehurst could believe in his good faith and honesty, every inch of the ground should be disputed to the best of his ability. Mr. Wyllys was very confident of defeating one whom he seriously believed an impostor: it was a dirty, disagreeable job to undertake, but he was sanguine as to the result. Mrs. Stanley was at first quite overcome by agitation and astonishment; she had some doubts and anxieties; misgivings would occasionally cross her mind, in spite of herself, in spite of Mr. Wyllys's opinion; and the bare idea of opposing one who might possibly be her husband's son, affected all her feelings. Like Hazlehurst, she was very desirous to examine farther into the matter, without delay; scarcely knowing yet what to hope and what to fear.

Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton soon learned the extraordinary summons which Harry had received; he informed them of the facts himself.

"The man is an impostor, depend upon it, Mr. Hazlehurst!" exclaimed Mrs. Creighton, with much warmth.

"I have little doubt of it," replied Harry; "for I do not see how he can well be anything else."

"You know, Hazlehurst, that I am entirely at your service in any way you please," said Ellsworth.

"Thank you, Ellsworth; I have a habit of looking to you in any difficulty, as you know already."

"But I cannot conceive that it should be at all a difficult matter to unravel so coarse a plot as this must be!" cried Mrs. Creighton. "What possible foundation can these men have for their story? Tell me all about it, Mr. Hazlehurst, pray!" continued the lady, who had been standing when Harry entered the room, prepared to accompany her brother and himself to Miss Wyllys's room. "Sit down, I beg, and tell me at once all you choose to trust me with," she continued, taking a seat on the sofa.

Harry followed her example. "You are only likely to hear a great deal too much of it I fear, if you permit Ellsworth and myself to talk the matter over before you." He then proceeded to give some of the most important facts, as far as he knew them himself, at least. Judging from this account, Mr. Ellsworth pronounced himself decidedly inclined to think with Mr. Wyllys, that this claim was a fabrication of Clapp's. Mrs. Creighton was very warm in the expression of her indignation and her sympathy. After a long and animated conversation, Mr. Ellsworth proposed that they should join the Wyllyses: his sister professed herself quite ready to do so; and, accompanied by Harry, they went to the usual rendezvous of their party, at Congress Hall.

Robert Hazlehurst had already left Saratoga with his family, having returned from Lake George for that purpose, a day earlier than his friends; and when Mrs. Creighton and the two gentlemen entered Miss Wyllys's parlour, they only found there the Wyllyses themselves and Mary Van Alstyne, all of whom had already heard of Harry's threatened difficulties. Neither Miss Agnes nor Elinor had seen him since he had received the letters, and they both cordially expressed their good wishes in his behalf; for they both seemed inclined to Mr. Wyllys's opinion of the new claimant.

"We have every reason to wish that the truth may soon be discovered," said Miss Agnes.

"I am sorry you should have such a painful, vexatious task before you," said Elinor, frankly offering her hand to Harry.

"Have you no sympathies for this new sailor cousin of yours, Miss Wyllys?—I must say I have a very poor opinion of him myself," said Mrs. Creighton.

"Whoever he be, I hope he will only receive what is justly his due," replied Elinor.

"I am happy, Miss Wyllys, that you seem favourably inclined towards Hazlehurst," said Mr. Ellsworth. "On the present occasion I consider him not only as a friend but as a client, and that is the dearest tie we lawyers are supposed to feel."

"One would naturally incline rather more to a client of yours ex officio, Mr. Ellsworth, than to one of Mr. Clapp's, that very disagreeable brother-in-law of Miss Patsey Hubbard's," said Mary Van Alstyne, smiling.

It was soon decided that the party should break up the next day. The Wyllyses, with Mrs. Stanley and Mary Van Alstyne, were to return to Longbridge. Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Ellsworth were obliged to pay their long deferred visit to Nahant, the gentleman having some business of importance in the neighbourhood; but it was expected that they also should join the family at Wyllys-Roof as early as possible. Jane was to return to New York with her sister-in-law, Mrs. St. Leger, leaving Miss Emma Taylor flirting at Saratoga, under the charge of a fashionable chaperon; while Mr. Hopkins was still fishing at Lake George.

CHAPTER XI. {XXXIV}

"'Whence this delay?—Along the crowded street
A funeral comes, and with unusual pomp.'"
ROGERS.

{Samuel Rogers (English poet, 1763-1855), "Italy: A Funeral" lines 1-2}

IT is a common remark, that important events seldom occur singly; and they seem indeed often to follow each other with startling rapidity, like the sharpest flashes of lightning and the loudest peals of thunder from the dark clouds of a summer shower. On arriving in New York, the Wyllyses found that Tallman Taylor had been taken suddenly and dangerously ill, during the previous night, the consequence of a stroke of the sun; having exposed himself imprudently, by crossing the bay to Staten-Island for a dinner party, in an open boat, when the thermometer stood at 95 {degrees} in the shade. He was believed in imminent danger, and was too ill to recognize his wife when she arrived. Miss Wyllys and Elinor remained in town, at the urgent request of Jane, who was in great distress; while Mr. Wyllys returned home with Mrs. Stanley and Mary Van Alstyne.

{Susan's father, James Fenimore Cooper, twice suffered from sunstroke, in 1823 and 1825, while sailing a small boat near New York City, and she later wrote of the attacks of delirium that followed}

After twenty-four hours of high delirium, the physicians succeeded in subduing the worst symptoms; but the attack took the character of a bilious fever, and the patient's recovery was thought very doubtful from the first. Poor Jane sat listlessly in the sick-room, looking on and weeping, unheeded by her husband, who would allow no one but his mother to come near him, not even his wife or his sisters; he would not, indeed, permit his mother to leave his sight for a moment, his eyes following every movement of her's with the feverish restlessness of disease, and the helpless dependence of a child. Jane mourned and wept; Adeline had at least the merit of activity, and made herself useful as an assistant nurse, in preparing whatever was needed by her brother. These two young women, who had been so often together in brilliant scenes of gaiety, were now, for the first time, united under a roof of sorrow and suffering.

"That lovely young creature is a perfect picture of helpless grief!" thought one of the physicians, as he looked at Jane.

For a week, Tallman Taylor continued in the same state. Occasionally, as he talked with the wild incoherency of delirium, he uttered sentences painful to hear, as they recalled deeds of folly and vice; words passed his lips which were distressing to all present, but which sunk deep into the heart of the sick man's mother. At length he fell into a stupor, and after lingering for a day or two in that state, he expired, without having fully recovered his consciousness for a moment. The handsome, reckless, dashing son of the rich merchant lay on his bier; a career of selfish enjoyment and guilty folly was suddenly closed by the grave.

Miss Agnes's heart sunk within her as she stood, silent, beside the coffin of Jane's husband, remembering how lately she had seen the young man, full of life and vigour, thoughtlessly devoting the best energies of body and soul to culpable self-indulgence. It is melancholy indeed, to record such a close to such a life; and yet it is an event repeated in the gay world with every year that passes. It is to be feared there were companions of Tallman Taylor's, pursuing the same course of wicked folly, which had been so suddenly interrupted before their eyes, who yet never gave one serious thought to the subject: if they paused, it was only for a moment, while they followed their friend to the grave; from thence hurrying again to the same ungrateful, reckless abuse of life, and its highest blessings.

Jane was doubly afflicted at this moment; her baby sickened soon after its return to town, and died only a few days after her husband; the young father and his infant boy were laid in the same grave.

Jane herself was ill for a time, and when she partially recovered, was very anxious to accompany Miss Agnes and Elinor to Wyllys-Roof—a spot where she had passed so many peaceful hours, that she longed again to seek shelter there. She had loved her husband, as far as it was in her nature to love; but her attachments were never very strong or very tender, and Tallman Taylor's neglect and unkindness during the past year, had in some measure chilled her first feelings for him. She now, however, looked upon herself as the most afflicted of human beings; the death of her baby had indeed touched the keenest chord in her bosom—she wept over it bitterly.

Adeline thought more seriously at the time of her brother's death than she had ever done before: and even Emma Taylor's spirits were sobered for a moment. Mr. Taylor, the father, no doubt felt the loss of his eldest son, though far less than many parents would have done; he was not so much overwhelmed by grief, but what he could order a very handsome funeral, and project an expensive marble monument—a FASHIONABLE TOMB-STONE of Italian marble. He was soon able to resume all his usual pursuits, and even the tenor of his thoughts seemed little changed, for his mind was as much occupied as usual with Wall-Street affairs, carrying out old plans, or laying new schemes of profit. He had now been a rich man for several years, yet he was in fact less happy than when he began his career, and had everything to look forward to. Still he continued the pursuits of business, for without the exciting fears and hopes of loss and gain, life would have appeared a monotonous scene to him; leisure could only prove a burthen, for it would be merely idleness, since he had no tastes to make it either pleasant or useful. His schemes of late had not been so brilliantly successful as at the commencement of his course of speculation; fortune seemed coquetting with her old favourite; he had recently made several investments which had proved but indifferent in their results. Not that he had met with serious losses; on the contrary, he was still a gainer at the game of speculation; but the amount was very trifling. He had rapidly advanced to a certain distance on the road to wealth, but it now seemed as if he could not pass that point; the brilliant dreams in which he had indulged were only half realized. There seemed no good way of accounting for this pause in his career, but such was the fact; he was just as shrewd and calculating, just as enterprising now as he had been ten years before, but certainly he was not so successful.

On commencing an examination of his son's affairs, he found that Tallman Taylor's extravagance and folly had left his widow and child worse than penniless, for he had died heavily in debt. Returning one afternoon from Wall-Street, Mr. Taylor talked over this matter with his wife. Of all Tallman Taylor's surviving friends, his mother was the one who most deeply felt his death; she was heart-stricken, and shed bitter tears over the young man.

"There is nothing left, Hester, for the child or her mother," said the merchant, sitting down in a rocking-chair in his wife's room. "All gone; all wasted; five times the capital I had to begin with. I have just made an investment, of which I shall give the profits to Tallman's lady; four lots that were offered to me last week; if that turns out well, I shall go on, and it may perhaps make up a pretty property for the child, in time."

"Oh, husband, don't talk to me about such things now; I can't think of anything but my poor boy's death!"

"It was an unexpected calamity, Hester," said the father, with one natural look of sorrow; "but we cannot always escape trouble in this world."

"I feel as if we had not done our duty by him!" said the poor mother.

"Why not?-he was very handsomely set up in business," remonstrated Mt. Taylor.

"I was not thinking of money," replied his wife, shaking her head. "But it seems as if we only took him away from my brother's, in the country, just to throw him in the way of temptation as he was growing up, and let him run wild, and do everything he took a fancy to."

"We did no more than other parents, in taking him home with us, to give him a better education than he could have got at your brother's."

"Husband, husband!—it is but a poor education that don't teach a child to do what is right! I feel as if we had never taught him what we ought to. I did not know he had got so many bad ways until lately; and now that I do know it, my heart is broken!"

"Tallman was not so bad as you make him out. He was no worse than a dozen other young gentlemen I could name at this very minute."

"Oh; I would give everything we are worth to bring him back!—but it is too late—too late!"

"No use in talking now, Hester."

"We ought to have taken more pains with him. He didn't know the danger he was in, and we did, or we ought to have known it. Taking a young man of a sudden, from a quiet, minister's family in the country, like my brother's, and giving him all the money he wanted, and turning him out into temptation.—Oh, it's dreadful!"

"All the pains in the world, Hester, won't help a young man, unless he chooses himself. What could I do, or you either? Didn't we send him to school and to college?—didn't we give him an opportunity of beginning life with a fine property, and married to one of the handsomest girls in the country, daughter of one of the best families, too? What more can you do for a young man? He must do the rest himself; you can't expect to keep him tied to your apron-string all his life."

"Oh, no; but husband, while he was young we ought to have taken more pains to teach him not to think so much about the ways of the world. There are other things besides getting money and spending money, to do; it seems to me now as if money had only helped my poor boy to his ruin!"

"Your notions are too gloomy, Mrs. Taylor. Such calamities will happen, and we should not let them weigh us down too much."

"If I was to live a hundred years longer, I never could feel as I did before our son's death. Oh, to think what a beautiful, innocent child he was twenty years ago, this time!"

"You shouldn't let your mind run so much on him that's gone. It's unjust to the living."

The poor woman made no answer, but wept bitterly for some time.

"It's my only comfort now," she said, at length, "to think that we have learned wisdom by what's passed. As long as I live, day and night, I shall labour to teach our younger children not to set their hearts upon the world; not to think so much about riches."

"Well, I must say, Hester, if you think all poor people are saints, I calculate you make a mistake."

"I don't say that, husband; but it seems to me that we have never yet thought enough of the temptations of riches, more especially to young people, to young men—above all, when it comes so sudden as it did to our poor boy. What good did money ever do him?—it only brought him into trouble!"

"Because Tallman didn't make the most of his opportunities, that is no reason why another should not. If I had wasted money as he did, before I could afford it, I never should have made a fortune either. The other boys will do better, I reckon; they will look more to business than he did, and turn out rich men themselves."

"It isn't the money!—it isn't the money I am thinking of!" exclaimed the poor mother, almost in despair at her husband's blindness to her feelings.

"What is it then you take so much to heart?"

"It's remembering that we never warned our poor child; we put him in the way of temptation, where he only learned to think everything of the world and its ways; we didn't take pains enough to do our duty, as parents, by him!"

"Well, Hester, I must say you are a very unreasonable lady!" exclaimed Mr. Taylor, who was getting impatient under his wife's observations. "One would think it was all my fault; do you mean to say it was wrong in me to grow rich?"

"I am afraid it would have been better for us, and for our children, if you hadn't made so much money," replied the wife. "The happiest time of our life was the first ten years after we were married, when we had enough to be comfortable, and we didn't care so much about show. I am sure money hasn't made me happy; I don't believe it can make anybody happy!"

Mr. Taylor listened in amazement; but his straightforward, quiet wife, had been for several years gradually coming to the opinion she had just expressed, and the death of her eldest son had affected her deeply. The merchant, finding that he was not very good at consolation, soon changed the conversation; giving up the hope of lessening the mother's grief, or of bringing her to what he considered more rational views of the all-importance of wealth.

As soon as Jane felt equal to the exertion, she accompanied Miss Agnes and Elinor to Wyllys-Roof. During the three years of her married life she had never been there, having passed most of the time either at Charleston or New Orleans. Many changes had occurred in that short period; changes of outward circumstances, and of secret feeling. Her last visit to Wyllys-Roof had taken place just after her return from France, when she was tacitly engaged to young Taylor; at a moment when she had been more gay, more brilliantly handsome than at any other period of her life. Now, she returned there, a weeping, mourning widow, wretchedly depressed in spirits, and feeble in health. She was still very lovely, however; the elevated style of her beauty was such, that it appeared finer under the shadow of grief, than in the sunshine of gaiety; and it is only beauty of the very highest order which will bear this test. Her deep mourning dress was in harmony with her whole appearance and expression; and it was not possible to see her at this moment, without being struck by her exceeding loveliness. Jane was only seen by the family, however, and one or two very intimate friends; she remained entirely in the privacy of her own room, where Elinor was generally at her side, endeavouring to soothe her cousin's grief, by the gentle balm of sympathy and affection.

CHAPTER XII. {XXXV}

"Do thou stand for my father, and examine me upon the particulars of my life."

"What manner of man, an't please your majesty!"
Henry IV.

{William Shakespeare, "1 Henry IV", II.iv.375-376, 420-421}

HAZLEHURST's affairs had not remained stationary, in the mean time; Mrs. Stanley and himself were already at Wyllys-Roof, when Miss Wyllys and Elinor returned home, accompanied by the widowed Jane. The ladies had received frequent intelligence of the progress of his affairs, from Mr. Wyllys's letters; still there were many details to be explained when the party was re-united, as several important steps had been taken while they were in New York. Mr. Clapp was no longer the only counsel employed by the claimant; associated with the Longbridge attorney, now appeared the name of Mr. Reed, a lawyer of highly respectable standing in New York, a brother-in-law of Judge Bernard's, and a man of a character far superior to that of Mr. Clapp. He was slightly acquainted with Mr. Wyllys, and had written very civil letters, stating that he held the proofs advanced by his client, to be quite decisive as to his identity, and he proposed an amicable meeting, with the hope that Mr. Stanley's claim might be acknowledged without farther difficulty. That Mr. Reed should have taken the case into his hands, astonished Hazlehurst and his friends; so long as Clapp managed the affair, they felt little doubt as to its beings a coarse plot of his own; but they had now become impatient to inquire more closely into the matter. Mrs. Stanley was growing very uneasy; Hazlehurst was anxious to proceed farther as soon as possible; but Mr. Wyllys was still nearly as sanguine as ever. All parties seemed to desire a personal interview; Mr. Reed offered to accompany his client to Wyllys-Roof, to wait on Mrs. Stanley; and a day had been appointed for the meeting, which was to take place as soon as Harry's opponent, who had been absent from Longbridge, should return. The morning fixed for the interview, happened to be that succeeding the arrival of the ladies; and it will be easily imagined that every member of the family looked forward to the moment with most anxious interest. Perhaps they were not aware themselves, how gradually doubts had arisen and increased, in their own minds, since the first disclosure made by Mr. Clapp.

"Harry and myself have both seen this man at last, Agnes," said Mr. Wyllys to his daughter, just after she had returned home, when alone with Elinor and herself. "Where do you suppose Harry saw him yesterday? At church, with Mr. Reed. And this morning I caught a glimpse of him, standing on the steps of Clapp's office."

"Indeed!" exclaimed Miss Wyllys, who, as well as Elinor, was listening eagerly. How did he look?—what kind of man did he seem?"

"He looked like a sailor. I only saw him for a moment, however; for he was coming out of the office, and walked down the street, in an opposite direction from me. I must confess that his face had something of a Stanley look."

"Is it possible!"

"Yes; so far as I could see him, he struck me as looking like the Stanleys; but, in another important point, he does not resemble them at all. You remember the peculiar gait of the family?—they all had it, more or less; anybody who knew them well must have remarked it often—but this man had nothing of the kind; he walked like a sailor."

"I know what you mean; it was a peculiar motion in walking, well known to all their friends—a long, slow step."

"Precisely; this man had nothing of it, whatever—he had the sailor swing, for I watched his movements expressly. William Stanley, as a boy, walked just like his father; for I have often pointed it out to Mr. Stanley, myself."

"That mast be an important point, I should suppose; and yet, grandpapa, you think he looks like my uncle Stanley?" said Elinor.

"So I should say, from the glimpse I had of him."

"What did Harry think of him?" asked Miss Wyllys.

"Hazlehurst did not see his face, for he sat before him in church. He said, that if he had not been told who it was, he should have pronounced him, from his general appearance and manner, a common-looking, sea-faring man, who was not accustomed to the service of the Church; for he did not seem to understand when he should kneel, and when he should rise."

"But William Stanley ought to have known it perfectly," observed Elinor; "for he must have gone to church constantly, with his family, as a child, until he went to sea, and could scarcely have forgotten the service entirely, I should think."

"Certainly, my dear; that is another point which we have noted in our favour. On the other hand, however, I have just been carefully comparing the hand-writing of Clapp's client, with that of William Stanley, and there is a very remarkable resemblance between them. As far as the hand-writing goes, I must confess, that I should have admitted it at once, as identical, under ordinary circumstances."

"And the personal likeness, too, struck you, it seems," added
Miss Agnes.

"It did; so far, at least, as I could judge from seeing him only a moment, and with his hat on. To-morrow we shall be able, I trust, to make up our minds more decidedly on other important points."

"It is very singular that he should not be afraid of an interview!" exclaimed Elinor.

"Well, I don't know that, my child; having once advanced this claim, he must be prepared for examination, you know, under any circumstances. It is altogether a singular case, however, whether he be the impostor we think him, or the individual he claims to be. Truth is certainly more strange than fiction sometimes. Would you like to see the statement Mr. Reed sent us, when we applied for some account of his client's past movements?"

Miss Agnes and Elinor were both anxious to see it.

"Here it is—short you see—in Clapp's hand-writing, but signed by himself. There is nothing in it that may not possibly be true; but I fancy that we shall be able to pick some holes in it, by-and-bye."

"Did he make no difficulty about sending it to you?" asked Miss
Agnes.

"No, he seemed to give it readily; Mr. Reed sent it to us a day or two since."

Miss Wyllys received the letter from her father, inviting Elinor to read it over her shoulder, at the same moment. It was endorsed, in Clapp's hand, "STATEMENT OF MR. STANLEY, PREPARED AT THE REQUEST OF HIS FATHER'S EXECUTOR," and ran as follows:

"July 1st, 183-.

"I left home, as everybody knows, because I would have my own way in everything. It was against my best interests to be sure, but boys don't think at such times, about anything but having their own will. I suppose that every person connected with my deceased father knows, that my first voyage was made to Russia, in the year 18—, in the ship Dorothy Beck, Jonas Thomson, Master. I was only fourteen years old at the time. My father had taken to heart my going off, and when I came back from Russia he was on the look-out, wrote to me and sent me money, and as soon as he heard we were in port he came after me. Well, I went back with the old gentleman; but we had a quarrel on the road, and I put about again and went to New Bedford, where I shipped in a whaler. We were out only eighteen months, and brought in a full cargo. This time I went home of my own accord, and I staid a great part of one summer. I did think some of quitting the seas; but after a while things didn't work well, and one of my old shipmates coming up into the country to see me, I went off with him. This time I shipped in the Thomas Jefferson, for China. This was in the year 1814, during the last war, when I was about eighteen. Most people, who know anything about William Stanley, think that was the last of him, that he never set foot on American ground again; but they are mistaken, as he himself will take the pains to show. So far I have told nothing but what everybody knows, but now I am going to give a short account of what has happened, since my friends heard from me. Well; the Jefferson sailed, on her voyage to China, in October; she was wrecked on the coast of Africa in December, and it was reported that all hands were lost: so they were, all but one, and that one was William Stanley. I was picked up by a Dutchman, the barque William, bound to Batavia. I kept with the Dutchman for a while, until he went back to Holland. After I had cut adrift from him, I fell in with some Americans, and got some old papers; in one of them I saw my father's second marriage. I knew the name of the lady he had married, but I had never spoken to her. The very next day, one of the men I was with, who came from the same part of the country, told me of my father's death, and said it was the common talk about the neighbourhood, that I was disinherited. This made me very angry; though I wasn't much surprised, after what had passed. I was looking out for a homeward-bound American, to go back, and see how matters stood, when one night that I was drunk, I was carried off by an English officer, who made out I was a runaway. For five years I was kept in different English men-of-war, in the East Indies; at the end of that time I was put on board the Ceres, sloop of war, and I made out to desert from her at last, and got on board an American. I then came home; and here, the first man that I met on shore was Billings, the chap who first persuaded me to go to sea: he knew all about my father's family, and told me it was true I was cut off without a cent, and that Harry Hazlehurst had been adopted by my father. This made me so mad, that I went straight to New Bedford, and shipped in the Sally Andrews, for a whaling voyage. Just before we were to have come home, I exchanged into another whaler, as second-mate, for a year longer. Then I sailed in a Havre liner, as foremast hand, for a while. I found out about this time, that the executors of my father's estate had been advertising for me shortly after his death, while I was in the East Indies; and I went to a lawyer in Baltimore, where I happened to be, and consulted him about claiming the property; but he wouldn't believe a word I said, because I was half-drunk at the time, and told me that I should get in trouble if I didn't keep my mouth shut. Well, I cruized about for a while longer, when at last I went to Longbridge, with some shipmates. I had been there often before, as a lad, and I had some notion of having a talk with Mr. Wyllys, my father's executor; I went to his house one day, but I didn't see him. One of my shipmates who knew something of my story, and had been a client of Mr. Clapp's, advised me to consult him. I went to his office, but he sent me off like the Baltimore lawyer, because be thought I was drunk. Three years after that I got back to Longbridge again, with a shipmate; but it did me no good, for I got drinking, and had a fit of the horrors. That fit sobered me, though, in the end; it was the worst I had ever had; I should have hanged myself, and there would have been an end of William Stanley and his hard rubs, if it hadn't been for the doctor—I never knew his name, but Mr. Clapp says it was Dr. Van Horne. After this bad fit, they coaxed me into shipping in a temperance whaler. While I was in the Pacific, in this ship, nigh three years, and out of the reach of drink, I had time to think what a fool I had been all my life, for wasting my opportunities. I thought there must be some way of getting back my father's property; Mr. Clapp had said, that if I was really the man I pretended to be, I must have some papers to make it out; but if I hadn't any papers, he couldn't help me, even if I was William Stanley forty times over. It is true, I couldn't show him any documents that time, for I didn't have them with me at Longbridge; but I made up my mind, while I was out on my last voyage, that as soon as I got home, I would give up drinking, get my papers together, and set about doing my best to get back my father's property. We came home last February; I went to work, I kept sober, got my things together, put money by for a lawyer's fee, and then went straight to Longbridge again. I went to Mr. Clapp's office, and first I handed him the money, and then I gave him my papers. I went to him, because he had treated me better than any other lawyer, and told me if I was William Stanley, and could prove it, he could help me better than any other man, for he knew all about my father's will. Well, he hadn't expected ever to see me again; but he heard my story all out this time, read the documents, and at last believed me, and undertook the case. The rest is known to the executors and legatee by this time; and it is to be hoped, that after enjoying my father's estate for nigh twenty years, they will now make it over to his son.

"Dictated to W. C. Clapp, by the undersigned,

[Signed,] "WILLIAM STANLEY."

{"Dutchman" = a ship trading between the Netherlands and the
Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), of which Batavia (now
Jakarta) was the capital}

"Are these facts, so far as they are known to you, all true?" asked Miss Agnes, as she finished the paper. "I mean the earlier part of the statement, which refers to William Stanley's movements before he sailed in the Jefferson?"

"Yes; that part of the story is correct, so far as it goes."

"How extraordinary!" exclaimed Elinor.

"What does Harry think of this paper?"

"Both he and Mrs. Stanley are more disposed to listen to the story than I am; however, we are to meet this individual to-morrow, and shall be able then, I hope, to see our way more clearly."

"Do you find any glaring inconsistency in the latter part of the account?" continued Miss Agnes.

"Nothing impossible, certainly; but the improbability of William Stanley's never applying to his father's executors, until he appeared, so late in the day, as Mr. Clapp's client, is still just as striking as ever in my eyes. Mr. Reed accounts for it, by the singular character of the man himself, and the strange, loose notions sailors get on most subjects; but that is far from satisfying my mind."

"Mrs. Stanley is evidently much perplexed," observed Miss Wyllys; "she always feels any trouble acutely, and this startling application is enough to cause her the most serious anxiety, under every point of view."

"Certainly; I am glad you have come home, on her account—she is becoming painfully anxious. It is a very serious matter, too, for Hazlehurst; he confessed to me yesterday, that he had some misgivings."

"What a change it would make in all his views and prospects for life!" exclaimed Miss Wyllys.

"A change, indeed, which he would feel at every turn. But we are not yet so badly off as that. We shall give this individual a thorough, searching examination, and it is my firm opinion that he will not bear it. In the mean time we have agents at work, endeavouring to trace this man's past career; and very possibly we may soon discover in that way, some inconsistency in his story."

"The interview is for to-morrow, you say," added Miss Agnes.

"To-morrow morning. It is to be considered as a visit to Mrs. Stanley; Mr. Reed and Clapp will come with him. He has engaged to bring a portion of his papers, and to answer any questions of ours, that would not injure him in case of an ultimate trial by law: after the interview, we are to declare within a given time whether we acknowledge the claim, or whether we are prepared to dispute it."

"If you do carry it into a court of justice, when will the trial take place?" asked Miss Agnes.

"Probably in the autumn; they have already given notice, that they will bring it on as soon as possible, if we reject their demand."

"Harry will not go abroad then, with Mr. Henley."

"No; not so soon at least as he intended. So goes the world; Hazlehurst's career suddenly stopped, by an obstacle we never dreamed of, at this late day. That poor young Taylor in his grave, too! How is Jane?"

"Very feeble, and much depressed."

"Poor girl—a heavy blow to her—that was a sweet baby that she lost. I am glad to see the other child looks well. Jane's affairs, too, are in a bad way, they tell me."

Miss Agnes shook her head, and her father soon after left her.

Hazlehurst was, of course, much occupied, having many things to attend to, connected in different ways with the important question under consideration: there were old papers to be examined, letters to be written, letters to be read, and the family seldom saw him, except at his meals. It was evident, however, that all Mr. Wyllys's displeasure against him, was fast disappearing under the influence of the strong interest now aroused in his favour. Miss Agnes had also resumed entirely, her former manner towards him. Elinor was quite unembarrassed, and frankly expressed her interest in his affairs; in fact, all parties appeared so much engrossed by this important topic, that no one seemed to have time to remember the unpleasant circumstances of Harry's last visit to Wyllys-Roof. To judge from his manner, and something in his expression, if any one occasionally thought of the past, it was Hazlehurst himself; he seemed grateful for his present kind reception, and conscious that he had forfeited all claim to the friendly place in which he had been reinstated. Once or twice, he betrayed momentary feeling and embarrassment, as some allusion to past scenes was accidentally made by others, in the course of conversation.

The family were sitting together after tea, enjoying the summer evening twilight, after a long business consultation between the gentlemen. Harry seemed still engrossed by his own meditations; what was their particular nature at that moment, we cannot say; but he certainly had enough to think of in various ways. Harry's friends left him in undivided possession of the corner, where he was sitting, alone; and Mr. Wyllys, after a quiet, general conversation with the ladies, asked Elinor for a song. At her grandfather's request, she sang a pleasing, new air, she had just received, and his old favourite, Robin Adair. Fortunately, it did not occur to her, that the last time she had sung that song at Wyllys-Roof, with Hazlehurst as part of her audience, was the evening before their rupture; she appeared to have forgotten the fact, for no nervous feeling affected her voice, though her tones were lower than usual, as she did not wish to disturb Jane, who was in a distant part of the house. A letter from Mr. Reed was brought in, and drew Harry into the circle again; it was connected with the next day's interview, and after reading it, Mr. Wyllys made some remarks upon the difference in the tone and manner of the communications they had received from Clapp, and from Mr. Reed; the last writing like a gentleman, the first like a pettifogger.

"I am glad, at least, that you will have a gentleman to deal with," observed Elinor.

"Why, yes, Nelly; it is always advisable to secure a gentleman for friend or foe, he is the best substitute for a good man that one can find. But it is my opinion that Mr. Reed will not persevere in this case; I think he will soon be disgusted with Clapp, as his brother counsel. To-morrow, however, we shall have a nearer look at all our opponents, and I trust that we shall be able to make up our own minds at least, beyond a doubt."

"I trust so!" replied Mrs. Stanley, whose anxiety had increased painfully.

"I wish Ellsworth were here!" exclaimed Harry; "as his feelings are less interested than those of either of us, he would see things in a more impartial light."

"I wish he were here, with all my heart," replied Mr. Wyllys. "I am a little afraid of both you, my excellent friend, and you, Hazlehurst; the idea of not doing justice to the shadow of William Stanley, will make you too merciful towards this claimant, I fear. I see plainly, Harry, that you have some scruples, and I caution you against giving way too much to them."

Hazlehurst smiled, and passed his hand over his forehead. "Thank you, sir, for your advice," he replied. "I shall try to judge the facts calmly; although the idea, that one may possibly be an usurper, is by no means pleasant; it is rather worse even, than that of giving up to an impostor."

"It is a thousand pities that Ellsworth cannot be here until next week; he would have warned you, as I do, not to lose sight of the impostor."

"It is quite impossible that he should come, until next Monday; I knew his business would not admit of it, when I wrote to him at your request; but he will be here at the very earliest moment that he can."

In fact every one present, while they regretted Mr. Ellsworth's absence, felt thoroughly convinced that there were various reasons, which gave him the best inclination in the world to be at Wyllys-Roof as soon as possible.

"I hope Mrs. Creighton will come with him too; she will enliven us a little, in the midst of our legal matters," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Ellsworth mentions Mrs. Creighton's coming particularly; she sends a message to the ladies, through him, which I have already delivered," replied Hazlehurst, as he took up Mr. Reed's letter, to answer it.

"Well, Agnes, shall we have a game of chess?" said Mr. Wyllys; and the circle was broken up, as the younger ladies joined Mrs. Taylor in her own room.

The hour of ten, on the following morning, had been fixed for the interview with the sailor and his counsel. Hazlehurst was walking on the piazza, as the time approached, and punctual to the moment, he saw a carriage drive up to the house; in it were Mr. Reed, Mr. Clapp, and their client. Harry stopped to receive them; and, as they mounted the steps one after the other, he bowed respectfully to Mr. Reed, slightly to Mr. Clapp, and fixed his eye steadily on the third individual.

"Mr. Stanley, Mr. Hazlehurst," said Mr. Reed, in a quiet, but decided manner.

Harry bowed like a gentleman, Mr. Stanley like a jack-tar. The first steady, inquiring glance of Hazlehurst, was sufficient to show him, that the rival claimant was a man rather shorter, and decidedly stouter than himself, with dark hair and eyes, and a countenance by no means unpleasant, excepting that it bore evident traces of past habits of intemperance; as far as his features went, they certainly reminded Harry of Mr. Stanley's portrait. The sailor's dress was that which might have been worn by a mate, or skipper, on shore; he appeared not in the least daunted, on the contrary he was quite self-possessed, with an air of determination about him which rather took Harry by surprise.

A few indifferent observations were exchanged between Mr. Reed and Hazlehurst, as the party entered the house; they were taken by Harry into the drawing-room, and he then left them, to inform Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys of their arrival.

Mrs. Stanley, though a woman of a firm character, was very excitable in her temperament, and she dreaded the interview not a little; she had asked Miss Wyllys to remain with her on the occasion. Mr. Wyllys was sent for, and when he had joined the ladies, and Mrs. Stanley had composed herself, their three visitors were ushered into Miss Wyllys's usual sitting-room by Hazlehurst. He introduced Mr. Reed to Mrs. Stanley and Miss Wyllys, named Mr. Clapp, and added, as the sailor approached: "Mr. Reed's client, ma'am."

"Mr. William Stanley," added Mr. Reed, firmly, but respectfully.

Mrs. Stanley had risen from her seat, and after curtseying to the lawyers, she turned very pale, as the name of her husband's son was so deliberately applied, by a respectable man, to the individual before her.

"I was just asking Mr. Stanley, when Mr. Hazlehurst joined us," observed the forward Mr. Clapp, "if he remembered Wyllys-Roof at all; but he says his recollections of this place are rather confused."

"When were you here last, sir?" asked Mr. Wyllys of the sailor, giving him a searching look at the same time.

"About five years ago," was the cool reply, rather to Mr.
Wyllys's surprise.

"Five years ago!—I have no recollection of the occasion."

The rest of the party were looking and listening, with curious, anxious interest.

"You don't seem to have much recollection of me, at all, sir," said the sailor, rather bitterly.

"Do you mean to say, that you were in this house five years ago?" asked Mr. Wyllys.

"I was here, but I didn't say I was in the house."

"What brought you here?"

"Pretty much the same errand that brings me now."

"What passed on the occasion?"

"I can't say I remember much about it, excepting that you did not give me an over-friendly greeting."

"Explain how it happened, Mr. Stanley," said Mr. Reed, "Mr.
Wyllys does not understand you."

"I certainly cannot understand what you mean me to believe. You say you were here, and did not receive a very friendly greeting—how was it unfriendly?"

"Why, you showed me the inside of your smoke-house; which, to my notion, wasn't just the right berth for the son of your old friend, and I took the liberty of kicking off the hatches next morning, and making the best of my way out of the neighbourhood."

"You remember the drunken sailor, sir, who was found one night, several years since, near the house," interrupted Harry, who had been listening attentively, and observed Mr. Wyllys's air of incredulity. "I had him locked up in the smoke-house, you may recollect."

"And you must observe, Mr. Hazlehurst, that is a fact which might look ugly before a jury that did not know you," remarked Mr. Clapp; in a sort of half-cunning, half-insinuating manner.

"I do not in the least doubt the ability of many men, sir, to distort actions equally innocent."

"But you acknowledge the fact?"

"The fact that I locked up a drunken sailor, I certainly acknowledge; and you will find me ready to acknowledge any other fact equally true."

"Do you believe this to be the person you locked up, Harry?" asked Mr. Wyllys.

"I think it not improbable that it is the same individual; but I did not see the man distinctly at the time."

"I am glad, gentlemen, that you are prepared to admit the identity thus far—that is a step gained," observed Mr. Clapp, running his hand through his locks.

"Permit me, Mr. Clapp, to ask you a question or two," said Mr. Wyllys. "Now you recall that circumstance to me, I should like to ask, if we have not also heard of this individual since the occasion you refer to?"

"Yes, sir; you probably have heard of him since," replied Mr.
Clapp, baldly.

"And in connexion with yourself, I think?"

"In connexion with me, sir. You will find me quite as ready as Mr. Hazlehurst to admit facts, sir," replied the lawyer, leaning back in his chair.

"When they are undeniable," observed Mr. Wyllys, drily. "May I inquire what was the nature of that connexion?" asked the gentleman, with one of his searching looks.

The lawyer did not seem to quail beneath the scrutiny.

"The connexion, Mr. Wyllys, was the commencement of what has been completed recently. Mr. Stanley came to lay before me the claims which he now makes publicly."

"You never made the least allusion to any claim of this kind to me, at that time," said Mr. Wyllys.

"I didn't believe it then; I am free to say so now,"

"Still, not believing the claim, it was singular, I may say suspicious, sir, that you never even mentioned the individual who made it."

"Why, to tell you the truth, Mr. Wyllys, I had unpleasant thoughts about it; we were neighbours and old friends, and though I might make up my mind to undertake the case, if I thought it clear, I did prefer that you should not know about my having had anything to do with it, as long as I thought it a doubtful point. I think you must see that was only natural for a young lawyer, who had his fortune to make, and expected employment from you and your friends. I have no objections whatever to speaking out now, to satisfy your mind, Mr. Wyllys."

"I believe I understand you, sir," replied Mr. Wyllys, his countenance expressing more cool contempt than he was aware of.

"I think, however, there are several other points which are not so easily answered," he added, turning to Mr. Reed, as if preferring to continue the conversation with him. "Do you not think it singular, Mr. Reed, to say the least, that your client should have allowed so many years to pass, without claiming the property of Mr. Stanley, and then, at this late day, instead of applying directly to the executors, come to a small town like Longbridge, to a lawyer so little known as Mr. Clapp, in order to urge a claim, so important to him as this we are now examining?" asked Mr. Wyllys, with a meaning smile.

"We are able to explain all those points quite satisfactorily, I think," replied Mr. Reed.

"I object, however," interposed Mr. Clapp, "to laying our case fully before the defendants, until we know what they conclude to do. We have met here by agreement, to give the defendants an opportunity of satisfying their own minds—that they may settle the point, whether they will admit our claim, or whether we must go to law to get our rights. It was agreed that the meeting should be only a common friendly visit, such as Mr. Stanley felt perfectly willing to pay to his step-mother, and old family friends. We also agreed, that we would answer any common questions that might help to satisfy the defendants, provided that they did not tend to endanger our future success, in the event of a trial. I think, Mr. Reed, that as there does not seem as yet much probability that the defendants will be easily convinced, it behooves us to be on our guard."

"I will take the responsibility, sir, of answering other observations of Mr. Wyllys's," replied Mr. Reed. "As the object of the meeting was an amicable arrangement, we may be able to make the case more clear, without endangering our own grounds. Have you any remarks to make, madam?" he added, turning to Mrs. Stanley.

