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meat for our supper, there was an abundant supply of it harm? I, for my part, have always thought her more for others. Who these others may be”—here he shrugged giddy and foolish, but less guilty than others have done.--" his shoulders—" God knows; but it bodes us no good.”. Perhaps you may have been under the influence of
“How came you to find that out?" remarked the book- the bright eyes and rosy cheeks you have just described," seller.
said the Italian, with a sly look. "Oh! by the merest accident in the world,” replied “Sir, I was an old man and the father of a family," the other. "I happened to look in at the kitchen win- gravely replied the steward, “and therefore could take in dow, and saw two stout wenches preparing enough meat Mary only the most fatherly interest. She was born not for ten individuals."
far from the Castle of Rantzau, and her parents, who "Were you seen ?" asked his interrogator.
were poor labourers, sent her early to service in the little "I think not,” he quickly answered, “ but the maids inn of our village. Well do I remember the sensation exchanged such glances of intelligence that I should not she created on her arrival. Nothing was heard of but her be surprised if I was."
beauty. In less than a week she obtained universally the “These people have certainly come down in the world cognomen by which I call her, and which she has kept to since I was last here," said the steward, “but I did not this day in our village; in a couple of weeks more the expect to find it so poor a place, or I should—”
matrons of the place declared her to be a saucy, flippant The words died on his lips, for Mary re-entered, girl, whose acquaintance they forbade their daughters, and bringing in what he had desired. She looked severely at prayed their sons to avoid. I, myself, saw no harm the Italian.
whatever about the girl—she was merry and free in her "You had not a very good meal of it,” said she, ad- manners to be sure, but she would hand an old man like dressing him in a somewhat marked manner, “ for al- me his can of beer with as good a grace, and winning a though we had better provisions about the place than I smile, as if I had been the friskiest lad in the village. I could afford to give you, I was obliged to reserve them must tell you that from Rantzau to the village it is a mere for the farm boys, whom I expect every moment from the walk, and one which I was in the habit of taking almost felds; for you know," added she, turning to the stew- every evening, for the space of many years. This walk ard, "farming is our chief occupation, and the Inn is always brought me to the neat, tidy little inn, kept by merely a secondary branch of industry. Of course I could my friend the post-master, where I regularly smoked my not think of deranging the poor people's usual repast, after pipe, and sipped my beer, in company with a few old tried a hard day's work, for chance visitors;" and, with any friends, reading our newspaper, talking over the politics of thing but a friendly smile, she withdrew,
the day, and discussing the then scandals of our village, "You have been seen," observed the bookseller to the and those of our youth. A pleasant time we had of itItalian, with a somewhat crest-fallen air.
but, lack-a-day, our ranks are thinned since then-ah ! She provides well for her people," replied the Ita- where was I? Pretty Mary had not long been in the lian; “I think few farm boys are better treated. I wish inn as chief maid—my old friend the post-master was we were well out of this place; I disliked it from the very dead, and his son, a lad I had dandled on my knee, had first, and everything since has added to my suspicions." succeeded to the business, for his old mother knew no "I cannot bring myself to think there is any barm
more about it than the cuckoo. It was as neat an estaabout it," said the steward, “I have known pretty Mary blishment as a man need to have; a snug inn it was so long. True, neither she nor her circumstances seem with well-filled cellars—five post-horses in the stable-a improved of late, but yet I cannot share your doubts." few postillions, who served as farm-boys at the same time.
“Whence dates your acquaintance ?" interrupted the In short, nothing could be more complete. I must not Italian, putting back with his hand the proffered draught forget to add that he likewise kept our only post-office. which the young German was tendering him, and fixing his He was a good-looking, good-natured, obliging fellow as quick eager glance upon the steward whilst he replied:- ever lived. May be he had one or two little follies, such
"It is a long story to tell, but if it amuses you to listen as letting his moustachios grow, and wearing a green coat to it over your glass, I am quite ready to give it you." like my lord's chasseur, and that, too, after I had warned
"Under the present circumstances, nothing can have him against such apishness; but, on the whole, he was a more interest for us than an account of this woman. good boy, and I loved him well, both for his father's sake Pray begin—we are all ear.”
