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´╗┐Title: Elinor Wyllys; Or, The Young Folk of Longbridge: A Tale. Volume 2
Author: Cooper, Susan Fenimore
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Elinor Wyllys; Or, The Young Folk of Longbridge: A Tale. Volume 2" ***

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{This e-text was prepared from the first edition of Susan
Fenimore Cooper's "Elinor Wyllys: or, The Young Folk of
Longbridge" (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846). "Elinor Wyllys"
was also published in England (London: Richard Bentley, 1845),
but has otherwise not been reprinted.

{Text and note are by Hugh C. MacDougall (jfcooper@wpe.com).
Notes are enclosed in curly brackets { }; these include
identification of epigraphs and other quotations and allusions,
explanations of obsolete word usage, and translations of foreign
words and expressions. Quotations from Shakespeare are cited to
the Riverside Edition (adopted as standard for the MLA-approved
Cooper Edition of the works of James Fenimore Cooper). Spelling
and punctuation, including the author's idiosyncratic use of
colons and semi-colons, inconsistent use of single quotation
marks for "thoughts," and combinations of dashes with other
punctuation, have not been changed (except for occasional silent
insertion of missing quotation marks). First instances of some
unusual spellings (whether or not in accordance with the author's
usual practise), and obvious typographical errors, are followed
by {sic} to indicate that there has not been a mistake in
transcription. Because of the limitations of the .TXT format,
italicized foreign words (mostly French) are transcribed in
ordinary type, and accents are omitted; words italicized for
emphasis, or to emulate dialect or incorrect pronunciation, are
transcribed as capitals.}



ELINOR WYLLYS: OR, THE YOUNG FOLK OF LONGBRIDGE. A TALE.

BY AMABEL PENFEATHER.

{Pseudonym of Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894),
daughter of James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)}



ELINOR WYLLYS;
OR,
THE YOUNG FOLK OF LONGBRIDGE.
A TALE.

BY
AMABEL PENFEATHER.

"Familiar matter of to-day;
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,
That has been, and may be again."
WORDSWORTH

{William Wordsworth, English poet (1770-1850), "The Solitary
Reaper" lines 22-24}



IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. II.

EDITED BY J. FENIMORE COOPER.



CHAPTER I {would be CHAPTER XXIV, if numbered from beginning of
Vol. I}

"But there is matter for another rhyme;
And I to this would add another tale."
WORDSWORTH.

"And how do Miss and Madam do;
The little boy, and all?
All tight and well? and how do you,
Good Mr. What-do-you-call?"
COWPER.

{William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770-1850), "Poems of the
Imagination: Hart-Leap Well" lines 95-96. William Cowper (English
poet, 1731-1800), "The Yearly Distress, or, Tithing Time at Stock
in Essex" lines 33-36}

It is to be feared the reader will find fault with this chapter.
But there is no remedy; he must submit quietly to a break of
three years in the narrative: having to choose between the
unities and the probabilities, we greatly preferred holding to
the last. The fault, indeed, of this hiatus, rests entirely with
the young folk of Longbridge, whose fortunes we have undertaken
to follow; had they remained together, we should, of course, have
been faithful to our duty as a chronicler; but our task was not
so easy. In the present state of the world, people will move
about--especially American people; and making no claim to
ubiquity, we were obliged to wait patiently until time brought
the wanderers back again, to the neighbourhood where we first
made their acquaintance. Shortly after Jane's marriage, the whole
party broke up; Jane and her husband went to New-Orleans, where
Tallman Taylor was established as partner in a commercial house
connected with his father. Hazlehurst passed several years in
Mexico and South-America: an old friend of his father's, a
distinguished political man, received the appointment of Envoy to
Mexico, and offered Harry the post of Secretary of Legation.
Hazlehurst had long felt a strong desire to see the southern
countries of the continent, and was very glad of so pleasant an
arrangement; he left his friend Ellsworth to practise law alone,
and accompanied Mr. Henley, the Minister, to Mexico; and from
thence removed, after a time, to Brazil. Charlie had been
studying his profession in France and Italy, during the same
period. Even Elinor was absent from home much more than usual;
Miss Wyllys had been out of health for the last year or two; and,
on her account, they passed their summers in travelling, and a
winter in the West-Indies. At length, however, the party met
again on the old ground; and we shall take up the thread of our
narrative, during the summer in which the circle was re-united.
It is to be hoped that this break in the movement of our tale
will be forgiven, when we declare, that the plot is about to
thicken; perplexities, troubles, and misfortunes are gathering
about our Longbridge friends; a piece of intelligence which will
probably cheer the reader's spirits. We have it on the authority
of a philosopher, that there is something gratifying to human
nature in the calamities of our friends; an axiom which seems
true, at least, of all acquaintances made on paper.

"{Minister" = a diplomatic rank below that of Ambassador--a
Minister heads a Legation, an Ambassador an Embassy; prior to the
Civil War, the United States was not considered an important
enough country to send or receive Ambassadors. "Secretary of
Legation" = a diplomat serving under a Minister. "A philosopher"
= Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1618-1680), French author
famous for his maxims or epigraphs: "Dans l'adversite de nos
meilleurs amis, nous trouvons quelque chose qui ne nous deplait
pas" = In the misfortune of our best friends, we find something
which is not displeasing to us. Maxim No. 99, later suppressed.
By the 1840s, a well known expression}

We hear daily that life is short; and, surely, Time flies with
fearful rapidity if we measure his course by years:
three-score-and-ten, the allotted span of man, are soon numbered.
But events, thoughts, feelings, hopes, cares, are better marks
for the dial of life, than hours and minutes. In this view, the
path of life is a long road, full of meaning and of movement at
every step; and in this sense only is time justly appreciated;
each day loses its insignificance, and every yearly revolution of
the earth becomes a point in eternity.

The occurrences of the three years during which we have lost
sight of the Longbridge circle will speak for themselves, as our
tale is gradually unfolded. It is evident, however, at the first
glance, on returning to the old ground, that the village itself
has undergone some alterations. Though belonging to a part of the
country occasionally accused of being "unenterprising," it had
not proved insensible to the general movement felt throughout the
republic, in those halcyon days of brilliant speculation, which
commenced with the promise of good fortune to all, and ended by
bringing poverty to many, and disgrace to others. A rail-road now
runs through the principal street, and the new depot, a large,
uncouth building, stands conspicuous at its termination, looking
commercial prosperity, and internal improvement. Several new
stores have been opened, half-a-dozen "tasty mansions"--chiefly
imitations of Mr. Hubbard's--have been built, another large
tavern has been commenced, and two additional steamboats may be
seen lying at the wharf. The value of property in the village
itself, is said to have doubled, at least; new streets are laid
out, and branch rail-roads are talked of; and many people flatter
themselves that Longbridge will figure in the next census as a
flourishing city, with the full honours of a Corporation, Mayor,
and Aldermen. In the population, corresponding changes are also
perceptible; many new faces are seen in the streets, new names
are observed on the signs; others again are missed from their old
haunts, for there is scarcely a family in the place, which has
not sent its representation westward.

{"those halcyon days" = i.e., before the economic Panic of 1837,
and the seven-year depression that followed}

Most of our old acquaintances, however, still remain on the spot,
this pleasant afternoon in June, 183-. There stands Mr. Joseph
Hubbard, talking to Judge Bernard. That is Dr. Van Horne, driving
off in his professional sulkey. There are Mrs. Tibbs and Mrs.
Bibbs, side-by-side, as of old. Mrs. George Wyllys has moved, it
seems; her children are evidently at home in a door-yard on the
opposite side of the street, adjoining the Hubbard "Park." On the
door of that bright-coloured, spruce-looking brick house, you
will see the name of W. C. Clapp; and there are a pair of boots
resting on the window-sill of an adjoining office, which probably
belong to the person of the lawyer, himself. Now, we may observe
Mrs. Hilson and Miss Emmeline Hubbard flitting across the street,
"fascinating and aristocratic" as ever.

{"sulkey" = light two-wheeled carriage, seated for one person;
usually spelled "sulky"}

Let us leave the village, however, for the more immediate
neighbourhood of Wyllys-Roof; in which, it is hoped, the reader
will feel more particularly interested. There stands the little
cottage of the Hubbards, looking just as it did three years
since; it is possible that one or two of the bull's-eye panes of
glass may have been broken, and changed, and the grey shingles
are a little more moss-grown; but its general aspect is precisely
what it was when we were last there. The snow-ball and the
sweet-briar are in their old places, each side of the humble
porch; the white blossoms have fallen from the scraggy branches
of the snow-ball, this first week in June; the fresh pink buds
are opening on the fragrant young shoots of the sweet-briar.
There is our friend, Miss Patsey, wearing a sun-bonnet, at work
in the garden; and if you look through the open door of the
house, you will see beyond the passage into the neat little
kitchen, where we catch a glimpse of Mrs. Hubbard's white cap
over the back of her rocking-chair. It is possible that you may
also see the merry, shining, black face of a little handmaiden,
whom Miss Patsey has lately taken into the family; and, as the
tea-kettle is boiling, and the day's work chiefly over, the
little thing is often seen at this hour, playing about the
corners of the house, with the old cat. Ah, there is the little
minx!--her sharp ears have heard the sound of wheels, and she is
already at the open gate, to see what passes. A wagon stops; whom
have we here? Little Judy is frightened half out of her wits: a
young man she does not know, with his face covered with beard,
after a fashion she had never yet seen, springs from the wagon.
Miss Patsey turns to look.

"Charlie!"--she exclaims; and in another moment the youth has
received the joyful, tearful, agitated embrace of his mother and
sister. The darling of their hearts is at home again; three years
since, he left them, a boy, to meet dangers exaggerated tenfold
by their anxious hearts; he returns, a man, who has faced
temptations undreamed of by their simple minds. The wanderer is
once more beneath their humble roof; their partial eyes rest
again on that young face, changed, yet still the same.

Charlie finds the three last years have passed lightly over his
mother and his sister; theirs are the same kindly faces, the same
well-known voices, the best loved, the most trusted from
childhood. After the first eager moments of greeting are over,
and the first hurried questions have been answered, he looks
about him. Has not the dear old cottage shrunk to a very
nut-shell? He opens the door of the school-room; there are its
two benches, and its humble official desk, as of old; he looks
into the little parlour, and smiles to think of the respect he
felt in his childish days for Miss Patsey's drawing-room: many a
gilded gallery, many a brilliant saloon has he since entered as a
sight-seer, with a more careless step. He goes out on the porch;
is it possible that is the garden?--why it is no larger than a
table-cloth!--he should have thought the beds he had so often
weeded could not be so small: and the door-yard, one can shake
hands across it! And there is Wyllys-Roof, half hid by trees--he
used to admire it as a most venerable pile; in reality it is only
a plain, respectable country-house: as the home of the Wyllyses,
however, it must always be an honoured spot to him. Colonnade
Manor too--he laughs! There are some buildings that seem, at
first sight, to excite to irresistible merriment; they belong to
what may he called the "ridiculous order" of architecture, and
consist generally of caricatures on noble Greek models; Mr.
Taylor's elegant mansion had, undeniably, a claim to a
conspicuous place among the number. Charlie looks with a
painter's eye at the country; the scenery is of the simplest
kind, yet beautiful, as inanimate nature, sinless nature, must
ever be under all her varieties: he casts a glance upward at the
sky, bright and blue as that of Italy; how often has he studied
the heavens from that very spot! The trees are rich in their
summer verdure, the meadows are fragrant with clover, and through
Mr. Wyllys's woods there is a glimpse of the broad river, gilded
by the evening sun. It is a pleasing scene, a happy moment; it is
the first landscape he ever painted, and it is home.

Then Charlie returns to his mother; he sits by her side, she
takes his hand in her withered fingers, she rests her feeble
sight on his bright face; while Miss Patsey is preparing all the
dainties in the house for supper.

"Well, little one, what is your name?" said Charlie, as the black
child passed him with a load of good things.

"Judy, sir," said the little girl, with a curtsey, and a
half-frightened look at Charlie's face, for the young artist had
chosen to return with moustaches; whether he thought it
professional or becoming, we cannot say.

"We shall be good friends I hope, Judy; if you mind my sister
better than you ever did anybody else in your life, perhaps I
shall find some sugar-plums for you," said Charlie, pleased to
see a black face again.

Mrs. Hubbard remarked that, upon the whole, Judy was a pretty
good girl; and the child grinned, until two deep dimples were to
be seen in her shining dark cheeks, and the dozen little
non-descript braids which projected from her head in different
directions, seemed to stand on end with delight.

"And so Mr. Wyllys and the ladies are not at home. I wish I had
known of their being in New-York; I might at least have seen them
for a moment, yesterday."

"I wonder Mrs. Hilson did not mention their being in town."

"Julianna never knows what she is talking about. But I am glad to
hear good accounts of them all."

"Yes; Miss Wyllys has come home from the West-Indies, much
better."

"Is it really true that Miss Elinor is going to be married
shortly?"

"Well, I can't say whether the story is true or not. She seems to
have many admirers now she has become an heiress."

"But I don't understand how she comes to be such a fortune."

{"a fortune" = short for a woman of fortune, an heiress}

"I don't understand it myself; Mr. Clapp can tell you all about
it. You know most people are a great deal richer now than they
were a few years ago. I heard some one say the other day, that my
old pupil's property in Longbridge, is worth three times as much
now, as it was a short time since."

"Is it possible Longbridge has improved so much?"

"And then your old play-fellow has had two legacies from
relations of her mother's; everybody in the neighbourhood is
talking of her good-luck, and saying what a fortune she will turn
out. I only hope she will be happy, and not be thrown away upon
some one unworthy of her, like her poor cousin; for it seems
young Mr. Taylor is very dissipated."

Charlie probably sympathized with this remark, though he made no
reply.

"Mr. and Mrs. Tallman Taylor are in New-York now, I hear, just
come from New-Orleans. The family from Wyllys-Roof have gone over
to see them," added Miss Patsey.

"Yes, so I understand. They will be here before long, I suppose."

"Not immediately; for they are all going to Saratoga together.
Dr. Van Horne thought Miss Wyllys had better pass two or three
weeks at the Springs."

"That is fortunate for me--I shall see them the sooner; for I
must be at Lake George before the first of July. I have an order
for three views of the Lake, which I have promised to send to
England early in the fall."

Here Charlie entered into some details of his affairs, very
interesting to his mother and sister; and they seemed to be in a
very satisfactory condition, according to his own modest views.
After a while the conversation again returned to their Longbridge
friends.

"Did you know that Mr. Hazlehurst is coming home too, this
summer?" asked Miss Patsey.

"Yes; he wrote me word he hoped we should meet before long. How
did that affair with Mrs. Creighton turn out?"

"We did bear they were engaged; but it could not have been true,
for the lady has been in Philadelphia, and he in Brazil, for some
time, you know. I used to ask about such matters once in a while,
on purpose to write you word. But I had no great opportunity of
hearing much about Mr. Hazlehurst; for after that unhappy
business at Wyllys-Roof, there was, of course, a great coolness;
for some time I never heard his name mentioned there, and Mr.
Wyllys seldom speaks of him now."

"Are they not reconciled, then?"

"Not entirely, I am afraid; but you know they have not met for
three years."

"I shall hardly know myself at Wyllys-Roof, without seeing Mr.
Hazlehurst and Miss Graham there."

"You will find a great change in that respect. Mrs. Taylor has
not been here since her marriage; Miss Van Alstyne seems to have
taken her place; she is a very pleasant young lady. When the
family is at home now, there seems often to be some strange
gentleman with them."

"Fortune-hunters, I suppose," said Charlie, with some
indignation. "Well, the course of true love never has, and never
will run quite as it ought, I suppose. And how do all the
Longbridge people come on?--How is Uncle Josie?"

"Very well, indeed; just as good as ever to us. You must go to
see him to-morrow."

"Certainly;--and what is Uncle Dozie about?"

"At work in the vegetable-garden, as usual. He sent me a fine
basket of salad, and radishes, and onions, this morning."

"Clapp has got into a new house I see."

"Yes; he is in very good business, I believe; you saw Catherine,
you say?"

"Yes, for a minute only. I ran in to kiss Kate and the children,
while they were harnessing a horse for me at the tavern. Kate
looks very well herself. The children didn't remember much of
Uncle Charlie; but they are pretty, healthy little things,
nevertheless."

The grandmother assented to the commendation of her daughter's
family; she thought them remarkably fine children. "Catherine was
a very fortunate woman," she said; "Mr. Clapp was a very superior
man, so very clever that he must do well; and the children were
all healthy--they had gone through the measles wonderfully, that
spring."

Charlie had not quite as elevated an opinion of his
brother-in-law as the females of the family; he allowed his
mother's remark to pass unnoticed, however.

"And so Mr. Taylor has given up Colonnade Manor," he continued.

"Yes; he has just sold it to Mr. de Vaux, a friend of Mr.
Wyllys," replied Miss Patsey.

"Why did he sell it, pray?"

"Well, the young ladies liked better to live about at hotels and
boarding-houses in the summer, I believe; they thought it was too
dull at Longbridge. Mr. Taylor didn't care much for the place:
you know there are some people, who, as soon as they have built a
house, and got everything in nice order, want to sell; it seems
as if they did not care to be comfortable; but I suppose it is
only because they are so fond of change."

We may as well observe, by way of parenthesis, that this fancy of
getting rid of a place as soon as it is in fine order, would
probably never occur to any man but an American, and an American
of the particular variety to which Mr. Taylor belonged.

"I don't wonder at his wanting to get rid of the house; but the
situation and the neighbourhood might have satisfied him, I
think," said Charlie, as he accepted Miss Patsey's invitation to
eat the nice supper she had prepared for him.

As he took his seat at the table, Mrs. Hubbard observed, that he
probably had not seen such short-cake as Patsey made, in Rome--to
which Charlie assented warmly. He had wished one evening, in
Florence, he said, for some of his sister's short-cake, and a
good cup of tea of her making; and the same night he dreamed that
the Venus de Medicis had made him some. He was ashamed of himself
for having had such a dream; but it could not be helped, such was
the fact.

{"Venus de Medicis" = Famous nude statue of the Goddess Venus--a
1st Century BC copy of a lost Greek statue by Cleomenes of
Athens--in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence}

Mrs. Hubbard thought no woman, Venus or not, ought to be ashamed
of making good short-cake; if they were bad, that would be a
different matter.

"Well, Charlie, now you have seen all those paintings and figures
you used to talk so much about, what do you think of them?--are
they really so handsome as you expected?" asked his sister.

"They are wonderful!" exclaimed Charlie, with animation; putting
down a short-cake he had just buttered. "Wonderful!--There is no
other word to describe them."

Mrs. Hubbard observed, that she had some notion of a painting,
from the minister's portrait in the parlour--Charlie took up his
short cake--she thought a person might have satisfaction in a
painting; such a picture as that portrait; but as for those stone
figures he used to wish to see, she could not understand what was
the beauty of such idol-like things.

"They are not at all like idols, mother; they are the most noble
conceptions of the human form."

How could they look human? He himself had told her they were made
out of marble; just such marble, she supposed, as was used for
tomb-stones.

"I only wish you could see some of the statues in Italy; the
Laocoon, Niobe, and others I have seen. I think you would feel
then what I felt--what I never can describe in words."

{"Laocoon" = A famous Greek statue, in the Vatican at Rome, of a
Trojan priest and his two sons being crushed by serpents. "Niobe"
= a famous statue, in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (a Roman
copy of a lost Greek original attributed to Scopas), of Niobe --
in Greek mythology the daughter of Tantalus whose children were
slaughtered by Zeus and who was transformed into a weeping image
of stone}

Mrs. Hubbard said the names sounded very heathen-like to her
ears; she had never seen a statue, of any description whatever;
she didn't think she could have any satisfaction in looking at
one. If they had any colour to them, and were dressed up in
uniforms, and handsome clothes, like the wax-figures of General
Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Lord Nelson, she had once
seen, they would be worth looking at, perhaps.

Miss Patsey wished to know, if among the statues he had seen,
there were any supposed to be likenesses of the great men that we
read about in history?

"There are many statues and busts in Italy, that are undeniably
portraits of some of the greatest men of antiquity," he replied.

"Do you suppose they are really like those old Romans? I don't
mean such likenesses as the portrait of our dear father; but
still pretty good for those old times?"

"Far better than anything of the kind you ever saw," replied
Charlie, drinking off a cup of tea.

Miss Patsey thought those might be worth seeing. A conversation
followed upon the delight Charlie had felt in beholding
celebrated places, the scenes of great events in past ages; a
delight that an American can never know in his own country, and
which, on that very account, he enjoys with a far keener zest
than a European. Miss Patsey seemed to enter a little into this
pleasure; but, upon the whole, it was quite evident that all the
imagination of the family had fallen to Charlie's share. The
young man thought little of this, however: when Judy had carried
away the remains of the supper, he returned to his mother's side,
and the evening passed away in that pleasant family chat, so
interesting to those who feel alike. Sympathy of the heart is a
tie ten-fold stronger than sympathy of the head; people may think
alike, and hate each other; while those who feel together, are
often led to adopt the same opinions.

When Charlie had read the usual evening chapter in the Bible, and
had received his mother's kiss and blessing, he laid himself down
with a thankful heart, in the little garret-room, as in his
childish years. The young artist's dreams that night, were a
mingled crowd of fancies; the memories of his boyhood reviving in
their old haunts, accompanied by more recent images brought from
beyond the Ocean, and linked with half-formed plans and ideas for
the future. Among these visions of the night, were two more
distinct than the rest; one was a determination to commence, the
very next morning, a copy of his honoured father's portrait, in
which the artist's object was unusual; for it was his chief aim
to make it as little like the original before him, as possible.
Shall we reveal the fact that another image, wearing a gentler
aspect than the stern, rigid features of the minister's portrait,
seemed to flit before the young painter's fancy, coming unbidden,
and mingling more especially with recollections of the past? As a
ray of moonlight stole into the low dormer-window, the young man
turned on his humble bed, a sigh burst from his lips, followed by
the words, "No, no!"

We shall keep the secret.



CHAPTER II {XXV}

"Yonder, sure, they are coming."
As You Like It.

{William Shakespeare, "As You Like It", I.ii.147}

THE weather had been more than usually warm for several weeks,
and the morning after Charlie's return to Longbridge, when the
steamboat North America left the wharf at New-York, her decks and
cabins were filled by some five or six hundred passengers. There
were men, women, and children, of various characters, colours and
conditions. The scene on deck was pleasing and cheerful; the day
was lovely, the steamer looked neat and bright, and the great
majority of the females were gaily dressed in their summer
attire; most of the faces looked good-humoured, as if pleased to
escape from the heat and confinement of the town, to cooler air,
and a sight of the water and green woods. One might have supposed
it a party of pleasure on a large scale; in fact, Americans seem
always good-natured, and in a pleasant mood when in motion; such
is their peculiar temperament. The passengers on board the North
America soon began to collect in knots, family-groups, or parties
of acquaintance; some chatting, some reading, some meditating.
There was one difficulty, however, want of space to move about
in, or want of seats for some of those who were stationary.

After the boat had fairly begun her trip, and people had settled
themselves as well as they could, according to their different
fancies, a pretty little woman appeared at the door of the
ladies' cabin. In her light hair, and somewhat insipid face,
encased in an extremely fashionable hat, we recognise Mrs.
Hilson. Turning towards a gentleman who seemed waiting near the
door for her, she addressed him.

"Now, Monsieur Bonnet, do exert your gallantry, and find me a
seat on deck. The cabin is intolerably warm, I cannot stay
here;--where are Emmeline and the Baron?"

"You see, Madame," he said, pointing towards the couple,
"Montbrun take a tabouret at once, when we come on board, and
Mademoiselle Emmeline now has it. It was very maladroit in me not
to keep one for you; I beg a t'ousand pardons."

{"tabouret" = a stool; "maladroit" = careless (French)}

"Haven't you got a seat; that is a pity. But I dare say you can
easily find one."

"Vraiment, ma chere Madame EEL-sun, there is no sacrifice I would
not make to procure you one. I am desole it should be impossible.
I have been looking; but all the tabourets and chair are taken by
ladies and gentlemans. You have a drole de maniere of travel in
this countree; so many people together, the ladies must be
victimes sometime."

{"Vraiment, ma chere..." = truly, my dear...; "drole de maniere"
= funny way (French)}

"Oh, no; you don't know how to manage, that is all. Has not the
Baron a chair?"

"Non, Madame; you see he is debout."

{"debout" = standing (French)}

"Well, there are some gentlemen seated; I see three or four--one
quite near you. Ask him for his chair."

The Frenchman shrugged his shoulders, and looked bewildered.

"Pray, ask that gentleman for his chair," repeated the lady,
pointing with her parasol to a person sitting at no great
distance.

"But, Madame, the gentleman will not know what a charming lady
wish for the chair--he will not give it."

"Oh, no danger; if you tell him it is for a lady, of course he
will let you have it. Why, how slow you are about it; you are
almost as bad as Captain Kockney, who never did anything when he
was asked."

"Ah, Madame, de graces do not say that!--I go."

{"de graces" = please (French)}

And Monsieur Bonnet, edging his way here and there behind the
ladies, and begging ten thousand pardons, at length reached the
person Mrs. Hilson had pointed out to him.

"What did you say?" exclaimed this individual, looking up rather
gruffly, at being addressed by an utter stranger.

"Mille pardons, Monsieur," continued Monsieur Bonnet; "a lady is
very much oppressed with fatigue, and send me to beg you will be
aimable to give her your chair."

{"mille pardons" = excuse me; "aimable" = obliging enough
(French)}

"What is it?" repeated the man, who looked like an Englishman; "I
don't understand you."

Monsieur Bonnet again urged his request, in terms still more
civil. It would be rendering a very great service to the lady, he
said.

"I am not acquainted with the lady; I advise you to look for an
empty chair," replied the other, resolutely turning his face in
an opposite direction.

Monsieur Bonnet shrugged his shoulders, and was moving towards
Mrs. Hilson au desespoir, when a gentlemanly-looking man, who was
seated, reading, not far from the Englishman, rose and quietly
offered his bench for the use of the lady. Monsieur Bonnet was,
of course, all gratitude, and returned enchante to Mrs. Hilson,
who took the matter very quietly; while M. Bonnet seemed
surprised at his own success.

{"au desespoir" = in despair; "enchante" = delighted (French)}

The gentleman who had given up his seat, was obliged to continue
standing; shutting up his book, he began to look about him, among
the crowd, for acquaintances. There was a very gay, noisy party,
at no great distance, which first attracted his attention; it
consisted of two pretty young women in the centre of a group of
men. The shrill voice and rattling laugh of one lady, might be
very distinctly heard across the deck; the other was leaning back
listlessly in her chair: one of the young men was reading a paper
with a sort of family expression, as if the ladies were his near
connexions; and, on a chair, at the side of the silent lady, sat
an old gentleman, with a very rusty coat, snuffy nose, and a red
handkerchief spread on one knee, while on the other he held a
pretty little boy, about two years old.

"I tell you I know she was dead in love with him!" cried the
rattling young lady, at the top of her voice. Then, observing the
gentleman, who was looking in that direction, she bowed with a
coquettish graciousness. The bow was returned, but the gentleman
did not seem very anxious to approach the party; when the young
lady, beckoning with her finger, obliged him to draw near.

"Now, Mr. Ellsworth, you are just the man I wanted. Three of
these gentlemen are against me; I have only one on my side, and I
want you to help me to fight the battle."

"Must I enlist, Miss Taylor, before I know whether the cause is
good or bad?"

"Oh, certainly, or else you are not worth a cent. But I'll tell
you how the matter stands: you know Helen de Vaux and you were at
the Springs, last summer, when she and Mr. Van Alstyne were
there. Well, I say she was dead in love with him, though she did
refuse him."

"Was she?" replied Mr. Ellsworth.

"Why, I know she was; it was as plain as a pike-staff to
everybody who saw them together. And here, these good folks
provoke me so; they say if she refused him she did not care for
him; and here is my ridiculous brother-in-law, Mr. St. Leger,
says I don't know anything about it; and my sister Adeline always
thinks just as her husband does."

"That's quite right, my dear," said the rusty Mr. Hopkins, taking
a pinch of snuff. "I hope you will follow her example one of
these days."

"What are the precise symptoms of a young lady's being dead in
love?" asked the quiet, business-looking Theodore St. Leger.

"Oh, you know well enough what I mean. You may say what you
please about Helen de Vaux not caring for him, I know better,"
continued the young lady, in a voice that might be heard on the
other side of the boat.

"As Miss de Vaux's mother is on board, suppose you refer the
question to her," said Mr. Ellsworth, in a dry manner.

"Is she?--I hope she didn't hear us," continued the young lady,
lowering her voice half a tone. "But you need not ask her,
though; for I don't believe her mother knows anything about it."

"You are going to the Springs, I suppose," said Mr. Ellsworth, by
way of changing the conversation.

"I wish we were! No; Adeline has taken it into her head to be
romantic, for the first time in her life. She says we must go to
the Falls; and it will be a fortnight lost from Saratoga."

"But, have you no wish to see Niagara?"

"Not a bit; and I don't believe Adeline has, either. But it is no
wonder she doesn't care about the Springs, now she's married; she
began to go there four years before I did."

"Have you never been to Niagara, Mrs. St. Leger?" continued Mr.
Ellsworth, addressing the elder sister; who, from the giddy,
belleish Adeline, was now metamorphosed into the half-sober young
matron--the wife of an individual, who in spite of the romantic
appellation of Theodore St. Leger, was a very quiet, industrious
business-man, the nephew and adopted son of Mr. Hopkins,
Adeline's Boston escort. She had been sitting contentedly beside
the old gentleman, for the last half hour, leaving her unmarried
sister to entertain the beaux, according to etiquette.

"No, I have never been to the Falls; and all our party but my
sister Emma, seemed to think it would be a pleasant jaunt."

"Mr. Hopkins has entered into an engagement to supply me with at
least two beaux at a time, and a regular change all the way to
Niagara, or else I shouldn't have come," said Miss Emma.

"We are engaged at least by the day, I hope," interposed one of
the attendant young men.

"No, indeed; I should be tired to death of you, for more than an
hour at a time. I sha'n't speak to YOU again, until we have
passed West Point."

"I have had no trouble as yet, my dear, in picking up recruits,"
said Mr. Hopkins, whose attention seemed equally divided between
his snuff-box, and the little Hopkins, junior, on his knee--his
great-nephew.

"If there are two, that's all I care for; but I hate to have only
one person to talk to."

Mr. Ellsworth bit his lips, to prevent their expressing his
opinion, that the young lady must always have a large circle of
listeners.

"Have you seen Mr. Wyllys's party this morning?" inquired
Adeline.

"The Wyllyses!--Are they on board?" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth, with
surprise and pleasure. "I thought them at Saratoga by this time."

"Oh, no; they are somewhere on the other side of the boat; my
sister-in-law, Mrs. Taylor's little girl is with them.
By-the-bye, Emma, I am going into the cabin to look after Jane;
will you go with me?"

"No, indeed; I hate the cabin of a steamboat!"

Adeline was quite satisfied to leave her sister with the prospect
of a good supply of young men to flirt with; though matrimony had
changed her in some respects, she still considered it a duty to
encourage to the utmost, all love-affairs, and flirtations going
on in her neighbourhood. Mr. Hopkins resigned the little boy to
his mother's care; Mr. St. Leger helped his wife through the
crowd; and, under cover of the movement made to allow Adeline to
pass, Mr. Ellsworth made his escape. His eye had been already
directed towards the opposite side of the boat, where he had
discovered the venerable, benevolent face of Mr. Wyllys, with
three ladies near him. Mr. Ellsworth immediately recognised Miss
Agnes, Elinor, and Mary Van Alstyne. It was several minutes
before he could edge his way through the crowd, to join them; but
when he reached the spot, he was received very cordially by Mr.
Wyllys and Miss Agnes, in a friendly manner by Mary Van Alstyne,
and possibly there was something of consciousness betrayed by
Elinor.

"I thought you already at Saratoga!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth.

"We were detained several days, waiting for Mrs. Taylor," replied
Elinor, to whom the remark was made.

"We shall not be at Saratoga until Monday," added Mr. Wyllys; "we
are going to pass a day or two with our friends, the V-----s, at
Poughkeepsie."

"I am very sorry to hear it," continued Mr. Ellsworth; "I have
promised to carry Mrs. Creighton to Nahant, about that time, and
shall have my usual bad luck in missing you."

{"Nahant" = sea-side resort in Massachusetts, then very popular,
just north of Boston}

"We must persuade Mrs. Creighton not to run away," said Mr.
Wyllys.

As Elinor stooped at that moment, to untie the hat of the pretty
little creature at her side, it was impossible to say whether
this intelligence were displeasing to her or not.

"That is Mrs. Taylor's child, is it not?" observed Mr. Ellsworth,
looking at the little girl. "She is very like Mrs. St. Leger."

"Do you really think so?--we fancy her like her mother," said
Elinor.

"How is Tallman Taylor now?--he was not well when they passed
through Philadelphia."

"He looks badly still," said Miss Agnes. "He is very imprudent,
and distresses Jane very much by his carelessness."

"Gentlemen never seem to do what is right when invalids,"
observed Mary Van Alstyne, smiling. "They are either very
reckless, and indifferent to their health, or else over-careful."

"What do you say, Mr. Ellsworth; is that account true?" asked
Miss Wyllys.

"I dare say it is--I have no doubt we are very troublesome to our
nurses. But, fortunately, women are endowed with a double stock
of patience, to make up for our deficiencies. Is Mr. Taylor on
board?--I have not seen him."

"No; he remained in town to attend to some business," replied
Miss Wyllys. "We have charge of Mrs. Taylor, however, who was
very anxious to get into the country, on account of her youngest
child."

"I see, Mr. Ellsworth, that old Ironsides has arrived at Norfolk,
bringing Mr. Henley from Rio," observed Mr. Wyllys.

{"Old Ironsides" = the United States Frigate "Constitution"; in
the early 1800s, U.S. naval ships frequently carried diplomats to
and from their stations}

"Certainly; she arrived on Tuesday."

"I saw it in the Globe, last night, grandpapa, Mr. Henley had
arrived at Washington. Harry is with him, of course," said
Elinor, in a quiet, natural tone.

"I supposed you knew of their arrival," observed Mr. Ellsworth.
"I have a letter from Hazlehurst in my pocket. He seems to have
had quite enough of Rio."

"Mr. Henley, I understand, is talked of as minister to Russia,"
said Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes; I believe that affair is settled."

"Does Hazlehurst mention whether he is going with Mr. Henley?"

"That may be a state secret," said Elinor, smiling.

"He has had an offer of the situation, I believe--but does not
seem to have made up his mind; he is coming home to look about
him, he says, having three months' vacation at any rate."

The shrill tone of Miss Emma Taylor's voice was at this moment
heard so distinctly, from the other side of the boat that Mr.
Wyllys looked up from his paper, and Mr. Ellsworth smiled. It was
very evident the young lady had inherited the peculiar tone of
voice, and all the cast-off animation of her elder sister.

"Miss Taylor seems to be in very good spirits," remarked Mr.
Ellsworth.

"Yes; she always talks and laughs a great deal," replied Mary Van
Alstyne.

"They are no longer your neighbours, I understand, sir."

"No; Mr. Taylor sold Colonnade Manor this spring; De Vaux has
purchased it, and changed the name of the place. It is now to be
called Broadlawn, which is certainly a great improvement."

"And where does Mr. Taylor's family pass the summer?"

"Why, Jane tells me he is building something he calls a cottage,
at Rockaway, within a stone's throw of the principal hotel. They
thought Longbridge too quiet."

Mrs. Taylor's little girl had, by this, time, become very sleepy,
and a little fretful; and Miss Agnes advised her being carried to
her mother. Elinor led her away, rather, it is believed, to Mr.
Ellsworth's regret.

It was no easy task to make one's way among the nurses, and
babies, and baskets, filling the ladies' cabin, which was more
than usually crowded. But at length Elinor reached Jane and
Adeline, who were sitting together.

A single glance was sufficient to show that a change had come
over these two young women, since the giddy days of their
girlhood. Jane was pale, but beautiful as ever; she was holding
on her knees a sick child, about two months old, which apparently
engrossed all her attention. What would be her system as a
mother, might be foretold by the manner in which she pacified the
little girl Elinor had brought with her.

"Give her some candy, Dinah," she said to the black nurse; whose
broad, good-natured face was soon covered with shining marks of
affection, from the hands of the pretty little charge.

Adeline was less changed in her appearance than her
sister-in-law; that is to say, she was as pretty as ever, and
neither thin nor pale. But there was something in her expression,
and a great deal in her manner, that was no longer what it had
been of old. That excessive animation which had distinguished her
as a belle, had been allowed to die away; and the restless
expression, produced by a perpetual labour to make conquests,
which was, at one time, always to be traced upon her features,
had now vanished entirely. In its place there was a touch of
matronly care and affection, more natural, and far more pleasing.
She, too, was sitting by the side of her child, driving away the
flies from the little thing, who was sleeping in a berth. Adeline
Taylor had married well, in the best sense of the word. Not that
she deserved much credit for doing so, since she had only
accidentally, as it were, become attached to the young man who
happened to be the most deserving among her suitors. Chance had
had a great deal to with the match, as it has with many matches.
She had, however, one merit--that of not rejecting him on account
of his want of fortune; although at the time, she might have
married a man who would have given her a four-story, four-window
house in Broadway. Mr. Taylor had not interfered: she had done as
she pleased in the affair. It is true, that her father rather
inclined towards the richest suitor; still, he took it for
granted, that if Theodore St. Leger had not a fortune at the
time, being a merchant, he would, of course, make one in a few
years. But Mr. Taylor's son-in-law was a man of very different
character from himself; he was a quiet, prudent, unostentatious
young man, of good abilities, who had received by education
excellent principles, and moderate views, and who had fallen in
love with Adeline's pretty face. Mr. Hopkins, his uncle and
adopted father, was a very worthy man, though a little eccentric,
and rather too much given to snuff, and old coats, and red
handkerchiefs. No one stood better on Change than John Hopkins,
whose word had been as good as his bond, throughout a long life.
He was a man of some property too, but he had only given his
nephew enough to begin life very moderately. Even with the very
liberal allowance which Mr. Taylor freely gave his children,
Adeline, when she married, was obliged to live in a much plainer
and quieter way than she had done for the last five or six years.

{"Change" = the stock exchange}

Altogether, however, the young couple seemed to agree very well,
in spite of the difference in their characters: a pretty,
good-natured wife was all the young merchant had wished for; and
Adeline was really attached to her husband, whose chief fault
seemed to be in his coats, which were rather too much after the
fashion of those of Uncle Hopkins.

Jane's fate had proved less happy than that of her friend
Adeline. Tallman Taylor's habits of extravagance had led them
into difficulties in more ways than one. He had spent far more
than his income, and his carelessness in business had proved a
great disadvantage to the house with which he was connected.
During the last year, matters had grown worse and worse; he had
neglected his wife, and lost large sums at the gambling-table.
Poor Jane had passed some unhappy months, and traces of sorrow
were to be seen on her pale face. Towards the last of the winter,
young Taylor had been dangerously ill with a malignant fever
prevailing in New Orleans; and as a long convalescence interfered
with his dissipated habits, and confined him for some time to his
own house, his friends hoped that he would have time and leisure
to make some useful reflections. But they were deceived; sickness
and suffering only made him more selfish and irritable: poor Jane
had already paid a heavy penance for her duplicity, and her
obstinacy in marrying him. Mr. Taylor had quarrelled with his
partners; and it was the object of his present visit to New York,
to persuade his father to make some heavy advances in his behalf,
as otherwise he would be ruined. Jane, it is true, knew but
little of her husband's affairs; still, she saw and heard enough
to make her anxious for the future, and she gave herself up to
melancholy repining, while her manner lost all cheerfulness. Her
father's family were in Charleston, and she had not seen them for
more than a twelvemonth; but Mr. Robert Hazlehurst, Miss Agnes,
and Elinor had done all that was possible to supply their place,
since she had been in their neighbourhood. Adeline, too, was well
enough disposed towards her sister-in-law, but she had neither
the good sense nor the delicacy of Miss Wyllys and Elinor, and
was far less successful in her friendly efforts. The society of
her aunt and cousin seemed a relief to Jane; and it was at their
request that she was going to pass a fortnight with them at
Saratoga, where Miss Agnes had been ordered by her physician.

Elinor, on joining her cousin in the cabin, tried to persuade
Jane to have the sick child carried on deck, for the sake of the
fresh air, but she did not succeed; and not wishing to leave Mrs.
Taylor, she took off her hat, and remained some time in the
cabin--a piece of good-nature which Mr. Ellsworth seemed to think
ill-timed. As they drew near the Highlands, however, she returned
to her seat on deck; for the morning was lovely, and she did not
wish to lose the scenery. She found Mrs. Hilson sitting near her
aunt.

"Ah, Miss Elinor!--how do you do?" exclaimed the city lady. "It
is the first time I have had a chance of seeing you since you
returned from the West Indies. You have not been much in New
York, I believe, since you arrived?"

"Only for a day or two."

"And how did you like the West Indies? Is there much aristocracy
at Havana?"

"We found it very pleasant there; and the climate was of so much
service to my aunt, that I shall always remember Havana with
gratitude."

"You did not go into society, then?"

"0h, yes; we made many pleasant acquaintances."

"Well, if I go abroad, I hope it will be to England; though I
should like very well to visit the stores of Paris."

"Have you seen your cousin, Charles Hubbard, since he arrived
from Italy?" inquired Elinor.

"Yes; he called at our boarding-house. He is at Longbridge now,
but he is coming to Saratoga, shortly; for he told me he had
engaged to take several views of Lake George."

"I am sorry be did not come to see us in town; but I am delighted
to hear he is going to Saratoga. Grandpapa, Mrs. Hilson tells me
Charles Hubbard will be at Saratoga, with us!"

"I am very glad to hear it, my child; I want to see Charlie."

"Has he brought home many pictures?" continued Elinor.

"I really don't know; I did not think of asking him."

"I should suppose you would be anxious to see your cousin's
paintings."

"Oh, no; portraits are the only pictures that interest me. I
always have the 'Book of Beauty,' whenever it comes out; you know
they are likenesses of the Peeresses of the English Nobility."

{"Book of Beauty" = "Heath's Book of Beauty" an annual volume
with engravings of famous British women, sponsored by Charles
Heath (1785-1848) (London: Longmans, 1833-1847)}

Elinor bowed. "Yes, I have seen the book."

"I have the 'Children of the Nobility,' too, bound in crimson
silk; it is a very fascinating collection. My friend, Mrs.
Bagman, tells me they are excellent likenesses, particularly the
children of his Royal Highness, the Lord-Mayor."

{"Children of the Nobility" = "Portraits of the Children of the
Nobility," A similar publication, also sponsored by Charles Heath
(Longmans: London, 1838)}

Absurd as such a mistake in heraldry may seem, one might vouch
for having heard others quite as extraordinary.

"They may be like," said Elinor, smiling in spite of herself;
"but I cannot agree with you as to their beauty. I have seen the
volume, and it struck me the artists must have made caricatures
of many of the children, who, no doubt, were pretty in reality."

"I was looking at those engravings only yesterday," said Mr.
Ellsworth, anxious to engage Elinor's attention; "they almost
amount to a libel on childhood; they give the idea of mincing,
affected little creatures, at the very age when children are
almost invariably natural and interesting. I should quarrel very
much with a portrait of my little girl, in the same fashion."

"But it is very seldom you see portraits of children, that are
really child-like," observed Elinor. "And then what a trial, to
paint a pretty, innocent little creature, in full dress, starched
and trim!"

"Children are charming subjects when properly treated; I delight
in such pictures," said Mary Van Alstyne.

"You would have been often delighted then, in Italy, Miss Van
Alstyne. Raphael's cherubs are as perfect in their way, as his
men and women."

{"Raphael's cherubs" = While living in Florence in 1829, James
Fenimore Cooper and his family admired the "Madonna del
Baldacchino" (sometimes called "La Madonna del Trono") by Raphael
(Italian painter, 1483-1520), at the Pitti Palace, and especially
the two singing angels ("perhaps I should call them cherubs) at
the foot of the throne. He commissioned the American sculptor
Horatio Greenough (1805-1852) to sculpt for him a group called
"The Chanting Cherubs," based the angels or cherubs}

Mrs. Hilson, unwilling to be thrown out of the conversation,
again addressed Elinor.

"When you joined us, Miss Wyllys, we were speaking of the fire
opposite your hotel. Were you not dreadfully alarmed? I hear you
were there; although I did not find you at home when I called."

"We were disturbed, of course; but I can't say that we were
personally alarmed. The wind, you may remember, carried
everything in the opposite direction."

"Did it? Well, I was too much frightened to notice anything; you
know it was in the same block as our boarding-house."

"Yes; you were nearer the danger than we were."

"Oh, I was dreadfully frightened. There was one of our ladies
wanted to persuade me to look at Trinity Church, lighted up by
the fire; I believe she really thought it a fascinating sight.
Here comes a gentleman who was staying at your hotel, and has not
got over his fright yet; it is one of my escorts--I have two, the
Baron and this gentleman; but the Baron is not on deck now--let
me introduce you; Monsieur Bonnet, Miss Wyllys. I do believe,
Monsieur Bonnet, you were as much alarmed as I was."

"Alarm--Ah, Madame, I was ebloui by the fire. In all my life, I
never saw real incendie before; though, of course, I saw the
Panorama of the incendie de Moscou--I was not in Russie with
l'Empereur. At the spectacle we have incendies sometimes; but
never in the street. Ah, I did not see that house until the roof
fall, when light burst through my volets, and I spring to the
window."

{"ebloui" = dazzled; "incendie de Moscou" = the fire which
destroyed Moscow in 1812, while it was being occupied by the
Emperor Napoleon; "spectacle" = theater; "volets" = shutters
(French)}

"I should have thought the noise would have called you out before
that."

"Du tout; when I hear cries, and people marching, I think tout
bonnement it was an emeute, and I turn round to finish my sleep;
I think myself happy not to belong to the Garde Nationale of New
York, and not be afraid of the rappel."

{"du tout" = not at all; "tout bonnement" = simply; "emeute" =
riot; "rappel" = call to arms (French)}

"What did you think it was?"

"An emeute, sans doute, say I to myself. It was un tintamarre
epouvantable."

{"un tintamarre epouvantable" = a frightful uproar (French)}

"Emeute; pray, what is that?"

"Emeute? A little revolution, as we have in Paris constamment."

"Why, my dear sir, our revolutionary war took place more than
fifty years ago. Did you expect to find us fighting now?"

"Certainement; I thought the wheel I hear was cannon. But mon ami
Eel-SUN tell me next day, there is incendie every night somewhere
in New York. Un drole de divertisement, vraiment. It is a great
desagrement, of a city otherwise so beautiful, with so many
charming ladies."

{"un drole de divertisement, vraiment" = truly, a strange form of
entertainment. "desagrement" = unpleasant feature (French)}

"Thank you, sir; you are very polite. I believe, Miss Wyllys,
that French gentlemen, no matter what they talk about, always
find an opportunity to pay a compliment."

"C'est tout naturel; cela va sans dire; it is only our devoir,
Madame, to exprimer to the ladies some of the many agreeable
things they inspire."

{"C'est tout naturel..." = it's only natural; it goes without
saying; it is only our duty, Madame, to express to the ladies...
(French)}

"Worse and worse," said Mrs. Hilson, laughing. "How different you
are from Captain Kockney; he never said a civil thing to me, all
the time he was in New York."

"Le capitaine Coquenais was an Anglais, who cannot feel the true
politesse Francaise."

"He used to say it is not aristocratic to be polite to other
people; he belongs to the English aristocracy, you know."

"L'aristocratie! Oh, that is a vile state of things. La vieille
aristocratie of France, Madame, was the cause of our revolution.
But in France now, and in America, those happy countree, the
spirit of aristocracy is extinct."

"I beg your pardon, Monsieur Bonnet," said Mrs. Hilson, quite
indignantly. "It is true there are many plebeians in this
country; but we have also many people of the highest
aristocracy."

"Ah, vous plaisantez avec tant de grace, Madame!"

{"vous plaisantez...." = You joke so gracefully, Madame (French)}

"It is pleasant, certainly, to me; though some people may not
appreciate it. I am a very aristocratic spirit."

"Ah, sans doute, Madame; you have so much esprit, you laugh at
me," said the Frenchman, who took Mrs. Hilson's protestation as a
joke.

{"esprit" = wit (French)}

"No, indeed; I never was more serious in my life. I should
suppose you would have been struck with the high state of
aristocracy at our boarding-house, for instance."

Monsieur Bonnet could only shrug his shoulders, being quite at a
loss for the lady's meaning.

"Yes; I am thoroughly patrician and aristocratic; if we only had
a despotic government, to take away all privileges from
plebeians, I should be perfectly happy. My language surprises
you, I perceive; but it is quite natural that a descendant of a
Scotch Baronet, the Duke of Percy, should have similar feelings."

More and more bewildered, Monsieur Bonnet was reduced to a bow.
Happily, as he thought, the warning bell was rung; and the usual
cry, "Passengers for West Point please look out for their
baggage!" changed the current of Mrs. Hilson's ideas, or rather
the flow of her words.

In another moment, Mrs. Hilson and Monsieur Bonnet, with a score
or two of others, were landed at West Point, and the ladies of
Mr. Wyllys's party felt it no little relief to be rid of so much
aristocracy.

The boat had soon reached Poughkeepsie, and much to Mr.
Ellsworth's regret, Mr. Wyllys and his family went on shore. Mr.
Ellsworth had been introduced to Elinor at Jane's wedding. He was
a man of thirty, a widower, with an only child, and had for
several years been thinking of marrying again. After having made
up his mind to take the step, he next determined that he would
not marry in a hurry. He was not a man of quick passions, and was
sometimes accused of being fastidious in his tastes. He thought
Elinor's manner charming, and soon discovered that she had every
recommendation but beauty, the want of which was her only
drawback; he liked her family, and probably was not sorry to hear
that she would have a large property. But, unfortunately, he
seldom met Miss Elinor Wyllys; she was a great part of her time
in the country, and he knew nobody in the immediate
neighbourhood. He had not been asked to Wyllys-Roof; nor was he,
a very recent acquaintance, on terms sufficiently intimate, to
present himself at the door, bag and baggage, without an
invitation. More than a twelvemonth intervened, in the mean time;
but he was still thinking enough of Elinor to make him wish for a
meeting, when, accidentally, they passed a few days together at
Old Point Comfort, and afterwards met again, not exactly by
accident it is believed, at the Sulphur Springs, in Virginia. His
good opinion of Elinor was not only confirmed by this
intercourse, but his admiration very much increased. It was only
natural it should be so; the more one knew Elinor, the more one
loved her; good sense, intelligence, sweetness of disposition
like her's, united to the simple grace of manner, peculiarly her
own, were best appreciated by those who saw her daily. Quite
unaware of Mr. Ellsworth's views, and unconsciously influenced at
first, perhaps, by the fact that he was an old friend of Harry's,
she soon liked him as a companion, and received him with
something more than mere politeness. "It is always pleasant to
meet with an agreeable, gentlemanly, well-informed man," thought
Elinor: a train of reflection which has sometimes carried young
ladies farther than they at first intended. Under such
circumstances, some ardent spirits would have settled the
question during a fortnight passed with the lady they admired;
but Mr. Ellsworth, though he thought Elinor's manner encouraging,
did not care to hazard a hasty declaration; he preferred waiting
a few weeks, until they should meet again in Philadelphia, where
the Wyllyses intended passing the winter. But unfortunately,
shortly after the family returned home, Miss Agnes was taken ill,
and on her partial recovery, was ordered to a warm climate before
the cold weather; and Elinor merely passed through Philadelphia
on her way to the West Indies, with her aunt and grandfather. Mr.
Ellsworth was, of course, disappointed; he expressed his regrets
as warmly as he dared, during a morning visit, in a room
half-full of company; and he hinted in terms so pointed at his
hopes of a happy meeting in the spring, that Elinor's suspicions
were for the first time excited, while those of Mr. Wyllys and
Miss Agnes were only confirmed. Since then, Mr. Ellsworth and
Elinor had only seen each other once, in the street, until they
met on board the steamboat, on their way to Saratoga.

{"Old Point Comfort" = a sea-side resort near Hampton, Virginia}



CHAPTER III. {XXVI}

"Who comes here?"
As You Like It.

{William Shakespeare, "As You Like It", II.vii.87 or III.iv.46}

THERE was to be a Temperance meeting at Longbridge, one of more
importance than usual, as a speaker of note was to be heard on
the occasion.

"Are you ready, Catherine?" inquired Mr. Clapp of his wife,
appearing at the parlour-door, holding his hat and cane in one
hand, and running the other through his brown curls.

"Wait one minute, dear, until I have put a clean collar on
Willie."

Little Willie, who had been hopping about the room, delighted
with the importance of sitting up later than his younger brothers
and sisters, was persuaded to stand still for a few seconds,
while his mother tied on the clean collar; when Mr. Clapp, his
wife, and eldest boy set out for the meeting-house, which they
found already half-filled. They were beckoned into a pew near to
one already occupied by the Van Hornes, Miss Patsey, and Charlie.
As the evening was very pleasant, men, women, and children
crowded in, until a large audience was brought together, urged,
as usual, by different motives; some came from curiosity, others
from always preferring an evening in public to an evening at
home; some, from sincere respect for the object of the meeting,
many for the sake of the speeches, and many others merely because
they were ever ready to follow the general example. Mr. Clapp had
no sooner found seats for his wife and child, than he began to
look about him; his eye wandered over the heads around,
apparently in quest of some one; at length his search seemed
successful; it rested on a man, whose whole appearance and dress
proclaimed him to be a sailor.

The meeting was opened by prayer, two different ministers
officiating on the occasion; one, a venerable-looking old man,
offered a simple, fervent, Christian prayer; the second, a much
younger person, placing one hand in his waistcoat pocket, the
other under the flaps of his coat, advanced to the front of the
staging, and commenced, what was afterwards pronounced one of the
"most eloquent prayers ever addressed to a congregation."

The speeches then followed. The first speaker, who seemed the
business-man of the evening, gave some account of the statistics
of the Society, concluding with a short address to those present,
hoping they would, upon that occasion, enrol their names as
Members of the Longbridge Temperance Society.

The principal orator of the evening, Mr. Strong, then came
forward; he made a speech of some length, and one that was very
impressive. Nothing could be more clear, more just, more true,
than the picture he drew of the manifold evils of intemperance; a
vice so deceitful in its first appearance, so treacherous in its
growth; so degrading, so brutalizing in its enjoyments; so
blasting and ruinous in its effects--ruinous to body and mind,
heart and soul--blasting all hopes for this life and for the
next, so long as it remains unconquered. He entreated his friends
to count the cost of indulgence in this vice; loss of property,
loss of health, loss of character, loss of intellect and feeling,
loss of conscience, until roused in those fearful moments of
terror and fury, the peculiar punishment of drunkenness. He
begged his hearers to look at this evil under all its aspects,
from the moment it destroys the daily peace of its miserable
victims and all connected with them, until it leaves them, in
death, without a hope, exposed to the fearful penalty of sin. As
he went on, the heart of many a wretched wife and mother
acknowledged the bitter truth of his observations; many a guilty
conscience shrunk under the probe. He then made a just and
reasonable estimate of the difficulties to be resisted in
conquering this evil; he did not attempt to deny that there were
obstacles to be overcome; he showed all the force of bad habit,
all the danger of temptation--but if there were difficulties in
the way, it was equally true that the power to subdue them was
fully within the reach of every man. He went on to represent the
happy effects of a change from evil to good; a restoration to
usefulness, peace, comfort, and respectability, which has happily
been seen in many an instance. He concluded by appealing to his
hearers as men, to shake off a debasing slavery; as Christians,
to flee from a heinous sin; and he entreated them, if they had
not done so before, to take, on that evening, the first step in
the cheering, honourable, blessed course of temperance.

Mr. Strong's speech was, in fact, excellent; all he said was
perfectly true, it was well-expressed, and his manner was easy,
natural, and dignified.

He was followed by William Cassius Clapp; the lawyer had been
very anxious to speak at this meeting. Temperance societies were
very popular at that time in Longbridge, and he was, of course,
desirous of not losing so good an opportunity of appearing before
the public on such an occasion; he thought it would help him on
in his road towards the Assembly. Running his fingers through his
curls, he took his place on the stage, and commenced. He was very
fluent by nature, and in animation, in fanatical zeal for the
cause, he far surpassed Mr. Strong: any other cause, by-the-bye,
had it been popular, would have suited him just as well. In
assertion, in denunciation, he distinguished himself
particularly; he called upon every individual present to come
forward and sign the pledge, under penalty of public disgrace; it
was the will of the community that the pledge should be signed,
public opinion demanded it, the public will required it; every
individual present who neglected to sign the pledge of total
abstinence, he pronounced to be "instigated by aristocratic
pride," and would leave that house, stigmatized as
"anti-Christian, and anti-republican;" and in conclusion he threw
in something about "liberty."

Mr. Clapp sat down amid much applause; his speech was warmly
admired by a portion of his hearers. All did not seem to agree on
the subject, however, to judge, at least, by their manner and
expression; for, during the delivery of their brother-in-law's
oration, Miss Patsey Hubbard seemed to be generally looking down
at the floor, while Charlie was looking up at the ceiling: and
there were many others present, who thought Mr. Clapp's fluency
much more striking than his common sense, or his sincerity. It is
always painful to hear a good cause injured by a bad defence, to
see truth disgraced by unworthy weapons employed in her name. It
would have been quite impossible for Mr. Clapp to prove half his
bold assertions, to justify half his sweeping denunciations.
Still, in spite of the fanatical character of some of the
advocates of Temperance, who distort her just proportions as a
virtue--lovely in her own true character--yet drunkenness is a
vice so hateful, that one would never wish to oppose any society,
however imperfectly managed, whose object is to oppose that
dangerous and common evil. Let it not be forgotten, however, that
total abstinence from spirituous liquors is not the one great
duty of man; intemperance is not the only sin to which human
nature is inclined.

Mr. Clapp's speech was the last for the evening.

"I wish you joy, Mrs. Clapp," said Mrs. Tibbs, leaning forward
from the seat behind the lawyer's pretty little wife, and nodding
as she spoke.

"I really congratulate you; Mr. Clapp has surpassed himself; such
animation, such a flow of eloquence!" added Mrs. Bibbs.

Kate smiled, and looked much gratified; she evidently admired her
husband's speeches as much as she did his hair.

The moment for enrolling new names had now come; numbers of the
audience went forward to sign the Total Abstinence Pledge. There
was one worthy woman, a widow, sitting near Miss Patsey, whose
only son had, during the last year or two, fallen into habits of
intemperance; his attention had quite lately been attracted to
the Temperance Societies, he had read their publications, had
been struck by a short speech of Mr. Strong on a former occasion;
and his mother's joy may possibly be imagined, as she saw him
rise and add his name to the list of members engaging to abstain
from intoxicating liquors. There were several others whose hearts
were cheered, on the same occasion, by seeing those they loved
best, those over whom they had often mourned, take this step
towards reformation. Among the rest, a man dressed as a sailor
was seen approaching the table; when his turn came he put down
his name, and this was no sooner done, than Mr. Clapp advanced
and shook him warmly by the hand.

"Who is that man, Catherine, speaking to Mr. Clapp?--he looks
like a sailor," inquired Miss Patsey.

"I don't know who it is; some client I suppose; William seemed
very much pleased at his signing."

Mr. Clapp, after shaking hands with his friend, the sailor, made
his way through the crowd, until he reached the pew where his
wife and little boy were sitting. Taking Willie by the hand, he
led him to the table, placed the pen in his fingers, and left him
to write William C. Clapp, jr. as well as he could--no easy
matter, by-the-bye, for the child was not very expert in capital
letters. As Willie was the youngest individual on the list, his
signature was received by a burst of applause. The little fellow
was extremely elated by being made of so much consequence; to
tell the truth, he understood very little of what he was about.
If respect for temperance were implanted in his mind on that
evening, it was also accompanied by still more decided ideas of
the great importance of little boys, with the germ of a confused
notion as to the absolute necessity of the approbation of a
regularly organized public meeting, to foster every individual
virtue in himself, and in the human race in general. Miss Patsey
very much doubted the wisdom of making her little nephew play
such a prominent part before the public; she had old-fashioned
notions about the modesty of childhood and youth. The mother, her
sister Kate, however, was never disposed to find fault with
anything her husband did; it was all right in her eyes. Mr. Clapp
himself took the opportunity to thank the audience, in a short
but emphatic burst, for their sympathy; concluding by expressing
the hope that his boy would one day be as much disposed to
gratitude for any public favours, and as entirely submissive,
body and soul, to the public will of his own time, as he
himself--the father--was conscious of being at that
moment--within a few weeks of election.

The meeting was shortly after concluded by a temperance song, and
a good prayer by the elder minister.

As the audience crowded out of the door, Mr. Clapp nodded again
to the sailor, when passing near him.

"Who is that man, William?" asked Mrs. Clapp, as they reached the
street.

"It is a person in whom I am warmly interested--an injured man."

"Indeed!--one of your clients I suppose."

"Yes; I am now pledged to serve him to the best of my ability."

"He looks like a sailor."

"He is a sailor, just returned from a three years' whaling
voyage. You will be surprised, Catherine, when you hear that
man's story; but the time has come when it must be revealed to
the world."

"You quite excite my curiosity; I hope you will tell me the
story?"

"Yes; you shall hear it. But where are your sister and Charles;
are they going home with us?"

"No; I am very sorry; but they told me at the meeting they could
not stay, as they had come over in Mrs. Van Horne's carriage. It
is a pity, for I had made some ice-cream, and gathered some
raspberries, expressly for them; and we have hardly seen Charles
since he arrived. But Patsey wants us to spend the day at the
grey house, to-morrow, children and all."

Mr. Clapp assented to this arrangement; although he said he
should not be able to do more than go over himself for his family
in the evening, on account of business.

Kate had only her husband and Willie to share her excellent
ice-cream and beautiful raspberries, on that warm evening; the
trio did justice, however, to these nice refreshments; and little
Willie only wished he could sign a temperance pledge every
evening, if he could sit up later than usual, and eat an
excellent supper after it.

After the little fellow had been sent to bed, and his mother had
taken a look at her younger children, who were sleeping sweetly
in their usual places, the lawyer and his wife were left alone in
the parlour. It was a charming moon-light evening, though very
warm; and Kate having lowered the lamp, threw herself into a
rocking-chair near the window; while Mr. Clapp, who had had
rather a fatiguing day, was stretched out on the sofa.

"It is early yet, William; suppose you tell the story you
promised me, about your client, the sailor."

"I don't much like to tell it, Catherine; and yet it is time you
knew something about it, for we must proceed to action
immediately."

"Oh, tell me, by all means; you have really made me quite
curious. You know very well that I can keep a secret."

"Certainly; and I request you will not mention the facts I shall
relate, to any one, for some time; not until we have taken the
necessary legal steps."

"Of course not, if you wish it; and now for the story. You said
this poor man had been injured."

"Grossly injured."

"In what manner?"

"He has been treated in the most unjustifiable manner by his
nearest relatives. His reputation has been injured, and he has
been tyrannically deprived of a very large property."

"Is it possible!--poor fellow! Can nothing be done for him?"

"That is what we shall see. Yes, I flatter myself if there is law
in the land, we shall yet be able to restore him to his rights!"

"Does he belong to this part of the country?"

"He does not himself; but those who are revelling in his wealth
do."

"What is his name?--Do I know his family?"

"You will be distressed, Catherine, when you hear the name; you
will be astonished when you learn the whole story; but the time
for concealment has gone by now. Several years ago that poor
sailor came to me, in ragged clothing, in poverty and distress,
and first laid his complaint before me. I did not believe a word
of what he told me; I thought the man mad, and refused to have
anything to do with the cause. He became disgusted, and went to
sea again, and for some time gave up all hope of being reinstated
in his rights; the obstacles seemed too great. But at length a
very important witness in his favour was accidentally thrown in
his way: at the end of his cruise he came to me again, and I
confess I was astounded at the evidence he then laid before me.
It is conclusive, beyond a doubt, to any unprejudiced mind," said
Mr. Clapp, rousing himself from his recumbent position.

"But you have not told me the man's name."

"His name is Stanley--William Stanley."

"You said I knew him; but I never heard of him; I don't know the
family at all."

"Yes, you do; you know them only too well; you will be as much
surprised as I was myself--as I am still, whenever I allow myself
to dwell on the subject. Mr. Stanley is the cousin-german of your
friend, Miss Elinor Wyllys. Mr. Wyllys himself, Mrs. Stanley, the
step-mother, and young Hazlehurst, are the individuals who stand
between him and his rights," continued Mr. Clapp, rising, and
walking across the room, as he ran his fingers through his brown
curls.

"Impossible!" exclaimed Kate, as the fan she held dropped from
her hand.

"Just what I said myself, at first," replied Mr. Clapp.

"But surely you are deceived, William--how can it be?" continued
the wife, in amazement. "We always thought that Mr. Stanley was
lost at sea, years ago!"

"Exactly--it was thought so; but it was not true."

"But where has he been in the mean time?--Why did he wait so long
before he came to claim his inheritance?"

"The same unhappy, reckless disposition that first sent him to
sea, kept him roving about. He did not know of his father's
death, until four years after it had taken place, and he heard at
the same time that he had been disinherited. When he came home,
after that event, he found that he was generally believed to have
been lost in the Jefferson, wrecked in the year 18--. He was, in
fact, the only man saved."

"How very extraordinary! But why has he never even shown himself
among his friends and connexions until now?"

"Why, my dear, his habits have been unhappily very bad in every
way for years; they were, indeed the cause of his first leaving
his family. He hated everything like restraint--even the common
restraints of society, and cared for nothing but a sailor's life,
and that in the worst shape, it must be confessed. But he has now
grown wiser--he has determined to reform. You observed he signed
the temperance pledge this evening?"

"It all sounds so strangely, that I cannot yet believe it,
William."

"I dare say not--it took me four years to believe it."

"But what do you mean to do? I hope you are not going to
undertake a law-suit against two of our best friends, Mr. Wyllys
and Mr. Hazlehurst?"

"That must depend on Mr. Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst, themselves. I
have undertaken, Catherine, to do my best towards restoring this
injured man to his property."

"Oh, William; suppose this man is in the wrong, after all! Don't
think of having anything to do with him."

"My dear, you talk like a woman--you don't know what you say. If
I don't act in the premises, do you suppose he won't find another
lawyer to undertake his cause?"

"Let him have another, then: but it seems too bad that we should
take sides against our best friends; it hardly seems honourable,
William, to do so."

"Honour, alone, won't make a young lawyer's pot boil, I can tell
you."

