The Refugee, by Samuel Warren

Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney

The events which I am about to relate occurred towards the close of the last century, some time before I was called to the bar, and do not therefore in strictness fall within my own experiences as a barrister. Still, as they came to my knowledge with much greater completeness than if I had been only professionally engaged to assist in the catastrophe of the drama through which they are evolved, and, as I conceive, throw a strong light upon the practical working of our criminal jurisprudence, a brief page of these slight leaves may not inappropriately record them.

About the time I have indicated, a Mrs. Rushton, the widow of a gentleman of commercial opulence, resided in Upper Harley Street, Cavendish Square. She was a woman of "family," and by her marriage had greatly lowered herself, in her relatives' opinion, by a union with a person who, however wealthy and otherwise honorable, was so entirely the architect of his own fortunes—owed all that he possessed so immediately to his own skill, sagacity, and perseverance—that there was an unpleasant rumor abroad about his widowed mother being indebted to her son's success in business for having passed the last ten years of her life in ease and competence. Mr. Rushton had left his widow a handsome annuity, and to his and her only son a well-invested income of upwards of seven thousand a year. Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Rushton, who inherited quite her full share of family pride, if nothing else, had sought by every method she could devise to re-enter the charmed circle from which her union with a city merchant had excluded her. The most effectual mode of accomplishing her purpose was, she knew, to bring about a marriage between her son and a lady who would not be indisposed to accept of wealth and a well-appointed establishment in Mayfair as a set-off against birth and high connection.

Arthur Rushton, at this time between two and three-and-twenty years of age, was a mild, retiring, rather shy person, and endowed with a tenderness of disposition, of which the tranquil depths had not as yet been ruffled by the faintest breath of passion. His mother possessed almost unbounded influence over him; and he ever listened with a smile, a languid, half-disdainful one, to her eager speculations upon the numerous eligible matches that would present themselves the instant the "season" and their new establishment in Mayfair—of which the decoration and furnishing engaged all her available time and attention—enabled them to open the campaign with effect. Arthur Rushton and myself had been college companions, and our friendly intimacy continued for several years afterwards. At this period especially we were very cordial and unreserved in our intercourse with each other.

London at this time was crowded with French exiles, escaped from the devouring sword of Robespierre and his helpers in the work of government by the guillotine, almost all of whom claimed to be members of, or closely connected with, the ancient nobility of France. Among these was an elderly gentleman of the name of De Tourville, who, with his daughter Eugénie, had for a considerable time occupied a first floor in King Street, Holborn. Him I never saw in life, but Mademoiselle de Tourville was one of the most accomplished, graceful, enchantingly-interesting persons I have ever seen or known. There was a dangerous fascination in the pensive tenderness through which her natural gaiety and archness of manner would at intervals flash, like April sunlight glancing through clouds and showers, which, the first time I saw her, painfully impressed as much as it charmed me—perceiving, as I quickly did, that with her the future peace, I could almost have said life, of Arthur Rushton was irrevocably bound up. The fountains of his heart were for the first time stirred to their inmost depths, and, situated as he and she were, what but disappointment, bitterness, and anguish could well-up from those troubled waters? Mademoiselle de Tourville, I could perceive, was fully aware of the impression she had made upon the sensitive and amiable Englishman; and I sometimes discovered an expression of pity—of sorrowful tenderness, as it were—pass over her features as some distincter revelation than usual of the nature of Arthur Rushton's emotions flashed upon her. I also heard her express herself several times, as overtly as she could, upon the impossibility there existed that she should, however much she might desire it, settle in England, or even remain in it for any considerable length of time. All this I understood, or thought I did, perfectly; but Rushton, bewildered, entranced by feelings altogether new to him, saw nothing, heard nothing but her presence, and felt, without reasoning upon it, that in that delirious dream it was his fate either to live or else to bear no life. Mrs. Rushton—and this greatly surprised me—absorbed in her matrimonial and furnishing schemes and projects, saw nothing of what was going on. Probably the notion that her son should for an instant think of allying himself with an obscure, portionless foreigner, was, to a mind like hers, too absurd to be for a moment entertained; or—But stay; borne along by a crowd of rushing thoughts, I have, I find, somewhat anticipated the regular march of my narrative.