and his own. I soon saw how matters stood between him The bookseller had by this time opened the pearl to- and Mary. Ay, had she chosen it, she might have been bacco bag his Dorothea had wrought for him, and having the honest, happy wife of as thriving a lad as any we have drawn from his pocket his travelling pipe, he prepared to in our parts. Not that Mary begrudged him her smiles soothe his growing alarms, and possibly the tediousness of or her soft looks, but at the bottom she loved another. the tale, with the delight of the soporiferous herb, and The thing passed thus—the post-master's old mother, echoed the wish of his neighbour.
who had been very strict in her day—God assoilzie her-"It is many years back-I should think about fifteen," Here goes to her memory, gentlemen!" So saying, the began the steward, "when I first saw pretty Mary. You honest old steward emptied his glass, which had stood for both smile, and shake your heads, at the epithet which, some time untasted before him. from habit, I still apply to her. She is faded now, and “Well, she would not hear of the match, and wished to you cannot possibly imagine how truly she once deserved turn pretty Mary out of the house, saying she was over it. Ay, ay, I remember her well, with her bright eyes light for the like of her son, and that if his wife were poor and rosy cheeks, white teeth and merry laugh, there was she should, at least, be honest. The boy did not believe not a comelier or more buxom lassy in the whole village. her, and would have married Mary for all that, being She liked to be told she was pretty—and where's the much of my opinion, that she had too many admirez
among the men to have the goodwill of the women. The way, and the great mystery in which she tried to entelope girl had consented, and the wedding was to take place very these absences—all this, I say, led me to conclude that shortly, when a conversation he accidentally overheard in Peter Stieber was not far off, that he still exercised an his own stables proved to him, that, had he concluded the undue influence over poor Mary, and was the cause of affair, he would have been greatly duped, and that if it many of her follies; nor was I far wrong, as you will were any one's duty to repair the poor maiden's houour he soon perceive. A few years after pretty Alary's singular certainly was not the person on whom this duty ought to disappearance, the affairs of my Lord the Count of Rantdevolye. The truth is, my good friends, her true affec- zau brought me this way; and what was my surprise to tion was given to a squinting, red-haired postillion, by find her the wedded wife of Peter Stieber, and mistress of naine Peter Stieber. He was as ill-favoured, and as ill- a large and comfortable inn, I could not help suspecting behaved a man as ever I happened to see---very much Mary's beauty bad somewhat contributed to the comforts addicted to drink and profiigate habits, and the little we I saw around them. That she was uot quite reformed knew of him--for he was net of our village, but came several circumstances led me to believe; and although from a distant part of the country--made us dislike him Peter Stieber was more active than I had known him, I every day more and more. Not so Mary. Her whole could easily perceive that he made a brutal husband, and heart, it would seem, was bound up in this man, at least a drunken, disobliging host; but Mary, poor soul, in spite so her after behaviour would lead one to believe. The of all her levity, seemed devotedly attached to him. postmaster, who had already often thought of dismissing Besides, she received me with so frank and cordial a him for his dissolute habits and frequent and unaccount- welcome that I could not have harboured an unkind able absences, now hesitated no longer, and unceremoni- thought of her, nor did I choose to dwell too much upon ously disturbing the télé-a-téle he had so opportunely her past existence." overheard, he turned out Peter Stieber that very hour. Have you performed this journey often ?" inquired But he could not find it in his heart to do the same by the bookseller. pretty Mary, however cruelly she had deceived him; for he “Never from that day to this,' answered the steward ; well know such proceeding would at once complete her ruin and sad is the change that has taken place since then, in the village, that her many rivals would greatly joy in her both in the people and the objects around them. Pretty shame, and repay her former scornful and sneering man- Mary's friendly smiles have disappeared with her beauty, ner to them with every bitter insult they could think of. and the whole concern seems to have gone to ruin. I IIis goodness of heart triumphed, and so he left pretty dare say all this has been effected by Peter Stieber's evil Mary without a word of reproach; but the ensuing week propensities, and that sorrow and suffering have made of found a gentle, prudlent girl of the neighbourhood invested the poor girl what she now is.” with all the honours of postmistress at the quiet, little “ Did you sleep here on that occasion ?" again interInn. Great, doubtless, was Mary's disappointment; and rupted the bookseller. whether her proud spirit could not brook to obey where ** Ay, that did I, and spent a part of the next day here she once thought to command, or whether it was that the into the bargain, although the Count was anxiously young wife was not without her jealousies about Mary expecting his monies—for I was bent on precisely the and made her uncomfortable, or, it may be from some
same errand as that which now takes me to F
- but it other cause, Mary soon after left the Inn, and removed was a gay time in this part of the country-it being to another in a neighbouring town. Afairs often brought Kirmess-and the Inn so crowded I could not have a me to her new residence. Here, although her beauty private chamber for love or money, and was obliged to was still an object of remark, it did not excite the same spend the night in the public room with numbers of other heart-burnings and jealousies which it had occasioned in people, and they drank, and sang, and made themselves our village ; and for a very simple reason.
