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"Yes" replied Clara, "that worthy, really deserved | "I wish you joy of your purchase, but don't scratch to wear his ass's head to the end of the chapter-but me for not caring about it-I know as litile of books what of him?"
as you of the long odds. And come now, be serious, "Only conceive that he should be the very same and tell me if you will be a good girl-lay aside your person with that handsome Spaniard,” replied Mow- whims, and receive this English young nobleman bray.
like a lady as you are ?" "Then there is one fool fewer than I thought there “That were easy," said Clara—" but-but-Pray, was," replied Clara, with the greatest indifference. ask no more of me than just to see him.-Say to him Her brother bit his lip.
at once, I am a poor creature in body, in mind, in spi"Clara," he said, "I believe you are an excellent rits, in temper, in understanding-above all, say that good girl, and clever to boot, but pray do not set up I can receive him only once." for wit and oddity; there is nothing in life so intoler-. I shall say no such thing," said Mowbray, bluntly; able as pretending to think differently from other it is good to be plain with you at once-I thought of people. --That gentleman was the Earl of Ether- putting off this discussion-but since it must come, ington."
the sooner it is over the better. You are to underThis annunciation, though made in what was meant stand, Clara Mowbray, that Lord Etherington has a to be an imposing tone, had no impression on Clara. particular view
in this visit
, and that his view has my “I hope he plays the peer better ihan the Fidalgo,” full sanction and approbation." she replied carelessly.
“I thought so," said Clara, in the same altered "Yes," answered Mowbray," he is one of the tone of voice in which
she had before spoken; - my handsomest men of the time, and decidedly fashion- mind foreboded this last of misfortunes -But, Mowable--you will like him much when you see him in bray, you have no child before you-I neither will nor private.”
can see this nobleman." "It is of little consequence whether I do or no," “How!' exclaimed Mowbray, fiercely; "do you answered Clara.
dare return me so peremptory an answer?-Think “You mistake the matter," said Mowbray, gravely; better of it, for, if we differ, you will find you will have "it may be of considerable consequence."
the worst of the game.” Indeed!” said Clara, with a smile; "I must sup- “Rely upon it," she continued, with more vehepose myself
, then, too important a person not to make mence," I will see him nor no man upon the footing my approbation necessary to one of your first-rates? you mention-my resolution is taken, and threats and He cannot pretend to pass muster at St. Ronan's entreaties will prove equally unavailing." without it?-Well
, I will depute my authority to Lady "Upon my word, madam," said Mowbray, "you Binks, and she shall pass your new recruits instead have, for a modest and retired young lady, plucked up
a goodly spirit of your own!-But you shall find mins “This is all nonsense, Clara,” said Mowbray; equals it. If you do not agree to see my friend Lord “Lord Etherington calls here this very morning, and Etherington, ay, and to receive him with the politewishes to be made known to you. I expect you will ness due to the consideration I entertain for him, by receive him as a particular friend of mine."
Heaven! Clara, I will no longer regard you as my ." With all my heart-so you will engage, after this father's daughter. Think what you are giving up visit, to keep him down with your other particular the affection and protection of a brother-and for friends at the Well-you know it is a bargain that you what?-merely for an idle point of etiquette. - You bring neither buck nor pointer into my parlour—the cannot, I suppose, even in the workings of your roone worries my cat, and the other my temper." mantic brain, imagine that the days of Clarissa Har
"You mistake me entirely, Clara-this is a very lowe and Harriet Byron are come back again, when different visiter from any I have ever introduced to women were married by main force? and it is monyou-I expect to see him often here, and I hope you strous vanity in you to suppose that Lord Etheringand he will be better friends than you think of. Iton, since he has honoured you with any thoughts at have more reasons for wishing this, than I have now all, will not be satisfied with a proper and civil refutime to tell you."
sal— You are no such prize, methinks that the days Clara remained silent for an instant, then looked of romance are to come back for you.' at her brother with an anxious and scrutinizing "I care not what days they are," said Clara-"I glance, as if she wished to penetrate into his inmost tell you I will not see Lord Etheringủon, or any one purpose.