"But I had rather live poorly, and work hard all my life, than
that you should undertake a dishonest cause."

"It is all very pretty talking, but I have no mind to live
poorly; I intend to live as well as I can, and I don't look upon
this Stanley cause as a bad one at all. I must say, Catherine,
you are rather hard upon your husband, and seem to think more of
the interests of your friends, than of his own."

"How can you talk so, William, when you know you can't think it,"
said the wife reproachfully, tears springing to her eyes.

"Well, I only judge from what you say yourself. But in my opinion
there is no danger of a law-suit. As Mr. Stanley's agent, I shall
first apply to Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Hazlehurst to acknowledge his
claim; and when the evidence is laid before them, I have no kind
of doubt but they will immediately give up the property; as they
are some of your very honourable people, I must say I think they
are bound to do so."

"Certainly, if the evidence is so clear; but it seems to me, from
all I have heard since I have been a lawyer's wife, that evidence
never is so very clear, William, but that people disagree about
it."

"Well, I flatter myself that people will be staggered by the
proofs we can bring forward; I feel sure of public opinion, at
least."

Kate was silenced; but though she could think of nothing more to
urge, she was very far from feeling easy on the subject.

"I hope with all my heart it will be settled amicably," she added
at length.

"There is every probability that it will. Though the story sounds
so strangely to you now--just as it did to me, at first--yet when
you come to hear all the facts, you will find there is scarcely
room for a shadow of doubt."

"How sorry mother and Patsey will be when they hear it!"

"I can't see why they should be sorry to see a man reinstated in
his rights, after having been deprived of them for eighteen
years. If they are not blinded by their partiality for the
Wyllyses and Hazlehursts, they cannot help being convinced by the
evidence we can show."

"How old is this man--this sailor--this Mr. Stanley?"

"Just thirty-six, he tells me. Did you remark his likeness to Mr.
Stanley's portrait at Wyllys-Roof? that was the first thing that
struck me."

"No; I hardly looked at him."

"You must expect to see him often now; I have invited him to
dinner for to-morrow."

"For to-morrow? Well, Uncle Dozie has sent me this afternoon a
beautiful mess of green peas, and you will have to get something
nice from market, in the way of poultry and fish. Though, I
suppose as he has been a common sailor so long, he won't be very
particular about his dinner."

"He knows what is good, I can tell you. You must give him such a
dinner as he would have had at his father's in old times."

"Well, just as you please, William; only, if you really care for
me, do not let the man deceive you; be sure you sift the matter
thoroughly--what you call cross-examine him."

"Never you fear; I know what I am about, Katie; though if I was
to follow your advice in law matters, I reckon we should all of
us starve together."

"I hope it will all turn out well, but I seem to feel badly about
it," said Kate with a sigh, as she rose to light a candle; "only
don't be too hasty--take time."

"We have taken time enough I think, as it is. We are only waiting
now for Mr. Hazlehurst to arrive in Philadelphia, when we shall
put forward our claim."



CHAPTER IV. {XXVII}

"They call thee rich."
COWPER.

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Translations of Greek
Verses: On A Miser" line 1}

WHEN the Wyllyses arrived at Saratoga, after having paid their
promised visit to their friends at Poughkeepsie, the first
persons they saw in the street, as they were driving to Congress
Hall, were Mrs. Creighton, Mr. Ellsworth, and Mr. Stryker, who
were loitering along together. It seemed the excursion to Nahant
had been postponed, or given up.

The brother and sister soon discovered that the Wyllyses were
among that afternoon's arrivals, and in the course of an hour or
two called at their rooms.

"Here am I, Miss Wyllys," said Mrs. Creighton, "the best of
sisters, giving up my own private plans to gratify this brother
of mine, who would not let me rest unless I promised to pass
another week here."

"Josephine makes the most of her complaisance; but I don't think
she was so very much averse to giving up Nahant. I am sure at
least, she did not care half so much about going, as I did about
staying."

Mr. Stryker also appeared, to make his bow to the ladies. This
gentleman had indeed come to Saratoga, with the express intention
of making himself particularly agreeable to Miss Elinor Wyllys.
As long ago as Jane's wedding, he had had his eye on her, but,
like Mr. Ellsworth, he had seldom been able to meet her. Mr.
Stryker was a man between forty and fifty, possessing some little
property, a very good opinion of himself, and quite a reputation
for cleverness and knowledge of the world. He was one of those
men who hang loose on society; he seemed to have neither
relations nor connexions; no one knew his origin: for years he
had occupied the same position in the gay world of New York, with
this difference, that at five-and-twenty he was known as Bob
Stryker; at five-and-thirty he was Colonel Stryker, the
traveller; and at five-and-forty he had returned to New York,
after a second long absence, as Mr. Stryker, tout court. He
prided himself upon being considered a gentleman at large, a man
of the world, whose opinion on all subjects was worth hearing.
Since his last return from Europe, he had announced that he was
looking about for that necessary encumbrance, a wife; but he took
good care not to mention what he called his future intentions,
until he had actually committed himself more than once. He had
several times kindly offered to rich and beautiful girls, to take
charge of themselves and their fortunes, but his services had
been as often politely declined. He was not discouraged, however,
by these repulses; he still determined to marry, but experience
had taught him greater prudence--he decided that his next
advances should be made with more caution. He would shun the
great belles; fortune he must have, but he would adopt one of two
courses; he would either look out for some very young and very
silly girl, who could be persuaded into anything, or he would try
to discover some rich woman, with a plain face, who would be
flattered by the attentions of the agreeable Mr. Stryker. While
he was making these reflections he was introduced to Elinor, and
we are sorry to say it, she appeared to him to possess the
desirable qualifications. She was certainly very plain; and he
found that there was no mistake in the report of her having
received two important legacies quite lately. Miss Elinor Wyllys,
thanks to these bequests, to her expectations from her
grandfather and Miss Agnes, and to the Longbridge railroad, was
now generally considered a fortune. It is true, common report had
added very largely to her possessions, by doubling and
quadrupling their amount; for at that precise moment, people
seemed to be growing ashamed of mentioning small sums; thousands
were invariably counted by round fifties and hundreds. Should any
gentleman be curious as to the precise amount of the fortune of
Miss Elinor Wyllys, he is respectfully referred to William
Cassius Clapp, Attorney at Law, Longbridge, considered excellent
authority on all such subjects. Lest any one should be disposed
to mistrust this story of Elinor's newly-acquired reputation as
an heiress, we shall proceed at once to prove it, by evidence of
the most convincing character.

{"tout court" = by itself; "period" (French)}

One morning, shortly after the arrival of the Wyllyses at
Saratoga, Mr. Wyllys entered the room where Miss Agnes and Elinor
were sitting together, with a handful of papers and letters from
the mail. Several of these letters were for Elinor, and as she
reads them we shall take the liberty of peeping over her
shoulder--their contents will speak for themselves. The first
which she took up was written on very handsome paper, perfumed,
and in an envelope; but neither the seal nor the handwriting was
known to Elinor. It ran as follows:

"CHARMING MISS WYLLYS:--

"It may appear presumptuous in one unknown to you, to address you
on a subject so important as that which is the theme of this
epistle; but not having the honour of your acquaintance, I am
compelled by dire necessity, and the ardent feelings of my heart,
to pour forth on paper the expression of the strong admiration
with which you have inspired me. Lovely Miss Wyllys, you are but
too well known to me, although I scarcely dare to hope that your
eye has rested for a moment on the features of your humble
adorer. I am a European, one who has moved in the first circles
of his native land, and after commencing life as a military man,
was compelled by persecution to flee to the hospitable shores of
America. Chequered as my life has been, happy, thrice happy shall
I consider it, if you will but permit me to devote its remaining
years to your service! Without your smiles, the last days of my
career will be more gloomy than all that have gone before. But I
cannot believe you so cruel, so hard-hearted, as to refuse to
admit to your presence, one connected with several families of
the nobility and gentry in the north of England, merely because
the name of Horace de Vere has been sullied by appearing on the
stage. Let me hope--"

Elinor read no farther: she threw the letter aside with an
expression of disgust and mortification. It was but one of
half-a-dozen of similar character, which she had received during
the last year or two from utter strangers. She took up another, a
plain, honest-looking sheet.

"MADAM:--

"If the new store, being erected on your lot in Market Street,
between Fourth and Fifth, is not already leased, you will confer
an obligation if you will let us know to whom we must apply for
terms, &c., &c. The location and premises being suitable, we
should be glad to rent. The best of references can be offered on
our part.

"Begging you will excuse this application, as we are ignorant of
the name of your agent in Philadelphia, we have the honour to be,
Madam,

"Your most obedient servants,

"McMUNNY & CO.,

"Grocers, Market, between Front and Second."

A business letter, it appears, to be attended to accordingly. Now
for the third--a delicate little envelope of satin paper, blue
wax, and the seal "semper eadem."

{"semper eadem" = always the same (Latin)}

"MY SWEET MISS ELINOR:--

"When shall we see you at Bloomingdale? You are quite too cruel,
to disappoint us so often; we really do not deserve such shabby
treatment. Here is the month of June, with its roses, and
strawberries, and ten thousand other sweets, and among them you
must positively allow us to hope for a visit from our very dear
friends at Wyllys-Roof. Should your venerable grandpapa, or my
excellent friend, Miss Wyllys be unhappily detained at home, as
you feared, do not let that be the means of depriving us of your
visit. I need not say that William would be only too happy to
drive you to Bloomingdale, at any time you might choose; but if
that plan, HIS plan, should frighten your propriety, I shall be
proud to take charge of you myself. Anne is not only pining for
your visit, but very tired of answering a dozen times a day, her
brother's questions, 'When shall we see Miss Wyllys?'--'Is Miss
Wyllys never coming?'

"I do not think, my sweet young friend, that you can have the
heart to disappoint us any longer--and, therefore, I shall
certainly look for one of your charming little notes, written in
an amiable, complying mood.

"Anne sends her very best love; William begs to be very
PARTICULARLY remembered to Miss Elinor Wyllys.

"With a thousand kind messages to your grandfather and Miss
Wyllys, I remain as ever, my dear young friend,

"Yours, most devotedly and partially,

"ARABELLA HUNTER."

{"Bloomingdale" = a fashionable and still rural area of Manhattan
Island, though technically part of New York City}

Elinor read this note with a doubtful smile, which seemed to say
she was half-amused, half-provoked by it. Throwing it carelessly
on the sofa, she opened the fourth letter; it was in a childish
hand.

"MY DEAR MISS WYLLYS:--

"My mother wishes me to thank you myself, for your last act of
goodness to us--but I can never tell you all we feel on the
subject. My dear mother cried with joy all the evening, after she
had received your letter. I am going to school according to your
wish, as soon as mother can spare me, and I shall study very
hard, which will be the best way of thanking you. The
music-master says he has no doubt but I can play well enough to
give lessons, if I go on as well as I have in the last year; I
practise regularly every day. Mother bids me say, that now she
feels sure of my education for the next three years, one of her
heaviest cares has been taken away: she says too, that although
many friends in the parish have been very good to us, since my
dear father was taken away from us, yet 'no act of kindness has
been so important to us, none so cheering to the heart of the
widow and the fatherless, as your generous goodness to her eldest
child;' these are her own words. Mother will write to you herself
to-morrow. I thank you again, dear Miss Wyllys, for myself, and I
remain, very respectfully and very gratefully,

"Your obliged servant and friend,

"MARY SMITH."

This last letter seemed to restore all Elinor's good humour,
acting as an antidote to the three which had preceded it. The
correspondence which we have taken the liberty of reading, will
testify more clearly than any assurance of ours, to the fact that
our friend Elinor now stands invested with the dignity of an
heiress, accompanied by the dangers, pleasures, and annoyances,
usually surrounding an unmarried woman, possessing the reputation
of a fortune. Wherever Elinor now appeared, the name of a fortune
procured her attention; the plain face which some years before
had caused her to be neglected where she was not intimately
known, was no longer an obstacle to the gallantry of the very
class who had shunned her before. Indeed, the want of beauty,
which might have been called her misfortune, was now the very
ground on which several of her suitors founded their hopes of
success; as she was pronounced so very plain, the dandies thought
it impossible she could resist the charm of their own personal
advantages. Elinor had, in short, her full share of those
persecutions which are sure to befall all heiresses. The peculiar
evils of such a position affect young women very differently,
according to their various dispositions. Had Elinor been weak and
vain, she would have fallen into the hands of a fortune-hunter.
Had she been of a gloomy temper, disgust at the coarse plots and
manoeuvres, so easily unravelled by a clear-sighted person, might
have made her a prey to suspicion, and all but misanthropic. Had
she been vulgar-minded, she would have been purse-proud; if
cold-hearted, she would have become only the more selfish. Vanity
would have made her ridiculously ostentatious and conceited; a
jealous temper would have become self-willed and domineering.

Change of position often produces an apparent change of
character; sometimes the effect is injurious, sometimes it is
advantageous. But we trust that the reader, on renewing his
acquaintance with Elinor Wyllys, will find her, while flattered
by the world as an heiress, essentially the same in character and
manner, as she was when overlooked and neglected on account of an
unusually plain face. If a shade of difference is perceptible, it
is only the natural result of four or five years of additional
experience, and she has merely exchanged the first retiring
modesty of early youth, for a greater portion of self-possession.

In the first months of her new reputation as an heiress, Elinor
had been astonished at the boldness of some attacks upon her;
then, as there was much that was ridiculous connected with these
proceedings, she had been diverted; but, at length, when she
found them rapidly increasing, she became seriously annoyed.

"What a miserable puppet these adventurers must think me--it is
cruelly mortifying to see how confident of success some of them
appear!" she exclaimed to her aunt.

"I am very sorry, my child, that you should be annoyed in this
way--but it seems you must make up your mind to these
impertinences--it is only what every woman who has property must
expect."

"It is really intolerable! But I am determined at least that they
shall not fill my head with suspicions--and I never can endure to
be perpetually on my guard against these sort of people. It will
not do to think of them; that is the only way to keep one's
temper. If I know myself, there never can be any danger to me
from men of that kind, even the most agreeable."

"Take care," said Miss Agnes, smiling, and shaking her head.

"Well, I know at least there is no danger at present; but as we
all have moments of weakness, I shall therefore very humbly beg
that if you ever see me in the least danger, you will give me
warning, dear Aunt; a very sharp warning, if you please."

"In such a case I should certainly warn you, my dear. It strikes
me that several of your most disagreeable admirers--"

"How call you call them ADMIRERS, Aunt Agnes?"

"Well, several of your pursuers, then, are beginning to discover
that you are not a young lady easily persuaded into believing
herself an angel, and capable of fancying them the most
chivalrous and disinterested of men."

This was quite true; there was a quiet dignity, with an
occasional touch of decision in Elinor's manner, that had already
convinced several gentlemen that she had more firmness of
character than suited their views; and they had accordingly
withdrawn from the field.

"Suppose, Elinor, that I begin by giving you a warning, this
morning?" continued Miss Agnes, smiling.

"You are not serious, surely, Aunt?" replied Elinor, turning from
some music she was unpacking, to look at Miss Wyllys.

"Yes, indeed; I am serious, so far as believing that you are at
this moment exposed to the manoeuvres of a gentleman whom you do
not seem in the least to suspect, and who is decidedly
agreeable."

"Whom can you mean?" said Elinor, running over in her head the
names of several persons whom she had seen lately. "You surely do
not suspect--No; I am sure you have too good an opinion of him."

"I am very far from having a particularly good opinion of the
person I refer to," said Miss Agnes; "I think him at least,
nothing better than a fortune-hunter; and although it is very
possible to do many worse things than marrying for money, yet I
hope you will never become the wife of a man whose principles are
not above suspicion in every way."

"I am disposed just at present, I can assure you, dear Aunt, to
have a particularly poor opinion of a mere fortune-hunter."

"Yes; you do not seem to feel very amiably towards the class,
just now," said Miss Agnes, smiling.

"But who is the individual who stands so low in your opinion?"

"It is your opinion, and not mine, which is the important one,"
replied Miss Agnes.

"Ah, I see you are joking, Aunt; you half frightened me at first.
As far as having no fears for myself, I am really in an alarming
state."

"So it would seem. But have you really no suspicions of one of
our visiters of last evening?"

Elinor looked uneasy.

"Is it possible," she said, lowering her voice a little, "that
you believe Mr. Ellsworth to be a common fortune-hunter? I
thought you had a very different opinion of him."

"You are right, my child," said Miss Agnes, apparently pleased by
this allusion to their friend; "I have, indeed, a high opinion of
Mr. Ellsworth; but he was not our only visiter last evening,"

"Is it Mr. Stryker? I have half-suspected some such thing myself,
lately; I cannot take credit for so much innocence as you gave
me. But it is not worth while to trouble oneself about Mr.
Stryker; he is certainly old enough, and worldly-wise enough to
take care of himself. If he actually has any such views, his time
will be sadly thrown away. But it is much more probable that he
is really in love with Mrs. Creighton; and it would be very
ridiculous in me, to imagine that he is even pretending to care
for me, when he is attached to some one else."

"He may flirt with Mrs. Creighton, but, if I am not mistaken, he
intends to offer himself before long to Miss Wyllys; and I
thought you had not remarked his advances."

"I fancy, dear Aunt, that men like Mr. Stryker seldom commit
themselves unless they feel pretty sure of success."

The conversation was here interrupted, Elinor was engaged to ride
with Mr. Wyllys, who now returned from the reading-room for his
grand-daughter. Mrs. Creighton was also going out with her
brother, and proposed the two parties joining; an invitation
which Mr. Wyllys had very readily accepted. The horses were
ordered, Elinor was soon equipped, and on joining Mrs. Creighton
at the door, she was assisted to mount by Mr. Ellsworth. Mr.
Stryker had also been invited to ride with them by the pretty
widow.

It was a lovely morning, and they moved off gaily on one of the
roads leading to Saratoga Lake; Elinor enjoying the air and the
exercise, Mr. Ellsworth at her side, doing his best to make his
society agreeable, Mrs. Creighton engaged in making a conquest of
the two gentlemen between whom she rode. Yes, we are obliged to
confess the fact; on her part at least, there was nothing wanting
to make up a flirtation with Mr. Wyllys. The widow belonged to
that class of ladies, whose thirst for admiration really seems
insatiable, and who appear anxious to compel all who approach
them to feel the effect of their charms. Elinor would have been
frightened, had she been aware of the attack made that morning by
Mrs. Creighton, on the peace of her excellent grandfather, now in
his seventy-third year. Not that the lady neglected Mr.
Stryker--by no means; she was very capable of managing two
affairs of the kind at the same moment. All the remarks she
addressed particularly to Mr. Wyllys, were sensible and
lady-like; those she made to Mr. Stryker, were clever, worldly,
and piquant; while the general tone of her conversation was
always a well-bred medley of much fashionable levity, with some
good sense and propriety. Mr. Stryker scarcely knew whether to be
pleased, or to regret that he was obliged to ride at her side. He
had lately become particularly anxious to advance in the good
graces of Miss Elinor Wyllys, for two reasons; he had lost money,
and was very desirous of appropriating some of Elinor's to his
own use; and he had also felt himself to be in imminent danger of
falling in love with Mrs. Creighton, and he wished to put it out
of his own power to offer himself to her in a moment of weakness.
Much as he admired the beauty, the wit, and the worldly spirit of
the pretty widow, he was half-afraid of her; he judged her by
himself; he knew that she was artful, and he knew that she was
poor; for her late husband, Mr. Creighton, during a short married
life, had run through all his wife's property, as well as his
own, and his widow was now entirely dependent upon her brother.

The attention of the two gentlemen was not, however, entirely
engrossed by Mrs. Creighton. Mr. Stryker was by no means willing
to resign the field to his rival, Mr. Ellsworth; and Mr. Wyllys
was not so much charmed by the conversation of his fair
companion, but that his eye could rest with pleasure on the
couple before him, as he thought there was every probability that
Elinor would at length gratify his long-cherished wish, and
become the wife of a man he believed worthy of her. As the party
halted for a few moments on the bank of the Lake, Mr. Wyllys was
particularly struck with the expression of spirit and interest
with which Elinor was listening to Mr. Ellsworth's description of
the lakes of Killarney, which he had seen during his last visit
to Europe; and when the gentleman had added a ludicrous account
of some Paddyism of his guide, she laughed so gaily that the
sound rejoiced her grandfather's heart.

Elinor had long since regained her former cheerfulness. For a
time, Harry's desertion had made her sad, but she soon felt it a
duty to shake off every appearance of gloom, for the sake of her
grandfather and aunt, whose happiness was so deeply interwoven
with her own. Religious motives also strengthened her
determination to resist every repining feeling. The true spirit
of cheerfulness is, in fact, the fruit of two of the greatest
virtues of Christianity--steadfast faith, and unfeigned humility;
and it is akin to thankfulness, which is only the natural
consequence of a sense of our own imperfections, and of the
unmerited goodness of Providence.

"We have had a charming ride, Miss Wyllys!" said Mrs. Creighton,
as the party returned to the hotel.

"Very pleasant," said Elinor.

"Delightful!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth. "I hope we shall have such
another every day."

"Then I must try and find an animal, with rather better paces
than the one which has the honour of carrying me at present,"
said Mr. Stryker.

"But Mrs. Creighton has been so very agreeable, that I should
think you would have been happy to accompany her on the worst
horse in Saratoga," observed Mr. Wyllys.

"Only too agreeable," replied Mr. Stryker, as he helped the lady
to dismount, while Mr. Ellsworth performed the same service to
Elinor.



CHAPTER V. {XXVIII}

"I do beseech your grace, for charity,
If ever any malice in your heart
Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly."
Henry VIII.

{William Shakespeare, "Henry VIII", II.i.79-81}

ONE evening, about a week after the arrival of the Wyllyses,
there was a dance at Congress Hall, where they were staying. Mrs.
Creighton, with her brother, who were already engaged to meet
some friends there, urged Elinor very much to join them; but she
declined, not wishing to leave Jane. Mr. Ellsworth, who had been
very devoted, of late, seemed particularly anxious she should go.
But although Elinor's manner betrayed some little embarrassment,
if not indecision, as the gentleman urged her doing so, still she
persisted in remaining with her cousin.

{"Congress Hall" = the most fashionable hotel in Saratoga Springs
-- built in 1811, the original building burned in 1866}

"Well, I am sorry we cannot persuade you, Miss Wyllys; though I
dare say you will have a very pleasant evening in your own
parlour."

"We must put, off our game of chess until to-morrow, Mrs.
Creighton," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, unfortunately for me; for I have fully determined to beat
you, sir, at our next trial. Well, Frank, we cannot stay here all
the evening; I dare say, our friends, the Stevensons, are looking
for us in the ball-room already."

"Mrs. Creighton is a very pretty woman," observed Mr. Wyllys, as
he seated himself at the chess-board, opposite his daughter,
after the brother and sister had left the room.

"Yes, a very pretty woman; and she always looks well in her
evening-dress," replied Miss Agnes.

Elinor devoted herself to Jane's amusement. Ever since they had
been together, she had given up a great part of her time to Mrs.
Taylor, whom she was very anxious to cheer and enliven, that she
might persuade her to throw off the melancholy and low spirits,
which her cousin seemed purposely to encourage. The sick baby was
better, and Elinor was in hopes that before they parted, she
should succeed in awakening Jane to a somewhat better frame of
mind. She was very desirous that the time they were together
should not be lost; and her kindness was so unwearied, her manner
was so affectionate and soothing, and the advice she sometimes
allowed herself to give, was so clear and sensible, that at last
Jane seemed to feel the good effects of her cousin's efforts.

After Mr. Ellsworth and his sister had left the room to join the
dancers, Jane suddenly turned to Elinor, with tears in her eyes.
"How kind you are!" she said. "I daresay you would like to go
down-stairs;--but you are too good to me, Elinor!"

"Nonsense, Jenny; I can't help it if I would. Do you think I
should enjoy dancing, if I knew you were sitting alone in this
dark corner, while grandpapa and Aunt Agnes are playing chess!
You are looking a great deal more woe-begone than you ought to,
now baby is so much better."

"You spoil me," said Jane, shaking her head, and smiling with
more feeling than usual in her unexpressive face.

"I shall spoil you a great deal more before we get through. Next
week, when Mr. Taylor comes, I intend to talk him into bringing
you over to Wyllys-Roof, to pay a good long visit, like old
times."

"I had much rather think of old times, than of what is to come.
There is nothing pleasant for me to look forward to!"

"How can you know that, Jane? I have learned one lesson by
experience, though I am only a year older than you, dear--and it
is, that if we are often deceived by hope, so we are quite as
often misled by fear."

"I believe, Elinor, you are my best friend," said Jane, holding
out her hand to her cousin.

"Oh, you have more good friends than you think for, and much good
of every kind, though you will shut your eyes to the fact."

"It may be so," said Jane; "I will try to follow your advice, if
I can."

"Try hard, then," said Elinor, "and all will go well. And now,
shall I sing you the song Mrs. Creighton cut short?"

She began to sing "Auld Lang Syne;" but the song was interrupted
before she had finished the second verse. Several persons were
heard approaching their room, which was in a retired, quiet part
of the house; the door soon opened, and in walked Robert
Hazlehurst.

"Well, good people," he exclaimed, "you take the world as quietly
as anybody I know! We supposed, of course, you were at the ball,
but Elinor's voice betrayed you. This way, Louisa," he said,
returning to the door, after having shaken hands with Mr. Wyllys
and Miss Agnes.

"How glad I am to see you!" exclaimed Elinor--"you are as good as
your word; but we did not expect you for several days;" and Jane
and herself went to the door to meet Mrs. Hazlehurst.

"And, pray, what reason had you to suppose that we should not
keep our word?" said the latter, as she appeared.

"We thought Harry would probably detain you," said Elinor.

"Not at all; we brought him along with us."

"That was a good arrangement we had not thought of," observed
Miss Agnes.

Harry entered the room. He was not entirely free from
embarrassment at first; but when Mr. Wyllys met him with
something of the cordial manner of old times, he immediately
recovered himself. He kissed the hand of Miss Agnes, as in former
days, and saluted Elinor in the same way, instead of the more
brotherly greetings with which he used to meet her of old.

"And here is Jane, too, Harry," said Mrs. Hazlehurst, who had
just embraced her sister. "You have been so long away, that I
dare say you have forgotten half your old friends."

"Not at all," said Harry, crossing the room to Jane. "I think
myself a very lucky fellow, at finding them all collected here
together, for my especial benefit. I met Mr. Taylor for a moment
in New York," he continued, addressing Jane.

"Did he say when he was coming for me?" replied Mrs. Taylor,
offering her hand to her kinsman.

"He told me that he should be at Saratoga very shortly."

"I have a letter for you in my trunk, Jane," said Mrs. Robert
Hazlehurst.

"Don't you think our invalid much better, already, Louisa?" asked
Elinor.

"Yes; she does credit to your nursing."

"No wonder," said Jane; "for during the last month I have been
petted all the time--first by Mrs. Taylor, then by Aunt Agnes and
Elinor."

"It's very pleasant to be petted," said Harry; "that's precisely
what I came home for. I give you my notice, Louisa, I expect a
great deal from you in the next three months."

"Is that the length of your holiday?" inquired Miss Agnes.

"So says my master, Mr. Henley. I understand," he added, turning
to Elinor, "that you have all the agreeable people in the country
collected here."

"There are some thousands of us, agreeable and disagreeable,
altogether. They say the place has never been more crowded so
early in the season."

"So I'm told. I was warned that if I came, I should have to make
my bed in the cellar, or on the roof. Are Ellsworth and Mrs.
Creighton at this house, or at the other?"

"They are staying at the United States. They are here this
evening, however, at the dance."

{"United States" = the other major hotel in Saratoga Springs,
less fashionable at this time than Congress Hall}

"Indeed!--I have half a mind to take Ellsworth by surprise. Will
they admit a gentleman in travelling costume, do you think?"

"I dare say they will; but here are your friends, coming to look
for you."

At the same moment, Mr. Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton joined the
party.

"How d'ye do, Ellsworth?--Glad to see you, my dear fellow!" cried
the young men, shaking each other violently by the hand.

"How do you do, Mr. Hazlehurst?" added the lady, "Welcome back
again. But what have you done with your sister-in-law?--for I did
not come to call upon you alone. Ah, here you are, Mrs.
Hazlehurst. My brother observed you passing through the hall, as
you arrived, and we determined that it would be much pleasanter
to pass half an hour with you, than to finish the dance. We have
been wishing for you every day."

"Thank you. We should have set out before, if we had not waited
for Harry. Elinor tells me half Philadelphia is here, already."

"Yes; the houses have filled up very much since I first came; for
I am ashamed to say how long I have been here."

"Why, yes: I understood you were going to Nahant."

"We ought to have been there long ago; but I could not move this
obstinate brother of mine. He has never found Saratoga so
delightful, Mrs. Hazlehurst," added the lady, with an expressive
smile, and a look towards Elinor. "I can't say, however, that I
at all regret being forced to stay, for many of our friends are
here, now. Mr. Hazlehurst, I hope you have come home more
agreeable than ever."

"I hope so too, Mrs. Creighton; for it is one of our chief duties
as diplomatists, 'to tell lies for the good of our country,' in
an agreeable way. But I am afraid I have not improved my
opportunities. I have been very much out of humour for the last
six months, at least."

"And why, pray?"

"Because I wanted to come home, and Mr. Henley, my boss, insisted
upon proving to me it would be the most foolish thing I could do.
He was so much in the right, that I resented it by being cross."

"But now he has come himself, and brought you with him."

"No thanks to him, though. It was all Uncle Sam's doings, who
wants to send us from the Equator to the North Pole."

"Are you really going to Russia, Hazlehurst?" asked Mr.
Ellsworth.

"Certainly; you would not have me desert, would you?"

"Oh, no; don't think of it, Mr. Hazlehurst; it must be a very
pleasant life!" exclaimed Mrs. Creighton. "I only wish, Frank,
that you were enough of a politician to be sent as minister
somewhere; I should delight in doing the honours for you; though
I dare say you would rather have some one else in my place."

"We will wait until I am sent as ambassador to Timbuctoo, before
I answer the question."

"You have grown half-a-dozen shades darker than you used to be as
a youngster, Harry; or else this lamp deceives me," observed Mr.
Wyllys.

"I dare say I may have a fresh tinge of the olive. But I am just
from sea, sir, and that may have given me an additional coat."

"Did you suffer much from heat, on the voyage?" asked Miss
Wyllys.

"Not half as much as I have since I landed. It appeared to me
Philadelphia was the warmest spot I had ever breathed in; worse
than Rio. I was delighted when Louisa proposed my coming to
Saratoga to see my friends."

"You will find it quite warm enough here," said Mr. Wyllys. "The
thermometer was 92 {degrees} in the shade, yesterday."

"I don't expect to be well cooled, sir, until we get to St.
Petersburgh. After a sea-voyage, I believe one always feels the
cold less, and the heat more than usual. But where is Mrs.
Stanley?--we hoped to find her with you. Is she not staying at
this house?"

"Yes; but she left us early, this evening, not feeling very well;
you will not be able to see her until to-morrow," said Miss
Agnes.

"I am sorry she is not well; how is she looking?"

"Particularly well, I think; she merely complained of a head-ache
from riding in the sun."

"Mrs. Stanley has been very anxious for your return; but she will
be as agreeably surprised as the rest of us, to find you here,"
said Elinor.

"Thank you. I look upon myself as particularly fortunate, to find
so many old friends collected in one spot, instead of having to
run about, and hunt for each in a different place, just now that
I am limited for time."

"You ought to be greatly indebted to Frank and myself, for
breaking our word and staying here; instead of keeping our
promise and going to Nahant, as we had engaged to do," said Mrs.
Creighton.

"Certainly; I look upon it as part of my good luck; but I should
have made my appearance at Nahant, if you had actually run away
from me."

"I shall believe you; for I make it a point of always believing
what is agreeable."

"As I knew Mrs. Hazlehurst and your brother had engaged rooms
here, I hoped you would join us, soon after your arrival," said
Mr. Ellsworth.

"It was much the best plan for you," said Mr. Wyllys.

Harry looked gratified by this friendly remark.

It was already late; and Mrs. Hazlehurst, who had been conversing
in a corner with Jane, complained of being fatigued by her day's
journey, which broke up the party. The Hazlehursts, like Mrs.
Creighton and her brother, were staying at the United States, and
they all went off together.

When Elinor, as usual, kissed Mr. Wyllys before retiring to her
own room, she hesitated a moment, and then said:

"I must thank you, grandpapa, for having granted my request, and
received Harry as of old. It is much better that the past should
be entirely forgotten. Self-respect seems to require that we
should not show resentment under the circumstances," she added,
colouring slightly.

"I cannot forget the past, Elinor. Harry does not stand with me
where he once did, by the side of my beloved grandchild; but we
will not think of that any longer, as you say. I hope for better
things from the future. Bless you, dear!"



CHAPTER VI. {XXIX}

"The foam upon the waters, not so light."
COWPER.

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Truth" line 43}

As usual at Saratoga, early the next morning groups of people
were seen moving from the different hotels, towards the Congress
Spring. It was a pleasant day, and great numbers appeared
disposed to drink the water at the fountain-head, instead of
having it brought to their rooms. The Hazlehursts were not the
only party of our acquaintances who had arrived the night before.
The Wyllyses found Miss Emma Taylor already on the ground,
chattering in a high key with a tall, whiskered youth. The moment
she saw Elinor, she sprang forward to meet her.

{"Congress Spring" = principal mineral water source at Saratoga
Springs}

"How do you do, Miss Wyllys?--Are you not surprised to see me
here?"

"One can hardly be surprised at meeting anybody in such a crowd,"
said Elinor. "When did you arrive?"

"Last night, at eleven o'clock. We made a forced march from
Schenectady, where we were to have slept; but I persuaded Adeline
and Mr. St. Leger to come on. You can't think how delighted I am
to be here, at last," said the pretty little creature, actually
skipping about with joy.

"And where is Mrs. St. Leger?"

"Oh, she will he here in a moment. She has gone to Jane's room. I
left her there just now."

The platform round the spring was quite crowded. In one party,
Elinor remarked Mrs. Hilson and Miss Emmeline Hubbard, escorted
by Monsieur Bonnet and another Frenchman. They were soon followed
by a set more interesting to Elinor, the Hazlehursts, Mrs.
Creighton, and her brother.

"I hope none of your party from Wyllys-Roof are here from
necessity," said Harry, after wishing Elinor good-morning.

"Not exactly from necessity; but the physicians recommended to
Aunt Agnes to pass a fortnight here, this summer. You may have
heard that she was quite ill, a year ago?"

"Yes; Robert, of course, wrote me word of her illness. But Miss
Wyllys looks quite like herself, I think. As for Mr. Wyllys, he
really appears uncommonly well."

"Thank you; grandpapa is very well, indeed; and Aunt Agnes has
quite recovered her health, I trust."

"Miss Wyllys," said Mr. Stryker, offering a glass of the water to
Elinor, "can't I persuade you to take a sympathetic cup, this
morning?"

"I believe not," replied Elinor, shaking her head.

"Do you never drink it"' asked Mrs. Creighton.

"No; I really dislike it very much."

"Pray, give it to me, Mr. Stryker," continued Mrs. Creighton.
"Thank you: I am condemned to drink three glasses every morning,
and it will be three hours, at this rate, before I get them."

"Did you ever hear a better shriek than that, Miss Wyllys?" said
Mr. Stryker, lowering his voice, and pointing to Emma Taylor, who
was standing on the opposite side of the spring, engaged in a
noisy, rattling flirtation. After drinking half the glass that
had been given to her, she had handed it to the young man to whom
she was talking, bidding him drink it without making a face. Of
course, the youth immediately exerted himself to make a grimace.

"Oh, you naughty boy!" screamed Miss Taylor, seizing another
half-empty glass, and throwing a handful of water in his face;
"this is the way I shall punish you!"

There were two gentlemen, European travellers, standing
immediately behind Elinor at this moment, and the colour rose in
her cheeks as she heard the very unfavourable observations they
made upon Miss Taylor, judging from her noisy manner in a public
place. Elinor, who understood very well the language in which
they spoke, was so shut in by the crowd that she could not move,
and was compelled to hear part of a conversation that deeply
mortified her, as these travellers, apparently gentlemanly men
themselves, exchanged opinions upon the manners of certain young
ladies they had recently met. They began to compare notes, and
related several little anecdotes, anything but flattering in
their nature, to the delicacy of the ladies alluded to; actually
naming the individuals as they proceeded. More than one of these
young girls was well known to Elinor, and from her acquaintance
with their usual tone of manner and conversation, she had little
doubt as to the truth of the stories these travellers had
recorded for the amusement of themselves and their friends; at
the same time, she felt perfectly convinced that the
interpretation put upon these giddy, thoughtless actions, was
cruelly unjust. Could these young ladies have heard the
observations to which they had laid themselves open by their own
folly, they would have been sobered at once; self-respect would
have put them more on their guard, ESPECIALLY IN THEIR
INTERCOURSE WITH FOREIGNERS. It is, no doubt, delightful to see
young persons free from every suspicion; no one would wish to
impose a single restraint beyond what is necessary; but, surely,
a young girl should not only be sans peur, but also sans
reproche--the faintest imputation on her native modesty is not to
be endured: and, yet, who has not seen pretty, delicate
creatures, scarcely arrived at womanhood, actually assuming a
noisy, forward pertness, foreign to their nature, merely to
qualify them for the envied title of belles? There is something
wrong, certainly, wherever such a painful picture is exhibited;
and it may be presumed that in most cases the fault lies rather
with the parents than the daughters. Happily, the giddy, rattling
school to which Miss Emma Taylor belonged, is much less in favour
now, than it was some ten or fifteen years ago, at the date of
our story.

{"sans peur, but also sans reproche" = without fear, but also
without reproach (French); the French national hero Bayard
(1476-1524), is traditionally called "Le Chevalier sans peur et
sans reproche"}

"How little do Emma Taylor, and girls like her, imagine the cruel
remarks to which they expose themselves by their foolish
manners!" thought Elinor, as she succeeded at length, with the
assistance of Mr. Ellsworth, in extricating herself from the
crowd.

As the Wyllys party moved away from the spring, to walk in the
pretty wood adjoining, they saw a young man coming towards them
at a very rapid pace.

"Who is it--any one you know, Miss Wyllys?" asked Mr. Ellsworth.

"He is in pursuit of some other party, I fancy," replied Elinor.

"It is Charlie Hubbard coming to join us; did we forget to
mention that he came up the river with us?" said Harry, who was
following Elinor, with Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Stryker.

The young painter soon reached them, as they immediately stopped
to welcome him; he was very kindly received by his old friends.

"Well, Charlie, my boy," said Mr. Wyllys, "if Harry had not been
here to vouch for your identity, I am not sure but I should have
taken you for an exiled Italian bandit. Have you shown those
moustaches at Longbridge?"

"Yes, sir;" replied Charlie, laughing. "I surprised my mother and
sister by a sight of them, some ten days since; it required all
their good-nature, I believe, to excuse them."

"I dare say they would have been glad to see you, if you had come
back looking like a Turk," said Elinor.

"I am determined not to shave for some months, out of principle;
just to show my friends that I am the same Charlie Hubbard with
moustaches that I was three years ago without them."

"I suppose you consider it part of your profession to look as
picturesque as our stiff-cut broadcloth will permit," said Mr.
Wyllys.

"If you really suspect me of dandyism, sir," said Charlie, "I
shall have to reform at once."

"I am afraid, Mr. Hubbard, that you have forgotten me," observed
Mr. Ellsworth; "though I passed a very pleasant morning at your
rooms in New York, some years since."

Charlie remembered him, however; and also made his bow to Mrs.
Creighton and Mr. Stryker.

"And how did you leave the Mediterranean, sir?" asked Mr.
Stryker, in a dry tone. "Was the sea in good looks?"

"As blue as ever. I am only afraid my friends in this country
will not believe the colour I have given it in my sketches."

"We are bound to believe all your representations of water,"
remarked Mr. Wyllys.

"I hope you have brought back a great deal for us to see; have
you anything with you here?" asked Elinor.

"Only my sketch-book. I would not bring anything else; for I must
get rid of my recollections of Italy. I must accustom my eye
again to American nature; I have a great deal to do with Lake
George, this summer."

"But you must have something in New York," said Miss Wyllys.

"Yes; I have brought home with me samples of water, from some of
the most celebrated lakes and rivers in Europe."

"That is delightful," said Elinor; "and when can we see them?"

"As soon as they are unpacked, I shall be very happy to show them
to my friends. They will probably interest you on account of the
localities; and I have endeavoured to be as faithful to nature as
I could, in every instance. You will find several views familiar
to you, among the number," added Charlie, addressing Hazlehurst.

"I have no doubt that you have done them justice."

"They are far from being as good as I could wish; but I did my
best. You will find some improvement, sir, I hope," added
Charlie, turning to Mr. Wyllys, "since my first attempt at
Chewattan Lake, in the days of Compound Interest."

"You have not forgotten your old enemy, the Arithmetic," said Mr.
Wyllys, smiling. "I am afraid Fortune will never smile upon you
for having deserted from the ranks of trade."

"I am not sure of that, sir; she is capricious, you know."

"I should think you would do well, Charlie, to try your luck just
now, by an exhibition of your pictures."

"My uncle has already proposed an exhibition; but I doubt its
success; our people don't often run after good pictures," he
added, smiling. "If I had brought with me some trash from Paris
or Leghorn, I might have made a mint of money."

A general conversation continued until the party returned towards
the hotels. They were met, as they approached Congress Hall, by
several persons, two of whom proved to be Mrs. Hilson, and Miss
Emmeline Hubbard. Charlie had already seen his cousins in New
York, and he merely bowed in passing. Miss Emmeline was leaning
on the arm of M. Bonnet, Mrs. Hilson on that of another
Frenchman, whose name, as the "Baron Adolphe de Montbrun," had
been constantly on her lips during the last few weeks, or in
other words, ever since she had made his acquaintance. Charlie
kept his eye fixed on this individual, with a singular expression
of surprise and vexation, until he had passed. He thought he
could not be mistaken, that his cousin's companion was no other
than a man of very bad character, who had been in Rome at the
same time with himself, and having married the widow of an
Italian artist, a sister of one of Hubbard's friends, had
obtained possession of her little property, and then deserted
her. The whole affair had taken place while Charlie was in Rome;
and it will readily be imagined that he felt no little
indignation, when he met a person whom he strongly suspected of
being this very chevalier d'industrie, flourishing at Saratoga,
by the side of his uncle Joseph's daughter.

{"chevalier d'industrie" = con man; swindler; man who lives by
his wits (French)}

Charlie had no sooner left the Wyllyses on the piazza at Congress
Hall, than he proceeded to make some inquiry about this
Frenchman. He found his name down in the books of the hotel, as
the Baron Adolphe de Montbrun, which with the exception of
ALPHONSE for the first name, was the appellation of the very man
who had behaved so badly at Rome. He went to Mrs. Hilson, and
told her his suspicions; but they had not the least effect on the
"city lady;" she would not believe them. Charlie had no positive
proof of what he asserted; he could not be confident beyond a
doubt as to the identity of this person and the Montbrun of the
Roman story, for he had only seen that individual once in Italy.
Still, he was convinced himself, and he entreated his cousin to
be on her guard; the effect of his representations may be
appreciated from the fact, that Mrs. Hilson became more amiable
than ever with the Baron, while she was pouting and sulky with
Charlie, scarcely condescending to notice him at all. Hubbard
only remained twenty-four hours at Saratoga, for he was on his
way to Lake George; before he left the Springs, however, he
hinted to Mr. Wyllys his suspicions of this Montbrun, in order to
prevent that individual's intruding upon the ladies of the Wyllys
party; for Mrs. Hilson delighted in introducing him right and
left. As for her other companion, M. Bonnet, he was known to be a
respectable merchant in New York.

Several days passed, during which our friends at Saratoga, like
the rest of the world there, walked, and rode, and drank the
waters, and seemed to pass their time very pleasantly; although
the ladies did not either dress or flirt as much as many of their
companions, who seemed to look upon these two occupations as the
peculiar business of the place. Jane's spirits improved very
much; there was much curiosity to see her, on account of her
reputation as a beauty; but, like the rest of her party, she was
only occasionally in the public rooms.

"Have you seen the beautiful Mrs. Taylor?"--"I caught a glimpse
of Mrs. Taylor, the great beauty, this morning--"What, the
beautiful Jane Graham that was? is she as lovely as ever?"--were
remarks that were frequently heard in the crowd.

Elinor also came in for her share of the public notice, and the
attention she attracted was, of course, of a directly opposite
character. There happened to be staying at Congress Hall, just
then, a very pretty young lady, from Savannah, who was also
considered a great fortune; she was known as the "lovely
heiress," while Elinor, in contradistinction, was spoken of as
the "ugly heiress."

"Do you know," said a young lady, standing on the piazza one
evening, "I have not yet seen the ugly heiress. I should like to
get a peep at her; is she really so very ugly?" she continued,
addressing a young man at her side.

"Miss Wyllys, you mean; a perfect fright--ugly as sin," replied
the gentleman.

Elinor, at the very moment, was standing immediately behind the
speakers, and Mr. Ellsworth, who was talking to her, was much
afraid she had heard the remark. To cut short the conversation,
he immediately addressed her himself, raising his voice a little,
and calling her by name.

The young lady was quite frightened, when she found the "ugly
heiress" was her near neighbour, and even the dandy was abashed;
but Elinor herself was rather amused with the circumstance, and
she smiled at the evident mortification of the speakers. Never
was there a woman more free from personal vanity than Elinor
Wyllys; and she was indifferent to remarks of this kind, to a
degree that would seem scarcely credible to that class of young
ladies, who think no sound so delightful as that of a compliment.
On the evening in question, the piazzas were crowded with the
inmates of the hotels; those who had feeling for the beauties of
nature, and those who had not, came out alike, to admire an
unusual effect of moonlight upon a fine mass of clouds. Elinor
was soon aware that she was in the neighbourhood of Mrs. Hilson
and her sister, by the silly conversation they were keeping up
with their companions. These Longbridge ladies generally kept
with their own party, which was a large one. The Wyllyses were
not sorry that they seldom met; for, little as they liked the
sisters, they wished always to treat them civilly, on account of
their father. The English art of "cutting" is, indeed, little
practised in America; except in extreme cases; all classes are
too social in their feelings and habits to adopt it. It is,
indeed, an honourable characteristic of those who occupy the
highest social position in America--those who have received, in
every respect, the best education in the country--that, as a
class, they are free from the little, selfish, ungenerous feeling
of mere exclusiveism.

"Oh, here you are, Miss Wyllys!" exclaimed Emmeline Hubbard to
Elinor, who was talking to Mrs. Creighton. "I have been wishing
to see you all the afternoon--I owe you an apology."

"An apology to me, Miss Hubbard?--I was not at all aware of it."

"Is it possible? I was afraid you would think me very rude this
morning, when I spoke to you in the drawing-room, for there was a
gentleman with you at the time. Of course I ought not to have
joined you at such a moment, but I was anxious to give you the
Longbridge news."

"Certainly; I was very glad to hear it: the conversation you
interrupted was a very trifling one."

"Oh, I did not wish to insinuate that you were conversing on a
PARTICULARLY interesting subject. But, of course, I am too well
acquainted with the etiquette of polished circles, not to know
that it is wrong for one young lady to intrude upon another while
conversing with a gentleman.

"If there be such a point of etiquette, I must have often broken
it very innocently, myself. I have never practised it, I assure
you."

"Ah, that is very imprudent, Miss Wyllys!" said the fair
Emmeline, shaking her fan at Elinor. "Who knows how much mischief
one may do, in that way? You might actually prevent a
declaration. And then a young lady is, of course, always too
agreeably occupied in entertaining a beau, to wish to leave him
for a female friend. It is not everybody who would be as
good-natured as yourself at such an interruption."

"I have no merit whatever in the matter, I assure you; for I was
very glad to find that--"

Just at that moment one of Miss Hubbard's admirers approached
her, and without waiting to hear the conclusion of Elinor's
remark, she turned abruptly from the lady, to meet the gentleman,
with a striking increase of grace, and the expression of the
greatest interest in her whole manner.

Elinor smiled, as the thought occurred to her, that this last act
of rudeness was really trying to her good-nature, while she had
never dreamed of resenting the interruption of the morning. But
Miss Hubbard was only following the code of etiquette, tacitly
adopted by the class of young ladies she belonged to, who never
scrupled to make their manner to men, much more attentive and
flattering than towards one of themselves, or even towards an
older person of their own sex.

Elinor, however, had seen such manoeuvres before, and she would
scarcely have noticed it at the moment, had it not been for Miss
Emmeline's previous apology.

Mrs. Hilson soon approached her. "Has Emmeline been communicating
our Longbridge intelligence, Miss Wyllys? Do you think it a good
match?"

"I hope it will prove so; we were very glad to hear of it. Mary
Van Horne is a great favourite of my aunt's, and Mr. Roberts, I
hear, is highly spoken of."

"Yes; and he is very rich; too; she has nothing at all herself; I
believe.''

"Do you know whether they are to live in New York? I hope they
will not go very far from us."

"I suppose they will live in the city, as he is so wealthy; Mary
will have an opportunity of tasting the fascinations of high
life. I shall introduce her to a clique of great refinement at
once. Don't you think Saratoga the most delightful place in the
world, Miss Wyllys? I am never so happy as when here. I delight
so much in the gay world; it appears to me that I breathe more
freely in a crowd--solitude oppresses me; do you like it?"

"I have never tried it very long. If you like a crowd, you must
be perfectly satisfied, just now."

''And so I am, Miss Wyllys, perfectly happy in these fashionable
scenes. Do you know, it is a fact, that I lose my appetite unless
I can sit down to table with at least thirty or forty fashionably
dressed people about me; and I never sleep sounder than on board
a steamboat, where the floor is covered with mattresses. I am not
made for retirement, certainly. Ah, Monsieur Bonnet, here you are
again, I see; what have you done with the Baron?--is not the
Baron with you?"

"No, Madame; he has not finish his cigar. And where is Mlle.
Emmeline?--I hope she has not abandonne me!" said M. Bonnet, who,
to do him justice, was a sufficiently respectable man, a French
merchant in New York, and no way connected with the Baron.

"Oh, no; she is here; we were waiting for the Baron and you to
escort us to the drawing-room; but we will remain until the Baron
comes. I have heard something that will put you in good-humour,
another of those marriages you admire so much--one of the parties
rolling in wealth and luxury, the other poor as Job's turkey."

"Ah, vraiment; that is indeed delightful; cela est fort touchant;
that show so much sensibilite, to appreciate le merite, though
suffering from poverty. A marriage like that must be beau comme
un reve d'Amour!"

{"vraiment" = truly; "cela est fort touchant" = that is very
touching; "beau comme un reve d'Amour" = as beautiful as a dream
of Love (French)}

"You are quite romantic on the subject; but don't people make
such matches in France?"

"Ah, non, Madame; le froid calcul dominates there at such times.
I honour the beautiful practice that is common in votre jeune
Amerique; cela rappelle le siecle d'or. Can there be a tableau
more delicieux than a couple unis under such circonstances? The
happy epoux, a young man perhaps, of forty, and la femme a
creature angelique;" here M. Bonnet cast a glance at Miss
Emmeline; "une creature angelique, who knows that he adores her,
and who says to him, 'mon ami je t'aime, je veux faire ton
bonheur,' and who bestows on him her whole heart, and her whole
fortune; while he, of course, oppressed with gratitude, labours
only to increase that fortune, that he may have it in his power
to make the life of his bien aimee beautiful comme un jour de
fete."

{"froid calcul" = cold calculation; "votre jeune..." = your young
America; it reminds one of the golden age; "tableau more
delicieux than a couple unis under such circonstances" = a
prettier picture than a couple united under such circumstances;
"epoux" = husband. "la femme a creature angelique" = the wife an
angelic creature; "mon ami, je t'aime, je veux faire ton bonheur"
= my friend, I love you, I wish to make you happy; "bien aimee
beautiful comme un jour de fete" = beloved as beautiful as a day
of festival (mixed French and English)}

"You are eloquent, Mr. Bonnet."

"N'est ce pas un sujet, Madame, to toucher le coeur de l'homme in
a most delicate point; a man who could be insensible to such
delicacy, to such aimable tendresse, would be no better than one
of your sauvages, one of your Mohicans!"

{"N'est ce pas un sujet, Madame, to toucher le coeur de
l'homme..." = Is this not a subject, Madame, which touches the
heart of man...; "to such aimable tendresse" = to such pleasant
affection (mixed French and English)}

"Well, I don't think so much of it, because it is very common
here; such matches happen every day."

"And who are the happy couple you refer to at present?"

"'Tis a young gentleman of New York city, Mr. Roberts, who is
going to marry a young lady, whose father is a neighbour of
pa's."

"And what is the sum the young lady has bestowed upon her
grateful adorateur?"

"Oh, the lady has not anything to bestow in this case; it is the
gentleman, who is very wealthy, and doing a very handsome
business in New York."

"Ah," said M. Bonnet, taking a pinch of snuff; "that is not so
interesting I think, as when the mari is the favoured party. The
heart of man is more susceptible of lasting gratitude for un tel
bienfait."

{"mari" = husband; "un tel bienfait" = such a favor (French)}

"The gentleman has all the money, this time; I don't think Mary
Van Horne will have a cent; do you, Miss Wyllys?"

But Elinor was gone. As the Baron appeared, however, Mrs. Hilson
did not regret it.

"Ah, Baron, I thought you were never coming. You ought to be much
obliged to me, for I had just told Monsieur Bonnet, we must not
move till the Baron comes; the Baron will not know where to find
us."



CHAPTER VII. {XXX}

"They sit conferring ------------------."
Taming the Shrew.

{William Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew", V.ii.102}

THE usual evening circle had collected in Miss Wyllys's parlour,
with the addition of Mary Van Alstyne, who had just arrived from
Poughkeepsie, and Mrs. St. Leger. Miss Emma Taylor had gone to a
concert with her good-natured brother-in-law, and a couple of her
admirers. Jane and her sister-in-law, Adeline, were sitting
together in a corner, talking partly about their babies, partly
about what these two young matrons called "old times;" that is to
say, events which had transpired as far back as three or four
years previously. To them, however, those were "old times;" for,
since then, the hopes and fears, cares and pleasures, of the two
friends were much changed.

Among the rest of the party the conversation became more general;
for Elinor had just finished a song, and Mr. Wyllys had just
beaten Mrs. Creighton at a game of chess.

"Mr. Hazlehurst, pray what have you done with my saya y manto?"
asked the pretty widow, taking a seat at the side of Elinor, on a
sofa. "Here have you been, three, four, five days, and I have not
even alluded to it, which, you must observe is a great act of
forbearance in a lady, when there is a piece of finery in
question."

{"saya y manto" = skirt and cloak (Spanish)}

"I am really ashamed of myself for not having reported it safe at
Philadelphia, before. I would not send it to your house, when I
heard you were here, for I wished to deliver it in person; and I
did not bring it with me, because Mrs. Hazlehurst told me it was
too warm for a fashionable lady to wear anything as heavy as
black silk for the next three months."

"Well, of course I am very much obliged to you for the trouble
you have had with it; but I shall defer thanking you formally,
until I find out whether it is becoming or not."

"Do you expect to make a very captivating Spaniard?" asked Mr.
Stryker.

"I shall do my best, certainly; but I shall leave you to decide
how far I succeed, Mr. Stryker. Are the Brazilian women pretty,
Mr. Hazlehurst?--what do they look like?"

"Very like Portuguese," was the answer.

"More than the Americans look like the English?" inquired Elinor.

"Far more," said Harry; "but you know there is less difference
between the climates of Brazil and Portugal, than between ours
and that of England."

"For my part," observed Mr. Ellsworth, "I do not think we look in
the least like the English--neither men nor women. We are getting
very fast to have a decided physiognomy of our own. I think I
could pick out an American from among a crowd of Europeans,
almost as soon as I could a Turk."

"You always piqued yourself, Ellsworth, upon having a quick eye
for national characteristics. We used to try him very often, when
we were in Europe, Mrs. Creighton, and I must do him the justice
to say he seldom failed."

"Oh, yes; I know all Frank's opinions on the subject," replied
Mrs. Creighton: "it is quite a hobby with him."

"What do you think are the physical characteristics of the
Americans, as compared with our English kinsmen?" inquired Mr.
Wyllys.

"We are a darker, a thinner, and a paler people. The best
specimens of the English have the advantage in manliness of form
and carriage; the American is superior in activity, in the
expression of intelligence and energy in the countenance. The
English peculiarities in their worst shape are, coarseness and
heaviness of form; a brutal, dull countenance; the worst
peculiarities among the Americans are, an apparent want of
substance in the form, and a cold, cunning expression of
features. I used often to wonder, when travelling in Europe,
particularly in France and Germany, at the number of heavy forms
and coarse features, which strike one so often there, even among
the women, and which are so very uncommon in America."

"Yes; that brutal coarseness of features, which stood for the
model of the old Satyrs, is scarcely to be met in this country,
though by no means uncommon in many parts of Europe," observed
Hazlehurst.

"I was very much struck the other evening, at the dance, with the
appearance of the women," continued Mr. Ellsworth. "Not that they
are so brilliant in their beauty--one sees beautiful women in
every country; but they are so peculiarly feminine, and generally
pretty, as a whole. By room-fulls, en masse, they appear to more
advantage I think, than any other women; the general effect is
very seldom broken by coarseness of face, or unmanageable
awkwardness of form."

"Yes, you are right," said Mr. Stryker. "There is a vast deal of
prettiness, and very little repulsive ugliness among the women in
this country. But it strikes me they are inclining a little too
much to the idea, just now, that all the beauty in the world is
collected in these United States, which, as we all know is rather
a mistaken opinion."

"Certainly; that would be an extremely ridiculous notion."

"You think delicacy then, the peculiar characteristic of American
beauty?" said Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, sir; but I could point out others, too. Brown hair and
hazel eyes are another common feature in American beauty. If you
look over the pretty women of your acquaintance, you will find
that the case I think."

"Like Mrs. Creighton's," said Elinor, smiling.

"No; Josephine's features are not sufficiently regular for a
beauty," said her brother, good-naturedly.

"I shan't get a compliment from Frank, Miss Wyllys," replied the
widow, shaking her head. "I agree with him, though, about the
brown-haired beauties; for, I once took the trouble to count over
my acquaintances, and I found a great many that answered his
description. I think it the predominating colour among us. I am
certainly included in the brown tribe myself, and so are you,
Miss Wyllys."

"As far as the colour of my hair goes," replied Elinor, with a
smile which seemed to say, talk on, I have no feeling on the
subject of my plain face. One or two persons present had actually
paused, thinking the conversation was taking an unfortunate turn,
as one of the ladies present was undeniably wanting in beauty. To
encourage the natural pursuit of the subject, Elinor remarked
that, "light hair and decidedly blue eyes, like Mrs. St. Leger's,
are not so very common, certainly; nor true black hair and eyes
like your's, Jane."

"You are almost as much given to compliments, Miss Wyllys, as I
am," said Mrs. Creighton; "I have to say a saucy thing now and
then, by way of variety."

"The saucy speeches are for your own satisfaction, no doubt, and
the compliments for that of your friends, I suppose," replied
Elinor, smiling a little archly; for she had very good reasons
for mistrusting the sincerity of either mode of speech from the
lips of the gay widow; whom, for that very reason, she liked much
less than her brother.

"Do you really think me too severe?--wait till we are better
acquainted!"

"I shall always think you very charming," replied Elinor, with
her usual frank smile; for, in fact, she admired Mrs. Creighton
quite as much as the rest of the world. And then observing that
Mr. Ellsworth was listening to their conversation, she turned to
him and asked, if the true golden hair, so much admired by the
Italian poets, and so often sung by them, were still common in
Italy?

"Judging from books and pictures, I should think it must have
been much more common some centuries ago than at the present day;
for, certainly, there is not one Italian woman in a hundred, who
has not very decidedly black hair and eyes. I remember once in a
translation from English into Italian, I used the expression
'grey eyes,' which diverted my master very much: he insisted upon
it, there was no 'such thing in nature;' and even after I had
reminded him of Napoleon, he would not believe the Emperor's eyes
were not black. He was a thorough Italian, of course, and knew
nothing of the northern languages, or he would have met with the
expression before."

"Let me tell you, Ellsworth," said Harry, after a short pause in
the conversation, "that it is very pleasant to pass an agreeable
evening in this way, chatting with old friends. You have no idea
how much I enjoy it after a three years' exile!"

"I can readily believe it."

"No, I don't think you understand it at all. It is true you were
roving about the world several years, but you were not alone, my
dear sir. You had indeed the advantage of particularly agreeable
companions with you: in Paris you had Mrs. Creighton, and in
Egypt you had your humble servant. And then, in the next place,
your mind was constantly occupied; you lived with the past while
in Italy and Greece, and with the present in Paris. Now, at Rio,
there is no past at all, and not much of a present."

"Is there no general society at Rio?" inquired Miss Wyllys.

"Oh, yes; society enough, in the usual meaning of the word. I was
very fortunate in meeting with some very agreeable people, and
have really a strong regard for Manezes {sic}--a good fellow he
is, and I hope to see him here one of these days. But they were
all new acquaintances. You cannot think how much I wanted to see
a face I had known all my life; I was positively at one time on
the verge of being home-sick."

"You found out that you were more tender-hearted than you had
believed yourself," said Mr. Ellsworth.

"So it seems," replied Harry; a shade of embarrassment crossing
his face as he spoke.

"I should have thought some old acquaintance or other would have
gone straggling towards Rio, in these travelling days," observed
Mr. Ellsworth.

"No, I was particularly unfortunate: once when the American
squadron lay at Rio for some weeks, and I had several friends on
board the Macedonian, I happened at that very time to be absent
on an excursion in the interior. For six months, or so it did
very well; it takes one as long as that to enjoy the lovely
scenery, to say nothing of the novelty; but after admiring the
bay and the Corcovado under every possible aspect, I got at last
to be heartily tired of Rio. I should have run away, if we had
not been recalled this summer."

{"Macedonian" = a United States warship, commanded during the
early 1840s by Commodore William Branford Shubrick (1790-1874), a
life-long close friend of James Fenimore Cooper. Susan Fenimore
Cooper wrote a biography of him in 1876; "Corcovado" = a famous
mountain peak overlooking the bay of Rio de Janeiro}

"You should have fallen in love," said Mrs. Creighton.

"I don't think I succeeded in that; perhaps I did not try very
hard."

"But is not the state of society pleasant at Rio?" inquired Mr.
Wyllys.

"Not particularly, sir; it is too much like our own for that;
something provincial lingering about it, although they have an
emperor of their own. We cannot do without the other hemisphere
yet, in spite of our self-important airs. We Yankees have coaxed
Time out of a great deal, but he is not to be cheated for all
that. People were not busy for thousands of years in the Old
World, merely to qualify them for discovering America, whatever
some of our patriots may say on the subject."

"Yes, you are right, Harry; I have often wished that our people
would remember what they seem to forget, that Time has a
prerogative beyond their reach. There is a wide difference
between a blind reverence for Time, and an infatuated denial of
his power; and I take it to be one of the duties of your
generation to find out the dividing line in this and other
points, and shape your practice accordingly."

"Yes, sir; it appears to me high time that the civilized world
set about marking more distinctly a great many boundary lines, on
important moral questions; and it is to be presumed, that with so
much experience at our command, we shall at last do something
towards it. It is to be hoped that mankind will at length learn
not always to rush out of one extreme into the other; and when
they feel the evil of one measure, not to fly for relief to its
very opposite, but set about looking for the true remedy, which
is generally not so far off."

"You don't believe in moral homoeopathy?" said Mrs. Stanley.

"Not in the least."

"Well, we are very much obliged to you for getting tired of Rio,"
said Mrs. Creighton; "and thinking that the gay world of
Philadelphia was quite as agreeable as the Imperial Court."

"I take it for granted, however, that it was not exactly the gay
world that you regretted," said Ellsworth.

"Not exactly, no; general society is not sufficiently perfect in
its way among us, for a man to pine after."

"I have often thought," observed Elinor, "that the spirit of mere
dissipation must be less excusable in this country than in
Europe. Society must have so many attractions there--more general
finish--more high accomplishment."

"Yes; we want more of the real thing; we have smatterers enough
as it is," replied Mr. Ellsworth.

"And then the decorations are so well got up in Europe!"
exclaimed Mrs. Creighton. "I must confess myself enough of a
woman, to be charmed with good decorations."

"Something far better than mere decoration; however, is requisite
to make society at all agreeable," continued Mr. Ellsworth.
"There is luxury enough among us, in eating and drinking,
dressing and furniture, for instance; and yet what can well be
more silly, more puerile, than the general tone of conversation
at common parties among us? And how many of the most delightful
soirees in Paris, are collected in plain rooms, au second, or au
troisieme, with a brick floor to stand on, and a glass of orgeat,
with a bit of brioche to eat!"

{"au second, or au troisieme" = on the third or fourth floor;
"orgeat" = a syrup flavored drink; "brioche" = a simple pastry
(French)}

"Lots and Love--Speculation and Flirtation, are too entirely the
order of the day, and of the evening, with us," said Harry;
"whether figuring on Change, or on a Brussels carpet."

{"on Change" = at the stock market}

"I have often been struck, myself, with the excessive silliness
of the conversation at common parties, especially what are called
young parties; though I have never seen anything better," said
Elinor.

"Those young parties are enough to spoil any society," said
Harry.

"Perhaps, however, you have too high an idea of such scenes in
Europe, precisely because you have not seen them, Miss Wyllys,"
observed Mr. Ellsworth.

"That may very possibly be the case."

"There are always silly and ignorant people to be met with
everywhere," remarked Harry; "but the difference lies in the
general character of the circle, which is not often so insipid
and so puerile in Europe."

"It is the difference, I suppose, between a puppet-show and
genteel comedy," said Elinor.

"Precisely, Miss Wyllys," said Mr. Ellsworth, smiling.

"We have very pretty puppets, though," observed Mrs. Creighton;
"quite well-dressed, and sufficiently graceful, too; that is to
say, the young lady puppets. As for the gentlemen, I shall not
attempt to defend them, en masse, neither their grace nor their
coats."

"You won't allow us to be either pretty or well-dressed?" said
Mr. Stryker.

"Oh, everybody knows that Mr. Stryker's coat and bow are both
unexceptionable."

"Why don't you go to work, good people, and improve the world,
instead of finding fault with it?" said Mr. Wyllys, who was
preparing for another game of chess with Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst.

"A labour of Hercules, sir!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker, shrugging his
shoulders. "The position of a reformer is not sufficiently
graceful to suit my fancy."

"It is fatiguing, too; it is much easier to sit still and find
fault, sir," observed Robert Hazlehurst, smiling.