so merry, that I could not close my eyes all night. But longer noticed the young men of the place, having evi- still I left the place with regret, and little dreamed I dently given up all hopes of an honourable establishment, should ever find it so altered.” and kept all her coquetries for chance travellers who put “How comes the woman by so accurate a knowledge up at her master's house. It went on very well for a time of your journey and its object ?" still persisted the inbut some of the better sort of visitors complained of her quisitive bookseller, shaking the ashes out of his expiring boldness and obtrusiveness, and her irregularities at last pipo, whilst the Italian continued to listen in silence, his became such and so glaring that the innkeeper put her large bright eyes gradually increasing in size and lustre as out of doors.
the steward's story came to a closc, and evidently sharing “Pretty Mary, in the course of a couple of years, the young German's curiosity. experienced precisely the same fate in scveral of the better Why, Mary was born on the estate of the Count, and hostelries of the neighbouring towns and villages, and of course knows well the time at which we collect the disappeared all of a sudden from that part of the country. rents,-knows, too, pretty well to what they amount, and The poor girl had so lost herself, that none even of her did not fail, whilst at the inn of our village, to pick up past admirers thought it worth while to inquire into the some information about our affairs." Here the honest matter. I was one of those who, I believe, pitied her steward, having given due emphasis to the signincant most sincerely. I must tell you that from the moment of pluml, drew himself up with a great air of dignity and his dismissal by the Postmaster, Peter Stieber had never self-importance, looking from one face to another to enjoy been seen nor heard of more. Now, putting that together the effect it should have produced. But he was disapwith the complaints all Jnry's successive masters made of pointed; the bookseller's countenance expressed nothing her, namely, that she was constantly absenting herself but perplexity and care, whilst the foreigner seemed lost without being able, or willing, to account for it in any in abstraction,
" What on earth makes you look so moody, comrade?'' | that view of the case; and you, Sir,” added he, turning said the old man, addressing his countryman. “Is it the to the Italian, “a woman may be light and not criminal recital of pretty Mary's misfortunes, or this evening's - Eh?" wretched accommodation ?” “I was reflecting," an- “ In my wanderings through the world, I have often svered the bookseller, " on the very bad character which, found the one thing led to the other," replied the Italian from your own account, it would seem the people of this with a smile that seemed but little in harmony with the house deservedly enjoy, and how far it may be likely to subject in discussion and the words he uttered; "and if a:fect us on the present occasion. The woman knows of you, indeed, wish to know my candid opinion, which, after a large sum being in the house, and there is no kirmess. all, may not be useless to you, I think you had better I can tell you, however, much your vivid recollection of frame your minds to that which will certainly take place: her once rosy cheeks and warm smiles may reassure you, I mean a night attack, for which, however, gentlemen, if I, who have seen nothing of either, feel anything but com- I understood you aright, during the course of our short orted by the story of her past life.”
acquaintance, you are both fully prepared." " It is strange," replied the steward, “I cannot take
(To be Continued.)