M. and Mademoiselle de Tourville, according to the after-testimony of their landlord, Mr. Osborn, had, from the time of their arrival in England, a very constant visitor at their lodgings in King Street. He was a tall French gentleman, of perhaps thirty years of age, and distinguished appearance. His name was La Houssaye. He was very frequently with them indeed, and generally he and M. de Tourville would go out together in the evening, the latter gentleman not returning home till very late. This was more especially the case after Mademoiselle de Tourville ceased to reside with her father.

Among the fashionable articles with which Mrs. Rushton was anxious to surround herself, was a companion of accomplishments and high-breeding, who might help her to rub off the rust she feared to have contracted by her connection with the city. A Parisian lady of high lineage and perfect breeding might, she thought, be easily obtained; and an advertisement brought Mademoiselle de Tourville to her house. Mrs. Rushton was delighted with the air and manners of the charming applicant; and after a slight inquiry by letter to an address of reference given by the young lady, immediately engaged her, on exceedingly liberal terms, for six months—that being the longest period for which Mademoiselle de Tourville could undertake to remain. She also stipulated for permission to pass the greater part of one day in the week—that which might happen to be most convenient to Mrs. Rushton—with her father. One other condition testified alike to M. de Tourville's present poverty and her own filial piety: it was, that her salary should be paid weekly—she would not accept it in advance—avowedly for her parent's necessities, who, poor exile! and tears stood in Eugénie's dark lustrous eyes as she spoke, was ever trembling on the brink of the grave from an affection of the heart with which he had been long afflicted. Mademoiselle de Tourville, I should state, spoke English exceedingly well as far as the rules of syntax and the meanings of words went, and with an accent charming in its very defectiveness.

She had resided with Mrs. Rushton, who on all occasions treated her with the greatest kindness and consideration, for rather more than two months, when an incident occurred which caused the scales to fall suddenly from the astonished mother's eyes, and in a moment revealed to her the extent of the risk and mischief she had so heedlessly incurred. The carriage was at the door, and it struck Mrs. Rushton as she was descending the stairs that Mademoiselle de Tourville, who had complained of headache in the morning, would like to take an airing with her. The sound of the harp issuing from the drawing-room, and the faintly-distinguished tones of her voice in some plaintive silver melody perhaps suggested the invitation; and thither the mistress of the mansion at once proceeded. The folding-doors of the back drawing-room were partially open when Mrs. Rushton, on kind thoughts intent, entered the front apartment. Mademoiselle de Tourville was seated with her back towards her at the harp, pouring forth with her thrilling and delicious voice a French romaunt; and there, with his head supported on his elbow, which rested on the marble chimney-piece, stood her son, Arthur Rushton, gazing at the apparently-unconscious songstress with a look so full of devoted tenderness—so completely revealing the intensity of passion by which he was possessed—that Mrs. Rushton started with convulsive affright, and could not for several minutes give articulation to the dismay and rage which choked her utterance Presently, however, her emotions found expression, and a storm of vituperative abuse was showered upon the head of the astonished Eugénie, designated as an artful intrigante, a designing pauper, who had insinuated herself into the establishment for the sole purpose of entrapping Mr. Arthur Rushton—with a great deal more to the same effect. Mademoiselle de Tourville, who had first been too much surprised by the unexpected suddenness of the attack to quite comprehend the intent and direction of the blows, soon recovered her self-possession and hauteur. A smile of contempt curled her beautiful lip, as, taking advantage of a momentary pause in Mrs. Rushton's breathless tirade, she said, "Permit me, madam, to observe that if, as you seem to apprehend, your son has contemplated honoring me by the offer of an alliance with his ancient House"—Her look at this moment glanced upon the dreadfully agitated young man; the expression of disdainful bitterness vanished in an instant from her voice and features; and after a few moments, she added, with sad eyes bent upon the floor, "That he could not have made a more unhappy choice—more unfortunate for him, more impossible for me!" She then hastily left the apartment, and before a quarter of an hour had elapsed, had left the house in a hackney-coach.