"Sauve qui peut, is my motto," continued Mr. Stryker. "I shall
take care of myself; though I have no objection that the rest of
the world should profit by my excellent example; they may improve
on my model, if they please."

{"sauve qui peut" = everyone for himself (French)}

"The fact is, that manners, and all other matters of taste, ought
to come by instinct," said Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst; "one soon
becomes tired of beings regularly tutored on such points."

"No doubt of that," replied Harry; "but unfortunately, though
reading and writing come by nature, as Dogberry says, in this
country, yet it is by no means so clear that good taste follows
as a consequence."

{"Dogberry" = a constable in Shakespeare's comedy, "Much Ado
About Nothing": "To be a well-favor'd man is the gift of fortune,
but to write and read comes by nature." III.iii.14-16}

"Good taste never came by nature, anywhere but in old Greece, I
take it," said Ellsworth. "In a new state of society, such things
must force themselves upon one."

"Certainly," said Mr. Wyllys; "and you young people, who have had
so many advantages of education and leisure, are very right to
give the subject some attention, for the sake of the community in
which you live. Manners in their best meaning, as a part of
civilization, are closely connected at many different points,
with the character and morals of a nation. Hitherto in this
country, the subject has been too much left to itself; but in
many respects there is a good foundation to work upon--some of
our national traits are very creditable."

"That is true, sir," replied Mr. Ellsworth; "and Americans are
naturally very quick in taking a hint, and in fitting it to their
own uses. They are a good-natured, sociable race, too, neither
coarse nor unwieldy in body or mind. All they want is, a little
more reflection on the subject, and a sufficiently large number
of models, to observe, and compare together; for they are too
quick and clever, not to prefer the good to the bad, when the
choice lies before them."

"Remember too," said Mr. Wyllys, "that if you cannot do
everything, you must not suppose you can do nothing."

"There is one point in American manners, that is very good," said
Harry: "among our very best people we find a great deal of true
simplicity; simplicity of the right sort; real, not factitious."

"Sweet simplicity, oh, la!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker. "Well, I am a
bad subject to deal with, myself. I am too old to go to school,
and I am too young yet, I flatter myself, to give much weight to
my advice. Not quite incorrigible, however, I trust," he added,
endeavouring to smile in a natural way, as he turned towards
Elinor and Mrs. Creighton. "I shall be most happy to learn from
the ladies, and try to improve under their advice. Have you no
suggestions to make, Miss Wyllys?"

"I am afraid I could not be of much use in that way."

"There are only a thousand-and-one hints that I should give you,"
said Mrs. Creighton, laughing.

"You must be frightfully particular!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker;
"pray, what is hint No. 1?"

"Oh, I should not have time to make even a beginning; it is
growing very late, and I shall defer your education until the
next time we meet. Mr. Hazlehurst, that is my scarf, I believe,
on your chair."

The party separated; Harry offering his arm to Mrs. Creighton.



CHAPTER VIII. {XXXI}

"Verily
You shall not go--a lady's verily is
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?"
Winter's Tale.

{William Shakespeare, "A Winter's Tale", I.ii.50-51}

MRS. STANLEY had joined the Wyllyses at Saratoga, a few days
after they arrived, and the meeting between Hazlehurst and
herself had been very cordial. She had always felt a warm
interest in Harry, looking upon him as her husband's chosen
representative, and all but an adopted son; the intercourse
between them had invariably been of the most friendly and
intimate nature.

Mr. Stanley's will had placed the entire control of his large
estate in the hands of his widow, and his old friend, Mr. Wyllys.
Mrs. Stanley, herself, was to retain one half of the property,
for life; at her death it was to be divided in different
legacies, to relatives of her own, and to charitable
institutions, according to her own discretion. The other half was
also to be kept in the hands of the executors until his own son
returned, and had reached the age of five-and-twenty; or, in case
the report of William Stanley's death, which had just reached his
family, were to be confirmed, then Harry Hazlehurst was to take
his place, and receive his son's portion, on condition that his,
Hazlehurst's, second son should take the name of Stanley.
Hazlehurst was a nephew by marriage; that is to say, his father,
after the death of a first wife, Harry's mother, had married Mr.
Stanley's only sister: this lady died before her brother, leaving
no children. At the time this will was made, Mr. Stanley had
given up all, but the faintest, hope of his son's being alive;
still, he left letters for him, containing his last blessing, and
forgiveness, in case the young man were to return. He also
expressed a wish that an easy allowance, according to Mrs.
Stanley's discretion, should be given, after the age of
one-and-twenty, to his son, or to Harry, whichever were to prove
his heir; on condition that the recipient should pursue some
regular profession or occupation, of a respectable character.
Hazlehurst was to receive a legacy of thirty thousand dollars, in
case of William Stanley's return.

Such was Mr. Stanley's will; and circumstances having soon showed
that the report of his son's death was scarcely to be doubted,
Hazlehurst had been for years considered as his heir. As Harry
grew up, and his character became formed, his principles proving,
in every respect, such as his friends could wish, Mrs. Stanley
had made very ample provision for him. The allowance he had
received for his education was very liberal, and during his visit
to Europe it had been increased. At different times considerable
sums had been advanced, to enable him to make desirable
purchases: upon one occasion, a portion of the property upon
which his ancestors had first settled, as colonists, was offered
for sale by a distant relative, and Harry wished to obtain
possession of it; twenty thousand dollars were advanced for this
purpose. Then, Hazlehurst was very desirous of collecting a
respectable library, and, as different opportunities offered, he
had been enabled, while in Europe, to make valuable acquisitions
of this kind, thanks to Mrs. Stanley's liberality. As every
collector has a favourite branch of his own, Harry's tastes had
led him to look for botanical works, in which he was particularly
interested; and he had often paid large sums for rare or
expensive volumes connected with this science. Since he had
reached the age of five-and-twenty, or, during the last two
years, he had been in full possession of the entire half of Mr.
Stanley's property, amounting, it was generally supposed, to some
ten thousand a year. According to a codicil of the will,
Hazlehurst was also to take possession of Greatwood, at his
marriage: this was a pleasant country-house, surrounded by a
place in fine order; but Mrs. Stanley, who preferred living in
town, had already given him possession.

"I wish, Harry, we could keep you at home, now," said Mrs.
Stanley to her young friend, one morning, as he was sitting with
herself, Mary Van Alstyne, and Elinor, in her rooms at Congress
Hall. "I think Mr. Henley could spare you better than we can. Is
it quite decided that you go to Russia?"

"You are very kind to express so much interest in my movements.
But you must permit me to remind you of a piece of advice I have
often received, as a youngster, from your own lips, dear Mrs.
Stanley; and that is, never to abandon merely from caprice, the
path of life I might choose."

"Certainly; but I think you might find very good reasons for
staying at home, now; your affairs would go on all the better for
some personal attention; I should be sorry to have you a rover
all your life, Harry."

"I have no, intention, Ma'am, I assure you, of being a vagrant
all my days. And if there is nothing else to keep me at home, it
is highly probable that I shall be thrown on the shelf before
long by Uncle Sam. When a man has served his apprenticeship, and
is fully qualified to fill his office creditably, he may prepare
to be turned out; and, very likely, some raw backwoodsman, who
knows nothing of the world in general, or of diplomacy in
particular, will be put in his place. That is often the way
things are managed among us, you know.

{Susan Fenimore Cooper is reflecting the views of her father,
based on his experience with American diplomacy in Europe from
1826-33. The United States Foreign Service did not become a fully
professional, career organization until 1946}

"For that very reason, I would not have anything to do with
public life, if I were a young man!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley,
earnestly. "So many men who are ill-qualified for either public
or private confidence, get into office, that I should think no
man of high principles and honourable views, would care to belong
to the body of public servants."

"There is all the more need, then, that every honest man, who has
an opportunity of serving his country, should do so," observed
Harry. "I do not believe, however, that as regards principles,
the public men among us are any worse than the public men
elsewhere," he added.

"Where all are chosen, they ought to be better," said Mary Van
Alstyne.

"That I grant," said Hazlehurst; "the choice by election, or by
appointment, might often be more creditable; whenever it is bad,
it is disgraceful to the community."

"Look at A-----, B-----, and C-----, whom you and I happen to
know!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"No doubt they are little fit for the offices they hold," replied
Harry.

"The worst of it is this, Harry: that the very qualities which
ought to recommend you, will probably keep you back in the career
you have chosen," said Mrs. Stanley. "Your principles are too
firm for public life."

"I shall try the experiment, at least," said Harry. "Mr. Henley
urges me to persevere, and with his example before me, I ought
not to be discouraged; he is a proof that a public man is not
necessarily required to be a sycophant, and a time-server; that
he is not always neglected because he is an upright man, and a
gentleman. I shall follow his example; and I am convinced the
experiment would succeed much oftener, provided it were fairly
tried."

"Mrs. Stanley shook her head. She was a woman of rather a
peculiar character, though very warm in her feelings, and firm in
her principles. She had become disgusted with the world, from
seeing much that was evil and disgraceful going on about her;
forgetting to observe the good as well as the bad. Of late years,
she had withdrawn entirely within a narrow circle of old friends,
among whom the Wyllyses and Hazlehursts held a conspicuous place.
She was disposed to mistrust republican institutions, merely
because she attributed every evil of the society about her, to
this one cause: her opinions on this subject were, however, of no
value whatever; for she knew nothing of other countries, their
evils and abuses. If warmly attached to her friends, she was
certainly too indifferent to the community in which she lived.
She was very decided in all her actions and opinions: thus, for
instance, she would never allow a newspaper, of any character
whatever, to appear in her house--she held every sheet alike, to
be loose in principles, and vulgar in tone; because,
unfortunately, there are many to be found which answer such a
description. An office-holder, and a speculator, she would never
trust, and avoided every individual of either class as much as
possible. Her friends would have wished her more discriminating
in her opinions, but she never obtruded these upon others.
Personally, no woman could be more respected by her intimates;
there was nothing low or trivial in her character and turn of
mind--no shadow of vacillation in her principles or her feelings.
Mrs. Stanley and her young friend Hazlehurst, much as they
esteemed and respected each other, disagreed on many subjects.
Harry made a point of looking at both sides of a question; he was
loyal to his country, and willing to serve it to the best of his
ability--not at all inclined to be an idler, and play the drone
in the bee-hive, whether social or political. Mrs. Stanley had
much regretted his being in any way connected with public life,
but she seldom attempted to influence him.

"What do you say, young ladies?" asked Harry, at length, turning
towards Elinor and Mary Van Alstyne, who had hitherto thought the
conversation of too personal a nature, to speak much themselves.
"Do you think I had better stay at home, and look after the stock
at Greatwood, or go to St. Petersburg, and set up my droschky?"

{"droschky" = a four-wheeled open carriage used in Russia}

"I should never have the least fancy for going to Russia,"
replied Mary; "and, therefore, I am not much disposed to admire
your constancy in adhering to Mr. Henley."

"Oh, go, by all means," said Elinor; "you will see so much! And
be sure you go to the Crimea before you come home."

"The Crimea is certainly a temptation," observed Harry. "I beg,
ladies, you will honour me with your commands for St. Petersburg,
some time during the next three months. I refer you to Mrs.
Creighton for a certificate of good taste; her saya y manto is
perfect in its way, I am told."

"Perhaps I ought to have engaged Mrs. Creighton on my side,
before I tried to coax you into staying at home," said Mrs.
Stanley, smiling.

We are obliged to confess that Harry coloured at this remark, in
spite of a determination not to do so; and a great misdemeanour
it was in a diplomatist, to be guilty of blushing; it clearly
proved that Hazlehurst was still in his noviciate. Happily,
however, if the Department of State, at Washington, be sometimes
more particular in investigating the party politics of its agents
in foreign countries, than other qualifications, it is also
certain, on the other hand, that they do not require by any
means, as much bronze of countenance as most European cabinets.

{"bronze of countenance" = unblushingness, brazen lying}

"Oh, Mrs. Creighton strongly recommends me to persevere in
diplomacy," said Harry.

Just at that moment, a note was brought in from this very lady.

"With Mrs. Creighton's compliments," said the man who brought it.

Harry's colour rose again, and for a second he looked a little
embarrassed. Mrs. Stanley smiled, and so did the young ladies,
just a little.

"I will look for the book immediately,'' was Harry's reply; and
turning to the ladies, he communicated the fact, that Mrs.
Creighton had asked for the volume of engravings which he had
shown to Mr. Wyllys, two or three evenings before. The book was
in Miss Wyllys's room, and Elinor went for it.

"Will you dine with us to-day, Harry, or at the other house?"
asked Mrs. Stanley.

{"other house" = i.e., other hotel, Congress Hall and the United
States being the two fashionable hotels in Saratoga Springs}

"Thank you, ma'am; I am engaged to dine with Mr. Henley, who is
only here for the day, and wishes to have a little business-talk
with me. We are to eat a bachelor's dinner together, in his
room."

Elinor returned with the book, and Harry made his bow.

As he left the room, Mary Van Alstyne observed that Mr.
Hazlehurst seemed quite attentive to his friend's sister. "He
admires the pretty widow, I fancy," she said.

"No wonder," said Elinor; "Mrs. Creighton is so very pretty, and
very charming."

"Yes; she is very pretty, with those spirited brown eyes, and
beautiful teeth. She is an adept in the art of dressing, too, and
makes the most of every advantage. But though she is so pretty,
and so clever, and so agreeable, yet I do not like her."

"People seem to love sometimes, men especially, where they do not
LIKE," said Mrs. Stanley. "I should not be surprised, at any
time, to hear that Harry and Mrs. Creighton are engaged. I wish
he may marry soon."

"The lady is, at least, well-disposed for conquest, I think,"
said Mary Van Alstyne.

"She will probably succeed," replied Elinor, in a quiet, natural
voice.

Miss Agnes, who had just entered the room, heard the remark, and
was gratified by the easy tone in which Elinor had spoken. Since
Hazlehurst's return, Elinor's manner towards him had been just
what her aunt thought proper under the circumstances; it was
quite unembarrassed and natural, though, of course, there was
more reserve than during the years they had lived so much
together, almost as brother and sister. We are obliged to leave
the ladies for the present, and follow Hazlehurst to his
tete-a-tete dinner with Mr. Henley.

We pass over the meal itself, which was very good in its way; nor
shall we dare to raise the curtain, and reveal certain
communications relating to affairs of state, political and
diplomatic, which were discussed by the minister and his
secretary. Harry heard some Rio Janeiro news too, which seemed to
amuse him, but would scarcely have any interest for the reader.
At length, as Mr. Henley and Harry were picking their nuts, the
minister happened to enquire the day of the month.

"It is the twentieth, I believe, sir; and by the same token,
to-morrow will be my birth-day,"

"Your birth-day, will it?--How old may you be?"

"Twenty-seven, if I remember right."

"I had thought you two or three years younger. Well, I wish you a
long life and a happy!"

"Thank you, sir; I am much obliged to you for the interest you
have always shown me."

"No need of thanks, Harry; it is only what your father's son had
a right to expect from me."

A silence of a moment ensued, when Mr. Henley again spoke.

"You are seven-and-twenty, you say, Hazlehurst?--let me give you
a piece of advice--don't let the next ten years pass without
marrying."

"I was just about making up my mind, at Rio, to be a gay
bachelor, my dear sir," said Harry.

"Yes; I remember to have heard you say something of the kind; but
take my advice, and marry, unless you have some very good reason
for not doing so."

Hazlehurst made no answer, but helped himself to another supply
of nuts. "More easily said than done, perhaps," he observed.

"Nonsense!--There are many amiable young women who would suit
you; and it would be strange if you could not meet with one that
would have you. Some pretty, lady-like girl. I dare say you know
twenty such, in Philadelphia, or even here, at Saratoga."

"Five hundred, no doubt," replied Harry; "but suppose the very
woman I should fancy, would not fancy me." Whether he was
thinking of his past experience with Jane, or not, we cannot say.

"I don't see that a woman can find any reasonable fault with
you--you do well enough, my good fellow, as the world goes; and I
am sure there are, as you say, five hundred young women to choose
from. In that point a man has the best of it; young girls of a
certain class, if not angels, are at least generally
unexceptionable; but there are many men, unhappily, whose moral
reputations are, and should be obstacles in a woman's eyes."

'A regular old bachelor's notion, a mere marriage of
convenience,' thought Harry, who rather resented the idea of the
five hundred congenial spirits, in the shape of suitable young
ladies.

"You are surprised, perhaps, to hear this from me," continued Mr.
Henley.

"No, sir: for I once before heard you express much the same
opinion."

"Did you?--I don't often think or speak on such matters; but I
remember to have heard you talk about a single life occasionally,
at Rio; and I always intended to give this piece of advice to my
nephews, and to you, Harry. If I were to live my life over again,
I should marry myself; for of late years I have felt the want of
a home, and one can't have a pleasant home without the women."

"There I agree with you, sir, entirely."

"That is more than some gay, rattling young fellows would admit.
Since you think so," continued Mr. Henley, smiling, "perhaps you
have also fixed upon some amiable young girl, who would be a
pleasant companion for you."

Hazlehurst was silent.

"I dare say you have, and I might have spared you the advice. If
that is the case, you must make the most of the next three
months; persuade her to marry you, and we can take her to Russia,
to do the honours for us."

"Things have not gone quite so far as that, yet," said Harry,
just a little embarrassed.

"Well, my good fellow, settle the matter your own way; I have at
least satisfied my conscience, by telling you not to follow my
own bad example," said the minister, as he rose from table.

It seemed that Mr. Henley, like most old bachelors, regretted not
having married; though he thought that his habits had all become
too confirmed, to make it worth while to attempt a change. As a
general rule, it will be found that your decidedly old maid is
contented with her lot, while your very old bachelor is
dissatisfied with his. The peculiar evils of a single life--for
every life must have its own--are most felt by women early in the
day; by men, in old age. The world begins very soon to laugh at
the old maid, and continues to laugh, until shamed out of the
habit by her good nature, and her respectable life. The bachelor,
on the contrary, for a long time finds an ally in the world; he
goes on enjoying the pleasures it offers, until old age makes him
weary of them--and then, as his head grows grey, when he finds
himself going out of favour, he begins to feel the want of
something better--a home to retreat to. He looks about him, and
he finds that his female contemporary has outlived her peculiar
annoyances; "the world forgetting, by the world forgot;" she has
long since found some collateral home; or, in her right as a
woman, has made a home for herself, where she lives as pleasantly
as her neighbours. Perhaps he sets about imitating her example;
but, poor fellow, he finds it an awkward task; he can never
succeed in making his household gods smile with a good will, on a
home where no female voice is heard at the fire-side.

{"the world forgetting...." = Alexander Pope (English poet,
1688-1744), "Eloisa to Abelard" I.207-208: "How happy is the
blameless Vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world
forgot."}

So thought Mr. Henley, and he had been intending to recommend to
Harry to look out for a wife, for some time past. The minister's
ideas on the subject of love and matrimony were, to be sure,
rather matter of fact, and statesmanlike; he would have been
quite satisfied if Hazlehurst had married the first young girl,
of a respectable family, that he met with; the hundredth part of
Mrs. Creighton's attractions he would have thought sufficient.
Harry forgave him, however, for the sake of the kindness intended
by the advice he had given; and the minister had the satisfaction
of seeing his secretary, that evening, at a concert, quite
gallant and attentive to a party of ladies, several of whom were
young and pretty, although one was young and ugly.

"Who is that?" he asked of a friend; "that lady to whom
Hazlehurst is talking? Half the young people here have grown up,
since I was last at home."

"That is Mrs. Creighton."

"No; not Mrs. Creighton; I know her--a charming woman; the lady
on the right."

"That is Miss Van Alstyne. Mrs. St. Leger is next to her; the
young girl before her is Miss Emma Taylor."

"A pretty girl--but noisy, it seems."

"On the next bench, with Ellsworth, are Mrs. Tallman Taylor, the
great beauty, and Miss Wyllys, the heiress."

"Yes, I know the family very well; but I never saw Mr. Wyllys's
granddaughter before."

"She is quite plain," observed one gentleman.

"Very plain," replied the other, turning away.

The evening proved very sultry, and after accompanying the ladies
home from the concert, Mr. Ellsworth proposed to Harry a stroll
in the open air. The friends set out together, taking the
direction of the spring; and, being alone, their conversation
gradually became of a confidential nature. They touched upon
politics, Mr. Henley's character and views, and various other
topics, concluding with their own personal affairs. At length,
when they had been out some little time, Mr. Ellsworth, after a
moment's silence, turned to Harry and said:

"Hazlehurst, I have a confession to make; but I dare say you will
not give me much credit for frankness--you have very probably
guessed already what I have to tell."

"I certainly have had some suspicions of my own for the last few
days; but I may be mistaken; I am not very good at guessing."

"I can have no motive," continued Mr. Ellsworth, "in concealing
from you my regard for Miss Wyllys, and I hope you will wish me
success."

"Certainly," replied Harry; who was evidently somewhat prepared
for the disclosure.

"It is now some time since I have been attached to her, but it is
only lately that I have been able to urge my suit as I could
wish. The better I know Elinor Wyllys, the more anxious I am for
success. I never met with a woman of a more lovely character."

"You only do her justice."

"There is something about her that is peculiar; different from
the common-place set of young ladies one meets with every day;
and yet she is perfectly feminine and womanly."

And Mr. Ellsworth here ran over various good qualities of
Elinor's. It is impossible to say, whether Harry smiled or not,
at this lover-like warmth: if he did, it was too dark for his
friend to observe it.

"In a situation like mine, with a daughter to educate, the choice
of a wife is particularly important. Of course I feel much
anxiety as to the decision of a woman like Miss Wyllys, one whose
good opinion is worth the wooing: and yet, if I do not deceive
myself, her manner is not discouraging."

"Is she aware of your feelings?" asked Harry.

"Yes; I have only proposed in form quite lately, however, a day
or two after you arrived. Miss Wyllys scarcely seemed prepared
for my declaration, although I thought I had spoken sufficiently
distinctly to be understood, some time since. She wished for time
to consider: I was willing to wait as long as she pleased; with
the hope of eventually succeeding. Her friends are quite well
disposed towards me, think. Mr. Wyllys's manner to me has always
been gratifying, and I hope her aunt is in my favour. To speak
frankly, there have been times when I have felt much encouraged
as regards Miss Wyllys herself. You will not think me a coxcomb,
Hazlehurst, for opening my heart to you in this way."

"Certainly not; you honour me by your confidence."

"I should like to have your honest opinion as to my future
prospects; for, of course, one can never feel sure until
everything is settled. Josephine is hardly a fair judge--she is
very sanguine; but like myself she is interested in the affair."

"Mrs. Creighton has so much discernment, that I should think she
could not be easily deceived. If my kinswoman knows your views, I
should say that you have reason to be encouraged by her manner.
There is nothing like coquetry about her; I am convinced she
thinks highly of you."

"Thank you; it gives me great pleasure to hear you say so. The
question must now be decided before long. I was only prevented
from explaining myself earlier, by the fear of speaking too soon.
For though I have known Miss Wyllys some time, yet we have seldom
met. I dare say you are surprised that I did not declare myself
sooner; I am inclined to think you would have managed an affair
of the kind more expeditiously; for you are more rapid in most of
your movements than myself. But although I might imagine love at
first sight, I never could fancy a declaration worth hearing, the
first day."

"Do you insinuate that such is the practice of your humble
servant?" asked Hazlehurst, smiling.

"Oh, no; but I was afraid you might disapprove of my
deliberation. My chief hope rests upon Miss Wyllys's good sense
and the wishes of her friends, who, I think, are evidently
favourable to me. She has no silly, high-flown notions; she is
now of an age--three or four-and-twenty I think--to take a
reasonable view of the world; and I hope she will find the
sincere affection of a respectable man, whose habits and position
resemble her own, sufficient for her."

"You wish, I suppose, to hear me repeat, that such will
undoubtedly be the result," said Harry, smiling again.

"Perhaps I do," replied Mr. Ellsworth, in the same tone. "I
suppose you are discerning enough to be aware that I have a rival
in Mr. Stryker."

"Stryker attentive to Elinor? It has not struck me; I had fancied
him rather an admirer of Mrs. Creighton's."

"Of Josephine? Oh, no; she can't endure him, they are quarrelling
half the time when together. No, it is very evident that Stryker
is courting Miss Wyllys's favour. But I confess I feel encouraged
by her conduct towards him; there is a quiet civility in it,
which speaks anything but very decided approbation."

"I know Elinor too well, not to feel assured she must despise a
man of Stryker's character," said Harry, with some indignation.
"He can't appreciate her; it can be nothing more, on his part,
than downright fortune-hunting."

"No doubt; there you mention another motive I have, for not being
too hasty in my declaration to Miss Wyllys. I could wish to
convince her that my attachment is sincere."

"Certainly. I forget twenty times a day that she is now a
fortune, until I see some fellow, like William Hunter, or
Stryker, paying their court to her. I have never been accustomed
to consider her in that light, of old. In fact I had no idea of
her reputation as an heiress, until I found it so well
established when I arrived here. But Saratoga is just the place
to make such discoveries. I was quite behind the age in every
respect, it seems; for although it did not require much
penetration to find out your secret, Ellsworth, yet I was taken
entirely by surprise. You never made any allusion to anything of
the kind, in your letters to me."

"It was so seldom that I met Miss Wyllys, that for a time my mind
was undecided. But, of course, I should have written you word, if
anything had been finally settled; even if you had not come to
look after me in propria persona."

Having reached their hotel, the gentlemen parted. Mr. Ellsworth
would, in all probability, have been less communicative with his
friend Hazlehurst, on the subject of their recent conversation,
had he been aware of the state of things which formerly existed
between Elinor and himself. He had only heard some vague stories
of an engagement between them, but had always supposed it mere
gossip, from having seen Harry's attention to Jane, when they
were all in Paris together; while he knew, on the other hand,
that Hazlehurst had always been on the most intimate terms with
the Wyllyses, as a family connexion. He was aware that Harry had
been very much in love with Miss Graham, for he had remarked it
himself; and he supposed that if there had ever been any
foundation for the report of an engagement with Elinor, it had
probably been a mere childish caprice, soon broken, and which had
left no lasting impression on either party.



CHAPTER IX {XXXII}.

"Nor have these eyes, by greener hills
Been soothed, in all my wanderings."
WORDSWORTH.

{William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770-1850), "Yarrow Visited,
September 1814" lines 11-12}

CHARLIE HUBBARD had been at Lake George for some days; and it was
a settled thing, that after he had established himself there, and
fixed upon a point for his picture, his friends from Saratoga
were to pay him a visit. Accordingly, the Wyllyses, with a party
large enough to fill a coach, set out for the excursion, leaving
Mrs. Stanley, Jane, her sister, Mrs. Hazlehurst, and their
children, at the Springs. The weather was fine, and they set out
gaily, with pleasant prospects before them.

Charlie was very glad to see them, and as he had already been
some time on the ground, he thought himself qualified to play
cicerone. Most of the party had a relish for natural scenery, and
of course they were prepared to enjoy very much, a visit to such
a lovely spot. Robert Hazlehurst, it is true, was indifferent to
everything of the kind; he acknowledged himself a thorough
utilitarian in taste, and avowed his preference for a muddy
canal, running between fields, well covered with corn and
pumpkins, turnips and potatoes, rather than the wildest lake,
dotted with useless islands, and surrounded with inaccessible
Alps; but as he frankly confessed his want of taste, and assured
his friends that he accompanied them only for the sake of their
society, they were bound to overlook the defect. Mr. Stryker also
said a great deal about his indifference towards les ormeaux, les
rameaux, et les hameaux, affecting much more than he felt, and
affirming that the only lakes he liked, were the ponds of the
Tuileries, and the parks of London; the only trees, those of the
Boulevards; and as for villages, he could never endure one, not
even the Big Village of Washington. He only came, he said,
because he must follow the ladies, and was particularly anxious
to give Mrs. Creighton an opportunity of finishing his education,
and--to fish. Some of the party were: sorry he had joined them;
but Mrs. Creighton had asked him.

{"cicerone" = guide (Italian); "les ormeaux, les rameaux, et les
hameaux..." = elms, branches, and hamlets (French)}

"Are Mrs. Hilson and her sister still at Saratoga?" inquired
Charlie Hubbard of Hazlehurst, the evening they arrived at
Caldwell.

{"Caldwell" = village at the southern end of Lake George in New
York State; the village has since been renamed Lake George}

"I believe so; they were there the day before, yesterday, for
Mrs. Hilson asked me to a pic-nic, at Barkydt's {sic} --but I was
engaged. I think I saw Miss Hubbard in the street, yesterday."

{"Barkydt's" = Barhydt's Pond, a "little ear-shaped
lake...surrounded by pyramidal firs, pines and evergreens," once
famous for its trout fishing, owned by Jacobus Barhydt (often
spelled Barhyte). A pleasure spot two miles east of Saratoga
Springs, it was, in the 1830s, the site of a popular tavern and
restaurant. Jacobus Barhydt died in 1840, and the property was
dispersed; to be reassembled in 1881 by New York banker Spencer
Trask as a summer estate After many changes, it is now owned by
the Corporation of Yaddo, and run as a world-famous summer center
for creative artists and writers}

"Had they the same party with them still?"

"Yes; it seemed to be very much the same party."

Hubbard looked mortified; but he was soon busy answering
inquiries as to the projected movements for the next day.

The following morning the whole party set out, in two skiffs, to
pass the day on the lake. Under Charlie's guidance, they rowed
about among the islands, now coasting the shores, now crossing
from one point to another, wherever the views were finest;
generally keeping near enough, as they moved leisurely along, for
conversation between the two boats.

"How beautifully clear the water is!" exclaimed Elinor.

"The water in the Swiss lakes is limpid I suppose, Charlie, like
most mountain streams?" observed Mr. Wyllys.

"It is clear, sir; and in the heart of the Alps it has a very
peculiar colour--a blueish tinge--from the glaciers, like molten
lapis lazuli; entirely different from the deep, ultra-marine blue
of the Mediterranean."

"Have you any views of the Swiss lakes?" asked Elinor."

"Yes; I can show you several--and, as usual, there is a
difference in their colouring: from Lugarn; a little bit of lapis
lazuli, lying like a jewel, in the green pastures, half way up
the Alps, just below the ice and snow, to the reedy lake of
Morat, on the plains of Neufchatel, more like an agate," added
Charlie, smiling.

"We shall hope to see them, when we pass through New York," said
Elinor, listening with interest.

"I will show them to you with great pleasure, faute de mieux,
Miss Elinor; but I hope you will one day see the originals."

{"faute de mieux" = for want of something better (French)}

"In the mean time, however, we shall be very glad to enjoy your
pictures. Have you any Italian views?"

"Yes, quite a number; wherever I went, I made sketches at least;
though I have not yet had time to finish them all as pictures. In
my boxes there are Venetian lagoons, and Dutch canals; a view of
the Seine, in the heart of Paris, and the Thames, at London; the
dirty, famous Tiber, classic Arno, and classic Avon."

"You make our eyes water, Charlie, with such a catalogue," said
Mr. Wyllys. "You must certainly get up an exhibition, and add
several of your American pictures to those you have just brought
home."

"I really hope you will do so," said Elinor. "The transparent
amber-like water of the Canada, and the emerald colour of
Niagara, would appear finely in such a collection."

{"Canada" = from the context, probably Trenton Falls on the West
Canada Creek, a major tourist attraction during the 19th century}

"I shall never dare attempt Niagara," exclaimed Charlie. "All the
beauties of all the other waters in the world are united there.
It will not do to go beyond the rapids; I should be lost if I but
ventured to the edge of the whirlpool itself."

"I have no doubt you will try it yet," said Harry.

The young artist shook his head. "I am sometimes disposed to
throw aside the brush in disgust, at the temerity of man, which
can attempt to copy even what is most noble, in the magnificent
variety, and the simple grandeur of nature."

"You have been sufficiently successful in what you have attempted
hitherto," said Harry. "I saw your view of Lake Ontario, in
Philadelphia, just after I arrived; and I can never forget the
impression it produced on me. Of all your pictures that I have
seen, that is my favourite."

"It is indeed a noble picture," said Mr. Wyllys.

"And few men but yourself, Charlie, could have given so deep an
interest to a broad field of water, with only a strip of
common-place shore in the fore-ground, and a bank of clouds in
the distance. A common painter would have thrown in some
prettiness of art, that would have ruined it; but you have given
it a simple dignity that is really wonderful!" said Hazlehurst.

"You mortify me," said Charlie; "it is so much inferior to what I
could wish."

"Captain C-----," continued Harry, "who was stationed at Oswego
for several years, told me he should have known your picture
without the name, for a view of one of the great lakes; there was
so much truth in the colour and movement of the water; so much
that was different from the Ocean."

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is cruel in you to flatter a poor young
artist at this rate," said Charlie.

"If it is criticism you want," said Hazlehurst, "I can give you a
dose. You were very severely handled in my presence, a day or two
since, and on the very subject of your picture of Lake Ontario."

"Pray, let me hear the criticism; it will sober me."

"What was the fault?" said Elinor; "what was wanting?"

"A few houses and a steamboat, to make it lively."

"You are making up a good story, Mr. Hazlehurst," said Mrs.
Creighton, laughing.

"I give you the critic's words verbatim. I really looked at the
young lady in astonishment, that she should see nothing but a
want of liveliness in a picture, which most of us feel to be
sublime. But Miss D----- had an old grudge against you, for not
having made her papa's villa sufficiently prominent in your view
of Hell-Gate."

"But, such a villa!" said Hubbard. "One of the ugliest within ten
miles of New York. It is possible, sometimes, by keeping at a
distance, concealing defects, and partially revealing columns
through verdure, to make one of our Grecian-temple houses appear
to advantage in a landscape; but, really, Mr. D-----'s villa was
such a jumble, so entirely out of all just proportion, that I
could do nothing with it; and was glad to find that I could put a
grove between the spectator and the building: anybody but its
inmates would have preferred the trees."

"Not at all; Miss D----- thought the absence of the portico, with
its tall, pipe-stem columns, the row of dormer windows on the
roof, and the non-descript belvidere crowning all, a loss to the
public."

{"belvidere" = as used here, a raised turret on top of a house
(Italian)}

"The miserable architecture of this country is an obstacle to a
landscape painter, quite too serious to be trifled with, I can
assure you," said Charlie.

"It must be confessed," said Mr. Ellsworth, "that the order of
things has been reversed here. Architecture is usually called the
parent of the fine arts; but with us she is the youngest of the
family, and as yet the worst endowed. We had respectable
pictures, long before we had a single building in a really good
style; and now that we have some noble paintings and statuary,
architecture still lags behind. What a noise they made in New
York, only a few years since, about St. Thomas's Church!"

{St. Thomas's Church" = St. Thomas Episcopal Church was erected
at the corner of Broadway and Houston Street, in New York City,
in 1826, in the Gothic style which was only beginning to replace
the Greek Revival. Susan Fenimore Cooper shared her father's
dislike of Greek Revival houses that imitated Grecian temples,
and his love of the Gothic}

"Yes," said Mr. Stryker; "the curse of the genius of
architecture, which Jefferson said had fallen upon this country,
has not yet been removed."

"Some of the most ludicrous objects I have ever laid my eyes on,"
said Hazlehurst, "have been pretending houses, and, I am sorry to
say, churches too, in the interior of the country; chiefly in the
would-be Corinthian and Composite styles. They set every rule of
good taste and good sense at defiance, and look, withal, so
unconscious of their absurdity, that the effect is as thoroughly
ridiculous, as if it had been the object of the architect to make
them so."

"For reason good," observed Mr. Wyllys; "because they are wanting
in simplicity and full of pretension; and pretension is the root
of all absurdity."

They had now reached the spot Charlie had selected for his
picture; the young artist pointed it out to Miss Wyllys, who was
in the other boat.

"This is the spot I have chosen," he said, "and I hope you will
agree with me in liking the position; it commands some of the
finest points on the lake: that is the Black mountain in the
back-ground."

His friends admired his choice, acknowledging that the view was
one of the most beautiful they had seen.

"It must be difficult to choose, where every view is charming,"
said Elinor. "How beautiful those little islands are; so much
variety, and all so pleasing!"

"You will see hundreds of them, Miss Wyllys, when you have been
over the lake," said Hubbard.

"There are just three hundred and sixty-five, marm," added one of
the boatmen, the guide of the party; "one for every day in
the-year."

"This must be May-day island," said Elinor, pointing to an islet
quite near them. "This one, half wood, half meadow, which shows
so many flowers."

"May-day island it shall be for the next six weeks," said
Charlie, smiling. "I have chosen it for another view."

"Well, good people!" exclaimed Robert Hazlehurst, from the other
boat; "you may be feasting on the beauties of nature; but some of
us have more substantial appetites! Miss Wyllys is a little
fatigued, Mr. Stryker all impatient to get out his handsome
fishing-rod, and your humble servant very hungry, indeed!"

As they had been loitering about for several hours, it was agreed
that they should now land, and prepare to lunch.

"We will put into port at May-day island," said Charlie; "I have
been there several times, and there is a pretty, grassy bank,
where we may spread a table-cloth."

They soon reached the little island pointed out by Elinor, and
having landed with their baskets of provisions, the meal was
prepared, and only waiting for the fish which Mr. Stryker had
promised to catch, and for a supply of salt which one of the
boatmen had gone for, to a farm-house on the shore; this
necessary having been forgotten, when the provisions were laid
in. There never was a pic-nic yet, where nothing was forgotten.

Mr. Stryker soon prepared himself for action; he was a famous
fisherman, and quite as proud of his rod as of his reputation,
which were both Dublin-made, he said, and, therefore, perfect in
their way. Mr. Wyllys and Mrs. Creighton admired the apparatus
contained in his ebony walking-stick, to the owner's full
satisfaction: he had a great deal to say about its perfections,
the beauty of his flies, the excellence of his hooks and lines,
and so forth; and the ladies in general, Mrs. Creighton
especially, listened as flatteringly as the gentleman could
desire. As he was to supply the perch for luncheon, however, he
was obliged to begin his labours; and taking a boat, he rowed off
a stone's throw from the shore. In turning a little point, he was
surprised, by coming suddenly upon a brother fisherman: in a
rough, leaky boat, with a common old rod in his hand, sat our
acquaintance, Mr. Hopkins, wearing the usual rusty coat; his red
silk handkerchief spread on his knee, an open snuff-box on one
side of him, a dirty tin pail on the other. The party on shore
were not a little amused by the contrast in the appearance,
manners, and equipments of the two fishermen; the fastidious Mr.
Stryker, so complete, from his grey blouse to his fishing-basket;
the old merchant, quite independent of everything like fashion,
whether alone on Lake George, or among the crowd in Wall-Street.
Charlie, who did not know him, said that he had met the same
individual on the lake, at all hours, and in all weathers, during
the past week; he seemed devoted to fishing, heart and soul,
having left the St. Legers at Saratoga, and come on to Lake
George immediately, to enjoy his favourite pastime. It was a
pleasure to see how honestly and earnestly he was engaged in his
pursuit: as for Mr. Stryker, we strongly suspect that his fancy
for fishing was an acquired taste, like most of those he
cherished; we very much doubt whether he would ever have been a
follower of Izaak Walton, had there not been a fashionable
accoutrement for brothers of the rod, at the present day.

{"Isaak Walton" = Isaak Walton (1593-1683), author of "The
Compleat Angler"}

Several of the ladies also fished for half an hour; Mrs.
Creighton begging for a seat in Mr. Stryker's boat, that she
might profit by his instructions. While they were out, a small
incident occurred, which amused the spectators not a little. Mrs.
Creighton had risen, to look at a fish playing about Mr.
Stryker's line, when she accidentally dropped a light shawl,
which fell from her arm into the water; an involuntary movement
she made as it fell, also threw a basket of her companion's flies
overboard, at the same instant: he had just been showing them
off.

"Oh, Mr. Stryker, my shawl!" exclaimed the lady.

But the fashionable fisherman was already catching eagerly at his
own precious flies; he succeeded in regaining the basket, and
then, bethinking him of his reputation for gallantry, turned to
Mrs. Creighton, to rescue the shawl; but he had the mortification
to see old Mr. Hopkins already stretching out an arm with the
cachemere, which he had caught almost as soon as it touched the
water, and now offered to its fair owner, with the good-natured
hope that it had not been injured, as it was hardly wet. The lady
received it very graciously, and bestowed a very sweet smile on
the old merchant; while Mr. Stryker, quite nettled at his own
flagrant misdemeanour, had to face a frown from the charming
widow. It was decidedly an unlucky hour for Mr. Stryker: he only
succeeded in catching a solitary perch; while Mr. Hopkins, who
had been invited to join the party, contributed a fine mess. The
fault, however, was all thrown on the sunshine; and Mr. Hopkins
confessed that he had not had much sport since the clouds had
broken away, earlier in the morning. Everybody seemed very ready
for luncheon, when hailed from the island, for that purpose. The
meal was quite a merry one; Mrs. Creighton was the life of the
party, saying a great many clever, amusing things. She looked
charmingly, too, in a little cap, whose straw-coloured ribbons
were particularly becoming to her brown complexion. Mr. Stryker
gradually recovered from the double mortification, of the shawl,
and the solitary perch, and soon began talking over different
fishing excursions, with his friend A-----, in Ireland, and his
friend B-----, in Germany. The rest of the party were all
cheerful and good-humoured. Mr. Ellsworth was quite devoted to
Elinor, as usual, of late. Mary Van Alstyne amused herself with
looking on at Mrs. Creighton's efforts to charm Harry, pique Mr.
Stryker, and flatter Mr. Wyllys into admiring her; nor did she
disdain to throw away several arch smiles on Mr. Hopkins. "She
seems successful in all her attempts," thought Mary. Harry was
quite attentive to her; and it was evident that Mr. Stryker's
admiration had very much increased since they had been together
at the Springs. He had set out for Saratoga, with the firm
determination to play the suitor to Elinor; he resolved that he
would not fall in love with the pretty widow; but a clever
coquette and a man of the world, are adversaries well matched;
and, as usual in such encounters, feminine art and feminine
flattery seemed likely to carry the day. Mr. Stryker, in spite of
himself, often forgot to be properly attentive to Elinor, who
appeared to great disadvantage in his eyes, when placed in
constant contrast with Mrs. Creighton. He scarcely regretted now,
his little prospect of favour with the heiress, for the poorer
widow had completely fascinated him by her graceful flatteries,
the piquancy of her wit, and her worldliness, which, with Mr.
Stryker, passed for her wisdom. Even Mary Van Alstyne, though
prejudiced against her, was obliged to confess, as she watched
Mrs. Creighton, that she admired her. The lady had thrown herself
on the grass in a graceful position; excited by admiration, she
had a brilliant colour; her dress was always studiously
fashionable and becoming, in its minutest details; her amusing
remarks flowed freely from a conscience under no other restraints
than those of policy or good-breeding; and her manner, though
always studied for effect, was particularly well studied and
agreeable. Her companions thought her charming. Elinor, at the
same moment, was standing by her side, in a simple dress, with no
attempt to disguise a plain face under finery, and in a perfectly
quiet position, which was graceful without her knowing it. Her
whole manner, indeed, was always natural; its simplicity was its
great charm, for one felt confident that her grace and sweetness,
her ease and quiet dignity, flowed readily from her character
itself. Whether these ideas occurred to any of the party besides
Miss Van Alstyne, we cannot say; it is certain, however, that
Mrs. Creighton was all prepared for observation, Elinor, as
usual, quite regardless of it.

"We must carry off some flowers from May-day island," said Mr.
Ellsworth, preparing to gather a bouquet for Elinor. He had soon
succeeded in collecting quite a pretty bunch, composed of wild
roses, blue hare-bells, the white blossoms of the wild clematis,
the delicate pink clusters of the Alleghany vine, and the
broad-leaved rose-raspberry, with several other varieties.

{"Alleghany vine" = a flowering wild vine, which had been a
favorite of Susan Fenimore Cooper's paternal grandmother
Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper}

Mr. Stryker offered a bouquet to Mrs. Creighton.

"It is really quite pretty; but to make it complete, I must have
one of those scarlet lobelias, on the next island; they are the
first I have seen this season. Mr. Hazlehurst, do be
good-natured, and step into that boat, and bring me one."

"I can do that without the boat, Mrs. Creighton, here is a
bridge," replied Harry, springing on the trunk of a dead tree,
which nearly reached the islet she had pointed out; catching the
branch of an oak on the opposite shore, he swung himself across.
The flowers were soon gathered; and, after a little difficulty in
reaching the dead tree, he returned to the ladies, just as they
were about to embark again. Perhaps he had caught a spark of the
spirit of coquetry from Mrs. Creighton, and resented her flirting
so much with Mr. Stryker; for he did not give her all the flowers
he had gathered, but offered a few to each lady as she entered
the boat.

"Thank you, Mr. Hazlehurst, very gallantly done," said Mrs.
Creighton, placing one of the lobelias, with a sprig of Mr.
Stryker's, in her belt.

As they rowed leisurely along, Charlie Hubbard pointed out some
of the localities to Miss Wyllys and Robert Hazlehurst.

"These mountains are very different in their character, Mr.
Hubbard, from those you have recently been sketching in Italy and
Switzerland," observed Mr. Ellsworth.

"Entirely different; their forms are much less bold and decided."

"Yes; all the mountains in this country, east of the Mississippi,
partake, more or less, of the same character; forming rounded
ridges, seldom broken into those abrupt, ragged peaks, common in
other parts of the world."

"But the elevation of these mountains is much less than that of
the Alps, or high Apennines," observed Mr. Wyllys; "do not the
mountains in Europe, of the same height, resemble these in
formation?"

"No, sir, I think not," replied Ellsworth. "They are generally
more bold and barren; often mere masses of naked rock. I am no
geologist, but it strikes me that the whole surface of the earth,
in this part of the world, differs in character from that of the
eastern continent; on one hand, the mountains are less abrupt and
decided in their forms with us; and on the other, the plains are
less monotonous here. If our mountains are not grand, the general
surface of the country seems more varied, more uneven; there is
not so large a proportion of dead level in this country as in
France, Germany, Russia, for instance; we have much of what we
call a rolling country--even the prairies, which are the plains
of this region, show the same swelling surface."

"The variety of character in the landscape of different
countries, must be a great charm to one of your profession,
Hubbard," observed Harry. "A landscape painter must enjoy
travelling more than any other man; nothing is lost upon
you--every time you look about you there is something new to
observe. How you must have enjoyed the change from the general
aspect of this country--fresh, full of life and motion, yet
half-finished in the details--to old Italy, where the scenery and
atmosphere are in perfect harmony with the luxurious repose of a
great antiquity!"

"I did indeed enjoy the change beyond expression!" exclaimed
Charlie. "I have often felt thankful, in the best sense of the
word, that I have been enabled to see those great countries,
Italy and Switzerland; it has furnished me with materials for
thought and delight, during a whole lifetime."

"It would be a good plan to get you appointed painting attache to
the Legation, Hubbard," said Harry. "As you have seen the south
of Europe, would you not like to take a look at the northern
regions?"

"Not much," replied Charlie. "I should have nothing but ice to
paint there, for half the year."

"Well, I suppose there is something selfish in my wish to carry
you to the North Pole; but when I was in Brazil, I had a very
disinterested desire that you should see the Bay of Rio."

"Is it really so beautiful?" asked Elinor.

"Yes; finer even than Naples, as regards scenery; though it
wants, of course, all the charm of recollection which belongs to
the old world."

"You must forget everything like fine scenery when you go to St.
Petersburg," said Robert Hazlehurst.

"Not at all; I hope to take a trip to the Crimea while I am in
Russia. I shall do my best to ingratiate myself with the owner of
some fine villa on the Black Sea."

"And have you really made up your mind to be a regular
diplomatist?" asked Mr. Wyllys.

"For a time, sir; so long as I can serve under Mr. Henley, or a
man like him."

"I used to see a good deal of Henley, some twenty years since,"
observed Mr. Wyllys. "I should think him particularly well fitted
for his duties."

"I have the highest respect for him," replied Harry.

"He is a good model for an American diplomatist," added Robert
Hazlehurst. "A man of ability, good education, and just
principles, with simple, gentlemanly manners; always manly in his
tone, and firm as a rock on all essential points."

"But those are only a small portion of the qualifications of a
diplomatist," said Mr. Stryker. "According to the most approved
models, the largest half should be cunning."

"Mr. Henley is particularly clear-sighted--not easily deceived
either by himself or by others; and that is all that American
diplomacy requires," said Harry. "I am proud to say that our
government does not give us any dirty work to do; we have chiefly
to act on the defensive."

"Set a thief to catch a thief," said Mr. Stryker, with his usual
dry manner. "I don't believe in the full success of your virtuous
diplomatist. How is a man to know all the turnings and windings
of the road that leads to treaties, unless he has gone over it
himself?"

"But an honest man, if he is really clear-headed and firm, has no
need of these turnings and windings; he goes more directly to the
point, and saves a vast deal of time and principle, by taking a
more honourable road."

"Suppose a man has to make black look white, I should like to see
your honourable diplomatist manage such a job," said Mr. Stryker.

"But our government has never yet had such jobs to manage. We
have never yet made a demand from a foreign power that we have
not believed just. Intrigue is unpardonable in American
diplomacy, for it is gratuitous; a man need not resort to it,
unless his own taste inclines him that way. It is an honourable
distinction of our government, AS A GOVERNMENT, that it has never
committed a single act of injustice against any other power,
either by open force, or underhand manoeuvres. We have been
wronged sometimes, and omitted to demand justice as firmly as we
might have done; but there is, probably, no other government
among the great powers of Christendom, that has been so free from
OFFENSIVE guilt, during the last sixty years, as that of this
country."

{This was, of course, before the Mexican-American War, which the
Cooper family viewed with considerable misgivings. James Fenimore
Cooper was incensed that the United States did not pursue with
greater vigor American claims against France for damages caused
to American shipping during the Napoleonic wars}

It was evident that Mr. Stryker was not in the least convinced by
Harry's defence of honest diplomacy.

"The ladies must find great fault with Washington diplomacy," he
added, turning to Mrs. Creighton and Elinor: "they are never
employed; not a single fair American has ever figured among les
belles diplomats of European saloons, I believe."

"Perhaps the ladies in this country would not condescend to be
employed," said Elinor.

"Don't say so, Miss Wyllys!" exclaimed Mrs. Creighton, laughing;
"I should delight in having some delicate mission to manage: when
Mr. Stryker gets into the cabinet, he may send me as special
envoy to any country where I can find a French milliner."

"You had better go to Russia with Mr. Henley and Mr. Hazlehurst;
I have not the least doubt but they would find your finesse of
great service," said the gentleman.

Mrs. Creighton blushed; and Harry coloured, too.

"The very idea of such an ally would frighten Mr. Henley out of
his wits," said the lady, recovering herself; "he is an
incorrigible old bachelor; that, you must allow, is a great fault
of his, Mr. Hazlehurst."

"If he be incorrigible," said Harry.

"But that is not clear," said Mr. Stryker to the lady; "he is a
great admirer of yours."

"Come, a truce to diplomacy, Josephine; I am going to beg Miss
Wyllys for a song," said Ellsworth.

Elinor sang very readily, and very sweetly; the Swiss airs
sounded charmingly among the hills; and she was accompanied by
Mary Van Alstyne, while Charlie, with the two Hazlehursts, made
up a respectable second for several songs.

Some gathering clouds at length warned the party to turn inn-ward
again.

"It is to be hoped the shower won't reach us, for your sake,
ladies," said Robert Hazlehurst.

"I hope not, for the sake of my bibi!" said Mrs. Creighton. "It
is the prettiest little hat I have had these three years; it
would be distressing to have it spoilt before it has lost its
freshness."

{"bibi" = a stylish hat of the 1830s}

"There is no danger, marm," said one of the boatmen, with a
good-natured gravity, that made Mrs. Creighton smile. "Them 'ere
kind of clouds often goes over the lake, without coming up this
way."

And so it proved; the party reached the hotel safely, all
agreeing that they had had a very pleasant day, and were not at
all more tired than was desirable after such an excursion.



CHAPTER X. {XXXIII}

"............................. Sebastian are you?
If spirits can assume both form and suit,
You come to fright us!"
SHAKSPEARE. {sic}

{William Shakespeare, "Twelfh Night", V.i.221, 235-236}

ON their return to Saratoga, the Wyllyses and Hazlehursts found
startling intelligence awaiting them. Letters had just arrived
for Harry, for Mrs. Stanley, and for Mr. Wyllys, all of a similar
nature, and all of a character that was astounding to those who
received them. They could scarcely credit their senses as they
read the fact, that the executors of the late John William
Stanley, Esquire, were called upon to account for all past
proceedings, to William Stanley, his son and heir. Hazlehurst was
also summoned to resign that portion of the property of which he
had taken possession two years since, when he had reached the age
of twenty-five.

The letters were all written by Mr. Clapp, Charlie Hubbard's
brother-in-law, who announced himself as the attorney of William
Stanley, Esquire.

"Here are the letters addressed to myself," said Mrs. Stanley,
who had immediately sent for Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, as soon
as they returned from Lake George: she had not yet recovered from
the first agitation caused by this extraordinary disclosure.
"This is the letter purporting to come from my husband's son, and
this is from the lawyer," she added, extending both to
Hazlehurst. Harry read them aloud. The first ran as follows:

"MADAM:--

"I have not the honour of being acquainted with you, as my late
father was not married to you when I went to sea, not long before
his death. But I make no doubt that you will not refuse me my
rights, now that I step forward to demand them, after leaving
others to enjoy them for nearly eighteen years. Things look
different to a man near forty, and to a young chap of twenty; I
have been thinking of claiming my property for some time, but was
told by lawyers that there was too many difficulties in the way,
owing partly to my own fault, partly to the fault of others. As
long as I was a youngster, I didn't care for anything but having
my own way--I snapped my fingers at all the world; but now I am
tired of a sea-faring life, and have had hardships enough for one
man: since there is a handsome property mine, by right, I am
resolved to claim it, through thick and thin. I have left off the
bottle, and intend to do my best to be respectable for the rest
of my days. I make no doubt but we shall be able to come to some
agreement; nor would I object to a compromise for the past,
though my lawyers advise me to make no such offer. I shall be
pleased, Madam, to pay my respects to you, that we may settle our
affairs at a personal meeting, if it suits you to do so.

"Your obedient servant, and step-son,

"WILLIAM STANLEY."

"Can that be my husband's son!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley, in an
agitated voice, as Harry finished reading the letter, and handed
it to Mr. Wyllys.

"It will take more than this to convince me," said Mr. Wyllys,
who had been listening attentively. The handwriting was then
carefully examined by Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys, and both were
compelled to admit that it was at least a good imitation of that
of William Stanley.

"A most extraordinary proceeding in either case!" exclaimed
Harry, pacing the room.

Mr. Clapp's letter was then read: it began with the following
words:

"MADAM:--

"I regret that I am compelled by the interests of my client, Mr.
William Stanley, Esquire, to address a lady I respect so highly,
upon a subject that must necessarily prove distressing to her, in
many different ways."

Then followed a brief statement of his first acquaintance with
Mr. Stanley; his refusing to have anything to do with the affair;
his subsequent conviction that the ragged sailor was the
individual he represented himself to be; his reluctance to
proceed, &c., &c. But since he was now convinced, by the
strongest proofs, of the justice of Mr. Stanley's demand, and had
at length undertaken to assist him with his advice, he was,
therefore, compelled by duty to give the regular legal notice,
that Mrs. Stanley, as executrix, would be required to account for
her proceedings since her husband's death. His client, he said,
would much prefer an amicable arrangement, but, if necessary,
would proceed to law immediately. He wished to know what course
Mrs. Stanley was disposed to take, as his client's steps would
necessarily be guided by her own, and those of Mr. Wyllys and Mr.
Hazlehurst. He concluded with a civil hope that the case might be
privately adjusted.

"Clapp all over," said Harry, as he finished reading the letter.

"A most bare-faced imposition, depend upon it!" exclaimed Mr.
Wyllys, with strong indignation.

Mrs. Stanley was listening with anxious eagerness for the opinion
of the two gentlemen.

"I am strongly disposed to mistrust anything that comes through
Clapp's hands," said Harry, pacing the room thoughtfully, with
the letters in his hand. "Still, I think it behooves us, sir, to
act with deliberation; the idea that it is not impossible that
this individual should be the son of Mr. Stanley, must not be
forgotten--that possibility alone would make me sift the matter
to the bottom at once."

"Certainly; it must be looked into immediately."

"What has the lawyer written to you?" asked Mrs. Stanley.

The letters to Mr. Wyllys and Harry were then read aloud; they
were almost identical in their contents with that to Mrs.
Stanley. The tone of each was civil and respectful; though each
contained a technical legal notice, that they would be required
to surrender to William Stanley, the property of his late father,
according to the will of the said John William Stanley; which the
said William, his son, had hitherto neglected to claim, though
legally entitled to it.

"There: is certainly an air of confidence about those letters of
Clapp's," said Harry, "as if he felt himself on a firm foothold.
It is very extraordinary!"

"Of course: he would never move in such a case, without some
plausible proof," said Mr. Wyllys.

"But how could he get any proof whatever, on this occasion?" said
Mrs. Stanley. "For these eighteen years, nearly, William Stanley
has been lying at the bottom of the ocean. We have believed so,
at least."

"Proofs have been manufactured by lawyers before now," said Mr.
Wyllys. "Do you suppose that if William Stanley had been living,
we never should have heard one trace of him during eighteen
years?--at a time, too, when his father's death had left him a
large property."

"What sort of a man is this Mr. Clapp?" asked Mrs. Stanley. "His
manners and appearance, whenever I have accidentally seen him
with the Hubbards, struck me as very unpleasant: but is it
possible he can be so utterly devoid of all principle, as
wilfully to countenance an impostor?"

"He is a man whom I do not believe to possess one just
principle!" said Mr. Wyllys. "Within the last year or two, I have
lost all confidence in his honesty, from facts known to me."

"I have always had a poor opinion of him, but I have never had
much to do with him," said Harry; "still, I should not have
thought him capable of entering into a conspiracy so atrocious as
this must be, if the story be not true."

"He would do any dirty work whatever, for money. I KNOW the man,"
said Mr. Wyllys, with emphasis.

"It is possible he may be deceived himself," observed Mrs.
Stanley.

"Very improbable," replied Mr. Wyllys, shaking his head.

"A shrewd, cunning, quick-witted fellow, as I remember him, would
not be likely to undertake such a case, unless he had some
prospect of success," said Harry, pacing the room again. "He must
know perfectly well that it is make or break with him. If he does
not succeed, he will be utterly ruined."

"He will give us trouble, no doubt," said Mr. Wyllys. "He must
have got the means of putting together a plausible story. And yet
his audacity confounds me!"

"Eighteen years, is it not, since William Stanley's death?" asked
Harry, turning to Mrs. Stanley.

"It will be eighteen years next October, since he sailed. I was
married in November; and from that time we have never heard
anything from the poor boy, excepting the report that the
Jefferson, the ship in which he sailed, had been shipwrecked on
the coast of Africa, the following winter, and all hands lost.
That report reached us not long before my husband's death, and
caused him to word his will in the way it is now expressed;
giving to the son of his kinsman and old friend, half his
property, in case his son's death should be confirmed. The report
WAS confirmed, some months later, by the arrival of an American
vessel, which had ridden out the storm that wrecked the
Jefferson: she saw the wreck itself, sent a boat to examine it,
but could find no one living; although several bodies were picked
up, with the hope of reviving them. But you have heard the whole
sad story before, Harry."

"Certainly; I merely wished to hear the facts again, ma'am, from
your own lips, lest I might have forgotten some important point."

"Although you were quite a child at the time, Harry," said Mr.
Wyllys, "eight or ten I believe, still, I should think you must
remember the anxiety to discover the real fate of William
Stanley. I have numbers of letters in my hands, answers to those
I had written with the hope of learning something more positive
on the subject. We sent several agents, at different times, to
the principal sea-ports, to make inquiries among the sailors; it
all resulted in confirming the first story, the loss of the
Jefferson, and all on board. Every year, of course, made the
point more certain."

"Still, we cannot say that is not impossible {sic} he should have
escaped," observed Harry.

"Why should he have waited eighteen years, before he appeared to
claim his property?--and why should he not come directly to his
father's executors, instead of seeking out such a fellow as
Clapp? It bears on the very face every appearance of a gross
imposture. Surely, Harry, you do not think there is a shade of
probability as to the truth of this story?"

"Only a possibility, sir; almost everything is against it, and
yet I shall not rest satisfied without going to the bottom of the
matter."

"That, you may be sure, we shall be forced to do. Clapp will give
us trouble enough, I warrant; he will leave no stone unturned
that a dirty lawyer can move. It will be vexatious, but there
cannot be a doubt as to the result."

"You encourage me," said Mrs. Stanley; "and yet the idea of
entering into a suit of this kind is very painful!"

"If it be a conspiracy, there is no treatment too bad for those
who have put the plot together!" exclaimed Harry. "What a
double-dyed villain Clapp must be!"

"He will end his career in the State-Prison," said Mr. Wyllys.

"The Hubbards, too; that is another disagreeable part of the
business," said Harry.

"I am truly sorry for them," replied Mr. Wyllys. "It will give
them great pain."

"What steps shall we first take, sir?" inquired Harry.

"We must look into the matter immediately, of course, and find
out upon what grounds they are at work."

"I am utterly at a loss to comprehend it!" exclaimed Mrs.
Stanley. "Such a piece of bare-faced audacity!"

"Clapp must rest all his hope of success on our want of positive
proof as to the death of William Stanley," observed Harry. "But
his having dared to bring forward an individual to personate the
dead man, is really a height of impudence that I should never
have conceived of."

"If I did not know him to be an incarnation of cunning, I should
think he had lost his senses," replied Mr. Wyllys; "but happily
for honest men, rogues generally overreach themselves; after they
have spread their nets, made the mesh as intricate as possible,
they almost invariably fall into their own snare. Such will,
undoubtedly, be the result in this case."

"Had you not better return to Longbridge at once," said Mrs.
Stanley, "in order to inquire into the matter?"

"Certainly; we had better all be on the spot; though I am
confident we shall unmask the rogues very speedily. You were
already pledged to return with us, Mrs. Stanley; and I shall be
glad to see you at Wyllys-Roof, again, Harry."

"Thank you, sir; you are very good," replied Hazlehurst, with
something more than the common meaning in the words; for he
coloured a little on remembering the occurrences of his last
visit to Longbridge, more than three years since.

 "We shall find it difficult," continued Mr. Wyllys, "to get an
insight into Clapp's views and plans. He will, no doubt, be very
wary in all he does; though voluble as ever in what he says. I
know his policy of old; he reverses the saying of the cunning
Italian, volto sciolto, bocca stretta."

{"volto sciolto, bocca stretta" = open countenance, tight lips
(Italian)}

"But his first step has not been a cautious one," observed Harry.
"It is singular he should have allowed his client to write to
Mrs. Stanley. Do you remember William Stanley's handwriting
distinctly?" he added, again handing the letter to Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes; and it must be confessed this hand resembles his; they must
have got possession of some of young Stanley's handwriting."

"But how could they possibly have done so?" said Mrs. Stanley.

"That is what we must try to find out, my dear madam."

"He must have been very confident that it was a good imitation,"
said Hazlehurst; "for, of course, he knew you must possess
letters of William Stanley's. I don't remember to have seen
anything but his signature, myself."

"Yes; it is a good imitation--very good; of course Clapp was
aware of it, or the letter would never have been sent."

"William was very like his father in appearance, though not in
character," observed Mrs. Stanley, thoughtfully. "He was very
like him."

"Should this man look like my poor husband, I might have some
misgivings," said Mrs. Stanley. "We must remember at least, my
dear Mr. Wyllys, that it is not impossible that William may be
living."

"Only one of the most improbable circumstances you could name, my
dear friend. I wish to see the man, however, myself; for I have
little doubt that I shall be able at once to discover the
imposture, entirely to our own satisfaction at least--and that is
the most important point."

"Should the case present an appearance of truth, sufficient to
satisfy a jury, though we ourselves were not convinced, it would
still prove a very serious thing to you, my dear Harry," observed
Mrs. Stanley.

"No doubt: very serious to Hazlehurst, and a loss to all three.
But I cannot conceive it possible that such a daring imposture
can succeed so far. We shall be obliged, however, to proceed with
prudence, in order to counteract the cunning of Clapp."

After a conversation of some length between the friends, it was
agreed that Hazlehurst should answer the letters, in the name of
Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys, as well as his own. It was also
decided that they should return to Longbridge immediately, and
not take any decided steps until they had seen the individual
purporting to be William Stanley. The bare possibility that Mr.
Stanley's son might be living, determined Mrs. Stanley and
Hazlehurst to pursue this course; although Mr. Wyllys, who had
not a doubt on the subject from the first, had felt no scruple in
considering the claimant as an impostor. We give Harry's letter
to Mr. Clapp.

"Saratoga, June, 18--.

"SIR:--

"The letters addressed by you to Mrs. Stanley, Mr. Wyllys and
myself, of the date of last Tuesday, have just reached us. I
shall not dwell on the amazement which we naturally felt in
receiving a communication so extraordinary, which calls upon us
to credit the existence of an individual, whom we have every
reason to believe has lain for nearly eighteen years at the
bottom of the deep: it will be sufficient that I declare, what
you are probably already prepared to hear, that we see no cause
for changing our past opinions on this subject. We believe
to-day, as we have believed for years, that William Stanley was
drowned in the wreck of the Jefferson, during the winter of 181-.
We can command to-day, the same proofs which produced conviction
at the time when this question was first carefully examined. We
have learned no new fact to change the character of these proofs.

"The nature of the case is such, however, as to admit the
possibility--and it is a bare possibility only--of the existence
of William Stanley. It is not necessarily impossible that he may
have escaped from the wreck of the Jefferson; although the weight
of probability against such an escape, has more than a
hundred-fold the force of that which would favour a contrary
supposition. Such being the circumstances, Mr. Stanley's
executors, and his legatee, actuated by the same motives which
have constantly guided them since his death, are prepared in the
present instance to discharge their duty, at whatever cost it may
be. They are prepared to receive and examine any proofs, in the
possession of yourself and your client, as to the identity of the
individual purporting to be William Stanley, only son of the late
John William Stanley, of ----- county, Pennsylvania. They demand
these proofs. But, they are also prepared, sir, to pursue with
the full force of justice, and the law of the land, any
individual who shall attempt to advance a false claim to the name
and inheritance of the dead. This matter, once touched, must be
entirely laid bare: were duty out of the question, indignation
alone would be sufficient to urge them, at any cost of time and
vexation, to unmask one who, if not William Stanley, must be a
miserable impostor--to unravel what must either prove an
extraordinary combination of circumstances, or a base conspiracy.

