« PreviousContinue »
thee to bed ;—thou wilt sleep sounder, I warrant thee, than many a man that throws off an embroidered coat, and puts on a laced night-cap. Colonel, I see you are busy with our Enfant trouvé. But Barnes must give me a summons of wakening at seven to-morrow morning, for my servant's a sleepy-headed fellow; and I dare say my clerk, Driver, has had Clarence's fate, and is drowned by this time in a butt of your ale; for Mrs. Allan promised to make him comfortable, and she'll soon discover what he expects from that engagement. Good night, Colonel-good night, Dominie Sampsongood night, Dinmont the downright-good night, last of all, to the new-found representative of the Bertrams, and the Mac-Dingawaies, the Knarths, the Arths, the Godfreys, the Dennises, and the Rolands, and, last and dearest title, heir of tailzie and provision of the lands and barony of Ellangowan, under the settlement of Lewis Bertram, Esq., whose representative you are."
And so saying, the old gentleman took his candle and left the room; and the company dispersed, after the Dominie had once more hugged and embraced his “ little Harry Bertram," as he continued to call the young soldier of six feet high.
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
Ar the hour which he had appointed the preceding evening, the indefatigable lawyer was seated by a good fire, and a pair of wax candles, with a velvet cap on his head, and a quilted silk night-gown on his person, busy arranging his memoranda of proofs and indications concerning the murder of Frank Kennedy. An express
had also been dispatched to Mr. Mac-Morlan, requesting his attendance at Woodbourne as soon as possible, on business of importance. Dinmont, fatigued with the events of the evening before, and finding the accommodations of Woodbourne much preferable to those of MacGuffog, was in no hurry to rise. The impatience of Bertram might have put him earlier in motion, but Colonel Mannering had intimated an intention to visit him in his apartment in the morning, and he did not choose to leave it. Before this interview he had dressed himself, Barnes having, by his master's orders, supplied him with every accommodation of linen, etc., and he now anxiously waited the promised visit of his landlord.
In a short time a gentle tap announced the Colonel, with whom Bertram held a long and satisfactory conversation. Each, however, concealed from the other one circumstance. Mannering could not bring himself to acknowledge the astrological prediction ; and Bertram was, from motives which may be easily conceived, silent respecting his love for Julia. In other respects, their intercourse was frank and grateful to both, and had latterly, upon the Colonel's part, even an approach to cordiality. Bertram carefully measured his own conduct by that of his host, and seemed rather to receive his offered kindness with gratitude and pleasure, than to press for it with solicitation.
Miss Bertram was in the breakfast parlour when Sampson shuffled in-his face all radiant with smiles; a circumstance so uncommon, that Lucy's first idea was, that somebody had been bantering him with an imposi
tion, which had thrown him into this ecstasy. Having sate for some time, rolling his eyes and gaping with his mouth like the great wooden head at Merlin's exhibition, he at length began—"And what do you think of him, Miss Lucy ?"
“Think of whom, Mr. Sampson?" asked the young lady.
“Of Har-no—of him that you know about?” again demanded the Dominie.
“That I know about ?” replied Lucy, totally at a loss to comprehend his meaning.
“Yes—the stranger, you know, that came last evening in the post vehicle—he who shot young Hazlewood
- ha, ha, ho !” burst forth the Dominie, with a laugh that sounded like neighing.
Indeed, Mr. Sampson," said his pupil, "you have chosen a strange subject for mirth ;—I think nothing about the man, only I hope the outrage was accidental, and that we need not fear a repetition of it.”
“Accidental !—ho! ho! ha!" again whinnied Sampson. “Really, Mr. Sampson,” said Lucy, somewhat piqued, you are unusually gay this morning.”
“Yes, of a surety I am ! ha! ha! ho ! face-ti-ousho! ho ! ha!”
“So unusually facetious, my dear sir,” pursued the young lady, “that I would wish rather to know the meaning of your mirth, than to be amused with its effects only."
“ You shall know it, Miss Lucy,” replied poor Abel “Do you remember your brother ?”
“Good God! how can you ask me ?—no one knows better than you, he was lost the very day I was born."
“Very true, very true," answered the Dominie, saddening at the recollection; "I was strangely oblivious—ay, ay—too true-But you remember your worthy father ?”
“How should you doubt it, Mr. Sampson ? it is not so many weeks since”
“True, true—ay, too true," replied the Dominie, his Houyhnhnm laugh sinking into a hysterical giggleI will be facetious no more under these remembrances But look at that young man !”
Bertram at this instant entered the room. look at him well—he is
your father's living image ; and as God has deprived you of your dear parents, my children, love one another !"
“It is indeed my father's face and form,” said Lacy, turning very pale. Bertram ran to support her—the Dominie to fetch water to throw upon her face—(which in his haste he took from the boiling tea-urn), when fortunately her colour returning rapidly, saved her from the application of this ill-judged remedy. “I conjure you to tell me, Mr. Sampson,” she said, in an interrupted, yet solemn voice, “is this my brother?”
“It is ! it is, Miss Lucy !—it is little Harry Bertram, as sure as God's sun is in that Heaven!”
“And this is my sister ?” said Bertram, giving way to all that family affection, which had so long slumbered in his bosom for want of an object to expand itself upon.