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the nursery ; night and moruing spying his opportunity, Lance | I am comparatively rich. I have earned a holiday, and shall Pomfret haunted the nursery too, but the creaking boots never take it; and as you suggest, I will be in time for this ball-my caught him there.
cousin's first ball. Twelve months ago, I was "Dear Lance.' What will she say to me now?"
There she is, wandering up and down amongst the flowers; a
flower berself, reared like a bot-house plant. MUST do something for my
“My eighteenth birthday !" murmurs the heiress. “How nepbew," says the great Pomfret, taking the best chair in his Lance ; but Lance is twenty-eight.”
old I shall be! After this I must get steady and grave, like sister-in-law's poor little room. ". I positively must, Louisa. It
There is the creaking of the pompous boots, and the portly
figure stands in the doorway.
“I cannot help it, papa ; I do enjoy the thought of this ball you," is the meek response.
very much. It is my first, you know ; I hope you will like it. " Would you like now-any
And Lance will be here." thing in the lawyer line ? or the
A frown wrinkled up the banker's forehead ; but his daugh
ter did not see it. church ?"
"I think not, it is a great “I meant you to enjoy it,” he begins formally ; and I expense and doesn't pay. Abope—nay, I am sure that you will behave in a manner befitclerkship would do."
ting your position as-as my daughter. But I see you are not 54
“I could get him into one of dressed yet." the best houses in the city. But Wondering why he is so grave and formal, she goes up and
he must go at once ; no nonsense kisses him ; wondering still more when he holds the door open ard weakness, Louisa ; he is getting on in with scrupulous politeness, and says, with a slight wave of his years.''
hand towards a distant figure, " Mr. Launcelot Pomfret, my Then Louisa sheds a few tears, and de- daughter, Miss Pomfret. Go now, my love ; you will be late, clares there shall be no weakness from her; and Sir Robert Dacre has already arrived." she will be only too glad for her dear boy What does she care about Sir Robert Dacre ? And not even to do well.
to see Lance's face plainly ! not to speak to him ! to have noAnd the banker says “Quite right; of thing but a bow, just like a stranger would have given her! course ; very proper ;” and goes leisurely What was it for? Thinking about it, she determines to find back to gaze upon the splendid exterior of him out as soon as she goes down ; it will be all right then; his own suburban mansion. He thinks of the banker was in such a hurry; he is always inclined to be
his wealth as he stands there, rattling bis fussy about punctuality. Thinking about it still, she answers at 07
chain ; he thinks what an heiress his daugh-random those tiresome questions about her hair and ortaments, ter will be, and wonders who there is in and runs away from her maid's admiring gaze. Thinking still, all the world worthy to take her from his she watches the guests arrive and receives them ; but no Lance hand, and bear the name of Pomfret. He
is to be seen. thinks, too, that it will be well to get Lance out of the way
There is the music she used to think so delightful; but it - not that he could bave any misgivings of that sort; not of only makes her impatient now. And there is Sir Robert Dacr course that it would be possible for his presumption to carry coming to take her away as his partner, while the banker looks him so far; still, there will be no harm in putting bim on a
on complacently, and whispers to himself —"Sir Robert Dacrestool safe in some far-off counting-house.
Pomfret, Lady Dacre-Pomfret." “Look bere, Lance," says a little figure all lace and finery,
Horrible man! She never hated him before. Why does he "'papa will be home directly, and then you must go. He says bend down to her so deferentially, and speak almost in a whisI am not to play with you so much ; but I like to, and when per? Even after the dance she is not suffered to escape, but you are in that great nasły London, what shall I do?"
must walk up and down on his arm with his emphatic nonsense " You won't forget me? Remember what you promised this
in her ear. morning.” "To be your little wife ?-yes ; but I am such a wee child, it at all. I expected to ; but I think it is very stupid.”
"No," says Acton, impatiently, “I don't think I do enjoy and you are a great big boy-man, I mean. You can remember a
“I bad hoped, Miss Pomfret," begins the baronet, impreswhen I was a baby." "I should think so," says Lance, laughing.
** Come, you
sivelyused to kiss me then ; climb up and give me one now, and say
“I beg your pardon, Sir Robert ; excuse me one moment; I good-bye.”
see some one I must speak to." He reaches the door, and then the little packet of lace trots
She is off at once, never seeing his stare of disgust and amaze
ment; for Lance is there, alone in one of the conservatories ; after him.