"Prepared, then, to pursue either course, as justice shall
dictate, Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys, executors of the late Mr.
Stanley, and myself, his legatee, demand: First, an interview
with the individual claiming to be William Stanley. Secondly,
whatever proofs of the identity of the claimant you may have in
your possession. And we here pledge ourselves to acknowledge the
justice of the claim advanced, if the evidence shall prove
sufficient to establish it; or in the event of a want of truth
and consistency in the evidence supporting this remarkable claim,
we shall hold it a duty to bring to legal punishment, those whom
we must then believe the guilty parties connected with it.

"Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys wish you, sir, to understand this
letter as an answer to those addressed by you to themselves. They
are on the point of returning to Longbridge, where I shall also
join them; and we request that your farther communications to us,
on this subject, may be addressed to Wyllys-Roof.

"HENRY HAZLEHURST"

This letter was written, and approved by Mrs. Stanley and Mr.
Wyllys, before the consultation broke up; it was also signed by
them, as well as by Harry.

The amazement of Miss Wyllys and Elinor, on hearing the purport
of Mr. Clapp's letters, was boundless. Had they seen William
Stanley rise from the ground before them, they could scarcely
have been more astonished; not a shadow of doubt as to his death
in the Jefferson, had crossed their minds for years. Like their
friends, they believed it a plot of Mr. Clapp's; and yet his
daring to take so bold a step seemed all but incredible.

When some hours' consideration had made the idea rather more
familiar to the minds of our friends, they began to look at the
consequences, and they clearly saw many difficulties and
vexations before the matter could be even favourably settled; but
if this client of Mr. Clapp's were to succeed in establishing a
legal claim to the Stanley estate, the result would produce much
inconvenience to Mrs. Stanley, still greater difficulties to Mr.
Wyllys, while Harry would be entirely ruined in a pecuniary
sense; since the small property he had inherited from his father,
would not suffice to meet half the arrears he would be obliged to
discharge, in restoring his share of the Stanley estate to
another. Hazlehurst had decided, from the instant the claim was
laid before him, that the only question with himself would regard
his own opinion on the subject; the point must first be clearly
settled to his own judgment. He would see the man who claimed to
be the son of his benefactor, he would examine the matter as
impartially as he could, and then determine for himself. Had he
any good reason whatever for believing this individual to be
William Stanley, he would instantly resign the property to him,
at every cost.

All probability was, however, thus far, against the identity of
the claimant; and unless Hazlehurst could believe in his good
faith and honesty, every inch of the ground should be disputed to
the best of his ability. Mr. Wyllys was very confident of
defeating one whom he seriously believed an impostor: it was a
dirty, disagreeable job to undertake, but he was sanguine as to
the result. Mrs. Stanley was at first quite overcome by agitation
and astonishment; she had some doubts and anxieties; misgivings
would occasionally cross her mind, in spite of herself, in spite
of Mr. Wyllys's opinion; and the bare idea of opposing one who
might possibly be her husband's son, affected all her feelings.
Like Hazlehurst, she was very desirous to examine farther into
the matter, without delay; scarcely knowing yet what to hope and
what to fear.

Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton soon learned the extraordinary
summons which Harry had received; he informed them of the facts
himself.

"The man is an impostor, depend upon it, Mr. Hazlehurst!"
exclaimed Mrs. Creighton, with much warmth.

"I have little doubt of it," replied Harry; "for I do not see how
he can well be anything else."

"You know, Hazlehurst, that I am entirely at your service in any
way you please," said Ellsworth.

"Thank you, Ellsworth; I have a habit of looking to you in any
difficulty, as you know already."

"But I cannot conceive that it should be at all a difficult
matter to unravel so coarse a plot as this must be!" cried Mrs.
Creighton. "What possible foundation can these men have for their
story? Tell me all about it, Mr. Hazlehurst, pray!" continued the
lady, who had been standing when Harry entered the room, prepared
to accompany her brother and himself to Miss Wyllys's room. "Sit
down, I beg, and tell me at once all you choose to trust me
with," she continued, taking a seat on the sofa.

Harry followed her example. "You are only likely to hear a great
deal too much of it I fear, if you permit Ellsworth and myself to
talk the matter over before you." He then proceeded to give some
of the most important facts, as far as he knew them himself, at
least. Judging from this account, Mr. Ellsworth pronounced
himself decidedly inclined to think with Mr. Wyllys, that this
claim was a fabrication of Clapp's. Mrs. Creighton was very warm
in the expression of her indignation and her sympathy. After a
long and animated conversation, Mr. Ellsworth proposed that they
should join the Wyllyses: his sister professed herself quite
ready to do so; and, accompanied by Harry, they went to the usual
rendezvous of their party, at Congress Hall.

Robert Hazlehurst had already left Saratoga with his family,
having returned from Lake George for that purpose, a day earlier
than his friends; and when Mrs. Creighton and the two gentlemen
entered Miss Wyllys's parlour, they only found there the Wyllyses
themselves and Mary Van Alstyne, all of whom had already heard of
Harry's threatened difficulties. Neither Miss Agnes nor Elinor
had seen him since he had received the letters, and they both
cordially expressed their good wishes in his behalf; for they
both seemed inclined to Mr. Wyllys's opinion of the new claimant.

"We have every reason to wish that the truth may soon be
discovered," said Miss Agnes.

"I am sorry you should have such a painful, vexatious task before
you," said Elinor, frankly offering her hand to Harry.

"Have you no sympathies for this new sailor cousin of yours, Miss
Wyllys?--I must say I have a very poor opinion of him myself,"
said Mrs. Creighton.

"Whoever he be, I hope he will only receive what is justly his
due," replied Elinor.

"I am happy, Miss Wyllys, that you seem favourably inclined
towards Hazlehurst," said Mr. Ellsworth. "On the present occasion
I consider him not only as a friend but as a client, and that is
the dearest tie we lawyers are supposed to feel."

"One would naturally incline rather more to a client of yours ex
officio, Mr. Ellsworth, than to one of Mr. Clapp's, that very
disagreeable brother-in-law of Miss Patsey Hubbard's," said Mary
Van Alstyne, smiling.

It was soon decided that the party should break up the next day.
The Wyllyses, with Mrs. Stanley and Mary Van Alstyne, were to
return to Longbridge. Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Ellsworth were
obliged to pay their long deferred visit to Nahant, the gentleman
having some business of importance in the neighbourhood; but it
was expected that they also should join the family at Wyllys-Roof
as early as possible. Jane was to return to New York with her
sister-in-law, Mrs. St. Leger, leaving Miss Emma Taylor flirting
at Saratoga, under the charge of a fashionable chaperon; while
Mr. Hopkins was still fishing at Lake George.



CHAPTER XI. {XXXIV}

"'Whence this delay?--Along the crowded street
A funeral comes, and with unusual pomp.'"
ROGERS.

{Samuel Rogers (English poet, 1763-1855), "Italy: A Funeral"
lines 1-2}

IT is a common remark, that important events seldom occur singly;
and they seem indeed often to follow each other with startling
rapidity, like the sharpest flashes of lightning and the loudest
peals of thunder from the dark clouds of a summer shower. On
arriving in New York, the Wyllyses found that Tallman Taylor had
been taken suddenly and dangerously ill, during the previous
night, the consequence of a stroke of the sun; having exposed
himself imprudently, by crossing the bay to Staten-Island for a
dinner party, in an open boat, when the thermometer stood at 95
{degrees} in the shade. He was believed in imminent danger, and
was too ill to recognize his wife when she arrived. Miss Wyllys
and Elinor remained in town, at the urgent request of Jane, who
was in great distress; while Mr. Wyllys returned home with Mrs.
Stanley and Mary Van Alstyne.

{Susan's father, James Fenimore Cooper, twice suffered from
sunstroke, in 1823 and 1825, while sailing a small boat near New
York City, and she later wrote of the attacks of delirium that
followed}

After twenty-four hours of high delirium, the physicians
succeeded in subduing the worst symptoms; but the attack took the
character of a bilious fever, and the patient's recovery was
thought very doubtful from the first. Poor Jane sat listlessly in
the sick-room, looking on and weeping, unheeded by her husband,
who would allow no one but his mother to come near him, not even
his wife or his sisters; he would not, indeed, permit his mother
to leave his sight for a moment, his eyes following every
movement of her's with the feverish restlessness of disease, and
the helpless dependence of a child. Jane mourned and wept;
Adeline had at least the merit of activity, and made herself
useful as an assistant nurse, in preparing whatever was needed by
her brother. These two young women, who had been so often
together in brilliant scenes of gaiety, were now, for the first
time, united under a roof of sorrow and suffering.

"That lovely young creature is a perfect picture of helpless
grief!" thought one of the physicians, as he looked at Jane.

For a week, Tallman Taylor continued in the same state.
Occasionally, as he talked with the wild incoherency of delirium,
he uttered sentences painful to hear, as they recalled deeds of
folly and vice; words passed his lips which were distressing to
all present, but which sunk deep into the heart of the sick man's
mother. At length he fell into a stupor, and after lingering for
a day or two in that state, he expired, without having fully
recovered his consciousness for a moment. The handsome, reckless,
dashing son of the rich merchant lay on his bier; a career of
selfish enjoyment and guilty folly was suddenly closed by the
grave.

Miss Agnes's heart sunk within her as she stood, silent, beside
the coffin of Jane's husband, remembering how lately she had seen
the young man, full of life and vigour, thoughtlessly devoting
the best energies of body and soul to culpable self-indulgence.
It is melancholy indeed, to record such a close to such a life;
and yet it is an event repeated in the gay world with every year
that passes. It is to be feared there were companions of Tallman
Taylor's, pursuing the same course of wicked folly, which had
been so suddenly interrupted before their eyes, who yet never
gave one serious thought to the subject: if they paused, it was
only for a moment, while they followed their friend to the grave;
from thence hurrying again to the same ungrateful, reckless abuse
of life, and its highest blessings.

Jane was doubly afflicted at this moment; her baby sickened soon
after its return to town, and died only a few days after her
husband; the young father and his infant boy were laid in the
same grave.

Jane herself was ill for a time, and when she partially
recovered, was very anxious to accompany Miss Agnes and Elinor to
Wyllys-Roof--a spot where she had passed so many peaceful hours,
that she longed again to seek shelter there. She had loved her
husband, as far as it was in her nature to love; but her
attachments were never very strong or very tender, and Tallman
Taylor's neglect and unkindness during the past year, had in some
measure chilled her first feelings for him. She now, however,
looked upon herself as the most afflicted of human beings; the
death of her baby had indeed touched the keenest chord in her
bosom--she wept over it bitterly.

Adeline thought more seriously at the time of her brother's death
than she had ever done before: and even Emma Taylor's spirits
were sobered for a moment. Mr. Taylor, the father, no doubt felt
the loss of his eldest son, though far less than many parents
would have done; he was not so much overwhelmed by grief, but
what he could order a very handsome funeral, and project an
expensive marble monument--a FASHIONABLE TOMB-STONE of Italian
marble. He was soon able to resume all his usual pursuits, and
even the tenor of his thoughts seemed little changed, for his
mind was as much occupied as usual with Wall-Street affairs,
carrying out old plans, or laying new schemes of profit. He had
now been a rich man for several years, yet he was in fact less
happy than when he began his career, and had everything to look
forward to. Still he continued the pursuits of business, for
without the exciting fears and hopes of loss and gain, life would
have appeared a monotonous scene to him; leisure could only prove
a burthen, for it would be merely idleness, since he had no
tastes to make it either pleasant or useful. His schemes of late
had not been so brilliantly successful as at the commencement of
his course of speculation; fortune seemed coquetting with her old
favourite; he had recently made several investments which had
proved but indifferent in their results. Not that he had met with
serious losses; on the contrary, he was still a gainer at the
game of speculation; but the amount was very trifling. He had
rapidly advanced to a certain distance on the road to wealth, but
it now seemed as if he could not pass that point; the brilliant
dreams in which he had indulged were only half realized. There
seemed no good way of accounting for this pause in his career,
but such was the fact; he was just as shrewd and calculating,
just as enterprising now as he had been ten years before, but
certainly he was not so successful.

On commencing an examination of his son's affairs, he found that
Tallman Taylor's extravagance and folly had left his widow and
child worse than penniless, for he had died heavily in debt.
Returning one afternoon from Wall-Street, Mr. Taylor talked over
this matter with his wife. Of all Tallman Taylor's surviving
friends, his mother was the one who most deeply felt his death;
she was heart-stricken, and shed bitter tears over the young man.

"There is nothing left, Hester, for the child or her mother,"
said the merchant, sitting down in a rocking-chair in his wife's
room. "All gone; all wasted; five times the capital I had to
begin with. I have just made an investment, of which I shall give
the profits to Tallman's lady; four lots that were offered to me
last week; if that turns out well, I shall go on, and it may
perhaps make up a pretty property for the child, in time."

"Oh, husband, don't talk to me about such things now; I can't
think of anything but my poor boy's death!"

"It was an unexpected calamity, Hester," said the father, with
one natural look of sorrow; "but we cannot always escape trouble
in this world."

"I feel as if we had not done our duty by him!" said the poor
mother.

"Why not?-he was very handsomely set up in business,"
remonstrated Mt. Taylor.

"I was not thinking of money," replied his wife, shaking her
head. "But it seems as if we only took him away from my
brother's, in the country, just to throw him in the way of
temptation as he was growing up, and let him run wild, and do
everything he took a fancy to."

"We did no more than other parents, in taking him home with us,
to give him a better education than he could have got at your
brother's."

"Husband, husband!--it is but a poor education that don't teach a
child to do what is right! I feel as if we had never taught him
what we ought to. I did not know he had got so many bad ways
until lately; and now that I do know it, my heart is broken!"

"Tallman was not so bad as you make him out. He was no worse than
a dozen other young gentlemen I could name at this very minute."

"Oh; I would give everything we are worth to bring him back!--but
it is too late--too late!"

"No use in talking now, Hester."

"We ought to have taken more pains with him. He didn't know the
danger he was in, and we did, or we ought to have known it.
Taking a young man of a sudden, from a quiet, minister's family
in the country, like my brother's, and giving him all the money
he wanted, and turning him out into temptation.--Oh, it's
dreadful!"

"All the pains in the world, Hester, won't help a young man,
unless he chooses himself. What could I do, or you either? Didn't
we send him to school and to college?--didn't we give him an
opportunity of beginning life with a fine property, and married
to one of the handsomest girls in the country, daughter of one of
the best families, too? What more can you do for a young man? He
must do the rest himself; you can't expect to keep him tied to
your apron-string all his life."

"Oh, no; but husband, while he was young we ought to have taken
more pains to teach him not to think so much about the ways of
the world. There are other things besides getting money and
spending money, to do; it seems to me now as if money had only
helped my poor boy to his ruin!"

"Your notions are too gloomy, Mrs. Taylor. Such calamities will
happen, and we should not let them weigh us down too much."

"If I was to live a hundred years longer, I never could feel as I
did before our son's death. Oh, to think what a beautiful,
innocent child he was twenty years ago, this time!"

"You shouldn't let your mind run so much on him that's gone. It's
unjust to the living."

The poor woman made no answer, but wept bitterly for some time.

"It's my only comfort now," she said, at length, "to think that
we have learned wisdom by what's passed. As long as I live, day
and night, I shall labour to teach our younger children not to
set their hearts upon the world; not to think so much about
riches."

"Well, I must say, Hester, if you think all poor people are
saints, I calculate you make a mistake."

"I don't say that, husband; but it seems to me that we have never
yet thought enough of the temptations of riches, more especially
to young people, to young men--above all, when it comes so sudden
as it did to our poor boy. What good did money ever do him?--it
only brought him into trouble!"

"Because Tallman didn't make the most of his opportunities, that
is no reason why another should not. If I had wasted money as he
did, before I could afford it, I never should have made a fortune
either. The other boys will do better, I reckon; they will look
more to business than he did, and turn out rich men themselves."

"It isn't the money!--it isn't the money I am thinking of!"
exclaimed the poor mother, almost in despair at her husband's
blindness to her feelings.

"What is it then you take so much to heart?"

"It's remembering that we never warned our poor child; we put him
in the way of temptation, where he only learned to think
everything of the world and its ways; we didn't take pains enough
to do our duty, as parents, by him!"

"Well, Hester, I must say you are a very unreasonable lady!"
exclaimed Mr. Taylor, who was getting impatient under his wife's
observations. "One would think it was all my fault; do you mean
to say it was wrong in me to grow rich?"

"I am afraid it would have been better for us, and for our
children, if you hadn't made so much money," replied the wife.
"The happiest time of our life was the first ten years after we
were married, when we had enough to be comfortable, and we didn't
care so much about show. I am sure money hasn't made me happy; I
don't believe it can make anybody happy!"

Mr. Taylor listened in amazement; but his straightforward, quiet
wife, had been for several years gradually coming to the opinion
she had just expressed, and the death of her eldest son had
affected her deeply. The merchant, finding that he was not very
good at consolation, soon changed the conversation; giving up the
hope of lessening the mother's grief, or of bringing her to what
he considered more rational views of the all-importance of
wealth.

As soon as Jane felt equal to the exertion, she accompanied Miss
Agnes and Elinor to Wyllys-Roof. During the three years of her
married life she had never been there, having passed most of the
time either at Charleston or New Orleans. Many changes had
occurred in that short period; changes of outward circumstances,
and of secret feeling. Her last visit to Wyllys-Roof had taken
place just after her return from France, when she was tacitly
engaged to young Taylor; at a moment when she had been more gay,
more brilliantly handsome than at any other period of her life.
Now, she returned there, a weeping, mourning widow, wretchedly
depressed in spirits, and feeble in health. She was still very
lovely, however; the elevated style of her beauty was such, that
it appeared finer under the shadow of grief, than in the sunshine
of gaiety; and it is only beauty of the very highest order which
will bear this test. Her deep mourning dress was in harmony with
her whole appearance and expression; and it was not possible to
see her at this moment, without being struck by her exceeding
loveliness. Jane was only seen by the family, however, and one or
two very intimate friends; she remained entirely in the privacy
of her own room, where Elinor was generally at her side,
endeavouring to soothe her cousin's grief, by the gentle balm of
sympathy and affection.



CHAPTER XII. {XXXV}

"Do thou stand for my father, and examine me upon the particulars
of my life."

"What manner of man, an't please your majesty!"
Henry IV.

{William Shakespeare, "1 Henry IV", II.iv.375-376, 420-421}

HAZLEHURST's affairs had not remained stationary, in the mean
time; Mrs. Stanley and himself were already at Wyllys-Roof, when
Miss Wyllys and Elinor returned home, accompanied by the widowed
Jane. The ladies had received frequent intelligence of the
progress of his affairs, from Mr. Wyllys's letters; still there
were many details to be explained when the party was re-united,
as several important steps had been taken while they were in New
York. Mr. Clapp was no longer the only counsel employed by the
claimant; associated with the Longbridge attorney, now appeared
the name of Mr. Reed, a lawyer of highly respectable standing in
New York, a brother-in-law of Judge Bernard's, and a man of a
character far superior to that of Mr. Clapp. He was slightly
acquainted with Mr. Wyllys, and had written very civil letters,
stating that he held the proofs advanced by his client, to be
quite decisive as to his identity, and he proposed an amicable
meeting, with the hope that Mr. Stanley's claim might be
acknowledged without farther difficulty. That Mr. Reed should
have taken the case into his hands, astonished Hazlehurst and his
friends; so long as Clapp managed the affair, they felt little
doubt as to its beings a coarse plot of his own; but they had now
become impatient to inquire more closely into the matter. Mrs.
Stanley was growing very uneasy; Hazlehurst was anxious to
proceed farther as soon as possible; but Mr. Wyllys was still
nearly as sanguine as ever. All parties seemed to desire a
personal interview; Mr. Reed offered to accompany his client to
Wyllys-Roof, to wait on Mrs. Stanley; and a day had been
appointed for the meeting, which was to take place as soon as
Harry's opponent, who had been absent from Longbridge, should
return. The morning fixed for the interview, happened to be that
succeeding the arrival of the ladies; and it will be easily
imagined that every member of the family looked forward to the
moment with most anxious interest. Perhaps they were not aware
themselves, how gradually doubts had arisen and increased, in
their own minds, since the first disclosure made by Mr. Clapp.

"Harry and myself have both seen this man at last, Agnes," said
Mr. Wyllys to his daughter, just after she had returned home,
when alone with Elinor and herself. "Where do you suppose Harry
saw him yesterday? At church, with Mr. Reed. And this morning I
caught a glimpse of him, standing on the steps of Clapp's
office."

"Indeed!" exclaimed Miss Wyllys, who, as well as Elinor, was
listening eagerly. How did he look?--what kind of man did he
seem?"

"He looked like a sailor. I only saw him for a moment, however;
for he was coming out of the office, and walked down the street,
in an opposite direction from me. I must confess that his face
had something of a Stanley look."

"Is it possible!"

"Yes; so far as I could see him, he struck me as looking like the
Stanleys; but, in another important point, he does not resemble
them at all. You remember the peculiar gait of the family?--they
all had it, more or less; anybody who knew them well must have
remarked it often--but this man had nothing of the kind; he
walked like a sailor."

"I know what you mean; it was a peculiar motion in walking, well
known to all their friends--a long, slow step."

"Precisely; this man had nothing of it, whatever--he had the
sailor swing, for I watched his movements expressly. William
Stanley, as a boy, walked just like his father; for I have often
pointed it out to Mr. Stanley, myself."

"That mast be an important point, I should suppose; and yet,
grandpapa, you think he looks like my uncle Stanley?" said
Elinor.

"So I should say, from the glimpse I had of him."

"What did Harry think of him?" asked Miss Wyllys.

"Hazlehurst did not see his face, for he sat before him in
church. He said, that if he had not been told who it was, he
should have pronounced him, from his general appearance and
manner, a common-looking, sea-faring man, who was not accustomed
to the service of the Church; for he did not seem to understand
when he should kneel, and when he should rise."

"But William Stanley ought to have known it perfectly," observed
Elinor; "for he must have gone to church constantly, with his
family, as a child, until he went to sea, and could scarcely have
forgotten the service entirely, I should think."

"Certainly, my dear; that is another point which we have noted in
our favour. On the other hand, however, I have just been
carefully comparing the hand-writing of Clapp's client, with that
of William Stanley, and there is a very remarkable resemblance
between them. As far as the hand-writing goes, I must confess,
that I should have admitted it at once, as identical, under
ordinary circumstances."

"And the personal likeness, too, struck you, it seems," added
Miss Agnes.

"It did; so far, at least, as I could judge from seeing him only
a moment, and with his hat on. To-morrow we shall be able, I
trust, to make up our minds more decidedly on other important
points."

"It is very singular that he should not be afraid of an
interview!" exclaimed Elinor.

"Well, I don't know that, my child; having once advanced this
claim, he must be prepared for examination, you know, under any
circumstances. It is altogether a singular case, however, whether
he be the impostor we think him, or the individual he claims to
be. Truth is certainly more strange than fiction sometimes. Would
you like to see the statement Mr. Reed sent us, when we applied
for some account of his client's past movements?"

Miss Agnes and Elinor were both anxious to see it.

"Here it is--short you see--in Clapp's hand-writing, but signed
by himself. There is nothing in it that may not possibly be true;
but I fancy that we shall be able to pick some holes in it,
by-and-bye."

"Did he make no difficulty about sending it to you?" asked Miss
Agnes.

"No, he seemed to give it readily; Mr. Reed sent it to us a day
or two since."

Miss Wyllys received the letter from her father, inviting Elinor
to read it over her shoulder, at the same moment. It was
endorsed, in Clapp's hand, "STATEMENT OF MR. STANLEY, PREPARED AT
THE REQUEST OF HIS FATHER'S EXECUTOR," and ran as follows:

"July 1st, 183-.

"I left home, as everybody knows, because I would have my own way
in everything. It was against my best interests to be sure, but
boys don't think at such times, about anything but having their
own will. I suppose that every person connected with my deceased
father knows, that my first voyage was made to Russia, in the
year 18--, in the ship Dorothy Beck, Jonas Thomson, Master. I was
only fourteen years old at the time. My father had taken to heart
my going off, and when I came back from Russia he was on the
look-out, wrote to me and sent me money, and as soon as he heard
we were in port he came after me. Well, I went back with the old
gentleman; but we had a quarrel on the road, and I put about
again and went to New Bedford, where I shipped in a whaler. We
were out only eighteen months, and brought in a full cargo. This
time I went home of my own accord, and I staid a great part of
one summer. I did think some of quitting the seas; but after a
while things didn't work well, and one of my old shipmates coming
up into the country to see me, I went off with him. This time I
shipped in the Thomas Jefferson, for China. This was in the year
1814, during the last war, when I was about eighteen. Most
people, who know anything about William Stanley, think that was
the last of him, that he never set foot on American ground again;
but they are mistaken, as he himself will take the pains to show.
So far I have told nothing but what everybody knows, but now I am
going to give a short account of what has happened, since my
friends heard from me. Well; the Jefferson sailed, on her voyage
to China, in October; she was wrecked on the coast of Africa in
December, and it was reported that all hands were lost: so they
were, all but one, and that one was William Stanley. I was picked
up by a Dutchman, the barque William, bound to Batavia. I kept
with the Dutchman for a while, until he went back to Holland.
After I had cut adrift from him, I fell in with some Americans,
and got some old papers; in one of them I saw my father's second
marriage. I knew the name of the lady he had married, but I had
never spoken to her. The very next day, one of the men I was
with, who came from the same part of the country, told me of my
father's death, and said it was the common talk about the
neighbourhood, that I was disinherited. This made me very angry;
though I wasn't much surprised, after what had passed. I was
looking out for a homeward-bound American, to go back, and see
how matters stood, when one night that I was drunk, I was carried
off by an English officer, who made out I was a runaway. For five
years I was kept in different English men-of-war, in the East
Indies; at the end of that time I was put on board the Ceres,
sloop of war, and I made out to desert from her at last, and got
on board an American. I then came home; and here, the first man
that I met on shore was Billings, the chap who first persuaded me
to go to sea: he knew all about my father's family, and told me
it was true I was cut off without a cent, and that Harry
Hazlehurst had been adopted by my father. This made me so mad,
that I went straight to New Bedford, and shipped in the Sally
Andrews, for a whaling voyage. Just before we were to have come
home, I exchanged into another whaler, as second-mate, for a year
longer. Then I sailed in a Havre liner, as foremast hand, for a
while. I found out about this time, that the executors of my
father's estate had been advertising for me shortly after his
death, while I was in the East Indies; and I went to a lawyer in
Baltimore, where I happened to be, and consulted him about
claiming the property; but he wouldn't believe a word I said,
because I was half-drunk at the time, and told me that I should
get in trouble if I didn't keep my mouth shut. Well, I cruized
about for a while longer, when at last I went to Longbridge, with
some shipmates. I had been there often before, as a lad, and I
had some notion of having a talk with Mr. Wyllys, my father's
executor; I went to his house one day, but I didn't see him. One
of my shipmates who knew something of my story, and had been a
client of Mr. Clapp's, advised me to consult him. I went to his
office, but he sent me off like the Baltimore lawyer, because be
thought I was drunk. Three years after that I got back to
Longbridge again, with a shipmate; but it did me no good, for I
got drinking, and had a fit of the horrors. That fit sobered me,
though, in the end; it was the worst I had ever had; I should
have hanged myself, and there would have been an end of William
Stanley and his hard rubs, if it hadn't been for the doctor--I
never knew his name, but Mr. Clapp says it was Dr. Van Horne.
After this bad fit, they coaxed me into shipping in a temperance
whaler. While I was in the Pacific, in this ship, nigh three
years, and out of the reach of drink, I had time to think what a
fool I had been all my life, for wasting my opportunities. I
thought there must be some way of getting back my father's
property; Mr. Clapp had said, that if I was really the man I
pretended to be, I must have some papers to make it out; but if I
hadn't any papers, he couldn't help me, even if I was William
Stanley forty times over. It is true, I couldn't show him any
documents that time, for I didn't have them with me at
Longbridge; but I made up my mind, while I was out on my last
voyage, that as soon as I got home, I would give up drinking, get
my papers together, and set about doing my best to get back my
father's property. We came home last February; I went to work, I
kept sober, got my things together, put money by for a lawyer's
fee, and then went straight to Longbridge again. I went to Mr.
Clapp's office, and first I handed him the money, and then I gave
him my papers. I went to him, because he had treated me better
than any other lawyer, and told me if I was William Stanley, and
could prove it, he could help me better than any other man, for
he knew all about my father's will. Well, he hadn't expected ever
to see me again; but he heard my story all out this time, read
the documents, and at last believed me, and undertook the case.
The rest is known to the executors and legatee by this time; and
it is to be hoped, that after enjoying my father's estate for
nigh twenty years, they will now make it over to his son.

"Dictated to W. C. Clapp, by the undersigned,

[Signed,] "WILLIAM STANLEY."

{"Dutchman" = a ship trading between the Netherlands and the
Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), of which Batavia (now
Jakarta) was the capital}

"Are these facts, so far as they are known to you, all true?"
asked Miss Agnes, as she finished the paper. "I mean the earlier
part of the statement, which refers to William Stanley's
movements before he sailed in the Jefferson?"

"Yes; that part of the story is correct, so far as it goes."

"How extraordinary!" exclaimed Elinor.

"What does Harry think of this paper?"

"Both he and Mrs. Stanley are more disposed to listen to the
story than I am; however, we are to meet this individual
to-morrow, and shall be able then, I hope, to see our way more
clearly."

"Do you find any glaring inconsistency in the latter part of the
account?" continued Miss Agnes.

"Nothing impossible, certainly; but the improbability of William
Stanley's never applying to his father's executors, until he
appeared, so late in the day, as Mr. Clapp's client, is still
just as striking as ever in my eyes. Mr. Reed accounts for it, by
the singular character of the man himself, and the strange, loose
notions sailors get on most subjects; but that is far from
satisfying my mind."

"Mrs. Stanley is evidently much perplexed," observed Miss Wyllys;
"she always feels any trouble acutely, and this startling
application is enough to cause her the most serious anxiety,
under every point of view."

"Certainly; I am glad you have come home, on her account--she is
becoming painfully anxious. It is a very serious matter, too, for
Hazlehurst; he confessed to me yesterday, that he had some
misgivings."

"What a change it would make in all his views and prospects for
life!" exclaimed Miss Wyllys.

"A change, indeed, which he would feel at every turn. But we are
not yet so badly off as that. We shall give this individual a
thorough, searching examination, and it is my firm opinion that
he will not bear it. In the mean time we have agents at work,
endeavouring to trace this man's past career; and very possibly
we may soon discover in that way, some inconsistency in his
story."

"The interview is for to-morrow, you say," added Miss Agnes.

"To-morrow morning. It is to be considered as a visit to Mrs.
Stanley; Mr. Reed and Clapp will come with him. He has engaged to
bring a portion of his papers, and to answer any questions of
ours, that would not injure him in case of an ultimate trial by
law: after the interview, we are to declare within a given time
whether we acknowledge the claim, or whether we are prepared to
dispute it."

"If you do carry it into a court of justice, when will the trial
take place?" asked Miss Agnes.

"Probably in the autumn; they have already given notice, that
they will bring it on as soon as possible, if we reject their
demand."

"Harry will not go abroad then, with Mr. Henley."

"No; not so soon at least as he intended. So goes the world;
Hazlehurst's career suddenly stopped, by an obstacle we never
dreamed of, at this late day. That poor young Taylor in his
grave, too! How is Jane?"

"Very feeble, and much depressed."

"Poor girl--a heavy blow to her--that was a sweet baby that she
lost. I am glad to see the other child looks well. Jane's
affairs, too, are in a bad way, they tell me."

Miss Agnes shook her head, and her father soon after left her.

Hazlehurst was, of course, much occupied, having many things to
attend to, connected in different ways with the important
question under consideration: there were old papers to be
examined, letters to be written, letters to be read, and the
family seldom saw him, except at his meals. It was evident,
however, that all Mr. Wyllys's displeasure against him, was fast
disappearing under the influence of the strong interest now
aroused in his favour. Miss Agnes had also resumed entirely, her
former manner towards him. Elinor was quite unembarrassed, and
frankly expressed her interest in his affairs; in fact, all
parties appeared so much engrossed by this important topic, that
no one seemed to have time to remember the unpleasant
circumstances of Harry's last visit to Wyllys-Roof. To judge from
his manner, and something in his expression, if any one
occasionally thought of the past, it was Hazlehurst himself; he
seemed grateful for his present kind reception, and conscious
that he had forfeited all claim to the friendly place in which he
had been reinstated. Once or twice, he betrayed momentary feeling
and embarrassment, as some allusion to past scenes was
accidentally made by others, in the course of conversation.

The family were sitting together after tea, enjoying the summer
evening twilight, after a long business consultation between the
gentlemen. Harry seemed still engrossed by his own meditations;
what was their particular nature at that moment, we cannot say;
but he certainly had enough to think of in various ways. Harry's
friends left him in undivided possession of the corner, where he
was sitting, alone; and Mr. Wyllys, after a quiet, general
conversation with the ladies, asked Elinor for a song. At her
grandfather's request, she sang a pleasing, new air, she had just
received, and his old favourite, Robin Adair. Fortunately, it did
not occur to her, that the last time she had sung that song at
Wyllys-Roof, with Hazlehurst as part of her audience, was the
evening before their rupture; she appeared to have forgotten the
fact, for no nervous feeling affected her voice, though her tones
were lower than usual, as she did not wish to disturb Jane, who
was in a distant part of the house. A letter from Mr. Reed was
brought in, and drew Harry into the circle again; it was
connected with the next day's interview, and after reading it,
Mr. Wyllys made some remarks upon the difference in the tone and
manner of the communications they had received from Clapp, and
from Mr. Reed; the last writing like a gentleman, the first like
a pettifogger.

"I am glad, at least, that you will have a gentleman to deal
with," observed Elinor.

"Why, yes, Nelly; it is always advisable to secure a gentleman
for friend or foe, he is the best substitute for a good man that
one can find. But it is my opinion that Mr. Reed will not
persevere in this case; I think he will soon be disgusted with
Clapp, as his brother counsel. To-morrow, however, we shall have
a nearer look at all our opponents, and I trust that we shall be
able to make up our own minds at least, beyond a doubt."

"I trust so!" replied Mrs. Stanley, whose anxiety had increased
painfully.

"I wish Ellsworth were here!" exclaimed Harry; "as his feelings
are less interested than those of either of us, he would see
things in a more impartial light."

"I wish he were here, with all my heart," replied Mr. Wyllys. "I
am a little afraid of both you, my excellent friend, and you,
Hazlehurst; the idea of not doing justice to the shadow of
William Stanley, will make you too merciful towards this
claimant, I fear. I see plainly, Harry, that you have some
scruples, and I caution you against giving way too much to them."

Hazlehurst smiled, and passed his hand over his forehead. "Thank
you, sir, for your advice," he replied. "I shall try to judge the
facts calmly; although the idea, that one may possibly be an
usurper, is by no means pleasant; it is rather worse even, than
that of giving up to an impostor."

"It is a thousand pities that Ellsworth cannot be here until next
week; he would have warned you, as I do, not to lose sight of the
impostor."

"It is quite impossible that he should come, until next Monday; I
knew his business would not admit of it, when I wrote to him at
your request; but he will be here at the very earliest moment
that he can."

In fact every one present, while they regretted Mr. Ellsworth's
absence, felt thoroughly convinced that there were various
reasons, which gave him the best inclination in the world to be
at Wyllys-Roof as soon as possible.

"I hope Mrs. Creighton will come with him too; she will enliven
us a little, in the midst of our legal matters," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Ellsworth mentions Mrs. Creighton's coming particularly; she
sends a message to the ladies, through him, which I have already
delivered," replied Hazlehurst, as he took up Mr. Reed's letter,
to answer it.

"Well, Agnes, shall we have a game of chess?" said Mr. Wyllys;
and the circle was broken up, as the younger ladies joined Mrs.
Taylor in her own room.

The hour of ten, on the following morning, had been fixed for the
interview with the sailor and his counsel. Hazlehurst was walking
on the piazza, as the time approached, and punctual to the
moment, he saw a carriage drive up to the house; in it were Mr.
Reed, Mr. Clapp, and their client. Harry stopped to receive them;
and, as they mounted the steps one after the other, he bowed
respectfully to Mr. Reed, slightly to Mr. Clapp, and fixed his
eye steadily on the third individual.

"Mr. Stanley, Mr. Hazlehurst," said Mr. Reed, in a quiet, but
decided manner.

Harry bowed like a gentleman, Mr. Stanley like a jack-tar. The
first steady, inquiring glance of Hazlehurst, was sufficient to
show him, that the rival claimant was a man rather shorter, and
decidedly stouter than himself, with dark hair and eyes, and a
countenance by no means unpleasant, excepting that it bore
evident traces of past habits of intemperance; as far as his
features went, they certainly reminded Harry of Mr. Stanley's
portrait. The sailor's dress was that which might have been worn
by a mate, or skipper, on shore; he appeared not in the least
daunted, on the contrary he was quite self-possessed, with an air
of determination about him which rather took Harry by surprise.

A few indifferent observations were exchanged between Mr. Reed
and Hazlehurst, as the party entered the house; they were taken
by Harry into the drawing-room, and he then left them, to inform
Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys of their arrival.

Mrs. Stanley, though a woman of a firm character, was very
excitable in her temperament, and she dreaded the interview not a
little; she had asked Miss Wyllys to remain with her on the
occasion. Mr. Wyllys was sent for, and when he had joined the
ladies, and Mrs. Stanley had composed herself, their three
visitors were ushered into Miss Wyllys's usual sitting-room by
Hazlehurst. He introduced Mr. Reed to Mrs. Stanley and Miss
Wyllys, named Mr. Clapp, and added, as the sailor approached:
"Mr. Reed's client, ma'am."

"Mr. William Stanley," added Mr. Reed, firmly, but respectfully.

Mrs. Stanley had risen from her seat, and after curtseying to the
lawyers, she turned very pale, as the name of her husband's son
was so deliberately applied, by a respectable man, to the
individual before her.

"I was just asking Mr. Stanley, when Mr. Hazlehurst joined us,"
observed the forward Mr. Clapp, "if he remembered Wyllys-Roof at
all; but he says his recollections of this place are rather
confused."

"When were you here last, sir?" asked Mr. Wyllys of the sailor,
giving him a searching look at the same time.

"About five years ago," was the cool reply, rather to Mr.
Wyllys's surprise.

"Five years ago!--I have no recollection of the occasion."

The rest of the party were looking and listening, with curious,
anxious interest.

"You don't seem to have much recollection of me, at all, sir,"
said the sailor, rather bitterly.

"Do you mean to say, that you were in this house five years ago?"
asked Mr. Wyllys.

"I was here, but I didn't say I was in the house."

"What brought you here?"

"Pretty much the same errand that brings me now."

"What passed on the occasion?"

"I can't say I remember much about it, excepting that you did not
give me an over-friendly greeting."

"Explain how it happened, Mr. Stanley," said Mr. Reed, "Mr.
Wyllys does not understand you."

"I certainly cannot understand what you mean me to believe. You
say you were here, and did not receive a very friendly
greeting--how was it unfriendly?"

"Why, you showed me the inside of your smoke-house; which, to my
notion, wasn't just the right berth for the son of your old
friend, and I took the liberty of kicking off the hatches next
morning, and making the best of my way out of the neighbourhood."

"You remember the drunken sailor, sir, who was found one night,
several years since, near the house," interrupted Harry, who had
been listening attentively, and observed Mr. Wyllys's air of
incredulity. "I had him locked up in the smoke-house, you may
recollect."

"And you must observe, Mr. Hazlehurst, that is a fact which might
look ugly before a jury that did not know you," remarked Mr.
Clapp; in a sort of half-cunning, half-insinuating manner.

"I do not in the least doubt the ability of many men, sir, to
distort actions equally innocent."

"But you acknowledge the fact?"

"The fact that I locked up a drunken sailor, I certainly
acknowledge; and you will find me ready to acknowledge any other
fact equally true."

"Do you believe this to be the person you locked up, Harry?"
asked Mr. Wyllys.

"I think it not improbable that it is the same individual; but I
did not see the man distinctly at the time."

"I am glad, gentlemen, that you are prepared to admit the
identity thus far--that is a step gained," observed Mr. Clapp,
running his hand through his locks.

"Permit me, Mr. Clapp, to ask you a question or two," said Mr.
Wyllys. "Now you recall that circumstance to me, I should like to
ask, if we have not also heard of this individual since the
occasion you refer to?"

"Yes, sir; you probably have heard of him since," replied Mr.
Clapp, baldly.

"And in connexion with yourself, I think?"

"In connexion with me, sir. You will find me quite as ready as
Mr. Hazlehurst to admit facts, sir," replied the lawyer, leaning
back in his chair.

"When they are undeniable," observed Mr. Wyllys, drily. "May I
inquire what was the nature of that connexion?" asked the
gentleman, with one of his searching looks.

The lawyer did not seem to quail beneath the scrutiny.

"The connexion, Mr. Wyllys, was the commencement of what has been
completed recently. Mr. Stanley came to lay before me the claims
which he now makes publicly."

"You never made the least allusion to any claim of this kind to
me, at that time," said Mr. Wyllys.

"I didn't believe it then; I am free to say so now,"

"Still, not believing the claim, it was singular, I may say
suspicious, sir, that you never even mentioned the individual who
made it."

"Why, to tell you the truth, Mr. Wyllys, I had unpleasant
thoughts about it; we were neighbours and old friends, and though
I might make up my mind to undertake the case, if I thought it
clear, I did prefer that you should not know about my having had
anything to do with it, as long as I thought it a doubtful point.
I think you must see that was only natural for a young lawyer,
who had his fortune to make, and expected employment from you and
your friends. I have no objections whatever to speaking out now,
to satisfy your mind, Mr. Wyllys."

"I believe I understand you, sir," replied Mr. Wyllys, his
countenance expressing more cool contempt than he was aware of.

"I think, however, there are several other points which are not
so easily answered," he added, turning to Mr. Reed, as if
preferring to continue the conversation with him. "Do you not
think it singular, Mr. Reed, to say the least, that your client
should have allowed so many years to pass, without claiming the
property of Mr. Stanley, and then, at this late day, instead of
applying directly to the executors, come to a small town like
Longbridge, to a lawyer so little known as Mr. Clapp, in order to
urge a claim, so important to him as this we are now examining?"
asked Mr. Wyllys, with a meaning smile.

"We are able to explain all those points quite satisfactorily, I
think," replied Mr. Reed.

"I object, however," interposed Mr. Clapp, "to laying our case
fully before the defendants, until we know what they conclude to
do. We have met here by agreement, to give the defendants an
opportunity of satisfying their own minds--that they may settle
the point, whether they will admit our claim, or whether we must
go to law to get our rights. It was agreed that the meeting
should be only a common friendly visit, such as Mr. Stanley felt
perfectly willing to pay to his step-mother, and old family
friends. We also agreed, that we would answer any common
questions that might help to satisfy the defendants, provided
that they did not tend to endanger our future success, in the
event of a trial. I think, Mr. Reed, that as there does not seem
as yet much probability that the defendants will be easily
convinced, it behooves us to be on our guard."

"I will take the responsibility, sir, of answering other
observations of Mr. Wyllys's," replied Mr. Reed. "As the object
of the meeting was an amicable arrangement, we may be able to
make the case more clear, without endangering our own grounds.
Have you any remarks to make, madam?" he added, turning to Mrs.
Stanley.

It had been settled between the friends, before the meeting, that
Mr. Wyllys should be chief spokesman on the occasion; for,
although the sailor claimed the nearer connexion of step-son to
Mrs. Stanley, yet she had scarcely known her husband's son,
having married after he went to sea. Harry, it is true, had often
been with young Stanley at his father's house, but he was at the
time too young a child to have preserved any distinct
recollection of him. Mr. Wyllys was the only one of the three
individuals most interested, who remembered his person, manner,
and character, with sufficient minuteness to rely on his own
memory. The particular subjects upon which the sailor should be
questioned, had been also agreed upon beforehand, by Harry and
his friends. In reply to Mr. Reed's inquiry, Mrs. Stanley asked
to see the papers which had been brought for their investigation.

Mr. Clapp complied with the request, by drawing a bundle of
papers from his pocket. He first handed Mrs. Stanley a document,
proving that William Stanley had made two voyages as seaman, in a
Havre packet, in the year 1824, or nearly ten years since the
wreck of the Jefferson. The captain of this vessel was well
known, and still commanded a packet in the same line; very
probably his mates were also living, and could be called upon to
ascertain the authenticity of this paper. No man in his senses
would have forged a document which could be so easily disproved,
and both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst were evidently perplexed by
it, while Mrs. Stanley showed an increase of nervous agitation.
Mr. Wyllys at length returned this paper to Mr. Reed, confessing
that it looked more favourably than anything they had yet
received. Two letters were then shown, directed to William
Stanley, and bearing different dates; one was signed by the name
of David Billings, a man who had been the chief instrument in
first drawing William Stanley into bad habits, and had at length
enticed him to leave home and go to sea; it was dated nineteen
years back. As no one present knew the hand-writing of Billings,
and as he had died some years since, this letter might, or might
not, have been genuine. The name of the other signature was
entirely unknown to Harry and his friends; this second letter
bore a date only seven years previous to the interview, and was
addressed to William Stanley, at a sailor's boarding-house in
Baltimore. It was short, and the contents were unimportant;
chiefly referring to a debt of fifteen dollars, and purporting to
be written by a shipmate named Noah Johnson: the name of William
Stanley, in conjunction with the date, was the only remarkable
point about this paper. Both letters had an appearance
corresponding with their dates; they looked old and soiled; the
first bore the post-office stamp of New York; the other had no
post-mark. Mr. Wyllys asked if this Noah Johnson could be found?
The sailor replied, that he had not seen him for several years,
and did not know what had become of him; he had kept the letter
because it acknowledged the debt. He replied to several other
questions about this man, readily and naturally; though Mr.
Wyllys had no means of deciding whether these answers were
correct or not. Hazlehurst then made several inquiries about
Billings, whom he had seen, and remembered as a bad fellow, the
son of a country physician living near Greatwood. His height,
age, appearance, and several circumstances connected with his
family, were all very accurately given by Mr. Reed's client, as
Harry frankly admitted to Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys.

Mr. Reed looked gratified by the appearance of things, and Mr.
Clapp seemed quite satisfied with the turn matters were now
taking. Throughout the interview, Mr. Reed seemed to listen with
a sort of calm interest, as if he had little doubt as to the
result. Mr. Clapp's manner was much more anxious; but then he was
perfectly aware of the suspicions against him, and knew that not
only this particular case, but his whole prospects for life, were
at stake on the present occasion.

"Like most sailors, Mr. Stanley has kept but few papers,"
observed Mr. Reed.

"He has been as careless about his documents, as he was about his
property--he has lost some of the greatest importance," observed
Mr. Clapp. "Here is something, though, that will speak for him,"
added the lawyer, as he handed Mrs. Stanley a book. It was a
volume of the Spectator, open at the blank leaves, and showing
the following words: "John William Stanley, Greatwood, 1804;" and
below, these, "William Stanley, 1810;" the first sentence was in
the hand-writing of the father, the second in the half-childish
characters of the son; both names had every appearance of being
autographs. The opposite page was partly covered with names of
ships, scratches of the pen, unconnected sentences, and one or
two common sailor expressions. Mrs. Stanley's eyes grew dim for
an instant, after she had read the names of her husband and
step-son--she passed the book to Mr. Wyllys; he took it, examined
it closely, but found nothing to complain of in its appearance.

{"the Spectator" = English daily periodical published by Richard
Steele (1672-1729) and Joseph Addison (1672-1719) between 1711
and 1714; the eight volumes of the Spectator have been reprinted
frequently in book form ever since}

"This is only the third volume; have you the whole set?" he
asked, turning to the sailor.

"No, sir; I left the rest at home."

"Is there such a set at Greatwood?" asked Mr. Wyllys, turning to
Mrs. Stanley.

"There is," replied the lady, in a low voice, "and one volume
missing."

Hazlehurst asked to look at the book; it was handed to him by Mr.
Wyllys. He examined it very carefully, binding, title-page, and
contents; Mr. Clapp watching him closely at the moment.

"Do you suspect the hand-writing?" asked the lawyer.

"Not in the least," replied Hazlehurst. "You have read this
volume often I suppose," he added, turning to the sailor.

"Not I," was the reply; "I ain't given to reading in any shape;
my shipmates have read that 'ere book oftener than I have."

"Did you carry it with you in all your voyages?"

"No; I left it ashore half the time."

"How long have you had it in your possession?"

"Since I first went to sea."

"Indeed! that is singular; I should have said, Mr. Clapp,"
exclaimed Harry, suddenly facing the lawyer, "that only four
years since, I read this very volume of the Spectator at
Greatwood!"

If Hazlehurst expected Mr. Clapp to betray confusion, he was
disappointed.

"You may have read some other volume," was the cool reply;
although Harry thought, or fancied, that he traced a muscular
movement about the speaker's eyelids, as he uttered the words:
"That volume has been in the possession of Mr. Stanley since he
first went to sea."

"Is there no other copy of the Spectator at your country-place,
Mrs. Stanley?" asked Mr. Reed.

"There is another edition, entire, in three volumes," said Mrs.
Stanley.

"I had forgotten it" said Hazlehurst; "but I am, nevertheless,
convinced that it was this edition which I read, for I remember
looking for it on an upper shelf, where it belonged."

"It was probably another volume of the same edition; there must
be some half-dozen, to judge by the size of this," observed Mr.
Reed.

"There were eight volumes, but one has been missing for years,"
said Mrs. Stanley.

"It was this which I read, however," said Harry; "for I remember
the portrait of Steele, in the frontispiece."

"Will you swear to it?" asked Mr. Clapp, with a doubtful smile.

"When I do take an oath, it will not be lightly, sir," replied
Hazlehurst.

"It is pretty evident, that Mr. Hazlehurst will not be easily
satisfied," added Mr. Clapp, with an approach to a sneer. "Shall
we go on, Mr. Reed, or stop the examination?"

Mrs. Stanley professed herself anxious to ask other questions;
and as she had showed more symptoms of yielding than the
gentlemen, the sailor's counsel seemed to cherish hopes of
bringing her over to their side. At her request, Mr. Wyllys then
proceeded to ask some questions, which had been agreed upon
before the meeting.

"What is your precise age, sir?"

"I shall be thirty-seven, the tenth of next August."

"Where were you born?"

"At my father's country-place, in ----- county, Pennsylvania."

"When were you last there before his death?"

"After my whaling voyage in the Sally-Ann, in the summer of
1814."

"How long did you stay at home on that occasion?"

"Three months; until I went to sea in the Thomas Jefferson."

"What was your mother's name, sir?"

"My mother's name was Elizabeth Radcliffe."

"What were the names of your grand-parents?" added Mr. Wyllys,
quickly.

"My grandfather Stanley's name was William; I am named after him.
My grandmother's maiden name was Ellis--Jane Ellis."

"What were the Christian names of your grand-parents, on your
mother's side?"

"Let me see--my memory isn't over-good: my grandfather Radcliffe
was named John Henry."

"And your grandmother?"

The sailor hesitated, and seemed to change colour; but, perhaps
it was merely because he stooped to pick up his handkerchief.

"It's curious that I can't remember her Christian name," said he,
looking from one to another; "but I always called her
grandmother;--that's the reason, I suppose."

"Take time, and I dare say you will remember," said Clapp. "Have
you never chanced to see the old family Bible?"

The sailor looked at him, as if in thought, and suddenly
exclaimed: "Her name was Agnes Graham!" Other questions were then
asked, about the persons of his parents, the house at Greatwood,
and the neighbourhood. He seemed quite at home there, and
answered most of the questions with great accuracy--especially
about the place and neighbourhood. He described Mr. Stanley
perfectly, but did not appear to remember his mother so well; as
she had died early, however, Mr. Reed and Mr. Clapp accounted for
it in that way. He made a few mistakes about the place, but they
were chiefly upon subjects of opinion, such as the breadth of a
river, the height of a hill, the number of acres in a field; and
possibly his account was quite as correct as that of Mr. Wyllys.

"On which side of the house is the drawing-room, at Greatwood?"
asked Hazlehurst.

"Maybe you have changed it, since you got possession; but in my
day it was on the north side of the house, looking towards the
woods."

"Where are the stairs?"

"They stand back as you go in--they are very broad."

"Is there anything particular about the railing?"

The sailor paused. "Not that I remember, now," he said.

"Can't you describe it?--What is it made of?"

"Some kind of wood--dark wood--mahogany."

"What is the shape of the balusters?"

He could not tell; which Mr. Wyllys thought he ought to have
done; for they were rather peculiar, being twisted, and would
probably be remembered by most children brought up in the house.

Mrs. Stanley then begged he would describe the furniture of the
drawing-room, such as it was the last summer he had passed at
Greatwood. He seemed to hesitate, and change countenance, more
than he had yet done; so much so, as to strike Mrs. Stanley
herself; but he immediately rallied again.

"Well," said he, "you ask a man the very things he wouldn't be
likely to put on his log. But I'll make it all out ship-shape
presently." He stooped to pick up his handkerchief, which had
fallen again, and was going to proceed, when Mr. Clapp
interrupted him.

"I must take the liberty of interfering," said he, looking at his
watch, as he rose from his seat, and moved towards Mr. Reed,
asking if he did not think the examination had been quite long
enough.

"I must say, gentlemen," he added significantly, turning towards
Mr. Wyllys and Harry, "that I think our client has had enough of
it; considering that, upon the whole, there is no one here who
has so much right to ask questions, instead of answering them, as
Mr. Stanley."

"I should suppose, sir," said Mr. Reed, also rising and
addressing Mr. Wyllys, "that you must have heard and seen enough
for the object of our meeting. You have had a personal interview
with Mr. Stanley; you confess that he is like his family, like
himself, in short--allowing for the difference between a boy of
eighteen and a man of thirty-seven, where the habits of life have
been so different; you admit the identity of the hand-writing--"

"I beg your pardon, sir; not the identity, but the resemblance."

"A perfectly natural resemblance, under the circumstances, I
think you must allow."

"Yes; the similarity of the hand-writing is remarkable,
certainly."

"During the last two hours you have asked the questions which
best suited your own pleasure, and he has answered them with
great accuracy, without one important mistake. What more can you
possibly require?"

"I do not stand alone, sir; we claim the time previously fixed
for consideration, before we give our final answer. We are,
however, much obliged to you, Mr. Reed, for granting the
interview, even if its results are not what you may have hoped
for. We shall always remember your conduct on this occasion with
respect."

Mr. Wyllys then offered some refreshments to Mr. Reed; they were
accepted, and ordered immediately.

Mr. Clapp was standing near Harry, and turning to him, he said:
"Mr. Stanley has a favour to ask, Mr. Hazlehurst, though you
don't seem disposed to grant him any," he added, with peculiar
expression.

"'A FAIR field, and no favour,' is a saying you may have heard,"
replied Hazlehurst, with a slight emphasis on the first word.
"But what is your client's request, sir?"

Mr. Clapp made a gesture towards the sailor, who then spoke for
himself.

"I understand that two of my cousins are in the house, and I
should be glad to see them before I leave it."

"Whom do you mean, sir?"

"Elinor Wyllys and Mary Van Alstyne. I haven't seen either of
them since they were children; but as I have got but few
relations, and no friends it seems, I should like to see them."

"You must apply to Mr. Wyllys; the young ladies are under his
care," replied Harry, coldly.

But Mr. Wyllys took upon himself to refuse the sailor's request,
under the circumstances. Having taken some refreshments, Mr.
Reed, his brother counsel, and their client now made their bows,
and left the house. As they drove from the door, Mr. Reed looked
calm and civil, Mr. Clapp very well satisfied; and the sailor, as
he took his seat by Mr. Reed, observed, in a voice loud enough to
be heard by Harry, who was standing on the piazza:

"It turns out just as I reckoned; hard work for a man to get his
rights in this here longitude!"



CHAPTER XIII. {XXXVI}

"Nay, let them go, a couple of quiet ones!"
Taming the Shrew.

{William Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew", III.ii.240}

ELINOR was all anxiety to learn the result of the interview; and
Mary Van Alstyne also naturally felt much interest in the
subject, as she, too, was a cousin of William Stanley, their
mothers having been sisters. Elinor soon discovered that the
sailor had borne a much better examination than either of her
friends had expected; he had made no glaring mistake, and he had
answered their questions on some points, with an accuracy and
readiness that was quite startling. He evidently knew a great
deal about the Stanley family, their house, and the
neighbourhood; whoever he was, there could he no doubt that he
had known Mr. Stanley himself, and was very familiar with the
part of the country in which he had resided. Altogether, the
personal resemblance, the handwriting, the fact of his being a
sailor, the papers he had shown, the plausible statement he had
given, as to his past movements, and his intimate knowledge of so
many facts, which a stranger could scarcely have known, made up a
combination of circumstances, quite incomprehensible to the
friends at Wyllys-Roof. Still, in spite of so much that appeared
in his favour, Mr. Wyllys declared, that so far as his own
opinion went, he had too many doubts as to this man's character,
to receive him as the son of his friend, upon the evidence he had
thus far laid before them. The circumstances under which he
appeared, were so very suspicious in every point of view, that
the strongest possible evidences of his identity would be
required, to counteract them. The length of time that had passed
since the wreck of the Jefferson, the long period during which
his father's property had been left in the hands of others, and
the doubtful character of the channel through which the claim was
at length brought forward--all these facts united, furnished good
grounds for suspecting something wrong. There were other points
too, upon which Mr. Wyllys had his doubts; although the general
resemblance of this individual to William Stanley, was sufficient
to pass with most people, allowing for the natural changes
produced by time, yet there were some minor personal traits,
which did not correspond with his recollection of Mr. Stanley's
son: the voice appeared to him different in tone; he was also
disposed to believe the claimant shorter and fuller than William
Stanley, in the formation of his body and limbs; as to this man's
gait, which was entirely different from that of William Stanley,
as a boy, nearer observation had increased Mr. Wyllys's first
impression on that subject. On these particular points, Mrs.
Stanley and Hazlehurst were no judges; for the first had scarcely
seen her step-son, the last had only a child's recollection of
him. Nor could Miss Agnes's opinion have much weight, since she
had seldom seen the boy, during the last years he passed on
shore; for, at that time, she had been much detained at home, by
the ill health of her mother. Hazlehurst had watched the claimant
closely, and the interview had silenced his first misgivings, for
he had been much struck with two things: he had always heard,
whenever the subject of William Stanley's character had been
alluded to before him, that this unfortunate young man was sullen
in temper, and dull in mind. Now, the sailor's whole expression
and manner, in his opinion, had shown too much cleverness for
William Stanley; he had appeared decidedly quick-witted, and his
countenance was certainly rather good-natured than otherwise. Mr.
Wyllys admitted that Harry's views were just; he was struck with
both these observations; he thought them correct and important.
Then Hazlehurst thought he had seen some signs of intelligence
between Clapp and the sailor once or twice, a mere glance; he
could not be positive, however, since it might have been his own
suspicions. As to the volume of the Spectator, he had felt at
first morally certain that he had read that very volume at
Greatwood, only four years ago, but he had since remembered that
his brother had the same edition, and he might have read the book
in Philadelphia; in the mean time he would try to recall the
circumstances more clearly to his mind; for so long as he had a
doubt, he could not swear to the fact. He knew it was not the
octavo edition, at Greatwood, that he had been reading, for he
distinctly remembered the portrait of Steele in the frontispiece,
and Addison's papers on the Paradise Lost, which he had been
reading; that very portrait, and those papers, were contained in
the volume handed to him by Clapp. Both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst
were gratified to find, that Mrs. Stanley differed from them less
than they had feared. She confessed, that at one moment her heart
had misgiven her, but on looking closely at the sailor, she
thought him less like her husband than she had expected; and she
had been particularly struck by his embarrassment, when she had
asked him to describe the furniture of the drawing-room at
Greatwood, the very last summer he had been there, for he ought
certainly under such circumstances, to have remembered it as well
as herself; he had looked puzzled, and had glanced at Mr. Clapp,
and the lawyer had immediately broken off the examination. Such
were the opinions of the friends at this stage of the
proceedings. Still it was an alarming truth, that if there were
improbabilities, minor facts, and shades of manner, to strengthen
their doubts, there was, on the other side, a show of evidence,
which might very possibly prove enough to convince a jury.
Hazlehurst had a thousand things to attend to, but he had decided
to wait at Wyllys-Roof until the arrival of Mr. Ellsworth.

{"Addison's papers on the Paradise Lost" = in fact, Addison's
essays on Paradise Lost are contained in volumes four and five of
the Spectator}

Leaving those most interested in this vexatious affair to hold
long consultations together in Mr. Wyllys's study, we must now
proceed to record a visit which Miss Agnes received from one of
our Longbridge acquaintances, and we shall therefore join the
ladies.

"I am sorry, my dear, that the house is not so quiet as we could
wish, just now," said Miss Agnes to Jane, one morning, as she and
Elinor were sitting together in the young widow's room.

"Thank you, Aunt; but it does not disturb me, and I know it is
not to be avoided just now," said Jane, languidly.

"No, it cannot be helped, with this troublesome business going
on; and we shall have Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Ellsworth here
soon."

"Pray, do not change your plans on my account. I need not see any
of your friends; I shall scarcely know they are here," said Jane,
with a deep sigh.

"If it were possible to defer their visit, I should do so; but
situated as we are with Mr. Ellsworth--" added Miss Wyllys.

"Certainly; do not let me interfere with his coming. I feel
perfectly indifferent as to who comes or goes; I can never take
any more pleasure in society!"

"Here is my aunt Wyllys driving up to the door," said Elinor, who
was sitting near a window. "Do you feel equal to seeing her?"

"Oh, no, not to-day, dear," said Jane in an imploring voice; and
Elinor accordingly remained with her cousin, while Miss Agnes
went down to meet Mrs. George Wyllys. This lady was still living
at Longbridge, although every few months she talked of leaving
the place. Her oldest boy had just received a midshipman's
warrant, to which he was certainly justly entitled--his father
having lost his life in the public service. The rest of her
children were at home; and rather spoilt and troublesome little
people they were.

"How is Jane?" asked Mrs. Wyllys, as she entered the house.

"Very sad and feeble; but I hope the air here will strengthen
her, after a time."

"Poor thing!--no wonder she is sad, indeed! So young, and such an
affliction! How is the child?"

"Much better; she is quite playful, and disturbs Jane very much
by asking after her father. What a warm drive you must have had,
Harriet; you had better throw off your hat, and stay with us
until evening."

"Thank you; I must go home for dinner, and shall not be able to
stay more than half an hour. Is your father in? I wished to see
him, as well as yourself, on business."

"No, he is not at home; he has gone off some miles, to look at
some workmen who are putting up a new farm-house."

"I am sorry he is not at home, for I want to ask his opinion. And
yet he must have his hands full just now, with that vexatious
Stanley case. I must say, I think Clapp deserves to be sent to
the tread-mill!"

"Perhaps he does," replied Miss Wyllys. "It is to be hoped at
least, that he will receive what he deserves, and nothing more."

"I hope he will, with all my heart! But as I have not much time
to spare, I must proceed to lay my affairs before you. Now I
really and honestly want your advice, Agnes."

"You have had it often before," replied Miss Wyllys, smiling. "I
am quite at your service now," she added, seeing her
sister-in-law look a little uneasy. Mrs. Wyllys was silent for a
moment.

"I scarcely know where to begin," she then said; "for here I am,
come to consult you on a subject which you may think beneath your
notice; you are superior to such trifling matters," she said,
smiling--and then added: "But seriously, I have too much
confidence in your judgment and good sense, to wish to act
without your approbation."

"What is the point upon which I am to decide?--for you have not
yet told me anything."

"It is a subject upon which I have been thinking for some
time--several months. What should you say to my marrying again?"
asked Mrs. Wyllys stoutly.

Miss Agnes was amazed. She had known her sister-in-law, when some
years younger, refuse more than one good offer; and had never for
a moment doubted her intention to remain a widow for life.

"You surprise me, Harriet," she said; "I had no idea you thought
of marrying again."

"Certainly, I never thought of taking such a step until quite
lately."

"And who is the gentleman?" asked Miss Agnes, in some anxiety.

"I know you will at least agree with me, in thinking that I have
made a prudent choice. The welfare of my children is indeed my
chief consideration. I find, Agnes, that they require a stronger
hand than mine to manage them. Long before Evert went to sea, he
was completely his own master; there were only two persons who
had any influence over him, one is his grandfather, the other, a
gentleman who will, I suppose, before long, become nearly
connected with him. I frankly acknowledge that I have no control
over him myself; it is a mortifying fact to confess, but my
system of education, though an excellent one in theory, has not
succeeded in practice."

'Because,' thought Miss Agnes, 'there is too much theory, my good
sister.' "But you have not yet named the gentleman," she added,
aloud.

"Oh, I have no doubt of your approving my choice! He is a most
worthy, excellent man--of course, at my time of life, I shall not
make a love-match. Can't you guess the individual--one of my
Longbridge neighbours?"

"From Longbridge," said Miss Wyllys, not a little surprised.
"Edward Tibbs, perhaps," she added, smiling. He was an unmarried
man, and one of the Longbridge beaux.

"Oh, no; how can you think me so silly, Agnes! I am ashamed of
you! It is a very different person; the family are great
favourites of your's."

"One of the Van Hornes?" Mrs. Wyllys shook her head.

"One of the Hubbards?--Is it John Hubbard, the principal of the
new Academy?" inquired Miss Agnes, faintly.

"Do you suppose I would marry a man of two-or-three-and-twenty!"
exclaimed Mrs. Wyllys with indignation. "It is his uncle; a man
against whom there can be no possible objection--Mr. James
Hubbard."

'Uncle Dozie, of all men!' thought Miss Agnes. 'Silent, sober,
sleepy Uncle Dozie. Well, we must be thankful that it is no
worse.'

"Mr. Hubbard is certainly a respectable man, a man of
principles," she observed aloud. "But everybody looked upon him
as a confirmed old bachelor; I did not suspect either of you of
having any thoughts of marrying," continued Miss Agnes, smiling.

"I am sometimes surprised that we should have come to that
conclusion, myself. But it is chiefly for the sake of my children
that I marry; you must know me well enough, Agnes, to be
convinced that I sacrifice myself for them!"

"I wish, indeed, that it may be for their good, Harriet!"

"Thank you; I have no doubt of it. I feel perfect confidence in
Mr. Hubbard; he is a man so much older than myself, and so much
more experienced, that I shall be entirely guided in future by
his counsel and advice."

Miss Agnes had some difficulty in repressing a smile and a sigh.