THE BATTLE OF LIFE* AND MRS. PERKINS'S BALL. I
Tae Battle of Life is the fourth of Mr. Dickens's annual | that day's work, and that night's death and suffering! Many publications, The Christmas Carol, the first and the
a lonely moon was bright upon the battle ground, and many
a star kept mournful watch upon it, and many a wind best, has reached only a tenth edition, The Chimes was
from every quarter of the earth blew over it, before the said to be inferior to its predecessor, and is up to the traces of the fight were worn away. They lurked and twelfth edition. The Cricket on the Hearth had the lingered for a long time, but survived in little things, for Forst character of the three, and has, therefore, attained Nature, far above the evil passions of men, soon re
covered her serenity, and smiled upon the guilty battleits twenty-second edition. The facts merely show that ground as she had done before, when it was innocent, book-buyers and reviewers do not always entertain similar The larks sang high above it, the swallows skimmed and opinions. The latter class pretty generally asserted that dipped, and fitted to and fro, the shadows of the flying
clouds pursued each other swiftly, over grass, and corn, dr. Dickens was living—so far as his Annuals were con
and turnip field, and wood, and over roof and churchferned-on his character-eating into his acquired lite- spire, in the nestling town, among the trees, away into rary capital, while the former have taken care that he the bright distance on the borders of the sky and earth, should live upon his editions. No book of the past, or
where the red sunsets faded. Crops were sown and many previous issues, has been so successful as the grew up, and were gathered in ; the stream that had
been crimsoned turned a watermill; men whistled at Cricket. The author of Waverley never got off twenty- the plough ; gleaners and haymakers were seen in quiet two editions of any of his works in twelve months—or groups at work ; sheep and oxen pastured ; boys whooped tro editions, on an average, per month. On the ratio of and called, in fields, to scare away the birds ; smoke rose increase in the previous publications, the Battle of Life old people lived and died; the timid creatures of the
from cottage chimneys ; Sabbath bells rang peacefully; will run into forty-four editions; and, as one-half of our field, and simple flowers of the bush and garden, grew readers cannot reasonably expect their copies before the and withered in their destined turns ;-and all upon the moath of June, we may tell them its story in a few sen- fierce and bloody battle-ground, where thousands upon
thousands had been killed in the great fight. But there tences. The little volume opens with meditations on
were deep green patches in the growing corn, at first, a battle-field, quite in Mr. Dickens's style; and, as they that people looked at awtully. Year after year they reare applicable to any other battle-field whatever, and very appeared ; and it was known, that, underneath those fersensible observations, we quote them:
tile spots, heaps of men and horses lay buried, indis
criminately, enriching the ground. The husbandmen “Once upon a time, it matters little when, and in stal- who ploughed those places shrank from the great worms Fart England, it matters little where, a fierce battle was abounding there ; and the sheaves they yielded were, fought. It was fought upon a long summer day, when for many a long year, called the Battle Sheaves, the waring grass was green. Many a wild flower, formed and set apart; and no one ever knew a Battle Sheaf by the Almighty hand to be a perfumed goblet for the to be among the last load at a Harvest Home. For dex, felt its enamelled cup fill high with blood that day, a long time, every furrow that was turned revealed and, shrinking, dropped. Many an insect, deriving its some fragments of the fight. For a long time, there Alicate colour from harmless leaves and herbs, was were wounded trees upon the battle-ground, and scraps stained anew that day by dying man, and marked its of hacked and broken fence and wall, where deadly frightened way with an unnatural track. The painted struggles had been made ; and trampled parts where not butterfly took blood into the air upon the edges of its a blade would grow. For a long time, no village girl would #ings. The stream ran red. The trodden ground be- dress her hair or bosom with the sweetest flower from care a quagmire, whence, from sullen pools, collected in that field of death; and after many a year had come and the prints of human feet and horses' hoofs, the one pre- gone, the berries growing there were still believed to leave vailing hue still lowered and glimmered at the sun. too deep a stain upon the hand that plucked them. The Heaven keep us from a knowledge of the sights the moon seasons in their course, however, though they passed as beheld upon that field, when, coming up above the black lightly as the summer clouds themselves, obliterated, in line of distant rising-ground, softened and blurred at the the lapse of time, even these remains of the old conflict ; edge by trees, she rose into the sky and looked upon the and wore away much legendary traces of it as the neighpain, strewn with upturned faces that had once at mothers' bouring people carried in their minds, until they dwindled breasts sought mothers' cres, or slumbered happily. Hea-into old wives' tales, dimly remembered round the winter Ten keep us from a knowledge of the secrets whispered after- fire, and waning every year. Where the wild flowers and wards upon the tainted wind that blew across the scene of berries had so long remained upon the stem untouched
• By Charles Dickens, Ldon: Br dbury & Evans, + By V. A. Titmarsh, London: Chapman & Hall,
gardens arose, and houses were built, and children played | had fallen out; or had been picked out, perhaps, by the at battles on the turf. The wounded trecs had long ago wandering thumbs and forefingers of bewildered clients. made Christmas logs, and blazed and roared away.