The scene which followed between the mother and son was a violent and distressing one. Mr. Rushton, goaded to fury by his mother's attack upon Mademoiselle de Tourville, cast off the habit of deference and submission which he had always worn in her presence, and asserted with vehemence his right to wed with whom he pleased, and declared that no power on earth should prevent him marrying the lady just driven ignominiously from the house if she could be brought to accept the offer of his hand and fortune! Mrs. Rushton fell into passionate hysterics; and her son, having first summoned her maid, withdrew to ruminate on Mademoiselle de Tourville's concluding sentence, which troubled him far more that what he deemed the injustice of his mother.

When Mrs. Rushton, by the aid of water, pungent essences, and the relief which even an hour of time seldom fails to yield in such cases, had partially recovered her equanimity, she determined, after careful consideration of the best course of action, to consult a solicitor of eminence, well acquainted with her late husband, upon the matter. She had a dim notion that the Alien Act, if it could be put in motion, might rid her of Mademoiselle de Tourville and her friends. Thus resolving, and ever scrupulous as to appearances, she carefully smoothed her ruffled plumage, changed her disordered dress, and directed the carriage, which had been dismissed, to be again brought round to the door. "Mary," she added a few moments afterwards, "bring me my jewel-case—the small one: you will find it in Made—in that French person's dressing-room."

Mary Austin reappeared in answer to the violent ringing of her impatient lady's bell, and stated that the jewel-case could nowhere be found in Mademoiselle's dressing-room. "Her clothes, everything belonging to her, had been taken out of the wardrobe, and carried away, and perhaps that also in mistake no doubt."

"Nonsense, woman!" replied Mrs. Rushton. "I left it not long ago on her toilet-glass. I intended to show her a purchase I had made, and not finding her, left it as I tell you."

Another search was made with the same ill-success. Mary Austin afterwards said that when she returned to her mistress the second time, to say that the jewel-case was certainly gone, an expression of satisfaction instead of anger, it seemed to her, glanced across Mrs. Rushton's face, who immediately left the room, and in a few minutes afterwards was driven off in the carriage.

About an hour after her departure I called in Harley Street for Arthur Rushton, with whom I had engaged to go this evening to the theatre to witness Mrs. Siddons's Lady Macbeth, which neither of us had yet seen. I found him in a state of calmed excitement, if I may so express myself; and after listening with much interest to the minute account he gave me of what had passed, I, young and inexperienced as I was in such affairs, took upon myself to suggest that, as the lady he nothing doubted was as irreproachable in character as she was confessedly charming and attractive in person and manners, and as he was unquestionably his own master, Mrs. Rushton's opposition was not likely to be of long continuance; and that as to Mademoiselle de Tourville's somewhat discouraging expression, such sentences from the lips of ladies—

"That would be wooed, and not unsought be won"—

were seldom, if ever, I had understood, to be taken in a literal and positive sense. Under this mild and soothing treatment, Mr. Rushton gradually threw off a portion of the load that oppressed him, and we set off in tolerably cheerful mood for the theatre.

Mrs. Siddons' magnificent and appalling impersonation over, we left the house; he, melancholy and sombre as I had found him in Harley Street, and I in by no means a gay or laughing mood. We parted at my door, and whether it was the effect of the tragedy, so wonderfully realized in its chief creation, or whether coming events do sometimes cast their shadows before, I cannot say, but I know that an hour after Rushton's departure I was still sitting alone, my brain throbbing with excitement, and so nervous and impressionable, that a sudden, vehement knocking at the street entrance caused me to spring up from my chair with a terrified start, and before I could master the impulsive emotion, the room-door was thrown furiously open, and in reeled Arthur Rushton—pale, haggard, wild—his eyes ablaze with horror and affright! Had the ghost of Duncan suddenly gleamed out of the viewless air I could not have been more startled—awed!