It had been settled between the friends, before the meeting, that Mr. Wyllys should be chief spokesman on the occasion; for, although the sailor claimed the nearer connexion of step-son to Mrs. Stanley, yet she had scarcely known her husband's son, having married after he went to sea. Harry, it is true, had often been with young Stanley at his father's house, but he was at the time too young a child to have preserved any distinct recollection of him. Mr. Wyllys was the only one of the three individuals most interested, who remembered his person, manner, and character, with sufficient minuteness to rely on his own memory. The particular subjects upon which the sailor should be questioned, had been also agreed upon beforehand, by Harry and his friends. In reply to Mr. Reed's inquiry, Mrs. Stanley asked to see the papers which had been brought for their investigation.

Mr. Clapp complied with the request, by drawing a bundle of papers from his pocket. He first handed Mrs. Stanley a document, proving that William Stanley had made two voyages as seaman, in a Havre packet, in the year 1824, or nearly ten years since the wreck of the Jefferson. The captain of this vessel was well known, and still commanded a packet in the same line; very probably his mates were also living, and could be called upon to ascertain the authenticity of this paper. No man in his senses would have forged a document which could be so easily disproved, and both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst were evidently perplexed by it, while Mrs. Stanley showed an increase of nervous agitation. Mr. Wyllys at length returned this paper to Mr. Reed, confessing that it looked more favourably than anything they had yet received. Two letters were then shown, directed to William Stanley, and bearing different dates; one was signed by the name of David Billings, a man who had been the chief instrument in first drawing William Stanley into bad habits, and had at length enticed him to leave home and go to sea; it was dated nineteen years back. As no one present knew the hand-writing of Billings, and as he had died some years since, this letter might, or might not, have been genuine. The name of the other signature was entirely unknown to Harry and his friends; this second letter bore a date only seven years previous to the interview, and was addressed to William Stanley, at a sailor's boarding-house in Baltimore. It was short, and the contents were unimportant; chiefly referring to a debt of fifteen dollars, and purporting to be written by a shipmate named Noah Johnson: the name of William Stanley, in conjunction with the date, was the only remarkable point about this paper. Both letters had an appearance corresponding with their dates; they looked old and soiled; the first bore the post-office stamp of New York; the other had no post-mark. Mr. Wyllys asked if this Noah Johnson could be found? The sailor replied, that he had not seen him for several years, and did not know what had become of him; he had kept the letter because it acknowledged the debt. He replied to several other questions about this man, readily and naturally; though Mr. Wyllys had no means of deciding whether these answers were correct or not. Hazlehurst then made several inquiries about Billings, whom he had seen, and remembered as a bad fellow, the son of a country physician living near Greatwood. His height, age, appearance, and several circumstances connected with his family, were all very accurately given by Mr. Reed's client, as Harry frankly admitted to Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys.

Mr. Reed looked gratified by the appearance of things, and Mr. Clapp seemed quite satisfied with the turn matters were now taking. Throughout the interview, Mr. Reed seemed to listen with a sort of calm interest, as if he had little doubt as to the result. Mr. Clapp's manner was much more anxious; but then he was perfectly aware of the suspicions against him, and knew that not only this particular case, but his whole prospects for life, were at stake on the present occasion.

"Like most sailors, Mr. Stanley has kept but few papers," observed Mr. Reed.

"He has been as careless about his documents, as he was about his property—he has lost some of the greatest importance," observed Mr. Clapp. "Here is something, though, that will speak for him," added the lawyer, as he handed Mrs. Stanley a book. It was a volume of the Spectator, open at the blank leaves, and showing the following words: "John William Stanley, Greatwood, 1804;" and below, these, "William Stanley, 1810;" the first sentence was in the hand-writing of the father, the second in the half-childish characters of the son; both names had every appearance of being autographs. The opposite page was partly covered with names of ships, scratches of the pen, unconnected sentences, and one or two common sailor expressions. Mrs. Stanley's eyes grew dim for an instant, after she had read the names of her husband and step-son—she passed the book to Mr. Wyllys; he took it, examined it closely, but found nothing to complain of in its appearance.

{"the Spectator" = English daily periodical published by Richard Steele (1672-1729) and Joseph Addison (1672-1719) between 1711 and 1714; the eight volumes of the Spectator have been reprinted frequently in book form ever since}

"This is only the third volume; have you the whole set?" he asked, turning to the sailor.

"No, sir; I left the rest at home."

"Is there such a set at Greatwood?" asked Mr. Wyllys, turning to
Mrs. Stanley.

"There is," replied the lady, in a low voice, "and one volume missing."

Hazlehurst asked to look at the book; it was handed to him by Mr. Wyllys. He examined it very carefully, binding, title-page, and contents; Mr. Clapp watching him closely at the moment.

"Do you suspect the hand-writing?" asked the lawyer.

"Not in the least," replied Hazlehurst. "You have read this volume often I suppose," he added, turning to the sailor.

"Not I," was the reply; "I ain't given to reading in any shape; my shipmates have read that 'ere book oftener than I have."

"Did you carry it with you in all your voyages?"

"No; I left it ashore half the time."

"How long have you had it in your possession?"

"Since I first went to sea."

"Indeed! that is singular; I should have said, Mr. Clapp," exclaimed Harry, suddenly facing the lawyer, "that only four years since, I read this very volume of the Spectator at Greatwood!"

If Hazlehurst expected Mr. Clapp to betray confusion, he was disappointed.

"You may have read some other volume," was the cool reply; although Harry thought, or fancied, that he traced a muscular movement about the speaker's eyelids, as he uttered the words: "That volume has been in the possession of Mr. Stanley since he first went to sea."

"Is there no other copy of the Spectator at your country-place,
Mrs. Stanley?" asked Mr. Reed.

"There is another edition, entire, in three volumes," said Mrs.
Stanley.

"I had forgotten it" said Hazlehurst; "but I am, nevertheless, convinced that it was this edition which I read, for I remember looking for it on an upper shelf, where it belonged."

"It was probably another volume of the same edition; there must be some half-dozen, to judge by the size of this," observed Mr. Reed.

"There were eight volumes, but one has been missing for years," said Mrs. Stanley.

"It was this which I read, however," said Harry; "for I remember the portrait of Steele, in the frontispiece."

"Will you swear to it?" asked Mr. Clapp, with a doubtful smile.

"When I do take an oath, it will not be lightly, sir," replied
Hazlehurst.

"It is pretty evident, that Mr. Hazlehurst will not be easily satisfied," added Mr. Clapp, with an approach to a sneer. "Shall we go on, Mr. Reed, or stop the examination?"

Mrs. Stanley professed herself anxious to ask other questions; and as she had showed more symptoms of yielding than the gentlemen, the sailor's counsel seemed to cherish hopes of bringing her over to their side. At her request, Mr. Wyllys then proceeded to ask some questions, which had been agreed upon before the meeting.

"What is your precise age, sir?"

"I shall be thirty-seven, the tenth of next August."

"Where were you born?"

"At my father's country-place, in ——- county, Pennsylvania."

"When were you last there before his death?"

"After my whaling voyage in the Sally-Ann, in the summer of 1814."

"How long did you stay at home on that occasion?"

"Three months; until I went to sea in the Thomas Jefferson."

"What was your mother's name, sir?"

"My mother's name was Elizabeth Radcliffe."

"What were the names of your grand-parents?" added Mr. Wyllys, quickly.

"My grandfather Stanley's name was William; I am named after him.
My grandmother's maiden name was Ellis—Jane Ellis."

"What were the Christian names of your grand-parents, on your mother's side?"

"Let me see—my memory isn't over-good: my grandfather Radcliffe was named John Henry."

"And your grandmother?"

The sailor hesitated, and seemed to change colour; but, perhaps it was merely because he stooped to pick up his handkerchief.

"It's curious that I can't remember her Christian name," said he, looking from one to another; "but I always called her grandmother;—that's the reason, I suppose."

"Take time, and I dare say you will remember," said Clapp. "Have you never chanced to see the old family Bible?"

The sailor looked at him, as if in thought, and suddenly exclaimed: "Her name was Agnes Graham!" Other questions were then asked, about the persons of his parents, the house at Greatwood, and the neighbourhood. He seemed quite at home there, and answered most of the questions with great accuracy—especially about the place and neighbourhood. He described Mr. Stanley perfectly, but did not appear to remember his mother so well; as she had died early, however, Mr. Reed and Mr. Clapp accounted for it in that way. He made a few mistakes about the place, but they were chiefly upon subjects of opinion, such as the breadth of a river, the height of a hill, the number of acres in a field; and possibly his account was quite as correct as that of Mr. Wyllys.

"On which side of the house is the drawing-room, at Greatwood?" asked Hazlehurst.

"Maybe you have changed it, since you got possession; but in my day it was on the north side of the house, looking towards the woods."

"Where are the stairs?"

"They stand back as you go in—they are very broad."

"Is there anything particular about the railing?"

The sailor paused. "Not that I remember, now," he said.

"Can't you describe it?—What is it made of?"

"Some kind of wood—dark wood—mahogany."

"What is the shape of the balusters?"

He could not tell; which Mr. Wyllys thought he ought to have done; for they were rather peculiar, being twisted, and would probably be remembered by most children brought up in the house.

Mrs. Stanley then begged he would describe the furniture of the drawing-room, such as it was the last summer he had passed at Greatwood. He seemed to hesitate, and change countenance, more than he had yet done; so much so, as to strike Mrs. Stanley herself; but he immediately rallied again.

"Well," said he, "you ask a man the very things he wouldn't be likely to put on his log. But I'll make it all out ship-shape presently." He stooped to pick up his handkerchief, which had fallen again, and was going to proceed, when Mr. Clapp interrupted him.

"I must take the liberty of interfering," said he, looking at his watch, as he rose from his seat, and moved towards Mr. Reed, asking if he did not think the examination had been quite long enough.

"I must say, gentlemen," he added significantly, turning towards Mr. Wyllys and Harry, "that I think our client has had enough of it; considering that, upon the whole, there is no one here who has so much right to ask questions, instead of answering them, as Mr. Stanley."

"I should suppose, sir," said Mr. Reed, also rising and addressing Mr. Wyllys, "that you must have heard and seen enough for the object of our meeting. You have had a personal interview with Mr. Stanley; you confess that he is like his family, like himself, in short—allowing for the difference between a boy of eighteen and a man of thirty-seven, where the habits of life have been so different; you admit the identity of the hand-writing—"

"I beg your pardon, sir; not the identity, but the resemblance."

"A perfectly natural resemblance, under the circumstances, I think you must allow."

"Yes; the similarity of the hand-writing is remarkable, certainly."

"During the last two hours you have asked the questions which best suited your own pleasure, and he has answered them with great accuracy, without one important mistake. What more can you possibly require?"

"I do not stand alone, sir; we claim the time previously fixed for consideration, before we give our final answer. We are, however, much obliged to you, Mr. Reed, for granting the interview, even if its results are not what you may have hoped for. We shall always remember your conduct on this occasion with respect."

Mr. Wyllys then offered some refreshments to Mr. Reed; they were accepted, and ordered immediately.

Mr. Clapp was standing near Harry, and turning to him, he said: "Mr. Stanley has a favour to ask, Mr. Hazlehurst, though you don't seem disposed to grant him any," he added, with peculiar expression.

"'A FAIR field, and no favour,' is a saying you may have heard," replied Hazlehurst, with a slight emphasis on the first word. "But what is your client's request, sir?"

Mr. Clapp made a gesture towards the sailor, who then spoke for himself.

"I understand that two of my cousins are in the house, and I should be glad to see them before I leave it."

"Whom do you mean, sir?"

"Elinor Wyllys and Mary Van Alstyne. I haven't seen either of them since they were children; but as I have got but few relations, and no friends it seems, I should like to see them."

"You must apply to Mr. Wyllys; the young ladies are under his care," replied Harry, coldly.

But Mr. Wyllys took upon himself to refuse the sailor's request, under the circumstances. Having taken some refreshments, Mr. Reed, his brother counsel, and their client now made their bows, and left the house. As they drove from the door, Mr. Reed looked calm and civil, Mr. Clapp very well satisfied; and the sailor, as he took his seat by Mr. Reed, observed, in a voice loud enough to be heard by Harry, who was standing on the piazza:

"It turns out just as I reckoned; hard work for a man to get his rights in this here longitude!"

CHAPTER XIII. {XXXVI}

"Nay, let them go, a couple of quiet ones!"
Taming the Shrew.

{William Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew", III.ii.240}

ELINOR was all anxiety to learn the result of the interview; and Mary Van Alstyne also naturally felt much interest in the subject, as she, too, was a cousin of William Stanley, their mothers having been sisters. Elinor soon discovered that the sailor had borne a much better examination than either of her friends had expected; he had made no glaring mistake, and he had answered their questions on some points, with an accuracy and readiness that was quite startling. He evidently knew a great deal about the Stanley family, their house, and the neighbourhood; whoever he was, there could he no doubt that he had known Mr. Stanley himself, and was very familiar with the part of the country in which he had resided. Altogether, the personal resemblance, the handwriting, the fact of his being a sailor, the papers he had shown, the plausible statement he had given, as to his past movements, and his intimate knowledge of so many facts, which a stranger could scarcely have known, made up a combination of circumstances, quite incomprehensible to the friends at Wyllys-Roof. Still, in spite of so much that appeared in his favour, Mr. Wyllys declared, that so far as his own opinion went, he had too many doubts as to this man's character, to receive him as the son of his friend, upon the evidence he had thus far laid before them. The circumstances under which he appeared, were so very suspicious in every point of view, that the strongest possible evidences of his identity would be required, to counteract them. The length of time that had passed since the wreck of the Jefferson, the long period during which his father's property had been left in the hands of others, and the doubtful character of the channel through which the claim was at length brought forward—all these facts united, furnished good grounds for suspecting something wrong. There were other points too, upon which Mr. Wyllys had his doubts; although the general resemblance of this individual to William Stanley, was sufficient to pass with most people, allowing for the natural changes produced by time, yet there were some minor personal traits, which did not correspond with his recollection of Mr. Stanley's son: the voice appeared to him different in tone; he was also disposed to believe the claimant shorter and fuller than William Stanley, in the formation of his body and limbs; as to this man's gait, which was entirely different from that of William Stanley, as a boy, nearer observation had increased Mr. Wyllys's first impression on that subject. On these particular points, Mrs. Stanley and Hazlehurst were no judges; for the first had scarcely seen her step-son, the last had only a child's recollection of him. Nor could Miss Agnes's opinion have much weight, since she had seldom seen the boy, during the last years he passed on shore; for, at that time, she had been much detained at home, by the ill health of her mother. Hazlehurst had watched the claimant closely, and the interview had silenced his first misgivings, for he had been much struck with two things: he had always heard, whenever the subject of William Stanley's character had been alluded to before him, that this unfortunate young man was sullen in temper, and dull in mind. Now, the sailor's whole expression and manner, in his opinion, had shown too much cleverness for William Stanley; he had appeared decidedly quick-witted, and his countenance was certainly rather good-natured than otherwise. Mr. Wyllys admitted that Harry's views were just; he was struck with both these observations; he thought them correct and important. Then Hazlehurst thought he had seen some signs of intelligence between Clapp and the sailor once or twice, a mere glance; he could not be positive, however, since it might have been his own suspicions. As to the volume of the Spectator, he had felt at first morally certain that he had read that very volume at Greatwood, only four years ago, but he had since remembered that his brother had the same edition, and he might have read the book in Philadelphia; in the mean time he would try to recall the circumstances more clearly to his mind; for so long as he had a doubt, he could not swear to the fact. He knew it was not the octavo edition, at Greatwood, that he had been reading, for he distinctly remembered the portrait of Steele in the frontispiece, and Addison's papers on the Paradise Lost, which he had been reading; that very portrait, and those papers, were contained in the volume handed to him by Clapp. Both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst were gratified to find, that Mrs. Stanley differed from them less than they had feared. She confessed, that at one moment her heart had misgiven her, but on looking closely at the sailor, she thought him less like her husband than she had expected; and she had been particularly struck by his embarrassment, when she had asked him to describe the furniture of the drawing-room at Greatwood, the very last summer he had been there, for he ought certainly under such circumstances, to have remembered it as well as herself; he had looked puzzled, and had glanced at Mr. Clapp, and the lawyer had immediately broken off the examination. Such were the opinions of the friends at this stage of the proceedings. Still it was an alarming truth, that if there were improbabilities, minor facts, and shades of manner, to strengthen their doubts, there was, on the other side, a show of evidence, which might very possibly prove enough to convince a jury. Hazlehurst had a thousand things to attend to, but he had decided to wait at Wyllys-Roof until the arrival of Mr. Ellsworth.

{"Addison's papers on the Paradise Lost" = in fact, Addison's essays on Paradise Lost are contained in volumes four and five of the Spectator}

Leaving those most interested in this vexatious affair to hold long consultations together in Mr. Wyllys's study, we must now proceed to record a visit which Miss Agnes received from one of our Longbridge acquaintances, and we shall therefore join the ladies.

"I am sorry, my dear, that the house is not so quiet as we could wish, just now," said Miss Agnes to Jane, one morning, as she and Elinor were sitting together in the young widow's room.

"Thank you, Aunt; but it does not disturb me, and I know it is not to be avoided just now," said Jane, languidly.

"No, it cannot be helped, with this troublesome business going on; and we shall have Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Ellsworth here soon."

"Pray, do not change your plans on my account. I need not see any of your friends; I shall scarcely know they are here," said Jane, with a deep sigh.

"If it were possible to defer their visit, I should do so; but situated as we are with Mr. Ellsworth—" added Miss Wyllys.

"Certainly; do not let me interfere with his coming. I feel perfectly indifferent as to who comes or goes; I can never take any more pleasure in society!"

"Here is my aunt Wyllys driving up to the door," said Elinor, who was sitting near a window. "Do you feel equal to seeing her?"

"Oh, no, not to-day, dear," said Jane in an imploring voice; and Elinor accordingly remained with her cousin, while Miss Agnes went down to meet Mrs. George Wyllys. This lady was still living at Longbridge, although every few months she talked of leaving the place. Her oldest boy had just received a midshipman's warrant, to which he was certainly justly entitled—his father having lost his life in the public service. The rest of her children were at home; and rather spoilt and troublesome little people they were.

"How is Jane?" asked Mrs. Wyllys, as she entered the house.

"Very sad and feeble; but I hope the air here will strengthen her, after a time."

"Poor thing!—no wonder she is sad, indeed! So young, and such an affliction! How is the child?"

"Much better; she is quite playful, and disturbs Jane very much by asking after her father. What a warm drive you must have had, Harriet; you had better throw off your hat, and stay with us until evening."

"Thank you; I must go home for dinner, and shall not be able to stay more than half an hour. Is your father in? I wished to see him, as well as yourself, on business."

"No, he is not at home; he has gone off some miles, to look at some workmen who are putting up a new farm-house."

"I am sorry he is not at home, for I want to ask his opinion. And yet he must have his hands full just now, with that vexatious Stanley case. I must say, I think Clapp deserves to be sent to the tread-mill!"

"Perhaps he does," replied Miss Wyllys. "It is to be hoped at least, that he will receive what he deserves, and nothing more."

"I hope he will, with all my heart! But as I have not much time to spare, I must proceed to lay my affairs before you. Now I really and honestly want your advice, Agnes."

"You have had it often before," replied Miss Wyllys, smiling. "I am quite at your service now," she added, seeing her sister-in-law look a little uneasy. Mrs. Wyllys was silent for a moment.

"I scarcely know where to begin," she then said; "for here I am, come to consult you on a subject which you may think beneath your notice; you are superior to such trifling matters," she said, smiling—and then added: "But seriously, I have too much confidence in your judgment and good sense, to wish to act without your approbation."

"What is the point upon which I am to decide?—for you have not yet told me anything."

"It is a subject upon which I have been thinking for some time—several months. What should you say to my marrying again?" asked Mrs. Wyllys stoutly.

Miss Agnes was amazed. She had known her sister-in-law, when some years younger, refuse more than one good offer; and had never for a moment doubted her intention to remain a widow for life.

"You surprise me, Harriet," she said; "I had no idea you thought of marrying again."

"Certainly, I never thought of taking such a step until quite lately."

"And who is the gentleman?" asked Miss Agnes, in some anxiety.

"I know you will at least agree with me, in thinking that I have made a prudent choice. The welfare of my children is indeed my chief consideration. I find, Agnes, that they require a stronger hand than mine to manage them. Long before Evert went to sea, he was completely his own master; there were only two persons who had any influence over him, one is his grandfather, the other, a gentleman who will, I suppose, before long, become nearly connected with him. I frankly acknowledge that I have no control over him myself; it is a mortifying fact to confess, but my system of education, though an excellent one in theory, has not succeeded in practice."

'Because,' thought Miss Agnes, 'there is too much theory, my good sister.' "But you have not yet named the gentleman," she added, aloud.

"Oh, I have no doubt of your approving my choice! He is a most worthy, excellent man—of course, at my time of life, I shall not make a love-match. Can't you guess the individual—one of my Longbridge neighbours?"

"From Longbridge," said Miss Wyllys, not a little surprised. "Edward Tibbs, perhaps," she added, smiling. He was an unmarried man, and one of the Longbridge beaux.

"Oh, no; how can you think me so silly, Agnes! I am ashamed of you! It is a very different person; the family are great favourites of your's."

"One of the Van Hornes?" Mrs. Wyllys shook her head.

"One of the Hubbards?—Is it John Hubbard, the principal of the new Academy?" inquired Miss Agnes, faintly.

"Do you suppose I would marry a man of two-or-three-and-twenty!" exclaimed Mrs. Wyllys with indignation. "It is his uncle; a man against whom there can be no possible objection—Mr. James Hubbard."

'Uncle Dozie, of all men!' thought Miss Agnes. 'Silent, sober, sleepy Uncle Dozie. Well, we must be thankful that it is no worse.'

"Mr. Hubbard is certainly a respectable man, a man of principles," she observed aloud. "But everybody looked upon him as a confirmed old bachelor; I did not suspect either of you of having any thoughts of marrying," continued Miss Agnes, smiling.

"I am sometimes surprised that we should have come to that conclusion, myself. But it is chiefly for the sake of my children that I marry; you must know me well enough, Agnes, to be convinced that I sacrifice myself for them!"

"I wish, indeed, that it may be for their good, Harriet!"

"Thank you; I have no doubt of it. I feel perfect confidence in Mr. Hubbard; he is a man so much older than myself, and so much more experienced, that I shall be entirely guided in future by his counsel and advice."

Miss Agnes had some difficulty in repressing a smile and a sigh.

"Of course, I am well aware that many people will think I am taking a foolish step," continued Mrs. Wyllys. Hubbard's connexions, are generally not thought agreeable, perhaps; he has very little property, and no profession. I am not blinded, you see; but I am very indifferent as to the opinion of the world in general; I am very independent of all but my immediate friends, as you well know, Agnes."

Miss Wyllys was silent.

"In fact, my attention was first fixed upon Mr. Hubbard, by finding how little he was appreciated and understood by others; I regretted that I had at first allowed myself to be guided by general opinion. Now I think it very possible that, although Mr. Hubbard has been your neighbour for years, even you, Agnes, may have a very mistaken opinion of him; you may have underrated his talents, his strong affections, and energetic character. I was surprised myself to find, what a very agreeable companion he is!"

"I have always believed Mr. James Hubbard a man of kind feelings, as you observe, and a man of good principles; two important points, certainly."

"I am glad you do him justice. But you are not aware perhaps, what a very pleasant companion he is, where he feels at his ease, and knows that he is understood."

'That is to say, where he can doze, while another person thinks and talks for him,' thought Miss Agnes.

"The time is fixed I suppose for the wedding, Harriet?" she inquired aloud, with a smile.

"Nearly so, I believe. I told Mr. Hubbard that I should be just as ready to marry him next week, as next year; we agreed that when two persons of our ages had come to an understanding, they might as well settle the matter at once. We shall be married, I fancy, in the morning, in church, with only two or three friends present. I hope, Agnes, that your father and yourself will be with me. You know that I should never have taken this step, if you had not agreed with me in thinking it for the good of my children."

"Thank you, Harriet; of course we shall be present, if you wish it."

"Certainly I wish it. I shall always look upon you as my best friends and advisers."

"Next to Mr. Hubbard, in future," replied Miss Agnes, smiling.

"When you know him better, you will confess that he deserves a high place in my confidence. You have no idea how much his brother and nieces think of him; but that is no wonder, for they know his good sense, and his companionable qualities. He is really a very agreeable companion, Agnes, for a rational woman; quite a cultivated mind, too."

Visions of cabbages and turnips rose in Miss Agnes's mind, as the only cultivation ever connected, till now, with Uncle Dozie's name.

"We passed last evening charmingly; I read the Lay of the Last Minstrel aloud to him, and he seemed to enjoy it very much," continued Mrs. Wyllys.

{"Lay of the Last Minstrel" = long narrative poem (1805) by Sir
Walter Scott (1771-1832)}

'He took a nap, I suppose,' thought Miss Agnes. "He ought to be well pleased to have a fair lady read aloud to him," she replied, smiling.

"The better I know him, the more satisfied I am with my choice. I have: found a man upon whom I can depend for support and advice—and one who is at the same time a very pleasant companion. Do you know, he sometimes reminds me of our excellent father,"

This was really going too far, in Miss Agnes's opinion; she quite resented a comparison between Uncle Dozie and Mr. Wyllys. The widow, however, was too much occupied with her own affairs, to notice Miss Agnes's expression.

"I find, indeed, that the whole family are more agreeable than I had supposed; but you rather gave me a prejudice against them. The young ladies improve on acquaintance, they are pretty, amiable young women; I have seen them quite often since we have been near neighbours. Well, I must leave you, for Mr. Hubbard dines with me to-day. In the mean time, Agnes, I commit my affairs to your hands. Since I did not find your father at home, I shall write to him this evening."

The ladies parted; and as Mrs. Wyllys passed out of the room, she met Elinor.

"Good morning, Elinor," she said; "your aunt has news for you, which I would tell you myself if I had time:" then nodding, she left the house, and had soon driven off. "My dear Aunt, what is this news?" asked Elinor.

Miss Agnes looked a little annoyed, a little mortified, and a little amused.

When the mystery was explained, Elinor's amazement was great.

"It is incredible!" she exclaimed. "My Aunt Wyllys actually going to marry that prosing, napping Mr. Hubbard; Uncle Dozie!"

"When I remember her husband," said Miss Agnes, with feeling, "it does seem incredible; my dear, warm-hearted, handsome, animated brother George!"

"How extraordinary!" said Elinor, who could do nothing but exclaim.

"No; not in the least extraordinary," added Miss Agnes; "such marriages, dear, seem quite common." Mr. Wyllys was not at all astonished at the intelligence.

"I have expected that Harriet would marry, all along; she has a great many good intentions, and some good qualities; but I knew she would not remain a widow. It is rather strange that she should have chosen James Hubbard; but she might have done worse."

With these philosophical reflections, Mrs. Wyllys's friends looked forward to the happy event which was soon to take place. The very same morning that Miss Agnes was taken into the confidence of the bride, the friends of the groom also learned the news, but in a more indirect manner.

The charms of a parterre are daily be-rhymed in verse, and vaunted in prose, but the beauties of a vegetable garden seldom meet with the admiration they might claim. If you talk of beets, people fancy them sliced with pepper and vinegar; if you mention carrots, they are seen floating in soup; cabbage figures in the form of cold-slaw, or disguised under drawn-butter; if you refer to corn, it appears to the mind's eye wrapt in a napkin to keep it warm, or cut up with beans in a succatash {sic}. Half the people who see these good things daily spread on the board before them, are only acquainted with vegetables after they have been mutilated and disguised by cookery. They would not know the leaf of a beet from that of the spinach, the green tuft of a carrot from the delicate sprigs of parsley. Now, a bouquet of roses and pinks is certainly a very beautiful object, but a collection of fine vegetables, with the rich variety of shape and colour, in leaf, fruit, and root, such as nature has given them to us, is a noble sight. So thought Uncle Dozie, at least. The rich texture and shading of the common cabbage-leaf was no novelty to him; he had often watched the red, coral-like veins in the glossy green of the beet; the long, waving leaf of the maize, with the silky tassels of its ears, were beautiful in his eyes; and so were the rich, white heads of the cauliflower, delicate as carved ivory, the feathery tuft of the carrot, the purple fruit of the egg-plant, and the brilliant scarlet tomato. He came nearer than most Christians, out of Weathersfield, to sympathy with the old Egyptians in their onion-worship.

{"parterre" = ornamental flower garden; "out of Weathersfield" = Wethersfield (the modern spelling), Connecticut, was famous for its onions (there is still a red onion called "Red Weathersfield"), until struck by a blight about 1840; "old Egyptians" = ancient Egypt was proverbial for worshiping the onion}

With such tastes and partialities, Uncle Dozie was generally to be found in his garden, between the hours of sun-rise and sun-set; gardening having been his sole occupation for nearly forty years. His brother, Mr. Joseph Hubbard, having something to communicate, went there in search of him, on the morning to which we refer. But Uncle Dozie was not to be found. The gardener, however, thought that he could not have gone very far, for he had passed near him not five minutes before; and he suggested that, perhaps Mr. Hubbard was going out somewhere, for "he looked kind o' spruce and drest up." Mr. Hubbard expected his brother to dine at home, and thought the man mistaken. In passing an arbour, however, he caught a glimpse of the individual he was looking for, and on coming nearer, he found Uncle Dozie, dressed in a new summer suit, sitting on the arbour seat taking a nap, while at his feet was a very fine basket of vegetables, arranged with more than usual care. Unwilling to disturb him, his brother, who knew that his naps seldom lasted more than a few minutes at a time, took a turn in the garden, waiting for him to awake. He had hardly left the arbour however, before he heard Uncle Dozie moving; turning in that direction, he was going to join him, when, to his great astonishment, he saw his brother steal from the arbour, with the basket of vegetables on his arm, and disappear between two rows of pea-brush.

"James!—I say, James!—Where are you going? Stop a minute, I want to speak to you!" cried Mr. Joseph Hubbard.

He received no answer.

"James!—Wait a moment for me! Where are you?" added the merchant; and walking quickly to the pea-rows, he saw his brother leave them and dexterously make for the tall Indian-corn. Now Uncle Dozie was not in the least deaf; and his brother was utterly at a loss to account for his evading him in the first place, and for his not answering in the second. He thought the man had lost his senses: he was mistaken, Uncle Dozie had only lost his heart. Determined not to give up the chase, still calling the retreating Uncle Dozie, he pursued him from the pea-rows into the windings of the corn-hills, across the walk to another growth of peas near the garden paling. Here, strange to say, in a manner quite inexplicable to his brother, Uncle Dozie and his vegetables suddenly disappeared! Mr. Hubbard was completely at fault: he could scarcely believe that he was in his own garden, and that it was his own brother James whom he had been pursuing, and who seemed at that instant to have vanished from before his eyes—through the fence, he should have said, had such a thing been possible. Mr. Hubbard was a resolute man; he determined to sift the matter to the bottom. Still calling upon the fugitive, he made his way to the garden paling through the defile of the peas. No one was there—a broad, open bed lay on either hand, and before him the fence. At last he observed a foot-print in the earth near the paling, and a rustling sound beyond. He advanced and looked over, and to his unspeakable amazement, saw his brother, James Hubbard, busily engaged there, in collecting the scattered vegetables which had fallen from his basket.

"Jem!—I have caught you at last, have I? What in the name of common sense are you about there?"

No reply was made, but Uncle Dozie proceeded to gather up his cauliflowers, peas and tomatoes, to the best of his ability.

"Did you fly over the fence, or through it?" asked his brother, quite surprised.

"Neither one nor the other," replied Uncle Dozie, sulkily. "I came through the gate."

"Gate!—why there never was a gate here!"

"There is one now."

And so there was; part of the paling had been turned into a narrow gate.

"Why, who cut this gate, I should like to know?"

"I did."

"You did, Jem? What for?—What is the use of it?"

"To go through."

"To go where? It only leads into Mrs. Wyllys's garden."

Uncle Dozie made no answer.

"What are you doing with those vegetables? I am really curious to know."

"Going to carry them down there," said Uncle Dozie.

"Down where?" repeated Uncle Josie, looking on the ground strewed with vegetables.

"Over there."

"Over where?" asked the merchant, raising his eyes towards a neighbouring barn before him.

"Yonder," added Uncle Dozie, making a sort of indescribable nod backward with his head.

"Yonder!—In the street do you mean? Are you going to throw them away?"

"Throw away such a cauliflower as this!" exclaimed Uncle Dozie, with great indignation.

"What are you going to do with them, then?"

"Carry them to the house there."

"What house?"

"Mrs. Wyllys's, to be sure," replied Uncle Dozie, boldly.

"What is the use of carrying vegetables to Mrs. Wyllys? She has a garden of her own" said his brother, very innocently.

"Miserable garden—poor, thin soil," muttered Uncle Dozie.

"Is it? Well, then, I can understand it; but you might us well send them by the gardener."

Uncle Dozie made no reply, but proceeded to arrange his vegetables in the basket, with an eye to appearances; he had gathered them all up again, but another object which had fallen on the grass lay unnoticed.

"What is that—a book?" asked his brother.

Uncle Dozie turned round, saw the volume, picked it up, and thrust it in his pocket.

"Did you drop it? I didn't know you ever carried a book about you," replied his brother, with some surprise. "What is it?"

"A book of poetry."

"Whose poetry?"

"I am sure I've forgotten," replied Uncle Dozie, taking a look askance at the title, as it half-projected from his pocket. "It's Coleridge's Ancient Mariner," he added.

{"Coleridge's…" = "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798) by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). A number of chapter epigraphs in "Elinor Wyllys" are taken from this famous poem}

"What in the world are you going to do with it?" said his brother, with increasing surprise.

"I wanted a volume of poetry."

"You—Jem Hubbard! Why, I thought Yankee-Doodle was the only poetry you cared for!"

"I don't care for it, but she does."

"She!—What SHE?" asked Uncle Josie, with lively curiosity, but very little tact, it would seem.

"Mrs. Wyllys," was the laconic reply.

"Oh, Mrs. Wyllys; I told her some time ago that she was very welcome to any of our books."

"It isn't one of your books; it's mine; I bought it."

"It wasn't worth while to buy it, Jem," said his brother; "I dare say Emmeline has got it in the house. If Mrs. Wyllys asked to borrow it, you ought to have taken Emmeline's, though she isn't at home; she just keeps her books to show off on the centre-table, you know. Our neighbour, Mrs. Wyllys, seems quite a reader."

"She doesn't want this to read herself," observed Uncle Dozie.

"No?—What does she want it for?"

"She wants me to read it aloud."

Uncle Josie opened his eyes in mute astonishment. Uncle Dozie continued, as if to excuse himself for this unusual offence: "She asked for a favourite volume of mine; but I hadn't any favourite; so I bought this. It looks pretty, and the bookseller said it was called a good article."

"Why, Jem, are you crazy, man!—YOU going to read poetry aloud!"

"Why not?" said Uncle Dozie, growing bolder as the conversation continued, and he finished arranging his basket.

"I believe you are out of your head, Jem; I don't understand you this morning. What is the meaning of this?—what are you about?"

"Going to be married," replied Uncle Dozie, not waiting for any further questions, but setting off at a brisk step towards Mrs. Wyllys's door.

Mr. Joseph Hubbard remained looking over the fence in silent amazement; he could scarcely believe his senses, so entirely was he taken by surprise. In good sooth, Uncle Dozie had managed matters very slily, through that little gate in the garden paling; not a human being had suspected him. Uncle Josie's doubts were soon entirely removed, however; he was convinced of the reality of all he had heard and seen that morning, when he observed his brother standing on Mrs. Wyllys's steps, and the widow coming out to receive him, with a degree of elegance in her dress, and graciousness in her manner, quite perceptible across the garden: the fair lady admired the vegetables, ordered them carried into the cellar, and received Coleridge's Ancient Mariner from Uncle Dozie's hands, while they were still standing beneath the rose-covered porch, looking sufficiently lover-like to remove any lingering doubts of Uncle Josie. After the happy couple had entered the house, the merchant left his station at the paling, and returned to his own solitary dinner, laughing heartily whenever the morning scene recurred to him. We have said that Uncle Dozie had managed his love affairs thus far so slyly, that no one suspected him; that very afternoon, however, one of the most distinguished gossips of Longbridge, Mrs. Tibbs's mother, saw him napping in Mrs. Wyllys's parlour, with a rose-bud in his button-hole, and the Ancient Mariner in his hand. She was quite too experienced in her vocation, not to draw her own conclusions; and a suspicion, once excited, was instantly communicated to others. The news spread like wild-fire; and when the evening-bell rang, it had become a confirmed fact in many houses, that Mrs. Wyllys and Mr. James Hubbard had already been privately married six months.

CHAPTER XIV. {XXXVII}

"Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
Of this ————————- ?"
Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, "3 Henry VI", IV.i.1-2}

BEFORE the end of the week, the friends at Wyllys-Roof, after carefully examining all the facts within their knowledge, were confirmed in their first opinion, that the individual claiming to be William Stanley was an impostor. Mrs. Stanley was the last of the three to make up her mind decidedly, on the point; but at length, she also was convinced, that Mr. Clapp and this sailor had united in a conspiracy to obtain possession of her husband's estate. The chief reasons for believing this to be the case, consisted in the difference of CHARACTER and EXPRESSION between the claimant and William Stanley: the more Mr. Wyllys examined this point, the clearer it appeared to him, who had known his friend's only son from an infant, and had always felt much interested in him. As a child, and a boy, William Stanley had been of a morose temper, and of a sluggish, inactive mind—not positively stupid, but certainly far from clever; this claimant, on the contrary, had all the expression and manner of a shrewd, quick-witted man, who might be passionate, but who looked like a good-natured person, although his countenance was partially disfigured by traces of intemperance. These facts, added to the length of time which had elapsed since the reported death of the individual, the neglect to claim his inheritance, the suspicious circumstances under which this sailor now appeared, under the auspices of an obscure country lawyer, who bore an indifferent character, and to whom the peculiar circumstances of the Stanley estate were probably well known, all united in producing the belief in a conspiracy. There was no doubt, however, but that a strong case could be made out on the other hand by the claimant; it was evident that Mr. Reed was convinced of his identity; his resemblance to William Stanley, and to Mr. Stanley, the father, could not be denied; the similarity of the handwriting was also remarkable; his profession, his apparent age, his possession of the letters, his accurate knowledge of persons and places connected with the family, altogether amounted to an important body of evidence in his favour.

It would require a volume in itself, to give the details of this singular case; but the general reader will probably care for little more than an outline of the proceedings. It would indeed, demand a legal hand to do full justice to the subject; those who are disposed to inquire more particularly into the matter, having a natural partiality, or acquired taste for the intricate uncertainties of the law, will probably have it in their power ere long, to follow the case throughout, in print; it is understood at Longbridge, that Mr. James Bernard, son of Judge Bernard, is engaged in writing a regular report, which, it is supposed, will shortly be published. In the mean time, we shall be compelled to confine ourselves chiefly to a general statement of the most important proceedings, more particularly connected with our narrative.

"Here is a letter from Clapp, sir, proposing a compromise," said Hazlehurst, handing the paper to Mr. Wyllys. It was dated two days after the interview at Wyllys-Roof; the tone was amicable and respectful, though worded in Mr. Clapp's peculiar style. We have not space for the letter itself, but its purport was, an offer on the part of Mr. Stanley to forgive all arrears, and overlook the past, provided his father's estate, in its actual condition, was immediately placed in his hands. He was urged to take this step, he said, by respect for his opponents, and the conviction that they had acted conscientiously, while he himself by his own neglect to appear earlier, had naturally given rise to suspicion. He was therefore ready to receive the property as it stood at present, engaging that neither executors nor legatee should be molested for arrears; the sums advanced to Hazlehurst, he was willing should be considered equivalent to the legacy bequeathed to him by Mr. Stanley, the father, in case of his son's return, although in fact they amounted to a much larger sum.

This offer of a compromise merely confirmed the suspicions of all parties at Wyllys-Roof. The offer was rejected in the same letter which announced to Mr. Reed, that the defendants had seen as yet no good reason for believing in the identity of the individual claiming the name of William Stanley, and consequently, that they should contest his claim to the Stanley estate.