else, upon such preliminaries as you have stated-1 "If I thought,”-she said, after a minute's conside- cannot, I will not-and I ought not.-Had you meant ration, and with an altered and disturbed tone; "but me to receive him, which can be a matter of no conseno-I will not think that Heaven intends me such a quence whatever, you should have left him on the blow-least of all, that it should come from your footing of an ordinary visiter-as it is, I will not see hands." She walked hastily to the window, and him. threw it open-then shut it again, and returned to her "You shall see and hear him both," said Mowbray; seat, saying, with a constrained smile, “ May Heaven you shall find me as obstinate as you are-as wil forgive you, brother, but you frightened me hearưily.:' ling to forget I am a brother, as you to forget that
"I did not mean to do so, Clara," said Mowbray, you have one.". who saw the necessity of soothing her; "I only "It is time, then,” replied Clara, "that this house, alluded in joke to those chances that are never out of once our father's, should no longer hold us both. other girls' heads, though you never seem to calculate can provide for myself, and may God bless you!". on them.”
"You take it coolly, madam," said her brother, "I wish you, my dear John,” said Clara, struggling walking through the apartment with much anxiety to regain entire composure, "I wish you would profit both of look and gesture. by my example, and give up the science of chance also “I do," she answered, "for it is what I have often -it will not avail you."
foreseen-Yes, brother, I have often foreseen that you "How d’ye know that ?—I'll show you the con- would make your sister the subject of your plots and trary, you silly wench,” answered Mowbray-"Here schemes, so soon as other stakes failed you. That is a banker's bill
, payable to your own order, for the hour is come, and I am, as you see, prepared to cash you lent me, and something over-don't let old meet it." Mick have the fingering, but let Bindloose manage it 'And where may you propose to retire to ?" said for you-he is the honester man between two d– Mowbray. "I think that I, your only relation and knaves."
natural guardian, have a right to know that-my “Will not you, brother, send it to the man Bind- | honour and that of my family is concerned.” loose yourself?"
"Your honour !" she retorted, with a keen glance "No,-no," replied Mowbray--" he might confuse at him; "your interest, I suppose you mean, is some it with some of my transactions, and so you forfeit how connected with the place of my abode-Bat your stake."
keep yourself patient—the den of the rock, the linn Well, I am glad you are able to pay me, for I want of the brook, should be my choice, rather than a to buy Campbell's new work."
palace without my freedom."
"You are mistaken, however,” said Mowbray, "Heaven improve both, (in an honest way,) if she sternly, "if you hope to enjoy more freedom than I will but keep
his lordship to herself!" said Clara. think you capable of making a good use of. The law "Well, then,"continued her brother, "things standauthorizes, and reason, and even affection, require, ing thus, I do not think you will have much trouble that you should be put under restraint for your own with his lordship-no more, perhaps, than just to safety, and that of your character. You roamed the give him a civil denial. After having spoken on such woods a little too much in my father's time, if all a subject to a man of my condition, he cannot well stories be true."
break off without you give him an apology." "I did -1 did indeed, Mowbray,” said Clara, weep- "If that is all," said Clara, "he shall, as soon as ing; "God pity me, and forgive you foi upbraiding he gives me an opportunity, receive such an answer me with my state of mind-I know I cannot some- as will leave him at liberty to woo any one whatsotimes trust my own judgment; but is it for you to ever of Eve's daughters, excepting Clara Mowbray. remind me of this?"
Methinks I am so eager to set the captive free, that Mowbray was at once softened and embarrassed. I now wish as much for his lordship's appearance as
"What folly is this ?" he said ; " you say the most I feared it a little while since." cutting things to me--are ready to fly from my house “Nay, nay, but let us go fair and softly,” said her --and when I am provoked to make an angry answer, brother. You are not io refuse him before he asks you burst into tears !"