"Of course, I am well aware that many people will think I am
taking a foolish step," continued Mrs. Wyllys. Hubbard's
connexions, are generally not thought agreeable, perhaps; he has
very little property, and no profession. I am not blinded, you
see; but I am very indifferent as to the opinion of the world in
general; I am very independent of all but my immediate friends,
as you well know, Agnes."

Miss Wyllys was silent.

"In fact, my attention was first fixed upon Mr. Hubbard, by
finding how little he was appreciated and understood by others; I
regretted that I had at first allowed myself to be guided by
general opinion. Now I think it very possible that, although Mr.
Hubbard has been your neighbour for years, even you, Agnes, may
have a very mistaken opinion of him; you may have underrated his
talents, his strong affections, and energetic character. I was
surprised myself to find, what a very agreeable companion he is!"

"I have always believed Mr. James Hubbard a man of kind feelings,
as you observe, and a man of good principles; two important
points, certainly."

"I am glad you do him justice. But you are not aware perhaps,
what a very pleasant companion he is, where he feels at his ease,
and knows that he is understood."

'That is to say, where he can doze, while another person thinks
and talks for him,' thought Miss Agnes.

"The time is fixed I suppose for the wedding, Harriet?" she
inquired aloud, with a smile.

"Nearly so, I believe. I told Mr. Hubbard that I should be just
as ready to marry him next week, as next year; we agreed that
when two persons of our ages had come to an understanding, they
might as well settle the matter at once. We shall be married, I
fancy, in the morning, in church, with only two or three friends
present. I hope, Agnes, that your father and yourself will be
with me. You know that I should never have taken this step, if
you had not agreed with me in thinking it for the good of my
children."

"Thank you, Harriet; of course we shall be present, if you wish
it."

"Certainly I wish it. I shall always look upon you as my best
friends and advisers."

"Next to Mr. Hubbard, in future," replied Miss Agnes, smiling.

"When you know him better, you will confess that he deserves a
high place in my confidence. You have no idea how much his
brother and nieces think of him; but that is no wonder, for they
know his good sense, and his companionable qualities. He is
really a very agreeable companion, Agnes, for a rational woman;
quite a cultivated mind, too."

Visions of cabbages and turnips rose in Miss Agnes's mind, as the
only cultivation ever connected, till now, with Uncle Dozie's
name.

"We passed last evening charmingly; I read the Lay of the Last
Minstrel aloud to him, and he seemed to enjoy it very much,"
continued Mrs. Wyllys.

{"Lay of the Last Minstrel" = long narrative poem (1805) by Sir
Walter Scott (1771-1832)}

'He took a nap, I suppose,' thought Miss Agnes. "He ought to be
well pleased to have a fair lady read aloud to him," she replied,
smiling.

"The better I know him, the more satisfied I am with my choice. I
have: found a man upon whom I can depend for support and
advice--and one who is at the same time a very pleasant
companion. Do you know, he sometimes reminds me of our excellent
father,"

This was really going too far, in Miss Agnes's opinion; she quite
resented a comparison between Uncle Dozie and Mr. Wyllys. The
widow, however, was too much occupied with her own affairs, to
notice Miss Agnes's expression.

"I find, indeed, that the whole family are more agreeable than I
had supposed; but you rather gave me a prejudice against them.
The young ladies improve on acquaintance, they are pretty,
amiable young women; I have seen them quite often since we have
been near neighbours. Well, I must leave you, for Mr. Hubbard
dines with me to-day. In the mean time, Agnes, I commit my
affairs to your hands. Since I did not find your father at home,
I shall write to him this evening."

The ladies parted; and as Mrs. Wyllys passed out of the room, she
met Elinor.

"Good morning, Elinor," she said; "your aunt has news for you,
which I would tell you myself if I had time:" then nodding, she
left the house, and had soon driven off. "My dear Aunt, what is
this news?" asked Elinor.

Miss Agnes looked a little annoyed, a little mortified, and a
little amused.

When the mystery was explained, Elinor's amazement was great.

"It is incredible!" she exclaimed. "My Aunt Wyllys actually going
to marry that prosing, napping Mr. Hubbard; Uncle Dozie!"

"When I remember her husband," said Miss Agnes, with feeling, "it
does seem incredible; my dear, warm-hearted, handsome, animated
brother George!"

"How extraordinary!" said Elinor, who could do nothing but
exclaim.

"No; not in the least extraordinary," added Miss Agnes; "such
marriages, dear, seem quite common." Mr. Wyllys was not at all
astonished at the intelligence.

"I have expected that Harriet would marry, all along; she has a
great many good intentions, and some good qualities; but I knew
she would not remain a widow. It is rather strange that she
should have chosen James Hubbard; but she might have done worse."

With these philosophical reflections, Mrs. Wyllys's friends
looked forward to the happy event which was soon to take place.
The very same morning that Miss Agnes was taken into the
confidence of the bride, the friends of the groom also learned
the news, but in a more indirect manner.

The charms of a parterre are daily be-rhymed in verse, and
vaunted in prose, but the beauties of a vegetable garden seldom
meet with the admiration they might claim. If you talk of beets,
people fancy them sliced with pepper and vinegar; if you mention
carrots, they are seen floating in soup; cabbage figures in the
form of cold-slaw, or disguised under drawn-butter; if you refer
to corn, it appears to the mind's eye wrapt in a napkin to keep
it warm, or cut up with beans in a succatash {sic}. Half the
people who see these good things daily spread on the board before
them, are only acquainted with vegetables after they have been
mutilated and disguised by cookery. They would not know the leaf
of a beet from that of the spinach, the green tuft of a carrot
from the delicate sprigs of parsley. Now, a bouquet of roses and
pinks is certainly a very beautiful object, but a collection of
fine vegetables, with the rich variety of shape and colour, in
leaf, fruit, and root, such as nature has given them to us, is a
noble sight. So thought Uncle Dozie, at least. The rich texture
and shading of the common cabbage-leaf was no novelty to him; he
had often watched the red, coral-like veins in the glossy green
of the beet; the long, waving leaf of the maize, with the silky
tassels of its ears, were beautiful in his eyes; and so were the
rich, white heads of the cauliflower, delicate as carved ivory,
the feathery tuft of the carrot, the purple fruit of the
egg-plant, and the brilliant scarlet tomato. He came nearer than
most Christians, out of Weathersfield, to sympathy with the old
Egyptians in their onion-worship.

{"parterre" = ornamental flower garden; "out of Weathersfield" =
Wethersfield (the modern spelling), Connecticut, was famous for
its onions (there is still a red onion called "Red
Weathersfield"), until struck by a blight about 1840; "old
Egyptians" = ancient Egypt was proverbial for worshiping the
onion}

With such tastes and partialities, Uncle Dozie was generally to
be found in his garden, between the hours of sun-rise and
sun-set; gardening having been his sole occupation for nearly
forty years. His brother, Mr. Joseph Hubbard, having something to
communicate, went there in search of him, on the morning to which
we refer. But Uncle Dozie was not to be found. The gardener,
however, thought that he could not have gone very far, for he had
passed near him not five minutes before; and he suggested that,
perhaps Mr. Hubbard was going out somewhere, for "he looked kind
o' spruce and drest up." Mr. Hubbard expected his brother to dine
at home, and thought the man mistaken. In passing an arbour,
however, he caught a glimpse of the individual he was looking
for, and on coming nearer, he found Uncle Dozie, dressed in a new
summer suit, sitting on the arbour seat taking a nap, while at
his feet was a very fine basket of vegetables, arranged with more
than usual care. Unwilling to disturb him, his brother, who knew
that his naps seldom lasted more than a few minutes at a time,
took a turn in the garden, waiting for him to awake. He had
hardly left the arbour however, before he heard Uncle Dozie
moving; turning in that direction, he was going to join him,
when, to his great astonishment, he saw his brother steal from
the arbour, with the basket of vegetables on his arm, and
disappear between two rows of pea-brush.

"James!--I say, James!--Where are you going? Stop a minute, I
want to speak to you!" cried Mr. Joseph Hubbard.

He received no answer.

"James!--Wait a moment for me! Where are you?" added the
merchant; and walking quickly to the pea-rows, he saw his brother
leave them and dexterously make for the tall Indian-corn. Now
Uncle Dozie was not in the least deaf; and his brother was
utterly at a loss to account for his evading him in the first
place, and for his not answering in the second. He thought the
man had lost his senses: he was mistaken, Uncle Dozie had only
lost his heart. Determined not to give up the chase, still
calling the retreating Uncle Dozie, he pursued him from the
pea-rows into the windings of the corn-hills, across the walk to
another growth of peas near the garden paling. Here, strange to
say, in a manner quite inexplicable to his brother, Uncle Dozie
and his vegetables suddenly disappeared! Mr. Hubbard was
completely at fault: he could scarcely believe that he was in his
own garden, and that it was his own brother James whom he had
been pursuing, and who seemed at that instant to have vanished
from before his eyes--through the fence, he should have said, had
such a thing been possible. Mr. Hubbard was a resolute man; he
determined to sift the matter to the bottom. Still calling upon
the fugitive, he made his way to the garden paling through the
defile of the peas. No one was there--a broad, open bed lay on
either hand, and before him the fence. At last he observed a
foot-print in the earth near the paling, and a rustling sound
beyond. He advanced and looked over, and to his unspeakable
amazement, saw his brother, James Hubbard, busily engaged there,
in collecting the scattered vegetables which had fallen from his
basket.

"Jem!--I have caught you at last, have I? What in the name of
common sense are you about there?"

No reply was made, but Uncle Dozie proceeded to gather up his
cauliflowers, peas and tomatoes, to the best of his ability.

"Did you fly over the fence, or through it?" asked his brother,
quite surprised.

"Neither one nor the other," replied Uncle Dozie, sulkily. "I
came through the gate."

"Gate!--why there never was a gate here!"

"There is one now."

And so there was; part of the paling had been turned into a
narrow gate.

"Why, who cut this gate, I should like to know?"

"I did."

"You did, Jem? What for?--What is the use of it?"

"To go through."

"To go where? It only leads into Mrs. Wyllys's garden."

Uncle Dozie made no answer.

"What are you doing with those vegetables? I am really curious to
know."

"Going to carry them down there," said Uncle Dozie.

"Down where?" repeated Uncle Josie, looking on the ground strewed
with vegetables.

"Over there."

"Over where?" asked the merchant, raising his eyes towards a
neighbouring barn before him.

"Yonder," added Uncle Dozie, making a sort of indescribable nod
backward with his head.

"Yonder!--In the street do you mean? Are you going to throw them
away?"

"Throw away such a cauliflower as this!" exclaimed Uncle Dozie,
with great indignation.

"What are you going to do with them, then?"

"Carry them to the house there."

"What house?"

"Mrs. Wyllys's, to be sure," replied Uncle Dozie, boldly.

"What is the use of carrying vegetables to Mrs. Wyllys? She has a
garden of her own" said his brother, very innocently.

"Miserable garden--poor, thin soil," muttered Uncle Dozie.

"Is it? Well, then, I can understand it; but you might us well
send them by the gardener."

Uncle Dozie made no reply, but proceeded to arrange his
vegetables in the basket, with an eye to appearances; he had
gathered them all up again, but another object which had fallen
on the grass lay unnoticed.

"What is that--a book?" asked his brother.

Uncle Dozie turned round, saw the volume, picked it up, and
thrust it in his pocket.

"Did you drop it? I didn't know you ever carried a book about
you," replied his brother, with some surprise. "What is it?"

"A book of poetry."

"Whose poetry?"

"I am sure I've forgotten," replied Uncle Dozie, taking a look
askance at the title, as it half-projected from his pocket. "It's
Coleridge's Ancient Mariner," he added.

{"Coleridge's..." = "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798) by
the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). A number of
chapter epigraphs in "Elinor Wyllys" are taken from this famous
poem}

"What in the world are you going to do with it?" said his
brother, with increasing surprise.

"I wanted a volume of poetry."

"You--Jem Hubbard! Why, I thought Yankee-Doodle was the only
poetry you cared for!"

"I don't care for it, but she does."

"She!--What SHE?" asked Uncle Josie, with lively curiosity, but
very little tact, it would seem.

"Mrs. Wyllys," was the laconic reply.

"Oh, Mrs. Wyllys; I told her some time ago that she was very
welcome to any of our books."

"It isn't one of your books; it's mine; I bought it."

"It wasn't worth while to buy it, Jem," said his brother; "I dare
say Emmeline has got it in the house. If Mrs. Wyllys asked to
borrow it, you ought to have taken Emmeline's, though she isn't
at home; she just keeps her books to show off on the
centre-table, you know. Our neighbour, Mrs. Wyllys, seems quite a
reader."

"She doesn't want this to read herself," observed Uncle Dozie.

"No?--What does she want it for?"

"She wants me to read it aloud."

Uncle Josie opened his eyes in mute astonishment. Uncle Dozie
continued, as if to excuse himself for this unusual offence: "She
asked for a favourite volume of mine; but I hadn't any favourite;
so I bought this. It looks pretty, and the bookseller said it was
called a good article."

"Why, Jem, are you crazy, man!--YOU going to read poetry aloud!"

"Why not?" said Uncle Dozie, growing bolder as the conversation
continued, and he finished arranging his basket.

"I believe you are out of your head, Jem; I don't understand you
this morning. What is the meaning of this?--what are you about?"

"Going to be married," replied Uncle Dozie, not waiting for any
further questions, but setting off at a brisk step towards Mrs.
Wyllys's door.

Mr. Joseph Hubbard remained looking over the fence in silent
amazement; he could scarcely believe his senses, so entirely was
he taken by surprise. In good sooth, Uncle Dozie had managed
matters very slily, through that little gate in the garden
paling; not a human being had suspected him. Uncle Josie's doubts
were soon entirely removed, however; he was convinced of the
reality of all he had heard and seen that morning, when he
observed his brother standing on Mrs. Wyllys's steps, and the
widow coming out to receive him, with a degree of elegance in her
dress, and graciousness in her manner, quite perceptible across
the garden: the fair lady admired the vegetables, ordered them
carried into the cellar, and received Coleridge's Ancient Mariner
from Uncle Dozie's hands, while they were still standing beneath
the rose-covered porch, looking sufficiently lover-like to remove
any lingering doubts of Uncle Josie. After the happy couple had
entered the house, the merchant left his station at the paling,
and returned to his own solitary dinner, laughing heartily
whenever the morning scene recurred to him. We have said that
Uncle Dozie had managed his love affairs thus far so slyly, that
no one suspected him; that very afternoon, however, one of the
most distinguished gossips of Longbridge, Mrs. Tibbs's mother,
saw him napping in Mrs. Wyllys's parlour, with a rose-bud in his
button-hole, and the Ancient Mariner in his hand. She was quite
too experienced in her vocation, not to draw her own conclusions;
and a suspicion, once excited, was instantly communicated to
others. The news spread like wild-fire; and when the evening-bell
rang, it had become a confirmed fact in many houses, that Mrs.
Wyllys and Mr. James Hubbard had already been privately married
six months.



CHAPTER XIV. {XXXVII}

"Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
Of this ----------------- ?"
Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, "3 Henry VI", IV.i.1-2}

BEFORE the end of the week, the friends at Wyllys-Roof, after
carefully examining all the facts within their knowledge, were
confirmed in their first opinion, that the individual claiming to
be William Stanley was an impostor. Mrs. Stanley was the last of
the three to make up her mind decidedly, on the point; but at
length, she also was convinced, that Mr. Clapp and this sailor
had united in a conspiracy to obtain possession of her husband's
estate. The chief reasons for believing this to be the case,
consisted in the difference of CHARACTER and EXPRESSION between
the claimant and William Stanley: the more Mr. Wyllys examined
this point, the clearer it appeared to him, who had known his
friend's only son from an infant, and had always felt much
interested in him. As a child, and a boy, William Stanley had
been of a morose temper, and of a sluggish, inactive mind--not
positively stupid, but certainly far from clever; this claimant,
on the contrary, had all the expression and manner of a shrewd,
quick-witted man, who might be passionate, but who looked like a
good-natured person, although his countenance was partially
disfigured by traces of intemperance. These facts, added to the
length of time which had elapsed since the reported death of the
individual, the neglect to claim his inheritance, the suspicious
circumstances under which this sailor now appeared, under the
auspices of an obscure country lawyer, who bore an indifferent
character, and to whom the peculiar circumstances of the Stanley
estate were probably well known, all united in producing the
belief in a conspiracy. There was no doubt, however, but that a
strong case could be made out on the other hand by the claimant;
it was evident that Mr. Reed was convinced of his identity; his
resemblance to William Stanley, and to Mr. Stanley, the father,
could not be denied; the similarity of the handwriting was also
remarkable; his profession, his apparent age, his possession of
the letters, his accurate knowledge of persons and places
connected with the family, altogether amounted to an important
body of evidence in his favour.

It would require a volume in itself, to give the details of this
singular case; but the general reader will probably care for
little more than an outline of the proceedings. It would indeed,
demand a legal hand to do full justice to the subject; those who
are disposed to inquire more particularly into the matter, having
a natural partiality, or acquired taste for the intricate
uncertainties of the law, will probably have it in their power
ere long, to follow the case throughout, in print; it is
understood at Longbridge, that Mr. James Bernard, son of Judge
Bernard, is engaged in writing a regular report, which, it is
supposed, will shortly be published. In the mean time, we shall
be compelled to confine ourselves chiefly to a general statement
of the most important proceedings, more particularly connected
with our narrative.

"Here is a letter from Clapp, sir, proposing a compromise," said
Hazlehurst, handing the paper to Mr. Wyllys. It was dated two
days after the interview at Wyllys-Roof; the tone was amicable
and respectful, though worded in Mr. Clapp's peculiar style. We
have not space for the letter itself, but its purport was, an
offer on the part of Mr. Stanley to forgive all arrears, and
overlook the past, provided his father's estate, in its actual
condition, was immediately placed in his hands. He was urged to
take this step, he said, by respect for his opponents, and the
conviction that they had acted conscientiously, while he himself
by his own neglect to appear earlier, had naturally given rise to
suspicion. He was therefore ready to receive the property as it
stood at present, engaging that neither executors nor legatee
should be molested for arrears; the sums advanced to Hazlehurst,
he was willing should be considered equivalent to the legacy
bequeathed to him by Mr. Stanley, the father, in case of his
son's return, although in fact they amounted to a much larger
sum.

This offer of a compromise merely confirmed the suspicions of all
parties at Wyllys-Roof. The offer was rejected in the same letter
which announced to Mr. Reed, that the defendants had seen as yet
no good reason for believing in the identity of the individual
claiming the name of William Stanley, and consequently, that they
should contest his claim to the Stanley estate.

After this step, it became necessary to make every preparation
for a trial; as it was already evident, from the usual legal
notices of the plaintiffs, that they intended to carry the case
into a court of justice, with as little delay as possible. It was
the first object of Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, to obtain as much
testimony as lay within their reach, upon the points of the
capacity and natural temperament of William Stanley; letters were
written, in the hope of discovering something through the old
family physician, the school-master, and companions of the young
man before he went to sea; and Mrs. Stanley even believed that
the nurse of her step-son was still living. Agents were also
employed, to search out some clue, which might help to trace the
past life and character of the individual bearing the name of
William Stanley. Harry was only awaiting the expected arrival of
Mr. Ellsworth, before he set out himself for the little town in
the neighbourhood of Greatwood, where he hoped to gather much
useful evidence. To what degree he was also desirous of the
pleasure of meeting Mrs. Creighton again, we cannot say; but his
friends at Wyllys-Roof believed that he was quite as anxious to
see the sister as the brother. He had not long to wait, for,
punctual to the appointed day, the earliest possible, Mr.
Ellsworth arrived, accompanied by Mrs. Creighton.

"Now, Mr. Hazlehurst, come here and tell me all about these
vexatious proceedings," said Mrs. Creighton to Harry, as the
whole party left the dining-room for the piazza, the day Mr.
Ellsworth and his sister arrived at Wyllys-Roof. "I hope you and
Frank found out, in that long consultation you had this morning,
that it would not be difficult to settle the matter as it ought
to be settled?"

"On the contrary, we agreed that there were a great many serious
difficulties before us."

"You don't surely think there is any real danger as to the
result?" asked the lady with great interest. "You cannot suppose
that this man is really William Stanley, come to life again!"

"No; I believe him to be an impostor; and so does Ellsworth--so
do we all; but he makes out quite a plausible story,
nevertheless."

"But what are you going to do? Come, sit down here, and tell me
about it."

"You forget, Josephine," said Mr. Ellsworth, smiling, "that we
lawyers dare not trust the ladies with our secrets; you must
contrive to restrain your curiosity, or interest--whichever you
choose to call it--until the trial."

"Nonsense!--I am quite too much interested for that; I shall
expect to hear a great deal before the trial. Is it possible your
stock of patience will last till then, Miss Wyllys?" added the
lady, turning to Elinor.

"Well, I don't know; I confess myself very anxious as to the
result," said Elinor, blushing a little.

"To be sure; we are all anxious; and I expect to be taken into
your confidence, Mr. Hazlehurst, quite as far as you legal
gentlemen think it safe to admit a lady. Frank has a very bad
habit of never trusting me with his business matters, Miss
Wyllys; we must cure him of that."

"I am inclined to think, Mrs. Creighton, your patience would
scarcely hear the recital of even one case of Richard Roe versus
John Doe," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Perhaps not; for I care not a straw for Richard Roe, or John
Doe, either."

"Would you really like to see the account which this newcomer
gives of himself?" asked Hazlehurst.

"Certainly; I speak seriously, I assure you."

"You shall see it this evening," said Harry. "I think you will
agree with me, that it is a strange story."

"But, Mrs. Creighton," said Mr. Wyllys, "we have had our heads so
full of law, and conspiracies, and impostors, lately, that I was
in hopes you would bring us something more agreeable to think and
talk about. What were the people doing at Nahant when you left
there?"

"It was very dull there; at least I thought so; I was in a great
hurry for Frank to bring me away."

"What was wanting, pray?" asked Mr. Wyllys. "Was it the fault of
the weather, the water, or the company?"

"Of all together, sir; nothing was of the right kind; it was not
half so pleasant as Saratoga this year. Even the flirtations were
not as amusing as usual."

"I should have thought you might have been amused in some other
way," said Mr. Ellsworth.

"Flirtation, I would have you believe, my good brother, is
sometimes quite an agreeable and exciting pastime."

"Faute de mieux," said Harry, smiling.

{"faute de mieux" = for want of anything better (French)}

"You surprise me, Josephine, by saying so, as you are no flirt
yourself," observed her brother, with a perfectly honest and
natural expression.

"Well, I don't know; certainly I never flirt intentionally; but I
won't be sure my spirits have not carried me away sometimes. Have
you never, Miss Wyllys, in moments of gaiety or excitement, said
more than you intended to?"

"Have I never flirted, do you mean?" asked Elinor, smiling.

"But though you say it yourself, I don't believe you are a bit of
a flirt, Mrs. Creighton," said the unsuspicious Mr. Wyllys.

"Oh, no, sir; I would not have you believe me a regular flirt for
the world. I only acknowledge to a little trifling, now and then.
Miss Wyllys knows what I mean; we women are more observant of
each other. Now, haven't you suspected me of flirting more than
once?"

"You had better ask me," said Mary Van Alstyne; "Elinor is not
half suspicious enough."

"The acquittal of the gentlemen ought to satisfy you," said
Elinor. "They are supposed to be the best judges. Are you sure,
however, that you did not flirt with Mr. Hopkins?--he was at
Nahant with you, I believe."

"I am afraid it surpasses the power of woman to distract Mr.
Hopkins's attention from a sheepshead or a paugee."

{"sheepshead" and "paugee" (porgy) = names applied to a number of
American fish esteemed by anglers}

"You have really a very pretty view here, Miss Wyllys, although
there is nothing bold or commanding in the country; it makes a
very pleasant home picture," observed Mr. Ellsworth, who had been
looking about him. "That reach in the river has a very good
effect; the little hamlet, too, looks well in the distance; and
the wood and meadow opposite, are as well placed as one could
wish."

"I am glad you like it; but we really think that, for such simple
scenery, it is uncommonly pretty," replied Elinor.

"Yes; even your fastidious friend, Mr. Stryker, pronounced the
landscape about Wyllys-Roof to be very well put together," said
Mrs. Creighton.

"Mr. Stryker, however, professes to have no eye for anything of
the kind," replied Elinor.

"That is only one of the man's affectations; his eyes are more
like those of other people than he is willing to confess. Though
Mr. Stryker pretends to be one of your men of the world, whose
notions are all practical, yet one soon discovers that he
cherishes his useless foibles, like other people," said the lady,
with an air of careless frankness; though intending the speech
for the benefit of Hazlehurst and Mr. Wyllys, who both stood near
her.

"Perhaps you don't know that Mr. Stryker has preceded you into
our neighbourhood," said Mary Van Alstyne. "He is staying at Mr.
de Vaux's."

"Oh, yes; I knew he was to be here about these times. Pray, tell
me which is Mr. de Vaux's place. It is a fine house, I am told."

"A great deal too fine," said Harry. "It is all finery, or rather
it was a few years since."

"It is much improved now," observed Elinor; "he talks of taking
down half the columns. That is the house, Mrs. Creighton," she
added, showing the spot where the white pillars of Colonnade
Manor were partly visible through an opening in the wood.

"What a colonnade it seems to be! It puts one in mind of the
Italian epigram on some bad architecture," said Mr. Ellsworth:

"'Care colonne che fate qua?
Non sappiamo, in verita!'"

{"Care colonne..." = Dear columns, what are you doing here? We
really don't know! (Italian)}

"I understand, Miss Wyllys, that your friend, Mr. Stryker, calls
it the 'cafe de mille colonnes,'" said Mrs. Creighton.

{"cafe de mile colonnes" = coffee-house of a thousand columns
(French)}

"Does Mrs. Creighton's friend, Mr. Stryker, treat it so
disrespectfully? Mr. de Vaux has given it a very good name, I
think. It is Broadlawn now; last year it was Colonnade Manor."

"And, pray, what did Mr. Taylor's manorial rights consist in?"
asked Mr. Ellsworth.

"In the privilege of putting up as many Grecian summer-houses as
he pleased, I suppose," said Harry; "the place promised to be
covered with them at one time."

"Mr. de Vaux has taken them down; all but two at least," said
Elinor.

"It was fortunate that Mr. Taylor had a long purse," remarked
Mrs. Creighton; "for he seems to have delighted in superfluities
of all kinds."

"I suppose you are aware, Mrs. Creighton, that false taste is
always a very expensive foible," said Mr. Wyllys; "for it looks
upon ornament and improvement as the same thing. My neighbour,
Mr. Taylor, certainly has as much of that spirit as any man I
ever knew."

"The name he gave his place is a good proof of that," said Harry.
"If he had called it the Colonnade, that would have been at least
descriptive and appropriate; but he tacked on the Manor, which
had neither rhyme nor reason to recommend it."

"Was it not a Manor before the revolution?" inquired Mrs.
Creighton.

"Oh, no; only a farm belonging to the Van Hornes. But Taylor
would not have it called a farm, for the world; he delights in
big words," said Mr. Wyllys.

"That is only natural, I suppose, for 'Don Pompey,' as Mr.
Stryker calls him," observed Mr. Ellsworth.

The following morning was the happy occasion, which was to make
Mrs. George Wyllys the wife of Uncle Dozie. In the course of the
week, which intervened between her announcing the fact at
Wyllys-Roof, and the wedding itself, she had only consulted her
friends twice, and changed her mind as often. At first it was
settled that she was to be married at two o'clock, in church,
with four witnesses present, and that from church she was to
return quietly to her own house, where the party were to eat a
family dinner with her. A note, however, informed her friends
that it was finally decided, that the wedding should take place
early in the morning, at her own house, in the presence of some
dozen friends. The dinner was also postponed for a fortnight, as
the happy couple intended to set out for Boston, the morning they
were united.

The weather was propitious; and after an early breakfast the
party from Wyllys-Roof set out. It included Mr. Ellsworth and
Mrs. Creighton, who were connexions of the bride, as well as
Harry, and the family; Mary Van Alstyne remaining at home with
Jane.

They soon reached Longbridge, after a pleasant, early drive. On
being ushered into Mrs. Wyllys's drawing-room, they were received
in a very informal manner by the bride herself. As Elinor had
recommended a grey silk for the wedding-dress, she was not at all
surprised to find her aunt wearing a coloured muslin. On one
point, however, it was evident she had not changed her mind; for
the happy man, Uncle Dozie, was there in full matrimonials, with
a new wig, and a white waistcoat. The groom elect looked much
like a victim about to be sacrificed; he was as miserably
sheepish and fidgety as ever old bachelor could be under similar
circumstances. Mrs. Creighton paid her compliments to the bride
very gracefully; and she tried to look as if the affair were not
a particularly good joke. Mr. Wyllys summoned up a sort of
resigned cheerfulness; Miss Agnes and Elinor also endeavoured to
look as became wedding-guests. The children, who had all received
presents from the bridegroom, evidently thought the occasion a
holiday. The clergyman having appeared, Mrs. Wyllys gave her hand
to the trembling groom, and the important transaction was soon
over.

'There is, at least, no danger of Uncle Dozie's taking a nap,'
thought Harry, 'he looks too nervous and uncomfortable for that.'

Congratulations and good wishes were duly offered; they served
only to increase the bridegroom's distress, while the bride
appeared perfectly satisfied, and in very good spirits. She felt
disposed to make a cheerful sacrifice for the benefit of her
children, to whom she had secured an efficient protector, while
at the same time, she was now sure of a prudent friend and
counsellor for life: so at least she informed Mrs. Creighton.

"I am sorry your brother is not here, Mr. Hubbard."

"He went to New York, on business, last night," said the groom.

"I hope you will have a pleasant trip to Boston," continued Mr.
Wyllys.

"Thank you for the wish, sir," interposed the bride, "but we
determined last evening to go to Niagara, as we have both been to
Boston already."

'We shall hear of you at New Orleans, yet,' thought Harry.

Refreshments were brought in, and everybody, of course, received
their usual share of the wedding-cake.

"You see I have set you an excellent example," said the bride to
Mrs. Creighton and Elinor.

"We must hope that these ladies will soon follow it," said Mr.
Ellsworth, with a glance at Elinor.

"Shall we thank him, Miss Wyllys?" said Mrs. Creighton. "It was
kindly meant, I dare say."

Mr. Wyllys, who was standing near them, smiled.

"It was only yesterday, Elinor," added the new Mrs. Hubbard,
"that Black Bess, who made the cake you are eating, told me when
she brought it home, that she hoped soon to make your own
wedding-cake."

"She has had the promise of it ever since I was five years old,"
said Elinor,

"Is it possible that Black Bess is still living and baking?" said
Harry. "I can remember her gingerbread, as long as I can
recollect anything. I once overheard some Longbridge ladies
declare, that they could tell Black Bess's cake as far as they
could see it; which struck me as something very wonderful."

"She seems to be a person of great importance," said Mrs.
Creighton; "I shall hope soon to make her acquaintance. My dear
Miss Elinor, I wish you would bear in mind that your wedding-cake
has been ordered these dozen years. I am afraid you forget how
many of us are interested in it, as well as Black Bess."

"Our notable housekeepers you know, tell us that wedding-cake
will bear keeping half-a-century," said Elinor, smiling.

"That is after the ceremony I am sure, not before," said Mrs.
Creighton.

Elinor seemed at last annoyed by these persevering allusions, and
several persons left the group. Hazlehurst took a seat by Miss
Patsey; he was anxious to show her that her brother-in-law's
behaviour, had in no manner changed his regard for herself and
her family.

"Where is Charlie," he asked.

"He has gone off to Lake Champlain now. I hope you and Charlie
will both soon get tired of travelling about, Mr. Hazlehurst; you
ought to stay at home with your friends."

"But I don't seem to have any home; Charlie and I are both by
nature, home-bred, home-staying youths, but we seem fated to
wander about. How is he coming on with his pictures?--has he
nearly done his work on the lakes?"

"Yes, I believe so; he has promised to come to Longbridge next
month, for the rest of the summer. He has been distressed, quite
as much as the rest of us, Mr. Hazlehurst, by these
difficulties--"

"Do not speak of them, Miss Patsey; it is a bad business; but one
which will never interfere between me and my old friends, I
trust."

Miss Patsey looked her thanks, her mortification, and her
sympathy, but said nothing more.

The carriage which was to convey the bride and groom to the
steamboat, soon drove to the door; and taking leave of their
friends, the happy couple set off. They turned back, however,
before they were out of sight, as Mrs. Hubbard wished to change
the travelling-shawl she had first selected for another. Mr.
Wyllys, Elinor, and Harry accompanied them to the boat; and they
all three agreed, that the groom had not yet been guilty of
napping; although Hazlehurst declared, that as the seats on deck
were cool and shady, he had little doubt that he would be dozing
before the boat was out of sight.

Those who feel the same anxiety for the welfare of the children,
during their mother's absence, which weighed upon the mind of
Miss Agnes, will be glad to hear that they were all three carried
to Wyllys-Roof, under the charge of an experienced nurse. And it
must be confessed, that it was long since little George, a
riotous child, some seven years old, had been kept under such
steady, but kind discipline, as that under which he lived, during
this visit to his grandfather.

Mr. Ellsworth and Harry passed the morning at Longbridge, engaged
with their legal affairs; and in the evening Hazlehurst left
Wyllys-Roof for Philadelphia; and Mrs. Stanley accompanied him,
on her way to Greatwood.



CHAPTER XV. {XXXVIII}

"------- But by the stealth
Of our own vanity, we're left so poor."
HABINGTON.

{William Habington (English poet and dramatist, 1605-1664),
"Castara" I.20-21}

Now that Harry had left the house, Mrs. Creighton's attention was
chiefly given to Mr. Wyllys; although she had as usual, smiles,
both arch and sweet, sayings, both piquant and agreeable, for
each and all of the gentlemen from Broadlawn, who were frequent
visiters at Wyllys-Roof. Mr. Stryker, indeed, was there half the
time. It was evident that the lady was extremely interested in
Hazlehurst's difficulties; she was constant in her inquiries as
to the progress of affairs, and listened anxiously to the many
different prognostics as to the result. Miss Agnes remarked
indeed, one day, when Mr. Ellsworth thought he had succeeded in
obtaining an all-important clue, in tracing the previous career
of Harry's opponent, that his sister seemed much elated--she sent
an extremely amiable message to Hazlehurst in her brother's
letter. It afterwards appeared, however, on farther inquiry, that
this very point turned out entirely in favour of the sailor,
actually proving that nine years previously he had sailed in one
of the Havre packets, under the name of William Stanley. Mrs.
Creighton that evening expressed her good wishes for Harry, in a
much calmer tone, before a roomfull {sic} of company.

"Ladies, have you no sympathizing message for Hazlehurst?"
inquired Mr. Ellsworth, as he folded a letter he had been
writing.

"Oh, certainly; we were sorry to hear the bad news;" and she then
turned immediately, and began an animated, laughing conversation
with Hubert de Vaux.

'What a difference in character between the brother and sister,'
thought Miss Agnes, whose good opinion of Mr. Ellsworth had been
raised higher than ever, by the earnest devotion to his friend's
interest, which appeared throughout his whole management of the
case.

The family at Wyllys-Roof were careful to show, by their friendly
attention to the Hubbards, that their respect and regard for them
had not suffered at all by the steps Mr. Clapp had taken. Miss
Agnes and Elinor visited the cottage as frequently as ever. One
morning, shortly after the wedding, Miss Wyllys went to inquire
after Mrs. Hubbard, as she was in the habit of doing. She found
Mary Hubbard, the youngest daughter, there, and was struck on
entering, by the expression of Miss Patsey's face--very different
from her usual calm, pleasant aspect.

"Oh, Miss Wyllys!" she exclaimed, in answer to an inquiry of Miss
Agnes's--"I am just going to Longbridge! My poor, kind uncle
Joseph!--but he was always too weak and indulgent to those
girls!"

"What has happened?" asked Miss Wyllys, anxiously.

"Dreadful news, indeed; Mrs. Hilson has disgraced herself!--Her
husband has left her and applied for a divorce! But I do not
believe it is half as bad as most people think; Julianna has been
shamefully imprudent, but I cannot think her guilty!"

{"Her husband has left her..." = this incident seems to reflect
the unhappy marriage between Henry Nicholas Cruger (1800-1867) --
a close friend of the Cooper family -- and the free-wheeling
Harriet Douglas (1790-1872). After their 1833 marriage, Harriet
Douglas insisted on living her own life -- often in Europe;
Cruger eventually left her and in 1843 began a lengthy and highly
public divorce action based on desertion. The Cooper family
strongly disapproved of Harriet Douglas, and she is believed to
have been an inspiration for the free-wheeling Mary Monson in
James Fenimore Cooper's last novel, "The Ways of the Hour"
(1850)}

Miss Wyllys was grieved to hear such a bad account of her old
neighbour's daughter.

"Her husband has left her, you say; where is she now?"

"Her father brought her home with him. He went after her to
Newport, where she had gone in the same party with this man--this
Mr. de Montbrun, and a person who lives in the same
boarding-house, a Mrs. Bagman, who has done a great deal of harm
to Julianna."

"Sad, indeed!" exclaimed Miss Agnes.

"Charles says it is heart-rending, to see my poor uncle, who was
so proud of his good name--thought so much of his daughters!
Often have I heard him say: 'Let them enjoy life, Patsey, while
they are young; girls can't do much harm; I love to see them look
pretty and merry.' They never received any solid instruction, and
since her marriage, Julianna seems to have been in bad company.
She had no children to think about, and Mr. Hilson's time is
always given to his business; her head was full of nonsense from
morning till night; I was afraid no good would come of it."

"It is at least a great point, that she should have come back
with her father."

"Yes, indeed; I am thankful for it, from the bottom of my heart.
Oh, Miss Wyllys, what a dreadful thing it is, to see young people
going on, from one bad way to another!" exclaimed Miss Patsey.

"We must hope that her eyes will be opened, now."

"If she had only taken warning from what Charles told her about
this Mr. de Montbrun; he had seen him at Rome, and though he had
no positive proofs, knew he was a bad man, and told Mrs. Hilson
so. It is surely wrong, Miss Wyllys, to let all kinds of
strangers from foreign countries into our families, without
knowing anything about them."

"I have often thought it very wrong," said Miss Agnes, earnestly.

"But Mrs. Hilson wouldn't believe a word Charles said. She talked
a great deal about aristocratic fashions; said she wouldn't be a
slave to prudish notions--just as she always talks."

"Where was her husband, all this time?"

"He was in New York. They had not agreed well for some time, on
account of her spending so much money, and flirting with
everybody. At last he heard how his wife was behaving, and went
to Saratoga. He found everybody who knew her, was talking about
Julianna and this Frenchman. They had a violent quarrel, and he
brought her back to town, but gave her warning, if ever she spoke
again to that man he would leave her. Would you believe it!--in
less than a week, she went to the theatre with him and this Mrs.
Bagman! You know Mr. Hilson is a quiet man in general, but when
he has made up his mind to anything, he never changes it: when he
came in from his business, and found where his wife had gone, he
wrote a letter to Uncle Joseph, and left the house."

"But what does Mrs. Hilson say? Does she show any feeling?"

"She cries a great deal, but talks just as usual; says she is a
victim to her husband's brutality and jealousy. It seems
impossible to make her see things in their right light. I hope
and pray that her eyes may be opened, but I am afraid it will be
a long time before they are. But it is hard, Miss Wyllys, to open
the eyes of the blind and deluded! It is more than mortal man can
do!"

"Yes; we feel at such times our miserable weakness, and the
influence of evil upon human nature, more, perhaps, than at any
other moment!"

"That is true, indeed. I have often thought, Miss Wyllys, that
those who have watched over a large family of children and young
people, have better notions about the true state of human nature,
than your great philosophers. That has been the difficulty with
Uncle Hubbard; he said girls in a respectable family were in no
danger of doing what was wrong; that he hated preaching and
scolding, and could not bear to make young people gloomy, by
talking to them about serious subjects. My father always taught
me to think very differently; he believed that the only way to
help young people to be really happy and cheerful, was to teach
them to do their duty."

"It would be well, if all those who have charge of young persons
thought so!" exclaimed Miss Agnes.

"But, oh, Miss Wyllys, I dread seeing my poor uncle! Charles
writes me word that he is quite changed--pale and care-worn--so
different from his usual look; he says my uncle has grown ten
years older in the last week. And such a kind, indulgent father
as he has been!"

Tears filled Miss Wyllys's eyes. "Is his daughter Emmeline at
home?" she asked.

"Yes; and Emmeline seems more sobered by this terrible business,
than Mrs. Hilson herself. She sent for me, thinking I might be of
some service to Julianna, and persuade her to stay at home, and
not return to Mrs. Bagman, as she threatens to do."

A wagon was waiting to carry Miss Patsey to Longbridge, and Miss
Agnes begging that she might not detain her, she set out on her
painful duty. On arriving at her uncle's house, she almost
dreaded to cross the threshold. She found Mr. Hubbard in the
dining-room; he paid no attention to her as she opened the door,
but continued walking up and down. She scarcely knew how to
address him; the common phrases of greeting that rose to her lips
seemed misplaced. He either did not see her, or would not notice
her. She then walked quite near to him, and holding out her hand,
said in a calm tone:

"Uncle, I have come to see Julianna."

The muscles of his face moved, but he made no answer.

"I have come to stay with her, if you wish it."

"Thank you," he said, in a thick voice.

"Is there anything I can do for you?"

"What can be done?" he said, bitterly, and almost roughly.

"Do you wish me to stay?"

"Yes; I am obliged to you for coming to see a woman of bad
reputation."

Patsey left him for the present. She found her cousins together;
Emmeline's eyes were red, as if she had just been weeping; Mrs.
Hilson was stretched on a sofa, in a very elegant morning-gown,
reading a novel of very doubtful morality. Patsey offered her
hand, which was taken quite cavalierly.

"Well, Patsey," she said, "I hope you have not come to be a spy
upon me."

"I have come to see you, because I wish to be of service to you,
Julianna."

"Then, my dear child, you must bring his High-Mightiness, my
jealous husband to reason," said the lady, smoothing a fold in
her dress. Patsey made no answer, and Mrs. Hilson looked up. "If
you are going to join the rest of them against me, why I shall
have nothing to do with you; all the prim prudes in the world
won't subdue me, as my good-man might have found out already."

"Where is your husband?" asked Miss Patsey, gravely, but quietly.

"I am sure I don't know; he has been pleased to abandon me, for
no reason whatever, but because I chose to enjoy the liberty of
all women of fortune in aristocratic circles. I would not submit
to be made a slave, like most ladies in this country, as Mrs.
Bagman says. I choose to associate with whom I please, gentlemen
or ladies. What is it makes the patrician orders so delightful in
Europe?--all those who know anything about it, will tell you that
it is because the married women are not slaves; they have full
liberty, and do just as they fancy, and have as many admirers as
they please; this very book that I am reading says so. That is
the way things are managed in high life in Europe."

"What sort of liberty is it you wish for, Julianna? The liberty
to do wrong? Or the liberty to trifle with your reputation?"

Mrs. Hilson pouted, but made no answer.

"I cannot think the kind of liberty you speak of is common among
good women anywhere," continued Patsey, "and I don't think you
can know so much about what you call HIGH LIFE in Europe,
Julianna, for you have never been there. I am sure at least, that
in this country the sort of liberty you seem to be talking about,
is only common in very LOW LIFE; you will find enough of it even
here, among the most ignorant and worst sort of people," said
Miss Patsey, quietly.

Mrs. Hilson looked provoked. "Well, you are civil, I must say,
Miss Patsey Hubbard; of all the brutal speeches that have been
made me of late, I must say that yours is the worst!"

"I speak the truth, though I speak plainly, Julianna."

"Yes plainly enough; very different from the refinement of Mrs.
Bagman, I can assure you; she would be the last person to come
and tyrannize over me, when I am a victim to my husband's
jealousy. But I have not a creature near me to sympathize with
me!"

"Do not say that; your father is down-stairs, grown old with
grief during the last week!"

Mrs. Hilson did not answer.

"You have known me all your life, from the time you were a
child," added Miss Patsey, taking her cousin's passive hand in
her own; "and I ask, if you have ever known me to deceive you by
an untruth?"

"I am sure I don't know," replied her cousin, carelessly.

"Yes, you do know it, Julianna. Trust me, then; do not shut your
ears and your eyes to the truth! You are in a very dangerous
situation; look upon me as your friend; let me stay with you; let
me help you! My only motive is your own good; even if I believed
you really guilty, I should have come to you; but I do not
believe you guilty!"

"I am much obliged to you," said her cousin, lightly. "But I
happen to know myself that I have committed no such high crime
and misdemeanour."

"Yes, you have trifled so far with your reputation, that the
world believes you guilty, Julianna."

"Not fashionable people. I might have gone on for years, enjoying
the friendship of an elegant lady like Mrs. Bagman, and receiving
the polite attentions of a French nobleman, had it not been for
the countrified notions of Pa and Mr. Hilson; and now, I am torn
from my friends, I am calumniated, and the Baron accused of being
an impostor! But the fact is, as Mrs. Bagman says, Mr. Hilson
never has understood me!"

Patsey closed her eyes that night with a heavy heart. She did not
seem to have produced the least impression on Mrs. Hilson.

How few people are aware of the great dangers of that common
foible, vanity! And yet it is the light feather that wings many a
poisoned dart; it is the harlequin leader of a vile crew of
evils. Generally, vanity is looked upon as merely a harmless
weakness, whose only penalty is ridicule; but examine its true
character, and you will find it to be one of the most dangerous,
and at the same time one of the most contemptible failings of
humanity. There is not a vice with which it has not been, time
and again, connected; there is not a virtue that has not been
tainted by its touch. Men are vain of their vices, vain of their
virtues; and although pride and vanity have been declared
incompatible, probably there never lived a proud man, who was not
vain of his very pride. A generous aspect is, however, sometimes
assumed by pride; but vanity is inalterably contemptible in its
selfish littleness, its restless greediness. Who shall tell its
victims--who shall set bounds to its triumphs? Reason is more
easily blinded by vanity than by sophistry; time and again has
vanity misdirected feeling; often has vanity roused the most
violent passions. Many have been enticed on to ruin, step by
step, with the restless lure of vanity, until they became
actually guilty of crimes, attributed to some more sudden, and
stronger impulse. How many people run into extravagance, and
waste their means, merely from vanity! How many young men
commence a career of folly and wickedness, impelled by the
miserable vanity of daring what others dare! How many women have
trifled with their own peace, their own reputation, merely
because vanity led them to receive the first treacherous homage
of criminal admiration, when whispered in the tones of false
sentiment and flattery! The triumphs of vanity would form a
melancholy picture, indeed, but it is one the world will never
pause to look at.

The eldest daughter of Mr. Hubbard, the worthy Longbridge
merchant, without strong passions, without strong temptations,
was completely the victim of puerile vanity. The details of her
folly are too unpleasant to dwell on; but the silly ambition of
playing the fine lady, after the pattern of certain European
novels, themselves chiefly representing the worst members of the
class they claim to depict, was the cause of her ruin. She had so
recklessly trifled with her reputation, that although her
immediate friends did not believe the worst, yet with the world
her character was irretrievably lost. At five-and-twenty she had
already sacrificed her own peace; she had brought shame on her
husband's name, and had filled with the bitterest grief, the
heart of an indulgent father. Happily, her mother was in the
grave, and she had no children to injure by her misconduct.

Patsey Hubbard continued unwearied in her kind endeavours to be
of service to her kinswoman; anxious to awaken her to a sense of
her folly, and to withdraw her from the influence of bad
associates.

"It is right that society should discountenance a woman who
behaves as Julianna has done," said she one day, to Mrs. Hubbard,
on returning home; "but, oh, mother, her own family surely,
should never give her up while there is breath in her body!"



CHAPTER XVI. {XXXIX}

"That which you hear, you'll swear you see,
There is such unity in the proofs."
Winter's Tale.

{William Shakespeare, "A Winter's Tale", V.ii.31-32}

WHEN Hazlehurst arrived at the little village in the
neighbourhood of Greatwood, he was so fortunate as to find that
many persons among the older members of the community, had a
perfect recollection of William Stanley, and were ready to
testify, to the best of their knowledge, as to any particulars
that might be of service in the case.

His first inquiry was, for the young man's nurse. He discovered
that she had recently removed into a neighbouring state, with the
son, in whose family she had lived since leaving the Stanleys. As
soon as Harry had accompanied Mrs. Stanley to Greatwood, he set
out in pursuit of this person, from whom he hoped to obtain
important evidence. On arriving at the place where she was now to
be found, he was much disappointed, for her faculties had been so
much impaired by a severe attack of paralysis, that he could
learn but little from her. She seemed to have cherished a warm
affection for the memory of William Stanley, whose loss at sea
she had never doubted. Whenever his name was mentioned she wept,
and she spoke with feeling and respect of the young man's
parents. But her mind was much confused, and it was impossible to
make any use of her testimony in a court of justice.

Thus thrown back upon those who had a less intimate personal
knowledge of the young man, Harry pursued his inquiries among the
families about Greatwood, and the village of Franklin
Cross-Roads. With the exception of a few newcomers, and those who
were too young to recollect eighteen years back, almost everybody
in the neighbourhood had had some acquaintance with William
Stanley. He had been to school with this one; he had sat in
church, in the pew next to that family; he had been the constant
playfellow of A-----; and he had drawn B----- into more than one
scrape. Numerous stories sprang up right and left, as to his
doings when a boy; old scenes were acted over again, and past
events, mere trifles perhaps at the time, but gaining importance
from the actual state of things, were daily brought to light;
there seemed no lack of information connected with the subject.

We must observe, however, before we proceed farther, that
Hazlehurst had no sooner arrived at Greatwood, than he went to
look after the set of the Spectator, to which the volume produced
at the interview had belonged. He found the books in their usual
place on an upper shelf, with others seldom used; every volume
had the double names of Mr. Stanley and his son, but the set was
not complete; there was not only one volume missing, but two were
wanting! Hazlehurst sprang from the steps on which he was
standing, when he made this discovery, and went immediately in
pursuit of Mrs. Stanley, to inquire if she knew which volume was
originally missing. She could not be sure, but she believed it
was the eighth. Such was the fact; the eighth volume was not in
its place, neither was the sixth, that which Mr. Clapp had in his
possession; yet Mrs. Stanley was convinced, that only two years
previously, there had been but one volume lost. Harry tried to
revive his recollection of the time and place, when and where, he
had read that volume, with the portrait of Steele, and Addison's
papers on the Paradise Lost; he should have felt sure it was at
Greatwood, not long before going abroad with Mr. Henley, had it
not been, that he found his brother had the very same edition in
Philadelphia, and he might have read it there. He also
endeavoured to discover when and how the second missing volume
had been removed from its usual place on the shelf. But this was
no easy task; neither the housekeeper--a respectable woman, in
whom Mrs. Stanley and himself had perfect confidence--nor the
servants, could form even a surmise upon the subject. At last
Harry thought he had obtained a clue to everything; he found that
two strangers had been at Greatwood in the month of March, that
year, and had gone over the whole house, representing themselves
as friends of the family. The housekeeper had forgotten their
visit, until Harry's inquiries reminded her of the fact; she then
gave him the name of the young woman who had gone over the house
with these two individuals. This girl was no longer at Greatwood,
but in the neighbouring village; at Mrs. Stanley's request,
however, she came to give a report of the circumstance.

{"Spectator" = Susan Fenimore Cooper has been forgetful; the
sailor, it was stated in Chapter 12, had a copy of Volume three;
Addison's essays on Paradise Lost, that Harry remembered reading,
are in fact contained in Volumes four and five; but we are now
told that it is Volumes six and eight that are missing from the
shelf!}

"It was in March these two strangers were here, you say,
Malvina?" observed Mrs. Stanley.

"Yes, ma'am; it was in March, when the roads were very bad."

"What sort of looking persons were they, and how old should you
have called them?" asked Hazlehurst.

"One was a tall and slim gentleman, with curly hair; the other
looked kind o' rough, he was stout, and had a red face; they
wasn't very young, nor very old."

"Tell us, if you please, all you remember about their visit, just
as it passed," said Harry.

"Well, it happened Mrs. Jones was sick in her room when they
called; they wanted to see the house, saying they knew the family
very well. I asked them to sit down in the hall, while I went to
tell Mrs. Jones; she hadn't any objections, and told me to show
them the rooms they wanted to see. So I took them over the
house--first the parlours, then the other rooms."

"Did they ask to see the bed-rooms?"

"Yes, sir; they went over all the house but the garret; they went
into the kitchen and the pantry."

"Did they stay some time?"

"Yes, sir; Mrs. Jones wondered they staid so long."

"Did they go into the library?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you remember whether they looked at the books?"

"No; they didn't stay more than a minute in the library."

"Are you sure they did not look at any of the books?" repeated
Harry.

"I am quite sure they didn't, for the room was too dark, and they
only staid half-a-minute. I asked them if I should open the
shutters; but one of them said they didn't care; he said he was
never over-fond of books."

Mrs. Stanley and Harry here exchanged looks of some surprise.

"Did they talk much to each other?--do you remember what they
said?" continued Harry.

"Yes, they talked considerable. I reckon they had been here
before, for they seemed to know a good deal about the house. When
I showed them the south parlour, the gentleman with the red face
said everything looked natural to him, but that room most of all;
then he pointed to the large chair by the fire-place, and said:
'That is where I last saw my father, in that very chair; he was a
good old gentleman, and deserved to have a better son.'"

"Is it possible!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"But, my dear madam, it was all acting no doubt; they wished to
pass for the characters they have since assumed; it only proves
that the plot has been going on for some time." "Do you remember
anything else that was said?" added Hazlehurst, turning again to
the girl.

"They talked considerable, but I didn't pay much attention. They
inquired when Mr. Hazlehurst was coming home; I said I didn't
know. The one with the curly hair said he guessed they knew more
about the family than I did; and he looked queer when he said
so."

Nothing further was gathered from this girl, who bore an
excellent character for truth and honesty, though rather stupid.
The volume of the Spectator still remained as much a mystery as
ever. Nor did a second conversation with this young woman bring
to light anything new; her answers on both occasions corresponded
exactly; and beyond proving the fact of Clapp's having been over
the house with the sailor, nothing was gained from her report. At
the second conversation, Harry asked if she knew whether these
strangers had remained long in the neighbourhood?

"I saw them the next day at meeting," she replied, "and Jabez
told me he met them walking about the place; that is all I know
about it, sir."

Jabez, one of the men on the farm, was questioned: he had seen
these two strangers walking about the place, looking at the barns
and stables, the same day they had been at the house; but he had
not spoken to them; and this was the amount of his story.

Harry then inquired at the taverns in the neighbourhood; and he
found that two persons, answering to the same description, had
staid a couple of days, about the middle of March, at a small
inn, within half a mile from Greatwood. Their bill had been made
out in the name of "Mr. Clapp and friend." This was satisfactory
as far as it went, and accounted for the sailor's knowledge of
the house; though Mrs. Stanley could not comprehend at first, how
this man should have pointed out so exactly, her husband's
favourite seat. Harry reminded her, however, that Clapp had
passed several years of his youth at Franklin Cross-Roads, in a
lawyer's office, and had very probably been at Greatwood during
Mr. Stanley's life-time.

Hazlehurst had drawn up a regular plan of action for his
inquiries; and after having discovered who could assist him, and
who could not, he portioned off the neighbourhood into several
divisions, intending to devote a day to each--calling at every
house where he hoped to gain information on the subject of
William Stanley.

He set out on horseback early in the morning, for his first day's
circuit, taking a note-book in his pocket, to record facts as he
went along, and first turning his horse's head towards the house
of Mrs. Lawson, who had been a constant playfellow of William
Stanley's, when both were children. This lady was one of a large
family, who had been near neighbours of the Stanleys for years,
and on terms of daily intimacy with them; and she had already
told Harry, one day when she met him in the village, that she
held herself in readiness to answer, to the best of her ability,
any questions about her former playmate, that he might think it
worth while to ask. On knocking at this lady's door, he was so
fortunate as to find Mrs. Lawson at home; and, by especial luck,
Dr. Lewis, a brother of her's, who had removed from that part of
the country, happened just then to be on a visit at his sister's.

After a little preliminary chat, Hazlehurst made known the
particular object of his call.

"Do I remember William Stanley's personal appearance and habits?
Perfectly; quite as well as I do my own brother's," replied the
doctor, to Harry's first inquiry.

"Mrs. Lawson told me that he used to pass half his time at your
father's house, and kindly offered to assist me, as far as lay in
her power; and I look upon myself as doubly fortunate in finding
you here to-day. We wish, of course, to collect as many minute
details as possible, regarding Mr. Stanley's son, as we feel
confident, from evidence already in our power, that this
new-comer is an impostor."

"No doubt of it," replied the doctor; "an extravagant story,
indeed! Nearly eighteen years as still as a mouse, and then
coolly stepping in, and claiming a property worth some hundreds
of thousands. A clear case of conspiracy, without doubt."

"Poor William was no saint, certainly," added Mrs. Lawson; "but
this sailor must be a very bad man."

"Pray, when did you last see young Stanley!" asked Harry, of the
lady.

"When he was at home, not long before his father's death. He held
out some promise of reforming, then. Billings, who first led him
into mischief, was not in the neighbourhood at that time, and his
father had hopes of him; but some of his old companions led him
off again."

"He must have been a boy of strange temper, to leave home under
such circumstances; an only son, with such prospects before him."

"Yes, his temper was very unpleasant; but then, Mr. Stanley, the
father, did not know how to manage him."

"He could scarcely have had much sense either, to have been so
easily led astray by a designing young fellow, as that Billings
seems to have been."

"Flattery; flattery did it all," observed the doctor. "Some
people thought young Stanley little more than half-witted; but I
have always maintained that he was not wanting in sense."

"I don't see how you can say so, doctor," observed the sister. "I
am sure it was a settled thing among us children, that he was a
very stupid, disagreeable boy. He never took much interest in our
plays, I remember."

"Not in playing doll-baby, perhaps; but I have had many a holiday
with him that I enjoyed very much, I can tell you. He never had a
fancy for a book, that is true; but otherwise be was not so very
dull as some people make out."

"He had the reputation of being a dull boy, had he?"

"Oh, certainly," said Mrs. Lawson. "at one time, when we were
quite children, we all took arithmetic lessons together, and he
was always at the foot of the class."

"He had no head for figures, perhaps; it is more likely, though,
that he wouldn't learn out of obstinacy; he was as obstinate as a
mule, that I allow."

"What sort of games and plays did he like best?"

"I don't know that he liked one better than another, so long as
he could choose himself," replied Dr. Lewis.

"Was he a strong, active boy?"

"Not particularly active, but a stout, healthy lad."

"Disposed to be tall?"

"Tallish; the last time he was here, he must have measured about
five feet ten."

"Oh, more than that," interposed Mrs. Lawson; "he was taller than
our eldest brother, I know--full six feet one, I should say."

"No, no, Sophia; certainly not more than five feet nine or ten.
Remember, you were a little thing yourself at the time."

"Do you remember the colour of his eyes, Mrs. Lawson?"

"Yes, perfectly; they were blue."

"Brown, I should say," added the doctor.

"No, John, you are quite mistaken; his eyes were blue, Mr.
Hazlehurst--very dark blue."

"I could have taken my oath they were brown," said the doctor.

Hazlehurst looked from one to the other in doubt.

"You were away from home, doctor, more than I was, and probably
do not remember William's face as distinctly as I do. I am quite
confident his eyes were a clear, deep blue."

"Well, I should have called them a light brown."

"Were they large?" asked Harry.

"Of a common size, I think," said the brother.

"Remarkably small, I should say," added the sister.

"What colour was his hair?" asked Harry, giving up the eyes.

"Black," said the doctor.

"Not black, John--dark perhaps, but more of an auburn, like his
father's portrait," said Mrs. Lawson.

"Why, that is black, certainly."

"Oh, no; auburn--a rich, dark auburn."

"There is a greyish cast in that portrait, I think," said Harry.

"Grey, oh, no; Mr. Stanley's hair was in perfect colour when he
died; I remember him distinctly, seeing him as often as I did,"
said the lady. "The hair of the Stanley family is generally
auburn," she added.

"What do you call auburn?" said the doctor.

"A dark, rich brown, like William Stanley's."

"Now I call Mr. Robert Hazlehurst's hair auburn."

"My brother's hair! Why that is sometimes pronounced sandy, and
even red, occasionally," said Harry.

"Not red; Lawson's hair is red."

"Mr. Lawson's hair is more of a flaxen shade," said the wife, a
little quickly.

Despairing of settling the particular shade of the hair, Harry
then inquired if there was any strongly marked peculiarity of
face or person about William Stanley?

Here both agreed that they had never remarked anything of the
kind; it appeared that the young man was made more like the rest
of the world, than became the hero of such a singular career.

"Do you think you should know him, if you were to see him again,
after such a long interval?"

"Well, I don't know," said the doctor; "some people change very
much, from boys to middle-aged manhood, others alter but little."

"I have no doubt that I could tell in a moment, if this person is
William Stanley or an impostor," said Mrs. Lawson. "Think how
much we were together, as children; for ten years of his life, he
was half the time at our house. I am sure if this sailor were
William Stanley, he would have come to see some of us, long
since."

"Did he visit you when he was last at Greatwood?"

"No, he did not come at that time; but I saw him very often in
the village, and riding about."

"Do you remember his stuttering at all?"

"No; I never heard him that I know of; I don't believe he ever
stuttered."

"He did stutter once in a while, Sophia, when he was in a
passion."

"I never heard him."

"Young Stanley had one good quality, Mr. Hazlehurst, with all his
faults; he spoke the truth--you could believe what he said."

"My good brother, you are mistaken there, I can assure you. Time
and again have I known him tell falsehoods when he got into a
scrape; many is the time he has coaxed and teased, till he got us
children into mischief--he was a great tease, you know--"

"Not more so than most boys," interposed the doctor.

"And after he had got us into trouble, I remember perfectly, that
he would not acknowledge it was his fault. Oh, no; you could not
by any means depend upon what he said."

"Was he much of a talker?"

"No, rather silent."

"Quite silent:" both brother and sister were in unison here, at
last.

"He was good-looking, you think, Mrs. Lawson?"

"Oh, yes, good-looking, certainly," replied the lady.

"Rather good-looking; but when he was last at home, his features
had grown somewhat coarse, and his expression was altered for the
worse," said the doctor.

"He was free with his money, I believe?"

"Very extravagant," said Mrs. Lawson.

"He didn't care a fig for money, unless it was refused him," said
the doctor.

"Was there anything particular about his teeth?"

"He had fine teeth," said Mrs. Lawson; "but he did not show them
much."

"A good set of teeth, if I remember right," added the doctor.

"His complexion was rather dark, I believe?" said Harry.

"More sallow than dark," said the lady.

"Not so very sallow," said the gentleman.

"You asked just now about his eyes, Mr. Hazlehurst; it strikes me
they were much the colour of yours."

"But mine are grey," said Harry.

"More of a hazel, I think."

"Oh, no; William Stanley's eyes were as different as possible
from Mr. Hazlehurst's, in colour and shape!" exclaimed the lady.

The conversation continued some time longer, but the specimen
just given will suffice to show its character; nothing of
importance was elicited, and not one point decidedly settled,
which had not been already known to Harry. He continued his round
of visits throughout the day, with much the same result. The
memories of the people about Greatwood seemed to be playing at
cross-purposes; and yet there was no doubt, that all those
persons to whom Hazlehurst applied, had known young Stanley for
years; and there was every reason to believe they were well
disposed to give all the evidence in their power.

>From Mrs. Lawson's, Harry went to the house of another
acquaintance, a Captain Johnson; and the following is the amount
of what he gathered here, as it was hastily entered in his
note-book:

"Eyes grey; hair black; rather stout for his age; sullen temper;
very dull; bad company cause of his ruin; not cold-hearted;
stuttered a little when excited; expression good when a boy, but
much changed when first came home from sea; Billings the cause of
his ruin."

So much for Captain Johnson. The next stopping-place was at a
man's, by the name of Hill, who had been coachman at Mr.
Stanley's for several years; his account follows:

"Hill says: 'Would get in a passion when couldn't have his own
way; have heard him stutter; always in some scrape or other after
first went to college; eyes blue; hair brown; sharp enough when
he pleased, but always heard he hated books; short for his age
when first went to sea, and thin; had grown three or four inches
when he came back; should have thought him five feet eight or
nine, when last saw him; face grown fuller and red, when came
home.'"

>From Hill's, Harry went to see Mr. Anderson, who had kept the
principal tavern at Franklin Cross-Roads, during William
Stanley's boyhood; but he was not at home.

He then called at Judge Stone's: "Mrs. S. thought him handsome
young man; judge, quite ugly; husband says eyes a greenish
colour; wife thinks were dark brown; height about my own, said
judge; not near so tall, says Mrs. S.: both agreed he was morose
in temper, and dull at learning."

At several other places where Harry called, he found that William
Stanley had been merely known by sight. Others related capital
stories of scrapes, in which they had been implicated with the
boy, but could tell Harry very little to the purpose, where it
came to particular questions. Three individuals pronounced him
tall, four thought he was middle sized, two declared he was
short. Two inferences, however, might be drawn from all that had
been said: William Stanley must have been of an unpleasant
temper; while general evidence pronounced him rather more dull
than most boys. With these two facts at least sufficiently well
established, while his head was filled with contradictory
visions, of hair, eyes, and complexion, of various shades and
colours, Harry returned in the evening, quite jaded and worn-out
with his day's exertions; not the least of which had been, to
reconcile totally opposite accounts on a dozen different points.

Mrs. Stanley was awaiting his return with much anxiety; and while
Harry was drinking an excellent cup of tea--the most refreshing
thing in the world to a person who is fatigued, even in warm
weather--he reported his day's work. His friend seemed to think
the account anything but encouraging; though Harry declared, that
it was well worth the labour and vexation to establish the two
facts, regarding the young man's capacity and temper, in which
respects he certainly differed from the claimant.

"What miserable hypocrites both this man and his lawyer must be!"
exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"Hypocrisy figures often enough in courts of justice, ma'am, and
is only too often successful for a time."

"I am afraid, my dear Harry, they will give you a great deal of
trouble!"

"I have no doubt of it," replied Hazlehurst; "but still I hope to
defeat them, and in the end, to punish their vile conspiracy."

"A defeat would he distressing to both Mr. Wyllys and myself; but
to you, my dear young friend, it would be serious indeed!" she
observed, with feeling.

"We shall yet gain the day, I trust," said Harry. "The
consequences of defeat would indeed be very serious to me," he
added. "In such a case I should lose everything, and a little
more, as Paddy would say. I made a deliberate calculation the
other day, and I find, after everything I own has been given up,
that there would still be a debt of some thirty thousand dollars
to pay off."