After this step, it became necessary to make every preparation for a trial; as it was already evident, from the usual legal notices of the plaintiffs, that they intended to carry the case into a court of justice, with as little delay as possible. It was the first object of Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, to obtain as much testimony as lay within their reach, upon the points of the capacity and natural temperament of William Stanley; letters were written, in the hope of discovering something through the old family physician, the school-master, and companions of the young man before he went to sea; and Mrs. Stanley even believed that the nurse of her step-son was still living. Agents were also employed, to search out some clue, which might help to trace the past life and character of the individual bearing the name of William Stanley. Harry was only awaiting the expected arrival of Mr. Ellsworth, before he set out himself for the little town in the neighbourhood of Greatwood, where he hoped to gather much useful evidence. To what degree he was also desirous of the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Creighton again, we cannot say; but his friends at Wyllys-Roof believed that he was quite as anxious to see the sister as the brother. He had not long to wait, for, punctual to the appointed day, the earliest possible, Mr. Ellsworth arrived, accompanied by Mrs. Creighton.

"Now, Mr. Hazlehurst, come here and tell me all about these vexatious proceedings," said Mrs. Creighton to Harry, as the whole party left the dining-room for the piazza, the day Mr. Ellsworth and his sister arrived at Wyllys-Roof. "I hope you and Frank found out, in that long consultation you had this morning, that it would not be difficult to settle the matter as it ought to be settled?"

"On the contrary, we agreed that there were a great many serious difficulties before us."

"You don't surely think there is any real danger as to the result?" asked the lady with great interest. "You cannot suppose that this man is really William Stanley, come to life again!"

"No; I believe him to be an impostor; and so does Ellsworth—so do we all; but he makes out quite a plausible story, nevertheless."

"But what are you going to do? Come, sit down here, and tell me about it."

"You forget, Josephine," said Mr. Ellsworth, smiling, "that we lawyers dare not trust the ladies with our secrets; you must contrive to restrain your curiosity, or interest—whichever you choose to call it—until the trial."

"Nonsense!—I am quite too much interested for that; I shall expect to hear a great deal before the trial. Is it possible your stock of patience will last till then, Miss Wyllys?" added the lady, turning to Elinor.

"Well, I don't know; I confess myself very anxious as to the result," said Elinor, blushing a little.

"To be sure; we are all anxious; and I expect to be taken into your confidence, Mr. Hazlehurst, quite as far as you legal gentlemen think it safe to admit a lady. Frank has a very bad habit of never trusting me with his business matters, Miss Wyllys; we must cure him of that."

"I am inclined to think, Mrs. Creighton, your patience would scarcely hear the recital of even one case of Richard Roe versus John Doe," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Perhaps not; for I care not a straw for Richard Roe, or John
Doe, either."

"Would you really like to see the account which this newcomer gives of himself?" asked Hazlehurst.

"Certainly; I speak seriously, I assure you."

"You shall see it this evening," said Harry. "I think you will agree with me, that it is a strange story."

"But, Mrs. Creighton," said Mr. Wyllys, "we have had our heads so full of law, and conspiracies, and impostors, lately, that I was in hopes you would bring us something more agreeable to think and talk about. What were the people doing at Nahant when you left there?"

"It was very dull there; at least I thought so; I was in a great hurry for Frank to bring me away."

"What was wanting, pray?" asked Mr. Wyllys. "Was it the fault of the weather, the water, or the company?"

"Of all together, sir; nothing was of the right kind; it was not half so pleasant as Saratoga this year. Even the flirtations were not as amusing as usual."

"I should have thought you might have been amused in some other way," said Mr. Ellsworth.

"Flirtation, I would have you believe, my good brother, is sometimes quite an agreeable and exciting pastime."

"Faute de mieux," said Harry, smiling.

{"faute de mieux" = for want of anything better (French)}

"You surprise me, Josephine, by saying so, as you are no flirt yourself," observed her brother, with a perfectly honest and natural expression.

"Well, I don't know; certainly I never flirt intentionally; but I won't be sure my spirits have not carried me away sometimes. Have you never, Miss Wyllys, in moments of gaiety or excitement, said more than you intended to?"

"Have I never flirted, do you mean?" asked Elinor, smiling.

"But though you say it yourself, I don't believe you are a bit of a flirt, Mrs. Creighton," said the unsuspicious Mr. Wyllys.

"Oh, no, sir; I would not have you believe me a regular flirt for the world. I only acknowledge to a little trifling, now and then. Miss Wyllys knows what I mean; we women are more observant of each other. Now, haven't you suspected me of flirting more than once?"

"You had better ask me," said Mary Van Alstyne; "Elinor is not half suspicious enough."

"The acquittal of the gentlemen ought to satisfy you," said
Elinor. "They are supposed to be the best judges. Are you sure,
however, that you did not flirt with Mr. Hopkins?—he was at
Nahant with you, I believe."

"I am afraid it surpasses the power of woman to distract Mr.
Hopkins's attention from a sheepshead or a paugee."

{"sheepshead" and "paugee" (porgy) = names applied to a number of American fish esteemed by anglers}

"You have really a very pretty view here, Miss Wyllys, although there is nothing bold or commanding in the country; it makes a very pleasant home picture," observed Mr. Ellsworth, who had been looking about him. "That reach in the river has a very good effect; the little hamlet, too, looks well in the distance; and the wood and meadow opposite, are as well placed as one could wish."

"I am glad you like it; but we really think that, for such simple scenery, it is uncommonly pretty," replied Elinor.

"Yes; even your fastidious friend, Mr. Stryker, pronounced the landscape about Wyllys-Roof to be very well put together," said Mrs. Creighton.

"Mr. Stryker, however, professes to have no eye for anything of the kind," replied Elinor.

"That is only one of the man's affectations; his eyes are more like those of other people than he is willing to confess. Though Mr. Stryker pretends to be one of your men of the world, whose notions are all practical, yet one soon discovers that he cherishes his useless foibles, like other people," said the lady, with an air of careless frankness; though intending the speech for the benefit of Hazlehurst and Mr. Wyllys, who both stood near her.

"Perhaps you don't know that Mr. Stryker has preceded you into our neighbourhood," said Mary Van Alstyne. "He is staying at Mr. de Vaux's."

"Oh, yes; I knew he was to be here about these times. Pray, tell me which is Mr. de Vaux's place. It is a fine house, I am told."

"A great deal too fine," said Harry. "It is all finery, or rather it was a few years since."

"It is much improved now," observed Elinor; "he talks of taking down half the columns. That is the house, Mrs. Creighton," she added, showing the spot where the white pillars of Colonnade Manor were partly visible through an opening in the wood.

"What a colonnade it seems to be! It puts one in mind of the
Italian epigram on some bad architecture," said Mr. Ellsworth:

"'Care colonne che fate qua?
Non sappiamo, in verita!'"

{"Care colonne…" = Dear columns, what are you doing here? We really don't know! (Italian)}

"I understand, Miss Wyllys, that your friend, Mr. Stryker, calls it the 'cafe de mille colonnes,'" said Mrs. Creighton.

{"cafe de mile colonnes" = coffee-house of a thousand columns (French)}

"Does Mrs. Creighton's friend, Mr. Stryker, treat it so disrespectfully? Mr. de Vaux has given it a very good name, I think. It is Broadlawn now; last year it was Colonnade Manor."

"And, pray, what did Mr. Taylor's manorial rights consist in?" asked Mr. Ellsworth.

"In the privilege of putting up as many Grecian summer-houses as he pleased, I suppose," said Harry; "the place promised to be covered with them at one time."

"Mr. de Vaux has taken them down; all but two at least," said
Elinor.

"It was fortunate that Mr. Taylor had a long purse," remarked Mrs. Creighton; "for he seems to have delighted in superfluities of all kinds."

"I suppose you are aware, Mrs. Creighton, that false taste is always a very expensive foible," said Mr. Wyllys; "for it looks upon ornament and improvement as the same thing. My neighbour, Mr. Taylor, certainly has as much of that spirit as any man I ever knew."

"The name he gave his place is a good proof of that," said Harry. "If he had called it the Colonnade, that would have been at least descriptive and appropriate; but he tacked on the Manor, which had neither rhyme nor reason to recommend it."

"Was it not a Manor before the revolution?" inquired Mrs.
Creighton.

"Oh, no; only a farm belonging to the Van Hornes. But Taylor would not have it called a farm, for the world; he delights in big words," said Mr. Wyllys.

"That is only natural, I suppose, for 'Don Pompey,' as Mr.
Stryker calls him," observed Mr. Ellsworth.

The following morning was the happy occasion, which was to make Mrs. George Wyllys the wife of Uncle Dozie. In the course of the week, which intervened between her announcing the fact at Wyllys-Roof, and the wedding itself, she had only consulted her friends twice, and changed her mind as often. At first it was settled that she was to be married at two o'clock, in church, with four witnesses present, and that from church she was to return quietly to her own house, where the party were to eat a family dinner with her. A note, however, informed her friends that it was finally decided, that the wedding should take place early in the morning, at her own house, in the presence of some dozen friends. The dinner was also postponed for a fortnight, as the happy couple intended to set out for Boston, the morning they were united.

The weather was propitious; and after an early breakfast the
party from Wyllys-Roof set out. It included Mr. Ellsworth and
Mrs. Creighton, who were connexions of the bride, as well as
Harry, and the family; Mary Van Alstyne remaining at home with
Jane.

They soon reached Longbridge, after a pleasant, early drive. On being ushered into Mrs. Wyllys's drawing-room, they were received in a very informal manner by the bride herself. As Elinor had recommended a grey silk for the wedding-dress, she was not at all surprised to find her aunt wearing a coloured muslin. On one point, however, it was evident she had not changed her mind; for the happy man, Uncle Dozie, was there in full matrimonials, with a new wig, and a white waistcoat. The groom elect looked much like a victim about to be sacrificed; he was as miserably sheepish and fidgety as ever old bachelor could be under similar circumstances. Mrs. Creighton paid her compliments to the bride very gracefully; and she tried to look as if the affair were not a particularly good joke. Mr. Wyllys summoned up a sort of resigned cheerfulness; Miss Agnes and Elinor also endeavoured to look as became wedding-guests. The children, who had all received presents from the bridegroom, evidently thought the occasion a holiday. The clergyman having appeared, Mrs. Wyllys gave her hand to the trembling groom, and the important transaction was soon over.

'There is, at least, no danger of Uncle Dozie's taking a nap,' thought Harry, 'he looks too nervous and uncomfortable for that.'

Congratulations and good wishes were duly offered; they served only to increase the bridegroom's distress, while the bride appeared perfectly satisfied, and in very good spirits. She felt disposed to make a cheerful sacrifice for the benefit of her children, to whom she had secured an efficient protector, while at the same time, she was now sure of a prudent friend and counsellor for life: so at least she informed Mrs. Creighton.

"I am sorry your brother is not here, Mr. Hubbard."

"He went to New York, on business, last night," said the groom.

"I hope you will have a pleasant trip to Boston," continued Mr.
Wyllys.

"Thank you for the wish, sir," interposed the bride, "but we determined last evening to go to Niagara, as we have both been to Boston already."

'We shall hear of you at New Orleans, yet,' thought Harry.

Refreshments were brought in, and everybody, of course, received their usual share of the wedding-cake.

"You see I have set you an excellent example," said the bride to
Mrs. Creighton and Elinor.

"We must hope that these ladies will soon follow it," said Mr.
Ellsworth, with a glance at Elinor.

"Shall we thank him, Miss Wyllys?" said Mrs. Creighton. "It was kindly meant, I dare say."

Mr. Wyllys, who was standing near them, smiled.

"It was only yesterday, Elinor," added the new Mrs. Hubbard, "that Black Bess, who made the cake you are eating, told me when she brought it home, that she hoped soon to make your own wedding-cake."

"She has had the promise of it ever since I was five years old," said Elinor,

"Is it possible that Black Bess is still living and baking?" said Harry. "I can remember her gingerbread, as long as I can recollect anything. I once overheard some Longbridge ladies declare, that they could tell Black Bess's cake as far as they could see it; which struck me as something very wonderful."

"She seems to be a person of great importance," said Mrs. Creighton; "I shall hope soon to make her acquaintance. My dear Miss Elinor, I wish you would bear in mind that your wedding-cake has been ordered these dozen years. I am afraid you forget how many of us are interested in it, as well as Black Bess."

"Our notable housekeepers you know, tell us that wedding-cake will bear keeping half-a-century," said Elinor, smiling.

"That is after the ceremony I am sure, not before," said Mrs.
Creighton.

Elinor seemed at last annoyed by these persevering allusions, and several persons left the group. Hazlehurst took a seat by Miss Patsey; he was anxious to show her that her brother-in-law's behaviour, had in no manner changed his regard for herself and her family.

"Where is Charlie," he asked.

"He has gone off to Lake Champlain now. I hope you and Charlie will both soon get tired of travelling about, Mr. Hazlehurst; you ought to stay at home with your friends."

"But I don't seem to have any home; Charlie and I are both by nature, home-bred, home-staying youths, but we seem fated to wander about. How is he coming on with his pictures?—has he nearly done his work on the lakes?"

"Yes, I believe so; he has promised to come to Longbridge next month, for the rest of the summer. He has been distressed, quite as much as the rest of us, Mr. Hazlehurst, by these difficulties—"

"Do not speak of them, Miss Patsey; it is a bad business; but one which will never interfere between me and my old friends, I trust."

Miss Patsey looked her thanks, her mortification, and her sympathy, but said nothing more.

The carriage which was to convey the bride and groom to the steamboat, soon drove to the door; and taking leave of their friends, the happy couple set off. They turned back, however, before they were out of sight, as Mrs. Hubbard wished to change the travelling-shawl she had first selected for another. Mr. Wyllys, Elinor, and Harry accompanied them to the boat; and they all three agreed, that the groom had not yet been guilty of napping; although Hazlehurst declared, that as the seats on deck were cool and shady, he had little doubt that he would be dozing before the boat was out of sight.

Those who feel the same anxiety for the welfare of the children, during their mother's absence, which weighed upon the mind of Miss Agnes, will be glad to hear that they were all three carried to Wyllys-Roof, under the charge of an experienced nurse. And it must be confessed, that it was long since little George, a riotous child, some seven years old, had been kept under such steady, but kind discipline, as that under which he lived, during this visit to his grandfather.

Mr. Ellsworth and Harry passed the morning at Longbridge, engaged with their legal affairs; and in the evening Hazlehurst left Wyllys-Roof for Philadelphia; and Mrs. Stanley accompanied him, on her way to Greatwood.

CHAPTER XV. {XXXVIII}

"———- But by the stealth
Of our own vanity, we're left so poor."
HABINGTON.

{William Habington (English poet and dramatist, 1605-1664),
"Castara" I.20-21}

Now that Harry had left the house, Mrs. Creighton's attention was chiefly given to Mr. Wyllys; although she had as usual, smiles, both arch and sweet, sayings, both piquant and agreeable, for each and all of the gentlemen from Broadlawn, who were frequent visiters at Wyllys-Roof. Mr. Stryker, indeed, was there half the time. It was evident that the lady was extremely interested in Hazlehurst's difficulties; she was constant in her inquiries as to the progress of affairs, and listened anxiously to the many different prognostics as to the result. Miss Agnes remarked indeed, one day, when Mr. Ellsworth thought he had succeeded in obtaining an all-important clue, in tracing the previous career of Harry's opponent, that his sister seemed much elated—she sent an extremely amiable message to Hazlehurst in her brother's letter. It afterwards appeared, however, on farther inquiry, that this very point turned out entirely in favour of the sailor, actually proving that nine years previously he had sailed in one of the Havre packets, under the name of William Stanley. Mrs. Creighton that evening expressed her good wishes for Harry, in a much calmer tone, before a roomfull {sic} of company.

"Ladies, have you no sympathizing message for Hazlehurst?" inquired Mr. Ellsworth, as he folded a letter he had been writing.

"Oh, certainly; we were sorry to hear the bad news;" and she then turned immediately, and began an animated, laughing conversation with Hubert de Vaux.

'What a difference in character between the brother and sister,' thought Miss Agnes, whose good opinion of Mr. Ellsworth had been raised higher than ever, by the earnest devotion to his friend's interest, which appeared throughout his whole management of the case.

The family at Wyllys-Roof were careful to show, by their friendly attention to the Hubbards, that their respect and regard for them had not suffered at all by the steps Mr. Clapp had taken. Miss Agnes and Elinor visited the cottage as frequently as ever. One morning, shortly after the wedding, Miss Wyllys went to inquire after Mrs. Hubbard, as she was in the habit of doing. She found Mary Hubbard, the youngest daughter, there, and was struck on entering, by the expression of Miss Patsey's face—very different from her usual calm, pleasant aspect.

"Oh, Miss Wyllys!" she exclaimed, in answer to an inquiry of Miss
Agnes's—"I am just going to Longbridge! My poor, kind uncle
Joseph!—but he was always too weak and indulgent to those
girls!"

"What has happened?" asked Miss Wyllys, anxiously.

"Dreadful news, indeed; Mrs. Hilson has disgraced herself!—Her husband has left her and applied for a divorce! But I do not believe it is half as bad as most people think; Julianna has been shamefully imprudent, but I cannot think her guilty!"

{"Her husband has left her…" = this incident seems to reflect the unhappy marriage between Henry Nicholas Cruger (1800-1867) — a close friend of the Cooper family — and the free-wheeling Harriet Douglas (1790-1872). After their 1833 marriage, Harriet Douglas insisted on living her own life — often in Europe; Cruger eventually left her and in 1843 began a lengthy and highly public divorce action based on desertion. The Cooper family strongly disapproved of Harriet Douglas, and she is believed to have been an inspiration for the free-wheeling Mary Monson in James Fenimore Cooper's last novel, "The Ways of the Hour" (1850)}

Miss Wyllys was grieved to hear such a bad account of her old neighbour's daughter.

"Her husband has left her, you say; where is she now?"

"Her father brought her home with him. He went after her to Newport, where she had gone in the same party with this man—this Mr. de Montbrun, and a person who lives in the same boarding-house, a Mrs. Bagman, who has done a great deal of harm to Julianna."

"Sad, indeed!" exclaimed Miss Agnes.

"Charles says it is heart-rending, to see my poor uncle, who was so proud of his good name—thought so much of his daughters! Often have I heard him say: 'Let them enjoy life, Patsey, while they are young; girls can't do much harm; I love to see them look pretty and merry.' They never received any solid instruction, and since her marriage, Julianna seems to have been in bad company. She had no children to think about, and Mr. Hilson's time is always given to his business; her head was full of nonsense from morning till night; I was afraid no good would come of it."

"It is at least a great point, that she should have come back with her father."

"Yes, indeed; I am thankful for it, from the bottom of my heart. Oh, Miss Wyllys, what a dreadful thing it is, to see young people going on, from one bad way to another!" exclaimed Miss Patsey.

"We must hope that her eyes will be opened, now."

"If she had only taken warning from what Charles told her about this Mr. de Montbrun; he had seen him at Rome, and though he had no positive proofs, knew he was a bad man, and told Mrs. Hilson so. It is surely wrong, Miss Wyllys, to let all kinds of strangers from foreign countries into our families, without knowing anything about them."

"I have often thought it very wrong," said Miss Agnes, earnestly.

"But Mrs. Hilson wouldn't believe a word Charles said. She talked a great deal about aristocratic fashions; said she wouldn't be a slave to prudish notions—just as she always talks."

"Where was her husband, all this time?"

"He was in New York. They had not agreed well for some time, on account of her spending so much money, and flirting with everybody. At last he heard how his wife was behaving, and went to Saratoga. He found everybody who knew her, was talking about Julianna and this Frenchman. They had a violent quarrel, and he brought her back to town, but gave her warning, if ever she spoke again to that man he would leave her. Would you believe it!—in less than a week, she went to the theatre with him and this Mrs. Bagman! You know Mr. Hilson is a quiet man in general, but when he has made up his mind to anything, he never changes it: when he came in from his business, and found where his wife had gone, he wrote a letter to Uncle Joseph, and left the house."

"But what does Mrs. Hilson say? Does she show any feeling?"

"She cries a great deal, but talks just as usual; says she is a victim to her husband's brutality and jealousy. It seems impossible to make her see things in their right light. I hope and pray that her eyes may be opened, but I am afraid it will be a long time before they are. But it is hard, Miss Wyllys, to open the eyes of the blind and deluded! It is more than mortal man can do!"

"Yes; we feel at such times our miserable weakness, and the influence of evil upon human nature, more, perhaps, than at any other moment!"

"That is true, indeed. I have often thought, Miss Wyllys, that those who have watched over a large family of children and young people, have better notions about the true state of human nature, than your great philosophers. That has been the difficulty with Uncle Hubbard; he said girls in a respectable family were in no danger of doing what was wrong; that he hated preaching and scolding, and could not bear to make young people gloomy, by talking to them about serious subjects. My father always taught me to think very differently; he believed that the only way to help young people to be really happy and cheerful, was to teach them to do their duty."

"It would be well, if all those who have charge of young persons thought so!" exclaimed Miss Agnes.

"But, oh, Miss Wyllys, I dread seeing my poor uncle! Charles writes me word that he is quite changed—pale and care-worn—so different from his usual look; he says my uncle has grown ten years older in the last week. And such a kind, indulgent father as he has been!"

Tears filled Miss Wyllys's eyes. "Is his daughter Emmeline at home?" she asked.

"Yes; and Emmeline seems more sobered by this terrible business, than Mrs. Hilson herself. She sent for me, thinking I might be of some service to Julianna, and persuade her to stay at home, and not return to Mrs. Bagman, as she threatens to do."

A wagon was waiting to carry Miss Patsey to Longbridge, and Miss Agnes begging that she might not detain her, she set out on her painful duty. On arriving at her uncle's house, she almost dreaded to cross the threshold. She found Mr. Hubbard in the dining-room; he paid no attention to her as she opened the door, but continued walking up and down. She scarcely knew how to address him; the common phrases of greeting that rose to her lips seemed misplaced. He either did not see her, or would not notice her. She then walked quite near to him, and holding out her hand, said in a calm tone:

"Uncle, I have come to see Julianna."

The muscles of his face moved, but he made no answer.

"I have come to stay with her, if you wish it."

"Thank you," he said, in a thick voice.

"Is there anything I can do for you?"

"What can be done?" he said, bitterly, and almost roughly.

"Do you wish me to stay?"

"Yes; I am obliged to you for coming to see a woman of bad reputation."

Patsey left him for the present. She found her cousins together; Emmeline's eyes were red, as if she had just been weeping; Mrs. Hilson was stretched on a sofa, in a very elegant morning-gown, reading a novel of very doubtful morality. Patsey offered her hand, which was taken quite cavalierly.

"Well, Patsey," she said, "I hope you have not come to be a spy upon me."

"I have come to see you, because I wish to be of service to you,
Julianna."

"Then, my dear child, you must bring his High-Mightiness, my jealous husband to reason," said the lady, smoothing a fold in her dress. Patsey made no answer, and Mrs. Hilson looked up. "If you are going to join the rest of them against me, why I shall have nothing to do with you; all the prim prudes in the world won't subdue me, as my good-man might have found out already."

"Where is your husband?" asked Miss Patsey, gravely, but quietly.

"I am sure I don't know; he has been pleased to abandon me, for no reason whatever, but because I chose to enjoy the liberty of all women of fortune in aristocratic circles. I would not submit to be made a slave, like most ladies in this country, as Mrs. Bagman says. I choose to associate with whom I please, gentlemen or ladies. What is it makes the patrician orders so delightful in Europe?—all those who know anything about it, will tell you that it is because the married women are not slaves; they have full liberty, and do just as they fancy, and have as many admirers as they please; this very book that I am reading says so. That is the way things are managed in high life in Europe."

"What sort of liberty is it you wish for, Julianna? The liberty to do wrong? Or the liberty to trifle with your reputation?"

Mrs. Hilson pouted, but made no answer.

"I cannot think the kind of liberty you speak of is common among good women anywhere," continued Patsey, "and I don't think you can know so much about what you call HIGH LIFE in Europe, Julianna, for you have never been there. I am sure at least, that in this country the sort of liberty you seem to be talking about, is only common in very LOW LIFE; you will find enough of it even here, among the most ignorant and worst sort of people," said Miss Patsey, quietly.

Mrs. Hilson looked provoked. "Well, you are civil, I must say, Miss Patsey Hubbard; of all the brutal speeches that have been made me of late, I must say that yours is the worst!"

"I speak the truth, though I speak plainly, Julianna."

"Yes plainly enough; very different from the refinement of Mrs. Bagman, I can assure you; she would be the last person to come and tyrannize over me, when I am a victim to my husband's jealousy. But I have not a creature near me to sympathize with me!"

"Do not say that; your father is down-stairs, grown old with grief during the last week!"

Mrs. Hilson did not answer.

"You have known me all your life, from the time you were a child," added Miss Patsey, taking her cousin's passive hand in her own; "and I ask, if you have ever known me to deceive you by an untruth?"

"I am sure I don't know," replied her cousin, carelessly.

"Yes, you do know it, Julianna. Trust me, then; do not shut your ears and your eyes to the truth! You are in a very dangerous situation; look upon me as your friend; let me stay with you; let me help you! My only motive is your own good; even if I believed you really guilty, I should have come to you; but I do not believe you guilty!"

"I am much obliged to you," said her cousin, lightly. "But I happen to know myself that I have committed no such high crime and misdemeanour."

"Yes, you have trifled so far with your reputation, that the world believes you guilty, Julianna."

"Not fashionable people. I might have gone on for years, enjoying the friendship of an elegant lady like Mrs. Bagman, and receiving the polite attentions of a French nobleman, had it not been for the countrified notions of Pa and Mr. Hilson; and now, I am torn from my friends, I am calumniated, and the Baron accused of being an impostor! But the fact is, as Mrs. Bagman says, Mr. Hilson never has understood me!"

Patsey closed her eyes that night with a heavy heart. She did not seem to have produced the least impression on Mrs. Hilson.

How few people are aware of the great dangers of that common foible, vanity! And yet it is the light feather that wings many a poisoned dart; it is the harlequin leader of a vile crew of evils. Generally, vanity is looked upon as merely a harmless weakness, whose only penalty is ridicule; but examine its true character, and you will find it to be one of the most dangerous, and at the same time one of the most contemptible failings of humanity. There is not a vice with which it has not been, time and again, connected; there is not a virtue that has not been tainted by its touch. Men are vain of their vices, vain of their virtues; and although pride and vanity have been declared incompatible, probably there never lived a proud man, who was not vain of his very pride. A generous aspect is, however, sometimes assumed by pride; but vanity is inalterably contemptible in its selfish littleness, its restless greediness. Who shall tell its victims—who shall set bounds to its triumphs? Reason is more easily blinded by vanity than by sophistry; time and again has vanity misdirected feeling; often has vanity roused the most violent passions. Many have been enticed on to ruin, step by step, with the restless lure of vanity, until they became actually guilty of crimes, attributed to some more sudden, and stronger impulse. How many people run into extravagance, and waste their means, merely from vanity! How many young men commence a career of folly and wickedness, impelled by the miserable vanity of daring what others dare! How many women have trifled with their own peace, their own reputation, merely because vanity led them to receive the first treacherous homage of criminal admiration, when whispered in the tones of false sentiment and flattery! The triumphs of vanity would form a melancholy picture, indeed, but it is one the world will never pause to look at.

The eldest daughter of Mr. Hubbard, the worthy Longbridge merchant, without strong passions, without strong temptations, was completely the victim of puerile vanity. The details of her folly are too unpleasant to dwell on; but the silly ambition of playing the fine lady, after the pattern of certain European novels, themselves chiefly representing the worst members of the class they claim to depict, was the cause of her ruin. She had so recklessly trifled with her reputation, that although her immediate friends did not believe the worst, yet with the world her character was irretrievably lost. At five-and-twenty she had already sacrificed her own peace; she had brought shame on her husband's name, and had filled with the bitterest grief, the heart of an indulgent father. Happily, her mother was in the grave, and she had no children to injure by her misconduct.

Patsey Hubbard continued unwearied in her kind endeavours to be of service to her kinswoman; anxious to awaken her to a sense of her folly, and to withdraw her from the influence of bad associates.

"It is right that society should discountenance a woman who behaves as Julianna has done," said she one day, to Mrs. Hubbard, on returning home; "but, oh, mother, her own family surely, should never give her up while there is breath in her body!"

CHAPTER XVI. {XXXIX}

"That which you hear, you'll swear you see,
There is such unity in the proofs."
Winter's Tale.

{William Shakespeare, "A Winter's Tale", V.ii.31-32}

WHEN Hazlehurst arrived at the little village in the neighbourhood of Greatwood, he was so fortunate as to find that many persons among the older members of the community, had a perfect recollection of William Stanley, and were ready to testify, to the best of their knowledge, as to any particulars that might be of service in the case.

His first inquiry was, for the young man's nurse. He discovered that she had recently removed into a neighbouring state, with the son, in whose family she had lived since leaving the Stanleys. As soon as Harry had accompanied Mrs. Stanley to Greatwood, he set out in pursuit of this person, from whom he hoped to obtain important evidence. On arriving at the place where she was now to be found, he was much disappointed, for her faculties had been so much impaired by a severe attack of paralysis, that he could learn but little from her. She seemed to have cherished a warm affection for the memory of William Stanley, whose loss at sea she had never doubted. Whenever his name was mentioned she wept, and she spoke with feeling and respect of the young man's parents. But her mind was much confused, and it was impossible to make any use of her testimony in a court of justice.

Thus thrown back upon those who had a less intimate personal knowledge of the young man, Harry pursued his inquiries among the families about Greatwood, and the village of Franklin Cross-Roads. With the exception of a few newcomers, and those who were too young to recollect eighteen years back, almost everybody in the neighbourhood had had some acquaintance with William Stanley. He had been to school with this one; he had sat in church, in the pew next to that family; he had been the constant playfellow of A——-; and he had drawn B——- into more than one scrape. Numerous stories sprang up right and left, as to his doings when a boy; old scenes were acted over again, and past events, mere trifles perhaps at the time, but gaining importance from the actual state of things, were daily brought to light; there seemed no lack of information connected with the subject.

We must observe, however, before we proceed farther, that Hazlehurst had no sooner arrived at Greatwood, than he went to look after the set of the Spectator, to which the volume produced at the interview had belonged. He found the books in their usual place on an upper shelf, with others seldom used; every volume had the double names of Mr. Stanley and his son, but the set was not complete; there was not only one volume missing, but two were wanting! Hazlehurst sprang from the steps on which he was standing, when he made this discovery, and went immediately in pursuit of Mrs. Stanley, to inquire if she knew which volume was originally missing. She could not be sure, but she believed it was the eighth. Such was the fact; the eighth volume was not in its place, neither was the sixth, that which Mr. Clapp had in his possession; yet Mrs. Stanley was convinced, that only two years previously, there had been but one volume lost. Harry tried to revive his recollection of the time and place, when and where, he had read that volume, with the portrait of Steele, and Addison's papers on the Paradise Lost; he should have felt sure it was at Greatwood, not long before going abroad with Mr. Henley, had it not been, that he found his brother had the very same edition in Philadelphia, and he might have read it there. He also endeavoured to discover when and how the second missing volume had been removed from its usual place on the shelf. But this was no easy task; neither the housekeeper—a respectable woman, in whom Mrs. Stanley and himself had perfect confidence—nor the servants, could form even a surmise upon the subject. At last Harry thought he had obtained a clue to everything; he found that two strangers had been at Greatwood in the month of March, that year, and had gone over the whole house, representing themselves as friends of the family. The housekeeper had forgotten their visit, until Harry's inquiries reminded her of the fact; she then gave him the name of the young woman who had gone over the house with these two individuals. This girl was no longer at Greatwood, but in the neighbouring village; at Mrs. Stanley's request, however, she came to give a report of the circumstance.

{"Spectator" = Susan Fenimore Cooper has been forgetful; the sailor, it was stated in Chapter 12, had a copy of Volume three; Addison's essays on Paradise Lost, that Harry remembered reading, are in fact contained in Volumes four and five; but we are now told that it is Volumes six and eight that are missing from the shelf!}

"It was in March these two strangers were here, you say,
Malvina?" observed Mrs. Stanley.

"Yes, ma'am; it was in March, when the roads were very bad."

"What sort of looking persons were they, and how old should you have called them?" asked Hazlehurst.

"One was a tall and slim gentleman, with curly hair; the other looked kind o' rough, he was stout, and had a red face; they wasn't very young, nor very old."

"Tell us, if you please, all you remember about their visit, just as it passed," said Harry.

"Well, it happened Mrs. Jones was sick in her room when they called; they wanted to see the house, saying they knew the family very well. I asked them to sit down in the hall, while I went to tell Mrs. Jones; she hadn't any objections, and told me to show them the rooms they wanted to see. So I took them over the house—first the parlours, then the other rooms."

"Did they ask to see the bed-rooms?"

"Yes, sir; they went over all the house but the garret; they went into the kitchen and the pantry."

"Did they stay some time?"

"Yes, sir; Mrs. Jones wondered they staid so long."

"Did they go into the library?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you remember whether they looked at the books?"

"No; they didn't stay more than a minute in the library."

"Are you sure they did not look at any of the books?" repeated
Harry.

"I am quite sure they didn't, for the room was too dark, and they only staid half-a-minute. I asked them if I should open the shutters; but one of them said they didn't care; he said he was never over-fond of books."

Mrs. Stanley and Harry here exchanged looks of some surprise.

"Did they talk much to each other?—do you remember what they said?" continued Harry.

"Yes, they talked considerable. I reckon they had been here before, for they seemed to know a good deal about the house. When I showed them the south parlour, the gentleman with the red face said everything looked natural to him, but that room most of all; then he pointed to the large chair by the fire-place, and said: 'That is where I last saw my father, in that very chair; he was a good old gentleman, and deserved to have a better son.'"

"Is it possible!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"But, my dear madam, it was all acting no doubt; they wished to pass for the characters they have since assumed; it only proves that the plot has been going on for some time." "Do you remember anything else that was said?" added Hazlehurst, turning again to the girl.

"They talked considerable, but I didn't pay much attention. They inquired when Mr. Hazlehurst was coming home; I said I didn't know. The one with the curly hair said he guessed they knew more about the family than I did; and he looked queer when he said so."

Nothing further was gathered from this girl, who bore an excellent character for truth and honesty, though rather stupid. The volume of the Spectator still remained as much a mystery as ever. Nor did a second conversation with this young woman bring to light anything new; her answers on both occasions corresponded exactly; and beyond proving the fact of Clapp's having been over the house with the sailor, nothing was gained from her report. At the second conversation, Harry asked if she knew whether these strangers had remained long in the neighbourhood?

"I saw them the next day at meeting," she replied, "and Jabez told me he met them walking about the place; that is all I know about it, sir."

Jabez, one of the men on the farm, was questioned: he had seen these two strangers walking about the place, looking at the barns and stables, the same day they had been at the house; but he had not spoken to them; and this was the amount of his story.

Harry then inquired at the taverns in the neighbourhood; and he found that two persons, answering to the same description, had staid a couple of days, about the middle of March, at a small inn, within half a mile from Greatwood. Their bill had been made out in the name of "Mr. Clapp and friend." This was satisfactory as far as it went, and accounted for the sailor's knowledge of the house; though Mrs. Stanley could not comprehend at first, how this man should have pointed out so exactly, her husband's favourite seat. Harry reminded her, however, that Clapp had passed several years of his youth at Franklin Cross-Roads, in a lawyer's office, and had very probably been at Greatwood during Mr. Stanley's life-time.

Hazlehurst had drawn up a regular plan of action for his inquiries; and after having discovered who could assist him, and who could not, he portioned off the neighbourhood into several divisions, intending to devote a day to each—calling at every house where he hoped to gain information on the subject of William Stanley.

He set out on horseback early in the morning, for his first day's circuit, taking a note-book in his pocket, to record facts as he went along, and first turning his horse's head towards the house of Mrs. Lawson, who had been a constant playfellow of William Stanley's, when both were children. This lady was one of a large family, who had been near neighbours of the Stanleys for years, and on terms of daily intimacy with them; and she had already told Harry, one day when she met him in the village, that she held herself in readiness to answer, to the best of her ability, any questions about her former playmate, that he might think it worth while to ask. On knocking at this lady's door, he was so fortunate as to find Mrs. Lawson at home; and, by especial luck, Dr. Lewis, a brother of her's, who had removed from that part of the country, happened just then to be on a visit at his sister's.

After a little preliminary chat, Hazlehurst made known the particular object of his call.

"Do I remember William Stanley's personal appearance and habits? Perfectly; quite as well as I do my own brother's," replied the doctor, to Harry's first inquiry.

"Mrs. Lawson told me that he used to pass half his time at your father's house, and kindly offered to assist me, as far as lay in her power; and I look upon myself as doubly fortunate in finding you here to-day. We wish, of course, to collect as many minute details as possible, regarding Mr. Stanley's son, as we feel confident, from evidence already in our power, that this new-comer is an impostor."

"No doubt of it," replied the doctor; "an extravagant story, indeed! Nearly eighteen years as still as a mouse, and then coolly stepping in, and claiming a property worth some hundreds of thousands. A clear case of conspiracy, without doubt."

"Poor William was no saint, certainly," added Mrs. Lawson; "but this sailor must be a very bad man."

"Pray, when did you last see young Stanley!" asked Harry, of the lady.

"When he was at home, not long before his father's death. He held out some promise of reforming, then. Billings, who first led him into mischief, was not in the neighbourhood at that time, and his father had hopes of him; but some of his old companions led him off again."

"He must have been a boy of strange temper, to leave home under such circumstances; an only son, with such prospects before him."

"Yes, his temper was very unpleasant; but then, Mr. Stanley, the father, did not know how to manage him."

"He could scarcely have had much sense either, to have been so easily led astray by a designing young fellow, as that Billings seems to have been."

"Flattery; flattery did it all," observed the doctor. "Some people thought young Stanley little more than half-witted; but I have always maintained that he was not wanting in sense."

"I don't see how you can say so, doctor," observed the sister. "I am sure it was a settled thing among us children, that he was a very stupid, disagreeable boy. He never took much interest in our plays, I remember."

"Not in playing doll-baby, perhaps; but I have had many a holiday with him that I enjoyed very much, I can tell you. He never had a fancy for a book, that is true; but otherwise be was not so very dull as some people make out."

"He had the reputation of being a dull boy, had he?"

"Oh, certainly," said Mrs. Lawson. "at one time, when we were quite children, we all took arithmetic lessons together, and he was always at the foot of the class."

"He had no head for figures, perhaps; it is more likely, though, that he wouldn't learn out of obstinacy; he was as obstinate as a mule, that I allow."

"What sort of games and plays did he like best?"

"I don't know that he liked one better than another, so long as he could choose himself," replied Dr. Lewis.

"Was he a strong, active boy?"

"Not particularly active, but a stout, healthy lad."

"Disposed to be tall?"

"Tallish; the last time he was here, he must have measured about five feet ten."

"Oh, more than that," interposed Mrs. Lawson; "he was taller than our eldest brother, I know—full six feet one, I should say."

"No, no, Sophia; certainly not more than five feet nine or ten.
Remember, you were a little thing yourself at the time."

"Do you remember the colour of his eyes, Mrs. Lawson?"

"Yes, perfectly; they were blue."

"Brown, I should say," added the doctor.

"No, John, you are quite mistaken; his eyes were blue, Mr.
Hazlehurst—very dark blue."

"I could have taken my oath they were brown," said the doctor.

Hazlehurst looked from one to the other in doubt.

"You were away from home, doctor, more than I was, and probably do not remember William's face as distinctly as I do. I am quite confident his eyes were a clear, deep blue."

"Well, I should have called them a light brown."

"Were they large?" asked Harry.

"Of a common size, I think," said the brother.