the question.". Say you did not mean what you said, my dearest "Certainly," said Clara; "but I well know how to brother!" exclaimed Clara; “O say you did not manage that--he shall never ask the question at all. mean it ... Do not take my liberty from meit
is all I will restore Lady Binks's admirer, without accept I have left, and, God knows, it is a poor comfort in ing so much as a civility in ransom. the sorrows I undergo. I will put a fair face on every Worse and worse, Clara," answered Mowbray; thing-will go down to the Well-will wear what you you are to remember he is my friend and guest, please, and say what you please--but 0! leave me and he must not be affronted in my house. Leave the liberty of my solitude here--let me weep alone in things to themselves.--- Besides, consider an instant, the house of my father--and do not force a broken- Clara-had you not better take a little time for rehearted sister to lay her death at your door.- My span flection in this case? The offer is a splendid one-. must be a brief one, but let not your hand shake the title-fortune-and, what is more, a fortune which sand-glass !--- Disturb me not-let me pass quietly-1 you will be well entitled to share largely in." do not ask this so much for my sake as for your own. "This is beyond our implied treaty," said Clara. I would have you think of me, sometimes, Mowbray, "I have yielded more than ever I thought I should after I am gone, and without the bitter reflections have done, when I agreed that this Earl should be which the recollection of harsh usage will assuredly introduced to me on the footing of a common visiter ; bring with it . Pity me, were it but for your own sake. and now you
talk favourably of his pretensions. -I have deserved nothing but compassion at your This is an encroachment, Mowbray, and now I shall hand-There are but two of us on earth, why should relapse into my obstinacy, and refuse to see him at we make each other miserable ?"
all." She accompanied these entreaties with a flood of “Do as you will," replied Mowbray, sensible that tears, and the most heart-bursting sobs. Mowbray it was only by working on her affections that he had knew not what to determine. On the one hand, he any chance of carrying a point against her inclinawas bound by his promise to the Earl; on the other, tion, -"Do as you will, my dear Clara; but, for his sister was in no condition to receive such a visiter; Heaven's sake, wipe your eyes." nay, it was most probable, that if he adopted the "And behave myself," said she, trying to smile as strong measure of compelling her to receive him, her she obeyed him, -" behave myself, you would say, like behaviour would probably be such as totally to break folks of this world; but the quotation is lost on you, off the projected match, on the success of which he who never read either Prior or Shakspeare." had founded so many castles in the air. In this "I thank Heaven for that,” said Mowbray. "I dilemma, he had again recourse to argument. have enough to burden my brain, without carrying
“Clara,” he said, "I am, as I have repeatedly said, such a lumber of rhymes in it as you and Lady Pen your only relation and guardian--if there be any real do.-Come, that is right; go to the mirror, and make reason why you ought not to receive, and, at least
, yourself decent.' make a civil reply to such a negotiation as the Earl A woman must be much borne down indeed by of Etherington has thought fit to open, surely I ought pain and suffering, when she loses all respect for to be intrusted with it. You enjoyed' far too much her external appearance. The madwoman in Bedof that liberty which you seem to prize so highly du- lam wears her garland of straw with a certain air ring my father's lifetime-in the last years of it at of pretensions; and we have seen a widow whom we least-have your formed any foolish attachment du- knew to be most sincerely affected by a recent de ring that time, which now prevents you from receiv. privation, whose weeds, nevertheless, were arranged ing such a visit as Lord Etherington has threatened ?, with a dolorous degree of grace, which amounted
Threatened !--the expression is well chosen," almost to coquetry: Clara Mowbray had also, neglisaid Miss Mowbray; "and nothing can be more gent as she seemed to be of appearances, her own art dreadful than such a threat, excepting its accom- of the toilet, although of the most rapid and most plishment."
simple character. She took off her little riding-hat, "I am glad your spirits are reviving," replied her and unbinding a lace of Indian gold which retaired brother; " but ihat is no answer to my question.” her locks, shook them in dark and glossy profusion
"Is it necessary," said Clara, " that one must have over her very handsome form, which they overactually some engagement or entanglement, 10 make shadowed down to her slender waist; and while her them unwilling to be given in marriage, or even to be brother stood looking on her with a mixture of pride, pestered upon such a subject ?-Many young men de- affection, and compassion, she arranged them with a clare they intend to die bachelors, why may not I be large comb, and, without the assistance of any permitted to commence old maid at three-and-twen- femme d'atours, wove them, in the course of a few ty?-Let me do so, like a kind brother, and there minutes, into such a natural head-dress as we see on were never nephews and nieces so petted and so the statues of the Grecian nymphs. scolded, so nursed and so cufled by a maiden aunt, as Now let me but find my best muff,” she said your children, when you have them, shall be by aunt come prince and peer, I shall be ready to receive Clara."