"It is wise, I suppose, to be prepared for the worst," said Mrs.
Stanley, sadly; "but in such a case, Harry, you must look to your
friends. Remember, that I should consider it a duty to assist
you, in any pecuniary difficulties which might result from a
defeat."

"You are very good, ma'am; I am grateful for the offer. In case
of our failure, I should certainly apply to my immediate friends,
for I could never bear the thought of being in debt to those
rascals. But if the affair turns out in that way, I must stay at
home and work hard, to clear myself entirely. I am young, and if
we fail to repel this claim, still I shall hope by industry and
prudence, to discharge all obligations before I am many years
older."

"I have never doubted, Harry, that in either case you would do
what is just and honourable; but I mourn that there should be any
danger of such a sacrifice."

"It would be a sacrifice, indeed; including much that I have
valued heretofore--tastes, habits, partialities, prospects,
fortune, hopes--all must undergo a change, all must he
sacrificed."

"And hopes are often a precious part of a young man's portion,"
said Mrs. Stanley.

Hazlehurst happened to raise his eyes as she spoke, and, from the
expression of her face, he fancied that she was thinking of Mrs.
Creighton. He changed colour, and remained silent a moment.

"You would be compelled to give up your connexion with Mr.
Henley," she observed, by way of renewing the conversation.

"Yes, of course; I should have to abandon that, I could not
afford it; I should have to devote myself to my profession. I
have no notion, however, of striking my colours to these
land-pirates until after a hard battle, I assure you," he said,
more cheerfully. "Great generals always prepare for a retreat,
and so shall I, but only as the last extremity. Indeed, I think
our affairs look more encouraging just now. It seems next to
impossible, for such a plot to hold together in all its parts; we
shall be able probably, to find out more than one weak point
which will not bear an attack."

"It is certainly important to establish the difference in temper
and capacity, between the claimant and William Stanley," said
Mrs. Stanley.

"Highly important; Ellsworth is hard at work, too, in tracing the
past life of the sailor, and by his last letters, I find he had
written to young Stanley's school-master, and to the family
physician. He had seen the sailor, and in addition to Mr.
Wyllys's remarks upon his gait, which is different from that of
William when a boy, Ellsworth writes, that he was very much
struck with the shape of the man's limbs, so different from those
of the portrait of Mr. Stanley's son, when a lad, which they have
at Wyllys-Roof; he thinks the family physician may help him
there; fortunately, he is still living."

"It is a great pity the nurse's faculties should have failed!"
exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"Yes, it's a pity, indeed; her evidence would have been very
important. But we shall do without her, I hope."

"Are you going to Wyllys-Roof again, before the trial?"

"No; I shall have too much to do, here and in Philadelphia. Mr.
Wyllys has kindly asked me, however, to go there, as soon as the
matter is settled, whether for good or for evil."

"I thought I heard you talking over with Mr. de Vaux, some
boating excursion, to take place in August, from Longbridge; has
it been given up?"

"Not given up; but de Vaux very good-naturedly proposed
postponing it, until after my affairs were settled. It is to take
place as soon as I am ready; whether I shall join it with flying
colours, or as a worsted man, time alone can decide."

The mail was just then brought in; as usual there was a letter
for Harry, from Ellsworth.

"Wyllys-Roof, August, 183-.

"Our application to the family physician proves entirely
successful, my dear Hazlehurst; my physiological propensities
were not at fault. I had a letter last evening from Dr. H-----,
who now lives in Baltimore, and he professes himself ready to
swear to the formation of young Stanley's hands and feet, which
he says resembled those of Mr. Stanley, the father, and the three
children, who died before William S. grew up. His account agrees
entirely with the portrait of the boy, as it now exists at
Wyllys-Roof; the arms and hands are long, the fingers slender,
nails elongated; as you well know, Mr. Clapp's client is the very
reverse of this--his hands are short and thick, his fingers what,
in common parlance, would be called dumpy. I was struck with the
fact when I first saw him in the street. Now, what stronger
evidence could we have? A slender lad of seventeen may become a
heavy, corpulent man of forty, but to change the formation of
hands, fingers, and nails, is beyond the reach of even Clapp's
cunning. We are much obliged to the artist, for his accuracy in
representing the hands of the boy exactly as they were. This
testimony I look upon as quite conclusive. As to the Rev. Mr.
G-----, whose pupil young Stanley was for several years, we find
that he is no longer living; but I have obtained the names of
several of the young's man's companions, who will be able to
confirm the fact of his dullness; several of the professors at
the University are also living, and will no doubt be able to
assist us. I have written a dozen letters on these points, but
received no answers as yet. So far so good; we shall succeed, I
trust. Mr. Wyllys bids you not forget to find out if Clapp has
really been at Greatwood, as we suspected. The ladies send you
many kind and encouraging messages. Josephine, as usual,
sympathizes in all our movements. She says: 'Give Mr. Hazlehurst
all sorts of kind greetings from me; anything you please short of
my love, which would not be proper, I suppose.' I had a charming
row on the river last evening, with the ladies. I never managed a
law-suit in such agreeable quarters before.

"Faithfully yours,

"F. E."



CHAPTER XVII. {XL}

"What say you, can you love this gentleman?"
Romeo and Juliet.

{William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet", I.iii.79}

JANE'S strength and spirits were gradually improving. She had
been persuaded to take a daily airing and had consented to see
one or two of the ladies in her room. Mr. Wyllys always passed
half an hour with her, every afternoon; and at length she came
down stairs, and joined the family in the drawing-room, for a
short time in the evening. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, who
came from Philadelphia to pass a day or two with her, found her
much better than they had expected.

Charlie Hubbard returned to the grey cottage, with his portfolio
full of sketches, intending to pass several months at home, in
finishing his pictures of Lake George; the school-room having
been converted into a painting-room for his use. Miss Patsey's
little flock were dispersed for a time; and Charlie was even in
hopes of persuading his mother and sister to accompany him to New
York, where Mary Hubbard, the youngest sister, was now engaged in
giving music lessons. He felt himself quite a rich man, and drew
up a plausible plan for hiring a small house in some cheap
situation, where they might all live together; but Miss Patsey
shook her head, she thought they could not afford it. Still, it
was delightful to her, to listen to plans devised by Charlie's
warm heart; she seemed to love him more than ever, since he had
even sacrificed his moustaches to his mother's prejudice against
such foreign fashions.

"Keep your money, Charles; we can make out very well in the old
cottage; more comfortably than we have ever done before. You will
want all you can make one of these days, when you marry," said
Miss Patsey.

To her surprise, Charlie showed some emotion at this allusion to
his marrying, and remained perfectly silent for an instant,
instead of giving the playful answer that his sister had expected
to hear.

Mrs. Hubbard then observed, that she should not wish to move; she
hoped to end her life in the old grey cottage. They had lived so
long in the neighbourhood of Longbridge, that a new place would
not seem like home to Patsey and herself. Charlie must come to
see them as often as he could; perhaps he would be able to spend
his summers there.

"Well, we shall see, mother; at any rate, Mary and I together, we
shall be able to make your life easy, I trust."

Mrs. Hubbard observed, that although they had been poor for the
last seventeen years, yet they had never really seemed to feel
the weight of poverty; they had met with so much kindness, from
so many relations and friends.

"But kindness from our own children, mother, is the most blessed
of all," said Patsey.

Charlie did not give up his plan, however, but he forbore to
press it for the present, as he was engaged to drive his sister,
Mrs. Clapp, to her own house at Longbridge. Hubbard had kept
aloof from his brother-in-law whenever he could, since the
Stanley suit had been commenced; any allusion to this affair was
painful to him; he had never respected Mr. Clapp, and now
strongly suspected him of unfair dealing. He pitied his sister
Kate from the bottom of his heart; but it seemed pity quite
thrown away. To judge from her conversation, as Charlie was
driving her home, she had implicit confidence in her husband; if
she had at first doubted the identity of the sailor, she had
never for a second supposed, that William himself was not firmly
convinced of it. On the other hand, she began to have some
misgivings as to the character and integrity of Mr. Wyllys, whom
hitherto, all her life long, she had been used to consider as the
model of a gentleman, and an upright man. She soon got up quite a
prejudice against Mrs. Stanley; and as for Hazlehurst, he fell
very low indeed in her estimation.

"You don't know what trouble poor William has with this suit,"
she said to her brother. "I am sometimes afraid it will make him
sick. It does seem very strange, that Mr. Stanley's executors
should be so obstinate in refusing to acknowledge his son. At
first it was natural they should hesitate; I mistrusted this
sailor at first, myself; but now that William has made everything
so clear, they cannot have any excuse for their conduct."

Charlie whipped the flies from his horse, without answering this
remark.

"I hope William will come home to-night. He and Mr. Stanley have
gone off together, to get possession of some very important
papers; they received a letter offering these papers, only the
night before last, and William says they will establish Mr.
Stanley's claim, beyond the possibility of a denial. Mr. Wyllys
and Mr. Hazlehurst will feel very badly, I should think, when
they find that after all, they have been keeping their friend's
son from his rights."

"They believe they are doing their duty," said Charlie,
laconically.

"It seems a strange view of duty, to act as they do."

"Strange views of duty are very common," said Charlie, glad to
take refuge in generalities.

"Common sense and common honesty will help us all to do our
duty," observed Kate.

"No doubt; but both are more uncommon qualities than one would
think, among rational beings," said Charlie.

"Well, you know, Charles, Patsey used to tell us when we were
children, that a plain, honest heart, and plain, good sense were
the best things in the world."

"That is the reason, I suppose, why we love our sister Patsey so
much, because she has so much of those best things in the world,"
said Charlie, warmly. "I never saw a woman like her, for
downright, plain goodness. The older I grow, the better I know
her; and I love you, Kate, for the same reason--you are
straightforward and honest, too," he added, smiling.

"William often laughs at me, though, and says my opinion is not
good for much," said the sister, shaking her head, but smiling
prettily at the same time.

"I am sure no one can complain of your actions, Kate, whatever
your opinions may be," replied Charlie; and whatever might have
been his estimate of Clapp's views, he forbore to utter a
syllable on the subject; for he respected the wife's affection,
and knew that his brother-in-law had at least one good
quality--he was kind and faithful as a husband and father,
according to common-place ideas of faithfulness at least; for he
would any day risk their character and peace, to make a little
money.

The conversation of the young people soon turned upon their
trifling, foolish, unfortunate cousin, Mrs. Hilson; and this was
a subject, upon which both brother and sister agreed entirely.
Before long, they drove up to Mr. Clapp's door, and were received
by the lawyer himself, who had just returned with his client;
this latter individual was also seen lounging in the office. Mr.
Clapp professed himself entirely satisfied with the result of his
journey; and declared that they were now quite ready for Mr.
Hazlehurst--sure of a victory, beyond all doubt.

The time had not been lost by Harry and his friends, however;
they too, thought themselves ready for the trial. As the
important day was drawing near, Mr. Ellsworth was obliged to
leave Wyllys-Roof; he had done all he could at Longbridge, and
there were still various matters to be looked after in
Philadelphia. Mrs. Creighton accompanied her brother, and they
were not to return to Wyllys-Roof until after the important
question was decided. Hazlehurst was then to come with them;
whether defeated or triumphant could not yet be known. Harry's
friends, however, were generally sanguine; and Mrs. Creighton was
full of sympathy, and in excellent spirits.

There remained another affair, which must also be finally settled
in a few weeks. When Mr. Ellsworth returned to Wyllys-Roof, the
appointed three months of probation would have expired, and he
would either remain there as the affianced husband of Elinor, or
leave Longbridge her rejected suitor.

During the past three months, Elinor had taken an important step
in life; she had reached a point in experience, where she had
never stood before. The whole responsibility of deciding upon a
subject, highly important to herself, and to those connected with
her, had been thrown entirely upon her alone. The fate of her
whole life would be much involved in the present decision. During
the last two or three years, or in other words, since she had
first discovered that Harry loved Jane, she had intended to
remain single. It seemed very improbable to her, that any one
would seek to gain her affections, unless with the view of
enjoying the fortune which she had now the reputation of
possessing; it was only natural that she should exaggerate those
personal disadvantages, which had lost the heart of him whom she
had once loved so truly. She had been so much attached to
Hazlehurst, that she shrunk from the idea of ever becoming the
wife of another; and she considered herself as having tacitly
made choice of a single life, which her mother's letter seemed to
suggest. But as she never spoke of her views, or alluded to them,
her grandfather and aunt were ignorant of this intention; and she
soon began to observe with regret that they wished her to marry,
and were indeed anxious that she should accept Mr. Ellsworth.
This was the first occasion of any importance, on which their
wishes and her own had been at variance; it was a new position
for Elinor to be placed in. When Mr. Ellsworth made his proposal,
it was owing to the strong, but affectionate representations of
Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes, that he was not immediately rejected.
Elinor was, in fact, the last person to be convinced of his
regard for her; but she had known his character and standing too
well to believe him a mere fortune-hunter; and after he had once
offered himself, could not doubt his sincerity. She mentioned to
Miss Wyllys her previous intention of remaining single.

"Make no rash decision, my love," was the reply at the time. "You
are too reasonable, for me to believe that you will do so; look
at your own position, Elinor; you will be alone in the world,
more so than most women. Your grandfather is advanced in years,
and my health warns me not to expect a long life. I do not wish
to distress you, but to place the truth plainly before you, my
Elinor. You have neither brother nor sister; Jane and Harry, your
intimate companions in childhood, will be separated from you by
ties and duties of their own. What will you do, my child? An
affectionate disposition like yours cannot be happy alone. On the
other hand, here is Mr. Ellsworth, who is certainly attached to
you; a man of excellent character, with every important quality
that can be desired. You say you wish to be reasonable; judge for
yourself what is the wisest course under these circumstances."

Elinor was silent for a moment; at length she spoke.

"It has always been one of your own lessons to me, dearest aunt,
to profit by the past, to improve the present, and leave the
future to Providence. Yet, now, you would have me think of the
future only; and you urge me to marry, while you are single, and
happy, yourself!"

"Yes, my child; but I have had your grandfather and you, to make
me happy and useful. Most single women have near relatives, to
whom they can attach themselves, whom it is a duty and a pleasure
to love and serve; but that is not your case. Elinor, your
grandfather is very anxious you should accept Mr. Ellsworth."

"I know it," said Elinor; "he has told me so himself."

"He is anxious, dear, because from what he knows of Mr. Ellsworth
and yourself, he is convinced you would eventually be happy; he
fears you hesitate from some feeling of girlish romance. Still,
we have neither of us any wish to urge you too far. Appeal to
your own good, common sense, that is all that can be desired; do
not be romantic, dear, for the first time in your life,"
continued her aunt smiling. "I know the wishes of your friends
will have some weight with you; do not let them control you,
however. Judge for yourself, but take time to reflect; accept Mr.
Ellsworth's own proposition--wait some time before you give a
final answer; that is all that your grandfather and myself can
ask."

And such had been the decision; three months being the time
appointed. Since then, both Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes had
carefully refrained from expressing any farther opinion--they
never even alluded to the subject, but left Elinor to her own
reflections. Such at least was their intention; but their wishes
were well known to her, and very possibly, unconsciously
influenced their conduct and manner, in many daily trifles, in a
way very evident to Elinor. In the mean time, September had come,
and the moment for final decision was at hand. Mr. Ellsworth's
conduct throughout had been very much in his favour; he had been
persevering and marked in his attentions, without annoying by his
pertinacity. Elinor had liked him, in the common sense of the
word, from the first; and the better she knew him, the more cause
she found to respect his principles, and amiable character. And
yet, if left to her own unbiassed judgment, she would probably
have refused him at first, with no other reluctance than that of
wounding for a time the feelings of a man she sincerely esteemed.

The morning that Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Ellsworth left
Wyllys-Roof, Elinor set out to take a stroll in the field, with
no other companion than her friend Bruno. The dog seemed aware
that his mistress was absent and thoughtful, more indifferent
than usual to his caresses and gambols; and, after having made
this observation, the sagacious animal seemed determined not to
annoy her, but walked soberly at her side, or occasionally
trotting on before, he would stop, turn towards her, and sit in
the path, looking at her as she slowly approached. She had left
the house, in order to avoid any intrusion on her thoughts, at a
moment which was an important one to her; for she had determined,
that after one more thorough examination of her own feelings, her
own views, and the circumstances in which she was placed, the
question should be irrevocably settled--whether she were to
became the wife of Mr. Ellsworth, or to remain single. Many
persons may fancy this a very insignificant matter to decide, and
one that required no such serious attention. But to every
individual, that is a highly important point, which must
necessarily affect the whole future course of life; the choice
which involves so intimate and indissoluble a relation, where
every interest in life is identical with one's own, is surely no
trifling concern. It may well be doubted, indeed, if even with
men it be not a matter of higher importance than is commonly
believed; observation, we think, would lead to the opinion, that
a wife's character and conduct have a deeper and more general
effect on the husband's career, for good or for evil, through his
opinions and actions, than the world is aware of. This choice
certainly appeared a much more formidable step to Elinor, when
Mr. Ellsworth was the individual to be accepted or rejected, than
it had when Harry stood in the same position. In one case she had
to reflect, and ponder, and weigh all the different
circumstances; in the other, the natural bent of her affections
had decided the question before it was asked. But Elinor had,
quite lately, settled half-a-dozen similar affairs, with very
little reflection indeed, and without a moment's anxiety or
regret; she had just refused, with polite indifference, several
proposals, from persons whom she had every reason to believe,
cared a great deal for her fortune, and very little for herself.
If thought were more active than feeling, in behalf of Mr.
Ellsworth, still, thought said a great deal in his favour. She
had always liked and respected him; she believed him attached to
her; her nearest friends were anxious she should give a
favourable answer; there could not be a doubt that he possessed
many excellent and desirable qualities. She would not be
romantic, neither would she be unjust to Mr. Ellsworth and
herself; she would not accept him, unless she could do so
frankly, and without reluctance. This, then, was the question to
be decided--could she love Mr. Ellsworth? The free, spontaneous
love, natural to early youth, she had once given to Hazlehurst;
could she now offer to Mr. Ellsworth sincere affection of another
kind, less engrossing at first, less mingled with the charms of
fancy, but often, perhaps on that account, more valuable, more
enduring? Sincere affection of any sort, is that only which
improves with age, gaining strength amid the wear and tear of
life. It was to decide this question clearly, that Elinor had
desired three months' delay. These three months had nearly
passed; when she again met Mr. Ellsworth, in what character
should she receive him?

The precise train of thought pursued by Elinor, during this
morning stroll, we shall not attempt to follow; but that she was
fully aware of the importance of the decision was evident, by the
unusual absence of manner, which seemed to have struck even her
four-footed friend Bruno. She had, indeed, made an important
discovery lately, one which was startling, and even painful to
her. She found that there are moments in life, when each
individual is called upon to think and to act alone. It is a
truth which most of us are forced to feel, as we go through this
world; though, happily, it is but seldom that such hours occur.
In general, the sympathy, the counsel of friends, is of the very
highest value; and yet, there are moments when neither can avail.
At such times, we are forced to look higher, to acknowledge that
human wisdom does not reach far enough to guide us, that our
wounds need a purer balm than any offered by human sympathy.
Until recently, Elinor had always been soothed and supported by
the affection and guidance of her aunt, but she must now depend
upon herself alone. To a young person, called upon for the first
time to take an important step, with no other guide than
individual judgment and conscience, the responsibility of action
may well be startling; even a wise and experienced man will often
pause at such moments, doubtful of the course he shall pursue. It
is an easy matter to settle a question, when passion, feeling,
interest, or prejudice gives the bias; but where these are all
silent, and cool judgment is left alone to decide, the greatest
men feel, to a painful degree, how limited are their powers; the
high responsibility which is attached to free-will rises before
them, and they shrink from the idea of trusting their own welfare
to their own short-sighted reason alone. Most men, at such times,
take refuge in a sort of fatalism; they stand inactive, until
urged in this or that direction by the press of outward
circumstances; or they rush blindly forward, under impatience of
suspense, preferring risk to inaction.

The occasion of our young friend's anxiety and thoughtfulness
was, no doubt, a trifling one to all but herself; the cause of
her hesitation, however, was honourable; the opinions, feelings,
and motives under which she eventually acted, were alike natural
and creditable.



CHAPTER XVIII. {XLI}

"Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question, in the court?"
Merchant of Venice.

{William Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice", IV.i.171-172}

AS the time for the trial approached, the parties collected in
Philadelphia. Harry and his friends were often seen in the
streets, looking busy and thoughtful. Mr. Reed also appeared, and
took up his quarters at one of the great hotels, in company with
Mr. Clapp and his client, who generally received the name of
William Stanley, although he had not yet established a legal
claim to it. There was much curiosity to see this individual, as
the case had immediately attracted general attention in the town,
where the families interested were so well known, and the
singular circumstances of the suit naturally excited additional
interest.

After the court opened its session, it became doubtful at one
moment, whether the cause would he tried at that term; but others
which preceded it having been disposed of, the Stanley suit was
at length called.

On one side appeared William Stanley, the plaintiff, with Messrs.
Reed and Clapp as counsel; a number of witnesses had been
summoned by them, and were now present, mingled with the
audience. On the other hand were the defendants, Mr. Wyllys,
Hazlehurst, Ellsworth, and Mr. Grant, a distinguished lawyer of
Philadelphia, appearing more particularly for Mrs. Stanley; they
were also supported by witnesses of their own.

While the preliminary steps were going on, the jury forming, and
the parties interested making their arrangements, the court-room
filled rapidly with the friends of Hazlehurst, and a crowd of
curious spectators. Among the individuals known to us, were
Robert Hazlehurst, Mr. Stryker, and Charlie Hubbard, the young
artist, who found that his want of inches interfered with his
view of the scene, and springing on a bench, he remained there,
and contrived to keep much the same station throughout the trial,
his fine, intelligent countenance following the proceedings with
the liveliest interest: Harry soon perceived him, and the young
men exchanged friendly smiles. Mr. Stryker was looking on with
cold, worldly curiosity; while Robert Hazlehurst watched over his
brother's interest with much anxiety. In one sense the audience
was unequally divided at first, for while Harry had many warm,
personal friends present, the sailor was a stranger to all; the
aspect of things partially changed, however, for among that
portion of the crowd who had no particular sympathies with the
defendants, a number soon took sides with the plaintiff. The
curiosity to see the sailor was very great; at one moment, in the
opening of the trial, all eyes were fixed on him; nor did Harry
escape his share of scrutiny.

It was immediately observed, by those who had known the late Mr.
Stanley, that the plaintiff certainly resembled his family. He
was dressed like a seaman, and appeared quite easy and confident;
seldom absent from court, speaking little, but following the
proceedings attentively. His counsel, Mr. Reed, bore a calm and
business-like aspect. Clapp was flushed, his eye was keen and
restless, though he looked sanguine and hopeful; running his hand
through his dark curls, he would lean back and make an
observation to his client, turn to the right and whisper
something in the ear of Mr. Reed, or bend over his papers,
engrossed in thought.

The defendants, on their side, were certainly three as
respectable men in their appearance, as one would wish to see;
they looked, moved, and spoke like gentlemen; in manner and
expression they were all three perfectly natural; simple, easy,
but firm; like men aware that important interests were at stake,
and prepared to make a good defence. Mr. Grant, their colleague,
was an insignificant-looking man when silent, but he never rose
to speak, without commanding the whole attention of his audience
by the force of his talent.

The judges were-well known to be respectable men, as American
magistrates of the higher grade are usually found to be. In the
appearance of the jury there was nothing remarkable; the foreman
was a shrewd-looking man, his neighbour on the left had an open,
honest countenance, two others showed decidedly stupid faces, and
one had a very obstinate expression, as if the first idea that
entered his head, on any subject whatever, was seldom allowed to
be dislodged.

Such was the appearance of things when the trial commenced.
Leaving the minutiae of the proceedings to the legal report of
Mr. Bernard, understood to be in the press, we shall confine
ourselves to a brief, and very imperfect outline of the speeches,
and the most important points of the testimony; merely
endeavouring to give the reader a general idea of the course of
things, on an occasion so important to Hazlehurst.

Mr. Clapp opened the case in a regular speech. Rising from his
seat, he ran his fingers through his hair, and commenced, much as
follows:

"We come before you on this occasion, gentlemen of the jury, to
plead a cause which it is believed is unprecedented, in its
peculiar facts, among the annals of justice in our great and
glorious country. Never, indeed, should I have believed it
possible that an American citizen could, under any circumstances
whatever, have been compelled during so long a period to forego
his just and legal rights; ay, that he could be forced to the
very verge of abandoning those rights--all but forced to forget
them. Yet, such are the facts of the case upon which you are now
to decide. The individual appearing before you this day, claiming
that the strong arm of the law be raised in his behalf, first
presented himself to me, with the very same demand, six years
since; to my shame I confess it, he was driven unaided from my
door--I refused to assist him; he had already carried the same
claim to others, and received from others the same treatment. And
what is this claim, so difficult to establish? Is it some
intricate legal question? Is it some doubtful point of law? Is it
a matter which requires much learning to decide, much wisdom to
fathom? No, gentlemen; it is a claim clearly defined, firmly
established; never yet doubted, never yet denied: it is a claim,
not only recognized in the common-law of every land, protected in
the statute-books of every nation, but it is a claim, gentlemen,
which springs spontaneously from the heart of every human
being--it is the right of a son to his father's inheritance. A
right, dear alike to the son of one of our merchant princes, and
to the son of the porter on our wharves."

"Mr. Clapp paused; he looked about the court, rested his eyes on
his client, ran his fingers through his curls, and then
proceeded.

"Gentlemen; I have told you that it is the right of a son to his
father's inheritance, which we this day call upon you to uphold.
It is more; it is the sacred cause of the orphan that you are to
defend. Yes, gentlemen; at the moment when William Stanley should
have taken possession of the inheritance, which was his by the
threefold title of nature, of law, and of parental bequest, he
was a mere boy, a minor, a wanderer on the deep; one of that
gallant class of men who carry the glorious colours of our great
and happy country into every port, who whiten every sea with
American canvass--he was a roving sailor-boy!"

And setting out from this point, Mr. Clapp made a general
statement of the case, coloured by all the cheap ornaments of
forensic eloquence, and varied by allusions to the glory of the
country, the learning of all judges, particularly American
judges, especially the judges then on the bench; the wisdom of
all juries, particularly American juries, especially the jury
then in the box. He confessed that his client had been guilty of
folly in his boyhood; "but no one, gentlemen, can regret past
misconduct more than Mr. Stanley; no son ever felt more deeply
than himself, regret, that he could not have attended the
death-bed of his father, received his last blessing, and closed
his eyes for the last time!" Mr. Clapp then read parts of Mr.
Stanley's will, gave an outline of his client's wanderings, and
was very particular with names and dates. The sailor's return was
then described in the most pathetic colours. "He brought with
him, gentlemen, nothing but the humble contents of a sailor's
chest, the hard-earned wages of his daily toil; he, who in
justice was the owner of as rich a domain as any in the land!"
The attempts of this poor sailor to obtain his rights were then
represented. "He learned the bitter truth, gentlemen, that a poor
seaman, a foremast hand, with a tarpaulin hat and round-jacket,
stood little chance of being heard, as the accuser of the rich
and the powerful--the men who walked abroad in polished beavers,
and aristocratic broad-cloths." Aristocracy having once been
brought upon the scene, was made to figure largely in several
sentences, and was very roughly handled indeed. To have heard Mr.
Clapp, one would have supposed aristocracy was the most sinful
propensity to which human nature was liable; the only very
criminal quality to which republican nature might he inclined. Of
course the defendants were accused of this heinous sin; this
brilliant passage concluded with a direct allusion to the "very
aristocratic trio before him." Mr. Stanley was declared to be no
aristocrat; he was pronounced thoroughly plebeian in all his
actions and habits. "Like the individual who has now the honour
of addressing you, gentlemen, Mr. Stanley is entirely free, in
all his habits and opinions, from the hateful stain of
aristocracy." He continued, following his client's steps down to
the present time, much as they are already known to the reader.
Then, making a sudden change, he reviewed the conduct of the
defendants as connected with his client.

{"Aristocracy" = Susan Fenimore Cooper was very familiar with
court proceedings in the 1840s. Her father was at this time
involved in a series of generally successful libel suits against
newspapers, which defended themselves by accusing him of being
"aristocratic," a sore point, as he had repeatedly denounced
aristocracy as the worst of all forms of government}

"What were their first steps at the death of Mr. Stanley, the
father? Merely those which were absolutely necessary to secure
themselves; they inquired for the absent son, but they inquired
feebly; had they
waited with greater patience he would have appeared, for the
story of his disinheritance would never have reached him. Whence
did that story proceed from? It is not for me to say; others now
present may be able to account for it more readily. No,
gentlemen, it is a bitter truth, that the conduct of the
executors has been consistent throughout, from the moment they
first took possession of the Stanley estate, until their
appearance in this court; the conduct of the rival legatee has
also been marked by the same consistent spirit of opposition,
from the time of his first interview with Mr. Stanley, after he
had arrived at years of discretion, and knew the value of the
estate he hoped to enjoy; from the moment, I say, when he coolly
ordered the unfortunate sailor to be locked up in Mr. Wyllys's
smoke-house, until the present instant, when his only hope lies
in denying the identity of Mr. Stanley's son." Mr. Clapp dwelt
for some time upon this first interview, and the smoke-house; as
he had previously hinted to Hazlehurst, he laboured to make that
affair "look ugly," to the best of his ability. If the language
of the Longbridge lawyer had been respectful throughout the
preliminary proceedings, his tune in the court-room changed
completely. As he drew towards the close of his speech, he gave
full scope to a burst of virtuous indignation against wickedness
and hypocrisy in general, and particularly against the conduct of
the defendants. He declared himself forced to believe, that both
Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst had suspected the existence of William
Stanley from the first--others might have the charity to believe
they had been ignorant of the young man's existence, he only
wished he could still believe such to have been the fact--he had
believed them honestly ignorant of it, until it was no longer
possible for the prejudices of a long-standing friendship and
intimacy to blind his eyes, under the flood of light presented by
proofs as clear as day--proofs which his respected brother, the
senior counsel, and himself, were about to lay before the court.
He wished to be understood, however; he never for one moment had
included in these suspicions--so painful to every candid, upright
mind, but which had recently forced themselves upon him--he
repeated, that in them he had never included the respected lady
who filled the place of step-mother to his client, whose
representative he now saw before him, in the person of a highly
distinguished lawyer of the Philadelphia bar; he did not suppose
that that venerable matron had ever doubted the death of her
husband's son. He knew that excellent lady, had often met her in
the social circle; none admired more than he, the virtues for
which she was distinguished; he had never supposed it possible,
that if aware of the existence of William Stanley, she could have
sat down calmly to enjoy his inheritance. Such a case of
turpitude might not be without example; but he confessed that in
his eyes, it would amount to guilt of so black a dye, that he was
unwilling to accuse human nature of such depravity; it went
beyond the powers of his, Mr. Clapp's, imagination to comprehend.
No, he acquitted Mrs. Stanley of all blame; she had been
influenced and guided by the two gentlemen before him. He had
himself observed, that during all the preliminary proceedings,
the venerable step-mother of his client had shown many symptoms
of doubt and hesitation; it was his firm conviction, it was the
opinion of his client, of his brother counsel, that if left to
her own unbiassed judgment, Mrs. Stanley would immediately have
acknowledged her husband's son, and received him as such. He
appealed to the defendants themselves if this were not true; he
called upon them to deny this assertion if they could--if they
dared! Here Mr. Clapp paused a moment, and looked towards Mr.
Grant.

The defendants had already spoken together for an instant; Mr.
Ellsworth rose: "The answer which the counsel for the plaintiff
was so anxious to receive, was reserved for its proper place in
the defence. Where so much might be said, he should scarcely be
able to confine himself within the bounds necessary at that
moment. Let the counsel for the plaintiff rest assured, however,
that the answer to that particular question, when given, would
prove, like the general answer of the defence, of a nature that
the interrogator would, doubtless, little relish."

During Mr. Clapp's abusive remarks, and impudent insinuations
against himself and Mr. Wyllys, Hazlehurst, placing one arm on
the table before him, leaned a little, forward, and fixed his eye
steadily, but searchingly, on the face of the speaker. It proved
as Harry had expected; the lawyer looked to the right and left,
he faced the judges, the jurors; he glanced at the audience,
raised his eyes to the ceiling, or threw them upon his papers,
but not once did he meet those of Hazlehurst.

"Gentlemen of the jury; you will observe that the question
remains unanswered!" continued Mr. Clapp, with a triumphant air.
He then contrived to appeal to his brother counsel to declare his
own impressions, and gave Mr. Reed an opportunity of affirming,
that he had believed Mrs. Stanley inclined to acknowledge their
client; he spoke calmly and impressively, in a manner very
different from the hurried, yet whining enunciation, and
flourishing gestures of his colleague.

Mr. Clapp now proceeded to prepare the way for the evidence: he
gave a general idea of its character, expressing beforehand the
firmest conviction of its effect on the court. "I have been
engaged in hundreds of suits, gentlemen; I have been a regular
attendant in courts of law from early boyhood, and never, in the
whole course of my experience, have I met with a case, so
peculiar and so important, supported by a body of evidence so
clear, so decided, so undeniable as that which we shall
immediately lay before you;" and Mr. Clapp sat down, running his
fingers through his curls.

The court here adjourned for an hour. The curiosity of the
audience seemed thoroughly excited; when the judges reassembled,
the room was even more crowded than in the morning.

Before calling up the witnesses, Mr. Reed spoke for five minutes;
his dignified manner was a favourable preparation for the
testimony in the plaintiff's behalf.

The first fact proved, was the resemblance of the plaintiff to
William Stanley; this point was thoroughly investigated, and
settled without difficulty in favour of the plaintiff--some
half-a-dozen witnesses swearing to the identity, according to the
best of their belief. The fact that the defendants themselves had
acknowledged the personal resemblance, was also made to appear;
and Mr. Reed introduced the identity of handwriting to strengthen
the personal identity--several witnesses giving their testimony
on the subject. It seemed indeed, clear, from the whole of this
part of the evidence, that there was no rational ground to doubt
any other difference, either in the personal resemblance or the
handwriting, than what might naturally exist in the same man, at
the ages of eighteen and thirty-seven.

The statement offered to the defendants some months since,
tracing the last career of the plaintiff was now introduced, and
the principal facts legally proved by different witnesses.
Officers and sailors of different vessels in which he had sailed,
were sworn. Among others, Captain -----, of the packet ship ***,
testified to the plaintiff's having sailed in his vessel, under
the name of William Stanley, nine years previously; and it was
very clearly proved, that at different intervals since then, he
had continued to bear the same name, although he had also shipped
under those of Bennet, Williams, and Benson. The statement, as
given already in our pages, was borne out satisfactorily in most
of its important facts by the evidence; although on some points
the counsel for the plaintiffs confessed, that they had not been
able to obtain all the legal proofs they had wished for. After
tracing the plaintiff's steps as a sailor, the fact of his having
been long endeavouring to bring forward the claim he now made,
was examined. Mr. G-----, a highly respectable lawyer of
Baltimore, testified to the fact that several years previously,
the plaintiff had applied to him to undertake the case then
before the court; to speak frankly, this evidence surprised the
defendants, who were scarcely prepared for it. Then came proof of
the different applications to Mr. Clapp, his several visits to
Longbridge, and his presence at Wyllys-Roof six years previously,
when locked up in the out-house by Hazlehurst; Mr. Clapp
repeating at this moment, a very broad insinuation, that the
defendant knew the claims of the individual he had put in
confinement. His willingness to be examined, his ready consent to
an interview with Mr. Wyllys, Mrs. Stanley, and Hazlehurst, the
close examination which he bore at Wyllys-Roof, were brought
forward; and Mr. Clapp managed to introduce most of the important
questions of the defendants at that time, with the accurate
answers of the plaintiff, in his account of that meting.

The court adjourned at this time, and many individuals among the
audience seemed to incline very decidedly towards the plaintiff.
The personal friends of the defendants looked somewhat anxious,
although Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst still showed a steady front.
The testimony which we have given so briefly, as much of it has
already appeared in the narrative, occupied the court more than
one day, including the different cross-examinations of several
witnesses, by the defendants: this duty fell to the lot of Mr.
Grant, who carried it on in his usual dry, sarcastic manner, but
was unable to effect any important change in the state of things.

The following morning, the plaintiff's papers were laid before
the court. The volume of the Spectator, and the letters already
produced at Wyllys-Roof, were shown. In addition to these, the
following papers were now brought forward: A letter addressed to
the name of Benson, on board the British sloop-of-war, Ceres;
another directed to William Bennet, on board the Dutch barque
William, when at Batavia, nearly eighteen years since; this
letter was important, as it was evidently written to an American
sailor, and alluded to his having been recently shipwrecked on
the coast of Africa, and taken up by a Dutch vessel. These
documents were all received with great interest, and their
probable authenticity seemed generally admitted. Mr. Reed then
observed: "We shall close our evidence, gentlemen, by laying
before you testimony, sufficient in itself to prove triumphantly
the identity of the plaintiff, when connected with a small
portion only of that which has preceded it."

He drew from his papers an old Russia-leather pocketbook, with
the initials W. S. stamped upon in large Gothic letters.

Mr. Wyllys made an involuntary movement as it was held up for
examination; that very pocket-book, or one exactly like it, had
he given himself to the son of his old friend, the very last time
he saw him. He watched the proceedings at this moment with
intense interest--evident to everybody.

"This pocket-book, gentlemen, is the property of the plaintiff,"
continued Mr. Reed. "The initials of his name, W. S., stamped
upon it, are half-effaced, yet still sufficiently distinct to
tell their story. But the contents of this precious book are of
still greater importance to the interests of my client."

Mr. Reed then opened it and drew from one side a letter, and read
the address, "William Stanley, New York, care of Jonas Thomson,
Master of the ship Dorothy Beck." "This letter, gentlemen of the
jury, is signed John Stanley--it is from the father of William
Stanley, in whose name I now submit it to your examination." The
letter was then read; it corresponded entirely with the
circumstances already known to the reader; its date, nature,
handwriting, all were perfectly correct, and the signature was
sworn to by several witnesses. Mr. Wyllys was evidently moved
when the letter was read; he asked to look at it, and all eyes
were turned on his venerable countenance, as he silently examined
the paper. It was remarked that the hand which held the letter
was not steady, and the features which bent over it betrayed
perceptible agitation. Mr. Wyllys turned to Hazlehurst, as he
finished reading the sheet.

"It is undeniably genuine; the letter of John Stanley to his
son!" he said.

A short consultation succeeded between the defendants. Hazlehurst
wrote a line or two on a slip of paper, and handed it to Mr.
Wyllys, and then to Ellsworth and Mr. Grant.

"Will the counsel for the plaintiff tell us, why these documents
were not produced at the interview with the defendants?" asked
Mr. Ellsworth.

"We had several reasons for not doing so," replied Mr. Clapp.
"Had our client not been received so coldly, and every effort
employed to misunderstand him, we should have produced them
earlier; although it would have been impossible to have shown
them at that meeting, since they were not then in our
possession."

"Will the plaintiff state where, and from whom he first received
that pocket-book?" asked Mr. Grant.

Here the counsel for the plaintiff consulted together a moment.
It seemed as if their client was willing to answer the question;
and that Mr. Reed advised his doing so, but Mr. Clapp opposed it.

"The defendants must be aware," he said, "that they had no right
to question his client; Mr. Stanley therefore declined answering;
he had already, at the proper time and place, answered many
inquiries of theirs, in a manner which had, doubtless, appeared
satisfactory to the court, although it had not satisfied the
defendants. Mr. Stanley had lost all hope of answering any
question of the defendants, in a manner SATISFACTORY TO THEM."

Here the defendants were engaged for a moment in making notes.

Mr. Reed proceeded with the contents of the pocket-book. "The
letter of the father to his erring son, is not the only testimony
we shall produce from the pocket-book of my client, gentlemen."

A printed slip of newspaper, soiled, and yellow with age, was
then drawn from one of the pockets, and read by Mr. Reed:
"Married, Wednesday, the 10th, at Trinity Church, New York, by
the Rev. Charles G. Stanley, John Stanley, of Greatwood,
Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth, daughter of the late Myndert Van
Ryssen, of Poughkeepsie."

Again the defendants showed evident interest. Mr. Wyllys passed
his hand over his face, to drive away melancholy recollections of
the past; the present Mrs. Stanley was Miss Van Ryssen, and at
that marriage he had stood by the side of his friends, as the
priest united them.

"Is not that a touching memorial, gentlemen, of the workings of
natural feeling in the heart of a misguided boy? He had left his
father, left his home, left his friends in a fit of reckless
folly, but when he meets with the name of the parent from whom he
is estranged, in an American paper, in a distant land, he cuts
the paragraph from the sheet, and it is carefully preserved among
his precious things, during many succeeding years of hardships,
and of wrongs. But there is another striking fact connected with
that scrap of paper; the individual whose name stands there, as
connected in the closest of human ties with the young man's
father, is the same, whose legal representative I now see before
me, prepared to oppose, by every means in his power, the claim of
the son to the inheritance bequeathed him, with the forgiveness
of his dying father. The simplest language I can choose, will
best express the force of facts so painful. The circumstances are
before you; it rests with you to say, whether tardy justice shall
not at length make some amends for the wrongs of the last
eighteen years."

The defendants here asked to look at the paper; they could find
no fault with it; in texture, colour, accuracy, every point, it
corresponded with what it should be.

Mr. Reed paused an instant, and then continued. "But, gentlemen
of the jury, this old and well-worn pocket-book, the companion of
my client's wanderings, and hard fortunes; the letter from the
father to the son, received as authentic, without an instant's
hesitation, by the defendants themselves; the marriage notice of
the deceased father and the step-mother, now his legal opponent,
are not the only proofs to be drawn from this portion of our
testimony."

Mr. Reed then opened the pocket-book, and showed that it had
originally contained a number of leaves of blank paper; these
leaves were partially covered with the hand-writing of William
Stanley. The date of his going to sea, and the names of the
vessels he had sailed in, were recorded. Brief, random notes
occurred, of no other importance than that of proving the
authenticity of the pocket-book. A sailor's song was written on
one page; another was half-covered with figures, apparently some
trifling accounts of his own. The date of a particular storm of
unusual severity, was put down, with the latitude and longitude
in which it occurred, the number of hours it lasted, and the
details of the injury done to the vessel. This rude journal, if
such it may be called, was handed to the jury, and also examined
by the defendants.

Mr. Grant took it, observing with his usual set expression, and
caustic manner, that "it was certainly the pocket-book of a
sailor, probably the pocket-book of William Stanley. It was
connected with a singular story, a very singular story indeed;
but, really, there was one fact which made it altogether the most
extraordinary compound of leather and paper, that ever happened
to fall in his way. If he was not mistaken, he had understood
that the plaintiff, among other remarkable adventures, claimed to
have just escaped drowning, by the skin of his teeth, when picked
up on the coast of Africa, in the winter of 181-. His pocket-book
seemed to have borne the shipwreck equally well; it was landed
high and dry in that court-house, without a trace of salt-water
about it. How did the plaintiff manage to preserve it so well? He
should like the receipt, it might prove useful."

{"receipt" = recipe}

Mr. Grant had been looking down very attentively at the
pocket-book while speaking, occasionally holding it up for others
to see, with studied carelessness; as he put the question, he
suddenly raised his eyes, without changing his position, and
fixed them searchingly, with a sort of ironical simplicity, on
Mr. Clapp and his client.

"I can tell him all about it," the plaintiff was heard to say, by
those near him.

There was a moment's consultation between the plaintiff and his
counsel. A juror then expressed a wish to hear the explanation.

Mr. Clapp rose and said: "When Mr. Stanley was picked up by the
'William,' does the counsel for my client's step-mother suppose,
that he was the only remnant of the wreck floating about? If he
does, he happens to be mistaken. Mr. Stanley says there were two
others of the crew picked up at the time he was, with the hope of
restoring life, but they were dead. There were also several
chests, and various other objects brought on board the 'William.'
One of the chests was his client's. The pocket-book was contained
in a tin box, which happened to be wrapped in a piece of old
sail-cloth, and nothing in the box was wet. It contained several
old bank-notes, besides the pocket-book, and they were not wet.
He hoped the counsel for his client's step-mother was satisfied."

Mr. Grant bowed. "Much obliged for the explanation; but he was
still inclined to think, that there must have been some peculiar
process employed with that highly important pocket-book."

Mr. Clapp replied by a short burst of indignation, at the
intolerable insinuations of his opponent, and appealed to the
court to silence them. Mr. Grant was accordingly reminded by the
judge, that unless he had something beyond mere insinuations to
offer, his remarks could not be listened to. Mr. Reed then
related how these papers had been lost by his client, some years
since; they had been left in a box at a boarding-house, during a
voyage he made in the Pacific; the house was burnt down, and Mr.
Stanley had believed his papers lost, until he recently heard
they were in possession of a shipmate, at New Bedford. Mr. Clapp
and himself had gone there, and easily obtained them again from
Robert Stebbins, the man in whose hands they had been since the
fire. The fact of the fire was proved; Stebbins was sworn, and
testified to having saved the box with his own effects, and his
having quite lately returned it to the owner, on first hearing an
account of the suit in which he was engaged. This part of the
testimony was clearly laid before the court by Mr. Reed; and the
evidence for the plaintiffs was closed, with these papers, and
the examination of Stebbins, through whose hands they had come.

The cross-examination of the different witnesses was still
conducted by Mr. Grant; several of the witnesses were made to
contradict each other, and partially to contradict themselves;
but as it was only on points of minor importance, no material
change could be effected in the general appearance of things, in
spite of all Mr. Grant's ingenuity. He kept Stebbins a long time
on the stand; and once or twice this individual seemed a good
deal confused in manner and expression; still nothing important
could be drawn from him, his account of the papers corresponding
sufficiently well with that of the plaintiff.

It was late in the afternoon when the proceedings of the trial
reached this stage, and the court adjourned. Some of Hazlehurst's
friends were uneasy, others were confident of success; Mr.
Stryker declared he thought the sailor had made out a very strong
case, and he predicted that he would gain the suit. It is not to
be supposed that Mrs. Stanley, and the ladies at Wyllys-Roof,
were left in ignorance of what passed in the court-room. Robert
Hazlehurst, at whose house Mrs. Stanley and Miss Wyllys were
staying, made brief notes of the proceedings every few hours, and
sent them to his wife and friends, who despatched them by every
mail to the younger ladies at Wyllys-Roof.

When the court met again, the time for the defendants to be heard
had arrived.

The defence was opened by Hazlehurst; he had had but little
practice at the bar, but, like most educated Americans, it
required but little to fit him for speaking in public. His voice
was good, his manner and appearance were highly in his favour; he
had the best of materials to work with, native ability,
cultivated by a thorough education, and supported by just views
and sound principles. Energy of character and feeling helped him
also; warming as he proceeded, he threw himself fully into his
subject, and went on with a facility surprising to himself, and
far surpassing the most sanguine expectations of his friends. As
for his opponents, they had anticipated very little from him. We
give a sketch of his opening remarks:

"It is the first time, gentlemen," he said, on rising to speak,
"that the individual who now addresses you, has ever appeared in
a high court of justice, as an act of self-defence. I have never
yet been solemnly called upon to account for my past actions by
any fellow-creature. My moral motives have never yet been
publicly impugned. The position in which I now stand, accused of
denying the just rights of another, of wilfully withholding the
parental inheritance from the son of my benefactor, is therefore
as novel to myself in its whole character, as it must appear
remarkable to you in its peculiar circumstances.

"I have already learned, however, during the few years that I
have filled a place on the busy stage of active life, that in the
world to which we belong, Truth herself is compelled to appear on
the defensive, nearly as often, perhaps, as Error. I have no
right therefore to complain. So long as I am included in the same
accusation, so long as I am associated in the same defence with
the venerable man at my side--one, whose honourable career has
furnished to the community represented by this assembly, a noble
model of conduct during three-score years and ten; one whom it
has been the especial object of my endeavours to follow, in my
own path through life--so long, I can have no wish to shrink from
the situation in which I am placed; I can find no room for doubts
or misgivings, as to the wisdom and rectitude of the course I
have adopted.

"That the position, however, in which we stand before you, on the
present occasion, gentlemen, is one that requires explanation, we
readily admit; it is too remarkable in its particulars to escape
the searching inquiry of justice. We appear in this court, the
executors and legatee of Mr. Stanley--his widow, his nearest
friend, and his adopted representative--to deny a claim, just in
itself, advanced in the name of his only son. Such a position
must be either quite untenable, totally unjustifiable, an outrage
upon the common decency of society, or it must stand on the firm
foundation of truth. You will easily believe, that such a
position would never have been taken, under circumstances so
extraordinary, by three individuals, possessing only a common
share of honesty and good sense, unless they had held it to be
one which they could maintain. You will readily admit, that it is
the very last position which a man of clear integrity, good
character, and natural feeling would wish to assume, unless
acting from conscientious motives, and guided by sound reason.

"I have no wish to parade a stoical indifference to the pecuniary
interests at stake to-day; they are such as must seriously affect
my fortunes for years, possibly for life. A cause involving so
large a sum of money, so fine a landed estate, honourably
acquired by the late proprietor, and generously bequeathed to
myself, must necessarily include many interests of a varied
character. Many grateful recollections of the past, many hopes
for the future, have been connected in my mind with the house at
Greatwood; from early boyhood I have been taught to look forward
to it, as a home and a resting-place, when the busiest years of
life shall have passed. These interests, however, although among
the best enjoyments of existence, are of a nature entirely
personal, forgive me, if for a moment I have glanced at them.
But, gentlemen, if I have always valued the bequest of Mr.
Stanley, from its own intrinsic importance, from the many
advantages it has already procured me, from the hopes with which
it is connected, and from the grateful recollection, that to the
friendly affection of my benefactor I owe its possession, yet, I
solemnly affirm, in the hearing of hundreds of witnesses, that
there is no honest occupation, however humble, no labour, however
toilsome, that I would not at this instant cheerfully exchange
for it, rather than retain that inheritance one hour from its
rightful owner, could I believe him to be living.

"No human being, I trust, who knows the principles from which I
have hitherto acted, can show just ground for mistrusting this
declaration.

"But, fellow-citizens of the jury, to you I am a stranger. There
is not one of your number, as I now scan the faces in your box,
that I recognize as that of an acquaintance. I cannot, therefore,
expect you to believe this assertion, unsupported by evidence of
its truth. I willingly leave vain declamation to those who have
no better weapon to work with; were it in my power to influence
your decision, by volleys of words without meaning, sound without
sense, such as only too often assail the ears of judges and
juries, respect for the honourable office you now fill, would
deter me from following such a course; self-respect would
naturally prevent me from following so closely the example of the
orator who first addressed you on behalf of the plaintiff. I have
often before heard that orator, fellow-citizens of the jury; this
is not the first occasion upon which I have listened with simple
wonder, to a fluency which ever flows undisturbed, undismayed,
whether the obstacles in its way be those of law or justice,
reason or truth. But if I have wondered at a facility so
remarkable, never, for a single instant, have I wished to rival
this supple dexterity. It is an accomplishment one can scarcely
envy. On the other hand, these wholesale supplies of bombastic
declamation form so large a part of the local stock in trade of
the individual to whom I refer, that it would seem almost cruel
to deprive him of them; we have all heard a common expression,
more easily understood than explained, but which would be quite
applicable to the pitiable state of the counsel for the
plaintiff, when deprived of his chief support, his favourite
modes of speech--he would then be reduced, gentlemen, to LESS
THAN NOTHING." Hazlehurst's face was expressive enough as he
uttered these words.

"No, fellow-citizens of the jury, I shall not ask you to believe
a single assertion of my own, unsustained by proof. At the proper
moment, the testimony which we possess in favour of the death of
Mr. Stanley's son, and the facts which have led us to mistrust
the strange story which you have just heard advanced in behalf of
the plaintiff, will be laid before you. At present, suffer me,
for a moment longer, to refer to the leading motives which have
induced us to appear in this court, as defendants, under
circumstances so singular.

"The importance which, as legatee of Mr. Stanley, I attach to his
generous gift has not been denied. But, independently of this,
there are other causes sufficient in themselves to have brought
me into this hall, and these motives I share with the friends
associated in the same defence. If we conceive ourselves to be
justified in refusing the demand of the plaintiff, as a
consequence of this conviction, we must necessarily hold it to be
an imperative duty to repel, by every honest means in our power,
a claim we believe false. This is a case which allows of no
medium course. On one hand, either we, the defendants, are guilty
of an act of the most cruel injustice; or, on the other, the
individual before you, assuming the name of William Stanley, is
an impostor. The opinion of those most intimately connected with
the late Mr. Stanley, is clearly proclaimed, by the stand they
have deliberately taken, after examining the evidence with which
the plaintiff advances his extraordinary claim. This individual
who, from his own account, was content to remain for years in a
state of passive indifference to the same important inheritance,
now claimed so boldly, in defiance of so many obstacles, we
believe to be an impostor; not a single, lingering scruple
prevents my repeating the declaration, that I believe him to be a
bold and daring impostor.

"With this opinion, is it expected that I shall calmly endure
that one, whose only title consists in his cunning and his
audacity, should seize with impunity, property, legally and
justly my own? Is it believed that I shall stand idly by, without
a struggle to defend the name of my deceased benefactor from such
impudent abuse? That I should be content to see the very
hearth-stone of my friend seized, by the grossest cupidity? That
I should surrender the guardianship of his grave to one, with
whom he never had a thought, a feeling, a sympathy in common?--to
one, who would not scruple to sell that grave for a bottle of
rum?

"Every feeling revolts at the thought of such a shameful neglect
of duty! No; I acknowledge myself bound, by every obligation, to
oppose to the last extremity, such an audacious invasion of right
and truth. Every feeling of respect and gratitude to the memory
of my benefactor, urges me forward; while all the attachment of
the friend, and all the affection of the widow, revive, and unite
in the defence.

"But, fellow-citizens of the jury, my own personal rights,
sufficient on a common occasion to rouse any man, the duties owed
by each of the defendants to the memory of Mr. Stanley--duties
sacred in the eyes of every right-thinking man, these are not the
only motives which call upon us to oppose the plaintiff, to repel
with all the strength we can command this daring act of piracy.

"There is another duty still more urgent, a consideration of a
still higher character, involved in the course we pursue to-day.
There is one object before us, far surpassing in importance any
to which I have yet alluded; it is one, fellow-citizens of the
jury, in which each individual of your number is as deeply
concerned as ourselves, in which the highest earthly interests of
every human being in this community are included; it is the one
great object for which these walls were raised, this hall opened,
which has placed those honourable men as judges on the seat of
justice, which has called you together, from the less important
pursuit of your daily avocations, to give an impartial opinion in
every case brought before you; it is the high object of
maintaining justice in the community to which we all equally
belong. I am willing to believe, fellow-citizens of the jury,
that you are fully aware of the importance of your own office, of
the dignity of this court, of the necessity of its existence, of
its activity to protect the honest and inoffensive citizen,
against the designing, the unprincipled, and the violent. Such
protection we know to be absolutely binding upon every community
claiming to be civilized; we know that without it no state of
society, at all worthy of the dignity of human nature, at all
worthy of the dignity of freemen, can exist; without active
justice, indeed, the name of Freedom becomes a mere sound of
mockery. I have been taught to hold the opinion, gentlemen, that
if there is one obligation more imperative than any other,
imposed upon an American by the privileges of his birth-right, it
is this very duty of maintaining justice in her full integrity;
of raising his voice in her behalf when she is threatened, of
raising his arm in her defence when she is assailed. To move at
the first clear appeal of justice, is surely one of the chief
duties of every American citizen, of every man blessed with
freedom of speech and freedom of action; and, surely, if this be
a general rule, it would become a double act of moral cowardice,
to desert the post, when those individual rights, confided
especially to my own protection, including interests so important
to myself, are audaciously assailed. If there are circumstances
which partially remove the weight of this obligation, of this
public struggle for justice, from portions of the community, from
the aged, who have already firmly upheld every honourable
principle through a long course of years, and from those who are
confined by their natural position to the narrow but holy circle
of domestic duties; if such be honourable exemptions from bearing
the brunt of the battle, it is only to open the front rank to
every active citizen, laying claim to manliness and honesty. Such
I conceive to be the obligation imposed upon myself, by the
demand of the plaintiff. Upon examination, I can find no
sufficient evidence to support this claim; it becomes therefore,
in my belief, by its very nature, an atrocious outrage alike to
the living and the dead--an insulting violation of natural
justice and the law of the land, sufficient to rouse every
justifiable effort in resistance.

"Whenever attention may be called to a question, of a character
audaciously unprincipled, even when quite independent of personal
advantage and personal feeling, I should still hope that duty as
a man, duty as a freeman, would have sufficient influence over my
actions, to urge me forward in opposition to its unrighteous
demands, just so far as common sense and true principle shall
point the way. Such I conceive to be the character of the present
question; were there no pecuniary interest, no individual feeling
at stake, I should still conceive it a duty to hold on the
present occasion the position in which I now stand.

"The grounds upon which this opinion as to the character of the
case has been formed, the grounds upon which we base our defence,
must now be laid before you."

After this opening, Harry proceeded with an outline of the
testimony for the defence. His statement was very clear and
accurate throughout; but as it contained nothing but what is
already known to the reader, we shall omit this part of his
remarks.

After he had given a general account of the conduct and views of
the defendants, Mr. Ellsworth proceeded to lay the legal evidence
in their possession, before the court. The first point examined,
was the testimony they had received as to the death of William
Stanley. The wreck of the Jefferson was easily proved, by a
letter from the captain of the American ship Eagle, who had
spoken the Jefferson the morning of the gale in which she was
lost, and having safely rode out the storm himself, had
afterwards seen the wreck. This letter was written on Captain
Green's arrival in port, and was in answer to inquiries of Mr.
Wyllys; besides an account of the gale, and the wreck of the
Jefferson, it contained the united opinions of his mates and
himself, that no one could have escaped, unless under very
extraordinary circumstances, as the vessel herself had foundered,
and no boat could have lived in such a tempest. During a calm
which had followed the gale, they had fallen in with fragments of
the wreck, some of which had been used in repairing their own
vessel; they had seen several dead bodies, and had taken up an
empty boat, and several other objects, but nothing which threw
farther light on the subject. William Stanley's name, as one of
the crew of the Jefferson, was next produced; this part of the
testimony came through our acquaintance, Mr. Hopkins, who had
been the owner of the Jefferson. Then came proofs of the many
efforts made by the executors, to obtain accounts of Mr.
Stanley's son, by advertisements to sailors and shipmasters, in
all the great ports of the country, repeated during five years;
many letters and communications were also produced, all
strengthening the report of the young man's death. An agent had
been employed by Mrs. Stanley, for one year, with no other object
than that of searching for intelligence of her step-son; the man
himself was dead, but his letters were read, and sworn to by his
wife. Only once had the executors obtained a faint hope of the
young man's existence; the second-mate of a whaler reported that
he had known a William Stanley, a foremast hand, in the Pacific;
but eventually it appeared, that the man alluded to was much
older than Mr. Stanley's son, and his name was SANLEY. Nothing
could be more clearly proved, than the efforts of the executors
to obtain accurate intelligence as to the young man's fate; and
it was also evident from the reports received, that they could
have had no good reason to doubt his death. The next points
examined, included the person and conduct of the plaintiff. The
bad character of the plaintiff was made to appear in the course
of this examination; "a character which seems at least to have
always clung to that individual, under the various names it has
pleased him to assume at different times," observed Mr.
Ellsworth. It was clearly shown that he was considered a man of
no principles, even among his comrades. The personal identity was
fully examined; this part of the testimony excited intense
interest among the audience, while even the court seemed to
listen with increased attention. The opinions of the different
witnesses on this point were not disputed; the general
resemblance of the plaintiff to the Stanleys was not denied; the
similarity of handwriting was also admitted; but Mr. Ellsworth
argued, that such resemblances, among persons who were in no way
related to each other, were not uncommon; probably every
individual in that court-room had been told fifty times, that he
was like A., B., or C. Occasionally, such resemblances were
really very marked indeed. He then cited the instance of a man
who was hanged in England, on this very ground of personal
identity, sworn to by many individuals; and yet, a year after, it
was discovered that the real criminal was living; and these two
men, so strikingly alike, had never even seen each other, nor
were they in any manner related to each other. But who could say
whether the plaintiff were actually so much like William Stanley?
It was not certain that any individual in that room had seen the
young man for eighteen years; but one of the defendants had any
distinct recollection of him, even at that time; the colour of
the hair, and a general resemblance in complexion and features,
might well be the amount of all that could be advanced in favour
of the likeness; the plaintiff resembled the Stanleys, father and
son; but probably a hundred other men might be picked up in the
country, in whom the same resemblance might be found--men who
laid no claim to the name or estate of Mr. Stanley. Similarity of
handwriting was not uncommon either; and here some dozen notes
and letters were produced, and proved to a certain degree that
this assertion was correct; in several cases the resemblance was
very great; and Mr. Ellsworth maintained, that with the documents
in the possession of the sailor, undeniably written by young
Stanley, any common writer, devoid of honesty, might have moulded
his hand by practice to an imitation of it, sufficient for
forgery. So much for the resemblance; he would now point out the
difference between the plaintiff and William Stanley in two
points, which, if clearly proved, must convince the jury that
identity was utterly impossible, a pure fiction, a gross
deception. He then produced the portrait of William Stanley;
after acknowledging that there was some general resemblance, he
suddenly showed the difference in the formation of the hands,
fingers, and nails, between the boy and the plaintiff. This
difference was indeed striking, for Ellsworth took a moment to
point it out, when the sailor was in court, and engaged in
putting a piece of tobacco in his mouth, and his hands were in
full view. For a second he seemed out of countenance, but he soon
resumed the confident look he had worn throughout. Mr. Ellsworth
entered very minutely into this fact, showing that painters
usually gave a correct idea of the hand, when it was introduced
in a portrait; and the impossibility of the natural formation of
the hand being entirely changed, either by time or hard work, was
proved by the testimony of anatomists. The family physician of
the late Mr. Stanley was an important witness at this stage of
the trial; he swore to the fidelity of the portrait, and
confirmed the fact of the particular formation of William
Stanley's limbs when a boy; he thought it very improbable that a
lad of his frame and constitution would ever become as heavy and
robust as the plaintiff. He was asked by a juror if he thought
this impossible? "No; he could not say it was impossible." The
difference in gait was then examined.

{"spoken the Jefferson" = passed and communicated with}

"There is yet another point to be examined," said Ellsworth,
"similar in nature, but still more decided in its bearing." He
then brought forward all the testimony that had been collected,
as to the temper and capacity of William Stanley; it was clearly
proved, chiefly by the young man's tutors and companions, that he
was morose and stubborn in disposition, and dull in intellect. So
far this point was easily settled; but it was difficult to place
the opposite facts, of the cleverness and better temper of the
plaintiff, as clearly before the court as they had appeared to
the defendants. Any one who had seen him under the same
circumstances as Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, during the last three
months, would have been convinced of this difference; but in the
court-room it was not so easy to place the matter beyond dispute,
although two witnesses gave their opinions on this point, under
oath, and Ellsworth did all he could, by attracting attention to
the plaintiff, to his manner and expression; but he was not quite
satisfied with the result of his own endeavours.

"Let us now look at the conduct of this individual; we shall find
it, I think, quite inconsistent with that any man of plain, good
sense, would have supposed the most easy and natural course under
the circumstances; while, on the other hand, it is entirely
consistent throughout, in being strongly marked with the stamp of
improbability, in its general aspect, and in its details." After
a review of the plaintiff's course, as it stood in his own
statement, he proceeded to investigate his conduct during the
last three months, maintaining, that had he really been William
Stanley, he would have presented himself long since to Mr.
Wyllys, unsupported by Mr. Clapp; he would not have found it
necessary to visit Greatwood, and examine the house and place so
thoroughly, before submitting to an examination; he would not
have waited to be examined, he would voluntarily have told his
own story in a manner to produce undeniable conviction. For
instance, but a few weeks since, when, if we may believe his
story, that pocket-book came into his possession again, had he
gone to Mr. Wyllys, shown it, and merely told him accurately,
from whom, when, and where he had first received it, he would
have been immediately recognized as the individual he claims to
be. Had he been William Stanley, he could have told those simple
facts, he would have told them; while they were facts which it
was impossible that an impostor should know, since they were
confined entirely to Mr. Wyllys and his friend's son--Mr. Wyllys
himself having given the pocket-book to William Stanley when they
were alone together. He appealed to every man there present, what
would have been his own conduct under such circumstances? As to
the readiness of Mr. Wyllys to receive William Stanley, could he
believe him living, it was proved by the past conduct of the
executors, their anxiety to obtain a correct account of the young
man's fate, their hopes at first, their regrets at last, when
hope had died away. Ellsworth closed his speech by observing,
that after this review of the circumstances, considering the
striking differences pointed out in person, temper, and capacity,
from those of William Stanley, the irreconciliable difference in
the gait and formation of the limbs, and the unnatural conduct of
the plaintiff throughout, had Mr. Wyllys received this man as
William Stanley, the son of his deceased friend, it would have
been a gross neglect of duty on his part.

There now remained but one act to complete the defence. It was
concluded by Mr. Grant, who went over the whole case in a speech,
in his usual well-known manner, learned and close in its
reasoning, caustic and severe in its remarks on the opposite
party. His general view was chiefly legal; occasionally, however,
he introduced short and impressive remarks on the general aspect
of the case, and the particular character of the most suspicious
facts presented by the plaintiff; he was severe upon Mr. Clapp,
showing a shrewd and thorough knowledge of the man, and the legal
species to which he belonged. The Longbridge lawyer put on an
increase of vulgar nonchalance for the occasion, but he was
unable to conceal entirely his uneasiness under the sharp and
well-aimed hits of one, so much his superior in standing and real
ability. Mr. Grant dwelt particularly upon the suspicious
appearance of the facts connected with the volume of the
Spectator, and the pocket-book, both of which he admitted to have
belonged to William Stanley originally; and he seemed to manage
the difference in temper and capacity more effectually than Mr.
Ellsworth had done. His speech was listened to with the closest
attention during several hours; after having reviewed the
testimony on both sides and finished his legal survey of the
ground, he concluded as follows:

"Gentlemen of the jury; the facts of this case are before you, so
far at least as we could reach them; there are doubtless others
behind the curtain which might prove highly important in
assisting your decision. You have followed me over the dull track
of the law wherever it led us near this case, and I thank you for
the patience you have shown. The subject is now fully before you,
and I conceive that you will agree with me that in the present
case, the counsel for the plaintiff have undertaken a task of no
ordinary difficulty. It seems a task by no means enviable under
any of its different aspects; but really, in the whole course of
my experience at the bar, it has never yet fallen to my lot to
witness so startling a feat of legal legerdemain, as that
attempted in this court-room by the counsel for the plaintiff. I
conceive, gentlemen, that they are engaged in a task seldom
attempted since the days of wizards and necromancers--they have
undertaken to raise a ghost!"