"Lance, when people promise to be people's wives, they can't and she goes up to him frankly as usual, holding out her hand. turn back-can they?”
“ Lance, Lance, what is the matter? Why wouldn't you “No, certainly not."
speak to me? I have been so unlappy"“ Then you see I am safe, because I promised. Kiss me How could be help taking the hand she held out to him? again, Lance.”
How could be help the look on his face or the words on his lips What a tiny thing she is yet, and how tight the little arms at that moment? How could he help the clasp that brought a cling round his neck! There is a sob-only one, a very little sudden change over her face, and made her tremble before him? one. Now he is gone, and she is back amongst the window They stand there silent; he struggling with the passionate curtains, thinking with all the gravity of childhood that she is desire to say out all his thoughts, and she wondering why she utterly miserable, and it is no use trying to be happy without never had before that precious consciousness which she would Lance.
not give up now for all the world. Silent still she moves on, “Good-bye, Launcelot," says the banker ; “I hope you will and he follows; for one moment her hand is on his arm, and do well. Yes, yes; good-bye; take care of your money, and then he is gone. How can he stay there, near her, and not don't get into bad company."
speak? To-morrow he will see his uncle. For the rest of that night the heiress acts ber part in a dream ; again and again his
one passionate xclamation comes to her ears : even Sir Robert “All these years," writes Lence to the widow, “I have Dacre cannot rouse her up to annoyance. But she is glad when worked hard, and the hardest is over. I see independence it is all over and she is alone—alone with the new hope which before me; I write myself 'Launcelot Pomfret, Merchant,' and has made life so beautiful.
And to-morrow, fearing and yet hoping, for he does not see me? I wish I had never known you as you are. I wish I could why this happiness should be denied him, Lance reaches the bring back the feeling I used to have for my dear father. I banker's house.
wish I could call up some particle of respect, if not love; and There a little figure rises up from her seat at his entrance, when you tell me these things, how can I ?" and greets him timidly. She is alone. How can he help him- “But now,” proceeded the banker, savagely, “I urge you self? All lies before her now, all his hopes, all the beautiful because I want him. I want his influence, his name, his future he has been dreaming over for years ; while she knew money !" nothing. Her hand is in his, and the pompous boots are at the Money! Why that is worse than all. You whose very door.
name is a proverb, want to sell your daughter for money. Tell One word breaks from Acton's lips ; but she keeps her posi- it about the streets of London, would not the stones cry out tion.
against you? Look at the prayer-book in my hand, and tell me “This familiarity," begins the banker, slowly, “when you how I am to go through the marriage service with Sir Robert were children together, was all very well : at least it was per- Dacre—even if that were possible—and it is not-I am not free. mitted. Now, it is my duty to put a stop to it."
I belong to—that name you will not suffer to be mentioned, as Familiarity! Acton would have cried out that Lance was fully as though I were really his wife." her cousin, her father's nephew ; but conscience told her it was No answer but an oath. She is alone again. not as such she regarded him.
In the city there are rumors afloat, which men will not speak And then comes from Lance, not the tale he has been telling of openly; hints and insinuations ; the Times has a mysterious her—that would not move the banker—but a calm detail of his paragrapb. Jones meeting his friend, asks anxiously, "Who position, of the prospects he thinks so bright himself.
do you bank with ?'' "To put a stop to it," repeats the pompous man, as though “I! Oh not with Pomfret ; I'm all right. By the way, is he had not heard a syllable, “utterly and for ever. I have to there anything in that?" remind you, Acton, of what is due to yourself and me. I have “In what? I've heard nothing distinct, nothing but a panic to remind you, Launcelot, that this lady is my daughter and I should think.” heiress; as far beyond your reach as the moon or the stars." Nothing but a panic. Up in his own room, all through the Papa,” cries Acton, “ I love him !"
night Lance Pomfret is working over his papers. And in his A purple tint comes into the banker's face : “Silence, for room too, in the splendid house, Pomfret, the great banker, wanshame! A paltry clerk ! a mean, beggarly quilldriver !" ders up and down with one word in his mouth--"Ruin !"
“I love him better than any one in the whole world !” says In the daybreak two men are together in that same room, a Acton.
young man and an old one. The latter is shrunk and broken, “A dishonorable scoundrel ! I say it to his face, and he has his clothes hang miserably about him, his face is drawn down the haseness to stand there and hear it. I request him to leave and withered. He looks at his companion despairingly, and my house, and enter it no more. I tell him this is my daugh- says again, “ Ruin !" ter, the promised wife of Sir Robert Dacre—"
“You cannot meet your liabilities, I know. Give me an idea Lance, dear Lance, never believe it," cries the heiress, of the figure." clinging to him. “I can bid you good-bye now, since it must The old man bends down and whispers. be; but never believe that, or any such report."