them." And why not say all this to Lord Etherington ?'' "Pshaw! your muff--who has heard of such a said Mowbray; "wait until he propose such a terri- thing these twenty years ? Muffs were out of fashion ble bugbear as matrimony, before you refuse to re- before you were born.". ceive him. Who knows, the whim that he hinted at "No matter, John,” replied his sister; "when & may have passed away-he was, as you say, flirting woman wears a muff
, especially a determined old with Lady Binks, and her ladyship has a good deal of maid like myself
, it is a sign she has no intentions to address, as well as beauty."
scratch; and therefore the muff serves all the pur
poses of a white flag, and prevents the necessity of tensive copse which surrounded the Castle, and were drawing on a glove, so prudentially recommended by doubtless the reason of its acquiring the name of the moito of our cousins, the M'Intoshes."*
Shaws, which signifies, in the Scottish dialect, a wood Be it as you will, then," said Mowbray; " for of this description. other than you do will it, you will not suffer it to be. Irritated by the man's obvious desire to avoid him,
- But how is this !-another billet ?-We are in re- and naturally obstinate in all his resolutions, Mowe quest this morning."
bray pursued for a considerable way, unul he fairly Now, Heaven send his lordship. may have judi- lost breath; and the flier having been long out of ciously considered all the risks which he is sure to sight, he recollected at length that his engagement encounter on this charmed ground, and resolved to with the Earl of Etherington required his attendance leave his adventure unattempted," said Miss Mow- at the Castle. bray.
The young lord, indeed, had arrived at Shaws-CasHer brother glanced a look of displeasure at her, as tle, so few minutes after Mowbray's departure, that he broke the seal of the letter, which was addressed it was wonderful they had not met in the avenue. to him with the words, “ Haste and secrecy," written The servant to whom he applied, conceiving that his on the envelope. The contents, which greatly sur- master must return instantly, as he had gone out prised him, we remit to the commencement of the without his hat, ushered the Earl, without further cenext chapter.
remony, into the breakfast-room, where Clara was seated upon one of the window-seats, so busily em
ployed with a book, or perhaps with her own thoughts CHAPTER XXIV.
while she held a book in her hands, that she scarce raised her head, until Lord Etherington, advancing,
pronounced the words, “Miss Mowbray." A start, --Ope this letter;
and a loud scream, announced her deadly alarm, and I can produce a champion that will prove
thesc were repeated as he made one pace nearer, and What is avouched there.
in a firmer accent said, “Clara." King Lear.
*No nearer--no nearer,” she exclaimed, "if you The billet which Mowbray received, and read in would have me look upon you and live!" Lord Etherhis sister's presence, contained these words: ington remained standing, as if uncertain whether to
advance or retreat, while with incredible rapidity she SIĘ
poured out her hurried entreaties that he would be“CLARA MOWBRAY has few friends-none, per- gone, sometimes addressing him as a real personage, haps, excepting yourself
. in right of blood, and the sometimes, and more frequently, as a delusive phanwriter of this leiter, by right of the fondest, truest, tom, the offspring of her own excited imagination. "I and most disinterested attachment, that ever man knew it," she muttered, "I knew what would happen, bore to woman. I am thus explicit with you, because if my thoughts were forced into that fearful channel. though it is unlikely that I should ever again see or Speak to me, brother! speak to me while I have reaspeak to your sister, I am desirous that you should be son left, and tell me that what stands before me is clearly acquainted with the cause of that interest, but an empty shadow! But it is no shadow-it rewhich I must always, even to my dying breath, take mains before me in all the lineaments of mortal subin her affairs.