"Remarkably small, I should say," added the sister.

"What colour was his hair?" asked Harry, giving up the eyes.

"Black," said the doctor.

"Not black, John—dark perhaps, but more of an auburn, like his father's portrait," said Mrs. Lawson.

"Why, that is black, certainly."

"Oh, no; auburn—a rich, dark auburn."

"There is a greyish cast in that portrait, I think," said Harry.

"Grey, oh, no; Mr. Stanley's hair was in perfect colour when he died; I remember him distinctly, seeing him as often as I did," said the lady. "The hair of the Stanley family is generally auburn," she added.

"What do you call auburn?" said the doctor.

"A dark, rich brown, like William Stanley's."

"Now I call Mr. Robert Hazlehurst's hair auburn."

"My brother's hair! Why that is sometimes pronounced sandy, and even red, occasionally," said Harry.

"Not red; Lawson's hair is red."

"Mr. Lawson's hair is more of a flaxen shade," said the wife, a little quickly.

Despairing of settling the particular shade of the hair, Harry then inquired if there was any strongly marked peculiarity of face or person about William Stanley?

Here both agreed that they had never remarked anything of the kind; it appeared that the young man was made more like the rest of the world, than became the hero of such a singular career.

"Do you think you should know him, if you were to see him again, after such a long interval?"

"Well, I don't know," said the doctor; "some people change very much, from boys to middle-aged manhood, others alter but little."

"I have no doubt that I could tell in a moment, if this person is William Stanley or an impostor," said Mrs. Lawson. "Think how much we were together, as children; for ten years of his life, he was half the time at our house. I am sure if this sailor were William Stanley, he would have come to see some of us, long since."

"Did he visit you when he was last at Greatwood?"

"No, he did not come at that time; but I saw him very often in the village, and riding about."

"Do you remember his stuttering at all?"

"No; I never heard him that I know of; I don't believe he ever stuttered."

"He did stutter once in a while, Sophia, when he was in a passion."

"I never heard him."

"Young Stanley had one good quality, Mr. Hazlehurst, with all his faults; he spoke the truth—you could believe what he said."

"My good brother, you are mistaken there, I can assure you. Time and again have I known him tell falsehoods when he got into a scrape; many is the time he has coaxed and teased, till he got us children into mischief—he was a great tease, you know—"

"Not more so than most boys," interposed the doctor.

"And after he had got us into trouble, I remember perfectly, that he would not acknowledge it was his fault. Oh, no; you could not by any means depend upon what he said."

"Was he much of a talker?"

"No, rather silent."

"Quite silent:" both brother and sister were in unison here, at last.

"He was good-looking, you think, Mrs. Lawson?"

"Oh, yes, good-looking, certainly," replied the lady.

"Rather good-looking; but when he was last at home, his features had grown somewhat coarse, and his expression was altered for the worse," said the doctor.

"He was free with his money, I believe?"

"Very extravagant," said Mrs. Lawson.

"He didn't care a fig for money, unless it was refused him," said the doctor.

"Was there anything particular about his teeth?"

"He had fine teeth," said Mrs. Lawson; "but he did not show them much."

"A good set of teeth, if I remember right," added the doctor.

"His complexion was rather dark, I believe?" said Harry.

"More sallow than dark," said the lady.

"Not so very sallow," said the gentleman.

"You asked just now about his eyes, Mr. Hazlehurst; it strikes me they were much the colour of yours."

"But mine are grey," said Harry.

"More of a hazel, I think."

"Oh, no; William Stanley's eyes were as different as possible from Mr. Hazlehurst's, in colour and shape!" exclaimed the lady.

The conversation continued some time longer, but the specimen just given will suffice to show its character; nothing of importance was elicited, and not one point decidedly settled, which had not been already known to Harry. He continued his round of visits throughout the day, with much the same result. The memories of the people about Greatwood seemed to be playing at cross-purposes; and yet there was no doubt, that all those persons to whom Hazlehurst applied, had known young Stanley for years; and there was every reason to believe they were well disposed to give all the evidence in their power.

>From Mrs. Lawson's, Harry went to the house of another acquaintance, a Captain Johnson; and the following is the amount of what he gathered here, as it was hastily entered in his note-book:

"Eyes grey; hair black; rather stout for his age; sullen temper; very dull; bad company cause of his ruin; not cold-hearted; stuttered a little when excited; expression good when a boy, but much changed when first came home from sea; Billings the cause of his ruin."

So much for Captain Johnson. The next stopping-place was at a man's, by the name of Hill, who had been coachman at Mr. Stanley's for several years; his account follows:

"Hill says: 'Would get in a passion when couldn't have his own way; have heard him stutter; always in some scrape or other after first went to college; eyes blue; hair brown; sharp enough when he pleased, but always heard he hated books; short for his age when first went to sea, and thin; had grown three or four inches when he came back; should have thought him five feet eight or nine, when last saw him; face grown fuller and red, when came home.'"

>From Hill's, Harry went to see Mr. Anderson, who had kept the principal tavern at Franklin Cross-Roads, during William Stanley's boyhood; but he was not at home.

He then called at Judge Stone's: "Mrs. S. thought him handsome young man; judge, quite ugly; husband says eyes a greenish colour; wife thinks were dark brown; height about my own, said judge; not near so tall, says Mrs. S.: both agreed he was morose in temper, and dull at learning."

At several other places where Harry called, he found that William Stanley had been merely known by sight. Others related capital stories of scrapes, in which they had been implicated with the boy, but could tell Harry very little to the purpose, where it came to particular questions. Three individuals pronounced him tall, four thought he was middle sized, two declared he was short. Two inferences, however, might be drawn from all that had been said: William Stanley must have been of an unpleasant temper; while general evidence pronounced him rather more dull than most boys. With these two facts at least sufficiently well established, while his head was filled with contradictory visions, of hair, eyes, and complexion, of various shades and colours, Harry returned in the evening, quite jaded and worn-out with his day's exertions; not the least of which had been, to reconcile totally opposite accounts on a dozen different points.

Mrs. Stanley was awaiting his return with much anxiety; and while Harry was drinking an excellent cup of tea—the most refreshing thing in the world to a person who is fatigued, even in warm weather—he reported his day's work. His friend seemed to think the account anything but encouraging; though Harry declared, that it was well worth the labour and vexation to establish the two facts, regarding the young man's capacity and temper, in which respects he certainly differed from the claimant.

"What miserable hypocrites both this man and his lawyer must be!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"Hypocrisy figures often enough in courts of justice, ma'am, and is only too often successful for a time."

"I am afraid, my dear Harry, they will give you a great deal of trouble!"

"I have no doubt of it," replied Hazlehurst; "but still I hope to defeat them, and in the end, to punish their vile conspiracy."

"A defeat would he distressing to both Mr. Wyllys and myself; but to you, my dear young friend, it would be serious indeed!" she observed, with feeling.

"We shall yet gain the day, I trust," said Harry. "The consequences of defeat would indeed be very serious to me," he added. "In such a case I should lose everything, and a little more, as Paddy would say. I made a deliberate calculation the other day, and I find, after everything I own has been given up, that there would still be a debt of some thirty thousand dollars to pay off."

"It is wise, I suppose, to be prepared for the worst," said Mrs. Stanley, sadly; "but in such a case, Harry, you must look to your friends. Remember, that I should consider it a duty to assist you, in any pecuniary difficulties which might result from a defeat."

"You are very good, ma'am; I am grateful for the offer. In case of our failure, I should certainly apply to my immediate friends, for I could never bear the thought of being in debt to those rascals. But if the affair turns out in that way, I must stay at home and work hard, to clear myself entirely. I am young, and if we fail to repel this claim, still I shall hope by industry and prudence, to discharge all obligations before I am many years older."

"I have never doubted, Harry, that in either case you would do what is just and honourable; but I mourn that there should be any danger of such a sacrifice."

"It would be a sacrifice, indeed; including much that I have valued heretofore—tastes, habits, partialities, prospects, fortune, hopes—all must undergo a change, all must he sacrificed."

"And hopes are often a precious part of a young man's portion," said Mrs. Stanley.

Hazlehurst happened to raise his eyes as she spoke, and, from the expression of her face, he fancied that she was thinking of Mrs. Creighton. He changed colour, and remained silent a moment.

"You would be compelled to give up your connexion with Mr.
Henley," she observed, by way of renewing the conversation.

"Yes, of course; I should have to abandon that, I could not afford it; I should have to devote myself to my profession. I have no notion, however, of striking my colours to these land-pirates until after a hard battle, I assure you," he said, more cheerfully. "Great generals always prepare for a retreat, and so shall I, but only as the last extremity. Indeed, I think our affairs look more encouraging just now. It seems next to impossible, for such a plot to hold together in all its parts; we shall be able probably, to find out more than one weak point which will not bear an attack."

"It is certainly important to establish the difference in temper and capacity, between the claimant and William Stanley," said Mrs. Stanley.

"Highly important; Ellsworth is hard at work, too, in tracing the past life of the sailor, and by his last letters, I find he had written to young Stanley's school-master, and to the family physician. He had seen the sailor, and in addition to Mr. Wyllys's remarks upon his gait, which is different from that of William when a boy, Ellsworth writes, that he was very much struck with the shape of the man's limbs, so different from those of the portrait of Mr. Stanley's son, when a lad, which they have at Wyllys-Roof; he thinks the family physician may help him there; fortunately, he is still living."

"It is a great pity the nurse's faculties should have failed!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"Yes, it's a pity, indeed; her evidence would have been very important. But we shall do without her, I hope."

"Are you going to Wyllys-Roof again, before the trial?"

"No; I shall have too much to do, here and in Philadelphia. Mr. Wyllys has kindly asked me, however, to go there, as soon as the matter is settled, whether for good or for evil."

"I thought I heard you talking over with Mr. de Vaux, some boating excursion, to take place in August, from Longbridge; has it been given up?"

"Not given up; but de Vaux very good-naturedly proposed postponing it, until after my affairs were settled. It is to take place as soon as I am ready; whether I shall join it with flying colours, or as a worsted man, time alone can decide."

The mail was just then brought in; as usual there was a letter for Harry, from Ellsworth.

"Wyllys-Roof, August, 183-.

"Our application to the family physician proves entirely successful, my dear Hazlehurst; my physiological propensities were not at fault. I had a letter last evening from Dr. H——-, who now lives in Baltimore, and he professes himself ready to swear to the formation of young Stanley's hands and feet, which he says resembled those of Mr. Stanley, the father, and the three children, who died before William S. grew up. His account agrees entirely with the portrait of the boy, as it now exists at Wyllys-Roof; the arms and hands are long, the fingers slender, nails elongated; as you well know, Mr. Clapp's client is the very reverse of this—his hands are short and thick, his fingers what, in common parlance, would be called dumpy. I was struck with the fact when I first saw him in the street. Now, what stronger evidence could we have? A slender lad of seventeen may become a heavy, corpulent man of forty, but to change the formation of hands, fingers, and nails, is beyond the reach of even Clapp's cunning. We are much obliged to the artist, for his accuracy in representing the hands of the boy exactly as they were. This testimony I look upon as quite conclusive. As to the Rev. Mr. G——-, whose pupil young Stanley was for several years, we find that he is no longer living; but I have obtained the names of several of the young's man's companions, who will be able to confirm the fact of his dullness; several of the professors at the University are also living, and will no doubt be able to assist us. I have written a dozen letters on these points, but received no answers as yet. So far so good; we shall succeed, I trust. Mr. Wyllys bids you not forget to find out if Clapp has really been at Greatwood, as we suspected. The ladies send you many kind and encouraging messages. Josephine, as usual, sympathizes in all our movements. She says: 'Give Mr. Hazlehurst all sorts of kind greetings from me; anything you please short of my love, which would not be proper, I suppose.' I had a charming row on the river last evening, with the ladies. I never managed a law-suit in such agreeable quarters before.

"Faithfully yours,

"F. E."

CHAPTER XVII. {XL}

"What say you, can you love this gentleman?"
Romeo and Juliet.

{William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet", I.iii.79}

JANE'S strength and spirits were gradually improving. She had been persuaded to take a daily airing and had consented to see one or two of the ladies in her room. Mr. Wyllys always passed half an hour with her, every afternoon; and at length she came down stairs, and joined the family in the drawing-room, for a short time in the evening. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, who came from Philadelphia to pass a day or two with her, found her much better than they had expected.

Charlie Hubbard returned to the grey cottage, with his portfolio full of sketches, intending to pass several months at home, in finishing his pictures of Lake George; the school-room having been converted into a painting-room for his use. Miss Patsey's little flock were dispersed for a time; and Charlie was even in hopes of persuading his mother and sister to accompany him to New York, where Mary Hubbard, the youngest sister, was now engaged in giving music lessons. He felt himself quite a rich man, and drew up a plausible plan for hiring a small house in some cheap situation, where they might all live together; but Miss Patsey shook her head, she thought they could not afford it. Still, it was delightful to her, to listen to plans devised by Charlie's warm heart; she seemed to love him more than ever, since he had even sacrificed his moustaches to his mother's prejudice against such foreign fashions.

"Keep your money, Charles; we can make out very well in the old cottage; more comfortably than we have ever done before. You will want all you can make one of these days, when you marry," said Miss Patsey.

To her surprise, Charlie showed some emotion at this allusion to his marrying, and remained perfectly silent for an instant, instead of giving the playful answer that his sister had expected to hear.

Mrs. Hubbard then observed, that she should not wish to move; she hoped to end her life in the old grey cottage. They had lived so long in the neighbourhood of Longbridge, that a new place would not seem like home to Patsey and herself. Charlie must come to see them as often as he could; perhaps he would be able to spend his summers there.

"Well, we shall see, mother; at any rate, Mary and I together, we shall be able to make your life easy, I trust."

Mrs. Hubbard observed, that although they had been poor for the last seventeen years, yet they had never really seemed to feel the weight of poverty; they had met with so much kindness, from so many relations and friends.

"But kindness from our own children, mother, is the most blessed of all," said Patsey.

Charlie did not give up his plan, however, but he forbore to press it for the present, as he was engaged to drive his sister, Mrs. Clapp, to her own house at Longbridge. Hubbard had kept aloof from his brother-in-law whenever he could, since the Stanley suit had been commenced; any allusion to this affair was painful to him; he had never respected Mr. Clapp, and now strongly suspected him of unfair dealing. He pitied his sister Kate from the bottom of his heart; but it seemed pity quite thrown away. To judge from her conversation, as Charlie was driving her home, she had implicit confidence in her husband; if she had at first doubted the identity of the sailor, she had never for a second supposed, that William himself was not firmly convinced of it. On the other hand, she began to have some misgivings as to the character and integrity of Mr. Wyllys, whom hitherto, all her life long, she had been used to consider as the model of a gentleman, and an upright man. She soon got up quite a prejudice against Mrs. Stanley; and as for Hazlehurst, he fell very low indeed in her estimation.

"You don't know what trouble poor William has with this suit," she said to her brother. "I am sometimes afraid it will make him sick. It does seem very strange, that Mr. Stanley's executors should be so obstinate in refusing to acknowledge his son. At first it was natural they should hesitate; I mistrusted this sailor at first, myself; but now that William has made everything so clear, they cannot have any excuse for their conduct."

Charlie whipped the flies from his horse, without answering this remark.

"I hope William will come home to-night. He and Mr. Stanley have gone off together, to get possession of some very important papers; they received a letter offering these papers, only the night before last, and William says they will establish Mr. Stanley's claim, beyond the possibility of a denial. Mr. Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst will feel very badly, I should think, when they find that after all, they have been keeping their friend's son from his rights."

"They believe they are doing their duty," said Charlie, laconically.

"It seems a strange view of duty, to act as they do."

"Strange views of duty are very common," said Charlie, glad to take refuge in generalities.

"Common sense and common honesty will help us all to do our duty," observed Kate.

"No doubt; but both are more uncommon qualities than one would think, among rational beings," said Charlie.

"Well, you know, Charles, Patsey used to tell us when we were children, that a plain, honest heart, and plain, good sense were the best things in the world."

"That is the reason, I suppose, why we love our sister Patsey so much, because she has so much of those best things in the world," said Charlie, warmly. "I never saw a woman like her, for downright, plain goodness. The older I grow, the better I know her; and I love you, Kate, for the same reason—you are straightforward and honest, too," he added, smiling.

"William often laughs at me, though, and says my opinion is not good for much," said the sister, shaking her head, but smiling prettily at the same time.

"I am sure no one can complain of your actions, Kate, whatever your opinions may be," replied Charlie; and whatever might have been his estimate of Clapp's views, he forbore to utter a syllable on the subject; for he respected the wife's affection, and knew that his brother-in-law had at least one good quality—he was kind and faithful as a husband and father, according to common-place ideas of faithfulness at least; for he would any day risk their character and peace, to make a little money.

The conversation of the young people soon turned upon their trifling, foolish, unfortunate cousin, Mrs. Hilson; and this was a subject, upon which both brother and sister agreed entirely. Before long, they drove up to Mr. Clapp's door, and were received by the lawyer himself, who had just returned with his client; this latter individual was also seen lounging in the office. Mr. Clapp professed himself entirely satisfied with the result of his journey; and declared that they were now quite ready for Mr. Hazlehurst—sure of a victory, beyond all doubt.

The time had not been lost by Harry and his friends, however; they too, thought themselves ready for the trial. As the important day was drawing near, Mr. Ellsworth was obliged to leave Wyllys-Roof; he had done all he could at Longbridge, and there were still various matters to be looked after in Philadelphia. Mrs. Creighton accompanied her brother, and they were not to return to Wyllys-Roof until after the important question was decided. Hazlehurst was then to come with them; whether defeated or triumphant could not yet be known. Harry's friends, however, were generally sanguine; and Mrs. Creighton was full of sympathy, and in excellent spirits.

There remained another affair, which must also be finally settled in a few weeks. When Mr. Ellsworth returned to Wyllys-Roof, the appointed three months of probation would have expired, and he would either remain there as the affianced husband of Elinor, or leave Longbridge her rejected suitor.

During the past three months, Elinor had taken an important step in life; she had reached a point in experience, where she had never stood before. The whole responsibility of deciding upon a subject, highly important to herself, and to those connected with her, had been thrown entirely upon her alone. The fate of her whole life would be much involved in the present decision. During the last two or three years, or in other words, since she had first discovered that Harry loved Jane, she had intended to remain single. It seemed very improbable to her, that any one would seek to gain her affections, unless with the view of enjoying the fortune which she had now the reputation of possessing; it was only natural that she should exaggerate those personal disadvantages, which had lost the heart of him whom she had once loved so truly. She had been so much attached to Hazlehurst, that she shrunk from the idea of ever becoming the wife of another; and she considered herself as having tacitly made choice of a single life, which her mother's letter seemed to suggest. But as she never spoke of her views, or alluded to them, her grandfather and aunt were ignorant of this intention; and she soon began to observe with regret that they wished her to marry, and were indeed anxious that she should accept Mr. Ellsworth. This was the first occasion of any importance, on which their wishes and her own had been at variance; it was a new position for Elinor to be placed in. When Mr. Ellsworth made his proposal, it was owing to the strong, but affectionate representations of Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes, that he was not immediately rejected. Elinor was, in fact, the last person to be convinced of his regard for her; but she had known his character and standing too well to believe him a mere fortune-hunter; and after he had once offered himself, could not doubt his sincerity. She mentioned to Miss Wyllys her previous intention of remaining single.

"Make no rash decision, my love," was the reply at the time. "You are too reasonable, for me to believe that you will do so; look at your own position, Elinor; you will be alone in the world, more so than most women. Your grandfather is advanced in years, and my health warns me not to expect a long life. I do not wish to distress you, but to place the truth plainly before you, my Elinor. You have neither brother nor sister; Jane and Harry, your intimate companions in childhood, will be separated from you by ties and duties of their own. What will you do, my child? An affectionate disposition like yours cannot be happy alone. On the other hand, here is Mr. Ellsworth, who is certainly attached to you; a man of excellent character, with every important quality that can be desired. You say you wish to be reasonable; judge for yourself what is the wisest course under these circumstances."

Elinor was silent for a moment; at length she spoke.

"It has always been one of your own lessons to me, dearest aunt, to profit by the past, to improve the present, and leave the future to Providence. Yet, now, you would have me think of the future only; and you urge me to marry, while you are single, and happy, yourself!"

"Yes, my child; but I have had your grandfather and you, to make me happy and useful. Most single women have near relatives, to whom they can attach themselves, whom it is a duty and a pleasure to love and serve; but that is not your case. Elinor, your grandfather is very anxious you should accept Mr. Ellsworth."

"I know it," said Elinor; "he has told me so himself."

"He is anxious, dear, because from what he knows of Mr. Ellsworth and yourself, he is convinced you would eventually be happy; he fears you hesitate from some feeling of girlish romance. Still, we have neither of us any wish to urge you too far. Appeal to your own good, common sense, that is all that can be desired; do not be romantic, dear, for the first time in your life," continued her aunt smiling. "I know the wishes of your friends will have some weight with you; do not let them control you, however. Judge for yourself, but take time to reflect; accept Mr. Ellsworth's own proposition—wait some time before you give a final answer; that is all that your grandfather and myself can ask."

And such had been the decision; three months being the time appointed. Since then, both Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes had carefully refrained from expressing any farther opinion—they never even alluded to the subject, but left Elinor to her own reflections. Such at least was their intention; but their wishes were well known to her, and very possibly, unconsciously influenced their conduct and manner, in many daily trifles, in a way very evident to Elinor. In the mean time, September had come, and the moment for final decision was at hand. Mr. Ellsworth's conduct throughout had been very much in his favour; he had been persevering and marked in his attentions, without annoying by his pertinacity. Elinor had liked him, in the common sense of the word, from the first; and the better she knew him, the more cause she found to respect his principles, and amiable character. And yet, if left to her own unbiassed judgment, she would probably have refused him at first, with no other reluctance than that of wounding for a time the feelings of a man she sincerely esteemed.

The morning that Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Ellsworth left Wyllys-Roof, Elinor set out to take a stroll in the field, with no other companion than her friend Bruno. The dog seemed aware that his mistress was absent and thoughtful, more indifferent than usual to his caresses and gambols; and, after having made this observation, the sagacious animal seemed determined not to annoy her, but walked soberly at her side, or occasionally trotting on before, he would stop, turn towards her, and sit in the path, looking at her as she slowly approached. She had left the house, in order to avoid any intrusion on her thoughts, at a moment which was an important one to her; for she had determined, that after one more thorough examination of her own feelings, her own views, and the circumstances in which she was placed, the question should be irrevocably settled—whether she were to became the wife of Mr. Ellsworth, or to remain single. Many persons may fancy this a very insignificant matter to decide, and one that required no such serious attention. But to every individual, that is a highly important point, which must necessarily affect the whole future course of life; the choice which involves so intimate and indissoluble a relation, where every interest in life is identical with one's own, is surely no trifling concern. It may well be doubted, indeed, if even with men it be not a matter of higher importance than is commonly believed; observation, we think, would lead to the opinion, that a wife's character and conduct have a deeper and more general effect on the husband's career, for good or for evil, through his opinions and actions, than the world is aware of. This choice certainly appeared a much more formidable step to Elinor, when Mr. Ellsworth was the individual to be accepted or rejected, than it had when Harry stood in the same position. In one case she had to reflect, and ponder, and weigh all the different circumstances; in the other, the natural bent of her affections had decided the question before it was asked. But Elinor had, quite lately, settled half-a-dozen similar affairs, with very little reflection indeed, and without a moment's anxiety or regret; she had just refused, with polite indifference, several proposals, from persons whom she had every reason to believe, cared a great deal for her fortune, and very little for herself. If thought were more active than feeling, in behalf of Mr. Ellsworth, still, thought said a great deal in his favour. She had always liked and respected him; she believed him attached to her; her nearest friends were anxious she should give a favourable answer; there could not be a doubt that he possessed many excellent and desirable qualities. She would not be romantic, neither would she be unjust to Mr. Ellsworth and herself; she would not accept him, unless she could do so frankly, and without reluctance. This, then, was the question to be decided—could she love Mr. Ellsworth? The free, spontaneous love, natural to early youth, she had once given to Hazlehurst; could she now offer to Mr. Ellsworth sincere affection of another kind, less engrossing at first, less mingled with the charms of fancy, but often, perhaps on that account, more valuable, more enduring? Sincere affection of any sort, is that only which improves with age, gaining strength amid the wear and tear of life. It was to decide this question clearly, that Elinor had desired three months' delay. These three months had nearly passed; when she again met Mr. Ellsworth, in what character should she receive him?

The precise train of thought pursued by Elinor, during this morning stroll, we shall not attempt to follow; but that she was fully aware of the importance of the decision was evident, by the unusual absence of manner, which seemed to have struck even her four-footed friend Bruno. She had, indeed, made an important discovery lately, one which was startling, and even painful to her. She found that there are moments in life, when each individual is called upon to think and to act alone. It is a truth which most of us are forced to feel, as we go through this world; though, happily, it is but seldom that such hours occur. In general, the sympathy, the counsel of friends, is of the very highest value; and yet, there are moments when neither can avail. At such times, we are forced to look higher, to acknowledge that human wisdom does not reach far enough to guide us, that our wounds need a purer balm than any offered by human sympathy. Until recently, Elinor had always been soothed and supported by the affection and guidance of her aunt, but she must now depend upon herself alone. To a young person, called upon for the first time to take an important step, with no other guide than individual judgment and conscience, the responsibility of action may well be startling; even a wise and experienced man will often pause at such moments, doubtful of the course he shall pursue. It is an easy matter to settle a question, when passion, feeling, interest, or prejudice gives the bias; but where these are all silent, and cool judgment is left alone to decide, the greatest men feel, to a painful degree, how limited are their powers; the high responsibility which is attached to free-will rises before them, and they shrink from the idea of trusting their own welfare to their own short-sighted reason alone. Most men, at such times, take refuge in a sort of fatalism; they stand inactive, until urged in this or that direction by the press of outward circumstances; or they rush blindly forward, under impatience of suspense, preferring risk to inaction.

The occasion of our young friend's anxiety and thoughtfulness was, no doubt, a trifling one to all but herself; the cause of her hesitation, however, was honourable; the opinions, feelings, and motives under which she eventually acted, were alike natural and creditable.

CHAPTER XVIII. {XLI}

"Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question, in the court?"
Merchant of Venice.

{William Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice", IV.i.171-172}

AS the time for the trial approached, the parties collected in Philadelphia. Harry and his friends were often seen in the streets, looking busy and thoughtful. Mr. Reed also appeared, and took up his quarters at one of the great hotels, in company with Mr. Clapp and his client, who generally received the name of William Stanley, although he had not yet established a legal claim to it. There was much curiosity to see this individual, as the case had immediately attracted general attention in the town, where the families interested were so well known, and the singular circumstances of the suit naturally excited additional interest.

After the court opened its session, it became doubtful at one moment, whether the cause would he tried at that term; but others which preceded it having been disposed of, the Stanley suit was at length called.

On one side appeared William Stanley, the plaintiff, with Messrs. Reed and Clapp as counsel; a number of witnesses had been summoned by them, and were now present, mingled with the audience. On the other hand were the defendants, Mr. Wyllys, Hazlehurst, Ellsworth, and Mr. Grant, a distinguished lawyer of Philadelphia, appearing more particularly for Mrs. Stanley; they were also supported by witnesses of their own.

While the preliminary steps were going on, the jury forming, and the parties interested making their arrangements, the court-room filled rapidly with the friends of Hazlehurst, and a crowd of curious spectators. Among the individuals known to us, were Robert Hazlehurst, Mr. Stryker, and Charlie Hubbard, the young artist, who found that his want of inches interfered with his view of the scene, and springing on a bench, he remained there, and contrived to keep much the same station throughout the trial, his fine, intelligent countenance following the proceedings with the liveliest interest: Harry soon perceived him, and the young men exchanged friendly smiles. Mr. Stryker was looking on with cold, worldly curiosity; while Robert Hazlehurst watched over his brother's interest with much anxiety. In one sense the audience was unequally divided at first, for while Harry had many warm, personal friends present, the sailor was a stranger to all; the aspect of things partially changed, however, for among that portion of the crowd who had no particular sympathies with the defendants, a number soon took sides with the plaintiff. The curiosity to see the sailor was very great; at one moment, in the opening of the trial, all eyes were fixed on him; nor did Harry escape his share of scrutiny.

It was immediately observed, by those who had known the late Mr. Stanley, that the plaintiff certainly resembled his family. He was dressed like a seaman, and appeared quite easy and confident; seldom absent from court, speaking little, but following the proceedings attentively. His counsel, Mr. Reed, bore a calm and business-like aspect. Clapp was flushed, his eye was keen and restless, though he looked sanguine and hopeful; running his hand through his dark curls, he would lean back and make an observation to his client, turn to the right and whisper something in the ear of Mr. Reed, or bend over his papers, engrossed in thought.

The defendants, on their side, were certainly three as respectable men in their appearance, as one would wish to see; they looked, moved, and spoke like gentlemen; in manner and expression they were all three perfectly natural; simple, easy, but firm; like men aware that important interests were at stake, and prepared to make a good defence. Mr. Grant, their colleague, was an insignificant-looking man when silent, but he never rose to speak, without commanding the whole attention of his audience by the force of his talent.

The judges were-well known to be respectable men, as American magistrates of the higher grade are usually found to be. In the appearance of the jury there was nothing remarkable; the foreman was a shrewd-looking man, his neighbour on the left had an open, honest countenance, two others showed decidedly stupid faces, and one had a very obstinate expression, as if the first idea that entered his head, on any subject whatever, was seldom allowed to be dislodged.

Such was the appearance of things when the trial commenced. Leaving the minutiae of the proceedings to the legal report of Mr. Bernard, understood to be in the press, we shall confine ourselves to a brief, and very imperfect outline of the speeches, and the most important points of the testimony; merely endeavouring to give the reader a general idea of the course of things, on an occasion so important to Hazlehurst.

Mr. Clapp opened the case in a regular speech. Rising from his seat, he ran his fingers through his hair, and commenced, much as follows:

"We come before you on this occasion, gentlemen of the jury, to plead a cause which it is believed is unprecedented, in its peculiar facts, among the annals of justice in our great and glorious country. Never, indeed, should I have believed it possible that an American citizen could, under any circumstances whatever, have been compelled during so long a period to forego his just and legal rights; ay, that he could be forced to the very verge of abandoning those rights—all but forced to forget them. Yet, such are the facts of the case upon which you are now to decide. The individual appearing before you this day, claiming that the strong arm of the law be raised in his behalf, first presented himself to me, with the very same demand, six years since; to my shame I confess it, he was driven unaided from my door—I refused to assist him; he had already carried the same claim to others, and received from others the same treatment. And what is this claim, so difficult to establish? Is it some intricate legal question? Is it some doubtful point of law? Is it a matter which requires much learning to decide, much wisdom to fathom? No, gentlemen; it is a claim clearly defined, firmly established; never yet doubted, never yet denied: it is a claim, not only recognized in the common-law of every land, protected in the statute-books of every nation, but it is a claim, gentlemen, which springs spontaneously from the heart of every human being—it is the right of a son to his father's inheritance. A right, dear alike to the son of one of our merchant princes, and to the son of the porter on our wharves."

"Mr. Clapp paused; he looked about the court, rested his eyes on his client, ran his fingers through his curls, and then proceeded.

"Gentlemen; I have told you that it is the right of a son to his father's inheritance, which we this day call upon you to uphold. It is more; it is the sacred cause of the orphan that you are to defend. Yes, gentlemen; at the moment when William Stanley should have taken possession of the inheritance, which was his by the threefold title of nature, of law, and of parental bequest, he was a mere boy, a minor, a wanderer on the deep; one of that gallant class of men who carry the glorious colours of our great and happy country into every port, who whiten every sea with American canvass—he was a roving sailor-boy!"

And setting out from this point, Mr. Clapp made a general statement of the case, coloured by all the cheap ornaments of forensic eloquence, and varied by allusions to the glory of the country, the learning of all judges, particularly American judges, especially the judges then on the bench; the wisdom of all juries, particularly American juries, especially the jury then in the box. He confessed that his client had been guilty of folly in his boyhood; "but no one, gentlemen, can regret past misconduct more than Mr. Stanley; no son ever felt more deeply than himself, regret, that he could not have attended the death-bed of his father, received his last blessing, and closed his eyes for the last time!" Mr. Clapp then read parts of Mr. Stanley's will, gave an outline of his client's wanderings, and was very particular with names and dates. The sailor's return was then described in the most pathetic colours. "He brought with him, gentlemen, nothing but the humble contents of a sailor's chest, the hard-earned wages of his daily toil; he, who in justice was the owner of as rich a domain as any in the land!" The attempts of this poor sailor to obtain his rights were then represented. "He learned the bitter truth, gentlemen, that a poor seaman, a foremast hand, with a tarpaulin hat and round-jacket, stood little chance of being heard, as the accuser of the rich and the powerful—the men who walked abroad in polished beavers, and aristocratic broad-cloths." Aristocracy having once been brought upon the scene, was made to figure largely in several sentences, and was very roughly handled indeed. To have heard Mr. Clapp, one would have supposed aristocracy was the most sinful propensity to which human nature was liable; the only very criminal quality to which republican nature might he inclined. Of course the defendants were accused of this heinous sin; this brilliant passage concluded with a direct allusion to the "very aristocratic trio before him." Mr. Stanley was declared to be no aristocrat; he was pronounced thoroughly plebeian in all his actions and habits. "Like the individual who has now the honour of addressing you, gentlemen, Mr. Stanley is entirely free, in all his habits and opinions, from the hateful stain of aristocracy." He continued, following his client's steps down to the present time, much as they are already known to the reader. Then, making a sudden change, he reviewed the conduct of the defendants as connected with his client.

{"Aristocracy" = Susan Fenimore Cooper was very familiar with court proceedings in the 1840s. Her father was at this time involved in a series of generally successful libel suits against newspapers, which defended themselves by accusing him of being "aristocratic," a sore point, as he had repeatedly denounced aristocracy as the worst of all forms of government}

"What were their first steps at the death of Mr. Stanley, the father? Merely those which were absolutely necessary to secure themselves; they inquired for the absent son, but they inquired feebly; had they waited with greater patience he would have appeared, for the story of his disinheritance would never have reached him. Whence did that story proceed from? It is not for me to say; others now present may be able to account for it more readily. No, gentlemen, it is a bitter truth, that the conduct of the executors has been consistent throughout, from the moment they first took possession of the Stanley estate, until their appearance in this court; the conduct of the rival legatee has also been marked by the same consistent spirit of opposition, from the time of his first interview with Mr. Stanley, after he had arrived at years of discretion, and knew the value of the estate he hoped to enjoy; from the moment, I say, when he coolly ordered the unfortunate sailor to be locked up in Mr. Wyllys's smoke-house, until the present instant, when his only hope lies in denying the identity of Mr. Stanley's son." Mr. Clapp dwelt for some time upon this first interview, and the smoke-house; as he had previously hinted to Hazlehurst, he laboured to make that affair "look ugly," to the best of his ability. If the language of the Longbridge lawyer had been respectful throughout the preliminary proceedings, his tune in the court-room changed completely. As he drew towards the close of his speech, he gave full scope to a burst of virtuous indignation against wickedness and hypocrisy in general, and particularly against the conduct of the defendants. He declared himself forced to believe, that both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst had suspected the existence of William Stanley from the first—others might have the charity to believe they had been ignorant of the young man's existence, he only wished he could still believe such to have been the fact—he had believed them honestly ignorant of it, until it was no longer possible for the prejudices of a long-standing friendship and intimacy to blind his eyes, under the flood of light presented by proofs as clear as day—proofs which his respected brother, the senior counsel, and himself, were about to lay before the court. He wished to be understood, however; he never for one moment had included in these suspicions—so painful to every candid, upright mind, but which had recently forced themselves upon him—he repeated, that in them he had never included the respected lady who filled the place of step-mother to his client, whose representative he now saw before him, in the person of a highly distinguished lawyer of the Philadelphia bar; he did not suppose that that venerable matron had ever doubted the death of her husband's son. He knew that excellent lady, had often met her in the social circle; none admired more than he, the virtues for which she was distinguished; he had never supposed it possible, that if aware of the existence of William Stanley, she could have sat down calmly to enjoy his inheritance. Such a case of turpitude might not be without example; but he confessed that in his eyes, it would amount to guilt of so black a dye, that he was unwilling to accuse human nature of such depravity; it went beyond the powers of his, Mr. Clapp's, imagination to comprehend. No, he acquitted Mrs. Stanley of all blame; she had been influenced and guided by the two gentlemen before him. He had himself observed, that during all the preliminary proceedings, the venerable step-mother of his client had shown many symptoms of doubt and hesitation; it was his firm conviction, it was the opinion of his client, of his brother counsel, that if left to her own unbiassed judgment, Mrs. Stanley would immediately have acknowledged her husband's son, and received him as such. He appealed to the defendants themselves if this were not true; he called upon them to deny this assertion if they could—if they dared! Here Mr. Clapp paused a moment, and looked towards Mr. Grant.

The defendants had already spoken together for an instant; Mr. Ellsworth rose: "The answer which the counsel for the plaintiff was so anxious to receive, was reserved for its proper place in the defence. Where so much might be said, he should scarcely be able to confine himself within the bounds necessary at that moment. Let the counsel for the plaintiff rest assured, however, that the answer to that particular question, when given, would prove, like the general answer of the defence, of a nature that the interrogator would, doubtless, little relish."

During Mr. Clapp's abusive remarks, and impudent insinuations against himself and Mr. Wyllys, Hazlehurst, placing one arm on the table before him, leaned a little, forward, and fixed his eye steadily, but searchingly, on the face of the speaker. It proved as Harry had expected; the lawyer looked to the right and left, he faced the judges, the jurors; he glanced at the audience, raised his eyes to the ceiling, or threw them upon his papers, but not once did he meet those of Hazlehurst.

"Gentlemen of the jury; you will observe that the question remains unanswered!" continued Mr. Clapp, with a triumphant air. He then contrived to appeal to his brother counsel to declare his own impressions, and gave Mr. Reed an opportunity of affirming, that he had believed Mrs. Stanley inclined to acknowledge their client; he spoke calmly and impressively, in a manner very different from the hurried, yet whining enunciation, and flourishing gestures of his colleague.

Mr. Clapp now proceeded to prepare the way for the evidence: he gave a general idea of its character, expressing beforehand the firmest conviction of its effect on the court. "I have been engaged in hundreds of suits, gentlemen; I have been a regular attendant in courts of law from early boyhood, and never, in the whole course of my experience, have I met with a case, so peculiar and so important, supported by a body of evidence so clear, so decided, so undeniable as that which we shall immediately lay before you;" and Mr. Clapp sat down, running his fingers through his curls.

The court here adjourned for an hour. The curiosity of the audience seemed thoroughly excited; when the judges reassembled, the room was even more crowded than in the morning.

Before calling up the witnesses, Mr. Reed spoke for five minutes; his dignified manner was a favourable preparation for the testimony in the plaintiff's behalf.

The first fact proved, was the resemblance of the plaintiff to William Stanley; this point was thoroughly investigated, and settled without difficulty in favour of the plaintiff—some half-a-dozen witnesses swearing to the identity, according to the best of their belief. The fact that the defendants themselves had acknowledged the personal resemblance, was also made to appear; and Mr. Reed introduced the identity of handwriting to strengthen the personal identity—several witnesses giving their testimony on the subject. It seemed indeed, clear, from the whole of this part of the evidence, that there was no rational ground to doubt any other difference, either in the personal resemblance or the handwriting, than what might naturally exist in the same man, at the ages of eighteen and thirty-seven.