It was now time for the plaintiff's lawyers to close the trial.
Mr. Clapp wished to speak again, but Mr. Reed took the case
entirely in his own hands; he was evidently firmly convinced of
the identity of his client with William Stanley, and the natural
indignation he felt at the accusations of the defendants, and the
treatment the sailor had received from the executors, gave
unusual warmth to his manner, which was generally calm; it was
remarked that he had never made a stronger speech than on that
occasion. He did not dispute the honesty of the opinions of Mr.
Wyllys and Hazlehurst, but he conceived they had no right to hold
such opinions after examining the testimony in behalf of the
plaintiff. He conceived that the defendant attached an importance
altogether puerile to mere common probability, every-day
probability; how many facts, now proved as clearly as human
evidence can prove, have worn at first an improbable aspect to
many minds! How many legal cases of an improbable nature might be
cited! He would only allude to a few; and here he went over
several remarkable cases on record.

"And yet he would even engage to answer the objections against
his client on this very ground of probability; much had been said
about the volume of the Spectator, but Mr. Hazlehurst could not
swear to having read it at Greatwood four years since; while it
appeared on cross-examination that his brother had the same
edition of that book in Philadelphia, and that Mr. H. was in the
habit of reading his brother's books; it also appeared that other
volumes had been lost from the house at Greatwood in the course
of the last four years. He held it then to be clearly probable;
first, that Mr. H. had not read that identical volume shown at
the interview, but one belonging to his brother; secondly, that
the same volume had not been lost within the last four years;
that others had been lost was certain, but that this volume had
been in the possession of his client for nearly twenty years was
PROBABLE." He went on in the same way to prove the probability of
his client's gait having been changed, like that of other
sailors, by a life at sea; that his whole body had become heavier
and coarser from twenty years' hard work, and change of habits.
He here made Dr. B., the physician who had testified on this
subject, appear in a ridiculous light, by quoting some
unfortunately obscure remarks he had made under
cross-examination.

"Then, as to his client's temper, he hoped it had improved with
age, but he thought that point had not been as clearly settled as
his best friends could wish; still, it was by no means IMPROBABLE
that it had improved under the salutary restraints of greater
intercourse with the world. Who has not known persons whose
tempers have become better under such circumstances? As to the
capacity of his client, that had also PROBABLY been roused into
greater activity by the same circumstances. Who has not heard of
striking instances in which boys have been pronounced stupid by
their masters and playfellows, and yet the same lads have
afterwards turned out even brilliant geniuses?" He mentioned
several instances of this kind. He went over the most striking
features of the whole case in this manner, but we are necessarily
compelled to abridge his remarks. "He accepted this ground of
probability fully and entirely; the conduct of his client had
been thought unnatural; he conceived that the very same stubborn,
morose disposition, which the defendants had laboured so hard to
fasten upon William Stanley, would account in the most PROBABLE
manner for all that had been unusual in the conduct of his
client. The same boy who at fifteen had so recklessly exchanged a
pleasant home and brilliant prospects for a sailor's hardships,
might very naturally have continued to feel and to act as the
plaintiff had done."

He then brought together all the points in favour of the sailor,
"The resemblance between the plaintiff and William Stanley had
been called trifling by the counsel for the defendants; he
considered it a remarkably strong resemblance, since it included
not only acknowledged personal likeness, but also similarity of
handwriting, of age, of occupation, the possession of documents
admitted to be authentic by the defendants themselves, with
knowledge of past events, persons, and places, such as would be
natural in William Stanley but quite beyond the reach of a common
stranger. He conceived that the great number of different points
in his client's favour was a far stronger ground for the truth of
his claim, than any one fact, however striking, standing alone.
He held that this mass of evidence, both positive and
circumstantial, could be accounted for in no other way at all
probable, than by admitting the identity of his client. He
conceived it also probable that any unprejudiced man would take
the same view of this case; a case singular in its first aspect,
though not more singular than hundreds of others on record, and
entirely within the bounds of possibility in every fact, while it
assumed greater probability the farther it was examined." He then
adverted to several points merely legal, and finally concluded by
a strong appeal in behalf of the plaintiff.

The judge rose to make his charge; it was strictly legal and
impartial, chiefly reminding the jury that they were to decide
entirely from the facts which had been placed before them; if
they thought the evidence to which they listened sufficient to
prove legally the identity of the plaintiff as William Stanley,
they must give a verdict in his favour; if they held that
evidence to be incomplete and insufficient, according to the
legal views which must be their guide, they must pronounce a
verdict in favour of the defendants: concluding with explaining
one or two legal points, and an injunction to weigh the whole
evidence impartially, the judge took his seat.

The jury rose; marshalled by constables and headed by their
foreman, they turned from the box and left the court-room to
consider their verdict.

Another cause was called. The parties interested, their friends,
and the crowd of curious spectators poured from the building,
discussing as they moved along the probable result, which could
scarcely be known until the next morning, for it was late on the
fourth night that the trial closed.



CHAPTER XIX. {XLII}

"Tout est perdu fors l'honneur!"
Francois I.

{"Tout est perdu fors l'honneur" = all is lost but honor
(French). Francis I of France (1494-1547), letter to his mother,
1525; by 1840 a proverbial expression}

HAZLEHURST'S friends, fully aware of the importance of the cause
to his interests, had followed the trial with great anxiety. Mrs.
Stanley, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, Miss Wyllys, and Mrs. Creighton
were regularly informed of the events which had passed whenever
the court adjourned. The young ladies at Wyllys-Roof, Elinor,
Jane, and Mary Van Alstyne were obliged to wait longer for
information; they had received, however, regular reports of the
proceedings by every mail; they had learned that the trial had
closed, and were now waiting most anxiously for the final
decision of the jury.

"I had no idea the trial would last so long; had you?" observed
Mary Van Alstyne, as the three friends were sitting together
waiting for that day's mail, which must at length bring them the
important news.

"Yes; grandpapa told me that it might possibly last a week."

"I don't see why they cannot decide it sooner," said Jane;
"anybody might know that sailor could not be William Stanley.
Poor Harry! what trouble he has had with the man ever since he
came home!"

At that moment carriage-wheels were heard approaching; Elinor ran
to the window.

"They are coming!" she cried; and in another instant she was on
the piazza, followed by Mary and Jane. Two carriages were
approaching the door.

"Here they are--all our friends!" exclaimed Mary Van Alstyne, as
she recognized in the first open wagon Mr. Wyllys and Ellsworth,
and in the barouche behind, the ladies, including Mrs. Creighton;
while Harry himself sat at the side of the coachman.

Elinor was on the last step of the piazza, looking eagerly
towards the faces of her friends as they advanced.

"Grandpapa!" she exclaimed, looking all anxious curiosity, as the
wagon stopped.

Mr. Wyllys smiled, but not triumphantly.

Ellsworth shook his head as he sprang from the wagon and took her
hand.

"Can it be possible!--Is the suit lost?" she again exclaimed.

"Only too possible!" replied Mr. Ellsworth. "The jury have given
a verdict for the plaintiff, in spite of our best endeavours."

Elinor turned towards Harry, and offered him both her hands.
Hazlehurst received them with feeling, with emotion.

"I can't acknowledge that I am such a poor forlorn fellow as one
might fancy," he said, smiling, "while I have still such kind and
warm friends."

Elinor blushing to find herself between the two gentlemen,
advanced to receive the kiss of her aunt and Mrs. Stanley. The
countenance of the latter lady showed evident traces of the
painful feelings she had experienced at the decision. Mrs.
Creighton too looked a little disturbed; though graceful as ever
in her manner, she was not easy; it was clear that she had been
much disappointed by Harry's defeat.

"I am grieved to hear the bad news, Mr. Hazlehurst!" said Mary
Van Alstyne.

"Poor Harry--I am so sorry for you!" exclaimed Jane, looking very
lovely as she raised her eyes to her kinsman's face.

"Ellsworth, can't you manage to lose all you are worth and a
little more?" said Harry, smiling, after having thanked the
ladies for their kind reception.

"As I could not keep your property for you with the best will in
the world, no doubt I could get rid of my own too," replied his
friend.

When the whole party assembled in the drawing-room, nothing was
talked of for a while but the trial. It appeared that the jury
had been fifteen hours considering their verdict. The doors of
the court-room had been crowded by people curious to learn the
decision of the case, and when the jury entered the court with
their verdict there was a rush forward to hear it.

"Verdict for the plaintiff--" was announced by the clerk in a
loud voice, in the usual official manner.

"Clapp was standing near me at the moment," said Harry, "there
was a flash of triumph in his face as he turned towards me. The
sailor actually looked bewildered for an instant, but he soon
appeared very well satisfied. As for myself, I honestly declare
that I expected such would be the result."

"It was too late to write to you, my child," said Mr. Wyllys; "we
only heard the verdict in time to prepare for leaving town in the
morning's boat. And now, Nelly, you must give us some consolation
in the shape of a good dinner."

It was very evident that although everybody endeavoured to wear a
cheerful face, the defeat had been much felt by Mrs. Stanley, Mr.
Wyllys, and Ellsworth. Hazlehurst himself really appeared better
prepared for the misfortune than any of the party; in fact he
conceived Mrs. Stanley's position to be more painful than his
own, though so much less critical in a pecuniary view. Mrs.
Creighton was certainly neither so gay, nor so easy as usual in
her manner; one might have fancied that she felt herself in an
unpleasant and rather an awkward position--a very unusual thing
for that lady. It might have struck an observer that she wished
to appear as amiable as ever to Harry, but she did not succeed
entirely in concealing that her interest in him was materially
diminished, now that he was no longer Mr. Stanley's heir. It was
only by trifling shades of manner, however, that this was
betrayed; perhaps no one of the circle at Wyllys-Roof remarked
it; perhaps it was not lost upon Hazlehurst; there seemed to be
an occasional expression in his eye which said so.

After the party had separated to prepare for dinner, Elinor
joined her aunt, and learned many farther particulars of the
trial.

"Is there no hope, Aunt?--can nothing be done--no new trial?"

"I am afraid not. The gentlemen are to hold several consultations
on that point, however, but they seem to agree that little can be
done. Both your grandfather and Harry were determined to go on if
there were the least probability of success; but Mr. Grant, Mr.
Ellsworth, and several other gentlemen say they can give them no
grounds for encouragement; the trial was perfectly regular, and
they think an appeal for a new trial would be rejected; and even
if it were granted, they see no reason to hope for a different
verdict."

"And yet there cannot be a doubt, Aunt, to us at least, that this
man is an impostor!" exclaimed Elinor.

"No, not to us certainly; but it was not possible to place the
proofs of this as clearly before the court as they have appeared
to us. Harry says he was afraid from the beginning that this
would be the case."

"How well he bears it!" exclaimed Elinor. "And Mrs. Stanley, she
can scarcely speak on the subject!"

"She feels it most keenly. Would you believe it, my child, when
we arrived on board the boat this morning, we found Mr. Clapp and
this man already there; and at a moment when Mrs. Stanley and I
were sitting alone together, the gentlemen having left us, and
Mrs. Creighton being with another party, they came and walked up
and down before us. Mr. Clapp took off his hat, and running his
hand through his hair, as he does so often, he said in a loud
voice: "Well, Mr. Stanley, when do you go to Greatwood?" Happily,
Harry saw us from the other side of the deck, and he instantly
joined us. Of course we did not mention to him what had passed;
and although Mr. Clapp was noisy and vulgar, yet he did not come
so near us again."

"What a miserable man he is!" exclaimed Elinor. "And is it
possible that sailor is going to take possession of my uncle
Stanley's house immediately?"

"I do not know, my child. Everything has been left in the hands
of Robert Hazlehurst and Mr. Grant, by our friends."

Already had Elinor's mind been busy with planning relief for
Hazlehurst; if he were now worse than penniless, she was rich--it
would be in her power to assist him. The point itself had been
long since settled by her, but the manner in which it was to be
done was now to be considered. She was determined at least that
her old playfellow should have the use of any sum he might
require, under the circumstances that would be the easiest and
most acceptable to himself. Her grandfather must make the offer;
they would either wait until he returned from the cruise in the
Petrel, or possibly it would be better to write to him while
absent.

Elinor had, perhaps, been more disappointed by the verdict than
any one, for she had been very sanguine as to the result; she had
not conceived it possible that such gross injustice could
triumph.

But, alas, how imperfect is merely human justice in its best
form! It is a humiliating reflection for the human race, that
Justice, one of the highest attributes of Truth, should have so
little power among men; that when guided by human reason alone
she should so often err!

To guard faithfully the general purity of Justice, to watch that
her arm is neither crippled by violence nor palsied by fear, that
her hands are not polluted by bribery, nor her ears assailed by
flattery, is all that human means can do; but wo {sic} to the
society where this duty is neglected, for disgrace and general
corruption are then inevitable.

It was a day of movement at Wyllys-Roof; after the arrival of the
party from Philadelphia there were constant communications with
their neighbours at Broadlawn, as the long talked of cruise of
the Petrel had been only postponed for Harry's return, and young
de Vaux was now all impatience to be off. When Elinor went down
for dinner she found Ellsworth and Harry on the piazza playing
with Bruno, the fine Newfoundland dog which Hazlehurst had given
her when he first went abroad.

"He is a noble creature!" exclaimed Ellsworth.

"I am making friends with Bruno again, you see," said Harry as
Elinor drew near. "What would you say if I coaxed him off to the
Petrel with me to-morrow?"

"You are very welcome to his company for the voyage, if you can
persuade him to go. Down Bruno, down my good friend," she said,
as the dog bounded towards her; "I wish you would remember that a
thin white dress must be treated with some respect. Are you
really going to-morrow?" she added, turning to Harry.

"Yes; we are under sailing orders. I have just been over to look
at the Petrel, and everything is ready. De Vaux has only been
waiting for me--the rest of the party has been collected for some
days. I found Smith the conchologist, and Stryker, at Broadlawn."

"Has your course been finally settled?" asked Ellsworth.

"Yes; we are to circumnavigate Long-Island."

"You will have an agreeable cruise, I dare say, with a pleasant
set of messmates; Hubert de Vaux is a good fellow himself, and
Stryker is in his element on such occasions."

"We are to have Charlie Hubbard too, and Harman Van Horne."

"How long will you be gone?" said Elinor.

"Some ten days, or a fortnight at the very farthest."

"Can we see anything of Mr. de Vaux's boat from here?" asked Mrs.
Creighton, stepping on the piazza.

"Only her masts; in this direction, near the grove," replied
Harry. "She is a schooner, and a beautiful craft, too."

"Miss Wyllys, you should coax Mr. de Vaux to give the ladies a
pic-nic when he returns," said Mrs. Creighton.

"No doubt he would be happy to do so, if you were to express the
wish," said Elinor.

"Unfortunately I shall not be here. Wyllys-Roof is a dangerous
place, one always stays here too long; but I cannot positively
afford more than a day or two at present; I have promised to be
in town on Thursday."

Elinor expressed her regrets very hospitably; and they were soon
after summoned to dinner.

In the evening, Hubert de Vaux and the gentlemen from Broadlawn,
engaged for the cruise, walked in. Charlie Hubbard was there too;
he had remained in Philadelphia during the whole trial, and had
just returned home that morning.

"And so you are positively going to-morrow," said Mr. Wyllys to
young de Vaux.

"Positively; at six in the morning."

"Is it part of your plan, to stow yourselves away at night in the
Petrel?"

"The Petrel's cabin is not to be despised, I assure you, sir. It
has six as good berths as those of any North-River sloop that
ever carried passengers in days of yore. But we shall only sleep
on board occasionally, for the fun of the thing."

{"North-River sloop" = the Hudson River was also called the North
River, and before steamboats, passengers travelled between New
York and Albany by what were known as Hudson River or North River
sloops}

"At what places do you intend to put into port?"

"We are going to shoot for a day or two on Long-Island; and we
shall let the Yankees have a sight of the Petrel, at New Haven,
Sachem's-Head, and Nantucket."

{"Sachem's Head" = Sachem Head harbor is about 10 miles east of
New Haven, Connecticut}

"I have no doubt you will have a pleasant excursion."

"Our only difficulty at present seems the prospect of too much
comfort," said Charlie. "Mrs. de Vaux expressed some fears of a
famine at Longbridge in consequence of this cruise, we carry off
such a stock of provisions."

"Not a bit too much; people always want twice as much on a party
of pleasure as at other times," said Hubert de Vaux.

The plan of the cruise was talked over in all its details, and
the whole party seemed pleased with the idea. Young Van Horne,
now a practising physician in New York, was delighted with the
prospect of a week's liberty; Mr. Smith, the conchologist, hoped
to pick up some precious univalve or bivalve; Charlie talked of
taking a sketch of Cape Cod; Harry declared he was determined to
enjoy the trip, as the last holiday he could allow himself for a
long time; and Mr. Stryker promised himself the best of chowders,
a sea-dish in which he professed himself to be a great
connoisseur. Mrs. Creighton indeed declared, that he looked upon
that season as lost, in which he could not make some improvement
in his celebrated receipt for chowder. Whether it was that this
lady's gaiety and coquetry instinctively revived in the company
of so many gentlemen, or whether she felt afraid of Mr. Stryker's
keen, worldly scrutiny, her manner in the evening resumed
entirely its wonted appearance; she was witty, graceful, piquant,
and flattering as ever, and quite as much so with Hazlehurst as
with any.

"What do you say to a game of chess, Mrs. Creighton?" asked Mr.
Wyllys.

"With pleasure, sir; I am always at your service. Not that it is
very pleasant to be beaten so often, but I really think I improve
under your instructions. You are so much interested yourself that
you inspire others."

"You must allow me, Mrs. Creighton, to suggest something for your
improvement," said Mr. Stryker.

"And what is it, pray?"

"You talk too much; you make yourself too agreeable to your
adversary--that is not fair."

"Oh, it is only a ruse de guerre; and Mr. Wyllys beats me nine
games out of ten, in spite of my chattering."

{"ruse de guerre" = military strategem (French)}

"No doubt; but if you could make up your mind to be less charming
for half an hour, you might have the honours of the game
oftener."

"I must gain the battle my own way, Mr. Stryker, or not at all."

"I leave you to your fate, then," said the gentleman, turning
away.

Charlie, Elinor, Harry, and Jane were quietly talking together;
Jane having now resumed her place in the family circle. They were
speaking of Charlie's sketches, and the young widow asked if he
ever painted portraits now; Miss Wyllys {sic} wished to have
her's taken, before she left them to return to her parents.

{"Miss Wyllys" = should read Jane (or Mrs. Taylor); Elinor Wyllys
is an orphan}

"You do paint portraits," said Elinor; "I have seen those of your
mother and Miss Patsey."

Charlie changed colour, and hastily denied any claim to be called
a portrait-painter.

"Yet it would be pleasant," said Elinor, "to have a picture of my
cousin painted by you."

Jane observed she should like to have Elinor's, by the same hand.

"Oh, my portrait would not be worth having," said Elinor,
smiling; "certainly not if taken by an honest artist."

"You will both, I hope, fare better from the hands of Mr. I-----
or Mr. S-----," said Charlie, with some little embarrassment.

Mr. Ellsworth, who had been standing near the group, now asked
Elinor to sing.

"What will you have?" she replied, taking a seat at the piano.

"Anything you please."

"Pray then give us Robin Adair, Miss Elinor," said Charlie.

Elinor sang the well-known song with greater sweetness than
usual--she was decidedly in good voice; both Charlie and Harry
listened with great pleasure as they stood by her side; Jane was
also sitting near the piano, and seemed more interested in the
music than usual; it was a song which the young widow had so
often heard, in what she now looked back to as the happy days of
her girlhood. More than one individual in the room thought it
charming to listen to Elinor and look at Jane, at the same
instant. Several of the gentlemen then sang, and the party broke
up cheerfully.

Little was it thought, that never again could the same circle be
re-united at Wyllys-Roof; all who crossed the threshold that
night were not to return.



CHAPTER XX. {XLIII}

"I pr'ythee hear me speak!"
Richard III.

{William Shakespeare, "Richard III", IV.iv.180}

HAZLEHURST had gone out with his friends, and continued walking
on the piazza, first with Charlie and then with Ellsworth; at
length Mrs. Stanley called him from the window to say good-bye,
as she did not expect to see him again before the cruise; the
other ladies also wished him a pleasant excursion at the same
moment.

"Good fishing and no musquitoes {sic}--which, I take it, is all
that is desirable on such an occasion," said Mrs. Creighton,
smiling brightly but carelessly, as she offered her hand.

"Thank you; I suppose you have no commands for Cape Cod?"

"None at all, I believe, unless you can bring us the true Yankee
receipt for chowder, which Mr. Stryker was explaining this
evening."

"You will be off so early to-morrow that we shall scarcely see
you, Harry," said Miss Wyllys. "You must come back to us,
however, and fall into the old habit of considering Wyllys-Roof
as home, whenever you please," she added kindly.

Harry's thanks were expressed with feeling.

"And in the mean time I hope you will have a pleasant cruise,"
said Elinor. "Fair winds and better prospects attend you!"--and
as she raised her eyes, Harry observed they had filled with tears
when she made this allusion to his difficulties. Perhaps
Ellsworth made the same remark, and appreciated her kindness; for
when Elinor turned to wish him good-night we strongly suspect
that his countenance said so; there could be no doubt at least,
that she blushed at the time, though pale but a moment before.

After the ladies had gone, Mr. Wyllys and Ellsworth went off
together, and Harry returned to the piazza.

It was perhaps inconsiderate in Hazlehurst to continue walking so
late, for the sound of his footsteps fell regularly on the
stillness of the night, long after the family had gone to rest,
and may possibly have disturbed some of his friends; but many
busy thoughts of the past and the future crowded on his mind,
while pacing that familiar spot, the piazza of Wyllys-Roof. It is
time that these thoughts should be partially revealed to the
reader, and for that purpose we must pause a moment, in order to
look backward.

Long since, Harry's heart had warmed again towards his old
playfellow, Elinor. As soon as the first novelty of a life at Rio
had worn off, Harry, whose affections were strong, began to miss
his old friends; the more so, since Mr. Henley, although his
principles and talents entirely commanded his secretary's esteem,
was not a pleasant companion in every-day life. Hazlehurst soon
began to contrast the minister's formal, old bachelor
establishment with the pleasant house of his friend Ellsworth,
where Mrs. Creighton did the honours charmingly, and with the
cheerful home of his brother, where his sister-in-law always
received him kindly: still oftener be compared the cold, stately
atmosphere which seemed to fill Mr. Henley's house, with the
pleasant, genial spirit which prevailed at Wyllys-Roof, where
everything excellent wore so amiable an aspect. Until lately he
had always been so closely connected with the family there, that
he accused himself of not having done full justice to all their
worth. He took a pleasure in dwelling on Mr. Wyllys's high moral
character, so happily tempered by the benevolence of cheerful old
age; he remembered the quiet, unpretending virtues of Miss
Wyllys, always mingled with unvarying kindness to himself; and
could he forget Elinor, whose whole character was so engaging;
uniting strength of principle and intelligence, with a
disposition so lovely, so endearing? A place in this family had
been his, his for life, and he had trifled with it, rejected it;
worse than that--well he knew that the best place in Elinor's
generous heart had once been wholly his; he had applied for it,
he had won it; and what return had he made for her warmest
affections? He had trifled with her; the world said he had jilted
her, jilted the true-hearted Elinor, his friend and companion
from childhood! Knowing her as well as he did, he had treated her
as if she were a mere ball-room coquette; he had forgotten her as
soon as if it had been a mere holiday fancy of a boy of fifteen.
He had been completely infatuated, dazzled, blinded by a
beautiful face. That it was sheer infatuation was now evident;
for, absent from both Elinor and Jane, all feeling for the latter
seemed to have vanished like a dream. It is said that love
without hope cannot live: the question must be settled by those
who have suffered most frequently from the wounds of Cupid; but
it seems evident, at least from Harry's experience, that love
which has fed plentifully upon hopes for some months, when
suddenly put upon a change of diet, and receiving a large dose of
mortification to boot, falls immediately into a rapid decline.
The recollection of his fancy for Jane was now unpleasant under
every aspect, but where it was connected with Elinor he soon
began to consider it as particularly painful. He regretted that
he had engaged Elinor in the hasty, boyish manner he had done,
before going abroad; had he not taken this step, the momentary
mortification of a refusal by Jane would have been the only evil;
Elinor would not have suffered, and all might have gone well.
Gradually the idea gained upon him, that it was not impossible to
repair the past. His conduct had been unpardonable, no doubt;
yet, perhaps it might be forgiven. But even if Elinor could
forget his inexcusable fickleness, would her friends ever consent
to risk her future peace with one who had so recklessly trifled
with her already? Mr. Wyllys had been deeply indignant at his
conduct; his whole manner had changed, there had been a cold
civility in it when they had met, which Harry had felt keenly--it
amounted almost to contempt. Miss Wyllys, too, was no longer the
kind, indulgent Aunt Agnes of his boyhood; there was a very
decided coldness and reserve in her whole expression, which it
seemed all but impossible to overcome. He wished, however, that
he had it in his power to make advances towards a reconciliation;
he was prepared for merited coldness at first, but he would
willingly submit to it as a just penance, if he could but hope
eventually to regain his position with Elinor. Such a wife as
Elinor would be, was worth a serious struggle to obtain. Then, at
other moments, this idea appeared preposterous to him; how could
the Wyllyses ever forgive him after so keen an insult, so cruel a
blow? No, it was a dream; he would not indulge in it any longer;
he would not think of marrying; he would turn out an old bachelor
diplomatist, like Mr. Henley. It is not to be supposed that Mrs.
Creighton was entirely forgotten in these reveries of Harry's,
which formed occasional interludes to his diplomatic labours
while at Rio. On the contrary she was remembered quite
frequently; and every one who knew her must always think of the
pretty widow as a charming woman; clever, graceful, gay, and
well-bred. Nor had Hazlehurst been blind to her peculiarly
flattering manner towards himself. The lady was his friend
Ellsworth's sister, which was another claim; she was generally
admired too, and this alone, with some men, would have given her
a decided advantage: since we are revealing Harry's foibles,
however, we must do him the justice to say, that he was not one
of the class referred to. When he liked, he liked honestly, for
good reasons of his own. At the time he left home with Mr.
Henley, he had not been able to decide entirely to his own
satisfaction, whether Mrs. Creighton really had any partiality
for him or not; he waited with a little interest and a little
curiosity, to know what she would do after he left Philadelphia.
News soon reached him that the lady was gay and charming as ever,
much admired, and taking much pleasure in admiration, as usual.
He had known Mrs. Creighton from a girl; she was a year or two
older than himself, and had been a married woman while he was
still a boy, and he had been long aware of her reputation as a
coquette; this had no doubt put him on his guard. As had
occasionally remarked her conduct himself; and having been so
intimate with women of very different character--his brother's
wife, Miss Wyllys, and Elinor--he knew very well that all women
were not coquettes; he had received a higher standard of female
delicacy and female truth than many young men. So long,
therefore, as he believed Mrs. Creighton a decided flirt, he was
in little danger from her: the lady, however, was no common
coquette--cleverness, tact, good taste, gave her very great
advantages; she was generally admired, and Hazlehurst expected
daily to hear that she was married.

He had become very tired of Rio Janeiro, and very desirous of
returning home, long before Mr. Henley was recalled to exchange
the court of Brazil for that of St. Petersburgh. Sincere respect
for Mr. Henley had alone kept him at Rio; and when he arrived at
Norfolk, he was still undecided whether he should continue in the
legation or not. He found that all his friends were at Saratoga,
and he hastened there; he was anxious to see the Wyllyses,
anxious to see Elinor, and yet he dreaded the first meeting--he
had already determined to be guided entirely in his future steps
by their manner towards himself; if they did not absolutely shun
him, he would make an effort for a complete reconciliation. He
knew Elinor was unmarried; he had never heard of any engagement,
and he might then hope to regain all he had lost. He arrived, he
was received kindly, and the sight of Elinor's plain face did not
change his determination; on the contrary, he found her just what
he remembered her, just what he had always known her to
be--everything that was naturally feminine and amiable. But if
Elinor were still herself, Harry soon found that her position had
very materially altered of late; she was now an heiress, it
seemed. What a contemptible interpretation might be placed on his
advances under such circumstances! Then came the discovery of Mr.
Ellsworth's views and hopes; and his friend was evidently
sanguine of success. Thus everything was changed; he was
compelled to remain in the back-ground, to avoid carefully any
interference with his friend.

There appeared no reason to doubt that Elinor would, ere long,
marry Ellsworth; she herself certainly liked him, and her friends
very evidently favoured his suit. On the other hand, Mrs.
Creighton seemed particularly well pleased with his own return;
she was certainly very charming, and it was by no means an
unpleasant task to play cavalier to his friend's sister. Still he
looked on with great interest, as Ellsworth pursued his
courtship; and he often found himself making observations upon
Elinor's movements. "Now she will do this"--"I am sure she thinks
that"--"I know her better than Ellsworth"--"She can't endure
Stryker"--and other remarks of the kind, which kept his attention
fixed upon his old playfellow; the more closely he observed her
the more he saw to love and admire; for their former long
intimacy had given him a key to her character, and greater
knowledge of the world enabled him fully to appreciate her purity
of principle, her native grace and modesty, the generous tone of
her mind, the unaffected sweetness of her disposition. It
appeared strange and unpleasant to him, that he must now draw
back and see her engrossed by Ellsworth, when she had so long
been his own favourite companion; still he had no right to
complain, it was his own fault that matters were so much changed.
As for Mrs. Creighton, Harry could not satisfy himself with
regard to her real feelings; there were times when he thought she
was attached to him, but just as it began to appear clear that
she was not merely coquetting, just as he began to inquire if he
could ever offer himself to a woman whom he admired very much,
but whom he did not entirely respect, the pretty widow would run
off; apparently in spite of herself, into some very evident
flirtation with Stryker, with de Vaux, with Mr. Wyllys, in fact
with any man who came in her way. Generally he felt relieved by
these caprices, since they left perfect liberty of action to
himself; occasionally he was vexed with her coquetry, vexed with
himself for admiring her in spite of it all. Had Harry never
known Mrs. Creighton previously, he would doubtless have fallen
very decidedly in love with her in a short time; but he had known
her too long, and half mistrusted her; had he never known Elinor
so thoroughly, he would not have understood Mrs. Creighton. He
involuntarily compared the two together; both were particularly
clever, well-bred, and graceful; but Harry felt that one was
ingenuous, amiable, and natural, while he knew that the other was
worldly, bright, but cold, and interested in all her views and
actions. Elinor's charm lay in the perfect confidence one reposed
in the firmness of her principles, the strength of her
affections, softened as they were by feminine grace of mind and
person. Mrs. Creighton fascinated by the brilliant gloss of the
world, the perfection of art, inspired by the natural instincts
of a clever, educated coquette. There had been moments when
Hazlehurst was all but deceived into believing himself unjust
towards Mrs. Creighton, so charmingly piquant, so gracefully
flattering was her manner; but he owed his eventual escape to the
only talisman which can ever save a young man, or an old one
either, from the wiles of a pretty, artful coquette; he carried
about with him the reflection of a purer model of womanly virtue,
one gradually formed from boyhood upon Elinor's mould, and which
at last had entirely filled his mind and his heart.

Since the commencement of the Stanley suit, Hazlehurst had become
quite disgusted with Mrs. Creighton's conduct; art may reach a
great way, but it can never cover the whole ground, and the
pretty widow involuntarily betrayed too many variations of
manner, graduated by Harry's varying prospects; his eyes were
completely opened; he was ashamed of himself for having been
half-persuaded that she was attached to him. How different had
been Elinor's conduct! she had shown throughout a warm,
unwavering interest in his difficulties, always more frankly
expressed in his least encouraging moments; indeed she had
sometimes blushed, from the fear that her sympathy might he
mistaken for something more than friendly regard for her kinsman.
Harry saw it all; he understood the conduct of both, and he felt
Elinor's kindness deeply; he was no longer ungrateful, and he
longed to tell her so. True, she would ere long become his
friend's wife, but might he not, under the circumstances, be
permitted first to declare his feelings? It would, perhaps, be
only a just atonement for the past--only what was due to Elinor.
Harry tried to persuade himself into this view of the case, as he
looked up towards her window, invoking a blessing on her gentle
head.

Hazlehurst's reflections, while on the piazza, had commenced with
his pecuniary difficulties, and the consequences of his late
defeat, but they gradually centered on Elinor in a very
lover-like manner, much in the shape we have given them. But at
length the moon went down behind the wood, and those whose rooms
were on that side of the house found that the sound of his
footsteps had ceased; and nothing farther disturbed the stillness
of the night.

"Did you see the Petrel this morning, grandpapa?" said Elinor, as
she was pouring out the coffee at the breakfast-table.

"No, I did not, my child; I took it for granted they were off
before sun-rise, and did not look for them."

"They were behind their time; they were in sight from my window
about an hour since."

"Some of the youngsters have been lazy, I suppose; I hope Harry
was not the delinquent."

"I heard him pass my door quite early," observed Miss Agnes.

"When I saw them," said Elinor, "they had drawn off from the
wharf, and were lying in the river, as if they were waiting for
something that had been forgotten; the boat looked beautifully,
for there was very little air, and she lay motionless on the
water, with her sails half-furled."

"Perhaps they stopped for Mr. Hubbard to make a sketch," said
Ellsworth to Elinor.

"Hardly, I should think; time and tide, you know; wait for no
man--not even to be sketched."

"But Hazlehurst told me his friend Hubbard had promised to
immortalize the Petrel and her crew by a picture; perhaps he
chose the moment of departure; you say she appeared to great
advantage then."

"I should think he would prefer waiting for some more striking
moment. Who knows what adventures they may meet with! Mr. de Vaux
expects to win a race; perhaps they may catch a whale, or see the
sea-serpent."

"No doubt Mr. Stryker would try to catch the monster, if they
were to meet with him; his fishing ambition is boundless," said
Mrs. Creighton.

"But there is no fashionable apparatus for catching
sea-serpents," observed Elinor; "and Mr. Stryker's ambition is
all fashionable."

"Stryker is not much of an Izaak Walton, certainly," remarked
Ellsworth. "He calls it murder, to catch a trout with a common
rod and a natural fly. He will scarcely be the man to bring in
the sea-serpent; he would go after it though, in a moment, if a
regular European sportsman were to propose it to him."

"I almost wonder we have not yet had an English yacht over here,
whale-hunting, or sea-serpent-hunting," said Mrs. Creighton;
"they are so fond of novelty and wild-goose chasing of any kind."

"It would make a lion of a dandy, at once," said Ellsworth, "if
he could catch the sea-serpent."

{"lion" = social celebrity}

"A single fin would be glory enough for one lion," said Elinor;
remember how many yards there are of him."

"If Stryker should catch a slice of the serpent, no doubt he will
throw it into his chowder-pot, and add it to the receipt," said
Mr. Wyllys.

"Well, Miss Wyllys, I think you and I might engage to eat all the
monsters he catches, as Beatrice did Benedict's slain," said Mrs.
Creighton.

{"Beatrice and Benedict..." = characters in Shakespeare's play
"Much Ado about Nothing"}

"Do you intend to make up with Stryker, a la Beatrice?" asked the
lady's brother. "It is some time now that you have carried on the
war of wit with him."

"No, indeed; I have no such intentions. I leave him entirely to
Miss Wyllys; all but his chowder, which I like now and then,"
said the lady, carelessly.

"I am sorry you will not be here, Mrs. Creighton, for the pic-nic
to the ladies, which de Vaux is to give when he comes back," said
Mr. Wyllys; "Mr. Stryker will give us a fine chowder, no doubt."

"Thank you, sir; I should enjoy the party exceedingly. I must not
think too much of it, or I might be tempted to break my
engagement with the Ramsays."

"Have you really decided to go so soon?--I was in hopes we should
be able to keep you much longer," said Miss Wyllys.

"I should be delighted to stay; but in addition to my visit to
the Ramsays, who are going to town expressly for me, I must also
pick up my little niece."

Miss Wyllys then made some inquiries about Mr. Ellsworth's little
girl.

"She was very well and happy, with her cousins, when I heard from
my eldest sister, a day or two since," he replied. "She has been
with me very little this summer; I hope we shall be able to make
some pleasanter arrangement for the future," he added, with a
half-glance at Elinor.

"My brother has a very poor opinion of my abilities, Miss Wyllys;
because I have no children of my own, he fancies that I cannot
manage his little girl."

"I am much obliged to you, Josephine, for what you have done for
her, as you very well know."

"Oh, yes; you are much obliged to me, and so forth; but you think
Mary is in better hands with Mrs. Ellis, and so do I; I cannot
keep the little thing in very good order, I acknowledge."

"It must be difficult not to spoil her, Mrs. Creighton," remarked
Mr. Wyllys. "She is a very pretty and engaging child--just the
size and age for a pet."

"That is the misfortune; she is so pretty that Frank thinks I
make a little doll of her; that I dress her too much. I believe
he thinks I wear too many flowers and ribbons myself; he has
become very fastidious in his taste about such matters lately; he
wishes his daughter to dress with elegant simplicity; now I have
a decided fancy for elegant ornament."

"He must be very bold, Mrs. Creighton, if he proposes any
alteration to you."

"I agree with you, entirely," said the lady, laughing; "for the
last year or two I have been even less successful in suiting him
than of old. He seems to have some very superior model in his
mind's eye. But it is rather annoying to have one's taste in
dress criticised, after having been accustomed to hear it
commended and consulted, ever since I was fifteen."

"You must tolerate my less brilliant notions for the sake of
variety," said her brother, smiling.

"I shall hope to make over Mary's wardrobe to some other
direction, before she grows up," said Mrs. Creighton; "for you
and I would certainly quarrel over it."

The party rose from table. Elinor felt a touch of nervousness
come upon her, as she remarked that Mr. Ellsworth seemed to be
watching her movements; while his face had worn rather a
pre-occupied expression all the morning, seeming to threaten
something important.

The day was very pleasant; and as Mr. Wyllys had some business at
certain mills on Chewattan Lake, he proposed a ride on horseback
to his friends, offering a seat in his old-fashioned chair to any
lady who chose to take it.

{"chair" = a light, one-horse carriage}

Mrs. Creighton accepted the offer very readily.

"I have not been in any carriage so rustic and farmer-like these
twenty years," she said.

"I shall be happy to drive you, if you can be satisfied with a
sober old whip like myself, and a sober old pony like Timo."

"It is settled then; you ride I suppose, Miss Wyllys."

Elinor assented; Mary Van Alstyne was also to go on horseback.
Mr. Ellsworth thought that he would have preferred escorting one
lady instead of two on that occasion. He seemed destined that
morning to discover, that a lover's course is not only impeded by
important obstacles, but often obstructed by things trifling in
themselves. Before the chair and horses appeared at the door,
there was an arrival from Longbridge. Mr. Taylor and his
daughter, Miss Emma, had come from New York the previous evening,
and now appeared at Wyllys-Roof; the merchant had come over with
the double object of blessing his grandchild, and taking his
share in a speculation then going on in the neighbourhood. The
Taylors had been asked to Wyllys-Roof, at any time when they
wished to see Jane, and they had now come for twenty-four hours,
in accordance with the invitation. At first Mr. Ellsworth
supposed the ride to Chewattan Lake must be abandoned, but it was
only deferred for an hour. Miss Emma Taylor, ever ready for an
enterprise of liveliness, had no sooner embraced her
sister-in-law, and learned that some of the family had proposed
riding, than she immediately expressed a great desire to join
them. Mary Van Alstyne very readily gave up her horse and habit
to the young lady; and Mr. Ellsworth walked over to Broadlawn, to
invite Bob de Vaux, a boy of sixteen, to be her especial escort.
He thought this a very clever manoeuvre of his own. While these
arrangements were going on, and the Taylors were taking some
refreshment, Mr. Taylor had found time to express his regrets at
the result of the law-suit.

"I was much disposed, however, to anticipate such a verdict," he
observed; "Mr. Clapp is a very talented lawyer for so young a
man; this cause, which has attracted so much attention, will
probably make his fortune at the bar. But I was fearful, sir,
from the beginning, that neither yourself nor your friend, Mr.
Hazlehurst, was fully aware of Mr. Clapp's abilities."

"I do not conceive, however, that the cause was won by Mr.
Clapp's legal acumen," observed Mr. Wyllys, drily.

"Perhaps not; still, I understand that he succeeded in making out
a very strong case in behalf of his client."

"Of that there is no doubt."

"And the less foundation he had to work on, the greater his
talents must appear," said Mr. Taylor, with a look, which
expressed both admiration for Mr. Clapp, and the suspicion that
he had been assisting an impostor.

"The kind of talent you refer to is not of a very enviable
character, I think," said Mr. Wyllys.

"I don't know that, my dear sir," added Mr. Taylor, as he drank
off a glass of wine; "it is a talent which has gained a fine
property at least. I regret, however, that my friend, Mr.
Hazlehurst, should have suffered so heavy a loss."

Mr. Wyllys bowed; and well aware that his own views of the case
and those of Mr. Taylor would not agree, he changed the
conversation.

"You will find your old place much changed," observed Miss Wyllys
to the merchant.

"Yes, madam; I understand considerable alterations have been made
at my former mansion. I had almost forgotten this morning that
the estate was no longer mine, and was half-inclined to enter the
gate as we passed it."

"I am delighted, pa, that it is not yours any longer!" exclaimed
Miss Emma, with a liveliness which accorded particularly ill with
her deep mourning-dress. "We shall have ten times more fun at
Rockaway; Colonnade Manor was the stupidest place in creation; we
were often a whole day without seeing a beau!"

At length, Miss Emma having declared herself more than
sufficiently rested, she put on the habit; and the chair and
horses were brought to the door. Mr. Taylor was to set out
shortly after, in another direction, to go over the manufactory
in which he was about to become interested.

All agreed that the day was delightful. There was a fine air, the
dust had been laid by a shower, and as the road led through
several woods, they had not too much sun. For a while the four
equestrians kept together, and common-place matters only were
talked over; the Petrel was not forgotten. Miss Emma Taylor
declared she would have gone along, if she had been on the spot
when they sailed. Bob de Vaux said his brother Hubert had offered
to take him, but he did not care to go; he had rather ride than
sail, any day.

"Here's for a gallop then!" exclaimed the young lady, and off the
two set at a rapid pace.

"How does that flirtation come on?" asked Miss Emma, when they
lessened their pace at some distance in advance of the rest of
the party.

"All settled, I believe," replied the youth.

"What, actually engaged? I have been quite exercised about all
your doings over here, this summer; you must have had a lively
time, three or four flirtations all going on at once. But, do you
know I am bent on spiting Mr. Ellsworth this morning. He meant to
have a tete-a-tete, I know, and only asked YOU just to get rid of
ME. But he shan't have a moment's peace to pay for it; let's turn
round and go back again at full speed."

Bob de Vaux had not the least objections; he liked motion and
mischief almost as much as did the lively belle; they both
enjoyed the joke exceedingly, and succeeded in provoking Mr.
Ellsworth not a little. Miss Emma and her companion were in high
glee at their success; they would first ride half a mile by the
side of the others, then gallop off to a distance, and at a
signal from the young lady, suddenly facing about they would
return, just in time, as Miss Emma thought, to cut short any
tender speech.

"That young lady seems to have gone twice over every foot of the
road," innocently observed Mr. Wyllys, little aware of her
object.

"What a restless creature it is!" replied Mrs. Creighton; "she
must worry her horse as much as she annoys her rational
companions."

"Miss Taylor is a perfect rattle," remarked Mr. Ellsworth. "Quite
inferior to her sister, Mrs. Hunter, I should say."

{"a rattle" = a chatterbox}

"Her excess of spirits will wear itself out one of these days, I
dare say," replied Elinor.

"It is to be hoped so," said the gentleman, drily.

When they reached the lake they dismounted, and passed half an
hour at a farm-house, to rest, and lunch upon iced milk and
dew-berries, which the farmer's wife kindly offered them. Mrs.
Creighton professed herself rather disappointed with Chewattan
Lake; the shores were quite low, there was only one good hill,
and one pretty, projecting point, with a fine group of elms
standing in graceful relief against the sky; she thought Mr.
Hubbard's painting had flattered nature. Mr. Ellsworth would not
allow that Charlie ever flattered; but remarked that it was his
peculiar merit, to throw a charm about the simplest water scene;
and his last view of Chewattan Lake was certainly one of his
happiest pictures.

{"dew-berries" = blackberries; "happiest" = most successful}

On their way home, Miss Emma and her companion again commenced
their quizzing system. Towards the end of the ride, however, the
young lady relaxed a little in her vigilance; when they reached a
turnpike-gate, about two miles from Wyllys-Roof, she suddenly
proposed to Bob de Vaux to run a race with Elinor and Mr.
Ellsworth.

"What do you say to it, Miss Wyllys?"

"Excuse me; I had much rather not."

"Oh, but you don't know what I mean. Now, you and Mr. Ellsworth
go cantering and trotting along, in such a sober, Darby and Joan
fashion, that I am sure Mr. de Vaux and I can turn off here, take
this by-road, which you know comes in nearly opposite your gate,
and although it is twice as far round, I bet you a pair of gloves
we are at Wyllys-Roof before you."

{"Darby and Joan fashion" = like an old married couple}

"Done!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth, delighted with the idea; and off
the young lady gallopped {sic} with her companion.

It is not to be supposed that the gentleman allowed the half-hour
that followed to pass unimproved. He could speak at last, and he
admired Elinor too sincerely, not to express himself in terms
both warm and respectful. Although Elinor had been for some time
fully prepared for this declaration, yet she did not receive it
without betraying feeling and embarrassment. Emotion in woman, at
such moments, or in connexion with similar subjects, is generally
traced to one cause alone; and yet half the time it should rather
be attributed to some other source. Anxiety, modesty, mere
nervousness, or even vexation at this very misinterpretation,
often raise the colour, and make the voice falter. Elinor had
fully made up her mind, and she felt that a frank explanation was
due to Mr. Ellsworth, but her regard for him was too sincere not
to make the moment a painful one to her. He was rejected; but
rejected with so much consideration, so much modesty and feeling,
so much good sense, that the very act only increased his regret.
He was much disappointed, for he had been a hopeful suitor.
Elinor had always liked him, and he had thought her manner
encouraging; Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes had not concealed their
approbation; and Mrs. Creighton had often told him she had no
doubt of his success. He was more than mortified, however, by the
refusal, he was pained. Elinor repeated assurances of respect and
friendship, and regret that she felt herself unable to return his
regard as it deserved. She even alluded to his generosity in
overlooking her want of personal attractions; she said she had,
on that account, been slow to believe that he had any serious
object in view. At the time he had first proposed, through her
grandfather, she herself had wished to prevent his going any
farther, but her friends had desired her to defer the answer; he
himself had begged her to do so, and named the time fixed--she
had reluctantly consented to this arrangement; and, although the
more she knew of Mr. Ellsworth, the more highly she esteemed and
respected him, yet the result had been what she first foresaw;
she could not conscientiously offer him the full attachment he
had a right to expect from a wife.

Mr. Ellsworth rode on in silence for a moment.

"Is it then true, Miss Wyllys, that I must give up all idea of
obtaining a more indulgent hearing, at some future day?"

"Judge for yourself if I am capricious, Mr. Ellsworth. Do not
imagine that I have lightly rejected the regard of a man whom I
esteem so highly as yourself. I could scarcely name another in my
whole acquaintance, for whom I should have hesitated so long;
but--" Elinor paused, suddenly became very red, and then deadly
pale.

"But--what would you say, Miss Wyllys?--go on, I entreat!"
exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth.

It was a moment before Elinor rallied. She then continued, in a
low voice, and in an agitated, hesitating manner:

"Mr. Ellsworth, I shall speak with perfect frankness; your
kindness and forbearance deserve it. When I consented to wait so
long before giving you a final answer, it was chiefly that I
might discover if I could regain entire command over feelings
which have not always been my own. I am afraid you are not aware
of this. The feeling itself to which I allude is changed; but be
it weakness or not, it has left traces for life. I was willing to
make an experiment in favour of one who deserved the full
confidence of my friends and myself; but the trial has not
succeeded; if I know myself, it can never succeed--I shall never
marry."

And then after a moment's silence she gently continued, in a
calmer tone:

"But you will soon forget all this, I trust. You will find
elsewhere some one more worthy of you; one who can better repay
your kindness."

Mr. Ellsworth chafed a little under this suggestion; though not
so much as a more passionate man might have done.

"To forget one of so much womanly excellence as yourself, Miss
Wyllys, is not the easy task you seem to suppose."

Elinor could have sighed and smiled as the thought recurred to
her, that Harry had not found it very difficult to forget her.
They had now reached the gate, on their way home, and turning
towards her companion as they entered, she said:

"I hope, indeed, you will always remember that you have very
sincere friends at Wyllys-Roof, Mr. Ellsworth; believe me,
friends capable of appreciating your merits, and aware of what is
their due."

Mr. Ellsworth thanked her, but he looked very evidently
disturbed. When they reached the piazza he helped Elinor from her
horse, perhaps more carefully than usual; Miss Emma Taylor and
her cavalier had already arrived; and the young lady immediately
attacked Mr. Ellsworth, bidding him remember his bet. When Mrs.
Creighton stepped from the chair, she looked for her brother and
Elinor, a little curious to discover if anything decisive had
passed, but both had already entered the house.

Mr. Wyllys learned in the course of the day, from Ellsworth
himself, that he had been rejected; he was very much
disappointed, and more disposed to find fault with Elinor than he
had ever been before.

"I am afraid you have not acted wisely, Elinor," said her
grandfather; words more like a reproof than any that Elinor could
remember to have heard fall from his lips, addressed to herself.

Miss Agnes also evidently regretted her niece's decision; but she
said nothing on the subject. As for Mrs. Creighton, she thought
it all easy to be understood.

"You may say what you please, Frank, about Miss Wyllys, but you
will never persuade me she is not a coquette."

But this Mr. Ellsworth would by no means allow.

Elinor laid her head on her pillow that night with the unpleasant
reflection, that four persons under the same roof were
reproaching her for the step she had taken that day. But she
herself knew that she had acted conscientiously.



CHAPTER XXI. {XLIV}

"Such news, my lord, as grieves me to unfold."
Henry IV. {sic}

{William Shakespeare, "Richard III", II.iv.39}

THE Petrel was a very pretty little schooner, pronounced a crack
craft by the knowing ones. She sat so buoyantly on the water when
motionless, and glided along so gracefully when under way, that
even landsmen and landswomen must have admired her. Let it not be
supposed that the word landswomen is here used unadvisedly:
although the Navy Department is decidedly ungallant in its
general character, and seldom allows ladies to appear on board
ship, excepting at a collation or a ball, yet it is well known
that in some of the smaller sea-port towns, the female portion of
the population are so much interested in nautical matters, and
give so much time and attention to the subject, that they are
looked upon as very good judges of spars and rigging; and it is
even affirmed, that some of these charming young "salts" are
quite capable of examining a midshipman on points of seamanship.
If fame has not belied them, such are the accomplishments of the
belles of Norfolk and Pensacola; while the wives and daughters of
the whalers at Nantucket, are said to have also a critical eye
for the cut of a jib and the shape of a hull. Hubert de Vaux
hoped they had, for he thought it a pity that the Petrel's
beauties should be thrown away.

On the morning they sailed, when Elinor had watched the boat as
she lay in the river, they had been waiting for Bruno. Harry
wished to carry the dog with him; but after following Hazlehurst
to the boat, he had returned home again; he was, however, enticed
on board, and they hoisted sail, and slowly moved out of sight.

In spite of some little delay, the Petrel made a very good day's
work. That night and the following the party slept on board, and
seemed very well satisfied with their quarters; they intended to
run out of sight of land before the end of their cruise, but as
yet they had landed every few hours for fresh water, vegetables,
milk, &c.; as it did not enter at all into their calculations to
be put on a short allowance of anything desirable. On the
afternoon of the third day, the Petrel reached the wharf of a
country place on Long-Island, where the party landed, according
to a previous invitation, and joined some friends for a couple of
days' shooting, which proved a pleasant variety in the excursion;
the sport was pronounced good, and the gentlemen made the most of
it. Mr. Stryker, however, complained that the pomp and
circumstance of sporting was wanted in this country.

"So long as we have the important items of good guns, good
marksmen, and real wild-game, we need not find fault," said
Harry.

Many lamentations succeeded, however, upon the rapid
disappearance of game from all parts of the country.

"There I have the best of it," said Mr. Stryker to his host. "In
the next twenty years you may expect to find your occupation
gone; but I shall at least have fishing in abundance all my days;
though at times I am not quite so sure of the brook-trout."

"I don't think Jonathan will be able to exterminate all the trout
in the land," said Hazlehurst, although he is a shamefully
wasteful fellow; but I really think there is some danger for the
oysters; if the population increases, and continues to eat them,
in the same proportion they do now, I am afraid Jonathan of the
next generation will devour the whole species."

"Jonathan" = the American (from "Brother Jonathan")}

>From Glen-Cove the Petrel made a reach across the Sound to
Sachem's-Head, where Mr. Stryker enjoyed to perfection the
luxuries of clam-soup, lobster-salad, and chowder.

Their next port was Nantucket. They happened to arrive there just
before a thunder-shower, and Charlie Hubbard was much struck with
the wild, desolate look of the island. He pointed out to
Hazlehurst the fine variety of neutral tints to be traced in the
waves, in the low sand-banks, and the dark sky forming the
back-ground. Nantucket is a barren spot, indeed, all but bare of
vegetation; scarcely a shrub will grow there, and even the tough
beach-grass is often swept away in large tracts; while the forms
of the sand-hills vary with every storm. The town itself,
however, is a busy, lively little spot--one of the most nautical
in feeling and character to be found on the globe. The chief
interests of the inhabitants centre in the ocean; and even the
very ornaments of their houses are spoils of the deep, shells and
fish-bones from distant latitudes, and sailor's fancy-work in
various materials, all connected in some way with the sea.
Charlie made a sketch of the island, and determined to return
there and paint a picture of some size. The next day, which was
Sunday, they remained at Nantucket; there is a pretty little
church in the town, and Charlie, Harry, and Mr. Smith attended
service there; the rest of the gentlemen preferring to idle away
the morning in a less praiseworthy manner.

One of young de Vaux's crew was taken sick here, and he was
obliged to secure another man before leaving the island; it was
easy to do so, however, as one who was waiting for a passage to
New York soon offered, and the matter was settled.

Early on Monday morning they again made sail, for Martha's
Vineyard; from thence the Petrel's head was to be turned
southward, and after coasting the eastern shore of Long-Island,
they expected to return to the wharf at Broadlawn, as fast as the
winds would carry them. The Vineyard, owing to a more sheltered
position, bears a different aspect from the barren sands of
Nantucket; parts of the island are well wooded. Choosing a
pleasant bay known to their pilot, where a rude wharf had been
built, the party landed and prepared to dine, and pass some hours
there. They were no sooner on shore than Mr. Stryker made his
arrangements for fishing; having secured bait, Dr. Van Horne and
himself, with one of the men, took the Petrel's boat and rowed
off from shore, changing their ground occasionally, until they
had turned the point which formed the bay on one side, and were
no longer in sight. De Vaux and Smith took their guns and went
into the wood; Charlie brought out his sketchbook, and was soon
engaged in taking some tints, in watercolours, from a heavy bank
of clouds which had been slowly rising in the west for several
hours. Hazlehurst was lying on the grass near him, with a
spy-glass, watching a couple of sloops in the distance: turning
his head accidentally towards the spot where they were commencing
preparations for dinner, Harry saw one of the men, the new
recruit, whom he had not yet remarked, looking at him closely. It
struck Hazlehurst that he had met this man before; the sailor saw
that he was observed, and after a moment's hesitation he
approached, touching his hat with the common salutation of a
seaman, and looking as if he wished to speak, but scarcely knew
how to begin.

"Have you anything to say to me, my friend?--It strikes me I have
seen your face somewhere lately."

"If you are Mr. Hazlehurst, I guess, sir, you seed me not long
since," replied the man, a little embarrassed.

It suddenly flashed upon Harry's mind, that it was during the
Stanley trial that he had seen this person; yes, he could not be
mistaken, he was one of the witnesses for the plaintiff on that
occasion. Hazlehurst gave him a keen look; the fellow faltered a
little, but begged Harry to step aside for a moment, as he wished
to speak alone with him. They moved to the adjoining bank, within
the edge of the wood, and a conversation followed of some
consequence to Hazlehurst, certainly. After a few prefatory
remarks, this man offered to make important revelations, upon
condition that he should be screened from justice--being
considered as state's evidence--and rewarded by Harry for
volunteering his services; to which Hazlehurst readily agreed.

We shall tell his story for him, rather as it appeared at a later
day, than in the precise words in which it was first given at
Martha's Vineyard. By his disclosures, the villany {sic} of Clapp
and his client were placed beyond a doubt; and he himself was
good authority, for he was Robert Stebbins, the witness who had
sworn to having returned the pocket-book and the accompanying
documents to the plaintiff, as their rightful owner; he now
confessed that he had perjured himself for a heavy bribe, but
stood ready to turn state's evidence, and reveal all he knew of
the plot. Those papers had actually been placed in his care
thirteen years since by his own brother, Jonathan Stebbins, who
had died of small-pox in an hospital at Marseilles. This brother
had been a favourite companion of William Stanley's from his
first voyage; they had shipped together in the Jefferson, and
before sailing, Stanley had placed a package of papers and other
articles, for safe-keeping, in an old chest of Stebbins's, which
was left with the sailor's mother in Massachusetts. They were
wrecked in the Jefferson on the coast of Africa, as had been
already reported; but they were not drowned, they both succeeded
in reaching the shore, having lashed themselves to the same spar.
It was a desert, sandy coast, and they were almost starved after
having reached the land; their only shelter was a small cave in a
low ledge of rocks near the beach; they fed upon half-putrid
shell-fish thrown upon the sands by the gale, and they drank from
the pools of rain-water that had formed on the rock during the
storm; for they had saved nothing from the wreck but a sealed
bottle, containing their protections as American sailors, some
money in an old glove, and a few other papers. William Stanley
had been ill before the gale, and he had not strength to bear up
against these hardships; he declined rapidly, and aware that he
could not live, the young man charged his companion, if he ever
returned to America, to seek his family, relate the circumstances
of his death, and show the papers in the bottle--an old letter to
himself, and within it the notice of his father's marriage, which
he had cut from a paper, obtained from an American vessel spoken
on the voyage--and also the package left on shore in the old
chest, as these documents would be considered testimonials of his
veracity. He farther charged Stebbins to say that he asked his
father's forgiveness, acknowledging that he died repenting of his
past misconduct. The third day after the gale the young man
expired, and Stebbins buried him in the sand near the cave. The
survivor had a hard struggle for life; the rain-water had soon
dried away, and he set out at night in search of a spring to
relieve his thirst, still keeping in sight of the shore. As the
morning sun rose, when all but exhausted, he discovered on the
beach several objects from the wreck, which had drifted in that
direction, the wind having changed after the gale. He found a keg
of spirits and some half-spoiled biscuit, and by these means his
life was prolonged. He made a bag of his shirt, bound a few
things on his back, and buried others in the sand, to return to
if necessary, and then continued to follow the shore northward,
in search of some spring or stream. Fortunately, he soon came to
a woody tract which promised water, and climbing a tree he
watched the wild animals, hoping to discover where they drank; at
length, following a flock of antelopes, he came suddenly upon the
bank of a stream of some size; and to his unspeakable joy, saw on
the opposite bank a party of white men, the first human beings he
had beheld since Stanley's death; they proved to be Swedes
belonging to a ship in the offing; and immediately took him into
their boat. The vessel was bound to Stockholm, where she carried
young Stanley's shipmate; from there he went to St. Petersburgh,
where he met with the brother who related his story to
Hazlehurst, and both soon after enlisted in the Russian navy.
They were sent to the Black Sea, and kept there and in the
Mediterranean for five years, until the elder brother, Jonathan
Stebbins, died of small-pox in a hospital at Marseilles, having
never returned to America since the wreck of the Jefferson.
Before his death, however, he left all his effects and William
Stanley's papers to his brother. This man, Robert Stebbins,
seemed to have paid very little attention to the documents; it
was by mere chance that he preserved the old letter, and the
marriage notice within it, for he confessed that he had torn up
the protection, once when he wanted a bit of paper: he had never
known William Stanley himself, the inquiries about the young man
had ceased before he returned to America, and he had attached no
importance whatever to these papers. He had left them where they
had first been placed, in the old sea-chest at his mother's
house, near New Bedford, while he led the usual wandering life of
a sailor. He told Harry that he had at last quite forgotten this
package, until he accidentally fell in with a man calling himself
William Stanley, at a low tavern, only some five or six years
since, and, to his amazement, heard him declare he had been
wrecked in the Jefferson.

{"protection" = a paper testifying to the American citizenship of
a seaman, carried to protect him against being forced into the
British Navy as an Englishman. Stebbins' survival reflects
descriptions of a shipwreck on the Atlantic coast of North Africa
in James Fenimore Cooper's "Homeward Bound" (1838)}

"The fellow was half-drunk," said Stebbins; "but I knew his yarn
was a lie all the time, for I had sailed with him in another
ship, at the time my brother Jonathan was wrecked in the
Jefferson. He shipped then under the name of Benson, but I knew
his real name was Edward Hopgood--"

"Edward Hopgood!" exclaimed Harry, passing his hand over his
forehead--" surely I have heard that name before. Wait a moment,"
he added, to Stebbins; while he endeavoured to recollect why that
name, singular in itself, had a familiar sound to him. At length
his eye brightened, the whole matter became more clear; he
recollected when a mere child, a year or two before Mr. Stanley's
death, while staying at Greatwood during a vacation, to have
heard of the bad conduct of a young man named Edward Hopgood, a
lawyer's clerk in the adjoining village, who had committed
forgery and then run away. The circumstances had occurred while
Harry was at Greatwood, and had been so much talked of in a
quiet, country neighbourhood, as to make a decided impression on
himself, child as he was. Harry also remembered to have heard Mr.
Stanley tell Mr. Wyllys that this Hopgood was very distantly
related to himself, through the mother, who had made a very bad
connexion; adding, that this lad had been at Greatwood, and would
have been assisted by himself, had he not behaved very badly, and
done so much to injure his own son that he had been forbidden the
house. Harry farther remembered, that Clapp had belonged to the
same office from which this Hopgood had run away. There was,
however, one point which he did not understand; he thought he had
since heard that this Hopgood had turned actor, and died long
since of yellow-fever, at New Orleans. Still, he felt convinced
that there was a good foundation for Stebbins's story, and he
hoped soon to unravel the whole plot, from the clue thus placed
in his hands.

"Go on," said Harry, after this pause. "You say this man, whom
you knew to be Hopgood, called himself William Stanley. What
became of him?"

"It is the same chap that hoisted your colours, Mr. Hazlehurst;
him that the jury gave the verdict to in Philadelphia."

"Yes; I knew it must be the same individual before you spoke,"
said Harry, with a view to keep his informant accurate. "But how
did you know that his name was Hopgood? for you say he had
shipped under another."

"I knew it because he had told me so himself. He told me how he
had run away from a lawyer's office in Pennsylvany, gone to New
Orleans and turned play-actor a while, then shammed dead, and had
his name printed in the papers among them that died of
yellow-fever. He told me all that in his first voyage, when we
were shipmates, and that was just the time that my brother
Jonathan was wrecked in the Jefferson."

"When you afterwards heard him say he was William Stanley, did
you tell him you knew his real name?"

"Yes; I told him I knew he lied; for my brother had buried
Stanley with his own hands, and that I had his papers at home.
Then he told me, he was only laughing at the green-horns."

"Did you mention to any one at the time that you knew this man
was not William Stanley?"

"No, sir, for I didn't speak to him until we were alone; and we
parted company next morning, for I went to sea."

"When did you next see Hopgood?"

"Well, I didn't fall in with him again for a long while, until
this last spring. When I came home from a voyage to China in the
Mandarin, last May, I went to my mother's, near New Bedford, and
then I found a chap had been to see her in the winter, and
persuaded her to give him all the papers in the old chest, that
had belonged to William Stanley, making out he was one of the
young man's relations. It was that lawyer Clapp; and Hopgood had
put him on the track of them 'ere papers."

"What were the documents in your chest?"

"Most of what they had to show came from me: to be sure, Hopgood
had got some letters and papers, written to himself of late years
under the name of William Stanley; but all they had before the
wreck of the Jefferson came from me."

"Were there any books among the articles in your possession?"

"No, sir; nothing but the pocket-book."

"Are you quite sure? Was there not one book with William
Stanley's name in it?"

"Not one; that 'ere book they had in court didn't come from me;
how they got it I don't know," replied Stebbins positively; who,
it seemed, knew nothing of the volume of the Spectator.

"Where did you next meet Hopgood?"

"Well, I was mad when I found he had got them papers; but the
lawyer had left a message with my mother, saying if I came home,
she was to tell me I'd hear something to my advantage by applying
to him. So I went after him to the place where he lives; and sure
enough there was Hopgood, and he and Clapp as thick as can be
together. I guess they'd have liked it better if I had never
showed myself again: but they got round me, and told me how it
was all settled, and if I would only lend a hand, and keep quiet
about Hopgood, and speak for them once in a while, they would
enter into an agreement to give me enough to make a skipper of me
at once. Them 'ere lawyers they can make black look like
white--and so I agreed to it at last."

Hazlehurst strongly suspected that less persuasion had been
necessary than the man wished him to believe.

"Did they tell you all their plan?"

"Pretty much all; they said it was easy to make people believe
Hopgood was William Stanley, for he looked so much like the young
man, that he had been asked if that wasn't his name. He said it
was that first gave him the notion of passing off for William
Stanley--that, and knowing all about the family, and the young
man himself. He said Stanley had no near relations who would be
likely to remember him; there was only one old gentleman they was
afraid of, but they calculated they knew enough to puzzle him
too. Hopgood had been practising after Stanley's handwriting; he
was pretty good at that trade when he was a shaver," said
Stebbins, with a look which showed he knew the story of the
forgery. "He was bred a lawyer, and them 'ere lawyers are good at
all sorts of tricks. Clapp and him had made out a story from my
papers and what they know'd before, and got it all ready in a
letter; they agreed that from the time of the wreck, they had
better keep pretty straight to Hopgood's real life; and so they
did."

"They seem to have laid all their plans before you."

"Well, they couldn't help it, for they wanted me to tell them all
I heard from my brother; but I told 'em to speak first. They made
out that Hopgood had a right to the property; for they said that
old Mr. Stanley had no family to leave it to, that you was a
stranger, and that Hopgood was a relation."