stance !" "The person, calling himself Lord Etherington, is, "Clara,” said the Earl, with a firm, yet softened I am aware, in the neighbourhood of Shaws-Castle, voice, "collect and compose yourself. I am, indeed, with the intention of paying his addresses to Miss no shadow-I am a much-injured man, come to de Mowbray; and it is easy for me to foresee, arguing mand rights which have been unjustly withheld from according to the ordinary views of mankind, that he me, I am now armed with power as well as justice, may place his proposals in such a light as may make and my claims shall be heard." them seem highly desirable. But ere you give this “Never never!" replied Clara Mowbray; "since person the encouragement which his offers may seem extremity is my portion, let extremity give me courage. to deserve, please to inquire whether his fortune is cer- You have no rights-none-I know you not, and I tain, or his rank indisputable; and be not satisfied defy you." with light evidence on either point. A man may be Defy me not, Clara Mowbray," answered the Earl, in possession of an estate and title, to which he has in a tone, and with a manner--how different from no better right than his own rapacity and forward those which delighted society! for now he was soness of assumption; and supposing Mr. Mowbray lemn, tragic, and almost stern, like the judge when he jealous, as he must be, of the honour of his family, passes sentence upon a criminal. ."Defy me not," he the alliance of such a one cannot but bring disgrace. repeated. “I am your Fate, and it rests with you to This comes from one who will make good what he make me a kind or severe one. has written.”
"Dare you speak thus ?” said Clara, her eyes flash
ing with anger, while her lips grew white, and quiOn the first persal of a billet so extraordinary, vered for fear-Dare you speak thus, and remember Mowbray was inclined to set it down to the malice of that the same heaven is above our heads, to which some of the people at the Well, anonymous, letters you so solemnly vowed you would never see me more being no uncommon resource of the small wits who without my own consent?" frequent such places of general resort, as a species of "That vow was conditional--Francis Tyrrel, as he deception safely and easily executed, and well calcu- 1 calls himself
, swore the same hath
he not seen you ?" lated to produce much míschief and confusion. But He fixed a piercing look on her; "He has-you dare upon closer consideration, he was shaken in this opi- not disown it!-And shall an oath, which to him is nion, and, starring suddenly from the reverie into but a cobweb, be to me a shackle of iron ?" which he had fallen, asked for the messenger who “Alas! it was but for a moment," said Miss Mowhad brought the letter. "He was in the hall,” the bray, sinking in courage, and drooping her head as she servant thought, and Mowbray ran to the hall. No-spoke. the messenger was not there, but Mowbray might see "Were it but the twentieth part of an instant-the his back as he walked up the avenue. He hollo'd-least conceivable space of subdivided time-still, you no answer was returned-he ran after the fellow, did meet-he saw you-you spoke to him. And me whose appearance was that of a countryman. The also you must see-me also you must hear! Or I will man quickened his pace as he saw himself pursued, first claim you for my own in the face of the world; and when he got out of the avenue, threw himself and, having
vindicated my rights, I will seek out and into one of the numerous bypaths which wanderers, extinguish the wretched rival who has dared to interwho strayed in quest of nuts, or for the sake of exer- fere with them.” cise, had made in various directions through the ex- "Can you speak thus ?” said Clara—"can you so pant, with a motto bearing the caution-" Touch not the cat, slightest wishes, if you agree to do me justice; but • The well-known creat of this ancient race, is a cat ram- burst through the ties of nature ?-Have you a heart!"
“I have; and it shall be moulded like wax to your but (t. e. De oui, or without) the glove."