The statement offered to the defendants some months since, tracing the last career of the plaintiff was now introduced, and the principal facts legally proved by different witnesses. Officers and sailors of different vessels in which he had sailed, were sworn. Among others, Captain ——-, of the packet ship ***, testified to the plaintiff's having sailed in his vessel, under the name of William Stanley, nine years previously; and it was very clearly proved, that at different intervals since then, he had continued to bear the same name, although he had also shipped under those of Bennet, Williams, and Benson. The statement, as given already in our pages, was borne out satisfactorily in most of its important facts by the evidence; although on some points the counsel for the plaintiffs confessed, that they had not been able to obtain all the legal proofs they had wished for. After tracing the plaintiff's steps as a sailor, the fact of his having been long endeavouring to bring forward the claim he now made, was examined. Mr. G——-, a highly respectable lawyer of Baltimore, testified to the fact that several years previously, the plaintiff had applied to him to undertake the case then before the court; to speak frankly, this evidence surprised the defendants, who were scarcely prepared for it. Then came proof of the different applications to Mr. Clapp, his several visits to Longbridge, and his presence at Wyllys-Roof six years previously, when locked up in the out-house by Hazlehurst; Mr. Clapp repeating at this moment, a very broad insinuation, that the defendant knew the claims of the individual he had put in confinement. His willingness to be examined, his ready consent to an interview with Mr. Wyllys, Mrs. Stanley, and Hazlehurst, the close examination which he bore at Wyllys-Roof, were brought forward; and Mr. Clapp managed to introduce most of the important questions of the defendants at that time, with the accurate answers of the plaintiff, in his account of that meting.

The court adjourned at this time, and many individuals among the audience seemed to incline very decidedly towards the plaintiff. The personal friends of the defendants looked somewhat anxious, although Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst still showed a steady front. The testimony which we have given so briefly, as much of it has already appeared in the narrative, occupied the court more than one day, including the different cross-examinations of several witnesses, by the defendants: this duty fell to the lot of Mr. Grant, who carried it on in his usual dry, sarcastic manner, but was unable to effect any important change in the state of things.

The following morning, the plaintiff's papers were laid before the court. The volume of the Spectator, and the letters already produced at Wyllys-Roof, were shown. In addition to these, the following papers were now brought forward: A letter addressed to the name of Benson, on board the British sloop-of-war, Ceres; another directed to William Bennet, on board the Dutch barque William, when at Batavia, nearly eighteen years since; this letter was important, as it was evidently written to an American sailor, and alluded to his having been recently shipwrecked on the coast of Africa, and taken up by a Dutch vessel. These documents were all received with great interest, and their probable authenticity seemed generally admitted. Mr. Reed then observed: "We shall close our evidence, gentlemen, by laying before you testimony, sufficient in itself to prove triumphantly the identity of the plaintiff, when connected with a small portion only of that which has preceded it."

He drew from his papers an old Russia-leather pocketbook, with the initials W. S. stamped upon in large Gothic letters.

Mr. Wyllys made an involuntary movement as it was held up for examination; that very pocket-book, or one exactly like it, had he given himself to the son of his old friend, the very last time he saw him. He watched the proceedings at this moment with intense interest—evident to everybody.

"This pocket-book, gentlemen, is the property of the plaintiff," continued Mr. Reed. "The initials of his name, W. S., stamped upon it, are half-effaced, yet still sufficiently distinct to tell their story. But the contents of this precious book are of still greater importance to the interests of my client."

Mr. Reed then opened it and drew from one side a letter, and read the address, "William Stanley, New York, care of Jonas Thomson, Master of the ship Dorothy Beck." "This letter, gentlemen of the jury, is signed John Stanley—it is from the father of William Stanley, in whose name I now submit it to your examination." The letter was then read; it corresponded entirely with the circumstances already known to the reader; its date, nature, handwriting, all were perfectly correct, and the signature was sworn to by several witnesses. Mr. Wyllys was evidently moved when the letter was read; he asked to look at it, and all eyes were turned on his venerable countenance, as he silently examined the paper. It was remarked that the hand which held the letter was not steady, and the features which bent over it betrayed perceptible agitation. Mr. Wyllys turned to Hazlehurst, as he finished reading the sheet.

"It is undeniably genuine; the letter of John Stanley to his son!" he said.

A short consultation succeeded between the defendants. Hazlehurst wrote a line or two on a slip of paper, and handed it to Mr. Wyllys, and then to Ellsworth and Mr. Grant.

"Will the counsel for the plaintiff tell us, why these documents were not produced at the interview with the defendants?" asked Mr. Ellsworth.

"We had several reasons for not doing so," replied Mr. Clapp. "Had our client not been received so coldly, and every effort employed to misunderstand him, we should have produced them earlier; although it would have been impossible to have shown them at that meeting, since they were not then in our possession."

"Will the plaintiff state where, and from whom he first received that pocket-book?" asked Mr. Grant.

Here the counsel for the plaintiff consulted together a moment. It seemed as if their client was willing to answer the question; and that Mr. Reed advised his doing so, but Mr. Clapp opposed it.

"The defendants must be aware," he said, "that they had no right to question his client; Mr. Stanley therefore declined answering; he had already, at the proper time and place, answered many inquiries of theirs, in a manner which had, doubtless, appeared satisfactory to the court, although it had not satisfied the defendants. Mr. Stanley had lost all hope of answering any question of the defendants, in a manner SATISFACTORY TO THEM."

Here the defendants were engaged for a moment in making notes.

Mr. Reed proceeded with the contents of the pocket-book. "The letter of the father to his erring son, is not the only testimony we shall produce from the pocket-book of my client, gentlemen."

A printed slip of newspaper, soiled, and yellow with age, was then drawn from one of the pockets, and read by Mr. Reed: "Married, Wednesday, the 10th, at Trinity Church, New York, by the Rev. Charles G. Stanley, John Stanley, of Greatwood, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth, daughter of the late Myndert Van Ryssen, of Poughkeepsie."

Again the defendants showed evident interest. Mr. Wyllys passed his hand over his face, to drive away melancholy recollections of the past; the present Mrs. Stanley was Miss Van Ryssen, and at that marriage he had stood by the side of his friends, as the priest united them.

"Is not that a touching memorial, gentlemen, of the workings of natural feeling in the heart of a misguided boy? He had left his father, left his home, left his friends in a fit of reckless folly, but when he meets with the name of the parent from whom he is estranged, in an American paper, in a distant land, he cuts the paragraph from the sheet, and it is carefully preserved among his precious things, during many succeeding years of hardships, and of wrongs. But there is another striking fact connected with that scrap of paper; the individual whose name stands there, as connected in the closest of human ties with the young man's father, is the same, whose legal representative I now see before me, prepared to oppose, by every means in his power, the claim of the son to the inheritance bequeathed him, with the forgiveness of his dying father. The simplest language I can choose, will best express the force of facts so painful. The circumstances are before you; it rests with you to say, whether tardy justice shall not at length make some amends for the wrongs of the last eighteen years."

The defendants here asked to look at the paper; they could find no fault with it; in texture, colour, accuracy, every point, it corresponded with what it should be.

Mr. Reed paused an instant, and then continued. "But, gentlemen of the jury, this old and well-worn pocket-book, the companion of my client's wanderings, and hard fortunes; the letter from the father to the son, received as authentic, without an instant's hesitation, by the defendants themselves; the marriage notice of the deceased father and the step-mother, now his legal opponent, are not the only proofs to be drawn from this portion of our testimony."

Mr. Reed then opened the pocket-book, and showed that it had originally contained a number of leaves of blank paper; these leaves were partially covered with the hand-writing of William Stanley. The date of his going to sea, and the names of the vessels he had sailed in, were recorded. Brief, random notes occurred, of no other importance than that of proving the authenticity of the pocket-book. A sailor's song was written on one page; another was half-covered with figures, apparently some trifling accounts of his own. The date of a particular storm of unusual severity, was put down, with the latitude and longitude in which it occurred, the number of hours it lasted, and the details of the injury done to the vessel. This rude journal, if such it may be called, was handed to the jury, and also examined by the defendants.

Mr. Grant took it, observing with his usual set expression, and caustic manner, that "it was certainly the pocket-book of a sailor, probably the pocket-book of William Stanley. It was connected with a singular story, a very singular story indeed; but, really, there was one fact which made it altogether the most extraordinary compound of leather and paper, that ever happened to fall in his way. If he was not mistaken, he had understood that the plaintiff, among other remarkable adventures, claimed to have just escaped drowning, by the skin of his teeth, when picked up on the coast of Africa, in the winter of 181-. His pocket-book seemed to have borne the shipwreck equally well; it was landed high and dry in that court-house, without a trace of salt-water about it. How did the plaintiff manage to preserve it so well? He should like the receipt, it might prove useful."

{"receipt" = recipe}

Mr. Grant had been looking down very attentively at the pocket-book while speaking, occasionally holding it up for others to see, with studied carelessness; as he put the question, he suddenly raised his eyes, without changing his position, and fixed them searchingly, with a sort of ironical simplicity, on Mr. Clapp and his client.

"I can tell him all about it," the plaintiff was heard to say, by those near him.

There was a moment's consultation between the plaintiff and his counsel. A juror then expressed a wish to hear the explanation.

Mr. Clapp rose and said: "When Mr. Stanley was picked up by the 'William,' does the counsel for my client's step-mother suppose, that he was the only remnant of the wreck floating about? If he does, he happens to be mistaken. Mr. Stanley says there were two others of the crew picked up at the time he was, with the hope of restoring life, but they were dead. There were also several chests, and various other objects brought on board the 'William.' One of the chests was his client's. The pocket-book was contained in a tin box, which happened to be wrapped in a piece of old sail-cloth, and nothing in the box was wet. It contained several old bank-notes, besides the pocket-book, and they were not wet. He hoped the counsel for his client's step-mother was satisfied."

Mr. Grant bowed. "Much obliged for the explanation; but he was still inclined to think, that there must have been some peculiar process employed with that highly important pocket-book."

Mr. Clapp replied by a short burst of indignation, at the intolerable insinuations of his opponent, and appealed to the court to silence them. Mr. Grant was accordingly reminded by the judge, that unless he had something beyond mere insinuations to offer, his remarks could not be listened to. Mr. Reed then related how these papers had been lost by his client, some years since; they had been left in a box at a boarding-house, during a voyage he made in the Pacific; the house was burnt down, and Mr. Stanley had believed his papers lost, until he recently heard they were in possession of a shipmate, at New Bedford. Mr. Clapp and himself had gone there, and easily obtained them again from Robert Stebbins, the man in whose hands they had been since the fire. The fact of the fire was proved; Stebbins was sworn, and testified to having saved the box with his own effects, and his having quite lately returned it to the owner, on first hearing an account of the suit in which he was engaged. This part of the testimony was clearly laid before the court by Mr. Reed; and the evidence for the plaintiffs was closed, with these papers, and the examination of Stebbins, through whose hands they had come.

The cross-examination of the different witnesses was still conducted by Mr. Grant; several of the witnesses were made to contradict each other, and partially to contradict themselves; but as it was only on points of minor importance, no material change could be effected in the general appearance of things, in spite of all Mr. Grant's ingenuity. He kept Stebbins a long time on the stand; and once or twice this individual seemed a good deal confused in manner and expression; still nothing important could be drawn from him, his account of the papers corresponding sufficiently well with that of the plaintiff.

It was late in the afternoon when the proceedings of the trial reached this stage, and the court adjourned. Some of Hazlehurst's friends were uneasy, others were confident of success; Mr. Stryker declared he thought the sailor had made out a very strong case, and he predicted that he would gain the suit. It is not to be supposed that Mrs. Stanley, and the ladies at Wyllys-Roof, were left in ignorance of what passed in the court-room. Robert Hazlehurst, at whose house Mrs. Stanley and Miss Wyllys were staying, made brief notes of the proceedings every few hours, and sent them to his wife and friends, who despatched them by every mail to the younger ladies at Wyllys-Roof.

When the court met again, the time for the defendants to be heard had arrived.

The defence was opened by Hazlehurst; he had had but little practice at the bar, but, like most educated Americans, it required but little to fit him for speaking in public. His voice was good, his manner and appearance were highly in his favour; he had the best of materials to work with, native ability, cultivated by a thorough education, and supported by just views and sound principles. Energy of character and feeling helped him also; warming as he proceeded, he threw himself fully into his subject, and went on with a facility surprising to himself, and far surpassing the most sanguine expectations of his friends. As for his opponents, they had anticipated very little from him. We give a sketch of his opening remarks:

"It is the first time, gentlemen," he said, on rising to speak, "that the individual who now addresses you, has ever appeared in a high court of justice, as an act of self-defence. I have never yet been solemnly called upon to account for my past actions by any fellow-creature. My moral motives have never yet been publicly impugned. The position in which I now stand, accused of denying the just rights of another, of wilfully withholding the parental inheritance from the son of my benefactor, is therefore as novel to myself in its whole character, as it must appear remarkable to you in its peculiar circumstances.

"I have already learned, however, during the few years that I have filled a place on the busy stage of active life, that in the world to which we belong, Truth herself is compelled to appear on the defensive, nearly as often, perhaps, as Error. I have no right therefore to complain. So long as I am included in the same accusation, so long as I am associated in the same defence with the venerable man at my side—one, whose honourable career has furnished to the community represented by this assembly, a noble model of conduct during three-score years and ten; one whom it has been the especial object of my endeavours to follow, in my own path through life—so long, I can have no wish to shrink from the situation in which I am placed; I can find no room for doubts or misgivings, as to the wisdom and rectitude of the course I have adopted.

"That the position, however, in which we stand before you, on the present occasion, gentlemen, is one that requires explanation, we readily admit; it is too remarkable in its particulars to escape the searching inquiry of justice. We appear in this court, the executors and legatee of Mr. Stanley—his widow, his nearest friend, and his adopted representative—to deny a claim, just in itself, advanced in the name of his only son. Such a position must be either quite untenable, totally unjustifiable, an outrage upon the common decency of society, or it must stand on the firm foundation of truth. You will easily believe, that such a position would never have been taken, under circumstances so extraordinary, by three individuals, possessing only a common share of honesty and good sense, unless they had held it to be one which they could maintain. You will readily admit, that it is the very last position which a man of clear integrity, good character, and natural feeling would wish to assume, unless acting from conscientious motives, and guided by sound reason.

"I have no wish to parade a stoical indifference to the pecuniary interests at stake to-day; they are such as must seriously affect my fortunes for years, possibly for life. A cause involving so large a sum of money, so fine a landed estate, honourably acquired by the late proprietor, and generously bequeathed to myself, must necessarily include many interests of a varied character. Many grateful recollections of the past, many hopes for the future, have been connected in my mind with the house at Greatwood; from early boyhood I have been taught to look forward to it, as a home and a resting-place, when the busiest years of life shall have passed. These interests, however, although among the best enjoyments of existence, are of a nature entirely personal, forgive me, if for a moment I have glanced at them. But, gentlemen, if I have always valued the bequest of Mr. Stanley, from its own intrinsic importance, from the many advantages it has already procured me, from the hopes with which it is connected, and from the grateful recollection, that to the friendly affection of my benefactor I owe its possession, yet, I solemnly affirm, in the hearing of hundreds of witnesses, that there is no honest occupation, however humble, no labour, however toilsome, that I would not at this instant cheerfully exchange for it, rather than retain that inheritance one hour from its rightful owner, could I believe him to be living.

"No human being, I trust, who knows the principles from which I have hitherto acted, can show just ground for mistrusting this declaration.

"But, fellow-citizens of the jury, to you I am a stranger. There is not one of your number, as I now scan the faces in your box, that I recognize as that of an acquaintance. I cannot, therefore, expect you to believe this assertion, unsupported by evidence of its truth. I willingly leave vain declamation to those who have no better weapon to work with; were it in my power to influence your decision, by volleys of words without meaning, sound without sense, such as only too often assail the ears of judges and juries, respect for the honourable office you now fill, would deter me from following such a course; self-respect would naturally prevent me from following so closely the example of the orator who first addressed you on behalf of the plaintiff. I have often before heard that orator, fellow-citizens of the jury; this is not the first occasion upon which I have listened with simple wonder, to a fluency which ever flows undisturbed, undismayed, whether the obstacles in its way be those of law or justice, reason or truth. But if I have wondered at a facility so remarkable, never, for a single instant, have I wished to rival this supple dexterity. It is an accomplishment one can scarcely envy. On the other hand, these wholesale supplies of bombastic declamation form so large a part of the local stock in trade of the individual to whom I refer, that it would seem almost cruel to deprive him of them; we have all heard a common expression, more easily understood than explained, but which would be quite applicable to the pitiable state of the counsel for the plaintiff, when deprived of his chief support, his favourite modes of speech—he would then be reduced, gentlemen, to LESS THAN NOTHING." Hazlehurst's face was expressive enough as he uttered these words.

"No, fellow-citizens of the jury, I shall not ask you to believe a single assertion of my own, unsustained by proof. At the proper moment, the testimony which we possess in favour of the death of Mr. Stanley's son, and the facts which have led us to mistrust the strange story which you have just heard advanced in behalf of the plaintiff, will be laid before you. At present, suffer me, for a moment longer, to refer to the leading motives which have induced us to appear in this court, as defendants, under circumstances so singular.

"The importance which, as legatee of Mr. Stanley, I attach to his generous gift has not been denied. But, independently of this, there are other causes sufficient in themselves to have brought me into this hall, and these motives I share with the friends associated in the same defence. If we conceive ourselves to be justified in refusing the demand of the plaintiff, as a consequence of this conviction, we must necessarily hold it to be an imperative duty to repel, by every honest means in our power, a claim we believe false. This is a case which allows of no medium course. On one hand, either we, the defendants, are guilty of an act of the most cruel injustice; or, on the other, the individual before you, assuming the name of William Stanley, is an impostor. The opinion of those most intimately connected with the late Mr. Stanley, is clearly proclaimed, by the stand they have deliberately taken, after examining the evidence with which the plaintiff advances his extraordinary claim. This individual who, from his own account, was content to remain for years in a state of passive indifference to the same important inheritance, now claimed so boldly, in defiance of so many obstacles, we believe to be an impostor; not a single, lingering scruple prevents my repeating the declaration, that I believe him to be a bold and daring impostor.

"With this opinion, is it expected that I shall calmly endure that one, whose only title consists in his cunning and his audacity, should seize with impunity, property, legally and justly my own? Is it believed that I shall stand idly by, without a struggle to defend the name of my deceased benefactor from such impudent abuse? That I should be content to see the very hearth-stone of my friend seized, by the grossest cupidity? That I should surrender the guardianship of his grave to one, with whom he never had a thought, a feeling, a sympathy in common?—to one, who would not scruple to sell that grave for a bottle of rum?

"Every feeling revolts at the thought of such a shameful neglect of duty! No; I acknowledge myself bound, by every obligation, to oppose to the last extremity, such an audacious invasion of right and truth. Every feeling of respect and gratitude to the memory of my benefactor, urges me forward; while all the attachment of the friend, and all the affection of the widow, revive, and unite in the defence.

"But, fellow-citizens of the jury, my own personal rights, sufficient on a common occasion to rouse any man, the duties owed by each of the defendants to the memory of Mr. Stanley—duties sacred in the eyes of every right-thinking man, these are not the only motives which call upon us to oppose the plaintiff, to repel with all the strength we can command this daring act of piracy.

"There is another duty still more urgent, a consideration of a still higher character, involved in the course we pursue to-day. There is one object before us, far surpassing in importance any to which I have yet alluded; it is one, fellow-citizens of the jury, in which each individual of your number is as deeply concerned as ourselves, in which the highest earthly interests of every human being in this community are included; it is the one great object for which these walls were raised, this hall opened, which has placed those honourable men as judges on the seat of justice, which has called you together, from the less important pursuit of your daily avocations, to give an impartial opinion in every case brought before you; it is the high object of maintaining justice in the community to which we all equally belong. I am willing to believe, fellow-citizens of the jury, that you are fully aware of the importance of your own office, of the dignity of this court, of the necessity of its existence, of its activity to protect the honest and inoffensive citizen, against the designing, the unprincipled, and the violent. Such protection we know to be absolutely binding upon every community claiming to be civilized; we know that without it no state of society, at all worthy of the dignity of human nature, at all worthy of the dignity of freemen, can exist; without active justice, indeed, the name of Freedom becomes a mere sound of mockery. I have been taught to hold the opinion, gentlemen, that if there is one obligation more imperative than any other, imposed upon an American by the privileges of his birth-right, it is this very duty of maintaining justice in her full integrity; of raising his voice in her behalf when she is threatened, of raising his arm in her defence when she is assailed. To move at the first clear appeal of justice, is surely one of the chief duties of every American citizen, of every man blessed with freedom of speech and freedom of action; and, surely, if this be a general rule, it would become a double act of moral cowardice, to desert the post, when those individual rights, confided especially to my own protection, including interests so important to myself, are audaciously assailed. If there are circumstances which partially remove the weight of this obligation, of this public struggle for justice, from portions of the community, from the aged, who have already firmly upheld every honourable principle through a long course of years, and from those who are confined by their natural position to the narrow but holy circle of domestic duties; if such be honourable exemptions from bearing the brunt of the battle, it is only to open the front rank to every active citizen, laying claim to manliness and honesty. Such I conceive to be the obligation imposed upon myself, by the demand of the plaintiff. Upon examination, I can find no sufficient evidence to support this claim; it becomes therefore, in my belief, by its very nature, an atrocious outrage alike to the living and the dead—an insulting violation of natural justice and the law of the land, sufficient to rouse every justifiable effort in resistance.

"Whenever attention may be called to a question, of a character audaciously unprincipled, even when quite independent of personal advantage and personal feeling, I should still hope that duty as a man, duty as a freeman, would have sufficient influence over my actions, to urge me forward in opposition to its unrighteous demands, just so far as common sense and true principle shall point the way. Such I conceive to be the character of the present question; were there no pecuniary interest, no individual feeling at stake, I should still conceive it a duty to hold on the present occasion the position in which I now stand.

"The grounds upon which this opinion as to the character of the case has been formed, the grounds upon which we base our defence, must now be laid before you."

After this opening, Harry proceeded with an outline of the testimony for the defence. His statement was very clear and accurate throughout; but as it contained nothing but what is already known to the reader, we shall omit this part of his remarks.

After he had given a general account of the conduct and views of the defendants, Mr. Ellsworth proceeded to lay the legal evidence in their possession, before the court. The first point examined, was the testimony they had received as to the death of William Stanley. The wreck of the Jefferson was easily proved, by a letter from the captain of the American ship Eagle, who had spoken the Jefferson the morning of the gale in which she was lost, and having safely rode out the storm himself, had afterwards seen the wreck. This letter was written on Captain Green's arrival in port, and was in answer to inquiries of Mr. Wyllys; besides an account of the gale, and the wreck of the Jefferson, it contained the united opinions of his mates and himself, that no one could have escaped, unless under very extraordinary circumstances, as the vessel herself had foundered, and no boat could have lived in such a tempest. During a calm which had followed the gale, they had fallen in with fragments of the wreck, some of which had been used in repairing their own vessel; they had seen several dead bodies, and had taken up an empty boat, and several other objects, but nothing which threw farther light on the subject. William Stanley's name, as one of the crew of the Jefferson, was next produced; this part of the testimony came through our acquaintance, Mr. Hopkins, who had been the owner of the Jefferson. Then came proofs of the many efforts made by the executors, to obtain accounts of Mr. Stanley's son, by advertisements to sailors and shipmasters, in all the great ports of the country, repeated during five years; many letters and communications were also produced, all strengthening the report of the young man's death. An agent had been employed by Mrs. Stanley, for one year, with no other object than that of searching for intelligence of her step-son; the man himself was dead, but his letters were read, and sworn to by his wife. Only once had the executors obtained a faint hope of the young man's existence; the second-mate of a whaler reported that he had known a William Stanley, a foremast hand, in the Pacific; but eventually it appeared, that the man alluded to was much older than Mr. Stanley's son, and his name was SANLEY. Nothing could be more clearly proved, than the efforts of the executors to obtain accurate intelligence as to the young man's fate; and it was also evident from the reports received, that they could have had no good reason to doubt his death. The next points examined, included the person and conduct of the plaintiff. The bad character of the plaintiff was made to appear in the course of this examination; "a character which seems at least to have always clung to that individual, under the various names it has pleased him to assume at different times," observed Mr. Ellsworth. It was clearly shown that he was considered a man of no principles, even among his comrades. The personal identity was fully examined; this part of the testimony excited intense interest among the audience, while even the court seemed to listen with increased attention. The opinions of the different witnesses on this point were not disputed; the general resemblance of the plaintiff to the Stanleys was not denied; the similarity of handwriting was also admitted; but Mr. Ellsworth argued, that such resemblances, among persons who were in no way related to each other, were not uncommon; probably every individual in that court-room had been told fifty times, that he was like A., B., or C. Occasionally, such resemblances were really very marked indeed. He then cited the instance of a man who was hanged in England, on this very ground of personal identity, sworn to by many individuals; and yet, a year after, it was discovered that the real criminal was living; and these two men, so strikingly alike, had never even seen each other, nor were they in any manner related to each other. But who could say whether the plaintiff were actually so much like William Stanley? It was not certain that any individual in that room had seen the young man for eighteen years; but one of the defendants had any distinct recollection of him, even at that time; the colour of the hair, and a general resemblance in complexion and features, might well be the amount of all that could be advanced in favour of the likeness; the plaintiff resembled the Stanleys, father and son; but probably a hundred other men might be picked up in the country, in whom the same resemblance might be found—men who laid no claim to the name or estate of Mr. Stanley. Similarity of handwriting was not uncommon either; and here some dozen notes and letters were produced, and proved to a certain degree that this assertion was correct; in several cases the resemblance was very great; and Mr. Ellsworth maintained, that with the documents in the possession of the sailor, undeniably written by young Stanley, any common writer, devoid of honesty, might have moulded his hand by practice to an imitation of it, sufficient for forgery. So much for the resemblance; he would now point out the difference between the plaintiff and William Stanley in two points, which, if clearly proved, must convince the jury that identity was utterly impossible, a pure fiction, a gross deception. He then produced the portrait of William Stanley; after acknowledging that there was some general resemblance, he suddenly showed the difference in the formation of the hands, fingers, and nails, between the boy and the plaintiff. This difference was indeed striking, for Ellsworth took a moment to point it out, when the sailor was in court, and engaged in putting a piece of tobacco in his mouth, and his hands were in full view. For a second he seemed out of countenance, but he soon resumed the confident look he had worn throughout. Mr. Ellsworth entered very minutely into this fact, showing that painters usually gave a correct idea of the hand, when it was introduced in a portrait; and the impossibility of the natural formation of the hand being entirely changed, either by time or hard work, was proved by the testimony of anatomists. The family physician of the late Mr. Stanley was an important witness at this stage of the trial; he swore to the fidelity of the portrait, and confirmed the fact of the particular formation of William Stanley's limbs when a boy; he thought it very improbable that a lad of his frame and constitution would ever become as heavy and robust as the plaintiff. He was asked by a juror if he thought this impossible? "No; he could not say it was impossible." The difference in gait was then examined.

{"spoken the Jefferson" = passed and communicated with}

"There is yet another point to be examined," said Ellsworth, "similar in nature, but still more decided in its bearing." He then brought forward all the testimony that had been collected, as to the temper and capacity of William Stanley; it was clearly proved, chiefly by the young man's tutors and companions, that he was morose and stubborn in disposition, and dull in intellect. So far this point was easily settled; but it was difficult to place the opposite facts, of the cleverness and better temper of the plaintiff, as clearly before the court as they had appeared to the defendants. Any one who had seen him under the same circumstances as Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, during the last three months, would have been convinced of this difference; but in the court-room it was not so easy to place the matter beyond dispute, although two witnesses gave their opinions on this point, under oath, and Ellsworth did all he could, by attracting attention to the plaintiff, to his manner and expression; but he was not quite satisfied with the result of his own endeavours.

"Let us now look at the conduct of this individual; we shall find it, I think, quite inconsistent with that any man of plain, good sense, would have supposed the most easy and natural course under the circumstances; while, on the other hand, it is entirely consistent throughout, in being strongly marked with the stamp of improbability, in its general aspect, and in its details." After a review of the plaintiff's course, as it stood in his own statement, he proceeded to investigate his conduct during the last three months, maintaining, that had he really been William Stanley, he would have presented himself long since to Mr. Wyllys, unsupported by Mr. Clapp; he would not have found it necessary to visit Greatwood, and examine the house and place so thoroughly, before submitting to an examination; he would not have waited to be examined, he would voluntarily have told his own story in a manner to produce undeniable conviction. For instance, but a few weeks since, when, if we may believe his story, that pocket-book came into his possession again, had he gone to Mr. Wyllys, shown it, and merely told him accurately, from whom, when, and where he had first received it, he would have been immediately recognized as the individual he claims to be. Had he been William Stanley, he could have told those simple facts, he would have told them; while they were facts which it was impossible that an impostor should know, since they were confined entirely to Mr. Wyllys and his friend's son—Mr. Wyllys himself having given the pocket-book to William Stanley when they were alone together. He appealed to every man there present, what would have been his own conduct under such circumstances? As to the readiness of Mr. Wyllys to receive William Stanley, could he believe him living, it was proved by the past conduct of the executors, their anxiety to obtain a correct account of the young man's fate, their hopes at first, their regrets at last, when hope had died away. Ellsworth closed his speech by observing, that after this review of the circumstances, considering the striking differences pointed out in person, temper, and capacity, from those of William Stanley, the irreconciliable difference in the gait and formation of the limbs, and the unnatural conduct of the plaintiff throughout, had Mr. Wyllys received this man as William Stanley, the son of his deceased friend, it would have been a gross neglect of duty on his part.

There now remained but one act to complete the defence. It was concluded by Mr. Grant, who went over the whole case in a speech, in his usual well-known manner, learned and close in its reasoning, caustic and severe in its remarks on the opposite party. His general view was chiefly legal; occasionally, however, he introduced short and impressive remarks on the general aspect of the case, and the particular character of the most suspicious facts presented by the plaintiff; he was severe upon Mr. Clapp, showing a shrewd and thorough knowledge of the man, and the legal species to which he belonged. The Longbridge lawyer put on an increase of vulgar nonchalance for the occasion, but he was unable to conceal entirely his uneasiness under the sharp and well-aimed hits of one, so much his superior in standing and real ability. Mr. Grant dwelt particularly upon the suspicious appearance of the facts connected with the volume of the Spectator, and the pocket-book, both of which he admitted to have belonged to William Stanley originally; and he seemed to manage the difference in temper and capacity more effectually than Mr. Ellsworth had done. His speech was listened to with the closest attention during several hours; after having reviewed the testimony on both sides and finished his legal survey of the ground, he concluded as follows:

"Gentlemen of the jury; the facts of this case are before you, so far at least as we could reach them; there are doubtless others behind the curtain which might prove highly important in assisting your decision. You have followed me over the dull track of the law wherever it led us near this case, and I thank you for the patience you have shown. The subject is now fully before you, and I conceive that you will agree with me that in the present case, the counsel for the plaintiff have undertaken a task of no ordinary difficulty. It seems a task by no means enviable under any of its different aspects; but really, in the whole course of my experience at the bar, it has never yet fallen to my lot to witness so startling a feat of legal legerdemain, as that attempted in this court-room by the counsel for the plaintiff. I conceive, gentlemen, that they are engaged in a task seldom attempted since the days of wizards and necromancers—they have undertaken to raise a ghost!"

It was now time for the plaintiff's lawyers to close the trial. Mr. Clapp wished to speak again, but Mr. Reed took the case entirely in his own hands; he was evidently firmly convinced of the identity of his client with William Stanley, and the natural indignation he felt at the accusations of the defendants, and the treatment the sailor had received from the executors, gave unusual warmth to his manner, which was generally calm; it was remarked that he had never made a stronger speech than on that occasion. He did not dispute the honesty of the opinions of Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, but he conceived they had no right to hold such opinions after examining the testimony in behalf of the plaintiff. He conceived that the defendant attached an importance altogether puerile to mere common probability, every-day probability; how many facts, now proved as clearly as human evidence can prove, have worn at first an improbable aspect to many minds! How many legal cases of an improbable nature might be cited! He would only allude to a few; and here he went over several remarkable cases on record.

"And yet he would even engage to answer the objections against his client on this very ground of probability; much had been said about the volume of the Spectator, but Mr. Hazlehurst could not swear to having read it at Greatwood four years since; while it appeared on cross-examination that his brother had the same edition of that book in Philadelphia, and that Mr. H. was in the habit of reading his brother's books; it also appeared that other volumes had been lost from the house at Greatwood in the course of the last four years. He held it then to be clearly probable; first, that Mr. H. had not read that identical volume shown at the interview, but one belonging to his brother; secondly, that the same volume had not been lost within the last four years; that others had been lost was certain, but that this volume had been in the possession of his client for nearly twenty years was PROBABLE." He went on in the same way to prove the probability of his client's gait having been changed, like that of other sailors, by a life at sea; that his whole body had become heavier and coarser from twenty years' hard work, and change of habits. He here made Dr. B., the physician who had testified on this subject, appear in a ridiculous light, by quoting some unfortunately obscure remarks he had made under cross-examination.

"Then, as to his client's temper, he hoped it had improved with age, but he thought that point had not been as clearly settled as his best friends could wish; still, it was by no means IMPROBABLE that it had improved under the salutary restraints of greater intercourse with the world. Who has not known persons whose tempers have become better under such circumstances? As to the capacity of his client, that had also PROBABLY been roused into greater activity by the same circumstances. Who has not heard of striking instances in which boys have been pronounced stupid by their masters and playfellows, and yet the same lads have afterwards turned out even brilliant geniuses?" He mentioned several instances of this kind. He went over the most striking features of the whole case in this manner, but we are necessarily compelled to abridge his remarks. "He accepted this ground of probability fully and entirely; the conduct of his client had been thought unnatural; he conceived that the very same stubborn, morose disposition, which the defendants had laboured so hard to fasten upon William Stanley, would account in the most PROBABLE manner for all that had been unusual in the conduct of his client. The same boy who at fifteen had so recklessly exchanged a pleasant home and brilliant prospects for a sailor's hardships, might very naturally have continued to feel and to act as the plaintiff had done."

He then brought together all the points in favour of the sailor, "The resemblance between the plaintiff and William Stanley had been called trifling by the counsel for the defendants; he considered it a remarkably strong resemblance, since it included not only acknowledged personal likeness, but also similarity of handwriting, of age, of occupation, the possession of documents admitted to be authentic by the defendants themselves, with knowledge of past events, persons, and places, such as would be natural in William Stanley but quite beyond the reach of a common stranger. He conceived that the great number of different points in his client's favour was a far stronger ground for the truth of his claim, than any one fact, however striking, standing alone. He held that this mass of evidence, both positive and circumstantial, could be accounted for in no other way at all probable, than by admitting the identity of his client. He conceived it also probable that any unprejudiced man would take the same view of this case; a case singular in its first aspect, though not more singular than hundreds of others on record, and entirely within the bounds of possibility in every fact, while it assumed greater probability the farther it was examined." He then adverted to several points merely legal, and finally concluded by a strong appeal in behalf of the plaintiff.

The judge rose to make his charge; it was strictly legal and impartial, chiefly reminding the jury that they were to decide entirely from the facts which had been placed before them; if they thought the evidence to which they listened sufficient to prove legally the identity of the plaintiff as William Stanley, they must give a verdict in his favour; if they held that evidence to be incomplete and insufficient, according to the legal views which must be their guide, they must pronounce a verdict in favour of the defendants: concluding with explaining one or two legal points, and an injunction to weigh the whole evidence impartially, the judge took his seat.

The jury rose; marshalled by constables and headed by their foreman, they turned from the box and left the court-room to consider their verdict.

Another cause was called. The parties interested, their friends, and the crowd of curious spectators poured from the building, discussing as they moved along the probable result, which could scarcely be known until the next morning, for it was late on the fourth night that the trial closed.

CHAPTER XIX. {XLII}

"Tout est perdu fors l'honneur!"
Francois I.

{"Tout est perdu fors l'honneur" = all is lost but honor (French). Francis I of France (1494-1547), letter to his mother, 1525; by 1840 a proverbial expression}

HAZLEHURST'S friends, fully aware of the importance of the cause to his interests, had followed the trial with great anxiety. Mrs. Stanley, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, Miss Wyllys, and Mrs. Creighton were regularly informed of the events which had passed whenever the court adjourned. The young ladies at Wyllys-Roof, Elinor, Jane, and Mary Van Alstyne were obliged to wait longer for information; they had received, however, regular reports of the proceedings by every mail; they had learned that the trial had closed, and were now waiting most anxiously for the final decision of the jury.

"I had no idea the trial would last so long; had you?" observed Mary Van Alstyne, as the three friends were sitting together waiting for that day's mail, which must at length bring them the important news.

"Yes; grandpapa told me that it might possibly last a week."

"I don't see why they cannot decide it sooner," said Jane; "anybody might know that sailor could not be William Stanley. Poor Harry! what trouble he has had with the man ever since he came home!"

At that moment carriage-wheels were heard approaching; Elinor ran to the window.

"They are coming!" she cried; and in another instant she was on the piazza, followed by Mary and Jane. Two carriages were approaching the door.

"Here they are—all our friends!" exclaimed Mary Van Alstyne, as she recognized in the first open wagon Mr. Wyllys and Ellsworth, and in the barouche behind, the ladies, including Mrs. Creighton; while Harry himself sat at the side of the coachman.

Elinor was on the last step of the piazza, looking eagerly towards the faces of her friends as they advanced.

"Grandpapa!" she exclaimed, looking all anxious curiosity, as the wagon stopped.

Mr. Wyllys smiled, but not triumphantly.

Ellsworth shook his head as he sprang from the wagon and took her hand.

"Can it be possible!—Is the suit lost?" she again exclaimed.

"Only too possible!" replied Mr. Ellsworth. "The jury have given a verdict for the plaintiff, in spite of our best endeavours."

Elinor turned towards Harry, and offered him both her hands.
Hazlehurst received them with feeling, with emotion.

"I can't acknowledge that I am such a poor forlorn fellow as one might fancy," he said, smiling, "while I have still such kind and warm friends."

Elinor blushing to find herself between the two gentlemen, advanced to receive the kiss of her aunt and Mrs. Stanley. The countenance of the latter lady showed evident traces of the painful feelings she had experienced at the decision. Mrs. Creighton too looked a little disturbed; though graceful as ever in her manner, she was not easy; it was clear that she had been much disappointed by Harry's defeat.

"I am grieved to hear the bad news, Mr. Hazlehurst!" said Mary
Van Alstyne.

"Poor Harry—I am so sorry for you!" exclaimed Jane, looking very lovely as she raised her eyes to her kinsman's face.

"Ellsworth, can't you manage to lose all you are worth and a little more?" said Harry, smiling, after having thanked the ladies for their kind reception.

"As I could not keep your property for you with the best will in the world, no doubt I could get rid of my own too," replied his friend.

When the whole party assembled in the drawing-room, nothing was talked of for a while but the trial. It appeared that the jury had been fifteen hours considering their verdict. The doors of the court-room had been crowded by people curious to learn the decision of the case, and when the jury entered the court with their verdict there was a rush forward to hear it.

"Verdict for the plaintiff—" was announced by the clerk in a loud voice, in the usual official manner.

"Clapp was standing near me at the moment," said Harry, "there was a flash of triumph in his face as he turned towards me. The sailor actually looked bewildered for an instant, but he soon appeared very well satisfied. As for myself, I honestly declare that I expected such would be the result."

"It was too late to write to you, my child," said Mr. Wyllys; "we only heard the verdict in time to prepare for leaving town in the morning's boat. And now, Nelly, you must give us some consolation in the shape of a good dinner."