"She is dead!—poisoned!" he shrieked with maniacal fury; "killed!—murdered!—and by her!"

I gasped for breath, and could hardly articulate—"What! whom?"

"My mother!" he shouted with the same furious vehemence—"Killed! by her! Oh, horror!—horror!—horror!" and exhausted by the violence of his emotions, the unfortunate gentleman staggered, shuddered violently, as if shaken by an ague fit, and fell heavily—for I was too confounded to yield him timely aid—on the floor.

As soon as I could rally my scattered senses, I caused medical aid to be summoned, and got him to bed. Blood was freely taken from both arms, and he gradually recovered consciousness. Leaving him in kind and careful hands, I hurried off to ascertain what possible foundation there could be for the terrible tidings so strangely announced.

I found the establishment in Harley Street in a state of the wildest confusion and dismay. Mrs. Rushton was dead; that, at all events, was no figment of sudden insanity, and incredible, impossible rumors were flying from mouth to mouth with bewildering rapidity and incoherence. The name of Mademoiselle de Tourville was repeated in every variety of abhorrent emphasis; but it was not till I obtained an interview with Mrs. Rushton's solicitor that I could understand what really had occurred, or, to speak more properly, what was suspected. Mrs. Rushton had made a deposition, of which Mr. Twyte related to me the essential points. The deceased lady had gone out in her carriage with the express intention of calling on him, the solicitor, to ascertain if it would be possible to apply the Alien Act to Mademoiselle de Tourville and her father, in order to get them sent out of the country. Mr. Twyte did not happen to be at home, and Mrs. Rushton immediately drove to the De Tourvilles' lodgings in King Street, Holborn, with the design, she admitted, of availing herself of what she was in her own mind satisfied was the purely accidental taking away of a jewel-case, to terrify Mademoiselle de Tourville, by the threat of a criminal charge, into leaving the country, or at least to bind herself not to admit, under any circumstances, of Mr. Arthur Rushton's addresses. She found Eugénie in a state of extraordinary, and it seemed painful excitement; and the young lady entreated that whatever Mrs. Rushton had to say should be reserved for another opportunity, when she would calmly consider whatever Mrs. Rushton had to urge. The unfortunate lady became somewhat irritated at Mademoiselle de Tourville's obstinacy, and the unruffled contempt with which she treated the charge of robbery, even after finding the missing jewel-case in a band-box, into which it had been thrust with some brushes and other articles in the hurry of leaving. Mrs. Rushton was iterating her threats in a loud tone of voice, and moved towards the bell to direct, she said, the landlord to send for a constable, but with no intention whatever of doing so, when Mademoiselle de Tourville caught her suddenly by the arm, and bade her step into the next room. Mrs. Rushton mechanically obeyed, and was led in silence to the side of a bed, of which Eugénie suddenly drew the curtain, and displayed to her, with a significant and reproachful gesture, the pale, rigid countenance of her father's corpse, who had, it appears, suddenly expired. The shock was terrible. Mrs. Rushton staggered back into the sitting-room, sick and faint, sank into a chair, and presently asked for a glass of wine. "We have no wine," replied Mademoiselle de Tourville; "but there is a cordial in the next room which may be better for you." She was absent about a minute, and on returning, presented Mrs. Rushton with a large wine-glassful of liquid, which the deceased lady eagerly swallowed. The taste was strange, but not unpleasant; and instantly afterwards Mrs. Rushton left the house. When the carriage reached Harley Street, she was found to be in a state of great prostration: powerful stimulants were administered, but her life was beyond the reach of medicine. She survived just long enough to depose to the foregoing particulars; upon which statement Mademoiselle de Tourville had been arrested, and was now in custody.

"You seem to have been very precipitate," I exclaimed as soon as the solicitor had ceased speaking: "there appears to be as yet no proof that the deceased lady died of other than natural causes."