not granite, nor aught else that nature has of hardest, i Miss Mowbray, that all shall remain private, which I will be more inflexible if you continue a useless op- conceive you
do not wish to be disclosed ; and, unless position !--Clara Mowbray, I am your Fate." absolutely compelled to it in self-defence, you may
"Not so, proud man, said Clara, rising, "God rely, no violence will be resorted to by me in any gave not one potsherd the power to break another, quarter.-I relieve you from my presence." save by his divine permission--my fate is in the will So saying, he withdrew from the apartment. of Him, without whose will not even a sparrow falls not to the ground.-Begone-I am strong in faith of heavenly protection." Do you speak thus in sincerity ?" said the Earl of
CHAPTER XXV. Etherington; "consider first what is the prospect be
EXPLANATORY. fore you. I stand here in no doubtful or ambiguous character-I offer not the mere name of a husband-
- By your leave, gentle wax. propose to you not a humble lot of obscurity and hardship, with fears for the past and doubts for the future; In the hall of Shaws-Castle the Earl of Etheryet there was a time when to a suit like this you could ington met Mowbray, returned from his fruitless chase listen favourably.--I stand high among the nobles of after the bearer of the anonymous epistle before rethe country, and offer you, as my bride, your share in cited ; and who had but just learned, on his return, my honours, and in the wealth which becomes them that the Earl of Etherington was with his sister. --Your brother is my friend, and favours my suit. I will There was a degree of mutual confusion when they raise from the ground, and once more render illus- met; for Mowbray had the contents of the anonytrious, your ancient house--your motions shall be regulated by your wishes, even by your caprices- I will notwithstanding all the coolness which he had en
mous letter fresh in his mind, and Lord Etherington, even carry my self-denial so far, that you shall, should deavoured to maintain, had not gone through the you insist on so severe a measure, have your own re- scene with Clara without discomposure. Mowbray sidence, your own establishment, and without intru- asked the Earl whether he had seen his sister, and insion on my part, until the most devoted love, the most vited him, at the same time, to return to the parlour; unceasing attentions, shall make way on your inflexi- and his lordship replied, in a tone as indifferent as he ble disposition.--All' this I will consent to for the could assume, that he had enjoyed the honour of the future-all that is past shall be concealed from the lady's company for several minutes, and would not public.-But mine, Clara Mowbray, you must be.". now intrude farther upon Miss Mowbray's patience. Never-never !" she said with increasing vehe- “You have had such a reception as was agrecable,
"I can but repeat a negative, but it shall my lord, I trust ?" said Mowbray. "I hope Clara have all the force of an oath.-Your rank is nothing did the honours of the house with propriety during my to me-your fortune I scorn-my brother has no right, absence ?" by the law of Scotland, or of nature, to compel my "Miss Mowbray seemed a little fluttered with my inclinations.--I detest your treachery, and I scorn the sudden appearance,” said the Earl; the servant advantage you propose to attain by ii.---Should the showed me in rather abruptly;, and, circumstanced law give you my hand, it would but award you that of as we were, there is always awkwardness in a first a corpse.
meeting, where there is no third party to act as Alas! Clara," said the Earl, "you do but flutter in master of the ceremonies.--I suspect, from the lady's the net ; but I will urge you no farther now-there is looks, that you have not quite kept my secret, my another encounter before me.
good friend. I myself, too, felt a little consciousness He was turning away, when Clara, springing for- in approaching Miss Mowbray-but it is over now; ward, caught him by the arm, and repeated, in a low and, the ice being fairly broken, I hope to have other and impressive voice the commandment,-" Thou and more convenient opportunities to improve the shalt do no murder !".
advantage I have just gained in acquiring your lovely "Fear not any violence,” he said, softening his sister's personal acquaintance. voice, and attempting to take her hand, "but what So be it,” said Mowbray ; "but, as you declare may flow from your own severity.-Francis is safe for leaving the castle just now, I must first speak from me, unless you are altogether unreasonable. a single word with your lordship, for which this Allow me but what you cannot deny to any friend of place is not altogether convenient. your brother, the power of seeing you at limes-sus- "I can have no objections, my dear Jack," said pend at least the impetuosity of your dislike to me, Etherington, following him with a thrill of conscious and I will, on my pari
, modify the current of my just feeling, somewhat perhaps like that of the spider and otherwise uncontrollable resentment.
when he perceives his deceitful web is threatened Clara, extricating herself, and retreating from him, with injury, and sits balanced in the centre, watching only replied, "There is a Heaven above us, and THERE every point, and uncertain which he may be called shall be judged our actions towards each other! You upon first to defend. Such is one part, and not the abuse a power most treacherously obtained-you slightest part, of the penance which never fails to break a heart that never did you wrong-you seek an wait on those, who, abandoning the "fair play of the alliance with a wretch who only wishes to be wedded world,” endeavour to work out their purposes by a to her grave.-If my brother brings you hither, I can process of deception and intrigue. not help it-and if your coming prevents bloody and My lord," said Mowbray, when they had entered unnatural violence, it is so far well.-But by my con- a little apartment, in which the latter kept his guns, sent you come not ; and, were the choice mine, I fishing-tackle, and other implements of sport, you would rather be struck with life-long blindness, than have played on the square with me; nay, morethat my eyes should again open on your personam bound to allow you have given me great odds. I rather that my ears were stuffed with the earth of am therefore not entitled to hear any reports to the the grave than that they should again hear your prejudice of your lordship's character, without invoice !"