It was very evident that although everybody endeavoured to wear a cheerful face, the defeat had been much felt by Mrs. Stanley, Mr. Wyllys, and Ellsworth. Hazlehurst himself really appeared better prepared for the misfortune than any of the party; in fact he conceived Mrs. Stanley's position to be more painful than his own, though so much less critical in a pecuniary view. Mrs. Creighton was certainly neither so gay, nor so easy as usual in her manner; one might have fancied that she felt herself in an unpleasant and rather an awkward position—a very unusual thing for that lady. It might have struck an observer that she wished to appear as amiable as ever to Harry, but she did not succeed entirely in concealing that her interest in him was materially diminished, now that he was no longer Mr. Stanley's heir. It was only by trifling shades of manner, however, that this was betrayed; perhaps no one of the circle at Wyllys-Roof remarked it; perhaps it was not lost upon Hazlehurst; there seemed to be an occasional expression in his eye which said so.

After the party had separated to prepare for dinner, Elinor joined her aunt, and learned many farther particulars of the trial.

"Is there no hope, Aunt?—can nothing be done—no new trial?"

"I am afraid not. The gentlemen are to hold several consultations on that point, however, but they seem to agree that little can be done. Both your grandfather and Harry were determined to go on if there were the least probability of success; but Mr. Grant, Mr. Ellsworth, and several other gentlemen say they can give them no grounds for encouragement; the trial was perfectly regular, and they think an appeal for a new trial would be rejected; and even if it were granted, they see no reason to hope for a different verdict."

"And yet there cannot be a doubt, Aunt, to us at least, that this man is an impostor!" exclaimed Elinor.

"No, not to us certainly; but it was not possible to place the proofs of this as clearly before the court as they have appeared to us. Harry says he was afraid from the beginning that this would be the case."

"How well he bears it!" exclaimed Elinor. "And Mrs. Stanley, she can scarcely speak on the subject!"

"She feels it most keenly. Would you believe it, my child, when we arrived on board the boat this morning, we found Mr. Clapp and this man already there; and at a moment when Mrs. Stanley and I were sitting alone together, the gentlemen having left us, and Mrs. Creighton being with another party, they came and walked up and down before us. Mr. Clapp took off his hat, and running his hand through his hair, as he does so often, he said in a loud voice: "Well, Mr. Stanley, when do you go to Greatwood?" Happily, Harry saw us from the other side of the deck, and he instantly joined us. Of course we did not mention to him what had passed; and although Mr. Clapp was noisy and vulgar, yet he did not come so near us again."

"What a miserable man he is!" exclaimed Elinor. "And is it possible that sailor is going to take possession of my uncle Stanley's house immediately?"

"I do not know, my child. Everything has been left in the hands of Robert Hazlehurst and Mr. Grant, by our friends."

Already had Elinor's mind been busy with planning relief for Hazlehurst; if he were now worse than penniless, she was rich—it would be in her power to assist him. The point itself had been long since settled by her, but the manner in which it was to be done was now to be considered. She was determined at least that her old playfellow should have the use of any sum he might require, under the circumstances that would be the easiest and most acceptable to himself. Her grandfather must make the offer; they would either wait until he returned from the cruise in the Petrel, or possibly it would be better to write to him while absent.

Elinor had, perhaps, been more disappointed by the verdict than any one, for she had been very sanguine as to the result; she had not conceived it possible that such gross injustice could triumph.

But, alas, how imperfect is merely human justice in its best form! It is a humiliating reflection for the human race, that Justice, one of the highest attributes of Truth, should have so little power among men; that when guided by human reason alone she should so often err!

To guard faithfully the general purity of Justice, to watch that her arm is neither crippled by violence nor palsied by fear, that her hands are not polluted by bribery, nor her ears assailed by flattery, is all that human means can do; but wo {sic} to the society where this duty is neglected, for disgrace and general corruption are then inevitable.

It was a day of movement at Wyllys-Roof; after the arrival of the party from Philadelphia there were constant communications with their neighbours at Broadlawn, as the long talked of cruise of the Petrel had been only postponed for Harry's return, and young de Vaux was now all impatience to be off. When Elinor went down for dinner she found Ellsworth and Harry on the piazza playing with Bruno, the fine Newfoundland dog which Hazlehurst had given her when he first went abroad.

"He is a noble creature!" exclaimed Ellsworth.

"I am making friends with Bruno again, you see," said Harry as
Elinor drew near. "What would you say if I coaxed him off to the
Petrel with me to-morrow?"

"You are very welcome to his company for the voyage, if you can persuade him to go. Down Bruno, down my good friend," she said, as the dog bounded towards her; "I wish you would remember that a thin white dress must be treated with some respect. Are you really going to-morrow?" she added, turning to Harry.

"Yes; we are under sailing orders. I have just been over to look at the Petrel, and everything is ready. De Vaux has only been waiting for me—the rest of the party has been collected for some days. I found Smith the conchologist, and Stryker, at Broadlawn."

"Has your course been finally settled?" asked Ellsworth.

"Yes; we are to circumnavigate Long-Island."

"You will have an agreeable cruise, I dare say, with a pleasant set of messmates; Hubert de Vaux is a good fellow himself, and Stryker is in his element on such occasions."

"We are to have Charlie Hubbard too, and Harman Van Horne."

"How long will you be gone?" said Elinor.

"Some ten days, or a fortnight at the very farthest."

"Can we see anything of Mr. de Vaux's boat from here?" asked Mrs.
Creighton, stepping on the piazza.

"Only her masts; in this direction, near the grove," replied
Harry. "She is a schooner, and a beautiful craft, too."

"Miss Wyllys, you should coax Mr. de Vaux to give the ladies a pic-nic when he returns," said Mrs. Creighton.

"No doubt he would be happy to do so, if you were to express the wish," said Elinor.

"Unfortunately I shall not be here. Wyllys-Roof is a dangerous place, one always stays here too long; but I cannot positively afford more than a day or two at present; I have promised to be in town on Thursday."

Elinor expressed her regrets very hospitably; and they were soon after summoned to dinner.

In the evening, Hubert de Vaux and the gentlemen from Broadlawn, engaged for the cruise, walked in. Charlie Hubbard was there too; he had remained in Philadelphia during the whole trial, and had just returned home that morning.

"And so you are positively going to-morrow," said Mr. Wyllys to young de Vaux.

"Positively; at six in the morning."

"Is it part of your plan, to stow yourselves away at night in the
Petrel?"

"The Petrel's cabin is not to be despised, I assure you, sir. It has six as good berths as those of any North-River sloop that ever carried passengers in days of yore. But we shall only sleep on board occasionally, for the fun of the thing."

{"North-River sloop" = the Hudson River was also called the North
River, and before steamboats, passengers travelled between New
York and Albany by what were known as Hudson River or North River
sloops}

"At what places do you intend to put into port?"

"We are going to shoot for a day or two on Long-Island; and we shall let the Yankees have a sight of the Petrel, at New Haven, Sachem's-Head, and Nantucket."

{"Sachem's Head" = Sachem Head harbor is about 10 miles east of
New Haven, Connecticut}

"I have no doubt you will have a pleasant excursion."

"Our only difficulty at present seems the prospect of too much comfort," said Charlie. "Mrs. de Vaux expressed some fears of a famine at Longbridge in consequence of this cruise, we carry off such a stock of provisions."

"Not a bit too much; people always want twice as much on a party of pleasure as at other times," said Hubert de Vaux.

The plan of the cruise was talked over in all its details, and the whole party seemed pleased with the idea. Young Van Horne, now a practising physician in New York, was delighted with the prospect of a week's liberty; Mr. Smith, the conchologist, hoped to pick up some precious univalve or bivalve; Charlie talked of taking a sketch of Cape Cod; Harry declared he was determined to enjoy the trip, as the last holiday he could allow himself for a long time; and Mr. Stryker promised himself the best of chowders, a sea-dish in which he professed himself to be a great connoisseur. Mrs. Creighton indeed declared, that he looked upon that season as lost, in which he could not make some improvement in his celebrated receipt for chowder. Whether it was that this lady's gaiety and coquetry instinctively revived in the company of so many gentlemen, or whether she felt afraid of Mr. Stryker's keen, worldly scrutiny, her manner in the evening resumed entirely its wonted appearance; she was witty, graceful, piquant, and flattering as ever, and quite as much so with Hazlehurst as with any.

"What do you say to a game of chess, Mrs. Creighton?" asked Mr.
Wyllys.

"With pleasure, sir; I am always at your service. Not that it is very pleasant to be beaten so often, but I really think I improve under your instructions. You are so much interested yourself that you inspire others."

"You must allow me, Mrs. Creighton, to suggest something for your improvement," said Mr. Stryker.

"And what is it, pray?"

"You talk too much; you make yourself too agreeable to your adversary—that is not fair."

"Oh, it is only a ruse de guerre; and Mr. Wyllys beats me nine games out of ten, in spite of my chattering."

{"ruse de guerre" = military strategem (French)}

"No doubt; but if you could make up your mind to be less charming for half an hour, you might have the honours of the game oftener."

"I must gain the battle my own way, Mr. Stryker, or not at all."

"I leave you to your fate, then," said the gentleman, turning away.

Charlie, Elinor, Harry, and Jane were quietly talking together; Jane having now resumed her place in the family circle. They were speaking of Charlie's sketches, and the young widow asked if he ever painted portraits now; Miss Wyllys {sic} wished to have her's taken, before she left them to return to her parents.

{"Miss Wyllys" = should read Jane (or Mrs. Taylor); Elinor Wyllys is an orphan}

"You do paint portraits," said Elinor; "I have seen those of your mother and Miss Patsey."

Charlie changed colour, and hastily denied any claim to be called a portrait-painter.

"Yet it would be pleasant," said Elinor, "to have a picture of my cousin painted by you."

Jane observed she should like to have Elinor's, by the same hand.

"Oh, my portrait would not be worth having," said Elinor, smiling; "certainly not if taken by an honest artist."

"You will both, I hope, fare better from the hands of Mr. I——- or Mr. S——-," said Charlie, with some little embarrassment.

Mr. Ellsworth, who had been standing near the group, now asked
Elinor to sing.

"What will you have?" she replied, taking a seat at the piano.

"Anything you please."

"Pray then give us Robin Adair, Miss Elinor," said Charlie.

Elinor sang the well-known song with greater sweetness than usual—she was decidedly in good voice; both Charlie and Harry listened with great pleasure as they stood by her side; Jane was also sitting near the piano, and seemed more interested in the music than usual; it was a song which the young widow had so often heard, in what she now looked back to as the happy days of her girlhood. More than one individual in the room thought it charming to listen to Elinor and look at Jane, at the same instant. Several of the gentlemen then sang, and the party broke up cheerfully.

Little was it thought, that never again could the same circle be re-united at Wyllys-Roof; all who crossed the threshold that night were not to return.

CHAPTER XX. {XLIII}

"I pr'ythee hear me speak!"
Richard III.

{William Shakespeare, "Richard III", IV.iv.180}

HAZLEHURST had gone out with his friends, and continued walking on the piazza, first with Charlie and then with Ellsworth; at length Mrs. Stanley called him from the window to say good-bye, as she did not expect to see him again before the cruise; the other ladies also wished him a pleasant excursion at the same moment.

"Good fishing and no musquitoes {sic}—which, I take it, is all that is desirable on such an occasion," said Mrs. Creighton, smiling brightly but carelessly, as she offered her hand.

"Thank you; I suppose you have no commands for Cape Cod?"

"None at all, I believe, unless you can bring us the true Yankee receipt for chowder, which Mr. Stryker was explaining this evening."

"You will be off so early to-morrow that we shall scarcely see you, Harry," said Miss Wyllys. "You must come back to us, however, and fall into the old habit of considering Wyllys-Roof as home, whenever you please," she added kindly.

Harry's thanks were expressed with feeling.

"And in the mean time I hope you will have a pleasant cruise," said Elinor. "Fair winds and better prospects attend you!"—and as she raised her eyes, Harry observed they had filled with tears when she made this allusion to his difficulties. Perhaps Ellsworth made the same remark, and appreciated her kindness; for when Elinor turned to wish him good-night we strongly suspect that his countenance said so; there could be no doubt at least, that she blushed at the time, though pale but a moment before.

After the ladies had gone, Mr. Wyllys and Ellsworth went off together, and Harry returned to the piazza.

It was perhaps inconsiderate in Hazlehurst to continue walking so late, for the sound of his footsteps fell regularly on the stillness of the night, long after the family had gone to rest, and may possibly have disturbed some of his friends; but many busy thoughts of the past and the future crowded on his mind, while pacing that familiar spot, the piazza of Wyllys-Roof. It is time that these thoughts should be partially revealed to the reader, and for that purpose we must pause a moment, in order to look backward.

Long since, Harry's heart had warmed again towards his old playfellow, Elinor. As soon as the first novelty of a life at Rio had worn off, Harry, whose affections were strong, began to miss his old friends; the more so, since Mr. Henley, although his principles and talents entirely commanded his secretary's esteem, was not a pleasant companion in every-day life. Hazlehurst soon began to contrast the minister's formal, old bachelor establishment with the pleasant house of his friend Ellsworth, where Mrs. Creighton did the honours charmingly, and with the cheerful home of his brother, where his sister-in-law always received him kindly: still oftener be compared the cold, stately atmosphere which seemed to fill Mr. Henley's house, with the pleasant, genial spirit which prevailed at Wyllys-Roof, where everything excellent wore so amiable an aspect. Until lately he had always been so closely connected with the family there, that he accused himself of not having done full justice to all their worth. He took a pleasure in dwelling on Mr. Wyllys's high moral character, so happily tempered by the benevolence of cheerful old age; he remembered the quiet, unpretending virtues of Miss Wyllys, always mingled with unvarying kindness to himself; and could he forget Elinor, whose whole character was so engaging; uniting strength of principle and intelligence, with a disposition so lovely, so endearing? A place in this family had been his, his for life, and he had trifled with it, rejected it; worse than that—well he knew that the best place in Elinor's generous heart had once been wholly his; he had applied for it, he had won it; and what return had he made for her warmest affections? He had trifled with her; the world said he had jilted her, jilted the true-hearted Elinor, his friend and companion from childhood! Knowing her as well as he did, he had treated her as if she were a mere ball-room coquette; he had forgotten her as soon as if it had been a mere holiday fancy of a boy of fifteen. He had been completely infatuated, dazzled, blinded by a beautiful face. That it was sheer infatuation was now evident; for, absent from both Elinor and Jane, all feeling for the latter seemed to have vanished like a dream. It is said that love without hope cannot live: the question must be settled by those who have suffered most frequently from the wounds of Cupid; but it seems evident, at least from Harry's experience, that love which has fed plentifully upon hopes for some months, when suddenly put upon a change of diet, and receiving a large dose of mortification to boot, falls immediately into a rapid decline. The recollection of his fancy for Jane was now unpleasant under every aspect, but where it was connected with Elinor he soon began to consider it as particularly painful. He regretted that he had engaged Elinor in the hasty, boyish manner he had done, before going abroad; had he not taken this step, the momentary mortification of a refusal by Jane would have been the only evil; Elinor would not have suffered, and all might have gone well. Gradually the idea gained upon him, that it was not impossible to repair the past. His conduct had been unpardonable, no doubt; yet, perhaps it might be forgiven. But even if Elinor could forget his inexcusable fickleness, would her friends ever consent to risk her future peace with one who had so recklessly trifled with her already? Mr. Wyllys had been deeply indignant at his conduct; his whole manner had changed, there had been a cold civility in it when they had met, which Harry had felt keenly—it amounted almost to contempt. Miss Wyllys, too, was no longer the kind, indulgent Aunt Agnes of his boyhood; there was a very decided coldness and reserve in her whole expression, which it seemed all but impossible to overcome. He wished, however, that he had it in his power to make advances towards a reconciliation; he was prepared for merited coldness at first, but he would willingly submit to it as a just penance, if he could but hope eventually to regain his position with Elinor. Such a wife as Elinor would be, was worth a serious struggle to obtain. Then, at other moments, this idea appeared preposterous to him; how could the Wyllyses ever forgive him after so keen an insult, so cruel a blow? No, it was a dream; he would not indulge in it any longer; he would not think of marrying; he would turn out an old bachelor diplomatist, like Mr. Henley. It is not to be supposed that Mrs. Creighton was entirely forgotten in these reveries of Harry's, which formed occasional interludes to his diplomatic labours while at Rio. On the contrary she was remembered quite frequently; and every one who knew her must always think of the pretty widow as a charming woman; clever, graceful, gay, and well-bred. Nor had Hazlehurst been blind to her peculiarly flattering manner towards himself. The lady was his friend Ellsworth's sister, which was another claim; she was generally admired too, and this alone, with some men, would have given her a decided advantage: since we are revealing Harry's foibles, however, we must do him the justice to say, that he was not one of the class referred to. When he liked, he liked honestly, for good reasons of his own. At the time he left home with Mr. Henley, he had not been able to decide entirely to his own satisfaction, whether Mrs. Creighton really had any partiality for him or not; he waited with a little interest and a little curiosity, to know what she would do after he left Philadelphia. News soon reached him that the lady was gay and charming as ever, much admired, and taking much pleasure in admiration, as usual. He had known Mrs. Creighton from a girl; she was a year or two older than himself, and had been a married woman while he was still a boy, and he had been long aware of her reputation as a coquette; this had no doubt put him on his guard. As had occasionally remarked her conduct himself; and having been so intimate with women of very different character—his brother's wife, Miss Wyllys, and Elinor—he knew very well that all women were not coquettes; he had received a higher standard of female delicacy and female truth than many young men. So long, therefore, as he believed Mrs. Creighton a decided flirt, he was in little danger from her: the lady, however, was no common coquette—cleverness, tact, good taste, gave her very great advantages; she was generally admired, and Hazlehurst expected daily to hear that she was married.

He had become very tired of Rio Janeiro, and very desirous of returning home, long before Mr. Henley was recalled to exchange the court of Brazil for that of St. Petersburgh. Sincere respect for Mr. Henley had alone kept him at Rio; and when he arrived at Norfolk, he was still undecided whether he should continue in the legation or not. He found that all his friends were at Saratoga, and he hastened there; he was anxious to see the Wyllyses, anxious to see Elinor, and yet he dreaded the first meeting—he had already determined to be guided entirely in his future steps by their manner towards himself; if they did not absolutely shun him, he would make an effort for a complete reconciliation. He knew Elinor was unmarried; he had never heard of any engagement, and he might then hope to regain all he had lost. He arrived, he was received kindly, and the sight of Elinor's plain face did not change his determination; on the contrary, he found her just what he remembered her, just what he had always known her to be—everything that was naturally feminine and amiable. But if Elinor were still herself, Harry soon found that her position had very materially altered of late; she was now an heiress, it seemed. What a contemptible interpretation might be placed on his advances under such circumstances! Then came the discovery of Mr. Ellsworth's views and hopes; and his friend was evidently sanguine of success. Thus everything was changed; he was compelled to remain in the back-ground, to avoid carefully any interference with his friend.

There appeared no reason to doubt that Elinor would, ere long, marry Ellsworth; she herself certainly liked him, and her friends very evidently favoured his suit. On the other hand, Mrs. Creighton seemed particularly well pleased with his own return; she was certainly very charming, and it was by no means an unpleasant task to play cavalier to his friend's sister. Still he looked on with great interest, as Ellsworth pursued his courtship; and he often found himself making observations upon Elinor's movements. "Now she will do this"—"I am sure she thinks that"—"I know her better than Ellsworth"—"She can't endure Stryker"—and other remarks of the kind, which kept his attention fixed upon his old playfellow; the more closely he observed her the more he saw to love and admire; for their former long intimacy had given him a key to her character, and greater knowledge of the world enabled him fully to appreciate her purity of principle, her native grace and modesty, the generous tone of her mind, the unaffected sweetness of her disposition. It appeared strange and unpleasant to him, that he must now draw back and see her engrossed by Ellsworth, when she had so long been his own favourite companion; still he had no right to complain, it was his own fault that matters were so much changed. As for Mrs. Creighton, Harry could not satisfy himself with regard to her real feelings; there were times when he thought she was attached to him, but just as it began to appear clear that she was not merely coquetting, just as he began to inquire if he could ever offer himself to a woman whom he admired very much, but whom he did not entirely respect, the pretty widow would run off; apparently in spite of herself, into some very evident flirtation with Stryker, with de Vaux, with Mr. Wyllys, in fact with any man who came in her way. Generally he felt relieved by these caprices, since they left perfect liberty of action to himself; occasionally he was vexed with her coquetry, vexed with himself for admiring her in spite of it all. Had Harry never known Mrs. Creighton previously, he would doubtless have fallen very decidedly in love with her in a short time; but he had known her too long, and half mistrusted her; had he never known Elinor so thoroughly, he would not have understood Mrs. Creighton. He involuntarily compared the two together; both were particularly clever, well-bred, and graceful; but Harry felt that one was ingenuous, amiable, and natural, while he knew that the other was worldly, bright, but cold, and interested in all her views and actions. Elinor's charm lay in the perfect confidence one reposed in the firmness of her principles, the strength of her affections, softened as they were by feminine grace of mind and person. Mrs. Creighton fascinated by the brilliant gloss of the world, the perfection of art, inspired by the natural instincts of a clever, educated coquette. There had been moments when Hazlehurst was all but deceived into believing himself unjust towards Mrs. Creighton, so charmingly piquant, so gracefully flattering was her manner; but he owed his eventual escape to the only talisman which can ever save a young man, or an old one either, from the wiles of a pretty, artful coquette; he carried about with him the reflection of a purer model of womanly virtue, one gradually formed from boyhood upon Elinor's mould, and which at last had entirely filled his mind and his heart.

Since the commencement of the Stanley suit, Hazlehurst had become quite disgusted with Mrs. Creighton's conduct; art may reach a great way, but it can never cover the whole ground, and the pretty widow involuntarily betrayed too many variations of manner, graduated by Harry's varying prospects; his eyes were completely opened; he was ashamed of himself for having been half-persuaded that she was attached to him. How different had been Elinor's conduct! she had shown throughout a warm, unwavering interest in his difficulties, always more frankly expressed in his least encouraging moments; indeed she had sometimes blushed, from the fear that her sympathy might he mistaken for something more than friendly regard for her kinsman. Harry saw it all; he understood the conduct of both, and he felt Elinor's kindness deeply; he was no longer ungrateful, and he longed to tell her so. True, she would ere long become his friend's wife, but might he not, under the circumstances, be permitted first to declare his feelings? It would, perhaps, be only a just atonement for the past—only what was due to Elinor. Harry tried to persuade himself into this view of the case, as he looked up towards her window, invoking a blessing on her gentle head.

Hazlehurst's reflections, while on the piazza, had commenced with his pecuniary difficulties, and the consequences of his late defeat, but they gradually centered on Elinor in a very lover-like manner, much in the shape we have given them. But at length the moon went down behind the wood, and those whose rooms were on that side of the house found that the sound of his footsteps had ceased; and nothing farther disturbed the stillness of the night.

"Did you see the Petrel this morning, grandpapa?" said Elinor, as she was pouring out the coffee at the breakfast-table.

"No, I did not, my child; I took it for granted they were off before sun-rise, and did not look for them."

"They were behind their time; they were in sight from my window about an hour since."

"Some of the youngsters have been lazy, I suppose; I hope Harry was not the delinquent."

"I heard him pass my door quite early," observed Miss Agnes.

"When I saw them," said Elinor, "they had drawn off from the wharf, and were lying in the river, as if they were waiting for something that had been forgotten; the boat looked beautifully, for there was very little air, and she lay motionless on the water, with her sails half-furled."

"Perhaps they stopped for Mr. Hubbard to make a sketch," said
Ellsworth to Elinor.

"Hardly, I should think; time and tide, you know; wait for no man—not even to be sketched."

"But Hazlehurst told me his friend Hubbard had promised to immortalize the Petrel and her crew by a picture; perhaps he chose the moment of departure; you say she appeared to great advantage then."

"I should think he would prefer waiting for some more striking moment. Who knows what adventures they may meet with! Mr. de Vaux expects to win a race; perhaps they may catch a whale, or see the sea-serpent."

"No doubt Mr. Stryker would try to catch the monster, if they were to meet with him; his fishing ambition is boundless," said Mrs. Creighton.

"But there is no fashionable apparatus for catching sea-serpents," observed Elinor; "and Mr. Stryker's ambition is all fashionable."

"Stryker is not much of an Izaak Walton, certainly," remarked Ellsworth. "He calls it murder, to catch a trout with a common rod and a natural fly. He will scarcely be the man to bring in the sea-serpent; he would go after it though, in a moment, if a regular European sportsman were to propose it to him."

"I almost wonder we have not yet had an English yacht over here, whale-hunting, or sea-serpent-hunting," said Mrs. Creighton; "they are so fond of novelty and wild-goose chasing of any kind."

"It would make a lion of a dandy, at once," said Ellsworth, "if he could catch the sea-serpent."

{"lion" = social celebrity}

"A single fin would be glory enough for one lion," said Elinor; remember how many yards there are of him."

"If Stryker should catch a slice of the serpent, no doubt he will throw it into his chowder-pot, and add it to the receipt," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Well, Miss Wyllys, I think you and I might engage to eat all the monsters he catches, as Beatrice did Benedict's slain," said Mrs. Creighton.

{"Beatrice and Benedict…" = characters in Shakespeare's play
"Much Ado about Nothing"}

"Do you intend to make up with Stryker, a la Beatrice?" asked the lady's brother. "It is some time now that you have carried on the war of wit with him."

"No, indeed; I have no such intentions. I leave him entirely to Miss Wyllys; all but his chowder, which I like now and then," said the lady, carelessly.

"I am sorry you will not be here, Mrs. Creighton, for the pic-nic to the ladies, which de Vaux is to give when he comes back," said Mr. Wyllys; "Mr. Stryker will give us a fine chowder, no doubt."

"Thank you, sir; I should enjoy the party exceedingly. I must not think too much of it, or I might be tempted to break my engagement with the Ramsays."

"Have you really decided to go so soon?—I was in hopes we should be able to keep you much longer," said Miss Wyllys.

"I should be delighted to stay; but in addition to my visit to the Ramsays, who are going to town expressly for me, I must also pick up my little niece."

Miss Wyllys then made some inquiries about Mr. Ellsworth's little girl.

"She was very well and happy, with her cousins, when I heard from my eldest sister, a day or two since," he replied. "She has been with me very little this summer; I hope we shall be able to make some pleasanter arrangement for the future," he added, with a half-glance at Elinor.

"My brother has a very poor opinion of my abilities, Miss Wyllys; because I have no children of my own, he fancies that I cannot manage his little girl."

"I am much obliged to you, Josephine, for what you have done for her, as you very well know."

"Oh, yes; you are much obliged to me, and so forth; but you think Mary is in better hands with Mrs. Ellis, and so do I; I cannot keep the little thing in very good order, I acknowledge."

"It must be difficult not to spoil her, Mrs. Creighton," remarked Mr. Wyllys. "She is a very pretty and engaging child—just the size and age for a pet."

"That is the misfortune; she is so pretty that Frank thinks I make a little doll of her; that I dress her too much. I believe he thinks I wear too many flowers and ribbons myself; he has become very fastidious in his taste about such matters lately; he wishes his daughter to dress with elegant simplicity; now I have a decided fancy for elegant ornament."

"He must be very bold, Mrs. Creighton, if he proposes any alteration to you."

"I agree with you, entirely," said the lady, laughing; "for the last year or two I have been even less successful in suiting him than of old. He seems to have some very superior model in his mind's eye. But it is rather annoying to have one's taste in dress criticised, after having been accustomed to hear it commended and consulted, ever since I was fifteen."

"You must tolerate my less brilliant notions for the sake of variety," said her brother, smiling.

"I shall hope to make over Mary's wardrobe to some other direction, before she grows up," said Mrs. Creighton; "for you and I would certainly quarrel over it."

The party rose from table. Elinor felt a touch of nervousness come upon her, as she remarked that Mr. Ellsworth seemed to be watching her movements; while his face had worn rather a pre-occupied expression all the morning, seeming to threaten something important.

The day was very pleasant; and as Mr. Wyllys had some business at certain mills on Chewattan Lake, he proposed a ride on horseback to his friends, offering a seat in his old-fashioned chair to any lady who chose to take it.

{"chair" = a light, one-horse carriage}

Mrs. Creighton accepted the offer very readily.

"I have not been in any carriage so rustic and farmer-like these twenty years," she said.

"I shall be happy to drive you, if you can be satisfied with a sober old whip like myself, and a sober old pony like Timo."

"It is settled then; you ride I suppose, Miss Wyllys."

Elinor assented; Mary Van Alstyne was also to go on horseback. Mr. Ellsworth thought that he would have preferred escorting one lady instead of two on that occasion. He seemed destined that morning to discover, that a lover's course is not only impeded by important obstacles, but often obstructed by things trifling in themselves. Before the chair and horses appeared at the door, there was an arrival from Longbridge. Mr. Taylor and his daughter, Miss Emma, had come from New York the previous evening, and now appeared at Wyllys-Roof; the merchant had come over with the double object of blessing his grandchild, and taking his share in a speculation then going on in the neighbourhood. The Taylors had been asked to Wyllys-Roof, at any time when they wished to see Jane, and they had now come for twenty-four hours, in accordance with the invitation. At first Mr. Ellsworth supposed the ride to Chewattan Lake must be abandoned, but it was only deferred for an hour. Miss Emma Taylor, ever ready for an enterprise of liveliness, had no sooner embraced her sister-in-law, and learned that some of the family had proposed riding, than she immediately expressed a great desire to join them. Mary Van Alstyne very readily gave up her horse and habit to the young lady; and Mr. Ellsworth walked over to Broadlawn, to invite Bob de Vaux, a boy of sixteen, to be her especial escort. He thought this a very clever manoeuvre of his own. While these arrangements were going on, and the Taylors were taking some refreshment, Mr. Taylor had found time to express his regrets at the result of the law-suit.

"I was much disposed, however, to anticipate such a verdict," he observed; "Mr. Clapp is a very talented lawyer for so young a man; this cause, which has attracted so much attention, will probably make his fortune at the bar. But I was fearful, sir, from the beginning, that neither yourself nor your friend, Mr. Hazlehurst, was fully aware of Mr. Clapp's abilities."

"I do not conceive, however, that the cause was won by Mr.
Clapp's legal acumen," observed Mr. Wyllys, drily.

"Perhaps not; still, I understand that he succeeded in making out a very strong case in behalf of his client."

"Of that there is no doubt."

"And the less foundation he had to work on, the greater his talents must appear," said Mr. Taylor, with a look, which expressed both admiration for Mr. Clapp, and the suspicion that he had been assisting an impostor.

"The kind of talent you refer to is not of a very enviable character, I think," said Mr. Wyllys.

"I don't know that, my dear sir," added Mr. Taylor, as he drank off a glass of wine; "it is a talent which has gained a fine property at least. I regret, however, that my friend, Mr. Hazlehurst, should have suffered so heavy a loss."

Mr. Wyllys bowed; and well aware that his own views of the case and those of Mr. Taylor would not agree, he changed the conversation.

"You will find your old place much changed," observed Miss Wyllys to the merchant.

"Yes, madam; I understand considerable alterations have been made at my former mansion. I had almost forgotten this morning that the estate was no longer mine, and was half-inclined to enter the gate as we passed it."

"I am delighted, pa, that it is not yours any longer!" exclaimed Miss Emma, with a liveliness which accorded particularly ill with her deep mourning-dress. "We shall have ten times more fun at Rockaway; Colonnade Manor was the stupidest place in creation; we were often a whole day without seeing a beau!"

At length, Miss Emma having declared herself more than sufficiently rested, she put on the habit; and the chair and horses were brought to the door. Mr. Taylor was to set out shortly after, in another direction, to go over the manufactory in which he was about to become interested.

All agreed that the day was delightful. There was a fine air, the dust had been laid by a shower, and as the road led through several woods, they had not too much sun. For a while the four equestrians kept together, and common-place matters only were talked over; the Petrel was not forgotten. Miss Emma Taylor declared she would have gone along, if she had been on the spot when they sailed. Bob de Vaux said his brother Hubert had offered to take him, but he did not care to go; he had rather ride than sail, any day.

"Here's for a gallop then!" exclaimed the young lady, and off the two set at a rapid pace.

"How does that flirtation come on?" asked Miss Emma, when they lessened their pace at some distance in advance of the rest of the party.

"All settled, I believe," replied the youth.

"What, actually engaged? I have been quite exercised about all your doings over here, this summer; you must have had a lively time, three or four flirtations all going on at once. But, do you know I am bent on spiting Mr. Ellsworth this morning. He meant to have a tete-a-tete, I know, and only asked YOU just to get rid of ME. But he shan't have a moment's peace to pay for it; let's turn round and go back again at full speed."

Bob de Vaux had not the least objections; he liked motion and mischief almost as much as did the lively belle; they both enjoyed the joke exceedingly, and succeeded in provoking Mr. Ellsworth not a little. Miss Emma and her companion were in high glee at their success; they would first ride half a mile by the side of the others, then gallop off to a distance, and at a signal from the young lady, suddenly facing about they would return, just in time, as Miss Emma thought, to cut short any tender speech.

"That young lady seems to have gone twice over every foot of the road," innocently observed Mr. Wyllys, little aware of her object.

"What a restless creature it is!" replied Mrs. Creighton; "she must worry her horse as much as she annoys her rational companions."

"Miss Taylor is a perfect rattle," remarked Mr. Ellsworth. "Quite inferior to her sister, Mrs. Hunter, I should say."

{"a rattle" = a chatterbox}

"Her excess of spirits will wear itself out one of these days, I dare say," replied Elinor.

"It is to be hoped so," said the gentleman, drily.

When they reached the lake they dismounted, and passed half an hour at a farm-house, to rest, and lunch upon iced milk and dew-berries, which the farmer's wife kindly offered them. Mrs. Creighton professed herself rather disappointed with Chewattan Lake; the shores were quite low, there was only one good hill, and one pretty, projecting point, with a fine group of elms standing in graceful relief against the sky; she thought Mr. Hubbard's painting had flattered nature. Mr. Ellsworth would not allow that Charlie ever flattered; but remarked that it was his peculiar merit, to throw a charm about the simplest water scene; and his last view of Chewattan Lake was certainly one of his happiest pictures.

{"dew-berries" = blackberries; "happiest" = most successful}

On their way home, Miss Emma and her companion again commenced their quizzing system. Towards the end of the ride, however, the young lady relaxed a little in her vigilance; when they reached a turnpike-gate, about two miles from Wyllys-Roof, she suddenly proposed to Bob de Vaux to run a race with Elinor and Mr. Ellsworth.

"What do you say to it, Miss Wyllys?"

"Excuse me; I had much rather not."

"Oh, but you don't know what I mean. Now, you and Mr. Ellsworth go cantering and trotting along, in such a sober, Darby and Joan fashion, that I am sure Mr. de Vaux and I can turn off here, take this by-road, which you know comes in nearly opposite your gate, and although it is twice as far round, I bet you a pair of gloves we are at Wyllys-Roof before you."

{"Darby and Joan fashion" = like an old married couple}

"Done!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth, delighted with the idea; and off the young lady gallopped {sic} with her companion.

It is not to be supposed that the gentleman allowed the half-hour that followed to pass unimproved. He could speak at last, and he admired Elinor too sincerely, not to express himself in terms both warm and respectful. Although Elinor had been for some time fully prepared for this declaration, yet she did not receive it without betraying feeling and embarrassment. Emotion in woman, at such moments, or in connexion with similar subjects, is generally traced to one cause alone; and yet half the time it should rather be attributed to some other source. Anxiety, modesty, mere nervousness, or even vexation at this very misinterpretation, often raise the colour, and make the voice falter. Elinor had fully made up her mind, and she felt that a frank explanation was due to Mr. Ellsworth, but her regard for him was too sincere not to make the moment a painful one to her. He was rejected; but rejected with so much consideration, so much modesty and feeling, so much good sense, that the very act only increased his regret. He was much disappointed, for he had been a hopeful suitor. Elinor had always liked him, and he had thought her manner encouraging; Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes had not concealed their approbation; and Mrs. Creighton had often told him she had no doubt of his success. He was more than mortified, however, by the refusal, he was pained. Elinor repeated assurances of respect and friendship, and regret that she felt herself unable to return his regard as it deserved. She even alluded to his generosity in overlooking her want of personal attractions; she said she had, on that account, been slow to believe that he had any serious object in view. At the time he had first proposed, through her grandfather, she herself had wished to prevent his going any farther, but her friends had desired her to defer the answer; he himself had begged her to do so, and named the time fixed—she had reluctantly consented to this arrangement; and, although the more she knew of Mr. Ellsworth, the more highly she esteemed and respected him, yet the result had been what she first foresaw; she could not conscientiously offer him the full attachment he had a right to expect from a wife.

Mr. Ellsworth rode on in silence for a moment.

"Is it then true, Miss Wyllys, that I must give up all idea of obtaining a more indulgent hearing, at some future day?"

"Judge for yourself if I am capricious, Mr. Ellsworth. Do not imagine that I have lightly rejected the regard of a man whom I esteem so highly as yourself. I could scarcely name another in my whole acquaintance, for whom I should have hesitated so long; but—" Elinor paused, suddenly became very red, and then deadly pale.

"But—what would you say, Miss Wyllys?—go on, I entreat!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth.

It was a moment before Elinor rallied. She then continued, in a low voice, and in an agitated, hesitating manner:

"Mr. Ellsworth, I shall speak with perfect frankness; your kindness and forbearance deserve it. When I consented to wait so long before giving you a final answer, it was chiefly that I might discover if I could regain entire command over feelings which have not always been my own. I am afraid you are not aware of this. The feeling itself to which I allude is changed; but be it weakness or not, it has left traces for life. I was willing to make an experiment in favour of one who deserved the full confidence of my friends and myself; but the trial has not succeeded; if I know myself, it can never succeed—I shall never marry."

And then after a moment's silence she gently continued, in a calmer tone:

"But you will soon forget all this, I trust. You will find elsewhere some one more worthy of you; one who can better repay your kindness."

Mr. Ellsworth chafed a little under this suggestion; though not so much as a more passionate man might have done.

"To forget one of so much womanly excellence as yourself, Miss
Wyllys, is not the easy task you seem to suppose."

Elinor could have sighed and smiled as the thought recurred to her, that Harry had not found it very difficult to forget her. They had now reached the gate, on their way home, and turning towards her companion as they entered, she said:

"I hope, indeed, you will always remember that you have very sincere friends at Wyllys-Roof, Mr. Ellsworth; believe me, friends capable of appreciating your merits, and aware of what is their due."

Mr. Ellsworth thanked her, but he looked very evidently disturbed. When they reached the piazza he helped Elinor from her horse, perhaps more carefully than usual; Miss Emma Taylor and her cavalier had already arrived; and the young lady immediately attacked Mr. Ellsworth, bidding him remember his bet. When Mrs. Creighton stepped from the chair, she looked for her brother and Elinor, a little curious to discover if anything decisive had passed, but both had already entered the house.

Mr. Wyllys learned in the course of the day, from Ellsworth himself, that he had been rejected; he was very much disappointed, and more disposed to find fault with Elinor than he had ever been before.

"I am afraid you have not acted wisely, Elinor," said her grandfather; words more like a reproof than any that Elinor could remember to have heard fall from his lips, addressed to herself.

Miss Agnes also evidently regretted her niece's decision; but she said nothing on the subject. As for Mrs. Creighton, she thought it all easy to be understood.

"You may say what you please, Frank, about Miss Wyllys, but you will never persuade me she is not a coquette."

But this Mr. Ellsworth would by no means allow.

Elinor laid her head on her pillow that night with the unpleasant reflection, that four persons under the same roof were reproaching her for the step she had taken that day. But she herself knew that she had acted conscientiously.