The There was a framed print of a great judge in it, every curl deep green patches were no greener now than the memory in whose dreadful wig had made a man's hair stand on of those who lay in dust below. The ploughshare still end. Bales of papers filled the dusty closets, shelves and turned up, from time to time, some rusty bits of metal; tables ; and round the wainscoat there were tiers of boxes, but it was hard to say what use they had ever served, and padlocked and fireproof, with people's names painted outthose who found them wondered and disputed. An old side, which anxious visitors felt themselves, by a cruel dinted corslet and a helmet had been hanging in the church enchantment, obliged to spell backwards and forwards, and 80 long, that the same weak half-blind old man, who to make anagrams of, while they sat, seeming to listen to tried in vain to make them out above the whitewashed Snitchey and Craggs, without comprehending one word arch, had marvelled at them as a baby."
of what they said. The battle-field has no connexion whatever with the sub.
“ In this office, nevertheless, Snitehey and Craggs made
honey for their several hives. Here, sometimes, they ject, except that, in years long subsequent to the fight, would linger, of a fine evening, at the window of their a village was built there ; and in the village Doctor council-chamber, overlooking the old battle-ground, and Jeddler dwelt with his daughters, Grace and Marion ; his wonder (but that was generally at assize time, when much ward, Mr. Alfred Ileathfield; and two servants, Mr. business had made them sentimental) at the folly of man
kind, who couldn't always be at peace with one another, and Britain and “Clemency." Dr. Jeddler's peculiarity was' go to law comfortably. Here days, and weeks, and montis, that he thought life a kind of “joke,” a “great farce," and years passed over them; their calendar, the gradually an opinion from which the young ladies and the ward very diminishing number of brass nails in the leathern chairs, sensibly dissented. The tale opens with a breakfast in and the increasing bulk of papers on the tables. Here
nearly three years' flight had thinned the one and swelled the orchard, on the morning when Dr. Jeddler is to de the other, since the breakfast in the orchard; when they liver over such papers and property as belong to Mr sat together in consultation at night. Not alone, but Alfred leathfield at his majority, and the young gentle with a man of thirty, or about that time of life, negligently
dressed, and somewhat haggard in the face, but well-made, man; is to commence his three years' travels. Messrs. well-attired, and well-looking, who sat in the arm chair Snitchey and Craggs being the Doctor's attorneys, are of of state, with
one hand in his breast, and the other in his course invited to the breakfast on the grass ; and before dishevelled hair, pondering moodily. Messrs. Snitchey the papers are all signed, sealed, and delivered, the and Craggs sat opposite each other at a neighbouring reader will discover that Mr. Heathfield and Miss Marion opened, was upon it ; a part of its contents lay strewn
desk. One of the fire-proof boxes, unpadlocked and Jeddler are upon peculiarly intimate terms; and that at upon the table, and the rest was then in course of passing the expiry of three years, on the return of Mr. Heath through the hands of Mr. Snitchey, who brought it to the field, there will be another pleasant meeting in the old candle, document by document, looked at every paper orchard. Messrs. Snitchey and Cragys—attornies though Mr. "Craggs, who looked it over also, shook his head, and
singly as he produced it, shook his head and handed it to they be--are enabled to discover this part of the trans- laid it down. Sometimes they would stop, and shaking action, but they hand over the papers. The coach comes their heads in concert look towards the abstracted client; up too soon, as usual in all such cases, and Mr. Heath- and the name on the box being Michael Warden, Esquire, field having consigned Marion to the especial care of the box were both his, and that the affairs of Michael
we may conclude, from these premises, that the name and “Grace," goes forth into the world on the top of the Warden, Esquire, were in a bad way. stage. Years pass away on the battle-field, and another *** That's all,' said Mr. Snitchey, turning up the last character is introduced into the tale, in a passage which paper.
* Really there's no other resource no other res we quote, as the best in the book :
“All lost, spent, wasted, pawned, borrowed and sold, " Snitchey and Craggs had a snug little office on the eh ? said the client, looking up. old Battle Ground, where they drove a snug little busi- " • All!' returned Mr. Snitchey. ness, and fought a great many small pitched battles for a • Nothing else to be done, you say ?' great many contending parties. Though it could hardly 14 Nothing at all.'* be said of these conflicts that they were running fights- The client bit his nails and pondered again. for in truth they generally proceeded at a snail's pace- "And I am not even personally safe in England ? the part the Firm had in them came so far within that You hold to that do you ? general denomination, that now they took a shot at this “In no part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain Plaintiff, and now aimed a chop at that Defendant, now and Ireland,' replied Mr. Snitchey. made a heavy charge at an estate in Chancery, and now “* A mere prodigal son, with no father to go back to, had some light skirmishing among an irregular body of no swine to keep, and no husks to share with them? small debtors, just as the occasion served, and the enemy Eh ?' pursued the client, rocking one leg over the other, happened to present himself. The Gazette was an im- and searching the ground with his eyes. portant and profitable feature in some of their fields, as “ Mr. Snitchey coughed, as if to deprecate the being well as in fields of greater renown; and in most of the supposed to participate in any figurativo illustration of a actions wherein they showed their generalship, it was legal position. Mr. Craggs, as if to express that it was afterwards observed by the combatants that they had had a partnership view of the subject, also coughed. great difficulty in making each other out, or in knowing *** • Ruined at thirty!' said the client. * Humph !" with any degree of distinctness what they were about, in "Not ruined, Mr. Wardeu,' returned Snitchey. Not consequence of the vast amount of smoke by which they so bad as that. You have done a good deal towards it, I were surrounded.