stantly communicating them. There is an anony. The Earl of Etherington smiled proudly, and re- mous letter which I have just received. Perhaps plied, "Even this, madam, I can hear without resent your lordship may know the hand, and thus be ment. Anxious and careful as you are to deprive your enabled to detect the writer." compliance of every grace and of every kindness, I "I do know the hand," said the Earl, as he rereceive the permission to wait on you, as I interpret ceived the note from Mowbray; and, allow me your words.
to say, it is the only one which could have dared to “Do not so interpret them," she replied; "I do byt frame any calumny to my prejudice. I hope, Mr. submit to your presence as an unavoidable evil. Mowbray, it is impossible for you to consider this Heaven be my witness, that, were it not to prevent infamous charge as any thing but a falsehood ?'', greater and more desperate evil, I would not even so "My placing it in your lordship's hands, without far acquiesce."
farther inquiry, is a sufficient proof that I hold it "Let acquiescence, then, be the word,” he said ; such, my lord; ' at the same time that I cannot doubt and so thankful will I be, even for your acquiescence, I for a moment that your lordship has it in your power to overthrow 80 frail a calumny by the most I leap after it is cleared, as they tell of the fellow who satisfactory evidence."
fainted in the morning at the sight of the precipice he "Unquestionably I can, Mr. Mowbray,” said the had clambered over when he was drunk on the night Earl; "for, besides my being in full possession of before. The man who wrote that letter, touching it the estate and title of my father, the late Earl of with his finger, "is alive, and able to threaten me; Etherington, I have my father's contract of mar- and if he did come to any hurt from my hand, it was riage, my own certificate of baptism, and the evi- in the act of attempting my life, of which I shall carry dence of the whole country, to establish my right. the mark to my grave. All these shall be produced with the least delay "Nay, I am far from blaming your lordship," said possible. You will not think it surprising that one Mowbray, "for what you did in self-defence, but the does not travel with this sort of documents in one's circumstance might have turned out very unpleasant post-chaise.”
- May I ask what you intend to do with this unforCertainly not, my lord,” said Mowbray; "it tunate gentleman, who is in all probability in the is sufficient they are forthcoming when called for. neighbourhood ??? But, may I inquire, my lord, who the writer of this I must first discover the place of his retreat," said letter is, and whether he has any particular spleen Lord Etherington, "and then consider what is to be to gratify by this very impudent assertion, which done both for his safety, poor fellow, and my own is so easily, capable of being disproved ?".
It is probable, too, that he may find sharpers to prey "He is," said Etherington, “or, at least, has the upon what fortune he still possesses, wbich, I assure reputation of being, I am sorry to say, a near-a you, is sufficient to attract a set of folk, who may ruin very near relation of my own-in fact, a brother by while they humour him.-May I beg that you, too, the father's side, but illegitimate.-My father was will be on the outlook, and let me know if you hear fond of him-I loved him also, for he has uncom- or see more of him ?" monly fine parts, and is accounted highly accom- "I shall, most certainly, my lord,” answered Mow. plished. But there is a strain of something irregular bray; "but the only one of his haunts which I know, in his mind-a vein, in short, of madness, which is the old Cleikum Inn, where he chose to take up his breaks out in the usual manner, rendering the poor residence. He has now left it, but perhaps the old young man a dupe to vain imaginations of his own crab-fish of a landlady may know something of him.” dignity and grandeur, which is perhaps the most "I will not fail to inquire," said Lord Etherington; ordinary effect of insanity, and inspiring the deepest and, with these words, he took a kind farewell of aversion against his nearest relatives, and against Mowbray, mounted his horse, and rode up the avenue. myself in particular. He is a man extremely plau- "A cool fellow," said Mowbray, as he looked after sible, both in speech and manners; so much so, that him, "a d-d cool fellow, this brother-in-law of mine, many of my friends think there is more vice than that is to be takes a shot at his father's son with as insanity in the irregularities which he commits; but little remorse as at a blackcock-what would he do I may, I hope, be forgiven, if I have formed a milder with me, were we to quarrel ?-Well, I can snuff a judgment of one supposed to be my father's son. candle, and strike out the ace of hearts; and so Indeed, I cannot help being sorry for poor Frank, should things go wrong, he has no Jack Raw to deal who might have made a very distinguished figure in with, but Jack Mowbray." the world.”