CHAPTER XXI. {XLIV}

"Such news, my lord, as grieves me to unfold."
Henry IV. {sic}

{William Shakespeare, "Richard III", II.iv.39}

THE Petrel was a very pretty little schooner, pronounced a crack craft by the knowing ones. She sat so buoyantly on the water when motionless, and glided along so gracefully when under way, that even landsmen and landswomen must have admired her. Let it not be supposed that the word landswomen is here used unadvisedly: although the Navy Department is decidedly ungallant in its general character, and seldom allows ladies to appear on board ship, excepting at a collation or a ball, yet it is well known that in some of the smaller sea-port towns, the female portion of the population are so much interested in nautical matters, and give so much time and attention to the subject, that they are looked upon as very good judges of spars and rigging; and it is even affirmed, that some of these charming young "salts" are quite capable of examining a midshipman on points of seamanship. If fame has not belied them, such are the accomplishments of the belles of Norfolk and Pensacola; while the wives and daughters of the whalers at Nantucket, are said to have also a critical eye for the cut of a jib and the shape of a hull. Hubert de Vaux hoped they had, for he thought it a pity that the Petrel's beauties should be thrown away.

On the morning they sailed, when Elinor had watched the boat as she lay in the river, they had been waiting for Bruno. Harry wished to carry the dog with him; but after following Hazlehurst to the boat, he had returned home again; he was, however, enticed on board, and they hoisted sail, and slowly moved out of sight.

In spite of some little delay, the Petrel made a very good day's work. That night and the following the party slept on board, and seemed very well satisfied with their quarters; they intended to run out of sight of land before the end of their cruise, but as yet they had landed every few hours for fresh water, vegetables, milk, &c.; as it did not enter at all into their calculations to be put on a short allowance of anything desirable. On the afternoon of the third day, the Petrel reached the wharf of a country place on Long-Island, where the party landed, according to a previous invitation, and joined some friends for a couple of days' shooting, which proved a pleasant variety in the excursion; the sport was pronounced good, and the gentlemen made the most of it. Mr. Stryker, however, complained that the pomp and circumstance of sporting was wanted in this country.

"So long as we have the important items of good guns, good marksmen, and real wild-game, we need not find fault," said Harry.

Many lamentations succeeded, however, upon the rapid disappearance of game from all parts of the country.

"There I have the best of it," said Mr. Stryker to his host. "In the next twenty years you may expect to find your occupation gone; but I shall at least have fishing in abundance all my days; though at times I am not quite so sure of the brook-trout."

"I don't think Jonathan will be able to exterminate all the trout in the land," said Hazlehurst, although he is a shamefully wasteful fellow; but I really think there is some danger for the oysters; if the population increases, and continues to eat them, in the same proportion they do now, I am afraid Jonathan of the next generation will devour the whole species."

"Jonathan" = the American (from "Brother Jonathan")}

>From Glen-Cove the Petrel made a reach across the Sound to Sachem's-Head, where Mr. Stryker enjoyed to perfection the luxuries of clam-soup, lobster-salad, and chowder.

Their next port was Nantucket. They happened to arrive there just before a thunder-shower, and Charlie Hubbard was much struck with the wild, desolate look of the island. He pointed out to Hazlehurst the fine variety of neutral tints to be traced in the waves, in the low sand-banks, and the dark sky forming the back-ground. Nantucket is a barren spot, indeed, all but bare of vegetation; scarcely a shrub will grow there, and even the tough beach-grass is often swept away in large tracts; while the forms of the sand-hills vary with every storm. The town itself, however, is a busy, lively little spot—one of the most nautical in feeling and character to be found on the globe. The chief interests of the inhabitants centre in the ocean; and even the very ornaments of their houses are spoils of the deep, shells and fish-bones from distant latitudes, and sailor's fancy-work in various materials, all connected in some way with the sea. Charlie made a sketch of the island, and determined to return there and paint a picture of some size. The next day, which was Sunday, they remained at Nantucket; there is a pretty little church in the town, and Charlie, Harry, and Mr. Smith attended service there; the rest of the gentlemen preferring to idle away the morning in a less praiseworthy manner.

One of young de Vaux's crew was taken sick here, and he was obliged to secure another man before leaving the island; it was easy to do so, however, as one who was waiting for a passage to New York soon offered, and the matter was settled.

Early on Monday morning they again made sail, for Martha's Vineyard; from thence the Petrel's head was to be turned southward, and after coasting the eastern shore of Long-Island, they expected to return to the wharf at Broadlawn, as fast as the winds would carry them. The Vineyard, owing to a more sheltered position, bears a different aspect from the barren sands of Nantucket; parts of the island are well wooded. Choosing a pleasant bay known to their pilot, where a rude wharf had been built, the party landed and prepared to dine, and pass some hours there. They were no sooner on shore than Mr. Stryker made his arrangements for fishing; having secured bait, Dr. Van Horne and himself, with one of the men, took the Petrel's boat and rowed off from shore, changing their ground occasionally, until they had turned the point which formed the bay on one side, and were no longer in sight. De Vaux and Smith took their guns and went into the wood; Charlie brought out his sketchbook, and was soon engaged in taking some tints, in watercolours, from a heavy bank of clouds which had been slowly rising in the west for several hours. Hazlehurst was lying on the grass near him, with a spy-glass, watching a couple of sloops in the distance: turning his head accidentally towards the spot where they were commencing preparations for dinner, Harry saw one of the men, the new recruit, whom he had not yet remarked, looking at him closely. It struck Hazlehurst that he had met this man before; the sailor saw that he was observed, and after a moment's hesitation he approached, touching his hat with the common salutation of a seaman, and looking as if he wished to speak, but scarcely knew how to begin.

"Have you anything to say to me, my friend?—It strikes me I have seen your face somewhere lately."

"If you are Mr. Hazlehurst, I guess, sir, you seed me not long since," replied the man, a little embarrassed.

It suddenly flashed upon Harry's mind, that it was during the Stanley trial that he had seen this person; yes, he could not be mistaken, he was one of the witnesses for the plaintiff on that occasion. Hazlehurst gave him a keen look; the fellow faltered a little, but begged Harry to step aside for a moment, as he wished to speak alone with him. They moved to the adjoining bank, within the edge of the wood, and a conversation followed of some consequence to Hazlehurst, certainly. After a few prefatory remarks, this man offered to make important revelations, upon condition that he should be screened from justice—being considered as state's evidence—and rewarded by Harry for volunteering his services; to which Hazlehurst readily agreed.

We shall tell his story for him, rather as it appeared at a later day, than in the precise words in which it was first given at Martha's Vineyard. By his disclosures, the villany {sic} of Clapp and his client were placed beyond a doubt; and he himself was good authority, for he was Robert Stebbins, the witness who had sworn to having returned the pocket-book and the accompanying documents to the plaintiff, as their rightful owner; he now confessed that he had perjured himself for a heavy bribe, but stood ready to turn state's evidence, and reveal all he knew of the plot. Those papers had actually been placed in his care thirteen years since by his own brother, Jonathan Stebbins, who had died of small-pox in an hospital at Marseilles. This brother had been a favourite companion of William Stanley's from his first voyage; they had shipped together in the Jefferson, and before sailing, Stanley had placed a package of papers and other articles, for safe-keeping, in an old chest of Stebbins's, which was left with the sailor's mother in Massachusetts. They were wrecked in the Jefferson on the coast of Africa, as had been already reported; but they were not drowned, they both succeeded in reaching the shore, having lashed themselves to the same spar. It was a desert, sandy coast, and they were almost starved after having reached the land; their only shelter was a small cave in a low ledge of rocks near the beach; they fed upon half-putrid shell-fish thrown upon the sands by the gale, and they drank from the pools of rain-water that had formed on the rock during the storm; for they had saved nothing from the wreck but a sealed bottle, containing their protections as American sailors, some money in an old glove, and a few other papers. William Stanley had been ill before the gale, and he had not strength to bear up against these hardships; he declined rapidly, and aware that he could not live, the young man charged his companion, if he ever returned to America, to seek his family, relate the circumstances of his death, and show the papers in the bottle—an old letter to himself, and within it the notice of his father's marriage, which he had cut from a paper, obtained from an American vessel spoken on the voyage—and also the package left on shore in the old chest, as these documents would be considered testimonials of his veracity. He farther charged Stebbins to say that he asked his father's forgiveness, acknowledging that he died repenting of his past misconduct. The third day after the gale the young man expired, and Stebbins buried him in the sand near the cave. The survivor had a hard struggle for life; the rain-water had soon dried away, and he set out at night in search of a spring to relieve his thirst, still keeping in sight of the shore. As the morning sun rose, when all but exhausted, he discovered on the beach several objects from the wreck, which had drifted in that direction, the wind having changed after the gale. He found a keg of spirits and some half-spoiled biscuit, and by these means his life was prolonged. He made a bag of his shirt, bound a few things on his back, and buried others in the sand, to return to if necessary, and then continued to follow the shore northward, in search of some spring or stream. Fortunately, he soon came to a woody tract which promised water, and climbing a tree he watched the wild animals, hoping to discover where they drank; at length, following a flock of antelopes, he came suddenly upon the bank of a stream of some size; and to his unspeakable joy, saw on the opposite bank a party of white men, the first human beings he had beheld since Stanley's death; they proved to be Swedes belonging to a ship in the offing; and immediately took him into their boat. The vessel was bound to Stockholm, where she carried young Stanley's shipmate; from there he went to St. Petersburgh, where he met with the brother who related his story to Hazlehurst, and both soon after enlisted in the Russian navy. They were sent to the Black Sea, and kept there and in the Mediterranean for five years, until the elder brother, Jonathan Stebbins, died of small-pox in a hospital at Marseilles, having never returned to America since the wreck of the Jefferson. Before his death, however, he left all his effects and William Stanley's papers to his brother. This man, Robert Stebbins, seemed to have paid very little attention to the documents; it was by mere chance that he preserved the old letter, and the marriage notice within it, for he confessed that he had torn up the protection, once when he wanted a bit of paper: he had never known William Stanley himself, the inquiries about the young man had ceased before he returned to America, and he had attached no importance whatever to these papers. He had left them where they had first been placed, in the old sea-chest at his mother's house, near New Bedford, while he led the usual wandering life of a sailor. He told Harry that he had at last quite forgotten this package, until he accidentally fell in with a man calling himself William Stanley, at a low tavern, only some five or six years since, and, to his amazement, heard him declare he had been wrecked in the Jefferson.

{"protection" = a paper testifying to the American citizenship of a seaman, carried to protect him against being forced into the British Navy as an Englishman. Stebbins' survival reflects descriptions of a shipwreck on the Atlantic coast of North Africa in James Fenimore Cooper's "Homeward Bound" (1838)}

"The fellow was half-drunk," said Stebbins; "but I knew his yarn was a lie all the time, for I had sailed with him in another ship, at the time my brother Jonathan was wrecked in the Jefferson. He shipped then under the name of Benson, but I knew his real name was Edward Hopgood—"

"Edward Hopgood!" exclaimed Harry, passing his hand over his forehead—" surely I have heard that name before. Wait a moment," he added, to Stebbins; while he endeavoured to recollect why that name, singular in itself, had a familiar sound to him. At length his eye brightened, the whole matter became more clear; he recollected when a mere child, a year or two before Mr. Stanley's death, while staying at Greatwood during a vacation, to have heard of the bad conduct of a young man named Edward Hopgood, a lawyer's clerk in the adjoining village, who had committed forgery and then run away. The circumstances had occurred while Harry was at Greatwood, and had been so much talked of in a quiet, country neighbourhood, as to make a decided impression on himself, child as he was. Harry also remembered to have heard Mr. Stanley tell Mr. Wyllys that this Hopgood was very distantly related to himself, through the mother, who had made a very bad connexion; adding, that this lad had been at Greatwood, and would have been assisted by himself, had he not behaved very badly, and done so much to injure his own son that he had been forbidden the house. Harry farther remembered, that Clapp had belonged to the same office from which this Hopgood had run away. There was, however, one point which he did not understand; he thought he had since heard that this Hopgood had turned actor, and died long since of yellow-fever, at New Orleans. Still, he felt convinced that there was a good foundation for Stebbins's story, and he hoped soon to unravel the whole plot, from the clue thus placed in his hands.

"Go on," said Harry, after this pause. "You say this man, whom you knew to be Hopgood, called himself William Stanley. What became of him?"

"It is the same chap that hoisted your colours, Mr. Hazlehurst; him that the jury gave the verdict to in Philadelphia."

"Yes; I knew it must be the same individual before you spoke," said Harry, with a view to keep his informant accurate. "But how did you know that his name was Hopgood? for you say he had shipped under another."

"I knew it because he had told me so himself. He told me how he had run away from a lawyer's office in Pennsylvany, gone to New Orleans and turned play-actor a while, then shammed dead, and had his name printed in the papers among them that died of yellow-fever. He told me all that in his first voyage, when we were shipmates, and that was just the time that my brother Jonathan was wrecked in the Jefferson."

"When you afterwards heard him say he was William Stanley, did you tell him you knew his real name?"

"Yes; I told him I knew he lied; for my brother had buried
Stanley with his own hands, and that I had his papers at home.
Then he told me, he was only laughing at the green-horns."

"Did you mention to any one at the time that you knew this man was not William Stanley?"

"No, sir, for I didn't speak to him until we were alone; and we parted company next morning, for I went to sea."

"When did you next see Hopgood?"

"Well, I didn't fall in with him again for a long while, until this last spring. When I came home from a voyage to China in the Mandarin, last May, I went to my mother's, near New Bedford, and then I found a chap had been to see her in the winter, and persuaded her to give him all the papers in the old chest, that had belonged to William Stanley, making out he was one of the young man's relations. It was that lawyer Clapp; and Hopgood had put him on the track of them 'ere papers."

"What were the documents in your chest?"

"Most of what they had to show came from me: to be sure, Hopgood had got some letters and papers, written to himself of late years under the name of William Stanley; but all they had before the wreck of the Jefferson came from me."

"Were there any books among the articles in your possession?"

"No, sir; nothing but the pocket-book."

"Are you quite sure? Was there not one book with William
Stanley's name in it?"

"Not one; that 'ere book they had in court didn't come from me; how they got it I don't know," replied Stebbins positively; who, it seemed, knew nothing of the volume of the Spectator.

"Where did you next meet Hopgood?"

"Well, I was mad when I found he had got them papers; but the lawyer had left a message with my mother, saying if I came home, she was to tell me I'd hear something to my advantage by applying to him. So I went after him to the place where he lives; and sure enough there was Hopgood, and he and Clapp as thick as can be together. I guess they'd have liked it better if I had never showed myself again: but they got round me, and told me how it was all settled, and if I would only lend a hand, and keep quiet about Hopgood, and speak for them once in a while, they would enter into an agreement to give me enough to make a skipper of me at once. Them 'ere lawyers they can make black look like white—and so I agreed to it at last."

Hazlehurst strongly suspected that less persuasion had been necessary than the man wished him to believe.

"Did they tell you all their plan?"

"Pretty much all; they said it was easy to make people believe Hopgood was William Stanley, for he looked so much like the young man, that he had been asked if that wasn't his name. He said it was that first gave him the notion of passing off for William Stanley—that, and knowing all about the family, and the young man himself. He said Stanley had no near relations who would be likely to remember him; there was only one old gentleman they was afraid of, but they calculated they knew enough to puzzle him too. Hopgood had been practising after Stanley's handwriting; he was pretty good at that trade when he was a shaver," said Stebbins, with a look which showed he knew the story of the forgery. "He was bred a lawyer, and them 'ere lawyers are good at all sorts of tricks. Clapp and him had made out a story from my papers and what they know'd before, and got it all ready in a letter; they agreed that from the time of the wreck, they had better keep pretty straight to Hopgood's real life; and so they did."

"They seem to have laid all their plans before you."

"Well, they couldn't help it, for they wanted me to tell them all I heard from my brother; but I told 'em to speak first. They made out that Hopgood had a right to the property; for they said that old Mr. Stanley had no family to leave it to, that you was a stranger, and that Hopgood was a relation."

"This Hopgood, who first helped to corrupt William Stanley, even if he had actually been a near relation, would have been the last human being to whom Mr. Stanley would have left his property," said Harry, coolly. "But go on with your story; why did they not show the pocket-book before the trial?"

"They settled it so, because they thought it would look better before the jury."

"Why did you change your own mind so soon after the trial? You should have come to me before."

"Hopgood and I had a quarrel only three days ago, when he was drunk; he swore they could have done without me, and I swore I'd be revenged. Then that fellow, Clapp, wouldn't pay me on the spot according to agreement, as soon as they had gained the cause. I had kept my part, and he hadn't lifted a finger yet for me; nor he wouldn't if he could help it, for all he had given me his word. I know him from more than one thing that came out; he is one of your fellows who sham gentlemen, with a fine coat to his back; but I wouldn't trust him with a sixpence out of sight; no, nor out of arm's length," and Stebbins went on, swearing roundly at Clapp and Hopgood, until Harry interrupted him.

"I know them 'ere lawyers, they think they can cheat Jack any day; but I won't trust him an hour longer! I know your real gentleman from your tricky sham at a minute's warning, though their coats be both cut off the same piece of broadcloth. I haven't served under Uncle Sam's officers for nothing. Now I'll trust you, Mr. Hazlehurst, as long as it suits you; I'd no more have talked to Clapp without having his name down in black and white, as I have to you, than I'd be shot."

"The agreement I have made shall be strictly kept," replied Harry, coldly. "Had you come to me before the trial, you would have had the same reward, without the crime of perjury."

"Well, that 'ere perjury made me feel uncomfortable; and what with having sworn vengeance on Clapp and Hopgood, I made up my mind to go straight back to Philadelphy, and turn state's evidence. I was waiting for a chance to get to New York when I saw you on the wharf at Nantucket, and I knew you in a minute."

The conversation was here interrupted by a call from the beach, which attracted Harry's attention, after having been so much engrossed during the disclosures of Stebbins, as to be quite regardless of what was going on about him. It was de Vaux who had called—he now approached.

"I couldn't think where that fellow, Stebbins, had got to; if you have nothing for him to do here, Hazlehurst, he is wanted yonder."

Harry and the sailor accordingly parted. After exchanging a few words to conclude their agreement, they both returned to the beach.

The Petrel seemed to be getting under way again; Smith and de
Vaux, who had just returned from the wood with their guns, and
Charlie, who had just left his sketching apparels, were standing
together looking on when Harry joined them.

"I didn't know what had become of you," said Charlie. "What a long yarn that fellow seemed to be telling you!"

"It was well worth hearing," said Harry, with a significant look at his friend.

"Really? I had some hope it might prove so from the man's look," added Charlie, comprehending at once the drift of the conversation, though he had little idea of its complete success in unravelling the plot

"You shall hear it before long," added Harry.

"When you please; in the mean time I wish you joy of any good news!"

"But what are you about here, de Vaux? I thought we were to remain on the island till sun-set."

"So we shall; but it seems that fellow, Black Bob, has forgot the vegetables I ordered him to bring from Nantucket; we have discovered a house with something like a garden on the opposite point, and I am going to send Bob with the boy Sam on a foraging expedition; I dare say they will find potatoes and onions at least. That is the spot; do you see the apple-trees? With the glass I saw a woman moving about, and milk-pans drying in the sun."

"Why don't you send the boat?"

"Stryker hasn't come back yet, and there is wind enough to carry the Petrel over and back again in half an hour."

"Smith and I are going as commanding officers; and you will have a much better dinner for our exertions, no doubt," said Charlie.

"Holloa, there, Bob—Sam!—tumble on board; mind you bring all the garden-stuff they can spare. You Bob, see if you can pick up half you contrived to forget, sir, at Nantucket. You deserve to be made to swim across for it," said de Vaux.

"Never could swim a stroke in my born days, sir," muttered Black
Bob.

"There isn't much choice of sa'ace at Nantucket, anyway," added the boy Sam.

{"sa'ace" = sauce, a slang term for vegetables}

"Here we go," said Charlie, jumping lightly on board, followed by
Smith.

"It is possible you may find some melons, Hubbard; don't forget to ask for them," said de Vaux.

"Ay, ay, sir," replied Charlie, nodding as the Petrel moved off. The boy was steering, while Black Bob and the gentlemen tended the sails; and the little schooner glided gracefully on her way, with a light breeze, sufficiently favourable.

Harry went to take a look at Charlie's sketch, which he found just as the young artist had left it—spirited and true to nature as usual, but only half-finished. De Vaux looked into the chowder pot, where all seemed to be going on well. He then joined Harry, and the young men continued walking together near the shanty, where preparations for dinner were going on under the charge of Stebbins and the acting steward of the cruise.

"It is nearly time Stryker made his appearance with the fish," said Harry.

"If the sport is good, we shan't see him this hour yet," replied de Vaux. "He will only come back in time to put the finishing stroke to the chowder."

"If he waits too long he will have a shower," observed Harry, pointing eastward, where dark clouds were beginning to appear above the wood.

"Not under an hour I think," said de Vaux. "He will take care of himself at any rate—trust to Stryker for that," They turned to look at the Petrel. Some ten or fifteen minutes had passed since she left the little wharf, and she was already near her destination; the point on which the farm-house stood being scarcely more than a mile distant, in a direct line, and a single tack having proved sufficient to carry her there.

"The wind seems to be falling," said Harry, holding up his hand to feel the air. "It is to be hoped they will make a quick bargain, or they may keep your potatoes too late to be boiled for to-day's dinner."

De Vaux took up the glass to look after their movements.

"They have made the point, handsomely," he said; "and there is a woman coming down to the shore, and a boy, too."

The friends agreed that there seemed every prospect of a successful negotiation; for a woman was seen going towards the garden with a basket, and Sam, the boy, had landed. Before long a basket was carried down from the house; while Sam and the woman were still busy in the garden.

"They had better be off as soon as they can," said de Vaux, "for the wind is certainly falling."

"There is a shower coming up over the island, Captain de Vaux," said Stebbins, touching his hat.

"Coming, sure enough!—look yonder!"—exclaimed Harry, pointing eastward, where heavy clouds were now seen rising rapidly over the wood.

"We shall have a shower, and something of a squall, I guess," added Stebbins.

There could not indeed be much doubt of the fact, for a heavy shower now seemed advancing, with the sudden rapidity not unusual after very warm weather; the position of the bay, and a wooded bank having concealed its approach until close at hand.

"We shall have a dead calm in ten minutes," said de Vaux; "I wish the Petrel was off."

But still there seemed something going on in the garden; the woman and Sam were very busy, and Charlie and Smith had joined them.

"They must see the shower coming up by this time!" exclaimed de
Vaux.

"There will be a squall and a sharp one, too," added Stebbins.

The wind, which had prevailed steadily all the morning in a light, sultry breeze from the south, was now dying away; the sullen roll of distant thunder was heard, while here and there a sudden flash burst from a nearer cloud.

"Thank Heaven, they are off at last!" cried de Vaux, who was watching the schooner with some anxiety.

Harry and the two men were busy gathering together under cover of the shanty, the different articles scattered about, and among others Charlie's half-finished sketch.

The sun was now obscured; light, detached clouds, looking heated and angry, were hurrying in advance with a low flight, while the heavens were half-covered by the threatening mass which came gathering in dark and heavy folds about the island. Suddenly the great body of vapour which had been hanging sullenly over the western horizon all the morning, now set in motion by a fresh current of air, began to rise with a slow movement, as if to meet the array advancing so eagerly from the opposite direction; it came onward steadily, with a higher and a wider sweep than the mass which was pouring immediately over the little bay. The landscape had hung out its storm-lights; the dark scowl of the approaching gust fell alike on wood, beach, and waters; the birds were wheeling about anxiously; the gulls and other water-fowl flying lower and lower, nearer and nearer to their favourite element; the land-birds hurrying hither and thither, seeking shelter among their native branches. But not a drop of rain had yet fallen; and the waves still came rolling in upon the sands with the measured, lulling sound of fair weather.

The air from the south revived for a moment, sweeping in light, fitful puffs over the bay. Favoured by this last flickering current of the morning's breeze, the Petrel had succeeded in making her way half across the bay, though returning less steadily than she had gone on her errand an hour before.

"Give us another puff or two, and she will yet be here before the squall," said de Vaux.

The little schooner was now indeed within less than half a mile of the wharf; but here at length the wind entirely failed her, and she sat idly on the water. De Vaux was watching her through the glass; there seemed to be some little hesitation and confusion on board; Sam, the boy, had given up the tiller to Black Bob. Suddenly the first blast of the gust from the east came rustling through the wood, making the young trees bend before it; then as it passed over the water there was a minute's respite.

"How she dodges!—What are they about?" exclaimed Harry.

"What do they mean?—Are they blind?—can't they see the squall coming?" cried de Vaux in great anxiety, as he watched the hesitation on board the Petrel.

"As my name is Nat Fisher, that nigger is drunk!—I thought so this morning!" exclaimed the steward.

"And Smith and Hubbard know nothing of a boat!" cried de Vaux, in despair.

The words had scarcely passed his lips before the wind came rushing over the wood, in a sudden, furious blast, bringing darker and heavier clouds, accompanied by quick, vivid flashes of lightning, and sharp cracks of thunder; the rain pouring down in torrents. It was with difficulty the young men kept their footing on the end of the wharf, such was the first fury of the gust; but they forgot themselves in fears for their friends.

"Are they mad!" cried de Vaux, as he marked the uncertainty of their movements; while the wind was sweeping furiously over the darkened waters towards them.

A heavy sheet of rain, pouring in a flood from the clouds, completely enveloped the party on the wharf; another second and a shout was indistinctly heard amid the tumult of the winds and waters; a lighter cloud passed over, the bay was partially seen again; but neither the white sails of the Petrel nor her buoyant form could be traced by the eager eyes on the wharf. She had been struck by the gust and capsized.

"She is gone!" exclaimed de Vaux, with a cry of horror.

"Charlie can't swim!" cried Harry.

"Nor Bob, for certain," said the steward. "I don't know about the others."

Three shots from a fowling-piece were rapidly fired, as a signal to the party in the Petrel that their situation was known to their friends on shore. The steward was instantly ordered to run along the beach to the farthest point, and carry the boat from there to the spot; it was a distance of more than two miles by land, still de Vaux thought it best to be done; while he himself and Stebbins seized another pair of oars, and set off at full speed in the opposite direction, to the nearest point, about a mile from the wharf, beyond which Stryker was fishing with their own boat, intending to carry her instantly to the relief of the party in the schooner.

Harry thought of his friend; Charlie could not swim, he himself was a remarkably good swimmer. It must be some little time before either boat could reach the capsized schooner, and in the interval, two at least of the four individuals in the Petrel, were helpless and in imminent peril. The idea of Charlie's danger decided his course; in a moment he had cast off his clothes, and with Bruno at his side—a faithful ally at such a moment—he had thrown himself into the water, confident that he could swim the distance himself with ease.

The next half-hour was one of fearful anxiety. The gust still raged with sullen fury; the shower from eastward, collected among the mists of the ocean, and the array from the west, gathered amid the woods and marshes of the land, met with a fierce shock on the shores of the Vineyard. The thunder and lightning were unusually severe, several bolts falling within a short distance about the bay; the rain pouring down in a dense sheet, as the wind drove cloud after cloud over the spot in its stormy flight. And amid this scene of violence four human beings were struggling for life, while their anxious friends were hurrying to their relief, with every nerve alive. Frederick Smith was the first who rose after the Petrel capsized; in another moment he saw the head of the boy emerge from the water at a little distance; the lad could swim, and both had soon gained the portion of the little schooner's hull which was partially bare, though constantly washed by the waves. Another minute, and Smith saw amid the spray Charlie's head; he knew that Hubbard could not swim, and moved towards him with a cry of encouragement.

"Here!" replied the young painter; but he had disappeared before
Smith could reach him.

A fresh blast of wind, rain, and hail passed over the spot; Smith moved about calling to Hubbard and the negro; but he received no answer from either.

"There's one of them!" cried the boy eagerly; he swam towards the object he had seen, but it proved to be only a hat.

Both returned to the Petrel's side, watching as closely as the violence of the wind and rain would permit. Not a trace of the negro was seen; yet Smith thought he must have risen to the surface at some point unobserved by them, for he was a man of a large, corpulent body, more likely to float than many others. A second time Smith was relieved by seeing Charlie rise, but at a greater distance from the Petrel's hull; a second time he strained every nerve to reach him, but again the young man sunk beneath the waves.

A shout was now heard. "It is the boat!" said Smith, as he answered the call. He was mistaken; it was Hazlehurst who now approached, with Bruno at his side, guided by the voices of Smith and the boy.

"Charlie!" cried Harry, as he made his way through the water.
Charlie!" he repeated again.

"Hubbard has sunk twice, and the negro is gone!" cried Smith.

"Come to the hull and take breath," added Smith.

But just as he spoke, Harry had seen an arm left bare by a passing wave; he made a desperate effort, reached the spot, and seized Charlie's body, crying joyfully, "It is Hubbard; I have him!—Charlie, do you know me?—Charlie, speak but a word, my good fellow!"

But the young man had lost his consciousness; he returned no answer either by look or word. Harry grasped his collar, holding his face above the water, and at the same time moving towards the Petrel's hull as rapidly as he could.

"Here Bruno, my noble dog! That's right, Smith, get a firm hold on the schooner; we must draw him up, he has fainted; but the boats must be here soon."

Smith was following Hazlehurst's directions; but ere Bruno had joined his master, Harry, now within a short distance of the schooner, suddenly cried, "Help!"—and in another second both he and Charlie had disappeared beneath the water, in a manner as incomprehensible, as it was unexpected and distressing to Smith.

"He's sunk!" cried the boy.

"How?—where? Surely he was not exhausted!"

A howl burst from Bruno.

"Perhaps it's the cramp," said the lad.

"Both sunk!—Hazlehurst too!" again exclaimed Smith, as much amazed as he was distressed. He and the boy threw themselves from the schooner's side again, looking anxiously for some trace of Hazlehurst.

"Look sharp, my lad, as you would save a fellow-creature!"

"There's one of them!" cried the boy, and in another instant he had caught Charlie by the hair. But not a trace of Hazlehurst was seen since he first disappeared, and the waters had closed so suddenly over him. Charlie was carried to the Petrel's side; and while Smith and the lad were endeavouring to raise him on the schooner, Bruno was swimming hither and thither, howling piteously for his master.

A shout was now heard.

"The boat at last, thank Heaven!" cried Smith, returning the call.

A minute passed; nothing was seen of Harry; Charlie was raised entirely above water; when at length the Petrel's boat dashed towards them, urged by all the strength of four rowers.

"Hubbard!—Bob!" cried de Vaux, as the first glance showed him that both Smith and the boy were safe.

"Hubbard is here, insensible—Bob gone—Hazlehurst sunk, too!"

"Hazlehurst and Bob, too!—Merciful powers!" exclaimed the party.

A hurried, eager search succeeded, as soon as Charlie, with Smith and Sam, now somewhat exhausted by fatigue and agitation, were taken on board. Hubbard was quite insensible; young Van Horne, the physician, thought his appearance unfavourable, but instantly resorted to every means possible under the circumstances, with the hope of restoring animation. Still nothing was seen of Harry; his entire disappearance was quite incomprehensible.

"It must have been cramp; yet I never knew him have it, and he is one of the best swimmers in the country!" said de Vaux.

"He must have felt it coming, and had presence of mind to loosen his hold of Hubbard at the same moment he cried for help," observed Smith.

Bruno was still swimming, now here, now there, encircling the Petrel in wider or narrower reaches, howling from time to time with a sound that went to the hearts of all who heard him. Different objects floating about beguiled the party for an instant with hope, but each time a few strokes of the oars undeceived them.

Suddenly Bruno stopped within a short distance of the Petrel, and dove; those in the boat watched him eagerly; he rose with a sharp bark, calling them to the spot; then dove again, rose with a howl, and for a third time disappeared beneath the water. Convinced that he had found either Harry or the negro, de Vaux threw off his coat and plunged into the water, to examine the spot thoroughly. The dog soon rose again with a rope in his mouth, pulling it with all his strength, uttering at the same time a smothered cry. The rope was seized by those in the boat, and de Vaux dove; he touched first one body, then another; but all his strength was unequal to the task of raising either. After a hurried examination, it was found that one body, that of the negro, was entangled in a rope and thus held under water from the first; while Harry's leg was firmly clenched in the dying grip of Black Bob, who must have seized it as Hazlehurst passed, and drawn him downward in that way.

In as short a time as possible, Hazlehurst and the negro were placed in the boat by the side of Hubbard, who had not yet showed any sign of life; every effort was made to revive them by some of the party, while the others rowed with all their strength towards the shore.

All watched the face of Van Horne, the young physician, with the greatest anxiety, as he leaned first over one, then over another, directing the labours of the rest.

"Surely there must be some hope!" cried de Vaux to him.

"We will leave no effort untried," replied the other; though he could not look sanguine.

The boat from the most distant point, rowed by the steward and a boy from the farm-house, now joined them; and those who could not be of use in assisting Van Horne, passed into her, taking their oars, and towing the boat of the ill-fated Petrel with her melancholy burden towards the beach. Bruno could not be moved from his old master's side; it was painful to see him crawling from one body to the other, with as much watchfulness, as much grief, and almost as much intelligence as the surviving friends; now crouching at the cold feet of Hazlehurst, now licking the stiff hand, now raising himself to gaze wistfully at the inanimate features of the young man.

The shower was passing over; the rain soon ceased, the clouds broke away, the sun burst again in full glory upon the bay, the beach, the woods, throwing a brilliant bow over the island. But three of those upon whom it had shone only an hour earlier, were now stretched cold and lifeless on the sands; while the mourning survivors were hanging in heartfelt grief over the bodies of the two friends and the negro sailor.

CHAPTER XXII. {XLV}

"And e'en to wakeful conscience unconfest,
Her fear, her grief, her joy were his alone."
COLERIDGE. {sic}

{Reginald Heber (English poet, 1783-1826), "Morte d'Arthur: A
Fragment" lines II.534-535}

THE melancholy disaster of the Petrel happened on Monday; it was not until the Thursday following that the evil tidings reached Longbridge.

Elinor, accompanied by Mary Van Alstyne, set out quite early in the morning to pay some visits at different country-houses in the neighbourhood. They had been out some little time, having driven several miles, and made three or four calls, when they reached Mrs. Van Horne's. On entering the parlour they found the mistress of the house was not there, but a much less agreeable person, the elder Mrs. Tibbs, the greatest gossip in Longbridge.

"I am glad to see you this morning, young ladies," she said.

"Thank you, ma'am; it is a very pleasant morning, certainly," replied Elinor, as she took a seat on the sofa.

"Very pleasant, yes; but I was fearful you might have been kept at home by the bad news we Longbridge people have just heard."

"It does not seem to have kept you at home either, Mrs. Tibbs, whatever it may be," replied Elinor, smiling; for she knew that any news, whether good or bad, always set this lady in motion. Little did the poor young girl suspect the nature of the intelligence that awaited her!

"No; I thought my good friend, Mrs. Van Horne, might feel uneasy about her son, and came over to be with her."

"Mrs. Van Horne! Has anything happened to the family?"

"You haven't heard the news then?—I am surprised at that. But here is an account of the accident in the New Haven Eagle. It has made us all feel quite dreadfully at home!"

"What has happened?—Pray tell us!" exclaimed Elinor, now looking alarmed.

"Here is the account; but perhaps you had better let Miss Mary read it; she was not so intimate with the deceased."

"What is it?—let me see the paper, Mary. An accident to one of the Van Hornes!" and she took the sheet from the table. Her eye immediately fell on the following article:

"Our city was painfully excited this morning by the intelligence which reached here, of a distressing accident to a beautiful little schooner, the property of Hubert de Vaux, Esq., of New York, which was seen in our waters only a few days since, and attracted universal admiration in our port."

Elinor's eyes could see no farther; she stretched out the paper to her cousin, saying in a faint voice, "Mary, read!"

Mary Van Alstyne took the paper, and continued silently to look over the passage.

"This little schooner, bound on a cruise of pleasure, had reached Martha's Vineyard, when, during the sudden squall which passed over this section also on Monday, she capsized, and melancholy to relate, four persons lost their lives. The party consisted of Mr. de Vaux himself, Colonel Stryker, and Mr. Van Horne, of New York; Charles Hubbard, Esq., the distinguished young artist; Henry Hazlehurst, Esq., our secretary of Legation to the court of Russia, where he was shortly to proceed with Mr. Henley, our Envoy; and also Frederick Smith, Esq., a young gentleman from Philadelphia. There were in addition five men in the crew. We regret to add that Mr. Hazlehurst and Mr. Hubbard, a negro sailor known as Black Bob, and another man, name not mentioned, were drowned; the bodies were all recovered, but every effort to restore life proved unavailing."

Mary Van Alstyne had strong nerves, but the suddenness of these melancholy tidings, and a dread of the effect upon Elinor, made her turn deadly pale.

"Tell me, Mary," said her cousin faintly.

Mary waited a moment to recover herself, when the question was anxiously repeated. She took Elinor's hand and sat down by her side, using every precaution of delicacy and tenderness in breaking the bad news to her cousin; she approached the worst as gradually as she could, and mentioned every favourable circumstance first; while Elinor sat trembling in every limb, yet endeavouring to retain command over her senses and her feelings. But it was in vain; when Mary was at length forced to confess that two of their friends were among the lost, Elinor put her hand to her heart, while her eyes were fixed on her cousin's lips; when the name of Hazlehurst was at length reluctantly pronounced, she started from her chair, and fell quite insensible on the floor, at her companion's feet.

It was a long time before she could be restored. Mrs. Van Horne and the doctor, who was happily in the house, did all in their power to relieve their young friend; and Mrs. Tibbs was really quite distressed and mortified, when she found the effects of her allusion to the accident were so serious.

"Poor young thing!—I'd no notion, Mrs. Van Horne, that she would have taken it so much to heart. Do you suppose she was engaged to one of the young gentlemen?"

An imploring look from Mary Van Alstyne said to the doctor as plainly as look could speak, "Do send her away!"

The doctor was very ready to do so, and by virtue of his medical authority requested the gossip to walk into the other room, where he permitted himself to give her a sharp reprimand for having been in such haste to tell the evil tidings.

It was some time before Elinor fully recovered her consciousness; her first words expressed a wish to be carried home.

"Home, Mary," she said faintly.

Mrs. Van Horne, who was deeply interested in her young friend, was anxious she should remain where she was until her strength had entirely returned.

"I am strong now," said Elinor feebly, making an effort to rise.

Mary looked inquiringly at the doctor.

"You shall go in a few minutes, my dear Miss Elinor," said the doctor after an instant's hesitation; he thought it best that she should do so, but determined that his wife and himself would accompany her to Wyllys-Roof.

"Mary," said Elinor, with an effort, looking towards Mrs. Van
Horne, "ask if—"

Mary guessed that she wished to know if the Van Hornes had heard anything in addition to the account in the paper. Without speaking, she looked the question.

"We have had a few lines, sent us by Mrs. de Vaux from New York," said Mrs. Van Horne, gently.

Elinor closed her eyes, and fell back again on the cushion.

"You must not talk, my dear," said the doctor kindly.

Young de Vaux had in fact written a line or two to his mother, who was in New York, by the boat which he sent off immediately to engage a small steamer, as soon as the squall had passed over; and this note had been considerately forwarded by Mrs. de Vaux to the Van Hornes, as it mentioned the safety of their own son. It ran as follows:

"Martha's Vineyard.

"MY DEAR MOTHER:—We are greatly distressed by a melancholy accident which befell us scarce an hour since. The Petrel capsized; most of our party are safe; but two of my friends are gone, Hazlehurst and Hubbard! You will understand our grief; mine especially! We shall return immediately.

"Your son, H. de V."

The doctor handed this note to Mary, at a moment when Mrs. Van
Horne was bending over Elinor.

In a few minutes Elinor made another request to be carried home.

"Pray take me home, doctor," she said; "I can go now."

The doctor felt her pulse, and observing that although very feeble, she seemed to have command of herself, he thought the air and motion would be of service. The carriage was ordered, she took a restorative, and making a great effort to rally, leaning on the doctor's arm she walked to the door. Dr. and Mrs. Van Horne accompanied her, as well as her cousin.