“That is heary, but not hopeless. I am good for it. There One word broke from Lance : it was " Revenge !"
is not a moment to be lost."
Click. “How long, Wilson.?"
“ Five minutes! It has been a heavier run than I was preHE same Acton, and
pared for. If I can gain time till to-morrow all will be woll." yet changed ; a little
Click. “Four minutes : keep perfectly calm, Wilson." older-looking,
“There is one man," whispers Wilson, “ sure to come to-
Three minutes. “Is it heavy ?"
“ Too heavy for us " Two minutes.
“I'm afraid he'll miss it," grins Wilson. And the banker has
No one, looking in the man's face, could have guessed what changed too. His hung on these clicks of the timepiece.
One minute. " There be is !"
Click. “Closed for to-night, sir ; too late !"
“ Fearful run on Pomfret's bank yesterday," says Jones. “Years ago," says Acton “I don't " That rumor must have been all rubbish ; they're all right." know how long it is, but it seems many
years ago -- when you drove poor Lance away, I told yoi: I would never see Sir Robert Dacre again ; I
· If he were but what he was once, what I thought him once," told you I would never marry any one of your choice. Why do
murmurs the heiress : “if he were only what he was all those you urge me now?''
“ And years ago," says the banker, “ before you could speak years ago, when Lance went away, it would be better to bear. out your undutiful refusal, I vowed over your cradle to find a
How he is changed !" suitable match for my daughter, and I vowed that he should
She is looking at her father wandering restlessly up and down reverse the usual order of things, and take our name.
before her, from door to door, from window to window. “ Lance bears it already."
“How old he has grown! I might be dreaming some hor“To the devil with Lance !" cries the banker fiercely ; " keep rible dream, for all the reality there seems about him. How he his name to yourself, and never let me hear it. I conceal no- is changed !" thing from you, not even my motives. At first I urged Sir Now he comes up to her wistfully ; he stops before her seat; Robert upon you because he is a baronet of good old standing : he prits out his hands, and they shake piteously. I wanted a title"
“If I were to ask my daughter to forgive' me," begins the A gesture of disgust from the heiress. "Why did you tell / banker, "what would she say? If I bid her think the worst
she can of all that is past, but believe-only believe that I am ing, and the other to construct a raft. To this raft the two sorry for it now, what will she say ?!!
boats were attached. Within the boats and on the raft as Nothing. She is too full of wonder to speak.
much provisions and water as could be got from the sinking “If I tell my daughter that ruio stared at me from every ship were placed, and the crew, consisting of about sixty percorner, and I was mad; that one wbo owed me a debt for ill- sons, was embarked on it, and the Jasseur left to her fate. usage stepped in and bad a noble revenge, that he saved me, Shortly after a heavy gale arose, and a most tremendous wave took my good name into his hands and saved it-will she hesi- dashed over the raft, swamping with it ten of the men. Nottate to repay him in some sort for that generous action ?" withstanding every effort, it was impossible to recover any of “What does he ask ?".
them. The situation becoming every hour more precarious, “My daughter knows. She can repay him, not I."
and considerable fears being entertained that the lashings “You know I cannot. You know that I am bound—that I would give way, the captain determined to take to the boats, would not be free if I could."
and accordingly they abandoned the raft, and embarked, “Only one thing then. See him and thank him for me." twenty in the captain's boat, and thirty in that commanded “ That I can do."
by the first officer. It was agreed that each boat should make The banker is gone, and there is another in his plac She the best of its way to the coast without trying to keep near knows it all pow; there is no doubt, no hesitation. If any- esch other. They were soon separated by the violence of the thing were wanting to increase ber pride in him, this would wind; and, after enduring great privations and exposure to be it.
the winds and waves, the swaller boat made th: land in safety. “Oh Lance, Lance, it was worthy of you!"
The other boat was undoubtedly lost, as no tidings were ever Those years that have been so dreary and long are forgotten ; received of her. The sketch we have engraved was made by all the trouble that was weighing her down but a moment since Mr. Dunar, one of the survivors of this ill-fated vessel, and is dead.
represents the minute when the gigantic wave bursts over the “ Years ago," says Lance, “when you made the promises raft, carrying death and horror in its train. that have been life to me, I spoke of something I would have, and it pained you. Forgive me that, when the opportunity came, I took it." “What was it, Lance ?"