"You are mistaken," rejoined Mr. Twyte. "There is no doubt on the subject in the minds of the medical gentlemen, although the post-mortem examination has not yet taken place. And, as if to put aside all doubt, the bottle from which this Eugénie de Tourville admits she took the cordial proves to contain distilled laurel-water, a deadly poison, curiously colored and flavored."

Greatly perturbed, shocked, astonished as I was, my mind refused to admit, even for a moment, the probability, hardly the possibility, of Eugénie de Tourville's guilt. The reckless malignancy of spirit evinced by so atrocious an act dwelt not, I was sure, within that beauteous temple. The motives alleged to have actuated her—fear of a criminal charge, admitted to be absurd, and desire to rid herself of an obstacle to her marriage with Arthur Rushton—seemed to me altogether strained and inapplicable. The desperation of unreasoning hate could alone have prompted such a deed; for detection was inevitable, had, in truth, been courted rather than attempted to be avoided.

My reasoning made no change in the conclusions of Mr. Twyte the attorney for the prosecution, and I hastened home to administer such consolation to Arthur Rushton as might consist in the assurance of my firm conviction that his beloved mother's life had not been wilfully taken away by Eugénie de Tourville. I found him still painfully agitated; and the medical attendant told me it was feared by Dr. —— that brain fever would supervene if the utmost care was not taken to keep him as quiet and composed as, under the circumstances, was possible. I was, however, permitted a few minutes' conversation with him; and my reasoning, or, more correctly, my confidently-expressed belief—for his mind seemed incapable of following my argument, which it indeed grasped faintly at, but slipped from, as it were, in an instant—appeared to relieve him wonderfully. I also promised him that no legal or pecuniary assistance should be wanting in the endeavor to clear Mademoiselle de Tourville of the dreadful imputation preferred against her. I then left him. The anticipation of the physician was unfortunately realized: the next morning he was in a raging fever, and his life, I was informed, was in very imminent danger.

It was a distracting time; but I determinedly, and with much self-effort, kept down the nervous agitation which might have otherwise rendered me incapable of fulfilling the duties I had undertaken to perform. By eleven o'clock in the forenoon I had secured the active and zealous services of Mr. White, one of the most celebrated of the criminal attorneys of that day. By application in the proper quarter, we obtained immediate access to the prisoner, who was temporarily confined in a separate room in the Red-Lion Square Lock-up House. Mademoiselle de Tourville, although exceedingly pale, agitated, and nervous, still looked as lustrously pure, as radiantly innocent of evil thought or deed, as on the day that I first beheld her. The practiced eye of the attorney scanned her closely. "As innocent of this charge," he whispered, "as you or I." I tendered my services to the unfortunate young lady with an earnestness of manner which testified more than any words could have done how entirely my thoughts acquitted her of offence. Her looks thanked me; and when I hinted at the promise exacted of me by Arthur Rushton, a bright blush for an instant mantled the pale marble of her cheeks and forehead, indicating with the tears, which suddenly filled and trembled in her beautiful eyes, a higher sentiment, I thought, than mere gratitude. She gave us her unreserved confidence; by which, after careful sifting, we obtained only the following by no means entirely satisfactory results:—