"Thank you," she said with her usual gentleness, as she remarked their kind intention, and then throwing herself back in her seat she closed her eyes; her face was deadly pale, large tears would force themselves slowly from beneath her eyelids, and a shudder pass over her limbs; and yet it was evident she made a strong effort to control her emotion. There was something in her whole expression and manner, that bore all the stamp of the deepest feeling; it was no common nervousness, no shock of sudden surprise, nor merely friendly sympathy; it was the expression of unalloyed grief springing from the very depths of a noble heart.

Even Dr. Van Horne, whose nerves had been hardened by the exercise of years amid scenes peculiar to his calling, could scarcely refrain from shedding tears, as he looked with compassion and with respect at his young friend. She seemed quite indifferent to the observation of others; her heart and mind were apparently engrossed by one idea, one feeling, and all her strength engaged in facing one evil.

Mrs. Van Horne had not supposed that the bad news would have affected her so deeply, nor was Mary Van Alstyne prepared for the result; but however Elinor might have hitherto deceived herself, however much her friends might have misunderstood her, the truth was now only too clear; her heart had spoken too loudly to be misunderstood—it was wholly Hazlehurst's.

They drove on steadily and slowly, the silence only interrupted by occasional remarks of Elinor's companions, as they offered her some assistance. When they came in sight of the Hubbard cottage, Mary Van Alstyne's heart sunk anew, as she remembered the blow which had also fallen upon their good neighbours.

Elinor's efforts for self-command increased as she drew near home—for the sake of her friends, her aunt and grandfather, she strained every nerve; but on reaching the house it was in vain, her resolution gave way entirely when she saw Bruno lying in his usual place on the piazza. She became so much agitated that it was feared she would again fall into a deep swoon, and she was carried from the carriage to a sofa in the drawing-room. Neither Miss Agnes nor Mr. Wyllys was at home; they had gone to their afflicted neighbours the Hubbards. An express had brought a report of the melancholy catastrophe, not half an hour after Elinor had left Wyllys-Roof in the morning; the lifeless body of our poor young friend, Charlie, was to reach Longbridge that afternoon, and Hubert de Vaux had come to request Miss Agnes to break the sad truth to the bereaved mother and sister. Jane also was absent, she was in New York with the Taylors; but Elinor's faithful nurse and the old black cook came hurrying to her assistance, as soon as they knew she had reached the house so much indisposed.

{"express" = special messenger}

Miss Agnes was sent for; but Elinor had revived again when her aunt returned, though she was still surrounded by the anxious circle, Mary, the Van Hornes, her nurse, and old Hetty. When she heard the footsteps approaching, she made an effort to raise herself, with a sort of instinctive desire to spare her aunt a sight of all her weakness.

"You had better lie still, my dear Miss Elinor," said the doctor kindly, offering her a glass of some restorative.

Miss Agnes entered the room and advanced anxiously to the sofa.

"My poor child!" exclaimed Miss Wyllys. "What is it, doctor?—illness?" she added anxiously.

The doctor shook his head. "She heard the news too suddenly," he said.

Mr. Wyllys now followed his daughter. Elinor turned her eyes towards the door as he entered; a cry burst from her lips—she saw Hazlehurst!

Yes, Hazlehurst standing in the doorway, looking pale and distressed, but living, breathing, moving!

In another second Elinor had started to her feet, sprung towards him, and thrown herself in his arms—heedless of the family, heedless of friends and servants about her, forgetting in that one sudden revulsion of feeling, the whole world but Harry.

{"revulsion" = a sudden change of feeling}

Hazlehurst seemed quite forgetful himself of the everyday {sic} rules of society, and the merely friendly position in which they had stood at parting, but a week before; his whole expression and manner now betrayed an interest in Elinor too strong to be disguised, and which could be explained in one way only.

All this was the work of a moment; the various degrees of amazement, produced by the sudden appearance of Harry, on some individuals of the group of spectators, the surprise of others at the strong emotions betrayed by the young couple had not subsided, when an exclamation from Hazlehurst himself again fixed their attention entirely on Elinor.

"She has fainted!" he cried, and carried her to the sofa.

But joy is life to the heart and spirits; Elinor lost her consciousness for a moment only. She raised her eyes and fixed them upon Hazlehurst, who still held one of her hands.

"It is Harry!" she exclaimed, and burst into tears. She felt that he was safe, that he was by her side; she already felt that he loved her, that they understood each other; and yet she was still quite incapable of giving anything like a reason for what had passed. It was all confusion in her mind, all indistinct but the blessed truth that Harry was safe, accompanied by a hope she had not dared to cherish for years. She was still feeble and agitated, her colour varying with every beat of her heart; her face now covered with a deep natural blush at the sound of Harry's voice, at the expression of his eye; now deadly pale again as she caught some allusion to the Petrel.

The doctor recommended that she should be left alone with Miss Wyllys. Her grandfather kissed her tenderly and left the room, as well as the rest of the party; with one exception, however—Hazlehurst lingered behind.

Having reached the adjoining room, explanations were exchanged between the friends. Mr. Wyllys learned that Elinor and the Van Hornes had supposed Harry lost, from the paper, and the first hurried note of de Vaux. When they arrived at Wyllys-Roof, there was no one there to give them any later information; Mammy Sarah, the nurse, knew no more than themselves; she had heard the Broadlawn story, after having seen young de Vaux leave the house with Miss Agnes, when they first went to the Hubbards'. Hazlehurst had not accompanied his friend, for he had seen Mr. Wyllys in a neighbouring field, and went there to give him the information; and thence they had both gone to the cottage, where they remained until Mrs. Clapp and Mr. Joseph Hubbard arrived from Longbridge. Neither Mr. Wyllys nor Miss Agnes had received the least intimation of the accident, until they heard a correct account from de Vaux, and Harry himself; consequently they had not felt the same alarm for Hazlehurst.

Dr. and Mrs. Van Horne were much gratified by hearing, that Hazlehurst's restoration was owing to the devoted perseverance of their son; for it was only after every one else had given up the hope of reviving him, after long and ceaseless exertions, that signs of life were discovered. They also now learned the circumstances of the accident, the fact that two instead of four persons were lost, and they found that it was in endeavouring to save Charlie that Harry had so nearly lost his own life. But we leave them together to express their natural feelings of gratitude for those who had escaped, sympathy with the sufferers, their surprise at Harry's appearance, and all the varying emotions of such a moment.

While this conversation was passing in one room, Elinor was in some measure recovering from the first sudden shock of the morning in the other. Harry seemed fully determined to maintain his post at her side, and still kept possession of her hand; in fact, the solemn, anxious moment, hallowed by grief, at which the disclosure of their mutual feelings had been made, seemed to banish all common, petty embarrassments. Miss Agnes and Harry required but a word and a look to explain matters; the aunt already understood it all.

"Poor Charlie!" exclaimed Elinor, with a half-inquiring look, as if with a faint hope that he too might have returned, like Harry.

"Our friend is gone, dearest!" said Harry, his eyes moistened with tears as he spoke.

Elinor wept, and a silence of a minute ensued. "His poor mother, and his sister!" she exclaimed at length.

"His two mothers, rather," said Harry, with a faltering voice.

After another silence, Elinor turned to Hazlehurst with an anxious look, saying:

"And your other friends?"

"All safe; love."

"The crew too?"

"One of the crew is lost; Black Bob, a sailor from Longbridge."

"I remember him; he had no family I believe, Aunt," she said.

"None, my child, that I have ever heard of."

"The heaviest blow has fallen upon the Hubbards," said Harry.

After a pause, in which aunt and niece had prayed for the mourners, Elinor again made some inquiries.

"Were all in the Petrel at the time?" asked Elinor.

"Smith and our poor Charlie, the negro and a boy were crossing a bay in the Petrel, when she capsized, by the bad management of the negro, who had been drinking. The rest of us were on shore."

"You were not in any danger then?" said Elinor, as if relieved that he had not even been exposed to past peril.

"I owe my life to my friend Van Horne," he replied.

Elinor shuddered, and turned deadly pale again. Harry threw his arms about her and embraced her fervently, until Elinor, who had now partially recovered the common current of her ideas, made a gentle struggle to release herself.

"But you were not in the Petrel?" she said again, as if anxious to understand all that related to him.

"We all went to our friends as soon as we saw the schooner capsize," said Harry.

"Hubert de Vaux told me that Harry swam some distance, with the hope of saving poor Charles, who could not swim himself," said Miss Agnes. "It was in that way, my child, that he was exposed."

"To save Charlie!—that was like you," said Elinor, with a glow on her cheek.

"There was no danger—no merit whatever in doing so—I have often swum farther," said Harry; "the only difficulty was caused by my becoming entangled in some ropes, which drew me under water."

"But where was the boat?"

"It was not at hand at the moment; they brought it as soon as possible."

"Did Charlie speak?" asked Elinor, sadly.

"My poor friend was insensible when I reached him."

Again a moment's pause ensued.

"I must not forget to tell you, love, that we owe a great deal to another friend of ours," said Harry, smiling. "You will be glad to hear that Bruno behaved nobly; he first discovered the ropes in which we were entangled."

"Bruno!—Where is my noble dog? Pray call him; let me see him!"

Harry went to the door, and there was Bruno lying across the threshold, as if waiting to be admitted; he came in at Harry's call, but not with his usual bound; he seemed to understand that if his old master had been saved, his master's friend was lost. The noble creature was much caressed by Miss Wyllys and Elinor; and we are not ashamed to confess that the latter kissed him more than once. At length, Miss Agnes observing that her niece was very much recovered, rose from her seat, and stooping to kiss Elinor's forehead, placed her hand in that of Harry, saying with much feeling, as she joined them, "God bless you, my children!" and then left the room.

As for what passed after Miss Agnes left her young friends, we cannot say; Bruno was the only witness to that interview between Harry and Elinor, and as Bruno was no tell-tale, nothing has ever transpired on the subject. We may suppose, however, that two young people, strongly attached to each other, united under such peculiar circumstances, did not part again until a conclusive and satisfactory explanation had taken place. Harry no doubt was enabled to quiet any scruples he may have felt with regard to Ellsworth; and probably Elinor was assured, that she had entirely mistaken Hazlehurst's feelings during the past summer; that Mrs. Creighton was his friend's sister, and a charming woman, but not the woman he loved, not the woman he could ever love, after having known his Elinor. Then, as both parties were frank and warm-hearted, as they had known each other for years, and had just been reunited under circumstances so solemn, there was probably more truth, less reserve, and possibly more tenderness than usual at similar meetings. Doubtless there were some smiles; and to judge from the tone of both parties on separating, we think that some tears must have been shed. We are certain that amid their own intimate personal communications, the young friend so dear to both, so recently lost, was more than once remembered; while at the same time it is a fact, that another communication of some importance to Harry, the disclosures of Stebbins, was forgotten by him, or deferred until the interview was interrupted. Mr. Wyllys entered to let Harry know that Hubert de Vaux had come for him.

"De Vaux is here waiting for you, Harry," said Mr. Wyllys, opening the drawing-room door.

"Is it possible, my dear sir?—Is it so late?" exclaimed Harry.

It was in fact de Vaux, come to accompany Harry to Longbridge, to meet the body of our poor Charlie: so closely, on that eventful day, were joy and sadness mingled to the friends at Wyllys-Roof.

Elinor had risen from her seat as her grandfather approached.

"You feel better, my child," he said kindly.

"I am happy, grandpapa!—happy as I can be TO-DAY!" she added, blushing, and weeping, and throwing her arms about his neck.

"It is all right, I see. May you be blessed, together, my children!" said the venerable man, uniting their hands.

After an instant's silence, Elinor made a movement to leave the room.

"I am going to Longbridge, but I shall hope to see you again in the evening," said Harry, before she left him.

"When you come back, then. You are going to Longbridge, you say?"

"Yes," Said Harry sadly; "to meet Van Horne and Smith, with—"

Elinor made no reply; she understood his sad errand; offered him her hand again, and left the room. She retired to her own apartment, and remained there alone for a long time; and there the young girl fell on her knees, and offered up most fervent, heartfelt thanksgivings for the safety of one she loved truly, one she had long loved, so recently rescued from the grave.

That afternoon, just as the autumn sun was sinking towards the woods, throwing a rich, warm glow over the country, a simple procession was seen moving slowly and sadly over the Longbridge highway. It was the body of Charlie Hubbard, brought home by his friends, to pass a few hours beneath his mother's roof, ere it was consigned to its last resting-place under the sod. We have not yet dared to intrude upon the stricken inmates of the old grey cottage; we shall not attempt to paint their grief, such grief is sacred. The bereaved mother, half-infirm in body and mind, seemed to feel the blow without fully understanding it: Patsey, poor Patsey felt the affliction fully, comprehended it wholly. Charlie had been her idol from infancy; she had watched over the boy with an engrossing affection, an earnest devotion, which could be only compared to a mother's love, which might claim a mother's sacred name. She was entirely overcome when the young artist's body was brought into the house, and placed in the coffin, beneath his father's portrait.

"My boy!—my brother!—Charlie!" she cried wildly; all her usual calmness, her usual firmness giving way at the moment, as the young face she loved so tenderly was first disclosed to her view, pale and lifeless. But the fine features of the young artist, almost feminine in their delicate beauty, returned no answering glance—they were rigid, cold, and partially discoloured by death.

Hazlehurst and de Vaux passed the night beside the body of their friend; Miss Agnes and Mrs. Van Horne were with the bereaved mother and sisters.

Early on the following morning, Mr. Wyllys and Elinor came to take a last look at their young friend.

'Can it indeed be true?—Charlie gone for ever, gone so suddenly!' thought Elinor, as she leaned over his body, weeping with the sincere, heartfelt grief of a true friend, until Hazlehurst, pained by her emotion, gently drew her away; not, however, before she had bent over poor Charlie, and gently kissed the discoloured forehead of her young companion, for the first and the last time.

Patsey's grief, though not less deep, was more calm than at first. Again and again she had returned to her young brother's coffin, with varying feelings; now overwhelmed by poignant grief, now partially soothed by the first balm of holy resignation; now alone, now accompanied by her friends. Once, early that morning, the infirm mother was brought into the room to look for the last time on the face of her son; she was carried in a chair and placed by the coffin, then assisted to rise by Miss Agnes and her daughter Kate. Her tears flowed long, falling on her boy's cold, but still beautiful features; she wiped them away herself, and with an humble phrase of resignation, in the words of Scripture, expressed the thought that ere long she should be laid by his side. Her's was not the bitter, living grief of Patsey; she felt that she was near the grave herself. Tears of gentle-hearted women were not the only tears which fell upon Charlie's bier; his uncles, his elder brothers, and more than one true friend were there. But amid all the strong, contending emotions of those who crowded the humble room, who hung over the coffin, still that youthful form lay rigid in the fearful chill, the awful silence of death; he, whose bright eye, whose pleasant smile had never yet met the look of a friend without the quick glance of intellect, or the glow of kindly feeling. Patsey felt the change; she felt that the being she loved was not all there, the dearer portion was already beyond her sight—and with this reflection came the blessed consolations of Christian hope; for the unfeigned faith and the penitent obedience of the Christian, had been known to Charlie Hubbard from childhood; nor had they ever been forgotten by the young man.

Soon after sun-rise, friends and neighbours began to collect; they came from miles around, all classes and all ages—for the family was much respected, and their sudden bereavement had excited general compassion. The little door-yard and the humble parlour were filled, with those who justly claimed the name of friends; the highway and an adjoining field were crowded with neighbours.

After a solemn prayer within the house, those who had loved the dead fixed their eyes for the last time on his features; the coffin was closed from the light, the body was carried for the last time over the threshold, it was placed on a carriage, and the living crowd moved away, following the dead, with the slow, heavy movement of sorrow. The mother, the sisters, and the nearest female friends remained in privacy together at the house of mourning. As the funeral train moved along the highway towards Longbridge, it gradually increased in length; the different dwellings before which it passed had their windows closed, as a simple token of sympathy, and on approaching the village, one bell after another was heard, tolling sadly. The hearse paused for a moment before the house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard; those who had come thus far in carriages alighted, and joined by others collected in the village, they moved from there on foot. Several brother artists from New York, and other associates of the young man's, bore the cloth which covered his coffin; and immediately after the nearest relatives, the elder brothers, and the uncles, came Hazlehurst and de Vaux, with the whole party of the Petrel, and the crew of the little schooner: and sincerely did they mourn their young friend; it is seldom indeed that the simple feeling of grief and compassion pervades a whole funeral train so generally as that of the young artist. But our poor Charlie had been much loved by all who knew him; he was carried to the grave among old friends of his family, in his native village—and there were many there capable of admiring his genius and respecting his character. As the procession entered the enclosure it passed before a new-made grave, that of the negro sailor, who had been decently interred by the directions of de Vaux, on the preceding evening, the party of the Petrel having also attended his funeral. On reaching the final resting-place of the young artist, among the tombs of his family, by the side of his father the minister, an impressive prayer and a short but touching address were made; the coffin was lowered, the earth thrown on it, and the grave closed over Charlie Hubbard: the story of his life was told.

{"entered the enclosure" = at Christ Episcopal Church, in Cooperstown, which Susan Fenimore Cooper attended, African-Americans were at this time buried just inside the churchyard entrance, away from the other graves; "was told" = was ended}

Harry was the last to leave the spot. While the funeral train returned with the mourners to the house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard, he remained standing by the grave of his friend, his mind filled with the recollection of the brilliant hopes so suddenly extinguished, the warm fancies so suddenly chilled, the bright dreams so suddenly blighted by the cold hand of death. The solemn truth, that the shadow of death had also passed over himself was not forgotten; life in its true character, with all its real value, all its uncertainties, all its responsibilities, rose more clearly revealed to him than it had ever yet done; he turned from Charlie's grave a wiser man, carrying with him, in the recollection of his own unexpected restoration, an impulse for higher and more steadfast exertion in the discharge of duty.

But if Hazlehurst's thoughts, as he retraced his solitary way towards Wyllys-Roof, were partly sad, they were not all gloomy. Wisdom does not lessen our enjoyment of one real blessing of life; she merely teaches us to distinguish the false from the true, and she even increases our happiness amid the evils and sorrows against which we are warned, by purifying our pleasures, and giving life and strength to every better thought and feeling. When Harry entered the gate of Wyllys-Roof, his heart beat with joy again, as he saw Elinor, now his betrothed wife, awaiting his return on the piazza; he joined her, and they had a long conversation together in the fullness of confidence and affection. They were at length interrupted by Miss Agnes, who returned from the Hubbards'. The young people inquired particularly after Miss Patsey.

"She is much more calm than she was yesterday; more like herself, more resigned, thinking again of others, attending to Mrs. Hubbard; she seems already to have found some consoling thoughts."

"It seems, indeed," said Harry, "as if Hubbard's memory would furnish consolation to his friends by the very greatness of their loss; his character, his conduct, were always so excellent; the best consolation for Miss Patsey."

"It is touching to see that excellent woman's deep affection for one, so different from herself in many respects," observed Mr. Wyllys.

"Fraternal affection is a very strong tie," said Miss Agnes gently.

She might have added that it is one of the most honourable to the human heart, as it is peculiar to our race. Other natural affections, even the best, may be partially traced among the inferior beings of creation; something of the conjugal, paternal, and filial attachment may be roused for a moment in most living creatures; but fraternal affection is known to man alone, and would seem in its perfect disinterestedness, almost worthy to pass unchanged to a higher sphere.

"I have often thought," said Mr. Wyllys, "that the affection of an unmarried sister for a brother or a sister, whose chief interests and affections belong by right to another, if not the most tender, is surely the most purely disinterested and generous which the human heart can know: and single women probably feel the tie more strongly than others."

Mr. Wyllys was thinking when he spoke, of his daughter Agnes and Patsey Hubbard; and he might have thought of hundreds of others in the same circumstances, for happily such instances are very common.

"I have never had either brother or sister, but I can well imagine it must be a strong tie," said Elinor.

"I flattered myself I had been a sort of brother to you in old times," said Harry smiling.

"Your romantic, adopted brothers, Nelly, are not good for much," said her grandfather. "We tried the experiment with Harry, and see how it has turned out; it generally proves so, either too much or too little. Don't fancy you know anything about plain, honest, brotherly affection," he added, smiling kindly on his granddaughter, who sat by his side.

Probably Harry was quite as well satisfied with the actual state of things.

"But Charlie was also a son to Miss Patsey," he added, after a moment.

"Yes; he had been almost entirely under her care from an infant," replied Miss Agnes.

"Poor Charlie!—little did I think that bright young head would be laid in the grave before mine!" said Mr. Wyllys.

A moment's pause ensued.

"Much as I loved Hubbard, much as I regret his loss," said Harry,
"I shall always think of him with a melancholy pleasure."

"Excepting his loss, there does not seem indeed to be one painful reflection connected with his name," observed Miss Agnes.

"Cherish his memory then among your better recollections," added Mr. Wyllys, to Harry and Elinor. "And an old man can tell you the full value of happy recollections; you will find one day the blessing of such treasures of memory."

"It is a legacy, however, which the good alone can leave their friends," said Miss Agnes.

And so it proved, indeed; after the first severe grief of the sudden bereavement had passed away, the young man was remembered among his friends with a peculiar tenderness, connected with his youth, his genius, his excellent character, his blameless life, and early death. Life had been but a morning to Charlie Hubbard, but it was a glowing summer morning; its hours had not been wasted, abused, misspent; brief as they were, yet in passing they had brought blessings to himself, to his fellow-beings; and they had left to those who loved him the best consolations of memory.

CHAPTER XXIII. {XLVI}

"Is not true love of higher price
Than outward form, though fair to see?"
COLERIDGE.

{Samuel Taylor Coleridge (English poet, 1772-1834), "Separation" lines 9-10}

HARRY had a busy autumn that year. He had two important objects in view, and within a few weeks he succeeded in accomplishing both. He was very desirous, now all difficulties were removed, that his marriage with Elinor should not be deferred any longer than was absolutely necessary.

"There cannot be the shadow of a reason, love, for waiting," he said to her within a few days of the explanation. "Remember, it is now six years since you first promised to become my wife—since we were first engaged."

"Six years, off and on," said Elinor smiling.

"Not really off more than a moment."

Elinor shook her head and smiled.

"No; not really off more than a very short time."

"Very well," said Elinor archly; "but don't you think the less we say about that second year the better? Perhaps the third and the fourth too."

"No indeed; I have been thinking it all over; and in the first place there has not been a moment in those six years when I have not loved you; though to my bitter mortification I confess, there was also a moment when I was IN LOVE with another, but it was a very short moment, and a very disagreeable one to remember. No; I wish you to look well into those six years, for I honestly think they will appear more to my credit than you are at all aware of. I shan't be satisfied until we have talked them over again, my part at least; I don't know that you will submit to the same examination."

"Oh, you have already heard all I have to say," she replied, blushing deeply; "I shan't allude to my part of the story again this long while."

Nevertheless, Harry soon succeeded in obtaining her consent to be married within six weeks; in fact she made but few objections to the arrangement, although she would have preferred waiting longer, on account of the recent afflictions of Jane and the Hubbards.

The important day soon arrived, and the wedding took place at Wyllys-Roof. A number of friends and relatives of both parties were collected for the occasion; Mrs. Stanley, Robert Hazlehurst and his wife, the late Mrs. George Wyllys and her new husband, or as Harry called them, Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Dozie, the Van Hornes, de Vauxes, Bernards, and others. Mary Van Alstyne was bridesmaid, and Hubert de Vaux groomsman. The ceremony which at length united our two young friends, was impressively performed by the clergyman of the parish to which the Wyllyses belonged; and it may be doubted whether there were another couple married that day, in the whole wide world, whose feelings as they took the solemn vows were more true, more honourable to their natures, than those of Harry and Elinor.

Talking of vows, it was remarked by the spectators that the groom made his promises and engagements in a more decided tone of voice, a less embarrassed manner than usual; for, strange to say, your grooms, happy men, are often awkward, miserable swains enough in appearance; though it would be uncharitable in the extreme, not to suppose them always abounding in internal felicity. There was also another observation made by several of the wedding-guests, friends of Harry, who were then at Wyllys-Roof for the first time, and it becomes our duty to record the remark, since it related to no less a person than the bride; it was observed that she was not as pretty as a bride should be.

"Mrs. Harry Hazlehurst is no beauty, certainly," said Albert
Dangler to Orlando Flyrter.

"No beauty! She is downright ugly—I wonder at Hazlehurst's taste!"

Unfortunately for Elinor, the days are past when benevolent fairies arrive just at the important moment, and by a tap of the wand or a phial of elixir, change the coarsest features, the most unfavourable complexion, into a dazzling image of everything most lovely, most beautiful. Nor had she the good luck of certain young ladies of whom one reads quite often, who improve so astonishingly in personal appearance between fifteen and twenty—generally during the absence of the hero—that they are not to be recognized, and a second introduction becomes necessary. No; Elinor was no nearer to being a beauty when Harry returned from Brazil, than when he went to Paris; she was just as plain on the evening of her wedding as she was six years before, when first presented to the reader's notice.

Jane, though now in widow's weeds, was just as beautiful too, as when we first saw her; she was present at her cousin's wedding, as Elinor wished her to be there, although in a deep mourning dress. Patsey Hubbard was also in the drawing-room during the ceremony, and in deep black; but she left her friends as soon as she had expressed her warmest wishes for the happiness of her former pupil: she wept as she turned from the house, for she could not yet see that well-known, cheerful circle at Wyllys-Roof, without missing one bright young face from the group.

Among those who had declined invitations to the wedding, were Mr. Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton, although both had expressed many good wishes for the affianced couple; the gentleman wrote sincerely, but a little sadly perhaps, as it was only six weeks since his refusal; the lady wrote gracefully, but a little spitefully it is believed, since it was now generally known that Harry must recover entire possession of his fortune.

This vexatious affair was, in fact, finally settled about the time of Harry's marriage; and, thanks to the disclosures of Stebbins, it was no longer a difficult matter to unravel the plot. As soon as William Stanley's representative, or in other words, Hopgood, found that Stebbins had betrayed him, he ran off, but was arrested shortly after, tried and convicted. He was no sooner sentenced, than he offered to answer any questions that might be asked, for he was anxious that his accomplice, Clapp—who had also taken flight, and succeeded in eluding all pursuit—should be punished as well as himself. It appeared that his resemblance to the Stanleys was the first cause of his taking the name of William Stanley; he was distantly related to them through his mother, and, as we may often observe, the family likeness, after having been partially lost for one or two generations, had appeared quite strongly again in himself; and as usual, the peculiarities of the resemblance had become more deeply marked as he grew older. Being very nearly of the same age, and of the same pursuit as William Stanley, he had actually been taken for the young man on several occasions. He had been in the same lawyer's office as Clapp, whom he had known as a boy, and had always kept up some intercourse with him; meeting him one day accidentally, he related the fact of his having passed himself off for William Stanley by way of a joke. "The sight of means to do ill deeds, makes deeds ill done:" Clapp seemed from that moment to have first taken the idea of the plot; he gradually disclosed his plan to Hopgood, who was quick-witted, a good mimic, and quite clever enough for the purpose. The idea was repeatedly abandoned, then resumed again; Hopgood having purposely shipped under the name of William Stanley, several times, and practised an imitation of William Stanley's hand by way of an experiment. Finding no difficulties in these first steps, they gradually grew bolder, collecting information about the Stanleys, and carefully arranging all the details. Stebbins had frightened them on one occasion; but after having obtained possession of the papers in his hands, Clapp determined to carry out their plan at once; he thought the probability of success was strongly in their favour, with so much evidence within their reach; and the spoils were so considerable, that they were in his opinion worth the risk. The profits of their roguery were to be equally divided, if they succeeded; and they had also agreed that if at any moment matters began to look badly, they would make their escape from the country together. Hopgood, who was generally supposed by those who had known him, to have died at New Orleans twenty years since, had been often with William Stanley when a lad in the lawyer's office; he knew the house and neighbourhood of Greatwood perfectly, and had a distinct recollection of Mr. Stanley, the father, and of many persons and circumstances that would prove very useful. Clapp easily obtained other necessary information, and they went to Greatwood, examining the whole house and place, in order to revive Hopgood's recollections; while at the same time they made but little mystery of their excursion, hoping rather that when discovered it would pass off as a natural visit of William Stanley to the old home which he was about to claim. The whole plan was carefully matured under Clapp's cunning management; on some doubtful points they were to be cautious, and a set of signals were agreed upon for moments of difficulty; but generally they were to assume a bold, confident aspect, freely offering an interview to the executors, and sending a specimen of the forged handwriting as a letter to Mrs. Stanley. The volume of the Spectator was a thought of Clapp's; he bribed a boy to admit him into the library at Greatwood one Sunday, when the housekeeper was at church, and he selected the volume which seemed well suited to his purpose; removing the boy from the neighbourhood immediately after, by giving him high wages in a distant part of the country. As for Mr. Reed he was completely their dupe, having been himself honestly convinced of the identity of Clapp's client. It was nine years from the time the plot first suggested itself, until they finally appeared as public claimants of the estate and name of William Stanley, and during that time, Clapp, who had never entirely abandoned the idea, although Hopgood had repeatedly done so, had been able to mature the plan very thoroughly.

{"'The sight of means to do ill deeds…'" Shakespeare, "King
John", IV.ii.219-220}

The declarations of Stebbins and Hopgood were easily proved; and
Harry had no further difficulty in resuming possession of
Greatwood.

Clapp was not heard of for years. His wife, little Willie, and two younger children, became inmates of the old grey cottage, under the care of Miss Patsey, who still continues the same honest, whole-souled, benevolent being she was years ago. Patsey was now quite at her ease, and enabled to provide for her sister Kate and the three children, and it was to poor Charlie she owed the means of doing so; by an unusual precaution in one so young, he had left a will, giving everything he owned to his mother and eldest sister. Shortly after his death, some of his friends, Hazlehurst among the number, got up an exhibition of all his pictures; they made a fine and quite numerous collection, for Charlie had painted very rapidly. The melancholy interest connected with the young painter's name, his high reputation in the particular field he had chosen, the fact that all his paintings were collected together, from the first view of Chewattan lake taken when a mere boy, to the sketch of Nantucket which he was retouching but a moment before his death, and the sad recollection that his palette was now broken for ever, attracted unusual attention. The result of that melancholy exhibition, with the sale of some remaining pictures, proved sufficient to place his mother and sister, with their moderate views, in very comfortable circumstances; thus even after his death Charlie proved a blessing to his family. In looking over the young man's papers, Patsey found some lines which surprised her, although they explained several circumstances which she had never before fully understood; they betrayed a secret, undeclared attachment, which had expressed itself simply and gracefully in verses full of feeling and well written. It was evident from these lines that poor Charlie's poetical imagination, even from early boyhood, had been filled with the lovely image of his young companion, Jane Graham: there was a beautiful sketch of her face among his papers, which from the date, must have been taken from memory while she was in Paris. It was clear from the tone of the verses, that Charlie had scrupulously confined his secret within his own bosom, for there were a few lines addressed to Jane since her widowhood, lamenting that grief should so soon have thrown a shadow over that lovely head, and concluding with a fear that she would little value even this expression of sympathy from one, to whom she had only given careless indifference, and one who had never asked more than the friendship of early companionship. Patsey hesitated for a moment, but then decided that the miniature and the verses should never be shown—they should meet no eyes but her own; Charlie had not spoken himself, his secret should remain untold.

We must not omit to mention, that a few weeks after Charlie's death young Van Horne offered himself to Mary Hubbard, the youngest daughter of the family; he was accepted, and the connexion, which was very gratifying to Patsey and her mother, proved a happy one. Mrs. Hubbard survived her daughter's marriage several years. Kate and her little ones have remained at the old grey cottage from the time of Clapp's flight; the children are now growing up promising young people, and they owe much to Patsey's judicious care. Willie, the hero of the temperance meeting, is her favourite, for she persuades herself that he is like her lost Charlie; and in many respects the boy happily resembles his uncle far more than his father. Last year Mrs. Clapp received for the first time, a letter in a handwriting very like that of her husband; its contents seemed distressing, for she wept much, and held several consultations with Patsey. At length quite a little sum was drawn from their modest means, Kate packed up her trunk, took leave of her sister and children, and set out upon a long and a solitary journey. She was absent for months; but letters were occasionally received from her, and at length she returned to the grey cottage in deep mourning. It was supposed that she was now a widow; and as Patsey upon one single occasion confirmed the report, the opinion must have been correct, for Patsey Hubbard's word was truth itself. No public account of Clapp's death, however, reached Longbridge, and his name was never mentioned by the Hubbards; still, it seemed to be known at last that Mrs. Clapp had gone to a great distance, to attend her husband during a long and fatal illness: and Mrs. Tibbs also found out by indefatigable inquiries, far and near, that about the same time one of the elders of Joe Smith, the Mormon impostor, had died of consumption at Nauvoo; that he had written somewhere several months before his death, that a delicate-looking woman had arrived, and had not quitted his side as long as he lived; that immediately after his death she had left Nauvoo, and had gone no one knew whither. It is quite certain that a young man from Longbridge travelling at the west, wrote home that he had seen Mrs. Clapp on board a Mississippi steamer, just about that time. The story is probably true, although nothing very positive is known at Longbridge.

{"no public account" = the uncertainty surrounding Mr. Clapp's fate resembles that of Judith Hutter, at the end of James Fenimore Cooper's "The Deerslayer" (1841)}

As for Hopgood, we have already mentioned that he had been arrested, and most righteously condemned to a long imprisonment for his share in that unprincipled, audacious conspiracy. A year afterwards, however, it pleased those in authority to send him out into the community again; he was pardoned—

As all reserve is generally dropped in the last chapter, we may as well tell the reader a secret of Mrs. Creighton's. We have every reason to believe that she never cared much for Harry, although she always cared a great deal for his fortune. She was determined to marry again, for two reasons; in the first place she did not wish to give way to a sister-in-law, and she knew her brother intended marrying; and then she never could manage that brother as she wished; he was by no means disposed to throw away as much time, thought, and money upon dissipation, as she would have liked. She wanted a rich husband, of course; Harry did very well in every particular but one—she thought him too much like her brother in his tastes to be all she desired; still he suited her better than any of her other admirers, and she would have been quite satisfied to accept him, had he kept his fortune. Without that fortune, it was a very different affair; he was no longer to be thought of for a moment. We strongly suspect also, that the pretty widow saw farther than any one else into the true state of matters between Elinor and Harry, long before the parties themselves had had an explanation; and for that reason, so long as she was determined to take Hazlehurst for her second husband, she decidedly encouraged Ellsworth's attention to Elinor. Since we are so near the last page, we shall also admit that Mrs. Creighton had quite a strong partiality for Mr. Stryker, while the gentleman was thoroughly in love with her; but neither was rich, and money, that is to say wealth, was absolutely necessary in the opinion of both parties; so Mr. Stryker went off to New Orleans in quest of a quadroon heiress recommended to him, and Mrs. Creighton became Mrs. Pompey Taylor, junior; marrying the second son of the merchant, an individual who was nearly ten years younger than herself, and resembled his brother in every respect except in being much less handsome. The happy couple sailed for Europe immediately after the ceremony.

We are sorry to say that Mr. Taylor, the father, suffered severely, not long after the marriage of his second son, by the great fire; he suffered also in the great panic, and in various other panics which have succeeded one another. Still he has not failed, but he is a poorer man than when we first had the honour of making his acquaintance. In other respects he is much what he was fifteen years ago, devoted as much as ever and as exclusively as ever to making money; still valuing everything, visible or invisible, by the market-price in gold, silver, or bank-notes; although unfortunately much less successful than at the commencement of his career, in accumulating dollars and cents; his seems to be "the fruitless race, without a prize;" and yet Mr. Taylor is approaching the time of life when the end of the race cannot be very distant.

{"the great fire" = the fire that destroyed much of downtown New York City in 1835. "the great panic…" = the financial panic of 1837, and the depression that followed; "the fruitless race…" = from William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Hope" line 25}

Adeline is improved in many respects, her mother's advice has had a good effect on her; still it is amusing to see her already training up several little girls for future belles, on her own pattern; rather it is believed to the annoyance of her quiet husband. Emma Taylor is decidedly less lively, she too having in some measure composed herself, after achieving belle-ship and matrimony.

Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Dozie removed from Longbridge not long after their marriage; they have since returned there again, and now, by the last accounts, they are again talking of leaving the place.

Mrs. Hilson still continues to annoy her family with a persevering ingenuity, for which certain silly women appear peculiarly well qualified; at times she talks of taking the veil in a nunnery, at others, of again entering the bands of Hymen with some English aristocrat of illustrious lineage; she confesses that either step would be sufficiently romantic and aristocratic to suit her refined tastes, but which she will eventually adopt cannot yet be known. Fortunately, her sister Emmeline has profited much more than the "city lady" herself by the follies of the past; she has lately married a respectable man, one of their Longbridge neighbours, much to her father's satisfaction.

Mary Van Alstyne remains single, and passes much of her time with
Elinor.

Some eighteen months after Harry's marriage, one evening as he was sitting on the piazza at Wyllys-Roof, he received a letter which made him smile; calling Elinor from the drawing-room, he communicated the contents to her. It was from Ellsworth, announcing his approaching marriage with the lovely Mrs. Taylor, or in other words, our friend Jane. Harry laughed a good deal, and coloured a little too, as he plainly saw by the tone of the letter, that his friend was going through precisely the same process as himself, during his Paris days, when he first discovered such wisdom in the depths of Jane's dark eyes, such delicacy of sentiment in the purity of her complexion, such tenderness in every common smile of her beautiful lips. Ellsworth, however, would probably not find out as soon as himself, that all these beauties made up a lovely picture indeed, but nothing more; for his friend was an accepted suitor, and might indulge himself by keeping agreeable fancies alive as long as he chose; while Harry had been rather rudely awakened from his trance by very shabby treatment in the first place, and a refusal at last. To Hazlehurst, the most amusing part of Ellsworth's story was, an allusion to a certain resemblance in character between Mrs. Taylor and 'one whom he had so much admired, one whom he must always admire.'

"Now, Elinor, do me the justice to say I was never half so bad as that; I never pretended to think Jane like you, in one good quality."

"It would be a pity if you had—Jane has good qualities of her own. But I am rejoiced to hear the news; it is an excellent match for both parties."

"Yes; though Jane is a lovely puppet, and nothing more, yet it is a good match on that very account; Ellsworth will look after her. It is to be hoped they are satisfied; I think we are, my sweet wife; don't you?"

His frank, natural, affectionate smile as he spoke, was tolerably satisfactory, certainly as to his estimate of his own fate; and it is to be hoped the reader is by this time sufficiently well acquainted with Elinor and Harry, to credit his account of the matter. From all we know of both, we are ourselves disposed to believe them very well qualified to pass through life happily together, making the cheerful days pleasanter, and the dark hours less gloomy to each other.

Harry seems to have given up his diplomatic pursuits for the present at least; he remains at home, making himself useful both in private and public life. Last year he and Elinor were at the Rip-Raps, accompanied by Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes, and a little family of their own—several engaging, clever, well-trained children. The little girls, without being beauties, are not plain; they are indeed quite as pretty as Jane's daughters; the only ugly face in the young troop belongs to a fine-spirited little fellow, to whom it is of no consequence at all, as he has just discarded his petticoats for ever. Perhaps both father and mother are pleased that such is the case; the feeling would seem to be one of those weaknesses which will linger about every parent's heart. Yet Elinor acknowledges that she is herself a happy woman without beauty; and Harry, loving her as he does for a thousand good reasons, and inclinations, and partialities, sometimes actually believes that he loves her the better for that plain face which appeals to his more generous feelings. Many men will always laugh at an ugly woman, and the idea of loving her; but is it an error in Hazlehurst's biographer to suppose that there are others who, placed in similar circumstances, would feel as Harry felt?

{"the Rip-Raps" = sea resort at Hampton, Virginia; near Old Point Comfort, where Mr. Ellsworth had seen Elinor in Vol. II, Chapter II}