must say; but you are not ruined ; a little nursing“ The offices of Messrs Snitchey and Craggs stood con- "A little devil !' said the client. venient with an open door, down two smooth steps in the “Mr. Craggs,' said Snitchey, will you oblige me market place : so that any angry farmer inclining towards with a pinch of snuff? Thank you, Sir.' hot water, might tumble into it at once. Their special “ As the imperturbable lawyer applied it to his nose, council-chamber and hall of conference was an old back with great apparent relish and a perfect absorption of his room up stairs, with a low dark ceiling, which seemed to attention in the proceeding, the client gradually broke be knitting its brows gloomily in the consideration of into a smile, and looking up, said tangled points of law. It was furnished with some high- • •You talk of nursing. How long nursing ?" backed leathern chairs, garnished with great goggle-eyed “How long nursing ? repeated Snitchey, dusting the brass nails, of which, every here and there, two or three sauff from his fingers, and making a slow calculation in
his mind. For your involved estate, Sir ? In good "I think, sir,' observed Mr. Snitchey, gravely adhands ? S. and O.'s, say? Six or seven years.' dressing himself to his partner, " that of all the scrapes
*** To starve for six or seven years !' said the client, Mr. Warden's horses have brought him into, at one time with a fretful laugh, and an impatient change of his posi- and another and they have been pretty numerous, and tion.
pretty expensive, as none know better than himself, and ***To starve for six or seven years, Mr. Warden,' said you and 1-the worst scrape may turn out to be, if he Snitchey, would be very uncommon indeed. You might talks in this way, his having been ever left by one of get another estate, by showing yourself, the while. But them at the Doctor's garden walk, with three broken we don't think you could do it-speaking for self and ribs, a snapped collar-bone, and the Lord knows how Craggs—and, consequently, don't advise it.”
many bruises ! We didn't think so much of it at the * * What do you advise?
time, when we knew he was going on well, under the Nursing, I say,' repeated Snitchey ; 'some few Doctor's hands and roof; but it looks bad now, Sir. years of nursing, by self and Craggs, would bring it round. Bad ! it looks very bad. Doctor Jeddler, too-our But, to enable us to make terms, and hold terms, and you client, Mr. Craggs.' to keep terms, you must go away-you must live abroad. ** • Mr. Alfred Heathfield, too-a sort of client, Mr. As to starvation, we could ensure you some hundreds a- Snitchey,' said Craggs. year to starve upon-even in the beginning, I dare say, "• Mr. Michael Warden, too, a kind of client,' said Mr. Warden.'
the careless visiter,' and no bad one either-having “• Hundreds,' said the client, and I have spent thou- played the fool for ten or twelve years. However, Mr. sands !
Michael Warden has sown his wild oats now there's *** That,' retorted Mr. Snitchey, putting the papers their crop in that box—and means to repent and be wise. slowly back into the cast iron box, there is no doubt And in proof of it, Mr. Michael Warden means, if he about. No doubt about,' he repeated to himself, as he can, to marry Marion, the Doctor's lovely daughter, and thoughtfully pursued his occupation.
to carry her away with him." " The lawyer, very likely, knew his man; at any rate, «• Really, Mr. Craggs,' Mr. Snitchey began. bis dry, shrewd, whimsical manner had a favourable in- ««• Really, Mr. Snitchey, and Mr. Craggs, partners Haence upon the client's moody state, and disposed him both,' said the client, interrupting him, to be more free and unreserved. Or, perhaps, the client your duty to your clients; and you know well enough, I knew his man ; and had elicited such encouragement as am sure, that it is no part of it to interfere in a mere he had received, to render some purpose he was about to love affair, which I am obliged to confide to you. I am not disclose the more defensible in appearance. Gradually going to carry the young lady off without her own consent. raising his head, he sat looking at his immovable adviser There's nothing illegal in it. I never was Mr. Heathwith a smile, which presently broke into a laugh. field's bosom friend; I violate no confidence of his. I
*** After all,' he said, 'my iron-headed friend'-Mr. love where he loves; and I mean to win where he would Snitchey pointed out his partner. “Self, andmexcuse win, if I can.' e-Craggs.'