Mean while the Earl of Etherington hastened home May I ask the gentleman's name, my lord ?" to his own apartments at the Hotel; and, not entirely said Mowbray:
pleased with the events of the day, commenced a letter "My father's indulgence gave him our family to his correspondent, agent, and confidanı, Captain name of Tyrrel, with his own Christian name Fran- Jekyl, which we have fortunately the means of precis; but his proper name, to which alone he has a senting to our readers.right, is Martigny."
"Francis Tyrrel!", exclaimed Mowbray ;, "why, "FRIEND HARRY, that is the name of the very person who made some "They say a falling house is best known by the disturbance at the well just before your lordship rals leaving it-a falling state, by the desertion of arrived. - You may have seen an advertisement confederates and allies--and a falling man, by the a sort of placard."
desertion of his friends. If this be true augury, your "I have, Mr. Mowbray," said the Earl. "Spare last letter may be considered as ominous of my breakme on that subject, if you please—it has formed a ing down. Methinks, you have gone far enough, and strong reason why I did not mention my connexion shared deep enough with me, to have some confidence with this unhappy man before ; but it is no unusual in my savoir faire-some little faith both in my means thing for persons, whose imaginations are excited, and management. What cross-grained fiend has ai to rush into causeless quarrels, and then to make once inspired you with what I suppose you wish me discreditable retreats from them."
to call politic doubts and scruples of conscience, but "Or,” said Mr. Mowbray," he may have, after which I can only regard as symptoms of fear and all, been prevented from reaching the place of ren- disaffection? You can have no idea of 'duels betwixt dezvous-it was that very day on which your lord relations so nearly connected-and 'the affair seems ship, I think, received your wound; and, if I mistake very delicate and intricate'--and again, the matter not, you hit the man from whom you got the hurt." has never been fully explained to you --and, moreover,
"Mowbray,” said Lord Etherington, lowering if you are expected to take an active part in the his voice, and taking him by the arm, it is true business, it must be when you are honoured with my that I did so-and truly glad I am to observe, full and unreserved confidence, otherwise how could that, whatever might have been the consequences you be of the use to me which I might require ?" Such of such an accident, they cannot have been serious. are your expressions. --It struck me afterwards, that the man by whom "Now, as to scruples of conscience about Dear I was so strangely assaulted, had some resemblance relations, and so forth, all that has blown by without to the unfortunate Tyrrel-but I had not seen him much mischief, and certainly is not likely to occur for years.--At any rate, he cannot have been much again-besides, did you never hear of friends quarrel hurt, since he is now able to resume his intrigues ling before? And are they not to exercise the usual 10 the prejudice of my character."
privileges of gentlemen when they do? Moreover, Your lordship views the thing with a firm eye," how am I to know that this plaguy fellow is actually said Mowbray; "firmer than I think most people related to me?-They say it is a wise child knows its would be able to command, who had so narrow a own father; and I cannot be expected wise enough chance of a scrape so uncomfortable."
to know to a certainty my father's son.-So much for "Why, I am, in the first place, by no means sure relationship.-Then, as to full and unreserved conthat the risk existed," said the Earl of Etherington; fidence--why, Harry, this is just as if I were to ask "for, as I have often told you, I had but a very iran- you to look at a watch, and
tell what it was o'clock, sient glimpse of the ruffian; and, in the second place, and you were to reply, that truly you could not inform I am sure that no permanent bad consequences have me, because you had not examined the springa the ensued. I am too old a fox-hunter to be afraid of a counter-balances, the wheels, and the whole internal