EXTRAORDINARY DEATH. “Revenge, mive own!"
A DEATH, attended with most extraordinary circumstances,
has just taken place at Cesena (Romagna), in the person of A SHIPWRECK AT SEA.
q resident of that town, the Countess Cornelia, who had
reached the age of sixty-two, without any kind of infirmity. Of all shipwrecks one of the most terrible is, doubtless, that, One night her attendants observed that, contrary to her where a mass of human beings on a raft, amid the alternations usual habits, she appeared rather heavy and sleepy immeof hope and fear, linger out the weary hours till exhaustion diately after supper, but she nevertheless sat up three hours or a friendly billow cuts short their anguish in death. The talking with her maid, and then said her prayers and went to most terrible of all is where fire superadds its presence, and bed. The next morning her maid, alarmed at not being sumcarries human calamity into the regions of unbearable horror. moned by the countess long after the ordinary hour, entered So impressed have the greatest poets been with the scope which her chamber, and called to her. Hearing no answer, and fearshipwreck gives for their powers of description, that many of ing that something had happened, she opened the shutters, and our most popular writers have made it the subject of their was horrorstruck at seeing the body of her mistress in the state study. Falconer, a very charming versifier, is entirely remem- we are about to describe : not more than a yard from the bed bered by his poem of the Shipwreck, rendered still more inter- was a heap of ashes, in which lay two legs-entire from the esting by the fact that he himself perished in that manner; foot to the knee—and two arms. The head was between the the vessel in which he sailed soon after the publication of bis legs. All the rest of the body had been converted into ashes, volume was never heard of since the day it sailed from the port which, when touched, left a greasy and fetid humidity on the of London.
fingers. Byron has in his Don Juan eclipsed all by his magnificent On the floor was a small lamp without oil, and on the table episode of a shipwreck, principally founded upon the melan- stood two candlesticks, the candles of which had lost all choly narrative of Admiral Byron, the poet's grandfather, their tallow, but the wicks remainel unburnt; the bed was whose sufferings after the loss of his vessel show the wonderful uninjured, the clothes lying as they usually do when a person tenacity of human life. The poet has made an admirable use has risen ; all the hangings of the bed were covered with a of his relative's narrative; and although many stanzas are grayish soot, which had even penetrated into some drawers, almost literally rendered, yet, under the quickening touch of and soiled the linen they contained. This soot had also found genius, the simple description of the sailor becomes unequalled its way into an adjoining kitchen, and covered the walls, furnifor its pathos and power.
ture and utensils. The bread in the safe was also covered with There are some shipwrecks which, although several years it, and when off red to several dogs they would not touch it. have elapsed since they occurred, still are fraught with the In the chamber over the countess's room, the lower part of the deepest sorrow to the American heart. Foremost among these windows was soiled with a fatty yellow flaid. The whole atare the President, the Baltic, the Pacific, the George Law and mosphere around was impregnated with an indescribable and the Austrian--that of the Baltic was attended by several pe- most disagreeable smell, and the floor of the chamber was culiarly distressing events, as both the wife and son of Mr. coated with a thick, clammy and extremely adhesive moisture. Collins, the first who contended with England on the Atlantic, The countess had evidently been consumed by an internal were lost in the vessel.
fire. The picture we publisb on page 489 represents the dreadful Dr. Bianchi, a physician of the town, who has published a shipwreck of the British war steamer Jasseur, which was lost pamphlet on the case, thinks that the fire began in the lungs, about three years ago off the corest of Jamaica.' The circum- and was developed during sleep; that the countess, being stances attending this calamity were briefly these : On the awakened by the dreadful pain, had no doubt risen to get air, night of the 4th of March, 185 ', while cruising to the north- perhaps intending to open the window, but had only been able ward of the island of Jamaica, the Jasseur struck upon a sunken to leave her bed, when she sank under the fire that was deseef, and immediately began to fill. The pumps were rigged vouring her. The Marquis Scipio Maffei, who has also written and manned as quickly as possible, and kept at work until on the same subject, says that the countess was in the habit of daybreak, when it was discovered that, despite their utmost rubbing her body with camphorated spirits of wine, which she exertions, the vessel was rapidly sinking. The captain imme- used frequently, and he thinks that the frequent use of that diately divided his crew into two gangs, one to continue pump- ' liquid was one of the causes of her death.