Mademoiselle de Tourville and her father had escaped from the Terrorists of France by the aid of, and in company with, the Chevalier la Houssaye, with whom M. de Tourville had previously had but very slight acquaintance. The chevalier soon professed a violent admiration for Eugénie; and having contrived to lay M. de Tourville under heavy pecuniary obligations at play—many of them Mademoiselle de Tourville had only very lately discovered—prevailed upon his debtor to exert his influence with his daughter to accept La Houssaye's hand in marriage. After much resistance, Mademoiselle de Tourville, overcome by the commands, entreaties, prayers of her father, consented, but only on condition that the marriage should not take place till their return to France, which it was thought need not be very long delayed, and that no more money obligations should in the meantime be incurred by her father. La Houssaye vehemently objected to delay; but finding Eugénie inexorable, sullenly acquiesced. It was precisely at this time that the engagement with Mrs. Rushton was accepted. On the previous afternoon Mademoiselle de Tourville, on leaving Harley Street after the scene with the deceased lady, went directly home, and there found both her father and the chevalier in hot contention and excitement. As soon as La Houssaye saw her, he seized his hat, and rushed out of the apartment and house. Her father, who was greatly excited, had barely time to say that he had fortunately discovered the chevalier to be a married man, whose wife, a woman of property, was still living in Languedoc, when what had always been predicted would follow any unusual agitation happened: M. de Tourville suddenly placed his hand on his side, uttered a broken exclamation, fell into a chair, and expired. It was about two hours after this melancholy event that Mrs. Rushton arrived. The account before given of the interview which followed was substantially confirmed by Mademoiselle de Tourville; who added, that the cordial she had given Mrs. Rushton was one her father was in the constant habit of taking when in the slightest degree excited, and that she was about to give him some when he suddenly fell dead.

We had no doubt, none whatever, that this was the whole, literal truth, as far as the knowledge of Mademoiselle de Tourville extended; but how could we impart that impression to an Old Bailey jury of those days, deprived as we should be of the aid of counsel to address the jury, when in reality a speech, pointing to the improbabilities arising from character, and the altogether _un_guilty-like mode of administering the fatal liquid, was the only possible defence? Cross-examination promised nothing; for the evidence would consist of the dying deposition of Mrs. Rushton, the finding of the laurel-water, and the medical testimony as to the cause of death. The only person upon whom suspicion glanced was La Houssaye, and that in a vague and indistinct manner. Still, it was necessary to find him without delay, and Mr. White at once sought him at his lodgings, of which Mademoiselle de Tourville furnished the address. He had left the house suddenly with all his luggage early in the morning, and our efforts to trace him proved fruitless. In the meantime the post-mortem examination of the body had taken place, and a verdict of willful murder against Eugénie de Tourville been unhesitatingly returned. She was soon afterwards committed to Newgate for trial.

The Old Bailey session was close at hand, and Arthur Rushton, though immediate danger was over, was still in too delicate and precarious a state to be informed of the true position of affairs when the final day of trial arrived. The case had excited little public attention. It was not the fashion in those days to exaggerate the details of crime, and, especially before trial, give the wings of the morning to every fact or fiction that rumor with her busy tongue obscurely whispered. Twenty lines of the "Times" would contain the published record of the commitment of Eugénie de Tourville for poisoning her mistress, Caroline Rushton; and, alas! spite of the crippled but earnest efforts of the eminent counsel we had retained, and the eloquent innocence of her appearance and demeanor, her conviction and condemnation to death without hope of mercy! My brain swam as the measured tones of the recorder, commanding the almost immediate and violent destruction of that beauteous masterpiece of God, fell upon my ear; and had not Mr. White, who saw how greatly I was affected, fairly dragged me out of court into the open air, I should have fainted. I scarcely remember how I got home—in a coach, I believe; but face Rushton after that dreadful scene with a kindly-meant deception—lie—in my mouth, I could not, had a king's crown been the reward. I retired to my chamber, and on the plea of indisposition directed that I should on no account be disturbed. Night had fallen, and it was growing somewhat late, when I was startled out of the painful reverie in which I was still absorbed by the sudden pulling up of a furiously-driven coach, followed by a thundering summons at the door, similar to that which aroused me on the evening of Mrs. Rushton's death. I seized my hat, rushed down stairs, and opened the door. It was Mr. White!

"Well!—well!" I ejaculated.

"Quick—quick!" he exclaimed in reply. "La Houssaye—he is found—has sent for us—quick! for life—life is on our speed!"

I was in the vehicle in an instant. In less than ten minutes we had reached our destination—a house in Duke Street, Manchester Square.