"This Hopgood, who first helped to corrupt William Stanley, even
if he had actually been a near relation, would have been the last
human being to whom Mr. Stanley would have left his property,"
said Harry, coolly. "But go on with your story; why did they not
show the pocket-book before the trial?"

"They settled it so, because they thought it would look better
before the jury."

"Why did you change your own mind so soon after the trial? You
should have come to me before."

"Hopgood and I had a quarrel only three days ago, when he was
drunk; he swore they could have done without me, and I swore I'd
be revenged. Then that fellow, Clapp, wouldn't pay me on the spot
according to agreement, as soon as they had gained the cause. I
had kept my part, and he hadn't lifted a finger yet for me; nor
he wouldn't if he could help it, for all he had given me his
word. I know him from more than one thing that came out; he is
one of your fellows who sham gentlemen, with a fine coat to his
back; but I wouldn't trust him with a sixpence out of sight; no,
nor out of arm's length," and Stebbins went on, swearing roundly
at Clapp and Hopgood, until Harry interrupted him.

"I know them 'ere lawyers, they think they can cheat Jack any
day; but I won't trust him an hour longer! I know your real
gentleman from your tricky sham at a minute's warning, though
their coats be both cut off the same piece of broadcloth. I
haven't served under Uncle Sam's officers for nothing. Now I'll
trust you, Mr. Hazlehurst, as long as it suits you; I'd no more
have talked to Clapp without having his name down in black and
white, as I have to you, than I'd be shot."

"The agreement I have made shall be strictly kept," replied
Harry, coldly. "Had you come to me before the trial, you would
have had the same reward, without the crime of perjury."

"Well, that 'ere perjury made me feel uncomfortable; and what
with having sworn vengeance on Clapp and Hopgood, I made up my
mind to go straight back to Philadelphy, and turn state's
evidence. I was waiting for a chance to get to New York when I
saw you on the wharf at Nantucket, and I knew you in a minute."

The conversation was here interrupted by a call from the beach,
which attracted Harry's attention, after having been so much
engrossed during the disclosures of Stebbins, as to be quite
regardless of what was going on about him. It was de Vaux who had
called--he now approached.

"I couldn't think where that fellow, Stebbins, had got to; if you
have nothing for him to do here, Hazlehurst, he is wanted
yonder."

Harry and the sailor accordingly parted. After exchanging a few
words to conclude their agreement, they both returned to the
beach.

The Petrel seemed to be getting under way again; Smith and de
Vaux, who had just returned from the wood with their guns, and
Charlie, who had just left his sketching apparels, were standing
together looking on when Harry joined them.

"I didn't know what had become of you," said Charlie. "What a
long yarn that fellow seemed to be telling you!"

"It was well worth hearing," said Harry, with a significant look
at his friend.

"Really? I had some hope it might prove so from the man's look,"
added Charlie, comprehending at once the drift of the
conversation, though he had little idea of its complete success
in unravelling the plot

"You shall hear it before long," added Harry.

"When you please; in the mean time I wish you joy of any good
news!"

"But what are you about here, de Vaux? I thought we were to
remain on the island till sun-set."

"So we shall; but it seems that fellow, Black Bob, has forgot the
vegetables I ordered him to bring from Nantucket; we have
discovered a house with something like a garden on the opposite
point, and I am going to send Bob with the boy Sam on a foraging
expedition; I dare say they will find potatoes and onions at
least. That is the spot; do you see the apple-trees? With the
glass I saw a woman moving about, and milk-pans drying in the
sun."

"Why don't you send the boat?"

"Stryker hasn't come back yet, and there is wind enough to carry
the Petrel over and back again in half an hour."

"Smith and I are going as commanding officers; and you will have
a much better dinner for our exertions, no doubt," said Charlie.

"Holloa, there, Bob--Sam!--tumble on board; mind you bring all
the garden-stuff they can spare. You Bob, see if you can pick up
half you contrived to forget, sir, at Nantucket. You deserve to
be made to swim across for it," said de Vaux.

"Never could swim a stroke in my born days, sir," muttered Black
Bob.

"There isn't much choice of sa'ace at Nantucket, anyway," added
the boy Sam.

{"sa'ace" = sauce, a slang term for vegetables}

"Here we go," said Charlie, jumping lightly on board, followed by
Smith.

"It is possible you may find some melons, Hubbard; don't forget
to ask for them," said de Vaux.

"Ay, ay, sir," replied Charlie, nodding as the Petrel moved off.
The boy was steering, while Black Bob and the gentlemen tended
the sails; and the little schooner glided gracefully on her way,
with a light breeze, sufficiently favourable.

Harry went to take a look at Charlie's sketch, which he found
just as the young artist had left it--spirited and true to nature
as usual, but only half-finished. De Vaux looked into the chowder
pot, where all seemed to be going on well. He then joined Harry,
and the young men continued walking together near the shanty,
where preparations for dinner were going on under the charge of
Stebbins and the acting steward of the cruise.

"It is nearly time Stryker made his appearance with the fish,"
said Harry.

"If the sport is good, we shan't see him this hour yet," replied
de Vaux. "He will only come back in time to put the finishing
stroke to the chowder."

"If he waits too long he will have a shower," observed Harry,
pointing eastward, where dark clouds were beginning to appear
above the wood.

"Not under an hour I think," said de Vaux. "He will take care of
himself at any rate--trust to Stryker for that," They turned to
look at the Petrel. Some ten or fifteen minutes had passed since
she left the little wharf, and she was already near her
destination; the point on which the farm-house stood being
scarcely more than a mile distant, in a direct line, and a single
tack having proved sufficient to carry her there.

"The wind seems to be falling," said Harry, holding up his hand
to feel the air. "It is to be hoped they will make a quick
bargain, or they may keep your potatoes too late to be boiled for
to-day's dinner."

De Vaux took up the glass to look after their movements.

"They have made the point, handsomely," he said; "and there is a
woman coming down to the shore, and a boy, too."

The friends agreed that there seemed every prospect of a
successful negotiation; for a woman was seen going towards the
garden with a basket, and Sam, the boy, had landed. Before long a
basket was carried down from the house; while Sam and the woman
were still busy in the garden.

"They had better be off as soon as they can," said de Vaux, "for
the wind is certainly falling."

"There is a shower coming up over the island, Captain de Vaux,"
said Stebbins, touching his hat.

"Coming, sure enough!--look yonder!"--exclaimed Harry, pointing
eastward, where heavy clouds were now seen rising rapidly over
the wood.

"We shall have a shower, and something of a squall, I guess,"
added Stebbins.

There could not indeed be much doubt of the fact, for a heavy
shower now seemed advancing, with the sudden rapidity not unusual
after very warm weather; the position of the bay, and a wooded
bank having concealed its approach until close at hand.

"We shall have a dead calm in ten minutes," said de Vaux; "I wish
the Petrel was off."

But still there seemed something going on in the garden; the
woman and Sam were very busy, and Charlie and Smith had joined
them.

"They must see the shower coming up by this time!" exclaimed de
Vaux.

"There will be a squall and a sharp one, too," added Stebbins.

The wind, which had prevailed steadily all the morning in a
light, sultry breeze from the south, was now dying away; the
sullen roll of distant thunder was heard, while here and there a
sudden flash burst from a nearer cloud.

"Thank Heaven, they are off at last!" cried de Vaux, who was
watching the schooner with some anxiety.

Harry and the two men were busy gathering together under cover of
the shanty, the different articles scattered about, and among
others Charlie's half-finished sketch.

The sun was now obscured; light, detached clouds, looking heated
and angry, were hurrying in advance with a low flight, while the
heavens were half-covered by the threatening mass which came
gathering in dark and heavy folds about the island. Suddenly the
great body of vapour which had been hanging sullenly over the
western horizon all the morning, now set in motion by a fresh
current of air, began to rise with a slow movement, as if to meet
the array advancing so eagerly from the opposite direction; it
came onward steadily, with a higher and a wider sweep than the
mass which was pouring immediately over the little bay. The
landscape had hung out its storm-lights; the dark scowl of the
approaching gust fell alike on wood, beach, and waters; the birds
were wheeling about anxiously; the gulls and other water-fowl
flying lower and lower, nearer and nearer to their favourite
element; the land-birds hurrying hither and thither, seeking
shelter among their native branches. But not a drop of rain had
yet fallen; and the waves still came rolling in upon the sands
with the measured, lulling sound of fair weather.

The air from the south revived for a moment, sweeping in light,
fitful puffs over the bay. Favoured by this last flickering
current of the morning's breeze, the Petrel had succeeded in
making her way half across the bay, though returning less
steadily than she had gone on her errand an hour before.

"Give us another puff or two, and she will yet be here before the
squall," said de Vaux.

The little schooner was now indeed within less than half a mile
of the wharf; but here at length the wind entirely failed her,
and she sat idly on the water. De Vaux was watching her through
the glass; there seemed to be some little hesitation and
confusion on board; Sam, the boy, had given up the tiller to
Black Bob. Suddenly the first blast of the gust from the east
came rustling through the wood, making the young trees bend
before it; then as it passed over the water there was a minute's
respite.

"How she dodges!--What are they about?" exclaimed Harry.

"What do they mean?--Are they blind?--can't they see the squall
coming?" cried de Vaux in great anxiety, as he watched the
hesitation on board the Petrel.

"As my name is Nat Fisher, that nigger is drunk!--I thought so
this morning!" exclaimed the steward.

"And Smith and Hubbard know nothing of a boat!" cried de Vaux, in
despair.

The words had scarcely passed his lips before the wind came
rushing over the wood, in a sudden, furious blast, bringing
darker and heavier clouds, accompanied by quick, vivid flashes of
lightning, and sharp cracks of thunder; the rain pouring down in
torrents. It was with difficulty the young men kept their footing
on the end of the wharf, such was the first fury of the gust; but
they forgot themselves in fears for their friends.

"Are they mad!" cried de Vaux, as he marked the uncertainty of
their movements; while the wind was sweeping furiously over the
darkened waters towards them.

A heavy sheet of rain, pouring in a flood from the clouds,
completely enveloped the party on the wharf; another second and a
shout was indistinctly heard amid the tumult of the winds and
waters; a lighter cloud passed over, the bay was partially seen
again; but neither the white sails of the Petrel nor her buoyant
form could be traced by the eager eyes on the wharf. She had been
struck by the gust and capsized.

"She is gone!" exclaimed de Vaux, with a cry of horror.

"Charlie can't swim!" cried Harry.

"Nor Bob, for certain," said the steward. "I don't know about the
others."

Three shots from a fowling-piece were rapidly fired, as a signal
to the party in the Petrel that their situation was known to
their friends on shore. The steward was instantly ordered to run
along the beach to the farthest point, and carry the boat from
there to the spot; it was a distance of more than two miles by
land, still de Vaux thought it best to be done; while he himself
and Stebbins seized another pair of oars, and set off at full
speed in the opposite direction, to the nearest point, about a
mile from the wharf, beyond which Stryker was fishing with their
own boat, intending to carry her instantly to the relief of the
party in the schooner.

Harry thought of his friend; Charlie could not swim, he himself
was a remarkably good swimmer. It must be some little time before
either boat could reach the capsized schooner, and in the
interval, two at least of the four individuals in the Petrel,
were helpless and in imminent peril. The idea of Charlie's danger
decided his course; in a moment he had cast off his clothes, and
with Bruno at his side--a faithful ally at such a moment--he had
thrown himself into the water, confident that he could swim the
distance himself with ease.

The next half-hour was one of fearful anxiety. The gust still
raged with sullen fury; the shower from eastward, collected among
the mists of the ocean, and the array from the west, gathered
amid the woods and marshes of the land, met with a fierce shock
on the shores of the Vineyard. The thunder and lightning were
unusually severe, several bolts falling within a short distance
about the bay; the rain pouring down in a dense sheet, as the
wind drove cloud after cloud over the spot in its stormy flight.
And amid this scene of violence four human beings were struggling
for life, while their anxious friends were hurrying to their
relief, with every nerve alive. Frederick Smith was the first who
rose after the Petrel capsized; in another moment he saw the head
of the boy emerge from the water at a little distance; the lad
could swim, and both had soon gained the portion of the little
schooner's hull which was partially bare, though constantly
washed by the waves. Another minute, and Smith saw amid the spray
Charlie's head; he knew that Hubbard could not swim, and moved
towards him with a cry of encouragement.

"Here!" replied the young painter; but he had disappeared before
Smith could reach him.

A fresh blast of wind, rain, and hail passed over the spot; Smith
moved about calling to Hubbard and the negro; but he received no
answer from either.

"There's one of them!" cried the boy eagerly; he swam towards the
object he had seen, but it proved to be only a hat.

Both returned to the Petrel's side, watching as closely as the
violence of the wind and rain would permit. Not a trace of the
negro was seen; yet Smith thought he must have risen to the
surface at some point unobserved by them, for he was a man of a
large, corpulent body, more likely to float than many others. A
second time Smith was relieved by seeing Charlie rise, but at a
greater distance from the Petrel's hull; a second time he
strained every nerve to reach him, but again the young man sunk
beneath the waves.

A shout was now heard. "It is the boat!" said Smith, as he
answered the call. He was mistaken; it was Hazlehurst who now
approached, with Bruno at his side, guided by the voices of Smith
and the boy.

"Charlie!" cried Harry, as he made his way through the water.
Charlie!" he repeated again.

"Hubbard has sunk twice, and the negro is gone!" cried Smith.

"Come to the hull and take breath," added Smith.

But just as he spoke, Harry had seen an arm left bare by a
passing wave; he made a desperate effort, reached the spot, and
seized Charlie's body, crying joyfully, "It is Hubbard; I have
him!--Charlie, do you know me?--Charlie, speak but a word, my
good fellow!"

But the young man had lost his consciousness; he returned no
answer either by look or word. Harry grasped his collar, holding
his face above the water, and at the same time moving towards the
Petrel's hull as rapidly as he could.

"Here Bruno, my noble dog! That's right, Smith, get a firm hold
on the schooner; we must draw him up, he has fainted; but the
boats must be here soon."

Smith was following Hazlehurst's directions; but ere Bruno had
joined his master, Harry, now within a short distance of the
schooner, suddenly cried, "Help!"--and in another second both he
and Charlie had disappeared beneath the water, in a manner as
incomprehensible, as it was unexpected and distressing to Smith.

"He's sunk!" cried the boy.

"How?--where? Surely he was not exhausted!"

A howl burst from Bruno.

"Perhaps it's the cramp," said the lad.

"Both sunk!--Hazlehurst too!" again exclaimed Smith, as much
amazed as he was distressed. He and the boy threw themselves from
the schooner's side again, looking anxiously for some trace of
Hazlehurst.

"Look sharp, my lad, as you would save a fellow-creature!"

"There's one of them!" cried the boy, and in another instant he
had caught Charlie by the hair. But not a trace of Hazlehurst was
seen since he first disappeared, and the waters had closed so
suddenly over him. Charlie was carried to the Petrel's side; and
while Smith and the lad were endeavouring to raise him on the
schooner, Bruno was swimming hither and thither, howling
piteously for his master.

A shout was now heard.

"The boat at last, thank Heaven!" cried Smith, returning the
call.

A minute passed; nothing was seen of Harry; Charlie was raised
entirely above water; when at length the Petrel's boat dashed
towards them, urged by all the strength of four rowers.

"Hubbard!--Bob!" cried de Vaux, as the first glance showed him
that both Smith and the boy were safe.

"Hubbard is here, insensible--Bob gone--Hazlehurst sunk, too!"

"Hazlehurst and Bob, too!--Merciful powers!" exclaimed the party.

A hurried, eager search succeeded, as soon as Charlie, with Smith
and Sam, now somewhat exhausted by fatigue and agitation, were
taken on board. Hubbard was quite insensible; young Van Horne,
the physician, thought his appearance unfavourable, but instantly
resorted to every means possible under the circumstances, with
the hope of restoring animation. Still nothing was seen of Harry;
his entire disappearance was quite incomprehensible.

"It must have been cramp; yet I never knew him have it, and he is
one of the best swimmers in the country!" said de Vaux.

"He must have felt it coming, and had presence of mind to loosen
his hold of Hubbard at the same moment he cried for help,"
observed Smith.

Bruno was still swimming, now here, now there, encircling the
Petrel in wider or narrower reaches, howling from time to time
with a sound that went to the hearts of all who heard him.
Different objects floating about beguiled the party for an
instant with hope, but each time a few strokes of the oars
undeceived them.

Suddenly Bruno stopped within a short distance of the Petrel, and
dove; those in the boat watched him eagerly; he rose with a sharp
bark, calling them to the spot; then dove again, rose with a
howl, and for a third time disappeared beneath the water.
Convinced that he had found either Harry or the negro, de Vaux
threw off his coat and plunged into the water, to examine the
spot thoroughly. The dog soon rose again with a rope in his
mouth, pulling it with all his strength, uttering at the same
time a smothered cry. The rope was seized by those in the boat,
and de Vaux dove; he touched first one body, then another; but
all his strength was unequal to the task of raising either. After
a hurried examination, it was found that one body, that of the
negro, was entangled in a rope and thus held under water from the
first; while Harry's leg was firmly clenched in the dying grip of
Black Bob, who must have seized it as Hazlehurst passed, and
drawn him downward in that way.

In as short a time as possible, Hazlehurst and the negro were
placed in the boat by the side of Hubbard, who had not yet showed
any sign of life; every effort was made to revive them by some of
the party, while the others rowed with all their strength towards
the shore.

All watched the face of Van Horne, the young physician, with the
greatest anxiety, as he leaned first over one, then over another,
directing the labours of the rest.

"Surely there must be some hope!" cried de Vaux to him.

"We will leave no effort untried," replied the other; though he
could not look sanguine.

The boat from the most distant point, rowed by the steward and a
boy from the farm-house, now joined them; and those who could not
be of use in assisting Van Horne, passed into her, taking their
oars, and towing the boat of the ill-fated Petrel with her
melancholy burden towards the beach. Bruno could not be moved
from his old master's side; it was painful to see him crawling
from one body to the other, with as much watchfulness, as much
grief, and almost as much intelligence as the surviving friends;
now crouching at the cold feet of Hazlehurst, now licking the
stiff hand, now raising himself to gaze wistfully at the
inanimate features of the young man.

The shower was passing over; the rain soon ceased, the clouds
broke away, the sun burst again in full glory upon the bay, the
beach, the woods, throwing a brilliant bow over the island. But
three of those upon whom it had shone only an hour earlier, were
now stretched cold and lifeless on the sands; while the mourning
survivors were hanging in heartfelt grief over the bodies of the
two friends and the negro sailor.



CHAPTER XXII. {XLV}

"And e'en to wakeful conscience unconfest,
Her fear, her grief, her joy were his alone."
COLERIDGE. {sic}

{Reginald Heber (English poet, 1783-1826), "Morte d'Arthur: A
Fragment" lines II.534-535}

THE melancholy disaster of the Petrel happened on Monday; it was
not until the Thursday following that the evil tidings reached
Longbridge.

Elinor, accompanied by Mary Van Alstyne, set out quite early in
the morning to pay some visits at different country-houses in the
neighbourhood. They had been out some little time, having driven
several miles, and made three or four calls, when they reached
Mrs. Van Horne's. On entering the parlour they found the mistress
of the house was not there, but a much less agreeable person, the
elder Mrs. Tibbs, the greatest gossip in Longbridge.

"I am glad to see you this morning, young ladies," she said.

"Thank you, ma'am; it is a very pleasant morning, certainly,"
replied Elinor, as she took a seat on the sofa.

"Very pleasant, yes; but I was fearful you might have been kept
at home by the bad news we Longbridge people have just heard."

"It does not seem to have kept you at home either, Mrs. Tibbs,
whatever it may be," replied Elinor, smiling; for she knew that
any news, whether good or bad, always set this lady in motion.
Little did the poor young girl suspect the nature of the
intelligence that awaited her!

"No; I thought my good friend, Mrs. Van Horne, might feel uneasy
about her son, and came over to be with her."

"Mrs. Van Horne! Has anything happened to the family?"

"You haven't heard the news then?--I am surprised at that. But
here is an account of the accident in the New Haven Eagle. It has
made us all feel quite dreadfully at home!"

"What has happened?--Pray tell us!" exclaimed Elinor, now looking
alarmed.

"Here is the account; but perhaps you had better let Miss Mary
read it; she was not so intimate with the deceased."

"What is it?--let me see the paper, Mary. An accident to one of
the Van Hornes!" and she took the sheet from the table. Her eye
immediately fell on the following article:

"Our city was painfully excited this morning by the intelligence
which reached here, of a distressing accident to a beautiful
little schooner, the property of Hubert de Vaux, Esq., of New
York, which was seen in our waters only a few days since, and
attracted universal admiration in our port."

Elinor's eyes could see no farther; she stretched out the paper
to her cousin, saying in a faint voice, "Mary, read!"

Mary Van Alstyne took the paper, and continued silently to look
over the passage.

"This little schooner, bound on a cruise of pleasure, had reached
Martha's Vineyard, when, during the sudden squall which passed
over this section also on Monday, she capsized, and melancholy to
relate, four persons lost their lives. The party consisted of Mr.
de Vaux himself, Colonel Stryker, and Mr. Van Horne, of New York;
Charles Hubbard, Esq., the distinguished young artist; Henry
Hazlehurst, Esq., our secretary of Legation to the court of
Russia, where he was shortly to proceed with Mr. Henley, our
Envoy; and also Frederick Smith, Esq., a young gentleman from
Philadelphia. There were in addition five men in the crew. We
regret to add that Mr. Hazlehurst and Mr. Hubbard, a negro sailor
known as Black Bob, and another man, name not mentioned, were
drowned; the bodies were all recovered, but every effort to
restore life proved unavailing."

Mary Van Alstyne had strong nerves, but the suddenness of these
melancholy tidings, and a dread of the effect upon Elinor, made
her turn deadly pale.

"Tell me, Mary," said her cousin faintly.

Mary waited a moment to recover herself, when the question was
anxiously repeated. She took Elinor's hand and sat down by her
side, using every precaution of delicacy and tenderness in
breaking the bad news to her cousin; she approached the worst as
gradually as she could, and mentioned every favourable
circumstance first; while Elinor sat trembling in every limb, yet
endeavouring to retain command over her senses and her feelings.
But it was in vain; when Mary was at length forced to confess
that two of their friends were among the lost, Elinor put her
hand to her heart, while her eyes were fixed on her cousin's
lips; when the name of Hazlehurst was at length reluctantly
pronounced, she started from her chair, and fell quite insensible
on the floor, at her companion's feet.

It was a long time before she could be restored. Mrs. Van Horne
and the doctor, who was happily in the house, did all in their
power to relieve their young friend; and Mrs. Tibbs was really
quite distressed and mortified, when she found the effects of her
allusion to the accident were so serious.

"Poor young thing!--I'd no notion, Mrs. Van Horne, that she would
have taken it so much to heart. Do you suppose she was engaged to
one of the young gentlemen?"

An imploring look from Mary Van Alstyne said to the doctor as
plainly as look could speak, "Do send her away!"

The doctor was very ready to do so, and by virtue of his medical
authority requested the gossip to walk into the other room, where
he permitted himself to give her a sharp reprimand for having
been in such haste to tell the evil tidings.

It was some time before Elinor fully recovered her consciousness;
her first words expressed a wish to be carried home.

"Home, Mary," she said faintly.

Mrs. Van Horne, who was deeply interested in her young friend,
was anxious she should remain where she was until her strength
had entirely returned.

"I am strong now," said Elinor feebly, making an effort to rise.

Mary looked inquiringly at the doctor.

"You shall go in a few minutes, my dear Miss Elinor," said the
doctor after an instant's hesitation; he thought it best that she
should do so, but determined that his wife and himself would
accompany her to Wyllys-Roof.

"Mary," said Elinor, with an effort, looking towards Mrs. Van
Horne, "ask if--"

Mary guessed that she wished to know if the Van Hornes had heard
anything in addition to the account in the paper. Without
speaking, she looked the question.

"We have had a few lines, sent us by Mrs. de Vaux from New York,"
said Mrs. Van Horne, gently.

Elinor closed her eyes, and fell back again on the cushion.

"You must not talk, my dear," said the doctor kindly.

Young de Vaux had in fact written a line or two to his mother,
who was in New York, by the boat which he sent off immediately to
engage a small steamer, as soon as the squall had passed over;
and this note had been considerately forwarded by Mrs. de Vaux to
the Van Hornes, as it mentioned the safety of their own son. It
ran as follows:

"Martha's Vineyard.

"MY DEAR MOTHER:--We are greatly distressed by a melancholy
accident which befell us scarce an hour since. The Petrel
capsized; most of our party are safe; but two of my friends are
gone, Hazlehurst and Hubbard! You will understand our grief; mine
especially! We shall return immediately.

"Your son, H. de V."

The doctor handed this note to Mary, at a moment when Mrs. Van
Horne was bending over Elinor.

In a few minutes Elinor made another request to be carried home.

"Pray take me home, doctor," she said; "I can go now."

The doctor felt her pulse, and observing that although very
feeble, she seemed to have command of herself, he thought the air
and motion would be of service. The carriage was ordered, she
took a restorative, and making a great effort to rally, leaning
on the doctor's arm she walked to the door. Dr. and Mrs. Van
Horne accompanied her, as well as her cousin.

"Thank you," she said with her usual gentleness, as she remarked
their kind intention, and then throwing herself back in her seat
she closed her eyes; her face was deadly pale, large tears would
force themselves slowly from beneath her eyelids, and a shudder
pass over her limbs; and yet it was evident she made a strong
effort to control her emotion. There was something in her whole
expression and manner, that bore all the stamp of the deepest
feeling; it was no common nervousness, no shock of sudden
surprise, nor merely friendly sympathy; it was the expression of
unalloyed grief springing from the very depths of a noble heart.

Even Dr. Van Horne, whose nerves had been hardened by the
exercise of years amid scenes peculiar to his calling, could
scarcely refrain from shedding tears, as he looked with
compassion and with respect at his young friend. She seemed quite
indifferent to the observation of others; her heart and mind were
apparently engrossed by one idea, one feeling, and all her
strength engaged in facing one evil.

Mrs. Van Horne had not supposed that the bad news would have
affected her so deeply, nor was Mary Van Alstyne prepared for the
result; but however Elinor might have hitherto deceived herself,
however much her friends might have misunderstood her, the truth
was now only too clear; her heart had spoken too loudly to be
misunderstood--it was wholly Hazlehurst's.

They drove on steadily and slowly, the silence only interrupted
by occasional remarks of Elinor's companions, as they offered her
some assistance. When they came in sight of the Hubbard cottage,
Mary Van Alstyne's heart sunk anew, as she remembered the blow
which had also fallen upon their good neighbours.

Elinor's efforts for self-command increased as she drew near
home--for the sake of her friends, her aunt and grandfather, she
strained every nerve; but on reaching the house it was in vain,
her resolution gave way entirely when she saw Bruno lying in his
usual place on the piazza. She became so much agitated that it
was feared she would again fall into a deep swoon, and she was
carried from the carriage to a sofa in the drawing-room. Neither
Miss Agnes nor Mr. Wyllys was at home; they had gone to their
afflicted neighbours the Hubbards. An express had brought a
report of the melancholy catastrophe, not half an hour after
Elinor had left Wyllys-Roof in the morning; the lifeless body of
our poor young friend, Charlie, was to reach Longbridge that
afternoon, and Hubert de Vaux had come to request Miss Agnes to
break the sad truth to the bereaved mother and sister. Jane also
was absent, she was in New York with the Taylors; but Elinor's
faithful nurse and the old black cook came hurrying to her
assistance, as soon as they knew she had reached the house so
much indisposed.

{"express" = special messenger}

Miss Agnes was sent for; but Elinor had revived again when her
aunt returned, though she was still surrounded by the anxious
circle, Mary, the Van Hornes, her nurse, and old Hetty. When she
heard the footsteps approaching, she made an effort to raise
herself, with a sort of instinctive desire to spare her aunt a
sight of all her weakness.

"You had better lie still, my dear Miss Elinor," said the doctor
kindly, offering her a glass of some restorative.

Miss Agnes entered the room and advanced anxiously to the sofa.

"My poor child!" exclaimed Miss Wyllys. "What is it,
doctor?--illness?" she added anxiously.

The doctor shook his head. "She heard the news too suddenly," he
said.

Mr. Wyllys now followed his daughter. Elinor turned her eyes
towards the door as he entered; a cry burst from her lips--she
saw Hazlehurst!

Yes, Hazlehurst standing in the doorway, looking pale and
distressed, but living, breathing, moving!

In another second Elinor had started to her feet, sprung towards
him, and thrown herself in his arms--heedless of the family,
heedless of friends and servants about her, forgetting in that
one sudden revulsion of feeling, the whole world but Harry.

{"revulsion" = a sudden change of feeling}

Hazlehurst seemed quite forgetful himself of the everyday {sic}
rules of society, and the merely friendly position in which they
had stood at parting, but a week before; his whole expression and
manner now betrayed an interest in Elinor too strong to be
disguised, and which could be explained in one way only.

All this was the work of a moment; the various degrees of
amazement, produced by the sudden appearance of Harry, on some
individuals of the group of spectators, the surprise of others at
the strong emotions betrayed by the young couple had not
subsided, when an exclamation from Hazlehurst himself again fixed
their attention entirely on Elinor.

"She has fainted!" he cried, and carried her to the sofa.

But joy is life to the heart and spirits; Elinor lost her
consciousness for a moment only. She raised her eyes and fixed
them upon Hazlehurst, who still held one of her hands.

"It is Harry!" she exclaimed, and burst into tears. She felt that
he was safe, that he was by her side; she already felt that he
loved her, that they understood each other; and yet she was still
quite incapable of giving anything like a reason for what had
passed. It was all confusion in her mind, all indistinct but the
blessed truth that Harry was safe, accompanied by a hope she had
not dared to cherish for years. She was still feeble and
agitated, her colour varying with every beat of her heart; her
face now covered with a deep natural blush at the sound of
Harry's voice, at the expression of his eye; now deadly pale
again as she caught some allusion to the Petrel.

The doctor recommended that she should be left alone with Miss
Wyllys. Her grandfather kissed her tenderly and left the room, as
well as the rest of the party; with one exception,
however--Hazlehurst lingered behind.

Having reached the adjoining room, explanations were exchanged
between the friends. Mr. Wyllys learned that Elinor and the Van
Hornes had supposed Harry lost, from the paper, and the first
hurried note of de Vaux. When they arrived at Wyllys-Roof, there
was no one there to give them any later information; Mammy Sarah,
the nurse, knew no more than themselves; she had heard the
Broadlawn story, after having seen young de Vaux leave the house
with Miss Agnes, when they first went to the Hubbards'.
Hazlehurst had not accompanied his friend, for he had seen Mr.
Wyllys in a neighbouring field, and went there to give him the
information; and thence they had both gone to the cottage, where
they remained until Mrs. Clapp and Mr. Joseph Hubbard arrived
from Longbridge. Neither Mr. Wyllys nor Miss Agnes had received
the least intimation of the accident, until they heard a correct
account from de Vaux, and Harry himself; consequently they had
not felt the same alarm for Hazlehurst.

Dr. and Mrs. Van Horne were much gratified by hearing, that
Hazlehurst's restoration was owing to the devoted perseverance of
their son; for it was only after every one else had given up the
hope of reviving him, after long and ceaseless exertions, that
signs of life were discovered. They also now learned the
circumstances of the accident, the fact that two instead of four
persons were lost, and they found that it was in endeavouring to
save Charlie that Harry had so nearly lost his own life. But we
leave them together to express their natural feelings of
gratitude for those who had escaped, sympathy with the sufferers,
their surprise at Harry's appearance, and all the varying
emotions of such a moment.

While this conversation was passing in one room, Elinor was in
some measure recovering from the first sudden shock of the
morning in the other. Harry seemed fully determined to maintain
his post at her side, and still kept possession of her hand; in
fact, the solemn, anxious moment, hallowed by grief, at which the
disclosure of their mutual feelings had been made, seemed to
banish all common, petty embarrassments. Miss Agnes and Harry
required but a word and a look to explain matters; the aunt
already understood it all.

"Poor Charlie!" exclaimed Elinor, with a half-inquiring look, as
if with a faint hope that he too might have returned, like Harry.

"Our friend is gone, dearest!" said Harry, his eyes moistened
with tears as he spoke.

Elinor wept, and a silence of a minute ensued. "His poor mother,
and his sister!" she exclaimed at length.

"His two mothers, rather," said Harry, with a faltering voice.

After another silence, Elinor turned to Hazlehurst with an
anxious look, saying:

"And your other friends?"

"All safe; love."

"The crew too?"

"One of the crew is lost; Black Bob, a sailor from Longbridge."

"I remember him; he had no family I believe, Aunt," she said.

"None, my child, that I have ever heard of."

"The heaviest blow has fallen upon the Hubbards," said Harry.

After a pause, in which aunt and niece had prayed for the
mourners, Elinor again made some inquiries.

"Were all in the Petrel at the time?" asked Elinor.

"Smith and our poor Charlie, the negro and a boy were crossing a
bay in the Petrel, when she capsized, by the bad management of
the negro, who had been drinking. The rest of us were on shore."

"You were not in any danger then?" said Elinor, as if relieved
that he had not even been exposed to past peril.

"I owe my life to my friend Van Horne," he replied.

Elinor shuddered, and turned deadly pale again. Harry threw his
arms about her and embraced her fervently, until Elinor, who had
now partially recovered the common current of her ideas, made a
gentle struggle to release herself.

"But you were not in the Petrel?" she said again, as if anxious
to understand all that related to him.

"We all went to our friends as soon as we saw the schooner
capsize," said Harry.

"Hubert de Vaux told me that Harry swam some distance, with the
hope of saving poor Charles, who could not swim himself," said
Miss Agnes. "It was in that way, my child, that he was exposed."

"To save Charlie!--that was like you," said Elinor, with a glow
on her cheek.

"There was no danger--no merit whatever in doing so--I have often
swum farther," said Harry; "the only difficulty was caused by my
becoming entangled in some ropes, which drew me under water."

"But where was the boat?"

"It was not at hand at the moment; they brought it as soon as
possible."

"Did Charlie speak?" asked Elinor, sadly.

"My poor friend was insensible when I reached him."

Again a moment's pause ensued.

"I must not forget to tell you, love, that we owe a great deal to
another friend of ours," said Harry, smiling. "You will be glad
to hear that Bruno behaved nobly; he first discovered the ropes
in which we were entangled."

"Bruno!--Where is my noble dog? Pray call him; let me see him!"

Harry went to the door, and there was Bruno lying across the
threshold, as if waiting to be admitted; he came in at Harry's
call, but not with his usual bound; he seemed to understand that
if his old master had been saved, his master's friend was lost.
The noble creature was much caressed by Miss Wyllys and Elinor;
and we are not ashamed to confess that the latter kissed him more
than once. At length, Miss Agnes observing that her niece was
very much recovered, rose from her seat, and stooping to kiss
Elinor's forehead, placed her hand in that of Harry, saying with
much feeling, as she joined them, "God bless you, my children!"
and then left the room.

As for what passed after Miss Agnes left her young friends, we
cannot say; Bruno was the only witness to that interview between
Harry and Elinor, and as Bruno was no tell-tale, nothing has ever
transpired on the subject. We may suppose, however, that two
young people, strongly attached to each other, united under such
peculiar circumstances, did not part again until a conclusive and
satisfactory explanation had taken place. Harry no doubt was
enabled to quiet any scruples he may have felt with regard to
Ellsworth; and probably Elinor was assured, that she had entirely
mistaken Hazlehurst's feelings during the past summer; that Mrs.
Creighton was his friend's sister, and a charming woman, but not
the woman he loved, not the woman he could ever love, after
having known his Elinor. Then, as both parties were frank and
warm-hearted, as they had known each other for years, and had
just been reunited under circumstances so solemn, there was
probably more truth, less reserve, and possibly more tenderness
than usual at similar meetings. Doubtless there were some smiles;
and to judge from the tone of both parties on separating, we
think that some tears must have been shed. We are certain that
amid their own intimate personal communications, the young friend
so dear to both, so recently lost, was more than once remembered;
while at the same time it is a fact, that another communication
of some importance to Harry, the disclosures of Stebbins, was
forgotten by him, or deferred until the interview was
interrupted. Mr. Wyllys entered to let Harry know that Hubert de
Vaux had come for him.

"De Vaux is here waiting for you, Harry," said Mr. Wyllys,
opening the drawing-room door.

"Is it possible, my dear sir?--Is it so late?" exclaimed Harry.

It was in fact de Vaux, come to accompany Harry to Longbridge, to
meet the body of our poor Charlie: so closely, on that eventful
day, were joy and sadness mingled to the friends at Wyllys-Roof.

Elinor had risen from her seat as her grandfather approached.

"You feel better, my child," he said kindly.

"I am happy, grandpapa!--happy as I can be TO-DAY!" she added,
blushing, and weeping, and throwing her arms about his neck.

"It is all right, I see. May you be blessed, together, my
children!" said the venerable man, uniting their hands.

After an instant's silence, Elinor made a movement to leave the
room.

"I am going to Longbridge, but I shall hope to see you again in
the evening," said Harry, before she left him.

"When you come back, then. You are going to Longbridge, you say?"

"Yes," Said Harry sadly; "to meet Van Horne and Smith, with--"

Elinor made no reply; she understood his sad errand; offered him
her hand again, and left the room. She retired to her own
apartment, and remained there alone for a long time; and there
the young girl fell on her knees, and offered up most fervent,
heartfelt thanksgivings for the safety of one she loved truly,
one she had long loved, so recently rescued from the grave.

That afternoon, just as the autumn sun was sinking towards the
woods, throwing a rich, warm glow over the country, a simple
procession was seen moving slowly and sadly over the Longbridge
highway. It was the body of Charlie Hubbard, brought home by his
friends, to pass a few hours beneath his mother's roof, ere it
was consigned to its last resting-place under the sod. We have
not yet dared to intrude upon the stricken inmates of the old
grey cottage; we shall not attempt to paint their grief, such
grief is sacred. The bereaved mother, half-infirm in body and
mind, seemed to feel the blow without fully understanding it:
Patsey, poor Patsey felt the affliction fully, comprehended it
wholly. Charlie had been her idol from infancy; she had watched
over the boy with an engrossing affection, an earnest devotion,
which could be only compared to a mother's love, which might
claim a mother's sacred name. She was entirely overcome when the
young artist's body was brought into the house, and placed in the
coffin, beneath his father's portrait.

"My boy!--my brother!--Charlie!" she cried wildly; all her usual
calmness, her usual firmness giving way at the moment, as the
young face she loved so tenderly was first disclosed to her view,
pale and lifeless. But the fine features of the young artist,
almost feminine in their delicate beauty, returned no answering
glance--they were rigid, cold, and partially discoloured by
death.

Hazlehurst and de Vaux passed the night beside the body of their
friend; Miss Agnes and Mrs. Van Horne were with the bereaved
mother and sisters.

Early on the following morning, Mr. Wyllys and Elinor came to
take a last look at their young friend.

'Can it indeed be true?--Charlie gone for ever, gone so
suddenly!' thought Elinor, as she leaned over his body, weeping
with the sincere, heartfelt grief of a true friend, until
Hazlehurst, pained by her emotion, gently drew her away; not,
however, before she had bent over poor Charlie, and gently kissed
the discoloured forehead of her young companion, for the first
and the last time.

Patsey's grief, though not less deep, was more calm than at
first. Again and again she had returned to her young brother's
coffin, with varying feelings; now overwhelmed by poignant grief,
now partially soothed by the first balm of holy resignation; now
alone, now accompanied by her friends. Once, early that morning,
the infirm mother was brought into the room to look for the last
time on the face of her son; she was carried in a chair and
placed by the coffin, then assisted to rise by Miss Agnes and her
daughter Kate. Her tears flowed long, falling on her boy's cold,
but still beautiful features; she wiped them away herself, and
with an humble phrase of resignation, in the words of Scripture,
expressed the thought that ere long she should be laid by his
side. Her's was not the bitter, living grief of Patsey; she felt
that she was near the grave herself. Tears of gentle-hearted
women were not the only tears which fell upon Charlie's bier; his
uncles, his elder brothers, and more than one true friend were
there. But amid all the strong, contending emotions of those who
crowded the humble room, who hung over the coffin, still that
youthful form lay rigid in the fearful chill, the awful silence
of death; he, whose bright eye, whose pleasant smile had never
yet met the look of a friend without the quick glance of
intellect, or the glow of kindly feeling. Patsey felt the change;
she felt that the being she loved was not all there, the dearer
portion was already beyond her sight--and with this reflection
came the blessed consolations of Christian hope; for the
unfeigned faith and the penitent obedience of the Christian, had
been known to Charlie Hubbard from childhood; nor had they ever
been forgotten by the young man.

Soon after sun-rise, friends and neighbours began to collect;
they came from miles around, all classes and all ages--for the
family was much respected, and their sudden bereavement had
excited general compassion. The little door-yard and the humble
parlour were filled, with those who justly claimed the name of
friends; the highway and an adjoining field were crowded with
neighbours.

After a solemn prayer within the house, those who had loved the
dead fixed their eyes for the last time on his features; the
coffin was closed from the light, the body was carried for the
last time over the threshold, it was placed on a carriage, and
the living crowd moved away, following the dead, with the slow,
heavy movement of sorrow. The mother, the sisters, and the
nearest female friends remained in privacy together at the house
of mourning. As the funeral train moved along the highway towards
Longbridge, it gradually increased in length; the different
dwellings before which it passed had their windows closed, as a
simple token of sympathy, and on approaching the village, one
bell after another was heard, tolling sadly. The hearse paused
for a moment before the house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard; those who
had come thus far in carriages alighted, and joined by others
collected in the village, they moved from there on foot. Several
brother artists from New York, and other associates of the young
man's, bore the cloth which covered his coffin; and immediately
after the nearest relatives, the elder brothers, and the uncles,
came Hazlehurst and de Vaux, with the whole party of the Petrel,
and the crew of the little schooner: and sincerely did they mourn
their young friend; it is seldom indeed that the simple feeling
of grief and compassion pervades a whole funeral train so
generally as that of the young artist. But our poor Charlie had
been much loved by all who knew him; he was carried to the grave
among old friends of his family, in his native village--and there
were many there capable of admiring his genius and respecting his
character. As the procession entered the enclosure it passed
before a new-made grave, that of the negro sailor, who had been
decently interred by the directions of de Vaux, on the preceding
evening, the party of the Petrel having also attended his
funeral. On reaching the final resting-place of the young artist,
among the tombs of his family, by the side of his father the
minister, an impressive prayer and a short but touching address
were made; the coffin was lowered, the earth thrown on it, and
the grave closed over Charlie Hubbard: the story of his life was
told.

{"entered the enclosure" = at Christ Episcopal Church, in
Cooperstown, which Susan Fenimore Cooper attended,
African-Americans were at this time buried just inside the
churchyard entrance, away from the other graves; "was told" = was
ended}

Harry was the last to leave the spot. While the funeral train
returned with the mourners to the house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard, he
remained standing by the grave of his friend, his mind filled
with the recollection of the brilliant hopes so suddenly
extinguished, the warm fancies so suddenly chilled, the bright
dreams so suddenly blighted by the cold hand of death. The solemn
truth, that the shadow of death had also passed over himself was
not forgotten; life in its true character, with all its real
value, all its uncertainties, all its responsibilities, rose more
clearly revealed to him than it had ever yet done; he turned from
Charlie's grave a wiser man, carrying with him, in the
recollection of his own unexpected restoration, an impulse for
higher and more steadfast exertion in the discharge of duty.

But if Hazlehurst's thoughts, as he retraced his solitary way
towards Wyllys-Roof, were partly sad, they were not all gloomy.
Wisdom does not lessen our enjoyment of one real blessing of
life; she merely teaches us to distinguish the false from the
true, and she even increases our happiness amid the evils and
sorrows against which we are warned, by purifying our pleasures,
and giving life and strength to every better thought and feeling.
When Harry entered the gate of Wyllys-Roof, his heart beat with
joy again, as he saw Elinor, now his betrothed wife, awaiting his
return on the piazza; he joined her, and they had a long
conversation together in the fullness of confidence and
affection. They were at length interrupted by Miss Agnes, who
returned from the Hubbards'. The young people inquired
particularly after Miss Patsey.

"She is much more calm than she was yesterday; more like herself,
more resigned, thinking again of others, attending to Mrs.
Hubbard; she seems already to have found some consoling
thoughts."

"It seems, indeed," said Harry, "as if Hubbard's memory would
furnish consolation to his friends by the very greatness of their
loss; his character, his conduct, were always so excellent; the
best consolation for Miss Patsey."

"It is touching to see that excellent woman's deep affection for
one, so different from herself in many respects," observed Mr.
Wyllys.

"Fraternal affection is a very strong tie," said Miss Agnes
gently.

She might have added that it is one of the most honourable to the
human heart, as it is peculiar to our race. Other natural
affections, even the best, may be partially traced among the
inferior beings of creation; something of the conjugal, paternal,
and filial attachment may be roused for a moment in most living
creatures; but fraternal affection is known to man alone, and
would seem in its perfect disinterestedness, almost worthy to
pass unchanged to a higher sphere.

"I have often thought," said Mr. Wyllys, "that the affection of
an unmarried sister for a brother or a sister, whose chief
interests and affections belong by right to another, if not the
most tender, is surely the most purely disinterested and generous
which the human heart can know: and single women probably feel
the tie more strongly than others."

Mr. Wyllys was thinking when he spoke, of his daughter Agnes and
Patsey Hubbard; and he might have thought of hundreds of others
in the same circumstances, for happily such instances are very
common.

"I have never had either brother or sister, but I can well
imagine it must be a strong tie," said Elinor.

"I flattered myself I had been a sort of brother to you in old
times," said Harry smiling.

"Your romantic, adopted brothers, Nelly, are not good for much,"
said her grandfather. "We tried the experiment with Harry, and
see how it has turned out; it generally proves so, either too
much or too little. Don't fancy you know anything about plain,
honest, brotherly affection," he added, smiling kindly on his
granddaughter, who sat by his side.

Probably Harry was quite as well satisfied with the actual state
of things.

"But Charlie was also a son to Miss Patsey," he added, after a
moment.

"Yes; he had been almost entirely under her care from an infant,"
replied Miss Agnes.

"Poor Charlie!--little did I think that bright young head would
be laid in the grave before mine!" said Mr. Wyllys.

A moment's pause ensued.

"Much as I loved Hubbard, much as I regret his loss," said Harry,
"I shall always think of him with a melancholy pleasure."

"Excepting his loss, there does not seem indeed to be one painful
reflection connected with his name," observed Miss Agnes.

"Cherish his memory then among your better recollections," added
Mr. Wyllys, to Harry and Elinor. "And an old man can tell you the
full value of happy recollections; you will find one day the
blessing of such treasures of memory."

"It is a legacy, however, which the good alone can leave their
friends," said Miss Agnes.

And so it proved, indeed; after the first severe grief of the
sudden bereavement had passed away, the young man was remembered
among his friends with a peculiar tenderness, connected with his
youth, his genius, his excellent character, his blameless life,
and early death. Life had been but a morning to Charlie Hubbard,
but it was a glowing summer morning; its hours had not been
wasted, abused, misspent; brief as they were, yet in passing they
had brought blessings to himself, to his fellow-beings; and they
had left to those who loved him the best consolations of memory.



CHAPTER XXIII. {XLVI}

"Is not true love of higher price
Than outward form, though fair to see?"
COLERIDGE.

{Samuel Taylor Coleridge (English poet, 1772-1834), "Separation"
lines 9-10}

HARRY had a busy autumn that year. He had two important objects
in view, and within a few weeks he succeeded in accomplishing
both. He was very desirous, now all difficulties were removed,
that his marriage with Elinor should not be deferred any longer
than was absolutely necessary.

"There cannot be the shadow of a reason, love, for waiting," he
said to her within a few days of the explanation. "Remember, it
is now six years since you first promised to become my
wife--since we were first engaged."

"Six years, off and on," said Elinor smiling.

"Not really off more than a moment."

Elinor shook her head and smiled.

"No; not really off more than a very short time."

"Very well," said Elinor archly; "but don't you think the less we
say about that second year the better? Perhaps the third and the
fourth too."

"No indeed; I have been thinking it all over; and in the first
place there has not been a moment in those six years when I have
not loved you; though to my bitter mortification I confess, there
was also a moment when I was IN LOVE with another, but it was a
very short moment, and a very disagreeable one to remember. No; I
wish you to look well into those six years, for I honestly think
they will appear more to my credit than you are at all aware of.
I shan't be satisfied until we have talked them over again, my
part at least; I don't know that you will submit to the same
examination."

"Oh, you have already heard all I have to say," she replied,
blushing deeply; "I shan't allude to my part of the story again
this long while."

Nevertheless, Harry soon succeeded in obtaining her consent to be
married within six weeks; in fact she made but few objections to
the arrangement, although she would have preferred waiting
longer, on account of the recent afflictions of Jane and the
Hubbards.

The important day soon arrived, and the wedding took place at
Wyllys-Roof. A number of friends and relatives of both parties
were collected for the occasion; Mrs. Stanley, Robert Hazlehurst
and his wife, the late Mrs. George Wyllys and her new husband, or
as Harry called them, Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Dozie, the Van Hornes,
de Vauxes, Bernards, and others. Mary Van Alstyne was bridesmaid,
and Hubert de Vaux groomsman. The ceremony which at length united
our two young friends, was impressively performed by the
clergyman of the parish to which the Wyllyses belonged; and it
may be doubted whether there were another couple married that
day, in the whole wide world, whose feelings as they took the
solemn vows were more true, more honourable to their natures,
than those of Harry and Elinor.

Talking of vows, it was remarked by the spectators that the groom
made his promises and engagements in a more decided tone of
voice, a less embarrassed manner than usual; for, strange to say,
your grooms, happy men, are often awkward, miserable swains
enough in appearance; though it would be uncharitable in the
extreme, not to suppose them always abounding in internal
felicity. There was also another observation made by several of
the wedding-guests, friends of Harry, who were then at
Wyllys-Roof for the first time, and it becomes our duty to record
the remark, since it related to no less a person than the bride;
it was observed that she was not as pretty as a bride should be.

"Mrs. Harry Hazlehurst is no beauty, certainly," said Albert
Dangler to Orlando Flyrter.

"No beauty! She is downright ugly--I wonder at Hazlehurst's
taste!"

Unfortunately for Elinor, the days are past when benevolent
fairies arrive just at the important moment, and by a tap of the
wand or a phial of elixir, change the coarsest features, the most
unfavourable complexion, into a dazzling image of everything most
lovely, most beautiful. Nor had she the good luck of certain
young ladies of whom one reads quite often, who improve so
astonishingly in personal appearance between fifteen and
twenty--generally during the absence of the hero--that they are
not to be recognized, and a second introduction becomes
necessary. No; Elinor was no nearer to being a beauty when Harry
returned from Brazil, than when he went to Paris; she was just as
plain on the evening of her wedding as she was six years before,
when first presented to the reader's notice.

Jane, though now in widow's weeds, was just as beautiful too, as
when we first saw her; she was present at her cousin's wedding,
as Elinor wished her to be there, although in a deep mourning
dress. Patsey Hubbard was also in the drawing-room during the
ceremony, and in deep black; but she left her friends as soon as
she had expressed her warmest wishes for the happiness of her
former pupil: she wept as she turned from the house, for she
could not yet see that well-known, cheerful circle at
Wyllys-Roof, without missing one bright young face from the
group.

Among those who had declined invitations to the wedding, were Mr.
Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton, although both had expressed many
good wishes for the affianced couple; the gentleman wrote
sincerely, but a little sadly perhaps, as it was only six weeks
since his refusal; the lady wrote gracefully, but a little
spitefully it is believed, since it was now generally known that
Harry must recover entire possession of his fortune.

This vexatious affair was, in fact, finally settled about the
time of Harry's marriage; and, thanks to the disclosures of
Stebbins, it was no longer a difficult matter to unravel the
plot. As soon as William Stanley's representative, or in other
words, Hopgood, found that Stebbins had betrayed him, he ran off,
but was arrested shortly after, tried and convicted. He was no
sooner sentenced, than he offered to answer any questions that
might be asked, for he was anxious that his accomplice,
Clapp--who had also taken flight, and succeeded in eluding all
pursuit--should be punished as well as himself. It appeared that
his resemblance to the Stanleys was the first cause of his taking
the name of William Stanley; he was distantly related to them
through his mother, and, as we may often observe, the family
likeness, after having been partially lost for one or two
generations, had appeared quite strongly again in himself; and as
usual, the peculiarities of the resemblance had become more
deeply marked as he grew older. Being very nearly of the same
age, and of the same pursuit as William Stanley, he had actually
been taken for the young man on several occasions. He had been in
the same lawyer's office as Clapp, whom he had known as a boy,
and had always kept up some intercourse with him; meeting him one
day accidentally, he related the fact of his having passed
himself off for William Stanley by way of a joke. "The sight of
means to do ill deeds, makes deeds ill done:" Clapp seemed from
that moment to have first taken the idea of the plot; he
gradually disclosed his plan to Hopgood, who was quick-witted, a
good mimic, and quite clever enough for the purpose. The idea was
repeatedly abandoned, then resumed again; Hopgood having
purposely shipped under the name of William Stanley, several
times, and practised an imitation of William Stanley's hand by
way of an experiment. Finding no difficulties in these first
steps, they gradually grew bolder, collecting information about
the Stanleys, and carefully arranging all the details. Stebbins
had frightened them on one occasion; but after having obtained
possession of the papers in his hands, Clapp determined to carry
out their plan at once; he thought the probability of success was
strongly in their favour, with so much evidence within their
reach; and the spoils were so considerable, that they were in his
opinion worth the risk. The profits of their roguery were to be
equally divided, if they succeeded; and they had also agreed that
if at any moment matters began to look badly, they would make
their escape from the country together. Hopgood, who was
generally supposed by those who had known him, to have died at
New Orleans twenty years since, had been often with William
Stanley when a lad in the lawyer's office; he knew the house and
neighbourhood of Greatwood perfectly, and had a distinct
recollection of Mr. Stanley, the father, and of many persons and
circumstances that would prove very useful. Clapp easily obtained
other necessary information, and they went to Greatwood,
examining the whole house and place, in order to revive Hopgood's
recollections; while at the same time they made but little
mystery of their excursion, hoping rather that when discovered it
would pass off as a natural visit of William Stanley to the old
home which he was about to claim. The whole plan was carefully
matured under Clapp's cunning management; on some doubtful points
they were to be cautious, and a set of signals were agreed upon
for moments of difficulty; but generally they were to assume a
bold, confident aspect, freely offering an interview to the
executors, and sending a specimen of the forged handwriting as a
letter to Mrs. Stanley. The volume of the Spectator was a thought
of Clapp's; he bribed a boy to admit him into the library at
Greatwood one Sunday, when the housekeeper was at church, and he
selected the volume which seemed well suited to his purpose;
removing the boy from the neighbourhood immediately after, by
giving him high wages in a distant part of the country. As for
Mr. Reed he was completely their dupe, having been himself
honestly convinced of the identity of Clapp's client. It was nine
years from the time the plot first suggested itself, until they
finally appeared as public claimants of the estate and name of
William Stanley, and during that time, Clapp, who had never
entirely abandoned the idea, although Hopgood had repeatedly done
so, had been able to mature the plan very thoroughly.

{"'The sight of means to do ill deeds...'" Shakespeare, "King
John", IV.ii.219-220}

The declarations of Stebbins and Hopgood were easily proved; and
Harry had no further difficulty in resuming possession of
Greatwood.

Clapp was not heard of for years. His wife, little Willie, and
two younger children, became inmates of the old grey cottage,
under the care of Miss Patsey, who still continues the same
honest, whole-souled, benevolent being she was years ago. Patsey
was now quite at her ease, and enabled to provide for her sister
Kate and the three children, and it was to poor Charlie she owed
the means of doing so; by an unusual precaution in one so young,
he had left a will, giving everything he owned to his mother and
eldest sister. Shortly after his death, some of his friends,
Hazlehurst among the number, got up an exhibition of all his
pictures; they made a fine and quite numerous collection, for
Charlie had painted very rapidly. The melancholy interest
connected with the young painter's name, his high reputation in
the particular field he had chosen, the fact that all his
paintings were collected together, from the first view of
Chewattan lake taken when a mere boy, to the sketch of Nantucket
which he was retouching but a moment before his death, and the
sad recollection that his palette was now broken for ever,
attracted unusual attention. The result of that melancholy
exhibition, with the sale of some remaining pictures, proved
sufficient to place his mother and sister, with their moderate
views, in very comfortable circumstances; thus even after his
death Charlie proved a blessing to his family. In looking over
the young man's papers, Patsey found some lines which surprised
her, although they explained several circumstances which she had
never before fully understood; they betrayed a secret, undeclared
attachment, which had expressed itself simply and gracefully in
verses full of feeling and well written. It was evident from
these lines that poor Charlie's poetical imagination, even from
early boyhood, had been filled with the lovely image of his young
companion, Jane Graham: there was a beautiful sketch of her face
among his papers, which from the date, must have been taken from
memory while she was in Paris. It was clear from the tone of the
verses, that Charlie had scrupulously confined his secret within
his own bosom, for there were a few lines addressed to Jane since
her widowhood, lamenting that grief should so soon have thrown a
shadow over that lovely head, and concluding with a fear that she
would little value even this expression of sympathy from one, to
whom she had only given careless indifference, and one who had
never asked more than the friendship of early companionship.
Patsey hesitated for a moment, but then decided that the
miniature and the verses should never be shown--they should meet
no eyes but her own; Charlie had not spoken himself, his secret
should remain untold.

We must not omit to mention, that a few weeks after Charlie's
death young Van Horne offered himself to Mary Hubbard, the
youngest daughter of the family; he was accepted, and the
connexion, which was very gratifying to Patsey and her mother,
proved a happy one. Mrs. Hubbard survived her daughter's marriage
several years. Kate and her little ones have remained at the old
grey cottage from the time of Clapp's flight; the children are
now growing up promising young people, and they owe much to
Patsey's judicious care. Willie, the hero of the temperance
meeting, is her favourite, for she persuades herself that he is
like her lost Charlie; and in many respects the boy happily
resembles his uncle far more than his father. Last year Mrs.
Clapp received for the first time, a letter in a handwriting very
like that of her husband; its contents seemed distressing, for
she wept much, and held several consultations with Patsey. At
length quite a little sum was drawn from their modest means, Kate
packed up her trunk, took leave of her sister and children, and
set out upon a long and a solitary journey. She was absent for
months; but letters were occasionally received from her, and at
length she returned to the grey cottage in deep mourning. It was
supposed that she was now a widow; and as Patsey upon one single
occasion confirmed the report, the opinion must have been
correct, for Patsey Hubbard's word was truth itself. No public
account of Clapp's death, however, reached Longbridge, and his
name was never mentioned by the Hubbards; still, it seemed to be
known at last that Mrs. Clapp had gone to a great distance, to
attend her husband during a long and fatal illness: and Mrs.
Tibbs also found out by indefatigable inquiries, far and near,
that about the same time one of the elders of Joe Smith, the
Mormon impostor, had died of consumption at Nauvoo; that he had
written somewhere several months before his death, that a
delicate-looking woman had arrived, and had not quitted his side
as long as he lived; that immediately after his death she had
left Nauvoo, and had gone no one knew whither. It is quite
certain that a young man from Longbridge travelling at the west,
wrote home that he had seen Mrs. Clapp on board a Mississippi
steamer, just about that time. The story is probably true,
although nothing very positive is known at Longbridge.

{"no public account" = the uncertainty surrounding Mr. Clapp's
fate resembles that of Judith Hutter, at the end of James
Fenimore Cooper's "The Deerslayer" (1841)}

As for Hopgood, we have already mentioned that he had been
arrested, and most righteously condemned to a long imprisonment
for his share in that unprincipled, audacious conspiracy. A year
afterwards, however, it pleased those in authority to send him
out into the community again; he was pardoned--

As all reserve is generally dropped in the last chapter, we may
as well tell the reader a secret of Mrs. Creighton's. We have
every reason to believe that she never cared much for Harry,
although she always cared a great deal for his fortune. She was
determined to marry again, for two reasons; in the first place
she did not wish to give way to a sister-in-law, and she knew her
brother intended marrying; and then she never could manage that
brother as she wished; he was by no means disposed to throw away
as much time, thought, and money upon dissipation, as she would
have liked. She wanted a rich husband, of course; Harry did very
well in every particular but one--she thought him too much like
her brother in his tastes to be all she desired; still he suited
her better than any of her other admirers, and she would have
been quite satisfied to accept him, had he kept his fortune.
Without that fortune, it was a very different affair; he was no
longer to be thought of for a moment. We strongly suspect also,
that the pretty widow saw farther than any one else into the true
state of matters between Elinor and Harry, long before the
parties themselves had had an explanation; and for that reason,
so long as she was determined to take Hazlehurst for her second
husband, she decidedly encouraged Ellsworth's attention to
Elinor. Since we are so near the last page, we shall also admit
that Mrs. Creighton had quite a strong partiality for Mr.
Stryker, while the gentleman was thoroughly in love with her; but
neither was rich, and money, that is to say wealth, was
absolutely necessary in the opinion of both parties; so Mr.
Stryker went off to New Orleans in quest of a quadroon heiress
recommended to him, and Mrs. Creighton became Mrs. Pompey Taylor,
junior; marrying the second son of the merchant, an individual
who was nearly ten years younger than herself, and resembled his
brother in every respect except in being much less handsome. The
happy couple sailed for Europe immediately after the ceremony.

We are sorry to say that Mr. Taylor, the father, suffered
severely, not long after the marriage of his second son, by the
great fire; he suffered also in the great panic, and in various
other panics which have succeeded one another. Still he has not
failed, but he is a poorer man than when we first had the honour
of making his acquaintance. In other respects he is much what he
was fifteen years ago, devoted as much as ever and as exclusively
as ever to making money; still valuing everything, visible or
invisible, by the market-price in gold, silver, or bank-notes;
although unfortunately much less successful than at the
commencement of his career, in accumulating dollars and cents;
his seems to be "the fruitless race, without a prize;" and yet
Mr. Taylor is approaching the time of life when the end of the
race cannot be very distant.

{"the great fire" = the fire that destroyed much of downtown New
York City in 1835. "the great panic..." = the financial panic of
1837, and the depression that followed; "the fruitless race..." =
from William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Hope" line 25}

Adeline is improved in many respects, her mother's advice has had
a good effect on her; still it is amusing to see her already
training up several little girls for future belles, on her own
pattern; rather it is believed to the annoyance of her quiet
husband. Emma Taylor is decidedly less lively, she too having in
some measure composed herself, after achieving belle-ship and
matrimony.

Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Dozie removed from Longbridge not long after
their marriage; they have since returned there again, and now, by
the last accounts, they are again talking of leaving the place.

Mrs. Hilson still continues to annoy her family with a
persevering ingenuity, for which certain silly women appear
peculiarly well qualified; at times she talks of taking the veil
in a nunnery, at others, of again entering the bands of Hymen
with some English aristocrat of illustrious lineage; she
confesses that either step would be sufficiently romantic and
aristocratic to suit her refined tastes, but which she will
eventually adopt cannot yet be known. Fortunately, her sister
Emmeline has profited much more than the "city lady" herself by
the follies of the past; she has lately married a respectable
man, one of their Longbridge neighbours, much to her father's
satisfaction.

Mary Van Alstyne remains single, and passes much of her time with
Elinor.

Some eighteen months after Harry's marriage, one evening as he
was sitting on the piazza at Wyllys-Roof, he received a letter
which made him smile; calling Elinor from the drawing-room, he
communicated the contents to her. It was from Ellsworth,
announcing his approaching marriage with the lovely Mrs. Taylor,
or in other words, our friend Jane. Harry laughed a good deal,
and coloured a little too, as he plainly saw by the tone of the
letter, that his friend was going through precisely the same
process as himself, during his Paris days, when he first
discovered such wisdom in the depths of Jane's dark eyes, such
delicacy of sentiment in the purity of her complexion, such
tenderness in every common smile of her beautiful lips.
Ellsworth, however, would probably not find out as soon as
himself, that all these beauties made up a lovely picture indeed,
but nothing more; for his friend was an accepted suitor, and
might indulge himself by keeping agreeable fancies alive as long
as he chose; while Harry had been rather rudely awakened from his
trance by very shabby treatment in the first place, and a refusal
at last. To Hazlehurst, the most amusing part of Ellsworth's
story was, an allusion to a certain resemblance in character
between Mrs. Taylor and 'one whom he had so much admired, one
whom he must always admire.'

"Now, Elinor, do me the justice to say I was never half so bad as
that; I never pretended to think Jane like you, in one good
quality."

"It would be a pity if you had--Jane has good qualities of her
own. But I am rejoiced to hear the news; it is an excellent match
for both parties."

"Yes; though Jane is a lovely puppet, and nothing more, yet it is
a good match on that very account; Ellsworth will look after her.
It is to be hoped they are satisfied; I think we are, my sweet
wife; don't you?"

His frank, natural, affectionate smile as he spoke, was tolerably
satisfactory, certainly as to his estimate of his own fate; and
it is to be hoped the reader is by this time sufficiently well
acquainted with Elinor and Harry, to credit his account of the
matter. From all we know of both, we are ourselves disposed to
believe them very well qualified to pass through life happily
together, making the cheerful days pleasanter, and the dark hours
less gloomy to each other.

Harry seems to have given up his diplomatic pursuits for the
present at least; he remains at home, making himself useful both
in private and public life. Last year he and Elinor were at the
Rip-Raps, accompanied by Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes, and a little
family of their own--several engaging, clever, well-trained
children. The little girls, without being beauties, are not
plain; they are indeed quite as pretty as Jane's daughters; the
only ugly face in the young troop belongs to a fine-spirited
little fellow, to whom it is of no consequence at all, as he has
just discarded his petticoats for ever. Perhaps both father and
mother are pleased that such is the case; the feeling would seem
to be one of those weaknesses which will linger about every
parent's heart. Yet Elinor acknowledges that she is herself a
happy woman without beauty; and Harry, loving her as he does for
a thousand good reasons, and inclinations, and partialities,
sometimes actually believes that he loves her the better for that
plain face which appeals to his more generous feelings. Many men
will always laugh at an ugly woman, and the idea of loving her;
but is it an error in Hazlehurst's biographer to suppose that
there are others who, placed in similar circumstances, would feel
as Harry felt?

{"the Rip-Raps" = sea resort at Hampton, Virginia; near Old Point
Comfort, where Mr. Ellsworth had seen Elinor in Vol. II, Chapter
II}





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