"He can't, Mr. Craggs,' said Snitchey, evidently "* I beg Mr. Craggs's pardon,' said the client. After anxious and discomfited ; He can't do it, sir. She all, may iron-headed friends,' he leaned forward in his chair, dotes on Mr. Alfred.' and dropped his voice a little, 'you don't know half my "Does she?' returned the client. ruin yet.'
“«Mr. Craggs, she dotes on him, sir,' persisted Snitchey. "Mr. Snitchey stopped and stared at him, Mr. Craggs' 'I didn't live six weeks in the doctor's house for nothing ; also stared.
and I doubted that soon,' observed the client. She “I am not only deep in debt,' said the client, “but I would have doted on him, if her sister could have brought am deep in,
it about; but I watched them. Marion avoided his " • Not in love?' cried Snitchey.
name, avoided the subject; shrank from the least allusion “Yes!' said the client, falling back in bis chair and to it with evident distress.' surveying the firm, with his hands in his pockets, “ Deep Why should she, Mr. Craggs, you know? Why in love.'
should she, sir ? inquired Snitchey. ***Sir!' said Snitchey.
• I don't know why she should, though there are many "' And not with an heiress?'
likely reasons,' said the client, smiling at the attention "Not with an heiress.'
and perplexity expressed in Mr. Snitchey's shining eye, and "•Nor a rich lady?'
at his cautious way of carrying on the conversation and "Nor a rich lady that I know of; except in beauty making himself informed upon the subject; but I know and merit.'
she does ; she was very young when she made the engage"A single lady, I trust ?' said Mr. Snitchey, with ment--if it may be called one, I am not sure even of that, great expression.'
and has repented of it, perhaps. Perhaps--it seems a "* Certainly,'
foppish thing to say; but upon my soul, I don't mean it "• It's not one of Dr. Jeddler's daughters ?' said in that light-she may have fallen in love with me, as Snitchey, suddenly squaring his elbows on his knees, and I have fallen in love with her.' advancing his face at least a yard.
"He, he ! Mr. Alfred, her old play-fellow, too, you ** · Yes!! returned the client.
remember, Mr. Craggs,' said Snitchey, with a disconcerted "• Not his youngest daughter?' said Snitchey.
laugh; ‘knew her almost from a baby." Which makes it ** Yes,' returned the client,
the more probable, that she may be tired of his idea,' “Mr. Craggs,' said Snitchey, much relieved, ' will calmly pursued the client,' and not indisposed to exyou oblige me with another pinch of sunff? Thank you. change it for the newer one of another lover, who I am happy to say it don't signify, Mr. Warden ; she's presents himself (or is presented by his horse) under engaged, sir, she's bespoken, My partner can corroborate romantic circumstances; has the not unfavourable repufue. We know the fact.'
tation—with a country girl--of having lived thought** We know the fact,' repeated Craggs.
lessly and gaily without doing much harm to anybody; "Why, so do I, perhaps,' returned the client quietly. and who, for his youth and figure, and so forth--this •What of that? Are you men of the world, and did you may seem foppish again, but, upon my soul, I don't mean never hear of a woman changing her mind ?'
it in that light-might, perhaps, pass muster in a crowd “There certainly have been actions for breach,' with Mr. Alfred himself.' said Mr. Snitchey, brought against both spinsters and " There was no gainsaying the last clause certainly; and widows, but in the majority of cases-'
Mr. Snitchey, glancing at him, thought so.
There was "* Cases!' interposed the client impatiently. • Don't something naturally graceful and pleasant in the very talk to me of cases. The general precedent is in a much carelessness of his air. It seemed to suggest, of his larger volume than any of your law books. Besides, do comely face and well-knit figure, that they might be greatly you think I have lived six weeks in the doctor's house for better if he chose ; and that, once roused and made nothing!'.
earnest (but he never had been earnest yet), he could be