"He is still alive," replied a young man in answer to Mr. White's hurried inquiry. We rapidly ascended the stairs, and in the front apartment of the first floor beheld one of the saddest, mournfulest spectacles which the world can offer—a fine, athletic man, still in the bloom of natural health and vigor, and whose pale features, but for the tracings there of fierce, ungoverned passions, were strikingly handsome and intellectual, stretched by his own act upon the bed of death! It was La Houssaye! Two gentlemen were with him—one a surgeon, and the other evidently a clergyman, and, as I subsequently found, a magistrate, who had been sent for by the surgeon. A faint smile gleamed over the face of the dying man as we entered, and he motioned feebly to a sheet of paper, which, closely written upon, was lying upon a table placed near the sofa upon which the unhappy suicide was reclining. Mr. White snatched, and eagerly perused it. I could see by the vivid lighting up of his keen gray eye that it was, in his opinion, satisfactory and sufficient.

"This," said Mr. White, "is your solemn deposition, knowing yourself to be dying?"

"Yes, yes," murmured La Houssaye; "the truth—the truth!"

"The declaration of a man," said the clergyman with some asperity of tone, "who defyingly, unrepentingly, rushes into the presence of his Creator, can be of little value!"

"Ha!" said the dying man, rousing himself by a strong effort; "I repent—yes—yes—I repent! I believe—do you hear?—and repent—believe. Put that down," he added, in tones momently feebler and more husky, as he pointed to the paper; "put that down, or—or perhaps—Eu—génie—perhaps"—

As he spoke, the faint light that had momently kindled his glazing eye was suddenly quenched; he remained for perhaps half a minute raised on his elbow, and with his outstretched finger pointing towards the paper, gazing blindly upon vacancy. Then the arm dropped, and he fell back dead!

We escaped as quickly as we could from this fearful death-room, and I found that the deposition which Mr. White brought away with him gave a full, detailed account, written in the French language, of the circumstances which led to the death of Mrs. Rushton.

La Houssaye, finding that M. de Tourville had by some means discovered the secret of his previous marriage, and that consequently all hope of obtaining the hand of Eugénie, whom he loved with all the passion of his fiery nature, would be gone unless De Tourville could be prevented from communicating with his daughter, resolved to compass the old man's instant destruction. The chevalier persuaded himself that, as he should manage it, death would be attributed to the affection of the heart, from which M. de Tourville had so long suffered. He procured the distilled laurel-water—how and from whom was minutely explained—colored, flavored it to resemble as nearly as possible the cordial which he knew M. de Tourville—and he only—was in the habit of frequently taking. A precisely-similar bottle he also procured—the shop at which it was purchased was described—and when he called in King Street, he found no difficulty, in an unobserved moment, of substituting one bottle for the other. That containing the real cordial he was still in possession of, and it would be found in his valise The unexpected arrival of Mademoiselle de Tourville frustrated his design, and he rushed in fury and dismay from the house. A few hours afterwards, he heard of the sudden death of M. de Tourville, and attributing it to his having taken a portion of the simulated cordial, he, La Houssaye, fearful of consequences, hastily and secretly changed his abode. He had subsequently kept silence till the conviction of Eugénie left him no other alternative, if he would not see her perish on the scaffold, than a full and unreserved confession. This done—Eugénie saved, but lost to him—he had nothing more to live for in the world, and should leave it.

This was the essence of the document; and all the parts of it which were capable of corroborative proof having been substantiated, a free pardon issued from the crown—the technical mode of quashing an unjust criminal verdict—and Mademoiselle de Tourville was restored to liberty.

She did not return to France. Something more perhaps than a year after the demonstration of her innocence, she was married to Arthur Rushton in the Sardinian Catholic Chapel, London, the bridegroom having by her influence been induced to embrace the faith of Rome. The establishments in Harley Street and Mayfair were broken up; and the newly-espoused pair settled in the county of Galway, Ireland, where Mr. Rushton made extensive landed purchases. They have lived very happily a long life, have been blessed with a large and amiable family, and are now—for they are both yet alive—surrounded with grandchildren innumerable.